A Blessed Beginning: The First SeekersHub Class

Special thanks to the blogger Shagufta Pasta for sharing this.

In the SeekersHub’s first class today, Shaykh Faraz reminded us that to seek something means to have “concern, care and respect”. And alhamidullah these three things were most certainly reflected today in this wonderful new learning community. The volunteers were helpful and smiling, the space is physically beautiful (with equal space for men and women), and the class is full of practical advice about how to understand and implement the Prophet’s  (may peace and blessings be upon him) words in order to orient our lives towards God.

And best of all, insha’Allah there will be a class next week! I’m from Vancouver, and my learning to date as either been online classes or intensives where one leaves their daily routine for a span of time. That type of learning is useful but can make you feel a bit disconnected from others or a bit overwhelmed, so regular, in person learning is partly why I moved to Toronto. As a result, the SeekersHub plans for long term regular content feels like a deep blessing, and I’m really looking forward to its programming in the upcoming months insha’Allah.

Back to tonight though. Part One of the evening was Shaykh Faraz going through ten hadiths that each reflected the theme of each of the first ten books of the Ihya by Imam Ghazali.  Next week we’ll go through the next ten hadiths insha’Allah, and Shaykh Faraz recommended that each week we read related hadiths to what we covered in that week’s session. For those who couldn’t be here tonight, a few snippets from my notes:

  1. Knowledge is a means, not an end in itself. The point is not the knowledge. Knowledge is found on the path (and a path is a way that has been trodden before), but it is not the purpose of the path.  The path is tremendous because it leads to the greatest of goals; Allah. When we study Allah facilitates a path to Paradise, but you have to actually do what the knowledge you study entails.
  2. Best way to start, is just start.
  3. Need to have clarity on what you believe and why, otherwise doubts may creep in your belief. You don’t want to have a circular thought pattern of  ”I believe because I’m Muslim, and I’m Muslim because I believe”.
  4. Contentment is nurtured through reflection and thankfulness.  These both should be a constant process in your life.
  5. If you don’t realise the sweetness of faith in your life, have work to do to nurture contentment.
  6. Everything you do is meant to be an act of remembrance.
  7. Two halves of faith, patience and thankfulness. Patience is to hold fast to what is most pleasing to Allah. Sometimes that means changing your situation, patience isn’t a passive thing.
  8. Way of tahara (purification) embodies the balance of our religion because we are cautious, but are not excessive.
  9. If prayer is the best matter,  it must be the best thing that you do, that you have the best concern for. Must do your prayer better than your work, better than everything else you do.
  10. Sadaqa (charity) is the daleel (proof) of  the sidq (truthfulness) of a mu’min (believer) because it shows that you truly trust Allah, that He Provides.
  11. If you want to see where you are with Allah, see what you are busy with and what you are seeking.
  12. Best of people are those who recite the Quran consistently.
  13. Not everyone is spiritually equal and  there are many categories of people and many doors to Jannah. Most people will most emphatically express one or two qualities, some rare people manifest all qualities.
  14. Take from religious actions that which you can sustain. The most beloved practice is that which is most consistent.
  15. If you’ve gone through the whole day and you haven’t read Qur’an, you’re deluded. If that’s happened, try and read one verse before bed. Or recite Surah Fatiha. Or something like Surah Asr. Don’t say oh but that’s just a little Qur’an because it’s all great. But read something daily. And every day read something about the Prophet, sallahu alayhi wasalaam. And make a daily routine of reading a hadith. (for example: from Imam Nawawi’s 40 Hadith for example or the Riyad us Saliheen.)
  16. In life don’t just go through the motions, don’t drift and stay. Instead, set your direction, see what the obstacles are and then act.
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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)