Category Archives: Akhlaaq

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.)

4 Causes, Consequences and the Cure to showing off

surah maoon

The worst form of riya (i.e. showing off) is in Imaan. This means to show faith outwardly but to inwardly harbour disbelief in Allah. The hypocrites are those who did this which explains why they are doomed to enter the lowest part of the hellfire. For us we have sincerely brought Imaan so alhamdulillah Allah has protected us from this. However, there are many more insidious, dangerous forms of riya that we also need to avoid at all costs.

Firstly, we must avoid riya in voluntary acts of worship. Speaking of this Imam Ghazali رحمة الله عليه explains that for some people, the way they worship depends on who they are with. For example, a hifz student recites one way at home, better to a friend and even better to his teacher. Ultimately though he may be reading for the pleasure of Allah alone, there is a stench of ostentation in his recitation. It is hoped that Allah will forgive him.

Secondly, we must avoid performing an act of worship only to impress someone. For example, a man may not usually read Awabeen Salah but he does when his Shaikh prays next to him. Or, he does not usually read the Qur’an but he does when someone comes over. Such actions are riya because they are being done for people, not for the sake of Allah! Do the action, but intend it for Allah not people.

Thirdly, holding dual intentions is also a form of riya. This means to perform an act for the sake of Allah and people. An action done in this manner holds no reward and no sin. Therefore, it is a wasted effort with no value in the sight of Allah. Remember that in business a partnership is acceptable but in our intentions, Allah does not accept partnership. So if we partner Allah with someone else Allah will not give us anything in return, what a waste of good deeds!

Fourthly, we spoke about doing a good deed for people is riya. Abstaining from a good deed due to the fear that people may think that I am doing this for show, or in order to be praised, is also a type of riya. For example if a man walks down the road with a tasbeeh in his hand, but on the way he bumps into an old school friend he used to smoke with. Now if he hides his tasbeeh away due to his friend, then that too is a type of riya. Or, if a young man intends to pray awabeen but after Salah all the young men leave and he knows the rest will praise him so he opts to omit the awabeen due to the people, that too is a type of riya.

The cure for these four types of riya is to focus on Allah, not people. What people say is their problem not our concern. Our concern is will Allah accept and what will he say? If you have riya in a certain action then get rid of the riya, not the action. Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه would say that if your mattress has bedbugs on it, you would get rid of the bedbugs and keep the mattress. Riya is like those bedbugs and our amal (i.e. good deeds) is the mattress. Keep the amal, throw the riya away. Otherwise if we throw the amal away then the problem riya will continue and it will move on to another amal.

To overcome riya, always refresh your intentions. At the beginning of a good deed, remind yourself that you are doing it for the sake of Allah. During the course of the amal, the situation may change and riya may enter your heart. This is poison from shaytan, this is your nafs trying to derail you. To overcome this simply remind yourself again, that I am simply doing this for Allah. Furthermore, do not consider your amal great, otherwise there is a fear riya will enter. Worship more in solitude than you do in company. If we can only worship in front of people then there is a problem.

Lastly if you do good deeds with sincerity and nobody saw you, then remember that years later shaytan will still try to shoot a hole in your investment. Some people wake up for tahajjud and they gather great rewards. But then when speaking to others, they slip in a sentence or two about their tahajjud, now shaytan has put a hole in his bucket of rewards. Many times, shaytaan will steal the reward for a good deed years after we did it. For example, if we tell someone about our charitable donations from 20 years ago. That time when we did it, no one knew. Now 20 years later he has boasted and shaytan has stolen the rewards. We do not know if our deeds have been accepted by Allah or not, so what surety do we even have to boast about? Where boasting begins, sincerity ends.

We need to careful on social media too. Facebook and Instagram breeds this problem. Imagine a good deed as noble as Qurbani, look at what great sincerity and sacrifice our father Ebrahim عليه السلام displayed when he did Qurbani. Yet we have reduced such great sincerity to shameless boasting about how big the animal is, how sharp our knife is, how quickly we cut the animal e.t.c! And thus we waste away such noble deeds by insincerely advertising it to the rest of the world. Therefore in summary, riya means to worship more, less or to stop worshipping altogether in order to impress people and to avoid this, we must keep refreshing our intentions and avoid boasting about our deeds.

