On the 27th of February 2019, Sheik Siraj Wahaj from the United States gave a lecture at Mayfair Jummah Masjid in which he focused on answering the following questions: What is the future of South Africa? What do we want it to be? What are you willing to do to make it that?
Sheik emphasised that “if you know better you do better.” He spoke about a prophet who was beaten by his people, but made this dua: “Oh Allah, forgive my people because they don’t know.” He went onto say that in South Africa today, didn’t know about Islam.
Sheik Siraj, a revert to Islam, mentioned that he heard a Christian preacher quote a verse in the Bible, which he had never heard previously. On checking, he found that it was completely different from what the preacher had quoted. This is an example of how the original words of the Bible have been changed so many times.
“Our strength is in our foundation.” Sheik Siraj explained that we need to put down solid roots and foundations of Islam, in order to see it grow. Allah (SWT) asks a question to teach a lesson, like when he asked all the angels to bow down to Adam (AS). Allah (SWT) asks the angels what are my servants doing and the angels responded that they were worshipping Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) then asks if the servants can see him, the angels responded saying no. Allah (SWT), asks what if they saw me, the angels’ responded saying that they would be stronger in their prayers if they saw Allah (SWT).
Allah (SWT) then asks the angels what His servants required, to which the angels respond that they were asking for Jannah. Allah (SWT) asks if they have seen Jannah, to which the angels respond in the negative. Allah (SWT) asks what they were seeking refuge from, they respond saying that they are seeking refuge from the hellfire. Allah (SWT) asks if they have seen the hellfire and the angels answer, no. But they believe in the unseen. That is Imaan, believing in the unseen.
Isa (AS) once saw a man stealing sadaqah. He asked the man if he had stolen, to which he responded: “I swear by Allah (SWT) that I did not steal.” Isa (AS) then said I believe in Allah (SWT), therefore I don’t believe my own eyes. Sheik highlighted that seeing is overrated, as we believe in the unseen.
Sheik asked the question: “Can we be better than the Sahabah (RA)?” He explained that even if we spent gold which was the weight of Mount Uhud, it would not be worth as much as a handful of what the Sahabah spent. This was because they lived in the time of the prophet Nabi (SAW), they spent time with him and witnessed him.
Sheik mentioned that “South Africa will be a reflection of what we do”. We need to compete with other religions to increase the Muslim population. He stated that globally Islam was increasing but in the US there was a steady decline. He further stated that the increase in the Muslim population was due to a higher birth rate whilst other religious groups saw a marked decrease in marriage and in having children. He also mentioned that the Muslim population in the world is increasing but in the U.S it is decreasing. Countries such as Russia, Germany and Italy are prime examples of the significant drop in birth-rates.
According to stats, the population of South Africa is also predicted to drop. We need to ask ourselves how we can make South Africa better. We need to remind the people in our country about Islam, we need to inform more of the citizens about our religion.
Sheik mentioned that in the United Kingdom, more people go to the masjid than those who attend churches. From 1960, 10 000 churches in the United Kingdom have closed down. The decline is occurring in most European countries. In Scotland, churches have been turned into pubs as people have lost their direction.
The person who will be punished the least in the hellfire will be asked by Allah (SWT) if he had had all the wealth in the earth, would he ransom that to free himself from the pit. This person will respond, “Yes I would.”
South Africa is a melting pot of people and cultures but do we look out for each other? If your neighbours' house is on fire, will you help them put it out? It is in your advantage to help them put it out, because if you don’t it may spread to your house. In this country, there is a raging fire among the non-Muslims, and we haven’t put this out, so it is moving onto our children. We find the negatives of the non-Muslims affecting our children.
Sheik mentioned an example that the Prophet (SAW) gave: On a boat, there are both good and bad people. The bad people put a hole in the boat, if you could save them, you should. In the same way, we need to handle non-Muslims and save them, in order to save ourselves. If we see evil, we change it with our hands, if we can’t, we change it with our tongues, if we can’t, then we change it with our hearts. Stop them because you will be saving them and saving yourself. But if you allow them to continue, you have lost yourself and them
May Allah (SWT) guide us all, aameen.