Posts

Adab of Dua 29: Times and Places When Dua Is Disliked

Allah Most High says, “I am near – I answer the call of the one who calls upon me (2:186).” Yet, many of us wonder: Are my du’as being answered? Is there a certain dua I have to read for each of my concerns? Do my duas have to be in Arabic?

In this series of short talks, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the reality of dua (supplication) and how to turn to Allah. It is based on a classical text on the same subject by the great Shaykh al Islam Zakariyya al Ansari.

In the closing session, Shaykh Faraz explains the times and places when dua is disliked, and gives advice on how to bring duas into one’s life.

He divided this work into the 11 concise, apt sections described below.

1. The reality of dua
2. Our being called on to make dua
3. The great virtue of dua
4. The integrals of supplication, its wings, and its means
5. The conditions of supplication
6. Its proper manners
7. The times of dua and the state in which it should be made
8. Signs of acceptance of dua
9. Explaining the religious ruling of dua
10. Some encompassing supplications
11. Explaining what the greatest Divine Name is

Take a SeekersHub online course. All courses are completely free, and are taught by reliable, qualified scholars.

SeekersHub Global, a non-profit Islamic educational portal, makes sound knowledge from reliable scholars available anywhere, at any time, through online courses, on-the-ground seminars, engaging and inspiring Islamic media and direct access to scholars through our Answers service — all for FREE.

Help us continue to provide Knowledge Without Barriers through your ongoing monthly support or a one-time donation.

Resources for Seekers

This Rajab, Let’s Remember How Sacred Time Is – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, had a mercifully sharp memory and a keen sense of time, as Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said reminds us.

Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir Raheem.

Allah, Most High, wanted good for His creation so He said in Surah Al-Baqarah (185):  “Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship…”  Allah, Most High, did not say He wanted to make things easy for us, but rather He wanted “ease” for us and all the good!

Allah, Most High, has given us one such good in the form of the four sacred months, as He said in Surah At-Tawbah (36):  “Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred.”

In a Hadith, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:  “Time has come back to its original state which it had when Allah created the Heavens and the Earth, the year is twelve months, of which four are sacred; three are in succession, namely, Dhul-Qa’da, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and (the fourth one) Rajab which is between Juma and Sha’ban.” (Bukhari)

In these sacred months, Allah, Most High, mentions that no one should be oppressed, including ourselves; Syedina Qatada , May Allah be pleased with him, said that a sin committed in these sacred months is worse than those committed in the rest of year.  Although a sin should be avoided in all months, Syedina Qatada, May Allah be pleased with him, is emphasizing the importance of these sacred months.

Allah, Most High, chose from people, chose from angels, chose from places, chose from days, chose from nights and chose from months; and from those months, the sacred months.  We say this in a time when people may say why is it important to place emphasize on a given time, place or thing.

Fasting in the Sacred Months

In a hadith, a man from the tribe of Bahela met the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, along with his tribe, and returned back to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, a year later. Upon his return, the man asked the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, if he had recognized him, to which the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, responded, “Should I recognize you?”  

The man explained that he was from the tribe of Bahela, who had visited a year ago. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, then inquired about his physical appearance, as the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, stated that the man’s appearance was much better last year; the man replied that since their last meeting he had been fasting constantly. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:

Fast Ramadan and one day a month

The man: I want more!

Fast Ramadan and two days a month

The man: I want more!

Fast Ramadan and three days a month

The man: I want more!

Fast Ramadan and much from the sacred months – and take leave.

(Abu Dawud, ibn Majah, Bayhaqi, Ahmad)

In recalling this Hadith, we learn a number of things:

  1. We see the mercy of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, in how he interacted with the man and his explanation and prescription to fast, in particular highlighting fasting in the sacred months.
  2. From the man’s initial introduction, we see how great and dear the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, makes people feel about themselves, such that each person who comes upon his presence feels as if they are the most important and ought to be remembered!
  3. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, even remembered what this one man from this particular tribe looked like a year ago!
  4. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, is also teaching us that worship is a joy and good, and that there are days where it is worship to fast and there are days where it is worship to eat (i.e. Eid).

Preserving The Good Is Paramount

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, in relation to the sacred months, continually opens our eyes to all that is good, even that good that was done by previous people, and he encourages us to preserve them.

