Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Good Friend & The Bad Friend

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)

One of the most important factors that contribute to our success in Deen, Dunya[1] and Aakhirah is the right choice of friends and the choice of literature. Companionship and friendship are such that they benefit or destroy.

In the Ahadith, we find an excellent analogy regarding good company and bad company. Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:

"A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least, you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace."[2]

How perfect the example! 

…The good friend has a heart, a soul and actions which are fragranced with Allah Ta’ala’s Love and Obedience. Just sitting with him or her is akin to being in the company of a perfume-seller. Even if we cannot afford to purchase the Itr (perfume), the beautiful scent will surely offer some pleasure and joy. And if one has established friendship with the perfume-seller, he may even, out of kindness, gift you some of his perfume.

This means that though we may not have the same beautiful actions, character and speech – but the effect and benefit of good company will most certainly fall onto our hearts and will offer encouragement.

The company of the righteous and pious inclines to virtuous deeds and directs to piety. This, in turn, leads us to enjoying a very pleasant and comfortable life in this world and enjoying the success of both worlds, Insha-Allah.

Allah Ta’ala kindly directs us to our true friends:

“Your (real) friends are (no less than) Allah, His Apostle, and the (Fellowship of) Believers, - those who establish regular prayers, and regular charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship).”
[Surah Maa`idah 5 : 58]

We should make it binding upon ourselves to also attend or listen to the programmes of our Ulama-e-Haq and Mashaa’ik and benefit from the wonderful blessings of Islam which they share.

As for the bad friend: His heart and his soul and his actions have a connection with the fire of Hell. When a person’s heart is ablaze with the fire of sin, what goodness can he offer? There will be no fragrance; only the unpleasant smell of smoke, which will soon affect the spiritual ‘senses’.

One’s Imaan is affected.
One’s a`maal (actions) are affected.
There is darkness and restlessness in such company.

In keeping bad company, sooner or later, the person will become involved in the same kind of sins and problems: adultery, music, drugs, raves, pornography, theft, vulgarity, etc. If the friend or friends are materialistically and worldly inclined, then this companionship will create within one the desire for material things. He or she will become materialistic as well, and inevitably, the love of worldly things will pave the path to sins.

Many befriend non-Muslims or atheists and are then left in doubt about Islamic Beliefs and teachings – to the extent of even inclining towards rejection of Allah Ta’ala.

Many have personally told me that it was their “friend” who introduced them to drugs, fornication, raves, pornography and other vices?

It is for these reasons that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam)  said: “A person is on the Deen (way of life) of his friend, so everyone of you should look at who he befriends.”[3]

Because it is the nature of man to ‘steal’ from the character of others, to the extent that he would even adopt the same way of life, culture and would even accept the religion of his friend.

One young girl e-mailed me and said that her Christian friend convinced her that Christianity was the religion to follow and she accepted it. Her argument was that she did not see herself to be accountable for her choice since it was her fate to become a Christian. …And we seek protection in Allah Ta’ala.

Her reasoning clearly indicated the great, great need to learn Islam and understand Islam. There was no proper understanding.

What led this girl away from Islam, from Belief in One Allah? Why did she choose to believe in an illogical ideology of three is equal to one and one is equal to three? Why?

The Wrong Company. Bad Company.

So we find that many who befriend those who disbelieve in Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), even adopt the beliefs  of  such  ‘friends’, discarding  their  only  passport  to Jannah (paradise), and returning to the Hereafter as losers. 

This ‘friendship’ was the cause of Salaah being neglected, Haraam being consumed, and then the spiritual corrosion and deterioration, which even leads the person out of the fold of Islam.  (May Allah Ta’ala protect us).

Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Qur`aan Sharief repeatedly[4] :

 “O People of Imaan! Do not take My enemies and your enemies as friends, inclining towards them with love. Verily, they have rejected the truth which has come to you (from your Rabb)…”
[Surah Mumtahina 60 : 1]

“O People of Imaan! If you obey the Kuffaar (those who disbelieve), they will make you turn back on your heels (i.e. into Kufr).  Then you shall turn losers.
[Surah Aal ‘Imraan 3 : 149]

Visiting non-Muslims when they are sick, helping them in need, etc. are teachings of Islam. We should go the extra mile in being kind to our non-Muslim neighbours. We should meet them to explain to them our beliefs and practices, to invite them to Islam.

However, to make non-Muslims ‘bosom friends’ – picnicking together, joining in their parties, shows, religious ceremonies and other festivities, will lead to following their way – sooner or later. 

Moreover, company is not only ‘physical’. Novels, magazines, films, the internet and so forth, offer companionship as well.

Characters in books, authors and journalists, actors and actresses, pop-stars and singers, sportsmen and sportswomen, sorcerers and magicians, atheists and satanists and others, manipulate the person’s behaviour and thinking. …We see the tremendous influence of literature and media in our lives? It is as clear as daylight.

We therefore need to be very selective as to who we take as our friends and what literature we read. These are two very influential means of making us successful or making us failures – in both worlds.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the realization and concern and the Taufeeq of practising. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the companionship of His Friends, that we may remain in the shade of His Protection and Mercy and Insha-Allah, gain Najaat and Jannah in the Aakhirah.

[1] Dunya : The material world
[2] Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim
[3] Abu Dawud / Tirmidhi
[4] Refer to Ayats :  [Surah Maa`idah 5 : 54],  [Surah Maa`idah 5 : 60], [Surah An-Nisaa 4 : 144]

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Islaahi Correspondence | Letter Five | Intolerance whilst teaching

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


Intolerance whilst teaching


As-Salaamu ‘alaykum warahmatullah

I am a Madrasa teacher and find myself intolerant when it comes to some of my students, especially the ones who are weak and slow in learning. In my frustration, I sometimes insult such students and thereafter regret my behaviour. Due to their slowness, I even leave off testing them. Please advise on how to overcome my intolerance.


Bismihi Ta’ala

Sister in Islam,

Wa-alaykumus Salaam wa-Rahmatullahi wa-Barakaatuhu

1.)  Ahle Ilm[1] are supposed to be Ahle Hilm[2]. Just as you would like that Allah Ta’ala tolerates you with all your weaknesses and shortcomings, so you will have to train your nafs to also tolerate others on their weaknesses. Being human means that we are prone to shortcomings and errors – each and every one of us.

2.)    Comments that are uncalled for and that are hurtful to the children will invite regret. Learn to maintain silence. The Hadeeth mentions that a man does not slip so much with his foot as he does with his tongue.

3.)    Moreover, you should adopt ‘adl’[3] in respect to your students, otherwise not testing them due to their weakness, will be an injustice to them. Allah Ta’ala has entrusted these students to your care. This is an Amaanat[4]. Win them over with love, compassion and affection. Encourage them with good words and with incentives.

If need be, get the brighter students to give a little time to the weaker students, for revision purposes – that is, if you do not have sufficient time. However, do not be neglectful in giving your attention to the child.

4.)    There are many excellent books by our pious Ulama and these book offer different methods of teaching, as well as excellent suggestions in dealing with students. You should try and obtain them, and follow through with the noble advice and guidance therein. 

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

[1] Ahle Ilm : People of Knowledge
[2] Ahle Hilm : People of Tolerance
[3] Adl : justice
[4] Amaanat : trust

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Creating a Niche in the Heart

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

It is said that we should create a niche in the hearts of the Auliya Allah (The Friends of Allah Ta'ala) – that is, create a special place in their hearts.

One is to say: “Make Dua…” – and the person will make Dua when he thinks of you.  ...When we would request our Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) to make Dua, Alhamdulillah, Hazrat would immediately make Dua. 

However, that person who makes Khidmat, then Dua comes out from the heart, without the person even asking. …Now this is an extra special Dua. This is the Dua that is extremely special.

Khidmat does not mean only serving the Shaykh by assisting him in various tasks and work. No doubt, that is a kind of Khidmat and the Ahlullah appreciate that as well because this is a world of means. However, the real Khidmat is for us to become a Sadaqah-e-Jaariyah for them. 

How do we become ‘Sadaqah e jaariyah’? …By practising on their teachings.

A person sits in the company of his Shaykh all his life, but there is no improvement in his Salaah, no improvement in his fasting, no improvement in his character and in his speech – he still swears and curses, cheats and deceives. Despite having one body, he has two faces, and his heart is a container of greed and pride, malice and miserliness, etc. …Will this person become Sadaqah-e-Jaariyah for the Shaykh?  What kind of Sadaqah-e-Jaariyah will he be? 

On the other hand, another person came through a “rough life” – as they describe it. He was caught up in various sins.  There are many who come through a rough life but then they keep the Suhbat of the Shaykh, and they progress with the speed of Ruff-Ruff.  …The Ruff-Ruff was a transport used during the Mi’raj, taking Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) from Sidratul Muntaha onwards into the presence of Allah Ta’ala. 

So although this person came from a rough life, his speed is fast - in respect to his reformation and change.  Now this person will be a Sadaqah-e-Jaariyah.  This is what the Mashaa’ik appreciate most: Seeing their teachings being brought into practice and seeing positive changes and improvement being made.  

If a person is blessed with both: There is Ittiba of the Shaykh and the person’s A’maal are improving and increasing, and there is also Khidmat, then the Muhabbat increases even more.  A place is created in the heart and due to that Muhabbat, the Shaykh makes Dua for the person. 

Sometimes the Shaykh has thousands of Mureeds.  He will not be able to remember the names of all his Mureeds and may not even know who the persons are.  In one big gathering – there may be one hundred people, two hundred people, five hundred people, who became Bay’at.  …Who will you remember every single person? 

The one who makes positive changes and his Muhabbat is expressed with Ittiba of the Shaykh, he is the one who wins the heart of the Shaykh.

We are living in times of corruption and there are so many bogus peers and even bogus mureeds.  Peers have become bogus too and the mureeds have become bogus too.

Those Mashaa’ik, who are on Haq, have Istighnaa and Qana’at.  Their gaze is not on Makhlooq and what the creation will do for them. A Shaykh must not have his gaze on the pockets of anyone.  His gaze must be fully focused on Allah Ta’ala – that Allah Ta’ala is the Provider and there is no shortage in the treasures of Allah Ta’ala.

When a Mureed is rendering some khidmat, the mureed too must not think: I’m doing a great favour.  He must do Khidmat with Ikhlaas; then there will be a lot of Barakah and benefit in that Bay’at. 

As said, the greatest Khidmat is to go through the process of Islaah sincerely – rectifying one’s character, correcting one’s relationship with Allah Ta’ala and the creation and improving in good deeds. That is the Khidmat that is most appreciated.  What is the purpose if there are large crowds and nobody is changing his life?  Then what happiness is there in this? 

Those, who are fraudulent and bogus, are happy with large numbers following them, and are happy so long as you pay their subscription fees and you shower them with material gifts. 

Those who are concerned about connecting us with Allah Ta’ala and his Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) will be happy when their mureeds bring changes into their lives and into their Akhlaaq.  …This is the area that is most neglected and even if we talk the whole year round on Akhlaaq (character), then it is worthy of being talked about. 

You will notice in our discussions that we always come back to Akhlaaq. This is what will build Muhabbat.  If there is no Akhlaaq, then as I have already mentioned many, many times, the person who is your friend will become your enemy. If there is Akhlaaq then the enemy also will become your friend.  Now it is left to us as to what we want. 

If there is Akhlaaq, then the wife will become loving and caring. If there is no Akhlaaq then the wife will distance herself from the husband.  She will want out of the marriage. Some wives write about their husbands – that they do not want to have their husbands in Jannah also, because it is so burdensome living with them here in this world.

What kind of life is that? 

…The reason for such a wish is that some do not understand that Jannah will not be like the Dunya and every Jannati will have beautiful character.

Or the children say: “We don’t like to have our parents.”, or the parents say, “We don’t like to have our children.” …This is what happens when there is deficiency in Akhlaaq from either side or both sides. Then there must be problems. …If we create magnanimity in our hearts, if we have big hearts, then we can win over our own families. 

We cannot share wealth with everybody!  Can we share wealth with everybody?  How much of wealth can a person share and that too, with everyone? 

Even if a king has to say: “I will distribute my wealth to every person in the world”, his treasuries will become empty. 

Wealth can only be shared with a certain number of people: with one’s wife, children, and some of the poor, needy and destitute; but not with every single person in the world. On the other hand, the wealth of Akhlaaq is something that can continuously be shared and there will be no decrease in that wealth.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the understanding, the concern and the reality of all that is being conveyed. 

Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)