Interview with a Productive Muslimah – Michelle Harmer (Sister has Style)

As-salamu alaikum,

Alhamdulillah, our very own Sr. Michelle Harmer (SeekersSeminars department manager) was recently interviewed by Productive Muslim regarding productivity and her business Sister Has Style.

Below is an excerpt from the interview. You can read the full interview by going to the Productive Muslim Blog.

This interview is part of our In the Footsteps of Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her)– Interview Series

We are pleased to interview another Productive Muslimah! The founder of Sister Has Style, We present to you Sr. Michelle Harmer. Begin with Bismillah and enjoy the interview.

Please begin by telling us about yourself.


Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem.
Asalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah, I’m Michelle Harmer, and I would  like to thank Productive Muslimah for arranging this interview with me, it’s an honour to have been asked.

 

I was born and raised in Yorkshire, England, and I moved to Toronto, Canada in January 2009. I embraced Islam in 2004, shortly after completing my degree in retail marketing, after which I worked in children’s fashion, and later on in Pharmaceutical marketing.
Since arriving in Canada, Allah has blessed me with many new opportunities and has opened doors for me to new friends, teachers, and means to being a more productive Muslimah. I started my fashion business in December 2009, and I volunteer with SeekersGuidance where I currently have a new role  as seminars manager.

 

Tell us about your business/ venture? Who are your target customers?
My business is called Sister has Style, and I work in partnership with the fashion designer, May Louie. We specialize in producing modest, stylish women’s fashion, generally with a chic, European influence. We chose to offer both a ready-made collection, and also custom services for women who are looking for a unique item of clothing, or may find it a challenge to find ready-made items that fit really well.

I started this business with women like myself in mind: she won’t compromise on modesty, and she would also prefer not to have to compromise on style. She’s feminine, friendly and fun.

 

How (and why) did you start your first venture? Was it a success? If not, why?
The idea for my business started back when I first embraced Islam and began dressing modestly. Prior to that, I had always been quite trendy in my clothing choices, I had a strong preference for unique designs that nobody else was wearing yet which I picked up from my Mother. When I adopted a modest way of dressing however, I found that my clothing choices were much more limited and that I always had to compromise on achieving the individual style I really liked. Talking to other Muslim women I knew, I found that this was common.

When I moved to Toronto, my new situation allowed me to pursue putting the business idea into reality, so I started off researching what Muslim women really wanted. Of course there is no one answer to that question, but we are trying to cater for different tastes and practical needs as much as we can. We predominantly found that women liked a lot of what they found in general stores, but most of the time, they could not wear it due to the lack of modesty the garments offered.

I started first by researching the possibilities, then I sought counsel from people I trusted, then I performed the salatul istikhara. The rest was made easy after that, alhamdulillah.

 

We are helping women achieve their individual style, and preserving their modesty at the same time. That’s a big success in my mind.

You can read the rest of the interview by going to Productive Muslim.

Wassalam,

The Best of Creation – The Consensus on this Prophetic Title – Shaykh Gibril Haddad

THE PROPHETIC TITLE: “BEST OF CREATION”

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

One of the names by which the Prophet Muhammad is known – upon him blessings and peace – is Khayru-l-Khalq or “Best of Creation.” Other similar names of his with identical meaning are Khayru-l-Bariyya, Khayru Khalqillah, Khayru-l-`Alamina Turra, Khayru-n-Nas, Khayru Hadhihi-l-Umma, and Khîratullah. These titles refers to his high status over all human Prophets and Messengers as well as over the Jinn and angels – upon them peace.
The Consensus of Muslims past and present – i.e. Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama`a – over the matter was indicated in Shaykh Ibrahim al-Laqqani’s (d. 1041) words, “steer clear of dissent” in his famous poem Jawharat al-Tawhid
(“The Gem of Monotheism”):

65. wa afdalu al-khalqi `ala al-itlâqi
Nabiyyunâ fa mil `ani al-shiqâqi.

Meaning:
And the best of creatures in absolute terms
is our Prophet, so steer clear of dissent. Read more

**Announcement** upcoming Toronto Seminar on Ramadan, 5 speakers confirmed, Sat 24th July

The Holy Month of Ramadan.  A time of spiritual transformation, of revival, of struggling to reach ranks that surpass those of the Angels.  Lofty goals — and ones which Believers can achieve with knowledge, effort and determination.  So how do you actually attain such blessings?  How can you to move toward perfecting yourself during this Blessed Month?

This full day SeekersSeminar in Toronto offers practical guidance to help you make this Ramadan a time of true transformation,  Knowledgeable, accessible teachers will guide you through a deeper examination of the spiritual purpose and fiqh of fasting and worship, and will introduce you to the laws of love and how they can help you achieve a more meaningful relationship with Allah.

Make this Ramadan your best yet.  Join us in Toronto on July 24th!

Featured topics include:
 
  • The spiritual purpose of Ramadan and the fiqh of fasting – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
  • An examination of what Allah says about Ramadan in the Qur’an – Shaykh Zahir Bacchus
  • The virtues of fasting – Shaykh Yusuf Badat
  • How to attain a socially meaningful Ramadan – Ustadha Shireen Ahmed
  • Connecting with the Qur’an during Ramadan – Mutfi Umer Esmail
  • A description of the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) fast, via recorded video by Sh. Yahya Rhodus

Date: Saturday 24th July 2010
Time: 11 – 7
Venue:  Koffler House (Multi Faith Centre), Room 108 (ground floor), 569 Spadina Avenue


The way of the companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) was to prepare themselves for this blessed month, during the month of Shaban.

How prepared are you?

Register now

We’re looking for volunteers to help distribute our flyers and posters about this event. If you can help, please contact Michelle at [email protected]

This seminar is being supported by Shukr Clothing.

Religion is Sincere Concern – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani (Radical Middle Way)

Religion is Sincere Concern – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani (Radical Middle Way)

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Habib Ali al-Jifri – Lessons on Anger, Forbearance, and Disciplining the Soul Through Prophetic Wisdom – from the RIS Knowledge Retreat

قبس النور المبين من إحياء علوم الدين – دروس وخطب – موقع الداعية الإسلامي الحبيب علي الجفري

https://www.alhabibali.com/galleries/canada10/images/ris2009_habibali_02.jpg

Lessons by al-Habib Ali al-Jifri on explaining “The Ray of Clear Light of the Revival of the Religious Sciences” written by al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz, delivered at this year’s excellent Reviving the Islamic Spirit Knowledge Retreat.

Lesson One: The Blameworthiness of Anger
Download: Lesson One (right click to save)
* Renewing intention when attending gatherings of knowledge
* The rank of knowledge & scholars
* Terms and the science of purification of hearts
* The rank of the sciences of excellence and purification
* Answers to issues arising regarding Imam Ghazali and his Ihya’
* An overview of the “Book on the Blameworthiness of Anger, Malice, and Envy”
* The contemporary importance of this Book
* The harms of anger

Lesson Two: The Reality of Anger
Download: Lesson Two (right click to save)
* The wisdom behind the creation of desires
* The true understanding of freedom
* Freedom of expression, and anger when sacred symbols are violated
* The reality of anger in a human
* The principles of dealing with anger and the way of balance

Lesson Three: Can Anger Be Extinguished Through Spiritual Discipline?
Download: Lesson Three (right click to save)
* The outward and inward effects of excessive anger
* The harmful inward results of anger: malice, envy, thinking ill of others, etc
* Looking with insight at the tricks of the ego is a great means to Allah
* Spiritual discipline isn’t possible without anger
* The praiseworthy balance
* Anger and how it is directed: the case of the Danish cartoons

Lesson Four: The Virtues of Restraining One’s Anger
Download: Lesson Four (right click to save)
* Beginning with questions from the students
* The cure for the misgivings that lead to anger
* Allah has made us responsible for that which is closer to the Sacred One (al-Quddus) and not to lower selves (nufus)
* The vitues of restraining one’s anger for the sake of Allah
* A poem in praise of Imam Ali Zain al-Abidin and the meanings of forbearance it contains
* The contiguously transmitted (musalsal) hadith on love

