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Hadhrat Thaanwi (Rahmatullahi Alaih)

Listening to Discourses with the Intention of Reforming Oneself

smartphone_headphonesHazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) once mentioned:

A person once wrote a letter to me wherein he requested that I guide him in reforming his condition. In reply, I advised him to read twenty of my discourses and endeavour to practice upon my teachings. I further advised him to write to me after carrying this out so that he may inform me of his condition and whether he finds any change in his life. After reading twenty of my discourses, he wrote to me saying, “I do not find any improvement and change in my life.” I replied to him saying, “You either read the discourses without the intention of reforming yourself, or either the discourses which you read did not contain any advice pertaining to your self-reformation, or perhaps there are no deficiencies within you which require reformation.” After reading my reply, he admitted that although he read through the discourses, he did not do so with the intention of reforming himself. I therefore wrote to him saying, “This is the reason for you not finding any change and improvement in your life. Now I ask you to read these discourses again with the intention of Islaah (seeking self-reformation).” Alhamdulillah, after reading the discourses again with the correct intention, he wrote back informing me that he has derived immense benefit from the discourses and that he finds substantial change and improvement in his life. (Malfoozaat Hakeemul Ummat 8/318)       

The Sign of Perfection in Man

perfectionHazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) once mentioned:

If insaan possesses the qualities of expressing servitude, obedience and submission before the command of Allah Ta’ala, then he is worthy of being called a human being. If he does not possess these sublime qualities within him, but rather follows the dictates of his temptations and desires, he will be no different to an animal, rather he will be worse than an animal. As Allah Ta’ala Himself has mentioned regarding the kuffaar in the Qur’an:

أُولـٰئِكَ كَالأَنعـٰمِ بَل هُم أَضَلُّ

They are like animals. Rather, worse in being astray.

In this regard the poet says:


If insaan is worthy of being called a human by virtue of his outer form and appearance, then there would be no difference between Abu Bakr and Abu Jahl.

A complete and perfect human is one who is a personification of servitude, obedience and submission before the command of Allah Ta’ala. At every moment he fulfils the commands of Allah Ta’ala and he regards his being able to obey and fulfil the commands of Allah Ta’ala as the grace of Allah Ta’ala upon him. He does not attribute any good to himself at any time. (Malfoozaat Hakeemul Ummat 4/171)

Kufr – The Root of all Evil Qualities

tree-roots1Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) once mentioned:

Kufr is the root cause of all contemptible traits and evil qualities. On the other hand, Islam is the root cause of all praiseworthy qualities and good actions. When kufr is the source of all evil and Islam is the source of all good, it is extremely strange that at times unity is seen among the disbelievers while disunity is found among the Believers. One should realise that Islam is the basis of unity and kufr is the basis of disunity, and the apparent imbalance in the condition of unity among the kuffaar and disunity among the believers is on account of some external factor or personal motives. (Malfoozaat Hakeemul Ummat 7/194)

Ill Opinions – The Root of all Evil

Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) once mentioned:

It is generally witnessed that many of those who do not subscribe to the following of any mazhab harbour ill thoughts and negative opinions regarding those who follow an Imaam. This quality of thinking good of oneself and harbouring ill thoughts regarding others is a root cause of all evils and wrongs. Thereafter, this evil quality within such a person progresses to the point where it causes him to run down those who follow a mazhab and criticize them. Even if such a person is not guilty of these wrongs, then too treading upon such a path (i.e. remaining unrestricted and uncommitted to the following of one mazhab) is an extremely dangerous path to tread on in one’s Deen. (Malfoozaat Hakeemul Ummat 8/274)

The Essence of the Path of Tasawwuf

shariahHazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) once mentioned:

A Sufi from Ilaahabad, who would often listen to samaa‘ (nazams and naats), once enquired from me regarding its status. I replied, “I will not engage you in an academic discussion. Rather, I will simply ask you a question which you can answer through your own personal observation. Tell me, what is the essence of the path of Tasawwuf?” The person replied, “The essence of the path of Tasawwuf is Mujaahadah (i.e. opposing the desires of the nafs).” I then said to him, “The second question I now wish to ask you is whether or not your nafs feels inclined to listening to samaa‘ (nazams and naats).” The man replied, “Yes, my nafs does feel inclined.” I thereafter concluded asking, “So tell me, are you the people making mujaahadah or are we? Are we the true Sufis or are you people the true Sufis? Despite our hearts desiring to listen to samaa‘, we do not do so, whereas, despite your hearts desiring to listen to samaa’, you do so.” The man then submitted saying, “Only today have I really understood this mas’alah.” Saying this, he began to make tawbah and repented to Allah Ta’ala in front of me.

Hazrat Moulana Thaanwi (rahimahullah) further mentioned in relation to samaa‘: One of my friends had begun performing Tahajjud Salaah, reciting the Qur’aan and performing other virtuous deeds. However, he soon thereafter went to a certain place in the capacity of a government official. The place he went to would often hold programs of samaa‘ (nazams and naats), and on account of his prominent position, he would also be invited to attend. He would accept the invitation and attend the program. He himself thereafter said, “I noticed this to be the effect of samaa‘, that I would previously be motivated to perform Salaah, recite the Qur’aan and engage in ibaadaat. However, after I began listening to samaa‘, the motivation and enjoyment towards these virtuous deeds no longer remained. I thus understood samaa‘ to be harmful to my Deen.” (Malfoozaat Hakeemul Ummat 14/159)