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The Fleeting Nature of this Dunya

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(Highlights of Mufti Ebrahim Salejee’s majlis - Saturday 8th August)

1. Imaam Shaafi‘ee (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) used to say that there is something in life that brings so much of joy that I cannot contain the joy. It is the meeting of friends who share the same line of thought, goals and objectives. One can well imagine the type of joy this class of people experience when they get together. It is as though one is stepping into Jannah because the common goal is the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala; it is not for any material benefit. It is just for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala that you have a liking for the person. You will travel from one point of the earth to the other just for the mahabbat and love of the person. When a person loves a woman, what doesn’t he do? However, that love is for something that is transitory and fleeting. As much as you want to be with the person, you will have to separate. Imagine how enjoyable the company of Allah Ta‘ala will be, when the company of friends brings so much of joy.

2. ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Azeez (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) was counted as the fifth khaleefah after the Khulafaa-e-Raashideen. He is regarded as the first mujaddid. When he would get up in the morning, he would address himself reciting the aayat: “afa ra-ayta immatta’naahum sineen”. This aayat was revealed in answer to an objection of the kuffaar. They would tell their respective Nabi that where is the ‘azaab and Qiyaamat, if you are speaking the truth. In response to this objection, Allah Ta‘ala asks them that if We have to give you a few years of enjoyment and then that which is inevitable, death, has to suddenly come, then will that wealth and whatever was amassed be of any benefit. ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Azeez (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) used to recite this aayat and then address himself saying: “O oblivious one, who is blinded off from reality, your days are spent in running after amusement and entertainment.” Is there anything else that we are chasing? We have addicted ourselves to these things. Therefore, at times we begin to feel to ourselves that how will life be able to continue without these things of amusement and entertainment, since it has become an addiction. We normally look with contempt at a person who is on drugs because of his addiction, but we are also addicted.

‘Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Azeez (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) would continue: “Your night is passed in sleep without any safety and security, and remember that death is inevitable, you are going to rot and start reeking in the grave.” Neither in the day are you focused on realities nor at night are you able to identify. As far as sleep is concerned, it is not a true relaxation. You cannot say that you will get full peace, for you would be in the midst of your holidays and then you receive a call to notify you that someone has passed away. So that relaxation is not real.

He would then say: “All that you are striving for is only a cause of disgust.” At the end of life is death. At death, the stark reality comes that you have to now separate from that which you gave your day and night for, your blood and sweat were given for it and now you have to separate from it. Imagine how hurtful and disgusting it is. Thereafter, he would say: “This is how animals live their lives.” So what is the difference between yourself and an animal? You are doing the same thing that the animal does, eating and fattening itself. The animal does it so that it can go under the knife of the butcher and we do it so that we could become the fodder for the worms of the grave.

Hazrat ‘Umar bin Abdul Azeez (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) was very young, forty-five years of age when he passed away, but by that age look at how he viewed life, whereas we are still chasing behind the wealth of this world when we are at that age.

3. A person of an average class strives for 3 things: name, clothing, and a good home. But until how long will it last? With death it all ends. It’s a point of reflection that we should not get caught and eaten up by the artificial world. Immediately after death, the person is now known as mayyit and marhoom. His family people don’t even call him by his name. The clothing is lost and it now becomes the kafan. So what status a person had etc. is now reduced to one piece of cloth. The kafan is such that nobody even admires it. As far as the home is concerned then it becomes a mourning site, a qabrastaan. So the name becomes marhoom, the clothing becomes kafan and the home becomes a mourning site. We share these words with each another so that we may understand and realise in order that we do not get caught in this artificial life. Compared to the Hereafter whatever we have is artificial.

4. Meeting each another and loving each another for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala is something that Allah Ta‘ala loves and Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) encourages. On certain occasions Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) spoke of exchanging gifts and at times of making salaam, all in order to enhance that brotherly love. Let the relationship be a sweet relationship. The people of the past were in conformity with the sunnat though they did not realise it. For example, in Ramadhaan one lady is sending something to her neighbour and vice versa.

5. When making salaam then do it with a smile. What will it cost you? In fact, it is cheaper and much healthier to smile than to pull up one’s face. So for the sake of your good health smile and then slowly it will come to the intention of sunnat.

6. In one hadeeth, Nabi (sallalalhu ‘alaihi wasallam) cautioned the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) that when I come to you then let it be that I come with a clean heart, so don’t complain to me about others. Otherwise, the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) wouldn’t talk ill of each other. Mulla ‘Ali Qari (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) explains this hadeeth saying that this was an indication that the household of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was clean of gossip because he had a clean heart at home and he wanted to maintain that level of clarity when coming out. And this level of clarity will only be maintained when nobody carries stories of each another.

7. When we study the lives of the aslaaf (pious predecessors) and imaams of the past then in proportion to their progress in ‘ilm they progressed in taqwa. Imaam Bukhaari (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) explained that from the time he came to know that gheebat was haraam he never engaged in gheebat. Likewise, on one occasion a goat went missing in Kufah. Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) found out what was the maximum lifespan of a goat. Accordingly, for that duration of time he left eating meat out of fear that per chance, that lone goat could have wandered into someone else’s flock and the butcher had slaughtered that particular animal. Hence, if there was an increase in ‘ilm, there was also progress in taqwa. It was the habit of the aslaaf that they instilled aspects of taqwa in their students from the moment they commenced with their studies.

8. If one sincerely repents then all his sins are transformed into righteous deeds. For it to be a sincere repentance, you will have to disgust the sin and then not to even think about it. Normally, our changing is just seasonal and for some convenience.  A person goes for a proposal and all of a sudden he becomes punctual in his namaaz and in the first saff, all in order that the proposal is accepted. However, once he gets married, he returns back to his old ways and habits. You can well imagine how the girl’s family will feel when they see this change in him and he had played games with them. In a like manner we also ‘play such games with Allah Ta‘ala’. A haafiz will want to get a place to perform taraaweeh, so he starts to grow his beard before the month of Ramadhaan. Will such a taubah ever be accepted?

9. Allah Ta‘ala instructs in the Quraan Shareef: “And warn your immediate relatives.”  The words of the Quraan have tremendous meanings and messages, but we need to reflect over its contents. So why did Allah Ta‘ala give such an instruction? The first reason is that what you like the most you share it with the people that you like the most. A person slogs his entire life and allows himself to become indebted. Why? For his wife and children. It is for their love that he does all this. So if it is that we love imaan the most then we will need to see that righteousness and imaan come into the wife and children. It is incorrect to say that I have done my duty by speaking to them, but they don’t want to listen, for when the same child says that he does not want to go to school then somehow or the other we will make sure that he ends up going to school. For that, we will not say that it is up to him.

The second reason is that for example you have 10 people living in the home and there is no religious atmosphere in the home; someone is watching TV, someone is listening to music etc. so will this bring about any type of motivation? In fact, what you have gained will begin to deteriorate. So for your own security, you will have to make your home like a fortress. In order to make the home a fortress, you will have to do ta’leem. One is the dimension of encouragement since we do not have any motivation and yearning. This motivation needs to be created. This will be created through the fazaa’il kitaabs, Fazaa’il-e-A’maal, Sadaqaat and Fazaa’il-e-Durood. After the motivation you need ‘amal (practice) and understanding. So you will read Behishti Zewar. Then there must be some recitation of the Quraan in the morning and evening. The Quraan has the effect of warding off all foreign influences. All these nazams etc. cannot substitute the Quraan. You will have to read it. Then you need to make zikr. Thereafter, on account of the complexity of the sins prevalent nowadays, du‘aa should be done collectively. One person makes du‘aa and the others say aameen. In this way the correct yaqeen and values are instilled in the child and you have thus connected him to Allah Ta‘ala.

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