یہ آزمائش ہے یا سزا؟
Urdu Bayan, 47 mins
29th July, 2021

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​Is it a Test or a Punishment? ​My brothers, this Dunya in which we are present is based on two things - you will mainly find two things in the Dunya: happiness and sadness. These two things are very important parts of this world in which we live. Sometimes happiness comes, followed by sadness; sometimes sadness comes, followed by happiness. In reality, both things are temporary – sadness ends, and happiness also ends. No one always remains in a happy state, and no one always remains in a sad state - these two feelings and emotions are always alternating with a human being. If we see that someone is very happy, sooner or later something will occur that he could not imagine. He can be sat at home happily, then he gives Salam, makes Dua and leaves, and suddenly an accident takes place. Then everyone is surprised and thinks ‘What happened? How did this take place?’ Or someone is totally fine, and then suddenly he falls ill; or everything is fine and running smoothly at home, and then suddenly an argument starts, and divorce takes place; or some issues arise with the children. These are all problems that occur in this world, and we have to face them; we will continue to face them. This is how life is. Sometimes happiness comes suddenly when a person has been sad. Sometimes tragedies or disasters occur, and all the plans that a person has made in his life are finished. Someone gets married very happily, and then that marriage ends; the marriage is unsuccessful, and that person is surprised and thinks ‘What happened here? I thought about it, and I did Istakharah, so how did this happen? I was very cautious and careful, so how did it end up like this?’ That individual is very shocked and doesn’t understand. A person might say to himself ‘I was very careful and followed all the steps, so why did I fall prey to Corona? I took the injection, and I did this and that and wore the mask, and I was totally fine. Then suddenly, I woke up and thought ‘What happened to me here?’ just as I was about to go to Salah.’ This happens to us, doesn’t it? This is the definition of Dunya, and this is actually how a person realises who Allah is and comes to know that everything is not in our control and doesn’t run according to our own desires. Allah ta’ala is telling us ‘What occurs is what I want; if I prefer a course of events, that is what will happen; and it is best for you if you also like what I want, and if you do, I will give you what you want on top of that.’ Everything is based on Allah ta’ala’s desire and preference, not on ours. So these are the issues and conditions of life, and we are always immersed in the world and thinking ‘What is happening? Why did this happen? Why isn’t that happening?’ But the important thing to realise, my brothers, is that these two conditions of happiness and sadness are the platform and the foundation of our lives. Sadness comes and happiness comes, and our Deen also runs in parallel with this. Remember that we often mould our Deen according to what is happening in our lives, so that we change at every corner and every turn; when a person is happy, he does all the things he wants to do, and when sadness comes, he leaves Salah. End of story. So why does this happen? Why do these two emotions and conditions come in our lives? Why? Why has Allah ta’ala sent them? We cannot complain, because everything is based upon Allah’s Wisdom; Allah knows best, and nobody else can see the full picture. Someone can get sick, someone can become wealthy, someone else might be poor, and this is all Allah’s selection, the selection of the Creator, and it is based upon Allah’s Wisdom. And in respect of difficulties, Allah ta’ala has mentioned two reasons for this in the Qur’an. Allah has explained that there are two types of difficulty, and when it comes, it is for one of two reasons. Firstly, Allah ta’ala says in the Qur’an: {وَلَنَبۡلُوَنَّكُم بِشَىۡءٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ وَٱلۡجُوعِ وَنَقۡصٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَمۡوَٲلِ}, meaning: ‘I test the human being and challenge him in the world with hunger, with poverty, with children, with wealth; this is My test for that individual, and I can test whoever I want, whether they are a rich person or a king.’ We cannot complain and say ‘Why is this happening to me and not to him?’ So when a difficulty comes upon a person, the first thing that it could be is a test. Allah says { وَلَنَبۡلُوَنَّكُم}, so always ask ‘Is this a test from Allah?’ If a person drives to the Masjid and everything is fine, and then after he has prayed Salah, he thinks ‘What has happened to my car?’ Or he takes the injection for Corona, but then gets infected, then he should think to himself ‘It could be that this is Allah’s test upon me.’ Allah has explained the reason – ‘This is My test; I am examining you. This is an examination for you.’ This is the first type of difficulty. Allah ta’ala also mentions a second type of difficulty: { فَبِمَا كَسَبَتۡ أَيۡدِيكُمۡ} – there could be another reason for the difficulty, which is that it is a punishment, an Adhab. We have to ask ‘Rather than a test or an examination, is this a punishment from Allah?’ Has Allah ta’ala sent a punishment down upon you? Allah ta’ala is saying that difficulties also come for this reason. You can be held to account for the wrong actions that you have committed, for your disobedience, for having made Allah unhappy; difficulties can also come for this reason. Say SubhanAllah. There are these two reasons, so if something happens to me while I am walking along, I must think about these two reasons – what a beautiful lesson this is. If a person becomes ill and distress comes, or if he fails in something or has an argument with his wife or a divorce occurs, if despite trying his best, some difficulty overtakes him, then rather than making a quick decision, he should immediately ask himself whether this is a test of Allah upon him, or whether it is a punishment - say SubhanAllah. Whether it is an emotion or an incident, he should think ‘This has happened to me suddenly, so is this Allah’s test upon me, or is it a punishment?’ But we don’t think like this, and so we just make our own decisions; but we need to think for a little while and reflect on the situation. So how do we know whether it is a punishment or whether it is a test or challenge from Allah? If, for example, a person is working very hard in his job, and suddenly the boss says that he doesn’t need him anymore, then he will think ‘What has happened to my job? I have been working here for five or ten years, and now I am redundant.’ What will happen to that person? What emotion will he experience? He would feel depressed and negative –a person would be very upset at such a time. Some people fail due to these events – remember this – because a person is weak. But Allah ta’ala has given us a hint here in the Qur’an that the difficulties that we are afflicted with can be based on one of two things: either it is a test or challenge that Allah ta’ala has set for you, or it is an Adhab, a punishment. It could be an Adhab, so a person should think ‘What have I done?’ Clearly, we are sinful, and a person does make mistakes, and Allah has promised ‘I won’t leave you – I will fulfil the Hisab.’ Yes? The accounting will take place if we do something wrong – so how do we know? So this is step number two when a difficulty afflicts you. Whether it is a small sickness, or anything, any minor or negative condition – and nothing seems minor when it happens – think, straightaway. This is called doing Tadabbur on the Qur’an; Allah says { أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ ٱلۡقُرۡءَان} – Allah is saying ‘You don’t ponder; you don’t analyse, but I have explained so many small things to you in the Qur’an.’ The Qur’an is a very great asset that Allah ta’ala has given to us, and no second of our lives should be detached from the Qur’an. But we don’t even go near the Qur’an. Don’t just keep the Qur’an for one objective; the Qur’an is so clear and weighty, so don’t restrict it to just one thing. Whether a sinful person, or a Hafidh, a Qari, a scholar, a Sheikh, a Pir, a teacher, a Qutb, a Ghawth – everyone has connection with the same Qur’an. The Qur’an is connected to everybody; it doesn’t matter how sinful a person is. If the most sinful of people has a connection with the Qur’an, he can go to Jannah by means of that connection. Even a person who has given up so much can still get assistance from the Qur’an. A person with connection to the Qur’an will never be a failure – remember this. I will share with you an event that I remember, an event from a long time ago, an old event. At that time, many years ago in our home country, there was an individual who was a high-ranking officer. He had a good position in Customs, and I am telling you what I know of his story. How can a person know just by looking at you sitting there what is boiling inside you, what is enraging you, what difficulties you are having? For example, you are sat here in front of me, but how do I know what difficulties you have? Nobody has Kashf – only Allah knows; Allah is Khabir and Basir and He knows everybody’s state. You don’t know about me, and I don’t know about you, about your points of brightness or your distress or sicknesses. Nobody knows. A person may say ‘Oh Hadhrat Sahib is speaking, so he is healthy and fine; he is okay.’ A person thinks like this, doesn’t he? So Allah, our Rabb, knows best about a person, and the position he is in and what is afflicting him and preoccupying him. A person should always be content; Allah ta’ala likes it when a person is content with his lot, so don’t make faces and cry. Smile when you speak, and don’t tell anyone about your sadness. If you want, explain your sadness to Allah, Rabb-ul-Alameen, in the night when you stand up. Why go to people? My Hadhrat Sahib used to say in his Bayans ‘Why should I tell you? How can I explain my circumstances to you? What can I say to you? What can I share with you? I articulate these issues when I speak to my Rabb in the third part of the night. I discuss my issues with my Rabb at that time, and I tell Him and explain to Him. So I will tell, but only when the night comes, and then I will tell my Rabb at that time what I need and what medicines I need for my sicknesses, and Allah will give the medicines and the cure and also food as well.’ So what can you give to me? You can maybe help me for one or two days, and then you will step aside feeling fed up. People even get fed up with doing Khidmah for their Sheikh; they do Khidmah and after a while they get fed up and step aside. But Allah is our Rabb, our Creator, and He says ‘I am unhappy if you don’t come to Me.’ Is there anyone like this? Allah says ‘Why don’t you ask from Me?’ SubhanAllah. To return to that man and his connection to the Qur’an, so that I don’t lose track of what I was saying, he was upset. We don’t know what people are going through, so let me explain this event to you. One day, he was very distressed and sad, and where does shaytan try to take a person when he is upset? Shaytan tries everything, and that is why we must take the assistance of the Qur’an, for by this means, all sadness comes to an end. What a great point. The Qur’an is telling us about difficulties and asking us to stop and think. There are these two conditions, so whenever sadness or difficulty comes – either it is a test from Allah or it is a punishment from Allah upon that person, and you need to assess which of these it is; and Allah says ‘I will explain the method by which you can judge which of the two it is.’ No one else can explain, and you do not need anyone else to give you guidance. The Qur’an will tell you how to judge. When you are sad and down and experiencing difficulties, Allah is explaining to us whether it is an Adhab or a test from Him. So this person was upset, and eventually what happened was that he decided he might as well commit suicide and take his own life. Yes? If a person cannot find contentment in this life, then where can he go? But if you seek relief in death, then what guarantee is there that things will be better? The Hereafter is where the real tests will start, and that will be a test where there will be nobody to help you; that is where the Adhab will really be felt. Where will you be able to go from there? If a person says ‘It would be better if I were dead’ – that is what people say when they give up – then he doesn’t realise what death really is. A person should never ask for death; rather, what should he ask for? He should ask for ‘Afiya, for well-being and goodness. Oh mad person, you don’t know what the severity of death entails! But shaytan deceived him, saying ‘Commit suicide and that will take you away from your distress.’ So that person said ‘I went home in this state of abject depression and distress, and I tied a rope into a noose.’ This was a young man with a high-ranking position who was depressed and overcome by sadness inside, and this forced him to think ‘I might as well die and commit suicide.’ Shaytan deceived him, but the punishment for death by suicide is so severe. As soon as a person dies, whether by taking poison or hanging himself, it is stated that he will stay like that in Qiyamah; he will continue to be afflicted with that same death. Allahu Akbar – may Allah protect us. But shaytan wants to fulfil his promise to us, because he wants us to be cursed. That is why he wants us to shave the beard. Allah ta’ala has given us the beard, so we should keep it! Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam said ‘I love the beard.’ Allah has appointed angels to send Salams to those who wear this most beautiful thing that adorns us; there are so many Hadith on this. Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam said “من أحيا سنتي” – ‘When you love my Sunnah, I will love you!’ SubhanAllah, what a great statement this is. So who makes us shave the beard? Shaytan. Yes? Is there any benefit to shaving? Do you have to pay tax to keep a beard? What is the benefit to shaving? But shaytan says ‘No – cut the beard!’ Does this make sense? Tell me. This is such a weird action for the human being to undertake. Think about this now – this is an even bigger suicide! A person is wounding himself with his own hands when he wakes up in the morning and takes hold of that tool – and I used to do this as well. But when the reality hits you and you wake up, you think ‘What am I doing?’ This is Allah’s law and principle that He says ‘Do this, and don’t do that. Do this action, but don’t do that action.’ Allah has made this law and principle, so we should obey Allah’s words; there is benefit in Allah’s law. There is benefit in keeping the hair, not in cutting it. I am giving you the example of the beard, because shaytan will make you do so many actions and will make you think that there is benefit in his suggestions. Every morning and night, people cut off their beards, so if shaytan can make us commit suicide of the beard, he can make us cut our neck and commit suicide. He makes people do this, and then tomorrow he will make you do so many other things. Every day he makes you do this sin which takes you far from Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam, and once a person is freed from the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam, he becomes free to do every bad action in the world. Salah becomes second class for him, Hajj becomes second class for him, the Deen is second class for him, and all because shaytan is making him do a big sin every day. So shaytan thinks ‘I can take control of him and make him commit all the other sins as well’ – he can take us towards total loss. That’s why before you do any sin, stop and think ‘This is shaytan making me do this, and once he makes me do this, then he will take me further and make me go beyond this.’ Remember this point: shaytan does not step back, He has obtained the freedom from Allah; Allah has given him an open playing field, so he says ‘I will not back-off until the last second, and I will even go into the grave with you.’ Allah says ‘I have given you permission to do that.’ Remember this point, that this one big sin that we are committing will get worse if you do not stop it. This will end in Shirk and Kufr – this is where all sins will take us. Sins increase and multiply – {فِى قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ۬ فَزَادَهُمُ ٱللَّهُ مَرَضً۬ا‌ۖ }. The Qur’an says that when you start committing sins during the day, then { فَزَادَهُمُ ٱللَّهُ مَرَضً۬ا‌}, Allah says they will multiply and increase and will take you to Kufr and Shirk and to the extremes. If you do not stop yourself from committing those sins that you consider to be minor and small, then remember, tomorrow you don’t know that through doing this sin, you are challenging Allah, the Tremendous, the Absolutely Powerful. You are standing in front of Him and openly challenging, saying ‘I can do what I want. I am not going to follow Your Hukm, oh Allah - I am going to follow my Nafs.’ Promise that from today, we will not obey our Nafs, but rather what should we do? Who will we obey? Dhul Hijjah is leaving, my brothers; do Tawbah and promise that after today, we will keep our beards at least one fist’s length, according to the prescription of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam; we will adorn our faces with the beard. Will we do this, brothers? Yes! I am talking about love and Muhabbat here with you. Whether with my brothers or my son or my father, we should speak in the same way. Which human being do you treat in this way of love? If you love someone, and they come and they sit in Dhikr with you, this is love; I love you! And at the root of my love is that I want to save you from Jahannam. Yes? I am not showing love by feeding you, by giving you chapatti and bread and milkshake and other drinks so that you depart from here happy. No – that may come later, but first, I wish to save you from the fire! You have come here to be saved from the fire – that is love. And then you can give Duas tomorrow and say ‘Wow - yes, I went to a good place yesterday, a very good place by means of which I have been freed from Jahannam.’ Even today, I remember that Majlis where I took Hadhrat’s hand, and if I had not gone to that Majlis and taken Hadhrat’s hand…. May I be sacrificed for that hand and may the rain of Allah’s Rahmah shower down on Hadhrat and his family. Otherwise, how could I dare to come and sit here? How could I dare to even come here to pray Salah? When Allah ta’ala gives you Hidayah and sends you to a gathering where there is just Deen, Deen, Deen and Fikr of the Akhirah, not Roti, Pilau and sweet rice, every second is precious. In such a Majlis, there is concern for the Hereafter and you learn how to save yourself from hellfire; there is no interest in Dunya, but just one concern, which is to make our Hereafter and save ourselves from the punishment of Jahannam and from the punishment of the grave – and these will come upon us very quickly! If I don’t have this desire to help you avoid these, then what love is there? If I don’t remind us about these things, there is no true friendship between us. So the first thing about Jahannam is that it comes closer whenever you sin; and especially when a person opposes Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam, Allah does not leave that person untouched. Remember this – Allah does not leave that person untouched. If you oppose Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam, if you are turning your face from your Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam, then no way can contentment come into your life. Peace will not come into your life, and you will not be saved – this is the clear message of the Qur’an. Allah ta’ala says {أَطِيعُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ ٱلرَّسُولَ} and also {وَمَن يُطِعِ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۥ فَقَدۡ فَازَ فَوۡزًا عَظِيمًا} – if you want success, it is compulsory that Allah and His Rasool sallallahu alayhi wasallam must be kept near to you. SubhanAllah. When Allah ta’ala has mentioned obedience in the Qur’an, Allah and His Rasool sallallahu alayhi wasallam are mentioned together. Do not detach them from each other, saying ‘Oh, this is Allah’s Hukm, so I will do it, but I will leave the Hukm of Allah’s Rasool sallallahu alayhi wasallam.’ Allah says ‘No! We are stuck together – {وَمَن يُطِعِ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۥ فَقَدۡ فَازَ فَوۡزًا عَظِيمًا}.’ Oh lovers, if you claim love, then how can you be an Ashiq if you separate Allah from Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam? No way. What Allah says and what Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam says are the same thing; it is the same Hukm, whether it is Allah Hukm or that of Allah’s Rasool sallallahu alayhi wasallam. ‘Qala qala Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam’ – if he said something, then end of story. If Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam said it, then it is Allah’s Hukm, and that’s the end of the matter. So this man said ‘I went home intending to commit suicide. I took hold of a rope and made a noose, put it around my neck and then I put a chair underneath my feet.’ I am telling you the story of this man, and this is a true story. He said ‘I put the chair beneath my feet, and all I needed to do was kick the chair away, and I would have died. But at that very stage, the Qur’an saved me!’ SubhanAllah – this is how the Qur’an saves a person. He said ‘Suddenly, a verse came into my mind. I was just about to jerk the chair away, when {ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَتَطۡمَٮِٕنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ أَلَا بِذِڪۡرِ ٱللَّهِ تَطۡمَٮِٕنُّ ٱلۡقُلُوبُ} came to my mind.’ If you read the Qur’an every day, the Qur’an will not come out of your minds, so recite the Qur’an al Hakim every day, and do so with the Niyyah that you want to receive guidance from the Qur’an. This should be the main Niyyah of reading the Qur’an – the rest are all secondary and tertiary objectives. Whenever you open the Qur’an, first say inside your head ‘Oh Qur’an, how are you going to guide me today? What message are you telling me today?’ – and then read. Make that Niyyah first, otherwise you have not read the Qur’an correctly and there is no enjoyment to be had. The Qur’an will speak to you, and when a human being reads Qur’an like this, the Qur’an will give you the solution at your time of difficulty. That man said ‘I used to read Qur’an, and though I had never memorised it, that verse came to me at that moment when I was about to pass away. The whole verse {ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَتَطۡمَٮِٕنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ أَلَا بِذِڪۡرِ ٱللَّهِ تَطۡمَٮِٕنُّ ٱلۡقُلُوبُ} came into my mind, and the message came to me that apart from Allah’s Dhikr, nothing else in the world can give peace and contentment.’ Allah! He said ‘I stopped suddenly and realised that I had tried everything else but not this action recommended in the Speech of Allah. I hadn’t tried this solution.’ Say SubhanAllah. He said ‘Allah was telling me clearly in the Qur’an to do Dhikr.’ We don’t understand Allah’s words, but he understood at that time. If only we were also to understand this fact that the Qur’an explains today; this is how the Qur’an pulls on a person. Dhikrullah has such power – Allah ta’ala has mentioned that all the solutions of the world will fail, but if you want Sakeenah, peace and contentment, you will only get it in one action. In what? In the action you have come to do right now! What you have come to do right now is the solution; it is that action that Allah ta’ala has invited you to perform, that Allah has made you take part in. This is the one solution, and there is no other action in the world that can give you true Sakeenah and contentment. Say SubhanAllah. I am not saying this – Allah is announcing { أَلَا بِذِڪۡرِ ٱللَّهِ تَطۡمَٮِٕنُّ ٱلۡقُلُوبُ}. Apart from the action of Allah’s Dhikr, nothing can give you Sakeenah. Shaytan will trick you here and there, take you to the left and right and wandering around the world, but whoever wants peace should be quiet and start doing Dhikr of Allah, and that’s the end of the matter. Silence – that’s it; the Qur’an has said. So MashaAllah, the man said ‘I stopped and removed the noose from my neck and thought ‘Let me try this solution of the Qur’an.’ I removed the rope, dropped it and got off the chair, and then I made Wudhu.’ His Kismet changed there and then – this is a true story that I am telling you. So he made Wudhu, and all this time, his wife and children had no idea what was going on and what he had come so close to doing. He said ‘I came out of the room, and I decided to look for a friend of Allah to go to in order to ask about Dhikr and learn how to do it.’ SubhanAllah, he knew, and he had understanding – Allah guides a human being. He said ‘I left home and saw a man wearing an Imamah and wearing beautiful clothes, so I went up to him and gave him Salam. He replied and asked me how I was, so I said I was fine and asked him where he was going, and he told me that he was going to visit his Sheikh.’ SubhanAllah – this incident took place in Karachi. He said ‘I am going to Nazimabad,’ and Shah sahib was living there at that time, rahmatullah alayh, who was a great Sheikh and WaliAllah of the Naqshbandi Silsila in Karachi. He enquired about the Sheikh and the man told him that he was a teacher and was his Sheikh and guide. He asked whether he would be able to meet him, to which the man replied ‘Why would he not meet you? Of course he will. What do you need to see him for? A Taweez? Something to help you run your shop?’ He said ‘No, not that. I can’t tell you now, but I need to speak to him personally.’ The man said ‘Okay, fine, I’ll take you. I’m going there now so you can come with me.’ Say SubhanAllah. At least try this. Say ‘Oh Allah, I am looking for You!’ and Allah Himself will invite you to His nearness. Correct your Niyyah and Allah will invite you to His nearness – that’s it. So he said ‘I went to the Sheikh and met Shah Sahib.’ Shah Sahib said ‘Assalamu alaykum – why have you come?’ He said ‘I have come to speak to you.’ The Sheikh enquired ‘About what?’ and the man said ‘I have just come out of the jaws of death, and I have come to you to seek life from you. I have read the verse of the Qur’an, so can you teach me Dhikr? I know that through Dhikr comes peace and contentment, so please teach me Dhikr.’ The Sheikh said ‘Okay, fine. I will give you a method by which you will gain so much peace that you yourself will give peace to other people.’ SubhanAllah. So then the gaze of the Wali of Allah focussed upon him and he taught him Dhikr, and his condition changed; and soon he had a long beard and a white Imamah, and he also taught other people Dhikr after that! He used to smile and laugh and say ‘What a game I was playing, what a drama I was caught up in!’ That is how it is in life when a person leaves sin. If, for example, you have been cutting your beard, it is my experience that when you start to keep it, then tomorrow you will laugh at your old self and say ‘Is this what I used to look like? Astaghfirullah, how is it that I used to do this sin?’ And then you won’t care if others laugh at you. Look at all these people sat here – even if you were to offer any of them a hundred thousand pounds, quietly offering them a cheque for that sum to shave their beards, I guarantee you that they would not cut even one hair. They would not cut one hair now, even though they themselves used to do this – that is how Karim the human being becomes. When a person leaves the sin, he becomes close to Allah and becomes ashamed of the things he used to do. He understands the value of the Deen and says ‘I will not do this action. Allahu Akbar – I cannot possibly do this action, so keep your one hundred thousand pounds.’ Would any of you cut or trim your beards now? No way! You cannot even think about or imagine doing so, and instead you let it grow long. To do otherwise is to fall into the trap and the net of shaytan. I swear by Allah, you should tear his net and break his trap before death comes and takes you by the neck. Remember this; remember this. Do you promise this today, my brothers? This is not a speech that I am delivering here; this is not a lecture, rather this is discussion between friends. We are having a friendly discussion, and it is a discussion based upon love. This is a discussion based upon affection, a discussion to make the Deen strong, to make the hearts strong – it is not to break the hearts. Don’t be upset with me. You are not upset are you, my brothers? Are you? So what was I saying? Yes, the discussion we were having concerns the point that Allah subhana wa ta'ala explains in the Qur’an regarding difficulties. When problems arise in life, you have to consider two things. Ask yourself ‘Why has this difficulty come into my life? Is it due to the first reason, namely that it is a test and a challenge from Allah, or is it due to the second reason, a punishment from Allah?’ Allah has mentioned both things in the Qur’an, so now Allah has given us the standard and the method by which to judge whether a given difficulty is a test or a punishment. Stop and think about the condition that has overtaken you, and I will now explain to you the statements of our pious predecessors about this that have been made in the light of Qur’an and Hadith and from their experience. So when a difficulty suddenly comes to you, within that difficulty, you have to think about your emotion and your feelings at that time. Look at your physical circumstances at that time. If an accident takes place or a sickness comes to you, or something that makes you upset or sad or fall into a negative frame of mind, like a sudden illness or an issue with your job, or a divorce or a relationship crisis, you need to look at how you feel when this difficulty befalls you. Assess your emotion, and if at the time of difficulty, your heart focusses more towards Allah and more Duas are taking place, if you are praying more Salah, if you are pleading more to Allah and crying more to Allah, if you start giving Sadaqah and your focus and attention to Allah increases, and you ask from Allah more, and run towards Allah more, and if your connection with and attraction to Allah becomes stronger, then you can consider and understand that this is not an Adhab, but rather it is a test and a challenge that Allah has given you. SubhanAllah. When you feel this emotion and condition that when a difficulty comes to you, you find that you remember Allah more and cry more and run to Allah more, and you don’t complain but rather accept everything as being Allah’s Will and selection and Hikmah because you know that it is all from Him, then when you start to feel like this and are happy with Allah’s decision and think ‘Whatever has happened is from my Rabb, and that is that. My Rabb has given me this issue’ so you turn to Allah more and pray more Salah and submit more and bow to Allah more, then even if that difficulty increases and doesn’t stop, you run even faster to Allah and accelerate towards Allah! Shaytan will say ‘Do this – this is the solution. Follow this practice and adopt this method,’ but you will say ‘Begone with you, shaytan. I want my Rabb and nothing else, for it is He that will take me out of this predicament.’ Say SubhanAllah. Allah ta’ala says that when you feel like this and when your condition and emotion is like this, then this is Allah’s test upon you. Allah is saying ‘Why did I give you this test? This is My Hikmah. {وَلَنَبۡلُوَنَّكُم بِشَىۡءٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ وَٱلۡجُوعِ وَنَقۡصٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَمۡوَٲلِ } Why did I give that test to Hadhrat Hussain radhiAllahu anh? Why were his children martyred? Why were they thirsty in the desert? Everything is based upon My Wisdom.’ Imam Hussain gave that sacrifice because Islam comes alive after every Kerbala – remember this. There were two opposites at that time – the Hussaini way and the Yazidi way; there was Haqq and there was Baatil, and Haqq and Baatil clashed. And Allah ta’ala showed this extreme contrast on such a big stage at that time, demonstrating that the Haqq should never be abandoned, no matter how much you have to sacrifice. Don’t leave the truth, because this is Allah’s test and examination, and through that examination, Allah gives reward, Sabr and Qurb, all at the same time, SubhanAllah – and even enjoyment as well, SubhanAllah. Ask those people who stood up for the Haqq in the path of Allah how much taste and enjoyment they got. Why? Because Allah ta’ala has stated ‘When I test My servant, then there is Noor in that examination.’ Remember this – Allah ta’ala creates a Noor at the time of a test and a challenge. That Noor comes into that person, and he is content and accepts the situation as being fine. When the divorce happens or the problem arises, he is not upset, and he doesn’t get scared or take decisions that lead him towards the wrong path. Rather, he is grateful to Allah at that time and thinks ‘I am saved! An accident has taken place and I am saved; divorce took place, and I am saved; this happened, and I am saved’ – and then he keeps on asking from Allah. And as he keeps on asking, Allah says ‘My servant is asking from Me in his difficulty, so I give him Sabr and reward.’ And also, Allahu Akbar, one WaliAllah made a unique and amazing statement. He said ‘You cannot attain in one thousand years of striving what you can attain in one second of a test that Allah ta’ala gives a person.’ Ask a person who Allah ta’ala tests – yes? He says ‘What is my fault? What did I do wrong?’ He knows that it is not his fault and that he has not done anything wrong. If he is in the depths of darkness, he says { لَّآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنتَ سُبۡحَـٰنَكَ إِنِّى ڪُنتُ مِنَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ } – SubhanAllah. He thinks ‘What was the reason, oh Allah?’ and then he thinks about his sins, his wrongdoing and his deficiencies. He thinks ‘Is it due to my sins that I have been thrown here?’ - and then his emotion tells him to ask ‘Is this a punishment or is this a test?’ And if there is Nooraniyah and you accept the Hikmah and have Sabr, and if reward and courage and Allah’s love is increasing rather than decreasing, even as the difficultly increases, and if Allah’s nearness is there, then don’t be upset or scared. This has come to make you more elevated, to raise your status and your rank; SubhanAllah, this is saving you and raising you and elevating you. So don’t judge by the state or condition that you are in, because after that test and challenge, Allah will reward you and raise your Maqam, and will give you such a Maqam that even if you did Mujahidah for years and years, you would not be able to reach. And part of the Maqam is Shukr; you should be grateful to Allah ta’ala and say ‘Oh Allah, I don’t care about this difficulty or test. Whatever has gone has gone, and whatever has been lost is lost, but I have attained You in this path of difficulty.’ Allahu Akbar – say SubhanAllah! This is the point. Now Adhab brings a different condition. What happens when a person is overtaken by Allah’s Adhab? That is different, for then the person is upset and scared and trembles. What is affected first? Salah – he leaves Salah. He leaves Salah and looks for excuses not to practice, and love comes out of his heart and that connection gets broken. Why? Remember that a Shari’ah excuse is different – that is a different matter. If a real reason applies and some extreme circumstance overtakes you which means that there is a valid excuse for you to leave that Fardh, then that is allowed. But when Adhab comes, that person drags his difficulty and tries to fit it into the category of a Shari’ah excuse, saying ‘No, no, no – it is permissible for me not to do this. Shari’ah allows me’ – but he knows he is following his Nafs. He knows that if he had courage and determination, he could pull himself together and do that action of praying Salah or keeping the fast. If he had courage, he could do that action according to Allah’s Will and Power, but he is so weak and upset that he gives up. He becomes bone idle, lazy and ignorant, and shaytan overtakes him. Why? To make his Deen weak. Today he gets weaker and the next day, weaker still, and so on until he eventually says ‘Oh leave it. I was praying Salah before I left it but look – my children are disobedient. I taught them Deen and the right way, so how did this happen? Why are there these difficulties in my home? I make Dua and I started praying Tahajjud, and I did this and that, and I used to read Qur’an.’ Such a person even starts to say ‘Oh Allah, I did favours upon You’ – Astaghfirullah. If these are the emotions at the time of difficulty, and this type of feeling overtakes you and you say ‘Oh Allah, I did this and that and did all these worships, so why is this happening? Why has this happened to me? Why me?’ then understand that this is not a test or a challenge from Allah, but rather that it is Adhab that you have been put into. The Qur’an is explaining this clearly – say SubhanAllah. Someone who reads the Qur’an can never be deceived by shaytan. Tell me – never. If a huge difficulty comes and you realise that it is a punishment, then what should a person do? The Qur’an gives the prescription in a beautiful verse. Allah ta’ala explains in the Qur’an, so what is the cure for this? It is a punishment when these emotions overtake you, so you should realise when you have been placed in an Adhab, for then you look for excuses not to pray Salah and you don’t get up or take courage, and you don’t use the power and energy that you have, but instead, you look for excuses and leave the actions of the Deen and reject the Faraidh and Wajibaat, and make excuses even though you do have the power and energy to do it – and Allah knows that you can and that you are speaking nonsense and rubbish when you say otherwise. Yes? Allah knows that you could do it and that He has given that person the capability, for he is not that bad yet, or that weak yet, or that sick yet; that person is not so overwhelmed by difficulty that he has to leave that action, because if he were to pull himself together, he could do it. If he searches for courage, Allah says ‘I will give him courage and determination.’ Say SubhanAllah. When these feelings overtake a person and the Adhab comes, he should be awake and conscious of what is happening. Those people who are listening, say SubhanAllah – that is why we are sat here. Perhaps before today, you didn’t know these points. We think ‘I am fine and don’t have any problems - I don’t need to know the difference between an Adhab and a challenge from Allah. So what if I leave Salah and pray at home?’ Beware – when this state comes, wake up and be alert, for Allah has given the solution in the Qur’an. Allah says {فَبِمَا كَسَبَتۡ أَيۡدِيكُمۡ وَيَعۡفُواْ عَن كَثِيرٍ۬ } – SubhanAllah. Even when you get to this state of Adhab, don’t leave this Qur’an; don’t give up and don’t be despondent. Shaytan is deceiving you, so open your eyes – this is an Adhab. Shaytan is dragging you and pulling you so that you die in a state of Kufr, so don’t reject Allah’s commands and don’t leave Salah. Yes? Run to the Masjid, run to fulfil Allah’s Faraidh and the Wajibaat; at the time of fasting, fast, and at the time of Hajj, perform Hajj. Where you have stopped and made excuses in your haughtiness and arrogance, turn back and don’t make excuses. Instead, have courage and be strong. Just do one thing - { وَيَعۡفُواْ عَن كَثِيرٍ} Allah is saying ‘Do not worry at this time. When Adhab comes upon you, there is an opportunity for you. What should you do? { وَيَعۡفُواْ عَن كَثِيرٍ} Do Tawbah, for I am the One who forgives endlessly.’ Allahu Akbar – what a cure Allah ta’ala has given. Allah has taken you out of Adhab, hasn’t He? Say SubhanAllah. May Allah ta’ala give me the Tawfeeq that through the words we have discussed today, me and you brothers manage to do a little bit of Tawbah. Through the words we have made today, let us admit that we have made mistakes and that shaytan has overtaken us and trapped us, for sometimes we leave Fajr and sometimes we go – and sometimes we leave Dhuhr as well. Let us do this today, for tonight is the night of Jumu’ah. Come, let us extend our hands towards Allah and make friendship with Allah and love Allah; let us promise ‘Oh Allah, we will not leave Your Salah! From Fajr until Isha, I will use all the strength and ability You have given me, and I will run to the Masjid.’ Brothers, will you promise this today? Yes. This is how a man should be. Allah has invited you to Dhikr, to this Majlis, and He didn’t seat you here for nothing. Okay, I am not giving any Lungar, but Allah’s Langar will be given – say SubhanAllah. Allah will give you food – He will not send you back with an empty stomach. I would give you rice, but Allah will give you the food of Paradise! Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam said ‘Oh my Companions, “فَارْتَعُوا”’ – this is the word in the Hadith. ‘When you pass by the Gardens of Paradise, then graze in those Gardens of Paradise!’ Who is saying this? Imam-ul-Ambiya, Sadiq Masduq, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, the one upon whose tongue Haqq always came. Allah says in the Qur’an ‘When My Nabi speaks, he speaks according to the choice and preference of Allah ta’ala.’ So Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said to his Companions: ‘When you walk past the Gardens of Paradise, then eat to your fill of the fruits that are there.’ We are sitting here, and we are sat on the dust of the Sahaba, and we haven’t eaten for a few days, and our Master is saying ‘When you walk past the Gardens of Paradise, then graze therein.’ So they said ‘Ya Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, may our mothers and fathers and ourselves be sacrificed for you, what Gardens are these? Where should we eat and graze abundantly?’ SubhanAllah – Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam then smiled and said ‘Yes, I will tell you about those gardens, those gardens you walk past which contain fruits and the food of Jannah.’ What are they? He said to his Companions “ حِلَقُ الذِّكْر” They are the gatherings of Dhikr of Allah, where you are sitting now. That is why I said to you that you won’t leave empty-handed, but your stomachs will be filled. But not this stomach that is filled with chicken – rather, Allah will feed your Ruh, your soul, which is hungry. That is what will eat the food of Jannah today, MashaAllah. And after it has eaten, it will be alert, and then in the morning, your Ruh will bring you to Fajr and enable you to do Dhikr – what a beautiful life. You will wake up from your sleep in the morning and come to pray Fajr, and then you will come to sit with me in Dhikr; and after Dhikr, MashaAllah, you will pray Ishraq, and after praying Ishraq, you will depart with the reward of one Umrah and Hajj. What do we need to do to achieve this? We need to fight shaytan and to fight the Nafs. You are a Muslim, and I am a Muslim, and he is shaytan, so we need to be victorious in our struggle with shaytan. So in the morning, we will go and pray Fajr Salah and then we will sit and do first-class Dhikr for twenty-five minutes, then after Dhikr, alhamdulillah, we will pray Ishraq Salah, and you will go home quietly with the Thawab of one Hajj and one Umrah. Then you can go to sleep for another thirty minutes – what else could you wish for? Tell me. In that life of negligence that we have been living until today, the fifty or sixty years, or thirty or forty years - however long we have been here - how many Hajj and Umrahs have we wasted in our negligence, just because we obeyed shaytan? We have listened to the words and advice of shaytan and rejected the words and advice of ar-Rahman. If we follow ar-Rahman every day, every morning, then you can attain what there is no guarantee of even if you perform Hajj and Umrah, because who knows if they would be accepted? We commit thousands of sins when we go there on Hajj, so all we bring back is dates and water when we go. But – and this is a big point – at least we do Ziyarah, and this is from Allah’s Fadhl and Karam and is a great reward in itself. But we don’t value and appreciate that, so we will be questioned about that too when the Hisaab comes. Allah will say ‘I gave you such a great reward, but what response did you give Me for that? You went back and shaved your beard and watched TV and made pictures, or you walked around without Purdah, so in what way did you repay that favour that I gave you? You went there and did Ziyarah and went to Allah’s home, but you wasted that as well.’ My brothers, shaytan has made us waste the opportunities arising from that trip as well, and there is no guarantee that when you do Hajj and Umrah, Allah will accept it from you physically. However here, when you pray Ishraq after Fajr and Dhikr in the morning, Allah has given the guarantee that when you return to Him, He will give you the reward for a complete Hajj and Umrah for each day that you do this. SubhanAllah – why don’t we take these opportunities? Why? Are you sick or in some kind of difficulty? I have told you what to do when sickness comes. Even in sickness, you have to assess your energy and power to determine if this is an Adhab that has made you lazy. You have to decide yourself, and ask ‘Is there a Shari’ah excuse for me here?’ Shaytan will bring his reasoning, but reject that and ask ‘Is there a Shari’ah excuse for me not to do this action?’ Do Muraqabah on this point for five or ten minutes, and then, if you are certain that there is a Shari’ah excuse which allows you not to come, Allah says ‘Then I will still give you the Thawab due to your having this Shari’ah excuse, because I have made you sick or unable to come.’ But if you have courage and the energy and ability to walk – and you know this inside yourself – then run to that gathering and don’t waste these opportunities. Say SubhanAllah. So you will never leave Dhikr empty-handed. Why? Because when you leave, Allah ta’ala will give you the reward in an envelope that will open in the Hereafter. Allah ta’ala will slip that envelope into your pocket – say SubhanAllah. What envelope is that, according to the Hadith? Which Hadith tells us this? SubhanAllah – Allah promises that a person who comes to this gathering will never leave empty-handed and without benefit; he will certainly leave with benefit – and what benefit is that? That he will have an envelope in his pocket that on the Day of Judgement which he will open up and see that Allah ta’ala has written ‘Go – due to that Majlis, I have forgiven you!’ SubhanAllah! You will leave this gathering with forgiveness, alhamdulillah. I am not saying this – this is a Hadith that I am sharing with you. You may say ‘Oh, he is wrong,’ but these are Allah’s Kalam; they are Allah’s words. May Allah ta’ala give all of us the Tawfeeq. Ameen Recite Durood Sharif.
4th Aug, 2021