Sunday, 30 December 2012

Prescription 2 : Fajr Salaah

Establishing Fajr Salaah 
By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb
(Rahmatullah ‘Alayh)

In summer, when Fajr[1] is very early, many complain about their inability to get up for Fajr Salaat. …In winter, when Fajr is relatively late, many complain about their inability to get up due to the cold…

As the cliché goes : ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way.’ …If one is sincere in wanting to perform the Fajr Salaah (or any Salaah), then come any season, any type of weather, any condition or any circumstance, the person will do all that is within his capacity, to fulfill the rights of Allah Ta’ala. More especially when keeping in mind the Hadeeth:  ‘One who performs the Salaah at Fajr comes under the security of Allah…’

Due to the weakness of missing Fajr Salaah being so common, the following are prescriptions to remedy the problem of missing the Fajr Salaah:
Ø  An alarm clock should be kept a distance away from the bed. Instead of just switching it off and going back to sleep, you will have to get out of bed to switch it off.
Ø  If you are a deep sleeper, then use two alarm clocks, with loud alarms. Place one on either side of you – and at a distance.
Ø  If your hearing is good in one ear, and weak in the other, then place the clock on that side, where you will hear it loud and clear.
Ø  Sincerely make du’aa[2] before sleeping: ‘O Allah, I want to get up for Fajr Salaah. Please give me the taufeeq[3] to do so.’
Ø  Tell those at home, who also awaken for the Fajr Salaah, to get you up, even if it means shaking you up.
Ø  Request a friend to give you a few rings in the morning – 20 or 30 minutes before Fajr. It will not cost him any money since you know that he is ringing you for Fajr Salaah, and you won’t pick up the receiver.
Ø  Do not stay awake till 2 o’ clock in the morning – in entertainment or pastimes : watching television, surfing the Internet, reading novels, etc. or in any activity, even ‘mubaah’ (permissible), which would then make it difficult to get up for Fajr. In such cases, go to bed early and begin the day early.
Ø  Shaytaan makes a person feel lazy at Fajr. On awakening, read the Masnoon[4] dua:

‘All praise in due to Allah who has given us life after death (i.e. sleep).
And to Him will we be raised and returned.’

Then read [5] :
‘There is no Power and Might except with Allah.’[6]

and Ta’awwuz.

 ‘I seek protection in Allah from Shaytaan, the accursed.’

Even though these are suggested prescriptions, the condition of a Mu’min (Believer in Allah Ta’ala) is that he or she is also ‘aashiq’ (a sincere lover) of Allah Ta’ala. …Since when is an aashiq, ghaafil (negligent) in pleasing his or her Beloved?

If those who say that they cannot get up for the Fajr Salaah have to read an advertisement in a newspaper by a gold coin company, that all customers who arrive between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. at their premises will receive a Kruger Rand free. Will they then sleep or will they camp there the night? …Whereas a gold coin has no worth in comparison to the value of Salaah. 

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi waSallam) said: ‘The two Sunnah Rakaats of Fajr are dearer to me than the whole world.’ – If this is the value of the Sunnat, how much more valuable must be the Fardh.

Conversely, we find the Hadeeth in which Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi waSallam) said: ‘There isn’t any Salaah which is heavier (more difficult) on the munafiqeen (hypocrites) than Fajr and Isha.’

This statement of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi waSallam) leaves a question mark for all those who complain of their inability to wake up for Fajr.

If a concerted and sincere effort was made to get up for the Fajr Salaah, after having adopted the above mentioned prescriptions, and still the person was unable to make it for Fajr with Jamaat[7], then Insha-Allah, he will not be questioned on the Day of Qiyaamah[8].

[1] Fajr : Prayer performed after true dawn and before sunrise.
[2] Du’aa : Supplication
[3] taufeeq : Divine assistance
[4] Masnoon : Sunnah – that which is a practice of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu 'alayhi waSallam).
[5] It should be noted that the reading of these two is not masnoon per se but helps generally in  warding off shaytaani effects.
[6] Rasulullah   (Sallallaahu 'alayhi waSallam)  explained this further : ‘There is no strength to refrain from sins but with the  protection of Allah and there is no power over good deeds but with the help of Allah.’
[7] Jamaat : Congregation (Salaah in Jamaat is obligatory upon males).
[8] Day of Qiyaamah : Day of Resurrection

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Charging Emergency Lights

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)

IN THESE TIMES OF ‘LOAD SHEDDING’*, there are so many advertisements which market generators, emergency lights, gas stoves and whatever else which offers an instant or quick solution to power cuts.

When load-shedding became the order of the day, the sales of all these products soared. It seemed as if everyone wanted to make some quick money selling anything that would benefit people during times of load shedding. And because we are so dependent on electricity, we were and are prepared to spend money in purchasing any product, so long as we are not inconvenienced during power failures.

The very many complaints that were verbalized, as well as published in various newspapers, due to the load-shedding and the power cuts that were taking place, made evident the impatience, frustration and intolerance of people. It was too much of an inconvenience, loss of working hours and inevitably, loss in business and profit, and everyone was unwilling to accept even a few hours without electricity.

Nevertheless, some very apt lessons came to mind on observing how, at the time of a power failure or power cut, these emergency lights automatically take over the responsibility of providing light, and generators take over in providing electricity.

The emergency lights that we purchase have to be plugged into a power point and left to charge, so that when we experience power failure or load shedding, they immediately provide light. The condition for the benefit is that the emergency light is plugged in and charged for a considerable period of time. Whilst we do not see anything happening when the light is being charged, we know that something very significant is happening – and the benefit will be evident when there is darkness. We have the reassurance that the moment there is a power-cut, the emergency light will take over in providing light. …If it was not plugged in and charged, it will not serve its purpose. We will remain in darkness when there is a power cut.

We should take lesson when the lights go off and we should utilize the opportunity for a little Muraqabah (meditation): When the light of our lives switches off, no surgeon can switch that light on again. When the light of life is gone, no medication will bring it back.

We should ask ourselves: What preparations have been made for the power cut that must inevitably occur to our lives? What will happen when our lives will be switched off permanently and we will have to enter the darkness of the grave? Here, in this worldly life, we have emergency lights and generators… but the same will not be of any assistance to us in the grave. No one will be taking emergency lights to light up his grave.

So when we cannot tolerate a few hours of darkness in this world, how will we be able to tolerate the darkness of the grave? When we cannot accept material loss due to load-shedding, how can we accept spiritual loss with the on-going load-shedding in our hearts, due to our excessive indulgence in sins; of which the consequences are extremely harmful and damaging to our Deen, as well as to our worldly lives and our lives after death?

Just as the emergency lights are being charged for a purpose, so too, we need to ‘charge’ ourselves spiritually, with sincere, righteous deeds. The benefit will be seen when the light of our lives is switched off. Our ‘emergency lights’ take the form of our Ibaadaat and righteous deeds – Salaah, Zakaah, Fasting, Zikr, Tilawah, good character and so forth.

After our souls are extracted from our bodies and we are placed in our graves, our Imaan and our good deeds generate Noor which automatically light up our graves and we experience the comfort of life in the grave – until Qiyamah. If we have not secured noble deeds and charged them with Ikhlaas (sincerity), and if we spend our lives in the darkness of sins, then the grave will be a place of darkness and sorrow. May Allah Ta’ala protect us all.

We know that it is the power plant that makes electricity. And this electricity flows through transmission lines to sub-stations and electric poles; and thereafter, via ‘distribution lines’, electricity enters our homes.

Allah Ta’ala blessed us with the Power House of His Love: Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) passed on this love of Allah Ta’ala into the hearts of his companions, who in turn passed on that love to those who kept their company – and in this way, Allah Ta’ala established the “transmission lines” of His Love and we find in each era and time, the Auliya-Allah do the work of ‘distributing’ Allah Ta’ala’s love in the hearts of people.

By keeping the company of the Ahlullah, our hearts are charged with the Love of Allah Ta’ala and with the courage for good deeds. The Mashaa’ikh teach us the Love of Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) – in fact, they generate that love into our hearts, and they guide us to the best deeds. These are the deeds that serve as our ‘emergency lights’!

There is no charge for the knowledge they disseminate or the good deeds they teach us and no charge for the good company they offer us. It is free from their side. It is only for us to appreciate and value, and for us to take advantage of what they generously and willingly share. They give. They don’t take. So we don’t need to worry about loss in wealth; rather their company is an investment with great profits, in both worlds. Allah Ta’ala also directs us to their company:

 “O you who believe, Fear Allah and join the company of the truthful ones (the pious, the Auliya Allah).”
[Surah At-Taubah 9 : 119]

…That is, we should remain with them, until we become like them, until we too become spiritually charged with the Love and Ma’rifat of Allah Ta’ala, and with obedience to Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

With this effort – where we develop our Imaan and spiritually charge ourselves with good deeds, death becomes a ‘gift’ for the Believer as is described in the Hadīth . Insha-Allah, when we die, we will be taking with us a heart imbued with Imaan and Love for Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) as well as the “emergency lights” of good deeds. Insha-Allah, our graves will light up brightly when we enter them and will offer us great comfort and joy.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the understanding, the Taufeeq of Amal and grant us death on Imaan.


* Load-Shedding: Disconnecting or cutting off the electric current on certain lines when the demand becomes greater than the supply.

Saturday, 8 December 2012


Bismihi Ta'ala


If we were to look within ourselves and reflect over our actions, we will find Ikhlaas (sincerity) is that ingredient which is lacking in our Ibaadah (worship), in our Mu’aamalaat (dealings), Zikr, Tilawat (i.e. recitation of the Qur`aan Shareef), Ta`leem (teaching), charities, in the establishment of many of our Deeni Institutes and so too, in many of our religious activities.

No doubt, there are those who participate in some field of Deeni (religious) works with Ikhlaas. There are also those who attend different programmes with the desire to be practising and good Muslims. However, this is a very small percentage.

A negligible number are found so sincere, that they think or say to themselves: All I want is to fill my heart with the noor of Taqwa, and do all that Allah Ta’ala has commanded me to do and abstain from all that Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul, Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), have declared as Haraam, and do so for the pleasure of Allah and Allah alone.

Due to our deficiency in Ikhlaas, we are not seeing the fruits of our efforts in the massive gatherings, hours and hours of lectures, conferences, seminars, the multitude of Islamic publications and everything else that we organise and participate in....

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Clothing for Salaah

Make Salaah wearing such clothes, that if a person were to visit you, you would not feel ashamed to talk and entertain your guest, wearing those clothes.[1]

Many have the habit of performing Fajr Salaah in their pyjamas – but will not entertain family and friends dressed in the same manner. They will not enter the court of any judge or king dressed in such clothing. How then can a person enter the Court of the King of Kings, Allah Ta’ala, dressed in pyjamas or undignified clothing?

Allah Ta’ala in fact guides us to the same :

 “O Children of Aadam, wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer…’
[Surah Al-A`raaf 7 : 31]

Whilst the demand is to cover appropriately, encouragement is given to present oneself by wearing neat, clean, beautiful clothing within one’s means.

Many men perform Salaah in shirt and pants. If the pants is tight, this kind of dressing is showing disrespect to Salaah and is Makrooh (extremely disliked). A person wearing such clothing should rather replace the shirt with a kurta or wear a jubba over the shirt. This, at least, would indicate to some respect and modesty. Ideally the person should be wearing the Sunnah libaas (dressing) of the kurta. This dressing has noor.

Women too should take care to cover themselves appropriately – more especially for Salaah. Many women read Salaah with semi-transparent clothing or scarves, which invalidate the Salaah.

There is a need for all to learn the masaa`il (rules) pertaining to Salaah, Taharah (cleanliness) and other Ibaadah. Otherwise, the person is carrying out his duties but they are not valid, due to his or her ignorance.

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)

[1] It is Makrooh (disliked) to offer the Salaah in an undignified dress, as well as wearing garments that have animate pictures. Even though the Salaah will be valid, it will be defective.

Friday, 23 November 2012

You are in Youth

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

On one occasion, when I was addressing a group of young boys, I said to them: “The word “you” is in “youth”. And you are presently in youth. Your youth is in your hands. Now it is left to YOU to safeguard the ‘you’ in your youth or destroy the ‘you’ in your youth.

If you safeguard that youth, Allah Ta’ala will give you respect and dignity. You will enjoy good health – both physical and spiritual. And Allah Ta’ala also promises the noble and enviable position of being under the Shade of His Throne on the Day of Qiyamah. There will be success in both worlds. 

However, if you say that you are not interested in safeguarding that youth and want to enjoy this worldly life, by engaging in those actions which please the nafs, and which displease Allah Ta’ala. …Then ask yourself: What is enjoyment in life? Who is the One that gives enjoyment in life? True enjoyment and happiness will only come from the One who Created the heart and controls the heart – Allah Ta’ala.

Sins bring temporary satisfaction, gratification and enjoyment of the nafs …a little while of pleasure that so many amongst our youth engage in, and thereafter, dealing with the consequences life-long. As my respected Shaykh (Rahmatullahi 'Alayh) would say:

“Agreed, there is a little stolen pleasure in sin
But what great rebellion is this against the Sustainer
(Allah Ta’ala)
(That you use His bounties to disobey Him).
A little while of pleasure and everlasting regret;
What stupidity it is to bury
the janaza of respect and honour.”

We deal with so many cases of young boys diagnosed with AIDS, with pregnancies and abortions by school girls. …What did that temporary enjoyment bring them? …Short term gratification and long term, misery, disgrace, humiliation.

No doubt, the environment that we live in is very vicious: In the name of Education, so much of Haraam is read, so much of Haraam is heard, and so much of Haraam is seen. When there is so much of exposure to Haraam, promotion of sin, invitation to sin, temptation to sin, the net result is that the youth are easily caught.

And there is also no doubt that, “Youth is a kind of madness.”  It is a stage or period in life, where the young person does not want to listen to parents or to anyone. He believes and even says that he is free and can do whatever he wants. He does not want to be bound by restrictions.

