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  1. "You don't wake up for tahajjud, You're woken up for tahajjud (by Allah). " Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad (d.b)
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mX2AgnaAYPg
  3. Alhamdulillah, we are all blessed once again to see the arrival of the great month of Ramadan. The next 29 or 30 days are very precious. One needs to try their best to make the most of this blessed month. To do that, here are fifteen points that one can keep in mind for this month… 1. Remove any and all distractions that distract one from worshipping Allah, so that one can worship Allah properly. 2. Learn the fiqh of fasting. One should know what does break and what doesn’t break ones’ fast etc. 3. Whatever bad habits that you have, get rid of them and do not develop new ones. In order to make this work one should inflict pain on their nafs. So for example, the nafs is greedy and it loves money. For every sin you commit, give a certain amount of money in sadaqah. Do not inflict physical pain on your body, but rather, inflict pain on your nafs. 4. Extra Salah – Pray however many nawafil (optional) prayers that you can pray. Before this make qada of all your previously missed prayers. Qada takes precedence over nafl prayers. Tahajjud also falls under the category of nafl. You can pray both the qada and tahajjud. 5. Minimum at least one Qu’ran should be recited in Ramadan. 6. Give a lot of Sadaqah. It can be any form of Sadaqah, not necessarily financial. 7. Try to earn the reward of more than one fast. The question may come to one’s mind as to how this can be done, simple… Become a means of someone else’s iftaar. This does not mean that one should have iftaar parties etc. Iftaar is to simply break ones’ fast. So, one can give dates to other fasting people around them, or a glass of water or milk, it doesn’t matter what it is as long as that is what the person breaks their fast with. 8. Du’a before iftaar. Take out time to make du’a before iftaar because this is one of the times when dua’s are accepted. Preferably one should seek Jannah and seek protection from Jahannum constantly. So the following du’a should be read in abundance: “Allahumma inni as’aluka al-jannata wa ‘aoozubika min an-nar”. 9. Complete twenty rak’ats of taraweeh should be prayed. 10. Have suhoor in the morning because it is a sunnah. Try not to skip it completely. The meal does not have to be lavish, a glass of milk and a couple dates would suffice. Just have something. 11. Make Miswaak 12. I’tikaaf – For men, the sunnah I’tikaaf of ten days is preferred, but if one is not able to do that for some reason then one can make the nafl I’tikaaf. Females can also make the nafl I’tikaaf. Try to spend some time in seclusion. 13. Serving others – Being in the khidmat of people will get one really far whether the act may be big or small. 14. Make a lot of du’a and a lot of Azkaar. For dua’s, the dua’s of the Prophet (Saw) are preferred, those dua’s that are mentioned in the Ahadith. Qur’an is the best form of zikr. When one makes tilawat of the Qur’an, Allah is speaking to that person. When one makes their own zikr, like tasbeehaat etc. one is speaking to Allah. Time should be made for both. 15. Try to develop the environment of Ramadan in one’s own homes. Ramadan is the time when people can press the reset button. Rasulullah (Saw) cursed three types of people and from amongst those one of them is the following: “The person who finds Ramadan, but isn’t forgiven”. “Ramadan is the time for less words and more deeds” Request for duas.
  4. Shaykh Abul Hasan Khirqani (RA) used to ride on a lion, bringing with him wood from the jungle on it, and if sometimes the lion would become troublesome, he would whip it with a live snake. A person from Khurasan went to Kharqan to take the pledge (bay'at) at Hadhrat's hands, When Hadhrat's wife asked this man why he had come, he related his reason. She was a very ill-tempered woman and upon hearing this she recited: "La howla wala quwwata illah billah" and said: "Who in this world can know the condition of this Buzurg better than me? I am with him day and night. He is a crafty deceiver! How did you get involved with him? Have you no brains?" She spoke so bitterly to him that he cried and thought to himself that his trip had been wasted. However,the people of the locality urged him to go into the jungle, and meet the Shaykh, and not form any wrong opinion about the Buzurg as his wife was an ill-tempered woman. When he reached the jungle, sure enough, there was Shaykh Abul Hasan Khirqani (RA), seated on the lion's back. Moulana Jalaluddin Rumi (RA) says that through kashf (divine inspiration), it transpired to Hadhrat that this person had heard his (Shaykh's) wife's bitter talks and was grieved. Hadhrat laughed and asked what the matter was. That man replied: "Hadhrat, your wife is a very bad-tempered woman, why did you marry her?" Hadhrat replied: "The miracle which you see in front of you i.e. I am seated on a lion while using a live snake as a whip, was attained by patiently bearing the harms caused to me by this woman." In the words of Moulana Rumii (RA): "If my patience would not tolerate the burden of her ill-temper, then do you think this lion would bear my burden and become my slave." It is the way of Allah, that when He blesses one with a gift, He does so after training of the self (Islahe Nafs). Treatment for Anger page 15-16 By: Shaikh ul Arab wal Ajam Hazrat Maulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (ra)
  5. Hazrath Mujaddid Alf Thaani رحمة الله عليه Hazrat Sheikh Ahmad Sirhind, also known as Imam-e-Rabbani [the Imam of Wise Guidance] and Mujaddid Alf Thaani [meaning the reviver of the second millennium], is a great Sufi saint of the Naqshbandi golden chain. In his time the wife of ruling emperor Jahangir, who held Shia beliefs, influenced Jahangir strongly and many of the people around him, including some advisors, were Rafidhites. Without any fear or worry, Sheikh Sirhind wrote books and articles that refuted their beliefs. It wasn't long before these people became his enemies, and began to tell the emperor, 'This Sheikh is very dangerous. His beliefs are corrupt, and he is against you and will not bow down before you." Eventually, the emperor commanded that the Sheikh be imprisoned in Gwalior Fort for an unlimited period. A great miracle is reported by his son, Sheikh Sayyid, who says, "He was under very intense security in jail, where guards surrounded his room on every side. Yet every Friday, he would be seen in the mosque. No matter how much security he was under, he would disappear from prison and miraculously appear in the mosque."
