Shaitaan’s Attack through Ingratitude

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Shaitaan had made some predictions about mankind. He says: “Wa laa tajidu aktharahum shaakireen” – that my analysis and summary of man is that most of them are ungrateful and unappreciative. So he has found the road and instrument to attack man. How is he going to attack man? From the path of gratitude. He will bring him to that path where man loses appreciation, gratitude, and respect. So you will see that to be from among the portents of Qiyaamah; one of their outstanding features is that people will lose respect and gratitude. Gratitude will be lost in approximately four places. One is persons, the second is places, the third is time and the fourth is the teaching and instruction that we receive. So we will lose gratitude in all these four things. Looking at the first, which is persons, the hadeeth says that the latter will begin to abuse and insult the former, whereas the road to your progress is to show respect and appreciate. 

Now the very road that was the catalyst and key to your progress you broke it down. How do you break it down? By not appreciating, and not showing respect. So you will begin to utter statements like, “Who are the Sahaabah? We are men and they are men like us. So what is the difference between them and us.” Maa li haazar rasooli ya’kulut ta‘aam – we eat and he eats, we also do our errands in the bazaars and shops and he also does his errands. Hence, this is the first thing that they will do. They will find a way to swear, disrespect and insult the former. The junior will begin to disrespect his elder. The child will disrespect the father; the child will disrespect the mother, respect will be gone. For everything else and everyone else he will be able to give time and be of service. To his friends he will be able to give time. To his wife he will be able to give time and be of service. But to his parents, well once a week I may do my thing and I will see them next week. For the parents it is a different thing altogether. But my friends, this is what I live for. My wife, this is what I live for. I live for this and I stand by this. This is a lengthy hadeeth, but what is the hadeeth showing us? The people that are supposed to be respected, their respect will be gone. Those who you were supposed to be appreciating, the appreciation for them will be gone. So this is the first thing that will go out.

Moulana Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) speaks of a town, An-Naaow Nagar. An-Naaow, means ‘no value’. So this is the meaning of the place that it is a place with no value. ‘An’ is a Hindi word meaning to negate. So there was a guru and chela, like how you have a shaikh and mureed. The chela heard that in this village you can buy a mansion for one rupee and you can buy a cool drink for one rupee. Anything that you want you can buy it for one rupee. The things don’t have any value. So the chela tells his guru, his shaikh, that let us come and stay here. Things are so cheap. We can buy mithaai, laddu, and chana magaj, and we can become nice and healthy. The guru had some experience. He says that when people lose their values then it is not the right place to be in, because you won’t have a value also. Nothing has a value. When you don’t have a value then there is no value for life. The chela said that we are little sharp, hence we will be able to go about things. The guru tried to explain to him, but the chela won’t listen. Anyway, they lived there for some time and because everything was cheap and available, they ate everything and became nice, fat and plump. One day as both of them were passing a street they saw a court proceeding in progress and a big crowd. They said that let’s see what is going on. So they heard the whole case. It started off like this that a robber went to steal. In the olden days when they went to steal they would break the walls. It was not difficult to break. The walls were made of clay and mud. Hence, as he went to break the wall, the wall collapsed on to him and he died. Thus, his family lodged a complaint against the builder that why did he build it so weak causing the wall to fall on him and he died in the process. The builder was called in to render an account of what happened. So he says that it was not my fault. It was the fault of the one mixing the daga (cement). They called in the one mixing the daga. They told him that you made the wrong mix and therefore the wall was weak and it fell on the person plundering and he died. Therefore, you will be held responsible. So he said that it is not my fault. I had the elephant that had the water and I was passing the water on. What happened was that the water was supposed to be poured in a certain proportion but the elephant heard a tinkling sound and it was strange to its ears. Now these animals, although they are so huge in mass, but when they hear something strange and unique they get shaken up. So when it got shaken up the water that was supposed to be poured in that proportion came out more than what they had envisaged and planned. Therefore the daga became weak. Hence, they called in the lady because it was her jewellery that was ringing. Hence, she should be responsible. When the woman was called in she said that it is not my fault. What I did was that I told the jeweller to make the jewellery in a certain shape but he made it in this shape. Had he made it in that shape it wouldn’t be sounding like this. Hence, they now called the jeweller. The case had to stop at some point. When he came in, they suspended the rope to hang him. However, when they suspended it to hang him they found that the jeweller’s neck was very thin. As a result it was not hooking on well. So they looked around for a suitable candidate. They found the guru and chela who were now nice and plump that they were suitable candidates as the rope will go very nicely around their necks. Now the chela is telling the guru that “ab to me mara” – I am going to die now. The guru told him that I told you that when people lose their values then you are not supposed to be there. They don’t have value for life as well. When they won’t have value for life then you will not mean anything to them. If they like you, then for no reason they will bless you, and if they don’t like you then you have no value in them. When you have no value then they can kill you also. Like they can spare you they can kill you. So the chela is saying that this is water under the bridge, but now save my life. The guru said that I will make a plan and this is how we will work it. What we will do is that the person who is going to execute, I will run to him and tell him that I want to be executed first and you must also run at the same time. So they both run to the executioner. Now the king that is presiding over the case and the public are marvelling at this, that normally people run away from this and they don’t want to be hanged. So they ask him the reason for this. The guru now had to play it a bit and said that it is a secret. They told him that if you don’t speak up then we will punish you. Hence, the guru said that I looked at my stars and my stars say that whoever dies now is going straight into Jannah, so why shouldn’t I be the first to go into Jannah. When the king heard this he said that let me die. Look, this is when you have no values. Don’t worry about the story, but the story is showing us that when there is no value in a person then death and life mean nothing, wealth and poverty mean nothing, talent and excellence, professionalism and knowledge, piety mean nothing. Everything loses its respect. So that is why this becomes one of the portents of Qiyaamah. You will lose respect and value, now nothing has value in your sight.

