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The Impact and Fruits of Worship in Ramadan and Beyond – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

Originally Published on 15/06/2017

In this Friday sermon, Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said calls us to make the most of what is left of Ramadan. He provides key advice on how to engage in worship that impacts and reflects on us positively. The impactful and fruitful worship he talks about is one that rectifies our character, and lasts beyond Ramadan. Shaykh Faid gives multiple examples of worship with lasting impact through multiple stories of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him and his folk).

* This Friday sermon was delivered at Jame Masjid Mississauga (Coopers Masjid), on June 9th, 2017. With special thanks to Ustadh Nazim Baksh for providing the recording of the sermon.

Counsel For Students of Knowledge Regarding COVID-19 – Dr. Hisham A. Hellyer

In this article, Dr Hisham Hellyer advises students of knowledge how they should navigate their thoughts, studies and daily responsibilities amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Divine Wisdom

Verily, in every situation, there is a divine wisdom, because in every situation, God is the One who Permits; in every situation, he is the One who Benefits; in every situation, he is the One that is the all-encompassing Mercy. This situation that we are in, resulting from the pandemic, is no different. In reality, we always exist by the permission of our Lord, in every instant and every blinking of the eye. And so does this pandemic – and so will its end also be brought forth by God, the most High.

From the outset, this is not a time for panic, nor for anxiety. This is a time for recognising that our situations remain completely subject to the workings of the Lord of all that is, all that has been, and all that will be. It is a time for recognising that He has provided us with all that is required in this world, and that our orientation in engaging with life in this world (al-dunya) should always be the life to come (al-akhira). If at the end of this tribulation – and this tribulation will end – we will have realised more of the truth of that kind of recognition, then we will have learned something of the truth of ‘there is no might nor power except by God’ (la hawla wa la quwatta illa billah) – and that is worth a weight we cannot imagine.

 

Advice: Time Management 

My advice to you is very simple. As one of our teachers said: the way to God (al-tariqa) is ‘time management’. Verily, life itself is about putting things into their right places, in those different times, during the day and the night. We should all take a reminder of that, as we proceed to learning, by force, new routines at present. What a boon and benefit it is to us that we are able to be conscious about this, in a way that perhaps we might never have been before.

Do not allow your routines to become aimless and unstructured – on the contrary, take this opportunity to structure your time properly, and apportion everything its correct due.

 

Counsel: seeing beyond the usual in suhba

Owing to the health advisories, that I do advise you follow, we will all be engaging in a level of ‘social distancing’ that we are unaccustomed to. It will come to an end. When it does, God willing, we will all have learned the value of different types of true companionship; both in terms of seeking our Lord in isolation; as well as being with people of goodness. And there is beautiful benefit in both.

Until that time, put structure into place as much as possible; whether in terms of your learning, your studying, your health, your work. Learn how to do so, and make the most of your time in being conscious about how you use it.

 

Recommendation to teachers and those who counsel
To that end: the advice I have received and the advice I impart to anyone else who is teaching: continue your classes. We live in a time when we can use technology for good, and for bad. Let us consciously use it for good, and take benefit from it, as a tool that God has permitted for us, even if we are far from one another. There are different systems for this. Be very grateful you have this ability and capacity. Not everyone does – there are people of this ummah who have been kept from each other due to war and conflict, and could not use the boons and benefits you have. Be grateful, and remember that gratitude is shown by using the gifts of God in ways that are pleasing to Him.

To those who impart counsel and guidance to others, as part of their responsibilities placed upon them by their teachers: your services are going to be needed. Your skills will be tested. Have faith that if you were given this task to fulfil, you will be given the strength to fulfil it. Be charitable and generous with those who reach out to you, and be grateful for the opportunity to assist them. It is a noble and praiseworthy act, rewarded by God, to be able to bring comfort to those who seek guidance and counsel.

 

Health Precautions and classes

There may be some of you who are considering attending classes in person: I strongly advise you do not do so, unless you can be completely assured that the appropriately strict health precautions are taken by the providers of those classes. We typically, for example, pray our daily prayers in teaching areas; which means that we are exposing our faces to the ground, where the virus can very easily spread.

