Download PDF: [S] Tasawwaf is Ikhlaq

When we look at the third chapter of the masterpiece “Kashful Mahjub” of the eminent Saint, Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali Hajweri who is famously knowns as “Data Ganj Bakhsh” – may Allah be pleased with him – and other famous books written on Tasawwaf such as “Risaaleh Qushayriyah” and “Qu watul Qulub” etc, we will see that Tasawwaf is not merely the name of a few rituals as we all think about it. In fact, Tasawwaf is actually the name of “Ikhlaq” or Islamic morality or good manners.


Sheikh Abul Hasan Nuri – may Allah be pleased with him – states that, “Tasawwaf is not the name of mere rituals and knowledge, but it is the name of Ikhlaq.” (Kashful Mahjub)


Khawaja Shah Sulayman Tunsawi – may Allah be pleased with him – states, “Tasawwaf if the name of good manners. It implies the negation of free thinking (in a corrupt manner), true bravery, to refrain from show and pomp, it implies generosity and to be able to spend freely (in charity).” (Naafi us Salikeen)


There have been many Awliyah who have explained Tasawwaf in this manner as being Ikhlaq. When we look at the treatises and the Malfuz of many of the Awliyah we will see that they taught people good manners and how to rectify their lives. It is the name of very high Ikhlaq.


They did not only speak about this attribute but lived this attribute. In other words, they did not only pay lip service to this very important aspect of a Muslim, but they taught people how to achieve how Ikhlaq. When we look at those who surrounded them and those who sat in their company, these people themselves became symbols of Ikhlaq. They did not teach only how to rectify the outer appearance of a person but they also wanted people to become symbols of how to shut off all evil and bad deeds.


Hadrat Sheikh Ruknudeen Multani – may Allah be pleased with him – has stated that, “There are two types of impurity. There first is the impurity of the heart and the second is the impurity of the body or the physical self. Impurity of the physical self is when one sleeps with a female and impurity of the heart is when one sits in the company of those who are evil and extremely sinful. Impurity of the physical self can be cleaned through water while impurity of the heart can be achieved through tears and weeping.” (Akhbaar Al Akhyar)


Hence, one of the things which was most emphasised by the Awliyah was the inculcation of Ikhlaq. As for those who have written books upon books on the Awliyah concentrating on only miracles which emanated at the hands of the Awliyah, they certainly have not done justice to the Awliyah at all and their actual mission.


Khawaja Ameer Khorid – may Allah be pleased with him – writes, “Once someone presented himself to Khawaja Ajal Shirazi – may Allah be pleased with him – and after becoming a Mureed, he waited for the great Saint to give him a specific special command. He was thinking that the great Saint would instruct on some special Salaah or special Wazeefah. However, the Khawaja only mentioned to him, ‘Whatever you do not like for yourself, do not like this for others and only wish for yourself what you wish for others.’”


A long time later, the same person came back to the Khawaja and said that he had become a Mureed of the great Khawaja on a certain day and that he had waited for some special command about a certain special Salaah or Wazeefah, however the Khawaja had not given him anything and until now, he is still waiting. The great Khawaja asked him, “On that, what instruction did I give you?”

The Mureed was shocked because he could not remember.


The great Khawaja then said to him, “On that day I had said to you that whatever you do not like for yourself, you should not like for others and only choose for others what you choose for yourself. However, since you cannot even remember the first lesson, how can I teach you another lesson?” (Say Al Awliyah)


This proves that Tasawwaf is the name of helping creation and good morals or Ikhlaq. This is what they taught and this is what they spent their lives teaching. If one wants to look at the type of behaviour they inculcated in their Mureeds, this can be seen from the book “Kitaab Al Lam’a”. Hadrat Sheikh Abu Saeed Kharraaz – may Allah be pleased with him – explains, “The proper manner of realizing and analysing a true Mureed is when we see that he has spiritual feeling, kindness, generosity and these are attributes which pervade his very being. He is also able to put up with and cope with all the troubles which come from people and he becomes like a flat earth for people. For his spiritual master, he should become like an obedient child.


“In like manner, he should behave in the same manner with all the creation of Allah Almighty. Their problems should be his problems and when they are troubled, he should also be sad. He should put up with their oppression because the intent of Allah Almighty is that the true Mureed becomes kind and merciful to others as the Allah Almighty is Kind and Merciful towards His creation.


“Therefore, the Mureed should try and adopt the respect and moral teaching of the Prophets, the Siddiqeen and the beloved servants of the Allah so that the veil which exist between him and His Creator is removed and lifted. When he behaves in this manner, then he will seek help from Allah Almighty, he will trust in Allah Almighty and will be pleased with whatever Allah Almighty gives him”. (Kitaab Al Lum by Abu Nasr Tusi – may Allah be pleased with him)