Category Archives: Bad traits

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.

Developing a Successful Mindset

A person once approached Hazrat Ml. Zakariyya رحمة الله عليه to seek his advice. He told him that for the past two months when I return home from work, I ask my wife, “Is there anything to eat?” We are experiencing severe poverty. When she replies that there is nothing, I opt to spend the day fasting. Hazrat رحمة الله عليه replied, “Alhamdulillah. You are acting upon the Sunnah.”

In other words, Nabi ﷺ did the exact same because he lived a life of poverty too. Therefore, although the situation is difficult, it is close to the Sunnah and reaps rewards. This was Hazrat رحمة الله عليه’s mindset. He would notice the Sunnah more than the difficulty. In contrast, our mindset has drifted far away from the Sunnah. For example, if a man happily announces that he bought a spacious home in a posh suburb with a loan from his bank, what would our response be? Parents would gleefully remark, “Son, you have done well!” His new purchase would become talk of the town. Now his parents would want to purchase items for his new home, like a frame with the Kabah on it. He would be hailed a success.

Yet in reality, what has the son done by taking an interest loan? He has waged war with Allah (Qur’an, 2:278-279). He has incurred his wrath and anger. Yet we are too drunk and intoxicated in the love of this world to notice or care. Considering him successful for indulging in haram shows that our mindset is more materialistic than Islamic.

Allah tells us in the Qur’an that Jannah is being prepared as we speak for the righteous. Righteousness is the criteria. It is the ticket we need to enter the gardens of Jannah, but what does it mean to be righteous? It means to tread carefully and cautiously on earth, avoiding displeasing Him as far as possible. That is success. Not indulging in interest and sins. No matter how common it becomes always remember, a sin is a sin. There is no good outcome for it in the hereafter, even if its worldly state appears beautiful in our eyes.

May Allah align our mindset with Islam and save us from sins that tempt us to displease Him, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 08/12/17 in  Masjid Siraatul-Jannah, Ormonde, Johannesburg. 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.)

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.

 

4 causes, consequences and the cure to showing off

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 bought 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. Not doing a good deed for people is also 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 this man hides his tasbeeh away because of his friend, that too is showing off. 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 just omit the awabeen instead, that too is showing off.

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.

This is why 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 Ibrahim as 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 talk in Gauteng on 10/7/17. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)

Pornography

Allah is watching

(Below is an article by Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه, taken from www.yunuspatel.co.za)

WE ALL KNOW THAT FISH LIVE IN WATER. They generally cannot survive long out of water. However, when fish move towards the surface of the ocean, they become easy catch for fishermen – like we find with the sardine run. People just grab, net and catch sardines from the surface of the water.

And when a fisherman catches a fine fish, he reels it in. He does not throw it back into the sea. Once it is hooked … once it is caught … it is pulled out. …Why? Because fish out of water, when scaled and washed, when ‘masaalaad[1] and fried, tastes nice.

In my Dua, I normally say: O Allah, make us the fish that swim deep down in the ocean of Your Ma’rifat.

Like the fish, the Believer is swimming deep in the safety of Allah Ta’ala’s ocean of love. If he moves towards temptation, he makes an easy and fine catch for shaytaan.

Do we want to become a meal for shaytaan? …Because this is exactly what happens to the heart of the Believer who dashes for the bait of sins: His Imaan is ‘scaled’, his good deeds are ‘washed away’, his heart and soul are ‘marinated’ in darkness and fried in the fire of restlessness – to the delight of shaytaan. Allah Ta’ala forbid that this restless soul has to also one day contend with the fire of Hell.

Many write that they are hooked onto porn films and porn magazines. They fall for the bait which shaytaan tempts them with, get hooked and end up ruining their spiritual, mental and physical health.

Pornography is one of the root causes of insanity.

Those who have the habit of viewing pornography generally do so at night. They spend the day working and the night watching filth. They are overcome with restlessness and are deprived of sleep. Sleep deprivation is a one way ticket to mental instability. In the long-term, the brain is badly damaged, and the person loses his sanity. He ends up in an asylum or shoots himself.

One young brother contacted me saying that he had a porn addiction. He knew it is haraam but said he just could not give up the sin. He would secretly watch pornography, late at night, after the family went to sleep. And then, one night, whilst watching porn, there was a tremor.

The building began to shake and everyone got up, running down the stairs in their pyjamas, running helter skelter, fearing the worst, expecting that was their end. He said that at that time, my Dua hit his heart: “O Allah! Do not let the Angel of death find us in any sin, in gambling, drinking, pornography!”

