An Echo From the Heart

Dil Ki Awaaz – A talk delivered by Hadhrat Shaykh Mawlana Muhammad Saleem Dhorat Saheb (Hafidhahullah) in Lusaka, Zambia – 15 August 2014.

“O believers! Fear Allah as he ought to be feared and do not die except in a state of Islam.” (3:102)

“The most blessed Nikah is the one with the least expenditure.” (al-Bayhaqi in his Shu’ab al-Iman & Mishkat al-Masabih).

From the many verses of Allah in the Qur’an I have been honoured to recite a verse, in which he says: “O Believers! Stay away from displeasing Allah” (or another translation) “Stay away from disobeying Allah.” Which basically means, “Stay away from all those things which anger Allah.” And in doing this maximise your efforts, make day and night one, make your blood and sweat one. The world can turn upside down but Allah should not be angry. Fulfil Allah’s right in fearing him as he ought to be feared. Do whatever you have to do; if that means displeasing your father to please Allah – do it! If that means displeasing your mother to please Allah – do it! If it means displeasing your husband to please Allah – do it! If it means displeasing your wife to please Allah – do it! If it means displeasing your relatives to please Allah – do it! Also, if it means displeasing the community to please Allah – do it! If you need to displease your close ones to please Allah – do it! If you need to displease your beloved ones to please Allah – do it! This is the meaning of fulfilling Allah’s right in fearing Him.

A poet states: “Teri juda pasand, meri juda pasand. Tujhe khudee pasand, muhje khuda pasand.”

The basic translation of which is: Your desire is different, my desire is different. You prefer yourself, whereas I prefer Allah.

The Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them) had this zeal, so did the Sahabah (Allah be pleased with them). They thought if we lose our respect, it doesn’t matter, if we lose our wealth it doesn’t matter, if we lose our health it doesn’t matter, so long as Allah is not displeased. Even if we lose our authority and position, if people ridicule and insult me, or I am exiled – I am not at loss, as long as Allah is pleased. The Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them) had this zeal, so did the Sahabah (Allah be pleased with them) and the Awliyah (Allah have mercy on them) of the past. As far as you and I are concerned, we are far from this quality. Our beards, our Islamic attire, Jubbahs, our Turbans, our prayer in the first row of the Masjid, our Tahajjud, our Hajj and Umrah, our forty days in Tabligh, our visiting the Khanqahs and sitting humbly in front of our Shaykh, this is my brothers all a facade and deception. We have most certainly deceived the world, but we are also deceiving ourselves.

How?

We do not have ‘pardah/segregation’ in our houses. We are struggling to take the television sets out of our homes. Is this religiosity? How can it be when our tongues are not free from sin, our eyes are not free from sin, nor our ears.

Look, my dear brothers, it is a blessed assembly, we have Ulama, Huffadh, people spending time in the path of Allah, old men with white beards. The day is blessed; Jumuah, the time is blessed; Asr to Maghrib. For the sake of Allah! I am a traveller, I have rights upon you, if I request a cup of tea, you should fulfil the request. But all I am requesting is you stop disobeying Allah. Today is a day of happiness, there are five Nikah taking place. Ten families are having a day of delight, and they should be joyous. But what about the One who gave us this happiness, do we please Allah or even try to?

Rather we seem to please everyone, but Allah (glorified be He). The grandfather should be happy, the grandmother should be happy, we make up with our relatives so that they are also happy, the ones we haven’t spoken to for years. But have we pondered and stopped to think, when our deeds are presented to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and he sees the innovations and irreligious activities that take place in our weddings, what will be His (peace and blessings be upon him) state? It will be heart-breaking and heart-wrenching for him (peace and blessings be upon him).

Everybody must stay happy; menus are reviewed for food, different clothes are shown, the whole ceremony must be thoroughly thought out and discussed from top to bottom. If there is anybody whose views are disregarded and we miss someone out, it is Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him).

We have become so materialistic, what height and peak have we reached? Our intentions aren’t even correct; just to show people. “Our wedding should be better than theirs.”

For what?

When will this sort of attitude and mentality come into use?

At the time of death?

In the grave?

On Qiyamah?

When passing through the Bridge of Siraat?

Rather, this will make you fall down on the Siraat!

Repent from these evil actions. This apparent religiousness will not be any good to us on Qiyamah. Read the traditions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), at the time of Nikah He (peace and blessings be upon him) reminded us of three verses, but the instruction was one – ‘Fear Allah’.

“O believers! Fear Allah as he ought to be feared and do not die except in a state of Islam.” (3:102)

“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women.” (4:1)

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice.” (33:70)

This was because Allah (glorified be He) knew, when Iman is low, people’s beliefs are decreasing, the hearts are devoid of My remembrance, and heedlessness is widespread, My recognition and connection will be lost, then out of happiness and enjoyment My servants will do such acts which will bring about My displeasure. Hence I repeat the verse, “Fear Allah!” “Fear disobeying Allah!” “Fear displeasing Allah!” And let not this be just for weddings, rather take an account of your lives.

I am connected to Madrasahs, Khanqahs and Tablighi Jamat. The elders of Tabligh are all welcome and regularly come to my academy (in Leicester). They treat me with respect and compassion. The Ameer of UK, Hafidh Patel Saheb (Allah lengthen his shadow) keeps a very good relationship with me and showers his love and mercy on me. At times when he is travelling, even whilst in Dubai I will receive a call from him. So I repeat, I am connected to Madrasahs, Khanqahs and Tablighi Jamat, and we are all connected to each of these fields, as we follow the Deobandi school of thought. I address all three groups mentioned above, if we do not avert ourselves from the disobedience of Allah (glorified be He), then in the hereafter your Tabligh, the Madrasah or attending a Khanqah will be of no avail. I have no hesitation in saying this, because it is not just these things that will be instrumental to our success in the Hereafter. Allah has not stated anywhere in the Qur’an if you just do Tabligh, or study in a Madrasah or attend a Khanqah you will be successful. Rather, Allah says, “Whosoever obeys Allah and his messenger has attained a great success.” (33:71)

However, we do agree that whoever goes out in Tabligh regularly, adheres to the principles and rules, then he will be able to obtain obedience to Allah (glorified be He) in his life. Similarly, if someone visits his Shaykh and follows the guidelines set by his Shaykh, he will find ease in practising Islam. Likewise, those who attend Madrasah, if they seek knowledge passionately and with zeal, as well as practising upon this knowledge, they will be following Allah’s commandments. But the main principle in all of the above is, you must remain free from the disobedience of the Creator. Otherwise there is no benefit in these things whatsoever. Isn’t it time we awoke from our slumber?

Shaytan has kept us in a bubble and tricked us. He has caused us to think, because I have a connection with Tabligh I am pious. I am close to my Shaykh so I have piety. I teach in a Madrasah so I am religious, this is a lie and deceit. Ask yourselves, how close are you to Allah? There is only one thermometer to gauge this, look at your good deeds and your bad deeds; morning and evening, day and night. The sins you were engaged in twenty years ago, you are still engrossed in those sins. How you lived your life ten years ago, you are still living the same; arrogance, hatred, jealousy and pride still remain in your heart. We still think low of people and believe we are better than everyone else. There is no pardah/segregation system in our houses, we have high expenditure, and we are not bothered about Halal and Haram. Where does the money come from, where does it go?

We are totally oblivious of the rights of the community; the way to deal with people, and even good character is scarce. Then we have hopes for a lofty status in the hereafter.

A poet writes:

“Soon you will realise when the dust is settled, whether it was a horse or a donkey you were sat on.”

Please understand, I have not travelled hundreds and thousands of miles to upset anyone. I have left many important tasks behind, understand what I am saying. I am not angry, rather my heart breaks when I see certain brothers who are perceived as religious, but they are not upon the true teachings of Islam. How many brothers, year after year go out in Tabligh. To leave your wife and children is not something easy. They spend their own money, go with their own expenses and live in Masjids which don’t always have the best facilities, this sacrifice is not a minor sacrifice. Let us look at our Ulama, those who spend six, seven, or sometimes ten years in a Madrasah studying the Deen, this sacrifice is not a minor sacrifice. Now look at those affiliated with a Shaykh and attend the Khanqah regularly, they obey and submit to the Shaykh’s instructions. They leave their own opinions aside and adhere to their Shaykh’s guidance completely, again this sacrifice is not a minor sacrifice. But having said all of the above, if our lives – despite these sacrifices is not void of sin and vice, then my brothers it hurts knowing that. What I am pouring from my heart is nothing but my own heartache, sincerely felt for my dear brothers.

Remember, if you sacrifice your time, money and efforts for Allah (glorified be He), He SWT always gives and does not take. For example, if you quit watching films and give up this desire of yours, don’t think Allah (glorified be He) has taken this from you. Rather, Allah (glorified be He) will replace it with something far better, which cannot be paralleled in this world or the Hereafter. If Allah (glorified be He) takes He will replace it with something or give you something better.

There lived a Great Saint, an Imam, his name was Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Abdul-Baqi al-Ansaari (Allah illuminate his grave). He emigrated to alMakkah alMukarramah. In past times, many Muslim did Hijrah as there was ease and no struggle with a visa. But the standards of living weren’t the best, so they would need to go through a lot of sacrifice. Shaykhul Islam Hadhrat Mawlana Hussain Madni (Allah illuminate his grave) writes during his stay in alMedinah alMunawwarah, “When the greengrocers would close in the evening we would pick up the left over vegetables, clean them and boil them. This is what we would survive on.” So Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Abdul-Baqi al-Ansaari (Allah illuminate his grave) says, I stayed in alMakkah alMukarramah, and it was a hard struggle. One particular day, I was overcome with hunger. I left my house in search of food, on the way I found a silk bag which looked very valuable. On returning home, I opened the bag and found a necklace which was formed of stunning pearls. His eyes lit up, but he was a pious man, God-fearing and God-conscious. So he set off again, in search of the owner, he hadn’t walked much further when a voice was heard in the background, “Who can find our priceless necklace? We will reward him with 500 Dinar.” 500 Dinar – which are gold coins, was an awful lot of money in those days. If that was just the reward my brothers, imagine what would be the value of the actual necklace itself?

Imam Abu Bakr RH took the man to his house and asked him, “Perhaps, I can indicate to you as to where your lost necklace may be. Please describe it to me.” The man described it exactly as it looked. Imam Abu Bakr RH handed the man his necklace. The owner of the necklace then said, “Here, this is your (promised) reward – 500 Dinars.” Imam Abu Bakr RH states, “I had a yearning and desire in my heart to accept the reward, but part of me was refusing. The reason and thought process for refusal was simply because I said to myself, what amazing deed have you done? You found something and returned it to its rightful owner. Now to take a payment for this is not something righteous people do.” The owner now said, “Take the 500 Dinars and also take the necklace!” He says, “My heart was whispering, the necklace is impermissible for me, but the money is permissible – but I will still refuse. A pious man would never do this, they would not take it. Even if the owner had not announced that he had lost it, it was still incumbent upon me to return the necklace.”

What happened next? Bearing in mind the point I made earlier, ‘Allah does not take. If he does he will give back something similar or something better’. He left the necklace for Allah’s sake. He writes that he somehow managed to survive the next few days; they then travelled on a ship. During the journey, the waves became fierce and ferocious and suddenly everyone drowned – except me! I was hanging on to a piece of iron from the ship. I was floating like a leaf in the ocean, but I swam slowly and eventually after a few days, I got to shore and found a town.

I ran as quickly as I could and made my way to the Masjid. As soon as I entered I picked up a Qur’an and started reciting. I kept reading until a few of the villagers gathered and realised I could recite Qur’an fluently. What I hadn’t realised is that these people were illiterate. Then the news spread that this man is a Qari and he should teach us Qur’an. So I became their teacher, ustadh, shaykh and muallim. They would all learn Qur’an from me. One day they saw me reciting Qur’an looking inside, to which they all said, “You can teach us how to read and write now. You have already taught us how to recite Qur’an without looking in.” So I started teaching them how to read and write, in return I received many gifts and money and became quite wealthy.

After a length of time had passed, they approached me and said, “In our town, there is an orphan girl, pious and religious. Her father gave her an excellent upbringing. He was a wealthy man that left behind a lot of inheritance and land. We desire for you to marry her, as you are now our ustadh. We are worried about your future and her future. In our eyes, she will not find a better husband and you will not find a better wife.” I refused and told them, I am a mere traveller and Taqdeer has dragged me here. Otherwise, I was on a journey with my companions and I need to return to alMakkah alMukarramah.

But they were persistent, and didn’t give up, in the end I gave in and our marriage was solemnised. On the first night of our marriage when I entered the room, I was left in utter amazement, dumbfounded, really astonished. Why? Because my wife wore the same necklace around her neck which I found in alMakkah alMukarramah. I had my eyes fixated on the necklace rather than my wife’s face. She got upset, that all I was worried about was the necklace and she felt I was materialistic.

This complaint reached the menfolk in the community; they approached me and said, “We thought you were a knowledgeable and devout man. But you left your wife and seem more interested in a necklace, we do not understand this.” He replied saying, “In order to understand me you will need to know the story behind this necklace.” He told them the full story, upon hearing the story the whole town was mesmerised and yelled, “Allahu Akbar! La Ilaha Ila Allah!” The echo of their voices was so loud that it could be heard in the whole town, as a result of which people gathered around. Consequently, they realised that the story he narrated was none other than his father-in-law, so they informed him. “The man you met in alMakkah alMukarramah was your father-in-law; this girl’s father. When he returned from alMakkah alMukarramah and after he had the dealing with you, he would often repeat, “Alas! If only I had taken the address for that young man, as he was the only person in the entire world I found to be Muslim. There is nobody more worthy of marrying my daughter than him! I pray Allah facilitates a way for their marriage to take place.”

The people were then left in utter awe at Allah’s (glorified be He) amazing way of how he sent him to them, made him their Imam and Ustadh and how the girl became an orphan and now he had married her!

Muhammad ibn Abdul-Baqi further narrates; we were happily married and lived together for many years. Allah (glorified be He) blessed us with children; one son after another. It wasn’t long before my wife passed away, when the inheritance was divided the necklace was split amongst me and my sons. Then Allah’s (glorified be He) desire was such that he destined for my children to return to Him SWT; the first passed away then the second. Now, I received the entire wealth in inheritance including the necklace. Initially, I was given 500 Dinars for returning the ‘lost necklace’. Through the sheer grace and mercy of Allah (glorified be He) I managed to sell the necklace for an amazing 100,000 Dinars! “Allah takes, to give us (more).” Allah does not wish for us to be in loss.

I fervently request my honourable brothers engaged in the work of Tabligh – and if anyone from the three groups; Tabligh, Khanqah or Madrasah feels I am targeting one particular group then, if only I had the strength to split open my chest and show you what (intentions) I have inside – I would do so. I have love with all three groups (mentioned above), as all three are ONE. They are not separate entities. We are affiliated with all three; they are all ours and all stem from the same roots. And I must stress that the three groups are working tirelessly, day and night in their pursuits. But unfortunately, we have all come under Shaytan’s deception, including myself: “Raazi rahey Rahman bhi, Khush rahey Shaytan bhi.” The meaning of which is, we are trying to please al-Rahman, as well as trying to keep Shaytan happy (by listening to him).

We are carrying out Dhikr but later watch the television.

We are out doing Tabligh then return home to watch the television.

We study Bukhari Shareef thereafter engross in the programmes on the television.

Shaytan has become complacent and self-satisfied, “(O Muslims!) I don’t need to worry about you doing Tabligh, you attending the Khanqah and you studying at the Madrasah. As you are already caught in my trap.”

