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Why Do We Waste So Much Food in Ramadan? – Shaykh Muhammad Metwali Al-Sha’raawi

In this video, the late Egyptian luminary and scholar, Shaykh Muhammad Metwali Al-Sha’raawi (RA) urges us to reflect on our consumption of food in the month of Ramadan. He reminds us that there is no benefit in overeating or being gluttonous once the time of breaking fast sets in. Rather, we should suffice ourselves with minimal food so that we may reap the spiritual and physical benefits of fasting. By being conscious of the true meanings of Ramadan, Muslims will be able to live lives of moderation and balance.

 


Biography:

Shaykh Muhammad al-Sha’raawi was born in Egypt on the 5th of April , 1911. At the age of 11, he had completely memorized the Quran. He graduated from the Faculty of Arabic Language at the al – Azhar University in 1941. He was considered and recognized as a gifted exegete of the Quran. He was revered and respected in the Muslim world for his scholarship and piety. His regular weekly programme on Egyptian television immediately following Friday prayers was followed by millions of people around the Middle East. During his programmes, he would explain the Qur’an with humor, wisdom and the use of examples drawn from everyday life. He passed away on the 4th of June, 1998. Reportedly more than a million mourners packed Cairo’s streets in a display of grief.


 

The Urgency of Stewardship – Living Green Series

The Living Green Series takes us through our responsibilities towards green living and environmental stewardship. In this segment, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains why we all have a responsibility to be stewards of the earth.

Stewardship a necessary part of living in this world. We are actually commanded to work towards justice to everything around us, and we have been given the moral ability to do so.

Allah commands us in the Qur’an:

Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. (16:90)

Justice entails giving everything its due, whether it be other humans, plants, and animals. The Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, would give names to his tools and household objects, signifying that he had a relationship with them.

Muslims have an overarching commitment to environmental protection, and are called to have a good balance with everything in our daily lives. This includes doing things like avoiding waste, knowing that small amounts of waste and extravagance are disliked, while gross waste is sinful.

It also involves  having a commitment to do well in work, studies, and family and social life, but not be excessively attached to them. This balance involves being in a position where we seek the good for ourselves, while still seeking good for others. We do this while being mindful of Allah, and doing everything with the intention of reaching Him.

About the Series

What is the place of green and environmental stewardship in Islam? How does the Qur’an view concern for the environment?  What is your responsibility towards the environment? Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin and Shaykh Ali Hani answer these are other critical questions by citing several prophetic traditions emphasising environmental consciousness and awareness.


Resources for Seekers

How Can I Find Balance in Religious Practice?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I find practicing religion overwhelming after coming to know the importance of time. I read that wasting time is forbidden and I will have to account for it to Allah. It is very tough to pass a whole day only thinking about religion. I feel scared to meet my friends since most of them discuss only worldly affairs. How can I find a balance?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question. May Allah reward you for wanting to take the religion seriously and with devotion.

The key in all matters is moderation. The Prophet ﷺ advised us that, ‘Religion is easy, and no one overburdens himself in his religion but he will be unable to continue in that way. So do not be extremists, but try to be near perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded. Gain strength by worshipping in the mornings and afternoons and during the last hours of the night.’ [al Bukhari, Muslim].

From this hadith it becomes obvious that a Muslim is not meant to be engrossed in worship at all hours of the day, as this is the life of a hermit. Rather, set aside some time in the day and evening for worship that is sustainable, otherwise one will burn out. Also, as we’ll see, worshiping God can take on many forms.

Balancing After life and worldly affairs

Allah Most High tells us, ‘But seek, amidst that which God has given thee, the Last Abode, and forget not thy portion of the present world.’ [28:77]. So one should not forget that one has a portion of this world that contains one’s livelihood, human relationships, and happiness. This world is a means to the next world, and part of human engagement with the world is enjoying some of the permissible avenues of provision and pleasure that it offers, within moderation.

This is why, when ‘A group of three men came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet ﷺ asking how the Prophet worshipped, and when they were informed about that, they considered their worship insufficient and said, “Where are we from the Prophet as his past and future sins have been forgiven.” Then one of them said, “I will offer the prayer throughout the night forever.” The other said, “I will fast throughout the year and will not break my fast.” The third said, “I will keep away from women and will never marry.”

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ came to them and said, “Are you the same people who said so-and-so? By Allah, I am more submissive to Allah and more afraid of Him than you; yet I fast and break my fast, I do sleep and I also marry women. So he who does not follow my tradition in religion, is not from me.’ [Al-Bukhari]

There is no one more god-fearing or devoted to God than the Prophet ﷺ, and he ﷺ commanded us to be moderate in our religious devotion and worldly affairs. Ai’sha (May Allah be pleased with her) was once asked, ‘What did the Prophet use to do in his house?” She replied, ‘He used to keep himself busy serving his family, and when it was time for prayer he would go out for it.’ [Al-Bukhari].

We can see that the Prophet ﷺ did not lock himself away in a room praying to Allah, reciting Quran, or teaching, but rather he gave everything and everyone their due, and participated in everyday life.

Right intentions

Worship doesn’t just have to be praying, reading Qu’ran, fasting, and lectures. Not everything has to be overtly religious. The Prophet ﷺ has said, ‘Be avid for that which benefits you’ and this benefit encompasses any form of benefit, whether religious, social, health, and in both worlds.

Rather, everything we do, from helping others at home or outside, doing our duties and obligations to others, studying and working to get a good job, spending quality time with family and friends, exercise and sports, cooking, and even reading or watching beneficial and permissible articles and documentaries etc., can all be a form of benefit and reward from Allah Most High, if one makes the right intention.

Right intentions can be to fulfil duties to others, earn a halal living, strengthening the ties of kinship and brotherly bonds, strengthening one’s body so one can worship Allah better, increasing in faith and gratitude to Allah through reflecting on the world and Allah’s creation, helping others and making things easy for them through housework and assistance, and many more noble intentions for even the most mundane matters.

Socialising

There is nothing wrong with socialising in moderation and meeting with friends. In fact, it is needed. We all need to have diversity in our lives in order to continue doing what we do. So socialising, hobbies and interests are good ways to revitalise us and continue with all our affairs, as well as a source encouragement to each other.

Its mentioned in al Bukhari that ‘The companions used to play with one another by throwing watermelon skins at each other, but when it was time for seriousness, they were real men’. Abu Salamah said, describing the Companions, ‘The Companions never exaggerated in seriousness, nor were they heedless; they used to recite poetry in their gatherings and mention some incidents which took place during their pre-Islamic period and laugh, but if they saw any action against Islam, they would become furious.’ [Ibn Abu Shaybah]

The moderation that the Sahaba had with the religion is that everything had its place and time, and part of this was socialising and being able to have fun or relax when it was appropriate.

The Prophet ﷺ was asked once, ‘Do you joke with us? He ﷺ replied, ‘I do, but I only say that which is true’ [Al Bukhari]. Again, we see the permissibility of being light hearted in the company of others without necessarily having to bring a profound or religious aspect to all our conversations, as long the conversations stay within certain limits.

Timetabling

It is important to timetable one’s daily routines so one makes the most of each day and night, and this is where time management is important. The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘The best deed in the sight of Allah is that which is done regularly.” [Ahmad].

Therefore, timetable your daily routine, incorporating time for different types of worship in the morning and night that is maintainable and will not tire you out. It is a trick of the devil to make yourself burn out until you find the religion overwhelming and unbearable, in the hope you will start to detest the religion and abandon it.

Do a little daily that is manageable, and not for long periods. If it ever feels too much, half the time put aside for religious devotion, or even less, until you feel it is easy, and then stay on that for a while until you want to do more, then increase very gradually. ‘God does not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear. [2:286]

Ensure that your timetable includes time to spend with family and good friends (and relax with them!), and others things you need to do or like to do. Take it easy and give everything it’s due, including yourself.

May Allah grant you to every good.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Learn to Live… with Balance – Sister Heba #GiveLight

Learning to Live, with Balance

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Am I On The Right Path? Counsel from Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus gives a profound response to the ultimate question – am I on the right path? Will I be accepted by Allah?

Recorded in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in May 2015.

Do You Want to Learn More?

Consider taking an online course with SeekersHub. It’s free to anyone, anywhere in the world. There are over 30 titles to choose from, including Imam Ghazali’s Foundations of Islamic Belief Explained and Islamic Beliefs for Seekers: Dardir’s Kharidah Explained.

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 – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


prayerAttaining 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.

Resources for Seekers:

Seeking Sincerity: How Can One Strive To Have One’s Actions accepted by Allah?
How Can I Deal With Doubts About the Sincerity of My Prayers?
How To Attain Sincerity: Keys, Signs, and Advice
A Reader on Sincerity, Intention, and the Purpose of Spiritual Routines
How Can I Increase My Iman and My Sincerity?
The Need for Sincerity, and the Dangers of Seeking Prestige and the Praise of Others
Intention: Validity And Sincerity
Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad on Hypocrisy and Sincerity
What Is the Meaning of the Hadith “Ruined Are the Extremists”?

What Does it Mean to Have "Beautiful Restraint and Balance" in one’s Work, Career, and in Seeking one’s Provision?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: In the Revival Circle class, we took the hadith on having “beautiful balance” in one’s work, career, and seeking one’s provision. What does this entail? And can you share the hadith, please?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate
with blessings and peace upon the Messenger of Allah,
and his family and companions

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.
The hadith is mentioned in the Muwatta of Imam Malik. He relates that, “It has reached us that it would be said that: ‘Truly, no one will die until they have fulfilled their provision. So ​have beautiful restrain​t​ in your seeking provision.'” ​[Malik, Muwatta]​
​Imam ​Ibn Abd al-Barr says in his commentary on the Muwatta: ​T​his is a Prophetic hadith of well-known contiguous chains of narration.​ [Ibn Abd al-Barr, al-Istidhkar]​ The hadith is also found in a number of the major works of hadith, with acceptable chains of transmission.
​What does “beautiful restraint” mean?​
​Imam ​Tibi says in his commentary on (his student) ​Imam ​Tabrizi’s ​compendium of ​hadith​s in the major hadith works​, Mishkat al-Masabih:
“​Have beautiful restraint ​in seeking…​” (fa ajmilu​ fi’t talab​) refers to seeking a livelihood in a beautiful (jamil) way–which is to only seek it in ways that accord with Divine Guidance (shari`ah).”​ [Tibi, Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih]​
​Thus, “have beautiful restraint in seeking your provision” would entail:
(1) ​remaining within limits​ of halal and haram, on the basis of sound knowledge​;
​(2) learning and ​upholding the sunnas and adab of earning a lawful​, virtuous ​living;
​(3) ​having the right intentions and aims in one’s work;
​(4) upholding the right inward traits ​of faith and character ​in ​one’s work and through ​one’s work.
​See: The Muslim Standard of Excellence in Work and Life – Faraz Rabbani
And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

Faraz Rabbani

الاستذكار (8/ 272)
مَالِكٌ أَنَّهُ بَلَغَهُ أَنَّهُ كَانَ يُقَالُ إِنْ أَحَدًا لَنْ يَمُوتَ حَتَّى يَسْتَكْمِلَ رِزْقَهُ فَأَجْمِلُوا فِي الطَّلَبِ
هَذَا حَدِيثٌ مُسْنَدٌ مَعْرُوفٌ عِنْدَ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ

شرح المشكاة للطيبي الكاشف عن حقائق السنن (10/ 3337)

قوله: فأجملوا في الطلب)) أي اكتسبوا المال بوجه جميل، وهو أن لا تطلبه إلا بالوجه الشرعي

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Justice as Sadaqa (Charity) – Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad via Allahcentric

Justice as Sadaqa (Charity) – Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad « Allahcentric

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These are meditations by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad on some hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) related to justice. The balance of Mercy and Justice; the true understanding of justice and its relationship with complete balance; how political justice is (and isn’t) sought; political quietism in the face of misconduct by rulers; classical sects that promoted militancy, and their modern inheritors; the tension between justice and forgiveness; the redress of wrongs; and the need for jurists (and those seeking to promote justice) to be grounded in spirituality.

 

The full text may be found at Sidi Mas’ud Khan’s Site (www.Masud.co.uk):  Justice as Sadaqa (pdf)

 

An extract:

 

(2) There is an act of charity [sadaqa] to be given for each part of the human body and for every day over which the sun rises there is a reward of a |adaqa for theone who establishes justice among people.

Justice (‘adl) is due balance (i‘tidal): it is impartiality. The same word is employed to describe the balance of the body’s four humours. When these are in balance, right thinking and health are the consequence. When they are not, the Qur’an speaks of the last day when ‘their tongues, their hands and their feet will bear witness to what they used to do.’ (24:24)

To purify the body from the disorders which both engender and result from sin, a system of worship is gifted in revelation, which culminates in the placing of the forehead, the symbol of human pride and of self-oriented thought, upon the earth. The tongue ‘gives charity’ by praising God, and by speaking words of reconciliation. The hands do so by working to earn a lawful income, and by striving to right wrong sin society.

Taken together, the purifying ‘charity’ offered by the parts of the believer’s body always has a social impact, the highest aspect of which must be to ‘establish justice’, not only by avoiding unbalanced temptations, but by working to establish a political order in which justice is safeguarded.

Political work is thus conceived as a sacrifice. Never is political authority ‘sought’, in the conventional profane understanding, for a hadith says: ‘Do not seek political power, for if you obtain it by seeking it, it will be given power over you.’ This refers to a selfish, egotistic pursuit (hirs) of power, rather than to the selfless seeking of power for the sake of the establishment of justice for others. The model is the Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) who endangers himself in order to establish God’s justice in a feuding Arabia, and who ends his life in holy poverty, despite the advantages he could have gained from having been born into the aristocracy.

And:

 

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Towards the close of the classical Friday sermon, the preacher recites the Qur’¥nic passage which runs: ‘God enjoins justice and goodness.’ (16:90) The first is clearly not sufficient; or the second would not have been mentioned. Islam’s is a god of justice, but also of mercy. The extent to which the latter virtue can override the former in political life can only be defined in a very limited way in books of law. In Islamic legal culture, which grants the judge more discretion than the heavily statutory jurisdictions of the West, the judge has much room for mercy. In the Religion of Wisdom and Compassion, which deeply trusts human beings, it is no surprise that he should have been given this privilege. But his responsibility is grave, and if he is to escape GodÆs own Rigour, he must first defeat his ego. Sufism, the schoolroom of the selfless virtues, thus becomes the most fundamental juristic science.

 

 

Sidi Mas’ud Khan’s Site (www.Masud.co.uk):  Justice as Sadaqa (pdf)

 

Many thanks to Sidi Khuram Zaman, for bringing our attention to this, by posting it on his excellent Allahcentric blog, here.