Category Archives: Dhikr

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.)

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

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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.)

The effects of Sins and repentance

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

When a person indulges in sins, in disobedience to Allah Ta’ala, then the heart immediately connects with the fire of Hell. As such, one result of sins is heat. The proof of this is drawn from a Masnoon Dua, which was brilliantly and inspirationally explained by Hazrat Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Phulpoori رحمة الله عليه, a great Shaykh of his time. From the Ahaadeeth we learn different Duas for different occasions. One Dua that was taught to us by Nabi ﷺ is:

“O Allah, wash off my sins with the (melted) water of ice and snow, and purify my heart of sins, just as white clothes are cleansed of filth.”

Let us consider the explanation and meaning of this dua. Hazrat Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Saheb رحمة الله عليه related that on one occasion he had a most respected guest present during his lesson of Bukhari Shareef. The guest was Hazrat Maulana Dr. Abdul Hayy Saheb رحمة الله عليه who was a senior Khalifa of Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi رحمة الله عليه.

During this lesson, Dr. Abdul Hayy رحمة الله عليه posed a question to Hazrat Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani رحمة الله عليه. He asked: “Why did Nabi ﷺ use the words ‘ice and snow’ in this particular Dua?” Hazrat رحمة الله عليه being inspired with an answer from Allah Ta’ala, replied:

“There are two major effects that follow the commission of sins. Darkness in the heart

1)       Darkness in the heart

Rasulullah ﷺ explained: “When a Mu’min (believer) sins, a black dot appears on his heart. If he repents and seeks Allah’s forgiveness, his heart becomes cleansed and polished. If he continues to commit more and more sins (without repenting), the spot continues to spread and ultimately covers all of his heart.”

2)       Heat

By means of sins, a person links himself to the fire of Hell. As a result, such a person’s body also produces a kind of heat.

My Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb رحمة الله عليه has mentioned, that generally, when a person is committing a lot of sin, especially if he is entangled in illicit love, then the effect of his sins is so intense and severe, that even his head becomes heated. Of course, this does not mean that every person whose head is heated is involved in sin. It may be that the person is ill or suffering with high temperature, e.t.c.

So consequently, the second quality of sin is that it produces heat. Hazrat Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Saheb رحمة الله عليه then explained that the attribute of ice is its coolness and the apparent characteristic of snow is its whiteness.

Thus, the two effects of sins are removed with the two effects of snow and ice. The whiteness removes the darkness and the coolness effaces the heat. SubhanAllah!

Moreover, why is ‘white’ cloth used in the Dua? This is because a black cloth will not disclose the spots and marks of dirt, even after having been washed, but white cloth is sure to reveal the slightest trace of dirt. These are explanations that should be most appreciated by students of Deen as well as Saalikeen.

My Shaykh had also explained that if we are deficient in our Love of Allah Ta’ala, and our hearts have become dark and heated due to the commission of sins, then an easy route to giving up our sins, sincerely repenting, purifying our hearts and becoming the friends of Allah Ta’ala is to make friends with His Friends.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq of Rujoo Ilallaah and His Friendship.

Pornography

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(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.

Immediate wilayat (friendship with Allah)

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(By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه)

“…VERILY ALLAH LOVES THOSE WHO REPENT…”
[Surah Baqarah 2:222]

A young person, after listening to a talk, experienced a revolution in his heart. He asked me: “With my past, with the sins in my life, how is it possible for me to become a Wali?”

I said: “It is extremely simple. It takes just one minute to become a Wali (friend of Allah ﷻ ). Raise your hands and with deep regret and remorse in your heart, shed a few tears and pray to Allah, say: ‘O Allah ﷻ , I have wasted my life but I want to become Your Wali, I want to become Your friend. So forgive all the sins which I have committed since maturity, and grant me the ability to do that which pleases You in my future life.’

You have immediately become a wali. Now make an effort towards fulfilling those rights which had been violated. The effort made indicates to the sincerity of your tawbah/repentance.”

If salaah and fasts were missed then qaza (the religious duty performed after the expiry of its time) must be made. If Zakaah, Qurbaani and Sadaqatul Fitr were not fulfilled then such monies must be paid. The same applies to monies owed to people. Pay back to whomsoever, what is due or ask them to forgive you. If not, then that tawbah you made will not be complete. And if harm and injury was caused to another, then his forgiveness should be sought.

