How to eliminate lack of courage (By Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi (RA))

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By Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi (RA)

Experience has proven that the following ways are highly efficacious in strengthening one’s resolve and in overcoming weakness and lack of courage.

1. Association with a Kaamil (expert and qualified) Shaikh of Tasawwuf (Spiritual Mentor or Guide). The following are the signs of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil.

(a) He possesses sufficient knowledge of the Deen.

(b) He is a firm adherent of the beliefs, practices and morals of the Shariah.

(c) He is devoid of worldly greed.

(d) He lays no claim to perfection and excellence.

(e) He had lived a while in the company of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil.

(f) The contemporary uprighteous Ulama and Mashaa-ikh hold him in esteem.

(g) Comparatively, more intelligent persons than ignorant ones incline towards


(h) The condition of the majority of his mureeds in relation to obedience to the

Shariah and reduction in worldly greed, is good.

(i) He is alert and is concerned about the conditions of his mureeds. He

reprimands and admonishes them for their wrongs and defects. He does not

permit his mureeds to be the slaves of their desires.

(j) After having been in his company several times, one feels a reduction in

worldly love while at the same time discerns progress in the love for Allah Ta’ala.

(k) He engages in thikr and shaghl (spiritual exercises). Without such practice

there is no barkat in ta’leem (instruction and teaching).

Kashf (a form of revelation which comes to the Auliyaa), Karaamat (miracles), istijabat-e-duaa (acceptance of duaa and tasarrufaat (metaphysical acts) are not requirements of a Shaikh. The companionship of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil is wonderfully efficacious. However, for achieving the benefits of a Shaikh, the mureed’s intention must be sincere.

The mureed, himself must desire spiritual progress and obedience. He must desire to be imbued with a detestation for sin. It is essential that the mureed keep his Shaikh informed of the changing conditions of his heart. Whatever the Shaikh prescribes, the mureed should accept and practise accordingly.

2. The second way will apply when the company of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil is not available. In this case, read and study the life – conditions and spiritual strivings of the Ahlullah (the Saints of Allah). But, never engage in the mystical practices of Tasawwuf which are written in relation to the lives of the Sufis. Yes, readily follow their advices and statements regarding spiritual purification.

3. The third way in which to eliminate weakness of heart and lack of courage is Muraaqabah (meditation) of Maut and Muraaqabah of the period which will follow maut. This form of meditation consists of setting aside at least twenty minutes daily. Meditate in solitude about the events which will occur from the time of Sakaraat (pangs of death) until entry into Jannat or Jahannum. Think about these future events, e.g. the questioning in the grave by the two Angels, the punishment and comforts of the grave, resurrection, the scaling of deeds, reward, crossing the Siraat, etc.

The attributes of excellence, e.g. zuhd (being abstemious of the world), khashiyat (fear of Allah), etc., which are influenced by the development of courage, will attain perfection by means of this form of Muraaqabah.

Article taken (with Thanks) from Khanqah



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This page was last updated on June 14, 2003 .