Inscription Of The Prophet

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Salams, I bought a hat that has a print that I thought was a general ancient ottoman painting. I did some research and apparently the print is actually a 14th-century picture depiction of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, with facial features shown. How do I dispose of it?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

There is no specific, prescribed manner of disposing of the hat. The image is not a likeness of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, despite the intention of the artist. You can dispose of it as you wish.

It’s unfortunate that people have tried to imitate the likeness of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. Firstly due to it being impermissible for many reasons; one of them being the door of disrespecting him is opened thereby. Please refer to this answer for more information.

Secondly, because no matter how skilled they were they would always fall short of describing him. Or as Ibn al Farid, the Sultan of the Lovers, said, “Despite the expertise of those who describe his beauty, time will come to an end with much in him left undescribed.”

May Allah fills our hearts with love and veneration for him, Allah bless him and grant him peace. Amin

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish, and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Ramadan Rejuvenation for Kids | A Puppet Show on the Shifa – Ustadha Shireen Ahmed

In this Ramadan daily series for young children, educator Ustadha Shireen Ahmed gives daily lessons from the Shifa of Qadi Iyad on the character and virtue of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). The story is told from the perspective of a student of Qadi Iyad, who explains the text to his young son Mahmud. These episodes feature unique puppets which explain the lessons in story format to make them easier for young children to follow. This series streams daily this Ramadan at 9:30am ET at https://seekersguidance.org/live/.

Click here to download the colouring page.

Click here to view the full playlist.

SeekersHub Toronto Retreat 2018: Planting Seeds of Faith

“Planting Seeds of Faith,” was the theme of the SeekersHub 2018 Retreat. With the world in desperate need of spiritual nourishment, we reorient ourselves by planting and cultivating these seeds.

This year’s retreat was graced with a wonderful array of scholars from diverse backgrounds, including Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and his wife Ustadha Shireen Ahmed, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Shaykh Riad Saloojee, Shaykh Amin Buxton, Shaykh Walead Mosaad, and Shaykha Muniba Mohammed.

The retreat was a full five days and four nights, in the beautiful Muskoka region of Ontario. The day started at tajahhud time, where participants gathered in the lecture hall, beautifully lit and decorated with Islamic calligraphy and lanterns.

After the early morning remembrance and Fajr prayer, there was a rest period. After breakfast, attendees gathered in their cabin groups and reviewed the previous day’s lessons.

Throughout the day, the various scholars spoke about different themes that related to personal self-development, and cultivating faith within ourselves.

Shaykha Muniba Mohammed spoke about love of Allah, and how to achieve it. She taught that love of Allah comes when love of material things disappears, which comes from much dhikr and fikr-or supplication and reflection.

Shaykh Riad Saloojee spoke on the reality of faith, covering different parts from the Hikam of Ibn Ataillah. He covered topics such as suffering, how we gain life experience, and struggle. For example, many people get confused at why there is so much turbulence in life. However, after accepting that life will include struggle, a person will get better at withstanding them.

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spoke about overcoming hurdles to personal reform. These hurdles, such as greed, laziness, procrastination, and lust, prevent us from developing in our relationship with Allah.

Shaykh Amin Buxton taught the tafsir, or commentary, on Surah Furqan, which gives a description of the believers and the qualities they posses. These qualities include humility, gentleness, patience, mindfulness of God, moderation, honestly. At the end, he said that if a person does not have these qualities, they should at least surround themselves with people who do, as they will be a good influence on them.

Shaykh Walead Mosaad spoke about the reality of dua, or supplication. He mentioned that most people turn to Allah when they need something. However, the reality of dua is more than just asking for what you need; it’s beholding Allah is all His attributes, and progressing through your neediness.

Ustadh Amjad Tarsin spoke on the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his centrality in our religion. We are commanded to love Prophet in the Qur’an, and our tree of faith is watered and irrigated by him. Our love of him comes naturally when we come to know more about him, because he has done so much for us.

