Sunday, 4 November, 2018 – After Asar, Masjidus Saliheen, Sherwood, Durban, South Africa
1. Hakimul Ummat Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahimahullah) was regarded as a true reformer who revived for the people the reality of Sulook – the path to attain Allah’s love and recognition. There was a time when this essential part of faith was tainted with innovation and tradition. Hazrat Thanwi (Rahimahullah) elucidated the concepts and gave clarity in such a manner that in his own words Hazrat says, “I have explained the concepts of this path in such a manner that no Shaykh will be able to deceive his disciple any longer.”
2. The path to attainment has been simplified – Hazrat Thanwi (Rahimahullah) has condensed it into four parts – Iktiyari, those aspects in which we have ‘choice’ and ghayr ikhtiyari, those we have ‘no choice’ and maqsood – the ‘objective’ and ghayr maqsood – what is not the objective. Once these 4 aspects are soundly understood, the challenges of life can be safely navigated.
3. The method is to pursue with steadfastness that which is attainable and to ignore and resign oneself from that which is not in one’s control. Pursue the objective and do not be perturbed by that which is not maqsood (the purpose).
4. The objective is the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala and whatever it takes to attain this within the boundaries of Islam should be endeavoured.
5. People are generally deterred by negative feelings and feel low when unable to do good deeds. This should be remedied by pursuant effort and ignoring the passing whispers of laziness and negligence.
6. Another matter of concern that some seekers express is when praised then the ego becomes so inflated that it is difficult to contain the happiness. Whilst it is natural to feel happy on being praised, to reach a point of happiness that makes one feel proud and creates a desire to pursue praise is detrimental. If one lies in wait of praise it means the focus is on personal achievement and the attribution of such achievement is to the self, not the Giver of that favour, Almighty Allah. Seeking praise and self-attribution is destructive.
7. If the gaze is on Allah Ta’ala then this attribution would be to Him, not anyone else.
8. When a good work is achieved and one is praised then immediately think of one’s faults and weakness – every person knows himself – think that here the person is praising my one good, yet he does not know about my ‘thousand’ faults. The reality is Allah Ta’ala has covered our faults – if the person praising me would come to know of these faults, will he continue praising me? This is the cure.
9. The effort of taming the ego (nafs), like everything else, is difficult at the beginning, but with perseverance, control is acquired and the nafs gradually loses its grip over a person.
10. Khudi ke saat Khuda nahi milta hein – As long as person regards himself to be someone of worth, he will not attain the recognition of Allah Ta’ala.
11. Do not conceal any condition from the Shaykh, especially when it is in need of rectification – today people mention the good condition to the Shaykh, but few make mention of their maladies and inner issues. Thus we find, despite many having taken bayt, they do not progress due to their lack of commitment and communication with the one who they have submitted to for spiritual cure and guidance.