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Giving Up Sins – An Easy Prescription (#4)

7. Ponder over the fact that Allah Ta‘ala has blessed us with the gift of sight, hearing, health, wealth, and so much else. He has also granted us the gift of respect. However, what Allah Ta’ala gives, He can also take away. He has clearly stated that ingratitude for His gifts will draw very severe punishment. So, is sin not abuse and ingratitude for the gifts of sight, of heart, of mind, of limbs? Allah Ta’ala says in the Quraan Majeed:

“If you are grateful, I will most certainly increase for you (My favours) but if you show ingratitude, My punishment is indeed severe.” (Surah Ebrahim v7)

Through a little contemplation on the consequences of such behaviour and a little bit of mujaahadah (striving) – which entails ‘not doing’, the sicknesses will be cured.

Giving Up Sins – An Easy Prescription (#3)

6. Ponder over the fact that the angel of death does not give respite. It must not be that whilst obeying the nafs in sinful pleasures, the angel of death visits; and departure is in disgrace, and return to Allah Ta‘ala is at a time when He is angry, and that death is an embarrassment to the person, the family and community who find out that death came in sin. May Allah Ta‘ala protect us all from death in a state of transgression which has become very common these days.

Whereas in the past, we heard of Muslims dying in sajdah, in a state of fasting, while occupied in recitation of Quraan Majeed, in other noble actions, today, we hear and read of Muslims dying in prostitute quarters, in rave clubs, while viewing pornography, or due to drugs and other intoxicants, etc.

Death visits more often, very unexpectedly, and no true Muslim would want to be seized by the angel of death when Allah Ta‘ala is displeased. I often say, “We now have instant tea, instant coffee, instant cereal, instant pudding and so many other things on the market that are instant. However, we are also living in times when death is instant.”  So any sin is too much of a risk in the face of the reality of death. As is commonly said:

“Your resurrection will be how you have died, and you will die in the manner you have lived.”

Would any Muslim want to rise up on the day of judgment in sin, for all of mankind to witness what kind of life he led?

(to be continued insha-Allah)

Giving Up Sins – An Easy Prescription (#2)

Moulana Yunus Patel (rahimahullah) further mentioned:

2. Developing the conscious awareness that Allah Ta’ala is with us; He is watching us, He is hearing us, He knows all and everything about us. We cannot hide from Him; we cannot conceal our actions from Him. Then should we not feel ashamed that in His Presence, we are disobeying Him? Is it not shameless that we engage in sins in His very presence?

My respected shaikh, Hazrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (rahimahullah) said very aptly in poetry:

 “If you hide and commit sins,

Someone is watching from above (Allah Ta’ala)”

3. Keep in mind that the angels are witness to all our actions; that the earth is recording our behaviour and that all of our actions are being noted in our books of deeds and that we are inevitably accountable to Allah Ta’ala on the day of judgment. In this manner, we will develop shame and modesty, which will make it easy to restrain from haraam.

4. Added to this, our actions are also presented to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). We should give thought to whether our actions are a source of joy or grief to him (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Contemplating just this should make us think a hundred times before moving in the direction of sin.

5. Muhaasabah is taking an account of one’s actions. We should reflect over our deeds for the day and seek forgiveness for the shortcomings and resolve not to return to those bad deeds.We should also express gratitude on good deeds and make du‘aa for an increase in them.

(to be continued insha-Allah)

Giving Up Sins – An Easy Prescription (#1)

Moulana Yunus Patel (rahimahullah) mentioned:

There are many, many Muslim brothers and sisters throughout the world, who, due to various negative influences and bad elements, find themselves ‘de-railed’ from Deen. Many others sit on the fence, wanting to enjoy or benefit from both sides of the fence engaging in sins as well as being practical on certain teachings of Deen. However, deep in their hearts is the desire to get back on track, and once again become good, practical Muslims; to jump off that fence and enjoy the green pastures of Islam. So they write, e-mail, phone and fax, seeking guidance and direction.