Shaykh Yahya taught us about inner traits that impede development. High on the list were the qualities of riya and ujub. Riya is to seek recognition for one’s deeds, and ujub is when a person is impressed with themselves because of the good things they did, not acknowledging that Allah was the One who enabled them to do it.

 

In the afternoon there was opportunity for activities such as canoeing, hiking, archery and swimming, as well as a program called Heart Clinic, where participants could sign up for one-on-one sessions with the teachers.

In the evening, after dinner and Maghrib prayer, there would be a general session, as well as a nasheed performance. This would be followed by campfire and evening remembrance.

The SeekersHub Retreat was a wonderful change to take a step back form the daily grind, and reconnect with our Creator in a beautiful natural environment.


Resources for Seekers

 

Reflections from SeekersHub Toronto Retreat: Sound Hearts Sound Societies

Sound Hearts Sound Societies: Religion is sincere concern

Sound Hearts Sound Societies: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Religion is sincere concern,” and when asked for whom, he responded, “for Allah, His Messenger, His Book, the leaders of the Muslims, and their common folk.”
This hadith, which is said to comprise one quarter of our religion, highlights the fundamental relationship between true religion and having deep concern for the societies we live in.
But what does true concern look like, and how does one act on that concern in a way that is pleasing to Allah?
It was in response to these and other pressing questions of our time that SeekersHub Toronto held its retreat called Sound Hearts, Sound Societies.

We are today witnessing a broken and fractured world in dire need of healing, care and transformation. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said that he came to “perfect noble character.” 

Those virtuous traits – like mercy, service and generosity – have never been more necessary than now.
Over the course of five days, we learnt how the Prophetic character (peace and blessings be upon him) can be revived in our times, and bring peace and security to the world around us.
The Heart of The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)12002932_986174041420124_3532484039761763097_n
“The purpose of seeking knowledge is to give life to Islam,” Shaykh Hamdi said. He went on to explain that the person who dies while seeking knowledge in order to bring life to Islam is only one degree beneath the Prophets.
After this powerful reminder, Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa and Ustadha Umm al Khair held collaborative sessions on the reality of the heart of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).They discussed the concern, strength, and unwavering mercy that led to his tremendous character.
Ustadha Umm al Khair further went on to describe the love and concern that Allah has for His Creation.
Oftentimes, rahma is translated as mercy, but a more encompassing meaning of it is love, she contended.
“Allah’s love is already given – we do not have to deserve it. So, we should never hesitate to call on Him, even in the midst of sin.”
Etiquettes of Companionship
Ustadha Umm Umar and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gave further practical advice on upholding noble character by covering a summary of Imam Sulami’s text on the etiquettes of companionship.
“What do you need to maintain ties? A sound heart that is striving for Allah, disciplining of the lower self, and leaving disputes,” Shaykh Faraz said.
Ustadha Umm Umar explained that the critical eye within us is meant to be pointed at ourselves – not at others.  We have to nurture mercy and sensitivity towards fellow people, contrary to what our society would tell us.
11118254_986382701399258_6985663156340404160_nShe particularly emphasized that we cannot mock one another, even though we’re taught this is acceptable.“It’s as if we’ve been drinking poisoned water for so long that we cannot even taste the poison anymore,” she said.
In summary, it is not possible to maintain good relations with people without deen.
Adab and Spirituality
Underlying all of the talks was the centrality of  adab, or proper etiquette, to our religion.
“Adab enters into every single part of our living,” Shaykh Yahya Rhodus said. “In our deen, you begin, continue, and end with adab.”
Adab – which refers to the right way of doing things – is being lost in modern times. Yet, it is the very point of the Sacred Law and the hallmark of our pious predecessors, he explained.
IMG_3681“Imam Malik (Allah be well-pleased with him) never took a hadith from someone until he saw their eyes well up with tears out of love at the mention of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). He made love an objective condition!”
Shaykh Yahya and Ustadh Amjad Tarsin also discussed the importance of spiritual routines.
Baraka is when a little goes a long way, and daily routines allow for baraka to manifest, they explained.
The example of our predecessors
One of the highlights of the retreat was when teachers related inspirational stories about righteous servants of God around a bonfire.
IMG_3860
Shaykh Walead Mosaad told us about his teacher, Shaykh Ramadan Bouti (Allah have mercy on him), who he had the honour of traveling overseas with. 
“At the end of the trip, I told him I was sorry that he had to travel with me. He told me, ‘I couldn’t have imagined traveling with anyone besides you.’”
That was the gentle love and concern he had for his students.
As the retreat concluded, the teachers reminded us of the importance of consistency and asking Allah to help us retain the spiritual momentum built up over a few days.
We pray that Allah Most High accept the time and efforts of all those who put together this beautiful program, and allow us to implement everything we learned, ameen.