  6. Hazrat Baba Fareed-uddin Masood Ganjshakar Dari رحمة الله عليه It is narrated that a miracle occurred before his birth proving his Saintship. One day, during the pregnancy of his mother, she wanted to pluck some plums from her neighbour’s tree although she had not obtained permission. The child in her womb (Hazrat Baba Fareed) created a severe pain in her stomach and forced her to abandon the idea of plucking, stopping her from acting unlawfully. After a few years after Hadrat Baba Fareed’s (R.A) birth, his mother lovingly expressed: “My dear son, during your confinement, I never ate anything which was unlawful.” Hazrat Baba Fareed (R.A), however smiled and said, “But, my dear mother, you wanted to pluck some plums from our neighbour’s tree without his permission, and I had created a severe pain in your stomach which saved you from this unlawful act.”
  7. Shaikh Abu Raabi Maliki (rahmatullah alayh) narrates: "I heard that in a certain city there lived a very pious lady. A karaamat (miracle) related to her induced me to visit her. The name of that Waliyyah (female saint) was Fid-dhah. She had a goat which miraculously produced milk and honey. I bought a new mug and went to her. On reaching her home, I made salaam and said: `I wish to gain from the blessing of your goat.' She presented the goat to me. When I milked the goat, truly, there came forth milk and honey. This wonderful episode left me bewildered. I said: `From where did you get this goat?' Fid-dhah then explained the story of her goat as follows: "We were very poor. We owned a goat and nothing else. When Eid came, my husband who was a pious man decided to make Qurbani of the goat. I requested him to spare the goat as Qurbani was not compulsory on us. Allah Ta`ala is well aware of our need of the goat. My husband approved my request, and the goat was not sacrificed. Sometime thereafter, we had a guest. I said to my husband that Allah Ta`ala has commanded hospitality to the guest. It is therefore appropriate that we should slaughter the goat. My husband took the goat behind a wall for slaughtering it. After some time I saw the goat standing on top of the wall. I concluded that the goat had escaped from the grip of my husband. When I went to my husband I saw him skinning the slaughtered goat. I explained to him about the goat on top of the wall. He commented: `It is not surprising if Allah Ta`la has bestowed to us a better goat.' We discovered that this goat gave milk and honey whereas the first one gave only milk. The woman said: `O my son! This, my goat, will effect your hearts. If your hearts are pure, this milk will be wonderful. If your hearts are polluted, the milk too will be contaminated. Therefore purify and adorn your hearts.'
  8. By Mawlana Ashraf Ali al-Thanawi The belief that everything which happened, is happening and will happen is according to the knowledge, will and command of Allah Ta’ala is called Taqdeer. Belief in Taqdeer is compulsory. The advantages of belief in Taqdeer and Tawakkul (Trust in Allah) are as follows: No matter what hardship or misfortune befalls one, it will be accepted without panic and the heart will remain strong in the face of such hardships. Strong belief in Taqdeer will indicate that Allah’s wish is in this occurrence and it cannot be opposed. The hardship will disappear only when so desired by Allah Ta’ala. Thus the man of Taqdeer accepts what comes his way with contented resignation. One who has understood and accepted this conception of Taqdeer will not be overcome with frustration at the delay in the passing of the hardship. He will not become despondent and lose hope when the misfortune endures for any length of time. He will banish weakness. The adherent of Taqdeer will not adopt unlawful ways and means of combating the difficulty, for he knows that the adversity has been brought about by Allah Ta’ala. He understands well that elimination of the hardship is not possible without the Will of Allah Ta’ala. He therefore realizes the futility of his efforts in trying to eliminate what Allah Ta’ala has willed. He will thus not unnecessarily court the displeasure of Allah by the adoption of unlawful measures. Why court Allah’s wrath when one’s purpose cannot be achieved even after having displeased Him? The believer in Taqdeer and Tawakkul will not rely solely on material and mundane measures, but will resort to du’a as well. He believes that nothing can be gained without His Will. He thus derives greater hope and strength by supplicating to Allah Ta’ala. An additional benefit of engaging in du’a is the strengthening of one’s relationship with Allah Ta’ala. A strong bond of love with Allah Ta’ala is the basis of peace and all comfort. The believer in Taqdeer will not attribute success, accomplishment and excellence to his efforts. He will attribute everything to the Will and Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. He will thus be imbued with humility. Such a man will not be arrogant and haughty. The summary of what has been said above is: The believer in Taqdeer and Tawakkul will be grateful in times and occasions of success and prosperity, and he will be patient when failure and adversity overtake him. This is the great advantage which Allah Ta’ala points to in the following verse: “…so that you do not lose hope over what you have lost nor do you become elated because of what you have gained.” (Surat Hadeed) The Islamic conception of Taqdeer should not be misconstrued and the essential and correct ways and means for worldly affairs should not be discarded on the pretext of resignation to Taqdeer. Discarding the lawful means and agencies which Allah Ta’ala has created for worldly affairs is weakness as well as erroneous. Such error and weakness have been criticized in the hadith. Hadhrat `Auf Bin Malik ® narrates that once when Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam decided a dispute, the one against whom the verdict went, exclaimed: حسبنا الله و نعم الوكيل “Sufficient for me is Allah and He is a good Protector.” This exclamation was intended to convey that Allah’s pleasure was the cause of the setback which he suffered. Hearing this, Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Allah Ta’ala does not like weakness. Be alert!” Here Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam exhorted that one should harness the correct means for one’s case and activity. However, if despite instituting the correct measures, failure results, then one will be justified in saying: حسبنا الله و نعم الوكيل . This hadith appears in Abu Dawood. Ahadith on Taqdeer Hadhrat Jaabir ® narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “You can never be a Mu’min as long as you do not believe in Taqdeer — in its good and its bad — to such an extent that whatever is to happen will not be warded off and whatever is not to happen will not occur.” (Tirmidhi) Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas ® narrates, “I was (once) behind Nabi sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam when he said to me: ‘O son! I shall inform you of a few things. Remember Allah and He will protect you. Remember Allah and you will find Him close to you. When you have to ask for something, ask of Allah Ta’ala. When you require aid, seek His Aid. Believe firmly that if all creation desires to benefit you in anything, they can never benefit you but that which Allah has decreed for you. If they all unite to harm you, they will not be able to harm you in anything, but that which Allah has decreed for you.” (Tirmidhi) Hadhrat Abu Dardaa ® narrates that Allah Ta’ala has already predestined five things for all people, viz., age, sustenance, deeds, place of burial and final salvation or condemnation. (Ahmad, Bazzaaz, Kabeer, Awsat) Hadhrat Mu’aawiyah ® narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Do not advance to acquire something, thinking that you can acquire it by your efforts even though Allah Ta’ala has not predestined it for you nor retreat from something, thinking that you will be able to obviate it by your efforts even though Allah Ta’ala has predestined it for you.” (Kabeer and Awsat) Whatever Allah Ta’ala has predestined, will come to pass no matter what efforts are made by man to gain or ward it off. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah ® narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Strive to acquire what is beneficial for you; seek the aid of Allah; do not lose courage and if a setback overtakes you, do not say: ‘If I had done this then it would have happened like this (i.e. not what had happened).’ Instead, say: ‘Allah has ordained this. Whatever He has willed, has happened.’” (Muslim) The above Ahadith have been extracted from Jam’ul Fawaaid. These Ahadith pertain largely to Taqdeer. The narrations which will appear hereunder pertain more to Tawakkul. Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur’an, “After you have consulted) and when you have firmly decided, then have trust on Allah (and proceed to do what you have decided to do). Verily, Allah Ta’ala loves those who place reliance (on Him).” (Surat Aale Imraan) What greater wealth does one require than the love of Allah? Those whose trust and [have] reliance [upon] Allah, have secured His love. There is no doubt in the success of such people. From this verse it is also manifest that along with Tawakkul should be Tadbeer (i.e. employment of the correct agencies, means and ways). Consultation which is mentioned in the ayah is in fact a way for deciding an affair. However, one should not repose reliance on Tadbeer. Even after having instituted the ways and means, reliance must be placed on Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala says in the Noble Qur’an, “They (the Sahabah) are such (sincere) people that when some persons said to them: ‘These people (i.e. the kuffaar of Makkah) have made (great) preparations for you (i.e. for fighting you) You should therefore fear them’, their (the Sahabah) Iman became stronger. Allah is sufficient and is best. Unto Him affairs are assigned. Thus these people (the Sahabah) returned loaded with the bounties of Allah. No grief overtook them and they remained following the Pleasure of Allah. Verify, Allah is most Munificent.” In these verses is a reference to a particular incident from which the Sahabah ® benefited both materially as well as spiritually. Allah Ta’ala indicates here that both these benefits were the consequence of Tawakkul. Allah Ta’ala orders Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam in the Noble Qur’an to say, “Say (O Muhammad!) Nothing can overtake us, but that which Allah has ordained for us. He is our King. All Believers should assign their affairs to Allah. (Ask the kuffaar) What are you awaiting for us one goodness out of two, while we are awaiting with regards to you, that Allah inflicts you with a punishment, from His side, or at our hands. So await, we too are awaiting.” (Surat Taubah) Since Allah Ta’ala is the King, the servant should be pleased with whatever the King chooses. This should be the condition of all Muslims. Both prosperity and adversity are beneficial for Muslims. Times and conditions of hardship prove beneficial for Muslims in relation to the end result. In enduring the hardships, ranks increase and sins are forgiven. Thus, it matters not which condition a Muslim is in. Both, viz., prosperity and adversity, are advantageous for Believers. This shows that even if a Muslim is overtaken by difficulty and hardship, he is not reduced to despondency and frustration, for he considers the state of adversity also beneficial to him. If the benefits of adversity do not manifest in this world, then for a certainty, these will be manifested in the Aakhirah. The Aakhirah is our actual and original home and goodness and benefit there will be to our perpetual advantage. Allah Ta’ala says, “Musa (when he saw Bani Israeel in fear and suffering because of the cruelty of Fir’awn) said: ‘O my people! If you have (true) Iman on Allah, then have trust in Him, if indeed you have submitted to Him.’ They said: ‘We have reposed trust on only Allah.’ (They then supplicated): ‘O our Rabb! Do not make us the target of these oppressors; save us by Your mercy from these unbelievers.’” (Surat Yunus) From this verse it is learnt that, along with Tawakkul, Du’a is very efficacious. Allah Ta’ala says, “Whoever has trust on Allah, He is sufficient for him.” Allah Ta’ala dispenses all affairs of those who have trust on Him, be the affairs of a physical or spiritual nature. This is indeed a wonderful promise made to those who adopt Tawakkul. Hadhrat Sa’d ® narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “The good fortune of a person is that he remains pleased with what Allah has ordained for him. The misfortune of a person is that he refrains from asking Allah for goodness and that he is displeased with what Allah has ordained for him.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi) Hadhrat Amr Bin ‘Aas ® narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “The heart of man lingers after everything. Allah does not care for a man who puts his heart at the disposal of everything; he may be destroyed in any place (and way – Allah cares not for him). Whoever has trust on Allah, Allah suffices for him in all affairs.” (Ibn Majah) This hadith points out that such a man whose trust is reposed in Allah does not become despondent and is not smitten by worry. Hadhrat Imran Bin Haseen ® narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Whoever remains aligned to Allah with his heart, Allah will be sufficient or him in all his affairs. Allah will bestow on him sustenance from such quarters which he did not even think of. Whoever aligns himself with the world, Allah hands him over to the world.” (Targheeb wa Tarheeb) Hadhrat Anas ® narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said to a man, “Tie your camel and trust in Allah.” Thus, Tawakkul does not envisage the abandonment of the lawful means and agencies which Allah Ta’ala has created for the execution of activities. One has to trust in Allah and not repose confidence in the means and ways. Hadhrat Abu Khuzaamah ® narrates that someone asked Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, “Do incantations and medicine alter Taqdeer?” Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “This too is included in Taqdeer.” (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah) According to this hadith, the benefit which will result from medicine, etc. is also dictated by Taqdeer. The sum total of this discussion is that Muslims should never become despondent and frustrated in difficult situations. Take lesson from what has been said in these verses and Ahadith and do not become weak in your Deen. Repose all your trust on Allah Ta’ala. Extracted from Hayat al-Muslimeen (source:ilmgate.org)
  9. By Shaykh Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali al-Nadwi We find extremely few persons who have revived and renovated other religions. The absence of such teachers for hundreds or rather thousands of years in other religions is striking enough. There has hardly been any renovator who could pull down the innovations and deviations which had found their way into other religions, restore the original purity, give a call to shed the accretions, decry the foreign elements, rites and customs, wage a war against the inroads of materialistic and pleasure-seeking ideas and enlighten the hearts of his co-religionists by his faith, true spiritualism and a personal example of ennobling sacrifice for his cause. Christianity can particularly be cited as a case in point. It deviated from its path in the middle of its first century and deteriorated from a monotheistic faith to a polytheistic cult – such an early retrogression is not to be found elsewhere. It became an admixture of the Greek and Buddhist religious thoughts, and, what is noteworthy, this happened through the hands of its greatest mentor and teacher, St. Paul (10-65 A.D.). The transformation was really from one world to another, changing its shape and content to such an extent that only the name and a few rites of the former could survive in the new religion. Ernest De Bunsen describes the mutilation undergone by Christianity in these words: “The doctrinal system recorded in the new Testament is not that which Jesus Christ has solemnly preached by word and deed. Not in Jesus, but in Paul, the Jewish and Christian dissenter, with his hidden wisdom, with his figurative interpretation of the Scriptures as being full of types and prophecies of future things, lies the principal reason for the existing dissension between Christians on the one side, and Jews and Mahomedans on the other. Following Stephen, the promulgator and developer of Essenic doctrines, Paul has brought the author of Christianity in connection with Buddhist traditions. Paul has laid the foundation to that amalgamation of antagonistic traditions which can be traced in the New Testament Sciptures, and which has presented to the World an essentially non-historical image of Christ. Not Jesus, but Paul and the later gnostics have framed the principal doctrines which during the eighteen centuries have been recognised as the foundation of Orthodox Christianity“ (De Bunsen: p.128). During all these years, and even today, Christendom has been treading the path shown by St. Paul. It could not produce a man who would have revolted against the antagonistic traditions which were made a part and parcel of Christianity by St. Paul. No body tried for centuries to bring back the religions of Jesus Christ to the point where the exalted teacher and his disciple had left it. At last Martin Luther (1488-1546) raised the banner of Reformation in Germany in the sixteenth century, but even his effort was limited to certain specific issues; the movement did not aim at bringing back the Christendom to the teachings of Jesus Christ nor did it represent a revolt against the wrong direction that Christianity had been forced to adopt. This Christianity could not produce any revolutionary, and, at the same time, a successful movement for its reformation for about fifteen centuries. Christian scholars too admit the face that no mentor or movement could manage to accomplish a reformation of Christianity during the first fifteen hundred years of its career. J.B. Mullinger writes in his article on “Reformation” in Encyclopedia Britannica: “If, however, we endeavor to assign the causes which prevented the Reformation from being carried even to but partial success long prior to the 16th century, we can have no difficulty in deciding that foremost among them must be placed the manner in which the medieval mind was fettered by a servile regard for precedent. To the men of the Middle ages, whether educated or uneducated, no measure of reform seemed defensible which appeared in the light of innovation” (E.B.R.: Vol. XX, p.320). The same writer continues at another place in the same article: “The complete failure of these successive efforts to bring about any comprehensive measure of church reform is a familiar fact in European history” (Ibid, p.321). And again: “Not a few, and some very measurable, efforts had been made before the 16th century to ring about a reformation of doctrine, but these had almost invariably been promptly visited with the censure of the church” (Ibid, p. 321). After Martin Luther, no other person raised a voice against the senseless doctrines of the church and papal supremacy, even to the limited extent that Luther did in the sixteenth century. Christianity thus continued its journey uninterrupted on the path it was forced to tread. At last, the Church lost the influence it wielded on the Christendom and gave place to crass materialism. The religion of the West today is nothing but materialism, yet, Christianity has been unable to bring forth a single individual who could have combated the evils of materialism, brought back the West to the fountain-head of true religion, restored faith in true Christianity and upheld the moral and spiritual values against utilitarian, pleasure-seeking norms of the present-day sensate culture. Instead of accepting the challenge of the modern age and finding out solutions to the present problems within the religious view of life and the world, the West appears to have lost all hope in Christianity itself. Almost the same story was repeated in the East also. Hinduism lost its way by asundering its relation with the Creator of the Universe, giving up its simplicity and depriving itself of the moral and spiritual vitality. It became more an impracticable and complicated system of speculative thought by losing the chord of unalloyed monotheism and equality of mankind; for, these are the two basic tenets on which any religion can flourish, with its roots deep into the soul of man and branches providing shade and solace to the human beings. Upanishadic writers tried their level best to put a stop to this contamination by totally discarding the rituals that had gained a foothold into Hinduism, and replacing it by philosophical doctrines – a conceptual interpretation of the faith. These elucidations being grounded in pantheistic monism or attaining unity through plurality were acclaimed in the literary and intellectual circles but the masses, who were intellectually at a lower level and yearned for rituals and practical manifestation of the monistic doctrines, remained unimpressed by the idealism of the Upanishads. The result was that Hinduism gradually lost its vitality; dissatisfaction and incredulity gained ground and the revolt against the Brahmanic order found expression in Buddhism in the sixth century B.C. Buddha founded a new religion (if it can be so named, for Buddhism eliminated the concepts of Divinity, Hereafter and requital – the essential ingredients for any religion) which opposed the then prevalent caste system and Brahmanic ritual order, sought annihilation of human misery through suppression of all desires – the will-to-live and will-to-possess – and commanded moral behavior, right mental attitude, non-violence, kindness and social service. It rapidly spread to south-east Asia and a few other countries. Buddhism, however, soon deviated from the teachings of its founder. Incorporating into its system the idol worship and ritualism against which Buddhism had started its career, there remained nothing to distinguish it from Hinduism except the numerous categories of gods and goddesses to which the latter owed allegiance. Buddhism was ever willing to adapt itself to the environment of local conditions where it spread; it was divided into numerous sects; incorporated superstitions, complicated ideas and concepts and degenerated into a cess-pool of moral corruption. Prof. Ishwar Topa observes in Hindustani Tamaddun: “…the Kingdom that was established under the patronage of Buddhism began to present a vast scene of idolatry. The atmosphere in the monasteries was changing and heretic innovations were being introduce one after another“ (Dr. Ishwar Topa; Vol. I, pp.137-138). The degeneration of Buddhism has been described thus by Jawahar Lal Nehru in the Discovery of India: “Brahmanism made of Buddha an avatar, a god. So did Buddhism. The Mahayana doctrine spread rapidly, but it lose in quality and distinctiveness what it gained in extent. The monasteries became rich centres of vested interests, and their discipline became lax. Magic and superstition crept into popular forms of worship. There was a progressive degeneration of Buddhism in India after the first millennium of its existence. Mrs. Rhys Davis points our its diseased sate during that period: ‘Under the overpowering influence of these sickly imaginations the moral teachings of Gautama have been almost hid from view. The theories grew and flourished, each new step, each new hypothesis demanded another; until the while sky was filled with forgeries of the brain, and the nobler and simpler lessons of the founder of the religion were smothered beneath the glittering mass of metaphysical subtleties…‘ (Taken from Radhakrishnan’s ‘Indian Philosophy’). There were several bright periods