Leaving good deeds due to fear (doubt) of Riya

The catastrophies of Riya (show off) are great. One should exert much to save one’s self from these calamities. But this should be remembered that this is also one of the ways of shaitan (satan) hijacking our niyyah and making us to leave the good deeds

(Aamal-e-Saliha) by putting an apprehension (waswasa) in our mind that we should not do a (particular) deed otherwise we will commit the (sin of) Riya. At this time one should reply the shaitan (while taking the note of this apprehension which shaitan has put in his mind) that the Riya takes place only when our aim is to show our deeds to Makhlooq so that they become pleased and when we enjoy this idea (that people are seeing our good deeds and they are becoming pleased with us). On the contrary, our condition is such that we consider this thing bad and want to get rid of it (whether it goes or not), then how is it Riya? After saying this, one should engage oneself with good deeds (Aamal-e-Saliha), one should not care even least about these apprehensions and evil suggestions (of shaitan).

You will experience these apprehensions few times

but then shaitan will get tired and will run away shamefully.

Maulana  Alhaafiz Imdad-Ullah (RA) used to say:”Riya does not remain always Riya, firstly it is Riya, then it becomes a habit, and from habit it becomes Ibaadat and Ikhlas. “

It means that we should not bother about the Riya which

gets committed without any purpose and should not leave the Aamal-e-Saliha because of this.

-Taken from Furu-ul-Iman by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (RA)

The one common goal of all and the only way to achieve it!

I have tried to find one goal which everyone would agree to be excellent and worthy of being striven after. I have found one only: to be free from anxiety. When I reflected upon it, I realized that not only do all agree in valuing it and desiring it, but I also perceived that, despite their many different passions and aspirations and preoccupations and desires, they never make the slightest gesture unless it is designed to drive anxiety far away. One man loses his way, another comes close to going wrong, finally another is successful – but he is a rare man, and success is rare, [O, all-knowing God].
Dispelling anxiety is a goal upon which all nations agree from the time when the Almighty created the world until the day when this world will pass away and be followed by the Day of Judgment – and their actions are directed to this goal alone. In the case of every other objective there will always be some people who do not desire it.
For example, some people are not religious and do not take eternity into account.
There are some who by nature and inclination prefer obscurity to fame [the obscurity of satisfied passion].
There are some who have no interest in amassing a fortune, preferring abstinence to ownership; this was the case with many of the Prophets. God’s peace be upon them – and those who followed their example, ascetics and philosophers. There are some who by nature dislike sensual pleasures and scorn those who seek after them, such as those men we have just mentioned, and who prefer to lose a fortune rather than gain one. Some prefer ignorance to knowledge, in fact most of the people that you see in the street are like this. These are the objectives of people who have no other aim in life. Nobody in the whole world, from the time of its creation until its end, would deliberately choose anxiety, and would not desire to drive it far away.

When I had arrived at this great piece of wisdom, when I had discovered this amazing secret, when Allâh the Almighty had opened the eyes of my mind [spirit] to see this great pleasure, I began to search for the way which would truly enable me to dispel anxiety, that precious goal desired by every kind of person, whether ignorant or scholarly, good or evil. I found it in one place alone, in the action of turning towards God the Almighty and Powerful, in pious works performed with an eye to eternity.

Thus the only reason that someone chases after riches is to dispel the anguish of poverty. The only reason that someone seeks fame is to dispel the anxiety of seeing someone else outdo him. The only reason that someone chases after pleasures is to dispel the anxiety of missing them. The only reason someone chases after knowledge is to dispel the anxiety of being ignorant about something.

People enjoy listening to other people’s conversation and gossip only because it dispels the anxiety of being alone and isolated. People eat, drink, make love, wear clothes, play games, build a shelter, mount a horse, go for a walk, only in order to avoid the reverse of all these actions and every other kind of anxiety.
In all the actions listed here, anyone who pauses to reflect will see that anxieties inevitably occur, such as problems which arise in the course of the action, the impossibility of performing the impossible, the fleeting nature of any achievements, and the inability to enjoy something because of some difficulty. There are also bad consequences which arise from every success: fear of one’s rival, attacks by the jealous, theft by covetous, loss to an enemy, not to mention criticism, sin and such things. On the other hand, I have found that actions performed with an eye on eternity are free from * every kind of * fault, free from every stain, and a true means of dispelling anxiety. I have found that the man who is striving for eternity may be sorely tested by bad fortune on his way but does not worry; on the contrary, he is glad, because the trial to which he is subjected gives rise to hope, which aids him in his endeavour and sets him the more firmly on the path towards his true desire. I have found that, when he finds his way blocked by an obstacle, he does not worry, because it is not his fault, and he did not choose the actions that he will have to answer for. I have seen such a man be glad, when others have wished evil upon him, and be glad when has undergone some trial, and be glad, always [living] in a permanent state of joy while others are permanently the opposite. You should therefore understand that there is only one objective to strive for, it is to dispel anxiety; and only one path leads to this, and that is the service of the Most High God. Everything else is misguided and absurd.

