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Recognising the Grace of Allah Ta‘ala

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

Hazrat ‘Aaishah’s (radhiyallahu ‘anha) advice is recorded in Bukhaari Shareef. The gist of her advice is that when someone praises you then la yastakhiffannak – don’t get deceived with people’s praise – wa quli’maloo fa sayarallahu ‘amalakum wa rasooluh – because the one that is going to preside over your matter is Allah Ta‘ala. Allah Ta‘ala is going to watch. People may say whatever they want to say. They may have an impression about you and you may have an impression of yourself, but the judge is Allah Ta‘ala, so you don’t get deceived with people’s praises or with the opinion of yourself. The Ummul Mu’mineen, they didn’t become Ummul Mu’mineen just like that. When you look at the depth of their knowledge and understanding you will understand that Allah Ta‘ala chose them to be Ummul Mu’mineen because of some reason. So it is such an advice that man requires it throughout his life, no matter what achievements he makes. 

What glories he is aiming at, what he makes for himself, but with all that you cannot decide about yourself that where you stand. Ya to ayse raho ya to wayse raho wahaa dekhna he ke kayse rahe – People may say, you may say, you may use a lot of hadeeth to support your stance, but with all that said and done, the final statement, the judgement and decision is Allah Ta‘ala’s. You do not know where there can be a fault, you do not know where the fault lies. In your opinion and understanding you think everything is going on well, but where that mistake lies you do not know. Wa quli’maloo fasayrallahu ‘amalakum – Allah Ta‘ala is going to watch. So that is why you will notice that sometimes a great person makes a small mistake and when you compare the person against the mistake he made and stumbled then really you understand the majesty and greatness of the person.

You see Aadam (‘alaihis salaam) and the error that he had committed. When you look at him from a different dimension he must have been very great in the site of Allah Ta‘ala, and Allah Ta‘ala wanted to preserve his greatness. So now the yardstick and criterion by Allah Ta‘ala is: man tawaadha‘a lillaahi rafa‘ahullah – as you lower yourself then Allah Ta‘ala will elevate you. Now this dunya is daarul asbaab, it is a world of causes and means. So whenever Aadam (‘alaihis salaam) will think of himself and review himself he will think that for a second if I didn’t have the grace of Allah Ta‘ala then this is how I fell. Hence, when he reflects over himself his mind will be entirely on the grace of Allah Ta‘ala. For a second also it will not be with him, one second if the grace and mercy of Allah Ta‘ala just shifts from me then I am gone. You can imagine the level of confidence, the level of trust and expectation that he will have on Allah Ta‘ala, that if it will be shifted away from him, he is gone, there is nothing within him, whatever it was it is just Allah Ta‘ala, it was just His grace. So really this incident must make us understand and bring us to the conclusion of the maqaam and position of Aadam (‘alaihis salaam) that Allah Ta‘ala wanted him so elevated, so elevated, that his sight and focus mustn’t be on himself for a single moment. So at any point in his life whatever achievement he will make, he will look at this and he will be shifted immediately to the grace of Allah Ta‘ala. You can imagine what will be his position.

You hear of the incident of Abu ‘Abdillah Andalusi and the mistake that he made and then the personality. Now he is a great saintly person, a wali of his time, thousands of mureedeen and muta‘alliqeen he has got, there is no shortage of muta‘alliqeen and then he is a muhaddith, he is a qari of the Quraan, he knows the different dialects. So he is an ‘aalim of the zaahir and an ‘aalim of the baatin and then when he stumbles, can you imagine the stumble, from the position that he is and now he is herding swine. And that same stick that he used to use to deliver sermons he is herding pigs. He has got a cross around his neck; from where to where. So that whole episode continues for a year and then Allah Ta‘ala ushers him into His mercy again. So you need to look at the story from two perspectives. One is what led him to this, what brought him to this. For a moment when he saw those idolaters or whoever it was, he thinks to himself that what stupid people, like donkeys they are, these things are senseless, they are worshipping lifeless things, where are their brains gone to? And we are so honourable that we are following the right religion doing the service of deen. And the moment he thinks in this manner, the grace of Allah Ta‘ala just shifts from him. See you are enshrouded and covered by the grace and as you are covered by the grace then you are moving, but the moment the grace just shifts away from you then you have dropped your guard. Any arrow that is fired against you, you are in a dangerous point, in a very dangerous line. So for a moment this thought just flashed passed his mind and Allah Ta‘ala showed him that see, if My grace has to shift from you then see what can happen to you. And then after a year he comes back. Now this really is to make us understand two things. One is that you value the grace of Allah Ta‘ala and number two, to understand the position of this shaikh. He must have been such a great person that just that thought passed his mind and Allah Ta‘ala wanted to correct him. Just that thought. So when that thought passed his mind, he got involved with a girl, although he never committed zina in his entire life, but the love of this woman had overwhelmed him, now he can’t concentrate and focus on his work.

