Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Islaahi Correspondence | Letter Eighteen | Studying Deen


Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

LETTER EIGHTEEN


Studying Deen

Question

Dearest Hazrat
As-Salaamu alaykum wa-Rahmatullahi wa-Barakaatuhu

With Hazrat’s duas, Alhamdulillah, the Umrah was a very beautiful and spiritually energizing experience. Please make Dua that Allah Ta’ala accepts. I always remembered to convey Hazrat’s Salaam, when at the Raudha Mubarak.

We experienced a number of setbacks during the safr, with delays, etc., but I considered that there must be khair in Allah Ta’ala’s decisions for us. Alhamdulillah, we returned safely.

I would appreciate some understanding of the Zikr sessions that are held at the Masjid.

Hazrat, this is my final year and I have many concerns. I humbly request special duas and guidance in respect to how to carry myself in this final year, studying Hadeeth.



Reply

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Wa-alaykumus Salaam wa-Rahmatullahi wa-Barakaatuhu

1.)          Masha-Allah, very happy to read that the Umrah and Ziyarah went so well. May Allah Ta’ala accept all the Duas and Ibaadaat.


2.)          JazakAllah Khayr for remembering me in your Duas and for conveying my Salaam.

3.)          The Hadeeth mentions that safr[1]  is a portion of suffering. So a Musaafir[2] should expect some hiccups or difficulties whilst on travel. Dua should constantly be made for ease and Aafiyah. Sadaqah should also be given out as a measure of protection.



4.)          Yes, there is always khayr in Allah Ta’ala’s decisions. The delay could have been a means of protection from some calamity or some loss.


5.)          The Zikr sessions that are held in the Masjid are carried out by different Mashaa`ikh[3] as a training for their students / Mureeds. Their methods are based on experience, together with the benefits in making Zikr in that particular manner. Whilst not Sunnah or Waajib, there is a lot of benefit derived in their methodology. However, do not consider the method as an integral part of the Zikr.


6.)          May Allah Ta’ala grant the best of both worlds and make your final year a most successful year, wherein you imbibe all the anwaar of Hadeeth.

7.)          Complete Adab[4] is required when learning Deen, moreso with Tafseer and Hadeeth.

Try to remain with Wudhu, use Miswaak, and read plenty of Durood Shareef. Have utmost respect for your Ustaadh, otherwise that knowledge will be lost. Try and make the khidmah[5] of your Asaatidha.

It is imperative to abstain from sins. Make every effort to show your love for Nabi Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam by following the Sunnah. Make the Niyyah of bringing the reality of each Hadeeth into your life.

When writing Hadeeth, write the Arabic “Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam in full. Make Dua for deep understanding of the speech of Rasulullah Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, acceptance in your endeavours and for Allah Ta’ala to use you in the Khidmah of Hadeeth.

The following advice offers much ‘food for thought’: 

"Seeking out knowledge is not saying: ‘So and so related from so-and-so’; rather, seeking out knowledge is fearing Allah, the Possessor of Might and Majesty." 


[Imam Sufyaan At-Thauree (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)]


“When you have written down (studied) ten Ahaadeeth, check if you notice an improvement in the way you walk, in your level of patience, and in your degree of self-dignity. For if you do not see any such improvement, then know that your knowledge harms you and does not benefit you.”


[Advice given to Imam Sufyaan At-Thauree (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)
by his respected mother]



8.)          May Allah Ta’ala grant the best of both worlds, and accept your learning.

9.)          Also requesting Duas.

