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Why Biodiversity Matters – Living Green Series

The Living Green Series takes us through our responsibilities towards green living and environmental stewardship. In this segment, Leslie Adams speaks about the importance of biodiversity and why we have a responsibility to protect it.

Leslie Adams from the Ontario Biodiversity Network, begin by giving an overview of biodiversity and its functions.

Biodiversity is the different organisms that are found within an ecosystem. The relationship between these organisms forms a unique environment which is crucial to our living. A biodiverse ecosystem provides food, clothing, and medicine. It covers genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity. As humans, we depend on all the species and ecosystems that exists, because they all have a part to play towards the quality of our environment.

Ecosystems provide us with goods and services. Goods include things like food, wood, air and water. Services are the benefits that the ecosystems provide us. They are sometimes less obvious but equally important, and they include things like water filtration, temperatures, and pollination.

One of the largest problems of the modern age, is that ecosystem services are taken for granted. Because of this, a monetary value can be easily attached to them, which is quickly paid by development companies eager to construct buildings on natural land. However, the replacing a natural ecosystem such as a forest, with concrete jungle destroys the services it was providing. Since the forest no longer exists, pollination of nearby crops and plants can no longer take place, and the water that the people drink becomes dirty.

When we learn more about biodiversity, we begin to understand how important it is to preserve the natural habitat.

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

Ours Is Not A Caravan of Despair: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

True joy lies within the heart, and it is unshakeable. Every breath, heartbeat, and moment is a gift from Allah.not a caravan of despair

Knowing that happiness comes from Allah, we should keep in mind that suffering and hardship come from the same Lord.

An Alternative Perspective

But how can there be joy in hardship? This is where the believer sees things differently. We know that there is a Hereafter, and that we find mercy in the response. When we find oppression, difficulty and distress, we know that is it an opportunity to turn to Allah.

With any situation, our question should be; “How can I be a truly grateful servant? What is the response of gratitude?” Through prayer, charity, advocacy and gathering with others, we work to find a solution. Rather than be a social commentator, we should connect with those who are suffering, and work to improve their lot. Through action we can truly express our gratitude.

The question we need to ask is not, “Why are things the way they are?” Rather the question is, “What is the response required from me?”

See Allah in Everything

One of the poets said, “If you see God as the actor in everything, you behold all creation as beautiful. But if all you see are the traces of His creation, you turn something dazzlingly beautiful into something ugly.”

In the Qur’an, it has been revealed that, “For indeed, with hardship comes ease. Indeed, with hardship comes ease.” (94:4-5). Rather than being told that ease comes after hardship, we are told that it comes with hardship. Allah is not telling us that ease is coming; He is telling us that ease is here.

May Allah grant us to see the opportunity for mercy, good, gratitude, direction, and positivity in every situation. After all, ours is not a caravan of despair.


Resources for Seekers

Day 22: Be Thankful – 30 Deeds 30 Days

Day 22: Be Thankful

Thankfulness, or shukr, is a fundamental part of our faith. It’s so integral that its opposite is kufr, which means to cover or hide, but also means disbelief. Some people criticize a person or their community, thinking that they are showing concern. But in reality, they are making the situation worse by making others feel hopeless.

In these last few blessed days, try to display shukr, the blessings that Allah has given you. Avoid statements like “My life is horrible,” “Nothing is going well,” “The people at my mosque just don’t care.” If you hear others making these statements, try to encourage them to change their perspective. Not only will your mental outlook improve, but so will your thankfulness to Allah.


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Sura al Kahf: Gratitude – Shaykh Walead Mosaad

Shaykh Walead Mosaad tells the story of the man of two gardens who was ungrateful for the blessing he was given and what we can learn from this.

Sahib al jannatayn or the man of the two gardens is the next parable. In reality it was one big garden. It was surrounded by date palm trees. A river ran though it and it had crops in its center.

The mufassirun mentioned that this garden was self irrigated. The man didn’t have to do anything. It was an amazing garden. Allah Most High Says:

وَاضْرِبْ لَهُم مَّثَلًا رَّجُلَيْنِ جَعَلْنَا لِأَحَدِهِمَا جَنَّتَيْنِ مِنْ أَعْنَابٍ وَحَفَفْنَاهُمَا بِنَخْلٍ وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُمَا زَرْعً

Strike for them a similitude: Two men, unto one of whom We had assigned two gardens of grapes, and We had surrounded both with date-palms and had put between them tillage. (Sura al Kahf 18:32)

So there two men, one of the men had this garden of grapes and it’s surrounded by big trees and it has a river running through it and also has crops for tillage. In other words it’s self-sustaining – a perfect garden.

The First Mistake Made

Some of the narrations say they were brothers, or first cousins, or from the same tribe. Some say that the other man had something similar to it, or that he had wealth similar to it, but he spent it all in the way of Allah Most High and was left with nothing for himself.

كِلْتَا الْجَنَّتَيْنِ آتَتْ أُكُلَهَا وَلَمْ تَظْلِم مِّنْهُ شَيْئًا ۚ وَفَجَّرْنَا خِلَالَهُمَا نَهَرًا

Each of the gardens gave its fruit and withheld naught thereof. And We caused a river to gush forth therein. (Sura al Kahf 18:33)

He didn’t have to do much to maintain it. It was there and the rivers were flowing and everything was going great. It was a marvel of agriculture.

وَكَانَ لَهُ ثَمَرٌ فَقَالَ لِصَاحِبِهِ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُ أَنَا أَكْثَرُ مِنكَ مَالًا وَأَعَزُّ نَفَرً

And he had fruit. And he said to his comrade, when he spoke with him: I am more than you in wealth, and stronger in respect of men. (Sura al Kahf 18:34)

Here’s where the problems begin. This verse is now kufr ni‘ama, a denial of blessing from Allah. What is important is that a denial of blessing from Allah can lead to outright kufr which is denial of Allah altogether.

The first mistake he makes is that he attributes his wealth to himself and does not see it as a blessing from Allah. He says the word ana (I). Anytime you see the word ana in the Qur’an it’s bad news. The first one to say ana is Shaytan: ana khayrun minhu … “I am better than him. I am made from fire. He is made from clay and dirt. Hence I am better.”

Isn’t the man saying a similar thing? “I have more money. I have more wealth. And hence I will be more respectful, have a better reputation, be more powerful in the eyes of men and those that I think count.”

Being Self-Important

So it began with this ujub: being impressed with oneself. The reason that no one should be self-impressed is because there’s no you here in the whole thing. Especially something like this. Look at the verse before it. Look at how Allah describes it. It goes back to Allah who is the One who made the river spring forth in the middle of it. Who is the One that made the fruits bear what they bear.

When you talk about crop farming, especially if it’s your livelihood, there’s nothing really that can teach you as much tawakkul as that. The farmer works and his harvest is once a year, maybe twice a year depending on his crop. The rest of the year he’s digging, he’s tilling, he’s seeding, he’s maintaining, he’s irrigating, and he’s not getting a dime back.

Nothing is coming back in income and the whole hope is that the crop will be so successful that at harvest time all of his needs and income for the year will come from that single crop. That’s a lot of tawakkul.

So what this man did completely contravenes that. Perhaps because it was so effortless for him. Perhaps this made him think: “I did all of this and it was so easy.” He didn’t have to struggle, to irrigate – the river burst forth and ran through it. He didn’t have to make tributaries and have it run and all these type of things. It ran on its own and he became deluded by this fact. And then he looked at his friend or his brother. “You gave your whole thing away. You’re stupid. Look at me.” It begins with self-attribution.

