Take our online courses, all taught by qualified scholars, completely free, in an engaging and convenient manner: http://seeke.rs/courses
A few weeks into the year 2018 found me by my desk, staring at the blank screen of my computer, not unlike an oracle staring at her orb. A string of lows in life had found me bewildered and lost. My university days were drawing to a close, the career opportunities were not heart-warming, and I was at a loss at what to do next.
Winter was receding, spring was due in a couple of weeks. In February of that year, I began my first term at Seekers Guidance. I had signed up, not sure what was to come next. I was auto-enrolled for the two foundational courses, the ‘Absolute Essentials of Islam’ and the ‘Essentials of Islamic Tradition.’ Before starting on those, I had heard a short clip on how to gain the most from seeking sacred knowledge, the tips and practices, the points of caution.
Back then, I was not aware of the teachers at Seekers. But when I heard the short clip, I took notice. I paused and took detailed notes, something I rarely ever did. Both the style of the teacher and the substance of the lesson taught hit the right wavelength for me. In between jotting down notes and nodding at the screen, I thought of how wonderful it would be if the same person would be teaching the courses I had enrolled in.
And lo and behold! When I first tuned into my first ever lesson, I found the same teacher teaching. I learned his name was Shaykh Faraz Rabbani. He would be guiding the students into their first steps into the learning of the sacred sciences.
The courses were taught in English, the language that had been my medium of learning lifelong. The courses were structured according to levels, starting with the foundations, eventually progressing to Mastery. Both live sessions and term-long Q & A were offered. All of this, for absolutely no cost. Here was guidance that would measure in gold, yet for free? I was intrigued, dumbfounded. Eventually as the year passed, the lessons revised, and the learning put to practice, my intrigue gave way to gratefulness.
What made me most happy was Shaykh Faraz’s manner of teaching. The subject at hand was the building blocks of our faith, the keys to the happiness of this world and the next. As necessary it was to get the basics of it right, the task was overwhelming to picture too. I was nervous at the start, not sure if I would be sincere enough or plain simple good enough to learn it.
This is where Shaykh Faraz’s light-hearted style, his jovial way of teaching came to the rescue. Rarely ever had I seen an Islamic scholar so approachable and fluid in his teaching. The neat structuring of the lessons, the soundness of the classical texts it was based on, the unbroken chain of learning the teacher taught it with, all added up to the learning experience I was happy to partake into. I found myself hurrying through the lessons at first, eager to absorb as much as I could. Later, I slowed down, listened more carefully, took detailed notes and revised them before handing in the assignment due before the close of term.
Those who have heard Shaykh Faraz’s lectures know the characters of Zubair, Zubeida and Uncle Jamil. They are something of a regular, the hapless Zubair wanting to marry Zubeida, with her father Uncle Jamil throwing tests at Zubair. Shaykh Faraz uses them to illustrate the finer points of the lessons. These playful additions bring them to life. I have often wondered if someday, on walking into a Toronto wedding, I may bump into these characters!
As I became more comfortable with the routines and rigor of online learning, I started to explore Seekers more. In between terms, I would tune into the On-Demand courses. I would listen to podcasts, I would swap the time I could have spent reading the news feed for reading through the Answers service. Eventually, I started listening to other teachers, and Alhamdulillah, I felt both their knowledge and their states influence me for the better.
Ustadh Anik Abdullah Misra said in an interview that through the internet, ‘Allah has made believers connect to each other in an age of disconnectedness.’ The more I reflected on this, the more I realized how true it was. For how did I come to SeekersGuidance in the first place?
Back in early 2018, when I had been staring at my desk, I was at a loss at what to do next. At some point, I knew I wanted to study Islam, to at least get the basics of the Deen right. But how was I to pursue this? Drop my academics and head to a local seminary? Do a Masters in Islamic Studies? Study with local madrasah students? I had options but not the clarity to pursue which one.
It was then it dawned on me, I need not break my head open to figure things out. I could ask Allah directly. I decided to offer the Istikhara prayer to seek the way ahead. I took out my phone, googled the Istikhara dua, and opened the first link that felt right. Once the Arabic text appeared, I kept the phone aside, offered the two rakats, before picking the phone again and reciting the dua. Later, I saw the browser tab still open. I read the entire web page, I scoured through the website. I had never seen it before. At the top, I saw the ‘Courses’ section. Before I knew it, I had signed up.
The website was SeekersGuidance. My prayers had been answered, the dilemma cleared up. The road to seeking knowledge was now wide open.
Saad Razi Shaikh is a journalist based in Mumbai. He writes on popular culture and community initiatives. He can be reached on Twitter @writweeter
SeekersGuidance Free Online Courses – Register now.
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!
You’ve worked hard all month to get exactly where you are but now the real challenge begins, the one where you have to keep building on what you’ve attained.
By offering you over 30 free courses taught by qualified teachers in numerous disciplines across various levels, you’re on your path to not only maintain but exceed your existing knowledge of the Islamic sciences.
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani highly encourages everyone to commit to at least one gathering of knowledge and one gathering of remembrance a week.
This usually proves difficult for those who may not have access to a physical location wherein sacred knowledge is taught but that’s where SeekersHub fills the gap, giving you access to learn right from the comfort of your home.
LIVING RELIGION: Courses in Marriage, Parenting, New Muslim, and Youth issues.
PROPHETIC GUIDANCE: Courses in Seerah and Hadith studies.
ISLAMIC LAW & LEGAL METHODOLOGY: Start with beginners or more advanced courses in the Hanafi and Shafi’i madhab.
SPIRITUALITY: Shaykh Yahya Rhodus and Shaykh Faraz Khan both offer enlightening courses in Islamic spirituality.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
Whoever Allah wishes well for, He grants understanding of religion”. [Bukhari and Muslim]
Imam Nahlawi was a Damascene scholar of the last century (d.1931CE/1350AH) whose book is a notable contribution to the Islamic legal and ethical canon. The sections discussed in this course are summations of earlier formative works on Islamic ethics, such as Imam Ghazali’s Revival of the Religious Sciences.
Imam Nahlawi’s fascinating work expounds upon the lawful and prohibited related to food, clothing, gender relations, earning a living, and general sins of the tongue, heart and limbs. However, far from being just a fiqh text, it discusses the ethics and virtues related to these issues, providing a well-rounded understanding. Many of the questions you have about daily life will be answered through this manual; you will be exposed to those areas of fiqh rarely looked at, but that govern our everyday actions; and most importantly, you will gain confidence in your every act of worship.
Most of the major fatwā collections contain a chapter on the lawful and prohibited (hazar wa ’l-ibaha). This manual draws from the major works and is supplemented with ample evidence from the Qur’an and hadith. It has been used as a scholarly reference for decades. The rulings in this work are relevant to all Muslims seeking an authoritative Sunni manual on the halal and haram in Islam. [source]
This course was held over two Saturdays, March 19th and 26th, 2016 at MCC East Bay 5724 W Las Positas Blvd, Pleasanton, CA 94588.
We are blessed to have the Shaykh join the teaching faculty at SeekersHub. For his initial course he will be teaching, The 40 Paths to Paradise from the work “Tamam al-Minnah bibayan al-Khisal al-Mujibah li al-Jannah” by the great Shaykh and Muhaddith, AbduLlah al-Gumari.
In this 12 week course, Shaykh Abdurragmaan will give student clear and practical ways to bring the beautiful example of the Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him) into our lives.
Over the duration of the course, students will be introduced to 40 traits of the Prophet ﷺ and how adopting them may lead us down a pathway to paradise.
Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan is a teacher and community leader from Cape Town, South Africa.
The Shaykh has sat at the feet of various luminaries, including Habib Omar, Maulana Yusuf Karaan and Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur (just to name a few). Masha’Allah, may Allah reward and protect them all.
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Executive Director of SeekersHub, joins the rest of the ta in
Shaykh Abdurragmaan is the founder of the Dar al-Turath al Islami (DTI), and co-founder of the Mahabbah Foundation.
Here is a beautiful, short clip from Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan, just a taste of what you can expect in this new course.
Read the full Shaykh Aburragmaan Khan biography here.
Register now for this free online course.
View all our free online courses, covering a variety of subjects, including Marriage, Parenting, Islamic law and Spirituality.
Forest paths photo by Freddy Enguix.
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.
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.
By the Grace and Mercy of Allah, we have three new teachers joining the SeekersHub faculty this term. May Allah reward them for their dedication to spreading sacred knowledge.
Alongside his academic studies, Shaykh Saad studied traditional Islamic sciences at the hands of senior scholars and specialists in Egypt, the most notable of whom is his late father Shaykh Muhammad Saad and Shaykh Ali Gomaa.
This term, Shaykh Ahmed will be teaching:
Shaykh Shuaib Ally is a scholar who has recently returned to Toronto after completing his studies overseas.
He has studied a number of Islamic disciplines privately with scholars in Saudi Arabia, including Tafsir, Qur’anic Sciences, Shafi’i law, Usul, Hadith, Hadith Methodology, Grammar and Balagha.
This term, Shaykh Shuaib will be teaching:
Find out more about Shaykh Shuaib Ally
Ustadh Amjad Tarsin was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and spent his early childhood there. He has also lived in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, growing up within diverse cultures.
It was during his university years that Amjad developed a deeper connection to his faith, studying the Islamic sciences with teachers locally and internationally.
This term, Ustadh Amjad will be teaching:
Br. Khuram Zaman shares his observations about SeekersHub, where SeekersHub fits in today and how SeekersHub can help the Muslim community. Our thanks and appreciation go to Khurram for his honest assessment.
Unique Learning Opportunities
In a previous post (“Shaykh Hamza Yusuf has started blogging“), I highlighted how modernity has reversed how Islamic learning takes places and how we can use this reversal to our advantage:
“We live in strange times. In the days of old, students would travel great distances to sit at the feet of the ‘Ulema – sometimes only to learn a single hadeeth or to understand a single legal issue. Today, the situation has almost reversed – the scholars come to us.
A Word About SeekersHub
Although the modern era has come with its own set of traumas, one of the unique advantages of globalization is the ability to connect with ‘Ulema all over the world. One such institution of learning, SeekersHub, fulfils this vital role in our community by bringing knowledge to our fingertips through online courses, weekend seminars, summer retreats, and webinars that have featured scholars such as Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Imam Zaid Shakir, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Shaykh Ninowy, Imam Tahir Anwar, Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, and many others.
SeekersHub offers free courses taught by qualified Scholars in different Islamic sciences such as Quran, nahw (Arabic grammar), aqeedah (theology), fiqh (jurisprudence), tasawwuf (spirituality), and guidance for daily living.
What makes these courses unique is not only their rich content, but the flexibility by which the student can master the subject.
Key Course Feature: Downloadable mp3s and videos
Unlike other institutes, all course materials are downloadable. This means, you can download all of the mp3s and pdfs that are in a course and take them wherever you go.
Think about that for a second. Many people say “I don’t have time to take a course, I’m busy with school or work or family obligations.”
The truth of the matter is that there are opportunities to learn at every moment. How many of us waste time on long commutes to school or work? Or spend our evenings goofing off on the internet or watching nonsense on television. The truth is: we don’t have a “time” problem, we have a “time management” problem.
To give an example, I took the course “Essentials of Islamic Belief: Dardir’s Kharida Explained.” I downloaded all of the audio onto my laptop. Each time my family visited our relatives, who lived approximately an hour away, I would cover a lesson. Thus, each time I went to a dawaat, I would cover two lessons – one on the way there and one on the way back. By the time the weekend was over, I would have covered 6 lessons – half the course.
If you have to commute to school or work, you can easily listen to the lectures on your mp3 player, smartphone (I had the complete audio set for four entire courses on my smart phone), iPad or laptop. Again, its not about whether you have time or not, you have the time, its whether you want to use it in a meaningful manner.
Brief Overview of Available Courses
My personal course recommendations:
If you still aren’t sure which course to take, then consider starting with the basics such as the Absolute Essentials taught by Shaykh Faraz.
May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) preserve our teachers and enable us to benefit from them. Ameen!
Share this portal with your friends and family & beloved one.
On the weekly compass newsletter