The Story of Islam – The Prophet’s Life by Dr Bano Murtuja

 Introduction to Dr Bano Murtuja

Dr. Bano is a seeker of knowledge who has successfully completed the three-year Micro Madrasa Program in the UK, with direct study under Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa, Ustadha Nagheeba Hayel, and Shaykh Haroon Hanif. In addition she has been a student of Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

She has invaluable experience as a counselor and mentor; as a community leader and activist; and is an experienced public speaker. She is an engaging and effective teacher, whose intelligence, insight, commitment, and concern have benefited countless troubled and sincere souls.

Over the last few years, she has also been answering questions for the Seekers Guidance Answers service.

Original article sourced here.

Islam and Purpose: Setting Priorities Straight

SG Answers By Dr Bano Murtuja

Parental Demands Scared Away Potential Spouse

Difficulty Getting Married Leading to Resentment and Depression

Dealing with In-Laws With a Different Islamic Perspective

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

Should I Let My Daughter Spend Time With Her Non-Muslim Father?

How Do I Encourage My Siblings to Become Muslim?

Unmosqued – A Film Review by Naira – Hayat Al-Dunya, Musings of a Muslimah

Original Blog can be found here
Unmosqued: A documentary film about the mosque in America A film by Ahmed Eid 
Film commentary
glowing-mosque.pngAfter much anticipation, I was fortunate to attend Unmosqued’s world premiere in London, Ontario, Canada. The screening was followed by an insightful panel discussion led by Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Chair of Islamic Studies at Huron University College. After viewing the film, I initially began this post by writing a more traditional and brief review but changed my mind soon after I witnessed an intense discussion on Twitter concerning the documentary. Everyone had some great insight that I felt was important to reflect on before typing anything up. I have since then decided to share almost all my notes concerning the film. Please keep in mind that my opinions are one of a fourth-year university student; I’m no scholar. Please forgive me for my shortcomings and feel free to correct me. I would love to hear your comments and feedback concerning this topic as well — let’s discuss in the comments section, inshaAllah.
Here’s a little background:
According to the film’s about page, “UnMosqued is a documentary film which aims to highlight the growing need for reform in many of the mosques found in America. The purpose of the documentary is to engage a group of people who have been disconnected from their local mosque and explore the various reasons that have led to this sentiment. It is clear that many youth who are likely to be second or even third generation Americans have felt judged or unwelcome at a mosque. It may be the degree of friendliness or a lack of ownership that breeds this feeling. Masajid may not be doing enough to attract and retain the youth, which further alienates the future members of the community from using the mosque space for their spiritual growth.” (Read all of it here).
Though I personally have a lot to say, I thought I’d start off by simply stating what I appreciated/didn’t understand about the film:
What I appreciated:
1) Unmosqued sparked a discussion that was bubbling under the surface (for me, at least). Shortly after the film screening, I found myself speaking to people about the issues I’d been witnessing in my own community (racial divisions/mosque management) and discussing concerns that I previously wouldn’t have. Through those conversations, I realized that talking about an issue to others is sometimes the best way to confront and tackle it. Of course, talking about it must follow up with positive action of some sort.
2) The film shed light on mosque operations and management — which I feel is not brought up often enough — at least not publicly.
3) The film addressed real issues concerning racism, tribalism and nationalism. All are diseases that plague our ummah and divide us up further.

In a more specific example, I appreciated the way the film drew attention to the story of Imam Ibrahim Rahim — one that I was following closely on social media. His personal story echoes issues of systematic racism and it also confronts the issue of unprofessionalism + unjust practices that can sometimes arise in our religious institutions. May Allah forgive us. (Read about this issue here).
4) From Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan to Imam Suhaib Webb, the film’s ethos was well-built. There were many well-known and respected figures who gave their input on behalf of the “unmosqu-ing” that takes place.
mosque-2-300x2255) Addressing women’s concerns in the mosque. Everything from exclusion on mosque management to unkept sister’s sides, the film discussed concerns that I didn’t knew existed on such a vast scale.
6) By far the most important point: the film raised very important concerns about the way converts/reverts are treated by mosque communities. I think people sometimes forget that Islam is a global religion, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (saws) for the whole of mankind. It was heartbreaking to see how converts/reverts fell out of place in Islamic spaces; this was definitely the most important point. Mainly for this reason, masajid management can always learn to be more inclusive. But more than just masajid management, people in the community can determine inclusivity to a certain extent as well; as management cannot be blamed for everything.
What I didn’t understand:
(note: these are purely personal reflections)
1) Through the film’s rhetoric, I got a feeling that there was an almost vilification of the “other.” And by the “other” I mean those who were not “American” enough to understand “proper mosque management.” Though there may be cultural clashes between elderly immigrants and youth raised in America, I personally felt like it was unfair to paint the elderly/immigrants with one brush of ignorance. I believe that with proper discussion and reference to the Quran and sunnah, common grounds can be created in spite of differences.
In regards to language, I also feel we cannot simply dismiss them completely: Arabic, Urdu, Swahili, Persian, etc. These are all languages that mean so much to so many people. They contain layers and layers of history and meaning. As Muslims, we must be sensitive, empathetic and curious. In a way, Muslims in America are slowly becoming role models for Muslims on a global scale (due to social media!). So I just hope Western Muslims don’t loosen their grip in understanding and learning about the beauty of other languages, particularly the traditional Arabic language, by unintentionally vilifying it through vilifying those who speak it. (Note: for those who haven’t watched the film yet, this part may seem a little vague).

