Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Consequences of Ingratitude

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

My Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)  mentioned that when people do not appreciate a ‘Ni’mat’ (bounty) of Allah Ta’ala, Allah Ta’ala sometimes snatches away that bounty, whether material or spiritual, and grants it to someone who would appreciate it.

The Kuffaar of Makkah Mukarramah did not appreciate and value the priceless treasure in the form of our Beloved Rasul, Sayyidina Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), so Allah Ta’ala took him away from them and blessed the land and people of Madina Munawwarah with his presence and residence.

They not only welcomed him, but opened their hearts and homes even to his companions, who had suffered severe persecution with him in Makkah Mukarramah.

We should therefore appreciate the gifts of Allah Ta’ala and make “Shukr ” before they are taken away.

[Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi 'alayh)]

Friday, 21 February 2014

Trampling the Carpet of Flowers

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)

Whilst taking a walk through Mitchell Park one morning, after Fajr, breathing in the fresh morning air, we found the pathway covered with flowers, having fallen off the trees.

I mentioned to my friends : ‘At one time these flowers were on the trees. They were admired. People enjoyed and appreciated their fragrance, inhaling and saying, ‘How beautiful…, ‘ ‘How sweet…’ ‘How charming…’ However, when the slight breeze touched those flowers, they left the branches of the trees. They fell onto the ground. Then we found those same people, who once admired and enjoyed those pretty flowers, trample over them as they took their walks. Those pretty, colourful and fragrant flowers became a carpet on the ground and were crushed underfoot – as if those visitors were squashing the hearts of those flowers. After some time, the garden service swept those flowers away and they were thrown into some bin. Thereafter, the bin bags were disposed of at some dump.’

I then presented this as an analogy to my friends.

Once upon a time, Muslims were like those flowers on the trees. The fragrance of their Imaan and Islam, of their beautiful character and charming etiquette, were admired and appreciated by all. Their pleasant character and speech, their honesty, sincerity and service to mankind, emitted such beautiful fragrances which even non-Muslims benefited from.

The beautiful colours of their Ibaadah – be it Salaah, Zakaah, business transactions, social interaction were the means of not only people changing their faith, but also changing their culture and language, as we find in the time of the Sahaba-e-Kiraam (RA). They traveled far and wide and had an undeniable influence on different nations. 

When they were flowers on the tree, people inhaled their ‘fragrance’ and accepted Islam.

When the breeze of temptation and sin blew, then as we find today, many Muslims have left the tree; they separated themselves from the strong, sturdy trunk of correct Aqaa`id[1] and they lost the attachment they had to the branches of Ibaadaat (worship). They adopted the Western culture, and in turn, they lost their fragrance and they lost their colours as they withered away.

Having fallen onto the ground, the Muslim Ummah, globally, is literally being ‘crushed’ underfoot by the enemies of Islam.

In whichever direction we turn, we find a picture to grieve over: So many amongst our precious youth cannot even be identified as the blossoming flowers of the Ummah. They have preferred to mix with sand and mud and in so doing, have lost their fragrance and colour. The Hollywood/Bollywood culture, with all its immorality and sins, is that sand and mud – more exactly, it is quicksand, which readily swallows our young Muslim sons and daughters. 

And then we have the picture of the burdensome yoke of injustice, oppression and suppression. The lives of Muslims have become so cheap that hundreds, if not thousands are ‘swept’ into mass graves, where genocide has become a play and past time for many enemies of Islam. We have the destruction of Muslim homes, the deliberate killing of Muslim children, the rape of Muslim women, the theft of Muslim land – Oppression compounded.

When we turn away from this sad, heart wrenching sight, we see another picture to cry over : Many, many Muslims, in positions of authority and rule, are like puppets and their strings are pulled by non-Muslim governments. Some are treated like animals - they are “broken in”, or trained to listen and obey – as we find with some Muslim Governments, and there is no gain in return.

This is our reality. …From where to where, and from what to what.

…But there is no despairing if only we to return to Allah Ta’ala’s obedience and the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi waSallam). All that is required is to plant the seeds of Taqwa and those beautiful, fragrant, colourful flowers will bloom and blossom once more.

[1] Aqaa`id : Beliefs

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Ikhlaas (Sincerity)

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi 'alayh)

Ikhlaas (sincerity) generally starts off with a lot of difficulty. However, just as there is a need for some type of utensil to receive water, so too is there a need for the structure of Ibaadah (worship), be it Salaah, Fasting, Zakaat, Hajj or any other Ibaadat, to receive the desired Ikhlaas.

If the utensil is discarded, then what would be used to receive the water? In a similar vein, if the ‘Amal’ (action) is discarded, in what are you going to receive Ikhlaas?

Even though there will be shortcomings in our Ibaadah and Ikhlaas, we must continue doing the ‘Amal’ and continue with the effort to do so solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala, and we should engage in plenty of Taubah[1] and Istighfaar[2] for our deficiencies in Ikhlaas.

Moreover, it is in the company of the Auliya Allah (Friends of Allah) that a person learns and acquires Ikhlaas. Their hearts are reservoirs of Ikhlaas.

[1] Taubah: Repentance
[2] Istighfaar : Seeking forgiveness

Monday, 3 February 2014

The Wealth of Time

Bismillahir  Rahmaanir  Raheem

This life is a journey. We are all on a journey and we are traveling all the time.

Even if the person is a couch potato, and passing his life in inactivity and idleness, he too is traveling. If the person is sitting, lying down or sleeping, he too is traveling. The person is in a car: The car is moving and covering distance, and simultaneously, the journey of life too is continuing.  The person’s life is moving on and on.

One breath follows another. And every breath of life is part of that journey. Seconds are ticking away. Minutes slip through the hourglass of time. Days and nights bring a close to weeks and weeks bring a close to months and months bring a close to the years. Hazrat Hasan Basri (Rahmatullahi ‘Alayh) had so aptly said: "O Son of Aadam! You are nothing but a number of days. Whenever a day passes, a part of you is gone."

Every day, every week, every month is part of the journey – like how a person travels 10 kms, 100 kms, 500 kms, 1000 kms…

Every passing year of life is like a station which we reach. And no one knows how many stations he has to travel through before he arrives at his destination. …For some, there is just one station – and they die at the tender age of one; some stop at 10 stations and at the age of 10, they disembark. Others have to travel through 50 stations, 60 stations, even 100 stations in life before they reach the end of the journey.

Most of us have the experience of flight travel or even traveling by train. We stop here and there in transit and then we arrive at the destination. The pilot informs the passengers when the plane begins its descent for landing, and when the plane lands and comes to a standstill, the pilot announces that all passengers must disembark…

This is the reality of life. When we reach the end of this worldly life, the Command is given that the soul now disembarks.  And we have already seen so many disembark : seniors and juniors, rich and poor, kings, presidents, subjects  – all have to disembark.

Therefore we have to be thrifty with time; we have to be prudent and cautious in regard to time. Use it productively and constructively, usefully and efficiently.

Time can be likened to the root of a young tree –a sapling. If a person looks after the sapling, and waters the root, it will grow into a big tree, with its branches and leaves spreading out, providing extensive shelter and a tree which gives a lot of fruit.

We will say that the person took care of his life and the most precious commodity of his life was his time. Now that time bears fruit because the person carried out good deeds in the time given to him, engaging himself in Salaah, Zikrullah, Tilawah; spending days in fasting, in giving Zakaah and Sadaqaat, striving in earning Halaal sustenance, as well as controlling his gazes when in the shopping centres, markets, universities, colleges, or wherever else, and controlling his heart from the evil desires of nafs and shaytaan. All of these noble deeds were done in time.

That tree bears fruit, and he will enjoy those delicious fruits in the grave and in the Hereafter. On the Day of Qiyaamah, he will also enjoy the extensive shelter which his good deeds will offer him, Insha-Allah.

Allah Ta’ala also uses the analogy of a tree in the Qur’aan Shareef:

“See you not how Allah sets forth a parable? A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky (i.e. very high).”
[Surah Ibrahim 14 : 24]

Here, Allah Ta’ala likens the Believer’s Imaan and his deeds to a tree, with roots, deeply entrenched, a bark which is strong and sturdy, and branches, extending high up.

The real dividends and the real earnings and the greatest of all enjoyments, will be experienced in Jannah when he will behold the beauty of Allah Ta’ala with his own eyes. SubhanAllah.

‘That veil, which was covering Allah Ta’ala’s
Countenance, will be removed.
Now will be the time to smile for those
who took that grief on their hearts,
and restrained themselves from all evil.’

As for the person who falls for the temptations of nafs and shaytaan, he will have to deal with the consequences of squandering the wealth of life and wasting the fortune of time. His is a bad investment, where the shares drop completely. He may be left with a meagre 20% or 10 %, or he may end up with nothing. If it was spent in disbelief, the net result is the fire of Jahannum – May Allah Ta’ala save us. If it was spent in sins, then we have been warned of punishment in the grave as well as in the Hereafter.

Allah Ta’ala likens the disbeliever to a bad tree - because his words and deeds are bad. The roots of the tree are not fixed and not firmly established, and does not stand the test of time.

“And the parable of an evil word is that of an evil tree uprooted from the surface of earth, having no stability.”
[Surah Ibrahim 14: 26]

The deeds of the disbeliever are described as:

“The deeds of those who disbelieve their Lord are like ashes blown away by the wind on a stormy day. They will not be able to gain anything out of what they did. That is the wandering away from the path.”
[Surah Ibrahim 14: 18]

Their deeds are wasted due to their disbelief in Allah Ta’ala. Thus their time of life was wasted and no good awaits them in the Hereafter. (May Allah Ta’ala protect us all).

…When time is lost, life is lost. Sometimes the Hereafter is lost. What a great loss when the person loses out the opportunity of making real investments – which would bring him great, great profits in both worlds. How sad if he reaches the Aakhirah as a pauper, or worse still, as a loser – losing out on Jannah forever. May Allah Ta’ala protect us all.

Let us reflect over the words of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) and reflect over which category we are in: ““The intelligent one is he who suppresses his desires and practises for what is after death, and the foolish one is he who makes his nafs follow its desires and (he) places hope on Allah.”[1]

…So let us not waste time on those things that will not benefit us in any way.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq of preparation for the journey to the the Hereafter.

[1]  Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘Alayh)