Sunday, 24 September 2017

The Influence of the Scholars | Taking Lesson from the Mi’raj

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

In the Seerah of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), we read the beautiful experience and miraculous journey of the Mi’raj. The journey from Makkah Shareef to Baitul Muqqaddas (Jerusalem) is known as Isra and the miraculous journey to the seven heavens and beyond is known as the Mi’raj. …Whilst every aspect of the Isra and Mi’raj offers great lessons, there is a lesson that comes to mind considering these times that we live in and the responsibilities and the trust that devolves upon those who have knowledge of Deen and who are in a position where they are able to influence the people.

Our respected Muhadditheen have quoted Ahadith wherein Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) related that during this journey he (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was offered wine and milk to drink. Some say that this was at Masjid-al-Aqsa and others say it was in the heavens, near Sidratul Muntahah. When Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) accepted the milk, Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam) said: “You have adopted that which is Al-Fitrah[1]. Had you taken the wine, your Ummah would have certainly gone astray.”[2]

Allah Ta’ala blessed Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) with a disposition which was pure and unadulterated and thus he (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) inclined to what is good and pure. Milk is pure and nourishing. …Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) explained that like milk provides nourishment and serves as a food and drink, similarly, the Deen of Islam offers complete spiritual nourishment.

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is Sayyidul Ambiyaa[3], Khaatamun Nabiyyeen[4] and Imamul Muttaqeen[5]. If he (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) adopted the wrong action, then as Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam) had said, it would have had such an influence – such a great effect – on the entire Ummah, that the Ummah would have gone astray. 

There is a great lesson in this incident for those who are known as scholars, and for those who preach, and for those who sit on the Mimbars, and for people like myself who give Bayaans, Wa’az and Nasihah. A lot depends on such people. In whichever direction they go, the Ummah will follow. There will be a large following in whichever direction these people go.

If a Scholar goes in the right direction, there will be a following in that direction and if he goes in the wrong direction, then too, there will be a following in the wrong direction. Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Aashiq-e-Ilaahi Bulandshahri (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had said: “This statement of Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam) makes evident that the character and deeds of a leader have a direct impact on his followers.”

It is not that everyone in the Ummah will just naturally and instinctively follow Haq (the truth).  If that was the case, we would not find so many people in the Ummah of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wsallam) following nafs and shaytaan. …Are we not following nafs and shaytaan in our lives? How often we place our own desires before the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala? …So many engage in sins recklessly – as if sins are the aim and objective of this worldly life (Na uzu Billah).

…Whether Haq or Baatil, there will be followers. Look at shaytaan! He too has a following!

The Scholars are supposed to be the leaders of the Ummah of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam). They are assigned with the great trust and immense responsibility of conveying this message of Deen, of Haq. They are to show us the direction towards Jannah and also lead us in that direction – by practically implementing the Commandments of Allah Ta’ala and keeping clear of all the Prohibitions of Allah Ta’ala. Now, if the Scholars are going to go in the direction of Jahannum, then there will be a number of people who will follow them and who will say to Allah Ta’ala on the Day of Judgment: “Maulana Saheb, Qari Saheb, Mufti Saheb, Haji Saheb, Tablighi Saheb, Khanqah Saheb – and all these people of Deen, were showing us the direction to Jahannum. They were our leaders and we followed them.” …But this will not be an excuse. 

We, who are categorised as Scholars, should keep in mind the Hadith wherein Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever initiates a good practice in Islam and is emulated by others in doing so will get the reward of it and the reward of all those who act upon it without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And whosoever initiates an evil practice in Islam and is emulated by others will bear the sin of it and the sin of all those who act on it without their burden being diminished in the least.”[6]

One of the outstanding qualities of one who has knowledge is his fear of Allah Ta’ala:

إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللّٰهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمٰؤُاْ

 “…It is only those who have knowledge among his slaves that fear Allah…”
[Surah Fatir 35 : 28]

If a person has much knowledge but there is no obedience to Allah Ta’ala and there is an absence of the fear of Allah Ta’ala, he will not be categorised amongst the ‘Ulama or Ahle-Ilm.

So if the Scholars give leeway in respect to any of the Muharramaat (prohibitions), there is no doubt that the Ummah will very freely move in the direction of sins. And this is what we find happening today. Hazrat Mufti Rasheed Ahmad Saheb Ludhyaanwi (Rahmatullahi Alaih) had explained that when the people of learning set a wrong precedent, the consequences are very severe:

1.)    Accountability before Allah Ta’ala will be harsher.
2.)    The wrongdoing by the Scholars emboldens the masses to engage in sin.
3.)    The masses will consider sin as permissible.

Our Akaabir always considered that their actions must not affect the Deen in any way. They were very particular about their actions. They looked at the bigger picture and did not compromise on Deen.  As Scholars, there has to be concern for the safety of the Ummah and of humanity at large. We should think of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam)'s deep concern for the Ummah, his tears for the Ummah, and his repeated Dua for: "Ummati, Ummati" 

The incident of Isra and Mi’raj is very clear: Had Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) adopted that one single action, the Ummah would have gone astray.  Those who hold some kind of influence should realise that their actions can ultimately “make” this Ummah or “break” this Ummah.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the concern. May Allah Ta’ala grant us Taqwa and Istiqaamah on Siraatul Mustaqeem. May Allah Ta’ala make us true flagbearers of this beautiful Deen and true representatives of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)

[1] A natural, pure state
[2] Sahih Muslim
[3] Sayyidul Ambiyaa : Master of the Messengers (of Allah Ta’ala)
[4] Khaatamun Nabiyyeen : Seal of the Messengers (of Allah Ta’ala)
[5] Imamul Muttaqeen : The leader of the pious
[6] Sahih Muslim

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).