The Company of the Pious

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نحمده و نصلي على رسوله الكريم

It is narrated in the books of hadeeth that the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) explained to Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) that when they sat in his company it is as though Jannat and Jahannum were before them. However, when they left his company and went to their families, the same feeling no longer remained with them. Consequently, some even considered themselves to be hypocrites as only a hypocrite’s condition could be described in this manner.

Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) informed them that had they perpetually experienced that same spiritual condition, the angels would come and shake their hands on the streets. This is an experience that is rarely felt and is not a lasting condition.

The environment of this material world continuously affects human beings, thus causing us to experience a constant change in our spiritual condition. Therefore, there is a dire need for us to sit in the company of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil (expert spiritual guide).

Come to My door

The month of Ramadhaan especially, comes with the specialty of saving us from being exposed to harmful environments. It is as if Allah Ta’ala is calling out and saying: “O My servant! Why are you wasting your time in farming? Come to My door. O My servant! Why are you sitting in your businesses and consuming interest? Come to My house, My Musjid. O My servant! For how long will you continue making shoes and sewing clothes? Leave all that and come to My door.”

Allah Ta’ala has called us here to distribute gifts to us. He has called us here to forgive our sins and reform the condition of our hearts. Instead of engaging in swearing, backbiting, etc., acts that we do in our shops and factories, we have the opportunity now to recite the Qur’aan, take the name of Allah Ta’ala, read tasbeeh, durood shareef, istighfaar, engage in nafl ibaadat, etc.

What a great honour it is that Allah Ta’ala has chosen us as His guests and gathered us here. He has locked up Shaitaan – that very Shaitaan who has troubled us throughout the year and educated us on how to perpetrate various sins. We have been saved from him. Everyone cannot easily comprehend the evil and mischief spread by Shaitaan. In fact, it is quite difficult to understand him. Shaitaan is afraid of the pious and he runs away from them.

Incident of Hadhrat Raipuri (rahmatullahi alaihi) and Moulana Allah Bakhsh (rahmatullahi alaihi)

Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Qadir Raipuri (rahmatullahi alaihi) narrated that when Shah Abdur Raheem (rahmatullahi alaihi) came to Raipur, a majlis used to be conducted and everyone would come out of their rooms at approximately eight or nine ‘o’ clock.

One day, Moulana Allah Bakhsh (rahmatullahi alaihi) came out of his room and Hadhrat Shah Moulana Abdur Raheem Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) was sitting in the majlis area. Hadhrat Moulana Abdur Raheem Sahib saw Moulana Allah Bakhsh and said to him: “Come and sit here.” Moulana Allah Bakhsh did as he was told.

Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Qadir Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) relates that afterwards I went up to Moulana Allah Bakhsh and asked him: “Hadhrat! What was the reason for you being treated with special importance today?”

“What can I say,” Moulana Allah Bakhsh sighed. “I awoke at 2 a.m. this morning and from that time onwards a voice was continuously echoing in my heart saying: ‘Verily I am Allah.’ I tried my level best to subdue it but this voice refused to stop. However, as soon as Hadhrat (rahmatullahi alaihi) saw me and asked me to sit next to him, that voice immediately stopped.”

That which cannot be even achieved through years of sacrifice, is instantly conferred to one by Allah Ta’ala merely by sitting in the company of these pious servants.

Dr. Allamah Iqbal with Allamah Kashmiri (rahmatullahi alaihi) 

Hadhrat Moulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri (rahmatullahi alaihi) once went to Lahore and stayed there for a considerable period of time. Hadhrat had many students in Lahore and they used to attend his gathering. Dr. Iqbal was still living at that time. Some of his friends told him: “Why don’t you also come?” He did not entertain much confidence in any aalim, hence he never frequented their gatherings. Then by chance, a very close friend said to him: “You are touring the entire world. What harm will there be if you go there?”

“Very well,” he relented and also attended the majlis.

Just as he sat in Hadhrat Shah Sahib’s (rahmatullahi alaihi) majlis, his mind was directed to the hadeeth wherein the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) explained that when they sat in Nabi’s (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) majlis, it was as though birds were perched on their heads. The slightest movement would have caused them to fly off. This meant that they used to sit with utmost respect and dignity. Looking around him, he saw the exact same scenario.

Everyone sat with great respect. While observing Hadhrat Shah Sahib’s majlis, he thought to himself that the majlis of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) must have been conducted in this manner.

People asked various questions in Shah Sahib’s majlis and Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) gave them a very in-depth answer. He would say that so and so has written this and he has erred because in a certain kitaab it has been recorded in this way and in another kitaab the matter is recorded like this and the author has actually misunderstood the situation. He would discuss the finer details of everything.

It was for this reason that Hadhrat Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) was considered to be a ‘walking library’. Dr. Iqbal heard the different answers to the various questions. He returned for the next majlis. A question was posed regarding the creation of the world. In reply, Hadhrat Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) recited one of his poems. Hearing his poetry, Dr. Iqbal realised that this is no ordinary person. Since Dr. Sahib himself was a very famous poet, he appreciated Shah Sahib’s knowledge.

He too, began asking questions. He asked regarding the definition of ‘zamaan – time’ and ‘makaan – place’. Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) answered his questions. Dr. Iqbal then quoted Newton’s theory on the subject. Hadhrat Shah Sahib replied that whatever Newton had written was actually taken from a thesis prepared by Allamah Iraqi. Shah Sahib explained that in his opinion it was a deception by Newton not to have attributed this theory to Allamah Iraqi.

Dr. Iqbal then asked him who Allamah Iraqi was and where was the thesis that he had prepared. Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) informed him that the thesis was in Deoband, which he later sent to him.

Dr. Iqbal posed various questions and Hadhrat Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) gave him satisfactory answers to all of his objections. Thus, Dr. Sahib had now taken a great liking for Shah Sahib.

When Hadhrat Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) noticed that Dr. Sahib had taken a special liking for him, he one day said to him, “Dr. Sahib, I am not pleased with you.” This was in reference to Dr. Sahib’s association with Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani’s ‘Jamaat-e-Ahmadi’.

Dr. Sahib was the secretary for the organization. Hadhrat Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) detested this organisation and was infuriated with Ahmad Qadiani for criticising the Ambiyaa (alaihimus salaam) and reviling them. Ghulam Ahmad considered himself to be superior in status to the Ambiyaa (alaihimus salaam) as is apparent from his poem:

ابن مریم کے ذکر چھوڑو = اس سے بہتر غلام احمد ہے

Stop talking about Hadhrat Isa (alaihis salaam). Ghulam Ahmad is better than him.

These were the types of statements that he had uttered. He negated Khatm-e-Nubuwwat (finality of the prophethood of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and claimed prophethood for himself. Therefore, Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) was naturally disinclined to him and his pseudo-organisation. Dr. Sahib understood what Shah Sahib meant. He immediately left his presence, resigned from the said organisation, repented and returned to Hadhrat Shah Sahib.

“Hadhrat!” he respectfully said, “That thorn which was causing you discomfort has been removed.”

Hadhrat Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) focused his attention towards Dr. Iqbal, resulting in Dr. Sahib experiencing such a feeling in his heart which he was unacquainted with. He never imagined that such a feeling could be experienced. In relation to these experiences he composed the following poetry:

جلا سکتی ہے شمع کشتہ کو موج نفس ان کی          الہی کیا بھرا ہوتا ہے اہل دل کے سینوں میں

نہ پوچھ ان خرقہ پوشوں کو ارادت ہو تو دیکھ انکو          ید بیضا لئے بیٹھے ہیں اپنی آستینوں میں

تمنا درد دل کی ہے تو کر خدمت فقیروں کی         نہیں ملتا یہ گوہر بادشاہوں کے خزینوں میں

The ecstasy and enjoyment of their souls are able to set alight the lamp of a lover.

O Allah! What is it that is concealed within the bosoms of the ahl-e-dil (pious)?

Don’t enquire regarding these ragged-clothed people; look at them if you really have the intention to do so.

They have assigned themselves to one spot whilst sitting with miracles tucked within their sleeves.

If it is your heart’s desire then serve the pious,

For you will never find these gems even in the treasures of the kings.

