Saturday 4 October 2014

Eid Ul Adha Sermon

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

 By Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar:

Today is the day of sacrifice.  It commemorates the great sacrifice of Father Abraham, as he was inspired to sacrifice his only son Hazrat Ishmael, because of what he saw in a vision. He told his son:

O my son; I see in a vision that I offer you in sacrifice. Now, tell me, what do you think about it?  The boy replied: O my father, do as you are commanded; you will find me, if Allah Wills practicing patience and constancy. (37:102)


Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar…

Abraham was prepared to do anything to please his Lord, as Allah tells us in the Qur’an that Abraham became His friend due to devotion and submission.  His entire life did he dedicated to Allah.  He declared the following:

Truly, my prayers and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death; are all for Allah, the Cherisher of the worlds. (6:162)

Because of his conviction that there is only One Creator of the skies and the earth, and that no creature could ever be like the Creator, he was prepared live a life of submission to the Creator.  About his faith Allah says:

Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to Allah, does good; and follow the way of Abraham, the true in Faith. For, Allah did take Abraham for a friend. (4:125)

The sacrifice which we commemorate today is the climax of his manifestation of sincere appreciation of the favours of the Lord on him.

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar….

Allah tells us in the Qur’an that Abraham is indeed a model for mankind. He did not preach tribalism or racism; he was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but one who firmly believed that no creature could ever be like the Creator.  Allah says:

Abraham was indeed a model, devoutly obedient to Allah; true in faith; and he joined not gods with Allah. He showed his gratitude for the favors of Allah, Who chose him and guided him to the Straight Way. And We gave him good in this world and he will be in the Hereafter, in the ranks of the righteous. (16:120-22)


Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar…

As a model for mankind, we know the following from Abraham’s life the following:

1. He was very obedient to the commands of Allah; e.g. he took his wife and only son to the barren wilderness of Makkah and left them there alone. He prayed to Allah and was certain that his Lord would take care of them. His prayer was: 

O my Lord, I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House, in order, O our Lord, that they may establish regular Prayer. So fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them, and feed them with fruits so that they may give thanks. (14:37)


Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar

When the only son became a teenager, Abraham was ordered to sacrifice him. This he willingly undertook. Allah says:

 Then when the son reached the age of serious work with him He said. O my son, I have seen in a dream that I offer you in sacrifice; Now, what is your view (about this). The boy said: O my father, do as you are commanded, you will find me, if Allah wills; one who has patience. (37:102)

2. He was firm in his belief that creatures cannot help anyone. It is only the Creator who helps. Allah says:

Behold, (Abraham said to his father), O my father, why worship that which does not hear nor see. Such creatures cannot profit you in any way. (19:42)

3. He was firm in his belief that there is only one Creator of the entire universe. Once, he asked his father and the village folks:

Your Lord is the Lord of the skies and the earth. He created everything from nothing. (21:50)

4. Abraham was always grateful for Allah’s mercies on him and his family.

Allah says that he was:

He showed his gratitude for the favors of Allah. Allah chose him and guided him on the Straight Path. (16:121)

5. Abraham submitted completely to Allah. He prayed as follows:

Truly, my prayer, my service of sacrifice, my life and my death are all for Allah the Cherisher of the Worlds. (6:162)

6. He knew how to persevere with patience. He preferred the fire than to make compromise with the people regarding their practice of idol worshipping. He prayed patiently for a righteous son who would be willing to carry on his mission. Because he was so strong in faith, Allah says about him.

Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to Allah, does good; and follow the way of Abraham the true in Faith. For Allah did take Abraham for a friend.(4:125)


Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar…

In addition to knowing about the life of Father Abraham, Muslims are commanded to perform the Haj; and sacrifice an animal.  Allah says:

And complete the Haj and Umrah in the service of Allah. (2:196)

The sacrificial camels We have made for you as among the signs from Allah; in them is much good for you. Then pronounce the name of Allah over them as they line up. When they are down on their sides, eat ye thereof, and feed such as live in contentment and as such ask with due humility. Thus have We made animals subject to you, that you may be grateful. It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Him. (It is your piety that reaches Him) (22:36-37)


Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar…

As we remember today, the dedication, humility and willingness to submit to Allah by Father Abraham and his family, let us all silently make a promise to ourselves that we will endeavour to live for the sake of Allah and utilize all the gifts He has been pleased to bestow on us for earning His Pleasure in this life and a place in the Garden of Bliss in the Hereafter.

