Tag Archives: character

Life of Abu Bakr (RA): His fear of Allah

Out of the fear of Allah Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه would sometimes say, “If only I were grass (so that I would not be held accountable).” He was the greatest companion and the best friend of Nabi ﷺ, yet such was his fear of the almighty! Compared to this we are so complacent in our deen. Such is our complacency if someone were to point out our wrong we would turn around and lecture them on their wrongs, rather than taking heed. Or sometimes people say that only Allah can judge me. They say it as though it is something comforting. Whereas in reality the judgement of Allah alone, is far scarier than the judgement of every single human being on earth.

So if someone advises you, be grateful they are helping you change. Accept it and thank them for pointing it out. Ask them to make dua that Allah grants you the ability to act upon it. This is the response of a person imbued with humility and good character. Even if the adviser has a million faults that is not the time to point it out. That is the time to rectify our own flaws. May Allah make us humble and may His fear enter our hearts as a result of it, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 10/08/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg. 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.)

4 causes, consequences and the cure to showing off

The worst form of riya (i.e. showing off) is in Imaan. This means to show faith outwardly but to inwardly harbour disbelief in Allah. The hypocrites are those who did this which explains why they are doomed to enter the lowest part of the hellfire. For us we have sincerely bought Imaan so alhamdulillah Allah has protected us from this. However, there are many more insidious, dangerous forms of riya that we also need to avoid at all costs.

Firstly, we must avoid riya in voluntary acts of worship. Speaking of this Imam Ghazali رحمة الله عليه explains that for some people, the way they worship depends on who they are with. For example, a hifz student recites one way at home, better to a friend and even better to his teacher. Ultimately though he may be reading for the pleasure of Allah alone, there is a stench of ostentation in his recitation. It is hoped that Allah will forgive him.

Secondly, we must avoid performing an act of worship only to impress someone. For example, a man may not usually read Awabeen Salah but he does when his Shaikh prays next to him. Or, he does not usually read the Qur’an but he does when someone comes over. Such actions are riya because they are being done for people, not for the sake of Allah! Do the action, but intend it for Allah not people.

Thirdly, holding dual intentions is also a form of riya. This means to perform an act for the sake of Allah and people. An action done in this manner holds no reward and no sin. Therefore, it is a wasted effort with no value in the sight of Allah. Remember that in business a partnership is acceptable but in our intentions, Allah does not accept partnership. So if we partner Allah with someone else Allah will not give us anything in return, what a waste of good deeds!

Fourthly, we spoke about doing a good deed for people is riya. Not doing a good deed for people is also riya. For example if a man walks down the road with a tasbeeh in his hand, but on the way he bumps into an old school friend he used to smoke with. Now if this man hides his tasbeeh away because of his friend, that too is showing off. Or, if a young man intends to pray awabeen but after Salah all the young men leave and he knows the rest will praise him so he opts to just omit the awabeen instead, that too is showing off.

The cure for these four types of riya is to focus on Allah, not people. What people say is their problem not our concern. Our concern is will Allah accept and what will he say? If you have riya in a certain action then get rid of the riya, not the action. Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه would say that if your mattress has bedbugs on it, you would get rid of the bedbugs and keep the mattress. Riya is like those bedbugs and our amal (i.e. good deeds) is the mattress. Keep the amal, throw the riya away. Otherwise if we throw the amal away then the problem riya will continue and it will move on to another amal.

To overcome riya, always refresh your intentions. At the beginning of a good deed, remind yourself that you are doing it for the sake of Allah. During the course of the amal, the situation may change and riya may enter your heart. This is poison from shaytan, this is your nafs trying to derail you. To overcome this simply remind yourself again, that I am simply doing this for Allah. Furthermore, do not consider your amal great, otherwise there is a fear riya will enter. Worship more in solitude than you do in company. If we can only worship in front of people then there is a problem.

Lastly if you do good deeds with sincerity and nobody saw you, then remember that years later shaytan will still try to shoot a hole in your investment. Some people wake up for tahajjud and they gather great rewards. But then when speaking to others, they slip in a sentence or two about their tahajjud, now shaytan has put a hole in his bucket of rewards. Many times, shaytaan will steal the reward for a good deed years after we did it. For example, if we tell someone about our charitable donations from 20 years ago. That time when we did it, no one knew. Now 20 years later he has boasted and shaytan has stolen the rewards. We do not know if our deeds have been accepted by Allah or not, so what surety do we even have to boast about? Where boasting begins, sincerity ends.

This is why we need to careful on social media too. Facebook and Instagram breeds this problem. Imagine a good deed as noble as Qurbani, look at what great sincerity and sacrifice our father Ibrahim as displayed when he did Qurbani. Yet we have reduced such great sincerity to shameless boasting about how big the animal is, how sharp our knife is, how quickly we cut the animal e.t.c! And thus we waste away such noble deeds by insincerely advertising it to the rest of the world. Therefore in summary, riya means to worship more, less or to stop worshipping altogether in order to impress people and to avoid this, we must keep refreshing our intentions and avoid boasting about our deeds.

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

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk in Gauteng on 10/7/17. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)

Be content with Allah’s plans for you

contentmnet

Be content will all that Allah has given you. Beauty, wealth, health, intelligence, kayfiyat, knowledge, and the spreading of our works of deen, are all blessings from Allah. Some people are given more of some qualities, others are given more of others.

Sometimes, you will find a tableeghi will leave for Jamat in rural areas. In such areas, who will put up posters announcing his coming? Who will even know him? No-one. Yet, he makes great sacrifices, often opting to sleep on the floor or in difficult conditions. Eventually, when his speech takes place there may be just a small crowd who attend. At times tableeghis enter and leave a village with little to no recognition. Compare that to an Islamic scholar who travels on all paid for flight to another town, picked up from there by car and dropped off to a masjid. Posters distributed days in advance, he is received by a large crowd eager to hear him speak. Then he is fed a hearty meal and driven back to the airport to catch his flight home. He endures little hardship with all his expenses paid.

Now both examples are on opposite ends of the spectrum, however the commonality is the decree of Allah that chose hardship for the former, and ease for the latter. In both, lies great reward. If the tableeghi did not go to the rural areas, who would? Someone has to, so Allah chose Him. For the Islamic scholar, a fancy poster advertising his programme beforehand coupled with the hype surrounding his visit is all Allah’s way of getting people to attend a bayan and learn deen.

Thus even in works of deen, Allah will take work from us all in different ways. Never assume the route He chose for you is insignificant due to external factors, because your heart impacts the weight of your deeds more than external factors ever could.

Hafiz Abdur Rahman Mia was the founder of Mia Farm. Many senior scholars of our country completed their hifzul Quran with him, and even during his illness in old age, he would teach saying that teaching is my sustenance. People would advise him to slow down but he would refuse. Towards the end of his life Hazrat Ml. Shah Hakeem Akhtar RA went to visit him. He asked him how many people became huffaz under him and considering he taught till the very end of his life, the number must have been quite high. But his answer was so beautiful, instead of quoting a number or even an estimate, he simply replied that I can only give you a reply on the Day of Judgement. Why? Because only the ones Allah accepted will count. How many completed is not the aim, how many are accepted is.

This is how our mindset should be in all matters. Focus less on quantity, more on quality, less on external factors that you may have little control over, more on internal factors. Because a quality heart filled with sincerity, piety, and humility, is more beloved in the sight of Allah and closer to acceptance than one devoid of good qualities, even if the former does little work of deen and the latter does many. Be content in all matters and inshaAllah, even your small efforts will become weighty in the hereafter.

May Allah grant us the ability to keep our gaze so heavily focused on Him and save us from the discontentment that arises when we do not, Aameen.

– Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله 

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s bayan on 27/3/2017)

Good Character: An example from the lives of the Pious

respect people

There was a well-known, respected Muslim scholar in India. Some people took advantage of his noble rank by using his name to get their own work done. For example, they would tell people that Hazrat sent me here e.t.c. This became common, so someone informed him that people are lying and using your name to get their work done. He responded that I can’t benefit them in person, so at least their dunya is being sorted out via my name. At least I can benefit people in this regard. Now Hazrat was a beacon of light in India and a guide for many! But due to his humility he was unaware of his greatness, and thus he would think little of himself.

Hazratjee Maulana Maseehullah Khan رحمة الله عليه once mentioned an incident about a man who was in search of a job. He went for an interview and in a desperate attempt to secure the job, he claimed that he was the son in law of this scholar. Now of course this was untrue, however, the employed did not know that he lied. Rather, the employer believed it, and feeling guilty to reject the son in law of such a noble scholar, he accepted. Thus he fell for the lie and gave him the job. After some time had passed, the owner happened to bump into Hazrat. He said to Hazrat that we are happy with your son in law, he is working well with us! It was kind of you to send him.

Hearing this, Hazrat became confused. Where did this son in law come from? However, he had such courtesy for all people that he never exposed the man. Instead, he nodded in agreement to the fabricated statement. After the owner left, Hazrat made enquiries about this “son in law”. Eventually He called for him to be bought, and asked about the matter. The man replied that I was so desperate for a job, I decided to use your name to help me. Now both he and Hazrat knew that this was a blatant lie but rather than becoming annoyed, angry or displaying bad character, Hazrat had mercy upon him.

Hazrat’s only concern was safeguarding the dignity of this one man. So he said that if I had a daughter, I would have married you to her. But i don’t, however, to make your statement true and to preserve your dignity and job, I can adopt your wife as my daughter. After adopting His wife, He began to treat her like his daughter too. He would give her gifts and when he invited his own daughters home, he would always invite his adopted daughter too. And that is how Hazrat went to such great lengths just to safeguard the dignity of just one believer!

May Allah elevate His status and grant us the tawfiq to display good character at all times, aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s bayan in Darul Uloom Azaadville, on 19/5/17.)