Six Negative Attributes

Having bad relations with people leads us to having a bad relation with Allah (swt). When it comes to our interpersonal relationships, there are a few negative attributes which we should try to get rid of.

Goal 1: Ghaflah-free life – Heedlessness

Ghaflah means being neglectful; not paying attention to others. Parents may say this about their children that they don’t ask about us anymore. It’s not nafrat (hatred), just ghaflat. Even parents know their children don’t dislike them. At work, the employer may say that our employee works like an outsider — they don’t consider the work their own personal responsibility. Even if you love someone, ghaflat causes problems in that relationship. We have to fight our ghaflat. Ghaflat causes distance and separation between people. Such a person will eventually become negligent towards Allah (swt) as well.

Goal 2: Ghibah-free life – Backbiting

Sometimes it is hard to understand how can ghibah be greater than zina. Ghibah causes suspicion between people and at times that suspicion never goes away. If a daughter-in-law finds out that her mother-in-law said something about her, then it’s finished between the two. Now daughter-in-law will always be vary of the mother-in-law. It breaks the hearts of people and creates discord between them.

We have taken it to the next level so much so that we do ijtimai-ghibah (collective backbiting). We are so stubborn, we don’t admit that we do it, and we make excuses instead. We are creating an environment of mistrust. Having bad-gumani is haram (impermissible), don’t even think it’s makrooh (disliked). Ghibah is leading us to bad-gumani.

Everyone knows that we should ask for forgiveness but we are too embarrassed to do it. We should get in this habit of seeking forgiveness. Some people even do ghibah of Allah (swt) saying “I don’t know why Allah (swt) did this to me”. Why not you? Allah sends difficulties on everyone, and you are being disloyal to Allah (swt). Even hassad (jealousy) is a type of a complaint about Allah’s (swt) division.

Goal 3: Ghil-free life – Malice

Ghil is to have hatred, spite, ill-will for someone. Blessed Prophet (sws) has said that you cannot stay angry with each other for more than three days.

“It is not permissible for a man to forsake his Muslim brother for more than three days, each of them turning away from the other when they meet. The better of them is the one who gives the greeting of salaam first.” (al-Bukhaari; Muslim).

On lailatul qadr, a person with ghil will not be forgiven. A Sahabi (ra) used to forgive everyone [1]. You can make du’a that O Allah if there’s any bad feeling in my heart, I make tawbah for it and ask You to take it out. You have to bring Allah (swt) into the equation, do it for a few nights, Allah (swt) will take the hatred out. This is the act of a Jannati [said Sahabi (ra) was given the glad tidings of entering Paradise]. We clean our teeth every night, and these Sahaba karam (ra) used to clean their hearts.

Goal 4: Ghulu-free life – Stubbornness

Ghulu is being stubborn on your own personal understanding (might also be of Shariah). Saying my way or the highway. Advice for husbands: never put your foot down in matters of dunya, save it for matters of deen. People come with divorce questions on things like she wanted to leave early but I wanted to leave later.

There is some flexibility in Shariah, we must have that flexibility also. People love to argue over their opinions. No need to always find out what is the better position. A person once said, I have taken courses on astronomy, I don’t prefer the time at which you pray isha, but I pray at your time because I know there’s flexibility in it. Adab and akhlaq means you are willing to sacrifice your own preference.

Another form of ghulu is that religious people who are good in one thing feel they don’t need to better themselves in other aspects of life. Similarly, some people do a lot of humanitarian work, it’s a very good thing, but if these people neglect their ibadah, then that’s ghulu.

Goal 5: Gharur-free life — Pride

There are three levels to it, ujub, kibr and takabbur. Ujub doesn’t go out without ragra. This is misconception that tazkiyah is only dhikr, tazkiyah is ragra (strenuous disciplining). That’s why you can’t do it for yourself because you will be too lenient on yourself. Ragra is like super-duper martial arts training. Pride manifests itself in different ways, for example, the muadhin says prayer is better than sleep, but our attitude says my sleeping is better than fajr, or that my own fashion is better than what Allah (swt) wants for us to wear. This is having gharur towards Allah (swt).

Goal 6: Ghazab-free life — Anger

We have anger towards other people, and even towards our own family. Keep a lid – it means don’t react at all. People sometimes even get angry with their shaykh, their ustad (teacher). Once a person said to Hadrat Thanvi (rh), whenever someone comes to you, you really discipline and train him the hard way. He replied, if they come to me in a state of an animal, then I also have to take out my knife (for slaughtering).

Another person once said to Hadrat Madni (rh), you are so soft on people while Hadrat Thanvi (rh) is so strict (kind of trying to butter him up). Hadrat Madni (rh) replied actually Hadrat Thanvi (rh) is the surgeon, and I’m like a nurse! This was his humility.

Tazkiyah is about intention and effort, not about success. Allah (swt) just wants you to want it. Is there anything as easy as this? But you have to really want it, beg for it, do whatever you can to get it. These are just some of the bad attributes, there are innumerable more. Look at the flash-points in your life to recognize them. May Allah (swt) purify us from all of the negative attributes.

[1] Imam Malik narrates on the authority of Anas ibn Malik (RA) who said, “We were sitting in the company of the Prophet (SAW) when he said, ‘Soon there will appear before you a person from among the dwellers of Paradise.’ Soon thereafter, a person from the Ansar (Helpers of Medina) appeared – his beard was dripping with water which he had used to perform ablution, holding his sandals with his left hand. The next day, the Prophet (SAW) said the same thing. And the same person appeared in the same manner [as he had appeared the first time]. On the third day, the Prophet (SAW) said the same thing again, ‘Soon there will appear before you a person from among the dwellers of Paradise.’ And the same person appeared in the same manner as he had appeared the previous two times. “When the Prophet (SAW) got up and left, Abdullah ibn Amr (RA) followed the man – he then said to him, ‘I had a dispute with my father and so I took an oath that I will not go to him for three days. [Now that I have no place to stay] Is it possible for you to accommodate me till the three days pass? “The man replied, ‘Yes.’“Anas (RA) says: “Abdullah ibn Amr (RA) used to say that he stayed with that man for three days. He did not see him getting up at night [for qiyaam-ul-layl]. However, when he used to toss and turn in his bed, he used to engage in the remembrance of Allah and say ‘Allahu Akbar’. He would eventually get up for the Fajr salah. “Abdullah ibn Amr (RA) says: “However, I never heard him say anything but good. When the three days passed and I was on the verge of considering his good deeds to be very few and insignificant, I said to him, ‘O servant of Allah! There was neither any dispute nor any separation between me and my father. Rather, I heard the Prophet (SAW) say on three occasions about you: ‘Soon there will appear before you a person from among the dwellers of Paradise.’ And on each of these three occasions, it was you who appeared. I therefore decided to live with you and see what deeds you do that I could emulate you. However, I did not see you doing many good deeds. How, then, have you reached the rank concerning which the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said about your being from among the dwellers of Paradise?’ “The man replied, ‘I do not do anything more than what you have seen. However, I do not bear any deceit to any Muslim nor do I envy anyone for the good which Allah has given him.’


The Fake Muslim

[These are rough notes from a talk delivered by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed (db)]

وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ أَشَدُّ حُبًّ۬ا لِّلَّهِ‌ۗ
But those who believe are most firm in their love for Allah. [2:165]

Why & How We End Up Being Fake

The one who prays slips hard, yes. The one who believes slips hard, yes. Because he again makes that mistake – that in his or her heart, they’ve got some feeling – some unlawful feeling. Allah swt says in Qur’an:

ضَعُفَ ٱلطَّالِبُ وَٱلۡمَطۡلُوبُ
(Equally) feeble are the invoker and the invoked. [22:73]

This originally was a verse revealed in the Qur’an for mushrikeen; that they used to worship idols and were longing for the help of idols, so Allah swt told them that that which you seek, your matloob, whom you call upon, that is weak. And you are weak for calling upon them. But as the ulema of tafsir have taught us, there is no verse of Qur’an that is only for that time. Allah swt put this in Qur’an – the eternal, universal book.

It was addressed initially to those mushrikeen of Makkah Mukaramah, but it has a meaning for all of us that any time in your heart you have a talab; longing and yearning for anything other than Allah swt, what you seek is obviously false. But Allah swt first says that zaufa talib – you become false. First the talib – the seeker – is false, then the matloob, the besought, is mentioned as being false.

What happens to us is that we betray our imaan; we become fake, we become false, we become two-faced, we become two-hearted. Same person who looks like Sunnah, who prays according to Sunnah, his whole friends, neighbours, colleagues, classmates, everybody says he is Muslim. But the person turns out to be fake. And it begins right here, the rot, starts from the heart, that he had a fake desire, a false feeling, and the person became untrue.

Allah swt makes this person crash. Before you know it, within 24 hours, they are going to miss some salah, they are going to go on the internet and look at something they shouldn’t have seen, they are going to say some foul word – within 24 hours there will be a big crash. All of this is because they couldn’t keep control over their heart. Allah swt wants to protect them from this, He says:

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ ءَامِنُواْ
O you who believe, do believe [4:136]

O you who have believed with your mind, and you have 100% belief in your mind. There is nobody here who would say, may Allah swt protect all of our imaan, no one here would ever say that sometimes I feel like worshipping fire. You will never write me that email, that dear Shaykh, I cannot control myself, sometimes I feel like worshipping fire. You cannot write that sometimes I see a tree and I feel like doing a sajdah to it. Nobody can write that to me that sometimes I go to the museum and see a statue and say that that’s god. Alhamdulillah you can never think like that, it is 100% clear in your mind that there is only one ma’bud – Allah swt, and there is only one nabi of my heart, my nabi Syedna Muhammad (sws).

