Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
FORMULAS FOR SINCERITY IN THE KHIDMAT OF DEEN
By Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is’haq Sahib (Daamat Barakaatuhum)
It is Allah Ta’ala’s Fadhl and Karam that He chooses us to learn Deen and uses us in the Khidmat (service) of His Deen. We are not deserving of such a privilege and honour. It is certainly not due to our Kamaal or expertise; rather His Ihsaan.
Our Akaabir and Aslaaf have shared various formulas and have given much advice in regards to serving Deen with Ikhlaas, which are taken from Qur’aan and Sunnah. If we follow their noble guidelines, Insha-Allah we will nurture the quality of Ikhlaas and progress in our efforts.
Some of those advices are as follows:
The foremost and primary aspect is having the right intention; seeking the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.
When commencing any good deed or Khidmat of Deen, it is important to rectify the intention. Let it be solely for Allah Ta’ala. Thereafter, if our focus shifts and our objective changes, correct the intention again, make Taubah over the shortcomings and ignore the wasaawis (whisperings) of shaytaan. …Whatever we have to say, we should say it correctly and say it for Allah Ta’ala – not because a certain person is present, not to receive praise, gifts, etc.
The famous Hadith: “Actions are judged by intentions…”, alludes to also formulating many or multiple intentions when undertaking our actions. One of the great qualities of the Auliya Allah is that they give attention to intentions and due to the multiple intentions, which they make, they earn tremendous rewards.
Niyyat is free of charge – so to speak – with returns which are unlimited from Allah Ta’ala. Without Ikhlaas, there is great loss. Effort may be made, time may be given, money may be expended, but if we do for other than Allah Ta’ala, it is in vain. May Allah Ta’ala purify our intentions and safeguard our deeds.
2.) SURAH IKHLAAS
One of our Akaabir has advised that we recite Surah Ikhlaas before beginning a Bayaan or talk. Insha-Allah, this will facilitate the noble quality of Ikhlaas.
3.) SEEKING PROTECTION FROM RIYAA
Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “Shirk in my Ummah is more hidden than the crawling of an ant on a black rock.”
When he (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was asked what was the way out of this, Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam taught the following Dua, which frees its reciter from minor and major Shirk. This Dua is:
اَللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أَعُوْذُ بِكَ أَنْ أُشْرِكَ بِكَ وَأَنَا أَعْلَمُ ، وَأَسْتَغْفِرُكَ مِمَّا تَعْلَمُ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ
“O Allah! I seek refuge in You from ascribing any partners to You knowingly, and I seek Your forgiveness from that which You know and I am unaware of.’"
Through the blessings of the recitation of this Dua, the person will be protected from Riyaa and will develop Ikhlaas.
4.) AYAH OF SURAH ANFAAL
Another recommendation is to recite the Ayah from Surah Anfaal before commencing any Bayaan or Khidmat:
“Certainly, the believers are those whose hearts are filled with awe when (the name of) Allah is mentioned; and when His verses are recited to them, it increases their faith; and in their Lord they place their trust.”
[Surah Al-Anfal 8 : 2]
Insha-Allah, by reading this Ayah, someone will benefit. …And the first to benefit should be ourselves. Allah Ta’ala will inspire with beneficial thoughts. ...When a person has his Nisbat with Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, Allah Ta’ala inspires his heart and uses the person as a means of Hidayah.
5.) AYAH FROM SURAH TA-HA
Insha-Allah, by reciting the Dua of Hadhrat Moosa (‘Alaihis Salaam), Allah Ta’ala will open up Uloom and Ma’arif which will benefit us greatly.
"O my Lord expand me my breast, and ease my task for me and remove the impediment from my speech, so they may understand what I say."
[Surah Ta Ha 20: 25-28]
Surah Ta-Ha presents the story of Hadhrat Moosa (‘Alaihis Salaam). His entire life held challenges and difficulties, and his opponent was none other than Fir’aun. Those who follow the Ambiyaa (Alaihimus Salaam) will also face challenges and tests. This Dua was made seeking Allah Ta’ala’s assistance. We too should make the same Dua.
