Gratitude, Celebration & Mercy as Sunnah of the Believer: Allah’s basis of dealing with creation is the overflowing tremendous good that he has bestowed on us, says Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this uplifting and lofty reminder, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani calls the community to gratitude and contemplation of the sheer gift of being alive. “Allah’s basis of dealing with creation is the overflowing tremendous good that he has bestowed on us,”  says Shaykh Faraz, and these blessings culminate and manifest in the life of the believer.

The life of the believer highlights the tremendous  gifts of life,  guidance and mercy.  Mercy encompassing over every moment and event for the believer is one who looks at reality and sees not only form and the temporary and the fleeting nature of things, the believer is one who sees meaning and recognises that all is from Allah.  Shaykh Faraz explains that, “the believer sees that it is all Mercy and Allah sent it and the blessing in it is how one responds to it.” When one responds to affairs in ways pleasing to Allah then that opens the door of Mercy.  “Wondrous is the life of the believers, ” proclaims the Messenger of God, ” for when pleasing things happen to them they are grateful and if distress comes to them they remain contentedly patient.”  It is not what comes to you, but how you respond to it and the response itself is mercy; that is why the believer sees everything in a positive attitude.

Resources for the Seekers

How To Be Like The Prophet Muhammad In His Gratitude to Allah
A Reader on Thankfulness to Allah and True Gratitude
The True Cause of All Happiness and Good is Turning to Allah
Invite Allah’s Generosity into your Life – Shaykh Muhammad
Understanding the Ninety-Nine Names of Allah: Al-Rahman
“His Mercy is our only constant”, by Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said
The Believer’s Clarity When Tested: The Power of Patience
Clarity in Crisis: How Believers Look at Trials
Worship, Coffee and the Meaning of Life

Cover Photo by Anita Anand. Video courtesy of Seekershub

The Beginning is Allah; the End is Allah~ Imam Amin

The Beginning is Allah; the End is with Allah.

Join Safina Society and leading contemporary teachers and scholars in the premiere of the Converts Conference  as we visit essential themes and issues facing the awakened community and how to benefit and enrich the faith within every heart.

Imam Amin  begins our conversations with a moment of reflection. Imam Ghazali in his magnum opus indicates that there are two fundamental aspects ,that if properly understood by the individual would lead them to the purpose of life.   Take a moment and reflect on what is your beginning? and  what then is your End? If you can answer these then you have your purpose at hand. sTherefore,  the ultimate purpose of paradise is not itself , it is Allah.

When you are with Allah, there is no End; and when you start with Allah there is no Beginning.

 

Why knowledge?
The purpose of life is to know Allah. Since knowing Allah is the Ultimate goal, how do we go about this? What then is beneficial knowledge?

It is that which leads you to Allah; that which leads you to realisation of Allah.

everything other than Allah is truly false; and when you understand that you will never get trapped in any other than Allah.

Whatever you imagined ; it is not Allah.
When you are no longer in the forms of words, sounds and imaginations…you are in reality.
Why beneficial knowledge? So that we may possess what we need to fulfil our purpose. We are travelling, on a journey to get back to our location; back to our Lord. It takes knowledge to get there.

everything other than Allah is truly false; and when you understand that you will never get trapped in any other than Allah.

when you have a hard time with worship, good deeds or kindness to others…know that you are cut off from Allah.

Allah commanded Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, in the Quran–” My Lord, Increase me in Knowledge.”
The prophet will teach us, increase us  in knowledge and purify us so that we may receive the gift of a Sound Heart : Qalb Saleem.

Seeking the knowledge of the religion is an obligation on every Muslim.Knowledge is that which is necessary for your existence at your present condition.

What do I need to know right now to get right with Allah?

There are 3 basic  types of knowledge:
1) knowledge of tenets of faith that will help you know Allah — what am I supposed to believe as a Muslim?
because if the belief is firm and established then you will make a connection with Allah
The Prophet (SAW) was asked, which knowledge is superiour? Faith that is not shaky– faith that is firm.
Think of big mountains–do you notice that they do not crumble? but if they are faced with something that is unshakeable.

Your faith needs to be unshakeable

2) The knowledge of how to serve Allah; Islamic Jurisprudence  opens the doors to practice what you learn and strive to fulfil what your personal responsibility is to Allah. Within yourself you need to be One. ‘You need to have a faith that if everything else was gone, I would still stand on La Ilaaha Illallah’, states Imam Amin; for our Lord is truly , ” with you everywhere you go.”

3) Spirituality. This is where  you taste the sweetness of Faith; for faith has a sweetness like nothing else in the world.

All of our sciences lead us to our purpose…to please our Lord.

Why do I marry? I want this person to help me to reach Allah
Why do I have friends? I have friends to help me know Allah
These righteous people have ” no fear and no anguish”; Allah takes care of all of their concerns.

Society has taken  the soul of the religion; and the body without a soul is just a hollow form. We need to put the soul back into the body.

How do we get there?

Knowledge is required by an active process of learning.
Islam is the religion preserved by the relationship based on the framework of the  teacher and student transmission of knowledge.
The one who acquires knowledge comes to the realisation that they have no knowledge to speak of; and humility sets in.

Humility of the heart is to be able to say ‘I do not know’ in its own proper place.’ explains Imam Amin.

for knowledge to transform you need 3 matters:
1) Sources and evidences: ask yourselves where do we get it from? Our primary resources in the whole world are the Quran and Sunnah.
The true wayfarer finds all his sources from the Quran, if you are getting things from somewhere else then you are without.
2)  Now that we have connected to the Quran and the Prophetic Traditions; you need a methodology of how to extract rulings and understandings from these sacred sources.  If you do not have a way, then you will be caught up in opinions.
3) You need someone with the ability and the  divine gifts from Allah to understand the received knowledge.

I’ve learned enough to know that I don’t know anything…knowledge is a journey that never ends.

A student is not a student who doesn’t learn from those who know more than him,  from the  one  equal  in knowledge and the one less  in knowledge.
Traditional learning is defined as the studying with a teacher; so no book without a teacher. The framework set in place, requires a deep respect and love for the way of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Knowledge is vital and ‘ learning is from the cradle to the grave, ‘reminds Shaykh Yahya Rhodus.

We are grateful to Safina Society for this video. Cover Photo by  Al Maaida

 

 

Resources for Seekers:

Worship, Coffee and the Meaning of Life

Habib Hussein Al Saggaf on Beneficial Knowledge and Intentions

Audio & Notes: What is Beneficial Knowledge

How does Islamic knowledge transform us and why?

The Treasure of a Sound Heart, Surat al-Shu’arā’ (verses 83-89)

The Rights of Our Hearts 

On Knowing Yourself to Know God

Keys to Successful Seeking of Islamic Knowledge: Advice from Teachers and Teaching Assistants

Bringing Certainty to the Heart: A Step-by-Step Guide

Who is looking out for Muslim converts this Ramadan?

How Can A Convert Follow A School Of Thought Correctly?

Family Problems, Islamic Support, and Marriage Preparation for Converts

What Role Does Culture Play in Islam?

Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah: The Parameters of Respecting Differences of Opinion in Islam

What does it mean to have a difference of opinion in Islam?

In Islam we have different opinions about things and those different opinions are based on the nature of Islamic law.
We also have rules that indicate to us how we can live together, what things we need to agree upon and not differ and what things are open to different interpretations.

Community and Continuity

Two of the most important aspects of religion as a dynamic, social and political reality is community and continuity.
Community means that we are able to create a community that brings people together and continuity means that we are connected to the past, the present and the future.
Historically, Islam has always had a world community. It spread all the way to the east and all the way to the west. Islam in China looked extremely Chinese and yet it was pure Islam and Islam in West Africa looked very African and it too was pure Islam.
We have a beautiful tradition that gives us meaning and goes back to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Therefore we must be able to live this religion by working together, respecting, loving and cooperating with each other.

