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Prayer on the Fifteenth Night of Shaban – Muwasala

* Courtesy of Muwasala.org

It is the practice of many of the pious people of the Ummah to recite Surah Ya Sin three times on the 15th night of Sha`ban.

The first time they read it with the intention of being blessed with a long life spent in obedience to Allah, the second time with the intention that calamities are diverted and the third time with the intention of not being in need of people and being blessed with a good ending.

After each reading of Surah Ya Sin they read the following supplication:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله رب العالمين

اللهم صل على سيدنا محمد و آله و صحبه و سلم

اللهم يا ذا المَنِّ ولا يُمَنُّ عَلَيْهِ يا ذا الجَلالِ والإكْرام ياذا الطَوْلِ والإنْعام لا إلهَ إلا أَنْتَ ظَهْرَ اللاَّجِينَ وجَارَ المُسْتَجِيرينَ وأَمَانَ الخائِفِينَ

اللهم إِنْ كُنْتَ كَتَبْتَنَا عِنْدَكَ أَشْقِياءَ أَوْ مَحْرومينَ أَوْ مَطْرودِينَ أَوْ مُقَتَّراً عَلَيْنَا في الرِّزْقِ فَامْحُ اللهم بِفَضْلِكَ شِقَاوَتَنا وحِرْمَانَنا وطَرْدَنا

وإِقْتَارَ أَرْزَاقَنَا وأَثْبِتْنَا عِنْدَكَ في أُمِّ الكِتابِ سُعَداءَ مَرْزوقينَ مُوَفَّقِينَ لِلْخَيْراتِ

فَإِنَّكَ قُلْتَ وقَوْلُكَ الحَقُّ في كِتابِكَ المُنْزَل على لِسَانِ نَبِيِّكَ المُرْسَل (يَمْحُو اللهُ ما يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ وعِنْدَهُ أُمُّ الكِتَابِ)

إلهَي بِالتَّجَلِّي الأَعْظَمِ في لَيْلَةِ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعَبانَ المُكَرَّمِ الَّتي يُفْرَقُ فِيها كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ وَيُبْرَمُ نَسَأَلُكَ أَنْ تَكْشِفَ عَنَّا مِنَ البَلاءِ ما نَعْلَمُ

وما لا نَعْلَمُ وما أَنْتَ بِهِ أَعْلَمُ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الأَعَزُّ الأَكْرَمُ

وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم

Translation:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate.All praise is due to Allah Lord of the Worlds.

O Allah, bestow peace and blessings upon our Master Muhammad and upon his Family and Companions.

O Allah, the Bestower of favours. No one has favour over You. O Possessor of Majesty and Nobility, the One Who constantly bestows His bounties. There is no god but You, the One who grants safety and refuge to those that seek it and to those in fear.

O Allah, if You have recorded us as being wretched, deprived, cast out or if You have recorded that our provision be restricted then erase this by Your bounty. Instead record us in “the Mother of the Book” as being felicitous, as having plentiful provision and grant us the ability to do good works. Truly You have said, and Your word is true, in Your revealed Book, on the tongue of Your Prophet: Allah erases and confirms what He wishes and with Him is the Mother of the Book.1

O Allah, through Your most mighty manifestation on the fifteenth night of Sha`ban the Ennobled, in which every decreed affair becomes distinct and unchangeable, we ask You to remove all tribulations, those that we know and those that we do not know and those about which You know more, truly You are the Most Mighty, the Most Generous.

O Allah, bestow peace and blessings upon our Master Muhammad and upon his Family and Companions.

Resources for Seekers:
The Fifteenth Night of Shaban – Muwasala
Merits of Sha’ban – Muwasala
The Blessings of the Night of Mid-Sha’ban | Nur Sacred Sciences
It is Recommended to Perform Extra Worship on the Night of the 15th of Sha’ban?

