Spirituality in a material world by Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq
Even if you observe another individual committing the worst of vices you should not despise him/her, nor should you consider yourself nobler. It is very much possible that the perpetrator of the vice may resort to sincere repentance while the one who despised the sinner become ensnared in the traps of nafs and Shaitan. One has no certainty regarding one’s end. One, therefore has no basis for regarding another with contempt.
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi
In the same way that we are taught to dress appropriately and correct our outward appearance, we are taught not to ignore the internal modesty, bashfulness, sincerity and truthfulness. Guarding our tongues and hearts from diseases that are far more detrimental than inappropriate dress is sometimes ignored or overlooked even by those who appear religious. The worst experience is to be cheated, deceived, abused or sworn at by those who appear so godly. Sadly, we have reached a stage where a growing number of people mistrust those who appear religious more quickly than they would do others.
Never hide behind religious garb or appearance to defraud others or display unacceptable behaviour. It sets a very bad precedent and tarnishes the image of the true believers. We should go the extra mile to ensure that we live up to what we are taught. Thinking that once we have the proper dress, we can do as we please is not what we are taught.
Let us realise that we must develop BOTH the inside and the outside and not just one.
Mufti Ismail Menk
Bishr Hafi was from among the great saints. However, initially he used to be intoxicated with wine. Once he found a piece of paper on the road on which bismillah was written. He picked it up with love, placed it on his eyes, respectfully applied perfume to it and kept it away with reverence. Then he drank some wine and slept away.
In the meantime Hasan Basri was inspired that he should give glad tidings to Bishr Hafi and bring him out of the tavern.
With the command of Allah, Hasan Basri went to the tavern. The people looked at him astounded and asked him what the mater was. Why did he come to the tavern? He replied, “You people are correct but I have not come here on my own. Allah has sent me to fetch Bishr Hafi. Therefore tell me where he is”
The people pointed out Bishr Hafi who was lying down in a stupor. Hasan Basri went to him and saw that he was in a state of negligence and intoxication. He somehow managed to revive him and take him away.
When he has completely recovered, he conveyed the glad tidings of Allah to him. A sound from the unseen was heard, “O Bishr, you respected My name. Therefore I increased your honour. You purified My name and applied fragrance to it. I have purified you of sins as a result and applied My fragrance to you.”
In this manner, in a few moments he changed from alcoholic to a perfect Wali. Glory be to Allah! What mercy He has. By respecting the name of Allah, He granted him admission to the group of the Auliya.
The mercy of Allah does not require any excuse
while the power of Allah requires an excuse.
This was in reality the favour of Allah otherwise what power does man have?
Source: The virtues of Bismillah by Mufti Shafi Sahib rahmatullah alayhi via Sufi Zikr
1. He was among the Tab-e-Taabieen having had the honour of meeting a large number of senior Tabieen.
Hunger was his salient feature. His diet was mainly dried out bread immersed in water. He would say: “One who is contented with dry bread is never dependent on others.” Sometimes extreme hunger would drive him to the home of Hadhrat Hasan Basri who would become delighted to receive him. One of his sayings is:
“Fortunate is the man who wakes up in the morning hungry, sleeps hungry and remembers Allah Ta’ala in his hunger.”
2. A man asked for some naseehat. Muhammad Waasi’ said: “Adopt abstinence (zuhd). Abandon greed. Know that all people are dependent. Do not ask your needs from anyone. If you follow this advice, you will become independent and you will acquire the kingdom of both worlds.”
3. Once he said to maalik Bin Dinaar:”It is more difficult to guard the tongue than guarding gold and silver.”
4. Someone enquired: “How are you?” Muhammad Waasi’ said: “What can I say about a man whose life is decreasing and sins increasing?”
5. He said: “A Saadiq (true saint) is not a perfect Saadiq as long as his khauf (fear) and raja (hope) are not equal. (There should be neither excess or deficiency in these attributes. A perfect balance between the two is necessary excess or deficiency leads to transgression of the limits.)
Source: Scattered Pearls
1. Hadhrat Maalik Bin Dinaar (rahmatullah alayh) was a contemporary of Hadhrat Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayh). Once he got into a ferry boat. When the boat was in the middle of the river, the pilot asked for the fee which Maalik Bin Dinaar was unable to tender. The pilot mercilessly beat him until he became unconscious. When he revived, the pilot threatened to throw him overboard if he failed to make payment. By the command of Allah Ta’ala a shoal of fishes surfaced. Each one had a dinaar (gold coin) in its mouth. Hadhrat Maalik took one dinaar and handed it to the pilot who fell at his feet ashamed, profusely apologizing. Hadhrat Maalik stepped off the boat and walked away on the surface on the water until he was out of sight.
2. Hadhrat Maalik Bin Dinaar was very handsome and extremely wealthy. He lived in Damascus. The following is the episode which led to his reformation. He used to spend time in I’tikaaf in the beautiful Jaami Musjid built by Hadhrat Muaawiyah (رضئ الله عنه ). Once he developed the desire to become the mutawalli (trustee) of the Musjid. He, therefore, decided to remain in the Musjid and engaged in ibaadat to impress the musallis. He spent the whole year in I’tikaaf in the Musjid. Whenever people entered the Musjid they would find him performing Salaat. After one year he came out of the Musjid and heard a voice saying: “O Maalik! Alas! Why don’t you repent. Shame on your year’s of deceptive worship.”
Cleansing his heart from riyaa (show) he passed the entire night in ibaadat. In the morning he saw a group of musallis at the entrance of the Musjid. They were discussing the poor state of the Musjid’s administration. They unanimously decided to appoint Maalik Bin Dinaar as the mutawalli. They said that there was no one better qualified for this post than Maalik Bin Dinaar.
When the group approached Maalik Bin Dinaar, he was engaged in Salaat. After he completed his Salaat, they informed him of their decision to appoint him the mutawalli. When he heard this he said to himself: “O Allah! For a whole year I worshipped you with riyaa, but no one paid any heed to me. Now after a single night’s ibaadat with sincerity, so many people have turned to me by Your command. I take oath by You that I shall not accept this offer.” So saying, he came out of the Musjid and engrossed in ibaadat life-long.
3. In the city of Basrah an extremely wealthy man had died leaving his only daughter. This girl who inherited her father’s entire estate was very beautiful. She went to Hadhrat Thaabit Bunaani (rahmatullah alayh), the renowned saint, and said: “I wish to be married to Maalik Binaar so that I derive aid in ibaadat and the Deen.” Hadhrat Thaabit put this proposal to Hadhrat Maalik Bin Dinaar, but he declined, commenting:”I have abandoned the world. Woman is also part of the world. I have no desire of violating my pledge.”
4. Once while Maalik Bin Dinaar was resting in the shade of a tree, a snake was fanning him with a Narcissus branch.
5. Hadhrat Maalik Bin Dinaar frequently resolved to participate in Jihaad. When finally he acquired the opportunity, he was overtaken by a severe fever which rendered him helpless. Lamenting his fate, he said to himself: “Maalik, if you had any status by Allah, you would not have become ill at such an opportune time.” Full of grief he fell asleep. In a dream he heard a caller saying: “If you had today gone in Jihaad, you would have been captured. The kuffaar would have ruined your Imaan by forcibly feeding you pork. This fever is a beautiful gift for you.” Waking up from his dream, Maalik Bin Dinaar abundantly expressed his gratitude to Allah Ta’ala.
6. Once, after a long spell of illness he went into the bazaar. Due to excessive weakness he was hobbling along. The Sultan with his retinue happened to pass through the bazaar. The soldiers were clearing the street, harshly ordering people to step aside to make way for the royal procession. On account of his weakness, Maalik Bin Dinaar was unable to move quickly. A soldier struck him with a whip. Feeling the sharp pain, Maalik spontaneously exclaimed: “May Allah cut off your hand.” The next day, he saw the soldier laying in the street with his hand cut off. Hadhrat Maalik grieved much for having blurted out the curse.
7. The neighbour of Maalik Bin Dinaar was a physically strong evil young man who caused much distress to people. Once the people complained to Maalik Bin Dinaar about the oppressive conduct of the young man. Maalik Bin Dinaar went to counsel him. The young man responded: “I am a royal servant. No one can tell me anything.” He displayed an evil temper. Maalik said: “I shall complain to the king.” The young man said: “He is most gracious and kind and will not apprehend me.” Maalik Bin Dinaar returned crestfallen.
After some time, the people again complained about the evil and oppressive conduct of the young man. Maalik Bin Dinaar again set off to counsel the young man. Along the way he heard a voice saying: “Do not pursue My friend.” Maalik Bin Dinaar, greatly surprised went to the young man who exclaimed: “You have come again!” Maalik Bin Dinaar said: “I have come to give you glad tidings. Allah Ta’ala says that you are His friend.” The young man said: “If this is so, I give all my wealth in the path of Allah.”
After having contributed his entire estate in the path of Allah, he left, never to be seen again. Maalik Bin Dinaar saw him in Makkah. He had become extremely lean and weak. He was supplicating:
“Allah has called me His friend. I have sacrificed myself for Him with all my heart. I know that His pleasure is in ibaadat. Never shall I displease Him. I repent.”
As he supplicated, his soul departed from his earthly body.
8. Once Maalik Bin Dinaar rent a room next to the home of a Jew. His room was adjacent to the entrance of the Jew’s home. The Jew spitefully always deposited garbage and filth in Maalik’s entrance. Even his musalla would at times be soiled. This treatment continued for a long period, but Maalik Bin Dinaar never complained.
One day the Jew came and said: “Does the garbage I deposit in front of your room not distress you?”
Maalik: “It does distress me, but I wash and clean the place.”
Jew: “Why do you tolerate so much distress?”
Maalik: Allah has promised substantial reward for those who contain their anger and forgive people.”
Jew: “Truly, your Deen is beautiful. It commands toleration of even the hardships presented by enemies.”
The Jew was so affected by the beautiful conduct of Maalik Bin Dinaar that he embraced Islam.
9. Maalik Bin Dinaar visited a man in his death throes. He endeavoured to induce the dying man to recite Kalimah Shahaadat. The only response was: “Ten, eleven–ten, eleven.” The man said: “In front of me is a mountain of fire. When I wish to recite Kalimah Shahaadat, the mountain of fire rushes towards me. Maalik Bin Dinaar enquired about the man’s deeds and he was told that this man dealt in interest and would give less when weighing.
10. Once Maalik Bin Dinaar and Ja’far Bin Sulaimaan were together in Makkah Muazzamah. When Maalik Bin Dinaar commenced the Talbiyah, saying he fainted. When he revived, Ja’far bin Sulaimaan asked the reason for his unconsciousness. Maalik Bin Dinaar said:
“I feared to hear a voice which would respond
(There is no presence for you).”
11. When reciting the aayat
Maalik Bin Dinaar would restless, weep much and say:”If this was not a Qur’aanic aayat, I would not have recited it because it means: Only You do we worship and only You we seek aid, but we worship our nafs and seek aid from other.”
12. Once a woman said to Maalik Bin Dinaar: “You are a man of riyaa.” (Riyaa means to worship in order to impress others.)
Maalik Bin Dinaar: “For the past 20 years no one called me by my name. Finally, you have recognized me.”
13. Maalik Bin Dinaar said:
“A companionship which will be of no benefit on the day of Qiyaamah is futile.”
“A man who indulges in idle conversation and remembers Allah little, lacks knowledge. His heart is blind. His life is ruined.”
14. Maalik Bin Dinaar said that in one of the Divine Scriptures, Allah Ta’ala said:
“The least punishment I give to an Aalim who loves the world is the elimination from his heart of the pleasure of thikr.”
