Interpretation and Purification (Ijj’tehad aur Tazkia)
اَلْحَمْدُ ِﷲِ رَبِّ الْعٰلَمِیْنِ۔اَلصَّلوٰۃُ وَ السَّلاَم ُ عَلیٰ خَاتَمَ النَّبِیینِ۔اَمَّا بَعْدُ فَاَعُوذُ بِاﷲِ مِنَ الشَّیْطٰنِ الرَّجِیْمِ۔ بِسْمِ اﷲِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ اِنَّ الدِّیْنَ عِنْدَاﷲَ الْاِسْلَام۔صَدَقَ اﷲُ الْعَلِیِّ الْعَظِیْم
Respected elders and Friends
Islam is the true religion (deen) of Allah Almighty
We must consider ourselves to be very lucky to have been bestowed and blessed with Islam as our religion. Alhamad O Lillah. This is the only one that Allah Almighty has declared to be true and His religion. Those adherents of other religions that came before Islam were for a short time and their teachings were also restricted. Arrangements for their specific periods were catered only. Their sacred books were also limited to their times not projecting into the future. Their prophets always forecast the arrival of another one and exhorted their followers to believe in him and obey his commands. All of the great messengers of Allah Almighty mentioned his arrival in one form or another. Hazrat Ibrahim AS (Abraham) prayed for him. Hazrat Dawood AS and Hazrat Suliman AS (David and Solomon) mentioned him in their poems. Hazrat Musa AS and Hazrat Iss’ah AS (Moses and Jesus) sermonized their followers. The reason for all of them to do so was because of a pledge that required them to obey him and follow his teachings, if he arrived during their life time.
Quran is the Ultimate word of Allah Almighty
Once our holy Prophet SAW, while passing by observed Hazrat Omar (RH) reciting Torah. Signs of anger and displeasure prominently appeared on his (SAW) face. Detecting these Hazrat Abu Bakr (RH) who was beside the Prophet SAW immediately warned Hazrat Omar (RH) sternly, saying “Oh Omar! May your mother cry over you? Have you not seen the grief that you caused to the Prophet SAW?” Despite being close to each other, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RH) did not hesitate and scolded Hazrat Omar (RH).The close companions of the Holy Prophet SAW did not bother and made concessions to anyone in comparison to the Prophet SAW. Hazrat Omar (RH) assimilating the gravity of the situation started reciting the following till the Prophet SAW became normal:-
رَضِیْتُ بِاللّٰہِ رَبَّاوَّبِالْاِسْلَاِم دِیْنًا وَّ بِمُحَمَّدٍ صَلیَّ اللّٰہُ تَعَالیٰ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ نَبِیَّا
(I consent to Allah being my Lord, Islam being my religion and Muhammad SAW being His Messenger.
The Prophet SAW then said that if Hazrat Musa AS (Moses) descended in his time, even he would have to practice his (SAW) Sharia.
This evidently proves the importance of Islam as the final religion embodying the guidance for all till the Dooms Day.
Quran is not a book of Science
Let me spell it out right at the onset that orders and guidance in the Quran are abiding till the Doom’s day. It is not a scientific chronicle of events. Certainly the Quran is not a book of science. Science is a gradual process of discovery through research and analysis, formulae, rules and regulations. A thing considered right today may be proven wrong tomorrow. There is a continuous flux and change in the advancement of science. On the other hand Quran is the final word of wisdom and guidance. Quranic revelations can not be held subservient to the scientific discoveries. Quran provides the guidance and leads for discoveries and the development of science. It has been spelled out vividly in beginning of the holy Quran:-
الٓمّٓ ﴿۱﴾ذٰلِکَ ا لکِتٰبُ لَا رَیْبَ فِہِا ۔ ھُدًی لِّلمُتَّقِیْن۔ ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ وَاُولٰٓئِکَ ھُمُ الْمُفْلِحُوْنَ﴿۵﴾
(This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah. Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them. And who believe in the Revelation sent to thee, and sent before thy time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter. They are on (true guidance), from their Lord and it is these who will prosper. Al Baqra 2-5)
Religion and Science have different Foundations
Beginning of the holy Book is made with words unknown to anyone except Allah Almighty and His Messenger SAW. These haroof e muqa’at are the first shock to those who consider Quran to be a book of science. Undoubtedly these are the words of Allah Almighty and have to be believed whether understood or not. No one shall ever discover their meanings, yet we have to believe in them. Science is merely a story of observations and experiments. So how can it be associated with the Divine Scripture i.e. the Quran? The very first words cannot be deciphered now or ever. Then Quran goes on to say
ذٰلِکَ ا لکِتٰبُ لَا رَیْبَ فِیْہِ
This is a Book without doubts and anomalies being the word of Allah Almighty. Anyone one doubting it can be doubted for sanity. It is then said:-
It is a book of guidance for the pious. Who are the pious?