2) I wish more youth (teenagers, university students) were interviewed in this documentary. As it was hinted at multiple times in the film, the youth are the future and their opinions on this topic were missing unfortunately. Viewers do look for characters in films that they can relate to. Additionally, I believe the particularly alarming Mipsterz scene should have been supplemented with a more positive image of the youth; the scene alone did not to justice in portraying the condition of the Muslim-American youth.
3) This leads me to my last point. I personally feel like empowerment comes throughpositive messages. Though this documentary was fantastic in many other aspects, I feel it should’ve been more positive than it was. It’s interesting: I noticed that when the film ended, I didn’t really feel that it was actually nearing the end. The film made me think but it did not give me an action plan of what I could do on an individual level to create change — since there were not as many positive models of behaviour present. This is why, during the panel discussion, I asked if Unmosqued could draft an action plan for mosques to follow (as they now have a platform for discussion). With all the experiences that the director, Ahmed, and his team have come across in filming this, I feel that their insight is extremely valuable.
I am grateful to Ahmed and Marwa, the young, married couple who created the film, for being courageous enough to address very controversial yet realistic issues. May Allah swt reward their sincere intentions to bring about positive change.
Overall, I personally felt that the act of “unmosqu-ing” directly depends on a lack ofihsaan — a lack of excellence — in every single aspect of our lives (deen, business, family/relationships, community, etc). Many can attest to the fact that we have forgotten our true responsibilities towards our communities. And perhaps we’ve also forgotten that those in positions of power are sometimes in the best seat to help empower those who are excluded (more specifically, converts/reverts). There are immense responsibilities on those who choose to take part in mosque management, as there are with leaders of any kind. Empathy, kindness, justice and generosity must be practiced in light of the Quran and Sunnah. Mosque leaders must remember that they don’t own the space — it is not their mosque.
All that aside, however, it’s important to remember that people in positions of power are still people in positions of power. They are prone to making mistakes and can unintentionally hurt others. So as members of a single ummah, we must strive to remain united and remember that our true reason for going to a mosque is to connect with Allah swt.
But some would argue it’s still a little more complicated than that. True, the mosque’s presence is a little more complicated than that — especially in this part of the world. The mosque is almost like the only refuge available, since we are constantly bombarded with increasingly confusing and contradictory messages everywhere. And more than just a place of refuge, the mosque is more than a place of worship. It’s a place where we get married. It’s the last place we visit before we visit our grave. It’s a place to meet friends, to seek knowledge, to find comfort, to break our fasts in Ramadan. It is home away from home. But despite all this we must pray in the mosquefisabilillah (for the sake of Allah). Let’s allow our love for Allah swt be stronger than our political divisions. And Insha’Allah, through the right intentions it will be easier to correct our mistakes.
This documentary was a fascinating one to watch and a challenging one to review — as it contained layers upon layers of emotion and meaning. Each layer representing a reality of some sort in our ummah’s diverse communities. As with all things, and with this film, let’s take from the good and learn from the bad. Not every single issue and topic can be addressed in a span of ninety minutes or less — especially one concerning masajid politics. In this particular case, Unmosqued has definitely paved the way towards conversations we should be having. May Allah help us become Muslims of action and ihsaan and help us to understand our responsibilities towards the ummah. May He forgive us for all our shortcomings and may He make us agents of positive change. Aameen.
For more information on Unmosqued or to request a screening, please visit their website. So far, the film has only been screened in two Canadian cities: London, Ontario and Toronto, Ontario.
You can also follow the conversation on Twitter through the #unmosqued hashtag and the (unaffiliated but insightful) #bemosqued hashtag.
Follow Naira on Twitter: @NairaAh_

On Knowing Yourself to Know God – A SeekersCircle Reflection

by Ustadha Leila Adam 
Imam al Ghazzali, may Allah have mercy on him, said: Know that the key to knowing God is to know your own self.
Therefore, says Imam al Ghazzali in “The Alchemy of Happiness”, you must seek out the truth about yourself: What sort of thing are you? Where did you come from? Where are you going? What is the purpose of your creation? What is happiness and where does it lie? What is misery and where does it lie?
The Four Natural Drivers
In the journey of self discovery, it is useful to find out some aspects of what to look for. For example, our nature will have one or more of the following four attributes as a major driving force in it:

  1. Bestial (pig-like)
  2. Predatory (dog-like)
  3. Demonic
  4. Angelic/Lordly

A bestial nature will be preoccupied with satisfying the urges of sleeping, eating and copulating, and generally be driven by bodily pleasures. It uses the faculty of appetite to get what it wants.
A predatory nature will be dedicated to freedom of the self to think and do as it pleases. It uses the faculty of anger to get what it wants.
A demonic nature will derive pleasure from deception, treachery, slandering and corruption of truth. It uses the ego to get what it wants.
An angelic or lordly nature enjoys peace and contemplation, and has a sense of yearning for higher states. It uses knowledge to get what it wants.
The bestial quality is good for caring for and strengthening the body so that it is able to do good works, but it must be kept under careful check.
The predatory quality is good for self defence when attacked, but it must not be allowed to drive us to do injustice. The demonic quality will drive a person to think negatively about everything and everyone, valuing only their own self.
The angelic quality is that little voice in the head that suggests doing a valuable act, but one should also beware of the lordly tendency to be too clever and take advantage of others.
The Four Virtues
A person who has allowed their bestial qualities to dominate will be overtaken by greed, gluttony and passions. They will always be chasing their desires. A person who has their bestial qualities in good check will be contented, chaste; and moderate and balanced in behaviour and life habits. This can be termed ‘Temperance’.
A person who has allowed their predatory qualities to dominate will be overtaken by enmity, detesting, slandering and cursing others. They will always be arguing and getting angry at people who disagree with them. A person who has their predatory qualities in good check will be courageous, generous, chivalrous and patient with others. This can be termed ‘Courage’.
A person who has allowed their demonic qualities to dominate will be self-centred, and have a sense of superiority and arrogance over others. They will dislike others and look down on them. A person who has their demonic qualities in good check will be charitable and compassionate, having sincere concern for others. This can be termed ‘Justice’.
A person who has allowed their lordly qualities to dominate will be clever and might use cunning and guile to get what they want. A person who has their lordly qualities in good check will have insight and discernment, and a sense of certainty of what is good and right. This can be termed ‘Wisdom’.
From this understanding come The Four Virtues: Courage, Temperance, Wisdom and Justice. These are four virtues we should try to cultivate in ourselves.
The Heart is Our Kingdom
The heart is the kingdom of the person. We have to protect this kingdom from the ‘vandals’ that will capture and harm it. The heart was created for the Hereafter and its happiness is in knowing God. We get to know God through His Signs (His words and creation). The heart feels joy when it sees the wonder of what God does.
The heart ‘hunts’ for this knowledge of God through the 5 outward senses and the 5 inward mind processes. The body is the vehicle of the heart. It is the only way that the heart can access what it needs. The 5 outward senses are of course: sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. The 5 inward mind processes are: visualising (seeing something in the mind’s eye), cognitive thought and understanding, memory (remembering), recollecting and reusing (dhikr), and reflecting and pondering (tafakkur).
These 10 faculties can be thought of as the ‘armies of the heart’, and should be under its command. If the heart is overtaken with desires, passions or egotism, the armies will be misused. If a person doesn’t strive to develop the Four Virtues, the heart will get ‘captured and imprisoned’ by the base natures. It then has to ‘bow to the idols’ of dogs, pigs or demons.
Diseases of the Heart
If we let our behaviour go unchecked, the cumulative result of repeatedly following our desires, emotions or egos will be the development of diseases in the spiritual heart. Just as the body will get diseases if we don’t eat properly or sleep well or exercise regularly, so the heart will suffer if our behaviour isn’t controlled. 
A person who submits to the bestial urges of appetite will manifest diseases of greed, shamelessness, foul behaviour, flattery, envy, rejoicing in other people’s misfortunes, and miserliness.
A person who submits to the predatory urges of anger and emotion will manifest diseases of hastiness, impulsiveness, impurity, lawlessness, loudness, boasting and flaunting themselves. They will also be scornful and attacking of others.
A person who submits to the demonic urges of negativity and arrogance will manifest diseases of treachery, deception, fraud, meanness and spoiling of the good, as well as callousness and lack of empathy.
The angelic or lordly nature of humans is linked with their superior intellect, over and above the animals. This quality makes us able to understand things deeply and drives us to aim for higher states. Human life provides a limited time to achieve the higher states that the heart yearns for. When we die there is nothing left of appetites, passions and egos, but the damaging effects of the disease and scars they leave on our hearts can last for eternity.
Related links:
Purification of the Heart Video
SeekersGuidance free online courses: 
Purification of the Heart & Praiseworthy Character (from Ghazali’s 40 Foundations of Religion)
The Marvels of the Heart