Do not use your energy except for a cause more noble than yourself. Such a cause cannot be found except in * Almighty * God Himself!

Taken from: Al-Akhlâq wa’l-Siyar By Ibn Hazm al-Andaloosee

Salaah of the spiritually awakened!- (Hikam Ibn Ata’illah)

“Namaaz-e-Haqeeqi (True Salaah) purifies the heart from the pollution of ghairullah (things other than Allah) and opens up the door of spiritual mysteries (asraar). Namaaz is the substratum
(mahl) for secret discussion and the abode of love and sincerity. During Namaaz
the fields of the heart expand for spiritual mysteries and the stars of celestial
light (Anwaar) dazzle therein.”- Hikam Ibn Ata’illah 

Commentary-
The hearts of the chosen servants of Allah are perpetually absorbed in His remembrance. However, association with people and tending to natural needs produce a kind of ghaflat (carelessness) and a relationship with beings other than Allah. As a result, the hearts become contaminated. But when they engross themselves in Namaaz, their hearts are cleansed of the foreign pollution. The Divine Perception is then again restored to their hearts in accordance with their respective ranks.
When the foreign veils are removed from their hearts, thus eliminating the impediments, the doors of hidden Divine Mysteries and the secrets of Divine Knowledge open up on their hearts during Namaaz. Thus, their Namaaz becomes the substratum for communion with their Rabb. Their hearts becomes imbued with sincerity and love, leaving no room whatever for anything besides Allah.
Their hearts expand for the intake of Divine Mysteries. There remains then not the slightest vestige of fear or constriction in their hearts. For these illustrious servants, anwaar (celestial illumination) glitter like stars in their Namaaz. They perceive this illumination with the eyes of the heart.
Every Mu’min should strive to perform such Namaaz (as described above).
-Taken from Ikmalus-shiyam

SEEK ONLY ALLAH’S PLEASURE IN WHATEVER YOU DO!

SEEK ONLY ALLAH’S PLEASURE IN WHATEVER YOU DO!
Your devotion to your own self and to your family is a reflection of your ignorance. I do not say that you leave your family and go to the mountains for meditation. But I only ask you to look after your children to attain Allah’s pleasure, that is, do not love them to serve your ardent desires but do it to please Allah. Give respite to your desire and seek the Mercy and nearness of Allah. Your work should not be for your happiness or others but it should be to please Allah.

Because the glory of Allah in all situations is pure of infidelity. The deeds of sin are returned to the infidels and thrown at their faces, and the deeds of the faithful are accepted by Allah. Remember! Divine worship is a pure deed.

And Allah commands those who wish to attain His proximity, they should do noble deeds and should not associate any one with Allah in worship.
-Shaykh Syed Ahmed Rifai RA (Al Burhan al Muaiyad p 101).

Gaining The Attention of Allah

Gaining The Attention of Allah

Hazrat Shaykh Maulana Mohammed Nabeel Ahmed Khan Sahib

“One thing that a person should do is try to gain the focus and attention of Allah Ta’ala upon themselves. If they have that, then they have everything. If they don’t have that, they can have everything, but yet it amounts to nothing. To gain His attention, we should try to resemble Rasulullah (S) as much as possible. This should be the ultimate goal of a person. In doing so, there are a few things in which if a person does, the rest of the deen becomes easy for him:

1) Proper recitation of the Qur’an.

In order to develop a Ta’alluq with Allah Ta’ala, one needs to know what Allah Ta’ala is saying and to have Him speak to them. Qur’an is the speech of Allah, so one must make sure that they know how to recite it properly. This can be done by finding a person who knows and learning from them, even if they have to start from the very beginning. In the methodology that we follow, one of the main things is that everything has to be perfect, and the thing that deserves the most perfection is the Qur’an. It comes in a Hadith that “Allah Ta’ala likes that the Qur’an be recited in the manner that it was revealed.” By reciting it properly, we are firstly doing something that Allah Ta’ala likes, and secondly following a sunnah. It can become very easy to put this off, but ask yourself, are you too busy to take out time for the Book of Allah? Recitation of the Qur’an is the first step in developing a relationship with Allah. Apart from learning how to recite the Qur’an, a person should take out time to understand what is in the Qur’an. This should be done under the supervision of an appropriate scholar of Deen. A person must make sure that they have a proper relationship with the Qur’an, and that it should be appropriately recited and understood.

2) Keeping a full beard.

Once a person establishes a relationship with the word of Allah Ta’ala, Allah needs a reason to continue the conversation because He can also very easily take the tawfeeq away. One should resemble Rasulullah (S) as much as he can because the more they do that, the more they become beloved in Allah’s sight. One of the ways of doing this is to grow the beard a fist length from all sides. A person may say that they are not pious enough to grow a beard, but one should do it anyways. Beards are not meant for pious people, beards are meant for men. A male lion will always have a beard- it is a sign of manliness. For those men who don’t have one, they need to decide their gender or lack thereof. Nabi (S) said that “My Lord Allah commanded me to grow my beard and shorten my mustache.” A person without a beard is in a state of perpetual sin until he grows his beard out. For females, in order to get the same reward, they should develop an atmosphere in which people do have beards. Develop that attitude in which the environment becomes such that it changes the rules. With those men whom you are allowed to have a relationship with, slip it in here and there. Another way for them to practice this particular aspect of the sunnah is to apply the concept of hijab. Because a woman who covers herself properly tolerates many discomforts, the reward may be the same if not more.

