Living Simply: Evaluation of the Self

Part Five: An Internal Audit

By Shaykh Farid Dingle

In order to get through life with ease, the early Muslims (salaf) focused on certain key ways of living that would make it spiritually and practically easier and more fruitful. They coined a term for the variegated rules that they lived by, a term that summarized the system of living for the Hereafter. They called it zuhd: detachment from this world. For the purpose of this article series, we have found the best match in terms of meaning to be asceticism. Other terms to describe zuhd are indifference towards worldly matters or simple or minimal living. This is the fifth article from a series of articles and podcasts by SeekersGuidance scholar, Shaykh Farid Dingle.

Introduction to Asceticism (Part One)

Listening More, Talking Less (Part Two)

Entertaining Ourselves to Death (Part Three)

Being Extremely Moderate (Part Four)

In this episode, Imam Waki sheds light on the necessity of being very frank with oneself and measuring one’s life, inwardly and outwardly, against the clear standards of the Sacred Law. This requires introspection, determination, and honesty, which results in a tremendous increase in faith. The consequences of letting oneself live one’s life with no checks and balances are sins and regrets.


“A man is not considered to have fear of Allah until he audits his life as he would his partner’s accounts: he has to know exactly where his clothes, food, and drink come from” (Maymun ibn Mihran).

 

These opening words of this chapter summarize the whole topic of monitoring and evaluating oneself on a religious and spiritual level. Firstly, it introduces the concept of self-accountability and the need to critically review one’s life on a regular basis. Secondly, it tells us of the objective and non-partisan stance one must have in order to make any constructive criticism of oneself: one must step outside oneself and demand one’s rights from oneself with absolute transparency, just as if one were a partner in business. Thirdly, it defines the most important items to be assessed: one’s food and drink. They are crucial, as what one consumes has a direct effect on one’s actions. Allah Most High says, 

“O messengers, eat of the goodly and do righteous deeds” (Qur’an, 23:51).

 

Imam Waki then moves on to a hadith that explains the need for self-assessment. The hadith that he mentions breaks down everyone who has ever lived on earth into four categories: two are good, and two are bad. The hadith states: “In this life, there are just four people: a slave whom Allah gives both money and knowledge who then acts according to his knowledge and spends what is due in [his wealth]. The next is a slave whom Allah gave knowledge but did not give wealth. He says to himself, ‘If I only had money like this one, I would have done what [the first] did.’ The two will have the same reward. [The third] is a slave for whom Allah provided money but did not give knowledge, so he flounders around wasting his money in ignorance and does not spend what is due in [his wealth]. [The last] is a slave whom Allah neither gave wealth nor knowledge. He says to himself, ‘If I only had the money, I would do everything that [the third] does. So the two are alike in sin” (Ibn Majah). Now besides the obvious relationship between monitoring oneself and doing good or bad, this hadith highlights an important point, and that is how important and significant intentions are. By having the same intentions, two people had exactly the same reward. It is only prudent, therefore, that when we monitor our record of good and bad deeds, we are to be exceptionally careful about our intentions. Intentions are the source of all actions, and ultimately of our being saved or damned.

Being honest with oneself and taking a frank look at how one spends one’s days and nights is at the heart of faith. Waki cites Ammar ibn Yasir, “

Whoever has three things has true faith: being honest with oneself, spending when poor, and giving greetings of peace to scholars.”

 

In this context of being frank with oneself, the author mentions a hadith, “Whoever wants to be saved from Hellfire and be entered into Paradise, let him die believing in Allah and the Last Day, and let him do unto others what he would have done unto himself.” How often it is that we do things that are technically halal, but we would never wish that they be done to us? Such actions require a critical moral eye to be sifted out of our lives.

To complete this portrait of self-criticism that Waki has drawn for us from the early Muslims, it is worth adding some other complementary quotes:

Umar ibn al-Khattab said, “Take yourself to task while things are easy before things get tough. Whoever does so will be in keeping with Allah’s pleasure and his matter will be in an enviable position. Whoever just lets his life distract him and his whims busy him, his matter will be regret and loss.”

 

Hasan al-Basri said, “A slave will be well as long as there is a voice within him admonishing him to do good, and as long as his concern is keeping himself in check.”

Abu Yazid al-Bustami said, “For twelve years I was the blacksmith of my self, and five years the polisher of the mirror of my heart, and for one year I was looking in that mirror and I saw about my waist the girdle of unbelief. I tried hard to cut it and I spent twelve years in that effort. Then I looked in the mirror and I saw a girdle within me. I spent five years cutting it. Then I spent one year looking at what I had done. Then everything was shown to me and I saw all people as if they were dead. I prayed ‘Allahu Akbar’ over them four times.” That is to say that he no longer saw any point in fearing them or trying to earn their approval, and no longer saw them capable of harming or benefiting him. His long years of refining his soul paid off and his faith reached the highest level it could.

 


About the Author

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language which can be found here. 

The corresponding podcast is due for release soon.

 

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How to Fall in Love with Allah – Habib Umar bin Hafiz

How To Fall In Love with Allah

Habib Umar bin Hafiz

In the Name of Allah, the Encompassingly Merciful, the Particularly Merciful. All praise belongs to Allah. May the best of blessings and most perfect of peace be upon our master Muhammad ibn Abdullah, and upon his followers, his companions, and all those guided by his teachings.

The following article is taken from a lesson by illuminated scholar Habib Umar bin Hafiz. Can we truly love Allah if we do not know him? A short reminder that loving Allah requires effort, knowledge, and preference of Allah over other things.

 

Love of Allah

There is no one more deserving of your love than the Most Merciful, who has created you and originated you from nothingness and bestowed upon you blessings. 

Love is the consequence of knowing. So, to the extent one knows the tremendousness and might of Allah Most High and gifts upon one, is to the extent that one will know and love one’s Lord.

A believer’s love does not become complete until they love Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) above else.

Say [Prophet], ‘if your fathers, sons, brothers, wives, tribes, the wealth that you acquired, the trade which you fear will decline and the dwelling you love are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and the struggle in His cause then wait until Allah brings about His punishment.’ Allah does not guide those who break away.

(Qur’an, 9:24)

In the above verse, Allah Most High is pointing out the corruption of those who love any of these things more than Allah and His Messenger. 

One must love those beloved to Allah and the most deserving of this love is the greatest of Allah’s creation His beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and the reality of this love cannot be expressed nor encompassed.

For the person in love with things other than Allah Most High has many expressions, states. One gets enraptured, taken and does wondrous things in expressing their love for creation and love takes one’s emotions, feelings, and thoughts.

Even so, there are some who choose to worship besides Allah as rivals to Him, loving them with love due only to Allah, but those who believe are more intense in their love of Allah.

(Qur’an, 2:165)

But those who believe are more intense in their love for Allah. To the extent of faith and knowing [Allah], is one’s love. For faith is connected to knowing [Allah]. To the extent that one’s faith increases when one’s knowledge increases.

 

To Know Allah

Knowing Allah Most High is acquired through proper reflection and contemplation on the speech of Allah and His Messenger. From sincerely directing oneself to Him and standing at the door of His Bounty and Grace through what He has ordained of acts of worship and by reflecting on the tremendousness of His Names and Attributes, Mighty and Majestic.

And reflecting on His creation and His fashioning, exalting thereby their Originator and Unique Creator. So if one’s reflection becomes good and its horizons expand, then one’s knowledge of Allah increases, and it is necessarily entailed by increasing in the knowledge of Allah to increase in love of Him.

By expanding one’s knowledge of Allah, one’s love becomes more expansive and stronger until Allah and His Messenger become more beloved to one than all else. 

As one’s love increases, one’s remembrance increases. For if one loves something, they make much mention of it and through much remembrance, one’s intimacy with the one remembered increases. 

So, remember me, I will remember you, and be thankful to me and do not disbelieve.

(Qur’an, 2:152)

 

Sign of Love

And the sign of love is preferring Allah. Preferring Allah and His command over all other commands and above all the desires of the self, and overall the wishes and inclinations of one’s caprice and desires. That is the sign of one’s love. Becoming deeply engaged in one’s remembrance is also a sure sign of love.

It is mentioned that one of the Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them all) asked His lord, “Give me a sign [to indicate] those whom You love, so that I love them, and those you don’t love, so that I don’t love them.” Allah Most High said, “If you see a servant loving my remembrance then know that I have been witness that I love them. And when you see a servant who does not remember me then know that I have not proclaimed it, and I do not love them.”

Allah Most High gives worldly matters to those He loves and those He doesn’t, but He only gives religion to those He loves. Truly the servant’s love for Allah is their honor, rank, dignity, and the means for their eternal felicity in this life and in the next.

So let us become attached to the love of Allah and let us be under the realities of Allah’s words: “and those who believe are more intense in their love of Allah.” And let us increase in love for Allah and His Messenger through fasting, standing in prayer, and all other acts of worship. For, as knowledge of Allah increases, love increases.

O Allah, free our hearts from being attached to other than You, and make us from people whom You love and who loves You.

 

 

About the Author

Habib Umar bin Hafiz is an Yemeni Sunni Islamic scholar, teacher, founder, and the dean of Dar al-Mustafa Islamic seminary. He is also a member of the Supreme Advisory Council for the Tabah Foundation in Abu Dhabi.

Habib Umar bin Hafiz was born on 27 May 1963 in Tarim, Yemen, and raised in a household that possessed a tradition and lineage of Islamic scholarship and righteousness by his father. His father was Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz, a Habib and mufti of Tarim, a pious caller to Islam, scholar, and a martyr of the communist uprising. He is a Sayyid (a descendant of the Islamic Prophet), through his grandson Hussein ibn Ali.

The 17 Benefits of Tribulation

 

In this article, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani summarizes “The Benefits of Tribulation” by one of the great scholars of Islam: Sultan al-Ulema al-Izz ibn Abd al-Salam (Allah be well pleased with him). This discussion took place at the beginning of the pandemic as a reminder for all of us on the attitude we should embody in the face of hardships.

The following has been transcribed (and in parts, paraphrased) from this lecture. Shaykh Faraz describes the benefits and, in parts, weaves in his own experience.


Are There Tests in Life?

Tests are essential to the life of this world. Allah (Most High) tells us that He is “the One who has created death and life to test you” (Qur’an, 67:2).

Testing is from the very wisdom of life. This is why one of the great early Muslims, Abu Abdullah as-Saji (Allah be pleased with him) advises: if you wish to be of the abdal – the unique servants of Allah or the highest of the categories of the beloved servants of Allah then love what Allah has willed. And what Allah wills; He manifests. Because then nothing will befall from Allah’s decree and his judgments, except that you will find it beloved to you.

This is one of the ways of becoming one of the truly beloved servants of Allah (Most High). We will look at this treatise of al-Izz ibn Abdus Salam (Allah be pleased with him), which is about tests and trials and tribulations. And he mentioned 17 virtues.

 

The First Benefit: To Know Divine Lordship

The first of the benefits is to know Divine Lordship and the overwhelming Power of Allah; in his grasp are all things. If we begin to imagine we are in charge and we have built this and we have done that; Allah will send us things that show us who is the Lord.

 

The Second Benefit: To Know the Weakness of Slavehood

The second benefit is related to the first; it is to know the weakness and loneliness of slavehood. Who are we? We are Allah’s weak creation.

 

The Third Benefit: To Acquire Sincerity

The third is acquiring sincerity. Allah (Most High) tells us; “and if Allah touches you with hurt, there is none to lift it except him” (Qur’an, 6:17).

Even just the expression, “if Allah touches you with hurt” (wa in yamsaska), that if the difficulties that befall us result in us getting shaken up; realize that we are just being touched by it! It could be a lot more intense, a lot more encompassing. This is just a touch. “When they ride the stormy ocean, they call upon Allah making their devotion purely for his sake alone” (Qur’an, 29:65). Thus, the wisdom of the stormy oceans of life is that it makes the heedless servant of Allah conscious of Allah, the heedless servant becomes sincere.

 

The Fourth Benefit: To Penitently Turn to Allah

The fourth benefit is to penitently turn to Allah and to direct oneself towards Him. “When the human is touched by hurt, they call upon their Lord turning penitently to him” (Qur’an, 39:8). Do not look at the pain, look at what it is a means for – of ‘Inaba’ (penitently turning) to Allah. And what does penitently returning to Allah result in? Finding the closeness of Allah (Most High).

 

The Fifth Benefit: To Humble Yourself in Front of Allah

The fifth benefit of tests and tribulations is that one humbles oneself and beseeches Allah and calls upon Allah (Most High). Allah tells us; “when the human is touched by any hurt, they call upon us” (Qur’an, 39:49). Meaning of course, that when things are easy, most people do not turn to Allah. That is a mercy from Allah (Most High). Why? Because we are given to heedlessness. And even those with the weakest of faith realize this. “Say who is there who can save you from the darkness of land and sea? Whom you call upon, beseeching Him, imploring Him in your fear” (Qur’an, 6:63), and that’s Allah (Most High).

 

The Sixth Benefit: You Acquire Forbearance 

The sixth benefit is that you acquire forbearance, in Arabic: “Hilm.” One is forbearing with the one tested, but the one tested becomes forbearing. Why? Because when you cannot do anything about the difficulty, you are forced to not react and wait it out, and that is forbearance – “Hilm.” Not that you are not shaken by things, but you wait for their unfolding. The early Muslims would say forbearance is the foremost of traits of character. “Indeed, Ibrahim is ever (in treating us) yearning for us and deeply forbearing” (Qur’an, 9:114).

Tests train one in forbearance, inclemency, and calm. Because what else are you going to do? It is a training ground for forbearance. As the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to al-’Ashaj ‘Abd al-Qays; a companion who was part of one of the delegations that came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), “you have two traits that are beloved to Allah. You have forbearance and circumspection.” The key is circumspection: you think things through, you are not hasty.

 

The Seventh Benefit: You Overlook the Mistakes of Others

A seventh benefit is the opportunity to overlook those who err against you. That is one of the qualities of those beloved to Allah, “those who overlooked what others do” (Qur’an, 3:134). For example, someone accidentally did something to you and made a big mistake. But instead of reacting to the mistake or responding to the mistake, you took the opportunity to take the high road and you got the great reward of overlooking their mistake. “so, whoever overlooks and rectifies, their reward is upon Allah” (Qur’an, 42:40). And this applies to situations particularly in which someone committed a mistake, such as if someone got very upset with you, and it was not reasonable, but you overlooked it.

 

The Eight Benefit: You Learn Patience 

The eighth benefit of tests and tribulations is the opportunity to have patience in the tribulation. This patience in tribulation necessarily results in the promise of Allah; in the love of Allah (Most High) in immeasurable reward. Why? Because Allah (Most High) says; “Allah truly loves those who remain steadfastly patient” (Qur’an, 3:146).

The steadfastly patient are only given their reward beyond measurement, the only way they are rewarded is in a manner that is beyond measurement. It does not enter any expressible measurement; it comes from our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) that no one was granted any gift that is better or more expansive than patience or steadfastness. This is related by Imam Bukhari and others.

 

The Ninth Benefit: You Have the Opportunity to Rejoice 

The ninth benefit of having tests, trials, tribulations, loss, and difficulties is that you rejoice in the test because of its benefits. Our beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “truly those before you used to rejoice in tribulations as you rejoice in ease” (Ibn Majah).

Why? Because the smart person is the one whose heart is connected to consequences. If you get sick and you get medicine; the fool complains “oh my goodness, I have to have this medicine it is bitter!” But it is an effective medicine. The intelligent person will be happy, why? Because this medicine will be a means to their healing, the bitterness is not the concern. it is fleeting.

Ibn Masud (Allah be pleased with him) said: “What a great thing are the are two disliked matters; death and poverty. The righteous before you rejoiced in them because the difficulty does not hurt you and their bitterness does not hurt you if it is compared to their fruits and their benefits”.

This is a general sunnah of our faith; to rejoice. That is one of the amazing sunnahs that in times that appeared most difficult historically, the Ulema emphasized to people the importance of gratitude and rejoicing in Allah (Most High). Saydi Abdul Hassan as-Shadhili (Allah be pleased with him) was blind, but he participated in some battles against the eastern hordes that were invading the Muslim lands as they caused chaos and commotion. He fought even though he was blind! He participated in the jihad! But those were difficult times, and he built his spiritual path around rejoicing in Allah. You find a similar pattern in the life of Molana Rumi; why did he build his path around the love of the divine and expression of this joy of slavehood? Because everybody was down, everybody was going through difficult times around him.

That is really important, and that is part of the ingratitude of the human being. We see one thing that we have, one thing that we dislike, or even that we are not even touched by it – where is your rejoicing in all that which Allah has blessed you with? Reflect on the wisdom of everything in existence being in orbit, it is as if all of existence is expressing a state of ecstasy and rejoicing at the gift of existence. So, if you consider; what about the gift of life? What about the gift of faith?

 

The Tenth Benefit: The Intrinsic Benefit in the Tribulation

The tenth benefit of tribulation is gratitude for the tribulation because of its benefits; just as the sick person thanks the doctor who cuts a limb that needed cutting. For example, there is a doctor who cuts open someone’s father and takes out his kidney because he needed a kidney transplant. But are they sad by the fact that they lost their kidney or are they grateful that this is a means of healing? They have gratitude because of what one is expecting of consequent healing.

Similarly, the servant sees that these tests and this prevention is a means of eternal reward from Allah (Most High); so, one has gratitude. “If Allah loves a servant, he sends him trials” – one sees the trial as also being a gift from Allah (Most High).

It is said that the difference between the grateful and the truly grateful is that the grateful person is someone who has active gratitude for every clear blessing. Everything that is clearly a blessing; you have active gratitude for it; you are of the grateful believers. And that is not easy.

That requires reflecting (muhasaba), what is everything Allah has blessed me with? How do I express calm comprehensive gratitude? Not just now, but what he blessed me with before.

This is why when someone came from the tribe of Bani Sa’d, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stood up, took off his cloak, and put it down for her to sit on. Why? That person did not do anything, but she was an infant when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was an infant, and she was related to Sayyida Halima (Allah be pleased with Her).

Ibn Tuloon has a treatise that Halima came and believed in the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), there are sound hadiths about it. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would send gifts to old friends of Sayyida Khadijah (Allah be pleased with Her); they did not do anything for him! But they were friends with his wife.

That is thankfulness, and to be thankful is not easy. That is something we should all commit to, but higher than being thankful is to be grateful, not just for the obvious blessings but the things that do not appear to be blessings. You are grateful for both easy and pleasing things and stressful things.

Why? Because Allah is giving you both in what he obviously gives you but also in his withholding. As Ibn Ata-illah says, “if you can behold Allah’s giving when he appears to be withholding, then his withholding becomes from giving itself.” Why? What is he giving you? All these gifts above, to recognize his Lordship, to reflect on his name’s, to recognize your weakness, and neediness, to cultivate sincerity, to turn to Him… All these gifts!

 

The Eleventh Benefit: Sins are Forgiven

The eleventh benefit is that tests wipe away sins and shortcomings. “All that befalls of distress is through what your own hands have wrought, and he wipes away much” (Qur’an, 42:30). A lot of the Ulema explain that Allah wipes away much of the sins that you do through your patience in difficulties.

There are numerous hadiths of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) if you look in the chapter of patience in Riyad us-Saliheen: the believer is not touched by any distress nor hardship – even the worries that affect them and the thorn that pricks them except that Allah will expiate for you through it from your ill deeds. With one condition; patience without objection.

 

The Twelfth Benefit: You Become Merciful to Others

The twelfth benefit of tribulations he says: Allah sending you tests is to stir within you mercy for those who are being tested and to help them in their distress. People right now are going around and freaking out about being short of toilet paper.

You realize that there are hundreds of millions of people around the world that do not have basic sanitation and we are worrying about whether we can get enough toilet paper!

There is a state in India wherein all local elections they made a rule: that the only candidates that could run were people who had toilets in their homes. Why? Because they are having a major health crisis, it was the norm (people just not using the toilet) and not because they didn’t want to, not that they were being lazy, but because these people have poverty in many regions in that state. And we take all these things for granted! There is at least one in seven people in the world that do not have access to clean water.

We are not worried about our water supply right now; may Allah protect it. So, part of this then is that when you have a little bit of a test; think of those who have difficulty, have mercy on them, and actively assist them in their tribulation. Express your concern. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in a hadith related in the Muwatta of Imam Malik said: “people are between those who are in wellness and those who are in tribulation, so have mercy to those in tribulation and have gratitude to Allah for wellness.”

That is the adab – that people are between those in states of wellness and those in states of tribulation. Have mercy for those in tribulation. One of the worst innovations (bida) is when you decide to judge why people are dealing with or having difficulties. “Do you say about Allah what you do not know?” (Qur’an, 2:80). Why do you know? How do you know why Allah is testing particular people? How do you know?  How do you know? And all of this is the test for you, how are you responding? The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told us “people are between those in wellness and those in tribulation, so have mercy for those in tribulations and have gratitude to Allah for your wellness” (Bukhari). When you ever see someone in tribulation, remind yourself of wellness.

There is a beautiful dua that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us; “if you see someone who is being tested And the greatest test is in ones’ faith, the Shafi’s mentioned that if you see a disbeliever, make this dua: “All praise is due to Allah who granted us wellness from what he tested so much of its creation and granted us great rank over so much of his creation.”

Imagine the existence as some little critter, just to get randomly squashed… Are you ever afraid of being squashed by something when you are walking down the street? No! Nobody sprays you with pesticides.

I remember once with Sheikh Mohammed Juma’, we were sitting in the Umawi mosque; we’re having class and these Christian Priests came in with these long cloaks. I thought they were just coming out of the middle ages. These long cloaks; the whole cloak from the top of their head, with a big cross. He just looked at them teary-eyed and is repeating this dua; “all praise is due to Allah who granted us wellness from what he has tested so much of his creation from.” And his creation; they are not just human beings, think about the animals, many creatures do not last a whole season let alone a whole year! Imagine if you were a butterfly and you were stuck in one of those intermediate stages like you think it will be boring being at home? How long do they stay in their cocoon? And not much to do in there. Of all things but Allah made us human. Imagine if you were a bear and woke up in the middle of hibernation, like go back to sleep. “Be grateful to Allah for wellness.”

 

The Thirteenth Benefit: You Learn the Worth of Wellness

The thirteenth benefit he says is that tribulations remind us and help us know the great worth of wellness and to have greater gratitude for wellness. Blessings are not typically known by their true worth until when one loses out on them.

 

The Fourteenth Benefit: The Reward in the Hereafter

The fourteenth benefit of tests and tribulations is Allah’s reward in the Hereafter. We are just talking about the dunya right now, this is the short-term reward and the short-term benefits. But what is the true benefit? It is the reward in the Hereafter.

In truth, the reward for any action is not in this life because what Allah has prepared for His believing servants does not fit in this world. There is no actual reward in this life and there is no actual punishment in this life, but rather these are indicators for us. Rewards are eternal, even for the smallest of things! This is why the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said; “never deem anything of the good to be small.” Why? Because that good; what is its consequence? Eternal reward!

That is who you are dealing with. Imagine if you did a favor to someone and from that moment till the end of their life – they are always thanking you! Just for one thing you did! That is just till the end of their life, just one action into eternity – you have reward after its multiplication at least ten-fold.

 

The Fifteenth Benefit: That Which is Within of Subtle Benefits

The fifteenth benefit of tribulations is what is within the tribulation of subtle benefits. It may be that you feel the bitterness of it, but you now may not see the subtle benefits of it. Allah (Most High) tells us of the above as a reality in the Qur’an; “it may well be that you dislike something and Allah places in it tremendous good” (Qur’an, 2:216).

You may dislike something, but you do not know what the outcome is. Sometimes the greatest blessings in our lives begin with bitterness. How many a person – their marriage failed, but that was the greatest blessing they had! How many a person lost a job, and it opened doors for them that they could never have imagined.

It happens all the time, that’s why in the Istikhara: after we ask Allah for the good and its facilitation and to turn us away from harm we say; “destine the good wherever it may be” because the good may be in the apparent good that we’re seeking, but the good may be in the things you didn’t want, and then we say; “make me content with it.”

“It may well be that you dislike something, and it is better for you” (Qur’an, 2:216).

An example of that is the story of Sayyida Hajar (May Allah be well pleased with Her). Ibrahim (Allah have mercy on him) was commanded to leave her in the middle of the desert. To us, nothing could be worse than that! And it was painful for him to walk away. She just asked; “did your lord command this?” And it was heavy for a Prophet of Allah to walk away but she told him, “continue to where your Lord has commanded you.” It seems to be a tribulation, but that was the result says al-Izz ibn Abd al-Salam for the birth of Sayyidana Ismail (Allah have mercy on him) and that was the means for the coming of Rasulullah (peace and blessings be upon him).

One of the poets said, “how many great blessings are folded up for you between the folds of tribulation” but you must pay attention to it. As Ibn Ata says: “The fool looks at the clouds and complains that it is cloudy, but the wise person is the one that when they see the clouds – they realize that this will bring good fruit down the road.” The fool complains about the clouds, the simpleton claims that it will rain – but the wise person recognizes the outcomes.

 

The Sixteenth Benefit: Trials Prevent One from Evil

The sixteenth benefit of tribulations is that tribulations and hardship prevent one from evil and haughtiness. You are not able to do what you were able to do before. The tribulation prevents you from arrogance and haughtiness and pride and arrogance.

A l-Izz ibn Abd al-Salam says:

Imagine if Nimrod the ruler, who was against Ibrahim (Allah have mercy on him), was poor and weak and deaf and blind; would he have argued with Ibrahim (Allah have mercy on him) about his lord? No! it is only ease and strength that causes people to inflate and arrogate. Many many of the wrongs that we do; the tests and trials in different ways curb our bad tendencies.

That is why Ibn Ata says; “whoever doesn’t direct themselves to Allah with the garlands of divine grace’s will be dragged to him in the chains of tribulation” but the chains of tribulation too are great blessings from Allah (Most High) in different ways. And one is that they prevent one from turning away, from running away.

If Pharos (Firoun) had been tested with poverty and sickness and weakness and loss of power he would not have claimed:” I am your lord almighty” (Qur’an, 79:24) because he would see his abject weakness, and there are countless examples. How? Because one of the key causes of the human turning away is thinking they have no need. “Truly the human goes beyond all limits when they see themselves as having no need” (Qur’an, 96:6-7), and this is one of the characteristics of all people who went astray. He gives many examples and this why he says here “the poor and the needy, they are the elect servants of Allah and the followers of the Prophets” and for these tremendous benefits, the author says: our Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said; “the people most intensely tested are the Prophets (peace be upon Them), then the righteous, then the foremost after them, and then the foremost after them.” The hadith is related in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad.

The Prophets (peace be upon Them), were called mad and magicians and sorcerers, and they were mocked and derided,” but they remain steadfast regarding what they were denied about and heard about” (Qur’an, 6:34).

“Do you imagine you will enter Paradise and there has not come to you the like of what came to or befell those who were before you? And they were tested with distress and difficulty and they were shaken as if by an earthquake until the very Prophet amongst them and the believers close to him ask ‘when is Allah’s victory?’ Indeed, Allah’s victory is close” (Qur’an, 2:214). That is a divine promise and many of the verses in the Qur’an are about Allah (Most High) testing us and highlighting all these pearls of wisdom.

Likewise, if we consider the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), his tests began before he was born! He lost his father before he himself was born (peace and blessings be upon him)! Thereafter, he lost his mother, then his grandfather, and one loss and difficulty after another. His uncle loved him, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) proposed to his uncle’s daughter. But his uncle Abu Talib rejected the proposal of the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)! Years later, she asked to marry him (peace and blessings be upon him), but then he was not able to marry her. Moment of ease from distress in the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), what do you find? “Constantly cheerful (peace and blessings be upon him).”

Sayidda Aisha (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) did not eat bread from barley on any two consecutive days; sometimes an entire month would pass, and not one fire was lit to cook food in any of the houses of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). And all the tribulations in his life; it was within his lifetime that the false Prophets; Musailama and Tulayha and al-Ansi and these others appeared and all the different tribulations that he witnessed befalling his companions. He himself was poisoned (peace and blessings be upon him).

It has come from the Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), “the example of the believer is like the example of the crop, the wind continues to blow it in one direction and the other, likewise the believer keeps being afflicted with tribulations one time in this direction one time in that.” And this hadith is related by Bukhari and Muslim and there are many similar hadiths.

So, the situations of difficulty and tribulations are means (he said) for the servant to go to Allah (Most High). And times of wellness and ease could well be causes for a servant to turn away from Allah (Most High).

As Allah warns us, “in difficulty and distress, they call upon Allah with sincerity, but when we lift distress from them, they return as if nothing had ever happened” (Qur’an, 10:12). Now people are rationing, this morning one of the kids went to the supermarket and they are only letting twenty people in at a time.

What did the righteous do? The Prophets (peace be upon Them) chose to do with less of this world – out of choice! Many of the companions (sahaba) – look at Uthman ibn Affan (Allah be pleased with him) who was so wealthy he funded a whole army, but how did he live? Exceedingly simply. Why? Not because he did not have one, but he chose the way of poverty.

Imam ‘Abd il-Kabir al-Kitani, in his abridgment of the Shama’il, says; “anyone who says that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was poor committed disbelief.” Now we do not call someone a disbeliever for that, we just say just they do not get it. But why? Because did the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) choose poverty? Yes, did he choose to do without food? Did he choose hunger? Yes, but what does Allah say about him? In Surah Duha: “and he found you in need and he freed you of all need” (93:8), he chose the way of poverty.

That’s why the righteous chose to do with less food, and less drink, and less of the pleasures, and less when it came to their dress, and less in terms of marital pleasures, and less when it came to social gatherings, and less when it came to dwellings, and less when it came to their means of transportation and so on. Why? To be in a state that would keep them close to returning to Allah (Most High).

 

The Seventeenth Benefit: Attainment of Contentment

The final and greatest benefit of tests and tribulations is contentment. It is the means to attain unto the absolute divine contentment. Because difficulties, (he says), befall the righteous and the corrupt, so whoever is upset by difficulties and trials – they have Divine upset. They have lost in this life of sorrow, and heaviness, and dejection, and depression, and all that accompanies this; and they have loss in the next life.

Contentment is better than paradise and all it contains because Allah (Most High) says; “an absolute contentment from Allah Is greater” (Qur’an, 9:72). And this is Allah being content with you, but the state of contentment you find within yourself is greater than paradise in all it contains, by the text of the Qur’an.

We ask Allah Most High and we ask by the asking of this great scholar and we ask Allah likewise for his overlooking and wellness from him in this life and the next. Because we are not of the people who can bear tribulations. May Allah grant us the facilitative grace to act upon that which is beloved to him and pleasing to him and may Allah heal us from tribulations and distresses.

 

The Dowra 2020: A Spiritual Lighthouse

With so many plans disrupted this year and put off by Covid-19, the believer knows that nothing is ever purely evil and even the darkest of places will have at least a speck of light.  Tarim is the lighthouse. This year they’re offering their summer course online.

This summer course, or dowrah, has been held annually since 1995 in the valleys of Tarim, Hadhramaut, but due to the global circumstances, they’ve decided to offer it online.

Teachers include:

  • Habib Umar Bin Hafiz
  • Habib Kazim al-Saqqaf
  • and others

They say, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”.  Although physical interaction with these scholars isn’t possible, let us at least try to connect with them virtually.

For more information regarding this summer program:

  • Click here for the official page for the dowra
  • Or, check the Facebook page of Muwasala, see here

If you feel you need more supplementary material to go along with this summer program, then SeekersGuidance has courses based on some of Habib Umar’s works, see the following list:

  • Epitome of Love: Commentary on Habib Umar’s Diya’ al-Lami | Click here for this free course
  • Habib Umar on the Path of Spiritual Excellence: An Explanation of Ba’l Faqih’s Treatise The Spheres of Islam, Iman, Ihsan, and `Irfan | Click here for this free course

May Allah accept from us and allow us to purify ourselves.

The Trodden Path (Episode 13): Shaykh Wasfi al-Masaddi

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 thirteenth episode of the The Trodden Path series, Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed writes on the life of Shaykh Shaykh Wasfi al-Masaddi of Syria.

Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed

Shaykh Wasfi al-Masaddi (1335-1431=1917-2010)

Wasfī ibn Ahmad ibn Yusuf ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Abd al-Jalil was a devout scholar, a faqih and an excellent orator and a spiritual guide.

He was born in the city of Homs in Syria in 1917 (1335). His father was a scholar, while his mother was from the al-Jundi family.

His father, Shaykh Ahmad was closely connected to Shaykh Ahmad al-Tuzaqli al-Turkumani al-Naqshbandi who in turn was closely connected to Shaykh Khalid al-Naqshbandi.

He learnt the basic essentials of reading and writing and mathematics from his father. His father was an Imam and a teacher at one of the mosques in the city and he was the young Wasfi’s first Quran teacher.

After his elementary studies he enrolled at the al-Madrasa al-Waqfiyya that was under the supervision of Shaykh Muhammad Zahid al-Atasi (d.1366=1947). He studied at this institution for six years during which he studied Usul-Fiqh of the Hanafi madhhab, Nur al-Idah and the text of Mukhtasar al-Quduri and al-Kamil by al-Mubarrid all under Shaykh Zahid. Shaykh Wasfi resembled his teacher in his recitation of the Quran and in his gait.

Some of his other teachers were:

  • Shaykh Muhammad Yasin Basmar with whom he studied Imam Nawawi’s collection of forty Hadith, Arabic Grammar, Logic and other subjects.
  • His son, Shaykh Abu al-Sa’ud Basmar with whom he studied Arabic Grammar, Logic and Mukhtasar Ibn Abi Jamrah in Hadith.
  • Shaykh Anis al-Kalalib
  • Shaykh Muhammad ‘Ali ‘Uyun al-Sud
  • Shaykh Ahmad ibn ‘Umar Safi (1276-1367=1860-1948) with whom he read Tafsir alBaydawi
  • Shaykh Salim Safi
  • Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadi al-Khoja (1373=1953) who was an excellent Hanafi faqihShaykh Wasfi studied Hashiya Ibn ‘Abidin and Sharh al-Qastallani ‘ala Sahih al-Bukhari. Shaykh Wasfi and Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ‘Uyun al-Sud were fortunate to have had special lessons with the Shaykh in the laws of inheritance and they studied al-Sirajiyyah.
  • Shaykh Tawfiq al-Atasi (1283-1385=1866-1965) with whom he studied Hashiya IbnAbidin
  • Shaykh Najm al-Din al-Atasi  (1278-1352=1859-1933) with whom he studied Multaqa alAbhur
  • Shaykh Taqi al-Din al-Atasi (1285-1360=1868-1941). Shaykh Wasfi and Shaykh Muhammad Tayyib attended lessons in Hashiya Ibn ‘Abidin with him.
  • Shaykh Abu al-Saud al-Atasi (1303-1364)
  • Shaykh Ibrahim al-Atasi (1268-1359)
  • Shaykh Muhammad ibn Khalid al-Ansari al-Himsi (1287-1364=1870-1945).
  • Shaykh Abu al-Nasr Khalaf al-Himsi (1292-1368=1875-1948). He was a scholar and a spiritual guide who had benefited from many illustrious scholars including Shaykh Badr al-Din al-Hasani, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Jafar al-Kettani and his father Shaykh Salim Khalaf al-Himsi. His father, Shaykh Salim had taken the Naqshbandi Sufi way from Shaykh Ahmad al-Tuzaqli. Shaykh Wasfi also took the Naqshbandi way from him.
  • Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghaffar ‘Uyun al-Sud who was a close friend of Shaykh Wasfi’s father.

He met some ‘ulama from Damascus but did not receive ijazah from them. They are:

  • Shaykh Muhammad Sa’id al-Burhani
  • Shaykh Muhammad al-Hashimi
  • Shaykh Abu al-Khayr al-Maydani
  • Shaykh Salih al-Tunusi

He graduated in 1936 and got married in the same year. He remained closely connected to the Mufti of Homs, Shaykh Tahir al-Atasi (1276-1359=1859-1940) under whom he studied Jamu’ alJawami, alTawdih wa alTalwih, alHikam al-‘Ata’iyya and was even given the responsibility of transcribing the Shaykh’s fatwa’s. 

A number of other ‘ulama granted him ijazah. They include:

  • Shaykh Muhammad al-‘Arabi al-Tubbani (1315-1386=1897-1966) whom he met during his Hajj in 1950. On this journey he also met Shaykh ‘Alawi al-Maliki, Shaykh Muhammad Nur Sayf and Shaykh Amin al-Kutbi.
  • Shaykh Muhammad Makki al-Kettani (1312-1393=1894-1973). This erudite scholar was the son of an illustrious scholar in addition to having studied under many luminaries. He was fond of Shaykh Wasfi and even suggested that the Shaykh be appointed as the guide and advisor for all Islamic activities. When Shaykh Makki passed away, Shaykh Wasfi was allowed to see the deceased before his body was taken from the home. On seeing him Shaykh Wasfi said that never in his life had he seen a deceased person like Shaykh Makki with beauty and nur clearly visible.
  • Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf al-Binnori (1326-1397=1908-1977) who studied under Shaykh Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri, Shaykh Shabbir Ahmad Uthmani and others. Many prominent scholars narrate from him. Shaykh Wasfi met him during the Hajj of 1950 and he granted ijazah to both Shaykh Wasfi and to Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ‘Uyun al-Sud.
  • Shaykh ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-Ustuwani (1275-1383=1859-1963). He studied under some illustrious scholars who included; his father, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadit al-Ustuwani, Shaykh Salim al-Attar, Shaykh Sa’id al-Ustuwani and Shaykh Mahmud Nasib al-Hamzawi.
  • Shaykh Nu’aym al-Nu’aymi al-Jaza’iri (1327-1393=1909-1973) who narrated from Shaykh Muhammad Tahir ibn ‘Ashur, Shaykh Salim Bo Hajib and Shaykh Mahmud ibn al-Khoja. This scholar came from Algeria to Homs with the intention of studying the modes of recitation under Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ‘Uyun al-Sud
  • Shaykh ‘Alawi al-Maliki (1329-1391=1910-1971) whose chains of transmission were compiled in a book by his son, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Alawi al-Maliki.

After his father’s demise in 1935 he assumed the responsibility of leading the Salat and teaching at the al-Qasimi Mosque. He had trained and acquired the skill as a public speaker during his father’s lifetime.  During his father’s last illness he fulfilled his father’s duties of leading the Salat, delivering the lectures and conducting lessons. He read Tafsir alKhazin with his father in the very mosque. He remained the public speaker (khatib) at the mosque until 1980 when he moved to Saudi Arabia.

He conducted a lesson in the Qasimi Mosque after Maghrib that was attended by students of sacred knowledge and another after ‘Asr for the public. Every Tuesday he had a lesson at his home and every Friday after ‘Asr in the main mosque. He conducted a lesson daily after Zhuhr at the Dalati Mosque.

During these lessons he taught Tafsir al-Khazin, Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Maraqi al-Falah, Hashiya al-Tahtawi, Shar’at al-Islami, al-Anwar al-Muhammadiyya an abridged form of al-Mawahib al-Laduniyya by Shaykh Yusuf al-Nabhani. His practice was to complete the entire book and then continue with another. There were times when he may have repeated a book. He remained dedicated towards calling people to Allah. One of his close friends and aides in the field of Da’wa was Shaykh Mustafa al-Sibai’. 

Shaykh Wasfi’s approach was one that relied on solid proof without any bias towards any religious group or faction. He adopted the way of his Shaykh, Shaykh Abu al-Nasr Khalaf al-Himsi.

Shaykh Wasfi was appointed as a teacher at the Shari’ah Institute that was established in 1946 and a year later he assumed administrative duties at the same place. He withdrew from teaching for about five years and thereafter he resumed where he continued until 1982.

The reason for his withdrawal is that the Shari’ah Institute was known to have had very high academic standards and much of this was attributed to the fact that an excellent teacher like Shaykh Wasfi taught the students in the former years, thus providing them with a firm foundation. However when he was assigned some administrative duties he taught the senior classes and with the result the former classes were neglected. He therefore felt that his presence at the institution was of no benefit and resigned. He returned to his teaching after persistence from his friend, Shaykh Muhammad al-Tayyib. In total he served the institution for thirty-three years.

In 1952 he was appointed as the official teacher of the region of Homs. This was during the period of the Mufti, Shaykh Tawfiq al-Atasi. He held this position until 1980.

He played a very significant role in preserving and renovating the mosques of Homs especially the Mosque of Khalid ibn al-Walid and the attached institution. He also contributed to the preservation of al-Mu’addas Mosque in 1977 that the Christians had tried to convert into a church. In 1978 he worked towards renovating the al-Qasimi Mosque.

In 1980 he migrated to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia where he taught Quran at the King ‘Abd al-Aziz University for about six years during which he also conducted some lessons in Sirah. It is interesting to note that when he had arrived in Jeddah, the university required his certificates. However Shaykh Wasfi had studied under the shuyukh and thus requested that the Shari’ah Institute in Homs issue him with a letter of recommendation acknowledging that he had served the institution for many years as a teacher. This letter was issued and on this basis he was appointed as a teacher at the university in Jeddah. He delivered the Friday sermon in the Abu Dawud Mosque in Jeddah for about twenty-five years. He had a weekly lesson in Fiqh, Hadith and Tafsir for people from Homs who were residing in Jeddah and another for Damascenes and a public lesson after ‘Asr during Ramadan. Many sort to meet him and even to pose their questions to him. Shaykh Salman Abu Ghuddah and Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahman Hajjar and others were among the many who frequented his lessons.

After many years he finally returned to Homs where he was warmly received by the ‘ulama and the public. He continued to move between Jeddah and Homs until he passed away in Homs on the morning of the 25th August 2010 (15th Ramadan 1431). The Janazah Salat was performed at the Khalid ibn Walid Mosque and he was buried in the Kathib Graveyard.

Shaykh Wasfi was a handsome man of fair complexion who was distinct with his clothing. He was an effective lecturer, a successful teacher and a person of captivating personality. His gatherings were filled with immense benefit. He was blessed with insight and knowledge from Allah.

His face was bright and radiant and some his students mentioned that if a person looked at him then he was reminded of Allah. In addition if a person wished to free himself from the anxieties of life, then merely sitting in the Shaykh’s company will be a source of comfort and peace. He was a person whom the young and the old, the layman and the scholar was attracted to on seeing or meeting him for the first time. He was extremely humble before the people and before his Creator. He was eager to serve people and in doing so was an example of kindness and generosity. He possessed immense love for Allah and His beloved Prophet Muhammad.

 


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:

Muslim Scholars of the 20th Century.

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.

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

Support Seekers Spread Clarity in Confusing Times with Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat

Spread clarity in confusing times

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SUPPORT OUR GLOBAL ISLAMIC SEMINARY

SPREAD CLARITY IN CONFUSING TIMES:  SUPPORT SEEKERS SPREAD THE LIGHT OF GUIDANCE 

Help us raise $1,000,000 this Ramadan to reach one million students in our online courses.

With your support, SeekersGuidance has served over 250,000 students in our online courses so far. In 2019 alone, we have served almost 4 million unique visitors to our website.

However, in these testing times, the need to spread clarity and guidance is even more critical. Your support will help us reach 1 million students and tens of millions of visitors – so they can gain clarity and certitude in these confusing times. 

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why support Seekers Guidance

Give now to our #SpreadClarityNow campaign, to spread clarity and guidance when it’s needed the most. You can support our Seekers Growth Fund in TWO ways

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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.

“The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is that of a grain that sprouts seven ears, each bearing one hundred grains. And Allah multiplies for whomever He wills. Truly, Allah is All-Bountiful, All-Knowing.” (Qur’an, 2:261)

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 Seminar Q&A Session – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

* Originally posted on May 8, 2018

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani answers questions on the fiqh of fasting, including the nullifiers of fasts, expiation for broken fasts, and the spiritual retreat.

Among the many questions and points Shakyh Faraz addresses, he mentions that if one breaks fast deliberately or by accident, the time of fasting is not over, and one is able to fast, then one refrains from everything a fasting person refrains from until fasting ends. This is a sign of contrition and remorse.

Hasten to Break Fast

The Shaykh also mentions that one should not delay breaking fast excessively out of a mistaken sense of piety or fervor. Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said:

قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَحَبُّ عِبَادِي إِلَيَّ أَعْجَلُهُمْ فِطْرًا

Allah Mighty and Majestic said: “The most beloved among my servants are those who hasten to break their fast.” (Tirmidhi)

Be Tactful and Considerate with Others

But one must also remember that when in a group of people who believe they are in the right to delay, one must be discreet about the matter and not make disagreement a point of contention or rancor. If you consider breaking it in such a situation do it tactfully.

These and many others points and rulings are covered in this session. And you should listen to it even if you know all the answers as there is no harm and abundant good in reviewing what one knows and strengthening one’s knowledge.

May Allah grant us eternal success in the blessed month of Ramadan and in all the months He has decreed for each and every one of us until we are brought before Him. Amin.


Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al Kallas, may Allah have mercy on him, as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersHub in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.

Support SeekersGuidance in our effort to bring the light of Prophetic Guidance to Muslims everywhere completely free of charge.


 

Getting the Most Out of Rajab – Habib Umar

There are a number of ways to get the most out of Rajab. Some of the most important are as follows:

1. Seeking forgiveness in abundance and making sincere repentance;
2. Making a sincere resolve to seek to approach Allah through performing acts of obedience and avoiding acts of disobedience;
3. Assessing your state, rectifying it and striving to follow the Prophet ﷺ in all that you do;
4. Improving your performance of the prayer by making sure that you implement the sunnahs pertaining to the prayer and pray with presence of heart. Also strive to pray in congregation in the first row without missing the opening takbir;
5. Improving your relationship with the Qur’an by increasing the amount you read and reflect upon daily and seeking to act upon it;
6. Being consistent in reading your adhkar in the morning and evening, after the prayer and in your varying states (such as eating, entering the house and preparing for sleep);
7. Improving your interaction with your family, friends, relatives, neighbors and with Allah’s slaves in general and the elect of His slaves specifically;
8. Fasting whatever days you are able to, especially Monday and Thursday and the White Days (13th, 14th and 15th days of the month);
9. Giving a portion of charity and doing what you can to help those in need and treating them kindly;
10. Worshiping Allah in these nights, especially in the last portion of the night. Improve your state at this time so as to enter into those who Allah praises in the Qur’an: Those who spend their wealth (in charity) and seek forgiveness in the last portion of the night.