Introductory Note: On the 22nd of August 2017 a marriage conference was held at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg. Scholars flew in from all over the world to give speeches. The conference was branded as Islamic. However, on the day many laws of the Shariah were violated. This includes free-mixing, acts in which very dirty jokes were made, insults towards the marriage of Nabi ﷺ and utter disrespect towards the noble Abu Hurairah (RA).
In this talk, Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat (DB) spoke about these violations and their great, long-term consequences. Hazrat also made mention of the Eidgah in Durban and the Ship cruise. The commonality between all three events is the modernisation of deen caused by lack of ilm and not seeking the guidance of true, upright Scholars. This modernisation is a global problem. The primary advice contained in this transcript deals with the causes of modernisation and how to combat them in light of the Sunnah. Hazrat further speaks about whom we can take our deen from and whom we should avoid, making this transcript one that is applicable to all.
Lastly, any mistakes are the error of the compiler for which I seek Allah’s forgiveness and the reader’s pardon. May Allah accept Hazrat’s work and efforts, aameen.
The question may come to mind – why can’t we invite non-Muslims to our Nikaahs and Janaazahs or to the Kabah? The reason why is because we need Allah’s mercy most in these times, but the disbelief in their hearts attract the wrath of Allah. Sometimes during a Janaazah, non-Muslims wish to attend to pay their respects. They can visit the home but if they attend the actual Janaazah, their presence will deprive the deceased of Allah’s mercy, as their presence attracts His wrath.
Janaazah and Nikaahs are worship and for that to be accepted, we cannot mix it with those that do not worship. Having said that, we must be extremely wise and careful in how we do this. Never hurt the feelings of others. Handle the situation with love and consideration, do not break hearts or burn bridges. The way to do this is to invite them at other times and to always treat them well. This is how we remain balanced – by fulfilling their rights but keeping our worship separate.
— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
(Above is a short point Hazrat made in his Jum’ah talk on 28/7/17. To listen to the full talk, please click here.)
It is narrated from Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه that Nabi ﷺ said: “No people gather together in one of the Houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, except that sakeenah descends upon them and mercy envelops them, and the angels surround them and Allah mentions them amongst those who are with Him.”
Sakeenah means tranquillity which only descends upon the hearts of believers. Disbelieving hearts are weakened due to lack of faith and therefore, they cannot contain it. When we were children we used to buy peanuts from the shops. The shopkeeper would shape a newspaper into a cone and fill it with the nuts. However, if we were to buy tea or coffee and put it in that newspaper the liquid would seep through, softening and ripping the newspaper. It does not have the correct properties to contain liquids. Likewise, the hearts of disbelievers do not have the spiritual strength and qualities to contain this sakeenah.
This sakeenah causes believers to grow in faith. Allah says in Surah Fath, ayah 4 that it is He who sent down Sakeenah into the hearts of believers, that they may grow more in Faith. This growth in faith becomes apparent in the amal of a believer. One’s actions are then aligned with the Shariah and the Sunnah. That believer, once this special sakeenah descends, he will not want to remain a mediocre believer who puts in mediocre effort. He will become of those who pray Ishraaq, Awabeen and Tahajjud, and those who exert themselves in their worship and efforts.
Nabi ﷺ further says that the mercy of Allah will envelop that reciter or student of the Qur’an. This mercy makes it easy to say no to sin. Nabi ﷺ would make dua that O Allah grant me your mercy, by enabling me to give up sins. He never sinned but he made this dua to teach us that Allah’s mercy will make it easy for us to give up sinful disobedience. Thus the barakah of the Qur’an is that tranquillity descends then Allah’s mercy which in turn, makes worshipful obedience easier.
Nabi ﷺ then says that the angels also envelop that gathering of the Qur’an. The effects of this are that angelic qualities will rub onto the hearts of those in the gathering too. The deception of the dunya is that a man in an illicit relationship will call his girlfriend an angel. She is no angel for him, even our language is a deception. For believers, when Allah gives us the tawfiq to do amal, that attracts real angels to our gatherings and their presence has a positive effect on us.
Lastly, Nabi ﷺ mentioned that Allah makes mention of these reciters of the Qur’an to those who are with Allah. Mullah Ali Qari رحمة الله عليه says that Allah mentions this to the senior angels who are very close to Allah, and to the souls of all the Prophets and the Messengers عليهم السلام. So imagine that you are sitting here in masjid reciting Qur’an and Allah is telling them that Muhammad the son of so-and-so, is sitting in such-and-such masjid reciting the Qur’an, what a great honour that would be!
Hazrat Ml. Muhammad Zakariyya رحمة الله عليه said, if we had to spend our entire lives to acquire just one of these virtues, it would have been well worth the effort. Yet how fortunate are we, that Allah is willing to give us all of them if we fulfill his conditions first. Therefore, we should never consider recitation and taleem of the Qur’an a light matter. Shaikhul Hind رحمة الله عليه was imprisoned in Malta for 4 years. Upon release, his first advice was to make taleem. He explained that the downfall of the Ummah is due to us being distanced from the Qur’an. He then made it his life mission to open up classes and reconnect people to the word of Allah.
The teacher of Maulana Qasim Seema رحمة الله عليه was Maulana Badriharam رحمة الله عليه. In 1958, one of his students went for Hajj. During his visit to Madinah Munawwarah, he was so touched being close to Nabi ﷺ that he decided to stay there. He made this intention and back in those days, it was easy to settle in Madinah Munawwarah too. However, that night he had a dream of Nabi ﷺ. Nabi ﷺ told him that you going back home and sitting on the mimbar of any masjid in your area teaching the Qur’an, is better than staying here and spending 20 years besides me.
