Saving Our Souls Series | Part 1: Introduction – Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Everyone has what they deem to be the most important thing in life. However, it could be argued that nothing is more central to the human condition than the very thing that makes us human-our souls. In a world concerned with the physical and the superficial we see that lives remain empty, purposeless. Let us close our eyes to the world and look inward. In these articles we will be looking at the fragile nature of the soul and how to save it from the poison of sin. Topics discussed include the heart, the eyes, the tongue, the ears, the hands, and their respective sins.

These articles are based on the tazkiya (self-purification) section of the book entitled, “The Ladder of Success to the Realization of Love of Allah” by Habib ‘Abdullah Bin Husayn Bin Tahir (the other two sections being theology and law). And who was Habib ‘Abdullah Bin Husain Bin Tahir? Well, he was one of the luminaries of both the legal and spiritual aspects of Islam; a person well versed in the intricacies of the soul and its alignment with the Sacred Law. He and His brother Imam Tahir were exemplars of steadfastness, true brotherhood, and not wasting a single moment of their time. He passed away in the year 1844 (1272 A.H.), may Allah have mercy on him and his brother.

But it doesn’t stop there; we’ll be adding enriching content and benefits from the works of other scholars of the science such as Imam Ghazzali, Imam Haddad, Habib Umar Bin Hafiz and others.

The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) stressed the importance of the heart and its relation to the rest of the body in the famous hadith, “Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh, which, if it be whole, all the body is whole, and which, if it is diseased, all of [the body] is diseased. Truly, it is the heart.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Join us in this journey through our souls to discover Allah and let us learn about ourselves and our hearts, and become better spouses, better parents, better neighbors, and better humans.

SeekersGuidance offers a wide variety of free courses on the topics of tazkiya, the soul, and spirituality:

Are Protein Supplements Halal?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam Aleykum, My question is regarding Whey protein. As a person who workouts I need to take protein supplements. In most protein bars or powder, it contains whey protein isolate or whey protein concentrate which are often byproducts resulting from the manufacture of rennet types of hard cheese. Are these halal?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

The basis is that rennet is permissible according to Imam Abu Hanifa, irrespective of whether or not the animal was slaughtered correctly. His two Companions (sahibayn), however, disagreed and held that rennet extracted from non-slaughtered animals is impermissible due to its proximity and contact with filthy moisture in the stomach. This is a safer and more precautionary position to follow.

Whey is a by-product of the cheesemaking process in which initially rennet is added to milk in order to curdle it. The resultant liquid which is released from the coagulum is termed whey; accordingly, this would also be permissible according to Imam Abu Hanifa regardless of the source of the rennet, with the obvious exception of a swine which is unconditionally impermissible to use or consume altogether.

Commercial Methods of Rennet Extraction

However, many contemporary methods of rennet extraction wherein the entire stomach of the animal is treated in order to chemically extract the rennet are religiously problematic when the animal has not undergone a correct religious slaughter. The reason for this is that the stomach itself is not deemed to be legally pure in such a case, nor is it thus permissible to consume anything extracted from it.

What this means is that the process of extraction undertaken by means of using something religiously filthy, through a filthy solution and the like, would cause the by-product to also be filthy and impermissible to consume. This is something which deserves caution and our attention lest we fall into a situation of consuming that which is prohibited. An easy way to find out is to simply ask the company in question what the source of the rennet is.

Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives in our times to animal-based rennet such as GM, microbial, plant-based, and the like which would generally be permissible to use in the cheesemaking process, and the cheese produced thereby would be legally permissible to consume, barring any other impermissible ingredients. Similarly, plant-based whey protein may be used as an alternative to commercial whey protein powders unless the process used in the latter is clearly known to be permissible or the animal has been correctly slaughtered.

(Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar/Minhat al-Khaliq ‘ala al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, quoting Ibn Amir Haj; Halabi, Multaqa al-Abhur)

Please also see: Is Rennet in Cheese Halal or Haram to Consume? and: A Guide for Consuming Various Meats, Foods, Alcohol, Animal By-Product Ingredients, and Cosmetics

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan, and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based on his family.

Changing my Intention While Fasting

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: If I begin a make-up fast, then change my intention to a voluntary fast, does that affect the type of fast?

Answer: Jazak Allah Khairan for your question.

Your change of intention, after having started a fast, will not harm or alter your fast, whatsoever. The original intention upon which the fast was started will remain.

