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Advice to a Sahabi
English Bayan, 37 mins
3rd June, 2021

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Advice to a Sahabi

For a Mu’min, the objective, the focal point and the essence of his life is this one thing alone: Allah ta’ala has sent him to this world, and he should just do one task, which is to prepare for his departure, for his death. Other than this, a Mu’min has no other duty, and there should be no other action because everything we do should be about preparation for the Hereafter. In the length of our lifetime that Allah ta’ala has given to us, if we, at every moment, start preparing for this purpose and working towards this objective, then alhamdulillah, we have attained the world and the Hereafter as well. The barriers and obstacles that come in this path through this world – and there are tests and obstacles in life in many forms, whether sicknesses, difficulties, worries, stress or poverty –these tests are to determine, in respect of a peson’s preparation for the Hereafter, whether he comes off track or remains focused on the path. The duty of a Mu’min or a Mu’minah is not to worry about the obstacles that come on the path. You know how you swat away a fly or a wasp if it flies towards you? The obstacles of the world should be treated in the same way, and the real purpose and objective of a Muslim’s life should be kept in mind.

Day and night, we see that people are departing from this world. My Hadhrat Sahib noor ‘ala maraqadah made a beautiful statement which is contained in the final letter that he wrote to me – and after that, my Sheikh himself did not remain in this world. In the final letter that he wrote to me, Allahu Akbar, he included a unique statement. He said ‘Life is temporary, and our luggage is temporary and everything in the world is temporary. The one thing that will be useful and beneficial is not hidden – rather the holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam announced this fact. What is that? It is good deeds, righteous deeds, Amal us-Salihaat.’ If we focus on this point, then we will realise that all matters such as children, wife, family are not the reality of life; they are all temporary things. Have you ever seen a person who is leaving the world taking anything with him? A person has so much stress and worry about the world, thinking ‘This is mine, I have lost that, this is mine,’ but as soon as he passes out of this world, he does not remember any of those things. He does not even imagine the things of the world. So, tell me, could there be anything more temporary than this Dunya? And yet the focal point of our whole life is based on these things – people live for these things in the world, and that is why they keep on rejecting and delaying the implementation of those righteous deeds which will really give them the benefit in the Hereafter that they should be preparing for.

Our Deen is so great – what great treasures and blessings Allah has given us. Allah has given us Qur’an, and He has given us Ahadith, and we can see that Allah ta’ala has created such great human beings and has sent them to this world to explain the truth to us, and they have written and published great Kitabs which enable us to prepare for the Hereafter. But Allah ta’ala has shown us one thing which is so easy that any one is able to do it. Okay, if you can’t read the Qur’an and cannot practice other things, at least heed Allah when He says {وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ ٱلۡهَوَىٰٓ} – SubhanAllah. Allah is saying ‘Oh My beloved Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), I have made your tongue so beloved, and your words and speech are so beautiful and eloquent. Your lips are so beautiful that whenever they move, oh My Nabi, such beautiful and eloquent statements come out of your mouth. Your words are so beautiful and eloquent – it is you who speaks, but it is I who lets you speak. It is not for you to speak {وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ ٱلۡهَوَىٰٓ} and you do not speak from your desires. Every word of yours is so precious and valuable!’

If a person takes hold of one word of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam and follows it, then SubhanAllah, just from that one word, not only will he become a proper human being, he will also save himself from hellfire and will enter into Paradise. This is what results from following just one word from the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam – and this was the style of the noble Companions. They wouldn’t ask lengthy questions, but they would approach the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam and say ‘Ya Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, do you have any advice for us?’ SubhanAllah. They didn’t ask for lengthy statements or explanation of verses of the Qur’an or Tafseer – nothing of this sort. Even the illiterate nomads who came from rural areas would just say ‘Oh Prophet of Allah, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, please advise me. I need your advice.’ That’s it – that is all they would ask for. Now there was such great compatibility between the one asking and the one answering that the understanding between them was very great. If they asked him for a Nasiha, then he would have full Yaqeen that his Companion was asking how to avoid hellfire and how to progress towards Paradise. He knew that the request was not for the Dunya or for some advice about life’s difficulties or that they would ask for Dua or for some assistance in some issue they had.

