Sunday, 25 May 2014

Avoiding the Forbidden Hand-shake

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi 'alayh)

In the business field, men and women are often found offering their hand for a handshake. It is formality and considered part of good business dealings and interaction. Many brothers enquire as to how to deal with such situations.

As Muslims, we keep before us the Command of Allah Ta’ala: That it is Haraam (forbidden) for us to touch, let alone shake the hand of a strange woman (or vice versa).  

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: "It is better for an iron rod (nail) to be driven into the head of a man, than for him to touch a woman who is not permissible for him."[1]

Moreover, Allah Ta’ala’s Pleasure comes before any form of social etiquette – when it contravenes Shari’ah.

In such a circumstance, where a woman extends her hands, then averting the gaze, politely tell her: “It should not be taken as an insult that I do not shake your hand. It is from my religious teachings that Muslim men are not allowed to shake the hands of those females who are not related to him. It is also out of respect for you and it is out of loyalty to my wife, that I do not touch a strange woman.”

Simple. There is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed of; nor is there a need to be apologetic. There is also no need for a lengthy speech. It is evident that such a teaching is full of wisdom and protection, and directs towards modest conduct and respect for others.

Similarly, we should lower our gazes and avoid looking at strange women. These are Commandments, which if practiced upon, will truly impress and attract those who are non-Muslims. Many have accepted Islam, observing such high levels of respect, modesty, purity and noble character.

[1] Tabrani

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Powerful Detergents for the Spiritual Heart

There are many laboratories in the world, working and specializing in detergents. Each one trying to produce the best detergent, which would be the easiest in removing stains.

Each company makes a claim that their detergents are the best, giving you a power-cleaning wash and removing the toughest stains.

In the spiritual world, we find that the spiritual heart is such a sensitive entity that is easily stained. Some stains are easy to remove; others are very difficult to do away with.

Thus, the spiritual heart also requires detergents for the heart to remain ‘whiter than white’, ‘brighter than bright’ or ‘super bright’ – as we read in different advertisements.

Those stains of the spiritual heart (i.e. one’s minor sins) which are easy to remove, are washed away with the water of Wudhu (ablution), with Salaah and with many different Ibaadaat, which the Ahaadeeth have informed us, have the effect of removing the stains of sins.

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said : ‘Whoever performed Wudhu and performed it well (i.e. according to the prescribed rules), all his sins will go out, even from under his nails.’[1]

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Each of the five Salaahs expiates the sins committed since the Salaah preceding it.’[2]  

The ‘Ulama mention that Ahaadeeth of this nature refer to minor sins. Major sins require sincere Taubah.

Major sins leave ‘tough’ stains which require a hard wash with a very strong detergent. The power detergents, which have the effect of removing the big and unsightly blotches and splotches of major sins on the spiritual heart are sincere Taubah and Istighfaar, and if one wants a bright, white spiritual heart, then the ‘bleach’ of Zikrullah should be used – just as we use bleach to whiten garments.

Of course, the effect upon our hearts is dependent on our sincerity, our abstinence from all sins, as well as our obedience to Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

If the stains of major sins are not removed, then the heart not only becomes pitch black, it becomes hard, and at this stage the person’s Imaan is on dangerous ground.

Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Qur`aan Shareef :

“No! But that which they used to commit has covered their hearts with rust…”
[Surah Muttaffifeen 83 : 14]

The rust that accumulates with indulgence in sins covers the heart and deprives the person of the ability to distinguish between good and bad, right and wrong, Haq (Truth) and Baatil (Falsehood).

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) explained : “When a Mu’min (believer) sins, a black dot appears on his heart. If he repents and seeks Allah’s forgiveness, his heart becomes cleansed and polished. If he continues to commit more and more sins (without repenting), the spot continues to spread and ultimately covers all of his heart.”[3]

[1] Muslim
[2] Muslim
[3] Tirmizi

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Publication | Hedayatus Saalikeen (Part 1 & 2)

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

'Hedayatus Saalikeen' is a compilation of 100 Malfuzaat 
of Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi 'alayh), 
drawn from Hazrat Maulana's Islaahi talks and Tarbiyyah Lessons.

Click HERE to download the book, Insha-Allah.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Barrier between us and Allah Ta’ala

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi 'alayh)

Unfortunately, one weakness, from many weaknesses, is that we look at our achievements and successes with an eye of vanity and conceit.

Our gaze falls on our efforts – that we are the ones who made the effort. We attribute our success and our achievements to our efforts, our sacrifice and our hard work. …What generally follows is a desire to announce and to boast – to publicize and make known.

The nafs asserts itself. It wants acknowledgement. It wants to be credited.

So many, in their quest for recognition, will exaggerate their achievements – even to the Shaykh. They exaggerate so that they may be distinguished above others, counted as pious and righteous, and become recipient of praise and applause.

Some get carried away by dreams and think that a few good dreams are a surety of their greatness.

This condition is not progress; it is a sickness.

This is what becomes a Hijaab or a barrier between us and Allah Ta’ala. The person’s gaze is on himself, on his obedience, his attributes, his efforts, his achievements and successes, forgetting The One Who blessed him with ability and capacity.

The gaze should be on the Fadhl and Grace of Allah Ta’ala.

The person’s good deeds, his Khidmat of Deen, his charity and welfare work, become a fitnah for him because he sees his effort and believes that he is deserving of acknowledgement and praise. As a result, there is no spiritual progress.

Ujub is vanity and conceit. The person admires himself and attributes importance to himself. The person considers himself superior.

Kibr or pride is looking down upon others, considering them as inferior.

Pride and vanity give rise to arrogance and haughtiness; even oppressing or treating people with contempt and disdain.

Both Ujub and Kibr cripple a person spiritually.

It is truly the Fadhl of Allah Ta’ala if a person increases in humility as his good deeds increase. And this will be so, if the person keeps his gaze on his shortcomings and he has such Ma`rifat (Recognition) of Allah Ta’ala, understanding that Taufeeq is from Allah Ta’ala alone.

The Ambiya (Alaihimus Salaam) had the highest degree of Ma’rifat, and we see this evident in their lives. 

In the words of Hazrat Shu`aib (Alaihis Salaam):

“…And my ability to do things comes from none except Allah…”
[Surah Hud 11 : 88]

From another view, we find in this world of fitnah, that the majority seek to display their achievements. Their photographs are published; they widely circulate their accomplishments on media platforms, proud of their successes. Everyone wants to be noticed; everyone wants the limelight.

Some say in no uncertain words, that their success is due to their work, their intelligence, their sacrifice…  

Of course, happiness is different. It is natural. But the desire should be to conceal.

Whenever we are talking about ourselves, we must ask ourselves: 

  • Why am I behaving in this manner?
  • Why do I talk about my experiences?
  • Is this Shukr and Tahdees-e-Ni’mat, or is it Riyaa which the nafs wraps up in the guise of Shukr? 

Allah Ta’ala is All-Knowing. If we say and do for advertisement; to publicize and broadcast and announce over radio stations and other platforms, then we should remember that Allah Ta’ala is aware of our intentions.

 “Allah knows the treachery of the eyes and that which the hearts conceal.”
[Surah Ghafir 40 : 19]

If it is for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala, and Allah Ta’ala wants to make it known, He will make it known.

All that a person becomes proud of are on account of the blessings from Allah Ta’ala’s side. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Shareef:

“And you have no good thing but it is from Allah...”
[Surah an-Nahl 16 : 53]

If He gave, He can also take away. Recognize the One who has given and do not consider the bounties as your achievement. … Because every faculty and possession which is a medium of securing any achievement, is in itself, a bounty from Allah Ta’ala – our intelligence, hearing, speech, etc.

Keep addressing the nafs: All that I succeed in is due to Allah Ta’ala’s favour.

Whilst a person may be doing some meritorious work, much is left to be seen – as to whether such work has been accepted or not. …We will only know on the Day of Judgment as to what has been accepted or not.

Whatever work we carry out and whatever other good deed we do, then make Dua thereafter that Allah Ta’ala accepts it. Consider the Tawaadhu of Hazrat Ibraheem (Alaihis Salaam) and Hazrat Isma'eel (Alayhis Salaam), who, after building the House of Allah Ta’ala, and themselves being so accepted by Allah Ta’ala, still made Dua that Allah Ta’ala accept their efforts…

Allah Ta’ala relates in Surah Al-Baqarah (verse 127):

“And (mention) when Ibrahim was raising the foundation of the house and (with him) Isma’eel, (saying)
“Our Lord, accept (this) from us. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing.”

This Dua clearly makes manifest that there was no trace of pride or vanity in undertaking and completing such a great task. There was just beautiful humility and deep concern that Allah Ta’ala accepts.

If there is spiritual progress in one’s efforts in treading the path to Allah Ta’ala, then we need to keep before us the Ayah:

 “…And were it not for the Grace and Mercy of Allah on you, not one of you would ever have been pure: But Allah does purify whom He pleases…”

[Surah An-Nur 2 : 21]

Otherwise the nafs, in its true state would not gain in any good, on its own.

“…the nafs is certainly prone to evil, unless my Lord does bestow His Mercy…”
[Surah Yusuf 12 : 53]

May Allah Ta’ala grant us recognition of our nafs and the courage to strive against it, and may Allah Ta’ala bestow His Mercy upon us, that we may be successful on this path to Him.

Thursday, 8 May 2014


Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Fashion is a test of the very severe kind. In fact, it is a madness and an obsession that has afflicted many. It makes a person blind, except to the chase of keeping up with the latest fashion trends, styles and designs; which are ever changing.

Have we ever stopped to think that one day, very soon, we will leave this world wrapped in a simple kafan (shroud), the pattern and style of which has remained the same and will always remain as is?

How senseless it is to make fashion the ‘be all and the end all’ of our lives, when the inescapable occasion of death calls for just one kafan, with no designer names or brand labels.

Hazrat Maulana Jalaluddeen Rumi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) makes plain this reality : 

The world is ‘darul ghuroor’ - A world of deception
The day man is delivered to his grave,
Nothing except his shroud accompanies him

Since some people would have even competed in giving a costly kafan, Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Do not be extravagant in shrouding, for it will be quickly decayed.”[1]

Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (RA) had stated before his demise: ‘…New clothes befit the living and old clothes befit the decaying body.’  This does not mean that new material must not be used for the kafan; rather it was said to prevent any kind of “competition” and differentiation in the kafan of rich from poor.

To wear good clothes, eat fine food and live well is not Haraam (forbidden), if the earnings are Halaal (lawful) and our obligations to the poor and needy are also met.

Many Muslims do not fulfil the obligation of Zakaah[2] and Sadaqaat[3] which is binding upon them, thus denying the poor and needy what rightfully belongs to them. This is a very major sin and the punishment is very severe.

Whilst it is permissible to live well, it is not acceptable to be lavish, exceeding all bounds of Islamic guidelines, ignoring the plight and the dire circumstances of the poor and needy. Many are without employment, food and even homes – more especially in these times wherein inflation has gone through the roof, and a loaf of bread and a litre of milk are beyond the means of the poor. We should be considerate and remember that we will be questioned about our expenditure on the Day of Qiyaamah[4].

…What has to be understood is that we must not become slaves of passion and fashion, nor should our dressing be a source of pride and arrogance.

It is within acceptable limits to wear beautiful clothes, out of appreciation for the wealth bestowed upon us. A Hadeeth makes mention : “Allah loves to see the effects of His blessing on His slave.’’[5]

Another Hadeeth states:  “Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means denying the truth and looking down on people.” [6]

Allah Ta’ala highlights this outward adornment as a Divine Blessing, but categorically states that the best adornment is the adornment of righteousness.

“O Children of Adam! We have bestowed clothing upon you to cover yourselves and as an adornment, and the clothing of righteousness, that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition.”
 [Surah Al-A’raaf 7:26]

Thus, our clothing and accessories should not become the medium of us falling prey to the deadly diseases of takabbur (pride), ujub (vanity) and riyaa (show and ostentation), as is so common today.

We have been cautioned in the Hadeeth in regards to even the intention behind our dressing : “Whoever wears garments for fame, Allah will clothe him with the garment of disgrace.” [7]

It is this diversion and game of “fashion” which literally gulps and swallows Muslim money and opens the doors of wastage, extravagance, rivalry, living beyond one’s means, purchasing on interest; and being negligent of the purpose of this worldly life.

There is great ease and comfort in simple living without being shackled by the need to change with changing designs and fashion. Simplicity is a part of Imaan [8] and

 ‘The dress of Righteousness - that is the best.’
[Surah Al-A’raaf 7 : 26]

There are those who use the Ahaadeeth on neatness, Taharah[9] and so forth, as justification for modern day lavishness; whereas fashion, lavishness and extravagance are very different from neatness and good grooming.

Hazrat Khwaja Azizul Hasan Majzoob (RA) very aptly stated :

You are always concerned : ‘I must remain above all.
My fashion and beautification must excel all.’
Is this how one who is going to die, lives ?
The outward beauty of the world has deceived you.

[1] Abu Dawood
[2] Zakaah: An obligatory form of charity, due upon those who have a certain amount of
                  wealth, to give to the poor and needy. This is a pillar of Islam. (Details can be         
                  found in books of Jurisprudence)
[3] Sadaqaat : Other forms of charity.
[4] Qiyaamah : Resurrection
[5] Tirmizi
[6] Sahih Muslim
[7] Abu Dawood
[8] Abu Dawood
[9] Taharah : purity / cleanliness
From the Teachings of Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb
(Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)