“…the fasting person, who is making up an obligatory fast, if after having started the fast, he intends to start a different fast, it would not harm (the original fast).” [Maraqi al-Falah]

Allahu ‘Alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Forms of Charity Not Permissible in Islam

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Amongst subcontinental Muslims, there is a practice of “sadaqa utarna” which is done when someone is suffering from sickness, or there is a suspicion of black magic. Something used for charity is cast over the affected person thrice, The object is then discarded or given to the poor for their use. Is this permissible or a bidah?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

This practice does not have any basis in the sunna as far as I know and should be avoided. There are many sunna supplications, suras, and collections of verses which are effective in such matters. It is better to refer to them.

Innovations

An innovation, bid’a, is a practice that contradicts the spirit of the sunna. In a sense, it opposes and attempts the replace it. Otherwise, new practices are not automatically problematic. (Nabulsi, al Hadiqa al Nadiyya).

This is understood from the hadith of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, “Whoever initiates in this matter of ours that which is not of it, it is completely rejected.“ (Bukhari) So, any matter which embodies the spirit of the sunna, and strives to achieve one of the higher aims of the Sacred Law, is not blameworthy – as long as it doesn’t contradict an established practice.

Seeking Protection and Healing

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace would seek healing and protection through the recitation of the last two chapters of the Qur’an and various other supplication which can be found in Imam Nawawi’s Book of Remembrances. He also sought out conventional means of treatment when he was ill.

It is better to adopt this approach than to take up superstitious actions. Always remember the words of our Maker, “If Allah afflicts you with any harm then there is no one who can remove it save Him.” (Qur’an; 10:107)

The practice you described is not rooted in Islam, nor in any form of medicine. It’s the best shunned.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 many erudite scholars. 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. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Saving Our Souls Series

Our teacher, Shaykh Yusuf Weltch, guides us through a journey, a path that ultimately leads to true happiness; the love of Allah.  Join us as we take this trip.  Keep an eye on this page for updates to new articles and podcasts.

Part 1: Introduction | Click here

  • An article on the heart and the need to take care of it

Part 2: Obligations of the Heart

  • We’ve heard of bodily obligations, but what are the obligations of the heart?
    • To be published July 10th, 2020

Part 3: Precious Counsel from a Revered Scholar

  • The believer’s state
    • TBA

Part 4: The Disobedience of the Heart

  • Yes, even the heart can sin, which are the worst of sins
    • TBA

Part 5: TBA

Part 6: TBA

Part 7: TBA

Part 8: TBA

Part 9: TBA

Part 10: TBA

Is It Obligatory to Participate in the Tabligh Movement?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Is it obligatory to participate in the Tabligh Jamat Effort? Should I feel bad for not participating? How do I deal with the criticisms I face for not joining the Tabligh Effort?

Answer: Wa Alaikum al-Salam

May Allah continue to bring you closer to His good pleasure and make you a conduit of guidance.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Tabligh Jamat is indeed a praiseworthy effort and was founded with great intentions of rectifying the state of the Muslims. They are indeed fulfilling a communal obligation of calling to Allah and forbid the evil.

It is, however, not an individual obligation. To consider this effort individually obligatory, such that one is sinful or shameful for not participating, is innovation and strictly prohibited.

Allah, Most High says, “Let there be amongst you a people who summon toward good, command what is right, and forbidding the prohibited. They are the successful.” [Qur’an; 07:104]

Calling to Good and Forbidding from Evil

The Believer is responsible to call to good and forbid evil on a general level within their one capacity. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever amongst you sees a wrong, then let him change it with his hand, and if (that is) not (possible), then with his tongue, if not, then with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim] However, to do so, in the form or way of the Tabligh Jamat is not an obligation.

What do I do?

If you experience hardship when you go to such a masjid then if you have another option it may be best to go there instead. That is, if the alternative masjid, is proper and teaches the correct Islamic Understanding. If you are not able to go to another masjid, just explain to the people that you don’t wish to participate anymore.

You should not blame yourself and you should not feel that you are any less of a Muslim for not participating in that effort. There are many ways to gain the pleasure of Allah and you should search what works best for you.

Allah, Most High says, “Verily those who strive for Us, We will certainly guide them to our ways.” [Quran: 29;69]

Allah, Most High in this verse, mention ways, in the plural.

