New to Islam Reader: A Trusted Collection of Resources for Converts

The Ultimate Guide for New Muslims

Commonly Asked Questions for a New Seeker to Support Their Journey

SeekersGuidance Readers provide the seeker with a purposely curated list of articles, answers, and other content on a particular topic.

When one embarks on a journey to seek the truth, they may encounter several obstacles, questions, and confusions. One can conduct consistent research in small, regular steps to benefit from their studies in Islam. This reader provides guidance and clarity on commonly asked questions that are beneficial to anyone on the path, particularly those who have newly embraced Islam or considering Islam. A new Muslim can seek solace in remembering that the companions of the Prophet were new to Islam. Allah Most High has guided you to this point in His Absolute Wisdom, just as He guided those before you. 

Many of these questions have been submitted by new Muslims and answered by trained and reliable scholars. This reader was compiled by new Muslims with questions and resources that they felt were necessary to highlight. Topics include the conversion process, dealing with family members, and marriage.

Advice from Shaykh Abdullah Misra – A Convert, Counsellor, and Scholar

You will encounter a wealth of advice and guidance. But I urge you to take your time. Take small steps. Step by step, work on yourself. Limit your exposure to controversies and debates. Go easy on rules and practices. Learn values of being close to God and your character. Build on this with practices (fiqh). It might be tempting to leave your worldly life but aim for balance. New Muslims sometimes leave their worldly pursuits only to be completely changed – keep your identity. Incorporate small lifestyle changes over time, not overnight. Start with distancing yourself from any sinful practices. God is merciful and forgiving towards new Muslims. When seeking advice, take from good company and your teachers. Good company is important – we are interdependent on one another. When adversities in the Muslim community occur, attribute these to the person, not to Islam. When you find yourself in doubt, suspend judgment until you are able to seek clarity. Take your time with knowledge. Try to resist falling in love with certain groups of people or values they possess. If God and the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) are the cornerstone of your faith, you will not be disappointed.


Questions and Answers

Do you have any questions? Submit questions here for our trained and reliable scholars to answer. All SeekersGuidance services are offerings are completely free of charge. 

 

Marriage and Children

I Am a Convert and Ready to Marry 

This answer addresses how a new Muslim can involve their parents in their wedding if their beliefs are not entirely aligned. Advice includes performing the prayer of seeking counsel (istikhara) and treating them with respect and kindness. In this section, one can find useful guidance about maintaining relationships – commonly asked questions from new Muslims.

Husband not allowing me to support my mother after marriage 

Can Muslim women marry Christian men?

Can I see my family without my husband’s permission?

I Converted to Islam but My In-Laws Do Not Accept Me. What Do I Do?

Is There Any Leeway for a Muslim Woman to Marry a Non-Muslim Man?

Should I Marry a Muslim Man Who Does Not Pray?

Parents Don’t Approve of Marriage Despite My Conversion

Should I Marry a Muslim Man Who Does Not Pray?

Circumcision Rites & Imitating Non-Muslims 

Do not feel pressured to rush into marriage for the first few years. You will go through phases and ups and downs and that is normal, so wait until you’ve been around the block and settled in your practice before bringing someone else into your life.

Shaykh Abdullah Misra, On Finding a Soulmate as a Convert

 

Dealing with non-Muslim Family or Disbelievers

Dealing With Non-Muslim Parents (I)

Dealing With Non-Muslim Parents (II)

Given the high station of parents in Islam, and in an attempt to not displease them – new Muslims struggle with putting forth their true beliefs. The questions above, addressed by Shaykh Faraz Khan and Shaykh Abdullah Misra, give comfort and clarity to Muslims who are dealing with this difficulty. Shaykh Abdullah provides puts forth practical and useful advice, as he himself is a convert. This section is dedicated to providing guidance in navigating sensitive relationships and topics as a new Muslim.

Leaving Children with Non-Muslim Grandparents

I Am a Convert and Live With My Adopted Parents. What Are My Obligations to Them?

How Should I Tell Parents About Becoming Muslim?

My Mother Is Not Muslim. How Can I Help Her?

Does Not Talking About Islam With a Non-Muslim Mean That I Am Pleased With Disbelief?

Is My Family a Victim of Witchcraft?

Does the Tradition Regarding Angels Not Entering a Home With Dogs Affect the Convert Living With Non-Muslim Family?

I Have a Non-Muslim Family. How Should I Go About Writing My Will?

Is It Permissible to Supplicate for Non-Muslim Family Members? Is It Permissible to Attend a Cremation?

Should Muslim Converts Break Ties With Non-Muslim Family Members?

What Is the Proper Etiquette in Giving Condolences to the Family of a Deceased Who Is Non-Muslim?

How We Should Treat Our Non-Muslim Friends in Regards to Sin?

How to Deal With a Non-Muslim Relative’s Death

Attending Christmas Festivities of One’s Non-Muslim Family

Can I Eat Supermarket Meat With My Christian Family to Make Them Happy?

I Am a Convert to Islam and Struggle to Interact with My Family.

My Fiancé Does Not Like Me Keeping in Contact With My Non-Muslim Male Cousin. What Should I Do?

I Don’t Want My Husband’s Friend to Die as a Non-Muslim. What Can We Do?

Dealing With Non-Muslim In-laws Who Dislike Muslims

Inheriting and Property Bequests from Non-Muslims

 

Apostasy

Apostasy and Good Deeds

 

Loneliness and Depression

I Became Muslim and Am Now Lonely and Depressed. What Can I Do?

In the answer to this question, Ustadha Raidah provides hope for lonely new Muslims, including nine practical ways to deal with loneliness.

Ours is a deen embedded in the social fabric of families and communities. It is a very, very difficult path to tread alone. I pray that Allah eases your loneliness and grants you the companionship which you seek. – Ustadha Raidah

Prayer and Qur’an

Does a Convert Have to Make-Up Past Prayers?

A commonly asked question with a simple answer – your past sins are forgiven when you enter the faith of Islam. You do not need to make-up missed prayers. Read more commonly asked questions and their answers in this section.

Validity of Prayer

Making Up Missed Prayers: I Believed but Did Not Utter the Testimony of Faith

Can New Muslims Hold the Qur’an and Recite from It During Prayer?

Can New Muslims Recite from a Copy of the Qur’an During Prayer?

Making Up Missed Prayers: I Believed but Did Not Utter the Testimony of Faith

Convert Muslim: Is My Prayer Valid?

Illegitimate Children and Leading the Prayer.

What Is the Proper Etiquette When Reading the Quran?

 

Forgiveness

Should I Seek Forgiveness from a Girlfriend I Wronged Before I Was Muslim?

Shaykha Zaynab Ansari answers this honest and heartfelt sentiment submitted by a new Muslim, offering a practical solution in the spirit of morality.

Purification of the Heart

How to Repent from a Statement of Disbelief?

 

Hijab

My Non-Muslim Parents Get Upset When I Wear the Hijab

Dr. Bano Murtuja answers this question submitted by a concerned Muslimah.

As you are not required to hijab in front of your parents, you may be able to wear the hijab when out of their presence, but refrain from doing so within the home. As time progresses, and they see positive shifts in your character God willing, the hijab may become less jarring to them. – Dr Bano Murtuja

Can Muslim Women Wear Tight Jeans and Tight Dresses at Home?