اَلَّذِیْنَ یُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَیْبِ
Those who believe in the unknown. Can science make such a claim, because it only believes in what it sees. Every observation has to be tested through experimentation for its validation. As against this our religion begins with a belief in the unknown. What does it imply? It means that whatever has been bestowed by Allah Almighty is the final end not an evolutionary process. What has been granted shall remain valid till the day of the judgement.
اَلْیَوْمَ اَکْمَلْتُ لَکُمْ دِیْنَکُمْ وَاَتْمَمْتُ عَلَیْکُمْ نِعْمَتِیْ وَرَضِیْتُ لَکُمُ الْاِسْلَامَ دِیْن
(This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. Al Maida – 03)
Our religion is completed and final. No change shall occur in the rituals like praying, fasting or Hajj. These days very often people talk of Interpretation (Ijtehad). Shortly I will delve and explain this concept.
One is forbidden to even talk about things that have been ordained in the Holy Book lest one turns into an infidel. The Divine commandments cannot be taken lightly because these are from our Lord Allah Almighty. It matters not to Allah Almighty if one does not believe in them. How can an ordinary mortal be compared with the Creator and His Messenger SAW. The only option is to believe in what has been told to us. In the verse یُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَیْبِ
we have been told about the Heaven, the Hell, life after death, the balance and resurrection on the Day of Judgment. All these cannot be doubted or waited for to be observed and understood.
This is religion and not science. Now you can appreciate that whereas the religion has been completed; science is still going through the process of evolution and growth.
What is Interpretation (Ijtehad)?
Allah Almighty had sent His Messenger SAW for the guidance and explanation of Islam. He SAW did two things; firstly receiving the holy Quran and secondly to lay down his ways of life and forms of worship. He SAW began with the Companions (RHs). Any aspect that was unanimously understood and accepted by them cannot be changed. We have received our religion through them as they were the intermediaries for us. Let me explain this a little further. Allah Almighty sent His message through His Messenger, Hazrat Muhammad SAW who passed it onto the Companions (RHs). They understood it and consented unanimously and then passed it on to those following them. The established concepts and rituals will therefore remain unchanged for ever. These cannot be objected to or altered even by an Imam; what to talk of any of us doing so. Even Imam Abu Hanifa (RA), Imam Shafi (RA), Imam Malik (RA) and Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (RA) do not have the authority change the aspects of Islam established by the Companions (RHs). There is no leavy for any further interpretation.
Islam being close to nature definitely has room for dissention and difference of opinion. In the life time of our beloved Prophet SAW, some of the Companions stayed with him for a short while and then went away, while some remained closely associated all along. So here comes the difference. Then the difference is between an educated scholar and an ordinary Companion (RH). An outsider and a Companion (RH) residing with him SAW. These factors can obviously cause a difference in their opinions. Anyone of them personally observed a certain facet of Prophet’s SAW life and formed his opinion but later on meeting the others he changed it too. So this was how points of difference arose. A good example is the occasion of compilation of the holy Quran. Differences in opinion arose. Hazrat Abu Bakr RH was initially not acceding to the majority view point. He was later convinced by others and he went along with the majority and the matter was resolved. So this was the form of resolving differences - through consensus.
How is it done?
If a difference persisted through the life time of the Companions (RHs), it became the responsibility of the Imams (RAs) to analyze the issue and determine the relative importance and veracity of the quote/narration. They firstly analyzed the status and standing of the Companion (RH), whether he was a scholar or not, his degree of closeness to the Prophet SAW, his length of association and place of residence to ascertain the frequency of his contact. Secondly they would verify authenticity of the narrative and its mode of transmission to nullify any chance of obscurity and falsehood. Validity and authority of the narrators thus became pronounced, leading to changes and their acceptance. The jurists framed their respective set of rules. The famous compilers of Hadith like Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Imam Abu Dawood and Imam Trimzi too had their set of rules to validate a Hadith. Various narrations were tested against these rules and only then these were found a place in their books.
