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Knowing God Is Not Just For Celebrity Saints Of Past, by Yusuf AbdulRahman

Yusuf AbdulRahman reminds us that knowing God is not a distant state attained only by the celebrity saints of past, but rather the starting point of each and every one of us.

Your life is tailor-made by the All Merciful Creator entirely in your interests. Everything that has happened in your life, both the beautiful moments and the bitter, have been created to reveal to you something about yourself or your relationship with The One. Nothing has ever gone wrong. Every moment contains a secret, an embedded message from Him, which, if heeded, moves one forward towards awakening.

Awakening should not be considered a distant state attained only by the celebrity saints of the past. Rather, it is your primordial condition, your starting point. You were born a saint. You were born with clear vision. You saw Him in all things. You knew He was your ally, and that there was nothing to be fearful of. Existence was amazing. You were bedazzled by the rain, a toy train, the tablecloth. The universe is His Creation, and He is The Gently Loving and Kind. Hence, what can this world possibly do to you that is beyond His Mercy?

“But what about the pain?” you ask. “It hurts so much.”

Allah bless you and soothe your heart. The pain is the product of inaccurate perception, of misunderstanding the nature of the universe and your purpose within it. Imagine sitting in a dark room, and making out a black snake in the passing moonlight. The night would be spent in fear, anxiety, and vigilant stillness, lest the snake pounce from its place and sink its fangs into you. After the most frantic of nights, the sun rises, and the snake you feared is revealed to be a shoe lace. The pain, the angst, and the nausea were all caused by your misinterpretation of the situation. There was no need to be afraid. But you were.

The disbeliever considers the universe to be arbitrarily organised. He believes that the events of his life are random, and through his own ingenuity and labour, he can organise matters as he would wish them to be. However, things rarely turn out as he would choose, which gives rise to a permanent state of discontentment, and the resulting overwhelming stress. Life has no meaning to him. There are no lessons to be learnt, just painful failures. Success can only be found in the achievement of outcomes. Anything less is a waste of energy. He celebrates when things go his way, and is desperately distraught when the universe refuses to fall into line. The universe rarely falls into line, so his existence is defined by distrust and resentment.

Alternatively, the believer knows that every moment of her life is perfectly designed by He who knows all. She sees challenges as an opportunity to hone her perspective, and to draw her priorities into focus. The difficult moments remind her of her inherent human inability. When it begins to rain, she thanks Allah for her umbrella. She does not judge the moment she faces, but rather is inquisitive, saying ‘subhanAllah’ when things do not go to plan, rather than screaming in disgust. Sometimes, she laughs when others would cry, because the believer has a stoic sense of humour: “O Allah! What are you doing with me this time?” She focuses on her contribution to the universe, knowing that that is her only responsibility. She rarely gets angry, as she has learnt that anger at the universe is in reality anger at its Creator. She is deeply grateful, and sees the golden thread of meaning that weaves its way through her life, guiding her towards her end goal. Her target is Allah, not a large house. She is generous. “He has given before, He will give again.”

Gratitude seeps out of every one of her pores, as she cannot account for the myriad blessings that permeate her life. When she is given something, she gives thanks. When she loses something, she willingly hands it back to her Lord, knowing it was never hers in the first place. She is in a state of perpetual peace, as she knows that whatever she encounters in life is designed in her interests by The One, and that if she engages with that moment appropriately, she will take another step towards seeing Truth as Truth. She is rarely shaken, because her faith is her reality.

Islam is the vehicle by which one moves from disbelief to belief. It is now normative to consider our faith a cultural identity rather than a technology of transformation. Often, our spiritual practices are performed out of a sense of duty or fear. This neuters their transformative power, and limits them to empty shells rather than potent, rich, and profound tools for reawakening our primordial worldview. Islam, which is the culmination of the Divine Conversation with humanity, is the most perfect and holistic system of human awakening. By reducing it to a cultural identity, it becomes a club like any other. The extent to which one sees the world through the prism of disorder and randomness is the extent to which one experiences pain in it.