Now, I ask you that can’t this happen to us. You are in an office environment and there is someone that comes in and the eyes meet and then what happens, the whole mind is gone. Your whole mind capsizes; you can’t think in your business, you can’t operate well you can’t have an enjoyable family life. That thought just overwhelms you, it eats your mind up. So don’t lose sight of the fact that you are covered by divine grace. It is not you, it is the grace that has covered you, but by the same token, Allah Ta‘ala does not want you to despise the person, that this person is of a very high maqaam, that one mistake he made and We put him right down and We wanted to exalt him afterwards, so We exalted him, even higher than what he was. Now because of his position and proximity with Allah Ta‘ala, We had to put him through this. Whatever maqaam, whatever position you have reached, wherever you are, but don’t lose sight of the fact that it is divine grace that is enshrouding and covering you, otherwise what is the difference between you and him? Besides the grace that is reflecting on you then what is the difference? Ye to koi khaana zaad to nahi – It is not your personal property.

The light of the earth is not the property of the earth. Everything becomes bright and beautiful not on account of the earth itself; it is the reflected light of the sun that brings about the beauty and the brightness on the earth. Otherwise, if the sun shifts away its grace, it shifts away its radiance, it moves away its brilliance, you won’t want to be here. Imagine for a moment, there is no such thing like electricity and there is no radiance of the sun as well, then you can’t see the earth you don’t know the beauty of the earth. You can’t appreciate a thing. So the earth cannot be proud of itself. It is the reflected grace and the radiance of the sun that the earth is so beautiful and bright. So exactly the same, in fact even more, the good that you see in you, be it the intelligence, be it the  beauty, be it the strength, be it the power and influence, be it the affluence, whatever it is, it is the reflected beauty of Allah Ta‘ala. You are being respected because of His grace, you are being liked because of His grace. You are being accepted in circles because of His grace. His grace just turns away from you and you are gone, you are finished, you are nothing, you are left all in the dark, you are nothing, absolutely nothing.

Hazrat Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) enters Makkah Mukarramah, on the conquest of Makkah. The famous line of Hazrat Mufti Sahib (rahmatullahi ‘alaih), faatihaanah Makkah aaye sar jhukaaye chashme nam – he came into Makkah Mukarramah with his mubaarak head lowered down, he has defeated the whole nation, the whole Makkah Mukarramah is in his control, nobody can stand up against him, the power, the might, and the glory that he has got, but look at the consciousness and awareness of Allah Ta‘ala, at that time, his enemies have all been defeated, all are at his mercy, at that time also he has not forgotten that it is Allah Ta‘ala that made it happen. Sar jhukaaye – it is not mine, it is from Allah Ta‘ala. Laa ilaaha illallaahu wahdah anjaza wa’dah – now this humility is not just something of display, the humility is something that comes out from the heart. Otherwise, I can talk about myself that I am naa cheez, but that is not what counts, the humility that counts is that humility which comes from the heart. That humility is not your facial expression. It is not your outward behaviour. It is the inner condition of the heart; that is humility. And that humility comes on account of your reflection over the fear of Allah Ta‘ala. The majesty of Allah Ta‘ala brings about khashiyyat in you. When you think about His glory, His power, etc. that brings about an understanding of the greatness of Allah Ta‘ala.

