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7 Student Testimonials to Inspire You

Last year alone SeekersHub Global Islamic Seminary served more than 80,000 students from over 140 countries.

Here is what some of them had to say.

Traditional Knowledge from Traditional Scholars

I wanted to get traditional knowledge from traditional scholars, but I just couldn’t find that kind of knowledge in my local community. When I looked online, SeekersHub was my obvious first choice.

At first, I wasn’t sure that I would have the discipline to complete my courses. But I managed stick to the course schedule and I am really grateful that I did.

The courses were really in depth. I was able to ask questions and get a full response. That was really important to me.

There are lots of Islamic institutes online, but SeekersHub does a really good job of providing knowledge at such an intimate level.

Zakaria Syed, USA

Seeking Knowledge from the Right Sources

I started taking SeekersHub courses because I wanted to gain knowledge from the right sources, namely righteous scholars.

In addition to providing me with beneficial knowledge for my Aakhirah, I can take the courses at my convenience and they are free.

I try to convince all my family and friends to give it a try. I am thankful and grateful to all the Shuyukh and every single brother and sister who is working behind this program.

Saila Ahmed, USA

Sound Knowledge and Spiritual Growth

At first I just wanted to learn more theology and Hanafi law, then I realized my ignorance and started to take courses on spirituality for self-refinement.

These courses have given me tremendous spiritual growth and sound knowledge of the inner and outer dimensions of Islam. They have allowed me to become more balanced when dealing with myself and others.

What SeekersHub provides is perfectly sound mainstream knowledge, the same kind that flipped Imam Ghazali’s perspective on knowledge when he said: “We used to seek knowledge for other than the sake of Allah, but knowledge refused to be sought for other than the sake of Allah.”

Gadeen Desouky, USA

Light of Knowledge and Guidance

Many times, when going through the toughest times of my life, completely broken and confused, and seeking help from Allah, I would stumble upon something from SeekersHub pointing me to the exact solution to what I was struggling with.

It was like a shining Noor from Allah in the form of knowledge and guidance. The benefit I gained is beyond measure, beyond any value, it is nothing but priceless.

It is through SeekersHub that I learnt the purpose of my life and was assisted in connecting my soul back to my Lord.

Studying with SeekersHub also made me realize that even ordinary people like me can access the most extraordinary wealth of knowledge which I initially used to think belonged only the Muftis and Qazis.

Plan your time well, prioritize, and take SeekersHub courses, because the returns and knowledge gained is way beyond the time invested.

Mehnaz – India

Realizing the Spiritual

I wanted to increase my knowledge of my Deen to bring myself closer to my Lord. I looked at my options, and chose SeekersHub because I knew that it is a well researched institution. Also the fact Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is connected with it makes it worthwhile and credible.

I made my Niyya (intention) and signed up for a few courses. The biggest benefit I got was in realizing the immense spiritual aspect of this knowledge.

I ask Allah, the All-Knowing to, grant SeekersHub the reach to benefit each and every Muslim who desires to pursue the path of ‘Ilm. May Allah, the All-Knowing, grant all at SeekersHub the best in their Dunya, Deen and Akhirah.

Nazier Rumaney – Cape Town, South Africa

Understanding and Clarity

I wanted to sign up with a course from SeekersHub as I wanted to gain more knowledge on the deen, but I never knew where to start. People from various social media platforms encouraged people to be engaged with this organization as it was one of the more authentic means to gain knowledge.

When I started taking online courses, I had to organize my time in my daily life to prioritize the gaining of knowledge. This has helped me remove the unnecessary time-wasting things that I used to do on a daily basis.

SeekersHub’s courses have also helped me gain a wider understanding of things I was not clear on in the beginning. They also challenged many incorrect preconceived notions I had in my mind about this deen.

I always tell people: You have nothing to lose by signing up to a course, and the worst that could possibly happen is that you remain where you started on your path, not behind it.

Joshna Yasmin Ali – London, UK

A Shining Light

SeekersHub is a reliable and convenient way to access and learn the necessary knowledge of Islam. I really love the access it gives me to scholars, teachers, and to a community of fellow seekers.

It is truly a shining light in a darkening world. I am surprised that it doesn’t get more credit for the benefit it spreads, but I am sure the reward of those involved is awaiting them in the Hereafter.

May Allah Reward Shaykh Faraz and the entire team.

Hassan Qureshi – Sydney, Australia


Support SeekersHub Global as it reaches over 10,000 students each term through its completely free online courses. Make a donation, today. Every contribution counts, even if small: https://seekersguidance.org/donate/


Our Lady Fatima al Zahra

Sister Nurulain Wolhuter has written a moving, concise, and loving portrait in praise of our Lady Fatima al Zahra, highlighting her flawless and noble character.

She is Fatima al Batul, al Zahra, the radiant Lady of Paradise, the daughter of the Beloved, Allah bless him and give him peace. She is the mother of the prophetic progeny, Allah be pleased with her. She is also called al Siddiqa, the truthful; al Tahira, the pure; and al Zakiyya, the flawless.

She has become my mother, due to the love between her and the followers of her beloved father. Through her I have come to know him more intimately, and to strive to tread his path more faithfully, Allah bless him and give him peace. Encountering her changed my life from one dominated by worldly things to one focused on the hereafter. Her way is a sword of protection and a rope of victory. It is my bastion in times of difficulty and my strength in times of need.

The Essence of the Sunna

She is our role-model as Muslim women. Our beloved Prophet said: “Fatima is part of me. So whoever angers her, angers me.” (Bukhari) Al Habib Muhammad al Saqqaf says this means Fatima is a piece of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, not separate from him. So, if a Muslim woman emulates Fatima, she is emulating “the essence of the Sunnah” of Allah’s Messenger. (Our Liege Lady Fatimah the Resplendent)

Our lady Fatima was known for her utmost modesty. She covered herself completely. Her outer clothes were the abaya, a loose long dress; the khimar, a garment covering the head and upper body; and the niqab, a face veil. She always wore black. On the day of judgment she will receive the highest of commendations for her modesty.

It is narrated that our master Ali, Allah be pleased with him, said he heard the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, say that on the day of judgment an announcer will call upon the people to lower their gazes until Fatima has passed. (Hakim)

Worldly Matters Were Meaningless to Her

However, our lady was also the bearer of other noble attributes, such as asceticism and generosity, to which men, as well as women, should aspire. Fatima is called al Batul because she was devoted to worship, and this to the extent that all worldly matters were meaningless to her. She lived in the simplest of houses, with the barest of essentials.

Her bed was a thin mat and her only covering was a short blanket that, if it covered her feet, left her upper body open and, if it covered her upper body, left her feet exposed. Her beloved father, Allah bless him and give him peace, encouraged her to abstain from worldly things. Once he refused to enter her house because he saw a colorful decorated curtain on her door, saying “I am not interested in worldly things.” Fatima immediately dispensed with it. (Bukhari)

Our lady Fatima was generous to the point of self-sacrifice. She and her family once fasted for three days, breaking their fast on water, because they gave the only food they had to the needy. Allah Most High praised this nobility of spirit in the holy Qur’an:

They fulfill their vows. They fear a day of widespread woes. They give food to the poor, the orphan, and the captive, though they love it themselves, saying, ‘We feed you for the sake of God alone: We seek neither recompense nor thanks from you. We fear the Day of our Lord – a woefully grim Day. (Sura al Insan 76:7-10)

So our lady Fatima is truly a part of her beloved father. She has bequeathed us the best, and most faithful, way of following him, Allah bless him and give him peace. May Allah grant us the grace to emulate even the smallest part of her pure and flawless way.


I Am in Love with Someone Who Does Not Love Me. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I am 17 and I love someone who doesn’t love me. I know that he loves someone else, as I know his girlfriend too, and she is good in her own way. I just love him unconditionally and I don’t think I can replace him. What do I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us. Please forgive me for the delay.

Love

Unrequited love is one of the most terrible heartbreaks in this dunya. Right now, it may feel that you will never love someone as deeply as you do this young man. However, please seek comfort in the knowledge that feelings are not fact. I pray that Allah has in store for you a worthy husband, someone whom you can build a life with in this world as well as the next.

The love that grows within the safety of marriage is different to the love outside of it. It is a steady, deep love that grows stronger with the ups and downs of life – family problems, financial uncertainty, the birth of children, the death of loved ones, and so on.

Solutions

I urge you to step back from this young man. Distance from him will hurt at first, but time will heal your pain. Know that he is already in a sinful pre-marital relationship, so even if he was meant to marry you some day, now is not the time. Be mindful about your future interactions with young men. I encourage you to read this A Reader On Gender Interaction.

Channel your energy elsewhere. Do you paint, sketch, or journal? It may be worthwhile for you to explore those outlets. Pick up a new hobby. Learn a new skill. Divert your attention from him.

Most importantly, I encourage you to spend time making daily istighfar and the Prayer of Need – ask Allah for healing, and for the gift of the best husband for you.

Marriage

I encourage you to reflect on what kind of marriage you actually want, to help you make wiser choices. Please prepare by doing courses such as Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages and reading books such as Before You Tie The Knot. Love is not enough for a marriage to thrive.

Spirituality

“There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” [Qur’an, 2:256]

I encourage you to nurture your connection to Allah and his Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace). Learn more about the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) through doing courses such as Meccan Dawn: The Life of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad in Mecca and Medinan Lights: The Life of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad in Medina.

When your foundation is strong, then your heart is strengthened. When your heart is sound, then the actions from your limbs will also be sound. May your feet walk a path beloved to Allah, and when the time is right, may He send you a loving and pious husband.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

Transcend This World – Imam Zaid Shakir

Imam Zaid Shakir expounds on the crises of despair in society, its impact on the Muslim community, and Islam as the cure for this disease.

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ الْكِتَابَ وَلَمْ يَجْعَل لَّهُ عِوَجًا

Our praises due to Allah who has revealed the scripture unto his servant and has made no crookedness therein. (Sura al Kahf 18:1)

Allah Most High has blessed us to live in interesting times, as they say. One of the characteristics of our time, speaking specifically of this land that we reside in, is the despair that we see. That despair can be measured by what collectively are referred to as the diseases of despair: drug addiction, alcoholism, suicide, depression.

In terms of drug addiction, just discarding other forms of drugs, every day in this country, there are 170 fatal overdoses from opioids alone – heroin, morphine, percocet, oxycontin – the whole family of opioids. One hundred and seventy.

Were it not for Narcan which revives overdose victims, maybe it would be eight hundred a day, because for every one who fatally overdoses seven or eight are revived who would otherwise fatally overdose.

The Ravages of Despair

There are 241 alcohol consumption related deaths every day in this country. Just consumption. Excluding alcohol-related deaths, most fatal fatalities from auto accidents, the majority are alcohol-related. Most killings in domestic violence are alcohol-related. Maybe not most. A large percentage. But excluding all of that, 241 who die from overconsumption of alcohol every day.

There are 123 suicides every day. Almost 4,000 suicide attempts every day, which means that there are far more, because a lot of suicide attempts aren’t reported to the authorities. Increasingly large numbers of our children who should be the most hopeful find themselves dead as a result of suicide. Diseases of despair.

You see Muslims increasingly falling into many of these categories which indicates two things. One is a ignorance of our religion, because one who has knowledge of this religion understands that this is the antidote to despair: the anti-despair medicine.

The other is weakness of faith, which means there might be knowledge of the religion, but that knowledge hasn’t penetrated to the depths of the heart, so that it affects the hearts in ways that insulate the individual from the ravages of despair.

Understanding of Religion

We should understand. Understanding is very important. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, says: “The one Allah desires good for, He gives him or her a sound understanding of the religion.” We can mention a balance of the hadith because it has benefit in it.

It was related from Mu‘awiya, Allah be pleased with him, who said, “The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, says: ‘The one Allah desires good for, He gives him or her a sound understanding of the religion. I dispense the Revelation, it is Allah who gives understanding.’”

So the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, gives it freely to everyone but Allah causes those seeds that he, Allah bless him and give him peace, spreads out to take root in some hearts. “And there will always remain from this community of believers a party, a group, who will establish their affair on the basis of the commandment of Allah.” (Bukhari)

What the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, is telling us is that understanding translates into action. The foundation of our action is establishing our affair on the commandment of Allah. People are rejecting their traditional religious teachings. As people increasingly turn to atheism and that’s part and parcel of the crisis of despair.

Atheism and Meaninglessness

There’s no coincidence that as atheism goes up suicide goes up, because atheism is telling a human being that you’re no different from this […] this minbar I’m standing on. You are no different than these walls. You’re no different than a fly. You’re no different then feces or urine. You’re just physical stuff.

If a human being comes to believe that he or she is just physical stuff, there’s no relationship to a higher power, there’s nothing to hope for beyond the demise of this physical body, why not commit suicide? Why not end it all? There’s nothing beyond this to hope for. That’s one of the reasons you see this upward trajectory.

