Saving Our Souls Series | Part 5: 12 Sins of the Stomach – Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

When they said the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, they couldn’t have been more correct. Islam teaches us that the way to a sound heart is through a good stomach. On the contrary, if you consume haram it will hurt your soul. Quite literally, you are (spiritually) what you eat.

From the sins of the stomach are the following:

  1. Consuming money from usury:
    • This applies to direct consumption of it, spending from usurious money, and benefitting from it in any manner, even if not used for food.
  2. Consuming money from unjust taxation
    • This refers to all wealth that is misappropriated, whether unjustly taken by rulers or the imposition of unjust taxes.
  3. Consuming wealth which was misappropriated
    • Misappropriation is the open unlawful seizure of people’s wealth, forcefully, with no right to do so.
  4. Consuming wealth from theft
    • This not only applies to the thief, rather includes any benefitting from stolen property by anyone.
  5. Consuming wealth which was earned in a manner impermissible in the Sacred law
    • Such as corrupt business transactions
  6. Consuming alcohol. The Islamically sanctioned penalty for the drinker of alcohol is forty lashes for the free person, and twenty for the slave.
    • This applies to even a drop of alcohol or any intoxicating agent. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whatever intoxicates in abundance than even a little of it is prohibited (haram).” [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasaa’i, and others]
  7. Consuming or drinking an intoxicating agent
    • This applies to marijuana and other drugs.
  8. Consuming any impurity whether by eating or drinking
  9. Eating or drinking anything considered filthy
  10. Consuming the wealth of the orphan
  11. Consuming endowments contrary to the conditions of the endower
    • An endowment is that which one relinquishes ownership of something permanent, stipulating benefit from it to remain for the poor, scholars, those striving in the path of Allah, the Muslims, or others. It has many religious injunctions related to it, thus any usage of it contrary to the conditions of the endower is impermissible
  12. Consuming anything which was taken under duress.
    • Anything which is taken without the full willful consent of the owner. So anything that was taken due to own’s shyness or shame for not giving it that had it not been for that they would not have given it – it is not permissible to take nor benefit from.

May Allah allow us to consume only that which is halal and forgive us our sins.

The Farewell Sermon: Reflections on the Prophet’s Counsel – Habib Muhammad Abdul-Rahman al-Saqqaf

On Thursday 30th July 2020, over a billion Muslims around the world prayed for Mercy and nearness to God on the holy day of Arafat.

It is our continued effort to disseminate light, clarity, and guidance to the global community. In pursuit of this endeavour, SeekersGuidance hosted a special online event in commemoration of the Day of Arafat. We were honoured to be joined by Habib Muhammad Abdul-Rahman al-Saqqaf for our Day of Arafat program.

(Read About the Program Here).

About – Habib Muhammad Abdul-Rahman al-Saqqaf

Habib Muhammad Abdul-Rahman al-Saqqaf is a direct descendant of our Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him). He studied with some of the greatest scholars of Hijaz of our time including Sayyid Mohammad Bin Alawi al-Maliki, Shaykh Ahmad Mashur Bin Taha al-Haddad and many others. He participated in the establishment of the teaching curriculum at Dar al-Mustafa (Tarim, Hadramawt) for Islamic Studies, and has trained, coached, and founded numerous circles of teaching and calling to God. He has also printed many beneficial publications.

In the video above, Habib Muhammad discussed the Prophet’s mission of spreading wisdom through profound lessons (blessings and peace be upon him). Habib Muhammad draws light upon one such lesson that The Prophet taught during his largest gathering ever on the Day of Arafat, only a few short months before he passed away.

“In the Farewell Hajj are so many lessons and wisdoms which demand great research and much study; the seeker of knowledge would need a full and detailed intensive study of it.”

In his historic sermon, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) laid down fundamental principles for correcting our lives.

Amongst the things he addressed in his speech were:

  • Rights of Islam
  • Rights of People
  • Economical Issues
  • Women’s Rights
  • and many other important topics

Through these lessons as discussed in the video, it is evident that The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was sent to us as a guiding light. It is through understanding his words and the importance behind them that we can begin to benefit from this beautiful religion. 

Abu Bakrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“Delivering the sermon during the Farewell Pilgrimage on the day of Sacrifice at Mina, the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, ‘Verily your blood, your property and your honour are as sacred and inviolable as the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours and in this town of yours. Verily! I have conveyed this message to you.’” – Bukhari and Muslim

The Islamic Scholars Fund

Our Day of Arafat program was organized in an effort to raise awareness of the SeekersGuidance Islamic Scholars Fund (ISF) which was established to help deserving scholars and students in need around the world.

