For Whom is Jannah Prepared? by Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

In this Friday sermon, Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said reminds us of what Allah wants for us, and not just what He wants from us. A beautiful reminder not to be missed.

 

The Adhan: Why We Are Missing Out On Great Benefits, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ made a tremendous promise to those who respond upon hearing the adhan – “My intercession will be granted to them on the Day of Resurrection…”

However, many of us don’t know or don’t remember the sunnas of doing the adhan and hearing the call to prayer (adhan). This is particularly the case in lands where the adhan is not publicly given. It is as if we don’t believe in what the Prophet ﷺ has promised. It could be the key to Paradise for us. May Allah make it so!

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives a step by step list of things to do.

Photo by Md. Mafizul Hasan Hawlader.

A Message To American Muslims, from Habib Ali al-Jifri

“Those whose faith only increased when people said, ‘Fear your enemy: they have amassed a great army against you,’ and who replied, ‘God is enough for us: He is the best protector,’ returned with grace and bounty from God; no harm befell them. They pursued God’s good pleasure. God’s favour is great indeed.” [Quran 3:173-174]

Despite the apparent challenges facing the American Muslim community, the underlying meaning behind such circumstances is great. This situation is a moment to deeply root your faith with trust in Allah, have certainty in Him alone, and relieve yourselves of the veil that is reliance on people and their institutions.

What transpires during these days presents an opportunity to acquaint American society with the realities of Islam through eloquence that is articulated through behaviour and character before it is articulated with words. The world is in greater need of seeing actions than words and people are in need of fellow humans with sincere hearts more than eloquent tongues. And it may just be that holding steadfast to these meanings is more appropriate, more pleasing to Allah and His Prophet ﷺ, and more redeeming of our goals in this life and the next, than entering the battle zone of current domestic politics.

Brothers and sisters, you have seen during this time, and by Allah’s grace, the support extended to you by your fellow citizens and various organizations whose hearts still beat with a strong sense of humanity and justice. This is but a message from Allah: seek refuge in Him and place your trust in Him alone, for Allah is the holder of the hearts of human beings and turns them as He wills. It is a reminder for you to fulfill the duty of what it means to be a good citizen and acquaint your fellow Americans with the magnanimity and tolerance of this religion and its noble traits in the best way possible.

The path towards realization of these meanings can be summarized as follows:

1. Filling the heart with mercy and compassion. Being resolute in your love of wanting good for everyone—for those who disagree with you before those who agree and for your adversary before your ally.

2. Being unfaltering in your commitment to upholding noble, prophetic character traits with those who are good to you as well as those who wrong you, all for the sake of Allah.

3. Having excellence in your life affairs and upholding the virtue of ‘perfection’ (itqan) in your work, by which you are seeking to attain the pleasure of Allah.

4. Extending the hand of support and cooperation to fellow Americans to work together to promote a spirit of love and human fraternity in society, and to collectively stand against calls for division, hatred and animosity.

5. Doing all of this sincerely for Allah alone, having true reliance on Him and tranquility in the heart that flows from the light of placing trust in Him.

6. Putting your trust in what Allah has above and over the anxiety that comes from expecting from His creation, and pursuing Allah’s pleasure such that it occupies the heart away from seeking the pleasure of people, for Allah said: “And Allah’s good pleasure is greatest of all”

A litany for attaining tranquility of the heart

Read every morning and evening:

HasbunaLlah wa ni’ma-l wakīl (x70)
Wa ufawidu amri ilaLlah, innaLlaha basirun bil-ibaad (x11)

May Allah grace you with every success, ennoble you with the light of His love and protect you with His protection.

With the greeting of peace,
Ali Al-Jifri, seeker of your prayers

Cover photo by Geoff Livingston. Thumbnail photo by jprwpics.

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What We Need More Than Food or Water, by Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

Allah, Most High, tells us in Qur’an about the most important thing we need in our life; the thing that we need more than food and drink, more than family and friends, more than the air that we breathe: peace and tranquility. Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said explains.

