"Bismillah" is the key to the Holy Quran and to all permissable actions. Any good deed that is commenced with the Bismillah is worthy of great reward. If any good action is not commenced with Bismillah, then that action remains incomplete. To recite it before any bad deed is forbidden. If one eats or drinks without reciting the Bismillah, the Shaitaan joins in the meal. When slaughtering an animal, one must say the words: "Bismillah Allahu Akbar."
It is one complete Ayah of the Holy Quran. But it is not the part of any Surah. With the exception of Surah Tauba, every other Surah commences with the Bismillah. When performing Taraweeh, it is necessary for the Hafiz to recite Bismillah aloud at least once. In Surah Naml, the Bismillah which appears is part of the Ayah. The excellence of the Bismillah being explained here refers to the Bismillah written before each Surah in the Quran except for Surah Tauba.
The Ulema have stated that there are 3 000 known Names of Allah. One thousand are known only to Angels, 1 000 to Ambiya, 300 names are in the Taurah, 300 in the Injeel, 300 in the Zaboor and 99 in the Holy Quran. In total there are 2 999 in number. One Name is only known to Allah which He informed Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). In the Bismillah, the Names "Allah," "Rahmaan" and "Raheem" are the basis of all the 3 000 Names. This, he who recites the Bismillah gets the blessings of reciting the 3 000 Names. It is in "Tafseer-e-Kabeer" that there are 19 alphabets in the Bismillah and the Angels of punishment in Jahannam are 19 in number. The hope is that through each Harf, each Angel of Azaab shall be passed.
When the Beloved Habeeb (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) went for Me'raj, he saw four rivers in Jannat - one of water, one of milk, one of wine (drink of Jannah) and one of honey. He questioned Sayyiduna Jibra'il (alaihis salaam) concerning these rivers, and he replied, "Pray and request to Allah so that He may inform you." On the Du'a of Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), an Angel appeared. It made Salaam and said, "Ya Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)! Close your eyes." When he opened his eyes, he was besides a building. The door of this building was made of gold and there was a lock on it and from under this building flowed rivers. When the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) decided to leave, the Angel requested him to enter the building. The Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said that there was a lock on the door. The Angels said that the keys were present.
They then entered the building and saw that there were four pillars and on each pillar was written "Bismillah Hir Rahmaan Nir Raheem." He saw that a river of water flowed from the "Meem" of Bismillah, a river of milk flowed from the "Haa" of Allah, the river of wine flowed from the "Meem" of Rahmaan and a river of honey flowed from the "Meem" of Raheem. At that instance, Almighty Allah said, "O Beloved! Any Believer of your Ummah who recites the Bismillah will be worthy of these four rivers."
It is in "Tafseer Azeezi" that if one is faced with a calamity, he should read the Bismillah 12 000 times in this manner that he should read it 1 000 times then read two Rakaah Nafil Salaah. He should continue this procedure till he reaches 12 thousand. All in all, he will read 24 Rakaahs of Nafil Salaah. After completion, he should ask for his problems to be solved, and Insha-Allah, his Du'as will be accepted.
If a friend becomes an enemy, read Bismillah Hir Rahmaan Nir Raheem 786 times and blow on his food. Insha-Allah, he will become a friend again. Bismillah also has numerous other benefits.
If a person wants to learn any art form or gain knowledge/science he will seek help from an expert in that field. Knowledge of Allah Ta`ala`s Zaat (Being) is the most difficult secret in the universe. It can only be achieved with the help of its experts, the Awliya Allah. Only these people can be accepted as Murshids (guides). The following quotation define the need and guidance of a Murshid.
Ghausul A`zam, Hadrat Sheikh Abdul Qaadir Jailani (radi Allahu anhu) brings home the necessity of a Murshid in a beautiful metaphor. He says: "The heart is the plantation for the Aakhirah (Hereafter). Sow the seeds of Imaan in your heart. Irrigate, fertilise and mature it with regular good deeds. If there is kindness and energy in the heart it will be fertile and an abundant harvest will result. Should the heart be harsh and contemptuous, the soul becomes infertile and barren and no crop will be able to grow. Learn this art of farming by its farmers/experts, the Awliya Allah. Do not think your opinion to be sufficient. Our Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) says, `Seek help in every field from an expert in that field`". (Al-Fath-ur-Rabbani, pg. 202)
Ghausul A`zam (radi Allahu anhu) said: "Arrogance, hypocrisy, egoism, are all arrows of Shaitaan aimed at your hearts. One should formulate a strategy to defend oneself from this attack. The correct strategies are explained and demonstrated by the Mashaa`ikh (Guides). You should heed to their commands and act on them. They will guide you on the path of Allah since they have already travelled on this path. Ask their advise on matters relating to the Nafs (carnal desires), cravings and other weaknesses because they have also suffered their consequences and are well aware of the dangers and harms of evil desires. They have battled these over a long period of time and can confront, control and defeat them". (Al-Fath-ur-Rabbani, pg. 150)
Murshids are two types:
A. Murshid Aam (General Guide,) and
B. Murshid Khaas (Specific Guide)
The Murshid Khaas comprises of the Sheikhul Ittisaal and the Sheikhul Isaal.
The Murshid Aam comprises of the Quran, Hadith, the writings of the Jurists, the Murshids, authorities of Tasawwuf, the writings of the scholars, and the writings of the people of guidance and righteousness. The guide of the general public is the Kalaam (Speech and Writings) of the Scholars. The guide of the Ulema or Scholars is the writings of the Imaams of Fiqh. The guide of Imams of Fiqh is the Sunnah and Hadith of Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). The guide of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is the Quran/Speech/Revelation of Allah.
From this it can be seen that the Murshid Aam is an absolute necessity. A person without guidance of both the Murshids, i.e. Khaas and Aam is under the reign of Shaitaan. It is in this sense that A`la Hadrat, Moulana Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (radi Allahu anhu) writes that Sayyiduna Baayazid Bustaami`s (radi Allahu anhu) declaration in "Awaariful Ma`arif" that those without a Murshid (Khaas and Aam) have Shaitaan as their guide. (Fatawa Afriqa, pg.124)
[Taken from: The spiritual guide and the seeker, Abdun Nabi Hameedi Attari]
In the path of Sufism, keeping the company of others (suhba) is of tremendous consequence in the journey to Allah, in accordance with the wont of Allah Most High and His wisdom. Some have even said, “Whoever has no sheikh [but travels the path alone] has the Devil as his sheikh.” Another has said, “A person is like a [fruit] tree growing up in the wild: if not trimmed and pruned, it becomes a scrub.” And Abul ‘Abbas al-Mursi has said,
“Whoever has no sheikh in this matter is not to be rejoiced over”
[Iqadh al-himam, 95–96]
In the Quran Shareef:
Siparah 15, Surah Bani Israel (17), Verse number 71
Yauma Nad'oo kola onasim bi imamihim
Ala Hazrat Azeemul Barkat Rahmatullahi 'alayh translate this part of the Ayat-e-karima:
The day when we shall call every people with their leaders
The practice of Ghiyarwee and URS :
Tafseer by Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khan Rahmatullahi 'alayh:
From this we learn that we should make a pious person our leader in the world, through taqleed in Shariah and bai’at (taking mureedi) in the path of Tareeqat (mystic way of life) so our end will be with the pious. If he does not find a pious leader or guide then his guide would be Shaitaan. In this verse there is ample proof for Taqleed, Bai’at, Mureedi.
[Tafseer Noorul Irfan]
There are mainly two types of Bayat.
The traditional mureeds (Bai’at-e-Barakah) or (Bai’at-e-Tabaruk).
This is to initiate oneself into a silsila just for mere blessings and this is the general idea of becoming a mureed in our times. This should be at least done with a good intention and not for any worldly gains. If one becomes a mureed for worldly gains or any other reason other than spiritual upliftment then such bai’at is null and void. Bai’at-e-Barakah is not useless but very beneficial. Some of its benefits are:
a) One’s name will be recorded in the books of the beloveds of Allah; by having just a link with the Awliya is a great blessing.
b) A divine link is connected with the Awliya and Sa’li’heen.
c) By sitting in the company of the beloved of Allah is a source of receiving Allah’s mercy.
The sincere mureeds (Bai’at-e-Iraadah)
This is the true form of Bai’at whereby one surrenders one’s complete self in the hands of a spiritual master. The mureed must submit himself completely to the murshid like a corpse in the hands of a person performing ghusal. This is also known as Bai’at-e-Salikeen. Such Bai’at leads one to Allah and is regarded as the aim and practice of all the grand spiritual masters.
Some of the duties towards your shaykh you can only realise by showing good manners. By showing respect towards religious scholars and shaykhs, who are your spiritual fathers, you fulfil an important duty and if you would neglect these things then this is nothing else as negligence and disobedience. In the ahadith it is said: “Who does not honour our great ones and who does not show mercy towards our ‘little ones’ and who does not acknowledge the right of our scholars, does not belong to us”. If you neglect the right of your shaykh, who as a mediator represents by his right the right of God, then you also fail in your duty towards God, because “if you show neglect towards your lowest lord, then you will not reach your highest Lord”. The shaykh in the midst of his companions who gives them teachings is like the prophet in the midst of his companions. When the shaykh calls you to the path of the imitation of the messenger of God, then he is the representative of the messenger of God: “The shaykh among his community is like the prophet in his community”.
At the moment there are fifteen rules for the mureeds towards their shaykh present in my spirit. These are both universal as well as particular rules.
The first rule expresses the conviction that only your shaykh should take care of your education, guidance, training and teaching. If you should look towards someone else as being comparable to him or even more perfect than him, then your connection with your shaykh, based on love and inclination, is weak and because of that the words and the spiritual states of your shaykh will have little effect on you. The way by means of which words get through to you and give you a connection with the states of your shaykh, is love. If your love is more perfect, then the more your disposition will be open to be educated by your shaykh.
The second rule implies the fixed decision to persevere in the obedience towards your shaykh. You should know that the door of the divine mercy will only open because of your constancy in obedience and service. Either I give my life at his doorstep or I’ll reach my goal. A sign hereof is that you do not turn away, when your shaykh says no to you and when he keeps you at a distance, because a shaykh often tests you when he scans your spiritual states.
Abu ‘Uthman-e-Hiri [d. 298/910-11; he has been of prime importance in the Sufism of Khorasan] came to Neshapur obeying [his shaykh] Shah-e-Kermani [d. before 300/912-13; he was a mureed of Abu Turab an-Nakhshabi] to visit Abu Hafs-e-Haddad [d. 270/883-4 or earlier; he was a malamatiyya, that is he followed the path of blame]. When he saw the light of his sanctity, his [= Abu Hafs] blessed look attracted him in such a way that he [= Abu ‘Uthman] became a prisoner in his net. When the time to return had come, he then asked Shah-e-Kermani if he could stay [with Abu Hafs]. At that time he was in the midst of his youth. Abu Hafs however chased him away and said: “You are not allowed to sit in my company”. He then obeyed this decision and retreated, walking with his back towards the door, until the shaykh could no longer see him. Abu ‘Uthman then decided that he would dig a hole near his door and to remain sitting in it and not to come out except if Abu Hafs would accept him and call him. When Abu Hafs saw his honest determination, he called him, made him one of his special companions, married his daughter to him and appointed him as his successor. After the death of this shaykh, he sat for thirty years in his place.
The third rule implies that you submit yourself to the choices of your shaykh. As a mureed you should accept every decision of your shaykh dealing with your person or with your possessions and you should obey every decision being submitted and content. This is the only way that you can win the jewel of his attention and his love. Only by this measuring rod the quality of your sincerity can be determined according to the advice present in the following words [Qur’an 4:65]: “Yet by your Lord, they will never believe until they name you to judge concerning what they are quarrelling over among themselves concerning whatever you have decided, and will accept it wholeheartedly”.
Question: How do you know that you can trust your shaykh (or your shaykh to be if you are not yet his mureed)? As you know there are many charlatans around who are only interested in your money or are eager to increase their power over other persons.
The fourth rule stipulates that you should not criticise [your shaykh]. The mureed should never occupy himself/herself, neither inwardly nor outwardly, with criticising the choices and decisions of his/her shaykh. Each time when something is unclear regarding the behaviour of your shaykh then you should think of the story of Moses and Khidr [see Qur’an 18:60-82), wherein Moses in spite of being a prophet, his great knowledge and his passionate devotion to Khidr, criticised several of the acts of Khidr, but he changed his ideas after hearing an explanation of their inner meanings. If your shaykh does something which you cannot understand, then you should say that it is because of your limited understanding and knowledge and in no way it has to do with a wrong behaviour of your shaykh. Thus you will be free of the possibility that the relationship with your shaykh will suffer and that love may diminish. A mureed of al-Junayd [d. 910 C.E.] asked him a question and then criticised his answer. Al-Junayd then said (Qur’an 44:21): ‘When you do not believe me, then keep away from me’.
The fifth rule demands that you decline from making your own choices. The mureed is not allowed to undertake anything – neither religious nor worldly, universal or particular – without finding out what the shaykh wants and chooses. You should not eat nor drink, nor dress yourself, nor give presents, nor sleep, nor take, nor give but with the permission of the shaykh. You should not perform any religious practices without the permission and the specification of your shaykh, like for instance fasting or taking food, voluntary devotional practices or limiting yourself to those practices which are obligatory or the remembrance of God, the recitation of the Qur’an and being absorbed in something. It so happened one night that the messenger passed the house of Abu Bakr and overheard him reciting the Qur’an in his nightly prayers with a low voice. Then he passed the house of ‘Umar and heard him recite the Qur’an in his nightly prayers in a loud voice. When the two of them came to the messenger of God in the morning he asked Abu Bakr why he recited the Qur’an in his nightly prayers in a low voice. He answered: “I listen to the One with Whom I converse”. He asked ‘Umar why he recited in a loud voice. He answered: “I drive away the Satan and I awake the one who is sleeping”. Then he ordered them that they should not recite in a too soft voice nor in a voice that is too loud, they should follow a middle course. Then the Quranic verse 17:110 was revealed: “And pray neither with a loud nor with a low voice, but follow a middle course”. This is a proof that when you have a spiritual guide you should not follow your own insight. This is also true when this concerns a true insight.
The sixth rule implies the observing of the thoughts of your shaykh. The mureed is not allowed to undertake anything, which rejects the thoughts of one’s shaykh. You should not consider them to be of little importance, because you rely on the kindness, the perfect clemency, the friendliness and the forgiveness of your shaykh. What enters the consciousness of shaykhs because of rejection or acceptance has a very strong influence on the person of the disciple.
The seventh rule demands of you that you ask your shaykh to give an explanation of your visions. The mureed should depend on his or her shaykh in regard to the explanation of visions, no matter if they come in your sleep or during your wakefulness. You should not independently decide on your own that there is no harm in them. It is namely possible that such visions come about because of secret desires in your soul, but that you are not able to see them as such and that they are judged to be harmless, which may not be the case. When you however speak about it with your shaykh and your shaykh by his rich knowledge gets really acquainted with it, then you have the opinion of your shaykh to help you to realise it in a practical way when it is harmless. When it may mean an injury, then this has also become clear.
The eighth rule demands that you give an attentive ear to the words of your shaykh. The mureed should wait and be attentive in regard to everything that comes from the lips of his or her shaykh. He or she should see his tongue as a means of expression of the speech of God and be convinced that he (your shaykh) speaks by means of God and that his speech does not stem from his own desire and that he has reached the station of ‘He is speaking by me’. You should see his heart as a boisterous sea, filled with all kinds of pearls of knowledge and precious gems of gnosis, a sea which every now and then – because of the blowing of the winds of pre-eternal providence - may cast some of these pearls and precious stones on the shore of the tongue. You should therefore take care and be attentive, so that you are not excluded from anything from the words of your shaykh, which may be useful and beneficial to you.
You should also try to harmonize every word of your shaykh with your own state. You should imagine that you are formulating a request for your well-being at the door of God with a receptive tongue and in the measure of your receptivity a speech coming from the unseen descends to you. When you are talking with your shaykh you should keep away from your own ego, you should be far away from hypocrisy by showing your own knowledge and gnosis and by presenting yourself as beautiful and perfect. Because when you try to speak yourself and when you are waiting for the oppurtunity to talk yourself, then you remove yourself from the position of a mureed and the ear of your heart will become deaf to the words of your shaykh. In their explanations of the reason that the Qur’anic verse 49:1: ‘O, believers! Do not press forward before Allah and His Messenger…’ has been revealed, some commentators have written: There have been people in the company of the messenger of God who – when someone asked him a question – developed the habit to give their own opinion, this until the Allmighty by means of this verse from the Qur’an made it clear that this was wrong and forbidden.
The nineth rule demands that you should lower your voice. When you are together with your shaykh you should not speak with a loud voice, as it is not courteous. It is as if you put down the robe of dignity. In order to teach something the following verse in the Qur’an (49:2) has been revealed: ‘O, believers! Do not raise your voices above the prophet’s voice!’ Thereafter their words were difficult to understand as they were lowering their voices too much. That is why the following verse (49:3) from the Qur’an has been revealed: ‘Those who lower their voices in the presence of the messenger of God are those whose hearts God has tested for reverence’.
The tenth rule implies that you do not show negligence in your behaviour. A too free type of behaviour in the contact with your shaykh is not allowed, neither in words nor in deeds, because if you just let it all go then the veil of modesty and the dress of worthy behaviour are taken away and the flow of mercy then gets interrupted. You should use respectful terms when addressing him, so you should say: ‘Sir!’ or ‘O, my Shaykh!’
The companions of the prophet – in the beginning - did not use respectful terms when using his name. They said: ‘Mohammad!’ and ‘Ahmad!’ until this was disallowed in the word of God (see Qur’an 49:2) that was sent down:
And do not be loud in speaking to him, as you speak loudly to one another, lest your works come to grieve while you are unaware.
Thereafter they addressed him by using ‘Messenger of God!’ or ‘Prophet of God!’.
Representatives of the Banu Tamim, in order to get him out, shouted out in front of the inner appartments of the prophet: ‘Mohammad! Come out to us!’
Then these elevated words were revealed (Qur’an 49:4-5):
Those who shout out to you from without the inner appartments, most of them do not understand. Had they waited for you to come out to meet them, it would have been better for them.
Just like you should not be to free in your speech to your shaykh, you should see it as your duty to honour and respect him in your acts. That is why, when you are in the company of your shaykh, you should roll out your praying-carpet only during the times of the ritual prayers. When listening to Sufi music you should refrain from making movements and you should not call out, and as long as you have the power to control yourself, you should not move when you are in the company of the shaykh. You should also refrain from laughing.
(Please note that the aim of the aforesaid rules is only to realise the proper behaviour in order that teaching and learning can take place. Every Sufi order and every shaykh modifies the above according to the place, the time and the people concerned).
Reference : Partly from the Misbaah al-hidaaya wa Miftaah al-Kifaaya – The Lamp of Right Guidance and the Key to What is Sufficient. & the ‘Awaarif al-Ma-aarif.
1. One should have firm faith, belief and a firm conviction that his murshid is the greatest of the mashaa’ikh of the era and that there is no one better qualified than his murshid to guide him. If he regards another more perfect than his own murshid, the bond of love is weakened between them and the word of the murshid will have no effect on the mureed. [Awarif-ul-Ma’arif – Hazrat Shahabuddin Umar Suhrawardi ]
2. A mureed must not oppose or contradict the murshid.
3. One must remain obedient to the murshid in all aspects.
4. One should not undertake any duty eg. Nafil fasts, nafil namaaz, extra wazaif etc without the approval of the murshid.
5. One should not raise one’s voice in front of the murshid as this is a sign of bad conduct.
6. The mureed must not conceal from the murshid any of his spiritual experiences, dreams and any gifts that Allah has bestowed upon him.
7. The mureed must not feel at any moment in time that the master is indebted to him because of his devotion but rather he must understand that he owes everything to his murshid.
8. A mureed must consider the murshid to be present with him at all times. [Miftahul Aashiqeen – Conversations of Hazrat Khwaja Nasiruddin Chiragh, recorded by Hazrat Maulana Habibullah ]
9. If the Murshid does something that seems to the mureed contrary to the shariah, he must not state his concern in blunt and explicit terms since that might alienate him. If he notices some kind of fault in his Sheikh he must overlook it and turn the suspicion upon himself. He must try to interpret the sacred law in the Shaikhs favour. Then if he can find no valid excuse for him in the sacred law he must seek forgiveness on behalf of the Shaikh. The mureed must not believe that he posses impecible virtue and he must not tell anybody about this experience. [Ghunyat-ut-Talibeen – Hazrat Shaikh Sayed Abdul Qadir Jilani] Hazrat Shahbuddin Suhrawardi says in Awaariful Ma’arif that if the Murshid does something which is beyond the understanding of the mureed, the mureed should remember the incident of Hazrat Moosa (alihis salaam) and Hazrat Khidr (A layhis salaam). Sura Kahf verses 65-82
10. The mureed should not imitate his Murshid in any manner without his consent.
A saint was reciting the Qur'an when Khidr ( alayhis 'salam) came and saluted him.The saint did not respond.The salutation was repeated serveral times without respond.When the Salaam was repeated the seventh time,the saint scolded Khidr alayhis 'salam saying:' Why do you keep greeting me and interfering with my recitation?'' When he resumed reading the Holy Qur'an Khidr alayhis 'salam thought to himself:'' Thousands are eager to meet me,here I have come to meet him and he pushes me away-his status must be so elevated that I can not fathom it with my inner sight." The Khidr alayhis 'salam turned to the saint and asked:" Do answer me one point,were your Shaikh to come,what would you have done?"" The saint replied: I would have immediately closed the Honly Book,fallen at his feet and follwed him whererever he went'..On being asked why he would do so,the saint replied with a smile:' Because I have God through him.'' This is the kind of bond that the disciple must cultivate with his spiritual Master.
Hazrate Ibrahim Khawwas Rahmatullahi 'alayh says, “I was at the mountain “maqam”. There I saw pomegranates, so I had temptation to eat the same. I picked up a pomegranate to eat it. When I tasted the pomegranate it was sour. So I left it there and proceeded further. After that I saw an individual on whose body Honey Bees were gathering. I said "Assalamu 'Alaykum", he answered "Wa'alaykum 'Assalam ‘O’ Ibrahim!" I asked him “How were you able to recognise me”? He answered:-
“The one who is able to recognise Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala nothing remains hidden from him”. I said, “I have seen some peculiar relationship between you and Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala. Didn’t you pray that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala gets you rid of the Honey Bees?” He said:-
“Me too, I have seen peculiar status of dignity of yours in the court of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala; Did you not pray to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala that he gets you rid of the lust (desire) to eat “pomegranate” because a human being comes across the grief of pomegranate in the world and the hereafter, where as the stinging of Honey Bees is only in this world. The Bees bite only the baser-self, but the lecheries (worldly desires) deprive the hearts of spirituality.” Hazrat Ibrahim Khawwas says that after that (conversation) I left him and went away. [Muqashafa-tul-Quloob]
The External Etiquettes are as follows :
Heading towards one's sheikh :
Wear clean clothes
Apply attar (perfume) onto your clothes before going to visit your sheikh's
When entering your sheikh's abode you should make no prior intention of leaving.
Turn off your mobile phone / pager / watch alarm before sitting in your sheikhs gathering
Remove your shoes and socks before meeting your sheikh
On arriving do not stare in all directions looking for a space to sit. Instead sit wherever you find available space.
Sitting in the presence of one's Sheikh :
It is important for the mureed not to busy himself in respecting or honouring any other sheikh or person in the presence of one's own sheikh.
Do not look at or sit in the presence of your sheikh without wudhu.
Do not sit in the shadow of your sheikh
Do not sit in a place where your own shadow falls upon your sheikhs' shadow or upon your sheikhs' clothes.
Do not position your back towards your sheikh
Lower your gaze and sit in a humble position.
Do not fiddle with your feet or any other part of your body
Do not sit leaning against a wall or in any other laid back position.
Do not position your feet in the direction of your sheikh
Do not crack your fingers or make any other avoidable sound.
Do not play with your clothes or watch or any other item
Do not clean your nose in the presence of your sheikh.
Sit silently & listen attentively
Do not speak or respond to anyone
Free your mind from all worldly thoughts and allow faiz to enter your heart.
Whatever your sheikh utters, believe it to be 100% true
Do not object to any of his speech either by physical expression or by internal thought.
Commit to memory all that you learn and observe from your sheikh.
*Do not drink water in the presence of your sheikh
*Do not eat in the presence of your sheikh.
Before doing anything always ask permission from your sheikh.
Turn your hearts attention wholly upon your sheikh.
Walking with one's sheikh:
Lower your gaze and walk humbly behind your sheikh
Be alert and ready to remove any object in the pathway of your sheikh
Be ready to open any closed doors in the pathway of your sheikh
Do not walk on the shadow of your sheikh
When walking behind your sheikh, do not walk in your sheikh's footsteps
Do not walk in front of your sheikh or directly to his left or right side.
If need arises to speak to one's sheikh, look for an appropriate time to speak. Do not disturb your sheikh in the middle of his speech nor distract him if he is contemplating.
Speak when spoken to
It is important for the mureed not to utter something from the mouth which will nullify the bait either by joke or by sarcasm
Do not raise your voice above the voice of your sheikh.
In the Khidmat of your sheikh do not busy yourself with Zikr or Nafl prayers. Without first gaining permission from your sheikh.
Ensure you have wudhu before you begin to cook
Cook a simple dish both halaal and pure
Try to prepare or have a sweet dish or savoury for after the main course.
Items belonging to one's sheikh:
Do not use the items, utensils, towel etc of your sheikh
Do not wear your sheikhs' clothes, shoes, topi, etc without permission from your sheikh
Other important etiquette:
Do not stand upon the prayer mat of your sheikh
Refrain from all those things, which your sheikh has prohibited for you
Do not position your back towards your sheikh
If you are not in the state of wudhu, do not look at your sheikh's face or sit in his presence.
Don't do your wudhu where your sheikh performs his wudhu
Do not position your feet in the direction of your sheikhs' house of residence.
Whatever emanates from your sheikh accept this to be the best even though it may look externally not good.
Upon being questioned whom is your sheikh always give your own sheikhs name not a prominent name within your silsila.
Whatever faiz you receive you must acknowledge that all the faiz has come from you own sheikh.
If you are requested to become an imam then after salaat either offer a small prayer and recourse back or better still recourse back and request your sheikh to make the prayer.
Do not sit with those who are enemies of your sheikh
Whatever you learn from your sheikh, on arriving home, note it down on a piece of paper
If a mureed happens to come across some water left by his peer, he should stand up and drink it.
Ya Allah Grant us all the ability to act upon all the ettiquettes accordingly, Ameen!
Advice for an Ideal Spiritual Existence (COMPILED BY LATE ASOOMAL LAKHWANI)
Always consider your Murshid to be more advanced than any other spiritual leaders.
Always consider the favors bestowed upon you by your Murshid above all others.
Stay away from lying, stealing, false accusations, and hurting other people¡¦s feelings. Continually ask for God¡¦s forgiveness.
Keep sleep to a minimum, especially after early morning hours.
Keep eating to a minimum.
Value silences and keep unnecessary talking to a minimum.
Control your ego.
Listen to your Murshid's instructions for saying your ¡¥zikr¡¦ at every opportunity
Have patience during times of difficulty and give thanks during times of plenty.
Do not hurt other¡¦s feelings; even those who have hurt yours.
Don't ask others for favors, but trust and believe in God.
Live in a place where your heart is in harmony with God and your spiritual thoughts are not restricted.
Cultivate friendships with God fearing people and suppress feelings of greed.
If someone gives you something in the name of God, accept it with grace.
If you collect material things and wealth beyond your needs, it is your duty to give away what you cannot use. Your Murshid, other spiritual beings, the poor and the orphaned are to be the recipients.
The disciple should dress in a simple manner similar to the Murshid. Avoid dressing with too many overt expressions of wealth.
One should respect every saintly personality and spiritual person. But if that person says or does something to lead you away from your Murshid, you should abandon that company.
You should perform every task by assuming that it is in God¡¦s hands and trust Him with it.
One should consider God to be in every part of your life and witness to every action or deed that you are part of.
Try not to speak ill of someone, avoid jealousy and company that involves worldly activities such as dancing/shows.
Anger at anyone is not desirable. If you do not care for someone¡¦s company, stay away.
One should consider this life temporary and liable to end anytime. Consider 'nafs' (ego) to be your enemy.
One should listen carefully to a spiritual person and try to take their advice to heart.
A person should strive to lessen his/her needs and demands, and stay afar from harmful habits.
Secrets from beyond this world (¡¥batun¡¦) should only be shared with your Murshid.
Pay no attention to your own good characteristics or bad habits/obsessions, but do pay attention to your ¡¥zikr¡¦ and the true path to God.
Do not be disrespectful of your Murshid. If you see someone being disrespectful of your Murshid, stay away and leave that gathering.
The Importance of a Good Shaykh, from Shaykh Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani (R.D.A).
You must work hard to ensure that your hearts are not locked out of the door of His nearness. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must seek the company of a Shaikh who is learned in the law [hukm] and knowledge [`ilm] of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), and who will show you the way toward Him. Without seeing the successful [muflih], one cannot succeed. If a person does not seek the company of scholars who put their knowledge into practice [`ulama `ummal], he is a chicken from an egg abandoned by the rooster and the mother hen.
Seek the fellowship of those who enjoy fellowship with the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). What each of you should do, when the night has grown dark and people have gone to bed and their voices are silent, is get up, take an ablution [yatawadda'], perform two cycles of ritual prayer [yusalli rak`atain] and say: "O my Lord, guide me to one of Your righteous servants near to You, so that he may guide me toward You and make me familiar with Your path." The instrument [sabab] is necessary. Allah ( Subhanahu wa Ta'alaAlmighty and Glorious is He) was quite capable of guiding [His servants] to Him without the Prophets [anbiya']. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must awaken from your heedless folly. As the Prophet has said:
If someone relies entirely on his own subjective judgment, he will go astray.
Try to find someone who will be a mirror for the face of your religion [din], just as you look in the mirror to check the appearance of your outer face, your turban and your hair. Be sensible! What is this crazy foolishness? You say, "I don't need anyone to teach me," and yet the Prophet has said:
The believer is the believer's mirror [al-mu'minu mir'atu 'l-mu'min].
When the believer's faith is sound, he comes to be a mirror for all creatures. They behold their religious faces [wujuh adyanihim] reflected in the mirror of his speech, every time they see him and get close to him. What is this craziness? Not a moment goes by without your begging Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) to provide you with more than you already have to eat, to drink, and to wear, with more sexual opportunities and more income. These are not things that could increase or decrease, even if you were to be joined in your plea by every supplicant whose prayers are answered [da`in mujab].
Supplication [da`wa] will neither increase one's sustenance by so much as an atom, nor reduce it by an atom. This is a foregone conclusion [mafrugh minhu]. You must devote your attention to doing what you have been commanded to do, and to avoiding what you have been forbidden to do. You should not worry about that which is bound to come your way, because He guarantees that it will come to you. Allotted shares [aqsam] arrive at their appointed times, whether they be sweet or bitter, whether you like them or dislike them. The people [of the Way] attain to a condition in which they no longer have any prayer of supplication [du`a] or request [su'al] to make. They do not beg [in their prayers] to gain advantages, nor to get rid of disadvantages. Their supplication comes to be a matter concerning their hearts, sometimes for their own sake and sometimes for the sake of all creatures, so they utter the prayer of supplication without conscious premeditation [fi ghaiba].
O Allah, endow us with good behavior in Your company under all circumstances!
[When the believer's faith is sound], fasting [sawm], prayer [salat], remembrance [dhikr] and all acts of obedience [ta`at] become second nature to him, mingled with his flesh and blood. Then he receives protection from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) under all circumstances. The restraint of the law [hukm] does not desert him, not for an instant, while he is on this course. The law comes to be like the vessel in which he sits, as he travels over the ocean of the power [qudra] of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). He goes on traveling over it until he arrives at the shore of the hereafter, at the shore of the ocean of grace and the hand of nearness. Thus he is sometimes in the company of creatures and at certain times in the company of the Creator. His work and toil are with creatures, while his relaxation is with the Creator.
From Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, "The Sublime Revelation (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)."
Article Reference: www.livingislam.org
The great Mujatahid Imams have said that even if a man becomes the best religious scholar he is still obliged to take the oath of allegiance to a Spiritual guide because there is no way without it.We find great personalities such as Hazrath Ahmed Ibn Hambal Radi Allahu anhu (Hambali madhab)who was the most superior scholar of his age and was at a high degree of knowledge and Ijthihad,became the disciple of Hazrath Bishr Hafi Radi Allahu anhu
When He was asked as to why He had kept the company of Hazrath Bishr Hafi Radi Allahu anhu ,He answered"He knows Allah better that I do."
Another example is Imam-e-Azam Hazrath Imam Abu Hanifa Radi Allahu anhu (Hanafi Madhab) He gave up the work of Ijthihad in his latter years and became the disciple of Hazrath Jaffar Sadiq alayhis 'salam
When he was asked why he had done so,He replied"Nu'man would have perished if it were not for those two years of his company."
Imam Shafi'ee Radi Allahu anhu (Shafi Madhab) used to sit near Hazrath Sha'ban Ray Radi Allahu anhu and consult him on many matters.The people asked the great Imam"You are so learned,why do you seek advice from a bedouin?"He replied,"This man has learnt what we have not learnt."
As we can see these very great Imams of the Ummah who had high grades in knowledge and worship,humbled themselves in the presence of the Grand Masters in Tasawwuf to attain the secret ILM.These Imams clung and joined the service of the Mashaa'ikh and became great Sufis themselves.
This shows that salvation and spiritual success depends totally on one becoming a disciple or mureed of a perfect spiritual master or Pir-o-Murshid.
As Maulana Rumi Radi Allahu anhu Said :
"Maulvi hargis na shud Maula e Rum
Ta ghulame Shams Tabrizi na shud"
Maulana (religious teacher) Rumi could never have become Maula Rumi (Spiritual Guide)
Without submitting to Spiritual Guide Shams Tabrez.
Ilahi taaboowad Kursheed-o mahey Chiragey chistiya ra roshnaee
Hazrath Khwaja Qubuddeen Kaki Radi Allahu anhu narrates that his murshid said,"That look at the face of one's murshid is recorded as an Ibadat".He further states that Khwaja Gareeb-e-Nawaaz Radi Allahu anhu said,Khwaja Usman Harooni says that,'Whoever serves his murshid dutifully for a day,Allah will bestow upon him one hundred palaces in Jannat and in his book of deeds will be recorded 100 years of sincere Ibadat".
Khwaja Gareeb-e-Nawaaz Radi Allahu anhu further says that,"There was one a very pious person who made Ibadat to Allah for about 100 years.He used to fast during the days and perform Ibadat during the night.Notone breath of his was wasted,away from Allah's worship.
When he passed away,a person saw him in his dream and asked him,'How has Allah treated you?
'He said,'Allah has forgiven me'
.He was then asked,'what action of yours pleased Allah?
'He said,'I have spent my entire breath and all my time worshipping Allah but this did not please Allah,but one thing that pleased Allah which became a means of me earning Allah's pleasure,was that I served my murshid dutifully".
Khwaja Qutbuddin Kaki Radi Allahu anhu states that his Murshid,Khwaja Gareeb Nawaaz Radi Allahu anhu states:"Whoever has attained anything,achieved it through service and it is compulsory upon the mureeds that one should not go against the commands of the murshid even to the size of an atom and whatever salaah and wazifa the murshid has given should be read accordingly so that the mureed may attain some spiritual perfection because whatever the murshid commands it is for the benefit of the mureeds".
The first lesson of Sufism is to love Allah's creatures and respect their views. Therefore, a Sufi should, in principle, refrain from interfering in others' affairs or condemning their way of thinking. Anyone who condemns other people's religious convictions or manner of worship--which are ways of attracting God's favor and moving closer to Him--not only is not a Sufi, but is, in fact, an enemy of the Sufis, for objecting to others' religious views in any way is a form of arrogance and self-centeredness, constituting the greatest offense in Sufism.
Together, we must free Sufism from dogmatism and pretension and work on protecting the basis of Sufi spirituality from hypocrisy. We should be especially mindful of the fact that Sufism is the school of humanity. Without emphasis on inward spirituality and purity, once cannot, properly speaking, develop into a true human being, truly love all humanity, or serve others with heart and soul without any thought of reward."
Selection taken from "Who is a Sufi?" in Discourses by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh.
1. He shall imitate the shuyukh that come in the silsila (chain) of his spiritual master and as the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam) man tashabbaha bi qawmin fahuwa minhum – whoever imitates another shall be from them. So, Insha'Allah the mureed shall be resurrected in the group of those who have been given great blessings from Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala and His Messenger sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam.
Hudur Sayyiduna Gauth al-A'zam Radiallahu `anho states that whoever connects with me and adds his name to the Book of my mureeds, then Allah `azz wa Jall shall surely accept him and if he treads a wrong path, he shall be given guidance from Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala to repent, and he is in the group of my mureeds and undoubtedly, Allah has promised me that He shall enter into Paradise those who are my mureeds, and those who follow my way and those who love me.
[Bahjat al-Asrar – Imam al-Shatnufi Rehmatullahi `alayh as stated in "Imam Ahmed Raza aur Ilm-e-Tasawwuf" – `Allama Muhammad Ahmad Misbahi, Pg 112, and also by Sadr al-`Ulema, Hadrat Shaykh Sayyid Ghulam Jilani Merthi rehmatullahi `alayh in his "Bashir al-Qari sharh Sahih al-Bukhari" Pgs. 61-62]
Sayyiduna Shaykh Khwaja Muinud Din Chishti Radiallahu `anho stated that " I was once engaged in worship in the Haram of Makkah al- Mukarramah and suddenly I heard a voice from the unseen saying: "O Muin-ud-Deen! We are pleased with you, thus we have forgiven you and those who are in your family" Khawaja radiallahu `anho requested: "O Allah `azz wa Jall! I desire more" a voice was heard: "Ask and you shall be given" he stated: "O Allah `azz wa Jall! Forgive the mureeds of Mu'in-ud-Din and the mureeds of his mureeds" a voice was heard from the unseen: "O Muin-ud-Din! We have forgiven all your mureeds and all those who shall be in your silsilah until the Day of Resurrection"
["Bashir al-Qari" – Sadr al-`Ulema, Sayyid Ghulam Jilani al-Merthi rehmatullahi `alayh – Pg. 62]
2. The shaykh shall Insha'Allah help the mureed in times of difficulty.
When it was the time for the agonies of death for the great scholar of Islam, Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (writer of the famous Tafsir ofthe Holy Qur'an Mafatih al-Ghaib – "The Keys to the Unseen"), the Satan came, aiming to misguide him in the latter stages of his life and asked this great Imam: "you have spent your whole lifetime in discussions and debates, have you ever recognised God?" he said, "Yes, indeed Allah is One" Satan asked: "What evidence do you have as regards this belief" The Imam presented one evidence, but the Satan, once the teacher of the angels rebutted this evidence. The Imam presented further evidences, but the cursed Satan continued his rebuttals until the Imam had presented 360 evidences to prove that Allah is One. Imam Razi became perplexed and agitated, but because he was a mureed of the great pious saint of Allah Sayyidunah Najm al-Din al-Kubra radiallahu `anho the sheikh helped him by saying, [whilst he was performing ablution in a far distant place,] was advised to "say that I have believed Allah as One without any proof or evidence". Thus, Imam al-Razi said so and the satan la'natullahi `alayh immediately vanished.
[al-Malfuz – Chapter 4 – Pg. 365]
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan RadiALLAHU `anhu has stated in Fatawa-e-Afriqiyyah that a mureed who has performed the bay'ah on the hands of a Pir (who has fulfilled the conditions) shall gain many benefits and shall be lead to success both in this world and the Hereafter......."the apparent success" [Falah-e-Zahir], "the inward success" [Falah-e-Batini], "the success in being pious" [Falah-e-Taqwa], "the success in ihsan" [Falah-e-Ihsan].
The living is under the particle and wave duality, but only the activated spiritual personality is able to utilize the power in this duality. The dead is in his spiritual form, his wave-body, but if he has not activated that power in himself before death, he is still unable to use this power to move in the spiritual dimension.
It is said that the Awliya Rahmatullahu Ta'ala Alayhim, when they die, have more power than when they are in their physical forms. That is because at that time they are pure spirit and having been released completely from the physical bindings of the particle form are able to move freely.
The wave aspect of human beings has been granted to all human beings. But unless you are able to activate that aspect, you will not be able to take the advantage of it. Those Awliya Rahmatullahu Ta'ala Alayhim who have activated that aspect, are able to turn off the observers allowing them to travel as a wave, and in attaining their light aspect, achieving a temporal existence present at every time and every place that the creation has reached since its advent at the Big Bang.
When you feel you are being watched, and you turn and find someone looking at you, it means that your spirit has already felt some disturbance. This sense of the spirit being attracted or repulsed is experienced by everyone. Some spirits are mutajaniseen and some are mutanafireen you meet someone and immediately feel repulsed or attracted.
Al-Arwaahu junudan Mujanada:
As in physical terms, we have a large people and thin people, and each has a different mass, exerting gravitational force, the spirits also have dimensionality spiritual mass. Thus there are large spirits and small spirits.
When a Shaykh has been granted Haqiqat al-Jazba, his spiritual mass becomes enormous. As in physical terms, it is shown that a black hole, which is a massive object that has become so dense that even waves of light cannot escape its attraction, so similar to the gravity of a black hole, will exert a tremendous attracting force and cause other spirits in his proximity to be drawn to him. The outward manifestation is that a person who falls under that attractive influence will be drawn to sit with the Shaykh or begin to ask the mureeds of the Shaykh who is he? What does he teach? and so on.
Or one may even see that a person, having seen the Shaykh in passing, within 10 or fifteen minutes is taking shahada and entering the path of Islam.
The Shaykh who is gifted with Haqiqat al-Jazba, is able to amplify your perceptions. He is able to excite your electrons from level one to level two in the quantum states. That is what causes excitement of the person who is attracted.
That is why when one sits in the presence of a Shaykh, even if he is not speaking or interacting, one feels energized and active. This is the effect of his spiritual energy on the electrons of your spiritual body.
Often this is experienced by the disciple: he comes to the Shaykh with a heavy heart from some trial or test. Immediately in the presence of the Shaykh his spirits are lifted and he feels his burdens removed. Once he leaves the presence, the burdens return, though at that time they may feel reduced.
Not all Shaikh are kaamil, only after attaining Wilaayat that a Shaykh becomes Kaamil (perfect) - it must be noted that Wilaayat has different levels. A person who is not yet a Wali and who have been given permission by another Kaamil Shaykh to give Baiat is not yet Kaamil until he reaches the highest level of the Spiritual Path, i.e attaining Wilaayat. This does not mean that he is empty and have no spiritual capacity, he does have some spiritual powers transferred to him by his Kaamil Shaykh but they are limited. Whatever he can give to his mureeds is from his Kaamil Shaykh via spiritual connection in the form of spiritual knowledge and answers to questions related to spirituality. He must of course be knowledgeable in Shariat as well as a Follower of Shariat. Without Shariat there's no real progress on the spiritual path.
One must be extremely careful here especially on the fact how will a Shaykh who is not Kaamil helps his mureeds when they say "Ya Shaykh Al Madad". If the Shaykh does not have the power to spiritually help, it's his Shaykh who takes the responsibility to respond to the call of the mureeds. A mureed must never commit the error to doubt his Shaykh even though he is not Kaamil because it is through him that he wiil derive benefit through the nisbat of the baiat (oath of allegiance) taken with him.
Here is an explanation about a Kaamil Shaykh by Shaykh Shahidullah Faridi Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu who was an Emminent Sufi Shaykh:-
The Qualified Shaykh posesses as a gift of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, the power of transference of spiritual qualities; a kind of outpouring (faiz) from the always full vessel of his heart. By means of this power he is continually aiding the mureed in the development of his inner potentialities, correcting his aberrations and supporting his efforts in the proper direction. This spiritual action has been compared to the mother giving milk to the child, the physical outpouring of nourishment which makes possible his growth and development. Another example which throws some light on it is that of the rays of the sun which falls on the young shoot and supply it with the strenghth to expand and flourish.
It may be either unconscious or conscious. In its unconscious form it is like a fire in a cold room; any one who approaches it will benefit from its heat. In its conscious form it is the deliberate direction of the spiritual Energy towards a certain person or a number of persons (tawajjuh i.e. attention).
A Sufi Sheikh must have attained purification of his ego?s characteristics to become a Sheikh. So, if he is subject to fits of anger he is not a real Sheikh, and his teachings will not affect people?s hearts. Sometimes, however, Sheikhs do get angry, but their anger is a barrage directed against people?s bad characteristics, not against them personally, and its intention is to help that person rid himself of a bad characteristic that is hindering his spiritual progress. Every bad characteristic presents itself to the Sheikh as a target ? like the apple on the boy?s head in the famous story of William Tell ? and an authorized Sheikh will target this without harming the man himself.
Another difference between the anger of a Sheikh and common anger is that a Sheikh will never hold a grudge: he shoots his arrow at the target the moment a bad characteristic appears, and then it is over. Holding grudges is very, very dangerous for all people, for if it continues it becomes a dangerous illness that strikes to the very root of our faith and destroys it. Every time a person displays an objectionable characteristic you may shoot it down, but never assume that you will encounter that characteristic every time you meet that person. Don?t say, ?There is that person who did such-and-such yesterday?, because today that characteristic has not appeared, and perhaps he has rid himself of it, and you are wronging him in assuming otherwise.
Our Grandsheikh was following the Holy Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam in that he never held grudges. If a bad characteristic would appear in a murid he would shoot at it immediately and directly, but with other people he used indirect methods of correcting faults; for it is very dangerous to criticize a person directly, as he may then hold a grudge against you, and we must not invite such a situation upon ourselves, or other people. Only Saints and small children up to the age of eleven may be able to accept criticism without holding a grudge. After children reach the age of twelve they lose this good quality,. You may see small children fight, but when it passes it is over. Some few people never lose this good quality, but in our days it is almost inevitably lost.
When a saintly person meets someone he assumes the best and expects to encounter only goodwill, but most people are suspicious and anticipate evil when they meet a stranger. Our Grandsheikh never anticipated evil from anyone, but when he encountered it, he had divine permission to shoot. Most Sheikhs don?t even use this method of direct criticism on their murids because of possible harmful reactions. Sheikh Sharafuddin once told our Grandsheikh: ?If you don?t apply poison to external wounds (i.e. medicine for external use only that would be poison if taken internally) our internally applied medicine might never work.?
In the presence of truth the ego raises its head in rebellion, and we must put it down; that is a very delicate task, like surgery. A butcher may cut meat, but he can?t perform surgery. The butcher has a knife and so does the surgeon, but what a difference between the two instruments! One of them is used for slaughtering and the other to prolong life. It is well known, no one becomes a qualified surgeon simply by reading medical books, but only by being an intern at the side of a master surgeon.
In our time, Muslims are approaching the illnesses they encounter in the West with a butcher?s knife, and ignoring Allah?s command to call people to truth with wisdom. The Arabs, in particular are to blame for the present situation, and most of the scholars from Arab countries are opposing our efforts. Why? Because they are coming with their butcher?s knives intending to stab Westerners in the heart, and make sure that all the survivors run for their lives ? and I am trying to prevent this. This enrages them, and though they can?t accuse me of transgressing the religious law, they maintain, about Sufis in general that, ?they are calling people to Islam, but have introduced so many innovations.? Their criticisms stem from envy, that Sufi ?surgeons? are so often successful in helping people get over their illnesses.
In a famous Hadith Qudsi, or Holy Tradition, Allah Almighty states that He Himself becomes the eyes, ears and hands of His Saints. So how should a Sufi Sheikh be oblivious to the needs of the people he encounters? Those Muslim preachers who come to the West without Divinely inspired hearing, vision and touch are surely blind, deaf and insensitive (but, unfortunately, not dumb).
Once upon a time there was a deaf person. Someone informed his wife that his neighbour was ill. She then communicated this to him through sign language, and he resolved to go and visit the neighbor, but knowing that he could not carry on a normal dialogue, he made the following plan for his visit. I may say ?How are you?? and he will reply, ?I?m feeling a little better?. Then I will say ?May Allah increase it (i.e. your recovery)?, and he will say, ?thank you?. Then I will sit a while, and then ask him, ?Which doctor is attending to you?? and he will say the name of some respected physician and I will reply. ?He is a very good doctor, very suitable for your case?. Then I will sit a while more and ask, ?What medicine have you been taking??, and he will say the name of some drug and I will reply, ?It is very beneficial, keep taking it?, then I will say my salams and go.?
So, thus having a fixed scenario in is mind, off he went to the house of his neighbour, knocked on door and was admitted to the sick man?s room. ?How are you, oh my neighbor??, he asked. ?I?m miserable?, replied the sick man. ?May Allah increase it?, said the deaf man. This vexed the sick man, as you may well imagine. ?Who is looking after you??, asked the deaf man. ?Izrail, the angel of death?, replied the annoyed ill man. ?An excellent physician, if he visits you, you should have nothing to worry about?, said the deaf man. By now the sick man was furious. ?What have you been taking as medicine??, said the deaf man. ?Poison?, retorted the enraged ill man. ?That should be a very useful treatment for you. Now I must go, it has been nice visiting you?, said the deaf man. ?Go to hell?. ?Thank you very much, good bye.?
People who occupy themselves with advising others in matters concerning their eternal lives should be people with open hearts, so that, through the eyes of their hearts they may perceive what is relevant and acceptable to the person they are advising. It is not useful just to ignore the fact that the understanding and mentality of people from a different cultural background are drastically different from your own. To be a spiritual advisor is not a question of obtaining degrees in that field, as one would obtain a diploma in chemistry or law; it is a question of subtle changes in the way one perceives people and events, so as to penetrate the defenses and arrive at the reality of a person?s inner state. This profession requires a sharp diagnostic eye. You may be a pharmacist in charge of a whole depot of drugs, but you haven?t the right to prescribe for ill people. Even if you know the drug required you may not know the dosage, and kill the patient with an overdose.
If we present the medicine to the patient in a form that makes it easier to swallow or taste better, should we be blamed? Is eating iron filings the only way to get iron into one?s system? The Holy Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam said: ?I have been sent to approach people tactfully?. The meaning of this Hadith is that there is no wisdom in meeting people?s prejudices head-on. Don?t seek confrontation, but be wise like the ship?s pilot who, when faced with a headwind does not set bow to it and let it push him back, but wisely tracks an indirect diagonal course that may be three times as long as the direct one, but can be pursued even in the face of such an unfavourable breeze, a course which will set him towards his goal. The Holy Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam never used the word ?No?, but we are so busy pointing the finger and saying: ?This is forbidden and that won?t do?. That is not our way, neither was it the way of the Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam, nor of the great Sufi Masters of history, and Islamic scholars blame the Sufis and call us ?innovators?, claiming that our methods have no basis in the example set by the Holy Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam. When a seed is newly planted and the first leaves spring forth, these leaves may look somewhat different than the ones that grow later. But we mustn?t cut the later-sprouting leaves, saying: ?These leaves must be from a different seed?. Show me a plant that remains the same throughout its life, and I will show you a plastic plant. Islam was still a sapling in the Prophets time, and through history has matured into a huge tree whose branches reach from East to West. And even if there are thousands of branches spreading over all peoples and times, they are connected to the root and the main trunk.
Then after some years, a tree develops flowers and fruits as well as leaves. At that point shall we look askance at the whole of mankind as it imbibes the fragrance of the flowers of our tree and as men nourish themselves from the sweet fruits of our tree? Shall we reject fruits and flowers, clinging to a ?leaves only? mentality, advocating the destruction of the flowers and fruits as innovations? True Islam is not like a hedge that requires a gardener?s clipper to keep it square, but it is like a miraculously expansive and fruit-bearing tree ? a shelter for all and a source of every delicious fruit.
Here is a compendium of forty (40) wise sayings of one of the greatest Sufi saints of the 19th/20th centuries, Hazrat Pir Sayyid Jamaat Ali Shah Sahib quds-sirruhu (c.1840 -1951) of
Alipur Sharif, Sialkot, Pakistan. The Shaykh was one of the great saints of the Punjab and a
sayyid also from both maternal and paternal sides of his family. His ancestors, all sufi masters themselves, hailed from Shiraz in Iran and came to the Subcontinent when one of them accompanied Emperor Humayoun back to Delhi after his exile in Iran where Humayoun had originally met him.
1.If the name of Allah is uttered even once with the tongue, it is the dhikr (remembrance) of the tongue; if Allah is remembered once with the heart, then that is equal to thirty five million utterances (dhikr) of the tongue. Such is the dhikr of the heart. There are 35 million blood vessels in the body, and all are connected to the heart. If Allah’s name is uttered even once (with the heart) then all the vessels utter it too.
2.In a river, a boat travels on the water and the greater the amount of water, the more at ease the boat will be. However if that very water enters the boat, it will capsize. The heart is as the boat and the sorrows and heartaches of the world are the water; everyone’s boat has sunk except that of the people of Allah—those who do dhikr—which always stays afloat.
3.Allah [May He be Exalted!] has created Hell for the enemies of the Holy Messenger [sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam] and Paradise for those who are his lovers. Those people who worry about whether they will go to Heaven or Hell after death, should ask themselves whether they are lovers of His Excellency (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) or amongst his enemies.
4."Kullu jadeedin lazeezun"; you may like every new thing of this world but in your Faith [Deen] you must stick with the same, ancient, Islam as that of your Predecessors.
5.If a man has bad (sinful) actions [‘amal] so be it, but Allah forbid that his Belief [‘aqeedah] is bad. In a hadith it is written that run from a leper as you would from a lion; those with bad Belief are lepers of the heart—protect yourself from them, in fact do not even sit where they have sat.
6.Constant contemplation [fikr] about prayer [salat; namaz] is given the name prayer i.e. a person is busy doing some work but his heart is always thinking about the (next) prayer so that sometimes he asks about the time, sometimes he looks at his watch, at other times he looks at the (position of) the sun, to make sure that he doesn’t miss the (correct) prayer time. Until such templation is achieved, the prayer is just a ritual and a habit which is being performed. May Allah Almighty grant us such contemplation!
7.If a farmer uses a plough all his life but does not plant the seeds, can his crops grow? Of course not! Using the plough is fasting [sawm], prayer [salat], pilgrimage [Hajj] and sowing the seeds is charity [zakat]. If one does not give zakat, all his praying, fasting and making the pilgrimage is in vain.
8.If two tasks need to be performed, one for the Faith [Deen], the other for the world [dunya], then perform the one for the Deen first. Through it’s blessing [baraka’] the worldly task will also be achieved.
9.Every supplication [dua’] has two wings: lawful earnings, and a truthful tongue. Whoever earns through lawful [halal] means and speaks the truth, his supplication will definitely be accepted.
10.Whoever asks from you in fact does you a favour, for he asks you for a paisa [a hundredth of a rupee] and Allah rewards you for (giving) it seven-hundred fold.
11.Saying, ‘La ilaha il Allah’ (there is no god but Allah) makes one a muwwahid (monotheist), not a Believer (mu’min). So when will you become a Believer? When you say ‘La ilaha il Allahu Muhammadur Rasul Allah’ (there is no god but Allah (and) Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah). For us the greatest blessing (ni’mat) is that of Iman (Faith).Even Satan recites ‘La ilaha il Allah’, but why is he still known as the Accursed? He (even) says, ‘Inni akhafullaha Rabbal aalamin’ (Verily, I have fear of Allah, the Lord of the Worlds).
All the different groups in the world are believers in the Oneness of God [tawhid], whether they be bhangis, choorhay-chamaar,Christians, or some other group, but why are they accursed (mala’un)? Because they only say, ’There is no god but Allah’ but omit ‘Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah’.
12.When the blessed name of the Chief of Both the Worlds (Muhammad), sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, comes on one’s tongue, all one’s lifetime of blasphemy [kufr], polytheism [shirk], and all one’s sins are erased.
13.In this day and age it is common to hear that do not praise His Excellency Muhammad), sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, beyond his limit. But only one who knows a limit can go beyond it. If someone does not know the limit, how will he exceed it? Apart from Allah Almighty no one knows the limits of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam); reading his noble kalimah once is enough to wipe out a lifetime’s sins! This much we do know about his limits:
Muhammad Mustafa, O Kaif, is praised by Allah Forget about Man: no one can truly praise him!
Muhammad is the Divine Secret, his secrets who knows?
In shar’iah he is a man, in reality [haqiqah] God knows!
14.In , ‘Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah’, there is laudation [na’at] of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam; those who do not like the Prophet’s laudation [na’at], should also refrain from saying, "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."
15.The earth does not eat the bodies of the Prophets, neither does it touch them. The Prophets pray [perform namaz] in their graves.
Use analogy [qiyas] then, and think what the state of The Prophet will be like (in his grave).
16.The Messenger of Allah, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, said that whoever sends salutations upon me I will answer his salutations.
17.His Excellency (Muhammad), sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, said that whoever sends blessings [durud-i-sharif] upon me with love, I hear it with my own ears.
18.The Holy Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam ,after veiling himself from this world, is, without doubt, alive and still upon his Prophethood (in his blessed grave) and is pleased by the worship and good deeds of his Community [ummah] and saddened by the sins and disobedience.
19.A loose, unbridled, camel never reaches it’s destination and wherever it goes it is beaten and hit. A camel in a line (of camels) however, no matter how thin and weak it is, definitely will reach it’s destination.
20.The body has been given to use, and not to nourish and make fat:
You must awake, so awaken now, whilst beneath the heavens’ shadow
You shall have until Judgement Day to sleep --beneath the earth’s shadow!
21.By putting one’s head on the dust (in prostration), a man becomes purified:
What right do we have to put our feet on the ground
When, in prostration, we’ve never put our head on the ground?
22.Do not stay in the company of people with incorrect beliefs [aqidah], in fact do not even sit where they have sat.
23.Wherever the water touches during wudu’[ritual washing], that place will not burn in the hellfire.
24.If after mendicancy [faqr], the faqir becomes a dog of the world [dunya] again;
The fool after being purified, has become embroiled in filth again!
25.In the verse of Surah Fatiha, ‘Guide us to the straight path, the path of those whom You have favoured’, there is proof of taqlid and its necessity.
26."Fatta bi ‘u millata Ibrahima hanifa’n". There have been 124, 000 prophets but this command, "Therefore follow the religion of Ibrahim who was separate from every falsehood" proves that it is obligatory [fard] to do taqlid of an Imam.
27.Everybody’s grave will be dark but the grave of those who pray the tahajjud prayer will be full of light. The reading of the Ayat ul Kursi (Verse of the Throne) after each prayer (namaz), and the Sura (beginning with)Tabarakulladhi each night will definitely result in there being no punishment in the grave.
28.Just as it is obligatory [fard] to send blessings [durud] upon the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) during the prayer [salat], likewise it is also obligatory to send blessings [durud] upon his Family [ l], otherwise the prayer will not be (valid).
29.Nothing is had before it has been destined [qismat] and before it’s appointed time [waqt].
30.Allah Ta’aala has created the heart [dil] for his remembrance [dhikr], and has not created it for worries.
31.When people from previous nations sinned, there faces used to metamorphose but His Excellency, the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam), declared, "Allah the Pure will not change the faces of those who believe in me."
32.The Day of Judgement [qiyamat] will come when from amongst Allah’s servants, no one remains to pronounces Allah’s name.
33.Respect the great men of religion [buzurg], if they become angry (with you) then there is no hope for salvation. To insult one is to insult them all. If a chicken lays a rotten egg, then even if that one egg is placed beneath a thousand other chickens, a chick will never emerge from that egg.
34.Read the Word of Allah (Qur’an) only for Allah. Reading it for worldly reasons [dunya], is like giving rubies in exchange for a few worthless pennies; it is another matter if, after reading for Allah, Allah Himself gives you worldly benefits for the sake of your reading (for Him).
35.He who has no shame [ghairat] has no faith [iman].
36.To accept an invitation (to dine) [dawah] is Sunnah. His Excellency the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said that even if someone makes you an invitation which is at a distance of three miles away, and invites you for something simple, you should still attend.
37.At the time of entering Madina Sharif , you must pay full attention to its etiquette [adab]. At the very least, one’s facial appearance should be that of a Muslim: the latest fashions, and hairstyles, etc. should be avoided.
38.If one wishes to give anything in the way of Allah, one should do so in one’s own lifetime. After we die, neither our wife nor our children will give anything in our name; in fact, it will be difficult even for them to come to read the Fatihah at our graves!
39.If there are ten people doing dhikr and one person who is abstaining [ghafil], the remembrancers [dhakir] will make the abstainer radiant too [nurani].Staying [suhbat] with company wherein Allah’s dhikr is performed will bring contentment.
40.It is said that after death the dead person does not receive spiritual reward [thawab]. The situation is this, that the soul does not die; when the soul does not die, why then will it receive no reward?!
Junaid Baghdaadi (radiallahu anhu) states:
Tasawwuf is derived from the Arabic word Istafa (selection). A sufi is one who has been selected by Allah.
A sufi is one who achieves the Khullat (Allah's friendship) of Sayyiduna Ibrahim (alaihi salaam), the submission of Sayyiduna Ismail(alaihi salaam)the grief of Sayyiduna Dawood(alaihi salaam) the patience of Sayyiduna Ayoob (alaihi salaam)the yearning of Sayyiduna Moosa (alaihi salaam)and the sincerity of Sayyiduna Muhammad(sallahu alaihi wasallam).
Perhaps the most apt is "To abandon/cancel/negate everything other than Allah and then to annihilate one's self in Allah is Tasawwuf.
The greatest of gifts is to keep the mind and heart clear of the existence of anything but Allah and not to allow the thought of any beloved but Allah to enter the heart. May we point out that love for the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam), other prophets sahaaba, aulia is also love for Allah, since we love them for the sake of Allah, as they are the beloveds of Allah.
Compulsory is My (Allah's) love for those who love one another for My sake, who sit together for My sake, who visit one another for My sake, who spend for one another for My sake (Muwatta Imam Maalik)
Without the knowledge of the laws of Allah (Al-Shariah) deeds are impossible and knowledge without actions is futile. Deeds without God consciousness (Taqwa), sincerity, and deep concentration are useless. Imam Malik (radiallahu anhu) states: One who indulged in Tasawwuf without Ilm is a Zindeeq (heretic) and one who indulged in Ilm without Tasawwuf is a faasiq (major sinner) and one who indulged in both has reached Tahqeeq (researched truth).
Sufis don't belong to a club, clique or cult. A sufi must necessarily posses the Sifaat (attributes) of a thoroughly cleansed human being who has freed himself from the chains of his carnal soul and ego; who is the bestowed with wilayah (sainthood) by Allah. Miracles are not an integral part of Tasawwuf. "Steadfastness (on Taqwa etc.) is greater than miracles. This, in brief, is an introduction to Tasawwuf and the spiritual dimension of Islam.
Once a few disciples of Hazrat Junaid-e-Baghdadi (radi Allaho anhu) were seated together praising Hazrat Abu Bakr Shibli (radi Allaho anhu). They said, There is none that is more respected and honest amongst us than Abu Bakr Shibli (radi Allaho anhu) As they were having their discussion, Hazrat Junaid-e-Baghdadi (radi Allaho anhu) entered and said, What are you discussing about Abu Bakr Shibli All that you have said is improper. He is not as good as you all say. Now remove him from the room. After Hazrat Abu Bakr Shibli (radi Allaho anhu) left the room, Hazrat Junaid-e-Baghdadi (radi Allaho anhu) addressed his disciples and said, I have a hundred times more respect and love for Shibli, compared to that which you were discussing. When you were praising him in his presence, it was like you were striking him with a sword. It was for this reason, that I had no option but to say what I said, so that it may be a shield against that which you were saying, if not he would have been devastated (for he could not accept being praised, due to his humility).
Once at the time of tawaaf while giving naseehat to a man, Sultan Khwaja Ibrahim ibn Adham Radi Allahu anhu said:“Until five valleys have not been traversed, the rank of the Saaliheen cannot be attained.
First: Close the door of ni’mat and open the door of hardship.
Second: Close the door of respect and open the door of disgrace.
Third: Close the door of comfort and open the door of difficulty.
Fourth: Close the door of sleep and open the door of wakefulness.
Fifth: Close the door of wealth and open the door of poverty.”
1. Generosity like that of Hazrat Ibrahim alayhis 'salam
2. Cheerful submission like that of Hazrat Isma'il alayhis 'salam
3. Patience like that of Hazrat Yaqub alayhis 'salam
4. Prayer like that of Hazrat Zakariyya alayhis 'salam
5. Poverty like that of Hazrat Yahya alayhis 'salam
6. Wearing of woollen clothes like that of Hazrat Musa alayhis 'salam
7. Travelling about like that of Hazrat Isa alayhis 'salam
8. A life of poverty with resignation and content like that of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam.
Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani Radi Allahu anhu gave the following ten rules for his mureeds who wanted to mature themselves and control their nafs.
Jokingly or seriously, don't lie, because once your tongue avoids lying, Allah the Most High enlarges your chest and purifies your understanding and ilm (knowledge). That person becomes as if they don't know what a lie is. Everything becomes truth to him. When he hears other people lie, the mureed should pray for them not to lie.
The mureed should avoid cursing or harming humans and other created beings (from bugs to Jinn) because avoiding to curse and harm is the character of the good and loyal friends of Allah. If a person is like this, then Allah protects him or her and their end will be good. They will reach to a high level in Allah's presence. Allah will protect them from being destroyed and protect them from harm. Allah rewards this person with being a blessing to human beings and close to Allah's essence.
The mureed has to keep his promise at all times unless he has a very good excuse. He must avoid not keeping his promise because not keeping a promise is in the same class as lying. As long as the servant of Allah tries to keep his/her promise the doors of generosity and blessings open to him/her. Loyal lovers of Allah love these people and they get a high station in Allah's presence. It is better that he avoids the habit of making promise, so that he may not be guilty of the breach of promise.
Even though a person has harmed or wronged him/her, the mureed should not pray for harm to come to him or curse him. Even if the mureed is wronged, he/she should not damn anyone, whether by word or action. The mureed should put up with this and be patient for Allah's sake. This virtue takes the owner to high stations in this world and the hereafter. Such a person will be loved by far and near ones.
The mureed should not blame other believers with attributing partners to Allah, with disbelief or cause trouble between people. This attitude is close to mercy and assists the mureed to to reach high spiritual levels.
The mureed should not sin inwardly (in the heart) or outwardly. He/She should avoid eating things that are not halal and protect all the organs of his body from sin. This state is the best achievement in this world that a mureed can cultivate for the eternal life.
The mureed should earn his own livelihood and not be a burden to people who are independent of him/her. He should bear not only his own burden but also that of other people. Because of this virtue, the fear of Allah will make their worship complete and honorable.
The mureed/dervish must not or should not expect anything from people or desire what belongs to others. He should be unmindful of things which he needs, for to have no need is the mark of honour and the distinguishing trait of piety of the pious. The biggest honour and wealth and the highest level is to put one's whole trust in Allah only. Only with this attitude can the dervish be pious. Worship matures with this attitude. This is the state and action of one who give himself to Allah.
A mureed/dervish should not, either truly or falsely, intentionally or unintentionally, by mistake or on purpose take Allah's Name in vain or swear by the Name of Allah.
The mureed/dervish should take to hospitality and humility. With humility, the dervish reaches high levels of spirituality and stays at this high level. This is the base of goodness and the highest level of goodness. Because of this quality the lovers of Allah stay with him in troubled times. The Walis (Saints) visit him in the unseen and aid him in his difficulty. Humility is seeing everybody you meet as higher than you and thinking that they might be closer to Allah than yourself.
If the mureed meets a person that is younger than himself/herself, he/she should say:
"This person did not rebel against Allah; I did. I am sure he/she is better than me."
If the mureed meets a person who is older than himself, he/she should say:
"This person has worshipped Allah longer than I have . He might have reached levels I have not been able to reach. Maybe Allah has let him know things I haven't been allowed to know yet."
If the mureed meets an ignorant person, then he should say:
"This person rebelled against Allah because he was ignorant; I rebelled against Allah knowingly. I dont know what is going to happen at the end to me or to him/her."
If the mureed meets a person who is a disbeliever or agnostic, he should say:
"Maybe one day this disbeliever or agnostic will become a Muslim and do better deeds than myself and he might end up in a better place than I would and I might be misled and end up in a worse place than him."
If a mureed acts with humility like this, then Allah the Most High saves him/her from hardships and makes the mureed reach to the levels of those who give advice for Allah's sake. He will be the closest friend of Allah the Most High.
Closest to Allah is one who possesses the following three qualities:
•Magnanimity of the river.
•Kindness of the sun.
•Humility of the Earth.
Noblest of the characters is possessed by the one who is:
•Bountiful in poverty.
•Content in hunger.
•Cheerful in grief.
•Friendly in hostility.
Surest way to keep off the internal punishment in the hell is:
•To feed the hungry.
•To redress the aggrieved.
•To help the distressed.
1. Without performing "Namaz", none can approach 'ALLAH' , because 'Namaz' is the climax (Mairaj) in the process such approach for pious.
2. If all the rules of Namaz were not followed properly, it is struck back on the face of him who offers such a Namaz.
3. The heart of a lover (True lover of ALLAH) constantly burns with the fire of love so much so that what ever intrudes upon its sanctity is reduced to ashes.
4. A sin committed does not harm an individual so much as the looking down upon one's own fellow beings.
5. Of all the worship that pleases Almighty ALLAH, the best is the grant of relief to the humble and the oppressed.
6. Performance of charity is the key of attaining the state of generosity.
7. One who does not perform devotion to ALLAH is engaged in the career of attaining a sinful earning.
8. There are four fundamental virtues of the individual self :
a) Refraining from begging in the state of penury(poverty).
b) Showing the attitude of the well-fed when feeling hungry.
c) Maintaining cheerfulness in the time of sorrow.
d) Befriending in the enemy.
9. That man is true devotee of Almighty Allah, who resigns with pleasure to the misfortune that comes from his beloved (Almighty ALLAH).
10. The path of love of ALLAH is such a path that who so ever steps into it, loses himself.
11. For a follower of the path of truth it is worse than a sin to disdain or look down upon any one.
12. Those who are true Lovers of ALLAH give away both of the worlds for the sake of their Beloved ALLAH and even then feel that they have done nothing worthy.
13. Perfection in faith is evident by three things:
14) Fear, 2) Hope, 3) Love .
Manner's due on Mureed in state of his engagement in divine remembrance and daily aurad o wazaif.
The manner required to be observed with regards to Zikr are 20 in number ; 5 are due before the commencement of Zikr ; 12 are due during the state of Zikr and the remaining 3 needs to be observed after the Zikr is over.
The preliminary five manner's are respectively :
1. To Perform bath and Ablution.
2. Tauba wa Istighfaar (beeseching Allah azwajal for repentance and forgiveness).
3. Observing silence.
4. Maintaining atmosphere of tranquility and composure.
5. Reposing complete confidence in Murshid that will help him reach through his intermediation & at the same time holding this firm belief that real intermediary in this behalf is Sarwar-e-Konain Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam.
1. Facing the directtion of Qibla and sitting in the posture of Qada as in prayer.
2. Placing both the hand's on thigh's.
3. Keeping the eyes close.
4. keeping body clean and tidy.
5. Sitting in the dark room.
6. Holding firm belief that the objective for which Zikr is undertaken shall be realized
7. Asserting sincerity of intention and purpose.
8. Applying Attar on body and clothes.
9. Burning scented wooden stick(agarbatti) in the house oe place where Zikr is undertaken.
10. Making the heart rid of all apprehension's & perilious thought's.
11.Embodying the concept(tassawur) of murshid in the heart so formly that not a single moment is spent without thought of him and do the zikr of Allah.
Let this be understood thats the heart is repository of the concetual idea of the Shaykh & particularly when one is travelling along the path of Saluk the thought of Shaykh should reign supreme in the heart. It requires sincerity with loyalty.
1. Keeping calm and silent in comfort and ease.
2. Tasawwur-e-Shaykh i.e. every breath be saturated with the thought's of Shaykh which entail's casting asperrion's on Nafs, cursing it all the time as a contemptible things to be despised.
3. Not drinking water after Zikr as intake of water in this condition dampen's the spirit and makes the Wajd(state of love) dead. This state of ecstacy is very much to the liking of Sufia.
As such atleast for half an hour he should be abstain from drinking water following the termination of Zikr especially when it is undertaken in the company of Shaykh-i-Kamil. The hurried intake of water in this state obstructs the spontaneous coming of hidden help and block the divine blessing causing hindrance in attaining the goal namely the ultimate objective behind this spiritual exercise. If the heightened state of excitement and state of love make the thirst uncontrollable, it should be quenched with water in the manner prescribe by the Shaykh. care shoould be taken that even in the state of acute thirst water should be taken in reasonable quantity as one is habitual to take in normal thirst.
Zikr is a highly regarded practice in the Qur'an ul-Kareem; and those who do not pay enough attention to Zikr are urgently warned:
"And whoever turns himself away from the Zikr of the Rahman, We set a Satan on him, then he becomes his associate. And most surely they turn them away from the true path, but they still think that they are guided aright. (43: 36/37)
"Satan has taken them under control and made them forget the remembrance (Zikr) of Allah; they are the Satan's party, now surely, those who follow Satan will be disappointed." (58: 19)
"…Practice Zikr of Allah very much." (33: 41)
"Whoever turns away from my Zikr, verily for him is a difficult (narrowed down) living, and We raise him on the day of resurrection, as blind." (20: 124)
"When you remember me(do my zikr) , I am remembering you…" (2: 152)
"When my servants ask you of me, I am indeed close to them. I answer the du'a of those when they pray du'a to Me." (2-186)
"And certainly the Zikr of Allah is of the highest degree (akbaar)." (29-45)
Take a look at Hazrat RasulAllah ( Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam)'s words pointing out how very beneficial Zikr is for people:
His ( Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam) reply to the question "Which deeds are most favored by Allah?":
"To pass away while your tongue is still moist with the Zikr of Allah!"
"Would you like me to inform you of which deed of yours is of the highest benefit, which is the purest at the sight of Allah, and which will increase your degrees the most, and which is more beneficial for you than giving away gold and silver, and than encountering your enemies on battlefields and cutting off their necks and they cut off yours in the name of Allah?
That is Zikr of Allah, the highest."
"No deed can save you from the punishment of Allah more than Zikr of Allah."
When asked "Which servant's degree is of the highest merit at the sight of Allah on the Day of Judgment?" he ( Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam)replied:
"The ones who do Zikr of Allah the most!"
When asked, "What about the degree of the veteran who fights in the Name of Allah?"
He ( Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam)replied:
"Even if he fights with infidels and polytheists until his sword shatters and is covered in blood, certainly the degree of the ones who practice Zikr of Allah is of still higher merit" .
"It is only by practicing Zikr of Allah that a servant may be safeguarded from Satan."
"Of all the things you possess, a tongue which practices Zikr of Allah, a heart full of gratitude and a life partner who supports your faith are of the highest merit."
"The example of people who do Zikr of Allah and who don't is like people who are alive and dead!"
"Practice Zikr of Allah so much so that people should start to question your madness."
"Practice Zikr of Allah so much so that the hypocrites (munafiqun) should think you are doing it to show off."
"The mufarridun have surpassed all." They asked, "Who are the mufarridun, Rasul of Allah?" He ( Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam) replied, "Those men and women who are devoted to do Zikr of Allah abundantly. Zikr puts off their burdens, so that they will come light-footed (agile) in the hereafter."
"Satan has his mouth on the hearts of the sons of Adam. When they do Zikr of Allah, he moves away. When they stop the Zikr due to absence of mind, he swallows their hearts!"
This hadith involves a simile meaning that as a person practices Zikr of Allah, the jinn stay away from him and they cannot cloud his judgment by inducing misgivings in his mind; but when he stops Jikr, the jinn can exert influence on his mind very easily and control him as they like.
"It is the highest merit of all the things that Allah inspires his servants to do Zikr ".
"No charitable deed is more meritorious than practicing Zikr of Allah."
"The people of heaven will not be upset for anything except for the times they spent on Earth without doing Zikr ."
"Whoever does not practice Zikr of Allah very much will get distant from faith."
"People will feel disappointment on the Doomsday due to every moment they lived without practicing the Zikr of Allah."
"If a group of people gathers for a meeting, and they leave this meeting without ever doing Zikr of Allah, that meeting turns out to be a reason of disappointment for them on the Doomsday."
"Whoever practices Zikr of Allah will be distant from hypocrisy!"
Shamil nahi jis Zikr mein RasulAllah ( Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam) ka nam, Wo Zikr, Dua aur Ibadat hai Na Tamam.
The most Afzal Zikr (best among the best's) is 1st kalma "LA ILAHA ILLAALLAHU MOHAMMADUR RASULULLAHE" ( Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam) every thing in this universe is created through kalma.
Sama falls into that legal classification of acts which are technically called 'Mubah', which mean that they are Permitted by the Shariah, but have no religious value or significance. For a good purpose it is legally permissible, but if it is used for an undesirable or an evil purpose, then it becomes forbidden.
In other words, Sama or Qawwali falls under the neutral category. There are four situations of sama:
1. First is the situation where Sama/Qawwali is held only for the sake of entertainment and pleasure. It is not correct, legally speaking, according to the Shariah or otherwise to hold that Sama is haram or forbidden only because it pleases the heart and one gets pleasure and happiness from it, for the reason that not all pleasant and pleasurable things are made haram, forbidden. Only those pleasurable things which contain hidden potential for evil are the ones that are made haram. Pleasant songs and voices of the birds, tasty foods, pleasant sights of natural panoramas and gardens and enticing fragrance of flowers are all permissible. So it is that it is not haram to watch entertaining dance and listen to melodious songs to please our hearts. I refer to two sound Traditions of the Prophet (sal lal laho tala alaihi wasalam) i.e., Sahih Ahadith to make this point clear.
Once, on an Eid day, some Abyssinians were giving a song and dance performance right on the premises of the Prophet's (sal lal laho tala alaihi wasalam) Mosque in Medinah. Bibi Aisha(radiaAllahu Anha) narrates that the Prophet (sal lal laho tala alaihi wasalam) asked her if she would like to watch it. She agreed and both she and the holy Prophet watched it for quite a while.
Another hadith, also by Haz. Bibi Aisha,(radiaAllahu Anha). -- on the Day of Eid, two slave girls were singing with the accompaniment of duff drums, right in front of her and in her own apartment, when the Prophet (sal lal laho tala alaihi wasalam)) entered the house, passed by them and laid down on his bed with his face turned the other way. Haz. Abu Bakr (radiaAllahu Anhu). also happened to enter later and chided them for doing such devilish things in the Prophet's (sal lal laho tala alaihi wasalam) own house. Whereupon the holy Prophet urged Abu Bakr(radiaAllahu Anhu) to let them do it because after all it was the Eid day.
2. The second situation is where the listener of Sama has some undesirable thoughts on his mind or evil passions in his heart eg. love of some beautiful woman to whom he is not married and listens to sama music in front of her, or in her company. It is obvious that this would only increase the pangs of his love or the passions for the carnal desires for her. With the mind occupied with such thoughts in such a manner, such a Sama would be haram.
3. The third situation is the reverse of the second.
Here, in this third situation, the heart and mind of the listener is not polluted with evil thoughts and passions. Instead good and praiseworthy thoughts and intentions for doing good prevails. In such a case Sama would enhance the good qualities of his heart and influence him to pursue his intented course of good actions e.g. (1) going for Hajj or for Jihad or fulfilling any other obligatory duties such as Salat, etc. or (2) It could be for the purpose of enhancing the consciousness and acute awareness of the regrets of one's own sins and transgressions so that the melancholy feelings will bring tears to his eyes and cause him to ask for forgiveness of the sins; or (3) hold Sama on festive or pleasant occasions such as weddings, walima feasts, Aqiqah or to celebrate occasions of return from journeys, etc. Sama would enhance the joys and further increase the enjoyment of such pleasures, resulting from the blessings and favours of Allah ta'ala. The best authority or precedent is that on occasions of the Holy Prophet's (sal lal laho tala alaihi wasalam) return to Medinah from journeys, people of Medinah used to welcome him by singing songs with the accompaniment of Duff drums. So it is that Sama is permissible on occasions of Eid and other festive occasions or just for friends and relatives to get together out of mutual love and affection and comradeship, share food and eat together in order to enhance the happy moment and make the happy moments even happier, more pleasant and more enjoyable in the company of the dear ones.
4. The fourth kind of Sama/Qawwali actually deserves to be termed the real Sama/Qawwali. This relates to the situation where love of Allah Ta'ala has reached the point of an ardent love (Ishq).
In this case, Sama is not only permissible, but it becomes extremely necessary for such a person.
Every thing or act that increases the friendship or love of Allah Ta'ala obviously becomes the object of a plenitude of spiritual recompense and this is why the Sufis' attach so much importance to it.
Sama/Qawwali is, in reality a means of increasing the brightening light of the burning flame of the love of Allah and it has a tremendous spiritual effect on the listeners. Many a Sufi undergoes a state of unveiling of spiritual divine mysteries. When such states coming from the world of the unseen thus become overwhelming, the Sufis experience a particular kind of spiritual state of transformation which is called 'wajd' or spiritual ecstasy.
Man, or rather man's spirit has a special connection and affinity with the celestial world of spirits. This connection and relationship is a mystery. It is the Sama which moves and activates this mystical element in man in such a way that it makes the listener totally unaware of his surroundings in this phenomenal world to some other reality. The man thus becomes completely unaware of this world, its surroundings and the effects of the corporeal universe. Sometimes the effect of Sama becomes so intense and severe that all the energy and strength of the listener's limbs becomes suspended and he loses his consciousness. One who remains intact and manages to stay on his original position even after passing through such a state of deep ecstasy reaches and attains to very high spiritual positions indeed!
It is said that the very essence of Sufism is poetry and the Sufi's are never tired of speaking or writing at great length on the 'Ishq', or 'love of Allah'.
The Mathnawi of Maulana Rumi (rehmatullah alaih) teaches in the sweetest strains that all nature abounds with love divine. The works of the celebrated Jami and the lyric odes of Hafiz are so full of ecstatic rapture that these works together with the moral lessons of Sa'di may be termed the scriptures of the Sufis in the Persian language.
In their poetry, the Sufi's often exchange the external features of all things for the internal, the corporeal for the spiritual, and thus give an imaginary significance to outward forms. They behold objects of a precious nature in their natural character and for this reason, the greater part of their words have a spiritual and figurative meaning.
For instance, when, like Hafiz, they mention wine, they mean a knowledge of God, which figuratively considered, is the love of God; wine, figuratively viewed, is also love.
The tavern or the wine-shop, with them, means the murshidul Kamil, or spiritual director, for his heart is said to be the depository of the love of God.
The wine-cup (Jam) is the TALQIN, or the pronunciation of the name of God in a declaration of faith, as "There is no God but Allah" or it signifies the words which flow from the Murshid's mouth respecting divine Knowledge, and which, when heard by the disciple or salik (one who pursues the true path), intoxicates his soul, and divests his heart of passions, giving him pure spiritual delights.
The sweetheart/beloved means the excellent preceptor, because when anyone sees his beloved, he admires her perfect proportions, with a heart full of love. The sweetheart is the object of a worldly affection, but the preceptor of a spiritual attachment.
The salik/disciple beholds the secret knowledge of God which fills the heart of his spiritual preceptor, or Murshid, and through it receives a similar inspiration, and acquires a full perception of all that he possesses, just as the pupil learns from his master. As the lover delights in the presence of his sweetheart, so the salik rejoices in the company of his beloved Murshid, or preceptor.
The curls or ringlets of the beloved are the grateful praises of the preceptor, tending to bind the affections of the disciple.
The mole on her face signify that when the pupil, at times, beholds the total absence of all worldly want on the part of the preceptor, he also abandons all the desires of both worlds -- he perhaps even goes so far as to desire nothing else in life than his preceptor.
The furrows on the brow of the beloved one, which they compare to verses of the Qur'an, mean the light of the heart of the Murshid. They are compared to the verses of the Qur'an, because the attributes of God, in accordance with the injunction of the Prophet: "Be ye endued with divine qualities" are possessed by the Murshid.
It is necessary to bear in mind that three things are essential for Sama/Qawwali gatherings: --
1. Time: It is not appropriate to hold sama at a time when salat/namaz is to be offered or when food is usually served. If sama is held at a time when the heart is occupied with other things and other thoughts, sama would be ineffective and useless.
2. Place: Should not be held on a street or thoroughfare where people usually pass through or travel. It should not be held in any dark or unpleasant place, nor should it be held in the house of a person who is known to be a cruel and unjust person.
3. People: It should be held in the company of people who are sophisticated and capable of observing the importance of the rules of good conduct and etiquette. If people who object to or believe that holding Sama is not permissible under the Law, or people of proud nature and worldly pomp and show are allowed to attend, then the Sama sessions are likely to be tainted by frequent hypocritical ecstatic outbursts and showy dance performances of such undesirable people.
Imam Ghazzali (rehmatullah alaih) prescribes the following ten rules of etiquette: --
1. Sit in a seriously attentive manner by keeping the head down.
2. Do not look at each other.
3. Every one should concentrate and occupy himself fully in the Sama.
4. Should have no conversation during sama.
5. Do not do distracting things -- do not even drink water.
6. Do not look, gaze or stare hither and thither.
7. Do not move your arms or legs unnecessarily and do not make any movement with a show.
8. Sit in a position which is presented for Qaida/Tashhahud in salat.
9. Occupy the heart and mind fully with the thought and remembrance of Allah.
10. Keep yourself under control so that you do not stand up or move about in a voluntary manner, of your own accord. However, if anybody does so under the condition that he has no control over himself and involuntarily (that is, not of his own accord or volition) then, others should also stand up and help him in order to prevent him from losing his balance and hurting himself.
To the above points I would add:
11. There should be no applause from the audience, especially by way of clapping and saying 'wahwah'. The audience must appreciate the fact that the musicians might feel insulted by such undesirable means of expressing their appreciation . For, one must always bear in mind that the musicians/qawwals are to be respected because of their devotion and dedication to their performance for the sake of Allah alone, and only for the purpose of hoping to achieve the pleasure of Allah.
All praise belongs to Allah and all rewards for the performance and audition is from Allah. Musicians should neither be encouraged nor discouraged by the lack of clapping or lack of requests for repeating certain lines of Poetry or any other form of applause.
However, the audience, when overwhelmed by certain lines of poetry or music, feeling obliged in an uncontrollable manner to express their delight, may express satisfaction by uttering subhan'Allah, or masha'Allah.
12. According to Indian/Pakistani tradition, the audience may offer donations of money to the head of the Sama assembly, that is the chairman presiding over the Qawwali sessions.
It is in the discretion of the chairman to use that donated money for the purpose of defraying the costs of holding the Qawwali session eg. rental of accommodation, equipment and other incidental expenses. Sometimes, the presiding chairman may symbolically accept the donation by simply indicating his blessings by touching it momentarily and re-directing the donations then to be passed on to musicians.
Offering money directly to the Qawwals may very well be regarded as ill-mannered and unethical.
Traditionally too, the Qawwal, the person who is held in great respect for the good work he does, only for the sake of Allah, can and does often often take a hint for repeating a particular couplet if the audience indicates their special appreciation by making further trips to make additional donations to the chairman in a repetitive manner at the time of singing a particular couplet or couplets.
This procedure continues on throughout the Sama (Qawwali) sitting.