There Is Much Ostentation In Supererogatory Worships


Hadrat [1] Imam-i Rabbani says in the 82nd letter of the second volume of his Maktubat:

First of all, it is necessary to learn the belief which the Ahl-as-sunnat [2] savants [may Allahu ta'ala give them many blessings for their ceaseless efforts] communicate and write in books, and to correct the iman in accordance with it. Then we should learn the rules of fiqh (the commandments and prohibitions of the Shari'at). We should adhere to doing the fard and be careful about the halal (permitted) and avoiding haram (forbidden).

Supererogatory worships are worth nothing when compared to the fard [3]. The Muslims of our time abandon the fard and give their utmost to supererogatory worships; they value doing supererogatory worships [e. g. reading mawlid, sitting together with men and women, building mosques, giving alms and doing favours], while they deem it unnecessary and unimportant to do the fard [e. g. performing the five times of salat [4] each day; fasting in the month of Ramadan; giving zakat [5]; giving 'ushr [6]; paying one's debts, learning what halal and haram is; girls and women covering their heads, hair, arms, and legs; not listening to the words of those men on the radio or television who are the enemies of our religion and who try to corrupt our beliefs and good morals.

Nevertheless, they do not understand that to give one cent of zakat to the proper people (declared in the Qur'an) is more blessed than giving thousands of dollars as alms. To give zakat is to do Allah's command. But alms and favours are mostly intended to earn fame, reverence and the sensual desires of the nafs [7]. When one does the fard, hypocrisy or ostentation do not get mixed with the action. But there is a lot of ostentation in supererogatory worships. It is for this reason that zakat should be given publicly. In this way one will be safe from being slandered. The supererogatory alms should be given secretly, which will increase the probability that it will be accepted [by Allah].

In short, to be safe from the harm of the world, there is no other way than doing the rules of the Shari'at [8]. Those who cannot cease from worldly pleasures completely should relinquish them at least supposedly, that is, they should think of themselves as having forsaken the world. And for doing this, one should adapt one's every action and each word to the Shari'at.

[1] Hadrat: title of respect used before the names of great people like and Islamic scholars.
[2] Ahl as-Sunna (wa'l-Jama'a): the true pious Muslims who follow as-Sahabat al-kiram. These are called Sunni Muslims. A Sunni Muslim adapts himself to one of the four Madhhabs. These madhhabs are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali.
[3] fard: an act or thing that is commanded by Allahu ta'ala in the Qur'an al-karim. Fard (or fard) means (any behaviour or thought or belief which is) obligatory. Islam's open commandments are called fard (pl. faraid).
[4] salat: i) prayer; (with salam)= salawat; ii) ritual prayer of at least two rak'as; "namaz", in Persian; salat janaza: funeral prayer.
[5] zakat: (fard duty of giving annually) certain amount of certain kinds of property to certain kinds of people, by which the remaining property becomes purified and blessed and the Muslim who gives it protects himself against being (called) a miser. See chapter 1 in Endless Bliss V.
[6] 'ushr: a kind of zakat.
[7] nafs: a force in man which wants him to harm himself religiously; an-nafs al-ammara. A negative force within man prompting him to do evil. (Nafs-i ammara). Nafs is ammara by creation, that is, it always wishes evil and harmful deeds to be done. It is reluctant to obey the Shari'at. The nafs of a man who obeys the Shari'at and makes progress in the way of tasawwuf becomes mutmainna. It wishes to obey the Shari'at.
[8] Shari'at: (pl. of Shari'a) i) rules and commandments as a whole of the religion. ii) religion.