Subtlety 40 - Dealing with Abstention, Lack of Love with Worldly Affairs and Righteousness

12/12/2012 20:54


Subtlety 40

Dealing with Abstention, Lack of Love with Worldly Affairs and Righteousness


Qala Ashraf : “Abstention {‘Zuhd’} is to alienate from the Desires of the Heart.”


It has been narrated in the sayings of the Spiritual Masters {‘Mashaikh’} that there are Five stages of Abstention.


1. The First stage is Justice {‘Adl’}, that is, the things which are prohibited through the Commands of the apparent ‘Shariyah’ <‘Zahiri Shara’> should not be practiced upon, otherwise, one will be regarded as a sinner and a practitioner of evil. Normally, common Muslims practice upon these Commands of Abstention.


2. The Second stage is for the practitioners of Good Deeds, that is, even if there is no Religious Verdict {‘Fatwa’} on something being Prohibited {‘Haram’}, yet on the basis of a simple doubt, the abandoning of that deed is better.


Then, there are Three types of Doubts!


i. Those things from which Abstention is Compulsory {‘Wajib’}. For example, those things in which there is a doubt of Show {‘Riya’}, or to become angry.


ii. Those things from which Abstention is Recommended {‘Mustahab’}, that is, accepting bouquets from the Kings and wealthy.


iii. Those things which give rise to ‘Waswasa’ {An Evil Inspiration}, from them Abstention is necessary. For example, the meat of an animal that has been hunted might be that of an escaped animal.


3. The Third stage is for the Pious {‘Muttaqi’}, those who abstain even from the Permissible {‘Halal’}. For example, it is said regarding Sayyiduna Umar bin Abdul Aziz that once ‘Musk’ which had been seized in a war booty was presented before him, but he did not even smelled its fragrance because he considered it the right of the general Muslims!


It is narrated that once a person was seated near a sick man, the sick man died, the family of that sick man ignited a lamp, and the person sitting next to that dead sick man went away from the light of the lamp as the ‘light of that lamp’ was the right of the inheritors of that man only!


4. The Fourth stage is for the ‘Siddiqin’ {Truthful}, those who Abstain from the Permissible {‘Halal’} things just because that thing might have been obtained through prohibited means. For example, Sayyiduna Bishr Hafi did not drink from the river that was dug on the orders of the King and said: “We do not know from which type of wealth this river has been dug!”


5. The Fifth stage is for the ‘Muqarribun’ {Beloveds of Allah Almighty} and ‘Muwahhidun’ {Monotheists}, those who regard it Prohibited {‘Haram’} to eat, drink and wear without an indication or permission from the Truthful Lord!


Some researchers have said that: “The Abstention of the Common People {‘Awaam’} is to Abstain from the ‘Haram’ things; the Abstention of the Special Few {‘Khawas’} is to Abstain even from the ‘Halal’ things ; and the ‘Siddiqin’ {the Truthful} Abstain from everything that is apart from Allah Almighty!”


Extracted & Translated by Basharath Ali Siddiqui Ashrafi

from the 'Malfuzat' (Scholarly Sayings) of Makhdum Sayyid Ashraf Jahangir Simnani known as 'Lataif e Ashrafi'.