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Identifying the Genuine from the Artificial

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(Highlights of Mufti Ebrahim Salejee’s majlis - Saturday 24th May)

1. This world is a world of varieties and assortments and this is the test that we face. The first part of the trial is to identify the genuine from the artificial and the second part is to then hold firm to the genuine. It is like a soccer match; you will have to identify the goal post and then continuously rush to it and aim. However, on account of the similarities there appears to be confusion in identifying the genuine and true path. The further you move away from the time of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the thicker the fog and mist of ambiguity gets. If the path and road is not clear, then even if you are an experienced and licensed driver you will not be able to identify the path and you may meet up in an accident. Nowadays, on account of the abundance of filth and evil, the path has become misty. One type of confusion that has overcome us is that we have adopted the mere appearance of Islam and then become confused feeling that this is correct and we become complacent.

2. The word nifaaq actually means to take refuge from an enemy in an underground tunnel. You would find generally that there are three types of behaviours that people adopt with regards to sinning: (1) A person does not feel ashamed and does the sin and evil openly. (2) The person does the evil, but in the confines and tunnel of a club, just in order to save his respect. (3) The individual does the sin individually and all alone within the confines of his home and very few people may know about it, and people think him to be a pious person. It does not matter whether it is a small sin or not, for a sin is a sin after all. When one persists upon a small sin, it then turns into a major sin. One will outwardly show a glamorous picture of himself, but within there is a deep corrosion. So Allah Ta‘ala wants that which is genuine and not artificial.

3. When we speak of love, then this means that one should be in total conformity with the beloved, both internally and externally. It should not be selective. Allah Ta‘ala explains in the Quraan Majeed: “Do not be like the disbelievers.” This does not refer to belief only, but also in ways and mannerisms. If they do not display anything of Islam, why should we display their ways. If a person puts on a t-shirt with ‘I love Taliban’ printed on it and wishes to enter America, will he be granted entry? He will either be deported or sent to Guantanamo Bay. Will they ever listen to him if he argues that my love for America is in my heart and this is merely a t-shirt? So the same applies to us, it is not sufficient to merely say that I have imaan and love for Allah Ta‘ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in my heart.

4. So as a criteria, Allah Ta‘ala says: “Obey Allah and His Rasul.” Thus, when you join the righteous their righteousness will rub on to you. You need a change of environment in order to come back on track. So follow the person who is going to Allah Ta‘ala. But how are you going to identify such a person? (1) He is not commercialised. His concern is the Hereafter and earning Jannah. Sometimes, literacy becomes a punishment. Someone looks at a sufi book wherein he reads that Jannah is not the goal, rather it is Allah Ta‘ala, and he now gets confused. The reality is that he has not understood it. So what is the purpose of Jannah? In order to see Allah Ta‘ala. It is like a wedding function. A person when asked where he is going, he will reply that he is going to the hall. But the hall is not the objective, rather it is the bride that he/she will see in the hall. Then Jannah which when translated has the meaning of garden, but it is not like a botanical garden as we have. The botanical garden may cover a kilometre or two, but the Jannah which we speak of, its mere width is the amount of space between the heaven and earth.

The second aspect of a pious person is that he is from the muttaqeen i.e. he guards himself against evil. He does not mix freely with women, whether in a wedding reception or radio show. After all, the guide needs to be right. If he goes wrong then the whole group behind will go astray.

5. A person whose goal is the aakhirat, his heart will always be in the Hereafter though physically he will be in this world. It is like a youngster who never flirted with women and it is now the first night of his marriage. If on his first night of marriage, his friends are busy chatting with him, he will be seated with them, but his heart and mind is in his wife. And the reason for Allah Ta‘ala giving us these enjoyments, such as women and gardens etc. in this world is in order that they be samples for what greater things one will receive in the Aakhirat.

6. In every step of the road, your intention will be checked. You have come to study, but what is your intention. Outwardly you may seem to be a very dedicated student, but if the intention is corrupt will there be any good in the studies? Sometimes a person makes a mistake, but on account of his intention being correct, the mistake is overlooked.

7. Hazratjee Moulana Maseehullah (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) mentioned that the most beneficial thing at the time of anger is to remain silent and not to show the anger whether physically or verbally. For example, the food was not to your satisfaction, then let alone complaining about it, do not even move away to show your disapproval. If the anger was displayed to the wife, then once things become sour it will cost you money to patch things up again. But if you remained silent and swallowed that anger, then there would be no need to spend extra money and things will remain smooth.

8. In the Battle of Uhud, a group of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) made a serious mistake. They left their post unguarded and as a result Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was injured. But what was his response? He showed mercy to them. However, Allah Ta‘ala addresses Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saying that he should forgive them and make du‘aa for their forgiveness, so that they do not lose morale and they understand that there are no ill-feelings against them.

9. Another quality of a righteous person is that he spends freely, whether in prosperity or adversity.

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