A Test of Faith
(A Sermon by Mufti-e-Azam Mufti Rasheed Ahmad Sahib)
Hazoor-e-Akram Salallahu-alaihi wasallam has said,
"None of you can claim to be a Mu,min until he loves me more than his own parents and his children and everyone else" (Translation of Al-Hadith.)
The above statement proves that to have faith in Hazoor-e-Akram Salallahu-alaihi wasallam and to love him more than any other person in this world, both have the same meaning. Thus Iman (faith) means to love Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Salallahu-alaihi wasallam more than anything or anyone else in this world. Therefore Aamanna (we believe in you) means the same as Aashaqna (Ya Allah we adore You and Your Prophet Salallahu-alaihi wasallam). Iman and love for Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Salallahu-alaihi wasallam has the same meaning. If there is no love, there is no Iman. If your love for Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Salallahu-alaihi wasallam is in the category of adoration, then only will your claim for having faith in them be acceptable.
What is the meaning of adoration?
"Adoration or devotion means that when you love someone, you become his abject slave. Who is a slave? A person who hands over his heart and dedicates the rest of his life to gain the approbation of his beloved, a person who yields all his wishes, earnest desires and hopes to his beloved, a person who sacrifices all his longings and expectations which are opposed to the wishes of his love."
"When the flame of love blazes, except for the beloved, it turns to ashes everything else in the world. It destroys even the lover himself."
The whole world seizes to exist for the devotee, so much so that he willingly sacrifices his dearest ambitions for the sake of his beloved. He devotes all his time in trying to gain the approval of the one he loves.
What is the standard of love according to the Holy Quran?
"Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, 'We believe', and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false." (29 : 1-3)
These are the first three Ayaat of Surah `Ankaboot. Learn then by heart. Keeping the meaning in mind recite them at least once a day. Or, ponder over the meaning only if you can.
Now think about it. When we have said Aamanna (we have faith) then will Allah Ta`ala accept our claim without testing us? I have already explained that Aamanna means Aashaqna. We claimed that we loved Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Salallahu-alaihi wasallam and immediately our claim was accepted? Certainly not! The one we claim to love has Himself decided that your claim is totally false. He says that without testing your faith We will certainly not accept your claim. Since the very beginning this has been our rule. Those who claimed to have faith, those who professed to love and adore Us, We tested them and differentiated the true ones from the false.
Allah Ta`ala does not need to examine us for He knows the secrets of our hearts. Everything is evident to Him. He tests us only to prove our faithfulness in the eyes of other people. Allah Ta`ala puts us on trial in order to honour some of us and to disgrace some. He does so to show the world the truthfulness or falsity of those who claim to love him.
What I want to ask is, have you ever thought about this rule of Allah Ta`ala? Have you ever thought about the tests you were given and how you fared in them? We were born in a Muslim family, given a Muslim name and then we started proclaiming loudly our love and adoration for Allah Ta`ala and Rasool-Ullah Salallahu-alaihi wasallam. We did not appear for any trials, or if we did we failed in every one of them. Then how will our claim of love be accepted?
In another part of the Holy Quran, Allah Ta`ala says:
"Did ye think that ye would enter Heaven without Allah testing those of you who fought hard (in His cause) and remained steadfast?" (3 : 142)
Allah Ta`ala further says:
"Or think ye that ye shall be abandoned, as though Allah did not know those among you who strive with might and main, and take none for friends and protectors except Allah, His Apostle. And the (community of ) Believers? But Allah is well acquainted with (all) that ye do." (9:16)
And Allah Ta`ala says:
"Or do ye think that ye shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: "When (will come) the help of Allah?" Ah Verily, the help of Allah is (always) near!" (2 : 214)
These lines are related to Jihad (Holy war). And Hazoor-e-Akram Salallahu-alaihi wasallam has said:
"An ideal Mujahid is the one who fights with his Nafs (inner self)."
The spirit of Jihad is to fight against the desires of the Nafs and to sacrifice all worldly ambitions for the sake of the Master. The purpose of Jihad against nonbelievers is to safeguard our religion. And this is thus the real spirit of Jihad - to safeguard Islam.
A test of spiritual love:
How can we find out whether we love Hazoor-e-Akram Salallahu-alaihi wasallam more than anything else in the world? It is very easy. All you have to do is to understand the standard required by love. Put your tall claims of love for Hazoor-e-Akram Salallahu-alaihi wasallam to this test and then decide for yourself whom you love most.
The test is: The commands of two beloveds are contradictory in nature. The orders of one are completely opposite to those of the other. If you obey one, you go against the wishes of the other. It is impossible to obey both at one and the same time. If you accede to the wishes of one beloved then the other is displeased. Then in this case the orders of the beloved you obeyed, the one whose wishes you preferred, is more dear to you than the one for whose feelings and orders you cared not. This is very clear and simple. It is not difficult as you think. It is just a matter of common sense. Everyone undergoes this experience daily. Someone tells you to do something. Someone else asks you to do exactly the opposite. You will only obey the one whom you love the most. You won't care at all for the displeasure of the one whom you do not love, or comparatively, love a little bit less.
Put your hearts to this test. Search your souls and then tell me honestly. Do you really love Allah Ta`ala more than anything else in the world?
The demands of your wife, parents, brothers, sisters, relatives, acquaintances, friends and officers are usually contradictory to the commands of Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Salallahu-alaihi wasallam. Likewise the demands of your Nafs too are contradictory. And these very same claims and desires of your Nafs are the most dangerous ones.
"The human soul is certainly prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow His mercy." (12 : 53)
Ya Allah! For the sake of your Prophet Hazrat Yusuf Alaihissalam who said this, for the sake of the state of his heart when he said this, for the sake of this saying have mercy on our souls. Save us from the evil of our Nafs.
If you obey the orders of Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Salallahu-alaihi wasallam in all circumstances, in spite of all opposition then only will your claim of faith and love be acceptable. Your wife or husband, children, parents, relatives, friends, rulers, in fact the whole world may be pleased or offended, whatever happens, the only desire your heart should be not to displease the eternal Beloved, Allah Ta`ala. This should be the desire, the yearning and the concern of your heart that Allah Ta`ala may not be offended at any cost. You should willingly sacrifice the approval of the whole world for the sake of Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Salallahu-alaihi wasallam. You should not care for the disapproval of even a single person.
If the whole world is angry, worry not,
Only the wishes of the Beloved matter;
Make a decision once and for all,
What's it you have to do and what doesn't matter. (Translation of urdu poem)
The desires for evil which are born in your heart should be dealt with in the same way. The orders of Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Salallahu-alaihi wasallam are in direct confrontation with the orders of your Nafs. Your Nafs tempts you to commit various sins. Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Salallahu-alaihi wasallam forbid you to go even near them. On one side are the commands of Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Salallahu-alaihi wasallam and on the other are the demands of your Nafs. In such cases if you do not give in to the demands of your Nafs but instead obey the Divine commands then your claim of love and faith are true. You really do love Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Salallahu-alaihi wasallam. Your Nafs may suffer a great deal, but you bear this suffering for the sake of your true Beloved, then your claim is true.
There are three types of demands of the Nafs:
1. The first kind is the craving for apparent sins, such as drinking, gambling, bribery, immorality, lasciviousness, dealings in Sood (interest). Forbidden professions such as those of banks and insurance companies, prohibited businesses, dancing and music, sculpture, photography, keeping portraits and pictures, watching television and films, telling lies, backbiting, false accusations, slandering, craftiness, deception, non-observance of purdah in women, indecent exposure by them, all are included in this type. From all these apparent evils, the worst of all is to assume the appearance of a rebel i.e. shave off the beard completely or to trim it shorter than the required size. Hazoor-e-Akram (Sallallahu-Alayhiwasallam) has enumerated the reasons why the people of Hadhrat Loot (Alayhis-salaam) were punished and then completely destroyed. Among these were shaving of the beard, covering the ankles by the men, indulging in song and dance. For these misdeeds the people of Hadhrat Loot Alayhis-salaam were annihilated. This Hadeeth is mentioned in Tafseer Durr-e-Mansoor. People think that the keeping of a beard is only a Sunnah, while the fact is that Hazoor-e-Akram Salallahu-alaihi wasallam has specifically ordered the Muslims to grow a beard. It is not enough to keep a beard but people have been ordered to grow a beard to its prescribed length. It is because of this injunction that all the four Imams mutually agree upon the growing of a beard. There is a treatise on this subject by Hazrat Sheikh-ul-Hadith, Maulana Muhammad Zakariah Rahmat-Ullah-Ta`ala. In it is a detailed collection of all the Ahaadith and the tenets of Fiqah (Islamic jurisprudence) as stated by all the four Imams, i.e. Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Shafi`ee, Imam Abu Humbal, Imam Maalik. The title of the book is "The Shara`ee Importance of a Beard." To keep a beard less than a handful in length is a great sin. It is worse than all the other sins.