Getting the Most Out of Rajab – Habib Umar

There are a number of ways to get the most out of Rajab. Some of the most important are as follows:

1. Seeking forgiveness in abundance and making sincere repentance;
2. Making a sincere resolve to seek to approach Allah through performing acts of obedience and avoiding acts of disobedience;
3. Assessing your state, rectifying it and striving to follow the Prophet ﷺ in all that you do;
4. Improving your performance of the prayer by making sure that you implement the sunnahs pertaining to the prayer and pray with presence of heart. Also strive to pray in congregation in the first row without missing the opening takbir;
5. Improving your relationship with the Qur’an by increasing the amount you read and reflect upon daily and seeking to act upon it;
6. Being consistent in reading your adhkar in the morning and evening, after the prayer and in your varying states (such as eating, entering the house and preparing for sleep);
7. Improving your interaction with your family, friends, relatives, neighbors and with Allah’s slaves in general and the elect of His slaves specifically;
8. Fasting whatever days you are able to, especially Monday and Thursday and the White Days (13th, 14th and 15th days of the month);
9. Giving a portion of charity and doing what you can to help those in need and treating them kindly;
10. Worshiping Allah in these nights, especially in the last portion of the night. Improve your state at this time so as to enter into those who Allah praises in the Qur’an: Those who spend their wealth (in charity) and seek forgiveness in the last portion of the night.

Allow Your Emotions to Be Elevated – Habib Umar

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) calls us to allow our emotions to be elevated in order for us to taste the sweetness of faith and to be with Allah’s Beloved ﷺ

The Prophets, their Families and Companions and the angels are all party to intense feelings and emotions – emotions which are extremely lofty, noble, pure, divine, majestic and precious. These emotions constitute their connection to the Knower of all that is concealed, their love for Him and their seeking and receiving love from Him. They include complete submission to Him and love for His sake in order to receive His love. All the angels experience these emotions from the greatest of them down to the least of them, as do the Prophets and Messengers and their Families and Companions and followers and their leader and imam, Muhammad ﷺ.

But whatever love they have for each other for Allah’s sake cannot be compared to the love contained in the heart of the Beloved, the Chosen One. There is only one reason for this: that he is the one who knows Allah better than all of them. Since he knows Allah best, his love for Allah is more intense than all those who love for Allah’s sake. This is why Allah says: the Prophet is more caring towards the believers than they are to their own selves (al-Ahzab, 33:6).

Allah describes him as being extremely perturbed by the hardships you suffer, as being absolutely concerned for your welfare: a Messenger has come to you; grievous to him is your suffering; immensely concerned is he for you.. (al-Tawbah, 9:128) What is this verse telling us? It is saying look at your feelings towards My Beloved. Do you love anyone more than him? No one can be compared to him regarding the care and concern he has for this Ummah in this life and even after he passed from this life: “My life is best for you and my death is best for you.” How? In his life he showed people the path when things happened to them. After his death he said: “Your actions are displayed to me. I praise Allah for any good I find, and if I find other than that, I seek Allah’s forgiveness for you.” He did not say “if I find evil”. Out of his compassion he chose not to attribute evil to us. Instead he said: “If I find other than that..

You are being invited to allow your feelings and emotions to be elevated. Iblis and his forces are competing in this. They want to control our emotions so that we venerate things and people who should not be venerated; so that we love people who are not beloved to Allah and so that we commemorate things which have no value in the sight of Allah and His Messenger.

The Prophet told us that with our emotions we will taste the sweetness of faith. We will taste that sweetness when Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to us than everything else.. Everything else, including Paradise. Had Paradise been more beloved to them, then Thawban would not have cried and neither would some of the other Companions. Paradise with its everlasting bliss was not more beloved to them than seeing the Prophet! They were unable to bear the thought of not seeing him!

Allah knew their sincerity and gave them the good tidings of being with the one they loved: Whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger will be with those who Allah has blessed: the Prophets, the Siddiqun, martyrs and the pious – and what blessed company that is! This is purely from the bounty of Allah (al-Nisa, 4:69).

If you read this verse, you notice He did not mention Paradise or any of its pleasures. All He mentions is being with.. This is the highest pleasure of Paradise. These are the loftiest emotions that can be experienced.

The Best of Creation clarified things when he said: “None of you believe until I am more beloved to that person than his children, his parents and all people.” We ask Allah to bear witness to our joy at your Prophet and all that he taught. Allow us to live our lives with these noble feelings and emotions so that we meet You in the best of states.

* Courtesy of Muwasala

The Scholar Who Worked as a Waiter – Habib Umar

* Courtesy of Muwasala

One of our teachers was Habib Muhammad bin Alawi al-Attas, a scholar and a true worshipper. He was known as ‘al-Zabidi’ because he spent some years studying with the scholars of Zabid (once a great centre of knowledge in Yemen). During his time there he chose to work as a waiter in a restaurant, not because he needed the money, but in order to refine his lower self (nafs): running round taking people’s orders, bring this, do this..

We visited him in his home in Huraydah at the end of his life with a group of scholars: among them Habib Mashhur bin Hafiz, Habib Umar bin Alawi al-Kaf, Habib Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Shihab and Habib Salim al-Shatiri.

He said:

“Last night someone saw the Prophet ﷺ in this very room.”

May Allah have mercy upon him – a scholar who knew the importance of refining the nafs.

– Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) during his commentary on the Ihya Ulum al-Din, Dar al-Mustafa, 28th Dhu’l-Qa’dah 1440.


 

Making the Most of Ramadan: FREE Course by SeekersGuidance

Looking for a spiritually-uplifting way to prepare for Ramadan? One of our students provides an overview of our dynamic On-Demand course, Making the Most of Ramadan.

Ramadan is the month of the year that every Muslim is longing for. Time for a good clean-up, new resolutions, and reconnection with Allah. How many times you have told yourself at the start of the blessed month that this one will be better but before you realise it, you are already in the last ten days, wishing you did more?

SeekersGuidance has introduced an amazing On-Demand course called Making the Most of Ramadan as a short, effective and transformative way to not let another Ramadan go to waste.

Course Details

This course is composed of 24 short lectures and reminders given by a broad range of scholars and teachers the likes of  Habib Umar ibn Hafiz, Habib Kadhim As-Saqqaf, Shaykh Ahmed Saad Al-Azhari, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus and many more.

This course is part of the On-Demand Course platform, which means no registration needed, and no deadlines or assignments. Just enter your email and you will be given immediate access. 

In this series of courses you will learn the main aspects of fasting such as its virtues such as taqwa, sincerity, connection with the Quran, patience and nearness to Allah. You will learn about the ruling related to fasting that are often underestimated my many Muslims as well as contemporary issues looked at by our scholars.

You will learn about the the deep spiritual approach of Ramadan, and the effect of fasting on your soul. You’ll learn how to fall in love with Allah, what was the Prophet’s fast was like, the Abrahamic roots of fasting and so much more.

Our Purpose on Earth

As Muslims, we know that we will be asked about our choices. and that Allah created us for a purpose. That purpose is to worship Him as He says in His book:

{ وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ }

And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. (Surah al-Dhariyat 51:56)

Therefore, when you reflect on the meaning of your presence on earth, you can quickly relate to how important worshipping Allah is and how much knowledge can help you in improving your relationship with Allah through improving how you are worshipping Him.

 Don’t let this opportunity run you by! Join the wave of the lovers and gain closeness to Allah.

Click here to access the courses.


 

 

Surviving Ramadan: How to Make the Most of Your Days & Nights

With Ramadan just a few days away, watch this recorded seminar to learn some tips and lessons on how to prepare, receive and make the most of Ramadan. This seminar will include talks from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Ustadha Shireen Ahmed, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, Dr. Umar Faruq Abd Allah , Habib Umar bin Hafiz , and Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf.

 

 

Seven Muslim Scholars on How to Survive Ramadan and Make The Most of It

The blessed month is upon us but are you dreading the long days without food or drink and the sleep disruption? You’re not alone. This timely seminar has loads of tips and lessons on how to prepare, receive and make the most of Ramadan.

Talks by Ustadha Shireen Ahmed, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, Dr. Umar Faruq Abd Allah, Habib Umar bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf and Habib Mohammed Al-Saggaf

Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf

Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Dr. Umar Faruq Abd Allah

Ustadha Shireen Ahmed

Imam Zaid Shakir

Habib Mohammed Al-Saggaf

Ustadh Amjad Tarsin (Q&A)

 

Cover photo by yeowatzup.

