Wednesday 8 April 2015

Becoming Mindful of the Unseen

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)

When we read about the Sahaba-e-Kiraam (RA), the Tabieen, the Tabe-Tabieen, and thereafter our Akaabir, we find that their condition was one of awareness of Allah Ta’ala and consciousness of Aakhirah (the Hereafter). They were mindful and alert in respect to their actions, as well as cautious and vigilant against nafs and shaitaan.

Not only did this awareness create a strong barrier between them and sins, it inspired them in obedience, and it also created an understanding of the system of the Unseen – that nothing occurs except what is decreed by Allah Ta’ala. So we find, in their lives, spiritual progress.…Lapses in their relationship with Allah Ta’ala were negligible.

Whilst their condition was of a high level of Ihsaan, ours is of high level of ghaflat (negligence).  Whilst their condition was one of progress, ours seem to be one of retrogression. …Despite our extreme distance from the reality of being conscious of Aakhirah, it is not an impossible distance to cover, to reach that stage, where our gaze and focus is on the Hereafter, and where we too achieve the stage of Ihsaan, as described by Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

In the Hadith of Jibraeel, we read that from amongst the questions Hadhrat Jibraeel (‘Alaihis Salaam) asked Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), he asked:  “What is Ihsaan?”

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) replied: “That you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him, and if you cannot see Him, then He sees you (anyway).”

This is the degree of Yaqeen that the Auliya Allah build up within themselves. They then have a conscious contact and connection with Allah Ta’ala and the Hereafter. …Of course, this is not suggesting they have Ilm (knowledge) of the Unseen, because only Allah Ta’ala is Aalimul Ghayb (Knower of the Unseen). This is His Exclusive Attribute and no one can share in that.

Allah Ta’ala states in Surah An-Naml

“Say, "None in the heavens and earth knows the Unseen except Allah…”
[Surah An-Naml 27 : 65]

Rather, our effort is to acquire a conscious awareness that there is Allah Ta’ala, Aakhirah, Accountability, Jannat and Jahannum.

Whilst, Alhamdulillah, our Mashaa`ik have presented different and effective formulas in developing this awareness, the following is a simple prescription which Allah Ta’ala put into my mind, and which Alhamdulillah, has proved beneficial for those who followed through with the advice.

Salaah, five times a day is an obligation upon all of us. We all know this, but how many of us are particular in fulfilling this obligation – whether during business hours, at family functions, on travel, holiday, when sick, weak, etc.? Allah Ta’ala has granted ease in the matters of Dien, and thus we find that the Salaah of the Musaafir is shortened, the Salaah of the sick person can be read in a sitting position or lying down, etc.

…Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) described Salaah like the head to the body: “There is no Islam in a person when there is no Salaah by him. The position of Salaah in Islam is as the position of the head in a body.”

Without a head, there is no life. Similarly, without Salaah, there is no spiritual life – Without this great Fardh in our lives, how will it be possible to achieve this desired state of Ihsaan?

Thus, if Salaah is not already our practice and habit, then the first step is to establish Salaah in our lives, being punctual in its performance, and for the men to read Salaah in Jamaat, in the Masjid. This is Waajib (obligatory).

Thereafter, to develop that conscious awareness of the Unseen and to increase our Imaan in the Unseen, as well as to improve the Khushoo (concentration) in Salaah, the following should be done as a start:

At the beginning of the Salaah, we should make a conscious intention of fulfilling the Command of Allah Ta’ala, seeking His Pleasure.

At the end of Salaah, when we make Salaam, we should do so, with the intention of Salaam to the Angel on the right shoulder – making Salaam, consciously and with conviction. We should also have the intention of Salaam to the Musallis and Jinn on our right; and if the Imaam is on the right, to the Imaam as well. Thereafter, we make Salaam, with conviction, to the angel on the left shoulder, the Musallis, the Jinn on our left side, and the Imaam, if he is on the left. Insha-Allah, in doing this continuously and inculcating this habit, we will be blessed with 2 gifts:  

We will become conscious of the unseen system of Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu that is at work all the time, and will develop and increase in our Yaqeen on it. …Whilst we will make the required arrangements for our work of Dunya, we will have the Yaqeen that until Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu does not decree it, it will not happen.

“Insha-Allah” will be a natural word on our tongues, with Yaqeen, that until Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu does not wish something to happen, it will not happen. We will understand that this unseen system of Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu is what supersedes and overrides our system of cause and effect.

The reality of Aakhirah will dawn upon us. We will become conscious, aware and have yaqeen of the life after death, of Qabr, Qiyaamat, and the final abode of Jannat – which we will now prepare for and look forward to. We will also have conviction that there is Jahannum, and will make every effort and endeavour to avoid those deeds which pave the way to Jahannum (May Allah Ta’ala protect).

By becoming conscious of the Malaaikah who are in our attendance, on our right and left side – Kiraaman Kaatibeen, we will be conscious of the fact that our deeds and our words are being written down… 

“But verily over you (are appointed angels) to protect you;
Kind and honourable, writing down (your deeds).
They know (and understand) all that you do.”
[Surah Infitaar 82 : 10 / 11 / 12]

And this, in turn, will prevent us from engaging in sins. We will restrain ourselves from whatever is displeasing to Allah Ta’ala. And abstinence from sins is Taqwa.   When the person has Taqwa, he is the friend of Allah Ta’ala. SubhanAllah.

“…Verily none are the Auliya except those who refrain from His disobedience…”
[Surah Al-Anfal 8 : 34]

Insha-Allah, if we concentrate on this simple prescription, many doors of spiritual goodness, progress and success will open for us. Our Salaah too will become ‘Mi`rajul Mu`mineen’ (the ascension of the Believers).

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the understanding and Taufeeq