Fiqh of the Inward: The Fruits of Seeking Forgiveness

Fiqh of the Inward: The Fruits of Seeking Forgiveness

by Hadrat Moulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Dâmat Barakâtuhum)


This lecture of Hadrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Dâmat Barakâtuhum) took place at the foot of Mount Uhud in Madinah Munawwarah on 2 Muharram 1408 A.H. (26 August 1987). This was a heart-rending discourse filled with Imân. There were several senior Ulama present whose eyes were filled with tears. This is an English translation of the original Urdu that was transcribed from an audio- cassette. May Allâh accept this bayân and make it beneficial for the ummah.

  You have heard a hadith of Mishkât Sharîf. Allâh Ta'âla has granted a great favour and procedure to his sinful servants on the tongue of Rasulullâh Sallallâhu alaihi wasallam. Every person is indeed sinful. Mullâ Ali Qâri has explained that the word 'khattâ' used in the hadith means 'extremely sinful'. What is the cure for this? The cure is excessive istighfâr and taubah (seeking forgiveness and repenting). The cure matches the illness. Thus Rasulullâh (Sallallâhu alaihi wasallam) said,

"Every human sins excessively and the best of sinners are the repentant ones." (Mishkât-al Masâbîh p.204.)

What are the conditions for taubah and when is it accepted. The Muhaddithîn [the authorities of hadith] have mentioned three conditions for it.

Sheikh Muhiuddîn Abû Zakarriya An-Nawawî has stated (Sharh Muslim lil Imâm An-Nawawi, vol.2 p. 346) that there are three conditions for seeking repentance:

(1) to stop committing the sin. Some people, while continuously staring at unveiled females, say "Lâ howlâ wa lâ quwwata, Moulana, just look at how unveiled these women are!" While they are reading ALâ howlâ", they are also admiring the women. Such a Lâ howlâ is itself saying Lâ howlâ. Such istighfâr is itself in need of seeking forgiveness. Thus repentance is only accepted once a person refrains from the sin.

(2) The second condition is that one should express remorse and regret on perpetrating the sin. The reality of remorse is to regret in the heart. The regret should resemble that of the Sahaba (RadiAllâhu anhum). When they realised that Allâh and His Rasûl (Sallallâhu alaihi wasallam) were displeased with them, then the entire world would become distressful for them and they would remain aloof from their souls. This is from among the rights of love. This should be the effect of displeasing the one who one loves excessively. If one commits a sin, nothing should feel good with the displeasure and wrath of Allâh. One's children do not seem good. Food and drink do not taste good. One's home also does not feel good. The whole world becomes straitened in his eyes. He becomes detached from his soul until he performs two rakats of salâtut taubah and repents with tearing eyes in order to please Allâh. To use the bounties of this world while perpetrating a sin or persisting on a sin is contrary to the position of a slave. There was a poet in Badâyu who loved his wife extremely. I present to you the poetry of a poet who describes the rights of love:

I saw the pulse of the universe drowning,

when I saw the temperament of my beloved disturbed.

In other words, when my wife became slightly displeased, I saw the pulse of the entire universe drowning. Look at him, he did not perceive his own pulse deteriorating, but found the entire world to be dark. From this it is realised that the right of love is that one's condition should become as described above when the beloved is angered. Yet this love (for a wife) is temporary and will terminate in a few days. What the rights of Allâh are over us cannot even be explained. He is even closer to us than our jugular veins. We owe our existence to Him. All our matters, whether related to this world or the next are attached to Him. Even if the entire world praises us, it will not be of any avail as long as Allâh does not say to us on the day of Judgement that I am pleased with you. I remember the couplet of Allâmah Sayyid Sulaimân Nadwi. He says that if many people praise you in the world, do not judge your worth by their statements. The price uttered by the slaves does not give one the price of the slave. The value of the slave is enhanced by pleasing the master. Thus Allamah Sayyid Sulaiman Nadwi says,

We remained like this or that.

There we have to see how we were.

Here we are praised excessively but what will our worth be there? This will only be realised on the day of Judgement. Let me relate another couplet of his because sometimes a person is duped by this temporary life.

What joy and grief can there be in a two-day life,

One will always remain a traveller no matter what the condition.

It is not necessary that the one who is wealthy in this world should also be at ease within his heart. Moulana Rumi says,

"If marble is laid on the tomb of a disbeliever, if all the kings of the world lay wreaths of flowers there, music is played and there is a military salute, but if the wrath and punishment of Allâh is descending in the grave, the marble on the top of the grave cannot alleviate that punishment." The lights on top and the military salutes will be of no benefit. Thus if one did not please Allâh, even though one may be sitting in an air-conditioned room with one's wife and children and one has plenty of treasure, piles of notes and a healthy bank balance, all this is mere apparent comfort. This body is a grave. It is not necessary that the comfort on the exterior of the body should also imply comfort of the heart. The air conditioner can cool our bodies but it cannot extinguish the fire of the heart. If Allâh is displeased, the heart will be involved in punishment even though the body may have thousands of means of comfort. There will be no peace. A saint says,

When the heart was a garden, spring dripped from everything,

but when the heart became deserted, the entire world was desolate.

