Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Airport

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

  By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel (Rahmatullahi ‘Alayh)

At the Johannesburg International Airport[1], some brothers requested that I give them some nasihah (advice) before leaving.

I mentioned the following : ‘The Airport itself presents sufficient Ibrat (lesson) for a person’s Islaah (reformation).

Boards are seen, computer screens inform, and announcements are repeatedly heard of Arrivals  and  Departures.

We should take lesson from this.

We have ‘arrived’. Our scheduled arrival to the destination of this world has come to pass. We have journeyed from Aalame-Arwah[2] to this transitory world. Our next journey is to ‘Aalame-Barzakh’[3].

In this material world, the time of departure is given for the flights that are leaving for various cities and countries. A person can make preparations for travel, accordingly. As is common experience though, flights are generally delayed.

Our departure, to the Aakhirah (Hereafter), is scheduled, but absolutely unknown to us. Moreover, this time of departure will not be delayed or cancelled.      

“…At length when death approaches one of you, Our angels take his soul
and they Never fail in  their duty.”
[Surah An`aam : 6 : 61]

In a couplet that deeply impresses upon the reality of this life, my Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi 'alayh), states:

Strange is the visa of life;
It can be cancelled at anytime.
The duration of its validity is unknown
And its extension too, impossible

Therefore, we need to be ever ready for the journey to the Hereafter.

Passengers are either seated in the VIP lounge or in the ordinary waiting area. Whether the person intends traveling ‘First Class’, ‘Business Class’ or ‘Economy Class’; all will depart. Each has a boarding pass in hand. It is just a matter of time before departure.
The Azaan in our right ear, and the Iqaamat in our left ear, was already given at the time of our birth. All that is left is the Janaza Salaah at the time of our death. Just as the time between the Iqaamat and Salaah is negligible – so too is the time span of our lives.

As someone has mentioned : Our life is just like the ‘dash’ between the date of birth and the date of passing away, which is inscribed on many tombstones. Though this ‘dash’ of life is so short, it is such a significant stage in our journey, that it either ‘makes’ or ‘breaks’ our Hereafter. This little dash either delivers a person to Jannat or Jahannum. So before someone mentions the date of our departure, we should convert the ‘dash’ of life to time spent securing provisions for the coming journey.

Then I mentioned that now two new boards are to be found :  


Our ‘parking’ too is reserved. …What then should we do? Before ‘departure’ and before being ‘parked’ under the ground, we should visit the ‘prayer room’ – meaning, that we should bring the submission and servitude found in prayer or Salaah, into our lives. Submit to the One who gave us this life because very soon will we be returning to Him.

“…And the destination (of all) is to Allah.”
[Surah Ahzaab 35 : 18]

In addition, this world is very much like a time-share. The occupants make full use of all facilities during the week/s or month/s – the lounge, fridge, stove, furniture, air conditioner and the luxuries of the timeshare. However, they know that they will have to move out as soon as their time expires.

Similarly, we should make use of the bounties of Allah Ta’ala in this world but we should not give our hearts to this world. …How can we give our hearts to a world which is so unfaithful?  …The home in which there is excitement and celebration of a wedding is suddenly plunged into grief, sorrow and mourning.

We should keep before us the following Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi waSallam): ‘Verily, the world has been created for you and you have been created for the Aakhirah.’

Preparation for the Aakhirah (Hereafter) does not mean that we will be deprived of the good things of this world. Eat, drink, marry, conduct business and do all other activities according to the teachings of Shari'ah and Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi waSallam). This is all that is required. 

“…(O my Lord) Take You my soul (at death) as one submitting to Your Will (as a Muslim), and unite me with the righteous.”
[Surah Yusuf 12 : 101]

[1] Now known as O R TAMBO International
[2] Aalame-Arwah : The World of Souls
[3] Aalame-Barzakh : The period of life after death until the Resurrection

Friday, 10 August 2012

Leashing the nafs

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)

Whilst taking a walk through a park one morning, accompanied by some friends, we passed by a sign which is generally found in many parks. It read :


Considering a deeper meaning to the sign, I mentioned to my companions: Our nafs (ego) is akin to a dog. The nature of an undisciplined, unleashed dog is that it barks, relieves itself anywhere, devastates and lays waste the delicate flower beds as it tramples them, attacks or spoils people’s picnics, and runs behind people, frightening them. Without its leash and without training, it can scare, harm and bite others, as well as cause damage. Therefore the Parks Board insists that dogs be on leash.

A dog, well trained, will obediently remain on leash, under the control of its master and will not cause inconvenience or damage. It will walk along its master and do as he commands.

The temperament of the nafs (carnal self/ego) is like that of the dog. It also needs to be disciplined and trained, and it also requires a leash. This leash is the leash of Shari'ah, the love and fear of Allah Ta’ala, and fear of accountability on the Day of Judgment, tied tightly and securely around its neck.

Without this leash, the person will break the commands of Allah Ta’ala and violate the rights of creation. The person will steal, gamble, fornicate, suppress, oppress, abuse his wife, children or parents, and perpetrate various other crimes. Malice, greed, jealousy, pride and other filthy, vile qualities will also be found in the person’s heart. People will distance themselves from such a person for fear of being harmed or troubled.

The person who has disciplined his nafs and controls it with the leash of Shari'ah, will find that it becomes submissive and compliant to the instructions of its Master. The person then finds it easy to fulfill the rights of Allah Ta’ala as well as creation, since the nafs is compliant to its Master’s commands. The person will want to do good deeds, assist people, invite others to Deen. …He will not cause harm to people; rather he will benefit them. People will then love such a person. 

When there is a need to go to the shops, factories, airports, hospitals, etc., the person will first leash the nafs with the Khauf (fear) and love of Allah Ta’ala and then go about the fulfillment of duties.

Nabi (Sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) said: “The intelligent one is he who suppresses his desires and practises for what is after death, and the foolish one is he who makes his nafs follow its desires and (he) places (baseless) hope on Allah.”