Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Secret for the acceptance of Dua (Supplication)

Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad (DB) in his book “Dua- The Essence of Worship” shares a deep secret with his readers- A Secret for the acceptance of Dua. He says in his book: Some say: Hazrat we make a lot of dua’s but it is not accepted, students many times say that they are in difficulties, even the ulama’s and scholars request for dua’s. He says: I will teach my friends a secret for the acceptance of dua’s. If you practice upon it, InshaAllah, you will no longer need to search of the Isme Azam. You will see it before your eyes your dua’s being accepted just as you complete it. I have experienced this not a hundred times but a thousand times. The action is small but the results are great. The secret for the acceptance of dua’s that the author has learnt from his elders and that he has experienced thousands of times is:

Whenever a time comes in your life when you have the opportunity to commit a sin and you refrain due to fear of Allah, at that very moment, make a dua to Allah and Allah will InshaAllah, accept your dua at that very moment.

After one has refrained from a particular sin, any dua done with full faith, full trust and full humility comming from the depths of the heart should suffice for acceptance. InshAllah.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oh Travelers to the Haram! (Important advice for Hajis)

 
By Maulana Muhammad Wali Raazi

Oh guests of the Most Merciful! Oh fortunate ones! Oh travelers to the Haram! Congratulations on being invited by the Lord of the worlds! Be glad that He has invited you to His House! Not only that, but He has given you the provisions for travel and lodging. And not only that, but He has also filled your hearts with such love of Him and His House that today you leave your homes, your cities, your countries and embark on this journey solely for the pleasure of your Lord. Had this desire not been there then you would have never planned to undertake this journey.

How many a millionaire are there who travel throughout Switzerland, England, America, and so on - who spend their children's vacations over there - but never receive this invitation: Come, visit Our House! Live in Our city! Act according to the Sunnats of Our beloved servants! Run between the hills of Safa and Marwa just as a wife of a prophet and a mother of a prophet did! We love this running of yours. Hurl rocks against Satan just as Our Prophet Ibrahim (alayhi salam) did! Perform sacrifice just as a loyal servant of Ours laid his son and ran the knife over his throat because of Our Command! But we had prohibited the knife from even scratching the throat. Our servant did as he was told and the knife did as it was commanded (i.e. it did not cut); both acted under our command. Those who claim to love Us - We test them to see whether their claim is true.

Come here as a devotee:

This is Our city and Our House. Come here as a devotee; if you are not a devotee, then take on the appearance of a devotee! Be content in whatever condition We keep you in. Here there are crowds of devotees. You will be pushed and shoved; your hair will fill with dirt and dust, and your feet will tire from walking. Be it pushing or shoving, dirt and dust, or difficulties in Our alleys - Our devotees are proud of such difficulties and consider them as the treasures of their lives.

Whoever thinks of these hardships and pains as calamities should not come. He should stay at his home. But those who come as devotees - We will wipe out their sins and return them to their homes as if they were just born today. This is a bathing of bodies and souls rotten and spoiled due to sins - washing these sins will require rubbing. Without rubbing how is cleanliness obtained?

Oh travelers to the Haram! Hajj is no small blessing. This is a great act of worship - very different from all the other forms of worship. All sorts of outward and inward worships are combined in this. Money is spent in the path of Allah and great effort is exerted; it is a purification of the soul of the highest degree; it contains spiritual exercises; there is patience and gratitude, love and ma'rifah. It is a witnessing of the favors of the Almighty and of the acceptance of duas. There is both outward and inward closeness. In a hadith, Rasoolullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam addressed those performing Hajj and Umrah - and today you are his addressees:

Sayyidna Abu Hurairah Radi-Allahu anhu narrates that Rasoolullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: (translation) The travelers of Hajj and Umrah are Allah's special guests; if they supplicate to Allah, He accepts their supplications and if they seek forgiveness, He forgives them. (Hisn-e-Hasin, Ibn Majah and Nasai)

Oh travelers to the Haram! Years of spiritual exercise and training may not yield the benefits that can be obtained from this, if only we understand them and have a will to seek them. Oh guests of Allah! I will not discuss with you the merits of Hajj, because if you did not know its merits than you would have never made this blessed intention (to go to Hajj). Neither will I mention its rites and rulings, because you can get all of this from books and training sessions for Hajj. Rather I want to point out something else.

You are going to the great Court of the King of kings. When a person is a guest of a king then he learns the manners of the court long before he goes there. Then when he reaches there, he monitors every deed of his making sure that it does not result in disrespect.

Oh travelers to the Haram! I wish to share with you an extremely beneficial recipe- one that you will neither find in books nor in lectures. I know that pilgrims are subject to numerous difficulties and hardships. In this journey, there are many trying moments, no, rather many trying hours and days. Sometimes there is the immigration obstacle. There are the difficulties in finding lodging and in getting to the Haram. There are the hardships encountered in Tawaf and Sa'ee. But, my brothers! To achieve any big goal, you must undertake hardships. Those who are mentally prepared for this are the successful ones.

The recipe that I am presenting is called "tafweed", which means entrusting your matters, i.e. entrusting your intentions and desires to Allah. The opposite of this is "tajweez" which means relying on your own plans and actions.

Tajweez is the root of all of our worries in our normal course of affairs and especially during the journey to Hajj. On the other hand, tafweed results in complete contentment. The person who in his difficulties leaves matters into the hands of Allah finds that Allah shows him ways out of his difficulties. When you reach the court of the King, then entrust your matters to the King. If he makes you sleep on the floor, then sleep happily on the floor. And if he makes you sit on the throne then sit on the throne remembering that you are in the court of the King. He has invited you here to honor you.

Never lose sight of the true Beloved for even a blink of the eye
Lest the king glance at you with mercy and you be unaware.

Many people return from Hajj and tell stories about the unmannerly behavior of the people there and magnify the difficulties they encountered there. One time I received a letter from an old man who said that: while you give people good tidings of Jannah, I went to Hajj but found no trace of the fear of God in the people therein. Then the man mentioned his difficulties in such words and talked about other pilgrims and the Saudi people in such a way that I felt sorrow over the way he mentioned this.

We are not going there to have a picnic. When millions of people gather in a city of three or four hundred thousand, then due to the crowd there will be pushing and shoving. The paths will be narrow and difficult. So undertake this journey as an ardent devotee. Whoever is ardent in the love of someone finds enjoyment in the difficulties he encounters on the way and contentment in these worries.
 
-Adapted from an albalagh article. [Originally published in Urdu in Daily Ummat Karachi on 12 December 2004] .

Delaying the payment of debt is a grave Sin!

It is a grave sin to delay the payment of the debt when the time of its payment arrives. 

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: "Delay in repaying debts by a wealthy person is oppression." (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 2270)

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) in another Hadith also condemns the person who delays the payment of his loan without a valid
excuse. He said: "The delay of a well-off person (in paying off his debt) subjects him to punishment and disgrace." (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 2271)


If you are unfortunate enough to have a debt on you, do repay it as soon as you are able. It is often a cause of bitterness among family or friends when a loan is taken from a relative or friend and the creditor sees the debtor spending money on unessential items but not repaying him/her
According to this hadith, you are listed among cruel people if you have the money to repay your creditor but choose to delay repayment. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Before Condemning Others

Abu Hurairah [R.A.] narrates that Rasulullah [s.a.w.s] said : 
"...your faults should stop you from criticizing others". 
(Mustadrak Al- Hakim)

Putting ourselves in the shoes of others momentarily in order to try to understand them better before commenting or acting against them is very important.
Many people condemn others without trying to see where they are coming from or why they have acted in a specific way or said something.
If we are sincere, we will understand one another better & possibly reduce much unwanted skepticism, hatred & enmity.
-Mufti Ismail Menk


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

PRINCIPLES PERTAINING TO LOVE FOR ALLAH by Sheikh Zulfiqar Ahmed DB


The Holy Quran says: "wallatheena amanoo ashaddu hubbanlillah" [2:165]

"But those of Faith are overflowing in their love for Allah."

The First Principle 
The human body is composed of limbs and organs, each with a unique trait: seeing is the trait of the eye; listening is the trait of the ear; and smelling is the trait of the nose. Similarly, loving is the trait of the heart; the heart is always in love with someone. 

Be it with a stone, God, or anyone else, There comes not tranquility without loving. 
The heart is the ocean of love; love is its act, Guard it a thousand ways; it will still fall in love.

The Second Principle 
A person usually falls in love for two reasons. The first is when the beloved’s essential being [dhat] and attributes [sifat] are distinct and superior to all others. Such is Allah, who is perfect in every way and beyond any comparison. How beautiful and magnificent must the Creator of all the world’s beauty be! It is only natural that a person is attracted to his Lord. 
The second reason is when the beloved has authority and is involved in every aspect of one’s life. Such is Allah , who at any moment can relieve one’s grief or sorrow. This is the reason why everyone instinctively turns to Allah in times of distress. 

At every instance of grief,
comfort was found in Thee,
At every turn, bewildered,
I took Thy name. 

The Third Principle 
There is such sweetness and pleasure in the name of Allah that by repeatedly invoking His name every sorrow is turned into joy. 

He who is distressed turns his attention in that direction,
Certainly there must be something in the name of Allah. 

The Fourth Principle 
A person should remain unaffected by the ever-changing conditions of life and remember Allah at every moment. 

Although trapped daily to earn a livelihood,
Never did I neglect thinking of You. 

The Fifth Principle 
The heart that is not imprinted with love for Allah finds no pleasure in living.

Whatever one’s state, never should the court of the True Beloved be abandoned. 

The Sixth Principle 
The person whose heart experiences the sweetness of love for Allah attains focus and tranquility in life. 

Seeking neither means nor objects,
my needs I myself fulfill,
By thanking You, thinking of You,
and taking Your name. 

The Seventh Principle 
No veils remain on the perception of what exists between the Throne [’Arsh] of Allah and the ground for he whose eyes are adorned with the antimony [kuhl] of the love of Allah. When the one who loves Allah [‘ashiq] gazes introspectively, he perceives himself full of sin and defects. And when he directs his gaze upon the Beloved, he finds Him to be the endower and bestower of all things. Consequently, he places all hope in Him and waits expectantly at His door. 

O Allah, how may I call unto You,
when I am but a sinner,
Yet how may I not call unto You,
when You are the Most Gracious?

The Eighth Principle
The ‘ashiq is never heedless of the True Beloved ; not even for a moment. He remains waiting in vigil, knowing not when the doors of his Beloved might open.

Be not heedless of the Lord
for even the blink of an eye,
Lest He direct His attention toward you,
and find you unaware. 

It is for this reason that the scholars of Spirituality have said: 
"The person who diverts his attention from Allah for even the blink of an eye will not attain his goal". 

The Ninth Principle
There is no place in the heart of an ‘ashiq for anyone other than his Beloved. Although he is unable to see the True Beloved with his physical eyes, he is able to perceive Him with the eyes of his heart. 

My Beloved is such that there is no beloved besides Him,
Nor is there place in my heart for any other.
My Beloved may be hidden from my sight,
But He is not absent from my heart. 

The Tenth Principle
The sole objective of a sincere ‘ashiq is to meet his Beloved. He passes his entire life in anticipation of this meeting. His heart refuses to be attracted toward anything else. 

You are my dear, my motivation, my happiness,
My heart refuses to love any other besides You.
Oh my dear, my motivation, my desire,
Long have I been yearning, when will I finally meet You?
I seek not the comforts of Heaven,
my desire is only to meet You. 

The Eleventh Principle
An ‘ashiq always yearns to join his Beloved. This is the sole thought occupying his mind. 

You are the true innermost desire of my heart, Love of You is the deepest thought in my mind.
Whenever I glance at the world around me,
I find that today there was naught but You,
And that tomorrow holds naught but You. 

The Twelfth Principle
When an ‘ashiq looks around, he finds the heedless people of the world [ghafil al-dunya] trapped in their desires. To him the world seems like a cage.

The Thirteenth Principle 
Love for Allah removes everything except Allah from the heart of the sincere ‘ashiq. Indeed, his heart has no place for anything other than Allah. 

The Fourteenth Principle
The heart of the ‘ashiq desires to sacrifice everything for the sake of his Beloved. 

May I forget everything in Your remembrance, And may I remember not anyone else.
May I forsake unto Thee all dear to my heart,
And may my heart be filled by You.
May I set fire to my joys and happiness,
And may my heart ache for Thee alone.
May I be blinded to all I know,
And may I turn only to Thee and none other. 

The Fifteenth Principle
In the material world [dunya], a person receives many things, while many other things remain out of reach. Whatever a person lacks, its substitute exists somewhere in the world. However, if someone is distant from Allah, no substitute exists anywhere. 

For everything that you part from,
there is a replacement,
But if you disassociate from Allah,
there is no replacement for Him. 

Hadrat Abu Hurairah reported that the blessed Prophet [SAWS] said that the best saying in the Arabic language is the poem of Labid: 
"Verily, everything except Allah is false and spurious And every blessing is undeniably fleeting and short-lived."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Work for this world to the extent of your stay here!


The Advice of Hazrat Sufyan Thawri regarding this world

Hazrat Sufyan Thawri was asked by someone to give him advice, but to be very brief and concise. So he advised him saying,

“Make an effort for the world to the extent of your
stay here. And make an effort for the hereafter to the
extent of your stay there.”

Everyone knows that after leaving this world there is no return, and the life of the hereafter is everlasting. Therefore, one should make a great effort for that which is everlasting. The stay in this world is temporary. Thus, to make too much effort for it is foolishness. What a complete and comprehensive advice this is! Remember it and let it become imprinted in your heart.

Source: What is the reality of Tasawwuf - Hazrat
Maulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahab 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

STAGES IN THE PATH OF SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE (TAZKIYA)


The First Stage- Know your Self (Nafs):
The first stage in spiritual struggle is for one to not be satisfied with his self and to believe in the description of his self that his creator and originator informed him of when He said: { Indeed, the Nafs (self or ego) commands to evil. } (Sura Yusuf: 53) He must also know that of the things that sever him and cut him off from Allah, the biggest of them is his own ego (nafs), and at the same time, it is the greatest thing that shall cause him to arrive unto Him. When the ego commands its owner to evil, it takes no delight except in acts of opposition and disobedience, yet after spiritual struggle is waged against it and it is purified, it becomes pleased and well pleasing and is not delighted in anything save acts of obedience, agreement, and intimacy with Allah (swt).
 
When the servant uncovers the defects of his self (nafs) and is truthful in his pursuit to remove them, he will have no time to busy himself with the faults of other people and waste his life enumerating their mistakes. Know that he who spends his time enumerating the mistakes of others and is heedless of his own faults is an idiotic ignoramus.
 
When the Muslim comes to realize this, he will hasten to wean his ego from its lower desires and deficient day-to-day habits, and he will oblige it to implement acts of obedience and deeds that draw close (to Allah).
 
Tazkiya is a step by step process:
Spiritual struggle is a step by step process that changes course according to the progress of the aspirant in his journey.
 
The Outward Tazkiya:
In the beginning of his affair, he is to remove all of the acts of disobedience that relate to his seven body parts (Outward Tazkiya). They are:
1.The tongue
2.The ears
3.The eyes
4.The hands
5.The feet
6.The stomach
7.The private parts
 
All of these seven body parts have acts of disobedience that may come from them. Among the sins of the tongue: back-biting, tale carrying, lying, vile speech. Among the sins of the ears: listening to: back-biting, tale carrying, vile musical lyrics, and instruments. Among the sins of the eyes: looking at unrelated women and the private areas of men. Among the sins of the hands: harming the Muslims, killing them, taking their wealth with falsehood, and shaking the hands of unrelated women. Among the sins of the feet: walking to sites of sin and lewdness. Among the sins of the stomach: consuming forbidden wealth, consuming the flesh of pig, drinking alcohol, etc. Among the sins of the private parts: fornication, homosexuality, etc.
 
Then he should adorn his seven body parts with acts of obedience appropriate to each of them.
Among the good acts of the tongue: reciting the Holy Qur'an, remembrance of Allah (swt), commanding the good, and forbidding the evil, etc. Among the good acts of the firs: listening to the Holy Qur'an and Prophetic Hadîth, as well as good advice and religious exhortations. Among the good acts of the eyes: looking at the faces of the scholars and righteous, looking at the noble Ka'ba, and looking at the signs of Allah in the creation with the intention of contemplation. Among the good acts of the hands: shaking the hands of the believers and giving out charity. Among the good acts of the feet: walking to the Mosques and gatherings of Sacred knowledge, visiting the sick and going to make peace between people. Among the good acts of the stomach: consuming legally permissible food with the intention of gaining strength to carry out acts of obedience for Allah (swt). Among the good acts of the private parts: consummating marriage with the intention of preserving one's chastity and having many offspring.
 
 
These seven body parts are the windows into the heart that shall either be smeared and sullied with the darkness and grime of disobedience, thereby making the heart sick, or they shall be made clear to allow the light and illumination of acts of worship enter it.
 
The Inward Tazkiya:
After waging spiritual struggle against his seven body parts, the aspirant should then focus on the inward traits, replacing his lowly character traits such as: pride, ostentation, and anger, with complete character traits such as: humility, sincerity, and forbearance.
 
The Goal of Tazkiya:
The loftiest aspiration and hope for the spiritual wayfarers is to elevate their souls. If they succeed in that, they shall reach their goal. By spiritual struggle and spiritual rigor, the human soul is elevated from being ammâra (commanding its owner to evil) to being lawwâma (self-reproaching) to being Mut'mainna (inspired, pleased and well pleased with, and so on). Spiritual struggle is a necessity for the spiritual wayfarer in all stages of his journey unto Allah (swt). Such spiritual struggle ends only if he reaches the state of infallibility - which is for no one save the Prophets and Messengers - may Allah's peace and blessings be upon them all.
 
The need for a guide, trainer and teacher:
Since the path of spiritual struggle is a rugged one with numerous side paths and it is very difficult for the spiritual wayfarer to enter it alone, it is of practical significance for him to accompany a completed spiritual guide or teacher who knows the defects of the soul and knows the path of spiritual struggle and treatment. By keeping the company of a spiritual guide, the spiritual aspirant gains practical experience in the ways of purifying his soul, just as he obtains the sacred spiritual effulgence of the Shaykh who pushes him to perfect his own self and personality; raising him above the defects and evil traits. The Messenger of Allah MHMD was the spiritual guide, trainer and teacher of the highest rank and the greatest purifier who trained his noble Companions and purified their souls through his statements and spiritual state - as Allah described him: { It is He who sent a Messenger unto the unlettered ones, reciting unto them His verses, purifying them, and teaching them the Book and the wisdom, whereas before they were in manifest error.} Sura (62) al-Jumu'a. Here we see that purifying is one thing, and teaching the Book and the wisdom is another thing. For this reason, Allah the Exalted said: {... purifying them and teaching them the Book and the wisdom. } There is a huge difference between the knowledge of purification, and the state of purification, just as there is a difference between the knowledge of good health and actual good health. A skilled physician may be very knowledgeable of health while he himself is in bad health, suffering from many illnesses. Similarly, there is a vast difference between the knowledge of Zuhd (avoiding love of Dunya) and the state of Zuhd - like the Muslim who possesses vast knowledge of all the Qur'anic verses, Hadîth, and proofs in support of Zuhd, even though he is not in a state of asceticism and is covetous and craving for the fleeting life of this world.
 
When the spiritual aspirant keeps close company with his guide and surrenders unto him just as the patient surrenders himself to the physician, he shall find uprightness and benefit. When Satan injects the heart of the aspirant with the delusional idea that he is independent, and he becomes conceited and feels that he does not need to associate with his Shaykh, he will fail utterly and be debarred from the path, whereas he thinks that he is still on his journey, and he will be cut off whereas he thinks that he is arriving.
 
Taken from: Purifying And Striving Against The Ego (nafs) by Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir `Isa

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hurry to perform the obligatory Hajj

All those who have not yet performed Hajj inspite of its obligation upon them, please hurry, life is very unreliable and its end is very near.

Hilaal Ibn ‘Abdullaah narrated that the Prophet Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “He who possess enough food for the trip, a means of transportation to reach to Makkah, and yet does not perform Hajj, then he dies, he would then die as a Jew or a Christian” (At-Tirmithi, Al-Bazzaar, and others).

 Abu Umaamah narrated that the Prophet Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “He who was not prevented by a valid excuse, sickness, or an oppressive ruler, yet did not perform Hajj, will die as a Jew or a Christian” (Ad-Daarimi, AlBayhaqi, and others).


O Muslims! Our great religion encourages us to rush in performing Hajj and not to delay nor postpone it. Ibn ‘Abbaas narrated that the Prophet Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Rush into performing Hajj because one does not know what might happen to him”. (Ahmad & Al-Baihaqi). His saying “… one does not know what might happen to him” means that new things may arise that would prevent a person from performing it, as he said in the following Hadeeth: “Let one who intends Hajj hurry, because he might get sick, might find his way to Hajj, or something might occur that would prevent him from performing Hajj” (Ahmad, Ibn Maajah, and others).

Now, to address those who are lazy and negligent and delay this obligation although they have the means and are in good health:

What guarantees do they have that they will not become too old or maybe even die before they perform Hajj?
Can they guarantee to continue being wealthy enough to perform it?
Can they guarantee not to become too sick, or die before that?
Do they have an agreement with the angel of death to delay their time until they perform it?
What are they waiting for?
Our Prophet Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said as narrated by Ibn ’Abbaas: “Take advantage of five things before five other things occur, your youth before you become old, your health before you become sick, you wealth before you become poor, your spare time before you become busy, and your life before death” (Al-Haakim, Ibn Al-Mubaarak, and others).