Since then, the direction of Dr. Sahib’s poetry took on a new path. He composed very strange poetry prior to this but now his poetry was in the mould of Moulana Rumi (rahmatullahi alaihi). He also started expounding on the topics that Moulana Rumi (rahmatullahi alaihi) had discussed. Whatever Dr. Sahib’s condition may have been, it is apparent from his poetry that he certainly had a very deep attachment and love for the personality of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). One of his couplets is:

تو غنی از ہر دو عالم من فقیر          روز محشر عذرھائے من پذیر

ایک اگر بینی حسابم ناگزیر           از نگاہ مصطفی پنہاں بگیر

“O Allah! You are independent and I am a pauper. On the Day of Qiyaamah accept my excuses for my sins and shortcomings. 

If you have to take an account from me, then do not do so in the presence of Nabi r.”

“Do not expose me to Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) because he might feel ashamed that from amongst his followers such an account is being taken.”

This was the calibre of his poetry.

This entire revolution in his life came about as a result of the company of Hadhrat Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi). But, alas! Today, in this modern society, we do not find the need for such company, and we do not regard it to be significant. Thus, we remain deprived of the special mercies of Allah Ta`ala.

Allamah Kashmiri (rahmatullahi alaihi) with Shaikh-ul-Hind (rahmatullahi alaihi)

Hadhrat Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) himself possessed an extremely great degree of respect for his elders. When Shaikh-ul-Hind (rahmatullahi alaihi) returned from Malta, he used to conduct a majlis after Fajr Salaah at his home. This was predominantly a gathering of Ulama where various Shar`ee matters were discussed.

Sometimes, Hadhrat Shaikh-ul-Hind (rahmatullahi alaihi) would participate in the discussions, but Hadhrat Shah Sahib would remain absolutely silent. He used to sit in tashahhud position with his head lowered. When the majlis would end and everybody would leave, Hadhrat Shaikh-ul-Hind (rahmatullahi alaihi) himself would say: “Shah Sahib! Is there anything you would like to ask?”

Shah Sahib would then raise his head and respectfully say: “Hadhrat! I wish to know something regarding this hadeeth.”

He would never ask of his own accord but would wait until Shaikh-ul-Hind himself questioned him. Others would engage in the conversation but Shah Sahib would not participate in any of their conversations. He would remain focused towards his Shaikh.

Shaikh-ul-Hind going to Malta

When Hadhrat Shaikh-ul-Hind (rahmatullahi alaihi) was leaving India to be incarcerated in Malta, after being falsely convicted, there was a discussion among the Ulama concerning who would be appointed as the sadar mudarris (head of teachers). When this news reached the ears of Hadhrat Shaikh-ul-Hind (rahmatullahi alaihi), he said: “In the presence of Moulana Anwar Shah Sahib Kashmiri, I do not see why such a question has arisen as to who would occupy the office of the sadar mudarris.”

His position and personality was such that he had to only mention this and everyone fell silent. Eventually, Moulana Anwar Shah Sahib was chosen as the sadar mudarris.

Hadhrat Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) came into the classroom to teach a lesson of Tirmizi Shareef. He opened the kitaab and the contents were read out but he was unable to explain even one word. This was due to the severe grief he was experiencing from the imminent departure of Hadhrat Shaikh-ul-Hind (rahmatullahi alaihi). He closed the kitaab and went directly to Hadhrat Shaikh-ul-Hind Sahib’s house.

Hadhrat was seated on his bed. He knelt down and embraced Hadhrat Shaikh-ul-Hind’s shins and burst out crying uncontrollably. This was the very same Shah Sahib who was unable to even speak in front of Shaikh-ul-Hind (rahmatullahi alaihi). He had acquired an unknown strength that he himself did not realise he possessed. Hadhrat Shaikh-ul-Hind did not react immediately and allowed him to cry. When his sobbing subsided, Hadhrat Shaikh-ul-Hind (rahmatullahi alaihi) placed his hand on his head and placating him said: “Shah Sahib! Due to my presence here you were always confronted with objections and doubts. In my absence such doubts will not occur. If they do occur then Allah Ta`ala Himself will guide you. Go now in Allah Ta`ala’s care.”

Allamah Kashmiri (rahmatullahi alaihi) with Hadhrat Saharanpuri (rahmatullahi alaihi) 

The love that these people had for their tutors and elders was unsurpassed. This is something that is no longer found.

Hadhrat Moulana Khaleel Ahmad Saharanpuri (rahmatullahi alaihi) used to travel from Saharanpur to Deoband to visit the library.

