Connect with Allah & His Messenger: Free Daily Class on Tafsir & Prophetic Character (7-8 pm) – at SeekersHub & Online

In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful

Connect this Ramadan

–Connect with Allah & His Messenger: Daily Class on Tafsir & Prophetic Character (7-8 pm, Eastern time)

Daily at SeekersHub (www.SeekersHub.org)

2355 Royal Windsor Dr, Unit 10, Mississauga, ON

and through live broadcast online…

SeekersHub (www.SeekersHub.org), a project of SeekersGuidance, invites you to join us in making this month of consistent benefit through daily study of the Qur’an and the beautiful person and qualities of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk):

— Connect with Allah & His Messenger: Daily Class on Tafsir & Prophetic Character (7-8 pm) —
– with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Qur’anic Commentary (tafsir): Explanation of verses describing the qualities of the believers, from Shaykh Ahmad Jami’s beautiful commentary, “Sifat al-Mu’minin fi’l Qur’an al-Karim.” This will not only deepen our understanding of the Qur’an, but give us much direct insight, inspiration, and guidance on how to become more pleasing and beloved to Allah.

Prophetic Character (shama’il): The person & personality of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), through complete study of Imam Suyuti’s summary of the Prophetic qualities, “Zahrat al-Khama’il `ala’l Shama’il.” This will give us deeper insight into the one described by Allah HImself as being, “the most beautiful of examples for whoever seeks Allah and the last day,” in order to grow in love and veneration of him, and to strengthen our commitment to follow his beautiful way, outwardly and inwardly.

This class will also be broadcast online via Livestream:

http://www.livestream.com/​seekersguidance?t=835377


For SeekerHub’s full Ramadan Connections program, see: Ramadan Connections.


The Blessings of the Night of Mid-Sha’ban | Nur Sacred Sciences

On the authority of Abi Tha’laba al-Khushani (RA), “The Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘When it becomes the Night of Mid-Shaʿbān, God looks at His creation and forgives the believers, maintains the disbelievers (in their disbelief), and leaves the bearer of grudges in their enmity until they abandon their [resentment].”

In another hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) made the following supplication during his prostration in Mid-Shaʿbān. “A’isha (RA) said: ‘The night of Mid-Shaʿbān was my night.  And the Messenger of God was at my place…He then went into prostration and said, ‘I seek refuge in Your good-pleasure from Your anger.  And I seek refuge in Your forgiveness from Your punishment.  And I seek refuge in You from You.  I am incapable of Your praise.  You are as You have praised Yourself.”

The Prophet (PBUH) used to spend the Night of Mid-Shaʿbān praying and its day fasting.  On the authority of ʿAlī (RA) the Prophet (PBUH) said: “If it is the Night of Mid-Shaʿbān then stand [in prayer] during its night and fast its day.  For God descends to the heavens of the earth when the sun sets and says, ‘Is there anyone who seeks forgiveness so that I may forgive him?  Is there anyone who seeks provision so that I may grant him provision?  Is there anyone afflicted so that I may remove his affliction?  Is there not such and such,’ until the dawn breaks.”

For this reason, it is encouraged to be abundant in worship during this night, particularly in prayer and supplication.  ʿAtāʾ b. Yasār said: “After the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr), there is no night greater than the Night of Mid-Shaʿbān.  It is from amongst the nights that supplications are answered.”

Read the full article…The Blessings of the Night of Mid-Sha’ban, on Nur Sacred Sciences

Canada’s Champions of Change – Waris Malik

Br. Waris Malik from Islamic Foundation in Scarborough, Ontario was selected as one of Canada’s Top 50 volunteers in CBC’s Champions of Change contest for his work in organizing a free soup kitchen within the mosque.

Please spread the word about his efforts and anyone interested in volunteering can sign up through the IFT site.

Champions of Change, Waris Malik

Waris established the first ever “free restaurant” at the Islamic Foundation in Toronto. He designed a soup kitchen that operates just like a restaurant on Saturdays–no line-ups–volunteers come to the table to serve those who could use a hot meal

Although Soup Day is located in a mosque, it’s open to anyone. When Soup Day first opened, some people from the surrounding community were a little intimated having never stepped foot in a mosque before. Waris remembers some were unsure whether they should cover their heads or not and what the etiquette was. But he convinced new arrivals that they weren’t coming in to pray but to eat and now many non-Muslim seniors are regulars.

Waris’ nominator Abdullah Khalid says, “I only wish we could all do even one percent of what Waris does; we could bring so much happiness and laughter to this loving country called Canada.”

Click here to watch CBC interview of Waris Malik

Looking to help out with Hot Soup Days?

Share your talents and volunteer with SeekersGuidance

SeekersGuidance welcomes enthusiastic and skilled individuals, who support our vision and goals, to apply to join our team. Our team is largely made up of volunteers, who enable us to maintain and develop our services, and to reach out to a wide community both on-line and on the ground.

To apply for any of the opportunities below, please send your resume, with details of the position that you are applying for, to our HR Manager Omaira Alam, at [email protected]

Academy Department

Finance Department

Outreach Department

Seminars Department

Student Services Department

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Click here to read about our team members and their experiences volunteering for SeekersGuidance. Join us! Please click on the Share button above to share this post with your family and friends.

IMF study concludes that Shari`ah-Compliant Banks showed “Stronger Resilience” to the Financial Crisis – Straight Ethical Advisory Blog

IMF study concludes that Shari`ah-Compliant Banks showed “Stronger Resilience” to the Financial Crisis – Straight Ethical Advisory Blog

  • Islamic banks fared differently from conventional banks during global crisis
  • Weaknesses in risk management hurt Islamic bank profitability in 2009
  • Crisis revealed important regulatory and supervisory challenges

A new IMF study compares the performance of Islamic banks and conventional banks during the recent financial crisis, and finds that Islamic banks, on average, showed stronger resilience during the global financial crisis.

But the study also finds that Islamic banks faced larger losses than their conventional peers when the crisis hit the real economy.

In “The Effects of the Global Crisis on Islamic and Conventional Banks: A Comparative Study,” economists Jemma Dridi of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department and Maher Hasan of the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Market Department look at the effects of the crisis on bank profitability, credit, and asset growth in countries where both types of banks have a significant market share. The new working paper adds an empirical dimension to the debate on the relationship between Islamic banking and financial stability, a topic that has generated renewed interest since the global crisis.

Too big to ignore

Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing segments of the global financial industry. In some countries, it has become systemically important and, in many others, it is too big to be ignored. It is estimated that the size of the Islamic banking industry at the global level was close to $820 billion at end-2008. The largest Islamic banks are located in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates).

While Islamic banks play roles similar to conventional banks, fundamental differences exist between the two models. The main difference between Islamic and conventional banks is that the former operate in accordance with the rules of Shariah, the legal code of Islam. The central concept in Islamic banking and finance is justice, which is achieved mainly through the sharing of risk. Stakeholders are supposed to share profits and losses, and charging interest is prohibited.

There are also differences in terms of financial intermediation, the paper notes. While conventional intermediation is largely debt based, and allows for risk transfer, Islamic intermediation, by contrast, is asset based, and centers on risk sharing. One key difference between conventional banks and Islamic banks is that the latter’s model does not allow investing in or financing the kind of instruments that have adversely affected their conventional competitors and triggered the global financial crisis. These include toxic assets, derivatives, and conventional financial institution securities.

Crisis impact

To control for varying conditions across financial systems, the paper looks at the actual performance of Islamic banks and conventional banks in countries where both have significant market shares (see Chart 1). It uses bank-level data covering 2007−10 for about 120 Islamic banks and conventional banks in eight countries—Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. These countries host most of the world’s Islamic banks (more than 80 percent of the industry, excluding Iran) but also have large conventional banking sectors. The key variables used to assess the impact are the changes in profitability, bank lending, bank assets, and external bank ratings

(more..)

Imam Magid Elected President of ISNA

Imam Magid Elected President of ISNA! – Allahcentric

The results of ISNA’s 2010 Elections are in and it seems that Imam Magid has been elected president. Many of us know Imam Magid as the dynamic Imam of ADAMS Center, one of the most active Masajid in North America based out of Sterling, Virginia. In spite of his high profile and constant traveling, Imam Magid is one of the most accessible Imams I’ve ever seen.

I was fortunate enough to record a video of Imam Magid for the SeekersGuidance/Cambridge Mosque webinar “Healthy Hearts, Healthy Community” webinar which featured lectures byShaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Shaykh Muhammad Yahya al-Ninowy, and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani:

Imam Mohamed Magid :: Adab with Allah, Others & Oneself from Cambridge Mosque is Moving on Vimeo.

Mohamed Magid, Va. Imam, Named Head Of Islamic Society Of North America – Huffington Post

Magid, 45, served two terms as ISNA’s vice president under Mattson, where he focused on interfaith relations, youth issues, and women’s issues. As president, Magid’s priorities will continue to include interfaith relations and improving Islam’s image in the United States, said ISNA spokeswoman Sarah Thompson.

“A lot of local communities don’t know how to engage with the media and the communities around them, and they’re asking for help,” Thompson said. “Reaching out and improving interfaith relations is what Imam Magid excelled at.”

Meet ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid

Imam Mohamed Hagmagid Ali is a Sudanese-born American who came to the United States in 1987.  He attained his religious education in various Islamic disciplines as a Resident Scholar at Al-Medina Institute.  Currently serving as the Executive Director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), Imam Magid helped establish exemplary religious services for Muslim communities across the nation to emulate.   He has much experience serving the nation-wide Muslim community as ISNA’s East Zone representative and as ISNA Vice President prior to his election in September 2010 as ISNA President.   Imam Magid has a long history of commitment to public service through organizations, such as The Peaceful Families Project, Annual Twinning of Mosques and Synagogues, Fairfax Faith Communities in Action, Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington Assembly and the Buxton Interfaith.

Imam Magid strives to create and foster dialogue and increase understanding about Islam.  Part of his work with the Buxton Interfaith Initiative included forging a partnership with Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk, then leader of the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston.  Both men were recognized by the Washingtonian as “2009’s Washingtonians of the Year” for building bridges between their faith communities.  Imam Magid continues to provide good counsel for the Muslim community through his regular contributions to ISNA’s magazine, Islamic Horizon’s, as well as a speaker and leader of discussions on imminent issues facing the Muslim American community.  He is also well known for his family counseling expertise.  Imam Magid lives in Virginia with his wife and five young daughters.

Read testimonials about Imam Mohamed Magid

A warning we should heed – Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

The message of Islam is that pursuit of money for its own sake is unnatural, inhumane, and will lead us to catastrophe, argues Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad.

O you who believe! Let not your wealth nor your children distract you from remembrance of Allah. Those who do so, they are the losers. (63:9)

This verse in the Qur’an is an invitation for humanity to make a relatively small effort in this world, in return for the eternal reward of the hereafter. It is a call to save ourselves from becoming fixated on our wealth and on providing our children with the latest gadget and games, which ultimately are mere distractions from our remembrance of the creator.

But humans are short-termist; we think primarily of our pleasures now rather than the harmony and serenity of the world to come. Chapter 102 of the Qur’an says that we are distracted by competing in worldly increase, until we finally end up in our graves where we will be questioned about our excesses.

Does this mean that it is wrong to own things? Of course not, as money and offspring can be positive things in the life of a believer, and we do of course have basic needs which need to be met. But we must remember that the pleasures of consumption are quickly gone, while lasting benefit comes only from using our wealth to uphold the rights of others; namely the orphan, the traveller, and the needy. Wealth is thus truly ours only once it has been given away.

Those who are genuinely distracted by worldly increase, and who make it an end in and of itself rather than as a means towards something better are in effect guilty of a form of idolatry. Ours is an age that has made idols of the great banks and finance houses, driven to frenzy by competition amongst billionaires who are kept awake at night by the thought that a rival might make a business deal more quickly than them. A banker who can asset strip companies and throw its employees out onto the street is someone who is in the grip of an obsession that has thrown him beyond of the normal frontiers of humanity.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CBxeD9L07z4/RzPo4d7zfJI/AAAAAAAAANU/crwkdQsx39g/s400/ahm2.JPG
Neo-classical economics has traditionally focused on four things: land, labour, capital and money, the first three of which are finite, while the fourth, money, is theoretically infinite, and is therefore where human greed has been particularly focussed. Thus arose a system where someone could, with approval, set up a bank with only £1, and then lend £100 using property and other assets promised by others as security.

The lender now has £100 including interest, which they earned by just sitting there and doing nothing. On the basis of this £100, they can then lend £1000, and on and on, until the cancerous growth lubricated by greed becomes so huge that it leads to a fundamental breakdown in the system. Such a system based on usury, with interest as the bizarre “price of money” which itself becomes a commodity, was once prohibited by all faiths. People had a simple and natural intuition that the commoditisation of a measurement of value would open the door to trading in unreal assets, and ultimately to a model of finance that would destroy natural restraints and even, potentially, the planet.

In the classical Islamic system, by contrast, money is the substance of either gold or silver. With a tangible and finite asset being the only measure of value, there is a great deal more certainty about the value of assets and the price of money. This basic wisdom was though not just a theoretical ideal; it succeeded. Muslim society at its height was mercantile, and it was successful. Never was money assigned its own value and never was it seen as an end in and of itself.

Since the abolition of the gold standard however, theoretical limits on the price of money were removed. Last year’s meltdown, whose final consequences were unguessable, was a sign of the inbuilt dangers of a usurious world. Humans are naturally short-termist but in times of crisis we must take stock. As with the related environmental crisis, now is the time to be smarter and more self-restrained. The believer is in any case allergic to the mad amassing of wealth, since he or she expects true happiness and peace only in the remembering of God and in the next world.

Now is the time to think seriously about finding an economic system to replace the one whose dangers have just been revealed. Upon the conquest of Mecca, a verse of the Qur’an was revealed commanding people to give up what remained of their interest-based transactions, upon which a new system based on the value of gold and silver was initiated.

Those who relied so heavily on the old system would of course have been unable to understand a system without banking charges, but not only was such a system created but a successful civilisation was created using these ideas.

Last year we peered into the abyss; now we must apply self-restraint and wisdom, before complete catastrophe ensues.

Cover photo by alexcoitus.