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The Path to Piety: The Virtues of Taqwa in the Qur’an

Tariqa Muhammadiyya (One): The Virtues of Taqwa in the Qur’an

Taqwa is the concern within one to refrain from what is displeasing to Allah and preserve what is pleasing to Him. It manifests itself upon our limbs, but it begins from the heart.

This article series—based upon Shaykh Faraz Rabbani’s course The Path of Muhammad: Birgivi’s Manual of Taqwa Explained—provides an overview of what Muslims must concern themselves when seeking the attainment of taqwa. This article will focus on the verses of the Qur’an which relate to the virtues of taqwa. 

There are over one hundred fifty verses of the Qur’an that relate to taqwa and over forty verses that have explicit commands that call to taqwa. This article will cover ten of these verses, arranged thematically by Imam Birgivi. Some of these verses are accompanied with a brief commentary and advice for you to follow.

 

One.

Allah Most High says in the Holy Qur’an: 

“The most noble of you in the sight of Allah [in station, closeness, reward, and virtue] are the most mindful.” (Qur’an 49:13)

“And Allah is the Guarding Friend [and Patron, and Supporter, and Carer] of the mindful.” (Qur’an 45:19)

“Do not [falsely] deem yourself good, for it is Allah alone Who truly knows who is mindful [of Him].” (Qur’an 53:32)

Look inward, for taqwa can only be found in your heart! Always question the sincerity of your actions and ask yourself, “Am I truly mindful of Allah when I do good acts?” Perhaps it is a facade you put up when other people are around, and once they leave, your good action goes with them.

Two.

“And the mindful people will certainly have a good return.” (Qur’an 38:49)

Remind yourself that there is something after the insanity of this world—something to yearn for and look forward to.

Three.

“And rush towards forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden vaster than the heavens and the earth, prepared for those mindful [of Allah].” (Qur’an 3:133)

Allah has invited you, so come! If you miss this opportunity—despite constant spiritual and existential reminders—you are the one who declined the invitation. You’d have nobody to blame but yourself, for paradise is already prepared and waiting for you.

Four.

“And those who were mindful of their caring Lord will be taken to paradise in groups until they arrive at its [already] open gates. And the guardians of the gate greet them with “Peace be upon you! You have done so well, so come in, to stay forever.” (Qur’an 39:73) 

True taqwa is not merely doing ritual action because you’re “supposed to”, because this would entail being mindful of a worldly thing (your action), but not to Whom it’s for.

True taqwa is recognizing the Omnipotence, Mercy, Care, Beauty, and Awesomeness of your Lord! It is having careful restraint in this world because you’re perpetually aware of your Creator and Sustainer. 

The reason it is mentioned that we enter Paradise “in groups” is because this is an emphasis on the importance of keeping good company. Cultivate taqwa by spending time with, emulating, and serving righteous people. 

Five.

“And truly the [eternal] abode is far better for those who are mindful [of Allah]. Will you not then understand?” (Qur’an 12:102)

Which do you prefer: a fleeting, whimsical pleasure or an eternal abode of ease? Pause and reflect that your desires are fleeting and refraining from them has eternal consequences. Be clear about the reality of this world.

The honored servant of Allah is one who considered the consequences of matters. If a person doesn’t pause to reflect, they’re no different than an animal.

Six.

“…And Allah shielded them (the people of taqwa) from the punishment of Hellfire—As a complete bounty from your lord. That is [truly] the ultimate triumph.” (Qur’an 44:51–57)

The word shield has the same Arabic root as the word taqwa. You are shielded from Hell in the afterlife because you shielded yourself from the displeasure of Allah in this world.

Seven.

…And be mindful of me, O people of reason!” (Qur’an 2:197)

Reflect and reason with yourself: Allah is telling us that He is the One Who created everything from nothingness. You didn’t have to exist! The fact that He took you out of absolute nothingness into existence is a gift.

Someone remaining in Hell is better than non-existence in the first place (in an existential sense)! The One Who took you out from nothing and then sustained you, is calling and warning you. So reflect O you who have a reason! 

Eight.

“The best garment is mindfulness.” (Qur’an 7:26) 

In a time when many are worried about their appearances and outfits, we forget that we’re meant to be cloaked with the garment of taqwa. The garment of taqwa is the best and there is no goodness outside of its protection. If you beautify yourself with the garment of something outside the standard of taqwa, you won’t find any good in it. 

Nine.

“Whoever venerates the distinguishing signs of Allah, that is indeed from mindfulness that is in hearts.” (Qur’an 22:32)

Respect for any symbol of our religion is respect for Allah due to its relationship with Him. Scholars have the guidance of Allah. The Prophet is the emissary of Allah. The Qur’an is the book of Allah. The Ka’ba is the house of Allah. Increase and cultivate your mindfulness of Allah through the veneration of these symbols.

Ten.

“My Mercy encompasses all things… 

All of creation is an expression of Divine Mercy. Our mere existence is mercy, life is mercy, being human is mercy, and every moment we live in is a mercy. And there’s the potential for attaining even more mercy. How do we get it? The remainder of the verse tells us.

…And I shall write it for those who remain mindful.” (Qur’an 7:156)

Make mindful choices, even in the seemingly trivial things. And even if you mess up, Allah’s mercy encompasses it if you respond with mindfulness. From sin, repent. From temptation, turn away. From heedlessness, return to consciousness. From whims, refrain. From folly, desist.

The Path to Piety: Birgivi’s Tariqa Muhammadiya

 

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Is It True That the Various Chapters of the Qur’an Are Effective in Averting Harm?

Question:

Is it true that the various chapters of the Qur’an are effective in averting associating partners with Allah, hypocrisy, and mental or material harm?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate,

Regarding the merits of specific chapters (suras) of the Qur’an, they can be divided into two types: the first are those that are textually established and the second are those that are experiential.

 

Textually Established Merits

There are many Prophetic narrations explicitly mentioning various virtues and merits for reciting certain chapters/verses of the Qur’an. Below are some of the examples referred to in your question.

 

Sura al-Kafirun:

It is narrated that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) passed by a person, while travelling, who was reciting Sura al-Kafirun, and He said, “As for this person, he is free from associating partners with Allah (shirk). He passed by another who was reciting Sura al-Ikhlas and said, “Paradise is obligatory for him.” In another narration, “His sins are forgiven.” [Ahmad]

It is narrated that the brother of Zaid bin Haritha (Allah be pleased with him) said to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), “O Messenger of Allah! Teach me something that I can say when I go to sleep.” He said, ‘When you take to your bed at night, recite Sura al-Kafirun all the way to the end. For indeed it is an absolution from shirk.'” [Ahmad; Tabarani]

 

Sura al-Falaq and Sura al-Nas

These two sura are known as the chapters of refuge. It is established in many  Hadiths that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) sought refuge in Allah Most High from many harms and ailments by reciting these two chapters, blowing into His hands, and then wiping his body with them. [Bayhaqi]

 

Experientially Established Merits

There are many examples in which righteous scholars have encouraged the reading of specific verses, chapters, remembrances, etc. for the specific benefits.

These benefits or merits, although not textually established, were either from an inspiration they received from Allah Most High or from experience where they recited for a specific reason, and that reason was realized.

Acting on such encouragements or recommendations is permissible. Our beloved teacher, Habib Hashim bin Sahl, mentioned that the constant recitation of Sura al-Ikhlas is an effective method of achieving Ikhlas (sincerity), the opposite of hypocrisy.

I hope this helps,
Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.

Is It Permissible To Switch Suras During Prayer?

Question:
Is it permissible to recite a different sura after already beginning a sura during prayer?
Answer:
Dear questioner,
Thank you for your important question.
May Allah, Most High reward you for your desire to increase in knowledge.
When you begin the recitation of a sura in prayer, you should continue to recite that sura and not switch to another sura.
It is only permissible to specify a sura before prayer when:
It is the only sura you know at the time
It is in following the way of the Messenger Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). Ex. Reciting Sura Alif Lam Mim Sajda’ in Fajr prayer based on this Hadith:
“The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to recite the following in the Fajr Prayer of Friday, “Alif, Lam, Mim, Tanzil” [Qur’an, 32:1] and “Hal ata ala al-insani.” [Qur’an 76:1] [Bukhari, al-Sahih]

Specifying a sura for other than these reasons is disliked. [Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al-Razi, Tuhfat al-Muluk]

Please See:
And Allah alone knows best,
[Ustadh] Omar Popal
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How Do I Properly Pronounce the Letter ‘Ayn?

Question: Can you offer any advice regarding the proper pronunciation of the letter ‘ayn in the prayer?

Question:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate,

May Allah reward you for your effort trying to properly recite His blessed book.

There are two important issues that should be addressed:

 

1. The Merit Of Striving Recite Properly

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The expert reciter of the Qur’an is with the noble angels and the one who recites it and stammers in its recitation, while it is burdensome for them – has two rewards.” [Muslim]

In this narration, we see that not everyone will be able to perfectly recite the Qur’an. We also see that what is sought is that one strives sincerely and their efforts are rewarded greatly.

 

2. Reciting In Prayer

The difficulty that you experience when reciting is normal. You are not obliged to repeat the verse until you feel you’ve recited it properly. Mispronouncing a letter will not affect the validity of the prayer.

Furthermore, it is more congruous to the stillness and focuses due in the prayer not to repeat the verses over and over again due to pronunciation.

