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Begging from Allah Ta‘ala with Humility

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(Summary of Mufti Ebrahim Salejee’s majlis - Saturday 21st November)

It is the command of Allah Ta‘ala: “Ask of me and I will answer you. Those who are too proud to serve Me will enter Jahannum disgraced.” Being the command of Allah Ta‘ala, the one who executes the command, Allah Ta‘ala will be pleased with him. If he does not then Allah Ta‘ala will be displeased. A gift that was exclusive to the Ambiyaa of the past was that their du‘aas were readily accepted. The same gift has been given to every Ummati of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

The hadeeth says that du‘aa is ‘ibaadat. One explanation that the ‘Ulamaa give is that when a person is making du‘aa, he is showing his desperation, helplessness and limitation, that I cannot make it happen; I can put systems and procedures in place, but to make it happen is Your work. I can advertise and display the commodity but to get the client is Your work. What I can do is put the morsel of food into my mouth, chew it, and swallow it, but then to digest it and turn it into blood, etc. is Your work. Hence, when can I say that I am independent of You. Hence in du‘aa you show your desperation and helplessness before Allah Ta‘ala, and in ‘ibaadat you are lowering and humbling yourself. You are saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ as if you are saying ‘hands up’ and then you go into sajdah as if you are saying that if I could go any lower I would have gone. So in du‘aa there is total submission. It is as if you are saying, “I cannot make it happen, You are the only being that I can trust and have hope in. If it is anybody else, then either he has it and does not want to give me, or he does not have it at all.” You go to a doctor; it can be that either he has the medication but he does not want to give you, or he wants to help you but you are so sick and the illness is so advanced that he cannot be of any help to you. The cancer has gone to the last degree. Now, this will be the nature of every creation. Either it does not want to give it or it doesn’t have it. But when you look at Allah Ta‘ala, what doesn’t He have. Whatever it may be, He has treasures of it, food, wealth or any other commodity for that matter, but then for the smooth administration of the world Allah Ta‘ala says: “wa maa nunazziluhoo illaa be qadarim ma’loom” – We send it down in limited proportion. So whatever it may be Allah Ta‘ala has treasures of it. The reason for sending things in limited proportion is obvious, because if Allah Ta‘ala sent things in immeasurable proportion then you will not be able to control it. If Allah Ta‘ala had to send down one million litres of water, will you be able to store that water, take care of it, sanitize it, etc. Similarly if Allah Ta‘ala had to send maize and wheat in large quantities, how will we be able to store it? Everybody will have to end up building silos in their homes to preserve that wheat for that duration and then put insecticides, etc. to prevent insects from devouring it. So do you see the wisdom of Allah Ta‘ala? May Allah Ta‘ala give us the taufeeq to take out some time and reflect over His wisdom, beauty, love, and compassion.

So the gift which was exclusive for the Ambiyaa, Allah Ta‘ala granted it to this Ummah. Du‘aa is ‘ibaadat and what is ‘ibaadat? To show desperation. And what is the essence of du‘aa? You say to Allah Ta‘ala, grant me all the ease in every phase of this life and the next life. You will go through some challenges in this life in the world, but you are asking Allah Ta‘ala to allow you to go through it with ease.

‘Allamah ‘Ataa Iskandari (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) says that this must be the constant feature and mindset of a believer that he is always in need of Allah Ta‘ala. And is there anyone you need more than Allah Ta‘ala? Sometimes at a crucial moment everyone leaves you. When you are at your advanced age and you need the help and moral support of your children, they all desert you. What life teaches us is that at some point or the other, everybody will desert us. So your mindset should be that Allah Ta‘ala will never desert you at any moment; He will take care of you at all times. This is the essence of du‘aa.

It is important to know the essence of du‘aa, because when we don’t realise this, then we will feel that if the next person has got a BMW then I need a Merc, or if he has a Rolls Royce then I must have a jet. When you are assigned to yourself then you will only ask for your desires. You will ask Allah Ta‘ala that in the exam I must be ahead. But what if there are 40 students in the class and all of them make the same du‘aa, then who is going to be first. So Allah Ta‘ala wants us to learn the etiquette of du‘aa. The gist is to show desperation and need. At any given moment one cannot be independent. At times people go to the extreme and say that when things are decreed then what is the need to ask? The answer is that Allah Ta‘ala has asked us to ask. This world has got limitations. If every person makes the same du‘aa that he should become the leader of the whole world, is it ever possible? Hence, don’t ask for your temptations, ask for your needs.

The hadeeth says that the most honourable of gifts is the gift of du‘aa. In this world, when you ask from a person this is one of the most humiliating things, but in the presence of Allah Ta‘ala this is among the most honourable thing. Why? Because through du‘aa one acknowledges in whose hands is the button of all things. It is His touch, he just says ‘kun’ and it is. So we have this in mind that it is His decree, but we also beg of Him showing that we are dependent on Him. At no time should we show that we are independent. This is what Allah Ta‘ala dislikes. Who allows you to see and grants you good health? Who is sustaining your body and restraining the cells in your body from contracting cancer? That is why the hadeeth says that du‘aa is the essence of ‘ibaadat.

In one hadeeth it is reported that ask Allah Ta‘ala of His fadhl and grace. Allah Ta‘ala loves the person who asks of Him and it is the best ‘ibaadat. It is in our nature to aspire for more. Sometimes we will say we have enough, but deep down you still feel that if I could only have that. So we have got that greed but we may interpret it in different ways. So Allah Ta‘ala knows that you want more. He has put that chip and made it part of your make up. If you are living in Isipingo, you will want to move to Overport. From Overport, you will want to move to Musgrave. From Musgrave you will then want to move to Ballito. It never ends. Sometimes I think that you can become a wali by making muraaqabah over the word Musgrave. Just change it and it becomes ‘Grave is a must’. Reflect over it and the takabbur of Musgrave will go away and the reality of the grave will come into you.

Your mind will take you in every direction. You will want the best car, the best house, the best investment. You cannot obliterate this desire, but the thing is, just channel it correctly. You have it and you cannot hide away from it. Think to yourself that they call it an anchor tenant, but he is not an anchor, he is temporary because you may go or he may go. So look for an investment that is lasting and it will be there for you when you need it the most, either at the time of death or after death. Look at our buzurgaan-e-deen. Just take one, Hazrat Shaikh Moulana Zakariyya (rahmatullahi ‘alaih). He made such an investment that his tills are still ringing on. He wrote the Fazaa’il-e-A’amaal and so many years have passed after his death, yet these books are being read throughout the world. He made the right investment.

We should send esaal-e-thawaab. For those who are close we will read something specific and pass on the thawaab and the rest we will read something in general. According to our love and closeness we will send something for that person acknowledging the rank of that person.  When we read durood shareef then it is specifically for Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and Allah Ta‘ala loves that we show the honour and respect to people. So the investment we need to make is the investment that carries on. There are ways for it to happen and we have to make the arrangements for it. But for everything that you want you will have to pay the price.

Sometimes we begin to mislead ourselves and feel what is the need to make zikr when my mind is straying away. Hazrat Haaji Imdaadullah (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) used to say that even if the mind strays sway then too continue because you will realise the reward when your eyes close. Shaikh ‘Uthmaan Nahdi used to say that make shukr that at least one organ and limb of your body is engaged in the zikr of Allah Ta‘ala. Even the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) were stormed with stray thoughts, but Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not condemn them. If the thoughts come, then renew your consciousness and continue with the zikr. Don’t think negatively; and you cannot be better than them. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) asked them whether they experience such thoughts and they replied yes. So he said that this is a sign of imaan. It is a sign of imaan because a thief goes to someone who has riches and wealth. Hence, Shaitaan will trouble that person who has the wealth of imaan. He will not trouble the person who does not have the wealth of imaan.

Don’t wait for the feeling of love, etc. to come because you will then make the feeling your goal, whereas the feeling is a makhlooq. So you have just hopped from material which is a makhlooq to another makhlooq. The objective is the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala. Allah Ta‘ala appreciates that in spite of no feeling you are still doing; in fact, the reward will be greater. The greatest spiritual experience is the experience of tafweedh and assigning your affairs to Allah Ta‘ala, but the greatest of buzurgs used to make du‘aa that O Allah, grant us the quality of tafweedh but without the feeling of excitement and enjoyment, for the feeling should not become the goal. Allah Ta‘ala will tell us on the Day of Qiyaamah that you were after the feeling and spiritual excitement and you got it, so what do you want. Hence, the tasawwuf of our buzurgaan-e-deen was flavoured strongly with the sharee‘ah and sunnah, and the sunnah is the greatest form of support and defence. You will not be misguided. The style of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) was ‘yabtaghoona fadhlam minallahi wa ridhwaana’ they were out seeking the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala. If you do not follow the sunnah then you are taking a chance, it is just speculation.