Friday 26 September 2014

The Faith of Abraham (as)

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

The personality and mission of Father Abraham (as) has many dimensions and lessons for us.  Throughout his life he was very much interested in passing on the legacy of monotheism.  However throughout his travels he realised that he was not attracting the people as he would have hoped for and thus prayed to Allah for a righteous offspring to carry on his teachings.

Today we will look at one aspect of his personality which is his total and complete submission to Allah.

Firstly, we need to understand that Abraham, up to his teenage years, did not grow up with his parents.  When he eventually went home to his parents he was surprised to see them and his people worshipping idols.  As a matter of fact his father made and sold idols.  So Abraham had a real problem that manifested in him having many disagreements and theological clashes with his father and his people.

Abraham used to ask his father father! Why do you worship that which doesn't hear, doesn't see, and cannot avail you in anything?”  He could not understand the logic of submitting to something that was created and had no life; something that could not even drive a fly away.  He implored his people to seek sustenance and guidance from the One True God.

We need to understand that Allah is The Sustainer.  Everything comes from Him and whatever we want we should beg of Him.  He once told Prophet Musa (as) “O Musa! Ask Me for everything, even the mending of your shoelace”.

True submission and faith is not easy for a lot of people.  Even amongst the believers; a lot of people say they have faith but don’t really act upon it when they seek assistance from sooth sayers etc. 

Abraham tried to show the people in many ways that these creatures they worshipped cannot help them as they even do not have any power of their own.  And when his verbal reasoning failed he tried another tactic.

A big celebration was planned where everybody in the village would attend for a big feast on the riverbank. After making sure that no one was around, Abraham went towards the temple armed with an axe and destroyed all the statues except one; the biggest of them all. He hung the axe around its neck and left.

How big was the shock when the people entered the temple! They gathered inside watching in awe their gods broken in pieces. They wondered who might have done this.Then they all remembered that the young Abraham preached against their idol worship. They brought him to the temple and asked him “Are you the one who has done this to our gods?” Abraham said: “No, this statue, the biggest of them has done it.”  “You know well that these idols don't speak!" They said impatiently. “Then how come you worship things that can neither speak nor see, nor even fend for themselves? Have you lost your minds?"

Their minds and their senses were telling them that the Truth is with Abraham, but their pride prevented them to accept it, and reject the idols they were worshipping for generations. This they thought would be total defeat. They started yelling at him and shouting: “Burn him! Take revenge for our gods!”

When they decided to burn him Abraham showed no resistance. Even when he was flung towards the massive fire Angel Jibreal appeared to save him.  When Jibreal said that Allah did not command him to save Abraham; Abraham refused the angels help and instead relied soley on Allah.  He knew that Allah will take care of him and in the process was giving his people practical dawah. 

Allah records this in Surah Anbiya

And indeed We bestowed a foretime on Ibrahim his (portion of) guidance, and We were Well-Acquainted with him (as to his Belief in the Oneness of Allah, etc.).When he said to his father and his people: “What are these images, to which you are devoted?”  They said: “We found our fathers worshipping them”.  He said: “Indeed you and your fathers have been in manifest error”. They said: “Have you brought us the truth, or are you one of those who play about?”  He said: “Nay, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who created them and of that I am one of the witnesses.“And by Allah, I shall plot a plan (to destroy) your idols after you have gone away and turned your backs”.  So he broke them to pieces, (all) except the biggest of them, that they might turn to it.They said: “Who has done this to our gods?”He must indeed be one of the wrong-doers”.  They said: “We heard a young man talking (against) them who is called Ibrahim”.  They said: “Then bring him before the eyes of the people that they may testify”.  They said: “Are you the one who has done this to our gods, O Ibrahim?”  Abraham said: “Nay, this one, the biggest of them (idols) did it.  Ask them, if they can speak!”  So they turned to themselves and said: “Verily, you are the  Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers)”.  Then they turned to themselves (their first thought and said): “Indeed you Abraham know well that these (idols) speak not!”  Abraham said: “Do you then worship besides Allah, things that can neither profit you, nor harm you?”  “Fie upon you, and upon that which you worship besides Allah! Have you then no sense?”  They said: “Burn him and help your gods, if you will be doing.”We (Allah) said: “O fire! Be you coolness and safety for Ibrahim (Abraham)!”  And they wanted to harm him, but We made them the worst losers.