Remember: people with COVID-19 can be completely absent of symptoms, and still pass it on. Even if you’re not worried about yourself, you must consider the threat to others that you might inadvertently infect. In general, I advise you to keep at least 7 feet distance between yourself and others; and that you pray at home in a clean space. The health measures that are recommended by the World Health Organisation are reasonable: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

 

Congregational prayers

In my capacity as Senior Scholar of the Azzawia Trust in Cape Town, led by two of the khulafa’ of Sayyid Muhammad b. Alawi al-Maliki, and a member of the Council of the British Board of Scholars and Imams, I assisted in the drafting of two pieces of advice on congregational prayers and other issues arising from the changes due to this pandemic. Azzawia issued a strong, straight-forward and short document, which can be accessed here, referencing the advice from the Higher Council of Azhar Scholars in Egypt.
https://www.facebook.com/AzzawiaTrust/posts/10157742959026357

A more comprehensive document is the BBSI, which sought to cover the range of issues the BBSI thought necessary, and the views of its membership. [http://www.bbsi.org.uk/coronavirus/]

In short, it is generally best you stay away from public places of prayer; and that you generally consider that the usual obligatory nature of the Friday prayer has been lifted.

 

Students abroad:

Some students who are away from their homes and families overseas are wondering if they should travel back home. This is a decision that depends on a great number of factors. As for my own students, I have not advised that they travel. I do advise that those who are resident in any particular local to note that foreign students may need assistance, if only to receive funds from their families overseas: if you can help them by allowing their families to transfer funds to your local bank accounts, then do consider it, so that they may have support in buying essentials periodically.

 

Generally and particularly: be grateful

In general: be grateful. Yes, this is a time when a lot of our usual comforts are disrupted. But we are not in a state of war and suffering, unlike numerous refugees that are fleeing conflict areas like Syria or Yemen. If you begin to be tempted into feelings of anxiety, take those feelings, and turn that energy into supplicating your Lord to give lutf to those who are suffering in far worse situations than us. You are all in a state of tremendous privilege – do not forget that.

Remember also: every trial and tribulation has the opportunity to mean the raising of one’s spiritual station with regards to their Lord. Ponder on this, and reflect. It’s a reality of every situation. As Shaykh Abdal Qadir al-Jilani (may Allah be well pleased with him) said:

“… For those trials have the effect of making their hearts pure and free from sinful association, and from attachment to creatures, worldly means, wishes and self-willed desires. They are instrumental in melting them and smelting out the pretensions and passions, and the expectation of returns for obedient behaviour, in the form of high degrees and stations in the hereafter, in paradise and its gardens…

The sign that the trials are for the sake of spiritual progress is the presence of contentment, harmony, self-composure, quiet trust in the working of the God of the earth and the heavens, and annihilation within them until their eventual removal with the passage of time.”

So be of those who would have quiet trust in the working of the God of the earth and the heavens. This, too, shall pass.

Allah bless you, draw each of you and us nearer to Him.

 

Wa al-salam,

Dr Hisham A. Hellyer


Ustadh Dr. Hisham A. Hellyer

Dr Hisham A. Hellyer is Professorial Fellow of Cambridge Muslim College (UK) and Senior Scholar of the Azzawia Trust & Al-Zawiya Institute (South Africa). As a widely published academic and commentator focusing on politics and religion in the West, the Arab world and Muslim communities globally, he concurrently serves as Senior Fellow at RUSI (UK) & the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (USA).

Born to an English father and to an Egyptian mother of ʿAbbāsī-Sudanese & Ḥasanī-Moroccan heritage, he was raised between London, Cairo and Abu Dhabi, before becoming educated at Sheffield and Warwick universities to post-doctoral levels in law and the social sciences. He studied – and studies – the Islamic intellectual tradition in the UK, Egypt, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and elsewhere, keeping the company of traditionally trained-scholars, including the likes of the Malaysian polymath, Tan Sri Professor Sayyid M. Naquib al-Attas, and Shaykh Seraj Hendricks, the khalifa of the Makkan sage, Sayyid Muhammad b. Alawi al-Maliki.

