This humble writer has received training in purification of the soul, reformation and good character right from the time of childhood, which is purely owing to the bounty, blessing and grace of Allaah Ta`ala.
The largest superficial reason for this blessing can be attributed to our respected grandfather, Hadhrat Muslihul Ummat Moulana Shah Wasiullah Saheb , whose embracing nurturing and deeply insightful discourses and gatherings remain with us and affect our lives.
Thereafter the participation in the gatherings of Hadhrat Moulana Shah Muhammed Ahmed Saheb and his companionship coupled with the loving nurturing of my beloved father, Hadhrat Sheikh Tariqat Moulana Mohamed Qamruz Zamaan Saheb Ila Aabaadi (maddazillu) whose encouragement had a lasting effect.
Based on this kinship, when the booklet Tazkiyatun Nufoos, came to my attention, I recognised it as a very valuable garden of treasure. It is the summary and précis of the voluminous works on purification of the soul by three great luminaries – Allamah Ibn Rajab Hambali, Allamah Ibn Qayyim Jauzi and Imaam Abu Haamid Ghazaali , compiled by Doctor Sayyid Ahmed Farid.
The research on the Ahaadith was carried out by Doctor Al-Mukarram Maajid bin Abil Layl. He has also kindly rendered the references for the Ahaadith. May Allaah Ta`ala grant these personalities great reward for having paid attention to such an important subject, regarding which Allaah Ta`ala states in His Kalaam, “He will indeed be successful who purifies it (his soul), and he will indeed fail who corrupts it.”
Upon studying the excellences of this booklet, this humble writer has mustered the courage to translate it, and with the Grace of Almighty Allaah completed the same. Moulana Mukhtaar Ahmed Nadwi Saheb has shown an interest in this humble effort and has printed and promoted it. May Allaah Ta`ala reward him with the best of rewards.
During one Ramadhan Shareef, my beloved father (daamat barakaatuhum), paid special attention in having the Arabic copy of Tazkiyatun Nufoos read out at the Khanqah Daarul Uloom Kantaria. This created a greater awareness and enthusiasm amongst the people towards this subject and specifically this Kitaab.
Upon completion of this humble writer’s translation, when the booklet came into the public eye and domain, it received an overwhelming acceptance and accolades amongst the public and Ulama. Many Ulama have included it amongst their library collections. Its popularity is increasing steadily, Alhamdulillah!
This useless writer is ever-grateful to his beloved and respected father, Moulana Muhammed Qamruz Zamaan Saheb (daamat barakaatuhum), who has taken his valuable time and effort to add to the chapters on evil characteristics. This addition most assuredly makes this Kitaab complete and ever so beneficial. Had it not been for the extra portion added by my beloved father, which is a very valuable and extremely beneficial addition, this Kitaab would most surely have been incomplete and deficient. The Kitaab would have been left wanting and unfinished. All praise to Allaah Ta`ala Who has used my beloved father’s additions to remove the deficiency and dearth of this Kitaab. May Allaah Ta`ala always keep my beloved father’s shadow lingering over us for a very long time and keep him with `Aafiyat. Aameen!
The first edition sold out and for the second edition, under the supervision of my beloved father (daamat barakaatuhum), the Kitaab was revisited and the text was made simpler and more understandable. All this was done with the invaluable assistance of Moulana Mufti Zainul Islam Saheb Qasmi, Moulana Ahmed Saheb Qasmi (both are Asaatizah at Madrasah Arabia Baitul Ma`arif Ila Aabaad), Moulana Fadhl Mahmood Saheb Falaahi (compiler of Faidhul Abrar), and Moulana Absaarul Haqq Qasmi. Similarly, Moulana Abdur Rashid Saheb Bastawi had proofread the entire Urdu edition and rectified the grammar etc.
May Allaah Ta`ala reward all these personalities in abundance and accept all our efforts. Aameen Ya Rabbal Aalemeen.
