English translation of a talk given by Arifbillah Hazrat Maulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ
Date: Muharam ul Harram 25, 1401 AH.
Day & Time: (FRIDAY) After Asr Salah till Maghrib
Place: Madrasa Solatia (Makkah tul Mukarrama)
Topics Covered in the talk :
- Degree of Love
- Love of Worldly Things
- Allah’s Beloved Ones
- Attainment of Intense Love for Allah
- An Incident of Intense Love
- The Value of Love for Allah Ta’ala
- Diminishing Beauty
- Deceptive Garden
- Decomposition of Body into Dust
- Reality of This World
- Holding the Hands of Pious Person
- Link with Allah Ta’ala
- Closeness to Allah Ta’ala
- The Heart is Allah’s House
- Link with the Ahlullah
- Presence of the Auliya
- Basic requirement of a Sahib-e-Nisbat
- Wilaayat (the special friendship of Allah Ta’ala)
- Link with a Wali
- The Power of Love for Allah Ta’ala
- The Ashiqeen
- Conversion to Dust
- Attachment to Allah Ta’ala
- Importance of Suhbat for the Ulama
- Tazkiah (Purification of the Nafs)
- Reformation and Purification
- Shamsuddeen Tabrezi
- Formula for Becoming a Waliullah
- Linage of Maulana Rumi
- The Transformation of Love
- Attainment of Allah through Hardship
- Importance of the Company of a Shaikh for an Alim
- Mathnawi Shareef
- Recognition of Allah Ta’ala
- Condition of the Heart
- A Secret Bond
- Imaan and Taqwa
- The Method of gaining a link with Allah
- Connection with Allah
- Company of the Auliya
- Rights of the Shaikh
- An example of the love of Allah
- The Price of Love
- The Essence of Tasawwuf
- Prerequisites for the love of Allah
Degrees of Love
Respected friends and elders, the essence of the Ayat and Hadith that I have recited before you indicates the amount of love that the servants ought to have for Allah Ta’ala. The Ayat and the Hadith indicate how much of love Allah Ta’ala requires his servants to have for Him, and what degree of love is necessary for the servant to enable him to be totally obedient to Allah.
Undoubtedly, it is permissible for one to have an intense love for the material things of this world, such as one’s parents, children, business, wealth, etc. because Allah has described the nature of man in the following words:
“And his love for wealth is indeed intense.”
(Sura Aadiyaat; Ayat 8, Juz 30)
Love of Worldly Things
In the time of Hazrat Umar رضي الله عنه the booty from a certain war was brought and piled in Masjidun Nabawi. On seeing it Hazrat Umar رضي الله عنه remarked:
“O Allah! It pleases me to see this booty and I love it,
but let my love for You be greater than all the worldly things!”
The above incident shows that it is permissible for one to have intense love for worldly things or to regard them beloved.
Allah’s Beloved Ones
Rasulullah ﷺ referred to us as his beloved ones when he once addressed the Companions.
He ﷺ asked: When will I meet my Beloved Ones?
The Companions asked, Are we not your Beloved Ones?
Rasulullah ﷺ said:
You are my Companions, while those who will believe in me after me (after my demise)
without having seen me, are my beloved ones and I eagerly await to meet them.
(Kanzul Ummaal; Vol 14, Page 51, 52)
In other words, we are the ones who have brought faith in him without having seen him. May the eternal blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our Beloved Nabi ﷺ, who referred to us as his beloved ones and expressed the desire to meet us. Generally, the term ‘beloved’ is used when expressing love for the creation and when we express love for Allah Ta’ala then the term intense love should be used in addition to beloved. In other words, Allah is our Beloved whom we love more than anything else.
If these two factors are absent from our love for Him, then we shall fail to obey Him wholly and totally. Our love for Allah should outweigh our love for our relatives, our family, our lives and our hearts. Rasulullah ﷺ asked for that love in the following words:
O Allah Ta’ala! Let me love you more than my life, my family and cold water.
(Tirmidhi Shareef; Vol 2, Page 187)
Just as cold water is extremely beloved to a very thirsty person, let my love for you be more than that. From this we learn what the limits and boundaries of love are, as taught to us by Rasulullah ﷺ.
Hazrat Haji Imdaadullah Muhajir Makki رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ composed some couplets along the same lines and recited them us he clung to the ghilaaf (cloth) of the Ka’bah:
Just as a thirsty person loves (desires) water,
Let my thirst for You O Allah, be greater!
A thirsty person experiences great pleasure and satisfaction when the cold water quenches his thirst and flows down his parched and dry throat. Similarly, the lovers of Allah experience great pleasure when they utter the name of Allah.
Maulana Jalaluddeen Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ said in his Mathnawi:
When my tongue utters the name of Allah,
Then every hair on my body is turned into an ocean of honey.
Attainment of Intense Love for Allah
So my dear friends, how do we attain that rank where our hearts can be brimming with intense love for Allah so that we may become totally obedient to Him?
Remember that we can never be totally obedient to Him until we develop intense love for Him. Why? Because if we love our hearts more than we love Him, then we will not hesitate in the least to break His commands should we experience any difficulty to our hearts.
Consider the following example: A beautiful woman passes by. Our heart is inclined to look at her. If we love Allah intensely (more than our heart) then we will displease our heart and please Allah by not looking at her. If, on the other hand, we love our heart more, then we will go ahead and sin by casting a lustful glance at her, thereby pleasing the heart and at the same time displeasing Allah. Thus in order to stay away from sins, it is necessary that the love of Allah be more than anything else.
An Incident of Intense Love
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ narrated that Sultan Mahmood once summoned his sixtyfive ministers and ordered them to crush the most valuable gemstone in his treasury. They all declined on the grounds that they could not bring themselves to destroy the most valuable and celebrated piece of gemstone in the treasury. He then ordered Ayaaz, his closest vizier, to destroy the same gemstone. Ayaaz obeyed and soon the unique gemstone lay crushed into a thousand fragments. The ministers on seeing this expressed shock and anger at Ayaaz for breaking the most priceless gemstone. The Sultan also responded:
O Ayaaz, you are indeed audacious and ungrateful! Answer these ministers now and tell
them why you broke the gemstone.
Ayaaz turned to the ministers and said:
Which is more important,
The royal decree or the gemstone?
From this incident Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ is advising us that if our heart breaks in obeying the command of Allah Ta’ala then let it break. But the order and command of Allah Ta’ala should not break. These desires of lust that lurk in our hearts can be likened to the gemstones that appear very beautiful and pleasing to look at. Nevertheless, we should boldly crush them and uphold the commands of Allah Ta’ala Who has ordered us to control our gazes. We should not look at beautiful women or handsome young lads, regardless of the compulsion that drives us to look at them. In front of the Divine Command of Allah Ta’ala, the heart has no value.
The Value of Love for Allah Ta’ala
My friends, intense love for Allah Ta’ala requires this from us. Hazrat Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ mentioned that a Buzurg (a very pious servant of Allah Ta’ala) once asked: “O Allah what is your price (value)? What should one give in order to attain You?” A voice from the unseen called out: “Give Me both the worlds (this world and the hereafter).” He said:
You have declared Your price to be both the worlds,
Increase the price! For this is indeed an inferior bargain for You!
Concerning this, Khawajah Azizul Hasan Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ has a couplet:
O People of the world! I have sacrificed both worlds,
Thus, what you are offering me is insignificant in my sight.
Once Hazrat Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ addressed the Mughal rulers from the pulpit of Delhi’s famous Jama Masjid:
O People! Waliullah has a heart in his bosom that is beautified with the pearls of the
love of Allah. If there is anyone wealthier than me on the face of the earth, then come
forward! When you die you will be beneath the ground, wrapped in a few sheets, while
your power and position will be left behind, above the ground. Only then will you realize
the reality of this material world.
My couplet concerning the reality of this material world is:
The world appeared to be glamorous,
Its reality dawned upon me only when I went to the grave.
One Buzurg has said:
There was the goblet, the cup-bearer, the-wine, and the tavern,
That what I had seen all along was but a dream, What I had heard all along was but a
In 1976, the Head Mufti of Darul Uloom Deoband, Hazrat Mufti Mahmudul Hasan Saheb Gangohi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ visited us. I informed him that I had just compiled a couplet.
I then went on to explain to him the background of the couplet as follows:
A young man or woman eventually has to reach old age, during which they lose all
their teeth and their backs become bent.
Their beautiful features simply whither away. Just as Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ has mentioned:
O young people! A sixteen-year-old girl fascinates you with her beauty, spoiling your
gaze and spoiling your Imaan.
We admit that her beautiful hair, which fails in locks, emanates a musky fragrance
and possesses your mind. Just as Rasulullah ﷺ has said:
I have not seen such deficient of intellect and Deen who are more possessing of a man’s
intellect than women.
(Mishkaat: Kitabul Imaan, Page 13)
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ further explains:
But when she turns eighty, she wears extremely thick glasses, and hobbles along
supported by a stick. Her back is bent over and she does not have a single tooth left
in her mouth. At that time, when you see her, then think over these words of mine:
That long hair of hers which emanated musky fragrance, causing your mind to be
possessed, now appears like the tail of an old donkey.
Ponder over Maulana Rumi’s words (May Allah fill his grave with Noor). He compares the hair of the old lady to that of an old donkey’s tail and not a young donkey, or else someone would have regarded the comparison of a young donkey as a positive feature.
Through the comparison of an old donkey, Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ has created a further hatred and aversion in the mind and the heart. These people were true psychologists! I informed Hazrat Mufti Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ that all the glamorous things of this world are definitely bound to perish one day. Childhood will be replaced by adolescence. Adolescence will be replaced by old age, and old age will be replaced by death.
The rising and setting of the sun steals away our beauty, causing our hair to turn white, and our teeth to fall out. Our cheeks become wrinkled and sunken. Had it not been for this rising and setting of the sun, nothing would have snatched our beauty away.
It is only in Jannah that we will retain our beauty and youth, never to be taken over by old age, because in Jannah there will be no rising and setting of the sun. In Jannah there are no days, dates, weeks, months or years. There will therefore be no change or deterioration in Jannah. After explaining this background of the couplet, I proceeded to tell him my poem, which follows:
Inform the nightingale that garden will, One day become a desert,
So that it may ponder over his life, and then render sacrifice.
