A Qissah from from a Majlis of Hadrat Maseehullah  رحمه الله

Another incident springs to mind, one that Hadhratwala, Hadhrat Thanvi (R.A.), related to us. Let me mention this incident before continuing:

One buzrug used to be in the habit of visiting another buzrug.

(You will find)
Birds of a kind
Together they will fly along,
Dove with a dove, falcon with a falcon.

One day this buzrug did not come visit him as was his normal routine. The thought came to the other buzrug that there must be some valid reason for him not coming. The following day also he did not come visit him, and on the third day as well. The doubts now assailed him, I must have done something wrong for him not to visit me, contrary to his normal habit. He proceeded to the house of the buzrug and knocked on the door. The first buzrug answered the knock, salams were exchanged, musafahah was made, and he asked, “Why have you taken the trouble to come?”

 “Huzoor!” the second buzrug replied, “You used to visit me daily. Three days have passed and you have not visited me. The thought came to me that perhaps the reason is that I may have been rude or insulting to you, that I may perhaps have said or did something to upset you.” The first buzrug said, “If that were the case, the Hadith Shareef states that if there is some discord with one’s friend during any discussion, clear it up there and then, in that very majlis. One should not leave it for some other time. So, if there was anything you said or did along these lines, I would have brought it up there and then, and clarified the matter. Rest assured that I have no complaints against you.” Much relieved, the second buzrug asked, “Then, why did you not come?” The first buzrug replied, “I had developed an abscess, that is why I could not come.” The second buzrug asked, “Where is the abscess? This time the first buzrug gave no reply. He remained silent.”

There are two possible reasons for him to have kept silent. One is due to his natural disposition, his temperament; the other is due to a Shari reason. Firstly, the disposition of some individuals is that of being naturally very modest and shy, and to mention certain anatomical parts of the body is difficult. The person feels extremely shy to mention these.

Secondly, the Shari aspect is as follows: Seeing that the second buzrug now knew that the reason the first buzrug could not visit him was that he had an abscess which caused him great pain and difficulty in walking, then the question as to where the abscess was situated, was an irrelevant and useless question, what is termed la-yani.

Ayyuhat-tullab! (Oh Seekers!) Ponder a bit! What is the relevant Hadith shareef?

“Of the beauty of a person’s Islam is that he shuns what is useless/ futile.”

These were the sufiya-muhaqqiqeen who acted on the Hadith shareef and ayat of the Quran shareef! This is that tasawwuf, that sulook, which is an extremely exquisite section of the sacred Shariah! This tasawwuf, this sulook is not a category apart from the Shariah. Nay! It is very much a part of it, and a very delicate and extremely exquisite part, which Hadhratwala, Hadhrat Thanvi (R.A.), used to express as follows:

“Do you know what sulook is? This sulook is a rooh (soul). To which rooh can one liken it to? The rooh of the malaekah! The rooh is an extremely delicate and exquisite entity, even more so of such a delicate creation as the malaekah.”

To continue: The first buzrug had kept silent. He had not replied because the second buzrug had asked a question that was irrelevant (la-yani). Seeing that he now knew why the first buzrug had not visited him, why ask “Where did you have the abscess?” When the object had been achieved, why ask further? This question was superfluous – it was contrary to the teaching of min husni islamilmari tarku mala yanihi (Of the beauty of a person’s Islam is that he shuns what is useless/futile.”)

The second buzrug also sensed that his question was superfluous. He went back home, and on his return he fell prostrate in sajdah, lamenting and beseeching forgiveness in that he had been involved in la-yani!

These are the effects of sulook! These are the results of zikr and taqwa, combined with sulook! This tongue that we posses, has not been given for la-yani. Haq Taala has created the tongue for His zikr, and the heart has been created for His yad (remembrance). It comes in the Hadith shareef that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has stated that the tongue should be zakir (making zikr), that the heart should be shakir (making shukr), and the body should be sabir (making sabr). This tongue has been created for the zikr of Allah Taala, so why is there la-yani kalam (useless and futile speech)? And the heart is for the yad of Allah Taala.

Just ponder: Allah Taala is One. There is only one tongue, and the heart is single. Other parts of the body come in pairs: two hands, two feet, two eyes, two ears, two kidneys, etc. So that One Allah Taala has created one tongue for His zikr, and one heart for His remembrance! A tongue not making zikr, can it be called a tongue? That heart not in yad, can it be called a heart?

That heart is no heart in which You are not present!

The zikr of Allah Taala is demanded from us all the time, whereas the five daily namazes are for set and limited times.

“When ye have performed your salat, remember Allah standing, sitting, and reclining.” (Surah.4 Ayat.103)

Allah Taala is addressing us, as if to say, “When you have completed performing your namaz do not imagine that you have fulfilled all My rights on you. Nay! Nay! That namaz was for a limited period. Whereas, whilst standing (qiyaman) or whilst sitting (quudan) or whilst lying on your sides (ala junubikum), you should still be involved in My zikr!”