HAVE WE MADE THE TIME TO REFLECT AND PONDER? Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi Sahib رحمه الله


Hakeemul Ummah Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi Sahib رحمه الله has said that it is a major defect in us Muslims that we have totally given up thinking and pondering. Let each person examine himself and see if he set aside anytime from 24 hours to think and ponder. There is no one. In fact, the majority have not even planned a timetable for work, in the sense that a specific time is reserved for a specific activity. On the contrary, all their work is done haphazardly. The work which is supposed to be done in the morning is done in the evening, and vice versa. Hazrat رحمه الله had lamented that people defer simple tasks that could have been done in a few minutes for a week. Sadly, even Huffāz deprive themselves of the opportunity of making tilaawah of the Holy Qur’ān; to this extent that some Huffāz have not completed a khatam of the Holy Qur’ān after completing their Hifz!

How will such people ever set aside a time for thinking and pondering? Hazrat رحمه الله has said that we have not even set aside five minutes! There will be no trace of this Muhaasabah (taking stock) and most Muslims do not have the slightest focus in this direction. Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله says in the Holy Qur’ān:
كتاب انزلنه مبارك ليدبروا ايته وليتذكر اولوا الألباب
‘It is a blessed Book which We revealed to you so that people may contemplate over its verses and intelligent people may comprehend it.’
(Surah Sād: Verse 29)

Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله complains about this in another place:
افلا يتدبرون القرآن ام علي قلوب اقفالها
‘Do they not ponder over the Qur’ān, or are there locks on their hearts?’
(Surah Muhammad: Verse 24)

Hazrat Thaanwi رحمه الله said that had the people habituated themselves into pondering, they would not have experienced any difficulty because the effect of pondering is that the doors of mercy continue opening one after the other. How, then, could they experience difficulty? In fact, thinking and pondering brings about immense ease; while nothing is achieved in the absence of pondering.

Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله asks: Do you think We are going to force Our mercy on them even if they are averse to it? We have no need whatsoever to do this. Since you do not ponder at all, it shows you are totally averse to it. So what need is there in enforcing Our mercy on them? Do you think We have no other place to shower Our mercy? If you express the desire for thousands and thousands of mercies and strive for them, We will shower Our mercies on you. In fact We will shower more than what you strove for.

(SOURCE: THE SIMPLIFIED LECTURES by Hakeemul Ummah Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi Sahib رحمه الله – Vol 2, English Translation)