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Is Sin Disbelief?

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: Does deeming a sin “understandable” under certain circumstances constitute disbelief [ridda]?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important and valued question.

Deeming something clearly haram to be halal is only disbelief if it is tantamount to denying the message of Islam. That is to say, someone knows that Allah has forbidden pork, for example, and then that person decides that pork is actually permissible to eat, and the message of Islam is wrong.

Whenever there is some ambiguity about the circumstance or the intent of the words or deeds, it cannot be looked at as apostasy.

Please see: Is removing Hijab and Make-Up a Form of Apostasy?

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh Farid Dingle]

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.

Three Different Role Models With The Same Intention, by Shaykh Faid

Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said describes three different role models from amongst the companions of the Prophet Muhammad, who each chose a slightly different path to Allah.

Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir Raheem

Allah Most High taught us in the Qur’an to ask Him for the greatest of achievements, and Him telling us this is a mercy from Allah Most High, as He not only tells you what you need, He even teaches you what to ask for and how to ask for it!

In our human-ness, the one thing that we all avoid is additional demands upon us, but Allah Most High wanted us to ask Him, He wanted us to beg Him, and from the supplications that Allah Most High taught us to ask is that of guidance.

“Guide us to the Straight Path”

Every mu’min (believer), male or female, young or old, pious or sinful, obedient or disobedient, when they stand before Allah Most High in every salah (prayer), they say “Guide us to the Straight Path.” Allah Most High continues by telling us that this very guidance is connected to the Prophets and the Righteous Ones, and following their guidance is essential, and that is why Allah Most High said to the Messenger of Allah, speaking about the Prophets:  “…those are whom Allah has guided, so follow their guidance.” (Surah Al-Anam, 90)

The Only Thing That Matters

From the most guided of Prophets, Allah Most High has raised high the station of Ibrahim, peace be upon him, the father of all the Prophets that came after him. Allah Most High raised his status to such an extent that Allah Most High chose Ibrahim, peace be upon him, as a friend and equated him with an entire nation.  The word “nation” is not defined as we typically may think: Allah Most High describes the birds as a nation, animals as a nation, so if Allah Most High is describing Ibrahim, peace be upon him, as a whole nation it is equivalent to the entire human race; and that equivalency is with regards to his belief, humility, and endless kindness, mercy and love for others.  So Ibrahim, peace be upon him, with this maqam (rank), and as a guide and a teacher, teaches us what we need and what is important for us, as Allah Most High mentions from the supplications of Ibrahim, peace be upon him: “Oh Allah, do not put shame on me on the Day of Resurrection; the Day on which nothing benefits or saves other than a pure heart!”  (Surah Shu’ara, 87-89)

Allah Most High is teaching us through the supplications of Ibrahim, peace be upon him, that the only thing that matters is to come to Him with a pure heart; if you were to do all the righteous acts but do not come with a pure heart, you have achieved nothing!

Excuses upon excuses

That is why the Beloved Messenger, peace be upon him, said: “Indeed the acceptance of any action is according to someone’s intention.” Even if you do something wrong by mistake, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:  “Do not account my ummah for things they may do by mistake, or for things they were forced to do or if they have forgotten their duties.”

Unlike human nature and law, where you cannot forget your duties, the law of Allah Most High is very different – if you forget to do something, Allah Most High will not hold you accountable for that; and if you do something by mistake, Allah Most High will not hold you accountable; and if you are forced to do something, Allah Most High will not account you for that either!

This emphasizes the importance of intention.

Neither Your Appearance Nor Your Form

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, tells us in a very clear Hadith: “Indeed Allah Most High does not look at your appearance or forms, rather Allah Most High looks at your heart!” (Sahih Muslim 2564)

In this era of forms and measurement of achievement by quantity, it is very important to look carefully at our intention.