To keep a beard less than a handful in length is a great sin. It is worse than all other sins. There are quite a few reasons for this. Some are:
i) It is an open rebellion against Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Sallallahu-alaihi wasallam. The government of a country can pardon the most heinous crime but not rebellion. The punishment of a rebel is death. Hazoor-e-Akram Sallallahu-alaihi wasallam says:
"All of my followers can be pardoned, but not those who commit sins blatantly and openly."
If a person does not fast during the holy month of Ramadhan, he is not punished by being put to death. But if a person eats and drinks in public then it is the duty of the Muslim government to hang him as he is openly rebelling against Sharee`ah and insulting Islam.
ii) All other sins are of a temporary nature, but the sin of shaving off or trimming a beard is evident on the face of a person twenty-four hours a day. A person may be in his own home, or outside it in a mosque, or in the market place; he may be awake or sleeping, he may be offering his prayers or fasting, this sin is visible on his face. Just think about it. A sin of which you cannot get rid of even in sleep or during your prayers, how dangerous it must be? It is liable to destroy life in the Hereafter too.
iii) This sin of shaving or trimming a beard is now taken very lightly. Most people do not even consider it a sin. When a sin is considered not to be a sin at all or when it is taken very lightly, it enters the realm of Kufr (Atheism).
iv) When a sin is not considered a sin, or when it is taken lightly then people do not ask Allah Ta`ala's forgiveness for it. They do not repent it nor do they renounce it.
v) To alter the masculine facial features and change them to feminine ones is actually objecting against Allah Ta`ala's decree. It indicates your displeasure in being created a man by Him.
vi) Removing the symbol of manhood and changing the face to look like that of a woman, this has a psychological effect on manly vigour, valour and wisdom. Allah Ta`ala has given a man superiority over a woman only through these qualities. These manly traits are inevitably affected when a man shaves off or trims his beard. Psychological philosophy is a universally accepted doctrine. To purposely waste the above mentioned manly gifts and blessings of Allah Ta`ala is a great sin and sheer ingratitude too.
I often wonder how people have the courage to visit the Haram Shareef with their faces likened to those of rebels. Visiting the house of Allah Ta`ala and from there going on to present themselves before the greatest benefactor of humanity Hazoor-e-Akram Sallallahu-alaihi wasallam and the face of a foe?? These people are not even afraid of the wrath of Allah Ta`ala and Hazoor-e-Akram Sallallahu-alaihi wasallam!! With the same faces they even visit Arafaat (name of a place about twelve miles from Makkah where the pilgrims halt and perform Hajj. They alter their faces to look like rebels and then they hope for Divine Blessings. What self-deception!! In the Holy Quraan this is termed as Gharoor. In Arabic, Gharoor means deception. Thus these people practise deceit. The same is the case of women. They do not observe Purdah even when visiting the Holy land. In fact they expose themselves more than usual.
Non-observance of Purdah by ladies, songs and music, photographs, pictures and paintings are the very basis of all the evils found in society. They are the root cause of all kinds of shamelessness, immorality, and obscenity. They destroy life in this world and in the Hereafter too.
It is the unanimous verdict of all the wise men of the world that music is the incentive for adultery. It is a trap of Satan by which he lures people to immorality. At times like these when the Nafs makes demands we should think whether we are giving in to it or obeying the orders of Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Sallallahu-alaihi wasallam. As I have already said, if we are disobeying the Divine commands then our claim of love for Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Sallallahu-alaihi wasallam is totally false.
2. The second are the cravings of the Nafs for latent or hidden sins. These are even more dangerous than the first kind. The reason is that a person who commits visible or apparent sins does consider himself a wrong -doer. People also condemn him. The fear for his honour or the fear of condemnation by others may prevent a person from committing sins, or it may at least curtail his activities to some extent. On the other hand a person who indulges in hidden sins does not consider himself to be sinner at all. Among such sins are love for wealth, lust for power, arrogance, haughtiness, jealousy, hypocrisy etc. A victim of these evils does not consider himself to be a sinner. Thus these evils are more dangerous as these are the sins of the heart. The cure and the disease of the body depends upon the cure and disease of the heart. Furthermore, the third reason why these sins are so dangerous is that it is very difficult to give them up.
I once raised my eyes to look at the gathering before me. Without naming names I told the people how many of them were suffering from different concealed sins. That day I had purposely looked at the gathering, but today I do not need to do so. Unintentionally I can perceive a number of people who are suffering from arrogance and conceit. Because of these sins they often lose their tempers and anger is a sign of arrogance.
