Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
When Hadhrat Ibraheem (Alaihis Salaam) completed the reconstruction of the Ka’bah Sharief, he made Dua to Allah Ta’ala for acceptance, and also made the Dua:
رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيْهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُوْا عَلَيْهِمْ اٰيٰتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتٰبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيْهِمْ ط
إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَزِيْزُ الْحَكِيْمُ ◌
“Our Lord, and send among them a Messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise."
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2 : 129]
From this Dua of Nabi Ibraheem (Alaihis Salaam) we learn the syllabus of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam). This comprised of:
1.) يَتْلُوْا عَلَيْهِمْ اٰيٰتِكَ (Recite to them Your verses).
This signifies the teaching of the Qur’aan Sharief.
Alhamdulillah, today, this is found in our primary Madaaris or Makaatib, where the Qur’aan Sharief and its rules of recitation are taught.
2.) وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتٰبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ (Teach them the Book and Wisdom).
This refers to the comprehensive teaching of the Qur’aan Sharief and the Sunnah. This knowledge is acquired from our Darul Ulooms where the sciences of Tafsier, Hadith, Fiqh, etc. are imparted in great detail and depth.
3.) وَيُزَكِّيْهِمْ (Purify them)
This signifies the department of Tazkiyah, which is the purification of the heart and soul from every kind of evil and sin.
Alhamdulillah, most of us have fulfilled the first two departments of learning, but have not given consideration to the third. We tend to be satisfied with two thirds of the mission of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and do not attach importance to the third department; whereas Tazkiyah is extremely important. It is the foundation of success of both worlds.
Allah Ta’ala states:
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ زَكّٰهَا
“Indeed he succeeds who purifies his ownself.”
[Surah Ash-Shams 91 : 9 ]
During a visit to Sri Lanka, I met an Aalim, Maulana Ismail. In our conversation, I mentioned the purpose of our trip, presenting an example. I said:
“If an Imam, whilst leading the Salaah, recites the verse:
رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيْهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُوْا عَلَيْهِمْ اٰيٰتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتٰبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيْهِمْ ط إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَزِيْزُ الْحَكِيْمُ ◌
[“Our Lord, and send among them a Messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise."]
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2 : 129]
but he leaves out the words: وَيُزَكِّيْهِمْ (purify them), he will be given Luqma (i.e. he will be corrected).
Similarly, this visit to Sri Lanka is to give Luqma. Generally, we have left out the practical side of وَيُزَكِّيْهِمْ .
…Alhamdulillah, we attended Maktab, where we learnt to recite the Qur’aan Sharief. We also completed the course at the Darul Uloom, but we left out Tazkiyah and jumped to Imamat, teaching, etc.
Just as the Ayah will not be complete if a word is left out, so the purpose and objective of our worldly life will not be complete without Tazkiyah. Our efforts in the service of Dien will also be incomplete and deficient.
So Tazkiyah is an obligation, a must. ...This visit is a reminder for myself as well.”
Alhamdulillah, Maulana appreciated the point made and the great need to give attention to this branch of Tazkiyah.
Even though one has qualified and possesses the knowledge of Deen, there is a great need to rectify oneself spiritually and develop the reality of Ilm.
Sheikhul Hadith, Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Zakariyyah (Rahmatullah ‘alayh) related in his Fazaa’il-e-Sadaqaat, the distinguishing signs of the Ulama-e-Rabbaniyyeen as conveyed by Imam Ghazali (Rahmatullah ‘alayh) in his Ihya. One outstanding sign of a true Aalim is his interest and concern regarding this field of Tazkiyah and the effort to purify his heart.
There is well-known incident, which has been related by some person – perhaps in humour – but which offers us a lesson.
A person was to undergo an operation. When taken into theatre, he became very nervous and agitated. The doctor asked him: “What is wrong?”
He replied: “This is the first operation in my life and I have a wife and small children. I am anxious about the outcome of this operation. What if I do not survive the operation?”
The doctor, in trying to console him, said: “Don’t worry my friend; this is also the first time that I will be operating on someone.”
What will be the condition of that patient?
If a doctor does not do housemanship; he has no training; then despite studying medical textbooks, he will not be able to carry out any surgery. Even with distinctions in theory, there are many conditions to be met before the scalpel can be used…
In the same vein, if an Aalim passed his subjects with distinctions but did not give time to train under the guidance and supervision of a Sheikh, he will be a danger.
The Ulama are spiritual doctors and surgeons. People come to the Ulama for guidance and advice; for solutions to their problems. But how can we be successful in our field and truly benefit the people if we have not learnt the skill of operating on spiritual hearts?