The main weakness is indulgence in sins; sometimes many sins and excessive indulgence in those sins. I give a standard prescription as a reply. Alhamdulillah, many who followed through with the prescription have found a whole new life of peace, happiness, blessings and mercy. On tasting the sweetness that comes with obedience, there is no desire to return to any form of disobedience. The following is what is presented to them:

1. The ideal is that we abstain from sins, out of love for Allah Ta’ala.

It is the nature of human beings that we love the one who is kind and generous to us. Then what about Allah Ta‘ala who has provided us with plentiful of everything?

Who has blessed us with sight, hearing, speech, with organs that are functioning in such an amazing manner, and with limbs, all in our service, for eating, drinking, walking, sitting, etc.?

Who has showered upon us the bounties of clothing, shelter, transport, and so many other material comforts?

Who is providing the food and drink that provides strength?

Allah Ta’ala.

And now that strength is used to disobey that Gracious and Generous Master.

Who created the means for us to be born in Muslim homes, to grow up with spiritual bounties of Imaan and Islam or who has guided us to Islam? Allah Ta’ala.

Should we not then love Allah Ta’ala unconditionally, keeping in mind that our hearts are also from Him, and was given to us for His love?

Should we not be ever-willing to earn His Pleasure? Should we not be avoiding all those actions which earn His Displeasure? Since He is our beloved.

(to be continued insha-Allah)

Holiday Period

Moulana Yunus Patel (rahimahullah) mentioned:

The holiday period – even week-ends – are a time of great test and trial. There is encouragement and enticement towards all kinds of haraam. Beach partying, intermingling and courting, immodest dress, loud music and dance, smoking, drinking and drug-taking become the programme and timetable for many Muslims. Salaah becomes a forgotten duty and the Islamic dress and identity are discarded.

The Muslim youth are supposed to be tomorrow’s leaders for the Ummah. They are to be the representatives of Deen, inviting the non-Muslims to Islam, with the modesty and purity of thought, speech, dress and actions, which should be the characteristic of every Muslim.

Deen and sharee‘ah do not stifle us, do not deprive us of pleasure and enjoyment, do not deny us happiness and celebration. Deen and sharee‘ah also accommodate leisure and pleasure. Islam is beautiful; most beautiful. Islam is not ‘dry’. It is enjoyable. Allah Ta‘ala has only placed certain boundaries through His Divine prohibitions, for our own benefit, safety and well-being.

So let us make the effort and avoid sins. Let us not walk the route towards sins. Let us keep clear of the venues of sins like how we would if we had fore-knowledge that there will be an earthquake, tsunami or bomb-blast devastating such places. We fear for our lives. The greater need is to fear for our imaan.

Let us not forget that we are Muslims.

Let us not forget our relationship with Allah Ta‘ala.

Let us not forget that death can visit unexpectedly.

Let us not forget that there is accountability.

Let us not forget Jannah.

Let us not forget Jahannum.

(Adapted from “Seeking the Shade of the ‘Arsh” pg. 92)

Sweetness of Imaan

Moulana Yunus Patel (rahimahullah) mentioned:

In a hadeeth qudsi, Allah Ta‘ala says:

“Verily evil glancing is an arrow from the poisonous arrows of shaitaan. Whosoever fears Me (Allah Ta‘ala) and refrains from it, will receive from Me such imaan, the sweetness of which he will taste (feel) in his heart.”

Our respected Shaikh, Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar (rahimahullah) had mentioned that if a person is a lover of sweets and he is informed that in a certain district, there are many sweet shops, the person will feel happy, thinking that when he has to go there, he will be able to enjoy sweetness any time he wishes to.

Moulana (rahimahullah) then explained that when we are in public areas and other venues, where there will be strange women present, we should consider these as opportunities to lower the gaze and enjoy the sweetness of imaan, as Allah Ta’ala has promised.

Of course, this should not be misconstrued to mean that we frequent places of fitnah and temptation. If there is a raging inferno or wildfire, it consumes everything in its path. A person avoids the fire, he does not want to get close to the fire. If he is near, he adopts all strategies to safeguard himself from harm and distances himself as quickly as possible. The same should be done when it comes to sin and temptation.

The prize of sweetness of imaan is for the taking. The condition is self-restraint. It is left to us to secure… And it is not difficult. We have the courage to stare at strange women (or vice versa) and commit other sins, in the presence of Allah Ta‘ala. That type of courage and boldness, to commit sins… to deliberately disobey Allah Ta’ala… is insolence and invites punishment. That same courage should be used against the carnal self and shaitaan. Oppose nafs and shaitaan. They are enemies.

(Understanding True Love pg.13)

Tug-of-War

Moulana Yunus Patel (rahimahullah) mentioned:

Once I had the opportunity to join in an outing with some students of a hifz class. They were having a picnic at a park. We all require rest, exercise and some entertainment but of the halaal kind.

One of the games that those youngsters played was tug-of-war. After their game, I mentioned to them that in tug-of-war, there are two parties pulling a rope. Winning is based on the side that pulls stronger. I mentioned that we should take a lesson from this:

In life, there is always a ‘tug-of-war’. There is the pull of temptation and sins and there is the pull of Deen and sharee‘ah; there is the pull of the nafs (carnal self) and shaitaan, and there is the pull of the rooh (soul).

From our side, we have to suppress and overcome the pull of shaitaan towards haraam. We have to resist the pull of the nafs when it demands and commands to anything haraam. When the nafs makes a demand, we will look at the command of Allah Ta‘ala. The Muslim does not give into the evil demands of his nafs. He looks at the command of His Rabb, Allah Ta‘ala, and he willingly and happily accepts, submits and acts in accordance with what pleases his beloved Allah Ta‘ala. He sacrifices the evil desires of his nafs for the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala.

To be able to come out as the victorious party, as the champions in this ‘tug-of-war’, we will have to strengthen our imaan, istiqaamat (steadfastness) and yaqeen (conviction) in Allah Ta‘ala. In this way, we will be the dominant and strong side.

If we do not give any attention to building our spiritual stamina, strength and prowess, then we will easily be defeated by the other side. Nafs and shaitaan will not have to pull very hard because spiritually, we will be weak.

To maintain the upper-hand at all times, we draw our strength and great, great spiritual strength will be drawn from establishing salaah, five times a day. For us men, this must be performed in the musjid, in jamaat (congregation). Together with this, we need to maintain our identity as Muslims and work towards fulfilling the commands of Allah Ta‘ala especially, staying away from all those actions that are displeasing to Him.

We should also be selective of the company we keep and seek out friends who are concerned about their Deen and are also trying to be obedient to Allah Ta‘ala. If not, then a bad ‘friend’ is no friend. He belongs to the opposite party, with nafs and shaitaan – and will pull strongly to draw us into sin. Then we will be defeated. If the friend is a good friend, he will assist us and will be on our side, in overcoming the opposition.

In the game of tug-of-war, there are occasions and times when there is a balance or the other side is stronger. The weak side will get the upper-hand when there is a slight lapse. In our day to day lives, this is what we term as ‘accidental’ sins: There is a lapse. We lose our grip, and shaitaan and nafs gain the upper-hand. To regain control, there is a need for plenty of remorse and sincere taubah (repentance). In this way, we redeem our position of being the strong side.

Of course, we should allow the nafs some halaal pleasure and entertainment. Having a picnic and playing for a little while is important to keep us refreshed, re-energised and happy. However, we should always be on guard that nafs and shaitaan do not get any leeway and pull us away from Allah Ta‘ala and Deen.

May Allah Ta‘ala  grant us the taufeeq of becoming tough and strong against our enemies, nafs and shaitaan.

(Seeking the Shade of the ‘Arsh pg. 7)

“You” are in “Youth”

Ml. Yunus Patel (rahimahullah) mentioned:

On one occasion when I was addressing a group of young boys, I explained to them: The word “you” is in “youth”. And you are presently in youth. Your youth is in your hands. Now it is left to you to safeguard ‘you’ in your youth or destroy ‘you’ in your youth.

If you safeguard your youth, Allah Ta‘ala will give you respect and dignity. You will enjoy good health, both physical and spiritual. You will enjoy a wholesome, happy life. There will be success in both worlds.

Allah Ta‘ala promises you the noble and enviable position of being in the shade of His ‘arsh (throne) on the Day of Qiyaamah. Seek this special honour and privilege in your youth!