My eldest son suffered from asthma as a child. He was being treated by certain doctor. After a visit or two, he asked to see the child. I took him along. The doctor started writing the prescription without even examining the child. Thinking that he must have forgotten I reminded the doctor that I had brought the patient with me. He answered that he had already glanced at the child's face and determined the nature of the disease.
So just as a physician can determine the nature of a disease by merely looking at the patient's face, in the same way a spiritual doctor can diagnose and cure the diseases of the heart. In fact, sitting thousands of miles away, he can identify the disease just by looking at the handwriting of the letter-writer.
Masha-Allah, today I can see here a large number of patients suffering from arrogance, conceit and bad-temper. I am not saying Masha-Allah at the disease, what I mean is Masha-Allah all of them have taken admission in this hospital. May Allah Ta`ala cure us from these diseases for the sake of this congregation. These are devastating diseases. Ya Allah! Save us from such deadly diseases for the sake of the people gathered here. Ya Allah! Protect us! Help us!
People suffering from such hidden ailments have the outward appearance of very pious men. To look at them it would seem as if Hadhrat Khizr Alaihissalam himself were coming along. Hidden inside them is such vileness that only Allah Ta`ala can protect us. There is a couplet about such people:
The one I thought my guide to heaven,
When revealed was but Satan himself. (Translation of Urdu poem)
I am no poet but sometimes I am inspired to poetry. There was a time when I was fond of composing poetry. A virtuous, learned man saw a dream concerning myself. He saw a holy man reciting the following verse of the Holy Quraan:
"And We have not taught him to say poetic verses"
I took it as Divine indication to gain the knowledge of the Holy Quraan. Pray that according to this revelation may Allah Ta`ala grant me the knowledge of the Holy Quraan. May He grant me the true enjoyment of the Quraan. Pray that may Allah Ta`ala help me in acting upon it and thus to turn this dream into a reality. Since this incident I gave up writing poetry, but still, sometimes when I am inspired I compose a line or two.
Actually this couplet had been composed with the religious organisation of Chan Basway Shwer in mind. A detailed introduction to this organisation is to be found in my pamphlet, A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. This pamphlet has now been included in the first volume of my treatise, (Ahsan-ul-Fatawa.)
3. The third type of sins are those deceptions of the Nafs and Satan by which sins are presented in the guise of worship. This is called a Bid`ah (innovation in religion).
When people adopt the forms of worship which have not been prescribed by Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Sallallahu-alaihi wasallam, they are interfering in religion. Considering these rites and customs to be Thawab (reward) and including them in religion is actually a rebellion against Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Sallallahu-alaihi wasallam. This is in fact setting up a parallel government. Opposing the commandments of Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet, the Nafs says, you should include some of my orders in it. In fact it says that my orders are more effective than those of Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Sallallahu-alaihi wasallam. Thus the Nafs and Satan say that out government is not only equal to but superior than the government of Allah Ta`ala and His Prophet Sallallahu-alaihi wasallam. Accordingly, this is what is happening in the world today. The traditional rites and rituals performed at the death of a person are mostly Bid`aat (innovations in religion). People consider them to be even more important than their obligatory daily prayers. You will find many people who do not offer their Salaat (prayers) but consider it a compulsory duty to observe Teeja (third day of mourning) and Chaleeswan (fortieth day of mourning).
The demand of the Nafs and Satan is that you must consider us not only equal to but superior than Allah Ta`ala himself. They ask you to obey their laws instead of the Divine laws of Allah Ta`ala.
This is not the moment to refute the rites performed on the third and then the fortieth day of mourning. Neither am I going to explain the right methods of prayers for the dead. I have often explained these matters. Today my purpose is to explain the evil cravings of the Nafs only. In a nutshell, these cravings are of three kinds. The first is the yearning for apparent sins. The second is for hidden sins. This type is comparatively more dangerous than the first. The third kind is to present sins in the guise of worship. This is the most dangerous one of all because it actually means setting up your own government parallel to the sovereignty of Allah Ta`ala.
Now consider this very carefully. If your Nafs craves for one of the sins mentioned above, do you crush it for the sake of Allah Ta`ala? If you succeed in the struggle with your Nafs, that is, if you give preference to the commands of Allah Ta`ala over the demands of your Nafs then your claim of Iman in Allah Ta`ala is admissible. But this is not what us happening in the world today. Whenever there is a conflict between the orders of Allah Ta`ala and those of the Nafs, the orders of the Nafs are complied with. The orders of Allah Ta`ala are set aside. This then means that your Iman does not come up to the standard set down by Hazoor-e-Akram Sallallahu-alaihi wasallam. This kind of faith is thus not worthy of being accepted.
