Ya Arham al-Rahimin (O Most Merciful!) from Mawlid with Habib Munzir al-Musawwa – YouTube

YouTube – Ya Arham al-Rahimin (O Most Merciful!) from Mawlid with Habib Munzir al-Musawwa

A powerful clip from the weekly mawlid of Habib Munzir al-Musawwa of Jakarta (Indonesia). Faraz Rabbani of SeekersGuidance (https://seekersguidance.org) was in attendance as part of the January 2010 Arus Damai tour. See: http://www.majelisrasulullah.org/ and http://www.arusdamai.com)

Habib Munzir al-Musawwa (http://www.majelisrasulullah.org/) focusses his call (da`wah) towards youth–particularly those in dire poverty, and those stuck in crime, drugs, and distance from the ways of deen.

http://al4mien.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/habib-munzir-bin-fuad-al-musawa1.jpg

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s Video Released: Help Haiti Fundraiser

Alhamdulillah, we’ve finally uploaded Shaykh Hamza’s video from the “Help Haiti, Heal Haiti Online Fundraiser”.

Click on the screenshot below and scroll down:

shy_haiti2

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The Dimensions of the Religion – Excerpt from the Forthcoming Book “Being Muslim” by Asad Tarsin

Being Muslim – “Welcome to the Reading Room”

This following excerpt is from the forthcoming book “Being Muslim”. It is suitable for those who are simply curious about Islam, newly practicing, or lifelong Muslims who would like a refresher. It assumes no background knowledge in Islam and systematically covers some of the most essentials aspects needed to begin studying the faith.

 

(Note: all material is copyrighted and may not be reproduced or printed without written permission by the author)

© Asad Tarsin 2010 Work In Progress – Do Not Copy or Distribute Without Permission

The Dimensions of the Religion

To better understand the final message from God to humanity, we will examine a concise yet comprehensive summary of the religion given by Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace). This took place as one of the most famous and significant historical events in Islam, one day while some of the closest Companions2(sahābah) were sitting with the messenger of God. The story is narrated by ‘Umar (may God be pleased with him), who tells us the following:

One day while we were sitting with the messenger of God there appeared before us a man whose clothes were exceedingly white and whose hair was exceedingly black; no signs of journeying were to be seen on him and none of us knew him. He walked up and sat down by the Prophet. Resting his knees against his and placing the palms of his hands on his thighs, he said, “O Muhammad, tell me about islām3”.

The messenger of God said: “Islām is to testify that there is nothing worthy of worship except God and that Muhammad is the messenger of God, to perform the prayers, to pay the purifying charity, to fast in Ramadan, and to make the pilgrimage to the Sacred House if you are able to do so.”

He said, “You have spoken rightly.”And we were amazed at him asking him and saying that he had spoken rightly. He then said, “Then tell me about imān.”

He replied, “It is to believe in God, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in divine destiny, both the good and the evil thereof.”

He said, “You have spoken rightly.” He then said, “Then tell me about ihsān.”

The Prophet said, “It is to worship God as though you are seeing Him, and while you see Him not yet truly He sees you”.

He said, “Then tell me about the Hour4.”

The Prophet replied, “The one questioned about it knows no better than the questioner.”

He then said, “Then tell me about its signs.”

He replied, “That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress and that you will see the barefooted, naked, destitute herdsman competing in constructing lofty buildings.”

Then [the man] left and I stayed behind for a time. Then [the messenger of God] said, “O ‘Umar, do you know who the questioner was?”

I said, “God and His messenger know best”.

He said, “He was Gabriel (Jibrīl), who came to you to teach you your religion.”

With four questions, the Archangel Gabriel (Jibrīl), upon him be peace, brought forth a summary of the foundational elements of the religion from God’s final prophet to humanity. The religion, we learn, is comprised of three elements: islām,imān, and ihsān. The fourth aspect mentioned, namely the signs of the Hour, provides us with the understanding that there is a downward trend of the human story, and thus the believing community as well. There are many such statements from Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace) which indicate the moral decline of the latter days, and the consequent need for believers to hold more tightly to their principles, values, and beliefs, despite the increased difficulty in doing so.

