Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Shops of Ma`rifat

A person generally purchases material commodities from a shop. Groceries are purchased from a supermarket; clothing from a clothing store, jewellery from a jewellery shop and so forth.
In order to obtain these material commodities, the buyer will have to give a certain amount of money in return for his goods. This is a transaction which is most common in the business world.
There is also a transaction in the spiritual world where special commodities may be purchased : The commodities of the Ma`rifat (Recognition of Allah Ta’ala), Ishq (Love for Allah Ta’ala), Qurb (Nearness to Allah Ta’ala), Nisbat (Connection with Allah) and so forth which are generously available, for all.
However these special commodities of the ‘Ma’rifat’ (recognition) and Ishq of Allah Ta’ala are such that they cannot be purchased with the coins and notes, or the gold and silver of this world. …However, they are to be purchased in this world and are found in what I term, the ‘shops’ of Ma’rifat… that are found throughout the world.
These ‘shops of ‘Ma’rifat’ are the Ahlullah (People of Allah). They stock the merchandise of Allah Ta’ala. However, these Ahlullah do not accept cash, cheque, card, gold or silver in their transactions. They accept a different kind of currency, which is far more precious than money.
The payment for the merchandise of Allah Ta’ala is the qurbaani (sacrifice) of our evil desires. To become ‘Aarif Billah’, we have got to make payment for these spiritual treasures with the sacrifice of our base desires.
The ‘asking price’ is the sacrifices of our evil desires – whether it is the evil desire to cast lustful gazes, commit fornication/adultery, gamble, take drugs, backbite, listen to music or commit any action which is Haraam.
Added to this, the more money a person possesses, the greater the commodity that can be purchased. …R5 cannot buy a person a 22ct gold bangle. You require ‘big’ money for big commodities.
Similarly, the more the qurbaani, the more the ma’rifat of Allah Ta’ala; the greater the sacrifice, the greater the recognition of Allah Ta’ala.
Take the example of a person who goes to the Jeweller and he has with him R100 000. On the one hand, he wants to purchase jewellery and on the other hand, he does not want to part with his money. He is attached to the one and he is drawn to the other. He wants both. …But he will have to part with that money in exchange for the jewels that he desires.
Many of us want to please Allah Ta’ala and we want to also keep our nafs happy. …This cannot be. No one can gain the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala and secure His love while pandering to the whims and fancies of the nafs and shaytaan.
Just as the person will get gems, pearls, gold and silver in return for his money; so too, if the Saalik (Seeker of Allah Ta’ala) is prepared to make the sacrifice and then renders the sacrifices of his evil desires and passions, then from the shops of Ma’rifat, he will be given the pearls and jewels of Ma’rifat.
The Ahlullah have within their hearts an invaluable treasure. They are very generous in sharing because sharing increases their treasure. And if we are able to secure the same, then we will understand the insignificance of dunya (the material world).
“O Allah, You have explained Your Value, being both worlds.
If by giving both the worlds, You are attained,
Both worlds are nothing in exchange for Your Love and Friendship.
Even if a person should sacrifice his life for You,
Then too, the full price has not been paid.
To become martyred for the sake of Your Love,
Is better than a thousand lives,
And many are the Kingdoms to be sacrificed for Your Bondage,”

Once Shah Waliullah (RA) addressed the Moghul Emporers, saying : Waliullah has a heart that is beautified with the gems and pearls of the Love of Allah Ta’ala. If there is anyone wealthier, then come forward. When you die, you will be beneath the ground, wrapped in a few sheets, while your power and position, your wealth and treasure will be left behind, above the ground. 
The gems and pearls of the Ishq and Ma’rifat of Allah Ta’ala are dependent on how much of qurbaani is made.
“O Friend! Treasures are generally buried in places of destruction.
Hence destroy the evil desires and attain the Treasure”

Until we do not turn our hearts red with the blood of our evil desires, there is no way that we can secure the Ishq, Ma`rifat and Qurb of Allah Ta’ala. There is no Wali (Friend of Allah Ta’ala) who has become a Wali by fulfilling the evil desires of his heart.
The condition of the sincere ones is :
 “Say: ‘Truly, my Salaah (prayer), and my sacrifice, my life and my death are (all) for Allah, The Cherisher of the Worlds.’”
[Surah An-An`aam 6 : 162]

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)

Monday, 14 May 2012

The Green Leaf and the Juicy Grape

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Hazrat Maulana Jalaluddeen Rumi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had mentioned a story in his Mathnavi Shareef, of a worm, which was told: “You will find a delicious, juicy grape on the grapevine.” 

Having heard this, the worm began its journey up the grapevine. It soon came across a green leaf, and thinking it to be the delicious grape, it whiled away its entire life eating off that leaf, until it made its ‘qabr’ (grave) on that same green leaf.

Had the worm gone just a little further, it would have come across the delectable grape, and would have enjoyed the sweetness of that grape. It would not have spent all its life on a green leaf.

The anecdote illustrates our similarity with that worm….

Like that worm which landed on the green leaf, many have landed in front of some filthy television programmes, many have landed in Interest transactions, enriching themselves with Haraam; or have landed in fraud and theft, others in some illicit relationship, or in a casino, or in raves, or drugs, or homosexuality, or indecent and obscene novels and magazines, or some porn website on the Internet, or Haraam video games and a multitude of other sins and illusions - and they ignorantly think that that is the sweet grape. …These were the leaves before the juicy grape or the thorns before the petals of the fragrant rose flower.

Many set out for the juicy grape of Imaan but have been waylaid and trapped by shaytaan  and nafs  in Haraam  pleasures, in which they while away and waste the very precious time of life. Yet, there are just two steps to be taken to taste of this delicious grape. The first step is on the nafs and the second step, on shaytaan. With these two steps we will enjoy such sweetness of Imaan that we would never want to return to the temporary and sinful pleasures of this world.

Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had said that in reality, there is just one step, and that step is suppression of the evil desires of the nafs, since shaytaan became shaytaan because of his nafs.

…It will not be denied that there is some temporary enjoyment in consenting to the evil demands of the nafs. However, this Haraam ‘pleasure’, which is so short-lived, should be weighed against the anguish and punishment that awaits one in the Hereafter for having earned the displeasure and wrath of Allah Ta’ala.

This punishment is not reserved for only the Hereafter. It descends and pursues a person even in this world, in the form of restlessness, anxiety, fear, humiliation, disgrace, and sometimes, everlasting regret.

My Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi 'alayh) said in poetry:

“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.”

Even though some difficulty is incurred in opposing the dictates of the evil nafs, the consequence in the Hereafter is eternal pleasure. In this world as well, the person will enjoy tranquility and satisfaction.

And when there are so many forms of Halaal (lawful) pleasures that one could enjoy, why foolishly go toward Haraam?  

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Gems 11 - 15

Bismihi Ta’ala

Selected and concise advices / sayings of Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)


Empty the heart and receive Allah.’


For the Aarif of Allah, his concern at every step is: ‘Is my Allah pleased with this step?’
When he speaks: ‘Is my Allah pleased with this speech?’
On his every action: ‘Is my Allah pleased with this action?’


Irrespective of what the demand of the nafs may be, the Muslim looks at the Command of His Allah.
The Muslim does not look at the demand of the nafs, He looks at the Command of His Rabb, Allah Ta’ala, and he willingly and happily accepts, complies and acts in accordance with what pleases his Beloved Allah Ta’ala.

          The gist and essence of Tasawwuf  is the Pleasure of Allah.


Abstinence from sins is Fardh (compulsory) at all times.

Friday, 11 May 2012

The 1 Cent Coin

Once, when taking a walk through a park, with some friends, we came across a fountain, wherein were numerous 1 cent and 2 cent coins. On noticing this, it came to mind, that since the 1 cent coin and the 2 cent coin have negligible value – in fact, no worth or value is really given to these coins – they are generally discarded in a fountain, after some ‘wish’ is made.
…And if the wish is such, that it would definitely be accomplished with money, then a mere 1 cent or 2 cents would not suffice for the fulfilment of the grand wishes of those who throw with any such hope…
Nevertheless, I presented this analogy to my companions:
The value of the 1 cent coin, after having separated itself from the R5 coin, or the R100 note, diminished. It ‘depreciated’, so to speak.
…So many pass by such fountains, and yet no one considers taking one or a few of those coins.
However, when that 1 cent coin attaches itself to the R100 note, then its value and worth is considered just as that R100 note. When the 1 cent coin attaches itself to the R100 note, its value will increase – It is now part of R100.
And if that 1 cent coin prefers its ‘independence’ then inevitably, that would be to its own loss. It will then be considered worthless and insignificant, and will be discarded in some fountain or thrown on the street.
In a like manner, when Saalikeen[1] attach themselves to the Ahlullah[2], by keeping their pious company and emulating them in their actions, speech and character, their value increases. When we keep the company of friends of Allah Ta’ala, then Insha-Allah, we will, through the blessings of their value, also acquire some worth.
If there is sincerity, the Saalik will also become as valuable and precious.
My Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (DB) had given a wonderful analogy when he visited South Africa, and observed the sand of the gold mines in Gauteng.
He explained that the sand which remained in the company of gold, became ‘golden’ in colour. Something as ordinary as sand took on the hue and shade of something as precious as gold. So too, one will notice that the sand which contains coal, becomes black in colour.
Hazrat then compared the ‘golden sand’ to the person who sincerely befriends and associates with the Ahlullah. Such a person will not only acquire the same colouring as ‘gold’; he will become gold.
…Those who think they can tread the path to Allah Ta’ala (Sulook) on their own and also become so ‘valuable’, are quite mistaken.
Even our honourable and respected Maulana Jalaluddeen Rumi (Rahmatullah ‘alaih) had said : “People addressed me as, ‘Molvi’[3], until I attached myself to the blessed company of Shamsuddeen Tabrezi. Then people began addressing me as ‘Maula-e-Rum’ (The Master of Rum).”
Then again, the Sahaba-e-Kiraam (RA) became ‘Sahabah’[4] because they attached themselves to the blessed, august and exclusive company of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi waSallam).
…This ‘Suhbat’ (companionship) of the Ahlullah is the medium of spiritual achievement.
However, great caution should be exercised in choosing a mentor. This warning cannot be emphasized enough.
Just the garb of piety or flowery speech does not make a person a Wali (friend) of Allah Ta’ala. Some ‘peers’ have ulterior and worldly motives; especially of milking their mureedeen (disciples) of their money. They just give their mureedeen, wazaa`if and some tasbeehs to read. There is no education, no disciplining, and no reform.
…If there is no Deen in the Shaykh, how will his mureeds change their lives? …When the Shaykh is a prisoner of nafs (ego) and shaytaan, how will it be possible for him to free his mureeds from nafs and shaytaan ?
Therefore Maulana Jalaluddeen Rumi (Rahmatullah ‘alaih) had said:
 “Develop contact with a righteous one
So that through his company and du`aa you may succeed,
 But search for a guide who is awake in all situations
So that you too may become awake.
 And if you should remain in the company of the vanquished,
You too will become vanquished.”

There are many who make the claim of being mashaa`ik but are themselves caught up in the snares of nafs and shaytaan. They have not even recognized their own nafs, have no experience in the field of Islaah and Tazkia, and instead of guiding, they misguide. They then become a trial for the people.
The true Mashaa`ik don’t promote and advertise themselves, nor do they canvass for mureedeen. They don’t chase after name and fame. They don’t hanker after Dunya. They wish to remain concealed, but Allah Ta’ala sometimes chooses for them to be known.
Thus, when choosing a Shaykh, consider the Shaykh who is learned, practical on his knowledge, pious, trained and experienced in the field of Islaah and Tazkia, and acknowledged by the Ulama-e-Haq as one who is truly Sahib-e-Nisbat and Waliullah. It is through attaching oneself to such a Shaykh that the Saalik will acquire value.
Hazrat Dr. Abdul Hay Saheb (Rahmatullah ‘alaih), who was a senior Khalifa of Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullah ’alaih), was wont to say :
 “There is only one way to meet Him (Allah),
Seek the road from those who
have already found Him.”

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)

[1] Saalikeen : Seekers of Allah Ta’ala
[2] Ahlullah : People of Allah
[3] ‘Molvi’ : meaning, one who has knowledge.
[4] Sahabah : Companions (of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi waSallam.) 

Thursday, 10 May 2012

A Must Read

Extract from the book:

“Some of the e-mails that we receive are such that you do not know whether to believe what you are reading ... the content is sometimes so shocking, so shocking.

...But is there anything shocking anymore?

However, the intelligent ones take lessons from the mistakes of others, the consequences they face, and the problems they are contending with; and the intelligent ones avoid making those same mistakes.

One mistake which many people 'incline' towards is trusting just anyone. Their trust is sometimes plain foolishness. Therefore we say: Don't trust just anybody and everybody today. ...Those pious, righteous ones who can be trusted are few and scarce.

People trust others – especially friends. They trust their friends so much, that they allow them free access into their homes; allow them to become comfortable with wife and children...”

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Commodities of the Heart

When traveling from one place to another, one does not take all of one’s belongings. A person takes the required amount of clothes, currency, etc., according to the number of days away from home.

There is, however, one commodity that a person does carry with him throughout the duration of his life, wherever he may go; be it the marketplace, business or on travel. Inevitably, he will also carry this to his grave. This commodity is that which he has built up in his heart.

If a person has Imaan, Islam, Ma’rifat (Recognition) and Muhabbat (Love) of Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi waSallam), generosity, honesty, sabr (patience), shukr (gratitude), zuhd [1], taqwa (piety), and so forth, then these beautiful and virtuous attributes accompany him wherever he goes. He will take with him whatever he has built up within  himself.