Allah, Most High, placed absolute peace and tranquility in His remembrance, as He said in Surah Ar-Ra’d (28): “Those who believe and they find peace and tranquility in remembering Allah; verily, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are made tranquil.”

We would not enjoy anything if we do not have peace and tranquility in our hearts. You cannot enjoy the best of anything if your mind is all over the place, if you are worried about something, anxious to get something, or if something is bothering you.

Remembrance is to see the problem that you have, to recognize its magnitude, to not discount the problem and how it may affect your life, affect your reputation and relations, and when taking into account all of this your Remember the only solution – to say Ya Allah! This is Remembrance!

The Story of Musa

Remembrance is the story of Musa, may Allah bless him, when he was between the sea and the soldiers of the pharaoh, when no one saw a solution, Musa, may Allah bless him, said: “My Lord is with me and He will guide me” – that is Remembrance!

In that situation, Musa, may Allah bless him, was under pressure from the people of Israel, as they did not see other than the soldiers of the pharaoh and the sea, but Musa, may Allah bless him, said: “My Lord is with me and He will guide me!” (Surah Ash-Shu’ara,62)

The story of Abu Bakr

Remembrance is the story of Syedina Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, when he traveled on the night of hijrah with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him,, and whilst in the cave Syedina Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, out of worry said, if they were to tie their shoelaces they would see us!

He realized that they were in a small place that was not protected – he was seeing the practicality of the situation out of his love and care for the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him. But in response, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Do not be worried, indeed Allah, Most High, is with us!” the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, is teaching Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, and us that we take practical steps and do all that we can, but we do not rely on anyone other than Allah, Most High!

In that moment of worry, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, redirected our attention to say: “Indeed, Allah is with us!” – So do not be worried!

The story of Yaqub

Remembrance is the story of Yaqub, may Allah bless him, when he was tested by the loss of Syedina Yusuf, may Allah bless him, and his younger brother; he was blamed by his children when they said:

“By Allah , you will not cease remembering Yusuf until you become fatally ill or become of those who perish.”

In response, Yaqub, may Allah bless him, said: “Verily, I complain and I speak about my sadness to Allah, and I know from Allah that which you do not know.” (Surah Yusuf, 85-86)

So in that moment of sadness, when he needed to take a breath and talk about his sadness, Yaqub, may Allah bless him, spoke to Allah, Most High,! He knew Allah, Most High, would listen and not judge him, and that there was no One to listen, comfort or help him other than Him – that is Remembrance!

The Remembrance of Allah, Most High, is to remember His Mercy, His favors and in our moments of joy to thank Him – that is Remembrance, and that is gratefulness!

The Story of Sulaiman

Remembrance is the story that Allah, Most High, tells us in Surah An-Naml when the ant spoke to its fellow ants and said – go to your places so that Sulaiman, may Allah bless him, and his army do not crush you while they are unaware. Upon hearing this Sulaiman, may Allah bless him, smiled and said: “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for the blessings you have bestowed upon me and my parents, and enable me to do righteous deeds that please You. And by Your Rahma, admit me into the circle of your righteous slaves.”

When Sulaiman, may Allah bless him, heard what the ant was saying, while no one else heard, he did not think about his Prophethood or any good he has done that Allah, Most High, made him to be in that position, but rather, he did not only thank Allah, Most High, but he begged Allah, Most High, to make it easy for him and to facilitate his gratefulness for the favors that had been bestowed upon him and his parents – that is Remembrance!