Lesson Five: Forbearance (hilm)
Download: Lesson Five (right click to save)
* Why forbearance is superior to restraining anger
* Knowledge is through strudy and forbearance is through forcing oneself to be forbearant
* Forbearance is a sign of complete intelligent and the submission of one’s capacity for anger
* Correcting the understanding of strength for the sake of Allah Most High
* The meaning of malice (hiqd) and its harmful consequences

Lesson Six: Problems in Contemporary Muslim Life
Download: Lesson Six (right click to save)
* Lesson for Questions and Answers
* The reason behind the crimes of both terrorism and the fight against it
* Are we fulfilling our responsibilities as bearers of a Divine Message?
* The role of forbearance in our contemporary context
* The reason for the weakness in Islamic discourse: the weakness of the institutions of sound traditional Islamic learning
* Caution in whom one takes one’s religious understanding from
* The dangers of declaring other Muslims disbelievers (takfir) and of accusations of polytheism (shirk)
* Remembering priorities

From Habib Ali’s site.
In Arabic: قبس النور المبين من إحياء علوم الدين – دروس وخطب – موقع الداعية الإسلامي الحبيب علي الجفري
In English: http://www.alhabibali.com/en/news/

Lessons conducted at the RIS Knowledge Retreat: Knowledge Retreat 1430

The text in Arabic: The Condemnation of Rage, Rancor and Envy (pdf)

http://www.alhabibali.com/galleries/canada10/images/ris2009_habibali_25.jpg
Habib Ali al-Jifri, with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

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Habib Ali at Shaykh Talal Ahdab’s House, with a number of scholars and activists.

Pictures taken from Habib Ali al-Jifri’s web site. The first two pictures are (c) Reviving the Islamic Spirit, 2010, and taken by Umar Shahzad.

Advice for those Feeling Down: Remembrance of Allah is the Key to Contentment

In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

Allah Most High says, “Truly, it is by the Remembrance of Allah that hearts find rest.” [Qur’an, 13.28]

One of the great early Muslims said, “Everything that hearts find of worries and sadness is because of what they have been denied of beholding Allah.”

What is remembrance (dhikr) of Allah?

Imam Sha`rani explains in his Lawaqih al-Anwar al-Qudsiyya that its essential meaning is to have Allah in heart and mind at all times. Remembrance of the tongue and worship of the limbs is a means to this.  Normally, of course, ends are not reached if the proper means are not taken.

Sayyidi Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi said,

“Be with Allah

You will find Allah with you.”

كُنْ مَعَ الله  ***  تَرَ اللهَ مَعَك

 

Be with Allah by loving Him, turning to Him in all your affairs, by obeying His commands out of love, thanks and servanthood, You will find Allah with you, for He is “closer to you than your jugular vein,” and He does not let the efforts of those who seek Him go to waste.

Reciting the Qur’an

As for what Surah to recite, the scholars say that it is superior to make it one’s habit to recite the Qur’an regularly, every day (even if only for a short amount of time), with reflection, longing and love for Allah, and attentiveness to what Allah is telling one, for the Qur’an is the guidance of Allah to you.

The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The most beloved of works to Allah are those which one is constant upon.” This is because they change your life completely, unlike short-lived bursts of activity, the scholars explain.

Surat Ya Sin is very powerful: the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) called it, “The heart of the Qur’an.”

It is also very recommended to send a lot of blessings upon the Beloved of Allah, the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), for he is the ultimate mercy from Allah to humanity, and we have been informed, “Whoever sends blessings upon me once, Allah blesses them ten times.” This is explained to be the least of the reward.

The scholars mention that for those sick or troubled (and others) it is good to recite theSalat al-Tibbiyya, along with the sunna ways of sending blessings and peace

Allahumma Salli `ala Sayyidina Muhammadin

Tibbil qulubi wa dawaa’iha

Wa nuril absari wa diya’iha

Wa `afiyatil abdaani wa shifaa’ha

Wa `ala Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Sallim.

