Prescribed Preliminary Practices
I begin by praising Allah and conferring blessings to Rasulullah . It was always customary with me to explain verbally the preliminary practices to those friends who wished to repent for their sins on my hands. On many occasions this system led to certain misunderstandings on the part of some people. For this reason all the related points were being dictated for some years.
Now even this method caused certain difficulties in the dictation or writing down of all the points, as some of the points were at times left out. Hence the necessity of getting all the relevant points printed for the sake of ready and easy reference. It will be advisable for all who receive this booklet to study it in my presence, so as to ensure its correct interpretation, and also where necessary deletion or additions may be made in accordance with individual aptitudes.
‘And indeed my strength and effort of conformity is from none but Allah. To Him do I entrust myself and to Him do I return.’
ONE. The most important point to remember is, refrain from all those things for which one has repented, whether the repentance is of a general or a particular nature. If, however, a mistake is made in this regard one must repent and seek forgiveness at the earliest opportunity.
TWO. (a) Special care must be exercised for the fulfilment of obligations towards other people; whether such obligations pertain to physical or monetary matters, they must either be promptly carried out or settle with the persons concerned. It has to be taken into consideration that obligations towards people are far more serious than those towards the Kind Creator. There will not be any salvation on the Day of Judgement without the settlement of other rights. One may adopt any suitable method for this.
The personal or physical obligations include abstaining from degradation, insults and abuses to the Ulama as well as other Muslims. To refrain from swearing and being vulgar, gheebat, tell-tailing and backbiting are also from personal rights.
Detaining anyone’s share and right or depriving a person from his rightful share and assets with the help of a countries law, giving and taking bribery etc. all come under monetary rights.
Muslims, Zhimmies and non-muslims are all equal in this regard. In fact the matter concerning Zhimmies in these affairs is far more serious and delicate than that of Muslims. The wise and noble saying of Rasulullah in this connection is "He who oppresses any Zhimmie, or defames and degrades him, or demands from him anything more than he can bear or do, I will stand against that person and make a demand in favour of the Zhimmie on the Day of Qiyaamat.
This is truly a serious matter and a point worthy of concern that at a critical moment when one’s own attorney and defendant becomes an opponent, how tragic the situation can be.
My pakistani friends must be very cautious regarding this as the non-muslims there are Zhimmies in all respects.
Here, it is most important that all worldly affairs and transactions should be carried out with extreme care and tact in accordance with Shariah. Some people take great care in their Ibadaat but are not so particular about Shariah in their day to day transactions. Just as we are bound by the laws of Shariah in our Ibadaat, we are equally required to heed the rulings of this code in our worldly affairs.
Those who are learned should at all times very carefully study the books of masaa’il which concern their occupations.
Regarding this it must be understood that this humble servant does not reply queries regarding masaa’il. Any questions pertaining to masaa’il and fatawaa should be addressed to the Mufti. A reply paid card or envelope has to be enclosed for the answer.
TWO. (b) Similarly, the obligations and duties towards Allah Ta’aala must be performed with extreme care and regard. These include Qadha Namaaz(salaah) , Qadha Fasts, Kaffarah, Zakaat and Hajj etc. It is wrong to think that all these are forgiven by Tawbah only. By repentance the neglectful delay may be forgiven, but the responsibility of discharging actual obligation remains upon the person concerned. Reluctantly overlooking and neglecting one’s duties is detrimental both in this world and the hereafter, as has been clearly explained in the books, (a) Fadha’il-e-Namaaz, (b) Fadha’il-e-Sadaqaat, (c) Fadha’il-e- Ramadhaan and (d) Fadha’il-e-Haj. These books should carefully be studied and regularly revised.
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THREE. Extreme care must be exercised in following the sunnah. One must constantly inquire of Rasulullah practice and performance in behaviour, diligence and conduct, service, worship and prayer, habits, practices and customs etc. So much so that one must ascertain the things Rasulullah cherished in eating and drinking too, then try to practice them. However it must be noted that those things which one cannot bear or undergo due to common physical weakness may be omitted, for instance frequently living without food. In similar events one must regard such deeds and sacrifices with reverence. Shama’il-e-Tirmizi or it’s urdu translation. Khasa’il-e-Nabawi will greatly help on this aspect.
