1. Even we want Allah swt, but at the same time we keep getting involved in our work as well. How do we manage this?
Ans: In order to keep connecting to Allah swt, you have to keep disconnecting from the mundane. That can be on daily or weekly basis. How to disconnect:
- Suhbah: O you who believe you should have taqwah, simply join your qunu with the sadiqeen. All of you should know who sadiqeen if you pray salah. You make dua siratal lazeena an amta alahim. It’s a path of people, not just books and texts. What type of people? Who are blessed and favored by Allah swt. There are always people in our ummah who are blessed and favored. Shuhuda, and nabiyeen are not here with us anymore. Sadiqeen are those who truly love and fear Allah swt. When you put yourself in their company, an automatic disconnect happens because of the suhbah. The love for Allah swt and fear that is in their hearts gets reflected in your heart. Normally our dunya is not sadiqeen. To disconnect we have to connect with sadiqeen.
- Zikr of Allah swt: This is your individual way of disconnecting from the world and to connect to Allah swt. More you remember Him, the more you can easily disconnect. Zikr and suhbah you do then you will keep disconnecting.
- Baqa: to be so connected to Allah swt that you can never be disconnected from Him. This is sunnah of Prophet s. In tahajjad he s was such that he would have a fana that he s was disconnected from everything else around him. But rest of the day he spends with sahaba but still he is connected to Allah swt. Our business, studies etc will
2. How do we know Allah swt is pleased with us?
If you are pleased with Allah swt then it means He is pleased with you. But this is not enough. So I can explain this way if you are displeased with Allah swt then it means He is displeased with you.
If we are on good deeds then we should have rija that Allah is pleased otherwise we should have khauf.
3. What does it meant to value life before death?
Anything that’s limited you will value it and spend it carefully. That’s what it means to value life before death.
4. I need to get in good company. How should I keep doing it continuously?
You have to plug yourself in a system. If you say I need to listen to a bayan every night, you should do that. There are 2 ways of zikr: one is fard and one is nafl. If you miss your zikr and you fall in sin then it’s your biggest fard. Because staying away from sin is the biggest fard. Whatever you do for shariah will make your efforts forever.
5. How do we assure to wake up for fajr even with alarms?
You see science invented the alarm but shaytan invented the snooze button. First of all this is the right type of obsession. Some obsessions are good to have. Pick up something and obsess about it. You should not think that why didn’t I pray fajr. But you should think that why didn’t Allah swt want to see my face at fajr? Why didn’t He want my name written in the list of people who pray fajr? Sometimes we are too soft on ourselves. We have to be tough on ourselves. A lot of it is about attitude.
There are some practical things that you can do:
- Before sleeping make dua Allah swt I’m sleeping so I can restore my energy for fajr.
- Keep the alarm clock further away. Put it on the dresser. Put a janamaz and quran near the dresser. Then you will feel embarrassed about it when you look at that. If it’s so bad you might even have to put it in the bathroom.
What do you do if you fail at something in world? You change strategies. You have to change tactics. If you keep changing then Allah swt will also start smiling at you. You have to make some effort. Hath paoun marna hai. You just have to try harder ultimately its Allah swt who will accept you for fajr.
6. What are the ahkam on pardah?
Bottom line answer is – there is a physical pardah and an emotional pardah. They are both important. The guys would know what I’m talking about.
The thing is that co-education is haram. 100%, that’s the fatwah. But your society is co-ed. It’s not just education. Hospitals are like that. So lack of gender segregation is a society-wide problem. Even if our society is not structured that way, it is still possible to function in different domains. Men and women should by and large function is different domains. If you have to be in an interaction where you should not be in, then to keep that interaction minimal is your emotional parda. Don’t be long in your speech. Don’t go beyond the professional attitude. Don’t be rude, just be professional and to the point. Be curt.
Physical pardah is: there is one thing scholarly tradition agrees upon. Cover up till ankle and wrist. Then you must have another article called khimar it is the head covering. But some people say where is the word hair in Quran? If you go by that philosophy there are so many parts that are not mentioned in Quran, and you will end up exposing them.
Khimar means to draw a head-covering over the chests, It does not mean to draw dupatta over the chest. jis tarha sardi mein chadar orhtay hein.
Another item of clothing is Jilbab. What is it? Even Christian dictionaries agree it’s an outer garment. You can call it a robe, cloak, coat. Jilbab means what it means and khimar means what it means.
Another thing is in Quran women are told to hide your zeenat. Is it separate from this or within this? So this is the question:
Where does the beauty of the woman lie?
Let’s ask the experts of beauty: actress industries, fashion industries they buy and sell women’s beauty. Kehte hein na dunya k ulema ko kuch nahi pata hota. Ask the vogue magazine what will you put on a cover magazine? Will you put the face of a woman or her elbow? Zeenat means face that is absolutely incontestable. What does Allah mean by except for what is apparent? What is apparent are hands and feet. Do you put face under zeenat or the exception? If the woman is wearing khimar and jilbab then what else is left there to hide? Just feet hands and face. Which one of these is zeenat? One or two of these must fall under zeenat. This is barely a linguistic analysis. You tell me, are feet more important or face? Or are hands are more important than face?
If anyone say if all 3 are exception then ask them what is the zeenat that is being covered? Ask them. I have explained you in a completely logical way.
7. Will we be responsible if someone dies without imaan?
To some extent yes. To some extent no. If they are within your daira, you have to do dawah to them. If you didn’t do dawah: didn’t clearly invite them then yes you are responsible. For example you have a maid you have had her for all your life then she is in your dairah. If someone in your daira is Muslim but not practicing, you also have to do dawah to them. You have to have a LOT of sabr for this. Sometimes they will be surprised by your sabr then they will ask you how did you get this sabr and maybe they will change.
8. How important is it to know translation of Quran?
It’s not important at all. You should know the meaning of Quran. That’s the tafseer by the scholars of meaning. There are certain things you don’t need to know for example what is the difference between kursi and Arsh? You don’t need to know this because it’s not necessary for your hidaya. You won’t be asked this on the Day of Judgment. You should also have the feelings. You must know the meanings and you must know the feelings.
9. Recently there was a video on youtube and we are all deeply disturbed by it. We don’t know what to do. What should be our strategy?
First of all, it’s not permissible to make videos or pictorial representations of our Prophet sws, regardless of the intention (doesn’t matter if the intention was good or bad). If people have seen it you can ask them what was in it but it’s not allowed for us to watch it. Strategies can be many.
Yes, through non-violent activities we can protest. But one thing that surprises me is that everyone is protesting over the video but no one is protesting over the oppression and physical violence being conducted against many Muslims in different parts of the world. You need to question your passions and emotions. Our deen is a deen of wisdom and our Prophet sws is a prophet of wisdom. When you destroy cars, that is haram. You should be arrested. That’s the Islamic ruling. You should also be imprisoned. That is absolutely not allowed.
Regardless of the tape, the biggest ilzam against Syedna Rasool Allah sws is you and me. Hamesha apnoun se takleef hoti hai dusroun se nahi. Aap sws ki sunnat thi kabhi kisi ki insult par koi reaction nahi diya. Never reacted to insult.
You can do protest and all of that but what you should think is that Allah swt said that: to Allah belongs the izzat and to Prophet sws.
We have lost our izzat. When we behave different from sunnah we are the cartoons. We have a lifestyle that is a cartoon that we have drawn from our hands. We should look at the mirror and ask am I a cartoon? Do I have the sunnat ikhlaq, sunnat kaifiyaat?
Ideally it’s too late for that, but I would have told the same thing if everyone had listened to me. But that’s what they never do. I would have said that don’t even lift an eye at it. It’s not even worth your attention. If we hadn’t given it any attention, it would have disappeared after a 1000 hits on youtube. Now it’s like a world record. If a non-muslim does something sinister because of some reaction that a Muslim gave then we are a part of the action that they take.
Celebrate the Imaan and jazba . But you need to think what is the true manifestation of that love? If some white American actor portrays Prophet sws contrary to his sunnah then do you have a right to protest if your life is against the sunnah? He is an actor who is acting, but you are living your real life like that! So what you are doing is even worst.
We have to become people of dua. Begin with dua.
[Following were rough notes of the Question & Answer session that took place after the IBA Talk]