Tag Archives: taqwa

Do not water down Islam to reach the masses


Our goal in life is to please Allah by following His laws, not appease people by watering down His laws. Our pious predecessors always spoke out against the fitna of their times, even if it made them unpopular. Before going to Samarkand, Imam Bukhari رحمة الله عليه entered a town where he was so popular; 20,000 people came to meet him. As he settled there and became aware of the fitan, he began to speak out. The people did not like this. Continue reading

The Muslims of Aqsa: Their piety and love for the Qur’an

The efforts of Salah Ad-Din رحمة الله عليه to revive Islam in Aqsa lives on today, in the spirit of the Muslims there. Muslim presence in Aqsa continues to grow stronger as time elapses. When we visited 4 years ago, at Fajr there were 3 or 4 rows of Musallis in attendance. We went again only a few days ago but this time, we saw 10 rows of Musallis in attendance. We met with local citizens, Tableeghi Jamat brothers and Muslims from all over world; The atmosphere and spirit in Masjid Al Aqsa was truly remarkable. The locals are regular in Salah and they have a strong bond with the Qur’an, which undoubtedly attracts Allah’s mercy and divine assistance. Continue reading

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.

6 points to be wary of when doing Qurbani

Here in South Africa, on Eidul Adha it is exciting to visit the farms and purchase our Qurbani animals. The enthusiasm to do Qurbani is beautiful and commendable. Our akaabireen would buy animals one year in advance. They would keep it and then do Qurbani the next year.
However, for the Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم they would always have animals with them grazing in their yard. Whenever they needed meat, they would simply sacrifice an animal and eat. It was normal.

Therefore, when Qurbani became waajib, they asked Nabi ﷺ, “What is Qurbani?” In other words, what makes it different to a normal sacrifice? Nabi ﷺ responded that it is the Sunnah of your father Ibrahim عليه السلام. Adam عليه السلام also did Qurbani but Ulama explained that the sacrifice of Ibrahim عليه السلام was specified due to the magnitude of His submission to Allah. He was willing to sacrifice his own son, that is not a small matter.

This shows that whilst we should get into the spirit of Qurbani, we must not overlook the purpose of it all. The purpose is to please Allah by sacrificing with taqwa. Allah himself says that the meat will not reach Him, only the taqwa in our hearts will. It is this taqwa that will lead to acceptance. Taqwa means to fear Allah and to follow His commands as a result of it. Below are five ways that we can ensure our actual Qurbani is done with Taqwa:

  1. Protect the gaze: In Qurbani it is makrooh for us to allow one animal to see another animal getting slaughtered. Many people are cautious of this, ensuring that the animals are kept separate. Yet we allow our inner animal to see our sister in laws, the neighbour’s daughter and other women. If we allow a sheep to see another it is makrooh, but if we look at another strange woman it is haram. The sheep will not get a sin but we will so be careful in this regard.
  2. Backbiting: This is common on Eid day, people backbite about the way someone does Qurbani. Remember we all have our own techniques. It is fine to disagree on a matter but there is no need to overstep the line and backbite.
  3. Boasting and drawing comparisons: People boast about how much they spend on their Qurbani animal, comparing it with others. Your wealth does not reach Allah, so why boast? Furthermore, wealth is merely a gift from Allah and He will give and take as He pleases. So what is there to boast about?
  4. Photography and videoing: Some people follow a fatwa that photography is permissible. Despite this, it makes absolutely no sense to video yourself slaughtering. Allah has allowed for us to take the life of an animal to fulfil our waajib Qurbani and to earn in the process. Why do we turn it into a movie, making videos and sharing it on Facebook, boasting about our knives and slaughtering techniques? Think about it, ask yourself the reason as to why you are recording. It is done to show off and showing off reduces our hard earned rewards.
  5. Salaah: Many people miss Salah on Eid day. Some present the excuse that blood fell on my shirt making it dirty.Thus I was unable to attend Jamat. However, we know that our clothes will get dirty in the process. Brother, what else were you expecting, a bunch of flowers? Obviously, when you slaughter blood will be all over the place. Therefore, carry a clean set of clothing, change and then attend the masjid. Do not miss Salah, that excuse is not valid in the sight of Allah.
  6. Anger: Many people fall prey to anger and even become vulgar while carrying out our Qurbani thus reducing our reward and adding to our sins. We should be wary not to fall prey to anger.

May Allah enable us to act with taqwa and may He accept our sacrifices as a result of it, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 29/08/17 in Masjide Ayesha, Marburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.)

The purpose of Qurbani: To develop Taqwa

The moon has been sighted, the days of Hajj have begun and it will be Eid soon inshaAllah. Currently, everyone is talking about Qurbani animals. Some people travel the length and breadth of their province looking for a special Qurbani animal to buy. That is good alhamdulillah but what is the main purpose of Qurbani? Allah speaks about it in the Qur’an where He says, “It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is your piety that reaches Him.” [Surah Hajj, Verse 37]

Therefore, our main goal is to develop taqwa over the next few days in the hope that we reach Eid with taqwa in our hearts. Our amal of Qurbani will then be judged according to this. So of course, we need a Qurbani animal and many of us are looking into this. However, the key question we must now ask is that how we develop this taqwa?

There are a number of ways we can do this. Firstly, be careful in how you speak. Avoid swearing, lying or deceiving people. Remember that our Allah can hear every word and the angels are recording it all. Secondly, lower and protect your gaze. Do not go to places where there will be free-mixing and fitna like the casinos. Always avoid them at all costs. Otherwise, we may be tempted towards haraam. Thirdly, protect your ears too from haraam. If your phone has a musical ringtone or alarm, change that. Why accrue a few seconds of sin every time your phone rings? It is easily avoidable. Fourthly, protect your mind too from haram thoughts like fantasizing.

Following these points will inshaAllah help you to build taqwa. Yes, it is not the most exciting part of Qurbani but it is certainly the most important part. Lastly, in these 10 days of Dhul Hijjah turn to Allah. I know my weaknesses and you know yours. Speak about them to Allah, seek His forgiveness and clean your heart. Sort out any disputes you may have with people. Sometimes that can be hard but as far as possible, be the better person. Give them the benefit of the doubt, seek forgiveness, close that chapter and move on. Why allow disputes to eat you up inside? Why allow it to corrupt your heart? Let it go.

This world is not a place of justice. In the Hereafter, Allah will grant you justice and that is when we will realise how insignificant, small and unnecessary most of our current worldly disputes are. At times disputes continue because the two opposing parties do not want to humble themselves and apologise. This is wrong. We must learn to humble ourselves before the humbler of all souls humbles us on the day of Judgement.

May Allah enable us to develop taqwa and accept our Qurbanis as a result of it, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s dhikr majlis on 21/08/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.)

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.)

Be content with Allah’s plans for you


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)

Humble yourself before Allah, He will forgive you


The greater the piety, the greater the humility a believer will show. Our pious predecessors, despite being great men, had such humble opinions of themselves. An example is Hazrat Zunoon Misri رحمة الله عليه from Egypt. Once the river nile dried up, this was a regular occurrence.

People had a belief that to make the nile flow ago, a virgin girl needs to be sacrificed for the nile and her blood needs to flow there. This was a terrible custom that people had reverted to in the days of Ameerul Mumineen Hazrat Umar رضي الله عنه. Seeing this, the governor of Egypt wrote a letter to Ameerul Mumineen, asking what to do.

Ameerul Mumineen sent back a letter. He said to the governor that take this letter and throw it in the nile instead of a virgin girl. As soon as the governor threw it in the water, the nile started to flow again. So the question is, what did the letter say?

It read: “From the slave of Allah Umar رضي الله عنه, Ameerul Mumineen, to the Nile of the people of Egypt. To proceed: If you only flow on your own initiative, then do not flow, for we have no need of you. But if you only flow on the command of Allah, the One, the Subduer and He is the One who causes you to flow, then we ask Allah, may He be exalted to make you flow.” The nile began to flow again.

So this also happened in the time of Hazrat Zunoon Misri رحمة الله عليه. The people of Egypt came to him because he was known for his piety and therefore, his duas were accepted. They asked him to make dua for the nile to flow again. But Hazrat Zunoon had such a humble opinion of himself, he immediately packed his bags and left Egypt.

Like Musa عليه السلام, He went to madyan and as He journeyed, He cried saying that Oh Allah! It can only be due to our sins that the nile has dried up and there is no greater sinner in Egypt than myself. I have now left Egypt so that my evil does not prevent the nile from flowing!

SubhanAllah, look at His humility! Despite his piety, his focus was still on his sins. Such humility is a prerequisite for our repentance to be accepted by Allah. We must make itirafe qusoor (i.e. admit our shortcomings). Never assume that you have only a few sins or just little sins. First recognise and admit your sins, then rely on Allah’s forgiveness.

Once there was a drought in an area, I cannot remember the name of the place, but they began making dua for rain. Eventually, the women of ill repute who would sell themselves, they came together. They said that the rain is being withheld due to our sins, so we must make dua. They admitted their mistakes, sought forgiveness and then had hope that Allah would accept.

In these stories are great lessons for us. We need to develop humility, admit our sins, seek forgiveness and then have hope in Allah. By following these steps, inshaAllah, we too will experience the divine acceptance of Allah.

May Allah grant us the tawfiq, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s bayan on 12/5/2017 at Darul Uloom Azaadville.)

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)

Lessons from the life of Ml. Yunus Patel (RA): Dawah at the airport


If we leave the door of sins open in our lives, the fruits of our deeni efforts will make an exit. Therefore, although we acquire the noor of taqwa via dhikr and duas, its heat cannot bake the love of Allah ﷻ in our hearts, because we have left the oven door open. We must close this door of sin. Nowadays, almost every person who requests bayat asks, “what adhkar must I make?” The first, most important step is to give up sins. Major sins are not only music and TV, there are many others that we need to avoid.

If we do not, then through our amal we may have a garden of dhikr, but we will ruin it by growing the weeds of sin. Overtime this garden that was once beautiful becomes a jungle, its beauty hidden under sin. Due to this, the kuffar cannot see the beauty of islam. Those who live as pious muslims, they do not have to say much. Their character is dawah in of itself.

Once Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه was at the airport, going from international to local flight. Hazrat had a box of books that were given to Him. When He reached the counter with this box, the employee behind the desk said that the box is too heavy, it cannot go through.
So Hazrat said that no problem, I will take the box out. The employee changed his tune and began bribing Hazrat, offering to allow the box through for a sum of 100 rands. He refused this offer but the employee was adamant. He further bribed Hazrat saying that look! No-one is watching, just give the 100 rands and no-one will know!

Hazrat’s reply was so simple, yet so reflective of His profound taqwa. He replied that yes your supervisor is not looking. But my supervisor is Allah and He is looking at me! He will not allow it! I would rather take the box out. This response had a deep impact on the employee. Hazrat continued on His journey. He walked off, went to one side and requested water. The Johannesburg brothers that were travelling with Him bought water and Hazrat sat down and drank.

The employee continued serving other passengers but as He did so, He kept a close eye on Hazrat. He watched as Hazrat went, sat and drank. Eventually he asked someone that who is this man?! They replied that He is our Hazrat, our maulana, our teacher. The employee expressed his desire to meet Hazrat. This message was passed onto Hazrat, who was still sitting on the side drinking water. He sent a note back saying that look, you are on duty and you cannot make khiyanat (i.e. deceive them). You still have passengers to serve. So I will wait for you. When all the passengers have checked in, then come to me…I will speak to you.

So once all the passengers were checked in, this employee made his way to Hazrat. But this time round his request to Hazrat was very different. He did not want the wealth of dunya, as he did previously. This time, he wanted the wealth of the heart that Hazrat had.
He simply asked Hazrat that what religion do you follow? I want to follow it too.

We can learn so much from this incident. Hazrat did not give dawah to him, this employee came to islam by just observing Hazrat. Actions speak louder than words and this case certainly exemplifies that. So Hazrat made him read the kalima and He gave contact numbers of the Johannesburg brothers that were with him. Thereafter, He gave him 200 rands saying that this is a gift from me to you. You see, you wanted to make 100 rands in a haram way, but now Allah ﷻ has given you 200 rands in a permissible, clean way. This is what bayat is all about, to rectify our hearts and improve our manners. Once we do that even our actions will become dawah.

May Allah make grant us the tawfiq, Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(The above is an extract from Hazrat’s dhikr majlis on 19/09/2016. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)