When you think of the glory of Allah Ta‘ala and the vastness of His treasures, it is mind boggling. Just the visible glory of Allah Ta‘ala. Look at it, the glory of Allah Ta‘ala, look at it in three respects. The energy that is radiating from the sun and the sun is radiating and passing that energy on throughout the entire universe. If you add a value to it, can you add a real value to it? The amount of energy, the amount of light, the amount of benefit that man takes from the sun, can you add a value to it? You can’t. It is billions and billions. So can you see the limitless bounty of Allah Ta‘ala. One little shop is not working, then Allah Ta‘ala, my shop, how will I make it work. Look at the treasure of Allah Ta‘ala, don’t look at your limitation. Look at the treasure of Allah Ta‘ala, leave your limitation. When we were about to start this madrasah, I think it was about 2 or 3 years before we started the madrasah, Moulana Abraarul Haqq Sahib (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) from Hardoi was here, and it was a concern that we need to start off the madrasah and we were operating from home at that time, may be around 82 or 83, it is a concern that you need to start the madrasah but how is it going to happen. The madrasah is not going to fall from the aasmaan or something. There is some system and procedure. So it was a concern that how is it going to happen. Moulana Abraarul Haqq Sahib had a talk in the top musjid. So his approximate words were – apne hudood ko ne dekho – don’t look at your limitations, uske be-intihaa khazaanah ko dekho – look at the limitless treasures of Allah Ta‘ala. Yes, we consider ourselves to be insignificant, but that does not mean that we mustn’t reflect over His unlimited grace. So something is not working, that shop is not working, this thing is not working, at that time we cannot be consumed by it. The energy that is being supplied throughout the globe, can we attach a price to it? And this is not happening from now, but for millions of years this is happening. It is happening all the time and you cannot say that the sun’s energy is depleted. It’s carrying on and on. Its light is carrying on, the energy is carrying on, and from that energy everybody is benefitting, it is you, it’s the plants, it is vegetation, it is the earth, everything is benefitting. That is one treasure of Allah Ta‘ala that you can’t attach a price to it. Imagine if Allah Ta‘ala didn’t provide any light and said that you people go and sort yourselves out. What a price it will be? How much it will cost you.

Then the second thing that we all enjoy and can’t attach a price to is the blessing of rain. One rain and how many billions of rands Allah Ta‘ala is sending. One litre of good mineral water is perhaps ten rands, but Allah Ta‘ala is sending it in torrents and torrents and He is not concerned about it. Wa immin shay-in illa ‘indana khazaainuh. We are using it and we also are not concerned about it. We don’t attach a price to it, but it is about the purest water that you can think of. You can’t think of a water that is as pure as rain water. And Allah Ta‘ala is sending it and He is sending it. And there is no limit to it. Did you ever think of it, that look at the treasure of Allah Ta‘ala. That is the second blessing that we enjoy and we don’t even attach any significance to it.

Then the third blessing that Allah Ta‘ala sends and I think it is about the largest blessing of Allah Ta‘ala is the oxygen and the air that we inhale. Can you attach a price to it? Imagine if we couldn’t get oxygen and everyone had to get an oxygen tank, how much it will cost. And still you will not enjoy that air, that free air you will not be able to enjoy. It will be made up air. Then there are other benefits of Allah Ta‘ala, enjoyments of Allah Ta‘ala that everybody enjoys. Like these three which everybody enjoys, then there are other favours of Allah Ta‘ala which everybody enjoys. The comfort of passing out. Imagine if you were constipated, how will you feel? Miserable, fighting with others, getting frustrated, uneasy, you can’t function, your mind can’t work. The food went in well, but it got stuck now. It can’t come out. So these are the comforts that even the poor enjoy more than the wealthy. He goes for five minutes and it is over, and the wealthy he has to have the newspaper inside and after half an hour or three quarter an hour then only he can push out. He can’t push out. And here in five minutes it is finished, everything is cleared out, it is down, khalaas. Here you made the most beautiful toilet with all the tiles and finishes and everything to catch and distract your attention, but with all that you can’t relieve yourself; and here the poor person, five minutes is too much, let me get out. As it is there is no ethos in the toilet, and then he has to just leave straightaway. And you made up the toilet so you have to remain there for one hour. For that poor person he really enjoys that comfort more than us.

