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

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Masnoon Dua for Rajab



Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Hazrat Anas Ibn Malik (Radiyallaahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) would recite the following supplication when the Month of Rajab would commence:






Sunday, 19 March 2017

Exceptional Rewards

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


 by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi 'alayh)



RASULULLAH said: “Whoever holds onto my Sunnah, at the time of corruption (Fasaad) of my Ummah, will get the reward of a hundred martyrs.”[1]

Sahib-e-Mirqaat, Mullah Ali Qaari[2] رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ explained Fasaad as: When sins will be very dominant; when there will be violation of the laws of Allah Ta’ala and when it will be difficult to tell others what is Halaal and Haraam. In another explanation, it is explained that Fasaad is when there will be an abundance of Kufr and Shirk.


Fasaad has also been described as a predominance and prevalence of:

1.)  Bid’aat (Innovations) …There is no reward in Bid’aat but people will make certain actions compulsory and attribute rewards to them.
2.)    Jahalat (Ignorance) … This is also a sign of the nearness of Qiyamah.
3.)    Fisq (open sin and transgression)


Were we to consider our present condition, in the light of these commentaries, we will find that we are in the midst of Fasaad. All around us – and sometimes, even within us – there is this Fasaad. If, in these times, we hold fast onto Deen and the noble Sunnah, then the rewards are exceptional; the rewards are very, very great – because the Mujahadah (striving) and effort in practising upon Deen is much more, due to the environment of Fasaad and Fitan.


…For anyone to say that in these days we cannot follow and we cannot practise Islam, is Kufr. Instead of acknowledging our weaknesses in not practising, many place the blame on Shari’ah. By doing so, a person is asserting and claiming that Nabi was sent for only a short period of time and that Islam is not practicalنَعُوْذُ بِاللّٰه. This beautiful Deen and the noble Sunnah can be practised in a hut and in a palace, in every era. It is for all people and for all times.


In regard to the Hadīth: “Whoever holds onto my Sunnah, at the time of corruption (Fasaad) of my Ummah, will get the reward of a hundred martyrs.”, Hazrat Shah Wasiyyullah رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ had said that we take, following the Sunnah, to mean the Sunnats relating to eating, drinking, sleeping, using the Miswaak, etc. – all of which will draw the promised rewards. However, this also refers to those Sunnats in the Faraa’idh – for example, Salaah. There is a Sunnah method of Salaah. Thana, Ta’awwuz, Tasmia, reading with Khushoo[3], etc. are Sunnah in Salaah – and usually neglected. We also have the Sunnat-e-Muakkadah Salaah – which many people do not perform. If we bring these Sunnats into Salaah and read the Sunnah Salaah, we will be reviving the Sunnah.


…Similarly, there is a Sunnah method of performing Wudhu, but many people are content with only fulfilling the four Faraa’idh of Wudhu, leaving off the many Sunnats that accompany Wudhu and which carry great rewards. In the same way, there is also a Sunnah way for conducting our Nikahs and our Walimahs … but how many endeavour to bring alive the Sunnah in their Nikahs? …Both Nikah and Walimah are simple and easy, with minimum expense. Unfortunately, we are so carried away by the concept of a fantasy, glamourous, dazzling and fairy-tale wedding that we choose to follow in the way of the disbelievers, and have made our own weddings, extremely costly, lavish and elaborate – far from what is Sunnah and far from what is pleasing to Allah Ta’ala. In the name of the Sunnah, Hollywood and Bollywood weddings are organised. It is Nikah in name but devoid of the Noor, Barakaat, Rahmah and rewards that accompany the Sunnah.


Shaykhul Hadīth, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Zakariyyah رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ would say that Nikah is as easy as performing two Rakaats of Salaah. Hazrat Maulana رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ had said that there is no need for the formalities that we have introduced into Nikah. Nikah is an Ibaadah and does not require unnecessary expenses. Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Zakariyyah رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ practically implemented the Sunnah in the marriages of his daughters, maintaining the simplicity as is found in the Nikahs of Rasulullah and the Sahaba-e-Kiraam رَضِىَ الله عَنْهُمْ, and setting an excellent example for others to follow.


These days, we rival and compete with each other as to whose wedding is more extravagant, more lavish, more glamourous and costlier. Instead, we should try to outdo each other, as to who can be closest to the Sunnah, who can secure the most rewards and earn the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul . Take the wonderful Nikah of Hazrat Faatima رَضِىَ الله عَنْهَا and Hazrat ‘Ali رَضِىَ الله عَنْهُ … there was no fanfare … but their Nikah is a blueprint and model example for a very blessed, successful and happy marriage.


The Walimahs of Rasulullah were no different. They were so simple that Rasulullah would request his companions to bring whatever food they had … which was very simple as well, like Khajoor (dates), butter, etc. The food items would be spread out on a Dastarkhan[4] and all would eat. …In comparison, our Nikahs and Walimahs are generally the opposite. Whereas an Ibaadah should be incurring rewards, nowadays, many Nikahs and Walimahs incur Allah Ta’ala’s Wrath, due to the sins that we engage in, which contaminate the pure Sunnah and destroy the rewards.


Hazrat Maulana Abrarul Haq رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ had said that every Sunnat is:

 اَسْهَلْ (most simple),
 اَكْمَلْ (perfect) and
 اَجْمَلْ (most beautiful)


Hazrat Maulana ‘Umar Palanpoori رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ had mentioned that on practising and living the Sunnah, a person becomes a recipient of Rahmah (Mercy), Barakah (Blessings), Hidayah (Guidance) and Muhabbah (he becomes beloved to Allah Ta’ala and to people).


Imam Maalik رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ had said: “The Sunnah is like the Ark of Nooh. Whoever embarks upon it will attain salvation and whoever refuses, will drown.” … The Fasaad and Fitan that we see around us are like floods … like a tsunami. Those who board the ship of the Sunnah will reach safety and attain Najaat (salvation), Insha-Allah.


Our Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ had related a Hadīth, which offers additional and wonderful incentive and encouragement for whoever will hold fast onto Deen and do good deeds. Rasulullah said: “….For verily ahead of you are such (difficult) days, staying steadfast on Deen will be like holding onto burning cinders. Those who do good deeds, in those days, will receive the reward of fifty people who carry out deeds like you.”


It was asked: “O Rasulullah! Will they receive the reward of fifty people like them or fifty of us?”

Rasulullah replied: “Fifty of you!”[5]


It should go without saying that a person who makes the effort to remain steadfast on the teachings of the Qur’aan Shareef and Sunnah, does not become better or higher in status than the Sahabah-e-Kiraam رَضِىَ الله عَنْهُمْ. It is the reward that is being spoken about. …Not only does one get the reward of one hundred martyrs by practising upon the Sunnah, one also secures the reward of fifty Sahaba-e-Kiraam رَضِىَ الله عَنْهُمْ on doing good actions. These are such rewards that should eagerly be sought.


No matter what the person is labelled and no matter how much the person is criticised, he takes courage and comfort by the fact that he is following in the footsteps of the Beloved Nabi earning the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala and acquiring great rewards. Allah Ta’ala promises His Love and Forgiveness for the one who follows His Beloved :


“Say (O Muhammad ): If you do love Allah, follow me. Allah shall love you and forgive you your sins; And Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.” 
[Surah Aal-Imraan 3 : 31]

Practising upon the Sunnah invites honour in both worlds! …My Shaykh رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ said very beautifully in poetry form:

“The footprints of the Beloved of Allah,
Nabi Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam),
is the road to Jannah;
The Sunnats of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam)
connect one with Allah Ta’ala.”


Glad tidings have been given to the one who maintains steadfastness upon Deen in these times of Fasaad. Rasulullah said: “Islam began as something strange and it will return strange as it began, so glad tidings for the strangers.”[6]


May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq of being sincere ambassadors of the Sunnah, that we revive it, in these trying times, for it is a Noor that lights up our lives and it is protection from all forms of Fitnah and Fasaad. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the honourable rewards that accompany the Sunnah, in both worlds, and be pleased with us.




[1] Al-Bayhaqi
[2] The compiler of the Kitaab, Mirqaat, which is the commentary of the Hadith Kitaab, Mishkaat
[3] Khushoo: concentration with full devotion
[4] Dastarkhan: floor mat for eating
[5] Sunan Tirmidhi and Sunan Abi Dawood
[6] Sahih Muslim


Saturday, 4 February 2017

Social Events | Avoiding the Fitnah

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem



EXTRACT

“It seems that with the rising of the sun each day, a new Fitnah also emerges and makes its appearance. We have been informed in the Ahadīth, that closer to Qiyamah, there will be an increase in Fitan – trials and tribulations – which will be very, very severe. Like how the darkness of the night increases, so too will these trials increase. Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam cautioned us: “Before the Hour (Qiyamah) comes, there will be Fitan like patches of the dark night…”  In another Hadīth, Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam compared these trials to the falling rain: “I see Fitan (trials) descending in your homes like the falling rain.”  Many more Ahadīth identify different trials and adversities, which will increase closer to Qiyamah.

If someone warns us of a speed trap ahead of us, we decrease our speed. We appreciate the warning and we adopt caution, because if we drive above the speed limit, we will be fined. Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam informed us and warned us regarding the signs of Qiyamah and the limits of Deen, so that we take precaution and remain within the Commandments of Shari’ah; so that we do not violate the limits of Deen and do not get caught up in the Fitnah and Fasaad (corruption), which will become widespread.”


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