Letters of Distress

The following are random selections of letters from Tarbiyat-us-Saalik of Hazrat Thanwi (RA).

Letter 1:

I happened to undertake a journey to Shimla, India (a famous vacation spot).  Coincidentally while journeying that evening, I passed by a woman riding a horse, traveling in the opposite direction.  My heart was captivated by her exceptional beauty.  Never Have I seen such splendid beauty in my life.  Six months have now passed and yet memories of her captivating beauty still haunt my mind.  I feel greatly remorseful and guilty.  I request you to pray that Allah grants me delivery from this calamity and transforms my love into a burning love for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).


Appoint a special time for privacy daily.  Recite the first kalimah in such a manner that with “La Ilaha” imagine the love of every created thing being expelled from your heart and with “Illallah” the love of Allah being entrenched within your heart.  Thereafter, contemplate upon death, the conditions of death, reckoning before Allah etc…Ponder upon her conditions after death; the corpse will rot and disintegrate; worms and insects will be feasting upon the decaying body.  In your spare time, recite Istighfaar in abundance.  After two weeks, inform me of your situation.

Letter 2:

My nafs has overpowered me and I continue to commit major sins.  I greatly regret my actions and after sincere taubah, I resolve firmly not to go near those sins, but my resolutions are weak and soon I return to my former condition.  Please assist me in remedying my situation.


Stipulate a stiff penalty upon the nafs for every misdeed committed, Insha Allah this will prove to be tremendously beneficial.

In my opinion, resorting to a former act after taubah requires a penalty ranging from 40 to 50 rak’ats of nafl salat.  After applying this remedy, inform me of your progress.

Letter 3:

I am madly in love with a certain women.  I desire to rid my heart of this unlawful feeling-but I find myself helpless in this regard.  Both my deen and dunya are suffering its consequences.  Please help me.

Reply 3:

Leave the company of this person immediately and distance yourself from her.  This separation should be physical and mental.

Physical separation entails that you do not converse with her, nor do you allow her to converse with you.  Do not look at her, do not allow anyone to speak about her in front of you, nor should you start a discussion regarding her in front of others.

Mental separation entails that you do not deliberately entertain or introduce any thoughts about her in your mind.  Involuntarily if a thought or her image flashes in your mind, engage yourself in some activity to divert your focus at once.

Make dua’ abundantly to Allah for assistance.

Constantly engage in zikr no matter how routine or mechanical it may appear.

Thereafter inform me of your progress.

Follow-up Letter:

Love for her as almost diminished completely from my heart.  Whenever her thoughts come to mind, a slight pang is experienced in the heart.  I request you to make dua’ that Allah removes All traces of her love from my heart.

Reply to Follow-up:

The remedy is the same as above.  Adopt a total separation under all circumstances and all emotions will disappear.  If any inclination remains thereafter, do not be concerned about it, for this is harmless.

-Ruh Ki Beemaariyaan Aur Unka ‘Ilaaj

(Note:  The above-mentioned letters are not gender specific; the same remedies can be adopted by women.) 


Explore posts in the same categories: Ahwaal, Razaail, Spiritual Diseases and Their Remedies

2 Comments on “Letters of Distress”

  1. Abu Yahya Says:

    I just wanted to add one more thing which i forgot to mention in the previous post, and that is: the above letters are a sample of what type of interaction there is supposed to be between a Shaikh and his mureed.

    Sometimes a person would like to be connected to a Shaikh and take the path of sulook but is hesitant as to what on earth the whole thing is about.

    Subhanallah, the above-mentioned letters are a beautiful example to show how a mureed should be concious of his spiritual state and how he needs to consult about these matters with his Shaikh.

    In Hazratwala’s khanqah in Karachi when people see our Shaikh and express the desire for taking the bay’ah, etc. Meer Saheb (damat barakatuhum) our Shaikh’s khadim, asks that person three questions:

    1.) How long has he been coming to the gatherings?
    2.) Has he initiated any correspondency with the Shaikh regarding his spiritual state?
    3.)What is his purpose behind wanting to become bay’ah?

    If a person has been coming to the majalis for a long time (for example 3-4 months) and still feels a strong compatability and connection to the Shaikh, and he has initiated an exchange of letters regarding his self-reformation and he understands that the bay’ah is for rectification of the character and spiritual upliftment, then he will be allowed to continue further.

    But if a person has just been pumped up by hearing the Shaikh’s lecture or by being in his awesome presence and experiencing his noor and blessings, and does not even know what an islaahi letter is; he will be told to continue coming to the majalis, until he has understood the purpose of the whole thing.

    For this path is not about juggling razor sharp swords, or flying in the air, nor about walking on water and performing miracles. It is about complete adherence to the Shariah and Sunnah, and rectification of the self.

    May Allah Ta`ala grant us the understanding. AMEEN

  2. Abu Yahya Says:

    MashAllah, Jazakallahu khairan Shaikh Nabeel for these very beneficial islaahi letters. Actually, these letters are a true, genuine example of what Tazkiya-tasawwuf (purification of the Nafs) truly is.

    People are of the incorrect notion that tasawwuf is a bunch of concocted rituals and dancing made up by some whirling dervishes. But the reality of the matter is that shaytan has covered up true tasawwuf with so much evil, that people tremble at even hearing the name of sufism in fear of following into innovation.

    The above-mentioned letters demonstrate the crystal clear and pristine ideology of our Mashayikh. Studying these letters and keeping them at hand for future reference cannot be emphasized enough. Because without a doubt, each letter is a complete source of guidance within itself and contains solace and comfort for the seeker on his journey to the Eternal Beloved.

    May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with our Mashayikh (prolong their shadows of benevolence over us) and those of them who have left this world, may He fill their graves with light. AMEEN

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