Imagine the personality that they were addressing – could they not have asked him for Dua? They could have requested Dua due to lack of children or money or some business issue, and if those hands had been raised for such a Dua, then the matter would certainly have been resolved; but the Sahaba would ask for such things that if they acquired what they were asking for, they knew that they would get everything from that. They were not worried about secondary things – the Sahaba were true beggars and Faqirs. They were unique human beings who knew what to ask for, so when they asked for a Nasiha, saying ‘Ya Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, please give us advice,’ then the Door of Rahmah would open in a wonderful way, SubhanAllah. The Master of the two worlds would look at that Bedouin, but he would not direct his answer just at him; rather, he knew that the answer would be for the whole Ummah until Qiyamah, and that whoever heard and understood and accepted his reply, would attain Falah – success. SubhanAllah - and when the Sahabi who asked heard the advice, they would say ‘That’s it – end of story. I won’t do more than this and I won’t do less than this’ – and then the declaration would come: ‘If anyone wants to see a person of Paradise, then look at this Companion of mine.’

Brothers, these words did not end there, so what is the difference between those people and us? The difference is that today, we are very keen on listening; we have so much passion for listening to words and bayans and stories and lengthy explanations and technical points and bayans and grammar, but absolutely nothing in respect of practice. Huge gatherings take place, but nobody goes with the Niyyah that they want to go and learn and do Amal on what they hear. Please forgive me – there are many of us gathered here today but did anyone make the Niyyah before coming here that whatever he learned today, he would practice upon it? Did I make this Niyyah today? Tell me the true, honest answer from your heart. So am I mad and stupid to start speaking in front of you? Do we have time to just sit here? It is not my duty to come and sit here and speak while you listen. No, the objective is to practice.

These are not my words, rather, they are the words of he who wrapped himself in the black cloak sallallahu alayhi wasallam – maybe his words will descend into your heart. Maybe a person who is immersed in wrong and is seeking the path of goodness, whether a sister or a brother, will take on this Nasiha. They are not all stupid like us, are they? Maybe there is someone out there for whom the secret has been unravelled. As I said to you, it is not about lengthy commentaries on Bukhari Sharif or Sahih Muslim or technical discussions - not at all. Alhamdulillah, you can take any Nasiha of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam – giving advice was his life. For example, he said ‘Any Companion of mine is like a star, and whichever star you follow, you will be guided to success.’ The words of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam were such that if you embrace any of his utterances, then you have got the right path, the straight path – SubhanAllah.

So, my brothers, we should have one grief within us, and should think ‘Ya Allah, we are living in the era of Fitnah and disorder’ – but we have no passion and desire today and we don’t want to listen today. We have no courage today and we don’t work hard today, and we treat life as a game – but death will come to everybody. Death is a fact! Think ‘Oh Allah, what have I done to prepare for death?’ Up until today, what preparation have we made for death? What have we done? How have we prepared for the Hereafter? One Companion came - Allahu Akbar, he had the same question. He said ‘Ya Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, please give me some advice.’ SubhanAllah. The Companions opened up their hearts to these Nasihas, which were coming from whom? Not from some Mufti Sahib or some commentator or some Sheikh-ul-Hadith - no. Whose advice is this? SubhanAllah, the advice of Imam-ul-Ambiya, the head of the Prophets – it is he who is giving this advice. And to whom is it directed? To his Ummah, to his nation, to his followers, to every Ummati – if only we can understand his words!

It is guaranteed that if we do Amal on his words today, then I swear by Allah, all of the doors of the Hereafter will open for us - all of them. If something comes into our hands and we are steadfast upon it, thinking ‘Okay, today I heard this advice from the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam,’ then that is it – end of story. We have nothing else to worry about – we just have to practice upon it. Will we do this, brothers? InshaAllah. That is when we can say that we have done the right thing. So first, we must make Niyyah for this as we sit here today and let the words of the gracious Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam descend into our hearts. His words should descend into our hearts – the padlock on the heart should be broken open so that our hearts can embrace his advice, and then we won’t look left or right and will not need to go anywhere, not to any other gatherings, because we will just run after that one statement from the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam and continue to practice it. That’s it – you have got the path. Then you have nothing to worry about and will have no need to go here and there, looking for someone to say something that will allow you to understand.

There is no time to waste in life, my friends; we don’t have time in this day and age. Time is short and it is precious. So when the Companion requested ‘Please give me advice,’ then SubhanAllah, the ocean of Rahmah was activated and Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said ‘Ah, my Sahabi has come to ask me and is benefitting my whole Ummah.’ The style of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam was unique in that he never replied with something difficult for his Ummah. He would always give a very simple path to success that everyone can practice if they have the desire. So he asked for a Nasiha, and what Nasiha did the Sahabi request? Was it for a shop or a business or for a wife? No. His Niyyah, like all the Companions, was what? ‘Oh Allah, please make the preparation for my death easy so that I can go into Paradise laughing and smiling.’ Do you all have this desire? They were hungry and thirsty and had problems and sadness, as well as family and children problems, but they were not worried about those things. They knew that if they took this advice of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam and practiced it, then all the issues of the world would become smooth and easy. They were just as satisfied whether their provision was pilau rice or boiled egg or yoghurt or dry chapattis. The majority of those people had nothing more than onion and dry chapattis which they would bring out from their pockets to eat and would then go off to their labouring jobs - and that is how their time would pass. Not just one day, but their whole lives were spent like this.

As for us, if we don’t get meat one day or if we don’t get the dish that we wanted, our whole day is affected, and life seems so difficult for us due to the pain! But ask the majority of the Ummah, who live lives of poverty across the world – look around you at the people in your home countries. They have sugar and raw onion and dry chappatti, and they put water on top of the dry chapatti and onion and say ‘Alhamdulillah.’ This is their diet for their whole lives, and when their children are crying, the mother grinds a bit of corn with salt and onion and gives that to the children, after which the children smile and are happy. Allah ta’ala has given us a test and a challenge – the more He gives us, the emptier our stomachs feel. We are constantly asking for more and more -{هَلۡ مِن مَّزِيدٍ۬}- and then we still want more and say that we want this delicacy and this luxury. Really? If Allah ta’ala gives us Ni’mahs, then we should at least be grateful for the Ni’mahs that Allah ta’ala has given. Don’t forget your destination! If Allah ta’ala has given you these things, Allah ta’ala is testing you in this regard by giving you more – being given more is a test as well. If we pass this test that Allah ta’ala has given, then alhamdulillah – Allah ta’ala says ‘If you enjoy My Ni’mahs, I will give you more and you can prepare for the Hereafter as well.’ So everyone is challenged, and Allah ta’ala has given opportunities for success to both rich and poor. But what do we do? We immerse ourselves in the world and lose sight of the path.

So listen to the Nasiha that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam gave when he answered the Sahabi who said ‘Ya Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, please advise me.’ All of you, and me as well, must apply this advice – this is complete and comprehensive advice, and we don’t need to go anywhere after this advice. This is advice about success in the Hereafter, and implementing it gives a total guarantee of Jannah. Those who do so will enter Paradise laughing, and an easy death with Iman is guaranteed, and a Book of Deeds full of good, righteous actions, and they will be solid in Salah and Tahajjud – all of this will flow from practicing this Nasiha. SubhanAllah – you will do everything and will become a complete Mu’min if you start practicing this Nasiha. You just need to practice it. Don’t just listen, you have to practice. Yes? Open a clean sheet of paper in your heart and inscribe this and consider that you are about to hear something good. You should not have whispering and negative thoughts and doubts, because we are hearing the reply of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam about whom we should have no doubt. Who can doubt the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam? If someone says ‘Oh, Mufti Sahib said this and gave an opinion on that’ – okay, fine, but this is the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam replying to one of his Sahabi’s requests for advice, and this advice is not just being directed at that Sahabi, but rather at the whole Ummah.

So when he asked, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam replied with a short and concise statement – he went to the root of the matter, to the foundation. He said ‘It is essential for every Mu’min that if he wants to prepare for death and attain Paradise and live life as a good Muslim, then the first thing he needs is what? Khawf of Allah!’ Yes? ‘Alaykum bi-Taqwi’llah! I might think ‘I have got Khawf of Allah – I am worried about paying the bills and how I will eat tonight and how I will run my home and how I will be able to raise my children.’ We have all these fears, but these are more like panic attacks about the world. Have you heard about this sickness? It is called having a panic attack about the world – these fears about bad actions and other scenarios occurring. This is called Khawf, but this is Khawf-e-Dunya, and this type of fear makes a person even more sick – distress piles upon distress and sadness upon sadness and he feels even closer to death. Allah is telling us to end these fears by replacing them with the real fear that a person should have – say SubhanAllah.

Do you understand what I am saying? This will also eliminate these fake concerns and fears, such as ‘How will I eat tomorrow?’ or ‘How will I pay the bills?’ or ‘What will I do if I lose my job?’ These thoughts make us start panicking and sweating, much like a bad dream in the night after which you cannot get back to sleep. You think ‘I have got problems and issues. How should I reply to that person, and what should I do in that situation?’ But SubhanAllah, the fear that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam is prescribing for us will eliminate all other fears. You will sleep with ease and comfort, and nobody will be able to worry you by saying ‘What will happen then? What will happen tomorrow?’ You will reply ‘You may have this concern, brother, but I have no worries. I am not worried about what to do if this or that happens – Allah has given me what I need today, so He can give me what I need tomorrow as well.’ SubhanAllah. ‘If Allah can cure that person of the disease, He can cure me as well. If Allah makes me ill, Allah can cure me as well.’ This is the feeling that we need.

So what fear did Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam prescribe? ‘Alaykum bi-Taqwi’llah is essential for every Mu’min – if this Khawf is not in your life, then you will get panic attacks as you proceed towards your death; the fear of the world will overwhelm you and take you towards death. And if you have the fear of the Dunya with you when it is time to meet Allah in the Akhirah, then you will be taken to the doors of Jahannam, and you won’t even be brought near to Allah. So take this first Nasiha from Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam where he tells us that we should have Khawf in our lives – but fear of whom? Taqwa’llah – Khawf of Allah, the fear of Allah. This is what we need to bring into our lives. Fear of whom? Fear of Allah. Don’t be worried about anything in the world, such as what will happen here, or who will do this, and what will follow if that happens – nothing will happen that is not in the control of who? No single leaf of a tree can dare to sway from side to side, let alone drop from the branch, without Allah’s Hukm. No atom or particle of dust can fly in the air without the permission of Allah - even when I sneeze, my nose cannot dare to sneeze without Allah’s instruction. Let’s go beyond that: I breathe in, and I breathe out, but when I breathe out and my chest goes in, that breath asks Allah for permission, saying ‘Oh Allah, shall I breathe in again or shall I stop here so that he dies?’ Only when permission is given can the next breath be taken – and who gives permission for this? Allah gives permission - but we don’t have Yaqeen in this. We say ‘Oh doctor sahib, please come quickly and put the stethoscope on my chest and measure my pulse’ – why do we react like this? Because we don’t fear Allah.

Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam said that the first thing that should be in the heart of a Mu’min is Taqwa’llah, fear of Allah, knowing that everything in the universe happens with Allah’s permission. We don’t have this understanding. When Allah’s fear comes - Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam made a beautiful point after giving this advice. He explained that there is a sign of a person who has fear of Allah. What will be the change in that person? What improvement will be evident in that person? What difference will it make in that person’s life? The difference will be that before every action that person does in this world, he will think to himself ‘Will Allah and His Rasool sallallahu alayhi wasallam be disobeyed through this action?’ Say SubhanAllah. Before any action, he will reflect and think ‘While I am doing this action, will Allah and His Rasool sallallahu alayhi wasallam be disobeyed in any way? Will I be going against their wishes? Will I be going against Allah’s instructions?’

Tell me, if this fear of Allah comes into the heart of a Mu’min, will he commit a sin after that? Will he leave Salah? Will he stand at his shop at the time of Salah, or will he go to the Masjid to pray? If he is standing at his shop at Salah time and Khawf of Allah is in his heart, he will say to himself ‘Oh, it is Salah time – I am disobeying Allah,’ and then he will immediately put the shutters down and go to the Masjid, because his Khawf of Allah has given him certainty. He will not worry about his Rizq – rather, he will first obey the order and go to the Masjid, and then the sustenance will flow after that. There is a reason that people don’t pray Salah and there is a reason behind the sins that we commit, which is that there is no passion or courage inside, and the question ‘Am I disobeying Allah and His Rasool sallallahu alayhi wasallam’ is not asked. There is no passion and no concern. If a person has fear of Allah and has an urge to slap a child, he will stop himself before he does so and think ‘Will Allah be unhappy if I beat this child?’ He will think about it, and due to his fear, his heart will answer ‘No, no, no – this is not the right time. I should be trying to do the Islah of this child here.’ Immediately, a good deed will occur to you to replace the bad deed that was impending.

This Khawf of Allah will stop you from Haram, from bad actions; once you get the Khawf of Allah that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam described inside you, then all bad actions will stop. If a Mu’min develops this fear of Allah in his heart, he has followed this great advice. This will avoid the destruction and bad lifestyle and all the sins that we commit, whether in darkness or light, the sins that we commit while hiding away, even though we pray Salah and do Dhikr and have beards and Islamic attire. Why do we do this? Because we have not got the Khawf of Allah in our hearts. Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam gave this as a first prescription, as if to say ‘Forget this life of drama, this fake life – first implement this point.’ How do we do this? He also gave the measuring gauge, which is that before you do any action, you need to ask this question in your heart – ‘Should I go to this event or not? Should I take up this job or not? Should I do this action or not?’ The answer will come from your heart as to whether this action entails disobeying Allah. When you are about to disobey, Allah will give you all the ‘Ilm and understanding that you need. Allah ta’ala has given every human being the ability to understand. If you fear Allah, Allah ta’ala says ‘I will make you an Alim yourself.’ You will be a scholar if you have Taqwa. Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said that the Alim is inside - the heart is the Alim. It will reply to your questions, because it will have the ‘Ilm that comes with fear of Allah, SubhanAllah. You don’t necessarily need to learn extensive details of Fiqh from the Kitabs; rather, your heart will tell you what is Halal and what is Haram. If you have the fear of Allah, your heart will tell what is lawful and unlawful. Your heart will save you from Jahannam – Allah will instil the ‘Ilm into your heart that will save you from hellfire.

Experience this for yourself – your hand won’t go towards Haram and your heart won’t feel like doing wrong. You won’t have to telephone someone to be told to leave this or that action because it is not good for this and that reason; alhamdulillah, when Taqwa comes into the heart, when the fear of Allah comes into the heart, you will never do those actions. No one will need to remind you; rather, you will be reminding other people and saying ‘Don’t do this, my friend – this is not a good thing for you to do.’ You will be inviting people to do the right thing. Do you understand this point that I have made now? We need to acquire the Khawf of Allah in our hearts.

But this fear of Allah is not the sort of commodity that you can get from just anywhere. This fear will open the Doors of Paradise and the knowledge of Allah, and all of the Islamic science of Tasawwuf is based on this one point – fear of Allah. Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam did not speak of his own accord, but rather he said what Allah told him to say. An ocean of knowledge would come from each word that came from his blessed mouth. You can put the whole definition of Tasawwuf under this statement of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam – have Taqwa of Allah. The whole of Tasawwuf, and the message of Tazkiyah and purification, and all of the Salasil and all of the great Walis of Allah have one common denominator - and that is fear of Allah, Taqwa. If you look at a Khanqah and see the Mureeds there, what do you see inside? If there is progression in the Khanqah and in the students of the Sheikh, it is in respect of fear of Allah. This is the common denominator – say SubhanAllah.

Do you understand what I am saying? Me and you are gathered here for this purpose as well. If you have given Bai’ah and have become students of a teacher, your objective is one – to acquire the fear of Allah in the heart. We should make a very great effort to attain this Tazkiyah and to purify our hearts. Saying ‘Oh, I have prayed Salah and I do this and that’ is not the Deen of Islam. The Deen is a total way of life, a comprehensive way of life that applies in every situation. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, twenty-four hours a day, from the moment you wake until the time you go to sleep, you should not commit any action that earns the displeasure of Allah. That was how we spent Ramadhan, fasting until the evening and making an effort in every second – Allah ta’ala gave us Ramadhan as an example. All the time we were thinking ‘I will make every effort not to commit any sins because I don’t want to spoil my fast.’ We did this in Ramdhan, didn’t we? We would think ‘No, I’m fasting so I can’t do that. When the fast finishes, I might do it then.’ The fast makes a person hold himself back, and a Mu’min should be like this for his whole life. From morning until evening, he should be very cautious, thinking ‘I don’t want to displease my Rabb.’ This is the objective of life.

