THE THIRD MAJLIS Who Should One Listen To?
Alhamdulillah! Through the fadhl of Allah Taala and the barkat of our sheikh, this tenth booklet (not counting the Special Issue) is now ready.
This tenth number is meant to be a bonus issue in that the ambitious task has been undertaken of translating three consecutive majalis that Hadhratjee (R.A.) held in Lahore, Pakistan, in October 1986. The occasion was the annual jalsah of the organisation Majlis Siyanatul Muslimeen, Pakistan. It is appropriate, therefore, to note down a few comments concerning the Majlis Siyanatul Muslimeen:
Very briefly: When Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (R.A.) saw the decline in the Muslim ummat, compounded with the onslaught from outside forces, he wrote two kitabs to remedy the situation. The one was Hayatul Muslimeen, and the other was Siyanatul Muslimeen, wherein an all-comprehensive programme was laid down for the revival of the ummat. In order to give practical force to the programme the body Majlis Siyanatul Muslimeen was formed. This was approximately in the year 1930.
The object was to put into practice the teachings contained in the two kitabs -i.e. that Islam be practised in its all-comprehensive form, taking into account aqaid, ibadat, muasharat, muamulat and akhlaq. Branches of the organisation were subsequently established in different areas, with the main centre, subsequent to Hadhrat Thanvis (R.A.) demise, and after the formation of Pakistan, being established in Lahore by Hadhrat Thanvis (R.A.) senior khalifa-e-khas, Hadhrat Maulana Shah Hafez Jaleel Ahmed Sherwani saheb (R.A.) in 1953. Upon the latters demise the reins were taken over by Hadhrat Maulana Sayyid Najmul Hasan saheb Sherwani. Annually an ijtima is held in Lahore, where those connected to the "Majlis Siyanatul Muslimeen gather and the aims of the organisation are propagated.
It is at one such ijtima that our Hadhratjee (R.A.) spoke. The first majlis, conducted by our Hadhratjee (R.A.) after the Asr namaz, is directed more towards those connected to the Majlis Siyanatul Muslimeen. The theme is that of nisbat, which is then developed in the subsequent majalis held on the following two days.
At the end of this booklet is a translation of a letter written by Hadhratjee (R.A.) on the subject of nisbat. This letter very nicely summarises and rounds off the subject.
May Allah Taala grant all of us, the readers, those who have assisted, and the translator, and all our families true and correct nisbat maAllah.
DR I M
(Here follows a translation of a series of majalis held by Hadhrat Maulana Muhammed Maseehullah Khan saheb (R.A.) on being invited to address those attending the annual ijtima of the Majlis Siyanatul Muslimeen (Pakistan) in Lahore. Dates: 16th, 17th and 18th October 1986, corresponding with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Safar 1407.)
2.NISBAT AFFILIATION :THE FIRST MAJLIS
What can one say? Bayans (lectures) continue to be delivered. And here there are limitless bayans being delivered!
In any case what I wish to state is that last year as well this servant was invited to attend the annual ijtima of the Majlis Siyanatul Muslimeen. However, one may put it that the water and grain of this place was not in my taqdeer then, or one may say that the length and severity of my illness were the causes for this servants non-attendance. Otherwise, it is obvious that whatever is specifically linked to ones sheikh - the nisbat is to ones sheikh - and one is invited to it, and there are no special hindrances, then not to attend is not to value ones nisbat! And especially those individuals who have a more specific and special affiliation, a very special nisbat, they have no grounds for excusing themselves or allowing obstacles to present themselves.
Nisbat is a great thing.
And when one considers that the person to whom one is affiliated is a sahebe Haq - a person who is on Truth - and him being a sahebe Haq has already been established by various proofs, then the nisbat is taken into even greater consideration. One does not then search for excuses for not attending. To the contrary, one searches for excuses that will make it possible, in whatever way, for one to definitely attend.
This is applicable to each individual according to his aqeedat in (faith and confidence) and taalluq with (affiliation) the sahebe Haq.
3.SIR SYED AHMED KHAN SAHEB AND THE BEGGAR
A qissah comes to mind concerning an incident from which one may learn a great lesson:
This incident concerns Sir Syed Ahmed Khan saheb, the founder of Aligarh College. (For some years now it is a fully fledged University.)
It was a hot summers day. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan saheb was relaxing on a couch in his room. A companion of his, one of the nobility of Hyderabad Dekkan, was similarly relaxing on a couch nearby. The nobility in those days used to cool themselves by having a screen of sweet-smelling grass suspended in the room whilst an attendant used to sprinkle water on it and fan them with large hand-fans. (There were no electric fans or coolers in those days.) These two were resting thus when Sir Syed Ahmed Khan saheb observed through the glass doors the arrival of a beggar outside. The beggar stopped at the well situated just outside, and laid down his knapsack.
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan saheb commented to his companion, This person is going to come here in the guise of a durwesh, but I will not give him even one paisa! As predicted, the beggar, having changed into the garb of a durwesh, came up to the door and knocked. His knock was ignored. But these beggars tend to be daring and tenacious. The hint from inside had no effect and the knocking continued persistently. Finally, the attendant was told to open the door. The durwesh entered, made salam and sat down. However, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan saheb, having seen that this was just an ordinary person who had merely changed into the garb of a durwesh, continued to ignore him.
The durwesh, seeing the indifference, spoke sharply, Do you not recognise who I am? I am that person who has had the honour of visiting such-and-such a person! My eyes have been blessed by gazing at his radiant noor-filled face! On hearing this Sir Syed Ahmed Khan saheb immediately sat up. Asking his attendant to bring his cash-box, he took from it a generous sum, got up from his couch, went over to the durwesh and standing respectfully before him, handed over the money. Huzoor! Kindly accept this gift! The durwesh accepted the money and left.
The companion from Hyderabad commented drily, Just now you were adamant that you would not give him a single paisa, but then you went and handed over to him a substantial amount! Sir Syed Ahmed Khan saheb said, Do you not realise what he said? The companion said, He merely said that he had met a certain person. Do you know the person he said he had visited? His companion said, No. I dont. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan saheb said, The person whose name he took was my sheikh! When he took the name of my sheikh, saying that he had visited him, he was showing an affiliation (nisbat) to my sheikh. Heavens! Then how could I be so audacious as to ignore him and refuse his request?
Let us stop to ponder! Those whom we consider to be dunyadar (worldly people), just see the qualities they have in them. Note that the durwesh was not his sheikh but had merely claimed to have seen his sheikh. Only Allah Taala knows whether he had seen him or not. These people are very professional. He may have fished out this information from somebody, as to who Sir Syed Ahmed Khan sahebs sheikh was. But see, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan saheb did not cross examine him: When did you see him? Where did you see him? What was his appearance like? Describe his features and complexion. No. He did not delve into all that.
His attitude was: If I have no proof to the contrary, why should I consider a Muslim person to be a liar? Thus, he handed him the money and the beggar left.
To continue: Sir Syed Ahmed Khan saheb, still addressing his companion, said, "It is a good thing that he accepted what I had presented to him. If he had told me Hand over the entire cash-box to me, I take a qasm (oath) on Allah Taala that, because of the nisbat, I would have picked up the entire cash-box and handed it over to him!
Ponder! This is a so-called dunyadar individual, yet showing such qualities which should be seen in us who are considered to be deendar people.
So, if something has a nisbat with a person, and that person is of the ahle-Haq, and one also has nisbat with that person, is it possible to look for excuses for being absent? Can this be proof of respect within his heart for that person?
Yes, if some special obstacle were to present itself, then with heartfelt grief -with utter grief - he will be absent. Otherwise there is no reason for not being present, and this applies more so to those who have a special connection (taalluq).
Moreover, when that particular cause that we are speaking about, has been structured by the said ahle-Haq, and the very foundations have been laid by him, then it is not just for the duration of his life time. It is for afterwards as well, even after he has passed away. Such individuals do not die (wafat pana) but they become transposed (muntaqil hona).
The reason why the term intiqal is used for a mumin on his death is because he will now receive full and complete reward in the hereafter. He is now transposed from this world to another, where he will receive full and complete compensation for those amal (deeds) which he had performed with complete sincerity, with the taufeeq of Allah Taala. Both terms - wafat and intiqal - are used to denote physical death. In appearance the person appears to die, but in reality the person remains alive. And from the graves of certain special individuals tremendous spiritual benefit is derived and abundant faiz (spiritual effulgence) is attained.
I am reminded of something related to us by Hadhratwala, Hadhrat Thanvi (R.A.):
Our pardada peer Hadhrat Mianjee Noor Muhammed saheb (R.A.) had become ill. The illness took a serious turn and did not appear to abate. So much so that he realised that he would not live long. Originally from a place called Jhinjhana he had come to live in a place called Lohari, and he now yearned to return to his hometown. He called forth for a sedan-chair (palki) to be brought and he went to sit in it and set forth.
Incidentally, in that era [early 19th century] the ulema would travel on horseback and the mashaekh travelled in these sedan-chairs. We are not speaking of present times.
In order to reach Jhinjhana he had to pass through Thana Bhavan. When passing through Hadhrat Mianjee Noor Muhammed saheb (R.A.) ordered the sedan-chair to be stopped outside the khanqah, and requested the chair-bearers to call Hajee saheb.
Who was Hajee saheb? This was none other than Hajee Imdadullah (R.A.), the sheikh of Hadhratwala, Hadhrat Thanvi (R.A.). He had already acquired fame in his youth. Originally he had entered the Naqshabandia silsilah and had already been given khilafat there. But he did not rest.
We, on the other hand, experience a few effects of zikr and we sit back completely satisfied and complacent. But Hajee sahebs thirst was not quenched. Even after having reached the stage of a khalifa, his search continued. One night Hajee saheb had a dream in which he had made ziyarat of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), who had indicated to him to become' bayt to a certain person whose features were shown to Hajee saheb in the dream. That was all.
At that time there lived here in Jalalabad a great buzurg. He had the special honour of making ziyarat (visiting)of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in a state of wakefulness. Hajee saheb used to come to this buzurg to study the kitab Hisne Haseen. This buzurg noticed Hajee sahebs restlessness and advised him, Mianjee - in those days the pious and scholars were addressed as Mianjee or Mullajee, but nowadays one cannot use these titles because people feel insulted - Mianjee! You appear still to be thirsty spiritually. There is a village called Lohari, nearby here. There is a buzurg there. Why do you not go and see him?
Hajee saheb went to Lohari. When he entered the khanqah there and set eyes on Hadhrat Mianjee Noor Muhammed saheb (R.A.) with a sudden jolt he realised that this was the same buzurg shown to him in his dream by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)! Hajee saheb became bayt in the Chistiyah silsilah to Hadhrat Mianjee Noor Muhammed saheb (R.A.) and progressed here as well to the stage where he was again given khilafat.
To continue: Hadhrat Mianjee Noor Muhammed saheb (R.A.), being very ill, had stopped at the khanqah in Thana Bhavan and had ordered the palki-bearers to summon Hajee saheb. Hajee saheb came out and peered into the palki through the curtains, and saw his sheikh lying ill in it. Salams were exchanged, musafahah was made, and Hadhrat Mianjee Noor Muhammed saheb (R.A.) said, Hajee saheb! My idea at this moment is that I should take more work from you. Remember that Hajee saheb had already been given the responsibilities of khilafat from two silsilas. Hadhrat Mianjee Noor Muhammed saheb (R.A.) repeated, My heart desires that I should take more work from you. It appears as if my time is limited.
Hearing this tears came to the eyes of Hajee saheb, indeed as they should!
These august personalities do not shed tears at the thought of separation that death brings, but they weep with the grief that: Tomorrow, should I be in need of my sheikh, or some obstacles come across my path, to whom shall I turn to in order to solve my problems? My spiritual progress will come to a standstill!
Seeing his tears Hadhrat Mianjee Noor Muhammed saheb (R.A.) remarked (and this is the purpose of relating this episode!) Do not feel concerned. Do not distress yourself. A faqeer does not die - he is merely transposed! I will not be around, but my grave will be there. You should frequent it. Insha-Allah Taala, you will then still attain the same faiz as you have attained in my lifetime.
This is something to ponder over.
As I was saying: When a person has established something and laid down the foundations for it, and structured it, then should not those who are connected to him, those who are his followers, direct their attention at bringing about further progress and elevating it higher? This is what those who have ikhlas and sidq would desire! Or should they be doing the opposite - bringing about retrogression and destroying it? And this applies even more so to those who have an extra-special affiliation, like being the offspring.
Hadhratwala, Hadhrat Thanvi (R.A.) once spoke thus, concerning Maulana Jaleel Ahmed saheb (R.A.) (who was known as Piyare-mian, and who was my brother-in-law), If there was a custom of doing it, I would have made Maulana Jaleel Ahmed my adopted son.
This is something to ponder over. Take a lesson from it.
(Maulana Jaleel Ahmed saheb (R.A.) left all his possessions in Hindustan and came to Pakistan, bringing with him the Majlis Siyanatul Muslimeen, and dedicated his whole life and wealth in propagating its ideals. Whatever he had he sacrificed, spending the remainder of his life in straitened circumstances.)