If the heart is at its prime, then everything on its outside is also in a flourishing state, but when the heart becomes delapidated, the entire world is ruined. Moulana Jalaluddeen Rumi says that a person is ecstatic on the torn carpet of a musjid. With love and sincerity he is taking the name of Allâh. He experiences so much delight in saying 'Allâh' as if the enjoyment of the entire universe is contained in a capsule and inserted in his heart. Moulana Rumi says that when he takes the name of Allâh, every strand of hair on his body becomes a river of honey. He provides the proof of this in the Diwan of Shams Tabrez. This is a book written by Moulana Rumi in which he related the title to the name of his spiritual mentor. He asks,

Is sugar sweeter or the Creator of sugar?

If Allâh does not create sweetness in the stalks of sugar cane, they will be sold for a paltry sum. No one will even ask about them. He further asks,

Is the moon more beautiful or the Creator of the beauty of the moon?

When the saints obtained the love of Allâh, Shah Waliullah addressed the Moghul Emperors from the pulpit of Delhi's Jami Musjid saying, "O Moghul Emperors, Waliullah has a heart in his bosom. This heart contains the gems of Allâh's love. A large box contains a smaller box. The price of the larger box is determined by that of the smaller one. If the larger box contains cotton, rags and children's napkins messed with urine and excretion, it will have no value. It will not even be protected. However, if the smaller box contains a precious gem worth millions, then there will be guards protecting it and because of the small box, the larger one will also be protected. Thus if our heart contains the love of Allâh, Imân and taqwâ, then our external parts will also be protected."

Today we complain why we are slaughtered in Israel, what is happening to the Muslims in India and Muslims are disgraced worldwide. The reality is that we have only a big box and it is extremely elegant. Our external selves are beautified much more than that of the Sahaba (Radiallâhu anhu). But we lack the precious gem which they had internally. Today we are in need of it. What is it? It is ta'alluq ma'Allâh [relationship with Allâh]. It is the love of Allâh, fear for Allâh and taqwâ [piety]. This is what Shah Waliullah indicated. O Moghul Kings, Waliullah has a heart in his bosom. It contains the gems and pearls of Allâh's love. If there is anyone wealthier than me under the sky, he should step forward. These are the saints and friends of Allâh. When the love of Allâh is imbued in their hearts, they do not care about the kings. Hafiz Shirazi says,

When Hafiz Shirazi becomes intoxicated with the name of Allâh,

and the scent of the True Beloved is perceived from the Great Throne,

then he will not buy the kingdoms of Kaus and Kay - the kingdoms of Iran for even a grain of barley.

All the languages like Arabic, Persian, Turkish and English are limited and cannot express the delight in the unlimited love of Allâh.

Therefore Hafiz Shirazi says that when he becomes drunk with the love of Allâh, he does not care about any kingdom and he is not prepared to buy them for even a grain of barley. The king of Sanjar wrote to Sheikh Abdul Qâdir Jailâni (Rahimahullah) that he wanted to grant the state of Nimroz to his khanqah. He replied,

May my fortune be blackened like the umbrella of the king of Sanjar,

if I have the desire for your kingdom.

Since I have achieved the kingdom of the latter part of the night,

I am not prepared to buy your kingdom for even a grain of barley.

The kingdom of the night is the worship of Allâh and performing tahajjud. As Moulana Rumi says that if you achieve the taste of one sajdah, you will also leave the kingdom like Ibrâhim Ibn Adham (Rahimahullah).

When walking around, one says, "Subhânallâh." But in the posture of prostration, one says, "Subhâna Rabiyal A'alâ." Because sajdah is a position of extreme proximity to Allâh, one exposes one's relationship to Allâh. Now you can say, "My Rabb." "Subhâna Rabiyal A'alâ " means, "You are pure, O my Sustainer, the most high."

Hadrat Moulana Shâh Fadlur Rahmân Ganj Murâdabâdi told Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi that he experienced such ecstasy during sajdah, it was as though Allâh had expressed love for him. And when he recited the Qur'ân, he experienced such delight, that if you had to experience it, you would tear your clothing off and run to the jungle. He also said that when the damsels of jannah come to him, he would say to them, "If you want to listen to the Qur'ân, you may sit, otherwise find your way from here."

