(by Hazrat Ml Abdul Hamid Ishaq Saheb DB))
Indeed, hospitality is a speciality of the people of Madinah. Whilst leaving the Haram on one occasion we met our Ustaad Qari Abdullah Salim Saheb who had taught us Qiraat and Tajweed in Deoband. Qari Saheb is currently running a very successful Darul Uloom in Chicago, U.S.A. He had mentioned a very important point which added to our knowledge greatly which also indicates that a person is learning all the time. One should always regard himself as a student and not one that knows everything. When a person feels that he knows everything and should teach others then one is closing the doors of knowledge upon himself.
Maulana explained that he has a nephew that is a Hafiz-ul-Quraan as well as an engineer by profession. He resides in Madinah Sharif and is a very hospitable person. He goes out of his way to serve the Ulema that visit the holy lands. He then explained the requirement in order to qualify to be a resident of Madinah Munawwarah is that one should be hospitable. It is not necessary to be a great Aalim, nor a great Aabid, nor an Aashiq. Whoever visits Madinah Munawwarah are the guest of Rasulullah g, and Rasulullah g went out of his way to host his guest.
Once a delegation came to Madinah Munawwarah, it was the habit of Rasulullah g to ask Sahaaba, “Who would host the guest of Rasulullah g?” In Madinah Munawwarah, Rasulullah g had a non-Muslim guest. Rasulullah g enquired from the Sahaaba, “Who is it that will entertain our guest?” The entertaining of these guests was not only to feed them but to teach them Deen. The Sahaaba knew the terrible character of this non-Muslim so they refused to entertain him. Generally, we will not want to entertain people with evil character. However Rasaulullah g said, “The guest will stay at my house.” He spent the night at the home of Rasulullah g and messed the bed. He then left the home in the middle of the night fearing his dignity. In that era the most valuable possession of a person is his sword. The sword was extremely valuable as the car of a person in today’s time, or a person is totally paralysed without his cell phone. It holds extreme value to a person. This person forgot his sword. On the other hand Rasulullah g noticed that the guest had messed the bed and began cleaning the mess personally. That Nabie of Allah c that was absolutely pure internally and externally began cleansing the bed. When this person returned and seen Rasulullah g cleaning the mess, he immediately said, “O Nabie of Allah, cleanse my heart of the filth of Kufr and Shirk.”
Similarly, the guests that come to the Khanqah are the guest of the Sheikh. It is physically impossible for the Sheikh to host every one of them. Whoever is chosen to entertain the guests are actually acting on behalf of the Sheikh. When this delegation arrived, then Sahaaba took the guests to their home. Similarly, we are also regarded as the host of Rasulullah g in this day and age. Who would have visited Madinah Munawwarah if Rasulullah was not resting there. The value of the Masjid is because of Rasulullah g. The value of the Rowdah is because of Rasulullah g.
Hospitality was a quality that was dominant in the lives of all the Ambiyaa n. Similarly, hospitality was found in the life of all the Sahaaba and the Awliya. In our country, there was a time where the guest would be taken home if they are seen outside the Masjid. Unfortunately we avoid the guests that come nowadays. The hospitality of the people of Madinah is outstanding to such an extent that no other city in the world has hospitality like the residents of Madinah Munawwarah. People will bear witness that Dastarkhaans are laid out in Madinah on a daily basis. The host serve dates in punnets, cups, etc. Many people eat the dates even before the Maghrib Azaan but the host will never refuse them. The host who is generally a wealthy Arab breaks the bread and distributes the dates personally. This type of hospitality is not found anywhere in the world.
We were once in Madinah Sharif during the month of Ramdaan with our Sheikh r. The host had appointed certain people to bring guests to their Dastarkhaans. They then take a promise that you will only come to this specific Dastarkhaan for the remainder of your stay. The people fight with each other to host the guests. We had also experienced that whenever we visited the poorest people of the poorest country, then too they will host in such a manner that one will think that these people are extremely wealthy. This is a quality that is leaving us and we should strive to revive this quality. It is not necessary that one should only be hospitable to a Muslim but even one is permitted to be hospitable to a non-Muslim. Fortunate is the person that makes an intention of inviting people to meals when going for his Salaah to the Masjid. The Sahaaba were such that they didn’t even eat if they didn’t have a guest.
