Sunday, 17 September 2017

Photography and Picture-Making

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)

Nowadays, we find that photography and videoing have become accepted in all circles, yet Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said“Those involved in picture-making will be subjected to the worst forms of punishment on the day of Qiyamah.”[1] ...In another Hadith, Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reported that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Those involved in picture making will be severely punished on the Day of Qiyamah and Allah Ta’ala will say to them, ‘Give life to what you have created!’.”[2] We also know the Fatwa of our respected Imams of Fiqh and the majority of past and present Scholars. They prohibited pictures of anything animate. 

Photography carries within it so much of evil and it erupts into so many more sins. …Like a volcano erupts and spews out rocks, gases, ash and lava, which cause great harm and destruction, photography has led to an eruption of Fitan and spews out immodesty, obscenity and a host of other evils. There is no doubt that photography plays a key role in the destruction of man’s spirituality, modesty and morality. I receive so many emails and letters, and from the correspondence, it is clear that many, many people – young and old – are caught up in pornography and other sins, stemming from photography. …I have mentioned previously that the porn- industry and filthy films are all based on pictures. This gives rise to rape, incest, child porn and other vices. Islam cuts at the root of the evil by prohibiting picture-making and photography[3]Whatever we see today, of various Fitan, is due to the Shar’i prohibitions being flouted and disregarded.

Our Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had said that despite the deep love that the Sahaba-e-Kiraam (Radhiyallahu ‘Anhum) had for Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), not one of them drew any image of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam). 

…From amongst the Sahaba-e-Kiraam (Radhiyallahu ‘Anhum), some could have sketched images of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) … when he was at Badr, at Uhud … in his armour; when digging the trench at Khandaq, when Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was entering Makkatul Mukarramah at the time of its conquest; when Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was on the plains of Arafah, hands raised, imploring and begging of Allah Ta’ala … So many pictures could have been drawn, to "capture the moment", to keep those "memories alive" and so that we, the latter of the Ummah, may also see a picture or pictures of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), but not one Sahabi (Radhiyallahu ‘Anhum) drew such pictures. 

Since picture-making, in any form, is prohibited, they did not compromise on obedience to Allah Ta'ala and His Rasul (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam). Their condition was: "We hear and we obey."  This is what we have to learn to nurture and imbibe within ourselves: When we hear the Command of Allah Ta'ala; when we hear the Command of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam), we should willingly submit and obey. 

We are told to follow the Sahaba-e-Kiraam (Radhiyallahu ‘Anhum) for guidance. Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “My Companions are like the stars, whichever of them you follow you will be rightly guided.”[4] ...The Sahaba-e-Kiraam (Radhiyallahu anhum) set a precedent and a beautiful example for us. We need to follow in their noble footsteps. 

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the concern, and grant us obedience to Him and His Rasul (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam). May Allah Ta'ala grant us Istiqaamah on Siraatul Mustaqeem.

by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (RA)

[1] Sahih Al-Bukhari / Sahih Muslim
[2] Sahih Muslim / Sahih Al-Bukhari
[3] It is prohibited to draw or take pictures of, or carve or sculpt, living, animate beings, like people, birds, animals, and so forth. 
[4] Musnad ‘Abd Ibn Humaid (see the Muntakhab, Hadith: 781) Jami’u Bayanil ‘ilmi wa fadhlihi, (Vol.2 pg.181)

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Takbiraat of Tashreeq

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

It is Waajib (obligatory) for every adult Muslim to recite the Takbiraat of Tashreeq audibly, ONCE, after every Fardh Salaah, from Fajr of the 9th of Zul Hijjah to Asr of the 13th of Zul Hijjah.

Takbeer should be recited immediately after completing the Fardh Salaah.

Females should recite the Takbeer softly.

Monday, 21 August 2017

The Story of Submission and Sacrifice

 Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

When Hazrat Ibraheem (‘Alaihis Salaam) was told to submit to Allah Ta’ala, he responded that he had submitted himself to the Rabb (Sustainer) of the Worlds. …Some Mufassireen (Commentators) say that there are approximately 18 000 worlds.

Allah Ta’ala mentions this incident as follows:

“ And remember when his Rabb said to him : ‘ Submit (thy will to Me).’

“He said : ‘ I submit (my will) to the Lord and Cherisher of the Universe.”
[ Surah Al - Baqarah : 131 ]

After Hazrat Ibraheem (‘Alaihis Salaam) made this declaration of submission, there followed many trials and tests.

As a young man, he was faced with opposition from his father, who was an idol-worshipper. When he invited his father to the worship of Allah Ta’ala, his father opposed and threatened him :

He (the father) said : ‘Do you reject my gods, O Ibraheem?   If you 
stop not (this), I will indeed stone you. So get away from me safely 
before I punish you.’
[Surah Maryam 19 : 46]

Due to Hazrat Ibraheem’s (‘Alaihis Salaam) rejection of idol-worship, and his preaching the message of Allah Ta’ala, the message of Tauheed, he was thrown into the fire by Namrud and his people:

“They said, ‘Build him a furnace and throw him into the blazing fire.’
[Surah As-Saffaat : 97]

“They said, “burn him and protect your gods if you do (anything at all)!”
[Surah Ambiyaa 21 : 68 ]

It is stated that for an entire month, the people of Namrud collected firewood, which they thereafter lit, fanning it until it became an intense, blazing fire.

Using a catapult, they threw Hazrat Ibraheem (‘Alaihis Salaam) into the raging fire. However, The One who created fire and gave it the attribute to burn, now commanded the fire to become cool, as well as offer safety to Hazrat Ibraheem (‘Alaihis Salaam).

“We said, ‘O Fire ! Be you cool, and (a means of) safety for Ibraheem.”
[Surah Al- Ambiyaa 21 : 68 / 69]

After being delivered from this test, saddened with his people, he left his country (Iraq) and made Hijrah to a place where he could worship Allah Ta’ala in peace, Syria.

Having no children, Hazrat Ibraheem (‘Alaihis Salaam)) thus made dua for a child:

“ O My Lord, grant me a righteous son.”
[Surah As-Saffaat 37 : 100]

In his old age, at the age of 86, Hazrat Ibraheem (‘Alaihis Salaam) was blessed with a son.

“So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.”
[Surah As-Saffaat 37 : 101]

When the child became of age, Hazrat Ibraheem (‘Alaihis Salaam) was commanded to slaughter his son. What a great test!

“Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) work with him,  He said: 
‘O my son! I see in a vision that I offer you in sacrifice: 
Now see what is your view?...”
[Surah As- Saffaat 37 : 102]

What must have gone through his heart?  And likewise, the heart of Hazrat Isma’eel (‘Alaihis Salaam)?

But when Hazrat Isma’eel (‘Alaihis Salaam) was informed, he told his father to do whatever he had been commanded to do.

“(The son) said : ‘O my father! Do as you are commanded: You will find me, if Allah so wills, practising patience and constancy.”
[Surah As-Saffaat 37 : 102]

Their entire lives were lives of Obedience and Submission. They were prepared to accept death but not prepared to abandon or reject the Hukm (Order) of Allah Ta’ala.

Allah Ta’ala mentions the reply of Hazrat Isma’eel (‘Alaihis Salaam). He said:  “...Insha-Allah, you will find me of the patient ones.”

Look at his humility. He did not say: “I will be patient”; rather: “Insha-Allah ... if  Allah wills.”

His words clearly indicate the beautiful qualities of humility, etiquette, trust in Allah Ta’ala, patience and endurance. There was no claim whatsoever of pride, or boastfulness or superiority or conceit.

Despite having to face so many trials and tribulations, none of the Ambiya (‘Alaihimus Salaam) made a claim of being perfect. They did not rely on their own ability and capacity; rather they focused on Allah Ta’ala. They made the effort and trusted in Allah Ta’ala.

“So when they had both submitted their wills (To Allah)…”
[Surah As-Saffaat 37 : 103]

The word “أَسْلَمَا ” alludes to the brave submission of father and son, without question. The claim of Divine Love was made manifest in this immediate surrender and compliance to Allah Ta’ala’s Command. …And as is known, despite the repeated efforts made, the knife would not cut the throat of Hazrat Isma’eel (‘Alaihis Salaam). …This being by the Will of Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala then ransomed Hazrat Isma’eel (‘Alaihis Salaam) with a ram from heaven.

Allah Ta’ala states :

“Thus indeed do We reward those who do right”
[Surah As-Saffaat 37 : 110]

Allah Ta’ala’s rewards encompass bounties of this world and bounties of the next for that person who surrenders himself to the commands of Allah Ta’ala and sacrifices his desires solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.

From this beautiful story, we learn the lessons of SUBMISSION, OBEDIENCE, SACRIFICE – attributes which are sorely lacking in our own lives.

We are commanded to submit ourselves to the Hukm (Command) of Allah; whichever one is directed to us.

There are different Ahkaam: sometimes it is the order of Salaah, sometimes it is the order not to perform Salaah; but at EVERY given moment the Command of Taqwa is directed to us, and that is we restrain ourselves from that which is Haraam.

Where is the truthfulness of our claim of Love and Imaan, if we cannot comply to obedience?

We have not been commanded to sacrifice our sons. We are only called to give up sins. Just don’t do the sin. Don’t cast lustful gazes, don’t commit zina, don’t gamble, don’t backbite, don’t do sins. …Don’t do and get rewards. Don’t do (sins) and become the Friend of Allah Ta’ala. 

Nisbat (connection) with Allah Ta’ala is secured only on Taqwa and obedience to Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

Once we have established friendship with Allah Ta’ala, then no difficulty, no hardship, no adversity or suffering becomes insurmountable, as is seen in the life of Khalilullah (Friend of Allah), Hazrat Ibraheem (‘Alaihis Salaam)

We also learn that when we say we believe, then we will be tested on our claim.

Allah Ta’ala states :

“Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, ‘We Believe’ and that they will not be tested?”

“We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false.”
[Surah Al-Ankaboot 29 : 2]

“Or do you think that you shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (Trials) as came to those who passed away before you…”
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2 : 214]

These tests in life are to see who still remains sincere and faithful to Allah Ta’ala – and who gives up and turns away from Allah Ta’ala. Of course, we should not be asking for tests and trials. We are weak. However, this world is a world of test.

From our side, we should always seek safety and aa’fiyat (well-being), as has been taught by Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

An Aalim has beautifully described the understanding and approach of a Believer in dealing with the tests of this worldly life:

“In whichever condition He keeps me,
It is the best condition for me;
Through whichever route He takes me,
It is the easiest route for me.’

In this journey of life, we are to establish and maintain our relationship with Allah Ta’ala, no matter what the circumstance and conditions we face… 

For those who persevere and work hard to pass the examination of this worldly life, there will be innumerable rewards :

‘ …Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward
without measure!”
[Surah Az-Zumar 39 : 10]

…And we ask Allah Ta’ala to make us ever-submissive to Him, and that He grant us ease in the matter of life and death, grant us well-being and the ability to maintain steadfastness in all conditions of life.

·        For hope and consolation, download and listen to the talks: “SABR and HOPE” by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel (Rahmatullahi ‘Alayh).

Saturday, 1 July 2017

After Ramadaan

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

The Blessed month of Ramadaan came like seasonal rain and passed by. This rain did not water the plants and crops - it showered upon the hearts of the Believers. …It is sad, but true, that the hearts of the majority of Muslims were stricken with spiritual drought and spiritual decadence. It was a drought caused by excessive indulgence in un-Islamic activities, immoral behaviour, unjust actions, unfair dealings and so forth. …Drought caused by lack of rain destroys crops - drought caused by lack of piety, lack of fear of Allah Ta’ala and lack of Allah Consciousness destroys the SPIRITUALITY of the heart.

Ramadaan's spiritual rains brought to life the Masaajid and other prayer places. Ramadaan had fanned the dying spark of charity. Ramadaan had awakened the spirit of tolerance, patience and sympathy for the less fortunate.

Now that we come to the end of Ramadaan, the big question is: What to do?

Did we go through all the spiritual exercises in Ramadaan in order that we may have the freedom to indulge, on Eid day, in all types of immoral, shameless and indecent entertainment and amusement?

Did we restrain ourselves from Halaal food, drinks and other pleasures from dawn to sunset throughout Ramadaan, so that we may return with renewed vigour to gambling, drinking, adultery and fornication?

Will the spirit of tolerance, mercy, patience, charity, sympathy and the nurtured quality of piety and Allah-Consciousness be still evident or will these noble qualities be shelved until the dawn of the next Ramadaan?

Will the Masaajid which were filled on most nights in Ramadaan remain the same or will they become empty, wondering where the faithful have gone? Our life-styles after Ramadaan will show whether we used the month to bring about a total reformation within ourselves or whether we wasted the valuable opportunity.

The National and international position of the Muslim communities is something we are all acquainted with. Muslims are lamenting the loss of lives, destruction of property, oppression, tyranny, injustice and a host of other problems afflicting the  Muslims all over the world. They are questioning as to why the promised help of Allah Ta’ala, to the Believers, is nowhere in sight. …However, just one glance into the lifestyles of the overwhelming majority of the Muslims is sufficient to answer the question. Millions of Muslims do not have much to their credit besides Muslim names.

