Home Mufti Ebrahim Salejee Majlis Audio Downloads Equipping Ourselves Against the Influence of the Media and the Importance of Good Character

Equipping Ourselves Against the Influence of the Media and the Importance of Good Character

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(Summary of Mufti Ebrahim Salejee’s majlis - Saturday 27th February)

“Noon wal qalami wa maa yasturoon” – Allah Ta‘ala takes an oath by the pen. Izil abtaalu aqsamoo yowman be suyoofihim wa addoohu mimma yuksabu almajdu wal karamu. People attach a lot of importance to might and mane. They say ‘might is right’; jiski laati uski behs. Rather than going into the nitty-gritties of who is right and who is wrong, the general tendency is to see who is more powerful and mighty. If he is mighty, he is right because with the might he has got a better position to express himself. He has got more avenues to express his views and he has got more ways to influence people as compared to the one who does not have might and that type of clout. So might is right. Kafa bil qalami izzatan wa rif‘atan madad dahr innAllaha aqsama bil qalam. On the one end you got the sword, the might and mane, and you have authority and power to influence, overwhelm and to win people. On the contrary, you have the pen. Kafa bil qalami izzatan wa rif‘atan – You are boasting over this might and mane, we can boast over the pen, over the glory of the pen, we can boast over the power of the pen because Allah Ta‘ala has taken an oath on the pen. With all His majesty and greatness He has taken an oath on the pen. So we can boast over the pen.

When we talk about the pen then generally there are three pens that people talk about or three records. One is the records that we know; the lowhe mahfooz, where the destiny of the entire universe is recorded. That is one record. Then you get a second record. It is in the hands of the malaaikah that record the deeds of man. Every single word and action or deed is recorded. Nothing escapes them. No matter how discreet or how hidden the act may have been but it is recorded. The context, the event, the place, and the time is recorded. When it is presented on the day of Qiyaamah then it is impossible to refute it because Allah Ta‘ala will show it with the entire context and the details on the Day of Qiyaamah like a video clip, that this was the intention, this was the place, this was what was in the heart. Look at the event, is there any possibility to refute it? The exact time, location, everything is recorded. Maa yalfizu min qowlin illa ladayhi raqeebun ‘ateed. So this is the second record. Then there is a third pen that records and that is the pen that is in the hand of man. When there is a controversy and debate and we see a problem then we refer to the archives or the records of man which we call history. We will debate the facts, but after some time we will say that let us go back to the sources of reference, and the source of reference is the records and the record is in the pen. So when we come with the pen and the records that are penned down then the dispute ends because this is what you penned down and signed for. Kafa bil qalami izzatan wa rif‘atan madad dahr innAllaha aqsama bil qalam. For the rest of time, for eternity this is the highest, this is the most glorious. When Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had started off his message then they tried different ways to challenge and to oppose. First was with might and mane. This was the first thing they used against Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Another approach they used was the approach of the pen or media. Saahirun majnoonun – mad man, possessed. One is the might and when you see that it does not have that clout then you go to the next level and that is the pen.

It is a strange coincidence, although we do not believe in coincidence, for every single thing is decreed by Allah Ta‘ala, but look at it, up until the 19th or 20th century the defence that the baatil forces used against Islam was that they would say that Islam spread through the sword. We came up in arms to oppose them and said that Islam did not spread through the sword. The greatest proof that Islam did not spread through the sword is that for the entire duration of Nabi’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) stay in Makkah Mukarramah was there any sword pulled out? If there was any sword or dagger pulled out then it was from the side of the enemy. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had escaped Makkah Mukarramah at the point of the sword, at the point of the dagger; 40 or 100 people have surrounded his residence and he is escaping Makkah in that manner. So, who was controlling and holding that sword? Was it the Muslim or the opposition? This was up until the 19th century that this was the propaganda they used. Then they said to themselves that we look like stupids. We are saying that Islam spread through the sword, but we have got the major control of all the countries yet we can see our own people accepting Islam, and not in dozens and in droves, but in thousands, in multitudes they are accepting Islam. So we will look like stupids. Therefore, they had to re-strategize. In order to re-strategize they began to say that we have to pass the terrorist bill. In passing it they had to do a lot of things. The greatest thing they had to do was to make the Muslim appear as a terrorist. And how will he appear to be a terrorist? He has got a kurtah, a beard, topee, so this is how you will identify a terrorist. A woman has got an abaya, she is a terrorist. Hence, anyone dressed decently is a terrorist. And the one who is clubbing, drugging and indecent, he is a perfect person. So now this is how they are identified. The world is divided. The one who is womanizing, drugging, breaking the law, he is the person that the world will identify with, but the one who is dignified, noble he has got scruples, he has got respect, immediately he is branded as a terrorist. See the tool of the media, how powerful it is, it brainwashes the entire world. Everybody will say that he is a terrorist, so he is a terrorist. They look at you and see terrorism.

They say that a banya had a mithai shop, selling mithais and expensive stuff; almonds, pistachios, khajoor, figs, and other expensive stuff. Now it was a pathaan area so he had to employ a pathaan to do his small work and the pathaan is triple his size. The pathaan would take a handful of almonds and eat it, he would then take a handful of pistachios and eat that. The banya obviously does his homework and he does his hisaab as to what I sold and what came, and he finds that I am losing out. Hence, he dismissed the pathaan since I am losing more than I am earning. The pathaan says, “You have dismissed me, it is alright. It is not a problem.” Now the media campaign started. See the power of propaganda, the power of media. So he went into the entire town and said ‘banya wahhabi hogaya’ – the banya has become a wahhabi. These were all villagers, and they did not know what wahhabi stands for. The whole town now boycotted the shop. Where he was supposed to make a profit of around 1 million he was making half a million with this pathaan eating from his shop, and now he is seeing nothing. So he calls the pathaan back saying that I can’t find a suitable person in your place so I have to reemploy you. As he is reemploying him he says that get our act straight. If you have to eat, don’t eat so much that you eat up all my profits. I will inflate my prices but eat this much, not as much as you used to eat before.

We don’t understand this propaganda war and the influence the media has. The whole world uses it. The advertisement, how does it work? If you minus the sugar, the chill and the gas from Coke, then what is it that’s left? Plain cough syrup. It’s just the sugar, chill and gas that are added that make Coke into Coke. I ask you if the sugar was removed or it was not chilled or the gas is removed, will you drink it? There is no kick left in it, there is no taste left. So it is just propaganda, that someone is drinking and he has got a sandwich in his hand or her hand and more than the drink you are looking at the person. That is thrilling you and overwhelming your mind. But you see the propaganda, media and advertisement, how they influence your mind. They keep talking about it until your mind is indoctrinated.

Hazrat Shaikhul Hadeeth (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) knew about the media and its influence. He was very generous. There was always a dastarkhaan at his house. Mehmaan are coming in and mehmaan are going out. He is serving them with tea and biscuits or if it is meals time he is feeding them; and it is his own grandchildren that are laying out the dastarkhaan and seeing that everything is in order. There were some professors that had come in from some college and they found these children to be too cute, everything is so neat and tidy and everything is in place. As they were departing one of the professors that was there made this du‘aa that may Allah Ta‘ala make your grandchildren PhDs. He is telling this to Hazrat Shaikh (rahmatullahi ‘alaih). Until this point he was happy and smiling, but the moment this professor said that may Allah Ta‘ala make your grandchildren PhDs, his whole tabee‘at and temperament changed around and his actual words were: ‘kya is la’nat keliye mere hee bachche rehgaye?’ Was it only my children who survived to take this curse? For him it was a curse. But why was it a curse? The reason for it being a curse is that look at an average person going to university, if you say that at a basic level he did a five year course in university, so 13 years till matric and five years at university. In total, 18 years of his life are gone in that. Almost half his life. Then what is the theme in these universities and colleges? Be unbiased and unprejudiced. This entire education system is for material comfort and material security. Is it anything else? Move god out of the equation, move thawaab and aakhirah out of the equation, move kindness to people, parents and children out of the equation, what you have to drum and indoctrinate in the mind of the individual is material comfort and material security. If you got that, then you have everything in life. If you don’t have that then you don’t have anything. You are a waste, you are a non-entity, you have no position in society, you are a liability. If you have got that, then you are someone, you are recognised. So they work to that extent and to that point to indoctrinate the mind that the greatest concern must be material security and comfort, but in the process, when they went deeper and deeper into this material security and comfort, then where did it take them to? It took them to the point that it stripped them off human values. And if anybody is unbiased with a very clear mind, if he has to listen and see what is going on he will have to come to this conclusion. I think not a day passes when I don’t get these types of complains.

Yesterday or the day before, there was a complaint coming from a family that I know. The girl is complaining that my husband goes to the gym. That is how he starts off the day and it is all mixed up, male and female, the instructors and the cliental that come there with the music blasting. Obviously the women coming there will not be coming in with their purdahs and abayas, all purdah conscious, and the music that will be blasting will not be Quraan Shareef tilaawat. That is going to be the ethos of the place. She says that I addressed it with my husband – she is also quite a learned person. He in reply says that there are male only gyms but you must sort out the bill. Say it is costing me here 2000 and the other place is 4000, the additional you must pay. See again material security. Whose fitness and whose deeni security is it for, but do you see the warped mind? 18 to 20 years just in that environment, material security, material comfort, so you must pay the rest towards this bill of mine. Then the second complaint and she is crying, and I normally don’t entertain these types of calls, a young woman calling, but she has nobody else to talk to. I explained to her that the right thing was to speak to your parents. She says that I don’t want to end up this marriage because I know that if I phone home then this will end up in a disaster. So what must I do? The second complaint she gives is that once or twice a week he does not go to the gym but he goes to take a walk on the beachfront or waterfront. In that there are women and men, of all ages with all types of clothing, and he is going to take a walk there. I am discouraging him and he gets pulled up. I am asking him that all the work gets wrapped up in 2 to 3 hours.  So what do I do for the entire day? No response. He is leaving the house at 7 or 8 ‘o’ clock and only returning at 8 ‘o’ clock at night. So 12 to 13 hours he is out of the house. When he comes then he is too tired. He can’t talk to me. I try to make conversations with him to cheer him up, but he is pulled up and gets red in the face. He is too tired. He just wants to eat and sleep; nothing else. Do you see how the mind is warped? So when we send our children to these places and we don’t balance it up with the correct values then he just becomes a money making machine. There is no warmth, there is no love, there are no emotions, there is no respect for feelings; it is only money. Sometimes you blame the girl also for going into that family because one of the things that drew her into the family was the wealth; that he is such a wealthy person, he is earning so well, so the father will feel that my daughter will be secure in this type of a home. So you have earned what you have paid for. Therefore, Hazrat Moulana Zakaraiyya (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) says to this person: ‘kya is la’nat keliye mere hee bachche rehgaye’ – you didn’t find anybody else to curse but my children. He took it so personally.

In the meanwhile we don’t say that you should not do anything for this material journey of yours, but you need to balance it out. You are doing so much but how did you balance your deen? You can see now that they are going into this type of an environment, a school, university, a college, with this type of people and this type of an environment, then what things will they be exposed to. So how did you balance it out? You are sending your child to Malawi and you know it is the malaria season then what precautionary measures won’t you take? You are going to take every precautionary measure; medicine, inoculation, before going after returning. You will find out the place he is going to be living in, before you send him there. So these types of infections are in all these places. The infection is there, the instructors are kuffaar, many of them are atheists and satanists and we are sending them there without giving them any type of immunity, any type of defence and then we expect that they come out as farishtas and angels from that place.

Anyway, we were speaking of the power of the pen. When the kuffaar realised that when we cannot attack Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) through our might and mane as they are becoming strong and powerful, Hazrat ‘Umar and Hazrat Hamzah (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) have entered into the fold of Islam, so we have to re-strategize. Hence, another strategy that they used was the pen, media and propaganda. And they made this type of an allegation against Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) because they could not doubt his integrity and nobility in linage, his honesty as a person they could not doubt that, as they would seem to be the stupid persons because of their own false allegations, but they had to somehow stop him and curtail him. So they said that he is a madman. And why did they say this? Because he is going totally against the flow. The whole world is speaking of polytheism and multiple gods and this is one solitary man speaking of the oneness of Allah Ta‘ala. Whereas the whole world is going against that. When a person is going against the whole world one out, imagine one person taking on a million people, what chance does he stand, you will say he is a madman, how can he challenge and confront a million people, he will die definitely. So this man is mad. This was the one reason perhaps, and the second reason why they labelled him as a madman was that he was speaking things that were beyond their reasoning. He was talking to them about a life after death. Thus, they challenged ‘mataa hazal wa’du in kuntum saadiqeen’ – you talk about a life after death so we want to know when is this coming to pass. We want to know that if this is the truth then why is it not coming to pass. Laqad wu-‘idnaa hazaa nahnu wa aabaauna min qablu in hazaa illaa asaateerul awwaleen – this pattern had been always among our fathers and grandfathers and generations above, all heard the same story that there is something after death, so this is nothing more than the tales of the ancients. When Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is talking of Qiyaamah and the life after death and the oneness of Allah Ta‘ala and because it does not appeal to their reasoning or it may appeal to their reasoning but it is going against the norm, so when it is going against the norm then the only thing is that he can be a madman because he is going against the multitudes. Allah Ta‘ala answers this in support of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and He says that – maa anta be ni’mati rabbika be majnoon – if they are labelling you as a madman then We are saying that you are perfectly normal.

Hazrat Moulana Gangohi Saaheb (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) had a mureed and he was stationed somewhere near Lucknow, and he became a very leading person and professional people used to come and take bay‘at at his hands. One person came up to him and said that I want to take bay‘at at your hands. He says that I will take bay‘at at your hands but I am of a different khiyaal and thought; I hurl abuse at your elders, Moulana Gangohi, Moulana Thaanwi, etc., I hurl abuse against them and I don’t consider them to be Muslims. If you want to accept me for bay‘at then well and good. He said alright, what’s the problem, he accepted him. He saw the man, he saw there was potential in the person because there is some level of sound thinking in him, he is not a biased person, he won’t be stuck with the illogical concept if I explain the correct reasoning to him he will accept. So I saw he was of sound reasoning and there was no prejudice, then let me accept him, one day his mind will open out. Not even a week had passed and the same person comes. He comes and he is crying before his shaikh. He says, “My whole life was spent in hurling abuse against you elders and ‘Ulama, against your mashaayikh, but last night I saw Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in a dream and I saw Moulana Gangohi sitting in front of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in tashahhud as you sit in namaaz. He was sitting in front of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and he is complaining that – mera kya qusoor he? – What’s my fault? Why are these people making these allegations against me, why are they criticising me, why are they condemning me? Akheer mujhe bataaye mera kya qusoor he? – So tell me what’s my mistake so that I can correct myself. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) took out his hands and embraced Moulana Gangohi and he says: “lekin me aapko qusoor waar nahi kehta hu.” They may be criticising you and condemning you, but I do not criticise you. Agar sarkaar kisee ko qusoor waar nahi kehte to kya dar. If Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) himself, the head of all mankind, if he holds him free from any fault and any blemish is there anything to fear? So Allah Ta‘ala says: “maa anta be ni’mati rabbika be majnoon” – By the grace of your Rabb you aren’t insane, forget their criticism, let them say what they want to say. Wa innaka la‘ala khuluqin azheem – and you are standing upon an exalted standard of character. Your character is not ordinary. When you see a man and you judge a man and you want to know how great he is, then you judge him with his credentials and performance, his mannerisms, his character, and his ways; this is what you talk about. When you receive a proposal for your daughter, what do you do? You see now what are the credentials of the person, how solid is he, is he a secure person, does he have values, does he have respect, will he have time or is it just a temporary thing that he has been overcome with. You are going to look at all these things before you confirm anything. So Allah Ta‘ala Himself says: “wa innaka la‘ala khuluqin azheem.” To have this type of sublime character is not everybody’s work. The kuffaar in Makkah, they are in agreement, they could not refute this. Nowhere in the Quraan did they refute the character of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). They may have said other things, mad etc. but could they criticise and condemn his character? They could not criticise this; “wa innaka la‘ala khuluqin azheem.”