Syedina Hasan

In reflecting upon this, we look back at the “Guided Ones.” Syedina Hasan, may Allah be pleased with him, used to wear the best clothing he could buy, but some people asked him how he, the son of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, could wear such beautiful clothing. They asked where the zuhd (abstention from the life of this world to attain nearness to Allah) in this is. Their understanding of the norm for him was different. Syedina Hasan, may Allah be pleased with him, responded:

I wear these clothes in order to tell people how much Allah Most High has given me and because of which I am not in need of anyone, and also because I am only in need from Allah Most High and not people!

Look at the intention of Syedina Hasan, may Allah bless him: he is teaching us that zuhd is not contained in wearing tattered clothing or wearing the best of them. What matters to Allah Most High is your state, not what you wear!

Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq

Similarly, Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq, may Allah bless him, who used to wear the best clothes, was also challenged by people: “Oh son of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, what are these fancy clothes you wear?” (For background, the people at that time used to wear both an inner garment and an outer garment) Imam Ja’far, may Allah bless him, took the person’s hand and made him touch his inner garment, and to his dismay it was wool! At that time, woolen garments were only worn by the poorest of the community.

Syedina Ja’far, may Allah bless him, said that the woolen garment you touched is what he wears for Allah Most High and himself, and the outer garment is for people, to show that he is not in the need of people, as Allah Most High is taking care of him.

Like his grandfather, Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq, may Allah bless him, had great understanding, and they are teaching us that it is not about what you wear, it is about your intention in what you are wearing and the state of your heart.

Syedina Uwais al Qarni

Almost to the contrary, we see the example of Syedina Uwais al Qarni, may Allah be pleased with him. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, told Syedina Ali and Syedina Omar, may Allah be pleased with them, that if they see Uwais al Qarni, to ask him for prayers!  

Subhanallah! Why would the direct companions of the Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him and them, ask someone else to make dua for them? The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, is teaching his companions that some people are closer to Allah Most High in ways we do not see.

After hearing the Messenger of Allah’s description of Syedina Uwais, Syedina Ali and Syedina Omar, may Allah be pleased with them all, were looking forward to seeing him. One year during Hajj, Syedina Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, addressed the people and said he only wanted to see the people of Yemen, who then stood up. Syedina Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, then proceeded to ask if there were any people from the tribe of Qarn, and those who were then remained standing; he then asked if there were any people from the sub-tribe of Murad, and finally oneman remained standing.

Syedina Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, asked this man if there was anyone named Uwais among his people, to which the man replied he was not sure, but did say there is a disturbed young man who they told to stay back and care for the animals.

Syedina Ali and Syedina Omar, may Allah be pleased with them, went running, as this was who they were looking for. They saw a young man in old clothing. Syedina Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, asked him if he was Uwais, the son of Amr, to which he replied in the affirmative; he then asked if he was from the tribe of Murad-Qarn, which the young man also affirmed this. Syedina Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, then asked if he was affected by illness, but was subsequently cured by Allah Most High with a remnant of the illness in the shape of a small circle, the young man confirmed. Syedina Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, then asked if he had a mother, which the young man confirmed. Syedina Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, then said that he had heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, saying that Uwais the son of Amr will come to you with the people of Yemen from Murad-Qarn (branch-tribe), and that he would be tested with illness that would be cured except for a small mark (the shape of a coin); that he was obedient to his mother, and if he were to swear and ask Allah Most High – He would grant him what he asked; and that if we are able to see him we should ask him to seek forgiveness for us, and that Allah Most High will forgive us. And so Syedina Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, asked Syedina Uwais, may Allah be pleased with him, to ask for their forgiveness, and he did.

Syedina Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, then asked where Syedina Uwais, may Allah be pleased with him, was going, to which he told Syedina Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, that he would be traveling to Kufa.

Syedina Omar, may Allah bless him: Shall I write a letter to the governor of Kufa in order that he may look after you?

Syedina Uwais, may Allah bless him: No. I would like to be part of the people so that nobody notices me.

Syedina Omar, may Allah bless him: Shall I buy you new clothes?

Syedina Uwais, may Allah bless him: Ya Ameer! Will I live long enough to see these clothes disintegrate?

