Nowadays, the courage of people has weakened tremendously; neither do they have time nor any enthusiasm for Deen. I will therefore show you a prescription which is easy to follow, from which I have personally benefitted to the extent that my tasks have become easy; and I was blessed with a happy, comfortable and contented life. I hope that by the blessings of my elders the matters of the hereafter will also be solved.
We are drowned in sin but this prescription will certainly provide an escape for us, and in fact it will instil the hatred of sin within us. It will increase within us the enthusiasm of carrying out good deeds. It is such an easy prescription that it doesn’t require any effort, time or money.
- The first is Shukr (thankfulness) – One can never express sufficient gratitude to Allah Ta’ala for all the bounties that He has bestowed upon us. Sheikh Saa’di Rahmatullah Alaih said, “When a person makes Shukr, then another two Shukrs become Waajib upon him. The first Shukr is required for the great bounty that Allah Ta’ala granted him the Taufeeq and ability of making Shukr. The second Shukr is for this bounty, that the tongue was able to utter the word ‘Shukr’.”
The bounties which Allah has bestowed upon us should not be used in His disobedience. For example, one should not use his tongue for swearing, backbiting, insulting and offending others, nor should one use his eyes to gaze at Haraam, nor should one use his ears to listen to Haraam. One should express Shukr on celebrating a happy occasion, on eating food, on seeing one’s children and family members pleased, on drinking water, on reaching one’s destination safely, etc. by saying “Alhumdulillah.” On forming such a habit, one will gradually discard the habit of disobeying Allah Ta’ala. This action doesn’t require any effort, time, or money to be spent. By engaging in such an Ibaadat, more secrets and paths of Shukr will be opened up before a person.
Jannat is free from all forms of Ibaadat (worship) such as Salaah, fasting, Zakaat, Haj, Jihaad, etc. but a particular form of Ibaadat will continue in Jannat as well. On every breath the Jannati will be saying ‘Alhamdulillah’, in fact their breathing will be ‘Alhamdulillah.’ Breathing is a natural occurrence that is involuntarily carried out. One does not have to make an intention to breathe; rather it occurs naturally. Also, in every Rakaat of Salaah, we recite Surah Fateha which begins with “Alhumdulillah.”
Allah Ta’ala states in the Quraan Sharif,
ما يفعل الله بعذابكم ان شكرتم واٰمنتم
“What will Allah gain by punishing you, if you will keep thanking Him and believe in Him.”
This shows that Allah Ta’ala will not punish a thankful servant; rather Allah Ta’ala will protect him from punishments. A person blessed with bounties such as good health, wealth, etc. always fears that these bounties should not be snatched away. Also, by expressing our gratitude before Allah Ta’ala His bounties increase, as the Quraan Sharif states,
لئن شكرتم لازيدنكم
“If you are thankful then I will increase you (in My bounties.)”
In essence, by expressing gratitude on the bounties of Allah Ta’ala, one will not fear decrease, nor will he fear bounties being snatched away.
“Alhumdulillah” is such an Ibaadat that is pure and free of ostentation. Reciting “Alhumdulillah” on experiencing a good condition is generally void of ostentation, and such actions are generally accepted by Allah Ta’ala.
Allah Ta’ala states in the Quraan Sharif,
Remember Me, I (Allah) will remember you
On reciting “Alhumdulillah” one’s connection with Allah Ta’ala increases, he enjoys even more bounties of Allah Ta’ala, and when a person is tempted to sin, he will think, “These were the very bounties for which you were thanking Allah, so how can you now disobey Him whilst enjoying the very same bounties.”
Another benefit of making Shukr, when things are not according to one’s temperament, a person will have the courage to endure it, as he will bear in mind that he had enjoyed so many bounties of Allah Ta’ala, so what is there if he tolerates a single difficulty that has come his way? This will further protect him from becoming depressed. If one is hurt by others he will not retaliate, with the result being that a person’s inner and outer self will become purified daily, and he will not use the bounties of Allah in His disobedience.
- The second is Sabr – The reality of Sabr is to control one’s Nafs. If grief and sorrow befalls a person then he does not utter words of ungratefulness. When inclined towards sin, he controls his heart just as a driver controls a car. Sabr can be attained by silently reciting,
انا لله وانا اليه راجعون
“To Allah we belong and to Him is our return.”
Recite this whenever such a situation arises that is contrary to one’s temperament. Once again, in reciting the above neither effort, nor time, nor money is required.
Many people think that the above Dua is only to be recited on the demise of an individual whereas Shariah teaches us that it should be read for any calamity that befalls us, such as being pricked by a thorn, or on any work being delayed, or due to the food not having a pleasant taste, or a child falling ill, etc. This is tantamount to saying, “I have turned to Allah, it has come from Him and He will certainly help me out of it.” The Quran has promised,
ان الله مع الصابرين
Allah is with the patient ones.
Allah promises His special mercies for those in the habit of reciting,
انّا لله وانّا اليه راجعون
Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Quraan in regards to those that recite,
انّا لله وانّا اليه راجعون
The special mercies of Allah Ta’ala are upon them, and they are the rightly guided ones.
So Shukr and Sabr are found simultaneously, as a person experiences either of these two situations daily. Either one will be happy due to some good that he has received, or one will be sad due to some grief or loss that has befallen him. So in the first instance he will make Shukr whilst in the second instance he will make Sabr. A husband said to his wife that the both of them will be in Jannat together, because of him engaging in Shukr and her exercising Sabr. He makes Shukr for her beauty and she makes Sabr on his ugliness.
- The third is Istigfaar – To seek repentance by saying, “Astagfirullah.” Or one can say it in his own language which means, “O Allah! Forgive me.” Istighfaar saves a person from Allah’s punishment. Generally we would tell a person who we wronged that, “We are very, very, sorry!” The person then changes his attitude and responds by saying, “No problem.” The word “sorry” changed his whole attitude towards us. Likewise if we just utter, “Astagfirullah” it will cool Allah’s anger and it will save us from the punishment of Jahannum.
We commit sins day and night, with our hands, feet, tongue, etc. however the utterance of one “Astagfirullah” removes all the sins. The Quraan states,
وما كان الله ليعذّبهم وانت فيهم وما كان الله معذّبهم وهم يستغفرون
“ And it is not for Allah to punish them whilst you are amongst them and nor is it for Allah to punish them whilst they are repentant”
This is such a valuable prescription, that one that has soiled himself with sin is cleansed and purified with Istighfaar. Istighfaar has been prescribed particularly for the sinners. Every time a person commits a sin but says “Astagfirullah”, then this causes him to regret over his actions and as a result addresses himself by saying, “How much are you sinning?” In this manner one’s sins gradually decrease, it causes a person to realise his folly until the Nafs finally stops sinning.
- The Fourth thing is Isti’aazha – Seeking refuge in Allah Ta’ala is necessary as a person experiences various fears and anxieties in his day to day life. If a person apprehends being retrenched, falling ill or anything that might occur in the future, etc. then he should read, “Aoozubilla- which is also referred to as Ta’awwuz.” If the helpless and weak or even a child seeks help against an oppressor then any person will be prepared to assist and protect them. In the same way when we supplicate before Allah Ta’ala by saying, “Please save me from future dangers, I have no strength, You are my Sustainer and my Lord” then Allah Ta’ala will save a person from sinning in the future, if his fear pertains to getting involved in sin. Allah Ta’ala will protect him from his fears pertaining to this world and the hereafter, if his fears pertain to these aspects. For all such fears one should recite, “Aoozubillah.” The first three prescriptions of Shukr, Sabr and Istigfaar, were to protect the matters of the past. Once a person has protected his matters of the past, he must now protect his matters of the future. Isti’aazha is for the future, so we are protecting our future as well by uttering “Aoozubillah.”
These above mentioned four A’mal provide security for our past and future, in fact it serves as protection for our Deen and our hereafter. Once my Sheikh Dr Abdul Hay Rahmatullah Alaih mentioned in a gathering, “O people say! “We are sinners and we are sinners” but it isn’t really a problem as Allah Rabbul Aalameen is “Ghaffaar.” If one engages in sin then simply ask for forgiveness.”
I always had a concern, that we keep the quality of Allah’s forgiveness “His Ghaffaariyat” before us all the time, but what if a person passes away before repenting for his sin. The following week Hadrat explained the mercy of Allah Ta’ala by saying, “Make a habit of practising these four prescriptions namely, Shukr, Sabr, Istigfaar and Isti’aazha then one will be protected from sinning. Even if a person intends committing a sin he will not be able to do so, as an obstacle will be created which will hinder him from doing so. However, if a person forces himself towards the sin and enjoys it, then this is actually a punishment from Allah Ta’ala. Enjoying that which Allah Ta’ala has made Halaal and hating that which Allah Ta’ala has made Haraam is an indication of the person being bssed with a bounty from Allah Ta’ala. May Allah grant us all Taufeeq to practise? Ameen.
Malfoozaat of Hadrat Dr Abdul Hay Saheb Aarifi Rahmatullah Alaih
Albalaagh Karachi, Sha’baan 1419/December 1998