FOUR. One should totally abstain from disgracing, defaming and disrespecting the Ahlullah, for this is extremely detrimental to religious progress. There is danger of falling into serious religious difficulties due to this.
This applies to the honoured personalities of all the Sahaba-e-Kiraam, the Awliya-e-Ihzaam and A’ima-e-Mujtahideen wa muhaddetheen. It is not necessary to be a follower of every one of them. To follow a person is one thing, and to treat him with disrespect or insult him is another thing. One must always have at heart great regard and respect for all such personalities. On this subject my book Al’itidaal popularly known as Islami Siyasat ought to be carefully studied.
FIVE. Whomsoever is a Hafiz must form a habit of reciting a minimum of three Juz of the Quraan daily. This may be done in a manner whereby a greater part thereof is read in nawaafil. Those who are not hafiz must read one Juz of the Quraan daily.
Those who cannot recite the Quraan should preferably set aside an hour or two daily in which they must learn to read the Quraan. This may very easily be done by reciting a small portion of the Quraan to the local Imaam or Hafiz daily.
SIX. Every morning after Fajr namaaz surahYaseen Shareef should be recited once. The eternal reward of this recital may advisably be intended for all the mashaa’ikh of our school and group. Surah Tabarak should be read every evening after Esha namaaz, and also Surah-e-Kahf every Friday before Jumu’ah. When retiring to bed at night the four Quls should be read. Thereafter one must make dum on himself.
As far as possible one must remember the Mashaa’ikh of our strain and group when carrying out personal or monetary sacrifices, for an eternal reward. Excelling rewards are hoped from the barakat of such deeds.
Qurbani animals may be slaughtered on behalf of these Mashaa’ikh generally and Rasulullah in particular during the Ayyam-e-Nahr.
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SEVEN. The nawaafil are: -
EIGHT. The fasts of the ninth and tenth of Muharram, the first nine days of Zil Hijjah, particularly the ninth and the observance of the Sowm of the fifteenth of Shabaan should be given particular prominence. If possible one should fast during the Ayyam-e-Beedh i.e. the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth of every lunar month. Fasting every Monday and Thursday is also desirable and recommended. Those who are occupied in important religious duties e.g. Religious instruction, tabligh etc. must bear in mind that nafl fasts should not hamper essential services and sacrifices for deen.
NINE. One section of the kitaab (Hizbul A’azam) should be recited daily. The Ahle-Ilm must recite these duas in accordance with their meanings in a manner as though they are humbly beseeching Allah. Besides this, one should also memorise all duas which are reported to have been used by Rasulullah at different times, occasions, places and transactions during the twenty four hours of the day e.g. the duas after meals, the dua when retiring to bed.
TEN. After every namaaz and at bed time one must regularly read the Tasbeeh-e-Faatimie: Subhanallah thirty three times, Alhamdulillah thirty three times and Allahu Akbar thirty four times. Three tasbeehs each of Istighfaar, Durood Sharif, Kalima,Tayyiba and Soyam Kalima should be recited daily morning and evening. Those who are occupied in Deeni work may read one tasbeeh of each from these as their great sacrifice and service are extremely important. All four of these kalimas are very precious and have excelling values.
In addition to religious benefits they also bring promising returns and virtues in this world too. A short discourse on this may be read in the book Barakaat-e-Zikr.
ELEVEN. Any urdu book written by this humble servant should be read and studied regularly and continuously. If it is possible such books may be read out to friends. The latter, from many aspects is better than the former.
When one book is read and completed then another of this unworthy servants books may desirably be commenced. In this way the sequence can continually be repeated. Reading through my writings takes the place of meeting me.
