All hell broke loose last Tues., 17th Jan. 2012, when the hard-hitting documentary, 3rd Degree, was finally aired on E-TV. Hidden cameras planted by a disgruntled employee revealed imported pork being professionally relabeled as “Halaal Veal,” kangaroo meat relabeled as something else and reject meat unfit for even animal consumption was re-classified as A-Grade. The Culprit: Orion Meats. Wrong, the bigger culprit: The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) who was supposed to be on watch at the time. Continue reading
Author Archives: Sulaimaan Ravat
The Orion Saga- A Few Thoughts
A lot has been said and will be said with regards the Orion saga and the subsequent 3rd Degree program. I would like to focus on one or two angles that perhaps require some focus and attention.
For me the discussion on how they reacted to Debora Patta is a side issue. I’m not trivialising it,but for me the crux of the matter is, how was it possible for Orion to get away with what they allegedly did? Continue reading
Six Advises for the Holiday’s
Summary of the six points that I mentioned in my Jumu’ah talk entitled :”How to make your holiday enjoyable yet constructive and pleasing to your Creator”.
The absence of niyyah leads to the loss of focus,benefit and reward.Possible niyyaat could include: refreshing the mind in order to be more focussed on the objectives of life,change of climate benefits the body,catching up on outstanding recitation of the Quraan,Thikr etc, and fulfilling the rights of the spouse, kids and family.
The Quraan informs us that salaah protects against evil and vice.This protection is required to a greater extent during the holidays. It is unacceptable that a believer indulges in futile activities till the early hours of the morning and then fails to wake up for Fajr salaah.
3.Control the gaze:
This is one of the greatest spiritual challenges of our time.It becomes even more challenging during the holidays.We should motivate ourselves with the thought that the sweetness of Imaan is guaranteed for the person who controls his gaze.Once that sweetness is granted,it will never be withdrawn ie the person will die with Imaan.
4.Value your time:
Whilst we are permitted to involve ourselves in trivial and light activities to refresh the mind,we can’t allow even one second of our lives to be wasted.Sleeping for hours on end and lazily spending long periods of time before the T.V are examples of wasting time.One should have a schedule/time table for the holiday period as well.
Be careful whose company you choose during the holidays.When in the company of those who are negligent in fulfiling the commands of Allah,you will also become complacent especially when the mood is relaxed such a during the holiday period.
6.Remember you are an ambassador of Islam:
Being courteous on the roads,ensuring that thd kids dont make noise in hotel foyers,parking considerately and general charming manners will win over even the hardest of hearts.Improper behaviour by a Muslim will unfortunately be attributed to Islam.
Allah Ta’aala grant us all the Taufeeq,aameen!
Delegate or Stagnate
Pearls of wisdom from senior Ulama at Ulama Retreat: “If you don’t delegate you will stagnate”(Ml.Muhammad Nanabhai). Many times we feel the need to do everything ourselves. We find it hard to trust and depend on others. We perhaps even fear that we will loose control and others might excel us. We need to overcome this by enhancing our sincerity and identifying talents in others. In this way much more will be achieved and multiple people will gain experience. We will also be able to leave behind a legacy that will earn us perpetual reward when we can no longer contribute.
Brilliant obituary in London Times
rilliant obituary in London TIMES]
An Obituary printed in the London Times…..
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense , who has
Been with us for many years.
No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago
Lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
– Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
– Why the early bird gets the worm;
– Life isn’t always fair;
– and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more
Than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but
Overbearing regulations were set in place.
Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a
Classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and
A teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job
That they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent
To administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform
Parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and
Criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar
In your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to
Realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her
Lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his
Wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I’m A Victim
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
If you still remember him, pass this on.
If not, join the majority and do nothing.
