Nur Sacred Science Publications Presents: Gatherings of Illumination

Nur Sacred Science Publications Presents: Gatherings of Illumination
Gatherings of Illumination in Sending Blessings upon the Best of Creation

“Truly gatherings of sending prayers upon the Prophet PBUH are gardens of paradise and sources of purification for hearts that long for their beloved PBUH. Among them is this noble assembly compiled by the esteemed scholar, Ustadha Samar al-Asha, a lover of the Messenger of God and a servant of his sira and sunna. I ask God for divine openings for the people of this gathering and for those who assemble and attend this. Amin!”-Habib Ali al-Jifri

Gatherings of Illumination in Sending Blessings upon the Best of Creation (Majalis al-Nur fi Salati ala al-Rasul) is a rich compilation of some of the most beautiful supplications, litanies, and odes (qasidas) presented in Arabic script, transliteration, and English translation. Included in this book are: The Prayers of the Lovers (a set of 34 powerful prayers upon the Prophet PBUH), Supplications of Visitation to the Sacred Precint in Madina, the Latifiyya Supplication, and Shaykh Shadhili’s Litany of Victory. This book also offers a glimpse into the works of the many female Islamic scholars who have been pivotal to a women’s revival in Islamic spiritually and scholarship in the past decades. The author, Ustadha Samar al-Asha, is one of the few contemporary women hadith transmitters in the world who is also a scholar of Qur’anic recitation with mastery in the ten canonical readings. She is also distinguished for her written contributions to the fields of Qur’anic and Hadith sciences. This book is essential for the thirsty soul and the ailing heart whose cure lies in the remembrance (dhikr) of the Divine.
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On the Path to a Sacred Journey: The Courtesies (Ādāb) of Hajj – Nur Sacred Sciences

On the Path to a Sacred Journey:

The Courtesies (Ādāb) of Hajj

The Hajj has specific courtesies and actions that it is recommended to perform in order to ensure that one returns from Hajj with his or her pilgrimage both accepted and rewarded, inshāʼ Allāh. Among the recommended ādāb of the great pilgrimage are the following.

1)      It is recommended that every person who has made the intention of performing the Hajj and has set out to settle his or her travel arrangements to first and foremost make a sincere repentance (tawba) from all sins and actions which distance one from God. In addition, one must strive to make his or her intention to be one which is sincerely for the sake of God and to exert an effort to purify it from any form of vanity or a desire to be known. All of this is an essential form of preparation in order that one sets out for the House of Allah with a heart that is pure and ready to absorb the sweet breezes of divine mercy and spiritual favors which are bestowed in this sacred journey.

2)      To return all materials one has borrowed or has been entrusted with to their owners. One should also make up for any rights that another individual may have upon them which has yet to be fulfilled as well as pay off all debts or assign someone to do so on one’s behalf if one is unable.

3)      To reach out to all of one’s relatives and friends and ask them for forgiveness. One should also rectify all relationships in which there is any form of misgiving, hurt, or dispute. This is especially important with one’s neighbors. One should also strive to acquire the pleasure of one’s parents and those who have a right upon him or her from among one’s teachers, religious guides, and close relatives.

4)      To write a will and have it witnessed. One should also leave for those he or she has a financial obligation towards, such as a spouse, child, or parent, enough money to spend until one’s return.

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Shaykh Bakri al-Tarabishi 1921-2012 – Nur Sacred Sciences

Shaykh Bakri al-Tarabishi 1921-2012 – Nur Sacred Sciences

Shaykh Bakri al-Ṭarabīshī was born in Damascus in 1338 AH/1921 AD to a home of learning and piety.  His father was Shaykh ʽAbd al-Majīd al-Ṭarābīshī from among the legal scholars (fuqahāʼ) of Damascus specializing in the Ḥanafī school of law.  King Fayṣal b. al-Ḥusayn selected him as a confidant after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in greater Syria in 1918.  Shaykh Bakrī memorized the Qurʼan when he was a boy of twelve years and perfected his memorization at the age of fifteen. He also worked with his father in trade.

His Memorization of the Qur’an

Shaykh Bakrī al-Ṭarabīshī memorized the Qur’an when he was twelve and learned it with tajwīd and beautiful recitation when he was fifteen.  When he was twelve years old, his father took him to the Shaykh ʽAbd al-Wahhāb Ḥāfiẓ (known as Shaykh ʽabd al-Wahhāb Debs wa Zayt due to an old family title).  He later became a student of Shaykh ʽIzz al-Dīn ʽAraqsūsī.  When he reached the age of twenty, he recited the Qur’an under Shaykh ʽAbd al-Qādir al-Ṣabbāgh who took his chain of recitation from the elder Shaykh Aḥmad Ḥulwānī.  In 1942, Shaykh Muḥammad Salīm al-Ḥulwānī certified him, or gave him ijāza, in Qur’anic recitation of the seven canonical readings from the Shāṭibī chain of transmission.  Shaykh Muḥammad Salīm al-Ḥulwānī passed away shortly after, and Shaykh Bakrī was the last person he certified.  After this, Shaykh Bakrī al-Ṭarābishī followed up his studies by taking the ten canonical readings with Shaykh Salīm’s peer, Shaykh Muḥammad Fāʼiz al-Dayr ʽAṭānī.  Thus, Shaykh Bakrī became a Qur’anic reciter with the shortest chain of oral transmission (the least number of oral transmitters) of the Qur’an in the world.  He had only twenty-seven transmitters between himself and the Prophet (PBUH).  The last person besides him to have had an equally short chain of transmission died over thirty years ago.

His Legacy

The Shaykh did not leave behind any works in the form of writing, but he left behind “works” in the form of his many students who continued to teach the Qur’an and pass its transmission throughout the world.  Among these students are Shaykh Muḥammad Shaqrūn in the UAE, Shaykh Ḥusām Sabsabī in Kuwait, the Reciter and Shaykh Muḥammad Burkāb in Algeria, Shaykh ʽUmar Dāʽūq in Labanon, and the Reciter ʽIṣām ʽAbd al-Mawlā in Jordan.  All of them took the path of their teacher to establish programs to teach the Qur’an and pass its chain of oral transmission.  Shaykh Bakrī and his students exerted all of their energies to facilitate teaching the Book of God wherever they were.  Shaykh Muḥammad Shaqrūn established a large school and foundation for memorization and certification in Dubai.  Shaykh Ḥusām Sabsabī became a member of the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Kuwait and established a branch responsible for teaching Qur’anic recitation.  Shaykh ʽUmar Dāʽūq participates in similar projects in Lebanon.  In Algeria, Kuwait, and the UAE a certification in Qur’anic recitation became considered equivalent to a university degree.

Shaykh Bakrī as a Man of God

Shaykh Bakrī used to see the Prophet in his dreams and speak to him regularly.  He would spend 3-4 hours standing in prayer every night for as long as many who knew him closely could remember.

He had a balcony that overlooked Damascus where he spent many hours reciting the Qur’an.  He never liked people to kiss his hand or treat him differently.  He was a hidden gem who became known later in his life when people would seek him out for his short chain of transmission (sanad).  During his early years as a father, he struggled to make ends meet and provide for his family.  He owned valuable land in an area outside of Damascus that was usurped by the government.  Despite his having lost a significant source of his lawful income from the fruits of his land, he still managed to do good works.  He was one of the main people to help build one of the newer mosques in Muhājirīn, Damascus.  He also helped scholars and students of knowledge marry and settle down by providing them with financial stability.

Shaykh Bakrī has been described by other scholars as a shaykh who combined three virtues (khayrāt).  The first virtue he embodied was that in the saying of the Prophet (PBUH), “the best among you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.”  The second virtue he embodied was in the hadith, “the best among you are the ones who are best to their families.”  Finally the third virtue is referred to in the hadith, “the best among you is he whose life is the longest and his works are the most excellent.”  The evidence of his sincerity in his devotion to God is manifested in the piety of his own ten children (one of whom died) and their children.  Many of them also memorized the Qur’an and excelled as pillars of guidance, piety, and learning in their various communities.  The immense love and compassion he continuously showed his wife, children, grandchildren, their wives, and their children is described as truly unique by those who knew him in this way.

The Shaykh not only emphasized religious learning, but also knowledge of the world.  When one of his grandsons wanted to study Islamic Law (Shariʽa), he firmly advised him to study something he could earn a livelihood with and to learn religious knowledge without making his religious learning a means of his livelihood.  The best provision is the one that is earned through the work of one’s own hands was a belief he adhered to until his last days.

During the final days of his life, Shaykh Bakrī remained in a state of constant dhikr, or remembrance of God.  He was happy and content, knowing that his meeting with his Lord was imminent.  His memory remained sharp well into his late years and up until his death at the age of 91.  Indeed, one of the miracles of the Qur’an is that it protects those who have kept it in their minds and hearts during their youth from losing their mental awareness in old age.

Shaykh Bakrī al-Ṭarābīshī died on February 23, 2012 in Dubai.  May Allah have mercy on his soul and grant him the highest of Paradise.

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The Legacy of Shaykh Badr al-Din al-Hasani – Nur Sacred Sciences

The Legacy of Shaykh Badr al-Din al-Hasani – Nur Sacred Sciences

The Legacy of al-Muhaddith al-Akbar Shaykh Badr al-Din al-Hasani: 1850-1935

One of his students related,“He would often ask us upon completion of his prayers, ‘Do you hear the reply of the Messenger of God (PBUH) during the tashahhud (recited during the sitting of the ritual prayer) when you say, ‘al-salāmu ʿalayka ayyuha al-nabiyyu wa raḥmatullahi wa barakātuhu?’ I used to ask, ‘And is there anybody who hears such a thing?’ He would respond, ‘There are people for whom if they lost their presence of heart with the Messenger of God (PBUH) for one moment, they would perish.’”

Few people have had an impact on 20th Century Muslim society as Shaykh Badr al-Dīn al-Ḥasanī. In the Levant in particular, he was unparalleled in his stature among the people of sacred knowledge and came to be considered a reviver of Islam (mujaddid) during his era.  He was a man sought by poor peasants and powerful leaders alike, and to each he gave their rightful due with humility and justice.  His gatherings used to be flooded with students seeking to carry on the tradition of sacred learning as well as those simple souls who desired nothing more than acquiring the blessing of being in his noble presence.  It is reported that when he would pass by, people would peer out of their windows to catch a glimpse of him.  Despite his esteemed rank in the eyes of people, Shaykh Badr al-Dīn remained humble and dedicated to the service of the Muslim community until the final days of his life.

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The Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge – Nur Sacred Sciences

The Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge

The Islamic tradition teaches us that both students of sacred knowledge and their teachers have lofty principles and refined codes of conduct that they must adhere to in order to ensure that they can truly achieve virtue through their knowledge and that God opens up for them (futūḥ) the full extent of wisdom and perception.  From the most distinguished of these etiquettes (ādāb) that must accompany teaching and seeking knowledge are the following.

1)      To have respect in one’s heart and exhibit reverence for gatherings of knowledge. This is embodied in some of the following practices:

a)       To have ritual purity and cleanliness before leaving to attend gatherings of knowledge.  The Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) and their followers used to be very attentive to this matter.  It is reported that Imām Mālik used to be meticulous in his veneration of gatherings of knowledge to the point that before narrating hadiths, he would make wuḍūʼ, wear his best clothes, sit upon his cushion, comb his beard, put on perfume, and sit in the most dignified and respectful posture.  When asked about this he replied, “I love to exalt the hadiths of the Messenger of God (PBUH).”

Another form of purification before attending gatherings of learning is that of the purification of the heart from traits such as backbiting, envy, grudges, and other spiritual diseases through various forms of worship and acts of obedience.  This is done to exert an effort to expand one’s heart and state of mind in a way that will make the student more susceptible to absorbing knowledge and implementing it.  It is commonly said, “In the presence of scholars guard your tongue.  And in the presence of the knowers of God, guard your heart.”

b)      A student should come in a state of stillness of the heart, mind, and body (sakīna) along with a demeanor of a dignified seriousness (waqār) that is derived from an understanding of the gravity and significance of being in a circle of learning.  Ḥasan al-Baṣrī used to say, “Seek knowledge and seek in order to [attain] knowledge stillness and seriousness (sakīna wa al-waqār) as well as humility towards whom you are learning from and towards those you are teaching.”

Due to the intense reverence that Imām Mālik had for the hadiths of the Prophet (PBUH), it is reported that he once remained seated in the same position while teaching for four hours, even though he had been stung by a scorpion and his color had changed.  Upon being asked about this he replied, “I did not want to interrupt the hadiths of the Messenger of God (PBUH).”  In this is revealed the depth of Imām Mālik’s understanding of the majesty of God and the rank of His Messenger, upon him be peace.  Indeed, God has said in the Qur’an, “Whoever honors the symbols of God, verily it is from the piety of the hearts.”[1]

2)    To have humility and respect for scholars and to honor them.

Humility is an essential characteristic that a student must have to truly benefit from his or her teacher.  In the hadith of the Messenger of God (PBUH), when the angel Jibrīl (AS) came to ask the Prophet (PBUH) about Islam, Imān, and Iḥsān, he is described as having, “put his knees against the knees [of the Prophet PBUH] and placed his hands on his thighs.”[2] When the Companions used to sit with the Messenger of God (PBUH), they did not used to raise their heads up to him out of their reverence for him.  It is reported on the authority of Anas (RA), “If the Messenger of God (PBUH) used to enter the mosque, none of us used to raise our heads except Abū Bakr and ʽUmar.  They used to smile at him and he used to smile at them.”[3] It is also reported on the authority of ʽUbāda b. al-Ṣāmit that the Messenger of God (PBUH) said regarding respecting scholars and honoring them, “He is not from my community who does not venerate our elders, have mercy on our youth, and know the rights of our scholars.”[4]

Imām ʽAlī (RA) would say regarding the manners of respect a student should have with his or her teacher, “From the rights of the scholar over you is that you give greeting to people generally and greet him specifically, that you do not ask him questions excessively, you do not meet his answers with discord, you do not pressure him if he tires, you do not grab his garment if he sets forth, you do not reveal to him secrets, you do not back bite anyone in his presence, you do not seek out his shortcomings, and if he makes a mistake you accept his excuse.  It is incumbent upon you to respect and honor him for the sake of God as long as he adheres to the commands of God.  And [you must not] sit with your back towards him, and if he has a need you should hasten before everyone in serving him.”

It is related by Shaʽbī that, Zayd b. Thābit led a funeral prayer.  He then brought his riding animal near so he could ride it and  Ibn ʽAbbās came to assist him in mounting.  Upon this, Zayd said, “Do not do this O, son of the Messenger of God’s uncle.”  Ibn ʽAbbās replied, “This is how he ordered us to treat our scholars and elders.”

Sufyān al-Thawrī entered the gathering of Imām Mālik while his students around him were seated as if there were birds perched on their heads.  He later recited the following poem to describe this:

يأبى الجواب فلا يراجع هيبة          والسائلون نواكس الأذقان

أدب الوقار وعز سلطان التقى       فهو المهيب وليس ذا سلطان

He refuses to answer [excessive questions and the questioner] will not return out of awe

Those who ask [in his presence] sit with their necks bent

Refined manners, grace, and the dignity of a chief of piety

He inspires awe [in hearts] yet he is no king

Al-Shāfiʽī said: “Out of my reverence for him, I used to turn pages while being seated in the presence of Mālik with gentleness so that he does not hear the pages turn.”

It is related by Ṣāliḥ b. Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, “Al-Shāfiʽī came one day to visit my father while he was ill.  He [Ibn Ḥanbal] leapt towards him, kissed him between the eyes, made him sit in his place and he sat in front of him.”  He said, “Then he spoke to him for an hour.  When al-Shāfiʽī got up to leave, my father rose and took hold of his saddle and walked with him.  When [news] of this reached Yaḥya b. Maʽīn, he questioned my father saying, ‘O Abū ʽAbd Allāh, subḥānallah!  Were you forced to walk by the side of al-Shāfiʽī’s riding animal?’  My father replied, ‘And you O Abū Zakariyya, had you walked on the other side you would have benefitted.’  Then he said, ‘Who wishes for goodness should follow the tail of that beast.’”  It was said to Iskandar, “Why is your reverence for your spiritual guide (al-muʽaddib) greater than your reverence for your father?”  He said, “Because my father is the cause of my temporary life while my spiritual guide is the cause of [success] in my eternal life.”

Many of the Muslim rulers and caliphs also used to give immense importance to knowledge and the reverence of scholars.  It is related that Hārūn al-Rashīd used to send his two sons al-Amīn and al-Māʼmūn to learn from Imām al-Kisāʼī who was one of the seven reciters of the Qur’an.  One day after class was finished; al-Amīn and al-Maʼmūn were competing to carry the sandals of the shaykh. Each one wanted to carry them and then they settled for each of them carrying one sandal.  Meanwhile, Hārūn al-Rashīd was watching them from an elevated place in his residence.  He later invited him to a table he had prepared for him.  He then asked him during the meal, “Who is the happiest of people?”  The shaykh said to him: “You are O Leader of the Believers.”  He said, “No.  The happiest of people is the one who the two heirs of the Leader of the Believers (amīr al-muʼminīn) quarrel to carry his sandals.”

From amongst the forms of respect that students must have for teachers is that they should listen with complete attentiveness, even if the teacher is saying something which they already know from a quote, story, or poem.  ʽAṭāʼ said, “I listen to a hadith from a man and I am more knowledgeable of it than him.  However, I do not show him that I surpass him in anything.”  Similarly, he should not precede the scholar in explaining a matter or answering a question posed by one of the students. It is said, “Learn silence the way you learn to speak.  And be more vigilant about listening than speaking.”

As for humility, this not only means that students should be in a state of humbleness while learning but that they must also humble themselves to knowledge in the exertion of their efforts to seek it.  Ibn ʽAbbās used to say, “I lowered myself seeking, and then I became sought (dhalaltu ṭāliban fafiztu maṭlūban).”  It is also related that he said, “When the Messenger of God (PBUH) died, I said to a man from the Anṣār come lets seek out the Companions of the Messenger of God (PBUH) for they are many today.  He said, ‘I am surprised by you, O Ibn ʽAbbās!  Whom amongst the Companions of the Messenger of God (PBUH) do you see as better than yourself?’  He said, ‘So I left him and I set out to ask the Companions of the Messenger of God (PBUH) and [news of] a hadith from a man had reached me.  I came to the door of the one saying [the hadith] and I spread my cloak on his doorstep, all the while the wind was blowing sand in my face.

He came out and saw me and said, ‘O son of the Messenger of God’s (PBUH) uncle, what brought you here?  Had you sent for me, I would have come.’  I said to him, ‘It is more fitting that I should come to you.’ He said, ‘And I asked him about the hadith.  This man of the Anṣār then lived until he saw me when people had gathered around me asking me, and he would say ‘This youth is more intelligent than me.’”

It is also related that Ibn Shihāb al-Zuhrī would not abandon anyone he knew to possess any knowledge except that he sought him out and found him.  Ibrāhīm b. Saʽd said, “I asked my father, how did Ibn Shihāb surpass you?”  He said, ‘He used to come to the center of gatherings and not leave an elderly person except that he asked him and not leave a youth except that he asked him.  Then he used to go to the homes of the Anṣār and he would not leave a youth he did not ask or an elderly person he did not ask.  He used to even speak to the women of the households.’”

Finally, it is incumbent that a student does not acquire pride or vanity after having gained an amount of knowledge, remembering that it is ultimately God who granted this to him or her.  Also because the amount of knowledge that one has accumulated regardless of the heights a student has reached is insignificant in comparison to the knowledge of God the Exalted and High.  God says in the Qur’an, “He has taught humans what they knew not.”[5] He also says, “And God took you out of the wombs of your mothers [with] you not knowing anything.”[6] God also says, “I have not given you from knowledge except a little,”[7] and He says, “Above each [person] with knowledge is [one] more knowledgeable.”[8]

3)      Sincerity: It is essential that those seeking of knowledge do so with an intention sincerely for the sake of God, both when learning and practicing it.  This is also the case when teaching and spreading knowledge.  The Messenger of God (PBUH) said, “Who learns a science which is learnt for the sake of God not seeking from it anything but a portion of the world will not smell the scent of Heaven on the Day of Resurrection.”[9] He also said, “Whoever learns knowledge to rival scholars, to debate with fools, or to draw people to him, is in the Fire.”[10] Ḥasan al-Baṣrī said, “The punishment of the scholars is the death of the heart.  The death of the heart is seeking the world through the works for one’s hereafter.”  And Sahl has said, “All of knowledge is of this world except for the portion one practices which is of the other world.  And all of deeds are dust except for sincerity.”

