at-Tazkirah: التذكرة

“And keep reminding, because reminding benefits the believers.” (51:55)


The essential idea of tahzeeb-e-akhlaq is to bring our natural faculties in a state of balance. The three basic faculties are anger, desires, and intelligence.

Anger: When in equilibrium it results in valor, forbearance, steadfastness, the ability to restrain anger, and dignity. Excess will result in rashness, boastfulness, pride, inability to restrain anger, and vanity. A deficiency will result in cowardice, disgrace and feelings of inferiority.

Desires: Equilibrium here results in chastity, generosity, haya (decency), patience and contentment. Its excess leads to greed and lust. The other extreme results in narrow-mindedness, impotence, etc.

Intelligence: Equilibrium here makes man wise, sharp-witted and one with great insights. Excess here makes one deceptive, fraudulent and an impostor. Its lack results in ignorance and stupidity with the consequence that such a person is quickly misled.

A person will be considered as having a beautiful character only when these faculties are in the state of balance and equilibrium. Internal beauty varies with people just as external beauty does. The possessor of the most beautiful seerah was Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. The beauty of our seerah is based on its closeness to his seerah.

(“What is Tasawwuf?”, condensed from the writings of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi Rahmatullah Alayhi)


Filed under: Akhlaq & Adaab, Good Qualities

4 Responses

  1. Zhilaal says:

    As soon as I started reading this post I knew that such pearls of wisdom could only be from the awesome ‘ilm of hazrat thanvi. Alhamdulillah thumma alhamdulillah that there are others who appreciate and share the great advice of these akabir.

    My own blog was set up with this view because it appeared that all around me there were people who knew nothing and trashed these greats unashamedly, and there was a great need in this language to share with the Muslims the teachings of our akabir. Alhamdulillah again that I was mistaken and there are many formidable sites like this one created for this aim, dwarfing mine, but this is only more pleasing.

  2. True Life says:

    Jazak’Allah, I’ve added your excellent Blog already to my Blogroll. Maybe you can redo the favour.

    Was Salam

  3. Jamal says:

    49,981 signatures have now been received on a terrible petition against the London ‘Mega mosque’ based on incorrect and inciteful information. This shows the existence of the intolerance and Islamophobia in Britain.

    The mosque would provide a place of worship and show Britains tolerance and multiculturalism. It is now the duty of Muslims and evey citizen to sign the counter-petition to BUILD the ‘Mega Mosque’. Please sign at the link below, email it to your friends, post it in forums you visit and promote this on your site/blog.

  4. abd rzq says:

    as-salaam ‘alaykum
    Far be it from me to dispute a waliy.
    But I have seen other interpretations that include more that 3 polar oppositions that have to balenced.
    One That I have seen that has worth for me is an elemental model, like earth, fire, water air, and etheric. And the life that binds these together is the light life.
    Air roughly equates to intellegence or nafs, anger to fire, and earth to desire.
    Water would be like the emotional aspect where good emotional would be pity, compassion, etc. Ether has to do with time and the ways time of life, prayer, and all activities governed by cycles work.
    Assumed is the light life which is the active wisdom attribute.
    For what it’s worth.
    mabruk – abd rzq

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