Posts

Obituary: Habib Abbas al Saqqaf

As the year 1439 came to a close, the Ummah lost one of its great men, Habib Abbas ibn Muhammad ibn Ali al Saqqaf, the most senior of the Ba Alawi scholars in Singapore.

Habib Abbas al Saqqaf

Habib Abbas was born in Singapore in 1923. He studied the Islamic sciences with the principal scholars of the city, including two great jurists: Shaykh Umar bin Abdullah al Khatib and Qadi al Shihr Habib Shaykh bin Abdullah al Habashi. He then taught at a variety of places around Singapore.

The great caller to Allah, Habib Abd al Qadir al Saqqaf, indicated that Habib Abbas should establish gatherings of knowledge in his house and it duly became a focal point where the scholars and students of Singapore would gather.

The most frequented and well known of these gatherings was on Saturday morning in which the mawlid of Habib Ali al Habashi, Simt al Durar, was recited and a lesson in tasawwuf would be delivered. Any scholar visiting Singapore would make a point of visiting Habib Abbas. He passed away on 29th Dhu’l Hijjah 1439 (10th September 2018).

Let us heed his oft-given advice: always be humble, show respect to your elders and show respect to all, regardless of whether they rich or poor, beggars or government ministers.

May Allah raise Habib Abbas to the highest of stations and allow his legacy to live on.

[Al Fatiha]


Reposted with gratitude to Muwasala.org.

Day 9: Share the Quran – 30 Deeds 30 Days

Day 9: Share the Quran

The Quran. It’s the greatest gift we have, it’s our connection to Allah and it plays a centre role in the month of Ramadan. Hopefully this month, we are not only reading the Quran but also exploring its meaning through a good translation. Most of all, we are trying our best to follow it to the utmost. Through the Quran, we not only understand more about Allah, but also about our Prophet Muhammad.

This Ramadan, try to share the meanings of the Quran. Share the meaning of an ayah in a conversation with the family, or clarify a common misunderstanding with a co-worker. Spread the message of Allah in your effort to get closer to Him.


Bring new life to this Ramadan by enrolling in a FREE On-Demand course.


Building Our Trust in Religious Leadership, by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

At Clothworkers’ Hall in the City of London, the Woolf Institute hosted a panel event with the Archbishop of Canterbury Jason Welby, the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, and the Dean of the Cambridge Muslim College, Tim Winter (Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad).

Resources for seekers on scholars and religious leadership

[cwa id=’cta’]

Building Our Trust in Religious Leadership, by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

Knowledge & Guidance – Ramadan Renewal Xtra

Struggling to keep on top of your podcast subscriptions? SeekersHub Ramadan Renewal Xtra offers you a bitesize summary of each night’s lessons at SeekersHub Toronto this Ramadan. Catch up on the essential lessons, captured by our media team in this special episode.

Caribbean Calling: Nourishing Communities of Faith, by Nazim Baksh

sh_saadAt the beginning of the blessed month of Rabi’al Awwal 1438, Shaykh Ahmad Saad Al-Azhari will visit the twin-island Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. He will give a series of talks on the Sira of Allah’s Messenger , peace and blessings be upon him, at local mosques and will teach from Al-Nubdhah Al-Sughra at the prestigious San Fernando Jama Masjid.


Shaykh Ahmad’s host is Maulana Siddiq Nasir and his Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah Institute (ASWJI), the same organization that recently hosted Shaykh Faid Muhammad Said and Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ninowy. Maulana Siddiq is one of the early graduates of the Aleemiyah Institute in Pakistan. Seeker’s Hub has endorsed this initiative. Sidi Nazim Baksh will be accompanying Shaykh Ahmad on this tour and in this article he explains why it is important for Muslim scholars to continue visiting Muslims in the Caribbean.
 

Shaykh Ninowy in Guyana, March 2016

Shaykh Ninowy in Guyana, March 2016

What Exactly Constitutes an Authentic Expression of Islam?

For the last three decades Muslims who live in Guyana, Trinidad, Barbados, Jamaica and other Caribbean islands, have been grappling with the thorny issue of what exactly constitutes an authentic expression of Islam. It wasn’t always like this, but it has made the Caribbean a highly desired destination for a variety of foreign scholars and organizations looking to make their mark.  
In Guyana and Trinidad, countries with the largest communities, the majority of Muslims are direct descendants of indentured labourers who were brought from India to cultivate rice and sugar plantations during the British colonial period. There is also now a growing number of converts to Islam mostly from the African West-Indian communities across the English-speaking Caribbean.   
While indentureship ended in the early 20th century, the East-Indian Muslims stayed on, raising families, establishing businesses, forging communities and building mosques – 140 alone in Guyana.
Although religious texts were imported and disseminated locally, it played only a limited role in keeping people connected to the religion. The rhythm of Islamic spirituality for the mostly agrarian communities were the intermittent visits of a number of respected scholars who were grounded in tassawuf.  

Mawlana Siddiq
Nazim Baksh with Maulana Siddiq Ahmed Nasir

Historical Scholarly Visits to the Caribbean

In the 1930’s Maulana Sayed Shams-ud-Din visited Guyana traveling by boat from Trinidad where he was a scholar in residence for two years. Maulana Abdul Aleem Siddique’s visit to the region in 1950 makes him the most prominent scholar in this period to have visited and spend time in both Trinidad and Guyana before he died in 1954 in Al-Madinah and was buried in Al-Baqi.
Maulana Fazlur Rahman Ansari was a young man when he accompanied Maulana Siddique and he returned to the Caribbean in the 1960’s to conduct seminars and encourage local Muslims to establish educational institutions. He would later create the Aleemiyah Institute in Pakistan where three young Guyanese and one Trinidadian were offered scholarships to study sacred knowledge. Maulana Siddiq, our host, was one of the them.

Maulana Noorani
Maulana Noorani in Guyana in the 1960s

Maulana Shah Ahmad Noorani also visited the Caribbean in the late 60’s and early 70’s and he single-handedly revived a love and devotion to Allah’s Beloved Messenger with his inimitable style of reciting Qasidas and making the standing during the salutation on the Prophet known locally as ta’zim, a standard feature at all types of major religious gatherings.
He was so well-liked that the Muslim leaders of Trinidad made an LP of his recitation of the Quran along with his renditions of a few qasidas. Today, there are still men among the older generation of Muslims who imitate his style of reciting the Quran.

The Infusion of Alien Religious Ideas

As the 14th hijri century came to an end the Islamic waters of the Caribbean got murky with the infusion of alien religious ideas. Not surprisingly, the first practice that would be attacked was the central role of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in Muslim religious life. Opposition to the Mawlid was fierce and the singing of qasidas in praise of the Prophet was seen as a throwback to bygone days and an imitation of Hinduism. Some even labeled it as shirk.     
Political organizations based in the United States began to focus their gaze on the communities in the Caribbean. The Nation of Islam was one of the first, but soon Dar al-Islam and The Islamic Party of North America led by Yusuf Muzaffaruddin Hamid, began setting up branches in the Caribbean. Both organizations were militant but also heavily influenced by the ideology of Hasan Al-Banna’s Muslim Brotherhood and Syed Abul Ala Al-Mawdudi’s Jamaat-i-Islami.  
The first murder to take place in the name of Islam in the Caribbean happened in 1985 in Trinidad when a group of men gunned down an Ahmadiyya Missionary in front of his teenaged son. The men were followers of Jamaat Al-Fuqra, a U.S. based organization headed by a Pakistani mystic that was an offshoot of Dar al-Islam.
Long before Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi dreamed of establishing a Caliphate, Imam Yasin Abu Bakr staged a failed coup in Trinidad in 1990. His goal was to establish a Caliphate according to an important report on the failed coup. Six people were killed and Abu Bakr’s Jamaat Al-Muslimoon caused millions of dollars in damage.  

Largest Number of Da’esh Recruits Per Capita in the World

Today the government of Trinidad estimates that 130 adult men along with their wives and children – some 400 in all – have left the country in the last three years to join Da’esh in Iraq and Syria. This makes Trinidad the country with the largest number of Da’esh recruits per capita in the world. Some of them have taken to social media to declare Yasin Abu Bakr an apostate of Islam because he no longer pursues the path of Jihad and Hijra.
The convenient course of action is to ignore the Caribbean because afterall it is on the extreme periphery of Muslim majority countries. To do so is to ignore the vast majority of Muslims who desire to live respectfully and peacefully in a faith-diverse community as their ancestors have for well over a century with their Christians and Hindu neighbours. We have a moral obligation to assist the silent majority by opening for them the doors of sound Islamic knowledge lest some of them fall prey to a vigorous campaign by violent extremists.  

Resources for Seekers

caribbean islamCover Photo by Samuel David

[cwa id=’cta’]

Urgent Support Needed for Scholar and Family Facing Death Threats

Click the video below for a brief update from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani on the urgent need for support. Once you’ve donated, please email us here indicating the amount donated for the urgent scholar appeal.


A respected scholar has received repeated death threats from extremists and needs to move to a safer country with his wife and young children.
His country’s authorities confirm the gravity of these threats, but aren’t able to offer significant protection.
Give through the SeekersHub Global Zakat Fund (whether zakat or charity), to help us raise the moving and relocation costs for this inheritor of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
We need to raise at least $10,000, so give generously — and please forward this to friends and family encouraging them to give.
donate

Protecting Our Inheritance by Protecting Muslim Scholars, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the importance of supporting the inheritors of the Prophets; our scholars.

Abu al-Darda’ (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Scholars are the inheritors of the prophets.” [Related byTirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasa’i, Ibn Maja, Ahmad, Ibn Hibban, and others] Ibn al-Mulaqqin, Zayla`i, Ibn Hajar, and others seemed it sound (hasan) or rigorously authentic (sahib)]
When Fudayl ibn Iyad (Allah be pleased with him) heard this hadith, he commented, “The people of spiritual wisdom (hukama’) are the inheritors of the prophets,” [Ibn Nu`aym, Hilyat al-Awliya, 8.92] explaining the nature of knowledge that is ultimately sought.
The knowledge possessed by these scholars is the knowledge deemed beneficial (al-`ilm al-nafi`) by Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ). This knowledge was defined by Imam Ghazali as being, “Knowledge of the way to Allah Most High and the next life.”
Brought to you by Ha Meem Foundation in association with Ashford & Staines Community Centre.

[cwa id=’cta’]

In Peace: The Spread of Islam in Africa

“Islam spread through West Africa through nonviolent means.”

Our ideas of Africa nowadays consist of everything from famines, war, refugees fleeing their homeland, to the recent shootings of black people by police, and the Black Lives Matter movement.spread of Islam in Africa

But this race of beautiful, strong, and intelligent people surely had to have a noble history.

In this illuminating lecture, Dr Rudolph Bilal Ware takes us on a journey through history and gives us some lessons that we can learn from the history of the West African people.

Dr. Ware focuses on two characteristics of these people; firstly, that the spread of Islam through Africa was solely through peaceful means, and secondly, that there was less focus on convincing people and more focus on benefitting all humanity by doing good works.

Whether you’re looking for information on a history project or involved in campus dawah, or just feel the need to know more about the African people, this short talk will provide many answers to the questions in your mind.

Our thanks to Lamppost Education Initiative for this recording.

Resources for Seekers

spread of Islam in Africa

The Greatest Reward: Fulfilling The Urgent Need Of Others

A fund like no other

Alhamdullilah, last year we established the SeekersHub Global Zakat Fund, a fund like no other, supporting deserving scholars and students of knowledge, both locally and abroad.

We distributed over $350,000 in zakat funds in 2015.
This year, it is our mission to raise $1 million in zakat funds.


zakatThe impact of your zakat

Your zakat has the power to transform the world. War, poverty, injustice – the world is losing touch with Divine Wisdom. Many Muslim scholars who have dedicated their lives to preserving this wisdom are under great duress – at home and abroad.

The need is great — Shaykh Faraz explains why you shouldn’t wait till Ramadan to give.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VxeSh2-QGc

The urgent need

The SeekersHub Global Zakat Fund addresses an urgent, critical need:

  • Continuing to support deserving and needy scholars and students of knowledge — the teachers of today and tomorrow.
  • Supporting displaced mainstream Syrian scholars, given the turmoil and political instability in the region.

This is a communal responsibility and critical to the preservation of authentic Islamic scholarship for our children’s future.


zakatMay Allah reward you and your families manifold for your generosity.

Good News For a Change

How about some good news for a change?

At SeekersHub Global, we want to take a moment to celebrate some of the good news Allah blessed us with in 2015. Watch the one-minute video below.

  • 400 million Spanish speakers can now learn about Islam in their language. SeekersHub Espanol went live in 2015. There are already hundreds of articles and answers about Islam in the Spanish language live on the site — with much more on the way.
  • Thousands of questions about Islam answered by qualified scholars. You wouldn’t believe how many questions we get on a daily basis. Alhamdulillah, we have an entire team of scholars dedicated to providing practical answers for people struggling with everything from Shafi’i fiqh to guiding their wayward parents.
  • Over $350,000 in Zakat funds distributed to scholars and students. The political instability in the Middle East has displaced a number of scholars. Your zakat contributions have helped them continue to spread sound, reliable Islamic knowledge and Prophetic guidance.
  • 1,000+ hours of instructional videos produced on every topic you can think of. Take a stroll through our YouTube channel and you’ll find an overwhelming volume of engaging multimedia content on virtually every topic.
  • 120 online classes delivered to 30,000+ students globally. Our Online Academy is powered by a team of 40 teachers, teaching assistants and staff members who work extremely hard to make sound knowledge from reliable scholars available anywhere, free of charge.

Let’s make some more good news in 2016…together.

We are very blessed to have people like yourself who support us at every step of the way in making this all possible.

We look forward to sharing more blessings with you in 2016 Insha’Allah.

 

Become a monthly donor, for as little as $15/month.
Give your zakat to deserving scholars and students of knowledge.
Share this with friends and family on social media and spread the benefit.