Looking at the portents of Qiyaamah and I am relating them to appreciation – Masaajiduhum aamiratun wa hiya kharaab – Musjids will be flourishing but it will be void. Void of what? Void of guidance, void of the very essence of the musjid. The musjid has an essence. The essence is humility and submission; somebody is crying, somebody is lost in the remembrance of Allah Ta‘ala. Now this is the essence of the musjid. So before Qiyaamah either the musjids will be flourishing, or the musallees will be flourishing but the very essence of the musjid will not be there. The buildings will be very attractive or musjids will be abounding, but the very spirit and rooh of the musjid will be dead. During the course of this week someone came to visit. He had just returned from ‘umrah. He came to meet and after making du‘aa for him etc. his first sentence was, “Moulana! People have lost it.” He is a giving his personal experience and account, and he is not a learned person. So I asked him, “What do you mean by people have lost it?” He says that the husband and wife and the entire family, they want the Ka’bah to be in the background and they are snapping. They are coming to the Roudhah Mubaarak and snapping. It is as if taking the snaps has become the main thing. If someone is making tawaaf they are not concerned about him. If someone with all his simplicity, humility and all his love wants to extend his salaam, they are not worried about him. They are worried about their snap. So the very essence of the musjid, what was it? It was tawaaf – tahhir baytiya lit-taaifeen – people are humbling themselves and crying before Allah Ta‘ala; we have moved away from the essence of the musjid and replaced it with all this fun and entertainment. We deleted the real purpose and essence of the musjid. When we will delete it, then it will be replaced with fun, it will be replaced with entertainment. You are coming there and it is like a socialising point. You can sit for hours in the Haram Shareef and talk. You are not coming with that spirit and heart, that where am I going to and who am I going to?  Whether it is this musjid or Musjid-e-Nabawi or whether it is the Haram Shareef, but the person who is going there with the correct thought and frame of mind then he is bringing back that type of virtue and that type of reward. But when he is going in with a blank mind then what are you going to come back with. You are going like it is some type of a merry go round, only looking for tickets, only looking for a place from where you can see the Haram Shareef very nicely, entertainment, socialising. Bhai! You are spending that money and taking out that time, did you think and try to understand that you left the comfort of your home, you left the comfort of your surroundings, you are living in a place that is totally foreign to you, but did you take out the time to understand what was this entire exercise in aid of. Had he not come out he could have been resting in the comfort of his home, in the comfort of his wife and children; he has left everything in the late part of the night or early part of the morning for maghrib, esha and fajr and he is now sitting and talking. He is not thinking of the importance of this place. Has he achieved anything, has he acquired anything? When he did not show the importance to the place he is coming to and many a times even people who know about the aadaab, and you don’t need to be an ‘aalim to know it, but many a times you will see someone racing and coming to the musjid, rushing and running. At that time didn’t the hadeeth flash in your mind, ‘alaikum bis sakeenah – at that time didn’t the hadeeth have any place in your heart? Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is saying as though he is present and saying that come peacefully to the house of Allah Ta‘ala, come with sukoon and you are saying, no, I want to get a place in the first saff. So did Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) not know what he is teaching you? Do you know something more than what Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had known. He is telling you to come in with dignity and respect. Whatever it is – maa adraktum fa atimmoo wa maa faatakum faqdhu – so he is telling you that perhaps you may miss one or two rakaats then complete it, and in the same breath he is saying that come in a respectable and dignified way. And you are saying that I must come racing and rushing to the musjid? That is what you are alluding to. So you don’t have the respect for Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and for his teaching and instruction. Had we had the respect for it then we won’t need any lengthy explanation. We are seeing this all the time and then the thought that runs past the mind is bhai, you are listening to this and going through the hadeeth so many times and then too there is no respect and appreciation. Naa qadri ki had he – when you cannot respect the house of Allah Ta‘ala what will you ever respect. So before Qiyaamah, the respect that you are supposed to be having that will be deleted. So you see that the Haram Shareef also becomes an entertainment park. You are going to entertain yourself with friends and family sitting and talking, partying and eating and drinking, talking, wiling and wasting your time in this manner. Ask yourself the question, you spent so much of money, you cut yourself away from family and relatives, but for what? For a break? You left the comfort of your house and came to the musjid. You could have lived in the comfort of your house. So ask yourself that why did you cut yourself away from your home. When you say that you have come for something nobler then you will attach some type of importance to this house.

Our Hazratjee (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) used to say that why is it that the person is performing that namaaz continuously, but there is no change in his life. So he used to say that the only reason I can see is that he has not attached that type of importance. From the time he had left his house until he came to the musjid, what was his mind-set? If his mind-set was right, then one namaaz will be too much to bring about a change in his life. There will be a change in his thinking, ways and mannerisms. But no, I am coming to the musjid while I am listening to some nazam or listening to something else, but there is no thought of what am I doing, where am I going, in whose presence am I going to;  nothing about that. So you see this analysis of Shaitaan – laa tajidu aktharahum shaakireen – that the catalyst in destroying mankind is to destroy the aspect of respect and appreciation. He must not have adab and appreciation and I will destroy his balance. He will have no balance left. No respect for the place, no respect for Madeenah, no respect for Makkah.

If Hazrat ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) would see anybody raising his voice slightly in the musjid, he would warn them that beware, if you just raise your voice. You are right here in the presence of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and you are raising your voice – laa tarfa‘oo aswaatakum fouqa sautin nabiyy – don’t raise your voice. Hazrat Ibnu ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) used to say that – al ‘aalimu fee qowmin kan nabiyyi fee ummatin – An ‘aalim in a community is like a nabi in a ummah. So the respect you should show him should be similar to the respect you will show to a nabi. And Allah Ta‘ala is showing that when you are going to talk to him then don’t talk in a raised voice, don’t shout at him; and talk that which is necessary, that which is required. Don’t give a lengthy introduction and story. You want to speak about one thing and you give a lengthy story about it. Now is that fair, is that right? He has got his work, he has got things to attend to, and you give him long stories that this is what happened and that is what happened. You could have made it very short to the point that I missed out my tahajjud, you could have just said that much; but you have to give the whole introduction that after esha I had some mehmaan and we had some tea and someone brought some cakes and we saw one of our friends and we called him in. So what was the need to say all this? Just get to your point and move on. But that story does not seem to be spicy until we add on all the extras. So I say that do we have appreciation for time? Do we show that respect to our time and the next person’s time? Someone told me that do you know what you must do. Write on the board like how an attorney does, that five minutes consultation will be 500 rands. So everybody will begin to appreciate time. They will only speak that which is necessary. If everybody had that realisation that every minute is equal to one hundred rands then I am sure that nobody will speak anything additional. You will speak what is necessary and you will move on. I am not saying that you should be very strict, but have some consideration for your time and for the person that you are meeting. But you have no consideration for yourself, for your time, for the person you are meeting and then half an hour or one hour goes by, but what did you get? Nothing. So respect and appreciation. Do you see this – wa laa tajidu aktharahum shaakireen. So Shaitaan says that I know man’s weak points and I know how to drop him. I will drop him and I will drop him very hard.

There are two things in Shaitaan’s plan of how he overtakes you and how he overwhelms you. The first thing in his plan is for you not to submit yourself. In the labour union contracts you have non-subordination. So in Allah Ta‘ala’s plan there is also non-subordination. Shaitaan got fired from the kingdom. Here in the labour contracts when there is no subordination, this is the approximate words, that qualifies the person for being retrenched and you will not get charged. So Shaitaan as well, in the plan of Allah Ta‘ala what was his failure? It was non-subordination or you could call it non-submission. That qualifies you for being dismissed and expelled. So the one thing that was in Shaitaan’s plan was not to subject yourself. And the second thing was laa tajidu aktharahum shaakireen.

We need to remember at this point that Allah Ta‘ala is not waiting to punish us. Sometimes we feel that in the grave we are going to catch it. So you think that Allah Ta‘ala got nothing else to do, He wants to punish us like a hot headed headmaster where he lines up the children and wants to punish them. Allah Ta‘ala is not like that. Allah Ta‘ala Himself says: “Maa yaf‘alullahu be‘azaabikum in shakartum wa aamantum” – All I need from you are two things, loyalty and appreciation; I don’t need to punish you but show Me loyalty and show Me appreciation. Hence, the greater reason for us getting into problems is that we are not loyal to Allah Ta‘ala or we are not showing appreciation. These are the two reasons that bring us problems. We are giving our loyalty and appreciation to things that don’t require it. Someone is doing gyming and he is giving his loyalty to it. If at three ‘o’ clock in the morning they are calling him for some gyming exercise he is going to do it. To fly over to Cape Town for a bicycle race and spending five thousand rands to go, he does not mind that. But what is he going to get out of it? It is loyalty to the course. So loyalty to Me (Allah Ta‘ala) first. His loyalty is to all these things that are nonsense. It is nothing more than children’s play. When I look at it and analyse the whole thing it is nothing more than a child’s scooter, but the only difference is that small minds need small entertainment and big minds need big entertainment. But there is no difference. Ye kaha jaayega ke ye chota bachcha he aur ye bara bachcha he – That is a small child and this is a big child. 

Just to digress a little, my one relative, may Allah Ta‘ala fill his qabar with noor, went to Nizaamuddeen. He was dressed up very nicely with a suit and tie. After that his entire life changed with kurta etc. At that time the jamaat work had just started off in South Africa in the 1960’s. He had just finished his hajj. So the Markaz, Nizaamuddeen will look for people to take on the work. This is their work to do, to find someone to promote their business, he will buy their product and take it on to his country. No matter what attire that person may be coming in with, but we do not know what work he is capable of doing. He may just change things around and we will respect that person. Anyway he came in so they showed him that Hazratjee is lying on the bed. So they put another bed for him next to it. He is lying on one side and Hazratjee is lying on the other side. Now he does not know who is Hazratjee and what is a buzurg. He does not know anything. Hazratjee asks him, “Teri kya umar he?” – What is your age? He said, “Pachchees saal – twenty five.” So Hazratjee told him, “To tum bilkul bachche he – you are still a child.” He asked Hazratjee, “Hazrat aapki kya umar he? What is your age?” Hazrat replied, “Pachchaas saal – 50 years.” So he turned around and said, “Phir tum aadha bachche ho – then you are half a child.” If I am a full child then you are half a child. Hazratjee liked him, alhamdulillah, he could talk like that. Some of these people are simple and straightforward and the buzurgaane deen like them because there is clarity in their hearts. There is no filth. They are speaking clearly without any type of malice or make up or show without any formality. So buzurgaane deen like these people. Even if they make a joke they don’t mind it because they are not doing it out of spite or trying to run someone down. Now what we need to do is close and jam the doors of Shaitaan. Shaitaan found the door to destroy us so we need to find the door to destroy him.

As I said, one thing is time. So come into the musjid, understand that you are given valuable time. You are going to Madeenah Munawwarah, you are going to Makkah Mukarramah, but do we value our time, are we planning ourselves, are we asking people that I am going to these places what should I be doing and what should I be reading, how do I conduct myself? Just learning the obligations of ‘umrah will take you ten minutes. To learn the manner of performing hajj will take you maybe one hour, but the idea is to learn how to instil value into that hajj so that when you return from that hajj there is a whole revolution in your life. I used to see in the 60’s in my family people and in others, alhamdulillah that when they would return from hajj there was a whole revolution in their lives. Nearly all of them came back with beards, all of them became punctual namaazis. Many of them became punctual in their tahajjud. They are punctual in the recitation of Quraan. So that one hajj brought such a revolution in their lives, that one ‘umrah made such a change in their lives. Now we are making hajj after hajj, ‘umrah after ‘umrah but why is there no change? We are reciting Quraan over Quraan, but there is no change. We are coming for namaaz after namaaz, but there is no change. Why is it such? In the words of Hazratjee (rahmatullahi ‘alaih), there is no appreciation, there is no respect. There is no adab for these types of places. You are just coming in like it is a walk in the park. You are just entertaining yourself and socialising, after namaaz you know that you have planned that you will sit and talk outside. Hence, when you come in with that frame of mind you will leave with that frame of mind. Therefore the hadeeth says that this person has got no share of that namaaz. That namaaz will be turned into a dirty rag and flung into his face. How will Allah Ta‘ala feel? Isn’t there something like contempt of court? When you are coming to court then there should be so much of respect, a certain type of clothing, these are the types of words you will use, your majesty, your worship. I still have to check up the meaning of your worship. You are telling the court ‘your worship’. When we talk of worship we talk of ‘ibaadat, so what is the meaning of worship? Does it have some connotation with ‘ibaadat or is it something totally different? So you see what Shaitaan is saying. Place, time, persons, the instructions we receive, the teachings of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) that we receive, and the respect we are supposed to be showing. There is a famous hadeeth that I have repeated several times. There was a whole entourage, the wafd of ‘Abdul Qais who are coming into Madeenah Munawwarah and they rush to meet Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) but one of the members, Munzir, he takes his time. According to the narration of Musnad Ahmad he goes and has a bath, puts on clean clothes, perhaps applies ‘itr, he then goes to the musjid and performs two rakaats salaah and makes du‘aa and then he comes to meet Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Who won’t want to meet Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)? If for meeting Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) he took so much of pain then when coming to meet Allah Ta‘ala what are the levels of precaution we should be taking before we come to meet Allah Ta‘ala? You see, he delayed and those people had hurried to meet Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). As I say, when coming to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) there was a delay so when coming to Allah Ta‘ala you can have a delay, but think who are you coming to meet, how are you going to present yourself.

People talk of wudhu problems; a simple solution is that you know for example, that in Durban and surrounding areas the zuhr salaah is around one ‘o’ clock. So you prepare yourself in advance. You went to the toilet one hour before. Then after half an hour you did your wudhu etc. Now when it is namaaz time you are straight in the musjid. Fifteen minutes before the azaan or before the salaah you are in the musjid in a very relaxed and calm way. But if you are going to go to the musjid and go to the toilet at the time of azaan then obviously you are going to come in at the eleventh hour perhaps after the eleventh hour and then you are rushing. But if you planned yourself that the namaaz is around one ‘o’ clock here in Durban then I need to plan myself long in advance before this, but if I didn’t plan myself then I will have problems. Therefore plan yourself in advance.

