Monthly Spiritual Gathering of Gosha-e-Durood - November 2009
The monthly spiritual gathering of Gosh-a-Durood was held on November 5, 2009 under the banner of Minhaj-ul-Quran International. Amir-e-Tehreek Miskin Faiz-ur-Rehman Durrani, Nazim-e-Ala Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi, senior naib Nazim-e-Ala Sheikh Zahid Fayyaz, Rana Muhammad Idrees Qadri, Mufti Abdul Qayyum Khan Hazravi, Haji Muhammad Saleem Qadri, Haji Riaz Ahmad and other central leaders were present on the main stage. Half of the venue was reserved for women, where they were in attendance in a large number. Stringent security measures were in place due to worsening law and order situation in the country.
The formal proceedings of the programme got underway with recitation from the Holy Quran by Qari Khalid Hameed Qadri after the Isha prayers. Haidri Brothers of COSIS, Yasir Arafat, Shahzad Ashiq, Bilali Brothers and Minhaj Naat Council took part in the Naat-Khawani, which continued up to 11:30 pm. The audience remained fully engrossed while the Naat were being recited. The participants enjoyed every bit of it. The keynote speech of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri started at 11:30 pm. He told the audience that the Durood offered so far exceeded 10 billion, 78 corers, 44 lacs, 52 thousand and 430, where the number of Durood offered during the month of October alone was 23 corers, 18 lacs and 85 thousand and 787.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri chose “What is relationship?” as the subject of his speech. He started off with the recital of the following verse:
“And remember your Lord when you forget and say” (18:24)
Shaykh-ul-Islam said that when a man establishes his relationship with Allah Almighty, he severs every other relation, which is opposed to his first relationship and may estrange him from the obedience of his Creator. He said that our life is characterized by duality paving the way for the existence of contradiction and clash in our spiritual life. For example, on the one hand, man expresses his subservience and obedience to his Lord and he also succumbs to temptations of evil on the other. Both of these facets of his life i.e. good and evil are juxtaposed to each other. It is due to dominance of the ill-commanding self i.e. negative facet that he goes astray and top it all does not even have its consciousness.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that due to the negative aspect plaguing our personalities, our worship of Allah Almighty is reduced merely to ritual acts devoid of spirit. We become happy at the performance of rituals only like offering prayers five times a day. We perform Hajj, keep fast and visit the shrines of the holy saints. Unfortunately, we come to conclude that this aspect of our lives encompasses the entire concept of piety and goodness.
We, on the other hand, remain oblivious to the prerequisites for the acceptance of our good deeds. There is no denying the fact that Allah Almighty does reward the doer of good deeds. For example, if one determined to offer prayer and offered it fully and wholly but what if his attention remained focused somewhere else. He never recalled Allah in his entire prayer, for had he remember his Lord in the performance of prayers, the question of his attention being focused on other objects would not have arisen at all. He asked regretfully as to how many people there would be whose bodies offer prayers but their minds remain absent. People stand in the presence of their Lord but their attention is focused on other worldly matters. He said that recitation of the Holy Quran during the prayer is one thing but focusing one’s attention to Allah Almighty is quite another. Unfortunately we offer prayer but our attention is divided.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that people used to offer their prayers in such a state of ecstasy that they would not care about the things around for so much they used to be involved in their prayers. But these were the day of the holy companions, saints, mystics and friends of Allah. There were the times when if the doctors recommended the severing of any festering part of the body, they would not allow them to do so because that was the time for offering prayers and they did not want to default on that. Then others would advise doctors to sever their diseased limbs while they were in the course of offering prayers. Thus the diseased organ used to be cut but the people would hardly feel that part of their body had been separated from the whole. The reason for this indifference was that they used to be fully and wholly engrossed in the performance of worship.
Quoting an incident from the life of Imam Malik, Shaykh-ul-Islam said that once he was delivering lecture somewhere. An insect bit him for sixteen times but he did not give up lecturing and continued with it. Likewise, the dead body of the son of Huzoor Ghous-ul-Azam (R.A) was placed before him for funeral prayers but he remained busy in lecture. Once he was done with the lecture, then he led the funeral prayers of his son. Such is the state of lovers of Allah and His Prophet (saw) that they remain in their constant remembrance.
On the other hand, our condition is such that we watch talk shows and plays on TV with undivided attention but remain undivided during the course of offering of prayers. Our relationship with our Lord is established only when we offer prayers five times a day, if at all we do so, which is just a few minutes out of the 24 hours in a day. To top it all, the quality of our worship also remains low with the result that our prayers have been reduced to physical exercise.
Referring to Hadith, he said that the Holy Prophet (saw) said: the actions depend on intention for their acceptance but the intention is a hidden state of heart. If the state in a heart is that we are offering prayers for seeking pleasure, forgiveness of Allah and reviving our relationship with him, then it is true intention. Shaykh-ul-Islam said that contrary to that our condition is such as we are performing all forms of worship like offering prayers, keeping fast, performing Hajj and giving alms etc but our motivations behind these actions are misplaced in clear contravention of Allah’s commandments. We perform worship for the sake of worldly interests. Such behavior lowers the quality of our good actions and makes them look inferior.
He said that the co-relationship between intention and prayer could be more clearly understood through an analogy of examination. Many people appear for the same examination but some of them are able score better and get good grades while others lag behind and some even fail. The same is the case with the quality, presence and absence of intention. Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the tragedy with more than 80%/90% people is that they perform good acts but do not have any motivation and intention behind them. They have that traditional intention, which they were imparted by the prayer leaders f local Mosques in their childhoods. Though that intention is not wrong and the prayer would be held but no thought is given to the fact why he is performing this worship and with what object in mind? Shaykh-ul-Islam said that it is with a view to imparting education on having correct intention that monthly spiritual gathering is held.
Shaykh-ul-Islam said that the importance of the intention has been described in the following hadith of the Holy Prophet (saw). He (saw) said: Allah takes into account neither your faces, nor your actions, their forms and order nor your wealth. He only looks at your internal intentions, the intention which is in your heart. When the beginning of our prayers has not been made with true intention, then what is the use of such a prayer? If a man has right intention in his heart, the act of prayer becomes instrumental in dialoguing with Allah Almighty.
The idea could better be explained through an example. Suppose you happen to visit a ruler and stand in his court right before him. In such a case, the ruler is bound to give his attention to you thinking that you were there to meet and talk to him. It is the way of Allah that whenever someone calls out Allah, He listens to him and pays His attention on the caller. But we do stand in front of Allah physically every day but our attention is focused on other things. We think of all kinds of thoughts during the prayer. It appears that we play joke with our Lord. What a pity that we fall in prostration to Allah and call him in an automated manner but our mind and attention are not there! This is shameful and regrettable.
On the other hand, when we take part in any programme or event or do something else, we forget everything else and give it undivided attention but with Allah Almighty it is other way round. Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that Allah Almighty described the following signs of His subjects in the Holy Quran:
“(Blessed with this Light) are those servants of (Allah) whom neither trade nor sale diverts from the remembrance of Allah,…” (24:37)
Allah Almighty has dubbed such people as blessed with Light who remain attentive to Him in every state. They have their hands doing worldly work but their hearts are imbued with the remembrance of their Lord. Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that our lives have experienced such a pathetic change that we have reduced worship of Allah as a side and part-time activity and that too is done with least attention and focus.
Urging people to think over this sad state of affairs, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that we would have to rethink our life styles, behaviours and actions to revive our dying relationship with Allah Almighty. We should give complete and undivided attention to Allah during our prayers and in performance of all forms of worships. We have to start with revolution in our mind and implement the changes in all aspects of our lives for restoration of broken relationship. He conveyed message to workers and associates of MQI and other people to offer their prayer with the image of Holy Kaba dominating their imagination. They should keep the image of holy city of Madina in mind when they offer Durood with rapt attention.
He said that envisioning Holy Kaba in prayers are the signs of love for the Lord, the Great. He said that Allah did not reside in Kaba. He is Infinite but since He has held it to be His Home, so we worship it. Allah remains present as much in Kaba as in the heart of the believers. He said in the Holy Quran Himself:
“We are closer to you than your jugular vein”
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that prayers were also the sings of love in the entire scheme of worship. When any saintly servant of Allah offered voluntary prayer, his ritual prayers became prayers at that time. He said that offering sacrifice is also a sign of love. Likewise, other actions during the performance of pilgrimage are also so. He advised people to pay their full attention on Holy City of Madina when they offer Durood.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that such images and visions help man in concentrating the attention of man. Whenever one falls in love with someone, this love becomes instrumental in drawing his attention to the beloved. When you sit in front of your Spiritual Mentor or Shaykh and envision him in your mind, it helps you to get the better of other impressions and influences on the mind. As soon as man keeps on acquiring concentration, his personality continues to become strong and solid. He finally becomes independent free of any fear, greed and insecurity. He said that when we established our relationship with Allah with intention and determination, then its influence and impact encompasses the entire life. Then such a stage come that man lives in this world physically but his mind always remains in remembrance of Allah subdued with His fear.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri lamented the fact that our entire life and its pattern had become a ritual and materialistic in intent and manifestations. We perform worship when its time comes. We have compartmentalized our life in such a manner that dichotomy has been created. He said that we needed to break the intellectual and religious stagnation and carve out a new path of ourselves in line with the teachings of Islam. “It is high time we got back to the original teachings of Islam and it was possible by remolding our personalities”, he held.
The keynote speech of Shaykh-ul-Islam ended at 1 a.m. followed by the concluding prayer of Miskin Faiz-ur-Rehman Durrani. Allama Muhammad Waqas Wasil conducted the proceedings of the programme.