Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sins and it's Cure


Allah Ta'ala says:
"(Say) I seek refuge with the Rabb of the morning from the evil of the Haasid (jealous person) when he envies."

Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:
"Do not be jealous among yourselves."
To be displeased with another' s good position and to wish for its elimination is Hasad. Hasad has three stages.
  1. The natural human quality. In this degree of Hasad, man is excused and is not at fault.
  2. Acting according to the demands of Hasad. In this degree of commission, man is a sinner.
  3. Opposing the demands of Hasad. In this degree, man is laudable and will be rewarded.
Generally the basis of Hasad is takabbur (pride) and Ghuroor (falsehood). Without any valid reason man seeks to withhold the bounties of Allah Ta'ala. He desires (at times consciously and at times subconsciously) that like himself, Allah too should restrict His bounties. Hasad is a malady of the heart. It is harmful to both one's spiritual life and worldly life. The harm to man's Deen (spiritual life) is the illumination of his good deeds and he becomes the victim of Allah's Wrath. Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:
"Jealousy devours good deeds like fire devours wood."

The harm to his worldly life (dunyaa) is the frustration and worry which perpetually afflicts the envious person. He is consumed by frustration caused by Hasad for another whose disgrace and fall he always anticipates. In this way the Haasid destroys his Aakhirat in addition to eliminating his worldly comfort and peace of mind.

The disease of Hasad is remedied by praising much the person against whom jealousy is directed. Praise him no matter how difficult this may seem. Honour him and meet him with respect and humility.

Allah Ta'ala says:
"They display to people (their acts of Ibaadat)."

Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:
"Most certainly, even a little riyaa is Shirk."

Riyaa is the intention to enhance one's dignity in the eyes of the people by means of acts of obedience to Allah Ta'ala. This attitude totally defeats the purpose of Ibaadat.

The purpose of Ibaadat is to gain the Pleasure of Allah Ta'ala. Since show or display of Ibaadat involves division of purpose, riyaa is termed shirk-e-asghar ((he lesser shirk). By means of riyaa one splits the purpose of lbaadat by endeavouring to attain both public acclaim as well as the Pleasure of Allah Ta'ala.

In this regard the Qur'aan Shareef says:
"He who hopes for the meeting with His Rabb should practise righteousness and associate none with the Ibaadat of his Rabb."
The Mufassireen have explained that the meaning of
"and associate none with the Ibaadat of his Rabb" is "to refrain from riyaa".

Qadhi Thanaa-ullah explained this aayat in Tafseer-ul Mazhari as follows:
"He (the worshipper) does not exhibit his good acts nor does he seek reward or praise for his virtuous deeds from anyone besides Allah Ta'ala."

It is also mentioned in the Hadith Shareef that on the Day of Qiyaamah when Allah Ta'ala will be compensating people for their deeds, the people of riyaa will be commanded to proceed for reward to those for whom they had intended the exhibition of their acts of Ibaadat. In a lengthy Hadith it is said that on the Day of Qiyaamah three persons will be ushered into the presence of Allah Ta'ala.

These three will be an Aalim, a generous person and a Mujaahid who had waged jihaad. These three will proffer their respective acts of Ibaadat to Allah Ta'ala Who will say to them:

"You have rendered these deeds for riyaa and acclaim. You rendered these acts so that people may say: 'You are a great Aalim, a generous person and a great Mujaahid. 'You have already obtained what you had sought. People have already praised you on earth. You have therefore no right here. Enter the Fire."

Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam also said that a deed contaminated by even an atom of riyaa is unacceptable to Allah Ta'ala. Heed this and reflect! In view of the afore-going, never intend to display any act nor intend to conceal it. Concern yourself with the act itself, intending thereby only the Pleasure of Allah Ta'ala.

Ignore all diversionary waswasah (stray thoughts and whisperings of the nafs and shaitaan) which enter your mind. You may at times be assaulted by the thought that your act is to obtain the acclaim of the people. Ignore this waswasah which in fact is a ploy of shaitaan or the nafs engineered to side-track you from executing the righteous act.
Prior to rendering a good deed, reflect and ascertain your motive. What is your intention for doing the act? Is it to seek the Pleasure of Allah Ta'ala or the pleasure of others? If you discern any of the contamination in your niyyat, then purify your intention. Divest it of the contamination and firmly resolve to render the deed for the Pleasure of Allah Ta'ala.