Despite billions having declared the faith upon the tongue and having intellectually accepted the tenets of our religion, rare is the man who lives in the state of Islam. The objective of Islam is to see things as they truly are. As one moves towards gratitude and trust, and begins to witness the shadow of the Divine Hand cast over all experiences, the pain begins to cease, one’s vision becomes more accurate, and the heart begins to heal. This movement is shif’a, the return to Reality.

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10 Things You Should Know About Hijama Cupping Therapy

Wet cupping (hijama) is a fast-disappearing practice, which is a shame as it was highly recommended by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and continues to offer many health benefits.

The premise of Islamic medicine is faith in Allah the Exalted and knowing healing comes only from Him, and that there is a cure for every disease.

“There is a remedy for every disease and when the remedy is applied to the disease it is cured with the permission of Allah the Exalted.” (Recorded by Muslim.)

In Islam, health is a very important part of life and there is a great emphasis placed on it.

Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet ﷺ said, “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) Health and free time for doing good.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 6412)

The question is, do we give importance to our life or take time out to learn about the natural remedies that the Prophet ﷺ has told us about?

A Forgotten Sunnah

Hijama Cupping Therapy is an Islamic, natural, holistic, healing therapy. Unfortunately, it is a “forgotten sunnah” that has been erased from our valuable history, due to modern medicine and surgery. We need to revive and establish this practice of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. We need to empower Muslims to be strong, healthy and rise up once again. As Muslims, we need to re-assert ourselves as leaders in the fields of medicine and health, just as we were in the golden age of Islamic science.

Here are the top 10 things you should know about hijama cupping therapy:

1. Hijama Cupping Therapy is a Sunnah

During the Night Journey & Ascension (Laylatu’l-Isra’ wa’l-Mir’aj), our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) experienced many profoundly significant events. He flew on a winged horse (al-Buraq) from Makkah to Jerusalem, accompanied by the Angel Jibreel. He prayed with many other Messengers of Allah, ascended to the highest of the seven heavens, was given the gift of five times daily  prayer and tenets of creed by Allah the Exalted.

“Glory to He Who took His servant for a journey by night from the most sacred mosque to the farthest mosque, whose precincts We blessed, in order that We might show him some of Our signs: for He is the One Who hears and sees [all things]”. (Quran 17:1)

Amongst all these amazing miracles, Allah the Exalted also ordered the Angels to instruct Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) to establish hijama cupping therapy;

“I did not pass by an Angel from the Angels on the Night Journey except that they all said to me; ‘Upon you is cupping (hijama), O Muhammad’”(Sahih; Sunan Ibn Majah º3477)

2. “The Best of Medicines”

Hijama was declared the best of medicines by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), alongside the Quran.

He (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Cupping is the most helpful procedure for human beings to cure themselves.” (Sahih al-Bukhari º5357)

3. Other Cultures Practice Cupping Therapy, Too

Cupping therapy has been practiced for centuries globally. The first documented medical text was found in 1550 BC in Egypt. Cupping was also discovered in China over 5,000 years ago and is still practiced to this day. It was commonly practiced in the Roman Empire, Islamic Empire, Europe, Russia, Central Asia, South Asia, and the United States. It was very popular during the middle ages and 18th and 19th Centuries in Europe. Right now it is most popular in China, Finland, Russia and many Muslim-majority countries.

4. Cupping Therapy vs. Hijama

Cupping therapy is the name of the actual procedure itself. A vacuum is created in a cup and placed on the body. This vacuum causes a negative pressure and pulls the muscles into the cup and therefore, draws the blood to the cupped area. This is known as “dry cupping”. Then you remove the cup in order to make small, shallow incisions in that same area, before putting the cup back on. This pulls out the toxic blood, acids and excess fluids from the body. This is known as wet, or blood cupping.

But what differentiates hijama is the religious and spiritual aspect of the practice. “Hijama” is the Islamic version of cupping therapy.  Muslims practice hijama cupping therapy, in accordance to the way of the Prophet ﷺ. It means that the patient and hijama practitioner should have done their ablutions (wudu) and should recite Quran during the hijama procedure.

