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Islam is about Love and Compassion

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(Summary of Mufti Ebrahim Salejee’s majlis - Saturday 23rd January)

Islam is all about love and compassion. Allah Ta‘ala Himself declares that He has ordained mercy upon Himself. It is not an option; it is a duty taken upon Himself. Allah Ta‘ala also states: “My mercy overtakes My wrath.” In any situation you will see that His mercy overtakes His anger. In all occasions Allah Ta‘ala has made opportunities for us to show love and compassion, and also forgiveness. We will then become a minuscule reflection of the glory of Allah Ta‘ala. The glory of Allah Ta‘ala is found in His mercy and compassion. If a person falls ill, we will visit him and make it easy for him. But when we will not understand deen then instead of making it easy for him we will make it difficult for him. For example, an individual is ill and he needs to be taking a rest. However, one person will visit him and disturb his rest. A few minutes later a second person will go and visit. Now the whole essence of visiting is to make life easy for him. So in order to make it easy we will first enquire from someone close to him whether it is the time for his rest or not, and also in a manner that he does not feel constrained. For example, if it is a senior person that is enquiring and the sick person is informed of this he will feel constrained to ask him not to visit. Hence, when we don’t know the essence of the sunnah we will create problems for ourselves and for others. Therefore, it is very important that we understand the theme of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). When we understand this then we will know how to practise the hadeeth. That is why I discourage people from listening to too many talks and listening to too much of media news because each person feels that he is right and he wants to give his opinion. The mind then does not know what is right and what is not right and it creates confusion for oneself and for others.

Nowadays you get many of these Muslim journals and magazines; the Muslim woman, Islam Alive, etc., and now you get Muslim man. For the women you may understand that they do not have so much of exposure so there is a magazine for them, but now a magazine for men as well! Someone left a whole stack of one of these magazines. So I decided to go through them to understand what really goes on in these magazines. Some of the articles were very eye catching and exciting. But overall when I looked at the content I said that it will not be motivating to any Muslim. In one article the person writes that I don’t feel the least amount of discomfort if a person is clean shaven, or if it is a woman who is immodestly dressed because taqwa is something of the heart and Allah Ta‘ala will rule who has taqwa and is God-fearing – huwa aa’lamu bi-manit taqaa. So when a person is quoting the hadeeth and Quraan Shareef and he is making this type of a statement then how are you going to counter answer him? When you look at it at face value, an ordinary layman will get confused. So why try to digest something which you cannot. Look at what confusion these articles create. You will answer by saying that this person’s knowledge is deficient; and deficient knowledge is fatal. Neem hakeem khatrah-e-jaan – half a doctor, one who has completed the course but did not go for community service etc. if he is going to perform a procedure then he is very dangerous. He learnt for example that penicillin is a good painkiller, but he administered it to someone who was allergic to it and it put him into a coma. Now he cannot blame the medical fraternity for this error because he did not learn under the supervision of a senior. He should have first found out regarding the condition of the patient. However, since he did not have the exposure and the guidance of a senior he did not know the correct procedure. The same applies to ‘ilm. You have to get a hold and understanding of it. If you don’t then don’t go for every bayaan or read any article. Some feel that they have got it by reading a few translations, but now imagine the amount of confusion that the one article may have caused. A thousand people may have read it and they got confused and each one may discuss it with 10 more people. So thousands of people have been confused due to the deficient knowledge of one person.

The best person who can explain the Quraan Shareef and hadeeth is Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Now look into the life of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). There were 3 Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) that did not participate in the Battle of Tabuk. For 50 days Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not return their salaam and he asked the Muslims to ostracise them as well. So this person feels no discomfort, yet Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) treated these Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) in this manner. Then there was a Sahaabi (radhiyallahu ‘anh) who had some cracks on his feet and as a form of treatment in that time he applied saffron to the cracks. When Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saw this he refused to greet this Sahaabi (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) until he washed it. If it was such a simple and casual thing then why was the response of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) such? Imagine the person is greeting and Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is not returning his salaam. There is a third incident. The Persian ambassador had sent 2 of his people to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). When Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saw that their faces were shaven he turned his face away from them. So Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) felt uncomfortable with their presence and sight and this person feels no problem at all. So that means that this person is far away from Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). It amounts to this that he is on a different path and Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is on another path.

These magazines are causing a real confusion. It shows that they don’t have mercy for the Ummah, they have mercy for their business. Our Muslims are giving them business by advertising and under the banner of Islam they are making business. If you don’t give them the advertisement then how are they going to sustain themselves? Once Hazrat Moulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) showed me one of those magazines as we were walking out of the musjid, that three-quarter of it was filled with advertisements, and over and above that, it is placed on the musjid racks. So you have come to the musjid to do your business advertisements. See the confusion. This is called fitnah – where the haqq and baatil, and values are getting mixed up.

