New Beginnings at The Dar al Fuqaha Seminary – Term Two 2020

As spring brings forth new life at the beautiful Mevlavihanesi in Istanbul, a new term begins at the Dar al Fuqaha Seminary, bringing life-changing knowledge to students from around the world.

Term Two Classes began on June 6, 2020, the Ijaza Program —with leading scholars including Shaykh Usama al-Rifa’i, Shaykh Khalid Kharsa, Shaykh Ismail Majzub, Dr. Mahmoud Masri, and many others.

Given the current trials that we’re faced with globally, the SeekersGuidance Istanbul team has adjusted the course delivery process with the help of technology to keep students connected to their lessons and teachers. Term Two is being exclusively held online, for the safety of our students.  This term, scholars will be teaching from the campus as well as their homes if they are unable to come to the campus.

Dar al Fuqaha Courses On SeekersGuidance

The SeekersGuidance academy team is finalizing the Dar al-Fuqaha courses from term one to make them available to thousands of students worldwide, completely free. Courses will be made available in a week, and will include subjects such as: Fiqh, Usul al Fiqh, Sciences of Hadith, Tasawwuf, and more.

What is the Dar al Fuqha Seminary? 

The Dar al Fuqaha Seminary is a program launched in partnership with the Sultan Mehmet Fafih Waqf University under the leadership of Dr Mahmoud Masri of SeekersGuidance.

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.

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.

We pray that these young minds blossom and fragrance the globe like the roses that line the beautiful Dar al Fuqaha campus. 

Black Lives Matter: Racism, Social Activism, Justice | A Reader

SeekersGuidance is always committed to provide clarity, answers, and guidance, especially when new issues emerge.

We feel that in these times it is important for us to listen to our black leaders. In this reader we are featuring the voices of some of our most impactful black Muslim leaders, including Imam Zaid Shakir, Dr. Sherman Jackson, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Imam Dawud Walid, Shaykha Zaynab Ansari, and others.

May Allah make us of those who stand up for justice, truth and equity with principles. In the spirit of the Quran:

People, We created you all from a single man and a single woman, and made you into races and tribes so that you should recognize one another. In God’s eyes, the most honoured of you are the ones most mindful of Him: God is all knowing, all aware. (49:13)

You who believe, uphold justice and bear witness to God, even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or your close relatives. Whether the person is rich or poor, God can best take care of both. Refrain from following your own desire, so that you can act justly- if you distort or neglect justice, God is fully aware of what you do. (4:135)

Articles

Blackness, Racism And How The Arabic Language Rises Above It All

  • When “Black” is good. An insight to what “blackness” truly means in the Arabic language

Black Lives Matter: If You’re Right With God, You’re Right – Imam Zaid Shakir

  • Imam Zaid Shakir has led funeral prayers (janazas) due to blue-on-black crime and black-on-black crime. In this video he touches on the history of the black struggle and sheds some spiritual light on the issue. Allah tells us our lives matter, we don’t need a movement.

Race To The Top – Imam Zaid Shakir – New Islamic Direction

  • It’s okay to get involved. Racism existed, and still does. Let us talk about it.

Spiritual Activism and the Tradition of Salawat in West Africa

  • Imam Dawud Walid discusses the inspiring story of a west African scholar, Shaykh Ahmadu Bamba

 

On Demand Courses

Social Justice In The Islamic Tradition: How to Approach Justice and Uphold Truth with Wisdom and Principle

  • Islam is a truly complete religion; a way of life. Does it lay down foundations for social justice? Of course!

Islam in Blackamerica

  • BayanOnline, an online Islamic seminary, is offering this insightful course for only three easy payments of free, yes, FREE.  Check out this beneficial course with Dr. Sherman Jackson.

 

Answers

How Do I Deal With My Racist Spouse?

  • It’s easier to avoid problems outside your home, but what do you do when the problems lie within?

Hadiths on the “Bad Traits” of Black People

  • How do we understand hadiths which seemingly describe black people negatively?

Would it Be Wrong To Avoid Interracial Marriages For Cultural Considerations?

  • Are you racist if you don’t want to marry someone from outside your race? The following answer discusses some prophetic direction in marriage.

How Do I Deal With Racist Attitudes at Gatherings?

  • Self-hate will lead to a dull fate.

Are the Islamic Rulings Regarding Marriage Racist?

  • Islam doesn’t teach us to be racist. Many people, including Muslims, are simply misinformed.

 

Spiritual Activism and the Tradition of Salawat in West Africa – Imam Dawud Walid

In this reminder, Imam Dawud Walid discusses the benefits of sending benediction and praise on the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), relating it to Sacred Activism and Centering Black Narrative.

Imam Dawud tells the story a great 19th-century West African scholar, saint, and activist, Sidi Touba, Shaykh Ahmadu Bamba, whose mother, a scholar herself, was descended from the Prophet.

Shaykh Bamba wrote a great number of works in many Islamic sciences, but when exiled by the French, he devoted all of his time to writing poetry and praise on the Prophet as a means for his liberation and that of his people. Shaykh Bamba was a believer in “virtue ethics”—that the way you take means is more important is the end. Imam Dawud highlights a commonly recurring benediction in these poems, called the salat al-fatih.

Imam Dawud concludes that while at looking the issues is important, so, too, is the means we take. In addition, to keep ourselves centred and spiritually grounded, sending benedictions on the Prophet is extremely important, whether through traditional formulas, the salat al-fatih, or reading a chapter of Jazauli’s Dala’il al-Khayrat.

 

Making the Most of Ramadan (Part 1)

As Ramadan gets closer, here are some highlights from our popular On-Demand course, Making the Most of Ramadan: Transformative Lessons from Learned Islamic Scholars.making the most of ramadan

Part 2: The Aims of Fasting by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this section, Shaykh Faraz covers portions of the book, “The Higher Aims of Fasting,” by the great scholar Al-Izz ibn Abd As-salam, who was known as “The Sultan of the Scholars” due to his high rank and profuse understanding in the religion. He was an expert in Islamic law amongst other sciences.

It is divided into 4 sections:

  1. Duty & Virtues of Fasting from Qur’an & Sunna
  2. The Sunnas and Etiquette of Fasting
  3. The Spiritual Works of Ramadan
  4. Fasting and Spiritual Works Beyond Ramadan

Through this course you will get a true sense of the ultimate purpose of fasting based on the Quran and the blessed Sunnah of the Beloved Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. There are plenty of hadiths mentioned throughout the class that you may benefit from listening to or even memorising, to better internalise the meaning.

You will also discover the 7 great virtues of the fast. Such as raising in ranks; expiation of errors, breaking desires and so on.

The book has a very valuable  section on the adab(etiquette) of fasting such as guarding the tongue and what to break the fast with.

As the blessed month of Ramadan, this course is a must have in order to be mentally prepared and energised before its arrival.

For more information about this class or to register, click here.


Making the Most of Ramadan (Part 2)

As Ramadan gets closer, here are some highlights from our popular On-Demand course, Making the Most of Ramadan: Transformative Lessons from Learned Islamic Scholars.making the most of ramadanmaking the most of ramadan

Part 2: The Sweetness of His Love by Imam Zaid Shakir

In this course, special guest Imam Zaid Shakir, known for his powerful speeches and tireless service to communities across North America and beyond, will take you on a very special journey of deep reflection.

Drawing on the many aspects of fasting, he develops on the increase in one’s God-consciousness and obedience through fasting. He reflects on how fasting impacts an individual, growing the desire to initiate an inner transformation.

Imam Zaid goes on about how to attain forgiveness as a reward of the fast, on how and why you should seek Allah to attain forgiveness as a reward of fasting. Do you know the immense reward of feeding someone who fasted all day? How about drawing closer to Allah by feeding one of His servants?

Ramadan is not only about the day where one fasts, but its also and mostly about its blessed nights. You will learn about the incredible value of Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Destiny), it’s immense worth, and why you should make more effort on that night more than any other nights.

Lastly, through this course you will learn about reviving your spiritual energy, and have a more profound understanding of how it can affect and improve your life, and the relationship between fasting, spiritual energy and elevation.  

So many good insights, not to be missed!

For more information or to register, click here.


Making the Most of Ramadan (Part 3)

As Ramadan gets closer, here are some highlights from our popular On-Demand course, Making the Most of Ramadan: Transformative Lessons from Learned Islamic Scholars.making the most of ramadanmaking the most of ramadanmaking the most of ramadan

 

Part 3: The Expression of Love by Ustadha Zainab Ansari

 

In this section,  Ustadha Zainab focuses on the relationship between us and Allah through the lens of love.

You will learn that fasting is actually a way to be expressing your love to Allah by following the commitment inscribed in the book of God and the Sunnah. Fasting is essentially an invisible act or worship, with no one knowing that you’re fasting except yourself and your Lord. This creates an aspect of strong intimacy between yourself and Allah.ramadan

Through the physical difficulty of hunger, you are proving your love to Allah. By you being gifted obey Him and fasting for His sake only, you may start to realise that you received this blessing and ability out of His immense love for you. Indeed, it is Allah who creates in you a physical desire to please Him, and you choose respond to him just to please Him. This is what love is all about.

When you fast, you overcome the primal instinct to attain a higher spiritual level. Resisting your hunger helps to raise your spiritual strength and improves your control over the body and soul. Food can be a mean to discipline yourself, or it can be a test and a mean to spiritual disaster.

Ustadha Zainab talks about the implementation of a strong relationship with the Qur’an, the Divine Word of Allah, and the night prayers. There is a spiritual secret to be discovered by the seeker if he searches thoroughly.

Ramadan might be the moment of an epiphany for you. That moment you turn your life around and travel the blessed path which you always wanted to sail onto. People get spiritual openings through Ramadan all the time. Seize that Ramadan to be one of them!

For more information or to register, click here.


 

Cleaning Impurity

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: How do I properly clean urine? If I step on a rug that is damp with impurity does the impurity transfer to my foot?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Important Note in Cleaning Impurity

With regards to cleaning impurities, such as urine, first, minimize the amount of impurity. Pouring water on urine will only spread the urine further. You should dry as much of it as possible then wash the area, being careful to minimize any spreading.

You may want to mop the floor once again to be cautious.

Regarding the rug that became damp during the process which you mentioned. If the water poured onto the urine spread to the rug, the rug would be impure as well. Your stepping on that damp rug would only cause your foot to be impure if there was a transference of wetness to the foot. [Hashiyah Ibn ‘Abidin]

In this case, it was correct for you to have washed your foot. [Hashiyah al-Tahtawi ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah}

In short, when dealing with impurities, the impurity should first be minimized, as best as possible. Secondly, it should be cleaned, carefully, such that the impurity doesn’t spread.

May Allah bless you

Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Conversion And Abusive Mother

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: How do I deal with the difficulties I face from my non-muslim mother?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

May Allah bless you for embracing Islam and may He make easy your relationship with your mother and soften her heart toward Islam.

Your responsibility to your mother is to treat her with good character and the utmost respect. At the same time, if she demands from you anything that is against your faith, refuse with kindness and dignity.

The Challenges a Convert Faces

Dealing with non-muslim relatives is one of the main challenges for the convert. It proves much more difficult when that relative is one’s mother. This is not something new. The Companions [may Allah be pleased with them] – many of whom were converts – faced very similar issues, sometimes far worse.

Obtaining the Pleasure of Allah

Islam is a relationship with Allah, Most High, in which we seek to obtain His divine pleasure. That is achieved by doing what Allah wants from us, in whichever situation He puts us in. We are all tested in different ways and your test is your relationship with your mother. Although challenging this may be how you obtain the pleasure of Allah, Most High, it may be your ticket to Jennah, per se.

Islam commands us to be righteous to our parents while holding to our principles. We are commanded to be humble, respectful, and not to utter any words on disrespect. If they ask of us, that which is permissible in our faith, we strive to fulfill that request. But if they ask of us that which is displeasing to Allah, we refuse with respect and kindness.

Allah, Most High, says:

And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to me will be your return, then I will inform you of what you used to do. [Qur’an: 31.15]

In matters such as these, one should turn themselves to Allah, Most High, in supplication. Allah, Most High is the possessor of the hearts. If He wishes, He can change your mother’s heart. Allah, Most High, says:

Perhaps Allah will put between you and those you have enmity with, from them, love. And Allah is All-Able. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful [Qur’an: 60.7]

May Allah make easy your affairs

Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Witr Prayer And Travel

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: When traveling, is it still required to pray Salaat-ul-Witr after Salaat-ul-Isha?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Yes, the witr prayer is unconditionally mandatory (fard ‘amali), meaning that there is not a single case in which it is acceptable to omit it. Accordingly, it must be prayed during travel just as it is prayed during residency.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The witr [prayer] is a duty. Whoever does not pray it is not from amongst those of our way.” (Abu Dawud) He repeated this thrice, Allah bless him and give him peace.

Praying the Emphasised Sunna Prayers

With respect to the emphasized sunna prayers (sunna mu’akkada), the default ruling is that they should be prayed. But it is permissible to leave them if one is in a state of active travel and rush because of the journey. When not in an active state of travel, such as when a person has reached their destination or has comfortably boarded their mode of transport, the sunna prayers should be prayed unless there is undue hardship therein.

A final thing to note is that all types of supererogatory prayers (nawafil), including the emphasized sunnah prayers, maybe prayed, without dislike, with head movements, whilst seated, and in the direction of travel of the mode of transport in question. The only exception is the sunna cycles (rak‘as) before the dawn prayer (fajr) which requires standing given its strong emphasis and proximity to the mandatory prayer (wajib).

(Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar)

Please also see: Is the Witr Prayer Mandatory? and: How Should I Make up Missed Witr Payers? and: The Basic Rulings of Travel

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan, and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based on his family.

Chaos in My Life

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: How to know if Allah is unhappy with me or if it is a trial? Life has been challenging throughout but right now I am in utter chaos. What should I do?

Answer: First, I thank you for reaching out to us in your time of need and I pray that things turn around for you, in all respects. That being said, there are important things to bear in mind.

It is not the job of the servant to figure out whether Allah is pleased or displeased with him. Nor is it his job to figure out why Allah has sent what he has sent upon him. Rather reflect on the hadith of the Prophet, Allah bless him and send him peace, “I am what my servant thinks of me, and I am with him whenever he mentions me….” Think of your Lord has merciful, kind, and compassionate and He will be that for you!

In terms of your difficulties in life, I recall one of my teachers saying that you should always compare yourself to one who is better than you in matters of religion (din), but always compare yourself to one who is worse off than you in this-worldly matters.

I believe you should do three things. First and foremost, be sure that you are applying your personally obligatory knowledge? Are you purifying and praying correctly? Fasting and paying zakat correctly? Do you guard your tongue against the enormities? Take a moment to assess this and feel free to take a free course at Seekersguidance to be sure that Allah is #1 for you and not #2 or #3 or further down the list.

Second, I would figure out some methods to de-stress. Some thoughts that come to mind are: exercise regularly, eat healthily, take your supplements, get enough sleep, and recite a daily invocation or devotional act (wird).

The last thing that comes to mind is time management. Building up a business takes time and effort. Have you done all the consulting necessary? Are you rushing into things or taking it a step at a time? Are you checking your work and details with excellence (Ihsan) or doing things haphazardly and expecting great results? Are you taking out enough time to study for the exam while working on the business? Which takes priority of your time?

Last of all, intend the pleasure and remembrance of Allah in your studies, your work, and in your worship and you will have success from whence you never expected it.

Wassalam,

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.