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What are SeekersHub Study Circles?

What would 100 SeekersHub Study Circles, all united in their quest for gaining closeness to Allah, look like?

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What
SeekersHub Study Circles are free online community-focused study groups broadcast to centers across the world. Each study group covers key Islamic topics in an inspiring, engaging manner. Study Circles are led by some of our senior scholars and seek to promote (1) individual faith and learning and (2) community building by gathering together individuals for Islamic learning in their own community and instilling in them the Prophetic concern for service.
Why

  • An inexpensive, though highly invaluable way to create a greater sense of brotherhood/sisterhood in your community.
  • Receive exclusive access to lessons, videos, and question and answer services from some of today’s finest teachers.
  • Further your knowledge and faith with others; sharing notes and highlights with fellow attendees in group discussions.
  • Be inspired to make a difference in yourself, and your community.

How
Check the Study Circles Global Locations List for a circle near you.
If there isn’t one nearby, get a group together  (about five),  you will also need access to a computer and high speed Internet and contact [email protected] with your location and we’ll provide timely assistance to help setup a Study Circle in your locality.
Find out about the current circle via our Study Circles web page.
Together, we can reach our goal of 100 Circles worldwide, all united in their seeking of sacred knowledge, InshaAllah.
Are you ready?
Email our circles coordinator at [email protected]

Eid Mubarak! Exciting News from SeekersHub Global

Assalam alaikum wa rahmatullah, Dear Seekers,

It is with immense gratitude to Allah Almighty, that we give thanks for the light of Knowledge and Remembrance. These are challenging times for Muslims as individuals and as an Ummah.

We need to remember that both the Qur’an and Prophetic Guidance tell us that our collective condition is the result of a disconnect from the way of Mercy–the way of Knowledge, the way of the Shining Light of our Beloved Messenger

So what should we do in times of Darkness? Our salvation lies in spreading the shining light of Prophetic Guidance to awaken Prophetic beauty, mercy, and virtue in our lives.

So at this blessed time of Eid ul Adha, we must all be truly grateful for the way SeekersHub Global has progressed to where we are today. With the efforts and support of all of you –the SeekersHub Global family–we stand at a “unique” position: being able to offer open access to reliable, balanced, and relevant Islamic knowledge, completely FREE, without barriers–for transformative benefit and service to all God’s creation.

Support Seekers spread knowledge without barriers: become a monthly donor: why wait?

Knowledge Without Barriers: Spreading the Way of Seeking: SeekersHub Global Updates

We have some very exciting news to share with all of you:

SeekersSteps: The Clear Path for Students of Islamic Knowledge. One of our foundational programs, SeekersSteps has a mandate not really found anywhere else: a clear path and a structured curriculum of Islamic learning, from Essentials to Mastery, as a means of seeking Allah Most High.

We strive to guide, nurture, and develop students with clear learning outcomes, expectations, and assistance–and provide mentorship opportunities that help them gain both practical teaching experience and personal interaction with senior instructors. StepOne of the SeekersSteps curriculum is now offered online–and also in-person at SeekersHub Toronto.

Like all Seekers services, the SeekersSteps curriculum is offered completely FREE, and is open to all. Already, 1,000’s of students around the world have completed the first courses of StepOne, Essentials.

SeekersAnswers: Our teachers tirelessly answer dozens of religious questions every day–from specifics of beliefs and law to spiritual counsel, to practical advice on life’s challenges. Only some of these answers are posted publicly, but the Seekers Answers service has thousands of public answers that you and your friends and family can benefit from.

SeekersArabic is here. Seekers is offering a complete curriculum of Arabic that takes students from the basics of learning the language, to mastery of its unique sciences. Shaykh Ali Hani, one of the world’s leading authorities in both Arabic and Qur’an, began this past April with an intermediate-level course that almost 1,000 students are taking, across the world.

We have now on-boarded Ustadh Emad Fares, a distinguished expert in Arabic learning and curriculum, as Director of the SeekersArabic program. Term One of 2015 will feature several new Arabic courses, from StepOne: the Essentials, all completely FREE.

SeekersCircles:  Our weekly, globally-accessible communal circles of knowledge  are now hosted in over 60 cities across  the world, creating positive communities around knowledge and service. Why not connect with a Circle in your city–or even start a new one? Like all Seekers services, the SeekersCircles are completely FREE, and open to all.

SeekersRetreat Toronto: A resounding success. Alhamdulillah, SeekersHub Toronto held its first SeekersRetreat last month. 180 students learned in a refreshing and spiritually-uplifting environment–with good company, amidst the beauty of nature.

We were joined by leading contemporary scholars, all traditionally-trained and world-renowned: Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Shaykh Waleed Mosaad, Shaykh Muna Elzankaly, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, and the esteemed Shaykh Ahmed Saad Al Azhari. Students attended from across the world–not just from Toronto and the US, but also from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Argentina, and France.

At the Retreat, Shaykh Walead, Shaykh Yahya, and Shaykh Ahmed Saad all committed to offering new courses through SeekersHub Global.

Good News: Expansion of our Global Reach to London, England.  We are immensely grateful and excited to announce that Sheikh Ahmed Saad Al Azhari has joined SeekersHub Global as a Senior Instructor–and as Executive Director of the upcoming SeekersHub London.

Support Seekers Spread Knowledge Without Barriers

To continue to succeed in this commitment to spread knowledge without barriers, SeekersHub Global of course needs your support to sustain and expand the reach, impact, and benefit our services.

It is Allah who provides and sustains, but He manifests His provision and sustaining at the hands of those whom He loves and honors of His servants. Become of those whom Allah honors to support the spread of beneficial knowledge: support SeekersHub Global through your donations.

Become a monthly supporter: even $30/month (just a dollar a day) will go a long way in spreading our reach and impact. If you can, why not become a $100/month (just a daily coffee) supporter. Or give what you can, whether as a monthly supporter or through a one-time donation.

SeekersHub Global: Connections

SeekersHub Global is more than just an Academy. It is a Hub of learning; a Hub of community; a Hub of concern; a Hub of service to Allah’s creation; a Hub of connecting with fellow believers; a Hub of worship and remembrance of Allah Most High; and a Hub of nurturing and growth for ourselves, our families, our children, and our communities–in a way and method that is both deeply rooted in and connected to the Prophetic Tradition, and that is cutting edge and responsive to the challenges of our age.

It is a Hub that, by Allah’s Grace, brings blessing and good to your lives–blessings that you are being guided towards, that you seek, and that you deserve.

May Allah make us of those who seek Him in all the choices of our lives, and make us of those who come together to connect with the Prophetic way of guidance and good, for ourselves and all His creation.

On Knowing Yourself to Know God – A SeekersCircle Reflection

by Ustadha Leila Adam 
Imam al Ghazzali, may Allah have mercy on him, said: Know that the key to knowing God is to know your own self.
Therefore, says Imam al Ghazzali in “The Alchemy of Happiness”, you must seek out the truth about yourself: What sort of thing are you? Where did you come from? Where are you going? What is the purpose of your creation? What is happiness and where does it lie? What is misery and where does it lie?
The Four Natural Drivers
In the journey of self discovery, it is useful to find out some aspects of what to look for. For example, our nature will have one or more of the following four attributes as a major driving force in it:

