The leaking bucket

Every time the owner of a home steps up his security system, a thief will step up his stealing skills. Before our cars had a locking system on the door, then thieves learnt how to unpick the lock and steal the car. Then we used steering locks, gear locks, and alarm systems but thieves overcame them one by one.

Shaytan is also a thief but the commodity he is chasing is Imaan. If he cannot snatch our Imaan, he will deprive us of the ability to do good deeds. If he cannot deprive us of the ability to do good deeds like praying Salah or reading the Qur’an, he will try his hardest to contaminate it. For example, he will make the knowledgeable proud over their knowledge and the generous haughty or insolent towards the poor.

If he cannot contaminate the deed, he will try to make a hole in the container carrying the good deed. For example, he will make a person backbite. All his past efforts put into acquiring good deeds will now fall out of the bucket. Therefore, be wary of the tricks of Shaytan, do not let him deter you and be wary of the leaking bucket, do not let it stagnate your spiritual progress.

May Allah save us from his tricks, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk in ladysmith. To listen to the full talk please click here.)

6 points to be wary of when doing Qurbani

Here in South Africa, on Eidul Adha it is exciting to visit the farms and purchase our Qurbani animals. The enthusiasm to do Qurbani is beautiful and commendable. Our akaabireen would buy animals one year in advance. They would keep it and then do Qurbani the next year.
However, for the Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم they would always have animals with them grazing in their yard. Whenever they needed meat, they would simply sacrifice an animal and eat. It was normal.

Therefore, when Qurbani became waajib, they asked Nabi ﷺ, “What is Qurbani?” In other words, what makes it different to a normal sacrifice? Nabi ﷺ responded that it is the Sunnah of your father Ibrahim عليه السلام. Adam عليه السلام also did Qurbani but Ulama explained that the sacrifice of Ibrahim عليه السلام was specified due to the magnitude of His submission to Allah. He was willing to sacrifice his own son, that is not a small matter.

This shows that whilst we should get into the spirit of Qurbani, we must not overlook the purpose of it all. The purpose is to please Allah by sacrificing with taqwa. Allah himself says that the meat will not reach Him, only the taqwa in our hearts will. It is this taqwa that will lead to acceptance. Taqwa means to fear Allah and to follow His commands as a result of it. Below are five ways that we can ensure our actual Qurbani is done with Taqwa:

  1. Protect the gaze: In Qurbani it is makrooh for us to allow one animal to see another animal getting slaughtered. Many people are cautious of this, ensuring that the animals are kept separate. Yet we allow our inner animal to see our sister in laws, the neighbour’s daughter and other women. If we allow a sheep to see another it is makrooh, but if we look at another strange woman it is haram. The sheep will not get a sin but we will so be careful in this regard.
  2. Backbiting: This is common on Eid day, people backbite about the way someone does Qurbani. Remember we all have our own techniques. It is fine to disagree on a matter but there is no need to overstep the line and backbite.
  3. Boasting and drawing comparisons: People boast about how much they spend on their Qurbani animal, comparing it with others. Your wealth does not reach Allah, so why boast? Furthermore, wealth is merely a gift from Allah and He will give and take as He pleases. So what is there to boast about?
  4. Photography and videoing: Some people follow a fatwa that photography is permissible. Despite this, it makes absolutely no sense to video yourself slaughtering. Allah has allowed for us to take the life of an animal to fulfil our waajib Qurbani and to earn in the process. Why do we turn it into a movie, making videos and sharing it on Facebook, boasting about our knives and slaughtering techniques? Think about it, ask yourself the reason as to why you are recording. It is done to show off and showing off reduces our hard earned rewards.
  5. Salaah: Many people miss Salah on Eid day. Some present the excuse that blood fell on my shirt making it dirty.Thus I was unable to attend Jamat. However, we know that our clothes will get dirty in the process. Brother, what else were you expecting, a bunch of flowers? Obviously, when you slaughter blood will be all over the place. Therefore, carry a clean set of clothing, change and then attend the masjid. Do not miss Salah, that excuse is not valid in the sight of Allah.
  6. Anger: Many people fall prey to anger and even become vulgar while carrying out our Qurbani thus reducing our reward and adding to our sins. We should be wary not to fall prey to anger.

May Allah enable us to act with taqwa and may He accept our sacrifices as a result of it, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 29/08/17 in Masjide Ayesha, Marburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.)

The purpose of Qurbani: To develop Taqwa

The moon has been sighted, the days of Hajj have begun and it will be Eid soon inshaAllah. Currently, everyone is talking about Qurbani animals. Some people travel the length and breadth of their province looking for a special Qurbani animal to buy. That is good alhamdulillah but what is the main purpose of Qurbani? Allah speaks about it in the Qur’an where He says, “It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is your piety that reaches Him.” [Surah Hajj, Verse 37]

Therefore, our main goal is to develop taqwa over the next few days in the hope that we reach Eid with taqwa in our hearts. Our amal of Qurbani will then be judged according to this. So of course, we need a Qurbani animal and many of us are looking into this. However, the key question we must now ask is that how we develop this taqwa?

There are a number of ways we can do this. Firstly, be careful in how you speak. Avoid swearing, lying or deceiving people. Remember that our Allah can hear every word and the angels are recording it all. Secondly, lower and protect your gaze. Do not go to places where there will be free-mixing and fitna like the casinos. Always avoid them at all costs. Otherwise, we may be tempted towards haraam. Thirdly, protect your ears too from haraam. If your phone has a musical ringtone or alarm, change that. Why accrue a few seconds of sin every time your phone rings? It is easily avoidable. Fourthly, protect your mind too from haram thoughts like fantasizing.

Following these points will inshaAllah help you to build taqwa. Yes, it is not the most exciting part of Qurbani but it is certainly the most important part. Lastly, in these 10 days of Dhul Hijjah turn to Allah. I know my weaknesses and you know yours. Speak about them to Allah, seek His forgiveness and clean your heart. Sort out any disputes you may have with people. Sometimes that can be hard but as far as possible, be the better person. Give them the benefit of the doubt, seek forgiveness, close that chapter and move on. Why allow disputes to eat you up inside? Why allow it to corrupt your heart? Let it go.

This world is not a place of justice. In the Hereafter, Allah will grant you justice and that is when we will realise how insignificant, small and unnecessary most of our current worldly disputes are. At times disputes continue because the two opposing parties do not want to humble themselves and apologise. This is wrong. We must learn to humble ourselves before the humbler of all souls humbles us on the day of Judgement.

May Allah enable us to develop taqwa and accept our Qurbanis as a result of it, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s dhikr majlis on 21/08/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.)

6 Ahadeeth: Forgiveness of sins for One performing Hajj

1. Hazrat Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrates that Rasulullah ﷺ said: “Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of pleasing Allah and does not utter any obscene words, nor commits any evil action shall return from it as free from sin as the day his mother gave birth to him.” (Bukhari #1521 and Muslim #1350 – Mishkaat 1/221)

2. Hazrat Ibnu Shammasah رضي الله عنه narrates that we were present around Hazrat Amr ibnul Aas رضي الله عنه when he was in his last moments. He cried for a long time and then related the story of his embracing Islam. He said: “When Allah caused Islam to enter my heart, I came to Rasulullah ﷺ and said: ‘O Rasulullah ﷺ! Put forth your hand that I may swear allegiance.’ When Rasulullah ﷺ stretched forth his hand, I withheld my hand. Rasulullah ﷺ inquired: ‘What troubles you O Amr?’ I said: ‘I want to lay down a condition that Allah shall forgive my previous sins.’ Rasulullah ﷺ replied: ‘O Amr, do you then not know that Islam washes away all sins committed in disbelief, and that the Hijrah washes away all sins committed before it, and that Hajj destroys all sins committed before it.” (Muslim #121)