If there are a number of outstanding salaah or fasts due, then it is obvious that a person cannot read all the qazas in one day, or keep all his missed fasts in one day. This will take due time. However the intention of the person to fulfil all dues of Allah and His creation, and the effort made in that direction makes the person a friend and beloved of Allah ﷻ .

If the person does not make any effort in that direction after tawbah, then this is a clear sign that he was not sincere in his tawbah. Also in respect to his future life, every effort should be made not to return to sins.

(The above is an edited article, taken from here.)

How to deal with fleeting thoughts from Shaytan

 

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When a person begins to make changes in his life, Allah will grant Him the tawfiq to give up major sins. Shaytan then tempts him into other sins like backbiting, jealousy, enmity e.t.c
Slowly as a person progresses, he learns these tricks of the devil and overcomes them too. He concentrates on developing good character traits like soft-heartedness and selflessness.
So now, shaytan makes him worried about things he shouldn’t worry about.
Often, people at this stage worry over whudu. They wash each limb repeatedly thinking it’s piety to be careful. In reality, he has fallen for another trap from the traps of shaytan. There is no extra reward for one who washes a limb more than thrice in whudu. Rather, this is wastage (of water).

The mind is amazing, nobody can reign it. It’s unlike a hand that can be restrained. Often we can keep our outer in line but the mind runs wild inside. Shaytan knows this, so he makes a person become perturbed over thoughts that he won’t be questioned over. A person becomes worried until he thinks that I’m just a hypocrite, I’ve lost iman so I may aswell watch TV..I’ve lost anyway!

Understand the mind. We will not be questioned about fleeting thoughts which come involuntarily. If you are, for example, in a queue at a doctor’s room or a government department and a lady joins the queue behind you. You ensure that there is a safe gap between the both of you, but shaytan will play mind games. Shaytan will keep enticing and keep suggesting you to look…don’t try it. Imaan gets towed away when we cast lustful glances.
So the mind is running wild but he is ignoring it. He is abstaining from the sins shaytan calls him towards. So is he sinning? No! In actual fact he is attaining rewards! In that state he may even experience the sweetness of iman.

We are human beings. To think we will never think like this, is to misunderstand the mind. Every human has a nafs and shaytan who will constantly play games. Provided we abstain and keep our gaze lowered, we will not be answerable to Allah for fleeting thoughts.

Other times, people get unrealistic, fleeting thoughts about future matters that may not even occur. This often translates as fantasising. Don’t plan future sins and play a game for both parties…that you will do this and she will do that, then you will say this and she will say that. Stay in your lane because this “planning” is a huge sin, even if it does not actualize!

Deflect these thoughts with dhikrullah. Allah has given us enough weaponry in our arsenals to deflect whatever shaytan throws. We just have to learn how to reverse the mind rather than becoming frustrated over fleeting thoughts. Yes shaytan will change his tricks, once he fails in one avenue, he will try getting at you with something else. He won’t leave you until death, so we must win over him with dhikrullah.

Recently I’ve received many emails on this matter. Someone said that I have filthy thoughts. I asked what thoughts? He explained to which I responded…ok. Can we stop a truck of pigs ahead of our car in the motorway? No. But what we can do is overtake and pass ahead of that truck. So when these thoughts enter use your indicator, switch lanes and accelerate ahead. Move forward and leave the filth behind.

May Allah make grant us tawfiq, aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(The above is an extract from Hazrat’s dhikr majlis on 19/09/2016. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)

Ramadan Tips!

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Alhamdulillah, we are now at the doorstep of Ramadhaan Shareef. Below are a few points we should bear in mind, in order to reap maximum rewards from this blessed month:

  • Fasting is fardh/compulsory. It has become a trend for people to avoid fasting, by using invalid excuses. Remember we can fool people but ultimately, we will have to answer to Allah ﷻ and there is no fooling Him.
  • Those who take medication should alter dosage times around their fasting hours. However if they are suffering from major illnesses, proper medical advice should be sought from a Mutaqee/pious physician.
  • Make taleem/Learn about the rulings of Fasting from a good Fiqh book.
  • Partake in the pre-dawn meal, as this is an essential ingredient in fasting. Nabi ﷺ mentioned that the difference between our fasts and that of the Jews is that we partake in the pre-dawn meal. This meal should be eaten before Fajr, in the last portion of the night.
  • Set aside some time daily, to perform Tahajjud Salah and dua just before the pre-dawn meal.
  • As far as possible, pray Fajr Salah in congregation in the Masjid.
  • At least for this month avoid anything, anyone or any place that distracts you from worship. Do not get involved in idle conversations over coffee, or after Taraweeh barbecues/braais. Rather, remain focused on the fact that we are in Ramadan, and we need to reap abundant rewards while this month lasts.

Lastly…be passionate about fasting and do not treat it like a burden!

(The above is an edited transcript from the website of Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله. To view similar transcripts, please click here. To listen to Hazrat’s lectures in Ramadan 2010-2015, please click here.)

 

The power of Dhikr

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Allah ﷻ created life for mankind, and the concept of death for mankind. Every soul will inevitably face the spectacle of death. Only Allah ﷻ is everlasting. Such is our creation that from the womb of the mother until the womb of the Qabr (i.e. grave), there are restrictions. Allah ﷻ has placed these restrictions to guide us.

Our condition should be that in this singular, restricted life, we endeavour to make Allah ﷻ happy. To the general onlooker it would appear that this is causing great distress to us, but the reality is the complete opposite. Hazrat Shah Hakeem Akhtar Saheb رحمة الله عليه says that this person is living a hundred lives due to the constant dhikr that he is engaged in.

The poverty of the soul is the lack of dhikr. This becomes crystal-clear when the saalik becomes neglectful with his Muamalaat. The saalik begins to fall into a life sucking abyss until he returns to his daily muamalaat and regular talluq with his Shaikh. It is essential for parents to encourage their children to attend majaalis, granting them exposure to the various efforts of deen.

In the dhikr of Allah ﷻ lies the function of the universe. This concept was eloquently explained by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb رحمة الله عليه. There was a time when the world was “healthy” and that was relative to the number of people who remained engaged in the dhikr of Allah ﷻ. Through the passage of time we have witnessed the deterioration of the world, which is ultimately linked to the deterioration of the dhikr of the believers. This deterioration is set to continue until there is no one engaged in the dhikr of Allah ﷻ. When this happens, the trumpet will be blown once, causing completion destruction of the Earth.

We have been advised by our Mashaaik to make true and sincere Tawbah (i.e. repentance) from all sins. If we make Tawbah like this, then we will become of those that Allah ﷻ mentions in Surah Burooj, Ayah 11:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْكَبِيرُ

“Verily, those who believe and do righteous good deeds, for them will be Gardens [of Paradise] under which rivers flow. That is the great success.”

(The above is an edited transcript from the website of Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله. To view it on Hazrat’s website, please click here)

3 effective ways to prepare for Ramadan shareef

1461934377777.jpg1. READ MORE QURAN: Set aside some time to make tilaawat of the Quraan Shareef. This must be made daily, whether it is a few rukus or a quarter, in anticipation of increasing many fold by the time Ramadhaan Shareef comes.

2. MAKE MORE DUA: If we are not making dua, then we should start now! Ramadhaan Shareef is a time to make duaa and Allah ﷻ will readily accept these duaas. If one is not in the habit of making duaa then start by making duaa for at least five minutes daily, and time yourself. An easy way would be; at one minute intervals:

  • Praise Allah ﷻ.
  • Read Durood Shareef

Ask Allah ﷻ for:

  • Forgiveness
  • Ones worldly needs
  • Our needs of the aakhirat
  • End by praising Allah ﷻ and reading some Durood Shareef.

3. PRAY MORE SALAH: Increase your salah. If one is reading five times Salah daily, then he should now check if he is reading all the sunnat –e-muakkadah, ghair muakkadah and nawaafil salaat. If he is reading salaat in a Musallah then he should make attempts to now start reading salaat in the Musjid.

This is where our preparation should start. Once we increase our tilawat, Duas and Salah, InshaAllah they will become a permanent feature in our daily lives, allowing us to reap the benefits of this blessed and auspicious month from the very first day.

(The above is an edited version of one of the transcripts on Hazrat’s website. To view it on Hazrat’s website, please click here)