We can cite another example – of the sweetness of a mango and a lump of sugar. Both are sweet; but how does one define each sweetness? It is not possible for anyone to do that in words and there is only one way to distinguish the nature of each. One must eat the two things and know for himself what the difference is.
In the same way, it is not easy to define the inner excellencies of man. For instance, humbleness is difficult to describe. However, if one meets a humble person and observes his conduct and stays in his company for some time then that characteristic will grow in him. Hence, it is necessary to turn to a Shaykh and live in his company to know about tasawwuf and sulook. These things cannot grow in anyone by merely talking about them. It is only by attending the company of and giving one’s time to a Shaykh that Allah Ta’ala helps one attain these things.
Spiritual Discourses by Mufti Taqi Usmani
Shaikh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri (may Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘The aim and objective of spiritual path (sulook) is to make the heart of the seeker yearn for Allah’s pleasure similar to the body’s demand for food. That is, the desire to worship becomes similar to the craving for food and water.
This can only happen when the heart is,
– filled to the brim by the majesty and love of Allah and
– empty from the desires of all that is other-than-Allah (ma-siwa Allah)
Until this love of other-than Allah exists, to the extent that it resists the love and awe of Allah, one can not be true in his search for the Divine pleasure and be able to abstain from all sinful activities thoroughly.
In summary, two things are essential. Firstly, cleansing the heart (takhliya) from all that is ’other’ (-than-Allah) and finally adorning (tajeliya) it with the love and awe of Allah.
Successful accomplishment of these two things results in bestowment of (spiritual) illuminations and other honors from Allah. This is known as taheliya.
Source: Al Ihsan
Life is a matter of just a few days. Muster up some courage and do not fulfil your urge to sin. Make the urge of sin dry up in the rays of the sun of mujahadah (striving) just like how the sun in the sky dries up dung. If you do not fulfill the urge to sin, the light of taqwa will be created. But if a person does not allow the dung to dry up and lets the cattle continue defecating fresh dung, then whatever was dried up by the sun will also become soft and will not be allowed to become dry. The earth which had become hot will now become cold. The bounty of the sun’s rays will be destroyed.
In the same way some people waste the efforts of their Sheikh by not being cautious.
To Allah do I present my complaint.
Source: the 14 harms of casting evil glances by Hazrat Maulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (db)
Allamah Isfaraini (Rahimahullah), the teacher of Imam Ghazali (Rahimahullah) supplicated for thirty years to Allah to make him sinless. He wanted to be completely free from all types of sin. This was a special status he sought. Only the one who does not want to displease Allah can make such a dua. One day he thought that although he had been supplicating for thirty years, Allah had not accepted his dua despite being Karim (generous in giving).
A voice emanated from the sky saying, “O Isfaraini, you want to become sinless when I have made two paths for becoming a wali. One is the path of piety and the other the path of repentance. Have you not recited the verse in the Quran wherein Allah says that He loves those who repent. When there are two windows, why are you specifying one? If due to human weakness, you commit a sin, come in close proximity to Me by repenting. Do not commit sins intentionally. When there is excessive mud, even an elephant can slip. Therefore, if you commit a sin, repent and become My beloved. Why do you only want to come via the route of piety when I have opened the door of repentance as well? When I have opened two doors, why are you appointing only one for yourself? Become My beloved via the path of repentance. Supplicate for protection from sin, not for becoming sinless.”
If you commit a sin, do not delay in repenting. Go all out in refraining from sin.
From the book A life of piety by Maulana Hakeem Akhtar (db)
We all have hearts. Our job is to keep our hearts pure. Life is about keeping your heart pure. The greatest impurity is pride. Pride is worse than cancer. Initiating salaam is one cure for pride. One point to note is that the salaam has to be a sincere salaam.
“The aim of Tasawwuf is to clean the heart from spiritual diseases, and to educate, or transform, the self (Nafs), and to seek Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala’s pleasure through imposing the Shariah on ourselves inwardly and outwardly, all in the way followed by our Rasulullah Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam and the righteous predecessors (Salaf).”
Extract from ‘Tasawwuf and Tazkiyah’ by Shaykh Imran ibn Adam