FOR FRIENDS Part 7
2. The Nafs
6. The Nafs
7. Nafse Ammarah-bis-su
8. Nafse Lowwamah
9. The Smell of Shirk
10. Ibadat And Taqw
11. Imitation of Others
12. Refinement and Culture
13. Company And Friendship
14. Nafse Mutma'innah
15. Zikr And Yad
16. Zikr And Tranquillity
17. Return To our Origin
18. Son of Hadhrat adam(A.S.)
19. A Letter
20. A Second Letter - Essence Of The Ruh of Suluk
Through the fadhl of Allah Ta'ala, and the barkat of our sheikh(r.a.), this seventh booklet is now ready.
It is important always to keep one's perspectives correct. One's sheikh's guidance is absolutely essential in this respect. It is thus appropriate to reproduce some basic points in connection with one's islah, for neglect of these fundamental usuls (principles) may hinder progress.
In a kitab recently published, called "Hayatus-salek", some of Hadhratji's (r.a.) correspondence with those desirous of their islah is published. Right in the beginning is a request by a qualified alim for Hadhratji (r.a.) to note down the preconditions that are necessary for islah of one's character.
Hadhratji's (r.a.) reply:
Conditions (to be observed by a) talebe islah:
1.Ikhlas right in the beginning, by correcting one's intention (niyet).
2.Taubah. Performance of two rak'ats of taubah. In the first rak'at recite Surah "Qul
and in the second rak'at "Iza-ja'".
After the salatat-taubah recite one tasbih of istigfar. Thereafter, lift your hands and repent from
the bottom of your heart: make taubah for past sins, with a promise (not to commit sins in the
If you have any namaz and/or rozah that are qadha, take proper care to perform these.
If you have any material rights (of others) to fulfil, see to these, otherwise request to be
forgiven (if unable to see to your obligations financially).
If you have overstepped the limits with anybody, either verbally or physically, then go and ask
to be forgiven.
3.Observe caution in the matter of association with others.
4.Have complete faith and confidence (i'tiqad-o-i'timad). Be punctual and regular in informing
(your mentor of your state and problems) and in carrying out his instructions (ittila'-o- ittiba' ka
5.Be conscious of ikhlas (sincerity) and sidq (veracity) in each and every action and when you
are informing your mentor.
6.Unless there is a very great need, observe silence; and make seclusion something to be
And observe complete avoidance of beardless youths (amarad) and observe great caution with
regard to them: Have a feeling of detestation in having to give them any occasion to be alone with
you and avoid, as far as possible, taking any work from them.
Point four - communicating with one's sheikh - cannot be overemphasised. Progress is dependant on this, yet it is most neglected. It must be emphasised again that these booklets, "For Friends", are not meant to be a substitute for a mentor. Direct communication with a spiritual guide is still essential.
May Allah Ta'ala give us all clarity of understanding, and also the tawfiq to make amal on the teachings of our sheikh (r.a.). Amin.
Dr. Ismaiel Mangera
(This is a translation of a majlis-e-khas held by Hadhrat Maulana Muhammed Masihullah Khan sahib(R.A.), in Jalalabad, India, on the 29th March 1992, corresponding to the 23rd Ramadhan, 1412)
For the talibe-haq(seeker of the truth) 3 steps have been mentioned as essential:
3.THE FIRST STEP -BASEERAT
mentioned is as follows:
The understanding (fehem) in the talibe-Haq first gets rectified. In that person who is really seeking Truth with complete sincerity, Haq Ta'ala says that the first and most important event to take place is that his understanding becomes clear.
If this does not happen (i.e. he does not develop clear understanding) then, in the true sense of the word, he is not a seeker of Haq. Thus, this clarity of understanding is a sign, a proof, a witness and it stands as evidence.
This clarity of understanding is spoken of in the Qur'an Sharif as "basa'ir" - in other words, "basirat".
Allah Ta'ala states, "This kitab which We have revealed, whoever reads it or listens to it with understanding, with talab (quest) of Haq, seeking Haq, then this person develops basirat." This is then manifested as rectification of understanding or thinking (fehem). This is the first recognisable step.
4.THE SECOND STEP - HIDAYET
With this rectification of his thinking and understanding, progressively and steadily his heart starts to accept and also to act according to the laws of the shariat. He girds himself firmly for this. This stage is termed as "hidayet" (guidance) in the Qur'an Sharif. A methodology for this hidayet in the context of deeds (a'mal) appears in him. The Qur'an Sharif explains this with the word "hudan", i.e. hidayet.
So, if this person has not attained hidayet - if he has not established within himself the obedience to the Orders of the shariat - then it is obvious that he has not even attained the first step of basirat. This is the sequence: first comes basirat and then comes hidayet
The external (the zahir) is a testimony of what is inside (the batin). It is evident that hidayet - what in the true sense can be termed hidayet - has, as yet, not come into this person.
5.THE THIRD STEP - QURB-O-QABUL
However, if both these - basirat and hidayet - have developed, now the fruits will be seen. The fruits are qurb and qabul (closeness and acceptance). The Qur'an Sharif has termed this stage as "rahmat". So, initially there is basirat, which is followed by hidayet, and then comes rahmat.
This is clear indication for mankind and a guidance and mercy for a folk whose faith is sure. (S.45 A.20)
So, obviously, when clarity of understanding enters and it results in the development of hidayet - when these two priceless gems have been attained - then why should Allah Ta'ala's special rahmat not be focussed on him? Why should Allah Ta'ala's special favours not be directed towards him?
It is Haq Ta'ala who has stated that the fruits, the net result, of attaining the first two stages is rahmat. In other words Haq Ta'ala is saying, "In My eyes, his voice is qabul (accepted), he has qurb (closeness) and, therefore, he is maqbul (accepted)!"
What a wonderful thing has not been stated by Zate Bari Ta'ala about that Mu'min whose iman is good: namely, that firstly the understanding of the talibe Haq (seeker of Truth) gets corrected, which is termed attaining basirat; then the heart accepts the ahkam (orders of the shariat) and the talibe Haq walks along these ahkam, which is termed attaining hidayet. Thus far two things have happened: Basirat has appeared and when clarity of understanding comes, ignorance disappears; and, secondly, hidayet has manifested itself and when this happens he walks steadily along the siratul-mustaqim.
Let us pause to ponder. Know yourself! Question yourself! "Has the correct hidayet come into me or not?"
To continue: When basirat has entered, resulting in hidayet appearing, the net result will be that their fruits will appear, namely qurb and qabul, that is, rahmat.
The talibe Haq, the talibe tazkiyah, the talibe islah, when he obviously has ikhlas (sincerity) in him, has compulsorily to appraise himself, to judge himself, to assess himself and to ask himself continuously: "What is the state, the specific quality of my nafs?"
