Hence, it’s extremely important for a believer to stay under the guidance of pious people as that’s perhaps some way of getting more and more closer to Allah SWT and also for doing good deeds.
Allah Taala is our Creator and Sustainer and loves each one of us more than anybody we could think of. No matter how much or how frequently a person displeases Him in his life, His Arms are always extended to the one who wants to repent and get close to Him.
My mentor Hazrat Maulna Hakim Akhtar sb damatbarkatuham used to explain this with a delicate example. On the day of judgment defiant people will be punished and they will not be able to see the glimpse of their Lord. And the believers will be given the great opportunity to stare at their Love.
کلا انھم عن ربھم یو مئذ لمحجو بون
وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَن ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكًا وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَى
You can only expect this kind of punishment from a person who loves you the most. Mother, for example, punishes her disobedient son and ask him not to see her face until he refuses to stop disobedience.
The point is that Allah taala has unimaginable love towards us and Allah Ta’ala wants everyone of us to return back where He is waiting for us with open Arms.
پردے اٹھے ہوے بھی ہیں، ان کی ادھر نظر بھی ہے
بڑھ کر مقدر آزما، سر بھی ہے سنگ در بھی ہے
Allah Taala, our Creator, is the reason of our existence and the only means of our subsistence. His Kindness, Love, and blessings towards us are endless. All His actions are full of wisdom and are in the best interest of the believers.
Our soul does not require any external things to keep ourselves warm and connected with Him. The enjoyment of the priceless connection with the Lord is simply overwhelming.
This is the reason why Bilal RA used to shout ‘Ahad, Ahad’ (God is the only One) when his master would force him to lay on bed of coke. Once Abu Bakr RA passed by and advised him to say ‘Ahad’ quietly so as to get rid off the inhumane treatment. Next morning he was again seen being tortured and he told Abu Bakr RA that he was unable to resist his love and shouted Ahad again.
Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Phoolpuri Rehmatullah alaih used to wake up for Tahajjud and repeatedly chant
از لبِ نا دیدہ صد بوسہ رسید
من چہ گوئم روح چہ لذت چشید
“I cannot describe the enjoyment of hundreds of kisses that I receive from unseen Lips.”
This deep love of Allah Ta’ala can be attained in the company of pious people who already hold this love in their hearts.
Allah Taala’s remembrance is the lifeblood of the universe. The world will not be wrapped up until there exist a believer remembering Him. Man needs this fuel to withstand the whirlwinds of difficult conditions such as deprivation of health, fame, money, position, enjoyment and relationships.
الا بذکراللہ تطمئن القلوب
This remembrance gives birth to an unbreakable connection with Allah Taala which lights a candle in a believer’s heart. Once this candle is lit, the person starts feeling tranquility and contentment and starts abhorring acts of evil and starts admiring virtues.
وجعلنا لہ نور یمشی بہ فی الناس
Remembrance is a pre-requisite for love. And once love is attained you cannot afford to forget Him. Sins are committed just due to lack of love for Allah Taala. Love compels the lover to keep the Beloved happy and pleased. And then it is Love that guides the lover to find ways to please the Beloved. You do not need policing , you do not need vigilance. Love will itself teach how to get to the Beloved. We will start finding prayers absorbing, supplications answered, sobbing confessions soothing, admiration towards humbleness, honesty, modesty, and piety. And Love of Allah Taala keeps the person from all the sins, be it casting evil glances or meetups with girlfriends/boyfriends, any misuse of our body parts, or anything against honesty, modesty, humbleness or piety.
Remembrance of Allah creates Love of Allah Taala.
My Shaikh Hazrat Maulana Shah Hakim Muhammad Akhtar Sb used to say a couplet:
وہ گرمئ ہجراں وہ تیری یاد کی خنکی
جیسے کہ کہیں دھوپ میں سایہ نظر آیا
Try following daily after any prayer:
100 times La ilaha Illallah,
100 times Allah Allah,
100 times Durood, and
100 times Astaghfar
and start experiencing the fast track journey towards the Love of Allah Taala. May Allah Taala give His Love to everyone of us. Ameen.
The greatest jubilation for the people of Heavens will be when Allah swt will lift the veils and they will be able to have a glimpse of their Lord. At that moment people would forget everything including the Heavens itself.
And this is a trivial necessity of love. When a person loves, he cannot resist! He utters and writes the name of his beloved out of desperation. He remain restless until he talks and have his beloved’s glimpse. My shaikh Hazrat Maulana Hakim Akhtar Sb RA used to say that when such are the feelings in a worldly relationship try to imagine how much irresistible one would be who loves Allah Taala more than anyone else in the world. And His Glimpse will be the ultimate delight for the His lovers.
نہیں کرتے ہیں وعدہ دید کا وہ حشر سے پہلے
دلِ بے تاب کی ضد ہے ابھی ہوتی یہیں ہوتی
Regarding the verse للذين أحسنوا الحسنى و زيادة , mufasireen say that الحسنى is Heavens and زيادة means the Glimpse of Allah Taala. Which means that for Allah Taala’s lovers there is Jannah for them and more than that they will have the honor to see their Lord.
RasoolAllah sallaho alaihi wassalam used to supplicate in following words:
اللهم إني أسألك لذة النظر إلى وجهك والشوق إلى لقائك
Translation: Oh Allah I request you to provide me the thirst of Your Glimpse and the joy of meeting You.
May Allah SWT give us this precious gift. Ameen.
Hypocrisy is a deadly spiritual disease and the real hypocrite will be placed at an extremely terrible place in the hell. إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ فِي الدَّرْكِ الْأَسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ
My Shaikh used to mention that there are two kinds of hypocrite 1) hypocrite with respect to faith, and 2) hypocrite of the actions. While the former is concerned with the act of disbelieving the tenets of Islam while posing oneself as a Muslim the latter means the habit of disobeying the Lord swt despite promising to obey.
While the above mentioned denunciation, according to various Ulemas, is related to the first category of hypocrite it is important to avoid every aspect of it.
Rasollallah ﷺ has been quoted as mentioning four signs of a hypocrite.
اذا اؤتمن خان واذا حدث کذب واذا عاھد غدر واذا خاصم فجر
- Whenever he is made a custodian he steals and does misappropriation اذا اؤتمن خانَ
They are dishonest in their financial dealings, untrustworthy in their relationships, cheat their partners and most importantly intentionally commits acts of misdeed that betray Allah swt.
Quite often they do not give the due share in inheritance to their siblings, especially sisters, and try usurping others’ shares.
But this does not necessarily apply to stealing material objects. In a Hadith it is reported that if a person looks around (to ensure if no one else is listening) and then talks to you, you should consider yourself as the custodian of the discussion and should not disclose it to anyone else.
My Shaikh used to say that we are the custodian of our body. When we use our eyes in evil-glances, tongues in backbiting or using abusive language, hands for stealing, legs for walking towards a sin, lips for forbidden kisses, and others parts of body illicitly, we are infact misappropriating the power that Allah swt has given us.
My friends! if we do not take Allah swt on our side no matter what we achieve or who we befriend we will never be in able to succeed.
جو تو میرا تو سب میرا فلک میرا زمیں میری
اگر اک تو نہیں میرا تو کوئی شئے نہیں میری
- He is a habitual liar اذا حدث کذب
Telling lies has become an admirable trait in many occupation especially in sales and marketing. Allah swt is the sustainer and no matter how much gains one accumulates He is the only one who has the power to make them beneficial or useless for us.
My Shaikh used to say that a true lover of Allah swt would not dare to commit a sin intentionally. Shaitan and Nafs might sometimes get him spontaneously overpowered, but not in his true consciousness. And whenever a sin is committed, he does not get satiated until he get it washed away through repentance.
Telling lies is a sin that normally cannot be committed without being conscious. Unless it is for a permitted reasons, e.g. to patch up between two Muslims, we must stay away from this essential sign of a hypocrite.
- Whenever makes an agreement he betrays اذا عاھد غدر
Another sign of an hypocrite is that he never fulfills his commitments and promises. Always slipery in his dealings and his commitments are worthless.
A person was traveling with RasoolAllah ﷺ and at a point requested him to wait for him while he completes his work. The person forgets that he has made the prophet waiting and realized a few days later. He went to the same place and found RasoolAllah ﷺ still waiting for him. This was the level of commitment.
The biggest commitment is what our souls made in aalam e arwah, when Allah swt asked “Am I not your Lord, the Sustainer!?” and everyone reply “Yes”
My Shaikh used to say that each one of us has already made a promise to our Lord and if we deliberately disobey it is a mis-commitment which we all should avoid.
- In an event of any disagreement he starts using foul language اذا خاصم فجر
Disagreements are part of human life and sometimes they bring about blessings. However, use of foul language dishonors both the person and it should always be avoided. The point of view should be presented in a decent manner. The best person is one with greatest level of Islamic ethics.
May Allah swt guide us all and help us to avoid the above mentioned traits of the traitors! Ameen.
Umar Radiyallahoanhu once went to Rasolallah ﷺ and inquired about the verse ثُمَّ لَتُسْأَلُنَّ يَوْمَئِذٍ عَنِ النَّعِيمِ ( تکاثر) and mentions the condition of hunger and hardships faced by the Companions that sounded a little complaining.
Rasolallah ﷺ nurtured his Companions in such a way that against any wordly hardships, instead of allowing them to moan, their attention were immediately drawn towards contentment and upon the comfort and blessings provided by Allah swt. Rasolallah ﷺ sighed and immediately started counting the blessings and asked Umar RA if he wasn’t provided with water and had any issues in urination?
There are countless blessings that we enjoy everyday. The fresh air, the pure drinking water, the delicious food, good health, comfortable driving, pleasant sleeps, well being of our family, prayers from parents, faithful spouses, obedient children, the clothing, the faith in Allah swt, the ability to pray, the urge to help those in need, the strength to avoid sins, the tears of repentance. Each of them is a blessing and it is a fact that we normally get used to them and forget to be grateful to Allah swt. The pious people have a very different world view. They see every favor that they encounter in their lives as a Divine gift.
Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Phoolpori ra used to spend about 10-12 hours after Isha in prayers, reciting Quran, performing zikr and duas at a small local mosque and my shaikh Hazrat Maulana Hakim Muhammad Akhtar sb ra used to accompany him. Everyday around afternoon pulses with bread would come from home and Maulana used to take the meal with such a joy and excitement as if he was having some biryani or pulao. Upon enquiring reason for such a joy he used to say that you look at the contents but I feel that my beloved Allah swt is offering this food Himself to me! And that is the reason for my excitement.
We must make a habbit to concentrate and realize Allah swt’s blessings and thank Allah swt for all the blessings that we receive. This practice will increase the usefulness of those things and blessings.
لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ
بے کیفی میں بھی ہم نے اک کیفِ مسلسل دیکھا ہے
جس حال میں بھی وہ رکھتے ہیں اس حال کو اکمل دیکھا ہے
جس راہ کو ہم تجویز کریں اس راہ کو اثقل دیکھا ہے
جس راہ سے وہ لے جاتے ہیں اس راہ کو اسہل دیکھا ہے
Hazrat Maulana Hakim Muhammad Akhtar Sb ra used to say that the real thank is to avoid the deeds that displeases Allah swt. If we merely utter the words of thanks (الحمدللہ، الحمدللہ) but continue to displease the Lord through our actions then this cannot be termed as the real thanks.
May Allah swt give us strength to avoid the disobedience and thank Allah swt for all His blessings in true spirit. Ameen
Audio clip from Hazrat Maulana Hakim Muhammad Akhtar sb RA
Allah swt opens His doors of friendship to all of us and our acts of misdeed are the only obsticle in attaining this friendship. Once a person becomes His friend He takes care of the rest. All his worries are resloved and the greatest worry that bothers most of us, how to make ends meet, is guaranteed!
وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ[Sura Talaq]
It is not a guarantee by the insurance companies that often file for bankruptcies nor by other helpless and dependent creatures of the world or secured by governments that are often in need of financial bail out packages. Rather this guarantee is from the One who is the possessor of everything, the owner of all the treasures, happiness and sorrow, fame and disgrace, and every other condition.
So I was mentioning that mentor is a spiritual guide who’s company, advices and supplications helps a person overcome the obsticles in friendship with Allah swt. These obstacles might be due to lethargy in performing acts of worship such as offering prayers with jamaat, fasting, hajj zakat etc., or related to any particular condition such as greed and lust, pride, envy, anger and wrath, casting evil glances, illicit relationships, impurity of intentions, back-biting, etc.
The Sahaba had RasoolAllah ﷺ as their mentor, whom they used to ask every abnormal feeling that they happen to encounter. Hanzala Radhiyallah Anhu, a companion of RasoolAllah ﷺ, once started racing towards RasoolAllah ﷺ murmuring the words ” Hanzala has become a hypocrite,.. Hanzala has become a hypocrite” Just because he thought the condition of his heart varies drastically while he is in the company of the RasoolAllah ﷺ and compared to when he is with his family. The prophet comforted him. Another companion of RasoolAllah ﷺ requested adultery to be allowed to him. At this RasoolAllah ﷺ addressed his condition and asked what would be his feeling if someone performs the same act with his mother, wife, sister, and other women in his family. The person realized his mistake and RasoolAllah ﷺ puffed him with some verses and raised hands and prayed for his companion’s purification of heart.
A disciple of Hazrat Thanvi RA found that he was becoming lazy in attending prayers at the mosque. He discussed this condition with his mentor Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi RA who shared his suspicion that “it seems you have distanced yourself from gathering of your pious friends. Try mingling with them again.”The person started acting on the advice and witnessed that he started prayers at the mosque soon.
At such important crossroads it is the mentor who guides and steers a person towards the right path. Without a mentor one may have a lot of knowledge but still unable to practice upon them. That power to practice upon our already acquired knowledge is attained from the company of pious mentors.
For the same reason the companionship of the pious souls is advised in the same verse where refraining from sins is made obligatory. Which means there is a direct correlation between the two.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ (119)
In a Hadith, it is reported that a person who came to a group of pious people even for his wordly tasks was pardoned with the glad tidings that
ھﻢ اﻟﺠﻠﺴﺎء ﻻ ﯾﺸﻘﻰ ﺑﮭﻢ ﺟﻠﯿﺴﮭﻢ these are such a blessed companions that a person who sits with them becomes fortunate himself.
However, while choosing the mentor it is important to look for certain traits so that you are sure that the chosen mentor is the right choice for your spiritual needs. Remember that there are a number of self-proclaimed mentors available out there and differentiating between true and fake mentors has to be done in the first place.
Following is a list of litmus tests which could help a person identifying jewel among stones:
1. if the person is himself a practicing Muslim and has been authorized to provide spiritual guidance by his shaikh.
2. If most of his followers are practicing or learning to practice Islam.
3. He is not among creeds and sects that are astray.
4. If we see that due to his closeness and fellowship we are gradually leaving behind our sinful life and performing acts of worship is becoming easier. This is known as compatibility or suitability.
Selecting a mentor only based on his fame without considering our psychological compatibility with him may lead to sub optimal results. It is better to attend few of his gatherings, lectures, writings and don’t lose him when you find the compatibility.
آنکھ سے آنکھ ملی دل سے مگر دل نہ ملا
عمر بھر ناو میں بیٹھے مگر ساحل نہ ملا
May Allah SWT guide us to His true path and help us find a mentor whose company and teachings help us find the friendship of Allah SWT. Ameen
A heart touching audio clip (urdu) from Hazrat Ml Jalil Ahmed Sb damatbarkatuham