The Sins of Pharoah and Qarun

The same thing happened to Qarun who was from the Umma of Musa, peace be upon him. What was the worst thing that he said? The people said about him: “Look how great he is, and he has all of this. We wish we had like the same as Qarun.” And Qarun says: “I have been given this because of my knowledge. I have been given this because I did things right.” He’s attributing it to himself. And Allah destroyed him. The earth enveloped him and swallowed him.

The same thing happened to Pharaoh. He said ana in the worst way: ana rabbukum. Not even Satan could say that. Pharoah said: “I am your lord.” Again, the ana gets involved.

Taking all of these things into consideration you come to no other conclusion than that the worst thing that can happen to someone is they have this ana, this jabarut, this tyrannical overtaking of themselves by themselves. Because of what they attribute to what they think they’ve done, what they think they deserve, what they think they’re entitled to.

But then it gets worse.

وَدَخَلَ جَنَّتَهُ وَهُوَ ظَالِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ قَالَ مَا أَظُنُّ أَن تَبِيدَ هَـٰذِهِ أَبَدًا

And he went into his garden, while he is wronging himself. He said: I don’t think that all of this will ever perish. (Sura al Kahf 18:35)

He is only wronging himself, at the end of the day, for when you say something wrong or do something wrong the one who’s going to pay the highest price is yourself. One of the things that happens when people start attributing things to themselves as they become deluded and they think: “I’m always going to be like this.” These are things people take for granted.

And then finally the culmination:

وَمَا أَظُنُّ السَّاعَةَ قَائِمَةً وَلَئِن رُّدِدتُّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّي لَأَجِدَنَّ خَيْرًا مِّنْهَا مُنقَلَبًا

I don’t think not that the Hour will ever come, and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord I surely shall find better than this as a resort. (Sura al Kahf 18:36)

Denying Allah’s Blessing

The denial of the blessing from Allah Most High leads to the denial of Allah. Because when you deny the Day of Judgment you deny Allah. This is serious kufr. You don’t think Allah has better than what you think you have here? And you don’t think the Hour is coming?

But notice the tasalsul – the chain. See how one step leads to another. First he says: “I’m better than you because I have more than you.” Then he says: “I don’t think it will ever go away.” And finally: “I don’t even think even the Hour will come. I think this is it and I have everything.”

Then his Sahib, his friend, comes back to him.

قَالَ لَهُ صَاحِبُهُ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُ أَكَفَرْتَ بِالَّذِي خَلَقَكَ مِن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ ثُمَّ سَوَّاكَ رَجُلًا

His comrade, when he spoke with him, said: Do you not believe in Him Who created you of dust, then of a drop [of seed], and then fashioned you a man? (Sura al Kahf 18:37)

The Duty of Care

Here is an important point. Allah says: His friend or companion said when he spoke with him (yuhawiruhu). The word yuhawiruhu means he is having a discourse with him. He didn’t say: “O my God! are you like a kafir? What the heck? Are we not brothers? How could you say this?” No, he actually has a concerned discourse.

Moses was called upon by Allah Most High to speak in soft tones to Pharaoh. So what about this person and his brother? He’s no worse than Pharaoh. Even in those things that may come out that are shocking, whether we hear from a Muslim or non-Muslim, sometimes people just say things to shock and sometimes they don’t know what they’re saying.

Rather than condemn them to hell as may be the initial impulse, let’s try to save them from hell first. This is what he’s trying to do. He’s trying to make him think, to reconsider what he just said. He’s not just bringing him back to his own creation. He’s bringing him back to the creation of Adam, peace be upon him, because the gardener wasn’t created from dust or dirt, our father Adam was.

Back to the Beginning

This is kind of an overture to how we all actually began. That we came from dirt, from our father Adam, peace be upon him. And then after that we became the pollinated seed from the mother and the father. Then he made you into a man. So when you’re developing inside and you’re an embryo, then become a fetus, and then you go through these three stages of development, did you do that yourself? Is that all about you?

Should you be someone who is haughty and arrogant because you did that and it was perfect? What is difference between you and the fetus and the perfection therein and all of the resources that the fetus the baby needs are perfectly provided much in the same way that your garden is working?

The companion is appealing to the gardener’s intellect. He’s appealing to his sense of recognizing inherent truth when you’re presented with it. He implores him to reconsider his words and gives him a parable. And then he is emphatic:

لَّـٰكِنَّا هُوَ اللَّـهُ رَبِّي وَلَا أُشْرِكُ بِرَبِّي أَحَدًا

But He is Allah, my Lord, and I ascribe unto my Lord no partner. (Sura al Kahf 18:38)

Gratitude Is the Way

What is the conclusion? Well, if Allah created you from dust, and then from a single seed, and then made you into a man – and only a God can do that and no one else – then why scribes partners with that or why ascribe that to yourself? Hence your assertion is false. It can’t be right.

And then he tells the gardener what he should have said.

وَلَوْلَا إِذْ دَخَلْتَ جَنَّتَكَ قُلْتَ مَا شَاءَ اللَّـهُ لَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللَّـهِ ۚ إِن تَرَنِ أَنَا أَقَلَّ مِنكَ مَالًا وَوَلَدًا

If only, when you entered your garden, you had said: That which Allah wills (will come to pass)! There is no strength save in Allah! Though you see me as less than you in wealth and children… (Sura al Kahf 18:39)

Here he says: Contrast what you said before with what I would have said as a believer. If you had entered your garden and said: ma sha Allah, la quwwata illa biLlah – this is by Allah’s mercy, this is by Allah’s will, there is no power and there is no strength except through Allah, then you recognize this blessing.

He is teaching the gardener how to capture the blessing. This ayah is like a madrassa – it’s a school in the sense of all the meanings that come out of it. And you can see its manifestations. When you say: ma sha Allah, la quwwata illa biLlah, this is called tying up your blessing. Make sure it doesn’t go away.

How do you tie up your blessing? By recognizing it. How do you increase your blessing? By thanking Allah.

لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ

And if you are thankful then I will only increase you. (Sura Ibrahim 14:17)


This lesson by Shaykh Walead Mosaad is part of the On Demand Course: Giving Life to Sura Al Kahf, in which Shaykh Walead explains the key lessons of Sura al Kahf: the four great stories in it and the four great tests they represent. Namely the tests of faith, wealth, knowledge, and power. Download the entire lesson-set here.

View other SeekersHub On Demand Courses here.


What Is the Best Way to Express Our Gratitude to Allah?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

What is the best way to express our gratitude to Allah?

Answer: Wa alaykum salam

May Allah reward you for your question.

Expressing gratitude to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is of the greatest deeds and one of the salient characteristics of the Prophets of Allah. Regarding its virtues and praise, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said:

Indeed, Abraham was a [comprehensive] leader, devoutly obedient to Allah , inclining toward truth, and he was not of those who associate others with Allah. [He was] grateful for His favors. Allah chose him and guided him to a straight path. [16:120]

Then eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and good. And be grateful for the favor of Allah , if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.
[16:114]

And We have certainly established you upon the earth and made for you therein ways of livelihood. Little are you grateful. [7:10]

Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah be well pleased with him, in his Madarij al-Salikin explained the manners of showing gratitude to Allah when he said, “showing gratitude (shukr) is either with the heart by being submissive and tranquil or content; with the tongue by praising [Allah] and acknowledging [His favors]; and with the limbs by performing acts of worship and showing obedience.” Consequently, the best way we could show gratitude to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, is through all three mediums: our hearts, tongues and limbs.

Regarding a specific formula of expressing thanks, this could be done with any formula of thanks and praise. One could recite by way of example, al-Hamdu liLlah (all praise is for Allah) or al-Shukr liLlah (all thanks is for Allah). One of the better formulas however was mentioned in the Prophetic tradition narrated by ibn Majah and others from AbduLlah ibn ‘Umar radiyaLlahu ‘anhu. The Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam said,

“One of the slaves of Allah said:

يا رب لك الحمد كما ينبغي لجلال وجهك ولعظيم سلطانك
Ya Rabb laka l-hamdu kama yambagi liJalali Wajhika wa liAzimi Sultanik

O Allah, for You is all praise as befits the Glory of Your Countenance and the Greatness of Your Might.