In the Qur'an Sharif Zate Bari Ta'ala has narrated three states of the nafs:
1) The first state is called ammarah-bis-s'. Mention is made of this state in the Qur'an Sharif, in Surah Yusuf (ayet 53):
2) A second type, a second condition of the nafs, has been mentioned in the twenty-ninth para, in Surah Qiyamah (ayet 2). This is the nafse lowwamah:
3) The third type, the third condition of the nafs, has been mentioned in the thirtieth para, in Surah Fajr (ayet 27). This is the nafse mutma'innah:
These are the three types, the three conditions of the nafs, narrated by Allah Tabarak wa Ta'ala in the Qur'an Sharif:
(1) Nafse ammarah-bis-s', (2) nafse lowwamah, and (3) nafse mutma'innah. Now it is important to know and understand all three states of the nafs.
As we said just now, the talibe Haq develops firstly, clarity of understanding (basirat). With this newfound understanding the talibe Haq should ponder, and say to himself:
"Allah Ta'ala has narrated three states of the nafs in the Qur'ane Pak. Therefore, I should come to know, come to understand and come to recognise which is the type of nafs I possess. Do I possess nafse ammarah, nafse lowwamah or nafse mutma'innah?"
There is now initiated in the talibe Haq a search, an introspection. This process is the natural outcome and demand of the basirat that has developed in him. If this process does not occur then this person is not a talibe Haq (seeker of Haq) in the real meaning of what a seeker of Haq should be. He is not a talibe tazkiyah (one seeking purification) in the real sense of the words. He is not a talibe islah (one seeking self- rectification) in the real sense of the words.
So, that talibe Haq who has clarity of understanding (basirat), which is the first attainment, should ponder and ask himself, "Seeing that Allah Ta'ala has mentioned three states of the nafs, in which category does my nafs fall? As far as Allah Ta'ala is concerned, which nafs is one's objective, to be attained fully and correctly? Then I, as a Mu'min, should strive to attain that same objective that Zate Bari Ta'ala has laid down, as a requirement of my iman."
Brothers, is my voice reaching you?
One has to recognise what has been stated above. And this process of introspection and questioning must continue until one has in one's mind that same gaze that Zate Bari Ta'ala has: His gaze is on the nafse mutma'innah and that is where one's gaze should also be fixed.
So, the talibe Haq starts taking work from his newfound understanding and he takes stock of himself: "Ofo! My temperament is drawing me towards amusement and play, of which it has been said,
'All amusement and play is haram.'"
How has he analysed himself? How has he come to the conclusion that his tabiyet (temperament) is drawing him to amusement and play? This is his introspective process:
"My tabiyet does not draw me towards good deeds. Never mind being attracted to good deeds, but there is not even the slightest inclination towards good deeds. To the contrary, my tabiyet (temperament) pushes me to bad and evil. It does so to such an extent that I do not even feel bad or upset within myself at doing bad! Whenever I am involved in anything, one can be sure it is some evil! When it is time to do some good, my tabiyet turns away and inclines towards evil. When it is time for namaz, my tabiyet does not incline towards namaz - my tabiyet draws me to that which is the direct opposite, some or other evil - and I actually do that evil! It is obvious that evil does not upset me and that there is no inclination on my part towards good at the time of having to do some good. So, it is obvious that I have in me nafse ammarah. This is how it is recognised. This is its mode of action. This is how it works!"
Nafse ammarah-bis-s'. There is a qualifying suffix to the word "ammarah" and that is "bis-s'". Why so? The answer is: because the nafse ammarah has the special quality that it is involved in evil - s' means evil - and it does not incline towards good. To this extent that when somebody tries to advise him then, too, good is considered to be evil and evil is considered to be good! This is the degree of disturbed thinking that a person has when he is in this state.
"Ofo!" this talibe Haq tells himself, "Being a Mu'min, yet this is the state of my nafs that I shy away from good and am drawn towards evil? Is this what my iman demands of me, me being a Mu'min?"
These are the symptoms and signs by which the nafse ammarah-bis-s' is recognised and identified. It is actually a recognition of corrupted thinking.
Do you understand the concept?
So, this Mu'min, because of the demand of the iman in him, is now in deep thought. He is busy with introspection, weighing himself, assessing himself, judging himself against the criteria just outlined. This process leads him to a stage where his intelligence and understanding come forward to support him. An apprehension arises within his heart. Warning bells sound. An alarm rings within him!
His newfound understanding (basirat) leads him forward: He comes to sense that certain things are good and certain things are bad; he comes to perceive the difference between beautiful and ugly; he comes to recognise evil as evil and comes to accept good as good.
A change is noticed: He is now drawn towards good and he begins to shun what is evil. Now, whenever his tabiyet agitates and incites him into doing something wrong or evil, his basirat (understanding) stops him - scolding him, reproaching him, taunting him, shaming him.
Within himself he is now feeling most reprehensible. Within himself he rebukes himself, "What a shameful thing! What a dishonourable act! What a pitiful creature you are! Your faith and belief, O Mu'min, based on your iman, is that Allah Ta'ala is Hadhir-Nazir, that He is present all the time, and yet you can stoop so low?" Thus he reproaches himself.
Basirat (clear understanding) has come to him and his tabiyet (temperament) now progresses towards hidayet. He now inclines towards good and he now begins to distance himself from evil. He is proceeding along the road of hidayet. Ammariyet of the nafs is departing and lowwamiyet is entering.
The process continues. The basirat of this Mu'min increases. More and more, his inclination is towards good. Involvement in evil causes his tabiyet to reproach himself more and more severely. He is all the time preoccupied with this thought: What nafs is the nafs that is the objective as far as Zate Bari Ta'ala is concerned? He is in deep thought. Which is the nafs that is desired by Allah Ta'ala?
This is the demand of the basirat that he has attained, when it is accompanied by hidayet, with the faith and belief of Allah Ta'ala being Hadhir-Nazir, with taqwa (fear and awe of Allah Ta'ala) entering the heart and a sense of shame establishing itself. "It must not happen that from my lips should come forth words of evil that, despite my heart harbouring an intention to do good, some evil is manifested by me!"
This is the state of his heart. However, if this state has not arisen yet, then evil words will issue from his lips and any intention in his heart to do good will be substituted with evil. These are obvious indications that he is still on the verge of taqwa - taqwa has not entered as yet. Otherwise the tongue would have been restrained and the heart would have been redirected.
Let us go further:
The deeds the person is doing are good deeds. However, the cheerfulness that should have been present in his tabiyet is just not there. The openness that should have been present in his disposition is just not there. Doing good is still burdensome and there is still some rancour in him. There is still being emitted the smell of shirk (polytheism)!
Have you heard my words?
9.THE SMELL OF SHIRK
To repeat: There is still the smell of shirk being emitted! It must not happen that this smell of shirk should spread and, on his side, this person is completely unconcerned!