Here according to the status of the person concerned one specific book is also recommended. This is done verbally after his position and progress is explained.
Besides these kitaabs, Talimut Talib and Talimuddin of Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi R.A. may also be studied. It is also worthy to read the books of other reliable saints, particularly those of our chain and school of thought.
It is necessary that Zakereen study the books Ikmnalush Shiam and Irshadul Mulook with care and interest.
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TWELVE. One must inform me of his personal progress quarterly. He must mention how many recommended points of this booklet he is carrying out. This booklet must not be included in the mail, but the relative numbers should be respectively mentioned.
THIRTEEN. After carrying out these advice’s regularly for at least six months one may request additional Zikr. Conditions precedent to this are that: -
FOURTEEN. Those respected friends who do not correspond very frequently must please write their addresses clearly on their reply paid cards or envelopes. Many friends send stamps or a clean unaddressed card or envelope on which appears their name only. In the letters too, their names are mentioned without any address and I do not remember their addresses. Such correspondence is kept hopefully for a while that a reminder will come with an address on it, so that the reply could be sent. After waiting for sometime the letters are cancelled and the stamps etc, put into the lost property chest. Yes, if an addressed card or envelope is included in any mail a reply is certainly written even though there are no queries to be answered.
When I find any query in correspondence which demands an answer, it is replied even though the correspondent has not arranged any facility for a reply.
Replies must not be anticipated in the month of Ramadhaan as I cannot find time to attend to correspondence in this sacred month. Letters should not be written in this month if possible. All letters must have a clearly addressed card or envelope enclosed, with the required amount of stamps fixed on it for the reply. Under no circumstances should loose stamps or a clean envelope be enclosed as the stamps can be lost, and mistakes could be made when addressing the envelope.
FIFTEEN. It is true but sad, that no matter how pompous, prominent and promising the life of this world is, it is bound to come to its prescribed end. It is true indeed that the life of the Aakhirat is everlasting. It is also necessary that the anxiety and fervent concern of the hereafter must be greater than that of this world, and death must constantly be remembered. The study of the book Fadhaa'il-e-Sadaqaat will be a great aid in this field.
Leisure and spare moments should always be devoted to the remembrance of Allah, as these are the aids and crutches of the Aakhirat. These are also means for barakat and peace of mind and heart in this world.
Moments like the day of jummu'ah, the night of Arafaat, Shabe bara'at, the eves of both Eids and Laylatul Qadr i.e. the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadhaan are all very precious. In fact the whole month of Ramadhaan is auspicious. This has been concisely dealt with in the book of this humble servant Fadha'il-e-Ramadhaan. It is recommended that the study and reading of this book be commenced a few days before Ramadhaan. This book must be carefully studied and read out to others during this sacred month. An earnest effort must be made to avoid wasting time during this month.
May Allah out of His bounty, kindness and compassion grant this worthless and impure soul the privilege to carry out these gracious deeds.
gheebat- To relate an occurance of someone
in a gathering in his absence which he truly will disapprove and dislike,
even in his presence.
Zhimmie- That non-muslim who pays a rate to any muslim state to live there.
Day of Qiyaamat- The day of Resurrection and Judgement.
Ibadaat- Pratical methods of prayer and worship.
masaa’il- Laws of Shariah
Qadha- A technical term used if Fiqh to describe a prayer that must be performed after it's fixed time has expired.
Namaaz- (Salaah) a method of practical prayer and worship.
Kaffarah- An ammount given to the poor in lieu of mistakes in Ibadat, oaths, vows etc.
Zakaat- Alms due to the poor after possessing certain valuables for the period of twelve months.
Hajj- Pilgrimage to Mina, Arafat, Muzdalifah and Makkah.
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Fadhail-e-Namaaz etc.- Books written by Hadhrat Maulana Zakariya Sahib on the virtues and significance of these subjects.
sunnah- Rasulullah 's actions, methods, teachings and consented modes in life.
Ahlullah- (Saints) Pious persons devoted to Allah.
