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Is It Disbelief to Say That Allah Is Everywhere or That Allah Is in My Heart?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: In our schools children are taught that Allah is everywhere so that they know that Allah is seeing them wherever they go and He knows whatever they do. Is this statement disbelief?

If a person says: “Allah is in my heart” meaning by that that faith is in his heart, is he a disbeliever?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

This statement is certainly not disbelief, nor does it make one a disbeliever, and nor is it problematic as generally understood by Muslims.

The Qur’an itself states in reference to God that, “He is with them wherever they are” (58:7) and “He is with you wherever you are.” (57:4). There is agreement amongst the exegetes that this refers to the knowledge of God. These verses demonstrate that the Qur’an did use such expressions but their context clearly indicates that this relates to knowledge and not God being present everywhere in His essence. [al-Tabari, Jami al-bayan; al-Razi, Mafatih al-ghayb]

Therefore, it would be permitted to use the expression, “God is everywhere” provided that it does not lead to confusion or unsound beliefs. In situations where it may, one should simply clarify the statement in the manner scholars of the past did.

The same ruling would apply to an expression such as “God is in my heart.” Rather, the metaphorical intent behind this expression is almost immediately known to most people since it is rare and odd for one to believe that such a statement is expressed by someone to indicate that God is literally in his heart.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

How Spiritual Transformation Is Achieved, by Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

The Companions were humans like us…but their ranks were raised by virtue of their spiritual transformation. Some of them used to commit terrible crimes, but they were forgiven. Hearts hard as rocks became soft and full of mercy. What was the cause of this amazing transformation? Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said sheds some light.

The presence of the Prophet ﷺ and his teachings changed them from the inside out.

One of these blessed companions was in the market when he realized that he had been robbed. Upon that discovery, he raised his hands in prayer. The people around him decided that the thief was finished, as no one could come to any good if this companion, who was so close to the Prophet, prayed against him.

But he didn’t. Shaykh Faid Muhammad Said tells us what he did pray for…and why.

Inspired by this story? Try one of SeekersHub’s FREE online courses, such as The Sunna of Speech: Prohibitions of the Tongue, taught by Shaykh Rami Nsour.

Resources for Seekers

Say and Do All You Want, Allah Knows You Inside Out – Shaykh Faid Said

You can hide the things you do or you can declare it from the rooftops – nothing escapes the knowledge of Allah. He knows you and I inside out, including our every intention. Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said delivers a passionate reminder of living a life of God-consciousness.


Shaykh 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.
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I Am Attracted to a Young Man Who is in a Relationship. Should I Follow My Heart?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: A week ago I met a guy who is in a relationship with someone else. I feel like he is the one and I want to marry him. I care for him. Should I follow my heart? My heart says I’m going to marry him. We will avoid fornication.

Answer: Assalamualayakum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for seeking out an answer which is pleasing to Him.

Emotion

Allah Most High says: “And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse (zina). Verily, it is a Fahishah [i.e. anything that transgresses its limits (a great sin)], and an evil way (that leads one to Hell unless Allah forgives him).” [Qur’an, 17:32]

You sound enamoured with this young man. I urge you to be careful and not act on how you feel. Feelings are not facts. Follow your heart if it calls you to what is pleasing to Allah. Don’t follow your heart if it calls you to sin. The only pure romantic relationship with a man is marriage!

You might feel like he is ‘the one’ for you, but Allah alone knows what is written for us. This is why Islam draws such strict boundaries around gender interaction; it can be so easy to fall for someone who is not your husband.

Take a breather and think about your situation. This young man is already in a relationship with someone else. Dear sister, save your heart for your husband. Have patience, and occupy yourself with good, or else you will occupy yourself with bad.

Destiny

Comfort yourself with the knowledge that whoever and whatever is written for you will reach you – your responsibility is to do what is right by Allah in all states. If he is meant to be your husband, then let him come to you in a way that is halal (through marriage).

Solutions

1) When registration reopens, I strongly encourage you to complete this course – Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life. You must understand the spirit and the law behind marriage before getting married.
2) Be honest with yourself and ask if you are truly ready to get married.
3) If you are, please speak to your family and let them know that you want to get married.
4) Even if you are not ready to get married, please keep your distance from this young man. The closer you get to him, the more you are likely to fall into sin.
5) Increase your acts of worship to keep you mindful of Allah. Fast at least twice a week. Keep good company. Keep away from media intake which calls you to haram, e.g love songs.

Please refer to the following link:
Why Does Islam not Allow Boyfriends and Girlfriends?

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

An Unwavering Moral Compass

A woman once had something that was more valuable than all her worldly posessions. Imam Khalid Latif reveals what it is, and shows us how, by looking at the world within the heart, we can change the world around us.


Put it in to practice by taking a free course on Ghazali’s book “The Marvels of the Heart.”

Our thanks to the ICNYU for this recording. Cover photo by Andrea Deeley.

Resources on Having An Unwavering Moral Compass

How Can I Purify My Heart? A Reader

“Success is really attained by him
who purifies it”
[Qur’an, 91.9]

The duty to purify the heart

The Place of Tasawwuf in Traditional Islamic Sciences

What Islamic Perspective is Taught at SeekersGuidance?

How to purify the heart?

How is spiritual excellence attained?

A Reader on Sincerity, Intention, and the Purpose of Spiritual Routines

What is Islamic Spirituality? A Reader

How to Strengthen Faith in Allah and Return to Him? A Reader

Presence of Heart in Prayer: A Reader

A Reader on Anger Management and Good Character

Retweeting Sufism: Appreciating Tasawwuf in the Modern Age by Shaykh Ahmad Saad

We live in a world of advanced technology and a pervasive socal media, yet many people feel emptiness and they experience a vacuum in their hearts. Can Tasawwuf help? Is Sufism still relevant today? Can Tasawwuf bring meaning to our lives? Find out as the speaker, Shaykh Ahmad Saad, shares his knowledge and thoughts on this subject.

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf – Curing The Heart

Purification Of The Heart by Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus: DISCIPLINING THE SOUL

A lecture series based on two sections in the third quarter of Imam al-Ghazali’s Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya’ Ulum al-Din). This course will delve into the foundational principles of disciplining one’s soul, offering a theoretical framework of how this is achieved. Brought to you by, www.zaytunacollege.org

Related courses

Essentials of Spirituality: Ghazali’s Beginning of Guidance Explained (STEP)

The Marvels of the Heart

Recommended readings

Sea Without Shore: A Manual of the Sufi Path

The Beginning of Guidance

Photo: International Rivers

Is orthodox Islam possible without Sufism? Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad

Ever wondered how Sufism relates to classical or orthodox Islam and vice versa? Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad (Dr. Timothy Winter) will take you on a journey with much needed clarity. This video was recorded at an event by Sufi World at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, in the Netherlands.

An Age Of Compassion and Ease

Shaykh-Abdul-Hakim-Murad“Khilafa is there by the acclaim of the scholars. If the scholars do not accept somebody to be a khalifa, then this person is not a khalifa. The scholars will only accept that somebody is a khalifa if that person is implementing the Islam of the scholars, which means not some individual full of white hot rage following the American destruction of Iraq, but someone who’s in control of their emotions.

Tasawafa – someone who recognises the weaknesses of the peole of this age and reaches for their most compassionate of the available fatwas rather than the most extreme and the most outrageous. That’s the sign of the authentic khilafa. That which reaches for the most extreme is automatically discounted as being a legitimate member of sunni Islam.

“Every Muslim has to have the aspiration and it’s there in the books of aqida to live in a just political order, one that implements what God really wants for the earth, but that has to be on the basis of what the sharia’a truly is in this age which represents something that has to acknowledge people’s weaknesses. People find it hard to wear even hijab nowadays, if you try to impose niqab on everybody and beat them if they don’t, that’s just not the correct fatwa and scholars will not acknowledge that. So this is an age of taysir, an age of takhfif.”

 

Resources for seekers:

Is orthodox Islam possible without Sufism? Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad

Ever wondered how Sufism relates to classical or orthodox Islam and vice versa? Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad (Dr. Timothy Winter) will take you on a journey with much needed clarity. This lecture was recorded at an event by Sufi World at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, in the Netherlands.

Raising Children With A Sound Heart – Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

Photo credit: Jasmin Merdan

Photo credit: Jasmin Merdan

There is no doubt in my mind that children have to be raised with a deep, profound understanding of the heart. This is the essence of our deen and a central guiding principle when dealing with the actions of children.

We have a policy at home, that if they tell the truth they don’t get in trouble. “Did you hit your brother? If you tell me the truth you won’t get in trouble,” – we moderate repercussions and disciplinary actions with a focus on all the virtues of the heart. This is what is most important, that you inculcate this in them.

Use ordinary life events as opportunities to teach them about the importance of the heart. You also teach them from early on, that even if someone doesn’t wear a headscarf or have a beard, maybe their heart is in a good state.

You teach them tolerance, you teach them that yes, outward conformity to religion is important but the heart is also important. Unfortunately, most parents’ only concern is the outward dimension and they reinforce that by getting angry only when the outward is violated. You must balance your responses to the inward with your responses to the outward so that in reality you become more concerned with the inward.

How many people have we all known, who have been pushed farther away from the religion because the focus on the outward has been shoved down their throats? There are very few things that push people farther away from the religion more than that.

Teach children the theory about the heart. Sister Aisha Grey Henry is working on a children’s series of the Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din and I highly recommend everyone gets that when it’s published, if it hasn’t been published already. Teach your children these stories. Until then, find other creative and practical ways.

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus was in SeekersGuidance Toronto recently and gave the above as an answer to a question from a member of the local community. Adapted for print.

This Labor Day weekend, September 3-7, 2015, SeekersGuidance Toronto invites you to a retreat that engages the heart, mind, and soul with respected teachers from around the world, including Shaykh Yahya Rhodus. Find out more here.

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Resources for Seekers:

Why does Allah Bless Some with Children and Others not?
Raising Your Children with Deen & Dunya – Radio Interview with Hina Khan-Mukhtar
Raising Children with Deen and Dunya
Making Ramadan a Time for Young Hearts to GrowIbn Khaldun on the instruction of children and its different methods
Islamic Parenting: Ten Keys to Raising Righteous Children
The Prophet Muhammad’s Love, Concern, & Kindness for ChildrenOn Parents Showing Righteousness to Children
Habib ‘Umar bin Hafiz’s advice on duas to read during pregnancy and labour and for infertility

The Treasure of a Sound Heart, Surat al-Shu‘arā’ (verses 83-89): Duas from the Qur’an Explained

You’re listening to a series of lessons on important duas found in the Qur’an, as explained by Shaykh Ahmed Sa’ad Al Azhari – a distinguished master of the Qur’an and scholar in residence at Seekershub Toronto during Ramadan 2015.

All SeekersHub programming during this blessed month is freely available at the Ramadan Hub. Your financial support is crucial to our #SpreadLight campaign, which seeks to provide truly excellent Islamic learning to at least 1,000,000 seekers of knowledge in the coming year! This will serve as an ongoing charity (sadaqa jariyah) so please donate today.