Heart Melting Traditions: The Temptations of This World

Hadiths to Revive the Heart

Part Two: The Temptations of This World

This is the second article based on the series, The Heart Softeners from ‘Kitab al-Riqaq from the Mishkat al Masabih, presented by  Shaykh Abdullah Misra. In the previous article, we learned about the reality of this world and touched on the two blessings of health and free time. After learning about the insignificance of this world in the eyes of Allah Most High we begin to learn about the temptations and trappings of this world so that we can put them into perspective in our own lives. We are reminded that this world is “the arena of our deeds.” And that “this is the one place that we have to do these deeds.”

We are taking a step further on the slow journey to soften our hearts. A type of treatment of the heart where we realize our true blessings and resources in this life and our treatment of them. With that in mind, we begin exploring desires and pleasures and how to put them into perspective.

Hadith Five

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)  said, “That hellfire is veiled,” or in another narration, surrounded by desires, or lustful desires or pleasures, “and that paradise is veiled,” or surrounded by disliked inconveniences, as narrated by Bukhari and Muslim.

Sometimes what we find that which is beautiful and attractive in this world will actually reveal the hellfire to us, and often those things we find inconvenient actually reveal Heaven to us.  Ustadh Abdullah explains to us that not all pleasures and desires are sinful, and this is referring to those which Allah Most High has made haram, or sinful.

Disliked inconveniences can refer to things such as the discomfort of fasting during Ramadan, waking up for Fajr, or simply holding one’s tongue when our words could possibly hurt another’s feelings. We also learn that there are halal pleasures, such as eating, sleeping, and having relations with our spouse, that when fulfilled for the sake of Allah Most High can actually fall into the second category of lifting the veil to Heaven.

Hadith Six

The messenger of God, (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,  “How unfortunate is the slave of the gold coin, the dinar, and the slave of the silver coin, the dirham, and the slave of fine clothing,” clothing that arrogant people wear, “When he gets and he receives something he is pleased, that slave, and when he does not get, people don’t give him, he is angry.  How unfortunate and how terrible, and when he is pricked by a calamity he cannot remove it from himself.”

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) continues:

“Glad tidings be to the servant who grabs the reins of his horse in the path of God with disheveled hair and dusty feet if he is assigned to the advance guard of the army,”  meaning if he’s on duty and assigned to the front, he fulfills his duty, “and if he’s assigned to the rear guard, sent to the back, he fulfills his duty the same. If that type of person asks permission to join a gathering he will not be permitted, and if he intercedes on behalf of someone else his word will not be accepted.”

This hadith shows us two contrasting types of people in this world. The first is one who is overcome by the objects of this world and acquiring them. This person’s state of completely revolving around the things and money they have, or don’t have, and when the smallest problem befalls them they lack the perspective to deal with it. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) tells us how sorry a state this is to be in –  when a person lacks the meaning in their life to weather the storms it brings.

Then the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) goes on to tell us the opposite of this. This is a person who has no attachment to the things of this world but is the complete slave to Allah Most High. His clothes may be disheveled and dusty, people exclude him from gatherings because he has no status in their eyes and they do not take his world, either. Yet, in spite of all this, this person struggles in the way of Allah Most High seeking only His pleasure. They may not have had the chance to dress nicely, but are clothed in humility and humbleness.

Though people may not take their word, when this kind of person prays to Allah Most High that prayer is accepted because they are asking for Allah’s pleasure, forgiveness, and mercy. This tells us not to look at the standards of people of the world but look at the standards of those who are simple and humble towards Allah and who do their duty for Allah’s sake.

Hadith Seven

Imam Tabrizi is narrating to us the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Of the things that I fear for you after my life is how much will become available, how much will open up to you of the fleeting, dazzling beauty of this world and its charms.” And a man, a man who was there, asked, ” Oh Messenger of Allah, will such nice things bring with them any evil?” And so the prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) became very saddened until the Righteous Companions thought that he would receive revelation, and then he began to perspire.

Sweat began to overcome his face and then he came out of it and then he asked “Where’s the one who asked that question?” As though he was praising him for asking. Then the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘it’s not that the good things of the world bring evil, but that sometimes the amount that sprouts in the abundance of springtime can kill a creature or come close to that if it is overeaten.”

We can learn a great deal from this hadith about wealth. For one, that wealth in and of itself is not bad, but how we approach it. If someone takes what they need and spends it in truth earning it in truth and spending it in truth, how beautiful that wealth is. But whoever takes it without its due right is like the one who keeps on eating but never feels satisfied. That bears witness against him on the day of judgment. It is good to take the wealth we need in halal ways and enjoy it, but overindulgence can lead to our downfall and destruction as an animal that has overgrazed can die or be killed due to that overeating.

Hadith Eight

It is narrated from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (Allah grant him blessing and peace) said, ”Oh Allah, make the provision of the family of Muhammed just enough,” or in another narration, just according to what suffices.

We can find different meanings in this hadith. While the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) prayed that his own family only be granted just enough, this does not mean that we need only live with the bare minimum, but that we can have what we need for our daily lives and for our family and a little extra to enjoy and thank Allah with it. So while the religious leaders, the elect and elite of the pious and righteous, would do with just a little so as not to need to account for anything or be distracted, we may take what we need and a little bit extra and thank Allah, and use that to worship Allah Most High.

We close this second episode by asking Allah Most High to make us realize the meanings of these hadiths and make us live these meanings and change our hearts and soften our hearts in the days and nights. May we apply what is in these hadiths so when we stand in front of Allah in the night, we connect to Allah deeply.

Biography of Shaykh Abdullah Misra

Shaykh Abdullah Misra was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, into a Hindu family of North Indian heritage. He became Muslim at the age of 18, graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Business Administration, and worked briefly in marketing. He then went abroad with his wife to seek religious knowledge full-time, first in Tarim, then in the West Indies, and finally in Amman, Jordan, where he focused his traditional studies on the sciences of Sacred Law (fiqh), hadith, Islamic belief, tajwid, and sira.

 

Watch full video here:

Hadiths of the Heart Softeners: The Temptations of This World (part two)

 

Living Simply: The Love of Meeting Allah (Part Nine)

Living Simply: Letting Go and Holding Fast

The Joy of the Believer (Part Nine)

door masjid

In order to get through life with ease, the early Muslims (salaf) focused on certain key ways of living that would make it spiritually and practically easier and more fruitful. They coined a term for the variegated rules that they lived by, a term that summarized the system of living for the Hereafter. They called it zuhd: detachment from this world. Other terms to describe zuhd are indifference towards worldly matters or simple or minimal living. This is the ninth article from a series of articles and podcasts by SeekersGuidance scholar, Shaykh Farid Dingle.