The believers must hold on to the commandment of Allah. The believers must hold as lawful that which our Lord through his Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, has declared to be lawful. And the believer must maintain and hold on to what our Lord through his Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, directly from Revelation, which came through the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, or through his Sunna, have declared to be unlawful.

The lawful is unambiguously clear. The unlawful is unambiguously clear. Between those two are doubtful matters. Most people don’t know their rulings. There are people who want to make that which is unambiguously clear from the mutashabihat in terms of its lawfulness, and that which is unambiguously clear in terms of its unlawfulness, amongst the doubtful matters.

Adhere to The Book and The Sunna

Well, we need to reassess this. 1,400 years of Islam and scholarship from some of the most brilliant minds to ever walk this planet couldn’t figure out how Muslims are supposed to dress? 1,400 years of scholarship with clear unambiguous evidence, scriptural evidence, couldn’t figure out who Muslims should go to bed with?

We need to reassess? No, we need to adhere to the Book of Allah and the Sunna of his Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, and die upon that and pass it on to our descendants. If we do that, we’ve done our job. If we fail to do that, there’s going to be more suicides. There’s going to be more alcoholism. There’s going to be more drug overdoses, because people will be lost.

The prophets were sent to guide people. And this Umma, the scholars of this Umma are the heirs of the prophets. And their communities are the community of believers in this world. They will establish their affair on the commandment of Allah. They will not be harmed by those who oppose them until the command of Allah.

Some scholars say [the command] is the emergence of the dajjal. Some scholars say it is the wind that will blow at the end of time and take the souls of the believers. Most scholars say it is Doomsday. They won’t be harmed.

Hold on to Your Inheritance

Our task, brothers and sisters, if you want to be safe and you want to be sound, make sure you’re in that group. Ibn Hajar al Askalani says it could be one group in one place, but most likely it is many groups. There’s some here, there’s some there. Some in America. Some in Africa. There’s some in Asia. There’s some in Europe.

This is a source of mercy, not just for us but for the world. As we said, the world, this country and the world in general, is being besieged by despair and hopelessness. We are the people of hope. Not foolish optimism, but the people of Hope.

We are the people of prophetic guidance and prophetic guidance brings clarity. We are the people of mercy. One of the reasons a lot of Muslims are so downcast and gloom-struck in our day and times is because they believe the lives of people who profit from their being no source of hope for people.

There are people that profit from that and say, “Oh, you Muslims, you have no mercy and compassion in your heart.” And Muslims start believing that. You want to know no compassion? No compassion are people who would sell nine million narcotic pills in a small town in Appalachia.

The Invention of Falsehoods

Prescribe nine million knowing this is going to addicting entire population. Where is the mercy in that? Then the people are dropping like flies from overdoses. Where is the mercy in that? Where is the mercy in fabricating enemies for the sole purpose of feeding a war machine that’s financed by 700 billion dollars of our tax money to keep the factories making bombs?

Inventing enemies in this country to keep this a machine of Islamic hate going. They’re stealth jihad. They’re taking over. Taking over what? “The Muslim Brotherhood’s taking over Congress and the Senate and our institutions.” Well, they’re doing a terrible job. there are 535 congressmen and 100 senators; 435 representatives.

There are zero Muslim senators and one Muslim congressman. Zero out of 100 and one out of 435 and that’s stealth jihad. That’s a merciless scheme to demoralize the community, to villainize and demonize the community, for the sole purpose of making money. They’re financed by tens hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s an industry.

Where is the mercy? Right now, this hurricane, the winds died down, but the rain is coming. And they have open lagoons of pig manure and pig fetuses and pig blood from these hog farms next to African-American communities. Poor people who can’t go anywhere. They’re going to flood over. Even without flooding the spraying in the air coats their houses. They can’t breathe the air. People have respiratory problems. They have to breathe that garbage.

And the North Carolina legislature banned a bill that would even declare this a harmful practice. Where’s the mercy in that? You go up and down the ledger, there’s no mercy. There’s total exploitation of people.

Industrialized Despair

They won’t even give you a meal. You can fly on Ethiopian Airlines – one of the poorest countries in the world – you can fly from Addis Ababa to […]; they give you a hot meal, a hot towel to clean your hands with, for a two-hour flight. You fly from New York City to Los Angeles, five and a half hours, you’re lucky if you get a bag of pretzels.

When you got on the plane, the sky cab, the company is going to take their tips. Where is the mercy in all that? And they’ll tell you, “Muslim, you’re not merciful.” And then you believe it and get all demoralized. Stand up! Be proud to be a Muslim. Don’t hang your head. Don’t give those people the satisfaction of demoralizing you. Thieves and killers.

A lady, Beth Macy, wrote a book about this whole opioid epidemic recently [Dopesick] and the subtitle: “[…] the [drug] company that addicted America.” Purdue Pharma, responsible for tens of thousands of dead Americans and no one went to jail. Tens of thousands of dead people, millions of addicts, and to misdemeanor charges for false advertisement, because they said this stuff isn’t abusive.

Pure morphine repackaged is not abusive. So when the abuse rate was almost a hundred percent, “Oh, we’re guilty.” Misdemeanor on two of their executives. No one goes to jail. But all these little people, not selling heroin, selling marijuana on the street corner, are going to jail feeding this prison industrial complex. Where is the mercy in that?

Never Despair of Allah’s Mercy

And you, demoralized, believe your religion has no mercy. “Oh, my servants who are going to excess in terms of abusing the rights of their soul.” This is addressed of people who are idolaters. What does Allah say about the idolator? Allah doesn’t forgive that partners are joined with him, but he forgives any sin other than that to whomsoever he pleases. But if that idolator repents, then Allah says, even if you are an idolater, “do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Verily, Allah forgives all sins.” (Sura al Zamar 39:53)

Allah forgives the idolater. Allah forgave the man who killed 100 people. Allah forgives people. One man came, long story short, and mention his sin and he couldn’t do this, he couldn’t do that to atone. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, he started laughing and said, “Just scram. Get out of here.” Allah bless him and give him peace.

Your sin is one against you. You do a good deed and it’s immediately multiplied ten times. Seven thousand. Seventy thousand. Seven million. Allah is Rahim and Karim. How hard do you have to work to go to hell, if that’s how things are reckoned? One sin is one against you.