Your prayers remain valid despite a mispronounced letter. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

 

Advice
 
As a person not native to the Arabic languages, I know wholeheartedly the difficulty involved in learning proper pronunciation (tajwid). One thing that greatly helped me was learning the science of Tajwid, specifically the description of each letter’s exit point.

Once you learn the exit point of the letters as theoretically expressed in the books of tajwid, it becomes easier to practice the letters. The letter ‘ayn is indeed difficult and listening to a good reciter may help.

The best advice, however, is to find a teacher who can listen to your pronunciation. Experienced Tajwid teachers not only teach you how to pronounce but also teach you why what you are doing is not producing the desired sound.

Remember that difficulty does not mean you are not achieving great reward and nearness to Allah. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said every equals 1,000 rewards. Thus each time you pronounce the ‘ayn or any other letter – remind yourself of this generous gift from Allah.

I hope this helps,
Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.

Does Verse 9:5 Abrogate Other Verses That Encourage Patience?

Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum, is verse 16:126 abrogated by sura 9:5? Is the narration regarding Ibn Abbas’ opinion sahih? Can we forgive the non-believer for any wrongdoing whether Muslims are the in majority or minority?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

No, verse 16:126 is not abrogated by 9:5. They have very different contexts. The verse in Sura al-Tawba refers to specific tribes of the Arab pagans who treacherously broke their treaties with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace), so a declaration of war was made. The ruling was specific to that scenario. [Alusi, Ruh al-Ma’ani]

I could not find a narration from Ibn ‘Abbas stating this in the tafsir works I consulted. There are a number of differences of opinion regarding this verse, just not what you mentioned.

Yes, it is permissible to forgive non-Muslims, especially in personal dealings. As for political matters, there are rulings which pertain to the ruler of the Muslims, but that is a longer discussion for another context.

Please refer to this answer for more details.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Does Verse 9:73 Abrogate All the Verses Of Peace and Pardon?

Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum. I have read tafsirs on Qur’an 9:73, and it says to kill infidels and be harsh upon them at the same time. According to Qurtubi, Ibn Abbas, and Ata, this verse(9:73) abrogated and cancelled out every single verse of peace and pardon, so Muslims are supposed to be harsh and rude to every disbeliever. So is this the correct interpretation? Is the isnad for Ibn Abbas’s statement and Ata’s authentic? This verse of the Quran is making me lose faith in Islam. Is Islam even a religion? Explain yourself!

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

 

Everything Has a Context

There is no need to be distressed about this verse. No, this verse does not call Muslims to be harsh to every disbeliever.

As you know, texts are connected to their historical context. In this situation, the disbelievers in question were those who had broken treaties that had with the Muslims, placing their very lives in danger. The same for the hypocrites; they had repeatedly tried to subvert the safety and security of the Muslim state.

Merely ignoring the problem, or pretending it did not exist would have placed the lives of many people in jeopardy, so the command came in this sura to be firm with them. A declaration was also made by God. In this, there is great wisdom, as all of the tribes who had been threatened because they broke their treaties ended up accepting Islam within a few months of the revelation of this verse.

This meant their salvation in the Next Life, and the safely of many people who could have suffered in a prolonged conflict. The long term safety of the Arabian peninsula was secured through this show of force.

 

Ata’s Position Must Also Be Contextualised

Therefore, the statements of ‘Ata and others were not meant to abrogate every verse calling to kindness and pardon. This is clear when the context is borne in mind in one’s reading of the Qur’an. The verse was meant for a specific group of people in a specific scenario which has passed.

Islam is a religion – and it is the only religion God will accept. Everything about it makes sense and it nourishes the intellect and the soul. However, it must be understood on its own terms, and not through an intellectual filter alien to it.

May Allah bless us with the clarity of certainty.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Can I Travel With the Qur’an In My Luggage?

Question: Assalam alaykum. Can we keep the Qur’an with my luggage and not in a handy bag during long-distance travel? Also, I want to know if can I travel alone without any mahram.

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

 

Can I Keep a Mushaf In My Luggage?

Yes, it is permissible to keep a copy of the Qur’an in your luggage as long as it appropriately covered and kept away from impurities. It deserves to be treated with respect.

It might be easier to just take a digital copy on a phone or tablet when traveling. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) always choose the easier of two options as long as it was not a sin. [Bukhari]

 

Can a Lady Travel Alone?

In the Hanafi school, a lady can travel within the traveling distance alone. This is about 48 miles according to some scholars, and others calculate it closer to 57. Pick one and stick to it. [Zayla’i, Tabyin al Haqa’iq, Rida Khan, al-Fatawa al-Ridawiyya]

Traveling beyond that distance was considered impermissible due to many narrations from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Some contemporary scholars do permit travel beyond this distance if there is safety, such as someone to pick her up and drop her off at an airport, for example.