 

Introduction to Asceticism (Part One)

Listening More, Talking Less (Part Two)

Entertaining Ourselves to Death (Part Three)

Being Extremely Moderate (Part Four)

Evaluation of the Self (Part Five)

Wronging Others in Word and Deed (Part Six)

Spreading Muck (Part Seven)

Active Minimalism (Part Eight)

 

Since the believer’s ultimate goal and joy is Allah Most High and the next life, nothing fills his heart like drawing nearer to the time when he will meet Him. Naturally, then, we find the lore of the early Muslims replete with expressions of their wish to move on to Allah. All that held them here in this life was their occupation with deeds that would please Him. Besides death itself and good deeds, they also rejoiced at calamities because they knew they were expiations for sins. Ultimately, their joy was in the fact that they were believers because they appreciated how dear the believers are to Allah Most High.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever would love to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him. Whoever would hate to meet Allah, Allah hates to meet him. Death comes before meeting Allah.” (Tirmidhi) 

This means that whoever is terrified of dying because deep inside he sees that he has done nothing to establish a relationship with Allah, it is only reflective of the fact that Allah does not love him. The hadith concludes with the poignant mention of death: love of meeting Allah means love of death.

Jalal al-Din al-Rumi said:

O lovers! O lovers! It’s time to depart from the world,

I can hear with the ear of my heart the drum of departure from the Heavens above.

Abdullah ibn Masud said, “The believer has no relief except meeting Allah Himself.” This message was learned and repeated by his student, Masruq, who said, “There is no room that is better for a believer than the grave: he is free from the worries of this life and is safe from the punishment of Allah.” And Rabi ibn Khaytham said, “There is nothing waiting in the wings for the believer that is better for him than death.” This is ultimately because the believer has established a relationship with his kind and caring Lord—he feels how cherished he is in Allah’s eyes. Abu Hurayra said, “The believer is more valuable in Allah’s eyes than even the archangels that are close to Him.”

Those who have not worked on their relationship with their creator are not so keen on death. The Caliph Suleyman ibn Abd al-Malik (d. 99 AH) asked Abu Hazim (d. 140 AH) why we hate to die. He replied, 

“Because you have worked to develop your worldly lives and make it luxurious, and you have left your next life in ruins, so you don’t want to move from luxury to ruin.”

Besides death itself, the believer rejoices at deeds that he has been given the fortune of doing. He loves to see the signs of Allah’s love upon him. Umar ibn al-Khattab said, “Were it not for three things, I would wish that I had gone on to Allah: traveling in the Way of Allah, putting my head down in prostration, and sitting with a group of men who carefully pick out good words just as good dates are selected.” It is noticeable that he put great value in being in the presence of good company. It is an act of worship in itself.

Just as it is a joy to see one’s good deeds, it is also a joy to see what sacrifices one makes for Allah. It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whenever you leave something for Allah’s sake, Allah will give you something else that is even better than it.” This is a comfort for those who feel they are “missing out” in this life, support for those who are facing the difficulty of leaving sin, and a reason to rejoice for those who have made this sacrifice time and time again.

Even the fact of being saddened at one’s mistakes is a cause for joy. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever is pleased by his good deeds, and saddened by his bad deeds—that is what a believer is!”

Even calamities are a reason for the believer to rejoice. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The believer is amazing! If good befalls him, he praises Allah and thanks to Him. If an affliction befalls him, he seeks reward and is patient. The believer is rewarded for everything, even the very food he eats!” He is also narrated to have said, “No believer ever slips up, gets a cut, or is scratched for anything except that he committed a sin. And that which Allah overlooks is more.” He rejoices because he knows that it only comes as an expiation for sins or a means to raise him to levels of faith that he could have never otherwise reached.

In general, the believer is happy because he is in good hands: Allah Most High says, 

“Allah is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light.” (Qur’an, 2:257) 

And He says, “There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Heavy upon him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned for you and to the believers is kind and merciful.”

 

About the Author

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language which can be found here. 

The corresponding podcast is due for release soon.

 

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On the Passing of Shaykh Adnan al-Saqqa

There are men among the believers who honored their pledge to God: some of them have fulfilled it by death, and some are still waiting. (Qur’an 33:23)

Undoubtedly, the eyes weep and the hearts grieve out of sadness in our separation from you, our dear teacher. Surely to Allah we belong and to Him we all shall return. There is no might nor power except by Allah.

We mourn the death of one of the most prominent scholars of Syria, the esteemed knower of Allah, Shaykh Muhammad-Adnan Al-Saqa, who passed away today at the age of 79. He was a man who possessed a compassionate heart, a radiant face, and a graceful smile.

Shaykh Adnan continued the scholarly tradition of the city of Homs. After completing high school, he passed up the opportunity to enter medical school and decided to pursue Islamic Law at the University of Damascus instead, where he graduated in 1966. Later in his life, he obtained a master’s degree in Media Studies from the University of Punjab, Pakistan in 1995.

Shaykh Adnan was a man who served the community greatly through his dawah, teaching, and nurturing of students across many public and religious high schools and Islamic seminaries. This is in addition to the numerous khutbahs and lessons he delivered at masjids across the Muslim world.

Shaykh Adnan had a great impact on his students and all of those who were honored by his company, leaving anyone who heard him speak full of spiritual openings and countless blessings.

His speech was impactful, easy to understand, beneficial, and light-hearted. The great love the Shaykh had for Allah manifested through his copious tears, beautiful smile, and gentle words. Beyond loving Allah, Shaykh Adnan also loved every single Muslim, allowing him to connect to everyone, both young and old.

He was gentle and approachable. The Shaykh would visit people in their homes and attend any wedding or celebration he was invited to. He was humble and did not mind eating on the floor with his companions. An advocate of the poor, the Shaykh extended his hand to numerous humanitarian efforts throughout his life.

Some of his students likened him to the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, while others still felt the presence of angels in his gatherings of knowledge.

He called to Allah with deep insight, illuminated by his beautiful, gentle, and moderate approach. He invited Muslims towards unity, always listening with an attentive ear and an open mind.

O Allah, have mercy on Shaykh Adnan, grant him the highest of stations, and resurrect him with the best of creation Your Noble Prophet Muhammad (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him). O Allah, reunite us with our Shaykh in the highest levels of paradise, alongside the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs, and the righteous.

O Allah, illuminate the Shaykh’s resting place, widen the expanse of his grave, and remove any feelings of estrangement or loneliness. O Allah, make his grave a garden from the gardens of paradise, forgive him, have mercy on him, and honor him. O Allah, sustain him with the food and drink of paradise and to our Shaykh his final resting place, near You in the highest domains of paradise.

We mourn today and offer condolences to Shaykh Adnan’s family and the entire Muslim community. O Allah, we ask that You compensate the Muslims for this deep affliction.