May Allah continue to bless you
Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Is It Permissible for a Woman to Travel Accompanied by Her Young Son?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Is it permissible for a woman to travel accompanied by her young son?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Conditions of a Chaperone

It is permissible for you to travel with your 12-year-old son. A woman must travel either with her spouse or non-marriageable kin (mahram) who is trustworthy, mature (i.e. reached puberty), and of sound intellect. The pre-pubescent child is allowed as well, like the mature. [al-Hadiyah al-Alaiyah]

The Age of a Pre-Pubescent Child

A male child is considered pre-pubescent (murahiq) when he reaches 12 years of age. This is because 12 is the earliest age that a boy can reach puberty. [al-Hadiyah al-Alaiyah]

Hope this helps
Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

One Year Intermediate Program in Shafi’i Fiqh and Usul

Reliance of the Traveller (Umdat al-Salik) (Level Three) with The Essence of Islamic Legal Theory (Lubb al-Usul) (Level Three) with Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

In the Name of Allah, Merciful and Compassionate, with blessings and peace upon our Master Muhammad, his folk, and companions

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan, a senior instructor at SeekersGuidance, will be teaching live weekly classes covering two key texts in Shafi’i fiqh and usul over the course of one year:

Program Description

This one-year Specialization Certificate Program is an Intermediate Program in Shafi’i  Fiqh and Usul. It covers Level three of the SeekersGuidance Islamic Studies Curriculum in Shafi’i  Fiqh and Usul.

This program will encompass a thorough study of two texts.

  • Umdat as-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller) (Level Three of the SeekersGuidance Islamic Studies Curriculum), in full–with readings from the commentary of umda, Fath al-Wahhab al-Malik, and Mahalli’s commentary on the Minhaj, Kanz al-Ragibin, with its Hashiyah by Qalyubi  
  • Shaykh al-Islam’s Lubb al-Usul (Level Three)–with reference to his own commentary, Gayat al-wusul.

Class Format

Three live classes per week, 45-60 Minutes each. Students are expected to attend live, or to follow the recordings.

There will be an online forum for questions, discussion, and related texts and resources. 

Preparation, participation, and asking questions is expected – as is the following of recommended readings.

Conditions for Joining the Class

This is an intermediate level class in Shafi’i fiqh (Level Three) which adequately prepares a student to study the Minhaj al-Talibin of Imam al-Nawawi. It is therefore essential for students to have completed the study of the following works or their  equivalent:

Required Text:

  • al-Risalah al-Jami’ah (Habshi’s Encompassing Epistle Explained)
  • al-Mukhtasar (Ba Fadl’s The Short Abridgement)
  • Abu Shuja’ with experience readings from ibn Qasim’s commentary with its’ Hashiyah by Imam Bajuri

Recommended Text:

  • Safina al-Naja 
  • Al-Muqaddima Al-Hadramiyya with experience reading from one of its commentaries such as Bushra Al-Karim 

As this course encompasses Level Three usul, students are required to have completed a study of the Waraqat of Imam al-Haramayn.

For students without this, we recommend that they begin with Level One, then Level Two of the Islamic Studies Curriculum [link].

Although this class is completely free, students are expected to apply for the course and will need to be approved by the SeekersGuidance Academy team.

Language of Instruction

The Arabic text will be studied with English commentary.

Timings

Monday at 12:00 (GMT +2 | Cape Town)
Wednesday at 12:00 (GMT +2 | Cape Town)
Thursday at 12:00 (GMT +2 | Cape Town)

Location

This class will be offered online only via Zoom

Student Expectations

The expectations from the students would be to:

i. Prepare for the class.

ii. [a] Attend the class, with attentiveness, [b] participation, [c] asking questions.

iii. Review the class notes and text. Diagramming the text helps.

iv. Take notes. It is best to write out the matn itself, and essentials from the commentary (such as the key details and reasoning). This is also a good Arabic writing practice.

v. Participate in the Class Forum–by asking questions, sharing issues of benefit, and getting involved in the relevant discussions, with the proper manners of a keen seeker of knowledge (talib `ilm).

vi. Seek Allah’s Pleasure, and have high secondary intentions of acting upon what

Application Form

The Masters and the Millennials | Part 2: Knowledge – Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

This is the second part of a series, click here for the previous article.

Knowledge and it’s virtue
Knowledge is very important. It has a prominent place in Islam. It is one of the primary foundations of the Ba ‘Alawi way. Allah Most High said to His beloved (blessings and peace be upon him): “Say, my Lord, increase me in knowledge” (20:114). When Allah commands His beloved to do something, that thing is beloved to Him. He instructed the Prophet to ask for an increase in knowledge because it is one of the most noble and honourable qualities. So we should ask Allah as often as possible to increase us in knowledge.

Abu Hurayrah once announced in the marketplace, “O people, what is preventing you from taking your share of the Prophet’s inheritance? It is being distributed.” They asked where it was being distributed, so he answered, “in the mosque”. They went to the mosque and returned, saying, “O Abu Hurayrah, you said the Prophet’s legacy is being distributed in the mosque, but we found nothing except people praying, reciting the Qur’an and revising knowledge – the fiqh of halal and ḥaram.” Abu Hurayrah said, “Woe to you, the inheritance of the Prophet is in the gathering of knowledge.” He quoted the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), “Indeed, Prophets did not leave wealth as an inheritance. They only left knowledge as an inheritance.”

The Prophet also said to his companions, “You are living in a time when the jurists are many and the teachers are few, those who ask are few and those who give are many, and action is better than knowledge. But a time will come when the jurists are few and the teachers are many.” This statement is very apt in our time. Many people study merely so they can deliver talks. The Prophet referred to this as a bad development. People are not focused on knowledge, but on how well they are able to speak. He went on to say: “A time will come when many will ask and few will give, and knowledge will be better than action.”

Hasan al-Basri said that, had knowledge taken a form, it would have been more splendid than the sun, the moon, the stars and the sky. Imam Shafi’i said whoever desires this world or the next should seek knowledge because he is need of knowledge in this life and the next. Allah Most High gives worldly things to those He loves as well as those He does not love, but He only gives knowledge to those He loves.

Habib ‘Aydarus bin ‘Umar al-Habshi said knowledge is food for the heart. Therefore he would make the du’a that is made after eating at the end of every gathering of knowledge.

Correct worship requires knowledge
Without knowledge we are not able to worship Allah truly. A man may worship Allah the way angels do, but if he does so without knowledge he will be one of the losers.

‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz said that the one who acts and does good without having knowledge spreads more bad than good. Sayyidina ‘Umar bin al-Khatab (Allah be pleased with him) said that someone who has not studied is not allowed to buy and sell in the marketplace. One who does not study the law of commercial transactions ends up consuming riba unknowingly.

Consider the following telling example: A man from Morocco was known to exert himself in worship. One day he purchased a female donkey that he did not use for anything. Someone asked him why he was keeping it if he was not using it. He replied that it was there to keep him chaste. He was engaging in bestiality not knowing it is haram.

It is really important to participate in classes of knowledge. Learning is a cycle that should never end. Imam Ghazali said one should attend a class every day. We should start by attending at least one a week, and then increase our attendance slowly until we are able to attend a class every day.

One Year Intermediate Program in Hanafi Fiqh and Usul

 

Nasafi’s Kanz al-Daqa‘iq (Level Three) with Halabi’s Mukhtasar al-Manar (Level Two) with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In the Name of Allah, Merciful and Compassionate, with blessings and peace upon our Master Muhammad, his folk, and companions

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, founder and senior instructor at SeekersGuidance, will be teaching a live weekly class covering two key texts in Hanafi fiqh and usul over one year:

One. Imam Nasafi’s Kanz al-Daqa’iq (Level Three of the SeekersGuidance Islamic Studies Curriculum), in full–with extensive readings from Imam Abu ’l-Su’ud’s Hashiya on Mulla Miskin’s Commentary; Afghani’s Kashf al-Haqa’iq; and other Hanafi reference works.

Two. Ibn Habib’s Mukhtasar al-Manar, an abridgement of Imam Nasafi’s Manar in usul al-fiqh (Level Two)–with reference to Ibn Qutlubugha’s Commentary, and other essential readings.

Class Format

Two live classes per week, 2 hours each. Students are expected to attend live, or to follow the recordings.

Preparation, participation, questions, and doing recommended readings is expected.

There will be an online forum for questions, discussion, and for related texts, and resources. The pdf of the commentary and other important works will be provided.

Conditions for Joining the Class

This is an intermediate level class in Hanafi fiqh (Level Three) and usul (Level Two of the Seekers Islamic Studies Curriculum)

Students are expected to have completed the equivalent of the Level One and Two requirements in Hanafi fiqh–such as having completed Quduri’s Mukhtasar, or Mawsili’s Mukhtar under a teacher.

For students without this, we recommend that they begin with Level One, then Level Two of the Islamic Studies Curriculum.

Student Expectations

The expectations from the students would be to:

One. Prepare for the class.

Two. Attend the class, with attentiveness, [b] participation, [c] asking questions.

Three. Review the class notes and text. Diagramming the text helps.

Four. Take notes. It is best to write out the matn itself, and essentials from the commentary (such as the key details and reasoning). This is also good Arabic writing practice.

Five. Participate in the Class Forum–by asking questions, sharing issues of benefit, and getting involved in the relevant discussions, with the proper manners of a keen seeker of knowledge (talib `ilm).

Six. Seek Allah’s Pleasure, and have high secondary intentions of acting upon what you learn with excellence, preserving and transmitting Prophetic guidance, to benefit yourself and to benefit others, and to gain all the benefits mentioned by Allah and the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) for those who seek and transmit sacred knowledge for the sake of Allah.

And Allah alone gives success.

Application Form