Hazrat Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) says that I had served Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) for 10 years and in all that duration, from the age of ten to about twenty, in the prime years of my life, coming up to maturity, adolescence, I was with Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) all the time and never did he tell me why didn’t you do this or why did you do this, like when you shout a person that I asked you to do this then why didn’t you do this or why did you do this? In all that duration he never reprimanded me. Now that type of character can only be possible if a person is very calm and composed, perfect and has the most excellent composure. Otherwise, you will have fluctuations in your mood, and in your business, you asked the person to do this and he did it wrong. So you will tell him, “What’s wrong with you? Why did you do it like this? You got no brains!” You will reprimand the person, if not every day then every second day, or if not this, then every week at least, that why like this and why not like this? Here the man is there for ten years and in all these ten years, not once did Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) tell him that why this and why not. So this is the first thing, that he was very composed and the second thing is that the degree of reliance in the destiny of Allah Ta‘ala, that what Allah Ta‘ala wanted will happen; you cannot alter it, so when Allah Ta‘ala decided then what is the need to ask him that why did you do it or why did you not do it. Hence, the reliance on the divine destiny was of such a level that there was not a day that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) asked him why did you do this or why didn’t you do this. Again, Hazrat Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) says, and imagine the position of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) with hundreds and thousands of people under him and when he is starting off he is starting from the ground, from scratch, not a single person, he is an isolated person, but in all that you cannot prove that he ever struck any person or hit any person, neither a woman, nor a man, nor a child, nor a slave nor a slave woman, you cannot show that he ever struck anybody. Forget the physical abuse, not even verbal abuse. You may strike a person, sometimes you strike him physically, I think some of us maybe, but it is a very remote chance, but maybe we have not hurt anybody from the time we know of ourselves, but can we say that we didn’t hurt others verbally. So Hazrat Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) says that for that duration he never struck anybody; no verbal abuse no, physical abuse. Now who can do this? He must be a divinely appointed person, every step he takes he is divinely guided. To the extent that when I say no verbal abuse also, a delegation of Jews came to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). By nature they are derogatory people, people with no values, no esteem; so as they come into the presence of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) they greet him with the words, “As-Saamu ‘alaikum” in place of as-Salaamu ‘alaikum. If you don’t listen carefully you may misconstrue it for salaam, so you don’t know what I am saying. Hazrat ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was seated there and she was intelligent; very intelligent and smart, she had everything. If I say that there was a second to Hazrat Khadeejah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) then it was Hazrat ‘Aaishah, so identical so perfect, and such a partner, something from heaven. Even before the marriage, Hazrat Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam) brought a photo. Now you cannot say that if Hazrat Jibreel brought a photo then photography is permissible because it is illogical; these were things of a different realm. You cannot justify things of the next realm for this world; in the next realm there is no namaaz, so you cannot say that namaaz is not fardh. Likewise there is no zakaat, so you cannot say that zakaat is not fardh, there is no such a thing that you have to restrict yourself to four wives, over there you may take any amount of wives that you want, hundreds and hundreds. So the law on that side is something else and the law here is something else. So they came and extended this greeting. Hazrat ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) as I say was a perfect woman. Very few women reached that level of being perfect; Hazrat Khadeejah, Hazrat ‘Aasiyah, Hazrat Maryam, they were the few perfect women. So when Hazrat ‘Aaishah heard this she got tipped off, that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), my husband, Allah Ta‘ala’s appointed servant and you don’t have the decency to address him correctly. So she says “‘Alaikumus saam, wa ‘alaikumul la‘anah wa ghadhabullah” – may the curse be returned to you, death for you, - Saam means death – so death be for you, destruction for you. May the curse of Allah Ta‘ala be on you. Now imagine, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the calmness, the control, the composure, so he says to Hazrat ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha): “‘Alaiki bir rifq” – Just hold on. She says, “But yaa Rasulallah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), didn’t you hear what they said?” She was emotional obviously. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is so perfect; to control a circumstance and a situation it takes a person who is perfect and complete, he respects Hazrat ‘Aaishah’s feelings but he has to also control the situation. He cannot disregard the emotions because the emotions were for the right reasons. Can you say that Hazrat ‘Aaishah’s emotions were for the wrong reasons? So he has to consider this, but bring about a control to the entire situation. So she says that ya Rasulallah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), but didn’t you hear what they said? Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said that I heard what they said, but see the reply that I gave. I said, “wa ‘alaik” – The greeting that you have extended, let it be returned. Now you said, “‘Alaikumus saam, wal-la‘anah, wa ghadhabullah” – may destruction and the curse of Allah Ta‘ala and His anger be upon you. And I said very nobly and comfortably, “The return of the greeting that was extended”. I said the same thing but wasn’t that a more noble style and a respectable style. Was there any word that had something malicious, and was it impolite? Nabi’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) sublime character, we talk about it and hear it, but may Allah Ta‘ala give us some part of those qualities. We must talk about it and bring it, talk about it and bring it.

Moulana was reading the article that Moulana Muhammad Ilyaas Saaheb (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) one day before he passed away and his parting advice to his nephew Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) was that, try your best to bring all the sunnats of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in your life. If you cannot bring it all the time in your life then practise it at least once, but bring every sunnah into your life. The description of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is also contained in the previous scriptures. Let alone our scripture, even the Taurah and Injeel have the description; Muhammad born in Makkah, his kingdom is extending over Syria. In that zamaanah if you look at the maps then Syria is extending right up to above Madeenah Munawwarah. A great part of Syria and Shaam is part of Saudi Arabia. Then it says that Makkah is the birth place and Madeenah Munawwarah is the migration and he does not return evil with evil, aggression with aggression, impolite behaviour with impolite behaviour, he forgives and overlooks. Rather, he replies to the aggression with politeness and kindness, and again lam yakun faahishan wa laa mutafahhishan, he is not aggressive, he is not impolite and nor will he go to a place where there was some type of aggressive activity, where they are impolite, he will not even go to such a gathering. A person who sits in his gathering he feels so safe and secure that my integrity will not be attacked. I will not suffer any attack on my integrity and honour, I will not be embarrassed, I will not be humiliated, he feels so confident of the person that he will not humiliate me, he will not disgrace me, he will not embarrass me, whether in private or in public he will never do this. That is the description of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in the previous scriptures. One is his own character and then what he has to say about good character.