Allah helps His servants from sources we can never imagine.  Abraham understood that he was at all times living in the presence of Allah and this was later passed on to us.  This is why, when before we pray we recite

Inni -y wajjahtuwajh -e li- 'alladhefat.ara as- samaawaatwa- al- 'ard. hanef(an) wa- maa 'anaamin al-mushriken

"For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him (Who is facing me) Who created the skies  and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah."

People say we pray to the kaba but Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said; When you stand for salaat facing the Qibla understand that Allah is in front of you, and is between you and the Kaba”

We need to understand that we don’t own anything.  Everything is from The Creator.  All He has given is will power; power to channel His blessings on us in a direction of our chose.  Humans are blessed with a little bit of freedom with the knowledge that we will be taeken to judgement one day.

Submit to Allah and let Him take care of everything else.  The entire life of Abraham contains instances and actions where he demonstrated immaculate faith in Allah; from the story we recapped above up until his mature life.  We too should strive to build our reliance and faith in Allah.

It is something easy to profess but when the trials and test come your way, only then can you really test your faith.  Faith in Allah is something you cannot rationalise.  You must culture yourself to always trust and rely on your Lord and know that He will never let you down; just as He took care of Abraham in the most trying of times.

May Allah bless us all to develop faith and trust in Him, similar to the faith shown by His friend Abraham and all His other Messengers, insha Allah.

Transcript of discourse delivered by
Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed
At his weekly Zikir session held at the Hermitage Masjid

Wednesday 10 September 2014


بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

All human beings are supposed to live like one big family.  This is because they all came from a common parent; Adam and Eve.  Allah tells us about this in the Holy Qur’an in the following verse:

Mankind was one single nation, and Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed. (2:213)

Part of the strategy that Satan uses to create division amongst the human beings is to cause some to be unjust to others.  This is in spite of the fact that Allah tells us to be loving and kind to others as we would like them to be with us.  Allah says:

Do good (to others) as Allah has been good to you; and seek not (occasions to create) mischief in the land. For, Allah does not love those who make mischief. (28:77) 

One way used by Satan to cause people to be unjust to others is to decorate the evil.  Allah says:

Satan made their (sinful) acts seem alluring to them. (6:43)

One of the evils that Satan uses to corrupt people is to promote injustice in the dealings of one with the other.  A common form of injustice practiced by thousands of people is to commit fraud by giving short weight and measure.  Allah says:

Woe unto those who commit fraud. Those, who when they have to receive from men exact full measure; but when they have to give by measure or weight they give less than due. (83:1-3) 

Establish weight with justice, and fall not short in the balance. (55:9)

There are many factors which are some of the causes for being unjust in one’s dealings with others.  Some of these are mentioned in the following verses of the Qur’an:

O you who believe, shun as much suspicion (as possible) for lo: some suspicion is a crime (because it involves cruel injustice to innocent people). (49:12)

Some people use their wealth and position to deal unjustly with others.  Allah says;

Do not consume your property among yourselves iniquitously, neither proffer it to the judges, that you may sinfully consume a portion of other men’s goods, and that wittingly. (2:188) 

Injustice is a grave sin, and was condemned by all the Messengers of Allah.  For example Prophet Shuaib told his people the following:

O my People. Give just measure and full weight as justice.  And wrong not people in respect of their goods; and do no evil in the earth as it is corruption. (11:85) 

When people practice injustice, they would have to pay the price for doing so, either in this life or in the Next.

Transcript of discourse delivered by
Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed

At his weekly Zikir session held at the Hermitage Masjid

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Upholding Justice

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Every week, in almost every Mosque in the world, the Imam or Khateeb (Lecturer), in every country of the world, concludes the Friday Sermon with the reminder which is taken from the Holy Qur’an as follows:

Certainly, Allah commands Justice and (participation) in refinement (in all matters), giving from ones material assets to kith and kin; and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion. He instructs you that you may receive admonition. (16:90)

The Commands contained in this verse are many and comprehensive. It comprises of justice to oneself, to Allah, to family members, to neighbours and to society at large. It incorporates every aspect of life, individually, collectively and socially.

The first and most important requirement of every individual is to ensure that the principle of justice is given priority and importance in every aspect of life. By so doing everyone will get what is due to him or her. Allah says:

O you who believe, be staunch in justice, witnesses to Allah, even though it is against yourselves, parents, kindred, whether it is for a rich man or a poor man, for Allah is nearer to both of them. So follow not (your) passion lest you lapse from justice; and if you should lapse or fall away, then take note that Allah is well informed of all that you do. (4:135)

A Muslim is not only supposed to be just in all dealings, but is also required to promote this universal principle at all times. Allah says:

O you who believe, stand out firmly for Allah as a witness to fair dealings, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong, and depart from Justice. Be just, that is nearer to Righteousness, and fear Allah, for Allah is well acquainted with all that you do. (5:8)

One of the beauties of the Islamic Way of life is that no one is above the Law. All Muslims must respect and follow the Law. Allah says, to David, and this law is still binding upon us:

O David, We did indeed make you a vicegerent on earth; so you judge between men in truth and justice. Nor do you follow the lusts of your hearts, for they will mislead you from the Path of Allah. (38:26)

Every Muslim is required to abide by the Laws prescribed in Islam as it is the Perfect way of life, and is based on justice. The dos and don’ts are designed to keep us on the Straight Path. Anyone who does not uphold justice will be responsible to Allah and will have to answer to Him on the Day of Accountability. Allah says:

The blame is only against those who oppress men with wrongdoing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice. For such, there will be a grievous penalty. (42:42)

Some people sacrifice justice for personal material reasons. Perhaps they become prey to the temptations of Satan who decorates the evil and make it look attractive. Allah tells us about this in the following verse of the Holy Qur’an. He says:

Fair In the eyes of men is the love of things they covet: women and sons; heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world's life; but in nearness to Allah is the best of the goals (to return to). (3:14)

Every right thinking person must aspire to be just to himself, to the rest of mankind and to his Lord in every matter, if he has hopes of passing through the world successfully, and to be rewarded in the Hereafter.
Transcript of discourse delivered by
Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed
At his weekly Zikir session held at the Hermitage Masjid

Monday 25 August 2014

Unwavering Faith

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Prophet Jacob (as) taught his sons one very important principle, after they began to express remorse for their treatment and actions against their younger brother.  He said to them;
And never give up hope of Allah’s soothing mercy: truly no one despairs of Allah’s soothing mercy, except those who have no faith.  (12:87)
To have real, unwavering faith in Allah is something easier said than done.  Especially when we are faced with moments of emotional unrest.  However we must always remember and be assured of the help from Allah.  He testifies to this in His Holy Words;
When comes the help of Allah.  (110:1)
We sometimes cannot comprehend Allah’s working and His Wisdom and sometimes we may try our utmost to make a perceived unfavourable situation favourable.  Yes we have to try to seek out goodness and comfort; but remember your Lord is All Knowing and Wise. 
Help comes from Allah and no other creature.  Prophet Jacob (as) knew this and therefore didn’t retaliate emotionally to his sons.  He demonstrated immaculate patience and left the situation in the Hands of Allah.  For us this is something difficult to do at times.  To sit quietly and exercise patience when your emotions are running high.  Unfortunately emotional retaliation has the world in the state it is in today.
Allah demonstrated His Help and Guidance throughout the life of His Beloved Messenger Muhammad (pboh).  He says in Surah Dhuhaa;
Did He not find thee an orphan and give thee shelter (and care)?  And He found thee wandering, and He gave thee guidance.  And He found thee in need, and made thee independent.  (93:6-8)
And Prophet (pboh) was sent as an exemple for us.  Put your faith and trust in Him and always remember He is the One Who helps.  Yes, it requires patience and this is the advice Jacob (as) gave his sons; SabrunJameelunpatience is most fitting: it is Allah (alone) Whose help can be sought.
Whatever Allah has written for you; you will get it.  That has been decreed by Allah and He never changes His Word.  One thing we must try to develop is patience and trust in our Lord.  He is All-Knowing and Wise and nothing escapes His Knowledge.  He will act at the most appropriate time.  Learn to look with interest at the plan Allah has for you.  And if something should happen that may not be entirely favourable there is wisdom behind it.
Believers learn to put their faith in their Lord.  And we are taught to supplicate to Allah regularly and earnestly as He once told Prophet Musa (as), “O Musa! Ask Me for everything, even the mending of your shoelace”. 
He says ‘Call on Me and I will respond’.  Then why not do it; especially at times of emotional unrest.  Remember this acronym DAD: Dua-Adverts-Decree.  If something is written to happen to you and you make dua to Allah; He will still allow it to happen but possible in another dimension such as a dream, etc. 
Islam establishes in our minds and hearts to put unwavering faith and trust in Allah.  And Prophet Muhammad (pboh) epitomises this.  One beautiful example was when he (pboh) and Abu Bakr (ra) were migrating to Madinah. They hid from those who wanted Prophet (pboh) dead.  When the unbelievers were nearby Abu Bakr (ra) became worried that they would  be caught and Prophet (pboh); realising the fear of Abu Bakr (ra), said to him “have no fear, for Allah is with us”.  Allah records this incident in Surah Tawba.
Allah will try us to test our faith, just as he subjected His beloved Messengers to trials and tests. And He may also possible punish us in order to remove the stains and blemishes we may have accumulated over time.  None of us are sinless and it is indeed much better to ‘burn off’ our black spots in this world rather than the hereafter.  This is why we a taught to pray;
Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error.  Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us. Our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. (2:286)
Let us try to develop true faith and trust in our Lord. May He make us firm in this struggle. May He make us from amongst those who will never question His workings and may He always take care of all of our affairs and never leave us to our own command with our limited understanding and knowledge.
We ask Allah to forgive us all especially those who have passed away.  In particular we remember our brother, uncle and friend Hakim Mohammed who passed away last Saturday.  Br. Hakim was a student of our weekly zikir sessions, a graduate and eventual teacher of the Markaz al Ihsaan.  We beg Allah to forgive him for any and all of his shortcomings and to purify and sanctify his resting place, insha Allah.
Transcript of discourse delivered by
Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed
At his weekly Zikir session held at the Hermitage Masjid

Friday 13 June 2014

Justice To Oneself

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

In almost every Mosque, in every country of the world, the Imam closes his Friday sermon with a reminder to the people with the following verse of the Holy Qur’an. Allah says:

Verily, Allah orders, justice and refinement. (16:90)

Again He says:

Be just, that is closest to piety. (5:8)

To be just is a general, universal command; and it incorporates many dimensions in a person’s life. One of these is justice to oneself.

As the human personality is made up of two dimensions, viz. the physical self i.e. the nafs, and the non-physical self, i.e. the ruh, it is the duty of every person to take care to nurture both of them, by giving to each one of them what is necessarily required to ensure that they grow healthy and strong.

Because the nafs is the energy produced by the working of the physical body, it thrives on the satisfaction of the physical desires. The ruh, on the other hand, can be sustained with deeds and actions relating to spirituality and exercises focusing on God-consciousness. The individual is required to be just too both dimensions of the personality by engaging in permissible physical and spiritual exercises which will result in true representation of Allah here on earth.

The majority of human beings however, concentrate on taking care of the physical self and some do not even think that they need to sustain the spiritual. The unfortunate consequences of such a lifestyle will be a materialistic outlook of life that will benefit the individually, to some extent, materially and it will end with death.

As a representative of Allah here on earth, He wants us to behave like Him in our own humble way. He says:

(Establish) Allah’s handiwork according to the pattern on which He has made mankind; no change (let there be) in the work by Allah; that is the Upright way, but a lot of people do not understand. (30:30)

Behaving like Allah means to cultivate some of the qualities of the Divine Attributes in our physical lives. These include Glorifying His Holy Name and displaying qualities, like compassion, forgiveness, etc. when relating with fellow human beings.
In addition to the physical manifestation of the Godly qualities in dealing with other human beings, we are required to be just to our souls by keeping them polished, bright and shining.

