Tag Archives: hope

Lessons from a Monkey, Moth and a Bird

I was walking with my children a few days ago and we came across a monkey. A moth flew into his hands and began hopping around until eventually, the monkey caught him in its grip. He was ready to devour the moth but suddenly his grip loosened, and the moth flew away. The moth began soaring high into the sky. The monkey jumped behind trying to catch him, but he was too high to reach. Just then, a bird came flying in that direction. The moth literally flew into the bird’s mouth and thus, the bird had his meal for the day.

From this little incident we can extract many valuable life lessons. In the search for wealth we are often like that monkey. We jump behind many opportunities to make as much money as possible, taking on our shoulders far more than we can bear. Understand no matter how hard you try, if it is not decreed for you, you will never acquire it. Just like the moth that flew right out of the monkey’s grip. So, do not be so hard on yourself.

In contrast, the bird did not exert any effort, yet his food flew right into his mouth. A little while later the monkey searched the bins and found something to eat. Therefore, never become despondent. Your efforts never go in vain. Perhaps Allah has also decreed your sustenance elsewhere. His treasures are unlimited, and He always has something in store for you.

To acquire it, we should not allow ourselves to be humiliated in our jobs. Some of us have bosses who swear and shout whilst we work like slaves for them. This is not what Allah wants from us, He does not expect us to endure humiliation. If you are not respected as a human being where you work, search for work elsewhere. On the other hand, never be the one to humiliate those that work for you. You are not paying them, Allah is paying them via you so be kind.

The second lesson we can learn is on perspective. When the moth was trapped in the hand of the monkey, it appeared that he would be eaten in his hands. Whereas in reality, he was safe there. As soon as he flew out he thought he had acquired freedom. Little did he realise, he was flying to his death. Likewise, we often find ourselves trapped in the hands of difficulty. The measures we take to come out of it must always conform with Shariah. If it does, then know that you have pleased Allah and this temporary difficulty of yours will be a means of permanent ease in the hereafter. However, if it does not, then no matter how free we may seem death will eventually catch us out.

For example, in a financial problem it is impermissible to take a loan with interest. Those that do may seem to be flying high financially with a stable home and job. Little do they realise; the angel of death is waiting, and this financial freedom will eventually lead to destruction. Therefore, do not fall in love with mere worldly delights. Know that nothing is fool proof in life, never be too sure of yourself or your means. Understand that life will be full of tests, do not reduce yourself or sacrifice your faith to come out of them. Rather, adopt dignified means coupled with reliance in the almighty, and your tests will soon turn into blessings in disguise.

May Allah make it so, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 31/10/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.)

The leaking bucket

Every time the owner of a home steps up his security system, a thief will step up his stealing skills. Before our cars had a locking system on the door, then thieves learnt how to unpick the lock and steal the car. Then we used steering locks, gear locks, and alarm systems but thieves overcame them one by one.

Shaytan is also a thief but the commodity he is chasing is Imaan. If he cannot snatch our Imaan, he will deprive us of the ability to do good deeds. If he cannot deprive us of the ability to do good deeds like praying Salah or reading the Qur’an, he will try his hardest to contaminate it. For example, he will make the knowledgeable proud over their knowledge and the generous haughty or insolent towards the poor.

If he cannot contaminate the deed, he will try to make a hole in the container carrying the good deed. For example, he will make a person backbite. All his past efforts put into acquiring good deeds will now fall out of the bucket. Therefore, be wary of the tricks of Shaytan, do not let him deter you and be wary of the leaking bucket, do not let it stagnate your spiritual progress.

May Allah save us from his tricks, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk in ladysmith. 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.)

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.)

What we have to do before Ramadan ends

fast in ramadan

Riots and unrest in our country are a serious problem. But right now, more serious is the curse of Jibreel عليه السلام who made the following dua; may that person enter the hellfire, who reaches Ramadan and is not forgiven. Now let’s analyse this dua. The greatest angel made this dua and thereafter, the greatest man to walk this earth – Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم – said aameen. It took place in Riyadhul Jannah; a place which most people just enter and feel hopeful that their duas will be accepted! And here we have a dua that took place right inside, on the Mimbar of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم.

This dua is very weighty, we can’t afford to ignore it. With only 2 days left of Ramadan, ensure that you secure Allah’s forgiveness. If we do not, we will have to live with that curse…can we bear that? We can’t afford to live with that. So as the end of this auspicious month nears, make it count. The people of Yunus عليه السلام were on the brink of punishment. It loomed over their heads but at the last moment, they quickly repented and Allah forgave them. Likewise, we are on the brink of the end of Ramadan but if we repent, Allah will forgive us too. It is never too late. Tonight could be laylatul Qadr, there is no surety that it has already passed.

Furthermore, if Eid is on Monday, then alhamdulillah we have the whole weekend left. I know a lot of us are off from work on weekends. Use this time wisely. Turn to Allah, repent and make a change before this month ends. And then your eid will be much more than just tasty food, new clothes and meeting families. May Allah accept from us, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s Jumah bayan on 23/06/17.)

