Without mujahidah, nothing is achieved easily. Our beloved Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, spent more time in loneliness and his (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) heart was inclined towards staying in cave of hira for months in worship. From the Hira mountain, one can clearly see the Bait-ul-Allah and he (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) used to spend his time all alone in that cave. We can’t sit for five minutes in seclusion in the musallah and he (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) spent months in cave and the attachment of such a seclusion can be achieved only through mujahidah. This mujahidah differs for different things like for some, it is easy to fast but difficult to spend money in the path of Allah SWT and for them spending money is a mujahidah. For some, spending money is easy but to fast is a difficult task and for such people, fasting is a mujahidah, for some praying nafil salahs are easy but giving qurbani is difficult and so the mujahidah has different faces. Through mujahidah, one progresses a lot.
To abstain from unlawful things and sins, sometimes one may have to restrict from even permissible things. When a paper is wrongly folded, it can be made straight only by folding in the opposite direction. Here the intention is not to fold in the opposite direction but to make the paper straight at the folding. Similarly when a person starts walking down the wrong path, he is stopped from doing many permissible things to put him right. The intention here is not to stop him from permissible things but to keep him in the middle path just like the folding of the paper is straightened out. One can say he is doing only something permissible but the fold is not removed just by making the paper straight without folding in the other direction because it will keep bowing in the wrong direction. Similarly whenever the person gets chance of committing sins, he will bow down because he never did mujahidah to turn in the othe direction just like the paper is not being folded in the opposite direction. Our condition is same as we never tolerate mujahidah in the opposite direction. As we are already folded wrong, without mujahidah we always bow down towards the wrong direction even if we try to be straight for sometimes.
There are different types of mujahidah prescribed to control the nafs and to put that in place like eating less, waking up in the night for worship, interacting less with the people and so on. These things are generally permissible but put in restriction to bring oneself in control like when a person speaks more evil, then by speaking less, his tongue is brought into control and if it is left like that, he will develop that into a habit. That is why sometimes one is stopped even from permissible things. For such a person, the islah is achieved by the blessings of mujahidah. The main aim of mujahdiah is to remain steadfast on the deen and to bring oneself within shariat and the nafs generally doesn’t remain straight and to make it straight, it has to be folded in the other direction. A person cannot restrain from haram things until he trains himself to eat even the halal food in a restricted way with a limit. So everyone of us should definitely do some sort of mujahidah.
Do mujahidah bringing in courage towards three things mentioned before, that is:
To abstain from sins
To make a lot of duaa to Allah SWT for one’s islah
To have a good sohbat
Even if our heart is willing or not, try to remain in seclusion in musallah for sometimes. If today’s man did even this much of mujahidah, he will achieve a lot. Some complain that they are not getting islah but if you can’t sit even for 15 minutes in seclusion per day, how can you get islah? If one feels good, he sits and if he doesn’t feel good, he moves away, then how can he have islah? For this, he should be persistently courageous and should have fikr of islah in any condition. This is mujahidah. Sometimes we feel like performing nafil salah and sometimes we don’t and if we persist in doing nafil salah even in those days when we don’t feel good, because of the blessing of this mujahidah, one will achieve such great things that won’t be achieved normally by performing nafil salah for 15-20 days. Once if we have the fikr of islah, then getting courage too is easy. Let Allah SWT grant us all this tawfeeq. In today’s time, not many are prescribed very tough mujahidahs like completely restraining oneself from eating for some days or talking but Hakeemul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Tanvi (RA) prescribed something simple according to our times like to speak less, sleep less and eat less. If one achieves this to a smaller extent, even then one will benefit a lot.
In today’s times if one restricts completely from all this, there is a danger of detrimental health. That is why today’s mujahidah is to limit these things to one’s need. Hakeemul ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Tanvi (RA) says as far as eating less and sleeping less, even the shuyook type people may not have complete knowledge and advise firmly for it will differ from person to person like for a person who normally eats five breads, for him eating just three breads is a mujahidah and it may not be so for someone who eats normally three breads and so is the case of sleeping. Some people really sleep long like 8 hrs and if he sleeps just for 7 hrs, that is a mujahidah and so generally all people cannnot be prescribed same amount of food or sleep as it will differ from person to person fearing that it might affect their health. Now when it comes to speaking less and interacting less with people, this is really tough but has great blessings in it. One who wants to have islah of aamal and akhlaq, one has to do mujahidah at least towards these two things that is speaking less and interacting less with people.
One pious elder engraved in his ring, “Speak good or remain silent”. Another pious elder used to say, “Interact less with the people and interact more with the people”. Here the first part of the sentence refers to those people who are heedless and negligent of deen and the second part of the sentence refers to the pious people. One has to interact less with irreligious people while interact more with the pious people. Keep away from the environment of negligence and join the environment where one gets the recognition of deen. When one keeps away from the people, one should not have the intention of doing so thinking that people are bad but should think that he is bad and thus not strong and will become sick if he interacts more with people. This is like mud pot which is still raw and when water is poured into the pot, the pot starts breaking eventhough the water is good and the water comes out. So think that your mud is very raw. One sort of thinking is people are bad and thus avoiding them and the other sort of thinking is I don’t have strength to stand in that environment and thus will get affected. The second thought will keep away one from takabbur (pride) looking down others. So one should think he is sick and his sickness doesn’t afflict others when he interacts with them. Roaming freely in a market is better than abandoning people out of pride that they are worst than you for pride is a disgusting thing. So have this intention that you are bad and people will be affected by your evil and to accept this from your heart is a difficult thing.
Never do mujahidah deciding by yourself like from today I will stop eating bread or sleep less and so on but do mujahidah under proper guidance of a sheikh because many lose path by deciding on their own and can be more detrimental. It is obvious when one is sick, he doesn’t take courage to do his own surgery but he goes to the doctor for he has the knowledge. Same goes with spiritual cure too, a person should go to the one who is his well wisher and advise him good. When a person does mujahidah on the advise of the spiritual guide, In Sha Allah things will work out for him. Let Allah SWT grant us all this tawfeeq. Ameen.