Syedina Omar, may Allah bless him: Shall I give you some money?

Syedina Uwais, may Allah bless him: Ya Ameer! I have four dinars; will I live long enough to spend them?

Syedina Uwais, may Allah be pleased with him, lived until the time of Syedina Ali, may Allah bless him, and  attained martyrdom in the Battle of Siffin.

Syedina Uwais, may Allah be pleased with him, was not intending to wear old clothes or sleep in rough conditions in it of itself, but all he wanted was to be connected to Allah Most High!

Although the three “Guided Ones” were different in their appearance, they were similar in their himma (aspiration) and purity of their hearts! We beg Allah Most High to purify our hearts, to perfect our akhlaq (the practice of virtue, morality and manners), to remove the love of dunya and pain from our hearts.

Allahumma salli alaa Syedina Muhammad wa alaa Ahli Syedina Muhammad, fi kulli lamhatin wa nafasin ‘adada maa wa see-a-hu ‘il-muLLAH

[cwa id=’cta’]

Niyyah and Fasting

Answered by Shaykh  Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti

Question : Taghyir al-Niyya from Fasting

I was fasting and I passed through a restaurant and as a result of looking at the succulent and luscious (yum-yum) food on offer, it resulted in me having an unstoppable craving for the food itself and I felt then that I couldn’t keep my fast any longer. I ended up making the intention to break my fast there and ordered the food but I stopped short of eating it because I felt guilty. Is my fast broken because I intended to break the fast just as it definitely would in the case of the Salah according to the Shafii school? Must I now make qada of this fast day? Have I sinned?

Al-hamdulillah alladhi farada al-sawm li-jihad al-nafs wa-s-shaytan wa-s-salat wa-s-salam ‘ala sayyidina Muhammad azka l-anam sharafan.

Allahumma hidayatan li-s-sawab!

Answer : To intend leaving the fast [siyam] or intending to break the fast wilfully and consciously, will not invalidate [mubtil] the fast. The fast is only invalidated when the person fasting [sa’im] does one of the ten acts that breaks the fast [muftirat; such as performing sexual intercourse or in your case, eating that irresistible food]. This is different from the case of prayer [Salat], for the person who is in prayer [musalli] could vitiate the prayer by merely intending to leave his or her prayer (although it is Haram to do so if there is no valid excuse [‘udhr]). This is because the act of praying is more exact and limited in its scope and form, than any other acts of ‘ibada and worship. To merely intend leaving the act of fasting or I’tikaf [spiritual retreat] or Hajj or ‘Umra, without it being followed by some other extrinsic factor that invalidates that particular act, does not invalidate it.

This is made clear by Imam al-Bajuri (may Allah be pleased with him!) in his Hashiya of the Fath al-Qarib:

“Qadi Abu Shuja’: [Among the 11 things that invalidate the prayer is] to change one’s intention (Ibn Qasim: such as to intend to leave the prayer). ((al-Bajuri: Ibn Qasim’s [exact] words, “the prayer” [indicates that this] is contrary to the case when someone intends to leave either the fast or the I’tikaf or the Hajj or the ‘Umra, for neither of them can be invalidated [by changing one’s intention]. This is because the prayer is a more restricted type [of ‘ibada] than any of them.))” [al-Bajuri, Hashiya, 1:179].

+Fa’ida for students of fiqh+ The legal distinction between the prayer and other types of ‘ibada is that the latter acts could not be invalidated by changing one’s intention [taghyir al-niyya] (for example, of performing the fast to something else), because, unlike the prayer, to not change one’s intention of the ‘ibada is not stipulated as one of the conditions [shart] of the ‘ibada itself.

