Contents:

The Best Connestion

Among the buzz words of the time is “connectivity”. Millions of people are connected via land-lines, several mobile numbers, multiple email addresses, BBM, WhatsApp, ……… and whatever else. However, in the midst of all these “connections” we forget about being “connected” to our Creator and Sustainer, our Benefactor and Provider, the Most Kind, Most Compassionate, Most Beneficent and Most Merciful … our beloved Allah Ta’ala. The connection with Allah Ta’ala is the most essential need of every Mu’min (Believer). Without this connection one is spiritually dead and is merely a walking, talking, eating, drinking and money-making machine. The reality will one day dawn upon such a person when suddenly he is seized by …….. DEATH. Then it will be too late to make any “connection.”

In the Qur’an Shareef we have been clearly commanded to make this connection. Allah Ta’ala declares: “And turn to your Rabb (Sustainer) and submit unto him before the punishment comes upon you, then you will not be helped” (39:54). The Qur’an commands us to make inaabah, which has been translated above as “turn to your Rabb.” Inaabah, however has a much deeper meaning. It refers to extracting the heart out of the abyss of passions and desires. It also refers to attaching oneself to Allah Ta’ala by means of sincere repentance and performance of righteous actions. Inaabah requires one to turn away from everything and turn towards that Being who is the Creator and owner of everything.

Manifest

When one is connected to Allah Ta’ala, this connection will manifest itself in every aspect of life. The fulfilment of the obligations of Deen will be the highest priority of a person’s life. Thus his salaah will not be delayed for business or other occupations, his zakaat and other acts of worship will be discharged correctly and on time, his business dealings will be strictly in accordance to shariah and his exemplary social life and outstanding character will conform to the beautiful example of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). All this depends on having a strong connection. If he has a weak connection, this will also become evident. Such a person may be punctual with his salaah for instance, but will not be concerned about doing only halaal business, or will not care if he soils his tongue with vulgar language. His ill conduct will indicate that the “line is not clear” and that he has an extremely weak connection. Such a weak connection could lead to a major disaster in this world and the Hereafter.
In order to totally connect ourselves to Allah Ta’ala and have a “clear line” we must disconnect ourselves from everything that hinders or affects this connection. If our “line is engaged” elsewhere, our connection with Allah Ta’ala will certainly be affected. It is due to being connected elsewhere that sacred occasions such as the month of Ramadhaan come and go, yet we fail to connect to our Rabb. Our life does not change for the better. The focus of life does not change. Thirty days of fasting and ibadah also do not create the resolve to abandon haraam – haraam actions, relationships, business, and all haraam connections. Life just goes on without any direction … until … suddenly … death strikes … and one is entirely disconnected from one’s family, friends, businesses, properties and all one’s belongings … and is forever connected to the consequences of one’s deeds in the Hereafter.

Entertainment

In this era among the greatest impediments in establishing a clear and strong connection with Allah Ta’ala is the connection, rather addiction, with entertainment. Almost everything revolves around entertainment. Parting with a few rands for charity is also subject to being served an ‘entertaining dinner’. Millions of people are in the vice-grip of S.M.A. (social media addiction) in order to keep themselves entertained. (This aspect is discussed in a separate article). During the auspicious nights of Ramadhaan, when it is time to connect with Allah Ta’ala by means of tilawat, zikr, dua and other forms of ibadah, numerous people are instead connected to various media for excitement and entertainment. Many people attend even Deeni programs only if it promises to be exciting and entertaining!!! Thus the connection to entertainment has prevented our connection being established with Allah Ta’ala.

Thirsty

Since we have not connected ourselves with Allah Ta’ala, the soul is deprived of its nourishment and is thus crying out. The nourishment of the soul is the remembrance and obedience of Allah Ta’ala. However due to the deception of nafs and shaitaan, people try to fill the void and quench the severe thirst of the soul with futile and even haraam entertainment. This is no different to a parched person trying to quench his thirst by drinking the salty water of the sea. Every gulp merely increases his thirst. He can never gain any satisfaction even if he drinks up the ocean!!! It is only sweet water that will quench his thirst. Likewise it is only the remembrance and obedience of Allah Ta’ala that will bring peace to the heart and tranquillity to the soul.

Ramadhaan is a month that comes as a guest to get us “connected” to Allah Ta’ala. All the “lines” from above are fully opened for us to connect by means of fasting, taraweeh salaah, abundant recitation of the Qur’an, itikaaf and other forms of devotion. However, if our “lines” remain connected with entertainment and haraam, the connection with Allah Ta’ala will not be possible. If we are serious about connecting with Him, we must disconnect from every haraam as well as the means that lead to haraam.


Tahajjud Salaah

Rasulullah (sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “The most virtuous of all salaah after the five compulsory salaahs is the salaah of the night (Tahajjud)” (At-Targheeb). Allah Ta’ala Himself praises those who perform Tahajjud Salaah, in the verse “They remain away from their beds, calling unto their Rabb in fear and hope…” (Surah Sajdah).

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has emphasised the performance of this salaah and mentioned great virtues for it. He is reported to have said: “Be steadfast on the Salaah of the night (Tahajjud), for it is the way of the pious before you, a source of gaining closeness to your Rabb, it washes away your sins and is a shield against sins” (At-targheeb). It clear from the last portion of this Hadith that constancy on Tahajjud will insha Allah be a means of protection from sin. It is like wearing a spiritual bulletproof vest which will protect one from the missiles of nafs and shaitaan. In fact a narration of Tirmizi also states: “It dispels ailments from the body.”

The time of Tahajjud is also a special time for dua. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was once asked: “Which dua is closest to acceptance?” He replied: “After the obligatory salaah and in the last portion of the night (Mishkaat).”

During the month of Ramadhaan, the performance of Tahajjud is very easy since everyone wakes up for sehri. Make an effort to wake up a little earlier and perform few rakaats of Tahajjud. Thereafter engage in dua. Insha Allah you will benefit tremendously.


Q&A: Oppression

Question: I borrowed a substantial amount of money for an investment which unfortunately collapsed. The lender is demanding immediate payment as the loan period has elapsed. While my business is doing well, I am only able to maintain my current expenses, which have always been high due to my lifestyle. The lender is now telling everyone he meets that I am a zaalim (oppressor). I am deeply offended…… Please advise

Answer: The person who lent you the money did a great favour to you. You should be very grateful for his noble gesture. Part of the gratitude is that you pay him back the money on time. A debt is an extremely serious matter, which unfortunately many people take very lightly. Hazrat Abu Musa Ashari (radiyallahu anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “After the major sins which Allah Ta’ala has forbidden (such as shirk, adultery, etc), the greatest sin is that a person dies leaving behind a debt but leaves no assets to pay it off” (Abu Dawood). Other Ahadith mention the following about  debts:

* A person will not enter Jannah until his debts are paid.

* Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) refused to perform the Janazah salaah of a person who passed away without having paid his debts and did not leave assets to pay the debts off.

* All the sins of a martyr are forgiven except debts.

Delaying of Payment

Furthermore Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has clearly declared: “The delaying of payment by a wealthy person is zulm (oppression).” Your “high expenses” to maintain a luxurious lifestyle is no excuse to delay payment. To delay payment to one’s creditors but at the same time continue driving expensive cars, going on holidays, having lavish weddings and undertaking non-essential expenses is tantamount to zulm. Remember that zulm, in any form, has disastrous consequences in this world and the Hereafter. When a person continues to perpetrate zulm on others, it eventually rebounds in different ways and makes one’s life a misery. Rasululullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has warned: “Fear the curse of the oppressed one for verily there is no barrier between it and Allah Ta’ala (i.e. it is certainly answered).” Hence one should be extremely particular about refraining from all forms of zulm.

If you were living under Islamic rule, the Qazi would have forced you to sell your house, car, all luxury items, all your clothing except for two sets and you will only be allowed to keep enough to fulfil the most basic needs. You should therefore make it your first priority to pay off your debts. Allah Ta’ala will grant you barakah in your sustenance and remove your difficulties.


Social Media

More addictive than alcohol and cigarettes! This is the conclusion of a study conducted in Germany with regard to the effects of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and other such platforms. Describing this addiction, The Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, vol. 2, no.1 states: “This generation has made social media their top priority and continues to need more usage in order to feel satisfied.”

Instant Gratification

The internet and social media outlets have “reprogrammed” the way millions of people think and how they conduct themselves. This is, as some researchers describe it, due to “this interactive world’s power to alter the tangible world.” Indeed it has “altered” many things. According to another study, “some behaviour consequences of the new digital brain is hyperactivity, inattention, depression and multitasking mania.” The study further states: “All this access and vast selection is causing some entertainment seekers brain to develop the constant need for instant gratification with a loss of patience.” Companies are also taking note of the negative impact on productivity as a result of people constantly fiddling with their phones during work time. As one director put it: “We’re clearly seeing what psychologists call ‘online compulsive disorder’ spill over from our personal lives to the work environment.”

Worlds Apart

While the abovementioned aspects are serious, comparatively speaking they are a “very small’ problem. The really catastrophic consequences are on one’s Deen as well as on family life. How often people of all ages are sitting in the Musjid punching away at their devices — before salaah, after salaah, between the Fardh and Sunnah salaah, during the Jumu’ah khutba and while some talk is in progress. This happens even in the Haramain Sharifain. The engrossment in social media has led many people to abandon salaah, has involved them in zina and many other vices and has made numerous marriages either dysfunctional or broken it altogether. Social media is acclaimed for its ability to “connect people without any boundaries.” Most people using social media have dozens — perhaps hundreds — of “contacts” and are often “connected” to numerous people whom they have never met. The husband and/or the wife are “connected” – each one with his or her “own contacts.” They are only not connected to each other. While each one is closely connected to their social contacts in far flung places, the two people in the same room are worlds apart!!! A similar situation occurs in many homes between parents and children. This pathetic state of affairs is the “blessing” of social media.

Atmosphere

Many will argue that Facebook and its sister outlets are merely tools and it is up to the user to use it or abuse it. While this is true, social media platforms have developed an “atmosphere” of their own. According to many who used and abused these platforms and have now repented, the “atmosphere” is similar to being in a “disco or rave club” where one is strongly drawn towards sin. Promiscuity is the norm on these sites. It is estimated that more than 95% of those who use BBM, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc, have scores of non-mahram male/female “friends” on their contact lists. It is rare that one logs onto Facebook and the like and one’s Deen and Imaan is not negatively affected at all. Thus to venture into  uch an environment is to expose oneself to serious dangers. SAVE YOUR IMAAN. SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE. SAVE YOUR FAMILY. Log off all social media now, forever. Ramadhaan is here. Make this Ramadhaan a turning point from all haraam and from all the avenues that lead to haraam. This Ramadhaan delete all social media applications and thereby apply for a place among those who sincerely turn to Allah Ta’ala and earn His blessing and pleasure.

May Allah Ta’ala enable us to turn to Him and completely turn away from everything that leads us away from Him. Aameen.


Faqihul Ummah: Qur’an & Dua

Summary of Letter

Bismihi Ta’ala

Respected Mufti Saheb

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu

Please advise me with regards to the following: Firstly, I do not have the true enthusiasm for the recitation of the Qur’an. Secondly, I am not very inclined to making dua.

Summary of Reply

Bismihi Ta’ala

Respected Brother

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu

It gave me pleasure to know that you are punctual with your ma’mulaat (daily practices). May Allah Ta’ala grant you further progress.

When reciting the Qur’an-e-Kareem meditate upon the fact that you are reciting to Allah Ta’ala. Be like a student who is reciting to his Ustaad in a manner where the awe of his Ustaad has engulfed him. Hence recite the Qur’an-e-Kareem with the intention that you are reciting to Allah Ta’ala in such a manner AS IF you can see Him. (This will create the desired enthusiasm)

Also remember that Dua is the essence of Ibadah. Whether it is Zikr, Tilawat or Salaah, the essence of it all is Dua. While keeping in mind Allah Ta’ala’s favours and His kindness, engage in Dua with much humility. Ponder that only He can accept one’s Duas and solve one’s problems. He has commanded us: “Call unto Me, I will accept.” Whosoever is granted the gift of Dua, unlimited mercies are showered upon him. His Dua passes through the seven Heavens…

May Allah Ta’ala help you.