Let us make a firm resolution, from today onwards our weddings will be simple. My brothers in Lusaka, we have the same problem in the UK where I am from. I cry with the same heart, worry and concern there too. Generally, the problem we face is we like to compete with each other, “What will people think of us?” We suffer from inferiority complex and being low in people’s eyes. But have we ever thought, “What will Allah think? What will His Beloved SAW think?” Leave that thought – what will people think? Let our primary concern be, what does Allah think? It is our old enemy, the devil that overpowers us and our faculty to think, and then we end up in committing vice.

I humbly request all my brothers; those in Tabligh, those from the Khanqah, those who are graduated from the Madrasah, let us all have an intention in our hearts to make our weddings more simple and enduring less expenditure. So if we had planned a $10,000 wedding hopefully it will cut down to $9,000. The next wedding instead of $9,000 will be reduced to $8,000 and so forth. Like this the costs of wedding will reduce and we will be much closer to acting upon the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Some colleagues of mine informed me that Hadhrat Mawlana Ebrahim Devla Saheb (Allah lengthen his shadow) had recently visited Lusaka. I have a good connection with him; I don’t feel the need to ever invite him to our academy in Leicester as he always pays a visit whenever he is in Leicester. I believe he had delivered the same message – “Make our weddings easy and simple.” When an Alim of such high calibre, who has spent his life studying and teaching in the Madrasah, out in the path of Allah in Tabligh, in the company of the pious, when he speaks such words should resonate into our hearts. Just imagine through how much experience he must be talking from, after having travelled far and wide for 70 – 80 years, he travels to your hometown and he feels the need to say two pieces of advice:

“Keep good connections with each other and make your marriages and weddings simple.”

If we fail to adhere to the advice of such prominent Alims (and rather act upon our own whims and desires) then we can only presume the path we are taking is one towards Jahannam not Jannah.

I wish to say much more but to conclude, I will narrate a story of Abu Usayd al-Saa’idee (Allah be pleased with him) when he got married he invited the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). His newly wedded wife cooked the food – there were no catering services called for. They lived in alMedinah alMunawwarah, they were from the Ansaar. Ansaar were known as ‘helpers’, if they wanted to they could have got somebody to cook the food, but he didn’t. Because the weddings of that time were not sophisticated. Let us ponder on how the wife must have felt and thought, “If the Messenger of Allah is coming to my house to eat why should I give this honour of cooking for him to someone else?” She narrates, “When I met my husband on the first night, I was thinking that Our Beloved (peace and blessings be upon him) is coming to our house. How can we just feed him meat or just bread? We should also have ‘sharbat’.” The wife is thinking this on her first night of marriage. She further says, she took a bowl, put some water and mixed some dry dates in it and left it till morning. In the morning she cleansed it and put the drink in another bowl. And when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) came to our house I presented the meat with bread and the drink I had made.

Let us focus for just one moment at the sheer simplicity of this marriage.

We look for excuses, we think if a certain brother in Tabligh who is also an elder, spends $10,000 on a wedding, so can we. But remember, this elder also spends forty days every year, do we? We don’t look at the good he does and try to emulate that. Or other times we know a pious and devout person who visits the Khanqah regularly, if he spends $10,000 so can we. But we don’t look at his piety, the piety we do not possess. Let these not be examples for us, rather the example is the only example which Allah sets in the Qur’an:

“Verily in the Messenger of Allah there is for you an excellent model.” Let’s make him (peace and blessings be upon him) our example, the Sahabah (Allah be pleased with them) and the Mother of the Believers (Allah be pleased with them) our examples.

Finally we all resolve to have no evil and vice in our weddings, we will stay far away from sins in our wedding. If all three groups act upon this then I will feel all my talks in all of my journeys have been of some benefit.

Allah grant us all the ability and bless us with long lives. Allah grant us offspring that will keep all three works of deen alive; Tabligh, Khanqah and Madrasah. And may Allah bless these marriages and shower his mercy upon them with pious offspring, so that when their families look at them in this world or the next they will make them proud. Ameen.

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