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Knowledge Gives Light: Continue the Ramadan Momentum

Knowledge Gives Light: Continue the Ramadan Momentum By Taking Our Free Online Courses—all taught by qualified scholars.

We all hope to improve in faith and practice during Ramadan. But we frequently struggle to sustain this momentum after Ramadan.

Take our free online courses, all taught by qualified scholars, completely free, in an engaging and convenient manner. Be sure to check out our Steps Curriculum, New Courses, Learning Arabic Courses, Arabiyya Courses (taught in Arabic!), and the rest of the over 100 courses.

The Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him) said, “Whomever Allah wishes well for, He grants them an understanding of religion.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to gain reliable understanding of religion.

Check out the full course catalog now—including new courses on Learning Arabic, new Steps Curriculum courses, and new courses taught in Arabic!

The Blessing of Knowledge, by Shaykh Faid Muhammad Said

Allah has promised that He will facilitate the path to Jannah for anyone who embarks on the journey to seeking knowledge. Imagine being in the company of the “pious ones” in the Eternal Garden. Can you afford to lose out on this opportunity? Listen to Shaykh Faid Muhammad Said explain how clear and easy Allah has made this choice for us and start today by taking a free course with SeekersHub from the comfort of your own home.

How SeekersHub Courses Work

If you’ve never taken a SeekersHub course before, you might be curious how it all works! Here is a complete tour of the SeekersHub course experience.

1) Lessons

When you log in, you will find a list of lessons for each week of the semester. Each course has weekly audio lessons; some also have supplementary video lessons. Download the audio lessons to listen and review on the go.

2)  Your Instructor & TA

SeekersHub courses have one or more instructors, and a teaching assistant (TA). Your live instructor will respond to messages on the forum and conduct your monthly online live class. In the meantime, your TA will help you work through course material with lesson reviews, weekly reflection questions, and more.

3) Forums

The News Forum is where you’ll find updates about your course – including review notes from your TA, and updates about your monthly live streamed classes. After listening to your recorded lessons for the week, post your questions and reflections on the SeekersForum. Your TA and instructor will either respond on the forum, or in person during your next live streamed class.

The bulk of your interaction with your instructor and TA will happen on the SeekersForum, so log in a few times a week to see what’s new.

4) Live Sessions

As beneficial as online classes are, we know that nothing replaces a real student-teacher relationship. That’s why SeekersHub gives you opportunities to meet with your instructor, and benefit from their knowledge and character via online live sessions.

Most courses have three online live classes each semester. You can log in to a joint online classroom with a chat box to type in your questions or ask for advice from the teacher. For those who can’t make it, recordings are posted on the main course page after the session.

5) Quizzes

Quizzes are an important way to consolidate your learning. Most courses have several quizzes with recommended deadlines to keep track of your progress and assess your understanding. This also lets you stay in tune with other students so you can clarify concepts with each other in the SeekersForum.


How SeekersGuidance Courses Work

If you’ve never taken a SeekersGuidance course before, you might be curious how it all works! Here is a complete tour of the SeekersGuidance course experience.

1) Lessons

When you log in, you will find a list of lessons for each week of the semester. Each course has weekly audio lessons; some also have supplementary video lessons. Download the audio lessons to listen and review on the go.

2)  Your Instructor & TA

SeekersHub courses have one or more instructors, and a teaching assistant (TA). Your live instructor will respond to messages on the forum and conduct your monthly online live class. In the meantime, your TA will help you work through course material with lesson reviews, weekly reflection questions, and more.

3) Forums

The News Forum is where you’ll find updates about your course – including review notes from your TA, and updates about your monthly live streamed classes. After listening to your recorded lessons for the week, post your questions and reflections on the SeekersForum. Your TA and instructor will either respond on the forum, or in person during your next live streamed class.

The bulk of your interaction with your instructor and TA will happen on the SeekersForum, so log in a few times a week to see what’s new.how SeekersHub courses work

4) Live Sessions

As beneficial as online classes are, we know that nothing replaces a real student-teacher relationship. That’s why SeekersHub gives you opportunities to meet with your instructor, and benefit from their knowledge and character via online live sessions.

Most courses have three online live classes each semester. You can log in to a joint online classroom with a chat box to type in your questions or ask for advice from the teacher. For those who can’t make it, recordings are posted on the main course page after the session.

5) Quizzes

Quizzes are an important way to consolidate your learning. Most courses have several quizzes with recommended deadlines to keep track of your progress and assess your understanding. This also lets you stay in tune with other students so you can clarify concepts with each other in the SeekersForum.


Arabic and Shari’ah Course – DTI and Dar al-Safa (Cape Town)

DTI Shaykh Abdurragmaan KhanMuslims today are facing unprecedented challenges in their personal lives and as a community at a global level. One such challenge is for students to find a place to study; a fountain of knowledge to drink from which remains pure and unpolluted by the effects of various social ills.

DTI and Dar al-Safa now offer an Arabic and Shari’ah Course, study part-time or full-time.
With a tried and tested syllabus, learners are able to understand the Qur’an within the span of one year of part-time studies. Thereafter, equipped with the keys to the Arabic language, they are able to progress to other Islamic disciplines in their second and third years of study.
2018 Registrations are open!

ORIENTATION DAY:
Full-time – 16 January
Part-time – 20 January
View prospectus here
To register click here

Seekersguidance’s Top 5 On Demand Courses of 2017

In 2017, we were busy people with busy lives. Even when we’re “on the go”, we want to make sure we’re going in the right direction. That’s why SeekerHub started offering On-Demand courses. With a number of subjects to choose from and high-quality recordings from our scholars that are easy to access and download, SeekersHub provides you with guidance that goes wherever you are.

Check out the top five on-demand courses from 2017:

#1 – Parenting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Walead Mosaad and Ustadha Shireen Ahmed discuss the importance of planning and careful consideration when raising children. Excellent for anyone with, or thinking about, children.

#2 – Getting Married

Taught by Ustadha Shireen Ahmed and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, this course covers everything from why we get married to how we can maintain harmony in our marriages for the rest of our lives.

#3 – Perfecting Prayer

Explore the virtues and spiritual reality of prayer, the inward conditions of accepted prayer, and also examine the Prophet’s prayer (peace be upon him). You will also receive guidance on how prayer can transform your worldly and religious life.

#4 – Stories of the Prophets

A series of remarkable Quranic stories of the Prophets (peace be upon them), retold by Shaykh Ahmad Saad al-Azhari. Who are these people, what made them special and how can we ensure our families see them as real role models?

#5 – The Divine Opening

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus will take us through the opening chapter of the Qur’an—Surat al-Fatiha. This sura has been considered to be a “summary of the guidance of the Qur’an.” In this set, we will see why believers are called to recite it in every prayer.

Help SeekersHub continue to provide millions with free and open access to Islamic education

We don’t believe in charging for sacred knowledge. That’s why all our services are provided 100% free of charge. This is made possible by a small group of generous donors. For as little as $10/month, you can help millions around the world access transformative Islamic knowledge, free of charge.

Click here to give $10/month

Islamic Logic: Bring Order and Clarity to Your Religious Reasoning

An Introduction to Islamic Logic: Abhari’s Isagoge Explained

Have you ever had trouble arguing for your Faith? Have you ever wished you knew of a better way to clarify what others might find obscure in Islam?

About the course

Islamic Logic is an ancillary science, the main purpose of which is to
• protect Muslim scholars, students and laymen from mistakes in reasoning
• analyze anti-religious arguments in order to show their falsehood
• construct arguments to vindicate the tenets of faith of Sunni Islam

About the teacher

Shaykh Hamza Karamali joined the SeekersHub Global teaching faculty in 2016. This will be his first course with SeekersHub. You can read more about him here.
We are very excited about this new course. We think you should be, too. Sign up now.
If you’re not quite ready to jump into Islamic Logic, we have loads of other courses for you to take a look at. Check out the course catalog.

How To Avoid Being A "Know-It-All", by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

You should be involved in Islamic learning, argues Shaykh Shuaib Ally. A large reason for that involves a trait that, when lacking, cripples a person’s ability to develop their knowledge base: intellectual humility.