Comments on my posts regarding the program on Muslim Identity
I have been following the comments responding to my facebook posts on
the “Muslim Identity” Program with fluctuating sentiments of interest,
amusement, and sadness. Two aspects were glaring for me. Firstly, it
was really unfortunate that some had exhibited a shallow understanding
of the etiquettes of constructive discussion and debate. I did not
label anyone nor did I resort to any name calling.I merely voiced my
concerns which is my right as a Muslim. From those who did not agree
with my views, there were some who rather then counter them
intellectually and maturely, resorted to name calling, stereotyping,
Ulama bashing and went off on a number of tangents. Others were so
overcome with emotion that they couldn’t resist the temptation of
hurling accusations that this was a typical response from the Indo
/Pak Ulama who were afraid of loosing control. Seriously? Did you for
a moment consider playing the ball rather then the man? This really
disappointed me as it would have been stimulating to have a
constructive discussion with those who held different viewpoints on
Secondly, I can’t help but mention the glaring double standards. Those
accusing the Ulama of stifling debate resorting to blocking people who
dared to suggest that they had erred on their facebook pages on the
grounds that they were not courteous? Have we become so sensitive to
criticism? Name calling, wholesale assumptions, sweeping
generalisations and deep stereotyping because someone dared to differ?
Because I had posted my thoughts on social media platforms I was
accused of firstly starting a campaign “of sorts” and inciting people
to make takfeer of the producer(which is a blatant lie), yet the
accuser encouraged those with counter views to mine to post them on my
page. I have no issue with that, but where is the consistency? I have
allowed every comment to remain on my page even those that were down
right crude! ( The highly emotionally charged comments of one of the
producers have since mysteriously disappeared).
The Ulama are accused of protecting their own and not being
considerate enough of the opinions of others yet the accusers
instantly resorted to screaming out “typical SA Ulama style”
Deobandis” etc. Who’s stereotyping now? Are the rules different when
the shoe is the on the other foot? Ironically, your truly is not only
a graduate from a Darul Uloom but holds a degree in Islamic Studies
from a reputable University. For me this is neither here nor there,
but highlights the point that those attacking, were not attacking my
views but went automatically into attack mode when there saw the
comments coming from an Indian male who is called Moulana ! Is this
then not another “group” that has developed? Are the accusers then not
guilty of exactly what they accuse the Ulama fraternity of?
Anyway, I don’t see much point in discussing this issue any longer at
this stage. However, I will still endeavour to make people realise
that not withstanding our differences, we can and should learn to work
together towards greater goals. This is not impossible with the help
of Allah, insha Allah.
May Allah Ta’aala forgive and guide as all, aameen!
Part Two: Program on Muslim Identity(SABC2)
Further thoughts on the ‘Muslim Identity’ program on SABC2
I think that primarily there are two concerns. Firstly, it was glaring that the views expressed were very one sided. Viewers were only exposed to the opinions of one segment of the Muslim community. What about the views of those who draw their inspiration from the work of Tableegh and feel that it has helped them define their identity? Those who have found great direction in life from the many Ulama who serve as spiritual mentors in our country? Hashim Amla is greatly lauded and praised especially on the aspect of maintaining his Islamic Identity. Was his spiritual mentor not the late Ml Yunus Patel RA who belongs to the category of Ulama that were subtly maligned on this program? Would we say that Ml Yunus Patel was not in touch with the youth or with current trends?
How many in the corporate and professional environment have taken inspiration and learnt about Islamic identity from the likes of Ml Ebrahim Bham? Is the Ijtima not the biggest gathering of Muslims in the country?.How many youth,male and female, have totally transformed their lives after going out in the path of Allah?
Is it not a great ‘feather in the cap’ for South African Muslims to hear a lecture cd of Ml S Moola being played in the car of a Muslim in North America? Don’t we see thousands of South African Muslims flock to listen to his lectures?
I’m not for a moment suggesting that South African Ulama should not ‘up their game’ and improve in the way they tackle contemporary issues,but to flight a one hour program that carries an undertone implying that local Ulama(unlike their overseas counterparts) are inept,out of touch and too conservative to motivate and lead the Muslims of the country is a gross misrepresentation of the facts on the ground!
Secondly, I think that the program did raise many genuine concerns but on the wrong platform. The majority of the viewers were non Muslim,many of whom have become victims of Islamaphobia. Muslims globally are faced with the challenge of countering misconceptions and incorrect perceptions regarding Islam and Muslims. Rather then have nasheed artists speaking on the debate about the legitimacy of music in Islam or a Muslim blogger explaining how conservative Muslims attacked his blog on the World Cup,could the program not have been used to do serious Dawah? We need to resist the urge to have a go at those within the ranks of Islam who don’t share our views at the expense of furthering the cause of Deen. These issues should be discussed internally. If we feel there isn’t enough room for such debate, we should take that up internally.