Difficulties with Hijab in the West

 

Seeking Knowledge

Keeping One’s Faith While Navigating Differences of Opinion

What Is Belief and What Is Disbelief?

 

Conversion Process – Testification of Faith (Shahada) 

Does Saying the Testification of Faith (Shahadah) Suffice for Becoming a Muslim?

The testification of faith is powerful. This answer outlines the simplicity of converting to Islam. The door to Islam opens with this belief: There is no God but Allah and Muhammed is His messenger. This section answers many doubts and confusion relating to the testification of faith by our trained and reliable scholars.

I Have Doubts That Make Me Question Whether I’m Muslim

I am Hesitating Over Becoming Muslim. Could You Clarify Some Issues?

Shahada Online

Is a Convert Rewarded for the Good Deeds He Performed Prior to Converting to Islam?

I’m Hesitating Over Becoming Muslim. Could You Clarify Some Issues?

I Am Hesitating About Entering Islam. What Should I Do?

Should I Clear All My Doubts Before Converting to Islam? Should I Change My Name and Cut My Hair?

Have I Converted to Islam?

Is It Permissible to Add the Mention of Jesus to the Testimony of Faith When Becoming a Muslim?

Uncertainty Regarding the Validity of Ghusl and My Testimony of Faith (Shahada)

Have I Converted to Islam?

What Should I Do If I Want to Become Muslim Again?

Conversion to Islam and How to Remove Major Ritual Impurity

Overwhelmed and Confused in Trying to Understand and Practice Islam: What Can I Do?

I Have Doubts That Make Me Question Whether I’m Muslim

Do not let the community make a trophy out of you or put you on a platform too soon, at the same time do not hesitate to get involved nor be dismayed if they fall short in welcoming you come up because you are under the protection & hospitality of Allah Himself who found you lost and guided you.

Shaykh Abdullah Misra, On Converting to Islam

 

Articles – Laila’s Story

Muslim Covert – Betraying Parents by Becoming a Muslim?

Muslim Convert – Wearing a Scarf to Hide her Cancer?

 

Beneficial SeekersGuidance Courses

Introduction to Islam: What it Means to be Muslim

This course is based on the clearest, most concise, and comprehensive introduction to Islam in print: Being Muslimby Asad Tarsin. Being Muslim presents content that is both reliable—rooted in Islamic scholarship—and not obscured in jargon and difficult terminology. Using the Hadith of Gabriel as a basic framework. It covers the basics of Islamic belief, essentials of worship, spiritual refinement, a brief examination of the life of the Prophet Muhammad, an introduction to the Qur’an, and guidelines for living an Islamically ethical lifestyle.

Absolute Essentials of Islam – Getting Started With Your Belief and Practice

The Essentials of Belief for Muslim Youth

Tafsir of the Fatiha and Juz Amma: The Qur’an’s Message in Summary (1,78-81)

First Step in Arabic: Grammar and Simple Sentences for Beginners

Juz One: Introduction to Guidance

Juz Two: Worship, Relationships, and Striving For Allah

 

Beneficial SeekersGuidance Podcasts

Why Islam is True

Islam FAQ: Clear Reliable Answers to Common Questions

Prophets in the Qur’an, Practical Lessons from the Qur’anic Stories

Spiritual Counsel, Wisdom on Turning to God from the Islamic Tradition

Why? Sincere Questions, Sincere Answers

This is Your Faith  : A Deeper Understanding of the Prophet’s Life

Adab: The Art Of Doing Things Right

 

Seekers Book Club

Keep up to date with monthly interactive live sessions – seekersguidance.org/bookclub


Final Thoughts – Shaykh Abdullah Misra

Make an abundance of supplication (duaa) for yourself and others, because later you will realize that in the pure state of just having your sins forgiven as a new Muslim – an amazing number of your prayers would have been accepted. Make note of the people who help you along the way and always pray for them, even if your paths separate. Resist the temptation to look down on cultural Muslims because of your newfound knowledge, and rather work to improve yourself and others with your fresh perspective.

Shaykh Abdullah Misra: Biography

Shaykh Abdullah Misra was born in Toronto, Canada in 1983. His family hails from India and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith, and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta). Shaykh Abdullah has also sought knowledge in Canada, Jordan, Egypt, Trinidad, and India.

He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the SeekersGuidance. He has taught intensive courses and lectures in Norway, Bosnia, and India, as well as the West Indies.

Shaykh Abdullah has traveled to around 25 countries and currently resides in the West Indies with his wife and children. His personal interests include Indian History, comparative religion, English singing-songwriting, and poetry. Mahatama Gandhi and Abdul Sattar Eidhi hold strong significance for Shaykh Abdullah for their contribution to humanitarian causes.

Our Only Concern is Reliance on Allah – Shaykha Ieasha Prime

Our Only Concern is Reliance on Allah 

by Shaykha Ieasha Prime

Introduction

At her weekly “Live and Learn” class hosted by the Islamic Centre at New York University on 13th April 2020, Shaykha Ieasha Prime discusses the concept of reliance on Allah Most High (tawakkul). She utilizes two female personalities from the life of Prophet Musa (may Allah grant him peace) to illustrate this fundamental guiding principle. One of them is Queen Asiyah, the wife of the Pharaoh, but who could the other be? The details can be found in this article.

 —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Pharaoh’s Fear – Background Knowledge

It is well established and documented in the history books and religious texts that during the reign of King Pharaoh of Egypt, there was a prophecy of a boy being born from the Israelites who would overtake his leadership and ruin his kingdom. He attempted to solidify his power by ordering the midwives to kill all Hebrew boys at birth and later to throw them into the Nile River. He allowed the girls to live. The baby boy from the prophecy was Prophet Musa (may Allah grant him peace) and Allah Most High speaks to his survival and reassures his mother in the following verse;

“And We inspired the mother of Moses, ‘Suckle him; but when you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not fear and do not grieve. Indeed, We will return him to you and will make him [one] of the messengers.” (Qur’an, 28:7)

 

Prophet Musa’s Message

As Prophet Musa (may Allah grant him peace) grew up and received revelation, he preached the message of Allah Most High. He warned his people that those who rejected God’s signs and the judgment to come were bound to meet their doom and no one would be able to save them.

 

The Hairdresser’s Allegiance

Belief in The One True God 

On one particular day in the house of Pharaoh, as the hairdresser bends to retrieve a comb she says: “In the name of God.” The daughter of Pharaoh upon hearing that, seeks clarification on whether the God mentioned meant her father. To her surprise, the hairdresser answers, “Allah is my Lord and your Lord and the Lord of the universe.”

Consequences for This Belief

Pharaoh’s daughter runs to her father to report this act of disobedience and he immediately becomes very angry. He knows the power that one believer with conviction could have in spreading this belief throughout the kingdom. He does the only thing a man in this situation can do; he summons the hairdresser. Upon being asked about her actions, the hairdresser repeats her mantra without any doubt, and Pharaoh orders her family to be captured and placed before him.

Will the hairdresser and her family now face a life of imprisonment? Pharaoh strategizes on how to sway the heart of a woman and mother. He kills her protector! In goes the husband in a large cauldron pot of hot oil, followed by the children one by one, except the youngest in her arms. At this point, the baby speaks to the mother and tells her that she is on the straight path. Comforted by these words, she loosens her grip and releases her child.

