Abstinence from sins :
In his advice on what Tazkiyah (purification of the spiritual self/ subduing the nafs), Sulook (spiritual path of obedience) and Tasawwuf (spiritual development by abiding to the Laws of ALLAH) are, Hazrath Hakeem Sb (RA) explained that essentially, the objective is the ABSTINENCE FROM ALL SINS.
Thus, even if a person spends his whole life in the company of a Sage, or in a khanqah, but fails to leave sin, he has not attained the essence of Sulook and Tasawwuf. The true saalik, becomes a complete slave of ALLAH Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala and submits and surrenders from “head to toe” to the WILL and Injunctions of ALLAH.
Such a person does not desire a bond with the people of the world, rather he wants a bond with his Creator … The ONE who gave him existence. In order to develop this bond, he can never displease ALLAH Azza wa Jalla.
Thus, the one who has understood that he must completely submit and surrender to ALLAH Ta’aala, is the one who has learnt Sulook and Tasawwuf.
This is only attained through the Fadhl and Karam of ALLAH Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala. Once ALLAH Ta’aala makes the decision to make a person HIS friend, then HE blesses the person with the ability to do good deeds and to become a righteous slave.
Consider a politician who is promoted to minister… With his lofty post comes lofty perks of a mansion, high salary, cars, bodyguards, honour etc … Similarly, when ALLAH makes someone HIS friend, this person is given the taufeeq to do good A’maal which enable him to become a Wali of ALLAH… and with this lofty position comes the ability to abstain from sin and derive sukoon in the heart. In addition, such a being is blessed with automatic love and respect from the people.
The one who seeks to make ALLAH happy, ALLAH will create the means for him to be happy.
Where does one seek Allah ?
When a person seeks a certain thing then in order to get it, he will seek the one who keeps/sells the item, eg, for sweetmeats, one would seek the seller of sweetmeats; for fruit, the fruiterer etc.
Similarly, the person who is seeking ALLAH, needs to be with an “ALLAH-Waala”.
Mere reading of books is insufficient to connect one to ALLAH Ta’aala … It is essential to sit in the company of the pious, for such company is protective of and a deterrent from the commission of sins.
Additionally, engaging in abundant Zikrullah has the effect
of washing away sins and impurities from the heart.
Also, in seeking closeness to ALLAH, it is imperative that one stays away from all things leading to sins.
‘Where there is a lot of mud, even an elephant can slip’ …
Controlling the Gaze
Controlling the gaze is of absolute importance, especially during these times of fitna. Failure to do so, leads to infestation of the heart and destruction of modesty/hayaa. Consequently, when the nafs cannot be satisfied, that which is Haraam is then sought. Therefore, when one is faced with a difficult predicament and his nafs tempts him towards evil, like casting a lustful glance upon a pretty woman, then he should immediately seek assistance from ALLAH, through HIS attributes of ‘Al-Hayyu’ (The Ever-Living)and ‘Al-Qayyumu’ (The Self-Subsistent). Indeed, the entire Universe exists because of these two Qualities of ALLAH Ta’aala.
Abundant istighfaar is also essential because nafs is such that even if something was avoided or not intended, it still manages to steal some enjoyment.
The Effect of Lowering The Gaze :
Consider the example of the Sahaba-e-Kiraam who had gone to conquer Shaam(Syria). The Persians posted enticing damsels at the entrance of the city in order to distract the Mujaahideen. When their ameer reminded them of the verse in the Quran-e-Majeed concerning the lowering of the gaze, they did not even lift their gaze to be distracted by the beautiful women. This amazed the enemy immensely who surrendered immediately.
A believer takes with him within his heart, the love and consciousness of ALLAH Ta’aala at all times. Temptations are many, but the saalik tries hard to subdue his nafs. When overpowered and subdued, the believer immediately turns to ALLAH and begs for assistance. For bearing the pain of abstaining from sin, ALLAH will fill the heart of the believer with ‘halawat-e-imaan’ (sweetness of Imaan).
“Kamaal and true achievement is to please Allah, despite the temptations and challenges of the environments we live in; and not by running away to the mountain tops”
‘Mar, mar keh jeena he’ … By continuing to annihilate and kill the desires of the nafs, and attempting to keep the body and heart in the obedience of ALLAH Ta’aala, is the way of life of the pious friends of Allah.
Whilst one lives in the Dunya interacting with the makhlooq of ALLAH, the LOVE of ALLAH must always be ones dominant concern.
Noor in the heart is achieved through mujaahadah (effort) … But when a person makes just a little effort and is sincere, ALLAH makes the journey towards Him easy, as well as enjoyable for the believer.