Look at the thoughts of the Ahlullâh [the saints] and compare it to our thoughts. What a difference between our thoughts and theirs. They are the true lovers of The True Being. A Molvi employed by the government and who received his salary from the state of Rampur came to Shah Saheb. Moulana Fadlur Rahman was at the time delivering the lesson of Sahih Bukhari. In between when the Molvi got the opportunity, he told Shah Saheb that the Nawab of Rampur wanted to give him one hundred thousand rupees. Shah Saheb was extremely distressed. He said, "O Molvi Saheb, destroy the hundred thousand rupees. Listen to what I have to say. Then he recited the following couplet:

Whatever grace we see of His on the heart,

the heart becomes independent of all wealth.

In other words, our hearts are not in need of all the rupees of the Nawabs due to the torrential downpour of mercy that we see Allâh sending down on our hearts. Whoever makes friends with the elephant trainer, has to enlargen his door because the former comes with his elephant. Thus Allâh also makes the heart of the person very large who He grants a special radiance and proximity. Moulana Rumi (Rahimahullâh) says,

The exterior of a saint can be so weak that he dances around due to a mosquito bite,

but his interior contains the revolution of the seven heavens.

Dr. Abdul Hayy (Khalifa of Hadrat Thanwi) says,

When he passes here,

how many worlds pass one's sight.

Jigar Muradabadi expresses the same sentiments in the following words,

Sometimes the seven heavens circulate

this handful of soil.

In short, there is so much delight in the name of Allâh, that the tongue cannot express it in words. There was a saint, Sai Tawakkul Shah (Rahimahullâh) in Thana Bowan. He used to tell Hadrat Thanwi that he experienced so much pleasure in taking the name of Allâh that his mouth would become sweet. He would take an oath that his mouth had indeed become sweet.

Sheikh Muhiuddeen Zakariyya Nawawi (Rahimahullâh) has explained under the term 'halâwate iman' that Allâh grants sweetness of Iman to every person who adopts those practices on which there is promise for it e.g. loving the saints, protecting the gaze etc. However, some people are granted a physical sweetness that can be perceived in the mouth. This is the grace of Allâh and is granted to whoever He wishes. This sweetness can be perceived in the heart by everyone. Every person receives an immediate tranquillity in the heart.

We should be more concerned about reforming our hearts than our external features if we want to live with peace. Otherwise notwithstanding the air conditioners, we may possess, we will be engrossed in worry and anxiety. The heart will be engulfed in the worries of the kicks and punches of the thousands of riyals. The contentment of the interior is not dependent on the contentment of the exterior. Moulana Rumi says, A person is intoxicated on the mat of a musjid while another is sitting in a garden full of flowers but he is surrounded with the thorns of grief. This person is crying among flowers while the other is laughing among thorns. Now if someone says that this is a combination of opposites, how can Allâh make one happy in the state of grief? The answer to that is why does water not affect the Swiss-made waterproof watches although they are surrounded by water on all sides. Just as these watches are waterproof, so can Allâh make the hearts grief-proof. The one on whose heart the mercy of Allâh cascades, he will be content amongst thousands of worries. Those worries are for his reformation, nurturing and for the progress of his Iman. He may be crying and his eyes may be full of tears, yet he is happy within. He may be in grief due to the illness of his children or his own illness, yet this grief does not penetrate his heart. What is the proof of this? The proof is a shami kabab. A person who eats a shami kabab full of chillies, will have tears rolling down his cheeks. You will think that he is in a problem. You tell him to leave the shami kabab and give it to you. What will he say? He will reply that he is enjoying the kabab and having pleasure within himself. These are tears of ecstasy - not tears of grief.

In a similar manner, in order to please Allâh, one will have to leave all kinds of disobedience. Disobedience and sin remove the mercy of Allâh. Every sin distances one from Allâh, the specialty of sin is that even a very minor sin takes one further away from Allâh, while on the other hand the specialty of obedience is that even a very minor act of virtue brings one in close proximity to Allâh. Thus, leave every act of sin by regarding it as poison and stay in the company of the pious. Take the name of Allâh and He will make the heart free of grief. Such a person remains content in this world all the time. Whatever grief there is, it will remain beyond the perimeters of the heart. When Allâh desires to keep a person happy and endows him with His special grace, then the vicissitudes of this world do not cast him into the pits of sorrow.

Moulana Jalaluddeen Rumi says that if Allâh wants to keep a person happy, He changes the essence of grief into happiness. The people of the world will try to remove the grief by using the means of happiness. They will remove fire and replace it with water. However, Allâh is capable of combining two opposites. He transforms fire into water and He changes the essence of grief into happiness. He changes the shackles of the feet and imprisonment into freedom.

Consequently when Yusuf Alaihis Salâm was imprisoned, he said, AO my Sustainer, the prison is more beloved to me." This is a prison in Your path. I am going to prison because of You. And where You are, the Creator of the gardens, the prison no more remains a prison. It is more beloved to me. Allâh Ta'âla is so beloved that if the prison of His path is more beloved, how will the gardens of His path be?

Friends, if a thorn pricks you and your heart is grieved by protecting your gaze in the path of Allâh and saving yourself from sin, then by Allâh, if all the flowers of the world greet this thorn, they will not fulfil the rights of the thorns of Allâh's path. If all the happiness of the world make salâm to the grief that is experienced by discarding the disobedience of Allâh, they cannot fulfil the rights of the greatness of this grief. This is because it is the thorn of Allâh's path. Do not ask about the value of the grief of Allâh's path. Only the Ambiya (prophets) and Auliya (saints) know its value. Accordingly, they remain happy at all times because they have pleased Allâh. Therefore Allâh Ta'âla also keeps them happy at all times. Worry and anxiety do not reach their hearts. They remain on the outside. How can joy and grief be combined? How can the heart smile with thorns? I have compiled a couplet depicting this:

The example of the smiling of my heart during grief and anxiety

is like how a blossom blooms among the surrounding thorns.

If blossoms can be blessed with the favour of blooming among thorns, can Allâh not keep the hearts of his special servants happy during periods of grief by means of granting them contentment of heart? I have expressed this sentiment in yet another couplet:

This life is grieved by the dagger of contentment

Every moment it is stealing the delicious taste of martyrdom.

It is the compulsion of a human being that he be content with whatever condition Allâh keeps him in. Then, if Allâh wills, he will be content in every condition due to the blessing of divinely-granted contentment. I remember another couplet of mine:

I found life to be full of joy even though the heart was full of grief.

Due to the blessing of His grief, I remained free of grief even in the condition of grief.

This contentment is a great factor. Hakeemul Ummat Moulana Thanwi Rahmatullah Alaih asked my Sheikh, Shah Abdul Ghani Saheb Rahmatullah Alaih what position is higher than sincerity. Hazrat replied that he did not know. Hadrat Thanwi said: "Taslim wa Radâ." (acceptance and contentment) i.e. to be content with the decree of Allâh. A very great prize is obtained due to this acceptance.

Allamah Sayyid Sulaimân Nadwi said,

When I obtain the wealth of Your grief,

then I become free of the grief of both the worlds.

The grief expressed for Allâh's sake is extremely delicious. This is the portion of the messengers and saints. Allâh Ta'âla takes half a life in His path but He grants thousands in replacement. Therefore, those whom Allâh has granted His love and recognition, they discard all sins. Jigar Muradabadi left drinking wine and sported a beard. Yet he used to drink so much that people had to carry him away after his rendition of poetry. He himself says,

Now is the fear of the day of Reckoning

I have had an unlimited amount to drink.

But when the fear of Allâh came, he repented. He met Hakeemul Ummat. He asked him to make dua so that he could quit drinking, perform hajj and sport a beard. The result was that he sported a fist-length beard and quit drinking. The doctors advised him that if he did not drink, he would die. He replied that he would die but if he kept on drinking, for how long would he live? The doctors said he may manage another two to four years. He said that it is better for Jigar to die now by quitting than to live with the wrath of Allâh because now Jigar's death will be in the shadow of Allâh's mercy. And if he died while drinking, he would die with the anger of Allâh. Thus it is better that I die now. Consequently, with the mercy of Allâh, Jigar remained alive for a long time and his health improved tremendously. Before he could sport a beard, he recited a couplet by Allâh's grace:

Come, let's go and look at Jigar,

We heard that the disbeliever has become a Muslim.

He was once sitting in a cart in Meerut. The cartman was reciting this verse of his, oblivious of the fact that his passenger was Jigar who now sported a beard and was a Muslim in the true sense of the word.

Upon hearing this couplet, Jigar began weeping and saying that Allâh granted him the ability to utter this verse even before He granted him the favour and gave him the ability to keep away from disobedience and sin.

Friends, I was exhorting you to keep your trousers above your ankles, sport a beard one fist in length, keep away from evil glances and backbiting and regard yourself as the most despised. It is essential to obey all external and internal orders. In this regard, it is highly incumbent to adopt the company of the Ahlullah. Yaqeen (certainty) is transferred by their company. The importance of the company of the saints can be gauged from a hadith of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim where it is mentioned that a person who murdered one hundred people was asked to go to a village where pious people lived. He was told that his repentance would be accepted there. Good gracious, the status of the saints is of such a degree that even the land on which they remember Allâh, say SubhanAllâh, Alhamdulillah and shed tears, that land has the honour that the repentance of a murderer of a hundred souls is accepted. Allâh has the ability of accepting repentance on any land but He chose the land of the pious for His special bounties and mercy. One can gauge the honour and value of the saints.

Allamah Ibn Hajar Asqalani (Rahimahullâh) has written (Fathul Bâri, vol.6 p.517) that the name of the village of the pious was Nasarah while the name of the village of the impious was Kafarah. The murderer could not even reach Nasarah when he died. He made the direction of his chest towards the pious village. Upon this act of his did Allâh shower his favours. And how did He do this?

The angels of punishment were saying that they would take him because he had not reached the other village while the angels of mercy said that he had already taken the route to the pious village. Death was not in his control. Therefore we will take him. To solve this difference of opinion, Allâh sent down another angel that ordered the distance to be measured between the two villages. In the meanwhile, he ordered the village of the pious to come a bit closer because those in proximity to Allâh lived there and he ordered the village of the impious to move a little distance away because the sinners lived there. The Muhadditheen have called (Mirqât, vol.5 p.128) this incident 'favour in the form of justice'. In other words, Allâh was making the angels do the measurements while He Himself was making amends. Upon this I remember the verse of Moulana Shah Muhammad Ahmad Sahib who said,

Arrangements are made for beauty,

Love has a name made in this way.

It was the arrangement of Allâh Ta'ala's mercy otherwise that village was far away.

Love has a name made in this way.

If we only take His name a little and please Him by repenting, then the repenters enter the stages of the pious ones.

Now listen to the translation of the hadith of Istighfar which I mentioned at the outset. Rasulullah (Sallallâhu alahi wasallam) has mentioned that whoever makes excessive Istighfar, Allâh will find a way out for him. The three conditions of Istighfar are :

1. to refrain from the sin.

2. to express remorse on the sin committed.

3. to make a firm intention not to return to that sin.

If Shaytân whispers in one's ear that you will commit that sin again, then remember that a firm intention to adopt piety is sufficient for the acceptance of repentance. Allâh accepts this determination on condition that there is no determination to violate this repentance. If one does not intend to violate one's intention, then this intention is accepted by Allâh. At the time of repentance, one should place one's trust in Allâh and say, "O Allâh, I have placed my trust in You and will not commit this sin again." If one happens to commit this sin, then repent again. Where can we go to if we leave Allâh.

Khwaja Azizul Hasan Majzub (Rahimahullâh) says,

If you cannot floor the wrestler of the nafs,

then do not leave your hands and feet loose.

You have to fight him for your whole life,

sometimes he succeeds and sometimes you succeed.

Whoever is unsuccessful throughout his life,

maintain this relationship of love,

if it breaks a hundred times, then join it a hundred times.

Ah! You did not discard sin but you discarded Allâh. Where is there any refuge after breaking off relations with Allâh? Is there another God?

If you do not ask except the pious ones,

where will your sinful servant go to?

Friends, the Allâh of the sinners and the pious ones is the same. Where are we going to go leaving Allâh? There is no refuge. It is highly essential to repent and seek forgiveness. Shaytân puts embarrassment into one at such an occasion. He asks you how can you repent when you commit the same crime every day. He tells you that this is a shame. What is shame in reality? The great muhaddith, Mullâ Ali Qâri (Rahimahullâh) says,

"Your Master should not find you in a state which He has prohibited you from." Allâh is finding us daily in a state of sin. Then we claim to have shame. When repenting we feel ashamed but when we commit sins then there is no shame! This is a great deception of Shaytân. Actual shame is that a person should refrain from sin and feel ashamed to commit a sin. Some people recite this verse of Ghâlib,

With what face are you going to go to the Ka'bah, O Ghâlib,

Don't you have any shame?

If we practise on this verse, today the Muslims would have been deprived of the Ka'bah. Thus it was compulsory to correct this couplet. Moulana Shah Muhammad Ahmad Sahib (Rahimahullâh) who was a Khalifah of Shah Fadlur Rahman Ganj Muradabadi (Rahimahullâh) told me that he corrected this couplet, otherwise this couplet of Ghâlib's was making one lose hope in the mercy of Allâh. I asked him what corrections he made to the couplet. He replied that he reformed it in the following way:

I will go with this very face to the Ka'bah,

I will put shame into the sand,

I will weep and weep to please Him,

I will correct my wrongs in this way.

Allâh, Allâh, look at the difference between the poetry of the worldly poets and the poetry of the saints. If you catch a fish ten times and ask it whether it will go into the water or will it be ashamed, what will it say?O fishermen, although you have created thousands of colourful things in this world, you have Mirinda (a soft drink), Shâmi kabâbs and biryâni but all this is death for me. This dryness is not beneficial for me. Put me back into the water. The storm of the water is also beneficial for me. Everything is good for the believer with the pleasure of Allâh. There are blessings in whatever condition Allâh keeps one. But if Allâh is displeased, then a person's soul will be uneasy like a fish out of water even though he may possess thousands of means of comfort.

