Tears of Repentance – the Water to Cleanse the Heart
Hazrat Shah Ruknuddeen (rahimahullah) was a great Aalim and saint who lived in Multan. Allah Ta‘ala had blessed him with great acceptance among the people. On the day of Jumu’ah, his musjid would be filled to capacity with people coming from far and wide to benefit from him.
Once, the king, Ghiyaathuddeen Tughluq, turned to his advisor, Moulana Zaheeruddeen, and asked him, “I notice that the karaamaat (miracles) of Shah Ruknuddeen (rahimahullah) are well known among the people. Tell me, which one of his many karaamat do you regard to be the greatest?” Moulana Zaheeruddeen (rahimahullah) replied, “What can be a greater karaamat than the fact that without him inviting people, they flock to his gathering!”
Moulana Zaheerudden (rahimahullah) mentions:
Since the king had posed this question to me, I felt obliged to give him a suitable answer. However, deep down in my heart, I was not convinced regarding the piety of Shah Ruknuddeen (rahimahullah). I felt that perhaps people are not flocking to him on account of his piety. Rather, it is possible that he has some amal through which people are attracted to him.
With this thought in mind, I decided that I should go to Shah Ruknuddeen (rahimahullah) the following day to test him and determine whether he was a true saint or not. I decided that on meeting him, I would ask him regarding the wisdom behind certain laws of Shari‘ah. In specific, I intended to ask him regarding the wisdom behind washing the hands, gargling the mouth and inserting water into the nose at the beginning of the wudhu.
After planning this, I went to sleep, and while asleep, I saw in a dream that I had visited Shah Ruknuddeen (rahimahullah). On meeting him, he received me as a guest and presented a sweet dish to me from which I partook. When I awoke the following morning, I was quite surprised regarding the dream I had seen, and was even more surprised to find that I could still taste the sweet dish in my mouth. In fact, the delicious taste remained in my mouth for the entire day.
Despite seeing this dream, my heart was not affected and my opinion regarding Shah Ruknuddeen (rahimahullah) did not change. I thought to myself, “People see dreams all the time, and shaitaan is capable of making a person see a dream like this. Hence, I should not pay any attention to this dream.” Thus, I set out to meet him, with reservations in my heart.
When I reached his khanqah, he greeted me with salaam and made musaafahah with me. Thereafter, he addressed me saying, “Moulana! I am happy that you have come! My heart desired to engage in an ilmi (academic) discussion, and hence I have been looking for an Aalim of deen such as yourself. It is good that you have come.”
After welcoming me in this manner, he commenced the discussion saying, “Allah Ta‘ala has blessed us with a deen of extreme purity and cleanliness. Such is the purity and cleanliness of this deen that no person can object to any injunction of the Shari‘ah. Consider the example of wudhu. When making wudhu, Allah Ta‘ala instructs us to first wash our hands, then gargle our mouths, and thereafter insert water into our noses. What is the wisdom behind this?”
As Shah Ruknuddeen (rahimahullah) mentioned this, Moulana Zaheeruddeen (rahimahullah) realized that Shah Ruknuddeen (rahimahullah) was discussing the very questions that he had planned to test Shah Ruknuddeen (rahimahullah) with the previous night.
Shah Ruknuddeen (rahimahullah) then continued and said, “If a person is ignorant and lacks the understanding of deen, then he will wonder, ‘What is the wisdom behind these injunctions?’ However, in reality, there is great wisdom behind these injunctions.
“The reason is that Shari‘ah has made it incumbent upon us to cleanse our bodies using clean water. Clean water is that water which does not have any color, taste and smell. If we examine the first three actions of wudhu, we will find that they help us to determine whether the water has these three qualities (no color, taste and smell), thereby qualifying it for wudhu.
“The first quality is the color of the water. Through taking a handful of water to wash the hands, one will be able to see whether the color of the water has changed in any way. The second quality is taste. Through gargling, one will be able to gauge the taste of the water. The third quality is the smell of the water, and through inserting water into the nose, a person will be able to determine whether the smell of the water has changed.
“This is the beauty of our wonderful Shari‘ah – there are great benefits and wisdoms behind every injunction and command, whether big or small (some of which we comprehend, and some which we don’t). Such is the wisdom behind the laws of Shari‘ah that a person’s intellect can never object to the Shari‘ah.”
Shah Ruknuddeen (rahimahullah) then said, “Moulana! This is the injunction of Shari‘ah regarding a person who does not have wudhu – that he should cleanse certain limbs with water. As for the person who is in the state of janaabah, then Shari‘ah commands him to perform ghusl and wash his entire body. If we examine this injunction, then outwardly, it seems to be strange. A person is intimate with his own wife, yet it causes his entire body to enter the state of janaabah, and it will remain in this state until he performs ghusl. This is well known to all people.
“However, janaabah is merely a physical form of impurity due to which the physical body requires purification. In comparison to this, there is another type of impurity – the impurity of the heart – and this also requires purification. However, what causes the impurity of the heart?
“We have seen that when a person is intimate with his own wife, who is halaal for him, it causes his entire body to become impure. When this is the case, then imagine the effect on a person’s heart when he remains in the company of evil and sinful people, who are engaged in sins, and people who are far from deen and are not committed to the Shari‘ah? Imagine the great impurity that it creates in his heart! Nevertheless, the question is, ‘We know how to purify our bodies through wudhu and ghusl, but the question is, ‘How do we purify our hearts when our hearts become immersed in sins?’”
At this point, Moulana Zaheeruddeen (rahimahullah) could no longer hold back his tears and began to weep. He realized that without him even mentioning his questions, Shah Ruknuddeen (rahimahullah) had begun to discuss them and had addressed all the objections in his mind. He realized that Shah Ruknuddeen (rahimahullah) was indeed a great saint and thus felt remorseful over his conduct and the ill-opinion he had entertained regarding him.
Moulana Zaheeruddeen (rahimahullah) turned to Shah Ruknuddeen (rahimahullah) and exclaimed, “Hazrat! I am completely ignorant in regard to matters of the heart and the purification of the heart. Please, you tell me the answer!” Shah Ruknuddeen (rahimahullah) replied, “When the body is impure, then clean water is used to cleanse it and purify it. As for the person whose heart is impure, then he also requires ‘water’ to cleanse it. However, the ‘water’ which he requires to clean the heart is the ‘water’ of the eyes. When the servant weeps to Allah Ta‘ala in repentance and is remorseful over his sins, then through his weeping in regret, Allah Ta‘ala purifies his heart.”
(Karamaat-e-Awliyaa pg. 267-272)