Speech of Mufti Siraj Desai at the SANHA AGM 2008 Print
Sunday, 17 February 2008

Hartley Road School - Overport, Durban


Honourable Ulema, the executive, respected brothers and sisters in Islam:

It is always an honour and a privilege to address a gathering of this nature and I am thankful for having being given the opportunity. I feel humbled that a person of my standing should address more senior Ulema. Be that as it may, in today’s meeting I intend to focus on two themes or two topics. Before proceeding, let me make it quite clear that I am not addressing these issues to the Sanha executive only. Instead, I have in the past offered this advice to other groups and organizations, too,

Let us look at the first point in my talk.

Almighty Allah has promised to preserve this Deen, for He mentions in the Holy Quran:

Surely We revealed The Reminder (AL-Quran) and We shall protect it.

Preservation and safeguarding the Quran entails preservation of Deen because our Quran is the fountainhead of all Deen. For this preservation Almighty Allah has devised and created a unique but unchangeable system. Look at our history to understand this.

Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was the one and only individual who directed and controlled all the avenues of Deen at one and the same time. However, after him Allah Ta’ala distributed the work of Deen to various groups and individuals. Among the Sahaaba and Tabi’een, those who came after the Sahaaba, various groups arose whose function was to protect and safeguard the different branches of Islam. Different branches of Islamic Knowledge were established, and different groups were created by Allah Ta’ala who excelled in these fields. Some ulema became experts in Hadith, others were masters in Fiqah, while another groups excelled in tafseer. When the need arose to combat the false beliefs of the Geek philosophers Allah Ta’ala brought about a group of Ulema called “Mutakallimeen” or Scholastics who fought to protect the aqaaid of Islam.

In this way through Divine intervention, various groups were established to perform various functions, all for the protection of the Religion of Islam. If we were to remove any one of the groups from Islam, then we have a serious problem. Take away the muhadditheen (scholars of Hadith) then we have serious deficiency in Islam. Likewise, remove the Fuqhaa or Jurists, then we would not have the faintest idea of how to run our daily lives. All these diverse groups worked in harmony and complimented each other.

In this day and age, too, we have a number of Muslim groups and individuals engaged in the work of Deen. In fact, this era has seen a tremendous amount of organizations in different fields serving the Deen. We have the Tabvleegh Jamaat, the Khanqahs, the Darul Ulooms, various halaal certification bodies, welfare institutes, da’wah organizations, etc. All these are working towards a common goal and objective: to promote the values of Islam and thereby safeguarding the Deen.

There is no single individual or group that can claim a total monopoly over Deeni activities and da’wah work. What is therefore, required is to work in harmony with all groups, to lend support at every given opportunity. Support does not mean that one has to be a member of the organization or to join it in its sphere of work. Sometimes even a message of goodwill and support is a tremendous way of showing solidarity to others. Dua for them is another way of support.

If one is not able to offer any support at all, then at least refrain from condemning the groups that are engaged in Deeni activity.

Yes, there are bound to be mistakes, for we are all human. But let us explore various channels of addressing these wrongs. Instead of criticizing, adopt constructive measures of rectifying a wrong. In this way we preserve our unity and the dignity of others.

It is foolish and presumptuous for one man or group to believe that he or they should be the only ones to execute work of Deen. This is a Divine Arrangement by Allah that He never allowed on person of group to control all affairs of Deen.

In so doing Allah also saved us from the evil trait of Ujub: which is basically conceit and vainglory. To feel proud of one's achievements without acknowledging Allah's Bounty. The hadith describes Ujub as the most devastating of all spiritual diseases.

My second point of focus is the importance of remaining within the hudood or limts set by Allah Ta'ala. Almighty Allah praises the Believers in Surah Taubah, and He describes them as people "who enjoin good and prohibit evil". Thereafter Allah Ta'ala says: "And they are people who observe the Limits of Allah" It must be born in mind that no person or organization can achieve success in its endeavours when it transgresses the Limits of Allah. We can only achieve our aims and objectives when we work within the parameters of Shariah; when we observe the Restrictions that Allah has laid down. In our efforts of Da’wah and other Islamic activities we must be cautious not to exceed the bounds that Allah has set for us. In this lies the ultimate success of our efforts.

I thank Sanha and the organizers for allowing me the opportunity to offer this bit of advice. May Allah accept if from me and enable us all to practice according to these teachings, aameen.

Mufti Siraj Desai is a graduate of Madrasah Miftahul Uloom Jalalabad, India and the Principal of the first Darul Uloom established in Port Elizabeth, Darul Uloom Abu Bakr. He was a Guest Speaker at this Year's SANHA AGM hosted by the province of KwaZulu-Natal

ebi/2008-02-28 09:15:06

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