The second thing that everybody enjoys, the poor and rich, is sleep. At the time that you are sleeping, whether it is a king or a pauper, going out and sleeping they are such favours of Allah Ta‘ala that the poor and the wealthy are the same, whether the king or the pauper, poorest or the wealthiest, the most influential, both are the same. In fact the poor are much better in the sleep. You will see them sleeping in the street. They are fast asleep, they do not know what is going around, cars are going around, all types of noises, but they are gone, finished, and here the bechara he has got that home with security, with patrols, with alarms, everything he has got, but he is tossing around; he can’t get that sleep. Eventually he has to take a tablet, he gets into an unconscious state and then he comes up again. But do you see these ni’mats of Allah Ta‘ala. So is there anything that we can be proud of ourselves? The wealthy and poor, both are alike, everybody is enjoying. Nobody can say that he is not enjoying it. So that lesson that will teach us humility. There was one professor here, so I told him just listen here, he was talking about evolution and all those big stories. I told him that bhai, the story that will teach you humility is that when you go to the toilet you will have to wash all that filth by yourself. No matter what professor or what king you are, but that filth you will have to touch by yourself. The most stinking thing you will have to rub it off your body, and you won’t want anybody to do it for you, you will want to do it yourself. That filth, you are going to be washing it and you are going to be washing it out yourself. And you don’t want to touch that thing, but you will have to touch that thing. You have to get that thing out of the system. Now that must teach you humility, that I got all the power, all the wealth, all the riches, but when it came to this point here, I have to do it, whether I like it or not I have to do it. So isn’t this enough to teach us humility that what we have got and then what we are reduced to. What we have got and then what are reduced to. Laqad khalaqnal insaana fee ahsani taqweem thumma radadnaahu asfala saafileen – We have taken you to the highest and We can lower you to the lowest. Like We have got the ability to take you to the highest, We have got the power and ability to take you to the lowest of the low. One is the toilet, it will teach you humility.

The second thing that will teach all humility is that Allah Ta‘ala has guarded your respect. From the time you know yourself till now, all in the dark corners and in the alleys and in the galleys what you were doing, in the quiet and open what what you did, in your school days; if everything was videoed and it was running around that this is what this person did at this time and this person had done this, I ask you, will anybody want to live? It is such a dark picture of yourself, but Allah Ta‘ala has got everything in record, every picture He has got in record. Everything that you said and you did, how you behaved in secret or in open, everything Allah Ta‘ala knows about it. So if Allah Ta‘ala had to video and display it and circulate it all around, or for example it was videoed and when you became a grandfather and your grandchildren, your great grandchildren, your son-in-law, your daughter-in-law, all are watching that Hazrat used to do all this. What happens to the Hazrat? So isn’t it enough? Hal fee zaalika qasamul li zee hijr – for people of intelligence isn’t this a striking lesson? There is no need for me to be proud of myself; there is no need for me to be arrogant. Allah Ta‘ala’s grace has enshrouded me, it has covered me up. So actually people are not respecting me, they are respecting the grace of Allah Ta‘ala. It is not you that they are respecting, it is the grace of Allah Ta‘ala that they are respecting. But we become fools and think that they are respecting us and they like us.

Hazrat Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) enters Makkah Mukarramah, and as I said faatihaanah Makkah aaye sar jhukaaye chashme nam, he is crying, reflecting over the greatness of Allah Ta‘ala, the glory of Allah Ta‘ala, appreciation to Allah Ta‘ala as he is entering Makkah Mukarramah. And then Umme Haani (radhiyallahu ‘anha) says that as he came into Makkah Mukarramah then about the first things that he had done is that he had a bath and then he performed eight rakaats namaaz. Some people call it salaatud-duhaa and some people call it salaatul-fath, eight rakaats for the conquest, as a token of gratitude that Allah Ta‘ala made it so smooth and so easy for me that I can just march into Makkah Mukarramah, like a breeze I can go in. So his first sight is not bloodshed, it is not to show power and authority, it is not to hurt, not to humiliate, not to disgrace; it is to bow down to Allah Ta‘ala, that Allah Ta‘ala, You made this happen. Nasara ‘abdah – You did it alone.

Hazrat Sulaiman (‘alaihis salaam), when he built the Baitul Muqaddas, that was the first thing he had done; he fed the people and then he had gone onto the Sakhrah – we call it the Dome of the Rock, and he performed namaaz there and in sajdah he had pleaded for three or four things. “Allah Ta‘ala, anybody who enters here, forgive him, clean him out, all his sins, past and future, forgive him. Number two is this that if he has any need, O Allah Ta‘ala, fulfil it, whatever need he has. Number three, if he has come in here seeking asylum and refuge, O Allah, then grant him that refuge. Allah Ta‘ala, if he has got any other fears, then allay his fears.” That was the du‘aas he made. Again, he came and as Allah Ta‘ala had allowed him the completion of the musjid this is the first thing that he has done.

