The Passing of Dr. Fuad Nahdi

To Allah we belong and to him we shall return.  The world lost a senior activist, mentor to many.

It is with great sadness that we receive the news of the passing of our beloved friend Dr Fuad Nahdi (May Allah have mercy on him).

When I went to visit Dr Fuad during his illness in 2008, he said to me something that I will not forget, he said “I am not worried about my illness, I am worried about my adab with Allah during this illness.”

We share our condolences with the family especially his wife Humera, she went through a lot of difficulties… May Allah bless her and our dear children Sidi Nadir and Illyeh.

We beg our Lord to accept him and grant him a safe journey of wellbeing, such a journey that has a beginning but no end…

– His friend and close associate, the respected Shaykh Faid Said

 

Dr. Fuad Nahdi died today. A great man, a great friend, a great mentor, a tireless servant of the Prophetic Way of wisdom, mercy, balance, concern, love, and beauty. Someone who knew him had a dream in which the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk) said, “Sidi Fuad is a door of the dawah in the West…”

May Allah grant Dr. Fuad the very highest of Paradise, in close proximity to the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk), whom he loved deeply and dearly.

The eyes tear, the hearts hurt, but with contentment, and with complete certitude in the Most Merciful and Most Generous.

– Faraz Rabbani

written Saturday, March 21st, 2020

Watch Imam Khalid Latif: Give Your Zakat to the Islamic Scholars Fund Before Year-End.

Thank you for making 2019 a year in which you made a difference by so generously giving and supporting the work we do at SeekersGuidance.

With just a few days left in the year, please consider building on the profound impact you’ve made in 2019 with a Zakat donation that helps scholars and students of knowledge in need.

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Imam Khalid Latif speaks from the heart on the Islamic Scholars Fund:

  • He reiterates how so many people around the world have benefited from the work of SeekersGuidance.
  • He tells us how scholars are sacrificing their lives and their time, in order to give us the knowledge we need to live.
  • He’s seen these very scholars often working in refugee camps and war zones, or closer to home, luminaries of our tradition who are working at gas stations or driving cabs just to make ends meet.
  • He reminds us that if we knew what they possess in knowledge, we would flock to them, but they don’t have the support system they are deserving of.
  • The Islamic Scholars Fund plays such a critical role in supporting these individuals, through whom we will continue to draw close to our Creator.
  • They are the ones who will also cultivate a new generation of scholars who will carry this critical mission forward for our next generations.
  • They are the ones who won’t let us forget what we have in this religion.

Help us raise $500,000 by years end to support the most deserving and needy scholars, as well as students of knowledge around the world – young men and women who are devoting their lives to help keep the torch of the Prophetic tradition alive.

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.”

Can We Count on Your Help Today?

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Will you continue to support your passionate community of people who are changing lives by making Islamic Knowledge accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world, completely FREE of charge?

 

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

Shaykh Faraz Asks For Your Support of the Islamic Scholars Fund. There Is Still Time Before Year-End.

Please note that this article is out of date.

For an updated Islamic Scholars Fund report and more information about how this fund works please visit: https://seekersguidance.org/articles/prophetic-guidance/how-does-the-islamic-scholars-fund-isf-use-your-zakat-and-charitable-donations/

Global Impact Report: A Snapshot of the Growing, Global Impact Made Possible With Your Support

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SeekersGuidance presents our Global Impact Report. It expounds on our vision to build an Islamic Seminary with Global Impact while upholding the Prophetic ethos of making knowledge free and accessible to all those who seek it.

A letter from our founder, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, is included. He talks about the focus, the gradual and steady growth of SeekersGuidance, the challenge we are facing.

This is our impact & growth of the last 10 years

We also look at our impact in a concise top-level look

What We Do Reflects World Wide

On the Ground in Toronto

We have also enabled face to face time with notable scholars from around the world

What are we doing in 2020?