3. Hazrat Abdullah ibn Umar رضي الله عنه narrates that Rasulullah ﷺ said: “When you meet a Haaji (on his way home) then greet him, shake hands with him and ask him to beg forgiveness of Allah on your behalf before he enters his home, because his dua for forgiveness is accepted since he is forgiven by Allah for his sins.” (Musnad Ahmad #5372, #6112, Mishkaat 1/223)

4. Hazrat Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrates from Nabi ﷺ that he said: “The Haaji and the one who makes Umrah are members of the delegation of Allah. If they make Duaa to Allah, Allah answers them. If they ask Allah for forgiveness, Allah forgives them.” (Sunan ibn Majah #2892, Mishkaat 1/222)

5. Hazrat Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrates that Rasulullah ﷺ once made Duaa: “O Allah, forgive the sins of the Haaji and forgive the sins of the one for whom the Haaji seeks forgiveness.” (Mustadrak al Haakim #1612)

6. It is reported that Hazrat Umar رضي الله عنه said: “The Haaji has the forgiveness of Allah until the 20th of Rabiul Awwal. The one who he seeks forgiveness for is also forgiven in this time. (Ithaaf)

Jannah is the reward for Hajj

Hazrat Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrates that Rasulullah ﷺ said: “Umrah to Umrah is an atonement for what is between it. There is no reward for a righteous Hajj except Jannah.” (Bukhari #1773, Muslim #1349, Mishkaat 1/221)

The article above has been taken from here.)

Does Nabi ﷺ know us all personally?

Nabi ﷺ was shown the whole Ummah. When we recite durood it is presented to him and he knows whose durood is being presented. Therefore, there is a great possibility that Nabi ﷺ knows us all personally. Furthermore, we know that he will be able to recognise us. Those who do whudu regularly, on the day of Judgement the limbs they washed will be shining. This will be our ID card to show we are followers of the Sunnah.

The Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم once asked Nabi ﷺ, “How will you recognise us on the day of Judgement?” He replied, “Say if a man has white-footed horses with white foreheads among horses which are pure black, will he not recognize his own horses?” They said; “Certainly, O Messenger of Allah ﷺ!” He said, “They (my followers) will come with bright faces and white limbs because of Wudu and I will arrive at the Haud (Al-Kauthar) ahead of them.” [Muslim]

This hadeeth shows that those who commit to whudu and prayer, their shining limbs will make them recognisable to Nabi ﷺ. As a result of this, they will be blessed to drink from his hands. Nabi ﷺ further said that those who wish to increase their shine must do so. In other words, complete your whudu properly. After hearing this Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه started washing his hands up to his shoulders, rather than his elbow. This was due to his firm conviction in the words of Nabi ﷺ. Likewise, we must also make an effort to commit to prayer and whudu so that we can also be amongst the recognised ones.

May Allah bless us to be amongst those fortunate souls, Ameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s dhikr majlis on 02/03/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg.)

Be wary of whom you take your deen from

To read this article/transcript, please click on the PDF below:

Be wary of whom you take your deen from

Introductory Note: On the 22nd of August 2017 a marriage conference was held at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg. Scholars flew in from all over the world to give speeches. The conference was branded as Islamic. However, on the day many laws of the Shariah were violated. This includes free-mixing, acts in which very dirty jokes were made, insults towards the marriage of Nabi ﷺ and utter disrespect towards the noble Abu Hurairah (RA).

In this talk, Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat (DB) spoke about these violations and their great, long-term consequences. Hazrat also made mention of the Eidgah in Durban and the Ship cruise. The commonality between all three events is the modernisation of deen caused by lack of ilm and not seeking the guidance of true, upright Scholars. This modernisation is a global problem. The primary advice contained in this transcript deals with the causes of modernisation and how to combat them in light of the Sunnah. Hazrat further speaks about whom we can take our deen from and whom we should avoid, making this transcript one that is applicable to all.

Lastly, any mistakes are the error of the compiler for which I seek Allah’s forgiveness and the reader’s pardon. May Allah accept Hazrat’s work and efforts, aameen.