With previous positions at and affiliations with the Brookings Institution, Harvard University, the American University in Cairo, and the RZS-Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science and Civilisation (CASIS), he is a frequent commentator and columnist in various media in the United States, Europe and the Arab world. Included in the scholarly section of the annual global ‘Muslim 500’ list of Georgetown University (USA) and RISCC (Jordan), he is also a council member of the British Board of Scholars & Imams. Among his written works are ‘Muslims of Europe: the ‘Other’ Europeans’ (Edinburgh University Press), ‘A Revolution Undone: Egypt’s Road Beyond Revolt’ (Oxford University Press) and “The Islamic Tradition, Muslim Communities and the Human Rights Discourse” (editor) (Atlantic Council)


 

Have We Really Progressed? – Shaykh Sadullah Khan

* Originally published on the 19/07/2019 (Masjid al -Furqaan)

In this Pre Khutba talk delivered at at Masjid al – Furqaan in Cape Town (South Africa), Shaykh Sadullah Khan reflects on mankind’s progression and advancement in the scientific and technological domains. He asks us to ponder on the fact that the majority of human beings still live in poverty and under oppression despite the wonderful advancements that man has made. Our preoccupation with material progression has caused us to forget our moral and social responsibilities to humanity and our surroundings.

* Courtesy of Masjid al – Furqaan’s Youtube page

The Believer Is the Mirror of the Believer

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani presents five lessons we can take from the hadith, “The believer is the mirror of the believer,” and how to realize this in our lives.

It is a great blessing of Allah Most High that He has granted us the means of turning to Him on a daily basis with our obligatory prayers. On a weekly basis through the Friday prayer. To serve for us as reminders of our purpose and duty in life to turn to Allah, to submit to Him, to worship Him, and to express our gratitude and thankfulness to Him.

The worship that we engage in, what is the prophetic impulse – the impulse of our beloved Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, in our worship? The impulse is thankfulness. It is gratitude. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said: “ Should I not be a thankful servant?

So we serve, Allah Most High, we submit, we worship out of gratitude and thankfulness, recognizing all the blessings that we have from Allah. And from the great blessings of Allah upon us is that He has sent to us a Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, who granted us clear guidance that is easy to bring into one’s life. That transforms one’s life from the merely mundane, from the merely worldly into something that enables us to turn to Allah, to seek Allah, to take the steps to attain closeness to Allah Most High and contentment.

The Speech of the Prophet

Allah describes the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, as a mercy for all creation. “We have not sent you except as mercy to all creation.” And from that gift of mercy that the Prophet is, blessings and peace be upon him, is the way he gave us guidance. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said in the hadith related in the sahih: “I was granted encompassing speech.”

The words of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, are few. You will hardly ever find a hadith in which the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, spoke for paragraphs. He spoke in phrases and sentences and he said very little. What he said, blessings and peace be upon him, was full of impact. It was full of meaning. One of the countless marvelous hadith of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, is a hadith that we’re going to touch upon, which are the words of the beloved Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him: “The believer is the mirror of the believer.”

One of the reasons the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, spoke in words that are statements of wisdom, that he didn’t spell out everything, is to empower us as believers, so that we reflect on his example. And so that we can derive from it meanings that are not just specific to a particular context, but that are generalizable to any circumstance. It will speak to you wherever you may be. Whatever you may be facing.

The Reflection and What Reflects

“The believer is the mirror of the believer.” This is very intriguing because there’s two believers mentioned, and there’s a mirror. Which one are you? Are you the reflect the one who’s reflecting or the one who is reflected? Both are possible. I’m just going to touch on five lessons that one can derive from this hadith.

The first lesson has to do with the company that one keeps. A believer is a mirror of the believer. If you want to know your standing as a believer, your state as a believer, what do you need to do? You need to become someone who keeps good company. The company that you keep will transform who you are.

They say that when it comes to learning you’re affected as much by socialization, even at a high level of academic achievement, as you are by simply your intelligence and what you study. If someone wants to go into a field of research, for example, you’re affected as much by the company that you keep in terms of your achievement, as you are by your own levels of intelligence and your own study. There are many reasons for this, but it is very true in your state as a believer.

The Company You Keep

The company that you truly keep is not just the physical company that you keep, but what do you do on your on your time on, says, Facebook, because that’s virtual company. And what extent of that real and virtual company that you keep is a company of believers that you want to become like? The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, told us in another hadith that: “A person will be with those they love. A person is on the way of their close companions. So let each of you look carefully as to whose close company you keep.” Because that’s where you’re at in your din.