My dear brother, we humans are indeed weak creatures! Although fasting has been prescribed for us and for those before us so that we may discipline our egos and fight the devil, we are certainly not infallible like the prophets. For this very reason, we must take all the precautions available to us, whether necessary or suggestive ones, in order that we may achieve Ihsan and excellence in whatever ‘ibada we are performing. Alhamdulillah, in this particular case, your changing the intention did not lead to breaking the fast itself, but this was certainly a “near miss” incident, and again we thank divine protection for this mercy. Although you have managed to keep to the minimum fiqhi limits and although your fast was not invalidated by looking ‘lustfully’ or with shahwa [the “pleasure of the senses” or our “carnal appetites” (which incidentally is not limited only to the pleasures of our sexual organs but also to our digestive ones as you yourself garishly described it: “as a result of looking at the succulent and luscious (yum-yum) food on offer”)], it nevertheless goes against the spirit and wisdom of the fast. The adab of this ‘ibada requires that we do not slobber over food and drool over the objects, sabab and causes of shahwa. The fiqhi ruling for looking at what gives rise to shahwa while fasting is Makruh [offensive], and it is more godfearing [Wara’] to avoid shahwa, even though they are Mubah [permissible] when not fasting. (That is why we learn from the science of Tasawwuf, the fast in fact makes things which are normally Halal, Haram–so how do we measure indulgence in Haram things during a fast?) Indeed, for our case, avoiding looking at the world with shahwa becomes a preventative measure for us, and by not breaking this rule (even when it is not Haram and by breaking it we are not sinning) it becomes a means for us to prevent the lower-half of our nafs getting the better of us.

For this reason, we should listen to the advice of our Prophet (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him!), as narrated by Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him!):

“khamsu khiSAlin yufaTTirna S-SA’ima wa-yunqiDna l-wuDU’a al-kadhibu wa l-ghIbatu wa n-namImatu wa n-naZaru bi-shahwatin wa l-yamInu l-kAdhiba” [There are five qualities which may break the fast of someone fasting [meaning, its rewards will be lost or reduced] and nullify [the reward of] wudu’: (1) lying; (2) slander; (3) defamation; (4) looking lustfully; and (5) a lying oath.] (Related by al-Daylami; note, according to some scholars of Hadith, this Hadith has defects).

As for your question: “Must I now make qada of this fast day?”

Although the answer here would obviously be no, you should have made it clear, the type of fast you were fasting (since in the event that the fast was broken (which it did not), the answer will depend on the type of fast one was fasting: if it is an obligatory one (such as the fast for Ramadan or a makeup [Qada’] or a vowed [Nadhr] or an expiation [Kaffara] fast), then one will have sinned (for it is Haram to interrupt the obligatory fast without a valid excuse) and one will have to makeup the fast (and in the case of an expiation fast, one will have to start fasting from day one again), while if it is a voluntary fast [tatawwu’] or fasts other than the obligatory ones, then if you were to go ahead and carried out what you intended (although it never happened), it is Makruh and offensive to do so because there was no excuse there, otherwise, it would be permissible (in a Makruh fast, for example)).

As for you question: “Have I sinned?”

On the contrary, and more than that, you will have been rewarded! From the science of Tawhid or theology, we know that when someone intended to disobey Allah but at the moment of executing it out, the person shies away from doing so and remembers Allah at that split second (by realizing that he or she will incur the displeasure of Allah, for instance) and reverts back to the original intention before intending disobedience and hurriedly seeks God’s forgiveness [istighfar] for having resolved to do such a thing and for carrying it out till this point, then, because he or she did not persist in this bad resolve [‘azm]* before reaching the ‘point of no return’ (in this case, the ma’siya itself or that which is Haram, namely the conclusive act that breaks the fast which will be caused by the arrival of a substance [‘ayn; in this case, the irresistible food] through an open passageway [manfadh; in this case, the mouth] to the body cavity [jawf; in this case, the stomach]), then he or she is rewarded and will not incur a sin.