Registration for the 2016 SeekersHub Retreat is open. Register now for the Oneness of Love

"Is it Eid yet? A Fun and Educational Countdown for Kids"

Growing up in a sleepy English countryside village, we had to drive at least an hour to the nearest mosque (a converted semi-detached house). We would visit it twice a year on the occasions of Eid and my parents tried their best to make these days as special as they could for us. With none of our extended family nearby and only a few Muslim friends – Eid was a subdued but certainly happy affair. We would receive eid money and in addition one gift each. It was exciting to make that trip into town where our parents would let my sisters and I pick out anything we wanted from the hallowed pages of the Argos shopping catalogue!
This was the innocent late 90s, and we loved the Eid that we had. I would go back to school with henna-painted hands as the only sign of festivities happening at home. Without the world of Amazon Prime – where a henna cone can be summoned at the click of one’s fingers – I would spend  the night before Eid mixing the henna and applying  it myself using a toothpick to dab out the designs.
Sumaya-Teli-IMG_16023The next day someone would inevitably ask why I had ‘orange marker’ on my hands, (soon Madonna made henna painted hands the next cool thing of the nineties and the same people would then ask me to decorate their hands with it) . I would feel proud to say that we celebrated two Eids in a year, rather than the one Christmas my friends did.
Even so, like many of us who were brought up in the Western world, I have fond memories of the Christmas holidays. Even if our families did not celebrate the actual holidays, it was a time when everybody had time off from work, families and friends gathered together, ate good food and (before the days of Netflix and cable) watched Christmas movies on TV. Our children are born into this culture and are also likely to associate positively with the idea of Christmas.

“You don’t even have a Christmas tree?”

I must admit, when I was around eight years old, although I knew there was no Santa Claus, the idea of someone whose job it was to leave presents for small kids was quite compelling. So, just to be sure, I decided to set up an experiment. That year on  Christmas Eve, I hung the closest thing I had to stockings (a pair of striped socks!) on our mantlepiece. When they were still there, empty and limp the next morning, I happily put Christmas and all its associated myths behind me. Nevertheless I couldn’t shrug off the feeling of inadequacy when a girl at school looked at me in pity and said, “You don’t even have a Christmas tree?”

Competing for their attention

The reality of the matter is that we are competing for the attention of our children, and our religious festivals are competing with the attention of other more glittery offerings. Many of us start to decorate our homes and plan Ramadan Advent calendars. We borrow from the culture we are in and start to replicate the festivities, but just on Eid and Ramadan, instead of during Christmas. We spend money on gifts and want to make these festivals a real part of our children’s lives. We want to create memories, make that clever homemade eid craft, take that perfect holiday family photo.

Eid was super duper cool – akin to going the moon

There is nothing inherently wrong with any of this. The imam of our local masjid, himself brought up here in the USA, led a halaqa (learning circle) recently on parenting. He reminisced about eid, talked about how exciting his parents made sure eid was for him and his siblings. He described his childhood eid as being  ‘…super duper cool – akin to going to the moon’.
I  love all of this and I am one of those mothers scouring Pinterest for ideas, and wondering if I too can be that cool parent and pull of something spectacular for my children. However, I do worry that we might fall into the trap of the dreaded c-word: commercialization.
Indeed, in our own house, there is our five year old, who has been adding toys and coveted items to his Eid list all year! He loves to draw, so his lists are actually illustrations of the things he would like, being sure to include his two year old sister, he will ‘draw’ eid lists on her behalf too!
“Oh mama HOW MANY days till Eid?” he will ask or “How many more days? Is Eid after tomorrow’s tomorrow?”