5. Hijama Returns The Body To A Normal State

“Hijama” in Arabic literally means “to suck” and to “return to a normal state” of internal balance. It ultimately helps the body to create a balance, healthy alkaline environment by removing acidity. This fixes any problem that the body has, by bringing it to its normal state. Hijama cupping therapy is a holistic, super powerful detox which removes toxic and stagnant blood from your body. It expels negative, unhealthy elements from the body, and allows it to replenish itself.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The best treatment is hijama cupping; it removes blood, lightens the back and sharpens the eyesight.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi º3053)

6. The Medical Benefits Are Well-Documented

Hijama cupping is an excellent form of preventative and curative therapy. Below are some of the ways cupping helps:

  • Boosts the circulatory and immune systems
  • Cleanses and detoxifies the body
  • Treats illness and relaxes the patient
  • Pain relief
  • Fertility
  • Hijama is also useful for treating many muscular, skeletal, neurological, immune, cardio-vascular, respiratory, digestive and urinary issues.

Some of its benefits were highlighted by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him):

Ibn Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Hijama cupping on an empty stomach is best. It increases the intellect and improves the memory. It improves the memory of the one memorizing….” (Sahih; Sunan Ibn Majah º3488).

7. It Works On An Emotional Level, Too

Islamic medicine is holistic and works on the levels of mind, body and soul. Hijama cupping therapy is a minor, surgical procedure which has immediate physical effect. However, it also serves to alleviate, mental, emotional, spiritual and metaphysical issues. It is very relaxing and dispels anxiety and depression. According ibn Al Qaiyum, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) had Hijama performed upon his head to remove black magic which had been cast  upon him;

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) mentions that the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) was cupped on his head when he was afflicted with magic and that it is from the best of cures for this if performed correctly. [Zad al-Ma’ad (4/125-126)]

8. There Are Sunnah Points On Your Body

The traditional sunnah points for hijama therapy are on the upper back, which essentially target the heart, lungs, brain and spine. All are major foundations for optimal health.

“Hijama cupping on the back of the neck treat seventy-two illnesses” (Collected by al-Tabarani)

Hijama serves to cleanse and unblock the major arteries and veins.

Anas narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to have hijama cupping done on the veins on the side of the neck and the upper back. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

9. There Are Ideal Times To Do It

Hijama cupping is both a preventative and curative remedy. It is recommended that you should have a hijama detox, and then use hijama as a form of maintenance 2-4 times a year if you are healthy. If you have serious medical conditions, it can be performed more often. It is best to have hijama performed on the “Sunnah Days” according to hadith:

“Whoever performs Hijama cupping in the 17th, 19th and 21st day (of the Islamic Lunar month), then it is a cure for every disease”. (Sahih; Sunan Ibn Majah º3861).

10. The Hijama Therapist Has A Special Status

Imagine having a career in a blessed profession that the Holy Prophet Muḥammad (peace and blessings be upon him) has praised himself;

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “If there is anything good in the medicines with which you treat yourselves, it is in the incision of the hijama therapist, or a drink of honey….” (Muslim º2205)

We encourage as many Muslims as possible to learn how to perform hijama professionally, in order to:

  • Counter the negative side effects of alophathic medication and chemicals
  • Treat the diseases that are untreatable even with modern medicine
  • Have this treatment available to more people
  • Have a satisfying and spiritually rewarding career
  • Revive the forgotten sunnah of hijama.

The career of a professional hijama therapist is fulfilling and  benefits the practitioner in this life and the next.

Action Items

Now, armed with this phenomenal knowledge, be proactive. Here is your action list to be part of the revival of the sunnah of hijama cupping therapy:

  • Book a hijama treatment and get treated – experience it first hand.
  • Learn how to perform hijama and treat your family and friends safely
  • Expand your skill set and get qualified as a certified hijama Practitioner
  • Start treating the community professionally and safely
  • Promote hijama, spread the word and educate the Muslim community
  • Establish the sunnah of hijama cupping therapy

“Whoever revives a Sunnah from my Sunnah and the people practice it, s/he will have the same reward of those who practice it without their reward diminishing…” (Sunan Ibn Majah º209)

Visit Hijama Nation for a free ebook about Hijama Cupping Therapy.

