Terminologies of the Naqshbandīyah Order

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There are 11 terms. The first eight are quoted from Khwājah ʿAbdul Khāliq raḥimahullāh, and the next three are quoted from Khwājah Bahāʾud Dīn Naqshband raḥimahullāh. They are as follows:
1. Hosh dar Dam – Alert every breath. The sālik should be aware that every breath can be spent being alert or heedless.
2. Nazhar bar Qadam – Gaze on the foot. When walking, the sālik should not extend his gaze beyond where he steps. When he is in company, he should face the company and not turn left and right, lest it results in terrible corruption and loss of the goal.
3. Safar dar Waṭn – Journey to the homeland. The sālik moves from his human undesirable traits towards angelic traits.
4. Khalwat dar ʾAnjuman – Isolation in public. Whatever condition the sālik might be in, whether he is alone or in public, eating, walking, talking etc. his heart is in reality alone and engaged with Allāh.
5. Yād kard – To remember. This refers to the remembrance of Allāh Most High. Engage in it every moment.
6. Bāz Gasht – To return. Recite the following Duʿāʾ a few times with utter humility during your Ẓikr, “O Allāh! You and Your pleasure are my aims. Grant me Your love and recognition.”
7. Nigāhadasht – Maintenance. Keep all dangers and whispers of the self far from the heart.
8. Yād dāsht – Notation. The sālik should remember the Being of Allāh without any interrupting words and thoughts.
9. Wuqūf Zamanī wa Hosh dar Dam – Time Awareness and alert to every breath. Both amount to the same thing.
10. Wuqūf ʿAdadī – Number Awareness. Observe odd numbers when releasing the breath.
11. Wuqūf Qalbī – Heart Awareness. The sālik should be aware from his heart which is located below the left breast.

Extracted from Biographies of the Naqshbandī Mujaddidī Mashāʾikh by Mawlānā Maḥbūb ʾAḥmad Qamruz Zamān Nadwī ʾIlāhābādī


Preventing Calamity Through Charity – From the Discourses of Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

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Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala has created His nature around us, and that nature is both physical and metaphysical. It is only when you understand nature that you’ll be able to make your life one step easier. An example of physical nature would be rain. In order for people to protect themselves against the physical reality, they would alter their behavior so that they can deal with that nature. On the other hand metaphysical means you cannot really see it or touch it but it is part of the universe.

The deen addresses many of these metaphysical issues e.g. at every given moment Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala  is sending calamity upon the universe. Just as rain falls from the sky, calamity is constantly falling upon the universe. Your response to those calamities will dictate whether you get jannah or jahannam. The greatest calamity is life itself because the result of life could be jannah or jahannam. There is constant difficulty being sent by Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala to test mankind. Calamity is the nature of life.

What can one do to protect oneself from calamities? Not only did the prophet (ﷺ) tell us that calamities are continuous, but he also gave us the solution. The prophet (ﷺ) said;

بَادِرُوا بِالصَّدَقَةِ ، فَإِنَّ الْبَلاءَ لا يَتَخَطَّاهَا

Be hasty in giving sadaqah for it stands in the way of calamity (Narrated by Razin, Mishkaat al-Masaabih, Hadith 1887)

Baadiru (بَادِرُوا) means do not even think. Do it all of a sudden. So sadaqah is the name of the umbrella that constantly protects you from calamity. Be continuous, perpetual, and hasty in giving sadaqah. This is Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala’s insurance. This is the messenger (ﷺ)’s insurance policy.

There are so many calamities e.g. cancer, car accidents, death etc. However, there is one calamity that far supersedes all the other calamities, and that is jahannam. This calamity hangs over each and every one of our heads. Not only did the prophet (ﷺ) tell us that sadaqah protects us from calamity and that we should be perpetual in giving it, but he also told us that it will protect us from jahannam as well. The prophet (ﷺ) said;

‏ اتَّقُوا النَّارَ وَلَوْ بِشِقِّ تَمْرَةٍ ، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَجِدُوا فَبِكَلِمَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ

Guard yourselves against the Fire (of Hell) even if it be only with half a date-fruit (given in charity); and if you cannot afford even that, you should at least say a good word. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Even if all you can give is half a date, it will be able to protect you from the greatest calamity that exists i.e. jahannam. This metaphysical principle within the deen applies very broadly. It will protect us from the calamities in this life and the infinite calamity of the hereafter. We have no choice but to give sadaqah. The prophet (ﷺ) then took it a step further and said that even if you cannot afford to give sadaqah, then at least go to the situation where you  give a good word e.g. by encouraging them, supporting them, telling the people that you will make du‘aa for them in-sha-Allah etc.

(The above is a summary of the talk given by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar. The audio of the talk can be downloaded from HERE. To listen to more talks of Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar, please visit sacredlearning.org)

Imaan, Islaam, and Ihsaan – Shariah, Tariqah, and Haqiqah.