Was-Salaamu alaykum wa-Rahmatullahi wa-Barakaatuhu
Yunus Patel (Maulana)




[1] Safr: travel
[2] Musaafir : traveller
[3] Mashaa’ik : plural of Shaykh
[4] Adab : respect
[5] Khidmah : service


Saturday, 9 July 2016

After Ramadaan


Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem




The Blessed month of Ramadaan came like seasonal rain and passed by. This rain did not water the plants and crops - it showered upon the hearts of the Believers. …It is sad, but true, that the hearts of the majority of Muslims were stricken with spiritual drought and spiritual decadence. It was a drought caused by excessive indulgence in un-Islamic activities, immoral behaviour, unjust actions, unfair dealings and so forth. …Drought caused by lack of rain destroys crops - drought caused by lack of piety, lack of fear of Allah Ta’ala and lack of Allah Consciousness destroys the SPIRITUALITY of the heart.


Ramadaan's spiritual rains brought to life the Masaajid and other prayer places. Ramadaan had fanned the dying spark of charity. Ramadaan had awakened the spirit of tolerance, patience and sympathy for the less fortunate.


Now that we come to the end of Ramadaan, the big question is: What to do?


Did we go through all the spiritual exercises in Ramadaan in order that we may have the freedom to indulge, on Eid day, in all types of immoral, shameless and indecent entertainment and amusement?


Did we restrain ourselves from Halaal food, drinks and other pleasures from dawn to sunset throughout Ramadaan, so that we may return with renewed vigour to gambling, drinking, adultery and fornication?


Will the spirit of tolerance, mercy, patience, charity, sympathy and the nurtured quality of piety and Allah-Consciousness be still evident or will these noble qualities be shelved until the dawn of the next Ramadaan?


Will the Masaajid which were filled on most nights in Ramadaan remain the same or will they become empty, wondering where the faithful have gone? Our life-styles after Ramadaan will show whether we used the month to bring about a total reformation within ourselves or whether we wasted the valuable opportunity.


The National and international position of the Muslim communities is something we are all acquainted with. Muslims are lamenting the loss of lives, destruction of property, oppression, tyranny, injustice and a host of other problems afflicting the  Muslims all over the world. They are questioning as to why the promised help of Allah Ta’ala, to the Believers, is nowhere in sight. …However, just one glance into the lifestyles of the overwhelming majority of the Muslims is sufficient to answer the question. Millions of Muslims do not have much to their credit besides Muslim names.


Allah Ta’ala's help comes with ‘aml’ (action) and true Islamic qualities; not with names or faces  - or whether Arab or non-Arab,  African or European, Chinese or Indian. On the other hand every group, organization, society or individual who talks Islam, seems to have got its own brand of Islam. The Islamic teachings which were left behind for us, crystal clear and pristine pure, have become so adulterated with foreign customs, alien practices and un-Islamic ideologies, that a new Muslim has to make an effort to search for the Qur’aan and Sunnah brand of Islam or remain confused and ignorant.


May Allah Ta’ala give us the guidance to resolve that we shall make the Qur’aan and Sunnah our guiding lights and practise Islam as much as possible.  If the non-Muslim inhabitants of our country see Islam in the lives of Muslims, they will not require much persuasion to accept our beautiful Deen.



by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullah alayh)


Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Keeping the Spirit of Ramadaan Alive


An Inspirational Eid Message of 
Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi alayh)



In a world, which has become rather strange and peculiar, we find in the quest for peace, nations of the world are waging wars of devastation and destruction against each other. World governments look towards war as the solution for peace. Greed and selfishness are considered as the key to the success of man. ...In the clamour for justice, injustice towers over and above, in all its ugliness. Instead of peace, freedom, success and justice, man finds himself shackled under the yoke of more and more tribulations.


Despite billions of dollars being expended for all types of sophisticated technology to establish law and order, and eliminate crimes of theft, murder, bribery, corruption, rape, fraud, hijackings and so forth, crime has not been eradicated, nor reduced by any percentage; rather there has been and there is a daily escalation in all criminal offences.


Frequent get-togethers of the so-called master minds of the world, summit conferences and high level discussions have all failed to provide a solution to the economic, political, cultural and social problems of man.