The Reason for Hope

Even if you conspire to sin and then you leave it, then it’s credited as a good deed. Leaving a bad deed is a good deed. You know, I’m gonna do this and that, masha Allah. I get home, get dressed, go call up someone. I’m gonna go visit and we’re gonna go out and … “astaghfir Allah, that’s totally haram.” That’s the good.

You left the bad deed, it’s a good deed. Don’t you say you’re a sinner. Leaving the bad deed is a good deed and so the cycle kicks in. How hard does one have to work to go to hell? This is the mercy of Allah Most High. Allah forgives all sins. What did you do? Just repent to Allah and Allah will forgive you.

Why do you have no hope? Why are you despairing of Allah’s mercy. If those are the odds and if this is the mercy of Allah, then it’s rightfully said, “It is only a disbelieving people that despair of Allah’s mercy.” (Sura Yusuf 12:87)

So believers, never despair of Allah’s mercy. Don’t walk around here in a state of doom and gloom. Lift up your head, smile in the face of your your fellow believer. Smile in the face of everybody: the ordinary people. Spread peace, spread greetings of peace to people. Feed people.

“Oh, Messenger of Allah, what is the best manifestation of Islam, the most virtuous manifestation of Islam?” “That you feed people and greet people, those you know and those you don’t know.” Our sister, in the Rainbow Rec Center, just feeding people for 20-something years. Every Saturday. It’s one of the best manifestations of Islam.

And greet people those you know and those you know not. You should be a greeting machine. Everyone you pass:

– Assalam alaykum, how you doing? Ahlan wa sahlan wa marhaban.
– What does that mean?
– That means, Hey, you’re welcome. You’re like my family.
– Really? No one ever said that to me.
– We Muslims. That’s how we roll.

Islam Is The Beautiful Religion

Pick your head up. This is a beautiful religion. Don’t despair. It’s not a believing characteristic. It’s a characteristic, as we said, of people who have no faith. Those are the people, unfortunately, falling into drugs, falling into despair, falling into suicide, falling into alcoholism. We’re the antidote. We should be going to people.

That’s why they want to demoralize the Muslims, so we don’t believe we have anything to offer anybody. “Who wants to listen to us? They all think we‘re a bunch of terrorists.” I’ll tell you who wants to listen to you, those hundreds of people every day who are taking their Shahada, all over this country. They don’t want to see that.

We have to organize ourselves to serve them. And to serve those people who aren’t Muslim. The sister feeding the people at the Rainbow Rec in East Oakland, most of those people aren’t Muslim, but they’re human beings and they have human needs.

We should be rising up and organizing ourselves to meet their needs and don’t let them politicize our religion. They’re willing to politicize it so they can frame the discussion and frame the way that they present Islam to people. No, we have to we have to spiritualize it. It’s not a political struggle.

This Is Not a Game

We. as Muslims, we do a disservice when we frame it like that, because we’re playing into their hands. It’s a spiritual struggle. It’s a struggle between truth and falsehood. It’s a struggle between people who want to victimize and exploit and destroy people, and people who want to give them life, and to give them hope, and to give them direction.

That’s the struggle and we have to keep it at that level, because that’s our strength. Everything else will take care of itself. The politics, the economics, will take care of themselves.

But if we become wrapped up into this political struggle the parameters of which have been defined by the enemies of Islam, we’ll never get to the spiritual and the people will never get the hope, because in their mind they’re looking at Islam through a frame that we as Muslims sometimes help to reinforce.

We have to frame the issue along the lines that play into our strengths. When you have one congressman and zero senators, politics is not our strength. I hope you understand that. You can hoop and holler all you want. But when those are the odds, I’m not saying there’s no politics in Islam, I’m saying that our struggle is a grassroots struggle.

Our struggle as a struggle to save people. Our struggle as a struggle to give people hope. Our struggle is a struggle to inspire people. Our struggle is a struggle to put people back in touch with their humanity. And when that happens to tens and hundreds of thousands of people, to millions of people, everything else will take care of itself. May Allah give us tawfiq.

We Are a Joyous People

Let me leave you with this verse, brothers and sisters. Allah Most High mentions in the Qur’an:

قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّـهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

Say, [O Muhammad]: In the grace of Allah and in His mercy let them rejoice. It is better than anything they can gather [from this world.] (Sura Yunus 10:58)

We should be a joyous people. All this stuff has happened out there. Islamophobia and all this other stuff is happening. Depression, suicide, we went through the whole gamut and the first khutba. We still should be a joyous people, because we have faith in our heart, because we have belief in the Hereafter, because we know no matter how bad things get in this world, if we patiently persevere, if we struggle and we forge on, then we’re opening the gates for unimaginable bliss for the rest of eternity.

Eternal bliss. When we understand what eternity means, and we understand that everyone’s life in this world will end, young or old, rich or poor, black or white.

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ ۗ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۖ فَمَن زُحْزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ ۗ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ

Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion. (Sura Aal Imran 3:185)

Life Begins in The Hereafter

Everyone is going to die. Everybody’s going to die and so our life really begins when we die – in the big scheme of things, in the greater scheme of things – and once we die the gate is opened to eternity. This world is finite. Paradise and Hell are eternal.

خالدين فيها
dwelling therein forever

خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا
dwelling therein forever and ever

Either Hellfire. Not forever and ever for believers, but who wants to experience a second of that? Or Janna [The Garden]. That’s what it’s all about. And Allah Most High, in giving us faith, has blessed us and placed us on a path to Janna.

We have to nurture our faith, and cultivate our faith, and rejoice in our faith. “Let them rejoice in this. I is better than anything anyone could gather from the world.” What does it mean that someone gets all the cars? They have the whole collection. They have the 1965 Mustang all the way up to their 2018 Tesla. They have them and everything in between. They got the Rolls Royce, they got the Lamborghini, you name it. They even got the Bugatti.

They got the whole lineup. They have the whole residential lineup. They have the condo at Lake Merritt. They have their chateau in the Rocky Mountains, in Aspen. They have their home in the Hamptons that they never get to. They have the whole line up from the condo to the chateau to the the house in the Hamptons. Check everything on the list. They got it.

Wardrobe. They have it all. From the alligator shoes to whatever you’re supposed, if you have money. They got it. In the house in the Hamptons they have horses they never ride. Because they never get over there. But they got the horses, too. They got the house and they got the horse.

Faith Is Proof of Allah’s Love

What does it mean if they don’t have faith? What does it mean that as soon as they get the house with the horses and they’ve checked the final check the final box on the list, they die? People are deceived into thinking all this means something.

“If this world meant to Allah as much as a gnat’s wing,” do you know how small a gnat is? If it meant a gnat’s wing “He wouldn’t have given an arrogant rejecter a single drop of water to drink.” (Tirmidhi) Allah gives it freely to whomsoever He pleases.

He gives it to the Muslim. He gives it to the person who’s not a Muslim. He gives it to the rich. He gives it to the black. He gives it to the white. He gives it to those who come who inherit it and those who get it because they can throw a ball in a basket. He gives it freely to whomever He pleases.

But He only gives faith to those He loves. That’s why the believer rejoices. May Allah give us faith that leads us to rejoice no matter what is happening in the world, because we can look beyond the world. We can look at something that transcends the world. We can look at something more valuable than the world and everything in it.


What Makes A Marriage Work – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf talks about some of the challenges of married life and how to overcome them in a manner that is pleasing to Allah.

In terms of what engenders and facilitates these relationships, one is really important: Islamic etiquette. It’s very important to remember that just like your brother, you’re supposed to greet them with a smile. These things you do with people outside, sometimes we forget that the people we’re living with have more right than other people to those same etiquettes.

Also, doing things for each other. Preferring the other to the self. This idea – the thing about it is that men have to be very careful, because there are many women where that is their nature. In other words, a man can get into a very exploitative relationship with his wife, because his wife by her nature – especially women that were born and raised in a more Eastern tradition, where there’s a lot of double standards with the male and the female children.

You can get into an exploitative relationship with the wife where you’re allowing her to do everything, and she says, “Oh, well, I love to do it.” That doesn’t mean that she should be doing everything because she loves to do it. She’s getting all the reward first of all. And second of all, no matter what she says, she’s going to appreciate it when you help her out and do things for her. She will appreciate it because that’s human nature.

Marriage and Spirituality

A wife should not allow domestic concerns [to overwhelm her] so that she forgets her own husband and then becomes like a domestic servant, too. That can happen. A woman can become so preoccupied she becomes more like a domestic servant. Not realizing that there’s a whole sakina – there should be a spiritual relationship, a spiritual growth between the two.

The thing about life, the challenge for everybody, is not to fall asleep. It’s really easy to just get into these patterns of perfunctory behavior and to forget what life is about. You can really forget that this is it. Your life is an aggregate of moments. When you’re with your wife or your husband, it can either be a horrible experience, it can be a wonderful experience, or it can be a missed experience.

John Lennon said, Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. There’s a lot of truth in that. You can get so caught up in these day-to-day concerns that life passes you by and you missed it. Family is like that. Your children are like that. It’s very easy to lose sight of them.

Remind Each Other of The Good

It’s good to remind each other [about things]. A husband should not get upset if a wife reminds him about Allah, about his duties, and things like that, and vice versa. It should be done in a nice way with nasiha and everything. It shouldn’t be anger. It’s very bad to do that.

It was probably much more common in the Muslim world, doing too much ibada and one forgets the rights of the family. That comes from Abd Allah ibn Amr ibn al As, who used to fast all the time. Our lady Aisha told the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, about the neglect of the wife. And he the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, met Abd Allah ibn Amr, he said to him, “Is that true.” And he said.“Yes.”

And the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “If that’s the case don’t do it.” He said, “Sleep and pray, fast and eat, because that’s my Sunna.” Then he said,“Your body has a right. Your wife has a right. Your family has a right.” They are rights! There’s a huqquq. The right of your wife is that you spend time with her. That is a haqq.

The Principles of Forgiveness

Another important thing is adhering to the principles of forgiveness. Really forgiving and just letting it go. One of the things that people in relationships will do is they’ll hold on to these things. It’s really infantile behavior. You have to see it for what it is. You’re a pouting little child and you’re trying to make the other person miserable for doing something to you.

You need to snap out of it. Remind yourself and if the other person reminds you of it take the reminder. Don’t make your life miserable for yourself and for others, because that’s all it is. In the end of the day it doesn’t matter. If something happens that upsets you just let it go. It will happen. It’ll happen many, many times throughout your life. But just let it go. Don’t hold on to it.

The danger is not that it happens. That’s going to happen. It’s a given. The danger is that you never learn to overcome the desire to hold on to it. And some people derive perverse pleasure in that. So that happens. You start get pleasure in making somebody feel miserable.

Cheerfulness Is Contagious

They’ve done studies on cheerfulness and such. And cheerfulness and good nature is very contagious. If somebody is in a cheerful and a good nature they can actually affect other people much more powerfully than irritability. Although irritability is also contagious it doesn’t spread as easily as good nature.

Depression is difficult, very difficult to actually be transferred to somebody. It can happen. If you live with a depressed person you can become depressed. It’s actually difficult for that to happen. It’s quite unusual. But well-being: you can actually transform someone’s state quite easily, if you’re up and they’re down.

You can see this with children. If children pout and do these things you can, just with silly faces and things, get them to break a smile. And once you got them there they know. They can’t hold on to it. It’s interesting. Just breaking that infantile desire.

The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, was an absolute master in everything he did. He was [also] a master of breaking that state that people got into. It doesn’t mean that he didn’t have difficult periods, but generally that was what he did.

Focus on The Good Traits

It’s important to keep in mind that marital life, due to the constant interaction and to psycho-emotional states that people go through – we go through different psycho-emotional states throughout the day or the week or the month – that there are situations where discontent or displeasure occur. These are normal occurrences.

Even for the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him. He, blessings and peace be upon him, said to Aisha, “I know when you’re upset with me” She said, “How do you know that?” He said, “Because when when you’re pleased with me you say, “By the Lord of Muhammad (wa Rabbi Muhammad), but when you’re upset with me you say, “By the Lord of Ibrahim (wa Rabbi Ibrahim).” And Aisha laughed and said, “That’s true. By Allah, It’s true. I would never abandon anything but your name.”

The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, also said, “A believer (mu’min) should never dislike a believer. If he likes if he dislikes one quality, he should focus on the qualities he likes.” So, every person is going to have things that bother you and things that you like about them. The thing about your spouse is that you should look at those qualities that are pleasing.

Shortcomings Can Be Overcome

One thing that you can do is you can talk about things that bother about the other person, and then the person tries to work on those things. Especially if they relate to things that are shortcomings Islamically – like anger, short temper, things like that. Those things you need to deal with, because there’s no reason why they should continue. Those are things that people can overcome.

The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “The most perfect of believers in faith are those with the most excellent character. And the best of you are the best of you to your women.” And there’s a beautiful poem by Jalal al Din al Rumi where he said:

The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “That women totally dominate men of intellect and possessors of hearts. But ignorant men dominate women, for they are shackled by an animal ferocity. They have no kindness, gentleness, or love, since animality dominates their nature. Love and kindness are human attributes. Anger and sensuality belong to the animals.

That comes from a hadith in which the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, was talking to some women and he said, “I’ve never seen a creature that has more possession over a man of intellect (lubdin) than you so.”

Rumi was taking that to another level of understanding. The reason that they have so much power is because these are people that have conquered their animal soul. So they’re not people that are going to dominate women. They’re not people that are going to oppress. They’re actually people that, because of the love and kindness, have overcome their souls.

They actually allow the women their shortcomings without demanding change. And that’s what Ibn Abbas, Allah be pleased with them, said about the verse in the Qur’an:

وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ

Allah said that, “Men have one degree over women.” (Sura al Baqara 2:228)

He said [that one degree] was relinquishing the right of a man for the woman (tanazul ‘an al haqq). Whereas he would not relinquish her rights. In other words he would fulfill all of her rights, but he would not demand of her all of his rights. That is the degree that men have over women, and that’s Ibn Abbas, Allah be pleased with him, who’s the translator of the Qur’an.

The Path of Least Resistance

One of the things also is just going the path of least resistance. Water puts out fire. Fire increases fire. If you look at the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, that was his strategy with people. Umar, Allah be pleased with him, said I once roared at my wife and she answered back. I rebuked her for bandying words with me. She then said, “Why should you rebuke me for answering you back? By Allah, the wives of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, dispute with him and even ignore him for a night in a day.”

So, she was saying, “Who do you think you are?” Basically. The wives of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, do this to the Prophet and he is the best example. And Umar went and indeed found that from Hafsa. He went and asked Hafsa, who was his daughter, “Do you do that?” And he was shocked, but it changed his attitude.

When he was Khalifa, a man came to his house, knocked on the door, and then he heard Umar’s wife yelling at him. And he left. And Umar came out and said to him, “What happened?” The man said, “Nothing.” Umar said, “No, you came and knocked on my door. What you want?” He said, “I didn’t want anything.” Umar said, “By Allah, what do you want?” He said, “Well, I was going to come complain about my wife, but when I heard your wife I said there was no point in complaining to you.”

And Umar, Allah be pleased with him, said, “This is my wife. The mother of my children. She maintains my house. Cooks my food. Shouldn’t I have patience with her if she gets upset with me?” There’s the man who roared. That’s the change that occurred in him. That’s the point. People can change.

Ingratitude and Boasting

Another reminder, and this is to the women in particular, although it goes to both, is that the idea of ingratitude and boasting about things which haven’t been given. These are two problems that are more predominant in women than in men. The idea is the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “One of the worst qualities of women is that you can do a great deal for them for a lifetime and then one time you do something wrong and the woman will say, you’ve never done anything for me.”

And again this is important to note that when the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, speaks like this, it’s a generalization. It does not apply to everybody. It’s a reminder to women. The point of that is is that it’s important to keep in mind that even though people have shortcomings you have to look at the overall context. I think part of that is because women tend to move into the moment because of that emotional component that in many women is stronger than men.

When they move into that they’re in the moment completely. I think that’s what that is about. It’s part of the nature of many women and it was just a warning from the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, to be careful of becoming ungrateful to a husband.

The other thing is to claim to have been given things that she wasn’t given. This is in some superficial people but it’s a warning to women. It can be both in men and women. The idea of saying my husband did this for me or my husband did that for me to other women as a way of boasting. That should not be done.

The Right to Intimacy

Another mutual right is istimta‘ (intimacy). I mentioned this earlier with the women, the men’s right of haqq al istimta‘. But it’s a mutual right. The reason why it’s more emphasized in the man is 1) because the men are weaker in that area and 2) because it’s the haqq of a man if he calls his wife for that reason that she should respond.

For the woman generally that is not the case. But she is entitled to that how in the relationship, and it’s grounds for divorce if that haqq is not fulfilled. The ulama differ in that. In the Maliki madhhab, the haqq is that he sleep with her once every four nights. That is derived from the portion of legal entitlement. So if a man has other than one wife then that’s what happens. If there are four wives then it’s once every four nights.

Now just one thing about this. According to Sacred Law, the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said in a hadith, “Why didn’t you marry a virgin, so you could play with her, and she with you?” That is part of the Maqasid al Shari‘a in marriage, which is mula‘aban muda‘aba – having that type of intimacy.

Obviously for a man who’s marrying for the first time it’s easier for that if he marries a virgin. When the man told the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, that the reason that he was marrying a non-virgin was because he had children, and he did not want to bring somebody that was inexperienced,” the Prophet praised him for that.

The Qur’an says:

وَخُلِقَ الْإِنسَانُ ضَعِيفًا

Man is created weak.(Sura al Nisa 4:28)

Most of the commentators say it’s relation is sexual desire of women. If passion overcomes a man he becomes incapable of reasoning and often of controlling the animal urges. So the spouse is a husn and that’s why the Arabic word for married is muhsan, which literally means fortified. It’s through your spouse that you’re protected. It becomes a fortification for your private parts. It is guarding you from doing something which is haram.

Marriage Is A Fortress

It’s not simply the sexual discharge. That’s one aspect but it’s not simply that. One of the things about when people come together is that there is an effect in the other realms. Angels are pleased about a man and a wife in their relationship. One of the things about the Sakina that comes out of that: the Arabs call it nawma al a‘rus, which is the sleep that occurs after people have intimacy.

It is a sleep that results from that Sakina. In other words, it’s a deep type of sleep, and it’s a blessing from Allah, Exalted and Most High. That’s why Imam al Ghazali said that “sensual pleasure is really an indication of the delight of akhirah.” That’s what he said it was. That Allah was giving the human being a glimpse of the delights of the akhirah. That’s why in the Qur’an those delights are often described in those terms.

One of the scholars of Andalusia said that “some have considered marriage and animal appetite: shahwa haywaniyya.’ He said, “and they declare themselves beyond it.” In the Christian religion it’s seen as a low thing, and so the priest or the monk says, I’m above this. And he continues, “Yet they call it with the noblest of names: haywan because haya is an attribute of God.

Legal Intimacy Is Nobility

It’s the same in our language. You say “animus.” Animal comes from animus, which is the soul. “Anima” is life. “Animated person” is a lively person. That noble quality of life. And he says, “What is more noble than life? What they believe to be an ugliness in their eyes is actually the opposite with people who have knowledge of Allah.” That is why Imam Nawawi, Allah be pleased with him, said, “All of the appetites harden the heart when indulged in, except sexual intimacy in a legal relationship. It has the opposite effect. It softens the heart.”

You will see often, especially with men, that if somebody is not married they can actually become hard. And you’ll see a transformation when they get married. They actually become more gentle and more patient – less angry. That’s why the Muslim world is very problematic now, because there are so many young men under 25 that aren’t married. And it’s not a good thing.

Traditionally people got married early. So actually marriage does have an effect on your psychological state, and that’s important to know. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “That all of life is a pleasure and the highest pleasure in life is a righteous wife.” And for a woman is that it’s a righteous husband.

Intimacy and Praiseworthy Modesty

Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al Arabi, who’s a great Maliki scholar from Andalusia, said, “A woman’s demand for sexual intercourse from her husband in no way negates praiseworthy modesty.” So it’s not from haya if she is desirous of that. “Nor does it negate virtuous dignity, because it is an essential goal of marriage.” In other words, is one of the reasons why people get married. “Thus if he was being difficult than she is permitted to demand it on religious grounds, and this is completely dignified demand on her part. So going to a qadi to complain to him about that is not seen as a breach of her modesty, because it’s a haqq of hers.

And obviously it could lead to problems – psychological problems. I was with Shaykh Khatari and he did some marriage counseling and and there was somebody who had a lot of psychological trouble. When we finished, the woman wasn’t in the room, he said to the man, “Why aren’t you sleeping with your wife?” And the man was really shocked. He said, “How did you know that?

The shaykh said, “Because of her state: the state she was in. It’s very common. I’ve seen it in my own people a lot. If a woman’s not having intimacy with her husband she goes into a state that has those same symptoms.” It can lead to psychological problems. People should be aware of that.


Imam al Haddad Rebukes One of His Students – Muwasala

Imam al Haddad writes a letter rebuking one of his students. It shows his concern for the student’s welfare and reminds us all of the purpose of this life.

We are blessed to have a large number of letters which Imam al Haddad wrote to his students. Each letter contains many lessons for us and paints a picture of the methods the Imam used in nurturing his students and guiding them along the path.

In this letter, Imam al Haddad issues a strong rebuke to one of his students. Before even addressing him personally, he eloquently reminds him of the worthlessness of this life and warns him against being attached to anything worldly. He asks Allah to rectify his heart and bless him with contentment.

Then comes the rebuke. The Imam says that it is as if none of the time they spent together has had any effect on him and uses a Quranic verse and one of the aphorisms of Imam Ibn Ataillah to make his point.

Finally he warns him against backbiting, which can be done with the pen just as it can be done with the tongue. In spite of the rebuke, the Imam remains compassionate and tells him that he loves him and is praying for him.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

My people, this worldly life is only temporary enjoyment, and indeed, the Hereafter – that is the everlasting abode.

All praise be to Allah, Who made love of this world and coveting it one of the clearest signs that a person’s heart has become hard and has been plunged into an ocean of darkness in which the raging winds of grief blow against it and the waves of anxiety break upon it from all sides.

Transcendent is the One Who gave no rest and respite to those who avidly seek this worldly life. If only instead of giving them respite, He prevented calamities from befalling them.

May Allah’s prayers and peace be upon our master Muhammad and his Family and Companions at all times.

From the one in most need of Allah the All Powerful, Abdullah ibn Alawi al Haddad al Alawi al Husayni, to the one who loves him for Allah’s sake, the one who is connected to the people of Allah: Ali bin Umar Uqbah. May Allah give him relief through contentment with the bitterness of Allah’s decree. May Allah sever his attachment to this ephemeral contemptible world and allow his heart to focus on the next life which is far greater and more enduring. Amin.

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,

Be certain, my beloved brother, that we have received your letter but we did not take any comfort from it other than from the praise of Allah which it contained and your greetings.

I am astonished. It is as if you do not know how Allah described this world in His Book and on the tongue of His Messenger!

I really wonder what effect those gatherings had upon you, gatherings that were filled with priceless pieces of wisdom. Was your heart not softened by them? Did your mind not find tranquility in them? It as if you have no heart and no mind! If you had them they would have benefited.

Do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle; rather, they are further astray. [See Sura al Araf 7:179]

Everything that has happened to you or will happen is as one of them said: “Whoever does not turn himself to Allah due to the gentle manifestations of His kindness, will be dragged to Him with the fetters of severe trials.”

I have no preference in whether you travel or not. Had you not gone against our teachings, you would not have experienced what you are now experiencing.

Never write to us again mentioning something bad about a fellow Muslim. Do you not know that the most disliked of people to us are those who backbite others?

Do not send a letter without a seal.

We are praying for you.

Wassalam.


Reposted with gratitude to Muwasala.org.

The Lord of Forgiveness 02 – Shaykh Muhammad Abu Bakr Ba Dhib

This is part of the series presented in Ramadan 2018: “The Foremost Way of Seeking Forgiveness: Sayyid al Istighfar Explained, by Shaykh Muhammad Abu Bakr Ba-Dhib.

In this segment, the Shaykh starts breaking down the different parts of the formula of seeking forgiveness.

The supplication begins with affirming God’s divinity, His oneness, His lordship, and our complete need and slavehood to Him. It also offers proof and knowledge of our understanding of God. For example, when we acknowledge that Allah has created us, this carries the meaning that we believe that Allah is All-Powerful, because a Creator necessarily needs to be all-Powerful. Furthermore, to believe that we are Allah’s servants, is to bring yourself into the followers of the Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give his peace.

The “covenant” described in the supplication, is the one mentioned in this verse:

And when your Lord took from the children of Adam their descendants and made them testify. “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.”  – lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, “Indeed, we were unaware.” (7:172)

The ability that is referred to, is the trait of free will that humans have. It is the trait of free will that allows us to believe in Allah, which will be rewarded in the next life, or punishment if we deny it.

Similarity, acknowledging that we are created, indicates that we believe that we will die one day. This causes us to wonder what comes after death, and to prepare for it.

About the Series

In this five-part series, Shaykh Muhammad Abu Bakr Ba-Dhib covers a short treatise on explaining the foremost way of seeking forgiveness as has come to us from Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. The work, Tiryaq al Qulub wa al Absar fi Bayan al Ulum allati Tadamanha Sayyid alIstighfar (The Healing of Hearts and Eyesight in Exposition of the Knowledges Contained in The Foremost Way of Seeking Forgiveness) is by Imam Ahmed bin Zain al-Habshi (d. 1145 AH).

Text, transliteration and translation of Sayyid al Istighfar can be found below.

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلا أَنْتَ

Allahumma anta Rabbi la ilaha illa anta khalaqtani wa ana ʿabduka, wa ana ʿala ʿahdika wa waʿdika ma astataʿtu, aʿudhu bika min sharri ma sanaʿtu, abu’u laka bi niʿmatika ‘alayya, wa abu’u laka bi dhanbi faghfir li fa’innahu la yaghfiru ‘dh-dhunuba illa anta.

O Allah, you are my Lord. There is no god but You. You created me and I am Your servant. I am upon Your covenant and promise to the best of my ability. I seek refuge in You from any evil I have wrought. I confess to You Your blessings upon me and I confess to You my sins. So forgive me, for no one forgives sins but You.


Resources for Seekers

I Fell in Love so Deeply with Someone and Cannot Forget Him. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

Two years ago, I fell deeply in love with someone, just like in the movies. Does this ‘love at first sight’ exist in Islam? His aqidah and Islamic attitudes are questionable, though. What do I do? I feel sad and confused.

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us. Please forgive me for the delay.

Love

Dear questioner, I pray this finds you well.

Please know that love at first sight does exist for some. All of our souls knew one another, in pre-eternity. Some of us connected even then, while others did not.

For some, that initial infatuation may be due to physical attraction alone. This is not enough to make a marriage last. For others, that initial connection signals a deeper spiritual, emotional and physical connection – these deeper layers are what hold a marriage together. A lot of the time, however, especially for practising Muslims, love is something that deepens and grows over time, after nikah.

Marriage

It is far easier if both husband and wife are already on the same page. You describe this young man as having problematic aqidah and Islamic attitudes. He is unlikely to change after marriage, and it is far easier for you to marry someone on the same spiritual page as you. I do not suggest getting married to him with the intention of ‘fixing’ or ‘changing’ him.

As for this young man who is troubling your heart, know that you are not alone. Many people fall in and out of love. Just know that you were created for Allah, and your heart will only know true peace when you are connected to Him.

I encourage you to free your heart from your attachment to this young man, and make sincere dua for Allah to send you a husband worthy of you. Please perform the Prayer of Guidance until you have enough clarity to decide what to do. For example, if Allah keeps sending obstacles your way blocking your marriage to him, then take that as a clear no. If Allah makes easy your reconnection to this young man, and he is open to be influenced by your Islamic beliefs, then take that as a positive.

In either case, please perform the Prayer of Need daily, in the last third of the night, for the blessing of a righteous and loving spouse.

Suggestions

Prepare yourself for marriage with knowledge. I encourage you to enrol in Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages. Read books about marriage such as Before You Tie The Knot.

Love can grow and deepen in a marriage, with sincere effort. Please choose wisely.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

Wassalam,

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

How the Ihya Overcame Apartheid–Shaykh Seraj Hendricks

Mishkat Media have produced a wonderful interview with Shaykh Seraj Hendricks on the deep influence of Imam al Ghazali in Cape Town, and the Shaykh’s own role in the struggle against apartheid.

Shaykh Seraj Hendricks is among the third generation of scholars who have been teaching the Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din (Revival of the Religious Sciences) in South Africa. The Ihya is a 40-volume work on Islamic ethics, spirituality, and religious practice, written by the great Imam Ghazali. It has gained fame not as a manual of Islamic law, but because of its essential focus on spirituality and purification of the self. Shaykh Seraj’s grandfather was reportedly the first man to bring the book to the lands, where he was delegated to teach it.

Shaykh Seraj’s first exposure to the Ihya series, was the Book on Halal and Haram, which was when he was eighteen. He found himself fascinated by it. While studying psychology in university, he interviewed a scholar called Shaykh Mahdie, who was in his seventies. Shaykh Mahdie mentioned that he had just finished his 20th reading of the Ihya. Later on, Shaykh Seraj learned that it was part of the litanies of the Ba’lawi spiritual path, to do 20 readings of the Ihya in a lifetime.

In this interview, he speaks of the Ihya and its effects on the South African communities. Religious scholarship was established when the Dutch colonisers exiled many Muslims leaders to South Africa. Rather than cutting off the spread of Islam, ot served to establish a small community, whose leaders painstakingly kept up their religious practices. They dedicated rooms in their houses for worship, and kept up the readings of Sura Yasin and the litanies of the B’lawi tariqa, with their love for spirituality and connecting with Allah. In this way, Islam survived through slavery and colonialism. However, it still had to suffer through apartheid.

The Muslims were heavily involved in the struggle against apartheid. Shaykh Seraj himself was imprisoned briefly for his role in the movement. While in prison, he was invited by other prisoners to give a talk in the prison square. He began preaching that Muslims should not harbour hostility to others, even to the prison guards. He then turned to the prison guard in charge, and reminded him that oppression is not limited to a particular group, but is a mindset build on prejudice, and that the guard, a dehumanized being, needed their help as much as anyone else to overrule oppression. The guard got angry and threatened to shoot.

Shaykh Seraj finishes the interview with encouraging all Muslims to support institutions that teach Islam, in order to overcome personal and societal barriers.

 


Posted with gratitude to Mishkat Media. Connect with Shaykh Seraj Hendricks at Azzavia Mosque in Cape Town, South Africa.


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Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa on Sura Luqman – On Entertaining Discourse

Sura Luqman emphasizes tarbiya, or spiritual growth, and is named after a great sage. In this series, Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa explores the meanings of this chapter.

Shaykh Ibrahim continues to give the commentary on this Sura, beginning with these verses:

From amongst people, are those who finance entertaining discourse, to deviate (others) to from the way of Allah without knowledge make it the butt of mockery. Those will have a humiliating punishment. And when our verses are recited to him, he turns away arrogantly as if he had not heard them, as if there was in his ears deafness. So give him tidings of a painful punishment. (31:5-6)

He explains that the nature of this world, is that it entertains you, at the expense of your future. Imam Abdullah ibn Masoud believed that the “entertaining discourse,” was music. In our times, the “entertaining discourse” is not only the music culture, but also film, sports, talk shows, and everything else found in the entertainment industry. These things aren’t haram in the general sense, but if they distract from the remembrance of Allah, they should be avoided.


With gratitude to Greensville Trust.


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