|The Life of a True Soofi (3)
Further, Allah Ta’ala says:
“Indeed there is intense harmony of the heart and tongue and precise utterance in the vigil of the night.”
This Aayat states that in view of the peace from noise and distraction at this time of the night and it is not a time for worldly occupations the heart is at rest and peace. Hence, whatever is recited during this time has a great impression on the heart and whatever is done during this time has a strong effect. Thus, this Aayat appears to be the rationale of the preceding Aayaat. For the reasons mentioned, presence of mind is on a high level during this time, therefore, the benefits of Qiyaamul Lail and Tarteel will be accrued fully.
Concentration for the Beginner and the Advanced Saalik
A point learnt from experience connected to presence of the mind is that the beginner in Sulook should deliberately intend every word he utters. Similarly, by paying attention to the words, concentration is gained. After a while, proficiency is achieved and then there remains no need for much deliberation.
The advanced Saalik on the other hand gains concentration by focussing his mind on Allah. In the beginning this is difficult because the beginner’s mind does not remain focused on something absent from his mind. The advanced Saalik, however, can keep his mind on Allah Ta’ala.
Tahajjud, Tableegh and Tarbiyat
Thereafter, Allah Ta’ala says:
“Indeed you have plenty of work during the day.”
Firstly it was wisely mentioned that Tahajjud and the Qur’aan Majeed should be read for their effects are greater at that time. Here another reason is added; you have other work during the day as well and on account of that you cannot achieve the special focus of mind on Allah Ta’ala. Thus this time of the night has been prescribed as it is free of other occupations.
And the obligations of the day are: Tableegh (propagation) of the Deen, Tarbiyat (spiritual reforming) of creation and other necessary and unavoidable human needs.
Although Tableegh of the Deen and Tarbiyat of creation are also part and parcel of Deen, but in view of some connection to creation in these, the special and complete attention to Allah Ta’ala, therefore, cannot be realized from these as can be acquired through complete seclusion.
Changes in One’s Spiritual Condition – Unavoidable
Here, what was mentioned earlier is confirmed again. In spite of perfection in Deen a man can never shed the human exigencies within him. Consider that the Aayat clearly points out that the lengthy engagements of the day are obstructions to Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) having peace of mind. And in view of all his states being perfect it is established that engaging with creation is not nugatory of being perfect. Thus, a Saahib-e-Kamaal (one fully accomplished in Deen) does not remain in an unchanged state all the time.
The episode of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddeeq and Hazrat Hanzalah (Radhiyallahu anhuma) is mentioned in the Hadeeth. Hazrat Hanzalah considered himself to be a munaafiq (hypocrite) on account of his condition in the company of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) being different to his condition away from Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddeeq responded that his condition was the same as Hazrat Hanzalah’s. They brought their problem to Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “O Hanzalah! There is a time for this (condition) and a time for that (condition).”
And as a matter of fact if the same condition of total engrossment settles over a person all the time then physically he will become redundant. The Manifestation of Allah will annihilate him and he will not be able to care for anyone. He will thus perish.
Secondly, pleasure and enthusiasm are produced when a state does not become monotonous. An unchanged state diminishes pleasure which one finds with something new.
A’maal – The Object of This Life
Another hikmat in this is that overwhelming absorption negates intention and without intention there is no thawaab over deeds. Without deeds there is no Proximity to Allah. A’maal (deeds) are the object of this life. We have been sent to this world to make amal. Before coming to this world the Rooh was in that particular condition of perpetual absorption in the Divine Zaat. But there were no A’maal forthcoming from it (the Rooh). For A’maal it was sent to earth. Thus, A’maal and Ajr (actions and reward) are established to be high-priority objectives. The Muhaqqiqeen Soofiyah have thus said that in istighraaq (total absorption) there is no advancement.
From all these points you will have realised that just as there are reasons for Tajalli (Divine Manifestation), similarly there are good reasons for istitaar (being veiled from Divine manifestation) as well.
Once You Have Completed Your Work
Here we learn something worthy of note. Tableegh of the Deen and Ta’leem of Ahkaam being of benefit to others are more beneficial than self-restricted benefit and hence the advanced and accomplished Saalik occupies himself with these. In spite of that, Allah Ta’ala instructs that in the night you offer Tahajjud and recite the Qur’aan with tarteel, considering your load of work during the day.
At another place Allah Ta’ala says:
“Once you have completed (your work) then make every effort to engross yourself with your Rabb.”
This proves that the Kaamil should also do something for his own good. Even after becoming accomplished he should not become neglectful of Zikr, otherwise his condition will deteriorate and others will not gain perfect benefit from him because without practising oneself there is no barkat (blessing) in one’s Ta’leem (teaching).
This is conveyed in the popular saying: “Whoever doesn’t have a wird (spiritual programme), doesn’t have a waarid (high spiritual state).”
But it is wrong for the accomplished to abandon society and take to permanent seclusion. One should not regard oneself to be worthy of spiritual guidance, however. When the Shaikh grants permission then start this work. To have this intention from the outset and to engage in Zikr and Shaghl with this niyyat is detrimental. With this intention success is a pipedream. And the reason for this is that this intention is a branch of self-aggrandizement.
(To be completed with Part Four, Insha-Allah)