5.MAULANA ILYAS (R.A.) AND THE TABLEEGH JAMAT
Take the situation of Maulana Ilyas saheb (R.A.), who founded the Tableegh Jamat, which has its centre (markaz) in Nizamuddin, Delhi. When he passed away the Tableegh Movement did not come to an end, but it was fostered by his son Hadhrat Maulana Yusuf saheb (R.A.), who was also the son-in-law of Sheikhul Hadith Hadhrat Maulana Zakariya saheb (R.A.), and he propagated the movement further. He put his full effort into it and spread it even more. When Hadhrat Maulana Yusuf saheb (R.A.) passed away, the reins were taken over by Hadhrat Maulana Inamul Hasan saheb, who was also a son-in-law of Hadhrat Zakariya saheb (R.A.). And he too fully exerted himself in this effort, causing the movement to grow and grow, with fadhle-ilahi and taufeeqe-ilahi. Just observe the sincerity in them, the unity and muhabbat they had within themselves.
People from outlying areas come to the markaz in Nizamuddin, Delhi, in connection with the affairs of the Tableegh Movement. Some of them come to visit me in Jalalabad as well from time to time. Once, quite a big group of people came to meet me. A bit surprised at their number, I asked them what was happening? They explained that Hadhrat Maulana Inamul Hasan saheb had gathered in Delhi people from different parts of Mysore and Madras in the south of India. Every six to twelve months workers are called and instructed on how to go about the work of tableegh. This was the purpose for their coming to Delhi from Mysore and Madras.
The point I wish to make is that there is no necessity for them to hand out handbills. You will have seen that they never ever give out handbills, because each individual is himself a handbill! Whenever an ijtima is taking place you will not find any printed notices and handbills publicising the event, but jamats will go out to different areas, localities and towns. They will then make ghast, inviting towards the ijtima, and taking out with them newcomers in their thousands, to attend the ijtima!
Whereas at our ijtimas, those of the Majlis Siyanatul Muslimeen, handbills and notices have to be printed and distributed, and even then, only a handful of people present themselves.
7.COLLECTION OF FUNDS
In the same way, they do not have to go around collecting funds, because they are a fund in themselves! They have many well-to-do people, millionaires and billionaires, who are jamat workers. They themselves make their funds available on a continuous basis. It is not necessary for anybody to tell them to donate funds. They have dedicated themselves with such sincerity that they have worn themselves out, body, soul and wealth, in this effort.
Because of this nisbat with Hadhrat Maulana Ilyas saheb (R.A.), with what great compassion and courage, and painstaking effort, did Hadhrat Maulana Yusuf saheb (R.A.), and, now, Hadhrat Maulana Inamul Hasan saheb, steer the movement ahead.
These points I have brought up to underline that my sheikh, Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali saheb (R.A.) was the one to establish Majlis Siyanatul Muslimeen. Its nisbat is towards him. So, those who have a taalluq, and have ikhlas and sidq, have no grounds for excuses.
It is necessary to keep ones hearts clean at all times, what is termed husne-zin (to harbour good thoughts and not to entertain evil suspicions). This work is not to be kept dependent on the presence or absence of any individual, or on the founder being alive or not.
8.HUSNE-ZIN (NEK-GUMANI) AND SUE-ZIN (BID-GUMANI)
Husne-zin is a great quality, whereas the opposite - sue-zin - is a very vile act. In the Court of Haq Taala you will not be called to account on having had husne-zin with regard to a certain person, but you will definitely be taken to task as to why you had sue-zin with regard to a certain person. Why did you have bid-gumani towards a certain person - why did you harbour evil thoughts about him? You will not be questioned as to why you thought well of him.
Have nek-guman with regard to every mumin.
& Verily, some suspicion is a sin. S.49 A.12
Until and unless there is a shari basis, bid-gumani is a sin. There has to be a proper shari investigation and shari evidence, or the person himself either acknowledges or refutes the allegations. Bid-gumani and sue-zin creates fasad (mischief/ trouble/ dissension), and causes fitna to spread.
8.HADHRAT ALI (R.A.) MAKING SALAM TO
HADHRAT ABUBAKR (R.A.)
An incident comes to mind:
Once Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.) was walking along in a certain direction.
Approaching him from the opposite direction was Hadhrat Ali (R.A.). When they were fairly close, Hadhrat Ali (R.A.) made salam to Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.), who replied to the salam. It so happened that a Sahabi (R.A.) was passing by and took note of this meeting between the two, where Hadhrat Ali (R.A.) made salam first. He thought to himself, What transpired is contrary to the normal practice of Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.). It was always the habit of Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.), whenever he met Hadhrat Ali (R.A.), to greet first. Whereas, on this occasion, he did not initiate the salam, but Hadhrat Ali (R.A.) made salam first. Is there not, perhaps, some discord between the two, some change in their hearts, some ill-feelings, some unpleasantness? The Sahabi (R.A.) went straight to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and reported the incident to him: I always used to see Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.) make salam to Hadhrat Ali (R.A.) first. Today, the opposite happened. Whenever anything happens contrary to normal practice, it is only natural that suspicions are aroused.
Another incident springs to mind, one that Hadhratwala, Hadhrat Thanvi (R.A.), related to us. Let me mention this incident before continuing:
One buzurg used to be in the habit of visiting another buzurg.
(You will find)
Birds of a kind
Together they will fly along,
Dove with a dove, falcon with a falcon.
One day this buzurg did not come visit him as was his normal routine. The thought came to the other buzurg that there must be some valid reason for him not coming. The following day also he did not come visit him, and on the third day as well. The doubts now assailed him, I must have done something wrong for him not to visit me, contrary to his normal habit. He proceeded to the house of the buzurg and knocked on the door. The first buzurg answered the knock, salams were exchanged, musafahah was made, and he asked, Why have you taken the trouble to come? Huzoor! the second buzurg replied, You used to visit me daily. Three days have passed and you have not visited me. The thought came to me that perhaps the reason is that I may have been rude or insulting to you, that I may perhaps have said or did something to upset you. The first buzurg said, If that were the case, the Hadith shareef states that if there is some discord with ones friend during any discussion, clear it up there and then, in that very majlis. One should not leave it for some other time. So, if there was anything you said or did along these lines, I would have brought it up there and then, and clarified the matter. Rest assured that I have no complaints against you. Much relieved, the second buzurg asked, Then, why did you not come? The first buzurg replied, I had developed an abscess, that is why I could not come. The second buzurg asked, Where is the abscess? This time the first buzurg gave no reply. He remained silent.
There are two possible reasons for him to have kept silent. One is due to his natural disposition, his temperament; the other is due to a shari reason.Firstly, the disposition of some individuals is that of being naturally very modest and shy, and to mention certain anatomical parts of the body is difficult. The person feels extremely shy to mention these.
Secondly, the shari aspect is as follows: Seeing that the second buzurg now knew that the reason the first buzurg could not visit him was that he had an abscess which caused him great pain and difficulty in walking, then the question as to where the abscess was situated, was an irrelevant and useless question, what is termed la-yani.
Ayyuhat-tullab! Ponder a bit! What is the relevant Hadith shareef?
Of the beauty of a persons Islam is that he shuns what is useless/ futile.
These were the sufiya-muhaqqiqeen who acted on the Hadith shareef and ayat of the Quran shareef! This is that tasawwuf, that sulook, which is an extremely exquisite section of the sacred shariah! This tasawwuf, this sulook is not a category apart from the shariah. Nay! It is very much a part of it, and a very delicate and extremely exquisite part, which Hadhratwala, Hadhrat Thanvi (R.A.), used to express as follows:
Do you know what sulook is? This sulook is a rooh (soul). To which rooh can one liken it to? The rooh of the malaekah! The rooh is an extremely delicate and exquisite entity, even more so of such a delicate creation as the malaekah.
To continue: The first buzurg had kept silent. He had not replied because the second buzurg had asked a question that was irrelevant (la-yani). Seeing that he now knew why the first buzurg had not visited him, why ask Where did you have the abscess? When the object had been achieved, why ask further? This question was superfluous - it was contrary to the teaching of min husni islamilmari tarku mala yanihi
The second buzurg also sensed that his question was superfluous. He went back home, and on his return he fell prostrate in sajdah, lamenting and beseeching forgiveness in that he had been involved in la-yani!
These are the effects of sulook! These are the results of zikr and taqwa, combined with sulook! This tongue that we posses, has not been given for la-yani. Haq Taala has created the tongue for His zikr, and the heart has been created for His yad (remembrance). It comes in the Hadith shareef that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has stated that the tongue should be zakir (making zikr), that the heart should be shakir (making shukr), and the body should be sabir (making sabr). This tongue has been created for the zikr of Allah Taala, so why is there la-yani kalam (useless and futile speech)? And the heart is for the yad of Allah Taala.
Just ponder: Allah Taala is One. There is only one tongue, and the heart is single. Other parts of the body come in pairs: two hands, two feet, two eyes, two ears, two kidneys, etc. So that One Allah Taala has created one tongue for His zikr, and one heart for His remembrance! A tongue not making zikr, can it be called a tongue? That heart not in yad, can it be called a heart?
That heart is no heart in which You are not present!
The zikr of Allah Taala is demanded from us all the time, whereas the five daily namazes are for set and limited times.
W'hen ye have performed your salat, remember Allah standing, sitting, and reclining. S.4 A.103
Allah Taala is addressing us, as if to say, When you have completed performing your namaz do not imagine that you have fulfilled all My rights on you. Nay! Nay! That namaz was for a limited period. Whereas, whilst standing (qiyaman) or whilst sitting (quudan) or whilst lying on your sides (ala junubikum), you should still be involved in My zikr!
10.ZIKR LISANI AND ZIKR QALBI AND RIYA
Zikr has two locations - there are two sites in the body where zikr is made. One is the tongue and the other is the heart. Making zikr with the tongue is called zikr lisani, and zikr made in the heart is called zikr qalbi. With zikr lisani there should be zikr qalbi, and with zikr qalbi there should be zikr lisani - this is the ideal, that there should be zikr taking place in both places simultaneously. This is the comprehensive form of zikr. Otherwise, at times, one is deceived into thinking that even though one is not making zikr lisani one is involved in zikr qalbi, whereas the heart is devoid of zikr - the heart is not zakir. The heart is empty! In contrast, zikr lisani is a conscious act, and one cannot be deceived. That is why some individuals carry a tasbeeh in their hands. By doing so the thought should never enter ones mind that this is riya (i.e. doing something for show).
Hadhrat Junaid Baghdadi (R.A.) used to hold a tasbeeh in his hand. Somebody enquired, Hadhrat! You have already reached a very lofty status spiritually, in that the yad of Allah Taala is all the time in your heart and you are making zikr all the time. So, what need is there for the tasbeeh? Hadhrat Junaid Baghdadi (R.A.) replied, This tasbeeh in my hand is my benefactor. It was the initial means and cause for our gaining that stage of being in the remembrance of Allah Taala. So, should I now be ungrateful and discard it?
Take note: Those asbab (procedures/ causes) that make us neglectful of the yad of Zate Bari Taala, they are worthy of being discarded. Whereas those asbab that draw us closer to the zikr of Zate Bari Taala, we have to hold firmly on to.
To continue with the topic of husne-zin: I had related that Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.) had not initiated the salam on meeting Hadhrat Ali (R.A.), and the Sahabi (R.A.) who had witnessed this had gone to relate the incident to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), fearing that perhaps there was some discord between the two. Today Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.) did not make salam first, but Hadhrat Ali (R.A.) had to make salam first. Huzoor (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), would you not investigate?
Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.) was summoned. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) asked, Abubakr, did any incident take place today between you and Ali? Yes, replied Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.). Ali was approaching as I was proceeding along. As we neared one another, he made salam, and I replied. I did not make salam first.
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) asked, And what was your habit previous to this?
Take note that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) did not act merely on the statement of the Sahabi (R.A.). No judgement was made, but the matter was investigated first.
Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.) replied, Previously it was my habit to make salam to Ali first. Then why did you act contrary to your habit today? asked Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Pay attention now!
Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.) replied, For this reason that, whenever I used to initiate the salam, I used to notice that the showering of anwar-e-ilahi (spiritual radiance from Allah Taala) was greater on me and less on Ali. Today I adopted it-har (selflessness) so that the anwar of Zate Bari Taala should shower more on my brother Ali, and less on me!
What was revealed after investigation? Whereas what were the assumptions prior to this? After investigation the true picture was revealed, that there were no differences, no discord between the two. Investigation revealed an amazing aspect!
11.THAWAB OF INITIATING SALAM
Students may raise a query here: To make salam is sunnat. To reply is wajib. The reward of a wajib act is more, and that of a sunnat act is less. However, from the above incident it is apparent that initiating the salam, which is sunnat, drew greater anwar-e-ilahi, and therefore greater thawab (reward), whereas replying to the salam, which is wajib, drew lesser anwar-e-ilahi, and, therefore, lesser thawab.
This is the direction in which a students mind will race, as it should. That is why it is said:
In other words, that student who sits in front of his ustadh without asking any whys? and wherefores?, and that mureed who sits in front of his sheikh full of whys? and wherefores?, both of them should go and stay in the jungle! They have no need to reside amongst humans!
It is part of the students work and study to do academic research. Whereas the work of the mureed is to take the treatment that is prescribed to him.
As I was saying, the student may raise a query as to the apparent contradiction in the thawab attached to the salam. The answer to this query is that the thawab is based on the mujahadah (striving against the dictates of the nafs). Initiating the salam is not an act that everybody has the courage for! Only that person is able to do so who has real, genuine humility in his tabiyet, genuine lowliness, a nafs that is subjugated (kasre nafs). Initiating the salam is a manifestation of ones humbleness, whereas in replying there is a type of boasting: I am being greeted! This is especially so when somebody important makes salam to a lesser person, then the latters ego is even more inflated, and he goes around saying, Today such-and-such a person greeted me! thereby trying to impress on others his own rank.
So, in replying to a salam there is a type of boast, whereas in initiating the salam there is humility. And thawab and qurbe-ilahi is based on humility. Allah Taala loves humbleness, very much so!
All this is an elucidation of sue-zin and husne-zin, and the importance of first investigating before jumping to conclusions.
We were speaking about nisbat (affiliation), that this is a great entity. In whichever direction one has nisbat, one places importance to it to the degree of that taalluq (connection) - one attaches importance to it, and one takes the necessary care and consideration to preserve and propagate it.
Yes, if on some rare occasion, by a process of deduction, some contrary thought comes into ones mind, that is a different matter. However, even then, if somebody places a reasonable argument in front of one to dispel this notion, and one has no actual proof to reject this argument - and there is no obstinacy in oneself, and one is not proud or conceited - then one should accept the argument.
12.NISBAT AND HADHRAT ABUBAKR (R.A.)
Huzoore-akram (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had passed away. However, during his blessed lifetime, shortly before his demise, he had handed the standard - the flag taken by the commander when proceeding for jihad - to Hadhrat Usama (R.A.). He was instructed to proceed forth. Hadhrat Usama (R.A.) left. Shortly thereafter, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) passed away. There was consternation and panic among the Muslims. Some tribes even became apostate. Some refused to pay zakat.
Over here the Muhajireen and Ansar were having mashwarah (consultations) as to who should succeed to take over the role of head of state. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), besides being a Nabi, was also a king, an ameer, the head of a state. So, it was necessary to have somebody to take over the reins so that the administration and the application of the laws could be kept intact.
Hadhrat Umar (R.A.) saw that there was much vacillation and uncertainty, and that this was causing an undue delay. He thought to himself, Who can be more worthy and deserving than Abubakr Siddiq? He thus took the initiative and took bayt at the hands of Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.). On seeing this, others also starting taking bayt at the hands of Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.), and shortly, there was a general consensus (ijma) of the Sahaba (R.A.) on the khilafat of Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.).
Now, on the one hand, there were those who refused to pay zakat, and they had to be brought under control. On the other hand the army under Hadhrat Usama (R.A.) was ready for jihad, and the Muslim forces in Medina appeared depleted. Hadhrat Umar Farooq (R.A.) advised Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.), Wait a while, make sabr. Do not, as yet, send any forces against those who refuse to pay zakat. However, if you insist on doing so, recall the force sent under Usama, for they are still on their way and have not reached the position they were posted to.
Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.) retorted, 0 Umar! What has happened to you? In the Age of Jahalat (Ignorance) you were very stern, and now you have changed to become very soft! Usama was given the standard by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and dispatched. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself handed the standard to Usama. Its nisbat is with Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Are you asking me to separate it? That will never happen! If all of you decline to support me, then I will proceed all by myself! Hadhrat Umar (R.A.) commented afterwards, It was then that light dawned on me!
Do you understand? We are speaking of nisbat.
13.NISBAT AND THE SAHABA (R.A.)
Furthermore: It was that period after the demise of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). His mission of dawah to iman was completed. This responsibility now rested on the shoulders of the Sahaba (R.A.). An insight into their qualities is the following: During the lifetime of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) there were a group of munafiqeen (hypocrites) in the community. Wahi (revelation) used to come to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) as to who they were. A scribe was entrusted with the task of writing down their names, but this was in strict confidence. Among the sincere (mukhlis) Sahaba (R.A.) there were some who feared, Are our names not included amongst them? They would thus approach the scribe and pose this very question to him!
But coming back to the point: That which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had established - Haq and Tauheed - to what extent was it not propagated? The responsibility was placed on the shoulders of the Sahaba (R.A.). How much toil and effort did they not put into it? How much did they not train themselves, and trained others as well? How much firmness and steadfastness did they not display? How much strength and force did they not exert? How committed were they not in their obedience? Note that proof of muhabbat is through obedience (ittibaiyet). Proof of muhabbat is not through lip-service. And the degree of obedience will be proof of the proportionate degree of muhabbat. A mere claim of muhabbat is not sufficient proof, for example, as was seen with the munafiqeen (hypocrites) and their lip-service to Islam. The mukhlis - sincere - Sahaba (R.A.) were different.
It is well known that there were approximately one hundred and twenty thousand Ambiya (A.S.) that were sent by Allah Taala. The approximate number of Sahaba (R.A.) that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) left
behind were also in the region of one hundred and twenty thousand. Taking note of the Hadith shareef:
The ulema of my ummat are like the Ambiya of the Bani-Israil.
One hundred and twenty thousand Ambiya came before Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam); and there were one hundred and twenty thousand Sahaba (R.A.) after him. It is as if each Sahabi (R.A.) stood for a Nabi (A.S.) of the Bani-Israil.
So, after the demise of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) the Sahaba (R.A.) maintained and established that nisbat, which will remain till the day of Qiyamat. From this one should understand that there are two factors to take into account: One is that personality towards whom there is nisbat; the other is that particular item that has been established by the personality in question. The continuation of what has been established is not dependant on the continued existence of the personality. Even though that personality ceases to exist, what he has established will continue to flourish. The reason is this that the nisbat was to such an exalted personality, that the muhabbat for that person motivated those who were connected to him into maintaining and further propagating what had been established. It is not a situation that, as long as the personality is there that those who are connected to him, maintain it, and the moment he is not there, they forget about it.
Just see! Whatever Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had presented as objectives, the Sahaba (R.A.) clutched these to their breasts, and, not only during the lifetime of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), but even after his demise they maintained these and propagated these further, as we saw Hadhrat Abubakr Siddiq (R.A.) doing. To have maintained the foundations laid by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) only during his lifetime, and not bother after his demise, would have been merely showing ones face. This would not have been ikhlas.
Nisbat! Here understand as well that there are two words which are very similar. One is nisbat (affiliation), the other is nasab (family lineage). The amount of concern and effort a son puts into an item established by his father -the care and concern that he has that it should not be spoiled and that it should progress further - no one else will have. In the same way, nay, even more so, this applies to that parson who has attained a batini nisbat! At times this nisbat is greater than nasab. The favourable and promising condition is this.
As I had said, the affiliation of the Majlis Siyanatul Muslimeen is to my sheikh Hadhratwala, Hadhrat Thanvi (nawwarallahu marqadahu). The foundation was laid by him and brought into existence by him. Therefore, there can be no excuses for not attending, unless some special insurmountable obstacles present themselves. However, one should not look for excuses for not attending.
Some say it was four years since my previous visit here (i.e. to Pakistan) - I tend to think that it was three years back, but others insist it was four years ago, and perhaps it was so. In any case I was quite ill while I was here, and I left while still in that condition, and even afterwards I remained ill, and the illness became aggravated, so much so that there was no hope of my surviving. There was no hope that I would remain alive. But then Allah Taala blessed me with more years of living, as if to say that I am being given an opportunity to compensate for any of my shortcomings of the past, and if I have any expectations for the future, I should continuously make dua for taufeeq for these.
At that time I was extremely ill. Even now I am exceptionally weak, to that extent that it is difficult for me to walk without support. One may say that it is due to good nutrition, or some other external factors, that I have had the strength to be able to walk. Then, also, some have honoured me by extending an invitation time and again for me to attend, and thus to see to their needs; and also the encouragement and support of the individuals back home are also factors - in any case, whatever the factors, by the taufeeq of Allah Taala, I am here, despite my weakness.
This follows on what I had stated previously: Never at any time, or on any occasion, with regard to any person whomsoever, should one bring any bid-gumani into ones heart. That such-and-such a person, who has some taalluq, and he is not here? That he, more so than others, should have come and participated! There could arise some valid reasons for him not attending. So, nek-guman is compulsory, and it is necessary that one should abstain from bid-gumani. Allah Taala will not put the question, Why did you have nek-gumani with regard to a certain individual? But the question will be asked, Why did you have bid-gumani with regard to a certain individual?
May Allah Taala give us, and all mumineen, the taufeeq to keep our hearts clean and pure towards other mumineen!
14.UNITY AND DISUNITY
These are the factors that are the root causes of all disunity. This has been mentioned in the Quran shareef, that as long as these items keep on appearing in practice, to create unity is impossible, a day-dream. If you so wish you may deliver lectures on the topic of unity. You can discuss unity ad infinitum in the newspapers and in essays. Hold innumerable marches and processions for unity. Unity will never be achieved by these lectures, discussions, essays and marches, as long as the habits and roots of disunity are still present within individuals. These are illnesses within ourselves.
Have we not been told the following?
Do not have hasad (jealousy).
Do not have bugz (malice).
Do not have nafrat (repulsion).
Do not defame one another.
Do not make gheebat i.e. do not backbite one
(Hadith shareef & S.49 A.11-12)
These are illnesses within us. Within us we have keenah (malice), we have hasad (jealousy), we have bugz (hatred), we have the tendency to call one another by despicable names, we make gheebat (back-bite). As long as these qualities are kept within ourselves there is no question of creating unity. Yes, should we vehemently oppose these qualities, unity will be seen.
As far as it is possible, as much as one can, one should keep ones heart completely clear and clean as far as our fellow mumins are concerned. It comes in the Hadith shareef that when a person with even the slightest amount of keenah (malice) within his heart presents himself at the door of Jannat, he will be stopped. No doubt he is a Jannati - he has permission to enter Jannat. But anybody with keenah within himself will not be allowed to enter Jannat. He will be ordered, Halt! While he is thus kept waiting, other Jannatees will be seen to be entering Jannat. Zate Bari Taala greatly desires that this person should also enter Jannat. However there is within him a fragment of filth, of evil. Haq Taala will say, Jannat is not a place in which to argue and fight. It is a place to stay with muhabbat (love and affection). He will be told to stand up, and Zate Bari Taala will Himself remove the keenah from his chest. Only now will the order be given, Go! Enter!
15.WISDOM BEHIND NOT HAVING SONS
It is nearly time for the azan. At this moment this thought has come to mind: This ijtima is that of the Majlis Siyanatul Muslimeen, whose founder was our sheikh Hadhratwala, Hadhrat Thanvi (R.A.). Efforts should be made to promote it and cause it to progress and expand more. There is no filial succession. That is: there are no children of our sheikh who could take over. And it has happened for the best that Hadhratwala had no son. Remember that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had sons and daughters, but the male offspring passed away. This happened for the best. Note that other Ambiya (A.S.) who had existed previously had sons who were ambiya, and grandsons and progeny who were ambiya as well.
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had sons, but these were not allowed to survive by Allah Taala. If they had survived, there were two possibilities: either they would have been ambiya, or they would not have been ambiya.
If they were not made ambiya, and the progeny of other ambiya were made ambiya... How could that be that the male progeny of My Habeeb (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) then not be ambiya?"
Another point to ponder over: The masalah of khatme naboowat (finality of prophethood) becomes easy to understand from here also. Zate Bari Taala had no intention to continue the chain of prophethood. This is very perceivable and easy to comprehend. Allah Taala is virtually stating, My Habeeb (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) should have a son and he lives to adulthood, and he is not made a nabi? It would not be possible that with such an exceptional bond existing, where Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is the most honoured prophet and the Habeeb (Friend) of Allah Taala, but his son, were he to survive, not be made a nabi.
Do you understand this point? The issue is quite clear and easy, that Allah Taala intended to terminate the chain of naboowat, and thus did not allow any male children to survive.
Speaking about Hadhratwala: if he had children, one does not know how they would have turned out to be. And how lofty was not the stature of Hadhratwala (R.A.)! They may well have been the cause of grief to him. So, it happened for the best that he had no children.
16.MARRYING A SECOND WIFE
Similarly, as I have often stated, it was a good thing that Hadhratwala married a second wife. By doing this he has left a lesson for us, that we should not be audacious enough to marry a second wife! The reason? The reason being that we would never be able to treat both wives as fairly and justly as we saw Hadhratwala treat his two wives. This road has been closed for all of us.
I had stated that nisbat (affiliation) is a great thing. We should pay greater and greater attention to that organisation that Hadhratwala had brought into existence, had laid the foundations of.
It is time for the Maghreb azan. If Allah Taala keeps us alive, then, insha-Allah Taala, I will speak again some other time. Make dua that Allah Taala grants us the taufeeq to safeguard our nisbat and fulfil its haq. May He grant us imane kamil and the taufeeq to perform amalus-saleh. May He grant us firmness and constancy in these, and bless our last moments on these.
