An Invitation to Support the Islamic Scholars Fund – Imam Khalid Latif

During these times of crisis, many scholars and students have been left without support – and we can’t afford to let this prevent the spread of Prophetic light, guidance and knowledge. 

Imam Khalid Latif explains the Islamic Scholars Fund and the importance of supporting students of knowledge and qualified teachers around the world during the pandemic.

Don’t Let a Faith Pandemic Happen: Support Our Islamic Scholars Fund This Ramadan 

Faith Pandemic

We need your help to raise $1 million in Zakat and Charity to urgently support scholars in need around the world.

There are so many deserving Students and Scholars in need who are struggling to continue to teach their communities.

We ask you to help and support these inheritors to spread this light and guidance, and enable many individuals to have a deeper connection with our creator.

Give your Zakat and Charity to support the Prophetic legacy, increase people’s faith and spiritual growth during the current pandemic.

Supporting Islamic Scholars

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) reported to have said: “Scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets.” [Related by Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasa’i, Ibn Maja, Ahmad, Ibn Hibban, and others] 

Islamic Scholars Fund

Support the Spread of Sacred Knowledge through the Islamic Scholars Fund this Ramadan, by giving your Zakat and Charity to Help Us Raise $1 Million for Deserving Students and Scholars in Need Around the World. 

On behalf of everyone here at SeekersGuidance, please accept our gratitude for everything you have contributed, and we pray you have a blessed end to Ramadan.

Wasalaam,

Waseem Mahmood
Business Strategy Manager

SeekersGuidance: The Global Islamic Seminary

How Does the Islamic Scholars Fund (ISF) Use Your Zakat & Charitable Donations?

SeekersGuidance Confirms that 100% of Zakat & Charity Goes to Support Deserving Scholars and Students Around the World

In the Name of Allah, Merciful and Compassionate

In light of some recent questioning of the disbursement of the Islamic Scholars Fund (ISF) in 2019, SeekersGuidance would like to clarify that 100% of the fundsZakat & Charity–Collected by the Islamic Scholars Fund are disbursed to Eligible Scholars and Students on a regular monthly basis.

How Does the Islamic Scholars Fund Work?

Islamic Scholars Fund

seekersguidance application process

The following is a clarification from our Finance Coordinator, Faizan Rehman [CPA]:

Clarification from the SeekersGuidance Finance Coordinator: 100% of Islamic Scholars Fund Contributions

Go To Eligible Scholars and Students

Assalamu alaikum,

We can confirm that SeekersGuidance Inc is a US-registered 501(c)3 and our accounts are publicly disclosed along with our annual IRS filings. 

In Fiscal 2019 we raised over US$400,000 for the Islamic Scholars Fund and all of these were disbursed. 

We also confirm that 100% of the funds collected by SeekersGuidance for the Islamic Scholars Fund were disbursed to approved and eligible scholars or students of knowledge–less credit card processing charges.

We also have appointed an independent external accounting firm, C&A Financials, who is led by professional CPAs; they review our financial statements before filing to the IRS.

Our 2019 Financials will soon be available to all after IRS filings.  If there are any queries, please don’t hesitate to email me at: [email protected].

We can also put you in contact with our external accountant.

Wassalam,

Faizan Rehman, CPA, BSc(Hon) 

Finance Coordinator

Seekers Guidance Inc.
[email protected]

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Faith Pandemic

Support Seekers Spread Clarity in Confusing Times with Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat

Spread clarity in confusing times

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SUPPORT OUR GLOBAL ISLAMIC SEMINARY

SPREAD CLARITY IN CONFUSING TIMES:  SUPPORT SEEKERS SPREAD THE LIGHT OF GUIDANCE 

Help us raise $1,000,000 this Ramadan to reach one million students in our online courses.

With your support, SeekersGuidance has served over 250,000 students in our online courses so far. In 2019 alone, we have served almost 4 million unique visitors to our website.

However, in these testing times, the need to spread clarity and guidance is even more critical. Your support will help us reach 1 million students and tens of millions of visitors – so they can gain clarity and certitude in these confusing times. 

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why support Seekers Guidance

Give now to our #SpreadClarityNow campaign, to spread clarity and guidance when it’s needed the most. You can support our Seekers Growth Fund in TWO ways

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No other Islamic Seminary reaches as many people, so consistently, so easily, with such clarity, so imagine how much greater that impact could be if we are able to increase this capacity.

“The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is that of a grain that sprouts seven ears, each bearing one hundred grains. And Allah multiplies for whomever He wills. Truly, Allah is All-Bountiful, All-Knowing.” (Qur’an, 2:261)

On behalf of everyone here at SeekersGuidance, please accept our gratitude for everything you have contributed.

Wasalaam,

The Development Team

SeekersGuidance: The Global Islamic Seminary

SeekersGuidance is 501(c)(3) registered Not for Profit. Donations are tax-deductible in the USA.

The Ramadan Reader: A Guide to Fasting, Prayer, Qur’an, and Spirituality in the Month of Ramadan

A Practical Guide to Fasting, Prayer, Qur’an, and Spirituality in the Month of Ramadan

 

Fasting:

 

Prayer

 

Qur’an

 

Works of the Heart

 

See also

SeekersGuidance Launches the Dar al-Fuqaha’ Islamic Seminary in Istanbul

The Dar al Fuqaha Seminary In Istanbul

In Partnership with the Sultan Mehmet Fatih Waqf University — and Classes Begin

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate 

For a number of years, SeekersGuidance has been supporting displaced Syrian scholars based in Istanbul (Turkey) through the Islamic Scholars Fund. 

This support has enabled them to dedicate themselves to teaching and spreading balanced, mainstream Islamic knowledge and guidance in a dignified manner.

However, our senior scholars felt there was still a clear gap: these scholars were dispersed across Istanbul and neighbouring areas—and it was difficult for students of knowledge to access them, and to have a clear program of traditional Islamic studies.

The Next Step: The Dar al-Fuqaha’ Islamic Seminary Launches—and Begins with Hundreds of Students

To address this, Dr. Mahmud Masri, our Senior Academic Advisor, proposed the Dar al-Fuqaha’ Islamic Seminary, and the Sultan Mehmet Fatih Waqf University embraced the proposal and partnered with SeekersGuidance in January 2020 to launch this visionary program.

The Dar al-Fuqaha’ Islamic Seminary connects leading mainstream, traditionally-trained senior scholars with students of Islamic knowledge from around the world, completely free—at the beautiful Ottoman Madrasa, the Yenikapi Mevlevihanesi, founded over 420 years ago.

Launch of the Ijaza Program

Classes began on January 25, 2020, the Ijaza Program began with 15 weekly classes—each at the maximum 100-student capacity—with leading scholars including Shaykh Usama al-Rifa’i, Shaykh Khalid Kharsa, Shaykh Ismail Majdhub, Dr. Mahmud Masri, and many others. 

This program is meant to revive the classical system of scholarly authorization (ijaza) in a meaningful way: students who complete a text, or level of study, or program with understanding and mastery will receive specific scholarly authorization (ijaza) in what they have completed.

The Specialization in Islamic Law and Method

These classes—in a wide range of classical Islamic studies disciplines—will culminate in a Specialization in Islamic Law and Method (Takhassus fi’l Fiqh wa’l Usul). Details of the current weekly schedule and the Specialization can be found below.

The goal of this Specialization in Islamic Law is to produce scholars who can address the critical challenges facing Muslims and humanity in our times—through deep training in both classical texts and contemporary issues, under-trained, qualified specialist scholars.

These classes are open to students from across the world. Already, there are students from several dozen countries attending the Ijaza Program—despite it not being widely announced yet. Alhamdulillah.

The Dar al Fuqaha Seminary In Istanbul

The Launch Ceremony

At the launch ceremony in mid-January, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani (founder and Executive Director of SeekersGuidance) emphasized that this Dar al-Fuqaha’ Seminary, and the Ijaza Program seeks to connect seekers of knowledge with leading mainstream, trained scholars, through the system of direct study (talaqqi) that is the key to recognize traditional Islamic learning. 

He stated that the hope and aspiration is that the Specialization in Islamic Law and Method will facilitate the transfer of the Prophetic inheritance that these leading scholars have to a new generation of upcoming scholars—around the world—who will be able to uphold, live, and transmit this life-giving Prophetic legacy, and spread knowledge, guidance, and good.