The other schools have some more lenient positions too. The former position is safer and more precautionary, however. Please refer to this answer too.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

What Is Considered Loud Recitation or Quiet Recitation?

Question: What is considered loud recitation or quiet recitation? Should I take the opinion that merely moving the lips is sufficient as recitation, if I fear reading too loud in the silent prayer?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate,

Quiet recitation is loud enough that one can hear themselves. However, it is still considered within the scope of quiet recitation as long as the first row of followers behind one could not all hear the imam. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar citing al-Khulasa]

Even if one is not leading a congregation, slightly raising the voice does not constitute loud recitation.

 

Various Opinions

There are two valid opinions with regards to quiet recitation. The first and superior is that one recites loud enough that one can hear their own voice. The second position is that merely moving the lips in pronunciation of the letters is sufficient. [Ayni, Binaya Sharh al-Hidaya]

Due to the presence of these two valid opinions, it is recommended for you to act upon the superior position (i.e. reciting loud enough that you could hear yourself). [Ibid.]

 

Summary

The prayers that you previously performed by merely mouthing the letters without sound are valid and no make required. It is recommended to act on the superior opinion from here on, however not necessary.

I hope this helps,
Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences

Why Does The Qur’an Use a Masculine Pronoun For Something Feminine?

Question:
Assalamu ‘alaykum. I was reading Sura al Nahl (Qur’an, 16:66) and it said:

وَاِنَّ لَـكُمۡ فِىۡ الۡاَنۡعَامِ لَعِبۡرَةً​ ؕ نُّسۡقِيۡكُمۡ مِّمَّا فِىۡ بُطُوۡنِهٖ مِنۡۢ بَيۡنِ فَرۡثٍ وَّدَمٍ لَّبَنًا خَالِصًا سَآئِغًا لِّلشّٰرِبِيۡنَ‏

“And indeed, for you in grazing livestock is a lesson. We give you drink from what is in their bellies – between excretion and blood – pure milk, palatable to drinkers.”

The word used for “bellies” is بُطُوۡنِهٖ and not بُطُوْنِهَا. The former is in masculine form and the latter is in feminine form; the Quran uses the former. But masculine cattle do not produce milk. Why does the Quran use the former then?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Thank you for your question. The answer is that in the Arabic language pronouns referring back to certain types of words can be masculine or feminine. This is based on the word and the meaning that word refers to.

In this situation, the word “al-An’am” – Cattle – is a masculine word – as in the letters that constitute this word have a masculine composition. It is categorized as an Ism Jam’. This is something the master of Arabic Grammar, Sibawayh, mentioned too.

The meaning of the word refers to male and female cattle, but because only the females produce milk – the blessing this verse sets out to highlight – there no confusion as to which gender is meant by the word, so usage of the male pronoun for the word does not lead to confusion. This is something a native Arabic speaker would pick up without any confusion.

Also, just like men are usually stronger than women, the masculine and feminine pronouns are often used in Arabic to convey nuances of strength and weakness or other opposing matters. So, the other reason the masculine pronoun is used to refer to the bellies of the female cattle is to highlight the wonder of this phenomenon. From a place where there are two types of impurities, Allah gives us wholesome, pure milk that is unaffected by those impurities. [Biqa’i, Nazm al Durar, Abu al Su’ud, Irshad al ‘Aql al Salim]

 

Understanding the Qur’an Requires Deep Knowledge of Arabic

I hope that clarifies matters. There are many wonders and nuances in the Qur’an, some of which require one to plunge to the depths of the Arabic language to attain. What you will also find is that many a time people with an agenda will study the basics of Arabic Grammar and then try to insinuate that there are mistakes in it.

Fully grasping the nuances of the Qur’an requires a deep understanding of the mechanics of the Arabic language on many levels. That is why we are blessed to have many detailed explanations of the Qur’an from expert scholars since the beginning of the umma. May Allah benefit us through them, and may He reward them with being the greatest of gifts. Amin.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Do Mistakes in Recitation Invalidate the Prayer?

Question:  Does one have to repeat their prayer if they make a mistake in recitation such as saying kul in place of qul? Is it permissible to say, in the sitting between the two prostrations, the supplication ‘rabbi ghifirli – My Lord, forgive me.”?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

To answer your first question, the answer is no. You do not have to repeat your prayer.

 

Mistakes in Recitation

Even though one should not take the correct recitation of the Qur’an lightly – one’s prayer is valid even if they make errors in their recitation. This is due to the widespread lack of proficiency amongst the people in reciting the Qur’an. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

 

Supplicating Between the Two Prostrations

Regarding your second question – it is permissible for you to make the above-mentioned supplication.

Scholars have deemed the supplication between the two prostrations to be a good act. What one says in this supplication is up to them; scholars have put forth suggested supplications – such as the one you have mentioned – which one is welcome to use. [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

I hope this helps,
Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences