Tag Archives: islaah

The cause of sinful disobedience

An electric current flowing through a circuit cannot be seen, but it causes a light to switch on which can be seen. The current of Allah’s love flows through our heart and minds. We may not see it in ourselves or others, but it leads to obedience to Allah, which is a light that can be seen. The sign of a break in an electric current is that the light will not switch on. An electrician needs to be called now, to identify and fix the fault.

The sign of a break in the current of love for Allah, it that a Saalik (a follower of Sufism) will be inclined to disobedience. A Shaikh needs to be called now, to identify and fix the fault. What has caused his love for sin to overpower his love for Allah? Is it Nafs, Shaytaan, or a change in circumstance? The Shaikh is skilled in this regard. He will ask him all the relevant questions, enquiring until the fault is found. Once identified it can be fixed immediately, allowing the current of love to flow smoothly again.

If there is no electric current, the freezer will defrost. If the electrician is quick, he will save the day. However, if it is left broken for too long, the food will rot and emit a foul smell. Now it will take much longer to sort the problem out. Though the fault was small, he left it for long and now it has disastrous consequences. Likewise, when we notice a spiritual weakness, we need to seek help as soon as possible. Otherwise, as time elapses it will worsen leading to disastrous consequences.

May the current of Allah’s love flow through our bodies causing us to live in His obedience and pleasure. Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 13/11/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.

3 ways to develop an Attitude of Gratitude

If we are grateful by being obedient to Allah, He will increase his bounties upon us. Whether it is from a worldly or religious perspective, there is so much we have to be grateful for. Below are three ways to express gratitude:

1. Attribute your success to Allah: When we face difficult moments we make lots of dua for a way out. However, when our duas are accepted and the difficulty is removed, we do not even attribute it to Allah. Instead, we forget him, attributing our relief to our own intellect, luck, money, or a friend who helped us out. What about Allah who helped you out? How quick we are to forget Him.

It is not the means which pulls us out of difficulty, it is the creator of the means who pulls us out of difficulty. Therefore, one way to express gratitude is to thank Him first and most, then thank everyone else. When your child does well in school, thank Allah first then the teacher. When you have medication and you get better, it was not because the doctor cured you. Allah cured you, thank Him first then the doctor.

2. Look at those who have less than you, not those who have more than you: Life can take a wrong turn at times. Rather than complaining at every given opportunity, look further towards people who are suffering more. This will silence our complaints and fill our hearts with the gratitude Allah wishes to see in us. When we were children, it was a norm for people to drive through plush suburbs on Sunday afternoons, when they had nothing else planned. It was a pastime activity, people would drive past marvelling at the big houses and the beautiful gardens.

However, once they would return home, their houses would suddenly look too small or too ugly. This is what happens when we look up towards that which we do not have. We will become discontented with our share of life, greedy and ungrateful. Instead, we should go to poorer areas and see how they live in their small shacks. Once you return to your humble home you will realise, it is not so small and humble after all. In the eyes of many, you live in a palace that they can only dream of having.

To us, life may seem problematic but there are many poor people that would dream of having all your “problems” instead of theirs. A man went to the masjid with no shoes on. He began complaining until he saw a man with no legs. Immediately, he sought Allah’s forgiveness. Therefore, look towards those who less, not those who have more.

3. Be obedient to Allah: Our late Shaikh Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه used to always give the following example. Sometimes a person holds a family function or a wedding. In that function, a lot of sins take place like photography, intermingling, missing Salah and the playing of music. The event is planned in a way that is contrary to the Sunah. Yet at the end of it when someone asks the host, “How did it go?” he will reply, “Shukr, Alhamdulillah.” In other words, he will thank Allah for making his event run smoothly, though the event was riddled with sin. Hazrat رحمة الله عليه would say that sometimes, this type of gratitude may fall under utterances of kufr. This is because our gratitude is upon sin.

Thanking Allah with our tongues is not gratitude. True gratitude is to please Allah by doing good deeds. If our actions are in line with the Shariah, then even if we do not say “Shukr Alhamdulillah”, we will still be regarded as grateful servants. However, if we limit our gratitude to mere lip service whilst totally violating the laws of Allah, then that is hypocritical, not gratitude. It is like someone bumping into you by accident, apologising and then punching you. Does that make any sense? Would you even accept his apology? No, we would not. Therefore in our relationship with Allah, we must endeavour to make our actions in sync with our words. Express gratitude verbally but more importantly, show it in all that you do.

May Allah grant us the ability to be grateful, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 19/09/17 in Masjid Hamza, Effingham Heights, Durban. To listen to the full talk, please click here.

How to become a Friend of Allah

Mujahadah means to strive for the pleasure of Allah. In the early days of Islam, Mashaaikh would prescribe intense spiritual exercises and thousands of dhikr. Sins were not as common, so this required great strength, making it a suitable form of Mujahadah for them.

As time has elapsed, sins have become extremely common making restraint very difficult. Therefore, the greatest form of Mujahadah in the 21st century is to abstain from sins. For example, before the invention of mobile phones, acquiring obscene material was difficult, now it is in our pockets. Just having a phone and not going on filthy sites for the pleasure of Allah is Muajahadah.

Furthermore, back in the days it was difficult to phone an illicit beloved. It was a great risk because what if someone else picked up the house phone? You would have to make an excuse on the spot to hide your haram intent. Now we all have mobile phones there is no need to call the house phone anymore, eliminating the risk of someone finding out. In fact, you do not even need their number anymore! You can just search for them on social media and you are bound to find them somewhere. Maintaining haram relationships is so much easier than it used to be, therefore, abstaining is much more rewarding than it used to be.

After fulfilling the basics of Islam, this is the secret to attaining wilayat (friendship with Allah) and a catalyst to reaching Allah. Without it, the chances of attaining wilayat are slim. May Allah grant us the tawfiq, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 13/11/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.)

Be wary of whom you take your deen from

To read this article/transcript, please click on the PDF below:

Be wary of whom you take your deen from

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.

 

Understanding the power of the Qur’an

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.)

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)

3 Golden Life Lessons

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Remember! Life is full of tests and Allah is the examiner. At times, people will be used to hand out the paper but always remember that it is Allah who sets each and every paper. Therefore, whatever we experience is our taqdeer, bear it all with patience. Never forget Allah in the good times and never become despondent in the bad times. Use every condition to get closer to Allah and earn His pleasure. This will lead you to Jannah. Know that this world is temporary. So do not become too excited over your worldly, material accomplishments. At the same time, do not lose sleep or get upset over its losses or lack of materialism.

Remember! Never worry about who is not fulfilling your rights or who is unfair to you, as you will not be questioned regarding this in the hereafter. However, always make sure that you fulfill everyone else’s rights, as you will be questioned regarding this.

Remember! Your only real, true friend and benefactor is ALLAH. The only human who loves you the most is Rasulullah صلي الله عليه وسلم. So keep your relationship strong with your creator and your Prophet. Then you will be able to weather any storm, cross any mountain no matter how high, swim any ocean no matter how deep, face any calamity no matter how dangerous…because you won’t be alone! Your Allah will be with you. Loving you, caring for you, looking out for you, guiding you and protecting you. Keep Him close and you will always be fine with a smile!

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

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.)

Good Character, Fashion and Designer brands

good character

A believer cannot attain love for Allah without good character. All religions promote it so we all believe in it, but we all practise it differently. For example, to a non-Muslim shaking a lady’s hand is good manners but for us, we know it is haram. Their benchmark is their religion and our benchmark is ours.

The problem is, we often make the western lifestyle our benchmark by drifting away from the Sunnah and following their ways. This causes our akhlaaq to deteriorate in the sight of Allah. One example of this is fashion. Through designer brands western culture promotes pride, arrogance and excessive concern over appearance. We buy into it, desiring to make an impression everywhere we go. Thus we become busy in showing off.

How then can we display good character, consideration and humility whilst our hearts are immersed in the desire to show off and outdo others? This is precisely the selling point of designer brands; using the name of one disbeliever to brand numerous items, in an attempt to make the owner feel superior when they wear/use it. Not only is this pure silliness, but it is deeply unbecoming of a believer who is meant to follow Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم.

Some of us become Maulanas or scholars of deen so we cannot take our kurtas/thawbs off, but we get as close as possible to western fashion. We want both the Sunnah clothing and western fashion. This attitude is dangerous because if we get too close, we may start grazing on the other side. Remember, the lifestyle of westerners is not our benchmark. The Sunnah of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم is.

Once we follow this Sunnah we will be able to develop good character. A smile, a kind word, a friendly gesture and all good traits do not require extra time to do. They just require consideration and a bit of thought. Yet, they are the most valuable and weighty on the scales of Allah. Ummul Mu’mineen Aishah رضي الله عنها said that one who adopts good character will receive the same reward as one who prays all day and night. Jannah is a bargain and easy to attain for those with good character therefore, we must make an effort to develop it. Then we can spread its fragrance wherever we go and light up the earth with the Sunnah of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم.

The akaabireen mastered this field by drawing examples from the life of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم. Once a bird came to Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم flapping its wings in grief. Immediately, Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم enquired as to who had troubled this bird by taking away its nestling. Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم instructed that the nestlings be released.

SubhanAllah! See how Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم had love for even animals? Now when we have such a fine example, why then do we seek to dress, behave and follow western ways? Be wise and follow Allah’s beloved Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم and then you too will become His beloved. May Allah grant us the ability to follow the Sunnah and may He refine our character through it, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s bayan in Darul Uloom Azaadville on 19/5/2017)