Allah ta’ala has given such a beautiful formula, so we have to be very careful. If your heart is always knocking, and you worry about having said something wrong, then there is a cure that is immediately available, which is to do Astaghfar straight away. If you say something wrong, do Astaghfar immediately, and then Allah says ‘Okay, fine – I will compensate for that.’ Don’t wait or delay until the evening, thinking ‘I will repent some time later.’ No - if a bit of dirt comes onto your clothes, if you don’t remove it immediately, the stain will grow and grow. And the stains that come onto the heart make a person depressed, and then they give up and have sadness and depression in their lives. They wonder ‘Why is my heart black? I have just prayed Salah, so why is my heart down? I don’t know why I am not feeling good – I have bad feelings and whispers in my heart.’ The reason for this is that sins have accumulated upon the heart, and that is why we should do Tawbah immediately after each and every sin - say SubhanAllah. Don’t let the sins gather and grow and accumulate.

For this, we need a life of effort and hard work and Khawf – we must develop Khwaf. Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam has given this invitation: every Muslim should make an effort every day to develop the fear of Allah in his heart – SubhanAllah. And alongside this, he gave the solution – listen to the solution. He said to his Companion ‘I will also tell you how you can develop that Khawf of Allah in your heart.’ SubhanAllah, he gave the remedy at the same time; he made the path crystal clear. First, he gave the answer, saying that a person needs to have fear of Allah in the heart, and then he explained how to create that fear inside the heart. Read the Hadith – the solution comes in the same Hadith.

So the Sahabi was listening – what is that Tariqa? How do we create fear of Allah in our hearts? “وَاذْكُرِ اللَّهَ عِنْدَ كُلِّ حَجَرٍ وَشَجَرٍ” – SubhanAllah! In other words, to develop the fear of Allah, you should be immersed and consumed in the Dhikr of Allah in every second. So when it is announced that there is a gathering of Dhikr, this is a great treasure of Allah in this world, a very great treasure and Ni’mah. We are practicing on this Nasiha of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam when we do Dhikr. This is why we are sat here to do Dhikr – think about it. Think about what I am saying. There is only one purpose of doing Dhikr – what is that? To develop the fear of Allah in our hearts. And what is the sign of the fear of Allah? Think to yourself – ‘I am doing Dhikr every day, I am doing Dhikr regularly, and Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam is saying that when a person does this, then the fear of Allah will come into one’s heart.’ Due to that fear, you will have an awareness and worry before you do any action, and will think ‘Should I do this action or not? Will Allah be happy with me or not?’

My brothers, if you are doing Dhikr and the fear of Allah comes into your heart, then Allah ta’ala announces that the Dhakir does Dhikr in such a way that his heart becomes so immersed in Dhikr that the fear of Allah comes into his heart, and then he saves himself from sins at every footstep of his life, thinking ‘Oh Allah, I don’t want to do anything to displease You.’ If he thinks there is a danger that Allah might be unhappy, then he leaves that action. Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam announced that on the day of Judgement, those Dhakirs who develop this feeling in their hearts through doing Dhikr, whether men or women, their faces will shine like the moon on the fourteenth night, SubhanAllah. In fact, Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said that their faces would shine even more than that – brighter than the moon on the fourteenth night!

This is the path that we have adopted, so we need to reflect on this, and not just assess ourselves on the basis of doing ten thousand Tasbeehs or having done Dhikr for ten years or twenty years. We learn three things from this Nasiha: every Mu’min needs to develop Khawf in his heart, because without fear of Allah, he cannot have a good life and cannot prepare for the Hereafter, no matter how much Qur’an he reads or what else he does. You cannot succeed without fear of Allah, so you need to make effort and work hard to develop the fear of Allah, and the Tariqa that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam prescribed must be followed. He told us what the results of fear of Allah are, showing us that the physical characteristics of fear of Allah should be evident in your life – this demonstrates that fear of Allah is in your heart. What are these characteristics? They involve constantly asking oneself if one is living one’s life according to the instructions of Allah and His Rasool sallallahu alayhi wasallam. When I am bringing up a child, or regarding my family relationships, or job, employment or business, or my worldly interactions, am I doing the right things and saying the right things? Is this action that I am about to do right or wrong? When this characteristic is developed, this is the fear of Allah.

And what is the method to acquire this that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam prescribed? Dhikrullah! We need to do so much Dhikr - abundant Dhikr. Now if Dhikrullah that Rasoolullah prescribed in this Hadith is the solution, what does Dhikr of Allah mean? It is not just doing repeated Dhikr without any understanding. There are many types of Dhikr in the world. If you pick up a Tasbeeh, that is Dhikr, if you say SubhanAllah, that is Dhikr, if you pray Salah, that is Dhikr, if you read Qur’an, that is Dhikr. Everything that we do in terms of Ibadah is Dhikr, there is no doubt about that. But here, a specific point is being prescribed – listen carefully to what I am saying. Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam is mentioning that Dhikr which develops the fear of Allah in your heart; that is the Dhikr which we need to do. There is a specific Dhikr which develops fear of Allah in your heart, and this is the subject of Tasawwuf and the science of Tasawwuf in Islam – which is also referred to as Tazkiyah, purification of the heart.

We need to study this subject and adopt this path of Tasawwuf which is the subject of Islam. We need to follow this path so that the Khawf of Allah comes into us, and what is that? It is learning Dhikr of Allah. Now to learn Dhikr, obviously we need to look for a teacher, for an Ustadh, so a person thinks ‘Who shall I go to? Whose Sohbat should I get? Whose company should I sit in?’ This teaching comes from the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam, via the Sahaba, and has been passed down to us today – and this action of Dhikr will create the fear of Allah in our hearts. So we need to go and look for an Ustadh, for a Sheikh, for a teacher, and when we find him, we will say ‘Can you teach me Dhikr? Please prescribe some Dhikr for me.’ You will sit in his company and start doing the Dhikr that he has prescribed for you, and he will do your Islah and reform you and improve you and tell you what you are doing wrong – just as any teacher guides his students. This is the action that we need to do; this is the essence of this Hadith.

After that, keep on assessing yourself and analysing yourself and asking yourself whether the fear of Allah has come into your heart. Don’t just count the numbers of Tasbeehs that you are doing every day to fulfil the amount set by the Sheikh – no. This is not the end point, and this is not what we are doing it for. We have to do Mujahidah all life-long, and work hard and ask ‘Am I attaining that feeling?’ The fear of Allah won’t be acquired in a couple of hours or a couple of days; no, you have to work on it continuously. Nafs and shaytan are against us, and they will always keep trying to put us off the path. But when you have an Ustadh, he will do your Islah through Bayans and gatherings and talks, and he will give you Dhikr of Allah to do and will give you Tarbiyyah. He will reform you and improve you, alhamdulillah, and will continue to take you on the path towards success, SubhanAllah.

The person who doesn’t understand comes now and again, sometimes leaving it and sometimes following it – can he attain his destination and be successful? Being fifty-fifty is not the Tariqa. If you really understand that this is about the need to prepare for death, then preparation for death is daily until death comes. It is not a matter of four hours a day or two hours a day – preparation for death is done for the whole of one’s life. Whether sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety, or one hundred years, Allah ta’ala has given us our whole lives in order to prepare for death every day. And Allah didn’t say that we should just prepare for death for two hours a day and then just eat and drink and be merry for the rest of our life – no. The Mu’min prepares for death all life-long.

So alhamdulillah, may Allah ta’ala give us the Tawfeeq to practice upon this beautiful Nasiha, and let us adopt the means to develop Khawf, my brothers. We can’t succeed just through blank words; rather, put your death in front of you every second, and put your resurrection in front of you every second, and adopt and follow the path that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam has prescribed, so that the Khawf of Allah is developed in our hearts. And once fear of Allah comes, your life will succeed. This is the basic denominator of a Muslim’s life; it is Lazim, essential and necessary for a Muslim - and without it, we cannot succeed.

So, to summarise, what do we understand? Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam gave a Nasiha to his Companion which is for every Mu’min, and the essential first step is to develop fear of Allah in the heart. The way to develop fear of Allah in the heart is to do Dhikrullah, and for this you need to sit with a Dhakir, with a teacher, who will prescribe Dhikr for you and explain what you should do and how much you should do and what Dhikr suits you. For all of these things, you need a teacher, so seek out a teacher. When you find a teacher, then do Dhikr according to his prescription, and then after Dhikr, analyse yourself and give yourself feedback to assess whether the result is positive. You should see that a feeling of caution has come into your life so that before doing every action, you think ‘Am I disobeying Allah and His Rasool sallallahu alayhi wasallam?’ And as you see that feeling develop, keep on being grateful to Allah and think, ‘Alhamdulillah, I am cleansing and washing myself – alhamdulillah, I am being rectified.’ That’s it! Prepare for death throughout whatever life remains to you, and let the rest of the issues of the world unfold how they will – and you will find that there is Barakah in both of these aspects.

May Allah ta’ala give us all the Tawfeeq. Ameen

17th Jun, 2021
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