That’s both a warning to consider what company that you keep, both real and virtual, and also, what do you keep the company of people for? So you might become keeping company with the best of believers, with people that are really impressive, but you can just hang out with them because they’re cool or they’re fun to be with. In those kinds of situations it can just be hanging out and that’s good. But there’s a higher aspiration that you want to benefit from them as a believer, as one who believes in Allah and turns to Allah Most High.

You want to see the reflection of good qualities. Someone is generous. So don’t just freeload of them. Learn generosity from them. You have another friend you like being around her, because she’s always smiling. Try to take that as a mirror from which you benefit in your own standing with Allah Most High. Having a cheerful, positive countenance is beloved to Allah Most High. It’s from the wing of the beloved Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him.

The Sunna Is Balance

The second lesson has to do with being a mirror for others. What is a mirror? It shows you things as they are. Why do you look in the mirror in the morning? When you do look in the mirror intend to follow the Sunna of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, used to look at the mirror in the morning before he’d go out in public.

When he’d be out for an extended period of time, the beloved Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him, used to have certain things that he’d keep with him. Amongst them was a small mirror, because Allah is beautiful and He loves Beauty. And Allah means the Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, beautiful, but he took care of his appearance for the sake of Allah. And also because how you dress and how you look affects relationships.

The sunna is balance. You take the benefit now you can derive from a mirror, but it is against us to not to look excessively. So you keep a mirror with you and you look and you fix yourself up without looking excessively. That’s what a mirror does. It reflects. It shows you what you need to correct. So you should be a mirror for others.

The Good Companion

Firstly, you should be reflecting virtue, so that you are the good companion. When people keep company with you, they benefit from the way you are. They benefit from your attitude. They benefit from your company. And it’s not a question of saying religious things. It’s not about talking din. It’s about living din. That you smile. That you have concern for others. That you’re caring. That you’re respectful. They’ll benefit from that company even if you don’t say a thing about religion.

The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, used to be silent most of the time in his gatherings with the Companions, may Allah be well pleased with them. They learned more from his silence than we learn from his speech, blessings and peace be upon him. Because the way he was in his relationship with Allah, taught them as much as his words, blessings and peace be upon him.

Be a mirror for others: 1) in the way you conduct yourself, 2) that you’re true to them. The mirror, if it is as it should be, shows you things as they are. They come to you looking for advice and you’re honest with them. You have sincere concern for them.

Sincere Concern for Others

If someone comes and says for instance: “You know I want to marry Zubayr. What do you think?” And you know that Zubayr is just a bag of problems, but he’s your first cousin. If they find out that you said that Zubayda shouldn’t really marry Zubayr, it’s going to cause problems. So you say: “Oh, you know, he’s a good guy.” And he’s not. That is not being a true mirror for Zubayda.

It entails being true in your relationships. Of course, with wisdom, with the intention of sincere concern and benefit. Not just out of harshness. The mirror doesn’t hit you. The mirror shows things as they are so that you’re able to improve. Reflect on that. Being a mirror for others is to inspire them to the good.

The third is to instill in them thankfulness. One of the sunnas of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, when you look in the mirror is that, if you find anything good you praise Allah Most High. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, had a dua that he recited. “O Allah, just as you have made my form beautiful, make my character beautiful.” It’s an expression of thankfulness, not an expression of conceit.

You spend a lot of money getting that haircut. You look at in the mirror, you don’t go into self-praise. You go into praise of Allah. It’s a blessing from Allah. Or you always wanted you know some effect of your martial arts, and finally you have a swollen nose. Finally you bloodied. Instead of feeling all that, you thank Allah Most High.

You try to reflect good for others by being true to them, by inspiring them by your own example, and thirdly by instilling in them a positive perspective. A lot of people are down. A lot of people feel sadness and sorrow. By reflecting in them, the good; by reminding them of Allah, about His blessings, you inspire them to be thankful, which is one of the purposes of a mirror.

Who Is the Believer?

The fourth lesson that we can learn from from the words of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, is to consider the believer here not to refer to an individual, but the believers at the whole. That in relation to the things that happen around us, what is the first response that we have as a believer? The MSA lost it lost its mind, let’s say, and they started protesting the film and the cartoons and this and that. What do you do?

Are you responsible for what’s going on in Islamabad or Cairo or Tunisia? No, you’re not. – If you are, go and fix what you did. – But you’re not responsible. The first thing that you do is to see what goes on around you as a mirror for yourself. When you see others exhibiting rage, anger, and ugly conduct, you’re responsible, first, for yourself. Are you out of control?