The people of Madinah Sharif exceed all others in the quality of hospitality as the people that go to Madinah are the guest of Rasulullah g. The host has to host his guest. Whilst Rasulullah g was alive he would ask the Sahaaba, “Who is it that will entertain the guest (i.e. guest of Rasulullah g)?” We should also learn that this is what the Khanqah and Tasawwuf is all about. The guests that come to the Khanqah are actually the guests of the Sheikh but he is unable to host all of them. Those that host the guests of the Sheikh are indeed very fortunate as these guests have come to learn the love of Allah c. The Sahaaba of Rasulullah g involved themself in two Khidmat, one was to serve them by feeding them and secondly to teach them the Deen. This is exactly what the Khanqah is about.
Every Nabie, Rasool, Sahaabi, Wali of Allah c possessed the quality of hospitality. They were extremely hospitable. Any person that wants to be pulled to Madinah Munawwarah doesn’t have to worry about having his Iqaamah documents but just inculcate the quality of hospitality and Allah c will sort out the remainder.
It is absolutely easy to speak of this character and to listen to these talks are even easier. However, if a person adopts this character of Rasulullah g, then the life of a person will be absolutely enjoyable in this world as though he is enjoying the bounties of Jannat. When a person learns to forgive others then Allah c will keep you happy. When a person cannot forgive then the heart and mind of a person will be totally tightened. He has no enjoyment in life and he is a totally unhappy person. When a person learns to share and forgive then a person enjoys tremendous happiness. Nowadays we enjoy eating plates of Biryani. The happiness is even greater if we get the Taufeeq of feeding a poor and hungry person. A person with good character enjoys to the maximum. A person that has a light at home gets the maximum benefit from it. On a cold night you have the heater switched on, you will get the maximum benefit from it. In short, the person that possesses good character benefits the most. The Ulema have written volumes on the character of Rasulullah g, but sufficient is the verse of the Quraan Sharif which indicates that the character of Rasulullah g is sublime. Rasulullah g had complete control of his character.
The Khanqah of Hadrat Maulana Hussein Ahmad Madani r was very famous. Sheikh-ul-Islam Hadhrat Moulana Sayyid Hoosein Ahmad Madani r was once travelling by train, a Hindu gets up to relieve himself and returns shortly thereafter. Hadhrat understood immediately that the toilet is not in a clean condition, the spiritual son of Nabi g quietly gets up and with his own hands, cleans the toilet, returns and tells the Hindu the toilet is now in a usable condition! He says first cleanse my heart of Kufr before I even relieve my body of its dirt. Subhanallah! This was the character of our elders, whose name we take and boast about – but where are we?
In the Khanqah of Sayyid Hadrat Maulana Madni r, a person never used to perform Salaah but used to be first on the Dastarkhaan. The remainder of his time would be spent walking in the market place. The Naazim (person responsible for the Khanqah) expelled him from the Khanqah. When Hadrat found out, he reprimanded the Naazim. He said, “He is my guest not your guest. Your duty is to take care of the guest and not make Tarbiyat of the guest.”
Hadrat Maulana Saeed Khan Saheb r used to say, “The hotels have removed the quality of hospitality.” Muslims no longer give loans to others but you are now directed to the bank for a loan. Previously, people used to go for Salaah to the Masjid and one specific intention they would make was that of bringing home a guest for meals.
Hadrat Sheikh r was a very hospitable person. On one occasion some guest arrived at Zuhr time. Hadrat told his family to make Kitchri which is similar to the Kitchri that we make. He then bought the sour milk and left it at home before Zuhr Salaah and then proceeded for the Zuhr Salaah. After the Zuhr Salaah, when he returned the food was freshly prepared for the guest. All our Buzurgs were always hospitable.
Today, we pretend as though we didn’t see anyone at the Masjid. May Allah kindle the quality of hospitality in us which is a great Ibaadat. Ameen!
وان الشيخين فارقا الدنيا ولم يتوبا ولم يتذكرا ما صنعا بامير المؤمنين عليه السلام فعليهما لعنة الله والملائكة والناس اجمعين (فروع كافي كتاب الروضة ص115)
‘Abu Bakr and Umar did not repent before they parted from the world. In fact, they did not even mention what they had done to Ali. So may Allah, His angels and all of mankind curse them.’ 
2. Mullah Baqir writes:
واعتقاد ما در برات آنست کہ بیزاری جوئند ازبت ہائے چہار گانہ یعنی ابو بکر وعمر وعثمان ومعاویہ وزنان چہار گانہ یعنی عائشہ وحفصہ وہند وام الحکم واز جمیع اشیاع واتباع ایشاں وآنک ایشاں بدترین خلق خدا یند وآنک تمام نمے شود اقرار بخدا و رسول وائمہ مگر بہ بیزاری ازدشمنان ایشاں (حق الیقین ج۲ ص۵۱۹)
‘Regarding the doctrine of Tabarri  we believe that we should seek disassociation from four idols, namely, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthmaan and Mu’awiyah; and from four women namely, Ayesha, Hafsa, Hind and Ummul Hakam, along with all their associates and followers. These are the worst creation of Allah. It is not possible to believe in Allah, His Messenger and the Imams without disassociating oneself from their enemies.’ 
3. The first to take the oath of allegiance at the hands of Abu Bakr was Iblees (Kitaabul Raudah pg. 159/160)
4. Mullah Baqir further writes:
‘One should say after each prayer: O Allah! Curse Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthmaan, Mu’awiyah, Ayesha, Hafsa, Hind and Ummul Hakam.’ 
5. Mullah Baqir Majlisi is a renowned personality in Shi’ite circles; whenever he mentioned the name of Sayyidina Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu) in his books he would write: “May Umar be cursed.”
6. Shi’ites believe that the most auspicious day of the year is the day on which Sayyidina Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu) was murdered by Abu Lu’lu’ the fire worshipper. (Nahjul Balaagha)
7. They believe that the mercy of Allah Ta’ala descends on the murderer of Hazrat Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu).
8. The day when Sayyidina Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu) was killed is such an occasion of rejoicing that Allah Ta’ala declared the permissibility of sinning for three consecutive days. That is, every year on the anniversary of the assassination of Sayyidina Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu), for three days Shi’ites are permitted to fornicate, consume alcohol, steal and commit all sorts of sins and crimes with complete enjoyment since sins are not recorded during these three days. (Nahjul Balaagha)
9. Abu Moosa al-Ashari and Amr ibn al-Aas sold their souls to the devil. (Nahjul Balaagha)
10. Khomeini said: “When we establish our hold over Makkah and Madinah and I enter as conqueror, the first thing I shall do, is to dig out two idols, Abu Bakr and Umar, lying by the side of the Prophet’s grave.” (Khomeini and Islam pg. 8)
11. Any murder committed in Islam, any unlawful wealth earned by anyone as well as any adultery committed until the appearance of our Imaam – the sin of all these is on the necks of Abu Bakr (Radiyallahu Anhu) and Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu). (Rijal Kashi, pg. 135)
12. Khomeni writes about Abu Bakr and Umar (Radiyallahu Anhuma): ‘Those people who, in their greed to rule, attached themselves to the Deen of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and formed their own cliques, could not possibly refrain from their actions on the basis of Quranic advice. They had to materialise their aims at any cost. (Kashful Asraar: 114)
He also writes: ‘Those who had no affiliation with the Quran and Islam except through their desire for the world and power. They had made the Quran a vehicle to promote their agenda.’ (Kashful Asraar: 114)
13. Khomeni writes about Uthmaan (Radiyallahu Anhu):
ما خدائے را پرستش مے کنیم ومے شناسیم کہ کارہائش براساس خرد پائیدار وبخلاف گفتہ ہائے عقل ہیچ کارے نہ کند نہ آں خدائے کہ بنائے مرتفع از خدا پرستی وعدالت ودینداری بنا کند وخود بخرابی آں بکوشد ویزید ومعاویہ وعثمان وازیں قبیل چپاولچی ہائے دیگر را بمردم امارت دہد (کشف الاسرار ص107)
‘We worship and recognise only that God Whose Actions are based on concrete rationalism and Who does not rule against that rationalism. We do not worship a god who creates a building for Divine worship and justice and then strives to destroy that very building himself by giving authority to rascals like Yazid, Mu’awiyah and Uthman.” 
15. Mullah Muhammed bin Yaqoob Kulaini, the most prominent Shi’ite scholar of Hadith, quotes Imam Baqir as saying:
كان الناس أهل ردة بعد النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم الا ثلاثة (فقلت ومن الثلاثة فقال) المقدار بن الاسود وابو ذر الغفاري وسلمان الفارسي رحمة الله عليهم وبركاته
‘People became apostates after the death of the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, except for three people: Miqdad ibn Aswad, Abu Dharr Ghifari and Salmaan Farsi.’
(by Hazrat Ml Abdul Hamid Ishaq Saheb (DB))
A person had written to Hadrat Hakim Sahib Rahmatullah-e-Alayh that he used to enjoy his Awwabeen Salaah prior to the month of Ramdaan. However, during the month of Ramdaan the performance of Awwabeen Salaah has become a customary act. Hadrat mentioned that a virtuous deed carried out as a customary practice should also be regarded as a great bounty.
Someone asked Hadrat Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi Rahmatullah-e-Alayh, “When I make Zikr it is done in a state of unmindfulness.” Hadrat replied, “Make Shukr that at least one part of your body is in the Zikr of Allah Ta’ala.”If one continues then gradually the other parts of the body will also engage in the Zikr of Allah Ta’ala.
The main thing is to carry out the Ibaadat. The conditions that are experienced by doing the various forms of Ibaadaat such as experiencing happiness etc. is a side issue. It is an added bonus if experienced but the important aspect is to carry out the Ibaadat itself. This means that a person should continue his Ibaadat with punctuality even though he doesn’t experience enjoyment.
Hadrat Maulana Abrar-ul-Haq Saheb Rahmatullah-e-Alayh. had explained that the Ibaadat in which a person doesn’t experience enjoyment is superior to the Ibaadat in which there is enjoyment. The reason being that the Ibaadat in which one experiences enjoyment is done purely for the enjoyment and not for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala, whereas Ibaadat void of such enjoyment is done solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. This means that the Nafs of a person has no share in it, as a result of which Allah Ta’ala is pleased.
Normally a person that starts Ibaadat attains great pleasure in carrying out that Ibaadat. This ecstasy later disappears. This was actually a test from Allah Ta’ala to see whether a person is doing the Ibaadat for Allah Ta’ala or for his personal pleasure. If it was done for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala then one would continue with the Ibaadat whether he attains enjoyment or not.
We were in Jamaat in France where a local brother had joined us. This person was always engaged in Salaah. I mentioned to a companion, who was an Alim from Bengal that I feel embarrassed as this brother is a newcomer yet he is always in Salaah. The Maulana replied by saying, “He is newly married.” When a person is married for a long period of time then he does not carry on like a newly married.
Also, a person may not derive any enjoyment in Ibaadat but he is imitating the Swaliheen (i.e. the pious and accepted servants of Allah Ta’ala). This customary practice eventually becomes Ibaadat of Ikhlaas. Haji Imdaadullah Muhajir Makki Rahmatullah-e-Alayh used to say, “Continue with your Ibaadat as Ikhlaas come into a person at a later stage.” Shaytaan deceives us that we should discard our Ibaadat if it is void of Ikhlaas. The Buzurgs explain that if a person intends pouring water into a glass then one should have a glass. If a person doesn’t have a glass yet he is requesting pure, distilled water then where will he pour the water? Similarly, a person should start making the Ibaadat of Allah Ta’ala and then only will Ikhlaas and devotion come.
A person that continues striving with sincerity will be blessed with the friendship of Allah Ta’ala before death. This is for such people that will be able to take care of it. Those that are unable to take care of it will be blessed with it just before death. They will then leave the world with excellent qualities and their work is also done. However, our job is to continue with our work all the time.
The path of deen and the path leading to the true love of Allah Ta‘ala will only be understood in the company of the Ahlullah (i.e. those who have the true love of Allah Ta‘ala and the correct understanding of deen). Though the kitaabs of deen contain the laws and aadaab (etiquettes) of Islam, however through merely studying the kitaabs one will not succeed in acquiring the true understanding and essence of deen. One will be in need of the guidance of a spiritual guide who will demonstrate the practical application of deen to him. This principle is not confined to deen and the matters of deen. Instead it also applies to worldly matters. One fully understands that by merely studying medical journals and textbooks one will not succeed in acquiring sound health, rather one is in need of the guidance of a qualified, expert physician to guide him in acquiring good health.
Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi (RA) said:
Do not attempt to repel disturbing thoughts. Instead, engage in excessive durood shareef. One will never be successful if one tries to repel these thoughts.
It is like a person who goes on an errand to the marketplace. He will hear many different noises, the blaring hooters, and the barking of dogs etc. and he will also see various items. Despite all these distractions, he will still carry out the errand. (In fact, he will not tolerate the slightest disturbance in his work and he will ensure that the work is accomplished.)