Nabi ﷺ was shown the whole Ummah. When we recite durood it is presented to him and he knows whose durood is being presented. Therefore, there is a great possibility that Nabi ﷺ knows us all personally. Furthermore, we know that he will be able to recognise us. Those who do whudu regularly, on the day of Judgement the limbs they washed will be shining. This will be our ID card to show we are followers of the Sunnah.
The Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم once asked Nabi ﷺ, “How will you recognise us on the day of Judgement?” He replied, “Say if a man has white-footed horses with white foreheads among horses which are pure black, will he not recognize his own horses?” They said; “Certainly, O Messenger of Allah ﷺ!” He said, “They (my followers) will come with bright faces and white limbs because of Wudu and I will arrive at the Haud (Al-Kauthar) ahead of them.” [Muslim]
This hadeeth shows that those who commit to whudu and prayer, their shining limbs will make them recognisable to Nabi ﷺ. As a result of this, they will be blessed to drink from his hands. Nabi ﷺ further said that those who wish to increase their shine must do so. In other words, complete your whudu properly. After hearing this Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه started washing his hands up to his shoulders, rather than his elbow. This was due to his firm conviction in the words of Nabi ﷺ. Likewise, we must also make an effort to commit to prayer and whudu so that we can also be amongst the recognised ones.
May Allah bless us to be amongst those fortunate souls, Ameen.
— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s dhikr majlis on 02/03/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg.)
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.)
A friend of mine went fishing and managed to hook a big fish. However, he could not pick it up with his rod so someone came to help him. They held the line together and pulled it out but suddenly, the rod snapped and the fish fell back into the water. I told my friend that in this, lies a great lesson. Look at the situation from the point of view of the fish. Whilst swimming, all of a sudden it is pulled in a direction that it is not swimming towards. The fish understands that there is a problem here so it tries to swim and set itself free, but it fails and now it is pulled out of the water.
Unable to breathe or swim, the fish has reached a point of despair. Survival seems absolutely impossible. However, Allah decreed life for that fish so the line snapped and all of a sudden, the fish got its freedom back. This is the cycle of a trial. On a spiritual level, nafs and shaytaan are constantly pulling us towards sin. Together their pull can become so strong that our attempts to escape go in vain. Once they get a grip on your spiritual heart they will try to suffocate it but if you remember Allah, He will cause their rope to snap in seconds and immerse you back into the waters of ease. When we are faced with a difficulty in life too, sometimes no matter how hard we try there seems to be no way out. Life goes on but the trial continues to weaken and hurt us. During such moments hold onto Allah, remember Him and take heed of His comforting promise that “whoever fears Allah, He will make a way out for him and he will provide for Him from places he did not expect”.
Every creation is a masterpiece handmade by Allah. He is here to help us and when that mighty help of Allah descends, though your world may seem bleak now, your fate can and will change instantly. Just like the rainbow comes after the rain, the sweetness of ease will always come after the bitterness of hardship. There was a famous man in the time of Umar رضي الله عنه who used to play the harp and sing in a melodious, beautiful voice. Crowds of people would gather around him to hear him sing, so he was used to fame and attention. However as time went on, he aged. His looks faded away and his ability to sing slowly faded away too. That is the nature life, a motorcar that was once the talk of the town causing heads to turn every time it drove past, a few years later, that motor car is thrown in the scrap yard because now there’s a new motor car that has stolen the limelight. We too may live in the limelight for a while but once our talents are no more, we too will be forgotten.
The only people that are remembered are the people of Allah. For example, there are many who have passed away years ago but their Islamic books are still read today and thus, they are still remembered on earth. However, those whose talents are restricted to just worldly earnings, they will be forgotten as the world moves on to a new craze. So this old man, as his looks and talents faded away his fame did too. He became saddened so one night he went to the graveyard, entered an empty grave and laid there waiting for death to come. His entire life was spent in disobedience so far but now he made a change and spoke to Allah, seeking his refuge and forgiveness. That same night Umar رضي الله عنه had a dream. He was told to wake up because there is a servant of Allah who is in a difficult position in the graveyard. Give him food, shelter him and take care of him.
Imagine his situation, everyone that once loved him deserted him. No-one wants to hear his voice anymore or see his fingers stroke the strings of the harp. In that condition, he raised his fragile hands and with a coarse, broken voice, he sought help from Allah. Despite those years of disobedience, Allah answered him in the most beautiful of ways.
Therefore, from this story we learn that we must have hope in Allah at all times. Disconnect from sins, connect to Allah and maintain that connection. He is the friend of those who believe and like the loving Friend he is, He will take you out of darkness into a light that will light your path. Allah himself is light, guided are those who seek His light and then fortunate become those who are blessed to see the light of His countenance.
May we be amongst them, Aameen.
— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
(Above in an extract from Hazrat’s bayan on 22/07/17. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)
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)
During Ramadan, our constant worry is how will we maintain this momentum and worship schedule after Ramadan? We must understand that Ramadan is a spiritual month which changes our mood and strengthens our focus on deen. With this month comes a special form of tawfiq/God-given strength, making us more spiritually energetic and more able than usual. Thus outside of Ramadan, it is not possible to maintain that all.
The same applies for Umrah; during Umrah people can get by on less food. What you eat during Umrah, try to eat the same foods back home and you will see how difficult it is to get by! And why is that the case? It is because in Haramain Shareefain, during Ramadan e.t.c there is a lot of nooraaniyat and this has a spiritual effect on us. For those who doubt religion, this experience itself authenticates our deen further.
However naturally, that effect begins to dwindle once we leave Haramain Shareefain, or once Ramadan is over. Therefore, we cannot continue that level of worship but what we must do is increase the worship we did before Ramadan started. To be specific, there are a few areas we should prioritise:
1. Tilawat of the Quran: Increase it but do not make unrealistic goals otherwise, we will burn out very quickly. Increase slowly but surely as the actions Allah loves most are those which are done consistently, even if they are little.
2. Sunnahs: Learn masnoon duas, read a few extra per day, add a few extra Sunnahs per day into your timetable. This is true taraqqi/spiritual progress.
3. Character: This is the department we need the most improvement in. Remember that the weightiest deed on the scales on the Day of Judgement will be good character. Not worship, good character! And bad character, that will contaminate even our good deeds! When we do Qurbani and remove the liver, if you do not take out the poison bag properly without it spilling then although liver is delicacy, the taste will become spoiled. If it goes on the carcass, that too will become spoiled. But if it is removed carefully, everything will be safe. Bad character is like that poison bag, if we are not careful it will spoil even our good deeds.
4. Quality of Salah: Yes in Ramadan we are more focused but now that it has gone for another year, we cannot allow our focus in Salah to vanish for another year too! Make an effort to improve that too.
Now with regards to these four points, how can we practically ensure that we are improving? By managing our time correctly. We have to be systematic in all that we do. Have a plan of action and execute it. In madrassa, school or work, our day is timetabled allowing us to get a lot of work done. Outside of this, we must timetable our day too. If you sit in traffic on the way to work, turn off the radio and make some dhikr, recite durood or play Surah Yasin on a CD and memorise it.
If you have a few spare moments at work, finish off your adhkaar for the day. In other words, identify the time you are using which can be used even more, capitalize on that time and profit further. Once you make such a timetable, stick to it and at the end of the day look through and see how much you have completed. If you have left some out, finish it off before you sleep.
Otherwise, our nafs will get the better of us and one day off will lead to several days off adhkaar, which will eventually turns to weeks and then months, and that is how good habits die overtime. But if we structure our day, centre it around worship and slowly improve on the four points listed above, then inshaAllah we will continue to ascend out of Ramadan just like we did within it.
— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
(Above is an extract from one of Hazrat’s lectures during Ramadan. To listen to the full audio please click here.)
Riots and unrest in our country are a serious problem. But right now, more serious is the curse of Jibreel عليه السلام who made the following dua; may that person enter the hellfire, who reaches Ramadan and is not forgiven. Now let’s analyse this dua. The greatest angel made this dua and thereafter, the greatest man to walk this earth – Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم – said aameen. It took place in Riyadhul Jannah; a place which most people just enter and feel hopeful that their duas will be accepted! And here we have a dua that took place right inside, on the Mimbar of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم.
This dua is very weighty, we can’t afford to ignore it. With only 2 days left of Ramadan, ensure that you secure Allah’s forgiveness. If we do not, we will have to live with that curse…can we bear that? We can’t afford to live with that. So as the end of this auspicious month nears, make it count. The people of Yunus عليه السلام were on the brink of punishment. It loomed over their heads but at the last moment, they quickly repented and Allah forgave them. Likewise, we are on the brink of the end of Ramadan but if we repent, Allah will forgive us too. It is never too late. Tonight could be laylatul Qadr, there is no surety that it has already passed.
Furthermore, if Eid is on Monday, then alhamdulillah we have the whole weekend left. I know a lot of us are off from work on weekends. Use this time wisely. Turn to Allah, repent and make a change before this month ends. And then your eid will be much more than just tasty food, new clothes and meeting families. May Allah accept from us, Aameen.
— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s Jumah bayan on 23/06/17.)
There is no hadeeth stating that the 27th of Rajab/Shab-e-Meraj is a special night. Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم never attached any virtue to it, therefore, neither should we. More people attend masaajid on this night than any other night, leaving Imaams with no choice but to cater for the community by addressing this issue. This is the only reason why some masaajid have programmes on this night, for educational purposes.
On the night of Meraj Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم was taken from Makkah Mukarramah to Jerusalem to the Heavens, on a special animal named the Buraq. In the heavens he was taken all the way up to the throne of Allah, where He had a special conversation with the almighty. During this conversation, Allah gifted him with Salah. This whole night took place for one reason: So that Allah could gift this entire Ummah with Salah. Some of us give so much importance to this night, but how much importance do we give to Salah, the purpose behind the occurrence of Meraj?
The Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم may not have gathered and celebrated this night, but they – the Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم – never missed their Salah, they had their priorities right. They knew that the closest we can get to Allah in this world, is in Sujood. If a man is courting a lady and she tells him what time to phone/meet him, he may not get anything out of it, but he will follow suit. Due to his filthy love for his illicit beloved, he will sacrifice and take great risks to meet her secretly.
If we loved Allah as much as we ought to, then we would rush to meet Him at Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha. We would sacrifice our precious sleep and close our businesses on time just to meet and converse with Him.
Learning about the night of Meraj is good but the main lesson we should take from it, is the importance of Salah. Even on their wedding nights the Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم would seek permission from their brides to stand up for Nafl Salah. Nowadays people get married and miss their fardh Salah, but they would finish Isha Salah and then ask their wives for permission to perform Tahajjud. Salah in the life of a believer is like the position of the head on the body. According to the ahnaaf/hanafis, a man who misses out Salah intentionally must be taken to prison and kept there until he reforms. This is the lightest ruling. Other scholars say that a person leaves the fold of Islam, that is how strict they were in this regard.
There are some people who pray but they have mature children sitting at home, missing prayers. This is incorrect, we must encourage them too. Once Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم said that I would like to order someone to give adhaan, someone to lead the prayer, and a group of young people to collect firewood. He then said that I will go house to house checking if there are any males missing Salah. If they do so for invalid reasons, I would’ve burnt their houses down had it not been for their women and children living there.
I ask you, bearing the above in mind, how many homes would have been burnt in our times? We may not have a fire kindled with matches, but now our houses are burning with a different kind of fire. Every household has some problem, struggle or worry. There is no peace left and us collectively missing Salah is definitely one reason why. On the day of Judgement, Salah will be reckoned first before any other good or bad deed. If our Salah is well and ordered then everything else will fall into place, our reckoning will become easier. But if it’s weak or absent then we will struggle through our reckoning. Imaan will weaken in a person who misses His Salah.
Pray, and advise your families to pray too. Make an intention that I will never miss a single Salah. InshaAllah, Allah will make you successful in your worldly endeavours and the path to Jannah will be made easy for you. May Allah bless us with His Jannah Aameen. The Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم asked Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم that how will you recognise your Ummatis on the day of Judgement, when there will be so many people there? Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم replied that if a man has horses with beautiful, white spots amongst a group of black horses, would he not recognise his horses? The Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم replied that certainly, O Messenger of Allah! Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم replied that my followers will come with white faces and the limbs they washed in Whudu will be shining bright.
That is our ID. On that day, that is how Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم will recognise us. So make an effort to pray. Usually in the event of a small life problem, the first casualty is our Salah. That should not be the case. Yes life gets busy but if it is important to you, you will find a way. Otherwise, you will find an excuse.
May Allah grant us the tawfiq, Aameen.
— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
(The above is an extract from Hazrat’s dhikr majlis on 24.4.2017.)