The angels were then uncertain and did not know what (reward) to record for this praise. They ascended to the heaven and said: O our Lord, Your slave has said a praise that we do not know how to record. Allah replied – and He knows best what His slave said – “What did My slave say?” They said: O Lord, he said: O Allah, for You is all praise as befits the Glory of Your Countenance and the Greatness of Your Might. Allah then replied: Record it as My slave pronounced it, until he meets Me and I shall [personally] reward him for it.”

Another reality that the scholars have mentioned, however, is that we will never be able to thank Allah as He ought to be thanked. Whenever we thank Allah, it is through His guidance and favour. Thus, every praise and thanks requires us to thank and praise Allah again. Similarly, the second praise is another favour from Allah that requires another thanks and so forth without end.

May Allah allow us to truly acknowledge His constant Blessings and Favours, so that we could forever be in a state of expressing gratitude and thank, Amin

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

What Happens When You Die? Shaykh Ahmed Abdo

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, encourages us to make a journey to the graveyards for verily when you visit this place it reminds you of the next life; and truly reminders benefit the believers. In this beautiful commentary of the Prophetic narration Shaykh Ahmed Abdo takes us on a journey of reflection on death, reality and the ultimate reunion.

What is death? Is it the end of life or the beginning of new one? Your soul lives in this earthly address and your home is your body; but the time will come when you will change addresses and move into a new home.

Are you ready for this move?

The extraction of the soul starts at the feet, moves up to your ankles, then your knees and along your lower body towards your upper body. During this process, the soul can turn to its Creator in repentance. When the soul reaches the throat, repentance is no longer accepted. Why? It’s because at this moment every disbeliever becomes a believer for the veil is removed from the eyes and Reality is perceived.

A life in the Grave

There is a life in the grave, and every person shall have their provisions availed to them and the best of provisions is the Quran which illuminates the abode. As a believing soul, you will be reciting Quran and there will be a window to the Garden of Bliss. Within this life, the souls are mobile, visiting one another, and they are received by their loved ones who departed before them. That is why the righteous predecessors would seek to be buried with their loved ones so that they may be reunited in the next life. Ultimately though, the greatest of companionship is with Allah.

Those who long to meet Allah; Allah longs to meet with them.

Death is a means of reuniting with your beloved. Death for the believing soul is a union and it was cemented by love and loyalty to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and to Allah, our Creator.

Sheer Gratitude

Allah, Mighty and Majestic, grants us gifts each day, and when we perceive this we no longer sees the gifts, we see the Giver. Allah gave us without asking in this life and in death and the greatest gift is His beloved and messenger, Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. In life, we receive guidance through him and in death we receive his greatest concern, intercession and salvation. What is the response to such generosity? What can one truly do or say for these gifts?

Resources for the seeker:

We are grateful to Shaykh Ahmed Abdo for the video. Cover photo by Captain Nikon.

Overcoming Greed, Opening Yourself To Gratitude, by Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said reminds us that one of the worst attachments we have is to greed. It blinds us and incapacitates us. How did the men and women before us overcome this?

Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir Raheem
Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) said in the Qur’an, in Surah Yusuf (3):  “Indeed We have related to you the most beautiful of stories…”
In these stories, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) speaks in the Qur’an about the Anbiya, the Saliheen and sometimes He also mentions the oppressors so that we may take from it a lesson for ourselves.
Also, by relating to us stories, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is telling and teaching us about human nature; and one of the worst attachments to our nature is greed.  Greed for money and more broadly, greed for loving and wanting everything, which can turn into jealousy and envy and can also cause undue stress.
In this regard, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) tells us in the Qur’an the story of Ibrahim (alaih salam): a Nabi, standing in front of the oppressor king Nimrod, and in describing this meeting Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) tells Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) and us in the Qur’an:  “Have you not considered the one who argued with Abraham about his Lord [merely] because Allah had given him kingship?”  (Surah Al-Baqarah, 258)
In this ayah, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is saying that He is the one that made Nimrod a king and gave him power, and Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) gave kingship and power to someone who was a disbeliever.  But Ibrahim (alaih salam) was certain in his knowledge that in reality Nimrod was given nothing, as he was not given the gifts of iman, guidance and piety!
This are the Saliheen! They are lost in counting the blessings of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)!
Also, Nimrod did not only have kingship and power, but that power extended to having control over Ibrahim (alaih salam) as well, but it was Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) who gave Nimrod that power, and if there were to be any khayr in it, than it would have been given to Ibrahim (alaih salam), hence the thought of jealousy never occurred.
In Surah Al-Qasas, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) tells us a story about Syedina Musa (alaih salam), in which Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) describes how Musa (alaih salam) was going through a lot of hardship, while Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) gave his cousin, Qarun, power and wealth beyond imagination.  Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) gave an example of the extent of Qarun’s wealth in describing the key to the doors of his stores, which was so rich that it could only be lifted by the strongest man of that era.
Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) shows us human nature in telling that when Qarun went out with all his wealth, supporters and subjects, it was the human nature in people that made them feel jealous of Qarun, and they all wished to be him. What they saw in Qarun was his wealth, his comfort and his ease; but no one wanted to be like Musa (alaih salam)!  The people did not see a Nabi, or the one who speaks to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), all they saw was an exterior of a man who was going through hard times, and hence no one wanted to be like Musa (alaih salam).
But when Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) destroyed Qarun and the earth swallowed him and his wealth, the same people who were in awe of him said that it was a blessing that they were not like him; these are the very people who wished before to be Qarun, and now they were thanking Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) for not being like him!
In these stories, there is a lesson:  the people that were following the opponent of Ibrahim (alaih salam) saw that he was a powerful king, and as such they did not see the khair of Ibrahim (alaih salam), his Nabuwwah and that he was Khalilullah!
The people that were following the opponent of Musa (alaih salam) saw his opponent’s wealth and resources, which did not allow them to see the khair of Musa (alaih salam), his Nabuwwah and that he was Kaleemullah!
In applying the lesson to us we must know that in every time there will be Nimrods and Qaruns, but there will also be the Saliheen as well!  So in taking lesson, we should strive to align to the Saliheen and not the Nimrods and Qaruns of our time.  The Saliheen are in our time as well, and they are the ones that have been truly blessed, despite their apparent disrespect and neglect by people; people will only miss the Saliheen when they are no longer there!
If it was in the judgment of the previous people to want to be Qarun and Nimrod, we should be wise and learn from that mistake, and instead of wanting to be someone else, we should be grateful for what we have.
WE should be grateful and smile!
If you have the blessing of time, be grateful and smile, because many people wish for this.
If you have the ability to walk, talk and hear, be grateful and smile, because many people wish for this.
If you have food on your table and a roof over your head, be grateful and smile, because many people wish for this.
If you have a family, be grateful and smile, no matter how difficult they might be, because many people wish for this.
If you have a husband or wife, no matter how bad you may think they are, be grateful and smile, because many people

wish for this.
Do not wish to be anyone else, and be happy with the hikmah of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), because the very person you
wish to be, you may not know what they are going through.  There are many things in life to be grateful and happy for, so smile!
At the end, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) said in the Qur’an:  “If you are grateful to Me, I will increase you!”
And this is our first message of the year.
May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) make this a year of khair, and may He guide us, as He granted us a great beginning, and continue to guide us. May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) clear from our heart all that is other than Him, remove any love other than His and that of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam); may Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) make our hearts a place for no one other than Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam).
We wish for you and for us a year full of ibadah, remembrance and praise of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and a year of salawat upon Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam).  May it be a year of reconnecting with the Qur’an through reading, understanding and implementing it.

Resources for seekers

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 SeekersHub blog.

Keys to Having Presence with God, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

“He is with you wherever you may be,” reminds Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, in this Friday sermon  at Masjid Jamiat-ul-Ansar. “The Lord of the Heavens and the Earth, the tremendous Reality, He is close and near you. Does this humble you?”

Allah has granted us the gift of being conscious of this reality. This is tremendous, and can only come in the form of a gift because none of us truly deserves it. This gift entails gratitude. Faith is a tremendous gift that has eternal consequences. Even if we chose to believe, who inspired us to it?
Allah tells us in the Quran, “Say: It is all from Allah.” The gift of faith is one we have not earned;  therefore, gratitude is the response.
So what is true gratitude? True shukr or thankfulness is using every blessing given to you in turning to Allah.

Never forget Him.

Gratitude of faith also entails that we nurture this faith. There is a tremendous difference between one that says I believe and the one who is present and conscious of the meaning of faith. Therefore, along with gratitude, knowledge is an essential key to attaining presence with your Lord.
The point of the prayer is the one you are praying to – Allah is the focus – and prayer is the key to being in His presence. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said “My complete joy, the joy of my eyes, was placed in the prayer.”
Why? Because prayer is presence with the one you love, with the one you are seeking…That is why whenever things were going on in the life of the Prophet, he would turn to prayer.
If Allah treated us as we deserved we would be lost, for our heedlessness is vast and our lack of gratitude is apparent. Allah deals with us with Mercy and enriches us when we provide him with as little as 10 minutes of presence and manifests good in it. Along with prayer comes continuous reflection and remembrance of God, in nurturing this our hearts find rest, solace and comfort.
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Truly in the remembrance of God do hearts find rest

The first preoccupation of hearts is to seek answers to two fundamental questions: Who am I? Who is my Lord? In engaging in worship or remembrance, the restlessness leaves our hearts and we reconnect to our spirit. In a time before existence, we confirmed who our Lord is and in remembrance we return to this reality.

Be Busy With Allah.

So when you work, do it for Allah. The true meaning of your work is the potential to be in the presence of Allah and that is the true essence of your living. Those who are accomplished are those whose trade nor other dealings busy them from Allah. What are they busy with? They are busy with Allah. When anyone is with the one they love, does anything actually shake them?

Resources for the Seekers:

Thank God for SeekersHub

Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa was at the SeekersHub booth at the 2015 Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference in Toronto. In this video, he gives pertinent and relevant advice to SeekersHub’s volunteers and students of knowledge. He emphasizes the importance of recognizing and rejoicing in Allah’s blessing of us being connected to the SeekersHub, especially the scholars.

 

Resources on Thankfulness and How to Make The Most of What SeekersHub has to offer

 

A Reader on Thankfulness to Allah and True Gratitude

“Should I not be a thankful servant?”
The Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him)

What is Thankfulness?
Thankfulness to Allah – Reality, Aspects, & Expression of True Gratitude
Neediness & Thankfulness: Two Keys to Divine Assistance
Thankfulness to Allah – from Imam Ghazali’s al-Arba’in fi Usul al-Din
Concerning Thankfulness – Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (Allah have mercy upon him)
Thankfulness as a motive in our worship
Quranic Reflections – Why We Worship Allah: Lessons from the First Divine Call
Seek, Act and Strive – Advice from Habib Ali Al-Jifri for Seekers of Knowledge
Daily Qur’an Reflections: (20) Marvel of Creation, Thankfulness, Guidance, and Seek the Next Abode
Closeness & Thankfulness – Eid al-Fitr Khutba
How to grow in Thankfulness?
Ramadan Reminders 23: Growing in Thankfulness to Allah Most High by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
IslamCast Daily Hadith – 027 – Looking at those less fortunate