* Courtesy Radio Islams International
* Courtesy Radio Islams International
During the last Ramadan, a late evening meal with a newly acquainted brother took a rather unsavoury turn. The food was good, the weather pleasant and our heads light. But as things had to go, our conversation drifted to politics, a topic best served separate from the meal.
The brother hails from a country which is unlikely to top the global HDI charts anytime soon. But while accepting the present malaise raging in his country, he added a quick clarification. He said his country is not poor, throw a few seeds in the soil and you’ll see the barakah sprouting through it. But that is what precisely enraged him, despite the land being blessed with so much, so little reached its people, who for most of the part remained impoverished, to be seen as sad broken stories from a third world country, nothing more.
Much preoccupied as I was with my food, I couldn’t help paying my full attention to the young man’s talk. At the end, he added in a slow mournful tone, these words:
“Everyone just thinks for themselves; no one thinks of the country. I want to go back and do something. Even if I get jailed or something, I must try. If many of us do so, things will definitely change.”
His words brought a smile to my face. Aah, the heady promise of youthful dreams! None but the young can be so naïve yet so determined. Of course, for the cynical, it is easy to dismiss the raging of the young as another headstrong kneejerk reaction to something that is far deeper and complex. But youth are the ones inheriting broken systems, it is out of sheet survival instinct that they often fight against it. Others, like crabs at the bottom of the barrel, are perhaps only too happy to let the new lot sink low too. Think of dipping real incomes, shooting college tuition fees, shrinking welfare systems, pathological surveillance governments, the sheet indifference of previous generation against institutionalised injustice and you get why the youth must protest.
It is the knowledge that the world is imperfect and the conviction that it can be made better that fuels youth activism. However, pure intentions and unlimited energy are not enough. If the youth do not have access to the traditional rites-of-passages, outlets for meaningful expressions, welcoming places of interactions, networks or tariqas that inculcate tarbiyah, it is possible that their youthful idealism may just give way to a nihilistic rage.
It is important then, to have institutions and practices that not only allow expressions of youth potential but also encourage and celebrate it. One such institution traditionally associated with Islamic civilization has been the concept of futuwwa.
It is as the Oxford Dictionary helpfully describes the ‘ideal of youthful manhood and chivalry based on the example of Ali ibn Abi Talib’ (Allah be pleased with him). It is, as the IHU webpage describes, ‘the institution which aimed to raise young generations and gave direction to the youth…based on the articulated thoughts inspired from Quran and Hadiths by the assembly of scholars, Sufis and noble traders.’
As any seasoned reader of social history knows, it is not enough to light the fire of a revolution, one also needs the moral framework and practical alternatives ready once the dust settles down. In the face of setbacks, one needs both guidance and long-term perspectives. One needs to avoid falling prey to interpreting everything in the light of the fleeting present. Institutions like futuwwa allows us this, to help us see a world beyond ourselves, to have an understanding of justice that is both this-worldly and next-worldly, to think beyond the ruling dogmas of the day, to regroup and rethink when the chips are down, to not succumb to despair, to understand reality in light of the Prophetic guidance, and above all, to make our short ephemeral stay in the dunya a means to draw closer to our Lord.
It is the perfume of youthful dreams, the slow interplay of beliefs and practices, that defines the trajectories of societies, even nations. It is the raw, perhaps even maniacal, charms of youthful idealism that help us dream of a better world. Who else but the truly young and the truly naïve would think of throwing away the existing in place of something completely new and untested? It is this leap of faith that moves a society, in either direction. It is the hands of the young that make it possible. And we owe it as a society to make those hands steady and stable.
Seekers Youth Curriculum
Social Justice In The Islamic Tradition
Change Happens: The Qur’anic Principles for Justice and Social Change
Faith and Reliance on Allah: Ghazali’s Book of Divine Oneness and Trust Upon Allah Explained
Shaykh Wasfi al-Masaddi (1335-1431=1917-2010)
Wasfī ibn Ahmad ibn Yusuf ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Abd al-Jalil was a devout scholar, a faqih and an excellent orator and a spiritual guide.
He was born in the city of Homs in Syria in 1917 (1335). His father was a scholar, while his mother was from the al-Jundi family.
His father, Shaykh Ahmad was closely connected to Shaykh Ahmad al-Tuzaqli al-Turkumani al-Naqshbandi who in turn was closely connected to Shaykh Khalid al-Naqshbandi.
He learnt the basic essentials of reading and writing and mathematics from his father. His father was an Imam and a teacher at one of the mosques in the city and he was the young Wasfi’s first Quran teacher.
After his elementary studies he enrolled at the al-Madrasa al-Waqfiyya that was under the supervision of Shaykh Muhammad Zahid al-Atasi (d.1366=1947). He studied at this institution for six years during which he studied Usul-Fiqh of the Hanafi madhhab, Nur al-Idah and the text of Mukhtasar al-Quduri and al-Kamil by al-Mubarrid all under Shaykh Zahid. Shaykh Wasfi resembled his teacher in his recitation of the Quran and in his gait.
He graduated in 1936 and got married in the same year. He remained closely connected to the Mufti of Homs, Shaykh Tahir al-Atasi (1276-1359=1859-1940) under whom he studied Jamu’ al–Jawami, al–Tawdih wa al–Talwih, al–Hikam al-‘Ata’iyya and was even given the responsibility of transcribing the Shaykh’s fatwa’s.
After his father’s demise in 1935 he assumed the responsibility of leading the Salat and teaching at the al-Qasimi Mosque. He had trained and acquired the skill as a public speaker during his father’s lifetime. During his father’s last illness he fulfilled his father’s duties of leading the Salat, delivering the lectures and conducting lessons. He read Tafsir al–Khazin with his father in the very mosque. He remained the public speaker (khatib) at the mosque until 1980 when he moved to Saudi Arabia.
He conducted a lesson in the Qasimi Mosque after Maghrib that was attended by students of sacred knowledge and another after ‘Asr for the public. Every Tuesday he had a lesson at his home and every Friday after ‘Asr in the main mosque. He conducted a lesson daily after Zhuhr at the Dalati Mosque.
During these lessons he taught Tafsir al-Khazin, Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Maraqi al-Falah, Hashiya al-Tahtawi, Shar’at al-Islami, al-Anwar al-Muhammadiyya an abridged form of al-Mawahib al-Laduniyya by Shaykh Yusuf al-Nabhani. His practice was to complete the entire book and then continue with another. There were times when he may have repeated a book. He remained dedicated towards calling people to Allah. One of his close friends and aides in the field of Da’wa was Shaykh Mustafa al-Sibai’.
Shaykh Wasfi’s approach was one that relied on solid proof without any bias towards any religious group or faction. He adopted the way of his Shaykh, Shaykh Abu al-Nasr Khalaf al-Himsi.
Shaykh Wasfi was appointed as a teacher at the Shari’ah Institute that was established in 1946 and a year later he assumed administrative duties at the same place. He withdrew from teaching for about five years and thereafter he resumed where he continued until 1982.
The reason for his withdrawal is that the Shari’ah Institute was known to have had very high academic standards and much of this was attributed to the fact that an excellent teacher like Shaykh Wasfi taught the students in the former years, thus providing them with a firm foundation. However when he was assigned some administrative duties he taught the senior classes and with the result the former classes were neglected. He therefore felt that his presence at the institution was of no benefit and resigned. He returned to his teaching after persistence from his friend, Shaykh Muhammad al-Tayyib. In total he served the institution for thirty-three years.
In 1952 he was appointed as the official teacher of the region of Homs. This was during the period of the Mufti, Shaykh Tawfiq al-Atasi. He held this position until 1980.
He played a very significant role in preserving and renovating the mosques of Homs especially the Mosque of Khalid ibn al-Walid and the attached institution. He also contributed to the preservation of al-Mu’addas Mosque in 1977 that the Christians had tried to convert into a church. In 1978 he worked towards renovating the al-Qasimi Mosque.
In 1980 he migrated to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia where he taught Quran at the King ‘Abd al-Aziz University for about six years during which he also conducted some lessons in Sirah. It is interesting to note that when he had arrived in Jeddah, the university required his certificates. However Shaykh Wasfi had studied under the shuyukh and thus requested that the Shari’ah Institute in Homs issue him with a letter of recommendation acknowledging that he had served the institution for many years as a teacher. This letter was issued and on this basis he was appointed as a teacher at the university in Jeddah. He delivered the Friday sermon in the Abu Dawud Mosque in Jeddah for about twenty-five years. He had a weekly lesson in Fiqh, Hadith and Tafsir for people from Homs who were residing in Jeddah and another for Damascenes and a public lesson after ‘Asr during Ramadan. Many sort to meet him and even to pose their questions to him. Shaykh Salman Abu Ghuddah and Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahman Hajjar and others were among the many who frequented his lessons.
