Saturday, 1 July 2017

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)

Sunday, 25 June 2017

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.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Du'aa | Opening the Doors of Blessings

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

[Surah Mu`min 40 : 60]

 “Anyone amongst you whose doors of Du’aa have opened, in reality, 
the doors of blessings have opened for him.”

“Brimming with humility and seeds of sincerity, Hazrat Maulana’s Duas teaches one the manner of begging from Allah Ta’ala, and is a means of bringing about a transformation within the heart.

A treasure for those who supplicate in English.”



“When you are able to cry during your supplication, then realise that your prayers have been accepted. Tears are a receipt of the acceptance of your prayers.”

[Hazrat Maulana Abdul Ghani Phoolpuri (RA)]

Thursday, 15 June 2017

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.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Will you break your fast a few minutes early?

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

For many years, without fail, I have been giving an example in the month of Ramadaan, that at the end of a very, very hot and long day of Summer, a person is sitting at the Dastarkhaan, close to the time of Iftaar, waiting patiently to open his fast. There is just 3 minutes left for the setting of the sun when he is told: “Eat!…What difference will it make if you break your fast now? What’s another 2 or 3 minutes? ... You have already stayed away from food and drink for almost 15 – 16 hours.”

Even if the person happens to be the weakest Muslim, i.e. in respect to obeying Allah Ta’ala, he will respond: “It is the ruling of the Qur`aan and the Ahadeeth that I break my fast after the setting of the sun and not before that time. It is the Command of Allah Ta’ala and I cannot disobey Him.”

The weakest person’s Imaan becomes so strong at this stage of his fast, that he will not break his fast. He will refuse to break his fast, even if the world’s great personalities have to say so.

So we should question ourselves and also answer truthfully:

Is it not the Hukm, the Command of that same Allah, to perform Salaah five times a day and for the men, in the Masjid, in Jamaat as far as possible?

Is it not the Command of that same Allah to correctly discharge our Zakaah, perform Hajj, treat our parents with love and respect, be faithful to our wives and treat them with compassion (and vice versa for the wives), be honest in our business dealings and be kind and just to those under our authority?

Furthermore, just as it is Allah Ta’ala’s Command to do good deeds; in the same way, to abstain from adultery, fornication, stealing, gambling, watching Haraam, taking and giving of interest and other sins are also the same Allah ‘s Commands.

So we should not be selective and only show the strength of our Imaan at the time of breaking fast. It should be in all actions of ours.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us all the Taufeeq of Aml.

by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullah ‘Alayh)

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Laylatul Bara'ah | 15th of Sha`baan

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Hazrat Aayesha (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha) said:

"One night Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) woke up and performed Salaah. He prolonged the Sajdah to such an extent that I wondered whether he had passed away. Seeing this, I got up and shook his foot. Perceiving movement, I felt at ease.

When Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) lifted his head from Sajdah and completed his Salaah, he said: "O Humairah (RA)! Did you think that the Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had deceived you?"

I replied in the negative and said: "I swear in the name of Allah, due to the length of your Sajdah I thought that you had passed away. "

Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: "Do you know what night this is?"

I said: "Allah and his Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) know best."

He said: "This is the fifteenth night of Sha'baan, Allah looks at His servants in this night and forgives those who seek forgiveness, shows mercy upon those who seek mercy and delays the decision of those who harbour feelings of hatred for others”

It is also mentioned in this narration that Hazrat Aisha (RA) heard Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) reading this Dua in his Sajdah: 

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Sha`baan and the Coming of Ramadaan

Bismihi Ta’ala

The phrase, ‘It’s in the air’ alludes to the general feeling or expectation of something to happen in the near future or something which is already present or prevailing.

For the Muslim who reaches the months of Rajab and Sha`baan, the presence of Ramadaan is keenly sensed and felt. There is anticipation and expectation. It is near, with each day closing the distance between us and Ramadaan. Its blessings are ‘in the air’ – so to say …just as we have fragrance permeating the atmosphere, infusing the air, whether of flowers or of Itr or other perfume.

…The stronger the perfume, the stronger the Itr, the greater the distance its scent travels – so much so, that even though we may be far, we too get a hint of something special. The same with a braai – we find the aroma being carried by the wind, over a distance.

…Then what of the sweet fragrance of Ramadaan?

It is in the air. Most definitely.

It is just that our “receivers” are not working well. …If there is a transmitter and there is transmission, but our receiver is not working, we will not pick up transmission. Similarly, if our sinuses are clogged, we will not smell the fragrance.

When it comes to the month of Sha`baan – especially from the middle of Sha`baan onwards, the excitement of the Auliya-Allah, the pious and the righteous knows no bounds and limits. They have understood the virtue and significance of Sha`baan because it heralds the coming of Ramadaan, the guest of distinction and greatness. …They have been waiting for the Mubarak month of Ramadaan, and Sha`baan signifies the final countdown to its arrival. They are enthusiastic and eager just to see and meet the month of Ramadaan, and thus we find the beautiful Masnoon dua : ‘O Allah, bless us in Rajab and Sha’baan and grant us life to see Ramadaan.’

Whilst they enjoy and make the most of the blessings of Sha`baan, it is unfortunate that the majority are neglectful, if not ignorant of its blessings.

Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wassallam) said, “Sha`baan is a month between Rajab and Ramadaan which is neglected by many people. And it is a month in which an account of deeds  is presented before the Lord of the Universe, so I wish that my deeds be presented at a time when I am in  a state of fasting.” [1]

We also find in this blessed month, the night of Bara`ah : A Favour and Bounty of Allah Ta’ala Who, through this night, makes it easy for us to prepare for Ramadaan.

First, Allah Ta’ala gives us the 15th night of Sha`baan – an exclusive opportunity for Taubah, Rujoo Ilallah, Dua and other Ibaadah… and then He gives us an entire month saturated with opportunities to secure His Pleasure. He gives us Ramadaan. Alhamdulillah.

The following analogy came to my mind : That the Ibaadah of the 15th night of Sha`baan is similar to how a person does a re-paint of his house.

When a person wants to paint his house, what does he do if the old paint is flaking, if the old paint is peeling and falling off? Would he just take the new paint and apply a fresh coat on top of all the old, flaking paint? …No.

The person firsts scrapes off all the old paint. After doing this, he applies the new paint. 

The night of Bara`ah is akin to scraping off the “old paint”. Allah Ta’ala gives us this blessed and auspicious night so that we scrape off all the old paint and all the dirt of malice, of greed, of pride, of anger and of other bad and evil traits, which have spoilt the beauty of our hearts and which have worn out the shine of our hearts, and through which we have lost the colour of Divine Love which coated our hearts.

…Thus, if we are not on talking terms with our family members, or have cut off ties with parents or vice versa, or have been disobedient to parents, or if there is anyone taking some kind of intoxicant, or engaging in some form of shirk, or is harbouring malice and jealousy, or engaging in any form of immorality and disobedience – then the opportunity to rid the heart of its evil, to clean it and purify it, to paint it in the dye of Allah Ta’ala’s Love, to beautify it with the Noor of sincere repentance and the Remembrance of Allah Ta’ala is presented to us in the form of the 15th night of Sha`baan.

…Very much like the scraping of the old paint … with a re-coat of fresh ‘paint’ before the month of Ramadaan. We apply the new coat so that it begins to shine in advance of Ramadaan and increases in its shine and beauty with each passing day of Ramadaan.

So Allah Ta’ala gives us this night, in preparation for the coming month of Ramadaan. And most of us are acquainted with the merits of this night : That it is a night for forgiveness of sins,  a night in which Allah Ta’ala’s Mercy descends.

From our side, we should maximise on the wonderful bounties found in this night, by engaging ourselves in Ibaadah, in Dua and in Istighfaar.

There is no hard and fast rule as to what to read and how to occupy ourselves in this night. In reality, it is spending the time in diverse Ibaadah; whatever our hearts incline to – some recitation of Qur`aan Shareef and Zikrullah, together with sincere Taubah, abundant Istighfaar, and deep-hearted Dua. Sleep for a little while and try and get up for the Tahajjud Salaah and engage in Dua.

…There is no reason to feel disappointed if the person is working the entire day and does not then have the capacity to remain awake for most of the night… to whatever extent, the person makes an effort in this night.

My purpose was just to highlight one or two points – the main point being that irrespective of how far we may have distanced ourselves from Allah Ta’ala, if we turn to Allah Ta’ala, we make “I'tiraaf- e- qusoor” – acknowledge our weakness, our sins…

“O my beloved Allah! Looking at my own weakness, looking at my lack of strength and energy, what else can I take support from except that You are Most Merciful?

My crying before You, my tearing before You, my repentance are what I have to offer. I do not have the kind of strength that the Sahaaba-e-Kiraam (RA) had. I do not have that kind of strength that the Taabi’een and the Tabe Taabi’een had. I do not have that kind of Ibaadah, Zikr and Tilaawah which the righteous and the pious and the Sawliheen had, or they have.

I am of those who are extremely weak. With my “I'tiraaf- e- qusoor”, with my acknowledgement of my sins, and with my tears of repentance, I seek Your Support. Overlook my sins, overlook my shortcomings, overlook my weakness. My life has gone by in so much of disobedience to You and your Rasool (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wassallam). But this night, I am turning towards You…”

Ask Allah Ta’ala for complete forgiveness from all sins, whether major or minor sins, wherever they may have been committed, whether deliberate or unintentional. Whatever it may be, ask Allah Ta’ala for forgiveness of all sins, and sincerely promise and pledge not to return to them.

With this kind of Taubah and Istighfaar, the Light of Imaan will shine in our hearts. Thereafter, it is left to us to then preserve that Light by staying away from those sins in the future.

On the other hand, if the person is going to merely engage in lip-service Istighfaar and Taubah for the night, and continue with the same evils the very next day, how will any Noor remain in the heart? …Then, when Ramadaan does arrive, the person will be empty in his heart, and if he continues in the same direction of sins, he will not be in the right frame of spirituality to fully benefit and draw from the downpour of Noor, Rahmah and Barakah of Ramadaan.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us all the understanding and the ability to practise on our knowledge with Ikhlaas. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the full blessings of Sha`baan and Ramadaan.

                                       By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (RA)

[1] Sunan Nasaaee