Urgent Appeal: Help spread the light and beauty of Prophetic guidance

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Alhamdulillah, SeekersHub Global is growing in its reach and impact. We had a very successful Ramadan program, and opening of the Term Two courses, as you’ll see below.

That said, we do need your urgent support to reach our annual goal of raising $100,000 in ongoing monthly contributions.
This will cover immediate operational costs, including: (a) the costs associated with upgrading to a new, mobile-responsive online learning platform; and (b) the increased operational costs of running 35 online courses and an expanding range of online educational offerings (lesson sets, podcasts, answers, and articles).

Please donate generously now to help us cover our immediate expenses and help SeekersHub Global sustain and expand its services, to spread the light and beauty of Prophetic guidance.

You may be wondering why we are asking after the recent Ramadan #GiveLight campaign. In Ramadan, the vast majority of contributions made were zakat, which were required to assist scholars and students of Islamic knowledge.
This appeal however, is to urgently support the immediate and ongoing operational costs of SeekersHub’s offerings.
To date, we’ve raised $30,000 of our annual goal of $100,000 in monthly donations and we are counting on your support to make up the difference. Please do become a monthly donor today.

GIVE MONTHLY TO SEEKERSHUB

The good news: Ramadan was a resounding success with MILLIONS reached globally.

  • We had a wide range of distinguished scholars (including Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Shaykh Walead Mosaad, Ustadha Shehnaz Karim, Shaykh Hamdi Bin Eissa, Shaykh Muhammad Mendes, Ustadha Umm Umar, and others) teach special classes at our Hub in Toronto, classes that were broadcast live, and podcast to listeners around the world.

  • Our podcast downloads almost doubled from last Ramadan, to over 100,000.

  • We had an average weekly social media reach of between four and five million people, from well over 100 countries around the world.

  • Hundreds of thousands visited our website for answers, guidance, and knowledge—with our web traffic almost tripling from Ramadan 2015.

Alhamdulillah, we also raised over $450,000 to support Islamic scholars and students.

In our troubled times, with confusion and misinterpretation of sound Islamic teaching manifest, the Global Zakat Fund is a critical need. We thank you for your support in helping us support needy scholars and students of Islamic knowledge, around the world.

There are many more exciting developments underway. Here are just a few of them:

  • Upgraded Our Online Learning Platform. After Ramadan, we successfully upgraded our online learning platform—a major, resource-intensive undertaking—as a result of which all our courses are now accessible from a beautiful, dynamic, and mobile-responsible e-learning interface. (You can access your courses comfortably on your phone or tablet—try it!)
  • Successful Opening of Term Two Courses. We have over 8,000 registrations for the online courses—and thousands have been downloading our recently launched educational lesson sets. (We have new lesson sets weekly, alhamdulillah, on critical topics, with capable and qualified scholars.)
  • Programs Around The World. Our dear teacher, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, is embarking on a SeekersHub Global tour of Australia and New Zealand,where he will be conducting programs with distinguished local teachers.
  • Shaykh Faid Said, a SeekersHub Global teacher and scholar in residence at the Harrow Central Mosque in London, England, is teaching the soon-to-be launching SeekersHub Study Circle, explaining Surat al-Asr. (You can start a free Study Circle in your community, campus, or centre. Find out how.)

GIVE MONTHLY TO SEEKERSHUB

Alhamdulillah, there is much, much more going on than this. SeekersHub Toronto has over a dozen weekly classes—most of which are also broadcast live online fromwww.SeekersHub.org/toronto)—and monthly seminars, family programs, and more.

Millions are now reached by this effort to spread the precious light and beauty of Prophetic guidance, completely free of charge, through our commitment to #KnowledgeWithoutBarriers. This is only possible, however, through your generous support.
In closing: please help us urgently in raising the remaining $70,000 of our annual $100,000 goal in monthly donations, to cover immediate operational costs, by giving now.

May Allah—the Light of the Heavens and Earth, grant you and your loved ones, light. And may we all strive to be shining lights, reflecting the beauty, mercy, excellence, care, and concern that our Beloved Messenger embodies so dazzlingly. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, his folk, companions, and followers, eternally.

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

Faraz Rabbani,
Executive Director, SeekersHub Global

#GIVELIGHT: BECOME A MONTHLY DONOR

How To Avoid Being A "Know-It-All", by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

You should be involved in Islamic learning, argues Shaykh Shuaib Ally. A large reason for that involves a trait that, when lacking, cripples a person’s ability to develop their knowledge base: intellectual humility.

A lack of intellectual humility manifests itself, in discussions related to the Islamic sciences, in various forms. A common expression is for me to arrive at a certain opinion, say, related to a legal matter. I then imagine that I alone understand what the ruling ought to be, and that none others hold a correct view.
However, it is unlikely that my opinion finds no precedent whatsoever in an academic history that spans over 1400 odd years and large swathes of the globe. Such a belief instead derives from my misguided belief in the unique and special nature of my own outlook.
It would be bad enough if this were the lone result of this form of intellectual arrogance. Worse is the nefarious corollary of such a belief, my belief that the fact this unique understanding is not being currently championed must be due to one of two reasons.
One is that the vast majority of scholars are being academically dishonest and are hiding what is the correct opinion for their own ends. The other is that it really is the fact that the understanding I have arrived at has no precedent whatsoever in the inherited tradition. I then take this to be demonstrative of the fact that established scholarship has nothing serious to offer.
This is, of course, wrongheaded.
It is unlikely that there is some sort of conspiracy to cover up aspects of scholarship in Islamic history; in fact, scholarly works are quite good at recording non-mainstream opinions, if for no other reason than academic curiosity. It is simply more likely that scholars have chosen another opinion for other reasons, and that is the one that people are most familiar with.
Moreover, my being unaware of a certain opinion within a body of scholarship hardly indicates that the community of scholarship itself is somehow compromised. More often than not, it simply reflects a gap in my own knowledge base. That is, it says more about me than about the discipline I am considering defective.
In this regard, the late 3rd C Shāfiʿī jurist poet, Mansūr b. Ismāʿīl al-Tamīmī, recited:

Those of diminished intellect critique the study of law
Yet their blame does not affect it in the least
The morning sun rising in the horizon remains unharmed
By those without sight remaining oblivious to its light

Let me give you an example. Imagine I believe that astronomical calculations should be used in lieu of naked eye sightings to determine the beginning and end of months in the lunar calendar. I could have very good reasons for arguing this. Classical scholars, I might argue, worked in a medieval period in which the sciences were not as developed, and therefore did not consider astronomical calculations as possible. I might go on to argue that in the modern age, we have precise methods of measurement, and that this should allow for the formulation of new rulings.
This would be an example of intellectual arrogance because classical works do consider astronomical calculations being used for this purpose; these discussions are alluded to in even fairly elementary works of law. When I make such a claim, I am arrogantly making claims about the absence of a discussion in a certain literature, betraying my lack of knowledge of preceding discussion.
My viewing scholars at large with suspicion, and believing them to be unwilling to entertain this discussion, would likewise be intellectually arrogant. This is because they are skirting an issue; they have simply chosen another opinion for other reasons.
The intellectual arrogance here is born out of a misguided sense of my own academic breadth. This arrogance is criticized famously by Abu Nuwas, the 2nd C Abbasid poet famous for the licentious content of his work, who recited:

Say to one who claims a special understanding:
You have gathered a little bit, but even more escapes you!

This lack of knowledge is therefore exacerbated by my lack of intellectual humility. Had I bothered to engage in the disciplines that purport to deal with the subject matter under consideration, I might have found at the very least a suitable starting point for their research.
However, rejecting at the outset anything a scholarly class busies itself with as having little intellectual worth has necessarily restricted me from benefiting from it. Due diligence demands being thorough in researching my claims prior to making them, but my preconceived notions about the undeveloped nature of the Islamic disciplines have led me to bypass that.
These preconceived notions are often coupled by an actual inability to access scholarly discussions on a given subject. That is, intellectual arrogance has blocked me from acquiring the requisite knowledge of the Islamic disciplines, primary or supporting, such that I can actually engage the textual tradition on the issues I purports to have special knowledge of. Indeed, there is often a correlation between lack of learning and intellectual arrogance.


A lack of intellectual humility can also express itself in my conception of others and their practice. Part of intellectual humility is understanding that while I believe and act in a certain manner, others may have good reason for doing or believing something that is at odds with this. Intellectual humility demands coming to terms with this, even if I do not understand the reason for others choosing another course, or even if I have never come across the rationale underlying their chosen course.
When I am intellectually arrogant, however, I am unable to do this. Instead, I presumptuously think that knowledge begins and ends only with what I myself has come across and understand.This allows me to pompously insist on my own position at all costs, assuming it to be the only correct position. It also allows me to judge others, believing their positions to be inadequate without having actually assessed their merit, and rejecting from the outset anything they could have to say in response as having intellectual worth.
Rejecting something simply because it is unfamiliar is, however, behaviour the Qurʾan criticizes as unbecoming. Imam al- Qurtubī, the famous 7th C Andalusian exegete, mentions that al-Husayn b. al-Fadl, a 3rd C Nishapuri exegete, was asked, Does the Qur’an contain the idea that whoever is ignorant of something opposes it? He said: Yes, in two places: They disbelieve in anything their own knowledge does not encompass (10:39); and If they have not been guided to something, they say, this is an ancient lie (46:11).


Another form of intellectual arrogance can manifest itself when I have acquired some knowledge, and suddenly consider myself intellectually superior to all others, even those who are far above me in their level of scholarship, including my own teachers. Al-Jāhiz, the 3rd C Abbasid polymath, recited these famous lines from the perspective of a teacher complaining of such a situation:

How curious, the one I reared from childhood; I would feed with the tips of my fingers
I taught him to shoot; when his arms became strong, he fired at me
How often I trained him in verse; when he began to recite, he attacked me
I taught him manliness, daily; when his mustache began to grow, he abandoned me
When I act in such a manner, I become the instantiation of the warning that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, as it has contributed to my inflated sense of worth, instead of increasing my humility.

 


The good news is that the cure to intellectual arrogance is fairly straightforward. It is to actually engage in sincere learning. This is why I think you should engage in Islamic learning.
The bad news is that doing so isn’t particularly easy, in that it is much easier to simply be pompous. Acquiring real knowledge takes work.
There is an indication of this difficulty in that the Prophet Muhammad – peace and blessings of God be upon him – said that whoever embarks upon a path of knowledge, God facilitates for them a path to Paradise.
He does this, scholars say, in two ways. One is worldly, in that he makes it easy for them to do good, and difficult for them to do otherwise. The second is a reference to the afterlife, in that he facilitates for them their crossing of the bridge to Paradise, a task otherwise fraught with difficulty.
There is a general principle when it comes to how reward and punishment is meted out for a specific action; it tends to be commensurate, or similar in kind, to a person’s action, good or bad. This is encapsulated in the maxim: actions are rewarded in kind.
In the case of our knowledge seeker, he has undertaken what is actually an onerous task – knowledge seeking can require, beyond cost, countless hours of attending classes, listening to lectures, recording and reviewing notes, and putting up with teachers with different personalities and teaching methodologies that may not accord with his own.
All of this is near impossible for the intellectually arrogant, as he cannot see why he needs to humiliate himself before knowledge in this manner. But for one who does take it upon himself to traverse this difficult path, they are rewarded in kind, in that God facilitates for them what would have otherwise been an intractable journey.


It has been said that whoever has not tasted the humility of learning for a short time, tastes the bitterness of ignorance for a lifetime. That is, humbling oneself to a sincere knowledge quest can serve to quell many of the pitfalls that come with being intellectually arrogant.
One who does so sincerely will become aware of the kinds of discussions that scholars are engaged in, their range and extent, and the methods they employ to reach their conclusions. A large part of this is because engaging sincerely will provide one with the tools to properly participate in scholarly discussions.
Being apprised of this intellectual heritage protects one from thinking that an entire tradition is undeveloped in that it has little to offer. This awareness also prevents one from viewing the scholarly community with disdain or suspicion, even if one disagrees with their conclusions.
The knowledge that one gains will allow one to develop their intellectual humility in other ways too. At the personal level, it allows one to realize the contours of their own knowledge base; that is, an awareness of what they know and how that roughly fits into the available body of knowledge. For the vast majority of people, this is a humbling experience, as one realizes the limited nature of their grasp, even after years of study.
At a larger level, this humility forces a certain level of tolerance for others’ beliefs and practice, as one no longer pompously believes themselves to have an exclusive grasp of truth in the Islamic tradition. Such a person no longer has the internal urge to object to what others are doing or saying, as he knows that there can be schools of thought or credible scholarship that holds as such. This is why many scholars say: the more one’s knowledge grows, the more his objections diminish.