That is why our mashaayikh said – yak dar geer muhkam geer – hold on to one person and hold firmly to him. Close your eyes and move with him. Don’t look to the right and don’t look to the left. Make your inspection and see him properly. Once you have understood him then go along with him. Now how do you understand the person and why is there the need to understand the person? The need is that this knowledge and information is not just an entertainment and pleasure. It is your deen; it is not to pass time. So when it is a very sensitive matter as your deen then you need to be very careful as to who you are taking your deen from. You will view him in this way that who were his seniors and tutors, and did they sanction him and endorse him. The second level is that those who are aligning themselves to him, is there any change in their behaviour and ways and in them feeling disinterested in this world and inclined to the aakhirah. Now you can hold on. The third is you check whether there is compatibility. Will it be fair that without checking the person we just connect to any magazine or talk, as though we feel we are strong in our imaan?

Take the example of an expensive plant. You have the sapling and it is getting extinct. So when growing it you will keep it in a very protective environment, protecting it from the hail, winds and storms. You cannot say that I have a lot of yaqeen and tawakkul and nothing will happen to it. You know that when you have come to planet earth you will have to get some form of protection. But to which point do you need the protection? To the point that it becomes thick and strong and it can stand on its own trunk. Now you can transplant it and it will insha-Allah continue to grow; it will be able to endure the environment. So when we are not at that level of strength and istiqaamat then we cannot feel that we can withstand all the confusion around. When your ‘ilm and imaan are not strong then you will go to a waleemah where there is integration and no segregation. On the one hand is the law of Allah Ta‘ala and His Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and on the other hand is the friendship with your friend who invited you. If you move away then you will displease him and if you remain you will be displeasing Allah Ta‘ala and His Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). So you need to choose who is who. Who is the preferred person? When you don’t have the stability then you will not know where to draw the line. May Allah Ta‘ala forbid, if a very powerful storm comes then you will be totally uprooted and your imaan will be at stake. So when the tableegh jamaat speaks of moving from weak imaan to strong imaan they know what they are speaking about. Otherwise you are prepared to put your imaan on the block just for some type of financial gain.

Around 35 years ago a group of missionaries came home. The whole group left and just a man and a lady remained behind. So I asked the man that is this woman your wife, your sister or mother. He said none of them. I said to him, “Then according to our scriptures this is a satanic group.” He got upset and asked how can you say this? I replied that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has explained in the hadeeth that when there is a strange man and woman together in seclusion then the third is Shaitaan. Therefore this is a satanic group. I can still remember how his whole face turned red. They then went to the next home. So I went and jammed them there as well. He told me, “But this is not your home.” I said, “Yes, but it is my friend’s home.” They then went to the third and fourth house and eventually we chased them away. And I had to do this because a lot of our Muslims are gullible and say that these are good people and they come here so we give them a hearing. But you can only hear them out when you have that level of an anti-biotic so that you have the strength to reject it. If you don’t have it then why risk your imaan because you don’t know whether you will be affected with their arguments. Will you risk your life with aids? Even if there is a vague possibility of some contamination with aids in water will you take the risk? So why take those chances in matters of imaan?

At the level of a tree what type of protection is required? Then look at human life. When that child is in the womb then there are 3 layers of protection. Then when the child is born there is so much of protection given until the child is healthy and strong. You will not take the child out at the age of a few weeks and expose him completely to the environment and say that nothing will harm him. In physical life and plant life we attach so much of importance to protection, then with imaan and the spiritual self which are the most sensitive things how much more protection needs to be shown for that. The spiritual self is very vulnerable and you can get impressed very quickly. You went to the waleemah and you are thinking that it is either my friend or Allah Ta‘ala, my friend or Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). You are trying to juggle yourself saying that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was kind and compassionate, and then so and so ‘aalim is also attending. If it was wrong he would not have attended it. Suddenly now the goal post has changed. Just ask your heart. What is your heart saying? Do you find the flaw in it and are you feeling confused? If you are feeling confused, then leave it out. In physical matters if you are in doubt then do you take a chance?

Coming back to the verse, “Don’t think yourself to be pious, He knows those who are the righteous.” And in the hadeeth Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has said that righteousness is in the heart. But how do you place this? This person has misconstrued the hadeeth and explaining it in a way that will suit him. He has already made up his mind that he will do this and now he is looking for a way to justify it. The other way is to first see whether it is halaal or haraam. The meaning of the verse is that you will advise the person for the wrong, like the person who put the saffron on his feet and Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) refused to talk to him, and his response to the three Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) that did not participate in Tabuk, and his reaction to the beardless Persian messengers. Hence, you will express your disapproval and advise them and feel indifferent to them and feel uncomfortable with them. Ask the person that if his son experimented with drugs or committed murder, will he still not feel uncomfortable and remain silent because taqwa is in the heart. If you feel uncomfortable with his ways then why this type of double standards? Hence the crux is that you will advise him and feel hurt with his behaviour but you will not consider yourself to be superior and better. This does not mean that you will not correct him. Otherwise, what will the hadeeth mean: “Whoever sees a wrong then he must change it.” And if you don’t feel it as wrong then you have no imaan; you have moved in some other direction.