Most of us are operating without practically learning how to. In fact, often, our own spiritual health is in need of attention, of medication. Sometimes, our own hearts require an operation so that we are cured of the cancer of Takabbur (pride), Ujub (conceit/vanity), Riyaa (show/ostentation), Hasad (jealousy), Hubbud Dunya (love for the world), and sins such as lustful gazes, lies, evil thoughts, Gheebat, etc.
We all recognise these sins because we have knowledge of them. We even read their remedies and prescriptions in the Qur’aan Sharief and Sunnah, but Allah Ta’ala has still kept Tazkiyah as a separate department in Dien. And it is a fact, that for many, despite having in depth knowledge, there is still difficulty in practising on that Ilm.
Just as we learnt to read the Qur’aan Sharief, and we studied the Qur’aan Sharief and Sunnah under the guidance and supervision of our Asaatiza – who are experts in their respective fields, so we will have to do our Tazkiyah under the guidance of a mentor, who has mastered this particular field of Tazkiyah and Islaah. And this too is on the Command of Allah Ta’ala:
يٰٓأَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللهَ وَكُوْنُوْا مَعَ الصّٰدِقِيْنَ ◌
“O You who Believe, Fear Allah and join the company of the Truthful ones
(the pious, the Auliya Allah).”
(the pious, the Auliya Allah).”
[Surah Taubah 9 : 119]
Our Sheikh, Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had explained that we should remain with them until we become like them – that is, take from them the reality of Dien – that Akhlaaq, Ibaadaat, Mu’aasharaat, etc. which is in complete conformity with the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam).
Islaah and Tazkiyah cannot be stressed enough. Without spiritually rectifying ourselves, we cannot move forward.
Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Hasan Saheb Amritsari (Rahmatullah ‘alayh) presents a very noble example of an Aalim who understood the need for purification of the heart and soul and his sincerity in undertaking this route to rectify himself. He was one of the senior Khulafa of Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh).
When Hadhrat Mufti Amritsari (Rahmatullah ‘alayh) requested Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) to accept him for Bay’at, Hadhrat Moulana Thanwi (Rahmatullah ‘alayh) stipulated four conditions:
1. Repeat your Daurah Hadith, because you studied the final year of your Aalim course in an Ahle-Hadith Madrasah.
2. Correct your Tajweed.
3. Obtain a NOC (No Objection Certificate) from your wife; that she certifies that you treat her well and keep her happy.
4. Write 40 letters requesting your Islaah to be made.
Since Hadhrat Mufti Amritsari (Rahmatullah ‘alayh) was sincere in his quest, he repeated his final year studies at Darul Uloom Deoband. He studied Tajweed from a student of his, and obtained a certificate from him, and he fulfilled the remaining conditions.
On this humility and this labour of cleaning the heart, Allah Ta’ala opens up all doors of goodness.
On one occasion, Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullah (Rahmatullah ‘alayh) visited Sheikhul Hadith, Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Zakariyyah (Rahmatullah ‘alayh) in Saharanpur. Hadhrat Sheikh (Rahmatullah ‘alayh) requested for all who were with him, to allow him some time alone with Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullah (Rahmatullah ‘alayh).
When both were alone, Hadhrat Sheikh (Rahmatullah ‘alayh) began to cry profusely. On enquiring the reason, Hadhrat Sheikh (Rahmatullah ‘alayh) replied: “Students are graduating, yet they do not make their Islaah. They are the ones who are entrusted with this great responsibility of passing the Deen to others, but they do not have Deen in their own lives. …What will be the condition of the Ummah?”
This was the concern of our Akaabir – because this knowledge of Dien is a great, great Amaanat (trust) and responsibility. We will also be questioned about our knowledge and how we acted upon it.
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) informed us:
‘[On the Day of Judgment], the feet of a person will not move until he is asked regarding:
1.) His life; how did he spend it,
2.) His knowledge; how did he act upon it,
3.) His wealth; how did he acquire it (and)
4.) How did he spend it, and
5.) His body, how did he use it.’
Alhamdulillah, a lot of Khidmat of Dien is being rendered throughout the world and may Allah Ta’ala increase all these noble efforts. However, there is a need for Tazkiyah and Islaah of weaknesses such as Takabbur, Ujub, Riyaa, love for name and fame, etc. – which creep into the greatest of works and which then render them null and void.
It must not be that we reach the Court of Allah Ta’ala, having expended our entire lives for His beautiful Dien, but nothing was done sincerely, for Him alone.
May Allah Ta’ala forgive us and protect us. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the concern and the Taufeeq to undertake this process of Islaah and Tazkiyah and grant us the success of both worlds.
~ Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)