* Extra notes for students of Tawhid on the difference between ‘Azm and Niyya: It became an ‘azm when the person first made the order with the waiter for that irresistible food (whether the person has or has not paid for the food); before reaching this ‘azm stage, it was only a simple niyya [intention]. There is a catch though: if the person were to die suddenly because of a heart attack, for instance, after ordering the food but before the food could reach his or her table or indeed, the stomach (in other words the death is at the ‘azm stage (and not at the mere niyya stage), thereby reaching the mukallaf’s point of ikhtiyar for this case), then, he or she would have sinned (if the fast is of the obligatory type). End of notes.

In fact, the feeling of guilt that stopped you from breaking the fast is an example of what the Prophet called, “Sarih al-Iman” or pure and unadulterated faith. Both, Imam al-Fashni, a Shafi’i jurist and Muhaddith, as well as his famous student, Imam Ibn Hajar summarised this well known belief in their commentary to the Arba’in of Imam al-Nawawi (may Allah be pleased with all of them!) in the following few lines:

“An example of that [i.e., Sarih al-Iman] is someone who planned to commit adultery, for example, and devised [to do it] in his heart, but then turned away from it owing to some sort of Taqwa [for example, having felt guilty or fear of the divine displeasure in the person’s heart]. He will then be rewarded for that because he, then, falls under the words of the Most High in a Hadith Qudsi [as narrated by Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him!)]:

“uktubUhA la-hu Hasanatan innamA tarakahA min ajlI” [[O’ angels,] record it [i.e., the bad intention] as a reward for him! Indeed, he abandoned it on account of Me.] (Related by Abu ‘Awana, Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim and Ibn Hibban, with variants).

[al-Fashni, al-Majalis al-Saniya, 83 and Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Mubin, 215].

Subhanallah, Allah is indeed merciful and behold how easy it is for us to do good in this world!

There is a final twist to this whole saga. My hope is that you did not, at the zenith of your case by abandoning the ma’siya at its point of maturity, yielded to the sunna of Shaytan by abandoning also your irresistible food and thereby laying it to waste. To secure the reward, you will have to save the food (by taking it home or giving it away in charity to the poor). If not, it would regrettably be the nadir of your saga. And so within five minutes of your triumph against the devil you were in ignominious retreat by the same sabab, with the henchmen of Iblis laughing all the way over the altered musabbab.

O’ Lord, we seek to be close to You so we may always be divinely guided, under Your protection from sins and errors! Ya Rabb, free us from the brethren of the devil!

Allahumma rabbana taqabbal minna salatana wa-siyamana wa-qiyamana wa-takhashshu’ana wa-tadarra’ana wa-ta’abbudana wa-tammim taqsirana Ya Allah Ya Arham al-Rahimin

[O’ Allah, our Lord! Accept from us our prayer, our fast, our vigil, our awe and humility towards You, our pleading humbly to You, our worship of You, and perfect our imperfections, O’ Allah, the Most Merciful of those who are merciful! Amin!]

The one seeking divine protection,

Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti ©
On the evening of Friday Mubaraka, 24 Shawwal 1424 or Thursday, 18 XII 2003.

Bibliography:

al-Bajuri. Hashiya ‘ala Fath al-Qarib. 2 vols. Bulaq, 1288 H.

al-Fashni. al-Majalis al-Saniya fi Kalam ‘ala al-Arba’in al-Nawawiya. Bulaq, 1318 H.

Ibn Hajar al-Haytami. Fath al-Mubin li-Sharh al-Arba’in. Bulaq, 1351 H.

The Reality and Importance of Intention

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: The Reality and Importance of Intention

Answer: Ibn Raslan (Allah have mercy on him), author of al-Zubad, a blessed thousand-line poem in Shafi`i fiqh explained some important principles by saying,

1. So correct intentions before actions,

And make them at the beginning of actions.

2. Then, if you sustain your intention until the very last,

You will attain complete reward on the Last Day.

3. Intentions, words, and actions too, are not accepted

If they are not according to Prophetic guidance.

4. Thus, whoever does not know must ask,

And whoever cannot find a teacher must travel.”

In the first line:

So correct your intentions before your actions,

And make them at the beginning of actions.

a) The correct intention, in Hanafi fiqh, entails two matters:

i) to specify what you are doing, in your heart

– this is a condition for validity in actions where intention is a condition, such as prayer, fasting, or zakat.

– for example, to specify in your heart that you are praying the obligatory Asr prayer.

ii) to seek to draw closer to Allah by this action

– this is a condition for reward

– this is what distinguishes actions and makes them of ultimate consequence, and this is where the secret of sincerity that is in the hearts of those seeking Allah is found.

b) The place of intention is right before one initiates an action.

In the second line:

Then, if you sustain your intention until the very last,

You will attain unto complete reward on the Last Day.

a) The scholars say that it is recommended to actively sustain one’s intention till the end of one’s worship, both the minimal intention and the intention of doing it for Allah. [Ibn al-Humam, Fath al-Qadir Sharh al-Hidaya, 1.35; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, 1.124 (Ilmiyya ed.)]

b) This is why Sayyidi Ibn Ata’illah said, ‘Actions are but lifeless forms, and their life is the secret of sincerity within them.’ [ Hikam]

c) This is part of the definition of spiritual excellence given by the Beloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) when he was asked by Jibril (peace and blessings be upon him), “It is to worship Allah as though you see Him, and (to know that) if you see Him not that He sees you.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

In the third line:

Intentions, words, and actions too, are not accepted

If they aren’t according to Prophetic guidance.

a) Allah has given us an absolute criterion for the good and bad, the consequential and inconsequential, the accepted and rejected: the guidance of His Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). That which corresponds to it is good, ultimately consequential, and accepted by Allah; that which does not, is not.

b) The guidance of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is general and detailed. The general guidance can be known by every Muslim through their reading and interaction with the Qur’an and Sunna. This represents the general values of Islam, shared by all. The details of the Prophetic guidance, however, require that one gain it from those of deep understanding, the scholars of Islam, whom the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself referred to as, “The inheritors of the Prophets.” [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi]

In the fourth line:

Thus, whoever does not know must ask,

And whoever cannot find a teacher must travel.

a) It is obligatory that one seek the knowledge that makes one’s worship, dealings, transactions, and relationships valid according to the Shariah.

b) When one does not know a ruling, Allah tells us: “Ask the people of remembrance if you know not.” (Qur’an, 16.43) The basic manners of asking about matters of religion is that one does so seeking guidance, and the means to the good pleasure of Allah Most High. Thus, one’s questioning should be relevant and respectful, and one should seek to apply it as if one was taking it from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself.

c) This is why it is of tremendous importance to be careful where one takes one’s knowledge from. Imam Muslim relates that Ibn Sirin (Allah have mercy on him) said, “Verily, this matter is your religion (din), so be very careful as to whom you take your religion from.” [Sahih Muslim, introduction] Thus, one should be careful to seek the guidance of those who are clear in their following of the well-trodden Sunni path, which has been the way of the inheritors of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and will remain their way until the Last Day. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself told us, “There shall always remain a group in my community manifest on the truth, unaffected by those who oppose them, until the last day.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

d) The characteristic of such scholars is that they follow one of the four schools of Sunni law; they follow traditional scholarship in matters of faith, not reformist or modernist ideologies; and they see the importance and necessity of spirituality, for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) told us that, “Verily, Allah does not look at your faces or forms. Rather, he looks at your hearts and deeds.” [Muslim, and Ahmad] They are people of good character, noble manners, and wisdom. We see them promoting good rather than controversy, and the sunna rather than reformist innovations.

e) Finally, the legal principle is that the necessary means to fulfilling obligations are in themselves necessary, for means take the rulings of their goals. [Taqi al-Din al-Subki, Fatawa, 2.342; Buhuti, Kashshaf al-Qina`, 6.213; Khadimi, al-Bariqa Sharh al-Tariqa, 4.199] As such, if one is unable to access the religious knowledge one needs in one’s daily life and worship, it would be obligatory to take the means that enable one to do so, even travel if necessary.

And Allah alone gives success.

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
Faraz Rabbani.