Sincere Memorization of Quran

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: Is it considered shirk [polytheism] or even being insincere to tell someone that you are going to memorize some of the Quran?

Answer: It is not shirk [polytheism] but could be considered showing off [riya]. You shouldn’t get too tied up in it.

Developing innate sincerity takes time and effort. You should work on that as a universal goal, and not get bogged down with the specifics of what you just said or meant.

Shirk-like Things

There are no such things as Shirk-like things: one either worships something besides Allah or does not. It is very clear.

In your case, you are clearly not worshiping your father or teacher, so there is no question as to whether or not your actions or words constituted shirk.

The hadith that says that ‘Shirk [polytheism] is more hidden among my nation than the crawling of ants over a smooth boulder on a dark night.’ (Hakim) does not mean that every Muslim is accidentally committing shirk every now and then. Rather it is referring to the propensity of people to show off in good deeds. (Sharh Umdat al Ahkam, Ibn Taymiyya)

The Graveness of Showing Off

Showing off in good deeds is a very natural thing. After all, we grow up “showing off” to our parents and teachers trying to please them by doing good things. That said, upon the onset of puberty we are obliged to re-tune our psyches such that the driving force behind all good deeds — indeed deeds as a whole — is Allah Most High alone.

Allah Most High says, ‘And all they were ordered to do was to worship Allah, keeping religion purely for Him, as men by nature upright, and to establish worship and to pay the poor-due. That is true religion.’ (Qur’an, 98:5)

And the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) explained in a lengthy Hadith Qudsi that the very first people for whom judgment will be made on the Day of Rising with be the martyr, the scholar, and the philanthropist who only did their good deeds out ostentation and showing off. All of whom will find their fate in the Hell-Fire. (Muslim)

So ostentation is no small matter.

Being Realistic

That said, completely purity of heart does not come overnight, and it takes work and perseverance. As the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said when they complained to him of their late of sincerity, ‘I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, were you to be forever as you are will me in remembrance [of Allah and the Next Life], why, the very angels would be shaking your hands as you lay in bed or walk down the street! But, O Handhala [the questioner], sometimes [you are one way], and sometimes [you are another]! (Muslim)

This means we cannot expect to be perfect all the time. Rather we should resolve to try to be perfect: ‘But rather aim right, try your best, and “travel” in the morning, in the afternoon, and a little bit at night. Stick to moderation … Stick to moderation, and you will get where you need to be.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

So we must strive to remove the cancerous diseases that we have in our hearts while bearing in mind that it is not flick-of-a-switch operation. As described by Imam Junayd, ‘Spiritual change [tasawwuf] is a war of attrition with no cease-fire.’ (al Risala al Qushayriyya, Qushayri)

Baby Steps

There are two simple things to ward off ostentation.

The first is to decide on a certain regular system of worship etc., and not change it no matter where you are or whom you are with.

The second is to watch the motives that come to your heart, and whenever you see that you are about to show off, stop yourself and make a new sincere intention to do the action purely for Allah’s sake.

This takes a lot of work, and it helps a lot to keep the company of people who have done this to themselves or are at least working on it too.

For more detail, please see: Imam Nawawi On Fighting The Ego (Nafs)

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

We Created You In Pairs Meaning

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: So the concept of everyone being created in pairs, how does it apply to modern day life/ this generation? Many divorces/ separations/ men having more than one wife. So how does the concept of Allah creating us all in pairs work?

Answer: Assalamu alaykumwa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Regarding the verse of the Quran ‘And of everything single things we have created in pairs.’ [51: 49], Imam al-Alusi says,

‘This means two types that are different and distinguishable from its other, such as the male and the female, the sky and the earth … light and darkness, white and black … salvation and damnation … all of which indicate that all created beings are composite, and that they need a creator and that He alone is the One … As has been explained by Al-Kharraz (Allah sanctify his soul) that the meaning of Allah’s godhood and oneness is that He creates things in combinations, and less all singularity to Himself.’

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Lack Of knowledge

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: As-salamalaikum,

I have been living my life as a muslim without knowing many things about Islam, Allah, His Throne, and i have been very anxious about seeking knowledge because of the fact that I might discover that I have been believing misconceptions about Islam or that I have been ignorant about certain things. I hope you can help me out.

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Jazakum Allah khayran for your question

What makes a person a Muslim is that they simply testify in their heart that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘Whosoever testifies that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, Allah has made the Fire unlawful for him’. [Muslim]

This belief makes a person a Muslim. Therefore, do not doubt your faith or anyone else’s.

Obligatory Knowledge

Beyond this testification which makes a person Muslim, there are matters that are obligatory for each Muslim to know in order to make their basic belief sound and complete. These matters are some details relating to what is termed the ‘Six Articles of Faith’. These are: Belief in Allah Most High, His angels, His prophets, His books, the Day of Judgment, and divine decree.

While knowing some details about these matters is obligatory (to the extent possible given each individual’s ability and situation) not knowing them does not negate a person’s basic testification which makes them a Muslim, so long as they do not knowingly negate anything that is necessarily known to be part of the religion, such as the obligation of the five pillars.

The Throne

Not included in obligatory matters one must know is the nature or reality of God’s ‘Throne’ or related theological issues and exegetical discussions. A person will not be asked on these matters in the grave or on the Day of Judgment, but they will be asked about their basic belief in Allah, his Messenger, and held accountable for his works.

I highly recommend taking a basic, structured ‘aqida course which will give you the obligatory knowledge that each individual should know. However, to answer your specific question on the meaning of Allah Most High being above or elevated over His throne, the following brief points suffice for now:

1. God is absolutely dissimilar to creation, for Allah Most High has said, ‘There is nothing like unto Him’ [42:11]. He does not possess a corporeal body and is not defined by time and space.

2. Some of the early Muslims did not delve into the meaning of this verse (or similar verses), but rather contented themselves with assigning the meaning to Allah Most High, while at the same time negating that Allah Most High is anything like creation.

3. Some of the early Muslims, such as Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both), and later scholars, explained ‘Allah is above His throne’ as meaning that Allah is established in Authority and Power over His dominion. This explanation is supported linguistically, is reinforced by the context of the rest of the verse(s) and by other verses of the Quran, and again, negates any concept of corporeality.

Though there is much more to the discussion, a simple example of this explanation from a linguistic point of view is the statement, ‘The king was on his throne for 10 years’ which clearly does not mean the king was physically sitting on his throne for a period of 10 years, but rather he reigned over his kingdom/subjects for 10 years. Even at this basic lexical level, the meaning is clearly understood by all.

The simplest things in life are most often the most profound and the most beautiful. The most beautiful and profound thing in life is faith. Keep it simple and guard it.

Warmest salams,

[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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.

The Trodden Path (Episode 6): A Glimpse At the Lives of the Illustrious Scholars and Saints of the 20th and 21st Century – Mufti Muhammad Shafi‛

In this series, Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed of South Africa will take us on a journey through the lives and biographies of some of the most celebrated and well known scholars of the twentieth and twenty – first century. These historical accounts will provide us with refreshing insights and lessons, and motivate us to follow in the footsteps of our pious predecessors.

In this sixth episode of the The Trodden Path series, Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed writes on the life of Mufti Muhammad Shafi‛ Uthmani


The Trodden PathShaykh Mufti Muhammad Shafi‛ 1314-1396=1897-1976 (Pakistan)

He was born in 1897 (1314), in Deoband, India and is a descendant of the Uthmani family. His father, Mawlana Muhammad Yasin was a scholar and a very pious person. He thus grew up in a very religious environment and had the great fortune of sitting in the company of great luminaries of the time.

At the age of five, he began his Quranic education under Hafiz Muhammad Azim. He studied Persian works under his father and some mathematics under his uncle, Mawlana Manzur Ahmad and other secular subjects. Qari Muhammad Yusuf Mirthi whose recitation was broadcasted over the All India Radio, taught him Tajwid.

He was admitted to Dar Al-Uloom at the age of sixteen and qualified in 1918 (1335). Some of his teachers and mentors were:

  • Shaykh Anwar Shah Kashmiri. Under his guidance and supervision, he read and studied Sahih Al-Bukhari, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Shama’il, Al-Ilal and some books in Fiqh. His Shaykh loved him and requested that he write a critique of the Qadiyani movement. He complied and wrote a book in Urdu and another in Arabic titled Hadiyat Al-Mahdiyin fi Ayat Khatmi Al-Nabiyin.
  • Shaykh Aziz Al-Rahman Uthmani. With him he read Al-Muwatta with both narrations that are Imam Yahya Al-Laithi and Imam Muhammad ibn Hasan. He also read Sharh Al-Ma’ani Al-Athar, Mishkaat Al-Masabih, Sharh Al-Nukhbah and Tafsir Al-Jalalayn.
  • Shaykh Shabir Ahmad Uthmani. With whom he read Sahih Muslim and about half of AlHidayah. He also accompanied him a lot and benefited tremendously.
  • Mawlana Asghar Husain. With him he read Sunan Al-Nisai, Sunan Abi Dawud and a portion towards the end of Al-Tirmidhi.
  • Mawlana Izaaz Ali
  • Mawlana Rasool Khan Hazarwi
  • Mawlana Habiburrahman Uthmani

Each of these was an ocean of knowledge and piety. His son, Mufti Taqi Uthmani mentioned his other teachers in Zhayl Al-Izdiyad Al-Sani ala Al-Yani Al-Jani.

From his student days, he was regarded amongst the highly intelligent and diligent. He distinguished himself in all examinations, and as a result he was loved by his teachers.

After graduating, Mawlana Habiburrahman appointed him to teach some subjects for the lower classes and very soon he progressed to the higher classes when he taught almost every subject. He taught for about twenty-seven to thirty years until 1943 (1362). During this period, about 30 000 students, from all over the world benefited from his discourses.  Until today there are some of his students still serving the cause of Islam in various parts of the world. He was also given the task of heading the Dar Al-Ifta.


Mufti Shafi’ also reached a very high stage in Tasawwuf. He initially took the allegiance (baya’t) to Shaykh Al-Hind in 1920. After the latter’s demise, his spiritual contact continued with Shaykh Thanwi who conferred the mantle of Khilafat to him in 1930. He spent about twenty years in the company of his Shaykh under whose supervision he produced some outstanding literary works.

Mawlana Jamil Ahmad Uthmani said that Shaykh Thanwi had such a reliance on Mufti Shafi’s juristic acumen, that he consulted him on his personal matters as well.

Shaykh Thanwi once said, “May Allah lengthen the life of Mufti Shafi’, for I achieve two joys due to him. Firstly, I obtain knowledge from him and secondly, I have the satisfaction that after me there are people who will continue the work.”

After the demise of his teacher, Shaykh Aziz Al-Rahman, he was appointed as the Head of Fatwa at the Dar Al-Uloom. He remained in this position from 1350-1362. His fatawa were compiled in an eight-volume book entitled Imdad Al-Muftin.


Besides his literary and religious endeavors, he also served the people in the political arena. He played a major role in the independence of Pakistan, by openly supporting the Muslim League. Shaykh Thanwi chose him above other scholars to reform and spiritually rectify the leaders of the League like Muhammad Ali Jinnah and others. Mufti Shafi’ was also appointed as the Chief Supervisor of the Jamiyat Al-Ulama, a body created by the scholars who participated in the movement for the creation of Pakistan. In 1945, due to his influence, voting went in favour of Liaqat Ali Khan, who was elected as the President. Due to his political involvement in trying to establish an Islamic State, he was unable to teach, so he resigned.

In 1947 (1367), after the founding of Pakistan, and at the request of Shaykh Uthmani, he left Deoband. In 1949, after the demise of Shaykh Uthmani, he was elected as the Chairman of the Jamiyat Al-Ulama. He was also elected to many national bodies and made great efforts to promote Islam in the country.

In 1950 (1350), he established an institute in Karachi, which after a few months developed into a fully-fledged Dar Al-Uloom, with more than two thousand students. He wrote more than a hundred books some of which like his Tafsir; Ma’arif AlQuran is a great contribution to the study of the Quran. Besides his writing, his Tafsir of the Quran was broadcasted on Radio Pakistan for many years.

Some of his other works are:

  1. Ahkam Al-Quran. He wrote this as per instruction form Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi. Shaykh Zafar Ahmad, Shaykh Idris Khandehlawi and Mufti Jamil were amongst those also selected for this task. Mufti Shafi’s allotment was the portion from Surah Shuaraa until Surah Al-Hujuraat. He completed this in one large volume.
  2. Alaat Jadidah. Fiqh rulings on new issues.


Mufti Shafi’ spent his entire life in Islamic activities. Despite his elevated status he was a very humble person. He had an immaculate character and was always smiling. He had a habit of speaking softly but his replies were concise and to the point. He wore simple clothing throughout his life. He had an exceptional ability in both writing and reading and had a phenomenal memory. During his discourses he would give references of books that he had read many years ago. He was a poet in Arabic. Above all he was the head of all the scholars of Pakistan.

Very few people are aware that he was also an expert calligrapher, bookbinder and a hakim (physician). He learnt calligraphy and bookbinding during his student days. He studied herbal medicine as part of his course in the Dar Al-Uloom. His intention was to teach without remuneration and earn a livelihood by practising as a physician. However, Allah had not decreed this for him. When he was initially appointed as a teacher, his monthly salary was five rupees. When he left the institute after twenty-six years his salary was sixty-five rupees a month, whereas he had offers to teach in several parts of the country for a much higher salary, but he did not accept these offers. Madrasah Aliyah of Calcutta, offered him seven hundred rupees a month, but he refused the offer.


He passed away in October 1976 (Shawaal 1396). More than 100 000 people participated in his Janazah. Dr. Abdul Hay, senior successor of Shaykh Thanwi and a close friend of Mufti Shafi’ led the Salat. Many scholars expressed grief at his demise.

Mawlana Ihtisam Al-Haq said, “All the ulama have become orphans with his demise.”

Mufti Mahmud said, “Now it is very difficult for such a great learned man and jurist to be born.”

He is survived by his sons, Mufti Taqi Uthmani who is an excellent scholar, a Judge in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and a member of the International Fiqh Academy in Jeddah and Mufti Rafi Uthmani.

Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed is a well respected South African Islamic scholar who lives in Pretoria, South Africa. He studied at the King Saud University in Riyadh and the faculty of Shariah at the Islamic University of Madina. He has attained a M.A. in Islamic Studies from the University of South Africa. Through his extensive travels he has met and benefited from many senior scholars from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, India, Turkey etc. He has received numerous Ijazahs from the various scholars that he has met, studied with and served. He is currently a senior educator at the al – Ghazzali College in Pretoria.

He has authored two books:

  1. Muslim Scholars of the 20th Century.
  2. Muslim Scholars of the 21st Century.

He was one of the translators of Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad Alawi al – Maliki’s work: The Way of the True Salaf.

Why SeekersGuidance? – Imam Yama Niazi

In this video Imam Yama Niazi discusses the importance of acquiring knowledge in relation to one’s religion. He further emphasizes the various virtues of knowledge and how it raises the station of the seeker when attained and implemented. Imam Yama provides a detailed analysis of how SeekersGuidance works and how a student can navigate through the various free courses offered.


Take our online courses, all taught by qualified scholars, completely free, in an engaging and convenient manner:

How Does a Seeker of Knowledge Attain Openings? – Habib Umar bin Hafiz

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Habib Umar bin Hafiz advises seekers how to attain openings in their studies.

Seekers must abide by the etiquettes of seeking knowledge. They must spend time reviewing what they have studied with fellow students and write down important points which they learn.

They should call upon Allah by His names the Opener, the All-Knowing 100 times a day:

يا فَتَّاحُ يا عَلِيمُ

Ya Fattāḥ ya `Alīm

They should also repeat Ayat al-Kursi followed by this prayer upon the Prophet ﷺ :

اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَ سَلِّمْ عَلى سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلي آلِ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ في كُلِّ لَمْحَةٍ وَ نَفَسٍ بِعَدَدِ كُلِّ  مَعْلومٍ لَكَ

Allahumma salli wa sallim ‘ala sayyidina Muhammad wa ‘ala ali sayyidina Muhammad fi kulli lamhatin wa nafasin bi `adadi kulli ma`lumin lak

O Allah, bestow prayers and peace on our master Muhammad and his Family in every instant and every breath equal to the amount of everything known to You

Knowledge Gives Light: Continue the Ramadan Momentum

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