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.

 

Islamic Scholars Fund: Growth, Clarifications, and Financials – June 2020

Assalamu alaikum,

Alhamdulillah, SeekersGuidance has been running the Islamic Scholars Fund–through which zakat and charity funds support eligible scholars and students, around the world.

Alhamdulillah, this Fund grew over 60% this Ramadan, through the active support of donors around the world.

Thus, we have felt it important to clarify and reiterate a number of issues:

Islamic Scholars Fund: 100% Disbursement Policy

This Fund has a 100% disbursement policy: all funds go to eligible scholars and students, as confirmed by our accountant, Faizan Rehman.

See: How Does SeekersGuidance Distribute Your Zakat and Charity Through the Islamic Scholars Fund

The criteria used by the Islamic Scholars Fund have been established in active consultation with senior Islamic scholars.

The Islamic Scholars Fund Committee

The Islamic Scholars Fund Committee is made up of (1) Shaykh Faraz Rabbani (Executive Director); (2) Dr. Padela (Chairman of the Board of Directors); (3) Faizan Rehman (Accountant). Their contact details can be found below.

This committee approves the allocation and disbursement of the zakat and charity collected by the Islamic Scholars Fund.


Draft and Finalized Mid-Year Financial Reports 

We have released our draft 2020 Financial Statement for the year so far, compiled by our internal accountant, Faizan Rehman. You can access it here: Download Mid-Year Financial Report 2020 [Draft]

Our accountant will be releasing the finalized mid-year financial report for the Islamic Scholars Fund, and for SeekersGuidance by mid-July.

There, we will be releasing our Financial Reports twice a year–including annual audited reports.

Establishing an External Shariah Supervisory Board

We are in the process of establishing an external Shariah Supervisory Board for the Islamic Scholars Fund–comprised of qualified Islamic legal scholars, to certify Shariah compliance and proper oversight, according to the highest standards.

The Islamic Scholars Fund Grow Over 60% This Ramadan

These are major steps in the growth and consolidation of the Islamic Scholars Fund–which grew over 60% this Ramadan 2020 over last Ramadan, despite the global economic crisis. This is through the support of a wide network of donors around the world. May Allah bless them all.

This growth and responsibility makes it even more urgent to ensure there is clear governance, oversight, and disclosure of this Fund.

SeekersGuidance is committed to establishing the systems and processes to operate with excellence (ihsan), and to grow the Islamic Scholars Fund.

We hope to support even more scholars and students, and to help fund a revival of Islamic scholarship around the world through support of present and future scholars.

The Islamic Scholars Fund Prospectus

For more information about the Islamic Scholars Fund, see: Islamic Scholars Fund Prospectus (Ramadan 2020)

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email any one of:

  1. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani (Executive Director) – [email protected] 
  2. Dr. Asif Padela (Chairman, Board of Directors) – [email protected] 
  3. Faizan Rehman (Accountant) – [email protected] 


In Ramadan, we raised $550,000 of our $1 million goal to support scholars and students around the world during the current global pandemic. Help us reach our target: Support by giving zakat or charity at:
www.seekersguidance.org/donate

And Allah alone gives success.

Correction of Error Regarding Shaykh Hamza Karamali

We regret an error in our end of year Islamic Scholars Fund prospectus for 2019. It was wrongly stated that Shaykh Hamza Karamali (then our Dean of Academics) was a part of the Islamic Scholars Fund Committee.

This is incorrect, and an error. We apologize to Shaykh Hamza Karamali for this. Shaykh Hamza Karamali had no role whatsoever in the oversight, disbursements, or allocation of the zakat funds.

And Allah alone gives success.

SeekersGuidance Administration

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

In These Last Days of Ramadan, Support the Spread of the Prophetic Legacy – Imam Yama Niazi

Imam Yama Niazi discusses the Islamic Scholars Fund and the critical importance of supporting students of knowledge and qualified teachers around the world.

“This is a fund that helps and supports our teachers, our scholars, our da’ees and those who call to Allah (subhana wa ta’aala) ).” – Imam Yama Niazi

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

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is reported to have said: “Scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets.” 

