Guidance on COVID-19 (Part 4) – Mufti Taha Karaan

* Courtesy of the Muslim Judicial Council

In this fourth and final video of a 4 part series, Mufti Taha Karaan advises Muslims on what they should do when they are in self isolation at home. He asks Muslims to reflect on their internal states and morality, and question themselves honestly if they have contravened the rights of others. Muslims should in engage in sincere repentance and introspection so that they can identify their internal faults and contradictions.  Additionally, he recommends that Muslims use their time constructively so that when this crises ends they are able to contribute positively in society.

 

* We extend our gratitude and appreciation to Mutfi Taha Karaan and the Muslim Judicial Council (South Africa)


Biography of Mufti Taha Karaan

Mufti Taha Karaan is a Shafi‘i scholar born in Cape Town, South Africa, to a family renowned in both its maternal and paternal lineage for Islamic scholarship. His father, the late Mufti Yusuf Karaan, may Allah have mercy on his soul, was one of the most distinguished Islamic scholars in the Cape.

Mufti Taha completed his Qur’anic memorization in one year at the Waterfall Islamic Institute, the oldest Islamic seminary in South Africa. During his stay, he assisted in the editing of the Qur’anic prints that the Institute has become famous for the world over. After finishing four years of the ‘alim course in two years, he journeyed to the Indian sub-continent and Dar al Uloom Deoband, graduating from there in 1991 with the highest of distinctions, as did his father, in a class of over 700 students. He then travelled to the Middle East and completed a two-year graduate diploma at the Higher Institute for Islamic Studies in Cairo, Egypt.

Mufti Taha is the recipient of numerous chains of transmission (ijazaat), from well-respected scholars in India, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, among others, in numerous fields of the Islamic sciences.

Currently, Mufti Taha is the Mufti of the Muslim Judicial Council. He is a sought-after speaker at Islamic symposia and conferences but attends them sparingly, preferring to spend most of his time at the Islamic seminary, Dar al Uloom al Arabiyyah al Islamiyyah, that he founded in 1996. The educational thrust of the seminary reflects Mufti Taha’s own pioneering vision and commitment to squarely interface with the challenges of the modern age through the twin objectives of preservation and progress.

In his teaching, writing and legal verdicts (fatawa), Mufti Taha regularly addresses contemporary issues such as the challenges of post-modernity, feminism, Islamic economics and finance, the old and new Orientalisms, and fiqh issues affecting Diaspora Muslim communities.

His students describe him as divinely-gifted with encyclopedic knowledge; possessed of a near photographic memory; an insatiable bibliophile within the Islamic sciences and without; a teacher that never ceases to inspire; endowed with an elegant calligraphic hand and a penchant for poetry; thoroughly unassuming, pleasant, brilliant and tender-hearted.


Guidance on COVID-19 (Part 3) – Mufti Taha Karaan

* Courtesy of the Muslim Judicial Council

In this 3rd video of a 4 part series, Mufti Taha Karaan discusses what the concept of reliance on Allah really means. There are many individuals advocating for Muslims to shun social distancing and isolation because of their understanding of relying Allah. Mufti Taha explains that relying on Allah entails following and adopting the means that He has created in the world. Therefore, not taking the necessary means of social distancing to curb the rate of Covid-19 transmission is in fact not relying on Allah. Mufti Taha also emphasizes that now is not the time to dispute and bicker amongst ourselves as Muslims because this one of the reasons where mercy and blessings are removed from communities.

 

* We extend our gratitude and appreciation to Mutfi Taha Karaan and the Muslim Judicial Council (South Africa)


Biography of Mufti Taha Karaan

Mufti Taha Karaan is a Shafi‘i scholar born in Cape Town, South Africa, to a family renowned in both its maternal and paternal lineage for Islamic scholarship. His father, the late Mufti Yusuf Karaan, may Allah have mercy on his soul, was one of the most distinguished Islamic scholars in the Cape.

Mufti Taha completed his Qur’anic memorization in one year at the Waterfall Islamic Institute, the oldest Islamic seminary in South Africa. During his stay, he assisted in the editing of the Qur’anic prints that the Institute has become famous for the world over. After finishing four years of the ‘alim course in two years, he journeyed to the Indian sub-continent and Dar al Uloom Deoband, graduating from there in 1991 with the highest of distinctions, as did his father, in a class of over 700 students. He then travelled to the Middle East and completed a two-year graduate diploma at the Higher Institute for Islamic Studies in Cairo, Egypt.

Mufti Taha is the recipient of numerous chains of transmission (ijazaat), from well-respected scholars in India, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, among others, in numerous fields of the Islamic sciences.

Currently, Mufti Taha is the Mufti of the Muslim Judicial Council. He is a sought-after speaker at Islamic symposia and conferences but attends them sparingly, preferring to spend most of his time at the Islamic seminary, Dar al Uloom al Arabiyyah al Islamiyyah, that he founded in 1996. The educational thrust of the seminary reflects Mufti Taha’s own pioneering vision and commitment to squarely interface with the challenges of the modern age through the twin objectives of preservation and progress.

In his teaching, writing and legal verdicts (fatawa), Mufti Taha regularly addresses contemporary issues such as the challenges of post-modernity, feminism, Islamic economics and finance, the old and new Orientalisms, and fiqh issues affecting Diaspora Muslim communities.

His students describe him as divinely-gifted with encyclopedic knowledge; possessed of a near photographic memory; an insatiable bibliophile within the Islamic sciences and without; a teacher that never ceases to inspire; endowed with an elegant calligraphic hand and a penchant for poetry; thoroughly unassuming, pleasant, brilliant and tender-hearted.


 

Guidance on COVID-19 (Part 2) – Mufti Taha Karaan

* Courtesy of the Muslim Judicial Council

In this second video of a four-part series on COVID-19, Mufti Taha Karaan explains the religious rationale and reasoning on why the Friday congregational prayer should be suspended. Additionally he provides evidence from the rich Islamic legacy of when congregational prayers should be prayed at home. By analogy, the COVID-19 poses a greater risk to the well being of the community and therefore becomes a valid reason to pray at home. Mufti Taha emphasizes that such reasoning is not a distortion of Islamic law, but rather a means to preserve life which is an objective of Islamic law.

 

* We extend our gratitude and appreciation to Mufti Taha Karaan and the Muslim Judicial Council (South Africa)


Biography of Mufti Taha Karaan

Mufti Taha Karaan is a Shafi‘i scholar born in Cape Town, South Africa, to a family renowned in both its maternal and paternal lineage for Islamic scholarship. His father, the late Mufti Yusuf Karaan, may Allah have mercy on his soul, was one of the most distinguished Islamic scholars in the Cape.

Mufti Taha completed his Qur’anic memorization in one year at the Waterfall Islamic Institute, the oldest Islamic seminary in South Africa. During his stay, he assisted in the editing of the Qur’anic prints that the Institute has become famous for the world over. After finishing four years of the ‘alim course in two years, he journeyed to the Indian sub-continent and Dar al Uloom Deoband, graduating from there in 1991 with the highest of distinctions, as did his father, in a class of over 700 students. He then travelled to the Middle East and completed a two-year graduate diploma at the Higher Institute for Islamic Studies in Cairo, Egypt.

Mufti Taha is the recipient of numerous chains of transmission (ijazaat), from well-respected scholars in India, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, among others, in numerous fields of the Islamic sciences.

Currently, Mufti Taha is the Mufti of the Muslim Judicial Council. He is a sought-after speaker at Islamic symposia and conferences but attends them sparingly, preferring to spend most of his time at the Islamic seminary, Dar al Uloom al Arabiyyah al Islamiyyah, that he founded in 1996. The educational thrust of the seminary reflects Mufti Taha’s own pioneering vision and commitment to squarely interface with the challenges of the modern age through the twin objectives of preservation and progress.

In his teaching, writing and legal verdicts (fatawa), Mufti Taha regularly addresses contemporary issues such as the challenges of post-modernity, feminism, Islamic economics and finance, the old and new Orientalisms, and fiqh issues affecting Diaspora Muslim communities.

His students describe him as divinely-gifted with encyclopedic knowledge; possessed of a near photographic memory; an insatiable bibliophile within the Islamic sciences and without; a teacher that never ceases to inspire; endowed with an elegant calligraphic hand and a penchant for poetry; thoroughly unassuming, pleasant, brilliant and tender-hearted.


Guidance on COVID-19 (Part 1) – Mufti Taha Karaan

* Courtesy of the Muslim Judicial Council (South Africa)

In this first video of a four-part series, Mufti Taha Karaan advises Muslims to practice social distancing with immediate effect in order to prevent and reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission. The unfortunate reality is that places of worship such as mosques are communal places where transmission can spread. In light of this, Mufti Taha advocates for the Friday congregational prayer to be suspended in the mosques, and the five daily prayers to be prayed at home. This is a difficult decision, but a necessary one for us as Muslims. We all have to play our role in curbing the spread of the novel Coronavirus

* We extend our gratitude and appreciation to Mufti Taha Karaan and the Muslim Judicial Council (South Africa)


Biography of Mufti Taha Karaan

Mufti Taha Karaan is a Shafi‘i scholar born in Cape Town, South Africa, to a family renowned in both its maternal and paternal lineage for Islamic scholarship. His father, the late Mufti Yusuf Karaan, may Allah have mercy on his soul, was one of the most distinguished Islamic scholars in the Cape.

Mufti Taha completed his Qur’anic memorization in one year at the Waterfall Islamic Institute, the oldest Islamic seminary in South Africa. During his stay, he assisted in the editing of the Qur’anic prints that the Institute has become famous for the world over. After finishing four years of the ‘alim course in two years, he journeyed to the Indian sub-continent and Dar al Uloom Deoband, graduating from there in 1991 with the highest of distinctions, as did his father, in a class of over 700 students. He then travelled to the Middle East and completed a two-year graduate diploma at the Higher Institute for Islamic Studies in Cairo, Egypt.

Mufti Taha is the recipient of numerous chains of transmission (ijazaat), from well-respected scholars in India, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, among others, in numerous fields of the Islamic sciences.

Currently, Mufti Taha is the Mufti of the Muslim Judicial Council. He is a sought-after speaker at Islamic symposia and conferences but attends them sparingly, preferring to spend most of his time at the Islamic seminary, Dar al Uloom al Arabiyyah al Islamiyyah, that he founded in 1996. The educational thrust of the seminary reflects Mufti Taha’s own pioneering vision and commitment to squarely interface with the challenges of the modern age through the twin objectives of preservation and progress.

In his teaching, writing and legal verdicts (fatawa), Mufti Taha regularly addresses contemporary issues such as the challenges of post-modernity, feminism, Islamic economics and finance, the old and new Orientalisms, and fiqh issues affecting Diaspora Muslim communities.

His students describe him as divinely-gifted with encyclopedic knowledge; possessed of a near photographic memory; an insatiable bibliophile within the Islamic sciences and without; a teacher that never ceases to inspire; endowed with an elegant calligraphic hand and a penchant for poetry; thoroughly unassuming, pleasant, brilliant and tender-hearted.


 

The Believer, Futuwwa, & Times of Crisis – Shaykh Salman Younas

A few days ago, I visited the local supermarket to stock up on some basic supplies for the home – some rice, canned food, tissues, cleaning items, and medicine. An announcement from the government was imminent, and anticipating a potential decision to close schools, offices, and other public venues and activities, people were rushing to prepare themselves for the worse of the coronavirus crisis. 

Finding some of the items on my list proved a difficult task. Fever reducing medication, such as paracetamol, was sold-out in most places despite efforts to limit the quantity individuals could purchase. I went from store to store until finally I was able to purchase the maximum two packets of medicine allocated to each customer. This was the fifth store I had visited. Earlier, as I walked in the medicine aisle of one chain pharmacy, I saw an elderly couple looking for the same medicine that I was. There was none, of course, and I informed them that the situation was the same at the local supermarket. 

The coming days will prove to be challenging for many of us: increasingly confined to our homes and uncertain of what to expect in the coming few weeks and months. Some people, however, will be faced with difficulties of an entirely different magnitude. The coronavirus, which has gripped the entire world, is particularly dangerous for those above the age of sixty and those with underlying health conditions. Significant numbers will succumb to the virus, while many others will be hospitalized in critical and intensive care. The empty shelves we are seeing as a result of the paranoia that has gripped various nations also means that many will probably find themselves struggling to find basic supplies and medicine, at least until a system is implemented to ensure demand is met.

Islam teachers us that the believer is someone who maximizes benefit and minimizes harm for all those around him. Often, when we speak about our treatment and dealing with other people, the concept of mercy, love, care, selflessness, etc., come to mind. In Islam, there is another concept that is all encompassing of the adab a believer is meant to display: futuwwa, or chivalry.

Its foundation, as stated by Imam al-Qushayri, is “that the servant of God always exerts himself in the service of others.” (al-Risala al-Qushayriyya) This is in keeping with the statement of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), “Allah is in the aide of his servant as long as the servant is in aide of his brother.” (Sahih Muslim) There are several futuwwa traits that we should uphold in these trying times, among them:

  1. Minimizing harm to others. Imam al-Junayd said, “Chivalry means keeping trouble away from others.” (al-Risala al-Qushayriyya) This is an all-encompassing definition. In the current context, keeping trouble away from others entails ensuring that one is not a cause for the spread of this illness in any way shape or form to an interdiction on hoarding, raising prices, spreading false news, and more. The believer is someone who avoids causing difficulties for others, while bearing the difficulties caused by them.
  2. Making active efforts to assist those around us. Imam al-Qushayri said, “Chivalry is that you do not hide from those who seek your assistance.” (al-Risala al-Qushayriyya) The coming weeks will see individuals in our community struggle: financially, emotionally, and in other ways. They will look to the wider community to lift them up and it is the duty of every Muslim to extend them his hand in support. This should be something we do actively without being asked. As Sufyan al-Thawri said, “It is contrary to proper adab to not serve when you are able to.” (Kitab al-Futuwwa)
  3. Giving to people freely. Imam al-Qushayri said, “Chivalry is that you neither hoard wealth nor seek excuses to avoid giving to those in need.” (al-Risala al-Qushayriyya) The past few days have shown that people are concerned about the future, which has resulted in buying goods in bulk often at the expense of others. This is contrary to trust in Allah (tawakkul). Part of chivalry is to have trust that one’s sustenance is guaranteed and not let concern for it prevent from assisting others.
  4. Giving preference to others. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq said, “Chivalry is that if we are given something, we prefer to give it to someone else.” (al-Risala al-Qushayriyya) This only arises from worldly detachment, being satisfied with little for oneself, and wishing much for others. It is expected of the Muslim in good times and is demanded of him even more when hard times fall on people. As the current crisis unfolds, Muslims will have to freely and generously give of their wealth, time, and resources in order to ensure the well-being of wider society.
  5. Showing compassion to all of creation. This manifests in numerous ways: a cheerful smile, a kind gesture, soothing words, tolerating the actions of others, overlooking faults, empathy, and praying for all. Everything we do in these moments should embody prophetic compassion. In times of uncertainty and anxiety, the believer will encounter unsavoury things, but he must confront them not with negativity, harshness, or complacency, but positivity, patience, and decency.

In Islamic discourse, the fata was essentially the word used to describe the ideal, noble man whose hospitality and generosity was so expansive that he left little for himself. The term futuwwa came to denote a code of honourable conduct that followed the examples of the prophets, saints, and righteous. At its core was the notion of not just generosity, but an almost heroic generosity of time, wealth, and spirit where one went above and beyond for his fellow human beings. If there was any time for Muslims to adopt the ethics and traits associated with futuwwa – loyalty, generosity, humility, courage, etc. -, it is this time we find ourselves in right now.

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

COVID-19 Webinar: A Global Islamic Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

A Global Islamic Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Announcing the SeekersGuidance COVID-19 Webinar This Sunday!

As this pandemic spreads across the world, the Muslim community is struggling to find answers to many questions. Along with the critical advice of health and medical professionals, we are in dire need of Prophetic Guidance. SeekersGuidance has put together an important program to provide clarity in these challenging times with Muslim scholars, teachers, medical professionals, and thought leaders from around the world.

COVID-19 Webinar: A Global Islamic Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic, will live stream on our website at seeke.rs/live and our Facebook page, this coming Sunday, March 22nd, at 1:00PM EST.


Some of our confirmed speakers:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani | Toronto, Canada

Mufti Hussain Kamani | Texas, United States

Dr. Asim Yusuf | West Midlands, United Kingdom

Imam Khalid Latif | New  York, United States

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan | Cape Town, South Africa

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat | Bradford, United Kingdom

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari | Knoxville, United States

Ustadh Mohammed Tayssir Safi | Istanbul, Turkey

Shaykh Salman Younas | London, United Kingdom

Dr. Hadia Mubarak | North Carolina, United States

Ustadha Shireen Ahmed | Toronto, Canada

Dr. Idriss Sparkes | Waterloo, Canada

Imam Hamid Slimi | Toronto, Canada

Shaykh Amin Buxton | Edinburgh, Scotland

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch | Toronto, Canada

Imam Yama Niazi | Vancouver, Canada

Dr. Yusuf Patel | Cape Town, South Africa

Ustadh Abdullah Misra | Trinidad

Moulana Zakariyya Harnekar | Cape Town, South Africa

Moulana Muhammad Carr | Cape Town, South Africa

 

Don’t miss out on this beautiful event .

 

May Allah bless you all and keep you all healthy, amin.

The Shafiʿi School On Friday Prayer and Congregational Prayer During Epidemics

The Shafiʿi School On Friday and Congregational Prayer During Epidemics by Shaykh Muhammad Salim Buhayrī al-Shafiʿi

Translated By Moulana Zakariyya Harnekar

All Praise is due to Allah and Blessings and Salutations upon our Master, the Messenger of Allah.

These are some points in Fiqh pertaining to the calamity of the coronavirus (covid-19)—may Allah keep it away from the land and the people, and remove its evil—.

The fear of being infected by the coronavirus is a valid excuse to abstain from Jumuʿah and daily congregational prayers. Shafiʿi jurists have stated clearly that fear for the life, limb or use of limb of an innocent person is one of the valid excuses for abstaining from congregational prayers: The fear of being infected by this virus falls within this category.

When this fear becomes prevalent in a city, it cancels the obligation of Jumu’ah for the residents of that city. Imam Shihab al-Din al-Ramli issued a fatwa, with the concurrence of his son Imam Shams al-Din al-Ramli, to the effect that Jumuʿah falls away when an excuse becomes prevalent in a locality.

He was asked: “When a mitigating factor like heavy rain comes to encompass an entire locality, does Jumuʿah fall away for the residents of that place, or not?” He responded: “Jumuʿah falls away for the residents of a place in which the aforementioned excuse is prevalent.”

Hence, the option that some countries have taken of temporarily suspending Jumuʿah and the daily congregational prayers is one that poses no problem in terms of the Shariʿah.

It might of course be maintained that precautions can be taken by having worshippers at a distance from each other, not shaking hands and praying on individual prayer mats; or that the mosque’s carpets could be continuously sterilized, whilst upholding the congregational prayer with a small group; and that difficulty does not absolve one of what can easily be done.

In theory, this is not incorrect. However, in reality, it would be impossible to prevent people from mixing and shaking hands and to force them to bring their own prayer mats.

Anyone in a city where the congregational prayer has been suspended should not deprive himself of attaining its virtue. It is recommended for him to establish the congregation with his family by praying with his wife and children at home. By doing this, they will attain the virtue of congregational prayer by the Will of Allah.

In this respect Imam al-Nawawi said in al-Rawḍa: “If a man prays in his home with his friend, wife or child, he will attain the virtue of congregational prayer.”

Whoever is in a city where Jumuʿah prayers have been suspended should pray Dhuhr. It is not permissible for him to follow an imam via an electronic medium of broadcasting such as a television.

It is recommended to recite the Qunut for calamities in salah, supplicating thereby to Allah to remove the epidemic from us.

Its place in salah is in the iʿtidal of the last rakʿah after saying “Rabbana wa laka l-ḥamd”. One should then recite the supplication: “Allahumma ihdina fi man hadayta…,” and call upon Allah to remove the epidemic.

This is equally recommended for the person praying individually or in congregation, male or female.

I ask Allah to remove from us all epidemics and evils.

Muhammad Salim Buhayri al-Shafiʿi


الحمد لله، والصّلاة والسّلامُ على سيّدنا رسول الله، أمّا بعدُ؛
فهذا فقهيّات تتعلّق بنازلة «كورونا»، صرف الله عن البلاد والعباد وشرَّها.
مخافة الإصابة بفيروس «كورونا» = عذرٌ مُبيحٌ للتخلف عن الجُمَعِ والجماعاتِ، فقد نصَّ الشافعيّة على أنه من أعذارِ التخلف عن الجماعة: الخوف على معصومٍ من نفسٍ أو عضوٍ أو منفعته، ومخافة الإصابة بهذا الفيروس من هذا القبيل.
إذا عمّ هذا الخوفُ بلدةً .. كان مُسقطًا لوجوبِ الجمعة على أهلها، فقد أفتى الشهابُ الرَّمليُّ، وتابَعُهُ ولدُهُ الشمسُ الرمليُّ، أنَّ العُذرَ إذا عمَّ محلَّة .. سقطت عنهم الجمعة، فقد سئل: «سئل عما لو عَمَّ عذرٌ كالمطر، هل تسقط الجمعة عن أهل محله أو لا ؟»، فأجاب: «بأنه تسقطُ الجمعة عن أهل محلٍّ عَمَّهُ العذرُ المذكُورُ».
وعليه فما اتّخذ في بعض البلدانِ بتعطيل الجُمعِ والجماعات .. ليس فيه إشكالٌ شرعيٌّ.
نعم، قد يُقال: يمكن الاحترازُ بالتباعُدِ بين المصلِّين وترك المصافحة والصَّلاة على بساطٍ خاصٍّ، أو تعقيم سجاجيد المسجد بشكلٍ دائمٍ، مع إقامة الجماعة بالعدد القليل، والميسور لا يسقط بالمعسور، لكن هذا نظريًّا لا بأس به، أمَّا في الواقع فإنك لا يمكنك منع الناس من المخالطة والمصافحة، ولا إلزامهم بإحضار سجّادة خاصّة ليصلي عليها.
من كانَ في بلدةٍ مُنعت فيها صلاةُ الجماعة .. فلا يحرم نفسَهُ من جوزِ فضلها، فيُستحبُّ له أن يُقِيمَ الجماعة في أسرته، بأنْ يُصَلِّي بزوجته وأولاده جماعة في البيتِ، وبذلك يَحُوزُونَ فضلَ الجماعة إن شاء الله.
قال النوويُّ رحمه الله في «الرَّوضة»: «إذا صَلَّى الرجلُ في بيته برفيقه، أو زوجته، أو ولده، حَازَ فضيلة الجماعة».
من كان في بلدةٍ مُنعت فيها صلاةُ الجمعة .. صلَّاها ظهرًا، ولا يجوزُ له الاقتداءُ بإمامٍ عبر التلفاز ونحوِه.
يُستحبُّ القنوتُ لنازلة الوباءِ، أي: الدُّعاء بأن يرفع الله سبحانه عنَّا الوباءَ، ومحلُّه في الصَّلاة: في اعتدالِ الرَّكعة الأخيرة، بعد قوله: «ربَّنا ولك الحمد»، يأتي بدعاء القنوت: «اللهمَّ اهدنا فيمن هديت …»، ثمَّ يدعو الله سبحانه برفع الوباء، سواءٌ في ذلك المنفردُ والجماعة، والرجلُ والمرأة.
والله أسألُ أن يصرف عنّا كلّ وباءٍ وشرّ ..
~ محمد سالم بحيري الشافعي


Counsel For Students of Knowledge Regarding COVID-19 – Dr. Hisham A. Hellyer

In this article, Dr Hisham Hellyer advises students of knowledge how they should navigate their thoughts, studies and daily responsibilities amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Divine Wisdom

Verily, in every situation, there is a divine wisdom, because in every situation, God is the One who Permits; in every situation, he is the One who Benefits; in every situation, he is the One that is the all-encompassing Mercy. This situation that we are in, resulting from the pandemic, is no different. In reality, we always exist by the permission of our Lord, in every instant and every blinking of the eye. And so does this pandemic – and so will its end also be brought forth by God, the most High.

From the outset, this is not a time for panic, nor for anxiety. This is a time for recognising that our situations remain completely subject to the workings of the Lord of all that is, all that has been, and all that will be. It is a time for recognising that He has provided us with all that is required in this world, and that our orientation in engaging with life in this world (al-dunya) should always be the life to come (al-akhira). If at the end of this tribulation – and this tribulation will end – we will have realised more of the truth of that kind of recognition, then we will have learned something of the truth of ‘there is no might nor power except by God’ (la hawla wa la quwatta illa billah) – and that is worth a weight we cannot imagine.

 

Advice: Time Management 

My advice to you is very simple. As one of our teachers said: the way to God (al-tariqa) is ‘time management’. Verily, life itself is about putting things into their right places, in those different times, during the day and the night. We should all take a reminder of that, as we proceed to learning, by force, new routines at present. What a boon and benefit it is to us that we are able to be conscious about this, in a way that perhaps we might never have been before.

Do not allow your routines to become aimless and unstructured – on the contrary, take this opportunity to structure your time properly, and apportion everything its correct due.

 

Counsel: seeing beyond the usual in suhba

Owing to the health advisories, that I do advise you follow, we will all be engaging in a level of ‘social distancing’ that we are unaccustomed to. It will come to an end. When it does, God willing, we will all have learned the value of different types of true companionship; both in terms of seeking our Lord in isolation; as well as being with people of goodness. And there is beautiful benefit in both.

Until that time, put structure into place as much as possible; whether in terms of your learning, your studying, your health, your work. Learn how to do so, and make the most of your time in being conscious about how you use it.

 

Recommendation to teachers and those who counsel
To that end: the advice I have received and the advice I impart to anyone else who is teaching: continue your classes. We live in a time when we can use technology for good, and for bad. Let us consciously use it for good, and take benefit from it, as a tool that God has permitted for us, even if we are far from one another. There are different systems for this. Be very grateful you have this ability and capacity. Not everyone does – there are people of this ummah who have been kept from each other due to war and conflict, and could not use the boons and benefits you have. Be grateful, and remember that gratitude is shown by using the gifts of God in ways that are pleasing to Him.

To those who impart counsel and guidance to others, as part of their responsibilities placed upon them by their teachers: your services are going to be needed. Your skills will be tested. Have faith that if you were given this task to fulfil, you will be given the strength to fulfil it. Be charitable and generous with those who reach out to you, and be grateful for the opportunity to assist them. It is a noble and praiseworthy act, rewarded by God, to be able to bring comfort to those who seek guidance and counsel.

 

Health Precautions and classes

There may be some of you who are considering attending classes in person: I strongly advise you do not do so, unless you can be completely assured that the appropriately strict health precautions are taken by the providers of those classes. We typically, for example, pray our daily prayers in teaching areas; which means that we are exposing our faces to the ground, where the virus can very easily spread.

Remember: people with COVID-19 can be completely absent of symptoms, and still pass it on. Even if you’re not worried about yourself, you must consider the threat to others that you might inadvertently infect. In general, I advise you to keep at least 7 feet distance between yourself and others; and that you pray at home in a clean space. The health measures that are recommended by the World Health Organisation are reasonable: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

 

Congregational prayers

In my capacity as Senior Scholar of the Azzawia Trust in Cape Town, led by two of the khulafa’ of Sayyid Muhammad b. Alawi al-Maliki, and a member of the Council of the British Board of Scholars and Imams, I assisted in the drafting of two pieces of advice on congregational prayers and other issues arising from the changes due to this pandemic. Azzawia issued a strong, straight-forward and short document, which can be accessed here, referencing the advice from the Higher Council of Azhar Scholars in Egypt.
https://www.facebook.com/AzzawiaTrust/posts/10157742959026357

A more comprehensive document is the BBSI, which sought to cover the range of issues the BBSI thought necessary, and the views of its membership. [http://www.bbsi.org.uk/coronavirus/]

In short, it is generally best you stay away from public places of prayer; and that you generally consider that the usual obligatory nature of the Friday prayer has been lifted.

 

Students abroad:

Some students who are away from their homes and families overseas are wondering if they should travel back home. This is a decision that depends on a great number of factors. As for my own students, I have not advised that they travel. I do advise that those who are resident in any particular local to note that foreign students may need assistance, if only to receive funds from their families overseas: if you can help them by allowing their families to transfer funds to your local bank accounts, then do consider it, so that they may have support in buying essentials periodically.

 

Generally and particularly: be grateful

In general: be grateful. Yes, this is a time when a lot of our usual comforts are disrupted. But we are not in a state of war and suffering, unlike numerous refugees that are fleeing conflict areas like Syria or Yemen. If you begin to be tempted into feelings of anxiety, take those feelings, and turn that energy into supplicating your Lord to give lutf to those who are suffering in far worse situations than us. You are all in a state of tremendous privilege – do not forget that.

Remember also: every trial and tribulation has the opportunity to mean the raising of one’s spiritual station with regards to their Lord. Ponder on this, and reflect. It’s a reality of every situation. As Shaykh Abdal Qadir al-Jilani (may Allah be well pleased with him) said:

“… For those trials have the effect of making their hearts pure and free from sinful association, and from attachment to creatures, worldly means, wishes and self-willed desires. They are instrumental in melting them and smelting out the pretensions and passions, and the expectation of returns for obedient behaviour, in the form of high degrees and stations in the hereafter, in paradise and its gardens…

The sign that the trials are for the sake of spiritual progress is the presence of contentment, harmony, self-composure, quiet trust in the working of the God of the earth and the heavens, and annihilation within them until their eventual removal with the passage of time.”

So be of those who would have quiet trust in the working of the God of the earth and the heavens. This, too, shall pass.

Allah bless you, draw each of you and us nearer to Him.

 

Wa al-salam,

Dr Hisham A. Hellyer


Ustadh Dr. Hisham A. Hellyer

Dr Hisham A. Hellyer is Professorial Fellow of Cambridge Muslim College (UK) and Senior Scholar of the Azzawia Trust & Al-Zawiya Institute (South Africa). As a widely published academic and commentator focusing on politics and religion in the West, the Arab world and Muslim communities globally, he concurrently serves as Senior Fellow at RUSI (UK) & the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (USA).

Born to an English father and to an Egyptian mother of ʿAbbāsī-Sudanese & Ḥasanī-Moroccan heritage, he was raised between London, Cairo and Abu Dhabi, before becoming educated at Sheffield and Warwick universities to post-doctoral levels in law and the social sciences. He studied – and studies – the Islamic intellectual tradition in the UK, Egypt, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and elsewhere, keeping the company of traditionally trained-scholars, including the likes of the Malaysian polymath, Tan Sri Professor Sayyid M. Naquib al-Attas, and Shaykh Seraj Hendricks, the khalifa of the Makkan sage, Sayyid Muhammad b. Alawi al-Maliki.

With previous positions at and affiliations with the Brookings Institution, Harvard University, the American University in Cairo, and the RZS-Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science and Civilisation (CASIS), he is a frequent commentator and columnist in various media in the United States, Europe and the Arab world. Included in the scholarly section of the annual global ‘Muslim 500’ list of Georgetown University (USA) and RISCC (Jordan), he is also a council member of the British Board of Scholars & Imams. Among his written works are ‘Muslims of Europe: the ‘Other’ Europeans’ (Edinburgh University Press), ‘A Revolution Undone: Egypt’s Road Beyond Revolt’ (Oxford University Press) and “The Islamic Tradition, Muslim Communities and the Human Rights Discourse” (editor) (Atlantic Council)


 

Poem : COVID-19 – By Novid Shaid

COVID 19 BY NOVID 77

Dear COVID,

I’m NOVID

And I’m older by 42

I’ve seen the SARS

Mad Cow disease

And AIDS and Avian flu

Bird flu, Man-flu, Ebola

I’ve seen them on the news

And now you’re here, Corona crown

Pandemic and epically

Epidemic of our media age

Behaving untypically

Scourge of men and stock markets

Endemic to the earth

A pulsing strain of pathogens

You’re spreading round your worth!

Soon you may encounter me

Coughing through NOVID then

Coasting through my veins and blood

We’d meet and start to blend

COVID could imbue NOVID

Then I would be your host

Conflated with an acronym

Not such a thing to boast!

Now name-calls in registers

Could make me squirm in shame

People may remember you

When they gaze at my name

I guess if I spread ill like you

They’ll see COVID in NOVID then

I guess if I harass the weak

COVID in NOVID then

Your name could blight me, permanently

No cheer would my name give

Thoughts of dire suffering

By saying just: NOVID

But if I learn the art of love

Like Tiresias transcend

If I spread verse and elegies

OVID in NOVID then!

But If I learn to weather storms

Like Ulysses and his men

If I ride waves of discontent

OVID in NOVID then!

So COVID 19 here you are

With NOVID 77

Perhaps there’s poetic justice

Perhaps there is a blessing

Perhaps through you I’ll know myself

And wash hands for 20 seconds

 

By Novid Shaid, 2020

www.novid.co.uk