These three elements are called the dimensions of Islam. The first of the three dimensions discussed was islām, which is presented as a sub-category within the religion itself, Islam. In Arabic, the word linguistically means “to surrender,” or “to submit.” We see from the definition laid out by Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace), that it is the dimension of our religion involving the external actions of our bodies, acts of surrender. To state the Testimony of Faith5, to pray, to fast, to pay, and to make pilgrimage are all acts we perform through the medium of our bodies. These are called the Five Pillars of Islam. We understand from them that actions of external conformity, which include ritual worship and more, are absolutely indispensable to a complete characterization of the religion.

Next, we heard about imān. In Arabic, the word linguistically means “to believe.” Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace) starts his definition by using that phrase exactly: “it is to believe….” What follows is a series of beliefs that a person must affirm in order for their faith to be complete. Unlike the dimension of islām, these are not acts, but convictions of the mind which settle in the heart. We thus learn that the affirmation of realities as they truly exist is also indispensable to the characterization of the religion of Islam.

Lastly, we learn about ihsān. The word in Arabic linguistically means “to make beautiful or good.” We are told that involves the internal constitution of a believer’s heart – his spiritual state. It is the basis of your relationship with God Almighty. Here, Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace) defines the dimension by telling us its very result. So, to attain a particular spiritual constitution, of complete awareness and reverence of God Almighty, is an indispensable component of the religion, the one that gives it purpose.

Each of these components speaks to an aspect of the human experience. The first is devotional acts – of the body; the second is faith– of the mind; and the third is purity – of the soul. And so Islam is a religion that speaks to every element of our humanity. It is essential to understand that these three dimensions must all simultaneously be fulfilled harmoniously in order to have a complete characterization of the religion. To neglect any one of these will lead to imbalance and misplaced emphasis, a sure path to misguided religiosity. For example, to neglect the affirmation of our beliefs would make Islam a kind of cultural tradition void of its main purpose. To neglect the external conformity to God’s commands leads to an abstract religion guided by personal whims with no arena within which to prove faith through application. And lastly, a neglect of the spiritual leads to a version of the religion that, void of reverence and love of God the Sublime, becomes rigid, cold, and legalistic. It is thus only with the complete surrender of our minds, bodies, and spirits to God that the complete vision of Islam can be realized.


Footnotes

2 – A companion (sing. Sahābī, pl. sahābah) is a believing Muslim who met the Prophet during his lifetime. A follower (tabi’ī) is a believer who met a companion of the Prophet. The companions are the best generation of believers overall, while the followers are the second best generation.

3 – For the purposes of the discussion presented, the Arabic terms have been retained and not translated, since their definition is the purpose of the dialogue and follows shortly thereafter.

4 – The Last Day and the Hour are other names for the Day of Judgment.

5 – Scholars explain that stating the Testimony of Faith (Shahadah) is a precondition to the other four pillars.

© Asad Tarsin 2010 Work In Progress
Do Not Copy or Distribute Without Permission

Biography of Malik ibn Dinar

Malik ibn Dinar

He was a companion of Hasan of Basra. Dinar was a slave, and Malik was born before his father’s emancipation. His conversion began as follows. One evening he had been enjoying himself with a party of friends. When they were all asleep a voice came from a lute which they had been playing: “O Malik! why dost thou not repent?” Malik abandoned his evil ways and went to Hasan of Basra, and showed himself steadfast in repentance.

He attained to such a high degree that once when he was in a ship, and was suspected of stealing a jewel, he no sooner lifted his eyes to heaven than all the fishes in the sea came to the surface, every one carrying a jewel in its mouth. Malik took one of the jewels, and gave it to the man whose jewel was missing; then he set foot on the sea and walked until he reached the shore.

It is related that he said: “The deed that I love best is sincerity in doing,” because an action only becomes an action in virtue of its sincerity. Sincerity bears the same relation to an action as the spirit to the body: as the body without the spirit is a lifeless thing, so an action without sincerity is utterly unsubstantial. Sincerity belongs to the class of internal actions, whereas acts of devotion belong to the class of external actions: the latter are completed by the former, while the former derive their value from the latter. Although a man should keep his heart sincere for a thousand years, it is not sincerity until his sincerity is combined with action; and although he should perform external actions for a thousand years, his actions do not become acts of devotion until they are combined with sincerity.

(Excerpt from Chapter XI of “Kashf al-Mahjub” by the Gnostic Ali Hujwiri)

Justice and Its Relationship to Knowledge – Sayyid Naquib al-Attas

Justice and Its Relationship to Knowledge

By Sayyid Naquib al-Attas

The modern era has witnessed three significant developments that have created unprecedented challenges to the Muslim community: (1) public education, mass media, and mass literacy, (2) the disintegration of Islamic polities, and (3) the formation of learning institutes based on Western concepts, values, and processes. The first development has resulted in the masses acquiring access to classical Islamic texts without possessing the tools and skills to understand them properly. The second development has resulted in the loss of state patronage of Islamic institutions of learning. The third development has resulted in the intelligentsia of Muslim societies adopting Western and secular models.

The result of these three developments is a dissonance in Muslim spiritual development and intellectual unity. In this excerpt from “Islam and Secularism”, Sayyid Naquib al-Attas explains how the rise of injustice and oppression in Muslim societies is a result of a loss of wisdom which he traces to the loss of knowledge. In his work, the remedy he proposes to this problem is the Islamization of knowledge.

Sayyid Muhammad al-Naquib bin Ali al-Attas (born September 5, 1931) is a prominent contemporary Muslim philosopher and thinker from Malaysia. He is the author of twenty-seven authoritative works on various aspects of Islamic thought and civilization, particularly on Sufism, cosmology, metaphysics, philosophy and Malay language and literature. (Source)

[Justice in Islam is Primarily a State of Being within Man Himself]

“In Islam – because for it religion encompasses life in its entirety – all virtue is religious; it has to do with the freedom of the rational soul, which freedom means the power to do justice to itself; and this in turn refers to exercise of its rule and supremacy and guidance and maintenance over the animal soul and body. The power to do justice to itself alludes to its constant affirmation and fulfillment of the Covenant it has sealed with God. Justice in Islam is not a concept referring to a state of affairs which can operate only within a two-person-relation or dual-party-relation situation, such as: between one man and another; or between the society and the state; or between the ruler and the ruled; or between the king and his subjects.

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Understanding the Ninety-Nine Names of Allah: Al-Muhaymin

Al-Muhaymin means “an overpowering authority”.  Think a parent who sets rules for the child’s best interest. Recall, of course, that Allah is absolutely dissimilar from His creation and yet He Sees and Hears everything. One facet of Allah’s overpowering authority is that He controls the various trusts a human being has been given.

One of the greatest trusts humans have been given is the heart which must be authoritatively guarded for it is the greatest of the human faculties. It is through the heart that one ultimately attains cognizance of Allah.  If one has attained a mastery over their own heart, they should strive to protect other peoples’ hearts if they are given permission by a Sheik to be a guide.  Even if one has not attained this level, they may still help others spiritually by advising towards good and forbidding against evil in ways that are best.  However, among the other faculties that must be controlled are one’s sight, speech, emotions, etc.  Though there is a great amount of flexibility in what is allowed, there is still the comprehensive interest of obedience to Allah.

Beyond ourselves, there are those who we have been given authority over.  Anyone who has children must use their authority to protect them from falling into evil.  People who have employees or have been placed in managerial positions must prevent their subordinates from falling into unscrupulous business practices.  The list goes on.

May Allah allow us to control ourselves and allow us to use the authority we have been given over others in a positive manner.

Allah’s Impoverished Servant,
-Ibraheem Shakfeh

Audio The Purpose of Seeking Islamic Knowledge – Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

alhaddad.org » Yahya Rhodus – Purpose for Seeking Sacred Knowledge

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus gives insight and guidance on the purpose and reality of seeking Islamic knowledge. [right click to download]

CNN.com: Islamic Relief for Haiti – Featuring Na’eem Muhammad, Imam Magid… ADAMS Center

Video – Breaking News Videos from CNN.com – Islamic relief for Haiti

Muslims in Sterling, Virginia, rally support for Haiti. Alhamdulillah! Remember tomorrow’s Islamic Relief & SeekersGuidance Fundraiser (2 pm. Sunday, January 17) –> https://seekersguidance.org

Video: Haiti Earthquake Online Fundraiser – SeekersGuidance and Islamic Relief – Sunday, Jan 17) at 2 PM EST. Many guest speakers including Imam Zaid Shakir! Register now at www.SeekersGuidance.org – Faraz Rabbani

Video: Haiti Earthquake Online Fundraiser – SeekersGuidance and Islamic Relief

HELP HAITI: Online LIVE Fundraiser tomorrow (Sunday, Jan 17) at 2 PM EST. Many guest speakers including Imam Zaid Shakir! Register now at https://seekersguidance.org.