 

اللهُمّ صَلِّ عَلَى سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ

طِبِّ القُلُوبِ وَدَوائِها

وَنُورِ الأَبْصَارِ وَضِيَائِهَا

وَعَافِيَةِ الأَبْدَانِ وَ شِفَائِهَا 

وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ وَسَلِّمْ

O Lord! Send blessings on our master Muhammad,

The medicine of hearts and their cure,

The light of eyes and their illumination,

The health of bodies and their healing,

And upon his family, companions, and send peace.

See article below, inshaAllah.

Walaikum assalam,
Faraz Rabbani.

Shaykh Idris Watts “Praise Him!” // June 2010 // Radical Middle Way

Hamd – praise – is the cornerstone of our faith. We praise God for the gift of life, for guidance and for the opportunity to do good and spread mercy. Every breath we take and every step we make should be an occasion for joy and praise. Nobody praised God better than the most praiseworthy of human beings – the Prophet Muhammad. His life was all about praise – praise expressed through the best of character, the most generous of hearts, the way of service. In him we have a model of praise that we can follow. Our demonstrations must not only call attention to injustice and inequity, but we must at the same time demonstrate the example through which injustice can be remedied, inequity can be vanquished and mercy can be brought into the lives of the many. Shaykh Idris Watts’s has a simple message for us all: Praise Him by following the one who praised Him best!

FeedMe Fast Concert – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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SeekersGuidance is a proud co-sponsor of the upcoming FeedMe Fast & Concert scheduled for Wednesday July 7, 2010 at 6pm EST. The FeedMe Concert is an online hunger relief concert with songs, poetry, spoken word & inspirational talks.

15 million children die of hunger every year. 200 people have died around the globe since the time you entered this page. About half the world struggles to survive on $2/day; an amount spent on one cup of coffee by a North American.

Register now to reserve your attendance of the FeedMe Concert.

Featured Presenters:

  • Imam Zaid Shakir
  • Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
  • Imam Abdul Latif
  • Nader Khan
  • Zain Bikha
  • Native Deen
  • Preacher Moss
  • Baraka Blue
  • Mustafa Davis
  • More speakers confirming soon!

In the following video, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the hadeeth of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) who relates from Allah (exalted be He) “O Son of Adam! I was hungry and you didn’t feed me.”

FeedMe Fast Concert Promo – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani from MQube on Vimeo.

Videos from “Make My Summer Productive Webinar” – Mohammed Faris (Productive Muslim) and Tushar Bhuiya

Productive Muslim has uploaded a recording of the Make My SUMMER Productive Webinar! Sidi Tushar Bhuiya, who is organizing the Shaykh Faraz Rabbani’s UK Tour, was one of the presenter.

Part 1 –  Presenter: Br. Tushar Bhuiya (etimemanagement.co.uk)

Part 2 –  Presenter: Br. Mohammed Faris (ProductiveMuslim.com)

ANNOUNCEMENT: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani UK Tour Launches THIS Friday!

As-salamu alaikum,

May this reach you in the best state of health and iman. Ameen.

SeekersGuidance is partnering with several dynamic Islamic organizations to host our first ever UK Tour!

picture-of-shaykh-farazShaykh Faraz Rabbani, founder and main instructor of SeekersGuidance, will be visiting the UK from June 11th to June 20th. His one week tour aims to bring knowledge of benefit to all believers.

Shaykh Faraz will be giving seminars in 10 different cities throughout the UK on diverse topics ranging to faith, worship, spirituality, Prophetic wisdom, marriage, raising righteous children, fiqh of halal and haram, and preparing for the hereafter.

Some seminars will feature special speakers such as Shaykh Abu Aliyah & Mufti Muhammad Ibn Adam.

29londxlOur Proud Co-Sponsors:
– City Circle
– Islamic Circles
– Buruj Press
– Bucks New University Islamic Society
– Karima Foundation
– The Ribat Institute
– Oxford Traditional Knowledge Foundation
– Darul Arqam
– University of Leicester ISOC
– Qurba Institute
– Abu Zahra Foundation

For more information and latest the latest updates visit:
https://seekersguidance.org/uktour/

Wassalam,

SeekersGuidance Staff