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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.)

No money for Eid clothes

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Two little boys came to their mother with a request. “Our friends have both got new clothes for Eid. Can we have some new clothes as well?” Their mother, Fatima bint Abdul Malik رحمها الله, was no ordinary woman. Her father, grandfather and each of her four brothers were at one time or another a Khalifa (ruler of the Muslim World).

In fact, her own husband was the present Khalifa, Umar ibn Abdul Aziz رحمة الله عليه – who ruled the world’s largest empire that stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean. She promised them that she would check with their father to see if the two princes could have new clothes for Eid. When Umar ibn Abdul Aziz رحمة الله عليه returned home, his wife related the children’s request to him. The Khalifa had a pained look in his eyes.

“Fatima, you know how much I value my children, but all the money I have is in front of you”, he said motioning towards the sparsely furnished hut. Though a Khalifa, Umar رحمة الله عليه took care to live honestly and did much to ensure justice. Fatima رحمها الله agreed with her husband, but she said that maybe it would be possible to buy very cheap clothes for the children and they’d just be happy with something new to wear.

Finally, the Khalifa agreed and wrote a letter to his treasurer requesting that his pay be advanced a month early so that he could buy his children something to wear on Eid.

But the honest and pious Khalifa had an equally honest treasurer. The reply he got was this:
“Amir Ul-Mumineen, I have great respect for you and I trust and obey you completely. However, if you could guarantee to me that you will live through the next month and do your service to the people (which will entitle you to your pay) then the money can be advanced to you. If you cannot give the assurance of your life, then how can the treasury pay you?”

Umar ibn Abdul Aziz رحمة الله عليه realised his mistake. Fatima bint Abdul Malik رحمها الله, washed her children’s old tattered clothes for Eid day and sent them out to play. One has to wonder if they were made from the same dust as us. A beautiful example that if we are not in the financial position to buy eid clothes we cannot go over the top and open accounts at Edgars, Bally Spitz, e.t.c, thereby spending money we don’t have.

Lessons from the life of Ml. Yunus Patel (RA): Simplicity and Sincerity

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Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم was gifted some food and after eating, Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم returned the bowl empty. He did not fill the bowl with another dish. From this we learn that it is not necessary to give food back when we return someone’s container. If someone has given us food, eat it and then return the container back to its rightful owner. If you have some food, give if you wish, but don’t feel obliged and burdened to fill the container, assuming it’s below your standards and dignity to return it empty.

That person might be waiting for their container, whilst you’re clutching onto it just because you haven’t had the chance to fill it with food yet! When a baby is born many times ladies want to delay the visit or not even visit at all…why? Because they haven’t prepared a gift yet! Or they consider it below their dignity to go without an expensive gift. This is incorrect and against the grain of the Sunnah. Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم didn’t have one wife…Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم had nine! They could’ve easily cooked something up, but Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم didn’t make ‘filling the container’ a compulsory act in deen, so they gave it just like that, empty.

Be sincere. Give if you wish, but do it for the sake of Allah not to preserve your respect amongst the ladies in the community. Whenever I went to meet Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه in His house or madrassa, he would always gift me something before I left. To the extent that he kept bags of crisps in his office and if there was nothing to give, Hazrat would give crisps.

Now look at this level of sincerity and humility; Hazrat never assumed gifting a cheap packet of crisps below His standards! A child giving crisps is one thing but for an adult, many would consider it an embarrassment. However Hazrat was so sincere in His aims, He never saw it that way. He never considered it below His dignity.

Sometimes if I dropped by to Hazrat’s house, they would feed me a good meal or exotic chocolates. Other times, he would ask that what’s there in the cupboard? He would gift whatever was inside, small or big. The point is Hazrat’s objective was amal, not preserving His respect or sense of dignity in the community. Hazrat’s gaze was on the sunnah, not on people. He would gift for the sake of Allah, not to show off or outdo others.

Once I left Hazrat and I was walking away from Hazrat’s house. As I walked, I noticed car lights flashing behind me. I stopped to turn, and saw a brother rushing towards me. He came and gave me a miswak stick saying that Hazrat has sent me to give this to you. That day Hazrat hadn’t given anything and as soon as he remembered, he sent this brother to give a miswak stick.

This is the sincerity and humility that we should all aspire to inculcate in our lives. May Allah grant us the tawfiq to learn from the akabireen and make Amal upon the sunnah like they did, Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(The above is an extract from Hazrat’s majlis on 14/4/2016.)

Pornography

Allah is watching

(Below is an article by Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه, taken from www.yunuspatel.co.za)

WE ALL KNOW THAT FISH LIVE IN WATER. They generally cannot survive long out of water. However, when fish move towards the surface of the ocean, they become easy catch for fishermen – like we find with the sardine run. People just grab, net and catch sardines from the surface of the water.

And when a fisherman catches a fine fish, he reels it in. He does not throw it back into the sea. Once it is hooked … once it is caught … it is pulled out. …Why? Because fish out of water, when scaled and washed, when ‘masaalaad[1] and fried, tastes nice.

In my Dua, I normally say: O Allah, make us the fish that swim deep down in the ocean of Your Ma’rifat.

Like the fish, the Believer is swimming deep in the safety of Allah Ta’ala’s ocean of love. If he moves towards temptation, he makes an easy and fine catch for shaytaan.

Do we want to become a meal for shaytaan? …Because this is exactly what happens to the heart of the Believer who dashes for the bait of sins: His Imaan is ‘scaled’, his good deeds are ‘washed away’, his heart and soul are ‘marinated’ in darkness and fried in the fire of restlessness – to the delight of shaytaan. Allah Ta’ala forbid that this restless soul has to also one day contend with the fire of Hell.

Many write that they are hooked onto porn films and porn magazines. They fall for the bait which shaytaan tempts them with, get hooked and end up ruining their spiritual, mental and physical health.

Pornography is one of the root causes of insanity.

Those who have the habit of viewing pornography generally do so at night. They spend the day working and the night watching filth. They are overcome with restlessness and are deprived of sleep. Sleep deprivation is a one way ticket to mental instability. In the long-term, the brain is badly damaged, and the person loses his sanity. He ends up in an asylum or shoots himself.

One young brother contacted me saying that he had a porn addiction. He knew it is haraam but said he just could not give up the sin. He would secretly watch pornography, late at night, after the family went to sleep. And then, one night, whilst watching porn, there was a tremor.

The building began to shake and everyone got up, running down the stairs in their pyjamas, running helter skelter, fearing the worst, expecting that was their end. He said that at that time, my Dua hit his heart: “O Allah! Do not let the Angel of death find us in any sin, in gambling, drinking, pornography!”

He immediately made sincere Taubah. But it took a real life shake up to get him to give up the sin. He was fortunate that he was granted the opportunity of repenting, otherwise what would have been the condition, returning to Allah Ta’ala whilst viewing pornography?

I generally give the following reply to those who write saying they are addicted to porn:

Allah Ta’ala forbid, if some criminal has to put a gun to your head, will you say: ‘It is difficult for me to stop watching this porn. I am addicted. Please allow me to watch all these filthy pictures first before you blow my head.’ …Or will you start reading Duas for Allah Ta’ala to protect you?

Similarly, death is following us all. What if the Angel of Death visits at that time to extract your soul? Would you want your life to end while watching porn – because the Angel of Death will not give you time to switch off the computer and make Taubah?

Imagine if you die when viewing pornography. What an embarrassment and disgrace! Thereafter, people will ask – as is common: “How did he die? When? Where? What was he doing?” – Would you like that people say: “He died in front of the computer and he was watching a dirty film.”

Rasulullah ﷺ  was asked: ‘What is Imaan?’

Rasulullah ﷺ  replied: When your good deeds give you happiness and when your evil deeds cause you grief.’[2]

If reading porn magazines, watching filthy movies, being involved in some illicit relationship, drinking, gambling and indulging in other sins does not create any remorse and sorrow and instead we are expressing happiness over sins, where is our Imaan?

One situation is that the person engages in some sin but then genuinely regrets. However, when there is persistence and enjoyment in sins,where is Imaan? Deriving pleasure in Haraam indicates to pollution in the heart. The heart needs to be washed and cleaned with sincere Taubah and needs to be polished with Zikrullah.