 

Hazrat’s reflections on his Umrah trip

umrah trip

Hazrat went for Umrah and returned a few days ago. On 10/4/2017 in his dhikr majlis, Hazrat shared His reflections on the journey and lessons that we can all benefit from. Below is a written summary of that majlis. When the full audio is uploaded on taqwa.co, we will link it here inshaAllah

Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه would say that if you go to Niagara falls with a bucket, you can collect plenty of water within seconds. However, your bucket will never fill if you were to hold it upside down, even if you stood there for years. Haramain Shareefain has so much anwaraat, Islam spread from these places. The seeds of deen were planted in Makkah Mukarramah, watered with blood and sacrifice, but the flowers bloomed in Madinah Munawwarah.

The fragrance of these flowers were so strong, it reached the four corners of the world. Now, if Allah allows us to visit the source of the fragrance of Islam and it does not permeate and change our hearts, then we must really question, what is wrong with us? This fragrance is so strong it has changed the world, why then are we not impacted?

We intended having some programmes in Madina Munawarrah but when we arrived the hotel was full, and none of the people who I travelled with had an apartment to accommodate. In the midst of this dilemma, we left to visit the haram and I came across a brother there who was from South Africa too.

I did not recognise him but he approached me and reminded me how we met years ago. Then he told me that he had an apartment with big rooms and he would be happy for us to conduct our programmes there. He gave us exactly what we needed. SubhanAllah…do you see how if you make a small effort, Allah will open the doors for you? He will create the means for you, we just have to try and put our trust in Him.

We have it so easy compared to those that came before us. For example, yesterday we left Madina Munawwarah and after some delays, we reached home around 24 hours later. We felt tired but it made me wonder how kind Allah is. We left yesterday and we returned home today. In the prophetic era, they travelled for months on camels with little food. Our akaabireen would travel on donkey or by ship for many weeks before reaching their destination. Travel was not easy, you can read these stories in ‘Aap Beti’. They had to make such great sacrifices but for us, we have it easy. We must thank Allah for this.

Whilst we were there, in the programmes in Madinah Munawwarah one of the points we mentioned was about taking gifts home. Most parents that come here desire to take gifts back home for their children. We tend to buy scarves, toys, gadgets or other items for them. But the speciality of the holy lands is that it caused Imaan, deen and the Sunnah to spread across the world, therefore, these are the greatest gifts we can bring back for our children. We visited haramain shareefain to change, so bring this change home. Constantly ask yourself that am I improving in deen? Am I bringing new Sunnahs into my life?

Out of love many people focus on the structures and buildings there, but these big mimbars were not present during the prophetic era. The Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم did not see them yet their hearts were filled with love for deen because their focus was on Allah and His rasool, not the buildings and their structures. Nowadays people say they are ‘die-hard’ Manchester United fans, but as believers our concern must be: are we die-hard followers and lovers of Nabi ﷺ?

If we are, then everything in Madina Munawarrah will become beloved to us. Before leaving Madina Munawwarah Hazrat رحمة الله عليه would always say: O land of Madina Munawarrah! If only I could put you in my eyes. You are a Jannat of Nabi ﷺ. May Allah bless us and make us amongst those who love and follow Him.

In our hotel we met a brother from Paris. He was a young man who told us that his heart feels very heavy leaving such a beautiful place. Speaking to him made me think that in life, there are many types of sugars that one can consume but until you do not mix it with something, you cannot enjoy its sweetness. Likewise, the love of Nabi ﷺ has to be mixed in our lives and shown in our actions. Then, its sweetness will enter our hearts in the right proportion. But if we do not follow the Sunnah and just claim to be lovers, we will eventually fall into bidat.

Therefore, this love may be sweet but it will become detrimental for our spiritual health, just like a teaspoon of sugar may be sweet but it is detrimental for your physical health, because it is an overload of sweetness. Like this young man naturally, we will all leave with a heavy heart but we must remember to direct our love towards following the beloved.

Don’t just accumulate the sugar by listening to dhikr and poetry and desiring to enter into a state of ecstasy or kafiyyat. That is not the goal, the goal is to follow the practical lessons, to mix it in our lives and the result will be adhering more to the Sunnah.

Another great lesson we learnt there is that a believer must have himmat. He must muster the courage and will power to change and then Allah will grant him the ability to do so. Umrah can be challenging but like everything in life, the determined ones will find a way to overcome it, the rest will find an excuse to avoid it.

May Allah grant us the tawfiq to follow the Sunnah and to implement these lessons, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

Poetic advice handwritten by Hazrat Ml. Dawood (DB)

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Live our lives between fear and hope.

Don’t fear so much that it leads to DEPRESSION.

Also, don’t hope so much that it leads to TRANSGRESSION.

Just have that amount of fear and hope which leads to SUBMISSION.

Then we will be granted ADMISSION

into the gardens of salvation by Allah Ta’ala

– Poem written by Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

 

Warding off shaytan

imageHave you ever tried driving a car with a misted windscreen and no demister? If you do not stop, you will surely cause an accident. However, if we either get out of the car or keep wiping the mist away, we have a chance of reaching our destination safely.

The devil’s work is to mist the windscreen and break the demister. He mists the windscreen by:

  1. causing us to sin.
  2. Bringing evil thoughts and doubts to the mind.

Once this happens, we cannot see the path clearly. The solution is to put on the demister meaning we should repent, engage in dua and complete our muáamalaat (which means our daily quota of worship). But then this enemy breaks the demister by making us lose hope in Allah. Once one loses hope, then one will not turn to Allah. If we do not turn to Allah, then the windscreen is only going to thicken with the mist until we cannot see at all.

So when you feel hopeless and upset, force yourself to turn back to Allah, increase your duas and stay focused. Because that is the demister we need to ward off evils. In a short while, the devil will back off.

(Advice of Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat  حفظه الله)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَوْبَةً نَصُوحًا عَسَىٰ رَبُّكُمْ أَنْ يُكَفِّرَ عَنْكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيُدْخِلَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ يَوْمَ لَا يُخْزِي اللَّهُ النَّبِيَّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ ۖ نُورُهُمْ يَسْعَىٰ بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَبِأَيْمَانِهِمْ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَتْمِمْ لَنَا نُورَنَا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

“O you who believe! Turn to Allah, with sincere repentance. It may be that your Lord will expiate from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, on the Day when Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believed with Him. Their light will run before them and to their right hands. They will say, Our Lord! Perfect for us our light and forgive us. Indeed, you are powerful over everything.” (Quran, 66:8)

~ Never lose Hope ~

Lessons from the life of Ml. Yunus Patel (RA): Contentment with Decree

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In tassawuf, once a person reaches a high level of akhlaqe hameedah/praiseworthy qualities, then they reach the stage of contentment with decree. In Arabic, this is termed ‘radha bil qadha‘. Our Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه had a high level of this radha. At one stage when Hazrat رحمة الله عليه was diagnosed with a heart problem, he was instructed to go for a bypass. Months passed, years passed, Hazrat even had heart attacks…yet Hazrat refused to go! Family and friends were saying that you need to go. Doctors were saying to Hazrat that your heart is not functioning, we don’t know how you’re still living.

So eventually after a long time, Hazrat went for the bypass. He then said to us that, you may wonder….why did I not go earlier? It’s because I did not have the money. So I thought if Allah wants me to go, He will create the means for me to go. Whether I go or not, I won’t live one day more than my appointed time. Now, Allah has given the means. So it will be incorrect for me not to go, so I went.

My late father, Allah ﷻ fill His qabr with noor, would normally take guidance from a certain Mufti. My father’s kidneys had failed him so the doctors said that the only thing that will help is a kidney transplant. So naturally, we all suggested to go for a transplant but he was not going. Eventually, my father’s brother/my uncle came home and told my father that I have checked, and our blood group e.t.c is the same, so I will give you my kidney.

After my uncle left I asked, “Papa now what’s the story (i.e will you accept)?” He replied that no, I’m not going to do this operation. One or two weeks later, he called me in the room. He was lying down on the bed and he asked me to open the cupboard. Inside, he had a black folder containing all his correspondence. I handed him the folder and he took out a letter he had written to the Mufti whom he normally took His guidance from, حفظه الله. He gave the letter and requested me to read it. Prior to that, family members had given him fatawa that it’s permissible to do the transplant.

So I read the letter. In the letter, my late father رحمه الله was asking Mufti saab whether he can go for the transplant. This was many years back, before the kidney story came up. Mufti saabs opinion – not fatwa – was that no, you shouldn’t. Upon reading this my father stated that; I spent my entire life following the fatwa of my Hazrat, why should I change now? If my time is up, it’s up.

This is RADHA BIL QADHA – (a high level of) contentment with decree. If a person is not content with decree one of two things will happen; he will either go into frustration or a depressive state causing him to lose drive. Both are not conducive for a believer.

The only solution is RADHA BIL QADHA as we can never escape tests. Everyone has a test – some just handle it with Radha so we assume they have no test. Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Akhtar رحمة الله عليه says that the hearts of awliya, like a waterproof watch, become ‘harm proof’. They have their own set of problems but they handle it with radha. We try to fight our taqdeer but they accept. We need to endure our tests with sabr, read duas and carry on with our life. Otherwise, forget trials killing us, our own mindset will kill us.

I was travelling with one person once, we went through a small town so we stopped to buy some drinks. He went to the cafe only to return in a very sullen mood. I said “Bhai, what happened to you?” With tears in his eyes he begins telling me that I wanted to marry a certain girl, but my mother didn’t like her. We had so many arguments over this so in the end, I didn’t marry her, I married someone else. But that girl, that girl I wanted to marry, I just saw her in the shop. She has a rare illness, may Allah grant her Jannah. I’m not saying she’s a bad person but Allah saved me through this doubt in my mother’s heart whilst I was fighting against it.

May Allah grant us the tawfiq to be content with decree, Aameen.

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