Words of Advice


Shaykh al-Islam Mawlana Sayyid Husayn Ahmad Madani (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) advised: 

‘‘It is not obligatory to give bay‘ah [to a shaykh of tasawwuf], nor does salvation depend on it. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims do not give bay‘ah; will they not be forgiven [for their sins] in the Divine Court? Therefore, you should not be hasty. Continue to search for a guide and pious person who is accomplished in shari‘ah and tariqah. If you find one who fulfils these criteria, give bay‘ah to him. Otherwise, everything lies in following our illustrious Master, the honourable Leader of all creation (blessings and peace upon him). Occupy yourself with this.’’ 

Shaykh al-‘Arab wa ‘l-Ajam Hadrat Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani ki Iman Afroz batein, p. 159-160 (Karachi: Majlis-e-Yadgar-e-Shaykh al-Islam, 1993/1413 ed.)

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Shaykh al-Islam Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) advised: 

‘‘Loving the din and people of din is a great thing. However, to focus on the faults of others whilst not assessing one’s own faults is incorrect.’’ 

Malfuzat Hadrat Madani, p.76 (Delhi: Dar al-Isha‘at, July 1998 ed.) by Mawlana Abu ‘l-Hasan Barah Bankwi

Shaykh al-Islam Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) advised: 

‘‘Mawlana [Ashraf ‘Ali] Thanawi’s (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) discourses are extremely beneficial; be sure to read them [regularly]. Likewise, Tarbiyat al-Salik is also beneficial.’’ 

Shaykh al-‘Arab wa ‘l-‘Ajam Hadrat Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani Ki Iman Afroz Batein, p. 177 (Karachi: Majlis-e-Yadgar-e-Shaykh al-Islam 1413 / 1993 ed.)

Shaykh al-Islam Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) advised, 

‘‘ The blessed age of youth is extremely valuable; adorn it with the pleasant hues of Allah’s remembrance.’’ 

Malfuzat Hadrat Madani, p.83 (Delhi: Dar al-Isha‘at, July 1998 ed.) by Mawlana Abu ‘l-Hasan Barah Bankwi

Shaykh al-Islam Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) advised:

‘‘Be mindful of following the sunnah at all times. This is [the real form of] excellence, the objective, and the cause of divine pleasure.’’

Malfuzat Hadrat Madani, p.75 (Delhi: Dar al-Isha‘at, July 1998 ed.) by Mawlana Abu ‘l-Hasan Barah Bankwi

Al-I‘tidal fi Maratib al-Rijal

 by Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya

 

Book Review by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani

 

This is actually a letter that Shaykh al-Hadith wrote in reply to seven questions posed by one of his students. The letter was written when the political fall out between the Muslim League and Congress was at its peak in pre-partition India, and a difference of opinion arose between Mawlana [Ashraf ‘Ali] Thanawi and Mawlana [Husayn Ahmad] Madani. Some Muslims were concerned about which path to choose in this difference between the seniors. Shaykh al-Hadith has explained the legislative (shar‘i) viewpoint of the difference in this letter, and detailed what the general masses should do in such circumstances. Apart from this, the general poor state of Muslims in the political and social arenas, and the issue of the ‘ulama differing has also been included [in this letter]. Shaykh al-Hadith has explained these issues in detail in his special style, which refreshes one’s faith and conviction. The book is actually a review of a temporary political issue. However, due to its encompassing discussions, it is a specific work that is beneficial in all ages.

 

(Rabi‘ al-Thani, 1392 AH)

 

Tabseray, (Karachi: Maktabah Ma‘arif al-Qur’an, Rabi‘ al-Awwal 1426/April 2005 ed.) p. 76

The importance of having the intention of spiritual rectification

  

Trans. Mawlana Tameem Ahmadi

                                                                                                           

Imam Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi (rahimahullah) received a letter from a person requesting spiritual advice. In reply Imam Hakim al-Ummah Thanwi wrote: “Read the transcripts of twenty of my spiritual discourses and practice upon them. Once you have done that, inform me of your condition.” That is, let me know whether or not you feel some spiritual elevation and change within you.   

 

After reading the transcripts of twenty lectures the person replied: Unfortunately, I do not feel any change within myself at all.” Imam Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi wrote back: “Either you have not read those lectures with the intention of spiritual rectification or the subject matter was not related to spirituality. If that is not so, it could be that there is nothing within you which needs rectification.  

 

The person wrote back admitting that he had not read the lectures with the intention of spiritual rectification, to which Imam Hakim al-Ummah Thanwi replied advising him to read them once again, but with the proper intention of rectification.

 

Once again the person wrote saying: “Al-Hamdu lillah, I have acquired enormous spiritual elevation and benefit from the lectures. An amazing change has now taken place within me.”    

 

Imam Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi (rahimahullah) comments: “If I had merely prescribed some dhikr, he would not have benefited so much. Truly, if a person does something the right way, fulfilling its rights and conditions, Allah, Most High, will definitely put benefit in that thing. But our problem is that we do things according to our own understanding and deficient conjectures. Due to this we end up frustrated and confused.

 

Today’s fake pirs and money-making sufi shaykhs have cheated the people, taking money from them and giving them wazífas to read. Is it ever possible to spiritually rectify oneself through wazífas and awrad? Spiritual rectification and elevation can only be acquired through [the proper procedures of] spiritual rectification.”

 

(Malfuzat-eHakim al-Ummat; 8:317)

 

Translator’s note: This in no way is intended to undermine the need, importance and power of du‘as and adhkar, which also play an essential role in spiritual rectification. Rather, what is intended here is that if a person does not make an effort on leaving sins and working on changing the low and evil qualities within him, and inculcating within himself good qualities, then simply reading a thousand wazifas and awrad without a genuine effort to abstain from evil and do good will not rectify him.

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