Category Archives: Social etiquettes

Why can’t we invite non-Muslims to our weddings, funerals or the Ka’bah?

The question may come to mind – why can’t we invite non-Muslims to our Nikaahs and Janaazahs or to the Kabah? The reason why is because we need Allah’s mercy most in these times, but the disbelief in their hearts attract the wrath of Allah. Sometimes during a Janaazah, non-Muslims wish to attend to pay their respects. They can visit the home but if they attend the actual Janaazah, their presence will deprive the deceased of Allah’s mercy, as their presence attracts His wrath.

Janaazah and Nikaahs are worship and for that to be accepted, we cannot mix it with those that do not worship. Having said that, we must be extremely wise and careful in how we do this. Never hurt the feelings of others. Handle the situation with love and consideration, do not break hearts or burn bridges. The way to do this is to invite them at other times and to always treat them well. This is how we remain balanced – by fulfilling their rights but keeping our worship separate.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is a short point Hazrat made in his Jum’ah talk on 28/7/17. To listen to the full talk, please click here.)

Lessons from the life of Ml. Yunus Patel (RA): Simplicity and Sincerity

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Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم was gifted some food and after eating, Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم returned the bowl empty. He did not fill the bowl with another dish. From this we learn that it is not necessary to give food back when we return someone’s container. If someone has given us food, eat it and then return the container back to its rightful owner. If you have some food, give if you wish, but don’t feel obliged and burdened to fill the container, assuming it’s below your standards and dignity to return it empty.

That person might be waiting for their container, whilst you’re clutching onto it just because you haven’t had the chance to fill it with food yet! When a baby is born many times ladies want to delay the visit or not even visit at all…why? Because they haven’t prepared a gift yet! Or they consider it below their dignity to go without an expensive gift. This is incorrect and against the grain of the Sunnah. Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم didn’t have one wife…Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم had nine! They could’ve easily cooked something up, but Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم didn’t make ‘filling the container’ a compulsory act in deen, so they gave it just like that, empty.

Be sincere. Give if you wish, but do it for the sake of Allah not to preserve your respect amongst the ladies in the community. Whenever I went to meet Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه in His house or madrassa, he would always gift me something before I left. To the extent that he kept bags of crisps in his office and if there was nothing to give, Hazrat would give crisps.

Now look at this level of sincerity and humility; Hazrat never assumed gifting a cheap packet of crisps below His standards! A child giving crisps is one thing but for an adult, many would consider it an embarrassment. However Hazrat was so sincere in His aims, He never saw it that way. He never considered it below His dignity.

Sometimes if I dropped by to Hazrat’s house, they would feed me a good meal or exotic chocolates. Other times, he would ask that what’s there in the cupboard? He would gift whatever was inside, small or big. The point is Hazrat’s objective was amal, not preserving His respect or sense of dignity in the community. Hazrat’s gaze was on the sunnah, not on people. He would gift for the sake of Allah, not to show off or outdo others.

Once I left Hazrat and I was walking away from Hazrat’s house. As I walked, I noticed car lights flashing behind me. I stopped to turn, and saw a brother rushing towards me. He came and gave me a miswak stick saying that Hazrat has sent me to give this to you. That day Hazrat hadn’t given anything and as soon as he remembered, he sent this brother to give a miswak stick.

This is the sincerity and humility that we should all aspire to inculcate in our lives. May Allah grant us the tawfiq to learn from the akabireen and make Amal upon the sunnah like they did, Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

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

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.)

Lessons from the life of Ml. Yunus Patel (RA): The etiquette of giving gifts

 

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Musahafah is an act of worship. Nabi ﷺ said that there are no two Muslims who meet and shake hands with one another, except that they will be forgiven before they part. Therefore, to place money in one’s palm and to hand it over whilst shaking the hand of another Muslim, is against etiquette. We should not contaminate this act of worship with a worldly deed. For example when we go to Makkah Mukarramah/Madinah Munawwarah and meet a cleaner there, often, we intend to give him a bit of money as a gift.

Now if we put a note in our hand and hand it over to him during musahafah, then the next time we see him, we may want to simply make musahafah this time but what will he think when he sees you approaching? He will assume that there is another note coming his way. And this time when you shake his hand without passing a note on, he will feel disheartened. So now the worship of musahafah is forgotten, the fact that our sins are erased is forgotten, because we contaminated it by giving notes. Therefore, it is against etiquette to crumble a note and pass it over during musahafah.

A hadyah (i.e. gift) should be given out of love with no strings attached. Once, Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه came to Pietermaritzburg to give a speech at a madrassa. After the speech, the organisers brought an envelope (with money inside) and gave it to Hazrat. Hazrat refused to accept it. So he said that please accept it; it is a hadyah. But He still refused to accept. The person became insistent and he even attempted to put the envelope in Hazrat’s pocket. At this point, Hazrat became upset so he pushed his hand away and firmly refused.

As we walked back to the car, Hazrat said to me that even if there was one million rands in that envelope, I would still not have accepted it. Because although they say it is a hadyah in reality, they are compensating me for my time and petrol, they are giving it to me because I did a speech. Therefore, this is not truly a hadyah, if it was, then why did they not give it another time, why all of a sudden did they choose to give it today?

They gave it to reimburse Hazrat, whereas a hadyah in its true sense is gifted out of sincere love only. This also means that we should not expect anything in return either. Often when people say that you should not have gone to the trouble of giving me a hadyah e.t.c, we tend to reply that it’s fine, it’s no trouble, just make dua for me. With regards to this, Hazrat Ml. Thanwi رحمة الله عليه said that we should not seek duas at this time as that indicates an expectation, which one should not have at all.

