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The Decay of Our Da’wa, by Ustadh Salman Younas

Ustadh Salman Younas laments the way Facebook, Twitter and other social media have destroyed our connection to how the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and our pious predecessors conveyed the message of Islam to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

In his work “Amusing Ourselves to Death”, Neil Postman explains the dissolution of public discourse in America through an approach rooted primarily in the nature of human communication. The basic hypothesis he forwards is that the ideas expressed by a society will be dictated by the forms/mediums through which said ideas are communicated. The forms and mediums of discourse, in other words, necessarily dictate the type of content found in a discourse. In the Age of Television, all communication takes the form of entertainment and so all discourse will necessarily be presented as if the world were a stage for the amusement of others.
In traditional circles, this is nothing new. Our teachers, such as Sh. Nuh Keller, Sh. Hamza Yusuf. and Sh. Abdul Hakim Murad, have recommended the works of figures like Postman, Mander, and Nicholas Carr for quite some time now. But there is reading and then there is learning from what one reads. Many of us recognize these ideas when we complain about the increasingly low standards of study, the selfie-culture, the celebrity shaykhs, and the increasing commercialization of knowledge. Here, we are more than happy to invoke Postman, Mander, and Carr to explain our countercultural move against television, the internet, and technology in general. But there is a real and serious problem that all of us suffer from including those who self-identify as the upholders and defenders of tradition: the decay of our da’wa especially to other Muslims.

Petty, Simplistic, Angry and Demeaning

Our da’wa is increasingly becoming a social media da’wa that is unfortunately taking on the form of the medium through which its content is disseminated: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and Youtube.. The consequence of this is not difficult to predict and even easier to see: it is petty, simplistic, angry, demeaning, aimed at riling up the mob, snappy, witty, and meant to entertain. We laugh at the mistakes of people. We talk about people as opposed to speaking to them. We try hard to speak in catch phrases and whimsical statements. We love to point out the wrong through sarcasm. We secretly revel in conflict and debate.
None of this is prophetic and none of it is what we saw from our teachers. The Prophet (God bless him and grant him peace) was not laughingly saying, “Lol, look at these misguided Muslim women supporting X.” He was not referring to people with offensive descriptions like “Hojabis” and slut shaming. He was not someone speaking sarcastically, “Next to come, topless Hijabis!” He was not condescending, demeaning, or scornful. He stood up for truth when he had to in the best and most effective manner he could. Sometimes this involved speaking frankly, showing clear discontent, even being “harsh”, but none of it was in the form we see today.
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None Of It Is Like The Prophet ﷺ

Yet, today people use the anger the Prophet (God bless him) sometimes displayed to justify acting like annoying, irritating, condescending, sarcastic children. No, your anger is not like the Prophet, nor is your harshness, and nor is your da’wa. The way the Prophet corrected others incorporated a holistic approach: it was not simply a one-off pointing out of the wrong but also du’a for others, concern, care, love, and sincerity for all that the community around him could see.
God identified the Muslim community as the best community because it “enjoyed commanding the good and forbidding evil.” (3:110) But any da’wa that is non-prophetic is not da’wa. It is nafs, misguidance, and a cause for this community to lose divine aid. This salient feature that God identifies as a defining factor for our community being the best of all communities is slowly being eroded away from within. The failure to instill a sunnaic spirit in our da’wa unsullied by the anti-sunnaic features of the social media medium will only lead to the spiritual death of our community. This is a serious issue and all of us would be wise to consider how the new technologies of our age are altering our religious discourse.
And God is our only refuge.

Resources for seekers

In Peace: The Spread of Islam in Africa

“Islam spread through West Africa through nonviolent means.”

Our ideas of Africa nowadays consist of everything from famines, war, refugees fleeing their homeland, to the recent shootings of black people by police, and the Black Lives Matter movement.spread of Islam in Africa

But this race of beautiful, strong, and intelligent people surely had to have a noble history.

In this illuminating lecture, Dr Rudolph Bilal Ware takes us on a journey through history and gives us some lessons that we can learn from the history of the West African people.

Dr. Ware focuses on two characteristics of these people; firstly, that the spread of Islam through Africa was solely through peaceful means, and secondly, that there was less focus on convincing people and more focus on benefitting all humanity by doing good works.

Whether you’re looking for information on a history project or involved in campus dawah, or just feel the need to know more about the African people, this short talk will provide many answers to the questions in your mind.

Our thanks to Lamppost Education Initiative for this recording.

Resources for Seekers

spread of Islam in Africa

Did you miss the Retreat in Toronto? You don’t want to miss this.

Missed the Retreat? Don’t miss this.

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan of South Africa will be teaching at SeekersHub Toronto on May 24th at 7.30 PM EST.  You can attend either in person or stream live online. 
Join Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, as we discuss the need to call to Allah, and develop learned communities.
We will discuss the importance of these communities in the West, and how current issues can be overcome by the light of traditional knowledge.
You will learn how YOU can actively participate in this movement, by playing your part in spreading and giving Prophetic Light, and helping make positive change in the world.
Watch this video below, where Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan advises students about renewing intentions before the SeekersHub Toronto Retreat.
post retreat event

Just Be Muslim, Not A Brand Manager for Islam

We don’t need more brand managers for Islam, says Shaykh Walead Mosaad. Living as good Muslims with sincere concern for others is the best means of calling to Islam, and as Shaykh Walead demonstrates, there are countless everyday scenarios when we can put these words into action.

Resources on How Not To Be A Brand Manager For Islam


Cover photo by Bengin Ahmad.

Open Our Hearts, Before We Open Our Mosques

As mosques around the United Kingdom open their doors for a national ‘Mosque Open Day’, Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said questions whether we have opened our hearts enough to truly receive those who walk through our open doors. Do we see all of humanity as Allah’s creation, to whom He sent the Prophet Muhammad “as a mercy”?

Shaykh Faid SaidShaykh Faid Mohammed Said is a jewel in the crown of traditional Islamic scholarship in the United Kingdom and we at SeekersHub are ever grateful for his friendship, guidance and support. He was born in Asmara, Eritrea, where he studied the holy Qur’an and its sciences, Arabic grammar and fiqh under the guidance of the Grand Judge of the Islamic Court in Asmara, Shaykh Abdul Kader Hamid and also under the Grand Mufti of Eritrea. He later went to study at Madinah University, from which he graduated with a first class honours degree. In Madinah, his teachers included Shaykh Atia Salem, Shaykh Mohamed Ayub (ex-imam of the Prophet’s Mosque, peace be upon him), Professor AbdulRaheem, Professor Yaqub Turkestani, Shaykh Dr Awad Sahli, Dr Aa’edh Al Harthy and many other great scholars. Shaykh Faid has ijaza in a number of disciplines including hadith, and a British higher education teaching qualification. He is currently the scholar in residence and head of education at Harrow Central Mosque, United Kingdom. Read his articles on the SeekersGuidance blog.

Resources for seekers:

Impoverished Muslim Converts in Chiapas Need Help

In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

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To send financial assistance to the Chiapas Muslim converts in Mexico, please donate now via Paypal.

Fellow Seeker, Sister Zainab Ismail, will be embarking on her third journey to San Cristobal de Las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico soon. Chiapas is in the south of Mexico where it borders Guatemala and Central America.
Sister Zainab embarks on this journey from 10th February to 14th February 2016 with two other volunteers.  The intentions are to continue the work that started on their previous trips.

Who are the Muslim Converts in Chiapas?

Chiapas Muslim Converts Chiapas Muslim Converts Chiapas-image4 Chiapas Muslim Converts Chiapas Muslim Converts Chiapas Muslim Converts Chiapas Muslim ConvertsThe communities they visit are made up of 180 indigenous peoples who are converts to Islam.  Approximately one hundred of these members are children. They primarily speak Tzotzil, a Mayan language, which is the native dialect of the people. However, most of them are bilingual with Spanish being their second language.
These communities are very impoverished and have faced many hardships over the years struggling to maintain their Islamic identity with little support from the outside world. Aside from these immense difficulties, the community continues to strive in studying the Quran and the learning the fundamental teachings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ .
It is important to help these communities maintain their Islam as many of our teachers feel there is an urgent need to support their sustainability.

Scholar Endorsement

Upon the advice of our teachers Habib Umar bin Hafidh as well as Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah, Imam Zaid Shakir and Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, these sisters are keenly working to assist their growth.
Mexico is over 80% Christian, which makes it difficult for them to access traditional Islamic education, halal resources, and interaction with other Muslims.  Thanks be to God they have a great Imam, who has lived with them now for four years.
The people live in very poor conditions, and the homes are made of wood with dirt floors and plastic tarp as walls.  They are unable to get proper medical, gynecological, or dental care.  They hold to the rope of God by the thread of their firm belief.

Previous Trips

From our previous trips the donors helped to accomplish the following:

  • Provide New clothing and toys for the children during both Eid celebrations in 2015;
  • Teach from the Shamail the Prophetic character and Prophetic nutrition in Spanish;
  • 100 % support for both Eid celebrations;
  • Provide support for Eid Qurbani & distribution to families (both Muslim and non-Muslim)
  • 100% support for the renovation and reconstruction of one of the family home (family of 14+)
  • Sponsor volunteers to visit Chiapas
  • Provide one on one private Q&A sessions for the women;
  • Provide ongoing access to a female teacher;
  • Bringing together of two communities;
  • Strengthen sisterhood/brotherhood ties in families;

In the upcoming trip, they would like to continue with the improvement of the living conditions. One of the women lives in a single room with her husband, seven children, and is expecting another child soon.  The want to renovate and build an expansion so they can live more comfortably.
There will have a community gathering to celebrate the completion of another sister’s home – she is one of the first converts in Chiapas. Sister Zainab Ismail and another sister will be the witnesses for two community weddings. Sister Zainab will begin with lessons from “The Clarification of Noble Character” by al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz in Spanish.
They also have a surprise Skype meeting planned with the students of an Islamic primary school in Leicester, UK and the Muslim children of Chiapas, Mexico to create a network of support.
We ask you to pray and support financially this noble project to assist the deeply spiritual community that is suffering hardship due to little financial means of supporting their lives.
Please donate generously to bring light to this endeavour and May God grant all those supporting it with His mercy and guidance.
Make a donation online via the Al Maqasid website.
You can also send us a check, write “Latin America Outreach” in the memo and make it out to:
Al-Maqasid
PO Box 99
Macungie, PA 18062
We are a 501(c)3 Non-Profit registered in New Jersey.
Jazak Allah Khair

Update from Sister Zainab Ismail:

Alhamdulillah, we shared an emotional Skype meeting with Muslim children of Chiapas and Muslim children from The Land of Learning Primary school in Leichester, UK. The children asked, each other questions and recited Quran for each other. We closed with a beautiful nasheed and dua from the students in Leichester, UK. May Allah preserve our children and keep them on the straight path.
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Who Should We Learn Religion From?

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani answers the question: who do we take knowledge from? He details the advice of al-Khatib al-Shirbini, which revolves around three main points:
(1) consulting the scholars experts in the discipline,
(2) following those who act on what Islam entails, and
(3) following those who learned with scholars and not through only reading books.

Be Part Of Something Meaningful

This talk is part of the weekly gathering at SeekersHub Toronto, Circle of Light: A Night of Remembrance, Praise & Inspiration. Join us for free, in-person and online.
Consider taking a course with reliable scholars at the SeekersHub Online Academy. It’s free and there are over 30 topics on offer.

Resources for seekers:

Your opportunity to give dawah to 400 million people – SeekersHub Español

IMG_1977Did you know that Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world (second only to Mandarin)?
There are plenty of resources about Islam in English, Arabic, and Urdu. But the language that 400 million people call their own gets little to no attention – despite rapid growth of Muslim communities in Mexico, Argentina, and all over Latin America.
Meet SeekersHub Español

SeekersHub Español was started with the intention to serve the needs of converted, Spanish-speaking Muslims who are thirsty for knowledge about their newfound faith. As well as Spanish Muslims who have never had the opportunity to study and non-Muslim Spanish speakers who want to learn about Islam.
We intend to make the same reliable and in-depth learning resources that English speakers benefit from to over 400 million Spanish-speakers worldwide.

Learn More
We rely on your generous donations to make projects like this possible. Please support the spread of reliable Islamic learning to seekers worldwide by becoming a monthly donor.
Become a Monthly Donor
If you have any questions about the project, contact [email protected]

Can I Call Others of the opposite Gender to Islam?

Answered by Ustadh Shuaib Ally

Question: As-salāmu ‘aleykum,

Can I call others of the opposite gender to Islam?

Answer: Yes, you can call others of the opposite gender to Islam.
You should at the same time keep in mind general guidelines related to what is considered appropriate interaction between the genders.

Please see this: A Reader On Gender Interaction

With that in mind, do what is good, and stay away from anything that falls outside the scope of your work, or does not sit well with you.
May Allah reward you for your effort and bless your work.

Shuaib Ally

Defending the Prophet – Advice from Habib ‘Umar

Written by Lina Abdul Wahab

Habib Umar bin Hafiz calls upon us all to teach people about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), his life, his character, his call, his different states, his beauty, his perfection and his kindness and to teach about the Prophet’s light, by allowing it to shine through our words and deeds.

habibAccording to Habib Umar, amongst us are people with families and children who are ignorant about the important matters in the life of Allah’s Prophet. It is good to see that out of the love for him, Muslims are protesting peacefully and speaking out (in defense of the Beloved Prophet). However, Habib Umar added, it is essential for us to take into account by asking themselves, where have they been all these years? What are the states of our homes? Muhammad (pbuh) is absent from our families, unknown to our children and unknown to our friends at work. To them, he is a figure who has not yet penetrated their hearts. They are not connected to him, they do not revere his teachings, and they know little about his life, his character, his message, his call, peace and blessings upon him. These are the people to whom we should say, “Convey the character of the Prophet! Tell the world and everyone in it about the character and qualities of this Prophet. Express your attachment to him in the best way!”

Habib Umar added, “This is YOUR role. You! This is your task! This is your job. This is the vicegerency of Allah on His Earth, conveying the Message of Allah and His Messenger and his family and his companions. This is the reason the noble companions spread out in the east and in the west!”

Resources for seekers:

Advice in Times of Hardship, after the Chapel Hill shootings and other incidents
Video: Capacity Building for Dealing with Islamophobia
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf on Rising Anti-Muslim Sentiment – AlJazeera
Letter to the West: we just have to learn to live together – Habib Ali al-Jifri