Maybe not all the time, but sometimes when provoked, when your dad starts talking Pakistani politics or putting down Punjabis or you know dissing Sudanese or Lubnanis or whoever they put down. How do you respond? It’s very easy to say those people over there, how come they do this? But very often we are, ourselves, the Firaun, on occasions. Then when you see things happening around you, you take a lesson. That’s true in the Qur’an as well.

Look to Yourself

When you read the stories in the Qur’an, you don’t say: “O, what a bunch of losers, Firaun and his people. It’s an address to you. You’ve see in it a mirror for yourself. “Do I have Firaunic tendencies?” If you do, then rectify yourself. You take what’s happening around you as a mirror.

Then you look at what public response you should have. If nothing else, you pray that Allah changes things for the good. You see what you can do about it, but the first thing begins with an inward response. Then what is going on.

The believer is a mirror of the believer: al mu’min. The al prefix in Arabic has very different usages. One of them is we say: “Hadha huwa al-rajul.” It can also refer to the one who had the complete qualities of rujula. Like the saying: “He’s the man.” Or they used to say. I don’t know if you guys say it anymore.

You say, “He’s the man,” meaning, he’s all that. He has what we respect in terms of manliness. So, the believer it is a mirror of the believer. Who is the believer? He is the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him. Your relationship with the Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, it is not just: “O, that’s so beautiful. He was such a kind person, masha Allah.” That’s supposed to be a mirror for you. That you see in that what the good is and you consider what you need to be changing.

Truly Reflect Prophetic Virtue

The true believer is the one who most truly reflects prophetic virtue. You always turn to the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him, so that you can learn what virtue is. What good is. With what intention? One, to be inspired and that itself increases you in faith, but more importantly to look at what you need to be improving on. The mirror teaches you. That mirror is the act of reflecting on that image that is implanted.

It also tells you that you should have such clear knowledge of the Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, you should be able to see that image of the Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, so that you can reflect on it and be transformed by it, which entails learning about his example, his conduct, his character, his worship, his way in life. The way he was with others. The way he was with his Lord. These are some of the lessons that we can take of the many many lessons of the hadith.

The fifth lesson, and it’s subtle but many of the great scholars have mentioned it in their commentaries on the hadith. It’s metaphorical as mentioned by Shaykh And al-Qadir Jilani and by by others as well of the hadith commentators. The believer is the mirror as it were of the Believer, al-Mu’min, and that is Allah Most High.

Polishing the Heart

The believers’ heart is meant to be a mirror for the light of divine guidance. We know from the hadith of the Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, that the heart is what Allah Most High looks at. Allah does not look at your bodies and forms, rather He looks at your hearts. The heart trusts so that it can no longer shine light. The heart darkens through one’s sins. The polish of the heart is seeking forgiveness and remembrance of Allah.

It’s not that you can see Allah in your heart in some physical way. No, your heart should be reflecting the light of divine guidance, the light of faith. And if you don’t find that, if you find that faith is a distant glimmer, it’s a flicker that you recognize once in a while, then know that you have a heart that requires polishing.

How do we polish that heart? The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said: “The polishing of the heart is the remembrance of Allah.” He said, “The polishing of the heart is seeking forgiveness. The polishing of the heart is to say, ‘la ilaha illa Allah,’ and keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah.” So that the light of faith is shining in your heart. So that you find contentment and clarity and you can see things as they truly are.

May Allah Most High make us of those who recognize and reflect on and are realized in the meanings of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, saying: “The believer is the mirror of the believer.”

 


Reflections on the Walk of Doom at the SeekersHub Retreat

Fatimah Gomez reflects on her time at the SeekersHub Retreat, and what the Walk of Doom taught her about faith and spirituality.

The night was still and quiet, pinched with a slight crisp coolness that hung in the air calmly. The gentle echo of my footsteps bounced off the surrounding trees as I made my way to the Pavillion to join everyone for Fajr prayer. I wasn’t used to waking up this early at 4:30 in the morning. The cold air made my teeth chatter and my sleepy eyes hardly had any room to blink because they were already more than halfway closed.

My gaze travelled upwards to the sky and my eyes suddenly were wide open, drinking in the scene above where it was lit with millions of stars that clustered it. If my eyes lingered for long enough, I could make out the glittering pathway of the Milky Way. So many winking stars peppered the heavens above me, unseen to those who live in the city.

I recalled what one of our scholars had told us the day before about Allah’s creation. Shaykh Waleed Mosaad had mentioned that when the revelation of the Qur’an ceased, Allah’s communication with us humans didn’t. But rather, all of Allah’s creation that surround us is a sign from Him, and it is up to us as servants of Him to interpret what they mean. Right now, I was dazzled by the scene above. Imagining all those stars and planets to fill the universe, and myself as an individual was like nothing compared to the beauty of Allah’s creation.

I hurried along my way, not wanting to be late. As we prayed in congregation, standing side by side, I was moved by the strong and firm pact of sisterhood that wedged itself between our hearts. I’d never felt the love of sisterhood to be so strong, so non-judgmental and caring.

After praying Fajr and wishing a good morning to many of us there, I would go down by the rocks that hung themselves over the lake below, where in the afternoon many of us would go swimming and kayaking. There at the rocks,a few of us would sit together in complete silence, with the undisturbed water beneath our feet. The misty fog crawled silently like a floating ghost across the surface of the lake, fast disappearing as the minutes ticked by, taking along the night as it was extinguished by the breaking sunrise.

SeekersHub Retreat

I mean really, where can you get to unwind and reflect in such a way when you’re living in the depths of the city? Out here we were being forced to disconnect, as there was no Wi-Fi and limited network service We were able to disengage from the distractions of our modern-day world, all the while being gently led to the focus that all of us shared deep within ourselves—Allah as the Ultimate Goal.

The Walk of Doom

A number of sisters, myself included, would later take an hour-long hike around the lake, after being challenged by Shaykh Riad Saloojee. We were to find something along the way, and many of us debated whether it would be something physical or spiritual.

The hiking trail, called the Walk of Doom, proved to be a difficult one. We tripped over hidden roots, climbed steep and rocky hills, and got very sweaty.  Every time one of us wanted to give up and turn back, we would remind each other of the mysterious gain that was said to be achieved at the end of our journey.

And then, the truth behind the purpose of our hike hit me. Our hike came to an end and the path through the trees broke out into an opening that led to a small, sandy beach that lay in the glimmering water, gleaming with the sun’s reflection. The sun warmed our shining faces as it glowed down on us, and we all breathed a collective sigh in realisation that our journey was finally over.

Our hike on the path had not only taken us on a physical journey, I realised, but also a spiritual one. Shaykh Riad Saloojee had been trying to show us an example of the trials and tribulations of this life. We had to go through ups and downs, stumbling and supporting each other along the difficult path, but it all had been temporary, it wasn’t made to last, like anything else in this Dunya. I realised this as I gazed across the shining lake, realising how much I had learned just by listening to the advice and instruction of our teacher, taking the time to reflect on the signs of Allah’s creation. The struggles and tests of this world will eventually come to an end the day we meet our Lord.


Fatimah Gomez is 15 years old, and the second eldest  of five. She’s currently in high school and has had a passion for writing since age 9. Recently, she completed her first book for Muslim youth, which she intends to publish soon. She enjoys playing and watching soccer, training for taekwondo, jdm cars, discovering the beauty in art and poetry and connecting with Allah’s creation.


Resources for Seekers

Does Looking at the Reflection of One’s Nakedness Break Wudu?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Does looking at the reflection of one’s nakedness break wudu?

Answer:  ​Walaikum assalam,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

No, neither looking at one’s nakedness (awra)—such as one’s private parts—nor looking at its reflection break wudu.

Wudu is only broken by specific things—such as the exiting of filth, flowing blood or pus, sleeping lying down, . Please find related answers in the SeekersHub Answers – www.SeekersGuidance.org).

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

The Journey to Allah Begins and Ends with His Messenger – Shaykh Sulayman Van Ael

Shaykh Sulayman Van Ael invites the audience on a crucial reflection on the nature of our relationship with Allah; the Owner, Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. Do you realise that when you woke up today you were returning to your Lord? That every breath and every moment brings you closer to your true destination? You will meet Allah; who is your guide and example? What are your provisions on this journey?

In the 18 years that he has been Muslim, Shaykh Sulayman has been waiting for a Muslim to ask him these very questions ; to ask him how it is between him and Allah, the Owner,Creator and Sustainer of the Worlds. “So when I look for a Muslim, I am looking for someone whose heart attached himself to Allah and detached his heart from the world,” shares Shaykh Sulayman. Who is like this that I can be like? Who is it that I can make my role model? These reflections direct me to the Prophet of God, peace and blessings be upon him.

when you are seeking truth, everyone claims to have answers, but no one has answers like the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of God be upon him. He whose heart is always connected to Allah and whose concern is for the entirety of creation;  Let us ask Our Messenger, peace and blessings of God be upon him, so that our journey is based on guidance, truth and leads to everlasting success .

Reflect on the minute preparations, and research we , as human beings, make in order to travel somewhere, either for business or  vacation. There is much preparation, research and packing that takes place when preparing for a simple flight or journey on this earth.  What about the afterlife?  As believers, we testify in the existence of the Hereafter and the belief in a Day that will be like no other day– with much unknown ahead of us, what have we prepared for it? When I am meeting with a king or a president, I will prepare myself– what have you done to prepare yourself for the journey to the King of all Kings? The journey to Allah?

There are  5 questions that I reflected on, and whose answers provided guidance towards a better relationship with my Lord and for a happier Hereafter. Let us reflect and visit them  so we may benefit together.

 1): What should I do if I do not wish to be hungry on that Day ( a day likened to 50 thousand years)?

Answer: The prophet said those that experience hunger most in this life, will not experience hunger on that Day; this reference was to those who fast Ramadan and the additional fasts. Those that increase in fasting in this world, will not feel the hunger on that Day.

2) What should I do If I do not wish to shiver or shake on That Day?

Let us reflect, do you not think that on that Day that you meet His Angels, that you meet Allah , do you think that you will have no fear?

Answer: The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,  said that the one who helps his brother until his problem is solved will not shiver or quake on that Day.  Service to others is the gateway to rewards and the pleasure of Allah.

3) What shall I do to be Happy on that Day? (Can you be happy that Day? When the Earth quakes, the sky falls and there is upheaval everywhere?)

Answer : The Messenger of Allah said that the one who can swallow his anger when he has a right to be angry Allah will fill his heart with hope and contentment on the Day of Judgement.

According to Islam, what does it mean to be angry?A common example of this situation are the quarrels between spouses, when one overlooks or swallows his or her anger for the sake of Allah, Allah will grant that individual hope and contentment on that Day. Another example worth noting is when someone does something and you say to them -you always do this!;These are are examples of anger to avoid.

4) Would you like on the Day of Judgement to have a rank that is even loved or desired by the Prophets? 

On the Day of judgement there will be people who are dressed with light, their faces will shine bright and will be sitting on chairs of light and even the prophets would like to be in their state; the prophets will be looking upon them and wondering how they reached this station.

Answer: The Messenger of Allah has informed us these are the people who visit each other for Allah and who give each other gifts for Allah’s sake. So, how do you know that you are visiting someone for Allah? If you continue to  visit, call or give gifts even when the other does not reciprocate; your sincerity shows in your continuity.

5) Would you like to sit next to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,  on that Day? How can I achieve this?

Answer: The ones who will be near him on the day of Judgement and be the most beloved to Allah Mighty and Majestic, are those who have good character and those who send abundant blessings upon his beloved, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

As believers we are blessed to send prayers upon our messenger in our ritual prayers and outside of it, in these interactions there are 2 angels that convey our greetings to the Prophet. How would your like your greetings to be personally conveyed? Your Messenger knows that these greetings are from you– send blessings upon him as if he is with you, as if you are in his blessed presence.

The Journey to Allah begins with the guidance and example of the Messenger and ends with the company and intercession of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him.

We have been blessed with reflecting on the Hereafter, for we believe in it and each moment we move closer to it, and closer to Allah. We have also been blessed with the answers and provisions for this Day and this Meeting. So what is next? After this conversation, after this lecture, how do we treat what has just been conveyed to us?

Everything you just heard or have been conveyed will be placed as a trial for or against us; for this knowledge has been conveyed to us and they are amongst our provisions. Let us rejoice in it , embrace it,  and act upon it so that it may be in our favour and we may reap the rewards.


Cover photo by [email protected] anonymous
We are grateful to Al Mawadda TV for this video.

