Don’t Give Takleef in the Name of Khidmah

The object of Khidmah is to give raahat (i.e make easy the affairs of another.) If you’re giving takleef, what’s the point? Sometimes, when we are travelling by the house of another and we know it’s unlikely we’ll go down this route anytime soon. So we think that since I’m here, I may as well visit him/her. In our mind, we decide we’ll just stay for 10 minutes. But once we get there, out of love, they tell us that we must sit, we must stay…have tea, have supper, have meals with us. Now the host is forcing you to have meals, and he’s not taking no for an answer!

As for the guest, he has a long way til home. Maybe he’s tired, and now he’s wondering that why did I stop here?! When I phoned him on the road, I told him just ten minutes, he knew the plan. Look what problem I’ve landed myself into, a short stay of ten minutes will now last for hours! So the host; he is happy. As for the guest? He’s being forced to drop his plans and stay. So we must ask ourselves; whose Khidmah is being made? Is this true Khidmah – giving raahat and ease to others, or is this takleef – making things difficult for others?

Other times, we may get a host who keeps on refilling the plates of his guests. The guest may be full, he may have a health problem… he doesn’t want to eat all this extra food! But now he doesn’t want to offend the host by putting the food back so he pretends its ok, but really he’s struggling!

So is this Khidmah or are we giving takleef?

If someone says no, we must learn to take no for an answer. Sometimes less is more, so don’t force people to stay or eat. Other times we have a scholar who is visiting the country. Naturally, everyone wants to make Khidmah. But there are only 3 meals in a day, and the scholar may be in town for only a day or two! So his meals are fixed but one person comes later on, requesting that if he can’t come for meals to my house, then come for tea. The organiser doesn’t want to upset anyone. So he says that fine, we’ll come after asr, before supper.

So this host, he knows its tea. He knows someone else is preparing supper directly after. But this host…he serve pies, samoosa’s, dessert, aloo paratha, cakes, biscuits… he serves way more than just ‘tea’! Are we that selfish in our thinking? don’t we have consideration for the fact that there’s another family whose preparing supper? Now how will this visiting scholar eat supper there?

So is this Khidmah or are we giving takleef?

So we must understand; to make Khidmah is nafl, to give takleef is haram. Therefore despite having good intentions, we must ensure we do not overstep the line and cause takleef.

May اَللّهُ grant us the tawfiq, ثم آمين.

(The above is an extract from a lecture delivered by Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

Isha’atul Haq