Allah Ta`ala says:
"Allah Ta`ala declares that there are two kinds of people. There are those people who have created their own gods besides Allah Ta`ala. Then there are the faithful ones who love Allah Ta`ala more than anything else in this world. Allah Ta`ala has divided mankind into only two types. There is no other kind in between. There are those who love others more than Allah Ta`ala. Then there are the second type of people whose love for Allah Ta`ala exceeds their love for everything else in this world." (Al-Quraan, 2 : 165)
The test of love to which I referred to earlier may be repeated here again. On one hand are the orders of Allah Ta`ala and on the other are your wife or husband, father, children, relatives, teachers, ruler and the worst enemy your Nafs itself. Whom do you obey? If you prefer to obey the commands of Allah Ta`ala then your claim of faith is true. Verily it is faithful ones who love Allah Ta`ala to the exclusion of everything else and follows His orders unhesitatingly. Take a few minutes and think about this injunction just now. Think about it after you leave. It is necessary to think about it because without deep thought nothing is possible. Ask Allah Ta`ala for His help. Let me tell you a brief prayer:
"Allahuma inna nasta`eynuka `ala ta `atik"
Memorise it. After every Salat, recite this prayer at least three times. When you raise your hands for the prayers, ask Allah Ta`ala to fulfil this prayer too. Make a request, entreat Him. Don't just read it out like a parrot. Nowadays, people just read out or they just offer lip-service to Allah Ta`ala. They do not beg Allah Ta`ala for something. There is a vast difference between reciting and requesting. Even a parrot can recite. Make it memorise some words and it will keep on repeating them without comprehending their meaning. If someone keeps on uttering the words of a prayer just like a parrot, then it is not a supplication, for the prayer to be answered. A prayer in the true sense means that you must concentrate with your whole heart and mind. You must imagine yourself in the court of Allah Ta`ala. Considering yourself in His presence you must ask him, supplicate Him with deep humility. What should you beg for? I will tell you. Let us pray all pray,
"Ya Allah! We ask for your help in obeying your orders. Without your assistance we don't have the courage to do anything. We are weak, feeble and frail. Our Nafs, Satan and the evil environment are all gaining ascendancy over us. Ya Allah! Help us to save ourselves from disobeying you. Have mercy on our humility and infirmity. Ya Allah! Support us, assist us, for we are helpless without Your help."
Who is more Wise? The aged or the guided?
In a letter, a young man has complained about his father who is addicted to drinking. He also indulges in other evils. The young man writes that he used to offer his prayers five times a day. His father came to know about it. He asked his sons Christian tutor to prevent his student from praying. The young man writes, inspite of everything, I kept on offering my daily prayers secretly. As I grew into a young man I kept a beard. At this all the members of my family particularly my father, became furious. Everyone started asking me whether I had gone mad. Please tell me that those people who have a deep aversion for Salat, who hate a face similar to that of Hazoor-e-Akram Sallallahu-alayhi wasallam and Allah forbid consider the keeping of a beard madness, is any vestige of their faith left?
This letter is the reason why I am asking all of you gathered here to offer this Du`a daily:
"Allahuma inna nasta`eynuka `ala ta `atik"
"Ya Allah! Unless you assist us, help us, protect us, we cannot do anything."
It is generally said that a father is wiser than his children. This is because he is mature in age and because wisdom increases as one grows older.
It is generally said that a father is wiser than his children. This is because he is mature in age and because wisdom increases as one grows older. In the case cited above (Last weeks issue), just the opposite has happened. A child is being nurtured by religion. He is being brought up iin accordance and in obedience to the wishes of his Master. Then the father finds out, his wisdom says that praying and assuming the face of a true Muslim is mere stupidity. There is the fathers bitter hatred for Islam and on he cotuary are his own son's deep love and strong inclination towards Islam. Lo! Both are but an indication of Allah Ta`ala's greatness!
"(Allah) Brings forth the living from the dead and bringer forth the dead from the living..." (Al-Quraan, : )
Now-a-days the eminence of Allah Ta`ala is being manifested in this way that the living are arising from the dead and vice-versa. People should learn a lesson from it. The children of the learned, the pious and the saintly are forsaking religion, while the children of the sinful, wicked, the faithless and drunkards are becoming truly religious. This is nothing but a manifestation of the power of Allah Ta`ala. Allah Ta`ala says that the bestowing of piety is in no one's power but Mine. If someone is blessed with piety he must not think that it is the result of his own efforts. Otherwise Allah Ta`ala may punish him by taking away his holiness. Everything is in His Power. Therefore memorise this Du`a and render it daily.