He left this world, may Allah shower mercy upon his soul, on January 9th, 2021 in the city of Istanbul.

———-

SeekersGuidance was honored to have Shaykh Adnan al-Saqqa teach through the Dar al Fuqaha Seminary in Istanbul. Register for his course and make it a means of ongoing charity for our dear beloved teacher.

Islamic Spirituality: Ghazali’s Dear Beloved Son with Shaykh Adnan al-Saqqa [Arabic Only]

SeekersGuidance Course: On Worship: Shurunbulali’s Ascent to Felicity

On Worship (Purification, Prayer, Fasting, Zakat, and Hajj): Shurunbulali’s Ascent to Felicity

Need answers to day-to-day issues you encounter in worship? Register for this free SeekersGuidance Course and study one of the most comprehensive works of Sacred Law (fiqh) in the Hanafi school, Shurunbulali’s Ascent to Felicity (Maraqi al-Sa‘adat)

quran dome

About this Course

This course is an introduction to Hanafi law and practice done in great detail. In it, Ustadh Tabraze Azam takes you through the rulings on Purification, Prayer, Fasting, Zakat, Hajj and more providing insight and clarity to its meanings and implications for correct practice in worship. With its twenty-four downloadable sessions, you can progress in the study of this work at your own pace and have your questions addressed through live monthly classes. 

This is a Level One course in the Islamic Studies Curriculum and therefore does not require any prerequisite knowledge to register. It is delivered online and in English.   

 

Who Should Apply? 

Anyone wishing to learn and correctly apply the rules of Islamic law according to the Hanafi school, or for those seeking clarity on the day-to-day issues faced in matters of worship. It is also particularly useful as a primer for students of Islamic jurisprudence. If you would like to enrol for the equivalent of this course according to the Shafi’i school, take this course instead. 

 

Benefits and Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, you are expected to: 

  1. Understand the meaning of slavehood to Allah Most High and why it is important
  2. Learn the rules of purification and prayer that you are likely to encounter in your daily life
  3. Memorize the most important rules of wudu, ghusl, prayer, fasting, zakat and Hajj
  4. Gain an appreciation for the rigor of the science of Sacred Law (fiqh).

 

Register Here:

On Worship (Purification, Prayer, Fasting, Zakat, and Hajj): Shurunbulali’s Ascent to Felicity

 

Curricular Context

Before doing this course, consider taking the Absolute Essentials of Islam (Hanafi): Getting Started With Your Belief and Practice course. 

 

Learn more about SeekersGuidance Curricula 

Click to learn more about the Islamic Studies Curriculum. If you wish to embark on a journey of Sacred knowledge as an absolute beginner in the Islamic science to scholarship and mastery, see more on the SeekersGuidance Steps Curriculum.  

 

Biography of Instructor – Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, a small town on the east coast of England. He memorized the Qur’an in his youth and has led congregations in tarawih prayers at home and abroad. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Management from the University of Leicester, serving as the head of the university’s Islamic Society. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Amman, Jordan, to study the Islamic sciences full-time with a variety of distinguished traditional scholars. He is now an experienced teacher himself, answering religious questions regularly, and teaching students of knowledge privately and online. Presently, he is pursuing advanced studies and specialization in Amman where he resides with his wife and children. 

Children’s Books: Reading List From SeekersGuidance Scholars

What is On Your Bookshelf? A Reading List of Our Scholars’ Favorites Children’s Books

 

From their time in the womb, babies are said to be able to recognize certain sounds and music. At the age of forty, our Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was instructed:Read [O Prophet] in the name of your Lord” (Qur’an, 96:1). Reading is an important and beneficial habit that can prove to be a source of great richness for anyone, especially if cultivated from an early age.  

Trying to fill your child’s library with books? This SeekersGuidance Children’s Reading List features some titles suggested by six SeekersGuidance scholars. These books have either been enjoyed by scholars in their youth or by their children. This list was compiled for children twelve years and under but some titles can be enjoyed into teenage years. 

SeekersGuidance scholars recognize the immense importance for young children to read, and to not just read many books, but to read broadly and in a guided way. The list includes titles from a variety of genres – from Islamic to non-Islamic books, educational and real-life inspired stories to fantasy, fiction, and adventure novels. They are books that help develop the mind and the character – books that tickle the imagination and inspire. Included are books that make learning about religion and life fun yet meaningful, and tales of virtues and morals.

Next month’s On My Bookshelf reading list is Fiction Books. 

 

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Stories of the Prophets by Sayyid Abu’l Hasan Ali Nadwi

“This book is clearly written and has an inspiring style.”

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

“It was read to me by a dear uncle during childhood Summer visits to Karachi. My uncle brought the passages to life; which made me keen to read the books on my own. Since my childhood, I’ve read Lord of the Rings at least 8 times; and listened to the audiobooks several times… There are many lessons for children of all ages in great tales like Lord of the Rings. They also cultivate imagination, good writing, build attention spans, and focus… ” 

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome and Arthur Ransome’s books in general 

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens and Charles Dickens’ books in general

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling and Kipling’s books in general

“Got me wondering about why the British were the ones telling stories about India…”

 

Shaykh Abdullah Misra

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch

Let’s Talk About Disobeying by Joy Berry

 

Ustadha Shazia Ahmed

“I pray that there is barakah [blessing] and tawfiq [success] in this for everyone. My children’s book suggestions are Hilmy the Hippo five-book children’s set” by Rae Norridge: 

Hilmy The Hippo Becomes A Hero 

Hilmy The Hippo Learns About Vanity

Hilmy the Hippo Learns About Death

Hilmy The Hippo Learns About Creation

Hilmy the Hippo Learns to Share

 

Imam Yama Niazi

“These are books I benefited from a lot. I loved them. Some I taught and found that they are really good for young kids.”

Mercy to Mankind by Dr. Abidullah Ghazi and Dr. Tasneema Ghazi

“I taught this book for younger kids, ages 7-12 and they seemed to really like it.”

Our Faith and Worship by Dr. Abidullah Ghazi and Dr. Tasneema Ghazi

“I taught this and loved the book overall for kids, it covers the essential matters.”

Short Suras by Dr. Tasneema Ghazi and Dr. Abidullah Ghazi

“I first learned my suras with this series. I really think they are done so well.”

Portraits: From the Lives of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad by ‘Abd al-Rahman Basha

“This book is amazing, three volumes. I really, really loved this when I was young.” 

Juz ‘Amma: 30 For the Classroom by Abidullah Ghazi

 

Shaykh Amin Buxton

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

The Ghazali Children’s Book by Fons Vitae

Matilda by Roald Dahl 

365 Days with the Prophet Muhammad by Nurdan Damla 

Beyond the Forest, Adventures with the Awliya by Noor Yusuf 

 

Ustadha Iman Badawi

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Little Women By Louisa May Alcott

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Berenstain Bears Series by Stan and Jan Berenstein

Help Me Be Good Series by Joy Berry

Dragon Tales Book Collection by Dav Pilkey

Warriors Series by Erin Hunter

The Little House Collection by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Garth Williams

Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan 

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

 

Continue Your Search for Knowledge

Questions and Answers Relating to Parenting

Am I Obligated to Look After My Difficult Grandchildren If I Cannot Manage?

Explaining a Hadith on Disciplining Children 

Fitrah and What Happens to Children Who Die Before Puberty 

How Is a Child with Autism Viewed in Islam?

How Do I Protect my Children from Bad Influences in Society?

Hitting Kids?

How Do You Deal With an Overprotective Parent?

How Do We Deal With Parents Who Emotionally Abuse Their Children

How to Counsel a Teenager with Religious Shortcomings?

How to Deal With the Problem of Misbehaving Step-Children

How to Raise Children in Difficult Environments?

How Should I Handle a Teenager Who Wants to Give up on Islam?

I Struggle with My Prayers and Am so Worried About My Family Members Who Do Not Pray. What do I do?

Infertility: Why does Allah Not Bless Some With Children 

Is It Obligatory to Try to Have Children?

Is There a Dua Protecting Children from Bad Intentions of People?

Is There a Supplication (Du`a) to Help Control a Bad Temper?

My Daughter Accused My Husband of Molesting Her, but He Denies It. What Do I Do?

My Husband Doesn’t Want to Have Kids. What Can I Do?

My In-Laws Spoil My Child and Are a Negative Influence. What Should I Do?

My Mother Abuses Her Children. What Do I Do?

My Parents Are Angry with Me and Hit Me What Do I Do?

My Teenage Son Is Not a Good Muslim

My Teenager Is Disrespectful and Has No Empathy. What Do I Do?

Parenting Question of the Week – Shaykh Hamza Karamali

Rights of Children in Detail 

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

Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a

Supplications for Having Children and For Dealing With Pain

The Virtues of Having Children and Stillbirth

To What Extent of a Boundary Can I Have with Dysfunctional Parents?

When Should Children Start Praying?

Why Worry About Children If We Know They Will Go to Paradise?

 

Articles Relating to Parenting

A Ragged Shirt and Toast Crust: Raising Successful Children

Daily Qur’an Reflections: (15) Excellence with Parents

Helping our children find the light in dark times, by Hina Khan-Mukhtar

How To Make the Prophet Muhammad Real for Small Children

Ibn Khaldun on the Instruction of Children and its Different Method

Keep Calm and Mother On–Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

On Consistent Seeking of Knowledge in Order to Become a Person of Deep Religious On Parenting: Planting the seeds of prayer in our young ones

Parents Matter More Than Peers – Shaykh Hamza Karamali

Parents Showing Righteousness to Children – Muwasala

Raising a Believing Generation by Habib Umar bin Hafiz: On Marriage

Raising Children With A Sound Heart – Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

Parents – Your Door to Allah’s Acceptance, by Ustadh Uthman Bally

Playing with your Children – Advice from Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Serve Your Parents Now Before It’s Too Late, by Ustadh Salman Younas

Six Steps to Instilling the Attribute of Courage in Muslim Children 

Supplication of Excellence to Parents – Du`a’ Birr al-Walidayn

The Noble Intention of Parents

The Prophet Muhammad’s Love, Concern, & Kindness for Children

Traditional Methods of Raising Children 

Understanding – Advice to Students in the SeekersGuidance Islamic Parenting Course

 

Videos on Parenting

Islamic Parenting: Ten Keys to Raising Righteous Children – Faraz Rabbani – Vimeo

Parenting in the Age of Social Media, by Ustadha Rania Awaad and Hosai Mojaddidi

How Can I Raise My Children in the West?

 

Podcasts on Parenting

Raising Your Children with Deen & Dunya – Radio Interview with Hina Khan-Mukhtar – & SeekersGuidance Islamic Parenting Course

Raising Muslim Children In An Age of Disbelief-Shaykh Walead Mosaad

Rethinking Our Actions and How They Affect Our Children

How To Talk To Children About Death?

 

Courses from SeekersGuidance on Parenting

Keys to Raising Righteous Children: Eight Lessons on Successful Parenting

40 Hadiths on Parenting: A Prophetic Guide to Raising Righteous Muslim Children

Parenting in Islam: How to Raise Righteous Children

Nurturing Children: Key Lessons from the Prophet as a Parent & Educator

 

Biographies

Shaykh Abdullah Misra

Shaykh Abdullah Misra was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, into a Hindu family of North Indian heritage. He became Muslim at the age of 18, graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Business Administration and worked briefly in marketing. He then went abroad with his wife to seek religious knowledge full-time, first in Tarim, then in the West Indies and finally in Amman, Jordan, where he focussed his traditional studies on the sciences of Sacred Law (fiqh), hadith, Islamic belief, tajwid, and sira.

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Toronto in Arabic and French. She then lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterwards, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she resided for 15 years, and studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences with local and travelling scholars. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her husband and children.

Imam Yama Niazi

Imam Yama Niazi has studied with local scholars in the USA for a number of years which culminated in him becoming an imam of the Islamic Society of Santa Barbara for 8 years. He served the community by teaching and leading prayers. In 2015 he founded “ the blessed tree “ a nonprofit specifically for bridging gaps between the Muslim community and others. He has spoken on many Muslim platforms throughout the USA and Canada and conducted programmes in local communities in North America. He is an instructor at SeekersGuidance.

Shaykh Amin Buxton

Shaykh Amin Buxton was born in London. He converted to Islam in 1999 and read Arabic and Islamic Studies at SOAS, University of London. He also studied the Islamic sciences in a traditional setting in both Syria and Yemen. He has edited and translated a number of books which include Imam al-Haddad’s ‘Beneficial Counsels’ and Umar al-Khatib’s ‘Prophetic Guidance’. Since 2017 he has resided with his family in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is involved in several educational and social initiatives including New to Islam Edinburgh and Rafah International. Shaykh Amin Buxton is one of our esteemed internal scholars.

Ustadha Iman Badawi

Iman Badawi is an American-Muslim female scholar of Egyptian decent. During her undergraduate years, she founded and became the first president of her university’s Muslim Student Association. Upon making the decision to pursue Sacred Knowledge and starting a family, she left her medical career to focus on studying, teaching, and rearing her children.

She has studied in the US, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. She holds an ijazah (license) in the recitation of the Quran. She has studied arabic, poetry, tajwid, aqidah, qur’an & hadith, tasawwuf, shafi’i fiqh and usul. She specializes in hanafi fiqh & usul, but also has deep interest in hadith Studies and quranic exegesis. She continues to pursue more advanced studies.

