Monday, 28 May 2007

Preliminary Prescriptions to Practice

The compiler regards this post as one of the more important posts in the Revivalry thread. So please read on, make practice of it, and keep it as reference.

Salams to all.

Many people want to get started with reforming their lives. Usually the main want is to have some form of daily practices which is manageable to practice consistently without fail. Something like a launching pad. In this post, I have compiled a summary and adaptation of the prescriptive advice from one of the greatest Ulama of the 20th century - the late Sheikhul Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Khandalwi RA.

This post has been geared for the young - those in their 20s, 30s and even teenagers, who would like to start, maintain, persevere and devote a life of piety. InshaAllah. We will present this very short treatise in point form InshaAllah.

All Praise to Allah SWT and Blessings Upon Rasulullah SAW.


The most important point to remember is, refrain from all those things for which one has repented, whether the repentance is of a general or a particular nature. If, however, a mistake is made in this regard one must repent and seek forgiveness at the earliest opportunity.


Obligation I

Special care must be exercised for the fulfilment of obligations towards other people; whether such obligations pertain to physical or monetary matters, they must either be promptly carried out or settle with the persons concerned. It has to be taken into consideration that obligations towards people are far more serious than those towards the Kind Creator. There will not be any salvation on the Day of Judgement without the settlement of other rights. One may adopt any suitable method for this.

The personal or physical obligations include abstaining from degradation, insults and abuses to the Ulama as well as other Muslims. To refrain from swearing and being vulgar, ghibat (backbiting) and tell-tailing are also from personal rights.

Detaining anyone's share and right or depriving a person from his rightful share and assets with the help of a country's law, giving and taking bribery etc. all come under monetary rights. Muslims and non-Muslims are all equal in this regard.

In fact the matter concerning Zhimmis (non-Muslims living under protection of a Muslim state) is far more serious and delicate than that of Muslims.

The wise and noble saying of Rasulullah SAW in this connection is:

"He who oppresses any Zhimmi, or defames and degrades him, or demands from him anything more than he can bear or do, I will stand against that person and make a demand in favour of the Zhimmi on the Day of Qiyamat."

This is truly a serious matter and a point worthy of concern that at a critical moment when one’s own attorney and defendant becomes an opponent, how tragic the situation can be.

Thus returning to the discussion on Mu'amalat and Mu'asharat, it is most important that all worldly affairs and transactions should be carried out with extreme care and tact in accordance with Shari'ah. Some people take great care in their Ibadat but are not so particular about Shari'ah in their day-to-day transactions. Just as we are bound by the Laws of Shari'ah in our Ibadat, we are equally required to heed the rulings of this code in our worldly affairs. Those who are learned should at all times very carefully study the Masaa'il (rules and regulations) which concern their occupations. This may be done by referring to reliable Islamic reference kitabs or Muftis.

Obligation II

Similarly, the obligations and duties towards Allah Ta'ala must be performed with extreme care and regard.

These include:

1. Qadha Solat - to replace any Solat which was intentionally or unintentionally unperformed.

2. Qadha Fasts - to make up any obligatory Fasts that was not performed.

3. Kafarah - to pay any form of prescribed penalty due to inconformance to certain acts in Shari'ah.

4. Zakat - to pay zakat; to be careful in determining its amount; and to pay the years which it was not paid.

5. Hajj - to perform it, as soon as one is financially and physically able to.

It is wrong to think that all these are forgiven by Taubah only.

By repentance the neglectful delay may be forgiven, but the responsibility of discharging actual obligation remains upon the person concerned.

Reluctantly overlooking and neglecting one's duties is detrimental both in this world and the Hereafter. Books explaining the warnings and admonishments for such ignorances should be carefully studied and regularly revised.


Extreme care must be exercised in following the Sunnah. One must constantly inquire of Rasulullah SAW's practice and performance in all - behaviour, diligence and conduct, service, worship and prayer, habits, practices and customs etc. So much so that one must ascertain the things Rasulullah SAW cherished in eating and drinking too, then try to practice them.

However it must be noted that those things which one cannot bear or undergo due to common physical weakness may be omitted, for instance frequently living without food. In similar events one must regard such deeds and sacrifices with reverence.


One should totally abstain from disgracing, defaming and disrespecting those who devote their time for religious purposes, for this is extremely detrimental to religious progress. There is danger of falling into serious religious difficulties due to this.

This mainly applies to the honoured personalities of all the Sahabah Al-Kiraam RA, the Awliya Al-Ihzaam RA and the A'ima Al-Mujtahideen Wal Muhadditheen. We must remember that it is not necessary to be a follower of every one of them. This is obviously impossible. To follow a person is one thing, and to treat him with disrespect or insult him is another thing. One must always have at heart great regard and respect for all such personalities.


Those who are not Hafiz of the Qur'an must read one Juz of the Qur'an daily. Those who cannot recite the Qur'an should preferably set aside an hour or two daily in which they must learn to read the Qur'an. This may very easily be done by reciting a small portion of the Qur'an to the teacher, the local Imam or a Hafiz daily. Whomsoever is already a Hafiz (memoriser of the Qur'an) must form a habit of reciting a minimum of three Juz of the Qur'an daily. This should be done in a manner whereby a greater part thereof is read in Nawafil (optional) prayer.


As part of our prescriptive devotions, every morning after Subuh Solat, SurahYaseen should be recited once. Surah Al-Mulk should be read every evening after Isyak Solat before retiring to bed. Surah Al-Kahf should be recited every Friday before Jumu'ah (Friday Prayers). When retiring to bed at night the Four Quls should be read. Thereafter one must perform the action of spitting onto his hands and then wipe the hands on himself, onto all parts of the body reachable except the private areas.

We should also make the habit of performing the sacrifice of Qurban during Eid-ul-Adha.


As an advancement to our daily prescriptions, we should be punctual of our Nawafil (optional) Solat.

These are:

1. The 4 raka'ats of Solat-ul-Ishraq - may be performed approx. 15 minutes after sunrise.

2. The 8 raka'ats of Solat-ul-Dhuha - it's time is after the sun is well up until hust before the Zuhr prayer. The preferable time for its performance is after a quarter of the day has passed.

3. The 6 raka'ats of Solat-ul-Awwabeen - it's time is between Maghrib and Isyak.

4. The 12 raka'ats of Solat-ul-Tahajjud - best performed at the later part of the night up to Fajr.

One should cherish the desire and intention to perform all these Prayers, and should impose on oneself those that one is able to carry out with ease.


The fasts of the 9th and 10th of the month of Muharram, the first nine days of the month of Zulhijjah, particularly the ninth and the observance of the fast in Sha'baan should be given particular prominence. If possible one should fast during the 13th, 14th and 15th of every lunar month. Fasting every Monday and Thursday is also desirable and recommended. Those who are occupied in important religious duties e.g. religious instruction, tabligh etc. must bear in mind that optional fasts should not hamper essential services and sacrifices for Deen, and should only be performed when more important works are not compromised.


One should memorise all du'as which are reported to have been used by Rasulullah SAW at different times, occasions, places and transactions during the 24 hours of the day e.g. the du'as after meals, the du'a when retiring to bed etc.


After every Solat and at bed time one must regularly read the Tasbih Fatimah:

Subhanallah 33 x;

Alhamdulillah 33 x; and

AllahuAkbar 34 x.

The tasbihs for Istighfaar, Salawat, Kalimah Shahadah etc. should be recited daily - morning and evening. All these Kalimahs are very precious and have excelling values. In addition to religious benefits they also bring promising returns and virtues in this world too.


The sitting of Ta'lim is an important part of our spiritual exercise. Such books should be carefully chosen however. Generally, the best books for this purpose are those depicting rewards and punishment. Such books include - the Riyadhus Salihin, Hayatus Sahabah and Fadhilat A'maal.


Throughout our spiritual progress, we will need to inform our teachers of Deen. It is essential that we consult pious scholars, particularly those who are most-acquainted with our spiritual development and progress. They will advice on how to take things forward, and any ailments suffered may be confided so that further prescriptions may be provided.


For extended purification of the heart, after carrying out the above advices regularly with istiqamah, for at least six months - one may then request additional Zikr.

Conditions precedent to this are that:

1. The fervent desire and demand is prevalent.

2. One must be mentally fit, and also possess the physical strength for endurance.

3. One has the time for Zikr.

4. No harm is caused by delaying the matter of taking up additional Zikr, but it is extremely detrimental and a cause of destruction to take it on and then neglect and discontinue it.


We should remember that our teachers and Mashaa'ikh also require time for their devotional practices too. Communication must not be anticipated in the month of Ramadhan as pious scholars often cannot find time to attend to correspondence and discussions in this sacred month. Such communication should not be done in Ramadhaan month if possible.


It is true but sad, that no matter how pompous, prominent and promising the life of this world is, it is bound to come to its prescribed end. It is true indeed that the life of the Akhirah is everlasting. It is also necessary that the anxiety and fervent concern of the Hereafter must be greater than that of this world, and death must constantly be remembered.

The study of the book Fadhilat Sadaqah will help our endeavours to achieve this.

Leisure and spare moments should always be devoted to the remembrance of Allah, as these are the aids and crutches of the Akhirah. These are also means for barakat and peace of mind and heart in this world.

Moments like the Day of Jumu'ah (Friday Prayers), the Night of Arafah, The Eves of both Eids and Laylatul Qadr i.e. the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadhan are all very precious. In fact the whole month of Ramadhaan is auspicious. This has been concisely dealt with in the book - Fadhilat Ramadhan. It is recommended that the study and reading of this book be commenced a few days before Ramadhan. This book must be carefully studied and read out to others during this sacred month.

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