Tuesday 27 June 2017

Book Two | Journey towards Allah

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

The book can be downloaded HERE

Sunday 25 June 2017

When meeting on the day of Eid

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

When the Sahaba-e-Kiraam (Radhiyallahu 'Anhum) met on the day of Eid, 
they would say to each other:

Thursday 15 June 2017

Laylatul Qadr

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

 Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) said: “A month has verily dawned over you wherein lies a night better than a thousand months. Whoever misses such a night has indeed been deprived of all that is good; and none is deprived of it, except he who is really unfortunate.”


Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) said: “Whoever stands in prayer and worship on the night of Qadr, with complete faith and with sincere hope of gaining reward, all his previous sins are forgiven.”


Hazrat Ayesha (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha) had asked Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) what prayer she should engage in if she finds Laylatul Qadr. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) advised her to read the following Dua: 

Sunday 4 June 2017

Ramadaan | The Spiritual Dastarkhan

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

By Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)

Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur`aan Sharief:

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard (against evil).”
[Surah al-Baqarah 2:183]

Allah Ta’ala has presented us with the Qur’aan Sharief and it offers us the complete prescription for our Islaah, as well as perfect and easy direction to acquire Taqwa - self-restraint and piety.

The month of Ramadaan is presented to us as a lofty medium and a unique and an exceptional prescription by which we obtain this noble quality of Taqwa.

The following beautiful analogy came to mind on reading the verses from Surah al-Maa`idah:

“Eesa, the son of Maryam, said, ‘O Allah , our Lord, send down to us a dastarkhan [spread with food] from the heaven to be for us a festival for the first of us and the last of us and a sign from You. And provide for us, and You are the best of providers.’”
[Surah Al-Maa`idah 5 : 114]

This is not being presented as a Tafseer of the verse; rather, it came to mind that in this blessed month of Ramadaan, Allah Ta’ala lays out a spiritual dastarkhan (a large tablecloth spread) for the Ummah of His Beloved Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Ramadaan offers us a dastarkhan, spread with heavenly and spiritual foods.

In this worldly life, we find that it is common – especially amongst the non-Muslims - to have five, seven and nine course meals. …I was surprised to read that in formal dining – amongst the non-Muslims, a full course dinner can consist of 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, or 16 courses, and, in its extreme form, in previous times, there used to be upto twenty-one courses.  And these elaborate and extravagant courses were and are spread over three or four or five hours, which include starters, appetisers, soups, salads, the main meal, desserts, etc.

...The Hadith Sharief confirms that the disbelievers eat far more than the Believers: Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Umar (Radhiyallalu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: "The believer eats in one stomach, and the disbeliever eats in seven stomachs."[1]

This was said in explanation about a person who used to eat excessively. On accepting Islam, his eating was considerably less than before. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) thus mentioned the difference between the eating of a Believer and Disbeliever.

Alhamdulillah, we learn from our Ulama that this Dien of Islam and this quality of Imaan reduces the unwholesome habit of eating excessively; it diminishes gluttony and greed. A true Believer easily suffices on less food – on simple and healthy food – in comparison to the Disbeliever. There is moderation and balance in the eating of the Believer.

Also, when a Muslim eats, he follows the Sunnah of commencing with the name of Allah Ta’ala. He says : “Bismillah…”. In so doing, shaytaan, has no share in his food – so his food suffices for him. His food draws blessings from Allah Ta’ala. The disbeliever eats without the name of Allah Ta’ala and shaytaan has his share therein. Thus, his food is never sufficient.

Very sadly, we find that many Muslims today, opt to emulate the non-Muslims and have five and seven course meals – which results in extravagance and excessive eating habits and this leads to poor health. Many eat to fill their eyes and not their stomachs.

Today, most of our sicknesses stem from bad eating habits and the sin of gluttony. It is a well-known saying amongst the Arabs: “The stomach is the home of disease and restraint is the basis of the remedy.” 

Be that as it may, with the commencement of the month of Rajab, we all recited the Dua:

اَللّٰهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِيْ رَجَبَ وَ شَعْبَانَ وَ بَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَانَ

“O Allah, bless us in Rajab and Sha’baan and allow us to reach Ramadaan.”[2]

Through the blessings of this Masnoon Dua, Alhamdulillah, we enjoyed the blessings of Rajab and Sha’baan. And as we know, Rajab has its connection and association with the Mi’raaj and the gift of Salaah, and it was a reminder to connect to Allah Ta’ala through this most important pillar of Dien.

Then Sha’baan visited us and brought with it the great and auspicious night of Bara’ah - A night of Forgiveness and purification and deliverance from Jahannum.

With its departure, arrived the honourable guest of Ramadaan. SubhanAllah!

In this Masnoon Dua, where we asked for Barakah and we asked for life to see Ramadaan, it was as if we were also requesting and asking of Allah Ta’ala to honour us with the spiritual Dastarkhan that Ramadaan brings with it. And Allah Ta’ala, Generous and Kind, accepted our request and gave us Ramadaan, with all its blessings and bounties.

Ramadaan is the guest but this guest brings with it the Dastarkhan of Roohani and spiritual foods. SubhanAllah!

…Our Dastarkhan for Iftaar offers us the savouries, the almond milk, desserts and other delicious eats.  Here, Allah Ta’ala has given us the delicious “Roohani Dastarkhan”, which accompanies Ramadaan.

This wonderful menu is for our soul. This special Menu is exclusive for the Believers and entails a variety of spiritual delicacies together with the main "meals":

The main meals of this Roohani menu are:
  •   The Fasts
  •   The recitation of the Qur`aan Sharief
  •   Taraweeh
  •        I'tikaaf

Together with these, are the other courses of the menu:

  • The Duas whilst fasting, Duas at the time of Iftaar and Duas at the time of Sehri are extra special Duas, readily accepted.
  • Istighfaar and Taubah
  • Zikrullah in abundance
  • Durood Sharief in abundance
  • Charity,
  • Zakaat (i.e. if it is due in Ramadaan. Zakaat should not be delayed so that it is paid in Ramadaan).
  • Every Nafl draws the reward of a Fardh and every Fardh draws seventy times more its reward.

All of these extra and optional deeds are the spiritual savouries, desserts, chutneys and so forth, which are spread out on this spiritual dastarkhan.

These are all spiritual health foods – which boost the “immune system” of the heart and soul; which detoxes and purifies the heart and mind; which inspires the soul to obedience and which inculcates the spirit of submission in the otherwise unruly and undisciplined nafs. …Insha-Allah, on reaching the end of Ramadaan, the quality of Taqwa will be firmly grounded in the person. He will achieve the goal of fasting – which is Taqwa. And Taqwa is establishing friendship with Allah Ta’ala.

 Allah Ta’ala says:
إِنْ أَوْلِيَاۤؤُهٗ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقُوْنَ

 “…Verily none are the auliya (friends of Allah Ta’ala) except those who refrain from his disobedience…”
[Surah al-Anfal 8 : 34]

Added to the Roohani foods that have been generously laid out for the Believers, Allah Ta’ala also created the ideal environment for the soul to enjoy this spiritual dastarkhan with comfort and ease.

Allah Ta’ala has made the environment pleasant by chaining up the rebellious shayateen. The entire month brings with it, a downpour of Barakaat and Anwaraat – which we all experience and enjoy, Alhamdulillah. 

Added to this, the Hadith informs us that the doors of Jahannum are closed in Ramadaan. As such the effects of Jahannum are not present. The Doors of Jannah are wide open. As such, the effects of Jannah are present and prevail in our homes and lives.

So this is that one month where the soul is feasting, and gaining its strength, with great, great enjoyment.

Noorun ‘ala Noor is the condition of that soul which finds itself amongst the lovers of Allah Ta’ala in Ramadaan. Allahu Akbar! Allah Ta’ala has given us the environment of the Khanqah. It is a place where the lovers of Allah Ta’ala meet and they spend time here, with one objective : To complete their Islaah, to achieve Tazkiyyah, to nurture Taqwa, to complete their journey towards Allah Ta’ala.

Masha-Allah, we are seeing brothers from all parts of the world gathering here, to spend Ramadaan in an environment that will facilitate their connection with their Beloved Allah Ta’ala. Together, we work with one another and assist each other in achieving our goals.

…Our Sheikh, Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) would say: “The Lovers of Allah Ta’ala are one family.” …Therefore, we find excitement and happiness : All have come and are meeting as one big family in the Khanqah. For eleven months, we did not have this kind of opportunity to spend such quality time together!

So here we are, sitting at this wonderful Roohani Dastarkhan. Let us not keep our hands back. These spiritual foods have been magnanimously laid out for all. Let us eat to our heart’s content.

Of course, we should keep in mind that just as there are Aadaab (etiquettes) to eating food for the physical body, so too are there etiquettes to eating this spiritual food. Etiquettes and aadaab are necessary and we should greatly respect this blessed month.

Before eating, we wash our hands, as is Sunnah. Before entering Ramadaan, we were to have washed our hearts during the night of Bara’ah, and obtained Taharah and purification, in preparation for this banquet and feast in Ramadaan.

We were also to wash our hands, spiritually. These hands which were given to us for holding the Qur’aan, for lifting in Dua, for spending in the path of Allah Ta’ala, and for good and noble deeds – were used for Haraam. Sometimes the hands are spiritually filthy because they were used for terrible, terrible sins. And now with these same hands, we pick up the Qur`aan Sharief and we touch the pure words of Allah Ta’ala?

It is therefore necessary to purify these hands with sincere Taubah and Istighfaar for those sins engaged in, with the hands. …Just as we would not dish out food with an unclean utensil, or a spoon used to dish out food for dogs, so we should keep in mind that the soul requires that it is fed from or with clean spiritual utensils : the hands and tongue must be clean. These are the “utensils” – so to say – in feeding the soul.

As we commence eating with Bismillah, so we commence our spiritual feasting with the intention of fasting – seeking the greatest reward : Allah Ta’ala.

Sheikhul Hadith, Hadhrat Moulana Zakariyyah (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had related in his “Fazaa`il-e-Ramadaan”, a Hadith, wherein Allah Ta’ala states the reward for the fast of a person: “I, Myself, become his reward.” Allahu Akbar!

To eat food, the tongue is utilized. Similarly, to enjoy the spiritual delicacies of Tilawat of Qur’aan Sharief, Zikrullah, Durood Sharief and Istighfaar, we require a spiritually clean tongue.

We all know what the tongue has been engaged in : Sometimes it is lying, cheating and deceiving in our business dealings; sometimes it is backbiting, slandering, exaggerating and creating mischief; sometimes it is used in illicit relationships or in other Haraam.

Now this same tongue is to be used for Tilawat of the Qur’aan Sharief; it is to be used to take the pure name of Allah Ta’ala. It is most unsuitable that we should use a spiritually dirty tongue to feed our souls. We won’t tolerate it if someone were to give us food from a dog’s bowl – so Allah Ta’ala also requires cleanliness when seated at His Roohani darstarkhan.

We should have washed our tongues clean of all its sins and mischief before the month of Ramadaan, so that our spiritual taste-buds appreciate the spiritual feast of Ramadaan and we enjoy all its good and gain maximum benefits. If not, the bad taste of sins will spoil the sweet and enjoyable taste of Ibaadah.

…Alhamdulillah, it is not too late. We still have time. We should not delay in washing our tongues now – with sincere Taubah and Istighfaar, and then we ourselves will relish this spread of spiritual food.

Together with washing our hands and tongue of its spiritual dirt, we should also adopt Tawaadhu (humility) in our spiritual feasting – like how the Sunnah directs us to eat with humility. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “I am a servant, so I eat like a servant eats and I sit like a servant sits.”[3]

If there is no Tawaadhu in our spiritual feasting of Qur`aan Sharief, Zikrullah and other Ibaadaat, then Takabbur, Riyaa and Ujub will cause our spiritual food to “decay” – and it will not offer any benefit for our souls – just as worldly food decays and cannot be of any good for human consumption and use. May Allah Ta’ala give us the understanding and protect us all.

Furthermore, we should eat properly. We should adopt the etiquette for each Ibaadah, be it Salaah, Tilawah, Fasting, Zikrullah and so forth. There are conditions and etiquettes that accompany each deed.

…A complete and delicious fast entails fasting with the eyes, ears, tongue, heart and mind – that is, the person restrains himself from casting evil gazes, abstains from listening to Haraam, speaking Haraam, thinking of Haraam and so forth. This is necessary to achieve the objective of fasting – which is Taqwa.

If we do not carry out our good deeds with their conditions and etiquettes, then our similarity is like that of little children seated at the dastarkhan and they are making a big mess, by spilling the milk and the chutney, breaking up the savouries and rubbing their fingers everywhere, etc.

…We also create a spiritual mess when we commit sins, such as back-biting, casting lustful gazes,  harbouring jealousy, etc. Then our spiritual food and its benefits are lost to us and do not benefit us.

Every meal is to be ended with expressing Shukr (appreciation and gratitude) to Allah Ta’ala and praising Him for His Ni’mats upon us. So we should end every day and night of Ramadaan, with deep-hearted Shukr for the opportunity and Taufeeq of fasting, of Taraweeh, Tilawat, Dua, Zikrullah and other good deeds.

Let us not close the heart to Ramadaan. Receive Ramadaan with an open and a happy heart. 24 / 7 of Ramadaan is spiritual feasting. One month of twelve months is no difficulty for the Believer. In fact the Believer wishes the entire year was Ramadaan, with its Barakaat and Anwaaraat and without the interference and distractions of the rebellious shayateen.

Let us not be like the Bani Isra`eel, who despite enjoying the food of Jannah –Manna[4] and Salwa[5] –  asked for the earthly foods. They refused Jannat’s menu and preferred Dunya’s menu. This was their ingratitude to Allah Ta’ala’s favour.

Where there should have been abundant Shukr for such a privilege, they complained to their Nabi, Hadhrat Musa (‘Alaihis Salaam):

“…O Musa! We can never endure one [kind of] food. So call upon your Lord to bring forth for us from the earth its green herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions.”
[Surah al-Baqarah 2:61]

What were they told in return?

“He (Hadhrat Musa (AS)) said: Will you exchange that which is better for that which is worse?
[Surah al-Baqarah 2:61]

This is not a Tafseer of these Ayaat. …However, we should take lesson. ...Let us not be of those who are granted the life, the opportunity, the great favour of Ramadaan, and the wonderful Dastarkhan of the best of spiritual foods, but we are wishing for it to depart, that we may return to the engagements and work of Dunya – Allah Ta’ala forbid. Let us not be of those who asked for Ramadaan, and when Ramadaan came, we did not honour, respect and host it.

If a person enjoys the spiritual Dastarkhan that is sent by Allah Ta’ala, then Eid will be a day of true joy and rejoicing. For a true Ummati, his joy is his Islaah – that he has obtained the golden pot of Taqwa; that now, on completion of this spiritual banquet, he can easily stay away from Haraam – despite the temptations and invitations; and can now practise upon the Commands of Allah Ta’ala with extreme ease. Insha-Allah, obedience to Allah Ta’ala will become his nature.

The night of Eid is Laylatul Jaa`izah (The night of prize-giving). SubhanAllah! …Let us be amongst the prize winners Insha-Allah.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us all the Taufeeq of Aml.

[1] Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim
[2] Shu’abul Imaan
[3] Sahih Bukhari
[4] Manna : Whiter than milk and sweeter than honey, which used to rain down on the Children of Israel, just as the snow falls, from dawn until sunrise – as their sustenance.
[5] Salwa: A bird of paradise, the size of a sparrow or like a quil.