2011 Musjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg, KZN, South Africa .
Hazrat Moulana Dawood Seedat Saheb (DB)
DEALING WITH PRAISE AND CRITICISM
Hadhrat Moulana Yunus Patel (r.a.) once explained that in the dua “Rabbana Aathina fidunya hasana,” where we are asking Allah Taala for the best of the world, the ideal of praise is also covered. What should be understood here is that this reference is to those pious servants of Allah Taala who use such praises to gain closer proximity to Allah Taala. Their condition and mindset would be one of total humility suggesting that “Oh Allah. I am being praised but you know my true condition.” Allah Taala loves this sincere humility of his servants.
A true saalik however should never go in search of praise. If he does receive some praises, then he will make shukr to Allah for this and never allow the content of such praise to resonate in the heart. If this happens then the saalik will be afflicted by various spiritual diseases. When the poison from the diseases of; pride, show, boasting etc., are injected then the saalik would now need a major operation. He will need to keep consulting with his sheikh who will guide him and InshAllah help him towards a full recovery. Praise should never flatter the saalik.
The saalik should keep the following hadith in his mind. Nabi (Salallahu alaihi wasalam) was reported to have said that “If one is being praised then the one being praised should take a handful of sand and throw it into the mouth of the one who is praising.” (Not exact wording of the hadith.)
On the other hand if the saalik is criticized, he should, in the first instance, analyse that criticism and check within himself if that criticism is indeed valid. If it is then he should seek guidance from his sheikh or the ulema and remove that weakness. A sincere saalik, practicing on deen, should never be affected by criticism, but should be inspired by the thought that he is gaining proximity to Nabi (Salallahu alaihi wasalam) and the Ambiyaa (A.S.). One should ponder over the reality that he only has to deal with another’s words, whereas Nabi (Salallahu alaihi wasalam) and Ambiyaa(A.S.) dealt with much worse, even death.
Hadhrat Shah Hakeem Akhtar Saheb (r.a.) explained it very easily, “If somebody speaks badly of me, then he has thrown a needle which fell somewhere. If you come and tell me what was said then you have picked up the needle and poked me with it.
The saalik’s concern should never be about what the people are saying, but he should rather continue with istiqaamat.
When Allah Taala blesses a person with basirat and hidayat then he should thread with love and wisdom regardless of how he may be treated or criticized. This often happens within the family circle, where the husband may try to bring about some changes in his life, but is now met with apprehension and criticism from the rest of the family. If one becomes angry with the family or adopts the attitude of an army general then such behavior may push the family further away from deen. By educating the family with tolerance, love and forbearance they will eventually see the light and the fruit of living one’s life in the obedience of Allah Taala. InshAllah
Above transcript extracted from Haz. Mol. Dawood Seedat Saheb's Majaalis dated 19 May 2014. Should you wish to listen to the full programme, download the MP3 audio file from HERE