An example of this is the narration regarding the people of the virtuous alliance.  This was a group of people who met during jahiliyya (time of ignorance) in the house of Abdullahi ibn Jadaal. During this meeting, they agreed not to allow anyone to be oppressed in Makkah and to uphold the rights of those who were oppressed. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, was present at this meeting as a young child.

After all the good the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, witnessed, including Isra wal Miraj, the Hijrah and the opening of Makkah, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, still remembered the day of the virtuous alliance and said that one of the greatest things that he remembered from jahaliyya was the people of the virtuous alliance.  The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, continued by saying if someone were to do something similar, he would support it.

In this, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, is telling us the preservation of all that is good is paramount.

As such, the Arabs used to stop fighting during the sacred four months, and the sanctity of these sacred months was confirmed by Allah, Most High, and the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, and included as part of Shar’iah.  The observation of the Arabs during these may have been related or influenced by the people and practice related to Syedina Ibrahim peace be upon him, or, as some historians suggest, the sacredness of these months could also be partially explained by the proximity of Hajj to three of the sacred months.

In another example, the Sahaba asked the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, regarding the Arab practice of respecting the station of Ibrahim peace be upon him, which was the place Ibrahim ,peace be upon him, stood while observing the building progress of the Ka’ba. The Sahaba, who were expecting a response from the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, we responded to directly by Allah, Most High, when He said in Surah Al-Baqarah (125):  “…And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Abraham a place of prayer…”

The Sahaba also asked about the observations of the Arabs with regards to the mounts of Safa and Marwa, (in between which Syeda Hajr, May Allah be pleased with her, ran in prayer) asking if it was permissible to continue such practices, to which Allah, Most High, responded in Surah Al-Baqarah (158):

“Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing.”

The Sahaba, in asking about the previous practices of the Arabs, may have thought that anything observed before thedeen may need to be expunged, however, to the contrary, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, taught them that anything that has good and does not contradict our deen, can and should be preserved, supported and honored.

Preparing for Ramadan

Syedina Anas ibn Malik , May Allah be pleased with him, narrated that when Rajab came, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, would say:  “Oh Allah, put blessing for us in Rajab and Shaban, and bless for us Ramadan.”  (Shu’ab al Iman – Al Bayhaqi, Al Hilya tul Awliya – Abu Naym, Musnad – Al Bazaar)

From this we understand that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, wanted us to prepare for Ramadan from the beginning of Rajab and that is why the Saliheen used to say:

Remove all sin and transgression in Rajab, as it is the month of istighfar.  

Do much by way of worship in Shaban as it is the month of hard work (Syeda Aisha, May Allah be pleased with her, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, used to fast more in this month than any other month outside of Ramadan).

And reap the blessings in Ramadan, as it is the month of good and baraka.

If we prepare, then, inshAllah, we will be ready to receive the blessing.

Ya Allah!  Make this a month, a month of forgiveness, sabr, increase in good and bless us with the greatness of adab in the months to come.

The Importance of Holistic Healing for Believers, by Shaykh Jamir Meah

In this series of articles, Shaykh Jamir Meah explores the importance of holistic and natural medicine in the treatment of chronic diseases, and how the principles and practice of natural therapies not only complement our Islamic values and aspirations, but can often promote our own religious practice and spiritual growth.

The Relationship between Mind, Body, and Spirit in Chronic Disease

Imam al Haddad tells us in The Book of Assistance, ‘God never mentioned the inward and the outward in His Book without beginning with the inward. And the Prophet used to pray (may blessings and peace be upon him), ‘O God! Make my inward better than my outward, and make my outward virtuous.

Mankind has been preoccupied with disease and healing since time immemorial. The ancients, and nearly all nations throughout history, right up to the last great native nations and tribes, understood the concept of man as a being with an inward and outward dimension. They understood the reality of man’s destiny, and because of this, their philosophies, discoveries, and even everyday life, bore the profundity of man’s existence in mind.

Medicine was no exception. The purpose of treating man at times of sickness meant promoting healing in both the body and spirit. It was Plato who said, ‘The greatest mistake in the treatment of diseases is that there are physicians for the body and physicians for the soul, although the two cannot be separated.’

We also acknowledge that the disbelief and rejection of God, the soul, and its final destiny, has also existed since ancient times. However, with the rise of brutal colonial powers, the horrors of the World Wars, the industrial revolution, increasing corporate capitalism, and most alarmingly, the rise of atheism, mankind, specifically ‘western’ man, entered into a new, unprecedented psychological posture, and with it, religious truths gave way to a new breed of science and an insatiable appetite for the material.

With man’s technological and scientific advances, increasingly secular agendas, and major shifts in world wealth and power, God, the hereafter, and the fate of man’s soul were consigned to the past.

Western medicine inevitably followed suit. Modern theories, advanced technological instruments and machines, supported by powerful chemical drugs, ensured that the role of the spirit, as well as the mental-emotional levels, were separated from the physical body, and no longer deemed necessary in the treatment of chronic disease. This is the reason why a depressed, suicidal patient with multiple sclerosis will be referred to two or more types of doctor rather than one, and given different medicines rather than one medicine, though the two symptoms are nothing but the same disease process.

Before the word ‘Medicine’ became monopolised and synonymous with only the western medical model (and everything else became ‘alternative’, ‘complementary’, or even ‘quackery’), and before ‘real science’ became the yardstick to measure and verify every human experience and observation (including the existence of God and religion), other nations, particularly those in the East, were healing people on deep and profound levels for thousands of years.

The Need for Holistic Medicine in Our Lives and in Our Communities

Modern medicine has many benefits, particularly in emergency situations and surgery. In these areas, it is invaluable, unsurpassed, and a blessing from God. Likewise, we should all appreciate and acknowledge the unquestionable sacrifice, devotion, and skill of many doctors around the world. However, it is true to say that modern medicine and its drugs struggle to deal effectively with the chronic diseases of man.

The simple reason for this is that humans are natural beings in a natural world, and treatment of such a being must not only follow the observed Laws of nature (we’ll talk about laws of nature in a later article), but the treatment must take into account the dimensions and subtleties of man’s constitution as a physical and spiritual entity.

As believers, and bastions of the last and complete message from the Divine, it is our duty to tend to both our physical bodies and our spiritual growth. In the treatment of human disease, it is essential that we also do not follow the pack and separate the two, or turn to unnatural solutions for our physiological, emotional, and psychological conditions. For to do so, would be abusing our God-given human nature, which is indeed a miraculous organism that deserves reflecting on. ‘We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this [the Quran] is the truth.’ [41:53]

Unlike most nations, for whom the afterlife seems to have receded into a distant memory, the Muslims, while fully engaging and benefiting from this world, have traditionally always kept the Hereafter at the forefront of their thoughts in all aspects of life. It is our duty to preserve this priority in our lives.

On the fundamental level, what is needed are three things:

1) A return to our religion, in both outward and inward observances, the starting point being our return to the Qur’an, and helping each other in building our relationship with the Book of Allah. Why is this so important? Because Allah Most High tells us, ‘We send down in the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe.’ [17:82]

This ‘healing’ of the Quran is explained by the scholars of Quranic exegesis, ‘The Quran, [whether in] small portions or large portions, is a healing from the manifest and outward sicknesses … And a healing from the inner spiritual sicknesses … And what is meant by ‘Mercy’, is blessings in this life and the next life.’ [Hashiyah al Khalwati].

2) Building strong and stable families and communities. In a world where the social fabric of people, Muslims included, is fast dissolving, with people feeling as isolated as ever, and mental health issues, in both children and adults, are on a meteoric rise, it is imperative that we unite and work towards creating cohesive, safe and resilient communities, which fulfil our worldly and religious-spiritual needs.

3) In times of sickness, both short-term and long-term conditions, it is important for us to utilise medicines and therapies, that can at the minimum, flow in the same direction of the innate healing mechanism and immune system that Allah Most High has created in us, and not oppose it.

The effects of hammering down our immune systems with endless supplies of anti-biotics, anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressants (as well numerous Inhibitors and Blockers), not only affects our physical health, but if taken over a long enough time, can deeply disturb our psychological and spiritual health. We must be pro-body and not anti-body!

Ideally, we should seek out potent, natural medicines and therapies, which can not only work with the body in a natural way, but that are able to reach beyond the mere physical level of man, and instigate healing on the non-physical level as well. Such systems of medicine do exist, and we will discuss examples in a later article. Optimally, such modes of treatment would be accompanied by the support and guidance of qualified and adept religious and spiritual persons.

An Anecdote

We leave you with a beautiful story of the relationship between emotional and physical sickness (as well as an exemplary model of bed-side manner that all physicians should take heed of!). A young lady, previously full of life, youth and beauty, suddenly, without apparent reason, fell ill. Much to her family’s anguish she began to wither away, pale and withdrawn in both body and spirit. The concerned family sought the advice of the best physicians in the town but none could make a diagnosis, nor find a cure, except that they knew that she was dying.

Finally, the family consulted the celebrated physician Ibn Sina, who agreed to come to the family house to see the girl. He sat with the girl, and proceeded to take her pulse. As he sat beside her, he spoke to her informally, asking her about the area she lives, how long they have lived there, and whether she knew this place and that person and so on. Upon mentioning a particular house, the girl’s pulse picked up a little. Noticing this, Ibn Sina asked the girl whether she knew the family, and again her pulse picked up a little more. He then inquired whether she knew the older children in the house. Her pulse started to pulsate. He then asked if she knew the son, and at this, the girl’s pulse started to race hard and fast.

The case clear, Ibn Sina turned to the family and said, ‘Your daughter is dying from a broken heart.’ And it was indeed true, for the young man she loved had married another.

Such anecdotes may seem somewhat crude, especially to the ‘scientific’ mind, however the principle is the same and holds true, in the same way that the physical and spiritual sicknesses that ail man today, are the same throughout history, because essentially, man is always the same.

The current writer’s own clinical experience, as well as those of his teacher’s, repeatedly attests to the fact that chronic diseases of the body are, without exception, preceded by disturbances on the spiritual and mental-emotional sphere. Outward symptoms of pathology are the pleading expression of the internal disorder. All we need to do is observe, listen, and have the right, gentle tools to answer that plea, not ignore or drown out its voice.

We hear the word ‘Holistic’ used everywhere now, from medicine, to eating habits, to child rearing and education, even in business strategies. However, in reality, being Holistic is nothing new, it’s just we forgot what it is to be really human.

In our next article, we will be discussing this idea of internal disorder more. We will also consider the concepts of health and disease, and how the philosophy and practice of natural systems of healing reflect the teachings, guidance and practice of Islam.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

Resources for Seekers

The Emotional Brilliance of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

e·mo·tion·al in·tel·li·gence. noun. skill in perceiving, understanding, and managing emotions and feelings.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had a profound way of dealing with people with extremely varying personalities and emotional states, explains Ustadh Amjad Tarsin. His da’wah (way of inviting people to God) needs to be revived in a way that speaks to the realities faced by young people today. This khutba focuses on the importance of pondering his example ﷺ in the way we support and communicate with people spiritually and emotionally.

Support the programs and services of the Muslim Chaplaincy of Toronto by becoming a donor today.

[cwa id=’cta’]

Resources for seekers

The Decay of Our Da’wa, by Ustadh Salman Younas

Ustadh Salman Younas laments the way Facebook, Twitter and other social media have destroyed our connection to how the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and our pious predecessors conveyed the message of Islam to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

In his work “Amusing Ourselves to Death”, Neil Postman explains the dissolution of public discourse in America through an approach rooted primarily in the nature of human communication. The basic hypothesis he forwards is that the ideas expressed by a society will be dictated by the forms/mediums through which said ideas are communicated. The forms and mediums of discourse, in other words, necessarily dictate the type of content found in a discourse. In the Age of Television, all communication takes the form of entertainment and so all discourse will necessarily be presented as if the world were a stage for the amusement of others.
In traditional circles, this is nothing new. Our teachers, such as Sh. Nuh Keller, Sh. Hamza Yusuf. and Sh. Abdul Hakim Murad, have recommended the works of figures like Postman, Mander, and Nicholas Carr for quite some time now. But there is reading and then there is learning from what one reads. Many of us recognize these ideas when we complain about the increasingly low standards of study, the selfie-culture, the celebrity shaykhs, and the increasing commercialization of knowledge. Here, we are more than happy to invoke Postman, Mander, and Carr to explain our countercultural move against television, the internet, and technology in general. But there is a real and serious problem that all of us suffer from including those who self-identify as the upholders and defenders of tradition: the decay of our da’wa especially to other Muslims.

Petty, Simplistic, Angry and Demeaning

Our da’wa is increasingly becoming a social media da’wa that is unfortunately taking on the form of the medium through which its content is disseminated: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and Youtube.. The consequence of this is not difficult to predict and even easier to see: it is petty, simplistic, angry, demeaning, aimed at riling up the mob, snappy, witty, and meant to entertain. We laugh at the mistakes of people. We talk about people as opposed to speaking to them. We try hard to speak in catch phrases and whimsical statements. We love to point out the wrong through sarcasm. We secretly revel in conflict and debate.
None of this is prophetic and none of it is what we saw from our teachers. The Prophet (God bless him and grant him peace) was not laughingly saying, “Lol, look at these misguided Muslim women supporting X.” He was not referring to people with offensive descriptions like “Hojabis” and slut shaming. He was not someone speaking sarcastically, “Next to come, topless Hijabis!” He was not condescending, demeaning, or scornful. He stood up for truth when he had to in the best and most effective manner he could. Sometimes this involved speaking frankly, showing clear discontent, even being “harsh”, but none of it was in the form we see today.
[cwa id=’cta’]

None Of It Is Like The Prophet ﷺ

Yet, today people use the anger the Prophet (God bless him) sometimes displayed to justify acting like annoying, irritating, condescending, sarcastic children. No, your anger is not like the Prophet, nor is your harshness, and nor is your da’wa. The way the Prophet corrected others incorporated a holistic approach: it was not simply a one-off pointing out of the wrong but also du’a for others, concern, care, love, and sincerity for all that the community around him could see.
God identified the Muslim community as the best community because it “enjoyed commanding the good and forbidding evil.” (3:110) But any da’wa that is non-prophetic is not da’wa. It is nafs, misguidance, and a cause for this community to lose divine aid. This salient feature that God identifies as a defining factor for our community being the best of all communities is slowly being eroded away from within. The failure to instill a sunnaic spirit in our da’wa unsullied by the anti-sunnaic features of the social media medium will only lead to the spiritual death of our community. This is a serious issue and all of us would be wise to consider how the new technologies of our age are altering our religious discourse.
And God is our only refuge.

Resources for seekers

Why The World Needs The Prophetic ﷺ Example – Shaykh Seraj Hendricks

The world is imploding on itself and there has never been a time when the Prophetic ﷺ example was more needed to lead humanity down the path of healing – Shaykh Seraj Hendricks, Al-Zawiya Institute of Cape Town, South Africa.

In 2015, SeekersHub undertook a tour of South Africa, with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, Sidi Nader Khan and Sidi Abdul-Rehman Malik. We’re pleased to release the recordings from that tour on the SeekersHub YouTube channel and here on the SeekersHub blog.

[cwa id=’cta’]

Shepherding Our Sons And Daughters

Fathers and Mothers: what do you want for your sons and daughters? Ibrahim J. Long gets to the heart of the matter.

What fills your heart with joy at the thought of your son or your daughter doing, or being, or becoming? What fills your heart with hope, pride, and love for the bounty that Allah has given you and I in our children? Do you smile at the thought of them becoming a doctor, or a professional of some kind? Perhaps you imagine your daughter or son memorizing the Glorious Qur’an, or having an immense love for God and His Messenger (peace be upon him). Or, perhaps you simply hope for your son or daughter to be a person of good character.
Whatever it is that you are picturing them doing, whatever it is that generates that pride and hope in your heart; likely, you are also picturing them happy while doing it.

What About Happiness?

This desire for our children’s happiness comes from our love and compassion for them. Consider, for example, when Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was given the glad tidings that he would be made an Imam and an example of righteousness for all people he asked: “and what of my descendants?” (Q2:124)
Ibrahim (peace be upon him) had so much compassion for his children, grand-children, great-grandchildren and all his descendants that as soon as he heard the good news of being made an example for humanity, he asked if they too would have a share in that closeness that he had with Allah. He wanted all of his descendants to experience such serenity and happiness.

The Prophet’s Parental Concern

Shepherding Our Sons and Daughters
Parental concern for our children is part of being a healthy parent. In fact, it’s part of being a healthy person. Our Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) demonstrated this concern with his children and all children he encountered.
About this, the famous servant of the Messenger, Anas ibn Malik (May God be well-pleased with him), said, “I never saw anyone who was more compassionate towards children than the Messenger of God (peace be upon him).” To which he also added that while the Prophet’s son, Ibrahim, was in the care of his wet-nurse who lived in the hills outside of Madinah, he would go there just to pick up his son and kiss him, then he would return to his business in Madinah. [Muslim]

Just For A Hug And A Kiss

Today, that would be like a father driving home from work during his lunch break just to hold his son or daughter and kiss them. To myself and all of my fellow brothers, fathers, and husbands, I advise you: If there was forgotten Sunnah that you and I would like to help revive, then let us consider reviving this one.

Not Just About Joining The Workforce

As a community, Muslims in North America are among the most educated and professional Muslims in the world. Part of our success in this is the great efforts that parents have put into their son and their daughter’s education, masha’Allah. But, a good profession alone will not make our children happy in this life. They will also need our help in developing their faith, and they also require our guiding them to become good husbands and good wives (and later on good parents just like you and I are trying our best to be).
Parents, we cannot deny that being a husband or wife and being a father and mother are life-changing experiences and amazing responsibilities. As the Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) has said, “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.” [Bukhari & Muslim] And, as Allah has commanded us in the Glorious Qur’an: “Believers, Shield yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones…” (Q66:6)

Shepherding Future Shepherds

So, fellow fathers and mothers, how are you and I preparing our children to become shepherds of their own flocks? Are we preparing our children to shield their own families?
You and I may be raising our children with hopes of their becoming doctors, lawyers, and great contributors to the Ummah. But, are we raising them to become good husbands and good wives to their spouses? Or, good fathers and good mothers to their children?  You may very well be. And, if so, this is just a reminder for you. And, may Allah reward you.
Our Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) has informed us that marriage is half of our deen. So, it is half of our children’s deen as well. For those of you who are married, you know it is a struggle. Every marriage has its high points and low points; even the best of them. Moreover, every parent wants his or her son or daughter to marry a good spouse who will treat him or her with respect and dignity. But my question to myself and all of you is how are we preparing our children to be good to their spouses?

More Committed To Daughters Than Sons

To be honest, we as a community (and by this I mean Muslims in general) are better committed to raising our daughters than we are our sons. To a degree, many believe that boys will raise themselves. But, our young men also need direction. An increasing number of marriageable women are complaining: “Where are the Muslim men ready to be good husbands and fathers?” And, “Where are the Muslim men who understand the responsibility of taking care of a household, who can demonstrate self-control and can control himself when he is angry?”

Raising Boys To Act Like Mature Men

Undeniably, we raise our daughters differently from our sons. Perhaps we lack the wisdom and strength to raise our sons the way we raise our daughters. But, what we are left with are various young males who do not yet know how to behave like mature men. Although in the short-term, greater freedom for our young men and boys may feel like we are giving them a “chance to be on their own.” However, sometimes the freedom we as a community grant our young men is experienced by them as a lack of direction, a lack of mentorship, and a lack of support.
Fathers and Mothers, it is not only unfair to our young women that we expect more from them. But, it is also unfair to our boys and young men who need us to expect more from them. Our sons also need the support of our guidance. Our sons also need us to teach them how to control themselves. Our sons also need us to remind them that they too may one day have a family of their own and that being male does not mean one is ready to be a man. So, let us help them and encourage them to be the best men, the best husbands, and the best fathers that they can be.

“Dad… I’m bored..let’s go!”

I can remember one time attending an Islamic lecture. I was sitting next to a father and his son. Shortly after the father sat down with his son to listen to the lecture, the young boy complained to his father, “Dad, Dad… let’s go! I’m bored.” To which the father very gently said, “Just wait a few minutes. I would like to hear what the shaykh has to say.” However, shortly thereafter the young boy complained again, “Dad… I’m bored..let’s go!” And so the father left with his son.
Now, I don’t know the full story. The father could have left with the son and later advised him regarding his behavior. Or, perhaps there was something else that I did not know about this situation. I am not speaking against this father, or his son. However, this incident made me realize something  that I had not before. In the past, I would have felt bad for the father for having an impatient and  disrespectful son. However, in this instance I realized that I felt worse for the son who was struggling with his nafs and did not yet know how to be patient. Patience had not yet been taught to him.

Helping Children With Their Nafs

As adults we have more experience with the inner battlefield of our nafs; battling our own desires and learning how to control ourselves. From age and experience we have become more familiar with the consequences that can come about if we don’t control ourselves. But, this man’s son was young. He did not know any better and he needed someone to advise him and to guide him. Perhaps this father did just that after he left. I don’t know. But, what if a son just like this one never received any help? Who then will teach this young man and young men like him the important lesson of patience? Who will teach him to think of the needs of others? Who will teach him and others like him to set aside one’s own desires if it would bring happiness to another? If no one helps him, then what sort of husband would this young boy grow up to be?
Now, let me be open and honest with you: it is not, and will not be easy to parent our youth. Moreover, this reminder has been directed at myself first and foremost and then to all of you. There are those of you are more experienced and better at parenting than I am. There are also many of you who have also been better sons to their parents than I have been. This discussion may erupt in denial, or anger in the hearts of parents who feel like they are being judged by others when they are trying their very best. This is not a call to judge others. This is only a reminder for each of us to bear in mind for ourselves what we are doing to raise our sons. When this reminder is forgotten it leads to the needs of the young men in our community being forgotten as well.
As one shaykh once said, “Our communities often focus on raising our daughters. Our daughters are doing fine. What we need to focus on is raising upright young men for them to marry and to lovingly care for them.”
Let us remember, that we are shepherds and shepherds must engage with, be patient with, and guide his or her flock. May Allah make it easy for us and bless us in our efforts. And may Allah make all of our children among the mutaqqina imaman (the foremost in faith).
q11
“Our Lord, grant us from among our spouses and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.” (Q 25:74)
May Allah bless all of you and our children. Ameen.
Ibrahim J. Long is a Muslim chaplain and educator. You can follow his blog at ibrahimlong.org

Resources on Shepherding Our Sons and Daughters

How is the Prophetic Example (Sunnah) Relevant?

How is the Prophetic example (sunnah) relevant and how do you apply it in your daily life? Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains over this four-part lesson.

Did you know there are sunnahs of drinking coffee and sunnahs of going shopping? Find out more in this class conducted by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani as part of The Muslim Chaplaincy at the University of Toronto Fall 2014 Semester roster of classes.

  1. What is the Sunnah?
  2. Practical Examples of how the Sunnah can be applied in our everyday lives?
  3. Prophetic Sunna in our critical relationships.
  4. The Sunnah of applying the Sunnah

Listen to them all here.


Sunnah relevant

Resources for seekers

Cover photo by Felix Weizman.

Open Our Hearts, Before We Open Our Mosques

As mosques around the United Kingdom open their doors for a national ‘Mosque Open Day’, Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said questions whether we have opened our hearts enough to truly receive those who walk through our open doors. Do we see all of humanity as Allah’s creation, to whom He sent the Prophet Muhammad “as a mercy”?

Shaykh Faid SaidShaykh Faid Mohammed Said is a jewel in the crown of traditional Islamic scholarship in the United Kingdom and we at SeekersHub are ever grateful for his friendship, guidance and support. He was born in Asmara, Eritrea, where he studied the holy Qur’an and its sciences, Arabic grammar and fiqh under the guidance of the Grand Judge of the Islamic Court in Asmara, Shaykh Abdul Kader Hamid and also under the Grand Mufti of Eritrea. He later went to study at Madinah University, from which he graduated with a first class honours degree. In Madinah, his teachers included Shaykh Atia Salem, Shaykh Mohamed Ayub (ex-imam of the Prophet’s Mosque, peace be upon him), Professor AbdulRaheem, Professor Yaqub Turkestani, Shaykh Dr Awad Sahli, Dr Aa’edh Al Harthy and many other great scholars. Shaykh Faid has ijaza in a number of disciplines including hadith, and a British higher education teaching qualification. He is currently the scholar in residence and head of education at Harrow Central Mosque, United Kingdom. Read his articles on the SeekersGuidance blog.

Resources for seekers:

A Timeless Love – The Prophet ﷺ and Khadijah, by Habib Ali al-Jifri

Habib Ali on The Prophet and KhadijahHabib Ali Al-Jifri beautifully recalls the loving companionship of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his loyal wife Khadijah. He explains how this love story began and continued even after she passed away; and most importantly, what lessons we can learn from this story for our own marriages.
Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life is one of SeekersHub’s most popular courses. Register today for any of the 30+ courses on offer – places are very limited.
This video was recorded for the “Love & the Beloved” CelebrateMercy webcast about the Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ married life. See more videos at CelebrateMercy.com and subscribe to on YouTube.

Resources for seekers: