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Doubts About Purification

Question: If one has doubts about one’s purification (wudu or ghusl) during the prayer, does one have to restart the prayer?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

To answer this question properly, I will break this down into two sections.

Before and during the prayer

A. Doubts about breaking wudu

If one knows that one has wudu, and before or during the prayer starts to doubt whether or not one broke wudu, the prayer is perfectly valid. This is because the default assumption is that one has wudu, and one merely doubts whether or not one broke it, and certainty is given precedence over doubt.

B. Doubts about making wudu

If one knows that one broke one’s wudu, and before or during the prayer starts to doubt whether or not one made wudu after breaking it, the prayer is invalidated. One must go and make wudu, and start again. This is because one knows that one did not have wudu, and one merely thinks that one made wudu thereafter, and certainty is given precedence over doubt, as before.

After the prayer

Once one gives the salams, the default assumption is that the prayer is valid. So even if one knows that before the prayer one broke one’s wudu, and merely thinks that one made wudu thereafter, the prayer is still valid (Tuhfat al Muhtaj, Ibn Hajar al Haytami). This is assuming such thoughts only came to one’s mind after the prayer was finished and not before.

The reason for this is that the default assumption is that the prayer is valid, and the doubt is now regarding whether or not one actually had wudu, and certainty is given precedence over doubt, as mentioned above.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language

Masters and Millennials: The Importance of Teaching One’s Family

The Importance of Teaching One’s Family

The Obligations and How to Fulfill Them by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

This is the tenth part of a series of articles that are based on al-Fawa’id al-Mukhtarah, one of the seminal works of the great scholar al-Habib Zayn bin Sumayt. The book focuses on a range of topics relevant to daily life and modern challenges for Muslims living in the West. This article is a summary of the tenth episode of the podcast – The Masters and Millennials by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan. What kind of importance does teaching our spouses and our children Islam have? This article addresses this question and presents an example from our scholars on how to teach our children. This article also discusses what we should be teaching our children.


In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

What is the importance of teaching our family?

Teaching our family is fulfilling Allah’s command

Allah Most High said: “O those who believe, save yourselves and your families from a blazing fire” (Qur’an, 66:6). Sayyidina Ali (Allah be pleased with him), commenting on this verse, said “Teach yourself and teach your families good. Good is that which will save them from the fire of Hell.” Ibn ‘Abbas commented as follows on the same verse: “Grant them knowledge of fiqh and teach them in general and instill adab (good conduct) in them.” Teaching ourselves and our families Islam is no less than a command from Allah.

 

The Prophet warns against leaving one’s family ignorant

Habib Zayn bin Sumayt dedicates a chapter to teaching families and children under the broader theme of da‘wah. In it he refers to a hadith that Imam Ghazzali mentions in Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din: “No one meets Allah with a sin greater than the ignorance of his family.” We should know, then, that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) has emphasized the importance of teaching one’s family.

 

Teaching is the parent’s responsibility towards the child

Habib Ahmad bin Umar bin Sumayt said that, like children showing kindness and respect to their parents, parents must also show kindness and respect to their children. It is compulsory for both children and parents to do so. The best way for a parent to do this is to teach the child and grant it a proper upbringing.

A hadith of Sayyidina Umar provides support for this. A man complained to Sayyidina Umar that his son was disobedient, so Sayyidina ‘Umar called the son and took him to task for his disobedience. The child asked whether the child also has rights over his parents. Sayyidina Umar replied, “Yes, indeed.” The child asked what those rights are, so he said they are that the father selects a good mother for the child, that he chooses a good name for him, and that he teaches him the Qur’an. The child said his father had not done any of those things. His mother was a fire-worshipper, and his father had given him the name of a bug or a beetle, and he had never taught him a word of the Qur’an. So Sayyidina ‘Umar said to the father, “You have come to me complaining about the crimes of your son. You have wronged him before he could have wronged you, and you have done badly to him before he could have done harm to you.”

 

Examples from the Lives of the Scholars

The Haba’ib give us examples. They are men of our time from whom we can draw guidance and light. Shaykh Muhammad al-Majdub said his father nurtured him. When he was a young boy his father said at the beginning of a month, “Bring me the book of Allah.” So he did so, and his father said, “You must take a covenant with me over this book that you will not be disobedient to Allah for the whole month.” He thought a month of obedience would be easy, so he took the covenant with his father and he fulfilled it. The next month his father asked him to take another covenant, and he fulfilled that. His father continued doing this every month until he was raised to never disobey Allah, until a door connecting him to the Prophet opened, and he met him in a conscious state. His relationship with the Prophet reached the stage that, whatever he did in life, he did through the Prophet’s instruction and guidance.

 

What to Teach our Children

We should begin their education with “la illaha illa Allah,” and our children are never too young for us to teach them the recitation of the Qur’an. We should also teach them the remembrance (salawat). It is very easy to do so. We can also play qasa’id (odes mentioning Allah and the Prophet’s names) so that the children will quickly become accustomed to the names of Allah and the Prophet. Then we should teach them how to read Arabic and recite and memorize the Qur’an.

Thereafter, we should teach them du‘as. A good reference point is The Glorious Treasure by Sayyidi Habib Umar. It contains many supplications. If we are able to teach our children these supplications, we will have done a great thing. This is the best way to call our children to Allah.

The next useful text is al-Risalah al-Jami‘ah by Ahmad bin Zayn al-Habshi, translated as “The Essentials of Islam.” It covers the essentials in Shafi’i fiqh that every Muslim should know. For Hanafis, there is the text by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, The Absolute Essentials of Islam.

 

Conclusion

To conclude, we should call our children and family to Allah before becoming a scholar and a caller to Allah outside the home. If we teach our children to this level mentioned previously, we will have complied with our compulsory duty to teach our children the deen.

 

 

Author’s Biography

Al-Habib Zayn bin Sumayt is a member of the Prophet’s family. His lineage goes through many pious forebears, such as al-Faqih al-Muqqadam and al-Imam Ahmad bin ʻIsa al-Muhajir, through Sayyidina Husayn to the Prophet Muhammad. He is an authority on Shafi’i fiqh and tasawwuf. From a young age, he sat in the company of the pious and studied with various scholars and institutes. His most senior teacher was Habib ‘Alawi bin ‘Abd Allah bin ‘Aydarus bin Shihab. He was also taught by Habib Ja‘far bin Ahmad al-‘Aydarus and Habib Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz. Habib Zayn taught the Islamic sciences in Bayda’ for thirty years. Thereafter he moved to Madinah and opened a ribat that attracted many students before it was forced to close. He was very attached to his wife, as our beloved Prophet was to Sayyidah Khadijah (Allah be pleased with her), and was saddened when she passed away a few years ago.

 

Calling to Allah – The Virtues and Forms of Dawah

Calling to Allah – The Virtues and Forms of Dawah

by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

This is the ninth part of a series of articles that are based on al-Fawa’id al-Mukhtarah, one of the seminal works of the great scholar al-Habib Zayn bin Sumayt. The book focuses on a range of topics relevant to daily life and modern challenges for Muslims living in the West. This article is a summary of the ninth episode of the podcast The Masters and Millennials by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan.


In the name of Allah,  the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate

Introduction

What should a believer know about calling to Allah, or dawah, in Islam? Many of us will recognize that talking about Islam with those outside the faith is dawah, and we might recognize that giving Islamic lectures, reminding many Muslims about Islam, is also a form of dawah. We will also know that giving dawah is clearly a good deed, but in this article, we would like to remind ourselves of the great virtues dawah has and of the many forms dawah actually takes so that we would be encouraged and empowered to give dawah in our daily lives and get closer to Allah.

 

Virtues of Dawah

There are various prophetic traditions and statements from the scholars that speak to the virtues of calling others to Allah and that single out dawah as a weighty deed that a believer should strive to engage in.

The greatest charity

The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said the greatest form of charity is when a believer who has studied and received sacred knowledge conveys this knowledge to his Muslim brother.

Better than much wealth that people collect

When the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) sent Mu‘adh ibn Jabal to Yemen, he told him that Allah guiding one disbeliever to Islam through him is better than receiving a large number of red camels (the equivalent to a fleet of red ferraris today).

Dawah brings happiness to the heart of the Prophet

Habib ‘Ali al-Habshi said there is nothing that brings more happiness to the heart of the Prophet than spreading knowledge and acting on it. He also said, “indeed, calling to Allah is the strongest foundation that connects one to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace).”

The Prophet is proud of those calling to Allah

Habib Ahmad al-‘Attas spoke about a scholar from Madinah, Shaykh ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abd al-Baqi, who often met the Prophet. Whenever the scholar met people from Hadramawt he would ask whether they knew Habib Ahmad bin ‘Umar bin Sumayt. They asked him why he was so interested in this man. He said that whenever he met the Prophet he heard him praising this man, and he wanted to know what he does that makes the Prophet so proud of him. They said he calls people to Allah every day.

 

Forms of Dawah

Dawah takes many shapes and forms. Teaching is one form, but perhaps the most effective means of giving dawah is our state – our interactions, our smile, our giving support. The scholar Habib Umar would often say, “the dawah of one’s state (ḥāl) is more effective than the dawah that comes out of one’s mouth (lisān).” For this reason, we should not imagine dawah to be something we cannot engage in in daily life. We are always having interactions with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others. These are opportunities for us to present how Islam is lived and the good example Islam teaches.

 

Dawah is also in our homes

Dawah is also not an outside-the-home-only activity. It is also very important to call our families to Allah, and to do so with wisdom without looking down on anyone. One way of giving dawah to one’s family is to pray in congregation with them. Another is to teach our family. Sayyid al-Habib ‘Umar spends two hours every day teaching his own children. He also teaches his grandchildren. 

We should also try to do good deeds together in the home. For instance, we can recite the Qur’an together; we can recite the Wird al-Latif together; we can recite the Ratib al-Haddad together. Doing things of this nature strengthens family ties so that when things return to normal after this pandemic we will have brought our families closer together, and we will have established practices like reading the Qur’an together.

Dawah during the COVID-19 lockdown

The question for us during this time of lockdown is how to call people to Allah most effectively. There are many online classes. We can benefit from these classes and encourage others to follow them. For those who have some knowledge, we should not see this as an opportunity to start teaching online classes ourselves; rather, it would be better for us to encourage others to join our teachers’ classes.

Another question is how, as Muslims, we can be of benefit and give dawah to others? It is narrated that the practice of the ‘Asharis, an Arab tribe, was that when their provisions ran short with some having very little and others having nothing at all, they would collect all the provisions and distribute them amongst themselves so that everyone’s needs could be fulfilled. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said that “the ‘Asharis are from me and I am from them.” He used the same language about his grandson Sayyidina Hussain, saying “Hussain is from me and I am from Hussain”. The Prophet’s use of the same language indicates how moved he was by the ‘Asharis showing care for the less fortunate. In a similar way, Muslims can be a means of support to those around us who are struggling in this time of lockdown, and this will be a means of giving dawah.


Author’s Biography

Al-Habib Zayn bin Sumayt is a member of the Prophet’s family. His lineage goes through many pious forebears, such as al-Faqīh al-Muqqadam and al-Imām Aḥmad bin ʻIsa al-Muhājir, through Sayyidina Ḥusayn to the Prophet Muḥammad. He is an authority on Shāfi’i fiqh and taṣawwuf. From a young age, he sat in the company of the pious and studied with various scholars and institutes. His most senior teacher was Ḥabīb ‘Alawi bin ‘Abd Allah bin ‘Aydarūs bin Shihāb. He was also taught by Ḥabīb Ja‘far bin Aḥmad al-‘Aydarūs and Ḥabīb Muḥammad bin Sālim bin Ḥafīẓ. Ḥabīb Zayn taught the Islamic sciences in Bayḍa’ for thirty years. Thereafter he moved to Madīnah and opened a ribāṭ that attracted many students before it was forced to close. He was very attached to his wife, as our beloved Prophet was to Sayyidah Khadījah (Allah be pleased with her), and was saddened when she passed away a few years ago.

Dealing With Misgivings of Impurity

Question: How do I deal with misgivings of impurity?

Answer: 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Ignoring Misgivings and Doubts

You are right to ignore doubts and misgivings. I sense from your question that you are doubting whether you are doing the right thing in ignoring your doubts. In short, don’t.

Ignore any and all doubts, misgivings, what-ifs, and conjecture. Your statement ‘what if I am actually impure and don’t know it’ sheds light on the issue.

True Obedience

True obedience to Allah Most High, in which is our salvation on the Day of Judgment, is in our fulfillment of the duties that Allah Most High has tasked us with.

Allah Most High has not tasked us with anything beyond our ability and has not placed upon us any undue hardship.

Allah Most High says, “and He has not put upon you in the Religion any undue hardship…” [Qur’an; 22:78].

This verse is clear in establishing a very important principle – undue hardship must be averted [Ayni, al-Binaya Sharh al-Hidaya].
Your doubts and misgivings are undue hardship that must be averted by ignoring them and not giving them any consideration. By doing this you are fulfilling your duties with Allah and traveling on the path of true caution, not the false caution which Shaytan calls to.
What is True Caution?
True caution is to follow the Sunna of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace).Misgivings (Waswasa)

For the one who is constantly in doubt abandoning caution is often the best cure.“As for the one who is often inflicted with misgivings, it is necessary for them to sever the cause of the misgivings and not to give it any consideration. This is because it is the doing of Shaytan and we have been commanded to oppose him” [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar].

Knowledge

The long-term cure for these constant doubts is to seek a deeper understanding of Islamic Knowledge. With knowledge, Shaytan can not deceive you with his whispers and plots. I would advise that you find authentic scholars in your area and study with them a basic text in Islamic Jurisprudence.

Please note that SeekersGuidance.org has classes available in Islamic Jurisprudence and many other subjects.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences

Guidance for the Concerned Muslim by Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi

Four: Guidance for the Concerned Muslim: Attaining Taqwa

by Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi

The following article presents the fourth set out of four counsels. These were recorded by the esteemed Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi for SeekersGuidance. They have been translated and transcribed with subtitles.

Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi is a senior theologian and scholar of the rational sciences based in Konya, Turkey. He delivers a class for Dar al Fuqaha Seminary in Istanbul.


In the Name of Allah, the Encompassingly Merciful, the Particularly Merciful. All praise belongs to Allah. May the best of blessings and most perfect of peace be upon our master Muhammad ibn Abdullah, and upon his followers, his companions, and all guided by his teachings.

 

Allah’s Counsel to Believers

Allah Most High has counseled all believers in His Noble Book, by His saying: “Surely the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the one most mindful of Him” (Quran, 49:13). The most important thing for the Muslim to embody whilst counseling fellow believers is mindfulness (taqwa) and to pay close attention to it, then to devote one’s concern to the means of taqwa.

Allah Most High emphasized taqwa by His saying “Surely the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the one most mindful of Him.” He made it the scale to evaluate a person’s having honor in the sight of Allah. This is because taqwa refers to protecting oneself from God’s punishment and wrath. This is achieved by full adherence to His commands and staying away completely from His prohibitions.

When a person has children, who will be the most honored in their sight? It will be the most obedient and deferential of the children. But here we are talking not about a parent, but about the Creator—the Creator and Provider of everything one has. And the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the one with the most taqwa.

 

Taqwa—and the Means to Attaining It

Allah Most High says, “Provide well for yourselves: the best provision is to be mindful of God (taqwa)” (Quran, 2:197). He follows this with a command—and when Allah Most High gives a command, particularly when it is of great importance, He usually clarifies the means to fulfill it. Thus, Allah says, “You who believe, be mindful of God, and seek ways to come closer to Him.”

The pronoun can refer to God: “seek ways to come closer to Him.” Or it could be read as referring to having mindfulness of God: “seek ways to come closer to it.” Meaning that one is to be mindful of God, but also to seek the means to taqwa in order to attain it. This is a general command, in which Allah Most High ordered us to seek ways to come closer to taqwa in order for us to become realized and characterized with taqwa.

 

Be with the People of  Taqwa

Allah Most High also says, showing one of the means of taqwa, “You who believe, be mindful of Allah and be with those who are true” (Quran, 9:119). In this verse, Allah Most High commands us to have mindfulness or taqwa—that is, to protect ourselves from Allah’s wrath and punishment. He also highlights one of the most important ways to come closer to taqwa, which is to constantly be with the people of taqwa: being with those who are true with Allah, who are true to themselves, who are true to the believers and to all people. “Be with those who are true.” So if we are with those who are true, and constantly adhere to them, we shall attain taqwa.

Of course, this topic is one to be discussed in a matter of minutes, nor of hours, nor of days. It is a topic discussed in lengthy works and volumes. It is the subject of The Revival of the Religious Sciences and other works. But we will summarize this discussion with the utmost brevity.

 

  1. Keeping good company

In the most concise of hadiths, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “A person will be with the one whom they love.” He also said, in another hadith which is of the most concise statements on the topic, “A person is upon the way of their close companion. So let each of you look carefully as to whose close company you keep.”

The scholars of spirituality have explained that the first way to attain taqwa, the vigilance of Allah, and constant awareness of His presence is by keeping the company of people with these character traits, or of a scholar with these traits.

 

  1. Self-accounting

Allah Most High also says in His Great Book, “You who believe! Be mindful of Allah, and let every soul consider carefully what it sends ahead for tomorrow” (Quran, 59:18). In this verse, Allah Most High commanded us to be mindful, then showed one of the means to taqwa. What is this means? It is self-accounting (muhasaba). Self-accounting is one of the most important means to taqwa. “Let every soul consider carefully what it sends ahead for tomorrow”: this is referring to self-accounting.

Allah then follows this by saying, “Be mindful of Allah.” Here, He commands to have taqwa, and hence shows the means to attain it, and shows the result of that means. And the result of self-accounting is having mindfulness of Allah.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The smart person is the one who takes themself to account, and then acts for that which comes after death. And the incapacitated one is the one who allows their self to follow its desires.” This is the second of the primary means to attain taqwa.

 

  1. Remembrance of Allah (Dhikr)

The third way is giving attention to the remembrance of Allah. Allah Most High has emphasized having attention for His remembrance in a number of verses. Of the most concise of them is His saying, “Truly, it is by the remembrance of Allah that hearts find rest” (Quran, 13.28). This weighty statement begins with “Truly,” then “It is by the remembrance of Allah that hearts find rest.” 

Allah says, “Whoever turns away from the remembrance of the Lord of Mercy, We assign a devil as a comrade who deters people from the right path, even though they may think they are well guided.” (Quran, 43:36). Allah is our refuge! One who inclines away from the remembrance of Allah will constantly be with the Devil and on his way. They will not be aware of this nor refrain and imagine they are well guided.

The Prophet (Allah Most High bless him and give him peace) says in a concise statement from among his comprehensive words, “The difference between the one who remembers Allah and the one who does not remember Him is like the difference between the living and the dead.”

 

  1. Reciting the Quran with reflection

The fourth of the most important means to taqwa is to recite the Book of Allah Most High, with reflection, so that one may take reminder. As Allah Most High says, “This is a blessed Scripture which We sent down to you, for people to contemplate its verses and for those with understanding to take heed” (Quran, 38:29). This is because the Book of Allah is a healing for what is in the hearts, and guidance and mercy.