This is – to finally get to the point – why I think you should be involved in Islamic learning. Aside from the normal reasons for pursuing what is generally considered ‘religious’ knowledge – which are themselves good enough – doing so will allow one to pursue this special knowledge related virtue, that of cultivating intellectual humility.
A community that demonstrates knowledge related virtues, premier among them being a healthy dose of intellectual humility, is the kind of knowledge community we want to build. This is the kind of community that, aside from simply being engaged with knowledge, can build a native tradition of scholarship.
This is because its collective intellectual humility and academic integrity has allowed for the raising of intellectual discourse across the community, beyond the clamor of theories divorced from preceding scholarship and the vague insinuations that often pose as informed comment in popular discourse today.
I want you to be part of this building process, even if in a small way.
It is difficult to approach a knowledge quest sincerely. Yet I encourage you to approach it as sincerely as you can, and pray that your sincerity, even if somehow currently compromised, is perfected over time. Some past scholars used to say, musing on their intentions becoming corrected over time: we started out seeking knowledge for reasons other than God, yet it refused in the end to be for any cause other than God.
The method for participating in this process is up to you; it can and should involve a number of different options. These include attending classes on the ground with those who do embody intellectual humility; taking online courses (such as those offered through Seekershub), listening to lectures, and reading widely.
We don’t lack for resources in learning. We do lack for commitment to learning, a problem that derives largely from arrogance of the intellect.
This is why, in a roundabout way, I think you should involve yourself in sincere Islamic learning.

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Knowledge: What, How and Why We Study

The Path of Seeking Knowledge: What, How and Why We Study

In this three part video series, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani tackles the confusion that surrounds seeking knowledge. This set is key for anyone wanting to tread the path of knowledge.
Over the three parts, Shaykh Faraz will address the key question of “what to study?”. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani provides a break down of the key and supporting sciences. He lays out the structure of a curriculum to follow, with the names of the texts to study. He also provides the texts needed in the essentials, understanding and mastery levels.

Register now for SeekersHub Global’s free online courses.

Resources for Seekers:
Ten Adab of Seekers
Importance of Intention in Seeking Knowledge
The Etiquette of Seeking
Seeker’s Expectations – How to Seek Knowledge
VIDEO: The Urgent Obligation To Take Care Our Scholars – Shaykh Yahya Rhodus
VIDEO: How to Seek Islamic Knowledge – Imam Subki’s Counsel by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani 
VIDEO: Whom Should I Take My Islamic Knowledge From? – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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Ramadan is Over, Now What?

Ramadan is over but now what?

You’ve worked hard all month to get exactly where you are but now the real challenge begins, the one where you have to keep building on what you’ve attained.

SeekersHub is here to make things easy.

By offering you over 30 free courses taught by qualified teachers in numerous disciplines across various levels, you’re on your path to not only maintain but exceed your existing knowledge of the Islamic sciences.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW

Commit to at least one class a week.

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani highly encourages everyone to commit to at least one gathering of knowledge and one gathering of remembrance a week.
This usually proves difficult for those who may not have access to a physical location wherein sacred knowledge is taught but that’s where SeekersHub fills the gap, giving you access to learn right from the comfort of your home. 

Suggested courses to choose from.

LIVING RELIGION: Courses in Marriage, Parenting, New Muslim, and Youth issues.
PROPHETIC GUIDANCE: Courses in Seerah and Hadith studies.
ISLAMIC LAW & LEGAL METHODOLOGY: Start with beginners or more advanced courses in the Hanafi and Shafi’i madhab.
SPIRITUALITY: Shaykh Yahya Rhodus and Shaykh Faraz Khan both offer enlightening courses in Islamic spirituality.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

Whoever Allah wishes well for, He grants understanding of religion”. [Bukhari and Muslim]

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW

"Charity extinguishes sin, just as water extinguishes fire."

Isn’t it time to put out your sins?

The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said, “Charity extinguishes sin, just as water extinguishes fire.”
Watch this short video below as Ustadh Amjad Tarsin explains this beneficial hadith:

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”Give the best charity this Ramadan. ” h2_font_container=”font_size:32|color:%23dd3333″ h2_use_theme_fonts=”yes” h4=”Help SeekersHub spread the beautiful message of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to millions worldwide. Give your zakat or sadaqa today.” h4_font_container=”font_size:18|color:%23444444″ h4_use_theme_fonts=”yes” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”Donate Now” btn_color=”success” btn_size=”lg” btn_i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-credit-card-alt” css_animation=”left-to-right” css=”.vc_custom_1465580314934{background-color: #efefef !important;}” btn_add_icon=”true” btn_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fseekershub.org%2Fdonate%2F|||” use_custom_fonts_h2=”true” use_custom_fonts_h4=”true” btn_custom_onclick=”true”][/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Inheriting our Legacy from the Prophet of Love ﷺ, by Shaykh Babikir Ahmad Babikir

Many of us display “good Muslim” image in public, while maintaining the “real me” in private. This indicates a lack of connection to the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, as Shaykh Babikir Ahmad Babikir says.

In this inspiring talk, Shaykh Babikir reminds us of how we have decentralized the idea of love from religion, turning it leading us to lose out on our inheritance from the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. We begin to perform our acts of worship as publicized rituals, fraying the connection between us and our Lord. Listen to him discuss how using our inheritance of love can heal us.

Want to learn more? Click here to enroll in SeekersHub’s Free online course about the life on the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

Resources for Seekers

 

Our thanks to the Cambridge University Islamic Society for this recording. Cover photo by Amelie Lelarge.

Learn to Live… with Balance – Sister Heba #GiveLight

Learning to Live, with Balance

Heba didn’t think she had any problems. But when she started attending classes at SeekersHub, she just realized how much she was missing out on.

Help SeekersHub change the lives of more people like Heba
Millions of Muslims already turn to SeekersHub’s online courses, answers service, on-ground classes and retreats, and growing library of multimedia resources to connect with the guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him).
But there are still millions more who desperately need the guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him).
Become a monthly donor to help SeekersHub spread the beautiful message of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) millions worldwide.
Become a Monthly Donor, Change Lives

Muslim Scholars: Are They Irrelevant? by Shaykh Salim Moeladawilah

In the increasing accessibility of the digital age, we can connect with many more of our fellow believers from all over the globe. We are exposed to a greater variety of cultures, practices, traditions, and opinions. This begs the question; is it really necessary to take our knowledge from Muslim scholars, if we can access the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet ﷺ ourselves? Shaykh Salim Moeladawilah looks into it.

Imam Abu Dawud included in his celebrated collection of Hadith, a narration of a group of Companions of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ who were journeying together. In the course of their trip, one of the party was severely wounded on the head by a rock, exposing part of his cranium. The injured Companion later slept only to awake in a state of major ritual impurity (janāba). Upon consulting his colleagues about his ablution options and whether or not it would be permissible for him to perform dry ablution (tayammum), they replied that no, they didn’t believe that he would be permitted to perform dry ablution as he was physically able to wash with water. The injured Companion bathed and subsequently passed away when water entered into his brain cavity.

The Prophet ﷺ, upon this news reaching him, expressed anger at the Companions who gave their misguided advice saying, “They killed him, may God kill them.” (Shaykh Muhammad Shams-ul-Haq Azimabadi and other Hadith commentators have noted that this was not a prayer by the Prophetﷺ against the Companions, instead it was a very strongly worded warning).

Heﷺ went on to say, “If they didn’t know, why did they not ask? Verily the cure for ignorance is the question.”

 

Islam as Accredited Learning?

The concept of accredited learning and religious opinion is one founded in the very early years of Islam, as this Hadith demonstrates. The Prophetﷺ attributed the death of the Companion directly to those who gave him their invalid religious opinion, stating quite clearly, “They killed him.”

This Hadith has been heavily commented upon and quoted by scholars throughout the generations, and serves as a poignant example for us all about the importance of referring all matters, particularly matters of the religion, to those who possess knowledge in that area. It is a concept also spoken about in the Quran where God says, “So ask the people of the message if you do not know” [21: 7], meaning, as some Quran commentators have stated, to refer religious matters to people who possess knowledge of the religion.

Islam has always had a deep respect for scholarly credentials. This respect does not rely merely on individual intellectual merit, but it is built upon critiquing where and who one took their knowledge from; the authoritative chain of knowledge transmission (Sanad/Isnad). Imam Muslim in his compilation of rigorously authenticated Hadith quotes the Imam Muhammad ibn Sirin as saying, “Isnad was not asked about, but when the tribulations came, they said name for us your (Sanad).”

The imam is again quoted by Imam Muslim imparting the penetrating advice, “Verily this knowledge is the religion, so look at whom you take your religion from.” The imam and follower of the Companions Abdullah ibn Mubarak is also quoted in the introduction to Imam Muslim’s work, counselling, “Isnad is a [necessary] part of the religion, and were it not for Isnad, anyone would say as they please.”

 

We Are Accountable for Our Misinformation

These narrations and the quoted Quranic verse show us glimpses of the remarkable scholarly evaluation and critique that is present in the Muslim academic tradition. Knowledge, as such, is not merely what one arrives at through the use of their intellect, but the intellect is kept in check by our textual sources, being the Quran and Hadith. These sources are preserved, in form and in meaning, by scholars who spend a lifetime learning and living the message the Prophet Muhammadﷺ brought us in the 23 years of his prophethood, each generation adding to the vast ocean of scholarly work present before it. It is a remarkable testimony to the authenticity of Islam that we can trace a judicial opinion, understanding, or contention back through the generations to find its origin, often fourteen centuries ago in the time of the honoured Companions. 

In front of such an incredible academic tradition, carelessness in where we take our religious knowledge from would be foolish and irresponsible. The Prophetﷺ held the Companions in the Hadith narrated by Abu Dawud accountable for the misinformation they gave their colleague, leading to his death. This in extreme example of the worldly consequences of acting upon questionable knowledge, or no knowledge at all.

Today we find countless Muslims carrying on with their lives seemingly throwing caution to the wind with many matters of the religion. Doing so they are putting themselves and others in dangerous and precarious positions in both their worldly and religious affairs, either out of a lack of knowledge or due to misunderstanding something they do know. There are examples of people combining prayers to get an early nights sleep and others incorrectly calculating and distributing their zakat. Others still enter unlawful financial transactions due to not learning about the rules of trade in Islam, and there are even some who in Ramadan continue to eat until the end of the Fajr (dawn prayer) call to prayer, when the time for fasting enters at the beginning of the time for Fajr, ostensibly having developed their own judicial ruling in the matter. The theme throughout these cases is the ignorance and carelessness we see therein, an ignorance which could easily be remedied by simply posing a question to the right person. As the Prophetﷺ said in the aforementioned Hadith, “Verily the cure for ignorance is the question,” and in another Hadith he states, “Seeking knowledge is obligatory for every male and female Muslim.”

Guidance is Getting Easier and Easier to Find…

For the Muslim who sincerely wants to know, guidance and answers are getting easier and easier to find. The excuses for ignorance in a time where verifiable scholarship can be accessed are few indeed, and when we prioritize seeking worldly knowledge with our resources over seeking religious knowledge, we are putting ourselves in a compromising situation at best in matters of our religion and consequently our eternal abode. It would be quite telling of our priorities if, when it came to matters of our bodily health, we wouldn’t settle for anything but qualified medical practitioners graduated from recognized, reputable institutes and functioning under scrutinizing federal bodies, but when it came to matters of our religion we lent an ear to and accepted the words of those who may have no credentials to their name at all. It would be even more telling and showing of our disconnect with and disrespect for authentic scholarship if we ourselves were prone to dispense these answers when we weren’t fully knowing of them.

The discerning Muslim should value matters of their religion over their worldly matters. Death may be the worst one may expect with the ruin of their bodily health, however ruin in matters of the faith can lead to everlasting ruin in the hereafter. It is pertinent that we maintain a God-fearing attitude when we take religious opinions or listen to counsel. God says in chapter al-Fatir in the Quran, It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear God [35:28], being that true knowledge imparts God-fearing and where such fear is absent, so is knowledge. This then is our metre by which we can judge both which opinions to take and what answers to give, and god-fearing would entail that should we not know, we not speak. As Imam Abu Hanifa stated, Who speaks about knowledge and thinks God won’t ask him, ‘How did you give religious opinion in God’s religion?’ has verily been lax with his self and his religion,” and as Imam Shafi’i is quoted, “Those have spoken about [religious] knowledge that, would they have kept their silence about some of which they spoke, silence would have been better and safer for them.”

Neither wanton opining nor unfounded criticism fit into Islam’s understanding of knowledge, nor does careless following. It is an understanding which lead to the famous line of poetry by Shaykh Abu Hasan al-Hussar, “Not every difference of opinion counts, only differences which are worthy of consideration.” In a Hadith the Prophet Muhammad  ﷺ states, “The believer is intelligent, discerning, and careful.”

Is it not then upon us, as followers of our Prophet, to embody these traits and exercise the utmost caution with matters of the religion? The noble Companion and second caliph in Islam, Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khatab is famously quoted describing himself, “I am not one who cheats, nor do I let myself be cheated.”

Caution in matters of the religion is of this wariness mentioned by Umar. Caution and wisdom dictate we refer matters to those who know better than us. To take advice directly from the Quran, “So ask the people of the message if you do not know.”

Tired of being confused by the unqualified and misinformed? SeekersHub Answers Service provides qualified and relevant answers on a wide variety of topics.

 

Resources for Seekers

Photos by Dennis Jarvis.

Your Free Ramadan Gift – A Lesson Set from Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Your Free Ramadan Gift

In gratitude of your support, we we’d like to gift to you this special lesson set this  Ramadan.
The Path to Spiritual Excellence, a nine part lesson set from Habib Umar bin Hafiz.
Taught in Arabic by Habib Umar and translated into English by Shaykh Abdul Karim Yahya.
Download your copy from the SeekersHub website.
Thanks to DTI and Mahabbah Foundation
dti gold logo mahabbah_logo

Lilian’s Story: Why SeekersHub Is More Addictive than Facebook

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”Give the best charity this Ramadan. ” h2_font_container=”font_size:32|color:%23dd3333″ h2_use_theme_fonts=”yes” h4=”Help SeekersHub spread the beautiful message of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to millions worldwide. Give your zakat or sadaqa today.” h4_font_container=”font_size:18|color:%23444444″ h4_use_theme_fonts=”yes” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”Donate Now” btn_color=”success” btn_size=”lg” btn_i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-credit-card-alt” css_animation=”left-to-right” css=”.vc_custom_1465580314934{background-color: #efefef !important;}” btn_add_icon=”true” btn_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fseekershub.org%2Fdonate%2F|||” use_custom_fonts_h2=”true” use_custom_fonts_h4=”true” btn_custom_onclick=”true”][/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Tumultuous doesn’t even begin to sum up Lilian Kane’s life over the last few months. She embraced Islam in September and shortly after, found herself struggling to save her nascent marriage.

It was the hardest time of my life because I separated from my husband in really difficult circumstances. Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra advised me a lot over email and he later introduced me to sister Humera Khan and a couple of people from SeekersHub in London for support.”

The introduction to SeekersHub wasn’t out of the blue for Lilian.

I don’t think I was even Muslim when SeekersHub came up in a google search. I was looking for answers on Islam online – very dangerous, by the way, because a lot of what I read made me extremely uncomfortable. SeekersHub is different – it addressed my doubts as a soon-to-be Muslim – about hijab and niqab, without throwing Islamic tradition under the bus.”

Lilian embraced Islam and within a month, took a SeekersHub course on The Absolute Essentials on Islam, a 12-part explanation of the fundamentals of the religion that all believers are obligated to know and practice: beliefs, purification, prayer, zakat and fasting.

It was amazing to have it systematically explained to me. There is so much Islamic information out there but when you look for sources that are wholistic,  well-organised, reliable and clear, they are few and far between.”

Reading Answers from scholars soon became addictive for Lilian – “It’s up there with Facebook”, she adds with a laugh. SeekersHub was accessed by almost 2 million people worldwide last year but Lilian took it to the next level.

I made an impulsive decision to buy a plane ticket and fly out to the SeekersHub retreat in Toronto this year and that…that was nothing short of a revelation for me.”

“I was so alone when I arrived.”

retreat
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, founder and head of SeekersHub had been given the heads up so he, Ustadha Shireen Ahmed and the rest of the team sought Lilian out at the retreat.

I was so alone when I arrived. I didn’t even have to ask for them. They found me on the first day and I spent the rest of the retreat enveloped in kindness. Their love of Allah is manifested clearly in the way they serve others. My mother is non-Muslim and she can see how it’s all affected me. She’s really pro-Hub.”

Lilian has had a unique insight into the workings of SeekersHub, which can seem like a faceless online organisation in the global marketplace of “Islamic media”.

The SeekersHub team is surprisingly small. I still can’t believe how much they achieve online and on the ground given their size. They seem to be driven by a selflessness that is unusual in this day and age. The effect of that on the lives of people like me is enormous.”

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