Category Archives: Advice

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.)

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.)

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.)

What do we do after Ramadan? 4 tips on how to keep going

quran after ramadan

During Ramadan, our constant worry is how will we maintain this momentum and worship schedule after Ramadan? We must understand that Ramadan is a spiritual month which changes our mood and strengthens our focus on deen. With this month comes a special form of tawfiq/God-given strength, making us more spiritually energetic and more able than usual. Thus outside of Ramadan, it is not possible to maintain that all.

The same applies for Umrah; during Umrah people can get by on less food. What you eat during Umrah, try to eat the same foods back home and you will see how difficult it is to get by! And why is that the case? It is because in Haramain Shareefain, during Ramadan e.t.c there is a lot of nooraaniyat and this has a spiritual effect on us. For those who doubt religion, this experience itself authenticates our deen further.

However naturally, that effect begins to dwindle once we leave Haramain Shareefain, or once Ramadan is over. Therefore, we cannot continue that level of worship but what we must do is increase the worship we did before Ramadan started. To be specific, there are a few areas we should prioritise:

1. Tilawat of the Quran: Increase it but do not make unrealistic goals otherwise, we will burn out very quickly. Increase slowly but surely as the actions Allah loves most are those which are done consistently, even if they are little.

2. Sunnahs: Learn masnoon duas, read a few extra per day, add a few extra Sunnahs per day into your timetable. This is true taraqqi/spiritual progress.

3. Character: This is the department we need the most improvement in. Remember that the weightiest deed on the scales on the Day of Judgement will be good character. Not worship, good character! And bad character, that will contaminate even our good deeds! When we do Qurbani and remove the liver, if you do not take out the poison bag properly without it spilling then although liver is delicacy, the taste will become spoiled. If it goes on the carcass, that too will become spoiled. But if it is removed carefully, everything will be safe. Bad character is like that poison bag, if we are not careful it will spoil even our good deeds.

4. Quality of Salah: Yes in Ramadan we are more focused but now that it has gone for another year, we cannot allow our focus in Salah to vanish for another year too! Make an effort to improve that too.

Now with regards to these four points, how can we practically ensure that we are improving? By managing our time correctly. We have to be systematic in all that we do. Have a plan of action and execute it. In madrassa, school or work, our day is timetabled allowing us to get a lot of work done. Outside of this, we must timetable our day too. If you sit in traffic on the way to work, turn off the radio and make some dhikr, recite durood or play Surah Yasin on a CD and memorise it.

If you have a few spare moments at work, finish off your adhkaar for the day. In other words, identify the time you are using which can be used even more, capitalize on that time and profit further. Once you make such a timetable, stick to it and at the end of the day look through and see how much you have completed. If you have left some out, finish it off before you sleep.

Otherwise, our nafs will get the better of us and one day off will lead to several days off adhkaar, which will eventually turns to weeks and then months, and that is how good habits die overtime. But if we structure our day, centre it around worship and slowly improve on the four points listed above, then inshaAllah we will continue to ascend out of Ramadan just like we did within it.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from one of Hazrat’s lectures during Ramadan. To listen to the full audio please click here.)

Be content with Allah’s plans for you

contentmnet

Be content will all that Allah has given you. Beauty, wealth, health, intelligence, kayfiyat, knowledge, and the spreading of our works of deen, are all blessings from Allah. Some people are given more of some qualities, others are given more of others.

Sometimes, you will find a tableeghi will leave for Jamat in rural areas. In such areas, who will put up posters announcing his coming? Who will even know him? No-one. Yet, he makes great sacrifices, often opting to sleep on the floor or in difficult conditions. Eventually, when his speech takes place there may be just a small crowd who attend. At times tableeghis enter and leave a village with little to no recognition. Compare that to an Islamic scholar who travels on all paid for flight to another town, picked up from there by car and dropped off to a masjid. Posters distributed days in advance, he is received by a large crowd eager to hear him speak. Then he is fed a hearty meal and driven back to the airport to catch his flight home. He endures little hardship with all his expenses paid.

Now both examples are on opposite ends of the spectrum, however the commonality is the decree of Allah that chose hardship for the former, and ease for the latter. In both, lies great reward. If the tableeghi did not go to the rural areas, who would? Someone has to, so Allah chose Him. For the Islamic scholar, a fancy poster advertising his programme beforehand coupled with the hype surrounding his visit is all Allah’s way of getting people to attend a bayan and learn deen.

Thus even in works of deen, Allah will take work from us all in different ways. Never assume the route He chose for you is insignificant due to external factors, because your heart impacts the weight of your deeds more than external factors ever could.

Hafiz Abdur Rahman Mia was the founder of Mia Farm. Many senior scholars of our country completed their hifzul Quran with him, and even during his illness in old age, he would teach saying that teaching is my sustenance. People would advise him to slow down but he would refuse. Towards the end of his life Hazrat Ml. Shah Hakeem Akhtar RA went to visit him. He asked him how many people became huffaz under him and considering he taught till the very end of his life, the number must have been quite high. But his answer was so beautiful, instead of quoting a number or even an estimate, he simply replied that I can only give you a reply on the Day of Judgement. Why? Because only the ones Allah accepted will count. How many completed is not the aim, how many are accepted is.

This is how our mindset should be in all matters. Focus less on quantity, more on quality, less on external factors that you may have little control over, more on internal factors. Because a quality heart filled with sincerity, piety, and humility, is more beloved in the sight of Allah and closer to acceptance than one devoid of good qualities, even if the former does little work of deen and the latter does many. Be content in all matters and inshaAllah, even your small efforts will become weighty in the hereafter.

May Allah grant us the ability to keep our gaze so heavily focused on Him and save us from the discontentment that arises when we do not, Aameen.

– Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله 

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s bayan on 27/3/2017)

No money for Eid clothes

extravan

Two little boys came to their mother with a request. “Our friends have both got new clothes for Eid. Can we have some new clothes as well?” Their mother, Fatima bint Abdul Malik رحمها الله, was no ordinary woman. Her father, grandfather and each of her four brothers were at one time or another a Khalifa (ruler of the Muslim World).

In fact, her own husband was the present Khalifa, Umar ibn Abdul Aziz رحمة الله عليه – who ruled the world’s largest empire that stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean. She promised them that she would check with their father to see if the two princes could have new clothes for Eid. When Umar ibn Abdul Aziz رحمة الله عليه returned home, his wife related the children’s request to him. The Khalifa had a pained look in his eyes.

“Fatima, you know how much I value my children, but all the money I have is in front of you”, he said motioning towards the sparsely furnished hut. Though a Khalifa, Umar رحمة الله عليه took care to live honestly and did much to ensure justice. Fatima رحمها الله agreed with her husband, but she said that maybe it would be possible to buy very cheap clothes for the children and they’d just be happy with something new to wear.

Finally, the Khalifa agreed and wrote a letter to his treasurer requesting that his pay be advanced a month early so that he could buy his children something to wear on Eid.

But the honest and pious Khalifa had an equally honest treasurer. The reply he got was this:
“Amir Ul-Mumineen, I have great respect for you and I trust and obey you completely. However, if you could guarantee to me that you will live through the next month and do your service to the people (which will entitle you to your pay) then the money can be advanced to you. If you cannot give the assurance of your life, then how can the treasury pay you?”

Umar ibn Abdul Aziz رحمة الله عليه realised his mistake. Fatima bint Abdul Malik رحمها الله, washed her children’s old tattered clothes for Eid day and sent them out to play. One has to wonder if they were made from the same dust as us. A beautiful example that if we are not in the financial position to buy eid clothes we cannot go over the top and open accounts at Edgars, Bally Spitz, e.t.c, thereby spending money we don’t have.

What we have to do before Ramadan ends

fast in ramadan

Riots and unrest in our country are a serious problem. But right now, more serious is the curse of Jibreel عليه السلام who made the following dua; may that person enter the hellfire, who reaches Ramadan and is not forgiven. Now let’s analyse this dua. The greatest angel made this dua and thereafter, the greatest man to walk this earth – Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم – said aameen. It took place in Riyadhul Jannah; a place which most people just enter and feel hopeful that their duas will be accepted! And here we have a dua that took place right inside, on the Mimbar of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم.

This dua is very weighty, we can’t afford to ignore it. With only 2 days left of Ramadan, ensure that you secure Allah’s forgiveness. If we do not, we will have to live with that curse…can we bear that? We can’t afford to live with that. So as the end of this auspicious month nears, make it count. The people of Yunus عليه السلام were on the brink of punishment. It loomed over their heads but at the last moment, they quickly repented and Allah forgave them. Likewise, we are on the brink of the end of Ramadan but if we repent, Allah will forgive us too. It is never too late. Tonight could be laylatul Qadr, there is no surety that it has already passed.

Furthermore, if Eid is on Monday, then alhamdulillah we have the whole weekend left. I know a lot of us are off from work on weekends. Use this time wisely. Turn to Allah, repent and make a change before this month ends. And then your eid will be much more than just tasty food, new clothes and meeting families. May Allah accept from us, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s Jumah bayan on 23/06/17.)