2020 continued…

Your support means the world, not in just numbers but in real impact to people’s lives

The Truly Global Seminary

Our Global Faculty

 

Your support will help to grow this impact

 

The Necessity of Islamic Institutions in the Modern Age – Imam Khalid Latif

The Need

“With modernity, people lose a depth of perspective that you can only see in one direction, either outward or inward… we’re supposed to be people who can see in both directions.”

Qualified Teachers

“Where you move from having somebody who is just a professor to a teacher: that they embody a sense of ethics, a sense of values, that you’re able to now recognize that they’re not just talking at you, but they live what it is that they’re inviting you towards.”

Traditional Learning

“You build and you grow and you increase through a systematized method of learning because it has an ends—that is not just about the learning itself but what the learning brings you towards and what it allows for you to do.”

Scale

“But the beauty of light is that it just takes a little bit of it to push away darkness.”

Global Impact

“You have men and women like those who run this facility… people have come up to me and mentioned them by name, saying that if not for them and what it is that they speak about and what it is that they give us access to and what it is that they teach us about religion—in countries where religion is heavily corporatized—I wouldn’t know how to deal with the depression that I had that was bringing me to a place where I was thinking of ending my life in this world, because I couldn’t find any way of getting out of it until I learned about God through a different prism.”

“They help us to deal with the challenges that our students bring us, our community brings us every day, rooted in realities that require us to see what it was that we were taught through a different prism through a different perspective. That’s the kind of work you’re being invited to support today; those are the kind of individuals who are building institutions that are set to live much much more beyond them… but where you have benefited become the means through which others can benefit, and to allow and understand for yourself that the house of God, the path of God, the book of God, anything that is qualified of God, is meant to not draw attentiveness to it but to draw attention towards God.”

Beautiful Facility

“You can come to places and spaces like this, and you walk into it and the remembrance of God is not something that gets forced upon you but you just feel it all around you. I walked in the SeekersGuidance facility today—and it was the first time that I’ve ever been in it—and every part of it just made me feel a familiarity and a recognition that turned me towards the Divine. There’s not a lot of places like that, especially in the world that we live in today. And it’s a testament to those who built it, but also those who frequent it. And what you have is unique, but you have to care for it, and you have to build it and grow it, so that it reaches beyond what even you can imagine it to become.”

 

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The Passing of Mufti Umer Esmail

We are deeply saddened at the news of the passing of one of our beloved teacher’s, Mufti Mohamed Umer Esmail. A religious scholar, community leader, and loving father and husband, he is survived by his wife and three daughters.

Let us pray for Mufti Umer and his family, may God grant him the highest levels of Jannah and may God’s Mercy shower his family and may the Razzaq, the Provider, provide for his family.

“Mufti Umer Esmail was a wonderful person, of gentleness, and good akhlaq. Much beloved by all those who knew him.”

– Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Help us raise $100,000 by the end of the week to support his estate in this challenging time. The funds raised will be through our Islamic Scholars Fund initiative and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to his family.

The Trodden Path (Episode 7): A Glimpse At the Lives of the Illustrious Scholars and Saints of the 20th and 21st Century – Umar Mukhtar

In this series, Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed of South Africa will take us on a journey through the lives and biographies of some of the most celebrated and well known scholars of the twentieth and twenty – first century. These historical accounts will provide us with refreshing insights and lessons, and motivate us to follow in the footsteps of our pious predecessors.


In this seventh episode of the The Trodden Path series, Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed writes on the life of Umar Mukhtar.

 Umar Mukhtar 1277-1350=1861-1931 (Libya)

Umar Mukhtar, the man who opposed the Italians when they tried to colonize Libya, was born in 1861 (1277) in the valley of Batnaan in Barqah. He was from one of the famous Arab tribes in the area. His father had taken an oath that if Allah granted him a son, he would ensure that he acquired knowledge and serves Islam.

When he was five years old, he joined a primary school to learn the basics in reading and writing. Thereafter he joined the Jaghbub Mosque corner (zawiyah) where he studied the Islamic sciences. Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Sanusi started the zawiyah.

Every zawiyah comprised of three rooms. The first was used to conduct lessons to the Bedouin children, the second was used to entertain the travelers and the third served as a residence for the teachers. The zawiyah was always situated next to a well and it had a small piece of land that was cultivated and farmed by the students. The students consumed that which they planted. It also included a small workshop where they produced some goods that were sold to some tribes. It was situated in a place where the students could practically learn about Jihad.

It was in this atmosphere and environment that Umar Mukhtar grew up. Sanusi teachings encouraged its students to abstain from smoking or amassing gold and jewels. They were not to mix with strangers, because of the fear that they would corrupt their beliefs. In addition they were very aware that Islam was not restricted to the five pillars. Instead, it included brotherhood, tolerance, sacrifice and jihad.

These aspects were visible particularly when Umar Mukhtar raised the banner of Jihad against the Italians when they tried to colonize the region.

After completing his studies he was appointed a teacher at the Qusoor zawiyah near the Green Mountain. Initially he faced a rebellious tribe of highway robbers who had no regard for the law. Because of the manner in which he dealt with them, he was able to repress their defiance and he returned them to life of compassion and tenderness. He was able to instill in them pure Islamic characteristics.

When Italy tried to colonize Libya, many Muslims stood up opposing it. One of them was Umar Mukhtar. He appealed to the Muslims to have a conference to prepare the people mentally and physically to fight the colonialists. His vast knowledge assisted him in motivating the people, with the result the people of Libya were changed overnight into an army fighting in the path of Allah under the leadership of Ahmad Al-Sanusi.

Umar Mukhtar and those with him in spite of being few in number with limited resources resisted the Italians with their might. The number of Muslim martyrs in the first ten years, (1911-1921) were more than 70 000. The Italians used to throw some Muslims to their death from airplanes. They also gathered many Muslims and tied them to boats and dragged them in the sea. In addition they slaughtered and butchered hundreds of Muslims.

Umar Mukhtar led the Jihad against the Italians for twenty years until he was captured and imprisoned and sentenced to death in 1931 when he was seventy years old. 

General Istiyani said that he fought 263 battles against Umar Mukhtar in a period of twenty months. Even magazines like the ‘Time’ regarded the killing of Umar Mukhtar as an indication of the Italian’s victory.

When the Italians took over the city of Kafra, Umar Mukhtar took refuge on the ‘Green Mountain’ which he also used as his base.

One night, he went out on an operation along with fifty mujahids. They were taken by surprise when they found themselves surrounded by Italian soldiers. They exchanged gunfire, during which his horse was shot and wounded. When his horse fell, the Italians were then able to capture him. The Italian Governor in Marj arrived by plane, and ordered that Umar Mukhtar be taken to the port and from there he was taken to Benghazi. He remained in prison for four days. When his sentence was passed and he heard all the allegations against him, he did not deny it, instead he said, “You have transgressed and acted in hostility on our land. Islam has made Jihad compulsory on us against the usurpers of our land. I did not do anything except carry out the teachings of Islam, because Islam refuses and does not allow its followers to be disgraced.”

The Italian judge pronounced the sentence. The next day he was taken to the area where he was to be hanged. He continued to recite the Shahadah until he passed away. This was in 1931.


Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed is a well respected South African Islamic scholar who lives in Pretoria, South Africa. He studied at the King Saud University in Riyadh and the faculty of Shariah at the Islamic University of Madina. He has attained a M.A. in Islamic Studies from the University of South Africa. Through his extensive travels he has met and benefited from many senior scholars from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, India, Turkey etc. He has received numerous Ijazahs from the various scholars that he has met, studied with and served. He is currently a senior educator at the al – Ghazzali College in Pretoria.

He has authored two books:

  1. Muslim Scholars of the 20th Century.
  2. Muslim Scholars of the 21st Century.

He was one of the translators of Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad Alawi al – Maliki’s work: The Way of the True Salaf.


 

SeekersGuidance Islamic Scholars Fund

Please note that this article is out of date.

For an updated Islamic Scholars Fund report and more information about how this fund works please visit: https://seekersguidance.org/articles/prophetic-guidance/how-does-the-islamic-scholars-fund-isf-use-your-zakat-and-charitable-donations/

Review of “The Rise of the Scholarly Gig Economy and Fall of Community Development” – Nurulain Wolhuter

In a recent article in Muslim Matters, Shaykh Osman Umarji highlights the plight of many scholars of sacred knowledge who give up their careers and livelihoods to study abroad and subsequently return to the West to teach the Muslim community. Instead of being honored and respected for their sacrifices, they face criticism and complaints. Instead of being compensated generously for their services, most of them do not receive a living wage. They are not able to provide sufficiently for themselves and their families, many living in cramped one-bedroomed apartments. As a result, many of them are forced to forsake their teaching and service to the community. They retrain, take up secular work, or brand themselves as the providers of specialist services to the community, usually in exchange for a considerable fee. So spiritual growth and religious knowledge become the domain of the elite of the community, and the poorer members are marginalised.

Muslims Should Rethink the Value of a Religious Scholar

Shaykh Osman takes the view that we must “rethink the value of a religious scholar in our community as an investment, not a charity cause”. Scholars should be regarded as professionals who bring specialist skills to their positions. They should be paid a market-related wage that takes account of their levels of education and experience, as well as differences in the cost of living in different areas. They should also be given medical insurance and retirement plans. In addition, consideration should be given to the establishment of a scholars’ union that provides guidelines for remuneration.

He concludes by pointing to the spiritual and intellectual crisis that is besetting the Western Muslim community, with the incursion of un-Islamic world-views, and emphasizes the importance of sound scholars. If the community is not willing to value its scholars by paying them a reasonable wage, this crisis will cement into a permanent dearth of sacred knowledge.

Commendable Work By Muslim Matters

Muslim Matters is to be commended for highlighting one of the most fundamental challenges facing the contemporary Muslim community in the West. The community’s lack of support for its scholars, at an individual level, is replicated by its lack of support for organisations and initiatives that seek to raise funds to support such scholars. The Islamic Scholars Fund at SeekersGuidance, and many other organisations like it, struggle to raise funds for their scholars precisely because they are not valued and respected. A change of attitude is necessary to protect the community from sliding into the secularism and materialism that is the fabric of the broader American society, and which is at odds with the Islamic way of life. May Allah Most High transform all our hearts and open our hands this Ramadan to give generously to those without whom the Muslim community cannot continue to exist.

 

To read the Muslim Matters article, click here.


The Islamic Scholars Fund at SeekersGuidance aims to create an infrastructure to support the scholars’ efforts to attend to the community’s pressing needs: by researching, writing, teaching, and responding to questions. Please take a moment of your time this Ramadan to make a generous contribution to the Zakat fund at SeekersGuidance.com/donate. Whatever you give is worthy. As God reminds us in the Qur’anic verse, “…whatever good you may spend will be repaid unto you in full, and you shall not be wronged” (Qur’an, 2:272).


 

Support SeekersGuidance’s Islamic Scholars Fund – Ibn Ali Miller

Ibn Ali Miller urges you to support SeekersGuidance’s Islamic Scholars Fund.

He laments that many people only donate in Ramadan, while the Fund supports scholars and students work year round.

Ibn Ali explains that if we donate now, these scholars and students will be able to do their jobs during the holy month. “You should never make the teachers ask,“ he reminds, “and you should never make the students beg.”

If we can keep the dignity and honour of the scholars and students, our deen and the message of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) will continue to move forward.

Ibn Ali closes calling on all of us—before the distractions of Ramadan set in—to donate today.