But in times of crisis, when our mosques and religious institutions are closed down, our scholars are left unsupported and struggling to survive. Taking up odd jobs to provide for their families, leaving our communities bereft of the light and guidance it’s in utter need of.  Therefore there is no better, more important initiative than the spread of knowledge. 

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

Give your zakat and charity to the Islamic Scholars Fund in these blessed last days of Ramadan to help deserving religious scholars and students. In these difficult times, knowledge has even greater impact; and your support will help it spread. 

Through your support and contributions of Zakat and Charity – to the Islamic Scholars Fund – you are directly helping deserving qualified scholars and students.  and becoming a part of the Prophetic legacy.

Purify Your Wealth

“The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” [Quran 2:261]

Donate now to ensure scholars have the support required to continue their priceless service to their communities.

Support the spread of sacred Knowledge through the Islamic Scholars Fund in these last days of  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

 

In These Last Days of Ramadan, Help Sustain Sacred Knowledge – Dr. Hadia Mubarak

In the current global crisis, many deserving scholars and students have been left unsupported; knowledge is critical in these testing times, and you can help to sustain it’s spread.

Dr. Hadia Mubarak talks about the Islamic Scholars Fund and the importance of supporting students of knowledge and qualified teachers around the world.

“Whatever crisis we are facing never eliminates our need for accurate and reliable religious knowledge, so it is absolutely critical that we support religious scholars across the world.”  Dr. Hadia Mubarak

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 students of knowledge and qualified scholars in need around the world.

Knowledge is critical in these testing times, and you have an opportunity by donating your Zakat and Charity to help sustain it’s spread.

This Ramadan, help people around the world find light and guidance by supporting deserving scholars. Give your zakat and charity to support scholars who need it, when their knowledge is needed most.

Hadith: 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] 

Faith Pandemic

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

Help Empower and Educate Youth with Imam Yama Niazi

In these times of confusion, help us strengthen the future and legacy of the faith by supporting the growth and religious education of our youth. Support this initiative to bring critically important knowledge to empower our youth.

Imam Yama Niazi talks about the Seekers Youth program and the importance of supporting the religious growth and education of our youth.

Spread Clarity in Confusing Times: Support Seekers Spread the Light of Guidance

Spread Clarity In Confusing Times

Help us raise $1 Million this Ramadan to reach one million students through our online courses and programs.

Give to the Seekers Growth Fund in these last days of Ramadan to help ensure the spiritual wellbeing of our future generations.

Imam Yama Niazi

“Our youth are very important to us, they’re our future, they are the ones that are going to live on this legacy of our deen.” Imam Niazi

No other Islamic Seminary reaches as many people, so consistently, so easily, with such clarity, so imagine how much greater that impact could be if we are able to increase this capacity. 

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

Spread Clarity in Confusing Times: Support Seekers Spread The Light of Guidance

For a number of years, SeekersGuidance has been supporting displaced Syrian scholars based in Istanbul (Turkey) through the Islamic Scholars Fund. 

This support has enabled them to dedicate themselves to teaching and spreading balanced, mainstream Islamic knowledge and guidance in a dignified manner.

However, our senior scholars felt there was still a clear gap: these scholars were dispersed across Istanbul and neighbouring areas—and it was difficult for students of knowledge to access them, and to have a clear program of traditional Islamic studies.

The Dar al Fuqaha Seminary

Dar al-Fuqaha Islamic Seminary was launched in January 2020 in a partnership with the Sultan Mehmet Waqf University (Istanbul). Our intention is to train future leaders and safeguard authentic scholarship in order to serve the global community and preserve sacred knowledge.

Support Seekers in Istanbul this Ramadan to continue this great work in providing clear learning paths with clarity, convenience and mentorship to hundreds, if not thousands of students.

The Dar al Fuqaha Prospectus

The Dar al Fuqaha Prospectus

Dar al-Fuqaha in Arabic

Visit Seekers Arabic Youtube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQQgpOuQZbaYz005k6hO1WA

Spread Clarity in Confusing Times

On behalf of everyone here at SeekersGuidance, please accept our gratitude for everything you have contributed.

Wasalaam,

Waseem Mahmood
Business Strategy Manager

SeekersGuidance: The Global Islamic Seminary

SeekersGuidance is 501(c)(3) registered Not for Profit. Donations are tax-deductible in the USA.

An Invitation to Support the Islamic Scholars Fund from Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

 

Through generous and sincere people like yourself, we are able to continue and grow in our reach and impact globally.

We Need Your Help to Raise $1 million in Zakat and Charity to urgently support scholars in need around the world.

Due to the current pandemic and lockdown, we at SeekersGuidance need your support even more.

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

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

Give your zakat and charity to support the Prophetic legacy and religious guidance. There are so many deserving and needy Scholars who are struggling to continue to teach their communities, often under very difficult circumstances.

Supporting Islamic Scholars

The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said: “Allah does not lift sacred knowledge by removing it from the hearts of people. Rather, He lifts it through the death of scholars – until only the ignorant remain, confused and confusing others. – Sahih al-Bukhari

Islamic Scholars Fund

On behalf of everyone here at SeekersGuidance, please accept our gratitude for everything you have contributed.

Wasalaam,

The Development Team

SeekersGuidance: The Global Islamic Seminary

SeekersGuidance is 501(c)(3) registered Not for Profit. Donations are tax-deductible in the USA.

Ramadan: Constructing a Plan – Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Ustadh Amjad Tarsin gives key pointers on the importance of constructing a plan for Ramadan, in order to make the most of it, and how to do so.

Ramadan is a unique time of year. There’s no other time of year like it. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, he would push himself. He would strive and he would exert himself, Allah bless him and give him peace, in Ramadan that would surpass the way that he would exert himself outside of Ramadan. He would strive and exert himself, Allah bless him and give him peace, in the last ten nights of Ramadan more than he would exert himself in the rest of Ramadan.

There is this emphasis on action. Ramadan is a time that you step up your game as they say. You really pick up your slack and you strive and you exert yourself in a way that maybe you don’t exert yourself outside of Ramadan.

Three Point Plan for Ramadan

Part of our plan is we should get into this mental state where we say: Okay, I’m going to push my self a little harder. I’m going to cut out certain things from my life so that I can push myself a little bit harder. My weekends are going to be different. My school schedule or work schedule. My sleep schedule. I’m going to try to work it out in such a way that I can make the most of them. All of these things really make a difference.

As we mentioned, Ramadan is a madrasa. It’s like an intensive course, but it’s also like a marathon. It’s a month long. If it’s in the summer, it can be physically draining. But the thing that’s beautiful about Ramadan is that – I’m sure we’ve all felt this – after the first two or three days fasting actually becomes quite easy. And Ramadan comes with its own energy. It’s a blessing from Allah Most High.

Pace Yourself for the Long Run

If we were going to run a marathon or take an exam, we would prepare ourselves. We would say: Okay, the first X number of miles I’m going to go at this speed. The next number of miles I’m going to go at that speed. I’m going to take a little break. I’m going to slow down in the middle. Whatever it may be, you pace yourself.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “The most beloved actions to Allah are those that are most consistent, even if it’s a few.” So the point of Ramadan is not to push yourself so hard and then it is over you just give up.

Build for Consistency

Allah says that “fasting is prescribed upon you as it was prescribed on those before you so that you can grow in taqwa.” (Sura al Baqara 2:183) Let’s look at a couple of the layers of the the spiritual breezes and the mercies that Allah unites in this month.

Firstly, it’s the month of the Quran and it’s a month where, insha Allah, everyone in the Umma reconnects with the Qur’an on some level. The Qur’an is the center of everything for us. So we reconnect with the Qur’an. We come together as a community. And we stand for the majority of the night in prayer.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “Whoever fasts in Ramadan with faith, expecting and hoping for reward from Allah, then all their previous sins are forgiven. And whoever stands in Ramadan with faith, expecting and hoping for reward from Allah, then all their previous sins are forgiven.

So one of the aspects of Ramadan is the recitation of the Qur’an both individually and collectively in tarawih and reconnecting with it.

The Virtues of Recitation

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal had a dream of Allah and because the dream is a spiritual vision one can can see Allah. Imam Ahmad had many dreams about Allah. In one of his dreams he asked Allah: “O Allah, what is the the most beloved act to you>” And Allah said: “The recitation of My Book.” Then Imam Ahmed asked: “With understanding or without understanding?” And Allah said: “With understanding and with out understanding.”

This doesn’t mean that without understanding is as good as with understanding. But there’s a virtue, even if without understanding we are reciting the Qur’an with reverence, with love, with some sort of blessed intention, wanting something Allah. There’s great reward in that. For every letter there’s ten hasanat, there’s ten rewards. And then Allah multiplies that.

There was a woman who who had a lot of ta‘dhim (reverence) but she couldn’t read Arabic. She sometimes would just open up the Mushaf and look at it and touch the pages. Not that that’s as far as we should aspire, but she had that love and reverence for the Qur’an. She didn’t say: Oh, I don’t understand it so I’m not even going to look at it. No, she would look at and say how beautiful it is, and she would just look at the words and read whatever she could with that kind of of reverence for the Book of Allah Most High.

Plan Beyond Ramadan

Coming back to putting this within our plan. We should devise a way that we can recite the Qur’an regularly for the rest of the year. That’s something that we have to put in our minds from the jump. One way to look at Ramadan is that it’s like a honeymoon with the Qur’an, but after the honeymoon you still have to keep the love alive. Now you’re here after the honeymoon. You’re tied together. You have that pact and you have that union. And you have to keep it alive and the way to do that is to keep up consistency in small things.

It’s easy to recite the Qur’an in Ramadan and sometimes we recite great amounts of it or we set goals for ourselves. Whether it’s one khatm or two khatms, but the goal that we should also have is that we should have a long term relationship with the Qur’an. It’s something that we need every single day of our lives. So we should build that relationship during the honeymoon that is Ramadan, and build it to last.

Qiyam al Layl

Another aspect is standing in prayer. Subhan Allah, Qiyam al Layl becomes so easy in Ramadan and that is a proof that it is blessed. If you told people get up for Qiyam al Layl any other month of the year even in sacred days like the ten days of Ashura or the ten days of Muharram or the ten days of Dhu’l Hijja, or whatever it may be, it’s hard. But you tell them to do so in Ramadan and it’s like: I’m here!

The soul is almost rejuvenated like Habib Umar says: “Even smelling the sweet breezes of Ramadan is a blessing.” It is as if the soul is immediately rejuvenated when Ramadan enters. So coming together, increasing in our nafila, increasing in our extra acts of worship, as Habib Kadhim mentioned, is the way to increase our love for Allah.

We ask Allah for that, but the way that we do, the way that we take the means is bhy engaging in extra acts of worship. When one of the Sahaba asked the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, when the Prophet said, “Ask me anything you want. He said: “O Messenger of Allah, I ask you for your companionship in Paradise. I just want to be with you in the Garden.” And the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “Help me against your nafs with a lot of sujud (prostration).”

So you have people in our great and illustrious history like our master Zayn al Abidin, the great-grandson of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, who was known to do a thousand rak‘at of sujud a day. and they called him Zayn al Abidin: the adornment of worshipers, Allah be well pleased with him.

Roll Up Your Sleeves

If we want to get to the core of Ramadan, it’s a time where you just roll up your sleeves and you get to work. You just get busy. Get up and pray some rak‘ats. Recite the Qur‘an. If you can’t do that – in the case of our sisters, at certain times of the month they might not be able to – do those things then make dua. Say: la ilaha illa Allah. Say: Astaghfirullah. Turn to Allah Most High with your heart. Listen to a good lesson. Keep yourself in good company. Even duas that you are making in those days are especially powerful. Do whatever keeps you busy with whatever good you can muster.


Get ready for Ramadan with these SeekersHub On Demand courses that you can work through at your own pace: Ramadan On Demand courses.

Support SeekersHub Global as it reaches over 10,000 students each term through its completely free online courses. Make a donation, today. Every contribution counts, even if small: http://seekershub.org/donate/