May Allah enable us to really understand these great virtues of the Qur’an and may this understanding become a means of our guidance, Aameen.
— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s Jumah lecture on 5/8/17 in Madrassah Tarteelul Qur’an. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)
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)
Globally there are three sins that are very common. One is zina/fornication, the second is drugs/intoxicants and the third is music. These three sins are classified as major sins in Shariah, but our attitude towards them are somewhat different. If we look into our society, spouses and family members become very upset with one who is committing zina. If a man proposes and her family members find out that he has been involved in drugs before, suddenly, there’s a big question mark over that proposal. Therefore with drugs, we are on red alert. When it comes to zina, we are on red alert. But with music, we take this sin very very lightly. We do not regard it as the grave sin that it is.
At time music is unavoidable. As we walk down the streets, enter into a shop, or as we sit idly in traffic, there is almost always someone playing music out loud. During such moments, it is unavoidable. However we must ask ourselves, does it irk us? Does it trouble us? Does it make us feel uncomfortable?
If the answer is no, then we are guilty of watering down deen and trivialising this major sin. Once Nabi ﷺ was walking with a Sahaabi and from a distance music, could be heard. Immediately, Nabi ﷺ put his fingers into his ears. As they walked, He continuously asked his companion if the music was still audible or not, until finally they were out of earshot. Only then did Nabi ﷺ take his fingers out of his ears.
If people were committing zina in the open or taking drugs, we would not feel comfortable sitting by them watching or engaging in their haram! But with music…why do many of us feel so comfortable sitting in the company of one listening to music, when it too, is a major sin? Music is the very sin that entices people to commit zina or take drugs! It causes an eclipse to occur in the heart, the belief that Allah is watching us becomes overshadowed causing a person to enter into the state of ghaflat, which paves the way to many more sins.
Those who watch movies, if they had no music, would it be as interesting to watch? Every scene has a different tune playing in the background to suit the scene. If it is a horror, romantic or action scene, the music swiftly changes. This is because the music alters the mind, it puts a person into a different mood, it creates an effect on the heart and thus shaytaan uses this tool to entice us into haram.
Nabi ﷺ said that music creates hypocrisy in the heart. Meaning on one hand we claim to be believers, yet on the other hand we are doing actions that are totally unbefitting a believer. When hypocrisy enters, the remembrance of Allah leaves the heart. Then, although a person may be a believer, his actions speak otherwise.
Therefore, music is extremely dangerous to our Imaan. Not only should we avoid it completely, we must also ensure that our children do too. I know a young man who was obedient and practising. One day, his character suddenly changed. He became disinterested in Salah and began disobeying his parents. They could not understand why until one day, they noticed that he would always wear a woolly hat. Strangely enough, he would wear it constantly even throughout summer and during the night. His father became very suspicious by this so one night, he went to check up on his son. He removed the hat and found earphones plugged into his ears, he was in bed with his phone, listening to music. And it was this constant listening to music that caused his entire character to change for the worse.
This is the effect of music. You yourself can attest to what I am saying if you have been to the circus or watched movies before. It is shaytaan’s tool to condition the mind. For this reason, Nabi ﷺ said that I have been sent and instructed to break musical instruments. But unfortunately today, these musical instruments have even made their way into Islamic nasheeds too.
May Allah forgive us, and enable us to stay away from this great sin and all other sins, and may He enable us to take all sins seriously, Aameen.
— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
(The above is an extract from Hazrat’s jumah lecture on 17/2/17 on the topic of Music. To listen to the full lecture, click here.)
One quality of the awliya is crying out of the fear of Allah ﷻ. This is not the kind of fear you have for your landlord at the end of month, or fear for a predator. The fear of Allah ﷻ is a positive quality born out of His love. A banda (i.e. a slave of Allah ﷻ) should have such a loving relationship with Allah ﷻ, that he will not do anything that angers Him. Any tears shed for other than Allah ﷻ, are wasted tears. Last night in Pietermaritzburg we had wonderful rainfall. Yet as we left this morning, we came across news that stated “drought is far from over”, because the rain did not fall in the catchment area.
Similarly many people shed tears in this dunya, but they do not fall in the ‘catchment area’. Many people stay awake at night, some engage in haram like gambling and dancing. This is not for the sake of Allah ﷻ! So it’s a waste of time.
The heart is a recipient of Allah’s love but when we sin, the heart loses connection. To reconnect, we must shed tears first in this dunya, before they turn into blood in the hereafter. The inmates of hell will also cry out of fear but it will be too late. The dunya is the place to cry, so their tears will not fall in the ‘catchment area’, making them wasted tears.
Therefore in order to be rewarded for our turning towards Allah ﷻ, we must develop a habit of making dua and shedding tears in this dunya.
Currently in our country we are experiencing a serious case of drought. In the worst case scenario it may lead to a loss of crops and perhaps, a loss of lives. But the drought of the heart is far worse and far more detrimental, as it leads to a loss of connection with Allah ﷻ or in the worst case – a loss of Iman. Thus whilst we are concerned with the drought on land, we must also be concerned with our spiritual drought.
May Allah ﷻ make grant us tawfiq, aameen.
— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
(The above is an extract from a lecture delivered by Hazrat on 21/10/16 in Bethlehem. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)