She has experience teaching adults, youth, and children for over 15 years.  She is the founder of Halaqat-un-Nur (the Circle of Light), a study circle and community service initiative for women. She currently resides in Chicago with her three children.

 

 

 

 

New Year Reflections: Review and Renew

An Islamic Guide to Embracing the New Year 

SeekersGuidance Readers provide the seeker with a purposely curated list of articles, answers, podcasts, and courses from SeekersGuidance on a particular topic. These guides serve as a gateway to knowledge and guidance.

The end of the year usually brings with it a sense of reflection and evaluation. This year has been more challenging, as we experienced the difficulties of a global pandemic. Many have struggled with anxiety, fear, loneliness and loss in many ways. 

Consider the start of the new gregorian year with a sense of renewal—“for indeed, with hardship comes ease. Indeed, with hardship comes ease” (Qur’an, 94:4-5). Reflect on your relationship with Allah Most High and consider the ways in which you wish to deepen it. There’s a special blessing in recognizing this need and in returning to Allah Most High, for in every situation, He has provided a path for us to do so. SeekersGuidance has many resources to help you on this journey.  

This comprehensive guide covers many pertinent topics related to starting anew: evaluation, purpose, repentance and returning, hope, love, responding with faith in difficulty, and improving the self. It seeks to give a sense of renewal—actionable and meaningful renewal of faith through reflection.

Foreword – Shaykh Abdullah Misra

The Passing of Time is a Journey

The new year marks the movement of the Earth circulating completely around the sun in 365 and a quarter days. This is a journey that the entire world embarks on, year after year. And this journey, in the course of a year comes back to where it began. And so these are the signs of Allah Most that He uses the sun, the moon, and the Earth, for example, to have a measure of time so that we as human beings can regulate. Otherwise, we would not understand how to measure the passing of time. So this movement around the sun helps us realize that time is passing in certain increments. When we realize that time is passing in certain increments, we know that anything that is incremental is limited.  We can count discreetly that we’re moving forward and we reflect upon how much we have covered and how much we have left.  Everyone can take stock of their own lives, their own life spans, and their own journeys.

The Opportunity for Review and Self-Accounting

The idea of self-accounting, or taking one’s self to account (muhasiba), has a significant place in Islam because it is the way we review where we are with Allah Most High.  The condition of our hearts – what have we done this past year; our deeds; our improvements; our journey towards Allah Most High; have we let bad habits into our lives? These are all important questions one can reflect on as one increment comes to an end and another begins. Looking back and reflecting is common in the Islamic tradition.

As a Muslim, we look at it with one eye on Worldly Life and the other eye on the perspective of the Hereafter.  So not only what events occurred, but the pictures and the stories of the year, this happened, and this event, and this event.  “It was a very eventful year,” everyone says. 

But where were we with Allah throughout those events?

When a disaster happened – did we pray for those involved?  Did we show concern for them?  If we could, could we help them in any way?  Could we donate in any way? Could we at least make prayer for people? And if there is a pandemic, what did we do in that situation? How did we experience that? How did that bring us closer to Allah? Ask yourself – what did this do for me and my relationship with Allah and the journey of my soul to Allah?

The Opportunity for Renewal 

It is not only a time of review, but it is a time of renewal. And Allah Most High brings us back to the beginning of the cycle. These are signs for those who reflect. The idea of time being cyclical and of coming back again and again and again. Why? So you can renew. Repentance (tawba) is a renewal and a cleansing of one’s sins. It is an opportunity to repent, regret, and have a fresh start.

What can you ask from Allah? “Allah thank you for bringing another year to pass upon me,  forgive what passed that You are not pleased with. And forgive me for my sins, and give me guidance so I may please You, and grant me the best of health and states in the coming year.” 

Renew Your Intentions

A new journey calls for new intentions. And we say ‘Ok Allah, in this year, we intend to do this for your sake. Not only the temporal projects – these are the projects that I tend to do; these are the resolutions I want to make; these are the things I want to get away from, oh Allah; these are things I want to get out of my life; these are things I want to bring into my life; things I want to strengthen myself with” Spiritually, what does that mean? Exploring different aspects of our relationship with Allah Most High, and with the people that Allah wants us to have relationships with, and people who have rights and responsibilities over us.

We bring our intentions towards making and setting new goals and resolutions towards how we can move forward for Allah Most High. 

Anyone who reflects, reviews, and renews their intentions – the passing of the years and the time is a blessing for that person. They have taken advantage of that time

And for those that do not? They are in a constant state of loss. Another year has passed and then another. It is just subtracting from your age. What is the passing of another year except that we’re getting older and going toward our ultimate end?

We recommend each other towards following the truth, and towards standing up for it, and towards enjoining. Enjoining the promotion of preserving deen and preserving truth, and justice, and mercy, and all of the good things that Allah wants us to see.

We need the patience to resist sinful practices but also patience to stay on the straight path because that requires effort. Our souls are on a journey to Allah Most High. Do we stay the course and stay dedicated towards that, or do we pass our time because we want to distract ourselves from the ultimate responsibility we have, which is to face Our Creator? 

Signs For Those Who Reflect 

Every single passing day – the sun rising and the sun setting – it’s a sign from Allah. The moon is a sign from Allah; the sun is a sign from Allah. And the passing of time and the new year passing is a sign from Allah.

Look back at your year in review – your self-accounting.

Renew your faith. Renew your repentance, which is to go back.

And renew intentions and resolutions – setting our intentions so that we come into the year intending to please Allah Most High and intend to live a life that pleases Him. 

 

Articles Relating to a New Year 

Hard Questions for the New Year – Imam Zaid Shakir

We thank Allah Most High for the gifts with which we have been blessed and we seek His forgiveness for our wrongdoings and shortcomings. We also make our New Year’s resolutions for the coming year—what we intend to achieve on our journey to Allah Most High, and the traits which we wish to leave behind.

ADVICE: Bidding Farewell to this Year and Welcoming a New Year

Dua for Protection at the Beginning of a New Year muwasala.org Habib Ali-AlHabshi.pdf

  

Articles Relating to Renewed Intentions 

10 Reasons Not to Make a New Year’s Resolution This Year – Sidi Tushar Imdad

New Year’s resolutions can be trendy, convenient band-aids to real change. But when you’re truly ready and self-motivated, then set realistic, time-specific, mission-driven and achievable goals in time for the new year. 

 

Articles Relating to People of Hope

Positivity Begets Positivity by Shaykh Muhammad Carr

Despite the ups and downs of everyday life, Shaykh Muhammad Carr refers to the positive psychology of Islam which teaches us to always do our best. The Holy Qur’an and Hadith have given us clear signs and examples of how to inspire people to break any negative cycles within themselves through approaches filled with hope and possibilities. 