Man is a created being and only Divine guidance can solve his problems. The reality is clear: The heavy arm of the law on its own, just legislation, the imposition of fines and jail sentences, cannot and will not solve problems that face mankind. The only sure deterrent to crimes of all kinds, is firm conviction and belief in our Creator, a life hereafter and a day of judgement, where complete justice will be meted out. These are long term solutions, and solutions that were proven to give the best results and create the best societies on the face of the earth.


The obligation of fasting in the month of Ramadaan for the Believers, men and women, who are sane and healthy, is a clear message to mankind that unrestricted indulgence in fulfilling the desires of one's base or animal self has to be curbed for some time, to give an upliftment to one's spiritual self. The object of fasting, as described in the Holy Qur’aan, is “so that you may guard against evil.”


During the auspicious month of Ramadan, a fasting person abstains from food, drink and sexual relations from dawn until sunset, in obedience to the command of his creator. The month is a training whereby the Believer's trait of God-conscious is nurtured. Even though he may be in place of total privacy and seclusion, on the hottest day of the year, he does not submit to the temptation of sipping even a few drops of water for he is convinced that he cannot evade the sight of the All-Observing Almighty.


If the spirit of fasting were to become a reality in the society of Muslims who have observed the fasts of Ramadaan and has advanced our piety, then mankind would see a society in which every person becomes the guardian of the respect, honour, property and possessions of others; a society in which the needy, the poor, the destitute, and the under-privileged are taken cared for; a society in which honesty, chastity, nobility, kindness, compassion, mercy and forgiveness shine forth like the midday sun; a society in which no harm is caused to any human or animal without a just reason; and a society in which material progress does not bring about a moral collapse.


Eidul Fitr signifies the end of this fasting period and is a day of joy and thanksgiving, but despite being a day of celebration, the day commences with an additional prayer after sunrise, reminding the believers that the object of fasting must be fully borne in mind even after Ramadan. A believer must be aware of the fact that he was made to observe the fast to become God-conscious, pious and self-restraining. His natural inclinations to eating, drinking and fulfilling his sexual passions were curbed for a month from dawn to sunset – the willpower to abstain from all evil and totally submit himself to the will of the Creator should now be easy for the months to follow.


Ramadaan was a golden opportunity for the Muslim community to bring about a total transformation in all spheres of their lives. Eid and the days to follow are opportunities to demonstrate the moral upliftment and spiritual elevation gained through fasting by showing compassion, mercy and kindness towards the creation of the Almighty.


Whilst conveying to the Muslim community best wishes for a happy Eid, I make a humble appeal to every Muslim brother and sister to keep the spirit of fasting alive – Let obedience of Allah Ta'ala shine forth from this day forward. Let the rest of mankind observe the effect that fasting has in changing the outlook of a believing Muslim. Let the world observe a community free from all sins, crime and vice and let us be an example which is worthy of emulation and of others accepting Islam.



Saturday, 2 July 2016

Islamic Business (Part 2)

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


From the Discourses of Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb 
(Rahmatullahi ‘Alayh)


To do business is not Haraam. In fact it is very virtuous. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said: “To earn a Halaal (lawful) livelihood is compulsory after the completion of other Faraa'idh (obligatory duties).”


In another Hadith, Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “Glad tidings (of Jannah) are for that person whose income is pure (Halaal), his interior and exterior is good and he does not cause any harm to people. Glad tidings (of Jannah) are for that person who practices on his knowledge, spends his excess wealth (on the needy) and does not engage in useless talk.”[1]


So earning a Halaal livelihood is 100% Deen …but certainly not the way we are doing it at present. …What are we really chasing after?  Our Rizq (sustenance) is Muqaddar (predestined) and it is chasing after us. Allah Ta’ala wants to give it to us easily but we want it the hard way; so it comes like that.  …And if a person falls into the traps of Haraam and into unlawful and deceptive dealings, the Barakah is all lost and problems prevail.