  1. Bestial (pig-like)
  2. Predatory (dog-like)
  3. Demonic
  4. Angelic/Lordly

A bestial nature will be preoccupied with satisfying the urges of sleeping, eating and copulating, and generally be driven by bodily pleasures. It uses the faculty of appetite to get what it wants.
A predatory nature will be dedicated to freedom of the self to think and do as it pleases. It uses the faculty of anger to get what it wants.
A demonic nature will derive pleasure from deception, treachery, slandering and corruption of truth. It uses the ego to get what it wants.
An angelic or lordly nature enjoys peace and contemplation, and has a sense of yearning for higher states. It uses knowledge to get what it wants.
The bestial quality is good for caring for and strengthening the body so that it is able to do good works, but it must be kept under careful check.
The predatory quality is good for self defence when attacked, but it must not be allowed to drive us to do injustice. The demonic quality will drive a person to think negatively about everything and everyone, valuing only their own self.
The angelic quality is that little voice in the head that suggests doing a valuable act, but one should also beware of the lordly tendency to be too clever and take advantage of others.
The Four Virtues
A person who has allowed their bestial qualities to dominate will be overtaken by greed, gluttony and passions. They will always be chasing their desires. A person who has their bestial qualities in good check will be contented, chaste; and moderate and balanced in behaviour and life habits. This can be termed ‘Temperance’.
A person who has allowed their predatory qualities to dominate will be overtaken by enmity, detesting, slandering and cursing others. They will always be arguing and getting angry at people who disagree with them. A person who has their predatory qualities in good check will be courageous, generous, chivalrous and patient with others. This can be termed ‘Courage’.
A person who has allowed their demonic qualities to dominate will be self-centred, and have a sense of superiority and arrogance over others. They will dislike others and look down on them. A person who has their demonic qualities in good check will be charitable and compassionate, having sincere concern for others. This can be termed ‘Justice’.
A person who has allowed their lordly qualities to dominate will be clever and might use cunning and guile to get what they want. A person who has their lordly qualities in good check will have insight and discernment, and a sense of certainty of what is good and right. This can be termed ‘Wisdom’.
From this understanding come The Four Virtues: Courage, Temperance, Wisdom and Justice. These are four virtues we should try to cultivate in ourselves.
The Heart is Our Kingdom
The heart is the kingdom of the person. We have to protect this kingdom from the ‘vandals’ that will capture and harm it. The heart was created for the Hereafter and its happiness is in knowing God. We get to know God through His Signs (His words and creation). The heart feels joy when it sees the wonder of what God does.
The heart ‘hunts’ for this knowledge of God through the 5 outward senses and the 5 inward mind processes. The body is the vehicle of the heart. It is the only way that the heart can access what it needs. The 5 outward senses are of course: sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. The 5 inward mind processes are: visualising (seeing something in the mind’s eye), cognitive thought and understanding, memory (remembering), recollecting and reusing (dhikr), and reflecting and pondering (tafakkur).
These 10 faculties can be thought of as the ‘armies of the heart’, and should be under its command. If the heart is overtaken with desires, passions or egotism, the armies will be misused. If a person doesn’t strive to develop the Four Virtues, the heart will get ‘captured and imprisoned’ by the base natures. It then has to ‘bow to the idols’ of dogs, pigs or demons.
Diseases of the Heart
If we let our behaviour go unchecked, the cumulative result of repeatedly following our desires, emotions or egos will be the development of diseases in the spiritual heart. Just as the body will get diseases if we don’t eat properly or sleep well or exercise regularly, so the heart will suffer if our behaviour isn’t controlled. 
A person who submits to the bestial urges of appetite will manifest diseases of greed, shamelessness, foul behaviour, flattery, envy, rejoicing in other people’s misfortunes, and miserliness.
A person who submits to the predatory urges of anger and emotion will manifest diseases of hastiness, impulsiveness, impurity, lawlessness, loudness, boasting and flaunting themselves. They will also be scornful and attacking of others.
A person who submits to the demonic urges of negativity and arrogance will manifest diseases of treachery, deception, fraud, meanness and spoiling of the good, as well as callousness and lack of empathy.
The angelic or lordly nature of humans is linked with their superior intellect, over and above the animals. This quality makes us able to understand things deeply and drives us to aim for higher states. Human life provides a limited time to achieve the higher states that the heart yearns for. When we die there is nothing left of appetites, passions and egos, but the damaging effects of the disease and scars they leave on our hearts can last for eternity.
Related links:
Purification of the Heart Video
SeekersGuidance free online courses: 
Purification of the Heart & Praiseworthy Character (from Ghazali’s 40 Foundations of Religion)
The Marvels of the Heart

