Reciting the Quran as it Deserves to be Recited- Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz explains what it means to “recite the Quran as it deserves to be recited”. He tells us that the the Arabic word of reciting, tilawa, means to follow. He explains that one meaning is that the reciter recites one verse followed by another. Another meaning is that the actions and states the Quran calls to, follows the recitation of the Quran.

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The Importance of Repentance – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

In this podcast Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said  calls the believers to realize the real wrongdoing, is in not repenting and turning to Allah when one errs. He also defines what repentance is. Shaykh Faid goes on to emphasize that Allah is always watching, and that we should be heedful of that. He also explains the state of those who do not make repentance, and how their lack of repentance is a turning away from Allah Most High. Conversely, repentance is one of the key traits of the believers.

Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said is the resident scholar at the Larayb Institute For Education, in the UK.

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

Nights of Reflection and Light – The Sunna of Reciting the Closing Ten Verses of Surat Aal-Imran- Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the closing ten verses of Surat Aal-Imran (3.190-200):Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of he day and night  there are signs for people of reason,˹They are those who remember Allah while standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth ˹and pray˺, “Our Lord! You have not created ˹all of˺ this without purpose. Glory be to You! Protect us from the torment of the Fire. Our Lord! Indeed, those You commit to the Fire will be ˹completely˺ disgraced! And the wrongdoers will have no helpers. Our Lord! We have heard the caller to ˹true˺ belief, ˹proclaiming,˺ ‘Believe in your Lord ˹alone˺,’ so we believed. Our Lord! Forgive our sins, absolve us of our misdeeds, and allow us ˹each˺ to die as one of the virtuous Our Lord! Grant us what You have promised us through Your messengers and do not put us to shame on Judgment Day—for certainly You never fail in Your promise.”So their Lord responded to them: “I will never deny any of you—male or female—the reward of your deeds. Both are equal in reward. Those who migrated or were expelled from their homes, and were persecuted for My sake and fought and ˹some˺ were martyred—I will certainly forgive their sins and admit them into Gardens under which rivers flow, as a reward from Allah. And with Allah is the finest reward!”Do not be deceived by the prosperity of the disbelievers throughout the land. It is only a brief enjoyment. Then Hell will be their home—what an evil place to rest! But those who are mindful of their Lord will be in Gardens under which rivers flow, to stay there forever—as an accommodation from Allah. And what is with Allah is best for the virtuous.Indeed, there are some among the People of the Book who truly believe in Allah and what has been revealed to you ˹believers˺ and what was revealed to them. They humble themselves before Allah—never trading Allah’s revelations for a fleeting gain. Their reward is with their Lord. Surely Allah is swift in reckoning. O believers! Patiently endure, persevere stand on guard, and be mindful of Allah, so you may be successful. (translation from Clear Qur’an by Dr. Mustafa Khattab, taken from Quran.com)

 In which the Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him) regularly recited when he got up for night worship.
These verses affirm the importance of Reflection and Remembrance (fikr and dhikr) as the means for certitude (yaqin) and true, living, transformative faith (Iman).
And they close with a memorable verse calling believers to patience, steadfastness, fortitude, and mindfulness as keys to eternal success.
Khutba from Jamiat-ul-Ansar (www.jamiatulansar.ca/) in Brampton.
Checkout all of the SeekersHub podcasts by visiting https://seekersguidance.org/podcasts/.

11: Supplication – Renewal by the Book: Quran Tafsir Based on Imam Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Riad Saloojee

In the eleventh lesson of Renewal by the Book we are joined by visiting scholar, Shaykh Riad Saloojee. Shaykh Riad reviews key verses of the Quran that correspond to Imam Al-Ghazali’s chapter on supplication. He covers verse 60 from Surat Ghafir, the 40th chapter of the Quran.

وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ
And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible.

Shaykh Riad reflects on this verse, indicating that this verse points to one’s relationship with Allah that it is one of neediness. So one should ask Allah for both material and spiritual giving. The verse continues to say that “those who are too proud for My worship…” and worship here refers to supplication. Those who refrain from supplication are thus characterized with arrogance and pride. Thus the scholars say when I find myself refraining from supplication or find it hard to engage in it, then that is an indicator of one’s pride and arrogance.

In order for one to engage in proper supplication one should not do it as a form of ritual. Rather, one should engage in supplication with presence of heart and with sincerity. Indeed, one should make supplication like a drowning person with your reliance solely on Allah. In turn, the greatest prize of supplication that your heart is focused on Allah.

In conclusion, Shaykh Riad reminds us that the most important part of supplication is reminding ourselves that there are no means other than Allah and that requires work, especially at a time when there may be many other superficial means that one thinks they can rely on, but our true reliance should always be on Allah.

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: https://seekersguidance.org/ramadan.

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

09: Remembrance & Supplication – Renewing Religion: An Overview of Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Riad Saloojee

In this lesson, we are joined by visiting scholar Shaykh Riad Saloojee. Shaykh Riad reviews the ninth chapter of Imam Al-Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din on remembrance and supplication.

This chapter is situated at the end of the first section of the book on acts of worship. One theme that runs through this chapter is manifested in the verse of the Quran: “oh you who have attained faith, be in Allah’s remembrance plentifully”. Divine remembrance is not restricted to any time or place, as such one should be in His remembrance all the time.

Shaykh Riyad details the functions of the heart by which one engages in remembrance, to know Allah, to experience Him and to will and desire to seek him. That is why divine remembrance is so important because it is the heart’s nourishment.

Shaykh Riyad also speaks to the importance of supplication and the essence of duaa is the expression of one’s need, poverty and desire for Allah. The gift of supplication is Allah allowing a person to be near to Allah in the closeness of asking. Supplication should free our will, reliance and dependence from anything else but Allah. The chapter by Imam Al-Ghazali also has a comprehensive listing of the various supplications one should engage in throughout the day.

Shaykh Riyad concludes by giving us practical steps of application:
[1] set our goal: that we should struggle to have our heart perpetually in Divine remembrance and habitually engage in supplication.
[2] Understand the importance of remembrance and supplication.
[3] Ramadan is a great time to push ourselves to implementing what we learn because it fits with our daily struggle to fast from all that is wrong and good is easy. Remember, the supplication of the fasting person is accepted.
[4] Engage in remembrance after prayer and engage in remembrance whenever you have some time.
[5] Make a commitment to engage in supplication for five minutes at a specific time on a daily basis.

In this brief overview of Imam Ghazali’s opus magnum, Ihya Ulum al-Din (Renewing the Religious Sciences), this series will serve as blueprint for how the believer can bring to life their religion. It will aim to help the believer to not just practice the form of the religion properly, but to also practice it with excellence.

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

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

09: Remembrance & Supplication – Renewal by the Book: Quran Tafsir Based on Imam Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this lesson, Shaykh Faraz looks at the key verses in the Quran corresponding to the ninth chapter of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya: Remembrance and Supplication. He highlights the verses 151-153 from Surah Al-Baqarah, which detail the importance and virtue of the remembrance of Allah.

كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَسُولاً مِّنكُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُواْ تَعْلَمُونَ

“Just as We have sent among you a messenger of your own who recites to you Our revelations, purify you, and teach you the Scripture and Wisdom; and to teach you what you did not know”

This verse outlines the gift that Allah has bestowed upon us and that is the gift of guidance.

فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُواْ لِي وَلاَ تَكْفُرُونِ

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلاةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ

“So remember me and I will remember you; be thankful to Me and never ungrateful. You who believe, seek help through steadfastness and prayer, for God is with the steadfast.”

The consequence of the gift that Allah has bestowed upon us is that we must engage in His remembrance and in thankfulness of Him. The sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him, is balanced on two pillars that are the foundation of it: to remember Allah and to be thankful.

In addition, Shaykh Faraz highlights the role of the Prophet, peace be upon him, as mentioned in verse 151: to convey revelation, to purify you (and that is the purpose of revelation), explains to you the revelation and teaches you wisdom (and that is the sunnah).

Shaykh Faraz explains that true remembrance is for your heart to be conscious of Allah without being attached to anything else and the reward for that is that Allah will grant you spiritual openings. Ultimately, this remembrance should stem from your love for Him.

In summary, Shaykh Faraz reminds us to keep our tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah. If you would like to read more on this topic you can read the Imam Ibn Rajab’s: The Compendium of Knowledge and Wisdom.

Resource: Tafsir al-Qushayri
http://www.greattafsirs.com/Books/lataif.pdf

In this series Shaykh Faraz 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: https://seekersguidance.org/ramadan.

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

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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Don’t Ask For Relief from Trials – Rather Ask for Right Response – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz highlights the teaching of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) with regards to what a believer should ask for during trials that they will inevitably face. He calls believers to not focus on getting out of the trial, but rather to focus on being the strong and empowered believer who responds to the trial with the strength, certitude and reliance upon Allah that faith entails. 

Shaykh Faraz recounts several examples of Prophet’s companions (peace and blessings be upon him and them), and how the Prophet directed them to having the correct response to trials, instead of just praying for the trials to be lifted. Shaykh Faraz gives several practical examples of how we can seek the right response in trials.

This Friday khutba was delivered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani in December 2016 at the University of Toronto, St. George campus.

Make the Most of Your Free Time With This Great Supplication – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani highlights the narration (hadith) of the Prophet ﷺ, in which he tells us about two great blessings that most people lose out on: health and free time. He then explains that one of the ways the righteous sought to make the most of free time, is to turn to Allah in supplication for that which benefits people.

Shaykh Faraz narrates a great supplication from Ma`ruf al-Karkhi, one of the righteous imams of the early Muslims (salaf):

“Whoever says, ‘Allahumma aslih Ummata Muhammad Allahumma farrij `an Ummati Muhammad Allahumma Rham Ummata Muhammad [salla Allahu `alayhi wa sallam] (O Allah, improve the state of the Umma of Muhammad O Allah, grant ease to the Umma of Muhammad O Allah, have mercy on the Umma of Muhammad),’ten times every day will be written down as one of the highest of elect believers (abdal).” [Abu Nu`aym, Hilyat al-Awliya , 8.366]

اللَّهُمَّ فَرِّجْ عَنْ أُمَّةِ مُحَمَّدٍ
اللَّهُمَّ أَصْلِحْ أُمَّةَ مُحَمَّدٍ
اللَّهُمَّ ارْحَمْ أُمَّةَ مُحَمَّدٍ

Photo credit: Sidal Yaşar

Prophetic Cure to Remove Worry and Relieve Debt, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani shares a prophetic narration (hadith) from the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, where he teaches one of the companions, Abu Umama (may Allah be pleased with him), an expression to remove his worry and relieve his debt.

The expressions is:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَالْحَزَنِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْجُبْنِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ غَلَبَةِ الدَّيْنِ وَقَهْرِ الرِّجَالِ

“Oh Allah I seek refuge in You from all worry and all hardship, I seek refuge in You from inability and laziness, I seek refuge in You from miserliness and cowardice, I seek refuge in You from being overcome by debt and from being overpowered by people.”

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