This useless writer will terminate here with the blessed dua of Nabi S.A.W:
اللهُمّ ات نفسي تقواها و زكها
انت جير من زكّاها انت وليّها و مولاها
Mahboob Ahmed Qamruz Zamaan Nadwi Ila Aabaadi
15 Sha`baan 1426
Sheikhut Tariqat Hadhrat Moulana Muhammed Qamruz Zamaan Saheb Ila Aabaadi (daamat barakaatuhum)
All praise and acclaim is due to Allaah, Who has said “Successful is he who purifies his soul”, and Durood and salutations upon His Rasool S.A.W, who supplicated to Allaah, “O Allaah! Grant the soul taqwa and purify it, You are the Best of Purifiers” and upon his family and purified companions, with the Grace of Allaah
This humble writer would like to bring to the attention of the respected readers, Tazkiyatun Nufoos, authored by Allamah Doctor Ahmed Farid Saheb, which has been beautifully rendered into Urdu by Moulana Mahboob Ahmed Qamruz Zamaan Saheb Nadwi, of which the first edition was printed by Moulana Mukhtaar Ahmed Nadwi Saheb. May Allaah Ta`ala reward them with a wonderful reward.
However, when the opportunity for a second edition arose, the original Arabic text was compared with the Urdu rendition and wherever there was some ambiguity and some deficiencies in clarity, an effort was made to remove them. In this regard, Moulana Zainul Islam Saheb, Moulana Maqsood Ahmed Saheb and Moulana Fairooz Saheb contributed greatly and came to the assistance of this humble writer. May Allaah reward them greatly.
This humble servant has renamed this translation as Tasfiyatul Qalb, the translation of Tazkiyatun Nufoos, entitled Shifa-e-Dil. The reason for this is that if the name of the translation remained as Tazkiyatun Nufoos there remains the doubt as to whether it is the original script or a translation.
The primary objective of Tasawwuf is the purification of the naffs and the rectification of character, whose importance has been emphasised in the Qur`aan Majeed and Ahaadith, hence it is imperative that the Kitaabs which deal with reformation of character and purification of the soul be studied. This is not only important for the masses, but also for the Madaaris, students, Asaatizah and Deeni Institutions, so that the learned also reform.
The realisation of the importance of this sphere of life is incumbent on Muslims, but even the non-Muslims have realised the necessity and dearth thereof, as can be discerned from their writings in the various publications.
It is my humble opinion that such Kitaabs be introduced into the various syllabi and together with the sciences of Ilm, the importance of tarbiyat (nurturing) is also taught. Without the proper nurturing and reformation, the Ulama also join the ranks of the uncouth and ill-mannered. Such inappropriate behaviour manifest at the hands of such Ulama that it brings shame on everyone.
This is the reason why Hadhrat Muslihul Ummat Moulana Shah Wasiullah Saheb taught numerous Tasawwuf Kitaabs, like Tarsee`ul Jawaahir Al-Makkiyah, Minhaajul `Aabideen, Qasdus Sabeel, Ta`leemud Deen, etc.
We were specifically made to study the Aayaat in the Qur`aan Majeed that pertained to the traits of the Munaafiqeen so that we realise and recognise, and thereafter inculcate a revulsion and loathing, which creates a fervour in the heart to steer clear of such traits and characteristics, and imbibe sincerity, true qualities of believers and taqwa.
For a long period of time, the Ulama Asaatizah also participated in these Tafseer lessons. In essence, Hadhrat Muslihul Ummat paid special attention to purification of the soul. He used to say that Hadhrat Shah Waliullah Saheb Muhaddith Dehlwi would include Kitaabs on tibb (medicine) and Tasawwuf into the syllabus. It is clear that the study of medicine contributed to the well-being and welfare of the bodily health and the Kitaabs on Tasawwuf assisted in achieving rectification and well-being of the heart and soul.
It is pleasing to note that whilst in some quarters of the Arab countries some people object to the concept of Tasawwuf, there are such Ulama-e-Muhaqqiqeen in these times that are compiling and authoring Kitaabs on Tasawwuf and reformation of the naffs. In this regard, the Kitaab, Tazkiyatun Nufoos, whose translation is in your hands is one such irrefutable Kitaab on Tasawwuf. Masha Allaah, the author is known to be a sincere Aalim, who has discussed the subject of reformation of the soul with balance, in fact, fairness and impartiality. May Allaah reward him handsomely.
The second Kitaab, Al Mustakhlis fi Tazkiyatun Nufoos, authored by Hadhrat Allamah Sa`eed Howi Saheb , is also an irrefutable work in its field. The third Kitaab, Minhajul Islam fi Tazkiyatun Nufoos, is authored by Doctor Anas Ahmed Karzawi Saheb.
