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Precision in Narrating and the Importance of Taqwa

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(Highlights of Mufti Ebrahim Salejee’s majlis - Saturday 13th September)

1. Allah Ta‘ala instructs Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to narrate the narrative of the sons of Aadam (‘alaihis salaam) in precision. The reason for emphasising the aspect of precision is that many people are not cautious in narrating incidents. Sometimes important aspects are left out and sometimes the whole narrative is distorted and changed. That is why the Quraan must be written in the original Arabic script. If the translation has to be written, then it has to also be written with the Arabic script. The fuqahaa do not allow an independent translation without the Arabic text. Further, you cannot write a transliteration. The reason is obvious. If an independent translation or a transliteration has to be written then after every century it will change and eventually it will be distorted, but if it is with the Arabic then it can always be checked. This is what happened in Christianity where distortions began right from the 2nd century.

2. It happens in life that man is prone to compare himself with others. If he does not have what others have then he feels that has to have it. This comparison starts of in things of excellence. But then there are some things that are of real excellence, and some things are of imaginary excellence. Unfortunately, when we don’t have a standard then we will make our own standard for excellence, and we will begin comparing ourselves in things that are of no excellence.

3. Adam (‘alaihis salaam) had two sons and one was favoured over the other. Some favours are such that they are not within one’s choice but they are of significance. For example, nubuwwat is significant but not within one’s choice. It is by the pure selection of Allah Ta‘ala, not by the election of people. Hence, there is no benefit in aspiring for it. On the other hand, some favours are within one’s choice. For example, the qualities of generosity and righteousness. In this, one can compare himself with others and aspire for the same.

4. Taqwa has two elements: (1) To be ever concerned of Allah Ta‘ala; standing and appearing before Allah Ta‘ala and reckoning. (2) Restraint. One will not be impulsive, but he will check each action. He won’t take a chance.

5. Deficiency in action is a sign of deficiency in knowledge. If the understanding of anything has not gone to the recesses of the heart then the action will also be deficient. We do not see the consequence of leaving out salaah, listening to music, speaking to and looking at girls, etc. so we do not restrain ourselves, though we may know that it is haraam and impermissible. This then leads to a huge load and burden building up against ourselves.

6. In the incident of the two sons of Aadam (‘alaihis salaam), the one whose qurbaani was rejected wanted to kill his brother. This happened because his heart was turned upside down. When the heart is turned upside down the right seems to be wrong and the wrong seems to be right. Hence, when you see the wrong then accept it straight away. If your father gives you money and you throw it away he will not give you again. So when Allah Ta‘ala gives you an opportunity to do good then make use of it. Allah Ta‘ala will then give you more opportunities.

7. The difference between that day’s student and today’s is that they used to practise on what they learnt. When this happens, Allah Ta‘ala opens the doors of knowledge and understanding. When they learnt about restraining themselves, they did so immediately.

8. Shaitaan had the recognition of Allah Ta‘ala. When he was rejected and banished from Jannah, he still plucked up the courage to make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala to be granted respite and his du‘aa was accepted. Hence, when someone requests us for du‘aas, how can we say that our du‘aas cannot get answered.

9. People speak of an investment which they would then use for charitable courses. This is something commendable, but is there something beyond this and greater? Yes, it is taqwa.

10. Every parent says that he wants to do the best for his child, but how do you know what is the best. If you do not know then you will have to find out. The Quraan says that if you do not know then ask those who know Allah Ta‘ala best. If we apply our reasoning then in a case of esaale thawaab we will take 500 copies of Yaseen and stack it in musjid shelves. If the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) also had this type of a mindset then they would not have asked Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), but they asked. A woman asked Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) that she wished to do something for her mother that had passed away. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) advised her to dig a well. Hence, we should also seek the mashurah of some senior in such matters. However there are some things that do not require mashurah, such as when the azaan is called out, then must a person go for salaah or not. These things do not require mashurah for they are are obvious.

11. Hadhrat ‘Aamir bin ‘Abdullah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was crying at the time of his death. When asked the reason for this, he replied that the verse: “Allah only accepts from the muttaqeen” was coming to mind and he does not know whether he will be accepted or not. This aspect of taqwa is very greatly linked to the mubaarak month of Zul Hijjah. Allah Ta‘ala says regarding the qurbaani that it is only the taqwa that He accepts and not the meat.

12. However, this taqwa will not come over night, but we have to be concerned and working in that direction. Look at the person who killed 99 people. He had the concern and enquired and then practised on it, eventually going in the direction of the town of the pious. En-route he passed away, but on account of his concern and resolve Allah Ta‘ala made all systems work in his favour. This is what Allah Ta‘ala loves. A person who has this concern scores the best.

13. Among the final advices of ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Azeez (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) was: “I admonish you with taqwa, for acceptance is only for the people of taqwa; people who talk of it are plenty and those who practise it are few.”

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