Category Archives: Fiqh

6 points to be wary of when doing Qurbani

Here in South Africa, on Eidul Adha it is exciting to visit the farms and purchase our Qurbani animals. The enthusiasm to do Qurbani is beautiful and commendable. Our akaabireen would buy animals one year in advance. They would keep it and then do Qurbani the next year.
However, for the Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم they would always have animals with them grazing in their yard. Whenever they needed meat, they would simply sacrifice an animal and eat. It was normal.

Therefore, when Qurbani became waajib, they asked Nabi ﷺ, “What is Qurbani?” In other words, what makes it different to a normal sacrifice? Nabi ﷺ responded that it is the Sunnah of your father Ibrahim عليه السلام. Adam عليه السلام also did Qurbani but Ulama explained that the sacrifice of Ibrahim عليه السلام was specified due to the magnitude of His submission to Allah. He was willing to sacrifice his own son, that is not a small matter.

This shows that whilst we should get into the spirit of Qurbani, we must not overlook the purpose of it all. The purpose is to please Allah by sacrificing with taqwa. Allah himself says that the meat will not reach Him, only the taqwa in our hearts will. It is this taqwa that will lead to acceptance. Taqwa means to fear Allah and to follow His commands as a result of it. Below are five ways that we can ensure our actual Qurbani is done with Taqwa:

  1. Protect the gaze: In Qurbani it is makrooh for us to allow one animal to see another animal getting slaughtered. Many people are cautious of this, ensuring that the animals are kept separate. Yet we allow our inner animal to see our sister in laws, the neighbour’s daughter and other women. If we allow a sheep to see another it is makrooh, but if we look at another strange woman it is haram. The sheep will not get a sin but we will so be careful in this regard.
  2. Backbiting: This is common on Eid day, people backbite about the way someone does Qurbani. Remember we all have our own techniques. It is fine to disagree on a matter but there is no need to overstep the line and backbite.
  3. Boasting and drawing comparisons: People boast about how much they spend on their Qurbani animal, comparing it with others. Your wealth does not reach Allah, so why boast? Furthermore, wealth is merely a gift from Allah and He will give and take as He pleases. So what is there to boast about?
  4. Photography and videoing: Some people follow a fatwa that photography is permissible. Despite this, it makes absolutely no sense to video yourself slaughtering. Allah has allowed for us to take the life of an animal to fulfil our waajib Qurbani and to earn in the process. Why do we turn it into a movie, making videos and sharing it on Facebook, boasting about our knives and slaughtering techniques? Think about it, ask yourself the reason as to why you are recording. It is done to show off and showing off reduces our hard earned rewards.
  5. Salaah: Many people miss Salah on Eid day. Some present the excuse that blood fell on my shirt making it dirty.Thus I was unable to attend Jamat. However, we know that our clothes will get dirty in the process. Brother, what else were you expecting, a bunch of flowers? Obviously, when you slaughter blood will be all over the place. Therefore, carry a clean set of clothing, change and then attend the masjid. Do not miss Salah, that excuse is not valid in the sight of Allah.
  6. Anger: Many people fall prey to anger and even become vulgar while carrying out our Qurbani thus reducing our reward and adding to our sins. We should be wary not to fall prey to anger.

May Allah enable us to act with taqwa and may He accept our sacrifices as a result of it, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 29/08/17 in Masjide Ayesha, Marburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.)

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.)

6 Ahadeeth: Forgiveness of sins for One performing Hajj

1. Hazrat Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrates that Rasulullah ﷺ said: “Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of pleasing Allah and does not utter any obscene words, nor commits any evil action shall return from it as free from sin as the day his mother gave birth to him.” (Bukhari #1521 and Muslim #1350 – Mishkaat 1/221)

2. Hazrat Ibnu Shammasah رضي الله عنه narrates that we were present around Hazrat Amr ibnul Aas رضي الله عنه when he was in his last moments. He cried for a long time and then related the story of his embracing Islam. He said: “When Allah caused Islam to enter my heart, I came to Rasulullah ﷺ and said: ‘O Rasulullah ﷺ! Put forth your hand that I may swear allegiance.’ When Rasulullah ﷺ stretched forth his hand, I withheld my hand. Rasulullah ﷺ inquired: ‘What troubles you O Amr?’ I said: ‘I want to lay down a condition that Allah shall forgive my previous sins.’ Rasulullah ﷺ replied: ‘O Amr, do you then not know that Islam washes away all sins committed in disbelief, and that the Hijrah washes away all sins committed before it, and that Hajj destroys all sins committed before it.” (Muslim #121)

3. Hazrat Abdullah ibn Umar رضي الله عنه narrates that Rasulullah ﷺ said: “When you meet a Haaji (on his way home) then greet him, shake hands with him and ask him to beg forgiveness of Allah on your behalf before he enters his home, because his dua for forgiveness is accepted since he is forgiven by Allah for his sins.” (Musnad Ahmad #5372, #6112, Mishkaat 1/223)

4. Hazrat Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrates from Nabi ﷺ that he said: “The Haaji and the one who makes Umrah are members of the delegation of Allah. If they make Duaa to Allah, Allah answers them. If they ask Allah for forgiveness, Allah forgives them.” (Sunan ibn Majah #2892, Mishkaat 1/222)

5. Hazrat Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrates that Rasulullah ﷺ once made Duaa: “O Allah, forgive the sins of the Haaji and forgive the sins of the one for whom the Haaji seeks forgiveness.” (Mustadrak al Haakim #1612)

6. It is reported that Hazrat Umar رضي الله عنه said: “The Haaji has the forgiveness of Allah until the 20th of Rabiul Awwal. The one who he seeks forgiveness for is also forgiven in this time. (Ithaaf)

Jannah is the reward for Hajj

Hazrat Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrates that Rasulullah ﷺ said: “Umrah to Umrah is an atonement for what is between it. There is no reward for a righteous Hajj except Jannah.” (Bukhari #1773, Muslim #1349, Mishkaat 1/221)

The article above has been taken from here.)

8 points to remember on the day of Aashura

muharam

Monday 10th October/ 8th of  Muharram 1438

From an informal talk by Hazrat Moulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله, addressing the ladies in the ladies classes. Below are some points taken:

The authentic events that took place on the day of Aashura/10th of Muharram

1. Hazrat Moosa عليه السلام was protected by Allah ﷻ from firawn and his army.

2. Hazrat Nooh عليه السلام was protected by ALLAH ﷻ from drowning in the floods.

3. It is more meritorious  to fast  on the 9th and 10th of Muharram, than the 10th and 11th of Muharram.

4. It is makrooh to fast only on one day which is the 10th of Muharram the day of Aashura.

5. The day of Aashura is a day  when Muslims are supposed to be happy. When we are happy  we show gratitude to Allah ﷻ by keeping fasts and making extra Ibaadah.

6. There is no specific type of food that should/needs to be prepared.

7. The husband/the father who has dependents should be more generous on the day of Aashura. For example if he gves his wife 1000 rands/pounds nafaqa, then on the day of Aashuraa, he should give her something extra and to his unmarried children.

8. Moulana mentions we are stretching expenditure on Aashura too much by giving gifts to family, friends e.t.c. One can spend something on one’s married daughters as they are one’s immediate family. However we must not make it a formal exchange of gifts. If we want to give gifts to others, give at another time. Don’t consider it compulsory to give on aashura! We must break all these customs that are creeping in.

May Allah ﷻ give me and the rest of the Ummah hidayah to act upon what has been said, Aameen.

Please note: The events at Karbala have no bearing on Aashura as they took place after Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم. Therefore, always remain on the Sunnah  as when we go off we can cause a lot of problems.

Qurbani

An animal slaughtered on any other day does not enjoy the same sanctity as an animal slaughtered for Qurbani. The animal slaughtered for Qurbani is a treasure of Taqwa to the soul of a Muslim. Taqwa in slaughtering consists of five parts:

1. Form a noble intention: Allah’s Command shall be carried out with joy and enthusiasm! Nay, Allah’s command, even before being carried out, is received with ecstasy and jubilation. Qurbani days are here! A Muslim bows happily to Allah’s Will, his intention is filled with humility and hope. A Muslim loves and adores his Allah. So now his Allah commands that slaughter and take a life for My Pleasure. Do it for Me with love, fear and humility. It’s not the flesh or blood that counts; it’s the heart and taqwa that counts and the roots of Taqwa lie in an environment of Taqwa.

2. Keep the environment halaal:  A corrupt environment breeds a corrupt mentality and fosters evil habits. A corrupt environment is Shaytaan’s playground. A corrupt environment increases the evil power of the Nafs. This is why the environment for Qurbani should be filled with holiness and piety, devoid of intermingling between males and females. Qurbani is not a fashion parade for women nor is it macho-time for men. It is an action bred from taqwa so ensure that the environment is free from immodesty, raucous laughter, flirting, videoing, music, bragging and boasting.

3. Pick the right animal: Allah watches to see if the animal is worthy of His Choice. Therefore there are specifications and age restrictions to the type of animals that Allah will accept. For example, Allah’s chosen animal should not be blind, deaf or paralyzed, the animal should be comforted and not frightened. The animal should be treated with compassion and kindness, not brutalized and stunned in a barbaric-style. Also, it should be made to face the direction of the House of Allah and not the direction of convenience chosen by kuffaar companies.

4. Slaughtering and reflecting: Perhaps, the slaughterer’s taqwa commenced some months ago when he started saving for his Qurbani and searching for an animal. His appearance reinforced his taqwa when he stopped pairing his nails and stopped cutting his hair. This may be shabby to the creation, but in the Sight of Allah, he is most handsome.

He steps forward with sleeves rolled-up and with a heart beating. In front of him for a fleeting moment flashes a scene from another time. A time when a man was commanded to slaughter his only son. With a sharp knife in his hands, he stepped forth to his blindfolded son and firmly took hold of his throat. A time when a man with a firm heart and with all the strength of a Nabi’s blessed, powerful taqwa-filled hands abided to His Friend – Allah’s – Commands. O ibrahim عليه السلام! May Allah have Mercy and forever send His peace upon you, what a worthy and spiritual grandfather you were to us! Worthy you are indeed of your name to be taken in every two rakaat Salaah four times, by every Muslim in every corner of the world!

The slaughterer not only slaughters the animal. The slaughterer seeks the innocence of that animal by slaughtering his Nafs. Whilst the blood gushes forth from the animal, purifying it, nafsaani evil “gushes” forth from the slaughterer’s nafs, purifying it. He also becomes purified according to his intention. His Qurbani was one of taqwa and now he too has passed a test. Therefore just like Ibrahim عليه السلام was rewarded, this simple bondsman will also be rewarded.

5. The rewards of passing the test: O friends! Know well that with every good, virtuous feat and deed of Ibaadah, comes both material and spiritual rewards. Know well too, that the material rewards are not restricted to this worldly life. When we sin, we pay if there is no remorse or regret. When we are obedient, we reap reams of Allah’s Mercy in the form of peace of mind and tranquility.

After Qurbani this meat becomes halal, so eat and enjoy this blessing from Allah. Qurbani was made and the soul soars to a higher level where it will now dwell and enjoy the Divine Presence. Spiritually a person is fortified to meet the challenges of shaytaan and the Nafs. As for rewards in the hereafter, for every hair or fibre of wool a reward is assured, inshaAllah. The hooves and horns shall be weighed on the scales. What joy will there be at the dipping scales and what radiance will there be glowing from the face!

Even as the slaughterer casts a last glance at his shuddering dying Qurbani animal, he leaves it with hope in his heart. For he knows, as only a Muslim can know, that it is not the last time he has seen this animal. There remains one final meeting; a meeting of tremendous significance and great importance.

In order to enter Jannah, a Muslim has to cross a Bridge which spans Jahannam. This Bridge is thinner than a hair and sharper than a blade, to traverse it will take 15,000 years! It is at this decisive bridge where a Muslim will see his Qurbani animal awaiting him. How great will his joy be when he mounts his Qurbani animal which will speed over Jahannam and deposit him at the gates of Jannah!

May Allah accept the Qurbani of the entire Ummah and may our Qurbaani be a means of us attaining Taqwa. Ameen

– Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(The above is an edited, shortened version of an article on Hazrat’s website from a few years back. The original article can be viewed here.)

Understanding Zakah

zakah

THE PURPOSE OF ZAKAH

Overtime the love for wealth settles in the heart of man. A person who gives zakah happily, it removes the rust of love for wealth that sets upon his heart. Zakah is a means of purifying these rusted hearts of ours.

Therefore, do not regard it as a payment we give from our own pockets. Rather, it is a contribution that we give, from the money Allah blessed us with. We are giving back money that was never ours, back to where it belongs. It is a small contribution in this dunya, yet a great contribution towards our aakhirah. So do not regard it as a burden either.

A hadeeth states that a time will come when people will regard Zakah as a tax.

We should not be from amongst these people. The one who frowns his forehead upon a poor person seeking Zakah, will have his forehead branded on the day of judgement. The one turns his side when a poor person comes seeking Zakah, will have his side branded on the day of judgement. The one who does not give Zakah, it will take the form of a snake which will bite him on the day of judgement, saying that I am the wealth which you did not give!

Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه explained the importance of Zakah beautifully. Hazrat gave an example of a person suffering from water retention in his body, causing his body to appear fat. Even though water is healthy, nobody will call him healthy. The one who exercises and loses weight is considered healthy. Likewise, taking out Zakah from our wealthy keeps us spiritually fit. If we do not pay, outwardly it may seem like our money is increasing. But in reality, it is a diseases which will lead to many financial and spiritual problems.

ZAKATABLE ASSETS:

1) Gold or Silver – in the Hanafi Madhab, we give Zakah on our gold and silver, even if we do not regularly use them. Often we get widows who have no wealth but they have jewellery. They take zakah, but their wedding ring or gold set is more than the value of nisab. So she cannot accept Zakah, rather, she has to give Zakah. If she has no cash to give, she should sell a portion of her jewellery and give her Zakah. She cannot avoid Zakah saying her jewellery has sentimental value so she cannot sell it. We cannot avoid our deeni obligations due to our dunyawi attachments.

2) Cash – For a shop owner, this includes all the coins in your shop tills. For those who have foreign currency, this includes the 100 riyals we have leftover from our Umrah trip. We only consider it money again when we fly over. but for Zakah, we have to include foreign currency in our cash before calculating Zakah.

3) Stock in trade

4) Money that is owed to us – If someone owes us, we give zakah on that too. If we have waived the payment for any reason, then there is no zakah due.

5) Shares in a business

NON-ZAKATABLE ASSETS:

🔹Metals other than gold and silver – For example, we do not give zakah platinum and diamonds, regardless of how expensive they may be. Diamond is not wealth, man placed value on it. Wealth is gold and silver. So deen does not acknowledge diamonds. Therefore, a lady will pay the good part of her ring, not the diamond.

🔹Property, land and buildings – We will only pay zakah on this if it is rented and generating income.

🔹Appliances – No matter how many Russell Hobbs and Kenwood appliances a lady may have, she does not pay zakah. The same applies to the tools of an artist or fixtures and fittings in a business.

🔹Personal items – Watches, jackets, shoes e.t.c.

MISCELLANEOUS RULES PERTAINING TO ZAKAH:

🔸For every 30 years in the Gregorian calendar, it is 31 years in the Hijri calendar. Therefore, to avoid missing one years of zakah every thirty years, it is important to calculate the zakatable year using the Hijri calendar.

🔸Most people fix Ramadan to pay zakah but our payment should actually be given 1 year after they day we become an owner of nisab. Even if our money fluctuates, pay zakah on whatever you have, on that day.

🔸Zakah empowers people. If you find someone eligible for Zakah with many debts, battling to pay it all off with his small business, then it is better to give Zakah to him so you can pay off his debts and he can prosper. A few years down the line, he will be assisting another person struggling like he was. I have seen this happen many times. If it is not possible to find a recipient of Zakah yourself, then you may pass your Zakah money to a good organisation, that does not break the laws of Allah.

🔸The recipient of Zakah may do as he wishes with the money, we cannot dictate how he should spend it.

🔸If a husband pays on behalf of the wife and children, then before he even gives the Zakah, he must inform them first and they must agree first.

🔸Apart from ascendants and descendants, you may give Zakah to struggling family members like brothers or sisters. This is better, as we should always assist our families first.

– Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(The above is an extract from a lecture delivered by Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)