Following are rough notes covering highlights from the CII talk by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed db on the recent tragedy that took place in Peshawar, Pakistan.
While we were here in a short stay, as many of our listeners will know, an event had happened – an event that was not just spread by the media; an event that was in itself an incredible tragedy – a tragedy in the highest magnitude in proportion. And that was the unlawful, the haram, despicable and dishonorable slaughter of innocent children in a school here in Pakistan, in the city of Peshawar.
Over 100 children were mercilessly killed by the hands of brutal murderers. The great tragedy was that this was done by the murderers in the name of Islam. And they took Allah swt’s name and they said “Allahu Akbar” while they were slaughtering the children.
So before we continue with the program tonight, we wanted for all of our listeners to remember them in their hearts and make dua. Those innocent children who were murdered, the victims, they are all Shaheed and all beloved to Allah swt now. But it is the children who survived, and the parents of the children who were killed, who especially need the duas of this Ummah. One child recently gave a report that because the killers were enchanting “Allahu Akbar” he said everytime I hear “Allahu Akbar” now I will always remember this incident.
Can you imagine what a heinous crime has been done?
This child will obviously listen to adhaan and in every adhaan obviously there will be “Allahu Akbar”. Instead of him feeling the feelings of love for Allah swt, yearning for Allah swt, wanting to go to masjid to pray salah, now every single time for the rest of his life when he hears this beautiful, special and sacred sentence “Allahu Akbar” he will be reminded of the heinous crime in which best of his friends and classmates were brutally and mercilessly slaughtered around him.
It is amazing the level that the people have descended to.
And this is not the only crime. There are so many other crimes, it is not my practice to speak about such issues on this program, but there are definitely so many other crimes. Whether it’s in Palestine, whether in Gaza, whether in Syria, whether in Iraq, whether here in Pakistan or Yemen or… many places. However, this was such a special circumstance that we felt that even on this program, which is dedicated to tazkiya, we had to make mention of it.
Especially to request all of the listeners to make special dua for all the children who survived that they may still fall in love with Allah swt. And that may Allah swt protect their hearts from every false ideology, from every false concept of revenge, from every false hatred, and may Allah swt especially select their hearts to be from His truest lovers, and from His truest beloveds. Thereby, may Allah swt show to the entire world that every evil that may happen, Allah swt is that Being who has the power to still bring forth good from it.
Just like in Taif there was an evil that took place in which the people attacked Syedna Rasool Allah (sws), but Allah swt brought forth a good from it. Very soon all of the people of Taif became believers; became strong, steadfast and staunch believers. So we ask that Allah swt once again sends His hidayah and sends His noor and sends His guidance and bring forth the good.
And Allah swt said in Quran,
إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصّـٰبِرينَ
Indeed, Allah is with the patient. (2:153)
That indeed Allah swt’s special companionship and intimate companionship and near and dear friendship, is with those people who undergo tragedies and who are tested and tried by Allah swt in this world, but they don’t react. They don’t react with anger. They don’t react with vengeance. They don’t react with accusations.
Instead, they have sabr. They remain steadfast. It does not mean they do nothing. It means they do nothing outside shairi’ah. They remain firm and steadfast on the guidelines of deen. They do not act with irrational anger. But they act and respond in the way Allah swt guides them to act and respond. These are known as the sabireen – the people of sabr.
It’s very important that all of us also learn this lesson.
We must all make ourselves from sabireen. Because fitnah will only increase in days to come, there is going to be more and more fitnah, more and more test, trials and tribulations; more tragedy and travesty; more warfare and bloodshed; more killing and mayhem – these are the signs of the end of coming. That end may take centuries to come. That end may take decades to come. Only Allah swt knows best.
Syedna Rasool Allah (sws) told us clearly about certain signs and those are the signs that we witness in this day and age.
Syedna Rasool Allah sws was once sitting with Sahaba (ra) and warning and precautioning them that there will come a time in which there will be great “haraj”. Sahaba karam (ra) asked, Nabi e Kareem sws what is this “haraj”? Prophet sws said the killing and killing “qatal o qatal o qitaal”, killing and killing and killing. To paraphrase the general words of Nabi sws, that there will be killing everywhere.
And literally every single day there is killing going on in this Ummah. There are different flash-points in this world. There are unknown places that maybe we don’t even know of yet. Every single day. Maybe Allahu Aalam, it might even be every single hour. I don’t know. But every single day and maybe even every single hour. That’s the amount of killing.
And then Rasool Allah sws said that one of the signs of the end of times is that the killer will kill without knowing why they are killing and the one being killed will be killed without knowing for what reason they are being killed. This is also something that we witness in so many places; in so many conflicts.
Then Nabi sws also said that there will be so much fitnah in a time like this that there will be people who will wake up in the morning with Imaan and when they pass away at night their Imaan would have left their hearts. So we need to very careful to make sure that none of us, and none of our friends, families, colleagues, classmates, teachers, students or employers ever fall in this fitnah. We should never let anyone, and never let ourselves lose our Imaan. And that’s the other meaning of Sabr.
إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصّـٰبِرينَ
Indeed, Allah is with the patient. (2:153)
Sabr also means to be strong, to persevere, to have fortitude and to have endurance to remain strong on your deen, even though there maybe some people of deen who do evil things. Even though there maybe all types of strange movements arising from within this Ummah. You must be firm on your deen. You must be firm on the Deen. You must be strong on the deen that the mufassireen and muhaditheen worked so hard to share, spread and transmit to us.
We must be firm on the deen that the fuqaha, the ussuleen worked so hard to explain to us. You must be firm on the deen that the Awliya Allah spread in this Ummah – that the Awliya Allah put in the heart from the hearts of the others. You must be firm and steadfast on the deen.
إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصّـٰبِرينَ
Indeed, Allah is with the patient. (2:153)
Then we will find that Allah swt’s special nearness will be with us. Then all the sorrow, sadness and all the grief will go away. These are the teachings of tazkiya. Yes, the teachings of tazkiya aren’t just about a person doing dhikr alone in their room. Teachings of tazkiya are about how to purify ourselves and keep ourselves pure from every fitnah, every falsehood, every evil and every terror. This is why there is a great need, and we personally feel the greatest need of the times is for this path of tazkiya.
It’s only when people purify themselves of these unlawful feelings of vengeance, anger, hatred and enmity and animosity, only then will the unlawful violence stop. As long as a person gives into their anger, vengeance, hostility and hatred, the unlawful violence will continue. And this is the great teaching of the sunnah of Nabe e Kareem (sws).
He (sws) was that person who transformed the hearts of that community which had the most vengeance, the most blood feuding – Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula at the time of jahiliyyah before they accepted Islam were notorious. They were people of blood. People of war. People of feuds. People of disputes. People of revenge and revengeful crimes. Blood-feuds. This was the number one description of the Arabs globally at that time. Anyone who knew them said they was the most feudist and vengeful people.
Syedna Rasool Allah (sws) was sent by Allah swt with pure Qur’an and pure Nur of his (sws) heart. What did he (sws) do? Tazkiya.
Allah swt says in the Qur’an:
And you (sws) will purify these people.
Syedna Rasool Allah (sws) did exactly that. He (sws) purified them of all of the anger, hostility, all of the vengeance and all of the feuding, such that they gave up all of that culture. And all of the historians, even the atheist historians of Islam, write this about that period – that the Arabs were transformed. Even if they are atheists – whatever; they don’t believe in Allah swt, but even then they accept the fact that the Arabs were transformed entirely by the deen of Islam.
This means that anyone who has true deen in them, who has true Sunnah in them, they can never be a person of revenge, blood feuding, senseless and unlawful violence. This is why we must go deep in the deen of Islam. We must go deeper in the Sunnah of Nabi e Kareem (sws). So that the hearts get purified from all of these unlawful emotions. That purification of the heart is called tazkiya.
This has now become not just an individual need, but this has become the need for the whole Ummah. Many times people think that tasawwuf is just for the individual, but they are mistaken. And they think tasawwuf cannot help people, rather it is the politics that will help the Ummah. Or it is the conferences that will help the Ummah. Or it is setting up all types of organizations that will help the Ummah.
Tazkiya helps the individual and it is tazkiya that will help the Ummah. That’s also what Rasool Allah (sws) did.
That you must do tazkiya of all of them. You must do tazkiya of the whole group. You must do tazkiya of the Ummah because the power of tazkiya is collective. It will be a collective effort and it will have a collective impact. This is a great myth and a great slander against tazkiya that it is just for the individual.
What people do is that they insert every ideology, movement and favorite political party of their own as if that is the solution for the collective condition of the Ummah.
Just exactly the same way that tazkiya is the solution for the individual condition of an individual believer, tazkiya is the solution, is the cure, for the collective tragedy that is facing this Ummah today. This is why Allah swt says in the Qur’an:
Yatlu ‘alayhim ayaatihi
That the first function O beloved Nabi e Kareem (sws) is that you (sws) must recite to them the verses of revelations. First and foremost is Qur’an. First and foremost is kalamUllah, kitabUllah, wahi; it is the word of Allah swt – speech of Allah swt.
And then second, and second to nothing else other than Qur’an:
Is their tazkiya; that is second. And after Qur’an it is first. It is second only to Qur’an. So this path and teachings of tazkiya is actually actively, practically purifying our hearts. This is that effort of deen that is second to nothing else except, and only second to, the revelation of Qur’an itself. Not recitation of Qu’ran by us. Tazkiya is more important than that. The revelation of Qur’an itself is the only thing that takes precedence and priority over this effort of tazkiya. That’s what Allah swt told the Prophet (sws):
Yu’alimuhum al-kitaba wal-hikmah
Then you (sws) must also teach them the book and you (sws) must also teach them sunnah. So even before they get deep knowledge of Qur’an and Sunnah, first you (sws) must do their tazkiya. You (sws) must most importantly do their tazkiya. You (sws) must purify their hearts.
This is really the crisis. The crisis of this Ummah is not political. The crisis of this Ummah is not economic. The crisis of Ummah has nothing to do with non muslims. It’s our own crisis of our own hearts.
It’s our own crisis and we will find our own solution in our own deen – which is the true path of tazkiya according to the Qur’an alKareem and sunnah of Nabi e Kareem (sws).
Many people also after hearing these events – I don’t know how much the global listeners and the listeners in South Africa are aware of or effected by events – but what we have here more locally are a lot of people entering into almost a kind of depression. It’s very important to know that:
إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصّـٰبِرينَ
Indeed, Allah is with the patient. (2:153)
You cannot let yourself be depressed. You cannot say:
“I couldn’t sleep all night and I couldn’t even make dua. And I had to force myself to pray fajr because I was so depressed about what had happened”.
Yes, you can say:
“I couldn’t sleep all night so I prayed all night. I couldn’t sleep so I prayed tahajjud all night”
That you can say. Any sleeplessness or anything that leads to inaction, remember that is just from the nafs and shaytan. But yes, any feeling of sadness and grief you had such that, that grief makes you make dua, that grief makes you make taubah, that grief makes you realize, and this is for all of our listeners, that:
“Ya Allah Ya Rabbe Kareem! How much have you given me! I have so much comfort. I have so much security. I live in so much safety, when there are so many of my fellow Muslims, Mu’mineen, Mu’minaat male and female believers who are leading lives of torment. Who are leading lives of warfare. They are afflicted in all types of ways. And Ya Allah! You have given me every comfort, every ease, every grace, every honor, every dignity, and still I’m failing to wake up for fajr, still I’m failing to lower my gaze. Still I cannot control myself on the internet. Still I waste so much time. Still I’m watching movies.”
We should make true taubah.
We should make true taubah that Allah swt has given us the aman. This aman is also an amanah. This safety and security is also a golden sacred trust from Allah swt. We have to get serious about our deen.
Not lazy in deen. Not depressed, no. We have to get serious about our deen. And we have to return our hearts to the Sunnah of Nabi e Kareem (sws). And that is one major aspect of this program. Tazkiya is how to revive the Sunnah of Syedna Rasool Allah (sws) in our hearts and in our lives. This is why Allah swt said in the Qur’an:
يـٰأَيُّهَا الَّذينَ ءامَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَكونوا مَعَ الصّـٰدِقينَ
O believers, do not stray from the path of God, and be with those who are truthful. (9:119)
O you who have Imaan! You must have taqwah, and you must join your being with sadiqeen. What does it mean? You must be with them. You should also look to them. This is what our mashaikh would teach that you must look to them. That’s who a Sahabi (ra) is. Sahabi is that person who saw Rasool Allah (sws). What does it mean by “see”. It does not mean just that he saw what Syedna Rasool Allah (sws) looked like. He saw how the Prophet (sws) lived. He saw the adaab and akhlaq of Nabi e Kareem (sws). Because he saw that, because he or she observed that, they are better than us.
Same thing for Tabieen. Tabieen is anyone who observed Sahaba (ra). This is what we have to do in times like this. We must be steadfast and we must strictly observe the ulema and the Awliya – the real true Ulema and true Awliya Ullah. How do they speak, how do they respond, how do they act, when do they react; we must look and find good models for us to observe. Otherwise, we will end up just like any other ordinary person – always watching news shows and analyzing.
Our deen is not news. We are not CNN. This is no CNN Islam. Our deen is to look to Allah swt for hidayah; to make dua to Allah swt; to look at the saadiqeen and siddiqeen for hidayah.
We must become people of Sabr and himmah. And this is a very important teaching even for listeners who maybe blessed by Allah swt to live in places where until now there has been less violence; less fitna; less strife. Still, the fitnah is spreading. There are areas of the Muslim world which once upon a time were peaceful and now they are war-torn. So that trend can continue.
There maybe places today which are peaceful but tomorrow they maybe war-torn. There is all sort of senseless and haram violence being done by Muslims, there is senseless and haram violence being done to and upon Muslims. We are living in a tremendous age of fitnah. And the only hope for us is to revive the sunnah of Nabi e Kareem (sws).
There is nothing that can eliminate or protect us from this fitnah except for the Sunnah of Syedna Rasool Allah (sws). It was only his (sws) sunnah that was able to eliminate all fitnah from all of the Arabian Peninsula in his (sws) time. We must return to that sunnah. We must become that sunnah. We must share that sunnah. We must spread that sunnah.
Message for the Students of Ilm & Dhikr
Especially those of our listeners who are students of knowledge, or those who are students of dhikr, for the salikeen and the talaba and talibaat, students of Islamic Knowledge, and for the seekers of the path of pleasure of Allah swt: We must become more strong in our ilm, strong in our dhikr and strong in our sunnah.
We cannot take it easy anymore. We cannot take this lazy attitude anymore; that sometimes I do my dhikr, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I study my ilm, sometimes I don’t. It’s not going to cut it anymore if we are living in a time of fitnah.
Fitnah means very simply, that yes everybody stumbles and everybody falls. Fitnah means it will be harder to get back up. You see, when you stumble and fall then you have to get back up. But fitnah means it will be hard for you to get up. And the more and more fitnah there is, the harder it will be to get back up. That means it’s more important for us now to become so strong in deen that we try not to fall, try not to stumble, try not to slip. We can’t afford all those slips that we have.
How can it be that the students of Knowledge, students of dhikr miss fajr salah? How can it be that they speak lies? How can it be that they don’t control their gaze? How can it be that they don’t treat their spouse well?
It can’t happen anymore.
If the students of ilm and dhikr keep slipping, falling and keep sliding, then when the fitnah increases it will be harder for them to get up. You should think, who else is left in this Ummah who can have a chance to be serious about deen? It’s ilm and dhikr and sunnah that makes a person serious on deen.
Especially for those of you who have been listening to the program more than once, you may have heard so many things on the program. But it’s time to get busy doing it. It’s time to get busy becoming it. All the things that we have learnt from our Ulema and Mashaikh, we must start practicing it; we must start implementing it.
There was a person who asked,
“Why do people light candles?”
The reason people light a candle is because every bit of light switches out that much more darkness. That was the concept of lighting candles. Actually, the real light is not the candle that is lit by a worldly flame. The real light is the noor of Imaan. The real light is the noor of Qur’an. The real light is the noor of sunnah. The real light is the noor of dhikr. You have to light these lights in your heart. And this Ummah is the only one who has that light so all of us in the Ummah we must light this flame in our hearts.
It is not acceptable anymore to be too lazy to do it. Unable to do it. To say that I want to do dhikr but I can’t. I want to study ilm but I can’t. I want to pray tahajjud but I can’t. So many of our listeners know this. So many of our listeners are in this situation. You must take yourself out of this situation.
If you are listening to this program, you must listen to it with the intention to change – you must want to really do your tazkiya. You should want to practice everything that you hear. You should want to drink and drown in every single teaching of Mashaikh and Awliya Ullah. You should want to feel every single feeling of the Sunnah. You should want to feel every single feeling of Qur’an. Nothing less than such an attitude, nothing less than such an approach is going to cut it anymore. Because we are now entering the times of fitnah. In fact we are already in the times of fitnah.
It may trigger for some people. For some people Syria might trigger. For some people Peshawar might trigger. For some people Somalia might trigger. For some people something that happened in your life – but you can’t wait anymore. Every one of us has to get turned on to deen. Every one of us has to be motivated and dynamic on deen. This is the only solution.
When we bring the deen back into our hearts, and when there are enough hearts in this world that truly follow deen, that’s the only way this fitnah will be beaten back.
Even though there are one and a half million Muslims in the world, there are very few of them who are truly muttaqeen; lovers of Allah swt; deep and true followers of sunnah; passionate zakireen – we need more people like that. This effort of tazkiya creates such a person. Yes, it’s natural to feel sorrow and sadness and grief on these tragic events. But you must pull yourself out of that grief – not letting the grief make you fall into depression. Rather it must motivate you. It must have an inspiration for you. Such that you become strong and steadfast, you turn to Allah swt.
May Allah swt accept this intention. May He make each and everyone of us firm and steadfast on this path of tazkiya. May we at least eliminate the darkness in us, and then beg Allah swt to help us in this. Allah swt is the true Muzakkee. Allah swt says in the Qur’an:
وَلـٰكِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُزَكّى مَن يَشاءُ
but God makes whosoever He will grow in goodness (24:21)
We beg that Ya Allah swt! You do tazkiya of our hearts, and you put the noor of deen in our heart and then You help us eliminate the darkness of the world, you help us eliminate the sickness that is in this world.
May Allah swt accept this intention from us.
Wa aakhiru da’awana anil Hamdulillahi rabbil Aalameen