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Knowledge Without Barriers: A Heartbreaking Story About A Student in Need

I just wanted to share a quick story that reflects the importance and blessings of SeekersGuidance and the Knowledge Without Barriers initiative.

This is a short story about one of the sharpest students in our class, who always looked exhausted. Every half an hour or so, he would stand so that he wouldn’t doze off in class.

Every chance he got, he would ask me about the ‘ulema in Pakistan and Canada. He would lament about the state of his people but was hopeful that one day they would reclaim the legacy of the likes of Imam Bukhari, Baha’udin Naqshaband and Imam Tirmidhi.

One morning, I saw him sitting on a bench outside the masjid waiting for Fajr to come in. As I greeted him and saw the exhaustion on his face, I wondered how many nights he had spent on a park bench, and if that was the reason he was always so tired… That was also the last day I saw him in class, he stopped attending.

I ran into him today, and asked him where he’s been… He smiled and said he’s been attending a reading of Sahih al Bukhari. I asked him when he’ll be returning to class… Sadly, he informed me that he wouldn’t be able to, and that he plans to start at another mahad(institution). Why? I asked, ‘this mahad is known to have a much better program and teachers’… He looked down and said ‘I know, but its too much money.’ I asked, how much? ‘200 lira per month ($35 USD), but the other one I can study for free.’ I told him not to worry, let’s figure something out’, he just smiled and said ‘it’s difficult.’

Often times I hear people referring to programs that cost thousands of dollars. It’s not a lot of money! If people really valued knowledge they’d make it a priority!

This brother left his country to seek knowledge, he likely often sleeps on a park bench, doesn’t own a cell phone.. $35/month is his barrier to entry… $35/month. We may lose a future ‘Alim, one who shows deep concern for the umma, loves the ‘ulema and the tradition, and is more than capable, for just $35/month.

Knowledge Without Barriers is critical.

Look What We’ve Done in Just Six Years

Anniversaries are meant to be unforgettable. So when 8 November came around, our memory couldn’t be clearer of why this day is so important to us.

It was on this day six (6) years ago that SeekersHub launched the Knowledge Without Barriers initiative. This ambitious yet necessary move to make all of our learning offerings available online and free of cost affected our services instantaneously. We stepped up from serving 600 students to 6,000 within that first term!
This year alone, over 80,000 students registered for free and scholastically sound courses, not to mention the 4 million unique visitors that came to Seekershub.org, and come back for more!

This moment is memorable because SeekersHub could not take such a bold leap without your hands of support. Your loyal furtherance ensures a future of strong and consistent Islamic scholarship for people worldwide. We will continue to take even bigger and bolder leaps with the expansion of SeekersHub’s services into a full-fledged Islamic seminary, as well as the upcoming launch of our Arabic-language platform, SeekersHub Arabiyya.
If we can get this far in just six years, imagine what we can do at ten. Your monthly donations and steady generosity will help us get there and beyond. Continue supporting and contributing to SeekersHub so that we can look back on how far we’ve come… together.

Urgent Appeal: Help spread the light and beauty of Prophetic guidance

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Alhamdulillah, SeekersHub Global is growing in its reach and impact. We had a very successful Ramadan program, and opening of the Term Two courses, as you’ll see below.

That said, we do need your urgent support to reach our annual goal of raising $100,000 in ongoing monthly contributions.
This will cover immediate operational costs, including: (a) the costs associated with upgrading to a new, mobile-responsive online learning platform; and (b) the increased operational costs of running 35 online courses and an expanding range of online educational offerings (lesson sets, podcasts, answers, and articles).

Please donate generously now to help us cover our immediate expenses and help SeekersHub Global sustain and expand its services, to spread the light and beauty of Prophetic guidance.

You may be wondering why we are asking after the recent Ramadan #GiveLight campaign. In Ramadan, the vast majority of contributions made were zakat, which were required to assist scholars and students of Islamic knowledge.
This appeal however, is to urgently support the immediate and ongoing operational costs of SeekersHub’s offerings.
To date, we’ve raised $30,000 of our annual goal of $100,000 in monthly donations and we are counting on your support to make up the difference. Please do become a monthly donor today.

GIVE MONTHLY TO SEEKERSHUB

The good news: Ramadan was a resounding success with MILLIONS reached globally.

  • We had a wide range of distinguished scholars (including Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Shaykh Walead Mosaad, Ustadha Shehnaz Karim, Shaykh Hamdi Bin Eissa, Shaykh Muhammad Mendes, Ustadha Umm Umar, and others) teach special classes at our Hub in Toronto, classes that were broadcast live, and podcast to listeners around the world.

  • Our podcast downloads almost doubled from last Ramadan, to over 100,000.

  • We had an average weekly social media reach of between four and five million people, from well over 100 countries around the world.

  • Hundreds of thousands visited our website for answers, guidance, and knowledge—with our web traffic almost tripling from Ramadan 2015.

Alhamdulillah, we also raised over $450,000 to support Islamic scholars and students.

In our troubled times, with confusion and misinterpretation of sound Islamic teaching manifest, the Global Zakat Fund is a critical need. We thank you for your support in helping us support needy scholars and students of Islamic knowledge, around the world.

There are many more exciting developments underway. Here are just a few of them:

  • Upgraded Our Online Learning Platform. After Ramadan, we successfully upgraded our online learning platform—a major, resource-intensive undertaking—as a result of which all our courses are now accessible from a beautiful, dynamic, and mobile-responsible e-learning interface. (You can access your courses comfortably on your phone or tablet—try it!)
  • Successful Opening of Term Two Courses. We have over 8,000 registrations for the online courses—and thousands have been downloading our recently launched educational lesson sets. (We have new lesson sets weekly, alhamdulillah, on critical topics, with capable and qualified scholars.)
  • Programs Around The World. Our dear teacher, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, is embarking on a SeekersHub Global tour of Australia and New Zealand,where he will be conducting programs with distinguished local teachers.
  • Shaykh Faid Said, a SeekersHub Global teacher and scholar in residence at the Harrow Central Mosque in London, England, is teaching the soon-to-be launching SeekersHub Study Circle, explaining Surat al-Asr. (You can start a free Study Circle in your community, campus, or centre. Find out how.)

GIVE MONTHLY TO SEEKERSHUB

Alhamdulillah, there is much, much more going on than this. SeekersHub Toronto has over a dozen weekly classes—most of which are also broadcast live online fromwww.SeekersHub.org/toronto)—and monthly seminars, family programs, and more.

Millions are now reached by this effort to spread the precious light and beauty of Prophetic guidance, completely free of charge, through our commitment to #KnowledgeWithoutBarriers. This is only possible, however, through your generous support.
In closing: please help us urgently in raising the remaining $70,000 of our annual $100,000 goal in monthly donations, to cover immediate operational costs, by giving now.

May Allah—the Light of the Heavens and Earth, grant you and your loved ones, light. And may we all strive to be shining lights, reflecting the beauty, mercy, excellence, care, and concern that our Beloved Messenger embodies so dazzlingly. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, his folk, companions, and followers, eternally.

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

Faraz Rabbani,
Executive Director, SeekersHub Global

#GIVELIGHT: BECOME A MONTHLY DONOR

Learn to Live: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani visits the UK

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani travels to meet friends, old and new, during a brief visit to the United Kingdom.


Friday, 6th May 2016 at 1.30 pm

CHANGE IN PROGRAM. DUE TO FLIGHT DELAYS, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani will no longer join Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said at Harrow Central Mosque for jumaah.
UK tour

Friday, 6th May 2016 at 8.30 pm

In the evening, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani will be at Purley Masjid, with a timely talk, Learn to Live: 7 Steps to Change Your Life This Ramadan
uk tour purley

Saturday, 7th May 2016 at 6.30 pm

A commemoration of the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) Night Journey, the Isra Wal Miraj, to be held at Harrow Central Mosque. This promises to be an evening filled with uplifting talks and the joyous sounds of our favourite songs.
uk tour isra miraj

Sunday, 7th May 2016 at 5.30 pm
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani will speak about “Protecting Our Inheritance: The Urgency of Preserving Islamic Scholarship” at Ashford and Staines Community Centre (Noah’s Ark).
UK tour ASCC

We look forward to seeing you there! Please spread the word to all friends and family.

Take a Closer Look at The Prophet’s Heart

The Prophet’s Heart: The Beauty of His Relationship with Allah and Creation

shama'il prophetic heart Starting on March 14 in Toronto, and available globally from March 16, Study Circle students have the unique opportunity to learn key qualities of the Prophet’s heart. Attendees will learn from his relationship with Allah Most High, and from his relationship with Allah Most High’s creation—through stories from authentic—but less common—narrations from the works of Prophetic description (shama’il).
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani will be sharing descriptions of the Prophet’s heart, through vivid stories. Insha’Allah this Study Circle will encourage us to acquire the virtues of the heart beloved to Allah—both in our turning to Him and in our relationship with His creation.

What is a Study Circle?

Study Circles are free online community-focused study groups. A course is taught simultaneously as a live class at a community center–like SeekersHub Toronto–and then broadcast to centers across the world.
The Prophet ﷺ described circles of knowledge and remembrance as gardens of Paradise.
Why not a start one in your community?

Ready to Start or Join a Study Circle

Who Should We Learn Religion From?

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani answers the question: who do we take knowledge from? He details the advice of al-Khatib al-Shirbini, which revolves around three main points:
(1) consulting the scholars experts in the discipline,
(2) following those who act on what Islam entails, and
(3) following those who learned with scholars and not through only reading books.

Be Part Of Something Meaningful

This talk is part of the weekly gathering at SeekersHub Toronto, Circle of Light: A Night of Remembrance, Praise & Inspiration. Join us for free, in-person and online.
Consider taking a course with reliable scholars at the SeekersHub Online Academy. It’s free and there are over 30 topics on offer.

Resources for seekers:

Your opportunity to give dawah to 400 million people – SeekersHub Español

IMG_1977Did you know that Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world (second only to Mandarin)?
There are plenty of resources about Islam in English, Arabic, and Urdu. But the language that 400 million people call their own gets little to no attention – despite rapid growth of Muslim communities in Mexico, Argentina, and all over Latin America.
Meet SeekersHub Español

SeekersHub Español was started with the intention to serve the needs of converted, Spanish-speaking Muslims who are thirsty for knowledge about their newfound faith. As well as Spanish Muslims who have never had the opportunity to study and non-Muslim Spanish speakers who want to learn about Islam.
We intend to make the same reliable and in-depth learning resources that English speakers benefit from to over 400 million Spanish-speakers worldwide.

Learn More
We rely on your generous donations to make projects like this possible. Please support the spread of reliable Islamic learning to seekers worldwide by becoming a monthly donor.
Become a Monthly Donor
If you have any questions about the project, contact [email protected]

"Give as an act of worship to God" – Dr. Umar Farooq Abd-Allah

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 9.45.00 pmWe asked our dear teacher Dr. Umar Farooq Abd-Allah to record a special message for you about the #SpreadLight campaign.
But honestly, even we were blown away by what he said.
You’re going to want to watch this…

“There are only 3 types of people whom we should aspire to be. Either a scholar, a student, or one who loves them. Maybe you can be all three. But if you can only be a person who loves them, show that love by giving generously to SeekersHub – especially in the great month of Ramadan.” – Dr. Umar Farooq Abd-Allah
How many students can you help?
This is your opportunity – in the last 10 days of Ramadan – to count yourself among those who support the spread of prophetic teachings.
Your monthly contribution will help us make free Islamic learning available to students who are in desperate need of it.
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“Whoever directs someone to what is good will receive a reward similar to the reward of the one who does it.” – Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him and his folk)
While you’re at it, why not multiply your reward?
Encourage your family and friends to support this work and your reward will be multiplied accordingly. You can do that by forwarding this message to your contacts with a personal note about why you support SeekersHub.
May Allah reward you and count you among those who strive to spread the light of prophetic teachings in times of darkness. Ameen!
– SeekersHub Team

Help Us End Extremism and "Ugly Islam" – An appeal by Brother Anton

Assalamu alaykum,
The other day, Anton Kuratnik was monitoring our help desk and answering some of the questions we receive from students.
Then he came across a question that he never thought he’d never see.

“Because of the violence, chaos, and political instability [in much of the Muslim world], many Muslims are unable to find access to reliable, sound, moderate Islamic knowledge. Instead, there is an ugly, violent, and perverse version of Islam that is being spread all over the world. SeekersHub is in a position to address this.”
Many scholars have been affected by this instability and chaos, and are struggling to merely support themselves and their families — instead of being able to dedicate themselves to teach and spread the light of beautiful, balanced Prophetic teachings.
#SpreadLight this Ramadan: support capable, deserving scholars and enable them to spread beautiful and balanced Prophetic teachings to hundreds of thousands of students around the world.
donate

We need to raise $100,000 by Ramadan – A message from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,
Dear fellow seekers on the path to Allah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits. As Ramadan is fast approaching, I wanted to make an urgent appeal for support – and share some good news with you.
First, the urgent appeal…
SeekersHub urgently needs to raise $100,000 before the start of Ramadan to pay our scholars and staff; assist a number of scholars and seekers who are in dire need; and cover the costs of our upcoming programs and initiatives that will directly benefit you and your community.
You can make an immediate one-time donation; become a monthly donor; or give your zakat – which is used to support deserving and needy scholars and seekers of knowledge (considered the best of zakat).
Remember that hastening your charity has greater reward than ‘waiting for Ramadan’.
Click here Support SeekersHub

Second, the good news:

(1) Alhamdulillah, SeekersHub Global will be broadcasting a full range of daily Ramadan programming from our website.
This will include live broadcasts of the lessons and Tarawih recitation by Shaykh Ahmad Saad al-Azhari, whom SeekersHub Toronto is hosting for the entire month of Ramadan.
(2) In Ramadan, SeekersHub is launching its full Spanish-language site – with thousands of Answers, articles, audio and video lessons, and other resources, alhamdulillah. (BTW: The site is up, but in development… try to find it!)
(3) During Ramadan, our Term 3 courses will open for registration. We have many new courses, including:
Being Muslim: A Clear Introduction to Islam and Principles of Calling to Allah, with a new SeekersHub teacher, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin;
Explanation of Surat al-Fatiha, with Shaykh Yahya Rhodus; and
New courses in our Arabic Steps curriculum for both beginners (with new SeekersHub teacher, Shaykh Shuaib Ally) and more advanced seekers (with Shaykh Ali Hani, one of the foremost specialists of Qur’anic and Arabic studies in the world).
Take the Ramadan Short Courses: In the meantime, registration is open for our special Ramadan short courses. These are all completely free – supported by our Knowledge Without Barriers program.
Help us spread light by enrolling, and sharing widely with your friends and family.
Register here for Ramadan courses

Third: help us #SpreadLight:

In Ramadan, we’re launching our #SpreadLight campaign, to increase our capacity and reach from serving tens of thousands of students across the world to reach and serve hundreds of thousands of students.
This is at the counsel and call of our senior scholars – who have labelled our work as “the most pressing communal obligation of our times.”
Another of our teachers has challenged us, “This project needs to reach millions of people.”
We’re taking this challenge, trust, and responsibility on – with your support, prayers, and active involvement – and have set a goal of striving to reach a million students through our programs by the end of 2018, by Allah’s leave.
To make this happen, we need three things from you:
(1) Your immediate support, even if small; Donate Now.
(2) Host a fundraising iftar at your home or in your community, to raise funds for the #SpreadLight campaign. Just email [email protected]
(3) Join Team Lanterns. We’re putting a team together to raise funds by taking our message to your family, friends, and community. It’s simple and can be done online. Join the team here.
(4) Join the SeekersHub team – whether to help get the word out about our courses and services in the Outreach team; or to help directly with the #SpreadLight campaign in the Development team; or to help with the Techology team.
Just email [email protected] with the subject line: Volunteering with Seekers, and share some background about yourself, your interests, skills, and time commitment. We need a lot of hands on deck to make this happen, alhamdulillah!
May Allah make this Ramadan a Ramadan of light, in which we turn to the Light of Allah’s Closeness, Love, and Good Pleasure-through turning to His Light of the Qur’an, the Light of His Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), through the lights of prayer, fasting, recitation, charity, remembrance, service, and all doors of good that our Merciful and Loving Lord has facilitated for us.
May Allah bless you, your families, communities, and the Umma of the Beloved Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him and his folk).
Wassalaam,
Faraz Rabbani
Executive Director and Senior Instructor, SeekersHub Global
Click here to Support SeekersHub