Furthermore, when giving a hadyah we should take the time to present it properly with humility. It is a sign of pride to assume that our hadyah is so great and worthy of accepting, that we can give it anyhow and anywhere. Be humble, we should not consider ourselves great. Go to his house if possible and gift it to him. Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه would instruct us to never give him islaahi letters in front of a crowd. Hazrat would say that if you do, how will I explain the envelope to everyone in the crowd? They will assume that you are paying me a monthly subscription for being your Shaikh!

So to perfect our character, we must learn and adhere to these adaab/etiquettes. Only then will we be able to display good manners in all situations, like a believer ought to.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from a Dhikr Majlis delivered by Hazrat on 13/2/2017. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)

Valentine’s day

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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.)

In Islam do wives have to cook, clean and live with inlaws?

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A man who gets married should continue making khidmah of his parents (i.e. serving them). It is not his wife’s duty, if she wishes to do it then she will be rewarded immensely. However, if she is unable to do so for any reason, he has no right to get upset with her. He should serve them.

A lady recently emailed me saying that she cooks, cleans and serves her inlaws dutifully. After completing all these chores, eventually she sits down at the table to eat her share of the meal. But in that duration whilst she is eating, her father in law calls her 5-6 times to get up from the table and do something for him.

This attitude is absolutely incorrect, a father in laws cannot be so demanding! She has every right to refuse to cook and tell her husband to cook instead or find a cook. But alhamdulillah our wives are not like that. Despite such struggles, many women continue to live with their inlaws and cook for them. So we must appreciate them, not take advantage!

A husband citing these points in an argumentative way against his wife is incorrect. Our deen is a balanced one that gives rights to everyone. If we misunderstand these rights and limits of deen we will make zulm rather than khidmah.

Therefore, if you are in doubt or if you misunderstand an aspect of deen, seek guidance from ulama.

Often a man wants to stay with his parents to look after them, but his wife is not happy because she knows that it is not working between her and her inlaws. He too is aware of this, he too knows that his parents are being unreasonable in their treatment towards his wife. So why is he continuing to subject his wife to that struggle? Yes, he may be the only son and with his parents ageing, of course, he should not abandon them.

But wives have rights too. If they are making life a misery for his wife then he should separate his house. Give her her own section that they do not have access to. That way, she can have her own privacy and peace. She can cook, send food and visit them when she wishes too. And when she needs her space, she can go to her section of the home. That is her right.

Instead of this balanced approach, some husbands are adamant and think that no, I must serve parents. Yes, do so, but shariah does not advocate that we give due right to one person, at the expense of another. This is zulm (i.e oppression), not the itidaal (i.e balance) that our deen calls towards.

May Allah make grant us tawfiq, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s dhikr majlis on 30/1/2016. To listen to the full audio, 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)

8 points to remember on the day of Aashura

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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.

Taraweeh Tips!

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TARAWEEH:

  • Taraweeh is Sunnat-e-Muakadah/An emphasized Sunnah. If we miss it, then we have committed a sin.
  • Women should try to pray Esha and Taraweeh Salah as soon as possible. Those women who do not have extra responsibilities, like young children to look after, should try to lengthen the Taraweeh Salah by reading longer Surahs. She she should read Surah Yaseen, Surah Mulk e.t.c. if she is fluent with these Surahs.
  • It is Sunnah to perform the Taraweeh and to complete the Quraan Shareef in Taraweeh. This must be given due importance by emphasizing that attending lectures at different Masaajid, is secondary to completing a Taraweeh Khatam.
  • Takbeer-e-Oola/The first Takbeer of the Salah is very important. We should try to pray Salah in congregation with Takbeer-e-Oola. Those who are guilty of waiting for the Imam to go into Ruku before joining the Salah should stop this, as it is disrespectful to the Quraan Shareef that is being recited.
  • Leave the PPC (Pavement Punchaath Club) for after Ramadan. It is utterly abhorrent that whilst the Quraan Shareef is being recited in Taraweeh, adults find it in their best interest to stand in the parking lot, chatting and puffing on cigarettes. We need to ask ourselves, is this the honour that we afford the Quraan Shareef?

(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.)

Guarding the Gaze

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Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم said that the person who guards against the temptation of casting lustful glances, Allah ﷻ will grant him the sweetness of Imaan.

In our current era, it has become extremely easy to become involved in the sin of casting lustful glances. If one skims through a newspaper or what used to be regarded as ‘family magazines’, one will become overawed by the amount of near pornographic material that is available. The reality is – we no longer see this as a problem, due to the frequency and availability of such material.

There are so many other types of sins, but why is it that the sweetness of Imaan is so closely related to guarding against lustful glances (as stated in the hadeeth)?

This is due to a few reason. Firstly, sometimes when we avoid a sin, it is because our circumstances do not allow it. For example, a person who wants to commit the act of adultery, a willing partner is required and some logistical arrangements need to be made. If a person does not have a partner or arrangements then he cannot commit this sin. So it could be said that he abstained due to the inconvenience (not out of sincere desire to please Allah ﷻ).

However on the other hand, in the act of casting lustful glances, no willing partner is required. The secrecy of this sin is such that there is no physical evidence to prove it, most people may not notice, but Allah ﷻ sees and knows. Therefore, the abstention from this sin can only be attributed to the person’s love and fear of Allah ﷻ, and his high level of sincerity.

Secondly, for every other worship Allah ﷻ has stipulated a reward. However for fasting Allah ﷻ has mentioned Himself as the reward. Why? Because worship tends to have a physical form that people can see…e.g movement in prayers and hajj. But fasting has no form for people to see, so it’s a sincere act done only for Allah ﷻ, leading to its great reward. Similarly protecting ones gaze is only for Allah ﷻ, hence the tremendous virtue in it.

(Advice imparted by Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله)