Tag Archives: peace of mind

The power of the Mind

 

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Imam Ghazali رحمة الله عليه said that the mind/intellect has to be the king in the body, and anger/desires must be the servants. So if for example one’s desires are running wild towards the impermissible, the king must instruct his anger to arrest that desire. One’s intellect must question that if I were to carry out this desire of mine, what would the consequences be? If it’s negative, I cannot continue with this desire, and if it’s positive, then I can carry it out.

If the intellect does not command anger to arrest desire, then the same intellect will be used by desire to commit wrong. Do you not see how a teenager who wishes to go out for some wrongdoing, completely bluffs his father with a clever, concocted story? He is able to do this because the king has been made the slave of the servant.

Our emotions must be controlled by our intellect, and our intellect must be bound by the Shariah. When this principle is firmly in place, our lives will become peaceful and our hearts will become inclined towards dhikrullah. But when there is a weakness in this, then we will become like animals in our behaviour: out of control and unpredictable.

The companion of the Prophet ﷺ, Abu Talha رضي الله عنه, once embarked on a journey, leaving his wife and baby at home. On his way back home, his baby passed away.  Let us analyse the situation before continuing; her baby was alive before he left, and now, he has passed away. I ask you, what does her emotions want to do as soon as her husband enters the home? This is her husband: The one who she shares her child with. She can stand strong the whole time but when he comes home, she is just waiting to fall in his arms, looking for strength in him. Ready to break down. But you see she had Imaan, so she controlled it. Her intellect instructed her emotions that no, you will not break down like that because when he returns, whether you tell him immediately or after a few hours, it will not make any difference. The baby has passed away, he has moved on. If you tell him immediately he will not eat, or fulfil his desire out of sadness.

She understood this because she thought logically, deciding with her intellect rather than her emotions. So when he eventually returned home and enquired that how is the child? She simply replied that he is better than before. She proceeded to serve him food and she fulfilled his conjugal rights. After he was at ease, she was still contemplating how to soften the blow for him. So she began by posing a question. She asked him that if someone borrows something from a family, and that family asks for it back, can that person refuse to return it? Her husband replied that no, he cannot refuse like that. She responded saying that our child was a gift from Allah. Now, Allah has taken our child back.

Her composure and mannerisms at such a devastating point in her life, really reflects her high level of piety and trust in Allah. She did not act on her emotions and likewise, we should learn to not act on our emotions or anger either. Control it, do not be controlled by it.

Often, saalikeen remark that I am not in the mood to make dhikr. I feel like I will fall into sin, I am so tempted. My response is that these problems will continuously occur, it is natural. But if we keep the king in charge, we will manage to overcome such temptations. Look at a person who works at a shop or the CEO of a business firm. Some days he will feel energetic at work, other days he will feel lethargic. But can he allow these ‘feelings’ to dictate how much work he completes in the day? No, not really because he has to finish his paperwork or organise his files, so he will exert himself whether he likes it or not. Work is work, it needs to get done. Deen is deen, it needs to be followed.

Hazrat Maulana Maseehullah Khan رحمة الله عليه would say that we undermine the strength of the mind. We undermine the power of it. A hunter who owns a horse and a dog will train them both until they become submissive, attacking and running only at his command. The hunter will control them both and that is how the mind should be. The intellect holds the reins of our emotions in its hands, and they will move in accordance to its instructions.

Sometimes when you go to the park, you come across a man who is taking his dog for a walk, but it looks like the dog is taking him for a walk. The dog is running wild in every direction and he is running behind it, whilst the leash is tangling around his hands. Whereas a trained dog will walk submissively behind its master, even if other dogs bark at it, it will still remain focused.

Likewise, the nafs needs to be trained, our desires needs to be reined in, our anger needs to be put on a leash and our intellect must be in control. Once we master this, only then will we be able to live in harmony with ourselves and those around us, displaying good character in all situations as a believer should.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s Seerah majlis on 23/2/2017. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)

Coping with Life Challenges and Stress

coping with life challenges and stresses

Life is full of tests and challenges. There are times when it will upset us or it will not go our way. Look at Nabi ﷺ, when Allah asked him to stand on Mount Safa to give dawah for the first time in his life. He must have put so much thought and effort into preparing his first speech, but the people dispersed and ignored his call. Was this the reaction Nabi ﷺ was hoping for, or was it the total opposite? He tried so hard yet it did not go according to plan, the people refused to listen. At another stage in his life, He invited His whole family over for a meal and before they left, he invited them to Islam. He asked them that who will help me? No-one responded except Hazrat Ali رضي الله عنه.

Yet again, His efforts did not go according to plan. In Taaif He was stoned by the street urchins until He bled. He experienced boycotts against Him, moments when there was no food at home, loved ones passing away including His own children whom He buried with his own hands. A time came when He even got upset with His wives and separated from them for a month!

The point that I am trying to make is that the conditions of life will not be favourable at all times. However, as Muslims, our character is expected to be favourable at all times. We must be patient with the trials of life. Some days life will go well, other days it will not. When you return home, some days your favourite meal will be ready on the table, other days you may return hungry or in a hurry, but the food is still getting cooked.

Regardless of the situation, we are expected to rise above and display good manners. And who expects this from us? Allah himself. And how do we manage to act favourably during a difficult moment? How is it possible? By being in love with Allah. One who is in love remains unaffected because he is on cloud nine. He is so immersed in his own happiness that nothing can phase him.

When we have deep hearted love for Allah, he will rectify our hearts. Then in Salah, tilaawat and dhikr, we will feel peaceful and tranquil. This tranquillity immunizes the heart against all the adversities taking place. Now, though adversities will continue to occur, he will be able to manage due to the peace emanating from his heart.

However, when we remove religion from our lives, all of sudden, everything and anything becomes a cause of sadness for us. These adversities were happening all along but now we are feeling it because we forgot to take our immunization. If we neglect deen, our spiritual arteries become clogged, our hearts suffer, we no longer experience peace inside and therefore everything begins to irritate, upset or hurt us.

But when our relationship with Allah is strong, our spiritual arteries become unblocked and the noor of ibadah will light up our lives. When one is in a game park where predators are roaming freely, then one will not be seen strolling casually. However, in a zoo where the predators are caged, notice how people stroll through relaxed, calm and happy with an ice cream in their hands and a smile upon their faces. Because in this zoo, he knows that there are walls and cages. Therefore, although he is in the midst of predators he remains peaceful because he knows that they cannot affect him.

Likewise is the case of a believer. We all face adversities which prey on our weaknesses, but those who are immunized are unaffected. They stroll cheerfully down the thorniest of paths because the thorns cannot affect him. Whereas those who neglect deen neglect their own souls until every trail causes restlessness and worry.

Allah gave us dhikr and Salah for our own benefit and spiritual nourishment, they have great worldly benefits too. Nabi ﷺ said that the coolness of my eyes is Salah. That is a property of Salah, provided the Salah is performed properly. When one wakes up for Fajr and speaks to Allah, makes dua and reads the Quran, by the time morning comes he is mentally ready to face the jungle (i.e. work). Slowly he loses his stamina and by the time Zuhr Salah comes in, he cannot take it anymore.

Now he needs to reset, he needs a detox to refresh himself and get his sanity back. So he goes to pray Zuhr. Now he returns to the jungle again, mentally equipped and ready to work. But again he loses himself, so he returns to the Masjid for Asr. In the evenings at home, the day-to-day pressure of family life can be difficult to bear but rather than losing himself by displaying anger and bad character, yet again he returns to Allah for Maghrib and Ishaa.

A lady’s situation is similar. Every day brings with it a series of challenges, but praying Salah in the way it should be prayed will enable us to cope. Rather than losing it she also turns to Allah, her first love. She turns to Allah, He turns to Allah and Allah sees both, He sees that they are both turning towards him. So now Allah cements their hearts together.

This is deen: a soothing balm for hearts blistered with sins, an oasis for travellers of the spiritual world, ever-ready to quench our thirst for peace, ever-ready to calm our worries, silence our fears and eliminate our stresses, but we lack the sight to see it, the ability to recognise it and the motivation to act upon it. May Allah enable us to return to Him and to realise the reality of life, Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s dhikr majlis yesterday. Once the full audio is uploaded on taqwa.co we will link it here inshaAllah.)

Qurbani

An animal slaughtered on any other day does not enjoy the same sanctity as an animal slaughtered for Qurbani. The animal slaughtered for Qurbani is a treasure of Taqwa to the soul of a Muslim. Taqwa in slaughtering consists of five parts:

1. Form a noble intention: Allah’s Command shall be carried out with joy and enthusiasm! Nay, Allah’s command, even before being carried out, is received with ecstasy and jubilation. Qurbani days are here! A Muslim bows happily to Allah’s Will, his intention is filled with humility and hope. A Muslim loves and adores his Allah. So now his Allah commands that slaughter and take a life for My Pleasure. Do it for Me with love, fear and humility. It’s not the flesh or blood that counts; it’s the heart and taqwa that counts and the roots of Taqwa lie in an environment of Taqwa.

2. Keep the environment halaal:  A corrupt environment breeds a corrupt mentality and fosters evil habits. A corrupt environment is Shaytaan’s playground. A corrupt environment increases the evil power of the Nafs. This is why the environment for Qurbani should be filled with holiness and piety, devoid of intermingling between males and females. Qurbani is not a fashion parade for women nor is it macho-time for men. It is an action bred from taqwa so ensure that the environment is free from immodesty, raucous laughter, flirting, videoing, music, bragging and boasting.

3. Pick the right animal: Allah watches to see if the animal is worthy of His Choice. Therefore there are specifications and age restrictions to the type of animals that Allah will accept. For example, Allah’s chosen animal should not be blind, deaf or paralyzed, the animal should be comforted and not frightened. The animal should be treated with compassion and kindness, not brutalized and stunned in a barbaric-style. Also, it should be made to face the direction of the House of Allah and not the direction of convenience chosen by kuffaar companies.

4. Slaughtering and reflecting: Perhaps, the slaughterer’s taqwa commenced some months ago when he started saving for his Qurbani and searching for an animal. His appearance reinforced his taqwa when he stopped pairing his nails and stopped cutting his hair. This may be shabby to the creation, but in the Sight of Allah, he is most handsome.

He steps forward with sleeves rolled-up and with a heart beating. In front of him for a fleeting moment flashes a scene from another time. A time when a man was commanded to slaughter his only son. With a sharp knife in his hands, he stepped forth to his blindfolded son and firmly took hold of his throat. A time when a man with a firm heart and with all the strength of a Nabi’s blessed, powerful taqwa-filled hands abided to His Friend – Allah’s – Commands. O ibrahim عليه السلام! May Allah have Mercy and forever send His peace upon you, what a worthy and spiritual grandfather you were to us! Worthy you are indeed of your name to be taken in every two rakaat Salaah four times, by every Muslim in every corner of the world!

The slaughterer not only slaughters the animal. The slaughterer seeks the innocence of that animal by slaughtering his Nafs. Whilst the blood gushes forth from the animal, purifying it, nafsaani evil “gushes” forth from the slaughterer’s nafs, purifying it. He also becomes purified according to his intention. His Qurbani was one of taqwa and now he too has passed a test. Therefore just like Ibrahim عليه السلام was rewarded, this simple bondsman will also be rewarded.

5. The rewards of passing the test: O friends! Know well that with every good, virtuous feat and deed of Ibaadah, comes both material and spiritual rewards. Know well too, that the material rewards are not restricted to this worldly life. When we sin, we pay if there is no remorse or regret. When we are obedient, we reap reams of Allah’s Mercy in the form of peace of mind and tranquility.

After Qurbani this meat becomes halal, so eat and enjoy this blessing from Allah. Qurbani was made and the soul soars to a higher level where it will now dwell and enjoy the Divine Presence. Spiritually a person is fortified to meet the challenges of shaytaan and the Nafs. As for rewards in the hereafter, for every hair or fibre of wool a reward is assured, inshaAllah. The hooves and horns shall be weighed on the scales. What joy will there be at the dipping scales and what radiance will there be glowing from the face!

Even as the slaughterer casts a last glance at his shuddering dying Qurbani animal, he leaves it with hope in his heart. For he knows, as only a Muslim can know, that it is not the last time he has seen this animal. There remains one final meeting; a meeting of tremendous significance and great importance.

In order to enter Jannah, a Muslim has to cross a Bridge which spans Jahannam. This Bridge is thinner than a hair and sharper than a blade, to traverse it will take 15,000 years! It is at this decisive bridge where a Muslim will see his Qurbani animal awaiting him. How great will his joy be when he mounts his Qurbani animal which will speed over Jahannam and deposit him at the gates of Jannah!

May Allah accept the Qurbani of the entire Ummah and may our Qurbaani be a means of us attaining Taqwa. Ameen

– Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(The above is an edited, shortened version of an article on Hazrat’s website from a few years back. The original article can be viewed here.)

Overcoming Jealousy

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(By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه)

Allah ﷻ in His Infinite Wisdom which we, with our limited intelligence, cannot comprehend, distributes amongst mankind of His bounties. Wealth, intelligence, health, beauty and all other goodness are given by Allah ﷻ.

Therefore, there is no need to burn the heart over someone else’s gifts, fortunes and possessions. Harbouring jealousy in the heart only harms the one who is jealous, ruins his peace of mind, torments his heart, and destroys his own good deeds.

It is mentioned in a Hadeeth: “Beware of jealousy, for verily it destroys good deeds the way fire destroys wood.”

Explaining this, Hazrat Maulana Shah Muhammad Ahmad رحمة الله عليه aptly conveyed the reality of jealousy in his poetry:

“Why are you burning yourself in the fire of jealousy?
Why are walking towards the Fire of Hell?
Are you unhappy with the distribution made by
Allah, Himself?
Why are you rubbing the palms of your hands in deep regret?”

Therefore expel the evil of jealousy from the heart. We must seek goodness from Allah ﷻ and make the correct effort by making use of the Halaal means to acquire what is permissible to acquire. Be satisfied and content with whatever is achieved.

(For articles, books and audio clips of Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه, please click here)

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)

Cheating, gambling and womanizing: How Allah exposes a sinner, out of His mercy!

imageAny amal you do, do it for Allah ﷻ. Don’t worry what this person and that person said. All those doubts, kick it out of our mind. You want to do something? Do it for Allah ﷻ. How much you can do, do. Whatever you can’t do, leave it out. Don’t get involved in politics. Don’t hurt people. Don’t read too much into things. Two people brought a dispute to Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم who responded that I have to pass judgment on zaahir (I.e that which is apparent). After this, if someone does something wrong then Allah ﷻ is watching and He will deal with it.

We too, have to adapt to this. Especially spouses, we have men who, when cheating, may have two phones. He’s a couch potato yet the second the wife walks towards his ringing phone, he suddenly becomes an athlete. Why? He’s hiding something. The cheated upon spouse becomes a policewoman. Now she’s monitoring, constantly worried. You can’t blame her but overtime, this does get frustrating. The spouse guilty of disloyalty now plays the guilt card, he says, don’t you trust me?

So for the innocent spouse it’s a worrying, constrained life. The best way to deal with it is to leave it to Allah ﷻ. Because if the spouse is being disloyal, who is he being disloyal to? He is being disloyal to Allah ﷻ first. We can duck and dive from humans, but we can’t duck and dive from Allah ﷻ! So if someone is doing wrong, Allah ﷻ will expose them. Just like Allah ﷻ exposed him the first time, if he continues to be disloyal, Allah ﷻ will expose him again.

Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم mentioned in a hadeeth, that enter from the front door when you come home. Meaning, don’t go through the back door, peaking, to see what she’s up to. This hadeeth shows us we mustn’t look around for evidence, Allah ﷻ will expose a cheater if he continues to cheat.

Generally with any sin, first Allah ﷻ will give us a chance to reform. When we don’t appreciate the chance, after a few times Allah ﷻ makes it such that man almost gets caught, but he makes a lucky escape and he gets away. Now if he still doesn’t make tawba, then he gets caught. 9 out of 10 times a close one who has his goodness at heart will catch him out. This close one will give advice and naseeha, discouraging him from the sin. Now if he still continues, then eventually Allah ﷻ exposes him in public. Allah ﷻ embarrasses the person, that too is mercy from Allah ﷻ. That now it’s out in the open, make tawba and Istighfar before you die! With getting away….how long are you going to get away for? There’s no getting away after death!

So this is generally Allah’s system. He gives us repeated chances to make tawba. With gambling, womanizing and cheating…generally, this is what happens when a person gets exposed. Of course there are some exceptions as always. And, it’s not always the man who cheats. When a man cheats, who does he cheat with? Obviously a woman.

May Allah ﷻ save us, Aameen.

(The above is an extract from a bayan delivered by Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله click here.)