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
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).