Establishing Prophetic Communities Through Love, Peace and Joy – Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

In this Eid al-Adha sermon, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin calls all believers to rejoice in the bounties of Allah. He reminds us of all the great blessings that Allah has granted the Muslim community. Ustadh Amjad highlights hadiths and the sunna of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) of establishing communities upon, love, peace and joy. He points out that gathering for the Eid prayer in itself is an expression of that sunna of community.

Ustadh Amjad also encourages us to share that sense of community, love, peace and joy with others. We as Muslims have a lot to offer, give and share with the world, so we shouldn’t let that good stop at us.

This Eid al-Adha sermon was delivered in September 2017, at SeekersGuidance Toronto (seekersguidance.org/toronto)

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al-Aqsa: Servanthood and Sanctity – Shaykh Riad Saloojee

In this talk Shaykh Riad Saloojee reflects on the night journey (isra’) and ascension (mi’raj) of the Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) as it relates to al-Aqsa Mosque. He links our love of the holy precinct of al-Aqsa to striving to attain the excellent prophetic character.

Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings be upon him) night journey to al-Aqsa Mosque, and his ascension is the Divine gift of the perfection of his servanthood (‘ubudiya). This event is the most perfect human manifestation of the Divine Attributes in the Prophet’s character (peace and blessings be upon him).

The realization of beautiful character is the true and lasting legacy of the prophets (peace be upon them). It is the path to revive the sunna of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). A love and claim of connection to the sanctified places of Allah can only be truly made if we sanctify ourselves with the sacred values and character of our Messenger (sallalaho ‘alayhi wa sallam).

 

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The Virtues of Jerusalem & the Believer’s Five Duties Towards It – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Masjid al Aqsa is one the holiest mosques for Muslims. It was once the direction of prayer and is the place where the Prophet ﷺ lead all the prophets in prayer and ascended to heaven to meet his Lord.

The noble sanctuary has had numerous conditions set upon it since the occupation began and has now been closed for the first time in 48 years. Shaykh Faraz explains the Virtues of Masjid al-Aqsa and the Muslims Duty of Concern for the Furthest Sanctuary

May Mercy and Justice prevail, in the ways resulting in the greatest ultimate good for all people, in the ways most pleasing to God. Truly, God is our sufficiency and He is the best of guardians.” – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani has made the slides from this talk available, you can download them here.

See also:

Nasiri Dua: So Powerful, Rulers Would Ban It From Mosques

Prayers for Victory (Hizb al-Nasr) of Imam Haddad

Supplications for the Oppressed and Distressed

Check out all of the SeekersHub podcasts by visiting https://seekersguidance.org/podcasts/

The Abundant Good: Reflections on Surat al-Kawthar and Its Message of Gratitude, Faith, and Contentment – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this Friday sermon, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani reflects on Surat al-Kawthar (Qur’an 108), its meanings and what it entails. He extracts from this short sura, which is three verses long, meanings and lessons in faith, affirming Divine Oneness, gratitude, and contentment. Shaykh Faraz calls to and counsels everyone to connect with the Qur’an, which nurtures our souls.

[1] (إِنَّا أَعْطَيْناكَ الْكَوْثَرَ)

Truly We have granted you the abundant good.

[2] (فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ)

So Pray to your Lord and sacrifice.

[3] (إِنَّ شانِئَكَ هُوَ الْأَبْتَرُ)

The one who derides you, they are the one who is cut off.

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Look At Everything as a Blessing from Allah and Nurture Gratitude – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this Friday sermon, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani calls Muslims to recognize the blessings that Allah bestowed upon us. Sometimes we may take some of the daily blessings for granted or not notice them at all. However, the way of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was to recognize the blessings of Allah and express gratitude to Allah for them.

Shaykh Faraz reminds us of the multiple blessings that Allah has granted us and how great they are. He points out the great blessing of being Muslim, having clean water, and many of the daily facilitation that we have. Shaykh Faraz recounts the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who ate the leftover vinegar from food and expresses great gratitude for it by saying: “what excellent sauce vinegar is”.

Shaykh Faraz then urges everyone to express gratitude for the blessings we have. He highlights that if we are having difficulty in worship, that it may be a result of lacking gratitude. He advises us to say “Alhamdulillah” while thinking of specific blessings, especially when faced with hardship. So we should recognize the blessings of Allah and express gratitude to Him for it so that we may attain the love of Allah.

This Friday sermon was delivered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani at the International Muslim Organization of Toronto (IMO) on the last Friday of Ramadan 2017.

13: The Lawful & The Prohibited – Renewal by the Book: Quran Tafsir Based on Imam Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Riad Saloojee

In this lesson, visiting scholar Shaykh Riad Saloojee reviews verses from the Quran that correspond with the chapter on the Lawful and the Prohibited from Imam Ghazali’s Ihya. Shaykh Riad covers verse 51 from Chapter 23, verse 109 from chapter 9 and verse 23 and 24 from Chapter 83.

يَا أَيُّهَا الرُّسُلُ كُلُوا مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَاعْمَلُوا صَالِحًا إِنِّي بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ
[ Allah said], “O messengers, eat from the good foods and work righteousness. Indeed, I, of what you do, am Knowing. [Quran, 23:51]

In this verse, Allah shows that there is a relationship between what I consume and our spiritual state; as well as between our spiritual state and the actions that follow from that. We must know that there is certainly benefit in all the things Allah has allowed for us to consume and there is harm in all the things Allah has not allowed us to consume.

أَفَمَنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَانَهُ عَلَىٰ تَقْوَىٰ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٍ خَيْرٌ أَم مَّنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَانَهُ عَلَىٰ شَفَا جُرُفٍ هَارٍ فَانْهَارَ بِهِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
Then is one who laid the foundation of his building on righteousness [with fear] from Allah and [seeking] His approval better or one who laid the foundation of his building on the edge of a bank about to collapse, so it collapsed with him into the fire of Hell? And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people. [Quran, 9:109]

Shaykh Riad explains that there is a relationship between the inputs we take in of halal food and earning and the output that they yield in terms of spiritual, emotional and intellectual states. That is why Allah instructs us to be wise and careful in what we choose to consume because of the impact it has on our being.

كلا بل ران على قلوبهم ما كانوا يكسبون
كَلَّا إِنَّهُمْ عَن رَّبِّهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ لَّمَحْجُوبُونَ
No! Rather, the stain has covered their hearts of that which they were earning. No! Indeed, from their Lord, that Day, they will be partitioned. [Quran, 14-15:83]

Those who continually consume that which is unlawful will become spiritually blinded such that they will be no longer able to distinguish between that which is lawful and unlawful. Instead, they will begin to justify it and no longer see it for what it is. Shaykh Riyad warns us, that this then becomes a slippery slope that can lead one very far away from Allah.

Lastly, Shaykh Riad reminds us to continually pray that Allah suffices us with the Halal instead of the Haram and allow our hearts to attain freedom through you without need of anyone or anything else.

In this series Shaykh Faraz, and the other scholars and teachers will be looking at points of reflection from key verses in the Quran. The series will follow the thematic order of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din (Renewing the Religious Sciences). The aim is to connect the key verses of guidance from the Book of Allah with the blueprint of renewal, the Ihya, so that we experience a renewal by The Book.

Join our Ramadan 2017 program: #RamadanRenewal, in-person at SeekersGuidance Toronto or online through the SeekersGuidance Global platform. For more details, visit: http://seekershub.org/ramadan2017.

Checkout all of the SeekersGuidance podcasts by visiting https://seekersguidance.org/podcasts/

Renewing Light Upon Light – The Light of Faith and Guidance in the Verse of Light – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz explains what “light” is. What does it mean that Allah is the Light (al-Nur). Then, he explains the Verse of Light (Ayat al-Nur) in the Qur’an.

“Allah is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth,” means that He is the One who gives the light of existence to all creation. He then gives the example of the heart as the lamp of light, fuel efficiency by the oil of guidance–the light the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has come with, that gives “light upon light,” fulfilling the potential and purpose of the human being.

This light is found in the Houses of Allah, and is nurtured through devotion and remembrance of Allah. This light is fulfilled by remaining in remembrance even while busy with work and worldly responsibility.

This light brings meaning and purpose to our life, and takes us, in light, to closeness and love of the Absolute Light — Allah Most High.

This talk was delivered at the Sandton Mosque in Johannesburg, during the Time for Renewal tour of SeekersHub Global, May 2017.

Cover photo by Amin Ghali.

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Renewing Gratitude Through Reflection – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Many Muslims may approach worship as a burden. However, our worship should be an expression of gratitude to Allah Most High as the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) has taught us and set an example for that. Our sense of gratitude could be nurtured through constant reflection of Allah’s overwhelming bounties and blessings that He has granted us.

In this Friday khutba, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani highlights the prophetic approach to worship out of expressing gratitude to Allah. Shaykh Faraz makes a distinction between the different levels of having a sense of thankfulness (shukr). There is is a difference between someone who is thankful and expresses gratitude (shukr), and someone whose quality is being grateful (shaker). However, someone who is truly, completely and unconditionally grateful is “shakur”. The Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said when asked about his worship: “should I not be a servant who is “shakur””.

Shaykh Faraz points out that the reality is that our life is a gift, our faith is a gift, guidance is a gift, and all that we have in life is a gift from Allah Most High. If we reflect on all that we have from Allah, there is no way we can express sufficient gratitude. So Allah Most High has given us our obligations as means of expressing our gratitude.

 

We should approach our five daily prayers with that sense deep and true gratitude. Shaykh Faraz tells us the principle: if the derivative gets weak, then one works on the foundation. Worship is the derivative. The foundation is the quality of faith (iman) and the quality of gratitude (shukr) in our hearts. If we find that our prayer is weak or struggling to do the right thing, then we should work on nurturing our faith and gratitude in our hearts.

Finally, Shaykh Faraz encourages us to nurture our gratitude through reflecting on Allah’s vast mercy and all the gifts he has granted us, and turn to Allah worship. Shaykh Faraz gives some tips on how to reflect on Allah’s gifts. He also highlights some keys on how to turn to Allah through seeking forgiveness and other expressions of gratitude.

This Friday khutba was delivered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani in April 2017 at the the International Muslims Organization of Toronto.

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Don’t Fear, Truly God Is With Us: The Unconditional Hope – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

One of the key sunnas of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is that he was always positive and full of hope in Allah Most High. It didn’t matter what was happening to him or around him, the Prophet’s positive attitude and hope were unconditional.

In this Friday khutba, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani highlights Allah’s call to all believers to have unconditional hope. He explains how the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) maintained unconditional hope in Allah.

Shaykh Faraz points out that most people are hopeful only when matters seem to go according to their plan or seem to be in their control. However, he explains that the reason behind the Messenger’s unconditional hope was the complete realization that ultimately all matters are absolutely in Allah’s control. Allah is the Lord who is absolutely Merciful, Caring and Cherishing.

Shaykh Faraz encourages us to place our trust and hope in Allah and call upon Him while bringing to our consciousness those meanings. He calls us to not at all have fear or lose hope about how things are. Allah promises in the Qur’an that “whoever places their trust in Allah, then Allah is their sufficiency” [Surat al-Talaq, verse 3]. Therefore, to the extent one places their trust in Allah, to that extent He will be sufficient for them.

Shaykh Faraz counsels us to have trust and hope in Allah by seeking the good from Him and then taking the means to attaining that good. Whether the matter is personal, communal or global, one should first direct themselves towards Allah and asking Him for the good.

Finally, Shaykh Faraz highlights lessons from the hijra (migration) of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as an example of true hope in Allah. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) took the means outwardly to preform the migration. And all while there were multiple dangers on the way, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had absolute trust in Allah and reassured Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) with what was revealed to him from The Lord of the worlds, “fear not, for Allah is with us”.

 

This Friday khutba was delivered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani in March 2017 at the the Jame Masjid Oakville, Noor-ul-Haram.

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Why Are We Muslim? – Preserving Faith in Testing Times – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Have you asked yourself why you are Muslim? Is Islam an identity? How can our faith be preserved in testing time?

In this Friday khutba, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains how faith is the fuel of religion. Muslims should be be clear about why they are Muslim, and then nurture that in their children. Shaykh Faraz clarifies that we are not Muslim just because we follow the religion of Islam. That is just what the implications of being Muslim are.

The Quran and Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) actively call us to think, reflect and understand. We need to ask ourselves: what does Allah represent in my life? What does the Messenger of Allah represent in our life? What does the Quran reflect in my life?

The resulting quality of this reflection is gratitude. Gratitude is the driver of lasting benefit. We are Muslim because we are grateful to our Creator, Sustainer and Benefactor. We are Muslim because we believe in Allah.

This Islam that is fuelled by faith, stands the test of adversities. As opposed to Islam that is just based on identity which withers when tested.

Shaykh Faraz calls us to nurture our strength of faith by not just going through the motions of religion. Rather, we should make every action and act of faith: “Know that your prayer is an act of faith. Know that your fasting is an act of faith. Know that your charity is an act of faith. Know that sticking to the halal and avoiding the haram is an act of faith. Know that visiting your parents is an act of faith. Know that your being involved in the community, your social activism, your political activism, your maintaining ties with family and friends all of it is an act of faith.”

Before any action the believer should turn their heart to Allah. They should ask: what does Allah seek from me? Don’t just focus on the action. Focus first on Allah. If you do that, nothing will harm you.

The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him said): “If you ask, ask from Allah. If you rely, rely upon Allah.” Religion is about Allah Most High alone.

This Friday khutba was delivered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani in February 2017 at the the International Muslim Organization of Toronto (IMO).

Cover photo by alankrita singh.

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