He immediately made sincere Taubah. But it took a real life shake up to get him to give up the sin. He was fortunate that he was granted the opportunity of repenting, otherwise what would have been the condition, returning to Allah Ta’ala whilst viewing pornography?

I generally give the following reply to those who write saying they are addicted to porn:

Allah Ta’ala forbid, if some criminal has to put a gun to your head, will you say: ‘It is difficult for me to stop watching this porn. I am addicted. Please allow me to watch all these filthy pictures first before you blow my head.’ …Or will you start reading Duas for Allah Ta’ala to protect you?

Similarly, death is following us all. What if the Angel of Death visits at that time to extract your soul? Would you want your life to end while watching porn – because the Angel of Death will not give you time to switch off the computer and make Taubah?

Imagine if you die when viewing pornography. What an embarrassment and disgrace! Thereafter, people will ask – as is common: “How did he die? When? Where? What was he doing?” – Would you like that people say: “He died in front of the computer and he was watching a dirty film.”

Rasulullah ﷺ  was asked: ‘What is Imaan?’

Rasulullah ﷺ  replied: When your good deeds give you happiness and when your evil deeds cause you grief.’[2]

If reading porn magazines, watching filthy movies, being involved in some illicit relationship, drinking, gambling and indulging in other sins does not create any remorse and sorrow and instead we are expressing happiness over sins, where is our Imaan?

One situation is that the person engages in some sin but then genuinely regrets. However, when there is persistence and enjoyment in sins,where is Imaan? Deriving pleasure in Haraam indicates to pollution in the heart. The heart needs to be washed and cleaned with sincere Taubah and needs to be polished with Zikrullah.

At least recognize sin as sin. Detest it. This is Imaan. The person has Imaan if he is feeling unhappy and grieved when he has displeased Allah Ta’ala. Understand that whatever Allah Ta’ala enjoins upon us and forbids us from is in our best interests; for our benefit, advantage, well-being and success.

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mubarak رحمة الله عليه who was a great Wali of Allah Ta’ala, summed up the consequences of sins, saying: “I see that sins cause death to the heart and becoming addicted to the sins brings about humiliation and disgrace. On the other hand, abandoning sins gives life to the heart. So it is best for you to disobey the nafs.”

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to give up all sins and purify our hearts and souls and may Allah Ta’ala grant us death, when He is pleased with us.

Music: A major sin that leads to more sins

music

Globally there are three sins that are very common. One is zina/fornication, the second is drugs/intoxicants and the third is music. These three sins are classified as major sins in Shariah, but our attitude towards them are somewhat different. If we look into our society, spouses and family members become very upset with one who is committing zina. If a man proposes and her family members find out that he has been involved in drugs before, suddenly, there’s a big question mark over that proposal. Therefore with drugs, we are on red alert. When it comes to zina, we are on red alert. But with music, we take this sin very very lightly. We do not regard it as the grave sin that it is.

At time music is unavoidable. As we walk down the streets, enter into a shop, or as we sit idly in traffic, there is almost always someone playing music out loud. During such moments, it is unavoidable. However we must ask ourselves, does it irk us? Does it trouble us? Does it make us feel uncomfortable?

If the answer is no, then we are guilty of watering down deen and trivialising this major sin. Once Nabi ﷺ was walking with a Sahaabi and from a distance music, could be heard. Immediately, Nabi ﷺ put his fingers into his ears. As they walked, He continuously asked his companion if the music was still audible or not, until finally they were out of earshot. Only then did Nabi ﷺ take his fingers out of his ears.

If people were committing zina in the open or taking drugs, we would not feel comfortable sitting by them watching or engaging in their haram! But with music…why do many of us feel so comfortable sitting in the company of one listening to music, when it too, is a major sin? Music is the very sin that entices people to commit zina or take drugs! It causes an eclipse to occur in the heart, the belief that Allah is watching us becomes overshadowed causing a person to enter into the state of ghaflat, which paves the way to many more sins.

Those who watch movies, if they had no music, would it be as interesting to watch? Every scene has a different tune playing in the background to suit the scene. If it is a horror, romantic or action scene, the music swiftly changes. This is because the music alters the mind, it puts a person into a different mood, it creates an effect on the heart and thus shaytaan uses this tool to entice us into haram.

Nabi ﷺ said that music creates hypocrisy in the heart. Meaning on one hand we claim to be believers, yet on the other hand we are doing actions that are totally unbefitting a believer. When hypocrisy enters, the remembrance of Allah leaves the heart. Then, although a person may be a believer, his actions speak otherwise.