Reviving the Sunnah of Being Optimistic, by Shaykh Ahmed Abdo

How did the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, remain optimistic throughout the years of trial and tribulation, which he, his family and companions endured?

Shaykh Ahmed Abdo presents an uplifting insight at this lecture held at Lakemba Mosque in Sydney, Australia.

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Resources for seekers

The Adhan: Why We Are Missing Out On Great Benefits, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ made a tremendous promise to those who respond upon hearing the adhan – “My intercession will be granted to them on the Day of Resurrection…”

However, many of us don’t know or don’t remember the sunnas of doing the adhan and hearing the call to prayer (adhan). This is particularly the case in lands where the adhan is not publicly given. It is as if we don’t believe in what the Prophet ﷺ has promised. It could be the key to Paradise for us. May Allah make it so!

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives a step by step list of things to do.

Photo by Md. Mafizul Hasan Hawlader.

The Adhan: A Source of Often Neglected Great Benefits, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Why the Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, Condemned Poetry, by Yusuf Latif

The Prophet’s condemnation of poetry, blessings and peace be upon him, is often misunderstood. Yusuf Latif sheds some light on why.

The Mu‘allaqa (hanging poem) of the most famous pre-Islamic Arab Poet, Imru al-Qays, begins with the couplet:

Stop, let us weep, in remembrance of a beloved and her campsite
Here in the desert between al-Dukhul and Hawmal.

While it is praised for its beauty and eloquence it is also cited by Islamic scholars as an example of the errant nonsense that is rife in even the greatest poetry written by the pre-Islamic Arabs. One thing they make a point of is the fact that it would make no sense for two or more people, especially when those people are the pre-Islamic Arabs of the desert, to actually gather together to weep over one and the same woman whom they all love equally. It is more likely that blood would have been spilt.

This view takes into account not only human nature (the nature of jealousy) but also the virtues extolled by the tribal societies of the Arabian Peninsula. Of course, one way of engaging in battle over one and the same woman could take the form of poetic competition between rivals. And if that did not settle the matter, the spilling of blood would be the final recourse.

The Sense in Nonsense

With that in mind there is still actually a way in which to make some sense of these lines—namely as an image that plays precisely on the incongruity of rivals actually joining forces in order to extol the virtues of their object of desire together. That is to say, that the grounds of criticism cited above, as a weakness worthy of criticism, provide the impetus for and the strength of these very lines. The poem follows and extends a pattern of praise and glorification that was native to the Arabic poetry that reached its peak just prior to the coming of Islam.

For the poems written in pre-Islamic time were, after all, poems of praise. Their point is the glorification of someone or something, in this case, a woman. What greater glorification and praise can there be, than that rivals to the death would find common ground in weeping over the absence of the one whom they (both or all) find themselves besotted by? It is here at this precise point that pre-Islamic poetry reached the highest peak from which it toppled after the Revelation of the Qur’an.

From Nonsense to Sense

In the wake of the Revelation of the Qur’an, this height of poetic eloquence was shown up for what it is: empty. It became abundantly clear that the praise accorded to this actual or imaginary beloved of Imru al-Qays, and like tropes of Arabic poetry, overshot the mark by immense distances. Eloquence came to be seen as gross exaggeration. Not only that it also became clear that there is a Beloved to whom such praise is rightly addressed.

Not only that, this form of praise of the True Beloved still missed the mark, but not by being a gross exaggeration. Rather, it will always fall far short of the mark because the True Beloved, namely, Allah, is exalted beyond all human comprehension and hence exalted beyond any words a human being might fashion in order to express the Immense Majesty and Beauty of Allah Most High.

Here lies the wisdom of poetry that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) made a note of. It is recorded in Imam Tirmidhi’s Jami‘ and the Sunan of Ibn Majah that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

“There is wisdom in (some) poetry” (Tirmidhi’s wording).

Just as there is wisdom in some speech, for he also said (Allah bless him and give him peace):

“Poetry is in the same position as speech. The good in it is as the good in speech. The bad in it is as the bad in speech” (Al-Adab al-Mufrad).

What matters is not only how something is said but the content (and context). For it is known that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) condemned poetry, not for its form, but for its exaggerated content. He said:

“It is better that a man fill his belly with pus that ruins it than to fill (his mind) with poetry” (Sahih Muslim).