Many people spend all their time and energy taking of the body, and completely neglect their souls. They spend all their wealth in material things and forget that they must send some for use in the next phase of life. They do not have time for worship, taking care of the poor and needy, only do and eat what is halaal, etc. Such people are neglecting the Qur’anic Command of being just to oneself.

Such people will regret what they did and some of them will ultimately say:

The day when man will see the deeds which his hands have sent forth; and the unbelievers will say: Woe unto me, I wish I was never created. (78:40)

We all should make every effort to nurture and cultivate both dimensions of our personalities, if we are to be just to ourselves. Islam gives us the recipe for so doing, beginning with the five fundamental principles, and extending to all the other dos and don’ts which we are required to uphold if we want to be truly just to ourselves in every possible way.  

Transcript of discourse delivered by

Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Pruning the human personality

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

One of the greatness of the mission of Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is that he was able to help and teach us how to trim off all the unwanted habits and desires of the human personality.  This process is referred to as Tazkiyah nafs or purification of the baser self.

Prophet (pboh) was commanded to rehearse the Signs of Allah, to teach the people everything about the working of the Allah; to sanctify them and to teach them the wisdom of the Book, etc.  His mission therefore is to develop the entire all round personality of a believer and to make him a true representative of Allah on earth.

Now the nafs has some peculiar habits and qualities.  Because the nafs is the energy produced from working of the human’s physical self, it is inclined to all things material.  At its baser self; the nafs does not care about moral etiquette etc.  Instead it just wants pleasure, comfort and all the materially attractive things. 

But the nafs is one of the ideal dimensions of the personality that Allah has given to man to represent Him on earth; because it is through the nafs we can display the Divine Attributes of Allah in our finite way; such as generosity, kindness, compassion etc.  The ruh, which is the other dimension of the human personality, cannot be contaminated.  The ruh is connected to the nafs, thus the nafs can impact upon the ruh and the ruh can also affect the nafs.  Both entities are energies.  One is energy that came from the command of God and the other is energy that comes from the working of the physical body.

Now if the energy that is generated from the physical body is pure energy it will coordinate positively with the ruh and through this you can achieve real peace inside of you.  If however, the nafs emits negative energy; it will be a direct contradiction with the ruh and you will not have peace.  And we see this ever so often; some people have all the wealth and status in the world and still they suffer from a lack of peace.

All of us would like peace and the only way of achieving it is to prune or trim out the unwanted desires and habits from our personalities.  This however is an individual matter and no one can do it for you.  This is the real jihad.  Why do I call it a jihad?  Jihad which usually connotates to fighting against some evil; thus we are fighting the negative energy that is being generated inside of us.  Possibly this is why Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said “I have returned from the small Jihad (Jihad Asghar) to the big Jihad (Jihad Akbar)”.  The Sahabas enquired “what is the big Jihad?”  Prophet (pboh) said “the Jihad al nafs (inner desires).”

To take it a step further; when Allah cursed Satan for his disobedience, Satan vowed that he would openly attack the progeny of Adam.  So before we came into this world we had an open enemy.  And the base ingredient of losing the battle against Satan is to follow his handiwork and Allah specifies the handiwork of the devil as being intoxicants and games of chance. 

And today society is in a downward spiral because of the prevalence of drugs, alcohol, and greed.  So we see the tangible manifestation of the workings of Satan

For those who do not succumb to the devil’s handiwork he uses a different strategy.  He works on your intentions and desires.  Look at how he got Adam and Eve to disobey Allah in the Garden of Eden.  Can you imagine how long he would have worked and played on the mind of Eve to get her and thereafter Adam to abandon their obedience and obey their baser desire?  The same goes for us.  Every day is a new battle. 

We need to humble ourselves and understand that Satan is our open enemy.  Let us sincerely try our best to purify our intentions and desires so that our nafs will only be producing positive energy.  The choice is ours.