Allah Ta’ala's help comes with ‘aml’ (action) and true Islamic qualities; not with names or faces  - or whether Arab or non-Arab,  African or European, Chinese or Indian. On the other hand every group, organization, society or individual who talks Islam, seems to have got its own brand of Islam. The Islamic teachings which were left behind for us, crystal clear and pristine pure, have become so adulterated with foreign customs, alien practices and un-Islamic ideologies, that a new Muslim has to make an effort to search for the Qur’aan and Sunnah brand of Islam or remain confused and ignorant.

May Allah Ta’ala give us the guidance to resolve that we shall make the Qur’aan and Sunnah our guiding lights and practise Islam as much as possible.  If the non-Muslim inhabitants of our country see Islam in the lives of Muslims, they will not require much persuasion to accept our beautiful Deen.

by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullah alayh)

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Keeping the Spirit of Ramadaan Alive

An Inspirational Eid Message of 
Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi alayh)

In a world, which has become rather strange and peculiar, we find in the quest for peace, nations of the world are waging wars of devastation and destruction against each other. World governments look towards war as the solution for peace. Greed and selfishness are considered as the key to the success of man. ...In the clamour for justice, injustice towers over and above, in all its ugliness. Instead of peace, freedom, success and justice, man finds himself shackled under the yoke of more and more tribulations.

Despite billions of dollars being expended for all types of sophisticated technology to establish law and order, and eliminate crimes of theft, murder, bribery, corruption, rape, fraud, hijackings and so forth, crime has not been eradicated, nor reduced by any percentage; rather there has been and there is a daily escalation in all criminal offences.

Frequent get-togethers of the so-called master minds of the world, summit conferences and high level discussions have all failed to provide a solution to the economic, political, cultural and social problems of man.

Man is a created being and only Divine guidance can solve his problems. The reality is clear: The heavy arm of the law on its own, just legislation, the imposition of fines and jail sentences, cannot and will not solve problems that face mankind. The only sure deterrent to crimes of all kinds, is firm conviction and belief in our Creator, a life hereafter and a day of judgement, where complete justice will be meted out. These are long term solutions, and solutions that were proven to give the best results and create the best societies on the face of the earth.

The obligation of fasting in the month of Ramadaan for the Believers, men and women, who are sane and healthy, is a clear message to mankind that unrestricted indulgence in fulfilling the desires of one's base or animal self has to be curbed for some time, to give an upliftment to one's spiritual self. The object of fasting, as described in the Holy Qur’aan, is “so that you may guard against evil.”

During the auspicious month of Ramadan, a fasting person abstains from food, drink and sexual relations from dawn until sunset, in obedience to the command of his creator. The month is a training whereby the Believer's trait of God-conscious is nurtured. Even though he may be in place of total privacy and seclusion, on the hottest day of the year, he does not submit to the temptation of sipping even a few drops of water for he is convinced that he cannot evade the sight of the All-Observing Almighty.

If the spirit of fasting were to become a reality in the society of Muslims who have observed the fasts of Ramadaan and has advanced our piety, then mankind would see a society in which every person becomes the guardian of the respect, honour, property and possessions of others; a society in which the needy, the poor, the destitute, and the under-privileged are taken cared for; a society in which honesty, chastity, nobility, kindness, compassion, mercy and forgiveness shine forth like the midday sun; a society in which no harm is caused to any human or animal without a just reason; and a society in which material progress does not bring about a moral collapse.

Eidul Fitr signifies the end of this fasting period and is a day of joy and thanksgiving, but despite being a day of celebration, the day commences with an additional prayer after sunrise, reminding the believers that the object of fasting must be fully borne in mind even after Ramadan. A believer must be aware of the fact that he was made to observe the fast to become God-conscious, pious and self-restraining. His natural inclinations to eating, drinking and fulfilling his sexual passions were curbed for a month from dawn to sunset – the willpower to abstain from all evil and totally submit himself to the will of the Creator should now be easy for the months to follow.

Ramadaan was a golden opportunity for the Muslim community to bring about a total transformation in all spheres of their lives. Eid and the days to follow are opportunities to demonstrate the moral upliftment and spiritual elevation gained through fasting by showing compassion, mercy and kindness towards the creation of the Almighty.

Whilst conveying to the Muslim community best wishes for a happy Eid, I make a humble appeal to every Muslim brother and sister to keep the spirit of fasting alive – Let obedience of Allah Ta'ala shine forth from this day forward. Let the rest of mankind observe the effect that fasting has in changing the outlook of a believing Muslim. Let the world observe a community free from all sins, crime and vice and let us be an example which is worthy of emulation and of others accepting Islam.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Du'aa | Opening the Doors of Blessings

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

[Surah Mu`min 40 : 60]

 “Anyone amongst you whose doors of Du’aa have opened, in reality, 
the doors of blessings have opened for him.”

“Brimming with humility and seeds of sincerity, Hazrat Maulana’s Duas teaches one the manner of begging from Allah Ta’ala, and is a means of bringing about a transformation within the heart.

A treasure for those who supplicate in English.”



“When you are able to cry during your supplication, then realise that your prayers have been accepted. Tears are a receipt of the acceptance of your prayers.”

[Hazrat Maulana Abdul Ghani Phoolpuri (RA)]

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Laylatul Qadr

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)

Allah Ta’ala’s love for His Messenger Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) is clearly evident and manifest in many Aayaat (verses) of the Qur`aan Shareef. Additionally, whilst other Ambiyaa (Alayhimus Salaam) were gifted with exclusive titles, it was Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) alone, whose title was “Habibullah”  (The Beloved of Allah Ta'ala).

Due to this Divine love for Sayyidina Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam), his Ummah is recipient to special mercy, blessings and favours from Allah Ta’ala. It is only due to our connection and association with Nabi-e-Akram (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) that Allah Ta’ala has honoured us above all people.

Amongst many privileges, one Divine Mark of Distinction that has been granted to us, is the great privilege of being “Ummate Marhooma” – The Ummah upon whom Mercy is shown.

The explanation of this noble title, “Ummate Marhooma” is that forgiveness is secured and mercy is attained through our sicknesses, our hardships and other tribulations; through the Eesale Sawaab that people convey to us after our demise, and through blessed days and nights such as are found in Ramadaan, and other special days and nights outside Ramadaan (The first 10 nights and days of Zul Hijjah, the nights of Eid, the 10th of Muharram, etc.), whereby we can easily gain forgiveness. 

The most special and most blessed of all nights is the Night of “QADR”. Laylatul Qadr is a night singled out by Allah Ta’ala, who granted it such magnificent virtues and such greatness that surpasses all other nights. The fact that Allah Ta’ala has gifted this Ummah, with this one night – year in and year out – highlights again the Divine mercy that is extended to this Ummah, as well as the Graciousness and Kindness of Allah Ta’ala in giving us opportunities to secure far more in rewards.

It is mentioned in Tafseer that one meaning of the word “Qadr” is “greatness, honour, dignity” and this is what the night of Qadr is – a night of greatness. It is also stated that the night is called so, because a person becomes a man of honour and dignity on account of his sincere repentance, and the noble deeds, prayers and supplications he engages in during this night. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) said: “Whoever stands in prayer and worship on the night of Qadr, with complete faith and with sincere hope of gaining reward, all his previous sins are forgiven.”

“Qadr” also means “pre-destination” and we find that this is also a night where the destinies of people are assigned to respective Angels in regard to life, death, sustenance, rain, and so forth – all of which will come to pass for the year that will follow.

Drawing from the different narrations, it becomes clear that the Night of Qadr should be sought in the last 10 nights of Ramadaan, specifically the odd nights. Its greatness and merit is described in the Speech of Allah Ta’ala, wherein it is stated that worship in this night surpasses the worship of 1000 months. Worship includes Salaah, Tilawah (recitation) of the Qur`aan Shareef, Zikrullah, Dua, etc.

The night is also a night for sincere repentance as attested by a narration, wherein Hazrat Ayesha (Radhiyallahu 'Anha) had asked Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) what prayer she should engage in if she finds Laylatul Qadr and Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) advised her the following Dua: “O Allah, verily You are Oft-Pardoning, You love to Pardon, so do pardon me.”

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) said: “A month has verily dawned over you wherein lies a night better than a thousand months. Whoever misses such a night has indeed been deprived of all that is good; and none is deprived of it, except he who is really unfortunate.”

May Allah Ta’ala grant us appreciation of these beautiful opportunities, and grant us the experience and rewards of Laylatul Qadr.

It is not possible to do justice to a discussion of Laylatul Qadr but an excellent and detailed exposition is found in the book “Fazaa`il-e-Ramadaan” by Shaykhul Hadeeth, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya (Rahmatullah ‘alayh), which offers tremendous inspiration, motivation and encouragement.