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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Advice for the Auspicious Nights

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 

Various approaches are implied by the Muslims to gain the most out of the nights which have been declared to be auspicious. Among these are the last 10 (odd) nights of Ramadhān which are generally thought to contain Laylah al Qadr.

Shaikh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani mentioned that these last nights of Ramadhān are meant for the servant to foster a strong relationship with his Master (Allah). Hence one should strive to worship Allah Ta’ālā by:

1. Reciting Qur’an in abundance, since this is the month of Qur’an.

2. Making lots of Du’aa – asking Allah for the bounties of this world and the hereafter.

Numerous supplications from Qur’an and Hadith have been nicely compiled in Munajāt e Maqbool (1) by Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi which may be read during these nights.

3. Offering Nafl (voluntary) Salah – whereby:

a. the Qiyām is prolonged through lengthy recitation from the Qur’an

b. the Rukū‘ is prolonged through Tasbeeh – by reciting these, for example :

سبحان ربي العظيم
لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

c. and the Sajdah is prolonged through Du’aa – a Hadith (3) mentions that the person is closest to His Rabb (Lord) in this state. Arabic prayers, that are mentioned in Qur’an and Hadith, should be whispered herein;

The person should hence strive to make the most out of these nights through personal ‘Ibādah (worshipping) in seclusion, during the darkness of these nights. On the contrary, arranging gatherings and feasts during these auspicious moments is against the purpose of these nights.

Adapted from the Jumu’ah discourse delivered (on 23rd Ramadhān 1437 A.H/ June 8th 2018) by Shaikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani

(1) It’s available with Urdu and English translations which should be used alongside to understand what is being said and asked in these Du’aas. The English translation (along with a brief commentary) had been published as “Accepted Whispers” (translated by Khalid Baig).

(2) أبي هريرة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : ( أقرب ما يكون العبد من ربه وهو ساجد فأكثروا الدعاء) مسلم ( 482 )

Darul Uloom Karachi’s Masjid underneath the Cresent moon, during Ramadhān

Avoid the Disputes – Despite Being Right! 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 

In our community, argumentation and bickering are a common phenomenon. Usually, each side continues deeming (only) themselves to be on the right. On such occasions, leaving argument for the sake of Allah has been greatly appreciated in the Shari’ah..

 

Sayyidi, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (مد ظله) mentioned that his father, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani (رحمه الله), would always strive to avoid disputes and argumentations. He would frequently keep the Hadith in mind, and read it out for others, wherein the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم said:

“I guarantee a house in the center of Jannah for the person who leaves arguing, even if he is right” (Recorded in Sunan Abu Dawūd)

2017-12-13 18.41.32An excerpt from the book, “Easy Good Deeds”, by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani

One of the most exemplary incident in this regard was when he was granted a sizable land in the midst of Karachi city for the construction of an Islamic seminary (Darul ‘Uloom). However, after the official approval by the government authorities and initial arrangements (which included a ceremony for the laying down of the foundation, construction of a few rooms and a telephone connection), some dispute arose over it. Despite being on the right and the project having started and progressing already, Mufti Muhammad Shafi withdrew himself and cancelled the project. Numerous people were struck with a huge shock and they insisted for continuation of the project. However, the honored Mufti remained undeterred and he clarified that avoiding disputes is more important than the construction of a seminary.

Later, Mufti Shafi was donated a large piece of land, by some traders, where the Darul ‘Uloom now stands (in a way which could have been much beyond the expectations at that time. Talhah)

– Adapted from a discourse at Jumu’ah by Shaikh Mufti Taqi Usmani.

A view of the magnificent Masjid of Jami’ah Darul ‘Uloom Karachi (after the time of ‘Asr Salāh)

Laylah al Qadr and the Lesson against Disputes

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

While striving to increase our worshipping during the last 10 nights of Ramadhān, we must also remind ourselves of this important lesson!

Narrated by Ubada bin As-Samit رضي الله عنه :

The Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم came out to inform us about the night of qadr but two Muslims were quarreling with each other. So, the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم said, “I came out to inform you about the night of qadr but such-and-such persons were quarreling, so the news about it had been taken away; yet that might be for your own good, so search for it..”

Sahih Bukhari Chapter No: 32, Night Prayer in Ramadaan (Taraweeh)

Shaikh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani Saheb mentioned, after referring to this narration, that our beloved Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم didn’t forget the knowledge about Laylah al Qadr without Allah Ta’ālā’s will. Rather, Allah Ta’ālā had intended for us to strive more (throughout the odd nights during the last 10 days of Ramadhan) to receive the immense rewards of this blessed night. However, through this incident, Allah Ta’ālā further revealed the wrongfulness of the act of altercation and dispute (1).

– Adapted from a discourse at Jumu’ah by Shaikh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani.

(1) Thereafter, the Shaikh continued his talk by mentioning this: https://sayyidtalhah.wordpress.com/2017/12/13/avoiding-disputes/

A Spiritual view of the Jāmi’ Masjid Bayt ul Mukarram, Karachi, at night

Difficulties and Calamities – Win in a ‘No-Win’ Situation!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 

At times Allah makes someone fall into a trouble so that he/she may get closer to Allah by means of:
1. Pardoning of sins – It’s mentioned in a narration that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و آله و سلم said: “There is no calamity that befalls a Muslim but Allah expiates (sin) thereby, even a thorn that pricks him.”

(Narrated by Imām al Bukhārī and Imām Muslim)

Note: For major sins, however, proper Tawbah (repentance) should be made (i.e. remorse should be present in the heart along with determination that it will not be repeated)

 

2. Gaining huge rewards by practicing Sabr – i.e. remaining satisfied with Allah’s decree and not getting lazy in fulfilling His commandments out of despair.

Allah Ta’ālā says “Give glad tidings to the Sābirūn (patient ones)” (Surah Al Baqarah: 155).

 

3. Making Du’aa – one becomes deeply attached with Allah by making Du’aa. Allah loves when an ‘Abd (slave of Allah) begs in front of Allah and shows his Ihtiyāj (destitute).

 

4. Undergoing Islāh (Reformation) – misfortunes and afflictions give person a chance to change him/her-self. If this change shall ensue in a positive way (i.e. one becomes more obedient towards Allah and leaves away sins) then this will rather turn out to be a great ‘fortune’.

So imagine you attaining attachment with Allah, The Most High, due to a trivial, worldly mishappening ! Thus some pious person said in a verse:

جو ساتھ تم بھی ہو تو غم کا کیا غم ہے

If one attains friendship of Allah then grief for the mishap, that enabled this to happen, will surely be replaced with joy and tranquility.

 

Sunnah: Upon getting any sort of affliction (be it a prick of a thorn), one should recite the following:

إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ اللَّهُمَّ أْجُرْنِي فِي مُصِيبَتِي وَأَخْلِفْ لِي خَيْرًا مِنْهَا

Translation: We belong to Allah and to Him shall we return; O Allah, reward me for my affliction and give me something better than it in exchange for it.

(Narrated by Imam Muslim)

 

Lastly, remember that any event that’s going to happen in our lives is either going to make us happy or make us sad. A believer utilizes both these opportunities to gain closeness with Allah – he does Shukr (offers gratitude) at that which makes him feel joyful and practices Sabr (patience) at that which makes him grief stricken. So thereby he gains benefit from both sort of situations! Thus a Hadith states ‘Amazing is the affair of believer’, and then it refers to the aforementioned phenomenon (Narrated in Sahih Muslim)

 

Adapted from various discourses by Ulama and Shuyukh

 

Sūrah al Baqarah, Verses: 155-157 (picture taken from the internet)