A lack of intellectual humility manifests itself, in discussions related to the Islamic sciences, in various forms. A common expression is for me to arrive at a certain opinion, say, related to a legal matter. I then imagine that I alone understand what the ruling ought to be, and that none others hold a correct view.
However, it is unlikely that my opinion finds no precedent whatsoever in an academic history that spans over 1400 odd years and large swathes of the globe. Such a belief instead derives from my misguided belief in the unique and special nature of my own outlook.
It would be bad enough if this were the lone result of this form of intellectual arrogance. Worse is the nefarious corollary of such a belief, my belief that the fact this unique understanding is not being currently championed must be due to one of two reasons.
One is that the vast majority of scholars are being academically dishonest and are hiding what is the correct opinion for their own ends. The other is that it really is the fact that the understanding I have arrived at has no precedent whatsoever in the inherited tradition. I then take this to be demonstrative of the fact that established scholarship has nothing serious to offer.
This is, of course, wrongheaded.
It is unlikely that there is some sort of conspiracy to cover up aspects of scholarship in Islamic history; in fact, scholarly works are quite good at recording non-mainstream opinions, if for no other reason than academic curiosity. It is simply more likely that scholars have chosen another opinion for other reasons, and that is the one that people are most familiar with.
Moreover, my being unaware of a certain opinion within a body of scholarship hardly indicates that the community of scholarship itself is somehow compromised. More often than not, it simply reflects a gap in my own knowledge base. That is, it says more about me than about the discipline I am considering defective.
In this regard, the late 3rd C Shāfiʿī jurist poet, Mansūr b. Ismāʿīl al-Tamīmī, recited:

Those of diminished intellect critique the study of law
Yet their blame does not affect it in the least
The morning sun rising in the horizon remains unharmed
By those without sight remaining oblivious to its light

Let me give you an example. Imagine I believe that astronomical calculations should be used in lieu of naked eye sightings to determine the beginning and end of months in the lunar calendar. I could have very good reasons for arguing this. Classical scholars, I might argue, worked in a medieval period in which the sciences were not as developed, and therefore did not consider astronomical calculations as possible. I might go on to argue that in the modern age, we have precise methods of measurement, and that this should allow for the formulation of new rulings.
This would be an example of intellectual arrogance because classical works do consider astronomical calculations being used for this purpose; these discussions are alluded to in even fairly elementary works of law. When I make such a claim, I am arrogantly making claims about the absence of a discussion in a certain literature, betraying my lack of knowledge of preceding discussion.
My viewing scholars at large with suspicion, and believing them to be unwilling to entertain this discussion, would likewise be intellectually arrogant. This is because they are skirting an issue; they have simply chosen another opinion for other reasons.
The intellectual arrogance here is born out of a misguided sense of my own academic breadth. This arrogance is criticized famously by Abu Nuwas, the 2nd C Abbasid poet famous for the licentious content of his work, who recited:

Say to one who claims a special understanding:
You have gathered a little bit, but even more escapes you!

This lack of knowledge is therefore exacerbated by my lack of intellectual humility. Had I bothered to engage in the disciplines that purport to deal with the subject matter under consideration, I might have found at the very least a suitable starting point for their research.
However, rejecting at the outset anything a scholarly class busies itself with as having little intellectual worth has necessarily restricted me from benefiting from it. Due diligence demands being thorough in researching my claims prior to making them, but my preconceived notions about the undeveloped nature of the Islamic disciplines have led me to bypass that.
These preconceived notions are often coupled by an actual inability to access scholarly discussions on a given subject. That is, intellectual arrogance has blocked me from acquiring the requisite knowledge of the Islamic disciplines, primary or supporting, such that I can actually engage the textual tradition on the issues I purports to have special knowledge of. Indeed, there is often a correlation between lack of learning and intellectual arrogance.


A lack of intellectual humility can also express itself in my conception of others and their practice. Part of intellectual humility is understanding that while I believe and act in a certain manner, others may have good reason for doing or believing something that is at odds with this. Intellectual humility demands coming to terms with this, even if I do not understand the reason for others choosing another course, or even if I have never come across the rationale underlying their chosen course.
When I am intellectually arrogant, however, I am unable to do this. Instead, I presumptuously think that knowledge begins and ends only with what I myself has come across and understand.This allows me to pompously insist on my own position at all costs, assuming it to be the only correct position. It also allows me to judge others, believing their positions to be inadequate without having actually assessed their merit, and rejecting from the outset anything they could have to say in response as having intellectual worth.
Rejecting something simply because it is unfamiliar is, however, behaviour the Qurʾan criticizes as unbecoming. Imam al- Qurtubī, the famous 7th C Andalusian exegete, mentions that al-Husayn b. al-Fadl, a 3rd C Nishapuri exegete, was asked, Does the Qur’an contain the idea that whoever is ignorant of something opposes it? He said: Yes, in two places: They disbelieve in anything their own knowledge does not encompass (10:39); and If they have not been guided to something, they say, this is an ancient lie (46:11).


Another form of intellectual arrogance can manifest itself when I have acquired some knowledge, and suddenly consider myself intellectually superior to all others, even those who are far above me in their level of scholarship, including my own teachers. Al-Jāhiz, the 3rd C Abbasid polymath, recited these famous lines from the perspective of a teacher complaining of such a situation:

How curious, the one I reared from childhood; I would feed with the tips of my fingers
I taught him to shoot; when his arms became strong, he fired at me
How often I trained him in verse; when he began to recite, he attacked me
I taught him manliness, daily; when his mustache began to grow, he abandoned me
When I act in such a manner, I become the instantiation of the warning that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, as it has contributed to my inflated sense of worth, instead of increasing my humility.

 


The good news is that the cure to intellectual arrogance is fairly straightforward. It is to actually engage in sincere learning. This is why I think you should engage in Islamic learning.
The bad news is that doing so isn’t particularly easy, in that it is much easier to simply be pompous. Acquiring real knowledge takes work.
There is an indication of this difficulty in that the Prophet Muhammad – peace and blessings of God be upon him – said that whoever embarks upon a path of knowledge, God facilitates for them a path to Paradise.
He does this, scholars say, in two ways. One is worldly, in that he makes it easy for them to do good, and difficult for them to do otherwise. The second is a reference to the afterlife, in that he facilitates for them their crossing of the bridge to Paradise, a task otherwise fraught with difficulty.
There is a general principle when it comes to how reward and punishment is meted out for a specific action; it tends to be commensurate, or similar in kind, to a person’s action, good or bad. This is encapsulated in the maxim: actions are rewarded in kind.
In the case of our knowledge seeker, he has undertaken what is actually an onerous task – knowledge seeking can require, beyond cost, countless hours of attending classes, listening to lectures, recording and reviewing notes, and putting up with teachers with different personalities and teaching methodologies that may not accord with his own.
All of this is near impossible for the intellectually arrogant, as he cannot see why he needs to humiliate himself before knowledge in this manner. But for one who does take it upon himself to traverse this difficult path, they are rewarded in kind, in that God facilitates for them what would have otherwise been an intractable journey.


It has been said that whoever has not tasted the humility of learning for a short time, tastes the bitterness of ignorance for a lifetime. That is, humbling oneself to a sincere knowledge quest can serve to quell many of the pitfalls that come with being intellectually arrogant.
One who does so sincerely will become aware of the kinds of discussions that scholars are engaged in, their range and extent, and the methods they employ to reach their conclusions. A large part of this is because engaging sincerely will provide one with the tools to properly participate in scholarly discussions.
Being apprised of this intellectual heritage protects one from thinking that an entire tradition is undeveloped in that it has little to offer. This awareness also prevents one from viewing the scholarly community with disdain or suspicion, even if one disagrees with their conclusions.
The knowledge that one gains will allow one to develop their intellectual humility in other ways too. At the personal level, it allows one to realize the contours of their own knowledge base; that is, an awareness of what they know and how that roughly fits into the available body of knowledge. For the vast majority of people, this is a humbling experience, as one realizes the limited nature of their grasp, even after years of study.
At a larger level, this humility forces a certain level of tolerance for others’ beliefs and practice, as one no longer pompously believes themselves to have an exclusive grasp of truth in the Islamic tradition. Such a person no longer has the internal urge to object to what others are doing or saying, as he knows that there can be schools of thought or credible scholarship that holds as such. This is why many scholars say: the more one’s knowledge grows, the more his objections diminish.


