Friday, 24 August 2018

A Blessing or Punishment

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (RA)

A person had come to meet me, to discuss some of his problems. In the conversation, he said: “Maulana, my ‘lighty’ (son) is only 24 years of age but he’s done very well for himself! He has achieved a great deal in his young age. …He has a house in a posh suburb, a luxury car and a very flourishing business - and all this is due to his hard work and effort.”

I said: “Masha-Allah, it really pleases us when we hear about the progress of the Muslims, whether it is in the economic field or any other field. However, as a father, you should also look towards how well your ‘lighty’ is doing with his Ibaadah. Is there Salaah, Roza, Zakaah, Hajj in his life? Is he honest and trustworthy in his business dealings? Is he spending his wealth in the correct avenues? These are the things we must be concerned about.”

As far as progress, in the material field is concerned, it is a good thing and we appreciate it. If material progress is achieved, with the blessings of Allah Ta’ala, this is something to be happy about. But if wealth reaches us accompanied with the displeasure of Allah Ta’ala - due to our sins - then this is very dangerous. It is no blessing; rather it is an Azaab (punishment) in a disguised form.

What we really have to ascertain is, as to whether our progress and success is accompanied with the blessings of Allah Ta’ala or the displeasure and wrath of Allah. If it is the former, Alhamdulillah. The person should express tremendous gratitude and use the Ni’mat’s (bounties) of Allah Ta’ala in a manner that will be pleasing to Him. If these material bounties are followed with the displeasure of Allah Ta’ala, then this is akin to feeding a rat. …We feed the pigeons and we feed the rats as well.

We feed the pigeons or little budgies because we like them. We feed the fish in the aquarium because we want to continue to enjoy seeing them. Other animals are also fed because we have made these our pets. We like them. Since it gives us pleasure to have them and see them, we feed them.

On the other hand, we also feed rats with beautiful pieces of cheese. However, those beautiful pieces of cheese are to trap the rat – because we see rats and mice as pests and not pets. Previously, traps and little cages were set up to catch the rats. Cheese was placed in the cages, to attract the attention of the rat. …When the rat enters the ‘room’ (cage), it falls into deception. It thinks: Masha-Allah, a beautiful, air-conditioned room – for me!’ When it sees the cheese, it thinks: This master; the owner of this home! What a wonderful man he is! How generous! He is even concerned about my entertainment. He is very hospitable to even provide the best cheese in the country, just for me. 

…But we know otherwise. It is for no other purpose except to trap the rat. When the rat begins nibbling at the cheese, the trapdoor shuts and the rat is caught. What seemed so comfortable and enjoyable becomes a misfortune and curse. In a like manner, if material bounties are accompanied or followed with sins and the displeasure of Allah Ta’ala, then this is like how the rat is fed. 

Allah Ta’ala gives out of His pleasure and He also gives out of displeasure. When Allah Ta’ala is pleased with a servant of His, He grants to him His Bounties, in this world as well as in the Aakhirah (Hereafter). … Some of the pious servants of Allah Ta’ala may not get the material bounties of this world, but Allah Ta’ala gives to them the unlimited bounties of the Aakhirah. Despite the trials of this worldly life, their lives are like roses blooming amidst thorns. This contentment and Radha-bil-Qadha are also great blessings from Allah Ta’ala. ...So, in accordance with His wisdom, Allah Ta’ala gives.

As for so many of us, who deliberately disobey Allah Ta’ala to the extent of openly sinning; Allah Ta’ala gives us rope … gives us opportunities for Taubah. If we persist in our sins, then Azaab descends in different forms. For some, Allah Ta’ala makes life, straightened and difficult. Allah Ta’ala warns us that if we turn away from His Message, life will become very difficult.

"But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Qur'aan nor acts on its orders, etc.) verily, for him is a life of hardship..."
[Surah Ta-Ha 20 : 124)

And for others, the punishment comes in the form of Istidraaj. Allah Ta’ala opens up the doors of material bounties and the person thinks that everything is well and good, but in actual fact, this is the punishment of Allah Ta’ala in a disguised form. Allah Ta’ala says:

"Then, when they forgot that whereof they had been reminded, We opened unto them the gates of all things till, even as they were rejoicing in that which they were given, We seized them unawares, and Lo! they were dumbfounded."
[Surah Al-An'aam 6 : 44]

The doors of all good were opened up for them. Health, wealth, properties, god, siler, oil wells and all the worldly luxuries are made available for them... and then ...

"...Even as they were rejoicing in that which they were given, We seized them unawares, and Lo! they were dumbfounded."

In the midst of their luxury, pleasure and amusement, they were suddenly called to account. They were seized without warning. They plummeted into destruction and misery! May Allah Ta'ala protect us all.

As for the Kuffaar (Disbelievers), Mushrikeen (Polytheists), Yahood (Jews) and Nasarah (Christians): If Allah Ta’ala gives or He does not give to them, both are forms of His Azaab (punishment). The Azaab (punishment) of Allah Ta’ala can come in either form. We have seen plenty of evidence of how Allah Ta’ala makes the lives of some people so restless – full of worries and anxieties – in spite of them having all the material luxuries and comforts that one can imagine. For others, Allah Ta’ala takes away and makes their lives miserable.

If a Muslim is making progress in the material world, we will say Masha-Allah, that is very good. Islam does not rule out progress and success – so long as it is within the boundaries of Shari’ah; so long as there is obedience to Allah Ta’ala. However, we need to be very careful that this wealth does not lead us toward destruction. The wealth of a person must not lead to the disobedience of Allah Ta’ala; it must not lead to the cinemas, theatres, gambling dens, prostitute quarters and other kinds of Haraam entertainment, or to lavishness and extravagance.  This will bring many problems, great misery and spiritual destruction.

If a person is making a sincere effort to please Allah Ta’ala and Allah Ta’ala has granted material wealth, then as said - he should express tremendous gratitude, and use the bounties of Allah Ta’ala in a manner that will be pleasing to Him. He should not only use it for himself. He should also use it for the Deen and for the upliftment of the Ummah as well as the upliftment of the lives of those who are poor and needy.

May Allah Ta'ala grant us the Taufeeq to understand that He wants us to enjoy His blessings and bounties. However, we will not be able to enjoy them if we use them against His Will and Wish, and if we use then in His disobedience. May Allah Ta'ala make us of His obedient, humble and grateful servants. 

Sunday, 12 August 2018


Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi Alayh)

Most of our arguments arise because we entertain a lot of expectations in people. If we look into our lives, we will gauge how extensive this weakness is in us. There are, of course, exceptions but on a general note, we find that parents have great expectations: When my son grows up, he will qualify from some college and will then be earning plenty of money. He will then provide for me, take care of my needs and requirements.

The son grows up, obtains his degrees, goes into some profession and forgets that he even has parents. …We are living in such a time, where many children don’t care about their parents. Despite the parents making so many sacrifices, there is no mercy and no compassion from the children. Many children live for themselves, with no thought of those who brought them to this stage in their lives, where they are successful. This then creates a deep sense of disappointment, ill feelings and bitterness within the parents. Arguments arise and sometimes relationships are severed. 

Children too have a lot of expectations: My father has many properties. He is multi-rich, so he should be giving me plentiful. Whatever I ask for, he should give it to me.  …More expectations.

Sometimes, the mother-in-law has much expectation. She thinks: My daughter-in-law will come into the family and she will do this for me and do that for me. I will retire from my chores. I will relax. My daughter-in-law will take over these responsibilities of mine. …When the daughter-in-law arrives, the expectation is not fulfilled and fights and quarrels ensue.

The daughter-in-law also has expectations: When I am going to go there, to my in-laws, I will be treated like a queen in that house. …When she is not treated like one, she harbours bitter and bad feelings, complains and demands, because she was expecting and feels that she is entitled to some kind of special treatment. This naturally leads to a strain in her marriage, because the complaint is against the husband’s parents and family.

Friends also have expectations: He is my friend. He will do whatever I ask him to do. …Or a person has been kind and generous to someone and entertains the expectation: I did many favours for him, so if I need to contact him and request anything, he will accommodate me – any time of day or night. …But the person does not care to reciprocate the kindness or the favours; instead he has a string of excuses.

Sometimes the so-called Peer or the Shaykh has got great expectation in his Mureed. He has the hope that the Mureed will be presenting an envelope or a gift. …There are so many bogus peers. They even have a register of the names of their Mureeds and they send their Mureeds, monthly bills. They charge fees and they will go so far as to inform their Mureeds that the last month’s installment is overdue. (Na-uzu Billahi min zaalik) 

There is an incident about a Mureed who was very sincere in his Ta-alluq (relationship) with his Shaykh, whereas the Shaykh was a Dunya-daar person and had expectations that his Mureeds should be giving him wealth and gifts in abundance. On one occasion, the Mureed said to the Shaykh: “Hazrat, I had a dream. Your hand was in a bottle of honey and my hand was in a bottle of faeces.”

The Shaykh immediately and happily said: ‘This is true! This is the reality! I am involved in Deen – honey, and you are involved in Dunya - faeces.’

The Mureed said: ‘But that was not the end of the dream. In the dream, I am thereafter sucking your finger and you are sucking my finger!’

So there are those Peers who are more interested in what material gains they can get from their Mureeds. May Allah Ta’ala protect us.

Nonetheless, we want others to do for us, and when they don’t, we start blaming: My brother didn’t do this for me. My uncle didn’t do this for me. My nephew didn’t do this for me. I went to my sister and she did not listen to me. I went to my father and he did not listen to me. …This is what happens. We feel a sense of entitlement, and when our expectations are not met, that inevitably leads to disappointment, depression, anger, complaints, arguments, disunity and many other problems. Therefore, we should not have expectations and hopes in any person. 

If we can only learn this lesson: Have hope and trust solely in Allah Ta’ala. He is the only One who can do for us. If we turn away from Allah Ta’ala and cast our attention and hopes on any other, we will meet with disappointment. …Even if the person is a millionaire or billionaire; a king or tycoon, or the owner of the oil wells of the world, his trust must be fully in Allah Ta’ala as well.

It happens sometimes, that a person meets someone on journey, and that person makes mention that he owns oil wells or he is the director of some big corporation or owner of some huge business. The person immediately thinks: ‘I have got a friend. If I have any problem, all I will have to do is just contact this person and he will sort out my problems.’ …The gaze turns away from Allah Ta’ala and falls on creation. Allah Ta’ala does not like that our expectation be in people. Often, the person is humiliated and disgraced when he seeks out favours from people.

Our expectation is in Allah Ta’ala because we believe that everything lies in the Control of Allah Ta’ala; all treasures are with Allah Ta’ala; there is no shortage in His treasures. If we are in need, we seek from Allah Ta’ala first.

After turning to Allah Ta’ala and seeking of Him, we should also adopt Tadbeer - that is, make use of Halaal (lawful) means to procure it. If Allah Ta’ala provides through the means, then we express our gratitude over it. If we don’t get what we want, we adopt Sabr (patience). When there is Istighnaa’ in the heart – that is, the person’s heart does not incline towards the creation and does not entertain expectations in the creation, and the heart’s attention is on Allah Ta’ala – Allah Ta’ala will provide for the person from sources unknown to him. When we understand Who is in Control of all affairs and Who is in control of the hearts of people, there will be no argument with any person because there would not have been any expectation from any one.

The person who has his trust and faith in Allah Ta’ala alone and he says: ‘My expectation is only in Allah Ta'ala. I will turn towards Him. I will beg of Allah Ta'ala, with the begging bowls that He has given me.’ …He raises his two hands, especially in the latter part of the night or early part of the morning, when there is no one to see him raising those hands, except Allah Ta’ala; he will then see how Allah Ta’ala suffices for him.


Dua needs to be made sincerely and with deep conviction that Allah Ta’ala is the One who answers. The key is Yaqeen (conviction), believing firmly that Allah Ta’ala will respond in the best way. Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullah ‘alaih) said that the Dua which we just read, without sincerity and without the conviction that Allah Ta’ala can do for us, will not draw Divine response.

If a person has a problem, he should get up for Tahajjud Salaah. At that part of the night or morning, raise his hands, shed some tears, repent and turn towards Allah Ta’ala. Then see how Allah Ta’ala creates ‘asbaab’ (means). It will baffle and amaze us. The person won’t know how Allah Ta’ala made the arrangements for him. Imam Shafi’ee (Rahmatullahi ‘Alayh) had said: ‘The Dua at Tahajjud is like an arrow, which does not miss its mark.’ – that is, it is most accepted.

As an example: After the person made Dua, he approaches a friend for a loan of R5000, with the promise that, Insha-Allah, it will be paid by a certain date, and he also has every intention to pay. If the friend loans the money – Alhamdulillah. The person believes that Allah Ta’ala put it into the person’s heart and he gave the loan. If he refuses, for whatever reason, he should turn his mind and heart towards Allah Ta’ala. Since he had placed his trust in Allah Ta’ala, there must be both wisdom and ‘khair’ (goodness) in this decision. There won’t be any fight and the friendship will remain intact.

Our gaze must be from where the decisions are made. ...We need to build up our trust in Allah Ta'ala.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the understanding and the Taufeeq of Amal. May Allah Ta’ala bless us with His Ma’rifah and the beautiful and noble qualities of Istighnaa’ and Tawakkul – that our gazes and trust are entirely on Allah Ta’ala.