Routines of the Mashaikh-e-Naqshband

3rd February 2013

The seeker (salik) should try and wake up for tahajjud in the final third of every night. Hadrat Abu Bakr said, “It is a shame that the cock that crows at dawn has overtaken you.” Hadrat Junaid Baghdadi appeared in a dream to someone after he had passed away, and said, “All the unseen and miracles have gone; only a few rakats of the night proved useful.”

Hadrat Khwaja Abu Saeed Abul Khair’s poetry regarding tahajjud, the Rubaay, is famous. The translation is as follows:

Wake up during the night, for the lovers talk of greatnesses during the night.

Around the door and roof of the Friend’s House they rise and hover.

Every door except the Friend’s Door is shut at night,

Which is opened at night.

Waking from sleep, one is to read a masnoon dua; if the shoe is closed from the top (unlike a sandal that is open), one should turn it upside down and shake it. He should wear the right shoe first and then the left, and should enter and leave the bathroom reading masnoon duas, having relieved himself and performed wudu (it is important to read different duas for different phases, and keeping wuquf-e-qalbi provides added strength). One should not be lazy in these matters
Hadrat Khwaja Ubaidullah Ahrar says that after performing wudu, one should say three times, “Ya Allah, I ask forgiveness for every sin that I have fallen victim to.” The purpose of this dua is to seek forgiveness so that one can be cleaned from the inside as wudu has cleaned on the outside. Through this, acquiring the condition of “ …Worship Allah as if you are seeing Him, and if you cannot see Him, He is indeed seeing you…” becomes easier.

One should pray two rakats of Tahiyat-ul-wudu each time after performing wudu. It is established that the Messenger of Allah heard Hadrat Bilal’s footsteps in Paradise, and upon returning from Miraaj (the Ascent) found out that Hadrat Bilal was regular in praying two rakats Tahiyat-ul-wudu. In these two rakats one should read Surah al Kafirun in the first rakat, and Surah al Ikhlas in the second.

After performing wudu, the salik should stand humbly and attentively for four, eight, or twelve rakats of tahajjud. It was the routine of Hadrat Khwaja Abu Yusuf Hamdani to recite the section of Ayatul Kursi and the last section of Surah al Baqarah in the first two rakats, and in eight rakats he would recite ten verses of Surah al YaSin respectively. In the last two rakats he would recite Surah al Ikhlas three times each.

Hadrat Abdul Qadir Jilani and Hadrat Mo’eyuddin Chishti Ajmiri were students of knowledge as well as of the spiritual path, under Hadrat Khwaja Yusuf Hamdani.

Hadrat Khwaja Azizan Ali Ramitni used to say that three hearts unite upon reading Surah al Yasin at tahajjud; the heart of the night (meaning the final third), the heart of the Holy Quran (Surah al Yasin), and the heart of man. The gathering of these hearts forms a way for the acceptance of prayer.

Hadrat Khwaja Abidullah Ahrar used to say, “If someone ever misses tahajjud, he should pray Nafl before midday. Whoever does not trust himself to wake up at night should pray before sleeping.”

Hadrat Khwaja Bahauddin Naqshband Bukhari used to combine poetry into his dua at tahajjud, the translation of which is as follows:

Waking up I have brought myself into Your Court,

Ya Allah, I have brought the weight of sins.

To Your Door I have burdened my back with this weight.

I humbly come to the door of the One who gives shelter to the scholars.

I don’t say that I was in Your Way sincerely,

But I am he who is astray and have come to the door of the Shelterer.

I have brought four things that are not in Your treasure O King.

I come with Waste, Desire, Mistakes, and Sins.

As witness of my love I have brought my wounded heart.

Look with a glance of mercy and consider my white hair,

Because I bring a face darkened with shame.

Sometimes the salik should read the duas that are proven through Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddiq, Dua-e-Siddiqui, or Manajat-e-Siddiqui. After finishing his dua one should recite Durood one hundred times.

Someone once asked Shaykh-ul Arab wal Ajam Hadrat Maulana Abdul Ghaffoor Madni Abbasi, “Should we read istighfar or Durood?” Hadrat Abdul Ghaffoor answered, “Reciting istighfar is likened to the washing of clothes, and reciting Durood is likened to applying perfume. Tell me, should clothes be perfumed first or washed?” The person replied, “Hadrat, clothes should be washed first and then the perfume applied.” Hadrat i continued, “This is why one should first read istighfar with shame and humility, so that the heart is washed clean, and then read Durood with love and sincerity so that perfume is applied to the heart, and the love and fragrance of the Prophet a emanates from every part of our body.”

After reading the appropriate duas, the salik should engage himself in the specific lesson of muraqaba indicated by his particular shaykh, eliminating all negative thoughts. Hadrat Khwaja Bahaudin Naqshband Bukhari advised Hadrat Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Charkhi thus; “Involve yourself in your spiritual lesson before morning.”

The two sunnah rakats before Salat ul Fajr should be attended to at home, because discharging them at home is sunnah in itself, and then one should proceed to pray Fajr in the masjid with the congregation. The habit and routine of our elders has been to get to the masjid before the imam begins the prayer, and so the salik should take care in this. Our Mashaikh Naqshband would not miss the first Takbeer for months.

It is essential to enter the masjid saying or reading the masnoon duas associated with entering the masjid, and make the intention of itikaf (seclusion). Worldly talk is to be shunned and regarded as despicable, and one should pray considering that the particular salat might be his last; this way he can attain perfect concentration and oneness.

Tasbih-e-Fatima, the Four Quls, and Ayatul Kursi are to be read after every fardh salat. Allahumma ajirni minan Nar seven times after Fajr and Maghrib prayers, and Allahummagh firli wa lil mu’mineena wal mu’minati wal muslimeena wal muslimati ten times. Hadrat Murshid-e-Alam (Guide of the World) used to be regular in this routine.

One should read one juz of the Holy Quran after this, making a habit to read Surah al Yasin, and the huffaz should read according to their specific lesson. After the sun reaches the height equivalent to one or two lengths of an archer’s arrow from the horizon, one should pray four rakats Salat ul Ishraq, thereby earning the reward of one Hajj and Umra. Hadrat Muhammad Yaqub Charkhi used to say that La ilaha illalahu wahdahu la sharika lahu lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu wa huwa ala kulli shai in qadeer should be read ten times after Ishraq, something that Hadrat Khwaja Saifuddin Bakhozi had told him (Risala as-Saniya pg. 33).

It is the routine of the Mashaikh of Bukhara, Uzbekistan, to make intention for istikharah together with praying Ishraq, after which they sleep so that Allah might explain the rest of the day’s routine to them through their istikharah. Moreover, they read Surah al Fatiha, Ayatul Kursi, the Four Quls after each salat and send the good tidings to the Messenger of Allah and all the believers.

After completing the above, the students should get busy with their studies, and people should go to work, or busy themselves with whatever trade they do, always keeping the rules of the shariah paramount. One should be regular in remembering Allah, so that acting upon …rijalullah tulhihim tijaratu wala baiyun an dhikrillah…becomes easy. This is called Wuquf-e-Qalbi, meaning that the hands and feet are busy at work but the heart is busy remembering Allah.

Four rakats Salat ul Chasht should be prayed when the sun is significantly high in the sky. Hadrat Khwaja Ubaidullah Ahrar says, “One should read Surah al Shams in the first rakat, Surah al Lail in the second, Surah al Dhuha in the third, and Surah al Inshirah in the fourth.” (Risala Anfas Nafsia pg. 7).

For people who cannot afford to pray Salat ul Chasht because of timing constraints due to work and the like, it is recommended that they combine this with Salat ul Ishraq, which is the best recommended method in today’s fast paced society.

It is sunnah of the Messenger of Allah to take a short nap after lunch, and so this is strongly recommended if time permits. It is written that regularity in tahajjud becomes easier. When the sun starts to decline, one should pray four rakats sunnah of Salat ul Dhuhr at home and proceed to the masjid for congregational fardh prayer. Hadrat Khwaja Ubaidullah Ahrar says that one should recite Bas Gasht three times after Salat ul Dhuhr: Ilahi maqsud-e-mantu-e wa razae tu mara mohobbat-e-marfat zok shok khud be de. The translation is: My Creator, make Your pleasure and love my purpose, and give me love for You from Yourself (Risala Anfas Nafsia pg.84).

People should return to work after Dhuhr, and time permitting, should read Dalail-e-Khairat or Hazbul Bahr with the permission of the shaykh, as well as the Shajrah-e-Naqshband. If time allows, hadith and fiqh books, or books of tassawwuf, especially Maktubaat Imam-e-Rabbani, Maktubaat-e-Masoomia, and Haalat-e-Mashaikh Silsala Alia Naqshbandia should be read as well. Some mashaikhs’ routine is also to read Surah al Fatah after Salat ul Dhuhr.

Salikeen should busy themselves in their particular tasbeehs and lessons after Salat ul Asr. Hadrat Haji Dost Muhammad Qandhari says that the salik should work diligently on his muraqaba at this time according to the following routine;

Ism-Ullah on Latifae Qalb five thousand times.
Ism-Ullah on Latifae Ruh one thousand times.
Ism-Ullah on Latifae Sir one thousand times.
Ism-Ullah on Latifae Khafi one thousand times.
Ism-Ullah on Latifae Akhfa one thousand times.
Ism-Ullah on Latifae Nafs two thousand times.
Ism-Ullah on Latifae Qalib one thousand times.

The total dhikr is twelve thousand Ism-Ullah.

After Salat ul Maghrib, one should pray six to twelve rakats Salat ul Awabeen, followed by recital of Surah al Waqiah, Surah Ha-Mim Sajdah, and Surah al Dukhan.

One should pray Salat ul Isha in congregation after having eaten dinner. After this he should read istighfar and Durood one hundred times each and then read Surah al Mulk.

It was the routine of Hadrat Murshid-e-Alam Ghulam Habib to read Durood Sharif, Surah al Fatiha, Ayatul Kursi, the Four Quls, followed by Durood again. He would then draw an imaginary circle around himself before sleeping. This formula is proven for safety.

It is necessary that the salik should be regular in reading Ayatul Kursi, the Mu’awazatain, and the Tasbih-e-Fatima after each fardh salat. He should pray Salat ul Tasbih every Jumma, and should try to sit in itikaf during the last ten days of Ramadan, and should also try to stay awake on the nights of the 15th of Shauban, Lailat-ul-Qadr, Eid ul-Fitr, and Eid-ul Adha.

It is sunnah to observe the following fasts, for which the salik has to make effort: the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every lunar month; six fasts of Shawwal; nine fasts till the 9th of Zulhijja; Yaum-e-Ashura, 10th of Muharram; 15th of Shauban; eight fasts in the beginning of Rajab and Shauban. Whenever possible, the salik should observe as many optional fasts as he can. The best routine is to fast one day and eat the next, which is sunnah. Keeping fasts consecutively is disliked.

It is mandatory to first discharge any salats or fasts that have been missed anytime during one’s past, and one should memorize various masnoon duas for various occasions.

The salik should take care of his physical as well as his spiritual health. Hadith tells us that Allah prefers a strong believer over a weak one. Our mashaikh used to be regular in taking long walks in the morning or evening.

The salik should request permission from his shaykh if he wants a reduction in his daily lessons and reciting, for time constraint or whatever reason.

posted by Abu Taalib Deobandi on 3rd February 2013 - 0 comments


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