Category Archives: Miscellaneous

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.)

Does Nabi ﷺ know us all personally?

Nabi ﷺ was shown the whole Ummah. When we recite durood it is presented to him and he knows whose durood is being presented. Therefore, there is a great possibility that Nabi ﷺ knows us all personally. Furthermore, we know that he will be able to recognise us. Those who do whudu regularly, on the day of Judgement the limbs they washed will be shining. This will be our ID card to show we are followers of the Sunnah.

The Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم once asked Nabi ﷺ, “How will you recognise us on the day of Judgement?” He replied, “Say if a man has white-footed horses with white foreheads among horses which are pure black, will he not recognize his own horses?” They said; “Certainly, O Messenger of Allah ﷺ!” He said, “They (my followers) will come with bright faces and white limbs because of Wudu and I will arrive at the Haud (Al-Kauthar) ahead of them.” [Muslim]

This hadeeth shows that those who commit to whudu and prayer, their shining limbs will make them recognisable to Nabi ﷺ. As a result of this, they will be blessed to drink from his hands. Nabi ﷺ further said that those who wish to increase their shine must do so. In other words, complete your whudu properly. After hearing this Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه started washing his hands up to his shoulders, rather than his elbow. This was due to his firm conviction in the words of Nabi ﷺ. Likewise, we must also make an effort to commit to prayer and whudu so that we can also be amongst the recognised ones.

May Allah bless us to be amongst those fortunate souls, Ameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s dhikr majlis on 02/03/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg.)

Work your way up in Business

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I remember years back, some ulama asked me to be the chairman for their society. I consulted Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه who advised me to refuse the offer explaining that in the Jameat office, he started off packing hampers. Then after some time and experience he took on a higher post, and once he mastered that he took a post higher until eventually, he became chairman for the society. From this we learn that in any business or organisation, we must work right at the bottom first, and then work our way up.

This will allow us to thoroughly understand each stage and department in our organisations. Otherwise, if an individual goes straight for the chairman seat he will be unaware of how each department works, leading him to making the wrong decisions. Furthermore, people will be able to pull the wool over his eyes easily because this man may be a chairman, but he has no clue what goes on at grass root levels, he’s too high up to see and notice what the labourers see and notice!

Many times, we see a young person go into his dad’s business but he wants to work in the office immediately. No, this is not the way it works. First, he must be given a broom and he should sweep the floor. Then he can pack the shelves, offload the van and do stock rotation. Slowly he will work his way up until eventually, when the time is right, he will become experienced enough to sit in the office and meet the representatives and seniors.
That opportunity will come but first, our sons should start off from the bottom, learning what the business is all about.

When a person goes straight to the top, he will not appreciate what the labourers do because he hasn’t done it himself. But for example, if he has experienced offloading, he will know how long it takes. Say it took your son half an hour. Now when your son reaches the chairman seat and his employers are taking an hour, he will know they’re wasting time. But if they’ve been away for 15 minutes, he will understand that they need more time. So rather than shouting, he would be empathetic.

Often rather than our sons requesting a senior position, we as parents make the mistake of putting our sons right at the top. That’s why the business goes down; the father spends a lifetime struggling and working his way up in someone else’s shop, and now years later, he’s successfully running his very own business. But when he brings his son into the business, he says that my son is a prince, he can’t sweep or pack shelves…he’s going to go straight to the office! That’s a mistake – this son will never understand the business that way. Plus, it is possible that pride and arrogance will enter the heart of this child.

So we must first give them an opportunity to learn from the bottom, otherwise, how will they teach others from the top?

May Allah grant us all the tawfiq, Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(The above is an extract from Hazrat’s majlis on 14/4/2016.)

Hazrat’s reflections on his Umrah trip

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Hazrat went for Umrah and returned a few days ago. On 10/4/2017 in his dhikr majlis, Hazrat shared His reflections on the journey and lessons that we can all benefit from. Below is a written summary of that majlis. When the full audio is uploaded on taqwa.co, we will link it here inshaAllah

Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه would say that if you go to Niagara falls with a bucket, you can collect plenty of water within seconds. However, your bucket will never fill if you were to hold it upside down, even if you stood there for years. Haramain Shareefain has so much anwaraat, Islam spread from these places. The seeds of deen were planted in Makkah Mukarramah, watered with blood and sacrifice, but the flowers bloomed in Madinah Munawwarah.

The fragrance of these flowers were so strong, it reached the four corners of the world. Now, if Allah allows us to visit the source of the fragrance of Islam and it does not permeate and change our hearts, then we must really question, what is wrong with us? This fragrance is so strong it has changed the world, why then are we not impacted?

We intended having some programmes in Madina Munawarrah but when we arrived the hotel was full, and none of the people who I travelled with had an apartment to accommodate. In the midst of this dilemma, we left to visit the haram and I came across a brother there who was from South Africa too.

I did not recognise him but he approached me and reminded me how we met years ago. Then he told me that he had an apartment with big rooms and he would be happy for us to conduct our programmes there. He gave us exactly what we needed. SubhanAllah…do you see how if you make a small effort, Allah will open the doors for you? He will create the means for you, we just have to try and put our trust in Him.

We have it so easy compared to those that came before us. For example, yesterday we left Madina Munawwarah and after some delays, we reached home around 24 hours later. We felt tired but it made me wonder how kind Allah is. We left yesterday and we returned home today. In the prophetic era, they travelled for months on camels with little food. Our akaabireen would travel on donkey or by ship for many weeks before reaching their destination. Travel was not easy, you can read these stories in ‘Aap Beti’. They had to make such great sacrifices but for us, we have it easy. We must thank Allah for this.

Whilst we were there, in the programmes in Madinah Munawwarah one of the points we mentioned was about taking gifts home. Most parents that come here desire to take gifts back home for their children. We tend to buy scarves, toys, gadgets or other items for them. But the speciality of the holy lands is that it caused Imaan, deen and the Sunnah to spread across the world, therefore, these are the greatest gifts we can bring back for our children. We visited haramain shareefain to change, so bring this change home. Constantly ask yourself that am I improving in deen? Am I bringing new Sunnahs into my life?

Out of love many people focus on the structures and buildings there, but these big mimbars were not present during the prophetic era. The Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم did not see them yet their hearts were filled with love for deen because their focus was on Allah and His rasool, not the buildings and their structures. Nowadays people say they are ‘die-hard’ Manchester United fans, but as believers our concern must be: are we die-hard followers and lovers of Nabi ﷺ?

If we are, then everything in Madina Munawarrah will become beloved to us. Before leaving Madina Munawwarah Hazrat رحمة الله عليه would always say: O land of Madina Munawarrah! If only I could put you in my eyes. You are a Jannat of Nabi ﷺ. May Allah bless us and make us amongst those who love and follow Him.

In our hotel we met a brother from Paris. He was a young man who told us that his heart feels very heavy leaving such a beautiful place. Speaking to him made me think that in life, there are many types of sugars that one can consume but until you do not mix it with something, you cannot enjoy its sweetness. Likewise, the love of Nabi ﷺ has to be mixed in our lives and shown in our actions. Then, its sweetness will enter our hearts in the right proportion. But if we do not follow the Sunnah and just claim to be lovers, we will eventually fall into bidat.

Therefore, this love may be sweet but it will become detrimental for our spiritual health, just like a teaspoon of sugar may be sweet but it is detrimental for your physical health, because it is an overload of sweetness. Like this young man naturally, we will all leave with a heavy heart but we must remember to direct our love towards following the beloved.

Don’t just accumulate the sugar by listening to dhikr and poetry and desiring to enter into a state of ecstasy or kafiyyat. That is not the goal, the goal is to follow the practical lessons, to mix it in our lives and the result will be adhering more to the Sunnah.

Another great lesson we learnt there is that a believer must have himmat. He must muster the courage and will power to change and then Allah will grant him the ability to do so. Umrah can be challenging but like everything in life, the determined ones will find a way to overcome it, the rest will find an excuse to avoid it.

May Allah grant us the tawfiq to follow the Sunnah and to implement these lessons, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

Music: A major sin that leads to more sins

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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.)

 

The increase of disunity in the Ummah

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Fitna will increase as we get closer to the Day of Judgement. One form of this fitna is sin. Another form of this fitna is disunity. A hadeeth states that Imam Mehdi will only come to Earth when the Ummah is completely fragmented.  At present, though the Ummah may be quite disunited, every group still adheres to one leader. Whether it’s in the field of Tasawwuf, Ilm or Tableegh…each group has its leader. A time will come when there will be no leader at all, which is when the Ummah will be ready for Imam Mahdi to make his appearance.

If we live we will see this Ummah disunite further into even more fragments. During such times, it is important to remain neutral, to guard our tongue and to not express joy/happiness over the downfall over another group. You may have had an argument with someone from another group and now their Islamic work is taking a knock (i.e. regressing). Do not take joy in watching this.

Sometimes, we are ignorant in thinking that Tassawuf, Darul Ulooms and Tableegh are separate works. So if tableeghi work goes downhill, those in the field of tassawuf suggest that it’s due to lack of Islaah. Hence they have gone downhill. This is an incorrect attitude. Remember, the work of deen is not confined to a person. If any dispute takes place in that work, then we should keep the Islamic work above that dispute. It is above any dispute, we should continue serving deen. Back in the days, Darul Uloom Deoband in India had great disputes. But did the entire Darul Uloom come crumbling down? No.

Therefore, always remain neutral in times of dispute, and make dua that Allah protects this Ummah from fitna. When shaytaan makes such a concerted effort to break up the works of deen, we should become even more adamant to preserve it. Because we are working together not against each other, so if anyone’s work breaks down, a weakness will enter into our work of deen. Then it will be detrimental for all of us.

May Allah gant us the tawfiq to make amal, aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from a speech delivered by Hazrat in Pietermaritzburg on 7/2/2017. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)

Valentine’s day

pink hearts

There are many people who feel the need to express their love on this day. Men say that I do not have an illicit beloved therefore I am not doing anything haraam, I am merely taking my wife out for dinner! I am going to buy roses for her, I am going to buy a ring for her…it is for my wife, not anybody else! So how can this be wrong? my wife is my Valentine’s.

We have the womenfolk who are also guilty (of encouraging husbands to recognise and celebrate Valentine’s day). They know a man very conveniently forgets these dates because it is expensive for them. Womenfolk are sharp, when the radio is playing and they say something on Valentine’s, she puts it a little bit louder so her husband can hear. Or if there is a newspaper with an article on Valentine’s day, she puts that newspaper in his way to ensure that he sees it. On the day she may ask him, “Hey, what is the date today?” she does not ask any other day but on that day she is curious. Why? So if he has forgotten, he can make last minute arrangements.

Now this is all Shaytan’s plot. Allah has permitted and encouraged us to show love everyday, so why choose this day specifically? The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said that whoever resembles a nation, he will be counted from amongst them.

Therefore, if we anticipate Valentine’s day and encourage the public sin by celebrating ourselves, we will be counted amongst them on the day of judgement. Do we really want this? If the founder of Valentine’s day died upon disbelief, the poor fellow is busy frying now. Do we actually want to follow his footsteps and fry too in the hereafter?

Look into the history of Valentine’s and you will find filthy customs took place on this day. We need to ask ourselves; does this day have anything to do with our deen and sunnah? No. However, we will find links with Christianity, atheism and polytheism. Therefore, those men who are intending to impress their wives on this day and those women who are expecting their husbands to impress them on this day, should make tawba (i.e. repent). Because we know that Valentine’s day has nothing to do with deen but it has got everything to do with shirk! Its origins are soaked in shirk.

Remember, a believer must make sabr. And a part of making sabr is to stay very far away from things that have nothing to do with deen. And this Valentine’s nonsense is definitely one of them.

May Allah safeguard us, Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(The above is a transcript of Hazrat’s short lecture on Valentine’s day. To listen to that short audio clip, please click here.)

The importance of accepting deen in totality

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When an enemy invades a country, they try to control the airbase and airport first. This is done in an attempt to prevent medical, military and emergency aid from entering into the land. If they are successful, the people within this land will become trapped and deprived of possible aid and supplies. Now, the enemy has officially taken over. Now, the enemy can easily bring in their own weaponry and people to defeat the country.

Similarly, Allah promises us aid in the form of ‘sakeenah’, which means peace. But often this sakeenah cannot land in the hearts of believers, because shaytan has taken over the airport of heart. We are no longer at peace. In an attempt to regain a sense of contentment, we begin following the ways of the kuffar. We start dressing like them, conducting our weddings like them, and then we call these weddings “walimas”. We are making a mockery of this deen of Allah. How can we sit comfortably in a walima like this, knowing the sunnah is being trampled upon?

It is because the heart is taken over. Our heart is in the hand of shaytan, so he gives us comfort in that which would have caused the pious discomfort. Sakeenah is not landing, Iman is not increasing and deen is not giving us peace. So how do we regain peace and control over our heart? By entering deen into totality. A believer will only find happiness and contentment when he turns to deen in totality. We cannot accept deen part time, we have to accept it full time.

Sometimes when our environment changes, our attitude towards deen changes too. A young person may have committed certain sins with his old friends but as he enters into adulthood, he gives up his past sins and Allah guides him to the straight path. Now after a while when he meets up with these old friends; all of the sudden, he feels that he must play the role that he played the last time he was with them. All of a sudden, he feels that he cannot practise deen and be the person Allah has allowed him to grow into.

Allah has allowed him to become a better believer, but they do not know that..so he thinks that I will just behave like them. I need to have those conversations we used to have again. I need to do what we used to do again. This is foolishness. One minute we behave one way, the next minute we behave another way; that is the job of a chameleon, not a Muslim! If we made mistakes in the past, then that is history. Why do we feel obliged to dig up our past, and change our behaviour depending on our company?

Do we worry that people will assume us pious? I was telling my young friends today, that we will travel to Estcourt straight after maghrib Salah, rather than staying behind in the masjid to read Quran. However as we travel, there is plenty of time to read your Quran. But shaytan will make us think that my friends are here and they are all talking, how can I be reading the Quran, when they want to talk to me?

You are worried about your friends but the day you die, they will not enter your grave with you. However, those extra Quran Sharif pages will. Your conversations with them will not come into any assistance, but your conversations with Allah will. They may think you are displaying piety, let them think that, let people pass comments. People passed comments on Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم, often they were very negative. So what makes us think we will be spared?

If such negative comments were made against our sons, even if they were untrue we would still hide it. Allah loves Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم more than we love our own sons, yet, Allah does not hide these negative comments. He explicitly mentions them in the Quran for us to read. Why? To teach us a profound lesson; do not waste your time by worrying about the opinion of others, rather, invest your time by worrying about the opinion of Allah. As ultimately when we enter the home of the grave, people will not save us, only Allah will. So always prioritise Allah. Always.

“And let them not prevent you from Allah’s verses after they are sent down to you, and call [people] to your Lord, and never become one of those who associate partners with Allah.” (Surah Qassas, ayah 87)

May Allah allow us to enter deen into totality, and to remain consistent in our adherence to deen, Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(The above is an extract from a dhikr majlis delivered by Hazrat in Estcourt on 10/5/2016. To listen to the full majlis, please click here. The above picture was taken from ishaatulhaq-linnisaa.co.za)

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.)

“Rejecting gifts from God”: The worries of a Medical Student

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(Below is an extract from an upcoming book of Hazrat’s called letters of the seekers. Hazrat receives letters on a regular basis in which people seek advice on personal matters and we felt Hazrat’s wise responses would be of benefit to the wider public. Therefore we are currently gathering a small selection of these letters in this book to be published soon inshaAllah. For the sake of privacy and confidentiality, each letter was completely depersonalised before being sent to us for inclusion. We request you to make dua for its completion. JazakAllah u khair)

Asalamu alaikum. I am a 6th year medical student in university. I read a couple of books and saw some lectures on YouTube and I finally understood the reason why we are created. But even after reaching the conclusion that God creating us is a gift and eventually he will reward the righteous ones, I still can’t feel a desire to be rewarded with paradise. I don’t live a sinful life because I just don’t want to, not because of the fear of punishment. I don’t want to do anything at all and I don’t want to exist.

I politely reject his gift of being tested on earth and then rewarded in paradise. It is okay to reject someone’s gift without offending them, right? Some time ago I carried on living because I wanted him to be proud of me when I finally see him. But lately, even that desire vanished like giving up on trying to impress a parent or competing for someone’s approval. I can’t stop thinking about death and I want to put an end to my useless existence. I would greatly appreciate it if you could reply with an answer to my thinking problem. Thank you. 

Waalaikumsalaam, May Allah ﷻ make you successful in your studies, use you to benefit mankind and bless you with the best of both worlds, Aameen. Alhamdulillah, at least you were blessed to realise the reason we have been created. Many people go through life without this realisation ever dawning upon them.

You seem to be a person who looks at things very realistically, so let us analyse your thinking problem in the same way.

  1. You don’t feel the desire to be rewarded and neither do you fear hell. However, at the same time you don’t live a sinful life. Regarding this challenge, already half your battle is won as you don’t live a sinful life. Now all we have to do is find the motivation to be righteous for the pleasure of Allah ﷻ, which we will address later on.
  1. You don’t want to exist. Regarding this, there isn’t any choice. You do already exist and the only way to put an end to this existence is suicide, which is not even an option. Allah ﷻ has warned us of a severe punishment for the one who commits suicide. Now on the one hand you may not fear this, but why chance it and why choose punishment for yourself, when you could save yourself from it?
  1. It is ok to refuse a gift in a nice way. However this isn’t about refusing a gift. This is about the rules that the Almighty has laid down. We will be rewarded or punished in accordance to our compliance or non compliance of His commands and rules.
  1. You have given up on trying to make Allah ﷻ proud of you, just like one who loses the drive of trying to impress a parent. This can also be remedied, just like many disobedient, uncaring children drastically changed their lives, becoming the most obedient and caring children.
  1. You say you can’t stop thinking about death. This is a very good thing. Nabi Muhammad صلى الله علىه وسلم has exhorted us to think of death often, as this will assist us in giving up impermissible deeds.

Now you may be thinking; why should I live a righteous life and be rewarded if I do, or subjected to punishment if I don’t, when I never opted for all of this? Let’s look at your situation by means of 2 examples:

Example 1 – A doctor is employed by a hospital and has to see to the patients. One day, if the doctor just loses motivation to see to the patients and he neglects his duties, he will definitely face some disciplinary action or hearing. Now if he says to them, you can keep your salary but I just don’t feel like working anymore, the hospital will dismiss him. He will then face the difficulties of unemployment.

Now at this stage, he cannot argue that why am I being reprimanded or penalised for how I feel, because his unemployment is due to his own fault. On the other hand, if the doctor very diligently continues his duties even though he lacks motivation, not only will he continue receiving his salary and perks, he may also get a promotion and enjoy even more benefits. Now despite him not really enjoying what he is doing, he is still receiving benefits.

In the same way, we humans go through different phases and emotions in our lives. We will not be taken to task for this as long as whatever the situation is, we comply with what our Allah ﷻ wants of us. We are the creation of our Creator therefore, we are not in a position to question His authority or question His rules. He will make the rules and our function is to comply. As long as we comply we will be fine.

Example 2 – You wake up one night and find yourself in a cave. You didn’t ask for this but you are there. In front of you is a paper with some information and guidelines. It reads that further in the cave, there are some dangerous creatures that have already perceived your presence here, and are advancing towards you. Your only route to salvation is to immediately make your way to the entrance of the cave. Once you reach the outside, you will be taken to safety.

Now you can sit there and argue that why should I move? I never asked to be here in the first place. I would like to just sit here or be nonexistent. Who wants to be taken to safety? I politely refuse this offer of being taken to safety. Now you yourself will agree that at this point, these arguments are futile and if you go on like this, it will lead to your destruction once those creatures reach you. Now even though you may not fear those creatures and what they could do to you, it is still a foolish choice to remain there, when there is a way to save yourself and be protected.

Bring this example to our lives. We find ourselves in this cave called “Planet Earth” and we are being told by our Allah ﷻ that death is on its way to us. However, if we follow certain commands and abstain from certain prohibitions, our Allah ﷻ will take us to the hereafter with safety and bless us with eternal bliss. On the other hand if we fail to comply, we will be punished. Now the choice is ours. We can either argue or try to rationalise, or we can accept, comply and work towards our salvation.

You are an intelligent person and I am confident that with Allah’s help, you will make the correct choice. In order to motivate yourself try to listen to more talks on deen. Read some good Islamic Literature and keep good company. Try and pray to Allah ﷻ daily. Speak to Allah ﷻ and ask Him to remove all the negativity and guide you to Him. Please pray for me as well. I hope that there will be some benefit in this correspondence. If ever there is anything else, please feel free to correspond.

May Allah ﷻ bless you and your family with the best of both worlds, Aameen. Please remember me in your duas.

Wassalam

(Hazrat Maulana) Dawood Seedat (حفظه الله)