Once, in our annual Jalsa, our Shaykh, Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahib (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) was to give a Bayaan. Before the Bayaan, Hadhrat read 2 Rakaats of Salaah. He then made Dua, crying to Allah Ta’ala, to guide and help him. Though Hadhrat was an Aalim of great learning, but Dua was made because it is only Allah Ta'ala who assists and guides to what is best.
We should turn to Allah Ta’ala and cry to Allah Ta’ala in Dua, before serving Deen.
When asked, Hazratjee Maulana Yusuf Khandlawi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) said that his Dua before a Bayaan was: “O Allah, let it be to the utmost benefit.”
Let our Duas not be just customary. Dua is a solution. Unfortunately, our attention falls on the asbaab (means), but the only One who can do for us is Allah Ta’ala. First turn to Him; ask Him and then adopt asbaab; with trust in only Allah Ta’ala. Instead of just talking about the oppression and persecution of our Muslim brothers and sisters, in different parts of the world, make Dua. This is more constructive. This will be a means of benefitting them and ourselves. Dua is a great means to solving problems.
7.) OUR OWN ISLAAH
Once, Qari Zaheer Sahib of the Tabligh Jamaat made my Tashkeel to join their Jamaat to Zimbabwe. When we were leaving Azaadville I asked him: “What intention must I make?”
Qari Sahib replied: “Solely and only for your own Islaah. Not with the thought that you are a principal of a Darul Uloom or an Aalim or to make the Islaah of others.”
In all our efforts, we should check whether we are improving; whether our advices are benefiting ourselves and are a means of our own Islaah. We should reflect, introspect and examine ourselves. Are we aligned to the noble Sunnah in character, in dealings, in conduct, in Ibaadaat? …Are we making an effort to free our hearts of pride, jealousy, Hubbud Dunya and other evil? Has our Salaah improved or is it just routine? What is our condition in Ruku, Sujood, Dua, etc.?
The starting point is ourselves. This is the Command of Allah Ta’ala: “Save yourselves and your families…”. This is priority and then the Fikr of the entire Ummah. Indeed, we must worry about the Ummah. This is very necessary, but let us not forget ourselves.
If we are serving Deen, but there is no improvement in ourselves, then we should question as to where we are going wrong.
8.) HUMUOR AND JOKING
Being light-hearted and humouring people are part and parcel of the Sunnah. Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam joked with his companions.
In being light-hearted, people become comfortable. Sometimes it is necessary to break the ice – so to speak – so that people incline towards listening. However, we need to draw the line when it comes to joking. It should never be about Deeni issues or about people who are practising Deen. We should never make Deen or pious people the subject of jokes. Our humour should be within the boundaries of Shari’ah and we should stay away from lies when joking.
9.) THE REMINDER BENEFITS
The reminder is to benefit the speaker first. Our ears are closest to our mouths, so if we are speaking, we should be the first to take heed to what is being said. If a person gives talks regularly, those advices will help and assist him. He will gain Istiqaamat on Deen, Insha-Allah.
As an example: If droplets of water fall onto a rock, it will eventually make its mark on the rock. Over time, when a great number of droplets fall on the same place, the rock erodes. Our hearts are not as hard as rock – and even if it is very hard due to Ghaflat (heedlessness), by us speaking of Deen, our hearts will soften. The more we speak, the more the effect on our hearts, and Insha-Allah, the hearts of others.
Never lose hope in the effort. Don’t think negatively. Don’t think that there is no benefit … because Allah Ta’ala says there is benefit.
وَذَكِّرْ فَاِنَّ الذِّكْرٰے تَنْفَعُ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ ◌
“And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the Believers..”
[Surah Az-Zaariyat 51:55]
Our conviction must be in the words of Allah Ta’ala; on the entire Qur’aan Shareef.
10.) KHIDMAT OF KHALQ
Khidmat of the creation is the great legacy of the all the Ambiyaa (Alaihimus Salaam), Sahaba-e-Kiraam (Radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and all who followed them. There are many jewels and gems in the Ummah, even now, serving the creation, selflessly … not seeking name, fame or any kind of material wealth.
We should not entertain the thought that: I am the Imam … I am the Shaykh … I am the Aalim … and others should be making Khidmat for me.
Look into the lives of our Akaabir and take lesson. See to what levels, serving the creation, took them spiritually. It is said about Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyaas (Rahmatullah ‘alaih), the founder of Tabligh Jamaat work, that he searched for opportunities to serve the people … even assisting them with drawing out water from the well, carrying their heavy loads, etc. … and would thereafter read two Rakaats of Shukr, that he was able to render some service to people. Subhanallah. We should help and assist people, for the sake of Allah Ta’ala. Of course, everything should be done within the boundaries of Shari’ah.
We are familiar with Allah Ta’ala’s Promise:
لَئِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيْدَنَّكُمْ وَ لَئِنْ كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِىْ لَشَدِيْدٌ ◌
“…if you are grateful, I will most certainly increase for you (My favours) but if you show ingratitude, verily! My punishment is indeed severe.”
[Surah Ibraheem 14 : 7]
However, on a little reflection, we will find ourselves wanting in this very easy Amal. We sometimes forget to express our gratitude on even the food and drink we consume … whereas the Hadith mentions: “The one who eats and is grateful has the status of the one who fasts and is patient.”
True Shukr is to praise, thank Allah Ta’ala and use His bounties to earn His Pleasure. The greatest bounty is our Imaan.
Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam taught us the beautiful Dua:
اَللّٰهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِيْ فِيْ عَيْنِيْ صَغِيْرًا وَ فِيْ اَعْيُنِ النَّاسِ كَبِيْرًا
“O Allah, make me small (insignificant) in my own eyes, and make me great (significant) in the eyes of the people.”
Humility is a quality Allah Ta’ala loves to see in His servants. It is an outstanding quality of His special servants – that they walk on the earth with humility. When Allah Ta’ala’s Greatness enters our hearts and the reality of who we are becomes clear to us, there can be no room for pride or arrogance. May Allah Ta’ala grant us this recognition.
Both Shukr and Tawaadhu are great facilitators towards Ikhlaas. Through these qualities, Allah Ta'ala will make us His Friends.
13.) TARIQAH OF OUR ASLAAF
No matter what challenges come our way, we must keep to the Tariqah and Manhaj of our Akaabir. This is the correct way and delivers the goods, so to say. This will bring success.
…We are not deserving; we are not fit to serve Deen … but it is our duty to serve to the best of our ability. We should make the effort to work harder in serving Deen. We are here for a few days, in this world, and have to return to Allah Ta’ala. He has blessed us with a drop of His Ilm, from an ocean which has no shores. The Ilm, which we have, also has a “Zakaat” which has to be paid. We have to share it with others and make an effort to connect the creation with the Creator. This can only be achieved if we ourselves have established our connection with Allah Ta’ala (Nisbat ma-Allah).
We should also remember the advice of Hadhrat Moulana Shabeer Uthmaani (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh): “Invite to Haq, in a Haq manner, with a Haq intention.”
We must also make a united effort in serving Deen; by working together and not putting down anyone else in their efforts to serve or run down any group which is on Haq.
In whichever avenue Allah Ta’ala chooses for us – whether Ta’leem, Tabligh, etc. - may Allah Ta’ala grant us the correct attitude in the Khidmat of Deen which we are rendering; grant us Ikhlaas and Maqbuliyat, and forgive our shortcomings.
 Path / Way
 The specific way and methodology of the Ahlus-Sunnah, derived from the Qur’aan and Sunnah.