It is said that Sayyiduna Omar bin Abdul Aziz (radi Allahu anhu) asked Sayyiduna Khidr (alaihis salaam) to give him some advise when they both found themselves in Medina Shareef, Sayyiduna Khidr (alaihis assalaam) replied, “O Omar! Save yourself from this state, wherein, outwardly you are the friend of Allah, yet, inwardly you are His enemy. Those whose inner self is not in concordance with their outer self are hypocrites and for them will be extreme punishment”.
Sayyiduna Abdul Wahid bin Yaazid (radi Allahu anhu) has expressed, “Sayyiduna Hasan Basri (radi Allahu anhu) has reached a lofty position in Tassawaf simply because whenever he advised any person to perform any action he firstly did so himself. Whenever he prohibited a person, he always firstly refrained himself. I have therefore, never seen a person whose inner self is precisely as his outer self”.
Sayyiduna Mu’awwiya bin Qurra (radi Allahu anhu) has stated, “Whenever I heard a person being praised, I had always found him less then his tribute, except for Sayyiduna Wakee’ah (radi Allahu anhu). I have always found him to be even more superior then his acclaim”.
Sayyiduna Abdullah Antaaki (radi Allahu anhu) states, “To refrain from internal sins is the most superior of acts”. When he was asked the reasons, he replied, “Simply because he who refrains from internal sins will have a better chance of refraining from external sins. Therefore, he whose internal self is better then his external self, this indeed is the Mercy of Allah. While he whose both selves are equal, this indeed is equality. He on the other hand he whose external self is better then his internal self, he indeed is an oppressor”.
It is because of this that the great Sufis hide their worship. They state that Read the rest of this entry »
Among the ethics and manners of the famous Sufis, sincerity held a mighty and lofty position. Every action of theirs portrayed absolute sincerity. The thought of insincerity never crossed their minds. They clearly understood that action could only be considered noble, if it contained sincerity. Their aim was not to become famously known as Sufis, neither did they consider worldly respect as the all important factor. Their aim was merely to achieve the Pleasure of Allah. The world in front of them held no real value. They understood that if a person spent day and night in the Ibaadat of Allah, yet, he was devoid of sincerity, he would achieve nothing from his worship.
It is recorded that when the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wa sallam) sent Sayyiduna Ma’az (radi Allahu anhu) to Yemen, he advised him, “O Ma’az create sincerity in your belief. In this way (even if you perform little deeds) it will be enough for you”.
The incident of Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu), clearly portrays the importance of sincerity. Once while he was in battle, he had captured an enemy and was about to kill him when the enemy spat on his blessed face. Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) immediately released him. When he was asked the reason, he replied, “I chose the sword strictly for the Pleasure of Allah. I have been delegated to see that His commands are obeyed. I do not obey my Nafs (carnal desires). I am the Lion of Allah, I am not the lion of my desires. When you spat on me, my desire immediately entered this battle and sincerity began to depart. It is because of this that I have spared you, for my action was not based on sincerity”. When the enemy heard this amazing reply, he instantly repented and became a Muslim.
Sayyiduna Wahab Mambeh (radi Allahu anhu) states, “He who desires the world with the actions of the Hereafter, Allah will indeed alter his heart. His name will then be included among those who are to enter Hell”.
It is recorded that certain Sufis actually re-performed 30 years of Salaah, simply because they felt that they had not shown enough sincerity. Read the rest of this entry »
Shariah and Tariqah (Revealed law and Observance) are not two different or opposite things. Without obeying the Shari’ah (Revealed Law) one cannot approach Allah. Revealed Law is the collection of all the commands concerning body and soul, the spirit and heart, all the divine science and the infinite knowledge. A part of Shari’ah (Revealed law) is called Tariqah. It possesses cognizance so unanimously that it is conclusive and final. So all the actions and performances of the Saints have to be judged in accordance with the Divine Shari’ah (Revealed law). If they are perfectly in accordance with the said law then they are true and acceptable, otherwise they are condemnable and unacceptable.
STRICT FOLLOWING OF THE QURAN AND SUNNAH
The practice of the great Sufis has always been their strict following of the Quran and Sunnah. They considered any deviation from this as an act of disbelief and heresy.
Imaam She’ranni (radi Allahu anhu) quotes Sayyiduna Junaid Baghdadi (radi Allahu anhu) who states that: “Our revealed book, the Holy Quran, is the most comprehensive and the most supreme of all laws and the most lofty. The path of the Sufis has become mighty with the Quran and Sunnah. That person who does not read the Quran and does not practice upon the Sunnah, then his leadership is not proper, (In other words, he should not be made a leader).”
This great Saint also used to advice his followers: Read the rest of this entry »
2. Faith in the messengers, companions, ‘people of this Path’ (Friends of God), and serving the
3. Silence, focus on dhikr/remembrance of God, and good deeds
4. Right companion on the spiritual Path
5. Sincere intention (Sidq) in seeking the right guide
6. Right livelihood
7. Eating little
8. Filling the day with prayer
9. Sleep, eat, and dress only as really needed
10. How to read the Qur’an
11. Keeping track of one’s animal self (muhāsaba) and shame before God
12. Staying Conscious: being aware of demands of the ‘Instant’ and eliminating inner
13. Purity (tahāra)
14. Striving for good moral character traits
15. Right attitude toward spiritual ‘opponents’
16. Right Behavior (adab) toward animals, dependents and children
17. Avoiding the powerful and worldly, while practicing insān and Sabr Read the rest of this entry »
YOUNG MAN: Reflect, too, upon the story of Hatim the deaf who was the companion of Shaqiq al-Balkhi (may the mercy of Allah be upon them both). One day Shaqiq enquired of Hatim: “For 30 years you have been my companion. What, pray, have you gained from it?” Hatim replied: “I have gained eight benefits with which I am contented and from which I expect my salvation and my deliverance.” “And what are they?” Shaqiq asked. Said Hatim:
“THE FIRST is that I looked at creation and noticed that to everyone there belongs a beloved. And a part of that which is beloved to him accompanies him to his death – sickness, while another part accompanies him only to the edge of his grave. But none (of the above) enters with him. So I reflected and said to myself: “The most beloved is the companion accompanying one into the grave! I found this companion to be none other than Righteous Deeds. So I embraced her as my beloved to be a shining light and an intimate friend never to abandon me when I would be most alone.
THE SECOND is that I looked at man and found him guided by his whims and fancies, forever hastening to the fulfilment of his lower desires. So I meditated upon the verse: “But as for him who feared to stand before his Lord and restrain his soul from lower desires; his abode will be the Garden..” and came to know, with the knowledge of certainty, that the Qur’an was indeed the Truth. Then swiftly I moved to free myself from its vain desires until they rested, contented, in obedience to Allah, the High, the Exalted and finally consented to His Will.
THE THIRD is that I noticed every single person greedily striving to gain for himself the vanities of the world. Then I reflected upon the verse: “What is with you must vanish and what is with Allah must endure.” So I spent my life’s earnings in the way of Allah and divided them amongst the poor to be as a treasure for me in the care of Allah.
THE FOURTH is that I saw a number of people who thought that their honour and strength resided in the sheer abundance of their clan and kinsfolk. Others claimed and boasted that it was contained in the amount of their wealth and children. Others reckoned that it was to be found in the extortion of wealth, oppression of others, and the shedding of their blood. Yet another group believed that strength and honour was to be found in extravagance – in the wasting and squandering of money. Then I thought about the words of Allah: “Verily, the most honoured of you (is he who) is the most righteous of you.” I then chose righteousness for myself for I had come to know with firmness of belief that the Qur’an was indeed the truth and that their opinions and assumptions were false and ephemeral. Read the rest of this entry »
The Shaykh Abdul Qadir al Jilani (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him contentment) said: Let me give you a piece of advice: Never complain to anyone about your luck, whether he be friend or foe, and do not accuse the Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He) of treating you badly and making you suffer misfortune. You should rather proclaim your blessings and your gratitude. Better even to tell a lie by expressing gratitude for a benefit you have not received, than to state the plain fact of your situation truthfully but as a complaint. Who is totally without the grace of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He)? Allah (Exalted is He) has said:
And if you count the favor of Allah, you will never add it up. (16:18)
How many blessings you enjoy without acknowledging them for what they are! Do not settle for any mere creature as your confidant and intimate companion, and tell no one about your problems. It is rather with Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) that you should be on intimate and confidential terms, and any complaining you do should be about Him and addressed to Him. Recognize no other party, for none has any power to bring you loss or gain, income or expenditure, honor or disgrace, promotion or demotion, poverty or affluence, movement or rest. All things are the creation of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He). They lie in the hand of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) and the way they function is at His command and by His leave. Each runs its course until a time appointed, and everything is regulated by Him. There is no advancing what He has postponed, and no putting back what He has brought to the fore. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has said:
If Allah afflicts you with some hurt, none can remove it but He; and if He desires any good for you, none can repel His bounty. He causes it to reach whomsoever He will of His servants. He is the All-Forgiving, the All-Compassionate. (10:107)
If you complain about Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) while you are in good health and already enjoy some blessing, just wanting to get more and shutting your eyes contemptuously to the benefit and well-being you have received from Him, He will be angry with you and deprive you of both. He will give you something real to complain about, doubling your trouble, intensifying the chastisement and detestation and loathing you must suffer, and casting you down out of His sight. Read the rest of this entry »