Epistles of Timeless Uprightness







INTRODUCTION                                                                      2



2.   HOW PURE YOU ARE- CHECK!                                           4


4.   REALISM IS MORE IDEAL THAN IDEALISM                           7                



6.   COSMIC OUTLOOK- THAT ONLY DELIVERS THE NOBLE TRUTH, NOBLE HAPPINESS                                                                              12


8.   COOPERATING WITH ALLAH                                               18

9.   TRUSTING ALLAH                                                               21

10. RULES OF KARAMAT- SAINTLY MIRACLES                           24     


11. REPENTANCE (TAWBA)- THE KING OF AND GATE TO ALL GOOD ACTS                                                                                       29              


13. GOODWILL IS SINCERITY                                                    34

14. WHAT IS REAL GOOD LIFE                                                  36     

15. INNER POLICING- OUTER SUPPORT                                     39     


16. THE MINEFIELD OF OPINIONS                                              43     

17. SUPERIOR MERITS OF NAQSHIBANDI MASTERS                    46     

18. FLOWING WITH ALLAH                                                        51

19. GLOBAL CORRUPTION- OUR WAGES FOR SIN                      57     

20. GIVE TO RECEIVE- THE INFALLIBLE TRADE PLAN                   63     



      SERIOUS MUSLIMS                                                             68     

22. THE SWAMPY GROUNDS OF SEXUAL SINS                           76     


      PART ONE: INTRODUCTORY THOUGHTS                              87

      PART TWO: FIGHTING AND CONVERTING THE DRAGONS IN PEOPLE                                                                                    93     

24. MERCY FROM DEVIL                                                            94     







This ‘Risala’ will insha Allah be the first of a series of as many as Allah wills and helps and intended to impart to its readers the realities and truths of Islam from a Sufi (wisdom and insight) point of view and with an entirely practical aim; the reader, if wise and sincere, may then, with Allah’s permission and help penetrate the spiritual secrets of Islam and be empowered to live Islam deeply and genuinely. The risalas will be the fruits of a very long association and heart-to-heart communication on the part of the humble writer with one of the greatest Sufi masters ever. Those who know him know him, those who don’t will know him spiritually from these risalas. Risala means an epistle. The title may therefore be translated as ‘Epistles of Timeless Uprightness”.


Know o dear and sincerely truth-seeking reader that Islam is about nothing if not for the purification of the heart from wrong aims and ambitions and filling instead with right and worthy aims and ambitions which edify it and makes its owner an agent of good and only good throughout his or her life. In other words the person becomes a saint which means a full and sincere and most committed and hard working servant of God. As such his or her reward does not delay but becomes available at least in the form of peace of mind, ease of conscience and a continuous if small breaks and breakthroughs of good fortune. In the hereafter this reward expands to and extends into infinity and its amount and quality are too great to be imagined in this lower and earlier world. About their worldly reward Allah says “Whoever, whether male or female, does good works and is a believer then such people We will keep alive with a good life and (in the hereafter) will award their prizes at the level of the very best of what they had been doing” (16: 97). Please do not misunderstand me: It does not necessarily follow that their good life in this world will necessarily be one of riches and fame. It will just be adequately provided, safely lived and will deliver a kind of contentment no material goods and public notice or applause can deliver. They are a group who live in an early paradise without others quite noticing because theirs do not depend on worldly thrills as worldly people see and want. They are Allah’s friends and their good fortune is invisible to others as God is invisible. They simply are given well and enough of everything legitimate and blessing. As such they are full of thanks and glorifications to Allah and can hardly stop themselves from shouting at the top of their voices from the rooftops their unusual and incomparable happiness. Amen.


More than anything else their lives is one of most perfect possible high morality. They will not covet the good fortunes of others let alone their worldly acquisitions and attainments, they will not lie, cheat, steal or hurt others wantonly. Their moral scruples apply not only to fellow Muslims but to all people including even the enemies of God. Fighting against the enemies of God may be required of them but infringing their enemies’ human rights they will never do. Read if you wish “Allah is not banning you from doing good to and acting justly towards those (unbelievers) who do not fight with you on religion and do not drive you out of your homes. It is because Allah loves the just” (60: 8). In the commentary of this verse all reputable commentators are agreed that it means getting along well with all non-Muslims including the idolaters when there is peace and diplomatic agreements in place. The least wisdom of this could be that Muslims should always set the highest standards of civility, humanity and charity for others to see and hopefully embrace Islam or at least be shamed into keeping the peace with Muslims. We must never forget that Allah is in every heart and is controlling all hearts and as a result nobody whatever his creed and acts is beyond salvation given Allah’s mercy and power. By ingratiating unbelievers and setting a compelling example of Islamic character for them we help Allah’s mercy to save them. After all Allah calls His believers ‘ansar-Allah’, i.e., helpers of Allah (61: 14)


So, dear reader check your Islam by checking the condition of your heart. Is it a peaceful, contented, justice-loving, greed- and envy-free heart, a heart stranger to hate and desire for vengeance, a heart free from unlawful lusts or at least battling against unlawful lusts, a heart free from a desire to cheat, to steal, to hurt? Are you envious of somebody? Then forget about being a true and good believer. Are you lining your pocket from sources who are trusting you, explaining to yourself that you are underpaid anyhow or robbing non- (or unjust) Muslims or non-Muslims (as you see it) is part of jihad  or a form of correcting past wrongs done to good Muslims? All such pretexts and robberies are Satanic and will be avenged in this world without waiting for the next and also without reducing the robber’s liability in the world to come. A personal world built from haram is a hell in disguise and will one day ruin the robber, most likely in this world before the punishment of the next world comes in with even more vengeance.


Lastly never forget and cease to hope for the salvation of all people seeing that Allah is bound by and limited by nothing whatsoever and to contribute to this most desirable possibility treat every single person kindly and honourably whatever that person’s status and beliefs. Polite and charitable are the bywords of true Islam, true Sufism which is the spirit of Islam, for Islam has both body and soul; while the body is its Law its soul is true and sincere faith which is the aim and attainment of Sufism. Amen.




We accuse others of a thousand wrongs and defects and if we ever blame ourselves for anything we do it in our hearts and almost never in public. Yeah, sometimes we do blame ourselves in public for something in our relations with others but this rare admission is even more rarely genuine. Often it is a statement of self-pity and an eloquent way of stating our righteousness by saying the opposite. Let us give an example. Somebody complains to you about your failing him in some way and you know or should know that he is right. Yet, instead of admitting your wrong honestly and directly you may say “You are surely right, I have been foolishly too generous towards you and now you expect that to go on, no matter whether I can afford it any more or not”.  For you it is always the other fellow who is wrong, you have always been too good towards him, you are only ‘guilty’ of habituating him to receive your favours and give back little if any etc.. Of course sometimes such a response is justified but that I am afraid is not often the case. A lot of us, just like politicians, will never admit our part of the guilt but put all the blame on the opposition. I would be surprised to hear that you dear reader never followed the arguments and counter arguments between politicians, like in parliamentary debates. How many times have you witnessed a speaker from one party admit the validity of the criticism coming from the speaker the other party? Almost never, isn’t it? This is such an entrenched and ‘time-honoured’ practice in politics that it is perhaps right to see politics as an inherently hypocritical profession, that is to say a profession in which lies, misstatements, obfuscation and subversion are necessary to come to and retain power.


Nowadays all such necessary vices of politics are called ‘spin’ and each party has its ‘spin doctors’ which specialise in skilfully misrepresenting facts so as to show his party in better light than it deserves. These are not recently discovered facts; the filth of politics is as old as politics itself and has not arrived with the arrival of parliamentary democracy but was alive as much as today back in the age of kings and emperors. My humble historical knowledge gives me one exception to this state of affairs; the Prophet of Islam (S) was, as a ruler, always open to and admitting of all right criticisms against his person and those of his governmental subordinates. Not only Muslims but also Jews of Medina could complain about his treatment of them or the treatment they received from his representatives and he (S) would admit as much if the complaint was valid. In a typical case a Jew he owed some money to criticised him in public using abusive words like “You son’s of Hashim are notorious in defaulting on your debts…” at which address Umar’s eyes went into a spin and he would almost jump on the Jew whom he saw as too rude towards the Prophet (S) of Allah and kill him. The Messenger of Allah (S) curbed Umar’s reaction and remarked “There is no good in a society in which their weak cannot get their rights from their strong” and he ordered his men to pay up the plaintiff. The latter was very much impressed and pleased and explained that he was just checking on the ‘hilm’ (forbearance) of Muhammad (S) which, when verified, would demonstrate the genuineness of his prophethood. As soon as he was satisfied with Muhammad’s (S) ‘hilm’ he bore witness that Muhamamd (S) was the Messenger of Allah and handed down a bulky sadaqa to the Muslims who were now his brothers. The four succeeding caliphs, namely Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali (RA) perfectly emulated the Prophet (S) in such honesty and justice and since then some other Muslim rulers did likewise. In general the better members of the sahaba (RA) dealt with each other as piously as above and left for us a legacy of selflessness unprecedented in historical record.


Now why do you think there frequently erupt among family members, friends, parties to a contract etc. so many bitter and insoluble-looking disagreements and vendettas? Make no mistake about it: all are because of selfishness on the part of at least one party. Now please look: I am saying ‘selfishness’ for which we have an even more sinister synonym- EGOTISM! And that comes from that most odious of human components- the EGO! The ego is like an irresistibly attractive and captivating whore whose beauty is more apparent than real. It is like an old, hackneyed prostitute who expertly vamps up her appearance by cosmetics as well as aesthetic operations like botox injections and silicon breast implants and also by obscene designer clothes and lingerie. On top of them she also resorts to lighting tricks by which she makes herself appear in an even better light. And behind all this façade she is dripping with several venereal diseases each more deadly than the other! Woe to her victims for all that!


Now hear this: This is the only correct way for each of us to see our egos: like that dissolute and treacherous sex pest-idol. To learn about her dangers (which are mainly invisible to ourselves, we being infatuated with her from birth) the thing we need most is the criticism of ourselves by others. In fact we should thank Allah at the top of our voice when somebody criticises us hoping very much that the critic will diagnose for us another of the pathogens and illnesses slyly afflicting and gradually ruining us. Will you resent a doctor finding what is wrong with you? So you should not resent being criticised. What is even better is learning and making a habit of constantly scrutinising and criticising yourself and that I assure you is the most profitable of professions and occupations leading you all the way to sainthood and no less! If Jesus Christ (S) said “Love your enemy” that must be the main reason; nobody can alert you to your illnesses than an enemy criticising you: through him hear Allah administering both diagnosis and medicine to you. I am not saying that all comments about you by all enemies or all criticism of you by all ‘friends’ are correct. What I am saying is look very ardently and sincerely for clues to your illnesses in their words and address those you find. Then I can assure you that you are one of the saints of Allah DESPITE your remaining or unexposed defects. That is because you are ever ready for and busy with righting yourself, that is true repentance and Allah definitely forgives all sins without exception of those who are engaged in sincere repentance. Amen.




If not personal purity Islam is nothing. A tree needs a root to grow from and the root needs a seed to begin from. The seed has a genetic code which makes it viable as a living being and determines its future shape and products. Islam must be practiced firstly on a personal basis: you must begin with your own Islamisation, that is to say your personal purification.

The root of Islam is LA ILAHA ILLALLAH and from a spiritual point of view it means there is no creative, sustaining and saving power for a soul but its purity: Its purity subsists in a blessed correct image of God in that soul with which image the soul is on most respectful and friendliest terms. Only a correct image of Allah in your heart can sustain, guide and make you happy. The correct image of Allah is pure, kind and just in the extreme and inexorably directs you to similar purity, kindness and justice. If other images are associated with your God image you will be confused and broken to pieces like a man trying to listen to and please too many masters broadcasting orders from too many radio stations.


The most correct image of God is that drawn and painted in the Qur’an: It is the purest, most sublime and compelling image, so pure that it cannot be visualised. Read if you wish: “No visions can reach Him while He reaches all visions” (6: 103). “Anything you can imagine, Allah is other than and infinitely superior (Subhan) to that” say the masters. That infinite superiority and distance of quality provides you with a potential difference which causes you to move upwards to Him on an endless but at each point more blessing journey: “The return is to Him” (5: 18).  Believers’ journey will continue even in the Paradise, for Allah’s ever more pure and great gifts will never stop surprising and delighting them with their glorious pleasures. Read if you wish “In there (the Garden) are all they want and with Us are More” (50: 35)


After this let us see how true is our beginning premise that your purity is everything you need and that without purity you are nothing no matter what you ‘know’, do and pretend.

He Almighty All-Gracious says “Indeed successfully saved is the one who purifies himself, keeps His Lord in his heart and prays” (87: 14-15). Is there any talk here about anything else? No! That is because all blessings of Islam simply flow from one single source- personal purification effort! And as Allah continues to explain, the detergent necessary for this purification is keeping Allah in one’s heart and praying to Him. Allah is not leaving the matter there though. In the very next verse He All-Wise and All-Helpful is explaining why those who fail are failing: “Yet, you prefer this world’s life while the hereafter is both better and most enduring”.  After reading this which believer can fight another for a mean gain?

Do you now see that people can move only in either of two directions? The right direction is entertaining in one’s heart a correct image of God and drawing nourishment and accepting guidance from the unattainable, unimaginable yet intimately ever-present Most High. In religions other than Islam they also have images of God in them but those images are not as correct as in Islam. Some of them are contaminated with and compromised by association (shirk) of lesser and false gods or the God itself is not pure and uniform but entangled by His creatures who are posed as His sons, daughters and even wives! Such paganism is too crowded and impure an environment to help successful purification. Such paganism breeds a priesthood which sucks the blood and drains the minds and hearts of believers subscribing to the paganism. God’s uncompromised Unity gives you unity of loyalty and direction!


Do you now see what does LA ILAHA ILLALLAH mean? It means inner purity in its most complete and exclusive. When you are pure with LA ILAHA ILLALLAH you can only be decent, kind, well-meaning, charitable and a saviour of souls under all circumstances because you are saved from ‘preferring this world to the hereafter’. Lastly, why do you think Muslims are in so much trouble? Why are they in boiling water? In the light of above the answer is staring us in the eye: they are not pure enough. Read if you wish “What Allah will do with punishing you after you gave thanks and fully believed”(4: 147).


So, save yourself o brother or sister by constantly auditing your thoughts and behaviour with a view to weeding out all which are unfit in Allah’s service. Masters are unanimous that this is the sign that you have truly started on the Sufi path- the inner Islam. Amen






Said Maulana sheikh “Tasawwuf serves two purposes depending what people want and can cope with: One is the easy choice of ‘tasalli’/consolation and the other and more precious choice is ‘irshad’/guidance on to full purification which results in spiritual enlightenment and maturation.


The sheikh then dispenses his medicines according to the needs and limitations of his audience. To those with low spiritual potential and strong worldly anxieties and desires he hands out tasalli: he tells them a thousand fables and stories and also makes a hundred personal and general promises which are designed to comfort them and keep them happily hoping. Fables are mythical and metaphorical human and animal, jinn and angel stories which are true in a spiritual (and therefore superior sense) while historical stories are more or less factual because history is not an exact science but historians are always in dispute. Despite this, a true and powerful sheikh’s historical stories are intended as cures for the aching hearts and as such have a validity independent of their historical veracity. The most important category of such stories are those found in lesser and later Hadith books; some of these stories may conflict with more reliable and true-looking stories in earlier and more reliable Hadith books but most of them still exert a calming, comforting and motivating effect on the listeners (or readers) which serve the tasalli side of Tasawwuf well enough. After all, spirituality is not an entirely rational discipline but also a richly emotional and intuitive one: the aim is to save the aspirant from error and the sufferings error causes and lead him or her to correct guidance which gives relief from suffering and replaces it with true and lasting joy based on spiritual realisations which exceed the limitations of this material or exterior life.


Stories praising and glorifying prophets and more successful believers (called awliya/saints) are among such calming and curative elements: they make their listeners feel like they are walking on clouds if not in the heavens and these stories may be enough to awaken and maintain in the listener a blessed and elevated spiritual consciousness worth having with some reservations. The reservations are best exemplified by the course Christianity took after Christ: a new, self-appointed leader came along, namely ‘St’ Paul who skilfully eased the true historical disciples and congregation of the prophet Jesus (S) of their leadership status and installed himself as the (alleged) direct spokesman for ‘Christ Jesus’. From then on it was not so much the teachings and example of Jesus (S) as recorded in the gospels but Paul’s alleged inspirations from long-departed Jesus (S) which formed the foundation of Christian spirituality. Paul’s successors only added to his pretensions and excesses and despite all the more appealing sides of the ensuing Christian spirituality a lot of misguided as well as plain negative elements took it rather too far away from what Jesus (S) had been sent for. The Law of God in the Torah was the first victim of the Pauline deviation while the doctrine of Trinity entirely took Christianity away from the true tradition of God’s prophets. A similar risk remained never far away from Tasawwuf; while a sound Sunni mainstream Tasawwuf held its ground, a lot of aberrant and plain blasphemous schools also made converts and held their ground. These range from those who deify or almost deify Ali to those who simply hide behind the name of Ali but otherwise lead secretive lives of Sharia (Law)-denying and even Qur’an-cursing abominations. While some of these deny the Hereafter (Akhira) and preach a form of primitive and permissive communism others believe in reincarnation and employ magic to get their wishes.


These risks are eliminated when tassalli is followed by irshad. Irshad is based on a brave recognition of realities and truths looking us in the face from the Qur’an and its extension the more reliable Hadith and also from our experiences in life gained by our interactions with tangible realities and life-changing situations. Now the aspirant (seeker or murid) no longer needs mythical and metaphorical glorifying stories. If, for example, he has to appreciate Allah he finds Allah’s demonstrations of His Wisdom, Loving Mercy and Power in events which Allah Himself draws attention to so frequently in His Qur’an, those ‘ayaat’/miracles/proofs like the arrangement and movements of the sun and the moon and all the innumerable stars or the most wonderful and creative phenomena like wind, rain and vegetation or the creation of man from two sex cells and his evolution in the womb etc. Simple people can hardly appreciate these far greater miracles and benefit from them; therefore they are served the lesser miracles of extraordinary events, real or imagined. Any real extraordinary miracles Allah grants only too reluctantly and rarely and He says so in His Qur’an. That is because the denial of such a miracle automatically attracts Allah wrath on the deniers. The Qur’an is the single most comprehensive and effective document for irshad, the Prophet (S) is the single most perfect ‘murshid’/guide/sheikh and all true sheikhs of Tasawwuf derive all their information, inspiration and guidance from them two (which are ultimately one in spirit). We begin to derive irshad from our sheikhs when we can fearlessly and joyfully face these realities and abandoning show and pretence through dress, habit and mannerisms we move into true and realistic understanding of the nature of things and events both in this world and the world to come. Mind you, the real natures of things of both this world and the next are infinitely far more glorious than any fabulous and supposedly miraculous phenomena are designed to convey; however they are only available and open to those more serious and hard-working souls fallen in love with the Ultimate Reality and Truth that Allah is. Such eventually are weaned of a need to pretend and show and instead enter a private relationship with Allah the Most Gracious and Glorious in which maturity over maturity or light upon light is conferred on them. They then need no tasalli, for the true knowledge of God is the supreme contentment and joy. Amen.

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