Summary of discourse by Shaykh Abdul Mueed Saheb (Hafizahullah)
Tuesday, 7 April 2020 – Khanqah Maseehiyyah, Sukkur, Pakistan
Given our present challenges, it is imperative for us to re-establish our connection with Allah Ta’ala, rid ourselves of negligence and enhance our spirituality. In such trying times, if a person remains negligent and doesn’t take heed, then there can’t be a more deprived person.
We have discussed Taubah and the conditions of repentance – firstly, to be regretful, secondly to leave that sin immediately, thirdly to commit never to go back to disobedience, and fourthly to fulfill all rights and dues to Allah Ta’ala and people that have resulted from such disobedience. When the first 3 are conditions are accomplished, then the 4th condition must follow.
To make Taubah as explained is easy, but to maintain it is not so easy. Just like building a house is easy, but to maintain it is tough. Upholding the pledge of Taubah is a life long challenge. Another example is that of memorising the Quran, which is easy, but to maintain its memorisation is difficult.
How to maintain Taubah – First step: monitor the nafs
The first step is to constantly monitor the nafs and ego. Once a person repents from sin and begins to become righteous, a new problem arises and that is of pride, of regarding himself to be better than others. He begins to look down upon others and thinks himself to be pious. Hadhrat Maseehul Ummat rahimahullah explained that one should never look low at others and never think great of oneself. This is called monitoring the nafs and ego.
Hadhrat Shafeequl Ummat rahimahullah mentioned, that Hadhrat Maseehul Ummat rahimahullah gave him advice at the time of bay’at to never look down at any sinner, doing this drops one down in the eye of Allah Ta’ala.
So keep one’s egos in check and be psychologically prepared to oppose the invitation to sin. Whatever effort and sacrifice is required must be firmly undertaken to ensure one remains safe from falling prey to sin.
How to maintain Taubah – Second step: Muhasabah (evaluation)
Secondly, adopt the practice of muhasabah (evaluation) and muraqaba (contemplation) before sleeping. There is lot of negligence in our lives regarding these aspects. Today, we are busy assessing the lives and faults of others. This leads us to gossip and criticism of others.
Muhasabah (evaluation) – Part 1 of the second step
Muhasabah requires us to consider the days deeds. Our day will contain acts of good and bad. For the good, one must be grateful to Allah Ta’ala. Acknowledge that Allah Ta’ala made me do it, all ability and guidance is from Allah Ta’ala alone, otherwise I can achieve nothing myself. Gratitude brings increase in favours.
The second part of muhasabah (evaluation) is to reflect over one’s sins. This is a private process of confession with Allah Ta’ala. We can deceive people but no one can deceive Allah Ta’ala.
Be honest, seek forgiveness and make your confession. Our day is filled with wrong thoughts, intentions, words and actions. Promise to avoid all such wrongs in the future.
Clear your slate before sleeping. There is no guarantee of life. Many have slept, never to wake up, so make amends with your Creator and clean your slate before sleeping.
Hakeemul Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Thanwi rahimahullah explained that people who feel that they lack the courage to leave sin should remember death and take stock of their deeds before sleeping. Together with that make a little Zikr for 5 minutes. If one does this daily, then gradually one will find that sins will leave your life and only good will remain.
Muraqabah maut (pondering over death) – Part 2 of the second step
Muraqabah – The second step is to remember death – this cuts off all long hopes and detaches one from the world. Sin is driven by worldly temptations, so if we remember death daily, it will serve to curb these temptations and thus prevent us from sin.
The process of muraqabah maut (contemplation over death) is that one should imagine the moment of death. Imagine oneself in the last throes of life, the family is present, all are helpless, and the angel extracts my soul, then my body is taken for ghusl, then the kafan shrouded, then Janazah Salah performed and my body eventually lowered into the grave. Angels have arrived to question me, how will I fare? Think of accountability in front of Allah, how will I answer for my deeds?
This process, if done consistently will show its effect in the day – a person will be alert and won’t be so courageous to do wrong anymore. Gradually over time, such a person will move towards righteousness and will develop the courage to forsake sins.
Furthermore, to reinforce this commitment, a person should associate himself with a pious personality and take guidance from him.
The deception of the nafs
We must be aware of the nafs and ego, for it beguiles a person in various ways. For example a person who is performing Salah, shaytan will not get him to leave Salah, but will make him entertain bad thoughts of the person who doesn’t perform Salah. These bad thoughts become the undoing of this person who performs Salah. He begins to think great of himself. The traps of the heart and ego are known by the experts of the heart and establishing a relationship with such a guide makes reaching Allah Ta’ala very easy.
The above process briefly outlines how a person should uphold Taubah and preserve his commitment to Allah Ta’ala. ,