17.THE SECOND MAJLIS
/The second majlis took place on the following day, Sunday, 4 Safar.J
Yesterday, a few aspects concerning nisbat (affiliation) were discussed. Nisbat has a special effect. Some episodes were also related in this regard.
The meaning of nisbat is taalluq - to have a connection with. It implies having taalluq from both sides. A one-sided connection cannot be termed taalluq whatsoever! This one-sided connection is merely a deception, making only oneself happy! A correct taalluq which is produced from both sides, is termed nisbat.
EFFECTS OF NISBAT
One finds different types of taalluq: the husbands with the wife; the wifes with the husband; the fathers with the children; the childrens with the father; the masters with his slave; the slaves with his master; etc. Each taalluq is of a different nature: the slaves taalluq with his master will be of a different nature, and the masters taalluq with the slave will be of a different nature; the childrens taalluq with the father will be of a different nature, and the fathers taalluq with the children will be of a different nature; etc. However, the taalluq will be from both sides, and the extent to which there is taalluq, the degree to which there is nisbat, to that extent there will be a strength and force within oneself.
Take another situation: Some professional ranks are of a very insignificant nature. For example, a simple orderly (choprasi) in a government department has no rank or status - it is merely a position. The policeman (chokidar) has also a position, and so has the Governor (Collectorsaheb), but there are vast differences in their ranks. However, each one is also part of the Royal services, and the orderly and policeman consider themselves to be part of the same group as the Governor, who is held in high esteem. So, the policeman will sense within himself a special strength and force, in that he is part of the Royal establishment. Even though he may be wearing a mere policemans uniform, but the uniform will identify him with the Royal establishment. If anybody were to interfere with him while he is still in his official uniform, this person will be guilty of an offence. However, if he is not in his official uniform, but is wearing ordinary civilian clothes, and anybody now interferes with him, that person will not be considered to have committed a criminal offence. The reason is that it is accepted that amongst people there are bound to be squabbles, and these are not worthy of taking note of.
Every rank has its own distinctive uniform. If a person has one rank, and he dons the uniform of a person of another rank, then also he will be considered to have committed an offence. For example, the army has a uniform, and the police force also has a uniform. In both forces there exists the rank of a captain. Say, the captain in the police force were to don the uniform of a captain in the armed forces, and it so happens that he is then summoned by his superior, the Inspector-General. He then goes to his superior in this uniform of the armed forces. His superior will have cause for amazement when he sees him thus. I sent for a captain from the police force. Why has a captain from the armed forces come? The captain will be interrogated and when his wilful change of uniform becomes known he will be charged for having committed an offence. He will not be able to say in his defence, This uniform is of the Royal services, and so is that. There are distinctive differences between the two. His having committed an offence will be confirmed, and he will also be reprimanded, Are you trying to interfere with the laws and regulations? How is one to recognise that you are a captain in the police force?
So, in whichever direction one has ones nisbat and taalluq, that connection and affiliation has also to show itself. By showing itself one will be able to recognise the type of taalluq the person has. This nisbat may sometimes be weak, sometimes it may be strong, and sometimes very strong. Sometimes it is at an intermediate level, and sometimes it is at a very elevated level. And who is it who does not know that in every field the objective is to attain the highest level? So, from this aspect, taking nisbat into consideration, when a person has stated, with a sincere heart (tasdeeqe-qalbi) as well as verbally (iqrare-lisani):
- that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammmed
(sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is the Rasul of Allah -
then he has revealed that taalluq with a statement uttered previously. That is,
when he was in the Alime Barzakh, and he was asked - Am I not
your Rab? - he then responded - Verily! By this exclamation he has
acknowledged Rabubiyet and disclosed Rabubiyet. Just see, Haq Taala had
asked - Am I not your Rab? - and not - "Am I not your
Deity.¿ By using the term Rab Haq Taala has clearly indicated His
complete and absolute taalluq with His bandah on the basis of being his
Creator. The term Rab means to create and sustain. So, by having asked,
Am I not your Rab? and our voices having rung out, Verily! (i.e. You are
definitely our Rab!) Haq Taala had obtained our acknowledgment and
acceptance of His attribute of Takween - of being our Creator and Sustainer.
So, now, after having come into this dunya, the manifestation of that
attestation from the aspect of tashree (shariat) is in the form of the attestation
of La Ilaha Illallahu Muhammadur Rasulullah
We are being explicitly shown, Takween is in My control, takween is with Me,
and takween is aligned to Me, so, too, tashree is fully and completely aligned
to Me! Takween is to be found in the answer of Kaloo Balaa in response to
Ilastu Birabbikum; and tashree is to be found in La Ilaha Illallahu Muhammadur Rasulullah
In this way we have been made responsible for the full and complete tashree. Now understand what tashree means: tashree implies abdiyet and maboodiyet. That is, from the side of the servant the acknowledgment and acceptance of his abdiyet (servitude) and the maboodiyet (bondage) to the Creator. This is at the level of attestation of tashree and Divinity as contained in the Kalimah Tayyibah. However, just staying at this level shows a very weak nisbat. This is a very weak taalluq. This is not a strong connection. It is merely a basic or primary taalluq. Another name for it is Taqwa Tauheedi, which means that by this declaration and attestation one has left off shirk and kufr, and one has accepted tauheed. The wajib (compulsory) right that Allah Taala has on one from the aspect of takween (His being the Creator) one has fulfilled at the basic level of tashree. This Allah Taala has mentioned in His Kalame Pak:
0 ye who believe! Do not betray - i.e. fall short in fulfilling the rights of - Allah Taala and His Rasul (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)..... S.8 A.27
Ponder a bit! Allah Taala is addressing us, and saying, You have left off kufr and shirk, and have accepted iman (that is, accepted tauheed, together with the attributes [sifat] of Allah Taala). This is one right that has been fulfilled. You now have a responsibility. So, the meaning of the verse would be as follows: 0 ye who believe! Do not fall short in fulfilling the rights of Allah Taala and His Rasul (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and let there, also, not be shortcomings in those items that are in your custody. That is, there must be no misappropriation in trusts and securities.
So, having abstained from shirk and kufr, having shed these, you have accepted haq (truth) - i.e. tauheed. This has laid the foundation of taqwa. The foundation of taqwa is leaving off shirk and kufr. However, this is a weak nisbat, a feeble nisbat. It is now necessary for it to gain some strength and force. Notwithstanding the fact that this nisbat is weak, yet at its level, it is also a stage of wilayet (being a wali [friend] of Allah Taala), as Allah Taala states,
Allah is the Friend of those who believe. S.2 A.257
That is, those who have brought only iman, they have also been called wali. However, this level of wilayet is a weak one. It is obvious that ones objective is to attain the strongest or highest levels. Hence, those huqooq (rights) which come after and are linked, until one has not become firmly attached to these, until proper nisbat has not been attained to these, until they are not fulfilled at a level of complete perfection, until then kamil wilayet will not be attained.
20.RECOGNISING KAMIL WILAYET
How does one recognise kamil wilayet - perfection as far as wilayet is concerned? How can one perceive which individual has attained kamil wilayet and who has not? This, too, has to be asked of Haq Taala. Our explaining and commenting will not achieve anything. Haq Taala states:
Verily, only the muttaqoon are the auliya. S.8 A.34
This is in reply to the question: Who are the auliya? Answer: Only those who are muttaqi! The two are interchangeable: Question: Who are the muttaqi? Answer: They are the auliya! The muttaqi are called auliya, and the auliya are called muttaqi.
So, wilayete-ammah - ordinary/ common wilayet - as stated previously, is a weak state, after which there are stages of increased strength, as Haq Taala states elsewhere:
Ala! This means, "Listen with open ears! Be informed! Be alert!
Then comes the word Irma, which emphasises: This is a fact, this is a true statement. And what is that? Auliya-Allah, that the friends of Allah, what are the effects they reveal? La khaufun alayhim, that in their hearts they have no fear for anybody. (That is, mentally.) Wala yahzanoon. And they do not become depressed. When anything happens contrary to their temperament they do not feel grieved. And who are these people? Allazeena amanu wa kanu yattaqoon. Those who believe and have taqwa. Here, after the word amanu comes the phrase wa kanu yattaqoon. It is obvious that after amanu there is something else that is required before the effects of la khaufun alayhim wala yahzanoon can become applicable. This effect of la khaufun alayhim wala yahzanoon will only become applicable in that person in whom, after weak iman, strong and forceful iman has been developed. Otherwise, what was the necessity of mentioning wa kanu yattaqoon after amanu? The reason becomes obvious that after amanu something else also has to follow.
21.LEVELS OF NISBAT
After stating all this, it must also be understood that nisbat has different levels: Weak, strong, and very strong.
At the first level, after bringing iman, the taqwa that is present is that which is a means of discarding shirk and kufr.
After this there comes a higher stage, that, after having brought iman, one has to abstain from major (kabeerah) sins. Having attained this, there is now force and strength in that nisbat.
22.KHAMR AND KIBR
It is to be noted that sins are connected to the zahir as well as the batin. For example, take the of drinking khamr, i.e. alcohol: this is a sin connected to the zahir. So, he has now left off drinking, but kibr (arrogance), which is connected to,the batin, he has not discarded! When he took the step of stopping the drinking of khamr, similarly is it not wajib and necessary for him to discard kibr as well? Both have the same status (the one intoxicates the physical body, the other intoxicates the nafs.) It becomes obvious that the khamr that he has stopped drinking is not due to the khauf (fear) of Allah Taala, but it is due to family status and considerations. Others will taunt and tease him, so he feels ashamed. He has a sense of modesty. If he had left off drinking khamr out of the khauf of Allah Taala, then this khauf of Allah Taala should also have eliminated the kibr that is brimming over within him. Relative to leaving off khamr more concern should have been given to eliminating kibr. But he does not! Why? Because the kibr within is not a visible item that others can see, therefore this person does not feel ashamed or bashful, he does not feel disgraced. Whereas in drinking khamr, others will come to know, and he will be shamed. Others will tease and taunt him. So it is obvious that he has left off drinking khamr for worldly considerations, and not because of khaufe-ilahi, and not because of his taalluqe-nisbat. This iman is weak. This is not the effect that strong iman has.
And what was stated just now, that it is more imperative to eliminate kibr than it is to abstain from khamr, is because of the following:
The person himself feels ashamed of drinking khamr. He is aware of the indignity it is associated with. Also, the intoxicating effect of drinking khamr is relatively short-lived. Whereas the intoxicating effect of kibr will increase and increase, in proportion to the availability of the causes of aggrandizement - the jah, the takabbur!
Just ponder! If a person has real, meaningful khauf, then, together with abstaining from the zahiri forbidden and haram acts, he will also abstain from what is haram as far as the batini forbidden and haram acts are concerned.
Also, it is possible that the imbiber of khamr may be forgiven, but it can never happen that a mutakabbir - one puffed up with kibr - who leaves this world while he is still filled with kibr, will be forgiven!
It has come in the Hadith shareef that that person who has kibr in him, even to the size of a grain of rye, will not be entered into Jannat. Ponder a bit! There is khamr, and there is kibr. There are many amongst mankind who are safe and protected from khamr. However, as for kibr, possibly there may be that rare person who will be free of this! This kibr is such a bala (disastrous quality), that even though one concentrates fully on removing it, it comes out so slowly that a lengthy duration of time passes by before it is removed. Also, until a complete cure is not undertaken, until then it will not be eliminated.
If somebody desires that his tarbiyet (rectification of his character) be done by means of ilm, or by means of ibadat, and that his islah will be made, and he desires that kibr should be removed from within him, this is impossible in the normal course of events.
23.A LESSON FROM SHAITAN
May Allah Taala bless Shaitan! (This is one way of expressing it!) For Shaitan has left us an exemplary lesson! He has not done anything for himself. Whatever transgression he committed is a different issue. However, he has left us a very huge lesson, in that he has proclaimed, 0 ye group of scholars (ulema)! 0 ye group of worshippers (abeds)! Just look at me! Was I in any way deficient in knowledge (ilm)? Why do scholars become overawed with my knowledge? Why are they terrified? Did I lack in knowledge in any way? I had abundant ilm! Did I lack in any way as far as ibadat is concerned? My ibadat was unlimited! You cannot possibly make as much ibadat! Thousands of years I prostrated with my head in sajdah!
Yes, he had even performed ibadat for thousands of years. So, what was lacking? The answer is: There was no tarbiyet! And the factor that was an obstacle to tarbiyet was takabbur! That is why I am saying that he has left us a lesson, and has shown us that it is impossible that merely through teaching and learning (taleem and taallum) kibr will go away, and that through more and more ibadat kibr will go away. This just cannot happen. Just look at me! is what Shaitan is telling us.
As more and more zahiri means arise for performing good, so, too does takabbur increase: as there is progress in ilm, so too does takabbur increase; as ibadat increases, so too does takabbur increase; as the means of worldly progress increase, so too does takabbur increase. As long as the special and specific measures are not adopted to remove the intoxicating effects of the sins of the batin, this intoxication will not disappear.This nisbat is weak. This nisbat is a feeble connection.
Allah Taala states, 0 ye believers! Do not be deficient in fulfilling the rights of Allah and His Rasul!
24.THE RIGHTS OF MUHABBAT AND KHAUF
What are these rights?
The rights are many: For example, the rights of muhabbat, and the rights of
khauf. So, what are the demands of muhabbat, and what are the demands of
Take muhabbat: Muhabbat should have a number of effects following in its wake. This means, for example, that muhabbat demands that whatever deeds, whatever amal, that we have been ordered to carry out, they should be carried out in the easiest of manner, in the most simplified way. With muhabbat a mere hint (isharah) from the Mahboob, the Loved One, is sufficient. It should not be that even as far as clear and straightforward orders are concerned there are blatant deficiencies!
Among the clear-cut and indisputable orders is that of performing namaz. So, is it a demand of muhabbat that this explicit and binding order should be neglected? This is a sign of a very weak and feeble taalluq. Very appropriately has the poet said,
In front of the house stands the masjid, but it is not frequented; Selfish - unaware or unconscious - in this world, in that
Allah Taala is not remembered!
To continue: At a different place Zate Bari Taala states:
0 ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not save as those
who have surrendered (unto Him). S.3 A.102
The stage after iman is taqwa, and the demand of taqwa is haqqe-taqwa, which means, to abstain from major sins, and to abstain from minor sins as well. And this process has to continue until one abstains also from that which is doubtful. A Hadith shareef in Bukhari shareef states:
What is halal is clear and what is haram is clear; and inbetween the two is what is doubtful. Stay away from what is doubtful.
The word Fastanzihuwa is derived from the root word nazhat, which means to be away from. In other words: Until you cannot save yourselves from what is doubtful, you will not develop any cleanliness or elegance in your iman.
Why has the order being given that we should save ourselves from that which is doubtful? The reason is that there should develop in ones nisbat and bond a special force and strength. Until one does not also abstain from what is doubtful, until then that force and strength is not worthy of being termed force and strength in the true meaning of these words. This I referred to earlier when I stated that nisbat has different degrees: weak, strong, and very strong.
So, those venerable persons on whom this effect of nisbat has taken a hold, they take care and vigilance from way ahead to abstain from what is doubtful (mushtabahat). Not only do they carry out the rights of what is wajib, but they are also vigilant about the rights of what is optional (mustahab).
Now, take the word mustahab. The infinitive of this word is istihbab, whose root is hub. The meaning of hub is muhabbat(love), and when there is hub-fillah (love of Allah Taala), then its effects will be seen in the zahir and batin. So, it now becomes obvious that whosoever has muhabbat for Zate Bari Taala will rot be contented with safeguarding merely the wajib rights on him, but the urge and demand that this muhabbat will have will be for him to fulfil what is mustahab - whose root is hub - as well.
Similarly, that person who has khauf (fear of Allah Taala) will abstain not only from what is clearly demarcated in nusoos (Quran shareef and Hadith shareef) as haram, but he will also abstain from all that which is considered to be doubtful as to being halal or haram, according to strong evidence and the principles of the shariat.
This nisbat will be strong or very strong, as we have seen from glimpses of the lives of our auliya-Allah.
25.THE TWO WATERMELONS BROUGHT BY A VILLAGER
An incident is related concerning our Hadhrat, Peer and Murshid, Hadhratwala, Hadhrat Thanvi (R.A.):
Once, a villager came to him and presented him with two watermelons. Hadhratwala (R.A.) asked, Why did you bring two? What was the necessity? You could have brought just one. The villager replied, Why, dont you have two wives? That is why I brought two. Being a countryman, he had a simple an informal manner of speaking. One is for the one wife, and the other is for the other. Hadhratwala (R.A.) said, That seems to be in order. However, if the weight of one watermelon is more, and the weight of the other is less, then one wife will receive the one that is greater in weight, and the other will receive the one that is lesser in weight. This will be contrary to fairness and justice, because there is no equality between the two. And the order (of the shariat) is that there should be equality. Hadhratwala (R.A.) was well known in the matter of dealing with equality between his wives. The villager appeared unperturbed. He said, I know you, therefore I have brought you two that are equal in weight. If you dont believe me weigh them in that scale of yours.
Hadhratwala (R.A.) kept a scale nearby. Whatever he sent to his wives he used to carefully weigh equally before sending the items to them. If any item was tied with a piece of string, he used to cut even the string in half, sending each half to each one.
Hadhratwala (R.A.) told the villager, That wont be necessary. You are a Muslim. Since you have stated that I should verify on my scale the weights as being equal, then it is obvious the weights of the two are equal. But, dear saheb, there is one other matter - let me clarify that as well: If one watermelon is less sweet, and the other is sweeter, then the sweeter one will go to the one and the one that is less sweet will go to the other. So, where is the fairness? Where is there equality? The villager, quite abashed, said, I did not dive into them! How should I know which one is less sweeter and which one not? That you decide. Hadhratwala (R.A.) said, Fine. Bring both to the scale. The villager picked up both the watermelons and took them to the scale. Hadhratwala (R.A.) went over, took out a knife, and, judging carefully and accurately, marked each watermelon in the middle. He then cut both of them, taking half of each, placed them on one pan of the scale, and the remaining two halves he placed in the other pan. They balanced. Choudrey-saheb! The sweet and the less sweet, both are now combined. They have also been weighed equally. Now, even in the matter of sweetness there is equality. Is everything in order now? The villager exclaimed, You cut very fine points! That is to say that Hadhratwala (R.A.) went to a tremendous amount of effort in such a petty matter. Hadhratwala (R.A.) replied, Choudrey-saheb! The effort and trouble incurred in this world is nothing compared to that which we will have to face in the Hereafter!
You see the effect of khauf and khashiyet? We were shown in a practical manner what khauf is, what khashiyet is. The Quran shareef states:
Verily, the learned ('ulema) among His bondmen fear Allah alone. S.35 A.28
Innama is there to add emphasis. When a person has abstained from what is haram in his zahiri actions because of khauf, then the effect of that khauf should be evidenced in his batin also. He should abstain from what is haram with regard to the batin as well. Just as there will be a reckoning on the drinking of khamr, there will be a reckoning on takabbur as well. Just as the former has to be discarded, the latter also has to be discarded. In actual fact, it is more important to discard the batini ill of takabbur. Gheebat (back-biting) is an evil of the batin. What is its basis? It is takabbur. So, a person may have abstained from zina (adultery/ fornication) - zina being a haram zahiri act - but gheebat, which is a batini haram and forbidden act, he has not discarded! Of these two, to discard the one and not the other, what is the reason for this differentiation?
26.AN INCIDENT CONCERNING HUQOOQS
Speaking about khauf, I am reminded of an incident concerning huqooqs (rights), related to us by Hadhratwala (R.A.). Possibly this talk is being relayed to the womenfolk as well, so they should also listen attentively. It is related in the Hadith shareef that a Sahabi (R.A.) became ill. He took a turn for the worse, and it was feared that he would not live long. This Sahabi (R.A.) sent another Sahabi (R.A.) to his married daughter, Go and tell her that her fathers condition is serious. He has an inner longing to see her. Please come. This Sahabi (R.A.) went to the daughter and passed on the message. The daughter replied, My husband has gone out, having given me the instruction that, until he returns, I am not to set my foot outside the house. How can I go? Ask Huzoor Akram (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and if he were to give permission, then I shall go. Otherwise, I shall abide by the prohibition of my husband.
After getting married, the rights of the husband take precedence over the rights of the mother and father. In order to be able to fulfil rights (huqooq) correctly, one requires a great deal of ilm (knowledge). And mere ilm, in itself, is also not sufficient, because ilm will create only an awareness, but in order to act one requires ilm-e-kamil. What is ilm-e-kamil? It is that ilm that is associated with an intuitive force and fervour (zoqo-wajadan) that motivates one into action. And that which does not motivate one into action, cannot be termed knowledge (ilm). Ponder: If one possesses an item to perform a particular function, but it is not utilised as such, of what use is it?
The Sahabi (R.A.) went to Huzoor Akram (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, Because the husband has forbidden her, therefore it is not permissible (na-jaez) for her to go. The Sahabiyah (R.A.) did not go.
Some time later somebody else came to her with the message, His condition is very serious. If you wish to see his face, go now. The daughter gave the same reply as on the previous occasion. Huzoor Akram (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) gave the same answer as well, It is not jaez for her to go. Her husband has forbidden her, that she is not allowed to set her foot outside. Her father passed away. A Sahabi (R.A.) brought her the news, Now he has passed away. Now go and see him. She again repeated what she had said earlier, Go and ask Huzoor Akram (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Huzoor Akram (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, Even now it is not jaez. So that even now she did not go.
Do you see the state of her iman? Do you see the nisbat? This was the effect of the taalluq that had been established with Zate Haq Taala.
She did not go. After passing away, ghusl was given, and the kafan was wrapped and he was buried. Thereafter Huzoor Akram (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) returned home. Hadhrat Jibraeel (A.S.) descended and said, Allah Taala conveys to you His salam. And He has also says that convey to that girl the message that what she had done in observance of the rights of her husband, in observance of the shariat, that by this action of hers Allah Taala is so happy with her, that by virtue of her deed, He has forgiven her father!
Ponder! This is fulfilling rights, which results from khaufe-Haq! This can be termed fulfilling rights, in the real sense of the word. If she had gone to see her father she would have shed two or three more tears. However, the rights that she fulfilled through the effect of khauf and khashiyet by acting as she did, this is in reality correct knowledge (saheeh ilm). Real khauf, in the true meaning of the word, should have an effect as far as what is haram and forbidden externally (zahiri), and even more so it should have an effect on the batin. Actually, this abstention from haram is subservient and subordinate to the taqwa of the batin.
27.CLOTHES OF TAQWA
To understand this, look at the clothes we are wearing. These clothes cover our body externally, and is an offshoot of the taqwa of the batin. As Zate Bari Taala states in the Quran shareef:
And the garments of taqwa are best of all. S.7 3.26
So, if we do not have any taqwa, then these outer clothes also fall off.
Similarly, these eyes that are set in our head, are our zahiri eyes. We also have an eye in the heart. If the eye in the heart visualises something, then that item will be visualised by the external eyes as well. For example: If the inner eye has hijab and shame and modesty in it, then the external eyes will also have purdah in them. When there is no purdah of the heart, then there will be no purdah of the eyes as well. It is incorrect to state, The purdah of the heart is there - what is the necessity to make purdah of the eyes? Remember well that, if there is haya and sharam (modesty and shame) and hijab in the heart, then there will definitely be purdah of the eyes as well. Not having purdah of the eyes is evidence and proof that there is shamelessness and lack of hijab in the heart. If there is khauf of Zate Bari Taala in the heart, then the eyes will make purdah when the individual leaves the house. And if the heart has no khauf of Zate Bari Taala, then the eyes also will not make purdah.
Take note of this ayet of the Quran shareef:
Allah knoweth that which they keep hidden; and that which they proclaim. Verily, He is aware of what is in the breast (of men)! S.1 1 A.5
Note well: Allah Taala is aware of your movements outside, and He is aware of your staying in your homes as well.
Having been informed of the above, what should one bear in mind? The following: that when you set your foot outside, ponder as to why you have set your foot outside. Set out with this concept in mind that Allah Taala is saying, You have with you certain of My trusts. These five parts of your body are My trusts, which you have been made responsible to guard: The eyes, the ears, the tongue, the limbs, and the heart. The custody of the eye is that you look at what you have been told to look at; and what We have forbidden you to look at, do not look at it. So,if we have utilised the eyes to look at gair-mahrams, then this is contrary to khauf, it is contrary to taqwa. It is apparent then, that taqwa may be present, but it is a weak taqwa, and not a strong taqwa. If strong taqwa was present, then its effect would be as follows: Allah Taala has stated that He knows your movements outside, and also your activities in your homes. Then, when setting your foot outside your house, it would be with this awareness, this khauf, this thought: The aforementioned parts of my body should not be utilised wrongfully!
What is termed as being real khauf and real taqwa, lasts not only for two or three days, but is ever present. Haq Taala states:
...and die not save as those who have surrendered (unto Him).
That is, fulfill the haq of taqwa until the time of death.
We had stated that nisbat and taalluq are great things. Yesterday the talk was on nisbat, and some incidents were also related. Nisbat can be weak, or it can be strong, or very strong. The objective is to develop a very strong nisbat, and that very strong nisbat is an objective till the time of death. In connection with this, I had related an incident concerning Hadhratwala (R.A.), to demonstrate what the effects of khauf really are: Did the wives know who received what? Did they know what the weight of the watermelons were? Would they have known who received less or more? Would they have known who received the sweet watermelon and who received the one not so sweet? Who was there to see?
If one were to ask any Muslim, Is it your itiqad (belief) that Allah Taala is hadhir-nazir (omnipresent)? what will his answer be? Definitely! Without doubt, Allah Taala is hadhir-nazir. This belief is at the intellectual level, whereas the objective is to have this aqeedah (belief) at the level of hal (state/ condition). This means that the aqeedah that Allah Taala is hadhir-nazir (omnipresent) should have the effect that in every action this belief should be manifest and evident. The effects of muhabbat will be evident on the basis of nisbat - that, to the extent of the nisbat, to that degree will be seen the effects of muhabbat. In the same way, the different effects of khauf will be evident proportionate to the degree of nisbat one has.
Concerning nisbat, some issues were discussed yesterday, and today too. The rest, insha-Allah Taala, will be discussed on some other occasion.
(As it was time for Maghreb, dua was made, and the majlis ended)
28.THE THIRD MAJLIS
/The third majlis took place on the following day, Monday, 5 Safar.J
Yesterday and the day before we spoke on the subject of nisbat - the taalluq of that affiliation, and its effects.
WHO SHOULD ONE LISTEN TO?
Who is the person speaking, and what should he be like? Also, what should be the condition of those who are listening?
To listen to all and sundry [i.e. every Tom, Dick an Harry], and for such persons to deliver lectures, is contrary to the rules and principles in the Quran shareef. The principle in the Quran shareef is as follows: That person who has in him two qualities, can be listened to without putting forward any whys? and wherefores?, any ifs and buts. Proof of this is in the Quran shareef. In Surah Yaseen, in the second ruku, Allah Taala has related a qissah, which, briefly, is as follows: Zate Bari Taala sent two Rasuls to Antioch for the hidayet (guidance) of the people. As on previous occasions in the past, the habit of the people was to oppose any Rasul sent to them, and to harass such a Rasul, to such an extent that a Rasul would be killed as well. The people were not prepared to listen to the haq (truth). When batil (falsehood) becomes so forcefully ingrained, then the ears and the heart cease to place any importance to the words of Haq Taala.
So, this community also opposed these two Rasuls, and were on the point of killing them. At this point Zate Bari Taala sent to them a third Rasul, in order to support and assist these two. However, the community behaved in the same manner to this third Rasul as well. A youth, Habeeb Najar, a carpenter, had brought iman on the guidance of these Rasuls. He lived some distance from the town. When he came to hear that this is the manner in which his community was behaving towards these Rasuls, the poor fellow, overcome with dread, came running to their aid and protection. He said,
He said, 0 my people! Follow those who have been sent! Follow those who ask of you no fee, and who are rightly guided." S.36 A.20-21
As if to say, 0 my people! What has happened to you that you are opposing these Rasuls? There is absolutely no reason for opposing them, but, on the contrary, the opposite should be the case. That is to say, looking at it from the worldly point of view, there are two qualities, hubbe mal (love of wealth) and hubbe jah (love of fame/ prestige), where a representative may do a certain piece of work for these objectives. Both these qualities are based on selfish and personal motives. And these Rasuls do not have these selfish motives. Their shan (dignified and noble status) is this that they desire no remuneration. They are not asking for any compensation. They desire no material return for their service. They are inviting you purely for the cause of Lillahiyet, for your own welfare. They are calling you to what is a protection and safeguard against danger, and is a means of attaining benefit. And they do not ask for any material reward or compensation, which would be obstacles to listening to such individuals.
Individuals expecting material benefits may be suspected of doing so for personal gain. As we see these days that there is a flood of fund-raisers. If the villagers come to know that this person has primarily come to raise funds, and the waz (lecture), etc. are merely incidental events, then they may even sit and listen to the talk as an act of politeness, but nobody is prepared to listen with the heart. Some, who are free in their speech, will finally even voice this thought, Maulana! When this was your purpose, then why did you make us sit so long, and vex us unnecessarily? You should have said that you have come to collect funds for such-and-such a madrasah, and we would have given you whatever. So you see! Where did they listen? Everything gone to waste! The monetary motive was detected!
The youth argued further, That is the first point. The second point is that they are muhtada. These are such that they are on the correct Path. They are sahebe-siratam-mustaqeem and sahebe-ihtida. So, they do not possess one quality (i.e. ulterior motives) and they do possess the noble quality of ihtidayet (i.e. being rightly guided), and when the obstacles do not exist, then what prevents you from listening to their message?
We can see that what this youth is saying is absolutely correct, because this is being related by Zate Bari Taala, in that He is saying that one should look at the person to see if he has selfish or ulterior motives or not, whether he is desirous of mal (wealth) or jah (name and prestige). These are two qualities which are obstacles in listening to, and accepting, what a person has to say. When these two qualities have been negated, and they are on correct hidayet (guidance) themselves, then there are no reasons for not listening to them. Also, for greater reassurance, look at their characters and conduct, their dealings, their social lifestyles, etc. In other words, look at them from the aspects of ibadat, muamalat, muasharat, and akhlaq. These are the criteria on which to assess and judge people. And, after being scrutinised, if these qualities are present in the manner they should be, then there is no reason for not listening to them. The presence of these qualities within them will a proof of their taqwa, that they have an extreme level of taqwa. And a muttaqi is one who has solicitude for others in this world and also in the hereafter.
29.FRIENDS: WORLDLY AND MUTTAQI
Proof of this appears in the Quran shareef. Haq Taala states:
Friends on that Day will be foes one unto another, save those who are muttaqi. S.43 A.67
Haq Taala states that these worldly friends will, on the day of Qiyamat, be enemies one unto the other. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) also forbade us from making friends of such people. For himself, too, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) desired friends, but... Note the tone! Note the desire! Note the quest!
0 Allah! Bless me with Your muhabbat and the muhabbat of that person whose muhabbat, in Your eyes, will be of benefit to me!
0 Allah! I am desirous of Your muhabbat and the muhabbat of that person who has muhabbat for You!
These are the criteria and the yardsticks for making friends! There is no question of making just anyone a friend! See, Haq Taala has stated that, on the day of Qiyamat, that friend who lays claim to be a friend in this world, may turn out to be your enemy! You may find somebody saying, Janab! Do not give it a thought! Where you shed your perspiration, I am ready to shed my blood! This is mere lip service. There is no reality in it. It does not come from the heart. It is a mere cliche.
If one were to search for this quality, one would find it only in a real muttaqi. Our Hadhratwala, Hadhrat Thanvi (R.A.) related a qissah:
A particular sheikh one day had a sudden desire for eating kheer - kheer is a dish prepared by rice being boiled in milk and sweetened with sugar. However, he did not have all the ingredients available. Some days passed and it so happened that some milk arrived. The two khadims (attendants) who stayed with the sheikh, informed the sheikh, Hadhrat! Some milk has arrived! We have with us some sugar, and we also have some rice. You had also expressed the wish to eat some kheer. Therefore, grant us permission to prepare some kheer for you. The sheikh replied, Go ahead! The khadims placed some rice in the milk and set the pot on the fire to cook. As it cooked the milk boiled up to the top of the pot, and the two khadims, not wanting the milk to spill over, skimmed off the top with a spoon and sipped it up. When the kheer was made, it was dished out in a plate, allowed to cool slightly, and then served to the sheikh. The sheikh scooped up a spoonful and brought it to his mouth, but stopped himself from eating it. The khadims were watching, and coaxed the sheikh, Huzoor! After much longing this kheer is now available, and you are not eating it? The sheikh replied, How can I eat it? I perceive the odour of theft emanating from it! The khadims exclaimed, Theft! But nobody came here! And we ourselves boiled the milk, and added the sugar and the rice. We prepared the kheer with our own hands!
However, there exists a certain exquisiteness, a discernment and sagacity,
qualities resulting from correct taqwa and an abundance of zikr. Mind you, mere abundance of zikr is not sufficient. An abundance of zikr and correct taqwa have certain effects, through which these qualities can be recognised. Which reminds me of the qissah of Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmed Gangohi (R.A.):
It was a hot summers day. He felt thirsty... By the way, this was related to us by Hadhratwala (R.A.). As a poet put it, The tongue is mine, but the talk is his.
To continue: When the hot summer winds blow it is pleasurable to drink water from earthen goblets. The earthen water pot was kept nearby, and on it was placed the drinking goblet. The khadim (attendant) poured some water into the goblet and served it to Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmed Gangohi (R.A.). When he touched his lips to the goblet he commented, The smell of corpses is coming from this goblet! It appears this clay is from the qabrastan (cemetery)! Among any student group there are some students who are very keen and enthusiastic, and have a very strong urge to investigate, and so it should be. So, immediately a student ran to the potter from whom the earthenware was bought. He asked the potter, Where did you obtain the clay for the last batch of earthen pots and dishes you made? The potter replied, somewhat embarrassed, You see, the weather was not too good. The rains had started. I secretly went to the qabrastan at night and brought the clay from there, and made the dishes from that clay. The clay was from there.
Look at the changes that were made to the original clay - water was added, then the clay was shaped into utensils, then these were dried in the sun and air, and finally placed in an oven where the heat of the fire baked them. Despite all these changes taking place, when the goblet was lifted to his mouth Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmed Gangohi (R.A.) observed, The smell of corpses is coming from this goblet! It appears as if this clay is from the qabrastan!
This is the exquisite and finely attuned temperaments of such individuals! You can now gauge the degree of their perceptiveness. Now, when people of different temperaments present themselves and say things contrary to their temperaments, what degree of pain and grief do they not cause? However, these Allahwala personalities also have a tremendous degree of hilm (forbearance), and they will not utter a single word of annoyance - except where it is an occasion for tarbiyet (rectifying a salek) - so that the feelings of the person addressing them is taken into consideration. This person should not be embarrassed. If the internal faults of the person were to be disclosed, he would sense it and feel humiliated.
Coming back to the buzurg and the kheer: When he had lifted the spoonful of kheer to his lips he had remarked, I perceive the odour of theft emanating frcm it! The astonished khadims tried very hard to reassure him that nobody had come there who could possibly have stolen from the kheer, that they had prepared the kheer with their own hands, while they themselves were present. The sheikh was adamant and would not eat the kheer. The two khadims finally gave up, and fell into thought. Suddenly it struck them, Is it not possible that the overflowing milk which we had skimmed off, and drunk, without Hadhrats permission, that this is included in the category of theft? Immediately they got up and informed the sheikh, Huzoor! The milk that was boiling over, we skimmed the top and drunk it. The sheikh replied, But this is exactly what I was referring to all the time!
This is the way these personages speak! Their statements are innocent and guileless, sweet and charming!
So far, so good. However, for their error the khadims had to be penalised. This was not such a crime that it could not be forgiven. The milk was drunk, and that was it. But no! The purpose and object is islah for the future. At times an incident is very trivial, but its underlying basis may be very grave. And these personages do not look at the act only, but more at the underlying basis. The penalty will be according to that.
30.PUNISHMENT IS FOR ISLAH
You may have heard that there was a khadim, Gulam Ali by name, staying in attendance to Hadhrat Mirza Mazhar Janjana (R.A.). One day he was fanning Hadhrat Mirza Mazhar Janjana (R.A.), fanning him very, very gently with a hand fan, with this thought in mind, My sheikh has an extremely sensitive temperament, I must not irritate him. Possibly hardly any breeze reached his sheikh. Hadhrat Mirza Mazhar Janjana (R.A.) exclaimed, Dont you have any life in your arm? Gulam Ali began fanning vigorously, upon which Hadhrat Mirza Mazhar Janjana (R.A.) exclaimed, What! Are you now trying to blow me away? Gulam Ali muttered under his breath, Neither is this good enough, nor that! These words, although muttered very softly, were loud enough to reach the ears of the sheikh. Set the fan down here! he ordered harshly. Leave the khanqah! Gulam Ali did as he was commanded. He set the fan down and left the khanqah.
Outwardly, was it really such a big crime that he had to stop fanning his sheikh and be expelled from the khanqah? Try and do this nowadays and shaitan will cause the person to run away! But those people were of a different calibre. Where would he run to? No! He apologised. He asked to be forgiven. He pleaded and entreated, he petitioned and begged. Finally, when the sheikh saw that, yes, the islah of the nafs has been made, the lesson had gone to his heart, that it was firmly embedded, then he was forgiven. He was recalled to the khanqah. The object was islah, and that had been achieved.
At this moment sitting in front of me are my children. [Tulaba from the Jamiah Ashrafiyah were present.] My temperament is also that of a student of Deen, and I live with my students in a very informal way, so much so that some of my peerbhais, and others from my own silsilah, keep on admonishing me that it is not appropriate that I live with the students in such a manner. I tend to be very, very informal. I fully accept what these well-wishers have to say, but the problem is that this pattern of behaviour has become second nature to me. How is it possible that it will now change in my old age?
In any case, let us continue. On one occasion, when Hadhratwala (R.A.) related this incident concerning Hadhrat Mirza Mazhar Janjana (R.A.) to us in a majlis, a Maulana saheb posed the question, Hadhrat! Gulam Ali Shah did not commit any such grave error, but his punishment was unduly severe. That is something I do not understand. Hadhratwala (R.A.) replied, What have the molvis studied? Yes, they know how to raise objections! You and I will object, but, in reality, the sheikh had captured the underlying cause of the error. What went through his mind was the following, Oho! There is still some deficiency in his islah! My comments that he has no life in his arm, and then that he is trying to blow me away, caused a heaviness, a burden, in his temperament. He felt annoyed. This annoyance was such that he could not even contain himself, and he had to blurt out that neither is this good enough, nor that! What is the underlying basis for this reaction? It shows provocation. Even though there are no flames, live embers are definitely present! Would you consider it permissible to place live embers in your clothes cupboard? Or, if somebody were to try to place live embers amongst your clothes, would you tolerate it? It is obvious that you would never allow it, because, even as flames will do their work (i.e. burn your clothes to ashes) rapidly, live embers will do the very same: they may take long to blaze up, but when the clothes catch alight, that is the end! So, the sheikh immediately understood, The live embers of razeelah ghussah (blameworthy anger) are present, a flame is still present. If, by my remarks, the embers and flames blazed up, then, were he to meet up with any situation contrary to his temperament when he is away from here, one does not know what devastation he will wrought when these flames of ghussah blaze up again! These are the ramifications of islah! For you and I, these are petty issues, but as far as these personages are concerned these are grave and important matters. They desire to create such individuals - especially if the individuals have already created a close relationship - that there should be no sign or vestige of ghussah. They wish to create individuals who are a manifestation of the attributes (sifat) of Zate Bari Taala, that the quality of hilm (forbearance), and not mere tahallum, is produced in those connected to them.
31.HILM AND TAHALLUM
Ponder a moment. There is a difference between hilm and tahallum. Tahallum has the connotation of difficulty in its meaning. In other words, when somebody says anything contrary to the persons temperament, he stops himself from retaliating, but only because of some expediency, and only by exerting some force on himself, but still rankling within himself. On the other hand, hilm means that the person is completely indifferent: he does not even react within himself; he is completely deaf.
So, these personages wish to raise those connected to them to this level. So much so, that if a bhangi (a sweeper who removes the nightsoil) or his female counterpart, were to drop a basket of faeces on his head, there would be absolutely no trace of ghussah! Thus, in our opinion we feel that what grave error did Gulam Ali commit that he was meted out such a severe punishment? However, ask the sheikh! Ask the roohani physician! He recognised that, in one who was especially close to him, there were still embers of ghussah! There is still a flaring up! There is the necessity for islah still. After some time, when he had assessed that the embers had been removed, he gave him permission to return. Gulam Ali came back.
We were speaking about the theft of milk. The sheikh said, There should be some punishment. The khadims replied, Huzoor! Whatever you deem fit! The sheikh said, Go and stand in the sun. In the heat of summer he made them stand exposed to the blazing sun. People like us would have run away! However, these two went to stand in the sun. Soon, the perspiration started dripping on the ground because of the heat. After a short while the sheikh asked, Do you wish to say something? The two khadims did not have the courage to speak on their own, to ask to be forgiven, so the sheikh himself prompted them. To understand this, remember it was a question of islah, that is why they were made to stand in the sun. In actual fact, there could be no greater degree of mercy in anybody else. He asked again, Do you wish to say anything? This time the two responded, We have erred. We ask to be forgiven. It will never happen again in future.
The punishment meted out was with an eye on the underlying cause of the error. The sheikh perceived that if this was their attitude with regard to the milk belonging to him, it must not happen that they start behaving in the same manner with items belonging to others, that they utilise others items without permission, that they even start laying their hands on items belonging to their friends!
32.ISHRAFE NAFS - A MASALAH OF SULOOK
At times when an item is obtained on the basis of ishrafe nafs, these personages consider this also to be haram. This ploy has become prevalent amongst friends nowadays. For example: Somebody goes up to his friend and asks, Where did you buy this pen? It is lovely, ma-sha-Allah! The poor person being addressed has a noble disposition. He is also a person of stature in the community. He realises that this person fancies the pen and wishes to buy one. He, therefore, tells him, Dont be concerned. I do have another pen as well. Here, you take this one. This person takes the pen.
Taking this pen is na-jaez (prohibited in shariat). Taking the pen on this basis is termed ishrafe nafs.
A talibe-ilm (student of Deen) was studying by a buzurg alim. One day, as he arrived for his studies, he noticed some signs of hunger on his ustadhs face. The talibe-ilm sought permission to go out and said, Hadhrat, Ill be back shortly. He went home and brought back some food on a tray, and presented the food to his ustadh. Huzoor! Kindly partake of the food. The ustadh replied, Yes, I am hungry, but the moment you departed the thought came to me that you will bring me some food. This is ishrafe-nafs. This is why I cannot eat it. Not saying anything, the talibe-ilm took the tray and went away. In a short while he was back with the tray. Huzoor! I am certain there is no longer any ishrafe-nafs, so please partake of the food now. The ustadh replied, Yes, the ishrafe-nafs is no longer present: there is no such yearning and anticipation left. He was hungry, and ate the food.
These are the islahi masael of sulook - sulook which is a portion of the shariat, an altaf portion - supremely exquisite, highly elegant, beautiful and delicate! Hadhratwala (R.A.) used to say, People have despoiled sulook. Sulook is an extremely exquisite field. How exquisite and delicate? As exquisite and delicate as constitutes the rooh (soul). And whose rooh? As is the rooh of the malaekah! Such a thing has been despoiled!
To continue: For the underlying reason that the two khadims had behaved in this manner towards their sheikh, and that tomorrow they will behave similarly with their friends, the sheikh had meted out the punishment. They were made to stand for some time in the heat of the summer sun. When their punishment was over, the sheikh said, There is in the community a person who cups blood. Call him. (In previous times, cupping, the cutting of a vein and letting out some blood, was a form of medical treatment.) The khadims went to call him. When he arrived the sheikh said, pointing to the area where the ground was damp with the perspiration of the two khadims, Kindly estimate the volume of liquid that would cause that dampness. Ma-sha-Allah, you are a man of experience. Gauge for me the quantity of liquid that would result in that much dampness. This person scrutinised the area, pondered for a moment, and then said, Huzoor, this wetness is caused by two to three tolas of water. The sheikh said, This is not water. This dampness is the perspiration of these two friends of mine! It is my wish that you cup that much of my blood, and shed it where their perspiration has dripped!
Ponder a moment! The sheikh wishes to shed his blood where the sweat of his khadims had dripped! Upon hearing this the two khadims immediately stood pleading with the sheikh, Huzoor! What you did was for our islah. Do not do this to yourself! The sheikh said, It will be so. Where you have shed your perspiration, I shall shed my blood!
33.QUALITY OF A SHEIKH
This is peeri-mureedi! This quality of peer, by the fadhl of Allah Taala, still exists today! He has not become extinct. In previous ages there were more such personages, nowadays not so many. If the peer is not such, then he is not worthy of being a peer. That is, he is not worthy of becoming a sheikh. To be a mere peer is one thing; to be a sheikh is another. This sulook is a specialty - a science and an art. Sulook is not the name given to mere reading about tasawwuf. It is not a question of having merely pulled through a chillah (forty-day period). This is a completely different thing. What you are listening to is something completely diferent.
Ponder a moment. The sheikh paid no heed to his khadims. He had his blood cupped and had it shed where the perspiration of the two had dripped. This he did despite the pleadings of the two.
Now you should have some idea that this is that muttaqi that will be of assistance to you in this world, as well as the hereafter. Your worldly friend will tell you, Brother! What are you saying? Where you shed your perspiration, I will shed my blood! But when the occasion arrives, he will run away!
There are children sitting in front of me. They are busy making friends. For their benefit let me mention a qissah related to us by Hadhratwala (R.A.). What can I say about what he had related to us? Boys! Listen! Take note of what type of friendship you should have and with whom. Also take note that to be a talibe-ilm and to make friends and acquaintances is contrary to being a talibe-ilm. Talibe-ilm and friendship? These two cannot co-exist. Ikhtilat (associating with others) is an extremely evil thing. It is poison for tulaba! Nay! Worse than poison!
One youngster started coming home very late. Several days passed in this manner. One day the father asked, Son, you come home late every night. Where do you go? The son replied, Abbajan, I have a friend. I visit him
every night. We sit and talk. That is why it gets so late. The father said, Really? Does one still find friends in this age? I was under the impression that friends existed in previous times. What use is a friend these days? Are there really such friends in this age? The son replied, Yes, Abba! He is such a friend, one who says that he will shed his blood where my perspiration drips! The father said, Very well. Tomorrow, when you go visit him, take me with. The following evening the father deliberately delayed setting off, with the result that it was past the normal time of his visit when they reached the friends house. The front door was locked. The son knocked, and also called out to his friend. After having called out several times, the friend, from inside the house, asked, Who is it? The son replied, It is I, your friend, mentioning his name. The friend said, Oho! You have come rather late. He came and opened the door. Before the son could say a word, this friend of his, the one who had said that he was prepared to shed his blood where the sons perspiration drips, quickly spoke, I slept rather late. Im still feeling very drowsy. At this moment my tabiyet does not feel at all right. I ask to be forgiven. So saying, he closed the door and latched the chain again, and went back inside. The father spoke, You had said that he is your friend. How has he turned out to be? Come. Let me show you. I have a friend living nearby. I have gone old, and so has he. I have not visited him for several years. Come. Let us go to him. Then you can judge for yourself.
So saying, they set off again. When they reached the fathers friends house, the father called out to his friend. Immediately the friend replied from inside, Hang on. Im coming! Its many years since you have visited me!
Kindly note that the sons friend did not recognise the voice of his nightly visitor, but the fathers friend immediately recognised who it was, even after a lapse of several years!
After a short delay the door opened, but what a spectacle the friend presented! On his head was a dish, in his one hand he held a bag, and in the other hand a staff (lathi). After salam and formalities were over, the father asked his friend, pointing to the items he was carrying What is all this? The friend replied, I thought to myself, My friend has come, after such a long time, at such an odd hour! He must be in some difficulty! It is possible that he is impoverished and hungry. So this dish contains some food. I shall feed him from this. Or, it may be possible that somebody he owes money to, has made life difficult for him.
So, this bag contains some money to give to him. Or, it may be possible that some enemy is after him, and a fight is imminent. So, this lathi will serve some use. Dear friend! Im somewhat old, but Ill still be able to dish out a shot or two! The father reassured him, There is no fight, there is no debt, and I am not famished. This here is my son. He has found himself a friend. I have seen this friend of his. So, now I have brought him to see my friend.
A friend is a rare species. Where is there a real friend today? Hadhratwala (R.A.) mentioned a qissah in this connection: A buzurg arrived at the house of his buzurg-friend. He knocked on the door. His friend answered the knock and, after salams were exchanged, asked, What can I do for you? The buzurg replied, I am in need of five hundred rupees. The friend went inside the house, took out five hundred rupees, and came to give it to the buzurg, who took the money and left. There was no cross questioning. This buzurg friend then came back into the house, went to sit on the charpai (bed), and started weeping.
All of you know that a wifes relationship is very informal and blunt. She will blurt out whatever she wants, whenever she wants, and in whatever way she wants to! So, when this buzurg husband started weeping the wife commented, Subhanallah! Just now, in a fit of passion, you readily took out five hundred rupees and gave it away. Now it seems you are grieving as to why you gave away the money! If that is the case, why did you give away the money in the first place? The buzurg replied composedly, Begum! This is not the case. Then why are you weeping? she countered. He replied, I am weeping for the following reason: Tomorrow, on the day of Qiyamat, if Allah Taala were to ask, Why was it necessary for your friend to come to your house for assistance? Why did you not make yourself aware of his need beforehand? what answer will I give? That is what makes me weep!
Ponder a while! This is the friendship of the ahlullah! These personages are of use in this world, and they will be of use in the hereafter as well.
But you do not do the same! On my say-so dont go and take out five hundred rupees and give it away! As I have said before: The friend of today is not this type of friend who could be termed a friend. In fact, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has actually asked to be protected from the type of friend one comes across today. He has said,
'0 Allah! I seek protection from such a trickster friend - I am seeking protection from such a deceitful friend - that he stares at me so fixedly with both his eyes, and it appears that he stares at me with eyes of tremendous love, but in his heart he is tearing me apart and devouring me! I am seeking protection from such a cunning, conniving friend!
How does one know that he is such a deceitful person? Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) added, Whenever he sees anything good in me, he buries it! Whenever he sees anything favourable, anything good, any perfection in me, he buries it! He does not bring it to his lips, never mind tell anybody about it. However, whenever he sees anything bad in me, he goes around telling others about it, he publicises it. He discloses my faults to others! 0 Allah! I seek protection from such a friend."
In these times one will find friends more of this type, illa ma-sha-Allah (with a few exceptions). That is why I have to emphasise this point, that you dont also take out five hundred rupees and start dishing it around!
We had touched on this subject when discussing the ayet.
Haq Taala is saying that this worldly friend is not going to be of any service to you. Here there is mere lip service, and over there there will be enmity between one and the other. Yes, those who are muttaqi will be of service here and over there in the akhirat as well.
Another qissah comes to mind, related to us by Hadhratwala (R.A.). I merely mimic Hadhratwala (R.A.) - merely repeat what he narrated to us. He narrated:
A certain buzurg became ill. The illness grew worse. He realised that he would shortly pass away. It so happened that in that locality there lived a kafan-chor -a thief who would dig up the grave of a recently buried person and steal the shroud wrapped around the corpse, and then sell it! The buzurg gave the order that the kafan-char be summoned. When the kafan-chor pitched up, the buzurg said to him, Bhai, it seems that my death is imminent. And I also know that it is your habit to steal the shroud from corpses. It must not happen that you come to steal my shroud and leave me lying there naked! Hearing this, the kafan-chor became petrified, and hastily said, Hadhrat! Your shroud? Taubah! Taubah! Can it ever happen? The buzurg said, Bhai, once habits have set in they are difficult to remove. How can I be convinced that you will not do that to me? The kafan-chor replied, Huzoor, you tell me what will convince you. The buzurg asked, For how much do you sell the shrouds? The kafan-chor replied, For ten rupees. The buzurg ordered his khadim, Give him twenty rupees. The money was handed over to the kafan-chor who gladly accepted the sum. The buzurg then said, Bhai, now you will not steal my shroud? The kafan-chor replied, Hadhrat, even before this I gave my word. Now even more so, because I have received twice the amount of money! The buzurg did not recover from his illness. He passed away and was buried. Night fell and the kafan-chor pitched up at the kabr. Remember very well, that when a bad habit has become ingrained, it cannot be discarded until complete rectification (islahe kamil) has not taken place. The kafan-char dug up the grave and uncovered the shrouded body. He extended his hand to remove the shroud... Suddenly, the hand of the buzurg moved swiftly, catching hold of the hand of the kafan-chor. This was the karamat (miracle) of the buzurg. However, the shock was too great for the kafan-chor, and he died on the spot.
The mention of this karamat reminds me of another qissah of another karamat. There was one mullajee, the poor soul was a buzurg person, having a beard gone quite white. Allah Taala values a white beard considerably. Huzoor (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) states,
Zate Bari Taala feels bashful for a Muslim who has a white beard.
This buzurg used to buy his oil form a certain oil-seller (teli). Every time the buzurg came to him the oil-seller would remark, Mianjee! Is your swinging beard better, or is the swinging bell around the neck of my bullock better? This is the manner in which the oil-seller used to tease and joke with the mullajee.
Nowadays it has become our habit not to keep a beard, which is an act of fisq (sinning openly). In other words that person not keeping a beard is a fasiq. However, to mock about a beard, to be derisive about it, is an act of kufr! For example, to say, What is this you have kept as a sign-board? or to remark, Goats keep beards!
I advise my friends not to feel upset, but to be thankful to the person. When somebody says that goats have beards, this person is actually bearing witness to your masculinity! You will find a male-goat has a beard, and that a female-goat has no beard! Also, you will find that respectable shops will have sign-boards, but places of ill-repute not necessarily so! So, what he is implying is, You are kamil deendar, and I am not kamil deendar!
To continue: The oil-seller used to mock at the mullajee by comparing his beard to the bell around the neck of his bullock. Everytime the mullajee went to the oil-seller, he was invariably mocked in this manner. However -Allahu-akbar! - those who are Allahwala, have a tremendous degree of tolerance and quality of accommodation. He did not stop buying his oil from his shop, and he thought to himself that the poor fellow is making these comments out of affection.
The mullajee became critically ill. Death was imminent. He instructed his close ones, Upon my passing away, carry my janazah past the house of the oil-seller. Acting on these instructions, when he passed away, his janazah was carried past the house of the oil-seller. The oil-seller was sitting at the entrance of his house at the time. As the janazah came in line with him the mullajee moved aside the shroud and sat up!
It comes in the Hadith shareef that the karamat of the auliya-Allah are haq in their lifetime, and haq even after their passing away.
The mullajee then addressed the oil-seller, 0 Mian-Teli! Today I can state that my waving beard is better than the bell hanging on your bullock!
The question arises: Why did not the mullajee make this statement in his lifetime? He had heard the taunts repeatedly. After all, what type of heart is it that would not be affected at some time or other by such taunts? Think for yourself: were not the remarks of the oil-seller such as to provoke anger? Definitely so! However, the buzurg must have straightened somebodys shoes. That is, he must have had his tarbiyet made, and, as I have mentioned previously, even if you were to drop excreta on somebody who has had his tarbiyet made, that person will not show any ghussah (anger)! In this age people become bayt on the premise of having their islah made. However, the term islah is taken, but no work is done, illa ma-sha-Allah (with some exceptions).
The mullajee, having said what he needed to, lied down, and the janazah proceeded. The question arises: Why did he not make this statement while still alive? Why wait for this moment to make the assertion he did?
The reason is that he did not know whether his death would be with iman or not! So, how could he make an assertion? The following went through his mind, Allah forbid! Allah forbid! But if my death is not with iman, then the waving of the bullocks bell will be better than my beard! There is no punishment, no censure, no reproof for a bullock in the hereafter, but if my end is not with iman then I do not know what will be in store for me on the plains of Qiyamat!
This is termed khashyat - true fear of Allah Taala.
What happened to the kafan-chor? There was a mureed of the buzurg living nearby. The buzurg appeared in his dream and related to him how the kafan-chor had not kept his promise, and had come and dug up the grave and how he was about to snatch the kafan whe he caught his hand. However, the shock was too much for the kafan-chor, and he died. At the moment the kafan-chor was lying dead in the qabr. The mureed should please come and remove him and bury him. The mureed was very perturbed, and, in the dream asked the buzurg, Hadhrat! What will happen to the kafan-chor now? The buzurg replied, Seeing his hand is in mine, I will intercede for him on the Day of Qiyamat!
Yes, those who are muttaqi will be of service here and over there in the akhirat as well.
All this came up when we were discussing whom we should meet and whom we should not. Right in the beginning we had stated that nisbat is a very important thing.
The time of Maghreb is close. In conclusion, dear brothers, let me re-iterate: This Majlis - Majlis Siyanatul Muslimeen - has nisbat with Hadhrat Hakeemul Ummat Maulana Thanvi (R.A.). And whosoever is even slightly connected to Hadhrat Thanvi (R.A.), he will definitely be connected to the Majlis Siyanatul Muslimeen. Should such a person not have a connection with this Majlis, and with related affairs, then this is beyond understanding.
We make dua that Allah Taala blesses us, with ikhlas and istiqamat, with the taufeeq to perform the work of deen, and cause the Majlis Siyanatul Muslimeen to progress.
(Hereunder follows a translation of a letter written by Hadhratjee (R.A.) on the topic of nisbat maAllah. The letter appears in a booklet called Maktoobat Thalathah, printed by the Majlis Siyanatul Muslimeen - Pakistan.)
That you worship Allah as if you see Him; and if you are unable to see Him (know well) that He sees you!
My siddeeq sadeq friend and mukhlis bandah,
Dear friend, to attain nisbat is fardh. And to attain the know-how (knowledge) of the methodology of attaining what is fardh, is also fardh. Therefore, it is necessary that one comes to know the reality of what nisbat is, and what the methodology is of attaining nisbat. For this reason, whatever has reached me from my peer and murshid, Ala-hadhrat, Hakeemul Ummat, nawwarallahu marqadahu, I present to you.
THE REALITY OF NISBAT
The meaning of nisbat is taalluq and lagao (connection and attachment). By this is meant the special connection that the bandah (servant/ bondman) has with Allah Taala. This taalluq is one based on qabool (acceptance by Allah Taala) and radha (the pleasure of Allah Taala), as one would see between an obedient and submissive lover and a faithful and loyal beloved. Thus, it is apparent that a fasiq and a kafir cannot become sahebe-nisbat (one who has attained nisbat).
SIGNS OF NISBAT
The signs of nisbat are these that when one is in the company of a sahebe-nisbat the effect is that of a forceful attraction towards the akhirat (hereafter) and a distaste and repulsion for dunya; and deendar people incline more towards this person relative to worldly people.
FRUITS (EFFECTS) OF NISBAT-MAALLAH
The persons taalluq is basically and intrinsically only with Allah Taala; and intrinsically with nothing else. When the taalluq is not with anything except Allah Taala, then, when any item is lost, then there will also be no special anxiety or disquietude.
PRE-CONDITION FOR ATTAINMENT OF NISBAT
A pre-condition is to have kamil radha-e-Haq - the complete pleasure of Allah Taala. Isolated or independent occasions of radha are not sufficient. Independent episodes of radha are accrued on every good act: If a mumin is involved in a sinful act and thereafter is involved in some act of obedience -namaz, etc., - then he will be inviting displeasure because of the sin he committed, but he will also gain radha because of the namaz, etc., the acts of obedience and ibadat. In the same way in evil acts and in good acts he will attain displeasure and radha respectively, each on its appropriate occasion (which are signs of the phase of nafse lowwamah), but this type of situation does not entitle the person to be a recipient of nisbat. However, the pre-condition for attaining nisbat is radha-e-tarn - continuous and complete pleasure (of Allah Taala).
THE EXAMPLE OF INCOMPLETE RADHA
The example of radha na-tarn (incomplete pleasure of Allah Taala) is like that of an ill person who experiences a temporary reduction and alleviation of his illness. This is a blessing for him, but one would not say that he has attained complete good health. In the same way, the combination of the occasional acts of obedience with acts of sinning cannot be termed nisbat maAllah. Therefore, in order to be an aspirant and applicant for the attainment of nisbat, the specific procedure that will bring about radha-e-tarn, which is a pre-condition for attaining nisbat, will have to be followed. !
DETAILS OF THIS PROCEDURE FOR ATTAINING NISBAT knowledge of Deen (ilme Deen) has to be acquired to the degree of necessity. Then, firstly, to perform two rakats of taubah namaz.
Then undertake the islah (rectification) of ones zahiri amal and ones batini a'mal, with forceful coercion of ones nafs. Give special attention to the islah of the batini character, which is of extreme importance and which is more difficult.
One should vigilantly and assiduously be constant and punctual (with this programme) for a sufficiently long period, until a stage is reached when these amale zahirah and batinah become a hal - become part of ones disposition -that one performs these amals with ease. When these have become embedded and established firmly, it is termed as having reached a maqam.
All the azkar (pl. of zikr), ashgal (pl. of shagl), muraqabat, mujahadat and riyadhat that are prescribed are to achieve this stage of ease. But the basic objective is the islah of the amale zahirah and batinah. It is on this islah that nisbate haqeeqi is dependent.
When the mumin bandah is constant and punctual with his amale zahirah and batinah then Haq Taala has a continual and permanent taalluq of radha with him.
That is it! This is the reality of nisbat maAllah!
Azeeze-min - my dear friend! Mere constancy and punctuality with zikr, or constant awareness (hudhoor), or remembrance (yad dasht) by a process of training and exercising, without islah amale zahirah and batinah, is not the reality of nisbat. However, the above, together with constancy in the islah of the amale zahirah and batinah, are very helpful and supportive in attaining nisbat. The reason is, azeeze-min, that whoever has the thought of Haq Taala within him all the time, for him to be disobedient to Allah Taala is very unlikely.
Thus, the reality of nisbat is this that Haq Taala develops a special taalluq of radha with the bandah, and this is dependent on the islah of amale salehah, both zahirah and batinah.
THE DISTINCTIVE FEATURE OF NISBAT
The distinctive feature of nisbat is a special injizab (absorbtion), which has, as its necessary consequence, by the fadhl of Allah Taala, ease in obedience (tat) and worship (ibadat), constancy with zikr and constant awareness (hudhoor).
BAQA (PERMANENCE) OF NISBAT
Azeeze-min - my dear friend! This is that nisbat maAllah which, in the normal course of events, does not ever decline or fade away, just as that situation that when a person becomes baleg (pubertal), he does not revert to pre-puberty. This is that stage which the sufiya-karam have expressed as fana.
On one who has attained the stage of fana does not ever become a reprobate.
INCIDENTAL LAPSE INTO SIN
My sadiq friend! Do not let the following suspicion enter your mind: Even after attainment and establishment of nisbat some Sahaba (R.A.) and auliya-Allah have been involved in sin, so how can they be still deserving of radha-e-ilahi, and how can nisbat maAllah still exist?
Azeeze-min! Such occasional or incidental lapses are neither contrary to permanence of radha, nor do they cancel nisbat maAllah. Understand very well, that even after having developed a very intense and profound friendship, there may still occasionally arise tiffs and temporary estrangements between friends. However, after reconciliation the same deep and profound friendship is re-established. In actual fact, even during the period of estrangement and displeasure, that same friendship still exists in its customary position, and it does not decline. The estrangement and displeasure were merely temporary.
Understand the above very well, and embed it in your heart.
Understand it as follows: When an ill person has attained complete good health, it does not necessarily follow that he will never develop a cold even. If it happens that he occasionally lapses into a dietary indiscretion, will he not suffer some harm? Definitely he will! However, this will only be temporary. After correcting himself, and compensating for the indiscretion, that same condition of good health will return.
Another example: Understand that an alim, after he has qualified, despite the fact, that he had achieved distinctions in his studies, and had developed great scholarly capabilities, will he never get stuck at any particular point? Obviously, occasionally he may falter somewhere, but by directing his attention to the problem, he will remove it.
Understand this very well.
It follows that a wasile-bihaq sahebe-nisbat, if he lapses incidentally into some sin, that this is neither contrary to permanent radha, nor does it cancel nisbat maAllah.
May Allah Taala bless my respected friend with permanent radha and real nisbat.