Resources for the Seekers:

closeness to Allah Archives – SeekersHub Blog
Ten Qualities of Those Seeking Closeness to Allah
Qur’an Reflections: Day Two: Baqara [2.142-252] – Remembrance
The Intercession of the Prophet on the Day of Judgment
The Soul’s Journey after Death and The Day of Judgement
Hope, the Hereafter and Our Salvation, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani .
The Benefits of Sending Peace & Blessings on Prophet Muhammad
Why do We Send Prayers of Peace & Blessings Upon the Beloved .
Love Of The Prophet And Following His Example
Can You Please Explain the Belief of The “Presence” of the Prophet
Maqam: The Station of the Prophet Muhammad
On Knowing Yourself to Know Go

Etiquette of Social Media – Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

As main tools of communication and connectivity, Social Media is everywhere, and with immediacy. Ustad Amjad Tarsin calls us to ponder to what end? For what purpose?

Two individuals could be doing the exact same thing, and one is rewarded and one may be punished. What gives? What is the difference between the two?  Ustadh Amjad invites us to ponder on the value of purpose and intention in every deed and action performed by the individual; what makes or breaks our actions?
“As believers we do not go off on auto pilot” reminds Ustadh Amjad; the urgency lies in reflecting and making purposeful intentions. “Social media should not be a replacement for real life.”

Ask yourself, “what purpose is this for– to what end? How does this connect me to Allah ?” Sure , social media offers you anonymity from the creation and instant connectivity; but Allah is always with you and aware of all that you do–even before you think of it. What then have you to show your Creator? what is it that you wish to share with your Lord?

The believer should have purpose in life with God-consciousness and intentionality as the provisions and tools for true, long lasting success.

Cover photo by  MKHMarketing

Resources for the Seekers:

Islamic Meditation: What Is It and Does It Have A Place In Our Lives? Shaykh Muhammad Mendes

Join Shaykh Muhammad Mendes in a rich and deeply profound guide to meditation and reflection in Islam – what he describes as a pathway to God.

Meditation 1: The Etiquette of Reflection

Meditation 2: The Means of Reflection

Meditation 3 : Step-by-Step Guided Meditation

Meditation 4: Reflecting on the Self

Meditation 5: Degrees of the Self & Muraqaba

Resources for seekers:

 

Cover Photo by Joutte Maue Kay. We are grateful to Al Maqasid for the use of these videos.

Reflection is the Light of Hearts – An Aphorism of Ibn Ata’illah Explained by Imam Zarruq

Translated by Faraz Rabbani
Ibn Ata’illah (Allah have mercy upon him) states in his Aphorisms (Hikam):
Reflection is the light of hearts. If reflection leaves, the heart has no light.
One of the great commentators on the Aphorisms of Ibn Ata’illah, Imam Ahmad Zarruq, explains:
This means that reflection (fikr) is the light-giving lamp by which the heart walks in the darkness of Otherness and is able to see benefit and harm–and behold Truth and Reality with clarity.
Through reflection, the heart reaches faith (iman). Through reflection, it attains gnosis (irfan). Through reflection, it rises through the ranks of submission (islam), faith (iman), and and spiritual excellence (ihsan).
This is why Ka`b al-Ahbar (Allah be pleased with him) said, “Whoever seeks the honour of this life and the next should engage in much reflection.”

Shaykh Abu’l Hasan al-Shadhili (Allah be pleased with him) said:
“The Path is seeking Allah in four matters. Whoever attains all four is from the realized veracious ones (al-siddiqin al-muhaqqiqin). Whoever attains three of them is of the elect of Allah who have been brought close (al-awliya al-muqarrabin). Whoever attains two of them is of the martyrs of certitude (al-shuhada’ al-muqinin). And whoever attains one of these is from the righteous servants of Allah (`ibad Allah al-salihin).
The first is remembrance (dhikr). Its expression is righteous action (al-`amal al-salih). Its fruit is light.
The second is reflection (fikr). Its expression is patience (sabr). Its fruit is action.
The third is neediness (faqr). Its expression is thankfulness (shukr). Its fruit is increase from Him.
The fourth is love (mahabba). Its expression is rejection of worldliness and its people. Its fruit is union with the Beloved. Love is what encompasses all principles of good, and its the end of all realization.
End of Quote from Imam Zarruq’s Commentary.
And Allah alone gives success.
Faraz Rabbani
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