It shows that the concept of Zate Bari Ta'ala being Hadhir-Nazir, with the due honour and respect that this demands, has not been established. Otherwise he would definitely have experienced some dread and he would have stopped his tongue and his heart from evil. As yet his carefreeness has not been curtailed - his tabiyet is still rampant.
Listen carefully to this incident related by Hadhratwala (Hadhrat Thanwi(R.A.) and ponder over it.
There was a certain molvisahib staying in Makkah mu'azzamah. He fell ill and passed away and was buried in Jannatul Mala, the qabrastan (cemetery) of Makkah mu'azzamah.
Those going for Haj usually go to several places for ziyarat and one such place being Jannatul Mala as well, where the hajis (pilgrims) recite fatihah at the graves. Nowadays there are certain restrictions but in those days there was full permission to visit by day or night.
One such group of hajis, proceeding in this way, stopped at a certain grave to recite fatihah, when the thin top-covering of the grave suddenly caved in, revealing the body lying inside.
Looking into the grave, what did the people see? To their utter amazement lying inside they saw the body of what appeared to be a young Christian lady! What is this? No non-Muslims are even allowed into Makkah mu'azzamah. For them to stay there is forbidden. They had never heard of such a thing! So, how could a Christian girl come to be buried here?
In this group of hajis was present also a certain molvisahib who was looking intently at the corpse. He recognised her. "This girl is from France!" he exclaimed in astonishment.
Is my voice reaching you, brothers?
So, learn a lesson, O ye who have eyes!
The molvisahib continued, "This girl is from France and I used to teach her the Din. She had secretly become a Muslim. She passed away in my presence and she was subsequently buried there in France. How did she come to be here?"
On hearing this some of the onlookers spoke up. "But a certain local molvisahib was buried in this grave. And you are telling us that this girl passed away in France and that she was buried there! And her body now lies transposed here! It seems reasonable to suppose, then, that the molvisahib's body has been transposed from here to France! This matter requires further investigation."
The group proceeded to the house of the deceased molvisahib. One person went ahead and knocked on the door. The widow came to answer the knock. He asked of her, "Your husband, the late molvisahib, can you tell us about him?"
She replied, "He was a very good man, masha'Allah! He kept a beard and he was regular with his namaz and rozahs."
The spokesman enquired further, "You did not take note of any...er...anything unusual? Just think a bit!"
The widow appeared perturbed, "But why are you asking?"
The spokesman tried to reassure her, "Nothing really. But just try and think a bit."
The poor widow complied and started thinking deeply. After some thought she spoke. (Listen very carefully now!) She said, "One thing comes to mind. When in need of ghusl after janabat, my husband definitely used to bath [a bath after marital intercourse, as required by the shariat]. Yes, he definitely did perform this nék amal (good deed). However, at the same time he used to comment that if Islam did not have this order to make ghusl after janabat, it would have been a very good thing."
10.IBADAT AND TAQWA
Are you listening? Making ghusl after janabat is a nék amal - a good deed which merits thawab (reward). However, in his heart he harboured disapproval! His deed is one of ibadat (an act of worship), but without taqwa! Ponder over this! Like beauty and the beast - the beauty being the nék amal of making ghusl; the beast, the ugliness, was that which he harboured in his heart, the opinion that it would have been much better if Islam did not have this command to make ghusl after janabat. And what he kept in his heart issued forth from his lips!
The widow continued, "I kept on telling him, 'Please don't utter such words!' But he never listened!"
The concept had become ingrained. His nafs was set towards ammariyet - ammarah-bis-s'. This sentence that came into his heart and issued from his lips, is it su;' (evil) or is it khair (good)? Obviously it is su' (evil)! He was not repentant - he did not make taubah. When he passed away, he was buried in the local qabrastan in the very precincts of Makkah mu'azzamah. On the other hand there was this Christian girl, who (as her ustad [teacher] had reported) had secretly brought iman, hiding it from her parents, and who had been buried in France when she passed away there. Allah Bari Ta'ala took her body from the Darul-Kufr of France and transposed it to the ground of Makkah mu'azzamah in whose surroundings are saleh (pious) people. And the molvisahib who was buried in the ground of Makkah mu'azzamah, was despatched to France. (This was later confirmed).
Is there not a lesson to be learnt from this incident? Is it not something to ponder over? Do you now recognise what is basirat? Do you understand what is clear understanding? Do you understand what it is to be a talibe Haq and also its opposite? - Because the first thing to happen to a talibe Haq is that his understanding becomes clear, he develops basirat. Whereas here there was no basirat. And who was he? A molvisahib! Despite doing a deed that was nék, inside him lurked the evil of shirk! The deed was performed, but with (evil).
Hadhratwala(r.a.) related several illustrative incidents. Here follows another. (The incident related previously was an eyewitness account. The incident to be related now is in relation to a metaphysical occurrence in a dream.)
11.IMITATION OF OTHERS
A molvisahib, punctual with his namaz and rozahs, passed away. A pious person saw him in a dream suffering the punishment of Jahannam in the alime Barzakh (world of departed souls). Quite astonished to see the molvisahib there, he exclaimed, "You? You are in Jahannam? What brought this on?" The molvisahib explained, "It happened as follows: It was the day of Holi..." (This is the Festival of Colours celebrated by the Hindus. On this day the Ahle Hanud and the mushrikin throw colouring on one another.)
"It was the day of Holi. I had just had a meal and I was chewing some pan(betel-leaf). I left home to go somewhere. While walking along I came across a donkey. I addressed the donkey, 'Poor animal! Has nobody thrown any colouring on you? Come, let me colour you!' So saying, I spat some pan-stained spittle on him, the red spittle making a vivid red splash on his coat.
"After my death, when my turn came to stand in front of Allah Ta'ala (i.e. kachi-péshi - the pre-trial), Haq Ta'ala said, 'Because you had imitated an action of the mushrikin, therefore your abode is Jahannam!'"
Are you listening? You know the Hadith Sharif:
Whosoever imitates a nation will be amongst them.
You also know that the statements of Rasulullah(sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) are, in actual fact, Kalame Ilahi - the statements of Allah Ta'ala. The Qur'an Sharif states:
Nor doth he speak of (his own) desire. It is naught save an inspiration that is inspired. (S.53 A.3-4)
Further, Haq Ta'ala Himself states in the Qur'an Sharif:
Allah Ta'ala is saying, "O Mu'mins! Do not let your hearts incline towards the zalims (oppressors). The zalims are the mushrikin and the kuffar, who are showering zulm (oppression) on themselves. Do not let your lifestyles be an imitation of their lifestyles..." The word "yarkanu", in its grammatical application, implies all this. "...lest the flames of Jahannam should reach you also. The mushrikin and the kuffar will be in the fire of Jahannam - this fire has been prepared specifically for them. Though you may not be punished as they are, nevertheless, is it to be taken lightly that the fire may reach you and, at that, the fire of Jahannam? What a severe situation to be in! Let is not be so!"