The end is near for the hairdresser. Pharaoh asks her one last time, “Who is your Lord?” and she replies the same, “Allah is my Lord and your Lord and the Lord of the universe.” Nothing deterred the heart of this believer from her Creator. This is nothing short of a love story between the servant and their Lord, never ashamed to profess His greatness and never worrying about anything other than pleasing Him.

 

Queen Asiya’s Sincerity

News of the Hairdresser’s Death

News of the killing of the hairdresser and her family permeates the land and the one remaining who is most hurt is Queen Asiya. In some narrations, it is said that both women were believers together and they prayed to Allah secretly. What are the Queen’s options now? Should she keep her faith silent, run, hide, or assume the side of her husband?

 

The Response of Queen Asiya

In what may be described as an interesting turn of events, Queen Asiya confronts King Pharaoh, questions him, and declares her belief in the Lord of Musa (may Allah grant him peace). Pharaoh tests her by stripping her naked and hangs her over the veranda of the castle for everyone to see. At first, the people query this action, but they soon side with the King as their Lord. Pharaoh’s punishment upon his wife continues, as he places her in the desert to be tortured by animals, followed by tying her up between two horses, who gallop in opposite directions tearing her body; skin from bone, bone from limb. 

This reality can leave any believer speechless.

Acceptance by Allah Most High

Had it not been for the Qur’an, we would never have learned the secret supplication Queen Asiyah made to Allah Most High during these absolutely torturous last moments of her life. She neither worries about the tyrannical King nor the fickle people. Her only concern is professing her love for her Lord.

And Allah sets forth, as an example to those who believe – the wife of Pharaoh: Behold she said: “O my Lord! Build for me, in nearness to Thee, a mansion in the Garden, and save me from Pharaoh and his doings and save me from those who do wrong” (Qur’an, 66:11).

 

Rely on Allah Most High

Shaykha Ieasha Prime asks us to reflect on our own trials and tribulations and to find that certainty (yaqeen) and that reliance on Allah as seen through the examples of the hairdresser and Queen Asiya. She asks us to see the win-win situation for the believer. If we trust in Allah, we will find His help and mercy in this life, and we will find it in the eternal life when we meet Him, God willing (Insha’Allah).

 

 

 


Biography of Shaykha Ieasha Prime

Ieasha Prime is a traditional Islamically trained educator, activist and public speaker.  She studied Arabic and Qur’an at the Fajr Institute followed by general Islamic studies in Cairo, Egypt.  After two years in Egypt, she moved to Hadramaut, Yemen and enrolled in Dar al Zahra, an Islamic University for Women. There, she studied Aqeedah, Qur’an, Hadith, Arabic, Jurisprudence (Fiqh), Islamic law, Purification of the Heart and other religious related learning. 

Her lineage of scholarship from whom she received direct education can be traced directly back to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) from the Husseini lineage. 

Under the tutelage of her professors, she has established several circles of knowledge and continues to teach and lecture across the United States of America and beyond. Her passion is educating and empowering Muslim women to be leaders. She is the Executive Director of Barakah Inc, a community-based organization empowering women and youth with a foundation of Islam. 

Further details can be found on this link http://www.ieashaprime.com/about-her.html

 

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Raising a Believing Generation by Habib Umar bin Hafiz: Choosing a Spouse

Raising a Believing Generation

(Two) Making Religion the First Criteria

 By Shaykh Amin Buxton

Children are a trust (amanah) that Allah most High has gifted us with. Raising believing children is a huge challenge and every pious parent passionately prays that they will be able to do so. We are blessed to have such guidance from one of the most illuminated scholars of our time; Habib Umar bin Hafiz. We will explore insights from Habib Umar bin Hafiz on how to raise the next generation of believers.

Habib Umar bin Hafiz is a master of the science of tarbiyah – nurturing of the human soul in the pursuit of perfection. Here, he turns his attention to tarbiyah as it applies to raising the next generation of strong believers. Exploring Abdullah Nasih Ulwan’s work “Child Education in Islam”, he gives important insights and principles that any parent, carer or educator can make good use of. The journey starts with considerations to be taken before embarking on the journey of parenthood and even marriage itself.

Our faith is the most important thing that we have. It is what enables us to have the best of lives in this world and the next. It should therefore be the main concern when it comes to choosing a spouse.

(One) The Purpose and Benefits of Marriage


What is meant by religion here is that both parties have a sound understanding of Islam, a full commitment to the rulings & principles of the Sacred Law, and practically apply its noble teachings & etiquettes. This understanding of Islam is derived from the Qur’an and the Sunnah as understood by the scholars who are the heirs to this tradition. It does not come from popular culture or custom.

Furthermore, the outward semblance of religiosity is not sufficient. A man once came to Sayyiduna Umar bin al-Khattab to attest to the uprightness of his friend. Sayyiduna Umar asked him: “Are you his neighbour? Have you ever travelled with him? Have you ever been in business with him?”

The man replied in the negative to all three questions so Umar concluded: “In that case, you don’t know him.”

It is in these situations – living next door to a person, travelling with them and doing business with them – that people’s true qualities come out. People are often seen to be ‘religious’ on the basis of a few outward practices, but their character and dealings may be completely contrary to Islamic teachings. The Prophet clarified this when he said: “Allah does not look at your outward appearance or your bodies. He looks at your hearts and your actions” (Muslim).

The Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) mentioned the things that people generally seek in a spouse: “A woman is married for four things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty, and her religion.” Wealth, lineage and beauty are legitimate qualities to seek but they are of course temporal and limited to this life. Religion is mentioned last implying that some people make it the final and least and important consideration. Then the Prophet said: “So choose the one with religion” (Bukhari and Muslim), clarifying that this should be the deciding factor when choosing a spouse.

In another hadith, he said: “If a person whose religion and character you are satisfied with comes to you with a proposal, accept his proposal.” Here the only qualities he mentioned were religion and character. Religion could be understood to be outward practice – fulfillment of obligations and avoiding prohibitions – and character could be understood to be the inward reality of faith. When these two come together in a potential spouse the marriage will be built upon firm foundations. The Prophet went on to mention the consequences of turning down such a proposal: “If you do not, trials will afflict the earth and corruption will become widespread” (Tirmidhi). This is the sincere advice of the Prophet and we have seen the effects in societies where this advice has been ignored and where the main criteria for marriage are financial or social.

In Surat al-Qasas, the daughter of Sayyiduna Shu’ayb says to her father regarding Sayyiduna Musa: “Father, hire him: a strong, trustworthy man is the best to hire” (Qur’an, 28:26). Once he knows Musa’s qualities, Shu’ayb offers him the hand of one of his daughters in marriage. Shu’ayb’s daughter describes Musa as trustworthy or ‘amin’ in Arabic which is of course how the Prophet was known in Mecca in his youth. It was that quality that attracted the attention of Sayyidah Khadijah and led in part to their marriage.

Conversely, it has been narrated that “if a guardian marries a woman who is in his care to a corrupt man, he has cut the ties of kinship with her”. It is as if he has cut ties with her by marrying her to a man who has no taqwa. Instead of that marriage being a means of connection, it is the opposite. Instead of connecting two families to each other and connecting to God, those connections are being severed. It can have disastrous consequences not just in this life but in the next. A man told Imam Hasan al-Basri that several people had asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage and he asked him who he should choose.

Hasan said: “Marry to her someone who has taqwa: if he loves her, he will honour her and if he doesn’t, he won’t wrong her.” It is customary for the father to say to the groom just before contracting the marriage: “I am marrying my daughter to you on the basis of God’s command – to treat her well as long as you remain married and if not, to release her with excellence and kindness.” 


About the Author

Shaykh Amin Buxton was born in London. He converted to Islam in 1999 and read Arabic and Islamic Studies at SOAS, University of London. He also studied the Islamic sciences in a traditional setting in both Syria and Yemen. He has edited and translated a number of books which include Imam al-Haddad’s ‘Beneficial Counsels’ and Umar al-Khatib’s ‘Prophetic Guidance’. Since 2017 he has resided with his family in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is involved in several educational and social initiatives including New to Islam Edinburgh and Rafah International. Shaykh Amin Buxton is producing a podcast for SeekersGuidance and is one of our esteemed internal scholars.

The Prophet’s Smile – “Are You Making Fun of Me, My Lord?”

The Prophet’s Amusement at The Man Who Was Entering Paradise

By Shaykh Amin Buxton

 

In this series, the Prophet’s Smile, we visit the moments where the Prophet smiled and laughed. We also discuss how he was described when smiling and laughing. By studying his characteristics, we gain insight into what he talked and thought about, and ultimately, the undeniable beauty of his character. By knowing more about him, we hope to increase our love and longing for him. We also hope to gain his love and pleasure, which cannot be separated from the love and pleasure of Allah Most High.

This article describes how the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was shown events in the Hereafter, and his amusement over one man’s statement.


Abdullah ibn Mas’ud narrates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) once described the last person to leave the Fire and enter Paradise. Allah brings him out of the Fire and he moves away from it, at times staggering, at times walking, at times crawling with it still burning his face. When he reaches safety, he breathes a sigh of relief, looks back at it, and praises Allah for saving him from it, which he sees as the greatest blessing imaginable. Then he catches sight of a tree next to a pool of water and asks Allah to be brought to it in order to rest in its shade and to drink from the water.

Allah says to him: “Perhaps if I answer your request you will ask for something else.”

The man promises not to ask for anything else but once he has drunk the water and sat in the shade, he catches sight of another tree which is more beautiful than the tree which he is under. So he asks to be able to go to it. Allah reminds him of his promise not to ask for anything else and says that if He answers the man’s request, perhaps he will ask for something else. The man promises once again not to ask for anything else and his request is granted. But then he catches sight of a third tree at the gates of Paradise which is more splendid than the first two. Once again, he promises that this will be the last thing he asks for. Allah grants his request, knowing that it will not be the last.

When he is in the shade of the third tree, he begins to hear the voices of people enjoying the pleasures of Paradise and cannot resist asking permission to enter.

Allah asks him: “What will stop you asking Me repeatedly? Would you be content if I gave you everything the world contains twice over?”

The man says, somewhere between incredulity and intense joy: “Are you making fun of me, and You are the Lord of all creation?”

At this point, the Prophet laughed in amusement at the man’s statement. Ibn Mas’ud would also laugh when he narrated the hadith.

Allah replies: “I am not making fun of you. I have the power to do whatever I wish.”

In another narration of the hadith, Allah allows the man to keep asking and asking until He gives him everything the world contains ten times over.

(Narrated by Muslim)

An element of the Messenger of Allah’s prophecy was him being shown specific events that will unfold in the next life. He describes these events as though he is watching them unfold in front of him.

The position of Ahl al-Sunnah is that anyone who has even an atom’s weight of faith will enter the Garden. Unfortunately, some believers who have committed grave acts of disobedience will experience punishment in Hell before entering Paradise. This person will be the last believer to leave the Fire. He must have committed some pretty terrible crimes to warrant such a lengthy punishment and to be the lowest in the rank of all the believers. But he “does his time” and eventually comes out and experiences the unimaginable relief of salvation.

He is happy just to be safe from the Fire, but when he sees the beauty of Allah’s gifts in the form of a tree and a pool of water, he cannot help himself asking. Don’t forget that he has spent a very long time seeing nothing but fire and brimstone. The more he sees, the more he asks for, until he finally enters Paradise. There is a lesson in this that as believers we would set our sights high and ask for the greatest of things, not because we deserve them, but because our Lord’s generosity knows no bounds. Allah is as we perceive him to be and if we have high hopes in Him, He will not dash those hopes. If this is what is awaiting the person who has the lowest rank of all the believers, what will those who lived a life of obedience receive? What will those who attained higher stations be given? We cannot begin to imagine:

No soul knows what joy is kept hidden in store for them as a reward for what they have done (Qur’an, 32:17).

Further, Allah does not abandon anyone who does not abandon Him. However bad this person was, he still had some faith and Allah recognizes that and does not deny him his eventual reward. Furthermore, He tells this man’s story to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), who then tells it to his nation so that we can learn about how Allah treats His servants.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) does not forget a single member of his Ummah, regardless of how far they stray from the path. On the Day of Judgement, he does not rest until he has interceded for as many people as he is able. He is a gift of mercy for all of creation but he has a special concern for those who believe in him and he is aware of their plight. There is always room for one more person at the Prophet’s banquet, regardless of how late they arrive.

Finally, we see how the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) laughed at the ridiculousness of the man’s statement. He found humor in the exchange between Allah and His slave. Allah’s generosity and bounty defies belief. In fact, it is so astounding that it seems to the man that Allah is ‘having a laugh’ at his expense. He cannot stop himself from blurting out: “Are you making fun of me, and You are the Lord of all creation?”

Be Prepared: Understanding the Wisdom of Calamities

Be Prepared: Understanding the Wisdom of Calamities

By Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Pain. We cannot escape pain. Pain, in this life, is inevitable. We are here to be tested to determine our unending rank and recompense in the Hereafter. These tests are usually in the broad categories of ease – which demands gratitude – or difficulty – which requires a combination of patience and the expectation of a reward from God. 

The benefits that rain down upon us from these trials are numerous and well worth examining closely. However, prior to this, the difficulties need to be understood, felt, experienced, and processed. 

This is how those benefits dye a believer’s perception with the hues of a deeper faith. This is how one becomes malleable to the trials that hammer down upon us to shape us into better versions of ourselves. This is how the friction of pain polishes us to the point that we glisten and gleam. 

 


The Prophet’s Approach to Pain 

Running from the pain, or blocking it out with distractions, or feigned shows of strength – deny one of the fruits indicated above. Indeed, the greatest being in God’s creation (peace and blessings be upon him) engaged deeply with his human experiences, whilst remaining within the bounds of his slavehood to God. 

When his son, Ibrahim, passed away whilst only a toddler, he said, “Indeed the eye weeps, and the heart grieves – yet we don’t say anything but that which pleases our Loving Lord. We, by your parting – O Ibrahim – are truly saddened” (Bukhari). He felt the emotions and allowed the physical responses Allah created in us to occur and expressed what he felt. This was tempered with limiting the expression of grief to the words that increase one only in closeness to Allah, and not anything that would do otherwise. This is the response of someone who understood the purpose and benefit of tests and pain. 

 

How Do I Process My Pain? 

Besides the points gleaned from the blessed words of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), we have other gifts from the Qur’an’s perfect guidance. It gives us an understanding of the inherent – yet occasionally occluded – beauty in the trials, and the foreknowledge of the inevitable occurrence of these events. 

These two matters grant the believer a deep grasp of the wisdom behind trials, and aid one in seeing that one will grow and benefit from them. Without them, one can be crippled with pain, from not understanding the matter as it should be.

 

Working Towards Iron-Clad Fortitude 

Surah al-Hadid is an ocean that gives wave after wave of goodness and guidance. There are two particular verses that light the way in this discussion particularly well. They will be discussed briefly. 

“No calamity hits in the land, nor in your own selves, except that it has been in a tremendous book before We beautifully created it. Indeed, that, for Allah, is very easy. So you don’t be excessively grieved by what escapes you, nor overly exultant because of what He granted you…”

(Qur’an, 57:22-23) 

There are some Arabic words in the former of the two verses which deserve a closer examination. Seeing the beauty underlying the word choices in the Qur’an eventually gives one certainty that it is from God, and that every single word – in all canonical variants – was specifically chosen by Him. 

“What Hits Was Never Going to Miss” 

The first word of note is asaaba – ‘َأَصَاب.’ It has a root meaning which indicates the occurrence of events in the proper and most fitting manner. Added to this is the nuance of water flowing and settling in a spot, and the usage of a derivative of the root to express an arrow hitting the bullseye. This analysis of the word is not extensive. 

When we factor in the above nuances we see that every trial in our lives is tailor-made for us. It has hit its mark. We can’t escape it, and pondering the “If only…” scenarios is fruitless. 

It came at the right time, in the right way, and with the right intensity. It could not have been escaped, nor could it have been outrun. 

This is beautifully expressed in the hadith, “Know, what hit you was never going to miss, and what missed you was never meant to hit” (Tirmidhi).

This brings great ease to the believer. He takes the necessary precautions but realizes that what came into his life of difficulties, and what he was not affected by, are all matters that were meant specifically for him. 

The result is relief from the paranoia and excessive worry over being affected by the evil eye, black magic, and other matters that are a cause of stress and anxiety to those who don’t realize that Allah is in complete control.

A believer is at ease, knowing that whatever happens is tailor-made to bring him good through some avenue in his life. Everything is perfectly suited for his long-term, ever-lasting benefit. 

 

Perfectly Suited Trials 

We can be sure that everything that happens is perfect, and not just inevitable. What hits is actually perfect and beautiful, as is the missing of the arrows they were not meant to hit the mark. 

How do we know this? In expressing the creation of the calamities, Allah used a verb derived from the root bara – ‘برأ.’ It is understood, generally, to mean ‘creating’. However, a deeper analysis of the word indicates meanings of being devoid of deficiencies and flaws, which gives us the understanding of something being perfected and immaculately formed. 

Infuse these nuances into the reading of the verse, and you get the understanding that all tests are perfectly planned and beautifully designed by God to be the best possible situation for us – with eternity in mind. The benefit of the trial is to elevate, in Paradise, the immortal version of every believer. 

He is the canvas, and the calamity is the paint that alters the immaculate nature of that canvas. Focusing in on the actual point of contact may make one think the paint has stained the perfect white canvas, yet, when one steps back and looks with a gaze that shows the merging on the individual ‘stains’, it present before one an image of striking beauty, nuance, meaning, artistry, and skill. This is how all tests are for the believer, and God is the perfect architect who has designed your life. Reflect on this…

All that remains is the appropriate response. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

[I’m truly amazed] at the affair of the believer. Everything that happens to him is the best possible thing for him – and that’s not for anyone but the believer. If happiness comes he is grateful – and that’s best for him. And if harm comes to him he is patient – and that’s best for Him (Muslim). 

 

All Matters are Decreed 

Everything that afflicts us has been pre-planned by God, the perfect designer. The verse entails guidance about general calamities, such as pandemics, economic instability, floods, earthquakes, and other such wide-ranging trials. It also highlights the personal pain which hits harder and is felt more keenly by the individual. It is all in the right time and place, in the best way. 

Knowing that it is known to God, and preordained is also a huge blessing. With this knowledge, one can process this pain effectively.

Not knowing this can lead one to excessive grief that holds one back, and, in cases of ease, it can lead one to become too fixated on a blessing, such that it can make one forget it came from God. This can then lead people to arrogance and boasting, because they see themselves as intrinsically deserving these blessings, and thereby feel superior to others who don’t have it. But this is a discussion for another time… 

Here, we wish to see that being aware that the slings and arrows of fortune are, in fact, gracious. One need not take arms against the sea of troubles, for it’s waves come to bring benefits to your shores. 

 

Forewarned is Forearmed 

Knowing that all matters are decreed provides a believer to see things differently: the trials of life will come, certainly. But they are carried by wisdom, and they leave gifts and goodness in their wake. 

Knowing that a loved one who passes onto the Hereafter at a particular time was meant to go makes the parting easier. The pain is there, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) expressed. That is the human condition. However, the pain is lessened knowing that matters are being directed by Allah, who has our best interests in mind. More so, than even ourselves. He sees what we do not, and knows what we do not. This knowledge makes his decision better than what we assume to be good for ourselves.

One knows that this life is temporary. Only that which is done for the sake of Allah lasts. One sees that the pain is temporary, and a test, just like the blessings, which are temporary, and a test. 

This doesn’t mean that we don’t feel sadness, or that it negates one’s patience. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) named the year of the passing of his wife, Khadija, and his uncle, Abu Talib, ‘The Year of Sadness.’ He felt grief despite having the perfect spiritual state.

What the verse negates is intense and excessive grief that stems from a lack of understanding of the purpose of calamities. This can be understood from the juxtaposition of the grief with the word that indicates excessive happiness in a blessing that leads to arrogance and boasting. 

Not seeing the wisdom behind trials, and not seeing the benefits they provide for a Muslim, makes detaching from the aspects of this life that we have a strong bond with difficult. One only feels the sense of loss and pain more keenly. 

Knowing that this is the nature of this life allows the believer to prepare himself. Blessings are enjoyed – but they don’t distract one from the Giver of the blessings. The pain of trials is felt, but it develops the believer. He becomes closer to God, and grains further gifts from Him. 

The grief and happiness benefit when one knows it is a trial ultimately designed to raise one higher in Paradise. Happiness and grief devoid of this are – for the believer – dysfunctional. They hinder him from his long-term benefit. That’s why understanding this allows one to be prepared, and so, forearmed.

 

About the Author

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return, he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Living Simple: Asceticism (Zuhd) – Listening More, Talking Less

Living Simple: Asceticism

Part Two: Listening More, Talking Less by Shaykh Farid Dingle

In order to get through life with ease, the Early Muslims (salaf) focussed on certain key ways of living that would make it spiritually and practically easier and more fruitful. They coined a term for the different and variegated rules that they lived by, a term that summarised the system of living for the Hereafter. They called it Zuhd: Unattachment in This World. For purposes of this article series, we have found the best match in terms of meaning to be asceticism. Other terms to describe Zuhd are unattachment or being unconcerned for worldly matters, or living simple. This is the second article from a series of articles and podcasts by SeekersGuidance scholar, Shaykh Farid Dingle.