Every time, in every place, secretly and openly

The Remembrance of Allah, Most High, is not limited to a time or place, as Allah, Most High, said in Surah Ahli-Imran (191): “…remember Allah while standing, sitting or lying on their sides…”

Remembrance is in every time, in every place, secretly and openly. That is why Allah, Most High, says: “And remember your Lord, alone, beg Him, when no one can see you, in the early morn and late in the evening, and do not be among the heedless. Indeed, those who are with your Lord (malaika) will never stop remembering Him; they glorify and worship Him.” (Surah Al-A’raf,205-206)

Remembering Allah, Most High, is the life vof the heart and the light of the heart! It is the foundation of all that is good. That is why Allah, Most High, said in Surah Al-Anfal (24):

“Oh you who believe respond to Allah, Most High, and to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, when they call you to that which brings life.”

That life and that light (nur) is in the Remembrance of Allah, Most High,! This remembrance is an invitation that has been given by Him and through the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him. The Call is beyond our understanding our even conception, and that is why Allah, Most High, summarized its meaning by saying “when they call you to that which brings life”, it is the absolute life, and we only beg Allah, Most High, as Musa, may Allah bless him, begged Him in Surah Taha, to open our chests and our hearts to understanding the meaning of this life.

May Allah, Most High, bless you and your jummah with every khair.

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On The Permissibility of Mawlid, With Conditions, by Shaykh Salek Bin Siddina

Shaykh Salek Bin Siddina recites a poem of Muhammad bin Hasan al Khadim on why celebrating the birth of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is permissible but with conditions.

The video is in two parts, with live English translation. Our thanks to the Blessed Tree for these recordings.

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Resources for seekers:

Jinn, Black Magic and How to Protect Yourself, by Shaykh Amer Jamil

In just under an hour, Shaykh Amer Jamil explains the essential what-you-need-to-know about sihr (black magic). It’s a reality – do you know how to recognise the signs and how to protect against it?

What is Black Magic and How Do We Recognise The Signs?

How Do We Protect Against Black Magic?

Resources on sihr (black magic) and related matters for seekers

Please subscribe to Shaykh Amer Jamil’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
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‘Tis The Season…For Mawlid Wars? – Ustadh Salman Younas

The month of Rabi` al-Awwal is here, which can only mean that some of us will witness renewed debates on the practice of celebrating the birth of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), writes Ustadh Salman Younas.

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To make things easier for everyone, I’ve mentioned a handful of leading classical scholars who permitted the mawlid in its institutionalized form and those who deemed it impermissible. What is this meant to teach us? That this is a *valid* difference of opinion. While we can cordially discuss the merits of each view, no one should be condemned, mocked, or looked down upon for engaging or not engaging in such a practice, since leading scholars throughout the past few centuries have differed on this issue.

Don’t Let Your Nafs Distract You

Instead of using this time to debate and argue, let’s use it to draw closer to the greatest of creation in a manner that we individually deem sound and acceptable. If that means gathering to sing poems in his praise and celebrating his birth, then wonderful. If it means you sit alone in your house to send some salawat upon him, then wonderful. The point is not to let your nafs and the devil distract us from doing good and puff us up with arrogance/anger by occupying us with argumentation on an issue scholars have differed upon for centuries.

Some of Those who Permitted the Mawlid

  • Imam Abu’l Khattab ibn Dahiya [al-Hawi li’l fatawa (ed. Ilmiyya, pp. 189)]
  • Ibn al-Jazari [al-Arf al-ta`rif [ed. al-Kattaniya, pp. 13-43)]
  • Imam Abu Shama [al-Ba’ith fi inkar al-bid`a wa’l hawadith (ed. Dar al-Raya, pp. 95-96)]
  • Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani [al-Ajwiba al-murdiya (ed. Dar al-Raya, pp. 1117-1118)]
  • Imam al-Sakhawi [Ibid., pp. 1116-1120)]
  • Imam Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti [al-Hawi, (pp. 189-193)]

Some of Those Who Did Not Permit the Mawlid

  • Imam Taj al-Din al-Fakihani [al-Mawrid fi amal al-mawlid (ed. Maktaba al-Ma`arif, pp, 19-27)]
  • Shaykh Ibn Taymiyya [Majmu` al-Fatawa (ed. al-Najdi, 25:298)]
  • Imam al-Haffar [al-Mi`yar (ed. al-Awqaf, 7:99-100)]
  • Imam Abu Amr ibn al-Ala’ [al-Hawi, (pp. 192)]
  • Imam Abu Ishaq al-Shatibi [al-I`tisam (ed. Maktaba al-Tawhid, 1:46)]

Methodological Differences Underlying These Positions

When it comes to the issue of innovation, we can identify two broad approaches:
(a) The dominant approach adopted by many jurists of the Shafi`i school that allowed for a general principle or text to be applied in practice in a particularized manner despite there being no specific precedent for said practice. An early example of this is the position of Imam al-Shafi`i that it is recommended to recite blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) after uttering the tasmiya while slaughtering an animal. This is deduced from the general command in Surat al-Ahzab (33:43) of sending blessings on the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him). In other words, Imam al-Shafi`i used a general command to legislate a particular practice despite there being no explicit precedent for this practice. Since such a practice could be validly subsumed under a general principle, it would not be an innovation to put into practice in an unprecedented form.
(b) Another view, which was held by a number of Maliki scholars, argued that there must be specific evidence in order to permit persistence (iltizam) on a particularized form of a general command. This is termed by al-Shatibi as takhsis al-umum bi-la dalil (specifying a general text without evidence). Those scholars agreeing with al-Shatibi would not allow reciting blessings on the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) after saying the tasmiya while slaughtering because no specific evidence exists to establish such a practice. As for the general command to send such blessings, it is alone insufficient to evidence permissibility in this case.
Therefore, the first view lends itself to being utilized to institutionalize or invent specific forms of devotional practice so long as they do not oppose the broad principles of the law.
The second view is not “open-looking” in this manner as it restricts itself to the existence of past precedent without which a devotional act cannot be invented or institutionalized. The only exception is when a devotional act is is done spontaneously or due to free-time without it being institutionalized.

Both views have support in the actions of the early Muslims:

(i) The first view is supported by the narration of Abu Hurarya who stated that Khubayb ibn Adi initiated the practice of performing two cycles of prayer before being executed. Here, Khubayb had no specific precedent but took a general recommendation of performing prayer and applied it in a particular manner to a specific time and situation. [Sahih al-Bukhari]
(ii) The second view is supported by the actions of some Companions who opposed practices that could reasonably be subsumed under general principles/text. One example is Ibn Mas’ud’s opposition to those who were engaging in group dhikr in the mosque despite the general command in the Qur’an to, “remember God.” (3:191)
Both these approaches return to ijtihadi differences and preferences. Consequently, the choice scholars make to argue for or against certain practices should be respected as an exercise of valid ijtihad based on sound methodological divergences.
And God knows best.

Resources on sending blessings on Prophet Muhammad for seekers:

POETRY: ReMosqued, by Shaykh Riad Saloojee

Sinan’s voice whispers
as you cross the threshold:

“Friend,
how could you know beauty’s architecture,
when your life is a cardboard box
of wallpaper dreams?”

“Is this really your heart’s residence?”

“Stop constructing cramped corners
of your own cruel choice!”

“Here, let me help you –
Take off your shoes.”

“Accept the gift of a million
different passages to the Infinite.”

“Hold your breath, now.
And step out of your self.”

“You will never ever find your feet after.
And you won’t be needing those shoes again.”

~*~

O Sinan.

Allah have mercy upon your soul.
What have you done?

You’ve razed down my walls,
caved in my roof, made tumble
the shadows that silhouette my skyline.

My house lies in ruins.
My city lies in waste.

A dominion, demolished,

when I entered this space filled
with shimmering symmetries
of Majesty and Beauty.

A crossroad.
Where there is only a way.
Without ratio.

Just the purest one.
Just the Purest, One.

~*~

You’ve permitted your Houses to dwell
amongst our markets, highways, farms, residences.

They are the hearts that circulate your light,
the beacons that beckon beyond,
the harbours for our shipwrecked selves.

When we blind ourselves,
they call out from afar,
five times, every day.

I cannot escape them.

If I shut my eyes,
I hear them.

If I shut my ears,
I see them.

They are the envoys of
Your Majesty and Beauty.

All marauding force
– no, time and history itself –
kneels before the supplication
in one sincere sajdah

of a servant who enters them
and is swept, swooning, within
their loving and tender
embrace.

~*~

My rival principalities are vanishing
whenever I enter and exit Your house

I look for them; they were here a second ago.

How long the battle has raged!
How insidious the détente.
How terrible the constant arbitrage.

My enemies keep raising arms.
My history is a domino of coup d’états.

I’ve enlisted the finest forces,
acquired the latest munitions,
read the riot act to my soldiers.

But it is Your silent sanctuary
that deals the death blows.

No matter where I look,
You kill me with Your beauty.

How could I conceive of leaving
when I know that if I stay the way
You wished –

Every caterpillar needs a cocoon.

~*~

Qad Kafani Ilmu Rabbi (Scottish style), by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

Listen to this unusual rendition of Qad Kafani, by Imam al-Haddad, in Scottish style, sung by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad’s Harmonia Alcorani. Support the Cambridge New Mosque by downloading fantastic Islamic songs from around the world here.

Translation:
My Lord’s knowledge has sufficed me
from asking or choosing
For my du’a and my agonising supplication
is a witness to my poverty.
For this secret (reason) I make supplication
in times of ease and times of difficulty
I am a slave whose pride
is in his poverty and obligation
O my Lord and my King
You know my state
And what has settled in my heart
of agonies and preoccupations
Save me with a gentleness
from You, O Lord of Lords
Oh save me, Most Generous
before I run out of patience (with myself)
My Lord’s knowledge has sufficed me
from asking or choosing
O One who is swift in sending aid
I ask for aid that will arrive to me swiftly
It will defeat all difficulty
and it will bring all that I hope for
O Near One Who answers
and All-Knowing and All-Hearing
I have attained realisation through my incapacity,
my submission and my brokenness
My Lord’s knowledge has sufficed me
from asking or choosing
I am still standing by the door, so please my Lord
have mercy on my standing
And in the valley of generosity, I am in i’tikaf (solitary retreat)
So, Allah, make my retreat here permanent
And I’m abiding by good opinion (of You)
For it is my friend and ally
And it is the one that sits by me and keeps me company
All day and night
My Lord’s knowledge has sufficed me
from asking or choosing
There is a need in my soul, O Allah
so please fulfil it, O Best of Fulfillers
And comfort my secret and my heart
from its burning and its shrapnel
In pleasure and in happiness
and as long as You are pleased with me
For joy and expansion is my state
and my motto and my cover
My Lord’s knowledge has sufficed me
from asking or choosing

How Not To Let Stress Get You Down. Lessons From The Sunna – Dr. Rania Awaad

Ustadha Dr. Rania Awaad guides us through stress reduction strategies and techniques drawn from the way of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Reducing stress in our lives can put our minds and bodies in a better state, God willing, to take advantage of the manifold spiritual opportunities life offers.


Ustadha Dr Rania Awaad has received a traditional license (ijazah) to teach Qur’anic recitation (tajwid) in both the Hafs and Warsh recitations from the late eminent Syrian scholar, Shaykh Abu Hassan al-Kurdi. In addition to completing several advanced texts of the Shafi’i school (madhhab), she is licensed to teach texts of Maliki jurisprudence (fiqh), literature (adab), and spirituality (ihsan). She is also a physician. Her medical interests include addressing mental health care concerns in the Muslim community, particularly that of Muslim women. Other on-going endeavors include the compilation of a manual addressing female-related medical issues from a fiqh-oriented perspective as well as a manual on raising Muslim children in the West.
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Resources for seekers