Jumuah lecture on Friday 28 February 2020 (4 Rajab 1441)
Mowlana Syed Aftab Haider
Ahlul Bait (a.s) Masjid, Ottery, Cape Town

One of the very important issues in our life, where our success and wellbeing and achievements depend on, is our outlook and how we think. That very common question which we have heard repeatedly being asked and how we respond: do we see the glass half-full or half-empty? 

This is important! Positive thinking and a positive approach to life are crucial. In our behaviour and interaction with other people and in our struggle to achieve any goal and dream, our positive attitude and hopeful approach are greatly important and crucial.

Psychologists and different scholars have conducted a great deal of research in this regard. They have pretty much all concluded that how you think and how positive and hopeful you are is very important in your success rate in this life. 


With this in mind, when we look at the teachings of Islam and the different verses of the Holy Quran and Hadith narrations from our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) and his purified Ahlul Bait (a.s), we find this pivotal point to be crystal clear. But of course, with a much stronger foundation. 

Islam invites people to be positive and hopeful, and always be thinking of success and goodness. Not only does the Quran invite people to be positive and hopeful, but it also provides the foundation for this positivity. It is very crucial and important to understand what is this foundation which the Holy Quran and Islam provides for as the foundation of positive thinking and being hopeful.

The Holy Quran explains why believers (mu’mineen) are positive, optimistic and hopeful. The reason is because they place their ultimate trust in Almighty Allah (SWT). So, it is not just empty commands or a recommendation to be positive and hopeful and everything will be OK thereafter. Not at all. Islam says that we should be positive and hopeful because everything good is expected from Almighty Allah (SWT). 


The month of Rajab ushers in the season of spirituality. One of the students of Ahlul Bait (a.s) came to Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s), requesting Imam to teach him a dua for the month of Rajab. Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s) teaches him this very beautiful dua, which is recommended to be recited after every mandatory prayer in the month of Rajab.

The month of Rajab is the start of the spiritual season of the Islamic calendar. We are repeatedly recommended to read this dua, which instills hope and builds positivity in our mindset. It reads as follows:

يَا مَنْ أَرْجُوهُ لِكُلِّ خَيْرٍ،

O He Whom alone I hope for all good things

وآمَنُ سَخَطَهُ عِنْدَ كُلِّ شَرٍّ،

and Whose wrath I do not expect when I do wrong

يَا مَنْ يُعْطِي الْكَثِيرَ بِالْقَلِيلِ،

O He Who recompenses the little deed with very much reward

Look at this in terms of building hope! We have nothing in our pockets. Not much to offer on good deeds and acts of worship, but hope in Almighty Allah (SWT) is so great, that we know full well that in exchange for our very little good, He gives a lot! This dua, therefore, takes us on amazing levels of hope!

يَا مَنْ يُعْطَي مَنْ سَالَهُ

O He Who answers one who begs Him!

يَا مَنْ يُعْطي مَنْ لَمْ يَسْأَلْهُ 

O He Who gives those who do not ask Him

وَمَنْ لَمْ يَعْرِفْهُ تَحَنُّناً مِنْهُ وَرَحْمَةً،

and do not even recognize Him out of His kindness and mercifulness


In building this hope and positivity, we see that Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s) divides people into 3 categories in this dua, as beneficiaries from the infinite kindness and mercy of Almighty Allah (SWT):

  1. Those who ask Almighty Allah (SWT);
  2. Those who know Him but do not make any effort to request from Him;
  3. Those who do not know Almighty Allah (SWT), nor do they even recognize or believe in Him.

اعْطِنِي بِمَسْالتِي مِنْ جَمِيعِ خَيْرِ ٱلدُّنْيَا

Please do give me, for I pray You, the whole welfare of this world

وَجَمِيعِ خَيْرِ ٱلآخِرَةِ

and the whole welfare of the Next World

وَٱصْرِفْ عَنّي بِمَسْالَتي إِيَّاكَ

and save me, for I pray You,

جَميعَ شَرِّ ٱلدُّنْيا وَشَرِّ ٱلآخِرَة

the whole evil of this world and the Next World.

This dua, together with the following dua is all about building that ultimate hope and trust in Almighty Allah (SWT). 

يَا مَنْ يَمْلِكُ حَوَائِجَ ٱلسَّائِلِينَ

O He who manages the wants of the needy,

وَيَعْلَمُ ضَمِيرَ ٱلصَّامِتِينَ

and is aware of that which is hidden in the heart of the silent sufferers!

لِكُلِّ مَسْالَةٍ مِنْكَ سَمْعٌ حَاضِرٌ

Every problem receives Your attention,

وَجَوَابٌ عَتِيدٌ

and is settled well.

اَللَّهُمَّ وَمَوَاعِيدُكَ ٱلصَّادِقَةُ

O Allah, Your promises come true,

وَايَادِيكَ ٱلْفَاضِلَةُ

Your favors are many,

وَرَحْمَتُكَ ٱلْوَاسِعَةُ

and Your Mercy is extensive


Of course, this positive mindset does not necessarily mean that we should cast a blind eye to the dangers and risks. Therefore, Islam always keeps us between hope and fear. Yes, we should be positive and optimistic, but to reach the position of being over-confident where we are blind to the dangers results in a bigger problem. Hence, a Mu’min (believer) is constantly between hope and fear

There is a very beautiful Hadith from our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) where he says that hope is a mercy of Allah (SWT) for the Ummah (Muslim nation). He then says that if hope was not present, then a mother would not be feeding her child, nor will a farmer plant a tree.

This tells us that the movement in this life is as a result of hope. We hope for success, especially in the most challenging times, where we are tested in keeping our full faith in Almighty Allah (SWT). Therefore, people who are despondent are condemned in the Holy Quran

One of the most beautiful parts of the Islamic message is that Islam never closes the door – not on any level. Verse 53 of Surah Zumar (chapter 39 of the Holy Quran) serves as a clear reference to this

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

Say: “O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful

A believer is always positive. This dua for the month of Rajab builds hope, and this is the foundation of spiritual development. We are approaching Almighty Allah (SWT) with all our baggage and shortcomings, but have full confidence in Him, since every good is expected from Him and we feel protected from His anger, since He gives even to those who fight with Him and deny Him. 

يَا مَنْ أَرْجُوهُ لِكُلِّ خَيْرٍ،

O He Whom alone I hope for all good thing

We have trust and hope in Almighty Allah (SWT) and are positive. We can move forward with this mindset, despite the challenges, calamities and hardships. This trust and hope in Almighty Allah (SWT) is the most important weapon of a believer. This is what the duas of Rajab and the other duas taught by the Ahlul Bait (a.s) instil in us. They strengthen our resolve, to never surrender and give up in the face of the most difficult challenges.


The dua for the month of Rajab starts with instilling our trust and hope in Almighty Allah (SWT). 

يَا مَنْ أَرْجُوهُ لِكُلِّ خَيْرٍ

O He Whom alone I hope for all good thing

The message is clear, that challenges and calamities, difficulties and hardships can reach its peak, but a believer remains optimistic in Almighty Allah (SWT).


These are difficult times we are having to endure, with heart-breaking news appearing regularly. The extreme levels of violent crime and brutality in our own city of Cape Town has reached the point where the levels of humanity have sunk lower than that of animals. Unfortunately, this trend continues unabated in our city with disturbing news of a pregnant woman killed and a young girl in Ocean View killed for no reason. The disturbing saga continues

We also heard about the very challenging situation with the continuous suffering of our brethren in Nigeria. This is even after the Nigerian court finally ordered the release of a huge number of supporters of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, after years of incarceration. Despite this, the injustice by the Nigerian authorities continues, with shots fired by them, injuring some and at least one person reported killed.

We once again heard the very sad situation in Gaza. Again, that brutality from the Zionists comes as no surprise when we saw on the news how they scooped up the bodies of our Palestinian brothers on a bulldozer, in the city of Khan Yunis.

Moving East, we continue to witness the very disturbing scenes for the Muslims of Delhi, India. Peaceful protesters came in the streets to demand their rights, protesting against this discriminatory, racist law imposed by the Indian Government which basically declares Muslims as second-class citizens. We witnessed on the news how brutally they were attacked and assaulted by Hindu extremists, claiming the lives of 38 people, with mosques, businesses, houses and cars burned down. Terrible scenes indeed from Delhi and its surroundings.


Coronavirus is threatening the whole humanity, with different countries the world over being impacted with infections, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, in cities like Qum. The situation is very severe, with circa 26 cities in Iran cancelling Jumuah and Umrah has been suspended. Again, on this point, I would like to reiterate the dua of Rajab, as all good comes from Almighty Allah (SWT):

يَا مَنْ أَرْجُوهُ لِكُلِّ خَيْرٍ

O He Whom alone I hope for all good things

Indeed, there is good in all these hardships and difficulties, and we will overcome them, with full trust in Almighty Allah (SWT). This is the most crucial remedy and weapon for us when we face calamities collectively as nations, or even at an individual level. Each one of us come across so many hardships and difficulties and we feel that nothing is coming our way. We feel as if we fail every time and start losing hope, feeling despondent. 

This is where the dua of Rajab comes in handy! Duas and full trust in Almighty Allah (SWT) and Tawassul of the Ahlul Bait (a.s) is clearly the way to go while facing these challenges, including diseases. At the same time, the same Ahlul Bait (a.s) and Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) has commanded us to follow the medical instructions, precautions and recommendations. 

The way that this virus is spreading indicates that it is not so easy to contain. We need to follow the medical guidelines, and personal hygiene is being repeatedly emphasized.

It is very clearly stated in the Holy Quran that this body is an Amaanah (trust) from Almighty Allah (SWT) in our hands. It is therefore Haraam to hurt our body deliberately, and we will need to face 2 consequences. The first being getting sick in this world, and the second being the punishment of Allah (SWT) from the Haraam we have committed. 

This is also why it is Haraam to fast when you have a serious health risk. Even if you fast, it will not be recognized as such, because it was forbidden for you due to your health risk. In fact, if you do fast while sick, then you would need to repeat this fast after Ramadaan!

These are the guidelines of Islam and Sharia when it comes to our health and matters in this world, to listen to the experts.

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