This shows that such praise as accorded by Imru al-Qays to a girl is falsehood, but when it or the like thereof is accorded to Allah Most High by a Muslim poet, even though it falls short of the object, cannot but be good.

Weeping Together Over One Beloved

It is ironic then to say that poetry in praise of Allah Most High after the advent of Islam never reached the heights reached by pre-Islamic poets. For what that really means is that it never reached the level of nonsense reached by the earlier poets (and hence the level of “greatness” accorded to them).

It means that Islamic poetry in sincere praise of Allah Most High can reach to the greatest of heights in art and eloquence and yet still fall short of doing justice to the object of praise, Allah, Exalted and Transcendent. And this is exactly as it should be.

And finally it means that the falsehood in the lines of Imru al-Qays noted by early scholars, i.e. that of two or more people gathering to glorify the Beloved has been made true for the Umma of His Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

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Eid Mubarak! Your free Eid Gift

Thank you for your support. In gratitude of your support, please accept this free gift, an eBook by Shaykh Umar Husayn al-Khatib.

Prophetic Guidance

Muhammad, the messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) showed mankind how to live upon this earth. He clarified in the most minute detail how humans should worship their Lord, interact with each other and live their daily lives in a state of awareness of their Creator. It is hoped that this work will help Muslims to incorporate the Prophetic programme into their daily lives. They may then come to love following his path in every state and in so doing attain the love of Allah.
Shaykh Umar Husayn al-Khatib has travelled to the East and West teaching people the Prophetic Way. He currently teaches  in Dar alMustafa in Tarim, Yemen, a city which has been a bastion of the Sunnah from the earliest days of Islam.

A clear, concise, yet comprehensive guide to practically following the Prophet (peace be upon him) in one’s life – from walking to sleep; in worship, work, and life. It contains gems of guidance: I know of no work like it in English. A must-read for any Muslim.”
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, SeekersHub Global

Download your free ebook here: seeke.rs/eid2016
Thank you to DTI for the use of their Book.

Be A Mercy Warrior (30 Deeds, 30 Days), By Shaykh Yahya Rhodus & Imam Amin Muhammad

Be A Mercy Warrior, By Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Imam Amin Muhammad & Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

30 Days, 30 Deeds
Sacred Acts to Transform the Heart

Every night, our scholars in residence explore one simple deed that could have far reaching spiritual impact on our lives – and the lives of others. Every day we’ll make the intention to put that teaching into practice. Whether it’s forgiving someone who’s wronged us or putting service to others at the top of our list of priorities, these powerful lessons will remind us of the great gift the Prophet ﷺ‎  gave us: the best of character.

Daily at 8:10 pm EST. Attend in person at SeekersHub Toronto or watch live.

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

 

A Victory of Mercy, by Shaykh Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes

The conquest of Mecca and how the Prophet demonstrated mercy at the moment of his greatest earthly triumph, by Shaykh Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes

Capturing the Spirit of Ramadan
Mercy, Forgiveness and Salvation

Every night our Ramadan scholars will explore one of the three key spiritual goals of Ramadan. Each talk will conclude with a dynamic conversation as we explore mercy, forgiveness and salvation deeply and see how we can attain these divine gifts practically. These talks will enliven and inspire us as we begin our nightly ‘isha and tarawih prayers.

Daily at 10:00 pm EST. Attend in person at SeekersHub Toronto or watch live. 

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how

Photo by Andrea Kirkby.

Mercy Over Machismo: The Prophetic Way, by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Mercy Over Machismo: The Prophetic Way, by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Capturing the Spirit of Ramadan
Mercy, Forgiveness, and Salvation

Every night our Ramadan scholars will explore one of the three key spiritual goals of Ramadan. Each talk will conclude with a dynamic conversation as we explore mercy, forgiveness and salvation deeply and see how we can attain these divine gifts practically. These talks will enliven and inspire us as we begin our nightly ‘isha and tarawih prayers.

Daily at 10:00 pm EST. Attend in person at SeekersHub Toronto or watch live. 

 

 

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

Photo by apai biszign.

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.