Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
As-Salaamu ‘alaikum Hazrat,
My weaknesses are as follows: I am neglectful of my Salaah. Laziness sets in at the time of Salaah, and I find flimsy excuses by which I forego the Salaah. I have the same habit when it comes to Tilawat. I don’t give time. I also have the habit of speaking lies and cannot seem to give it up. I also gossip and take pleasure in speaking ill of others and I don’t show any respect to my parents or seniors. I consider myself gullible at times and am very materialistic. I am persistent and demanding in getting what I want. Can you advise and offer me remedies for all of these ills?
Respected Sister in Islam,
Wa-alaykumus Salaam wa-Rahmatullahi wa-Barakaatuhu
1.) The correct etiquette when writing to one’s Shaykh is to address two or three concerns or weaknesses at a time, and not all weaknesses, at once. There are many others like you, also seeking attention and time for Islaah, and they too have a right to be fulfilled.
2.) Be that as it may, acknowledgement of sins is a virtue in itself and is half the battle won. Masha-Allah.
…Your sincerity will be evident if you make the effort in following through with the advices offered.
3.) Due to time restraint, I will try and briefly address the weaknesses which you mention:
Read the entire chapter of ‘Fazaa`il-e-Salaah’ by Shaykhul Hadeeth, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya (Rahmatullahi 'alayh) . Read one Hadeeth from the section of Fazaa`il and one Hadeeth from the section which deals with warnings for those who neglect Salaah. Read the Ahaadeeth with their commentaries. Insha-Allah, before completing the chapters, you will be punctual with Salaah.
Also draw up a chart for one month, of the days of the week together with the respective Salaah read each day – and give an honest account of the effort that you make in reading your Salaah in its correct time. Send this to me after one month.
Give Sadaqah of R20 each time that you make a Salaah, Qadha.
The Qur`aan Shareef also has a right upon us – that we read it daily. Make time for some recitation, even if it is just 2 Rukus a day, and thereafter increase gradually. Also read Surah Yaseen every morning.
If you have not learnt proper Tajweed and pronunciation, make the effort to do so. It is Waajib to learn to read the Qur`aan Shareef correctly.
Whilst reading the Qur`aan Shareef, think : This is the Kalaam (Speech) of my Allah – of my Beloved. I am listening to the speech of Allah. And since you are reading His Speech, He is also listening to you.
A person asked Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) if a Muslim can be a coward (i.e. Is it possible that this weakness be found in him). He (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) replied : ‘Yes.’ He was then asked if a Muslim can be miserly and he (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) again replied: ‘Yes’. He was thereafter asked if a Muslim can be a liar and he (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: ‘No.’
Lies are so far removed from Imaan, and such an extremely bad habit, that Allah Ta’ala mentions it together with Shirk in the Qur`aan Shareef. The Qur`aan Shareef combines the sin of lying with the sin of idol worship in the same phrase.
The fact that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) hated, detested and abhorred lies would suffice as a deterrent to the one who claims to be his follower.
What has been said above should be sufficient to give up such a bad habit. If not, then when you have uttered a lie, inform the person you have lied to: ‘I am in the process of reforming myself and one of my weaknesses is my habit of lying. And as part of remedying this weakness, I have to inform you, that I have just spoken a lie. Please forgive me.’
This too is a very major sin. Allah Ta’ala has prohibited this in the verse : ‘Nor speak ill of each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, you would abhor it… But Fear Allah…’(49:12)
When we have so much to account for, of our own actions, do we need the burden of accounting for speaking ill of others as well… or having to contend with their sins as a recompense for backbiting?
All you have to do is keep quiet. Why dishonour any person? Would you like that others speak ill of you, disclose your faults and be the means of your shame and humiliation and disgrace? …No. So like for others what you like for yourself – simple.
If you continue, go up to the person, and tell her: ‘I have made gheebat of you and request your forgiveness in this world…’ This should remedy the problem very quickly.
DISRESPECT TO PARENTS AND ELDERS / DISOBEDIENT:
You may have heard the cliché: What goes around comes around.
Just as you treat your parents and elders, so will you be treated by your children and others who are junior to you.
Disrespect to parents is such a major sin that the person is punished even before death - in this world as well as the hereafter. Allah Ta’ala has said in the Qur`aan Shareef that we should not even say, ‘uff’ to them… so then what of anything worse?
Humbly apologize to your parents. Ask them to forgive you and to make Dua for you as well.
Make the effort to be good and obedient – and that obedience must obviously be within the parameters of Shari'ah. There is no obedience to creation if it entails disobedience to the Creator.
Deal with people with caution. Neither can you be too trusting, because most people will take you for a ‘ride’, so to speak. Nor should you be suspicious, because ‘some suspicion is sin.’
Do not forget your destination. It is not this world… It is the Hereafter. This world is just part of the journey. It was created for our use… but we were created for the Aakhirah - Jannah, Insha-Allah.
Make use of the things of this world, enjoy the material bounties given – but do not give your heart to “sand”. Give your heart to Allah Ta’ala. Do not invest all your energies and time and money and effort in a world that will perish – and which you too will be leaving. It must not be that we return to Allah Ta’ala as losers.
Try to curtail visits to shopping areas, since we become easily enamoured by the different or new products on the market. This tempts us to spend unnecessarily and even lavishly, or beyond our means – which is sinful. If we cannot afford those items, our hearts will be restless and in grief. So we spare ourselves that unnecessary grief, by going only out of necessity.
PERSISTENT AND DEMANDING:
Do not make life difficult for others.
A Muslim is selfless and not selfish. A Muslim gives more than he takes. …Learn to do things for others for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala and Allah Ta’ala will then put into the hearts of others to do for you, without you demanding.
4.) To nurture and strengthen your Imaan, read the right literature and keep good company, and be practical on Deen.
5.) May Allah Ta’ala make it easy for you and all of us to give up all undesirable habits and to be practical on the Commandments of Allah Ta’ala and the teachings of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).
6.) I have enclosed some of my kitaabs. Insha-Allah, you will find benefit in them.
7.) May Allah Ta’ala grant the best of both worlds and make you a good and pious Muslimah.
Was-Salaamu alaykum wa-Rahmatullahi wa-Barakaatuhu
Yunus Patel (Maulana)
 Fazaa`il : Virtues
 Tajweed : the art of reciting the Qur`aan Shareef in accordance with established rules or pronunciation and intonation.
 Waajib: obligatory