Enjoining right and forbidding the wrong

One of the most important aspects of our religion is to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. When we study Islam we are taught how to do that so that it becomes constructive and positive not destructive and negative.
Many times we can see trouble in our communities when we try to enjoin right and forbid wrong because the thing we are insisting upon is our own opinion, custom and we think that everyone should do it.
We must understand and respect that there are different categories of Islamic Law

  1. واجب / فرض (farḍ/wājib) – compulsory, obligatory
  2. مستحب (mustaḥabb/mandūb) – recommended
  3. مباح (mubāḥ) – neutral, not involving God’s judgment
  4. مكروه (makrūh) – disliked, reprehensible
  5. حرام (ḥarām) – forbidden

In this lecture Dr Umar outlines for us how to build communities rooted in knowledge and wisdom and service. He explains that we are not people of argumentation or controversy, rather we are people who love and respect one another.

Dr. Umar Abd-Allah is an American Muslim who embraced Islam in 1970. He studied Arabic and Islamic studies at the University of Chicago, where he received his doctorate in 1978. He taught at the Universities of Windsor (Ontario), Temple, Michigan, and King Abdul-Aziz (Jeddah). During his years abroad, he was able to study with a number of traditional Islamic scholars. He returned to the United States in 2000 to work with the Nawawi Foundation (Chicago), where he remained for more than a decade. He is currently working as an independent educator under the auspices of the Oasis Initiative (Chicago). He is engaged in research, writing, lecturing, teaching, and related activities in connection with various national and international forums in the United States, Canada, Europe, West Africa, and elsewhere with a focus on Islamic theology, spirituality, law and legal theory, and history

Resources for Seekers

Cultivating One’s Environment to Develop the Inner Self – Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

* Courtesy of Cambridge Muslim College

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus draws a beautiful parallel between the human heart and soil.  We are experiencing over-cultivation and depletion of minerals in our soil that bares real fruits that lack any sort of nutrients.  Our hearts, similarly, have experienced a drought, and as a consequence this has manifested within our limbs.  We need to till our hearts. Even though this is our current state, we must understand that our hearts are not void of good, Shaykh Yahya says:

…there are so many aspects of our religion that are of a social nature, because its in the coming in contact with human beings that a lot of the meanings that lie dormant in the hearts rise to the surface, stirred up, in a way that you would have a bitter cup of tea with sugar at the bottom of it, that tea is not going to taste sweet until you stir it up, and once you stir it up, depending upon the amount of sugar, it will taste sweet.  Likewise, there are many things that lie dormant by way of potentiality in the hearts of the children of Adam that it’s only with that spiritual struggle and exerting oneself that these things ever truly become realized within one…

Check out this lecture on their Youtube page and leave them a comment.

Here are some courses we offer by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus at SeekersGuidance:

  • Haddad’s Book of Assistance: Complete Guidance for Turning to Allah | Click here for this free course
  • First Principles of Islamic Spirituality: Ibn Ashir’s Introduction to Sufism Explained | Click here for this free course
  • Clarity and Calm in an Age of Anger – Lessons on Navigating Troubled Times| Click here for this free course
  • The Divine Opening: Sura al-Fatiha Explained | Click here for this free course
  • 30 Days, 30 Deeds: A Roadmap of Virtues and Good to Transform Your Life and Relations | Click here for this free course

Saving Our Souls Series | Part 2: Thirty-Two Obligations of the Heart – Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

When we think of obligations we often think of the five daily prayers, fasting, zakah, hajj, being good to your parents, etc; which are all bodily obligations.  We hardly hear of obligations of the heart. Yes, the heart has actions and can commit haram and other vile deeds.

These obligations of the heart are:

  1. Faith in Allah Most High
  2. Faith in all that has come from Allah Most High
  3. Faith in the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace)
  4. Faith in that which the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) has brought
  5. Sincere affirmation:
    • which is the essential meaning of faith
  6. Conviction:
    • which is a lack of doubt in that which one believes
  7. Sincerity:
    • which is acting in obedience to Allah, alone.
  8. Remorse for disobedience:
    • since it is contrary to the command of Allah
  9. Trust (i.e. reliance on) in Allah in matters of provision, safety from harm, and other things:
    • not relying on the means
  10. Constant awareness of Allah:
    • which is to remain aware that Allah Most High knows, sees, hears, and is aware of you
    • so that fear of Allah always prevents you from disobeying
  11. Contentment in Allah Most High:
    • to submit to Him and to abandon objecting to Him
  12. Holding a good opinion of Allah Most High:
    • to constantly bring to mind the blessings that Allah has bestowed on you in the past and to yearn for similar in the future
  13. Holding a good opinion of the creation of Allah Most High:
    • not to assume bad of anyone without sufficient religiously recognized proof
  14. To revere the symbols of Allah Most High:
    • everything that signifies obedience to Allah, like prayer
    • i.e. to revere everything that is revered in the Sacred law
  15. To be grateful for the blessings of Allah Most High:
    • meaning, not to use them in His disobedience
  16. Perseverance in fulfilling what Allah has obligated:
    • meaning, forcing oneself to do that and to hold fast to that
  17. Perseverance in abandoning that which Allah has prohibited:
    • restraining oneself from doing the forbidden
  18. Bearing patiently in the tests that Allah Most High sends your way:
    • that the test does not drive you to the forbidden
  19. Being confident that Allah will provide:
    • knowing that whatever is decreed for you to benefit from will never miss you
  20. Accusing the self:
    • accusing yourself in that which your desires call you towards lest it deceive you and draw you toward the forbidden
  21. Never being pleased with the self:
    • by always keeping in mind its deficiencies
  22. Abhorring the Devil:
    • by inclining to his disobedience
  23. Abhorring the world:
    • by not turning your attention to that which distracts you from the obedience of Allah Most High
  24. Abhorring the people of disobedience:
    • by inclining away from them, being averse to their disobedience, and refusing to follow them therein
  25. Love of Allah:
    • by accustoming the heart to His obedience alone, obeying His commands, and abstaining from His prohibitions
  26. Love of His speech:
    • by venerating its verses, submitting to it, and acting upon it
  27. Love of His Messenger:
    • our Master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and give him peace) by believing in him, honoring him, striving to follow him entirely
  28. Love of all the Prophets:
    • by believing in them and honouring them
  29. Love of the companions:
    • by keeping in mind their virtue; that they surpassed all in their Islam, in honor (by their companionship with the Prophet may Allah bless him and give him peace), their giving Him assistance, and their conveying the religion
  30. Love of the Prophetic family:
    • having concern for them, out of honor for the Prophet, for they are His family and closest relatives
  31. Love of the emigrants and the Helpers
    • those from the people of Mecca and Medina who helped the religion
    • especially the predecessors amongst them. (Loving them) by keeping in mind their uniqueness.
  32. Love of the righteous:
    • by revering them, turning to them, and travelling their path

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.

 

The Soul’s Estrangement : A Beautiful Intimate Prayer and Conversation – Habib Muhammad al-Saqqaf

* Courtesy of Muwasala – Scholarly Teachings of Hadramawt

Habib Muhammad al-Saqqaf shares an intimate conversation at a blessed time in a blessed place with his own soul.

My Generous Lord honored me to be at the Ennobled Kaaba during the last part of the night on a Friday. Heralds of longing began to stir in my heart for the reality of what Allah has created us for. I penned some of that in the following words, which I ask Allah the Exalted to make a means to direct the reader with truth and sincerity to Him the Exalted. I ask you, dear reader, to read it in a calm and serene place.

I said:

         I know you…but I don’t know you. 

         It’s as though I’ve forgotten you.

Download here: The Soul’s Estrangement

Zakat & Eid al Fitr – Ustadh Abdul Muhaymin

In this video, Ustadh Abdul Muhaymin  speaks about the blessings of the day of Eid, and what etiquettes we should practice on that day.

Ustadh Abdul Muhaymin encourages us to take advantage of the blessed day of Eid al-Fitr, which is a day of celebration and thanksgiving after the completion of the month of Ramadan. We should all come out to celebrate Eid with our families, and we should ensure that no one is left at home. He calls on the men to not leave female family members at home, but support them in coming out and celebrating.eid al-fitr

In addition, we should ensure that we are fulfilling all of our duties and responsibilities on this day. We should ensure that we have paid the Zakat al-Fitr, the charity that all Muslims are required to make before the day of Eid, or on that day. In addition, we should make sure that no one is left out on the day, making the effort to visit or invite the ones who might not have anyone to celebrate with. We should also try to meet new people and reconnect with old friends, and make sure we do not harbour a grudge against anyone.


 

Invest in Leadership for Our Communities – Imam Siraj Wahhaj

“I’ve come to love this organization and the great work they do in producing our future leaders.” – Imam Siraj Wahaj

An Invitation to Support the Islamic Scholars Fund This Ramadan 

Imam Siraj Wahhaj discusses the Islamic Scholars Fund and the importance of investing in leadership for communities around the world.

We need your help this Ramadan to support qualified scholars and students of knowledge – our future religious leaders – to learn and to teach within our communities.  

Due to the current global crisis, with many mosques and religious institutions being forced to close, many students and scholars have been left without financial support – we can’t let this prevent the spread of benefit and guidance. Help us prevent a faith pandemic.

faith pandemic

Don’t Let a Faith Pandemic Happen: Support Our Islamic Scholars Fund This Ramadan 

We need your help to raise $1 million in zakat and charity to urgently support scholars in need around the world.

There are many deserving scholars and students struggling to continue to serve their communities, despite great financial challenges.

Support to scholars and students

In this sacred month, give your zakat and charity to sustain the Prophetic legacy. 

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) reported to have said: “Scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets.”  [Related by Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasa’i, Ibn Maja, Ahmad, Ibn Hibban, and others] 

Islamic Scholars Fund

Support the spread of sacred knowledge through the Islamic Scholars Fund this Ramadan, by giving your zakat and charity to help us raise $1 million for deserving students and scholars in need around the world. 

On behalf of everyone here at SeekersGuidance, please accept our gratitude for everything you have contributed, and we pray you have a blessed end to Ramadan.

Wasalaam,

Waseem Mahmood
Business Strategy Manager

SeekersGuidance: The Global Islamic Seminary

How Does the Islamic Scholars Fund (ISF) Use Your Zakat & Charitable Donations?

SeekersGuidance Confirms that 100% of Zakat & Charity Goes to Support Deserving Scholars and Students Around the World

In the Name of Allah, Merciful and Compassionate

In light of some recent questioning of the disbursement of the Islamic Scholars Fund (ISF) in 2019, SeekersGuidance would like to clarify that 100% of the fundsZakat & Charity–Collected by the Islamic Scholars Fund are disbursed to Eligible Scholars and Students on a regular monthly basis.

How Does the Islamic Scholars Fund Work?

Islamic Scholars Fund

seekersguidance application process

The following is a clarification from our Finance Coordinator, Faizan Rehman [CPA]:

Clarification from the SeekersGuidance Finance Coordinator: 100% of Islamic Scholars Fund Contributions

Go To Eligible Scholars and Students

Assalamu alaikum,

We can confirm that SeekersGuidance Inc is a US-registered 501(c)3 and our accounts are publicly disclosed along with our annual IRS filings. 

In Fiscal 2019 we raised over US$400,000 for the Islamic Scholars Fund and all of these were disbursed. 

We also confirm that 100% of the funds collected by SeekersGuidance for the Islamic Scholars Fund were disbursed to approved and eligible scholars or students of knowledge–less credit card processing charges.

We also have appointed an independent external accounting firm, C&A Financials, who is led by professional CPAs; they review our financial statements before filing to the IRS.

Our 2019 Financials will soon be available to all after IRS filings.  If there are any queries, please don’t hesitate to email me at: [email protected].

We can also put you in contact with our external accountant.

Wassalam,

Faizan Rehman, CPA, BSc(Hon) 

Finance Coordinator

Seekers Guidance Inc.
[email protected]

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