Global Impact Report: A Snapshot of the Growing, Global Impact Made Possible With Your Support

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SeekersGuidance presents our Global Impact Report. It expounds on our vision to build an Islamic Seminary with Global Impact while upholding the Prophetic ethos of making knowledge free and accessible to all those who seek it.

A letter from our founder, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, is included. He talks about the focus, the gradual and steady growth of SeekersGuidance, the challenge we are facing.

This is our impact & growth of the last 10 years

We also look at our impact in a concise top-level look

What We Do Reflects World Wide

On the Ground in Toronto

We have also enabled face to face time with notable scholars from around the world

What are we doing in 2020?

2020 continued…

Your support means the world, not in just numbers but in real impact to people’s lives

The Truly Global Seminary

Our Global Faculty

 

Your support will help to grow this impact

 

From the Dawn of History – Stories of Light

Join award-winning author Mehded Maryam Sinclair with your family as she takes you on a breath-taking journey through:

  • The Formation of the Universe and Planet Earth
  • The Creation of the First Human
  • The Divinely-Intentioned Establishment of Human Life on Earth
  • The Procession of the Divine Messengers
  • The Fulfillment of the Message in the Prophet Muhammad,
    may Allah bless him and give him peace

Foster in your hearts a true, deep certainty in our Divinely inspired history. Foster in your family a deep bond of shared listenings and meanings.

Register Here

Knowledge Without Barriers: A Heartbreaking Story About A Student in Need

I just wanted to share a quick story that reflects the importance and blessings of SeekersGuidance and the Knowledge Without Barriers initiative.

This is a short story about one of the sharpest students in our class, who always looked exhausted. Every half an hour or so, he would stand so that he wouldn’t doze off in class.

Every chance he got, he would ask me about the ‘ulema in Pakistan and Canada. He would lament about the state of his people but was hopeful that one day they would reclaim the legacy of the likes of Imam Bukhari, Baha’udin Naqshaband and Imam Tirmidhi.

One morning, I saw him sitting on a bench outside the masjid waiting for Fajr to come in. As I greeted him and saw the exhaustion on his face, I wondered how many nights he had spent on a park bench, and if that was the reason he was always so tired… That was also the last day I saw him in class, he stopped attending.

I ran into him today, and asked him where he’s been… He smiled and said he’s been attending a reading of Sahih al Bukhari. I asked him when he’ll be returning to class… Sadly, he informed me that he wouldn’t be able to, and that he plans to start at another mahad(institution). Why? I asked, ‘this mahad is known to have a much better program and teachers’… He looked down and said ‘I know, but its too much money.’ I asked, how much? ‘200 lira per month ($35 USD), but the other one I can study for free.’ I told him not to worry, let’s figure something out’, he just smiled and said ‘it’s difficult.’

Often times I hear people referring to programs that cost thousands of dollars. It’s not a lot of money! If people really valued knowledge they’d make it a priority!

This brother left his country to seek knowledge, he likely often sleeps on a park bench, doesn’t own a cell phone.. $35/month is his barrier to entry… $35/month. We may lose a future ‘Alim, one who shows deep concern for the umma, loves the ‘ulema and the tradition, and is more than capable, for just $35/month.

Knowledge Without Barriers is critical.

An Evening in Istanbul: Under the Dome of the Righteous – Sidi Abu Ayyub

Keep Good Company In The Last Ten Nights Of Ramadan, by Imam Khalid Latif

*Originally Published on 25/06/2016

In these last nights of Ramadan, gatherings unlike any other time of the year are taking place. We should make sure we are a part of them, writes Imam Khalif Latif.

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.
Our Lord, ya Allah, accept from us, forgive us, and guide and bless us all. Ameen.

2019 Istanbul Calligraphy Retreat

 

 

The 2019 Istanbul Calligraphy Retreat is a unique opportunity for aspiring calligraphers to spend a month under the apprenticeship of master calligraphers in Istanbul.

The retreat will consist of direct instruction in the Islamic fine arts, along with lectures and excursions to visit senior calligraphers – both living and passed –  along with masters in  papermaking, bookbinding, marbling, illuminating involved in preserving and honoring the written word. We hope the retreat will offer participants the opportunity:

– to catalyze lifelong relationships with master calligraphers and internalize the spiritual motivations of creative work
– to formally begin the apprenticeship towards mastery in the letter arts which culminates in the coveted _ijaza_ diploma
– To cultivate meaningful relationships with fellow students to be a source of mutual inspiration and support through the demanding and rewarding  journey toward mastery.

Organizers:

The Deen Arts Foundation aims to inspire and educate by organizing art exhibitions and workshops and supporting practitioners of calligraphy, illumination, ceramics and other Islamic fine arts.
Islamic Retreats was established in early 2018 for the purpose of serving the needs of Muslim communities, groups, organizations, and charities in the West that wish to have educational, activity-driven retreats, or halal Holidays in Turkey. We believe that excursions like these help bring us all closer to each other and reconnect us with nature and reignite the spirit.

 


 

 

A Reader on Rajab

What’s so special about the Islamic month of Rajab? This reader gathers resources about this month and it’s qualities such as blessings and answered prayers. rajab

Rajab does more than mark the sixty-day countdown to Ramadan. It’s also a month of blessings and sanctity, a month where forgiveness is accepted, and a time to sow the seeds of Ramadan.

What Are the Virtues of the Month of Rajab?

Rajab is the Month of Allah

This Rajab, Let’s Remember How Sacred Time Is – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

Getting the most out of Rajab

Welcoming the Sacred Month of Rajab – Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

The Secrets of Rajab by Habib Umar and Habib Kadhim

 

 

 

The Write Legacy: Interview with Dr Saadia Mian and Sr Ambareen Syed

Fatimah Gomez interviews two female Muslim authors, who were guest speakers at the recent Muslim Women’s Literary Conference. interview

Dr. Saadia Mian

Fatimah: Today we have the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Saadia Mian, author of Crowning Venture, and a deeply inspiring person who also completed the memorisation of the Qur’an.

Dr. Saadia, you gave a beautiful uplifting talk about the journey of your book The Crowning Venture, and how this book has changed your life. I’d like to start off from the beginning— where did your writing journey essentially begin?

Dr. Saadia: Well to start with, I was writing on and off for the past five years, usually being inspired by the journeys that my medical career took me upon. I was always a reader, and this has enabled me to write even more.

Fatimah: From what you mentioned during your talk, writing The Crowning Venture was something very personal and involved you telling your reader many personal experiences that you went through along your journey in memorising the Qur’an. Can you tell us how you were so motivated write about these experiences, no matter how personal they were?

Dr. Saadia: Well you see, I realised that if I didn’t let people know and understand the beauty of the journey that comes with learning the Qur’an, nobody would ever know how journey is. I always ask myself, “Is this a message that will help others?” And with this mindset, we as writers have to be willing to write freely from our hearts and not be afraid of what others think of our writing or how they will respond.

Fatimah: And who would you say motivated you the most along your writing journey?

Dr. Saadia: Well, I had amazing editors that really pushed me to write what I wanted to convey to my readers without worrying about anything. They always supported me and encouraged me to write now and they would be able to edit everything later accordingly.

Fatimah: Many of us struggle with articulating the seriousness of our writing. How would you say is a good easy to show others how serious you are with your writing?

Dr. Saadia: I would say just keep on writing, push aside your fears and get your feelings out with your words. Eventually people will come to realise how passionate you are.

Fatimah: And what would be one piece of advice you’d like to leave us with?

Dr. Saadia: The best thing that I can tell you is to find people who are willing to support you and who you can lean on throughout your writing journey. This path of writing isn’t meant to be travelled alone.

Fatimah: Thank you Dr. Saadia, for giving us this amazing opportunity of benefiting from your experience and words.

Dr. Saadia: You’re very welcome.

You can find out more about The Crowning Venture here


Sr. Ambareen Syed

Fatimah: Here we also have with us Sister Ambareen Syed, author of the Henrietta Gee series and mother of six beautiful children.

Tell us, Sister Ambareen, where did you first discover your passion for writing?

Sr. Ambareen: Well, ever since I was young, I was always a big reader. I loved reading sci-fi books and when I started to hit my teen years, I started entering contests with my manuscripts and won them, which encouraged me forward along my writing journey.

Fatimah: And what inspired you to write the Henrietta Gee series?

Sr. Ambareen: It began with storytelling. I used to create stories of this girl named Henrietta and tell them to my kids. They always begged me for more stories and this encouraged me to write them down. Eventually, these stories grew into the Henrietta Gee series.

Fatimah: Amazing. It’s always beautiful seeing inspiration coming from your own children.

Sr. Ambareen. (Laughs.) Yes, definitely.

Fatimah: How would you advise Muslim writers of today to embed the spiritual perspective into their writing?

Sr. Ambareen: Firstly, we must understand that other people will always connect differently to our writing, compared to how we do. But it’s also important that we take advantage of this opportunity of literacy that has been presented to us and use this, striving to uplift our society with our works.

It also comes back to your intention. You have to think of your intention before you write, think about what kind of feelings you want to leave your readers with. What kind of lesson do you want them to think about and take to heart. This makes a difference in our manuscripts because it gives a meaning to our words, creating a message for our readers.

Fatimah: Very important. I know a lot of young writers out there today who are passionate about their work but don’t feel encouraged enough to stay motivated along the journey of literacy. What would you like to tell them to encourage them forward?

Sr. Ambareen: Keep writing. Just keep along at it, don’t even bother to edit your ideas. You want to let the creative process and ideas flow out first, and then later you can hard-core edit everything.

Fatimah: Well thank you so much Sister Ambareen. I’m so glad that you were able to share some of your time with us and hopefully, have motivated and inspired others with your words. Until next time.

Sr. Ambareen: Alhamdulillah, it was my pleasure.

You can find out more about the Henrietta Gee series here


Fatimah Gomez is 15 years old, and the second eldest  of five. She’s currently in high school and has had a passion for writing since age 9. Recently, she completed her first book for Muslim youth, which she intends to publish soon. She enjoys playing and watching soccer, training for taekwondo, jdm cars, discovering the beauty in art and poetry and connecting with Allah’s creation.


 

Mawlid at Zawiya Masjid, Cape Town: 19 November 2018

Dr H. A. Hellyer writes about the coming mawlid at Al Zawiya, Cape Town, on 19 November 2018. If you are in the city then make sure you join in.

In two years, the Azzavia mosque of Cape Town (Masjid al-Zawiya) will reach its centenary. More than one hundred years ago, its founder, Shaykh Muhammad Salih Hendricks, returned from many years of study in Makka, in the final years of the Ottoman polity, and sowed the roots of a community which continues to exist to this day.

When Shaykh Muhammad Salih Hendricks returned to South Africa, he promulgated a program of teaching which was rare not only in the western Cape, but throughout southern Africa and far beyond. He taught fiqh (generally according to the Shafi‘i school of law, but also according to the Hanafi school), including advanced works such as the Mughni of al-Shirbini, one of the most authoritative commentaries of the Minhaj of al-Nawawi. In tafsir, he taught the Jalalayn, and al-Kabir of al-Razi, as well as the Mustasfa of al-Ghazali and the Minhaj of Baydawi in usul. Many other books were taught in the curriculum.

Within the taṣawwuf tradition, Shaykh Muhammad Salih Hendricks was an exponent of the “tariqa ‘ulama makka,” or the “Way of the Makkan Sages,” which is the subject of a book co-written by two of Shaykh Hendricks’ grandsons, and the author. The most visible public expression of Shaykh Muhammad Salih’s communal Sufism was the mawlid al-Nabi celebration – which is maintained to this day, and which will be carried out again on Monday the 19th of November after the night prayer. As Shaykh Seraj Hendricks, one of the two current resident senior shaykhs of the Zawiya Masjid recollects, Shaykh Muhammad Salih would spend up to three months in preparation of this celebration.

There were three components to the celebrations: the men’s mawlid, the women’s mawlid, and the children’s mawlid. These were held, as they still are today, on different days of the week. The mawlid poem that was recited then – as it continues to be recited now – is that of Imam al-Barzanji. Weeks before the actual event, Shaykh Muhammad Salih would teach the poem to his regular students, who would then recite it in a group at the mawlid, and alongside the poem, Shaykh Muhammad Salih would teach a number of commentaries to those same students. The point to this was simple: to ensure the mawlid did not degenerate to mere entertainment, and, on the contrary, was an opportunity to enrich the mind and the soul.

That mawlid is a poetic eulogy of the Prophet Muhammad, alayhi salatu wa salam: based on the book of God, the narrations of the Prophet, and the books of sira. Mawlid al-Barzanji is in two parts: 19 chapters that relate to the history of the Prophet in prose, and then 16 chapters which rhyme. A previous rendition at the Azzavia is here.

This particular mawlid has been translated into various languages, such that it can truly be described as universal in terms of cultural appeal. As one contemporary writer notes on one edition of the mawlid:

“Mawlid Barzanji is in Arabic; it has been translated into Kiswahili by Mzee bin Ali Muhammad from the Comoro Islands of Africa; it is printed in Singapore; its introduction is in the Indonesian language in the Java dialect; it has been transcribed by Mawlana Uthman Abdulkarim Nasserpuri Rahmatullahi ‘alaih of Kenya; it has been applauded in Zikr-e-Habib (Remembrance of the Beloved Prophet) by Ad-Daa’ee al-Kaamil Mawlana Abdul ‘Aleem Siddiqi, Rahmatullahi ‘alaih, who incidentally composed salaams in Urdu; it has been reproduced in countless other kutub (books) including Baqatun ‘Atirah (A Perfumed Bouquet) of Imam as-Sayyid Muhammad ‘Alawi al-Maliki of Makkah, and it is recited from Makkah to Mombasa, from Madina to Singapore, from Arafat to Jakarta and from Mina to Toronto, that is throughout the world by Muslims of all the four Madhhabs and all Tariqas.”

We ask God to bless those who read this mawlid, who hear this mawlid, who recite this mawlid, and to inculcate the love of mercy and service within them – and we are indebted to SeekersHub for spreading this on this day of all days.

From the Zawiya Masjid, Ustadh Dr H. A. Hellyer


Ustadh Dr. H.A. Hellyer
Biography extracted from A Sublime Way: the Sufi Path of the Makkan Sages.

A noted academic and author focusing on politics and religion, Dr H.A. Hellyer was born to an English father and to an Egyptian mother of Sudanese and Moroccan heritage and Ḥasanī and ʿAbbāsī lineage. He was raised between London, Cairo and Abu Dhabi, before receiving degrees in law and international political economy from the University of Sheffield, and a doctorate from the University of Warwick. He began researching Islamic law, theology and spirituality in his teens, keeping the company of and studying under a number of classically trained-scholars in the UK, Egypt, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and elsewhere, including the Malaysian polymath, Professor Tan Sri Sayyid M. Naquib al-Attas, and Shaykh Seraj Hendricks and Shaykh Ahmad Hendricks from among the khulafa of Sayyid Muhammad b. Alawi al-Maliki of Makka.

Dr. Hellyer’s career has included positions at and affiliations with the Brookings Institution, Harvard University, the Royal United Services Institute, the American University in Cairo, the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies of the University of Oxford, and the Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science and Civilisation (CASIS). A public intellectual, he is a frequent commentator and columnist in various media in the United States, Europe and the Arab world, and is included in the annual global list of ‘The 500 Most Influential Muslims’ in the world (‘The Muslim 500’). Among his written works are ‘Muslims of Europe: the ‘Other’ Europeans’ (Edinburgh University Press), ‘A Revolution Undone: Egypt’s Road Beyond Revolt’ (Oxford University Press) and “The Islamic Tradition, Muslim Communities and the Human Rights Discourse” (editor)(Atlantic Council). Dr Hellyer works between London, Washington DC, and Cairo, where he continues to research, teach, and study.