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Allah Ta‘ala’s Focus is on the Heart

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(Highlights of Mufti Ebrahim Salejee’s majlis - Saturday 12th September)

1. Hazrat Luqmaan (‘alaihis salaam) is the only non-nabi whose advice is mentioned in the Quraan. He comes from an Abyssinian background with all the features of a black man. Despite this, Allah Ta‘ala speaks of him in the Quraan, for in the sight of Allah Ta‘ala lineage, looks, facial features and social standings don’t make a difference, nor is it a concern. What Allah Ta‘ala looks at is the deeds and the condition of the heart. It is like a person working at your office. You will look at how competent and honest he is, and whether he is easy going. You will not worry about his features. The job will be given to him due to his competence.

2. More important than our deeds is our niyyat and intention. The hadeeth says that deeds are based on the niyyat. At times, a person has many deeds to his credit, but he then will be sent to Jahannum. In fact, Jahannum will be set alight with these three people; the qari, mujaahid and wealthy person. Each one of them did great works but their hearts and intentions were corrupt. However, you will not find the one whose heart was good going to Jahannum though he may have not had many good deeds to his credit. The hadeeth speaks of a person who committed all types of sins. Before he died, he told his children to burn his body and then scatter half the ash on land and half in the sea, and he said that if Allah Ta‘ala only gets hold of me then I will be punished. When he died Allah Ta‘ala commanded that his ashes be put together, his body formed once again and he was summoned before Allah Ta‘ala. When asked the reason for making such a bequest, he replied that it was out of the fear of Allah Ta‘ala. Allah Ta‘ala then forgave him. So this person, though his deeds were bad, but his heart was good. On the other hand, the qari, mujaahid and wealthy person, their actions are good but their hearts are bad. Therefore, the focal point is the heart. The better the heart the greater the yearning and enthusiasm.

3. Strangely nowadays the whole effort is behind the body and not the soul. After all, what is the body? After a few days it will decompose. Thus, you work your whole life for it but this is the end of it. The body is like the vehicle and the soul is like the rider and driver. Hence, the more important part is the driver. The rider cannot be like the vehicle. He is more important, but nowadays the thing that is most important has become the least important. Imagine if the driver’s main concern is his vehicle, like a person who has cancer and gangrene and he is placed on the operating table, but he is more worried about his car. Therefore, each needs to be considered at its respective level. If it is reversed then obviously you have mixed up the whole thing. Hence, understand the vehicle and understand the owner. The vehicle can be replaced, but the owner and driver cannot be replaced. The owner has to take the onus of himself.

4. Hazratjee (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) used to say that to become an ‘aalim or a muhaddith or even a qutub is easy, but what you really need to see is, are you an aadmi – a man. Aadmi is someone who is like Aadam (‘alaihis salaam). Otherwise you just have his costume, but you are something else.

5. If you look at the history of most nations then originally they were all lost. Women had no position and it was the survival of the fittest. Islam then came and taught people’s rights. Thereafter, with the passage of time, people lost touch with the ‘Ulama and community leaders and then they lost their culture and values. Therefore it is said that if it was not for the rightly guided ‘Ulama people would be like animals. When you lose touch with Islam and your own culture then anything can manoeuvre and shape you. When you have nobody to lead you and direct you then eventually it will be nafs and Shaitaan that will lead you. As a result, what was decency and modesty will become indecency and immodesty. At one point in time, to speak against gays, etc. was decency, but now it is the height of indecency to speak against it. So the whole culture has changed. How perverted man has become! In a normal society, speaking to a woman is regarded as culture and if you don’t speak to them and shake hands then you are regarded as immoral. Now nafs and Shaitaan becomes god.

6. The concept of god is the one who has the right to control unconditionally. You give total submission to it. When you give unconditional authority then you don’t have the right to ask why; you merely comply. Yes, you do have the right to ask the manner of doing it. When man deteriorates then nafs becomes his god and you do as you please. Hence, if nafs says, become naked then you will have a nude beach. It is the nafs that is calling the shots. However, nowadays all of this is happening under the pretext of rights and education which argue that you have the right to do as you please. Therefore, the hadeeth says that the worst enemy is the nafs. Every vestige of shame will be lost, because you have submitted yourself to nafs. Close to qiyaamat these things will happen. Man’s psychology will work in reverse.

7. The hadeeth explains that before qiyaamat amaanat will become like personal property. Amaanat is in different forms; someone kept a sum of money by you for safekeeping so you take care of it. Someone confided in you so you don’t divulge his secret or you are in a position at your place of employment and you have to take care of it. Generally we confine amaanat to only the wealth that has been kept as trust by us, whereas it is not restricted to this only. The whole concept of amaanat will be destroyed. Man will no more have the concern for this. Then zakaat will be regarded as a penalty. Look at it, the nafs wants that it must get wealth but it cannot give out wealth. Therefore, it finds zakaat as a tax. So the whole mind is working in reverse. Then knowledge, whether deeni or worldly which in the past was taken as a very serious and important matter, has now been reduced to a commercialised venture. Just a five minutes check up by a doctor and he will charge R10.000. He can make up a story that if you don’t do this operation then either your life or the life of the baby is at stake. The patient is in desperation and accepts it. So it has become a commercialised venture. Don’t we hear this all the time? When this happens then it will not be restricted to worldly things but also deen. You will study more just to get more money. You will feel that if you are just a normal hafiz you will receive so much and if you are a qualified ‘aalim then you will receive more and if you are a good speaker then you will get even more. As time progresses these wrongs and vices will be packaged differently. In everything we look for material gain; nothing is for nothing. The concept of god is eradicated from our minds and anything that comes in the path of fun and enjoyment must be deleted. These are the signs of qiyaamat. You will be disinterested in your father but your friend, through whom you get joy and excitement, you will be interested in him. What you will do for your elders, your juniors will do the same to you. Our problem is that when we are in the height of power we do not realise that there will be a decline in it. You will become disinterested in your mother for your wife because you get all the pleasure from her. You will then be interested in her and listen to her. This is what the west teaches and does. The hadeeth then says that you will begin to hurl abuse against your deeni elders. Doesn’t it happen that you hear people saying that what is there in following Imaam Abu Haneefah, he was a man like us. He didn’t know any hadeeth. Respect and consideration has gone. It then comes to a point that you begin to raise your voice in the musjid. You feel to yourself that I have built this musjid and did so much so what is there; I can do as I wish. So respect is totally lost. If you do respect someone then it is just out fear that you don’t suffer at his hands. It is not because of his piety and skill. It is because of his oppression and not profession. How true and accurate are these portals of qiyaamat. The hadeeth says that you will see singing women and musical instruments right before you. At that time you must wait for anything to come, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc. At this time we need to reflect over what are we supposed to be doing and in what are we supposed to invest our energies.

8. Allah Ta‘ala had blessed Luqmaan (‘alaihis salaam) with wisdom. He was offered nubuwwat or wisdom and he preferred wisdom. He was later asked why he preferred wisdom over nubuwwat. His heart was right, therefore his understanding was right. Luqmaan’s (‘alaihis salaam) answer was that had I accepted nubuwwat then it was a responsibility that I accepted by myself which would then be put on my shoulders. Yes, if it is put on to my shoulders by Allah Ta‘ala Himself then Allah Ta‘ala will assist me.

9. Someone asked Luqmaan (‘alaihis salaam), that weren’t you the shepherd who used to graze animals at that certain mountain side. He replied, “Yes.” The person then asked him that how did you become so popular that people flock to you from far and wide despite not having anything that will attract people? Luqmaan (‘alaihis salaam) replied that I committed myself to a few actions, implying to him that don’t look for features and social standing. One of the things is that I always speak the truth. I am not crooked in my ways; I am humble in my ways. I am very fair and honest. It is easy to be aggressive and rude but to be fair and honest is not an easy thing.

10. The features of Luqmaan (‘alaihis salaam) tie up with the features of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had a constant smile on his face. At least for a moment if we can practice on this sunnat. In front of the wife we have our faces pulled up all the time as though we are telling them that I have all the fikr of the aakhirat. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had that smile inferring to us that don’t despair. The doors of Allah’s mercy are always open, no matter who you are. This was the message of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). He was soft and easy going. If you made a mistake he overlooked. On the other hand, what a big story we will make. Really, we have to learn this akhlaaq. The Moguls ruled over India for so many centuries. Hence, there must have been something in them that allowed them to achieve this. They would say that the enjoyment that we go through by forgiving is far greater than the enjoyment we experience through taking revenge.

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