By Hakimul Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi ( rahmatullahi ‘alayh )
Everyone spends his life-span but a pertinent question is: who fulfils the right of living?
Animals bereft of wisdom and intelligence also pass their lives. However, a human being endowed with wisdom and intelligence spends a much more excellent and superior type of life. Similarly, a disbeliever also passes the days of his life wandering in the darkness of misguidance and deviation. However, his life is quite different from that of a Muslim who lives a secure, smooth life in accordance with the guidelines of divine revelation. The day and night of a disbeliever is spent in spiritual darkness whereas a Muslim spends his day and night in spiritual light. Hence, a pertinent question arises: how should every Muslim spend his day and night so that his life could easily be distinguished from that of a disbeliever ?
Every Muslim should spend his day and night as follows:
1. Acquire knowledge of the Din according to your needs. You could acquire this knowledge either by reading a book or by asking the ‘ulama.
2. Abstain from all sins.
3. If you commit any sin, repent immediately.
4. Do not hold back in fulfilling anyone’s right. Do not cause anyone physical or verbal harm. Do not speak ill of anyone.
5. Do not have any love for wealth nor any desire for name or fame. Do not concern yourself with extravagant food and clothing.
6. If someone rebukes you for your mistake or error, do not try to justify your action. Admit your fault and repent.
7. Do not embark on a journey without any dire necessity. This is because many unconscious and unintended acts are committed while on a journey. Many good deeds are missed out, there is a shortcoming in the different forms of dhikr (remembrance of Allah), and you are unable to accomplish your tasks on time.
8. Do not laugh excessively nor talk excessively. You should take special precaution in not talking with ghayr mahrams (those with whom the observances of purdah is incumbent) in an informal way.
9. Do not go about repeating or mentioning an argument that may have taken place between two persons.
10. Always be mindful of the rules of the Shari’ah in everything you do.
11. Do not display laziness in executing any act of ‘ibadah.
12. Try and spend most of your time in seclusion.
13. If you have to meet and converse with others, meet them with humility and do not display your greatness.
14. Associate very little with rulers and those who hold high positions.
15. Stay very far from the irreligious people.
16. Do not search for the faults of others. Do not have evil thoughts about anyone. Instead, look at your own faults and try to put them in order.
17. You should be very particular in offering your salaat in the proper manner, at the proper time and with great concentration.
18. Always occupy yourself in the remembrance of Allah either with your heart or tongue. Do not be neglectful in this regard at any time.
19. If you experience any satisfaction in taking the name of Allah and your heart feels happy over this, then express your gratitude to Allah.
20. Speak in a nice and humble way.
21. Set aside specific times for all your different tasks and abide strictly to these times.
22. Consider whatever regret, sorrow or loss you may experience to be from Allah. Do not be despondent. Instead, think that you will be rewarded for this.
23. Do not think about worldly matters, calculations, profits and losses, etc. all the time. Instead, think about Allah.
24. As far as possible, try to help and benefit others irrespective of whether it be in worldly affairs or Dini matters.
25. Do not eat and drink too little to the extent that you become weak and fall ill. Nor should you eat and drink too much to the extent that you feel lazy in carrying out the different acts of ‘ibadah.
26. Do not have any desire or greed for anything from anyone except Allah. Do not allow your mind to wander towards any place thinking that you will be able to gain certain benefit or profit from there.
27. Be restless in your quest for Allah.
28. Be grateful for the favours that are bestowed upon you irrespective of whether they are plenty or few. Do not be depressed with poverty and destitution.
29. Overlook the faults and mistakes of those who are under your control.
30. If you learn of any fault of someone, conceal it. However, if the person plans to cause harm to someone else and you learn of it, then warn the other person beforehand.
31. Be in the services of guests, travelers, strangers, ‘ulama, and the pious servants of Allah.
32. Choose the company of the pious.
33. Fear Allah all the time.
34. Remember death.
35. Set aside a certain time daily wherein you should think about all your actions for that day. When you remember any good action, express gratitude. When you remember any evil action, repent.
36. Don’t ever speak a lie.
37. Don’t attend gatherings that are contrary to the Shari’ah.
38. Live with bashfulness, modesty and fornearance.
39. Do not be conceited by thinking to yourself that “I have a such-and-such qualities in me”
40. Continue making du’a to Allah to keep you steadfast on the straight path.