The most important of the means of taqwa, the most important means to fulfill God’s command to have taqwa, is that we give attention to these four matters, which are the most important ways to seek taqwa.

 

May Allah make us and you among those who carry out Allah’s commands, those who are realized in their meanings, those who seek ways to come closer to Allah and to become mindful of Him.

And peace be upon you, and Allah’s mercy and blessings.

 

 


 Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi and Dar al Fuqaha

It is an honor to have Shaykh Salih teach within the Dar al Fuqaha seminary in Istanbul. Read about him here. 

The Place of Knowledge in Islam

The Virtues and Necessity of Knowledge

This is the second part of a series of articles that are based on al-Fawa’id al-Mukhtarah, one of the seminal works of the great scholar al-Habib Zayn bin Sumayt. The book focuses on a range of topics relevant to daily life and modern challenges for Muslims living in the West.

This article is a summary of the second episode of the podcast The Masters and Millennials by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan.


In the name of Allah, Most Merciful and Most Compassionate

Seeking knowledge is beloved to Allah

Knowledge is very important. It has a prominent place in Islam. Allah Most High said to His beloved (peace and blessings be upon him): “Qul Rabbī zidnī ‘ilmā” (Say: my Lord, increase me in knowledge) (Qur’an 20:114). When Allah commands His beloved to do something, that thing is beloved to Him. He instructed the Prophet to ask for an increase in knowledge because it is one of the noblest and honorable possessions. So we should ask Allah as often as possible to increase us in knowledge.

 

Knowledge is the Prophet’s legacy

Abu Hurayrah once announced in the marketplace: “O people, what is preventing you from taking your share of the Prophet’s inheritance? It is being distributed.” They asked where it was being distributed, so he answered, “in the mosque”. They went to the mosque and returned, saying, “O Abū Hurayrah, you said the Prophet’s legacy is being distributed in the mosque, but we found nothing except people praying, reciting the Qur’an and revising knowledge – the fiqh of ḥalāl and ḥarām.” Abu Hurayrah said, “Woe to you, the inheritance of the Prophet is in the gathering of knowledge.” He quoted the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace): “Indeed, prophets did not leave wealth as an inheritance. They only left knowledge as an inheritance.”

 

Seeking knowledge sincerely betters the state of Islam

The Prophet also said to his companions: “You are living in a time when the jurists are many and the teachers are few, those who ask are few and those who give are many, and action is better than knowledge. But a time will come when the jurists are few and the teachers are many.” This statement is very apt in our time. Many people study merely so they can deliver talks. The Prophet referred to this as a bad development. People are not focused on knowledge, but on how well they are able to speak. He went on to say: “A time will come when many will ask and few will give, and knowledge will be better than action.”

 

Knowledge is more splendid than the sun and worldly gains and is food

Ḥasan al-Baṣri said that had knowledge taken a form, it would have been more splendid than the sun, the moon, the stars and the sky. Imam Shāfi’i said whoever desires this world or the next should seek knowledge because he is in need of knowledge in this life and the next. Allah Most High gives worldly things to those He loves as well as to those He does not love, but He only gives knowledge to those He loves.

Ḥabīb ‘Aydarūs bin ‘Umar al-Ḥabshi said knowledge is food for the heart. Therefore he would make the du’a that is made after eating at the end of every gathering of knowledge.

 

Correct worship requires knowledge

Without knowledge, we are not able to worship Allah truly. A man may worship Allah the way angels do, but if he does so without knowledge he will be one of the losers.

‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Azīz said that the one who acts and does good without having knowledge spreads more bad than good. Sayyidina ‘Umar bin al-Khaṭāb (Allah be pleased with him) said that someone who has not studied is not allowed to buy and sell in the marketplace. One who does not study the law of commercial transactions ends up consuming ribā unknowingly.

Consider the following telling example: A man from Morocco was known to exert himself in worship. One day he purchased a female donkey that he did not use for anything. Someone asked him why he was keeping it if he was not using it. He replied that it was there to keep him chaste. He was engaging in bestiality not knowing it is ḥarām. 

It is really important to participate in classes of knowledge. Learning is a cycle that should never end. Imam Ghazāli said one should attend a class every day. We should start by attending at least one a week, and then increase our attendance slowly until we are able to attend a class every day.

 

Author’s Biography

al-Habib Zayn bin Sumayt is a member of the Prophet’s family. His lineage goes through many pious forebears, such as al-Faqīh al-Muqqadam and al-Imām Aḥmad bin ʻIsa al-Muhājir, through Sayyidina Ḥusayn to the Prophet Muḥammad. He is an authority on Shāfi’i fiqh and taṣawwuf. From a young age, he sat in the company of the pious and studied with various scholars and institutes. His most senior teacher was Ḥabīb ‘Alawi bin ‘Abd Allah bin ‘Aydarūs bin Shihāb. He was also taught by Ḥabīb Ja‘far bin Aḥmad al-‘Aydarūs and Ḥabīb Muḥammad bin Sālim bin Ḥafīẓ. Ḥabīb Zayn taught the Islamic sciences in Bayḍa’ for thirty years. Thereafter he moved to Madīnah and opened a ribāṭ that attracted many students before it was forced to close. He was very attached to his wife, as our beloved Prophet was to Sayyidah Khadījah (Allah be pleased with her), and was saddened when she passed away a few years ago.

Counsels for Students of Knowledge by Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi

 

One: Counsels for Students of Knowledge

by Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi

The following article presents the first set out of four counsels. These were recorded by the esteemed Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi for SeekersGuidance. They have been translated and transcribed with subtitles – the video can be found here.

Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi is a senior theologian and scholar of the rational sciences based in Konya, Turkey. He delivers a class for Dar al Fuqaha: SeekersGuidance seminary in Istanbul.


 

In the Name of Allah, the Encompassingly Merciful, the Particularly Merciful. All praise belongs to Allah. May blessings and peace be upon our master Muhammad ibn Abdullah, and upon his followers, his companions, and those who follow them.

The following are counsels for students of sacred knowledge.

 

  1. Making one’s intention sound.

The most important thing for the student of knowledge and the first thing one should pay attention to and take care of is to make their intention sound, making the intention sincerely for Allah’s sake alone. 

One does this out of obedience to the Divine Command to learn and read. Because of this, the first revelation Allah sent down from His Book upon his Messenger was: “Read, in the Name of your Lord” (Quran, 96:1). That is, one should read in the Name of God. That means one does not read in the name of worldliness, position, or money, but solely in obedience to the Divine Command.

Likewise, one should refine oneself with knowledge and act on it. One should make it a means to teach, provide guidance, convey the message—all of these are foundations of Islam.

All of this relates to rectifying one’s intention.

Because of the importance of the intention, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) emphasized it, saying: “Verily actions are by their intentions, and one shall only have that which one intended. So whoever’s migration was to Allah and His Messenger, then their migration was to Allah and His Messenger. And whoever’s migration was for some worldly gain, or for a woman to marry, then their migration is for whatever they migrated for.”

In both cases, the individuals are performing migration, getting tired, passing much travel and travail, and forsaking rest. However, one of them attains great reward, of the greatest of rewards; the other does not gain any reward at all—it is enough for them to not be held to account, neither incurring loss nor gain.

Because of the great importance of intention, scholars advised that an author of a book in any of the Islamic sciences should begin with this hadith. They also said that this hadith is a third of the religion.

 

  1. Studying under a scholar who is proficient in the science studied.

This is important because proficiency is the foundation of taking sound knowledge. The teacher should be someone with recognized proficiency and mastery of the science, who themself has to have taken it from trustworthy, recognized, and well-known scholars In addition, the teacher must have correct tenets of faith (‘aqida). This is because the student grows accustomed to the teacher’s character, ideology, and beliefs. Therefore, scholars constantly emphasize that one should take knowledge from a scholar whose tenets of faith are sound.

Today, theology has become weakened, and ideologies have become confused, especially in universities. And among many academics and professors, tenets of faith have been greatly corrupted. Thus, a student of knowledge, especially when studying under academics, must be very cautious. This is because scholars who studied under traditional scholars never—or very rarely—have corrupt beliefs, because they generally would have taken their knowledge from people of sound beliefs. Only very rarely would their creed be unsound. Academics, on the other hand, constantly place us in danger of corrupt beliefs. This is due to the pressure of Orientalism and Western influence, which attempts to use them as tools for its own goals and purposes: to destroy Islam in the name of Islam. Hence, one who takes their knowledge from academics and university professors must observe caution in taking knowledge from them, and likewise regarding whom they take knowledge from and who is unsuitable to take from.

 

  1. Studying in an ordered and step by step manner.

This is the third foundation of learning and study. That it be in an ordered manner means that it follows an established method of teaching and learning. Not—as often occurs—that one takes a class with this sheikh, just like that, and a class with that sheikh, likewise, and a class with another sheikh… This is all done in an unordered manner. It does not bring a good result. It has a weak result. One who studies in this manner does not become strong in their knowledge. Their grounding will always be unsolid; the edifice of sound knowledge cannot rest upon its foundations.

Knowledge can only be built on method-based knowledge. This means there that must be a method which has been approved by scholars experienced in establishing educational methodologies. This must be in a step by step manner: from the first text to the intermediate level to the detailed works; from the basic sciences to the more complex, and from the most important sciences to the other sciences. Imam Ghazali laid this out in his work The Revival of the Religious Sciences. Ibn Khaldun, too, laid it out in his Muqaddimah. Likewise, everyone who discussed the methods and means of education affirmed these: that seeking knowledge must be done in an ordered fashion, that it follow a method— a method placed for it accepted by those of expertise in the field, taught, examined, affirmed, and accepted. Then one follows this method.

Imam Ghazali referred to the first level of this step by step process of learning as al-iqtisar, to the second, intermediate level as al-iqtisad, and to the third level as al-istiqsa’. Meaning that every science has these three graduated levels.

Thereafter, one moves from one science to another. The ideal case is that one becomes proficient in one science before moving onto another. One does not join between two sciences at one time. This is the ideal. This is because if one focuses on one science at a time, one will become proficient in it, then one will move on to another. And if one becomes proficient in a science, one will become accustomed to studying to the level of proficiency. Thus, one will learn the second, third, and forth sciences proficiently. Whereas if one divides one’s attention, often one does not achieve proficiency. This is what is ideal, but this ideal might not be feasible or facilitated; it is not a condition. It is what is better in terms of educational methodology and learning.

 

  1. Striving and struggling.

The fourth foundation we mention—without which firm, sound knowledge does not happen—is striving and struggle in knowledge and making the most of one’s time and spending it on knowledge. It is the ideal and important in seeking knowledge that one devotes one’s time to seeking knowledge; one does not affiliate anything else with knowledge. That is why it is said that knowledge does not accept a co-sharer.

Scholars say, “If you do not give knowledge your all, it will not give you a thing.” If you do not give it your all, it will not give you anything. However, if you give it your all, it may give you something. This is what relates to striving, struggle, making the most of one’s time, and freeing oneself up for knowledge.

 

  1. To observe the proper etiquettes (adab).

It is important for the seeker of knowledge to be observant of the etiquettes of knowledge. Firstly, with one’s teachers: holding them in high esteem and regard, honouring them and respecting them. One is cognisant of the teacher’s rights even more so than one’s father’s. This is because the teacher is the father to the soul, while one’s parent is the father to the body. They have said, “One who is recalcitrant towards their parents, Allah will not place blessing in their lifespan. And one who is recalcitrant towards their teacher, Allah will not place blessing in their knowledge.”

The second component of this is observing the Islamic etiquettes and the etiquettes of brotherhood with one’s peers in seeking knowledge: always honouring them, holding them in high regard, serving them, and being careful with their feelings.

The third component is one’s manners towards books, whether those one is studying or other Islamic texts. One does not place them on the floor. One does not put them in an unbefitting location. Even one of the etiquettes is that, when placing books on top of each other, to put the most important above the others. Firstly, one puts the Book of Allah highest; then works of tafsir, then hadith, then the books which contain the most Quranic verses or hadith, and so on.

The scholars have laid a principle regarding observing the foundations of learning and teaching. They said: “People were only prevented from attainment because they squandered the foundations.” These foundations which we have mentioned must be observed. If one does not observe them, one will be prevented from attaining unto knowledge and from the goal of knowledge.

 And Allah Most High knows best. We will suffice with this amount of counsel.

Blessings and peace be upon our Master Muhammad, and his followers and companions.

And all praise is for Allah, Lord of the worlds.

 

 Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi and Dar al Fuqaha

It is an honour to have Shaykh Salih teach within the SeekersGuidance seminary in Istanbul. Read about him here. 

 

 

 

 

Best Order To Study The Step One Courses

Answer by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: What is the best order to study the step-one courses?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

The step one courses are best studied in the following order:

1. Absolute Essentials of Islam (Hanafi or Shafi’i)

2. What Muslims Believe and Why: Dardir’s Kharida al-Bahiyya

3. How Islam Works: What is Religion, and How It Is Preserved, Transmitted, and Interpreted

4. On Worship (Purification, Prayer, Fasting, Zakat, and Hajj) – Hanafi, or Shafi’i

5. On Spirituality: Living the Sunna, Leaving Sin, and Acquiring Good Character: Ghazali’s Beginning of Guidance

6. Living Right: Halal and Haram and Living Prophetic Excellence (Hanafi or Shafi’i).

7. On Spirituality: Living the Sunna, Leaving Sin, and Acquiring Good Character: Ghazali’s Beginning of Guidance

The supplementary, self-study courses can be taken in any order. Whatever works best for you.

We only provide these courses in English, but you are welcome to study them elsewhere in Arabic if you have the opportunity. We also have a number of courses in Arabic in our Arabiyya catalog.

For spirituality, in addition to the courses in this step, there are a number of courses in our On-Demand library. Please consult those. You ask to contact your course instructor for more information.

I hope that helps. May Allah bless you with the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish, and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Lost My Faith Due To Doubting About God And Holy Quran

Answered by Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat

Question: Recently i was reading the last verse of Surah Baqarah and started to have lot of doubts. Now i have lost my faith [iman] and i am questioning God and i absolutely hate it. I feel empty inside, feeling that i don´t have a purpose and constantly confused and crying. I feel like Allah doesn’t like me and i keep on thinking I am going to hell. Can you please advise me on what to do?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

Turn to Allah

First and foremost, it seems to me that you are a believer who is undergoing a very difficult trial. Your dislike of the matter is proof of this. I advise you to turn to Allah and to ask for help. Say, “O Allah, I believe in You, and all you command me to believe in, in the way you want me to believe it.”

The pain of your situation must be immense, and the confusion must be making the matter worse. Affirm your faith in Allah as I mentioned and know that the doubts will not do anything to you. You question evinces the existence of true faith; otherwise, why would you feel empty?

Problems Do Not Appear From a Vacuum

The doubts and questions you have certainly did not appear out of the blue, or simply because you happened to read a verse on a given afternoon. Although your question does not give us the details of your issues – let alone the causes.

I cannot tell what they are, but generally there are causes which need to be addressed. From dealing with a number of cases on this matter, it has become clear that two issues usually play a role in scenarios like this.

The first is a lack of requisite knowledge of Islam. People grow up with a cultural understanding of God and His religion, and this understanding is occasionally used by people to manipulate others. Sometimes people do not understand the wisdom and purpose of tests. We found that in places where the masses had a healthy relationship with the ulema, such as Syria, and where the majority of people were literate in Islam; its worldview, teachings, and wisdom; in such places the the laymen were like rocks when tested.

This is what is missing from the Muslims today. The benefits of Islamic education stretch far beyond knowing the obligatory actions of wudu, and knowing how to pay you zakat. When properly in place, they allow one to see that we are all under the care and protection of Allah.

Trials of the Messenger of Allah

Feeling that Allah hates you is an indication of the second issue: trauma. But before moving on to that let us look at the beloved Messenger of Allah, Allah blessed him and give him peace. We know that Allah loved him more than anyone, and that ʿAʾisha noticed that his prayers would swiftly be answered. Does this, however, mean that he wasn’t tested with difficulty? No.

He grew up without his parents. He went from being the most respected member of Quraysh to being someone the idolaters publicly mocked and insulted daily for years on end. They threw rubbish on him. They threw entails of animals on him. Blamed him for the problems they experienced. Blamed him for families being split. Made nasty rumours about him and spraed them amongst all the tribes in the Hajj season.

His life was threatened multiple times. He was chased out of a city by slaves and children. Stoned until his clothes were bloody. His friends and close relatives were killed and mutilated before him. The list goes on and on. Perhaps the greatest trial a person can endure in this life is to watch one’s own child die. Of the seven children he had, he lived through the deaths of six of them, Allah bless him and give him peace.

Having problems doesn’t mean Allah does not like you. On the contrary, it means that He loves you (Bukhari), and that through these problems He is taking raising your rank in a way which would not have happened otherwise.

The second issue is trauma. People go through difficulties and struggle to understand what is happening. Sometimes the unresolved emotional trauma leads to developing certain symptoms which cause a lot of pain and difficulty.

Seek Help

I suggest you speak to a local scholar who has experience is helping people. Get answers to your doubts if answering them helps. If it just brings more doubts then don’t try to answer them.

Seek out some form of therapy which is helpful, and, if Allah wills, the doubts will disappear and their oppressive persistence will lost its power over you.

If you keep in mind that Allah loves you, and that He will always bring about that is best for you – that is what you will find. “I am as my servant thinks me to be – and I am with him when he remembers me.” (Bukhari). Disregard the doubts, disregard the thoughts; turn to Allah, and ask. You’ll find that He responds – even if it takes some time to manifest. And you’ll find He was with you all along.

May Allah bring the best end to your difficulties in the shortest time. Amin.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. He moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time, such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies in Fiqh, Usul al Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. In the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

Ramadan Seminar Q&A Session – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

* Originally posted on May 8, 2018

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani answers questions on the fiqh of fasting, including the nullifiers of fasts, expiation for broken fasts, and the spiritual retreat.

Among the many questions and points Shakyh Faraz addresses, he mentions that if one breaks fast deliberately or by accident, the time of fasting is not over, and one is able to fast, then one refrains from everything a fasting person refrains from until fasting ends. This is a sign of contrition and remorse.

Hasten to Break Fast

The Shaykh also mentions that one should not delay breaking fast excessively out of a mistaken sense of piety or fervor. Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said:

قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَحَبُّ عِبَادِي إِلَيَّ أَعْجَلُهُمْ فِطْرًا

Allah Mighty and Majestic said: “The most beloved among my servants are those who hasten to break their fast.” (Tirmidhi)

Be Tactful and Considerate with Others

But one must also remember that when in a group of people who believe they are in the right to delay, one must be discreet about the matter and not make disagreement a point of contention or rancor. If you consider breaking it in such a situation do it tactfully.

These and many others points and rulings are covered in this session. And you should listen to it even if you know all the answers as there is no harm and abundant good in reviewing what one knows and strengthening one’s knowledge.

May Allah grant us eternal success in the blessed month of Ramadan and in all the months He has decreed for each and every one of us until we are brought before Him. Amin.


Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al Kallas, may Allah have mercy on him, as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersHub in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.

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