3) Uncovering the ankles.

Males should keep their ankles uncovered from the top down. If one desires their ankles to be covered, they can cover them from the bottom up, eg: with socks. There are four punishments for three different people, the first of whom is the one who covers his ankles. Allah Ta’ala wont speak to them, look at them, or purify them and they will have a great punishment. Nabi (S) said “Whatever is covering the ankles will be in the fire.” If your feet are in jahannam, the rest of your body will also be there.

4) Guard the gaze.

The other things are things that affect us externally. But we also have things that effect us internally, we have pathways into our hearts. So the main thing a person should do is guard their gaze. This is such a delicate matter, that Allah Ta’ala didn’t even deem it appropriate to address it Himself. He addresses Rasulullah (S) to, “Tell the believing men that they should lower their gazes and guard their private parts.” as well as the believing women. If you guard your gaze, then you won’t be involved in the second part of the ayat which involves any haraam act with the private parts. If you don’t guard your gaze, then you will. The easy way to get away from it is to just learn to lower your gaze. If you can’t lower your gaze, then sit in the company of those who do and eventually it will rub off on you. A person must have the attitude that “Look, I need to do this. I dont care if I die, I’ll die,” in order to live their lives properly. Nabi (S) says “May Allah Ta’ala’s curse be on the one who looks and is looked at.” It doesn’t matter whether it is a girl or a guy, if you put yourself in that situation then it’s your fault. Allah Ta’ala then says that, “This is the purest for you” and then at the end, “Allah knows exactly what you do.” He knows exactly how one looks, how they walk, what the intention is, and where the mind is going, etc. There is no escaping Allah Ta’ala. Just stay away from it and you won’t have these issues. If a person learns to be content with whatever Allah has given them then they won’t worry about other things. But if all of a sudden a person is driving on the road and they see other nice cars and worry about what other people are driving, then what’s going to happen? They’re going to crash and burn.

5) Protecting the heart.

This is a very broad and general point, but nonetheless it is still important. It is that a person needs to make sure that there is nothing, but Allah Ta’ala in their heart. When you take out everything else from your heart, then Allah Ta’ala will come in. Allah Ta’ala’s ghayrah is unlimited, He won’t enter a heart when there are other things in it. However, any permissable type of love (for your mother, husband, wife, etc) is included in the love of Allah Ta’ala because you love those people because Allah Ta’ala tells you to. But at the end, a real believer, his love for Allah is more. You can love anything you want but more love should be for Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala won’t enter a heart that hasn’t been broken in. In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah says “I am with the broken hearted.” That means that a person will yearn for Allah to enter their heart so much that it actually hurts them. Allah Ta’ala enters the heart in that manner.

Every single thing that has been mentioned requires some level of exertion. Some require a lot, some require less, but nonetheless they all require some exertion. A person cannot gain any closeness to Allah Ta’ala without putting in some time and effort. Allah Ta’ala doesn’t come automatically without going through any difficulties. For example, look at the Prophets. Every Nabi went through problems because when Allah Ta’ala loves a person, then He sends problems their way. Rasulullah (S) said that “Whoever loves me, poverty will come to them like a flood.” Not just poverty, but difficulties as well. The people whom Allah Ta’ala loves the most are the Ambiyaa, and “The people who have had it the worst in terms of difficulties are the prophets, then those who resemebled the prophets, and those who resemble them.” We see people going through problems and difficulties, but understand there is also a type of enjoyment they feel while going through it that nobody else knows unless they have tasted it themselves. It is like one who enjoys spicy food. On the outside, one may be tearing up and feeling pain and onlookers may wonder why they are eating it. But the person eating, they know the enjoyment they are getting from it and they don’t want to stop. A person who for the sake of Allah does these things, then they don’t want to stop even though there are many opportunites in which they can.

The easiest way to get everything that was mentioned is to be in the company of those who are pious. If a person doesn’t have that then they haven’t even tasted a drop of the Ma’arifat of Allah Ta’ala. Those who have no touch with the Ahle-Taqwa, they haven’t even tasted a droplet of the Ma’arifat of Allah Ta’ala because if they don’t even know the creation of Allah then how are they supposed to know Allah Ta’ala Himself? Keep the company of the righteous and then you won’t have to worry about bad company. Those friends who do not want to see you become a better person are not really your friends, they are your enemies.

We only have one life to live, so make the most of it. This isn’t all of Deen, but if a person does these few hard things, then everything else will come easily. It is just that simple. If it was something that was impossible, then Allah Ta’ala wouldn’t have told us to do it in the first place.

Allah Ta’ala grant us all the tawfeeq to bring these things within our lives and to really become an embodiment of the sunnah Rasulullah (S). Ameen!

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