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Inspirational Advice

Thirst for Justice

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Monday, 14 March 2016 16:05

(Sultaan Mahmood Ghaznawi – Part Three)

There was once a person who would frequently try to gain access to the court of Sultaan Mahmood, hoping to receive justice. One day this person somehow managed to enter and even managed to attract the attention of Sultaan Mahmood. When Sultaan Mahmood noticed him, he asked him what it was he had come for. The person replied, “My complaint is such that I cannot present it to you before the entire court.” Sultaan Mahmood understood that the person needed privacy and thus took him to a secluded place where he asked the man what the matter was.

The man said, “For quite some time, your nephew has been arriving at my home fully armed. When he arrives, he lashes me with a whip and forces me out of my own home. He thereafter spends the night with my wife. I have approached and complained to numerous governors and officials but found them all unsympathetic. Let alone helping me, they did not even have the courage to refer my complaint to you. When I eventually lost all hope in the governors and officials assisting me, I began to frequent your court with the hope that I would receive an opportunity to lay my complaint before you. It so happened that you noticed me today and I have thus been able to present my problem to you. Allah Ta‘ala has made you the ruler of this kingdom. Looking after your subjects and citizens is therefore an obligation which is fardh upon you. If you are sympathetic and grant me justice, then well and good. If not, I will take my complaint to the court of Allah Ta‘ala and await His justice.” 

Sultaan Mahmood was extremely affected by this man’s words and began to weep. He turned to the man and asked, “O oppressed one! Why did you not come to me earlier? Why did you tolerate this oppression for so long?”

The person replied, “O King! I have been trying to gain an audience with you for a long time but remained unsuccessful on account of your doorkeepers and guards. Allah Ta‘ala alone knows how I somehow managed to get into your court and attract your attention today, as poor people such as myself are never normally given the chance to speak directly to the king.”

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Identifying with Idols

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Monday, 29 February 2016 16:24

(Sultaan Mahmood Ghaznawi – Part Two)

In the era of Sultaan Mahmood, Sawmnaat was the name of a large city and also the name of an idol which was housed within its temple. Sawmnaat, the idol, was so revered by the disbelievers of India that it had a Ka’bah-like status in their eyes. On the occasions of a solar or lunar eclipse, up to 230 000 people would travel to Sawmnaat from distant lands in order to seek its “blessing” and beg favors of it. The disbelieving king of India would personally see to the upkeep of Sawmnaat and had dedicated the income of approximately 2000 towns to its upkeep. 2000 priests would remain in the temple at all times to worship Sawmnaat and would wash him with water of the Ganges River every night (the water would be brought from the river which was just less than 2000km away). The priests had hung a chain of solid gold which weighed approximately 170kg from one end of the temple to the next. Scattered across the length of this chain were small bells which would be rung to indicate that it was time to worship Sawmnaat. 500 singing women and 300 men would remain in the temple to serve Sawmnaat and an additional 300 barbers were kept available to shave the heads and faces of the priests. The king had even dedicated his daughters to the service of Sawmnaat. They lived lives of celibacy in the temple and passed their days serving the idol.

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Honouring the Heir of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)

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Monday, 15 February 2016 14:59

(Sultaan Mahmood Ghaznawi – Part One)

Sultaan Mahmood bin Subuktageen, also known as Mahmood Ghaznawi, was a king in India who passed away in the year 421 after hijrah.

Occasionally a slight doubt would cross the mind of Sultaan Mahmood regarding three issues. His first doubt was regarding the authenticity of the hadeeth of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in which Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned that the ‘Ulama are the heirs of the Ambiyaa’ (‘alaihimus salaam). His second doubt was regarding whether or not the Day of Qiyaamah was a reality and his third doubt was regarding his lineage – Sultaan Mahmood was not sure of whether Naasirud Deen Subuktageen was his father or not.

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Appreciating our Elders

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Monday, 01 February 2016 15:34

Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (rahimahullah) mentions: “For the last 30 years, I have not slept without first supplicating and seeking forgiveness for Imaam Shaafi‘ee (rahimahullah).”

‘Abdullah (rahimahullah), the son of Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (rahimahullah) says: I asked my father, “What type of person was Imaam Shaafi‘ee (rahimahullah), for I often hear you supplicating for him?” Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) replied, “O son! Imaam Shaafi‘ee (rahimahullah) was like the sun to this world and like health to the people. Tell me, is there anything that can possibly replace the sun and health?” (Risaalatul Mustarshideen pg. 203)

Lessons:

1. Showing respect and honour to the ‘Ulama and our seniors is an important part of our deen. Together with respecting and revering them, we should show appreciation and gratitude for the services and sacrifices they rendered for deen. One way of showing gratitude is to regularly make du‘aa for them.

2. If we cannot show adequate appreciation and respect to these eminent personalities, we should, at the very least, avoid speaking against them. After all, they are the people who paved the path for us to enjoy the deen of Islam today.

3. Just as we respect and honour the ‘Ulama due to them being our spiritual deeni parents, we also respect and honour the parents who are responsible for our physical existence. In fact, the right of the parents and the honour that should be afforded to them is even more than that of the ‘Ulama. We should thus serve them with devotion and faithfulness and daily set aside time to make du‘aa for them. 

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A Selfless Sacrifice

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Monday, 18 January 2016 06:29

Egypt was once struck by famine during the rule of the governor, ‘Abdul Hameed bin Sa‘d (rahimahullah). As normally happens, the onset of famine caused the prices of food and other goods to escalate. Before long, the prices had rocketed to exorbitant rates. On seeing the difficulty and plight of people who could no longer afford even basic commodities, ‘Abdul Hameed (rahimahullah) resolved to oppose Shaitaan, who urges a person to be miserly, and promised himself saying, “I am going to seize this opportunity to prove my animosity towards Shaitaan by spending generously on the poor!” He thereafter made it his personal responsibility to see to the needs of all the poor and needy people until conditions had improved and prices stabilised.A

It so happened, however, that he was dismissed from his post as governor when the drought ended and thus had to leave Egypt. At the time of his departure, it was calculated that he owed a million silver coins to the local businessmen from whom he had loaned the money in order to assist the destitute and underprivileged people suffering from the famine. Realizing that he was unable to settle the debt, he collected the jewellery and other items of the women of his family and deposited them with his creditors as collateral for the money he owed. The total value of the items he had pledged in security amounted to five hundred million silver coins!

‘Abdul Hameed (rahimahullah) later tried to pay off the debts and redeem the pledged valuables but could not raise the money. He therefore wrote to the businessmen and instructed them saying, “I authorize you to sell all the valuables lying in pledge with you and to use the proceeds to pay off all my debts. After my debts have been settled, spend the remaining money on the poor.” The money which remained equalled to no less than 499 million silver coins! (Ithaafus Saadatil Muttaqeen vol. 8 pg. 184)

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