SeekersHub Blog http://seekershub.org/blog Islamic knowledge, audio, video, songs, and more--at the SeekersGuidance Blog. Tue, 30 Aug 2016 18:22:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How the Qur’an Shapes the Sunni Community – Dr. Ingrid Mattson http://seekershub.org/blog/2016/08/quran-shapes-sunni-community/ Tue, 30 Aug 2016 13:00:23 +0000 http://seekershub.org/blog/?p=16095 How does the Qur’an shape the Sunni Community? What role should communities play in interpretation of the Qur’an? Dr. Ingrid Mattson explores these questions at the Boniuk Institute. Cover Photo by Umar Nasir. Our gratitude to the Boniuk Institute for this recording. Resources for seekers Do you recommend the Study Quran? Did you know you have […]

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How does the Qur’an shape the Sunni Community? What role should communities play in interpretation of the Qur’an? Dr. Ingrid Mattson explores these questions at the Boniuk Institute.

How the Qur’an Shapes the Sunni CommunityCover Photo by Umar Nasir. Our gratitude to the Boniuk Institute for this recording.

Resources for seekers

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The Love between the Prophet ﷺ and Abdullah ibn Mas’ud – Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa http://seekershub.org/blog/2016/08/prophet-and-abdullah-ibn-masud/ Sun, 28 Aug 2016 16:38:42 +0000 http://seekershub.org/blog/?p=16062 Imagine the city of the Prophet ﷺ, illuminated by him ﷺ, by his Companions and by the love they all had for each other. Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa gives us a glimpse. Every morning, the whole city would wait, impatient to hear the blessed sound of the footsteps of the Prophet ﷺ as he left […]

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Imagine the city of the Prophet ﷺ, illuminated by him ﷺ, by his Companions and by the love they all had for each other. Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa gives us a glimpse.

Every morning, the whole city would wait, impatient to hear the blessed sound of the footsteps of the Prophet ﷺ as he left his house to sit in his corner for spiritual retreat – a sound that announced to them that the prayer sanctuary was now open. And then, swiftly, the mosque would fill.

Who made the call to that night prayer (tahajjud)? It was Abdullah ibn Mas’ud. He was he who had the honor of announcing this prayer throughout his life. Abdullah ibn Mas’ud was the first to witness the spiritual Sun – our Prophet ﷺ – rise every morning before the physical sun rose.

One day, the beautiful Apostle ﷺ suddenly fell ill. He ﷺ went to visit his living Companions and the martyrs of Uhud. He ﷺ wept, saying, “I miss my brothers!” He ﷺ was referring to his buried brothers before anything. But he ﷺ was also talking about you.

A Companion who was present asked the Prophet ﷺ, “Are we not your brothers?” He ﷺ said, “Yes, you are my brothers by companionship, but I speak of those who accepted the good news, even though they never met me. It is they who I speak of now. How I miss them!”

Not long after, the Prophet ﷺ developed a fever, similar to the one he ﷺ experienced upon the first revelation of “Iqraa.” He ﷺ asked to be covered, just like the first time. This time it was Sayyida Ayesha who had the honor of covering him ﷺ. For seven days, he ﷺ couldn’t leave his house. The Companions anxiously awaited his recovery: there were those who raised tents in the streets, others in the mosque’s yard. No one thought this would be the illness that would bring the end of life as they knew it.

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, the close Companion who welcomed the first glimpse of the Prophet ﷺ each morning would be the one to witness the very last look, before the curtain fell – never to be raised again. After many days of sickness, the Prophet ﷺ lifted the curtain between his home and the sanctuary, and addressed his Companions, ‘I give you peace.’ The Companions were in prayer at the time, and were seized by the desire to run to their Beloved ﷺ. Heﷺ told them to stay in prayer. But Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said: ‘The prayer could be repeated, but that look I couldn’t miss. I looked at his face and it was like a page of the Qur’an.’

It’s clear that Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud was not talking about the physical page upon which the Qur’an was transcribed. What physical resemblance would the Prophet’s ﷺ countenance have with the leathers or papyrus which hosted the Word of God at that time? Rather, he was talking about the light of the Qur’an, that light that emanates from the Word of God, and is visible to those who have clear vision. That light was the light he saw on the Face of his Beloved ﷺ.

The light of Qur’an is the light of eternity, not of black-inked letters. Light is light. Abdullah ibn Mas’ud was an expert of that light as well – the Qu’ranic light. It was Abdullah ibn Mas’ud who recited the Qur’an for the Prophet ﷺ: for, even though the letters of God were engraved in his ﷺ heart, the Beloved ﷺ would ask to hear the Word of God recited in the voice of someone else, in order to experience its beauty in yet another way. And that someone else was Abdullah ibn Mas’ud. The Prophet ﷺ would say: “Recite to me the last thing you learned.” Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said that one time, in response, he started reading from Surah al-Nisa (The Chapter of Women) [in another narration it was al-Nahl (The Chapter Bees)], until he reached the verse: “and when we will call from each nation their witness, and we will call you as a witness for that nation.” Hearing these words, the Messenger ﷺ wept. His tears flowed, flowed, flowed. Everytime he ﷺ recited or heard the Qur’an, he ﷺ lived a new experience of Revelation.

In this love between the Prophet ﷺ and Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, we witness the way in which the Qur’an that is recited is a rope connected to the Qur’an that is revealed.

The Love between the Prophet ﷺ and Abdullah ibn Mas'ud - Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa

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Muslim Convert: “I saw something greater happening” http://seekershub.org/blog/2016/08/muslim-convert-something-greater-happening/ Sat, 27 Aug 2016 15:26:39 +0000 http://seekershub.org/blog/?p=16065 Are you attracted to Islam, but have something holding you back? Abdullah, a Muslim convert, once felt the same way. But he overcame. You don’t choose much of your past, but you do choose your future. Self-development begins where your comfort zone ends. And true self-development begins by embracing truth when it comes your way. […]

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Are you attracted to Islam, but have something holding you back? Abdullah, a Muslim convert, once felt the same way. But he overcame. You don’t choose much of your past, but you do choose your future.

Self-development begins where your comfort zone ends. And true self-development begins by embracing truth when it comes your way. We hope that this convert to Islam has inspired you to push forward in your journey, even if it’s just an inch.

If you have concerns or confusions that are keeping you back from converting to Islam, email Overcome TV or send a YouTube message.

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Help SeekersHub spread the beautiful message of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to millions worldwide. Give your zakat or sadaqa today.

Muslim Convert: "I saw something greater happening", OvercomeTV

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No peace, no justice – Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa http://seekershub.org/blog/2016/08/no-peace-no-justice-shaykh-hamdi-ben-aissa/ Fri, 26 Aug 2016 16:09:27 +0000 http://seekershub.org/blog/?p=16051 Muslims have sadly become a people who are focused on the idea of justice, and justice above all, writes Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa. Our actions and concerns are governed by the mentality: no justice, no peace. Thus, we have become known to the world as fighters for our rights, demanding justice from all those who would […]

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Muslims have sadly become a people who are focused on the idea of justice, and justice above all, writes Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa. Our actions and concerns are governed by the mentality: no justice, no peace. Thus, we have become known to the world as fighters for our rights, demanding justice from all those who would oppress us or challenge our way of life.

Is this how we should be known to this beleaguered and hurting world of ours? Is this the sum total of what Muslims have to offer humanity? And on top of that, not even justice for all, but only that which extends to our own kind?

We have reached this place of valuing justice above all else because we nurture this concern in ourselves and our children above the concern for moral integrity and spiritual refinement (ihsaan) and kindness, magnanimity, and empathy (rahma) in our personal behaviour and interactions with others. An international survey evaluating levels of empathy in children of various religions found Muslim children to have one of the lowest levels of empathy (which is another word for rahma) and the highest sense of justice, ie. swiftness in declaring the actions of another as “unfair” and demanding punishment of the other for perceived wrongdoing.

I visited an Islamic elementary school a short while ago, and when I asked the children what they wanted to do with their lives, those who had some sense of mission were in the minority. Amongst them, those whose mission had something to do with Islam were an even smaller minority. And amongst the latter, their sense of mission revolved around the need to defend Islam and its image.

This is what we have bequeathed to our children – this sense of concern for their rights, and a sense that the rights of all Muslims are under attack. Thus those who feel some sense of awareness among them can think only of how Islam is under constant attack and needs to be defended.

Self-fulfilling

The truly oppressed is he who allows himself to believe that he is oppressed. He believes that other human beings have the ultimate control over his circumstances, have power over him and are able to give him the justice he seeks or withhold it. Such a person will be reacting to the action of injustice like a ping pong ball thrown at the wall, not having any other option but to rebound eternally, getting weaker and weaker each time until it gets crushed.

Re-action is simply the continuation of action. Thus he who reacts is never free because his actions are in reality but a perpetuation of the original action of his oppressor.

Consumed by our victimhood

What made the Muslims of Makkah liberated, even when they were in the midst of severe oppression and persecution, was that they did not believe their human oppressors had any actual power. What made Bilal a freeman even when he was a “slave” is that he only ever acknowledged the One (Ahadun Ahad) as having any power, control or role in his life.

Our obsession with the wrongs others are committing against us as a community gets us nowhere. And takes all our energy. Just today a sister wrote to me to say that seeing all the horrible things happening in the world is disabling. This is exactly right. We allow ourselves to be disabled when we fixate on these things – they get the better of us. And then, we have no time or attention left to seek God and to make an honest evaluation of our own ihsaan (where are we in terms of moral integrity? are we more refined spiritually today than we were yesterday, or less so?). When we become fixated on what is happening in the world, we are no longer able to take on the most important battle that stands before us : that of begging our Lord to guide us toward moral integrity and spiritual refinement, living everyday in search of the opportunities He sends us for this. This is the true and inevitable battlefield – even for those who are out on a battlefield!

One who turns to face the battle for the heart, before attending to the battle for justice, will hold himself to four principles, which will produce in him four qualities.

The four principles before battling for justice:

1. cultivation of compassion and empathy (raḥma) before cultivation of anger (ghaḍab), such that the former controls the latter, establishing correct limits for it

2. cultivation of love for God’s sake (al-ḥubb fi Allah) before cultivation of aversion for God’s sake (al-bughḍ fi Allah), such that the former controls the latter, establishing correct limits for it

3. cultivation of permeability to beauty and goodness and those who uphold the like (athillatan ‘alal mu’mineen), before cultivation of impermeability towards wrongdoing and injustice (a’izzatan ‘alal kaafireen), such that the former controls the latter, establishing correct limits for it

4. cultivation of loyalty to what is pleasing to the Lord (al-walāʿ) before cultivation of the disavowal of what is displeasing to Him (al-barāʿ), such that the former controls the latter, establishing correct limits for it.

The four beneficial qualities that will arise within us

As a result of the believer holding himself to the above four principles, four qualities will arise within him, and these are the missiles of the heart, the fuel of a true Islamic Revival:

1. forgiveness for the one who wrongs him

2. generosity and a giving attitude to the one who denies him

3. a continuous reaching out and connecting to the one who disconnects from him

4. moral integrity and magnanimity towards the one who mistreats him.

With these qualities, a person treads the Earth as a shining guide (dāʿī) and not as an arrogant judge (qāḍī).

He puts aside his own expectations for people’s spiritual improvement according to what he would like for them, in order to submit to God’s Wisdom and Will with respect to the guidance of His Creation. As a result of this surrender to God’s Will, God uses this person as an instrument by which He guides whomsoever He Alone has chosen to receive His Guidance. (Thus this person is truly living and acting for God and by God.)

The four principles that reflect warped priorities

In contrast, one who chooses to face the battle for justice before the battle for the heart, operates by four principles that are the exact opposite of those mentioned above. These four principles are:

1. cultivation of anger (ghaḍab) before cultivation of compassion (raḥma), such that the former blocks and shuts out the latter

2. Cultivation of aversion for God’s sake (al-bughḍ fi Allah) before cultivation of love for God’s sake (al-ḥubb fi Allah), such that the former blocks and shuts out the latter

3. Cultivation of impermeability towards wrongdoing and injustice (a’izzatan ‘alal kaafireen) before cultivation of permeability to beauty and goodness and those who uphold the like (athillatan ‘alal mu’mineen), such that the former blocks and shuts out the latter

4. Cultivation of the disavowal of what is displeasing to the Lord (al-barāʿ) before cultivation of loyalty to what is pleasing to Him (al-walāʿ), such that the former blocks and shuts out the latter.

The four blameworthy qualities that will arise within us

As a result of a person structuring his inner being according to the above four principles, four qualities arise within him, which are the destroyers of the Islamic revival:

1. judgement of others’ faults (tafsīq)

2. pointing out of innovations in the religion (tabdīʿ)

3. excommunication of fellow Muslims (takfīr)

4. exploding with violence and destruction (tafjīr)

Thus, he walks amongst people as an arrogant judge (qādī) and not as a shining guide (dāʿī). Satan misguides through him more people than he himself – out of his apparent concern for the Ummah’s wellbeing – sets out to guide, correct, and reform. He holds fast to his own vision of how people should improve religiously, and seeks to impose this vision on them even if it destroys them.

Because he does not submit to the Will of God, he is not used by God as an instrument of good.

No peace, no justice - Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa

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Jesus is Messiah, but Muhammad is the Perfect Man – Abdul-Rehman Malik http://seekershub.org/blog/2016/08/jesus-messiah-muhammad-perfect-man/ Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:17:59 +0000 http://seekershub.org/blog/?p=16034 When we look at the life of Jesus (peace be upon him), it was no doubt extraordinary. How does the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ compare? Sidi Abdul-Rehman Malik reflects at Simply Islam, Singapore. Jesus had a virgin birth, he was given the ability to speak as an infant, he performed many miracles, he was supposedly crucified but […]

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When we look at the life of Jesus (peace be upon him), it was no doubt extraordinary. How does the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ compare? Sidi Abdul-Rehman Malik reflects at Simply Islam, Singapore.

Jesus had a virgin birth, he was given the ability to speak as an infant, he performed many miracles, he was supposedly crucified but Allah took him and with Him the prophet Jesus continues to dwell. Jesus is a magnetic and magnificent example, not least for Christians around the world. So what about Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)? What was remarkable about him and why is he an even more perfect example for us human beings?

Jesus is Messiah, but Muhammad is the Perfect Man - Abdul-Rehman Malik

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A Description of the Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ Bed – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani http://seekershub.org/blog/2016/08/description-prophet-muhammads-bed/ Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:13:28 +0000 http://seekershub.org/blog/?p=15996 What did the bedding of the Prophet ﷺ like, and why did he choose it? In this short but inspiring video, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani discusses how the choices of the Most Beloved indicated his ultimate choice: the hereafter. Why did he choose a mat that didn’t cover his body if he was given the keys to the treasures of the […]

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What did the bedding of the Prophet ﷺ like, and why did he choose it?A Description of the Prophet Muhammad's ﷺ Bed - Shaykh Faraz Rabbani In this short but inspiring video, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani discusses how the choices of the Most Beloved indicated his ultimate choice: the hereafter.

Why did he choose a mat that didn’t cover his body if he was given the keys to the treasures of the whole earth? What did he choose instead? What were his priorities? 

Resources for Seekers

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What A Concerned Muslim Needs to Learn, and How – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani http://seekershub.org/blog/2016/08/concerned-muslim-needs-to-learn/ Wed, 24 Aug 2016 12:46:30 +0000 http://seekershub.org/blog/?p=16013 If you are serious about submitting to Allah, Most High, striving to follow the Prophet ﷺ and striving to please Allah then there is no way around a regular routine of seeking knowledge. Join Shaykh Faraz Rabbani in a clear discussion and investigation of what knowledge is necessary to be a Muslim. What does a […]

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If you are serious about submitting to Allah, Most High, striving to follow the Prophet ﷺ and striving to please Allah then there is no way around a regular routine of seeking knowledge. Join Shaykh Faraz Rabbani in a clear discussion and investigation of what knowledge is necessary to be a Muslim.

What does a Muslim need to know?

We are given a summary of four particular types of knowledge one needs to know:

1) Fard al Ayn: the personally obligatory – core Islamic knowledge (aqeedah, fiqh: all financial dealings, the permissible and impermissible relationships)

2) Devotional Knowledge: knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah – cultivating the knowledge of the Quran and reading something about the Prophet ﷺ daily

3) Spiritual Knowledge: knowledge of the heart, ihsan. Ridding oneself of blameworthy traits and adorning oneself with praiseworthy characteristics.

4) Spiritual works: regular routines of acting on what one knows.

Our Ummah has been given two  gifts that no other sacred community has received in the past: the deep value and reward of intentions, and access to the remembrance of Allah.

Cover photo by Olivier Blaise. We are grateful to Madarik Centre in Amman, Jordan for the video.

 

The Desert books, the lost library of Chinguetti, Mauritania.

The Desert books, the lost library of Chinguetti, Mauritania.

Resources for the Seeker:

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Protecting The Environment – In Allah’s Words, by Shaykh Ali Hani http://seekershub.org/blog/2016/08/protecting-environment-shaykh-ali-hani/ Wed, 24 Aug 2016 12:12:11 +0000 http://seekershub.org/blog/?p=16025 Shaykh Ali Hani is one of the greatest living experts of the Arabic language, the Quran and their sciences. In this video, Shaykh Ali describes what Allah tells us in the Quran about the environment – an important and timely lesson. The translator is Shaykh Hamza Karamali. Resources on protecting the environment: Scholars say Islam teaches care for […]

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Shaykh Ali Hani is one of the greatest living experts of the Arabic language, the Quran and their sciences. In this video, Shaykh Ali describes what Allah tells us in the Quran about the environment – an important and timely lesson. The translator is Shaykh Hamza Karamali.

Resources on protecting the environment:

Protecting The Environment - In Allah's Words, by Shaykh Ali Hani

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Crisis of Islam or Crisis of Humanity? It’s all a cause of concern – Ustadh Amjad Tarsin http://seekershub.org/blog/2016/08/crisis-of-humanity-concern/ Wed, 24 Aug 2016 09:59:55 +0000 http://seekershub.org/blog/?p=15998 Does the modern condition reflect a crisis of Islam or a crisis of Humanity? “For the Muslim its all a cause of concern,” says ustadh Amjad Tarsin. Allah has placed mankind as representatives of the Cosmos; this noble station calls us to responsibility. These experiences call us back to reflect on our relationship with the Owner […]

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Does the modern condition reflect a crisis of Islam or a crisis of Humanity? “For the Muslim its all a cause of concern,” says ustadh Amjad Tarsin. Allah has placed mankind as representatives of the Cosmos; this noble station calls us to responsibility. These experiences call us back to reflect on our relationship with the Owner and Maker of the Worlds.

In one of the talks given in Melbourne as part of the SeekersHub Australia Winter 2016 Tour, “Give Light: Prophetic Action to Heal Ourselves and Our World”,  Ustadh Amjad conducts a timely discussion surrounding the incessant crises affecting our modern experience.

Violence, turbulence, natural disasters and systematic tension and breakdowns…what is going on? Is this a crisis of Islam or a crisis of Humanity? In reality, through a spiritual perspective the concern is one and the same; the state of the world is a reflection of the state of Humanity. The relationship between corruption and the human condition is a reflection of what we have caused with our own hands. Allah has placed mankind as representatives of the Cosmos; this noble station calls us to responsibility. These experiences  call us back to reflect on our relationship with the Owner and Maker of this world.

What is our relationship with Allah? Our modern perspective calls us to agitation and critique of religion; Why are people almost allergic to Faith? We as people connected to faith, what is our response in trying to contribute to healing and rebuilding of communities?

What are we doing in our own lives to show how relevant and beautiful faith can be especially in a modern and caught off society?

The Prophet ﷺ said that faith itself is 70 odd branches, the statement of ultimate reality is the testimony of faith and the lowest branch of faith is removing  something harmful off of the road. As believers we see the small gestures in life as reflections of faith : whether a smile on the face, or picking something off of the street; these reflect acts of faith.

“Our faith is not just reflected on the prayer rug; but reflected in every aspect of our lives,” proclaims Ustadh Amjad.

Truth in Allah will call us back; either He will guide you with Beauty and inspiration, or you will be confronted with tribulations and difficulty in order to move things around and for human beings to redirect themselves to God. Corruption has been reflected in the land and the sea, really so that we may return back to Allah.

Resources for Seekers

Cover photo by Dave Lo Sapio.

Crisis of Islam or Crisis of Humanity

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VIDEO SERIES: Key Lessons from the Prophet ﷺ as a Parent & Educator http://seekershub.org/blog/2016/08/nurturing-children-prophet-parent-educator/ Wed, 24 Aug 2016 02:45:40 +0000 http://seekershub.org/blog/?p=15980 How do we go about nurturing children in a prophetic way? Being effective parents is a challenge for many of us. The Prophet ﷺ  is often called The Teacher. In fact, his entire life is a lesson. In this seminar video recording given at SeekersHub Toronto, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Zahir Bacchus and Ustadha Umm Umar explore […]

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How do we go about nurturing children in a prophetic way? Being effective parents is a challenge for many of us. The Prophet ﷺ  is often called The Teacher. In fact, his entire life is a lesson.

In this seminar video recording given at SeekersHub Toronto, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Zahir Bacchus and Ustadha Umm Umar explore how the Prophet  taught, nurtured and guided children through compassion, love and modelling right action. They explore how, as parents and educators, we can take this Prophetic advice and use it to nurture children to have good character and also discuss how to overcome common parenting hurdles, and key methods in raising children to embody piety and devotion.

Part 1 of 4 : What Are the Responsibilities of Nurturing Children? – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Part 2 of 4: Shepherding as a Parent: Balancing Authority and Compassion with Children – Shaykh Zahir Bacchus

Part 3 of 4: Planting Seeds in Your Children: Rethinking Our Habits and Actions – Ustadha Shireen Ahmed

Part 4 of 4: Key Q&A’s on Parenting and Raising Children – Shaykh Faraz, Shaykh Zahir, & Ustadha Shireen


Nurturing children

Give the best charity.

Help SeekersHub spread the beautiful message of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to millions worldwide. Give your zakat or sadaqa today.

Resources for Seekers:

Islamic Parenting: Raising Upright Children (course)
Islamic Parenting: Ten Keys to Raising Righteous Children
Raising a Muslim with Manners

Raising Your Children with Deen & Dunya – Radio Interview with Hina Khan-Mukhtar
Raising Children with Deen and Dunya
Ibn Khaldun on the instruction of children and its different methods
The Prophet Muhammad’s Love, Concern, & Kindness for Children
On Parents Showing Righteousness to Children

Cover Photo by Lead Beyond

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