Love & Intention – SeekersPoint Auckland Launch Weekend by Sr. Chloe

By Sr Chloe Idris
This past weekend was the launch of Seekers Point Auckland. My husband and I had booked our flights a month in advance to attend this event, traveling from Wellington to Auckland straight after work. We had both made a personal commitment to attend beneficial gatherings in New Zealand whenever possible, and after our experience at the 2012 SeekersRetreat in Taupo, there was no way we wanted to miss this.
It was such a blessing to be in the presence of Shaykh Faraz Rabbani as well as local teachers Ustadha Waseema Ahmed, and Ustadh Haamid BenFayed. The launch was a jam-packed weekend filled with beneficial and inspiring knowledge, and although I left the event feeling physically exhausted, I was also spiritually nourished again in a way that made me realise I had been famished for quite a while.
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, filled with our responsibilities and everything that we ‘have to do’, ‘must do’, and ‘need to do’, we forget that God is always with us. We forget that we can open up to Him at any time, and He will listen. We forget that God hasn’t made it hard to become closer to Him; all we have to do is take the first step, and He will come to us running. The message that I took away from the launch was love, in all its forms. Love for the Divine, love for the Prophet in his human perfection, love for our fellow human beings. This weekend emphasised to me that the foundation of this religion is love, and in fact, love is the very reason that we exist at all. We are engulfed in mercy by the Creator, and we were created purely to know Him. Deep down our souls recognise this and yearn to be back with Him, yet we suppress this natural inclination, we suppress our fitra.
The Shuyukh empasised the importance of reflection as a means of attaining God-consciousness. They emphasised the importance of creating a habit of pausing before doing, taking a moment to consider the ‘why’ behind the action. Each pause is in fact an opportunity, a chance to purify our intention and open a space for God in our heart. Imagine a day filled with these moments – moments of reflection, moments of remembrance, moments of noble intentions. By filling our days with moments like these, attaining God-consciousness becomes easier, and we will become increasingly close to Him. God isn’t absent from our lives, He isn’t disinterested and uninvolved. In reality, He is only a thought away.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala fill our hearts with love for Him, and the Beloved Prophet sallallahu alayhi wassalam. Ameen.

Why is SeekersGuidance launching SeekersPoint Auckland (and what is it)?