The cure for riyaa is the expulsion from the heart of the desire for fame and name. Riyaa in fact is a branch of hubb-e-jah (love for name, fame and glory). Execute your acts of lbaadat in solitude. This Ibaadat in solitude refers to such Ibaadat which does not have to be performed in jama’at. However, regarding congregational Ibaadat the elimination of hubb-e-jah will be sufficient to combat riyaa in this avenue. Another efficacious remedy regarding riyaa developing in an act of Ibaadat is to render that specific act of Ibaadat in abundance. Within a short while the riyaa will be dispelled and by force of habit the Ibaadat will become sincere.

Allah Ta'ala says:
"Verily, Allah does not love the proud ones."

Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:
"He who has a grain of pride in his heart will not enter Jannat."

Takabbur is to consider oneself superior to others in attributes of excellence. There are many kinds of takabbur. Most kinds are subtle, concealed and difficult to detect. It is only the thorough gaze of the Shaikh-e-Kaamil which can discern such hidden forms of takabbur. In this matter even the Ulama-e-Zaahir (those Ulama who concern themselves with only the external Law of the Shariah) are constrained to follow an expert in the Path of Tasawwuf.
In a nutshell takabbur is to voluntarily and consciously regard oneself superior to others in religious or mundane excellence in a way which engenders contempt in the heart for others. This is the reality of takabbur and this is haraam. Takabbur consists of two ingredients, viz.,
  1. The feeling of superiority--considering oneself to be great.
  2. Contempt for others.
Takabbur not induced voluntarily, but entering the heart involuntarily is not sinful. Such non-volitional pride is merely the external dimension or form of takabbur. Up to this stage takabbur is not sinful. But when one voluntarily entertains the feeling of pride which had initially crept in involuntarily, then it will be sinful takabbur. In this case the mere form of takabbur is transformed into the reality of takabbur.

Where the condition of contempt for others is non-existent, takabbur-- will not be applicable. Mere belief in superiority and inferiority greatness and smallness-- is not takabbur. For example: an old man regarding an infant to be small without the notion of contempt for it. But, the one who intentionally considers himself better than others, becomes arrogant. His nafs swells up with pride, the consequences of which then manifest themselves.

Examples of pride are: to regard others with contempt; to take offence when others do not greet one first; to be offended if others do not offer you respect; to be annoyed when someone admonishes you; refusal to concede the truth even after having realized it.

May Allah Ta'ala keep us under His Protection and save us from takabbur, for indeed, it is the severest of maladies. It is the root of all spiritual ailments.

It was takabbur which made shaitaan a deviate. The Hadith Shareef therefore sounds dire warnings in regard to takabbur. Allah Ta'ala has warned that the abode of the proud ones will indeed be vile. Pride is the exclusive prerogative of Allah Ta'ala. Allah Ta'ala will destroy all those who desire to participate in this exclusive Attribute of greatness.

Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said that the mutakabbireen (he proud ones) will be encased in trunks of fire of Jahannam.

This malady is remedies by reflecting on the Splendour, Glory and Majesty of Allah Ta'ala. This reflection will produce in one a realization of one's own lowly position. Your own excellence will then recede into nothingness. Also, humble yourself in the presence of those whom you regard as your inferior. Be respectful to them so that you become imbued with humility.

Allah Ta'ala says:
"Be forgiving; command righteousness and dissociate from the ignorant ones."

Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:
"Do not have malice for one another."

Keenah is the condition of malice which asserts itself when one lacks the power to take revenge in the state of anger. Keenah is the seed of many evils.

When anger has not been satisfied, its vapours engulf the heart producing a seething effect which boils the heart. This smoke and feeling root the malice in the heart. This results in frustration. Keenah or Hiqd is an intentional condition.

It is not the feeling of mere dislike which arises involuntarily and unintentionally. In malice one entertains evil in the heart for another by design and at the same time one is concerned about schemes to harm the one at whom the malice is directed. If intention and desire to harm are absent, it will not be malice, but will be known as Inqibaaz which is not a sinful state as this is a natural condition.

Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said that two persons having malice for one another are not forgiven. The reference to this malice is malice based on injustice and wrong. A hatred for the sake of Deen is not within the purview of the malice described here. Such hatred (for the sake of the Deen) is meritorious since the Hadith commands:
"Love for the sake of Allah and hatred for the sake of Allah."

The cure for malice is to overlook the fault of the one for whom Hiqd is entertained and to associate with him irrespective of the difficulty one may experience in the adoption of such a big-hearted attitude.