Ponder over this and adjust your lives, O Mu'mins! Restrain yourselves from ammariyet!
When he had acted thus, having spat his pan-stained spittle on the donkey, then he too had no awareness of the gravity of his action, of what is good and what is bad, of néki (goodness) and evil. There was no self-reproach. Lowwamiyet had not entered into him. Otherwise, there would have been taubah. His life then would have been of taqwa. However, when he passed away he left with ammariyet-bis-s' and it was on this basis that he had earned for himself the Fire.
In different places in the Qur'an Sharif Haq Ta'ala sounds alarm bells. In connection with Jannat (Paradise) Allah Ta'ala says:
(Jannat), prepared for those who ward off (evil).
Jannat has been prepared for those Mu'mins who have taqwa. It has not been prepared for the kuffar - for them has been prepared the Fire.
So, take a lesson, O ye who have eyes!
How much is Allah Ta'ala not desirous of the Mu'min! How much rahmat (mercy) is Allah Ta'ala not favouring him with! Yes, the Mu'min is being made aware: Come out of ammariyet. Enter into lowwamiyet. Adopt this transitional phase to whatever degree.
If Haq Ta'ala did not approve of this phase, why did Haq Ta'ala then take qasm (an oath) on it?
Has Allah Ta'ala not taken a qasm here? Obviously He has! Also, is a qasm taken on something disliked? Again, obviously not! Lowwamah is a desirous stage and approval is proportionate to the progress in it. Whereas ammariyet is completely and absolutely disliked by Zate Bari Ta'ala the phase of lowwamiyet is liked, yet it is also disliked because it is still a transitional phase.
Imagine, the heart of a Mu'min and lowwamiyet should not enter it? That he should commit some bad deed and not feel horrible within himself? That he should do some good and not feel pleased within himself? Unbelievable! These are simple ways of recognising lowwamiyet - bad deeds make his heart unhappy and good acts make his heart happy.
The standards of one's existence are being presented before you, O ye Mu'mins! You have to continuously judge yourselves against these standards. You have to keep on measuring yourselves against these criteria. Remember that the understanding of a talibe Haq demands that he be "hushyar" (alert/sensible/wise).
So, that person whose nafs has entered into lowwamiyet now inclines towards goodness and piety. When he does any good his heart feels happy. He avoids what is bad and evil. And, should he do anything bad or evil, his heart feels shattered. He then scolds himself, he reproaches himself. This is because he now has an understanding of what is beautiful and what is ugly. The differentiation between good and evil has now set firmly into his heart.
He continues unrelentingly with this process of self-reproach until a stage is reached where the battle is won and bad and evil is overcome and goodness stands out victorious. There is now an ever-increasing attraction towards goodness and piety and, by the same token, bad and evil are ever-increasingly hateful. Goodness and piety are now close associates, whereas bad and evil are distanced away.
This process continues until there is such a firm association with goodness and piety that it results in a tremendous attraction for these and a tremendous passion for them. On the other hand, his heart has a proportionately deepening distaste for bad and evil and a correspondingly deepening disgust.
To understand this, try to think of a person who is completely famished, almost starving, how is he not attracted towards food! This person's desire for goodness and piety is like that. His disgust for bad and evil is such as any cultured and sensitive person has an aversion to even the mention of the word "faeces" - even the mention of unbecoming words produces a revulsion in him.
His condition now is like that described in the Noble Words of the Qur'ane Pak, where Haq Ta'ala states:
(O ye who believe)Ill is the name of sin after iman! (S.49 A.11)
As if to say, "O Mu'min! Never mind sinning - that should be very far- fetched - after iman even the mention of sin should not come to your lips! This is the degree of revulsion that you should have."
12.REFINEMENT AND CULTURE
The refinement that is supposed to come in his iman has not come as yet. He is not cultured as yet.
For example: When answering the call of nature he should say, "I am going to the baitul-khala (toilet)." He should not blurt out, "I am going to defaecate!" Even the unsophisticated peasant has enough politeness to say, "I am taking a walk into the field," which is his way of saying that he is going to answer the call of nature.
But now refinement has come into his iman. The correct concern has been created. He is now particular and selective in his speech, taking note of the finer points and of the subtleties. Now, even to bring a word to his lips denoting sin is also repulsive.
Do you understand?
Haq Ta'ala is telling the Mu'min that, after bringing iman, even to take the name of sin is also disapproved, it is also an abomination. So, this person, by reproaching his nafs again and again, again and again, has reached a stage where he has a tremendous attraction and passion for ibadat and for doing good. And when unable to do these, he has developed the highest degree of sabr (patience) and tahammul (forbearance). Bad and evil deeds which are connected to the nafs, have left him; and good deeds and good character which are connected to the qalb (heart), have appeared.
As far as his ibadat are concerned, he makes a full effort - this is now ingrained in his tabiyet (temperament). His ibadat now glitter with the noble and dignified qualities of hilm and tahammul (forbearance), of sabr (patience and perseverance) and riyadhat (spiritual exertion).
Look: if one who is famished has some roti in front of him and you try to snatch that roti away from him, will he allow you to do so? Similarly, that person who has a passion for ibadat, at the time of ibadat if anybody tries to take him away, will he allow him? And if somebody tries to drag him to some bad or evil, will he meekly go?
13.COMPANY AND FRIENDSHIP
No, he will not allow either. By repeatedly reproaching himself he has reached the stage where he now reproaches others for enticing him to bad and evil. But he reproaches the other person not with a holier-than- thou attitude, not with contempt, but out of affection. Out of a sense of duty he tells him, "What an amazing type of incitement, when it should actually be considered disgustful. And you are trying to divert me from my ibadat, when you should have been encouraging me towards it. Should I leave my ibadat and do what is contrary? This is not friendship on your part but enmity!"
Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) has said:
O Allah! Grant me the rizq of Your muhabbat, with depth; and grant me also the rizq of that person's muhabbat whose muhabbat will be an aid and assistance in attaining Your muhabbat.
It is also apparent from this that the muhabbat (love and affection) of that person whose muhabbat is an obstacle in attaining the muhabbat of Allah Ta'ala, is forbidden - it is haram!
Think for a moment of the status that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) had attained in his ibadat of Allah Ta'ala and his obedience to Allah Ta'ala. Is there any comparison? Even then Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) is requesting for sohbate-salihin - the company of the pious - through whose company he would be aided in his muhabbat for Allah Ta'ala and thereby his muhabbat also be increased.
I ask again: Is there anybody who has greater love for Allah Ta'ala than Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam)?
We have been given a lesson in this, O Mu'mins! Namely that, if we are attracted to company, it should be the type of company requested by Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam). Otherwise that company that is an obstacle in the love of Allah Ta'ala, one that produces a dislike instead of an attraction, that company one should consider repulsive. This is the deeper inference of Raslullah's (sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) statement.