"Ya Allah! We beseech You in Your favour, for Your help in carrying out Your orders."
The greatest form of worship is to renounce all sins.
"Ya Allah! We try to forswear all evils, we try to obey Your order, to gain Your approval, please help us. In all our dealings we ask for Your Divine assistance"
You should keep on praying to Allah Ta`ala for protection against all sensual desires. You must be wary of Allah Ta`ala's displeasure. At every moment of your life you should be anxious to please your Creator. It has already been proven by the Holy Quraan and Hadeeth that a person who loves Allah Ta`ala and his Prophet Sallallahu-alayhi wasallam to the exclusion of everything else, only his faith will be acceptable. It has also been established that the criteria of love is that when there is conflict between the orders of two beloveds, a person only obeys the commands of the one he loves most. Everyday one must test his Nafs according to this criterion. You must think whether you are really sacrificing the desires of your Nafs for the sake of Allah Ta`ala. If you are doing so then you will be rewarded by the blessings of Allah Ta`ala. Give thanks to Allah Ta`ala, but if on the contrary you are giving preference to the desires of your Nafs, if you are carrying out its orders and disobeying the orders of Allah Ta`ala, then He is not going to except your Iman. You must try to improve. Here are some golden rules to guide you whenever you face conflict between the orders of Allah Ta`ala and your Nafs. When a person requires the courage to battle against his Nafs then these rules prove extremely effective. Some very useful maxims have alrady been published in my booklet 'Tark-e-Gunah' (How to renounce sins) and 'Hifazat-e-Nazar' (Protection of the Sight). Consult them too.
Today since the topic is love, I am giving you some guidlines in poetic form.
Today since the topic is love, I am giving you some guidlines in poetic form.
1. Hadhrat Majzoob Quddisoos-Siruhu says:
"If You are not mine, nothing on earth is mine,
If you are mine, the earth is mine, the sky is mine." (Transation of a poem in Urdu)
Whenever there is a conflict between the orders of Allah Ta`ala and someone else, start reciting these lines and concentrate on Allah Ta`ala:
"O my true love! If the whole world is pleased with me, but you disapprove, then eevrything is worthless. But if I am blessed with yoour favour, then I care nothing for the disapproval and condemmnation of the whole world."
2. Another couplet from Hadhrat Majzoob:
"If the whole world is angry, worry not,
Only the wishes of the Beloved matter;
Make a dicision once and for all,
What's it you have to do and what doesn't matter." (Transation of a poem in Urdu)
Whenever a person or your Nafs entices you to evil, start reciting these lines. Address your Nafs: "O wretched one! Whether you are pleased or offended, whether you feel comfortable or uneasy, whatever happens, I will not obey you. I wish to gain the approval of my Maker. I do not choose to enter Hell just because of you. Why should I suffer the eternal tortures of hell for the sake of a few minutes of carnal pleasure? I am not such a fool!"
Admonish your NAfs in this manner. Unless you make it a habit to take your Nafs to account, you cannot reform yourself. Make a note of it. It is a very effective remedy. Reprimand your Nafs in this manner:
"O wretched Nafs how evil are your demands! How repulsive and wicked you yourself are! You want me to offend my Maker, forgo the bounties of Paradise and go to hell for your sake? Never! O despicable Nafs, I cannot destroy my blissful life in Heaven just for you."
You always look at the people around you with critical eyes. You are busy trying to find faults in them as if they were your enemies, but you do not consider your Nafs to be an enemy. You do not admonish it or take it to account. That is why it gains control over you. Declare it your worst enemy and challenge him. Only will you be able to reform him.
A holy man was sitting all by himself. He was talking to himself,
"Neither am I your servant, nor are you my God, why should I obey you?"
a person nearby heard him. He went straight to the king and told him what he had heard. The king ordered the holy man to be brought before him at once. When he arrived the king asked why he had been uttering such blasphemous words. The pious man answered,
"It is quiet true that I was saying these words. But I was misunderstood. Actually my Nafs was exhorting me to commit a certain sin. I was not listening to it. It was using all its force to persuade me. It was compelling me to commit the sin. So I adressing my Nafs, I started saying, O hateful Nasfs, nirther am I your servant, nor are you my God, why should I obey you? I was admonishing my Nafs in this way. Thus was I misunderstood."
3.The following verses are from Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi RahmatulLahu-Ta`ala.