Therefore, music is extremely dangerous to our Imaan. Not only should we avoid it completely, we must also ensure that our children do too. I know a young man who was obedient and practising. One day, his character suddenly changed. He became disinterested in Salah and began disobeying his parents. They could not understand why until one day, they noticed that he would always wear a woolly hat. Strangely enough, he would wear it constantly even throughout summer and during the night. His father became very suspicious by this so one night, he went to check up on his son. He removed the hat and found earphones plugged into his ears, he was in bed with his phone, listening to music. And it was this constant listening to music that caused his entire character to change for the worse.

This is the effect of music. You yourself can attest to what I am saying if you have been to the circus or watched movies before. It is shaytaan’s tool to condition the mind. For this reason, Nabi ﷺ said that I have been sent and instructed to break musical instruments. But unfortunately today, these musical instruments have even made their way into Islamic nasheeds too.

May Allah forgive us, and enable us to stay away from this great sin and all other sins, and may He enable us to take all sins seriously, Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(The above is an extract from Hazrat’s jumah lecture on 17/2/17 on the topic of Music. To listen to the full lecture, click here.)

 

In Islam do wives have to cook, clean and live with inlaws?

image

A man who gets married should continue making khidmah of his parents (i.e. serving them). It is not his wife’s duty, if she wishes to do it then she will be rewarded immensely. However, if she is unable to do so for any reason, he has no right to get upset with her. He should serve them.

A lady recently emailed me saying that she cooks, cleans and serves her inlaws dutifully. After completing all these chores, eventually she sits down at the table to eat her share of the meal. But in that duration whilst she is eating, her father in law calls her 5-6 times to get up from the table and do something for him.

This attitude is absolutely incorrect, a father in laws cannot be so demanding! She has every right to refuse to cook and tell her husband to cook instead or find a cook. But alhamdulillah our wives are not like that. Despite such struggles, many women continue to live with their inlaws and cook for them. So we must appreciate them, not take advantage!

A husband citing these points in an argumentative way against his wife is incorrect. Our deen is a balanced one that gives rights to everyone. If we misunderstand these rights and limits of deen we will make zulm rather than khidmah.

Therefore, if you are in doubt or if you misunderstand an aspect of deen, seek guidance from ulama.

Often a man wants to stay with his parents to look after them, but his wife is not happy because she knows that it is not working between her and her inlaws. He too is aware of this, he too knows that his parents are being unreasonable in their treatment towards his wife. So why is he continuing to subject his wife to that struggle? Yes, he may be the only son and with his parents ageing, of course, he should not abandon them.

But wives have rights too. If they are making life a misery for his wife then he should separate his house. Give her her own section that they do not have access to. That way, she can have her own privacy and peace. She can cook, send food and visit them when she wishes too. And when she needs her space, she can go to her section of the home. That is her right.

Instead of this balanced approach, some husbands are adamant and think that no, I must serve parents. Yes, do so, but shariah does not advocate that we give due right to one person, at the expense of another. This is zulm (i.e oppression), not the itidaal (i.e balance) that our deen calls towards.

May Allah make grant us tawfiq, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s dhikr majlis on 30/1/2016. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)

Overcoming Jealousy

image

(By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه)

Allah ﷻ in His Infinite Wisdom which we, with our limited intelligence, cannot comprehend, distributes amongst mankind of His bounties. Wealth, intelligence, health, beauty and all other goodness are given by Allah ﷻ.

Therefore, there is no need to burn the heart over someone else’s gifts, fortunes and possessions. Harbouring jealousy in the heart only harms the one who is jealous, ruins his peace of mind, torments his heart, and destroys his own good deeds.

It is mentioned in a Hadeeth: “Beware of jealousy, for verily it destroys good deeds the way fire destroys wood.”

Explaining this, Hazrat Maulana Shah Muhammad Ahmad رحمة الله عليه aptly conveyed the reality of jealousy in his poetry:

“Why are you burning yourself in the fire of jealousy?
Why are walking towards the Fire of Hell?
Are you unhappy with the distribution made by
Allah, Himself?
Why are you rubbing the palms of your hands in deep regret?”

Therefore expel the evil of jealousy from the heart. We must seek goodness from Allah ﷻ and make the correct effort by making use of the Halaal means to acquire what is permissible to acquire. Be satisfied and content with whatever is achieved.

(For articles, books and audio clips of Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه, please click here)