Sunday, June 28, 2009

Letter of advice from Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad


O son, I so love everything about Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad Naqshbandi. Here is an abridged version of his advice written in a letter to one of his students.

1. On remembrance (zikir)
Begin by conceptualizing that Allah is watching you at every moment and then imagine that your heart is calling Allah! Alah! Allah! In all circumstances, whether walking, sitting or doing your daily activities, you should focus on your heart and make certain that it is concentrating on Allah. Your hands should work while your heart remains in remembrance.

2. On reflection (muraqabah)
When free from your worldly duties, whether in the morning or evening, make ablution and isolate yourself. Sitting on a prayer rug, close your eyes, bow your head, open the window into your heart, and look at your true self. Muraqabah entails waiting patiently for the mercy of Allah to descend into your heart. Perform this for 10 to 15 minutes daily. Remain quiet and still, without moving the tongue or limbs, and empty your mind of all thoughts. Focus on the mercy of Allah descending into your heart and purifying it from the corrupt and blameworthy. Sit quietly and listen as your heart calls 'Allah, Allah, Allah' in gratitude for His mercy. Remember that muraqabah is the essential key to attaining stillness of the mind and the soul.

3. On salutations for the Prophet s.a.w
Send salutations to the Prophet 100 times a day. Recite this with extreme sincerity, humility, and love, as if you are presenting a gift to Allah in His distinguished court.
Allahumma salli 'ala sayyidina Muhammad
wa a'la aali sayyidina Muhammad wa barik wa salim

4. On repentance (istighfar)
Recite 100 times a day with extreme humility and shame, reflecting on your sins. Seeking forgiveness (istighfar) with neglect and laziness is improper and this lapse in itself merits additional istighfar. Attempt to experience the bliss of crying to your Lord during the pre-dawn prayer (tahajjud) should you be blessed with the ability to wake up for it. Today, most enjoy the delicious tastes of exotic foods, but sadly they are stranged from the delightful tastes of supplicating at the time before dawn (tahajjud).
Astaghfirullaha rabbi min kulli zambin wa atubu ilaih
'I seek forgiveness from my Lord for every sin and to Him I turn (in repentance).'
If tears of shame and regret do not stream down your eyes then at least assume facial expressions consistent with these states.
Be he Attar, be he Razi, be he Rumi, be he Ghazali. No one begets anything without weeping near the dawn.

5. On recitation of the Holy Quran
Read a quarter juz of the Holy Quran every day...Take as much pleasure in recitation as you do with every spoonful of ice cream, and imagine the essence of the verses descending upon your heart at that very moment.
You cannot untie knots, you cannot solve mysteries;
Until such time when the Book descends upon you.

6. On correspondence with the spiritual guide (Shaykh)
The summation of these daily prescriptions is that you keep in contact with your spiritual guide by letter or phone, keeping him apprised of your spiritual condition. Anyone who hopes to be cured from physical ailments must communicate with their physician. Likewise, if you seek to rid yourself of spiritual ailments, you must communicate with your teacher.

Read the complete letter: Letter Two - 'Concerning the Dhikr of the Naqshbandi Mujaddidi Tariqah' and 23 other letters in 'Wisdom for the Seeker' at
ABOUT Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad:Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad is one of leading shaykhs of Tasawwuf in the present era. Formally granted authorization (ijazah) in the Naqshbandi spiritual path (tariqah), he retired from his position as an electrical engineer at the age of forty to devote himself entirely to the service of Islam. He regularly travels to more than thirty countries transforming the lives of people all over the world. A testament to his deep love for Allah, his uncompromising dedication to sunnah of the blessed Prophet , and his firm adherence to Islamic Law (shariah) is that thousands of religious scholars and students of Islamic learning are among his students (murids). Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad regularly delivers lectures in both English and Urdu across the world. Furthermore, he has written dozens of books many of which have been translated into several languages. Online versions of both talks and writings are availalbe at the links on the left.
Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad's spiritual chain traces back through a series of authentic teachers all the way to the Holy Prophet.

1 comment:

  1. a very very distinguished,aweinspiring wali of Allah Swt.