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#616 [Permalink] Posted on 26th December 2017 10:14
Quote:
13 Things Mentally Strong people Don't Do

Amy Morin

Oust the weak links in your thinking and behavior patterns.[/quote]

I feel this writer has captured a lot of truth in her views. Yet we should always worry about whther the observations clash with the teachings of Rasoolallah SAW. Hence this post.

Quote:
For more than a decade in my work as a psychotherapist, I helped clients identify their existing talents, skills and support systems. Then we’d figure out how to address their struggles by expanding on their existing strengths. For much of my career, I felt like this positive plan of attack was an effective way to help people overcome adversity. [/quote]
It is good to identify your strength, hone your skills and utilize your support system to the full. It is alright to realize your potential to the full.

After that there is still something that we have to take care of. All of the things mentioned above are not the main purpose of life. Purpose of life is to be a Slave of God - an Abd. When you have your strength, skills and support system then all of this has to be mobilized to the main purpose of life - to act as a Slave of Allah SWT.

All of western motivational psychology is geared towards worldly gains. This is not Haram. But this also does not capture the main purpose of life. Purpose of life is to use your strength, money, power and all resources in obedience to Allah SWT.

Quote:
But when I experienced tragedy firsthand, I began to rethink this optimistic method. In 2003 my mother died unexpectedly. Then two days before the third anniversary of her death, my 26-year-old husband suffered a fatal heart attack. Seven years later, I lost my father-in-law. [/quote]

There are significant personal tragedies in this narrative. How do these compare with the tragedies is the life of Rasoolallah SAW? Very poorly.

His father expired before he was born.
He then lost his mother while a little boy, his grandfather in similar age.
He end up as a complete orphan and responsibilities that were never so big.

He showed us a way of life that has tested excellent for nearly a millennium and a half. And going very strong.


Quote:
Throughout my grief, I realized that focusing on my strengths—and ignoring my weaknesses—had serious limitations. If I wanted to emerge from that painful period stronger than before, I needed to pay close attention to the bad habits that held me back. Letting myself feel like a victim, complaining about my circumstances and distracting myself from the pain might help me feel better in the short term but would only cause more problems over the long term.[/quote]

She is telling us some excellent points but we must not lose focus on the purpose of life and that point is completely missing from this narrative.

The west got better things out of science then we Muslims. there is no shame we we follow suit them. Similarly there is no shame if we benefit from western psychology, as long as we keep our faith intact and our actions in accordance with Islam.

Western focus is how to get the best out of this world.

Our focus is how to pass through this world so that our lives are completely in accordance to Islam.

Keep that in mind we can make the best of her experience and her advice and her suggestions.

Quote:
My hardships taught me that it only takes one or two bad habits—no matter how minor they might seem—to stall progress.[/quote]

This kind of issues will come under the heading of Etiquette of Life in Islamic upbringing.

These kind of things are worthwhile but these also have limitations. For example Rasoolallah SAW indulged in extremely intense charity. In western way of life there is certainly mention of charity but psychologists will not talk about it.


Quote:
Reaching your greatest potential doesn’t require you to work harder by adding desirable habits to your already busy life. Instead you can work smarter by eliminating the routines that erode effectiveness and siphon off mental strength. Here are the 13 things mentally strong people don’t do:[/quote]

Clearly the focus here is efficiency and to remove wrong habits.

In Islamic teachings such things find a mention in a single advice : Avoid useless things.

A corollary of the same advice is that you must avoid harmful things at all costs.


Quote:
1. Waste time feeling sorry for themselves.
It’s futile to wallow in your problems, exaggerate your misfortune and keep score of how many hardships you’ve endured. Whether you’re struggling to pay your bills or experiencing a serious health problem, throwing a pity party only makes things worse. Self-pity keeps you focused on the problem and prevents you from developing a solution.
Hardship and sorrow are inevitable, but feeling sorry for yourself is a choice. Even when you can’t solve the problem, you can choose to control your attitude. Find three things to be grateful for every day to keep self-pity at bay.[/quote]

This morose attitude mentioned in this post finds no favour in Islamic teachings. Rasoolallah SAW told his Companions RA about his hardships but did not indulge in any melancholy. Dwelling upon past was not allowed and to be thankful to Allah SWT was mandatory in his circle.

Quote:
2. Give away their power.
You can’t feel like a victim and be mentally strong; that’s impossible. If your thoughts send you into victim mode—My sister-in-law drives me crazy or My boss makes me feel bad about myself—you give others power over you. No one has power over the way you think, feel or behave.
Changing your daily vocabulary is one way to recognize that the choices you make are yours. Rather than saying, “I have to work late today,” edit that sentiment to “I’m choosing to stay late.” There may be consequences if you don’t work late, but it’s still a choice. Empowering yourself is an essential component to creating the kind of life you want.[/quote]

To put yourself in a victim more out of your own volition is certainly not allowed in Islam. A Muslim comes to this world with a mighty responsibility and he can not be so foolish as to surrender his means to others.

Quote:
3. Shy away from change.
If you worry that change will make things worse, you’ll stay stuck in your old ways. The world is changing, and your success depends on your ability to adapt. The more you practice tolerating distress from various sources—perhaps taking a new job or leaving an unhealthy relationship—the more confident you’ll become in your ability to adapt and create positive change in yourself.[/quote]

Clearly change that is a rule of life rather than an exception is out of Allah SWT's will.
A believer can neither oppose it, nor ignore it nor he can hate it nor run away from it.

Quote:
4. Squander energy on things they can’t control.
Complaining, worrying and wishful thinking don’t solve problems; they only waste your energy. But if you invest that same energy in the things you can control, you’ll be much better prepared for whatever life throws your way.
Pay attention to the times when you’re tempted to worry about things you can’t control—such as the choices other people make or how your competitor behaves—and devote that energy to something more productive, such as finishing a project at work or home or helping a friend with hers. Accept situations that are beyond your control and focus on influencing, rather than controlling, people around you.


W certainly have to invest time an energy in deciding what things are under our control and what are beyond our control and after that we have to focus on what is under our control. Akhtiari and Ghair Akhtiari things and their distinction is a routine matter in Sufi circles while the western thought does not even have words about them.

[quote]5. Worry about pleasing everyone.
Whether you’re nervous that your father-in-law will criticize your latest endeavor or you attend an event you’d rather skip to avoid a guilt trip from your mother, trying to make other people happy drains your mental strength and causes you to lose sight of your goals.
Making choices that disappoint or upset others takes courage, but living an authentic life requires you to act according to your values. Write down your top five values and focus your energy on staying true to them, even when your choices aren’t met with favor.


This point is certainly a huge drain on our mental resources in today's life. Unfortunately our guides are not paying enough attention to that. This has to be accepted by us with due thanks to her.


[quote]6. Fear taking risks.
If something seems scary, you might not take the risk, even a small one. On the contrary, if you’re excited about a new opportunity, you may overlook a giant risk and forge ahead. Emotions cloud your judgment and interfere with your ability to accurately calculate risk. You can’t become extraordinary without taking chances, but a successful outcome depends on your ability to take the right risks. Acknowledge how you’re feeling about a certain risk and recognize how your emotions influence your thoughts. Create a list of the pros and cons of taking the risk to help you make a decision based on a balance of emotion and logic.

Fear of risk or otherwise was always there in abundance in the life of Rasoolallah SAW. He never balked at it.
If we are true followers of him then we must have this in our lives too.

[quote]7. Dwell on the past.
While learning from the past helps you build mental strength, ruminating is harmful. Constantly questioning your past choices or romanticizing about the good ol’ days keeps you from both enjoying the present and making the future as good as it can be.
Make peace with the past. Sometimes doing so will involve forgiving someone who hurt you, and other times, moving forward means letting go of regret. Rather than reliving your past, work through the painful emotions that keep you stuck.

Very good advice. Sufis have been telling the same for ages.


[quote]8. Repeat their mistakes.
Whether you felt embarrassed when you gave the wrong answer in class or you were scolded for messing up, you may have learned from a young age that mistakes are bad. So you may hide or excuse your mistakes to bury the shame associated with them, and doing so will prevent you from learning from them.
Whether you gained back the weight that you worked hard to lose or you forgot an important deadline, view each misstep as an opportunity for growth. Set aside your pride and humbly evaluate why you goofed up. Use that knowledge to move forward better than before.


The explanation above does not match very well with the title. But the title says something worthwhile. Rasoolallah SAW said, " A believer is not bitten twice from the same hole."

[quote]9. Resent other people’s successes.
Watching a co-worker receive a promotion, hearing a friend talk about her latest achievement or seeing a family member buy a car you can’t afford can stir up feelings of envy. But jealousy shifts the focus from your efforts and interferes with your ability to reach your goals.
Write down your definition of success. When you’re secure in that definition, you’ll stop resenting others for attaining their goals, and you’ll stay committed to reaching yours. Recognize that when other people reach their goals, their accomplishments don’t minimize your achievements.


Jealousy is a Grave Sin in Islam. Period.

[quote]10. Give up after their first failure.

Some people avoid failure at all costs because it unravels their sense of self-worth. Not trying at all or giving up after your first attempt will prevent you from reaching your potential. Almost every story about a wildly successful person starts with tales of repeated failure (consider Thomas Edison’s thousands of failures before he invented a viable light bulb, for instance).
Face your fear of defeat head-on by stretching yourself to your limits. Even when you feel embarrassed, rejected or ashamed, hold your head high and refuse to let lack of success define you as a person. Focus on improving your skills and be willing to try again after you fail.


In the life of Rasoolallah SAW we have a mighty lesson along these lines where all the believers have to wait for whole thirteen years before they even come into action. Before that it clearly will not be case of repeated failures but of worse - constant humiliation, atrocities and torture.

[quote]11. Fear “alone time.”
Solitude can sometimes feel unproductive; for some people, the thought of being alone with their thoughts is downright scary. Most people avoid silence by filling their days with a flurry of activity and background noise.
Alone time, however, is an essential component to building mental strength. Carve out at least 10 minutes each day to gather your thoughts without the distractions of the world. Use the time to reflect on your progress and create goals for the future.


To live a lonely life is a Sufi way of life.

[quote]12. Feel the world owes them something.
We like to think that if we put in enough hard work or tough it out through bad times, then we deserve success. But waiting for the world to give you what you think you’re owed isn’t a productive life strategy.
Take notice of times when you feel as though you deserve something better. Intentionally focus on all that you have to give rather than what you think you deserve. Regardless of whether you think you’ve been dealt a fair hand in life, you have gifts to share with others.


To me this looks like a novelty but I am sure our Sufis must have got it covered too.
Indeed Sufis strive for a zero sense of entitlement.

[quote]13. Expect immediate results.
Self-growth develops slowly. Whether you’re trying to shed your procrastination tendencies or improve your marriage, expecting instant results will lead to disappointment. Think of your efforts as a marathon, not a sprint. View bumps in the road as minor setbacks rather than as total roadblocks.
You’ll need all the mental strength you can muster at some point in your life, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a financial hardship or a major health problem. Mental strength will give you the resilience to push through the challenges.
And the great news is that everyone can strengthen his or her mental muscle. Practice being your own mental strength coach. Pay attention to areas in which you’re doing well and figure out where you need improvement. Create opportunities for growth and then challenge yourself to become a little better today than you were yesterday.

Well Allah SWT has said that there is a time destined for everything and therefore believers can not expect immediate results.
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#617 [Permalink] Posted on 7th January 2018 05:55
Implications of Prayer Call


I Facebook friend alluded that Azaan in the morning disturbs the infants sleep. One can not be curt with friends otherwise my response would be, "Get used used to Islam, it is here to stay".

The funny thing is that Islam has been in India for nearly as long it has been in Arab lands. Then for nearly a millennium it ruled over this land.

This saffron resurgence has really altered the thinking of even most reasonable people in India.
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#618 [Permalink] Posted on 9th February 2018 14:03
What are Muslims upto?


I shall give you a glimpse. A Pakistani brother writes on Facebook : I am looking for this book "Virtues of Seclusion in Times of Confusion".

That is what Muslims are up to. They are looking for ways to go into seclusion. Do not be surprised if the Madarsas start a course on how to go into seclusion. Heck they might even come up with the idea of a Islamic Seclusion University.

Their escapism is more robust than even mine.

Beloved Prophet PBUH said that in times of overall degradation of Muslim community seclude yourself and do not melt yourself in efforts for the revival of the community. Above brother is acting out of that consideration.

This is not an exceptional episode. It is symptomatic of the rot that has either completely set in or is setting in fast.

(Above is the Facebook post that I just wrote. My apologies for the sarcasm for sarcasm is not a part of Muslim way of life.)
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#619 [Permalink] Posted on 12th February 2018 08:51
Maripat wrote:
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Seclusion may not be that bad Maripat,it is the timing of seclusion which determines its value.

It is true that in time of fitna,or more correctly, that BIG FITNA which is mentioned in ahadeeth near end times, seclusion is preferred over activism.The reasons are also mentioned in various places in ahadeeth...like ‘when you don’t find an amir to follow’, ‘when there is no Jamat of momineen available’, ‘when the things become so confusing you can’t tell right from wrong’ etc
(not the exact words of ahadeeth,only general meaning)

In other times, seclusion, for a limited period of time,gives one time to reflect.Most of us are victims of ‘impulsive’ behaviour and knee jerk reactions
(hence our reactions are usually so predictable to our opponents ...). Muslims in particular and Asians in general behave emotionally in many situations,where a little restraint and caution could have given much better results. Seclusion develops this quality of analysing self (and others),gives us the required space to develop strategies rather than facing the challange(s) head on and later regret.

I am intentionally not referring to the spiritual benefits of seclusion,as that is not my field.May be someone like Dr76 would like to elaborate on that aspect too...

Having said that,prolonged seclusion May also have negative consequences.When one is alone with his mind,Shaytan have a golden opportunity to mislead,presenting fictions created by mind as facts,illusions as realities and wrong as right...that happens when one has got no one around him to guide and advise. May Allah SWT save us all...
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#620 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd February 2018 06:13
Of Raisins and Virgins again


(There was a Facebook status about some Maulwi telling that the Noble Qur'an talks not of 72 virgins but of raisins.)

Islam is usually made the butt of jokes on several accounts.

72 virgins in the heavens is one of the several sore points in this regard.

This sneer, taunt and jeer in a single stroke makes Islam and hence her followers look debauch, gauche, unrefined, misogynist, sexist, crude, uncivilized and base. Indeed even all of these epithets do not capture the level of castigation.

Ironically we are not talking about saffron bigots suspecting Muslims harbouring four wives.

We are talking about the so called reasonable, liberal, socialist democrat.
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#621 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd February 2018 07:25
Maripat wrote:
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@brumbyoz on twitter takes these indian secular liberals apart for their hypocrisy towards muslims. Do follow his tweets
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#622 [Permalink] Posted on 13th March 2018 06:20
Why are Western Coming to Islam?


Actually the title of this report should have been why are blacks in US coming to Islam.

The conclusion : (1) No racism.
(2) Opportunity to bring order back to life.
(3) No burden of confession and no pressure for salvation.
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#623 [Permalink] Posted on 15th April 2018 08:34
Al-Zayn's Facebook Post


One of the Imāms, the ascetic Fuḍayl b. ʿIyāḍ (Raḥimahullāh) said:

‎يا مسكين ، أنت مسيء وترى أنك محسن ، وأنت جاهل وترى أنك عالم ، وتبخل وترى أنك كريم ، وأحمق وترى أنك عاقل أجلك قصير ، وأملك طويل.

❝Destitute! You are a sinner yet you think of yourself to be righteous, you are ignorant yet you think of yourself to be knowledgeable, you are stingy yet you think of yourself to be generous, an idiot yet you think of yourself to be intelligent. Your life is short, and your ambitions are long.❞

Imām al-Dhahabī further states:

‎قلت : إي والله ، صدق ، وأنت ظالم وترى أنك مظلوم ، وآكل للحرام وترى أنك متورع ، وفاسق وتعتقد أنك عدل ، وطالب العلم للدنيا وترى أنك تطلبه لله.

❝I say: by God, he (Fuḍayl) has spoken the truth! You are an oppressor yet you think of yourself as the oppressed, you eat ḥarām yet you think of yourself as God-fearing, a sinner yet you believe that you are just, [you are] a seeker of knowledge only for this world yet you think that you are searching it for the sake of God.❞

Siyar A’lām 'l-Nubalā' of Imām al-Dhahabī.
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#624 [Permalink] Posted on 15th April 2018 10:00
Maripat wrote:
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it is like opposing the practice abu dharr al giffari during chalifate usmania
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#625 [Permalink] Posted on 1st May 2018 06:20
Rohingya Reporting Gets Pulitzer Prize


Yes, it was exhausting both physically and emotionally, I did break down once, but hats off to their resilience and optimism.

Source : Hindustan Times
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#626 [Permalink] Posted on 1st May 2018 07:37
Fight not a Qalandar


The Qalandariya Order is Sufi Order of Muslim mystics.

To a naive eye these guys might look as if situated at the edge and brink of the precipice of Islam and beyond.

Needless to say that this simplistic assessment does not capture the real crux of the matter.

A Qalandar is not an ascetic nor a vagabond nor a rebel.
Yet he has characteristics common to all three of them.

Sufism in its pristine form is a method to imbibe the teachings of Islam in your life.

Yet the beginning is rather secular - love for humanity.

As a result the Sufi community is most docile of the communities you can think of.

Yet this this amicable disposition so many times can give the adversary a signal that is different from reality. Nasty adversaries might be tricked into believing that these are weaklings on the move.

No there is no duplicity on part of the Sufis. We are talking about the situation when Sufis are confronted by pure evil.

There are three different responses that we can delineate historically.

One is that of Hazrat Mehboob-e-Ilahi Nizamuddin Auliya, may peace of Lord encompass him. The then King wanted to meet him but the saint was not disposed to honour him. When the King pursued again for the meeting the saint plainly told that he is ready to leave Delhi if the King so desires.

This is the retreat approach.

There is another possible approach. S. Ameer Ali records that in a Sufi Order the leaders made it a point to publicly confront and castigate the Kings when they indulged in unfair rule. The result was that so many of the Sufis lost their life merely exercising their freedom of speech.

The Qalandar's approach is a third one. He, the Qalandar, accepts no worldly responsibilities. Yet he also adopts a public posture where the rowdy will think twice before physically manhandling the Sufi.

This is the Dhamal approach. The Qalandars adopt some martial practices, particularly acrobatic and fire dosing tactics. they display these publicly. The message is both gross and subtle.

Let us try have glimpse of the haughtiness in one of the most well known names from that tribe - La'l Shehbaz Qalandar, real name Syed Usman Marwandi, RA.

Manam Usman-e-Marwandi o yaar-e-Sheikh-e-Mansoor-am
Malamat mi kunad khalqey o man bar daar mi raqsam

I am Usman Marwandi and my beloved is Sheikh Mansoor
I have told off the public even if I have to dance to the noose

Mansoor was the ascetic who was beheaded because of his deep explorations of the divine secrets. Shehbaz Qalandar is not scared of following the footsteps even if the same fate delivered to him by the public.

This is highest level of personal courage in service of the truth even in face of the greatest opposition - the public opinion.

Of course there will be a myriad other different approaches to deal with the opposition of the society to the truth but I have summarized those that I have myself have been able to extract with painstaking analysis of years.

Source : My Post on Facebook
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#627 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd May 2018 19:42
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A little onfused Maripat...

Technically QALANDAR is a person/Sufi having two dominant traits :

1) Their batini (inner/hidden) deeds are more than their Zahiri (visible/apparent) deeds BUT not at the expense of sharia,like one may not see them performing excessive nafal ibadat (without compromising on Faraedh),rather they prefer to keep their inner self occupied with traits like Sabr,shukur,tawakkul,tafweez etc So apparently one sees them doing nothing more than an ordinary common Momin while they are always connected strongly to Allah SWT through their ‘deeds of heart’ with an unbreakable bond to Allah swt . As a poet put it :

شائد کوئی اس رمز سے آگاہ نہیں ہے
باتیں تو ہیں ہر دم مگر آواز نہیں ہے

( Perhaps no one is privy to this secret that we are constantly in touch with Allah SWT without expressing it).

One constantly face ‘situations’ every minute of every day where a response is required.sometimes the situation is not exactly to our liking and we are required to show patience,and if we do that,our status gets increased in the eyes of our creator swt.Same goes for shukur.We May be tempted to commit a sin and ‘restraint’ is the response required of us.You May think of many similar situations and a QLANDAR is more focused on guarding the ‘responses of the heart’ to them. It is a difficult task indeed but that is what keep their hearts strongly connected to Allah SWT. They go mostly unnoticed because such acts are not visible,hence no one can gauge the strength of their attachment to Allah SWT.

2) Secondly,they keep adding an element of divine love into their deeds,which increases its value manifolds. The term لوجهه الله is used here,meaning ‘ONLY FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH’ seeking HIS pleasure without thinking about rewards. It is a state of mind,where despite firm belief in the concept of reward and punishment,heaven and hell, they believe that even if their was no heaven and hell,still Allah swt is to be loved,to be obeyed,with all of one,s heart,body and soul. As for rewards they say :

تو بندگی چو گدا یاں بشرط مزد مکن
کہ خواجہ خود روشِ بندہ پروری داند

( That you don’t need to do the service expecting returns,as our lord knows how to grant and repay his slaves)

NOW coming to the topic of the relationships of sufis with royalty.It has always been a difference of approach depending on ground realities. Chishti mashaikh in hind always kept a reasonable distance from royals as they were more focused on common man.Naqshbandia traditionally have been more accommodative towards royalty keeping their eslah in mind,thinking that the king is like the head in the body of a nation. When the head goes wrong the whole system goes wrong. The famous Naqshbandi Shaikh KHWAJA UBAIDULLAH AHRAR ra made it a mission to keep meeting the Amir,s of his time and present the problems of common people to them. His famous statement :”Had I decided to become a Shaikh other mashaikh would hardly find a mureed left for them,but my mission is different”.That ‘different mission’ was to convey the hardships of umma to their leaders and keep them focused on service to the people. The approach of Mujaadad Alfe Thani ra was similar.He could have started an armed rebellion against king Akbar,and may even have overthrown him,but at the cost of Muslim empire in India, which was a minority government ruling the majority. So instead of armed struggle he started changing the minds and hearts of powerful amirs in the courts of Mughal emperor. His mission was later carried forward by khwaja Masoom ra. The change from Akbar to Aurangzeb ra was gradual but no less than a revolution.

QALANDAR is a Sufi way of establishing a personal connection to Allah swt,it is not a political strategy.The political strategy,as I wrote earlier,depends on many factors.One thing is common to all,the benefit of Muslim ummah and the welfare of common man.
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#628 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd May 2018 05:29

ALIF wrote:
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Read it all ya akhi. I understand your views. I myself do not feel any deviation from these. May be we are saying  complementary things. So if you still have confusions then do ask more precise questions.

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#629 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd May 2018 06:05
Fine sir,JazakAllaho Ahsan aljaza
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#630 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd May 2018 07:49
OK I get your point.

I have removed the phrase "so called" before the phrase freedom of speech.

So what we see now is that the Sufis have an extremely high level of courage. The courage that is missing even from the Mujahideen. A Mujahid is aware of the danger to his life and yet he goes for the struggle.

The Sufi too is aware of the danger to his life when he is going to speak the truth before a tyrant ruler. Yet he has no possibility of winning over the opponent physically. Hence the courage of truth speaking Sufis more than that of a Mujahid.

I hope now you understand the Islamic dictum : The biggest G!h@d is to speak the truth before a tyrant.

Now for the second point. You emphasize the spiritual content of the Qaladariya Order. I do not have anything to add to that and you are absolutely correct that it is about watching your own heart. Technically this is the definition.

Yet the outward appearance is of no small consequence in this case. In this aspect Qalandars are known only for their Dhamal. Historically we know that Qalandars created huge problems for Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganj Shakar RA. These were vagabond like Sufis.

Shall we cast these kind of Qalandars outside Islam? I do not know but nuisance they did create.

And why did they do so? My answer is that once they adopted the Martial posture they lost track of their original profession as the Sufis.

Some people might like to have the classification of Good Qalandar and Bad Qalandar. That might be just as well. But when you talk of the Qalanadars you can not restrict to the Good ones only. The people who tormented the Chishti Shaikh Baba Farid were most probably Muslims who were in the Qalandar Order.

I hope this clears some of the confusions.
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