Interpretations of Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) were Consultative
The most famous jurist, Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) adopted a democratic and consultative approach. Despite being a learned scholar and renowned imam himself, he gathered forty or more jurists of varying specialties and expertise like jurisprudence, Hadiths, recitation of Quran, language and grammar and ‘ sarf o nahvo’. An issue was first presented to the experts of Quran for finding a linkage with a holy verse. Then it was posed on to experts of language and grammar the interpreters of the Holy Quran. Experts of the Hadith were consulted for linkages and their interpretations and the rules and principles of jurisprudence were applied. This consultative process was followed by long sessions of debate and discussion. Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) was the last to give his opinion to conclude the issue. If all the others agreed it was written down. Sometime Imam Muhammad (RA) and Imam Abu Yousaf (RA) would dissent and present their reasons. If Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) subscribed to their notions it was put to paper. In case he disagreed, their view point it was also written down with remarks of dissention with the names.
Don’t Open the Pandora’s Box
This is how the Hanfi fiqa was compiled. No one can today put that kind of collective hard work. The present Constitution of Pakistan was framed in 1973. There are many prominent errors in it. Still no one wants to bring them up for fear of opening a Pandora’s Box. It will be difficult to gather people and obtain their consensus now. In the same vein, imagine the uproar and commotion caused by disagreements in the Hanfi fiqa. How will the consensus be obtained? How will more than forty eminent scholars of that stature be gathered? Who will match their piety, wisdom and knowledge?
فَارشْدنی اِلی تَرِک المعاصی
و ذلِکَ اَن حَفِظَ العِلم نور
وَ نور اللهُ لا یُوتی لِعاصی
َکوتُ الی وَکیعٍ سوَء حِفظی
فَارشْدنی اِلی تَرِک المعاصی
و ذلِکَ اَن حَفِظَ العِلم نور
وَ نور اللهُ لا یُوتی لِعاصی
Hazrat Imam Shaffi RA once asked Hazrat Wakhee RA that what he should do to improve his weak memory. The reply received was to stop sinning because knowledge being a blessing of Allah Almighty does not transcend into a sinner’s heart. Hazrat Wakhee RA has clearly declared that knowledge is light and not words. Apparently words are spoken but they emanate from that light - the scared clean light. Without it words will be foul and lead to mischief harming the listeners. So those scholars who aided Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifa RA were not merely learned but were also pious and selfless.
Can we count on the scholars around us today? Every one of them has a price in cash or kind like a car, a house or a green card. Pay them the price and you can get a decree of your choice.
So the best is not to fiddle with the issues already settled through consensus lest we trigger trouble and mischief and play into the hands of the devil. There is a proverb in Pashto,” The best is not to disturb a fixed stone because it would no longer remain the same.” It implies that the best is to the leave the things as they are. We may not be able to handle and control them and then bring them back to the original position.
There was a learned scholar who initially did not believe in blindly following (taqleed) the others. In the end he had to admit that those people who heeded to his advice without research and adequate knowledge ultimately turned into disbelievers and even left the religion.
We were talking as to when interpretation (ijtehad) should be resorted to? It is only in those matters where differences persisted amongst the Companions (RHs) and consensus could not be reached. Beginning with knowledge and piety, analyze the superiority of the narration and its closeness to sayings of the Prophet SAW. Fresh interpretation of any issue which had been settled through the mutual consent of the Companions (RHs) is an exercise in futility.
Cardinal Rules of Ahle Sunnat wal Jammat
There are four cardinal rules that are strictly adhered to by the Ahle Sunnat wal Jammat. Firstly anything laid down in the holy Quran has to be obeyed. Secondly those tenants laid down in Sunnah have to be followed strictly and cannot be changed. Thirdly the issues already settled through the consensus (Ij’mah) need not be changed. Lastly it has to be the conjecturing/ judgment of the eminent jurists (Mujtehid) and not the guess work of any Tom, Dick or Harry. These days it is often said that the Parliament be authorized to interpret the religion. They do little understand that how many of our parliamentarians possess the requisite religious knowledge and are pious enough to do so. Can they be granted this authority? It is said that now the door for interpretation (Ij’tehad) has closed? I tend to agree that generally it is not right to agitate the issues already settled.
Interpret the Current Issues
There are many new issues that have now emerged over the times and need to be addressed e.g. what should be the banking system? How the religious rituals like prayers and fasting are to be practiced at the poles? Determination of the composition and use of medicines .These are some of the issues that need attention and not those already settled. The Muslims starting from Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, Upper parts of Iraq, Central Asian Republics, Turkey and Mid of Europe mostly follow the Hanfi Fiqa. In Jordan, parts of Syria, Lebanon, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei Shaffi Fiqa is dominant. Imam Hanbal (RA) is followed in Saudi Arabia. Africans except Egypt are mostly Malikiis. This is roughly 90 % of the Muslim world. Let’s not challenge their established beliefs by any new interpretations. Best is to address the new issues and find their solution e.g. sighting of moon (rauet e hilal) is a serious cotemporary issue. With the changed conditions and advent of technologies there is a need for research and fresh interpretation. The point that I want to make is that whereas need based interpretation is still valid settled issues should not be disturbed. Our religion was passed on to us by the Companions (RHs) through the eminent jurist and now the religious scholars are doing this duty. It is essential to know the faith based on knowledge. Religious scholars impart that knowledge. It has been narrated that,” All are dead except the scholars. Dead are all the scholars except those who act. Dead are those who act but without sincerity and those sincere are also endangered.”
Why the sincere are endangered? The reason is that they develop a pride (aujab) after their acts; which causes its devaluation. All acts needs to be protected to ensure that these are not wasted. Who can help us to do so? How should one act after gaining the knowledge from the scholars?
How to Act?
What makes us act correctly? There are a few major anomalies that hinder the right acts to be performed. Everyone one knows that it is bad to tell lies, back bite, be jealous, swindle or hoodwink, to bribe, adulteration and usury. The question is; that why do we still indulge in these vice despite knowing them to bad. Our holy Prophet SAW had said,” There is a piece of meat in the body, which if spoilt can spoil the whole body.” Then he (SAW) pointed towards the heart. At another time he (SAW) pointing towards the heart he said,
“ٰ ھٰھُنا ، تقویٰ ھٰھُنا”
So till the time heart is reformed, acts cannot be sincere and devoted to please Allah Almighty. One comes across many people who agree to the concept but point to a problem. What is that problem?
Reformation of Heart needs Effort
The problem indicated by them pertains to effort needed to purify a heart. It cannot be reformed without an untiring concerted effort. There are many paths that lead to the heart. It is through the eyes, ears, tongue, mind and the sensations of our hands and feet. They all affect it like heat does it to coldness and vice versa. Good things seen through our eyes impact positively on the heart and vices create a negative effect. Listening to recitation of the holy Quran, hadith and talk of the pious ones improves the heart whereas music and obscene talk will spoil it. Similarly good talking nourishes it and trash leads to its decay. Hazrat Ashraf Ali Thanvi (RA) cited the example of a vegetable/fruit vendor who yells the whole day to sell his goods. His heart is not impacted because this is a part of his bonafide work. The moment he utters something that is superfluous his heart would be immediately darkened. A passer by is aimlessly asked about his destination;it is an absurd talk which can negatively impact the heart. Imagine if absurdity can harm the heart; what will the impact of a sin? When you work on your heart; meditating with eyes closed, concentrating and imaging Allah Almighty to be watching you with affection and love. The moment your eyes open, these have changed through the blessing of Allah Almighty. They will no longer look at a stranger (na mehram). This effect has to be sustained with continuous effort t lest hey revert to immodesty. Let’s take the example of a sack full of sugar with a hole at its bottom. Any amount of sugar poured into it will flow out of it and one may never be able to fill it up. The heart is similarly affected both through goodness and vices. When isolated from the vices of the eyes, ears, tongue hands and feet it will be purified a bit with a positive change. All this definitely needs rigorous and consistent hard work.
Convent House (khan’qa) is the place
These days not many know what a Khan’qa (convent house) is? A retired grade 21 officer very seriously asked me once as to whose shrine was located in my Khan’qa. He was not joking but was rather inquisitive. My reply to him was that if the same question is asked repeatedly, one day I would have to say that it was my shrine. A khan’qa has nothing to do with a shrine or a grave. Acts/rituals are performed there with utmost care and focus. It is a place that isolates you from the vices and provides you with an environment of tranquility and peace for the purification of the heart. Unfortunately khan’qas are misused these days for singing mystic choruses (qawali), distribution of devotional food and sweet meat etc. This is an utter misuse of these centers of purification and improvement. Most of us in our emotions and sincere reverence indulge in these acts of ignorance everywhere. Please spare the khan’qas and leave them for what these are meant to be. Only go there for purification of the self (naf’s).