The fourth Kitaab, Min Mu`eenish Shamaail (Nabi S.A.W ) authored by Allamah Saalih Ahmed Shaami Saheb, wherein he clearly describes Nabi’s S.A.W excellent traits and his purity from evil characteristics. This is also an excellent Kitaab to study on Tasawwuf.
The fact of the matter is that it is a grave oppression to refute and deny the concept of Tasawwuf, Sulook and the Sufiya, because the basis of Tasawwuf is the education and science of purification and reformation of the soul. What innovation is there in this? The Sufiya Kiraam treaded this path to the Haqq and they imparted this knowledge and encouraged their followers to do the same. How can this be refuted or rejected?
Moulana Sayed Abul Hasan Nadwi has categorised Tasawwuf as a divinely inspired system, and he has described the band of Sufiya-e-Kiraam thus:
“If you remove these truthful and sincere personalities (Sufiya), each of who were paragons of illumination and specimens of humankind insofar as honour and respect, from the annals of Islamic history and witness for yourself what is left behind! If they cannot be relied upon (for guidance and examples), which other group is then worthy of emulation and trust?” [Nuqoosh wa Aathaar Mufakkir Islam, page 238]
About the translator of this Kitaab
With regard to the (Urdu) translator of this Kitaab, Masha Allah the effects and qualities of reformation and Tasawwuf shone forth since his early days. He was considered to be well behaved. An incident regarding his good behaviour comes to mind, which I will relate:
I once asked him regarding a certain friend as to whether he listens to him or not. He replied in the negative. Upon hearing this, another Moulana Saheb jokingly commented, “My dear son, does so and so listen to you or not?” He replied that repeating the same thing is ineffective.
I narrated this incident to his maternal grandfather Muslihul Ummat Hadhrat Moulana Shah Wasiullah Saheb who became very pleased. He commented that such character is not even found in adults nowadays, which a youngster has demonstrated. He added in delight, “I will impart the treasure to all your children.”
At that time, my children included, Maqbool Ahmed Qasmi, Sa`eed Ahmed Nadwi, Azeez Ahmed Qasmi and Mahboob Ahmed Nadwi. Thereafter, Mohammed Abdullah Qasmi, Mohammed Ubaidullah Nadwi, Mas`oodah, Aishah, Siddiqah and Aaminah were born. I make dua that Hadhrat Muslihul Ummat’s supplication also apply and be accepted for all these children as well. Aameen.
Alhamdulillah, the effects of the acceptance of this dua can be witnessed, because Masha Allah all my children are bursting with Ilmi capabilities and guidance. Together with this, they are also all content and comfortable in worldly and material possessions.
Our heartfelt dua is that Allaah open for them, their children and all the generations to come, the invaluable treasures of pure lives with virtuous deeds and excellent character. Aameen Ya Rabbal Aalemeen.
Some points pertaining to the Kitaab
1. Since the original Kitaab (from which this was translated) comprised of Akhlaaq-e-Hameedah (virtuous character), my desire was to include a discussion on evil traits and habits as well, so that the discussion on purification of the naffs be complete and thorough. For this reason, this humble writer has chosen Tableeghud Deen, the translation of Arba`een of Imaam Ghazaali , which was liked by Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi , who has commented on it and encouraged its study. From amongst our Mashaaikh, Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullah Khan Saheb has also urged its study.
Hence during a journey of Gujarat, during the month of Safar 1426 A.H., I began abridging it. Moulana Mohammed Qasmi Godrawi Saheb assisted me greatly in the abridgment and typesetting. Amy Allaah reward him handsomely.
2. Secondly, Hadhrat Hakeemul Ummat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi had, in his compilation of Ta`leemud Deen, under the discussion of Mujaahdah and Riyaadhat, briefly mentioned the virtuous and evil character, and he referenced and proved from Qur`aan Majeed and Sunnat. It is included in the Kitaab with slight alterations under the topic Khulasa Madhameen Tasawwuf.
3. This humble writer has also included the commentary of the poem of Hadhrat Moulana Mohammed Partaabgiri from Irfaan-e-Muhabbat,
Under the caption Faidhaan Muhabbat. Hadhrat Moulana Ahmed Mohammed Saheb has shown a great affection for this. Many other Ulama and Mashaaikh have also shown an acceptance. It has been added in its totality under the chapter, “The importance of purification of the naffs.” May Allaah make it beneficial for the readers as well. Aameen!
4. I have a special request in that for some time now I had intended compiling a detailed Kitaab on virtuous character, and I have even started, but have not as yet reached anywhere close to completion. It appears that I may not see the fruition of this Kitaab in my lifetime. I therefore request that you consider this Kitaab a substitute.
Finally, this humble writer is addressing himself firstly, that perfection does not lie in writing about this subject matter, neither in giving discourses on it. The objective is to inculcate and bring into practice the virtuous and excellent characteristics and abstain from the evil ones. This is what is incumbent and obligatory on all of us. This is what will facilitate success sin the hereafter. May Allaah grant us all the guidance and ability. Aameen.
Thereafter, our earnest request to the children, close relatives, in fact, to all Muslim males and females, that they inculcate virtue in their external actions and limbs, together with rectifying their hearts and souls with virtuous character, so that Tasawwuf may be established and understood in its true meaning and import. Sadly, we witness a dearth in this regard, which can be seen in the followers of the Mashaaikh and the also the regulars of the khanqahs. For example we do not sense any qualities of humility or self-effacement, but rather discern pride and vanity in their speech and actions. Their daily actions exude their egos and advertise their frivolity, whereas those treading this path are meant to be humble, self-effacing and base. We have heard from Hadhrat Shah Wasiullah Saheb that once a child was starting to learn ‘Bismillah’, when a mureed of Haji Imadaadullah cited the following couplets:
In the school of love, he whose ‘Bismillah’ is initiated
His first steps are his annihilation for Allaah
The following couplets are in the same meaning:
In the depths of annihilation for Allaah, the secret of existence lies
If one is to live, then prepare for death
Our plea is to everyone on general and to those specifically who are linked to a sheikh of some Khanqah, to acquaint themselves and inculcate an affinity with this knowledge. In fact, it is necessary they become one with this knowledge and pay undivided attention towards it, lest they be deprived on the Day of Qiyaamat. May Allaah Ta`ala save us from this deprivation.
Incumbency of Thikrullah is the means of attaining purity of soul
Finally, firstly addressing myself, then all children and my Deeni brothers, my advice is that the path to acquiring purity of the soul, Thikrullah is to be granted due importance and strictly adhered to. Thikrullah holds great importance in the path of attaining reformation of the self. It has profound effect in the purification and cleansing of the soul. Hadhrat Shah Waliullah Saheb Muhaddith Dehlwi notes this importance in one of his treatises as follows:
“If you have to ask me how to purify the soul, I would reply that you adhere to Thikrullah. Allaah Ta`ala states (in a Hadith-e-Qudsi), ‘I am to My servant as he thinks of Me. I am with him when he remembers Me.’ The purification of the soul is proportionate to the amount of Thikrullah. Allaah Ta`ala states in the Qur`aan Majeed, ‘Successful is he who purifies his soul, remembers the Name of his Rabb and performs Salaat.’ One is blessed with the proximity of Allaah Ta`ala in proportionate to his purification.”
Hence, the person who is blessed with Thikrullah it is as though he has acquired proximity to Allaah . It is only appropriate that we keep our tongues moist with the remembrance of Allaah, so that we gain proximity to Allaah Ta`ala and earn His Pleasure. Similarly, we glean from the continuous blessings which spring forth from His Court. The person who acquires the proximity to Allaah has acquired everything, and the person who is deprived of the proximity of Allaah is deprived of everything.
Also, Thikrullah is integral to the purification of the soul, as Imaam Ibn Taymia has stated that Thikrullah is as important to the soul as water is to a fish. Just imagine what the condition of a fish would be if removed from the water? Similarly, we should find no peace, contentment or existence without Thikrullah.
Nevertheless, this Kitaab, Tasfiyatul Quloob, entitled Shifa-e-Dil is an important and beneficial Kitaab. May Allaah reward all those who assisted in the compilation of this Kitaab.
After having understood its importance, study this Kitaab and teach it to others, so that this knowledge of Tariqat is widely publicised. Do not merely bring this knowledge alive, but give it the spirit and fervour of youth. Therefore, we have hope in those fortunate youth who will accept this, thereby saving themselves (and others) from the evils and innovations that have crept into this sphere. A sure sign of good fortune is to remain always with the Haqq; to live with it and die on it, regardless of what difficulties are experienced.
And Allaah guide to the Straight Path