Addresing the embelishments of this world he says,
"Let go of me, Leave me alone Go away from my heart, I ask you to leave my heart alone. Stay way from it, your charms and attractions cannot lure me."
I recite these verses as a correct measure for my Nafs. They are unique and very very effective. They cleanse your heart from evrything unrelated to Allah Ta`ala. In fact these verses are just another interpretation of,
If we can only comprehend the essence of this Kalimah and then engrave it on our hearts, we will be able to reach our true destination easily.
All the charms, temptations, carnal desires of this world; all the relatives and devils who invite you to indulge in sins; the evil society itself and the most wicked your Nafs, consider all of them as enemy forces. Who is commanding them? Your own Nafs! Keeping in veiw, addres them like this:
"All of you who tempt me to the sensual pleasures of this world, go away from my heart and leave it alone. There is no room for you in it. This heart is sacrnsanct and belongs only to its beloved, Allah Ta`ala. I repeat, go away and set my heart free. it is yours no longer."
4.A unique couplet from Hadhrat Sayyad Sulayman Nadvi RaheemuhulLahu-Ta`ala:
"Daur baash afkar-e-batil, daur bash, aghyar-e-dil, Suj rahahe mah-e-khubaan keliye darbar-e-dil" (Urdu poem)
Here the word 'Aghyar' (rivals) is such that it induces ecstasy in a person. I pray that you may relish it and enjoy it as much as I do. The court of my heart is being adorned for my one and only Beloved. All the others are rivals. Except the thought of gaining approval of Allah Ta'ala and the anxiety for the life in the Hereafter, all other thoughts are false and futile. These futile thoughts and rivals are being told to keep away from the heart. There is no room for anyone in it except the true Beloved.
Here is another verse. By reciting it, Insha-Allah the love of Allah Ta`ala will prevail over all the rest.
5.Here is another verse. By reciting it, Insha-Allah the love of Allah Ta`ala will prevail over all the rest.
The whole city abounds in sweethearts,
Alone am I and the thoughts of my love,
Helpless, for my eyes refuse to behold,
Anyone else except my love, my love." (Translation of a Persian poem)
6.There is another excellent couplet by Mutanabbi:
"The love of my Beloved has reached the very depths of my heart. My heart has thus become impervious to the denunciations of the people. Their rebukes merely glance off the surface of my heart. The love of my Beloved remains enshrined within" (Translation of a Arabic poem)
An unending chain of verses on love and adoration is before me, but it is nearly time for Maghrib (evening prayers). In the end here is a couplet whose effect is nothing less than a miracle. Zikr-ulLah (glorification of Allah Ta`ala) and Fikr (contemplation) should be excessive to such an extent that:
"The cup stops for a moment, I die,
My life is nothing but a round of wine." (Translation of a Urdu poem)
The meaning of Fikr is to meditate upon the Omnipotence of Allah Ta`ala. It means to contemplate upon the blessings of Allah Ta`ala showered upon us. In other words, we should think constantly about Divine power, perfection and Magnificence of Allah Ta`ala.
In the Holy Quraan it is said:
"O ye who believe, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what (provision) He has sent for the morrow. Yea, fear Allah Ta`ala: For Allah is well acquainted with (all) that ye do. And be not like those who forget Allah and He made them forget their own souls! Such are the rebellious transgressors!" (Al-Quraan, 59 : 18)
The fear of Allah Ta`ala is akin to love; for it means the fear of offending Him or doing anything wrong that will forfeit His pleasure. This is Taqwa, which implies self restraint, guarding ourselves from all sin, wrong injustice and the positive doing of good. The positive side of Taqwa or fear of Allah is here emphasised. It is not merely a feeling or an emotion: It is an act, a doing of things which becomes a preparation and provision for life in the Hereafter.
In these lines of the Holy Quraan, Allah Ta`ala has given us the guidelines of contemplation. This is to say that, we should ponder as to what we have done in our life in the Hereafter. Have we collected the wealth of good deeds to take us to paradise or Allah forbid are ours only the vices and transgressions leading our way to Jahannam (Hell)? You must also remember that Allah Ta`ala is Omniscient, He knows the very thoughts of your heart.
In the second Ayah, Allah Ta`ala has given us the precepts of Zikr. The meaning of the Ayah is that the people who forgot Allah Ta`ala, He made them forget their own selves as a punishment. Meaning, that they indulged in sins and evils to such an extent that they completely destroyed their life in this world and their life in the Hereafter. If a person forgets his ownself, it means that he has ceased to care about his own betterment and has chosen the path of destruction. Allah Ta`ala further says that these people are the transgressors, the sinners. Thus it is an unalterable fact that a person who forgets Allah Ta`ala, gets dragged down in to the mire of sins and evil. He thus becomes a transgressor. Consequently, to save yourself from sins and wickedness, you should never forgett Allah Ta`ala. And how can that be done? By thinking of Him constantly and worshipping Him every moment of every day.
Another thing to consider is that Allah Ta`ala says:
"O ye believers, be not like the ones who forgot Me."
He has not said, "Be not the ones who forget Me."
The difference is that it is certainly not possible for A Muslim to forget Allah Ta`ala. That is why He has said do not be like the ones who forgot Me. There is an inherent warning in this statement. When you are being warned not to become like the ones (the Kuffar; non-believers) who forgot, then what would be the fate of the Believers (Muslims) who forgot Allah Ta`ala?
In short Allah Ta`ala has given the prescription for avoiding sins. Excessive Zikr and Fikr must be an integral part of your daily lives. One way of doing this is Zikr, i.e. to recount the characteristics of Allah Ta`ala with deep concentration for hlf an hour or so everyday. Every night, before going to sleep, meditate upon the transitoriness of this world. Think about how you will presentt yourself before Allah Ta`ala and how will you acountt for your deeds before Him on the Day of Judgement.
A continual observation of these two rules shal Insha-Allah Ta`ala give you such pleasure tthat the treasures in the whole world will be nothing in comparison.
A tranquil heart lost
in the beauty of my Beloved,
Is better than one hundred
with the fret and fury of kingship." (Translation of Urdu poem)
My respected father (rahmatulLahu-alayh) was fervently reciting this couplet before his death. He was repeating it again and again:
O my Dearest O my Beloved,
Enfold me in the bosom of Your love" (Translation of Urdu poem)
His hands and feet were growing cold and life was leaving them. He was saying to himself, but he was reciting tthe above couplett with such fervour and enthusiasm that it amazed everyone gathered there. "SubhanalLah!" (Allah be praised), what a blessed death!
May Allah grant us all of such an auspicious and delightful death (Ameen).
"It is an ecstatic moment, come now O Death!
In my heart is my love, in me eyes His splendour." (Translation of Urdu poem)
It is only the blessing of Excessive Zikr and Fikr that:
"When Thy slave leave this world O Lord,
In his heart Thy thoughts, on his lips Thy Name." (Translation of Urdu poem)
Leave me my friends, enquire naught of me,
My Lord for me is enough, O world ask not of me,
Its my self, absorbed in my Lord night and day,
Let no one care for me, enquire of me." (Translation of Urdu poem)
I would, but I cant forsake thy thoughts, O my Lord,
Instead of breath, may I breathe thy name, O my Lord,
May I become thy thought personified, O my Lord,
May every nerve in my body utter thy name, O my Lord." (Translation of Urdu poem)
As long as I have a heart
As long as I have a life,
Thy thoughts be in my heart
Thy name be on my lips, My lord!
Rapture may dull my senses
My intellect be of no use
But my heart shall not lose
E`en for a moment your thought, my Lord." (Translation of Urdu poem)
Keep these prescriptions in constant use and Insha-Allah they will prove to be extremely beneficial.
Let us now pray to All Mighty Allah:
O Allah!... For the sake of the people gathered here in your cause,
For the sake of your Graciousness in granting us the ability to gather here,
For the sake of the Divine purpose for which we have gathered here,
For the sake of this auspicious day- Friday, and the auspicious evening time- before Maghrib,
For the sake of this Holy place- the Masjid, and the Holy month- Rabee-ul-Awwal which is the month to remember and show our love for your beloved Prophet SallalLahu-alayhi wasallam,
O Allah! Those who are fulfilling the obligations of love, for the sake of the love in their hearts,
O Allah! Help us in acting upon the rules of Love, we have just been told.
O Allah! Make them effective for us, cleanse our hearts of the love of others,
Fill our hearts with the radiance of Your love and the love of Your beloved Prophet, Muhammad SallalLahu-alayhi wasallam.
O Allah! Grant us that supreme love which will prevent us from disobeying You,
Grant us Your Divine love, which may compel us to obey your commands,
Bless us with that love which may please You and be acceptable to you.
O Allah! Save us from the temptations of the Shaytaan and our Nafs,
We are but weak and frail,
Guide us, Help us!
Hadhrat Jaabir (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The distinguishing factor between kufr and Imaan is the deliberate neglect of Salaat."(Muslim).
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