Abdüs Samet Koçak, representing the Sultan Mehmet Fatih Waqf University, made clear the esteemed institution’s commitment to facilitate the success of this globally-impactful project, as part of fulfilling its own vision of being a leading institution of higher learning.

Dr. Mahmud Masri introduced the Dar al-Fuqaha’ Seminary project, as a collaboration of SeekersGuidance and the Sultan Mehmet Fatih Waqf University

He explained why the classes were beginning under the title of the Ijaza Program (Dawrat al-Ijaza). The point of Islamic knowledge isn’t scholarly authorization (ijaza). Neither the scholars teaching nor the students are in this program for mere authorization. Rather, the purpose of Islamic knowledge is drawing closer to Allah, through seeking and spreading the good, for oneself and others. 

However, the ijaza system requires revival as part of the revival of traditional Islamic studies—through rigorous curricula of Islamic studies, with high standards, and careful, conditional granting of qualified authorizations that can be trusted and relied upon.

Dr. Mahmud explained the full Specialization in Islamic Law and Method, with its stages and levels. You can read its details below. This is, insha’Allah, a truly Ummatically-impactful project.

Shaykh Usama al-Rifa’i and Shaykh Isma’il Majdhub Emphasize Mastery, Roundedness, Sincerity, and Truly Benefiting From One’s Teachers

Two of the seniormost scholars in the Dar al-Fuqaha’ Seminary, Shaykh Usama al-Rifa’i and Shaykh Ismail Majdhub spoke about their great joy at the launch of this project.

They both highlighted how “ijazas” (scholarly authorizations) have become in danger of losing their significance—with people giving and receiving “baraka ijazas” or ijazas without complete, rigorous study and training under qualified scholars. 

Thus, a revival of sound scholarly authorizations that are (1) through rigorous, complete study; (2) limited to the text or level of study completed; and (3) demonstrated uprightness of the one receiving the authorization is a significant step forward.

These senior scholars reminded students of the need to (1) take their studies seriously and to strive towards mastery; (2) to have well-rounded study of all components of a complete curriculum of Islamic studies; (3) to ensure that their knowledge is sought sincerely for the sake of Allah; and (4) to make the most of the opportunity of direct benefit from their teachers’ example and wisdom.

Classes Began on January 25, 2020, With 15 Classes—All At Capacity

By the grace of Allah Most High, the Ijaza Program of the Dar al-Fuqaha’ Islamic Seminary began on January 25, 2020, with 15 weekly classes. Every class is at the (100-student) capacity. Over 400 students—Turkish, Syrian, Western, and other—had applied. Already, it is clear that this program is addressing a critical need, both locally and globally.

All these classes are being recorded. These classes will be offered as complete online courses through the SeekersGuidance Arabiyya (Nur al-Huda) online portal, insha’Allah.

“I have spent over five years studying in Istanbul, but I haven’t found any opportunity that offers the level of scholarship that Dar al-Fuqaha offers.” said a student from Italy.

“This is an Ummatically-impactful project,” said Shaykh Mumin al-Annan (Syrian scholar, now in Sweden).

This program is open to both men and women, and over 40% of the students are women.

“Whoever pursues a path seeking knowledge therein, Allah facilitates for them a path to Paradise,” said the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). 

We ask Allah Most High that the Dar al-Fuqaha’ Islamic Seminary be a means of His facilitating a clear path of seeking and spreading such knowledge—for seekers everywhere—and a part of a global revival of the light of Prophetic guidance, in an authentic, relevant, merciful, balanced, transformative manner.

The Dar al Fuqaha Seminary In Istanbul

The Summer Program: the Ijaza Intensive

This Summer, SeekersGuidance has announced the Summer Ijaza Intensive—one of three Summer Intensive Programs in Istanbul. 

Already, several hundred students have applied, to study classical Islamic texts in Arabic, at various levels, directly with trained, authorized traditional Islamic scholars. This program, like all SeekersGuidance offerings, is provided completely free—as part of our Knowledge Without Barriers commitment and ethos. 

In total, almost 2000 students (yes, almost 2000) have applied for the three Summer Intensive Programs. You can still apply, till the end of February.

These programs are supported through the SeekersGuidance Islamic Scholars Fund—which you can support through your zakat and charity and help support the scholars and students who will preserve, revive, and spread the light of Prophetic guidance across the world, now and in upcoming generations. 

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Knowledge Without Barriers is critical.

Seven Muslim Scholars on How to Survive Ramadan and Make The Most of It

The blessed month is upon us but are you dreading the long days without food or drink and the sleep disruption? You’re not alone. This timely seminar has loads of tips and lessons on how to prepare, receive and make the most of Ramadan.

Talks by Ustadha Shireen Ahmed, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, Dr. Umar Faruq Abd Allah, Habib Umar bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf and Habib Mohammed Al-Saggaf

Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf

Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Dr. Umar Faruq Abd Allah

Ustadha Shireen Ahmed

Imam Zaid Shakir

Habib Mohammed Al-Saggaf

Ustadh Amjad Tarsin (Q&A)

 

Cover photo by yeowatzup.

Reflections on the Life of Omar ibn Said – Dr Hadia Mubarak

Dr Hadia Mubrak shares her reflections and thoughts on the life and legacy of Omar ibn Said.

 

In our public discourse, the term “Muslim” tends to be synonymous with words like “foreigner,” “immigrant” and “refugee.” Yet the historical reality of Muslims in America depicts a completely different portrait. The first Muslims to come to America were Africans, chained, forced into bondage and stripped of their heritage, religions, and families.
The history of Muslims in America begins with people like Omar ibn Said, a Muslim scholar who was brought to Charleston, SC in 1807 and was later imprisoned in Fayetteville, NC for running away from his slave master. A few months ago, the Library of Congress made virtually accessible his autobiography, the only one of its kind, to the world, noted in the PBS video below.As a Muslim American, I feel personally indebted to the legacy of Omar ibn Said. I cannot fathom what it must have been like for this 37-year-old Gambian scholar of Islam to arrive to a new land, forced to contend with a new culture, religion and language and be stripped of one’s freedom and identity. The autobiography of Ibn Said speaks to his faith, wisdom and perseverance.
His decision to write his autobiography in Arabic – the only extant autobiography in Arabic by an African slave – is not incidental. By writing his autobiography in Arabic, a language that neither the slave masters nor the dominant society could understand, Omar ibn Said was asserting an autonomy of identity. He, and not his slave masters, would have the final word on his own narrative. Further, Ibn Said’s reference to the 67th chapter of the Quran, the Chapter of Dominion (Surat al-Mulk), in his autobiography is revealing. It reflects the faith of a man who internalized the ultimate reality of God’s dominion over all things; it reflects the knowledge of man who recognized that the only Master in this world is the Creator of the heavens and earth and everything in between.
It is worth considering how Omar ibn Said’s mastery of the Quran paved his way to living the rest of his life honorably, removed from a life of arduous labor under ruthless conditions, to which most slaves were subject. By writing passages of the Quran in Arabic on the walls of his Fayetteville prison cell, Ibn Said was recognized by those in power to be an educated man. As a result, Ibn Said was not subject to the laws applied to runaway slaves. Saved from punishment, he was instead transferred to the home of General James Owen, the brother of North Carolina’s governor, and treated very well, according to Ibn Said himself. It was not Omar’s decision to run away from slavery nor to seek shelter in a church that turned his fate around. Rather, it was his decision to write passages of the Quran on his prison cell walls that turned his fate around, attracting the attention of state authorities.
As the Library of Congress makes virtually accessible Ibn Said’s autobiography to the world, I cannot help but wonder whether he had ever considered the possibility that millions of people would one day read his biography. As an educated, literate and well-read scholar, his decision to select high quality paper for his manuscript indicates that he was writing for posterity. Could he have imagined, however, that millions, maybe billions, would read his words nearly 200 years later? We can never really know.
The public release of his autobiography reflects the redemptive nature of history, a history in which the marginalized, the oppressed and the voiceless are given the final word. As a Muslim, I interpret this as God’s acceptance of Ibn Said in His divine favor, and God knows best.
The stories of Muslim African slaves like Ibn Said’s offer just a glimpse into a part of American history that we’ve neglected to tell. And by the way, Ibn Said’s story represents not African American history nor Muslim American history, but American history. The personal accounts of enslaved Muslims like Ibn Said, who felt compelled to publicly convert to Christianity – the official religion of their slave masters – shifts the overall story we have told ourselves about religious freedom in U.S. history. Without question, America offered refuge from religious persecution for scores of immigrants who came to U.S. shores of their own volition. Yet this was not the case for over 300,000 enslaved African men and women. The personal accounts of folks like Omar ibn Said should occupy the center, not the margins, of American history.

Dr. Hadia Mubarak is an assistant professor of religious studies at Guilford College. Previously, Mubarak taught at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Davidson College. Mubarak completed her Ph.D. in Islamic studies from Georgetown University, where she specialized in modern and classical Qurʾanic exegesis, Islamic feminism, and gender reform in the modern Muslim world.


Shaykh Faraz Rabbani on Seeking Beneficial Knowledge

In this series of five videos, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani answers some common questions people ask about seeking knowledge.

 

1. Why study Islam?
2. Don’t I know enough already?
3. What should I prioritize in my study?
4. Who should I study with?
5. When reconnecting or considering Islam, where do I begin?

Resources for Seekers

The Blessed Experience of Seeking Knowledge, by Shaykh Faiz Qureshy
Ten Adab of Seekers of Knowledge
Importance of Intention in Seeking Knowledge
10 Steps to Firm-Footedness in Seeking Knowledge of Fiqh

Five Reasons to Support the SeekersHub Global Islamic Seminary This Ramadan

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(1) Global Impact. (2)World-Class Steps Curriculum. (3) Completely Free–Millions Reached. (4) Lives Transformed. (5) Reliable, Balanced, Merciful and Mindful Message.

It was through SeekersHub that I learned the purpose of life and how to connect my soul to my Lord, Allah. – Mehnaz

This is why we urge you to become a supporter of the SeekersHub Global Islamic Seminary. Help us raise $10,000 in monthly donations this Ramadan. Give now.
One. Global Impact 
In 2017, we had over 80,000 student registrations in our courses–and almost four million unique visitors to www.seekersguidance.org
In Term One of 2018, we had over 33,000 student registrations in Term One alone–and visits to the site are up. But this requires greater resources to sustain–and to continue to spread our reach and impact.
Two. World-Class Steps Curriculum
This year, we’ve launched our five level Steps Curriculum–developed in consultation with many of the world’s leading Islamic scholars. We launched the one-year Step One Essentials Certificate, and are busy completing Step Two and Three, Alhamdulillah.
For this, we have brought on some world-class scholars–including Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ali Hani, Shaykh Muhammad Ba-Dhib, and others.
Three. Completely Free–Millions Reached
Millions access our Answers, Guidance articles, Podcasts, YouTube videos, and other educational services–as well as the tens of thousands benefiting from our online courses. All this reach is possible because we offer all our courses and services completely free of charge.
This is the way of the Prophets, who all said, “I ask you for no payment for this. It is but a reminder to the whole world.” [Qur’an, 6.90]
This also makes knowledge open and accessible to all–believers and non-believers, male and female, rich and poor, wherever they may be.
Four. Lives Transformed 
Our reach isn’t about numbers: it is about lives transformed–about human impact, change, and benefit.
Global Islamic SeminaryGlobal Islamic SeminaryGlobal Islamic SeminaryFive. Reliable, Balancing Mercy and Mindfulness
SeekersHub offers reliable, qualified mainstream Islamic scholarship that balances the mercy and beauty of Prophetic guidance with mindfulness (taqwa) and practical caution–for a message that uplifts, is practical, brings meaning and mercy into lives, and transforms hearts and lives, helping them turn to Allah and His Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him).
This is why we urge you to become a supporter of the SeekersHub Global Islamic Seminary. Help us raise $10,000 in monthly donations this Ramadan.

Give now

Support impact. Support SeekersHub Global.
P.S. SeekersHub Global supports needy and deserving scholars and students through the Islamic Scholars Fund. Give your zakat and charity …….  
Last year, we raised $1.3 million.

Give Your Zakat

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