Category Archives: Sunnah

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.

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.)

What do we do after Ramadan? 4 tips on how to keep going

quran after ramadan

During Ramadan, our constant worry is how will we maintain this momentum and worship schedule after Ramadan? We must understand that Ramadan is a spiritual month which changes our mood and strengthens our focus on deen. With this month comes a special form of tawfiq/God-given strength, making us more spiritually energetic and more able than usual. Thus outside of Ramadan, it is not possible to maintain that all.

The same applies for Umrah; during Umrah people can get by on less food. What you eat during Umrah, try to eat the same foods back home and you will see how difficult it is to get by! And why is that the case? It is because in Haramain Shareefain, during Ramadan e.t.c there is a lot of nooraaniyat and this has a spiritual effect on us. For those who doubt religion, this experience itself authenticates our deen further.

However naturally, that effect begins to dwindle once we leave Haramain Shareefain, or once Ramadan is over. Therefore, we cannot continue that level of worship but what we must do is increase the worship we did before Ramadan started. To be specific, there are a few areas we should prioritise:

1. Tilawat of the Quran: Increase it but do not make unrealistic goals otherwise, we will burn out very quickly. Increase slowly but surely as the actions Allah loves most are those which are done consistently, even if they are little.

2. Sunnahs: Learn masnoon duas, read a few extra per day, add a few extra Sunnahs per day into your timetable. This is true taraqqi/spiritual progress.

3. Character: This is the department we need the most improvement in. Remember that the weightiest deed on the scales on the Day of Judgement will be good character. Not worship, good character! And bad character, that will contaminate even our good deeds! When we do Qurbani and remove the liver, if you do not take out the poison bag properly without it spilling then although liver is delicacy, the taste will become spoiled. If it goes on the carcass, that too will become spoiled. But if it is removed carefully, everything will be safe. Bad character is like that poison bag, if we are not careful it will spoil even our good deeds.

4. Quality of Salah: Yes in Ramadan we are more focused but now that it has gone for another year, we cannot allow our focus in Salah to vanish for another year too! Make an effort to improve that too.

Now with regards to these four points, how can we practically ensure that we are improving? By managing our time correctly. We have to be systematic in all that we do. Have a plan of action and execute it. In madrassa, school or work, our day is timetabled allowing us to get a lot of work done. Outside of this, we must timetable our day too. If you sit in traffic on the way to work, turn off the radio and make some dhikr, recite durood or play Surah Yasin on a CD and memorise it.

If you have a few spare moments at work, finish off your adhkaar for the day. In other words, identify the time you are using which can be used even more, capitalize on that time and profit further. Once you make such a timetable, stick to it and at the end of the day look through and see how much you have completed. If you have left some out, finish it off before you sleep.

Otherwise, our nafs will get the better of us and one day off will lead to several days off adhkaar, which will eventually turns to weeks and then months, and that is how good habits die overtime. But if we structure our day, centre it around worship and slowly improve on the four points listed above, then inshaAllah we will continue to ascend out of Ramadan just like we did within it.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from one of Hazrat’s lectures during Ramadan. To listen to the full audio please click here.)

Hazrat Ml. Shah Hakeem Akhtar (RA)’s poem, Ye subhe Madina

madina

Hazrat Ml. Shah Hakeem Akhtar رحمة الله عليه mentions in His poem, Ye subhe Madina that how beautiful are the mornings in Madina, How beautiful are the evenings in Madina…glad tidings to you for your stay in Madina! Here, Hazrat is highlighting how every moment in Madina munawarah is a special moment, which we should treasure by spending it in worship. Sometimes when we see others doing wrong there, we get carried away by entertaining ill thoughts of them.

Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه used to say that sometimes we go to Makkah mukaramah and we see someone sinning close to the Kabah. Out of shock, we go back and tell everyone what we saw. In the interim, this person has repented and has become a wali (I.e friend of Allah), whilst we are losing our good deeds by thinking ill of them. Hazrat Ml. Mazhar حفظه الله mentioned that we don’t know if we will get the opportunity to see these blessed lands again. So while we are there, we must make the most of it. Don’t waste it away.

Hazrat Ml. Shah Hakeem Akhtar رحمة الله عليه then says, “How would a person intoxicated in worldly wine know, the condition of a person enjoying the euphoria of Madina? Every step you take in the streets of Madina, you should keep in mind the honour of Madina. Kingdomship will be of no value, for the one who receives an invitation to Madina” – In a khanqah, the Shaikh passes around the goblet of love for Allah. As people drink, they become intoxicated in the love of Allah and Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم. So Hazrat Ml. Mazhar حفظه الله explained that if this is the case with the khanqah, then how strong must the intoxication of Madina Munawarah be? Just imagine – the Mashaikh and all their silsilas go up to Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم. So all the noor that is generated from the teachings and institutes of our mashaikh, is actually coming from Madinah Munawarah. If we benefit there, then how great must the benefit be, in Madinah Munawarah?

The sukoon we experience and the strength to make extra ibaadah in madinah, is all due to the barakah there. Though deen began in Makkah, madina is where it all flourished, and thus, our amal can flourish there too, provided we honour the sanctity of Madina.

Nowadays, hearts change by the roza of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم. Back in the days when Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم would look at people, His heart was filled with noor and His eyes filled with love. But those who came without a container to fill with love for Allah, didn’t feel or notice it. But the ones who bought Iman and had a container in their hearts ready to be filled with love, one gaze of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم would instantly change their status from an average muslim to a special Sahabi. So how strong must that gaze be?

A Sahabi once said that I went to Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم and sought permission to commit zina. This Sahabi was a new Muslim therefore, he didn’t understand how wrong this act is. He said that I need permission; I won’t be able to abstain from this. In response, Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم didn’t shout, rather, Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم explained nicely, that how would you feel if someone was to commit zina with your sister, daughter or mother? If I give you permission, isn’t the lady someone’s sister, daughter or mother? So how can this be acceptable?

Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم placed His Mubarak hand on the chest of this sahabi, and then the Sahabi understood the gravity of this sin. Years later, when He narrates this incident, he says that it is as if I can still feel the coolness of the hand of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم upon my chest. Since then I have never even thought about zina, let alone commit it.

They had sincerity. Nowadays many youngsters complain that they have certain weaknesses. When we advise that if you’re viewing explicit material then give up your phone, then he says that no, I can’t. I need to use my phone regularly for whatsapp e.t.c. So we are not really sincere in giving up the sin, otherwise, we would’ve stayed far away from that which leads us to sin in the first place. This is why drug addicts undergo years of rehabilitation, only to return back to drugs. Why? Because they can’t give up the bad company which tempted them to take drugs in the first place.

So we need to be sincere. And once we are, then when we go to Madina it will really transform us; we will come back different people. Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم is alive in the grave. Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم mentioned himself that whoever is to visit the roza Mubarak, it is as though he visited me in my lifetime. When a person makes Salam, Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم responds. Salam is, in essence, a dua…so how much noor must there be in that dua? When Nabi responds to our Salam, aren’t we recipient of the dua of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم at that time?

And what is the effect of such a dua?

Well, Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه tried for a long time to bring His mother to accept Islam, but she was not accepting. One day as He left the home, some harsh words were exchanged. So He begins to wonder that when will this mother of mine, be guided towards deen? So He asked Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم to make dua for her. As soon as Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم made dua, Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه sprinted home. The Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم saw this, so after some time they asked Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه that why were you running so fast? He replied that I was checking – would Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه reach first, or would the dua of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم reach first? The dua of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم reached first.

In other words, she was ready to accept Islam. So can you imagine the effect of the dua of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم? And despite our sins, we are blessed with an opportunity to be recipients of this Salam. We may have to pay to enter these holy lands, but can we ever put a price tag on just one Salam?

Hazrat Ml. Shah Hakeem Akhtar رحمة الله عليه then ends the poem by saying, “Where are you searching for peace and contentment? Peace and contentment you will find in the system of Madina! May you be free from all worries Akhtar, this is for the one who becomes a slave of Madina.” – This refers to following the Sunnah, which is only path to eternal peace and contentment. And once we become a true ummati and slave of Allah, contentment with decree will enter the heart, causing the worries of this worldly life to fade away into oblivion.

May Allah allow us to continue visiting and benefiting from Madinah Munawarah until our last breath, Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(The above is an extract from Hazrat’s dhikr majlis on 2/5/2016.)

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.)

The 5 branches of Islam

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There are 5 branches of Islam:

1) Aqaaid (Beliefs)
2) Ibaadaat (Worship)
3) Akhlaaq (Moral character)
4) Muamalaat (Public dealings)
5) Muaasharaat (Social etiquette)

Allah ﷻ advises us in the Quran shareef, in Surah Hud, ayah 113:

وَلَا تَرْكَنُوا إِلَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا فَتَمَسَّكُمُ النَّارُ وَمَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ مِنْ أَوْلِيَاءَ ثُمَّ لَا تُنصَرُونَ

“Do not incline towards those who have oppressed themselves”

The mufasireen/commentators say that this refers to those who have been unjust to their own souls, by not bringing Imaan. So for us believers, what is Allah ﷻ trying to tell us here? He is warning us…we have to be distinct from those who disbelieve! We cannot be like the kuffaar, they are not our role models, Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم is and always will be. Allah ﷻ continues the ayah saying, “Lest you be touched by the fire“. This suggests emulating disbelievers can be likened to paving a path to doom.

Now taking this ayah into consideration, let us do some soul-searching. In these five branches of Shariah, ask yourself — am I inclining towards the kuffaar in any of them?

As for the first one, Aqeedah, Alhamdulillah we don’t believe in multiple gods or no gods like the kuffar do. Then in the second one, Alhamdulillah our ibadah is unique. For example, the kuffaar do not pay Zakah or fast like we do. Obviously not performing ibadah regularly is a separate topic but the point is, when we do worship Allah ﷻ, it’s different to the kuffaar. So again, Alhamdulillah this is not a problem.

