Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Islaahi Correspondence | Letter Ten | Debts

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem




Respected Maulana
As-Salaamu ‘alaikum wa-Rahmatullah

I am caught up in major debts. I have a weakness of purchasing on credit, thinking I can cover my expenses in the months which are interest-free. However, I am now in debts, ‘over my head’ and don’t know how to come out. Is there any wazeefa which I can read?


Bismihi Ta’ala

Dear Brother,

Wa-alaykumus Salaam wa-Rahmatullahi wa-Barakaatuhu

1.)   Cut down the credit cards. Do not purchase unnecessarily. Live within your budget. Get rid of surplus assets by selling – whether car, furniture or other material possessions, and pay off. 

2.)   Read the following Masnoon Dua for easy payment of debts –

اَللّٰهُمَّ اِنِّيْ اَعُوْذُبِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَ الْحُزْنِ وَ اَعُوْذُبِكَ مِنَ الْعَجْزِ وَ الْكَسْلِ
 وَ اَعُوْذُبِكَ مِنَ الْجُبْنِ وَ الْبُخْلِ وَ اَعُوْذُبِكَ مِنْ غَلَبَةِ الدَّيْنِ وَ قَهْرِ الرِّجَالِ

"O Allah, I seek protection in You from all worries and grief, and I seek protection in You from helplessness and laziness, and I seek protection in You from miserliness and cowardice, and I seek protection in You from overpowering debt and from the high-handedness of men.”

3.)  We are all travellers on a long journey home – to Jannah, Insha-Allah. This world is just a stop en-route. We are all in transit until we board the flight of death.

A Muslim is thrifty with his time in the world, knowing that preparation has to be made for the journey ahead, and not in amassing the material things of this world. Whilst we make use of the things of this world, we should not give our hearts to them and become negligent of our purpose in this world.

4.)  Curb your spending by limiting your visits to shopping centres. Go when necessary and just to those shops that have the items needed. Do not window shop or visit every shop and get caught by the temptation to spend unnecessarily. What you do not see, you will not desire.

5.)  May Allah Ta’ala make it very easy to pay off all debts.

Was-Salaamu alaykum wa-Rahmatullahi wa-Barakaatuhu
Yunus Patel (Maulana)

Monday, 13 April 2015

The Prohibition of Photography

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb  (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)

One of the greatest calamities of our times is the abuse of the camera.

In this day and age, with the easy availability of cell-phones, digital cameras, camcorders, etc. everyone seems to be in possession of a tool which has created an upheaval in mischief.

…How many have had their names dragged through the mud, have been black-mailed, slandered or left humiliated and disgraced due to photographs taken and thereafter circulated?

Photography is an evil which has been entirely misjudged and under-estimated.

Just recently, a brother related a dream to me, requesting an interpretation. I interpreted his dream saying: ‘It seems as if movies are being viewed in the Masjid.’

Within a matter of days, the interpretation was made apparent. We had a visiting ‘Aalim give a talk in our Masjid. I was sitting on a chair, near the front, when I observed three young boys very absorbed with their cell phones. I requested a friend to go to the back of the Masjid and see what they were up to. He observed that they were viewing some film with dirty, indecent pictures. Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi ra'jioon. ...We give our children high-technology at the expense of Hayaa (modesty), Deen and Imaan.

One is to have no shame and commit sins in the presence of Allah Ta’ala, but increasing in shamelessness is when one is brazen enough to commit sins in the presence of Allah Ta’ala, whilst in the Masjid, the House of Allah Ta’ala.

The same shamelessness is found en-masse in the Masjid of all Masaajid, Masjidul Haraam in Makkah Mukarramah. The objective of the majority visiting the Haramain Shareefain these days, is taking photographs and video recording, instead of engaging in Ibaadah.

Complaints - and it is even experience - of flashes and clicks of the camera, seen or heard, whilst Salaah is in progress or whilst in Tawaaf, or whilst at the Raudha Mubarak.

There is a very dire need to explain that this is a grave and serious crime in the sight of Allah Ta’ala.

What needs to be understood is that photography of anything animate is a clear prohibition. It is Haraam.

It has been narrated from Hazrat Jaabir (Radhiyallaahu 'anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) forbade pictures in the house and he forbade making them .

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Verily, of the most grievously tormented people on the Day of Resurrection are picture-makers.”

There are, in fact, many other Ahaadeeth, which clearly prove this prohibition.

Why did Allah Ta’ala prohibit photography?

One reason is quite clear; that it was the origin of Shirk (polytheism):

Going down the passage of history, we find that mankind was introduced to idol worship through shaytaan’s efforts in leading mankind astray. Due to his whispering encouragement, people began to draw and sketch their pious predecessors, thinking that their faces and images will be a source of inspiration and an incentive to also follow in their footsteps of piety. However, it was the means by which many began to worship those pictures, and thereafter carved idols; and idol worship came into vogue.

Whilst this would have been more than sufficient for the Believer, it is no longer considered a worthy reason by Muslims who want to engage in the sin. Many say that there is no way that they would worship a photograph or even a sketch, let alone an idol.

My Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum), presented another reason behind the prohibition: So that Allah Ta’ala may protect the respect and dignity of His servants.

Many a time, a person who was engaged in various evils is granted Hidayat (guidance). Sometimes, this Hidayat is such that he attains a high stage of Wilayat. The person becomes a great Wali (Friend) of Allah Ta’ala and even a Shaykh, and thousands of people throng to his gatherings. Now at such a time, if someone were to dig up the pictures of his past … what embarrassment he would have to endure.

From Allah Ta’ala’s side, there is forgiveness of sins, on sincere Taubah , to the extent, that all evidence is ‘deleted’ and Insha-Allah, the person will not have to render an account for those sins. However, if photographs were taken, this is evidence which the person has produced against himself, and which cannot always be destroyed – especially if it is in the hands of others who wish to bring disgrace to the person.

My Shaykh mentioned this, with reference to an incident, where a woman who was a candidate in one of Pakistan’s elections, was blackmailed with photographs of herself in a compromising situation so that she withdraws.

Further to this reason, we find that the porn industry and filthy films are all based on pictures. Islam nips the problem in the bud by prohibiting photography.

If everyone practiced upon this teaching, we would not have pornography, woman abuse and exploitation, child pornography, and the evil consequences of rape, insanity, suicide, incest, etc., much of which has shattered and devastated the marriages and homes of even many Muslims.

Now thinking over all these harms, we should appreciate the prohibition all the more and show that appreciation by abstaining. There is nothing but great wisdom in the prohibitions of Allah Ta’ala, with nothing but good for His servants.

[1] Sahih Bukhari

Friday, 10 April 2015

The Wash Cycles for the Heart

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel (RA)

Once, on viewing the Mataaf from one of the upper levels of Masjidul Haraam, the scene of thousands of people engaged in Tawaaf, brought to my mind the following analogy:

The sight of those thousands of people moving around the Baitullah reminded me of the wash cycles of the washing machine.

And indeed, we find that parallels can be drawn between the Tawaaf and the work of the washing machine.

The purpose of the washing machine is to wash our clothes clean. …We place dirty clothes into the drum of the machine and we add the detergent, bleach and softner. With a press of the Start button, the drum starts to spin, water pours in and the machine does its work of extracting the dirt, repeatedly, until the final rinse.

Once the drum stops, the clothes are taken out, hung up to dry, and when dry, they are ironed – with the end result being well pressed, crease-free, clean clothing.

Tawaaf has some resemblance to the purpose and work of the washing machine; except that we are not washing dirty clothes; rather we are washing our hearts – our spiritual hearts.

Like dirty clothes are placed into the washing machine, we place our dirty hearts into the Tawaaf – hearts which are stained with all kinds of sins, including the ‘tough’ stains of major sins. …What is not found in this heart? So much has soiled and spoilt our hearts : Pride, Jealousy, Malice, Vanity, Hubbe Dunya, Hubbe Jah and the deep, dirty stains of lustful gazes, backbiting, and other such evils have blotted our hearts, have smeared and blackened them.

Before washing badly stained clothing, a stain remover is used. Accordingly, the stain remover of regret and remorse over our sins, and the sincere intention that what is past being really past, is applied to our hearts.

The Hajre Aswad can be likened to the ‘START’ button. The intention of Tawaaf and the raising of the hands with ‘Bismillah Allahu Akbar wa-lillahil Hamd’, signify the commencement of the Tawaaf. Simultaneously the washing of the heart commences. The detergents of Istighfaar, Durood Shareef, and Zikrullah, then contribute to the cleansing of the heart.

Just as water gushes into the drum, Allah Ta’ala’s Tajalli, His Special Mercy and Noor, which is cascading onto the Baitullah, drench those who are in Tawaaf. These are the ones who are the first to benefit and they benefit more than all others. Their hearts too are being soaked with this Noor, similar to how the dirty clothes become soaked with water.

The detergent of sincere Istighfaar and Taubah wash the heart. …The amount of detergent a person needs for washing his clothes, depends on the size of the load. So if our hearts are heavily loaded with sins, then naturally, the demand will be of plenty of Taubah and Istighfaar.

If we want our hearts to be white, the bleach of Zikrullah is added to the Tawaaf, just as bleach is used when a person wants his white clothes to be as white as possible.

If we want our hearts to be soft, then the softner of Durood Shareef is also released into the washing of our hearts.

Each round of Baitullah is similar to the wash and rinses that the dirty clothing go through for a good, clean wash. Round and round, each cycle is completed with Istighfaar and Taubah, Durood Shareef, Dua and Zikrullah. Together with that Tajalli, the dirt of the heart is being extracted, until the final rinse and spin – the 7th round. Now the heart is clean and purified.

…If we entered the Tawaaf with full concentration on Allah Ta’ala, and complete focus of the great privilege of Tawaaf of Baitullah – which is in reality Tawaaf of Rabbul-Bait, then we will experience that beautiful Noor and that Tajalli.

Naturally, for the full benefit of Tawaaf, the gaze has to be controlled. If a person has ‘khauf-e-Khuda’ and he has ‘Azmat’ of Baitullah, he will not raise his glance towards strange women; he will not cast an evil gaze – in the Tawaaf and out of Tawaaf. …If during Tawaaf, the person is engaging in lustful gazes and other sins, there will be just an accumulation of darkness and dirt.

Once the heart is washed, it is taken out of the Tawaaf – clean and bright and white. After completion of the 2 Rakaats of Waajibut Tawaaf, the person proceeds to the Multazam, where he places his chest against the wall. That pressing of his chest, is akin to pressing and ironing the “creases” of his heart;  similar to how clothes are ironed, making them ‘crease-free’.

The tears shed at the Multazam are like droplets of sweet musk which now fragrance that heart. SubhanAllah, what a sparkling heart, emitting the sweetest of scents… Whilst we will sense it – Insha-Allah - we will have to thereafter look after this cleanliness and this sparkle.

We have to make sure that we fulfill the rights of that Taubah, by making amends on our shortcomings in Huqooqullah (the rights of Allah Ta’ala) and Huqooqul Ibaad (the rights of the servants of Allah Ta’ala). Whatever is outstanding of Salaah, Zakaah, fasts, will have to be made up for, and whatever is due to people will have to be returned to them, or forgiveness secured from them.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us all the Taufeeq of making such Tawaafs, which only increase our hearts in purity and whiteness, which increase that Qurb (proximity) to the Owner of the House.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Saving Spiritual Lives

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

We often hear helicopters circling the area; generally searching for some hijacked vehicle. This is a common observation and experience in the area.

If it is night, then the helicopter uses a powerful light as a search light.

Listening to and observing this, the following analogy came to mind :

The Auliya Allah[1], the Mashaa`ik, are like those helicopters, except that they are searching for those persons who have been hijacked by nafs and shaytaan - people like us.

The Auliya Allah also possess a very powerful light in their hearts: It is noor that has developed in their hearts through obedience to Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) as well as total abstinence from sins. With this powerful noor, they are able to search out and save thousands, if not millions.

We know that if the hijacked vehicle is found and returned to the owner, then the owner is naturally very happy, more especially if his car is a very expensive one. Similarly, if due to the search efforts made, not only by the Auliya Allah, but by all Muslims, others return to Allah Ta’ala’s obedience, or return to Imaan and Islam, Allah Ta’ala’s happiness is much, much greater than that of the car owner.

The owner of the car may either thank the person who found his car or if he is of a noble disposition, he will express his gratitude with some gift. Allah Ta’ala is by far more generous and appreciative and His rewards are granted in various forms, in this world as well as the Hereafter, for those who make the effort of searching and saving hijacked persons – those “hijacked” by nafs and shaytaan.

Then again, looking at the life of the Muslim, we find that it is a “Rescue Mission”: He or she is always prepared to make sacrifices to save the spiritual lives of others.

How often we read of the rescue missions that go out to sea, to rescue someone or the other carried away by strong current, or those struggling to survive due to the ship sinking, or those who need to be evacuated from ships. We find that the pilot is well-trained for the operation and those persons, those rescue swimmers, who form part of the rescue team, are physically strong, fit, able and very experienced in their field. They have to be highly skilled to ensure that the operation is a successful one. If not, they too will become victim to the waters of the oceans.

Similarly, as Muslims who are rescue swimmers and ‘spiritual’ life savers in the field of Da`wah[2] and Tabligh[3], we have got to be spiritually strong, fit and able and gain in experience … otherwise the current of fitnahs may sweep us away also.

If we are spiritually weak, then we too can end up drowning in some sin or the other. And this is very much a reality : Many who have surface knowledge and they have not made much of an effort against their nafs, become victim to the storms of some sin or the other.

Similarly, the Muslim is a Paramedic. Every Muslim should be qualified in the basics on how to save the spiritual lives of those who meet up with tragic accidents (that is, they fall into sins). If we are in the know-how, then we will be able to apply ourselves immediately in aiding and saving such people from spiritual death.

…How often, it is the CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or artificial respiration given before being taken to hospital, which saves the person.  Even though the person’s situation will still be critical, he has been revived with CPR and the chances are thus strong, of his survival if he is taken to a hospital immediately. Similarly, we need to learn spiritual CPR for emergency cases – that is, to make sincere dua for hidayat; but the building of our spiritual stamina, the training and the expertise comes in keeping company with those qualified and masters in the field – our Mashaa`ik and Ulama-e-Haq[4].

Another analogy is that of the Tracking and Security companies and search parties that are formed to track kidnapped children or hijacked persons. The Muslim is a tracking company:  He searches, invites and calls the disbelievers to Imaan and Islam, and the weak Muslims, to stronger Imaan.

Unfortunately, the state of affairs today is that many a time the guards hired from security companies turn out to be the thieves, hijackers and criminals themselves. Here in South Africa, we have security guards and police officers being caught, arrested and apprehended.

Sadly, many Muslims have also become hijackers, taking their Muslim brothers and sisters to Haraam – casinos, clubs, pornography, music and so forth. Or some give the injection of spiritual death, with drugs and other such Haraam, or kufr ideologies.

…Instead of saving from the fire of Jahannum, many invite others to join them, to accompany them, in disobedience and even rejection of Allah Ta’ala and His Ahkaam (Laws). Allah Ta’ala have mercy upon us – because this is truly a reality. The Majority invite to the Fire, but the Auliya Allah invite to Paradise. The majority “go with the flow”. The Auliya Allah move against the current of fitnah.

Despite the difficulties and challenges, the help of Allah Ta’ala is with those who are Friends. Take heed :

“If you obey the majority of the people on earth they will take you astray from Allah’s path. They follow nothing but conjecture and do nothing but lie”.
[Surah An’aam  6 : 116]

“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]

"The (true) believers are those only who believe in Allah and His messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah.  Such are the sincere."
[Surah Hujarat 49 : 15]

[1] Auliya Allah : Friends of Allah Ta’ala
[2] Da`wah : Invitation (to Islam)
[3] Tabligh : Propagation
[4] Ulama-e-Haq: Scholars of Truth

Thursday, 2 April 2015

The Effects of Sins & Repentance

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)

When a person indulges in sins, in disobedience to Allah Ta’ala, then the heart immediately connects with the fire of Hell. As such, one result of sins is heat

The proof of this is drawn from a Masnoon Dua, which was brilliantly and inspirationally explained by Hazrat Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Phulpoori (Rahmatullah ‘alaih), a great Shaykh of his time.

From the Ahaadeeth we learn  different Duas for different occasions. One Dua that was taught to us by Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is:

“O Allah, wash off my sins with the (melted) water of ice and snow, and purify my heart of sins, just as white clothes are cleansed of filth.”

Let us consider the explanation and meaning of the Dua:

Hazrat Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Saheb (Rahmatullah ‘alaih) related that on one occasion he had a most respected guest present during his lesson of Bukhari Shareef. The guest was Hazrat Maulana Dr. Abdul Hay Saheb (Rahmatullah ‘alaih) who was a senior Khalifa of Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullah ‘alaih).

During this lesson, Hazrat Dr. Abdul Hay Saheb posed a question to Hazrat Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani (Rahmatullah ‘alaih). He asked: “Why did Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) use the words ‘ice and snow’ in this particular Dua?”

Hazrat (Rahmatullahi 'alaih), inspired (Ilhaam) with an answer from Allah Ta’ala, replied:

“There are two major effects that follow the commission of sins.

1.)       Darkness in the heart.

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) explained : “When a Mu’min (believer) sins, a black dot appears on his heart. If he repents and seeks Allah’s forgiveness, his heart becomes cleansed and polished. If he continues to commit more and more sins (without repenting), the spot continues to spread and ultimately covers all of his heart.”

2.)       Heat.

By means of sins, a person links himself to the fire of Hell. As a result, such a person’s body also produces a kind of heat.

My Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) has mentioned, that generally, when a person is committing a lot of sin, especially if he is entangled in illicit love, then the effect of his sins is so intense and severe, that even his head becomes heated.

…Of course, this does not mean that every person whose head is heated is involved in sin. It may be that the person is ill, suffering with high temperature, etc.

So consequently, the second quality of sin is that it produces heat.

Hazrat Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Saheb (Rahmatullah ‘alaih) then explained that the attribute of ice is its coolness and the apparent characteristic of snow is its whiteness.

Thus, the two effects of sins are removed with the two effects of snow and ice. The whiteness removes the darkness and the coolness effaces the heat. ...SubhanAllah

Moreover, why is ‘white’ cloth used in the Dua? …Because black cloth will not disclose the spots and marks of dirt, even after having been washed, but white cloth is sure to reveal the slightest trace of dirt.

These are explanations that should be most appreciated by students of Deen as well as Saalikeen.

My Shaykh had also explained that if we are deficient in our Love of Allah Ta’ala, and our hearts have become dark and heated due to the commission of sins, then an easy route to giving up our sins, sincerely repenting, purifying our hearts and becoming the friends of Allah Ta’ala is to make friends with His Friends.   

May Allah Ta'ala grant us all the Taufeeq of Rujoo Ilallaah and becoming His Friends.