 

Why can’t we invite non-Muslims to our weddings, funerals or the Ka’bah?

The question may come to mind – why can’t we invite non-Muslims to our Nikaahs and Janaazahs or to the Kabah? The reason why is because we need Allah’s mercy most in these times, but the disbelief in their hearts attract the wrath of Allah. Sometimes during a Janaazah, non-Muslims wish to attend to pay their respects. They can visit the home but if they attend the actual Janaazah, their presence will deprive the deceased of Allah’s mercy, as their presence attracts His wrath.

Janaazah and Nikaahs are worship and for that to be accepted, we cannot mix it with those that do not worship. Having said that, we must be extremely wise and careful in how we do this. Never hurt the feelings of others. Handle the situation with love and consideration, do not break hearts or burn bridges. The way to do this is to invite them at other times and to always treat them well. This is how we remain balanced – by fulfilling their rights but keeping our worship separate.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is a short point Hazrat made in his Jum’ah talk on 28/7/17. To listen to the full talk, please click here.)

Understanding the power of the Qur’an

It is narrated from Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه that Nabi ﷺ said: “No people gather together in one of the Houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, except that sakeenah descends upon them and mercy envelops them, and the angels surround them and Allah mentions them amongst those who are with Him.”

Sakeenah means tranquillity which only descends upon the hearts of believers. Disbelieving hearts are weakened due to lack of faith and therefore, they cannot contain it. When we were children we used to buy peanuts from the shops. The shopkeeper would shape a newspaper into a cone and fill it with the nuts. However, if we were to buy tea or coffee and put it in that newspaper the liquid would seep through, softening and ripping the newspaper. It does not have the correct properties to contain liquids. Likewise, the hearts of disbelievers do not have the spiritual strength and qualities to contain this sakeenah.

This sakeenah causes believers to grow in faith. Allah says in Surah Fath, ayah 4 that it is He who sent down Sakeenah into the hearts of believers, that they may grow more in Faith. This growth in faith becomes apparent in the amal of a believer. One’s actions are then aligned with the Shariah and the Sunnah. That believer, once this special sakeenah descends, he will not want to remain a mediocre believer who puts in mediocre effort. He will become of those who pray Ishraaq, Awabeen and Tahajjud, and those who exert themselves in their worship and efforts.

Nabi ﷺ further says that the mercy of Allah will envelop that reciter or student of the Qur’an. This mercy makes it easy to say no to sin. Nabi ﷺ would make dua that O Allah grant me your mercy, by enabling me to give up sins. He never sinned but he made this dua to teach us that Allah’s mercy will make it easy for us to give up sinful disobedience. Thus the barakah of the Qur’an is that tranquillity descends then Allah’s mercy which in turn, makes worshipful obedience easier.

Nabi ﷺ then says that the angels also envelop that gathering of the Qur’an. The effects of this are that angelic qualities will rub onto the hearts of those in the gathering too. The deception of the dunya is that a man in an illicit relationship will call his girlfriend an angel. She is no angel for him, even our language is a deception. For believers, when Allah gives us the tawfiq to do amal, that attracts real angels to our gatherings and their presence has a positive effect on us.

Lastly, Nabi ﷺ mentioned that Allah makes mention of these reciters of the Qur’an to those who are with Allah. Mullah Ali Qari رحمة الله عليه says that Allah mentions this to the senior angels who are very close to Allah, and to the souls of all the Prophets and the Messengers عليهم السلام. So imagine that you are sitting here in masjid reciting Qur’an and Allah is telling them that Muhammad the son of so-and-so, is sitting in such-and-such masjid reciting the Qur’an, what a great honour that would be!

Hazrat Ml. Muhammad Zakariyya رحمة الله عليه said, if we had to spend our entire lives to acquire just one of these virtues, it would have been well worth the effort. Yet how fortunate are we, that Allah is willing to give us all of them if we fulfill his conditions first. Therefore, we should never consider recitation and taleem of the Qur’an a light matter. Shaikhul Hind رحمة الله عليه was imprisoned in Malta for 4 years. Upon release, his first advice was to make taleem. He explained that the downfall of the Ummah is due to us being distanced from the Qur’an. He then made it his life mission to open up classes and reconnect people to the word of Allah.

The teacher of Maulana Qasim Seema رحمة الله عليه was Maulana Badriharam رحمة الله عليه. In 1958, one of his students went for Hajj. During his visit to Madinah Munawwarah, he was so touched being close to Nabi ﷺ that he decided to stay there. He made this intention and back in those days, it was easy to settle in Madinah Munawwarah too. However, that night he had a dream of Nabi ﷺ. Nabi ﷺ told him that you going back home and sitting on the mimbar of any masjid in your area teaching the Qur’an, is better than staying here and spending 20 years besides me.

May Allah enable us to really understand these great virtues of the Qur’an and may this understanding become a means of our guidance, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s Jumah lecture on 5/8/17 in Madrassah Tarteelul Qur’an. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)

Aqsa under attack: what is the solution?

The Muslims in Palestine are going through trials. It is a duty upon us as an ummah to find some solutions. There are many ways to assist and be of help but the most important is for us to turn to Allah sincerely and as a result, His help will come at the forefront. It is only who Allah can reverse difficult conditions in Palestine and all other war-torn countries. Unfortunately, we lack this greater realisation.We become very emotional in these times turning to social media to vent our anger and to partake in online protests. But the only way out from such difficulties lies in Qur’anic solutions and Prophetic guidance, not apps on our phones. 

Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم has instructed us that when a problem befalls the Ummah, engage in Qunoote Nazilah. This is a prayer performed after Fajr. Now my question is, where is the Ummah at Fajr? Many of us are sleeping it away, how then can we even pray Qunoote Nazilah together? Our assumptions are that a protest in the day is more effective and then we wonder why the mercy of Allah is not descending!

We can stand on the streets holding placards and banners, we can write letters after letters but if we continue to violate the laws of Allah, we will never be able to attract His mercy. Those who are involved in Tableegh are often criticised for wasting time speaking about the six points, rather than joining politics. Or those in Darul Ulooms are criticised for just teaching/studying, rather than taking a so called active role in assisting the Ummah.

We need to understand that these works of Deen are a means of strengthening our Imaan. They are teaching us deen and how we must take our gaze away from the creation and turn it towards Allah. Had we all collectively followed this golden advice, surely Allah’s help would have descended. Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم mentioned to the effect that a person with disheveled hair, dust covered body and with raised hands cries out to Allah Taala, but where will his pleas be heard when his body is nourished with haraam. In other words, how can one who is engaged in major sins expect the help of Allah to descend?

Today as an Ummah we are exactly like this on a collective level. Sins have entered so stealthily in our lives, it can be difficult to even notice them. For example, many people do not take interest from the bank however, they accept their ebucks and loyalty points. This is from the bank’s pocket which is riddled with haram interest money. Therefore, it is not permissible for us to use, but do you see how easy it is to not notice and become involved in this haram? People pay for Umrah tickets with these rewards from the banks. Fine there may also be fatawa of permissibility regarding the rewards but in these matters, it is best to thread on the path of caution. Then there are those who take interest knowingly. Their cars, homes, even their businesses are running on it. Then we go on to wonder why Palestine is in the state that it is in and why our duas are not accepted?

Read the tasfseer of the Qur’an. Allah has made it clear that the first two holiest sites in Islam, Makkah Mukarramah and Madina Munawwarah, will always be protected by Him. Even the Dajjal will not be able to enter. However, the protection of third holiest site in Islam, Masjid Al-Aqsa, is dependent on the amaal (i.e. actions) of the Ummah. Thus if we ever need an insight into the condition of the Ummah at large, all we need to do is look at Aqsa. If it is peace and under the Muslim rule, know that the Imaan of this Ummah is at a good stand. If it is drowned in problems, know that we have a lot of work to do.

It is due to our sins that Aqsa is struggling today thus the solution lies with me, you and every individual in this Ummah. If we still think it lies in the United Nations office, then we still have not understood the basic lesson of the Kalima we read. That Allah does – with means, without means or against means. Everything happens by His will. All we need to do is to turn to Him. Once we all do that, He will shower his mercy by accepting our duas and this Ummah will return to the favourable condition it was once in.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

Dealing with trials and the way out

A friend of mine went fishing and managed to hook a big fish. However, he could not pick it up with his rod so someone came to help him. They held the line together and pulled it out but suddenly, the rod snapped and the fish fell back into the water. I told my friend that in this, lies a great lesson. Look at the situation from the point of view of the fish. Whilst swimming, all of a sudden it is pulled in a direction that it is not swimming towards. The fish understands that there is a problem here so it tries to swim and set itself free, but it fails and now it is pulled out of the water.

Unable to breathe or swim, the fish has reached a point of despair. Survival seems absolutely impossible. However, Allah decreed life for that fish so the line snapped and all of a sudden, the fish got its freedom back. This is the cycle of a trial. On a spiritual level, nafs and shaytaan are constantly pulling us towards sin. Together their pull can become so strong that our attempts to escape go in vain. Once they get a grip on your spiritual heart they will try to suffocate it but if you remember Allah, He will cause their rope to snap in seconds and immerse you back into the waters of ease. When we are faced with a difficulty in life too, sometimes no matter how hard we try there seems to be no way out. Life goes on but the trial continues to weaken and hurt us. During such moments hold onto Allah, remember Him and take heed of His comforting promise that “whoever fears Allah, He will make a way out for him and he will provide for Him from places he did not expect”.

Every creation is a masterpiece handmade by Allah. He is here to help us and when that mighty help of Allah descends, though your world may seem bleak now, your fate can and will change instantly. Just like the rainbow comes after the rain, the sweetness of ease will always come after the bitterness of hardship. There was a famous man in the time of Umar  رضي الله عنه who used to play the harp and sing in a melodious, beautiful voice. Crowds of people would gather around him to hear him sing, so he was used to fame and attention. However as time went on, he aged. His looks faded away and his ability to sing slowly faded away too. That is the nature life, a motorcar that was once the talk of the town causing heads to turn every time it drove past, a few years later, that motor car is thrown in the scrap yard because now there’s a new motor car that has stolen the limelight. We too may live in the limelight for a while but once our talents are no more, we too will be forgotten.

The only people that are remembered are the people of Allah. For example, there are many who have passed away years ago but their Islamic books are still read today and thus, they are still remembered on earth. However, those whose talents are restricted to just worldly earnings, they will be forgotten as the world moves on to a new craze. So this old man, as his looks and talents faded away his fame did too. He became saddened so one night he went to the graveyard, entered an empty grave and laid there waiting for death to come. His entire life was spent in disobedience so far but now he made a change and spoke to Allah, seeking his refuge and forgiveness. That same night Umar  رضي الله عنه had a dream. He was told to wake up because there is a servant of Allah who is in a difficult position in the graveyard. Give him food, shelter him and take care of him.

Imagine his situation, everyone that once loved him deserted him. No-one wants to hear his voice anymore or see his fingers stroke the strings of the harp. In that condition, he raised his fragile hands and with a coarse, broken voice, he sought help from Allah. Despite those years of disobedience, Allah answered him in the most beautiful of ways.

Therefore, from this story we learn that we must have hope in Allah at all times. Disconnect from sins, connect to Allah and maintain that connection. He is the friend of those who believe and like the loving Friend he is, He will take you out of darkness into a light that will light your path. Allah himself is light, guided are those who seek His light and then fortunate become those who are blessed to see the light of His countenance.

May we be amongst them, Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above in an extract from Hazrat’s bayan on 22/07/17. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)