One is the ism – the name – and the other is the musamma – the being. A person is engaged and he was not involved in any illicit relationship before that. So as long as the nikaah has not taken place he will be taking her name and remembering her, but once the nikaah takes place, will he just suffice on taking her name and remembering her or will he be with her and doing something else, for once he has got the being he does not require taking the name of the beloved. Once he has got the beloved, it is now the time to express his feelings and all that which was in his heart and mind will now be surfacing. It will be a different dimension. That was muraaqabah and now it is mushaahadah. So at one point you are taking the name of Allah Ta‘ala and at the other point you are witnessing and seeing Allah Ta‘ala before you. Both are totally different.

Allah Ta‘ala is telling us that I have created you and placed that greed within you, but I want you to aspire for the right things. A person saw a dream of Hazrat Shaikh Zakariyya (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) meeting Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). After they had discussed some matter and parted, Hazrat Shaikh immediately began performing namaaz. On seeing this, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) told the person seeing the dream, “I really love this behaviour of his.” Meaning that as the discussion ended, he immediately engaged in namaaz. He did no waste a moment. So can’t we appreciate the few moments that we have. Do we have to listen to the news and read news 24? You can only appreciate your time if you reflect and think. You should measure everything before you do it or utter it.

So what is the best ‘ibaadat. The hadeeth says to anticipate ease at the time of difficulty and hardship, and Allah Ta‘ala loves this because you are placing your trust and hope in Him. But don’t hurry Him and rush Him. Go on pleading and crying. From our buzurgs, Hazrat Moulana Husain Ahmad Madani (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) and Hazrat Moulana Yahya (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) used to cry and make du‘aa like how babies cry. We speak about the shortage of rain. etc. but are we doing what we are supposed to be doing. You need to make du‘aa and cry, and with the crying you will draw the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala. You have a match box and a matchstick. Without striking them both you cannot light the fire. So the same applies here; you need both, the du‘aa and crying and then it will strike and draw the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala. So you must confess your sins and express your weakness before Allah Ta‘ala since Allah Ta‘ala loves this. Acknowledge His favours.

Sometimes you go into a heavy trance and deep meditation, and if you do not have the required level of islaah, Shaitaan can mislead you and make you feel that you have surpassed everyone and hence you will become the victim of pride. So move slowly and follow the sunnah flavoured with fiqh, understanding what is halaal and haraam. In this will be your immunity and security. You have two workers, one who shows arrogance and the other is always expressing gratitude for what you give him, etc. Who will you like more? So Allah Ta‘ala loves that humility.

Adopt the path of moderation, do your work and still consider yourself to be insignificant. The buzurgaan-e-deen have it in them that they continue retrospecting. They look for the areas where they slipped and see how they can correct it.

The essence of tasawwuf is adab and ‘amal. Appear before Allah Ta‘ala as your father Aadam (‘alaihis salaam) appeared. Make the admission of fault and not a claim of piety. Plead to Him and see how the floodgates of His mercy will open out to you. The missing link is in the tears and humility. So just reading the books of tasawwuf and studying over skype, etc. for a few hours is not enough. The tasawwuf of our buzurgaan-e-deen was very heavily flavoured with the sunnat and fiqh; checking your actions all the time. There should be no free talking to women for simple matters of tasawwuf. There is no desperate need, it is a just a higher level of tasawwuf. Yes, a woman who is going under zulm and she has nobody to share her problem with then she can speak. But by allowing it to become a routine, then the shame which is the very branch of imaan gets lost. You went through some spiritual exercise and you think you have reached, but where have your reached. Remember, the only way is the way of the sunnah and this is what will protect you. Hazrat Haaji Imdaadullah (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) used to say that just do the ‘ibaadat and you will understand its value afterwards. Initially it maybe with thoughts of show, but afterwards that becomes a routine and ‘aadat, you can’t sleep until you read your esha or your Quraan, and at the third level it becomes ‘ibaadat with ikhlaas. So just go on trying and struggling. Allah Ta‘ala really appreciates your striving and struggle.

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