The Virtue of Saying Amin

Understanding Virtue through the Prophetic Teachings (Lesson Ten): In this lesson Shaykh Faraz discusses the reward and ruling of saying Amin.

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How Is Spiritual Excellence Attained?

Question: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) defined spiritual excellence (ihsan) as, “To worship Allah as though you behold Him,” in the Hadith Jibril. I’ve been reflecting a lot on this, and and have found this message of beholding Allah in many other hadiths too, like the hadith in the Forty of al-Nawawi in which the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Take care of Allah and He’ll take care of You. Take care of Allah, and you will find Him before you…” How is this spiritual excellence reached?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful

 

Spiritual excellence (ihsan) comes from a root linguistic sense of perfecting and beautifying something. The state of spiritual excellence (ihsan) is a gift from God, normally granted the one who sincerely and consistently strives to perfect and beautify their faith, submission, worship, conduct, character, and dealings, on the footsteps of the
Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him).

Spiritual excellence (ihsan) is the result of true sincerity (ikhlas), which is defined as seeking Allah Most High alone in all one’s actions, in the ways most beloved to Him.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Actions are by their intentions,” defining for us that the reality of actions is not in their forms but, rather, in the sincerity of intent underlying them. “And each person shall have whatever they intended,” from which the foremost of his followers realized that the best of what is sought–in every matter–is Allah Himself. This is the essence of the Prophetic concern, and the sum of the Prophet’s way.

Allah Most High tells us, “Truly you have in the Messenger of Allah the most beautiful of examples, for whoever seeks Allah and the Last Day, and makes much remembrance of Allah.” [Qur’an, 33.21] This is spiritual excellence: seek Allah in all your affairs; take the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) as your example in all your affairs; uphold that example in the best and most beautiful of ways; and make much remembrance of Allah.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

www.SeekersGuidance.com

Habib Umar – Cautioning Against Greed and Materialism in Australia

Greed and materialism blamed for world woes – The National Newspaper

Conquering the pernicious greed that has savaged the global economy and curbing rampant materialism have been among the key messages brought to Australia by one of the eminent scholars of Islam, Sheikh Habib Umar Bin Salim Bin Hafiz.

Sheikh Umar has spoken to packed mosques and halls in Sydney during a hectic and much anticipated week-long Australian tour that also includes events in Brisbane and Melbourne.

To his supporters, the Yemeni-born cleric is a charismatic and revered descendant of the Prophet Mohammed.

To an enthralled audience of mostly Muslim students crammed into a lecture theatre at the University of Technology, Sydney, he emphasised the critical importance of self-control in suppressing the demons of selfish consumption.

“Those people who believe that this life is just a material existence will find that history has recorded many failures from them in the past and also in the present,” said the softly spoken religious leader, his words in Arabic translated by a colleague.

“They have lost their values and in so doing have lost their very humanity and need to be emancipated from this material cage into a realm which is vast and more sublime.

“The greed for money that is unchecked will produce the likes of the current financial crisis that we see now, just as it has in previous times.”

Speaking after his 40-minute address, he insisted that an insatiable desire for wealth was a cancer that had to be removed.

“When greed and avarice exist within a human being and they don’t have control over them, this person will try to devise ways to bring wealth by any means. So, perhaps they won’t mind if they have to be treacherous or plotting nor will they mind if they harm others. These are powerful causes that lead to any crisis,” he said.

Tyranny, he said, along with Aids, were the result of “the diseases of the human soul” and he was waiting for “a spiritual rain to descend” to wash away such ills.

His ideas have fallen on fertile ground. Australia’s 350,000 Muslims have often felt victimised at the hands of mainstream society following the attacks in New York and the Pentagon on September 11, and, for some, Sheikh Umar’s tour has been an opportunity to re-energise their faith.

“I’ve heard so much about this wonderful, wonderful person,” said Farah, a 23-year-old arts student. “He is a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. The way he talks is just so amazing, it is so humble, so beautiful and to be in his presence is just an inspiration. He is someone we can learn from.”

Ghassan Baghdadi, 31, who is studying ancient history, was equally enthusiastic about Sheikh Umar’s visit. “I have come seeking more spiritual knowledge and guidance. He is a very different type of Sheikh to what we usually get from other imams. His message is deeper, more spiritual. It’s been a privilege to be here.”

“The world needs more spiritualism,” Mr Baghdadi added. “When you are at peace with yourself, you can accomplish more when you have a clearer mind, a clearer view of life.”

Sara, a 19-year-old law student, said, “Spirituality is not just important to Muslims but even non-Muslims can appreciate the messages he sends across because it is all about humanity and love for the planet, so it is pretty good. Everyone can get something out of it.”

Sheikh Umar lives in the community where he was born in southern Yemen, the ancient town of Tarim that sits in the Hadhramaut Valley, which is steeped in rich theological and academic history.

As a young man, he saw his father, a distinguished scholar, abducted by communist forces. He has never been seen since, and Sheikh Umar has assumed the
responsibility of continuing his father’s work in the field of Da’wah, which promotes and spreads the word of Islam.

His missionary fervour has taken him to all corners of the globe, from the House of Lords in Britain to Africa and the Gulf States as well as Pakistan and Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim democracy.

Islamic groups in Australia regard his lecture tour as a chance for Muslims to reaffirm their beliefs that can often weaken under the pressures of modern, western life, according to Ramzi Elsayed, president of the Islamic Council of Victoria.

“He is in the business of connecting people with our creator and god and reviving their spirituality. In a day and age when people are spiritually malnourished, he brings out in people a feeling they don’t often get and that guidance is being embraced.”

“We do find that when we get speakers and scholars of his calibre, it is a big morale boost to the Muslim community. It is uplifting and these messages will linger.”

The Virtue of Praying in the First Row

Understanding Virtue through the Prophetic Teachings (Lesson Nine): In this lesson Shaykh Faraz discusses the reward, etiquette, and wisdom of praying in the first row.

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Prophetic Supplication for Allah’s Love – and the Means to It

Abu’d Darda’ (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said that from the supplication (du`a’) of the Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) was, “O Allah, I ask You for Your love, the love of those who love You, and the actions that make me attain unto Your love. O Allah, make love of You more beloved to me than my self, my wealth, my family, and from cold water.” [Tirmidhi]

(ت) أبو الدرداء – رضي الله عنه – :قال : قال رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- : «كان من دُعاء داودَ ، يقول : اللَّهمَّ إِني أسألك حُبَّك ، وحبَّ من يحبُّك ، والعَمَل الذي يُبَلِّغُني حبَّكَ، اللَّهمَّ اجعل حُبَّك أَحَبَّ إِليَّ من نفسي ، ومالي، وأَهْلي ، ومن الماءِ البارِد ، قال : وكان رسولُ الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- إذا ذُكِرَ داودُ يحدِّث عنه ، يقول : كان أَعْبَدَ البَشَرِ».أخرجه الترمذي .

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad – Religious Freedom & the Sunna (Cambridge Khutbas)

cambridge khutbas etc.: Religious Freedom & the Sunna

In this talk, the sheikh discusses the role in the modern world of following the sunna (‘example’, ‘practice’) of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). He begins by analysing the fragmentation of the modern world, in which different aspects of human existence and even of an individual are disconnected from each other. As humanity learns more and more about the material details of our existence, there seems to be a correlating reduction in our real understanding of the overall meaning of creation and our place in it. Yet how can we find an antidote to this in the practice of the Prophetic sunna, which, superficially at least, is concerned with the very fine details of our day-to-day life? The sheikh explains the importance firstly of the fact that it is a source of harmony by allowing us to integrate our outward and inward states and conform both to the fundamental reality of our existence. Secondly, the sunna is a shelter and liberation from the imprisonment with which our uncultivated egos (nafs) and desires (hawa’) threaten us. To the modern eye, trained to judge only by the criterion of personal freedom, limiting oneself to a prescribed type of behaviour seems a surefire route to misery and repression. Yet what real freedom is there in living according to the unrelenting demands of the nafs, which will always push for more and more because any apparent happiness it finds in transitory acts is just as fleeting? Unfortunately, for many of us religion has become just another way of acting out the hyperactive impulses of our unquiet souls. But, the sheikh reminds us, its real function is just the opposite – a route to inner contentment (sakina) and thereby freedom.

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Reason as Balance – Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad – and Other Excellent Articles…

Cambridge Muslim College :: Resources :: CMC Papers

Reason As Balance: the evolution of ‘aql

CMC Papers No.3 by Timothy Winter [Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad]
Read Online, Download or Print

The Aims of Education

CMC Papers No.2 by Syed Ali Ashraf
Read Online, Download or Print

Some Reflections on Principles of Islamic Education within a Western Context

CMC Papers No. 1 by Dr. Atif Imtiaz
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Mufti Taqi Usmani – On Using Time Appropriately

ASHRAFIYA » Blog Archive » Using Time appropriately

This is advice Mufti Taqi Usmani gave someone seeking counsel:

The Shaykh told him:

“Recognize the importance of time. That it is an invaluable wealth. Spend it very wisely and precisely in virtuous actions.”

Next day while the Shaykh was sitting in Masjid al-Haraam facing the holy Kab’a (‘s Rukun-e-Yamani) an individual requested some elaboration on this advice. That is, as how to practically incorporate it in to one’s daily life.

Obviously pleased on the question, Shaykh replied;

“Firstly one has to recognize the importance of time per se.

Secondly, one has to organize one’s schedule to fully maximize the benefit of available time, such that not a single moment is wasted. Being wasted meaning that it is not utilized appropriately even for a worldly purpose, may it be sleeping or moderate lawful entertainment or being busy in helping another fulfill his essential obligations, etc.

Wasting time includes indulging in activities having no benefit for this life or here-after (akhira).”

The Shaykh continued:

“Develop the habit of planning.

That is, plan for the future.

If I was to get 5 or 10 minutes break between my tasks how will I spend it?

For example, while commuting to work.

Think and decide in advance.

How I am going to spend these 15 minutes besides doing the driving?

Only if one has thought of these in advance he will be able to utilize this time appropriately.

My father (Grand Mufti of Pakistan, Hazrat Mawala Mohammad Shafi’i ra) used to inform us that, “Even the time I spent in toilet I try to make use of it. If there is nothing else I scrub and clean the water jug (lota) kept in there.”

All praise to Allah, due to his training I also try to enact on this advice. When I come home from my classes I know there will be at least a 5 minute interval before the lunch is served. I have planned in advance the use of this time. Such as, to return someone’s telephone call, etc.

When a person develops this habit of utilizing the time precisely, Allah facilitates immense actions for him and also puts blessing (barakh) in time. (That is, in short duration a lot is achieved.)

Remember, heedlessness (gaflah) is a bane!”

Makkah e mukarramah, November, 7th 2005

Praying in Congregation

Understanding Virtue through the Prophetic Teachings (Lesson Eight): In this lesson Shaykh Faraz looks at the spiritual benefits of congregational prayer. Furthermore, Shaykh Faraz explains why there is gender distinction in certain rulings of law.

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Islamic Knowledge Podcasts

Download podcasts directly onto your device by visiting the SeekersHub Podcast or click on each individual link for direct download.

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icon-podcastThe Prophet – A Tremendous Blessing

In His Book, Allah Most High describes the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as a person of tremendous character. In this khutba, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains what a tremendous blessing the Prophet is, and provides practical advice on how to establish a living connection with Allah’s Final Messenger.

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icon-podcastPrayer – The Best Remembrance

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icon-podcastProphetic Supplication for Guidance, Piety, Restraint, and Freedom from Need

(No Summary)

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icon-podcastSeeking Allah – The Goal of Seeking Knowledge

Understanding Virtue through the Prophetic Teachings (Introduction) – This is the first of a series of podcasts in which Shaykh Faraz Rabbani will cover the text Fada’il al’A’mal by the great Imam Diya’ al-Maqdisi. In this lecture Shaykh Faraz sets the context for approaching this work of hadith.

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icon-podcastWudhu – Purifying Oneself Inwardly and Outwardly

Understanding Virtue through the Prophetic Teachings (Lesson One): This is a series of daily podcasts in which Shaykh Faraz Rabbani will cover the text Fada’il A’mal by the Great Imam Diya al-Maqdisi. In this lesson Shaykh Faraz examines the significance of wudu.

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icon-podcastWudhu and Rising in Rank with Allah

Understanding Virtue through the Prophetic Teachings (Lesson Two): It is related that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Should I not point you to that which Allah wipes away errors through and by which He raises one numerous ranks.” In this lesson Shaykh Faraz Rabbani comments on the three actions one can do to raise in rank with Allah.

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icon-podcastOpening the Gates of Paradise with Wudhu

Understanding Virtue through the Prophetic Teachings (Lesson Three): In this lesson Shaykh Faraz explain how a believer can have the gates of paradise opened by perfecting their wudu. Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever performs the ritual ablution and does so well, and then says, ‘Ashhadu al-la ilaha illa’l Llah(a) wahdahu la sharika lahu wa anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa rasuluh(u). Allahumma’j`lni mina’t tawwabin wa’j`alni mina’l mutatahhirin (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, One without partner, and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. O Allah, make me of the truly repentant and make me of those who truly purify themselves),’ all eight of the doors of Paradise are opened for them–and they can enter from whichever they wish.” [Muslim (144), Tirmidhi (55), and Abu Dawud (169), though Muslim didn’t mention the second part of the supplication]

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icon-podcastThe Virtues of the Call to Prayer

Understanding Virtue through the Prophetic Teachings (Lesson Four): ” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), said, “Everything that hears the call of the muezzin — whether jinn, human, or otherwise — will bear witness to it on the Day of Resurrection.” In this lesson Shaykh Faraz Rabbani reflects on the greatness of the call to prayer, and the sunnahs related to the call to prayer.

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icon-podcastVirtues of Supplicating Between the Adhan and Iqama

Understanding Virtue Through the Prophetic Teachings (Lesson Five): It is related that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Supplication between the adhan and iqama is not rejected.” In the following lesson Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the merit of calling upon Allah during specific sacred times, and shed light on what a believer should be asking for from Allah.

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icon-podcastVirtues of Building Mosques

Understanding Virtue through the Prophetic Teachings (Lesson Six): It is related that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever builds a mosque seeking the pleasure of Allah, Allah builds for them its like in Paradise.” In this lesson Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the importance of building and maintaining mosques.