Category Archives: Advice

Selfies and Social Media

When a supervisor says “I am watching you”, it is said in a threatening manner. Allah regularly reminds us in the Qur’an that He is the All-Seeing in a loving, merciful and compassionate manner. I was pondering over this, and social media came to mind.

In our day and age, technology is considered the way forward and an obsession in our modern era. Whether young or old, you would be hard-pressed to find someone without a handheld device. Though a phone was designed to call and text, nowadays, the camera is a greater selling point. That is how Shaytan has made common the sin of taking pictures of living beings.

Selfies which were once unheard of, have become very common now. It made me wonder, why do people do it? Why do people who would once upon a time, cycle to simply unwind, now cycle and video their journey? Or keep a log of their activities on social media, which they would have previously kept to themselves? Often it is an act of ostentation or vanity. Our concern lies with impressing people online, thus we share private aspects of our lives to draw attention. But in reality, only a few people may notice, some may be jealous and most people do not care.

In contrast, Allah cares about what we do, He is the All-Seeing. Even when our cameras are off, His are still on. He is watching even when no-one else can. Technology can fail us. At times the camera dies whilst a person may think it is still on and recording. Allah never fails to watch and record us.

Therefore, if you desire to show someone, show Allah. Want to impress someone? Impress Allah. If you impress people on social media you may just get a few likes, comments and shares and that is all. However, if you impress Allah He will grant you Jannah, a reward far greater than we can possibly imagine. A seeker will always find what he seeks. Seek people, you will never be able to acquire their pleasure. Seek Allah and you will acquire Him, via His mercy in this life and His honorable presence in the afterlife.

May Allah rid our hearts of ostentation, vanity and all such evil qualities, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 25/09/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.

Life of Abu Bakr (RA): His fear of Allah

Out of the fear of Allah Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه would sometimes say, “If only I were grass (so that I would not be held accountable).” He was the greatest companion and the best friend of Nabi ﷺ, yet such was his fear of the almighty! Compared to this we are so complacent in our deen. Such is our complacency if someone were to point out our wrong we would turn around and lecture them on their wrongs, rather than taking heed. Or sometimes people say that only Allah can judge me. They say it as though it is something comforting. Whereas in reality the judgement of Allah alone, is far scarier than the judgement of every single human being on earth.

So if someone advises you, be grateful they are helping you change. Accept it and thank them for pointing it out. Ask them to make dua that Allah grants you the ability to act upon it. This is the response of a person imbued with humility and good character. Even if the adviser has a million faults that is not the time to point it out. That is the time to rectify our own flaws. May Allah make us humble and may His fear enter our hearts as a result of it, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 10/08/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.

The cause of sinful disobedience

An electric current flowing through a circuit cannot be seen, but it causes a light to switch on which can be seen. The current of Allah’s love flows through our heart and minds. We may not see it in ourselves or others, but it leads to obedience to Allah, which is a light that can be seen. The sign of a break in an electric current is that the light will not switch on. An electrician needs to be called now, to identify and fix the fault.

The sign of a break in the current of love for Allah, it that a Saalik (a follower of Sufism) will be inclined to disobedience. A Shaikh needs to be called now, to identify and fix the fault. What has caused his love for sin to overpower his love for Allah? Is it Nafs, Shaytaan, or a change in circumstance? The Shaikh is skilled in this regard. He will ask him all the relevant questions, enquiring until the fault is found. Once identified it can be fixed immediately, allowing the current of love to flow smoothly again.

If there is no electric current, the freezer will defrost. If the electrician is quick, he will save the day. However, if it is left broken for too long, the food will rot and emit a foul smell. Now it will take much longer to sort the problem out. Though the fault was small, he left it for long and now it has disastrous consequences. Likewise, when we notice a spiritual weakness, we need to seek help as soon as possible. Otherwise, as time elapses it will worsen leading to disastrous consequences.

May the current of Allah’s love flow through our bodies causing us to live in His obedience and pleasure. Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 13/11/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.

3 ways to develop an Attitude of Gratitude

If we are grateful by being obedient to Allah, He will increase his bounties upon us. Whether it is from a worldly or religious perspective, there is so much we have to be grateful for. Below are three ways to express gratitude:

1. Attribute your success to Allah: When we face difficult moments we make lots of dua for a way out. However, when our duas are accepted and the difficulty is removed, we do not even attribute it to Allah. Instead, we forget him, attributing our relief to our own intellect, luck, money, or a friend who helped us out. What about Allah who helped you out? How quick we are to forget Him.

It is not the means which pulls us out of difficulty, it is the creator of the means who pulls us out of difficulty. Therefore, one way to express gratitude is to thank Him first and most, then thank everyone else. When your child does well in school, thank Allah first then the teacher. When you have medication and you get better, it was not because the doctor cured you. Allah cured you, thank Him first then the doctor.

2. Look at those who have less than you, not those who have more than you: Life can take a wrong turn at times. Rather than complaining at every given opportunity, look further towards people who are suffering more. This will silence our complaints and fill our hearts with the gratitude Allah wishes to see in us. When we were children, it was a norm for people to drive through plush suburbs on Sunday afternoons, when they had nothing else planned. It was a pastime activity, people would drive past marvelling at the big houses and the beautiful gardens.

However, once they would return home, their houses would suddenly look too small or too ugly. This is what happens when we look up towards that which we do not have. We will become discontented with our share of life, greedy and ungrateful. Instead, we should go to poorer areas and see how they live in their small shacks. Once you return to your humble home you will realise, it is not so small and humble after all. In the eyes of many, you live in a palace that they can only dream of having.

To us, life may seem problematic but there are many poor people that would dream of having all your “problems” instead of theirs. A man went to the masjid with no shoes on. He began complaining until he saw a man with no legs. Immediately, he sought Allah’s forgiveness. Therefore, look towards those who less, not those who have more.

3. Be obedient to Allah: Our late Shaikh Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه used to always give the following example. Sometimes a person holds a family function or a wedding. In that function, a lot of sins take place like photography, intermingling, missing Salah and the playing of music. The event is planned in a way that is contrary to the Sunah. Yet at the end of it when someone asks the host, “How did it go?” he will reply, “Shukr, Alhamdulillah.” In other words, he will thank Allah for making his event run smoothly, though the event was riddled with sin. Hazrat رحمة الله عليه would say that sometimes, this type of gratitude may fall under utterances of kufr. This is because our gratitude is upon sin.

Thanking Allah with our tongues is not gratitude. True gratitude is to please Allah by doing good deeds. If our actions are in line with the Shariah, then even if we do not say “Shukr Alhamdulillah”, we will still be regarded as grateful servants. However, if we limit our gratitude to mere lip service whilst totally violating the laws of Allah, then that is hypocritical, not gratitude. It is like someone bumping into you by accident, apologising and then punching you. Does that make any sense? Would you even accept his apology? No, we would not. Therefore in our relationship with Allah, we must endeavour to make our actions in sync with our words. Express gratitude verbally but more importantly, show it in all that you do.

May Allah grant us the ability to be grateful, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 19/09/17 in Masjid Hamza, Effingham Heights, Durban. To listen to the full talk, please click here.

How to become a Friend of Allah

Mujahadah means to strive for the pleasure of Allah. In the early days of Islam, Mashaaikh would prescribe intense spiritual exercises and thousands of dhikr. Sins were not as common, so this required great strength, making it a suitable form of Mujahadah for them.

As time has elapsed, sins have become extremely common making restraint very difficult. Therefore, the greatest form of Mujahadah in the 21st century is to abstain from sins. For example, before the invention of mobile phones, acquiring obscene material was difficult, now it is in our pockets. Just having a phone and not going on filthy sites for the pleasure of Allah is Muajahadah.

Furthermore, back in the days it was difficult to phone an illicit beloved. It was a great risk because what if someone else picked up the house phone? You would have to make an excuse on the spot to hide your haram intent. Now we all have mobile phones there is no need to call the house phone anymore, eliminating the risk of someone finding out. In fact, you do not even need their number anymore! You can just search for them on social media and you are bound to find them somewhere. Maintaining haram relationships is so much easier than it used to be, therefore, abstaining is much more rewarding than it used to be.

After fulfilling the basics of Islam, this is the secret to attaining wilayat (friendship with Allah) and a catalyst to reaching Allah. Without it, the chances of attaining wilayat are slim. May Allah grant us the tawfiq, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 13/11/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.)

Life is full of choices

Life is full of choices. At times, we get carried away with our ability to choose between obedience and disobedience. We forget that this choice is a test, not a mark of our authority. In academic exams, those that studied hard would be able to answer correctly, whilst those that did not study would answer incorrectly. Both take the exact same paper, but the former will pass whilst the latter will fail. The exam is taken by all, not just the hardworking students.

Likewise, is life. We are living an exam, those that sin unrepentantly are exercising their choice for which they will soon pay the price. Upon death, this ability will cease to exist. Have you ever seen a deceased man come out of his grave, refusing to be buried? No, because he has no choice. We must not allow it to delude us into thinking we have control over our lives. On the Day of Judgement, our own limbs will speak out against us so what control do we assume, when our own limbs will be out of our control?

When the adhaan calls, you can choose to sleep or wake up for prayer. That is a test. Do not be deceived, your choice will not last for long. When the trumpet is blown, no one will be able to continue sleeping. We will all awaken and march in the same direction, towards an inescapable reckoning.

Therefore, in this worldly life, choose wisely. Those that do not follow Deen, outwardly, it may seem that they are free and in charge of their lives. But in reality, their choices are answers being recorded on this exam of life, for which they will soon pay. Our choice is only given to write this paper. Upon death it will be taken away from all, and gifted back to those who enter Jannah. There in the gardens, their choice will no longer be a test. It will be a blessing via which they will live and do as they please.

May we be amongst them, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 07/11/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.)

Lessons from a Monkey, Moth and a Bird

I was walking with my children a few days ago and we came across a monkey. A moth flew into his hands and began hopping around until eventually, the monkey caught him in its grip. He was ready to devour the moth but suddenly his grip loosened, and the moth flew away. The moth began soaring high into the sky. The monkey jumped behind trying to catch him, but he was too high to reach. Just then, a bird came flying in that direction. The moth literally flew into the bird’s mouth and thus, the bird had his meal for the day.

From this little incident we can extract many valuable life lessons. In the search for wealth we are often like that monkey. We jump behind many opportunities to make as much money as possible, taking on our shoulders far more than we can bear. Understand no matter how hard you try, if it is not decreed for you, you will never acquire it. Just like the moth that flew right out of the monkey’s grip. So, do not be so hard on yourself.

In contrast, the bird did not exert any effort, yet his food flew right into his mouth. A little while later the monkey searched the bins and found something to eat. Therefore, never become despondent. Your efforts never go in vain. Perhaps Allah has also decreed your sustenance elsewhere. His treasures are unlimited, and He always has something in store for you.

To acquire it, we should not allow ourselves to be humiliated in our jobs. Some of us have bosses who swear and shout whilst we work like slaves for them. This is not what Allah wants from us, He does not expect us to endure humiliation. If you are not respected as a human being where you work, search for work elsewhere. On the other hand, never be the one to humiliate those that work for you. You are not paying them, Allah is paying them via you so be kind.

The second lesson we can learn is on perspective. When the moth was trapped in the hand of the monkey, it appeared that he would be eaten in his hands. Whereas in reality, he was safe there. As soon as he flew out he thought he had acquired freedom. Little did he realise, he was flying to his death. Likewise, we often find ourselves trapped in the hands of difficulty. The measures we take to come out of it must always conform with Shariah. If it does, then know that you have pleased Allah and this temporary difficulty of yours will be a means of permanent ease in the hereafter. However, if it does not, then no matter how free we may seem death will eventually catch us out.

For example, in a financial problem it is impermissible to take a loan with interest. Those that do may seem to be flying high financially with a stable home and job. Little do they realise; the angel of death is waiting, and this financial freedom will eventually lead to destruction. Therefore, do not fall in love with mere worldly delights. Know that nothing is fool proof in life, never be too sure of yourself or your means. Understand that life will be full of tests, do not reduce yourself or sacrifice your faith to come out of them. Rather, adopt dignified means coupled with reliance in the almighty, and your tests will soon turn into blessings in disguise.

May Allah make it so, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 31/10/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.)

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.