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The Fully Integrated Life – Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad

“Allah bears witness that there is no god except He, and the Angels and the ones endowed with knowledge, upright with equity (bear witness). There is no god except He, The Ever-Mighty, The Ever-Wise…” (Surah al-Imran, Verse 18)

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad talks about how one should approach the balance needed in life, to put everything where it deserves to be put. How should one manage the different influences and complexity of life as a student? How does one find the right balance between what may seem deen and what may seem Dunya? The shaykh explains how we must strive for the fully integrated life and shares some useful tips from the works of Hujjat ul-Islam Imam Al-Ghazali.

Our deepest gratitude to Cambridge Khutbahs for making this recording available.

“Allah forbade oppression amongst his creation”, khutbah by Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said on how heinous oppression is, and how we can never find success when we commit acts that inflict “dhulm”.

Shaykh Faid 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 in the SeekersHub blog.

Resources for Seekers:

Collection of Duas for the Oppressed
The Problem of Evil and a Summarized Islamic Response
Supplications for the Oppressed and Distressed
Habib Zayn’s Counsel on Syria and Burma
Enjoining Good, Forbidding Wrong
Reflecting on Hadiths of Justice and MercyJustice and Its Relationship to Knowledge

Calls to Believers: Upholding Justice in Islam
Justice as Sadaqa (Charity)Stand Steadfastly For JusticeWill Bad Muslims Get Away With Their Crimes?

Gallup Forum 2011 Video: The Challenges and Opportunities of Regional Transformation – Dr. Aref Ali Nayed, Rami Khouri, Essara Abdul Fattah, Dalia Mogahed and others

The Challenges and Opportunities of Regional Transformation – Dr. Aref Ali Nayed and others at GALLUP FORUM 2011

Dr. Aref Ali Nayed is a panelist and the 2011 GALLUP FORUM panel discussion “The Challenges and Opportunities of Regional Transformation.” The discussion took was held at Qasr Al Sarab, Adu Dhabi, UAE on Thursday December 8th 2011. Other Panelist include: Essara Abdul Fattah, Rami Khouri, and Mohamed Younis, Chaired by Dalia Mogahed.

Related posts:

Video: Growing Ecologies of Peace, Compassion and Blessing – Dr. Aref Ali Nayed


Video: An Introduction to Said Nursi – Dr. Aref Ali Nayed

Reflecting on Hadiths of Justice and Mercy – Muslimology blog

Reflecting on Hadiths of Justice and Mercy – Muslimology blog

The following is something I wrote about a year back while reflecting on Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad “Forgiveness and Justice: meditations on some hadiths

Forgiveness and Rahmah is the best argument against people who think justice means, just-us. There’s a connectedness there in all our actions, even being connected with Allah- like, if a Muslim forgives someone else and shows clemency and mercy, than Allah looks upon that person’s action and says, “I am more merciful than my servant. I am the most merciful of the merciful” and then shows even more generosity in forgiving that person and making things easy for him. Allah commands us to adl’ wal ihsan- justice and excellence (forgiveness/mercy/clemency/compassion) because I think, it is more fitting of God’s Majesty, and perhaps more beloved to Him, to be associated with that mercy, more than simple mechanical justice.

I think just about everything in Islam has this in it: God wants us to be something more than just a creature (like the horn/hornless animals) demanding it’s “human rights,” (the allusion is intentional), to just demand justice with a sense of privilege and entitlement, he wants us to be worthy of Jannah, and that is why He pushes us to Islam, to tazkiya, to ihsan, “God only desires good for mankind,” and “Allah has no intention of oppressing the universe” (Surah Ale Imran) and “He who purifies himself has succeeded” (Sura al-’Ala). And to purify oneself is to come to know oneself- weaknesses, tendencies, and fragility of life. Maulana Rumi says this is why there are difficulties, so that God can call man with a title of merit, of virtue, and rightly do so. So that perhaps, we won’t feel like a bunch of free-loaders, leechers, and scam artists entering Jannah, we’ll feel worthy of it, like the martyr/saint mentioned in the hadith, who has earned his place.

“For those who believe not in the Hereafter is an evil description, and for Allah is the highest description. And He is the Almighty, the All-wise.” (An-Nahl 16:60)) We will feel like we belong there and see something of ourselves, our actions, the vision of good, in that blessed place. I think in that, we come to actually know God. Otherwise, its like what Shaykh Hamza Yusuf said, “the sign of the righteous is they are grateful and love those who do good to them while the sign of the hypocrite is to hate the person who does good to them.” We don’t come to God as someone asking for welfare or unemployment payments, but as the king that Adam once was in Jannah. We’ll be back at our place once again. So, I think in a sense, it comes back full circle- if Allah is to show His mercy, so should we. His mercy to us is contingent upon our performance/merciful nature- like the hadith, man la yarham la yurham, that whoever does not show mercy, will not be shown mercy. Maybe that is why it remains a mystery as to the status of nonbelievers, believers, and the tension between justice and forgiveness remains in Islam, and in a ghayb, because its a work in progress that is unravelling with our existence; that if we ultimately fail to recognize God, and to recognize the goodness emanating from Him, than we fail to recognize ourselves and are doomed to hellfire, wherein we continue to remain ignorant, questioning and lamenting our sins, how we failed and where now is God’s mercy and hope? There is a possibility not simply of the chance of God’s “soft-heartedness” overpowering His wrath, but of also man’s soft-heartedness overpowering his wrath, towards himself, others and by extension, God. And that can have a deciding factor in the justice Allah serves.

In this way, justice and mercy becomes connected to fate and free-will- whether what is written in the Lawh al-Mahfuz is changed, how much is changed, as a work in progress (“In a book, that ONLY the purified can touch,” Quran) and what it will ultimately come to mean on Yawmul qiyamah. Questions of free-will/destiny are reified when in fact, they are more of a mechanism/condition that allow for man to work, and yet be protected/insured by God. What if Justice and Destiny are not a dichotomy, but rather one in the same? “Is it these poor believers that Allah has favored from amongst us? Does not Allah know best those who are grateful?” (Anam, 6:53) “Had Allah known any good in them, He would’ve made them listen.” (Anfal, 8:23)

There is divine mercy insofar as we are capable in our meek condition of seeing it and witnessing it, upon a continuum, everything beyond that to us seems like justice, when in fact it may really be mercy.

“The Sentence that comes from Me cannot be changed” (Qaf 50:29) But God is also All-Knowing and so the finality of it all, rests with Him, all that is with us is the temporary present, the escaping moment to grab the valuable good deeds, before the house of our existence collapses.

God’s Messenger, upon him be peace, said: ‘I smile because of two men from
my nation, who shall kneel in the presence of the Lord of Power. One of them
says: ‘O my Lord, grant me retaliation for the wrong which my brother did to
me.’ And God says: ‘Give your brother that in which he was wronged.’ ‘O
Lord,’ he says, ‘none of my righteous works remain.’ Then God the Exalted
says to the man who made the demand: ‘What shall you do with your brother,
seeing that none of his righteous works remain?’ And he replies: ‘O my Lord!
Let him bear some of my burdens in my stead!’ And God’s Messenger wept, as
he said: ‘Truly, that shall be a fearsome Day, a Day when men have need of
others to bear their burdens.’ Then he said: ‘God shall say to one who made
the request: ‘Lift up your head, and look to the Gardens.’ This he does, and he
says: ‘O my Lord! I see high cities of silver, and golden palaces wreathed about
with pearls. For which Prophet shall they be, or which saint or martyr?’
And he said: ‘They belong to whomsoever pays me their price.’ ‘O my Lord,’ he
says, ‘And who possesses such a price?’ ‘You possess it,’ he replies. ‘And what
might it be?’ he asks, and He says: ‘Your forgiveness of your brother.’ ‘O my
Lord!’ he says, ‘I have forgiven him!’ Then God the Exalted says: ‘Take your
brother’s hand and bring him into Heaven.’ Then God’s Messenger recited His
word: ‘Fear God, and make reconciliation among yourselves.’ (Qur’an 8:1)
26 al-Hakim al-Nïsaburi, al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-sahihayn (Hyderabad, Da’irat al-Ma‘arif al-
‘Uthmaniyye, 1915), IV, 576. (From Abdul Hakim Murad’s essay, “Forgiveness and Justice“)

Perhaps the best way to summarize the question then is that the real question of justice/mercy lies with us, not with Allah. “What! Can there be a doubt about Allah?” (Ibrahim 40:10) Do we want to be constrained by Justice or liberated by it or do we want to be constrained by Mercy or liberated by it? Or at the end of it, will we just become frustrated with human justice and give up and simply want God to decide because He is the only One capable of deciding?

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Stand Steadfastly For Justice – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani – Friday Sermon at Occupy Toronto

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, the Executive Director of SeekersHub and Educational Director of SeekersGuidance was invited to deliver the Friday Prayers Sermon on October 28, 2011 at St. James Park – the site of the Occupy Toronto movement.

The following is taken from the closing remarks of the sermon:

Seven Counsels in Closing:

1. Be steadfastly committed to justice and excellence in your own life: fulfill the rights of God and God’s creation, with sincerity, concern, and excellence of character.
2. Be particularly careful about the rights of your parents, spouse/partner, children–then family, friends, neighbours, and community–then those wronged (whoever/whatever).
3. Ignore mass media: focus on becoming an informed citizen–so that you can seek, spread, and safeguard justice and excellence–the beautiful balance.
4. Money matters: look carefully at how you spend your money… make ethical, informed choices–promoting justice and excellence…
5. Time matters: don’t become a mere consumer… consuming products and entertainment and infotainment. “Two blessings many lose out on: health and free time.” – Spend your time in seeking justice and excellence… family, friends, neighborhood, society….
6. Your life matters: don’t just be a slave in the corporate jungle… seek to make your work a promotion of justice & excellence; work of benefit and meaning. Work with purpose. Relate with purpose. From our tradition: working on one’s own terms…
7. Do this for God; do this seeking Mercy; do this out of sincere concern….

What do we seek? Balance of Justice (`adl) and Excellence (ihsan). That is what makes life beautiful.

And indeed God is Beautiful, and loves Beauty.

My Heroes: A Libyan Story – Amjad Tarsin

My Heroes: A Libyan Story

Amjad Tarsin

Bismillah

Now I understand. As I see waves of protesters breaking the muzzle of fear Gaddafi has put on the people for 42 years, now I understand. As I see young men and women sacrificing their lives to give other people a fighting chance to live a dignified existence, now I understand. As I see solidarity from all over the world calling out to Gaddafi with one voice: “Enough!” now I understand.

These events have affected me deeply, and have made me thankful to my people for their struggle. My heart swells with honor for them. My heart swells for the sacrifices of Umar al-Mukhtar and the truemujahideentoday who have dignified our Libyan existence, giving up their lives to Allah so others could be free. My heart swells at their firm resolve and their every call of, “La ilaha illa Allah!”

But my heart swells the most for my parents. My heart swells for every gray hair that has set itself upon their noble heads. My heart swells for every heartache and tear that has flown from their eyes. My parents who have sacrificed their lives fighting against the oppression of Gaddafi. Who have given up home and family to stand up for their principles. My parents who lived everyday with hope that they could one day return to a free Libya.

I never understood their struggle. I sometimes thought they were just holding on to the dreams of their youth, not living in reality. I would tell them, “Gaddafi has won. Let’s just accept that fact.” Several times I would even try to persuade my father to go back. “Just say a couple nice things about Gaddafi and we can go back.” He would look at me with a gaze with wrinkled eyes that had seen more than I could possibly imagine. It was a look of sad, but unshakable determination. Then, he would say, “I will not go back to Libya while Gaddafi is in power.”

I thought it was pride that stopped him. I thought it was some personal vendetta against Gaddafi. How wrong I was! My father gave up his entire world for Libya. In the years fighting against the monstrous regime he lost his father, his mother, his two brothers, and even his land. I would think to myself, “Why does he still care about Libya? Nothing’s even there for him.” I never understood why he fought so hard.

Now I understand.

Because it wasn’t about him. It wasn’t about his family. It wasn’t about his land. It was about Libya. I think back to his gaze. It was a gaze of someone who would stand by his principles at any cost. A gaze of someone who would never give way to oppression. A gaze of a warrior carrying many scars. A gaze of a man. A man I wish I could be even half of.

I remember the look on my mother’s face when I went to Libya for the first time. She said to me, “Take my heart with you.” She would pray night and day to return to her country and see her elderly parents again. She would write articles against Gaddafi and poetry about her love for Libya. She would post her writings, as many others of those in opposition to Gaddafi would, on a Libyan blog. I would think to myself, “What good is this ever going to do?” In a way, I felt sorry for her. That was then. Now, I am inspired by her undying hope. Her resolve tonever give up. Her fight to the very end. She would fight for her people with whatever she had, even if it meant that she would never feel the sweet ocean breeze of Tripoli kiss her face again.

Now I understand.

So many times I did not understand that struggle of my parents. I did not understand their obsession with Libya’s politics. I did not respect their sacrifices. But now I understand. Now I understand that they would give every drop of blood in their bodies for the freedom and dignity of the Libyan people. My parents make my heart swell. In them, I see the dignity of my ancestors. In them, I see the courage of the youth supporting this new uprising. In them, I see the warrior saints. They are my heroes, and I am honored to be their son.

Collection of Duas for the Oppressed

Collection of Duas for the Oppressed

The following are duas that have been compiled and recommended to recite in moments of peril and great oppression amongst the Muslim masses. Please utilize, spread for the sake of God and continue to pray for our brothers and sister. May Allah grant our brothers and sisters protection and peace, inwardly and outwardly, ameen.

It is worth bookmarking this page for future access. Allah is sufficient for us and He is our Guardian.

Duas relating to alleviating oppression from the Quran and Hadith

Hizbun-Nasr of the Shadhili Tariqa

Hizb al-Itmaam of Shaykh Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani (courtesy of  SIIASI):

Read Arabic Text of the Dua with Translation

See also: Nasiri Dua for the Middle East

Nasiri Dua: So Powerful, Rulers Would Ban It From Mosques

The least we can do for our brothers and sisters caught in the turmoil of the Middle East and countless other places is pray for them.

This highly potent du’a by the renowned Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Nasir, was recited across Morocco and inspired resistance to the French occupation. So powerful was it that the French President had to issue an order banning its recitation from the mosques. Moroccans date the movement to return King Muhammad from that outlawing of the du’a. It is appropriate to the present state of the Muslim ummah today.

Read Arabic Text of the Dua with Translation

Listen to the Dua recited

Nasiri dua text and audio from Abdassamad Clarke’s website

May Allah protect all our brothers and sisters, ameen.

Stop the Mass Killings of Peaceful Demonstrators in Libya – Statement from Religious Scholars of Libya

Stop the Mass Killings of Peaceful Demonstrators in Libya

PRESS RELEASE RECEIVED BY KALAM RESEARCH & MEDIA FROM LIBYA FOR URGENT AND FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is an urgent appeal from Religious Scholars (Faqihs and Sufi Sheikhs), intellectuals, and clan elders from Tripoli, Bani Walid, Zintan, Jadu, Msalata, Misrata, Zawiah, and other towns and villages of the western area of our beloved Libya to all of humanity, to all men and women of good will:

The Libyan regime has been firing live ammunition at peaceful demonstrators who have been simply asking for their divinely endowed, and internationally recognized, human rights. We witness before God that, as we write this (February 19, 2011, 6:00 pm Tripoli time), hundreds of people are being gunned down with heavy machine guns near the Central Barracks and Security Headquarters in Benghazi. This is in addition to the hundreds killed and injured over the past three days in al-Beda, Darna, Shahat, Ijdabiah, and other cities and towns in the eastern area of our beloved Libya. Please HELP! Please do whatever you can to stop this slaughter.

We appeal to every Muslim, within the regime, or assisting it in anyway, to recognize that the killing of innocent human beings is forbidden by our Creator and by His beloved Prophet of Compassion (peace be upon him), and that whoever commits such crimes-against-humanity, or assists in committing them, in anyway, shall subject himself to condemnation to God’s wrath and eternal damnation. Human life is sanctified by God Himself, and is protected by Divine Shariah and International Law. Do NOT kill your brothers and sisters. STOP the massacre NOW!

We appeal to the faithful and brave Libyan people to help each other in all ways possible and to remain united. This is what is commanded by Allah and His beloved Prophet (peace be upon him).

Saturday 19 February 2011

Justice as Sadaqa (Charity) – Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad via Allahcentric

Justice as Sadaqa (Charity) – Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad « Allahcentric

Hammer.jpg

These are meditations by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad on some hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) related to justice. The balance of Mercy and Justice; the true understanding of justice and its relationship with complete balance; how political justice is (and isn’t) sought; political quietism in the face of misconduct by rulers; classical sects that promoted militancy, and their modern inheritors; the tension between justice and forgiveness; the redress of wrongs; and the need for jurists (and those seeking to promote justice) to be grounded in spirituality.

 

The full text may be found at Sidi Mas’ud Khan’s Site (www.Masud.co.uk):  Justice as Sadaqa (pdf)

 

An extract:

 

(2) There is an act of charity [sadaqa] to be given for each part of the human body and for every day over which the sun rises there is a reward of a |adaqa for theone who establishes justice among people.

Justice (‘adl) is due balance (i‘tidal): it is impartiality. The same word is employed to describe the balance of the body’s four humours. When these are in balance, right thinking and health are the consequence. When they are not, the Qur’an speaks of the last day when ‘their tongues, their hands and their feet will bear witness to what they used to do.’ (24:24)

To purify the body from the disorders which both engender and result from sin, a system of worship is gifted in revelation, which culminates in the placing of the forehead, the symbol of human pride and of self-oriented thought, upon the earth. The tongue ‘gives charity’ by praising God, and by speaking words of reconciliation. The hands do so by working to earn a lawful income, and by striving to right wrong sin society.

Taken together, the purifying ‘charity’ offered by the parts of the believer’s body always has a social impact, the highest aspect of which must be to ‘establish justice’, not only by avoiding unbalanced temptations, but by working to establish a political order in which justice is safeguarded.

Political work is thus conceived as a sacrifice. Never is political authority ‘sought’, in the conventional profane understanding, for a hadith says: ‘Do not seek political power, for if you obtain it by seeking it, it will be given power over you.’ This refers to a selfish, egotistic pursuit (hirs) of power, rather than to the selfless seeking of power for the sake of the establishment of justice for others. The model is the Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) who endangers himself in order to establish God’s justice in a feuding Arabia, and who ends his life in holy poverty, despite the advantages he could have gained from having been born into the aristocracy.

And:

 

AHM in turban.jpg

 

Towards the close of the classical Friday sermon, the preacher recites the Qur’¥nic passage which runs: ‘God enjoins justice and goodness.’ (16:90) The first is clearly not sufficient; or the second would not have been mentioned. Islam’s is a god of justice, but also of mercy. The extent to which the latter virtue can override the former in political life can only be defined in a very limited way in books of law. In Islamic legal culture, which grants the judge more discretion than the heavily statutory jurisdictions of the West, the judge has much room for mercy. In the Religion of Wisdom and Compassion, which deeply trusts human beings, it is no surprise that he should have been given this privilege. But his responsibility is grave, and if he is to escape GodÆs own Rigour, he must first defeat his ego. Sufism, the schoolroom of the selfless virtues, thus becomes the most fundamental juristic science.

 

 

Sidi Mas’ud Khan’s Site (www.Masud.co.uk):  Justice as Sadaqa (pdf)

 

Many thanks to Sidi Khuram Zaman, for bringing our attention to this, by posting it on his excellent Allahcentric blog, here.