Upon reaching Deoband, if the library was open, he would go straight in and refer to whichever kitaab he needed and thereafter return to Saharanpur. If upon reaching Deoband he found the library to be locked, he would go to the person in charge of the library, take the key from him and complete his work. If some time remained, before his train could depart, he would go and visit someone.

On one occasion after completing his work, he went to visit Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi). Hadhrat Shah Sahib’s room was at the top of the staircase. When Hadhrat Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) saw him approaching, he quickly ran bare-footed to meet him.

“Shah Sahib! There is no reason for such formality that you have come bare-footed to greet me. I was coming to you anyway,” Hadhrat Saharanpuri pointed out.

Nevertheless, Hadhrat Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) grasped both his hands and led him to his room. Hadhrat Shah Sahib then dismissed his special students. (These students remained in his company after the normal class periods had ended). After discussing in private, Hadhrat Saharanpuri (rahmatullahi alaihi) would return to Saharanpur.

Moulana Kifaayatullah with Hadhrat Saharanpuri (rahmatullahi alaihi)

Moulana Kifaayatullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) used to stay in Gangoh. He studied in Saharanpur and even taught there. He had taken bay’at at the hands of Hadhrat Shaikh-ul-Hind (rahmatullahi alaihi). At the time when Shaikh-ul-Hind was in Malta, a strange condition overcame Moulana Kifaayatullah.

Whilst in the midst of his zikr, he would get the urge to commit suicide. He would pick up a knife or he would go and peer down into a well. But, because he was an aalim, neither the knife nor the well were of any benefit to him. Also, he was extremely distressed because his Shaikh was not present – he was in Malta. He contemplated on this issue and his mind went straight to Hadhrat Saharanpuri (rahmatullahi alaihi) as he was the first khaleefah of Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullahi alaihi). He wrote to him about his predicament and asked him for assistance. Hadhrat Saharanpuri (rahmatullahi alaihi) replied: “I am surprised that you are of the opinion that I am worthy of such a major task. I definitely am not worthy of it.”

Moulana Kifaayatullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) became even more distressed and decided to go to Thanabawan to visit Hadhrat Thanwi (rahmatullahi alaihi). He first had to take a train from Meerut to Saharanpur. From Saharanpur he had to take another train, which he missed. Thus, he went to Madrasah Mazaahir-ul-Uloom to meet Hadhrat Saharanpuri who received him very warmly. When everyone had left, Moulana Saharanpuri (rahmatullahi alaihi) said to Moulana Kifaayatullah: “What was it that you wrote? I find it very strange that a learned person like you could write something of that nature. How can I ever be worthy of such a task?”

“Hadhrat!” observed Moulana Kifaayatullah. “If someone were to say that you are not worthy of it then this is not an objection against your good self. Rather, this is an objection against Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullahi alaihi) as to why he gave you khilaafat? Was it his habit to confer khilaafat upon unworthy people? That door from which you have achieved everything is the very same door from which I was nurtured. Hence I also have a right over you.”

Moulana Saharanpuri (rahmatullahi alaihi) remained silent for a while and then remarked, “You may stay here.”

In the evening after Esha Salaah, when Hadhrat Saharanpuri was going home, he changed the sequence of Moulana Kifaayatullah’s zikr. He asked him to sit in the upper level of the guest room during the latter portion of the night and to make zikr loudly enough for it to reach Hadhrat Saharanpuri’s house. Hadhrat’s house was situated very close to the Madrasah. Upon this instruction, Moulana Kifaayatullah said: “I do not know how to make Zikr!”

Hadhrat replied, “Do not get worried. Continue with whatever you are doing. A person with a similar problem such as yours, once came to Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullahi alaihi) and he prescribed the same remedy for him.”

For Moulana’s peace of mind, Hadhrat Saharanpuri presented the proof for this method that it was prescribed by Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullahi alaihi). Hadhrat Saharanpuri then departed.

Moulana Kifaayatullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) woke up in the latter portion of the night and began making his zikr. It was Hadhrat Saharanpuri’s habit that he would awaken at the time of dawn, come to the Madrasah and remain there for some time engrossed in deep meditation. The Fajr Salaah would then take place. Accordingly, he came and sat down in the Musjid. After Fajr Salaah, Hadhrat asked him: “How do you feel now?’

“I am now at ease. I no longer experience the condition I was afflicted with,” disclosed Moulana Kifaayatullah.

Hadhrat (rahmatullahi alaihi) then said: “Very well, now sit here.”

He seated him close to his room, entered it and closed the windows. Moulana Kifaayatullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) narrates, “I did not know where Hadhrat was sitting or what he was doing in the room. However, I began experiencing a strange feeling that there was a wound on my heart and Hadhrat was pressing it and blood and matter was pouring out. I was very startled by this because I could not see Hadhrat anywhere. He was in the room and the door was closed. This condition lasted right up to the time of Ishraaq.”

Hadhrat read his Ishraaq and then came out of the room.

“How do you feel now?” he asked, emerging from the room.

Moulana Kifaayatullah replied that he was totally at ease.

“Come with me,” he requested and took me to the Bukhaari Shareef lesson. Hadhrat (rahmatullahi alaihi) seated him and then commenced the lesson.

Moulana Kifaayatullah comments that the amount of noor and radiance that he saw emanating caused his heart to quiver. He had never seen such spiritual effulgence before and he desired that Hadhrat should lengthen the discussion. However, Hadhrat’s method of teaching was to deliver concise lectures.

Hence, Moulana Kifaayatullah began asking many questions. Hadhrat sometimes elaborately answered the questions whilst at other times he would say: “Do not look for the answers in any kitaab. It is not found there.”

Sometimes a question would be posed and Hadhrat (rahmatullahi alaihi) would give the answer and then he would say that another objection arises here which the commentators have overlooked. He would explain the objection and give the answer as well. In this manner, he conducted the lesson with great ease. Moulana Kifaayatullah then requested Moulana Saharanpuri (rahmatullahi alaihi) to allow him to visit Thanabawan.

“By all means, but on your return spend a night here as there is still some rawness left in you,” explained Moulana Saharanpuri.

Moulana Kifaayatullah was baffled as to what ‘rawness’ could be left in him. Nevertheless, he went to Thanabawan and, on his return trip, he remained in Saharanpur for two days.

Moulana Kifaayatullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) relates: “I now realised what the ‘rawness’ was, which previously I was unable to perceive. When I sat outside the room meditating in the morning, I could feel something being filled into my heart and that, actually, was a sense of great happiness and spiritual strength. My heart was imbued with these two qualities. During my first visit, pollution and contamination were erased and during my second visit, this pollution was replaced with spiritual energy.”

Hadhrat (rahmatullahi alaihi) then said, “Go, Insha-Allah, you will now experience peace of mind.”

The above remedy is a direct result of the companionship of the pious people. This is not the work of any doctor. The company of the pious people is necessary to treat these types of ailments. The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) sat in the company of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). The Taabi’een sat in the company of the Sahaabah. The Tab-‘e-Taabi’een sat in the company of the Taabi’een and this method continues to this day.

Hadhrat Thanwi (rahmatullahi alaihi) and Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullahi alaihi)

Severe spiritual problems are solved easily and comfortably, by merely sitting in the company of the pious. Hadhrat Thanwi (rahmatullahi alaihi) recalls: “I used to frequent the company of Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullahi alaihi) when any doubts or objections plagued me but I would not even get a chance of asking any questions. Without even asking, I suddenly understood the answers. Sometimes, someone else would ask the questions which I wished to pose and Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullahi alaihi) would answer it. Sometimes, Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullahi alaihi) himself would speak on the very same topic that was troubling me and those doubts were immediately obliterated. At other times, absolute silence would prevail over the majlis without Hadhrat saying anything at all and all doubts would disappear. I would ask Hadhrat one or two questions and he would say: ‘Who posed this question?’

“‘Ashraf Ali,’ I would reply, eagerly awaiting an answer.

“But Hadhrat (rahmatullahi alaihi) would not answer. He would neither reply by saying that I am looking for answers to such simple and easy questions nor would he say that the answer was very difficult to comprehend. He would not even ask me to repeat the question. Nothing at all! Absolute silence would prevail. I later realised that if Hadhrat had answered, then too it would not have clarified the matter as much as it was clarified by Hadhrat’s silence.”

What is the lesson in this incident? The lesson is that the original grace comes from Allah Ta`ala into the heart of the spiritual guide. This same grace is then conferred to those around the Shaikh on condition that there is some relationship with him and they believe him to be the right person for their spiritual development.

However, if you entertain some doubt in him then you will not derive the necessary benefit. Only if the heart is clean and receptive will one attain benefit. The original benefactor is Allah Ta`ala. The heart of the Shaikh is only a means of acquiring this benefit. The pure rain that falls upon the marble roof will flow off that roof in the very condition that it originally fell. If there is a gutter that is attached to this roof then whoever comes and stands beneath it will benefit. Water was not created in the gutter. The water came from the skies. This gutter is only the means of receiving the pure water.

It is, however, necessary to maintain the connection with the means as well. If a person has to place some filth in the gutter, the water flowing out of this gutter will be polluted – dirty and filthy water will flow out. The water did not fall from the skies in that form. It was absolutely clean but, due to the gutter being contaminated, it became dirty.

Clear relationship

This is the example of a Shaikh. If he is a true and sincere Shaikh who recognises Allah Ta’ala, then whatever benefits Allah Ta’ala showers on him will be absolutely pure. If the mureed does not have any faith in the Shaikh – he harbours ill thoughts about him and constantly picks out faults in the sayings and actions of the Shaikh – this will definitely have an adverse effect on the mureed.

Once the Shaikh has some reservations about the mureed, the mureed will not benefit from him. The proof of this is found in the hadeeth as well. Hadhrat Wahshi (radhiyallahu anhu) had martyred Hadhrat Hamzah (radhiyallahu anhu) in such a manner the he disfigured him completely. He removed his heart and liver and cut his nose and ears. When he accepted Islam after the conquest of Makkah and pledged allegiance at the hands of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) asked him if it was possible for him not to come in front of him (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

The reason being that he was reminded of the brutal savagery of his beloved uncle at the hands of Wahshi (radhiyallahu anhu) and this caused a great deal of distress to him. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was concerned that if every time he saw Hadhrat Wahshi (radhiyallahu anhu) and was reminded of his uncle, Hadhrat Wahshi (radhiyallahu anhu) will be deprived of acquiring benefit from him.

Hence, he (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) chose this prescription for Hadhrat Wahshi (radhiyallahu anhu) because distance does not pose as an obstacle for acquiring benefit for the one who has developed a connection and link through Imaan. Whatever has been decreed for us, we will definitely receive. Therefore, this solution was adopted.

It was the habit of the hypocrites to constantly complain to Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) about the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum), the most sincere Muslims. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) would say: “Do not complain about my companions. I want my heart to be absolutely clear when I meet them. There must be no reservation for them in my heart at all.”

Similarly, the true mashaayikh do not like to harbour any reservations whatsoever with respect to their mureeds so that they (the mureeds) may receive complete benefit from them. If the Shaikh harbours any doubts in his heart, no benefit will be transferred to his mureeds but rather an adverse effect will result.

Conversely, a mureed as well must not entertain any ill feelings in his heart for the Shaikh. It is essential for both their hearts to be linked and, once this link has been established, there will be rapid progress on the path of the mureed.

Jalaaluddeen Thanesri (rahmatullahi alaihi) with Shah Abdul Quddoos (rahmatullahi alaihi)

Hadhrat Shaikh Jalaaluddeen Thanesri (rahmatullahi alaihi) had taken bay’at at the hands of Hadhrat Shah Abdul Quddoos Gangohi (rahmatullahi alaihi). Once, he wrote to his Shaikh explaining his spiritual condition. Hadhrat Shah Abdul Quddoos replied: 

گر چہ دیر است آہو بچنگ شیر است

Although it is a bit late, but the gazelle has eventually come into the claws of the lion.

With regards to our outer limbs, a stronger person can overpower a weak person using his might and tactical acumen. But those inner-debasing qualities that are within our volition, like that of nafs-e-ammarah (evil propensity) and the power to commit evil deeds, these are the snares of Shaitaan and to overpower them requires another greater form of strength. Thus, if the Shaikh’s inner strength is greater, then he can overpower these debasing qualities of the mureed and reform his spiritual condition benefiting him tremendously. However, if the poor Shaikh is weak then Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him and the mureed! Aameen. Both of them require His mercy.