How does someone know he has reached Wilayat

Q: How does someone know he has reached Wilayat?

A(Mafhoom): Well, theres no clear moment in which a person will be able to discern that they have reached Wilayat. And many times, i think, Wilayat is something that overcomes a person without them being conscious of it. Certainly a salik should not be certainly not be seeking out that moment of discovery of Wilayat. Because we are not seeking Wilayat, we are seeking Allah swt. 

Many of the Mashaikh have written that one of the sign of Wilayat is that our ife is increasing in its correspondence with the Shariah and Sunnah, such that we ourselves are liking the things that Allah swt Likes and we ourselves are disliking the things that Allah swt Dislikes – that is a sign that our heart is moving closer and closer to Wilayat.

 

(Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed db – CII Tazkiya Talk, 26-03-2009)

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7 Steps to do in Sha’ban to Maximize benefit of Ramadan

[Following are rough notes of talk delivered by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed on CII on 28th June’2012. It gives a list of 7 practical and spiritual things to do in Sha’ban to prepare ourselves for a life-changing Ramadan]

Ramadan is the best opportunity to make it easier for us to leave sin, to mend our ways, to patch up with our lord. And the easiest way to make it easy in Ramadan is to work hard in Sha’ban. If you want BEST Ramadan, make this Sha’ban better than your last Ramadan. If you do that, then inshaAllah this Ramadan will be a life changing experience for you, it will take you to a point of no-return. Leave sins such that we never slip in it again, get attached to Allah (swt) and Nabi (sws) such that nothing can detach us. So we must work in Sha’ban.

Previously, we didn’t prepare in Sha’ban. So initial 10days of Ramdan were spent in getting used to fasting physically, next 10 days were spent in getting used to fasting spiritually, and in the last 10 days when we were finally getting some effects, Ramadan ended and we lost all the effect of Ramadan within the first few days of Shawwal. So Ramadan had an effect but no after effect. This year we will make it different. Begin the process in Sha’ban.

Westernized Muslims are deluded by two words: ‘balance’ and ‘moderation’. Because of this we miss out on the depth and intensity that Allah (swt) has put in deen. There is so much potential in deen but we lose out on it because of laziness. If a person is hard-working, can work consistently and put in effort (for dunya) then it is such a shame that when it comes to deen they don’t aspire, they don’t dream, they don’t work-hard, don’t put in effort.

 Take another example: If a person is physically very fit, and off-field they show great athletic capability but when he gets on-field he walks around lazily. Similar is our case. Off-field (dunya) we show our effort, hard-work and potential but when it comes to the real field in our life (which is deen) we have a lazy attitude and come up with words like ‘balance’ and ‘moderation’ to euphemize it.

If you have intention in Sha’ban, and renew it every day, that this Ramadan, I’ll change. This Ramdan I want everything about my life to become according to deen. That’s how strong an intention is needed, because Ramdan is a very strong and intense program. You’ll only be able to benefit fully if you bring an equally intense intention. Like if a person enrolls in a world class university program designed for extreme in-depth study, and says that no I just want to learn a little bit about business or economics then they’ll tell him that look, you wont be able to benefit fully from this program unless you have an intention of really getting into the depth of each subject.

This Ramadan is the month of intense Mercy of Allah (swt). Intense Mercy in two ways: one is that Allah’s mercy is so strong that it is enough to wipe away all of our sins. Allah (swt) makes available to us any and every single aspect of deen in this month, be it tahajjud, sabr, etc. Second way is that in this month, Allah sends down intense mercy, karam, fazal and faiz down to us: shukr, taqwa, haya etc, all are available in Ramadan. Its like a world class chef has displayed every single award-winning cuisine of the world in a buffet but a person walks in the hall and says no I just want to have some crackers and a glass of water. So you see, we are not getting enough nourishment from Ramadan. And going with the analogy, Sha’ban is the month to whet our appetites, to realize how hungry, starved we are, how spiritually malnourished we are. If we make this realization in sha’ban, then insha Allah we can come out of Ramadan fully nourished.

We should think that I am sick of being on and off in my deen, sick of having surges and dips. So many salikeen(seekers of the pleasure of Allah swt) have this problem. They have surges, for days and sometimes for months, they do everything right, their ibadat, adab is right, they are staying away from sins and then all of a sudden they crash and lose everything. Miss fajr, isha, don’t want to make dua, lose interest in salah, don’t want to do tilawat, tasbeeh, zikr. They may languor in that state for days and for some for months. And then, if they Allah (swt) wants to Guide them, He sends them some difficulty to jolt them out and they come out in shock at themselves. How did I let that happen? How could I fall in such sins? It’s something to think about, we are able to go consistently to work 9-5 for many months without taking off, we are able to study all year round, we have consistency when it comes to dunya, but when it comes to deen we are unable to get even a matching level of consistency.

We don’t want to waver, lapse, slip, be consistent in Sha’ban so that in Ramadan, we can become a wali. Remember, we are not here in Ramadan to fast, to stay away from food,drink and lawful relations from fajr to maghrib. We are here to change our entire life.

So this month is about making intention. Don’t under-estimate it. Niyat is a very powerful thing. So in our tips for Sha’ban,

 1. The first one is that we should make continuous niyat.

Now for the more practical tips to do in Sha’ban.

 2. Clear out all things in Sha’ban.

Free yourself up by Ramadan. Ideally we must have finished everything by Rajab, so that we would have had all Sha’ban free as well. But even if now we start, we should sort out our tasks into two categories. Those that need immediate attention should be taken care of now, so that you are not stuck doing them in Ramadan. And those tasks that can be delayed, delay them till after Ramdan (to Shawwal). So put things in Sha’ban or Shawwal. And don’t feel bad that I am going to be so busy in Shawwal.

Let me tell you this (we are going to explain this more when to return to this program after Ramadan), but briefly, if you have a very very busy Shawwal then you have a greater chance of retaining your Ramdan. But if you give yourself two-weeks off and relax then you’ll lose Ramadan very quickly. So, you want to be free in Ramadan as much as possible. For those stuck in 9-5 corporate jobs, should also try to keep their weekends as much free as possible, try to spend time in ai’tikaf as much as possible. And if they can, they should delay tasks till Shawwal.

By clearing things out by Sha’ban, I also mean emotionally. If you have any emotional issue going on in life, relationships with parents, friends or any other person, you should sort out any and all emotional issues now. Have those conversations now so that your spirituality is not hampered by emotional sadness, emotional stress and you are completely focused and ready in Ramadan. Take care of all your huquq-ul-ibad in Sha’ban (ideally it should have been done in Rajab), so that Ramadan is free for Huquq-ul-Allah.

 3. Muhasabah.

We should bring ourselves to task, should run an antivirus on ourselves to check which files in us are infected in us. What sins do we have? Like Hazrat Ji says:

Apnay mann k darichay ko kholiyay, apni asal taswir ko dekhiyay.

With a fine comb, and devastatingly critical eye, analyze ourselves. Try to read your book of deeds. The chapter of sins, the chapter of ghaflat of failure, volumes of shahwat, volumes of hasad, kibr, ujb, we should scrutinize ourselves. And we should keep doing it this whole month so that you get a feeling “ I need to fix myself”. So that in Ramadan, you do fix yourself.

 4. Do nafl fasts in this month.

It comes in a sahih hadith that other than Ramadan, there is no other month in which Nabi (sws) used to fast more than Sha’ban. And ulema have written many wisdoms behind this act of fasting, as to why Nabi (sws) used to fast so much in Sha’ban. Some are :

1. To get back in the groove of fasting physically

2. Also to get back in spiritual groove of fasting.

You wake up for suhoor, you pray tahajjud, and make dua for your Ramadan.-> This is the best way to prepare for Ramadan, to pray in Tahajjud in Sha’ban before that Fajr after which you will have a fast.

3. When you fast, you remember your previous Ramadan.

You remember the duas you made, those duas which you may have forgotten during the whole year, those duas that you didn’t become a sabab of fulfilling them by not working on them.

4. Really, we cannot over-state the benefit of fasting in this month. You should make niyat of nafl or Qada and fast as much in this month as possible.

Monday and thursday are sunnah, also 13-15th of this month are also sunnah to fast. Plus there is the fast of 15th of sha’ban that we will touch upon more next week.

5. It shows Allah (swt) that we are committed to change, to improve.

For many of us, who didn’t come from a practicing muslim family, who didn’t really pray or fast regularly before. So they have a whole list of qada namaz and fasts. Thousands of prayers, and only Allah knows if we will be able to do all of them during our life. But as for Qada fasts, if you sit down and write them out, you’ll see that its actually do-able.

So atleast while fasting in Sha’ban, we can do some Qada fasts, and make dua to Allah (swt) that OAllah! I want to atleast repay this debt I owe you of Qada fasts of Ramadan. That will show Allah (swt) that we are committed to fulfill his commands.

 

Start some of the sacrifices and hard-work now. Hard-work to come on deen, to leave sins. We want to show Allah (swt) that we can do hard-work outside of Ramadan. Don’t wait for Shawwal to show it. Show it now. Do Mujahida.

 

For Salikeen: Show a surge in zikr in Sha’ban.

Or it could be a surge in mujahida of mukhalifat-e-nafs -to control anger, pride, jealousy, lowering gaze. Start this mujahida now.

One way scholars have explained this that: We have three months Rajab, Sha’ban and Ramadan. So if our Rajab is the month of Mujahida and Sha’ban is the month of muraqaba then Ramadan can be the month of Mushahida. Our goal is to reach ihsan.

First level of ihsan is that we do ibadat of Allah (swt) being aware that Allah (swt) is looking at you. This is called muraqaba.

Then the second level of Ihsan is that you do ibadah being aware you are looking at Allah (swt), this is called Mushahada. And to get this Ihsan, we need to do Mujahida.

Another way scholars have also explained this is for Ramadan itself, that the first 10days are mujahida, second 10days are muraqaba and then third 10 days are mushahida. Although we have passed Rajab, we can work on it now. Allah (swt) has made this a process. First we must do mujahida, after we take the first step, do the mujahida,then Allah (swt) sends His fazal. So we want to start our mujahida earlier, so that we can get the fazal earlier.

So, begin our mujahida now. Don’t wait for Ramadan to change. Like I said, try to make this Sha’ban better than your previous Ramadan. Obviously there are going to be some differences. We aren’t going to be fasting this whole month (its actually makrooh to do so) and we cant be praying tarawih either as they are only allowed in Ramadan. But we can engage in nafl fasts and nafl salah e.g Salatut tasbeeh every night to make it more like Ramadan.

 6. The time-table of ibadah that you want, start doing it in Sha’ban. 

Start gradually (increase it to your ideal level). Give yourself a target and make lots of dua to reach it during Ramadan. This year, get on an early start in Ramadan. Closer and closer we get to Ramadan, the more we feel increase in the barakat of Sha’ban and by 15th of sha’ban Allah (swt) has put all the barakat of Ramadan on the horizon and when the first of Ramadan comes, all the fuyuzat are already there.

Lastly, I want to mention a hadith on remembering Allah (Swt) so that we realize the importance of zikr-ul-Allah. You have heard many talks on this and we have previously mentioned many ayahs on this like:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّـهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا

(33:41)

But now I want to mention some ahadith.

 7. Last and final thing: Try to be zakir in Sha’ban, so that you can be Mazkoor in Ramadan. 

If you do fazkuruni today, Allah (swt) will do azkurkum in Ramadan. Even if last Ramadan you were lucky to touch zikr-e-katheer, think that this time, I don’t want a min level of zikr-e-katheer. I want days, months, years, a whole life of zikr-e-katheer not just moments of it. Even if we just get traces of kathrat in this month, then we can spend the whole of Ramadan in Zikr.

One way to get zikr-e-katheer is to sit in gathering s of zikr.

Hadith: No group of people sits remembering Allah (swt) except that they are encompassed by angels and enshrouded by mercy of Allah (swt) and sakina (tranquility) descends upon them and they keep remembering Allah (swt) in this and Allah (swt) remembers them fi mann ‘indahu (to those who are near and dear to Him).

This can be another tafsir of fazkuruni azkurkum: If we sit with people of zikr, we can also get azkurkum. Note that some say by zikr here means salah, but it can’t be salah because it says they sit in zikr. In salah, that’s the least important posture. It can be represented by qiyam, ruku or sajda, but sitting is not identified with salah. So sitting means, sitting doing zikr of Allah (swt). We need to find such people and attach ourselves to them who sit and do zikr of Allah (swt).

Another hadith in Sahih muslim narrated by Abu Hurairah:

Hadith: Those who are mufradoon (those who have adopted solitude) they have surpassed everyone. Sahabah asked that who are these mufradoon. Nabi (sws) replied they are :az-zakireen Allaha katheeran wazzakirat.

This hadith mentions individual, solitary zikr. So we want to sit in solitary zikr and gatherings of zikr. If we do this in sha’ban and Ramadan, then Allah (swt) will give us zikr for the rest of the months as well. May Allah (Swt) guide us to the best of Ramadan.

Wa-akhiru da’wana an alhamdulillahi rabbil ‘alameen

 

Posted in CII talks, Ibadah, Preparing for Ramadan, Ramadan, Sha'ban, Supplication/Making Dua, Tazkya Talks | Leave a comment

Night of 15th Sha’ban & it’s importance

Allah Talah , due to his infinite grace and mercy, presented to His bondsmen some special occasions wherein they have a golden opportunity of earning the mercy and forgiveness of Allah.

Some explicit examples of these special occasions are the nights of Ramadan and Laylatul Qadr. In the same mold is the fifteenth night of Sha’baan. 

Several Ahaadith extol the tremendous merit of this occasion. Amongst them is the fact that countless people are forgiven by Allah during this blessed night. It is due to this reason that this night is called “The night of Bara’at” (i.e. the night wherein judgment of being free from Jahannam and punishment is passed).

SOME AHADITH CONCERNING SHAB-E-BARA’AT

1. It is reported from Hazrat Mau’dh Ibn-e-Jabal (R.A.) that Rasulullah (S.A.W.)said: “On the fifteenth night of Sha’ban Allah bestows his special attention on His entire creation. He then pardons His entire creation except an idolater and one who harbours enmity.’ 

2.  It is narrated from Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr (R.A.) that RasulAllah (S.A.W.) said “Allah looks with special attention towards His creation on the fifteenth night of Sha’baan and forgives all his servants except two categories of people; the person who harbours enmity and a murderer.” 

And countless other such narrations are found. However while some of the narrations regarding Laylatul Bara’ah are weak and may lead one into the error of totally disregarding this wondrous night, we have to see what the understanding of Muhaditheen was regarding these narrations & save ourselves from adopting an attitude that might lead us into missing out on this night’s Barakah.

VIEW OF MUHADITHEEN REGARDING SHAB-E-BARA’AT

“An overview of the various narrations regarding this night lends credence to the acceptability of the virtue of this night. The Reason being that although these narrations are weak, they are numerous and narrated by a number of Sahabah.

Some are such that not much criticism has been leveled at their Sanad (chain of narrators). Ibnu-Hibbaan has included some of these narrations in his ‘Sahih” and Hafiz Mundhiri has remarked regarding the Sanad of some that ‘LA BA’SA BIHI’ (it is acceptable).

Therefore, according to the principal of the Muhadditheen, the excellence of the night of Bara’at is proven from a conjunction of all narrations.  This is the general consensus of the Muhadditheen and Fuqaha and this is correct. 

Even Ibn-e-Taymiyyah, accepts the virtue of the night of Bara’at.  He says: ‘So many Ahaadith and reports exist regarding the excellence of the fifteenth night of Sha’ban that one is compelled to accept that this night does possess some virtue.’ Some of the pious predecessors used to specially devote this night for Salah” -Muhaddith Shaykh Fazl-ur-Rahman al-Azam

VIRTUE OF THIS NIGHT AS ESTABLISHED BY MUHADITHEEN

“The virtue of this night that is established from these Ahaadith is that from the very beginning of the night Allah turns with special mercy and attention towards the creation and forgives those who repent and seek forgiveness. Every Muslim should therefore value this night. Turn towards Allah with sincere regret and shame over sins committed and make a promise never to return to sin again and seek forgiveness from Allah. Seek forgiveness for oneself and the rest of the Muslims, living and deceased. Have the firm hope and resolution in the heart that Allah will surely show mercy and forgiveness.” – Muhaddith Shaykh Fazl-ur-Rahman al-Azam

UNFORTUNATE PEOPLE WHO ARE DEPRIVED ON THIS NIGHT

It is understood from the Ahaadith that even on this night, some servants of Allah are deprived of His forgiveness. They are as follows:

1. Idolaters

2. Those who harbour enmity against others

3. Consumers of alcohol

4. Those who disobey their parents

5. Those who wear their trousers, kurtas, lungis, etc. below their ankles;

6. Those who commit adultery and murderers

7. And those who sever family ties.

We can thus gauge the severity of these sins and the need to perpetually abstain from them as they are so grave that even on an occasion when Allah’s mercy comes to the fore, they still pose an obstacle to our forgiveness.

Every Muslim should consider carefully and if he is involved in any of these sins, he should sincerely repent and seek forgiveness for his sin lest he be deprived of this night.

THE SPECIAL VIRTUE OF THE NIGHT OF BARA’AT

The special virtues of the night of Bara’at are:

1. Contrary to other nights wherein the last third of the night has special blessings and Allah descends to the lowest Heaven during this section of the night, on the night of Bara’at the special rain of the mercy and forgiveness of Allah begins to shower down right from the beginning of the night and continues right up till dawn.

2. The sins of countless of people are pardoned. The numbers of pronouncements seeking out those who want forgiveness far supersede those which occur on other nights.

THE FAST OF THE 15TH OF SHA’BAAN

Whereas the fast of 15th of Sha’ban is not Sunnah, however it was a Sunnah of Nabi SAW to fast a lot in the month of Sha’baan. And if we have uptil now been deprived of this Sunnah, 15th of Sha’baan can be a good chance for us; a night of Ibadah followed up by a day of fasting will inshAllah benefit us spiritually.

Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed, regarding the fast of 15th of Sha’ban states:

“Muhadiseen have viewed the reports about the 15th of Shaban to be transmitted by a chain that is known as ‘hasan’. Ibn-e-Tamiyah himself mentions the amal or the practice of all the great and pious generations of Muslims, that they would make special worship on this night and that they would fast on the day of the 15th of Sha’ban. So, I would encourage generally that the Prophet saw used to increase his fasts in the month of Sha’ban and if someone hasn’t started as yet, starting from the 15th would be a wonderful way to start. Otherwise, it was a year round sunnah of the Prophet saw, that he saw used to fast on the 13th, 14th and 15th of any month.”

The shaykh also states:

“For us, who live extremely busy lives that are distracted from the remembrance of Allah swt, we may need something to snap us into this reality that the month of Ramadan is indeed coming soonand I think for that reason, if nothing else, marking the night before the 15th of Sha’ban with extra ibadat and spending the day of the 15th of Shaban in a state of fasting is even more important and critical for us modernity afflicted Muslims, because we don’t have that Sunnah temperament that we are present and preparing for the month of Ramadan, which for us still seems like a distant future event.

The thing that is critical for many of us that we should spend the night of the 15th of Shaban with as much ibadat as we can and that day in a state of fasting to snap us out of worldly distractions and back into heightened remembrance and awareness of Allah swt and to really make us feel the imminent coming of the month of Ramadan like the Prophet saw felt the imminent coming of the month of Ramadan.”

WHAT IBADAH TO DO IN THIS NIGHT?

A person can do any sort of Ibadah on this night. No nawafil or special Salah of Laylatul Bara’ah are sunnah. One should try to do all sorts of Ibadah; darood, astaghfar, nawafil, zikr, dua etc.

Also no special amal is associated with this night, according to Sunnah.

MAKE SPECIAL DUA ON THIS NIGHT REGARDING SPIRITUAL RIZQ

Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed states:

“There are some Ahadith that mention that the night of 15th Sha’ban is a night in which Allah swt decides the Rizq of the creation for the upcoming year again these ahadith are hasan  in their chain of narration, they are reliably sound but not of utmost soundness. So, it’s not a necessary part of the Deen of Islam that a person believe in this but again we have to look and make our response the way that the muhadiseen and ullema was and it is that the vast overwhelming 95% of all of the mufasireen, muhadiseen, fuqaha, usooleen, auliya-e-kamileen took this to heart and they would make extra prayers and dua to Allah swt to make them a good Rizq in the following year.”

CONCEPT OF RIZQ

Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed:  “We need to understand that the concept of Rizq is much more than just monetary wealth and our sustenance, it includes first and foremost our spiritual rizq: that how much ‘amal we are going to do next year, how much ikhlaas it is going to have, how much qubooliat it will have i.e. how much will be accepted by Allah swt, how much tahajjud we are going to do, how much fajr we are going to do, how much isha we are going to do or how much jama’at we are going to do, how much dhikr we are going to do, how much tillawat, istighfar, durood salawaat, khidmat etc that we are going to do.

And when we think of it like that, it’s very interesting that in the deen of Islam, Allah swt has linked this annual planning to the month of Ramadan, it almost seems that the 15th of Shaban is the initial decision by Allah swt about about how much to bestow upon us the following year but then Allah swt gave us the rest of Sha’ban and all of Ramadan to earn more and more.

—————————————————————————————————————-

**The above mentioned text has either been taken from “15th of Sha’ban in the Light of Quran & Hadith” by the great Muhaddith Shaykh Fazl-ur-Rahman al-Azam. Or from the audio by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed.

The full text can be read at:

http://attahawi.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/15th-night-shabaan.pdf

And the audio at:

http://www.islamicspirituality.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Laylatul-Baraah-And-Spending-Shaban.mp3

Posted in Preparing for Ramadan, Ramadan, Sha'ban, Taqwa | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Maintaining the Ramadan Momentum

[These are the rough notes of Cii talk given by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed on thursday, 13th September, 2012]

Always be thinking and remembering Allah swt. If we don’t follow this commandment then we will find ourselves losing the momentum of Ramadan.

Few tips from our Shaykh and Mashaikh of Sisila:

(You can call these “Value advices to retain feelings”)

1. Do Tawwakul on Allah swt

Anybody who returns to aqal after developing rooh this means they are always thinking and pondering. before they were managing through dua and tawakkul. But now they returned to their mind. In Ramadan we are making dua for everything. But after Ramadan we revert to our planning and strategizing. Anyone who completely rely on aqal will go astray. For example, Abu jahl was all about aqal. Atheists and philosophers are great thinkers but their aqal cannot bring them to deen. Month of Ramadan has so much barakah that a person is not even able to use aqal. For example if a person has problems at job they just make dua. In routine make dua, you can’t always be making strategy.

Allah swt ultimately and truly it’s only You who will help us.

2. Do wuquf e qalbi

3. Make Dua.

Third thing is dua. Don’t completely rely on aqal. More dua you make the less you rely on aqal. And the less you make dua, the more you depend on your aqal. You have to keep your spiritual hearts alive through dua and ibaadah.

4. Learn from experience.

Syedna Rasool Allah sws explained that Ummah spiritually learns from spiritual experiences.

Hadith(Mafhoom): If dung from one hole the Muslim will not get dung from same hole again.

We have to learn and not return to our ghaflah. In all other matters we learn from experience. For example if the hot pizza burns your tongue you will refrain from eating hot pizza next time. Same way we learn from intellectual and emotional experiences. We also have to learn from our own spiritual experience.

Think about what was it in Ramadan that really moved you? Tasbeeh or Tahajjud? For everyone it would be different. Even before a month we might have forgotten what moved us. Sometimes during recitation a particular ayah or several ayah have a deep impact on us but we don’t take notice of it. Keep note of what moves you.

We have to make ourselves being able to move

5. Learn from spiritual experiences of others.

We are so worldly we are always trying to find professionals who are experienced. We are even finding experienced professors etc. This is called suhbah i.e. attend regular majilis and regular gatherings to change our routine feelings.

One way people say to get experience is by making mistakes. That’s what the hadith was. We do amal on this when world is concerned. The experience of spirituality is also included in this.

6. Change Your Routine

Think about the things that invite you to a particular sin. What were the steps that led me to the sin? We are not trying to edit our routine. We are not trying to improve our routine. We are happy with keeping our routine. But this way we will lose our feelings. So the example we often give is misdirecting the gaze and surfing the net. What were the precursors? Suppose you:

  • went to a new site
  • were alone
  • it was late at night

We have to learn from our mistakes. When we start eliminating the mistakes, our routine will improve. Changing routine means we want the routine of mutakeen, qaniteen, momineen. Tasawwuf is all about learning from those who are experienced.

  1. Experience teaches us that:
  • That person who fears Allah swt always, his ikhtatam will always be khayr.
  • That person who fears Allah swt sometimes, they will sometimes have ikhtatam on khyr.
  • That person who never fears Allah swt, they can never come to a good end.

Experience teaches us that the more we fear the more the chances of good end. And vice versa.

  1. Experience teaches us anyone who disobeys Allah swt will face worries in their lives. The more we disobey then more worries we will have. If we never disobey then we will have no worries involving depression etc. they will still have tests. Auliya Allah are none other than people of taqwah.

You can also start backwards like do you have worries? Yes? Emend the routine to make the routine better.

Agar ham chahte hein k kisi ka kaul aur amal mein farak khatam hou jaye to matlab uss ka nafs e ammara khatam hou gya. Like we say we love Allah swt but actions are not according to that. We say we love Syedna Rasool Allah sws but actions are not according to that. If a person does what they preach and do what they say such a person has reached nafs e ammara and get nafs e mutmaina.

Abu darda ra took oath and said a person who is afraid of a bad ending then due to that fear Allah swt will give them death on kalima. It means that either literally or that their whole life will be made according to that kalima. And vice versa.

It’s only when we change our routine that we will get taqwah ikhlas etc. Sometimes we have some aspects very much stuck in our routines. Real work to do is to make progress in routine. Feel those makamat e ashra. It will make you change your routine.

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Nafs ki Islah

[These are the rough notes of a talk given by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed  in  Karachi on Friday, 14th sept, 2012]

1. Mukhalafat e Nafs karo

Eat less: all extra food you eat goes to your nafs.

2. Mujahida e nafs karo

i. Do more ibaadah. Put the burden of ibaadah on nafs.

ii. Get involved in Halal recreation. If you can’t keep busy in ibaadah, then keep yourself occupied in some halal recreation. Everyone sins in their free time. If you know you sin when you are alone, on vacations, on weekends, at night, then be honest with yourself and take away that free time from yourself. Keep yourself busy.

iii. Do more Khidmat. If you can’t keep busy in ibaadah then do khidmat. Allah aur Allah k Deen ki khidmat karo. Koi keh de mein na ibaadat kar sakta hoon na mein khidmat kar sakta hoon tou mein kahoon ga phir aap gauranteed nafs ki khidmat karo ge.

3. Make dua.

Agar Allah ka khaas fazl karam aap par nahi hota aur Allah ki mercy aap par nahi aati, aap mein se koi eik kabhi bhi apne nafs ka tazkiya na kar sakta. The only way we will ever ever be able to do the tazkiya is with the Mercy of Allah swt. That’s the secret of khidmat. Uss pe Allah ki rehmat toot kar aati hai. But even while doing khidmat you should still make dua.

Hadrat Ashraf Ali thanvi rah mentioned 3 more ways:

4. Suhbat e Shaykh, Ittaba e shaykh karo.

Kuch log samajhte hein shaykh ki zaroorat nahi, un k liye mere pass Qur’an aur Sunnat se daleel hai.

i. Pehla answer Qur’an se: Ae imaan waloun, Qur’an aur sunnat k bunyadi amal karo, aur naikoun ki suhbat ikhtyar karo.

ii. Dusra answer Hadith se: Insan uss k deen pe aye ga jis ko woh apna jigar ka yar banaye. Tou agar aap nafs e mutmaina chahte hein tou aisi suhbat ikhtyar karein jis k pass nafs e mutmaina hou.

iii. Teesra answer Aqal se: If a person says I don’t need a guide because I have a map. But had the person taken the guide won’t he have reached easily? Guide in Arabic is a Murshid. Only the guided can guide. We have the map. Qur’an aur hadith hai hamare pass. That’s not the problem. We need to be pushed and reminded according to the Qur’an and sunnah.

iv. Hadith: Deen sirf naseehat hai.

v. Hadith: Ae insan e momin naseehat karo.

Kuch naseehat dene wale houn aur kuch lene wale houn. That person who has disciplined their own nafs they can guide you to do it. Ye eik ilm hai jo dil badil, seena baseena transfer hota hai. You also have to accept tarbiyat of the shaykh. Rok tok, ragra and daant bhi islah ka hissa hota hai.

5. Ajeeb baat hai: Apne hasideen aur dushmanoun se seekho

Kya matlab? un ka matlab ye tha k Allah ta’alah ne un hasideen ko aap k seekhne k liye bheeja hai. Allah swt Faail e haqeeqi hein to agar koi tanqeed kar raha hai to shaid koi islah ki baat hou iss niyat se suno aur apni islah karo.

6. Dusroun se ibrat hasil karo

Yani jis ne apne nafs ki islah nahi ki aur Allah ta’alah ne dunya mein uss ko zaleel kiya uss k halaat par ghaur karo. Ye socho k mein bhi bigra hoon bas farak ye hai k woh eik bigra hai jis ko Allah swt ne zahir kiya aur mein woh bigra hoon k Allah swt ne meri parda poshi ki. Allah swt ki parda poshi hamesha nahi rahe gi. Un k bare mein socho jin ko aisi zillat di. Allah swt will suspend His sattari on them on that day (on The Day of Judgment). A potential zillat is always there on the Day of Judgment for all of us. Ahl e ayaal ko pata hou ga agar koi jahannam mein hai. Kitni sharmindagi hogi. Think of someone Allah swt has exposed in this world.

Hadith(Mafhoom): That person is also a Mujahid who gives their entire life (Salik) to do Jihad against their Nafs.

It’s not something to be done occasionally. We did it for the whole month of Ramadan. Itna tou ham ne bhi kiya. Magar aaj khud apne aap k andar jhanko aap kahan hein? Ye eik hajj, umre, aitikaaf ki mehnat nahi hai. Ye eik zindagi ki mehnat hai. Apne aap ko iss mehnat k liye waqf karna chahiye.

Iss mehnat ki ibtida kya hai? Allah swt ki muhabbat hai.

Iss mehnat ki inteha kya hai? K kaun hein Allah swt k auliya hein? Kaun hein jin se Allah dosti lagate hein? Jo taqwah pe hota hai. Taqwah ko hasil karne k liye mujahida. Aur taqwah k baad istiqamat k liye mujahida.

Niyat karein k zindagi mein mujahida karein. Chahe puhnch jaein ya nahi magar zindagi aise hi guzar dein.

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Sulook

[These are rough notes of a CII talk given by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed on 18th April, 2013]

Sulook means a path of journey. In spiritual development we are on a journey. It gives a lot of hope because travelling doesn’t really require you have to reach the destination. Journeying and trying is the criteria.

Everyday even making a little bit of progress means on the Day of Judgment we will be raised amongst the salikeen. Important aspect is that we bring it in our daily lives. Otherwise we become stop-and-go Muslims i.e. we stop whenever we engage in this world.

The only obstacle in this path is if we stop walking i.e. we stop following sharia, have lack in Taqwah, or stop doing Zikr Azkaar.

Hadith(mafhoom): Be in this world as if you are a stranger or a traveler on the path.

Meaning 1: Don’t be so attached to it.

Meaning 2: Always keep the destination in mind. We are not nomads who are wandering aimlessly.

Steps in this Journey that a person can take:

  1. Making intention of Taubah: I want to turn away from everything that is displeasing to Allah Taala and turn my entire life exclusively to things that are pleasing to Allah Taala. It should become our desire.
  2. Trying and striving. For example, trying to say more Shukr.
  3. Making Dua to Allah Taala.
Posted in CII talks, Dhikr, Purification of the Heart, Repentance, Shukr, Tazkya Talks | Leave a comment

On Leaving the Laghw [Tark-e-fuzool]

[These are the rough notes of a talk given by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed  in Karachi on Sunday, 16th sept, 2012]

Laghw

Momineen woh log hein jo laghw se bhagte hein.

Being involved in too many pointless and wasteful activities is also something that harms a person’s hurt. Just like you are a student and you are involved in all sorts of pointless activities, then your intellectual progress will go down.

There are 4 things that are poison for the heart. If a person engages in them then it will poison their heart such that

  1. Fuzool kalam. Idle and wasteful conversations.

Talking too much. Pehle zamany mein aurtein batooni hoti thiin ab mashaAllah mard bhi baatooni ho gaye hein. And when it comes to talking to Allah swt, they can’t do it. Dua nahi mangi jaati. It means Allah swt se ham kalami hou hi nahi sakti. Kitni pareshan haalat hai. Cannot talk to Allah swt and can talk to people so much. Syedna Rasool Allah (s) said tongue will lead so many people to hell. That firstly means haram kalam. But it also means useless and idle talks.

Every word we speak will either be noor on our heart or it will bring zulm on our heart. Even the West acknowledges that you should be purposeful in your speech. And if you don’t have anything good to say then you should stay quiet altogether.

Power of tongue is such that even a few of rude words can bring us to sin. Like if you say something to your parents that’s rude, this is a sin. In English they say that wounds inflicted by sword are cured but the wounds inflicted by words cannot be cured. Because you cannot put a band-aid on a person’s heart.

Another Hadith is that gheebah is greater than zina. Gheebah is the sin of the tongue.

Aspects of fuzool kalam.

i. Tabsira. This means views and analysis. Mera tabsira ye hai. Chalo TV ya news pe kisi aur ka tabsira sunte hein. Phir un pe tabsira karte hein. Ghatoun nikal jaate hein par eik masla bhi hal nahi hota. Pichle 3 saal mein hi dekh lein kitne news nigar ne tabsiray kiye, million of hours of tabsira. Or maybe even billion of hours. Agar aap woh waqt dua, ibaadat pe lagate tou aap ka mwashara theek hou jata. Aaj kal naujawan ka imaan itna kacha hai, koi juloos nikal aye wahin sare kaam chor deta hai.

Eik buzurg ko darakht ne kaha k dekho mein kitna acha houn log mujh pe pathar phainkte hein aur mein un pe phal barsata houn. Unhoun ne poocha agar tum itne achay ho tou Allah swt ne tumhein aag ka fuel kun banaya? Ajeeb. Uss ne kaha haan eik baat hai k mujh mein istaqamat nahi. Jis taraf hawa chalti hai mein uss taraf ko ho jata hoon.

ii. Sawal. Asking bad questions with bad intentions or to ask a question that is of no benefit or relevance to you. That’s all fuzool. So many people have asked me questions in my short life that was of no benefit to them. And I told them in the hope that they will ask me better questions. But they don’t do that. It’s like you have cancer and you ask the doctor about a pimple. And the doctor answers hoping he will ask about his cancer later.

You should not be speaking at all. No recreational conversation. That’s what our buzurg said. Speak of khayr and deen. Any worldly talk will lead to fuzool. Although talking about halaat of Muslims is another thing.

Example of the woman who only spoke Qur’an.

Once there was a woman who was so afraid of being thrown into the fire of Jahannum because of the tongue that she only used to recite verses of Qur’an even in her conversations.

In more recent times, yahan karachi mein eik mureed apne shaykh ko milne aate thay tou shaykh aur mureed dono khamosh beth’te thay. Chup ki majlis.

Ham tou buhot batooni insan ban chuke hein. Jitna baat insan karta tha utna kam sochta hai.

Sometimes it’s our speech and tongue that involves in laghw.

  1. Second type of fuzool is fuzool dekhna. Idle and wasteful gaze.

Fuzool dekhne se shaytan insan ko haram mein mulawas kar deta hai. Like maybe there’s a person who went to the store with the intention to buy something. All the women on the way to the store, in the store and then from store to home are all fuzool to him. If he walks around in such a way that not only does he looks at the item he has to buy, but all the other things as well. So he doesn’t lower his gaze and starts looking at fuzool. Looking at billboards is fuzool. It’s not required for driving. If you expand the range of fuzool range, sooner or later you will have a haram nazar. Our basarat is over-charged, and our baseerat is almost non-existent.

All the things you watch in media; the movies and also youtube is all fuzool. Mein hairaan hota hoon even good Muslims who don’t have TVs at homes, woh pata nahi kya kya youtube pe dekhte hein. Mein halal mein baat kar raha hoon but woh sab fuzool hai. Laghw hai. Ye laghw ki dunya hai. And it’s making you too visually aware. You over-use your gaze. Fuzool nazar ka chaska lag gya iss liye batni nazar se mehroom ho gaye. It’s a big cost to pay. So we should stop looking around. You should literally and physically lower your gaze.

Next time try it when you go to the shop. It’s not going to hurt you in anyway. Tell yourself I don’t want to see even any item that I don’t have to buy. I want to prove that I can control myself from all this marketing. I gaurantee you fuzool nazar leads to haram nazar.

Hadith: Jo bad nazri karta hai Allah swt uss se ibaadah ki lazzat cheen lete hein.

You will loose the lazzat of dua, namaz and you will even loose the lazzat of khidmat of people. Apne parents ki khidmat bhi aap ko bojh mehsoos hou gi. Kun k woh bhi eik ibaadat hai. Chirr wala mizaj hou ga. Aap kya samajhte hein k kisam kisam ki bad nazri karein gey aur sirf eik lazzat ibaadat ki cheeni jaye gi? Nahi balke kisam kisam ki lazzat aap se cheeni jaye gi. The best way to save yourself from bad nazri is to stop yourself from fuzool nazar.

  1. Third fuzool is fuzool sun’na. Idle and wasteful listening.

Not just haram things like gheebat and music is downright haram. But this would include everything laghw like you guys love to get the scoop – nayi taazi sunne ka shauq hai. Qur’an ki tilawat sunne ka time nahi. Jin k pass music ka time nahi hota unhoun ne bhi earphones ka silsila nikal liya. Aap k pass bhi ye choice hai uss pe Qur’an sun sakte hein. Fuzool sunna also leads to haram. This is the general tarteeb of how shaytaan gets us into haram:

Listening to the other -> Seeing the other -> Talking to the other -> Touching the other

This is the tarteeb. So if you stop yourself from fuzool hearing, then you can stop from haram hearing and a list of other things that follow.

  1. Fourth thing is fuzool khyalaat. Idle and wasteful thoughts.

Jitne ziada aap fuzool khyalaat sochein gey utne hi jaldi aap haram sochne wale ban jaein gey. You have to keep a control. Do mukhalafat of nafs. We go all the way from fuzool thinking to day dreaming and always conceptualizing sin. Why? kun k aap ne apne aap ko zikr pe nahi lagaya. Jab zikr pe nahi lagaya to khala (void) bana liya. Jo khala hai woh pehle fuzool se bhare ga phir haram se. Iss liye khala hi nahi chorna. Always be thinking thoughts of Allah swt. And when you are not thinking about Allah swt, then shaytan and nafs books a room in your heart.

Eik mashk karein abhi. Imagine a person who hasn’t thought anything fuzool for a whole 24 hours, na fuzool kalam bola, na fuzool suna, na kaha. Just imagine how easy it would be for such a person to remember Allah swt. Ye zikr iss liye sikhaya jata hai kun k shariat aur deen pe chalna asaan lagta hai. Aap kehte hein na k asaan kar k dein buhot mushkil hai deen pe chalna. Ye fuzool chor dein gey tou automatic hou jaye ga, az khud ho jaye ga. Iss se aur asaan tou ho nahi sakta. Magar karna kya hoga? turk-e-fuzool.

  1. Fifth is fuzool khana. Wasteful/extra food.

Aap kehte hou na k mein ne sirf fard karna hai. Chalo aap khane peenay mein fard karo. Certain amount of food you need to keep the body going. The rest of the energy and calories go to your nafs. It goes to the pait of nafs. Fuzool khane k itne nuqsan hein who sun lein:

  • Waqt zaya.
  • Paise zaya.
  • Nafs strong hota hai.

Abhi aap Ramadan guzar chuke hou na, Allah swt ne ragra lagaya na k khana kam karo peena kam karo taqwah mil jaye ga.

  1. Sixth is fuzool kamana. Extra/useless earnings.

Ye sun k shayed aap iss pe sab se ziada ghabra jao gey. Fuzool kamana. You can do it up till you get your comfort and up till you get the comfort of your family, for the short-term future. Beyond that it becomes fuzool kamana. Mushkil hai iss cheez ko maan’na. Poori dunya aap ko sikha rahi hai aur kamao aur kamao. Aap bahana banao gey koi nahi mein kharch (sadqa) karoun ga. Koi nahi kharch karte aap. Zakaat tak nahi dete. Kamana eik hadd tak jaiz hai, uss k baad zaya hou jata hai.

Jo fuzool kamane mein lag jaye ga woh sooner or later haram kamane mein phisal (slip) jaye ga. It’s gauranteed. Tark-e-fuzool se ijtinab-e-haram hota hai.

How can you lose fuzool kamana?

One way practically to do this is to leave the doubtful. Another meaning of fuzool is extra. Technically speaking it just means extra.

Listen to this sentence carefully: because we are so involved in the extras of this world, we don’t have time for the extra of deen. Dunya k fuzool mein itna busy hein k deen k extra k liye time nahi hai.

You can say Jannat-ul-firdous is extra. So if you’re involved in extra of dunya then be ready to sacrifice jannat-ul-firdous. Be ready to sacrifice the company of sahaba karam and nabiyyeen.

  1. Seventh is fuzool milna milana. Idle and wasteful gatherings.

Fuzool suhbat. Fuzool gatherings. Fuzool social life. Fuzool interactions with people. Same thing: jitni fuzool suhbat mein jaein gey, utne aap haram suhbat k khatre mein hein. If you meet for anything of deen then it is beneficial. Anything else is at best doubtful and at worst haram.

1. Some gatherings are like medicines. Without them you cannot be healthy or survive. For example halal job and halal business can fal into this. It is necessary interaction. In education that is your vital interaction, within the bounds of shariah.

2. Some gatherings are like an illness. The gathering of dunya where sin and ghaflat takes place. Taubah karna, gunah se bachna. Aur tuabah rakhne k liye ghaflat se bachna. Cyber majlis is also harmful. You own suhbat with the laptop.

3. Some gatherings are like poison.

i. Haram gatherings are like poison.

Even if you claim you will not do anything haram there, it’s still haram. Jaise aap kehte hein mein wahan ja kar nazar neechay rakhoun ga. Aap wahan ja kar nazar neechay rakh bhi lein, aap ka wahan ja kar hazri dene se Allah swt apni nazar neechay nahi rakhein gey. Why do you want to be at a place which Allah swt is looking at with anger and wrath?

ii- Na-jins ki suhbat is like poison.

To keep company of those people who are not trying to seek the pleasure of Allah swt like you want to. Like there’s a young man who keeps company of corrupt young men or women for the sake of imaan. Ye buhot kawi ho tou imaan wale ka rang dusroun pe charhe ga. But you have to be honest with yourself k kis ka rang kis pe charh raha hai.

4. Some gatherings are like food. Especially those gathering that are like food for the spirit and heart like majlis or gatherings of mashaikh. Lazman aisi majalis ko pakrein.

Story of dropping your pre-conceptions before learning Islam

Shykh Abdul Qadir Jilani rah ka eik haqeeqi kissa hai. Baghdad mein hote thay, buhot baray alim-e-deen thay aur Hanbali Fiqh k Allama thay samajh lein. Log jo un ki majlis mein aate thay tou ulema bhi aate thay aur awam-un-naas bhi aate thay. Tou woh farmate thay k jo bhi aap le kar aye hein woh darwaze pe chor aein. Log sunte hein tou un ko samajh nahi aata. It means you have to drop all your pre-conceptions. Then you have to learn deen of Islam. Then you have to re-learn your life in the light of what the deen tells you. This is what is called fana and baqa.

Shykh Abdul Qadir k gatherings mein eik tarteeb tha. Woh log thay salikeen, sunte thay aur badalte thay. Phir eik waqt aata k shykh kehte jis cheez ko seekhne aap aye hein woh aap seekh chuke hein ab aap jahan se bhi aye hein wahan wapas chale jaein. Aaj kal koi aise safar kare tou kehte hein iss ko kya hou gya hai apne parents ko chor k ja raha hai. Ghar pe bhi tou apne Rabb ko mana sakta tha.

Allah swt hamein bhi taufeek dein k ham bhi badal sakein

Posted in Acquiring Sacred Knowledge ['ilm], General Bayans, Issues faced by Muslim Ummah, Karachi Talks, Leaving Sin, Muslim Youth, Nafs, Our Spiritual Enemies, Taqwa | 1 Comment