Consequences of Muslims Targeting Civilians – Imam Zaid Shakir

Originally posted at: New Islamic Directions – Imam Zaid Shakir

This essay, written in the immediate aftermath of the failed New York City bomb attempt [1], will examine some of the theological implications of Muslims violating civilian immunity. I have written elsewhere why attacks against innocent civilians are in opposition to fundamental teachings of Islam. Unfortunately, there are some Muslim ideologues that sanction such actions and a growing number of Muslim civilians and noncombatants are being killed by their coreligionists, in Iraq, Afghanistan [2], and elsewhere. For these reasons, the argument that follows is more than merely hypothetical.http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/05/04/nyregion/04bomb_CA0/04bomb_CA0-articleLarge.jpg

Western military commanders, politicians and philosophers who have sanctioned the widespread bombing of civilian populations –owing to the industrialization of war and its being wedded with nationalist ideology during the 19th and 20th centuries- realize that their actions involve a dangerous moral leap. The following passage from Phillip Meilinger’s work on the moral implications of modern warfare illustrates this point:

The Fall of France in 1940 left Britain alone against Germany. The ensuing Battle of Britain, culminating in the Blitz, left England reeling. Surrender was unthinkable, but it could not retaliate with its outnumbered and overstretched army and navy. The only hope of hitting back at Germany and winning the war lay with Bomber Command. But operational factors quickly demonstrated that prewar factors [emphasizing precision bombing of military objectives] had been hopelessly unrealistic. …Aircrew survival dictated night area attacks, and, in truth, there was little alternative other than not to attack at all. Moral constraints bowed to what was deemed military necessity, which led air leaders down a particularly slippery slope. [3]

That slippery slope led to wanton massacres of civilians that were unprecedented in history and they culminated in the nuclear incineration of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Muslims who would sanction gross violations of civilian immunity, owing to strategic desperation, are entering on a similarly slippery slope. However, there is a huge difference between the norms that govern western strategic thinking and those defined by Islam. Namely, western norms are socially constructed while those defined by Islam have their origin in revelation –the latter as understood by Muslims. Hence, from a Muslim perspective, and that perspective is critical for the argument we are making, western norms are subject to change with changes in social, political, economic and especially technological considerations, while Islamic norms are transcendent. [4]
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Five Counsels on Spiritual Concern – Ibrahim ibn Adham

In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful

A man came to Ibrahim ibn Adam and said, “Advise me!”
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Ibrahim replied:

I advise you with five things:

1. If people busy themselves with worldly matters, busy yourself with next-worldly matters.

2. If people busy themselves with beautifying their outward, busy yourself with beautifying your inward.

3. If people busy themselves with building palaces, busy yourself with preparing for your grave.

4. If people busy themselves with others’ faults, busy yourself with your own faults.

5. If people busy themselves with serving created things, busy yourself with serving the Creator. [Mention by Sulami, Muqaddima fi’l Tasawwuf, p. 69]

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

The Merits of Sending Prayers Upon the Messenger – Nur Foundation for Sacred Sciences

Nur Foundation for Sacred Sciences

Abridged translation from al-Taqarrub ilā Allāh and al-Ṣalāh ʿalā al-nabī by the late scholar and muḥaddith ʿAbd Allāh Sirāj al- Dīn al-Ḥusayni

13) Prayers Upon Him are a Significant Means of Easing the Crossing of the Sirat (Bridge in the Hereafter)

Al-Ḥāfiẓ Abū Mūsā al-Madīnī and others have related on the authority of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Samura (R) saying that the Messenger of God (PBUH) came out of the mosque one day and said, “…I saw a man from my community who was dragging himself on the sirat one time and crawling another time, then the prayers he sent upon me took him by the hand and made him firm on the sirat until he crossed it.”

14) Sending Prayers Upon Him are a Means of Having the Name of the Sender Presented to the Prophet (PBUH) and its Being Mentioned in His Noble Presence

Al-Bazzār has related on the authority of ʿAmmār b. Yāsir (R) saying, the Messenger of God (PBUH) said, “God the Exalted has assigned an angel by my grave who has been given the names of all creation. Nobody sends prayers upon me until the Day of Judgment except that he informs me with his name and the name of his father that: ‘So and so the son [or daughter] of so and so has sent prayers upon you.’”

Al-Ṭabarānī has related in al-Kabir that the Messenger of God (PBUH) said, “God has an angel to whom he gave the ability to hear the servants [on the earth]. There is not a person who sends prayers upon me except that I am informed of it. And I have asked of my Lord that nobody sends a prayer upon me except that God reciprocates him with ten of its likeness.”

It is of sufficient honor, nobility, and esteem for a Muslim that his name be mentioned in the noble presence of the Messenger of God may peace and blessings be upon him!

15) Sending Prayers Upon the Prophet (PBUH) is an Essential Means of Instilling Love in the Servant’s Heart for the Messenger of God (PBUH) and It is in Turn a Means of Evoking the Prophet’s (PBUH) Love for their Sender

Al-Tirmidhī relates on the authority of Ibn Masʿūd (R) saying, “The Messenger of God (PBUH) said, ‘The most worthy people of me on the Day of Judgment are those who used to send the most prayers upon me.’” Ibn Ḥibbān has also transmitted this in his Sahih.

Thus the most worthy people of his (PBUH) love, nearness, and his exclusive intercession are those who used to send the most prayers upon him.

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Thankfulness to Allah – Reality, Aspects, & Expression of True Gratitude – Faraz Rabbani

Thankfulness to Allah – Reality, Aspects, & Expression of True Gratitude – Faraz Rabbani on Vimeo

A talk by Faraz Rabbani for the Lone Star MSA Council’s Conference call. Based on the writings of Imam Ghazali and Imam Ibn al-Qayyim, this talk explains the true meaning of thankfulness (shukr); how it has three key aspects; and how it is expressed in our life. The relationship of thankfulness (shukr) to faith (iman) itself is explained–as well as how thankfulness is the bridge to true love (mahabba) of Allah.

Thankfulness to Allah – Reality, Aspects, & Expression of True Gratitude – Faraz Rabbani from Faraz Rabbani on Vimeo.

A talk by Faraz Rabbani for the Lone Star MSA Council’s Conference call. Based on the writings of Imam Ghazali and Imam Ibn al-Qayyim, this talk explains the true meaning of thankfulness (shukr); how it has three key aspects; and how it is expressed in our life. The relationship of thankfulness (shukr) to faith (iman) itself is explained–as well as how thankfulness is the bridge to true love (mahabba) of Allah.

A 20th Century Giant: the Great Shaykh, Imam Badr al-Din al-Hasani of Damascus (1850-1935)

This is an excellent article by on Imam Badr al-Din al-Hasani of Damascus (1850-1935). See:

A 20th Century Giant: the Great Shaykh, Imam Badr al-Din al-Hasani of Damascus (1850-1935)
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Advice on Calling to Allah – Imam Siraj Wahhaj’s Words of Wisdom – After SeekersGuidance Organizational Meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan

YouTube – Advice on Calling to Allah – Imam Siraj Wahhaj’s Words of Wisdom

Imam Siraj Wahhaj shares words of wisdom and long experience about how to be effective in calling to Allah, and the need for Prophetic mercy and concern. In Ann Arbor Michigan, after SeekersGuidance organizational meetings..



Ten Duties of Those Truly Repentant – Abu Talib al-Makki in Qut al-Qulub – and Two Related Qur’anic Verses on Repentance

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Imam Abu Talib al-Makki mentions ten duties of those truly repentant, in his work Qut al-Qulub:

1. It is their duty not to return to disobeying Allah

2. If one falls into sin, then not to keep repeating the sin

3. To hasten to repent to Allah from any sin one falls into

4. Remorse for one’s remissness and shortcomings

5. To make the resolve to remain upright until death

6. Fear of Divine punishment

7. Hope of Divine forgiveness

8. Recognition of one’s sin

9. Conviction that Allah decreed that for them–(f: with His Will) in accordance with His Eternal Knowledge (f: through which He knew the choice the servant would make); but He did not compel the servant nor force them (f: but, rather, the servant chose it with Divinely-grant choice)

10. Following up with righteous deeds, in order that they expiate for the sin–for the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) has said, “Follow a bad deed with a good deed, and it will wipe it out.”

[Makki, Qut al-Qulub]

Repentance (tawba) means returning, in the Arabic language. Islamically, it is to return to Allah: through leaving sin by embracing obedience; and through leaving heedlessness and falling shourt in one’s submission through completely turning to Allah Most High.