by Aarif Rasheed
In the Name of God, The Compassionate, The Merciful
Assalamualaikum everyone,
The Need in Our Community
For about the last 10 years we have been trying to establish for ourselves and the wider community an aspiration towards fulfilling our potential as Muslims – our higher potential as the best of Allah’s (God’s) Creation.
Our goal so far has been to revive the classical Islamic education in our community: the highest standards of academic excellence that we know is responsible for the great Islamic civilisations of the Golden Years of Islam.
We now know that in this post-colonisation era, access to traditional Islam from the great lands of learning that we now see in utter strife, such as Syria, Iraq, and Egypt, had been diminishing for some time. The wider post-colonisation reality of the Muslim world was one in which the academic excellence of the previous Islamic civilisations had all but gone.
Already Part of the Community
Over the last 10 years, we have had numerous international scholars from Islamic institutions around the world come to us who have been learnt widely and deeply in such cradles of knowledge. The result of this hard work is that many students are now learning with either local teachers or with scholars teaching from the around the globe. We have regularly come together for learning together locally, and for serving together locally. Students, and volunteers, are scattered across all the well-known Islamic organisations, including RMDT, WTG, Al-Hikmah Trust, Fatimah Foundation, IWCNZ, etc.
What we see is that from learning Islam together, and practising together (including, importantly, serving others together) we actually build a community together. But not just a community for the sake of building one, but a community that is based on guidance from Islamic teachings, respect for those teachings and the teachers that teach them, and a respect for all that is sacred in our world.
Join Us On This Journey
We invite you to join us on this journey to reestablish the high standards of academic excellence and service. This return to excellence involves spreading balanced, mainstream understanding of our religion, so that we may once again be a people of Taqwa (God-Consciousness) & Service.
These efforts must occur under the guidance of scholars who are both deeply learned in the religion, but also in the context and needs of the communities that are being served. SeekersGuidance has brought together such scholars, and established institutions that are now bringing together all these years of efforts into one globally coordinated but locally based, effort. This has meant a great increase in access to scholarship, which is also now free of any cost, under the Knowledge Without Barriers initiative of SeekersGuidance.
SeekersPoint Auckland will represent the first formal SeekersGuidance collaboration in New Zealand. Many of its students, servants, and now, associated teachers, are in Auckland, and the community is one that is more than ready to embrace the SeekersGuidance ethos of serving the community and upholding the standard of Islamic excellence.
SeekersPoint Auckland is where seekers of knowledge and servants of the community (hopefully that is everyone!) can come together and support each other to remain committed to Building a strong, united community. That is, united on the teachings of the Quran & Sunnah as compiled and codified by the continuous generations of scholars from the time of the companions. That strong community comes out by facilitating the learning of this authentic Islam, and serving of others, both as the means to ultimately seeking the pleasure of Allah The Almighty.
Giving Access
Therefore SeekersGuidance has made it a priority to make the seeking of authentic knowledge accessible to everyone. The 20th Century (post-colonisation of much of the Muslim) saw a considerable weakening of access to authentic knowledge. SG is striving to reeducate the masses globally, given the huge now prevalent post-colonisation. This is so that we can return to the academic excellence that existed in the earlier times of Islamic civilisation. The ongoing destruction of cradles of knowledge like Iraq and Syria (and more recently Egypt) has greatly affected the prolific teaching and learning that was going on in these lands.
In the present climate, there is a lot of pressure on Islamic institutions around the world. In this difficult environment, SeekersGuidance has been able by Allah’s blessing to make sacred knowledge available for free, globally, thanks also to the generosity of those who can afford to donate. Presently, over 10,000 students in 130 countries already are establishing their grounding in Islam, with many amazing stories of those who previously couldn’t access proper Islamic knowledge for reasons of cost and being unable to find scholarship where they are.
Global effort, Local results!
SeekersGuidance aims to reconnect Muslims to the academic excellence of traditional Islam, and accessing any local scholarship available is a high priority. SeekersGuidance is involved in supporting many of the great scholars now scattered around the world, and in ensuring they remain accessible not just locally, but globally! This means supporting scholars and their families as and when required, and allowing scholars to devote their time to academic excellence, meaning proper guidance from scholars and a reawakening of love for Islamic sciences. Of course, a major symptom addressed by this revival of Islam is making Islam relevant once more to our people, young and old, wherever they may be in the East or West.
SeekersPoint Auckland Events, 7-9 February, 2014
SeekersPoint Auckland is launching! This allows the Auckland community to access even more of SeekersGuidance benefits, including the visiting of major scholars, supporting of local scholars, facilitating committed service to beneficial organisations already serving Islam and Muslims here in Auckland and much more: many of the symptoms we see in our community, such as Islam appearing less relevant to many young Muslims and gradually disappearing from our Masjids, are symptoms of the underlying absence of this knowledge and spirit of Islam that must be properly established, wholesomely and organically, in our community!
International & Local Scholars
We will be having very special scholars visiting us to explain all this, and launch Auckland’s SeekersPoint! SeekersGuidance founder Shaykh Faraz Rabbani will be travelling to Auckland to join us, along with local scholars, to not only launch SeekersPoint but also teach for the weekend while here. Shaykh Faraz alone will be travelling for over 30 hours to reach us, to be with us for only 3 days! Though in huge global demand, such local milestones wherever they may be, are so dear that the scholars are making his way to Auckland especially for our launch events.
Many NZ and Auckland students who are already learning with SeekersGuidance will get the opportunity to meet the people behind this global initiative that is going local everywhere, without barriers!
Guests from all around New Zealand: we will also be joined by seekers and community leaders from all around New Zealand, including Wellington, Hamilton, New Plymouth and Christchurch. If you’re interested in coming, or establishing a connected community in your area, please let us know ASAP so that we can help you in any way we can!
All queries may be directed to us at: [email protected] OR TEXT: 021 763 810.

OPEN NOW at So be on notice, keep your Waitangi weekend entirely free, and start planning now – get your notebooks, pens and bags ready and dont forget to register by this coming weekend!

Winter’s Spring – The Miracles of Rabi al-Awwal – by Sidi Yousaf Seyal


by Sidi Yousaf Seyal, Zaytuna College Student and Seeker of Knowledge

It is finally that time of the year again – Rabi al-Awwal, the birth month of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (may God’s prayers and peace be upon him). It is in this month that the Muhammadin light was brought forth to this world to restore the original purity of mankind, the worship of One Deity alone.

Upon his birth, the Muhammadin light manifested so powerfully that it enlightened the heavens and extinguished the great fire of Persia, a fire that had not cooled for a thousand years! His birth was a sign in itself, a sign that indicated his uniqueness and greatness. Because his birth was a sign, everything about him was too. His mere presence attracted those around him and his speech was inspired by God Himself. Only the ignorant and arrogant were blinded to the light of God in him; the light of ‘La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah’.

Prophetic Mercy

However, it is important to note that the Muhammadin light did not dull after his passing. It was carried on by his Companions and those who came after them until this day. His light was mercy, a universal mercy shining onto every creature, world, and realm; therefore, his light was preserved for mankind to benefit from until the end of time. Because this light still remains, so do his signs. His light, mercy, and signs are carried by those who have sacrificed the pleasures of this limited world for the limitless pleasures of the next by treading the Muhammadin path, a path seeking both the love of God and His Prophet; these are the awliya – the friends of God.

Heirs of the Beloved Prophet

I have found through my own personal reflection that the special property of the Prophet was mercy. The heirs of the Prophet inherit Prophetic properties; therefore, the heirs of the Prophet are merciful. To confirm this, God says in respect to the Prophet: “And we have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds” (Quran 21:107), and the Prophet said: “…the religious scholars are the heirs of the prophets” (Imam Ahmad, Tirmidhi, and others). It has also been said, “Whoever wishes to see the gatherings of the Prophet, then he should look towards the gathering of the saints”.


A few interesting things have struck me this Winter’s Spring:

dew-1-1396984-mRabi’ in Arabic means ‘spring’. This year, Rabi’ al-Awwal came around in the heart of winter, and the Prophet said, “Winter is the spring of the believer…”. We know that crops and fruit come to life in the spring, whereas the winter is deprived of such blossom and plantation. It is as if this month is speaking to us and saying, “The Prophetic mercy is universal for all times and places. Sending prayers upon him is like nourishing a plant that grows throughout every season, and its roots only go weak when it is no longer nourished with his remembrance. Continue to remember him regardless of your circumstance and situation for indeed, his remembrance will only bring you light and life.”

2) The first day of Rabi’ al-Awwal fell right after the first day of New Year’s Day. This is a reminder that our new year should begin with the remembrance of the first of creation, the Prophet, as he himself said: “I was created whilst Adam was still between water and dirt.” Let us commit ourselves to sending an abundance of prayers upon him this year.

3) Interestingly, it snowed on the first day of Rabi’ al-Awwal. As we all know, rain is a sign of acceptance and mercy, and prayers are answered during the time of rain. The Prophetic mercy is a type of rain that exceeds beyond the earth and extends into the heavens.

Revisit the Sirah

Many, if not all, of my teachers have advised me to read a book on the Prophetic biography and characteristics in this month. If this is difficult, then at the very least, every one of us should increase prayers upon the Beloved Prophet. Sending prayers upon the Beloved Prophet brings ease to the mind and joy to the heart. Most virtuously, the Beloved Prophet himself replies to the one who prays upon him; this alone should suffice for the true lover.

Closing Supplications

May Allah instill in us love of His Beloved Prophet, may He bestow us with knowledge of him, and may He allow us to embody his character in all of our affairs. May we be close to the Beloved Prophet in this world and in the next! O God, do not deprive us of meeting with him on the Day of Rising, grant us his intercession, allow us to drink from his river, enter us into the Gardens with him, and grant us a place near him in Paradise. Let him be happy with us, allow us to honor him in all of our affairs, and make us his heirs. O God, embody our internal state with ‘La ilaha illa Allah’ and our external state with ‘Muhammad Rasul Allah’.

And God knows best.

Merry Mawlid!

The MicroMolvi,
Yousaf Seyal

Próxima Parada – Buenos Aires!

This article can be found in English here.

Llegando al fin del año 2013, el Shaykh Faraz Rabbani(Fundador & Director Ejecutivo, SeekersHub Global) y el Imam Afroz Ali (Managing Director- SeekersHub Global) viajaron a Argentina para brindar un retiro intensivo de verano, para ayudar alrededor de 40 nuevos musulmanes a aprender y poner en práctica el Conocimiento Sagrado de la Ley Islámica, Creencia y Espiritualidad.
El retiro de ‘Los Confines de la Tierra’ tuvo lugar en Tandil, 4 horas al sur de Buenos Aires, en una granja familiar dedicada a los cultivos orgánicos.
Preservando la Ortodoxia del Islam.
Al arrivar, tuvimos una grata sorpresa, encontrarnos con este grupo de nuevos Musulmanes comprometidos con la prácticas diarias de adoración y recuerdo de Dios, El Exaltado, y cantando alabanzas al Amado Profeta, La Paz y la bendiciones de Dios sean con el. Sus fundaciones eran fuertes y profundamente enraizadas en la ortodoxia del islam, conectadas a la guía profética.
El Imám Afroz Ali dijo, “la experiencia en Argentina me demostró nuevamente que la vía comprobada del islam tradicional es lo que preserva la Religión de Dios. Esta pequeña comunidad de musulmanes, a pesar de estar lejos de tierras islámicas, vive la belleza de la guía profética a través de una sólida conexión, con la transmisión del entendimiento de la religión. Viven esto como una comunidad de buscadores, en vez del desagradable, ‘hazlo tu solo’ Islam en el que tantos están atrapados hoy en día.”
A pesar de la complejidad de una era digital plagada con información errónea, compuesta por ideologías literalistas post-clásicas, que divergen de los sistemas preservados de adquisición de conocimiento de la Ciencias Sagradas, musulmanes en Buenos Aires han mantenido una fuerte conexión con los conocimientos fundacionales preservados a través de la herencia Islámica del ‘Isnad’ (cadena de transmisión ininterrumpida) y el ‘Madhab’ (metodología basada en la evidencia). Su entusiasmo en incrementar su conocimiento y práctica coincide completamente con el alcance de SeekersHub Global hasta los ‘Confines de la Tierra’ liderado por el Sheykh Faraz Rabbani.

Next Stop – Buenos Aires! Journeying to the Ends of the Earth, Facilitating Knowledge Without Barriers

As the end of 2013 dawned upon us, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani (Founder & Executive Director, SeekersHub Global) travelled to Argentina to facilitate an intensive summer retreat to help some 40 new Muslims to learn about and put into practice Sacred Knowledge of Islamic Law, Belief and Spirituality.
The ‘Ends of the Earth’ Retreat was held in Tandil, some 4 hours south of Buenos Aires, on a family farm dedicated to organic farming and stewardship of land.
Preserved Orthodoxy of Islam
Upon arriving there, they were caught by a pleasant surprise. The new Muslims, of all ages, were already committed to their daily devotion of worship and remembrance of God, The Exalted, and singing praise of the Beloved Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him. Their foundation was strong and deeply rooted in Orthodox Islam connected to Prophetic guidance.

In spite of a complex digital age filled with misleading information, compounded by literalist post-classical ideologies which have diverged from the preserved system of attaining knowledge of the Sacred Sciences, Muslims in Buenos Aires have maintained strong connection to foundational knowledge. This knowledge is preserved through the Islamic heritage of Isnad (unbroken chain of transmission) and Madhab (evidence-based methodology). Their keenness to increase their knowledge and practice coincided very well with the outreach from SeekersHub Global to the Ends of the Earth led by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Continuing With The Tradition

Historically, authentic Islam was transmitted to people either by seekers of knowledge travelling to the traditional places of study or by scholars of the Sacred Sciences travelling to the Ends of the Earth, taking with them sound knowledge, transmitting it to those who seek a true relationship with their Lord. SeekersHub Global’s commitment to facilitate the learning and practice of Knowledge Without Barriers continues with this age-old tradition existent from the Prophetic era.
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani commented on this, saying, “The week in Argentina was one of the most memorable of my life as it showed the transformative beauty of faith and Prophetic guidance. The community of convert seekers that hosted us was transformed by the faith they embraced and keen to learn. It also reminded me of the power of Knowledge Without Barriers: through this effort, Seekers are reaching seekers, around the world. This is a gift from The Merciful God. May we be of the thankful.”

The Muslim community in Buenos Aires are an evidence of the transformative power of global connections of communities of seekers, one helping the other by generously sharing time, knowledge and financial assistance.
SeekersPoint Buenos Aires, in Spanish!
SeekersHub Global’s commitment to breaking barriers between seekers and guidance is now breaking another barrier: language.
With overwhelming request, support and commitment from the Muslims of Argentina, SeekersHub Global has now set up SeekersPoint Buenos Aires!
But, it is not only another SeekersPoint, all of which are already serving their local communities tremendously. SeekersPoint Buenos Aires will also be the Service Centre for the Spanish-speaking world all over. This is new ground in serving Muslims globally in different languages suitable to local communities. SeekersHub Global is committed to break language barriers wherever possible.
SeekersHub Global is already working with Muslims from Argentina to commence translation works into Spanish in a professional manner e.g. important articles, answers and blog pieces. In addition, special classes are now being arranged for the community, as well as to local advanced seekers to become, insha Allah, authorised teachers to teach in Spanish.
Support Knowledge Without Barriers
SeekersHub Global recognises that knowledge is priceless, and we need globally collective assistance and cooperation to invest in facilitating the transmission and preservation of Sacred Knowledge to the Ends of the Earth. Beyond meagre classes, SeekersHub Global is fulfilling its vision for the benefit of all humanity: it is investing in building an institution of people (rather than just buildings) who are worthy to carry on the tradition and methodology of Prophetic guidance, democratising knowledge through free access to all.
SeekersHub Global is developing programs based on a structured continuum of learning through SeekersSteps, SeekersArabic and many general courses, as well as facilitating positive action through SeekersWorks throughout the world. Such holistic effort aims to nurture individuals into communities of seekers and Servants of the Merciful to the Ends of the Earth, powered by your generosity.
Building an institution of people of knowledge, positive action and virtuous character needs our shared investment; facilitating knowledge without barriers is our shared goal. Please DONATE generously to help build such an institution.

The Soul’s Journey after Death and The Day of Judgement – Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa

by Lina Abdul Wahab
Thanks to Sa’Adah for allowing us to share these videos with you.
Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Shaykh Ibrahim Osi- Efa was blessed to have learnt from some very distinguished traditional scholars. Amongst some of whom he learnt from are Murabit al-Haj, al- Habib Umar bin Hafiz and Shayh Hassan al-Hindi. He studied for three years in Syria and Mauritania, followed by six blessed years in Tarim, Hadramaut. In Tarim, he had the opportunity to learn under the qualified hands of teachers such as Habib Kazim al- Saqqaf, al-Habib Ali al-Jifri and al-Shaikh Umar Husain al-Khatib.
The Journey
In these compelling video recordings of his lecture, he speaks about the soul. He opened his lecture on how our souls determine the state of our beings in this world and in the hereafter. He spoke about the believing souls and the concept of souls in Islam. He also touched upon what happens to our souls in the hereafter and how do we take care of our souls in this world, to prepare ourselves for the hereafter. He elaborates on what happens to the souls after death, based on the Quran and narrated authentic Hadith. In the second video, he patiently answered queries from attendees of his talk about the journey of the soul after physical death, for the souls do not die.

The Day
In this third video, Shaykh Ibrahim gives a comprehensive and intense narration on what happens on the Day of Judgement as promised by our Lord. He gives examples of the signs of the last days and also what we should expect to happen, based on all the Quranic warnings and narrations from authentic Hadith with regards to the topic.

His videos are compelling and intense, yet informative. He engages the audience with stories which one can really relate to and for one to take lessons from.

Rejoice! Reviving Remembrance and the Prophetic Way – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani Eid al-Adha Khutba 2013

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani delivered this powerful, inspiring, and uplifting Eid Khutba at the joint Eid al-Adha Prayer and Khutba sponsored by SeekersHub Toronto, Lote Tree Foundation, and Risalah Foundation.
Shaykh Faraz begins with a reminder of how tremendous the blessing of Allah’s command to rejoice–both in general and in these blessed days of Eid–truly is.
Then, he shares some of the implications of Allah’s command, “When you complete your pilgrimage rituals, remember Allah as you remember your parents or more intensely.” [Qur’an]
The believer lives with passion and intensity, both in their social relations and in their spiritual life, as both are expressions of remembering Allah, seeking Allah, and beholding Allah.
The question arises: how can one rejoice in troubled times? Shaykh Faraz explains that the believer sees troubles and tribulations (fitna) as opportunities of seeking Allah through right response.
What is the right response? It is to revive the Prophetic way (sunna). The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said that whoever revives his sunna in times of tribulation (fitna) for his Community shall have the reward of a martyr.
Shaykh Faraz explains the two wings by which the sunna flies: (1) presence of heart with Allah (hudur ma`a Allah) and (2) calling oneself and others to Allah, as explained by the great Iraqi scholar and jurist, Shaykh Abd al-Karim al-Mudarris.
He then closes by urging us to be part of this Prophetic call, by seeking knowledge; by supporting the institutions that seek to spread beneficial knowledge; and by being active members of the community.
And Allah alone gives success.
Lote Tree Foundation:
Risalah Foundation:
SeekersHub Toronto: