Dust Under Your Feet

4 January 1987

Q: Can you explain the role of Nafs (bodily or beastly self) and Shaitan.

A: I once asked my sheikh (Hazrat Syed Muhammad Zauqi Shah (r) a question right in the beginning like this: “Does Shaitan have a separate existence or is it another name of the Nafs?” He said, “It is both.” This is because what the whole Universe contains in details, man contains in brief. That is why man is known as Microcosm and the Universe as Macrocosm. The role of Nafs and Shaitan is to pull you down, and that of the soul is to pull you up. So life is a struggle or tug of war between the two forces designed only to make you stronger because everything in the world grows stronger through opposition.

Q: It is alright to allow children to watch programs on T.V and V.C.R (Video record player)? Can I be strict with them on this matter? I am worried.

A: As regards your worries about children to watch T.V, etc, do not be too rigid because too much rigidness creates opposition. There is no harm in watching good T.V programs. But so far as V.C.R is concerned, it is the bad films which should be avoided and not everything. It is said by the wise people, and it is also my experience that rigidity breeds ill-feelings. Some sorts of safety valves are necessary to save the situation from becoming explosive! Human nature is in need of recreation and pleasure and it should be provided. The rigid people who do not allow the legitimate facilities and pleasures to their children, the children try to have them secretly which is much worse! Rigidity and hardness breeds contempt and hatred. So, please be moderate. The rigid Ulama are responsible for so much corruption and degeneration in Muslim society. In Shariah, it is not so strict either. The external or hardliner Ulama have made it strict. These Ulama do not allow even the legitimate desires to be fulfilled. The result is complete revolt and repulsion. So, again, please do not be too rigid. If you allow photography, you must allow T.V and cinema as well. I tell you, it is the exoteric Maulvis (Ulama) devoid of spiritual insight who are responsible for all the degeneration in the Muslim society. They preach too much, but practice little. They are rigid over petty affairs, but careless about important religious principles such as spiritual progress. They lay stress in imitating (Sunnah) of the Prophet’s outward life, but totally ignore the inner spiritual part of the Sunnah which is more important than the outward. And this is the reason for our decay, degradation and degeneration nowadays. I myself watch the film shows on the T.V, the dramas, good songs,, etc and allow my people to enjoy it. So did our Shaikh (r). You had a personal experience of the wonderful effect of Qawwali, but the external Ulama declare it as haram. They forgot that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) himself used to listen to songs. He even went to the extent of seeing and also showing to his wife Aisha Siddiqa (r), the singing and dancing show of the Negroes from abbysinia, which was being performed in the Masjib Nabvi itself. But it is a pity that the so called Ulama of today declare these things as haram (illegal) and against Shariah. Imam Ahmad Ghazali, the brother of Imam Mohammad Ghazali has written in a book on Qawalli that if anybody declares Qawwali as haram, he is a Kafir, because Qawwali was heard by the Prophet (pbuh) and he who declares any act of the Prophet (pbuh) as haram, he is a definitely a Kafir according to all Sects of Islam. So, please do not go by what the externalists say. These are the people who have done incalculable harm to Islam, and I say this with due deference to their useful services so far as teaching of Islam is concerned. It is good service to teach Islam like reciting Quran and Hadith, but to miss and ignore the fundamental part of Islam (Spirituality) is the great sin they committed. So, please do not fall on your wife and children with a heavy axe! Be mild and considerate.

Q: Is there any other salutations to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) besides “Assalato Wassallam alaika Ya Rasoolullah?” Is it possible to see the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in dreams? And what special recitation one can recite to be blessed with seeing the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in dreams?

A: Besides the above, you can recite:

1.     Assalato Wassallam Alaika Ya Nabi Allah.

2.     Assalato Wassallam Alaika Ya Habib Allah.

3.     Assalato Wassallam Alaika Ya Rahmatallil Alamin.

4.     Assalato Wassallam Alaika Ya Syedal Mursalin (Master of all Prophets).

5.     Assalato Wassallam Alaika Ya Mahbubi Rabbil Alamin (Beloved of Allah).

6.     Assalato Wassallam Alaika Ya Khatamannabin (the Seal and Last of Prophets).

7.     Assalato Wassallam Alaika Ya Anisal Gharibin (the care taker of the poor).

8.     Assalato Wassallam Alaika Ya Rahatal Ashiqin (happiness of the lovers).

9.     Assalato Wassallam Alaika Ya Muradal Mushtaqin (the goal of the Seekers).

10.  Assalato Wassallam Alaika Ya Muhibbal Fuqarai Wal Ghurabai Wal Yatama wal Masakin (the lover of the Faqirs, the poor, the orphans and the destitute).

The above can be recited all at once. It is full of Allah’s blessings in accordance with the Holy Quran where Allah Almighty has exhorted us to send salam and salawat on the Holy Prophet (pbuh) as follows:

“Allah and His Angels send blessings on the Prophet: O you that believe! Send you blessings on Him, and salute him with all respect.”   (Surah Al-Ahzab: 56)

It is also mentioned in a Hadith that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) has said:

“If you send one salawat ( salutation) on me, Allah will bless you with ten sawab (blessings).     

And if you send ten salawat (salutations) on me, Allah will bless you with hundred sawab (blessings).”

So, you can see the tremendous spiritual blessings one can receive from Allah Almighty even in this world (dunya) and more and more in the grave and in the Hereafter.

Moreover, in order to seek the blessings of seeing the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in dream, one should recite the following Darood Sharif 1000 times every Friday night (night before Friday):

Allahumma Salle Ala Mohammadin Wa Alihi Beqadre Husnehi Wa jamalihi.

(O Allah, bless Mohammad and his posterity in accordance with his perfection and beauty).