Join The Fadhkuruni Campaign This Dhul Hijjah With A Simple Invocation

With the advent of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah which are the best days in this life, Habib Muhammad Abdur Rahman al-Saqqaf has initiated a tremendous project and invites you all to participate in the campaign.

The Fadhkuruni Campaign aims to revive the sunnah of remembrance of Allah, by abundantly reciting this invocation (dhikr):

SubhanaLlah wal hamdu liLlah wa laa ilaha ilaLlah waLlahu akbar NastaghfiruLlah al-‘Adhim wa natubu ilayhi

Please enter the number of this Dhikr that you have completed on this website.
Habib Muhammad has requested us all to please spread this message to our families, friends & wider networks to encourage the revival of the remembrance of Allah, Most Exalted.
All Success is from Allah
Please Share Widely

Cover photo courtesy of The Muslim Chaplaincy of University of Toronto and Qurrat Ansari Photography.

Islamic Meditation: What Is It and Does It Have A Place In Our Lives? Shaykh Muhammad Mendes

Join Shaykh Muhammad Mendes in a rich and deeply profound guide to meditation and reflection in Islam – what he describes as a pathway to God.

Meditation 1: The Etiquette of Reflection

Meditation 2: The Means of Reflection

Meditation 3 : Step-by-Step Guided Meditation

Meditation 4: Reflecting on the Self

Meditation 5: Degrees of the Self & Muraqaba

Resources for seekers:

 

Cover Photo by Joutte Maue Kay. We are grateful to Al Maqasid for the use of these videos.

Say and Do All You Want, Allah Knows You Inside Out – Shaykh Faid Said

You can hide the things you do or you can declare it from the rooftops – nothing escapes the knowledge of Allah. He knows you and I inside out, including our every intention. Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said delivers a passionate reminder of living a life of God-consciousness.


Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said is a jewel in the crown of traditional Islamic scholarship in the United Kingdom and we at SeekersHub are ever grateful for his friendship, guidance and support. He was born in Asmara, Eritrea, where he studied the holy Qur’an and its sciences, Arabic grammar and fiqh under the guidance of the Grand Judge of the Islamic Court in Asmara, Shaykh Abdul Kader Hamid and also under the Grand Mufti of Eritrea. He later went to study at Madinah University, from which he graduated with a first class honours degree. In Madinah, his teachers included Shaykh Atia Salem, Shaykh Mohamed Ayub (ex-imam of the Prophet’s Mosque, peace be upon him), Professor AbdulRaheem, Professor Yaqub Turkestani, Shaykh Dr Awad Sahli, Dr Aa’edh Al Harthy and many other great scholars. Shaykh Faid has ijaza in a number of disciplines including hadith, and a British higher education teaching qualification. He is currently the scholar in residence and head of education at Harrow Central Mosque, United Kingdom.
Read his articles on the SeekersHub blog.
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Life Knocking The Wind Out of You This Ramadan? Don’t Despair

Do you work long hours and find yourself too exhausted to do much by way of extra worship in Ramadan? Don’t despair. You’re not alone. Ustadh Salman Younas has some advice on what to do.

This is a situation that many people find themselves in, and it is understandable to feel disheartened about spending most of your Ramadan in other than worship.
The advice I would give is to recognize what worship and obedience are in our tradition. The self (nafs) and the devil often delude us into looking towards the “big acts” – reading lots of Qur’an, performing all the Tarawih prayers at the mosque, etc. When we miss or fall short on these, we think we have missed out on everything and don’t recognize the many smaller and simpler acts we could be engaging in.
In a situation where much of one’s day is in the work place, these are some simple acts that one can engage in to benefit during Ramadan:

1. Remembrance of God (dhikr)

All this requires is your tongue to be free. You could be behind a computer typing away and still recite ‘subhanallah’, or walking in the hall uttering ‘alhamdulilah’, or commuting to the office stating ‘la ilaha illa allah’. Keep a tasbih or a counter in your hand as it will act as a reminder and facilitate your dhikr. While you may not be able to engage in dhikr the entire work-day, if you put your heart to it you can keep your tongue pretty moist with His name.

