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Having the Correct Intention

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(Highlights of Mufti Ebrahim Salejee’s majlis - Saturday 27th December)

1. A youngster asked a question and all of a sudden my mind went in a direction that it never went before. However, this is a sign of the questioner’s sincerity that it opens up the mind. No person can be counted as insignificant. The important thing is the level of sincerity and concern. There are some indications whereby you can understand this. Sometimes it is your actions and mannerisms that betray your intentions. In tasawwuf the greater thing is what is the level of sincerity and concern. So the youngster asked that what should one’s intention be in a madrasah or khanqah or jamaat. 

One level is that you want to study, or undertake islaah or do da’wat. But what is the essence and how do you get the correct shaping and mould? Your intention should be that I have a Creator and He has given me favours upon favours. When I look at what I have got, that I am covered with His favours, and He has concealed all my faults, definitely His love must be intense. So when He has done so much for me, then how should I return this love and favour? Therefore I need to learn what He likes. It is like how one sees all the favours of the wife and her service and to repay her he finds out what she likes etc. There may be some things that you like but she does not like. In the like manner my Creator has done so much, so I need to understand what He likes and what He does not and I need to learn the do’s and don’ts. In order to know what pleases and displeases Him I need to learn. Therefore, I have come to madrasah to study or to the khanqah or in jamaat. It should not be that you feel that since my parents have sent me, or someone has asked me to come so I need to then just pass my time.

2. The problem is that we are listening to too many talks, but what we need to do is first get the basics right. Then we should to try to understand how to apply it on ourselves. When there are contradictions between what you learnt and what you do, then reconcile and come out of the wrong. If you can find a reconciliation then well and good. For example, you learnt not to look at non-mahram women. If you are in a situation where are there are non-mahram women and you cannot find reconciliation then just stay away. All these things stand for logic, but why is it that we cannot apply our minds.

3. Look out for what good people are doing and learn from what they do. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) himself was concerned and observant. When you are going to Makkah Mukarramah and Madeenah Munawwarah you have to drive on the opposite side of the road compared to us here. If you conform then they will like you and respect you. So just conform and you will be liked. In jamaat you are asked to stick to the six points, so now don’t go beyond it. The Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) were diligent and focused. They saw situations and went ahead. After making an intention the next step is that of determination. Look at those who manage their time correctly, sleep early and wake up for tahajjud; observe them and put it into practice. So you have to be alert. Every Nabi was alert. They were not simpletons and gullible people. A businessman is alert. Before hand, he thinks of what he needs to stock for the coming season etc. Hence, he has a plan before. He does not just move with the flow.

4. There are two levels of people, one level is the forerunners. They are the ones who others will emulate. So as a parent you are a forerunner and your children and dependants will emulate. Hence you have to be very careful in your choice of words and actions. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was not aggressive by nature or by circumstance. So you need to understand how to control yourself. Therefore, those in the forefront need to understand that they are responsible, firstly for themselves and also for those that follow them.

5. With regards to the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), Allah Ta‘ala says unconditionally that He is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. But with regards to the second group, those who come after, there are two conditions for getting His mercy, one is to follow and emulate the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum). If you follow any other way then you will go off. In other words to follow that which was the general way of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum). The second is to follow them with ihsaan. This word ihsaan has 3 angles. One is to show respect. So show the greatest respect to the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).

6. What is respect? The essence of respect is that you make life pleasant and enjoyable for your elder. For example, your father came for the meal but he did not have his tumbler. So one approach is to tell your mother to bring the tumbler, and the other is to think that she has already had a strenuous day, so I will fetch it myself. In short, discover what will bring comfort to them. These elementary lessons have to be taught to our youngsters and children. Nowadays, if you attend a da’wat (invitation) you will find the youngsters have already taken their places and show no consideration to the elders. We incorrectly confine this adab to just straightening the shoes of our elders. In education the first step is that of love. It is not just shouting and beating. Then the next step is that aspects of adab be taught so that the children do not become an embarrassment for one later on. Islam is not to spite people and push them down. Look at Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). He invited with love. The very first words that he spoke of in Madeenah Munawwarah were at‘imut ta‘aam – feed people. Adab is the thing that brings about the value and price. If we have to just add the ingredient of adab in every facet of our life we will then realise the value that it adds. For example, when coming to the musjid, first place your shoes neatly in the shoe rack. When people will see this they will begin to take a liking. These are basic etiquettes, but they have a great effect.

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