Tag Archives: humility

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.)

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

surah maoon

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 brought 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. Abstaining from a good deed due to the fear that people may think that I am doing this for show, or in order to be praised, is also a type of 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 he hides his tasbeeh away due to his friend, then that too is a type of riya. 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 omit the awabeen due to the people, that too is a type of riya.

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.

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 Ebrahim عليه السلام 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 bayan in Gauteng on 10/7/17. The full audio can be heard below)

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)