Gazing intentionally at pictures (of living things) in order to derive pleasure is haraam. If the gaze falls on such pictures unintentionally, it will not be sinful.

Someone asked: “What if the picture is viewed from an artistic point of view?”

Hadhrat Thanvi rahimahullāh replied: “Forget about artistic achievement or the value of the artist. It is unlawful to look at some things created by even the True Artist – Allah Ta’ala. Gazing at women and young lads is haraam. The Fuqaha have well understood the dangers of ‘ostensibly’ viewing pictures for the sake of artistic appreciation. The Fuqaha have ruled that it is not even permissible to look at wine in order to derive mental pleasure.”

There was a Buzurg in the past by the name of Sayyid Ahmad Rifaa’ee rahimahullāh. Hadhrat Allamah Suyooti rahimahullāh has recorded the following incident regarding him:

In 555 A.H. Sayyid Sahib rahimahullāh went for Hajj and presented himself in front of the Raudha Mubarak in Madina Tayyibah. In a loud voice he proclaimed: “As salaamu alaykum, o my grandfather.” He received a reply which the other visitors also heard: “Wa alaykumus salaam, o my son.”

Hearing this, he went into a state of ecstasy and recited two couplets:

I used to send my soul from far away

to kiss the earth on my behalf.

Now that I have presented myself personally,

kindly stretch out your hand so that I may kiss it.”

Immediately the blessed hand of Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam appeared from his illustrious grave, shining like the sun at mid-day. He went forward, kissed it, and the shining hand of Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam went back into the pure grave.

Allamah Suyooti rahimahullāh mentions that 90 000 people had witnessed this event. Great friends of Allah Ta’ala were present in this gathering such as Peeraan-e-Peer Maulana Abdul Qadir Jeelaani Sahib rahimahullāh.

Maulana Thanvi rahimahullāh mentions in “Rooh-ul-‘Ajj Wath-Thajj” (pg.33) that someone asked a Buzurg: “At that moment, did you envy Sayyid Sahib rahimahullāh?” He replied: “Let alone us, at that moment even the angels carrying the ‘Arsh were envying him.”

When he regained consciousness, he realised that he was being shown a lot of respect. He therefore decided to punish his nafs. Friends! When people of this calibre saw the need to ‘treat’ themselves, how can you and I think that we will remain safe? It is obvious that we also have to do some form of treatment. The treatment he adopted was that he went to lie down at the entrance of Musjid-e-Nabawi and said to the people: “I take an oath in the Name of Allah. Walk over me!” He did this so that he could be disgraced in the eyes of the people.

People started walking over him. One of those present asked a pious person: “Why didn’t you jump over him?” He replied: “Had I done that, the Divine Fire would have burnt me. Those who jumped over him were blind.”

[Malfoothaat, By Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi Rahmatullah ‘Alayh]

A man invited Hadhrat Ml Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) for a meal. After talking to him, it transpired that he had taken bay’ah to Hadhrat four years earlier. Hadhrat asked: “During this time, did you ever write a letter to me?” When the mureed replied in the negative, Hadhrat commented: “Now how can I accept your invitation? My complaint is that despite being my mureed for so long, you have not even bothered to write to me once. The compensation for this indifference is that I should not accept your invitation.” The mureed conceded that he had erred. Hadhrat then replied; “When the error has been eliminated, I too shall eliminate my refusal. How could you dissociate so much that upon meeting you, I did not even recognize you? There should therefore be some measure of punishment.”

The purpose of Bay’ah is Islaah of the nafs – moral rectification. If, after entering the path of Tasawwuf the mureed is indifferent and neglectful, it indicates a serious defect in the resolve of the mureed for Islaah-e-nafs. Worse yet – insincerity of motive!

A man wrote to Hadhrat Hakimul Ummat that he (the author of the letter) was involved in the disease of casting evil glances. Hakimul Ummat replied: “What, is this not controllable?

Casting an evil glance is a volitional act (i.e. done by one’s own free will. Nobody is forcing you). Hence, it is within one’s ability to control and abstain from it, even though it may be difficult. However, people just refuse to undergo any difficulty. But … the punishment of Jahannam is most severe and difficult. I asked the man who is involved in this disease of evil glances:

If the husband of the woman is watching you, will you still stare at her?”

He said: “No!”

I said to him: “The Greatness of Allah in your heart does not even equal the greatness which your heart has for her husband. Allah Ta’ala is Omnipresent. He watches our conditions at all times. At all times He is aware of our evil conditions. However, we are not deterred. We are not conscious of being watched by Allah Ta’ala every moment. If this consciousness is developed there will not be the audacity to sin in this way.”

Haji Farouk (ra) Article Count:  4
Haz Sheikh Zakariyya (ra) Article Count:  6
General Article Count:  3
Sheikh Ml Ibrahim Mia (db) Article Count:  3

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