We consider good character as a small thing and sometimes we don’t even know what good character is. But to just give you a small run down of what good character is, to behave in such a way that Allah Ta‘ala approves and people approve, it is not only approved by Allah Ta‘ala but it is approved by people as well. Now that is called sublime character, that is called mannerisms. Otherwise it is easy to sub ke saath has has ke bolna – to laugh and smile and use polite words, but my heart is filled with poison, will Allah Ta‘ala be happy with this? I am smiling at you and talking to you but within my heart I am cursing you. Is that called good character and good behaviour and mannerisms? So it is to behave in a way that both Allah Ta‘ala is pleased and people are pleased. That is called mannerisms, good behaviour and values. Wa laakin ya’foo wa yasfahoo – Moulana Thaanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) says that the easy method through which you will develop your character is that don’t be in haste, when you have to say something or behave in a certain manner then don’t hurry. Wait, think about it, be very careful, don’t make hasty decisions, don’t say anything in haste, think of the short term and long term effects and then do anything. Now the man that has got this type of character, he will overtake the man that stands up the entire night in tahajjud and fasts the entire day. Imagine keeping roza the whole day and on one of these hot days. So you will overtake the person who keeps roza the whole day and stands the whole night in tahajjud by good character and good mannerisms. That good mannerisms sometimes we think is only for those outside, those that we are working within the business, but the greatest character you are supposed to be showing is in your home. That greatest character must be shown in your home. Outside you have to show it, but the greatest recipient of good character should be your own home. You are showing people good character, but what about your wife and child, don’t they deserve it? When Nabi’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) character was so sublime and comprehensive then his teaching is also so comprehensive. If he is speaking of the rights of men and he says to the women that if I had to command any person to make sajdah to any other person then I would have commanded the wives to make sajdah to their husbands. You see the respect, he is showing the position of the man. But then Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is not selective, he is not single dimensional, he is complete and comprehensive. He shows the other side as well, he shows the rights of the wife as well. Hence he says that the best of you is the one best to his household. You see the comprehensive nature. If you are one dimensional, then it is only my rights. And unfortunately the world has turned around such that every person has learnt his portion of the Quraan. You know, at taraweeh time you have five huffaaz and each one is reading a quarter para, so they only learn their portions. They don’t learn the whole one and quarter para. Only their portion, so unfortunate, we have also only learnt our portion of the Quraan. So the poor will come to the wealthy and say aatuz zakaah – that you must not be miserly, you must prefer others to yourself, so he has learnt all that pertains to himself. To ghareeb aadmi ne apna hissah seekh liya – his portion he has learnt. And the wealthy person he has learnt his portion of the Quraan – wa laa yas-aloonan naasa ilhaafa, you know Muslims, they don’t go around begging, kisee ko chimat chimat kar sawaal nahi karte. They don’t become persistent and ask people. So the wealthy has learnt his portion of the Quraan and the poor has learnt his portion. You get these phone calls coming in that my husband keeps reminding me, but I am sick and not feeling well at all and he wants me to share the bed and then in his support he will say that the malaaikah will curse you for the entire night, so that one track mind, whatever is his rights he only talks about that, but that hadeeth which speaks about being gentle towards them, istowsoo bin nisaa’i khairan, that is forgotten, that is out of his memory, when he has loaded her with a hundred types of works, that do this and do this, and I am getting this mehmaan and she is loaded with all that work, that is the day shift and then the night shift she must also work for him. He does not realise that he has loaded this entire burden on her, but the night shift she must work also. But you see how unreasonable we become. So every person has learnt his portion of the Quraan. It is a play with the Quraan. It’s not what Allah Ta‘ala wants from me. My rights, you must not encroach onto my rights. So that is the play with the Quraan. That is why the position of the one who has got good character and akhlaaq overtakes the person who is tahajjud guzaar and fasting throughout. The deed that will be weightiest on the scales of deeds tomorrow, on the Day of Qiyaamah is good character. Hazrat Mu‘aaz bin Jabal (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) says that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is dispatching me to Yemen and he is already telling me that O Mu‘aaz, perhaps the next time you come around you will not see me, you will pass by my grave. Now it is the parting time and Mu‘aaz is emotional, and he could see it, but what was the parting advice, as his leg was on the stirrup and he was just about mounted. Can you imagine the scene, Mu‘aaz is in tears and Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is telling him that perhaps when you will come pass, you will pass by my grave, you will not see me again but what was the parting advice. Our parting advice when we are sending that person to the business, ‘haachwee ne rayjo’ you see, I don’t want to hear that the business has collapsed, that will be our advice, wealth is our lifeline, we don’t live off fresh air, so you must look after that shop. You know your grandfather took care of the shop and that is how we became so wealthy and mighty, so don’t let it crash. This is how we are going to talk. He was not being sent to look after one shop, he was being sent to look after a whole country. And the parting advice is, “Ahsin khuluqaka bin naas” – maintain good values, mannerisms, good behaviour, and good ways. At that time, thinking of it, Yemen was perhaps predominantly Christians, mostly Christians, and people had just accepted Islam now, many were Jews and Christians. So that character had to be displayed even among non-Muslims, not only should the Muslims be the recipients of your good character, even the non-Muslims should be the recipients of your good character. So you see good akhlaaq, good ways, good mannerisms. Hazrat Moulana Thaanwi used to say this that in my sight I prefer that person who has good character and good ways, but like I say that good character and good ways means that type of ways and values that is approved and liked by Allah Ta‘ala and people as well. Not just loved by people and not Allah Ta‘ala. So he says that I prefer the person who has good character and good ways over the person who is only making ‘ibaadat. Because that person who has got good akhlaaq he will not hurt anybody. If he has someone’s daughter in his marriage he is not going to hurt her. If he has a child he is not going to hurt. His parents, he is not going to hurt. His brothers, he is not going to hurt. He is not going to assault, or insult and he is not going to cause any injury. But that person who is always in ‘ibaadat you don’t know what is going to be his reaction; you don’t know how his temper is just going to rise. He may just tell his wife “me to deen ki fikr ki wajah se jalta hu raato din aur tu to choolhe ke saamne raato din jalti he” – because of Allah Ta‘ala and the fikr of deen I am burning morning and evening and because of the heat of the stove you are burning morning and evening. So he will insult her, disgrace her and humiliate her. So that person whose character is good, ways are good, mannerisms are good, he will not hurt anybody – kisee ko takleef nahi pohonchayega. You hear of your son-in-law or of any person with good character he read his namaaz, etc. not too much ‘ibaadat, now I don’t say that leave out your zikr, tilaawat, etc. because every now and then you have to reiterate because there are so many people that misconstrue, so he is doing all that but not too much, but the person who has balanced it with a good level of character definitely you will prefer such a person. In your business you know that he will not rob, he will not cheat, he will not be fraudulent, he will not make wrong promises saying I will pay you tomorrow but he does not pay you; and the other person he is doing a lot of ‘ibaadat but he is fraudulent, he is not paying the person on time, he is squeezing this person, delaying in paying, how do you feel? He is going for ‘umrah, a lot of tasbeehaat he is reading, a lot of jamaat he is going for, he is going a lot by the buzurgs, but then he is fraudulent, he is robbing and cheating and not true in his word.

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