At the time of death, the dying man possesses certain attributes, the inculcation of which is exhorted by the Hadith: "Die before your death." These attributes which are in the perfect state in the dying man are:

Taubah (repentance), zuhd, (abstention), Qanaa’at (contentment), tawakkul (trust in Allah), Azlat (solitude), Tawajju I’lallaah (attention directed to Allah Ta'ala), sabr (patience), Ridhaa (pleased with Allah), Zikr (remembrance of Allah) and muraaqabah (meditation).

Among the Shataariyah the salient feature is Muraaqabah.
One has to inculcate the above qualities which overtake a dying person to a high degree. Taubah, i.e. repentance to emerge from all evil as is the position at the time of maut; Zuhd, i.e. to shun the world and everything in it as is the case at maut; Tawakkul, i.e. to shun all abnormal worldly agencies as is the case at maut; Azlat, i.e. to sever all ties with creation as is the case at maut; Qanaa'at, i.e. abstention from lowly desires-- to be contented-as is the case at maut; Tawajju I’lallaah, i.e. to rivet one's attention towards only Allah Ta'ala as is the case at maut; Sabr, i.e. to shun pleasures as is the case at maut; Ridhaa, i.e. to abstain from pleasing the nafs, and to be pleased with Allah and to submit in entirety to Allah Ta'ala as is the case at maut. This is the conception of "Die before your death."

One has to transform one's condition so as to be imbued with the conception of "death before death". In this earthly life, the body is on earth, but the rooh should be directed to the Aakhirah, and be in communion with Allah Ta'ala. Possession of even the kingdom of the earth should not affect one's heart. The heart at all times should be empty of the world. The sign of this lofty state having settled over one is total abstention from everything branded as evil by the Shari'ah. The mind, tongue and the whole body have to be sealed from evil. The heart is to be emptied of all things other than Allah Ta'ala. It has to be adorned with Akhlaaq-e-Hameedah.

A man dwelling in this lofty state of purity and communion with Allah Ta'ala is always aloof from gatherings of futility. Whatever diverts the mind of the Seeker of Allah from the remembrance of Allah is futility and nonsensical. The Seeker refrains from association with men of Baatil (falsehood and corruption). One who does not pursue the Path in quest of Allah, is in fact a man of Baatil.

O beloved one! This then is the meaning of "die before your death" stated by Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam. This is the way of Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam. This is the life which Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam desired for his Ummah.

Thoughts which cross the heart of man are called khawaatir (singular Khaatir). Such thoughts are at times virtuous and at times evil. These thoughts which occur to man emanate from different sources. Virtue is inspired into the heart sometimes by Allah Ta'ala, sometimes by an Angel whose name is Mulhim and sometimes virtue is whispered into the heart by even shaitaan.

Evil assaulting the heart sometimes emanates from shaitaan, sometimes from the nafs and at times from Allah Ta'ala.

Pious inspirations from Allah Ta'ala serve the purpose of honoring one or for establishing some proof. The evil Khaatir which comes from Allah Ta'ala appears as a test and to impose some labour and effort on one. From the Angel Mulhim emanates always only goodness since this is his function. His function is to guide towards virtue.

Khaatir (virtue or the good thought) emerging from shaitaan is deception. He casts his trickery in the form of a good Khaatir, but in reality it is evil designed to divert one from a greater virtue by involving one in a lesser virtue. The purpose of evil emanating from shaitaan is to deceive and disgrace man,
Evil emanating from the nail is to mislead man and to prevent him from the truth. The good which issues from the nafs is extremely negligible. It is in fact comparable to shaitaan.


According to the Hadith Shareef, Allah Ta'ala overlooks thoughts as long as these are not given practical expression. There are five stages in thought, viz., Haajis, Khaatir, Hadeeth-un- Nafs, Hamm (Grief) and Azm.


Haajis is a thought which in the beginning produces no reaction in the nafs. If one is fortunate to eliminate the thought in the haajis stage, the other four stages will not become applicable.


If one fails to eliminate the haajis thought and it establishes its presence in the nafs without the latter (i.e. the nafs) plotting to give it practical expression, it ((he thought) enters the Khaatir stage.


This stage consists of the nafs scheming regarding the enaction or negation of that which has established itself in the nafs. The nafs ruminates on the plot of doing or not doing the act without giving preference to any side of action. The thought is now known as Hadeeth-un- Nafs.
The hukm (effect) of these three stages is no punishment if the thought is evil and no reward if the thought is good. Punishment and reward do not apply to the stages of Haajis, Khaatir and Hadeeth-un- Nafs.


When the nafs after having reflected about action or inaction regarding the deed it had schemed, inclines partially to one side (i.e. any side whether to commit or shun the act), the thought is known as Hamm. Thought in this stage merits thawaab if virtuous and punishment if evil.


When the thought finally asserts itself and a decision is made to give it practical expression, it is known as Azm. Thawaab and punishment are applicable to this stage as well.


Nisbat literally means relationship or connection. A nisbat or connection is a two-way process. It has two ends. In our context Nisbat Ma'Allah (Relationship with Allah) means Allah’s connection with the bandah (servant) and the bandah's connection with Allah Ta'ala.

The attainment of Nisbat Ma'Allah is also referred to as Husool il’Allah (Attained towards Allah). The relationship of Allah with the bandah is Allah's Pleasure with His servant. The relationship of the bandah with Allah means constancy of the servant in taa'at (obedience) and involvement in abundant Zikr with perfect consciousness.
The sign of the existence of the bandah's relationship with Allah is his restlessness for engagement in obedience and Ibaadat as well as total abhorrence for all forms-- both Zaahir and Baatin-- of sin and disobedience. In addition to this is the bandah's continuous striving to follow the Sunnah.

N-B- Among the various kinds of Ibaadat, Salaat is an all-embracing form of worship. If executed properly, observing all its rules, conditions and respects then no other specific form of Riyaadhat (spiritual exercise) is necessary for spiritual progress and the achievement of Nisbat Ma'Allah. Salaat contains Zikr, Shaghl, Muraaqabah, Auraad, e.g. Tasbeeh, Istighfaar, Darood etc. The Zikr of Salaat is the Tilaawat of the Qur'aan in it. This is in fact the highest form of Zikr. Shaghl in Salaat is the pre-occupation of the mind which consists of focusing the attention on the spot of Sajdah during Qiyaam; on the feet during, Ruku; on the bridge of the nose during Sajdah; on the lap in Jalsah, and on the shoulders when making Salaam. Muraaqabah in Salaat is one's contemplation at the time of Takbeer-e-Tahreemah and keeping in mind for the whole duration of Salaat that "Allah is watching me." This condition of total contemplation is called Ihsaan. All Mujaahidah and Riyaadhat are undertaken to achieve this condition of Ihsaan. Regarding the condition of Ihsaan, the Hadith Shareef says that Jibra'eel (Alayhis Salaam) asked Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam :

"What is Ihsaan?"
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam replied:
"(Ihsaan is) that you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him and if you cannot see Him (then know) that, verily, He sees you."

In brief the path of Sulook and its final destination, the stage of ihsaan, is attainable by fulfilling Salaat with all its Aadaab, Mustahabbaat and Shuroot. In this way the effects of Lataa'if-e-Sittah (the six spiritual faculties) will become manifest.


The six Lateefah (spiritual faculties) in man are the Nafs, Qalb, Rooh, Sirr, Khafee and Akhfaa. Their effects are as follows:
  1. NAFS: (Nafs here refers to Nafs-e-Mut’mainnah): Its nourishment is abstention from sin.
  2. QALB: Its nourishment is Zikr.
  3. ROOH: Its nourishment is Huzoori (constantly alert and in the presence of Allah).
  4. SIRR: The nourishment of Sirr is the unveiling of realities.
  5. KHAFI: The nourishment of Khafee is Shuhood (to behold the truth and to contemplate it), and Fanaa (to be annihilated or totally absorbed in Tauheed).
  6. AKHFAA: The nourishment of Akhfaa is Fanaa-ul-Fanaa (i.e. to be unaware of even one's stage of annihilation). Regarding this faculty there exists difference of opinion among the authorities.
The manifestation of the affects of these six faculties assume the following form in Salaat.
There are seven degrees in Salaat, viz., Salaat-e-Tan (body), Salaat-e-Nafs, Salaat-e-Qalb, Salaat-e-Rooh, Salaat-e-Sirr, Salaat-e-Khafee and Salaat-e-Akhfaa.

The effect of Salaat-e-Tan (body) is prohibition of sin; that of Salaat-e-Nafs is prevention of relationships other than the relationship of Allah; of Salaat-e-Qalb is negation of negligence; of Salaat-e-Rooh is prevention of the gaze from looking at others; of Salaat-e-Sirr prevention of the mind from wandering and turning to others besides Allah; of Salaat-e-Khafee is man's achieving the degree of spiritual development where reality becomes manifest to him; and, the effect of Salaat-e-Akhfaa is true communion with Allah Ta'ala. The experience of this stage is Mi'raaj.

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