The people of this science divide actions into three categories: actions of the
Shari’a, actions of the Tariqa, and actions of Reality. This can be re-phrased
as actions of Islam, actions of faith and actions of ihsan, or actions of worship,
actions of slavedom and actions of pure slavedom, which is freedom. Or it can
be referred to as the actions of the people of the beginning, the actions of the
people in the middle and the actions of the people of the end. The Shari’a is
that you worship Him; the Tariqa is that You aim for Him, and the reality is that
you witness Him. You could also say that the Shari’a is putting the outward
right, Tariqa is putting the conscience right, and the reality is putting the secret

(Taken from Commentary on The Hikam of Ibn ‘Ata’llah by Ibn ‘Ajiba, Translated by Aisha Bewley)

Attaining Wilayah – From The Discourses Of Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

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Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala states in the Holy Qur’aan

اللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا

Allah is a protecting friend to those who believe (Surah al-Baqarah, verse 257).

Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala is establishing that for the person who believes, there is a state called wilayah. Wilayah means to attain a degree of proximity to Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala   such that you become someone who is recognized and someone who is beloved to Allah .

Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala  establishes that He is The Wali i.e. The Protecting Friend of those who believe. Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala states in the Holy Qur’aan;

إِنْ أَوْلِيَاؤُهُ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقُونَ

People cannot attain the wilayah of Allah  except through taqwa (surah al-Anfaal verse 34)

Our ‘ullema have divided wilayah into 2 sub types; Wilayat-e-Aama and Wilayat-e-Khasa. Wilayat-e-Aama is a general type of wilaya and it is a general state that every believer attains when they enter the deen. Wilayat-e-Khasa is a particular and special state that is given to people filled with taqwa.

Every aspect of the deen produces a different means of attaining wilayah. The prophet (ﷺ) established the greatest way of attaining wilayah through his actions and his example. Every single deed that he did is ranked by the ‘ullema as to how it relates to producing wilayah. For example, there are mandatory deeds within the deen which create the general wilayah between Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala and the believer. Then there are supererogatory deeds (sunnah or mustahab) which produce an extremely close relationship with Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala .

For those who are aiming to get closer to Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala  , Wilayat-e-Khasa is the goal. However, it does not come but with special effort. That is the thing to keep in mind when analyzing the shariah and sunnah. Every single deed that the prophet (ﷺ) did had an effect on his relationship with Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala. Some ‘ullema have written that if you do the mandatory deeds, you get the mandatory relationship with Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala   and if you do the supererogatory deeds then you get the results of supererogatory relationship that can exist with Allah . If you aim to gain wilayah then the key is to establish the mandatory acts and to perform the supererogatory acts.

When we talk of wilayah, there are effects of wilayah. The effect of wilayah is Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala gives you peace in this world and in the hereafter.  When Allah  describes the auliya in the Qur’aan, He says;

لا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

There is no fear upon them nor is there grief. (Surah al-Tabari, verse 62)

The auliya don’t get caught up with what we consider as everyday difficulties of life. When it comes to the hereafter where the real difficulties exist, Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala  creates for them situations where they are able to pass the most difficult of tests.

So when we ask the question, ‘How can we improve our relationship with Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala?’ the key is to attain these things that are particular within the deen. The things that we consider small are actually essential in attaining wilayah.

Look through the sunnah of the prophet (ﷺ). Look through the writings of our ‘ullema on what they advise people to do, what they carried themselves, and then carry that as well because that is what will produce the special wilayah. 

(The above is a summary of the talk given by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar. The audio of the talk can be downloaded from HERE. To listen to more talks of Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar, please visit sacredlearning.org)

A new day…


No matter how bad yesterday was and no matter how many bad yesterdays there were, it doesn’t make a difference. Everyday is a new opportunity in the eyes of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala. A person merely has to make a pledge that they want to rectify their lives and Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala will create an opening for them.

Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar



The Track of The ‘Ullema of Deoband – Maulana Husayn Madani

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Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī writes in Naqsh e Ḥayāt

The ‘ulamā’ of Deoband and their noble predecessors, may Allāh (Exalted is He) have mercy on them, have always been combiners of Sharī‘ah and Ṭarīqah, pure Ḥanafīs and followers of the predecessors of the Ahl al-Sunna wa l-Jamā‘ah. They maintain their chain of pupillage through Ḥaḍrat Shāh ‘Abd al-Ghanī Ṣāḥib Mujaddidī al-Madanī, Ḥaḍrat Shāh Muḥammad Isḥāq Ṣāḥib Dehlawī al-Makkī, Ḥaḍrat Shāh ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Ṣāḥib Dehlawī and Ḥaḍrat Shāh Waliyyullāh Ṣāḥib, may Allāh sanctify their souls; just as Quṭb ‘Ālam Ḥājī Imdādullāh Ṣāḥib, may Allāh sanctify his precious soul, and their spiritual guides maintain their chain of spiritual direction (irāda) through the Chishtī, Naqshbandī, Qādirī and Suhrawardī Paths.

In beliefs, they are followers of the Ahl al-Sunna: Ash‘arīs and Māturīdīs. In actions and peripherals, they are muqallids of Ḥaḍrat Imām A‘ẓam Abū Ḥanīfah, may Allāh (Exalted is He) have mercy on him.

Their knowledge was not merely verbal. Rather, their hearts and limbs too were truly adorned and coloured by taqwā. Based on this, their impact of being loved and accepted has always remained very great and very deep amongst the Muslims, in much the same way as such people who are to also be found amongst the noble predecessors. The Noble Qur’ān and authentic ḥadīths are upright witnesses to the general acceptance of these people. In Sūrah Maryam [it states]: “Truly those who believe and do good works, the Most Merciful will create love for them.”

Their knowledge was not merely verbal. Rather, their hearts and limbs too were truly adorned and coloured by taqwā.

The above has been taken from AhlusSunnah Forum

Tasawwuf summarized wonderfully by Shaykh Zakariyya Khandalwi

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Hazrat Shaykhul Hadith (رحمة الله عليه) explains the reality of Tasawwuf to Raeesul Ahraar (Maulana Habeebur Rahman (رحمة الله عليه)
“All it is, is to correct one’s niyat [intention]. Nothing else. Its beginning is;
إنما الأعمال بالنيات: “Verily all actions are judged by the intentions
and its end is;
أن تعبد الله كأنك تراه: “That you worship Allah as if you see Him.
Aap Beeti
(A short bio of Shaykhul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya Khandalwi can be read HERE)

An Ounce Of Prevention Is Better Than A Pound Of Cure – From The Discourses Of Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

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Any time human beings value something, they take extra precaution to protect that thing. For example, when they buy a house, they will also purchase insurance because there is a potential for something so valuable to be harmed.

Another example is that of our lives. You can look at the way human beings preserve their bodies and you will realize that the bodies are extremely valued, and there is always constant fear that something might go wrong.

The way we work concerning our bodies is that we are very precautious and there are many ways we deal with it. The first and most importantly is prevention, because ‘An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure’. The exact same applies with the human soul.

Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala  has composed us of two parts; a physical body and a soul. The body and soul merge together to form the human being. The body is the vehicle and the soul is that what counts. People who get caught up with the body and put all their emphasis on it are emphasizing on the wrong thing.

You have to work on prevention. How do you do that? By committing to some sort of gathering, company or daily routine. It is very important that you screen yourself. Look at your schedule, routine, what you’re emphasizing, and your own development.

Keep these 3 principles in mind when you are trying to develop your soul. Firstly, put yourself in the company of someone who is always looking watching over you and develop a relationship with that person. Secondly, screen yourself. Thirdly, when you detect something seek assistance quickly. Every mountain started as a sand pile. We could have levelled the sand, but now we have to bulldoze a whole mountain.

The soul represents your essence, not just your existence. What you will be on the Day of Judgment is what your soul is.

The soul represents your essence, not just your existence. What you will be on the Day of Judgment is what your soul is.

(The above is a summary of the talk given by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar. To listen to more talks of Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar, please visit sacredlearning.org)

Bishr Haafi has more ma’rifat of Allah than I do.

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There is a story from which an even greater lesson is to be learned. Although Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullah) was the imam of his era and had reached the level of ijtihaad, he still made the time to humble himself before a great and famous saint of his time – Bishr Haafi (rahimahullah) – and to hold the bridle of his conveyance and lead it in the way that a servant and attendant would. People enquired as to why he treated him with such honour and respect. To this he replied: “Bishr Haafi has more ma’rifat of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) than I do.”

Bishr Haafi has more ma’rifat of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) than I do.

Twin Rivers by Moulana Mahboob Ahmad Bin Moulana Muhammad Qammaruzzamaan Saheb
Translated by Moulana Zakariyya Siddiq du Preez

(Note: Arabic terms in brackets after the names have been added my myself where I found appropriate. )

Who should you love ?

All those whom we give our love to in this Dunyaa will perish and cease to exist – why do we then attach our hearts to them? Our hearts should be attached to the One Who is everlasting and will never perish. This Dunyaa in temporary, love for this Dunyaa is temporary and the wealth and riches of this Dunyaa are also temporary. The Being of Allah (s.w.t) is everlasting and the love for Allah (s.w.t) is also everlasting. So you should attach your heart to Him alone and develop unwavering love for Him in your heart.


By ‘Aarif Billaah Hazrat Moulana Shaah Muhammad Ahmad Saheb Partaapgadhy Naqshbandi