After many years he finally returned to Homs where he was warmly received by the ‘ulama and the public. He continued to move between Jeddah and Homs until he passed away in Homs on the morning of the 25th August 2010 (15th Ramadan 1431). The Janazah Salat was performed at the Khalid ibn Walid Mosque and he was buried in the Kathib Graveyard.
Shaykh Wasfi was a handsome man of fair complexion who was distinct with his clothing. He was an effective lecturer, a successful teacher and a person of captivating personality. His gatherings were filled with immense benefit. He was blessed with insight and knowledge from Allah.
His face was bright and radiant and some his students mentioned that if a person looked at him then he was reminded of Allah. In addition if a person wished to free himself from the anxieties of life, then merely sitting in the Shaykh’s company will be a source of comfort and peace. He was a person whom the young and the old, the layman and the scholar was attracted to on seeing or meeting him for the first time. He was extremely humble before the people and before his Creator. He was eager to serve people and in doing so was an example of kindness and generosity. He possessed immense love for Allah and His beloved Prophet Muhammad.
Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed is a well respected South African Islamic scholar who lives in Pretoria, South Africa. He studied at the King Saud University in Riyadh and the faculty of Shariah at the Islamic University of Madina. He has attained a M.A. in Islamic Studies from the University of South Africa. Through his extensive travels he has met and benefited from many senior scholars from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, India, Turkey etc. He has received numerous Ijazahs from the various scholars that he has met, studied with and served. He is currently a senior educator at the al – Ghazzali College in Pretoria.
He has authored two books:
Muslim Scholars of the 20th Century.
Muslim Scholars of the 21st Century.
He was one of the translators of Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad Alawi al – Maliki’s work: The Way of the True Salaf.
*Originally Published on 25/06/2016
Gatherings are taking place in which no individual is turned away. The rich, the poor, the strong, the weak, young and old, male and female, skins of all color, complexions of every shade — gatherings that server as reminders of and truly encompass the presence of the Divine. No one is left out, and everyone is welcomed in.
Men and women from all walks of life remove from themselves the shackles of the material and for a moment seek to feed only their spirits. The pursuit of the world becomes a fleeting thought and in its place is the pursuit of a tranquility and contentment that could never be satisfied by the possession of anything worldly.
Titles and ranks and social class are left at the door. You simply stand as yourself. The worth of your standing is not assessed by anything other than the heart that you bring and how willing you are to let its presence define the moment instead of the tyrannical ego you have battled with for almost a month’s time prior to this moment.
Hearts will tremble. Tears will be shed. Bodies will feel a sense of strength unlike any other as they are relenting towards a soul that they no longer control yields them not weakness, but a power unlike anything experienced before.
Indeed, in His remembrance do hearts find rest.
Our Lord, ya Allah, bless our gatherings and all those who are in them. We stand for your sake, do not turn us away.
Answer our prayers and grant us the courage, wisdom, sincerity and compassion to be the answer to the prayers of others — You Are One Who Responds, Al-Mujeeb, The All-Hearing, As-Sami’.
Free our hearts of any anxiety, anguish, or unwarranted anger, from any bitterness, jealousy, or envy. Detach them from loving anything that causes us harm or gives us simple complacency and fill them instead with a lightness strengthened through gratitude, understanding, tranquility and contentment — You are The Source of Peace, As-Salaam, The One Who Enriches, Al-Mughni.
Envelop us in your Divine Love and help us to build a love for ourselves. We are weak and imperfect, but the perfection of Your Love stems from its embracing of us despite our being imperfect — You Are The Loving One, Al-Wadud, The Compassionate, Ar-Rahman.
Free from us oppression, including oppression by our own selves, and keep us from being oppressive, including oppression against our own selves. Grant justice and ease to all those who are held down, peace and stability to those in conflict. Make us satisfied with all that You have given to us, and make us not amongst those us who unjustly take from others — You Are the Most Just, Al-‘Adl, The All-Seeing, Al-Baseer.
Make us amongst the honest, the truthful, the kind, and the conscious. Help us to honor the rights of all those around us, our families, our neighbors, and the societies in which we live. Free us from arrogance, hatred, and racism and endow us with a sense of respect for the diversity of Your creation — You Are the Creator, Al-Khaliq, the Most Generous, Al-Karim.
Give us leaders who are actually leaders, and make us followers who are deserving of great leaders. Grant us knowledge, wisdom, patience, and sensibility as well as good intention and a strong sense of passion. For organized evil will always triumph over disorganized righteousness, and it is time for us to stand better for those who need to be stood up for. Let our serving be not for our own selves but simply because it is the right thing to do. And forgive us, oh Lord, for not doing everything that we are able to — You Are The Most-Wise, Al-Hakim, the Patron and Helper, Al-Wali.
Shower upon us Your Divine Mercy and make us amongst the merciful ones who are merciful to all people, all creation, and to the earth we walk upon — You Are the Most Merciful, Ya Raheem.
Help us to be gentle with each other. Forgive us for our harshness and the mistakes we have made, and let kindness be found in all of our deeds and decisions. Give us a character that is beautiful in its nature and make us amongst who remind the world that hope, mercy, and compassion do exist. You Are Ever-Gentle, Ya Latif.
Make not the pursuit of this world our goal, but let our goals be for the best in the next world. Help us to sustain the lessons learned in this blessed month and let us not turn back to being those who we were prior to its advent.
Give us confidence that helps us to see our strength as well our weaknesses and protect us from arrogance which lets us only see weakness in the world around us.
Give us the courage to reach our potential and protect us from the fear that keeps us from doing so. Let our growth be gradual and consistent and help us to strive every day, even if it is very little and enrich our lives with a richness of our souls.
Grant us companionship that helps us to reach our best and keep us from companions who hold us back. Grant us friends who encourage us towards all that is good, and keep us from friends who take us towards that which is not. Arrange our hearts with those hearts that are gentle and tender, and make us amongst those whose presence brings benefit and relief.
Accept from us our prayers and our fasting, our bowing, our kneeling, our standing, our prostrating. Grant us and our loved ones only the best in this world and the best in the next.
Forgive all those who love us and those whom we love, all those who have wronged us and all those whom we have wronged.
Protect us from hearts that are not humble, tongues that are not wise, and eyes that have forgotten how to cry.
Make the best of our deeds the last of our deeds and let us not leave this world other than in a state that is most pleasing to You.
Ustadth Edris Khamissa reminds us that we should never lose hope in the mercy and blessings of Allah. However, if we wish to be recipients of Allah’s mercy and bounties, we need to ensure that we are manifesting mercy to our fellow human beings. Let us take the opportunity this Ramadan to strengthen our bonds with family, friends and strangers.
SeekersGuidance: The Global Islamic Seminary offers structured learning and inspiring religious guidance, completely free. We also offer over a dozen classes with scholars from around the world streamed live this Ramadan. View the full schedule and tune in daily at https://www.seekersguidance.org/live.
We offer FREE courses, with clear learning streams for Islamic studies, Youth Islamic Studies, and Learning Arabic as well as a range of topics. To Register Visit https://www.seekersguidance.org/courses.
During this current crisis, we need your help in spreading clarity in these confusing times. We are in a time when scholars and students are left without support due to the closing of religious institutions and we can’t afford to let this hurt people’s faith. Help us to raise $1 million with your zakat and charity and support the Islamic Scholars Fund.
You can also assist SeekersGuidance in spreading the light of guidance through our at https://www.seekersguidance.org/donate
* Courtesy of Neo Marketing
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I hope you have had a brilliant start to the best month of the year.
Perhaps, like many of us, you’ve been caught slightly off-guard and feel like you’re playing catch up.
You’re so busy with work, it’s spilling into your ibaadah time.
You want to prioritize Qur’an but end up spending so much time on everything else.
You’re already worried about keeping some of your habits consistent – especially after Ramdan.
What if I told you that there is an EASIER way?
A system where you can actually FEEL GOOD about your progress every single day.
Perhaps you were interested in the Ramadan Habit course, but felt £200-400 was too much to invest.
And you didn’t want to commit to accountability, forums and buddies.
I get that.
When I ended up enrolling some relatives and friends who wanted a ‘recording only’ option, it dawned upon me that I could offer this to you as well.
Now although you won’t get the same motivation, live coaching and accountability as the full course (which is now closed for registration), I can promise you this.
The science, theory and systems for habit building have been updated and improved so much that you CAN benefit hugely from the recording-only course.
And pay just half price!