Rasulullah (Sallallâhu alahi wasallam) said that whoever makes excessive Istighfar, he pleases Allâh, the connection which was broken due to sinning is restored by excessive weeping and crying, he restores the connection of servanthood. What favours will he receive? This will be explained further on. But friends, listen to the value of these tears. There is a hadith in Mishkât Shareef which is as follows:

Rasulullah (Sallallâhu alahi wasallam) says,

"If the tears of regret flow from the eyes of a believer onto his face due to the fear of Allâh even though they may be the size of the head of a fly, then Allâh will make the fire of Jahannum harâm on that face."

I have seen my Sheikh Shah Abdul Ghani (Rahimahullâh) always wiping the tears of his eyes onto his face. He used to say that he saw Hakeemul Ummat, Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahimahullâh) doing the same. Then I saw a narration of a Sahabi who said that he used to wipe his tears on his face because he heard Rasulullah (Sallallâhu alahi wasallam) saying that wherever the tears touch, the fire of Jahannum becomes harâm for that place.

Hadrat Thanwi (Rahimahullâh) said that an objection can arise on this point that if the tears are wiped on the face and it goes to heaven, what about the rest of the body?

In order to explain the matter, Hadrat mentioned an incident. There was a Rajah who died during the reign of Âlamgheer (Rahimahullâh). His son's uncles wanted to usurp his property and belongings and deprive him. The ministers who had eaten his father's food told him to proceed to Delhi where they would request Âlamgheer (Rahimahullâh) to intercede on his behalf. "You are a child and the king will have mercy on you," they advised. "He will give you your father's belongings." Two ministers who took him to Delhi taught him the whole way what to answer when the king asks him any questions. When the fort of Delhi was near, he asked them that if the king had to ask a question other than what you two have taught me, what answer will I give? The two ministers laughed and said that this boy is very intelligent. He will answer the question himself. He does not need any guidance.

Âlamgheer (Rahimahullâh) was taking a bath in the canal when the boy reached. He greeted the king and told him he had a request. On listening to the request, Âlamgheer (Rahimahullâh) held him by the hands and told him that he was going to drown him. The boy laughed loudly. Âlamgheer remarked that how can such a mental case get any property. You should have said, "Do not drown me," but instead you are laughing at the occasion of fear. This is the work of insane people. What property can you look after? He replied, Sir, first you should ask me why I am laughing? Then do whatever you decide to." So Âlamgheer (Rahimahullâh) asked him why he laughed. He said, ASir, you are the king. The fortune of the kings is very great. If my finger was in your hand, then I could not have drowned. Here both my hands are in your hands.

Hadrat narrated this incident and remarked that a kâfir child has so much trust in the favour of a worldly king, then how can you compare it to the favour of Allâh. If He places someone's face in Jannah, will He put the rest of his body into hell? Allâh is Kareem (noble). Mullâ Ali Qâri (Rahimahullâh) has explained the meaning of Kareem as follows:

the one who gives without the recipient being worthy of it. He grants his favours and bounties to unworthy slaves. It is far-fetched for Him to enter the face of a person into Jannah and the rest of his body into hell. (Mirqât, vol. 3 p. 212)

I have heard regarding Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya (Rahimahullâh) that during his last moments he was uttering the words, "Yâ Kareemu, Yâ Kareemu."

Thus we should all unhesitatingly seek forgiveness from Allâh and have hope and when tears emerge, then we should wipe them onto the face. If tears do not emerge, then imitate the features of a crying person.

Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqâs (Radiallâhu anhu) says, that he was the third person to accept Islam and the first one to throw a spear in confrontation with the disbelievers. Rasulullah (Sallallâhu alahi wasallam) made dua for him thus:

"O Allâh, make the target of his spear correct and accept his du'âs."

Rasulullah (Sallallâhu alahi wasallam) also told him, "Throw the spear, O Sa'd, may my parents be sacrificed for you." (Mishkât p. 596)

This bounty has only been achieved by two Sahabis. Hadrat Sa'd and Zubair (Radiallâhu anhu). The Muhadditheen have written that Rasulullah (Sallallâhu alahi wasallam) did not use this sentence for any other Sahabi. Sa'd (Radiallâhu anhu) is one of the Asharah Mubashsharah [Those Sahaba who were given the glad tidings of Jannah in this very world]. He is one of the ten and the final of the ten as well. After his demise, all the Asharah Mubashsharah were finished. He narrates:

"Cry. If you cannot cry, then adopt the condition of those who cry." (Mishkât, p. 413)

In another narration of Mishkât, a Sahabi asked, "What is salvation, O Rasulullah?" He replied, "Control your tongue." That is, do not speak harmful words and control your tongue as a master controls his slave. Then he said,

"Your house should be expansive for you." In other words, do not go out of the house unnecessarily and do not make a habit of roaming around everywhere. Remain engrossed in your good work.

Mullâ Ali Qâri (Rahimahullâh) states (Mirqât, vol.9 p.150) in the explanation of this hadith,

"This is the era of silence, staying at home and being satisfied with one's provisions until death." At the conclusion of the hadith he said,

"Cry upon your sins." From this we deduce that the road to salvation is to weep on one's sins. However, if a person cannot cry, then the merciful prophet has shown us a way of drawing the mercy of Allâh. Because crying is not an optional act, one should adopt the posture of a crying person. To do this is within every person's capability.

Ghâlib, we will adopt the guise of beggars

and see the attitude of the generous people.

When this is the condition of the generous people of this world that they do not deprive even the disguised beggars, whereas this generosity is also a minute portion of the Almighty's grace, then what will be the condition of Allâh's mercy, the fountainhead of all grace. We cannot even estimate it. Therefore, if one cannot cry, then imitate a crying person and witness His grace and mercy.

Now I will complete the translation of the hadith. Whoever makes excessive Istighfâr, Allâh will grant him a way out of every difficulty. People say that they are in problems. How should they resolve them? The cure is Istighfâr. Allâh will grant him ease from every problem.

What is the meaning of hamm used in this hadith? Mullâ Ali Qâri (Rahimahullâh) states ((Mirqât vol.5 p. 217) that it refers to that grief which makes a person melt. Huzn, on the contrary is more severe. Due to the blessings of Istighfâr, Allâh removes this grief. This is because a person becomes close to Allâh by repenting. Allâh states in the Holy Qur'ân, "Indeed Allâh loves those who repent excessively." Even in this world, no person likes to see his beloved in grief. Thus the person who Allâh loves, how can he be in grief. The final sentence of the hadith is:

that Allâh grants sustenance to him from unknown sources.

Mullâ Ali Qâri states in the explanation of this statement that there is great consolation for the sinners in this hadith.

Whatever favours the pious are promised by Allâh due to their piety, the repenters and seekers of forgiveness will also achieve such rewards due to their repentance. They have been granted the status of the pious.

This hadith is derived from the following verse:

Hakeemul Ummah Hadrat Thanwi (Rahimahullâh) has translated this verse thus: "Whoever fears Allâh, He will make a way of salvation for him and He will grant him sustenance from such a place which he cannot even think of." And because one portion of taqwa is tawwakkul (trust), and its specialty is that whoever places his trust in Allâh, Allâh is sufficient for all his needs.

Friends, Rasulullah (Sallallâhu alahi wasallam) did not tolerate that the sinful servants of his ummah be deprived. Thus, he has promised the same favours for the repenters that he promised the pious servants. And this is no mean feat to reach the status of the pious even though it be in the second row.

Hafiz Abdul Wali Bahraichi (Rahimahullâh) wrote to Hakeemul Ummah that, Hadrat, my condition is very bad. I don't know what my condition will be on the day of Qiyamah. Hadrat wrote that your condition will be very good. If you are not resurrected among the perfect ones, you will be resurrected among the repenters. And this is also a very great bounty. This is the blessing of our chain. Those who remain together with the saints are never deprived.

Moulana Rumi (Rahimahullâh) says that those thorns which are hidden below the flowers are not removed by the gardener. However, he removes those pure thorns that are away from the flowers and are independent of them. He removes them from the roots and throws them away. He says:

One thorn was literally crying and saying, "O Allâh, the one who hides the faults of the creation, how will my defect be hidden because I am a thorn." Its redress of its grievances was accepted and Allâh Ta'âla hid its defects by making a flower grow around it. Now it could hide its face among the petals. Thus, if we are thorns, if we are unworthy, we should live among the pious saints. Insha-Allâh, due to its blessing, we will be conferred with the robe of honour of the flower, i.e. we will become the friends of Allâh. If we do not become perfect, we will at least be resurrected among the seekers of forgiveness. We will not be deprived like the thorn.

I have presented these sentiments in poetic form by addressing the Sheikh:

Akhtar, we know that your garden has a thorn,

but the curtain of the thorns is not better than the lap of the flower,

to hide the face of a thorn in the lap of a moist flower,

what surprise is there, the garden is not empty of such a sight.

The least benefit of the company of the Ahlullah is that one does not persist in sinning. One is afforded the ability to repent. Bad fortune is changed into good fortune. The following is a narration of Sahih Bukhari:

"They are such accepted servants that the one who sits by them is not deprived also." Allamah Ibn Hajar Asqalani (Rahimahullâh) has explained this sentence of the hadith. (Fathul Bâri vol. 11 p. 213)

He says the one who sits in the company of the pious Ahlullah is registered amongst them in all those bounties which Allâh grants the Ahlullah. This is an honour to the Ahlullah just as a lowly servant of an honourable guest is treated and favoured like the guest himself. Similarly, Allâh does not deprive the one who sits with the Ahlullah from all those blessings which they receive.

Now let us supplicate that Allâh grant us the ability to practise on whatever was uttered. May He grant us the ability to repent from the heart. May Allâh grant us a correct and strong relationship with him. O Allâh, make us reach the final stage of wilâyat because You are noble and grant favours to even those that are unworthy. Grant us the character, Imân and conviction of the Auliyâ. Make a success of our worldly life and the hereafter. Reform us and our families. Grant us purification of the soul. Beautify our secular life as well as our hereafter.

  The Taufeeq of Taubah
Compiled by Moulana Muhammad Mazhar Saheb,
Khalifa of Hadrat Moulana Shah Abrarul Haq Saheb(Dâmat Barakâtuhum)


Repent before the door of repentance is closed.

Today, in this age of corruption we are cut off from spiritualism and heading towards secularism. Due to this, we are becoming negligent of virtuous actions and becoming desirous of committing sins. There are thousands of people who claim to be Muslims but who are drowned in sin. They are so engrossed in sin that they do not even imagine repenting. After that their condition becomes such that they feel their repentance cannot be accepted. Whereas Allâh says, "He is the one that accepts the repentance of His servants and overlooks sins." Allâh is the most noble and merciful. He is the most merciful of those who show mercy. Therefore do not lose hope in His mercy. Continue repenting. If one commits a sin, repent immediately. Moulana Shah Wasiullah Saheb (Rahimahullâh) used to recite this couplet:

We have trodden the paths in this way

We fell, we fell and got up and we got up and moved.

The forgiveness of minor sins can be achieved through good actions but the forgiveness of major sins can only be achieved by repentance. It should also be noted that to continue sinning in the hope of being forgiven by repenting before death is the height of foolishness and stupidity. This is because no one knows the future and no one knows when the time of death will approach. Mufti Muhammad Shafi (Rahimahullâh) recited this couplet:

O oppressor, there is still time for repentance, do not delay,

the one who fell and got up has not fallen.

Rasulullah (Sallallâhu alahi wasallam) said, "Intelligent is the one who controls his soul and practised for the time after death, while the one who follows his desires and has hope in Allâh is foolish." (Tirmizi, vol.2 p.72) Whatever sin one has committed can all be forgiven by repenting. Anâs (Radiallâhu anhu) states that he heard Rasulullah (Sallallâhu alahi wasallam) saying that Allâh said, "O son of Adam, as long as you supplicate to me and have hope in Me, I will forgive you whatever the sin be and I will not bother. O son of Adam, if your sins reach the clouds in the sky and you seek forgiveness, I will forgive you and I will not bother. O son of Adam, if you come to Me with so many sins that they fill the earth, and you meet Me without having ascribed partners to Me, I will forgive you with the same great amount of forgiveness." (Tirmizi, vol. 2 p. 194) This hadith is a general announcement for the believers from the Real King (Allâh). Man commits sins and faults. He commits deficiencies in fulfilling the laws. He slips in being regular and punctual. A person commits minor and major sins due to negligence. Allâh has kept the prescription of seeking forgiveness with extreme humility as a means of obtaining His pardon. He should be ashamed in his heart and express regret for the sin he has committed and regret his disobedience to Allâh. He should make a firm intention not to commit the sin again. Upon this Allâh will forgive him. Allâh says that this forgiving is not a burden for Him. I do not bother - there is no difficulty in forgiving a minor sin nor any obstacle in forgiving a major sin.

He has granted the believers more solace by announcing that He will forgive even if the sins metaphorically fill the earth or if they fill the space between the earth and the sky. If your sins can fill the earth, then My forgiveness can also fill the earth. His forgiveness is limitless. The expanse of the sky and the earth is naught before Him. However, a kâfir [disbeliever] and a mushrik (polytheist) will not be forgiven as mentioned at the end of the hadith that one should not ascribe any partners to Him. Allâh states in the Qur'ân that He does not forgive polytheism but He forgives all other sins besides it. A kâfir and mushrik will never be forgiven. They will always remain in hell. A believer may have committed whatever amount of sins, he should not lose hope in the mercy of Allâh. He should continue repenting and having firm hope of being forgiven.

Translated by Moulânâ Ebrahim Muhammad

First Edition: Safar 1420 A.H., June 1999

Print Edition Published by: Akhtari Publications, Krugersdorp, South Africa

Also available from: Ashraful Madaris, Khânqah Imdâdiyah Ashrafiyyah, Gulshan Iqbal Block 2, Karachi, Pakistan