The nightingale must not out of stupidity waste its life amidst the beautiful flowers of the garden. These flowers will one day definitely whither away. Likewise only at the time of death will the realization dawn that this world (this flower) was but a place of temporary pleasures. The time for the reckoning before Allah Ta’ala has finally arrived. Mufti Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ enjoyed this couplet very much.
The following poem was published in the al-Haq magazine that is printed in Akhora Khattak:
O Morning Breeze! When passing through the garden, inform the nightingale,
Do not attach your heart to the spring, for the days of autumn are yet to come!
Hazrat Khawajah Azizul Hasan Saheb Majzoob رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ who was the deputy tax collector of Lucknow and also the khalifa of Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ on seeing the streets decorated with flags and trimmings in honor of the arrival of the viceroy said to Hazrat Maulana Abdul Ghani Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ , Hazrat رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ A couplet
has just formed in my mind:
O Heart! Do not go towards the glitter and glamour of time,
This is merely an autumn that has come in the form of a spring.
This world is a deceptive garden. If we spend our youth, our bodies, which are actually dust, in the obedience of Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah ﷺ then this dust of ours shall become valuable and have the added honor of being in the company of Allah Taala and Rasulullah ﷺ on the Day of Judgment.
Decomposition of Body into Dust
If this body, which is made from dust, is solely for eating, drinking, urinating and defecating then we have in actual fact sacrificed dust on dust, Why? Well, if we were to ponder a little, then we shall realize these shaami kababs (roasted meatballs), roasted chicken, foodstuff, etc. are all dust.
If these things are buried in the ground and uncovered a little while later, we find that they have turned to dust. Likewise, these beautiful women and these luxurious homes are all dust. If we have sacrificed our lives and our bodies made of dust over these blessings and ignored the Bestower of these blessings, then we have done nothing except sacrificed dust over dust. Our bodies of dust have been sacrificed over these worldly objects of dust.
If on the other hand, we have pleased Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah ﷺ, and we have fulfilled the rights of our families, and our own rights as well, and we have earned our livelihood according to the commands of Allah Ta’ala, not displeasing Him in any way, then on the Day of Judgment, our bodies which are made of dust will find a positive affinity with Allah and his Rasul ﷺ, thus making our bodies valuable.
Therefore, do not sacrifice this dust (body) on dust (worldly, perishable things), but rather sacrifice it on the Creator of the heavens, I have compiled a verse in this regard:
Do not waste your life on any object of dust,
Sacrifice your life upon Him who Bestowed upon you your youthfulness.
O what oppression are you committing by dying over those who themselves will die!
He who is obsessed with the beautiful women of this world, Is oblivious of the higher
Hazrat Khawajah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
Do not devote your heart to these bodies
which will one day perish and decompose. He who has granted you youth, could
have, if He so willed, snatched it away from you during childhood. Give your heart
to Him only, who truly deserves it, Who has placed that heart in your bosom.
When this servant presented his Ma’arif-e-Mathnawi to Hazrat Maulana Yusuf Binauri Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ , he opened the book and his gaze fell upon one of the verses which I had compiled.
The essence of the couplet was:
Why are the Ahl-e-Dil (people of the heart) referred
to as Ahl-e-Dil, whereas in actual fact everyone has a heart, be he Muslim or Kaafir?
In fact, even dogs and cats have hearts. Then why are only the Buzurgs (poised
elders) referred to as Ahl-e-Dil? In reply to this question composed a Persian
The Ahl-e-Dil are those who give and devote their hearts to Allah, who placed the
heart in their little bosoms while they were still in the womb of their mothers. They
have paid the price for that heart. Allah Ta’ala is very valuable and by devoting their
hearts to Him they have made their hearts valuable. They are therefore referred to
Maulana Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ became ecstatic at reading this couplet and complimented me with some Arabic words that I shall repeat here for the sake of barakah, though I do not consider myself worthy of these compliments. The noble thoughts and words of the pious people are a source of blessing, honor and a good omen. He said:
I do not perceive any difference between your words and those of Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ.
He even wrote a remarkable foreword for the book. May Allah Ta’ala make me as the Auliya
have considered me to be, whereas I feel ashamed to even repeat their words here.
Hazrat Maulana Shah Muhammad Ahmad Saheb رحمۃ لله عل یہ of Ilaahabad has explained the rank and status of the Ahl-e-Dil in a couplet:
Gratitude is expressed, the love of Allah has become entrenched,
Now maybe, my heart has also become a true heart.
Love of Allah becoming ‘entrenched’ means steadfastness on Deen. It does not mean that at one time, one becomes totally engrossed in worship and at another time one becomes a total Shaytan. The word ‘maybe’ has been brought in the couplet to express humility.
Reality of This World
So my dear friends! I have another couplet on the reality of this world. In this hectic world, a person plans to purchase a house, or build a mansion, when he is suddenly confronted by Hazrat Izra’eel. What will happen then?
Death came and rendered the conscious unconscious,
Death simply silenced the hue and cry of life.
Nazeer Akbar Abadi says regarding the mortality of this world:
Very often have we seen those,
with scented shrouds and healthy bodies being placed in the graves.
When their graves were dug up later,
there remained neither a single limb nor a strand of the shrouds.
Note: It is not permissible to apply scent or itr to shrouds.
He says that l have seen many handsome youth and dignified people being buried in the graveyard, who had splendid bodies and scented shrouds. But a few days after being buried, when their graves were dug up, neither a single limb was left intact nor a strand of shroud.
This is the end result of our bodies that we are busy adorning and beautifying day and night, which our hearts are so involved with day and night. This is final result of our bodies that we nourish and beautify day and night. Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
“You will never acquire Allah Ta’ala as long as you do not discard your obsession with outward beauty.”
O Children of Adam! Seek Allah,
and leave aside your obsession with outward beauty (of women).
Maulana رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ further says:
O friends! If you abstain from worship of outward beauty that occupies your heart, then
what will you attain?
You will attain the garden of Allah’s Closeness.
What method should one adopt to be saved from the evil of indulging in admiring the beauty of strange women? Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says
“Before I chose the companionship of Shamsuddeen Tabrezi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ , there was a great distance between my knowledge and practice.” After my meeting with him, my soul was heated with the love of Allah. Initially, he tried to conceal himself out of modesty.
He said: “I have nothing, why do you keep following me?”
In reply I said to him: “If one who is intoxicated tries to conceal the odor of wine by chewing cardamoms, to give the impression that he has not consumed any wine, he will not succeed, because the effects of the intoxication will become manifest in his eyes. How will he ever conceal that? Therefore, O Shamsuddeen, your nightly Tahajjud, meditation and zikr of Allah Ta’ala through the blessings of which you have attained the intoxication of the connection with Allah Ta’ala cannot be concealed, because your eyes give you away. Your eyes show that you have consumed abundant pitchers from the love of Allah.” When one just looks at the faces of Ahlullah, one is reminded of Allah.
(What is the Reality of Tasawwuf?; Page 8)
According to a poet:
Those tears which are shed for the sake of Allah,
Carry in them the light and radiance of Allah.
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ requested Hazrat Shamsuddeen Tabrezi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ thus:
Do tell me about the great wealth of love and closeness to Allah which you carry in your heart,
You consume cauldrons from the love of Allah, Let me have only a sip, O my honorable Shaikh!
Jalaluddeen cannot tolerate that while his lips are dry, you are lost in enjoyment,
drinking deeply from the love and recognition of Allah. After all, being your student,
I too deserve at least something. Now that I have held your hand, grant me
Holding the Hands of Pious Person
With regard to ‘holding the hand of a Buzurg (pious person)’, a poet describes as to how Allah opens up the road:
My destination has become easy, now that the winds have changed their direction,
Now that I have held your hand, the lamps of the path have lit up.
When one holds the hand of a pious person, i.e. when he surrenders himself for reformation under the guidance of a spiritual mentor i.e. a Shaikh, then it becomes easy for him to conform to the Sunnah and the Shari’ah, as well as to abstain from sins.
Hazrat Hakeernul Ummat, Mujaddidul Millat, Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says that some ignorant people think that when Maulana Qasirn Nanotwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, Maulana Rasheed Ahmaid Gangohi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ and himself held the hand of Hazrat Haji lmdaadullah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ , then he (Hazrat Haji Imdaadullah Saheb) suddenly became an outstanding personality.
Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ rebutted this thought with great emotion, saying, “I take an oath that these people are ignorant!” By Allah! Ask these very Ulama what was their condition before they had held the hand of Hazrat Haji Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ? Before being blessed with the beneficial companionship of Hazrat Haji Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, we undoubtedly
possessed knowledge, but it was dormant. We likewise possessed lmaan before being in the company of Hazrat Haji Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, but it was the Imaan of belief, an argumentative and an intellectual Imaan. We had the belief of,
“And He (Allah) is with you wherever you are.”
But we believed in general companionship. After placing our hand into the hand of Hazrat Haji Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, and commencing Zikrullah, the doors of our hearts opened, allowing the Noor of Allah Ta’ala to enter therein. Our Imaan of Belief (Imaan-e- I’itqadi) has now advanced to a level of Imaan of ecstasy and reality (Imaan-e-Haali), and our belief concerning the “general presence” of Allah Ta’ala progressed to a level of believing in His “special presence.”
This belief was now changed to a fervent and intuitive belief and experience, which we actually perceived with our hearts, that Allah Ta’ala has indeed entered our hearts.
Link with Allah Ta’ala
Once Hazrat Khawajah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ asked Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ in Jaunpur:
“How will a person know that he has attained Wilayat and has established a link
with Allah? Will he perceive that Allah has entered his heart?” Hazrat Thanwi
Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ replied, “When you attained puberty did you realize it? Did you have
to ask your friends, O friends! Tell me, have I attained puberty?”
What a marvelous example Hazrat Thanwi Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ then explained,
“Likewise, when a person devotes some time in the company of the Ahlullah, engaging in
Zikrullah and abstaining from sins, his soul attains maturity. A different life enters in
him. His heart becomes filled with the love of Allah Ta’ala and he perceives special
spiritual warmth and closeness to Allah.
Closeness to Allah Ta’ala
Hazrat Thanwi Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says: A daughter-in-law once said to her mother-inlaw,
“O Mother! Should I happen to give birth while asleep, please awaken me. It should not happen that I remain sleeping and the child is born.” The mother-in-law replied, “O daughter, when you experience labor pains, it will be so severe that not only will you, but you will also awaken the entire neighborhood.”
Hazrat Thanwi Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says: “Likewise, when Allah Ta’ala grants the taste and pain of his love to anyone, then that pain really wakes him up. He carries this pain with him wherever he goes, spreading the message of Allah’s Love.”
Wherever we go, we relate Your story,
If it is a gathering, those present, see Your Colors.
This humble servant also has a couplet about the Ahlullah:
I roam around bearing the wound of love within my heart,
Making both the wilderness and the garden restless.
He becomes so afflicted with the love of Allah, that he cannot sit in any place or
gathering, but mentions the name of his Beloved-Allah Ta’ala.
The Heart is Allah’s House
My friends! As I was saying that Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ had mentioned that a person will never achieve a close link with Allah until his heart is totally detached from this perishable and material world. There is only ONE heart: You either give it to Allah Ta’ala or you give it to the temporary world.
Once in a gathering, in which I was also present, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ said: “It is permissible to keep Dunya (material world) in one’s hand, and even in one’s pocket, but not in one’s heart. The heart is Allah’s house.” Hazrat Khawajah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ used to say:
O Majzub! Remove the thoughts of beauties from your heart,
The House of Allah is not the place for keeping idols (temporary beauties).
If the love-of worldly things enter the heart, then this heart of dust has been ruined and wasted on dust (since all material things originate from dust and end up as dust). If on the other hand, the love of Allah enters this heart of dust, then it will become valuable. How does one acquire the love of Allah Ta’ala?
Link with the Ahlullah
The simplest method is to establish a link with the Ahlullah. But Alas! People today are under the misconception that Ahlullah no longer exist in this day and age. They believe that Hazrat Haji Imdaadullah رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, Hazrat Shams Tabrezi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, and Hazrat Bayazeed Bustaami رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُno longer exist.
In this regard, Hazrat Hakeemul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ takes an oath that in these days too there are Bayazeed Bustaamis, Shamsuddeen Tabrezis, Jalaluddin Rumis, Junaid Baghdadis, Baba Fareeds, etc.
We need only to seek them. If people have a true yearning they will even find Abdaals and Qutubs.
O Friend! The reality is that there is no pain within you,
Otherwise the doctors are available.
The reason for this is that Allah Ta’ala has declared in the Qur’aan Majeed:
“And be in the companionship of the Truthful.”
This verse obviously is applicable till the Day of Judgment. If Allah Ta’ala has commanded us to be in the company of the Auliya then He will surely create pious people till the Day of Judgment. How odd it would be that on the one hand, He commands us to be in the company of the Ahlullah, while on the other hand, He does not provide and create such personalities for us?
How odd it would be if a father orders his son to drink half a litre of milk daily for strength, but be does not provide the milk? Since this verse is applicable till the Day of Judgment, Allah Ta’ala will make such pious personalities available till Judgment Day as well.
It is thus great ignorance and deception on one’s part to believe that the Auliya (pious persons) no longer exist. Shaytaan (Satan) has led us into this misconception. He has deceived us into believing that we occupy a very high status and therefore the only person who can treat us is Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ or someone of his caliber.
Presence of the Auliya
My dear friends, in every era when great Auliya are alive and present, then people falsely believe them to be insignificant or not as significant as compared to the Auliya of former times. Only when they pass away, the people suddenly realize their true status and value, (but what is the value of this now?).
To understand this point better, consider the following example: A person falls ill here in Makkah. Will he sit around here waiting for Hakeem Ajmal Khan of India to come from his grave all the way from Delhi to treat him? Will he say: ‘I am a great personality and therefore only a Hakeem Ajmal Khan or one of his caliber can treat me?’ No! Such an ill person will seek treatment at the hands of any physician present.
Similarly, Allah Ta’ala has created spiritual physicians in every era, and we can be treated by these physicians of our time and thereby become Bayazeed Bustaami رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ or Haji Imdaadullah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ. In other words, we too can become what is termed as Sahib-e-Nisbat, though not of the same caliber of those Buzurgs.
The actual object is to inculcate Taqwa (piety), to gain the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala, to shun sins and to become His truly obedient servants. This will link us to Allah Ta’ala and this is what is termed as Nisbat. People often ask: “Who is a Sahib-e- Nisbat?” The reply to this question in the words of the Qur’aan Majeed is:
“Those who have Imaan and adopt Taqwa (piety).”
So if a person has inculcated piety after having embraced Imaan, he is a Wali, a Sahib-e-Nisbat, pious, i.e. one who has connected himself to Allah Ta’ala. Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ used to say, “We all have lmaan. Now we only have to inculcate Taqwa, and then we will become Sahib-e-Nisbat.”
Basic requirement of a Sahib-e-Nisbat
The Auliya of the fourteen hundred-year-old sitsilaas, the Chishtiya, Suharwardia, Qadria and Naqishbandia are unanimous that there are three basic requirements of becoming a Sahib-e-Nisbat.
The first of these requirements is for us to connect ourselves to another Sahib-e- Nisbat. One lamp is illuminated or lighted by another lamp. Therefore one must place his heart close to a heart which is already burning brightly.
Bring your heart close to a heart enflamed with the love of Allah,
This fire burns not on its own, It is caused to burn by another flame.
Khawajah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
The characteristic of fire and the characteristic of Love of Allah are the same,
Fire burns from house to house and the Love of Allah from heart to heart.
There is a pre-condition for the fire of the Love of Allah Ta’ala to spread from one heart to the next. The un-illuminated heart must be attached to that heart which is burning brightly.
Wilaayat (the special friendship of Allah Ta’ala)
Another question arises: Has Allah Ta’ala closed the doors to Wilaayat? People often wonder as to whether it is still possible for us to emulate our pious predecessors and become Auliya like them? Has Allah Ta’ala closed the doors of Wilaayat just as He has closed the doors of Nubuwwat (Prophethood)?
The answer to all the above questions is NO. These are all misconception. I take an oath within the boundaries of this Holy Haram of Makkah. By Allah! Even today the roads leading to Wilaayat are all open. Even today, it is possible for one to attain Wilaayat of the caliber of Maulana Rahmatullah Kirwani رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, Haji lmdaadullah رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, etc.
The doors of prophethood are undoubtedly closed but you and I can still attain Wilaayat. In fact, even the doors to Siddiqiyyat are open.
Allah Ta’ala has used the term Siddiqeen in the Qur’aan Majeed which indicates plurality. There was not only one Siddiq in this class, as this class comprises of various stages as well, the loftiest of which was exclusively occupied by Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq رضي الله عنهم . It can thus be said that Siddiqiyyat is a general term or class comprising of various degrees and classes. However, it will be heedlessness to say that today we cannot become Haji lmdaadullah رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ.
Respected friends, the Auliya-Allah (friends of Allah) will continue to come till the Day of Judgment because the doors to this stage are still open. In fact, the doors to Wilayat-e-Ulya (the highest stage of wilaayat) are also open. It is highly improper to believe that this stage cannot be attained or that the Ahlullah of our times are insignificant (Allah Forbid)!
We hold Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ in very high regard. He has this to say: “By Allah! All the seats of the Auliya are occupied. Only the doors of prophethood are closed.”
Thereafter, he recited this couplet:
The doors of Allah’s Mercy are wide open even today, the wine-houses of the
intoxicating drinks of Allah’s Mercy are open even today, and the addicted lovers of
this Mercy are also present. Today as well, there are Qutbul Aqtaab, Ghauth, and
Abdaal present. Unfortunately, there are very few who benefit from them.
Therefore, if we wish to become Allah-Walas, we merely have to establish a link with a Sahib-e-Nisbat or an Allah-Wala. Shah Abrarul-Haq Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says,
‘Those people who do not have a connection to a Buzurg (pious) and fear to take
the Buzurg as his Peer or Shaikh then choose him as your Musheer (advisor).”
Continue to consult him on Deeni matters and matters pertaining to reforming the Nafs, and practice on that consultation. This will be sufficient for reforming the Nafs, Bay`at is not necessary.
Some people fear to become Mureeds because they dread the possibility of various limitations and restrictions being placed upon them. For them it would be sufficient to choose an adviser without becoming a Mureed. Presidents and Prime Ministers also have advisers who advise them on matters of the state. So why should we also not have an advisor in our Deeni matters.
Hazrat Maulana Abdur Rahman Kemalpuri رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ was a Shaikhul Hadith. He was not a Mureed of any Shaikh but had established an Islaahi (reformative) link with Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ .
After sometime, when Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ felt that Maulana’s heart had been sufficiently illuminated and he had reformed adequately, he conferred Khilafat upon him. Maulana رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ said:
“But Hazrat, I am not even your Mureed, how could you
confer Khilafat upon me?” Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ replied, “You have fulfilled a Farz
act, i.e. you have attained self purification and self reformation. To take Bay’ah
(pledge allegiance) is Sunnuh. Come, you may take Bay’ah even now.”
In the above case we see a person becoming a Mureed after becoming a Khalifa. From here we also learn that Islaah-e-Nafs (self-reformation) is Farz, and it is the most important thing, even more important than a Sunnah act, just as salaah, fasting, etc. are Farz acts which are more important than Sunnah acts.
Link with a Wali
Once in the presence of an Alim, Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ said: “It is necessary for every person to establish a link with a Wali.” The Alim asked, “Why is it necessary?” Hazrat replied: “It is actually Farz-e-Ain, because in Suratul Fatiha the verse:”
“The path upon whom thou has bestowed thy favours”
Is in fact the alternative or substitute to the preceding verse, which is:
“Show us the Straight Path.”
It is only by following the straight path that we qualify to receive the favors of Allah Ta’ala, and receiving Allah’s favors is the object. This object can only be achieved if we place our hands in the hand of one upon whom Allah Ta’ala has already bestowed His favors, and these are the Auliya. Hazrat Dr. Abdul Hai Arifi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ once said:
There is only one way to meet Him (Allah),
Seek the road from those who have already found Him.
He once said:
Only they will get Him who have thirst,
Only they will find Him who seek Him.
Hazrat Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
“Your spiritual state has become weak owing to
constant sinning and leading a life of neglect, Your Rooh (soul) has become like a
rabbit, therefore, when it faces your Nafs (carnal self), which is like a lion, it will
never overpower it.”
Your Nafs is the lion and your soul is the rabbit on account of its spiritual weakness. Strengthen yourself spiritually through establishing a link with a Wali.
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ further says:
“Fly with the wings of a Wali, not with the vulture-like wings of the evil Nafs. The
Nafs is like a vulture that consumes filth and carrion. It flies only towards the filth
and carrion of this material world and should you latch yourself onto its wings, it will
surely carry you there. Attach yourself to the wings of a Wali, because the Auliya
are connected to the celestial world.
They will fly you out of the love of this dead world and transport you to Allah Ta’ala.
Their wings are free of the evil effects of the vulture. They will carry you safely, not
allowing you to fall upon this temporary world. You will witness their blessings with
your very eyes.”
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
I have become the Royal Falcon, i.e.
I have attained the closeness of Allah Ta’ala
I am not a vulture that feeds on carrion. I have repented from that. (When a person
reforms from base and lowly qualities to noble and praiseworthy qualities, and he
unshackles himself from this insignificant material world, then he becomes a
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
“People addressed me as ‘Maulwi’, but when I joined the company of Shamsuddeen Tabrezi, people started calling me “Moula-e- Rum” (Master of Rome) instead of Maulwi Jalaluddeen.”
Maulwi never attained the status of “Maula-e-Rum,”
Until he did become the slave of Shams Tabrezi.
The Power of Love for Allah Ta’ala
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
“The day a person acquires the Love of Allah Ta’ala, he will crush all the pebbles
(obstacles) that are found on that road. The Love of Allah crushes mountains.
People complain: ‘This is difficult for me, and that is difficult for me.’ These
difficulties last only while one does not have the Love of Allah. The day the Love of
Allah enters the heart, mountains of difficulties will be crushed to fine sand.”
The Love of Allah crushes mountains into sand,
The Love of Allah boils the ocean like a boiling pot.
So what then are our bosoms? Hence why will the love of Allah not affect our hearts? Now I will present one lesson from Mathnawi, and everything mentioned so for is from Mathnawi, since the object of Mathnawi is to create the love of Allah Ta’ala.
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
The entire creation are infants and immature,
except for the Ashiqeen (those immersed in the Love of Allah).
Many white bearded people will be amazed at this edict issued by Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, which declares them Na-Baligh (immature). Maulana رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ explains that no person can be mature until he frees himself from the passions of his Nafs. He is immature until he overpowers his lust, and his Nafs is totally subdued. He who does as he pleases and disobeys Allah Ta’ala without the least hesitation, is still immature i.e., he still has not reached Allah. The day his Rooh becomes attached to Allah, overpowering all passions and lust, he has become mature. Now he is Baligh (mature).
Conversion to Dust
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
As long as your passions are young, your Imaan will never attain freshness and radiance,
Why? Because the passions of the Nafs are a lock on the door which leads to the
closeness of Allah.
“O People of the world! Do not blame Rumi for declaring you immature.”
He then explains further:
“Once, four Hajis came to Makkah; an Indian, a Turkish, an African, and a
Turkistaan. Each of these people has a different complexion. An African is black, and
Indian is brown, the Turkish is reddish and a Turkistaani is pale. They passed away in
Makkah and were buried there. Six months later their graves were dug up and none
of them could be distinguished from the other. Neither was the dark complexion of
the African noticeable, nor the reddish complexion of the Turkish, nor the brown
complexion of Indian, nor the pale complexion of the Turkistaani. They were all
reduced to a pile of dust.
“O My Friends! Are you obsessed with outward forms whose reality is dust, which
has been given color (complexion) by Allah Ta’ala?”
Maulana رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ explains even further and this is his favor upon us.
This sugar, these kababs, and these beverages are all dust,
Which Allah has granted form and color.
The same is the case with human beings. They are all dust, and Allah gives whatever
form and complexion He chooses to this dust.
Lions and camels are shaped from dough,
The children clap their hands in desire for them,
In the end, the Lion and the camel become bread which is eaten up.
The children then stretch their hands out desirously, clamoring for these shapes. Some cry out, ‘Mother, I’ll have the lion’, while the others cry out, ‘Give me the camel’, and so on. They are fighting over lions and camels.”
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
“These lions and camels are shaped out of dough which is flour, but the children are
heedless about that. They are concerned with shapes and forms. When they eat
these forms, regardless of what they are, they are in actual fact going to be eating
flour, but these innocent, immature children fail to realize that.”
Attachment to Allah Ta’ala
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ concludes:
“Similarly is the case with the people of the world. Your hearts are attached to the things of the world, which are originated from dust. The women of this world are created from dust, the homes are of dust, the food is of dust, the children are of dust. Everything is of dust. They only appear in different forms and colors. The end result is also dust. Aside from that, you are to be separated from them one day, so why attach yourself to them?
Therefore, we are very immature if we have this attachment to them. Our attachment to these things that we are to leave behind should be with a very weak and light adhesive.
For example, if person receives some official documents and he has to send them Riyadh for instance, then he will apply light adhesive to the envelope because he knows that the envelope will be re-opened.
Similarly, that world which we will have to leave one day, we should apply light adhesive to the love of that world. On the other hand, we are to live with Allah Ta’ala forever, therefore our attachment to Him should be with a very strong
adhesive, i.e. create an extremely strong link to Him in your heart. Therefore,
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
“Do not he foolish like a certain king. He had the water of five rivers channeled into
his palace, but he had no well of his own in the palace itself. A wise minister advised
him, ‘O King! Why do you not dig a well inside the palace also? Have you thought
what would happen if your enemy attacks you one day and cuts off your water
supply from these rivers which lead to your palace. If you do have a well in your
palace it would be of great assistance to you if such an eventuality does arise.”
This advice greatly upset the king who said: “It seems you have been sitting in the company of some Mulla to have such negative and pessimistic thoughts in your mind. Who cares about such outcomes?”
Live in comfort and luxury today,
Leave the outcome to Allah!
Finally, that fateful day dawned about which the minister had expressed his fears.
The enemy attacked and on discovering the water supply to the palace, immediately blocked it off. There was no other water resource in the palace and after some time, the king, the princes and all the palace dwellers died of thirst.
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
“Similarly is the case with your body. Your body is like a palace and you bring joy
and satisfaction to it through five mediums. Joy is experienced through the eyes, the
ears, the nose, the tongue and the sense of touch. Apart from this there exist no
other means whereby joy can be experienced.”
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ asks:
“How long are you going to allow your body to enjoy itself through these five mediums. A day is to come when Hazrat Izra’eel will cut off the joys which originate from these sources. The eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue and the sense of touch will no longer be able to afford you any joy. The eyes will be closed, or even open, but you will not be able to see. Your little children will be standing beside you crying, ‘O Father! Look at us’, but you will not look. You will not have the ability to look.
In front of death the senses become useless, O Akbar,
The eyes are open but they are unable to see.
The wife and children will be waiting at your side, begging you to look at them, but you will not be able to look. Your safe, stacked with wads of notes will also be present. People used to greet you because of this sale, but now, none of this will be of any benefit. For the sake of worldly fame, people forget Allah. They do not care to remember Him to that extent that they befriend Him. They have a nominal and weak relationship with Him. They are quite satisfied with that weak link.
Imam Ghazali رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
I have seen that kings are quite content with minimum Deen,
But I have never found any of them to be contented with minimum Dunya.
So friends, it is most unwise and foolish for us to be contented with a very little love of Allah and to perform hasty and broken Salaats in the hope of getting that permanent abode in which we are to reside forever.
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
“You shall regret it, the day these five senses can bring you no joy any longer. On that day, our wives and children will stand beside us and cry out, ‘O husband’, and ‘O father’, but despite having ears we will be unable to hear.
If it is then said, ‘Here, try some of these Shaami Kabobs which are your favorite’, the tongue will not be able to taste, in spite of it being there. If a servant brings a stack of notes and offers it to us, saying, ‘Here, take same of this money which you loved to earn and count, and for which you sacrificed your Salaat with Jamaat.’
We will not be able to lift a finger to even feel the notes. If a bottle of fragrant perfume is placed before our noses, we will not be able to smell it. One should constantly ponder about that day, the day when all joys that are experienced through these means are terminated. The only treasure that will benefit anybody on that Day is the love of Allah Ta’ala.
Those who remembered Allah constantly in this temporary life, and never displeased Him, i.e. they abstained from sins, they will find that as soon as the light of this temporary life is extinguished, immediately a permanent Noor will be illuminated for them which will accompany them to Barzakh (the life of the grave), Qiyamah (Day of Judgment), and into Jannah (Paradise).
So provide that treasure in your heart for yourself now, regarding which Hazrat Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ said:
“O People of the world! Waliullah has such a heart in his bosom in which there are
the pearls of Allah’s love. Which millionaire is there to compete with me? Because
when I die, I shall take this wealth of the love of Allah Ta’ala that is in my Rooh with
me into my grave. As for the Kings and wealthy people of this world, they shall leave
their wealth and crowns above the ground, while they proceed empty handed
beneath the ground.”
Hazrat Sa’di Sheraziرَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
When the moment of departure is announced for leaving this world,
Then it makes no difference whether one dies on the throne or on the earth.
A friend of mine who is a special adviser to the president of Pakistan once related the following incident to me: “When Field Marshall, Muhammad Ayub Khan was president; I was once invited as a state guest. On reaching Islamabad, I encountered large contingents of troops patrolling the city. In the presidential court, the sight of President Ayub was simply awesome as he sat there, causing a shiver to run down my spine.
However, after his death, I happened to visit his grave in Haripur, and on seeing the neglected and desolate grave, tears filled my eyes: ‘O Allah! Is this the grave of the same president who used to be honored with the ‘Twenty-one Gun Salute’? Whose very uniform used to strike terror in the hearts of the people, and for whom the streets of Karachi used to be blocked off, and in whose honor thousands of soldiers used to parade? Here lies that same president whose body must have been eaten by thousands of insects and worms by now.”
Ah! This world is not worth attaching one’s heart to. We have come here to this world to acquire the friendship of Allah Ta’ala. Friends, to which heart can I explain the insignificance of this world? For Allah’s sake, remove the Dunya from your heart, and learn the Love of Allah from some Wali.
Importance of Suhbat for the Ulama
The doors of Wilayat (friendship of Allah) are open even today. Today as well, we are in the position of lighting up the names of our predecessors, on the condition that we practice upon this saying of Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ahmed Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, who said:
“O Ulama! Do not be proud about your knowledge,
and do not be proud about your eloquent lectures and Arabic poetry.”
If someone is a good poet or speaks Arabic eloquently, then he should not have pride in his poetry and Arabic. But rather one should accompany the Ahlullah and spend time in their service and reduce one’s status and fame of scholarship to dust. Then one shall see how the sweetness of Allah’s love comes in one’s heart.
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwiرَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ said: “We are unable to talk Arabic like Abu Jahl nor do we know poetry like him. We cannot become more eloquent than him. One does not become a Waliullah by merely speaking Arabic but one attains Wilayat through lmaan and Taqwa. Possessing knowledge of Arabic and Arabic poetry, does not make one a Buzurg nor does it give him piety.
Someone asked Hazrat Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ : “Hazrat, you are a great Alim, who teaches Bukhari Shareef. What was the need for you to go to Haji Imdaadullah Saheb?” He replied: “I did not go to him to ask about any mas’ala (issues pertaining to jurisprudence). I went to him to strengthen myself so that I am able to practice those actions that the Nafs is so lazy to practice upon, and which overpower me. Through Haji Saheb’s رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ Barkat, the Nafs was overpowered. Strength was what we went to seek from Hazrat Haji Saheb and not any mas’ala.”
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
“Regardless of what a great Alim, you may be, you will
always be overpowered by the Nafs if you do not choose the companionship of a
Do not company those who have become overpowered, O Rebellious one!
Accompany one who has overpowered his Nafs so that you may also become dominant.
And be able to practice upon the knowledge that you have acquired. And if one always stays in the company of those who are overpowered by their Nafs then he will also remain a slave of this base desires. This because the one who himself is enslaved, how can he free someone else? One prisoner cannot release another prisoner. Only if one of them is released will he be able to bail the other out. These people are the Ahlullah who have freed themselves from the slavery of the Nafs. Maulana Muhammad Ahmed Sahebرَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ encourages the Ulama to build a connection with the Ahlullah through this couplet:
I do not know what will eventually happen,
If the turban of graduation is finally lost in the Love of Allah.
If the Ulama who take great pride in their certificates of graduation and diplomas were to allow themselves in the companionship of an Allah-Wala, then there is no telling what heights they will reach and what ranks they will be elevated to.
Hazrat Thanwi Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says: “Bring two Ulama to me. One of them must be such that he has spent some time in the companionship of a Shaikh and has received spiritual training from him, while the other must be one who has not spent any time in the company of a Shaikh and received no training from him. Do not tell me which one has, and which has not sat in the company of a Shaikh. I will be able to tell that to you within five minutes.”
Tazkiah (Purification of the Nafs)
I once gave an example in this regard in Ilaahabad and also at the home of Haji Sulaiman Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ in Madina Munawwarah: Two plums fell from a tree. A confectioner who was passing by said to them, “I am going to pick you up and make jam out of you.” They asked: “What process are you going to use to turn us into jam?” He replied: “First I will prick a huge needle into you to extract your sour water and bitter juices.”
In other words, “I will first purify you. Thereafter, I will dip you in syrup and place you in an earthen jug. Once you are processed, your value will increase. Great personalities, presidents, prime ministers, kings, Ulama and Muftis who are afflicted with heart ailments will yearn for you, eat you, and strengthen their hearts.” One of the plums said: “In that case, I am prepared to undergo the process.” The other plum however, responded, “What nonsense is this? As for myself, I am not prepared to become somebody’s slave. I refuse to be enslaved! I want to be free and liberated. I refuse to undergo the disgrace of being a subject and slave to anybody!”
A slave does not have control over another slave,
The nightingale restlessly remained trapped in the cage.
The confectioner said: “All right then. If that’s how you feel, you may remain here.” He picked up the other plum and left. This plum was left lying in the sun and the rays of the sun shone upon it, causing it to become discolored and ugly. Some time later a petty shopkeeper passed that way and on seeing this dried plum scooped it into his sack and went to his shop, where he left it lying in one corner. Some days later, a customer suffering from acute constipation entered the shop and requested a laxative.
The shopkeeper removed the dried plum from the sack and sold it to him for a very cheap price saying: “This was the end result of this dried plum which finally ended up as an aid to remove excreta from someone’s constipated bowels. This was the disgrace he suffered for refusing to undergo the process of Tazkiah (purification). As for the other plum, which gave the sacrifice of undergoing self-purification, it was prescribed by Hakim Ajmal Khan to the Nawab (high government officials) of Rampur for strengthening his ailing heart.” The disgraced plum come to hear about his friend’s honor and cried out in jealousy: “But that is the same plum which grew with me on the some tree and we fell off together. How did he receive such honor?”
Reformation and Purification
The above example clearly illustrates that if an Alim has undergone the process of Tazkiah (purification of the Nafs) under the guidance of a Shaikh, then he too becomes connected to Allah Ta’ala. He becomes a Sahib-e-Nisbat. He will be the cause of treating, reviving and remedying the dead hearts of thousands of people who are afflicted with spiritual maladies, turning them into Auliya. His friends who studied with him in the same Madrasah will be amazed at his success, wondering as to why the words of their friend have such effect on people, that they throng to him from all direction.
They will ponder: “What a concerned heart he carries in his bosom!” and they will be jealous. They will say: “He is the same fellow who studied with us and then he went into the company of some Shaikh and became his Mureed. Now he is being respected by people who invite him to lavish banquets and meals.” What these jealous friends fail to realize is that if they too had reformed and purified themselves, liberating themselves from carnal desires and the love of material things, they too would be enjoying the same honor and prestige. Why is it that no one turns towards them? if they too had strove and struggled for attaining internal purification, tolerating the reprimands of their mentor and Shaikh, they too would have acquired that special link with Allah. Why would Allah Ta’ala then not bestow His special favors upon them?
He who burns his unlawful desires for Allah, then Allah Ta’ala fills up the entire world with his fragrance. As far as outward honor and prestige is concerned, in the form of people thronging around the Wali, inviting him to their homes, etc. is one of absolutely no importance. If we were only aware of the internal state that they enjoy, we will realize that even a thousand of these worldly kingdoms have absolutely no value in their eyes. Therefore fling yourselves into the fires of Mujahada (spiritual training and struggle), and then see what you will achieve!
An Alim once debated with Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ saying: “Hazrat, I accept the importance and Farziat (obligation) of self reformation and self purification, but what I do not understand is why one must adopt the company of a Shaikh or a reformer. I can simply read a book and thereby purify myself.”
Hazrat Thanwi Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ then used a grammatical point to answer his question. He asked the Alim: “Is the word Tazkia a transitive or an intransitive verb?” The Alim replied: “It is a transitive verb.”
Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ said: “The rule of a transitive verb is that it does not terminate on the subject but goes beyond onto an object.”
(Grammatically, therefore, in the case of Tazkia, the reformer/purifier who is the subject, has the task of purifying his object, and the object can only be purified if he has a purifier above him, i.e. the Shaikh.)
Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says: “Allah has made all the issues pertaining to Shariat and Tariqat clear to me. The greatest Alim can question me and Insha-Allah I will furnish him with a satisfactory reply within five minutes.” The Alim in the above case was astonished at Hazrat Thanwi’s reply on Tariqat that was given through a rule of grammar.
Further, if we study the lives of the Noble Sahaba رضي الله عنه we will find that they too were not in the position to purify themselves.
Allah Ta’ala says regarding their purification:
“And he purifies them.”
i.e. Sayyiduna Rasulullah ﷺ purifies the Noble Sahaba رضي الله عنهم. He purified their hearts. Today as well, the deputies of Rasulullah ﷺ are fulfilling this task. Today the Auliya continue to purify the hearts of the people.
Search for the Aashiqeen (the Lovers of Allah)! There are many Shamsuddeen Tabrezis رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ hidden all over. They were not confined to the period of Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ only. There will be many more Shamsuddeen Tabrezis رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ to come until the Day of Judgment, who will continue to make many more Jalaluddin Rumis رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ . I always make this Dua. You all make it as well.
O Allah! Let me meet Your Lovers,
Through whose beneficence the earth and the skies are existing.
I always make Dua to Allah Ta’ala to let me meet His Lovers. I compiled the following couplet:
My heart desires that I live in a place where,
One whose heart is permeated with the Love of Allah, lives.
I would love to live and die amongst great Auliya like Haji Imdaadullah رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ , Hazrat Shams Tabrezi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ , Hazrat Thanwi *رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ
I have one verse in this regard as well:
The object of my life, the reason for my existence,
Is to live among Your Lovers, and to die among Your Lovers.
Formula for Becoming a Waliullah
So my friends, today Akhtar is giving you the formula for becoming a Waliullah. This also is through the blessings of my respected elders. I have not come to you as a preacher, but rather as your servant. This place is the seat of my elders. The purpose of this discussion is sure to over joy the souls of Hazrat Haji ImdaaduIlah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ and Hazrat Maulana Rahmatullah Saheb *رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ May Allah increase the Noor of these noble souls. It is the right of their progeny that we, the servants, place before them the legacy of their ancestors. Today as well, people can become Auliya. Our elders and Mashaa’ikh have mentioned that the first condition for becoming a Wali of Allah is humility and humbleness.
Only the Nafs has to be humbled, then the next stage of elevation will come (Allah will elevate him). But, when humbling one’s self, the intention should not be to acquire elevation. It is for this reason Rasulullah ﷺ has said:
“He who humbles himself for Allah, will (as a reward from Allah Ta’ala) be elevated by Him.” [Ibn Majah]
It is important that when humbling one’s self, the sole motive should be to please Allah Taala alone, and there should be no other motive, otherwise it will be pride.
This is the reason why Rasulullah ﷺ has said, ‘LILLAH’ (only for Allah) … This ‘Iaam’ is to denote specification which will give the meaning: “HUMBLE YOURSELF ONLY FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH.”
Linage of Maulana Rumi
If we are very wealthy today, the thought may occur to us, ‘What is the need to sit in the company of a Shaikh?’ My friends, as we sit here today, listening to the lessons of Mathnawi Shareef of Maulana Jalaluddeen Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, have we asked ourselves, “Who, after all, is this Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ ?”
He was the grandson of the Shah of Khawarzam, i.e. his father and the Shah were cousins. He was from royalty. He was not a poor Mullah who thought, “Well, let me resort to Peeri-Mureedi and thereby become famous, and consequently amass a large fortune of wealth from my followers.” No! He had so much worldly status that when he used to proceed for Bukhari Shareef lessons, the students used to run behind him with his shoes in their hands.
In the meantime Hazrat Shamsuddeen Tabrezi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ who was nearing the end of his life made the following Dua:
“O Allah, It seems my end is near. Please send to me such a servant into whose
heart I may transfer this Amanat (trust) of the fire of love that is in my heart. Let it
be such a heart which is capable of accepting and deserving of this Amanat.”
He was inspired thus: “O Shamsuddeen, go to Konya where you will find my servant
Jalaluddeen Rumi. Transfer this trust into his heart. His heart is capable of bearing
this trust. This trust is much more valuable than the earth and the skies and his
heart is capable of receiving this Amanat.”
At this point we may ask, ‘Why is this trust more valuable than the skies and the earth?’ The Qur`aan replies to us:
“They (the skies, and the earth) refused to
accept it (the Amanat) and man accepted it.”
The earth and the skies feared this Amanat and refused to accept it while the heart of the Aashiqeen (Lovers of Allah) accepted it. This small heart which weighs less than half a kilogram accepted this great Amanat. Beware! Do not judge the heart by its size or weight. Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ used to say with regard to the heart.
The lives and hearts of the Ahlullah are so vast and expansive,
That the space of the seven skies is indeed very narrow in comparison.
The Allah-Walas are the special friends of Allah and He creates this vastness in their hearts to such an extent that the space of the seven skies becomes restricted before their hearts.
Jigar Muradabadi said:
At times, the seven skies made Tawaaf of this
handful of dust (the heart of the Aashiqeen).
So we see that Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ did not look at himself when faced with this Amanat. When he gave himself over into the service of Shamsuddeen Tabrezi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, he recited these couplets:
Such a renowned Shaikh has now become a beggar wandering from place to place,
When love of Allah enters the heart then one does not fear any blame.
Of course, this service to Shamsuddeen Tabrezi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ was in fact servitude to Allah Ta’ala, because he had in actual fact sacrificed himself for Allah Ta’ala. Only those who have the yearning for Allah Ta’ala will show respect and honor to Ahlullah.
The Transformation of Love
Hazrat Khawajah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ was a deputy collector and a B.A. graduate from Ilaahabad. But after spending a few days in the company of Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ he established a link with Allah Ta’ala. On his departure from Thana Bhawan he recited the following couplet:
The magnificent beauty of Allah has wiped away the temporary shapes and forms of
He transformed my eyes and my heart into real eyes and a real heart,
You melted iron with the heat of the heart,
You converted the one who was unacquainted with Your pain of love into true lover.
Majzoob is leaving this door with his containers filled,
A hundred thanks, (the search for) Truth made me a beggar to you.
What happened then? Even Hazrat Maulana Abrarul Haq Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ turned to him and became his Mureed.
An Alim once wrote to Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ: “I have chosen Hazrat Khawajah Azizul Hasan Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ as my Shaikh and Reformer.”Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ replied: “You have made a unique choice.” This deputy collector and B.A. graduate is now a Shaikh of the Ulama. Mufti Jameel Ahmad Saheb Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ of Jamia Ashrafia, Lahore, also chose him as his Shaikh. He used to correspond with Khawajah Saheb, seeking guidance from him. Hazrat Khawajah Saheb once wrote to him:
You will never attain your goal as long as you do not give yourself over totally to a Shaikh, Who can then guide you towards Allah? He also added these couplets:
Before a Murshid become (Zaleel) humble,
Follow him without (Daleel) proof.
Then you will become truly Jameet,
Then you will become a Khaleel (a close friend of Allah).
Attainment of Allah through Hardship
Once somebody said to him: “Hazrat, give me that gift which you acquired from Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ.” He replied:
I did not receive it just like that, my heart and liver became blood in the process (i.e. I worked hard for it),
Why should I give it to anyone for free, my efforts were not for free.
ln other words, this great bounty is not attained for free. You must first undergo hardship and sacrifice yourself, and then your heart will truly be a heart.
The heart will become like a polished mirror after much abrasion,
Do not ask, the heart is reformed with great difficulty.
Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ said: “If the connection with Allah Ta’ala were to be made very easily, then it would also have been sold very easily, for some paltry material gain. Therefore, one attains Allah Ta’ala only after severe hardship.”
“Those who strive for My sake, We shall surely guide them on Our paths.”
Whatever blessings are acquired through hardship and toil are regarded with greater value and appreciation. The returns of sacrifice and effort are indeed great. Khawajah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
The unlimited effort which you make to reach your destination, remember,
That the comforts which result, will also be unlimited.
“The day Allah Ta’ala enters the heart, is the day when the value of the entire universe will drop in your gaze. By Allah! The crown, the throne and the kingdom will lose all their value.”
Khawajah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ said:
Who is this who has just arrived, causing the glow of the lamp to fall dim,
Instead of moths flying around the flame, sparks are flying from the heart.
My Friends, I will now conclude. My intention was just to speak for fifteen minutes. I had said that I would request Maulana to let me know how much time I have. I will remain obedient to his order because he is from the progeny of our elders.
(At this point in the lecture, Maulana Mas’ud Shameem Saheb requested Hazrat رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ to continue the lecture saying, “We will not have this great opportunity to benefit from your lecture till next Hajj.” Hazratwala رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ then commenced with his lecture again.)
Importance of the Company of a Shaikh for an Alim
After spending some time in the company of his Shaikh, Shamsuddeen Tabrezi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ , Allah Ta’ala opened the doors to the oceans of knowledge for Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ
What is the difference between an Alim who has spent some time in the company of a Shaikh and one who has not? The following example given by Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ will answer that question:
Dig a hole the size of a pond, and fill it with water. Continue using that water until it is finished. How long will it take before that water is totally finished? On the other hand, if you dig a hole until you reach an underground stream, which fills up the hole, then the water in that hole will be used continuously without it being finished.
This second water is the example of an Alim who chooses the company of an Allah- Wala, staying away from sins and engrossing himself in Zikrullah and meditation. They ponder over the creation of Allah, the heavens, the sun, and the moon. Who is the Creator? They do not merely eat, drink and enjoy themselves. Such Alim who have spent time in the company of a Shaikh will receive such knowledge from Allah, which does not get finished, but is rather like that well which is continuously fed with an underground stream.
When Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ became a Sahib-e-Nisbat, connected to Allah, Allah inspired twenty eight thousand five hundred couplets on his tongue, and whoever chose his company, became a Sahib-e-Nisbat in turn.
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
When I form the first line of a couplet, I wonder as to how,
I will form the second line to rhyme it.
But my Beloved calls out from the Heavens, ‘O Jalaluddin,
do not worry. Keep your attention towards Me.
I am having the Mathnawi written by you. I will inspire
the second verse in you as well.
At the end of the Mathnawi, Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ started writing yet another incident. However, Allah Ta’ala wanted to prove that the twenty eight thousand five hundred verses were all inspired by Him. Allah Ta’ala, therefore, withheld any further inspiration of verses from entering into his heart.
At this point, Maulana رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ realized that this is the conclusion of Mathnawi Shareef, Allah Ta’ala had willed it so that this final incident remains incomplete. He therefore concluded thus:
“I am no longer receiving any inspiration. The verses no longer have any ecstasy in them. I will not say anything from my own side. It will be best if I remained silent.”
O Husamuddeen! The fountain of my innerself has run dry,
There is only mud now, there is no longer any Noor in my words, and I am closing my
The last verse of Mathnawi ends thus:
The Sun of Allah’s knowledge which shone on the door of my heart,
Has set beyond the horizon of my heart.
Soon after this, the sun of Maulana Jalaluddeen Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ also set and he was buried at sunset though he had passed away in the morning. The reason for the delay is his burial was that an extremely large crowd had attended his funeral and his Janazah was carried along slowly until it finally reached the graveside.
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ foretold that the Mathnawi would be completed by another illuminated soul who is yet to be horn. This foretelling was finally fulfilled when Hazrat Maulana Mufti Ilahi Bakhsh Kandehlawi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ was born six
hundred years later in Kandhla. Look at that greatness of Allah! The foretelling was fulfilled by Allah Ta’ala six hundred years later. Thus, the Mathnawi was completed.
Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ used to say: “Whoever studies two books will acquire the wealth of the Love of Allah: One is the Mathnawi and the other is Gulzaar-e- lbraheem.” So my friends, today it is difficult to understand the Mathnawi Shareef.
I have compiled a commentary titled Ma’arif-e-Mathnawi, which has been approved by the pious elders. Study two or three pages of it, as well as of Gulzaare- lbraheern, which contains wonderful verses pertaining to the recognition of Allah.
Recognition of Allah Ta’ala
I recited a few couplets just now in the Haram Shareef and I said: “When Allah’s bounty descends upon the heart, only then will we regard the Kabah as the Kabah.”
Befriend the Owner of the House by first befriending His friends, the Ahlullah. First inculcate the love of the Master of the House in your heart. You will love His House only if you love Him. If you do not attain this then you will be amongst those who came close to the House, but that was all.
Only those people who acquired the love of Allah Ta’ala from the Ahhillah have the true love for the House of Allah. There were many people who migrated in zeal of being close to the House. But they became closer to the Riyaals than they did to his House. Maulana Muhammed Ahmad Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ used to say:
Some have been struck by words, and others by conditions,
What can I say, I have been struck by what will eventually happen to me.
I have made a slight change to this verse:
Some have been struck by words, and others by conditions,
What can I say, I have been struck by the thoughts of Riyaals
There are many people who have come here to the Holy places from faraway countries, but are missing Salaah of the Haram because of their involvement in Riyaals. In Gulzaar-e-lbraheem, there is a wonderful verse:
You cause a Zindeeq (follower of a false religion) to be born in the Ka`bah,
You bought Siddeeq from the home of an idolater,
The wife of Loot – she was an unbeliever
And the wife of Firaun – she is a Jannati.
The son of Aazar was Khaleelullah,
And Kan’aan the son of Noah went astray.
You transform a temple into a Masjid, and a Masjid into a temple,
Strangers, you make them Your friends, and Your Friends, you make them strangers,
Your “Godhood” is beyond comprehension,
Your “Godhood” is beyond intellect.
This verse is from Gulzaar-e-lbraheem. It is for this reason that Maulana Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ has requested us to read it. It increases our recognition of Allah Ta’ala.
Condition of the Heart
My friends, let us do three things which will bring the color of our pious predecessors into our hearts, the Special Noor of Allah Ta’ala and His Special Companionship. A heart is worthy of being called a heart only if it contains the Love of Allah, or else it only has the form and shape of a heart.
Just like a dry stream that is also referred to as a stream. Likewise it is said, “A running stream”, but it is not the stream that runs, but it is the water that runs. The same is the case with our hearts. Our hearts are dry as far as the closeness and recognition of Allah is concerned. Only when the water of the closeness of Allah starts flowing, will it be worthy of being called a heart. In other words, our intellectual and argumentative Imaan will be transformed into an ecstatic and enraptured Imaan.
Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says that, “Every Muslim enjoys Ma’iyyat-e-Ammah (a general link with Allah), but Ma’iyyat-e-khaasah (a special link) is enjoyed only by the Auliya whose hearts actually perceive the closeness of Allah Ta’ala.
A Secret Bond
“And We bonded their hearts intimately.” (Sura Kahf)
Allah Ta’ala grants this type of connection to His special lovers, about whom He says:
“We increase them in guidance.”
This is a special status which Allah granted to the As’haab-e-Kahf. They were a group of young people who embraced Imaan, but were granted a special status beyond that, a special link, when ‘Allah bonded their hearts’, after having ‘increased their guidance.’
Khawajah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ used to say:
Only You and I are aware of this secret bond,
No one else is aware of it.
He further says:
There is no companion like You, there is no supporting friend,
We are conversing at every moment, yet there is no sound.
Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says: “A voice is heard in the heart which says: ‘Do this and do not do that.’ After establishing a connection with Allah, one constantly receives guidance from the Unseen.”
My friends, we can increase our value even today. I will tell you this with a yearning heart that the Ummah today looks towards us, who have some sort of connection with Ilm. The people are searching for Haji Imdaadullah رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ , Maulana Gangohi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, Maulana Qasim Nanotwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, Maulana Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, Maulana Ismail Shaheed رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ and Hazrat Abu Yazeed Bustaami *رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ
They are yearning for the lovers of Allah of that category. They are looking towards us according to the standards of our predecessors.
Imaan and Taqwa
My friends, it is necessary that we become Allah-Walas. This is not impossible feat. I have said it earlier that to become a Buzurg is not impossible, but achieving prophethood is impossible. Hazrat Hakeemul Ummat رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ used to say:
Wilayat constitutes two parts, Imaan and Taqwa, as the Qur ‘aan says:
“Those who have embraced Imaan and have adopted Taqwa.”
Every Muslim has acquired half friendship of Allah, i.e. Imaan. Now the next step is to acquire a high level of Taqwa, and once this is attained, one becomes a Wali (a friend of Allah Ta’ala).
The Method of gaining a link with Allah
Hazrat Hakeemul Ummat رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ used to say:
“There are three things by which a person attains a link with Allah Ta’ala. One of these things is to establish a connection with a friend of Allah Ta’ala, regardless of how far he may be, since communication is possible through correspondence.”
He then related an example from Hazrat Shah Fazlur Rahman Ganj Muradabadi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ about a certain goose which is found in Russia.
Before the migratory season, it lays its eggs in the mountains of Russia and then migrates to India and Pakistan. It incubates the eggs from a distance through some signals. By the time it returns to Russia, the eggs are hatched through its attention. Hazarat Shah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ then says: “If this is the effect which Allah Ta’ala has kept in the attention of a bird, then what effect the attention of the souls of the Auliya must have!. Therefore if one is unable to adapt the company of the Auliya, he can attain reformation of the Nafs from corresponding with them and receiving their special attention and guidance, Allah Ta’ala has put great effect in their attention and Duas.”
Connection with Allah
Hazarat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says: “There was once a Wali who was deeply absorbed in meditation. Suddenly he opened his eyes and his gaze fell upon a dog that was passing by. Thereafter, wherever the dog went, all the other dogs would sit down respectfully in front of it.” At this point Hazarat used to laugh and say, “The dog became a Shaikhul-Kilaab, the Shaikh of dogs!” If this is the effect the gaze of a Wali had upon and animal, what effect must it have upon humans!”
When I was in Tandu Jaam, (Sindh) the people at the Agriculture Department asked me: “Why is it necessary to be in the company of Allah-Walas?” The people who had questioned me were people who held M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees, which they acquired from Germany and America. In order to answer their question, I asked them: “What purpose do your degrees in agriculture serve you here?” They replied: “We (through our knowledge) are able to transform our locally produced mangoes (which are of a lower grade) into superior quality mangoes, by engrafting the root of the locally produced mango into the root of the superior mango. We secure the joints of their roots very firmly so that the roots join fully into each other. Otherwise the characteristics of the superior mange will not enter the indigenous mango.”
I used their example, saying: “Well, according to your explanation, a simple heart (one not inculcated with Taqwa) can be transformed into a superior (Allah-Wala) heart. Like the locally produced mango, the simple heart that is devoid of the Zikr of Allah, it is engrafted into a superior heart of a Wali. In this way, it is transformed into superior heart. All the characteristics and qualities of the pious heart are transferred into the heedless heart. The connection between the two hearts must likewise be strong and well secured, just as you had pointed out the importance of the two mango roots which have to be well secured to each other.”
Company of the Auliya
Someone asked Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ : “Where do you obtain such abundant knowledge, which we find in your lectures. The same is the case with your books, which contain abundant information and knowledge. It seems you have made a deep study of the Kutub (books).” He replied: “No, I have studied the very same syllabus which you studied. The difference is that you have sufficed on making a study of Kutub while I have also made a great study of the Qutub (Auliya of very high status).”
“By being in the company of Auliya such as Haji Intdaadullah رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, Maulana Rashid Ahmed Gangohi,رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ Maulana Qasim Nanotwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, Hazrat Shaikhul Hind رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ etc. I have acquired great blessings in my knowledge.” Yes, so I was mentioning the three things one must have in order to attain a link with Allah Ta’ala. One was the company of the Ahlullah. There also has to be Mujahada, strict spiritual discipline, and striving. Concerning this, there is a brilliant example.
Here is another example: In Jaunpur (India) the people process oil and convert it into jasmine oil. First the process of abrasion or rubbing down is applied to the spleen until its outer skins are totally worn away, and only a single membrane remains, through which the oil is visible. Then jasmine petals are placed over the spleen and are left in this way for ten days or more. The spleen absorbs the fragrance of the jasmine. Thereafter, the oil is extracted from the spleen with the aid of an oil-extracting machine.
Now this oil is called Jasmine Oil, which is sweet and fragrant oil. Similarly, this is how one becomes an Allah-Wala i.e. one has to undergo Mujahada like that spleen which is continuously rubbed, until only a single membrane remains.
If a person makes the initial sacrifice, only then will he be capable of absorbing the noble characteristics of the Auliya. What Mujahada is required? Regular Zikrullah, controlling the gaze, avoiding and expelling evil thoughts and suspicions which enter the mind, and refraining from backbiting and all forms of sin. If one is overpowered by these evils, then one should inform one’s Shaikh.
Rights of the Shaikh
Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ used to say: “There are four rights towards the Shaikh, and one will never benefit from the Shaikh if any of these rights remained unfulfilled. Khawajah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ has mentioned these rights in the following verse:
Remember there are four rights towards the Shaikh,
Inform, Follow, Have confidence and Show compliance.
Whoever fulfills these rights will gain maximum benefits. Correspondence with a Shaikh is necessary if he lives in a far-off place, and if one has the means, one should visit him.
Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says: “These days, one should spend at least forty days, if not more, in the company of a Shaikh with the intention of self reformation. He will surely acquire his objective.”
Alas! Today people say they have no time. They cannot free themselves from their offices and jobs. What if the doctors were to inform them that they have been afflicted with a grave illness and can only be cured if they spend a few days in the hilly areas of Shimlah or Maree? They will heed the doctor’s instructions, regardless of the cost involved, even if they have to sell off their wives’ jewellery.
An example of the love of Allah
Alas! We find it difficult to make our Hereafter and link ourselves to Allah. The problem is that we do not have the required love and yearning for Allah Ta’ala as we ought to have. Look at Majnun. For the worldly love of Layla he used to walk around like a madman. When he heard that Layla died, his madness increased. He went to the graveyard of his beloved and began smelling the sand on all the graves until he identified her grave.
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
Like Majnun, I smell every body of dust,
I am able to identify the dust of Layla without mistake.
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ is saying, “I too can identify the heart in which Allah is by smelling the (spiritual) fragrance from that body that this person is on Allah-Wala.”
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ has quoted a narration that Rasulullah ﷺ was once on a journey when he was one hundred and fifty miles away from Yemen. He turned to his Noble Companions and said, “Wait!” The Companions stopped. He then said, “I am perceiving the fragrance of Rahmaan, from the direction of Yemen.”
(At-Tasharruf bi Ma’rifati Ahadith Tasawwuf lil-Mujaddid at-Thanwi; Page 27 and 190)
This was the fragrance of the illustrious Tabi’ee, Hazrat Uwais Qarni رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, whose heart was burning with the love of Allah and His Rasul ﷺ. Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ has mentioned this Hadith in his Mathnawi. Look at what eloquence he has expressed this with and how beautiful it sounds.
The Prophet said, ‘Through these breezes of wind,
Is the sweet fragrance of the love of Allah coming to me!
So my friends, a person will truly appreciate water only when he has a thirst for it. One whose chest is congested with phlegm and bile will never truly appreciate the value of Rooh- Afzaa (a beverage), regardless of how chilled it may be.
Only he will know the value of medication who has been afflicted with any illness or wound. Likewise, only those will truly appreciate Allah who have a true yearning for Allah. Bear in mind, people of earlier times traveled for thousands of miles undergoing great difficulty, before they attained a position of Wilayat. Thereafter, they became renowned worldwide and benefited people worldwide.
Today the doors are open for us to tread the path of our predecessors. All we have to do is establish a link with a Sahib-e-Nisbat, a Wali with whom we find compatibility. If there is no compatibility there will be no benefit. Even if we do not make such a person our Shaikh, but merely having a link with him for purposes of self-reformation and self-purification, this is sufficient. We should correspond with him, and once a year or once every two years, go and spend some time in his company. Remember, money spent for such purposes is money spent in search of Allah. Even if we spend the entire treasure of the heavens and the earth, it will be worth it if we find Allah.
O People of the world! I have sacrificed both worlds,
Thus, what you are offering Me is insignificant in My sight.
The Price of Love
The price for the love of Allah is indeed very great. Rasulullah ﷺ said:
“Beware! The price of Allah (of attaining the love of Allah) is very great.”
(Tirmizi, Abwabu Sifatil Qiyamah; Vol 2, Page 71)
Yes, but he who attains Allah, will find that the whole world becomes his slave. Again as mentioned earlier, your intention should not be to enslave the world. Your intention should be pure as the Hadith mentions:
“He who humbles himself only for the sake of Allah…”
Whoever has any other motive, even if it be for acquiring khilaafat then his intention is insincere and such a person receives nothing in reality.
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says: “To acquire the position of Ilm for worldy gain, is a form of carnal desire.” Such a motive is in fact the acquisition of material gain. One, in reality, is attempting to seek Allah through ghairullah through something that has no connection with Allah. Allah is that Being, Who is so valuable that once one acquires Him, one will desire nothing else. Therefore, your link with a Wali should be established with sincerity. Inform him of your weaknesses. Carry out the Zikr and spiritual exercise prescribed by him.
Khawajah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ used to say:
Success will be attained through effort,
Not through flowery talk.
It will be attained through Zikr,
And through meditation.
Each day, when we say “Allah, Allah” the locks on our hearts will begin to open.
“O Allah, unlock our hearts through Your zikr.”
(Kanzul Ummal; Vol 7, Page 699, al-Faalur Rabe’fil Adhaan)
The Amaanat (trust) of the love of Allah which He placed in our hearts since time eternal will resurface, and we will perceive its fragrance through the unlocking of our hearts. Khawajah Saheb says:
This heart which is maddened with Your love is from pre-eternity,
It was but and old wound which has re-appeared.
He also says:
Until now, the reason why you are still deprived, O Majzub!
Is because there is still some consciousness in Your madness
Then he further says:
There was both logic and madness offered to us in the world of souls,
Was I ignorant to have chosen the path of logic and intellect?
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
I have tested my logic, which claims to have foresight,
Now, I will definitely make it go mad.
Go! Go, and quickly bring the shackles,
I ant coming madly towards You once again!
One will never attain success until he does not become a mad lover of Allah. But first you have to meet one who is already mad with the love of Allah. The lovers of Allah do not snatch away your dunya (your material possessions).
Through their blessings you still have the dunya in your hands and in your pockets, but dunya will be out of your heart, and only Allah will remain in your heart. Only then will one realize that this great wealth one has acquired is more precious than all the continents.
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
O Heart! Is this sugar sweet?
Or is the Creator of sugar sweeter?
One who attains the love of Allah in his heart, will always be intoxicated and joyous in His love. Even when grief and sorrow comes his way, his heart will be in a state of peace and serenity.
Khawajah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
When the sighs are drawn, they are turned to Hoors,
when the tears are shed they are turned to jewels,
Who is occupying this heart, who is in these tear-filled eyes,
One’s worldly life becomes pleasant and his sorrows are also borne with joy. He leads a Hayaat-e-Tayyebah, a pure and wholesome life.
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
If this world were to be filled with thorns,
The hearts of the Lovers of Allah will still
be flowery gardens.
The so-called superpowers will be pounding each other with atom bombs but the Auliya will be living in peace, unaffected. Like a waterproof watch, which does not get damaged with water, likewise the hearts of the lovers of Allah are grief and sorrow proof. I recall one of my own poems:
I found life to be enjoyable even though there was grief in my heart,
Because I had His grief in my heart, Therefore I was not grieved while in a state of grief.
Sayyad Sulaiman Nadwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
If I can acquire the wealth of Your grief,
I will be liberated from all other griefs.
The Essence of Tasawwuf
My friends, lessen your contacts with the material world, and establish a contact with the Provider of these material benefits. This is the sum total of Tasawwuf i.e. that one’s love for the Provider of the blessings outweighs his love for the blessings. Such a person will never be overpowered wherever he may be.
Jigar Muradabadi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
The perfection of my love O Jigar, is this,
That He has permeated me, And I have overpowered the world.
So after a few days of struggling and striving, one becomes a Sahib-e-Nisbat, and has Barakat in his Ilm. Haji lmdaadullah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ was not an Alim, and neither did Maulana Muhammad Ahmed Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ study the Alim course nor did he teach Bukhari Shareef. But he had a heart filled with the pain of the love of Allah. Great Ulama like Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ , Shaikhul Hadith Maulana Zakariyya Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ and Hazrat Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ regarded him as a great Wali.
Apart from being in the company of a Shaikh, one must constantly engage in Zikrullah without a break. To neglect Zikr is to starve the soul. One way of practicing constancy upon Zikr is to starve oneself from food the day he neglects Zikr. In this way the Rooh will receive its nourishment, and one will at the same time become steadfast upon Zikr. The Rooh will then yearn for Zikr.
Just as one who inculcates any evil or undesirable habit, like smoking, for example when he is unable to satisfy that habit, he will somehow continue in secret. So if a person can have a craving for an evil habit, how much greater will his craving for a noble act like Zikrullah, which is nourishment for the soul, be?
Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says:
Zikrullah is the nourishment for the soul and also,
An ointment for those hearts wounded in His love.
The Zikr of Allah is the food for this soul of ours. As for those hearts, which are wounded in the pains of love for Allah, the Zikr of Allah serves as an ointment for those wounds.
Those whose nourishment is Zikrullah, Why then,
Must the words from their tongues not be effective?
Prerequisites for the love of Allah
My friends, to acquire the love of Allah we require the following three things:
2. The Company of the Pious
3. Meditation upon the Creation of Allah
Ponder over the creation of the skies, the earth, the sun and the moon, and the benefits we enjoy from them.
“They ponder over the creation of the heavens and earth.”
This will increase your recognition of Allah. If the meditation lacks vitality, then Maulana Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ says, “make Zikr”, as this will re-invigorate your meditation and create a Noor in it.
What is meditation? Meditation is this that your pathway clears up and you reach Allah. How much Zikr should one make? As much as your Shaikh has prescribed you. Khawajah Saheb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ was told by his Shaikh to say ‘Allah, Allah’ twenty four thousand times. Some are given more, others less.
My first Shaikh, Hazrat Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Phoulpuri رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ in whose company I spent my youth, he was seventy years old and I was eighteen, used to live in a village out of Azamgarh.
After Maghrib, when darkness set in, the lamps used to be lit and then they too would be extinguished after a little while. Late at night, he used to perform Tahajjud Salaah, and make Tilawat of the Qur’aan in the starlight, crying to Allah. He was lost in the love of Allah and used to be in a remarkable state.
He requested Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ to permit him to recite Durood-e-Tunjeena. Hazrat Thanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ permitted him and prescribed seventy Durood for him, to be recited daily.
He wrote back indicating that he teaches fourteen lessons with Maulana Asghar Mian رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ in the Madrasah, and to recite this amount would be too much. HazratThanwi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ then prescribed seven Durood to him saying, “Recite seven and you will receive the reward of seventy as the reward of every deed is multiplied by ten.”
Look at how much wisdom the Auliya have. My Shaikh used to say: “If a strong person recites the name of Allah twenty four thousand times and a weak person recites it five hundred or a thousand times, then he too will Insha Allah reach the same stages as the strong person.”
Allah Ta’ala wants us to obey Him according to our strength.
“Fear Allah according to your capability.”
If we did not detach our hearts from the worldly things, then a day will come when these very things which amuse us will remain above the ground while we ourselves will be gone underground. These things will see us off to our graves.
After dumping me into the ground, they all left, Without Dua, without Salaam,
In such a short while, what has this World come to?
None of these things will accompany us in the grave. Nothing will amuse us there. We will have Allah alone. But who will have Allah in the grave? Those who used to remember Him abundantly in this life. Why?
Because Allah Ta’ala says: “You did not forget Me during your life, now I will remain with you when everyone else deserts you. Now it is impossible for Me to leave you.”
Come let us make Dua:
“O Allah! Through the blessedness of this Holy Place, and through the blessedness
of the progeny of our pious predecessors who are present here, and through the
virtue of the blood of our predecessors, I ask you to fill our hearts with the fire of
“O Allah! You granted Your Love, lmaan and Piety to our pious predecessors, Hazrat
Bayazeed Bustaami, Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi, Hazrat Baba Fareeduddin Attaar,
Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Hazrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi,
Hazrat Alaulana Qasim Nanotwi and all the other Auliya *رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ O Allah! We seek
the same from You.”
“O Allah! Detach our hearts from these temporary worldly things, and let Your Love
overpower us. Grant us comfort and safety in this world and in the Hereafter. O
Allah! let us meet Your Lovers.”
“O Allah! Let us meet them wherever they are hidden. O Allah! Grant us the
foresight to recognize them, let them meet us, let us meet them. O Allah! If we fail
to meet them because of our weakness, let them meet us.”
“O Allah! Let us become mad and pious in Your Love. O Allah! Grant us the
opportunity to follow the way of our elders. Let us inculcate their character and
deeds in our hearts. Grant us hearts like their hearts. O Allah! Grant us a beautiful
end through Your Mercy. Fulfill our needs. Grant the wishes of those who could not
be present here in the Haram. Let us appreciate it and let us be blessed by its light
and blessings. Grant us the good which we ask and also that which we have not
“O Allah! The time is less and Akhtar is weak, grant to us through Your Bounty and
Grace and flood us in Your Mercy and give us the capability to absorb and accept it.”