One should address oneself as follows: "If this is what Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) has said, then a person like myself should be even more cautious about such company which lessens my muhabbat for Allah Ta'ala. How do I know what affect it will have on me? Enticed by enjoyment, it should not happen that my nafs slides down to the level of ammarah-bis-s'!"
So, that person who steadily reproaches himself and continues steadily to walk along the path of ibadat and obedience (ta'at), reaches a stage where he develops such a disgust for sins as any decent person has for filth (najasat). He now also has such an attachment for shagl, tahammul, riyadhat and ibadat that even if occasionally and involitionally - on a gair-ikhtiyari basis - he misses out on some ibadat or ta'at he feels shattered with grief. Even then he reproaches himself.
Not to mention obedience in matters which are fardh and wajib (compulsory), his passion for nafl (eg. tahajjud) is such, that even if his eyes did not open on a gair-ikhtiyari basis (involitionally) and he were to miss his tahajjud, he feels grieved. And he now takes on compensatory measures to correct this gair-ikhtiyari omission.
So, with ibadat and ta'at, the qualities of tahammul and sabr and riyadhat have so become part of his tabiyet (temperament) and he has developed such repulsion for bad and evil and makruhat (disapproved acts), that he has now entered the phase of nafse mutma'innah.
These are then the signs whereby this phase of nafse mutma'innah is recognised: he has developed such a forceful attraction and passion for ibadat and ta'at that the qualities of tahammul and sabr and riyadhat are part of his nature, part of his tabiyet, and good character is part and parcel of him.
His passion knows no bounds and he ardently cherishes this desire that, "My tongue remains continuously fresh with the zikr of Allah Ta'ala." Ibadat at its proper time is firmly established. Staying away from sin is now natural. Yet the ardent desire is, "My tongue should also be continuously busy taking the Name of Allah Ta'ala, that my tongue should be continuously fresh with the zikr of Allah Ta'ala! If I have occasion to say something, then too only words of goodness should issue from my lips and no bad or evil words should be uttered." Of course, bad or evil acts are even more remote.
15.ZIKR AND YAD
Words of goodness are what Allah Ta'ala wants from us, for it has been narrated:
O Mu'mins! When you have brought iman on Allah Ta'ala, and you have brought iman on the Day of Qiyamah - on being resurrected and having to give account for your deeds - then, when you speak, say what is good, otherwise remain silent.
So, remaining silent is also ibadat. And speaking words of goodness (kalame-khair) is also zikrullah, because these words are spoken in obedience to Allah Ta'ala's orders, and this Mu'min is stopping himself from speaking what is bad and he is restraining himself from speaking evil.
The iman within this Mu'min demands that he has the faith and belief (aqidah) of Allah Ta'ala being Hadhir-Nazir (Omnipresent), so he tells himself, "The thought of Allah Ta'ala must become firmly embedded in my heart, seated immovably, so that there should be no moment, no second, that the thought of Him should leave my heart." Except at unavoidable times.
It may happen that, when involved in some necessary work, some diminution appears, but His thought is still there; and the moment he is free from the concentration of that necessary work, the same forceful remembrance (yad) is back. The tongue is fresh with the zikr of Allah Ta'ala and the heart is joyous in His remembrance (yad).
This nafs is the nafse mutma'innah. And Zate Bari Ta'ala desires that this nafse mutma'innah is one's objective (matlub).
Thus, the talibe Haq, one with the correct concern, has steadily progressed, stage by stage. Swerving away from ammariyet, he had arrived at lowwamiyet. Here his concern had increased. His self- reproach, his pondering and his introspection had not abated and in this way he had traversed lowwamiyet until mutma'innah (tamaniyet - tranquillity) entered his nafs. And this is the stage that is desired (matlub) as far as Allah Ta'ala is concerned.
With the fadhl and karam of Allah Ta'ala, and the barkat of your presence and the quest within you, Allah Ta'ala is causing me to speak. Allah Ta'ala is well aware of that person who is a talibe Haq and of what calibre that talib is. The murabbi-Haqiqi is He. This is the intermediary means.
Take note: Humbleness (niazmandi) should be maintained, pride (naz) should not enter.
You should now know the features that allow one to identify nafse ammarah, nafse lowwamah, and nafse mutma'innah. You should also know that as far as Allah Ta'ala is concerned, nafse mutma'innah is the objective (matlub), so that nafse mutma'innah also becomes matlub for the Mu'min. What has Allah Ta'ala kept in store for such a nafs?
Before coming to that, Allah Ta'ala addresses the kuffar, warning them of a horrendous punishment awaiting them:
None punisheth as He will punish on that day! None bindeth as He then will bind. (S.89 A.25-26)
Such a severe punishment will be meted out to them that there will be no respite from it. They will be bound so severely in such a way as no one else can bind.
Having mentioned this state of the kuffar, Allah Ta'ala goes on to address the nafse mutma'innah:
O that Ruh that has attained itminan (tranquillity)...
Just ponder: Cleansing steadily, cleansing steadily, the nafs has been purified and all nafsaniyet has been removed and ruhaniyet has appeared. This ruhaniyet has been termed nafse mutma'innah.
...return to your Rabb happily, with tranquillity (itminan). (S.89 A.27- 28)
So much so that there is not even an atom's disturbance of that tranquillity (tamaniyet) that exists in your heart. From your side you have shown a desire for Haq, but the tarbiyet has been done by Me.
The term used here is "Rabb" - denoting "One Who fosters and cherishes." The term "Ilah" - denoting "the Deity, One to be worshipped" - is not used. The connotations of the two words, referring to Allah Ta'ala, are different.
Yes, you had expressed a desire for Haq, then you had attained clarity of understanding (basirat), which had the effect of bringing about guidance (hidayet) and which, in turn, resulted in closeness and acceptance (qurb- o-qabul), that is, showering of blessings (inayate rahmat). So, now you are witnessing the manifestation of that rahmat: O Ruhe mutma'innah! Return to your Rabb happily!
There is also a lesson contained in this address: Even though you have reached this goal of nafse mutma'innah, your gaze is not on yourself! If the object of your gaze is yourself - if you feel that you have personally, independently and exclusively reached this stage - then your gaze is still on the creation (i.e. yourself) and not on the Creator, not on Haq!
Depending on the occasion, Zate Bari Ta'ala mentions to us that Attribute (Sifat) of His which is appropriate at the time: O Ruh which has attained itminan, return to your Rabb happily!
[Here Hadhratji (r.a.) paused for a few moments, and then continued.]
16.ZIKR AND TRANQUILLITY
With the tawfiq of Allah Ta'ala, my thoughts are racing. In which direction? As follows:
The essence! The sum total of that Ruh filled with itminan (as has been outlined to you), Allah Ta'ala has summarised its quality in the Kalame Pak:
Those who Believe and whose hearts have tranquillity in the remembrance of Allah. (S.13 A.28)
Haq Ta'ala is virtually saying, "O Mu'min! Are you desirous of tranquillity? Then let the zikr of Allah Ta'ala become your food and drink!" This is speaking in lay terms, idiomatically. Make the zikr of Allah Ta'ala your food and drink! Make it your garment! Wear it all the time! Eat and drink it all the time! Let it be your ruhani food! Let it be the clothes of your iman - let it be taqwa!
Clothes of taqwa - these are the best! (S.7 A.26)
In actual fact, Zate Bari Ta'ala has stated that the whole Qur'ane Pak is zikr:
Lo! We, even We, reveal the Reminder, and lo! We verily are its Guardian. (S.15 A.9)
Look. The whole Qur'ane Pak has been referred to as Zikr. Zikr has different forms. In other words, all collective ibadat, all collective riyadhat, all collective aversion to sin, all of these form categories of zikr. Zikr with the tongue (zikr lisani) is not sufficient by itself until the effect of that zikr does not produce the state of drawing one to ibadat enthusiastically and a state of repelling one from sins with disgust. Otherwise, verbal zikr by itself cannot be relied on.
The Qur'ane Pak has been described as a Zikr. Its words should be recited in the correct manner, vocalising the sounds of the words properly. Secondly, it should be recited with proper understanding of its meaning and, thirdly, it should be recited with the aim of acting on all the laws contained in the Qur'ane Pak.
Haq Ta'ala has addressed a specific group - those who are Mu'min: Those who are Mu'min, what should their state be? Their hearts attain tranquillity by the zikr of Allah Ta'ala; their hearts are blessed with serenity!
Does not every individual desire serenity and tranquillity? Nobody desires upsets and disquietude. So, the correct means have to be utilised. Haq Ta'ala has stated: O Mu'min! The correct means for attaining serenity of the heart is My zikr. I am saying and thereby addressing the Mu'min,
-- - Hearken! Open your ears and listen!
The "Ala" denotes that a warning is being sounded: listen with open ears to what is coming next!
It is only with the zikr of Allah Ta'ala that your hearts will attain tranquillity and serenity.
"That is why I am now saying," so Haq Ta'ala is conveying to us, "O Ruh that has gained tranquillity (itminan), return to your Rabb happily, pleased and joyful!"
17.RETURN TO OUR ORIGIN
"Irji'i" - Return. Go back to that place from whence you came. You had initially been sent from Jannat, so now you are being sent back there. Whereas that person whose Ruh is not in this state his destination will be elsewhere.
This Mu'min is bewildered. "But why this munificence? My Rabb! You are saying, 'Return happily from whence you came'. But why?"
You are pleased with your Rabb, and He is pleased with you!
Wait! That is not all. Wait for another great ne'mat (blessing):
There are some very special saleh bondsmen of Mine, join them!
This is also a very special blessing, otherwise why was it necessary to mention it specifically? "Enter this mansion, this palace, set in surroundings of verdant orchards, the magnificence of which you have never seen with your eyes and of which could never even have crossed your mind! These have been created by Me. My orchard! My Jannat! In it are all those provisions that make up complete and perfect comfort and luxury, absolute peace, tranquillity and serenity. When you cannot even imagine such a place, where could you have ever seen such a place? Enter now into such a garden and orchard, which is Jannat!"
To whom is this munificence being shown? The nafs with tranquillity, nafse mutma'innah. The previous nafs has ceased to exist. Its opposition has been rooted out. And if, perchance, some fault shows, then immediately there is a turning towards Allah (ruj' ilallah) and penitence (inabat ilallah). This, in turn, produces tranquillity of the heart and progressive tranquillity of the Ruh - both inabat ilallah and itminane Ruh progressing hand-in-hand. Inabat ilallah (turning in penitence towards Allah Ta'ala) is an act most liked by Him.
18.SON OF HADHRAT ADAM (A.S.)
Do you now understand and recognise what is tranquillity of the heart (tamaniyate qalb)? If perchance, incidentally, a contrarary action has taken place, then immediately the heart turns towards Allah Ta'ala. This person is remorseful. He feels terribly ashamed. Even if his eyes shed no tears, his heart is weeping. There is no Shaitaniyet in him that he does not turn to Allah Ta'ala. Shaitan did not turn in penitence towards Allah Ta'ala. No! He is the son of adam (A.S). He is human. Hadhrat adam (A.S.), as well, being human also disobeyed Allah Ta'ala - not deliberately, mind you, but in a state of forgetfulness. Impulsively, incidentally, not with deliberate aforethought, he displayed disobedience to the order given to him. However, when the realisation of his action struck him, he immediately became remorseful. He felt ashamed. He started reproaching himself.
Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If Thou forgive us not, and have not mercy on us, surely we are of the lost. (S.7 A.23)
Allah Ta'ala loved every word of his! And Allah Ta'ala loved him even more because of this. Haq Ta'ala said, "I have elevated his status even more!"
Do you see what ruj' ilallah, inabat ilallah does? Allah Ta'ala is saying, "How good is not my bondsman, that he has not seen me, yet he is penitent and he is turning towards Me!"
And strive to please thy Lord. (S.94 A.8)
He is making "rugbat" towards Zate Bari Ta'ala: He is undertaking burdensome tasks, making an effort, with mujahadah and riyadhat, to get nearer to Allah Ta'ala. The ayet before it is:
So, when thou art relieved, still toil, (S.94 A.7)
Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) is being addressed:
"O Nabi! O Rasul! When you have freed yourself from your day's work of calling people towards hidayet then, in the last part of the night, for your own self take on the task, make the effort, of ibadat."
Although Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) is being addressed, this is directed to all the Mu'minin generally and specifically to the Na'ibane Rasul (the deputies of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam). When you have freed yourself from your teaching duties, studying and giving lessons then, for your own self too, take on the task, make the effort of ibadat, depending on the free time available to you. Just think how much trouble did Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) not take!
This address to Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) is actually an address directed to the Muslim ummat and specifically to the Ahle 'Ilm (scholars), who can be said to be the Na'ibane Rasul: That, for your own self too, take on the task, make the effort of ibadat in the last part of the night, turn in penitence (inabat) towards Allah Ta'ala.
Nafse mutma'innah - the goal. So, now you should have come to know the different types of nafs and the features by which they may be recognised and differentiated. You should also have come to know that the nafs which is one's objective as far as Allah Ta'ala is concerned, is the nafse mutma'innah.
It is to gain this objective that one makes an effort, that one tries very hard, that (for some) explanations are necessary. It is to gain this objective that one has to make mujahadah - mujahadah against the nafs to terminate its opposition and gain victory over it.
This has been placed before you through the fadhl of Zate Bari Ta'ala, the barkat of my sheikh and your talab. This is karame Rabbani.
May Allah Ta'ala, through His fadhl and karam, bless us with the tawfiq arzani to make our nafs into nafse mutma'innah.
