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Why Learn? – A Conversation with Dr Recep Senturk

Following is an excellent podcast from ImanWire. In this podcast Dr Recep Senturk reflects on the higher purposes of learning and the importance of cultivating independent, critical thinkers.

 

Click for the audio: https://soundcloud.com/almadinainst/ep-40-why-learn-dr-recep-senturk

 

Please subscribe to the podcast and visit www.imanwire.com for the latest articles and podcast episodes. Send any questions or comments to @imanwired on Twitter or [email protected].

10 Steps to Firm-Footedness in Seeking Knowledge of Fiqh

In this brief podcast, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani provides 10 genuinely useful tips on gaining and retaining a firm grasp of your knowledge of fiqh.

See also:

“From knowing nothing to becoming a student of knowledge”
Advice from Habib Ali Al-Jifri for Seekers of Knowledge
The Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge

Habib Umar’s Advice to the Seekers of Sacred Knowledge
Shaykh Áwwamah’s advice for Students of Sacred Knowledge
Importance of Intention in Seeking Knowledge

 

What Is Aqida and Why Study It? – Shaykh Hassan al Hindi

Shaykh Hassan al Hindi gives an overview of the science of ʿaqida, clarifies points of contention and agreement, and explains why it is a necessary science.

Though each of the Islamic sciences has its specific topics of inquiry and detailed investigations, a student may find himself losing sight of the purpose, importance, and distinctive features of a science when engaged in studying its details and minutiae.

For example, a student may study legal theory (usul al fiqh) under a teacher, covering such topics as linguistic signification, analogy, and consensus, but this student may still not know what legal theory actually is, the benefits that are gained through its study, its ultimate aim, the manner it is to be studied, and the way it distinguishes itself from other sciences.

For the science of ʿaqida, such a comprehensive and universal understanding is necessary before diving into its detailed investigations. He proceeds to provide such an overview by answering a series of questions.

What Is ʿAqida?

The term ʿaqida has two meanings. The first refers to aspects of belief that are obligatory upon a person to establish in his heart and have faith in. These are the concepts and ideas that a person adopts regarding the Creator, this universe, the purpose of creation, this world, the next world, and so forth. This is the ʿaqida that is obligatory upon all Muslims to know.

The second meaning refers to the subject matter that is taught in seminaries, namely the actual science of ʿaqida, which incorporates the first definition mentioned above but extends beyond it. In this context, the term ʿaqida is defined as the knowledge through which religious beliefs are established by means of evidence that is decisive and certain.

I would like to draw attention to the use of the word yuqtadar in classical definitions of the science of ʿaqida. It signifies a strong ability or disposition. Consequently, ʿaqida as a science is a natural disposition or aptitude of the self that is characterized by strength in knowledge, expertise in evidence, and the ability to engage in a dialectic where truth can be distinguished from falsehood. This ability is something that God grants to some of His servants.

The evidence used to establish points of ʿaqida are both rational and textual, and there is no contradiction between these two sources. There are some points of ʿaqida that are evidenced mainly on the basis of rational proofs, others on the basis of textual proof, and yet some others that are based on both these sources.

The Relationship between ʿAqida and Knowledge in General

The relationship between ʿaqida and knowledge in general is one of a general-specific distinction, i.e. all ʿaqida is knowledge but not all knowledge is ʿaqida. A matter is considered a point of knowledge if it is established on the basis of evidence that is knowledge-based and scholarly.

A specific point of knowledge is then termed ʿaqida if in addition to this God attaches a particular significance to it that necessitates belief in it. The ʿaqida of Islam can be divided into two types.

Firstly, those aspects known in their details, such as God being omnipotent, omniscient, all-hearing, and all-seeing, or the specific names of prophets sent to mankind mentioned in the Qur’an, or the names of angels, etc.

Secondly, a general belief in everything that has been authentically conveyed from God and His Prophet, blessings upon him. Thus, there are issues that a Muslim is required to affirm on a general basis and others that he is required to affirm and be taught on a more specific and detailed basis.

Sometimes we are required to express general points of belief in a more detailed fashion. For example, the books of ʿaqida do not detail the creation of Adam, peace be upon him. Muslims suffice with the Qur’an and other texts to affirm as a general point of belief that he was created from clay and was the first human being.

Today, however, it is necessary to discuss this matter in more detail due to the various doubts that have arisen regarding the Islamic creation narrative.

An Intellectual Science vs. Experiential Reality

Another manner in which ʿaqida is divided is between its being a scholarly and intellectual activity and between its being an experiential reality. The former refers to ʿaqida as an engagement with texts, detailing and interpreting various points of creed, expounding their proofs, defending the faith, and so forth. On the other hand, ʿaqida as an experiential reality entails transforming and transferring these points of creed into one’s consciousness and being.

Both of these dimensions are separate but intimately connected. Separate because they engage the subject-matter from two distinct perspectives – one intellectual and the other practical. And intimately connected because they complete one another.

ʿAqida as a Living Science

In order for anything to maintain its state of living, it requires two things: nourishment that allows it to grow and sustain its existence and a medicine/protection that prevents it from being harmed.

The nourishment for faith is found in acts of worship, such as supplication, remembrance of God, prayer, the company of the righteous, and so forth. This type of nourishment is required for everyone.

As for medicine, this is only required by those who suffer from a disease or someone who is prone/exposed to it. What is this medicine? It is of two types:

  1. It may be a cure to treat an actual disease that is present, or
  2. It may be a cure to treat a disease that may occur, i.e. preventive medicine.

In the case of the second of the aforementioned points, it is necessary for anyone who feels they are prone to the disease of doubt to learn the general proofs and evidences of ʿaqida. However, if someone is afflicted with doubt regarding a specific issue, it is obligatory upon that person to learn the appropriate evidences for that ʿaqida issue in specific and seek an answer for their doubt.

The Subject-Matter of ʿAqida

There are three primary subjects that ʿaqida deals with:

  1. Godhead (ilahiyat): what is necessary, possible, and impossible for God.
  2. Prophethood (nabuwwat): what is necessary, possible, and impossible for prophets.
  3. Unseen matters (sam’iyat): topics relating to such issues as the Day of Judgment, heaven, hell, angels, devils, the signs of the last day, and so forth. Each of these issues is subsumed under one core principle: things that the intellect deems possible that the revelatory texts affirm and attest to.

Scholars mention other topics that are included in texts of ʿaqida. Some of these topics are introductory discussions, such as moral responsibility (taklif) or the faith of a blind-adherent (muqallid). Other topics are viewed as accessory discussions, such as detailed expositions of the proofs for the existence of God.

Opinions on Why It Is Called Kalam

The science of ʿaqida is also termed the science of kalam. There are different opinions regarding why the latter term was utilized to describe this science. Some opined that it returned to questions concerning the nature of the Qur’an and God’s speech (i.e. kalam) being among the earliest and most oft-debated theological topics. Another opinion stated that the science of ʿaqida involved a sustained engagement between different parties, which often involved verbal debates (i.e. kalam).

Here is an important piece of advice for teachers. Someone who is instructing others in ʿaqida should be completely open to his students and their questions. This is because the teacher is tasked with teaching them knowledge upon which faith and disbelief rests, and he should instruct students in a way that ensures that they have fully understood the material and are convinced by it. Therefore, it is necessary for a teacher to engage the questions of students, their doubts, and endure with them patiently. This is not to be viewed as a flaw in the student nor disrespect towards a teacher.

The Ruling on Studying the Science of ʿAqida or Kalam

In regard to ruling of studying this science, there is no disagreement that it is necessary to know God, His angels, messengers, books, the Last Day, and so forth. The disagreement arises regarding the formal science of kalam, which some have deemed an innovation. This latter opinion is incorrect due to the fact that the emergence of the science of kalam mirrors the development of all other sciences, such as grammar or hadith.

The particular terminology utilized in kalam, such as “privative attributes” or “entailed attributes” is not ʿaqida in itself and nor of a specifically religious character, but labels and categories that explain certain discussion in ʿaqida and present it as a codified and systematic science. This is simply an organic development that all sciences experience.

Another point linked to this is the manner in which Islam spread and interacted with other systems of thought, such as Greek philosophy. Scholars undertook the task of evaluating and critiquing these systems, such as Imam al Ghazali in three of his famous works: Maqasid al Falasifa, Mahak al Nazar, Tahafut al Falasifa.

The scholars of kalam formulated principles, detailed proofs and arguments, etc. in order to eradicate erroneous and misguided ideas and return creed to its pristine state. Therefore, this science not only explained ʿaqida, but acted a barrier preventing corrupt ideas from infiltrating it.

How Does Islamic ʿAqida Distinguish Itself from other Creeds?

The ways in which the ʿaqida of Islam sets itself apart from other creeds and belief systems are as follows:

  1. The ʿaqida of Islam is from God and His messenger.
  2. The ʿaqida of Islam is tawfiqi, i.e. it does not accept abrogation, change, alteration, and so forth. Rather, the ʿaqida taught by the Prophet, blessings upon him, is the same one that the Salaf believed in and the one that Muslims continue to accept up until today.
  3. The ʿaqida of Islam accords with the primordial nature (fitra) of people. For this reason, when a Muslim speaks about the ʿaqida of Islam, it is done with two sources of influence and authority: one external and one internal. The external relates to strength of proof and rational/textual evidence, while the internal relates to the primordial nature of human beings.
  4. The ʿaqida of Islam does not contradict sound reason or intellect. The oft-repeated statement that the Muʿtazila were misguided because they arbitrated on the basis of reason and the intellect is not correct. Rather, if they had utilized these sources in a sound manner, they would not have been misguided.
  5. The ʿaqida of Islam is simple and clear.
  6. The ʿaqida of Islam connects a person to His creator without intermediary.
  7. The ʿaqida of Islam contains no contradictions. Perceived contradictions are the result of a lack of understanding. Sometimes, a point of ʿaqida may bewilder the mind, but it is never something the intellect deems rationally impossible. Thus, the intellect deems the throne of God and angels as rationally possible even though it is not able to fully comprehend their reality.
  8. The ʿaqida of Islam is a comprehensive creed for all times, peoples, and places.
  9. The ʿaqida of Islam is suitable for all times, peoples, and places.
  10. The ʿaqida of Islam is a moderate creed occupying a middle ground between extremes. It is neither a dry rational creed nor one grounded in emotional sentimentality. Rather, it appeals to both the heart and mind.
  11. The ʿaqida of Islam is the foundation of personal and communal well-being, righteous action, and rectification. This is why many prophetic traditions begin with, “Whosoever believes in God and the Last Day…” These good deeds and traits are the fruit of sound belief.

Why Study the Science of ʿAqida?

Not understanding the reasons underpinning the need to study a particular science often entails devaluing that science and not engaging it properly. There are a number of reasons why we should engage in the study of the science of ʿaqida.

  1. To present ʿaqida in a clear, scholarly, and systematic manner. This safeguards people from erroneous beliefs that may be unknowingly adopted in a context where ʿaqida is learnt organically in a general fashion. Such a presentation of ʿaqida also establishes it as a science with defined beginning, middle, and end stages that students can gradually progress through.
  2. To support points of ʿaqida with proofs and arguments that helps prevent doubts from affecting our faith.
  3. To strengthen and make firm our ʿaqida against refutations that are mounted against it. This is especially true in an age where even the most fundamental axioms that ʿaqida is premised upon are subjected to doubt, such as the impossibility of infinite regress. Here, it is a communal obligation to produce scholars who possess the knowledge and ability to fend off such doubts from the community at large and safeguard the faith of people.
  4. The science of ʿaqida allows us to possess belief that is sound, which is a prerequisite for felicity in the next-life. Through sound belief, one is able to properly conceptualize the world and the purpose of existence.
  5. The science of ʿaqida places an individual in a state of tranquility and peace with the condition that one possess a real connection to God.

How Does One Study ʿAqida?

The default is that every individual is responsible for studying ʿaqida. However, ʿaqida is presented to people based on their respective abilities and preparedness. Therefore, there is no one way of teaching ʿaqida to people. In terms of teaching people ʿaqida, learners fall into the following categories:

Young Children. ʿAqida is taught to them by constantly repeating basic creedal points, such as God is one, God is powerful, God gives us everything, etc., so that these ideas become embedded in their minds. When a child asks a question, he or she should be provided with a clear, simple, and sound answer. Children may not fully comprehend a particular idea, but they do retain it, and many of the ideas they retain at a young age are treated as axiomatic by them when they grow older.

The general laity. They are taught ʿaqida as a general expression of creedal doctrine without detailed and technical discussions. This should be taught to them not on the basis of creedal texts or the terminology of kalam, which the laity are not obliged to know, but rather through tafsir, sira, Qur’anic verses, and hadith using clear but non-technical language.

Well-educated people who are not ʿaqida specialists. They are taught ʿaqida in a general sense and also gradually exposed to some of the more detailed discussions relating to creed. However, these discussions are not presented to them in the manner that it would be to a person seeking specialization. Further, such people are provided answers to doubts – actual and potential – raised against Islamic ʿaqida. In this context, they are taught what is relevant to them in their own time and place, i.e. discussions on atheism, for example, as opposed to the Muʿtazila.

Students who are specialists. Those who are specializing in ʿaqida are required to study everything related to the science. This includes a comprehensive syllabus of classical texts – both early and later –, as well as past and modern ideologies and sects.

A Note to Students of ‘Aqida

Students who are specializing in this science must raise the bar. They should not suffice with intermediary works but eventually dive into the more advanced and principal works of the science after mastering the tools needed to access and understand them.

We must strengthen our aptitude and grasp of the evidence underpinning ʿaqida so that it may be furnished to people appropriately on the basis of their respective abilities and preparedness.

We must understand the period we are living in to present a more contemporary ʿaqida discourse that is suitable and appropriate to today’s culture and environment.

We must be aware of modern ideologies and sects, as well as the doubts raised against Islam, and formulate sound responses to them.

And God knows best.

Hassan al Hindi


This post is based on notes from a lecture in Arabic by Shaykh Hassan al Hindi. The notes were made and translated into English by Ustadh Salman Younas.


Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa on Sura Luqman – On Knowledge of the Qur’an

Sura Luqman emphasizes tarbiya, or spiritual growth, and is named after a great sage. In this series, Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa explores the meanings of this chapter.

Shaykh Ibrahim begins by saying that there are two keys to Paradise, both who have to be inserted into the lock together. The first one, to is to connect to Allah’s mercy through the Prophet, Allah bless him and give his peace. The second one, is to wait patiently for Allah’s blessings, which He grants as He wills.

Similarity, knowledge is of two types, kasbi and wahbi. Knowledge that is kasbi, is the knowledge that you actively seek and have to strive for. This type of knowledge is the most accessible to us.  Wahbi knowledge is a gift from Allah, which Allah gives to those whom He had favored, such as the sage Luqman, as well as the Prophets.

The Qur’an has been revealed so that people can reflect on the meaning. Imam Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, was once asked whether the Prophet singled out members of his family in order to teach them things that he did not teach the rest of the Muslims.

“No,” Imam Ali replied, “Except for something of the understanding of the Book of Allah.”

Much of the knowledge of the Qur’an is kasbi, which is why scholars study for years to be able to understand the meanings of the verses. However, in every generation, certain wahbi knowledge of the Qur’an is revealed to some people from the Ahl al-Bayt, the family of the Prophet. This has been proved in the following hadith:

“I have left two things amongst you; if you hold onto them, you will never be led astray. The Book of Allah, and my family. They are always together, and do not depart, until they meet me at the Pool.” 


With gratitude to Greensville Trust.


Resources for Seekers

How To Learn The Way The Sahaba Learned, by Shaykh Faid Said

Knowledge is not synonymous with information, of which we have so much now. The companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) took away a kind of knowledge  from being around him that is lost on us in this day and age. Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said describes it beautifully in this brief address at SeekersHub Toronto.

All knowledge is sacred knowledge – Shaykh Ramadan Bouti

Wise words from the late Shaykh Ramadan Bouti, may Allah have mercy on him. Translated by Ustadh Torab Torabi.

“It is of utmost importance, that ifyou want to direct yourself toward knowledge, whichever type of knowledge it maybe, to make your intention to draw nearer to Allah.
“All knowledge is sacred knowledge. And I have mentioned it before and written about it as well, the words of my father. The words that have never left me since I was 15 or 16 years old. When he took me by the hand and enrolled me in my first Islamic schooling.”
“He said to me: “Had I found out that arriving to Allah would be through picking up garbage off the streets, I would have made you a garbage man. But I have reflected and found that the path to reaching Allah is knowledge. And for this reason I have directed you down this path.  Now I ask from you to not study this Deen for a job, not for a degree, not for wealth, but rather to study it for Allah’s contentment and pleasure.””
“If a person intends Allah pleasure, even if he studies medicine it will draw him near to Allah. Even if he studies chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, astronomy, etc.. All forms of knowledge for that matter, because what does knowledge do? It (knowledge) unveils reality of Truth. And what is the only true Reality of creation? Allah! The Truth of all Truths. And there is no doubt about that.”

My Father Teaches a Problematic Version of Islam in the Local Mosque. What Should I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: My father has a deep aversion to the scholars of Islam. Despite this, he has persisted in teaching at the local Sunday School at the mosque. He spreads his strange ideas but his eloquence lends him an outward appearance of authority and people are swayed by him.


1) What are his rights over me should I call him to to an authentic understanding of Islam?

2) Is it obligatory for me to have the mosque prevent him from teaching?

3) Given my father’s state, if he asks me to forgo marriage to a less ‘cultured’ girl is it obligatory for me to do so?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for having such sincere concern for your father, and may Allah guide him to an authentic understanding of Islam.

Father

Many parents do not like being advised by their children, especially in matters of religion. If the direct approach upsets him, then try a different strategy. Model good character in your day-to-day dealings with him. Be of service to him, enquire about his health, and offer to run errands for him.

Perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night and ask Allah to guide him. Have hope in Allah, for He is the Turner of Hearts.

Masjid

It is obligatory for you to warn the masjid that he is spreading false teachings about Islam. Tenets of Islamic belief must only be taught by someone who has a chain of authentic knowledge, stretching back to the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace). It sounds like your father is a self-taught man who lacks a fundamental understanding about the basics of our religion. His eloquence and ignorance make him a danger to vulnerable children.

Please ask the masjid board to treat this situation with tact, wisdom, and confidentiality. Your father will be angry and deeply hurt if he finds out about your role in his potential dismissal. If the masjid board does not take action, then please ask for help from trustworthy scholars in your local area.

Marriage

“And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.” [Qu’ran 17:23]

It is not obligatory for you to obey your father in his choice of bride for you. It is obligatory for you to treat him with respect and kindness.

Your father wants what is best for you, and in his mind, he feels that a ‘cultured’ bride will be better for you. If you choose someone who does not fit his criteria, then both of you must strive to win him over through patience and good character. I pray that Allah grants you tawfiq in this.

I strongly encourage you to complete this course – The Rights of Parents.

Please refer to the following links:

VIDEO: How To Develop Meaningful Relationships With Parents (Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Zahir Bacchus & Shaykh Rami Nsour)
Do I Have to Marry Someone Within My Caste to Please My Family?

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Who Should We Learn Religion From?

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani answers the question: who do we take knowledge from? He details the advice of al-Khatib al-Shirbini, which revolves around three main points:
(1) consulting the scholars experts in the discipline,
(2) following those who act on what Islam entails, and
(3) following those who learned with scholars and not through only reading books.

Be Part Of Something Meaningful

This talk is part of the weekly gathering at SeekersHub Toronto, Circle of Light: A Night of Remembrance, Praise & Inspiration. Join us for free, in-person and online.
Consider taking a course with reliable scholars at the SeekersHub Online Academy. It’s free and there are over 30 topics on offer.

Resources for seekers:

“From knowing nothing to becoming a student of knowledge” by Ustadha Shireen Ahmed

“Br. Dawoud, I have to ask you a question…” I said without looking up.  I had to gather up the courage, and really force myself to ask.  I knew I needed to know, and it was time to stop pretending that I already knew the answer.

“This is a really dumb question, but… you all keep mentioning the ‘Khulafa ar-Rashideen’ from time to time and their example in our meetings, but I actually have no idea who or what that is.”

There.

I had finally voiced one of many questions I had as a young university student, who had recently joined the Muslim Students Association for the first time.  I had grown up in a small town, and honestly speaking there were not many practicing Muslims around during my teenage years.  My mother had used to try and take us to weekend ‘Islamic’ classes, however my understand of Islam was still very sparse and fragmented.

There is no such thing as a dumb question

Br. Dawoud looked back at with me with concern, and then gently said, “Sister Shireen, I want to tell you something.  There is no such thing as a dumb question.  If you don’t know what something is, all you have to do is ask.  The only ‘dumb’ question is the one that is never asked.”  He told me the Khulafa ar-Rashideen are the rightly guided caliphs, which refer to Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali (may Allah be pleased with them all).

I would later learn that there are only two kinds of students who are unable to grow and benefit in their Islamic studies, one being the student who is too shy to ask their questions, and the second being a person who doesn’t ask their question out of arrogance (i.e. by not admitting to what they don’t know).

My experience that day left a lasting impression on me. Years later, I would remember how Br. Dawoud answered my question, and how he encouraged me to keep seeking knowledge.  To always remember that I can do better, and not to be shy to ask what I wanted to know.  It had always bothered me that I couldn’t answer basic questions about Islam that I wished I could answer.  I had finally met other Muslims who I was really impressed by at university, people who were really humble and sincere, who would encourage me time and time again to seek knowledge and strive for improvement.

Two years later, I was married, and my husband and I had decided to fly to Syria to pursue seeking sacred knowledge.  It was a very thrilling experience for me, to finally make up for years of knowledge that were just missing.  To fill a certain void in my life, as the little fragmented knowledge I had was now growing rapidly on a daily basis.  I would learn from the teachers who patiently taught us Arabic, and then alhamdulillah was able to move on to higher studies in the Arabic language itself.

Every single teacher declined money

What always amazed me about the experience was that every single teacher I studied with would decline money when I tried to pay them for their time.  And we’re talking about many Syrian teachers.  They would always have the same response, that when I return to Canada, they wanted me to teach others and they would take their reward from that.  That answer would always amaze me as someone growing up in the West where “nothing is for free”.  They had such good character, humility, and sincere concern for my studies with no ulterior motive.  It would really drive me to work much harder, as it was impossible to show up to class not doing your homework when the teacher was that selfless.

 

We spent several years overseas, and then returned to Canada.  Shortly after, my husband (Shaykh Faraz Rabbani) founded SeekersGuidance, which is now known as SeekersHub, an online website dedicated to teaching students in the West their religion.  To answer their many questions through the Answers Service.  To offer online courses, so that students could download classes with a qualified instructor and ask the questions they have.

The service initially started out with students having to pay for the courses.  I had been encouraging Shaykh Faraz to consider offering a certain segment of courses for free so that students could at least obtain their fard ‘ayn (personally obligatory knowledge) without charge.  I still remember the day when he told me that he decided to make the courses for free.  I was happy he had taken my advice, until he clarified he meant take any class for free.

“But how will we survive?” I asked him. 

At that point we had three young children, and he was talking about giving up the main salary that was paying our bills.  He explained that there are many people out there in the world who cannot afford to pay for classes, and there are many others who are able to donate to support causes like this.  To spread knowledge on a global level, so that attaining knowledge was not limited to one’s income level.  Historically, students would not pay for classes, rather teachers would be supported so that they could teach without worrying about providing for their families.

This new turn of events, which would later be called Knowledge Without Barriers, also resonated with me as it was the way of my teachers in Syria, to teach purely based on seeking the good for another person.  That perhaps the reward of helping that person to grow in their religion and become a better person is sufficient as a reward.  There is a way to donate financially so that supporters can keep the movement of spreading knowledge at no cost going, and so far it has been working for us as a model.

Your past does not have to dictate your future 

I want to sincerely advise students, especially the sisters, to now seek knowledge.  I have given you a glimpse of what it was like to go from someone who barely knew anything about the religion, to becoming a student of knowledge.  I understand that there are many sisters out there who still have a sparse, fragmented understanding of religion, because our parents are only capable of giving us what knowledge they know.  I was there, so I know what that feels like.  Many of our parents have not had an opportunity to study, but they did their best in raising us.  Your past does not have to dictate your future.

By just spending even an hour or two weekly listening to classes, you can steadily grow in understanding in a variety of Islamic subjects.  You can even choose which subjects you feel weakest in, or consult our staff as to what courses are best suited for you given your history.  I know for a lot of mothers, attending classes is very difficult because their children are not able to sit quietly for public classes.  However, with an online learning platform, even mothers with energetic young kids can regularly attend classes, so that in turn they are better able to educate their own children, which are the next generation.

The remedy for ignorance is to spread sound Islamic knowledge

Seeking knowledge helps one to become a better Muslim, to seek Allah Most High sincerely, to turn towards Him with the core of your being in prayer, and to become a better decision maker when weighing one’s actions with what will benefit one most in the Afterlife.  Especially in this day and age, we see many atrocities being done in the name of religion – when in reality they are being committed out of lack of knowledge about the religion.  Part of the remedy for ignorance is to spread sound Islamic knowledge from teachers who are qualified to teach, who have a chain of transmission from their teachers back to the Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him).

We pray that these efforts are accepted, and that students across the globe can benefit by being able to study.  That they in turn are able to become contributors to their own communities.  Now no one needs to feel shy about asking questions about Islam, even if it is “who are the Khulafa ar-Rashideen?”

 

Ustadha Shireen Ahmed is the Course Development Manager at SeekersHub. There are over 35 courses on offer across all major disciplines, for beginner and advanced students – find out more here.

Welcoming three new teachers to the SeekersHub Family

By the Grace and Mercy of Allah, we have three new teachers joining the SeekersHub faculty this term. May Allah reward them for their dedication to spreading sacred knowledge.

sh_ahmed_saad_zakatShaykh Ahmed Saad al-Azhari

Shaykh Ahmed was born into a family of scholars whose lineage goes back to the Prophet (peace be upon him) through his grandson Al-Hasan ibn Ali.

Alongside his academic studies, Shaykh Saad studied traditional Islamic sciences at the hands of senior scholars and specialists in Egypt, the most notable of whom is his late father Shaykh Muhammad Saad and Shaykh Ali Gomaa.
This term, Shaykh Ahmed will be teaching:

Find out more about Shaykh Ahmed Saad

shuaib-181x300Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Shaykh Shuaib Ally is a scholar who has recently returned to Toronto after completing his studies overseas.
He has studied a number of Islamic disciplines privately with scholars in Saudi Arabia, including Tafsir, Qur’anic Sciences, Shafi’i law, Usul, Hadith, Hadith Methodology, Grammar and Balagha.

This term, Shaykh Shuaib will be teaching:

Find out more about Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Ustadh Amjad Tarsin was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and spent his early childhood there. He has also lived in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, growing up within diverse cultures.
It was during his university years that Amjad developed a deeper connection to his faith, studying the Islamic sciences with teachers locally and internationally.
This term, Ustadh Amjad will be teaching:

Find out more about Ustadh Amjad

Registration for term three is now open, visit our course page for a full list of courses. All our courses are free of cost, making them accessible to everyone.

Was salaam,
Erin Rutherford,
SeekersHub Outreach