13: Etiquettes of Earning Livelihood – Renewing Religion: An Overview of Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Riad Saloojee

In this lesson, visiting scholar, Shaykh Riad Saloojee gives a brief overview of the chapter on the etiquettes of Earning a Livelihood from Imam Al-Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din. This chapter is divided into several sub themes:

[1] The virtue in earning your own livelihood
[2] The fiqh of contracts or the laws that govern the earning livelihood
[3] The idea of justice and equity in earning one’s livelihood
[4] Excellence in acquiring livelihood
[5] The connection between earning livelihood and the afterlife.
Shaykh Riad delves into each of the subsection explaining in overview what the main points relating to each are.

Shaykh Riad concludes by reminding us that it is possible to have Allah in the background of our hearts with all that we do and that includes while we pursuit our livelihoods. For this reason, Allah has given us a prayer to recite when entering the marketplace with a distinguished and high reward if one says it. That is because Allah wants us to remember Him in the places when most others would find it difficult to do so.

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: http://seekershub.org/ramadan2017.

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

12: Etiquettes of Earning a Livelihood – Renewal by the Book: Quran Tafsir Based on Imam Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Faid Said

In this lesson of Renewal by the Book, we are joined by visiting scholar, Shaykh Faid Said. Shaykh Faid reviews verses from the Quran that correspond to the chapter on the Etiquettes of Acquisition and Earning Livelihood by Imam Ghazali.

وَفِي السَّمَاءِ رِزْقُكُمْ وَمَا تُوعَدُونَ
And in the heaven is your provision and whatever you are promised. [Quran, 51:22]

Allah provides for each their provisions from His generosity and to those whom we may not expect. The sunnah of all Prophets is to share food with people. The story of Prophet Ibrahim, when he invited one of his visitors to believe in God and he refused, Prophet Ibrahim wanted him to leave. However, Allah told Prophet Ibrahim, I have been sustaining him for his whole life, despite his disbelief, and you refuse to feed him. Such is the generosity of Allah.

Shaykh Faid reminds us that one should be careful of how they acquire their livelihood but also how they spend it. It is not enough to eat halal but to collect your money from permissible work and permissible means. You can only seek permissible means if you have utmost faith in Allah.

Shaykh Faid concludes with a reminder, that we should all rely on Allah for our sustenance but also to act to attain. However, one should always know that their sustenance, first and foremost, is from 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: http://seekershub.org/ramadan2017.

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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Plant A Tree (30 Deeds, 30 Days), by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Plant A Tree, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

30 Days, 30 Deeds
Sacred Acts to Transform the Heart

Every night, our scholars in residence explore one simple deed that could have far reaching spiritual impact on our lives – and the lives of others. Every day we’ll make the intention to put that teaching into practice. Whether it’s forgiving someone who’s wronged us or putting service to others at the top of our list of priorities, these powerful lessons will remind us of the great gift the Prophet ﷺ‎  gave us: the best of character.

Daily at 8:10 pm EST. Attend in person at SeekersHub Toronto or watch live.

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

Photo credit: Tonypet Montemayor

True Gratitude For Food

Every age has its considerations and our age is one of encouragement, instilling hope and gratitude. With this Shaykh Faraz Rabbani begins this brief but beautiful podcast about why it is from the Prophetic example to be grateful for every morsel of food we are blessed with.

Photo by Kārlis Dambrāns.

Creating & Sustaining North American Muslim Scholarship

Shaykh Yasir Qadhi (left) and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

One from the archives! Shaykh Faraz Rabbani at the 2007 Muslim Students Association National Continental Conference, with Shaykh Yasir Qadhi (who can be heard in the question and answer session towards the end).

Putting Shoes On Our Heads, Counsel from Habib Ali Al-Jifri

Habib Ali al-Jifri asks us to imagine if someone walked into a room and placed his shoes on top of his head. What would we think of him? We would think he was crazy or if we had a good opinion, we might say he’s just trying to make us laugh.

This dunya is like a pair of shoes

It’s a funny analogy but in actual fact, we are all constantly “putting shoes on our heads”. This world, the dunya, is like a pair of shoes and our dogged pursuit of fleeting worldly achievements, such as rank, status, popularity, possessions and wealth – is akin to putting shoes on our head.

The Fully Integrated Life – Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad

“Allah bears witness that there is no god except He, and the Angels and the ones endowed with knowledge, upright with equity (bear witness). There is no god except He, The Ever-Mighty, The Ever-Wise…” (Surah al-Imran, Verse 18)

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad talks about how one should approach the balance needed in life, to put everything where it deserves to be put. How should one manage the different influences and complexity of life as a student? How does one find the right balance between what may seem deen and what may seem Dunya? The shaykh explains how we must strive for the fully integrated life and shares some useful tips from the works of Hujjat ul-Islam Imam Al-Ghazali.

Our deepest gratitude to Cambridge Khutbahs for making this recording available.

On Sincerity and Avoiding Excessiveness

Attaining true sincerity in worship and maintaining it through following the Prophetic balance – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains how, as he draws from two counsels from one of the great works of the Ba’Alawi tradition titled “Idah Asrar ‘Uloom al-Muqarrabin” (A Clarification of the Subtle Knowledges of Those Drawn Close to Allah) by Shaykh Jamaluddin ibn Abdullah ibn Shaykh al-Aydarus.

The first counsel on striving for sincerity is from page 52 of the book:

An action that is pure in every consideration is exceedingly rare and hard to find because most righteous actions are not bereft of capricious impulse, even if it be a little. But a person may not realize those imperfections because how subtle they are. And it is this completely pure action in every way that reaches The Lord Most High quickly and it is the action that rips away the veils between one and his Lord, because that completely pure action is the most noble of actions and the very spirit of actions. And the action that is completely pure is that which was preformed with a degree of spiritual striving (mujahada) and exertion, and one’s ego has no attachment to it in any way. Such an action is the reliance of the knowers of Allah and what they consider, so understand well.

The second counsel on maintaining the Prophetic balance in actions of worship from page 66 of the book:

It is upon you dear brother to do the good, and seek with all your actions the Countenance of Allah Most High. And beware of extremes and excessiveness in your actions, because righteous acts if they are preformed with balance then they fall in their rightful places (and have their rightful impact). But if one becomes excessive in them, then whims become attached to them and then they become of the category of the actions of the self. Do you not see the words of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him in the rigorously authenticated narration (hadith):

“… Rather I pray and not stand in prayer, I fast some days and not fast others, I have relations with women, so whoever turns away from my sunnah is not of me.”

So some knowers of Allah said that Allah has not commanded His servants with any command except that Iblis follows up on it by either by calling the servant to overdo the action or become lax therein. This should teach you oh spiritual wayfarer how to have balance in all your affairs and to not go into excesses in your actions, because actions (good deeds) can ruin a person without them even realizing it because of their caprice taking over them.

The basis of this is the ego has a type of attachment to good deeds, except that these attachments have no basis and no reality (it is delusion). What could be manifest of one in their dealings is softness and gentleness, but their heart could be hard and their gentleness and softness is out of their ego, and this happens a lot.

Likewise crying for example could overcome people who are hard hearted, their selves are week and their hearts are hard, and none of that matters, because the reliance is on that which comes forth from the hearts, not from that which is manifested by selves. Likewise with all character traits and conducts that are related to the self, none of it is celebrated because it has no basis even if it from that which impresses people.

So if you wish to distinguish between that which comes forth from the hearts and that which comes forth from the self, then go from effects to causes. So for example if you see someone who is soft and crying then look at their temperament, does it fit their temperament? So if their temperament befits softness and crying then this from the heart. But if their temperament is difficult and harsh not suited to crying and softness, then know that it is from the self and not from the heart. So apply the same thing to yourself.

All SeekersHub programming is free so consider joining us online or at the Toronto Hub where Shaykh Faraz teaches regularly from. Your financial support is crucial to our #SpreadLight campaign, which seeks to provide truly excellent Islamic learning to at least 1,000,000 seekers of knowledge in the coming year! This will serve as an ongoing charity (sadaqa jariyah) so please donate today.

Liberating Ourselves from the Preoccupation with our Basic Needs

You’re listening to a lecture at the University of Toronto’s Muslim Chaplaincy iftar by Shaykh Ahmed Sa’ad Al Azhari – a distinguished master of the Qur’an and scholar in residence at SeekersHub Toronto during Ramadan 2015.

All SeekersHub programming during this blessed month is freely available at the Ramadan Hub. Your financial support is crucial to our #SpreadLight campaign, which seeks to provide truly excellent Islamic learning to at least 1,000,000 seekers of knowledge in the coming year! This will serve as an ongoing charity (sadaqa jariyah) so please donate today.