If you say that you are not interested in safeguarding your youth and you want to enjoy this worldly life, by engaging in those actions which please the nafs (carnal self) and which displease Allah Ta‘ala, then ask yourself: What is enjoyment in life? Who is the one who gives enjoyment in life?

True enjoyment and happiness will only come from the one who created the heart and controls the heart, Allah Ta‘ala .

Sins bring temporary satisfaction and fleeting enjoyment to the nafs. A little while of haraam pleasure and thereafter one has to suffer with the miserable consequences, lifelong.

The youth are the flowers of the Ummah and it deeply hurts when a flower of the Ummah, coming into full bloom, gets caught up in sins and thereafter, health, wealth, strength and everything is destroyed!

We deal with so many cases of young Muslim boys diagnosed with AIDS; with young, unmarried school girls and university going girls, who are pregnant or have had abortions, and others who have to also contend with the shameful consequences of sins. What did indulgence in haraam bring? Regret, humiliation and disgrace.

(Seeking the Shade of the ‘Arsh pg. 3)

Peer Pressure

The most common cause of sins amongst the youth is peer pressure. Almost every person divulges being introduced to sins through ‘friends’.

A friend is one who is concerned about his friend’s goodness, welfare and health. A friend wishes to see his friend progress in life, be happy, and enjoy respect and success in both worlds. A true and sincere friend is a helper, supporter and protector of one’s spiritual well-being. He encourages towards what is good and discourages that which is evil and destructive.

An enemy, on the other hand, desires the destruction of a person’s life, health, wealth and respect. So can the ‘friend’ who encourages you or offers you drugs or alcohol, or takes you to concerts, cinemas, rave clubs, gambling dens, prostitute quarters or introduces you to music, pornography, etc. be called a friend? Nay, he is your enemy!

Allah Ta‘ala mentions the reality and outcome of such ‘friendship’ in the Quraan Majeed: “Friends, on that day, will become enemies to one another, except the God-fearing.” (Zukhruf v67)

When pressured to engage in sins by ‘friends’, be firm on Deen and be courageous. Say: I do not want to displease my Kind and Loving Allah Ta‘ala. I do not want to walk the path to Jahannum. I do not want to invite the fire of Jahannum into my life.

(Adapted from “Seeking the Shade of the ‘Arsh” of Moulana Yunus Patel (rahimahullah), pgs. 10 – 12)

Celebrities or Sahaabah

Moulana Yunus Patel (rahimahullah) mentioned:

Nowadays we look at soccer players, cricket players, rugby players, actors, actresses, musicians and others, and we take them as our role models. We want to identify ourselves with them but most of them are not believers in Allah Ta‘ala. They have rejected Allah Ta‘ala . They have no noor of imaan, no noor of taqwa, nothing. They pass their lives in heedlessness and in the disobedience of Allah Ta‘ala .

Often the lifestyle of many of these celebrities is the cause of their own destruction. They wreck and ruin their lives in all kinds of vices; drugs, drink, fornication, etc. Their immoral habits and corrupt ways make them bad role models. The end results are also damaging and even ‘toxic’ for those who revere them, obsess over them and imitate them.

As Muslims, we have ideal role models in our beloved Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam); as well as the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and pious who follow them. They were the most successful people. Were we to learn about them, we will draw great inspiration and will find them to be the best role models.

The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) were ‘men’ – and very brave men. Their achievements, feats and conquests drown the thousands of insignificant and frivolous goals scored by soccer players or runs scored by cricket players or wins scored by others. How will these goals and runs benefit in the grave and in the Hereafter? The song and dance, the acting and performances of the others will only be a cause of great regret in the court of Allah Ta‘ala .

The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) achieved tremendous success because their lives were constructive, productive and profitable for their Deen, dunya and aakhirah. In the effort to emulate them, we will gain the love of Allah Ta‘ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the wealth of peace, happiness and contentment, and insha-Allah, reap the blessings and success of both worlds.

Read about the youth among the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum). Their obedience in the prime of youth and their spirit of sacrifice offer great inspiration for all. (Seeking the Shade of the ‘Arsh pg. 61)

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