Acquisition of the Clear Light: Part 3

This is the third part of a series of translations of Habib Umar’s work, Qabs al-Nur al-Mubin, an abridgment of Imam al-Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din.clear light

This part explores why a person may not actualise the spiritual sciences that he is learning.

Specific similitude of the heart in relation to sciences:

The mirror may not reflect the image for five reasons:

First: Deficiency within its design, such as the nature of iron before it’s shaped and polished.

Second: Dirt, corrosion and grime.

Third: Being turned away from the angle of the picture towards something else.

Fourth: A veil placed between the mirror and the picture.

Fifth: No knowledge of the direction of the intended picture.

Likewise, the heart is a mirror, wherein the true reality of matters becomes manifest, but can became void of sciences due to these five reasons:

First: Deficiency in its essence, such as the heart of a youth, where the sciences don’t become manifest to him due to its deficiency.

Second: Due to the grime of disobedience and the dirt which accumulates upon the face of the heart caused by numerous desires, so turning towards the obedience of Allah Most High, and avoiding the demand of the desires, is that which cleanses the heart.

Allah says: And those who strive in Our (cause), We will certainly guide them to our paths. (Sura ‘Ankabuut 29:69)

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: The one who acts upon what he knows, Allah will bequeath him with knowledge which he does not know. 

Third: Due to it being turned away from the direction of the intended reality, the obedient and good heart – despite being pure – does not have the clear reality manifesting within it, since it’s not in search of the reality, nor is it parallel to the mirror in the direction intended. In fact, it may be that he is fully aware of the details pertaining to physical obedience or preparations of means to earning a livelihood. He does not pay any heed to pondering about the Divine presence and the subtle divine realities, so nothing becomes manifest to him save that which he is pondering about in terms of the precise details regarding the diseases of the deeds and subtle defects of the soul which he is pondering about or affairs related to one’s which he is pondering about.

Fourth: The veil. As for an obedient individual who has overpowered his desires, confining his thoughts towards a reality from amongst the realities may not have this manifested to him due to a belief since youth which reached him through tradition, which has been a cause for majority of the Muslim theologians and those strictly adherent to specific school of thoughts; in fact, many of the pious, since they are veiled by their traditional beliefs solidified within their souls.

Fifth: Lack of knowledge of the direction from which the sought out matter is discovered, since the seeker of knowledge is not capable of attaining knowledge of that which he is unaware of except by bringing to memory those science related to the sought out matter. The sought out sciences are not found within the natural disposition, and are only caught through the nets of acquired sciences. As a matter of fact, they are only acquired through the 2 previous sciences which are in harmony with each other and paired in a specific manner.

Therefore, ignorance of the sources and their methodology of pairing is a barrier towards the knowledge, similar to what we previously made mention of in terms of ignorance of the picture’s direction, in fact, it’s similar to a person who wants to look at his nape in the mirror, so if he moved the mirror in front of his face, he would be nowhere nearby the direction of the nape and as a result, the nape would not become apparent to him. If he were to lift the mirror behind his nape, parallel to it, he would then have turned the mirror away from his gaze and will not see the mirror, so he is in need of another mirror which he will set up behind his nape which will then be opposite to this one, to a point where he is able to see it and he should pay attention to the relation between the positioning of the 2 mirrors in order for the picture of the name to reflect in the opposite mirror to the nape thereafter this picture from this mirror will reflect in the other mirror which is facing the eye, thereafter the eye will comprehend the picture of the nape, and likewise in the capturing of sciences their exists many strange techniques containing deviances and distortions stranger than that which we mentioned about the mirror.

So these are the causes of obstruction against the heart to know about the realities, so nevertheless, every heart by its natural disposition is suited to know the realities, since it’s a lordly and honorable affair, and is equipped to carry the responsibility.

He, SAW, said: Every child is born upon a religious sound disposition but thereafter, his parents call him towards Judaism, Christianity or Magianism.    