But to squander a one hour program on national television in such a manner is heartbreaking. The more I think about the program, I cannot but help and sigh: Could we not have utilised the oppotunity better? The enemy is raining down (ideological) bombs on the Muslim Ummah, and we are shooting arrows at each other. If we cannot resist the temptation of having a go at each other rather then highlighting the beauty of our Deen to non Muslims,then we have not understood the Seerah of Nabi SAW and the legacy of Sahabah!
And Allah Ta’aala knows best!
Program on Muslim Identity (SABC2)
The program on Muslim Identity fails to acknowledge the efforts and achievements of ‘local” Ulama. Whilst local Ulama are not beyond criticism, when making comment one has to be fair. The religious infrastructure that we enjoy will not be found in many Muslim countries! Did the Indian and Malay Ulama that are being subtly criticised in this program play no part in this? Did the local Ulama play no part in the unmatched religious freedom we enjoy in SA? I am disappointed that from all those interviewed and who were asked the question as to which scholar inspired them, non responded with names such as Ml E Bham, Ml S Moola,Ml S Katani or Ml I Hendricks.This is contrary to the reality on the ground and thus begs the question of how the views of few can be portrayed on national television as being broad based? Do the majority of South African Muslims share the views of those interviewed on the program? Whilst some of the issues raised are definitely valid, does it help the cause of Islam to have such discussions on national TV where the majority of viewers are non Muslim, especially in the current climate of negative profiling of Muslims?
In the Footsteps of Prophet Ibraheem (Peace be upon him)
In the Footsteps of Prophet Ibraheem (Peace be upon him)
Through the Gracious Mercy and Infinite Blessings of our Allah Most High, we have once again been offered the opportunity to witness and experience the blessed days of Hajj and Qurbani (Sacrifice).
In both the actions of Hajj and Qurbani, we are asked to emulate and commemorate the actions of the Prophet Ibraheem (Peace be upon him). Annually, we dutifully emulate these actions, but do we ponder and reflect over the lessons behind these actions? Do we utilize this opportunity to introspect and ask ourselves the question: “What does the life of Ibraheem (Peace be upon him) teach me? How can I utilize the action of Qurbani as a stepping stone to greater spirituality, as an opportunity to achieve greater closeness to my Creator?
It is difficult to cease marveling at the bravery and compliance of a young thirteen year-old (Ismaeel, Peace be upon him) who was prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice; the sacrifice of life! However, we tend to overlook the efforts of the parents of this young boy which resulted in the exhibition of such charming manners. Almighty Allah never intended for the life of an only son to be taken, but desired that lessons be learnt from this colossal act of submission for centuries to come.
To begin with, his parents supplicated for pious offspring:
” My Rabb (Cherisher), grant me pious offspring from yourself.” (37:100),
“My Rabb (Cherisher) make me one who establishes salaah, and my progeny as well.”(14:40)
Qurbani is a reminder of that young Ismaeel (Peace be upon him), responding to the call for the ultimate sacrifice with submission, devotion and humility due to correct spiritual and moral upbringing. Imagine the remarkable relationship that existed between the husband, wife and son that resulted in a mother being prepared to be left alone in a desert with no food, water or shelter for her or her infant son and to boldly announce: “if this is the command of my Lord then he will not desert me!”
How did Ibraheem (Peace be upon him) command such implicit trust and dedication from his family? Qurbani reminds us to re-examine our conduct as parents and spouses. It reminds us to reflect if Islamic and moral orientation is taking place in our homes. It compels us to reflect if we enjoy the confidence, trust and loyalty of our spouses and children. It prompts us to examine the level of obedience we have instilled in our offspring.
May this Eid and Qurbani be the one where we do not carry out the relevant actions in a mere ritualistic mann. May this Eid be the one where we truly follow in the footsteps of Prophet Ibraheem (Peace be upon him).Aameen.
May Allah Ta’ala accept from us and from you. Eid Mubarak!
Thought for the Day
Wasting time is worse than death, because death separates you from this world whereas wasting time separates you from Allah. (Ibn Qayyim)