 “How many more days?

On one such occasion last year I found myself telling him Eid was only 100 days away…and with that came an idea so exciting that I set to work straight away. We would have a tree – it would be a learning tree, a growing tree and with each leaf that opened we would count one less day till Eid but one more inch closer to Allah. I proposed to my then-four-year-old that we would have a “99 Names of Allah Tree.”
And here dear reader, I invite you to join us! This year on the 29th of March, it will be approximately99 days till eid.

“There are ninety-nine names of Allah; he who commits them to memory would get into Paradise. Verily, Allah is Odd (He is one, and it is an odd number) and He loves odd numbers,” the Prophet said, as narrated by Abu Hurairah (Sahih Muslim 6475).

This could be your small way of off-setting the superficial rigmarole that has started creeping in on us, and focus your whole family back to our Creator. It would be a way to practice reading out the names of Allah on each day of Ramadan – a spiritual link – an opening for discussion of the beautiful attributes of our Lord. A way for our young children to know and start to appreciate the spiritual essence of our deen, to make insight a habit, and a realization that remembrance of Allah is at the crux and heart of not only our worship, but also our celebration.

Our 99-Names Tree

So we started making a tree template, and stuck it up on the wall. Then we planned to add a leaf with one of Allah’s 99 names everyday until Eid. And because I am not the most organised person – we didn’t finish doing it all last year but we did start and we aim to continue this year inshallah. May Allah accept it from us as worship (ibadah).
While I was writing this article, shut away in the spare bedroom with strict instructions to the kids that mama was working, there was a knock on my door. In came my five-year-old.
“Mama what are you writing about?”
“I am writing an article” I replied.
“What is it about?”
I believe in answering all questions truthfully but in the capacity of the child to understand. So I replied, “I am writing about how when I was a little girl I really liked Christmas trees, and how when I grew up I loved making a Ramadan 99 Names of Allah tree with my children.”
A sweet smile of realization spreads across his face…
“That’s you and me!”
“Yes it is…”

How to make your own Ramadan Tree

If you are a methods and materials person then here are the details ;
Materials:

  • a tree template/cut out/ cardboard
  • coloured paper to use for cutting out leaf / blossom / apple shapes
  • (depending on the season you can make leaves or flowers or apples for the tree.)
  • scissors
  • glue/ blue tack

Method:

Step 1: Cut out the tree shape

Step 1: Cut out the tree shape

 

Step 2: Glue on to cardboard

Step 2: Glue on to cardboard

 

Step 3: Paint/colour it in

Step 3: Paint/colour it in

 

Step 4: Make a leaf or fruit-shaped template

Step 4: Make a leaf-shaped template

 

Step 5: Use coloured paper to make your leaves/fruit

Step 5: Use coloured paper to make your leaves

 

Step 6: Write out or print the names

Step 6: Write out or print the names

 

Stick name onto leaf

Step 7: Stick name onto leaf

 

Step 8: Stick leaves onto tree

Step 8: Stick leaves onto tree

 

Our growing tree

Take it further

If this piques your interest, here’s how to expand the tree into something bigger:

  • Practice writing in Arabic,  forming letters and sounding them out
  • Provide a simple translation of the meaning of name and attribute it alludes to
  • Try to instill a sense of awe inspired by the names in your children.