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Allah Most High says: “Except those who repent and amend and make manifest (the truth). These it is toward whom I forgive. I am the Relenting (tawwab), the Merciful.” [Qur’an, 2.160]

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And: “Will they not rather turn unto Allah and seek forgiveness of Him? For Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” [Qur’an, 5.74]

Maryland Benefits from the SeekersGuidance “Getting Married” Seminar

Marriage is an act of worship that nearly every Muslim will engage in during their life. Attendees of the SeekersGuidance Seminar on “Getting Married”, held in Maryland on Saturday 24th April, learned that there is much more to this spiritual act than just meeting someone and planning the wedding.

The Seminar was delivered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, who examined the details of the often overlooked legalities of marriage, whilst adding important realistic and practical advice. Attendees found the seminar both enlightening and entertaining, and found the references to the Shaykh’s own family experiences helped to put the study material into a contemporary context.

Why We Should Marry
Shaykh Faraz began with the reasons why one should get married according to Islam, showing proofs from the Quran and Sunnah. He followed this with a fascinating insight into Imam Al-Ghazali’s Five Benefits of Marriage. The possible dangers of marriage and Ghazali’s Eight Considerations to look for in a spouse, were also discussed.

As Shaykh Faraz finished up the third lesson of the seminar, he explained to the audience that we will be taking a break and coming back for the next session titled “How to find?” An attendee protested. “But that’s the most important thing!” More reason to be back on time, Shaykh Faraz replied.

The Steps to Getting Married
The steps toward actually getting married were examined and were explained to be extremely significant due to the very real possibility of entering a marriage devoid of blessings and sometimes the wrong approach can complicate the entire marriage process. Attendees then listened as Shakyh Faraz talked about convincing parents, which is often a challenge for young people when arranging their marriages.

The best ways in which to deal with certain situations was explained, including how to convince your parents that you are ready to get married or to have them accept your choice of spouse, whilst maintaining respect and excellence towards them.

Finally the seminar ended with the detailed overview of the marriage contract and an overview of the keys to a successful marriage, during which the attendees were reminded that ultimately, everything that one does should be a means to closeness to Allah (Most High), and that marriage is one of these means.

Presentation by Companionships.org
The seminar also included an engaging presentation by Abrar Ansari & Vaseem Ansari of Companionships.org, which aims to provide a dignified & discrete platform for Muslims sinCOMPANIONSHIPS Logogles who are seriously contemplating marriage, to meet and be introduced to matrimonial education from an Islamic perspective.

They explained that a good marriage is a divine blessing and that finding a person with whom you can build a home filled with love, respect and reverence to God can itself be an act of worship. This can be a challenge, and Companionships is here to help obtain the blessings of marriage.

Feedback from attendees was very encouraging, and the success of Saturday’s seminar has led Khuram Zaman, SeekersGuidance General Manager, to begin planning regular visits to serve the Maryland and DC community.

Br. Abdul Razzak, a seminar attendee, said:

“The seminar was very thorough in covering all of the things an aspiring spouse or a current spouse needs to know for a successful marriage. Every important topic was discussed…the issues discussed were of a practical nature and included advice that we could all implement in our respective lives to improve our chances of a successful marriage. The combination of Islamic understanding and practical, common sense advice was very balanced and relevant. It was refreshing to have an Islamic scholar who not only knows the Islamic tradition, but also has the wisdom to give practical advice to Muslims in West on how to find a spouse and have a successful marriage.”

The next location for the Getting Married seminar is Toronto, on Saturday 22nd May. For further details, please see https://seekersguidance.org/seminars

For more information on the services that SeekersGuidance provides, including seminars in your area, visit www.seekersguidance.org

Two Powerful Songs in Praise of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) – Maadihul Mushthofa – Singapore

YouTube – Maadihul Mushthofa (11A) ‘Alfin Solla & Qad Tammamalllah’ [20100424]



Why is Surat al-Ikhlas Referred to as Surat al-Ikhlas? – Faraz Rabbani – Video Answer

YouTube – Why is Surat al-Ikhlas Referred to as Surat al-Ikhlas (The Chapter on Sincerity)

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Shaykh Faraz Rabbani answers the question: Why is Surat al-Ikhlas Referred to as Surat al-Ikhlas (The Chapter on Sincerity) when its primary theme is belief in Allah’s Oneness?