May Allah forgive us and grant us the tawfiq to be sincere, Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s bayan in Gauteng on 10/7/17. The full audio can be heard below)

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)

Good Character: An example from the lives of the Pious

respect people

There was a well-known, respected Muslim scholar in India. Some people took advantage of his noble rank by using his name to get their own work done. For example, they would tell people that Hazrat sent me here e.t.c. This became common, so someone informed him that people are lying and using your name to get their work done. He responded that I can’t benefit them in person, so at least their dunya is being sorted out via my name. At least I can benefit people in this regard. Now Hazrat was a beacon of light in India and a guide for many! But due to his humility he was unaware of his greatness, and thus he would think little of himself.

Hazratjee Maulana Maseehullah Khan رحمة الله عليه once mentioned an incident about a man who was in search of a job. He went for an interview and in a desperate attempt to secure the job, he claimed that he was the son in law of this scholar. Now of course this was untrue, however, the employed did not know that he lied. Rather, the employer believed it, and feeling guilty to reject the son in law of such a noble scholar, he accepted. Thus he fell for the lie and gave him the job. After some time had passed, the owner happened to bump into Hazrat. He said to Hazrat that we are happy with your son in law, he is working well with us! It was kind of you to send him.

Hearing this, Hazrat became confused. Where did this son in law come from? However, he had such courtesy for all people that he never exposed the man. Instead, he nodded in agreement to the fabricated statement. After the owner left, Hazrat made enquiries about this “son in law”. Eventually He called for him to be bought, and asked about the matter. The man replied that I was so desperate for a job, I decided to use your name to help me. Now both he and Hazrat knew that this was a blatant lie but rather than becoming annoyed, angry or displaying bad character, Hazrat had mercy upon him.

Hazrat’s only concern was safeguarding the dignity of this one man. So he said that if I had a daughter, I would have married you to her. But i don’t, however, to make your statement true and to preserve your dignity and job, I can adopt your wife as my daughter. After adopting His wife, He began to treat her like his daughter too. He would give her gifts and when he invited his own daughters home, he would always invite his adopted daughter too. And that is how Hazrat went to such great lengths just to safeguard the dignity of just one believer!

May Allah elevate His status and grant us the tawfiq to display good character at all times, aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s bayan in Darul Uloom Azaadville, on 19/5/17.)

Humble yourself before Allah, He will forgive you

humility

The greater the piety, the greater the humility a believer will show. Our pious predecessors, despite being great men, had such humble opinions of themselves. An example is Hazrat Zunoon Misri رحمة الله عليه from Egypt. Once the river nile dried up, this was a regular occurrence.

People had a belief that to make the nile flow ago, a virgin girl needs to be sacrificed for the nile and her blood needs to flow there. This was a terrible custom that people had reverted to in the days of Ameerul Mumineen Hazrat Umar رضي الله عنه. Seeing this, the governor of Egypt wrote a letter to Ameerul Mumineen, asking what to do.

Ameerul Mumineen sent back a letter. He said to the governor that take this letter and throw it in the nile instead of a virgin girl. As soon as the governor threw it in the water, the nile started to flow again. So the question is, what did the letter say?

It read: “From the slave of Allah Umar رضي الله عنه, Ameerul Mumineen, to the Nile of the people of Egypt. To proceed: If you only flow on your own initiative, then do not flow, for we have no need of you. But if you only flow on the command of Allah, the One, the Subduer and He is the One who causes you to flow, then we ask Allah, may He be exalted to make you flow.” The nile began to flow again.

So this also happened in the time of Hazrat Zunoon Misri رحمة الله عليه. The people of Egypt came to him because he was known for his piety and therefore, his duas were accepted. They asked him to make dua for the nile to flow again. But Hazrat Zunoon had such a humble opinion of himself, he immediately packed his bags and left Egypt.

Like Musa عليه السلام, He went to madyan and as He journeyed, He cried saying that Oh Allah! It can only be due to our sins that the nile has dried up and there is no greater sinner in Egypt than myself. I have now left Egypt so that my evil does not prevent the nile from flowing!

SubhanAllah, look at His humility! Despite his piety, his focus was still on his sins. Such humility is a prerequisite for our repentance to be accepted by Allah. We must make itirafe qusoor (i.e. admit our shortcomings). Never assume that you have only a few sins or just little sins. First recognise and admit your sins, then rely on Allah’s forgiveness.

Once there was a drought in an area, I cannot remember the name of the place, but they began making dua for rain. Eventually, the women of ill repute who would sell themselves, they came together. They said that the rain is being withheld due to our sins, so we must make dua. They admitted their mistakes, sought forgiveness and then had hope that Allah would accept.

In these stories are great lessons for us. We need to develop humility, admit our sins, seek forgiveness and then have hope in Allah. By following these steps, inshaAllah, we too will experience the divine acceptance of Allah.

May Allah grant us the tawfiq, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s bayan on 12/5/2017 at Darul Uloom Azaadville.)

Good Character, Fashion and Designer brands

good character

A believer cannot attain love for Allah without good character. All religions promote it so we all believe in it, but we all practise it differently. For example, to a non-Muslim shaking a lady’s hand is good manners but for us, we know it is haram. Their benchmark is their religion and our benchmark is ours.

The problem is, we often make the western lifestyle our benchmark by drifting away from the Sunnah and following their ways. This causes our akhlaaq to deteriorate in the sight of Allah. One example of this is fashion. Through designer brands western culture promotes pride, arrogance and excessive concern over appearance. We buy into it, desiring to make an impression everywhere we go. Thus we become busy in showing off.

How then can we display good character, consideration and humility whilst our hearts are immersed in the desire to show off and outdo others? This is precisely the selling point of designer brands; using the name of one disbeliever to brand numerous items, in an attempt to make the owner feel superior when they wear/use it. Not only is this pure silliness, but it is deeply unbecoming of a believer who is meant to follow Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم.

Some of us become Maulanas or scholars of deen so we cannot take our kurtas/thawbs off, but we get as close as possible to western fashion. We want both the Sunnah clothing and western fashion. This attitude is dangerous because if we get too close, we may start grazing on the other side. Remember, the lifestyle of westerners is not our benchmark. The Sunnah of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم is.

Once we follow this Sunnah we will be able to develop good character. A smile, a kind word, a friendly gesture and all good traits do not require extra time to do. They just require consideration and a bit of thought. Yet, they are the most valuable and weighty on the scales of Allah. Ummul Mu’mineen Aishah رضي الله عنها said that one who adopts good character will receive the same reward as one who prays all day and night. Jannah is a bargain and easy to attain for those with good character therefore, we must make an effort to develop it. Then we can spread its fragrance wherever we go and light up the earth with the Sunnah of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم.

The akaabireen mastered this field by drawing examples from the life of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم. Once a bird came to Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم flapping its wings in grief. Immediately, Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم enquired as to who had troubled this bird by taking away its nestling. Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم instructed that the nestlings be released.

SubhanAllah! See how Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم had love for even animals? Now when we have such a fine example, why then do we seek to dress, behave and follow western ways? Be wise and follow Allah’s beloved Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم and then you too will become His beloved. May Allah grant us the ability to follow the Sunnah and may He refine our character through it, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s bayan in Darul Uloom Azaadville on 19/5/2017)

The power of the Mind

 

controlling outb]ursts-

Imam Ghazali رحمة الله عليه said that the mind/intellect has to be the king in the body, and anger/desires must be the servants. So if for example one’s desires are running wild towards the impermissible, the king must instruct his anger to arrest that desire. One’s intellect must question that if I were to carry out this desire of mine, what would the consequences be? If it’s negative, I cannot continue with this desire, and if it’s positive, then I can carry it out.

If the intellect does not command anger to arrest desire, then the same intellect will be used by desire to commit wrong. Do you not see how a teenager who wishes to go out for some wrongdoing, completely bluffs his father with a clever, concocted story? He is able to do this because the king has been made the slave of the servant.

Our emotions must be controlled by our intellect, and our intellect must be bound by the Shariah. When this principle is firmly in place, our lives will become peaceful and our hearts will become inclined towards dhikrullah. But when there is a weakness in this, then we will become like animals in our behaviour: out of control and unpredictable.

The companion of the Prophet ﷺ, Abu Talha رضي الله عنه, once embarked on a journey, leaving his wife and baby at home. On his way back home, his baby passed away.  Let us analyse the situation before continuing; her baby was alive before he left, and now, he has passed away. I ask you, what does her emotions want to do as soon as her husband enters the home? This is her husband: The one who she shares her child with. She can stand strong the whole time but when he comes home, she is just waiting to fall in his arms, looking for strength in him. Ready to break down. But you see she had Imaan, so she controlled it. Her intellect instructed her emotions that no, you will not break down like that because when he returns, whether you tell him immediately or after a few hours, it will not make any difference. The baby has passed away, he has moved on. If you tell him immediately he will not eat, or fulfil his desire out of sadness.

She understood this because she thought logically, deciding with her intellect rather than her emotions. So when he eventually returned home and enquired that how is the child? She simply replied that he is better than before. She proceeded to serve him food and she fulfilled his conjugal rights. After he was at ease, she was still contemplating how to soften the blow for him. So she began by posing a question. She asked him that if someone borrows something from a family, and that family asks for it back, can that person refuse to return it? Her husband replied that no, he cannot refuse like that. She responded saying that our child was a gift from Allah. Now, Allah has taken our child back.

Her composure and mannerisms at such a devastating point in her life, really reflects her high level of piety and trust in Allah. She did not act on her emotions and likewise, we should learn to not act on our emotions or anger either. Control it, do not be controlled by it.

Often, saalikeen remark that I am not in the mood to make dhikr. I feel like I will fall into sin, I am so tempted. My response is that these problems will continuously occur, it is natural. But if we keep the king in charge, we will manage to overcome such temptations. Look at a person who works at a shop or the CEO of a business firm. Some days he will feel energetic at work, other days he will feel lethargic. But can he allow these ‘feelings’ to dictate how much work he completes in the day? No, not really because he has to finish his paperwork or organise his files, so he will exert himself whether he likes it or not. Work is work, it needs to get done. Deen is deen, it needs to be followed.

Hazrat Maulana Maseehullah Khan رحمة الله عليه would say that we undermine the strength of the mind. We undermine the power of it. A hunter who owns a horse and a dog will train them both until they become submissive, attacking and running only at his command. The hunter will control them both and that is how the mind should be. The intellect holds the reins of our emotions in its hands, and they will move in accordance to its instructions.

Sometimes when you go to the park, you come across a man who is taking his dog for a walk, but it looks like the dog is taking him for a walk. The dog is running wild in every direction and he is running behind it, whilst the leash is tangling around his hands. Whereas a trained dog will walk submissively behind its master, even if other dogs bark at it, it will still remain focused.

Likewise, the nafs needs to be trained, our desires needs to be reined in, our anger needs to be put on a leash and our intellect must be in control. Once we master this, only then will we be able to live in harmony with ourselves and those around us, displaying good character in all situations as a believer should.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s Seerah majlis on 23/2/2017. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)

Lessons from the life of Ml. Yunus Patel (RA): The etiquette of giving gifts

 

give gifts

Musahafah is an act of worship. Nabi ﷺ said that there are no two Muslims who meet and shake hands with one another, except that they will be forgiven before they part. Therefore, to place money in one’s palm and to hand it over whilst shaking the hand of another Muslim, is against etiquette. We should not contaminate this act of worship with a worldly deed. For example when we go to Makkah Mukarramah/Madinah Munawwarah and meet a cleaner there, often, we intend to give him a bit of money as a gift.

Now if we put a note in our hand and hand it over to him during musahafah, then the next time we see him, we may want to simply make musahafah this time but what will he think when he sees you approaching? He will assume that there is another note coming his way. And this time when you shake his hand without passing a note on, he will feel disheartened. So now the worship of musahafah is forgotten, the fact that our sins are erased is forgotten, because we contaminated it by giving notes. Therefore, it is against etiquette to crumble a note and pass it over during musahafah.

A hadyah (i.e. gift) should be given out of love with no strings attached. Once, Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه came to Pietermaritzburg to give a speech at a madrassa. After the speech, the organisers brought an envelope (with money inside) and gave it to Hazrat. Hazrat refused to accept it. So he said that please accept it; it is a hadyah. But He still refused to accept. The person became insistent and he even attempted to put the envelope in Hazrat’s pocket. At this point, Hazrat became upset so he pushed his hand away and firmly refused.

As we walked back to the car, Hazrat said to me that even if there was one million rands in that envelope, I would still not have accepted it. Because although they say it is a hadyah in reality, they are compensating me for my time and petrol, they are giving it to me because I did a speech. Therefore, this is not truly a hadyah, if it was, then why did they not give it another time, why all of a sudden did they choose to give it today?

They gave it to reimburse Hazrat, whereas a hadyah in its true sense is gifted out of sincere love only. This also means that we should not expect anything in return either. Often when people say that you should not have gone to the trouble of giving me a hadyah e.t.c, we tend to reply that it’s fine, it’s no trouble, just make dua for me. With regards to this, Hazrat Ml. Thanwi رحمة الله عليه said that we should not seek duas at this time as that indicates an expectation, which one should not have at all.

Furthermore, when giving a hadyah we should take the time to present it properly with humility. It is a sign of pride to assume that our hadyah is so great and worthy of accepting, that we can give it anyhow and anywhere. Be humble, we should not consider ourselves great. Go to his house if possible and gift it to him. Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه would instruct us to never give him islaahi letters in front of a crowd. Hazrat would say that if you do, how will I explain the envelope to everyone in the crowd? They will assume that you are paying me a monthly subscription for being your Shaikh!

So to perfect our character, we must learn and adhere to these adaab/etiquettes. Only then will we be able to display good manners in all situations, like a believer ought to.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from a Dhikr Majlis delivered by Hazrat on 13/2/2017. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)

Abstaining from modernism

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Recently one of our students went to a modern, islamic institute, where they do not allow thawbs. He went on a Friday intending to pray Jumah salah so naturally, he entered the masjid with a thawb on. However the committee in line with their modernistic policies, forced him to remove his thawb.

Leaving the thawb and shortening the beard, has become a key part of the modernism that is spreading within our communities. The kuffar have realised that they can not stop the rise of Islam. So now, they are trying to create fitna by painting a different, modern version of Islam, which is at odds with our true faith. Abstain from falling into this trap.

Hold firmly onto the original, true deen. This can only be done when we seek knowledge from the correct sources.

We have many different types of ‘scholars’ nowadays. Amongst them, we have a group of maulanas. These maulanas wear short kurtas, sit in humble classrooms and lack the 21st century modern look. Yet it is these maulanas that have preserved deen for us. In the way they dress, speak and carry themselves, they are the ones who have preserved its traditional teachings.

I’m not saying other scholars are not serving deen. We have many arab ulama, but often, asal deen it found amongst deobandi ulama and those that follow a madhhab. The drive against them is dangerous for our traditional teachings.

Youtube and other online outlets poison the minds of people, making them believe that islam needs a reformation and the mazahib are outdated and incorrect. People hear an individual speak arabic online and they get carried away instantly, sacrificing years of traditional, deeni practises, in favour of these new ideas.

Do not be easily swayed and led astray. Be careful who you take your deen from. Hold onto three Ts: Tableegh, Tassawuf and Taleem, they will keep you guided and grounded.

Furthermore, in times of need, turn to the ulama. Why do so many of us learn deen online? Websites that teach islamic sciences, are there to cater for those who cannot access ulama in their locality. If there are ulama local to you from whom you can directly learn, then why go to a site? Why opt to sit behind a screen?

Sit with the ulama, learn directly from them, because the benefit derived from a scholars presence cannot be felt online. Online caters for those who do not have local islamic madrassahs; if you do, go to a madrassah.

In an attempt to appease people and the public, we are confusing ourselves and ruining our beautiful deen. Sometimes, we shave our beards to appease. Sometimes, we remove the purdah of female voices and put them on the radio to appease.

We sound like we are progressing in deen by keeping up to date with the times, but what we are doing is very wrong. Stick to the asal. There is no other Islam, there is no need for modernism. The true, original, traditional deen is what we need to implement and spread in our lives. That is where happiness lies.

May Allah make us from amongst those who preserve deen Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from a dhikr majlis delivered by Hazrat on 18/7/2016. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)