Our very dear respectable and cherished Janab Dr.Haroon-ur-Rashid Kashmiri Sahab (Damat Barakatohu) has authored a book “The Biography of Hadhrat Mian Mir (Rahmat-Allah-Alaihi)”, of which the first chapter is based on Tassawuf, including a brief summary of very intuitive and spiritual, precious details regarding tasawwuf, which has been incorporated into this book, for the perpetual benefit of all of mankind.
What is Tasawwuf ?
Tasawwuf is the branch of Islamic knowledge which focuses on the spiritual development of the Muslim. It is the traditional Islamic science of self-improvement, self-purification and spirituality (sufism), focusing fully on one’s relationship with Allah Paak Jalla Shanahoo.
Tasawwuf is a spiritual journey and entails one to be always ever mindful of worship and to concentrate sharply on Allah (swt). One must ignore the temptation and lust of this mundane world and must live by the laws set out by our Almighty Allah (swt). In order to achieve this, one must kill his ego and selfishness. These were the ways of the Sahaba Ikraam and the Salf-Saliheen.
Iman Ghazali (Rahmat-Allah-Alaihi) offers a comprehensive definition of Tasawwuf:
“The highway to this destination is that first of all, make a firm intention/bayt/promise, destroy all inner mundane desires, break off any sentimental attachment with anything whatsoever, and focus fully on the divine being of Allah. And when this stage is achieved, Allah swt himself looks after the heart of his slave, and becomes responsible for imparting ilm or noor on him, and fills his heart with noor.”
The prime sources of Tasawwuf are the Holy Qur’an and the sunnah of Aqaa Kareem Sallalaho Alaihe Walehi wassalam.
Man has been taught to frequently observe the practice Zikr-e-ilahi in the Qur’an and in numerous Ahadith.
A great example of this practice comes from the Holy Prophet (SAW), who was known to frequently meditate (muraaqbah) and reflect in the cave of Mount Hira.
Contrary to popular misconceptions, tasawwuf does not entail isolation from all worldly affairs. Sufiya ikraam did not totally ignore the World. In fact, they used to work practically for the cause of Islam and in order propagate the message of Islam, thus striving to bring about ‘peace’ in the era in which they lived.
Spiritual training involves abstinance from superficial worldly attractions and relations for a designated period of time in order to gain proper control over the base desires or nafs (base desires).
When Irfan-e-Ilahi/ Ilm-e-haqeeqi (Ilm of Allah SWT) is achieved, it gives way to opportunities to obtain all sorts of beneficial knowledge from unseen sources for the help of mankind.
The Holy Qur’an and Ahadith strictly forbid man to indulge too deeply in materialistic activities. As the holy Qur’an says:
“Know that the life of this world is only play, and idle talk, and pageantry, and boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children as the likeness of vegetation after rain, whereof the growth is pleasing to the husbandman, but afterward it dries up and thou seest it turning yellow, then it becomes straw. And in the Hereafter there is grievous punishment and (also) forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure, whereas the life of the world is but matter of illusion.”
(Surah Al-Hadiid: 20)
In addition to this point, it has been narrated by Sahih Bukhari and Muslim that the Holy Prophet i is reported to have said:
“After me, the thing I fear most for my ummah are the adorned attractions of this temporary world and the doors of worldly success which will be opened for you.”
Ibaadah and Zikr-e-Ilahi have been emphasised on numerous occasions in the Qur’an, such as:
“And do thou (O Muhammad) remember the Lord within thyself humbly and with awe, below thy breath, at morn and evening. And be thou not of the neglectful.”
(Surah Araf: 502)
“Therefore remember Me, I will remember you. Give thanks to Me, and reject not Me.”
“Then when ye have finished the salaah, remember Allah, standing and sitting and lying on your sides. “
“O ye who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance. And glorify Him morning and evening.”
“And do thou bring thy Lord to remembrance in thy (very) soul with humility and in reverence without loudness in words in the mornings and evenings; and be not thou of those who are unheedful.”
Truly the rising by night is most potent for governing (the soul) and most suitable for (framing) the Word (of Prayer and Praise). True there is for thee by day prolonged occupation with ordinary duties: But keep in remembrance the name of the Lord and devote to Him wholeheartedly.”