Home Mufti Ebrahim Salejee Majlis Audio Downloads Eliminating Arrogance and Adopting Total Submission

Eliminating Arrogance and Adopting Total Submission

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(Highlights of Mufti Ebrahim Salejee’s majlis - Saturday 22nd August)

1. Hazrat Moulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) was simple and would be comfortable with whatever was provided to him. Comfort or discomfort wouldn’t make a difference to him. Towards the end of his life, he lost his sight. On one occasion at around Zuhr time, he noticed that there were 3 layers of carpet spread out for him. At Asr time, when he felt the area where the carpets were laid out he found that one was missing. So he enquired as to what had happened to it. At first there was no response until he asked Moulana Yahya Saheb directly. He then explained that a nawaab saheb (a wealthy and influential person) had come to the khanqah, and in order to make him feel comfortable one carpet was used for him. Moulana Rasheed Ahmad (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) immediately responded saying: “Does the nawaab saheb have a shortage of carpets?” Through this single statement, half of his nawaabiyyat (feeling of greatness and honour) was smashed down. These great buzurgaan-e-deen were extremely focused because people used to come to them for their personal correction. Hence, they needed to be focused and understand what type of correction each individual required, for at times some people don’t even know the reason for them coming to a buzurg; someone feels that I have a business problem and it will get sorted out, someone feels that I have a lot of tension in my life and it will disappear. However, the work of the mashaayikh is to put people on track and get their alignment right.

2. Hazrat Sulaimaan (‘alaihis salaam) wrote a letter to Bilqees, the Queen of Saba. The letter read: “From Sulaimaan to Bilqees”. The contents of the letter were: “Don’t show an attitude towards me and come to me in submission.” They say that the words of kings are the king of words. Hence, in one sentence he gave two messages, but he packaged it so well that the whole of Islam and sulook fit in. The first message is ‘don’t show arrogance’. He was implying that one of the major problems and stumbling blocks in your progress is showing some form of arrogance. When we look at it in retrospect then among the greatest favours in this age is to have the taufeeq to admit your mistake. It is easy to camouflage one’s mistake and cover it up, but the One who sees the heart is watching you. We are the children of Aadam (‘alaihis salaam) and not the children or the followers of Shaitaan. Shaitaan’s way is to cover up the mistake. When Allah Ta‘ala asked him the reason for not making sajdah to Aadam (‘alaihis salaam), then let alone acknowledging his mistake and expressing remorse, he replied saying: “I am better than him.” So how will such a person ever be able to correct himself? It is like a sugar patient who visits the doctor, and the doctor tells him that you have a sugar problem. If the patient retorts saying that that the body needs sugar, so how can I survive without it, will the doctor be able to treat him? The doctor will rather ask him to leave the surgery instead of wasting his time with such a person, for he does not want to accept his problem. The procedure that a patient should follow is that he must first understand and verify the person that he is going to visit, and once he is confident about him he should listen to him without the need to understand the reason for whatever he says. If you ask for an explanation then it is a sign that you doubt his integrity. Shaitaan tried to engage Allah Ta‘ala in his reasoning, but Allah Ta‘ala threw him out and this resulted in him being perpetually cursed. Now compare this against Aadam (‘alaihis salaam)’s response which Allah Ta‘ala makes mention of as well. When asked why he did not stay away from the forbidden tree, Aadam (‘alaihis salaam) did not mince his words and try to defend himself. He spontaneously acknowledged his mistake and expressed his remorse.

3. Allamah Tartooshi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) explained to his students that Allah Ta‘ala explains in the Quraan that the one who longs to meet Allah Ta‘ala then there should be a two point plan of action – “fa man kaana yarju liqaa’a rabbihee…” One is ‘do righteous works’ and the other is ‘don’t join partners in the worship of Allah’. In the joining of partners in the worship of Allah Ta‘ala, one is what we know of the polytheists. However, there are other forms of joining partners with Allah Ta‘ala, such as show and ostentation, or to obey the nafs (carnal desires) and one’s friends; the loyalty you show to Allah Ta‘ala is the same as you show to your friend. So isn’t this a type of shirk also? Allamah Tartooshi then went on further advising his students saying that don’t waste your time in socialising and trying to compete with contemporaries in wealth, etc. You look at how much the next person is earning or what kind of a home he has, or how brilliant children do I have compared to his. Don’t waste your time in this, for these are vain activities. Just do your work and remain focused on it, for if you say that you want to meet Allah Ta‘ala, then are you focused or not?  Leave out all the distractions. The person who has got the goal ahead of him, will achieve much. It is like a person in a soccer match who has no goalpost in front of him; he will waste his time on the field showing the audience different stunts etc., but if he has a goalpost before him then he will not worry about wasting any time.

4. The contents of Hazrat Sulaimaan (‘alaihis salaam)’s letter were so beautiful. If Hazrat Sulaimaan (‘alaihis salaam)’s message was so dynamic then what will be the message of Khaatamul Ambiyaa, our beloved Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). But the problem is that we fail to take out the time to understand it. So the first message was ‘don’t show an attitude’. The second message was, “Come to me in total submission.” The additional beauty in a nabi’s word is that there is so much of philosophy in it, but it is in such a simple manner. Total submission is to leave behind everything of yours, your intelligence and your reasoning. You will do whatever I say. The first part of progress is submission, what we call fanaa. Leave what your friends and other people have to say. Just worry about things that will bring you closer to Allah Ta‘ala. Leave out all other discussions. Once you reach Jannah then you can worry about your business discussions and all other worldly discussions.

5. You get two types of challenges. One is a physical challenge and the other is a mental challenge. In a physical challenge you will not take a chance with someone who is stronger than you because you know what it will end up in. Thus, the same should apply to a mental challenge. If you are not mentally equipped then don’t take on any challenge, for just as how in a physical combat your opponent may floor you or kill you, in a mental combat he could floor you and kill you. So refrain from all these types of literature and friends and groups, for they have something that you do not have. They have progressed in their wrong and vice, but you have not progressed in your imaan and yaqeen etc. You cannot pretend that you have firmness and stability. If you are going to take them on, you are going to endanger the little that you have. So take on someone who is your equal or you know that he is weaker than you, otherwise refer him to someone else. There is no need for you to assume the responsibility of the whole Ummah. If someone has a heart problem you won’t advise him and assume responsibility, for you know that it is not your field. In matters of deen however, suddenly everyone wants to take a chance. Had we only known what is going to happen in the qabar then we will not engage in these types of things.

6. Allah Ta‘ala says so beautifully: ‘Ar-Rahmaan fas’al bihee khabeera’ – He is the Most Gracious and if you want to know about Him then go to the one who is acquainted with Him. If you want to know about sugar you will go to Huletts, if you want to know about toothpaste then you will go to Colgate, if you want to know about chocolate you will go to Cadbury. If it is something in accounting that you need to know you will go to an accountant. So to understand about Allah Ta‘ala, you will have to go to the one who is acquainted. How do you identify who is the right person? Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) explained the signs of such a person, that when you see him he reminds you of Allah Ta‘ala. It is like how when you see Huletts you only see sugar. So when you speak to them and meet them you are made to remember Allah Ta‘ala. The second sign is that when they speak, your understanding of deen and your love for Allah Ta‘ala increases. Look at the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), they used to say to each another, “Let us sit down for little while so that we can refresh our imaan and enhance our love of Allah Ta‘ala.” The third sign is that their behaviour and conduct reminds one of the Aakhirah. The things of this world don’t appeal to them. You then realise that the things of this world are nothing and you need to go to a higher level.

7. Allah Ta‘ala has planned this world such that to achieve something you have to go through some system and through a means. If you want sustenance you will have to use the means. Had Allah Ta‘ala willed He could send the sustenance direct from the sky, but He has put a system and means in place. Thus, the same applies in gaining the love of Allah Ta‘ala. The Quraan also shows how to identify the true servants of Allah Ta‘ala. Allah Ta‘ala starts their description by saying: “‘Ibaadur Rahmaan”. Allah Ta‘ala speaks of two distinct features. The first is ‘abdiyyat – he does not think anything of himself. This is what we term as fanaaiyyat.

8. People talk of wahdatul wujood and say it is shirk etc. but they said this without understanding it. Moulana Roomi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) explains this concept through an example of a fire fly. A person had built an affinity with it and once asked it, “Where are you during the day? I see you at night and I enjoy your company, but with the coming of the morning you disappear.” The fire fly replied saying that just as I am there at night, I am there during the day as well, but what can I do in front of the brightness of the sun. It is as though I do not exist in front of its glory and splendour. This is basically what the concept of wahdatul wujood is all about. When you ponder over the magnificence and glory of Allah Ta‘ala you feel as though you are non-existent in front of Allah Ta‘ala. It is like drop of water in front of the ocean. However, this must not be to the level of a mere feeling and imagination, it must be a reality within oneself. Having it is one thing and feeling that you have it is totally different, for if you really have it, your conduct and behaviour will be totally different.

9. The second feature of the “‘ibaadur Rahmaan” is that they display the compassion of the Beloved who is Most Compassionate. Ebrahim bin Adham (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) was the king of Balkh and he gave up his entire kingdom when he intended to tread the path to Allah Ta‘ala, for he realised that this wealth will delay his process of reaching up to Allah Ta‘ala; it was going to be a spanner in the works. On one of his journeys, when he was outside a town, a police officer asked him the direction to the town. At that point in time he was in a different frame of mind. So he pointed in the direction of the graveyard. The officer got angry with him and gave him a few slaps. Later, when the officer saw the townspeople showing so much of respect and honour to Ebrahim bin Adham (rahmatullahi ‘alaih), he really felt ashamed of his actions and asked him for forgiveness. Ebrahim bin Adham (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) replied that before you could give me the second slap I had already forgiven you for the first slap. The officer then asked him as to why he had directed him to the graveyard. He said that a town is called basti which means ‘a place where people and a populace reside’. But if you look at a town, then people don’t stay there forever, for someone is dying and someone is born. Yes, the graveyard is a place where people come and stay for good.

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