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”.
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 :
c. and the Sajdah is prolonged through Du’aa – a Hadith (2) 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 )
“Undoubtedly, along with the hardship there is ease.” (Sūrah al Sharh: Verse 7)
While explaining this verse at a Jumu’ah lecture, Shaikh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (مد ظله) mentioned that this can have three meanings/possibilities :
1. Along with every hardship, there are numerous factors of ease as well (for example, while having a particular disease(s), a person is still saved from a thousand others).
2. Hardships are generally temporary and hence, after every hardship, there comes a period of ease.
3. Hardships allows us to gain huge rewards which we shall be able to reap in the Ākhirah (Hereafter). Hence, with every hardship in this life, there’s an increase in the ease and pleasure in the life after death.
Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahib (رحمه الله) used to say that the hardships are also faced by the pious (Ahlullāh) and they may even appear to be concerned, anxious and/or grieved about it. However, that anxiety and grief doesn’t enter their “heart”, due to which, the core of their “heart” remains peaceful and content.
Hazrat would also say that one can experiences proximity with Allah the Most High during the times of trials and difficulties (and this “closeness to Allah” itself renders an immense and pleasurable “ease” while being in the “hardship”- Talhah).
– Adapted from a Jumu’ah discourse of Shaikh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani and published discourses and anecdotes of Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahib.
Sayyidi, Hazratwala Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar (رحمه الله) used to say that sins will depart and leave you eventually – when you will die, all the sources of sins and means of taking unlawful pleasures will leave you (they will either be no more usable like your body parts, they will either stay in this world or they may even depart you during your life by having their life ended). However, having left sins at such point in time will not render you any reward. Whereas, if you will leave them before they leave you, by using your Ikhtiyār (will power and ability), then you will gain huge reward, tranquility, closeness with Allah Ta’ālā and an eternal paradise. Therefore, now you decide which way you wish to adopt – leaving sins using your will power to become a friend of Allah or the sins leaving you, without you being able to do anything (for which, you will not gain any reward; rather, you will be punished for having spent your life in sins).
– Adapted from published discourses of Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahib (Rahimahullāh).
Many of us wish to start walking on the path of righteousness but either we’re hesitant to start or, sometimes, aren’t sure where to start from. By implying this simple act on a daily basis, we can begin and continue our journey towards Falāh (salvation), In Shaa Allah.
Sayyidi, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani mentioned (at a local gathering of a Masjid situated in an economically less privileged area near Darul’Uloom) that an easy, yet effective (In Shaa Allah), method for Islah (Personal reformation) is that when one wakes up in the morning, he/she should start the day with the remembrance of Allah Ta’ālā. So around Fajr, one should ask Allah Ta’ālā for assistance for strength to perform good deeds and to abstain from prohibitions. One should seek Allah’s refuge from sins and mishappenings. Alongside, one should make a firm resolution to strive him/her-self for it throughout the day. The desired actions include the modes of worship (‘Ibādāt) like Salāh, adoption of permissible ways for earning, guarding one’s tounge and sight, fulfilling others’ rights, and leading the day throughout as desired by the Sharī’ah (Islamic guidelines).
Then at night, before falling asleep, one should review his performance throughout the day (Muhāsbah). For all the good actions that he/she was able to perform and for the bounties that were received, one must express gratefulness to Allah Ta’ālā (Shukr). Then, for all the mistakes and sins that one slipped to commit, one must repent and make a firm resolution not to commit that again (Istighfār). Also, one must remain patient for anything that went against one’s will and desire (Sabr). By doing these acts, which consume a few minutes each day, one can gradually attain closeness with Allah Ta’ālā and this will lead to his reformation (Islāh) over the time (In Shaa Allah)
– Adapted from a short discourse after a Zuhr Salāh by Shaikh Mufti Taqi Usmani.
As the blessed month of Ramadhān approaches it’s end, the believers strive to make the most out of these auspicious moments before they end.
Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Saheb Usmani mentioned that at the end of Ramadhān, we need to perform two important deeds:
1. Shukr (i.e expressing gratitude to Allah Ta’ālā) for whatever good deeds one was able to carry out during Ramadhān. We should acknowledge the utmost Tawfīq (guidance), granted by Allah Ta’ālā, which enabled us to accomplish whatever we could.
2. Istighfār (i.e. repenting for the mistakes and sins). Even after making good efforts, we are not able to fully appreciate the true worth of such a blessed month and the auspicious blessings and opportunities it calls upon us to avail. Hence, through Istighfār it is hoped that Allah Ta’ālā will not make us answerable to our lackings and sins in the hereafter.
– Adapted from a discourse at Jumu’ah by Shaikh Mufti Taqi Usmani. Talhah
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.
قال الله تبارك وتعالى: لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ فِي كَبد
“Indeed, We have created man (to live) in hard struggle” (Surah al Balad: 4)
Sayyidi, Shaikh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani mentioned, while explaining this verse, that every person is in a sort of struggle in this life – be it a male or a female, be it a person from any age group, be it a poor or a rich, be it a religious or an irreligious person – each one of them is in some sort of struggle which can be physical, mental or both. Now, if one was to direct his struggle in such a manner that would make his Rabb to get pleased with him then, out of this struggle, he’ll get an everlasting reward (and he’ll be at peace in this life and the hereafter). On the other hand, if this shall not be done, then the person will ultimately land himself in to an everlasting torment. So, we need to ponder over this reality that we all have to face the struggle of this life (without which nothing can be achieved in this world). However, if done in a proper direction – as ordained by Allah Ta’ālā (i.e. we shall fulfill the commandments, abstain from prohibitions and carry out our worldly affairs as instructed by Allah) – we can bear the proper fruit. On the contrary, our struggles will render fruitless – rather, lead us to a path of destruction (May Allah protect us all).
– Adapted from a discourse by Shaikh Mufti Taqi Usmani.
We all face hardships and struggles in our daily affairs. By keeping the above mentioned reality in mind, we can strive to keep ourselves on the right track while feeling content in anticipation of the upcoming ease in the Ākhirah. Talhah