Tag Archives: death

Life is full of choices

Life is full of choices. At times, we get carried away with our ability to choose between obedience and disobedience. We forget that this choice is a test, not a mark of our authority. In academic exams, those that studied hard would be able to answer correctly, whilst those that did not study would answer incorrectly. Both take the exact same paper, but the former will pass whilst the latter will fail. The exam is taken by all, not just the hardworking students.

Likewise, is life. We are living an exam, those that sin unrepentantly are exercising their choice for which they will soon pay the price. Upon death, this ability will cease to exist. Have you ever seen a deceased man come out of his grave, refusing to be buried? No, because he has no choice. We must not allow it to delude us into thinking we have control over our lives. On the Day of Judgement, our own limbs will speak out against us so what control do we assume, when our own limbs will be out of our control?

When the adhaan calls, you can choose to sleep or wake up for prayer. That is a test. Do not be deceived, your choice will not last for long. When the trumpet is blown, no one will be able to continue sleeping. We will all awaken and march in the same direction, towards an inescapable reckoning.

Therefore, in this worldly life, choose wisely. Those that do not follow Deen, outwardly, it may seem that they are free and in charge of their lives. But in reality, their choices are answers being recorded on this exam of life, for which they will soon pay. Our choice is only given to write this paper. Upon death it will be taken away from all, and gifted back to those who enter Jannah. There in the gardens, their choice will no longer be a test. It will be a blessing via which they will live and do as they please.

May we be amongst them, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 07/11/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.)

Dealing with trials and the way out

A friend of mine went fishing and managed to hook a big fish. However, he could not pick it up with his rod so someone came to help him. They held the line together and pulled it out but suddenly, the rod snapped and the fish fell back into the water. I told my friend that in this, lies a great lesson. Look at the situation from the point of view of the fish. Whilst swimming, all of a sudden it is pulled in a direction that it is not swimming towards. The fish understands that there is a problem here so it tries to swim and set itself free, but it fails and now it is pulled out of the water.

Unable to breathe or swim, the fish has reached a point of despair. Survival seems absolutely impossible. However, Allah decreed life for that fish so the line snapped and all of a sudden, the fish got its freedom back. This is the cycle of a trial. On a spiritual level, nafs and shaytaan are constantly pulling us towards sin. Together their pull can become so strong that our attempts to escape go in vain. Once they get a grip on your spiritual heart they will try to suffocate it but if you remember Allah, He will cause their rope to snap in seconds and immerse you back into the waters of ease. When we are faced with a difficulty in life too, sometimes no matter how hard we try there seems to be no way out. Life goes on but the trial continues to weaken and hurt us. During such moments hold onto Allah, remember Him and take heed of His comforting promise that “whoever fears Allah, He will make a way out for him and he will provide for Him from places he did not expect”.

Every creation is a masterpiece handmade by Allah. He is here to help us and when that mighty help of Allah descends, though your world may seem bleak now, your fate can and will change instantly. Just like the rainbow comes after the rain, the sweetness of ease will always come after the bitterness of hardship. There was a famous man in the time of Umar  رضي الله عنه who used to play the harp and sing in a melodious, beautiful voice. Crowds of people would gather around him to hear him sing, so he was used to fame and attention. However as time went on, he aged. His looks faded away and his ability to sing slowly faded away too. That is the nature life, a motorcar that was once the talk of the town causing heads to turn every time it drove past, a few years later, that motor car is thrown in the scrap yard because now there’s a new motor car that has stolen the limelight. We too may live in the limelight for a while but once our talents are no more, we too will be forgotten.

The only people that are remembered are the people of Allah. For example, there are many who have passed away years ago but their Islamic books are still read today and thus, they are still remembered on earth. However, those whose talents are restricted to just worldly earnings, they will be forgotten as the world moves on to a new craze. So this old man, as his looks and talents faded away his fame did too. He became saddened so one night he went to the graveyard, entered an empty grave and laid there waiting for death to come. His entire life was spent in disobedience so far but now he made a change and spoke to Allah, seeking his refuge and forgiveness. That same night Umar  رضي الله عنه had a dream. He was told to wake up because there is a servant of Allah who is in a difficult position in the graveyard. Give him food, shelter him and take care of him.

Imagine his situation, everyone that once loved him deserted him. No-one wants to hear his voice anymore or see his fingers stroke the strings of the harp. In that condition, he raised his fragile hands and with a coarse, broken voice, he sought help from Allah. Despite those years of disobedience, Allah answered him in the most beautiful of ways.

Therefore, from this story we learn that we must have hope in Allah at all times. Disconnect from sins, connect to Allah and maintain that connection. He is the friend of those who believe and like the loving Friend he is, He will take you out of darkness into a light that will light your path. Allah himself is light, guided are those who seek His light and then fortunate become those who are blessed to see the light of His countenance.

May we be amongst them, Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above in an extract from Hazrat’s bayan on 22/07/17. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)

The demise of Hazrat Ml. Abdul Hafeez Makki (RA)

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One day we were travelling and at Cape Town airport we saw Hazrat Maulana Abdul Hafeez Makki  رحمة الله عليه. He was surrounded by young people who were embracing him as He departed. This was the character of Hazrat, even young people loved him and learnt from him despite his old age. Hazrat made a lot of deeni effort in different countries. Even in Makkah and Madina where tassawuf is not common, Hazrat had a khanqah established there. He spent his life like this, so Allah took him away while he was doing what he loved doing (i.e. dawah).

He had a programme scheduled for today and tomorrow here in Pietermaritzburg. Before he left home, he already had chest pains but he still undertook the journey. Once he reached Pietermaritzburg, he had a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. The last message we received was that he was stable, but after ‘Asr I went home and received the message that he passed away.

And that is it. At the end of the day it all boils down to that. How we live is how we will depart. The car we drove, the food we ate, our worldly accomplishments e.t.c will not matter once we breathe our last. A maulana who had a very close relationship with Hazrat invited me to have supper with them all this evening. Maulana was telling me that Hazrat will be having supper with us so please come. We planned here whilst Allah had already planned there.

Such is life, we plan but the reality is our lives are subjected to the ultimate plan of Allah. People will pass away and lamenting is natural, but our main goal should be to benefit as much as we can whilst our ulama are alive. After their death you can benefit by reading books, but we cannot derive islaahi benefit. This is the system of Allah whether we understand it or not.

There are some people, rijalullah, Allah has blessed them with a connection to Allah. If we want to connect with Allah we have to connect with them. Those who do this can benefit tremendously but those who do not bother about their islaahi talluq with their Shaikh, failing to correspond on serious matter like missing faraaidh, they will not benefit much from islaahi talluq. We must benefit from our mashaaikh whilst they are alive. Then choose one Shaikh for islaah/spiritual reformation and take your Islaah seriously.

Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel  رحمة الله عليه once mentioned an incident of a Shaikh who had passed away but had no khulafa. The mureeds became concerned, they did not know who to turn to now for Islaah. The Shaikh had a son so the mureeds, who were villagers, took bayat to him. The son did not know much about tassawuf as he did not take an interest in his father’s work, so he informed them of this. However the mureeds were adamant and requested bayat. They asked him what dhikr to make but the poor son had no idea so instead, he instructed them to get a spade, go to a field and dig the soil.

They took his instruction seriously and with sincerity, they carried it out. He began worrying and with sincerity, he turned to Allah and said that ya Allah! Do something, help us! Allah saw the sincerity of the mureeds and the sincere concern of the son, so Allah blessed each one of them in the khanqah with wilayat. They were just tilling the soil in the field yet Allah blessed them. We must question ourselves, in our talluq with our Shaikh, how much sincerity and talab (i.e. desire) do we have?

Make ittilaa’ (i.e. explain you spiritual weaknesses to your Shaikh for reformation) and itiaaat (i.e. follow your Shaikh’s advice after making ittilaa’) and Allah will give you spiritual benefit in your islaahi talluq. Otherwise if we maintain a mediocre attitude towards our islaah we will only get mediocre benefit.

May Allah enable us to benefit from our ulama whilst they are alive, and He grant us tawfiq to take our spiritual reformation seriously, Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s dhikr Majlis on 16/1/2017. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)

“Rejecting gifts from God”: The worries of a Medical Student

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(Below is an extract from an upcoming book of Hazrat’s called letters of the seekers. Hazrat receives letters on a regular basis in which people seek advice on personal matters and we felt Hazrat’s wise responses would be of benefit to the wider public. Therefore we are currently gathering a small selection of these letters in this book to be published soon inshaAllah. For the sake of privacy and confidentiality, each letter was completely depersonalised before being sent to us for inclusion. We request you to make dua for its completion. JazakAllah u khair)

Asalamu alaikum. I am a 6th year medical student in university. I read a couple of books and saw some lectures on YouTube and I finally understood the reason why we are created. But even after reaching the conclusion that God creating us is a gift and eventually he will reward the righteous ones, I still can’t feel a desire to be rewarded with paradise. I don’t live a sinful life because I just don’t want to, not because of the fear of punishment. I don’t want to do anything at all and I don’t want to exist.

I politely reject his gift of being tested on earth and then rewarded in paradise. It is okay to reject someone’s gift without offending them, right? Some time ago I carried on living because I wanted him to be proud of me when I finally see him. But lately, even that desire vanished like giving up on trying to impress a parent or competing for someone’s approval. I can’t stop thinking about death and I want to put an end to my useless existence. I would greatly appreciate it if you could reply with an answer to my thinking problem. Thank you. 

Waalaikumsalaam, May Allah ﷻ make you successful in your studies, use you to benefit mankind and bless you with the best of both worlds, Aameen. Alhamdulillah, at least you were blessed to realise the reason we have been created. Many people go through life without this realisation ever dawning upon them.

You seem to be a person who looks at things very realistically, so let us analyse your thinking problem in the same way.

  1. You don’t feel the desire to be rewarded and neither do you fear hell. However, at the same time you don’t live a sinful life. Regarding this challenge, already half your battle is won as you don’t live a sinful life. Now all we have to do is find the motivation to be righteous for the pleasure of Allah ﷻ, which we will address later on.
  1. You don’t want to exist. Regarding this, there isn’t any choice. You do already exist and the only way to put an end to this existence is suicide, which is not even an option. Allah ﷻ has warned us of a severe punishment for the one who commits suicide. Now on the one hand you may not fear this, but why chance it and why choose punishment for yourself, when you could save yourself from it?
  1. It is ok to refuse a gift in a nice way. However this isn’t about refusing a gift. This is about the rules that the Almighty has laid down. We will be rewarded or punished in accordance to our compliance or non compliance of His commands and rules.
  1. You have given up on trying to make Allah ﷻ proud of you, just like one who loses the drive of trying to impress a parent. This can also be remedied, just like many disobedient, uncaring children drastically changed their lives, becoming the most obedient and caring children.
  1. You say you can’t stop thinking about death. This is a very good thing. Nabi Muhammad صلى الله علىه وسلم has exhorted us to think of death often, as this will assist us in giving up impermissible deeds.

Now you may be thinking; why should I live a righteous life and be rewarded if I do, or subjected to punishment if I don’t, when I never opted for all of this? Let’s look at your situation by means of 2 examples:

Example 1 – A doctor is employed by a hospital and has to see to the patients. One day, if the doctor just loses motivation to see to the patients and he neglects his duties, he will definitely face some disciplinary action or hearing. Now if he says to them, you can keep your salary but I just don’t feel like working anymore, the hospital will dismiss him. He will then face the difficulties of unemployment.

Now at this stage, he cannot argue that why am I being reprimanded or penalised for how I feel, because his unemployment is due to his own fault. On the other hand, if the doctor very diligently continues his duties even though he lacks motivation, not only will he continue receiving his salary and perks, he may also get a promotion and enjoy even more benefits. Now despite him not really enjoying what he is doing, he is still receiving benefits.

In the same way, we humans go through different phases and emotions in our lives. We will not be taken to task for this as long as whatever the situation is, we comply with what our Allah ﷻ wants of us. We are the creation of our Creator therefore, we are not in a position to question His authority or question His rules. He will make the rules and our function is to comply. As long as we comply we will be fine.

Example 2 – You wake up one night and find yourself in a cave. You didn’t ask for this but you are there. In front of you is a paper with some information and guidelines. It reads that further in the cave, there are some dangerous creatures that have already perceived your presence here, and are advancing towards you. Your only route to salvation is to immediately make your way to the entrance of the cave. Once you reach the outside, you will be taken to safety.

Now you can sit there and argue that why should I move? I never asked to be here in the first place. I would like to just sit here or be nonexistent. Who wants to be taken to safety? I politely refuse this offer of being taken to safety. Now you yourself will agree that at this point, these arguments are futile and if you go on like this, it will lead to your destruction once those creatures reach you. Now even though you may not fear those creatures and what they could do to you, it is still a foolish choice to remain there, when there is a way to save yourself and be protected.

Bring this example to our lives. We find ourselves in this cave called “Planet Earth” and we are being told by our Allah ﷻ that death is on its way to us. However, if we follow certain commands and abstain from certain prohibitions, our Allah ﷻ will take us to the hereafter with safety and bless us with eternal bliss. On the other hand if we fail to comply, we will be punished. Now the choice is ours. We can either argue or try to rationalise, or we can accept, comply and work towards our salvation.

You are an intelligent person and I am confident that with Allah’s help, you will make the correct choice. In order to motivate yourself try to listen to more talks on deen. Read some good Islamic Literature and keep good company. Try and pray to Allah ﷻ daily. Speak to Allah ﷻ and ask Him to remove all the negativity and guide you to Him. Please pray for me as well. I hope that there will be some benefit in this correspondence. If ever there is anything else, please feel free to correspond.

May Allah ﷻ bless you and your family with the best of both worlds, Aameen. Please remember me in your duas.

Wassalam

(Hazrat Maulana) Dawood Seedat (حفظه الله)