This is – to finally get to the point – why I think you should be involved in Islamic learning. Aside from the normal reasons for pursuing what is generally considered ‘religious’ knowledge – which are themselves good enough – doing so will allow one to pursue this special knowledge related virtue, that of cultivating intellectual humility.
A community that demonstrates knowledge related virtues, premier among them being a healthy dose of intellectual humility, is the kind of knowledge community we want to build. This is the kind of community that, aside from simply being engaged with knowledge, can build a native tradition of scholarship.
This is because its collective intellectual humility and academic integrity has allowed for the raising of intellectual discourse across the community, beyond the clamor of theories divorced from preceding scholarship and the vague insinuations that often pose as informed comment in popular discourse today.
I want you to be part of this building process, even if in a small way.
It is difficult to approach a knowledge quest sincerely. Yet I encourage you to approach it as sincerely as you can, and pray that your sincerity, even if somehow currently compromised, is perfected over time. Some past scholars used to say, musing on their intentions becoming corrected over time: we started out seeking knowledge for reasons other than God, yet it refused in the end to be for any cause other than God.
The method for participating in this process is up to you; it can and should involve a number of different options. These include attending classes on the ground with those who do embody intellectual humility; taking online courses (such as those offered through Seekershub), listening to lectures, and reading widely.
We don’t lack for resources in learning. We do lack for commitment to learning, a problem that derives largely from arrogance of the intellect.
This is why, in a roundabout way, I think you should involve yourself in sincere Islamic learning.

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What Can SeekersGuidance Offer You Even If You Are Comfortably Muslim? Farihah Akram’s Story

Farihah Akram came from an educated, spiritually connected family. What could SeekersGuidance possibly offer someone like her?

While growing up, Farihah Akram’s religious education began at the heart of her home: with her mother, a learned woman who is active in their local mosque and community.
“If I had a question, I’d turn to my mother first because she is so knowledgeable. If she didn’t know the answer, she knew a learned woman who did.”
A fierce believer in the education of her children, Farihah’s mother immersed her family in gatherings of learning and remembrance. As the children grew older, she encouraged them to get out there to give talks and spread their knowledge.

A Patchy History

“I realised then that whatever knowledge I had was patchy because I hadn’t systematically learned any aspect of the deen from A to Z, with order and structure. I went online to search for answers and it genuinely scared me to see how many different views and answers there were. And then, I came across SeekersGuidance.”

Structured But Not Rigid

Farihah began with a SeekersGuidance course on Hanafi fiqh. All SeekersGuidance course o come in bite-size parts and are structured but not bound by rigid schedules.
“I have really busy weekends and evenings so the SeekersGuidance option of downloading the lessons and getting through several in one sitting suits me perfectly. I am allowed to move at my own pace. I don’t grow frustrated that I am not being some kind of ideal student.”

Skepticism

Two years and several courses on, Farihah now keeps up with daily visits to the SeekersGuidance Answers section, where a panel of scholars answer the public’s questions.
“I feel really comfortable with the ethos of the scholars at SeekersGuidance. And the questions and answers make me realise I had wondered about the same things but always forgotten to seek the answers.
“My mother was initially skeptical of what benefit there might be from an online but she has changed her opinion a lot. I now summarise my SeekersGuidance lessons for her regularly and this helps me test my own understanding of what I have learnt. She’s my sounding board and she’s so pleased this has been a good influence on me.”

Seclusion Amidst Like-Minded People

As someone who loves quiet, reflective time, Farihah signed up to attend this year’s SeekersGuidance retreat in Toronto.
“Canada is a foreign country, I didn’t know anyone there and this kind of appealed to me. It offered the prospect of seclusion while surrounded by like-minded people, who are also seeking Allah and a connection to the Prophet, peace be upon him.
“My brother accompanied me – initially reluctantly because he had a 7 month old baby and wife at home but he absolutely loved it too. It was an incredible experience for us both and I now crave those kinds of connections back at home and seek to re-create them at every opportunity.”

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Raising Muslim Children In An Age Of Disbelief

Shaykh Walead Mosaad is father to two exceptional young men, MashaAllah. How did he and his wife get it so right? In this brief interview, SeekersHub blogger Aashif Sacha gets Shaykh Walead talking about why he made the choice to commit years of his life to learning the Islamic sciences (hint: for his kids), who his role models are and what tips he has for those fearful of raising children in an age of widespread disbelief.

Finally, if you are worried that you have left it too late to begin studying your religion, Shaykh Walead has some very reassuring words for you.

It’s never too late to start a life of learning. Take a SeekersHub course today. There are courses on dozens of interesting topics, including Islamic Parenting. It’s so easy to sign up and you can learn from anywhere in the world.

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