Gauging the “Truthfulness” of a Desire

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 

Many of us long to walk the path of Deen but we don’t get to do it the way we desire. Is that because our desires are not “truthful”? The following incident provides us with an important guideline in this regard!

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani narrated that once his elder sister asked her father, Mufti Muhammad Shafi, to pray that she may be able to do Hajj. Mufti Shafi asked “Do you have a desire to perform Hajj?”, to which she (obviously) replied in affirmative. However, Mufti Shafi remarked “No, you don’t have a (true) desire!”. Startled by this response, she insisted that she did have an immense desire. At this Mufti Shafi asked “Have you started to collect some money for it?”. Upon hearing a negation, he remarked “This shows that your desire is limited to your words. If you would have had a true desire, you would have collected some money for it!”. The daughter excused that she doesn’t get to have any savings (due to a low income of her husband) at which Mufti Shafi asked “Can’t you even save a cent (from your expenditures) for it?” The daughter replied that she could but that would be far too less to be able to afford the trip for Hajj. Mufti Shafi instructed her to at least do what she could do on her part – Allah helps those who take a step in His path. At most, even if the Hajj couldn’t be done, she will nevertheless get the reward for it. However, without taking any steps, mere “wishes” don’t end up anywhere!

Later, when the daughter passed away, a pouch was discovered among her belongings with a tag attached to it that read “Savings for Hajj” (Hajj kay lyay Paysay). Mufti Shafi’s eyes turned tearful at this sight. The collected money was given to a resident of Arabia so that he could perform the Hajj and the reward may reach the daughter. Later when Mufti Shafi went to the Hajj, he saw, probably in a sleepy state, that his deceased daughter is climbing Jabal al Rahmah (the Mount of Mercy) in ‘Arafah (this illusion was taken as a sign that Allah had accepted her “truthfull” desire and efforts for the Hajj – Talhah).

Adapted from what Shaikh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani narrated in his lectures and also in his autobiographical articles entitled, “Yadain”.

A Garden in Darul Uloom Karachi before the time of sunset
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Istikhārah or Istikhbārah?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 

Despite being revered and widespread among Muslim community, Istikhārah has been mystified by a number of misconceptions. This brief post addresses the most common and basic misconception regarding it.

 

Maulānā Musharraf Ali Saheb Thānwī (رحمه الله) mentioned in a gathering that Shari’ah has encouraged us to do Istikhārah in our matters. Istikhārah (إستخارة) means ‘to seek Khair (خير) i.e. goodness (from Allah Ta’ālā)’. This is different than seeking a news – regarding whether something is expected to be good or not; which could be called ‘Istikhbarah’ (إستخبارة) meaning ‘to seek Khabr (خبر) i.e news’. Maulānā continued saying that we usually (try to) do Istikhārah (as per the encouragement from Shari’ah) but we expect it to be Istikhbārah and therefore try to seek some sort of answer (1)

Similarly, Sayyidi, Muftī Muhammad Taqī Usmānī (حفظه الله) also once mentioned during a lecture on Sahīh al Bukhārī (in Darul Hadith, Darul ‘Uloom Karachi) that in Urdu we use a wrong phrase, ‘Istikharah nikaalna’ (استخارہ نکالنا) (literally: ‘to take out Istikharah’), which indicates that we are seeking to take some information out of it (which is not what Shari’ah expects us to do).

(1) Maulana Musharraf Ali Thānwī was the step grandson of Hazrat Maulānā Ashraf Ali Saheb Thanwī (Rahimahullāh), son of Maulānā Jameel Ahmad Thānwī and son in law of Maulānā Idrees Kandhelwī. He gained Ijāzah (to initiate Murīdīn for Islāh through Bai’ah) from Hazrat Dr Abdul Haiy Ārifī. Besides, he had also been in close company of many other illustratious ‘Ulāmā’ and Mashā’ik. He headed Darul’Ulūm al Islāmiyah in Lahore. He passed away in Madīnah Munawwarah during Sha’bān (2018) and was laid to rest in the al Baqī’ graveyard. رحمه الله رحمة واسعة

An aesthetic view of Jāmi’ah Darul ‘Uloom Karachi’s Masjid at night