In fact, Module 1.2 ‘Use Behaviour Design to Choose the Best Habit’ is such an original and unique training that it is worth the cost of the entire course!
I guarantee that this course will make you look at building lasting habits in a completely new way.
Remember, ‘The Ramadan Habit’ is a course designed to not just plan your ‘Best Ramadan Ever’ but to build habits which last way beyond the holy month.
Imagine that, not just in Ramadan, but in May, June, July – the rest of the year, you still recited the Qur’an at the same time, each day.
Or you learned an elusive ‘character habit’ which dramatically reduced your arguments with your spouse.
All this is possible in this unique 40-day Ramadan Habit Implementation Programme.
For only £97.
Ramadan has just started. You still have time to make it your best ever.
“Alhamdulillah, This programme really gave me something I have never been able to do before in my life. For 40 days I feel I lived a healthy life, exercizing everyday. My eating habits became heathier and I don’t feel the need for sugary stuff, as I did before. And more happier! Alhamdulillah. I didn’t know that one habit for Allah can lead you to so much good!”
Hafsa Akram, Denmark
“This course helped me to succeed in establishing a daily habit which I have been struggling with for a few years, so for me it has been a real milestone and worth every penny … I think this is a priceless opportunity for anyone who sincerely wants to succeed in making some positive changes in their life.”
Fahreen Afzal, Birmingham, UK
“Tushar’s style of teaching is amongst the best in the world. This is not a course you buy and don’t implement – it’s spread over weeks and Tushar will call you out if you fall behind!”
L.D, Manchester, UK
Here’s to a productive Ramadan!
Tushar Imdad (aka Tushar Mohammed Imdad-ul-Haque Bhuiya) is an Islamic Time Management Coach and Educational Entrepreneur. Professionally trained as a high school English teacher, Tushar has taught or managed prominent Islamic schools in Leicester, UK, between 2007-2016. With a flair for managing multiple roles, Tushar is also a GCSE English examiner, a teacher trainer for AMS UK; professional proofreader; former lead instructor at Madrasa Manara; and is currently the Director of Shaykhspeare’s Online English Academy and High Impact Tutors.
A long-term student of knowledge, Tushar has studied a range of Islamic sciences at the feet of scholars such as Shaykh Nuh Keller, Umm Sahl, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Maulana Ilyas Patel and Ustadh Tabraze Azam. In 2015 he completed Level 5 of the Classical Arabic Program from the prestigious Qasid Institute, Amman.
Throughout his varied career, Tushar has always been driven by a passion for time management. Starting in 2009, he has delivered a mixture of workshops, webinars, web-coaching and client visits, attracting delegates as varied as CEOs, corporate professionals, housewives, dentists and scholars from places spanning the UK, US and Middle East. Tushar has published articles and delivered training for ProductiveMuslim.com, SeekersGuidance.org and Qibla.com (now Kiflayn). In recent years he has immersed himself in productivity systems, learning from world-class experts such as Demir Bentley, the authors of The One Thing, Leo Babuta and James Clear. His recent courses have included ‘Principles of Islamic Time Management’, ‘Time Tactics 101’ and ‘The Breakthrough Habit’.
* Courtesy of the Muslim Judicial Council
* We extend our gratitude and appreciation to Mufti Taha Karaan and the Muslim Judicial Council.
Biography of Mufti Taha Karaan:
Ustadh Tayssir begins by explaining how we understand tribulations. He highlights wisdoms of tribulation pointed to in the Qur‘an. He points out that tests indicate the blessing our ability to choose, and are means to turn to God. Evil only relates to human choices—not to the Divine.
In addition, Ustadh Tayssir highlights that the hardship of this life is put in perspective by the eternal life of the Hereafter and expiation of sins. He quotes relevant saying of the Prophets that shed light on the hardship faced in this life and how the believer should respond.
Finally, Ustadh Tayssir explains that the hardships we face can also be means to good and positive change in our lives. They also highlight the fleeting nature of this life, and hence we should respond by turning to the Creator.
This reminder is part of COVID-19: A Global Islamic Response series. As the Coronavirus pandemic spreads across the world, the Muslim community is struggling to find answers to many questions. Along with the critical advice of health and medical professionals, we are in dire need of Prophetic Guidance. In these videos, Muslim scholars and community leaders from around the world provides clarity in these challenging times on how people from all faiths should view and respond to the current situation. Watch the full playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list….
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