EMPLOYEES


Nowadays, we work seven days a week, from 7 to 7. If we don’t work like this, then we sometimes make our staff slog in this manner. We have no mercy, no sympathy and no compassion for them – no thought that they have families – parents, wife and children – and they need to spend some quality time with their families, that they too are human and need some rest.


We like to spend time with our families on week-ends. We take a rest and even go on holidays. But when it comes to our staff, then sadly we do not like the same for them. Even if they are sick, they are forced to come to work because we do not allow them sick leave or we will cut their pay. Such injustices and grievances are brought to our attention time and again. …This is due to the greed we have. This is the result of Hubbud-Dunya. Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “The love of the world is the root of all evil.”[2]


The Hadith Shareef mentions clearly: “Whoever has faith in Allah and the Last Day, then let him meet his end while he treats people the way he would love to be treated.”[3]


In another Hadith, Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.[4]


Even if you open 24/7 – 365 days a year, only what is destined for you, will reach you. It will not be anything more! It will not be a single cent more than what Allah Ta’ala has already decreed. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the understanding because we have lost all perspective of the Aakhirah (Hereafter) in our pursuit for Dunya. It is an obsession. In the process, we make Zulm on our employees. Often it is the curses of the Mazloom that sometimes tears our lives apart, because Allah Ta’ala promises to assist the oppressed.


In addition to giving other advice, Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam would caution his Companions who were deputed as governors: “Fear the pleading prayer of a wronged one (Mazloom), for there is no veil between it and Allah.”


There is a proverb: “Beware of the sigh of the oppressed when they pray; Divine acceptance readily greets them.”


SUKOON AND BARAKAH


Change the pattern of work. Work in the obedience of Allah Ta’ala and you, yourself, will see how much of Sukoon (tranquility) and Barakah (blessings) you will experience. All the stress, anxiety and depression will disappear. At present, we ourselves are suppressing and oppressing our souls. The physical body has got a soul. The soul wants to rise and wants to connect with Allah Ta’ala and become a true lover of Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. We are suppressing and oppressing that soul. When there is suppression and oppression of the soul, depression will then follow.


All the money of Dunya cannot buy the happiness and peace of the heart and soul. When we give the soul its sustenance and nourishment, which is Taqwa[5], then Allah Ta’ala gives Sukoon.  Even in the midst of problems, we will still have Sukoon – like a rose blooming amidst thorns. Then there will be no evidence needed to see the Sukoon in the person’s life.


LEARN BUSINESS THE ISLAMIC WAY


Hazrat ‘Umar رَضِىَ الله عَنْهُ would not allow a person to engage in any business or trade until he had learnt the rules and regulations which governs business in Islam. Learn the Islamic way of doing trade and business. Make the business Shari’ah compliant.


Look at how the Sahaba-e-Kiraam رَضِىَ الله عَنْهُمْ did business. It was neither a diversion from Allah Ta’ala nor from Deen. Their Tijarah was Ibaadah. Their business and trade brought so much of Barakah. As an example: Hazrat AbdurRahman Ibn Auf رَضِىَ الله عَنْهُ, who is also one of the Asharah Mubasharah[6], would say, in explaining how successful Allah Ta’ala had made him: “If I lift a stone, I find gold and silver beneath it!"


They did not pursue the Dunya. No. They pursued the Aakhirah and sought the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala in everything they did. So Allah Ta’ala made their sustenance extremely easy and blessed them in their earnings, because their business and trade was in accordance to the demands of Shari’ah.


In any effort to earn Dunya, Deen should never be considered as secondary, or be given the back seat – so to say. Deen should always take precedence and be our main concern. Our work and activities of Dunya must conform to Deen and Shari’ah. Deen is the nucleus, or the heart and soul of our lives.


May Allah Ta’ala inspire our hearts in His Obedience, grant us the understanding of the reality of this worldly life and the realization that we need to pursue the Aakhirah instead of the Dunya – since it is the Aakhirah that is everlasting while the Dunya will be left behind very soon. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq of Amal.