2. Supplication

Like dhikr, this can also be done at any time and virtually any where. Not only that, but the Prophet (God bless him) defined supplication as the “essence of worship”. Try to take out just a few minutes every hour or so to make a sincere supplication to God. If you can’t find a few minutes, then take out a minute or thirty seconds.

3. Prayer & “Lunch” Breaks

You might not be having lunch but you may still have a lunch break. If it is an hour, take some time out (let’s say ten or fifteen minutes) to recite some Qur’an or engage in the previous points mentioned. If you have a Dhuhr prayer break, add a few additional supererogatory (nawafil) prayers following it. An additional six, four, or even two cycles of prayer will hardly take ten minutes. It may also make you feel better about not being able to perform all the Tarawih prayers but don’t make this an excuse to not try. The same could be done for other prayers you perform, such as Asr and Maghrib.

4. Listening/Reading Qur’an

As mentioned above, if you have a break during work, you can dedicate some of it towards recitation of the Qur’an. But don’t forget that listening to the Qur’an is also an act of worship, and according to some scholars more rewarding than actual recital. If you have a commute, pop in a CD of your favorite reciter and listen away.

5. Charity

The Prophet was extremely charitable during Ramadan according to numerous traditions. Anyone of us can donate to various causes with the click of a finger. Don’t worry about the amount. Even a dollar will count for a lot. Even some loose change will gain you reward. Do not think of anything as being “small”. Rather, try to give a little every day or every other day or whenever you see the opportunity. As the Prophet (God bless him) said, “save yourself from the fire even if by half a date.” Simply make your intention next-worldly and these small acts will be weighty in the next-life.

6. Intend Good & Make Everything Rewarding

There is a famous statement in our tradition that, “the permissible becomes obedience when coupled with a lofty intention.” Remember this and transform all of your mundane actions into something rewarding and next-worldly this Ramadan. When you play with your kids, make an intention for God. When you buy groceries, make the intention to feed your family iftar (the Prophet recommended feeding people Iftar). When you call your parents, intend the maintaining of familial relations during the noble month. When you interact with colleagues, smile with the intention it is sunna and that it will give people a good image of your religion. When you work, seek God’s pleasure through the intention of supporting your family. You might not be able to do this for everything but try to choose a few things you do during the day, pause before you do them, and make a lofty intention.

7. Don’t Waste Your Weekends

You won’t be working so if you are really feeling down about not being able to pray Tarawih at the mosque, this is your opportunity to do so. Use your weekends to do the things you aren’t able to do on a work day and utilize every moment of it in a beneficial way.
These are just a few suggestions that I have. The key is to recognize that our Lord is merciful and in His infinite mercy He has laid out innumerable ways for us to earn His pleasure and draw closer to Him. Just because you are not doing what others might be doing in terms of worship, or you are not doing what people expect others to do this month, does not mean you can’t do anything or are failing. Do not think lowly of any good action. Do not demean any good act that you do. Rather, try your best, find opportunities, be as consistent as you can with what you can do, acknowledge your weakness, have a good opinion of your Lord, and leave the rest to Him.
I hope this was of some help. May God reward you and us during this month and grant us tawfiq in worshipping Him during it. May any reward God decrees for me for giving this answer in benefit of His servants go to my grandfather, father, and all deceased Muslims. Amin.

Photo by Andy Wilkes.

Amazing Supplications When Faced With Stress and Anxiety – Habib Kadhim

Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf advises us on how we should deal with stress and anxiety.

How do we respond to everyday stress?

Depending on where the stress originates from, the response differs. Generally, we must fill our hearts with a good opinion of Allah. Keep reminding yourself that your Lord has given you the greatest thing, which is the deen. Place full reliance on Him, and He will give you everything you desire. Always say Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah). Always look to the future with confidence in the fact that whatever He gives, is going to be good for you in this world and more importantly, in the akhira (afterlife).
After having done all these,  say:
حَسْبُنَا اللَّـهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ
Hasbunallah Wa Ni ‘mal Wakeel
Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the best disposer of affairs.(3:173)
Perform some good deeds, so that you’ll feel stable before the feeling happens.

How do we deal with anxiety?

The treatment for this, is to first to have a good opinion of Allah, since He has given you Islam, and made you of the Ummah of Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace. He is not going to do something bad to you.
And Allah says, “I am of the opinion that my servant has of me.” (Sahih Bukhari). If you draw near to him by a hand span, He will come to you by an arm’s length. So how can you have a bad opinion of your Lord? Having this perspective can greatly reduce anxiety over something which hasn’t yet happened. And then if anything does occur, then say to yourself, “I have a 100 ways to overcome this, I have the adhkaar (the remembrance of God) and the salawaat (Blessings on the Prophet).” These are all tried and tested, and if a person says these with sincerity, Allah will remove all these difficulties from him.
Other mighty prayers include:
لاحول ولاقوة الا بالله
La ḥawla wa la quwwata illa billah
There is no might or power except with Allah.
 رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي
Rabbi-‘shrah li sadri wa yassirli amri
My Lord, expand for me my breast [with assurance] And make easy my task. (20:25-26)
This prayer has a great reward. It is a noble verse of the Qur’an, and beneath it are seas of knowledge. It will expand your chest and bring joy to you. If you have problems, you won’t necessarily see them as something great, but rather as something light.


Resources for Seekers

Spiritual Grammar and the Danger of Complaining – Imam Zaid Shakir

Complaining (shakawa) to other fallible humans has no part in our religion. Sincere advice (nasiha) does. What is the difference between the two? Imam Zaid Shakir explains.

Usually, the complaint starts with what we describe as the first person, “I”. For example, “I don’t like…” “I don’t feel…” “I want…” “I think….” etc. Therefore, complaining is rooted in one’s concern for him or herself and is therefore amenable to entering a person onto the slippery slope of egoism or narcissism. Complaining has been described as deadly poison by our scholars for this reason. The more we see ourselves, the less we see Allah. Conversely, the more we see Allah, the less we see ourselves. This is why the very heart of spiritual training is the negation of the ego, to say nothing of the id.
One might reasonable ask at this point, “If I don’t look out for myself then who will?” Our Lord provides the answer with great clarity, “Truly, my Protector is Allah, who has revealed the Scripture, and undertakes the affair of the righteous (7:196).”

Our Insurance Policy With The Best Of Providers

When we understand our inherent weakness and the awesome strength of our Lord, we gladly transfer our “insurance policy” to Him. Furthermore, when we can look beyond ourselves and look to our Lord, He alone becomes the one we complain to, for we understand that He alone can assist us.
This focusing on Allah is from the prophetic Sunnah, as illustrated by Ya’qub (Jacob). The Qur’an relates, “I complain of my sorrow and grief to Allah alone, and I know from Allah that which you know not (12:86).” This act of turning to Allah alone is a manifestation of Jacob’s “beautiful patience (sabran jamilan).”
Each of us should constantly ask ourselves, “How beautiful is my patience?” If we find any ugliness in the answer we should work assiduously to beautify it.

A Paradigm Shift

Unlike complaining, nasiha usually starts with the second person, “you”, and is offered with all due sincerity. “You should consider…” “You might want…” “You might not have realized…” “Your tone could have been better…” By turning from the first to the second person, with sincerity, seeking the addressee’s betterment, we are closing the door on our ego and giving priority to others. Until we can do this, we will never attain one of the most noble stations in our religion, ithar (giving preference to others).

The Best Of People

This station is one of the most important foundations of a prosperous Muslim community. How do we know this? From the description of the first community. When the Muhajirin (Emigrants) arrived in Madina to become part of the first independent Muslim community they did not come into a paradise where everyone had abundant wealth to share. The Ansar (Helpers) were largely poor, however, they placed the little they did have at the disposal of their brothers and sisters who had emigrated to them. The Qur’an describes this relationship in the following moving terms, “Those who were settled in the land before them, and had believed, love those who emigrated to them and find in their hearts no need for what they were given. They give preference (yu’thiruna from Ithar) to others, even though they were impoverished. And whosoever is shielded from the greed of their soul, it is they who will prosper (59:9).”

Like that first Muslim society, our community we will not succeed without faith, love, and the ability to give preference to others. To do this the “I” has to disappear and the “you” has to be brought to the forefront. We could elaborate on this at length, however, let us return to our grammar lesson. If we cannot eliminate the perceived first person, I, and elevate the second person, you, we will never truly get to know the perceived third person, “Huwa (Him).”

Complaining, which accentuates and empowers the perceived first person “I”, is one of the greatest barriers to getting to know the perceived third person, “Him.” If you understand this, then you understand spiritual grammar and all of the sentences you write with the pen of your life will be sound. In conclusion, I mentioned the perceived first and third persons, because in reality, and spiritual grammar is rooted in reality, the third is first, the second is always second and the first is third, or last. May we be blessed with understanding.
First published on Imam Zaid Shakir’s blog, New Islamic Directions.

Resources for seekers:

Photo by Tasayu Tasnaphun.

Four Reasons Your Dua Isn’t Answered Yet – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Adab Of Du’a 26

Allah Most High says, “I am near – I answer the call of the one who calls upon me (2:186).

Yet, many of us wonder: Are my du’as being answered? Is there a certain du’a I have to read for each of my concerns? Do my du’as have to be in Arabic?

In this series of short talks, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the reality of du’a (supplication) and how to turn to Allah. It is based on a classical text on the same subject by Shaykh al Islam Zakariyya al Ansari.

This video covers some reasons why certain du’as may not be answered.

He divided this work into the 11 concise, apt sections described below.

1. The reality of du’a
2. Our being called on to make du’a
3. The great virtue of du’a
4. The integrals of supplication, its wings, and its means
5. The conditions of supplication
6. Its proper manners
7. The times of du’a and the state in which it should be made
8. Signs of acceptance of du’a
9. Explaining the religious ruling of du’a
10. Some encompassing supplications
11. Explaining what the greatest Divine Name is

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Dua Isn't Answered

How to Bring the Prophet ﷺ Into Our Lives

Why do we drink water with our right hand? Is it because it’s the right thing to do, or because it gives us a chance to to bring the Prophet ﷺ into our lives?

How to Bring the Prophet ﷺ Into Our Lives

Oftentimes, our love can be a token, rather than an experiential reality. In this clip, Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa recounts a transformative love, by which the Prophetic Practice (sunna) becomes more than about what’s the right thing to do, but a focus on how to bring him into your life.

Cover photo by Fahrurrazy Halil.

Resources for Seekers

Informative To Transformative: How To Upgrade Your Prayer

Why are there so few hadith or verses of the Quran about performing the prayer? Why can some people pray frequently but still experience so many problems? Have we evacuated the content of the prayer? In this sermon, Shaykh Ahmad Saad Al-Azhari explains how a prayer can be so powerful that it resolves all other problems.

Take a SeekersHub course to perfect your prayer: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Hanafi Jurisprudence and Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Shafi’i Jurisprudence

We are grateful to Palmers Green Mosque for this recording.

Resources for Seekers

 

Cover photo by Chaoyoe.

How A Satanist’s Unusual Dream Led Him To God

A satanist in a high security British prison had a dream. A stranger approached him, wiped a hand over his heart and declared, “La ilaha illallah” and the darkness lifted.

Shaykh Faiz Qureshy gives pastoral care to Muslim inmates in high security prisons in the UK. Meeting hardened criminals is par for the course – some are only allowed to communicate through a little hatch in their cellroom door.
One day, a prisoner who Shaykh Faiz hadn’t counselled before asked to see him. Tattoeed, gold-toothed, having seen better days, this man sat down at a table with Shaykh Faiz. What he said is nothing short of other-worldly – watch in the  brief clip below.
“Verily, you guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are guided.” (The Qur’an, Sura Al-Qasas, verse 56)