But in the 3rd, 4th and 5th branch…where are we going wrong? Take Akhlaaq. Do we emulate Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم or what we see on the screens? When I comb my hair or speak to somebody, am I emulating Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم or somebody else? When I walk, when I talk, when I eat, when I drink, in every facet of my life…who am I emulating, who is my role model, who do I look up to for guidance?

Akhlaaq is a very deep subject and we must make an effort to develop good character in line with the teachings of Islam. We don’t need government constitutions to allow us to have good character; we are free to act upon this Sunnah. Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه would always say that maybe we can’t change the whole world, but this six-foot body of ours, at least we can start here! We cannot go out and govern how people behave, we can’t ban drugs and ban alcohol…but we can ban our own anger and sins!

So our Deen is not only restricted to belief and worship. When are we going to start concentrating on the other three crucial aspects of Deen? The Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم would listen to music, drink wine and they had no concept of modesty! Yet when they became Muslims and bought Imaan, they immediately changed their entire way of thinking, behaving and living. They totally transformed their lives for the better, and being examples for mankind; we too should learn from them and change our lives for the better.

May Allah ﷻ grant us all the tawfiq to act upon Deen in its entirety, Aameen.

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

If my heart is clean, do I need to grow a beard?

beard-cropped

Nowadays we say, “I don’t need a beard, my heart is clean!” But wasn’t the heart of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم cleaner? Yet, Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم had a beard! We assume the outer isn’t important…if that was the case, why would Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم reprimand a person for wearing pants above the ankle? Or wearing a ring incorrectly? These are all outward matters. Yet if they were out of place, Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم would reprimand the person!

So from this we learn, both outer and inner are equally important in Islam. It’s one thing to not grow a beard (or to not wear a hijaab), *admitting* it’s a sin. That’s repentant. But to put forward a justification that ‘my heart is clean’ to avoid a ruling of deen, is a deception from shaytan. We must have an open heart and accept when we’re wrong.

Talking of outer appearance, many of us wear kurtas.

But come eid day, people get a license to wear jeans and tshirt. We say..”oh I’ve got to do qurbani and I don’t want to get my Kurta dirty.” Yet those bechara people in Pakistan sacrifice more animals, all while wearing a kurta. Other times, people say “I’m going on a fishing trip with my friends so I need to wear my three-quarter length shorts, I can’t wear my kurta!” How can wearing a Kurta impede the catching of fish?

So these excuses are actually an inclination in the heart for the tariqa of the kuffar. If we’re looking for the fatawa of what we can and cannot wear, then we’re in the wrong programme (I’m not passing a fatwa here). Here, we’re looking to adopt taqwa. Imagine someone wears sunnah clothing all year and that one eid or fishing day he doesn’t, and he happens to pass away in that state!

Now to avoid this problem, we must worry about our outward actions as much as worry about our inward actions. We must recognise their importance. Ilm is one thing but recognition is another. Knowing is one thing, but recognising and realising that this is my Allah ﷻ watching the way I dress, walk and talk, is another thing altogether.

To understand this concept, think about the word “khabardaar” in the Urdu language. People say “khabardaar if you do this”, which means; this person needs to be aware all the time, he mustn’t do that. If he does, there would be repercussions. So this person is aware. Likewise, one is to know of Allah’s presence, another is to be aware. A person who is constantly aware that my Allah ﷻ is watching, he won’t be able to watch T.V. When the taxi driver cuts in front of him, he doesn’t swear. He may get upset due to takleef, but he doesn’t swear. Why? Because he is aware that Allah ﷻ is watching me.

Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه had a great level of this awareness of Allah ﷻ. So when Hazrat رحمة الله عليه would speak with so much fire (and passion) some people would say, “Why is he exaggerating?” The reality is, these people were not aware of the dangers to deen, but Hazrat رحمة الله عليه was aware. Often we get desensitized to sin saying things like, “oh it’s just alcohol”, What?! This is Allah’s deen! What authority do we have to change the deen of Allah ﷻ?

Recently, I was speaking out against T.V. The answer I got was…”but everybody’s watching T.V?” Jee, that’s why people have no sharam left now in watching T.V. We have opened the door for haram so now, who will explain the fact that it’s haram to the public? People say “Coke was haram, now it’s halal. Therefore, T.V was haram, but now it’s also halal, so it’s ok!” So we’ve given the public a license now. We have given them an excuse to bring T.V in the home. And now many people don’t understand that T.V is haram. And for those who don’t see it, they won’t understand even if you speak until the cows come home.

You may think you have a filter in your brain, to filter out the haram on T.V. But does your child have one? You filter out the haram but does your child? No. So take heed. We put some fingers into deen, yet our body is on the other side. As believers, we cannot afford to do this. We must enter into deen fully. May Allah ﷻ give us himmat and courage to stand up and protect his deen. Aameen

(The above is an extract from Hazrat’s Dhikr Majlis last month. To listen to the full audio, please click here)