However, as Muslims, we should know better. True freedom is only obtained when we are released from the prison of this world and return home to Jannah. So long as we are in this world, there will be restrictions, there will be rules and regulations. This is part of our test. If we pass, we secure freedom forever and ever, where our every desire and wish is immediately fulfilled.

No one remains in youth. A few years and it’s all over. How many regret having lost their youth and the wonderful opportunities of obeying Allah Ta’ala, whilst hale and healthy?

…When Allah Ta’ala gives enjoyment, then that enjoyment is true enjoyment, which is related to the heart. Happiness and peace are not related to money, music, illicit love, drugs, etc. True pleasure is not outside the heart. The true enjoyment is that which Allah Ta’ala gives in the heart of a Mu`min – but conditional that the Mu`min is obedient to Him and His Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam)."

Together with the effort to stay away from sin, and spend the time of youth constructively - in good, we should continuously make Dua for Allah Ta’ala’s special protection. …In the words of my Shaykh:

‘(O Allah) wherever I am – whether on earth or in the skies – my Taqwa must always remain safe.’


Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

“Seven persons are those who will be sheltered under the shade [of the Arsh (throne)] of Allah on the Day of Judgment when there will be no other shade, besides His shade. They are : 

A just ruler;

A young man who passed his youth in the worship and service of Allah – The Lord of Honour and Glory;

One whose heart is perpetually attached with the Masjid (mosque);

Two persons who love each other for the sake of Allah - they joined together for His sake and parted for His sake;

A man who is invited for sin by a charming and beautiful woman but he declines, saying: ‘I fear Allah!’;

One who spends in charity in a secret way without making a show, so that his left hand may not know what his right hand spent;

One who remembers Allah in solitude so that his eyes overflow.”

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Hearts of Gold

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

“O Allah, we will choose the company of those who please You;                     
We will not keep company with those hearts that don’t have You.”

No one can deny the effect of company. Good company offers good influence and the opposite proves true, in that bad company offers bad influence. Companionship and friendship pave the way to either success or failure. Therefore Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “A person is on the Deen of his friend.”

We are living in a time where there is mass production of “imitation” and “artificial” products. They appear genuine, but in the test of their quality, they prove to be just cheap imitation or artificial.

In the same way, we find the condition of hearts. The majority walk around with artificial or imitation hearts. Their worth is made known sooner or later, when we find infidelity, dishonesty, greed, double-standards, etc. Who we thought to be a friend, turns out to be an enemy.

Then we have the Auliya Allah – the friends of Allah Ta’ala. Their hearts are genuine “metal”; genuine gold. Their hearts have undergone various tests which make known their value.

When gold is mined from the earth, it is first pulverized and crushed and thereafter placed in a furnace. Despite its value, it has to be purified.

Thus we find that that gold is purified by the means of smelting, which requires pressure, high heat and chemicals to remove the impurities contained in it. It is after this intense process or ‘mujahadah’, that the gold is then in its purest form.

It is melted and poured into moulds to form bars or nuggets. This is now the precious pure gold that demands a high price in the markets, is utilized in making jewellery, etc.

In a similar vein, we find the hearts of Auliya Allah undergoing a purification process as well:  Their hearts experience the pulverizing and crushing of evil desires and going against the demands of the nafs. Together with this are the efforts in striving to earn the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala, through His Obedience. These are the means which make up the purification process, until they reach that stage, that level where their hearts are like the pure gold.

We hear the cliché: “He / She has a heart of gold.” This generally indicates to a good heart, a generous heart – but a heart of genuine “gold” is the heart that belongs to a Wali of Allah Ta’ala.

Just as we have genuine gold stamped with its carat : 18 ct, 22 ct, 24 ct., these Ahlullah have their hearts stamped by Allah Ta’ala, of His Friendship, because they proved “genuine” in their faithfulness and obedience to Him and His Rasul  (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Their hearts have the stamp of the ‘gold’ of Nisbat-ma-Allah (Connection with Allah Ta’ala). May Allah Ta’ala make our hearts pure gold and stamp them with His Pleasure.

A Mu`min (Believer) looks for people with such hearts. If a person is faithful to Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), we can expect him to be faithful to the creation. If the person is unfaithful to Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam)), this is a sure indication, that he will be unfaithful – in some way or the other – to others.

We should not only keeps company with such people; we should work to acquire that heart of gold too.

Allah Ta’ala gives us direction in respect to who we will find to be genuine 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]

And further :

“The believers, men and women, are Auliya (helpers/ friends/ supporters/ protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma’ruf (that which Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar 
(that which Islam has forbidden)…”
[Surah Taubah]

 By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel (Rahmatullahi ‘Alayh)