Category Archives: Seerah

The soft hearts of the Yemenis

hearts-of-the-yemenis

Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم described the people of Yemen as soft-hearted. But in order to maintain a balance, a person needs to know when to adopt a firm approach and when to adopt a lenient approach. Understanding this is a skill but how will we learn this art? By making mashwara with the Shaikh first before making any change in life (i.e seek his advice). Many instances, people do not do this and land themselves in trouble.

A person sent an email saying that I cannot afford to go for Umrah, but an agent is prepared to sell us a package, on the condition that we pay monthly once we return. Now this person took the right step by making mashwara first, asking if he should take the offer. He was informed that he must not because umrah is nafl, why get yourself in debt to go? Make dua to Allah ﷻ, read Ishraq salah everyday and you will get the reward of Umrah inshaAllah. Do what you can afford and do not get involved in debt.

Other times, we are given mashwara but we operate and dissect it to suit our needs. One friend asked me, “Maulana there’s a warehouse available, shall we take it?” I replied, “Do you need it?” He said, “No.” So I said, “don’t.” Then he says ”No, but I’ll need it one day!” If we are not willing to take the advice given, why ask?

Sometimes we turn to deen yet when it comes to certain aspects in our life, we are still nafsparast (slaves of our own desires). What is bayah? When a person takes bayah, he is handing his heart over to the Shaikh. Now he’s plasticine in the Shaikh’s hands, the Shaikh will mould him and shape him. Does plasticine protest against a child who shapes it? No – because it’s soft and willing to change! Likewise we need to become soft and willing to change, otherwise, how will we make our islah?

It’s easy to remove a strand of hair from plasticine, yet that same strand of hair is so difficult to pull out of cement that has hardened. In the same way if one’s heart is soft, it will be easy to remove the evil traits. But when the heart is hard, then it is extremely difficult to remove the evil traits. A hard heart is hard to work with.

So allow yourself to be moulded by the Shaikh. This is islah. Coming to the lectures alone is not islah, true islah means to rectify our hearts, ridding it of its evil qualities. Look at life differently. Look at each person as a servant of Allah ﷻ, as an ummati of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم. Is Allah ﷻ not watching me? This is an ummati, will Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم – the one who would even embrace his enemy – be happy with the way I treat His ummati?

Coming back to the topic of being firm and lenient, sometimes we don’t know when to be lenient and when to be firm. Our kids read Quran from Monday to Friday yet when they slack a little the dad says that what should I do with these kids?! I’d say, adopt a lenient approach and calm down. Other times, when the son wants to go for a braai/barbecue late at night then adopt a firm approach.

Our Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه once gave an example of a person who decided not to attend wedding functions that were conducted in halls, but his family wanted to go. So Hazrat رحمة الله عليه did not tell him to go home and shout at his family, asking them; “Why are you acting like shayaateen? You go to the function but I’m not taking you by car, you can walk there!” Rather, Hazrat رحمة الله عليه advised him to drop the family off to the wedding and then pick them up when they’re done.

This is wisdom. Why? Because his family went once or twice but this time, his wife noticed the fitna even more than usual. She started to feel guilty so she stopped going and her kids followed suit. If he was to adopt a harsh stance then yes, maybe the family wouldn’t have gone, but they’d do so begrudgingly. By adopting a lenient stance and following the advice of his Shaikh, the entire family happily gave up going to these types of functions. The problem was solved with no fuss or fight.

Once, there was a person who would watch T.V. He made talluq with a Shaikh and learnt T.V was haram. He tells his wife and she says, “no problem, I’ll stop watching but I can’t give up Dallas”. Now he doesn’t know what to do. On one hand he thinks this T.V is haram, it must go out, but then on the other hand he realises if I act harsh then why did I take bayat? So after discussing with his Shaikh, he was advised to encourage his wife to totally give up T.V but not to force her, as she was not ready just yet for this change. However, the Shaikh also told him that he must not watch and he must not sit with her while she is watching. Alhamdulillah by following the Shaikh’s advice, in a short while she gave up T.V totally and willingly.

So in the above case he had conflicting, confusing views. The solution is…I must tell my Shaikh and follow his advice. However if I’m going to follow what’s in my mind then you’re not bayat to your Shaikh, you’re bayat to your mind. What hurts the Shaikh is when the mureed does not follow his teachings, not when people talk bad about him.

Defending a Shaikh when people talk bad about him yet not following his advice is not muhabbat. This is nafsaaniyat. The Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم wanted to retaliate to those who would speak rudely to Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم but Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم responded by saying that no, don’t retaliate. So the Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم wouldn’t. Many times Umar  رضي الله عنه wanted to take out his sword but he would ask Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم first. When Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم would say no, he’d put that sword straight back into its sheath, because His mindset was…I’m not here to do what I want to do, I’m here to do what Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم told me to do. That’s what’s right.

This is what a Shaikh is for – to guide us back to the Sunnah.

So Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم said the ashariyeen were soft-hearted people. Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم further explained; due to this reason, imaan is Yemeni and wisdom is Yemeni. Meaning the hearts of these people due to its softness, will be warehouses of imaan and marifah. Fountains of ilm will flow out from this type of heart because when noor is on the inside, that will shine on the outside too. There are so many Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم here, yet Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم is saying the Yemeni heart is an embodiment of imaan.

So islaah will sort out the root problems in our lives. But for this to happen, we must become soft-hearted like the Yemenis, take the knocks in life and allow ourselves to be totally moulded and shaped in the hands of our Shaikh. Then we will see the real change happen.

May Allah soften our hearts, Aameen.

– Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

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

Barakah in wealth

greed-for-wealth

3 members from the tribe of Bani Abbas came to Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم and said that Ya Rasulullah صلي الله عليه وسلم! We have heard Islam without hijrah is not accepted. So if this is the case, can there be any blessings in our wealth and our cattle? We accepted Islam after the hijrah occurred and now we have cattle, will there ever be barakah (i.e. blessings)? If not, can we sell them, make hijrah and come back?

These were new Muslims accepting Islam, yet they had so much concern and were willing to sacrifice all their wealth…we are born Muslims, yet we bring so many unislamic practices into our businesses! And then we expect for there to be barakah. Nowadays, if a lady comes to us to become our business partner, she wants to share an office and travel overseas together, what does shaytaan tell us? He tells us that see, it is obligatory to earn a living in Islam, plus, we have Islamic institutes that we need to continue donating to.

So under this influence of shaytaan, he travels with her on an aeroplane. He spends a week with her in China, lazing with her, away from home; their bedrooms are next door to each other. Is this not a recipe for disaster? If the local Maulana and Apa planned to go abroad together to sort some madrassa work out, we would consider it hugely inappropriate. So when it comes to business why do we make excuses for it, as though it is permissible to break the commands of Allah ﷻ for the sake of earning?

Can there be any barakah in such a business? Barakah is not a lot of wealth. Barakah is having little but deriving much benefit from that. Sometimes, a man thinks he is earning money, he thinks he is really well off. But there is no peace in his life, there is no joy due to problems with children or disputes e.t.c.These problems in our lives can be due to a lack of barakah.

I was thinking yesterday that anyone who comes to me with a business dispute, I will just instruct them to go to the Jamiat office or a mufti. Because I have realised, when it comes to other problems people are prepared to take heed of any advice imparted. But business? People are not prepared to listen; some people are just so crazy for money! In a dispute someone will be wrong and someone will be right. Either we come to a compromise or the wrong party will have to take a knock on his business. But often people do not want this, their mentality is – I must not lose a single dime. If the Maulana goes against me, he must be dodgy. As for me? No, I will not compromise. This is the common mentality.

Whereas these Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم we are talking about, they are coming in 10AH and meeting Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم for the first time ever. Yet, they are prepared to get rid of all their wealth to make hijrah and be with Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم. When this is the quality of the Imaan of the people who are accepting deen in 10AH, what will be the quality of the childhood friend, who lived all his life with Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم? And what would be the quality of the Imaan of his daughter? I am referring to Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه here.

And Umar رضي الله عنه, his accepting Islam was due to the dua of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم, what would be the quality of His Imaan? These people came at 10AH, and in the very first meeting with Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم they are prepared to lose everything. So imagine the piety of those who were nurtured in company of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم!

So in response to their question, Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم replied that fear Allah ﷻ wherever you may be. Fath-e-Makkah (I.e. The time for hijrah) has taken place already so do not worry. You do not need to make hijrah rather stay where you are and Allah ﷻ will not reduce your cattle.

And in this advice of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم, lies a great lesson for us. We too must fear Allah ﷻ in our business dealings by not allowing love for wealth to control us. Shariah is not just for Maulanas, it is for everyone including business owners. So we must all follow this Shariah otherwise we will be deprived of barakah in our lives. Then we will have no one to blame, except ourselves.

May Allah ﷻ remove the love for wealth from our hearts Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(The above is an extract from 2 lectures delivered by Hazrat last week. To listen to the full audio clips, please click here and here. To listen to the shortened audio clip, please click here)