[A booklet with the title of "Maktbat Thalathah" has included in it a letter Hadhratji (r.a.) wrote to one of his khadims some thirty years ago on the same subject of the nafs. The translated letter is being reproduced as it very appropriately summarises the subject in a very unique way.]
My mukhlis muhib min aziz mukarram bandah,
May Allah Ta'ala's blessings be on you!
Dear friend! It must be quite apparent to you that for a salek (one who is travelling along the path towards self-rectification), for the devotee (sahibe iradat), it is absolutely necessary to come to know the states of the nafs and to be acquainted with - and also to recognise - the identifying features, so that one may keep one's watchful eye on it and thereby have its supervision made easy. It should not happen that one is negligent (Allah Ta'ala forbid!) and one succumbs to, and becomes dominated by, the nafs.
My dear friend! The nafs is only one, but it has three states:
1) Nafse ammarah
2) Nafse lowwamah
3) Nafse mutma'innah
The original, basic disposition of the nafs is that of ammarah. It then progresses to lowwamah and then to mutma'innah.
The nafse ammarah is called ammarah (wayward/ imperious) because it orders one to do bad and evil. This malicious and filthy habit is so ingrained that it is prepared to sell the akhirat (the Hereafter) in exchange for some measly, insignificant worldly desire or passion.
QUALITIES AND SPECIAL FEATURES OF NAFSE AMMARAH
The nafse ammarah makes itself evident in such features like: Bukhl (stinginess), Hirs (greed), Hasad (jealousy), Jahl (ignorance), Kibr (arrogance), Shahwat (lust), Gadab (rage), Gaflat (negligence /indifference), Tama' (avarice), Kizb (lying), Riya (show/ insincerity), Bugdh (hatred), Kinah (malice), Bid-Khalqi (rudeness), Ghibat (back- biting), La-yani (involvement in useless or absurd activities), Istihza' (mockery), harming others, either verbally or physically, and having many and unending desires.
All of these are the qualities and special features of nafse ammarah.
THE EFFECTS OF NAFSE AMMARAH.
On the basis of its innate disposition, the nafse ammarah lives in such depths of darkness (zulmat) that it makes no attempt to even try to differentiate between good and evil! My dear friend! This nafs becomes the agent for the seductions of Shaitan, and becomes Shaitan's tool. My mukhlis friend! Of your two enemies this is the greater enemy, and it is necessary for you to be very much on your toes in regard to it and also to be hushyar (alert/ wise/ on one's guard).
METHOD OF RECTIFICATION (ISLAH) OF NAFSE AMMARAH
1. Attain knowledge ('Ilm) of the shariat.
2. Take stock of one's nafs (muhasabah) every second.
3. Continuously instil the fear of death, of the punishment in the grave and of the terror-striking conditions of Qiyamah into the nafs.
4. Endow oneself with humbleness, humility and lowliness and adopt meekness and have the awareness of Allah Ta'ala (khudh') within you.
5. By means of nawafil and every type of good deed, by supplication and weeping, make it incumbent on oneself to attain the nearness of Allah Ta'ala (taqarrub ilallah), so that Allah Ta'ala may take one out of the pit of darkness which the natural propensity of the nafse ammarah wishes to keep one in.
My dear friend! Do not ever feel terrified or get dejected so that you stop making du'a; and also do not consider victory and success to be remote and thus become lazy and lose heart: These abolish the relationship the murid has to build up. To the contrary, whatever instructions (ta'lim) you have been given, carry them out swiftly and enthusiastically. And stay away from those activities which make one negligent (gafil) of one's real Maula-Mehbub (i.e. Allah Ta'ala). Leave aside any involvement in useless activities (la-yani).
There you have it! These are all the tasks in front of you in the phase of nafse ammarah, in order to be liberated from its clutches.
Nafse lowwamah is called such for this reason that when the nafs involves the person in some bad or evil, the person then scolds and reproaches himself.
QUALITIES AND SPECIAL FEATURES OF NAFSE LOWWAMAH
Malamat (self-reproach), Hawa (desire), Makr (craftiness/ deceit), Ujub (conceit), Riya (show/ insincerity), Zulm (cruelty/ oppression), Ghibat (back-biting), Kizb (lying), Gaflat (negligence/ indifference), Hubbe Jah (love of fame, prestige), Hubbe Shahwat (love of pleasures). It will be seen that some of these qualities are to be found in nafse ammarah as well.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AMMARAH AND LOWWAMAH
Despite sharing many qualities, the difference between ammarah and lowwamah is that lowwamah accepts Haq (Truth) to be Haq and Batil (falsehood) to be Batil, fasid (corruption) to be fasid and qabih (bad/ evil) to be qabih and, compared to its previous state, accepts it to be so even more than before.
This is because in this phase Allah Ta'ala causes some light, which is termed angelic light (malakىti roshni), to enter the salek's heart. With the strength of this light the salek undertakes mujahadah (striving against the nafs), which will then release and save him from the vile and loathsome qualities (akhlaqe razilah-o-zamimah) of the nafs and adorn and embellish himself with praiseworthy qualities (akhlaqe hamidah).
However, at this stage he has not gained that release yet. But the urge and desire to follow the shariat have been created in him and thoughts of making mujahadah towards this end have also arisen. That is why in this phase some good deeds (a'male salehah) do make their appearance, e.g. namaz, rozah, zakat, sadqah, tilawat, some tasbihats, etc. However, with these good deeds there is some contamination with loathsome qualities as well, such as riya, ujub and seeking praise. There is a desire for praise and adulation from the creation for the good deeds he performs.
Now that he has reached this stage, by being watchful he continually becomes aware of his evil actions and his faults, and this forms the basis for removing negligence.
METHOD OF RELEASE
This is quite simple. To progress out of this phase only two tasks have to be undertaken:
1) Mujahadah - striving against the nafs.
2) Kathrate zikr - an abundance of zikr.
METHOD OF PROGRESS
Progress depends on removing the remaining loathsome qualities. So, when in this phase the luminescence of his deeds (tajalli -af'ali) manifests itself, then ujub and riya will come to an end. This is because the salek will then not consider any action to be his own and therefore will not become vain or conceited on any action (amal) of his. My dear friend! He will remain all the time in the gratitude (shukr) and praise (hamd) of his Creator and Master. And he will be in constant fear and anxiety lest this ne'mat (blessing) be snatched away should there be some shortcoming in his shukr. Thus, there will be no ujub and no riya.
However, at this stage the salek is confronted with an abundance of wisawis (whisperings from Shaitan) and khawatir (showering of dispersed thoughts). The treatment whereby these whisperings and thoughts can be repelled is simply to ignore them! Also, to make an abundance of audible zikr (zikre jehr) and to continually plead for Allah Ta'ala's protection from every such thing from amongst Shaitan and men that will cut one off from Allah Ta'ala.
When, by the tawfiq of Allah Ta'ala, the phases of ammarah and lowwamah have been traversed, by a process of mujahadah and riyadhat, by making an abundance of zikr and by giving preference to seclusion (khalwat) over mixing with others (jalwat), together with a careful watch over and a monitoring of the nafs, there is a continual turning towards Allah Ta'ala (ruju' ilallah), then a special condition or state (kaifiyet) of serenity and tranquillity (sakinah-o-tamaniyet) becomes firmly established. This is then said to be a state of mutma'innah.
QUALITIES AND SPECIAL FEATURES OF MUTMA'INNAH
The salek develops the following: Joad (generosity); Tawakkul (trust/ confidence in Allah Ta'ala); Khashiyet-o-Tazallul (fear of Allah Ta'ala and humility); involvement in Ibadat; Radha-o-Shukr (to be happy with Allah Ta'ala and to be grateful); Uns-o-Shouq (tranquillity and passion); obedience to the shariat; the attraction towards obedience (ta'at) becomes a natural disposition; repugnance to sins becomes a feature of his nature; he develops permanent independence of gairullah (everything else except Allah); his character becomes so moulded to that of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) that he is not at peace if he does not follow (ittiba') Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam); Fana'yete kamilah (complete annihilation); and Ihsane tam (the awareness all the time that Allah Ta'ala is watching him).
EFFECTS OF HIGH STAGES OF NAFSE MUTMA'INNAH
This is a stage (maqam) of tamkin (gravity/ power) and of ainal yaqin (seeing with conviction) and is a stage of imane kamil (complete iman). At the time of reaching this stage in your batin your muhabbat for Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) will take on a completely different and special hue, different from the muhabbat that you previously had.
My dear friend! Remember this and always keep it in mind: Having reached this stage do not ever lay claim to perfection. In other words, do not even for a moment think that you have escaped from the clutches of the nafs, because then you will consider yourself to be safe from the influence of your nafs and you will become negligent about its propensity to commit sin. Whereas, my dear friend, one should never ever be relaxed where it concerns one enemy! For, no matter how much he proclaims that he is your friend, you would have read or heard the following:
Even if your enemy speaks in a friendly manner and he speaks about grain, then too consider it to be a trap!
ESSENCE OF THE SPECIAL EFFECTS OF NAFSE MUTMA'INNAH
So, when you have been blessed with the stage of tamaniyet in your nafs, then its special quality is this that obedience to the Kitab and Sunnat gushes throughout your entire body, through every root of every hair, through every vein and artery, and through every muscle and sinew! Thus, the shariat becomes for you, my dear friend, your very tabiyet. The effect of this is that the special Grace and Mercy-filled Hand of Allah Ta'ala will absorb you! This is that "Yuh-bib-kumullah" that is promised in the Qur'an Sharif.
This absorption (juzb) is different from that absorption that presents itself in the initial stages of sulىk. The reason is that this juzb (absorption) is based on complete obedience (kamil ittiba').
You then become the perfect example of this ayet:
If ye love Allah, follow me, Allah will love you...
My dear friend! At this point, from the hidden voice will this call be sounded:
O Nafse Mutma'innah...!
That is it! The effect now witnessed will be a state of forgetfulness (nisyan), and from that side will be the unseen (ghaibat) and here your heart will be everlastingly occupied in experiencing the Splendour of Haq (mushahadah jamale Haq) in such a manner that you will never tire of it and you will not be satiated with it!
EFFECTS OF NAFSE MUTMA'INNAH
My dear mukhlis friend! Now, at this stage where you have attained complete iman (kamale iman) with conviction of seeing (ainal yaqin), this will be the situation that the eyes of people will find delight in making your ziyarat and listeners will lend an ear to what is been spoken. This is because the salek, when he reaches this stage, personifies that person mentioned in the Hadithe Qudsi, where Allah Ta'ala says,
"I become this bandah's eyes with which he sees, I become his tongue with which he speaks, I become his hands with which he holds, I become his feet with which he walks and I become his heart with which he reflects!"
My dear friend! When he has attained this stage, the tongue becomes the interpreter of the Reality (Haqa'iq) of affairs and of the secrets of the shariat, all of which Allah Ta'ala instils into his heart and for which he is indebted neither to the study of any kitab, nor to listening to the words of anybody. But, my dear friend, a Voice from Haq Ta'ala reaches into his batin:
I am your Concealed One, O My beloved! And you are My concealed one. So, cool your eyes and be happy.
My dear friend! These are the special features of nafse mutma'innah and its qualities and its effects.
May Allah Ta'ala, with His fadhl, bless my dear mukhlis friend and muhibbe sadiq with this.
Ahqar Muhammed Masihullah, afi anhu.
5 Muharram 1385 A.H.
20. ANOTHER LETTER
[Another short letter from the same kitab is also reproduced.]
ESSENCE OF THE RUH OF SULUK
mujahid is one who makes jihad (strives) against his nafs.
1 TALAB (desire/ quest) is the objective. Wusىl (attainment) is not an objective. This is confirmed by the Ahle Tariq (scholars of Tasawwuf).
And when the above is accepted, then one should not nurture in one's heart the demand and insistence on achieving what is not one's objective, because this is also a barrier. The reason is that by nurturing such a demand one is all the time in anxiety and disquietude in anticipation of what is not an objective. This anxiety and disquietude causes severance of jam'iyet and tafwidh (peace of mind and a state of entrusting), whereas both jam'iyet and tafwidh are pre-conditions for attainment (wusul).
My dear friend! Embed this and ground it in firmly within yourself!
2. MUJAHADAH is an objective and is of two types:
a. Mujahadah haqiqiyah: To be involved in good deeds and to be steadfast in their performance, and to stay away from sin.
b. Mujahadah hikmiyah: To refrain from those mubahat that lead one towards sin.
The Reality of Mujahadah
The reality of mujahadah is this that one should refrain from sin completely by resisting and opposing the nafs, and this resisting and opposing the nafs is wajib and fardh (compulsory). Also, one should oppose the nafs to a lesser extent in what is mubah, and here resisting and opposing the nafs is mustahab (meritorious). However, opposing the nafs in this latter situation is such that attaining that stage of opposition which is wajib is dependent on this opposition which is mustahab.
Examples of Mujahadah Mustahabah
To eat less; to sleep less; to associate less with others; to speak less; not to wear very fine clothes.
May Allah Ta'ala grant my mukhlis, muhib and sadiq friend the wealth of wusul and ridha and nisbat. amin.
Ahqar Muhammed Masihullah, afi anhu.
7 Muharram 1385 A.H. Yakshambah (Sunday).
DARUL ULOOM ILAHIYAH
INSTITUTE OF ISLAMIC RESEARCH
ILAHI BAGH, BUCHPORA, SRINAGAR, 190011, KASHMIR, INDIA