[1] Tabraani
[2] Mishkaat
[3] Al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr 10370
[4] Bukhari & Muslim
[5] Taqwa: Piety / abstinence and restraint from that which is Haraam (forbidden).
[6] The ten (famous) Companions of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, who were given the glad tidings of Paradise in one sitting.



Saturday, 25 June 2016

Laylatul Qadr

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)


Allah Ta’ala’s love for His Messenger Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) is clearly evident and manifest in many Aayaat (verses) of the Qur`aan Shareef. Additionally, whilst other Ambiyaa (Alayhimus Salaam) were gifted with exclusive titles, it was Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) alone, whose title was “Habibullah”  (The Beloved of Allah Ta'ala).


Due to this Divine love for Sayyidina Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam), his Ummah is recipient to special mercy, blessings and favours from Allah Ta’ala. It is only due to our connection and association with Nabi-e-Akram (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) that Allah Ta’ala has honoured us above all people.


Amongst many privileges, one Divine Mark of Distinction that has been granted to us, is the great privilege of being “Ummate Marhooma” – The Ummah upon whom Mercy is shown.


The explanation of this noble title, “Ummate Marhooma” is that forgiveness is secured and mercy is attained through our sicknesses, our hardships and other tribulations; through the Eesale Sawaab that people convey to us after our demise, and through blessed days and nights such as are found in Ramadaan, and other special days and nights outside Ramadaan (The first 10 nights and days of Zul Hijjah, the nights of Eid, the 10th of Muharram, etc.), whereby we can easily gain forgiveness. 


The most special and most blessed of all nights is the Night of “QADR”. Laylatul Qadr is a night singled out by Allah Ta’ala, who granted it such magnificent virtues and such greatness that surpasses all other nights. The fact that Allah Ta’ala has gifted this Ummah, with this one night – year in and year out – highlights again the Divine mercy that is extended to this Ummah, as well as the Graciousness and Kindness of Allah Ta’ala in giving us opportunities to secure far more in rewards.


It is mentioned in Tafseer that one meaning of the word “Qadr” is “greatness, honour, dignity” and this is what the night of Qadr is – a night of greatness. It is also stated that the night is called so, because a person becomes a man of honour and dignity on account of his sincere repentance, and the noble deeds, prayers and supplications he engages in during this night. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) said: “Whoever stands in prayer and worship on the night of Qadr, with complete faith and with sincere hope of gaining reward, all his previous sins are forgiven.”


“Qadr” also means “pre-destination” and we find that this is also a night where the destinies of people are assigned to respective Angels in regard to life, death, sustenance, rain, and so forth – all of which will come to pass for the year that will follow.


Drawing from the different narrations, it becomes clear that the Night of Qadr should be sought in the last 10 nights of Ramadaan, specifically the odd nights. Its greatness and merit is described in the Speech of Allah Ta’ala, wherein it is stated that worship in this night surpasses the worship of 1000 months. Worship includes Salaah, Tilawah (recitation) of the Qur`aan Shareef, Zikrullah, Dua, etc.


The night is also a night for sincere repentance as attested by a narration, wherein Hazrat Ayesha (Radhiyallahu 'Anha) had asked Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) what prayer she should engage in if she finds Laylatul Qadr and Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) advised her the following Dua: “O Allah, verily You are Oft-Pardoning, You love to Pardon, so do pardon me.”


Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) said: “A month has verily dawned over you wherein lies a night better than a thousand months. Whoever misses such a night has indeed been deprived of all that is good; and none is deprived of it, except he who is really unfortunate.”


May Allah Ta’ala grant us appreciation of these beautiful opportunities, and grant us the experience and rewards of Laylatul Qadr.


It is not possible to do justice to a discussion of Laylatul Qadr but an excellent and detailed exposition is found in the book “Fazaa`il-e-Ramadaan” by Shaykhul Hadeeth, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya (Rahmatullah ‘alayh), which offers tremendous inspiration, motivation and encouragement.