At least recognize sin as sin. Detest it. This is Imaan. The person has Imaan if he is feeling unhappy and grieved when he has displeased Allah Ta’ala. Understand that whatever Allah Ta’ala enjoins upon us and forbids us from is in our best interests; for our benefit, advantage, well-being and success.

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mubarak رحمة الله عليه who was a great Wali of Allah Ta’ala, summed up the consequences of sins, saying: “I see that sins cause death to the heart and becoming addicted to the sins brings about humiliation and disgrace. On the other hand, abandoning sins gives life to the heart. So it is best for you to disobey the nafs.”

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to give up all sins and purify our hearts and souls and may Allah Ta’ala grant us death, when He is pleased with us.

Valentine’s day

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There are many people who feel the need to express their love on this day. Men say that I do not have an illicit beloved therefore I am not doing anything haraam, I am merely taking my wife out for dinner! I am going to buy roses for her, I am going to buy a ring for her…it is for my wife, not anybody else! So how can this be wrong? my wife is my Valentine’s.

We have the womenfolk who are also guilty (of encouraging husbands to recognise and celebrate Valentine’s day). They know a man very conveniently forgets these dates because it is expensive for them. Womenfolk are sharp, when the radio is playing and they say something on Valentine’s, she puts it a little bit louder so her husband can hear. Or if there is a newspaper with an article on Valentine’s day, she puts that newspaper in his way to ensure that he sees it. On the day she may ask him, “Hey, what is the date today?” she does not ask any other day but on that day she is curious. Why? So if he has forgotten, he can make last minute arrangements.

Now this is all Shaytan’s plot. Allah has permitted and encouraged us to show love everyday, so why choose this day specifically? The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said that whoever resembles a nation, he will be counted from amongst them.

Therefore, if we anticipate Valentine’s day and encourage the public sin by celebrating ourselves, we will be counted amongst them on the day of judgement. Do we really want this? If the founder of Valentine’s day died upon disbelief, the poor fellow is busy frying now. Do we actually want to follow his footsteps and fry too in the hereafter?

Look into the history of Valentine’s and you will find filthy customs took place on this day. We need to ask ourselves; does this day have anything to do with our deen and sunnah? No. However, we will find links with Christianity, atheism and polytheism. Therefore, those men who are intending to impress their wives on this day and those women who are expecting their husbands to impress them on this day, should make tawba (i.e. repent). Because we know that Valentine’s day has nothing to do with deen but it has got everything to do with shirk! Its origins are soaked in shirk.

Remember, a believer must make sabr. And a part of making sabr is to stay very far away from things that have nothing to do with deen. And this Valentine’s nonsense is definitely one of them.

May Allah safeguard us, Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(The above is a transcript of Hazrat’s short lecture on Valentine’s day. To listen to that short audio clip, please click here.)

In Islam do wives have to cook, clean and live with inlaws?

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A man who gets married should continue making khidmah of his parents (i.e. serving them). It is not his wife’s duty, if she wishes to do it then she will be rewarded immensely. However, if she is unable to do so for any reason, he has no right to get upset with her. He should serve them.

A lady recently emailed me saying that she cooks, cleans and serves her inlaws dutifully. After completing all these chores, eventually she sits down at the table to eat her share of the meal. But in that duration whilst she is eating, her father in law calls her 5-6 times to get up from the table and do something for him.

This attitude is absolutely incorrect, a father in laws cannot be so demanding! She has every right to refuse to cook and tell her husband to cook instead or find a cook. But alhamdulillah our wives are not like that. Despite such struggles, many women continue to live with their inlaws and cook for them. So we must appreciate them, not take advantage!

A husband citing these points in an argumentative way against his wife is incorrect. Our deen is a balanced one that gives rights to everyone. If we misunderstand these rights and limits of deen we will make zulm rather than khidmah.

Therefore, if you are in doubt or if you misunderstand an aspect of deen, seek guidance from ulama.

Often a man wants to stay with his parents to look after them, but his wife is not happy because she knows that it is not working between her and her inlaws. He too is aware of this, he too knows that his parents are being unreasonable in their treatment towards his wife. So why is he continuing to subject his wife to that struggle? Yes, he may be the only son and with his parents ageing, of course, he should not abandon them.

But wives have rights too. If they are making life a misery for his wife then he should separate his house. Give her her own section that they do not have access to. That way, she can have her own privacy and peace. She can cook, send food and visit them when she wishes too. And when she needs her space, she can go to her section of the home. That is her right.

Instead of this balanced approach, some husbands are adamant and think that no, I must serve parents. Yes, do so, but shariah does not advocate that we give due right to one person, at the expense of another. This is zulm (i.e oppression), not the itidaal (i.e balance) that our deen calls towards.

May Allah make grant us tawfiq, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s dhikr majlis on 30/1/2016. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)

How to deal with fleeting thoughts from Shaytan

 

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When a person begins to make changes in his life, Allah will grant Him the tawfiq to give up major sins. Shaytan then tempts him into other sins like backbiting, jealousy, enmity e.t.c
Slowly as a person progresses, he learns these tricks of the devil and overcomes them too. He concentrates on developing good character traits like soft-heartedness and selflessness.
So now, shaytan makes him worried about things he shouldn’t worry about.
Often, people at this stage worry over whudu. They wash each limb repeatedly thinking it’s piety to be careful. In reality, he has fallen for another trap from the traps of shaytan. There is no extra reward for one who washes a limb more than thrice in whudu. Rather, this is wastage (of water).

The mind is amazing, nobody can reign it. It’s unlike a hand that can be restrained. Often we can keep our outer in line but the mind runs wild inside. Shaytan knows this, so he makes a person become perturbed over thoughts that he won’t be questioned over. A person becomes worried until he thinks that I’m just a hypocrite, I’ve lost iman so I may aswell watch TV..I’ve lost anyway!

Understand the mind. We will not be questioned about fleeting thoughts which come involuntarily. If you are, for example, in a queue at a doctor’s room or a government department and a lady joins the queue behind you. You ensure that there is a safe gap between the both of you, but shaytan will play mind games. Shaytan will keep enticing and keep suggesting you to look…don’t try it. Imaan gets towed away when we cast lustful glances.
So the mind is running wild but he is ignoring it. He is abstaining from the sins shaytan calls him towards. So is he sinning? No! In actual fact he is attaining rewards! In that state he may even experience the sweetness of iman.

We are human beings. To think we will never think like this, is to misunderstand the mind. Every human has a nafs and shaytan who will constantly play games. Provided we abstain and keep our gaze lowered, we will not be answerable to Allah for fleeting thoughts.

Other times, people get unrealistic, fleeting thoughts about future matters that may not even occur. This often translates as fantasising. Don’t plan future sins and play a game for both parties…that you will do this and she will do that, then you will say this and she will say that. Stay in your lane because this “planning” is a huge sin, even if it does not actualize!

Deflect these thoughts with dhikrullah. Allah has given us enough weaponry in our arsenals to deflect whatever shaytan throws. We just have to learn how to reverse the mind rather than becoming frustrated over fleeting thoughts. Yes shaytan will change his tricks, once he fails in one avenue, he will try getting at you with something else. He won’t leave you until death, so we must win over him with dhikrullah.

Recently I’ve received many emails on this matter. Someone said that I have filthy thoughts. I asked what thoughts? He explained to which I responded…ok. Can we stop a truck of pigs ahead of our car in the motorway? No. But what we can do is overtake and pass ahead of that truck. So when these thoughts enter use your indicator, switch lanes and accelerate ahead. Move forward and leave the filth behind.

May Allah make grant us tawfiq, aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. 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.)

Dear son: Correspondence of Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel (RA)

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(Below is an Islaahi letter that was sent to Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel (RA) and Hazrat’s reply)

Letter

Asalaamu ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh

Respected Maulana, I will soon be turning 15 years of age and I have become extremely interested in girls and also in a sexual way. I find the temptations around to be very great and fear falling into sins. Please guide and advise me. I need your help.

Reply

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Wa ‘alaikumus Salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh

Dear Son

  1. The feelings you are experiencing as a 15 year old are normal for the youth of the day.
  2. Youth is described as a period of “madness” – where a person can easily give into the temptation and invitation towards sins, and the demands of his own ego and evil desires. So it is important for a young Muslim, who has come of age, to keep before him that he is considered as a Muslim adult in sharee‘ah and he is now accountable to Allah ﷻ.

As a young adult, the command from Allah ﷻ is to adopt taqwa – that is to resist the temptations of sins; to be obedient to Allah ﷻ and His Rasul ﷺ.

The hadeeth makes mention that that young person who spends his youth in the obedience and worship of his Creator, will be granted the tremendous honour of being provided with the shade of Allah ﷻ’s ‘arsh (throne) on the Day of Resurrection. Moreover, one’s life becomes full of blessing and goodness and Allah ﷻ grants success as well.

I have also mentioned, when addressing youth, that in the word “youth” is the word “you”. You are in youth. So you either make your youth a means of goodness and success for yourself – or you make that youth a means of disaster, damage and harm to your life and deen.

Sadly, a large number of youth have destroyed their lives and futures, by fantasizing or engaging in haraam activities. So you should not go the same route of disaster; rather you should look after your youth and not fall for the temptations of sins.

  1. Keep pondering over the aayah: “And He is with you wherever you are”. By developing the conscious awareness of the presence of Allah ﷻ at all times, the person will naturally feel ashamed to commit sins, knowing that Allah ﷻ is watching, hearing, and aware. And we should also keep in mind the angels that are always in attendance, writing down every single action carried out.
  2. Follow these few guidelines for protection and goodness InshaAllah:

– Perform your 5 times Salaah daily.

– Stay in good, pious company,

– Adopt the dress of the Sawliheen (the pious). Keep the beard one fist length and the pants above the ankles.

– Lower the gaze from haraam. By protecting the gaze, the heart and mind will be protected, InshaAllah; and the person will lead a chaste life.

– Guard the heart from Haraam.

– Read good literature and listen to good talks. InshaAllah you will be protected

– Make a lot of istighfaar and taubah over shortcomings and weaknesses.

  1. It is generally bad company and exposure to bad reading material or media (such as the internet, mxit, facebook, magazines, novels with an immoral content, etc) that result in a lot of spiritual harm and damage. So be very cautious not to get caught up in what will lead to and even trap in sins.
  2. Read the articles: Giving up sinsGiving up Haraam Fantasizing and Lowering the Gaze. InshaAllah, they will offer benefit and guidance in overcoming the weakness.
  3. If you have the opportunity, then attend or listen to the weekly programmes. These are also audio-streamed. Alhamdulillah, many young people, in different parts of the world, find the weekly advices a means of protection for them.
  4. We are all vulnerable to sin and whilst we have to make an effort to protect ourselves from sins, we have to continuously make du‘aa that Allah ﷻ grants us His special protection, grant us courage, as well as His mercy and forgiveness.

Was Salaamu ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh

Yunus Patel (Maulana)

– Taken from www.ibnuabbaas.co.za

Taraweeh Tips!

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TARAWEEH:

  • Taraweeh is Sunnat-e-Muakadah/An emphasized Sunnah. If we miss it, then we have committed a sin.
  • Women should try to pray Esha and Taraweeh Salah as soon as possible. Those women who do not have extra responsibilities, like young children to look after, should try to lengthen the Taraweeh Salah by reading longer Surahs. She she should read Surah Yaseen, Surah Mulk e.t.c. if she is fluent with these Surahs.
  • It is Sunnah to perform the Taraweeh and to complete the Quraan Shareef in Taraweeh. This must be given due importance by emphasizing that attending lectures at different Masaajid, is secondary to completing a Taraweeh Khatam.
  • Takbeer-e-Oola/The first Takbeer of the Salah is very important. We should try to pray Salah in congregation with Takbeer-e-Oola. Those who are guilty of waiting for the Imam to go into Ruku before joining the Salah should stop this, as it is disrespectful to the Quraan Shareef that is being recited.
  • Leave the PPC (Pavement Punchaath Club) for after Ramadan. It is utterly abhorrent that whilst the Quraan Shareef is being recited in Taraweeh, adults find it in their best interest to stand in the parking lot, chatting and puffing on cigarettes. We need to ask ourselves, is this the honour that we afford the Quraan Shareef?

(The above is an edited transcript from the website of Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله. To view similar transcripts, please click here. To listen to Hazrat’s lectures in Ramadan 2010-2015, please click here.)