This is part three of a translation of al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz’s abridgment of Ihya Ulum al-Din by Imam al-Ghazali entitled Acquisition of the Clear Light, not only provides the reader with a concise understanding of the Ihya but also serves as clear guideline to the main themes and focal points within the actual book.

Translator: Abdullah Salih, converted to Islam in 2003 and thereafter, embarked on a journey of seeking knowledge in the Valleys of Hadramouth in the beautiful city of Tarim. He was fortunate enough to sit in the company of Habib Umar, where he studied under him various sciences such as, but not limited to, some of the original works of Ihya as well that of the abridgment. He now resides in Namibia with his family and is engaged in Dawah activities locally as well as internationally.


 

Acquisition of the Clear Light: Part 1

This is the first part of a series of translations of Habib Umar’s work, Qabs al-Nur al-Mubin, an abridgment of Imam al-Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din.

In the Name of God, the Gracious, the Most Merciful

Praise is due to God, who is all aware about the subtleties of the souls, who is all knowing about the secrets of the hearts. May His Peace and Blessings be upon the master of the messengers, the unifier of the religion and upon his pleasant and pure household.

To proceed, the honor and virtue of a human being is in relation to his inclination towards knowledge about Allah Most High which is that which renders him beautiful, complete and honorable in this world, and is a means of preparation and provision for the Hereafter.

This aforementioned inclination towards knowledge takes place in one’s heart, as the heart is the knower of Allah Most High, that which causes proximity to Allah Most High, serves Allah Most High, strives towards Allah Most High, is the recipient of the manifestations from Allah Most High and the limbs are but followers, helpers, and tools.

The heart, soul, spirit and intellect are synonymous in meaning which is a subtle spiritual substance divinely governed. It is the very essence of a human being and the point of perception for the Gnostics among them. So this subtle, knowledgeable and gnostic substance of a human being is at times referred to as a heart, spirit, intellect, or soul.

At times, the heart is referred to as a piece of flesh like a pine-cone in form, positioned at the left hand side of the chest which is the same heart present in animals and it is from the visible material world.

The soul is sometimes referred to as the container of a human being’s capacity of anger and desire. At times, the soul is referred to as a light body originating from the heart’s cavity, which disperses by means of arteries to the rest of the body.

The intellect is sometimes referred to as the means to knowledge of the true reality, and if what is meant is the comprehension of sciences, then this is the heart, and at times all four of these words share this meaning.

Soldiers of the Heart

The heart has three types of soldiers.

Firstly: a type that is dispatched towards obtaining that which is beneficial and appropriate, such as a desire or a protection from that which is harmful and incompatible, such as anger. His dispatching is referred to as will.

Secondly: That which causes the movement of the limbs towards the obtaining of these objectives which is referred to as capability.

Thirdly: That which perceives and comprehends things similar to the role of spies. This is the power of sight, hearing, smelling, taste and touch which is referred to as knowledge and perception.

Explanation of the Distinct Characteristics of the Human Heart

What distinguishes the heart of a human being, resulting in his great honor and his worthiness of attaining proximity to Allah Most High, is knowledge and will.

As for knowledge: It is knowledge pertaining to affairs of this life, the Hereafter, and intellectual realties. These things surpass the senses and no other animals partake in them.

As for will: If, through the medium of intellect, the end result and rectification of something becomes known, it brings about a strong inclination within one’s self towards that which is beneficial, its respective practical means and yearning towards it, which is neither similar to the desire’s yearning nor the will of animals. In fact, it is opposed to desire, as at times desire could shun a surgical operation whilst the intellect yearns for it.

So the heart of a human being is distinct in terms of its knowledge and will which differentiate it from the rest of the animals, in fact, even from the youth at its prime stage of its natural disposition, as this only takes place once puberty has been reached and one thereafter attain theses sciences through two stages:

Firstly: One’s heart must contain the core and fundamental knowledge, that is the science of the impossibility of impossible things and the possibility of outwardly possible things [logic], without which the speculative sciences are not attainable. However, their proximity is possible. This is like unto someone who, as far as the art of writing is concerned, only knows the inkwell, the pen, and the alphabet. He has gained proximity to the art of writing but has not attained it.

Secondly: To acquire knowledge through experience and contemplation, which is like a storage tool which one refers back to whenever one desires.

The people of this stage have innumerable ranks, surpassing one another in relation to the larger or lesser amount of knowledge, the honor and baseness of such knowledge, the method of attaining it, as some hearts receive it through divine revelation, and others through learning and acquiring it rapidly and slowly, so therefore the ranks of advancement are innumerable and the furthest of such ranks is that of the Prophet to whom most, if not all realities become manifest without effort or difficulty, in fact, through divine manifestation in the shortest possible amount of time.

The most honorable type of knowledge is knowledge of Allah Most High, His Qualities, His Actions, as by it, a human being is rendered complete and this completion results in his felicity and suitability for the Splendored and Perfect Companionship. The body is a vehicle for the soul, the soul is the location of one’s knowledge, and knowledge is a human being’s objective and distinct quality which is the very reason of one’s creation.

A human being is ranked between the animals and angels in that his nourishment and reproduction is like a plant’s, his senses and movement is like an animal’s, and his features and extension is like an engraved picture on the wall. What distinguishes him is his knowledge of the realities of things.

Whoever uses all of his limbs and strength whilst depending on this for attainment of knowledge and work, is similar to the angels and as for the one who directs his concerns to the pursuit of bodily pleasures, eating just as the grazing livestock eat, has as a result, declined to the lowest of animals.

It is possible to use every single limb as a means of arrival to Allah Most High. The one who uses them in this way attains success, however, the one who deviates from this, is lost and is unsuccessful.

A summary of felicity is for one to make his meeting of his Lord his objective, the Hereafter his place of settlement, this life as his temporary settlement, his body as a vehicle and his limbs as helpers.

Ali, Allah ennoble his countenance, described the hearts by saying: “Verily Allah Most High has vessels upon His land and they are the hearts and the most beloved of these to Him, are the most soft, pure and solid, thereafter he explained this by saying: The most solid in terms of religion, the purest in terms of certainty, and the softest towards brothers, which is an indication to Allah Most High saying: ‘Severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves,’ (Sura al-Fath 48:29) and His saying: ‘The similitude of His light is a niche in which there is a lamp.’” (Sura al-Nur 24:35)

Ubay ibn K’ab, Allah be pleased with him, said: “What is meant is, the similitude of the light and the heart of the believer. He Most High further says: ‘Or is like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean.’” (Sura al-Nur 24:40) which is the similitude of the heart of a hypocrite.

Zayd ibn Aslam, Allah be pleased with him, said about His saying: “In a preserved tablet” that this is the heart of a believer.

Sahl stated: “The similitude of the heart and the chest is like that of the Throne and the Chair. These are likenesses of the heart.”

 


This is part one of a translation of al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz’s abridgment of Ihya Ulum al-Din by Imam al-Ghazali entitled Acquisition of the Clear Light, not only provides the reader with a concise understanding of the Ihya but also serves as clear guideline to the main themes and focal points within the actual book.

Translator: Abdullah Salih, converted to Islam in 2003 and thereafter, embarked on a journey of seeking knowledge in the Valleys of Hadramouth in the beautiful city of Tarim. He was fortunate enough to sit in the company of Habib Umar, where he studied under him various sciences such as, but not limited to, some of the original works of Ihya as well that of the abridgment. He now resides in Namibia with his family and is engaged in Dawah activities locally as well as internationally.


 

The Crucial Status of Fatwa in Islam and Its Impact – Habib Umar

Habib Umar bin Hafez recently addressed the Jordanian General Ifta’ Department on the status of fatwas in Islam and the grave responsibility of the scholars who issue them.

 

The Weight of Giving Religious Verdicts

The Habib began by reminding everyone of the tremendous role that the mufti plays in that he is standing before Allah and His slaves; he conveys to them what they need to do, and how they should view Allah and His commands; their reverence and fear and general attitude is dependent upon his; and their confusion, mistrust, carelessness, and disobedience ultimately comes back to the the mufti not taking his task seriously and not revering the religion as it deserves to be revered.

Extreme Precaution Regarding Accuracy

In light of this, the Habib mentioned various well-known accounts of the precaution taken by the early Muslims when giving fatwa, such as actually shaking while giving the answer for fear and awe, such as wishing that others would answer the question first, and passing the onus of answering until it came back to the same original mufti. And he reminded the attendees of the principle that the fastest person to answer a question is the fastest to enter the Hell-Fire.

Modern Abuses of Religious Verdicts

He then went on to mention the harm modern abuses of fatwa are having on the Muslim world. He mentioned that at the end of the day, extremist tendencies can only come from fatawa: there is a lot of hype and zeal, but people only practice extremist activity when fueled by some kind of knowledge-based authority. This is also the case with super-lenient or down-right incredulous fatwas that make a laughingstock of Allah’s religion.

Mutual Tolerance

The Habib emphasized the  fact that when different scholars do not tolerate one another, and when fatwas are used for political or other agendas, the masses see Islam as source of conflict and animosity, and not solution to their problems. These leads all too naturally to doubt about the very fundamentals of the religion and a serious look at atheism as a realistic alternative.

What the Youth Need

Returning to the role that the attitude and conduct of Muslim scholars has on the average Muslim, the Habib stressed the need for the youth to have something to look up to. He said that they don’t feel like the scholars are really concerned and worried about the the religion, so they either turn away from it, or turn to more military and political forms of Islam, that are not rooted in solid traditional scholarship.

Orthodoxy

The Four Madhhabs, the Habib mentioned, were the bastions of Islamic Law, their rules, and deeper, far-reaching principles being the way that Allah has preserved Sunni Islam. Although they are not the exclusive representations of Sunni praxis, no other traditions have been granted such time- and divinely-honored reception and development. Their sophistication is such that all modern issues, however seemingly complex they may be, and can be solved by returning to their legal principles and maxims.

From Spiritual to Societal Change

The current weakness of Islam, and the general lack of religiously, rests very much the shoulders of Muslim scholars. The Habib repeated the point that if scholars showed more concern, sincerity, and seriousness, Allah would return the religion to its strength. He quoted the words of the Qur’an, “And We made them leaders guidance by Our command because they showed fortitude,” (Sura al-Sajda 32: 24), reiterating the great responsibility that rests upon them that must be taken with all due seriousness.

Keeping Silent

Part of this seriousness is knowing what to say, when, and how. Not everything should be spoken about before everyone. The Habib gave the example of Umar ibn al-Khattab delaying certain discussions raised among the masses while he was on Hajj, to deal with them clearly in a controlled way back in Medina. There are no hidden secrets in Islam, but at the same time, not everyone can contextualize everything that they hear or read. This requires that the mufti gives his questioner what they need to know, and not what they do not need to know.

Taking One’s Time

In fulfilling his duty as a spokesman for Allah, the mufti must also be very careful that he is indeed giving the right answer. (Haste, as mentioned before, is not the way with matters of halal and haram.) Imam Abu Hanifa once said that were it not for fear of the religion being lost, he wouldn’t have answered a single question. Imam Malik was famous for frequently saying that he didn’t know the answer to a particular question, as were Sufyan ibn Uyayna and Imam Ahmad, despite the fact that they knew the answer very well. This was all out of fear of making mistakes, or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

The Habib also mentioned that Umar ibn al-Khattab used to be very careful to seek the advice and insight of others, and not just say whatever he first thought of. Having fatwa councils discuss tricky issues in depth is one way this can be done. Another is to rely on authorities and living experts who truly understand the Sacred Law.

Exercising Freedom of Speech

The addresses being in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan — a country that enjoys moderate leadership and freedom of religion — the Habib encouraged the muftis to work with might and main to teach the religion as it is, by way of thanking Allah for the blessing of freedom of speech, a blessing that many other Muslim countries do not enjoy, and many of his own teachers did not enjoy. Sincerity and effort is what they needed, and this is what is required to bring about a change.

 

 


This article is a summary of a talk given by Habib Umar bin Hafez on 16 January 2019/ 10 Jumada al-Ula 1440, in the Jordanian General Ifta’ Department. The notes were written by Ustadh Farid Dingle.