So you see the place, the person – laa tarfa‘oo aswaatakum – and it is such a serious thing that Allah Ta‘ala is taking it personally that – an tahbata a’maalukum wa antum laa tash‘uroon – that if you are going to show disrespect to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then your actions are going to be destroyed. Imagine, you are going to Madeenah Munawwarah and raising your voice and misbehaving, according to the text of the Quraan all your actions are null and void. A little bit of disregard and all your actions are null, whereas you are thinking to yourself that you have earned much. But what had happened in the process, you disregarded, you showed disrespect and the actions that you are supposed to be attaching a value to are all gone. Someone asked that why is it that a person commits a gunah but for that gunah such a warning is not sounded, but for this disrespect such a severe warning is sounded? A person commits zina or he drank but we didn’t tell the person that because of this zina and gunah you are deprived and bereft of imaan, but for disrespect your imaan will go and your deeds will be wiped out. The reason is twofold. One is the wrong that you have done, it is connected to Allah Ta‘ala. When it is connected to Allah Ta‘ala then Allah Ta‘ala is Ghafoorur-Raheem; He will readily forgive. Allah Ta‘ala does not have feelings like we have, that he will have a bitter memory or a grudge that this person did this to me on this occasion. So in spite of the person making maaf but we have a memory and can’t forget the hurt and pain. Now Allah Ta‘ala is not like that. He does not feel hurt or any pain with what you are doing. But when it is people then they get injured and they feel it. That is why Wahshi bin Kalb (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), when he had made a mistake and assassinated the dear uncle of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and he made taubah for it, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had asked him – hal tastatee‘a an tughayyiba wajhaka ‘anni – is it possible for you not to come in front of me. He understood straightaway and he moved away. He did not dispute and argue. Now what is the reason for this, since we say that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is rahmatul lil ‘aalameen but on the other hand Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is asking him not to come in front of him. The answer is obvious. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is a human, and when you are human you have human feelings. Someone may have killed your father and you may forgive him, but is it possible for you to forget? It is difficult to forget, and more so if the killing was brutal. He cut out the rib, pulled out the eyes from the socket, cut off the nose. So you may forgive the person, but can you forget this. So Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) asks him not come in front of him, because when you come in front those memories will flash back. It will then be as though there is a veil between me and you. I am human and as my Ummati I don’t want that there be a barrier and a veil between me and my Ummati. Innama ana qaasimun wallahu yu’tee – I am the distributor of the good that Allah Ta‘ala sends and when there is going to be a veil between myself and yourself then how are you going to gain the blessings of Allah Ta‘ala via me. The blessings that come to the Ummat come from Allah Ta‘ala via Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) just as some blessings come via the Ka’bah. So what you have done in the past can become a barrier for you receiving it, so remain where you are and don’t come in front. That is why they say that when you start off your ma’moolaat then you need to have punctuality on that ma’moolaat. Rather than starting off with a lot and then come down crushing. So start off slowly and you will progress gradually. The reason why they say it is dangerous is that it is as though you had a relationship with a person and you used to give so much of time to spend with him and now suddenly there is a snap in the relationship. So how does this person feel, that this person used to visit me so frequently and now suddenly he has stopped coming. Why has this happened? So one is the person who is coming with a little bit of a delay and he did not have that type of phenomenal ma’moolaat, we will take him for what he is doing, but this person he had built up and he had that type of relationship and now there is that barrier between us, so this will throw the person even further away. So when you start off then be punctual. Not that you start off with a bang and end with a bang, and not that you start off small and stay like that. In deen there is no stagnation, you either move forward or come backwards. But obviously this type of ma’moolaat, where you are going to be increasing then don’t do it of your own. Do it after consulting. Consult and then increase. Explain how much you are doing and then ask how much more should I do. So you are being controlled and monitored. You are reporting what is happening. In this way you will progress and move steadily. You are not crushing. People go onto a diet and they just get into it and they can crush. Now you can lose your shape and your health because you don’t know how to balance the diet. You don’t know how much to be taking and how much to be leaving. You heard that carbs are very dangerous so you left all the carbs. Rather than that, someone specialised in that field will tell you to do so much and do this much and go down. But you said I know about dieting and you are doing it yourself but there is not going to be a balance. There is not going to be any type of guidance. So you will come down and then you will swell. That is what they say that this type of fluctuation is bad for the health. The heart says that I cannot manage this. One day you are high and the next day you are failing. So the body won’t be able to manage it. Your limbs won’t be able to handle it. Come slowly, then your body can handle it and your organs can handle it, and you are coming into shape accordingly.

Unfortunately this is a different age that we are living in. People are studying tasawwuf kitaabs and they come across certain tasawwuf terms and they then want to know a detailed explanation of the term. How can you teach him? A person wants to know about a heart operation and the procedure, but he wants to learn it over the phone. He does not know anything about surgery or about medicine. How are you going to explain to him? So gradually you will take him from one level to the next level, but if he wants to go from grade one to the matric level at one stroke how is it going to happen? So we are talking about appreciation. This has been lost from us today. There was a saintly person Qaadhi ‘Abdul Qadir Sahib (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) who very popular in the jamaat circles. When the elders used to come from Pakistan he used to be part of the group. Perhaps he was the second in charge. All the elders used to show him a lot of respect. He was involved in a motor car accident. Hence, the jamaat elders went to visit him as is the sunnah. In Islam there are so many ways to show love and respect, when a person is sick you visit him, when he is in need you help him, when he passes away you attend his janaazah and you comfort the bereaved, all in order to enhance mahabbat and to show that we are a single unit, not to live independent lives. Anyway, when they went to visit him they asked him how he feels. He replied that he is extremely comfortable and very happy for three reasons. So they were surprised that this person had such a traumatic experience but he is still happy and his spirits have not been broken. They asked what makes you so happy. He says that I am happy for three reasons. The one reason is that Allah Ta‘ala has got treasures of everything, wa immin shay-in illa ‘indana khazaainuh – there are treasures of comfort and treasures of discomfort. So from the treasures of discomfort Allah Ta‘ala has given me a miniscule. He could have given me a whole ton of discomfort. So I am so appreciative of this.

You see that little bit of discomfort, but then he is measuring it with all the comfort that he is enjoying. Sometimes we think of one small problem and get so absorbed and drowned in that problem that we disregard all the comforts that we are enjoying. Every second person you speak to he is complaining that the rand is down. But ask the same person, are you eating well and do you have a roof over your head, he says yes. So just carry on and don’t worry about the rest of it. You ask him are you eating the same or less, he will say that no, I am eating a bit more. Why are you worried about the see-saw? It will come and go. You are eating well, enjoying life happily with your wife and children, so don’t worry. Just carry on with life. Why must you think of the fluctuation and see saw. Everything will carry on. You are still having your chops, you are still having your chips, so what are you crying for? There is always the other dimension of life. If you look at it from one dimension you will not inflict pain and injury to yourself, but if you look at it from the other dimension you will inflict unnecessary pain and injury to yourself, it’s gone like this, what’s going to happen to this country, it’s going to the doldrums, it’s going be a junk country, so you are going to bring the depression to yourself. If you look from the other dimension then you will bring happiness to yourself; alhamdulillah, I am enjoying, I am comfortable, I am reading my namaaz etc., then you will be happy, but then you want to go deliberately into this. This is the first reason he says that I need to be happy. I could have had a prostrate problem and the urine could have been blocked for a month and what pain I could have gone through. Sometimes there is a constraint in wealth then that is also a blessing. One person came to me this year and said that when I didn’t have the wealth I was not in gunah, and now I got the wealth and I am in zina. So you see, that million came but it came with a price. Now that it came in, it draws him into sin. So sometimes that constraint is a blessing. Therefore, sometimes when we look at a situation from only one direction then we bring pain upon ourselves and it is a self-imposed pain.

The second reason he explains as to why he is happy is that – jism ko chot laga he imaan ko chot nahi laga – if I am hurt then I am hurt physically. Alhamdulillah, my imaan has not been affected. I went to university and became a doctor but in the process my imaan was affected, my character was lost. So I gained something, but what I acquired was far worse than what I earned. So physically I am harmed but my imaan has not been affected. The third reason for me being happy is that I am the means of you earning so much of thawaab. It comes in the hadeeth that when you visit your sick brother in the morning or evening 70000 malaaikah make du‘aa for you. So who was the catalyst for this? Had I not been injured how would you have got that thawaab. So isn’t it an occasion of happiness that because of me, my brothers are getting blessed like this. So this appreciation and adab.

So let’s start off with something as a preparation for Ramadhaan. We need to get this appreciation and adab, but let us commit ourselves and start off at some point. If you try to grab everything you may not get anything. You want to become a travel agent, a meat agent, a dentist, an architect and an engineer. If you try to get everything all at once, you may end up getting nothing. Let’s try and get one thing and move up.

One Sahaabi says that I was seated by Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) explained that there is going to be a person coming to you who is a Jannati. So we were very curious to know who this person is that it is as if he is in Jannah but still walking on the surface of the earth. He has got his seat and it’s already reserved. It was not long thereafter that we saw a person coming in with water dripping from his beard, his shoes in his left hand and he sat near Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). So we knew more or less that this is the person. The second day Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) made this same announcement and we were even more excited because Jannah is the goal. That is the place where we are going to meet Allah Ta‘ala, that is where we will be with Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the Ambiya (‘alaihimus salaam). We will be with the great auliyaa and the friends of Allah Ta‘ala. So Jannah is the meeting place. We love Jannah because it is the meeting place. Without that we will not be able to see Allah Ta‘ala. You want to see the game, so you will have to buy the ticket to get into the grounds. Otherwise you can’t. You will see it but you will not see it real life. You may see it half-life. To see it in real life you will have to be in the grounds. Seeing Allah Ta‘ala is totally different. If you are just seeing your wife over skype it’s not too exciting, no production, and seeing her live is something else. You can’t say that I saw and it’s finished, I will see tomorrow. So to meet and see Allah Ta‘ala is a different experience. Anyway by the third day, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) says that I was very anxious and the curiosity had the better over me that I must come to know how is this person eligible for this and how can he be entitled to this. Look at the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), where were their hearts attached to? Their hearts were anxious to know these things. If we are at a waleemah table and someone said that I have an investment that is bringing 25 percent, we will say masha-Allah to him, but afterwards in the quiet we will ask him, where did you invest? Just give me some particulars about that. Won’t we ask? On the table it will sound rude that you asking for all the particulars. So afterwards you will go and ask him for all the particulars. So like our minds are in this percentage, their minds were in Jannah, that how can we make it work. So ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) says that I became very impatient and I came up to this person and made up a story. I told him that I had a problem with the wife at home and I took an oath that I will not go back home for three days. I want to be your guest. Look at them! May Allah Ta‘ala bless us with that impatience to meet Allah Ta‘ala, that impatience to get into Jannah. Once a person came to Hazrat Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) and said, what is this Jannah, hoors and all of that? I just need the love of Allah Ta‘ala. He said whatever he needed to say. As he was leaving he came to Hazrat and says, that Hazrat I need ten rupees. Can you help me out? So Hazrat told him that you are impatient for that ten rupees, how can you have patience for Jannah. How can you say that you are not impatient for Jannah. See, in that one sitting that person’s true condition becomes visible. He says that he does not need Jannah, he just needs love, but the craving for that ten rupees is so much that he cannot resist. So how can he resist Jannah? He does not know what is Jannah, therefore he is talking like that. Had he only known what Jannah is he will not be able to resist it. Anyway, Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr requests this Sahaabi, and he replies that you can stay as much as you want. May Allah Ta‘ala give us that type of hearts. Before, the homes were small but I know of some family homes where at one and the same time 30 to 40 people were living. Now you go and look at that house and you wonder how could they have managed living there. But alhamdulillah, nobody ever felt that they were squashed up. Now if one mehmaan comes to live we feel constrained and after one or two days we ask them to go home. We can’t even show that ikraam to our own brother, forget an outsider, our own brothers.Khuda maaf kare, we can’t even do that for our mothers; we become so cold. That ikraam and love for the sake Allah Ta‘ala – Lan tuminoo hattaa tahaabboo – that is an ingredient of imaan that is going out. So we are showing a prescription for that love to come into the deep recess of our hearts. He stayed for three nights and says that I did not see anything extraordinary, he performed his namaaz on time, I saw him committed to the sunnah, but there was no lengthy tahajjud. Yes, if his eyes opened at night he would recite subhaanallah, alhamdulillah, but there is nothing really great in him. So after the third day I went up to him and told him that what is so special about you. He did not want to disclose and kept it to himself. So he thinks to himself that I stayed here for three days and I did not achieve what I came for. Perhaps this Sahaabi saw the disappointment on the face of his brother and he did not want his brother to feel like this. So he tells him that there is one secret that I have got. When I see a Muslim being favoured then I don’t have jealousy and malice for him, that why does he have this and I don’t have it, he has got beautiful children and I don’t have. So I don’t have any jealousy or malice and ill feelings in my heart for any person. He has got it, then alhamdulillah for him, and if I got it then alhamdulillah for me. He has got a flourishing business and he has got the item marked for four rands I will mark it for less even if it is little bit less than my cost, but I need to bring his business down. I can’t see it progressing, I will spite the person; so I don’t have any of this. I want to flourish and he must flourish. So as I am saying that we are just about 4 months before Ramadhaan. So at least we can cleanse the heart. We ensure we don’t have any malice, any type of jealousy or ill feelings in our hearts for any Muslim. Alhamdulillah for him, but to entertain any type of jealousy and find a way to smash him down; this is incorrect. Shaitaan comes in unique ways. If we see him progressing then we will say that he is doing it out of show and ostentation and he wants to impress others. So I need to bring him to size. He thinks he is too much. Instead of seeing the brother prospering we want to see him going down. If we see our Muslim brother progressing then we say that there is something going wrong, but if we see a kaafir progressing, Mr Price is progressing, Shoprite is progressing then we don’t see anything wrong, but when the Muslim is progressing then we say that he is involved in drugs etc. How could he have got this wealth? I can’t see it, and when I can’t see it I need to entertain some suspicion and doubt, and it’s so great that I have to discuss it with others.