Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Evidence of Sins

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)  

Destroy the reminders and evidence of sin and evil. They are stepping-stones to returning to the same sins. Reminders include photographs of those places where sins were committed; even if the pictures are not animate.

…When a person will see the photograph of the hotel, tourist resort, etc. where he committed zina (adultery), shaytaan will take him down memory lane and give him the Haraam enjoyment of his past sin. This in turn could lead to the sin itself.

If some gift was given by an illicit beloved, destroy it or give it away.

One should also not diarise sins as is the habit of so many.

Many girls keep diaries, with even locks and keys. …If these diaries are opened by others, pages of sins indulged in, of fancies and fantasies are revealed, and the person suffers humiliation and disgrace.

The same with smses which are saved on cell-phones, e-mails saved on computer, or letters and faxes which are stored away. All can be implicating evidence against a person and can lead to not only disgrace, but distrust and even the dissolution of friendship and marriage.

There have been incidents of families that have met up with accidents, hijackings or robberies, wherein all members were killed. In sorting out their estates, other members of the family, find amongst their belongings and possessions, porn videos and dvds, porn magazines and so forth.

This is not just imaginary or a tall story concocted. One person contacted me, saying that an entire family was killed in an accident – husband, wife and children. As such, other members of the family had to enter the home to sort out the estate. On opening the one cupboard in the main bedroom, they were shocked to find porn magazines, films, etc. whereas they knew the husband to be an upright Muslim, a namaazi, etc. …Is this not embarrassment and disgrace?

There is no guarantee that the wife will survive the husband to conceal his secret sins, or the husband will survive the wife, to conceal her sins.  …Someone is going to enter that home and all will be exposed.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us all the realization that death can visit at any time and that evidence of sins opens doors of problems and disgrace.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Children and Toys

Bismihi Ta'ala

When a child wants a toy which is of an animate object or a musical instrument, then gently explain to the child that Allah Ta’ala is displeased with such a toy, and that the presence of such toys in our homes deprive us of the presence of the Malaa`ikah (angels) of Rahmah (Mercy).

After having explained this, buy something betterif it is within one’s means, of the ‘mubaah’ (permissible) category – without being extravagant and wasteful.

My Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum) had said that considering the fact that most children have all kinds of animate, musical and haraam (forbidden) toys, do not let the child feel as if he or she is being deprived of play. …Make the child happy with Halaal so that he or she will grow up loving the beautiful Deen (religion) of Islam.

The same applies to children’s clothing and accessories to be found on the market; many of which have cartoon characters, etc. which would captivate and charm little children; but which the Shariah[1] does not permit.

Muslims today consider these restrictions as trivial and irrelevant whereas there is great wisdom in all the ‘Muharramaat’ (prohibitions) of Islam.

In actual fact, one of the reasons why children have nightmares is due to the photographs that we bring into our homes, the cartoons and other programmes we allow and encourage them to view, or such clothing and toys that are impermissible… Sometimes the room walls are plastered with cartoon characters, huge teddy bears, dolls and stuffed animals are all around the room, which result in frightful dreams.

…There are angels that are deputed to look after our children, but these angels do not enter that home where there are pictures of animate objects. This deprives our children of the presence and protection of the angels, who also play with babies.
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi waSallam) said : “Angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture.”[2]

We claim that we are Believers in Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi waSallam). If the claim is true and sincere, then it is not acceptable that as Believers in Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi waSallam), we debate, argue or reject what are clear injunctions of Shariah. The person who does so, has clearly strayed from the right path…

 “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided
by Allah and His Apostle, to have any option about their decision : 
If anyone disobeys Allah and His Apostle, he is indeed on a clearly wrong path.
[Surah Ahzaab 33 : 36]
Allah Ta’ala mentions the response of His sincere servants: 

“The answer of the Believers, when summoned to Allah and His Rasul,
in order that he may judge between them is not other than this : 
They say,  ‘We hear and we obey.’ It is such as these who will attain felicity.
It is such as obey Allah and His Rasul, and fear Allah and do right,
that will win (in the end).”
[Surah Noor 24 : 51 / 52]

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)

[1] Shariah : Code of Islamic Law
[2] Sahih Muslim

Monday, 11 February 2013

Getting back on track

Giving up Sins : An Easy Prescription

There are many, many Muslim brothers and sisters throughout the world, who due to various negative influences and bad elements, find themselves ‘de-railed’ from Deen. Many others sit on the fence, wanting to enjoy or benefit from both sides of the fence – engaging in sins as well as being practical on certain teachings of Deen. However, deep in their hearts is the desire to get back on track, and once again become good, practical Muslims; to jump off that fence and enjoy the green pastures of Islam. So they write, e-mail, phone and fax, seeking guidance and direction.

The main weakness is indulgence in sins; sometimes many sins and excessive indulgence in those sins. I give a standard prescription as a reply.  Alhamdulillah, many who followed through with the prescription have found a whole new life – of peace, happiness, blessings and mercy. On tasting the sweetness that comes with obedience, there is no desire to return to any form of disobedience. The following is what is presented to them:

The ideal is that we abstain from sins, out of love for Allah Ta’ala.

It is the nature of human beings that we love the one who is kind and generous to us. Then what of Allah Ta’ala who has provided us with plentiful – with everything?

Who has blessed us with sight, hearing, speech, with organs that are functioning in such an amazing manner, and with limbs - all in our service – for eating, drinking, walking, sitting, etc. Who has showered upon us the bounties of clothing, shelter, transport, and so many other material comforts. Who is providing the food and drink that provides strength? …Allah Ta’ala.

And now that strength is used to disobey that Gracious and Generous Master.

Who created the means for us to be born in Muslim homes, to grow up with spiritual bounties of Imaan and Islam? Or who has guided us to Islam? …Allah Ta’ala.

Should we not then love Allah Ta’ala unconditionally, keeping in mind that the heart too is from Him, and was given to us for His Love?

Should we not be ever-willing to earn His Pleasure? Should we not be avoiding all those actions which earn His Displeasure? … Since He is our Beloved.

Developing the conscious awareness that Allah Ta’ala is with us : He is watching us, He is hearing us, He knows all and everything about us; We cannot hide from Him; We cannot conceal our actions from Him. Then should we not feel ashamed that in His Presence, we are disobeying Him?

Is it not shameless that we engage in sins in His very Presence?

My Respected Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum) says very aptly in poetry:

“If you hide and commit sins,
Someone is watching from above (Allah Ta’ala)…”

Keep in mind that the angels are witness to all our actions; that the earth is recording our behaviour and that all of our actions are being noted in our books of deeds – and that we are inevitably accountable to Allah Ta’ala on the Day of Judgement. …In this manner, we will develop that shame and modesty which will make it easy to restrain from Haraam.

Added to this, our actions are also presented to Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).  We should give thought to whether our actions are a source of joy or grief to him (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam). …Contemplating just this should make us think a hundred times before moving in the direction of sin.

Muhasabah is taking an account of one’s actions : We should reflect over our deeds for the day and seek forgiveness for shortcomings and resolve not to return to those bad deeds. We should also express gratitude on good deeds and make Dua for an increase in them.

Ponder over the fact that the Angel of Death does not give respite. It must not be that whilst obeying the nafs in sinful pleasure, the Angel of death visits; and departure is in disgrace, and return to Allah Ta’ala is at a time when He is angry, and that death is an embarrassment to the person, the family and community who find out that death came in sin. May Allah Ta’ala protect us all from death in a state of transgression …which has become very common these days. Whereas in the past, we heard of Muslims dying in sujood, in a state of fasting, while occupied in recitation of Qur`aan Shareef, in other noble actions, today, we hear and read of Muslims dying in prostitute quarters, in rave clubs, while viewing pornography, or due to drugs and other intoxicants, etc.

…Death visits – more often, very unexpectedly, and no true Muslim would want to be seized by the Angel of death when Allah Ta’ala is displeased. I often say : We now have instant tea, and instant coffee, and instant cereal and instant pudding and so many other things on the market are instant – we are also living in times when death is instant.  So any sin is too much of a risk in the face of the reality of death. …As is commonly said:

“Your resurrection will be how you have died, and you will die in the manner you have lived.”

…Would any Muslim want to rise up on the Day of Judgement in sin, for all of mankind to witness what kind of life he led?

Ponder over the fact that Allah Ta’ala has blessed us with the gift of sight, hearing, health, wealth, and so much else – and has also granted us the gift of respect. However, what Allah Ta’ala gives, He can also take away. He has clearly stated that ingratitude for His Gifts will draw very severe punishment. So is sin not abuse and ingratitude for the gifts of sight, of heart, of mind, of limbs?

Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur`aan Shareef :              
“…If you are grateful, I will most certainly increase for you (My favours) but if you show ingratitude, verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.”
[Surah Ibraheem 14 : 7]

A little contemplation on the consequences of such behaviour and a little bit of mujahada (striving) – which entails ‘not doing’ and Alhamdulillah, the sicknesses are cured.

Together with the above :

Attend the talks of the learned Scholars of Islam whenever possible, or listen to recordings of their talks and read their books to gain benefit of pious, righteous company. Join and participate in the Deeni activities with those who follow the Qur`aan and Sunnah. One will, Insha-Allah, find a great improvement in one’s condition by keeping the right company.

Make the effort to read Salaah punctually. Men should make every effort to read their Salaah in Jamaah (congregation).

Read good, Islamic literature. Abstain from magazines or books that have filthy and indecent contents and pictures.

Give up television viewing. …95% of the content is Haraam.
As an example : If a person offers a full glass of clean and pure water, and mentions that there is just one drop of urine, would any sensible person, drink it?
…When the gaze, heart and mind are consuming and digesting so much of Haraam viewing, what else would be the end result except indulgence in the same Haraam. Then when the major content of television is Haraam, what should we be doing as Muslims?
Lower the gaze from the opposite sex.

Dress as a Muslim should : Men have to wear the pants above the ankle and keep the beard, one fist in length. These actions must not be considered as insignificant. These are teachings of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) which he has greatly emphasized on.
Although it is permissible to wear the shirt and pants, the dressing of the righteous (i.e. the kurta) has a speciality which benefits in different ways. A person with this appearance will think a hundred times before engaging in an open sin, when he is being recognized as someone who must be very pious. So this attire and appearance will offer a protection, Insha-Allah.
Women too should dress modestly as is prescribed by Shariah. The Hijaab offers protection from various sins and is a protection from harassment, which has become normal behaviour for the majority.

By doing these few things, you have won more than half the battle. And it is not as difficult as shaytaan and nafs will whisper. A little courage, a little effort and a little sacrifice are all that is required.
Of course, these are just basic aspects of Deen, which everyone can implement immediately and easily. There is a need to fulfill the Obligatory Injunctions such as Salaah, Zakaat, Fasting in the month of Ramadaan, etc. and to fulfill the rights of parents, spouse, children, family, neighbours and others.

There is a need to read the Qur`aan Shareef regularly, together with some authentic commentary – a little at a time; as well as giving time to studying some book on Islamic Jurisprudence and reading the life and teachings of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), etc. A reading of the books of virtues of actions such as Salaah, Fasting, Haj, Sadaqaat, Zikr, etc. by Shaikh Zakariyyah Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) will create enthusiasm in the heart for practising.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us His Love and the Love of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), such that it becomes easy to give up all sins and submit to His Obedience. May He protect us all from the mischief of nafs and shaytaan. May He fill our hearts with Love for this beautiful Deen and inspire us in being practical and good Muslims and true role-models to our community.

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel
(Rahmatullahi 'alayh)

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

New | Islaahi Correspondence

Bismihi Ta'ala

Extract from the Foreword

This book is a compilation of selected replies to Islaahi correspondence, much of which was taken from the e-mails that came from various parts of the world. The compilation of these questions and replies was prepared with Hazrat Maulana (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)’s guidance and direction. It was hoped that many more benefit from the advice and prescriptions given, since the same questions were asked by different people.

This book contains 20 letters with their respective replies, and it was completed in Hazrat Maulana’s lifetime, in Ramadaan 1429 (September 2008).

Confidentiality has been upheld, letters have been edited, and no names and details are made known or published.

Read the book here

Saturday, 2 February 2013

The Disease of the Spiritual Heart

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Allah Ta’ala has stated in the Qur`aan Shareef :

                 “Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is                       
(he who is) the most righteous of you...” .
[Surah Hujurat 49 : 13]

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) also said : “Verily Allah does not look towards your physical appearances, or towards your riches; but He sees (the sincerity of) your hearts, and (the nature of) your deeds.”[1]

Allah Ta’ala does not look at our bank balances, our properties, our beauty, the colour of our skin, our physique, our lineage, our language, our gender, or the chain of degrees we may have obtained. Allah Ta’ala looks at the heart. The discrimination is only on Taqwa[2].

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said : “Nearest and dearest to me are those who possess the virtue of piety (no matter what colour, race or nationality).”[3]

Hazrat Abu Zarr (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam)had said to him: “Verily you are not better than a fair-skinned person or a dark-skinned person except that you excel him by Taqwa (piety and fear of Allah).”[4]

…There are so many of us who very foolishly and ignorantly pride ourselves over our wealth, family name, beauty – sometimes even our knowledge of Deen or the services we are rendering of Deen; considering these as the criteria for establishing our superiority over others.

Whenever the nafs asserts itself with : ‘I am better… than him (or her)’, then we should understand that we are on the same footing as shaytaan.

When Allah Ta’ala commanded the angels to bow down to Hazrat Aadam (Alaihis Salaam), shaytaan refused to do so. When asked as to why, he asserted:

 ‘I am better than he. You created me from fire,
and him from clay.’
[Surah A’raaf 7 :12]

This opinion of : ‘I am better…’ is reason enough for serious concern, since this attitude is what is termed as pride (takabbur), arrogance and conceit (ujub), the cancer of the spiritual heart. This is such an ailment which also leads to the evil of boasting.

Allah Ta’ala states :

 “Verily Allah does not like the one who has pride
and is boastful.”
[Surah An-Nisaa 4 : 36]

“And swell not your cheek (for pride) at men, nor walk in insolence through the earth; for Allah loves not any arrogant boaster.”
[Surah Luqman 31 : 18]

Allah Ta’ala makes evident His abhorrence by humiliating and abasing such a person and reducing the person’s esteem in the eyes of people. It has been related from Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam): “…he who is proud will be abased by Allah, for though he considers himself great, he is lowly in the eyes of men to such an extent that he is of less value in their estimation than a dog or a pig.”[5]

To cure and purify the heart of these diseases one will have to submit to the scalpel of the surgeon of the spiritual heart - a Muhaqqiq[6] Shaykh. Tazkiyah (purification) of the heart and Islaah (reformation) of the nafs is not achieved by just reading of kitaabs.

Furthermore, no matter by what titles people may address us in this world, we still have to await the Day of Qiyaamah to know our worth by Allah. It will only be on the Day of Qiyaamah that we will find out as to who was Afdhal (most virtuous).

Maulana Sayyid Sulayman Nadvi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) used to say:

Whether we live like this or live like that,
What is left to be seen is how our stay there will be
(i.e. the Hereafter).

by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi 'alayh)

[1] Sahih Muslim
[2] Taqwa : piety / abstention from all sins.
[3] Ahmad
[4] Ahmad
[5] Abu Dawood
[6] Muhaqqiq  : meticulous