We ask you to donate your Zakat and Charity to the Islamic Scholars Fund – so that scholars around the world can continue to spread clarity and light during these turbulent times.

 

The Masters and the Millennials | Part 6: From the Cradle to the Grave – Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

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

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

One of the challenges of the current age is that many young students of sacred knowledge stop studying after only a few years because they receive public recognition. They are not really scholars but imagine themselves to be, because they are either good at public speaking or are fulfilling some other scholarly role.

We should always seek to increase in sacred knowledge. For example, our Shaykh, sayyidi Habib Umar used to make a point of attending the classes of Habib Salim bin Abd Allah al-Shatiri before he passed away, even though his own classes drew hundreds or thousands of people.

‘Abd Allah bin ‘Amr bin al-‘As narrated that he heard the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) say:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَقْبِضُ الْعِلْمَ انْتِزَاعًا، يَنْتَزِعُهُ مِنَ الْعِبَادِ، وَلَكِنْ يَقْبِضُ الْعِلْمَ بِقَبْضِ الْعُلَمَاءِ، حَتَّى إِذَا لَمْ يُبْقِ عَالِمًا، اتَّخَذَ النَّاسُ رُءُوسًا جُهَّالاً فَسُئِلُوا، فَأَفْتَوْا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ، فَضَلُّوا وَأَضَلُّوا

His statement:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَقْبِضُ الْعِلْمَ انْتِزَاعًا، يَنْتَزِعُهُ مِنَ الْعِبَادِ

This means that Allah will not remove knowledge from this earth by stripping it from the hearts and minds of men.

His statement:

وَلَكِنْ يَقْبِضُ الْعِلْمَ بِقَبْضِ الْعُلَمَاءِ

However, He will remove it biqabd al-‘ulama’. The common meaning of qabd is to take possession. Thus, taking possession of the scholars is commonly interpreted as causing them to die, so that knowledge will die out with them.

Habib Abu Bakr al-‘Adani points to another meaning of biqabd al-‘ulama. He says it refers to the restriction of sacred knowledge in contemporary societies. Short courses are common, with most Islamic universities producing graduates who call themselves shaykhs after four years.

Traditionally, students would continue their journey of sacred knowledge for ten, twenty or even thirty years before becoming scholars. Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, for example, studied for thirty years before he was permitted to conduct his own classes. In Tarim, graduates of Dar al-Mustafa are called students of knowledge (talib al-‘ilm), nothing else, even if they study there for ten years. They are only called ‘Sayyid’ (for the family of the Prophet) or ‘Shaykh’ (for others) if they have obtained recognition from the senior scholars and established themselves in the community.

Gaining sacred knowledge is a life-long journey that requires years of sacrifice and effort. It is not gained by studying at the hand of an academic who does not pray in the mosque five times a day, or who does not pray the voluntary night prayer (tahajjud), or who adheres to modernist ideologies, or who is not even a Muslim.

Studying under such people does not illuminate the heart with sacred knowledge. One must be an exemplary Muslim to be a scholar.

Imam Shafi‘i, one of the most exemplary of all scholars, once looked at the shin of a woman and his memory deteriorated. He sought advice from his teacher, Waki’ ibn al-Jarrah, who advised him:

I complained to Waki’ of my weak memory,
To abandon sin is what he advised me,

For knowledge is light from my ilahi (my Lord),
And a sinner is not given from His Luminosity,

May Allah allow us to be amongst those who seek sacred knowledge only for His sake and allow us to be amongst those who act upon their knowledge.

Saving Our Souls Series | Part 4: 22 Sins of the Heart – Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

There are minor sins and there are major sins.  There are sins of the limbs and there are sins of the heart. The latter in both are the most severe.  Before you can repent from sins you need to know that you’ve fallen into them. So it only makes sense for us to be aware of the sins our hearts make so we can avoid them and turn back to Allah.

From the sins of the heart are:

  1. Ostentation in acts of righteousness
    • to act for the sake of attaining status and reverence from people
    • this (action) invalidate the reward (if it coincides with the action)
    • for example, self-conceit regarding Allah’s obedience – which will be mentioned next
  2. Self-conceit regarding obedience
    • to perceive worship emanating from one’s ability and therefore honoring the self because of it. This is due to a lack of consideration of Allah’s blessings upon him.
  3. Doubt in Allah [This is tantamount to disbelief]
  4. Feeling safe from the plot of Allah (i.e. feeling un-punishable)
    • to continue to disobey Allah counting on his mercy
  5. Despair from Allah’s mercy
    • For one to hold a firm judgment that Allah will certainly punish him in the Hereafter.
  6. Acting arrogantly to Allah’s servants
    • To refuse the truth, belittle people, and to see oneself as being better than many of Allah’s creation, ignorantly neglecting the grave matter of the ending.
  7. Hatred
    • Holding enmity in one’s heart by resolving to cause harm to a fellow Muslim. If he then acts upon that resolve without abhorring the action – this is another act of disobedience.
  8. Envy
    • Disliking blessings for a Muslim and feeling troubled because of it, if he doesn’t abhor this feeling or act according to it. [If such a feeling of dislike merely comes to one’s heart it is not written for them as a sin. That is as long as they abhor the feeling and is not pleased with it. This is because Allah Most High does not take us to take for involuntary actions.]
  9. Reminding of Charity
    • To remind a person of one’s favor upon him with the intention of harm. This invalidates the reward of the action.
  10. Persistence in Sin
    • The hearts avidness and resolve to repeat a sin
  11. Holding a Bad Opinion of Allah
    • This can sometimes be tantamount to disbelief
  12. Holding a Bad Opinion of the Slaves of Allah
    • That is without Islamically sanctioned cause
  13. Rejection of Destiny
    • This is disbelief
  14. Being pleased about one’s sin or the sin of another
  15. Treachery
    • To break a covenant or betray a trust – even if to a disbeliever
  16. Plotting
    • Plotting to cause harm to another in an illicit manner
  17. Holding rancor to the companions, the family of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace), or the righteous.
    • Holding rancor for all of them is disbelief
  18. Withholding regarding that which Allah has made obligatory
    • For example, withholding Zakat
  19. Miserliness
    • Extreme miserliness and inclining toward usurping the possessions of people even if it is prohibited
  20. Covetousness
    • Extreme miserliness and avidness to take other’s rights even if it is prohibited
  21. Mockery of that which Allah Most High venerates
    • This is disbelief if it is done to belittle and it is sinful if done in a way that portrays a lack of fulfilling to right of veneration.
  22. Belittling acts of worship, sins, the Qur’an, Islamic knowledge, paradise, or hell-fire for which Allah has given great importance.
    • The is tantamount to disbelief

May Allah forgive us of our sins, ameen

Recapping Day of Arafat Event 2020

This past Thursday, July 30th, we had an amazing online Arafat event.  We were joined by notable scholars, devotional artists, and community thinkers from around the world.

Click the video above to watch the webinar.

Speakers included:

  • Imam Yama Niazi
  • Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
  • Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan
  • Ustadha Shireen Ahmed
  • Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat
  • Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
  • Ustadh Ubaydullah Evans
  • Nader Khan
  • Shaykh Amin Buxton
  • Peter Sanders
  • Shaykha Zaynab Ansari
  • Shaykh Amer Jameel
  • Habib Muhammad Abddur rahman al Saqqaf
  • Ustadh Abdullah Misra
  • Shaykh Muhammad Carr
  • Alman Nusrat
  • Sidi Edris Khamissa
  • Shaykh Jamal Ud Deen Hysaw
  • Shaykh Ahmed El Azhary

Click here to watch the full video: The Day of Arafat: Standing Before God Webinar

Don’t let a Faith Pandemic Happen

Help Support The Islamic Scholars Fund

“The Islamic Scholars Fund plays a very critical role in supporting individuals who are a means through which you and I will continue to draw closer to our Creator…” – Imam Khalid Latif

 

Unite for Yemen | As a collective body we come together

 

Unite for Yemen


The Situation:

Years of conflict have forced millions to leave their homes and it estimated that some 80 percent of the population – 24 million people – are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Agencies are calling this the “worst humanitarian crisis in the world,” (UN, 2020).

Countless airstrikes have killed innocent men, women and children. There are over 2 million cases of cholera. Two in three locals can’t afford to buy food. Half of the country is near starving, and the onset of COVID-19 has placed even greater pressure on an already flailing health care system.

The Response:

Aid agencies on the ground are working to assist communities, but limited resources and global attention mean that substantially more funding is required.

As a collective body, Dar al Quran, Mukha Cafe, New Beginnings, Peace Meal, Seekers Guidance & Wayfarer’s Lantern have come together to Unite for Yemen. We are urgently seeking to raise funds to assist in a range of projects to be implemented including:

  • Distributing food packs;
  • Distributing hygiene packs;
  • Providing medical aid; and
  • Establishing water wells.


Click here to support us and Unite for Yemen.

‘Arafah | Adhkar to Make on This Blessed Day

* Courtesy of Muwasala – Click here for the original post and here specifically for the list of adhkar

This Thursday is one of the most important days of the year.

The Prophet – Allah bless him and give him peace – said regarding this day, “There is no day on which Allah sets free more slaves from Hell than He does on the Day of ‘Arafah.” (Muslim)

He said in another hadith, “The most excellent dua is the dua on the Day of Arafah, and the best of what I and the Prophets before me have said, is ‘There is no god but Allah, alone, without partner.'” (Imam Malik’s Muwatta)

The teacher of Habib Umar bin Hafiz of Tarim, Habib Muhammad al-Haddar, compiled the following list of adhkar to make on this special day.

Read them, share them, and more importantly, embody the meanings in these words.

Click here to see the adhkar.

 

The Masters and the Millennials | Part 5: The Shaykhs We Meet – Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

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

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

Here, we will be discussing the different shaykhs and teachers we may encounter in our lives. They may fall into one or more of the following three categories (Although a shaykh can to fall into all of them, it rarely happens).

  1. The Shaykh al-Fath (Shaykh of Opening)

The first, and the greatest, is the shaykh al-fath – the shaykh who is the means of receiving an opening of sainthood. Through him, one becomes detached from the world and connected to his Lord, Allah Most High. One draws closer to Allah and finds enjoyment in worship.

The shaykh al-fath is the door to continuous presence with Allah. Many shaykhs experience this presence to such an extent that, if their heart is absent from their Lord for a minute, they regard themselves as apostates. For example, a shaykh repented to Allah for a single sin for forty years. His students asked him about the sin, and he said, “I had guests over one evening and served them fish. Afterwards, as they left my home, I had the smell of fish on my hands and wanted to get rid of it so I took a piece of mud from my neighbour’s wall and cleaned my hands”. The students said, “that is not a serious sin because you could have told the neighbour you took it by mistake and he would have pardoned you”. He said, “that is not the reason I am crying. I went to the neighbour immediately and apologised and he overlooked the sin. I am repenting of the fact that, for the moment that I took my neighbour’s mud without his permission, I was heedless of Allah.”

Words cannot describe the state that the shaykh al-fath facilitates in his students. He may be someone we meet once in our lives. He may be the most unassuming person, and we may think of ourselves better than him. In so doing, we may deprive ourselves of receiving the great opening.

We must take note that the opening is not given by the shaykh himself. Allah has made him a means for others to attain the state. You may reject this, saying there is no proof. However, our shaykhs are living proof of this.

For example, one day Habib ‘Ali al-Habashi was playing in the road with his friends, and Habib Abu Bakr al-‘Attas looked at him from his window. When Habib al-‘Attas’ gaze fell upon him, he became disconnected from everything around him and connected to his Lord.

  1. The Shaykh of Tarbiyah (Shaykh of Spiritual Nurturing )

The second is the shaykh of tarbiyah. He is the one from whom we take the pledge of spiritual allegiance (‘ahd or bay’ah). He tells us which adhkar or litanies (awrad) to recite, and he advises us in times of difficulty.

There is a debate among the scholars as to whether one should have a shaykh of tarbiyah. It cannot be regarded as compulsory, because this would imply that many Muslims around the world who do not have shaykhs are sinful. No scholar would wish to ascribe to this view.

However, the shaykh of tarbiyyah is important. Imam Ghazali says in Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din that there are different ways of attaining spirituality. For example, you can ask a friend – a trusted person who is close to you – to make you aware of your faults. You will respond readily when he advises you of your bad qualities because you trust him, and you will try your best to rid yourself of them. Nevertheless, Imam Ghazali says that a shaykh of tarbiyyah is the best way to attain closeness to Allah, to increase in spirituality, and to develop the qualities of a real believer.

What qualities should you be looking for in a shaykh of tarbiyah?

  1. There should be an appropriate bond or connection between you and the shaykh
  2. The shaykh’s students shouldn’t try to encourage you to become their shaykh’s student. You should be given the space to find someone who will have a life-long impact on your heart
  3. In addition to fulfilling all the commands of Allah, the shaykh should emulate the characteristics (shama’il) of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and display as much of his sunnah as possible

Habib ‘Ali al-Habashi said if you find yourself in your shaykh’s heart and he receives divine outpourings, you will share in them. Imam Hasan al-Basri said if Allah gazes at your shaykh’s heart and you find a place in his heart, you will also receive Allah’s gaze.

  1. The Shaykh of Knowledge

The third shaykh is the shaykh of knowledge (shaykh al-ta‘lim). He is the shaykh from whom you study Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), Islamic doctrine (‘aqidah), Islamic legal theory (usul al-fiqh), tafsir, and all the other sacred sciences.

The shaykh of knowledge plays a major role in our lives. This shaykh ensures that I know how to worship Allah. Through this shaykh, we come to know halal and haram and are able to live lives that are pleasing to Allah. This shaykh assists us in knowing how to execute Allah’s command and to abstain from His prohibitions outwardly; while the shaykh of tarbiyah assists us in doing so, inwardly and outwardly.


Conclusion

We are emphasizing the shaykh of tarbiyah because we are in need of purification of our egos and assistance with our struggle to live as Muslims in the modern western world. The best way to learn how to live our lives in the west is to observe those shaykhs of tarbiyah who have adopted the way of the Messenger of Allah. For example, it is impermissible for a man to shake a strange woman’s hand. This is a big challenge in the west. However, if you really want to follow Allah’s law, He will make things easy for you. When Habib ‘Umar entered a university lecture theatre in North America, a woman professor tried to shake his hand. He raised his hands to his chest politely, thereby letting her know that it was not permissible for him to shake her hand, and smiled at her radiantly. So he made up for not shaking her hand by his smile, as well as his politeness and humility.

While the three kinds of shaykhs are all important, the shaykh of tarbiyah is of the greatest importance to modern western Muslims because he connects us to Allah and guides and benefits us in navigating the challenges we face.

Saving Our Souls Series | Part 3: A Precious Counsel from a Revered Scholar – Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Our master ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad (may Allah be pleased with him and benefit us by him) said, in his book ‘Religious Counsels’:

These qualities are obligatory for every believer to embody and acquire…

Referring to a prior statement just before this:

That the believer should be:

  • in a state of reverential awe
  • humble
  • in a state of fear due to consideration of Allah’s majesty
  • detached from the world;
    • content with less of it
    • generous with the surplus of his possessions
  • desirous for good for the servants of Allah Most High;
    • compassionate to them
    • merciful to them
  • enjoining toward the good and preventing the evil
  • competing in good deeds
  • perseverant in worships
  • guiding toward goodness
  • calling towards guidance
  • emulating of the righteous
  • dignified
  • respectable
  • tranquil
  • beautiful in character
  • big hearted
  • soft shouldered
  • lowering of his wing to the believers

He should not be:

  • arrogant or haughty
  • covetous of people
  • desirous of worldliness
  • giving preference to the world over the Hereafter
  • hoarding of wealth
  • preventing the good
  • harsh nor hard-hearted
  • argumentative
  • quarrelsome
  • accusing
  • rigid
  • evil in character
  • tight-hearted
  • lax
  • deceptive or untrustworthy
  • giving preference to the rich over the poor
  • frequenting the gathering of the sultans
  • quite regarding correcting the wrongs when able
  • loving of:
    • status
    • wealth
    • power
      • rather he should abhor all of these and not endeavour toward any of them nor associate himself with them – unless there be a need or necessity

 

May Allah make us ideal Muslims, ameen.

The Best Ten: A Dhul Hijjah Reader

There’s only so much a pandemic can disrupt and if there’s one thing that will remain intact, it’s the virtuous days in the year Allah has selected.

We experienced ten blessed nights at the end of Ramadan and upon us now are ten blessed days. Days that the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) said regarding them, “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (i.e. first ten days of Dhul Hijja).” Some of the companions asked, “Not even Jihad?” He replied, “Not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger and does not return with any of those things.” (Bukhari)

Help to support deserving scholars and students during these blessed days by donating your zakat and charity to the Islamic Scholars Fund. Your support is a sadaqa jariya and will have a lasting impact on ensuring the Prophetic legacy continues within our global communities.

Here is some of our content regarding these blessed days:

Articles:

Podcasts:

Answers:

Videos:

May Allah – the Most High – accept from us our prayers, sadaqa, and fasting.