The True Purpose of Tasawwuf

Aoudhubillahi minash shiatan nirrajeem

Bismillahirrahmanirraheem

la_ilaha_illallah_by_huseyinatesci-d2yye3b

Sincerity and Courage

Fulfilling the rights of Allah SWT related to one’s inner and outer self with sincerity (Ikhlas) and assiduous attitude is what required from us.  A pious elder can say this or not but the command is to not break the zaahiri (superficial) and baatini (related to inner self) laws and to get steadfastness in one’s life. This is the real purpose of the life. Whatever the tasawwuf might mean to people but the real purpose of tasawwuf is to achieve ikhlaas and himmat (courage). The whole purpose of tasawwuf is to attain Allah’s pleasure and to gain courage inside us to do all good deeds. My eyes gets opened but I couldn’t perform tahajjud salah, in spite of knowing that it is a sin, I couldn’t control my gaze , I know it is wrong to say but I don’t have control over the tongue and so on and on. All these acts lack courage. The main goal of tasawwuf, tarbiat (upbringing), talluq (contact) with a spiritual guide and islaah (reformation) is to achieve courage and ikhlas. The main purpose is to attain Allah’s pleasure in every single deed introspecting why I am doing this and to develop courage to do any good deed. . If one aims to get a great talluq and high level of piety that even the thought of sin won’t cross his mind, then this will not happen. The sinful thought will come but if one gets the courage to not act on it, then Alhamdulillah he achieved his goal.

If you are expecting to not even get the thought of riyaa (ostentation), this will never happen. But yes if we introspect why I am doing this with such a vigor and the answer to this is to please only Allah SWT, then that’s an achievement. The accomplishment of islaah is to attain Allah’s pleasure in every single deed and to gain courage to save from all the sins and to do good deeds. Nowadays people do not take courage but they want to attain high spirituality with things happening spontaneously and get hatred towards sins miraculously. One disciple wrote a letter to Hazrat Ashraf Ali Thanvi (RA) requesting him to do something so the noor from his heart gets transmitted to his heart. He replied back that there is only phlegm in his chest. The main purpose is to gain the courage. Aforetime it was difficult to get the salah with first takbir due to laziness and now he gets the first takbir, aforetime he couldn’t perform nafil salah and now he is able to do, aforetime he was not able to control his gaze but now he could guard his gaze. This is courage. Whisperings, evil thoughts and attacks will keep coming but to save one self assiduously with courage is the true accomplishment.

Know that Our Entire Life is a Battle against Nafs and Shaitaan

Our entire life is a battle against evil self (nafs) and shaitaan. There was a very pious elder who kept saying on his death bed, “No, no, no”. Someone asked him what he is uttering in such a critical time! He replied that shaitaan is coming again and again to him and telling him that he has succeeded and he is saying no to him and not yet. It is said about Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA) that once a very bright light appeared before him which emanated a voice, “O Abdul Qadir Jeelani, you have achieved such a lofty status that you don’t have to offer salah anymore.” Hearing this he immediately sought refuge in Allah SWT from shaitaan as he instantly recognized that to be of shaitaan. The light then turned into darkness and told him that he was saved because of his ilm (knowledge). He again recognized that he is being attacked by the second weapon to mislead him and he replied no and it is not because of his ilm but he was saved by the grace of Allah SWT. The shaitaan keeps setting the trap one after the other. If one escapes from one trap, he will set the other trap. O the honorable ones! One’s real purpose is to get ikhlaas in every single deed by self-examining why he is doing that deed. A great buzurg (pious elder) belonging to Tabligh Jamaat by name Mufti Zainul Abideen used to say that one gets all the righteous deeds that are superficial and also the qualities of eemaan except ikhlaas which is achieved only lastly. This is the accomplishment of islaah. Now tell me is there anything bad in it? If you achieve this in talluq (spiritual contact) or bayat (pledge with a spiritual sheikh for islah) or islaah, there is nothing wrong. Today we can see people in holy sites with big beards, trimmed moustaches and turban emulating a spiritual aura but in the name of tasawwuf, there is too much of innovation associated with it. These innovations changed the color of tasawwuf when the real purpose of it is to gain courage and strength by the person which sets him on righteousness and he aims for Allah’s pleasure in all his deeds.

An Important Advice for This Life

In one meeting with Hazrat Ashraf Thanvi Raheemahullah, a pious person asked him for a brief advice. In reply, he reminded him of a hadith wherein our beloved Prophet SAW said,  “If you live until the morning do not wait for the evening and if you live until the evening do not wait for the morning and count you among the dead.” This is the advice for this life. This is the advice of hakeem-ul-ummat of our times who was granted the radiation of apperception by Allah SWT. Count you among the dead and don’t get excited by peoples praises or get disturbed by their criticism as these won’t affect a dead man. Someone said, “Worry about akhirah as we cannot predict the time of death. I am afflicted with the heart disease and whenever I feel the severity of pain, I think I am close to death. Allah SWT then lightens the pain and this goes on for five years during which many youngsters of sound health and strength passed away. Do not forget Allah SWT and do not forget the reality of our state”. Today we have forgotten both these things, our reality and Allah SWT. We forgot how weak, helpless and dependent we are. A pious elder said that everyone works, some for dunya (world) and some for deen. Irrespective of the nature of the work be it worldly or official or related to any job, the main thing is if one does it considering it to be his duty, then he is a waliullah (a close friend of Allah SWT). Depending on the sincerity in one’s work, accordingly it will have the weightage. A person is doing even the worldly work well because he fears that Allah SWT is watching him and thus he accomplishes his duty. This has more weightage. A person is doing the acts of nawaafil (voluntary) but if he doesn’t have sincerity in his worship, it is of no use. Contrarily, if a person carries out his clerkish task or dispenses his duty he is responsible for keeping Allah SWT in his mind that He SWT is watching him, it becomes ibaadat (worship).

Remember that any act can become an act of worship

People give importance to ikhlaas and riyaa when it comes to nawaafil acts of worship but when it comes to doing other duties such as official job or some other responsible job or writing fatwas, people don’t see the performers as waliullah. A person might be awake until 1 am to write the fatwa going through voluminous books but the person for whom the fatwa is being written may not know this and even if one wakes up in the night and see the person writing the fatwa, he won’t see him as a wali. The point is whatever the task be, its weightage depends on the sincerity. Irrespective of people’s understanding, they see me as pious or not, I should do my job purely for Allah’s sake. This can be writing down fatwas or reading books or teaching books. Normally for such acts none will call one a wali. If a person stands for nafil prayer for two hours, the people will wonder at him saying what a buzurg (a very pious person)! If the same person teaches a book for two hours, people will say he is just teaching while the fact is if he is teaching with ikhlaas, then this act of teaching will become an ibaadat (worship) surpassing the performance of nafil salah irrespective of people’s understanding. The poor people also see only such aspects when the real thing is one gets himmat and ikhlaas in every single act such as when he is talking with someone, he should contemplate why he is talking, if he is explaining to someone, he should contemplate why he is explaining and if he is discussing some issues with someone, he should contemplate why he is doing. He should do only for Allah SWT.

Let Us Live Only for Allah SWT

Let Allah SWT grant us all ikhlaas, which is very precious. This is why our beloved Prophet SAW said, “If any of you spent gold equal to Uhud (in Allah’s cause), it would not be equal to a seed of a date spent by one of my companions RA”. This is in pursuit of their ikhlaas. This is the real achievement of islaah that our inner zealousness changes and our life starts passing away for Allah’s sake. If we are talk to someone, meet someone, smile at someone and even distance from someone, it should be for Allah ﷻ. The loss, gain and desire everything should be for Allah SWT, our lives should go around this and every matter sake of Allah SWT. Live for Allah SWT, love for Allah SWT, have friendship for Allah SWT and let our entire life be for Allah SWT. Let this zeal develop in us and along with this, let one get himmat. The reason for prescribing zikr, recitation of Quran, keeping righteous companionship is to gain strength so taking courage becomes easy because of the blessings of these acts. The mere performance of all these acts is not the real purpose but to fulfil the rights of Allah apparently and hiddenly. Then there are other proscriptions to talk too much and to meet useless people. When following all this is not the real purpose but to make them the means to reach the real goal so the spiritual diseases get cured. These acts are not farz or wajib but are for the spiritual treatment. Sometimes a doctor proscribes banana. Is banana haram? No, but is proscribed so his stomach gets well so he can digest it later. So the real purpose is to have Allah’s SWT pleasure in the mind all the time and to do righteous deeds and save oneself from sins by taking courage.

How to gain the courage?

O the honorable ones! The truth is the sins have increased prodigiously in our lives that we don’t even realize a sin. This is like if I live in a stinky place, I won’t even sense the stink but when a nonresident comes to that place, he gets astonished how one can live in such a stinky place. But the resident do not feel same. And how would he feel as he has become very much acquainted with the foul odor. Today we have become so familiar with the sins in our society that we don’t even realize the sins. Or else a person coming from a fragrant place will suffocate as soon he steps in a stinky place becoming uneasy and worrisome. Take courage so neither the zahir nor baatin’s command gets broken. Let Allah ﷻ grant us all tawfeeq and for this some aamaal are prescribed. Give importance for tasbeehaat (paternoster) and now what if one doesn’t get courage to do even the tasbeehaat and to recite Quran? Listen, when one wants to eat food, he needs to make a little effort to bring the morsel of food from his plate to his mouth as it won’t fly and come. These maamulaat (daily activities of worship) are something very common and easy ones. When one gets himmat to do these simple acts, then we can develop enough strength within us to abandon that sin which our nafs is finding it very difficult. With persistent attitude and taking some courage do the acts of nawaafil, recite the Quran, have association with pious people and do the tasbeehaat in the mornings and evenings. Alongside, give importance to the duaa begging “O Allah! I am very weak. I don’t have any courage inside me. I intent, I desire but I fail. I go for two days and then give up.  I advance a little with few steps but I fall back. Ya Allah! You please help me.” So beg before Allah SWT and ask Allah SWT. If one does maamulat, have righteous association and make duaa, then he will get himmat and ikhlaas which are the accomplishments of this life. This is the real goal of our life to have only Allah SWT in one’s mind when he talks to his family, his children, his friends or is working anywhere. All these acts are worship and these are embellishing our akhirat. People may see this as buzurgi (piety) or not but these are all buzurgi. Let Allah SWT grant us all tawfeeq and make it easy. Ameen

-Morning Tarbiati Majlis (27.5.2012)

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