Tag Archives: love for wealth

Developing a Successful Mindset

A person once approached Hazrat Ml. Zakariyya رحمة الله عليه to seek his advice. He told him that for the past two months when I return home from work, I ask my wife, “Is there anything to eat?” We are experiencing severe poverty. When she replies that there is nothing, I opt to spend the day fasting. Hazrat رحمة الله عليه replied, “Alhamdulillah. You are acting upon the Sunnah.”

In other words, Nabi ﷺ did the exact same because he lived a life of poverty too. Therefore, although the situation is difficult, it is close to the Sunnah and reaps rewards. This was Hazrat رحمة الله عليه’s mindset. He would notice the Sunnah more than the difficulty. In contrast, our mindset has drifted far away from the Sunnah. For example, if a man happily announces that he bought a spacious home in a posh suburb with a loan from his bank, what would our response be? Parents would gleefully remark, “Son, you have done well!” His new purchase would become talk of the town. Now his parents would want to purchase items for his new home, like a frame with the Kabah on it. He would be hailed a success.

Yet in reality, what has the son done by taking an interest loan? He has waged war with Allah (Qur’an, 2:278-279). He has incurred his wrath and anger. Yet we are too drunk and intoxicated in the love of this world to notice or care. Considering him successful for indulging in haram shows that our mindset is more materialistic than Islamic.

Allah tells us in the Qur’an that Jannah is being prepared as we speak for the righteous. Righteousness is the criteria. It is the ticket we need to enter the gardens of Jannah, but what does it mean to be righteous? It means to tread carefully and cautiously on earth, avoiding displeasing Him as far as possible. That is success. Not indulging in interest and sins. No matter how common it becomes always remember, a sin is a sin. There is no good outcome for it in the hereafter, even if its worldly state appears beautiful in our eyes.

May Allah align our mindset with Islam and save us from sins that tempt us to displease Him, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 08/12/17 in  Masjid Siraatul-Jannah, Ormonde, Johannesburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.

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.)

Usury/Interest: Waging war with Allah

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I was with a person and his friend phoned up requesting money. He was in the casino and he needed 80,000 rands. This incident occurred some time back, so 80,000 rands was considered a lot of money! Yet this person casually handed over 80,000 to him. So I remarked, “Does he pay you back?” The person replied, “Look, this is haram money. I acquired it from gambling in the casino, and now it is returning to the casino. If he happens to pay me back, I will just push it aside anyway as it is haram money.”

His point was that one haram cancels the other. These are the ridiculous arguments that we use to justify accepting interest and haram money. Allah declares in the Quran that the one who takes interest is waging war with Allah.

The Palestinians are at war with an enemy force so naturally, our hearts go out to them and we extend our sympathies. This is good but why are we not worried about those of us who are waging war with Allah? Can they possibly stand any chance of winning, where is our worry for them? The reality is, though Allah himself has spoken of this war in the Quran, we are not at all worried.

Instead many people speak happily and openly about their houses or cars on interest. It is as though there is nothing wrong with it. It is as though interest is not a major sin in Islam. People have become so used it, it is now a lifestyle.  Many pray salah and have big beards, yet engage in interest dealings. After buying one house or car, what is the need to buy yet another on interest? If we are stuck in this cycle we should be working towards an interest free life, not sink deeper into the sin.

Alhamdulillah many people have managed to come out of this vicious cycle of interest. I know people whose entire businesses were dependent on this, yet they managed to escape this life. So there is hope for everyone. Remember that at the end of the day, we will only earn that amount which is written for us. What is decreed will be given to us, nothing more and nothing less.

Ali رضي الله عنه came to a masjid and he had a camel with him. A person met him outside and said that I need a ride. So Ali رضي الله عنه replied that ok, no problem, we will discuss this after salah. After salah, Ali رضي الله عنه went outside and found his camel was nowhere to be seen, and the man had disappeared too! In other words, the man had taken the camel. Upon realising this Ali رضي الله عنه said that my intention was actually to give the camel to him. However, due to his haste he chose to take it the haram way. If he had waited for just a few more minutes, he would have got exactly what he wanted, the halal way!

A buzurg (i.e. a pious scholar) met a person on the streets, whom he later invited to his home to spend the night. The buzurg made monetary arrangements for him which he intended to give to him in the morning. He left the money in his pocket and fell asleep. The guest saw this so as the buzurg slept he quietly entered the room, pickpocketed the money and made a quick escape out of sight.

He left the house of the buzurg and made his way back. In the morning when the buzurg woke up, he checked his pockets and saw that the money had disappeared. He thought to himself that this unfortunate person! If only he had stayed the night I would have served him breakfast in the morning, given him the money in my pocket and more money I left aside for his padkos (i.e. food for the return journey home)! But due to his haste, he received less through haram means.

The moral of both stories is that we must have patience. We can either jump the gun and take the haram option, or wait and accept the halaal. Either way, we will only receive that amount which is decreed for us. So why take interest and chase after wealth, which if decreed, we will receive without interest anyway, and if not decreed, we will never receive it even with interest?

May Allah grant us the tawfiq to come out of this cycle, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from a dhikr majlis delivered by Hazrat on 28/11/2016 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. To listen to the full audio please click here)

Understanding Zakah

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THE PURPOSE OF ZAKAH

Overtime the love for wealth settles in the heart of man. A person who gives zakah happily, it removes the rust of love for wealth that sets upon his heart. Zakah is a means of purifying these rusted hearts of ours.

Therefore, do not regard it as a payment we give from our own pockets. Rather, it is a contribution that we give, from the money Allah blessed us with. We are giving back money that was never ours, back to where it belongs. It is a small contribution in this dunya, yet a great contribution towards our aakhirah. So do not regard it as a burden either.

A hadeeth states that a time will come when people will regard Zakah as a tax.

We should not be from amongst these people. The one who frowns his forehead upon a poor person seeking Zakah, will have his forehead branded on the day of judgement. The one turns his side when a poor person comes seeking Zakah, will have his side branded on the day of judgement. The one who does not give Zakah, it will take the form of a snake which will bite him on the day of judgement, saying that I am the wealth which you did not give!

Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه explained the importance of Zakah beautifully. Hazrat gave an example of a person suffering from water retention in his body, causing his body to appear fat. Even though water is healthy, nobody will call him healthy. The one who exercises and loses weight is considered healthy. Likewise, taking out Zakah from our wealthy keeps us spiritually fit. If we do not pay, outwardly it may seem like our money is increasing. But in reality, it is a diseases which will lead to many financial and spiritual problems.

ZAKATABLE ASSETS:

1) Gold or Silver – in the Hanafi Madhab, we give Zakah on our gold and silver, even if we do not regularly use them. Often we get widows who have no wealth but they have jewellery. They take zakah, but their wedding ring or gold set is more than the value of nisab. So she cannot accept Zakah, rather, she has to give Zakah. If she has no cash to give, she should sell a portion of her jewellery and give her Zakah. She cannot avoid Zakah saying her jewellery has sentimental value so she cannot sell it. We cannot avoid our deeni obligations due to our dunyawi attachments.

2) Cash – For a shop owner, this includes all the coins in your shop tills. For those who have foreign currency, this includes the 100 riyals we have leftover from our Umrah trip. We only consider it money again when we fly over. but for Zakah, we have to include foreign currency in our cash before calculating Zakah.

3) Stock in trade

4) Money that is owed to us – If someone owes us, we give zakah on that too. If we have waived the payment for any reason, then there is no zakah due.

5) Shares in a business

NON-ZAKATABLE ASSETS:

🔹Metals other than gold and silver – For example, we do not give zakah platinum and diamonds, regardless of how expensive they may be. Diamond is not wealth, man placed value on it. Wealth is gold and silver. So deen does not acknowledge diamonds. Therefore, a lady will pay the good part of her ring, not the diamond.

🔹Property, land and buildings – We will only pay zakah on this if it is rented and generating income.

🔹Appliances – No matter how many Russell Hobbs and Kenwood appliances a lady may have, she does not pay zakah. The same applies to the tools of an artist or fixtures and fittings in a business.

🔹Personal items – Watches, jackets, shoes e.t.c.

MISCELLANEOUS RULES PERTAINING TO ZAKAH:

🔸For every 30 years in the Gregorian calendar, it is 31 years in the Hijri calendar. Therefore, to avoid missing one years of zakah every thirty years, it is important to calculate the zakatable year using the Hijri calendar.

🔸Most people fix Ramadan to pay zakah but our payment should actually be given 1 year after they day we become an owner of nisab. Even if our money fluctuates, pay zakah on whatever you have, on that day.

🔸Zakah empowers people. If you find someone eligible for Zakah with many debts, battling to pay it all off with his small business, then it is better to give Zakah to him so you can pay off his debts and he can prosper. A few years down the line, he will be assisting another person struggling like he was. I have seen this happen many times. If it is not possible to find a recipient of Zakah yourself, then you may pass your Zakah money to a good organisation, that does not break the laws of Allah.

🔸The recipient of Zakah may do as he wishes with the money, we cannot dictate how he should spend it.

🔸If a husband pays on behalf of the wife and children, then before he even gives the Zakah, he must inform them first and they must agree first.

🔸Apart from ascendants and descendants, you may give Zakah to struggling family members like brothers or sisters. This is better, as we should always assist our families first.

– Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

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

3 causes of heedlessness

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Shaytan uses one tool to enter a person into sin – that tool is ghaflat. Ghaflat can be translated as negligence, heedlessness or being unmindful of Allah. In the festive month of December, many people fall into a state of ghaflat. This refers to being unmindful of Allah’s gaze. Ghaflat is generated by 3 weaknesses:

🔸  EXCESSIVE ENGROSSMENT (in dunya) – This happens in abundance in the festive season. Allah grants us barakah in our business and now every businessman is too busy. We cannot allow for the business to start running us. Sometimes, the same businessman who was closing everyday to pray Zuhr in jamat, suddenly stops doing so in this festive period! Why? To get more sales. We should be thanking Allah for the barakah but instead we become ungrateful missing our Zuhr prayer. Allah says that your success is in reading five times Salah. Yet, we cannot seem to understand this. He opens the tap of wealth in festive seasons, we stop praying. So then Allah in His wisdom and kindness, he closes the tap of wealth again because we are destroying ourselves, running after dunya.

💊  The medication – dhikrullah and dua. Our Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel رحمه الله used to explain; that true dhikrullah is complying with the hukm of Allah ﷻ that is directed to us at that time. For example, if a person recites tasbeeh whilst signing an interest deal, he may sound like one doing dhikr. In reality, he is ghafil! At that time, the hukm of Allah ﷻ is to not sign the contract. This is true dhikrullah.

🔸  WORRY – Worry is a vacuum, it pulls a person into the depths of depression. Worry happens when we make the dunya our objective. For example, the price of petrol goes up and we wonder how we’ll get by financially. Yet, I don’t see anyone getting thinner. We’re all fine, because life just carried on.

💊  The medication – The only way we can get rid of worry, is by turning our gaze to Allah and remembering our home – the aakhirah.

🔸  FREE TIME – On a free day, we procrastinate thinking we have the whole day to complete our tasks. Thus holidays come and they go. Yet our tasks remain unfulfilled which leads to more mess than we began with.

💊  The medication – one must lead a structured life by creating a timetable and sticking to it.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

Barakah in wealth

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3 members from the tribe of Bani Abbas came to Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم and said that Ya Rasulullah صلي الله عليه وسلم! We have heard Islam without hijrah is not accepted. So if this is the case, can there be any blessings in our wealth and our cattle? We accepted Islam after the hijrah occurred and now we have cattle, will there ever be barakah (i.e. blessings)? If not, can we sell them, make hijrah and come back?

These were new Muslims accepting Islam, yet they had so much concern and were willing to sacrifice all their wealth…we are born Muslims, yet we bring so many unislamic practices into our businesses! And then we expect for there to be barakah. Nowadays, if a lady comes to us to become our business partner, she wants to share an office and travel overseas together, what does shaytaan tell us? He tells us that see, it is obligatory to earn a living in Islam, plus, we have Islamic institutes that we need to continue donating to.

So under this influence of shaytaan, he travels with her on an aeroplane. He spends a week with her in China, lazing with her, away from home; their bedrooms are next door to each other. Is this not a recipe for disaster? If the local Maulana and Apa planned to go abroad together to sort some madrassa work out, we would consider it hugely inappropriate. So when it comes to business why do we make excuses for it, as though it is permissible to break the commands of Allah ﷻ for the sake of earning?

Can there be any barakah in such a business? Barakah is not a lot of wealth. Barakah is having little but deriving much benefit from that. Sometimes, a man thinks he is earning money, he thinks he is really well off. But there is no peace in his life, there is no joy due to problems with children or disputes e.t.c.These problems in our lives can be due to a lack of barakah.

I was thinking yesterday that anyone who comes to me with a business dispute, I will just instruct them to go to the Jamiat office or a mufti. Because I have realised, when it comes to other problems people are prepared to take heed of any advice imparted. But business? People are not prepared to listen; some people are just so crazy for money! In a dispute someone will be wrong and someone will be right. Either we come to a compromise or the wrong party will have to take a knock on his business. But often people do not want this, their mentality is – I must not lose a single dime. If the Maulana goes against me, he must be dodgy. As for me? No, I will not compromise. This is the common mentality.

Whereas these Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم we are talking about, they are coming in 10AH and meeting Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم for the first time ever. Yet, they are prepared to get rid of all their wealth to make hijrah and be with Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم. When this is the quality of the Imaan of the people who are accepting deen in 10AH, what will be the quality of the childhood friend, who lived all his life with Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم? And what would be the quality of the Imaan of his daughter? I am referring to Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه here.

And Umar رضي الله عنه, his accepting Islam was due to the dua of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم, what would be the quality of His Imaan? These people came at 10AH, and in the very first meeting with Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم they are prepared to lose everything. So imagine the piety of those who were nurtured in company of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم!

So in response to their question, Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم replied that fear Allah ﷻ wherever you may be. Fath-e-Makkah (I.e. The time for hijrah) has taken place already so do not worry. You do not need to make hijrah rather stay where you are and Allah ﷻ will not reduce your cattle.

And in this advice of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم, lies a great lesson for us. We too must fear Allah ﷻ in our business dealings by not allowing love for wealth to control us. Shariah is not just for Maulanas, it is for everyone including business owners. So we must all follow this Shariah otherwise we will be deprived of barakah in our lives. Then we will have no one to blame, except ourselves.

May Allah ﷻ remove the love for wealth from our hearts Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(The above is an extract from 2 lectures delivered by Hazrat last week. To listen to the full audio clips, please click here and here. To listen to the shortened audio clip, please click here)