Allah swt is saying just like you did that – so perfectly, so completely, so deeply – you have to do this also. Just like you have cleared your mind and you have a 100% correct belief, now you have to clean your heart and have a 100% correct belief. Until and unless you do that, you will keep flipping and you will keep falling. We don’t realize because what we do is that we look in the mirror, we see our minds, that I am Muslim, I am a believer, we slip and we fall and we slide.

We think that no, we are just fine. And then we actually try to live a life of imaan + sin, imaan + lust, imaan + anger. This is not the mission, Allah swt is saying it should be imaan + imaan. This is the the equation. It’s that second step, a lot of people still need help in the first step, that’s another effort of deen, but all of you who are here, you have done that first step. You have the first step of imaan.  Now, we need to move to the second step.

Hypocrisies of Our Heart 

This being two-faced, is also called nifaq. In our deen, nifaq means hypocrisy. Originally, some munafiqeen were in Makkah Mukaramah, but then many came in Madinah Munawwarah, there was a whole group of them. In Makkah they were individuals, but in Madinah Munawwarah, you can say, they were like a jama’at. Just like Allah swt concealed my and your nifaq, we are also untrue, just like that Allah swt concealed them.

Even Sahaba Karam (ra) did not know who they were. This wasn’t some huge community with millions of people. It was a community of thousands. Allah swt was sending verses, periodically, about munafiqoon, so all Sahaba (ra) know they exist, and that they are right here amongst us in Masjid Nabwi, and they are praying in the same rows as us, but Allah swt concealed it, He is as-Sattar. Allah swt set a veil, concealed them, this is one way that Allah swt deals with the munafiqoon. But it comes at a cost. What’s going to happen?

Munafiqoon, they are in what is called darq e aswad, they are in the lowest pits, the lowest abyss of Jahannam. It means that all the veils will be lifted on the Day of Judgement. When our mashaikh saw this that if this is true about those who are munafiqeen in their mental and real aqeedah, means that they pretended to believe but they didn’t really believe, then they thought that what if Allah swt does the same thing to those of us who are munafiq in our hearts?

Outwardly we look like Sunnah, but actually we lie, outwardly we come to masjid, but actually we cheat, actually we betray our wife, we may not make sajdah to any statue, or any tree, or to any fire, but our heart makes sajdah to the beauty of ghair-mehram. That’s what you should think. You shouldn’t think that my eyes look, you should think that my heart is making sajdah to this, that’s what I’m doing. Like you say, it’s irresistible, I can’t control myself, I’m stuck, I’m addicted, I’m hooked, I’m attracted – zaufa talib – same thing. You have become weak. Yes, what you seek is a weak, fake, false beauty. But you are weak for wanting that. You are weak. This is a type of nifaq.

Just imagine then, just like Allah swt is concealing our nifaq, like he concealed their nifaq, what if on the Day of Judgement Allah swt exposes our nifaq, like He is going to expose their nifaq? People would be stunned, that look at that fellow, he used to come and make da’wah on me, and look at the things that are coming out in his book of deeds. He used to come make da’wah on me, and he actually was looking at my sister, he actually used to wonder about my wife.

This is the level of depravity that we have reached. You would be amazed at the type of things people write to me. Even a woman in niqab is not saved from these people, who have this shirk in their hearts. They are thinking in their minds, hypothesizing, fantasizing, dreaming. Ulama, they used this term shirk e khafi – this is a hidden shirk. Heart is doing sajdah to something else, forehead only does sajdah to Allah swt, but the heart is doing all types of other sajdahs. Then they are crashing. Allah swt says in Qur’an align your heart with your mind. As perfectly as you believe with your mind, be that perfect in your heart.

That’s an effort; to have a perfect belief in your mind, it’s called aqeedah, ilm, deen. And to get this perfect imaan in our hearts, that is called tazkiyah. That means we have to purify our hearts from all of the impure things; impure desires, impure thoughts, impure actions, impure feelings, impure statements – that the heart becomes true. That’s what Allah swt says in Qur’an:

يَوۡمَ لَا يَنفَعُ مَالٌ۬ وَلَا بَنُونَ
The Day when neither wealth will be of any use (to any one) nor sons [26:88]

We must prepare for that Day when none of your wealth, and property, and possessions will be of any benefit to you. That’s so strange. Because out there, in this world, this is what we talk about; success, progress, achievement, how much you earn, how much you make, what you drive, where do you live – this is the standard of assessment. But Allah swt is saying la yanfa’u maal, in just 3 words Allah swt makes it so clear. Arabic is crystal clear but Allah swt speaks – kalam Allah – clearly. Wa la banun, it literally means your sons, it means your worldly relations; people you know, your friends in worldly sense, that you have very accomplished social circles, your friends are very powerful and influential people, this will be of no benefit at all.

The only person who will be saved on that day, the only person who will be blessed and accepted by Allah swt, is the one who brings Allah swt a pure heart – a heart that only did sajdah to Allah swt. We keep telling you this concept of sajdah, you must understand this. It’s not enough just for the forehead to do the sajdah, the whole being, eyes and heart, and soul, the ruh, have to do sajdah only to Allah swt. That’s called la ilaha illallah. That’s real tawheed.

Our mashaikh used to say that tawheed doesn’t just mean that Allah swt is one, it means to live your life as if one Allah swt is governing you i.e. you have One. One is that Allah swt is One. And one is that Allah swt is my one and only. There is a difference. One is I believe that Allah swt exists. I believe He is unique. I believe He is the one. But the second is that I live my entire life in such a way that Allah swt is my one and only. I couldn’t be interested in dunya, I couldn’t be interested in beauty, because Allah swt is my one and only.

The other option is that I believe that Allah swt is one, and I believe that Allah swt is mine also, but not mine only. Allah swt is mine, I make sajdah, I pray salah, but I have my certain habit also, I have my certain pleasures also, I have my certain indulgences also. Sometimes people even talk like that, that you know, this is just the way I am. It’s not that they did one sin once, they come to us after years of sinning. Now after doing this for years, you would think they would be in tears. But after doing this for years, they give themselves this clean pass, that that’s just how I am, I can’t fix myself, I can’t change myself.

What happened to deen? What happened to the power of Qur’an al-Kareem? What happened to the power of du’as of Nabi Kareem sws? What happened to the power of Allah swt to change you, the power of Allah swt to fix you? Why were you thinking like that? You should think that this is how I am, but I have decided to make Allah swt my one and only in my life, and I know that Allah swt is the only one who can change me, because I have become His, He is going to change me. It’s so simple.

Sahaba Karam (ra) understood, some of them changed so much, if you look at their histories, biographies, they changed so much. Actually Allah swt changed them. They only changed one thing in their life, and they changed this one thing that they believed in Allah swt here (in their heart). They made Allah swt the be-all, the end-all of their life. When they changed that one thing, Allah swt changed everything in their life. This is the same thing that me and you have to do.

It’s not just that they did more effort – they did more effort, obviously, we are more lazy – but it’s not because they had some other type of deen, a more powerful deen, better deen that could fix you better. They had the same deen, everything is the same, it is 100% the same deen – that’s the miracle of Islam. There is no other religion that could ever have said that, in the entire history of the world, that they have the same deen that their prophet had brought, whichever prophet it was.

Deen of Islam is a miracle. Same deen, same power, same potencies, just different carrier. Our model has changed. We have the same salah, same Sunnah, same sujood, same recitation of Qur’an – all of those things, you will see, are the same. Same zakah, same Hajj, same umrah, same Ramadan, what’s different? It’s us. Our heart is different.

Why Our Hypocrisy Hurts Us More

If a person has this hypocrisy, they are unhappy. The more they love Allah swt, the more depressed they will get. Then sometimes they fall so low, they say days went by, I couldn’t pray. We have even had cases like that. It’s not just missing Fajr, they are missing all five prayers. It’s the same person, if you look at their history, they used to pray all of them. Now they are missing all of them, and it hurts them. Deep inside, it is hurting them. But they still can’t get up.

You can’t get out until you take that thing out of your heart. If it’s a ghair-mehram, take her out of your heart. If it’s money, take it out of your heart. Until you get it out of your heart, you will not be able to get back up. You will keep crying. They even cry. If you don’t take it out of your heart, even the crying won’t fix you. There is only one way, and that is to fix the heart. That’s what Allah swt said in the Qur’an:

قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ مَن زَكَّٮٰهَا
Success is really attained by him who purifies it [91:9]

Successful is that person who does tazkiyah of themselves. It means that they purified their hearts, and then they controlled their nafs. This is the only way, there is no other way. Any other lifestyle would end up with that person being a hypocrite. The better you are, the more it will hurt. The better you are, the more you will fall. That’s what they say in English that the higher they are, the harder they fall. It’s true in deen also.

May Allah swt keep us in His hifazah, because the higher you are in deen, it becomes more untrue. It becomes more nifaq. So if a person is a hafiz and they sin, the harder they fall. If they are a hafiz and an alim, then the harder they fall. If they are shaykh and they sin, the harder they fall. If they have imaan and they sin, the harder they fall. If they are a da’i, and they talk to others about Allah swt and they sin, the harder they fall.

Embracing Our Fear to End Our Suffering

Now, they fall hard, but Allah swt is more as-Sattar with them. Nobody would know about the ‘alim, shaykh, da’i, no one will know. They will know. That hurts them also, even more so, it also makes them sad. They feel this also that nobody else knows, only I know. Those sins that are only between you and Allah swt, they will hurt you more. Those sins that other people know, they will hurt you also, you may think that maybe this is part of my punishment, maybe Allah swt is punishing me in this world that so-and-so got angry with me, or that so-and-so scolded me, I faced the punishment in this world, I sinned so maybe I’m losing in business, maybe I’m losing money. But that sin which,

  1. only Allah swt knows and you know, and
  2. no punishment is happening in this world

That sin should scare you. Because that is exactly what Allah swt did to the munafiqoon, the real munafiqoon, that nobody knew, and there was no real punishment in this world, in the lifetime of Syedna Nabi sws.

We don’t want to resemble that, that they are sinning so secretly that even the Sahaba (ra) don’t know. We are also sinning so secretly that family doesn’t know, spouse doesn’t know, neighbour doesn’t know, person who I pray next to doesn’t know. They pulled it off. And sometimes me and you, we also pull it off. We pull it off and nothing happens and there is no worldly punishment, this should make you very scared. You have to let yourself be scared. Don’t be afraid of the fear. You have to embrace this feeling. This fear will lift you up, because this is called the fear of Allah swt. That’s what Allah swt says:

فَلَا تَخۡشَوۡهُمۡ وَٱخۡشَوۡنِى
do not fear them, but fear Me [2:150]

Don’t you fear them, don’t fear anything else. You fear Me. You need to embrace that fear. And you need to direct that fear towards Allah swt i.e. you are afraid of Allah. Don’t run away from this fear. It’s coming to save you. People they don’t realize this, they slip and they fall, they get a fear of Allah swt, they get scared of that fear. When they get scared, they run away, they escape. Maybe they escape through smoking, drugs, maybe they escape through movies, music, maybe they escape through novels, magazines, maybe they escape through surfing the internet, maybe they escape through hanging out with friends. You have to ride on that fear. Then you have hope. Fear of Allah swt is a good thing.

Some sin that we did not do tawbah from in this world, we should expect to be punished by Allah swt. Yes, there is a chance that Allah swt, out of His infinite Mercy, that’s the wish and will of Allah swt, He forgives whosoever He wants, man’yashaa – it’s Allah’s choice. We don’t know if we are going to be in that choice on not. Our expectation should be precisely this, that if we show up on the Day of Judgement with some sin that we didn’t make tawbah for, we will be punished.

To make yourself feel the fear, you should think that I will be punished and I will be punished severely. Because I knew, and I knew better. And I should have known better. There will be so many others who will bring that same sin of lust on the Day of Judgement, but you should feel that I will be punished the most severely by Allah swt for that unlawful lust because I knew better. You should feel and increase the fear and maximize it.

You will see that that’s what happens in this world that’s how you talk to people, that didn’t I tell you? If you told a person, and you kept on telling them but they still don’t listen to you, this is how you talk to them. Can you imagine Allah swt saying that to us on the Day of Judgement? It’s that simple – didn’t I tell you? Then? There’s no answer to that question. That didn’t I tell you:

وَلَا تَقۡرَبُواْ ٱلزِّنَىٰٓ‌ۖ
Do not even go close to fornication.[17:32]

Didn’t I tell you that? What are we going to say? That ya Allah what could I do, I was living in England? Is that what you will say at that moment? That’s not going to help! You should think about these verses, you should imagine them. The early Muslims, this was their fear, sometimes they would just sit and imagine the Day of Judgement. They would imagine standing in front of Allah swt alone, furadah, Allah swt says He is going to call us alone, singly, one-by-one, so that Allah swt goes one-on-one with us.

You need to be afraid. This fear brings the fear down from here (mind) to here (heart). Believe me, once you feel the fear, you will not be able to desire anything else. You will not be interested in it. When you feel the fear you won’t even be aware of it anymore. That’s how strong and potent the feeling of fear is. Until you feel the fear, you will be aware. When you will be aware, you will be interested. When you are aware and interested, then you will be attracted. When you are aware, interested and attracted, you will fall.

Fixing Our Dunya to Fix Our Deen

One solution to this is that you must keep yourself busy. One is that you keep busy yourself in dunya, in the good things, and second is that you must keep yourself busy in deen. It is different for everyone. There maybe some of you who are not yet strong enough, and passionate enough about Allah swt to spend hours and hours everyday in ibadah.

You may say that I have 6 hours of free time everyday, or I have 3 hours of free time everyday, but you can’t spend 100% of that in deen because you are not strong enough yet. No problem, however much you can spend your free time in deen, you spend it. The rest of the time, and this is very important, and it may even be more important for the beginner, is that the rest of the time, because you are not giving that free time to deen, you are giving that time to dunya, so you must make sure that you give it to the halal in the dunya.

رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى ٱلدُّنۡيَا حَسَنَةً۬
“Our Lord, give us good in this world” [2:201]

You have to give it to the hasanat of the dunya. Our problem isn’t – the people who come to masjid, Alhamdulillah you do spend some time in deen. Maybe you read a bit of Qur’an, maybe you come to a bayan sometimes, maybe you give da’wah sometimes, you are doing that. The problem is that when you are no able to give time to deen, and you are giving time to dunya, you give it to the sinful dunya. You do sins in dunya.

You have to fix your dunya. Once you fix your dunya, then whatever time you are giving to deen will have an effect on you. It will change you and benefit you. Until you do that, you will again be two-faced. The person who comes to bayan, they are still sinning. They give da’wah, still sinning. They recite Qur’an sometimes, still sinning. They make du’a, still sinning. They didn’t fix their dunya. In fact, our mashaikh used to teach us that in the beginning you have to put more effort in this. If you can leave sin in dunya, it’s even better than doing something extra in deen.

The example they would give, I’m talking about the extras, not the fardh, so the extras in deen are like itr, and sin is like garbage. If you are standing inside the garbage dump – the rubbish dump – then you can put so much itr on yourself, it will not make a difference because you are surrounded by garbage and waste. However, if you can get yourself out of the garbage dump, if you can remove yourself from the waste, then you just put one or two drops of itr, you will be fragrant.

There’s another example – if you take a diamond and you put it in a gutter. Now, all the dirty water is passing over it. If you take some clean water and drop one bottle, it will keep the diamond safe for maybe 5 seconds. As soon as you stop, listen carefully, as soon as you stop the dirty water will come back again. Some of us are like that. The dunya part of our life is like a gutter, and yes when we are spending time in the masjid, with the ulema and mashaikh, it’s like we are pouring the clean water. But the second we stop, the second we come back home from that trip, the second we are outside of that Islamic class, the second we stop pouring the clean water, because our life is a mess, all the dirty water comes back again.

But if you take the diamond out of the gutter, once it is out, you will not even need a whole bottle of water. You just pour a little bit of water and it’s fine, and it stays fine because you took it out of the gutter. You have to fix your dunya in order to benefit from your deen.

1. First thing to fix about the dunya is to leave all sins entirely

وَذَرُواْ ظَـٰهِرَ ٱلۡإِثۡمِ وَبَاطِنَهُ
Leave outward sin and inward sin. [6:120]

Allah swt says in the Qur’an that leave all the sins that you do outwardly and inwardly. Stop doing sins and stop wanting sins. And this is exactly, as you will see, is what makes us fall. The second you commit a sin, the more you are on deen, the quicker it will happen. The instant you will do sin, you will fall flat. You worked so hard, you spend 1-2 months to work on yourself in such a way that you could remember Allah swt inside your salah, you make one sinful gaze, you will fall back flat right where you were, you would just go through the motions. You would still pray, but you will just be going through the motions.

Ibn Jawzi (rh) – one of the great critics of hadith narrators and was known to be extra strict, he was a bit too severe in his critics – he   tells a story, this is not a hadith, but when you have a person like that who is so strict in his grading of hadith that majority of the hadith scholars felt that he was too strict, if he is narrating a story then it must have reached him through some strong credibility.

He has written this story in his books that there was once a person who was a hafiz of Qur’an and Qari of Qur’an, and a good and practising believer. Once he looked at a ghayr-mehram with attraction and desire, he lost the feelings of his salah, and he lost the hifz of his Qur’an. Why? It’s not going to happen all the time – it doesn’t happen. I’m sure there are many hufaz who would prove to me that it hasn’t happened to them!

Remember I told you that the higher they are, the harder they fall? He was hafiz and qari and had feelings in his salah. He rose higher, he did not just memorize the Qur’an, he was feeling it. Can you imagine someone who knows the words and understands the meanings and feels the feelings, he was at a higher level, he just made one slip and finished; feelings gone, meanings gone, wordings gone. I was so stunned that ibn Jawzi (rh) had told this story. If this hasn’t happened to me and you, it is because Allah swt is al-Haleem:

وَڪَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَلِيمً۬ا
and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. [33:51]

Allah swt knows – ‘Aleem, He knows everything. Allah swt knows every sin that we do, every sin that we wish we could do, Allah swt knows every sin we tried to do and every sin we did do, Allah swt knows which sins we are truly sad about and which sin we still sometimes think about, Allah swt knows which sins we have erased memory and desire for and which sin we still have memory of and desire for. Allah swt knows, He is ‘aleem. Just like Allah swt is ‘Aleem; All-Knowing, Absolutely Knowing, He is also Haleem. It means that Allah swt withholds His punishment. Allah swt does not punish instantaneously. He waits. He is soft and gentle with us. He waits, and sometimes for some people He waits their whole life. He gives them their whole life that maybe before they die, they will make true tawbah.

There are some things like that in our deen; zakah you have your whole life to pay. It’s much better to pay it every year, and you should try to pay it, but technically speaking, as long as you pay your zakah before you die, you will be fine on the Day of Judgement. Allah swt waits. But didn’t wait for that person which ibn Jawzi (rh) wrote about. But He has been Haleem with us. It means that those of us who are less, Allah swt is being more soft, more gentle with us. We should have hope in the Mercy of Allah swt. We should have hope in the power of Allah swt to change us. The first thing about fixing your dunya is to stop all sin.

2. Second thing in fixing your dunya is that you must stay away from ghaflah

Allah swt says in Qur’an:

وَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ ٱلۡغَـٰفِلِينَ
and do not be among the heedless. [7:205]

Ghaflah means wasting time, idle time, futile time, you are not necessarily doing something haram, it may not be a sin, but it’s a pure waste of time – that’s what is called ghaflah. Because if you let yourself indulge in those wasteful activities, again your are on that road to sin. Wasteful activity means sleeping more than you need to, eating, talking more than you need to. Wasteful activity in the contemporary times is often done in front of the screen; too much screen time. This is not something that only effects the youth. Increasingly men in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s are spending too much time on the screen. Whether it’s the phone, the iPad, the laptop, whatever it is, they are addicted to the screen.

They get so addicted to the screen that they can’t even spend time with their own children. This is so strange, can you imagine, this has just become their temperament. You have now become a personality, that what’s here (in the mind) is one thing, and what’s here (in the heart) is something else. So if you ask that person, he would say yes on Sunday I love my children, I’m so happy I’m not working today. Wife says spend time with the children, and he is honest, but heart can’t do it. Heart is stuck on the screen. This is the type of person he has become. Mind says one thing, heart says something else. Heart is glued on the screen.

Obviously, you know there are many sins on the screen, but I was talking to you about the second category called ghaflah. So perfect example for ghaflah, and the sign for this is that if you are even slightly upset about what I’m about to say, if you feel a slight prick, it means you are addicted to the screen. It means it is ghaflah for you. And that’s called sports. Manchester United. It should be ummah united, and mashaAllah instead of being hooked on ummah united, they are hooked on Manchester United.

You know, in the beginning when people used to tell me Manu, I used to think it was a university. Because in America sometimes we abbreviate it like, you call it uni, we just say “u”, NYU means New York University, it took me a long time to realize Manu was not Manchester University, it’s something else! So what happens is that you miss out on your family time. I’m not even getting to that discussion right now that whether it’s haram or makrooh, or whether it is halal. I’m teaching you something else here: it’s ghaflah.

وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمۡ عَنِ ٱللَّغۡوِ مُعۡرِضُونَ
And who keep themselves away from vain things [23:3]

Laghw means futile, pointless, baseless activities; doing something that is completely halal and jaiz, absolutely permissible, but has absolutely no connection to Allah swt. This is called laghw. Absolutely 100% permissible, but at the same time absolutely 100% unrelated to Allah swt, unrelated to your mission on earth, unrelated to your identity of abd. That’s called ghaflah.

Again, I gave you the example, the mind knows how can I spend all my Sunday on the screen, I haven’t talked to my children yet, I haven’t talked to them about their homework, I don’t know how they are doing at school. I haven’t talked to them about Allah swt. How much can a maktab do, really? Can a maktab make a child into a wali of Allah swt if his father, week after week, does not even talk to him about Allah? Never even says the blessed name of Allah swt once in conversations with his son?

How much can that maktab do for your child, you tell me. If you ask the mind, the mind 100% says yes I should be talking to my children about Allah swt, yes I should share with my children stories of Syedna Rasool Allah sws, yes I want to talk to them about how they are doing at school. But what happens is that the heart is stuck on screen.

It’s horrific that you would rather watch 10, 11, 12 or however many there are, 22 of them, strangers kicking a ball around than talk to your own son and daughter. This will catch up with you. And the believers? Allah swt holds the believers to a higher standard. Everything believers do, catches up with them. So stuck in ghaflah – it maybe shopping for somebody, it maybe sports, it maybe fashion, there are so many ways of being ghafil.

Cars? Let me just explain this to you in this way. You were supposed to drive just one car, maybe one for your wife etc, so two cars. You were supposed to drive one or two cars, as opposed to knowing all of the features and models in all of the 20-30 cars. That’s ghaflah. If I ask you what did your child do this week in science class, you will have no idea. If I say what did he do this whole month in his science class, you will have no idea. If I ask you about a car that you don’t have, and you have never owned it, you have never driven it, but I ask you how many miles does it come in then you would be able to give me a whole lecture – how many miles it comes in, how much its insurance will be, and is it good to buy or not. This is all ghaflah.

You know the stats of the athletes, and you don’t know the stats of your own children. That’s a problem. What do the children do? They also follow along, then your child will become uninterested in you. This is also one way in which the term ghafil is used: to be ghafil from a person. You will become uninterested in them, then they will become uninterested in you. They will also just get hooked on the screen. They will just follow you. Now two zombies looking at the screen.

Can you imagine those 11 players on the field? They would never imagine that right now a person is watching me who actually has kalimah in their hearts, and they are watching me kick a ball around. They actually believe in Allah swt, let’s suppose he is an atheist soccer player, though not all of them are atheists, he will never imagine that there is someone out there who actually believes in God but instead they are watching me. There is someone out there who actually believes in a prophet but instead they are watching me. You will also be stunned, you would think this is crazy. Instead of talking to his son about the prophet and god he believes in, he talks to strangers about how I kicked the ball. Now do you understand? It’s absurd. This is going to catch up with you.

We have to remove ghaflah from dunya, we have to remove sins from the dunya. Then I accept that you are living in this country, you have to work for living, I will accept all of that as long as you remove the sins and ghaflah from your dunya. Then you can say that I can only do 20 minutes of dhikr, I can only do this, no problem, as long as you clean the dunya part of your life. If you don’t clean the dunya part of your life, you maybe doing this, that and the other in deen – you should be scared… same story, same nifaq that I was talking to you about.

Whether it’s parents and children, same problem with husband and wife. They are ghafil from each other. Everything else is just a story, all of it is just stories that people make up that no she didn’t do this, she didn’t do that, it’s very simple that you became ghafil of her, so eventually, yes, she became ghafil of you. You became uncaring and negligent towards her, she become uncaring and negligent towards you. Sooner or later it had an effect. When you were uncaring and negligent towards her, everything in your mind was going smooth. The second she became uncaring and negligent towards you, you took notice.

You are even ready to file for divorce. The arrogance of the UK Muslim men community, in some of them, it’s amazing. The divorce cases that have reached me in this country are just absolutely amazing. I can’t even believe, sometimes I just want to shake the guy, and he is telling me that this happened, so I tell him yes, so what? Crazy things, all from ghaflah. It all starts here (in the heart) what happened was that you became unhappy, you became unfulfilled. That’s how you start the story. Why were you unhappy, why were you unfulfilled? Because you weren’t making her happy, you weren’t making her fulfilled. You were ghafil so it comes back to haunt you.

مَن يَعۡمَلۡ سُوٓءً۬ا يُجۡزَ بِهِۦ
Whoever does evil shall be requited for it [4:23]

Allah swt says in Qur’an that whenever you commit a sin, it will come back to haunt you. Yujza bihi – they will face the consequences. As you sow, so shall you reap. Again, I’m talking about people who are on deen, talking about man and woman they both pray, they are both believing in Allah swt, they both recite Qur’an al-Kareem, they both believe in Nabi Kareem sws.

This ghaflah is killing us. We don’t realize it is hurting our relationship with parents and children, hurting our relationship of husband and wife, it is hurting our relationship of abd-Rabb. It is hurting all of our relationships but we are still glued, stuck on it. All of these are problems in our heart. The way to get out of all of this is to go deeper and deeper into the teachings our deen teaches us about our heart.

We do know what our deen teaches us about what we should believe in with our mind. We know what our deen teaches us about how we need to look and act. Now we need to learn more about what our deen teaches us about how we are supposed to feel in our heart. That you learn from the teachers of the heart. That you learn by making dhikr of Allah swt. That you learn by getting feelings of the heart; that’s called feeling of taqwah, shukr, sabr, feeling of love for Allah swt, feeling of fear of Allah swt. This will require time and effort. You cannot get these feelings effortlessly, you will not get these feelings without giving any time whatsoever. You must put in the time and you must put in the effort. If you do that you will get the feelings of the heart. So to do this:

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ ءَامِنُواْ
O you who believe, do believe [4:136]

To do that second part, like we told you in the beginning, that requires time, that requires effort. Now there are two options. One is that you try to figure it our yourself. If you try to figure it out yourself, it’s possible, but it will require more time and more effort, and we are the people who give less time and less effort. If you want to take a path that requires more time and more effort, it’s not going to work for you.

There is another option that those who have already figured this out and have given us guidance and instruction on how to get these feelings in our heart, you simply follow that guidance and those instructions, then with less time and less effort you will get more results. This is the real answer to the question that people ask that why do I need a Shaykh? Why do I need to make dhikr? Why do I need to listen to bayan and lectures like this? Because through these type of talks, and by practising the dhikr of Allah swt, you will get more feelings in less time and less effort.

Is it fardh? No. But the other option is that you do it on your own and it will require more time and more effort. It’s that simple. Everything I have told you, you could have researched this yourself, but it would have taken you more than an hour to do so. Everything that I have told you is from deen. But it would have taken you more time. We got it from our mashaikh in less time, it’s our duty to give it to you in less time. If you were to try figuring out tafsir on your own, it would take you more time.

If you go to the ulema and use books of tafsir, it would take you less time. You try to figure out the method of doing dawah, it would take you more time and effort. We go the ulema, qari, for tajweed, they will give you guidance and instructions, you follow that and with less time and effort you will get more results.

Now you just have to decide which of the following types of people are you? Are you the people who give less time and less effort, or are you the one who is going to give more time and more effort? It’s that simple. Those who will give more time and more effort, then we will not strongly suggest to them that they need shaykh. But that person who wants to give less time and less effort, and on top of that, with less effort they want more results, then we would strongly suggest to that person that you need shaykh.

Yes Alhamdulillah it’s true that in less effort and less time you get more results because this is a guided process. But if you are so lazy, you don’t follow the guidance, you don’t follow the instructions, well then that’s zero time and zero effort, that will give you zero result. It’s all our choice.

قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ مَن زَكَّٮٰهَا
Success is really attained by him who purifies it [91:9]

The person who does tazkiyah will be successful. Allah swt could have said Allahu yuzaki man’yashaa – that Allah swt does tazkiyah of who He wants. But how do you combine these two verses – first we have to put our time and effort in our tazkiyah, that will attract Allah swt’s mercy that actually, really does our tazkiyah. That’s true with everything in life. First you have to take the first step, then Allah swt will take you all the way after that. It’s Allah swt’s will and wish – if Allah swt sends all of His mercy on a person, then he takes one step, and Allah swt takes him all the way.

Some people take one step, Allah swt takes then 10 steps and then tests them again. They may have to go on like this for the rest of their lives, this is the choice of Allah swt. But you have to initiate this process. That’s why our mashaikh used to initiate people. That’s why it’s called initiation in English, actually they would initiate the process with the person, they would jump start the person, they would help the person. They plug the switch directly, it doesn’t work, but when they plug it in through a cable, it works. They call it mechanics. We call it tawajjuh. It’s that simple. That requires less time and less effort.

This was our purpose tonight; first we wanted to understand what our real situation is, that we are desperately in need. And what we believe in our mind must become a real feeling in our heart. We need to follow this verse of Qur’an:

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ ءَامِنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ
O you who believe, do believe in Allah and His Messenger [4:136]

We need to get real feelings in our heart. We need to stay away from sin in dunya, ghaflah in dunya, then inshaAllah all of the effort that we make in our deen will have a real lasting effect on us. And we need to improve our relationships with anyone and everyone that Allah swt has put in our lives. Husband and wife, Allah swt put them in each other’s life.

لِّتَسۡكُنُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهَا
so that you may find tranquillity in them [30:21]

So that they get sakoon from each other. What does it mean, sukoon? It means Allah swt sends sakoon. Allah swt says in Qur’an:

هُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ ٱلسَّكِينَةَ فِى قُلُوبِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ
He (Allah) is such that He sent down tranquility into the hearts of the believers [48:4]

Allah swt sends on them sakinah, but Allah swt is saying that this is such a relationship that you will get sakoon from her. This is sakoon ala sakoon; noorun ala noor. When a person is abd, and second they are piously married, and if you try to get peace and tranquillity from some other place, then you will only get torture and terror in your heart. Your heart will be tortured through all types of twisted emotions and it will be a terrifying situation. You will lose Allah swt.

You must understand this also that until we fix ourselves, we are in danger of losing Allah swt. This is the greatest loss. Even if we have partial loss, that’s a great loss. Even if you lose one moment of dhikr in your life, that’s a tremendous loss. Syedna Rasool Allah sws has said that the people of Jannah on whom Allah swt sends His mercy, and they are now inside Jannah, Day of Judgement everything is finished, they are in Jannah, in akhirah forever, for eternity. Syedna Rasool Allah sws said that they will never be sad about anything except one thing in their life, they will have hasrah, they will have sadness, longing and yearning and regret, they will have one regret and that was that moment in their life in which they didn’t have the remembrance of Allah swt. It means in Jannah, in akhirah, they would regret it forever, they will regret one second in which they didn’t remember Allah swt in dunya, they will regret it for all of eternity in akhirah.

They lost the dhikr of Allah swt for one second, and they will regret it forever. So then me and you, how much have we already lost? Look at your own life, your own history, your own past, as individuals – how much have you already lost? How much is there already to regret! How much is there to make up for! And no one knows, only Allah swt knows, how much time any one of us has left. So it’s never too early, and it’s never too late. You must begin this path, you must begin this process of purifying your hearts and filling your hearts with feelings and dhikr of Allah swt. May Allah swt accept each and every one of us for this, may He protect our hearts from every fake, false thing in the dunya, may He fill our hearts with all of the true feelings.

وَآَخِرُ دَعْوَانَا أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

On the Peshawar School Attack

Following are rough notes covering highlights from the Cii talk (18-12-2014) by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed (db) on the tragedy that took place in Peshawar, Pakistan.

While we were here in a short stay, as many of our listeners will know, an event had happened – an event that was not just spread by the media; an event that was in itself an incredible tragedy – a tragedy in the highest magnitude in proportion. And that was the unlawful, the haram, despicable and dishonourable slaughter of innocent children in a school here in Pakistan, in the city of Peshawar.

Over 100 children were mercilessly killed by the hands of brutal murderers. The great tragedy was that this was done by the murderers in the name of Islam. And they took Allah swt’s name, and they said “Allahu Akbar” while they were slaughtering the children.

So before we continue with the program tonight, we wanted for all of our listeners to remember them in their hearts and make dua. Those innocent children who were murdered, the victims, they are all Shaheed and all beloved to Allah swt now. But it is the children who survived, and the parents of the children who were killed, who especially need the duas of this Ummah. One child recently gave a report that because the killers were enchanting “Allahu Akbar” he said every time I hear “Allahu Akbar” now I will always remember this incident. Can you imagine what a heinous crime has been done?

This child will obviously listen to adhaan and in every adhaan, obviously, there will be “Allahu Akbar”. Instead of him feeling the feelings of love for Allah swt, yearning for Allah swt, wanting to go to masjid to pray salah, now every single time for the rest of his life when he hears this beautiful, special and sacred sentence “Allahu Akbar” he will be reminded of the heinous crime in which best of his friends and classmates were brutally and mercilessly slaughtered around him.

It is amazing the level that the people have descended to. And this is not the only crime. There are so many other crimes, it is not my practice to speak about such issues on this program, but there are definitely so many other crimes; whether it’s in Palestine, whether in Gaza, whether in Syria, whether in Iraq, whether here in Pakistan or Yemen, or many other places.

However, this was such a special circumstance that we felt that even on this program, which is dedicated to tazkiya, we had to make mention of it, especially to request all of the listeners to make special dua for all the children who survived that they may still fall in love with Allah swt. And that may Allah swt protect their hearts from every false ideology, from every false concept of revenge, from every false hatred, and may Allah swt especially select their hearts to be from His truest lovers, and from His truest beloveds. Thereby, may Allah swt show to the entire world that every evil that may happen, Allah swt is that Being who has the power to still bring forth good from it.

Deriving Lesson from the Incident of Ta’if

Just like in Taif there was an evil that took place in which the people attacked Syedna Rasool Allah sws, but Allah swt brought forth a good from it. Very soon all of the people of Taif became believers; became strong, steadfast and staunch believers. So we ask that Allah swt once again sends His hidayah and sends His noor and sends His guidance and bring forth the good. And Allah swt said in Quran:

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصّـٰبِرينَ

Indeed, Allah is with the patient. [2:153]

That indeed Allah swt’s special companionship and intimate companionship and near and dear friendship, is with those people who undergo tragedies and who are tested and tried by Allah swt in this world, but they don’t react; they don’t react with anger; they don’t react with vengeance; they don’t react with accusations.

Instead, they have sabr. They remain steadfast. It does not mean they do nothing. It means they do nothing outside shairi’ah. They remain firm and steadfast on the guidelines of deen. They do not act with irrational anger. But they act and respond in the way Allah swt guides them to act and respond. These are known as the Sabireen – the people of sabr.

It’s very important that all of us also learn this lesson. We must all make ourselves from sabireen. Because fitnah will only increase in days to come, there is going to be more and more fitnah, more and more test, trials and tribulations; more tragedy and travesty; more warfare and bloodshed; more killing and mayhem – these are the signs of the end of coming. That end may take centuries to come. That end may take decades to come. Only Allah swt knows best.

Foretelling by the Prophet (sws) about Fitnah and Widespread Killings 

Syedna Rasool Allah sws told us clearly about certain signs and those are the signs that we witness in this day and age. Syedna Rasool Allah sws was once sitting with Sahaba (ra) and warning and precautioning them that there will come a time in which there will be great haraj. Sahaba karam (ra) asked, Nabi e Kareem sws what is this “haraj”? Prophet sws said the killing and killing qatal o qatal o qitaal; killing and killing and killing. To paraphrase the general words of Nabi sws, that there will be killing everywhere.

And literally every single day there is killing going on in this Ummah. There are different flash-points in this world. There are unknown places that maybe we don’t even know of yet. Every single day. Maybe Allahu Aalam, it might even be every single hour. I don’t know. But every single day and maybe even every single hour. That’s the amount of killing.

And then Rasool Allah sws said that one of the signs of the end of times is that the killer will kill without knowing why they are killing, and the one being killed will be killed without knowing for what reason they are being killed. This is also something that we witness in so many places; in so many conflicts.

Then Nabi sws also said that there will be so much fitnah in a time like this that there will be people who will wake up in the morning with imaan and when they pass away at night their imaan would have left their hearts. So we need to be very careful to make sure that none of us, and none of our friends, families, colleagues, classmates, teachers, students or employers, ever fall in this fitnah. We should never let anyone, and never let ourselves lose our imaan. And that’s the other meaning of Sabr.

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصّـٰبِرينَ

Indeed, Allah is with the patient. [2:153]

Sabr also means to be strong; to persevere; to have fortitude and to have endurance to remain strong on your deen, even though there maybe some people of deen who do evil things; even though there maybe all types of strange movements arising from within this ummah, you must be firm on your deen. You must be firm on The Deen. You must be strong on the deen that the mufassireen and muhaditheen worked so hard to share, spread and transmit to us.

We must be firm on the deen that the fuqaha, the ussuleen worked so hard to explain to us. You must be firm on the deen that the Awliya Allah spread in this Ummah – that the Awliya Allah put in the heart from the hearts of the others. You must be firm and steadfast on the deen.

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصّـٰبِرينَ

Indeed, Allah is with the patient. [2:153]

Then we will find that Allah swt’s special nearness will be with us. Then all the sorrow, sadness and all the grief will go away. These are the teachings of tazkiya. Yes, the teachings of tazkiya aren’t just about a person doing dhikr alone in their room. Teachings of tazkiya are about how to purify ourselves and keep ourselves pure from every fitnah, every falsehood, every evil and every terror. This is why there is a great need, and we personally feel the greatest need of the times is for this path of tazkiya.

It’s only when people purify themselves of these unlawful feelings of vengeance, anger, hatred and enmity and animosity, only then will the unlawful violence stop. As long as a person gives into their anger, vengeance, hostility and hatred, the unlawful violence will continue. And this is the great teaching of the sunnah of Nabe e Kareem sws.

Significance of Tazkiyah

He sws was that person who transformed the hearts of that community which had the most vengeance, the most blood feuding – Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula at the time of jahiliyyah, before they accepted Islam, were notorious. They were people of blood; people of war; people of feuds; people of disputes; people of revenge and revengeful crimes. Blood-feuds; this was the number one description of the Arabs globally at that time.  Anyone who knew them said they were the most feudist and vengeful people.

Syedna Rasool Allah sws was sent by Allah swt with pure Qur’an and pure nur of his sws heart. What did he sws do? Tazkiya. Allah swt says in the Qur’an:


and makes them pure [3:164]

And you sws will purify these people. Syedna Rasool Allah (sws) did exactly that. He sws purified them of all of the anger, hostility, all of the vengeance and all of the feuding, such that they gave up all of that culture. And all of the historians, even the atheist historians of Islam, write this about that period – that the Arabs were transformed. Even if they are atheists – whatever; they don’t believe in Allah swt, but even then they accept the fact that the Arabs were transformed entirely by the deen of Islam.

This means that anyone who has true deen in them, who has true Sunnah in them, they can never be a person of revenge, blood feuding, senseless and unlawful violence. This is why we must go deep in the deen of Islam. We must go deeper in the Sunnah of Nabi e Kareem sws, so that the hearts get purified from all of these unlawful emotions. That purification of the heart is called tazkiya.

This has now become not just an individual need, but this has become the need for the whole ummah. Many times people think that tasawwuf is just for the individual, but they are mistaken. And they think tasawwuf cannot help people, rather it is the politics that will help the ummah; or it is the conferences that will help the ummah; or it is setting up of all types of organizations that will help the ummah. 

No, rather tazkiya helps the individual and it is tazkiya that will help the ummah. That’s also what Rasool Allah (sws) did.


and makes them pure [3:164]

That you must do tazkiya of all of them. You must do tazkiya of the whole group. You must do tazkiya of the ummah, because the power of tazkiya is collective. It will be a collective effort and it will have a collective impact. This is a great myth and a great slander against tazkiya that it is just for the individual.

What people do is that they insert every ideology, movement and favorite political party of their own as if that is the solution for the collective condition of the Ummah.

Just exactly the same way that tazkiya is the solution for the individual condition of an individual believer, tazkiya is the solution, is the cure, for the collective tragedy that is facing this ummah today. This is why Allah swt says in the Qur’an:

يَتۡلُواْ عَلَيۡہِمۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ

who recites to them His verses [3:164]

That the first function, O beloved Nabi e Kareem sws, is that you sws must recite to them the verses of revelations. First and foremost is Qur’an. First and foremost is kalamUllah, kitabUllah, wahi; it is the word of Allah swt – speech of Allah swt. And then second, and second to nothing else other than Qur’an:


and makes them pure [3:164]

Is their tazkiya; that is second. And after Qur’an it is first. It is second only to Qur’an. So this path and teachings of tazkiya is actually actively, practically purifying our hearts. This is that effort of deen that is second to nothing else except, and only second to, the revelation of Qur’an itself. Not recitation of Qu’ran by us, tazkiya is more important than that. The revelation of Qur’an itself is the only thing that takes precedence and priority over this effort of tazkiya. That’s what Allah swt told the Prophet sws:


and makes them pure [3:164]


وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلۡحِڪۡمَةَ

teaches them the Book and the Wisdom [3:164]

Then you sws must also teach them the book and you sws must also teach them sunnah. So even before they get deep knowledge of Qur’an and Sunnah, first you sws must do their tazkiya. You sws must, most importantly, do their tazkiya. You sws must purify their hearts.

This is really the crisis. The crisis of this ummah is not political. The crisis of this ummah is not economic. The crisis of ummah has nothing to do with non-Muslims. It’s our own crisis, of our own hearts. It’s our own crisis and we will find our own solution in our own deen – which is the true path of tazkiya, according to the Qur’an alKareem and sunnah of Nabi e Kareem sws.

Many people also, after hearing these events – I don’t know how much the global listeners and the listeners in South Africa are aware of or effected by events – but what we have here more locally are a lot of people entering into almost a kind of depression. It’s very important to know that:

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصّـٰبِرينَ

Indeed, Allah is with the patient. [2:153]

You cannot let yourself be depressed. You cannot say:

“I couldn’t sleep all night and I couldn’t even make dua. And I had to force myself to pray fajr because I was so depressed about what had happened.”

Yes, you can say:

“I couldn’t sleep all night so I prayed all night. I couldn’t sleep so I prayed tahajjud all night.”

That you can say. Any sleeplessness, or anything that leads to inaction, remember that is just from the nafs and shaytan. But yes, any feeling of sadness and grief you had such that, that grief makes you make du’a, that grief makes you make taubah, that grief makes you realize this that:

“Ya Allah Ya Rabbe Kareem! How much have you given me! I have so much comfort. I have so much security. I live in so much safety, when there are so many of my fellow Muslims, mu’mineen, mu’minaat, male and female believers, who are leading lives of torment. Who are leading lives of warfare. They are afflicted in all types of ways. And Ya Allah! You have given me every comfort, every ease, every grace, every honour, every dignity, and still I’m failing to wake up for fajr, still I’m failing to lower my gaze. Still I cannot control myself on the internet. Still I waste so much time. Still I’m watching movies.”

We should make true taubah that Allah swt has given us the aman. This aman is also an amanah. This safety and security is also a golden sacred trust from Allah swt. We have to get serious about our deen; not lazy in deen; not depressed, no. We have to get serious about our deen. And we have to return our hearts to the Sunnah of Nabi e Kareem sws. And that is one major aspect of this program; tazkiya is how to revive the Sunnah of Syedna Rasool Allah sws in our hearts and in our lives. This is why Allah swt said in the Qur’an:

يـٰأَيُّهَا الَّذينَ ءامَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَكونوا مَعَ الصّـٰدِقينَ

O believers, do not stray from the path of God, and be with those who are truthful. [9:119]

O you who have imaan, you must have taqwah, and you must join your being with sadiqeen. What does it mean? You must be with them. You should also look to them. This is what our mashaikh would teach that you must look to them. That’s who a Sahabi (ra) is. Sahabi is that person who saw Rasool Allah sws (in the state of imaan). What does it mean by “see”. It does not mean just that he saw what  Syedna Rasool Allah sws looked like. He saw how the Prophet sws lived. He saw the adaab and akhlaq of Nabi e Kareem sws. Because he saw that, because he or she observed that, they are better than us.

Same thing for Tabi’een. Tabieen is anyone who observed Sahaba (ra). This is what we have to do in times like this. We must be steadfast and we must strictly observe the ulema and the Awliya – the real true Ulema and true Awliya Ullah. How do they speak, how do they respond, how do they act, when do they react; we must look and find good models for us to observe. Otherwise, we will end up just like any other ordinary person – always watching news shows and analysing.

Our deen is not new. We are not CNN. This is no CNN Islam. Our deen is to look to Allah swt for hidaya; to make du’a to Allah swt; to look at the sadiqeen and siddiqeen for hidayah. That’s it.

We must become people of Sabr and himmah. And this is a very important teaching even for listeners who maybe blessed by Allah swt to live in places where until now there has been less violence; less fitna; less strife. Still, the fitnah is spreading. There are areas of the Muslim world which once upon a time were peaceful, and now they are war-torn. So that trend can continue.

There maybe places today which are peaceful but tomorrow they maybe war-torn. There is all sort of senseless and haram violence being done by Muslims, there is senseless and haram violence being done to and upon Muslims. We are living in a tremendous age of fitnah. And the only hope for us is to revive the sunnah of Nabi e Kareem sws.

There is nothing that can eliminate or protect us from this fitnah except for the Sunnah of Syedna Rasool Allah sws. It was only his sws sunnah that was able to eliminate all fitnah from all of the Arabian Peninsula in his sws time. We must return to that sunnah. We must become that sunnah. We must share that sunnah. We must spread that sunnah.

Message for the Students of ‘ilm & Dhikr

Especially those of our listeners who are students of knowledge, or those who are students of dhikr, for the salikeen and the talaba and talibaat, students of Islamic Knowledge, and for the seekers of the path of pleasure of Allah swt: We must become more strong in our ilm, strong in our dhikr and strong in our sunnah.

We cannot take it easy anymore. We cannot take this lazy attitude anymore; that sometimes I do my dhikr, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I study my ilm, sometimes I don’t. It’s not going to cut it anymore if we are living in a time of fitnah.

Fitnah means very simply, that yes everybody stumbles and everybody falls, fitnah means it will be harder to get back up. You see, when you stumble and fall then you have to get back up. But fitnah means it will be hard for you to get up. And the more and more fitnah there is, the harder it will be to get back up. That means it’s more important for us now to become so strong in deen that we try not to fall, try not to stumble, try not to slip. We can’t afford all those slips that we have.

How can it be that the students of Knowledge, students of dhikr miss fajr salah? How can it be that they speak lies? How can it be that they don’t control their gaze? How can it be that they don’t treat their spouse well? It can’t happen anymore.

If the students of ilm and dhikr keep slipping, falling and keep sliding, then when the fitnah increases, it will be harder for them to get up. You should think, who else is left in this ummah who can have a chance to be serious about deen? It’s ilm and dhikr and sunnah that makes a person serious on deen.

Especially for those of you who have been listening to the program more than once, you may have heard so many things on the program. But it’s time to get busy doing it. It’s time to get busy becoming it. All the things that we have learnt from our Ulema and Mashaikh, we must start practicing it; we must start implementing it.

There was once a person who asked,

 “Why do people light candles?” 

The reason people light a candle is because every bit of light switches out that much more darkness. That was the concept of lighting candles. Actually, the real light is not the candle that is lit by a worldly flame. The real light is the noor of Imaan. The real light is the noor of Qur’an. The real light is the noor of sunnah. The real light is the noor of dhikr. You have to light these lights in your heart. And this Ummah is the only one who has that light, so all of us in the Ummah we must light this flame in our hearts.

It is not acceptable anymore to be too lazy to do it. Unable to do it. To say that I want to do dhikr, but I can’t. I want to study ilm, but I can’t. I want to pray tahajjud, but I can’t. So many of our listeners know this. So many of our listeners are in this situation. You must take yourself out of this situation.

If you are listening to this program, you must listen to it with the intention to change – you must want to really do your tazkiya. You should want to practice everything that you hear. You should want to drink and drown in every single teaching of Mashaikh and Awliya Ullah. You should want to feel every single feeling of the Sunnah. You should want to feel every single feeling of Qur’an. Nothing less than such an attitude, nothing less than such an approach is going to cut it anymore. Because we are now entering the times of fitnah. In fact we are already in the times of fitnah.

It may trigger for some people. For some people Syria might trigger. For some people Peshawar might trigger. For some people Somalia might trigger. For some people something that happened in your life – but you can’t wait anymore. Every one of us has to get turned on to deen. Every one of us has to be motivated and dynamic on deen. This is the only solution.

When we bring the deen back into our hearts, and when there are enough hearts in this world that truly follow deen, that’s the only way this fitnah will be beaten back.

Even though there are one and a half million Muslims in the world, there are very few of them who are truly muttaqeen; lovers of Allah swt; deep and true followers of sunnah; passionate dhakireen – we need more people like that. This effort of tazkiya creates such a person. Yes, it’s natural to feel sorrow and sadness and grief on these tragic events. But you must pull yourself out of that grief – not letting the grief make you fall into depression. Rather it must motivate you. It must have an inspiration for you, such that you become strong and steadfast, you turn to Allah swt.

May Allah swt accept this intention. May He make each and everyone of us firm and steadfast on this path of tazkiya. May we at least eliminate the darkness in us, and then beg Allah swt to help us in this. Allah swt is the true Muzakki. Allah swt says in the Qur’an:

وَلـٰكِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُزَكّى مَن يَشاءُ

but God makes whosoever He will grow in goodness [24:21]

We beg that Allah swt! You do tazkiya of our hearts, and you put the noor of deen in our heart and then You help us eliminate the darkness of the world, you help us eliminate the sickness that is in this world.

May Allah swt accept this intention from us.

وَآَخِرُ دَعْوَانَا أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Benefits of Engaging the Intellect

[These are rough notes from talks delivered by Shaykh Omar Mukhtar and Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed on Ramadan 25 and 28, respectively, in Post Asr Majalis, South Africa i’tikaf, 2015]

We should try to engage our intellect to get ilm (religious knowledge). It is very easy for the ulema to travel the path of tasawwuf. Because the person of ilm knows the destination, once you know the destination you can easily get there. If someone says I do not know where I’m going, it will be difficult for him to get there.

How can a person know their destination? Ilm is the thing that makes you aware of your destination. That is why Hadrat Hasan Basri rah narrates that he and his friend started together on the path of tasawwuf. He was very fast and the friend was very slow. So he went to his shaykh to ask about the reason. Shaykh replied that it is because you have knowledge. If you have ilm, you will fly on this path.

Nabi sws has said al ilmu-nur; knowledge is light. It helps in taribyah (disciplining) and tazkiya (purification). Attaining ilm is fardh upon every Muslim. Fard amount of ilm is that which makes you spend your 24 hours in a manner that you know what is halal and what is haram. Then there is extra knowledge, when you love someone you do not just want fard. The seeker who loves Allah swt a lot would like to know Allah swt more and more. Even if you are busy, at least have this intention that I want to have these uloom as well like Hadrat Musa (as) had knowledge of Shari’ah but still he wanted more ilm (through Hadrat Khizer as).

The path of tasawwuf can be traveled by people in years, depending on the amount of effort they put in. And ulema can even travel it within months. One Shaykh said that if an alim comes to me, and does what he is told, then he can even travel this path within 40 days! This is the power of ilm.

Some people think ilm leads to ujub and takabbur. Ilm is in itself not a hijab. Nabi sws said Scholars are the heirs of prophets in spreading the deen. It means the characteristics of ujub and takabbur are obstacles to tazkiya, not ilm itself. So go and attain ilm.

Hadrat Abu Huraira ra accepted Islam when he was 60 years old and he narrates most of the ahadith! So age is also not an obstacle for ilm.

Our Shaykh Ghulam Habib rah used to say that if I’m lying down and an alim walks over me such that he steps on my chest, I will not mind at all. This was because of the love and respect he had for the alim. We should try to have love for ulema, love for mashaikh and love for ilm.

Another rival to knowledge is the knowledge of philosophers, economists, professors. They use their minds, some are absolutely genius and great intellects, but they understand through their aqal alone. Maybe the best philosopher understands virtue, but he will do it on the basis of his aqal only.

On the other hand, in ilm we have knowledge based on the knowledge of anbiya, Allah swt himself teaches humanity that which they never knew, nor could they ever have known in future.

عَلَّمَ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ مَا لَمۡ يَعۡلَمۡ
He taught man what he did not know. [96:5] 

Which is the greater knowledge? Knowledge from Allah swt sent to anbiya, shared through the hearts of sahaba (ra), mapped by ulema and residing in the hearts of awliya. Or the secular knowledge?

People of the world use their knowledge to get more pleasure for nafs. They have developed some terrible things (like weapons of mass destruction). Never think Islam is backwards. Deen of Islam would have never allowed invention of technology whose sole purpose is to take over others through superior military technology. Deen would never come up with these things. If you don’t know the history of colonialism, they never came to India with this idea that we will take their gold and make them slaves. Their ilm was not coming from aqal, their ilm was from Allah swt, it came from wahi and Qur’an al-kareem. We want to be on the path of deen.

We have to nourish our ruh to get marifah (intuitive knowledge) of Allah swt. ‘ilm is a major thing in getting closer to Allah swt. Allah swt said:

كُونُواْ رَبَّـٰنِيِّـۧنَ
Be men of the Lord [3:79]

Rabbani is the friend, lover and beloved of Allah swt. Allah swt told all the believers kunu rabbaniyyeena, that you should have been rabbani already because of all the teaching and learning of Qur’an. Why are you not yet? Second meaning is of hukm; that become rabbani by means of your taleem of Kitab and by means of learning Islamic knowledge. Nabi sws had some functions of nabuwwah. Allah swt metioned:

إِذۡ بَعَثَ فِيہِمۡ رَسُولاً۬ مِّنۡ أَنفُسِهِمۡ يَتۡلُواْ عَلَيۡہِمۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ وَيُزَڪِّيہِمۡ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلۡحِڪۡمَةَ
when He raised in their midst a messenger from among themselves who recites to them His verses and makes them pure and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom [3:164]

Allah swt sent special favor on the believer, when Allah swt sent to them a Nabi sws from their own selves to:

  1. recite the verses of Qur’an
  2. to do their tazkiya (free them from unlawful desires)
  3. formally give them ilm of Qur’an
  4. formally teach them wisdom

Even this is continuing till today, ummah is drinking from this. They are learning how to recite Qur’an. Doing tazkiya. They are getting their hearts purified. But ilm is left, you have to focus on this too. You don’t have to be an alim, but everyone has to learn as much as they can. It is required that everyone should part-time, gradually, be increasing ilm in their life.

Nabi sws said seeking knowledge is mandatory on every male and female Muslim. How far will you go? That Allah knows best. But the thirst for knowledge is fard on you. Knowledge, ilm and tazkiyah are always the need of deen. The launching pad throughout history has always been through ilm and tazkiya. We got to meet this brother, he said our board is ulema and awliyah, I said your work will be launched in the world!

There are 2 types of people: one are those who become alim – may Allah swt keep their shades upon us and bless them. But what about the ones not going to darul uloom? The fadhail of ilm are not only for those who become alim, but for that person also who has any amount of ilm. ilm is not for darul uloom. Alim is for people of darul uloom, but ilm is for everyone. Our deen is not a deen of jahalah (ignorance) it is a deen of knowledge.

You should ask your local ulema if they can teach you some series of Seerah or Qur’an, or hadith so you can start learning. You can ask them that can you teach me meanings of the Surahs that I have memorized? This is basic level of effort which you should do throughout the year. There are masajid in Pakistan that have dars-e-Qur’an everyday after fajr. It has very basic things and has a slow pace, but they know they will be there in the neighborhood for years! It’s not just academic knowledge. There are women in Pakistan who are learning Qur’an, doing courses part-time, they are mothers, doctors, university students. When will the men also start learning?

Now so many authentic works have been translated and written in English; of Qur’an and hadith and fadhail-e-amal and fadhail-e-sadaqat. It’s accessible and any non-alim can also understand it easily. You can make a habit of some bus reading, airplane reading, bed-time reading. Scholars have put great efforts in translating these works. They made this effort because they are saying ilm is not just for darul uloom, it is for everyone. Why else would they translate? Otherwise your knowledge of dunya keeps increasing, you know so much about certain things, while the knowledge of your deen remains the same. That should not be the case.

وَآَخِرُ دَعْوَانَا أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Having Humility

[These are rough notes of a talk delivered by Shaykh Omar Mukhtar on Ramadan 22, in Post Asr Majlis, South Africa i’tikaf, 2015]

[From 25 attributes of a true Mu’min]

17. To have humility and humbleness in oneself

Mashaikh say if you compare yourself to a dog, even a dog is better than us. It eats less. He is dutiful even when just a few pieces of bread are thrown on the floor for him to eat. He won’t even ask if he is not given any food. Still he is up all night guarding his master and his property. Allah swt has given us so much food and so much variety; unlimited amount, different cuisines, different tastes, we have most of it everyday. There is no day when you don’t get any food. You just have to tell at home that cook this, and you get that food which we eat and eat and eat and then keep on sleeping at tahajjud and some of us even sleep through fajr.

The master sometimes beats the dog. The dog doesn’t hit the master, rather comes back and sits at the feet of the master. And us, even if a small shortcoming comes, we stop coming to masjid. We stop praying in jama’a. If you ask someone that why have they stopped coming, they say oh! Business is not well so I’m not coming these days. You are giving up baitullah for that? You are giving up masjid for that? For this short period of problem which will go away?

Dog will stay and guard even if it sleeps out on the cold floor or in the heat of the afternoon. He still goes back to his master without any complains. We have such comfortable beds. If you are comfortably tucked in your bed in winter nights and nafs or shaytan tells you just stay here it’s so cold etc. Tell your nafs that I’m worse than a dog! If we imagine this it will give us humility and humbleness towards Allah swt.

Once a school master had a dog. Everyday when he would go to another city, the dog would go with him to the train to see him off and would go back to pick him up. They did this for years. Then once the master passed away. The dog kept going to the station looking for the school master for 9 years… Allah swt says make du’a and I will give you, you don’t even have to wait for 9 years. Once a shaykh wrote about dog:

راتیں جاگیں کریں عبادت
راتیں جاگن کُتے
تیتھوں اُتّے

Staying awake and praying at night
The dogs are also awake,
Superior to you

بھونکنوں بند مول نہ ہوندے
جا رڑی تے سُتّے
تیتھوں اُتّے

They never stop barking
And go and sleep on a pile of rubbish,
Superior to you

کھسم اپنے دا در نہ چھڈّدے
بھاویں و جّن جُتّے
تیتھوں اُتّے

They never leave their master’s door
Even when beaten with shoes,
Superior to you

بلھے شاہ کوئ رَخت وِہاج لَے
نہیں تَے بازی لے گئےکُتے
تیتھوں اُتّے

Bulleh Shah! You had better achieve something!
Or the dogs will win this contest,
Superior to you

You wake up for tahajjud but for a very short time and want people to think of you as a wali! While the dog stays up whole night and doesn’t want anything. If you have a small sustenance problem you complain. O! the dogs are awake for their masters, so you should also be awake for tahajjud, do not be worse than the dogs.

This is because they could not even miss one tahajjud. They wanted to be true servants of Allah swt.

We are so forgiving of ourselves. We just look at our good deeds. And for others we only look at their faults. It should be the opposite. Look at ones own faults and disregard the faults of others. Make du’a for deed e kasur so Allah swt opens up the sins on you so you do more istighfar. If you look at your good deeds you will never travel on this path of tasawwuf.

The sahykh told only two things that make up tasawwuf:

  • Look at one’s own faults
  • Overlook the faults of others

Don’t hate the sinner, hate the sin. If someone gives bribes, hate the sin of giving bribe, don’t hate the person. Sinner can be better because when they do tawbah they will have more good deeds. The day non-Muslims get hidayah and become Muslims, all of their sins will be forgiven they will become better Muslims than us. Sometimes in a country of non-Muslims we get this feeling; it creeps into our hearts.

Remember the story of Bani Israel. There were two people; one was very pious and would prolong his ibadah and do long sajdah. Other was very sinful and didn’t use to do any istighfar. So much so that people were distant from that sinner. The pious man once looked at that person, he felt ujub – pride – and made du’a that Allah swt don’t raise me with this person in akhirah. What happened was that the sinner was sent to jannah because he had the taufeek to do tawbah. And that person’s du’a was also accepts, and he was not raised with that man and since that man was now in Jannah, the first one was put into Jahannum.

If you ever get this feeling that I’m better then you should make tawbah. If you are in the company of awliyah, then make dua that we don’t even deserve to be here so also forgive all of our sins. You are as-Sattar- you have hidden our sins.

 وَآَخِرُ دَعْوَانَا أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ



[These are rough notes of a CII talk given by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed on 18th April, 2013]

Sulook means a path of journey. In spiritual development we are on a journey. It gives a lot of hope because travelling doesn’t really require you have to reach the destination. Journeying and trying is the criteria.

Everyday even making a little bit of progress means on the Day of Judgment we will be raised amongst the salikeen. Important aspect is that we bring it in our daily lives. Otherwise we become stop-and-go Muslims i.e. we stop whenever we engage in this world.

The only obstacle in this path is if we stop walking i.e. we stop following sharia, have lack in taqwah, or stop doing zikr azkar.

Hadith: Be in this world as if you are a traveller of the path.

Meaning 1: Don’t be so attached to it.
Meaning 2: Always keep the destination in mind. We are not nomads who are wandering aimlessly.

Steps in this Journey that a person can take:

  1. Making intention of tauba: I want to turn away from everything that is displeasing to Allah taala and turn my entire life exclusively to things that are pleasing to Allah taala. It should become our desire.
  2. Trying and striving. For example, trying to say more shukr.
  3. Making dua to Allah taala.