These final words contain advice of immeasurable value.
Hadhrat Maulana Masehullah (Rahimahullah) said:
I can hardly muster enough courage to stir my tongue, weakness having sapped my strength to this extent. It is with great difficulty that I speak. Even then, a few points need stating. Listen attentively.
Take care to perform good deeds with istiqamat (steadfastness), always with good character and good speech. Also, take care to take it upon yourself to perform namáz (Salah), keep rozah (fast) and perform what is sunnah and mustahab (optional), taking into account your health and ease of performance. In the same way Zikr and Tilawat (Quran recitation) should continue, taking into account opportunity and ease of performance.
Take care to continue in your studying of kitábs. This is very necessary. Hadhratwala’s (reference to Maulana Ashraf Ali Thnawi R) Sharí’at and Tariqat and Imám Ghazálí’s Arabic Tablígh-ud-Deen, one should make obligatory on oneself to read. Hadhratwala (Rahimahullah) used to prescribe these books to great, great Ulama, with much emphasis. Also, Hadhratwala’s commentary Bayán-al-Qur’án should be studied.
Avoid all sinful deeds, to the extent of refraining from anything doubtful, as it appears in Bukhárí Sharíf:
“What is halál is clear and what is harám is clear; and in-between the two is what is doubtful. Stay away from what is doubtful.”
You should be very desirous of attaining the akhláqe-hamídah (good character) and you should remove the akhláqe-razílah (bad attributes) and develop a sense of distaste for the latter.
The effect of this would be that you attain husne-kalám (good speech) and husne-khulq (good character) and that you maintain these states. The meaning of husne-kalám is that words should be decent and cultured (polite/affable), spoken with a soft voice. The meaning of husne-khulq is that one should have hilm which, in our language, we call burdabárí (tolerance/forbearance). Whenever somebody says anything against your temperament, something which offends you, make light of it by using husne-kalám, with burdabárí, according to the statement of Alláh Ta’álá:
“And when they hear vain talk they withdraw from it.” (S 28 V55)
Whenever you are in such a situation, put it off honourably. Do not sit at such a place or involve yourself in that activity which may be the reason for your being slandered, as it appears in the Hadíth Sharíf:
“Abstain from places/occasions of slander.”
You have not been told to save yourself from slander, but you are to save yourself from such places and such activities which may cause you to be a target of slander.
[After a pause, Hadhrat continued:]
My guide and mentor, Hadhrat Hakímul Ummat, Mujaddide Millat (Rahimahullah), used to say:
“There are two words, one is ‘Dhiyán’ and the other ‘Dhun’ to take note of. Dhiyán is that, at all times, sitting, standing, walking about, the thought of Alláh Ta’ala should be in you. Dhun is that tazkíyah nafs (the purification of the soul) should at all times be an obsession.”
These two words are most onerous. Continuously act on them. Do not involve yourself in the affairs of others. Keep yourself aloof from the affairs of others. (To intrude into the affairs of others) is contrary to the honour and dignity (shán) of mashikhiyet (those who seek purification).
Abundance of zikr should be recited in such a way that the tongue makes zikr with every breath and the heart is grateful (shákir) to Alláh Ta’ála for the taufíq for zikr and obedience.
Keep dealings (mu’ámulát) and transactions completely correct, clear and clean.
Enough! These are a few words, by way of wasíyet (testament), which I wish to mention. Despite the fact that I do not have enough courage and strength to muster then, too, by the fadhl of Alláh Ta’álá, this wasíyat has been made.
[The following morning, after the Fajr, Hadhrat repeated:]
Good deeds should be performed continuously, with istiqámat, with husne-kalam and husne-khulq, with soft, polite words, as Allah Ta’ála has stated:
“Tell My bondmen to speak that which is kindlier.” (S 17 V 53)
With husne-kalám and husne-khulq, whenever any incident takes place, contrary to your temperament, offending you, pass it off with husne-kalám, with soft words, with husne-khulq. Allah Ta’ala has stated:
“The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better.” (S 41 V 34)
Adopt hilm (forbearance) or let it pass in silence. Allah Ta’ala has stated:
“And when they hear vain talk they withdraw from it.” (S 28 V 55)
Husne-khulq is a great thing. Huzúre-Akram Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) had asked the Sahabah (RA): “Shall I show you that thing that is better than a person making ibadat the whole night and keeping roza (fast) every day, for a full year?” The Sahabah (RA) asked, O Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), what is that? Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Husne-khulq. This is a much greater thing.” Then Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) asked: “Shall I show you something even better than that?” The Sahabah (RA) pondered: “What could be better than that?” They then requested Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) to show them. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “To have husne-khulq with your wife – to treat her with softness.”
This is because one continuously comes across such things contrary to one’s temperament from one’s wife. In the same way, approach your relatives and friends, even your enemy, with husne-khulq.
This is sufficient. Be punctual with and be drawn towards good deeds, with husne-khulq and husne-kalám. And refrain from evil deeds, with feelings of distaste for them. And let your tongue be zákir and your heart be shákir.
Cleansing of the nafs and rectification of the nafs should be an obsession (dhun); and the dhiyán of Alláh Ta’álá: What has been outlined is the whole summary, the essence, of Tasawwuf.
This is sufficient. Continually act on it. These are the noble statements of my murshid Hakeemul Ummat Mujaddidul Ummat, Maulana Mohammed Ashraf Ali Sahib Thanwi
(Adapted from the compilation, “For Friends” by Dr Ismail Mangera)