Material possessions and acquisitions are nice as it can enable us to have a comfortable stay in this world however one day we will all inevitably leave everything behind.  Create that right balance that allows you time to work for this world and also the hereafter.  What we’re leaving behind must always be secondary; what we are sending in front of us is really important.  Am I sending beautiful, positive things that my Lord will be pleased with or am I sending things that will drag me in the abyss?

Whenever we recap topics like this is always nice to reflect on the As'hab us-Suffah or the founding sufis as they referred to.  They lived in the Prophet’s (pboh) mosque and were only engaged in worldly matters out of necessity.  And later when the Prophet (pboh) left this world they were the ones that really spread Islam all over the continents.  And if we looked at some of them, they had all the power and status one could want before they went to live with the Prophet (pboh) in his mosque.  Why did they pay so little heed to this world and gave up everything they would have worked for?  It goes to show that not everything can be deduced through scientific reason and logic and material assets.

We beg Allah to forgive us all, to bless us and to guide us so that there will only be positivity emanating from our personality, insha Allah.

Transcript of discourse delivered by
Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed

Monday 12 May 2014

Understanding without reason

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

When Allah gives us a message in the Holy Qur’an the common practice of a lot of people is to put a meaning to it; what they think is right, and confine it to that alone.  What we need to understand is that the Qur’anic meanings of each verse are so comprehensive that it is actually impossible for us to completely understand them.  The translation alone is not the complete message because each word has so many dimensions of meanings associated with it. 

For example Allah says in the Qur’an; 
‘Take note that amongst you is the Messenger of Allah’.  (49:7)
Some people interpret this to mean that the Sunnah or the way of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pboh) will always be with us; therefore we can get guidance from it.  However don’t you think that if Allah meant the Sunnah of His beloved (pboh) He would have specified that ‘his sunnah is with us’?

Instead He says that the Messenger is with us.  What then does it mean?  This is something that is difficult to understand through scientific reasoning and logic.  From a spiritual point of view the Prophet (pboh) has a special connection with the believers in a way we cannot logically comprehend; even though he left this physical dimension.

Take for example standing in front of his blessed tomb; he is reported to have said “no one sends salaams on me except Allah has returned my soul to me so that I can return his salam”.

So if you were to physically stand in front of the room that contains his blessed body and engage in sending peace and blessings on him Allah causes his soul to reunite with his physical body so that he can respond to your greeting.  And if you look at live footage of Madinah you will see that night and day visitors to his Holy Masjid are continuously standing in front of his tomb sending salaams on him.  Is it then that his soul is continuously in his body?  Because we know that the bodies of all the Messengers never decay as he is reported to have said “the earth has been prohibited by Allah to eat the bodies of the Prophets”.

What about those who are not directly in front his blessed tomb.  He is reported to have said that “Allah has appointed an angel to my grave; whosoever sends darood upon me, until the Day of Judgment his darood is presented to me along with his name and his father's name”.

This process of him replying to our salutations is something which we really cannot conceive through rational thinking.  Only Allah knows.  What we need to do is try to establish a lasting connection with him and in so doing we will want to attach ourselves to him through sheer love.  Either through the following of his sunnah or through gaining more and more knowledge of him; in whatever way you choose you will not want to break your attachment from him. 

To take it a step further, the human personality contains things that we know are existing yet we cannot see them.  Such an important dimension of the human personality is with us; i.e. the soul but we know little of it?  Have you seen the soul and what do we know about it?  Allah says concerning the soul ‘We have not given you much knowledge of it’.

So if we have such an important dimension of our personality and know so little of it; how then can we really comprehend the true personality of Prophet Muhammad (pboh) and all his capabilities and capacities?  So when Allah says he is amongst you know that the Prophet (pboh) is with you.  How?  Only Allah knows but one thing we understand is that Allah has given us all a special dimension in our personalities through which we can understand things which cannot be experienced through reason and logic. 

It is only through the non-physical element of the human personality that one can gain religious experiences.  And that is what Islamic spirituality is all about; when you concentrate and meditate using the internal sense.  Through this effort you will in fact be activating that capacity in you that enables you to have knowledge of the unseen.  If you can activate the qalb you will get experiences that would make this world and all it contains seem so very insignificant.