Go there for Purification
Don’t go to a khan’qa with a fixed mindset and your dispositions. Leave aside your preferences and personal likes outside. If you are looking for your choice there then reformation will not be possible rather you will spoil the place. Hazrat Ashraf Ali Thanvi (RA) had forbid talking in his khan’qa after the Issha prayers to ensure total devotion to worship of Allah Almighty or to sleep; but disconnect from others. When we go to a khan’qa with a polluted heart, what is expected that it will involve you in gossip and small talk? It may not necessarily be a conversation of virtue and goodness. So the best is to remain quiet in order not to pollute the others. Change yourself but never attempt to change the place. These are those sacred places from where eminent saints like Hazrat Moin ud Din Chisti Ajmiri (RA), Hazrat Farid (RA) and Hazrat Ali Hajveri (RA) graduated. Imam Ghazli (RA) too was once a disciple in a convent house.
Initially the development is static for a while and then the process of purification begins. Today I happened to have taught,’Static behavior of elastic and inelastic metals’ in my Institute. An elastic metal is the one which when put under pressure changes its shape and is deformed. Once that pressure is removed it reverts to its original condition. On the other hand a plastic material under a specific pressure changes it shape permanently. Likewise one has to yield in a khan’qa till reformed and changed. How can one yield? It will require certain duration to initiate the process of change.
Importance of Chil’a (Spiritual Exercise)
Our elders of the Sufi Order have specified forty days time duration for a chil’a (spiritual exercise). A visible change occurs in this time frame. Doctors also indicate that there is a cyclic change in the body which can happen in forty days. A forty days cycle has a definite importance. The four month ritual of Tableeghi Jama’at actually comprises of three cycles of forty days each.
It is essential to bring a change in our souls and to do that time will have to be spent in a khan’qa under its specified environment. Insha Allah the change will accrue. In Dir, at the shrine of Biar e Baba Jee the kahn’qa was made first and it was functional in his life time. His tomb was constructed later. There I also observed very small prayer cells where a person could hardly stand or lie down. The occupants’ confined themselves to worship and to do zik’r in solitude only coming out for prayers or to answer the call of nature. The confinement ensured that one was away from the vices with their eyes, ears and the tongues shut. When they came out these places difference had been made.
Need for this kind of solitude has enhanced many folds now. These days one is not away from the vices even inside a mosque. Pollution has increased so much that sounds of music is audible even inside a mosque. One’s objection is shunned away that a mosque is not someone’s personal property. With such indifference prevalent, it is hard to find solitude inside the mosque. One cannot spend one whole day there because most of the mosques are locked after a prayer and then reopened for the next one. In the one’s that are open, the people there don’t let you meditate asking you to follow their ways of worship or else leave the place. Only those who follow them are considered to be on the right path. Little do they understand that one can only preach and not force someone? Our religion was spread through preaching and not the brute force. So the only place left to get solitude and abstain from vices is a khan’qa.
The need is to change our hearts. Mind you our de’an is very clean and tidy.
Our Religion is Clean
Our religion is marvelous and beautifully clean. All its rituals, dealings, etiquettes and social intercourse are perfectly structured and complete in all aspects. Only an attempt to access it is needed which is mostly hindered by our self (naf’s). So until and unless we work hard to reform and change our souls this will remain denied. Correctly praying, fasting, paying zakat (obligatory elms) and performing the obligatory pilgrimage (Hajj) are all fine. Now to ensure correctness of the rituals and social and financial matters, a cleansed soul (naf’s) is mandatory. Some people object to this approach on the plea; that is mere performance of obligatory rituals not sufficient? I tell them to gain perfection of the worship without a cleansed heart. I know that it is not possible. Just talking for the sake of talking is not enough. In the realm of sciences, experimental issues are resolved through the scientific techniques and methodology. Statistical analysis is applied to observe the usefulness of an object/process. It is observed and those things that are beneficial and to how many people are identified. Similarly we also prescribe those practices and processes which were proven to be useful. A clean heart is only acquired through sheer hard work and not lip service. The place to go is definitely a khan’qa - a real one not a counterfeit. So the first step is to find the right kind of convent house. Once it is done, benefit shall certainly accrue and no harm will come. At times these things are not understood in their correct perspective, so some people try to refrain from practicing the acts; which is not the right thing to do.
Don’t sacrifice experiences of the pious at the altar of your doubts
Rather than harbouring doubts, we must try to benefit from the established experiences of the pious people. These are experimental practices which have benefitted others and could be useful to anyone just like a running business. An established shop, being profitable fetches higher price. Similarly this is also like a running business not for the worldly gains but getting closer to Allah Almighty and purchase the Heavens. What is done here is to leave aside personal desires and seek the benevolence of Allah Almighty. The cardinal point is how to shed your desires and what is its modus operandi? The best way is to queue in the line where others are being benefitted. So what one needs are a preceptor (sheikh) and his khan’qa. He will guide you through the right path and prescribe practices that are to be performed. Interaction and perpetual contact are obligatory to progress. He will ensure that the rituals are palatable and within your capacity. They take pains to ensure that their disciples are benefitted. Allah Almighty helps these saints because have devoted their lives to the cause. Allah Almighty enlightens their hearts and what they say is certainly beneficial immersed with the Divine blessings.
Hazrat Ghangovi (RA) has narrated that when he presented himself to Hazrat Imadad Makkhi (RA) for the formal oath, he told him that it will not be possible for him to do two things ; firstly the late night prayers (tahjud) and to do the repetitive zik’r. These conditions were accepted by Hazrat Makkahi (RA). However he asked to put his bed next to him. So when Hazrat (RA) got up for tahajud, he also awoke and could no longer sleep despite his best efforts. So he decided to join Hazrat (RA) for the prayers. Similarly when Hazrat (RA) started his zik’r, he also joined him. Once started he never looked back and missed both the rituals for the rest of his life. This was the blessing of the spiritual order (Silsala) and grace of Allah Almighty. Many of our friends have shared with me the benefits that they have gained .No man can give anything to others but only Allah Almighty who showers his His blessings, if He so chooses.
My point of emphasis is that once a link is established with someone then it must be pursued. Follow the instructions of your guide (sheikh) and keep him informed and you shall certainly benefit.
وَالَّذِینَ جَاھَدُوا فِینَا لَنَھْدِیَنَّھُمْ سُبُلَنَا وَإِنَّ اللَّھَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِینَ
(And those who strive in Our (Cause) ― We will certainly guide them to Our Paths: for verily Allah is with those who do right. Al Ankabut - 69)
Allah Almighty definitely wants to give provided there is someone striving to take it. Allah Almighty being the ultimate Lord and Owner has the liberty to lay down whatever conditions that He desires and chooses. Now if a method to seek His benevolence has been identified and established one must grab it straightaway. Isn’t the same thing done to get the worldly gains i.e. adherence to the established practices and norms?
Stick to the right kan’qa
Where ever one finds the right khan’qa, it must be adopted. Visit it at least once a week to seek solace. Hazrat Majzoob (RA) told Hazrat Thanvi (RA) that whenever he came to him, he felt well but when he left the khan’qa it was back to the worldly ills. What was it? Hazrat Thanvi (RA) replied that it was like getting your dirty clothes washed. When clothes become dirty they are taken to the washer man who washes them clean. Clean clothes when worn are again soiled and taken back for washing. He advised him to follow the same practice.
Contact has to be maintained even if infrequent, one then benefits. Zik’r even done casually still yields positive results. Hazrat Ghangovi (RA) narrates, after blindness; he once went to the door and inquired if someone was there. Hazrat Maulana Ilyas (RA) and Hazrat Maulana Yahya (RA) who was the father of Hazrat Maulana Zakria (RA) returned the call. Hazrat Ghangovi Said,” Repeatedly remembering (zik’r) Allah Almighty even casually will yield benefits. Water is used to clean filth and dirt; the more it is, more dirt is cleaned. Lesser water will clean lesser impurities.
Zik’r clears neglect and carelessness
Someone may object that because of less water available how can he clean himself? Such a person can never be cleaned. Water in whatever quantity it is there, has to be applied to wash. Similarly a filthy and careless heart will only be cleaned through perpetual zik’r. Careless will start waning with regular zik’r till it is eradicated altogether. This is what is exactly done in a khan’qa. More contact, more benefit; less contact, less benefit. If you cannot gain more at least don’t give up the less. One you start coming, you would start getting nearer and nearer and will be blessed soon. This is how the system functions.
May Allah Almighty bless us with the understanding. Amin