Although outwardly this person will take only a kafan (shroud) with him when he leaves this material and insignificant world, he will also take such a treasure trove of beautiful qualities and righteous deeds, which will be of tremendous assistance to him in his grave and in the Aakhirah (Hereafter).

On the other hand, if the person has built within himself malice, anger, greed, pride, arrogance, conceit, jealousy, evil desires and passions, and other evil qualities, then this ‘baggage’ accompanies him wherever he goes.  Such base and evil qualities also become a means of harm, hurt and pain to those with whom he lives, trades, works with, travels, marries, befriends, etc.

In fact, such bad character becomes a cause for isolation – isolation from Allah Ta’ala’s Pleasure and from people. The person’s bad behaviour and character automatically distances himself from Allah Ta’ala and people do not want to be near such a person. People are apprehensive and uncomfortable with such a person, and prefer to keep their distance. They are happy and feel safe when they do not have any contact or dealings with such a person.

This is the condition of bad “baggage” whilst in this world.

However, there are severe warnings in the Qur`aan Shareef and Ahaadeeth regarding those who cause harm or injury to others.

Worse still is if the person carries this ‘luggage’ with him to his grave - then he will find this to be a great misfortune and curse. (Allah Ta’ala protect us all). In this world, we go through ‘Customs’ and our luggage is sometimes searched. The ‘Custom officers’ in the grave, who will search our ‘baggage’ of deeds, are the angels, Munkar and Nakeer.

If the person is weighed down with bad deeds and qualities, then he will not find a favourable condition in the next life, even though he may have had plenty of money in this worldly life and lived a life of ease and comfort.

Before this long and impending journey ahead, let us acquire the best provisions by reforming our actions and behaviour, and fulfilling the rights of Allah Ta’ala and creation.

“…And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is Taqwa. So Fear Me, O you that are wise.”[2]

[Surah Al-Baqarah 2 : 197]

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb
(Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)  

[1] Zuhd : being abstinent in this world / not being obsessed with the material world.
[2] This ayat (verse) is regarding the journey of Hajj.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Sibling Rivalry

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi 'alayh)

Sibling Rivalry is a common scenario in almost every home. Arguments and fights are everyday occurrences amongst brothers and sisters – to the extent that arguments often lead to physical fighting. This kind of behavior and response are very much against the disposition of a noble person, let alone a Muslim.

We should learn to adopt the noble character of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) in our dealings with all – including our brothers and sisters. It must not be that “we give as good as we get”; rather we should overlook, forgive and show to them, beautiful, noble conduct. We should offer a beautiful example for them to emulate.

If we have knowledge of Deen, then our home and family life becomes the setting which tests our practical expression of that Ilm (knowledge) and Akhlaaq (character). We either give into nafs and shaytaan and show our brothers, sisters and parents that we are like cats and dogs fighting – and are closer to being animals than humans, or we rise above the indiscretions and mistakes of our family members, adopting noble character and speech, and practicing on the Ayah:

وَلَا تَسْتَوِى الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ط اِدْفَعْ بِالَّتِىْ هِىَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِىْ بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهٗ
 عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهٗ وَلِىٌّ حَمِيْمٌ
 “The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with that which is better (to be patient, forgive, etc.), then verily, he between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.”
[Surah Fussilaat 41: 34]

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) presented for us a beautiful and perfect precedent and example in teaching and moulding his two grandsons, Hasan and Husain.

He taught them to respect and love each other. He taught them that the younger of them should serve the elder, due to the elder deserving respect. …Khidmah (serving others) naturally creates Muhabbat (Love) and how perfect a prescription for all siblings, in so far as creating a peaceful and happy environment at home. This is why we find in the lives of these two grandsons, that Hazrat Husain (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) used to respect Hazrat  Hasan (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and carry out his requests willingly.

Of course, in the light of the above, the older brother or sister should not think that he or she can just demand, dictate and nag. If we are older, we have a responsibility to show good character, worthy of our brothers and sisters to follow. There has to be courtesy, mercy, compassion and love for the younger siblings. A balance needs to be created – where there is humility on both sides. Sayyidina Hasan (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) showed great love and compassion for Sayyidina Husain (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu). 

If one sibling has to advise the other with regard to something – for example, food, clothing, room, studies, salaah, etc. then it should be said once only and politely. Thereafter, leave it to the parents or teachers to solve the problem.

If children were trained to emulate the grandsons of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), then there would be no bickering, quarreling and fighting. Home will be a haven and all parents will be at peace – with few complaints against their children.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us all the understanding and the Taufeeq of practising.