Avoid Shirk at any cost




A salik writes the following letter to Hakim al-Umma Hadhrat Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi RA;

“I saw a dream that I am writing to you. It was the night of 27th Ramadan 1237H. With the possibility that it may be the Night of Power (shab e qadr) I had planned to offer optional salah (nawafil) all night. However, after ‘esha salah when I returned home I laid down on the bed besides the main door (to rest for a while). I fell asleep. Around two o’clock I saw a dream that I have traveled to a place where there is a very large open area, many miles wide. There is organized seating arrangement on the floor. In between there is a table covered with a table-cloth. Millions of people wearing their best clothes and perfume are sitting with reverence (adab). There are few high ranking individuals sitting on the chairs around the table. On the table there is writing board around 2-3 yards in length and 1 or 1.5 yards in breadth. A respected individual dressed in white gown (‘abaya) and green turban (‘amamah) on head is standing besides the table greeting and shaking hands with the crowd. The blessed face in radiant like the sun and with his enlightened and enlightening tongue he is telling them,
“I tell you with much emphasis that you should abstain from all that is impermissible (haram) and be steadfast on that is permissible (halal).”

Observing all this I went forward and greeted the blessed person with ‘as salam o alaikum’. He replied, ‘wa alaikum as salam wa rehmatullah’. I reached forward and shook hands and embraced him also. He told me that it was very good and that I should become a mureed, and he promised to tell me eleven things that he has reserved especially and exclusively for me. This humble guy (myself) stood there with utmost reverence. He gave me the permission to sit. I was going to sit on the floor but he instructed me to sit on one of the chairs. Thanking him I sat on one of the vacant chairs. I was extremely happy in my heart.
On the blackboard I saw numerous names written in elegant and bold white letter. I saw them very clearly. The names that I could read included, Hahdrat Mawlana Fazalur Rehman Ganjmuradabadi, …….., Haji Imdadullah, Haji Ashraf ‘Ali and Molvi Mohammad Ishaq, etc.
As I turned to my side I saw Hadhrat Mawlana Fazalur Rehman Ganjmuradabadi, whom I was blessed to visit as a child. Immediately it flashed to me that this is the scenario of Judgment day. The blessed individual is our Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and those sitting on the chairs are his Companions, including Sayyidina Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman and ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with them all).

It also occurred to me that I am already a mureed (of a Shaykh) and should not hide it from the blessed Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and should seek Allah.
Around an hour or later the blessed Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) called for me. I shook hands and embraced him. Furthermore I reminded him of those eleven things he had promised to tell me so that I can follow them wholeheartedly. I also informed him that I am already a mureed but I want Allah. On hearing this, he immediately pulled away his hand from me and said, ‘Indeed you are  and you are the mureed of …………., an innovator (bida’ti). Futhermore he took a pencil and crossed out my and my Shaykh’s names from the list on the blackboard. Then the blessed Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told me to go away. With lots of courage and adab I humbly said that my Shaykh is not an innovator.
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied that he is an innovator and in addition he associates partners with Allah (mushrik).

Humbly and with utmost veneration I said that I have never seen him doing any shirk.
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, he is involved in taking out effigies of the tombs of the martyrs of Kerbala (taziyadar), a lover of the worldly things, an idolater prostrating in front of the graves. Didn’t you see him at …….. village, in Lucknow that he bowed his head infront of his Shaykh’s grave and forbade you from visiting the holy sanctuary in Medinah e munawwara.
(I became a mureed in 1893 CE. In 1898 I received khilafa and in 1900 this incident happened. In this 26 or 27 years relationship I attended the death anniversary of a sufi saint (urs/hawl) and listened to the sufi poetry sung with musical instruments (qawwali) only once.)

I cried and begged but the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) did not reply. As the last resort I ran and held the blessed feet of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) rebuffed my hands and stroked me (with his blessed foot) strongly in my ribs. I fell down and started to tremble. This woke me up. At that time I was crying, feeling the pain in my ribs and I was trembling. I went inside the house and told my son ………. Chatari the whole dream just mentioned. In the morning I wrote this all and send it to my Shaykh. He came in person to my house and listened to the whole incident again. His response was to prepare for Hajj journey this year in order to visit the blessed Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and ask forgiveness. I did not commit due to insufficient funds and debts.
Since I have seen this dream my conviction towards my respected Shaykh has waned off. Now I am approaching you for my religious betterment (islah). I will be very fortunate if I am considered to be your humble servant.


Hakim al-Umma Hadhrat Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
“This dream is absolute guidance. It is essential (wajib) to leave the Shaykh who acts against Sunna and to establish contact with truthful people (ahl e haqq). I have no hesitation in giving instructions regarding the spiritual path. Start acting on the fiqh as outlined in the books, Behashti Zewar (Heavenly Ornaments) and Islah e rasoom. Take the awrad from Qasdus sabil and general advices from my spiritual discourses (mawaiz). The full instructions in detail will be discussed when we meet in person.

Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 2, page 1069-70


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