Sahaba-e-Kiraam- The companions of Rasulullah .
Awliya-e-Ihzaam- Great Muslim Saints.
A’ima-e-Mujtahideen wa muhaddetheen- Scholars of distinction in Islamic Jurisprudence e.g. Imaam Malik Ibn Anas, Imaam Abu Hanifa, Imaam Shafiee.
Hafiz- A person who has memorised the Quran.
Juz- One thirtieth of the Quran is one Juz. It is commonly known as a sipara or para.
nawaafil- The plural of Nafl i.e. those additional voluntary prayers and namaaz, for which one is rewarded abundantly.
Imaam-The person who leads the daily prayers and namaaz.
Fajr- The namaaz performed after true dawn.
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surah- A chapter of the Quran
Yaseen Shareef- Surah 36, Juz 22.
mashaa’ikh- Recognised leaders of this school of thought.
Surah Tabarak- Suratul Mulk - Surah 67, Juz 29.
Esha- Namaaz performed approximately one hundred minutes after sunset.
Surah-e-Kahf- Surah 18, Juz 15.
Jumu’ah- Friday early afternoon namaaz.
Quls- Surah Kafiroon- Suran 109, Juz 30, Surah Ikhlaas- Surah 112, Juz 30, Surah Falak- Surah 113, Juz 30 and Surah Naas- Surah 114, Juz 30.
dum- Dum pronounced on the scale of sum. To blow onto one's palms and then lightly stroke them over the one's body.
barakat- An unforeseen benefit and increase in many folds from Allah.
Qurbani- A sacrifice for Allah in which animals are slaughtered annually during a fixed period.
Ayyam-e-Nahr- The days for this sacrifice are the 10th, 11th and 12th of Zil Hijjah.
Ishraaq- A namaaz to be performed approximately twenty two minutes after sunrise.
Chaasht- A namaaz to be performed approximately ninety minutes before noon. This is also known as Salatut Duha.
Maghrib- A nafl namaaz performed after the compulsory namaaz which is performed immediately after sunset.
Tahajjud- A nafl namaaz which can be performed at any time after midnight to true dawn. The recommended time for this is during the last hours of the night, and ends at approximately ninety minutes before sunrise.
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Sowm- Fast, commonly known as roza.
Hizbul A'azam- A book in which the prayers from the Quran and Ahaadeeth have been compiled. This compilation has seven sections.
Ahle-Ilm- The learned.
Tasbeeh-e-Faatimie- A prescribed phrase in praise and glorification of Allah. These are verbal prayers.
Subhanallah- Translation: 'Allah is pure from all faults'.
Alhamdulillah- Translation: 'All praise be to Allah'.
Allahu Akbar- Translation: 'Allah is the Greatest'.
tasbeehs- A tasbeeh is a rosary normally consisting of one hundred beeds. Here, by one tasbeehis meant one hundred times.
Istighfaar- A verse for seeking repentance. Any Istighfaar may be read. If one does not know an Istighfaar he must ask someone to teach him.
Durood Sharif- A verse for conferring salutations, peace and blessings to Rasulullah . Any durood may be read. The durood-e-Ibrahimi which is read in namaaz may also be read.
Kalima- A verse, phrase or set of fixed words to form a code of submission, praise, repentance etc.
Tayyiba- The first kalima. (A code of submission).
Soyam- The third kalima. (A verse for expressing the Purity, Praise, Oneness, Greatness, Strength, power and control of Allah).
R.A.- (rahmatullahi alayh). This means 'Allah's mercy be upon him'. This is a term used as a suffix to the name of a deceased soul.
Zakereen- Those who take up exercises and drills for the cure of the ailments of the soul.
Zikr- A method to remember Allah. For this a set of words are prescribed. This type of drill is for the ailments of the soul.
Aakhirat- The hereafter.
Arafaat- The eve of the ninth of Zil Hijjah.
Shabe bara'at- The fifteenth night of Shaban.
Laylatul Qadr- An unfixed night in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadhan.
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