By- Ml. Haroon Dhooma

Our Akaabir (Religious Elders) were blessed with amazing acceptance by Allah Rabbul Izzah, as is evident from History. This was due to the many sifaaat (qualities) that they possessed. One of these exemplary qualities was their awareness of the great amaanah (trust) of TIME in general, and especially in fulfilling this trust with regard to the duties they had assumed, even if such duties had been undertaken on a voluntary basis. If they were formally employed to fulfil any particular task, the consciousness of correctly discharging the amaanah of every minute was to a far greater extent.

Apart from their self-motivation and passion for the work of Deen, the warnings mentioned in the Qur’aan and the Ahadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) served as a great barrier in committing even a minute level of Khiyaanah (dishonesty) in this regard.

In Surah Tatfeef Allaah Rabbul Izzah says:

“Woe to the defrauders. Those who, when they take by measure from people, they take it in full. But when they give by measure or weight to them, they cause loss (give less than what is due). Do they not think that they shall be raised (to life again)? For a Great Day. The Day when (all) mankind shall stand before the Rabb of the Worlds?” (83:1-6)

The word ‘Mutaffif’ is derived from ‘Tatfeef’ meaning ‘ to decrease in measure and weight. Tatfeef is ‘Haraam’, as is evident from the severe curse mentioned in this regard.

However its scope is not restricted to ‘measure and weight’. It applies to all circumstances where there is a ‘shortfall in fulfillment” of any kind.

Once Sayyiduna Umar (radhiyallahu ’anhu) observed a man performing his Salaah with haste and not performing his Ruku and Sajdah properly. He commented: ﻟﻘﺪ ﻃﻔﻔﺖ (undoubtedly you have been deficient – ie. you have not performed your ruku and sajdah properly) (Muwatta Imaam Malik).

After quoting the above incident Imaam Maalik (Rahimahullah) states: Every aspect is subject to fulfillment or non fullfillment (ie. in every action the person would have either fulfilled his responsibility or he would have been deficient in its fulfilment).

The former Grand Mufti of Pakistan, Mufti Mohammed Shafi Saheb (Rahimahullah), writes:

ﺍﺳﯽ ﻃﺮﺡ ﺣﻘﻮﻕ ﺍﻟﻌﺒﺎﺩ ﻣﯿﮟ ﺟﻮ ﺷﺨﺺ ﻣﻘﺮﺭﮦ ﺣﻖ ﺳﮯ ﮐﻢ ﮐﺮﺗﺎ ﮨﮯ ﻭﮦ ﺑﮭﯽ ﺗﻄﻔﯿﻒ ﮐﮯ ﺣﮑﻢ ﻣﯿﮟ ﮨﮯ ﻣﺰﺩﻭﺭ ﻣﻼﺯﻡ ﻧﮯ ﺟﺘﻨﮯ ﻭﻗﺖ ﮐﯽ ﺧﺪﻣﺖ ﮐﺎ ﻣﻌﺎﮬﺪﮦ ﮐﯿﺎ ﮨﮯ ﺍﺱ ﻣﯿﮟ ﺳﮯ ﻭﻗﺖ ﭼﺮﺍﻧﺎ ﺍﻭﺭ ﮐﻢ ﮐﺮﻧﺎﺑﮭﯽ ﺍﺱ ﻣﯿﮟ ﺩﺍﺧﻞ ﮨﮯ۔ﻭﻗﺖ ﮐﮯ ﺍﻧﺪﺭ ﺟﺲ ﺍﺳﻤﯿﮟ ﺳﺴﺘﯽ ﮐﺮﻧﺎ ﺑﮭﯽ ﺗﻄﻔﯿﻒ ﮨﮯ ﺍﺱ ﻣﯿﮟ ﻋﺎﻡ ﻟﻮﮔﻮﮞ ﻣﯿﮟ ﯾﮩﺎﻧﺘﮏ ﮐﮧ ، ﻃﺮﺡ ﻣﺤﻨﺖ ﺳﮯ ﮐﺎﻡ ﮐﺮﻧﮯ ﮐﺎ ﻋﺮﻑ ﻣﯿﮟ ﻣﻌﻤﻮﻝ ﮨﮯ ﺍﮬﻞ ﻋﻠﻢ ﻣﯿﮟ ﺑﮭﯽ ﻏﻔﻠﺖ ﭘﺎﺉ ﺟﺎﺗﯽ ﮨﮯ ﺍﭘﻨﯽ ﻣﻼﺯﻣﺖ ﮐﮯ ﻓﺮﺍﺋﺾ ﻣﯿﮟ ﮐﻤﯽ ﮐﺮﻧﮯ ﮐﻮ ﮔﻨﺎﮦ ﮨﯽ ﻧﮩﯿﮟ ﺳﻤﺠﮭﺘﮯ ﺍﻋﺎﺫﻧﺎ ﺍ ﻣﻨﻪ

“Similarly with regard to the rights of others, any person who is deficient in fulfilling the an inaliable right of the next person is guilty of tatfeef. Whatever amount of hours the employee has agreed to work for, if he “steals” some time from this and cuts short his required working hours, this too is included (in tatfeef). Similarly to adopt laxity or laziness in the work that has to be carried out (not doing the work as he should) is also tatfeef. The general masses as well as the learned are negligent in this regard. In fact, they do not even regard falling short in their work as a sin. May Allaah Ta’ala protect us all (Ma aariful Quraan)”.

How true is the above! Sadly it is often noticed that even many Ahlul Ilm in the various fields of Deeni khidmat fall short in their work times or are occupied with personal work during work hours, such as being engaged on WhatsApp, chatting on social media, personal conversations between staff members, taking non-emergency leave during work-hours for such work that could have been done during personal time. For the convenience of not sacrificing one’s personal comfort, quality teaching time is compromised.

Even more depressing is the use of these devices especially by teachers in full view of the students. This sets a very poor example and gives the incorrect message of such actions being permissible. The ultimate result is that students are robbed of their right of Taleem and blatantly short-changed for the resources invested.

In his monumental work ‘Aap Beti’, Hazrat Sheikh (Rahimahullah) has quoted the statement of Hazrat Shah Abdul Qaadir Raaipuri (Rahimahullah) who said: “I have often heard the very Allah conscious Hazrat Maulana Haj Shah Abdul Raheem Raipuri (rahmatullahi’alayhi), the rector of Darul Uloom Deoband and Mazahirul Uloom Saharanpur saying:

“I do not fear anything as much as I fear being patron and supervisor of a Madrassa. If a person is an employee of someone and neglects his duty, or betrays his employer or causes him any loss and leaves his job, then at the time of death begs his employer’s forgiveness, he may be forgiven and pardoned. But the money of the Madrasa, comes from the general Muslim public, and has been collected from (among others) the two rupee contributions of many poor people. We, the supervisors, trustees and guardians are not the owners thereof. We are the trustees. If we are guilty of any misuse or embezzlement in this regard, it will never be pardoned even if people should pardon us. What right have we to pardon someone in connection with the misuse of another’s money? If, in the interest of the Madrassa, we overlook any excess; there is a hope and possibility that Allah will forgive us. On the other hand, if we overlook a person’s fault due to personal friendship or contact, we also will be responsible for the crime. Moreover, our pardoning the perpetrator will not be a pardon at all, since this falls in the category of Huqooqul ibaad (therefore we cannot pardon someone else’s right).”” (V. 6 pg 175)

For further inspiration and motivation on this topic, the Ulama are strongly recommended to read the Chapter ‘Mere Akaabir ka Taqwa (Aap Beti, v.6, pg 167), wherein many stories of our Akaabir and their consciousness of time are mentioned. Insha Allah this will be very beneficial.

May Allaah Ta’aala save us all from the serious crime of tatfeef and from His chastisement in both this world and the Hereafter. Ameen.

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