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Gaining the True Deeni Mind-Set and the Acquisition of Noor

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(Highlights of Mufti Ebrahim Salejee’s majlis - Saturday 15th August)

1. We were once by Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Saheb (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) and it was meals time. Someone suggested that it will be nice that we read our namaaz first and then eat comfortably and relaxed. Hazrat Mufti Saheb replied: “Since when did you find a Muslim eating comfortably and relaxed? Yes, his namaaz and ‘ibaadat is performed very relaxed and comfortable.” It is not the way of a Muslim to eat comfortably and sit for a long time eating. That is the way of the kuffaar. Although this person was an ‘aalim, but he had not thought about it in this manner. When a Muslim performs his salaah with total ease and in a relaxed and comfortable manner then all the stress etc. automatically goes away. However, the salaah should not be read for this reason; it should be performed for Allah Ta‘ala. Don’t do it for relaxation and as an exercise program.

2. There can be one of two situations when it comes to salaah: (1) You are in a plane etc. and you are in a rush. Here you will be considerate to your fellow passengers. Hence, you will read short surahs so that you do not inconvenience the staff and the passengers. Together with that, you are giving the right message of Islam, that we do our ‘ibaadat and we are considerate. (2) You are relaxed at home. Here you will read with devotion and comfortably. You will cry if you want etc. Thus, the spirit of salaah is that you will perform it with comfort etc. provided you do not inconvenience others and you do not hold up others. Even after esha, don’t lengthen your sunnat salaah etc. in the musjid because the muazzin needs to close up the musjid and he also has other work to attend to. So read a short salaah and leave some part of the salaah for the home. The hadeeth also encourages this.

3. The spirit of du‘aa is that your mind must be like a person on a ship that is going through turbulent waters and the waves are crashing from all sides. He is unable to send out an s.o.s. signal. At that time, how will a person call out to Allah Ta‘ala? Even a kaafir will call out to Allah Ta‘ala. Such du‘aas are definitely answered by Allah Ta‘ala.

4. The thing to learn from the buzurgaan-e-deen is not merely their namaaz and aa’maal because if you did not have it in your life then you can get it straight away. However, the greater thing to get is the right thinking. This takes a long time to get right. However, for the buzurgs it is something natural.

5. It appears in a lengthy hadeeth that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had some guests and he slaughtered a sheep for them. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then explained to the guests the reason for slaughtering the animal saying that our system and habit here is that when the number of sheep go beyond 100 we slaughter one. In other words, if one gives birth then we slaughter another sheep in place of it. Now look at this in retrospect. While we will have a million by us, we will think that 1 million is alright, but what if there is going to be a rainy day, so let the figure reach 10 million. When it reaches 10 million, we will think what if there is a stormy day we will need 100 million. Then when it reaches 100 million we will think that what if it is a tsunami that will strike, so for that we need 1 billion. Over and above that we will tell ourselves that we also need to support a certain madrasah and a certain musjid etc. so there is a need for more. Hence, there is no cut off point for our desire for wealth. On the other hand, was there anyone more generous than Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)? Was there anyone looking after orphans and widows more than him, yet which one of us can think like this and who of us can have this type of a level of contentment and feel that I have enough and need to cut off at a certain point. Can we say that we conform to the standard in any way? If we do not then we are off the course and therefore lack something. The thing that we lack is noor.

6. Nowadays, the greater concern is about the name of the child; a special mashurah has to be held for the name and everybody will be fighting for the name of his or her choice. Whereas, the real and greater concern is the shaping of the child. You can give a good name to a garden, but the more important thing is the shaping and pruning of the garden. So more important than this is to give the right frame of mind to the child, and for the understanding to come right you need noor.

7. What is the meaning of noor? The gist of all the explanations given by the mufassireen and ‘ulama is that it refers to two basic aspects, the right motivation and the right understanding. Sometimes a person can have the right understanding but he does not have the correct motivation; such as now after Ramadhaan many complain that there is no motivation and everything has gone flat. A person can also have the right motivation, but he does not have the correct understanding.

8. It is the system of Allah Ta‘ala that He inspires us to do good deeds. However, when the inspiration comes some people exploit it and others are not concerned about it. A person gets inspired before the namaaz time to prepare for namaaz, but then his mind tells him that he needs to attend to a few more customers. Eventually he ends up missing a few rakaats. Therefore, the correct thing is to exploit the inspiration as soon as it comes, for it is a guest of Allah Ta‘ala and if you don’t take advantage then it will leave. Hence, you need the motivation and inspiration supported with the right type of understanding. Sometimes we have the motivation and then we are adamant in our thoughts and ways. If we don’t know the correct procedure and way forward then the correct thing is to listen to those who know. Otherwise we will cause a problem for ourselves. It’s like a sick person who wants to recover but he does not know the proper treatment. He cannot take a medical book and treat himself.

9. One of the masnoon du‘aas that is read at around fajr time, and it is a lengthy du‘aa, is all about begging for noor. It asks to be made an embodiment of noor. Noor is such a thing that it does not stop at any point. It is required in this world, in the darkness of the grave and in the darkness of Qiyaamat. So how do you get this noor? In Surah Hadeed towards the end Allah Ta‘ala says that adopt taqwa and be loyal to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasalam), in turn Allah Ta‘ala will double your reward – others will get a single reward and you will get double – and He will bestow you with noor and light. Now, what is taqwa? It is to refrain from things that are undesirable. What has happened to us is that there is so much of mist that even the clear things are covered and confusing to us. A pious person can also get affected with the negative things in the environment. So where do we stand a chance to be saved and say that we have the correct understanding and we cannot get affected.

10. In this day and age if anyone has been blessed with a gift, then it is the gift of admitting and accepting one’s mistake. You have your seniors and elders. When they ask you to do something then don’t ask them why, just move on and practise on it. When you ask for a lengthy explanation then it is because you doubt their integrity. Otherwise, if you had full confidence in them you would not ask.  If you have this frame of mind then it is easy to move on because every day has a new challenge. So why get into all these confusing and doubtful literature. Rather get involved in your duties and responsibilities.

11. Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Saheb (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) used to say that the one who wants to work will not ask too many questions nor will he worry about entertaining unrelated questions and discussions. It is like a person who wants to go to his shop and he knows that customers are waiting for him; will he ever worry about someone who is trying to reason with him that he should not go. He will not worry about this because he understands the target to be very great.

12. In Surah Noor, Allah Ta‘ala shows us further ways through which we will capture the noor. One is to take care of the eyes – ‘qul lil mu’mineena yaghuddhu min absaarihim’. In Ramadhaan you had it, you had the motivation with consistency and you had the speed. So now you will have the obstacles and challenges. If there is no challenge in life then there is no point in living. So the oppositions will come from within as well. It will be the family members and it will be the intelligent ones as well. So the first thing is to take care of the sight. There are two things regarding protecting the sight. The first thing is to restrain from sensual and lustful things. Don’t even experiment to see whether there is lust. For worldly and physical things you will use your brains. If someone told you that there is poison there, will you go and test it out. So here also there is no experimenting because one glance can be so poisonous and disastrous that you will not be able to come out. The second thing connected to the eye is not to admire the wealth and belongings of others. Instead of looking at the wealth of those in the millions and mansions why don’t you look at those people who are living in the shacks? Compare yourself against them, not to those who are in the 50 million and 100 million bracket. When we admire then we lose the sense of gratitude and appreciation. The second thing that Surah Noor shows us to preserve this noor is to take care of the tongue – ‘iz talaqqownahu bi alsinatikum’. Hence, prevent it from gossip and gheebat etc. and also from eating the wrong things.

13. In the old days, the ta’leem in the homes was very strong and at a high level. It was the general trend to teach the women at home. Their ta’leem was not restricted to the Fazaa’il kitaabs. Moulana Ismail Shaheed (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) used to teach his sister Mishkaat Shareef at home. In the days of Moulana Ilyaas Saheb (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) the women in Kandhlah were even reading Durre Mukhtaar and Shaami (books used for referencing fatwas). But nowadays we are spoilt and we have spoilt them. We want the good food so we make them also have that fikr and concern. Hence, their fikr for the whole day is only about food.

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