Introduction to Asceticism (Part one)

This article deals with the importance of listening: listening to others and listening to sacred knowledge. One should only speak with knowledge and this requires that one has learned first. The microphone fever and desire to be the next best things bars one from benefiting oneself and others. 


Imam Waki ibn al-Jarrah opens this chapter with the words of Abdullah ibn Masud, ‘If you can, be a listener and not a talker.’

The self-centered ego loves itself, its ideas, and the sound of its voice. This is very dangerous. One has to train oneself to be a listener in relationships so as to give to others, and to be a listener to revelation so that one can learn, apply, and benefit. Ibn Ata Illah says, ‘Bury your existence in the earth of obscurity, for a seed that is not buried properly never grows properly.’ 

One has to train oneself to be a listener in relationships so as to give to others, and to be a listener to revelation so that one can learn, apply, and benefit.

In the Islamic sciences, this means that you listen to your teachers, read what books they guide you to read, and “absorb” their way of doing things. There is room for your own individuality, but not in the beginning. One has to listen a lot first.

In our public lives and on social media, this means being reserved and only expressing opinions that reflect wisdom and benefit to others. Continually reference to oneself, to one’s own opinions, and views that are neither based on religious nor worldly learning are often based left out. As Ibrahim ibn Adham said,

Whoever says whatever he wants kills himself.

Connecting this maxim to the specific sphere of learning Sacred Knowledge, Waki quotes Hasan al Basri saying,

Either be learned, a learner, a listener, or someone who would love to do that. Never be anything else lest you should be destroyed.’

Someone who acts without knowledge, or worse, preaches or teaches without knowledge is in great danger or falling into sin or misrepresenting the religion of Allah. One must listen first in order to learn and act according to the Sunna in a prophet fashion.

Umar ibn al Khattab gave words of encouragement to anyone even so much as trying to try to learn. He said, ‘Someone who is listening but cannot hear has the same reward as someone who is listening and can hear.’  The next hadith:

‘No man ever traveled in search of knowledge save that Allah made easy for him the way to Paradise. Whoever is slowed down by his deeds will not be sped up by his lineage. No people ever sat in one of Allah’s houses studying together the Book of Allah and learning it together save that mercy overspread them, the angels encircled them, and Allah mentioned them to those with him. They remain as His guest as long as they do not delve into something else.’

These words are of the utmost worth and encouragement. It tells us that the physically moving to go and listen to Sacred Knowledge is itself a means of divine help in overcoming one’s spiritual obstacles. Physically being with others is also very important, and not the same as merely reading an article or listening to a recording. This also applies to “being there” for someone: lending someone an ear on the phone is not like being there to give them a hug, and physical contact is a very important medium of communication. How often do we see the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) touch or hold someone he is teaching!

Physical contact is a very important medium of communication.

The hadith also emphasizes the importance of studying with others. The momentum gained by group effort, particularly when it is towards a religious goal that transcends the current generation is something truly felt by any student of knowledge. That is to say, the sense of being part of the tradition. There is, as is said, strength in numbers.

No One Was Born a Scholar

Furthering the theme of the need to listen before one talks (or learn before one teaches), Waki cites the words of Abdullah ibn Masud, ‘No one was ever born a scholar. Knowledge is only acquired by study.’ These words tie in very subtly with the previous hadith: just because you are born Muslim, or born into a “religious” family, it doesn’t automatically make you a scholar or religious. It takes personal effort to get where other people got. This person’s effort means listening, studying, memorizing, and eventually positive debate to order to truly take on and inherit the Islamic science one is trying to learn.

Waki quotes the Abu al Darda saying,

‘Learn before knowledge is taken away. Knowledge goes when scholars go. The scholar and the student have the same reward.’

These words tell us Sacred Knowledge is something rare and precious. It is not something that one can be careless or complacent about. It is not only because its source is divine, or that it can be very complex, it is also because it can only be taken from scholars, and no simply stored on someone’s hard drive. Someone who just reads by himself may when get lots of bytes of knowledge into their brain, but they can never fully understand and master the science without a teacher. 

This concept of inheritance is mirrored by another hadith: The scholars are the heirs of the prophets. The prophets do not leave as inheritance dinars and dirhams. All they leave is sacred knowledge. So whoever takes it, takes a mighty share.’ This “mighty share” must be “inherited” and not simply dug out of books. Through tutelage, listening, discussing, and spending time with teachers, the real inheritance process can happen. That said, it is definitely not true that books are of no use or have no role. The large and vast depositories of Hadith, Tafsir, Fiqh, Usul, Arabic language, and literature play an indispensable role in the inheritance process. It is just that cracking the role and use of all these variance pieces of information can only be threaded together by someone who has been truly trained in the tradition.

Through tutelage, listening, discussing, and spending time with teachers, the real inheritance process can happen

The author then concludes this chapter with the non plus ultra of learning: the Qur’an. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace said, ‘The best of you is he who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.’ The book of Allah is the core of all Islamic learning; its role in the life of the scholar, student, and laymen is central and paramount. It is the ultimate word to physically listen to, to intellectually listen to, and to listen to with one’s heart.

When the Qur’an is read, listen to it with attention, and pay heed.

(Qur’an, 7: 204)

The Prophet himself (peace and blessings be upon him) was told to listen to the Qur’an while it was being revealed and not to try and even mouth the words (Qur’an, 75: 16-19).

Although the author doesn’t mention it here, listening to oneself is also important. By “self” I mean soul and not ego. Jalal al-Din al Rumi invites the listener to listen to the internal pain of his own soul by saying,

Listen to the complaint of the Flute as it tells its story…

By putting the word “listen” at the beginning of his spiritual magnum opus, the Masnawi, we can understand that it is of the utmost importance to spiritual change. That is, if we do care to listen!


About the Author

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language which can be found here. 

The corresponding podcast is due for release soon.

How to Fall in Love with Allah – Habib Umar bin Hafiz

How To Fall In Love with Allah

Habib Umar bin Hafiz

In the Name of Allah, the Encompassingly Merciful, the Particularly Merciful. All praise belongs to Allah. May the best of blessings and most perfect of peace be upon our master Muhammad ibn Abdullah, and upon his followers, his companions, and all those guided by his teachings.

The following article is taken from a lesson by illuminated scholar Habib Umar bin Hafiz. Can we truly love Allah if we do not know him? A short reminder that loving Allah requires effort, knowledge, and preference of Allah over other things.

 

Love of Allah

There is no one more deserving of your love than the Most Merciful, who has created you and originated you from nothingness and bestowed upon you blessings. 

Love is the consequence of knowing. So, to the extent one knows the tremendousness and might of Allah Most High and gifts upon one, is to the extent that one will know and love one’s Lord.

A believer’s love does not become complete until they love Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) above else.

Say [Prophet], ‘if your fathers, sons, brothers, wives, tribes, the wealth that you acquired, the trade which you fear will decline and the dwelling you love are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and the struggle in His cause then wait until Allah brings about His punishment.’ Allah does not guide those who break away.

(Qur’an, 9:24)

In the above verse, Allah Most High is pointing out the corruption of those who love any of these things more than Allah and His Messenger. 

One must love those beloved to Allah and the most deserving of this love is the greatest of Allah’s creation His beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and the reality of this love cannot be expressed nor encompassed.

For the person in love with things other than Allah Most High has many expressions, states. One gets enraptured, taken and does wondrous things in expressing their love for creation and love takes one’s emotions, feelings, and thoughts.

Even so, there are some who choose to worship besides Allah as rivals to Him, loving them with love due only to Allah, but those who believe are more intense in their love of Allah.

(Qur’an, 2:165)

But those who believe are more intense in their love for Allah. To the extent of faith and knowing [Allah], is one’s love. For faith is connected to knowing [Allah]. To the extent that one’s faith increases when one’s knowledge increases.

 

To Know Allah

Knowing Allah Most High is acquired through proper reflection and contemplation on the speech of Allah and His Messenger. From sincerely directing oneself to Him and standing at the door of His Bounty and Grace through what He has ordained of acts of worship and by reflecting on the tremendousness of His Names and Attributes, Mighty and Majestic.

And reflecting on His creation and His fashioning, exalting thereby their Originator and Unique Creator. So if one’s reflection becomes good and its horizons expand, then one’s knowledge of Allah increases, and it is necessarily entailed by increasing in the knowledge of Allah to increase in love of Him.

By expanding one’s knowledge of Allah, one’s love becomes more expansive and stronger until Allah and His Messenger become more beloved to one than all else. 

As one’s love increases, one’s remembrance increases. For if one loves something, they make much mention of it and through much remembrance, one’s intimacy with the one remembered increases. 

So, remember me, I will remember you, and be thankful to me and do not disbelieve.

(Qur’an, 2:152)

 

Sign of Love

And the sign of love is preferring Allah. Preferring Allah and His command over all other commands and above all the desires of the self, and overall the wishes and inclinations of one’s caprice and desires. That is the sign of one’s love. Becoming deeply engaged in one’s remembrance is also a sure sign of love.

It is mentioned that one of the Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them all) asked His lord, “Give me a sign [to indicate] those whom You love, so that I love them, and those you don’t love, so that I don’t love them.” Allah Most High said, “If you see a servant loving my remembrance then know that I have been witness that I love them. And when you see a servant who does not remember me then know that I have not proclaimed it, and I do not love them.”

Allah Most High gives worldly matters to those He loves and those He doesn’t, but He only gives religion to those He loves. Truly the servant’s love for Allah is their honor, rank, dignity, and the means for their eternal felicity in this life and in the next.

So let us become attached to the love of Allah and let us be under the realities of Allah’s words: “and those who believe are more intense in their love of Allah.” And let us increase in love for Allah and His Messenger through fasting, standing in prayer, and all other acts of worship. For, as knowledge of Allah increases, love increases.

O Allah, free our hearts from being attached to other than You, and make us from people whom You love and who loves You.

 

 

About the Author

Habib Umar bin Hafiz is an Yemeni Sunni Islamic scholar, teacher, founder, and the dean of Dar al-Mustafa Islamic seminary. He is also a member of the Supreme Advisory Council for the Tabah Foundation in Abu Dhabi.

Habib Umar bin Hafiz was born on 27 May 1963 in Tarim, Yemen, and raised in a household that possessed a tradition and lineage of Islamic scholarship and righteousness by his father. His father was Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz, a Habib and mufti of Tarim, a pious caller to Islam, scholar, and a martyr of the communist uprising. He is a Sayyid (a descendant of the Islamic Prophet), through his grandson Hussein ibn Ali.

A Student’s Intention Supplication

A Student’s Intention Supplication

by Shaykha Ieasha Prime

Introduction

At her weekly “Live and Learn” class hosted by the Islamic Centre at New York University on 13th April 2020, Shaykha Ieasha Prime taught her students a special intention supplication (dua) to make at the commencement of the class.

The supplication can be made by a student learning in a classroom or online with a teacher, or even by himself.

It is reproduced as follows:

 

Student’s Intention Supplication to Allah Most High

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

I intend to learn and to teach

To benefit and to be benefiting

To remind and to be reminded

To call to the Book of Allah (Qur’an) and the Sayings, Practices, and Teachings (Sunna) of His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)

To guide and to be guided by soundproof and correct knowledge

To seek the countenance of my Lord and nearness to Him and His reward

To expose myself to the mercy of Allah Most High

To expose myself to His forgiveness, His generosity, and to His kindness

To hope that Allah Most High would look upon me with the look of pleasure

To hope that Allah Most High would number me amongst those who are beloved to Him,

To hope that Allah Most High would number me amongst those who sought knowledge

To unite the Ummah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)

To implement the Prophetic message

To hold on to my Prophetic lineage of knowledge

To hope that Allah Most High would make me and my entire lineage till the Day of Judgement to be from amongst the Righteous, amongst the Beloved, and amongst those whom He has granted freedom and liberation in this life and in the Hereafter.

O Allah, hear my plea, hear my prayer, and make it so! (Allahumma Ameen)

Conclusion

The Companion ‘Umar bin Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) has reported that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “intention determines the worth of a person’s actions and that he will attain what he intends.” (Riyadh-us Saleheen Arabic-English Vol.1, 2009)

May Allah guide the hearts and intentions of all students of knowledge along the Straight Path; the Path whom He has favored and not the Path of those who earn His anger, nor of those who go astray. 

 

Video of Live and Learn class

 

 

Biography of Shaykh Ieasha Prime

Ieasha Prime is a traditional Islamically trained educator, activist and public speaker.  She studied Arabic and Qur’an at the Fajr Institute followed by general Islamic studies in Cairo, Egypt.  After two years in Egypt, she moved to Hadramaut, Yemen and enrolled in Dar al Zahra, an Islamic University for Women. There, she studied Aqeedah, Qur’an, Hadith, Arabic, Jurisprudence (Fiqh), Islamic law, Purification of the Heart and other religious related learning. Her lineage of scholarship from whom she received direct education can be traced directly back to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) from the Husseini lineage. 

Under the tutelage of her professors, she has established several circles of knowledge and continues to teach and lecture across the United States of America and beyond. Her passion is educating and empowering Muslim women to be leaders. She is the Executive Director of Barakah Inc, a community based organization empowering women and youth with a foundation of Islam. 

Further details can be found on this link http://www.ieashaprime.com/about-her.html

 

Related Articles

The Prophet’s Smile: The Special Supplication

Du’a – Supplication for one whose affairs have become difficult

Supplication of Excellence to Parents – Du`a’ Birr al-Walidayn

 

Related Podcast

Adab the Art of Doing things Right

 

Related Courses

Supplication is the Essence of Worship: The Reality and Proper Manners of Asking Allah (Dua)

Absolute Essentials of Islam (Hanafi): Getting Started With Your Belief and Practice

Connecting to Guidance: Building a Lasting Connection with the Qur’an

Always free.

Introducing the Seekers Book Club – Revive the Art of Reading

Revive the Art of Reading

Recite. The first words revealed to our beloved Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon). The birth of our religion is intertwined with recitation.

Our religion values language. It birthed an Ummah of lovers of language. The Muslim scholastic tradition gave the world their first and most extensive dictionaries. It gifted the world with poetry, rhetoric, and vast linguistic miracles. The Holy Quran is the Book of all Books.

After the Mongols sacking the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, the River Tigris ran black with ink. Muslims are popularly credited through the “Golden Age of Islam” to have preserved the works of the great writers of the past, while medieval Europe, ignored these during the Dark Ages. Reading and seeking knowledge is an essential skill and practice for an informed and reforming society. Yet, it is becoming an art lost in the advance of technology.

Often, we fall in love with the idea of reading. But we become lost with how to read in order to gain the most benefit from the book.

SeekersGuidance aims to Revive the Art of Reading with the Seekers Book Club – An interactive session where our scholars take you on a journey to connect with the book. This session offers a unique experience to learn about the guest and their story. No prior reading required. 

The session will be live. Sign up now to reserve a place: Sign-up by entering your name and email. 

Save the Date

First Session of Seekers Book Club

Last Sunday of every month, join one of our scholars in an interactive session discussing a book that the scholar personally recommends. Allow them to take you on a journey as they share their own unique experience with their book. Prepare, learn, and ask questions as we enjoy the realm of linguistic arts – thoughts poured into words, directly imprinting onto your heart.

Discover multiple perspectives, guidance on how to connect with the book, and build your understanding of the book. This is a unique opportunity to spend time with an exceptional scholar. 

This month: Sunday 29th November

The Lives of Man with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani at 7pm EST. 

Discover the unique experience Shaykh Faraz Rabbani had whilst reading this book about our existence before we knew ourselves and the reality of our life after this life. What kind of realizations or reflections did you have reading this book? We wish to hear from you at the session.

The session will be live. Sign up now to reserve a place: seekersguidance.org/bookclub

Masters and Millennials: The Importance of Teaching One’s Family

The Importance of Teaching One’s Family

The Obligations and How to Fulfill Them by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

This is the tenth part of a series of articles that are based on al-Fawa’id al-Mukhtarah, one of the seminal works of the great scholar al-Habib Zayn bin Sumayt. The book focuses on a range of topics relevant to daily life and modern challenges for Muslims living in the West. This article is a summary of the tenth episode of the podcast – The Masters and Millennials by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan. What kind of importance does teaching our spouses and our children Islam have? This article addresses this question and presents an example from our scholars on how to teach our children. This article also discusses what we should be teaching our children.


In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

What is the importance of teaching our family?

Teaching our family is fulfilling Allah’s command

Allah Most High said: “O those who believe, save yourselves and your families from a blazing fire” (Qur’an, 66:6). Sayyidina Ali (Allah be pleased with him), commenting on this verse, said “Teach yourself and teach your families good. Good is that which will save them from the fire of Hell.” Ibn ‘Abbas commented as follows on the same verse: “Grant them knowledge of fiqh and teach them in general and instill adab (good conduct) in them.” Teaching ourselves and our families Islam is no less than a command from Allah.

 

The Prophet warns against leaving one’s family ignorant

Habib Zayn bin Sumayt dedicates a chapter to teaching families and children under the broader theme of da‘wah. In it he refers to a hadith that Imam Ghazzali mentions in Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din: “No one meets Allah with a sin greater than the ignorance of his family.” We should know, then, that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) has emphasized the importance of teaching one’s family.

 

Teaching is the parent’s responsibility towards the child

Habib Ahmad bin Umar bin Sumayt said that, like children showing kindness and respect to their parents, parents must also show kindness and respect to their children. It is compulsory for both children and parents to do so. The best way for a parent to do this is to teach the child and grant it a proper upbringing.

A hadith of Sayyidina Umar provides support for this. A man complained to Sayyidina Umar that his son was disobedient, so Sayyidina ‘Umar called the son and took him to task for his disobedience. The child asked whether the child also has rights over his parents. Sayyidina Umar replied, “Yes, indeed.” The child asked what those rights are, so he said they are that the father selects a good mother for the child, that he chooses a good name for him, and that he teaches him the Qur’an. The child said his father had not done any of those things. His mother was a fire-worshipper, and his father had given him the name of a bug or a beetle, and he had never taught him a word of the Qur’an. So Sayyidina ‘Umar said to the father, “You have come to me complaining about the crimes of your son. You have wronged him before he could have wronged you, and you have done badly to him before he could have done harm to you.”

 

Examples from the Lives of the Scholars

The Haba’ib give us examples. They are men of our time from whom we can draw guidance and light. Shaykh Muhammad al-Majdub said his father nurtured him. When he was a young boy his father said at the beginning of a month, “Bring me the book of Allah.” So he did so, and his father said, “You must take a covenant with me over this book that you will not be disobedient to Allah for the whole month.” He thought a month of obedience would be easy, so he took the covenant with his father and he fulfilled it. The next month his father asked him to take another covenant, and he fulfilled that. His father continued doing this every month until he was raised to never disobey Allah, until a door connecting him to the Prophet opened, and he met him in a conscious state. His relationship with the Prophet reached the stage that, whatever he did in life, he did through the Prophet’s instruction and guidance.

 

What to Teach our Children

We should begin their education with “la illaha illa Allah,” and our children are never too young for us to teach them the recitation of the Qur’an. We should also teach them the remembrance (salawat). It is very easy to do so. We can also play qasa’id (odes mentioning Allah and the Prophet’s names) so that the children will quickly become accustomed to the names of Allah and the Prophet. Then we should teach them how to read Arabic and recite and memorize the Qur’an.

Thereafter, we should teach them du‘as. A good reference point is The Glorious Treasure by Sayyidi Habib Umar. It contains many supplications. If we are able to teach our children these supplications, we will have done a great thing. This is the best way to call our children to Allah.

The next useful text is al-Risalah al-Jami‘ah by Ahmad bin Zayn al-Habshi, translated as “The Essentials of Islam.” It covers the essentials in Shafi’i fiqh that every Muslim should know. For Hanafis, there is the text by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, The Absolute Essentials of Islam.

 

Conclusion

To conclude, we should call our children and family to Allah before becoming a scholar and a caller to Allah outside the home. If we teach our children to this level mentioned previously, we will have complied with our compulsory duty to teach our children the deen.

 

 

Author’s Biography

Al-Habib Zayn bin Sumayt is a member of the Prophet’s family. His lineage goes through many pious forebears, such as al-Faqih al-Muqqadam and al-Imam Ahmad bin ʻIsa al-Muhajir, through Sayyidina Husayn to the Prophet Muhammad. He is an authority on Shafi’i fiqh and tasawwuf. From a young age, he sat in the company of the pious and studied with various scholars and institutes. His most senior teacher was Habib ‘Alawi bin ‘Abd Allah bin ‘Aydarus bin Shihab. He was also taught by Habib Ja‘far bin Ahmad al-‘Aydarus and Habib Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz. Habib Zayn taught the Islamic sciences in Bayda’ for thirty years. Thereafter he moved to Madinah and opened a ribat that attracted many students before it was forced to close. He was very attached to his wife, as our beloved Prophet was to Sayyidah Khadijah (Allah be pleased with her), and was saddened when she passed away a few years ago.