The Bani Israaeel, they were also asked: udkhulul baaba sujjadan wa qooloo hittatun naghfirlakum khataayakum – alright you want some of the pleasures of the world, We will give it to you, but as you enter the gates of the town then you enter prostrating, the sajdah of shukr, and as you go into sajdah ask Allah Ta‘ala’s forgiveness – hittatun naghfirlakum khataayaakum – We will forgive you, all your mistakes. But you are entering, and Allah Ta‘ala is allowing this to happen, so what must be dil ki kya kayfiyyat honi chaahiye – asking and imploring Allah Ta‘ala’s forgiveness, entering with total humility; Allah Ta‘ala, You made it happen, we are not worthy of this, ham pur taqseer he – we are full of gunahs. So this humility comes from the heart. It is not just an expression of the face. It is not a physical expression. It is humility that comes deep down from the heart. We are mistaken many a times. These things that I have brought in, I brought it so that we can reflect over ourselves. When we reflect over ourselves then we will understand the glory of Allah Ta‘ala. Otherwise what happens to us sometimes is that we see ourselves in some piety etc. and we feel that it is an achievement, I have done this and I made it happen, my child is like this. We don’t realise whether that house, whether that individual, whether that child, whoever it is, but it is the grace of Allah Ta‘ala that has wrapped you, that has protected you, and if Allah Ta‘ala just drops it then you are finished, then you are gone, all the arrows are just shooting at you. You don’t know where you are going to fall in disgrace and embarrassment. So Sulaiman (‘alaihis salaam) is doing the same thing. The Bani Israaeel are commanded to do the same thing, udkhulul baaba – you are going into Baitul Muqaddas this is what you must do.

Hazrat Sa’d bin Abi Waqqaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), he is the conqueror of Persia; when he conquers Persia he goes into the palace of Kisra, Chosroes they say it in English and in Arabic, Kisra. So he goes into the palace of Kisra and the first thing that he offers is eight rakaats of namaaz, salaatul fath they call it or salaatud-duhaa. What Nabi (sallalalhu alaihi wa sallam) did in Makkah Mukarramah, he did the same thing here. Did we ever get the taufeeq, that we did a good business, so O Allah Ta‘ala let me offer eight rakaats or ten rakaats, let me cry to Allah Ta‘ala, that Allah Ta‘ala it is Your fadhl, it is Your grace. But no, you know what; I worked for it, the sweat and the blood, what type of mehnat I made after this. As though Sulaiman (‘alaihis salaam) didn’t work for the Baitul Muqaddas, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not work for the Fath-e-Makkah Mukarramah. Today, only you worked in your business. Did we ever do that? In our learning and our teaching, Allah Ta‘ala made it possible that good came out from our learning, we learnt it well, we delivered it well, the people that were under us they took it well, did we ever offer any type of appreciation like Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) offered rakaats of gratitude – afalaa akoonu ‘abdan shakoora. Must I not be a thankful and a grateful servant? Can’t I be grateful; Allah Ta‘ala made me learn it well, grasp it well, deliver it well, people took it well from me, alhamdulillah, these are all through the grace of Allah Ta‘ala. I am offering a few rakaats as a token of appreciation. Can’t we say that? In whatever type of learning, who made it happen and possible that you grasp the concept and you are able to deliver it well. But when we look we look with a tunnel vision, one dimension, my effort, my achievement, I made it happen, and by the way you will say, but it was the grace of Allah Ta‘ala. So everything is yours and by the way you just slip in Allah Ta‘ala as well.

When there is a crowning they have a whole celebration. So Shah Jahaan, he was the king of India so as he is being crowned after his father Jahangir, a whole celebration is taking place. So the throne in those days used to be called ‘Takht-e-Taoos’. That was the throne in India, an invaluable thing. After the conquest of India and when India collapsed that thing disappeared, the Koh-e-Noor disappeared. Who made it disappear, only Allah Ta‘ala knows, but it’s gone, it’s gone.  That was called ‘Takht-e-Taaos’. Now when Shah Jahaan went onto the throne, the first thing that he did was that he went into sajdah and cried for about half an hour and then he got up. In the meanwhile his friend was Sadullah Khan. When he got up from the throne Sadullah Khan said that you are fortunate that the first response was that you went down into sajdah and cried to Allah Ta‘ala. Had you not done this, then you see this, and he pulled out a dagger from under his sleeve, this would have burst your stomach and you would have been killed straightaway, because we are napkin friends, buddies from childhood. If you had shown even a little bit of pride and arrogance, I would have finished you straightaway. Whatever would have happened to me would have happened, but I wouldn’t want one of my friends to go to Jahannum because of pride, but I would have finished you before you could have been bloated with pride and arrogance. So it was just your luck that the first thing you had done was that you bowed down before Allah Ta‘ala, that it was His grace, it was His taufeeq, it was His magnificence that He had made this possible.

You see this pride, Hazratjee (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) gave a story that many a times you get women writing up, in that time you didn’t have these emails, that what a pious person I am, I read my namaaz etc. but see my husband, a sharaabi kabaabi, what a terrible person I am stuck up with. He hardly reads his namaaz, he has bad habits etc. Hazratjee never used to like these types of letters, and he would say that what does this woman think of herself? What if Allah Ta‘ala had to reverse the whole thing around. That piety that you have got is not your own. It is the reflected beauty of Allah Ta‘ala that is showing in you. Now you consider it to be your own. Yes, you may say that you cannot manage this life, but don’t consider this to be your own achievement, your personal righteousness and virtue. It is a gift of Allah Ta‘ala that He is showing you; Allah Ta‘ala can take it away. Yes, you can say that I can’t manage this, I am not used to this, but don’t say words that will amount to the fact that you are greater than him. In this piety of ours sometimes Shaitaan makes us think in this manner that see this person here, what is he and what am I. You see these incidents, all these incidents of this nature, what are they teaching us.

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), as the conquest of Makkah Mukarramah comes about then he is taught to recite Subhaanallahi wa be-hamdihi astaghfirullaha wa atoobu ilaih. But did we ever take out the time to try and understand what this is all about. For any other thing we want to take out the time to work it out, this business opportunity is coming in, so we need to work it out, what is the gain, what is the profit, what is the feasibility, who should we send, who should go and do the negotiations, who will explain to us and make us understand. So we go through a whole process to understand the business. We don’t just go and invest our monies like that. It takes us months to understand the thing properly. You got a good picture of the thing and then we invest. But when the gifts of Allah Ta‘ala come, Allah Ta‘ala is asking us to do certain things, then do we ever think what is the hidden message here. What is Allah Ta‘ala conveying to us? Do we ever take the time to find out the message in Subhaanallahi wa be-hamdihi astaghfirullaha wa atoobu ilaih. Do we ever try to take out the time to understand what is the message of Allah Ta‘ala? So when we say subhaanallah, we are saying that o Allah Ta‘ala, all the magnificence, the beauty, the greatness is Yours. You are unlimited, in grace You are unlimited, in beauty You are unlimited, in majesty You are unlimited, everything of yours You are unlimited because there is no blemish in You. You are pure from any blemish. Any weakness, any type of limitations You are free from it. When I look at myself then I am full of weakness, when I look at You then You are full of majesty. And when I look at myself then I am full of weakness. For a second if Allah Ta‘ala leaves me then I am gone. For a flash of a second if Allah Ta‘ala leaves you then you are gone. Therefore you say subhaanallah.

So at the end of his life, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is being taught to say Subhaanallahi wa be-hamdihi because at the end of your life you want to glorify about your past that we did this and we did this. I‘ilamoo annamal hayaatud dunya la‘ibun wa lahwun wa zeenatun and the last stage is wa tafaakhurun baynakum wa takaathur then pride and mutual rivalry; I got more you got less. You want to compare then because now you are seeing your business and his business, you are seeing your achievements and his achievements, your luck and his luck. So you want to compete now. You finished the other phases of life, la‘ibun wa lahwun wa zeenatun; all that you finished. Now when you finished all the other phases, now what is left? To be proud, to be glorifying about your past because the masti in you is gone, before you had the strength to make masti now all that is gone. The taaqat is gone, khalaas; everything is finished. So the only thing that is left now is that mental pride. The pride that is in the mind because every other thing that was in you is gone, the strength is gone, the strength for women is gone, everything is gone, khalaas. Now what you left with? The only thing you are gloating and boasting about is your past, that I had this and we did this, and we are so powerful, we are so strong, we have got so much of achievements. So you are bloating and gloating about the past. Tafaakhurun baynakum, you see how aptly the Quraan Shareef puts it, wa tafaakhurun baynakum wa takaathurun. Our school produced so many matriculants. This is not only in a business. The school will show you, the madrasah will also be proud of itself, the school also will be proud of itself.

And this du‘aa subhaanallahi wa be-hamdihi is teaching you something else, that don’t look at it from a narrow tunnel vision. That all this is from the glory of Allah Ta‘ala, it is from the beauty of Allah Ta‘ala. Subhaanallah, when you said subhaanallah you turned everything away from you, that Allah Ta‘ala, there is nothing from me it is just Yours, it is Your beauty and when it is Your beauty then wa be-hamdihi all praise belongs to You only, You are free of blemish, You are the most majestic, You are the greatest, Your grandeur knows no ends, no limits; therefore all praise belongs to You, wa be-hamdihi. And Allah Ta‘ala’s praise is the original praise. I just mentioned now that the praise that people offer to us is reflected praise, it is not our praise, like when the earth is going to be proud about its brightness and its beauty it is not proud about its own self, it is a reflected praise. So the same when people praise us it is not our own personal thing, it is reflected. What is original is Allah Ta‘ala’s; it is original beauty. So what is reflected is reflected and original is original. An original passport is an original passport and a camouflage is a camouflage, a fake is a fake, it is a made up thing. So if someone is proud about his fake passport what will you say? Be-wuqoofi ka koi intihaa he – there is a limit to madness, you got a fake passport and he is proud about it, that see I got a passport. He has got money, but it is all fake money and he is very proud about himself.

Our buzurgaane deen say that only that person can be proud who is stupid, like he got stacks of money but it is fake and he is proud of it. What will you say? Be-wuqoofi ka koi intihaa he – he got a fake passport and he is proud of himself. He has a stolen car and he is proud of himself but the cops are after him and there is a warrant of arrest for him and he is bloating and gloating in pride. What will you say? Therefore they say only a mad person can be proud. A person who is normal, calm and composed he can’t be proud. One saintly person, for a moment thoughts of pride had passed his mind that see 25 years, and he is expressing it to his audience, that I didn’t miss out a single namaaz with takbeer-e-oola. He just got off the bed to perform the ‘asr namaaz, and as he got up he heard that the namaaz is over. In one second Allah Ta‘ala moved that grace and it is gone, 25 years, now you had that pride against your name that I had my takbeer-e-oola for 25 years so Allah Ta‘ala showed you how He can make you miss that. So rather than considering and thinking of your achievements, think of His beauty. Subhaanallahi wa be-hamdihi. Do you see that? So this du‘aa is very significant.

Therefore, thaqeelaatani fil meezaan habeebataani ilar-Rahman, Allah Ta‘ala likes the word and it is going to be weighing very heavily on the scales tomorrow. In our little time while we are going home, or from home we are coming here or going to the musjid, can’t we just have a tasbeeh and read subhaanallahi wa be-hamdihi subhaanallahi wa be-hamdihi subhaanallhil azheem, can’t we do this thing here. It is likeable to Allah Ta‘ala, Allah Ta‘ala loves these words and its weight is very heavy on the scales. Can’t we just read this, a little bit of time. Tell our friends that don’t mind, but I am just going to make some tasbeeh and whatever you’ll need to do you’ll carry on, continue. Now these small moments; we are sitting for a bayaan, while we are waiting there rather than talking and looking around and seeing what is the time and who came, what time the bayaan is going to finish, who is going to give the bayaan, and how is he going to start off, and whether it is going to come with a nazam, rather than trying to figure out how it is going to work out, bhai just look down and engage in some tasbeeh, subhaanallahi wa be-hamdihi or istighfaar.

About the best thing that a student, a learner of deen can do is to make istighfaar, asking Allah Ta‘ala’s forgiveness. Imagine if you die; you are regretful and remorseful and in that state Allah Ta‘ala takes away your soul, what a great blessing. So you said Subhaanallahi wa be-hamdihi astaghfirullaha wa atoobu ilaih. When you said astaghfirullaha wa atoobu ilaih that means you reflected over Allah Ta‘ala’s glory, His blessings, His favours. All your life He saved you from so much of accidents, so much of damages, so much problems and you don’t have the ability to show that gratitude. You enjoyed so much, you benefited so much, you did so much, you gained so much, but if I didn’t have something then I didn’t show that level of gratitude, I couldn’t show that level of appreciation. So because of my inability of showing that level of appreciation that was required of me I am trying to compensate astaghfirullaha wa atoobu ilaiyh. Tooba liman wajada fee saheefatihi istighfaran katheeran. Allah Ta‘ala’s Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is saying, “Congratulation to that person who finds in his register of deeds a lot of istighfaar;” he has been asking Allah Ta‘ala’s forgiveness again and again, repeatedly he has been asking Allah Ta‘ala’s forgiveness, so congratulation to him. You see this lesson of humility, this lesson of not bloating and gloating in one’s pride, one’s achievement. It can happen only through Allah Ta‘ala.

Once we were seated by Hazrat Mufti sahib (rahmatullahi ‘alaih). You see these buzurgaane deen; their minds are at a different level. We were seated around him. One small girl about seven or eight years of age, she came around and she says to Mufti Sahib that my father passed away and we don’t have money for the kafan. In that zamanah, around 1976 or 1977, he pulled out 50 rupees and in that time it was a good amount of money, and said that go help yourself out. So that girl took that money and went away. In the meanwhile, we told Mufti Sahib, that ham jaante he aur aap jaante he ke ye jhooti he – we know it and you know it that she has made up a story, that she had to kill someone to deserve that 50 rupees, that my father died, so and so died. Now who is going to investigate. Deoband has a huge population, now who is going to investigate that who is that person, how he died, where he died. Nobody is going to investigate that. For her it was an easy thing to make up a story and she pulled that 50 rupees and she is gone. So Mufti Sahib’s answer was; look at their reflection and consciousness of Allah Ta‘ala, “I gave her that 50 rupees in a way of thanking Allah Ta‘ala, in a way of appreciation to Allah Ta‘ala, that had Allah wanted, He could have swopped the roles and he could have put me in that situation that I would have been constrained to speak a lie to get that 50 rupees.” He could have done that. What stops Allah? Is there anybody that controls Allah Ta‘ala, that rules Allah Ta‘ala, that has got an authority over Allah Ta‘ala. He could have put me into that position, I could have been constrained to speak a lie to get some type of money. Allah Ta‘ala saved me from that, Allah protected me from that. Hence, as a token of appreciation for that I gave her that 50 rupees. But you see how their minds work, how they think. Allah Ta‘ala give us some of the barkat of these people. You get to understand what humility is. After all, we have been created for this – illa liya’budoon, for what? To show that ‘uboodiyyat, to show ‘abdiyyat, to show servitude, to show that you are a slave. And really, Allah Ta‘ala really loves this servitude and this slavery, to show that you are nothing, to show that you are a slave; Allah Ta‘ala likes it.

But even while living among people to show that I am insignificant, low, and nothing then people also begin to like him. If he does not have any ulterior motive, one is that I show a lot of humility and respect but I need something from you, then that happiness is not like what it was originally, but without any matlab I am humble, I am soft, I am trying to offer my service; anybody for that matter he becomes lovable, he becomes likeable. But when a person shows that I am someone, I am significant, I am like this or whatever, so no matter how pious you are, but then your respect is gone in the sight of people, you have lost it by Allah Ta‘ala long ago. But people also begin to despise you because you are trying to show yourself off. So that person will say that he is trying to show himself off so I can also show myself of. So your respect is gone totally. By Allah Ta‘ala this thing counts and among people also this thing counts. This is the lesson of humility. Whether it is in the home, the wife is humble before you, what an enjoyable home, or you are humble to her, what an enjoyable atmosphere. No, I must show my power, I must show that I am coming from this race; I am coming from this family. They don’t know who I am. So when you show off, then others also begin to show the same. So what is it? It is just a power struggle. You are showing some words, they are showing some words. You are showing some wealth they are showing some wealth. You are pulling out a gold card that person is pulling out a platinum card. Aapko kya mila? You did up the wedding for one million he did it for two million, to aapko kya mila? You are so eloquent in your speech so that person became more eloquent. Jo karne ki cheez he woh to karte nahi – the thing that we have to do is to show our humility, our inability, our limitation. That is why you find the style of our ‘Ulama and buzurgaane deen is that they don’t confront a situation, a fight, a quarrel, they try and avoid it. If someone is becoming confrontational, arguing the point, then gradually and gracefully izaa marroo bil-laghwi marroo kiraama – respectfully and dignified they move away.

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