subsequently and many remarkable men arose. But both Brahmanism and Buddhism deteriorated and degrading practices grew up in them. It became difficult to distinguish the two” (Nehru: pp. 141-142). In none of the countries in which Buddhism had spread a person was born during the long period of its rule, who could reform the degenerated Buddhism, infuse the breath of new life into it and bring it back to the teachings of Gautama. Hinduism gradually absorbed Buddhism into itself and finally Sankaracharya banished it almost totally from India in the eighth century by reviving the old Hindu faith. Hardly any trace of Buddhism was left in India; wherever it still survived, it was little more than a decadent, local cult of no importance. On the other hand, Sankaracharya, endowed with intelligence, courage and religious fervour succeeded in eliminating Buddhism from India but he could not or perhaps never intended to revive the ancient Hindu religion in its original and pristine purity by inculcating faith in the unity of the Supreme Being, direct relationship between man and God, equality and social justice. As a result, both the Indian religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, still survive with the sickly characteristics of their decadent state viz. superstitious beliefs and rituals, idolatry and caste system. V.S. Ghate, the late Professor of Sanskrit in Elphinstone College, Bombay, writing on Sankarcharya in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics says that ‘the greatest object of Sankara’s labours was the revival of the system of religion and philosophy taught in the Upanishads‘ (E.R.E.; p. 186). Sankara, succeeded in putting down the heterodox system and establishing the doctrine of pantheistic monism, as presented in the Upanishads and the Bhagwad Gita, but he ‘did not attack or destroy idolatry’ (E.R.E.; p. 189). Sankara, condemned all ritualism and Karama and at the same time defended the worship of popular gods, which was to him a ‘symbolism rather than idolatry’ (E.R.E.; p. 186). Sankara considered idolatry a necessity at one stage of religious growth which is either given up or suffered to remain from its harmlessness when the religious spirit is mature. Thus Sankara allowed idols as symbols of the great infinite for those who cannot rise themselves to the comprehension of the one, changeless, non-qualified Brahman’ (Ibid). In this way all the efforts made from the time of Sankaracharya down to Dayanand Sarswati and Mahatma Gandhi to reform the eastern religions proved fruitless to renovate Hinduism and Buddhism in a manner to make them compatible with revelation, religious urge of humanity and the requirements of changing times. These religions have, as a result of this stagnation, succumbed to materialism; the vast areas of human life and behaviour have drifted beyond their reach while they have themselves taken shelter behind temples and shrines, soulless rituals and traditions. Any number of obscurantist movements working for the revival of the ancient Indian languages and culture can be seen at work in the country today but none is capable of giving a soul-stirring call inviting people back to religion by reinterpreting the true content of religious and moral faith in the light of current needs. No religion can maintain its vigour for long and offer a satisfying answer to the questions of ever-changing life unless it can produce guides and standard-bearers who can infuse a breath of new life into its followers through their personal example of unflinching faith, moral and spiritual excellence, immaculate sincerity, heroic sacrifice, self-confidence, ardent zeal, intellectual eminence and erudite scholarship. Life always poses new problems, temptations of flesh are ever on its side, materialistic urge in man always impels him to take the ways of self-indulgence and licentiousness, and, at the same time, we have always had men who were ardent and zealous supporters of the epicurean view and affluent living, materialistic brilliance and worldly success. Therefore, unless a religion also gets indefatigable defenders, renovators and redeemers who can face the challenge of atheism and materialism, it cannot hope to remain a living force for its followers for long. Defense Against Heresy History bears a testimony to the fact that there has never been a spell, however brief, during the past one and a half thousand years when the message of Islam was eclipsed or its teachings were engulfed by heresy, and the Islamic conscience became dormant enough to accept a contaminated faith. Whenever an effort was made from any quarter whatsoever to distort the tenets of Islam, pervert or falsify its teachings, or it was attacked by sensist-materialism, someone invariably came forward to accept the challenge and fight it out to the grief of Islam’s adversary. History records many a powerful movement in its day, which posed a danger for Islam but now it is difficult to find out even the true impact of its thought. Only a few people know today what Qadriyah (Rationalists believing in free will), Jahmiyyah (Determinists), ‘Itizal (Dissenters), creation of the Qur’an, Existentialist Monism, Deen-i-Elihu, etc., exactly mean, although these represented, at one time or the other, very important schools of thought and, with the most powerful imperial powers of their day and some extremely learned and able persons at their back they had threatened to stifle Islam. Finally, however, it was Islam which gained ascendancy over these contending forces. These powerful movements are known today as simply different schools of thought and are to be found now in philosophical and dialectical treatises. This tradition of struggle against un-Islam, the spirit to preserve and renovate the pristine teachings of the faith and the effort to infuse people with a revolutionary spirit to re-assert the divine message are as old as Islam itself. Extracted from the prologue of Saviours of Islamic Spirit published by Islamic Research and Publications, Lucknow, India.
  10. By Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani Translated by Umm Adam Truly the greatest thing for which humans have need after food and drink is clothing, with which man conceals his nakedness, protects himself from the heat and cold, and adorns himself for social settings. Given that Islam is a faith that incorporates injunctions inclusive of all areas of life, it has not overlooked the subject of clothing and has established for it inviolable principles and rulings. It may be that modern man considers clothing and adornment to be from those everyday, mundane issues that are subject to compliance of what is in vogue in each time and place, that it has no relationship to the rulings of ḥalāl and ḥarām and thus not an essential issue upon which life depends. However this claim has but arisen due to insufficient reflection and lack of examination on the effect of clothing on human life. In fact, clothing and dress, despite its relation to a person’s outward rather than his inward, still has a deep effect on his behavior, character and spiritual states. Amongst clothes are those which plant the seeds of arrogance and pride in the soul while others nurture in them modesty before Allah. There are those which establish good character in them and others which pave the way towards extravagance, sin, vanity, and infringement upon the rights of man. Therefore, whoever claims that clothing is but exoteric and that it has no connection to behavior or the character hidden within the hearts is truly uninformed of human nature. For this reason, Islam did not left the matter of clothing in vain. Islam does not approach any of the affairs of life except with a methodology that conforms to sound disposition and that is in harmony with the demands of nature. Given that humans are disposed to variation in types of clothing and food, Islam did not limit him to one type, excluding others, nor specified for man a particular style or particular form of dress, nor even a particular lifestyle. Rather it established a set of fundamental principles and dictums that every Muslim must abide by in the matter of clothing and then left him free to choose what he prefers from the [different] sorts of dress. Nothing thus prevents a change in the styles of clothing as long as a person upholds these principles and fulfils their necessary conditions. From the first of these principles is that clothing must conceal the nakedness (ʿawrah) of a person. Islam requires a man to wear that which conceals what is between his navel and his knees, and that a woman conceal her entire body with the exception of her face, hands and feet. Covering the ʿawrah is the most important objective of clothing. Allah, glorified and exalted be He, states: “O children of Adam! We have indeed sent down to you clothing to cover your shame, and (clothing) for beauty”. Thus Allah, glorified and exalted be He, explains that covering shame, i.e. concealing the ʿawrah, is of the greatest objectives of clothing. Clothing that does not fulfil this aim neglects that for which clothes were created, thus making it forbidden for use. All clothes that reveal a portion of the nakedness of a man or woman are not accepted by Islamic law, though they be beautiful or in fashion. Likewise, clothing that is fine and thin or clings to the body, which reveals to the viewer the shape of a portion of the body that must be concealed, would fall under the ruling above in impermissibility and would be disallowed. The second principle is that the purpose of clothing is concealment and beautification, concealment for reasons aforementioned, and as for beautification, because Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, calls [clothing] adornment when He states: “Take your adornment at every place of prayer” and in His statement: “Say: who forbids the adornment that Allah has brought out for His slaves, and the good, pure things of sustenance?”. Nasāʾī transmits from Abū ʾl-Aḥwaṣ from his father that he related, “I entered upon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and he saw me in a shabby state. He said ‘Do you have wealth?’ I said ‘Yes, Allah most High has given me all kinds of wealth’. He exclaimed: ‘If you have wealth it should be seen upon you’”. It has also been narrated from Ibn ʿUmar (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Truly Allah loves to see the effect of His bounties upon His slave”. (Tirmidhī 124:5, and he deemed it ḥasan) As for when the purpose of [clothing] is arrogance, pride, sin, vanity and ostentation, then [such clothing] is forbidden. It is narrated from Ibn ʿAbbās that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Eat what you like and wear what you like, provided you do not fall into two things: extravagance and conceit.” (Bukhārī, as an explanatory remark in the beginning of [the Chapter of] Dress) The third principle is that clothing which a person uses to imitate disbelieving nations are not permissible to wear for a Muslim if his purpose of wearing such clothing was to imitate them. Ibn Nujaym writes in [the Chapter of] the Nullifiers of Prayer from al-Baḥr al-Rāʾiq (11:2): “Then know that resembling the people of the book is not disliked in everything and indeed we eat and drink just as they do. That which is impermissible is but imitation in that wherein there is blame and where one intends resemblance by it. Qāḍī Khān mentions the same in Sharḥ al-Jāmiʿ al-Ṣaghīr. Based on this, if one does not intend resemblance then it is not disliked according to both of them”. Hishām similarly states in his Nawādir: “I once saw Abū Yūsuf, may Allah most High have mercy on him, wearing sandals bordered by iron nails, so I said to him: ‘Do you see any problem with this iron?’ He replied: ‘No’. I said to him: ‘Verily Sufyān and Thawr ibn Yazīd disliked them because them resemble (the sandals of) monks’. Abū Yūsuf, may Allah most High have mercy on him, said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) used to wear sandals that had hair on them (leather not stripped of the animal’s hair) and that is from the dress of monks’.” He alluded to the fact that any form of imitation that relates to the interest of (Allah’s) slaves is not harmful. This type of fixture (i.e. fitting iron nails to sandals) involves man’s benefit as there are pieces of earth and land where it is not possible to cross a long distance except with this type of (sandal) fixture. See al-Muḥīt in the Chapter on Miscellany. See also al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah (333:5) in the ninth chapter on disliked actions. The fourth principle is that wearing silk is forbidden for men but not for women. Likewise, the lowering of the lower garment to [below] the ankles is not permissible for men but is permissible for women. Extracted from Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani’s Takmilah Fath al-Mulhim
  11. Imam Baqy ibn Makhlad al Andulusy ( ﺭﺣﻤﻪ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ) Imam Baqy ibn Makhlad al Andulusy ( ﺭﺣﻤﻪ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ) was born in Spain and he passed away there as well. He was born in the year 201 A.H. and passed away in 276 A.H. At the age of 20 he traveled to Baghdad on foot for the sole purpose of meeting Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal ( ﺭﺣﻤﻪ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ) He relates: “When I drew near to Baghdad, I heard of the sanction on Imam Ahmad ( ﺭﺣﻤﻪ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ) and that he was banned from having any lessons. I became extremely saddened by this. After reaching Baghdad I went to the Masjid in search of some gathering of learning. I was shown a huge gathering wherein someone was authenticating people. He was mentioning the categories of the various narrators of hadith. Upon enquiry I was told that this was Imam Yahya ibn Ma’een ( ﺭﺣﻤﻪ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ) I then saw a gap near him and went closer and asked: “O Abu Zakariyya ! May Allah have mercy on you, I am a traveler and very far away and from home. I wish to ask you a question so please do not refuse me”. He said to me: “go ahead”. I enquired from him about few of people that I had met from the As-habul Hadith (seekers of Hadith). Some of them he authorised and some he unauthorised… Then I said to him: “can I seek your authorisation of Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal?” He looked at me astonished and said: “can a person like me be asked about Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal ( ﺭﺣﻤﻪ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ )?! Verily that is the leader of all the Muslims and the best and most exalted of them”. I then went out in search of the house of Imam Ahmad ( ﺭﺣﻤﻪ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ). I tapped on the door. When he came out he saw a man who he did not recognize. I said to him: “O Abu Abdillah! I am a man who is far away from his home and this is my first time in this town. I am a student of hadith and I have undertaken this journey specially to benefit from you”. He said to me: “come to the passage so nobody sees you”. He then asked me: “Where are you from?” I replied: “from the far West” he asked:” from Africa?” I replied: “further than that. I have to cross the sea to go to Africa, I am from Spain”. He said: “your country is very far off . Nothing is more beloved to me than to assist a person like you but I have been afflicted with the sanctions that you my have heard of ” I said: “of course, I heard of it whilst I was near Baghdad, but O Abu Abdillah ! This is the first time I have come here. Nobody knows me so if you permit I will come every day in the clothes of a beggar and call out at the door like they normally call out. Then you could come to this passage and if you narrate to me only one hadith a day it would be sufficient for me”. He replied: “yes on condition that you do not go to any other gathering or halaqah (gathering) of the As-habul hadith”. I said: “as you wish “. So I use to take a stick in my hand, wrap a cloth on my head, put my paper and ink in my sleeve and come to his door and call out like the beggars would call out. Then he would come to the passage and narrate to me two or three ahadith and sometimes even more. In this manner I collected approximately 300 ahadith. I did this till the end of the sanctions and till Imaam Ahmad ( ﺭﺣﻤﻪ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ) regained his status in the eyes of the people. Whenever I would attend his gathering later on, he would keep me close to him and he would say to the As-habul Hadith: “this person is fit to be called a student of hadith”. Then he would narrate to them my experience with him”. Imam Abul Waleed Al-Faradhy ( ﺭﺣﻤﻪ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ) says: “Imam Baqy ibn Makhlad ( ﺭﺣﻤﻪ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ) use to say: ” Verily I know a man (referring to himself) who days use to pass by during his student-hood and he would not have food to eat except cabbage leaves that would be thrown away as garbage. ”He once said to his students: “are you’ll seeking ‘ilm ? (knowledge), is this the way to seek ‘ilm?!! Only when one of you does not have anything to do does he think of seeking knowledge! verily I know a man (referring to himself) who days use to pass by during his student days and he would not have anything to eat but the cabbage leaves that people use to throw on the streets! And certainly I know a man who sold his pants many a times to buy pages for writing!!! Extracted from the book: ﺻﻔﺤﺎﺕ ﻣﻦ ﺻﺒﺮ ﺍﻟﻌﻠﻤﺎﺀ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺷﺪﺍﺋﺪ ﺍﻟﻌﻠﻢ ﻭﺍﻟﺘﺤﺼﻴﻞ “Incidents of the sacrifices of the ‘Ulama in their quest for or knowledge” By Shaykh ‘Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah (rahimahullah) Lessons to be acquired from the incident of this “genuine student of deen”: ★ The manner in which he plotted to benefit from the vast knowledge of Imam Ahnad ( ﺭﺣﻤﻪ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ) despite those very delicate curcimstances. ★ His long sojourn of hundreds of miles from Spain to Baghdad for this purpose. ★ His tolerance of extreme poverty in the path of acquiring knowledge. Let us try and emulate these great ‘Ulama to some extent in their manner of seeking knowledge. It is said that Imam Baqy ibn Makhlad (rahimahullah) had compiled a very large and comprehensive work on hadith but unfortunately its whereabouts are unknown today. May Allah Ta’ala make it easy to locate this magnificent piece of work of Imam Baqy ibn Makhlad ( ﺭﺣﻤﻪ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ) (ameen) May Allah Ta'ala make it easy to acquire the knowledge of deen(ameen)
  12. Hadhrat Husayn Ahmed Madani(رحمۃاللہ) The well-known scholar and saint, Mawlana Mushtaq Ahmad Anbethwi relates: “I once presented myself at the Prophet’s grave (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) after visiting the House of Allah (the Haram in Makkah). During my stay in Madinah I heard from the mashayikh of the time that a wondrous miracle had recently occurred at the blessed grave of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). When a young Indian man presented himself at the Prophet’s grave (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and recited salat and salam, he was given a response with the loving words, ‘And upon you be peace, my son’. On hearing this, I felt something special in my heart. I was even more pleased that this good fortune had befallen a young Indian man. Feeling overwhelmed, I began searching for him, so that I may see this beloved of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and confirm the story for myself. After investigating, I came to know that this young man was the dear son of Sayyid Habib Allah Muhajir Madani. I went to his home and met him. When we were alone, I disclosed my quest to him. At first he remained silent. However, after I insisted he said, ‘Indeed, what you have heard is correct.’ This young man was Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani (may Allah shower His mercy upon him).” (Al-Jam’iyyat, Shaykh al-Islam Edition, p.49)
  13. Waalaikumussalam It is to be understood that the occurrence of miracles at the hands of the saints, by the command of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is not far fetched. The mind can accept it, as nothing is outside the reach and commands of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. If He so wills anything is possible. These stories have been compiled in a small book by the Shaykh Ahmed Ali Also available in PDF http://nmusba.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/miracles-of-the-saints-by-shaykh-ahmed-ali/
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