Perhaps this is why Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said “fear the vision of the true believer, for he sees with the light of Allah”.

Why did he not mention all believers?  This should equip your mind as to the reality of Islamic Spirituality.

Let us all make a conscious effort to work at activating and culturing the non-physical element of our personalities.  May Allah make it easy for us and keep us rightly devoted to this struggle.  May He bless us all, guide us and take care of all our affairs in this world and the next.

Transcript of discourse delivered by
Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed

Thursday 1 May 2014

Sight through the heart

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Today we will look at a message that Allah has given us in the Qur’an and it is taken from Surah An`am;
There has come to you enlightenment from your Lord.  So whoever will see does so for [the benefit of] his soul, and whoever is blind [does harm] against it. And [say], "I am not a guardian over you”.  (6:104)
Metaphorically it is as if the rain is falling and you put a container to collect its water; you will derive benefit.  If not you will lose out.  This is basically what Allah is trying to teach us.  One of the meanings of enlightenment is to get knowledge or to be guided.  And Allah is the Giver of knowledge and guidance.  Therefore if you utilize the blessings He has been gracious to bestow upon you you will benefit.  If you don’t utilise it properly you will definitely lose out in the long run.  What we have to do is strike a healthy balance by paying ample attention to our worldly responsibilities and spiritual cultivation.
If we cultivate our personalities we will benefit; just as the torchlight benefits in the times of darkness.  We have a choice and this is what makes humans special.  We can choose consciously to enlighten ourselves or choose consciously to remain in the dark.  Our choice won’t do good or harm to Allah; it is for our own benefit.
Allah says: for indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts.  22:46
Allah is telling us that we can decorate our bodies as much as we want; if we don’t decorate the heart we would have wasted our blessings.  For example, Pharaoh had unimaginable wealth and look at how history remembers him.  And that is the message of life; how do you manage your time to benefit yourself.  Are we only taken up with the material?
Allah says about Himself that ‘no vision can grasp Him’.
If you have to weld metal you have to wear a special apparatus.  So too, in order to experience the Greatness of Allah you have to prepare yourself.  If I want to look at my Lord, it is like looking at the sun with the naked eye multiplied many times over.
And this is something we should strive to achieve.  The mission of life is to prepare yourself to see your Lord.  Why and How?  When the Prophet Muhammad (pboh) went up into the heavens on the night of the Mir’aj he was blessed with a very special vision.  And this was the climax of realisation.  About it Allah says ‘and He revealed to His Servant what he revealed and his heart did not lie [about] what it saw’.
It is said that those who will enter paradise; after they would have gotten everything, then they will have vision of Allah, which is described as the greatest of all blessings.  And remarkably there are those who are able to achieve this right here in this life.
It may sound fanciful, but take for example our Book of Deeds; is it existing or not?  Every moment we are adding to it, so therefore it is existing; so why can’t we read it?  It is possible to see it and read it.  But how? 
Do you think you can give a vagrant the Qur’an to read?  Most likely not, because he is not clean and prepared, etc.  The same rule applies with all of us.  We need to cultivate our personalities to achieve “religious experiences”.  That is why Prophet (pboh) told his Companions “I have returned from the small Jihad (Jihad Asghar) to the big Jihad (Jihad Akbar)”.  The Sahabas enquired “what is the big Jihad?”  Prophet (pboh) said “the Jihad al nafs (jihad against the inner desires)”.
We need to prepare our bodies to accommodate the soul and not taint it with dark spots.  And this is one of the reasons why we do zikir; to open our eyes through the light of the heart.  And when this is achieved you will really experience the beauty of the Lord. 
Sadly, people project Allah as a strict Being waiting to punish us for our mistakes.  But Allah is so beautiful, loving kind and tender; that if you can understand that you will never want to leave Him.  You will want to stay with Him all the time because He is so Merciful and Generous.
Dear friends, let us make it a resolution to culture our personalities to experience the Beauty and Greatness of our Lord.  Begin by culturing the light of your soul and through that light you continue to grow.  Brighten your spiritual sight so that you will benefit in this world and the next.
Transcript of discourse delivered by
Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed