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The Difference between the Dunya and Aakhirah

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(Summary of Mufti Ebrahim Salejee’s majlis - Saturday 28th November)

The circumstances and conditions in this world are different to the conditions of the hereafter. In the hereafter there is no pain and anxiety. Therefore, this leads one to the fact that those things that will lead to pain and anxiety will be removed from the system in the hereafter. In this world we have jealousy, so when we see someone excelling we feel the pain and a bit uncomfortable. You will feel that why am I not as popular as him, or as rich as him. Hence, this is the system of the world. In the hereafter these things won’t be there. When these feelings won’t be there then when you will see someone with something better you will not feel any pain or be grieved. In this world if you have an old VW Beetle and especially when it is making a loud noise you will not feel comfortable driving it in an area like Ballito, etc. But in Jannat, the variances in the ranks will not cause any pain.

This world has been designed in such a way that it is a mixture of goodness and pain. If both are not there then this world cannot run. If there is only good, piety, and righteousness then how can this world run, for will there be any need for an ‘aalim, for gusht and going out in four months, etc.? By the same token, in this world you have to work, otherwise how will you have a roof over your head? In the aakhirah there is no real need to eat. Even if you do not eat there will be no hunger. You will always be satisfied. Whatever you eat will be just for the enjoyment of the eye and to relax. It is not like the eating of this world. Everything else in Jannah is on the same standard, that it is not for need, it is just to experience the excitement. In our terms, Jannat is a place of different experiences and not need. In this world if there was no such a thing as hunger, will there be a need for people to work and strive? So for the world to function you will need to have a combination of both.

Now when you know that this is the system of the world and then you are struck with a calamity then accept it, as this is part of the play of this world. There is going to be a thing like death, sickness, financial loss, etc. Don’t become hysterical and overcome with anxiety. Understand the nature of this world. When you compare it to the nature of the hereafter, it is totally different. Here you are married and you have a wife but if you see someone more beautiful than her you feel that I have lost out; she is more beautiful than my wife. You will experience these feelings all the time. But in Jannah you will never experience such feelings. You will feel that you are at the top and you do not need more. Together with that you will be meeting each another. You won’t be confined to your Jannah only. You will be able to meet the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam), etc. Therefore when the nature of the world is that you will have to go through some loss then take it in its stride. Don’t think negatively. 

The Muslims all over as you will hear are in some problem and crisis. So how are we supposed to be reacting? The first problem is that not everyone is supposed to listen to the news. Some are so weak hearted that the moment they hear that news they lose the little morale that they have. If you know of the crisis then don’t go into the details. Just go on making du‘aa for them as you cannot do anything more. If you are a bicycle then understand your capacity and move accordingly. The hadeeth in Abu Dawood explains it clearly that there is one person who is striving and whatever it takes of him he does. The second category is that person who has separated himself and he is in a valley worshipping Allah Ta‘ala and he is not coming in anybody’s way. Hence, if you know that you cannot fit in the first group then at least allow yourself to get into the second group. However, you will get someone who will say that I must know what’s happening around the world but no sooner does he get to know the news, he falls into a state of despondency, and worse than that is that one feels that Islam is not the right thing and Muslims are terrorists, etc. So if you cannot handle the information then leave it to someone who can handle. Don’t you see that when there is a ghusl for the mayyit then there are some who cannot handle it and they tell others to do it. It does not mean that he is not supporting it, but because he cannot handle it, he handed it over to someone who can manage it. Therefore, do what you can manage and think good of Islam and Allah Ta‘ala. Allah Ta‘ala has made Islam easy.

It was the way of the Munaafiqeen that whenever any information came to them they immediately spread it without verifying it. This then puts people into a panic. Now firstly you do not know whether what they are saying is the truth and whether they have added anything extra to it and are they saying it exactly as it supposed to be said. Hence, you are not sure about this news yet due to it you are panicking. In the meanwhile the enemies of Islam want to put you in that panic, so they present it in such a manner. So it was a strategy and you bought into it. What the Quraan Shareef says is that don’t lose your morale and spirit and don’t become overcome with grief. You need morale and spirit to work. If you don’t have it can you continue and work?

For example, if you are travelling to Cape Town you will need a vehicle and the fuel to be proper in order that you reach. Enroute you have a tyre burst. If you are going to sit down on the side of the road and continue complaining about the roads and the tyre without doing anything, will you ever reach Cape Town? Therefore, the sensible thing to do is fix the problem and continue, and once you reach then think what are the precautionary measures you are supposed to be taking so that you don’t experience a problem again. If you are going to sit down on the side then you are being negative. In that case, you will lose out completely, you will miss the function that you were supposed to attend, you are not moving on the road and you are not at home. Thus, can’t we Muslims be positive and constructive?

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is showing us a way and a principle, that if you cannot manage then at least do your ‘ibaadat and don’t hurt anybody. The spirit in you is the fuel that will take you forward. If you don’t have it then will you be able to move forward? You will get into a state of despondency and begin thinking that Muslims are terrorists. But who asked you to view the news? Did you inspect who broadcasted the news? Take that which you can manage. Information is something that needs to be digested. If you cannot digest normal food, you will suffer from indigestion. Therefore, don’t take on that which is beyond your capability. The same applies to bayaans. You go from here to there and listen to all types of bayaans and then you feel that your mind is like a concrete mixture that it can take in everything. In food, you understand that you can only take in so much. You won’t take in more. So how important these things are.

Sometimes you are giving a jumu‘ah bayaan and the time slot is so short and you begin discussing intricate subjects. Will they be able to digest and grasp all the points of the discussion? So where did you leave them? What has to be said to the crowd is something that they can easily digest and they are satisfied that they have taken something home. Therefore, talk of simple things. You can learn lots of things from the Tableegh Jamaat. Stick to the six points and don’t go beyond. There may be some intellectual in the audience who may say that the talk is boring, but don’t pay too much of attention to his comment. Worry about the rest of the crowd that at what level are they?

Hazrat Mu‘aaz (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was the beloved of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had even told him that I love you O Mu‘aaz. When Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) speaks of him then he says that he is the most well versed regarding matters of halaal and haraam. Yet when he teaches him something, then it is something simple. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) tells him, “Don’t leave out the du‘aa ‘Allahumma a‘innee ‘alaa zikrika wa shukrika wa husni ‘ibaadatik’ after salaah. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had opened the gate of his heart and then taught him the du‘aa. Will you think that Mu‘aaz (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) would have ever forgotten this and would he have ever left it out after namaaz? However, on one occasion, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) received the news of a particular person from the musjid where Mu‘aaz (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was the imaam, that he used to read his esha by himself and not follow Mu‘aaz (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). Some even commented that he is a hypocrite. This person approached Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and explained to him that Mu‘aaz reads his esha namaaz with you and thereafter he comes and leads us in namaaz. Over and above that, he reads Surah Baqarah. Therefore, I read my namaaz by myself. So as it is he is coming with a delay and then he is reading such a long surah. Now, on the one end Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) loved Mu‘aaz (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and he gave him the title of the most learned in halaal and haraam, but on this occasion Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) called him and addressed him saying: “afattaanun anta ya Mu‘aaz – are you causing mischief O Mu‘aaz? Just see the balance in the Ummah. Hence, how important it is. However, to get yourself in that alignment and balance, you will have to get the direction from your seniors. Though he was the beloved and well-versed, but it did not absolve him of being a cause of fitnah. Therefore, you need to have that balance which you will get from the direction of your elders.

When working among people it is a different thing altogether. Hazratjee (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) used to say that every person can become pious but it does not mean that every pious person can dispense piety.

One person came to Thanabhawan and explained to Hazrat Moulana Thaanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) about the visions that he was seeing and how his dreams etc. were turning out to be true. Moulana told him that until you don’t stop seeing all these things you can never progress. Your zikr, etc. will be of no benefit. The benefit will only come when you stop seeing this. Moulana had to say this and this person says that I felt as if I fell from the skies on to the earth. It was at this point that I now began to understand my sickness and weakness. And this is the real thing that you identify your weaknesses. Before that you felt that you are flying very high. However, can you see what is on the ground from the top? Therefore, you need to come down to earth and see what is on the ground. Allah Ta‘ala did not ask you for all these visions and experiences. Yes, he asked you to guard yourself against disobedience. But if you do not know what disobedience is, can you come out of it?

The system that our buzurgaan-e-deen teach us is tasawwuf flavoured with fiqh so that at every point you are checking what is halaal and haraam, both inner and outer. Some people are instructing that you need to see anwaar and noor and then only you are successful. Hazrat Moulana Thaanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) says that even if a person gets the consciousness of Allah Ta‘ala then that is not sufficient because someone can go into a state of meditation and get that consciousness. You can only be successful when you conform to the criteria and that is when your actions, statements and behaviour all are in conformity with the sunnah. Now you will say that this person’s relationship with Allah Ta‘ala is correct. If he is not concerned about his behaviour, etc. then it means that he does not have that connection with Allah Ta‘ala. But did Allah Ta‘ala make the spiritual feeling the criteria? No. It is the sunnah. Feelings are like an idol. So you left the dunya which is one idol to go to another idol.

Once a peer sahib with a large following came to Jalalabaad. At namaaz time Hazrat left for the musjid and expected that the peer sahib will come later but he never end up coming. On returning Hazrat asked him the reason for him not coming to the musjid. You will get people who can visit friends, etc. but they cannot visit the house of Allah Ta‘ala. A person can visit the zoo and go to the mall, etc. but he cannot visit the house of Allah Ta‘ala. He can visit the house of animals but not the house of Allah Ta‘ala. Our buzurgaane deen were very straight in matters of sharee‘ah and the sunnah and wanted everything right. So the peer sahib replied that I was going through a spiritual feeling and I felt that if I go to the musjid then I will lose the feeling. Now this is not the criteria. The criteria is the sunnah. Thousands of these feelings are nothing in comparison to the sunnah. The sunnah is the only way that is guaranteed to make you reach Allah Ta‘ala. So do you see how Shaitaan deceives a person? So with that feeling and consciousness, you need to see that is everything in accordance to the sunnah. This is the type of consciousness that is required. You are going behind these feelings and once you experience it you begin to feel that you are exempt from everything else.

Once a person told Hazrat Moulana Thaanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) that I am performing namaaz, etc. but it is just following the motion without any feeling. So Moulana asked him, “Is what you are doing a sin?” Now this person was an intelligent person. When he heard this, he told Moulana, “It is as though there was a mountain over my head and you have shifted it. Now I am totally relieved. I have now understood that this whole path is to cleanse yourself from all sins, and to ensure that the eyes, ears, heart, etc. are clean because these sins are the barrier between you and Allah Ta‘ala.” Now this is for a person who has understanding, otherwise, you will make the spiritual feeling your goal and you will be lost.

In this day and time, what happens to us is that we want a quick fix solution. We do not have the stamina to make a little bit of sabr. A person feels that I need it and he takes a loan on interest. So he gets a quick fix solution but when he is jammed then nobody is there to help him in his problems. Why could this person not be content? This is as far as wealth is concerned. It also happens with sicknesses. A person falls ill and immediately we say it is jaadoo. We want a quick fix solution, but are we doing what we are supposed to be doing, by not going to the wrong places, performing namaaz on time, reading Quraan in the home, making zikr, etc. We do not want to go behind this, but we will want that ta’weez. However, how long will that ta’weez last. It is like you want to take a Panado tablet for a heart problem. It will help for a little while but it will cause greater problems and because you didn’t attend to the heart problem earlier you will suffer a greater heart failure. But all this is on account of not understanding the goal. The path of the sunnah is the goal. And the sunnah can be seen very easily in a person; he is interested in Allah Ta‘ala and disinterested from the world and popularity, etc. That does not mean anything to him. The proof for this is that after the demise of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), Hazrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) instructed that the army of Hazrat Usaamah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) needs to be dispatched. The rest of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) opposed him, but he was firm on the sunnah and the instruction of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). He was so firm that he was able to confront the rest of the people and he was prepared to go all alone. He did not worry about what they would say. 

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