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Ustadha Zaynab Ansari on Amazing Muslim Women: Hawa

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, in partnership with Muslimah Media, speaks in a 5-part series about the amazing Muslim women who paved the way for others after them.

The first installment of the series speaks about Hawa or Eve: first woman to be created.

Hawa’s Story

Her story is narrated in Sura al Baqara, the second chapter of the Holy Qur’an. In this chapter, we learn about the Exodus as we know it in the Islamic tradition, and about the first two humans created in Paradise. We also learn about their deception at the hands of the Devil, leading to their exodus from Paradise.

Throughout the Qur’an, Hawa is referenced alongside Adam, as Allah refers to both of them in the dual context. This affirms that Hawa shares Adam’s status, accomplishments, and struggles. Most importantly, she shares his stature with Allah.

For example, they are both commanded not to approach the Forbidden Tree, rather than the responsibility being placed simply on one of them.  Thus, she is established as his equal, not his inferior.

Sharing Responsibility Rather Than Blaming

Later on, Allah says, “I will send you both down to Earth for a time.” Here, Hawa shares the responsibility of Adam’s situation. However, she is never blamed for their fall. In addition, their eating from the tree has been forgiven by Allah. Their exodus to Earth is part of Allah’s plan for both Hawa and Adam to be Allah’s Vicegerents, or Khalifa, on this Earth.

This responsibility does not include only Adam, and it does not exclude Hawa. Rather, they both possess intelligence and the unique faculties that Allah created in them, and they are both considered the Vicegerents.

The Context of Gender

Among the lessons we can take from Hawa’s story, is that  Hawa and Adam together compliment each other. Only when you combine Hawa with Adam, do you get an accurate picture of human nature. Rather than focusing just one gender, we are taught that we all have a special role to play in our lives, no matter who we are.


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Adab of Dua 24: The States That Can Change Fate

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 duas 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 Shaykh al Islam Zakariyya al Ansari.

This video covers the various states when we are called upon to make dua, and when it is particularly likely to be answered.

It also contains many gems about the etiquettes of visiting and being with people.

The text is divided 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

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Adab of Dua 21: Consistency, Praise, and Blessed Days

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 duas 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 Shaykh al Islam Zakariyya al Ansari.

This video covers the etiquettes of wiping the face after dua. Praising and thanking Allah when one’s dua is answered. Not allowing any day or night to pass without dua. And seeking out the chosen times of dua.

The text is divided 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.

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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

Step One: Essentials Certificate Launch at SeekersHub Toronto Islamic Seminary
Imam al-Ghazali: The Unlikely Seeker
How Should the Hands Be Held During Supplication?
Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance
The Reality and Etiquettes of Supplication

Adab of Dua 10: Leave All Rhyme and Ask the Divine

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 du’a I have to read for each of my concerns? Do my du’as have to be in Arabic?

In this video, Shaykh Faraz explains the etiquettes of not using flowery, rhyming speech during du’a, and asking Allah for high matters.

It is from a series of short talks in which Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the reality of du’a (supplication) and how to turn to Allah. It is based on a classical text on the same subject by Shaykh al Islam Zakariyya al Ansari.

The text is divided into the 11 concise, apt sections described below.

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

SpreadLight

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

 

Islam and the Spiritual Realm by Sheikh Ahmed Abdo

How much do you know about the spiritual realm?

We think we know ourselves. We know that we need fresh air, water, food, and shelter for our bodies to survive. We know that because we are discomforted when these things are absent.

In addition to the physical realm, there is another: the spiritual realm. This realm is even more deserving of attention, because it’s more expansive. For example, a physical cancer lasts as long as the body does, but a spiritual disease lasts for eternity.

In this lecture, Sheikh Ahmed Abdo talks about the spiritual realm and how it relates to our afterlife.

Want to know more about the spiritual realm? Sign up for SeekersHub’s FREE online course “The Marvels of the Heart” taught by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus.

 

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What We Need More Than Food or Water, by Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

Allah, Most High, tells us in Qur’an about the most important thing we need in our life; the thing that we need more than food and drink, more than family and friends, more than the air that we breathe: peace and tranquility. Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said explains.

Allah, Most High, placed absolute peace and tranquility in His remembrance, as He said in Surah Ar-Ra’d (28): “Those who believe and they find peace and tranquility in remembering Allah; verily, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are made tranquil.”

We would not enjoy anything if we do not have peace and tranquility in our hearts. You cannot enjoy the best of anything if your mind is all over the place, if you are worried about something, anxious to get something, or if something is bothering you.

Remembrance is to see the problem that you have, to recognize its magnitude, to not discount the problem and how it may affect your life, affect your reputation and relations, and when taking into account all of this your Remember the only solution – to say Ya Allah! This is Remembrance!

The Story of Musa

Remembrance is the story of Musa, may Allah bless him, when he was between the sea and the soldiers of the pharaoh, when no one saw a solution, Musa, may Allah bless him, said: “My Lord is with me and He will guide me” – that is Remembrance!

In that situation, Musa, may Allah bless him, was under pressure from the people of Israel, as they did not see other than the soldiers of the pharaoh and the sea, but Musa, may Allah bless him, said: “My Lord is with me and He will guide me!” (Surah Ash-Shu’ara,62)

The story of Abu Bakr

Remembrance is the story of Syedina Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, when he traveled on the night of hijrah with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him,, and whilst in the cave Syedina Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, out of worry said, if they were to tie their shoelaces they would see us!

He realized that they were in a small place that was not protected – he was seeing the practicality of the situation out of his love and care for the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him. But in response, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Do not be worried, indeed Allah, Most High, is with us!” the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, is teaching Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, and us that we take practical steps and do all that we can, but we do not rely on anyone other than Allah, Most High!

In that moment of worry, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, redirected our attention to say: “Indeed, Allah is with us!” – So do not be worried!

The story of Yaqub

Remembrance is the story of Yaqub, may Allah bless him, when he was tested by the loss of Syedina Yusuf, may Allah bless him, and his younger brother; he was blamed by his children when they said:

“By Allah , you will not cease remembering Yusuf until you become fatally ill or become of those who perish.”

In response, Yaqub, may Allah bless him, said: “Verily, I complain and I speak about my sadness to Allah, and I know from Allah that which you do not know.” (Surah Yusuf, 85-86)

So in that moment of sadness, when he needed to take a breath and talk about his sadness, Yaqub, may Allah bless him, spoke to Allah, Most High,! He knew Allah, Most High, would listen and not judge him, and that there was no One to listen, comfort or help him other than Him – that is Remembrance!

The Remembrance of Allah, Most High, is to remember His Mercy, His favors and in our moments of joy to thank Him – that is Remembrance, and that is gratefulness!

The Story of Sulaiman

Remembrance is the story that Allah, Most High, tells us in Surah An-Naml when the ant spoke to its fellow ants and said – go to your places so that Sulaiman, may Allah bless him, and his army do not crush you while they are unaware. Upon hearing this Sulaiman, may Allah bless him, smiled and said: “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for the blessings you have bestowed upon me and my parents, and enable me to do righteous deeds that please You. And by Your Rahma, admit me into the circle of your righteous slaves.”

When Sulaiman, may Allah bless him, heard what the ant was saying, while no one else heard, he did not think about his Prophethood or any good he has done that Allah, Most High, made him to be in that position, but rather, he did not only thank Allah, Most High, but he begged Allah, Most High, to make it easy for him and to facilitate his gratefulness for the favors that had been bestowed upon him and his parents – that is Remembrance!

Every time, in every place, secretly and openly

The Remembrance of Allah, Most High, is not limited to a time or place, as Allah, Most High, said in Surah Ahli-Imran (191): “…remember Allah while standing, sitting or lying on their sides…”

Remembrance is in every time, in every place, secretly and openly. That is why Allah, Most High, says: “And remember your Lord, alone, beg Him, when no one can see you, in the early morn and late in the evening, and do not be among the heedless. Indeed, those who are with your Lord (malaika) will never stop remembering Him; they glorify and worship Him.” (Surah Al-A’raf,205-206)

Remembering Allah, Most High, is the life vof the heart and the light of the heart! It is the foundation of all that is good. That is why Allah, Most High, said in Surah Al-Anfal (24):

“Oh you who believe respond to Allah, Most High, and to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, when they call you to that which brings life.”

That life and that light (nur) is in the Remembrance of Allah, Most High,! This remembrance is an invitation that has been given by Him and through the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him. The Call is beyond our understanding our even conception, and that is why Allah, Most High, summarized its meaning by saying “when they call you to that which brings life”, it is the absolute life, and we only beg Allah, Most High, as Musa, may Allah bless him, begged Him in Surah Taha, to open our chests and our hearts to understanding the meaning of this life.

May Allah, Most High, bless you and your jummah with every khair.

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Why Muslim Women Must Return To The Forefront Of The Islamic sciences – Dr. Rania Awaad

As a woman in a hijab, Dr. Rania Awaad gets funny looks in the hospital ward where she is a Muslim psychiatrist but few people know that at the age of fourteen she hopped on a plane and went to Damascus to formally study Islam.

The experience of studying scripture that was neither bound by culture nor politics inspired her so much that she decided to go back. After convincing her parents, she went back in her senior year. In the post-colonial era, women were no longer put at the forefront of the Islamic sciences as they had historically. After her perseverance, she was awarded ijazah, or permission to teach the proper recitation of the Quran.

Dr. Awaad takes us on a fascinating journey through her travels to Damascus and the making of a deeply rooted society that didn’t separate between secularism and religion, that empowered women.

Resources for Seekers

Our thanks so Muslim Student Union at Stanford.

 

Rethinking Our Identity as Western Muslims: A Black-and-White Dichotomy?

As turmoil increases around the world, the identity of Western Muslims is increasingly being called into question. On one hand, some people have little interest in their religious or cultural identities and are eager to assimilate into the monoculture. On the other hand, there are people who believe that contributing to mainstream society, such as through social concern or involvement is not possible.

Shaykh Dr. Ridwan Saleem of Ha Meem College in Hounslow, England, talks about political, social, and religious identity. He refutes both extremes, and proves that being involved in the good of the wider community is a part of Prophetic Practice.

Can’t get enough? Sign up for SeekersHub’s FREE course “Being Muslim: A Clear Introduction to Islam”, taught by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, chaplain at the University of Toronto.

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We are grateful to the Ha Meem Foundation for this recording.

 

Muslim Convert: I asked the Priest to Forgive Me…

Very few converts accept Islam straight away. The rest go through a spiritual turbulence as they come to terms with the big decision that lies ahead. If that describes you, then you’ll be comforted to know that you’re not alone.

Watch this short interview with Ala, a Muslim convert, in which she talks about her journey to embracing Islam and how embracing Islam brought happiness to her life. She’s from Ukraine and embraced Islam when she was 28.

Self-development begins where your comfort zone ends. And true self-development begins by embracing truth when it comes your way. We hope that this convert to Islam has inspired you to push forward in your journey, even if it’s just an inch.

If you have concerns or confusions that are keeping you back from converting to Islam, email Overcome TV or send a YouTube message.

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Resources for seekers

Vulnerability as the Pathway to Virtue – Dr. Ingrid Mattson

Join the conversation regarding sacred wisdom and pathways to non-violence at the 2016 Festival of Faith conference in Louisville, Kentucky with Dr. Ingrid Mattson  as she profoundly connects the viewer and listener to the nature of need as the true human experience and Vulnerability as its gateway.

It seems that all aspects of life stem down to the notion of power or the lack thereof.  Suffering is real; evil occurs and is experienced. What then is  our response? How do we understand and connect?

Dr. Ingrid’s response is real and compelling: “everyone will do what they will do and  my job is to learn in that situation; my job is to see the  opportunity for me to express my reliance and awareness of God’s Power ; to understand what it means to be in need of mercy, to be in need of compassion, and to be in need of justice.”
Vulnerability allows us to have the courage to go forward and try to exemplify prophetic virtues into action for the sake of all of those whose peace is being disturbed.

We are grateful to the Festival of Faith for the video. Cover photo by Bhatti Mashooque

 

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