Extracts from speeches and writings of Scholars on Islamic Spirituality and Purification of the Soul!
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
How to protect oneself from Haraam acts: Mujaddid Alf al Thani
By Mujaddid Alf al-Thani Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi R.A.
[Summary: The Mujaddid explains that spiritual progress is possible only through wara’ and taqwa. He enjoins us to cease from more than the necessary mubah (permissible things), or at least to refrain from the haram (prohibited things) and to cut down on the mubahs.]
“Allah ta’ala declares in the seventh ayat of Surat-ul-Hashr:
“Take and obey the commands which My Messenger has brought for you! Refrain from what he has prohibited!”
As it is seen, two things are necessary for escaping the disasters in the world and the torments of Hell in the next world: hold fast to the commands, and abstain from the prohibitions! Of these two, the greater one, the more necessary one is the second one, which is called wara’ and taqwa.
Importance of Wara' and Taqwa:
In the presence of Rasulullah “sall-Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam’ it was mentioned that a person performs a lot of acts of worship and struggles hard for it. While another person diligently abstains from what is prohibited. He (SAWS) stated, “Nothing can be like wara’.” That is, he said that it was more valuable to abstain from the prohibitions than to perform more nawafil (supererogatory worship).
In a hadith he stated, “Wara’ is the pillar of din.” Man’s becoming superior to angels is due to wara’ and their progress, becoming exalted, is, again, owing to wara’. Angels also obey the commands. But angels cannot make progress.
Therefore, holding fast to wara’ and having taqwa is more necessary than anything else. In Islam the most valuable thing is taqwa. The basis of the religion is taqwa.
What is Wara' and Taqwa & How to acquire them:
Wara’ and taqwa means to refrain from the haram. In order to be able to refrain from the haram acts entirely, it is necessary to refrain from the more than necessary mubahs (unnecessary but innately permissible things).
Wara' (ورع) is also leaving something that is halal, out of fear that it may harm you in the aakhira.
Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Umar (R.A.) said “I like to put a barrier of halal between me and that which is haram, and I do not break this barrier” i.e. he would avoid some halal actions so that he ensures he does not fall into haram.
We should use the mubahs only as much as necessary. If a person does whatever he likes with the mubahs, that is, with the things which the Shariat has permitted, and if he uses the mubahs exceedingly, he will begin to do what is doubtful. And the doubtful are close to those things that are haram.
Man’s nafs, like a beast, is greedy. He who walks around an abyss may fall down into the abyss one day. To be able to have wara’ and taqwa properly, one should be abstemious in using the mubahs, and should not exceed the limit of necessity.
When using this (necessary) amount, one should intend to use them in order to do one’s duties as a slave of Allah’s. It is a sin also to use them a little without intending so. It is harmful whether it is little or much.
It is next to impossible to always abstain entirely from more than the necessary mubahs, especially in this time. At least, one must abstain from the harams and do one’s best to abstain from the more than necessary mubahs.
When the mubahs are done more than needed, one must repent and make tawba. One should deem these deeds as the beginning of committing harams. One must entrust oneself to Allah ta’ala and beg Him. This repentance, asking for pardon and begging may stand for abstaining from more than the necessary mubahs entirely, thus protecting one against the harm and mischief of such deeds. One of our pious predecessors (Salaf) says, “Sinners’ hanging their heads seems better to me than worshippers’ swelling their chests (with pride).” (Maktubat, 1:76)1
Benefits of Wara':
1. It saves one from the punishment of Allah.
2. It leads to tranquility of the heart and mind.
3. It distances one from that which does not benefit as you would usually doubt between a makrooh or haram action.
4. It leads to Allah loving us, as He loves those who are cautious in following His orders.
5. It helps in being someone whose du’as (supplications) are always answered, as most likely everything you do will be halal.