Extracted from one of Hazrat Moulana Yunus Patel Rahmatullahi Alaihi’s informal programmes in Medina Munawwara.

One young friend of mine, who is a pilot, recently flew to Australia. Due to the ash clouds, they were told they would not be able to take off. They were this delayed a few days When he returned, I asked him, ” There was still alot of ash, what did you’ll do?” He said, ”

They gave us a flight path wheeby we could bypass the ash clouds. We took this route and we avoided the ash.” I then asked him,” Did you take any lesson from that ?” He, in turn, asked,” what lesson? ” I explained: “The lesson is this : When there was alot of ash, then there was danger that the ash cloud would damage the engine of the Boeing you were flying. Your life was in danger and the lives of all the passengers were I  danger. If u were caught in such an ash cloud, you could have gone and the passengers could have gone. So they gave u a ’round about’ route, to avoid the ash clouds and reach your destination. The lesson we take is that when there’s temptation to sin, or some final approaching,  we must avoid it. We must take a ’round about’ route. If that plane crashed the lives would have gone. However, here, if there is a ‘crash – I.e the person falls into sin – the spiritual life – imaan – can go. … Some of those crashes takes the person’s Imaan away. Some pretty or handsome faces takes away the Imaan of a person, or some other temptation or invitation to haraam leads to a spiritual crash.

The environment of drugs, pornography, fornication and adultery, gambling, music ect. are like those ash clouds. The Muslim all areas of sins – whether the cinemas, clubs, theatres or other venues of vice. To whatever extent he can avoid, he avoids. He take a ‘ round about ‘ route so that he can reach his destination safely. And the destination of a Muslim is Jannah. If there is a group of young girls dressed indecentlyand the ga?emails on them accidentally, then try and avoid an encounter with them. Don’t even look again.

Think that the ash clouds are approaching.  … If the person cannot lower his gaze and quickly walk pass, then he must move in another direction. Cross the street. Go over to the other side. Take another route lest he gets caught in the ash clouds of final and loses his Imaan and Aakhirah. I told this pilot friend : ” When you are flying the plane, then you avoid the ash clouds. Avoid those clouds of fitnah aswell. … On the plane itself, there will be encounters with the air hostesses and female passengers. At that time, guard the gaze. You must be an example. You must show to others : I AM A MUSLIM. … That you not behave like the other pilots behave.” And the same applies to all of us. We too fave different ‘ ash clouds ‘ of fitnah – whether on the plane or train, whether at work or in the bazaarsand market places, whether at school or at college. How do we respond ? Do we adopt taqwa? Do we fear Allah Ta’ala? Do we take the opportunity to prove our sincere and deep love for Allah Ta’ala ? Do we subscribe to ‘fafirroo llallaah’ – I.e we fleeto Allah Ta’ala? Or do we recklessly ‘fly’ into the ash clouds of sins, unconcerned that we may be meeting our spiritual death? There is no doubt that the environment around us is hazardous, dangerous and high riskfor our Imaan. Despite the scenario, a Muslim must be courageous.

We DO have the courage. We need to only make use of that courage. Steer the heart and body away from those ash clouds of fitnah if we want to reach the Hereafter safely, if we want to enter Jannah without delay,  and above this, if we want to earn the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. How do we build up this spiritual strength, whereby we avoid sins like how the pilot avoids the ash clouds, or like how we would avoid the plague?

We work on developing he quality of ihsaan. Nabi SAW explained the quality of hisaab as:”THAT YOU WORSHIP ALLAH AS IF YOU ARE SEEING HIM, AND IF TOU CANNOT SEE HIM, THEN HE SEES YOU (ANYWAY).”

The knowledge and the understanding have to be deeply impressed in the heart and mind : ” WHEREVER I AM MY ALLAH IS WATCHING .”

My Shaikh Hazrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saab D.B. says in poetry:” If u hide and commit sins,Someone is watching from above (Allah Ta’ala) …”

A Muslim works towards developing the sifat (attribute) of ihsaan in all aspects of his life. It is not confined to the different forms of ibaadah ( worship ), like salaah,fasting ect, rather it is a reality which should be found across the spectrum of our lives.

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