The idea with deen and ‘ilm is that you must be able to digest it, understand it and practise it. It is not just to add to the amount of information. This will just add to the list of your confusion. However, you feel that whatever comes on whatsapp and social media I must read it. It is as though the munkar and nakeer will ask you in the qabar whether you read what was on whatsapp. When they are not going to ask you then why read it. You don’t know whether the information is solid and whether they have a subjective or objective agenda and then you get caught up in the net. Instead, concentrate on your work.

There are no words to thank the buzurgaan e deen for the words of advice they shared and gave. If we only listen to them and give them a place in our hearts. We have given the kuffaar and fujjaar a place in our hearts, but did we give a place in our hearts to these buzurgs who gave their lives for the sunnah. It was one statement that came from above: “Doosro ko muth cher, aur apno ko muth chor”. We think that these statements were for those in the villages in India etc. but what did they mean? Don’t get caught up and consumed with others because there are so many sinister things that they have and you will end up getting caught in their agendas. But who asked you in the first place to listen to them. Many a times I say this and not with frustration and despair, but looking for a solution for the Ummah that go into your backyard and plant some potatoes. You will at least be able to have some chips. The more you go into these stories and news on social networks etc. the more you will get depressed and you will say that there is no hope left for Muslims, whereas there is so much of hope. So don’t start off these things because you will not be able to leave it. You will get soaked into it. I say this because you come across so many people, even professionals where they come across such things and then ask, that Moulana what about Darwin’s theory of evolution. I tell them that you are so long in deen and your imaan is still corrupt.

If a person has got sound knowledge he won’t be shaken by whatever comes before him. Hence, if he reads it then there is no problem. You have a person like ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu); the path he takes Shaitaan even runs away from there. But initially, he as well was not allowed to read everything. Once he came with a copy of the Taurah in the company of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was also seated there. He wanted to read a part of it to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). He starts reading it and Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) can see that the mubaarak face of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is turning colour. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was disappointed at this. So if everything was to be read and consumed then why did Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) get upset and disappointed with such a man from whose path Shaitaan even runs away? Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then explained that if Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) was alive he would have had to follow me. The ‘Ulama explain that as long as your knowledge is not sound and well-grounded you cannot look at other things. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then started making du‘aa asking for Allah Ta‘ala’s protection from His anger and the displeasure of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Had he wanted, he could have said that Ya Nabiyyallah, you need to be big hearted and accept this. But he was a man of intelligence and he understood that let me give this up straight away.

So this was the magazine I saw. In another article there was a case of a woman who was a former drug addict and she relates how she manoeuvred her way with makeup etc. and how there was a police check point and she read Aayatul Kursi and did not get caught. So what are they doing? They are showing ways to others that are still on drugs, how to continue. So either they are too naïve to realise this or they think that they know it all. Now this is compounded jahaalat (ignorance). This is when you don’t know that you don’t know it. Everyone cannot pretend to be Mike Tyson or Cassius Clay. If you don’t have the capacity and strength then just leave it. Hazrat Moulana Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) used to say it very straight when someone would come and tell him that so and so person says this and has this objection. Moulana would ask this person, “Do you have this objection or does the other person have it? If you don’t have it then don’t get involved in it. Ask him to refer the objection directly. Why must you get involved in his problems?” But the problem is that the person himself has got the doubts and he is asking on someone else’s name.

Ninety percent of Islam is about mercy, forgiveness, and overlooking. These were the outstanding qualities in any Sahaabi. Ebrahim bin Adham (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) was the ruler of Balkh and he left the kingdom of Balkh which is present day Afghanistan after he tasted the love of Allah Ta‘ala. We just need to get a slight taste of this love. The reason for us being battered and thrown from one pillar to the other is for this very reason, that we have not yet tasted true love. He was on the river bank when some youngsters saw him and pushed him onto their boat as they wanted some form of amusement and entertainment; they wanted someone to push around. So they began pushing him from one person to the other and eventually he fell down. In this state, an unseen voice told him that We have the power to drown the last of these fools. But what was his response? Only the one who has the true flavour of deen will reply in this manner. Had he wanted he could have retaliated and it was permissible for him. However, the one who has the true flavour of deen, looks at it differently. So he says that O Allah, just as You have the strength to drown the last of them, You have the strength to make each one of them Your wali and friend. When they ask, they ask for the ultimate. He did not ask for one or two coins.

Ye kaha ka fasana he zood aur ziyaa jo milaa so milaa jo gaya so gaya ­- What is this fight all about, that I have so much and I have lost so much. What has come has come, and whatever you have lost has been lost.

Kaho dil se fursat-e-zindagi bohot kam he – say to the heart that the opportunities of life are very short.

Jo dila so mahabbat-e-ilaahi dila – O Allah, if You bless anybody with a blessing then let it be Your love.

Once you have Allah Ta‘ala then everything is yours. But to understand that, you have to get the flavour of love. The king had once opened up his vaults and treasures and announced that whatever your hand gets onto, that is yours. All the ministers rushed forward, some placed their hands on the rubies, others on the pearls, etc. A simple slave who was fanning the king continued fanning, totally disinterested in what the king said. The king seeing that this person is totally emotionless, asks him, “Did you hear my announcement?” He replied that he had heard. So the king asks him that why did he not respond? He asked the king, “Will you stand to your word?” The king replied that he would do so. Hence the slave placed both his hands on the shoulders of the king. The king asked him the reason for this. He replied, “When I have the king then the entire kingdom is mine. What else do I need?” The king then said, “It is so sad that in the entire kingdom there turns out to be only one intelligent person.”

We say that the intelligent person is he who can make the most amount of money with the least effort in the shortest time with no legal implications. This is the formula of a successful and intelligent businessman. But Hazrat Moulana Room (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) says that an intelligent person is one who has got the love of the beloved. For example, you got all the wealth of the world and the next moment you die. So of what benefit was that wealth. But if a person dies with the love of Allah Ta‘ala, then he has died as the beloved of Allah Ta‘ala. Can you get anything greater than that? Hazrat Haji Imdaadullah Saheb (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) used to say that we should make du‘aa for a minuscule amount of the love of Allah Ta‘ala, because our hearts will burst with more than that.

Hazratjee Moulana Maseehullah (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) used to relate the incident of a royal dhoban (washerwoman). When her son came of age he joined his mother and asked to wash the dress of the princess. This is a love story. Open your hearts for love but the love of the Being Who is Eternal, not the other love because that is not true love. The proof for this is that take a youngster who is madly in love with a girl, and fast forward their lives where that youngster is now an old man and the girl is an old woman in a wheel chair, wearing adult diapers with spit flowing out of her mouth. Now will he want to love her? It was just a fantasy. True love is something that will grow; it is like oud and old wine. Now as this youngster began washing the clothes, he began pondering and thinking that if this is the beauty of the clothing then what would be the beauty of the one wearing the clothing and in this way he developed the love of the princess. However, his health began deteriorating on account of this and his mother is noticing all of this. The love which is majaazi and false causes you to deteriorate if you don’t get to the ultimate. Most men cannot live for a long time after they lose their wives. These women are the pillars of support in our lives. So take good care of them so that they can live long lives. Now the mother is thinking that this is a matter of respect. How can my son, from such a low class ever think of marrying the princess? It is against her dignity. Hence, she thought of a plan to turn his mind away. But after all, she was from the village and what did she know of human psychology. So she comes up to him one day and tells him that the princess has died. When he heard this, he thought to himself that if she has died then what is the use in living, and he had a heart attack and died. The dhoban continued washing the royal clothing but the princess complained that previously the clothes had a certain touch and it is no more there. So she wanted to know the reason for it. The dhoban replied that it is the same as before and there is no difference. However, after the continuous insisting of the princess, the dhoban eventually told her about her son. When the princess heard this, she thought for a moment that he did not see me and yet he was so greatly affected with my love. She had a heart attack and also died. This is what love does. If we only get this true love then we will not have all these problems that we have nowadays.

Islam is about love and compassion. Youngsters love action and fighting and want to hear about that, but defence is only about 15 percent of Islam. The rest is about showing this compassion and love. Hazrat ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) is the khaleefah of the time and he takes out the time to visit his subject, Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) who was ill in his final illness. He asks him, “What problem do you have?” Like how a mother will ask her child, that what is troubling you? So with that love and affection he is speaking to him. May Allah Ta‘ala allow us to show the correct and good love for His creation for His sake. In return He will show love to us. Now look at the humility of Ibnu Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). Despite the endorsement that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) gave for him that whatever he says I am pleased with it, yet he says that my problem is my sins. He is nearing the end and he still feels that he needs the forgiveness of Allah Ta‘ala. ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then asks him, “What do you want?” Like a mother asking her child and making him comfortable. Again look at his answer. He says, “What I desire for is the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala.” At the last moments I could be enshrouded in His mercy. From the question and answer we can see see the flavour of Islam. He then asks him whether he can engage the services of a doctor for him, showing that love and compassion for the one under him. Hence, have love for the creation of Allah Ta‘ala and He will have love for you.

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