Category Archives: Quran

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.

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.)

Believers VS. hypocrites

JR - hypocrites

(Below is an extract from last week’s Jumah lecture. To listen to the full audio, please click here)

In the Quran Sharif in surah Noor, verse 40-51, Allah ﷻ speaks about the characteristics of the Munafiqoon/the hypocrites. He begins by saying, “We have surely sent down clear-cut ayahs, and Allah guides whom He wills to the straight path. They say, “We have believed in Allah and in the messenger and have adopted obedience”, [but] then a group from them goes back after all this. Those are no believers.”

So why are they not true believers when, like us, this group of people also claim to posses faith? Allah ﷻ continues to explain their plight.

“When they are summoned to Allah and His messenger so that judgement may be passed between them, a group of them turns away.” Why? Because they don’t want a ruling that will cause worldly loss! So when it goes against their own whims and hidden agendas, they turn away from the rulings of deen. But ”If the right is theirs, they would come to Him as [if they are] submissive ones.”

Then Allah ﷻ asks, “Do they have a sickness in their hearts, or do they have doubt [due to which they are unable to accept the overriding decree of Allah Ta’ala], or do they fear that Allah and His messenger will do injustice to them? [No, they don’t,] Rather they themselves are the unjust.”

So this ayah was revealed because in the Prophetic era, there was a man who would attend salah and the gatherings of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم. However, he was not a Muslim, he was a hypocrite! So why did he follow deen outwardly, yet harbor hypocrisy inwardly? Because he was deeply engrossed in the love of the world and thus like all hypocrites, his only concern was worldly gain. So if a battle would lead to the acquisition of booty, the hypocrites were eager to join, yet they backed out from battles like Uhud! When sacrifice for the sake of Allah ﷻ was required, they were nowhere to be seen.

So these hypocrites were selective in deen, they used to follow deen when it would suit them. From this example, we must ask ourselves, how much am I doing for Allah ﷻ? Am I in Allah’s deen for my own benefit? Or am I here for Allah ﷻ alone…am I sincere? There are so many cases where people only give preference to deen when it suits them, otherwise they hanker after the dunya. In the case of inheritance, you find a man cannot attend the masjid for fajr salah, yet when it comes to dividing his dad’s wealth, he is suddenly eager to uphold the laws of Shariah. Why? Because he knows if he does, he will get a bigger slice of the cake! So is he really worried about shariah, or is he worried about filling his pockets?

We mustn’t be like this. Don’t pick and choose; don’t enter a few fingers into deen, leaving the rest of your body hanging on the other side. True believers, when they are called to the hukm of Allah ﷻ and Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم immediately they say we have heard and obeyed. They are not looking for loopholes. Nor are they greedy. Rather, true believers are sincere; they are willing to follow deen even if it means they have to endure a few knocks and trials! Their only concern is that how do I make my Allah ﷻ happy? What must I do to please him?

The Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم epitomised this level of sincere devotion to Allah ﷻ. A Sahabi invested all his wealth in a wine business before wine became haram. In those days Arabs would drink more wine than water, so it was as good as cash. Now this Sahabi was on his way back to madina with a caravan full of fresh wine, ready to sell on the market. However on his return someone stopped him and inquired that what are you doing with this wine?! Allah ﷻ has just declared wine to be haram for us, so we are not allowed this item anymore!

Immediately, the Sahabi covered up his stock of wine, left it in the mountains, and returned to Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم without it. He explained his situation to Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم, how he invested every last penny into this business and now he has nothing left…how he didn’t know it to be haram when buying it. Despite his dilemma, Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم reiterated that it is now haram and selling leftover stock will fall under this category. Upon hearing this, the Sahabi obediently returned to the mountains and destroyed his stock…no ifs, not buts, He heard and He obeyed!

So in every facet of life, the Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم were willing to sacrifice for the sake of Allah ﷻ. Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم didn’t just call them stars for nothing. They were called stars because whatever they did they were committed, dedicated and sincere! This is how they delivered and years on, still deliver the message of deen.

In contrast to the hypocrites, Allah ﷻ then speaks of the character of an obedient person. “And whosoever obeys Allah and His messenger, fears Allah and keeps his duty [to Him], they are the successful ones.”

Umar رضي الله عنه was in masjid nabawi when a man came, stood next to him and began reciting the shahadah.  Umar رضي الله عنه responds saying that what’s wrong? The man said that I’m well versed in the Torah, Zabur and Injeel. But I’ve come across an ayah in the Quran which I haven’t found elsewhere. The man then began reciting this ayah and explained; being obedient to Allah ﷻ refers to accepting all of His commands and the teachings of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم, both positive and negative.

Thereafter comes “fear Allah”. The man wisely explained that this is with regards to the past life, we must always be afraid of the mistakes we made and the sins we have incurred over the years. And with regards to the present and future, we must learn from the past and adopt taqwa. And this taqwa will lead to good deeds and then, only then, does Allah ﷻ say we can be successful! This success refers to salvation from the fire…not dollars and pounds or paper money! True success comes from Allah ﷻ in the form of His pleasure, salvation and entry into Jannah.

So if we want to be successful in deen, we must become like the Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم. We must listen to, and obey the commands of Allah ﷻ, learn to sacrifice for the pleasure of the one who created you. And how is this art learnt? By attending deeni programmes. We travel the world for dunya, isn’t it time we travelled in search of deen too?

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

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله