Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Advices of Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)
There are many Mureedeen who aspire and seek Khilafat, whereas Khilafat is a great responsibility and Amaanah (Trust). Khilafat is also not the objective and goal of the Mureed.
In fact, to covet and hanker after Khilafat is against the grain of Ikhlaas. This desire reveals one’s insincerity and one’s desire for position, name and fame – whereas the sincere Saalik only seeks and wants Allah Ta’ala.
In the beautiful words of Hadhrat Hajee Imdadullah Makki (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh):
“Some are asking for something; some are asking for something else;
O Allah! I beg of You to grant me Yourself!”
There is an incident about a Mureed who was desirous of getting Khilafat. The Sheikh, discerning that ambition, gave him a cup covered with a saucer and requested that he delivers it to a certain person. He also instructed the Mureed not to remove the saucer.
As the Mureed proceeded to the home of that particular person, there was movement and some sound coming from inside the cup. Out of curiosity, he lifted the saucer to see what it was. A little mouse jumped out and disappeared. So the Mureed had to return. He informed the Sheikh as to what had transpired. Since that task had been for the Mureed’s Islaah, the Sheikh said: “When you cannot take care of one small Amaanat, how will you take care of the Ummah?!”
Many a time, we cannot even fulfil the rights of our wives, our children, our parents – but we want Khilafat?!
Khilafat is also not about being in authority, or having power and influence amongst the people.
Mufti Muhammad Farouq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum) who is the principal of Jami’ah Mahmoodiya in India, and a senior Khalifa of Hadhrat Mufti Mahmood Hasan Saheb (Rahmatullahi 'alayh), had related that Mufti Mahmood Hasan Saheb (Rahmatullahi a'alayh) had mentioned some advice given by Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyas (Rahmatullahi 'alayh) who was the founder of the work of Tabligh.
Hadhrat Mufti Mahmood (Rahmatullahi 'alayh) mentioned that he visited Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyas (Rahmatullahi 'alayh) during the latter’s last illness and spent a few days with him. In that time, Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyas (Rahmatullahi 'alayh) asked him: "Do you know the meaning of Khilafat and Ijaazat?"
Out of Adab (etiquette) and humility, Mufti Mahmood Hasan (Rahmatullahi 'Alayh) replied: "I do not know what it means."
Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyas (Rahmatullahi ‘Alayh) then explained: "The Seeker has entrusted his entire life to the obedience and service of his Sheikh. He serves, obeys and follows his Sheikh so much so that everything conforms to the ways and habits of the Sheikh. The Mureed annihilates himself in his efforts to be like his Sheikh. In the Suhbat and Khidmat of the Sheikh, he acquires steadfastness and commitment. When he has annihilated himself and regards himself as insignificant and small, and when serving his seniors become embedded qualities in him, then the Sheikh grants permission, saying: "My dear brother, because of the manner in which you have dealt with me - the Tawaadhu (humility), 'Aajizi (humbleness) and Khidmat (service) - I grant you Ijaazat that you deal in this same manner with the entire creation of Allah Ta'ala - as you have done with your Sheikh. Deal with every creation in this beautiful way. Ijaazat does not mean sitting on the throne of the Sheikh and ordering everyone around. It is to think that one is in the service of Allah Ta'ala's creation and to behave accordingly – having good dealings with all."
So Khilafat is not about holding authority and sway over the masses; rather it is serving them for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. It is also the practice of our Mashaa’ikh, that where there is misconduct or some breach of the trust of Khilafat, the Khilafat is cancelled.
Khilafat is given for different reasons. One reason is that the Mureed has the capacity for his own Islaah and needs to give attention to his Islaah. If he does nothing, then this Khilafat Nama (certificate) is just a blank paper.
We should never entertain the thought: “My Khilafat is a certificate of my piety and my piety is confirmed by my Sheikh.” …Or that it is some certificate of Jannah. We should not entertain any thought that we are pious and that we are now big people in this field of Tasawwuf and as such, we deserve respect and honour…
No, we should think that it indicates that we have a lot more work to do regarding our Islaah and Tazkiyah; that we are still far from our goal.
A person’s Khilafat will have value when the person has this understanding and together with this, commences Majlis for the same purpose – that is, for Islaah. He will then progress, Insha-Allah.
Ideally, he should establish a programme of Islaah in the area that he resides. This is best done in the Masjid. If due to circumstance, it cannot commence in the Masjid, then commence in one’s home.
The Niyyat (intention) must be emphatically for one’s own Islaah. When the intention is for one’s Islaah, the person will find benefit. Where a person thinks: “I’m all right. I need to make the others right.” – then this is the stepping stone to one’s own spiritual retrogression.
If the correct intention is made, then the person will progress by leaps and bounds.
Once, Qari Zaheer Saheb of the Tabligh Jamaat made my Tashkeel to join their Jamaat to Zimbabwe. I asked: “What Niyyat must I make?”
Qari Saheb replied: “Solely and only for your own Islaah. Not with any thought of being the principal of a Darul Uloom or an Aalim or to make the Islaah of others.”
The Majlis is also not for the purpose to impress with subtle points and deep aspects of Tasawwuf. This does not work. Speak to the people in their language and on their level. Do not talk beyond their understanding and do not talk beyond your own understanding and Ma’rifat.
Some discuss levels of Tasawwuf which they have not experienced themselves and they present these as their own Haal and condition. In doing this, the person tries to show that he is of a high calibre and thus able to explain such points. This is the nafs which is stealing from our efforts.
...Like how the Ambiyaa (Alaihimus Salaam) were sent to the people for their guidance, so the 'Ulama and Mashaa`ikh have a duty to guide and correct their people as well. Islaah is on all fronts: Aqeedah, Ibaadaat, Mu’amalaat, Mu’asharaat, Akhlaaq, etc.
Moulana Abdullah Phoolpuri (Daamat Barakaatuhum) had mentioned that the objective of the 'Aalim is the concern and Fikr of his people and the effort to guide them on Siratul Mustaqeem – by closely following the mission of Nubuwwah – which is to teach the Qur’aan Sharief and Sunnah and to undertake the work of Tazkiyah.
After 23 years fulfilling this mission of Nubuwwah, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) took approximately 124 000 of his companions for the Hajjatul Wadaa’ – companions, who had become shining stars in his Suhbat and under his guidance. The Barakah of that effort continues until today and will continue until Qiyamah.
The Khalifa should cling to his Sheikh. Even if the Khalifah is an Aalim, stay under the guidance of the Sheikh. Stay under the guidance of the 'Ulama. Do not become independent. The Khalifa should not be neglectful of his own Islaah nor become content with himself and satisfied with his work. This is very dangerous.
As an example: A ball is thrown up. With how much of force it was thrown and with its weight, so much does it go up. When the ball reaches its final height it does not stay there for even a moment, it starts falling down.
As long as a Sheikh has got concern for his Islaah, he will progress in this path. When he feels he is not in need of Islaah and he is satisfied that he has reached his height, then like the ball, he begins to come down with speed – even faster than a ball descending.
Our Sheikh, Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) would say:
‘He, who is not concerned about his own Islaah,
where will he be a guide?
He, himself, will not be righteous.’
جو اپنے آپ کو مستقل بالذات سمجھتا ہے
وہ مستقل بد ذات ہوتا ہے
‘He who regards himself as independent (and not in need of guidance or a Sheikh),
will fall into evil.’
As a Sheikh, the person should avoid rivalry and jealousy, pride and arrogance.
It is a common observation that people in the same line of work – whether doctors, businessmen, lawyers or others, sometimes feel threatened when a person of the same profession or business commences work in the same locality.
Another incident has been related of a Sheikh who was running his Khanqah in a certain locality. Another Sheikh also moved to the area and established his Khanqah nearby. The first Sheikh sent a tumbler full of water and the second Sheikh returned it with a rose petal on top of the water.
The Mureeds did not understand the reason behind this and enquired from the Sheikh. The Sheikh explained: “My message by sending the tumbler of water was that this work is already being done here. However, the Sheikh’s message, by placing the petal, was that there should be no problem with him doing the same; rather the more, the better.”
As a Muslim, be big hearted. Be happy that others are also doing this work of Dien and that more people will Insha-Allah benefit and connect with Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).
Jealousy results in destruction of one’s own good deeds, so we need to be very much on guard. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: "Beware of jealousy, for verily it destroys good deeds the way fire destroys wood."
Pride is that path that led to the downfall and rejection of shaytaan.
Sometimes, people engaged in the work of Tabligh and Khanqah feel the other to be a threat or insignificant. This should not be so. Both are to complement each other in the service of Dien and both are integral parts of serving Dien.
It is a misconception that the Khanqah is for the individual and the Tabligh Jamaat is for everyone. This is a misnomer. The work of Dien which is carried out by the Khanqah is also for everyone, reaching out to everyone. One of our Akaabir had explained: “Is water more important or is air more important? Both are necessary. Similarly in Dien, different works are carried out and each one is necessary.”
There are many who are fit to get Ijaazat and Khilafat but the Sheikh does not grant it – with good reason. As said, this is not the objective of Tasawwuf and a Saalik should not consider this Ijaazat and Khilafat as a criteria of acceptance or success.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us all a sense of responsibility in this field of Tasawwuf, grant us Ikhlaas in all efforts and forgiveness on all shortcomings, and acceptance despite not deserving.
 Abu Dawood