My Tribute to SeekersCircle – Kuala Lumpur

By Fadhilah Wahid
Saying Goodbye
For close to two years, I have been attending a weekly halaqah under SeekersCircle. Entering my fourth year of studies, unavoidable schedule clashes cropped up and I had to, very unwillingly, say my goodbyes to my newfound family. Two weeks ago was my last class, and this is my tribute to the Circle that has affected my life in countless ways.
If anyone were to question Islam’s relevance to man across all ages or colors, a short visit to the Kuala Lumpur’s branch of SeekersCircle would prove enough of an answer.
Melting Pot
The circle has recently grown to encompass a Palestinian, an Indian, a Swiss, an Arab, a German, an American, a Brit, two Indonesians, several Singaporeans and well, several Malaysians. (Oh, and a Persian cat named Tito who holds the undefeated record for best attendance.)
For the rest of the week, the Circle’s members are professionals, grandparents, students or superheroes fighting for world peace, but come Friday night, all of them would gather together under the roof of 88 Lorong Burhanuddin Helmi and transform into seekers of knowledge.
They would settle in front of the ceiling high projector, and wait earnestly for the screen to warm up.
This was definitely not the case a year and a half ago.
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Persistance of the Seeker
When the first KL Circle was formed, there were just eight of us. Teachers spoke from behind a far smaller television screen, and the Internet connection had a habit of skipping classes. Other times, the streaming would get muddled and we had to listen to the teacher repeat everything he said every minute or so. Reminders are good, but three hours of watching a teacher’s video freeze every few seconds in humid Malaysian weather?
Excruciating.
Nevertheless, we sat through. Not just for that one class, but for the entire semester. Then we signed on for another, and another. With the beginning of each new semester, we would welcome new faces into the family and soon enough, almost each square feet was filled with either a person or a yawning Persian cat.
Without doubt, Friday nights became the special of the week – a delightful serving of beneficial knowledge, great company and good food.
Reflecting on the many changes that the KL circle had gone through the past year and a half, it struck me that the reason I persevered on despite the teething issues was because the circle had in fact changed ME.
Learning much more
My favorite grandmother from the circle, Aunty Omme, summed up the lessons taught during SeekersCircle perfectly when she said, “I was brought up knowing Islam as what my parents had taught me, which is the ritual aspect of the Deen. However, when I began attending the Circle, I learnt that Islam is much more than that.”
The lessons – explanations and elaborations of great books like the Ihya’ of Imam Al-Ghazali – required the full attention of our minds and the full reflection of our souls. Even from Perth, Canada or some hotel in God-Knows-Where, the counsels and lessons esteemed Seekers Guidance teachers like Syeikh Faraz Rabbani or Syeikh Yahya Rhodus reached close to our hearts.
Every lesson was like having your entire lives ripped opened and laid out on the floor. Either you render yourselves blind or face up to all your dirty secrets.
As my fellow Circle member, Nursuraya, puts it, “The lessons made me reflect on who I really am, what beneficial actions have I done, and if all of the knowledge I have learned throughout the years have been put to good use.”
However, it was not just the lessons that had the pull of a rare-earth magnet. It was, also, being surrounded by a whole group of individuals who are outstanding in their characters, in their professional careers, and most importantly, in their thirst to seek knowledge.
Commitment
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Take Aunty Omme and her husband, for instance. Despite their old age and less than strong bodies, their spirit to learn and understand the Deen propels them to make their way to 88
Lorong Burhanuddin Helmi every single week, rain or shine.
Or Hamzah, the eight year old boy who could not understand the lecture but sits behind me with a Yaseen track on replay because he wanted to memorize it.
It would of course be incomplete to not mention Brother Amran and his wife, Sister Lina, the hosts of KL SeekersCircle. My gratitude to them for the countless things they did for the Circle are unsurmountable – the sacrifices, the time, the sweat and the money coming out from their own pockets – only Allah swt can reward them adequately.

SeekersGuidance Joins Forces with the Al-Ghazzali Centre

Bismillah,

A message to our students and supporters

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We are very pleased to announce that SeekersGuidance has entered into an official partnership with the Al-Ghazzali Centre. Our partnership unites two established organisations, with the same vision, values and aims, SeekersGuidance being based in North America and the Al-Ghazzali Centre being based in Australia.
Together, we are uniquely positioned to offer key educational services globally, including:
  • Online courses: SeekersAcademy
  • Study Circles: SeekersCircles
  • Seminars: SeekersSeminars
  • Webinars: SeekersWebinars
  • A constant stream of relevant and up to date information, in the form of our Answers service, blog and podcasts.

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All of these important services will continue to grow, insha Allah, and result in increased benefit on all levels. All of our existing services will continue, and new services will be introduced.

What does this mean for our students?

  • Learning from an increased portfolio of scholars
  • Benefiting from a jointly developed curriculum by the two organisations
  • Access to more learning material

The goals of the two organisations will be merged to provide direction for the further development of all of our joint services.

SeekersGuidance aims to spread the sacred knowledge that has been transmitted from our noble Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), far and wide, in a way that is pleasing to God and inspires and enables its recipients to act on that knowledge to the greatest benefit.

SeekersGuidance aims to develop students to:

  1. Be sound and balanced Muslims, who adhere to the Prophetic way.
  2. Be valuable members of their community
  3. Act on the knowledge they have through love for Allah and His messesnger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).

SeekersGuidance aims to do this by:

  1. Providing globally accessible religious guidance
  2. Ensuring that educational services are offered with excellence and beauty
  3. Developing a Holistic Methodology for Students to Grow (Prophetic Balance)
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Al- Ghazzali Centre is committed to the dissemination of the true Traditional Islamic Principles and Knowledge from the Prophetic Traditions, and as understood by the rightly- guided scholars of Islam. It aims to decipher information on Islamic Sciences for those searching for Truth and those who are working to raise their standards in the Personal Development of life.

All of the training and knowledge shared by al- Ghazzali Centre is aimed to effect the following:

  • Provide a higher level of understanding of Islam to Muslims
  • Expose Islamic Principles to non-Muslims as a tool to for a successful life
  • Implement the Islamic Principles in the daily lives for the betterment of the humanity

We hope that you will continue to benefit from SeekersGuidance and the Al-Ghazzali centre.

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