15. After Maalik Bin Dinaar’s demise, a buzrug saw in a dream a scene on Qiyaamah. The angels were leading Maalik Bin Dinaar and Muhammad Waasi’ to Jannat. The buzrug (in his dream) wondered: “Who will be allowed to enter first into Jannat?” Soon he observed that Maalik Bin Dinaar was permitted to enter first. The buzrug commented: “Muhammad Waasi’ was a greater Aalim and enjoyed greater spiritual perfection.” The Angel responded: “True, but Muhammad Waasi’ owned two sets of garments while Maalik Bin Dinaar had only one set. He has therefore been granted prior entry into Jannat.”
By Maulana Hakeem Akhtar Shb
Whatever grace we see of His on the heart,
the heart becomes independent of all wealth.
Our hearts are not in need of all the money of the rich due to the torrential downpour of mercy that we see Allah sending down on our hearts. Whoever makes friends with the elephant trainer has to enlargen his door because the former comes with his elephant. Thus Allah also makes the heart of the person very large who He grants a special radiance and proximity.
Moulana Rumi (Rahimahullâh) says: “The exterior of a saint can be so weak that he dances around due to a mosquito bite, but his interior contains the revolution of the seven heavens.”
Dr. Abdul Hayy (Khalifah of Hadhrat Thanwi) says: “When he passes here, how many worlds pass one’s sight.”
Jigar Muradabadi expresses the same sentiments in the following words: “Sometimes the seven heavens circulate this handful of soil.”
In short, there is so much delight in the name of Allah, that the tongue cannot express it in words. There was a saint, who used to say that he experienced so much pleasure in taking the name of Allah that his mouth would become sweet. He would take an oath that his mouth had indeed become sweet.
Sheikh Muhiuddeen Zakariyya Nawawi (Rahimahullâh) has explained under the term ‘Halâwat Iman’ that Allah grants sweetness of Iman to every person who adopts those practices on which there is promise for it e.g. loving the saints, protecting the gaze etc. However, some people are granted a physical sweetness that can be perceived in the mouth. This is the grace of Allah and is granted to whoever He wishes. This sweetness can be perceived in the heart by everyone. Every person receives an immediate tranquility in the heart.
We should be more concerned about reforming our hearts than our external features if we want to live with peace. Otherwise notwithstanding the air conditioners, we may possess, we will be engrossed in worry and anxiety. The heart will be engulfed in the worries of the kicks and punches of the thousands of rands. The contentment of the interior is not dependent on the contentment of the exterior.
Source: Radio Islam
Shaikh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri (may Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘The aim and objective of spiritual path (sulook) is to make the heart of the seeker yearn for Allah’s pleasure similar to the body’s demand for food. That is, the desire to worship becomes similar to the craving for food and water.
This can only happen when the heart is,
– filled to the brim by the majesty and love of Allah and
– empty from the desires of all that is other-than-Allah (ma-siwa Allah)
Until this love of other-than Allah exists, to the extent that it resists the love and awe of Allah, one can not be true in his search for the Divine pleasure and be able to abstain from all sinful activities thoroughly.
In summary, two things are essential. Firstly, cleansing the heart (takhliya) from all that is ’other’ (-than-Allah) and finally adorning (tajeliya) it with the love and awe of Allah.
Successful accomplishment of these two things results in bestowment of (spiritual) illuminations and other honors from Allah. This is known as taheliya.
Source: Al Ihsan
Life is a matter of just a few days. Muster up some courage and do not fulfil your urge to sin. Make the urge of sin dry up in the rays of the sun of mujahadah (striving) just like how the sun in the sky dries up dung. If you do not fulfill the urge to sin, the light of taqwa will be created. But if a person does not allow the dung to dry up and lets the cattle continue defecating fresh dung, then whatever was dried up by the sun will also become soft and will not be allowed to become dry. The earth which had become hot will now become cold. The bounty of the sun’s rays will be destroyed.
In the same way some people waste the efforts of their Sheikh by not being cautious.
To Allah do I present my complaint.
Source: the 14 harms of casting evil glances by Hazrat Maulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (db)