I always find it useful when real examples are given of how to talk with your child (because we all have moments where we are stuck). So, here’s an example of how you might initiate a conversation.
‘AL BASIR’ ‘All Seeing’
“Look around you – at this room,” I start by addressing my son. “Allah has given us two eyes with which we can see everything in this room. Isn’t it amazing? All we have to do with our eyes to make them work is …. What?”
“Erm I don’t know?”
“…open them!”
“Oh yeah!”
“… and we can enjoy all the beautiful things around us.. so what about Allah? Allah is the one who Created us and our eyes that work so perfectly. Allah is the all seeing. Do you know what that means?”
“That he can see everything?”
“Yes but not just everything here right now – but everything everywhere all the time! That means not just in this room but in the whole wide world and universe.”
“And in the galaxies and Milky Way?”
“Yes!”
“Even under the sea?”
“Yes!”
“And all at the same time?”
“And guess what? He can even see inside…your…heart! And inside the heart of every single creature. He is the All Hearing and All Knowing. He never sleeps or feels tired like we do. He can hear your prayer and the prayer of all living things in all the universe – look outside at the trees – see the leaves falling? Can you imagine all the leaves that fall in all the trees and forests of the world – did you know that not even a single leaf falls without first asking Allah for permission?! How many leaves do you think there are in the world?”
“Wow! Infinity! Even more than infinity!”

The tangible beauty of the Quran

And there you are – full circle back to the leaf on which you are about to write down this beautiful name.

“And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record.” (Chapter 6 Verse 59)

Take out the Quran and show your child this verse. Read it together and show your child the tangible beauty of the Quran.

Other fun activities

Leading on from this, there are an overwhelming amount of crafts and activities for children associated with Ramadan and the two Eids. I have singled out three I find particularly beneficial, because they actually link the child to the Quran and Hadith. This is especially important during the month of Ramadan ‘the month of the quran’ and during the last 10 days of Dul Hijjah.

  1. Gilded Dunya has a lovely informative post about introducing the Quran to a very young child. She talks you through ‘baby steps towards the Quran’ complete with an adorable ‘quran pointer’ craft that you can make with your child.
  2. Sumaya-Teli-22Parenthoodmuslimstyle has some wonderfully versatile flashcards that invite children to ‘(Let’s) find a word in the Quran’  – which they  generously offer as a free download. These can be printed and laminated to be used in numerous ways – from very simple word association for very young children to more complex discussions with older children. They even provide an excellent PDF of some direction in which one can take the discussion for each word inspired by the Quran.  this really is a brilliant resource and I can’t commend the sister duo behind this, enough on their work!
  3. 10 day Hadith compilation encouraging good deeds on the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, as a free download.

It is during special times in early childhood that if associations are formed, then they may carry on into the future, inshaAllah.

Sumaya Teli is the founder and co-author of Mamanushka.com
All photographs by Sumaya Teli.

Resources for Seekers

PHOTOS from Grasmere, South Africa with Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

After a brief introduction by Abdul-Rehman Malik, Global Programs Director of SeekersHub, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus delivered this beautiful talk to a lively audience in Grasmere, South Africa, with live translation into Zulu. Shaykh Yahya began first by saying the SeekersHub team are guests in the blessed land of Africa, but at the same time they are not – find out why. Listen in full on the SeekersHub podcast.

SouthAfrica2015-Grasmere-1 SouthAfrica2015-Grasmere-2 SouthAfrica2015-Grasmere-5 SouthAfrica2015-Grasmere-8 SouthAfrica2015-Grasmere-10

“The World Has Lost A Giant” – Imam Zaid Shakir on the passing of Shaykh Shukri al-Luhafi

Shaykh Shukri Luhafi

Photo credit: Official Tweets from the Students of Shaykh Shukri al-Luhafi

The Muslim world has lost one of its giants with the passing of Shaykh Shukri Al-Luhafi. Despite his stature, it is unlikely that anyone reading these words who is not from Syria has ever heard of Shaykh Shukri. Before I arrived in Syria, in 1994, to begin my studies there, I too did not know who he was.

Upon arriving in Damascus, Shaykh Shukri was one of the first scholars I met. Our most generous host, Abu Munir Sha’ar, had arranged callighaphy lessons with the Shaykh. A motley gang of Americans made our way through the streets of Damascus to the Shaykh’s apartment for an introduction. Upon arriving at the building housing the Shaykh’s home, we descended down a tight stairwell into a dimly lit, cramped basement apartment. This was the Shaykh’s humble abode.

Only Musa Furber proved to be a consistent student of the Shaykh. I had become involved with other pursuits, although I would visit from time to time. I would also see the Shaykh at every public dhikr and the accompanying lessons that I was able to attend. The Shaykh had a very distinct way of arriving at the various masjids where the Dhikrs would occur. Specifically, on a rugged, Chinese-made black bicycle. He usually had a couple of children on the crossbar and two or three more on the makeshift backseat.

Shaykh Shukri Luhafi serving waterAs the attendees filtered into the venue, Shaykh Shukri, with the hint of a smile teasing his lips, would serve water. He was the waterman. This beautiful practice, like his home, like everything about him, spoke volumes about his humility. What exactly is humility? Some define it as assuming a station lower than that one could rightfully claim. By this definition, Shaykh Shukri was truly humble. Why? Because he could claim being a leading scholar in Damascus. He could claim that he was a renowned callighapher. He could claim being a master of the ten canonical readings of the Qur’an. We could add to the list of the things he could rightfully claim, however, he renounced all claims. He was the waterman.

When the great master, Shaykh Abdur Rahman Shaghuri, became too ill to continue commenting on the various texts read at the public dhikrs, that task fell upon my teacher, Shaykh Mustafa Turmani. One day Shaykh Mustafa was unable to make it to the dhikr, and hence, the lesson. The attendees, knowing Shaykh Shukri’s scholarly attainment, asked him to comment on the text. The Shaykh read the text, verbatim, not adding a single word of his own commentary, and then quietly closed the book. His respectful reverence, despite his qualifications, would not allow him to speak in the place of Shaykh Mustafa.

Shaykh Shukri Luhafi smilingUpon the passing of Shaykh Mustafa, the leadership of the Shadhuli Tariqa in Damascus was assumed by Shaykh Shukri. Now, at last, he spoke, and he guided the faithful with wisdom, courage and vision from that time until his demise.

I write these words with tears welling in my eyes as I remember this humble servant and as I reflect on how blessed I am to have had the honor of sitting in his home, eating his food, been served by his hand, listening to his silence, and benefiting from his state as well as his very parsimonious speech. May Allah grant him the highest ranks of Paradise and may He bless us to elevate ourselves to begin to carry even a small fraction of the load Shaykh Shukri has entrusted to us.

“There is no one who humbles himself for Allah’s sake, except Allah elevates him.” Prophetic Hadith.

This tribute was first published on Imam Zaid Shakir’s blog New Islamic Directions.

Love & Intention – SeekersPoint Auckland Launch Weekend by Sr. Chloe

By Sr Chloe Idris
This past weekend was the launch of Seekers Point Auckland. My husband and I had booked our flights a month in advance to attend this event, traveling from Wellington to Auckland straight after work. We had both made a personal commitment to attend beneficial gatherings in New Zealand whenever possible, and after our experience at the 2012 SeekersRetreat in Taupo, there was no way we wanted to miss this.
It was such a blessing to be in the presence of Shaykh Faraz Rabbani as well as local teachers Ustadha Waseema Ahmed, and Ustadh Haamid BenFayed. The launch was a jam-packed weekend filled with beneficial and inspiring knowledge, and although I left the event feeling physically exhausted, I was also spiritually nourished again in a way that made me realise I had been famished for quite a while.
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, filled with our responsibilities and everything that we ‘have to do’, ‘must do’, and ‘need to do’, we forget that God is always with us. We forget that we can open up to Him at any time, and He will listen. We forget that God hasn’t made it hard to become closer to Him; all we have to do is take the first step, and He will come to us running. The message that I took away from the launch was love, in all its forms. Love for the Divine, love for the Prophet in his human perfection, love for our fellow human beings. This weekend emphasised to me that the foundation of this religion is love, and in fact, love is the very reason that we exist at all. We are engulfed in mercy by the Creator, and we were created purely to know Him. Deep down our souls recognise this and yearn to be back with Him, yet we suppress this natural inclination, we suppress our fitra.
The Shuyukh empasised the importance of reflection as a means of attaining God-consciousness. They emphasised the importance of creating a habit of pausing before doing, taking a moment to consider the ‘why’ behind the action. Each pause is in fact an opportunity, a chance to purify our intention and open a space for God in our heart. Imagine a day filled with these moments – moments of reflection, moments of remembrance, moments of noble intentions. By filling our days with moments like these, attaining God-consciousness becomes easier, and we will become increasingly close to Him. God isn’t absent from our lives, He isn’t disinterested and uninvolved. In reality, He is only a thought away.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala fill our hearts with love for Him, and the Beloved Prophet sallallahu alayhi wassalam. Ameen.

Loving The Prophet – Shaykh Salek bin Siddina – Part 1 of 2

“Say to them: If you love God, follow (and love and honor) me, and God will love you” Surah Al Imran; ayah 31

“None of you believes until he loves me more than he loves his children, his parents, and all people.” Hadith (Bukhari and Muslim)

“None of you believes until he loves me more than he loves himself.” Hadith (Bukhari)

The above-mentioned ayah from the Quran tells us if we, as believers truly love Allah, then we also need to love His last and final messenger, Sayyidna Muhammad (peace and prayers be upon him). As we can see, loving the Prophet, peace be upon him, opens the door for love to the Divine. Yet, is easy for us to claim love for Allah’s Beloved but putting it into practice is an entirely different affair.

Also, in order to complete our faith, we must love the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to the extent that he is dearer to us than those around us as well as our own selves, as mentioned in the above hadiths. Having said this, how do we, as believers extend our faith from more than a verbal declaration to actual existence in our hearts such that he is the most beloved creation of Allah to us?

The aim of the class is to provide guidelines for what it truly means to love Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and how to attain this love, a love that will, God willingly, complete our faith and serve as a door to the Almighty.

This class was recorded on October 8, 2011 in Hayward, California.

Pictures from the 8th Annual Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention in Toronto – Habib ‘Ali al-Jifri, Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, and Others

Alhamdulillah, SeekersGuidance attended the 8th Annual Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention this past weekend in Toronto,  Canada. This year’s convention featured Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, Shaykh Habib ‘Ali al-Jifri,  Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Imam Zaid Shakir, Shaykh Mokhtar Magroui, Shaykh Abdallah Idris Ali, Imam Tahir Anwar, Shaykh Suleiman Mulla, Ustadha Zainab Alwani, Dr. Sherman Jackson, Dr. Tariq Suwaidan, Tariq Ramadan, Amr Khaled,  Imam Johari Abdul Malik, Sr. Tayyiba Taylor, and others. Allah Made Me Funny and Junaid Jamshed gave highly entertaining performances. Over 17,000 people attended this years conference.

SeekersGuidance set up its first booth at a conference. The booth featured our scholars, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Omar Qureshi, and Mufti Umer Ismail as well as Nader Khan who gave a live performance of one of his latest songs “Alhamdulillah.” We launched the 2010 Winter Semester with a 15% discount for on-site registration.

Here are some pictures from the conference:

Shaykh Faraz along with many others welcoming Shaykh Habib Ali al-Jifri to the convention.

Shaykh Faraz showing Mufti Umer Ismail the new homepage

World-famous graphic designer Peter Gould jokingly to convince Shaykh Faraz to sign up for a course. Peter’s firm, Azaan, designed the new SG banner and logo.

A computer monitor featuring the newly redesigned homepage for the SeekersGuidance site

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad meeting with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani in the bazaar.

Nader Khan finishing up a live performance at the Firdous Books booth in order to bring awareness to the “Winter Feed Me Campaign” put together by Relief Works

SeekersGuidance met with key individuals from the Fawakih Institute to strengthen cooperation and coordination between the two institutes. Here, Shaykh Faraz is talking with Saad Ansari over lunch.