4)      Trustworthiness: From the codes of conduct associated with knowledge in the Islamic tradition is trustworthiness (amāna). In a related hadith, “Be faithful in knowledge for the betrayal of one in his knowledge is worse than his betrayal in his property.  And God will be your questioner on the Day of Resurrection.”[11] From the trusts of knowledge is that the scholar remains within the bounds of what he knows and does not say that which he does not know.  Also, from intellectual honesty is to attribute sayings and ideas to their sources.

[1] Qur’an, Al-Ḥajj: 32.

[2] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim: vol.i/ Kitāb al-imān 1-bāb 1/h. 1

[3] Al-Mustadrak: vol.i/ p.121.

[4] Majmaʽ al-zawāʼid: vol.i/p.127

[5] Qur’an, Al-ʽAlaq: 5.

[6] Qur’an, Al-Naḥl: 78.

[7] Qur’an, Al-Isrāʼ: 85.

[8] Qur’an, Yūsuf: 76.

[9] Sunan Ibn Māja: vol.i/al-Muqaddima-bāb 23/h. 252

[10] Majmaʽ al-zawāʼid: vol.i/ p. 141.

[11] Majmaʽ al-zawāʼid: vol.i/ p.183.

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The Magnificent Ode in Seeking Assistance through God’s Beautiful Names of Shaykh Yusuf an-Nabahani – Nur Sacred Sciences

The Magnificent Ode in Seeking Assistance through God’s Beautiful Names

Al-Muzdawija al-ḥasnā lī al-istighātha bi-asmāʾ Allāh al-ḥusnā by Shaykh Yusuf al-Nabahani

magnificent ode

Al-Ḥākim reports in a sound transmission, “Supplication is the weapon of the believer, the pillar of religion, and a light of the Heavens and the earth.”  The ability to directly supplicate to God without an intermediary is indeed a divinely granted privilege and a manifestation of God’s mercy and love for humanity.   Its abundance strengthens the heart’s connection to God and bestows light and clarity in times of both hardship and ease.  It is worthy of note that the wording of this hadith states that supplication or dua, is a weapon of a “believer,” rather than the more general category of “Muslim.”  One interpretation of this is that the place of belief is in the heart and the stronger the heart’s resolve that providential power supersedes all worldly power, the more frequent and fervent will be one’s supplication.  In turn, supplication also has the reverse impact of strengthening the heart’s faith (imān) and connection to God, when accompanied by the correct courtesies (ādāb) of dua and religious practice.  Hence the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) words, “supplication is the essence of worship.”

Truly, the men and women of God continually recognized that the power of supplication is one that can overcome the most turbulent circumstances and challenges.  Shaykh Yūsuf al-Nabahānī lived during the late nineteenth and twentieth century when Muslims were challenged on an unprecedented level militarily, ideologically, and economically.  As a great scholar and man of God, Shaykh Yūsuf al-Nabahānī reminded those around him that one must not forget to accompany one’s necessary struggle for justice and dignity, with an essential dose of supplication and calling on God for divine assistance.  The following ode, known as al-Muzdawija al-ḥasnā li al-istighātha bi asmāʾ Allāh al-ḥusnā (The Magnificent Ode in Seeking Assistance through God’s Beautiful Names), is one of his most famous literary contributions and continues to be sung throughout the Muslim world in order to seek divine assistance and victory.  It is often during times of hardship that hearts are turned back to the One in Whose power all relief from calamities lies.  God also reminds us in His scripture that “with hardship comes ease.”  May we continue our efforts and prayers for an increase in the descent of God’s mercy on all of humanity not only in times like these when the need for it is dire, but also in times of ease and prosperity.

The Magnificent Ode PDF [Click here]

ʿIzz al-Dīn b. ʿAbd al-Salām’s Categorization of the Term “Bidʿa” and the Distinction Between its Lexical and Legal Definitions – Nur Sacred Sciences

ʿIzz al-Dīn b. ʿAbd al-Salām’s Categorization of the Term “Bidʿa” and the Distinction Between its Lexical and Legal Definitions – Nur Sacred Sciences

The vastness of the Arabic language has often been compared to the ocean.  As the ocean is rich in its inhabitants of many colors and forms, so too are the words of this divine language that take on a multitude of colors and forms determined by their linguistic environment.  Much of the words used within the context of the Islamic tradition have multiple meanings.  Words such as “sunna” for example, mean something specific within the context of the hadith sciences and something separate when used within the context of fiqh (jurisprudence)or uṣūl al-fiqh (legal methodology).  Furthermore, the same words such as sunna, bidʿafiqh, and of course countless other words have separate meanings when used more generally outside of the context of the Islamic sciences.

Thus understanding definitions properly is essential to a sound understanding of various concepts within the sacred sciences. This is why many texts in the various Islamic sciences begin by providing a lexical meaning of a term, as commonly used within the Arabic language, before continuing to define a term in the context of the field in which it is used.   Some of the confusion in the modern period regarding the term “bidʿa,”  has been in great part due to a lack of understanding this foundational principle.  The word bidʿa by itself does not have a negative connotation unless used in the context of Islamic law (i.e. the sharʿī definition) where it would specifically be referring to a  bidʿa which is forbidden.  It is only when equipped with this understanding that we are able to comprehend the pious caliph ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb’s (RA) praise of the gathering of Muslims for twenty units oftarawīḥ as being a “noble bidʿa,” the Qur’an’s reference to this term when discussing prophecy, and many other similar references to the term within their proper context.  While the study of bidʿa is a lengthy one, on which many treatises have been composed, this short study will briefly focus on the definition of this word from a lexical and legal perspective as well as examine the great scholar ʿIzz al-Dīn b. ʿAbd al-Salām’s seminal classification of bidʿa into the five categories which have generally been accepted by the majority of scholars of the Islamic tradition.

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Immersion in the Quran – Winter Break Retreat for Sisters | Nur Foundation for Sacred Sciences

Immersion in the Quran – Winter Break Retreat for Sisters | Nur Foundation for Sacred Sciences

Immersion in the Qur’an
Join us for a Weekend of Learning and Worship

Date: December 16-20, 2010
Location: Michigan (Transportation Available)
Cost: $120
Registration: Contact  registration[@]nursacredscieces[.]org

Program Features:

-Inspiring Lectures Revolving around the Quran and its Beauty
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Commemorating the Islamic New Year: Timeless Lessons from the Greatest Migration in History | Nur Sacred Sciences

Commemorating the Islamic New Year: Timeless Lessons from the Greatest Migration in History | Nur Sacred Sciences

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The Hijra is not only one of the greatest events in the history of Islam, but it is a historic milestone whose impact forever changed the course of history for all of humanity at large.  The migration of the Muslims from Mecca to Medina set the foundations for ensuring that the religion of Islam would become established in the Arabian Peninsula, the effects of which would reverberate from East to West as the realm of Islam spread.

This is why the rank of the great Muhājirūn, who left all that was dear to them in their homeland of Mecca for the sake of the freedom to worship and practice their faith in Medina is immeasurable.  All that the world has inherited today from the vast and rich Islamic tradition is owed to the sincere sacrifice of a few who undertook this momentous journey.  On the first day of the month of Muḥarram, we not only remember this great occasion that marks the first day of the Islamic calendar, but we are also reminded of its timeless lessons.

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The Many Blessings of the Ten Days of Dhul Hijja – Nur Sacred Sciences

The Many Blessings of the Ten Days of Dhul Hijja – Nur Sacred Sciences

Once more a period of divine blessing has dawned upon us, bringing with it its zephyrs of divine mercy and opportunity.  For truly, it is not that one sacred season of devotion ends, except that another opportunity for attaining God’s forgiveness, bounty, and self-purification begins.  In these cycles of sacred times, we find the heavenly gift of a renewed chance to replenish our souls and seek God’s reward and proximity.

Among the reports transmitted regarding the sanctity of the first ten days of Dhul Ḥijja, the following has been related on the authority of Ibn ʿAbbas that the Prophet (PBUH) said:  “There are no days in which [good] actions are superior than in these days.” It was asked, “Not even fighting for the sake of God?”  He replied, “Not even fighting for the sake of God, except that a person sets out with his life and his wealth and returns with neither.”

On the authority of Abū Hurayra, the Messenger of God (PBUH) said: “There are no days more beloved to God that He be worshipped in them than the ten days of Dhul Ḥijja.  Each day of fasting in it is equivalent to the fast of an entire year.  And each night standing in prayer is equivalent to standing in prayer on the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr).

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