Asking From God – The Art of Supplication: A Comprehensive Reader

 

Articles Relating to Making a Fresh Start

Human Potential: The Gift of Turning Back

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch asks the question: did Allah Most High create us to be perfect? In short, the answer is no and the presupposition that Allah Most High seeks from us absolute perfection results in devastating despair and a defeatist mentality.

Leaving Sins, Both Manifest and Hidden

 

Articles Relating to Repentance

The Door of Repentance and Return to Allah is Always Open – Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani encourages us to always remember that we’re dealing with the Most Merciful and Most Compassionate (al-Rahman, al-Rahim). Allah Most High tells us in the Qur’an to never lose hope in Him, regardless of how badly we stumble, fall, err, or sin. (Qur’an, 39:53)

Overwhelmed by Guilt?

 

Articles Relating to Having Faith in Testing Times

Coping with Life’s Difficulties by Ustadha Hosai Mojaddidi

When you’re given a tribulation or test, the appropriate response is patience (sabr). If you respond with beautiful patience, which is at the onset of belief, then relief will follow. But if you don’t show patience then your troubles will increase.

Seek Refuge in Allah from Anxiety and Grief – Shaykh Salek bin Siddina

Turning Difficulty into Ease: Reflections from Surah al-Balad

 

Articles Relating to Attaching to Allah

Being with Allah and His Messenger – Habib Umar

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “A person is with the one they love.” Thus you can gauge your love for Allah Most High and His Messenger by gauging how much you are with them.

Our Only Concern is Reliance on Allah – Shaykha Ieasha Prime

Life, The Universe and Everything – Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat

Loving Allah: A Reader

Our transaction with Allah is based upon Closeness – Advice from Habib Ali al-Jifri-Muwasala

 

Question and Answer Relating to Hope in Allah 

Losing Hope and Struggling with the Din

Shaykh Farid Dingle affirms that we should not despair of Allah Almighty’s forgiveness, and that the cycle of sinning and then repenting is part and parcel of our relationship with Him. He loves for us to repent to Him. All we have to do is keep striving.

 

Video on Renewed Intentions

Renew Your Vow With Allah, counsel from Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Ustadh Amjad Tarsin mentions that the intelligent person is one who holds themselves accountable and prepares for what comes after death. Thus, we should constantly engage in this practice and strengthen our relationship with Allah Most High.

 

Podcasts on Seeking Closeness to Allah

The Importance of Repentance – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

In this podcast Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said calls the believers to realize that the real wrongdoing is in not repenting and turning to Allah Most High when one errs. Repentance is one of the key traits of the believers. Shaykh Faid emphasizes that Allah is always watching and that we should be heedful of that.

The Reality of Repentance – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

Don’t Fear, Truly God Is With Us: The Unconditional Hope – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Renewing Gratitude Through Reflection – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 

Courses from SeekersGuidance for Beginners and as Refreshers

The History of Faith: Islamic History for Beginners

In this course, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives a complete overview of Islamic history, so that you will become more aware of the lessons from past events. You will gain a better understanding of how those events led to and potentially impacted the present-day reality that we face.

The Belief of the Masses: What Muslim Youth Need to Know

Living Hearts: Ghazali’s Book of Watchfulness and Self-Accounting Explained

 

Begin your search for knowledge. Sign up for a SeekersGuidance course. Trained and reliable scholars. Always free.

Living Simply: Active Minimalism

Do You Eat to Your Fill? The Real Minimalist Life

Shaykh Farid Dingle

In order to get through life with ease, the early Muslims (salaf) focused on certain key ways of living that would make it spiritually and practically easier and more fruitful. They coined a term for the variegated rules that they lived by, a term that summarized the system of living for the Hereafter. They called it zuhd: detachment from this world. For the purpose of this article series, we have found the best match in terms of meaning to be asceticism. Other terms to describe zuhd are indifference towards worldly matters or simple living. This is the eighth article from a series of articles and podcasts by SeekersGuidance scholar, Shaykh Farid Dingle.

Introduction to Asceticism (Part One)

Listening More, Talking Less (Part Two)

Entertaining Ourselves to Death (Part Three)

Being Extremely Moderate (Part Four)

Evaluation of the Self (Part Five)

Wronging Others in Word and Deed (Part Six)

Spreading Muck (Part Seven)

It is hard to claim detachment to the world yet still try to own it all. For this reason, the early Muslims lived a very spartan life and did a lot of doing without. This chapter discusses this “active minimalism” as demonstrated by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and those who followed him.

The Qur’an and Hadith are replete with descriptions and parables of the worthlessness of acquiring property, fame, money and power (i.e. worldly possessions) for the sake of themselves. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) once passed by a dead lamb that had been left forgotten on the road and said, “Can you see how little its owner cares about this? By Allah, this world is worth even less in Allah’s eyes than this is to its owner.” (Tirmidhi)

As mentioned in earlier chapters, disdain for this world does not mean disdain for other creatures of Allah, nor does it mean that one does not engage productively or emotionally in this life. Rather, it means that one uses everything in this life—money, power, food, time, even relationships—as a bridge and means to the next life. This is the alchemy that changes nothing into everything.

That said, the natural result of treating everything around one as a means instead of an end is that one simply has less. Abdullah ibn Mas‘ud said, 

“Whoever desires this life will lose out in the next life. Whoever desires the next life will lose out in this life. People, sacrifice that which is fleeting for that which is permanent.” 

Although it is perfectly possible to buy a new Mercedes, for example, with some kind of noble intention, it is normally far-fetched that one would buy, eat, and consume anything and everything one could get one’s hands-on. Rather, minimalism should permeate one’s modus operandi and one should tend to have smaller homes, fewer cars, and fewer clothes.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave two examples of worldly pleasures that can be changed into worship by a noble intention. He said, “Of your worldly interests, only women and perfume have been beloved to me.” The worldly benefit of marriage is a social one and is not restricted to the individual. There is another hadith in which relations between husband and wife are described literally as a charity. The same applies to perfume. With a pure intention, marriage can be a worldly pleasure that is actually a huge act of worship, and therefore not of this world. Wearing perfume is also considered an act of charity because the benefit of smelling nice is felt by all those around one.

Excessive eating is one noticeable worldly pleasure that has no benefit to oneself or others. Rather, if one overeats, other people who would’ve eaten the surplus food are harmed, and one risks harming one’s health as well. For this reason, countless hadiths encourage eating less, and a culture of eating with the extreme economy can be seen throughout the lives of the early Muslims.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Three morsels are enough to keep a man’s back straight. If you really can’t take it, then one third for food, one third for drink and one third to allow you to breathe.” (Ibn Majah)

The point is that eating one’s fill is not recommended, and one should only eat what one needs to in order to fulfill one’s religious and worldly obligations. Luqman the Wise told his son, “O my dear child, once you are already full, don’t eat more. It is better to give it to the dog than to do that.” And Ibn Umar said, “I haven’t eaten my full since who knows how long!”

Eating little is a product of a minimalist life that uses the pleasures of this life to get closer to Allah in the next. If one turns one’s back on the next life, and turns to eating food so much so that one harms oneself and deprives the poor of food, one is doing a great wrong. One of Samura ibn Jundab’s sons ate and ate until he became obese. Samura told him, “If you die, I am not going to pray over you.” This is a hyperbole of course, but the point is understood: why depart from the way of asceticism (zuhd) and wrong yourself by using a blessing of Allah to give yourself health problems?

Minimalism is not just in things that we consume, but also in words. Anas ibn Malik said, “It is wise to remain silent, and there are few who do it.” Speaking is also a type of lust, and one should only speak in order to make remembrance (dhikr) of Allah, or to fulfill necessary practical or social obligations. Speaking less is also a good way to protect one’s tongue.

In summary, minimalism is not a goal in and of itself, and, as mentioned in the first part of the series, “abstinence in this life means working with the assumption that you will not live long. It is not about eating coarse food or wearing poor clothes”. However, such a mindset dictates certain actions and ways of living that do not allow for having or consuming more than is needed. Sorry, McDonalds!

 

From Revelation to Preservation: A SeekersGuidance Course

SeekersGuidance Course: From Revelation to Preservation

Proving the Qur’an Is From God And It Is Perfectly Preserved 

 

In the Name of Allah, the Encompassingly Merciful, the Particularly Merciful.

This SeekersGuidance free course is taught by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat in fourteen downloadable sessions. It is offered online, in English, and does not require any prerequisite knowledge before signing up.

This course gives a clear, logical explanation of its subject matter – the Holy Qur’an, leaving the seeker with certainty on its divine origin and its perfect preservation throughout history. All SeekersGuidance courses are taught by trained and reliable scholars, completely free of charge. 

 

Target Audience

Anyone interested in the authenticity of the Holy Qur’an, the final revelation to mankind, can register for this course: Muslim or non-Muslim, male or female.

 

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will learn:

  1. The meaning of revelation
  2. Clear proofs on the truth of the Qur’an
  3. Clear proofs on the preservation of the Qur’an

 

Registration Now by Clicking Here

 

Beautiful Quote from Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

[Taken from an explanation of Chapter 90 of the Qur’an.]

“We cannot escape the difficulties that life is woven from, but we can improve the quality of our lives and the lives of others now – through kindness and support – and in the future, forever – through belief and good deeds.”

 

Biography of Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and logic with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licences of mastery in the science of Quranic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return, he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

A Guide to Marriage: SeekersGuidance Reader

A Guide To Marriage in Islam

SeekersGuidance Readers provide the seeker with a purposely curated list of articles, answers, podcasts and courses from SeekersGuidance, on a particular topic. These guides serve as a gateway to knowledge and guidance.

And We created you in pairs. (Quran, 78:8)

This article contains an updated collection of articles, podcasts, answers, and courses on marriage that draw on the teachings of the Qur’an, Hadeeths, and wisdom of our scholars. If you cannot find what you are looking for here, please check previous collections:  Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered and Etiquette of Marriage: A Comprehensive Seekers Reader.

 

Directly Relevant to Marriage

Raising a Believing Generation by Habib Umar bin Hafiz: On Marriage

Istikhara Prayer for Marriage

Arranged Marriage to Someone I am not Attracted to

Marriage and Troubled Past

Defining Ill-Conduct (Nushuz) in Marriage.

25 Years’ Worth of Marriage Advice: Hina Khan-Mukhtar …

What Makes A Marriage Work – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

40 Hadiths on Marriage – Recapping the Live Seminar with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Recommended Books on Jurisprudence, Raising Children and Marriage

Should I Fear for Our Marriage

Can a Hindu Man Marry a Muslim Woman Under Special Marriages Act?

 

Fiqh of Marriage

Are Marriage Contracts Valid via Video Calls? (Shafi’i)

How Can a Woman Stipulate in Her Marriage Contract Her Right to Initiate Divorce?

Are the Islamic Rulings Regarding Marriage Racist?

 

When Things Go Wrong

Is My Marriage Still Valid?

Is There a Prayer to Save My Marriage?

How to Deal With a Wife Revealing an Illicit Sexual Relationship Before the Marriage?

How Do I Deal With an Unhappy Marriage?

What Are a Wife’s Rights and Responsibilities in a Difficult Marriage?

How Can I Fix My Empty Marriage?

 

Problems Related to Parents and Marriage

Parents Don’t Approve of Marriage Despite My Conversion

Doubts About Marriage

Marriage and Severed Ties of Kinship

Will I Be Disobeying My Parents If I Turn Down a Marriage Proposal?

 

Unmarried Disturbances and Pre-marriage Misgivings

Heartbreak and Looking for a Blessed Marriage

Children and Marriage

Sinful Relationship and Marriage

Masturbation and Marriage.

Feeling Discouraged about Marriage

I Wasn’t Attracted to Someone I Was Speaking to for Marriage. What to Do?

Is Marriage the Solution to My Masturbation Problem?

 

Courses on Marriage

 

Quduri’s Mukhtasar: On Marriage and Divorce

Abu Shuja’s Matn: On Marriage, Transactions, and Public Law

Mawsili’s Mukhtar: On Transactions, Marriage, and Public Law [Elective]

Keys to Successful Muslim Marriages: Practical lessons that explain the Prophetic Spirit of Marriage

Making Love Last: Prophetic Principles for a Successful Marriage

Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriage

 

Podcasts and Videos

17- Marriage & Good Character- Renewal by the Book- Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

12-Etiquettes of Marriage- Renewing Religion-Shaykh Riad Saloojee

Getting Married: Clear & Practical Guidance for Success – Sh. Faraz Rabbani & Ustadha Shireen Ahmed

10: Marriage and Severed Ties of Kinship- Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

18: Marriage & Good Character – Renewal by the Book: Quran Tafsir Based on Imam Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

12: Etiquettes of Marriage – Renewing Religion: An Overview of Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Riad Saloojee

Successful Marriage: Keys from the Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah

 

Masters and Millennials: Acting Upon One’s Knowledge

Acting Upon One’s Knowledge

Masters And Millennials (thirteen) by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

This is the thirteenth part of a series of articles that are based on al-Fawa’id al-Mukhtarah, one of the seminal works of the great scholar al-Habib Zayn bin Sumayt. The book focuses on a range of topics relevant to daily life and modern challenges for Muslims living in the West. In particular, this series is useful for anyone on the path of knowledge or seeking scholarship.


In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

Acting upon one’s knowledge
In the past few podcasts, we have been discussing calling people to Allah by teaching them. In this podcast, we turn to the importance of acting on our knowledge. Imam al-Ghazzali said in Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din, “al-‘amalu bila ‘ilmin la yakun” (action does not exist without knowledge). We need knowledge to act. He also said, “wa al-‘ilmu bila ‘amalin junun” (knowledge without action is madness).
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “For whoever acts upon his knowledge, Allah will grant him the knowledge that he does not have”. This hadith, which is transmitted by Abu Nu’aym in his Hilyah, has two meanings. Firstly, it means Allah will increase the knowledge of such a person. Secondly, it means Allah will grant him knowledge from Himself (al-‘ilmu al-ladunni”). Allah favoured Sayyidina Khidr with this kind of knowledge.
Habib Ahmad bin Hasan al-Attas narrated a story of a man travelling from Hajrayn to Qaydun every day, which is a four-hour journey. He would travel every day to receive one question and answer from his teacher and then return to his city to act on it. One day he was travelling to Qaydun with his daughter and, when they were about halfway there, he wanted to relieve himself. As he descended from his riding animal, his daughter told him to be patient. She said, “Let me soften the soil so that when you urinate, the urine will not splash on you and soil your clothes”. After he had finished relieving himself, he told his daughter to take him back to Hajrayn. She asked why he did not want to go to Qaydun as he usually did, so he replied, “I have learned a question and answer from you today, and it has benefited me. I have received my knowledge for today. Let me return home. There is no need to go to Qaydun”.
This story illustrates that we can learn from our daughters and sons, and from our younger sisters and brothers. Allah grants knowledge to whom He pleases. We should not reject the bearer of knowledge simply because we regard ourselves as senior to him or her.
Sufyan al-Thawri – a great hadith scholar known for his amazing contribution to the science of hadith – said, “Knowledge calls out to action. When action responds, i.e. when one acts on the knowledge, the knowledge remains. When one does not act on the knowledge, it departs”. He means that the essence and reality of knowledge leaves, and only its form remains. In other words, the turban is there, the jubbah is there, the beautiful speeches are there, but the essence of the knowledge has gone, and it is this essence that benefits us in our relationship with Allah.
Ibrahim ibn Adham said, “I was walking in Makkah one day when I saw a stone upon which was written: ‘Turn me over’. I turned it over and the following words appeared on the other side: ‘You do not act upon that which you know, so how can you seek that which you do not know’”.
Imam al-Haddad said the knowledge you receive is against you until you act on it. Once you have acted on it, it is for you, i.e. it is for your benefit and a means to attain Allah’s mercy and proximity. Students of din must bear this in mind.
Another important issue concerns one who goes against that which he preaches. Allah says, “Do you enjoin right conduct on the people and forget yourselves?” Allah is rebuking the person who does so.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said the first person to be thrown into the fire will be the one who, when Allah says, “We have given you knowledge. What did you do with it?” responds, saying, “I taught people and spread Your din and did da‘wah”. Allah will say, “You have lied”. In other words, you have taught and showed off with your knowledge. You have wanted people to talk about your beautiful classes and your intelligence and your excellent fatwas. Allah will instruct the angels to throw such a person head-first into the fire of Jahannam.
Ibn Simak said, “I admonished people on one occasion and my admonishment pleased me. As I was admonishing, I became impressed with myself. Then I heard someone in the spiritual realm calling to me. He said, ‘You are prescribing for those who are ill and unhealthy so that they may attain good health while you are ill. Do you not know that you must apply this advice to yourself before you apply it to others? Do not prohibit people from following a bad way and then follow it yourself. That is a dishonourable thing to do’”.
In other words, we cannot command others to get up for night prayer (Tahajjud), and to increase in performing good deeds and giving charity while we sleep in the early hours of the morning. However, it is not a problem to encourage others to do good while acknowledging our own weakness.
Our next narration is important. Sayyidina Hasan al-Basri was at home when a group of slaves arrived, telling him that their masters were treating them badly. They asked him to give a Friday sermon about freeing slaves so they could be saved from being treated badly by their masters. Hasan al-Basri listened to their complaints but did not give a khutbah on the topic until after three or four Friday prayers had passed. He then spoke about the importance of freeing slaves and emphasised that Islam encourages owners to set their slaves free.
Islam arrived in a world in which slavery was part of the economic system. Islam did not encourage this economic system but the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) knew that abolishing slavery while it was so important economically would have been disastrous. So Islam adopted a piecemeal approach instead, encouraging the gradual ending of slavery by emphasising the importance of freeing slaves.
After the jumu’ah prayers were over, everyone left the masjid and freed their slaves. One would have imagined that the slaves would be happy. However, they approached Hasan al-Basri, asking why he had allowed them to suffer for three or four weeks before delivering the lecture. He said he had delayed the lecture because it would have been difficult for him to talk about freeing slaves, as he had not owned a slave and therefore could not free one. He had not had the money to buy a slave. He said, “So when Allah made it possible for me to earn some money, I purchased a slave and then set him free. Then I was in the position to call people to do the same, because I had the knowledge and had acted on it”. When you have the knowledge and act on it, and then call others to do the same, you will be much more effective.
Maulana Qasim, said that a bad practice existed in the Indo-Pak subcontinent, in terms of which a widow would not remarry.  The practice was apparently based on a Hindu custom. No one proposed to widows, and their families would not marry them off. This caused great hardship for widows and went against the Qur’anic injunction to marry widows. One day Maulana Qasim delivered a lecture. He spoke about this practice, saying it has no basis and women are suffering. While he was delivering the lecture, someone raised his hand, saying he wanted to ask a question. Maulana Qasim said, “Yes, you may, but please excuse me for a few minutes”. He then left the masjid and returned after a few minutes. He asked the man about his question. The man responded, saying, “You are talking to us about marrying off widows and the bad, un-Islamic practice we may have inherited. What about your sister? She is a widow and hasn’t been married for many years”. Maulana Qasim said, “I felt you were going to ask me about this and I felt guilty that I am not practising what I preach, so I left the masjid and married my sister to the gatekeeper, whom I found to be a good man. I have acted on my knowledge, and this will have a much better impact on the hearts of the people I am teaching”.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) spoke out strongly against scholars or callers to Allah who do not practice what they preach. He called them “‘Ulama al-su’” (evil scholars or scholars of misguidance).
We ask Allah to allow us to act on our knowledge. We do not seek in this podcast to discourage you from encouraging others to do good. You should encourage them to do good. However, we must all resolve to act on all the knowledge we are given, no matter how insignificant we think it is. Consider the example of using siwak. Do not regard it, or anything like it, as a small matter. Such practices will elevate our status.
We began our podcast with the narration, “one who acts on their knowledge will be granted knowledge from Allah Himself”. May Allah make that a reality for all of us, Amin.