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7 Student Testimonials to Inspire You #2

Last year alone SeekersHub Global Islamic Seminary served more than 80,000 students from over 140 countries.

Here is what some of them had to say.

SeekersHub courses challenge you on the things you thought you knew

I wanted to sign up with a course from SeekersHub as I wanted to gain more knowledge on the deen, but I never knew where to start. People from various social media platforms encouraged me to be engaged with this organization as it was one of the more authentic means to gain knowledge in comparison to the variety of non-authentic things you can get on the internet.

I didn’t have any concerns when signing up because it was more of a case of I won’t lose out on anything if I signed up. You’re getting more out of signing up than you could lose. Since the classes were online, I was able to organize the time in my daily life to prioritize the gaining of knowledge. It helped me remove the unnecessary things that I do day to day and It helped me gain a wider understanding of things that I was not clear about in the beginning.

The courses challenge you on the things you thought you had an idea on. You have nothing to lose by signing up and the worst that could happen would be you would be where you started on your path, not behind it.

Joshna Yasmin Ali – London, UK

SeekersHub helped me realize the importance of prayers

I saw taking classes at SeekersHub as a tangible way of keeping my ever-turning heart more consistently in line with Allah’s grace. I also saw it as a useful way of learning for the sake of Allah. My only worries was how manageable would it be to pick and commit to a course and the background of the teachers I would be learning from.

Through these classes I realized the importance of prayers, and learning that knowledge is for Allah alone. I felt a sense of grounding in my spiritual development through this. To someone wondering on whether they should take classes here, just do it – procrastination and putting things off is either our way of masking our fears of getting things wrong, or Shaytan’s way of keeping us down and in despair of Allah’s mercy.

Have hope in what Allah is offering to you and give it a try – you’ll have lost nothing for trying. Thank you to all the teachers, and thank you for making it free and accessible.

Mobeen Salih – London, UK

SeekersHub changed my approach to knowledge from combative to gentle

I joined SeekersHub because I believe that the teachers are trustworthy and that they have a good agenda and a good intention. I wish to benefit and be a part of that. My only worries were from my end due to the fact that I have learning difficulties, and executive function difficulties.

I often wish I can be near to SeekersHub but I am very blessed to have access via the internet. Through SeekersHub I was exposed to some of the most knowledgeable and beneficial scholars of our time. I wish Seekershub can refresh Islam everywhere, because it refreshes myself.

I have changed my approach to knowledge from being very literal and harsh and debate-driven, thanks to Shaykh Faraz’s gentle example. He has taught me that intelligence can be equally deep and meaningful as a spiritual tool. I don’t know the history of SeekersHub except it may have been inspired by SunniPath some time ago.

I live in NZ but so much of the real estate of my heart is deeply affected by those who are spreading light with the aid of SeekersHub. I can only pray for Seekershub to have success in much abundance. If there is a reviver, I feel your work is a big part of this.

Thank you all so much and may Allah reward all of you with much abundant good both in this life and in the hereafter

Lydia Mills – Auckland, New Zealand

SeekersHub studies improved my relationship to Allah

I registered for Seekers courses because I felt that my knowledge about Islam was very insufficient and I wanted to improve my relationship with Allah Ta‘ala. Alhamdulillah, my family and I never hesitated to register for the courses we took on Seekers.

I’ve realized the importance of studying with a teacher and I’ve realized the importance of seeking Sacred Knowledge in this day and age. After taking a few Seekers courses, I continued to pursue my Islamic education, and I’m now taking an ‘Alimah degree, alhamdulillah.

Learning the Faraid al ‘Ayn is a must for every Muslim, and we’re here in this world to please Allah Ta‘ala in whatever we do. We must know that which pleases and displeases Him, so that we may perform those acts which please Him, and avoid those which displease Him.

Ikhlas – Auckland, New Zealand

SeekersHub offers a rich variety of important and needed Islamic courses

I joined SeekersHub to learn more about my deen. SeekersHub truly follows the Sunni way and it has benefited my family and me. SeekersHub offers a rich variety of different Islamic courses which are very important nowadays and which we are in immense need of. I pray that Allah may reward you.

Hayat S – Switzerland

SeekersHub courses have changed everything in my life in a positive way

Alhamdulillah, Allah Most High blessed me at a young age with a desire to seek sacred knowledge. But living in the West, and in a rural community, imposed many limitations. Being a woman also meant I couldn’t travel and live in a foreign country to learn (more than the fard al-‘ayn) without a mahram. So I had a look at several online courses offering traditional Islamic knowledge, but most of them were either too costly or had many prerequisites which I wasn’t yet able to fulfill.

SeekersHub seemed like the only option for me, so I enrolled. Alhamdulillah that I did! I often think, where would I be today if I hadn’t? Alhamdulillah, I had no qualms before or after signing up for my first class, or for any Seekers course since. This is because I know with certainty that the knowledge being conveyed is taught through authentic chains of transmission, and that the teachers are all qualified Islamic scholars.

I feel like these courses have changed everything in my life (in a positive way). But one thing I can say really benefited me is the absolute and apparent sincerity of the teachers. Even though I read many books on my own, learning these vast subjects with a qualified teacher enriched my understanding and truly humbled me. Through SeekersHub I’ve learnt that the benefits of seeking sacred knowledge are innumerable.

I now feel more motivated to perform supererogatory acts of worship and I have more respect for those around me, especially my parents. My aspirations are loftier now than ever. If you’re unsure about joining SeekersHub, do some research, and “ask those of remembrance if you know not.”

I probably would not have looked into SeekersHub if it hadn’t been recommended to me by a scholar I respect. But in the end, just pray istikhara and click that ‘Register’ button; you won’t regret it! I think the team at SeekersHub is taking care of a much-needed fard al kifaya. May Allah Most High preserve our scholars, and reward well those who seek knowledge of His din!

Sufi – New Zealand


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Interview with Shaykh Mohammad Ba-Dhib, Scholar-in-Residence

Syeda Husain from SeekersHub Toronto interviews our newest scholar-in-residence, Shaykh Mohammad Abu Bakr Ba-Dhib.

Shaykh Mohammad Ba-Dhib, sits in his brightly lit office and waits for me to begin the interview. We have another brother present, a student named Abdullah waiting to assist us if a translation is required. Shaykh smiles at me and I ask if I can record the interview for my own notes and record. He obliges.

I tell him that I will be asking questions about his childhood, and chosen path of Islamic studies. He laughs a little nervously.

I know that the newest resident-scholar of SeekersHub was born in Shibam, Hadramawt, Yemen. He is not much older than me but has published over 70 books in theology, Islamic Fiqh, Islamic history, Arabic literature, Arabic poetry. His accomplishments might intimidate me if it wasn’t for his warm smile and approachable demeanour.

I begin by asking Shaykh Mohammad about his favourite subject in all the topics he has studied, researched and written of. He tells me enjoys the history of Hadith, and particularly the biography of the Fuqaha and Muhaddit’hain. Shaykh Mohammad tells me that he was always inclined towards learning in the Islamic tradition. He was but eight years old and had memorized the last quarter of the Holy Qu’ran. He loved going to madrassa after school for the Maghrib prayer, and would stay to study of his own volition. When many children are commanded by their parent to sit, listen, learn and recite, Shaykh Muhammad was eager to be immersed in this Prophetic tradition.

Shaykh Mohammad was an excellent student and so much that even in his youth, his peers named him “Shaykh Badiyya” after their teacher because of his mature disposition and affinity for learning in the Islamic Sciences.

His Studies

As the youngest of five boys (his eldest brother is 22 years older) I wonder whether his parents encouraged him to pursue his passion for Islamic studying. He laughs heartily.

I rephrase my question and wonder whether his father wanted him to be an engineer or a doctor, because he was always such a high achieving student in all subjects.

“A pharmacist or a doctor,” he says with a shining smile. “[Initially] My father was against me.”

He moved to Saudi Arabia when he was 12 years old and studied with one of the greatest Shaykhs of that time, Shaykh Umer Jadahi Sadaat. Shaykh Muhammad wanted to go to study at Al-Ahqaf University in Tarim, Yemen, which only began running programs and classes in 1996. Naturally, his father had some reservations about the institution as it had only recently been established.

The teachers at the university recited Fatiha and not long after, his father had an operation. During his recovery, he went to the the teachers and they helped encourage him to give his son his blessing.

Shaykh Muhammad is the proud father of three children, two teenage sons ( one of whom is already Hafiz) and a very young daughter. He tells me that he would support his children’s decision to enrol in traditional Islamic studies. In fact, he would even prefer if one of them chose that path. I notice that he does not discriminate between genders of his children. I ask him about the perceived lack women in Islamic Scholarship, and if there women on the path of seeking knowledge. Shaykh Muhammad sits up and for a moment looks serious. I understand this is to emphasize the importance of what he will clarify. “I have taken Ijaazat from Syeddat (female teachers)!”

Female Scholarship

Shaykh Mohammad tells me about one of his own teachers and mentors, Dr. Attiya Arab, who granted him Ijaaza in Hadith. She taught at the University of Karachi and comes from a long line of scholars who have contributed immensely to Islamic Scholarship. She has Ijaaza in teaching the Isnad from Shaykh Maymani. Her father is Maulana Khalyl Al-Yamani.

This is also of significance. At Aligarh Islamic University in India, there is a council of Arabic and Islamic studies which publishes a special edition of a journal. One issue includes the entire treatise that Dr. Attiya Arab wrote. The point of sharing this is to illustrate that great scholars are certainly taught by women.

Shaykh Mohammad’s craving for knowledge not only took him to Tarim, but to Beirut, Lebanon. He completed his PhD in Theology from Aligarh University in India. Over a four-year period, he completed his doctorate in the History of Hadhrami Scholars in India, while travelling back to the Middle East.

He grins and tells me that butter chicken was his favourite dish. I smile knowingly, because who among the most pious people and greatest minds, does not love juicy chicken pieces smothered in a creamy savory sauce?

“After that?” I ask.

“Parathas, with ghee” he replies very quickly. We digress from the usual interview questions and Shaykh Muhammad tells me that in Yemen, there is a similar type of bread called “barowtha”. I am beginning to get hungry.

I ask Shaykh Mohammad about his experiences in India. He tells me that after Makkah, Madinah and Yemen, India is a spiritual place full of Islamic tradition, and I can see that it is very close to his heart.

He describes a very precious memory to me, as I listen keenly. Shaykh Mohammad is the type of teacher who makes you want to catch every word he says.

“When I was in India, the laundry man … how do you say…”

“Dhobi?” I offer.

“Yes,” he grins “Dhobi! The dhobi used to iron my clothes – 2 Rupees per piece, and he used coal in the iron…:”

“He used coal?” I asked incredulously.

I look at Brother Abdullah to make sure that the words are correct in English. He nods and they exchange a few sentences in Arabic. Brother Abdullah smiles and confirms. “Yes, they use coal.”

Shaykh Muhammad asks Brother Abdullah to Google it. He does. I am fascinated by this information, and also feeling a slight bit sheepish because I had no idea they put coal in irons.

But this incredibly knowledgeable Shaykh, remembers the 80-something year old ‘Dhobi’ who pressed his clothes over four years. He remembers him well. I wonder if the coal ever stained his clothes. But Shaykh Mohammad is pristine and I immediately feel a pang of guilt for assuming that the Dhobi wouldn’t be anything but phenomenal in his professional work.

I appreciated how Shaykh Ba-Dhib recollected this memory, something small that is ample yet meaningful, a poignant reminder of his personality and character.

Often, we see our teachers and our Shuyukh as people who are larger than life. They espouse knowledge, wisdom and are often our guides to betterment. But there are always the moments when their personalities shine through and we get an opportunity to see them as part of the Umma, as former students who struggled, as those striving to follow in the path of the Prophetic tradition, as people who remember their journeys with gratitude and reflection.

Earning a PhD in Theological studies is not a simple task. Taking in the surroundings in a foreign country with so much positivity is no small feat. This is one of the small lessons I have picked up from our hour-long conversation.

Advice to Students

Shaykh Mohammad guides students to have a clear focus. He is very ready to offer a lot of practical advice.

“Students should have a plan,” he reiterates. “So they do not get distracted.” Shaykh Mohammad believes that being goal-oriented is important in many things, particularly in higher studies.

He has not only shown this from a very young age, but continues to exemplify this today. He is of the highest calibre of teachers and brings a sound understanding and personality to SeekersHub.

I make a mental note to bring butter chicken to the next community event.


A Year of Plenty – Marking a Milestone in Mississauga

Has it really been a year? This week marks the 12 months since SeekersHub Toronto moved in to our current home in Mississauga, Alhamdulillah. Here are some highlights.

We were blessed with many distinguished guests at our Opening Night event

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus joined us for Worship, Coffee, & the Meaning of Life

Sidi Nader Khan blessed us, many times, with poetry and rhymes in praise of the Prophet ﷺ

Our Ramadan program was host to special guests, including Shaykh Muhammad Mendes, Shaykh Walead Mosaad, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus and Dr Ingrid Mattson and more…

30 Days, 30 Deeds – A collection of deeds to make your Ramadan even more rewarding.

Dr Ingrid Mattson guided us on how to listen to Allah

Ustadha Umm Umar gently taught us how the Prophet taught, nurtured and guided children through compassion, love and modelling right action

We were blessed by the presence of both Dr. Umah Faruq Abd Allah and Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said


Ustadh Amjad Tarsin joined us many times on stage over the passed 12 months, but this short talk was a stand out


Coming up this weekend, coinciding with the 1 year anniversary, we will have a special guest at SeekersHub Toronto. Shaykh Yahya will be joining Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and Ustadh Amjad Tarsin for a Southern Ontario tour. You can find out more about the tour by visiting the website.

Signs of the Hour: The Fiqh of the End of Times, by Shaykh Ahmed Saad al-Azhari

There are a lot of people these days speaking about the End of Times, but what do we actually know about these coming days? Shaykh Ahmed Saad al-Azhari offers a special intensive seminar on this.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) spoke about signs that would indicate the coming of the Day of Judgement, but how important is this knowledge to way we live our lives? Should we be fearful of what is to come, or should our study lead us to be hopeful.
In this special one-day intensive program, Shaykh Ahmed Saad al-Azhari guides us through this often difficult and misunderstood subject using Habib Abu Bakr Al-Mashhur’s pioneering work, An-Nubdhah As-Sughrah, newly translated into English by Shaykh Ahmed himself.

How Umar Entered Islam – Studying the Life of the Prophet ﷺ – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In the weekly class, Studying the Life of the Prophet ﷺ Shaykh Faraz Rabbani covered the conversion story of Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattab in some detail.
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He shared background to the conversion: (1) How Sayyiduna Umar—one of the greatest enemies of Islam before his conversion—had key qualities of character that gave him the potential both for belief and for greatness as a believer and human being; (2) The encounters he had with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his recitation of the Qur’an, and how that deeply moved him… and more.
sh_toronto_sistersShaykh Faraz also shared interesting lessons, including the clear distinction between the sunna of discretion and wisdom in one’s actions, as opposed to weakness and wavering on the truth….
Please support SeekersHub spread #knowledgewithout barriers: all our online courses, classes, and services are completely free—and reach tens of thousands of people around the world. Help support and spread relevant and reliable Prophetic guidance: become a monthly supporter — http://SeekersHub.org/donate

Current SeekersHub Toronto Classes

Class

Day & Time

Location

 
Understanding the Prophetic Way:
Imam Nawawi’s 40 Hadith Explained

With Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Mondays
5pm – 7pm
UTM
(Room: DH 3055)
 
Studying the Life of the Prophet ﷺ:
The Messenger in Mecca – Lessons in Faith, Struggle & Hope

With Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Wednesdays
7.30pm – 9.30pm
SeekersHub
Toronto
 
Circle of Light:
A Night of Remembrance, Praise & Inspiration

With Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Thursdays
7.30pm – 9.30pm
SeekersHub
Toronto
SeekersSteps  
SeekersStep One: Understanding the Essentials
What You Need to Know about Faith, Worship, and Practice

With Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Saturdays
10.00am – 12.00pm
SeekersHub
Toronto
 
How to Seek Islamic Knowledge:
Zarnuji’s Guidance for Seekers and Teachers Explained

With Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Saturdays
12.00pm – 2.00pm
SeekersHub
Toronto
Books  
The Revival Circle:
Reading Imam Ghazali’s Revival of the Religious Sciences

With Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Sundays
11.00am – 1.00pm
SeekersHub
Toronto
 
Nurturing Love & Mercy:
The Book of Assistance (Sisters’ Only Class)

With Ustadha Nagheba Hayel
Sundays
8.30am – 10.30am
SeekersHub
Toronto

Seven Counsels for Successful Service and Activism – Advice from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani at SeekersHub Team Meeting

Recently, a group of volunteers gathered at SeekersHub Toronto for a strategy meeting. At the end of the gathering, I shared the following seven counsels on successful service and activism:

One: Renew Your Intention Regularly

The first point is that it is always important to renew one’s intention. What are we trying to do? We’re seeking Allah through serving His Creation.
This is, in reality, entailed by our faith (iman) itself. The Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) said, “None of you believes until they wish for others what they wish for themselves.” [Bukhari and Muslim] He also said (peace and blessings be upon him), “None of you believes until they wish for others of the good what they wish for themselves.” [Nasa’i]
A basic expression of gratitude to Allah Most High–for the gifts of faith, and guidance, and good–is that one wishes those things for others. But wishing it for others is not simply saying: “Well, I hope others get it, too.” Rather, the proof of wishing it for others is how one actively tries to convey the good to them.
We have to keep renewing this intention of service—reminding ourselves that our service, activism, and effort is about seeking the pleasure of Allah Most High, in ways pleasing to Him.

Two: Be With The Group

Second, know that the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) emphasized the strength and need of the group. He said (peace and blessings be upon him), “Hold fast to the group and beware of going it alone. Verily, the Shaytan is close to the one alone and is more distant from two. Whoever seeks the highest of Paradise, let them be with the group.” [Tirmidhi]
Why? Being with the group—community and collective effort — has many benefits. One benefit is that collective effort is more impactful than individual effort.
Being alone results in harms, and disconnection cuts us off from sources of benefit—for ourselves and for others. Be connected through your service to community, and help others connect—so that you benefit and facilitate benefit for others.
We should always remember the need for that group—of community, of working together — and also reaching out and helping other people connect. This is integral to any work we do.
The Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) said, “The group is mercy, and parting from it is torment.” [Ahmad and Tabarani, Awsat]
You will have seen that in your own social and family circles, those who disconnect and distance themselves from community get distanced from benefit—and those who remain connected grow and increase.

Three: Uphold a Collaborative Spirit

The third is to keep in mind the spirit of collaboration (ta’awun) with others—both in our own projects and organizations, and also with others’ projects and organizations. Seek and assist in the good, in others’ efforts and in others’ projects, as if they were your own.
Allah Most High commands: “Assist one another in all that is good and virtuous.” [Qur’an, 5.2]
Thus, anytime you hear of any good that others are engaged in—whether in our own group or circles, or outside of them—ask yourself: “Can I help out?” Help others; encourage them; encourage others to help them; promote their efforts…
For example, let’s say our Academy team sends out an email saying asking for feedback on their plans. This spirit would mean taking two minutes to comment and share your thoughts.
This collaborative spirit is also tested by how we view other groups and organizations—and our attitude towards them.
A foundational part of our ethos—of the Prophetic spirit and concern — is that we should not see “others” involved in similar projects as “competition,” in any negative or defensive way.
Rather, we should view them as our partners in calling to Allah (Most High), as partners in the good we’re trying to promote. We should want success for them as we want and pray for success for ourselves
We should promote their projects, programs, and events, as we would promote our own—without any hesitation, defensiveness, or negative attitudes.
We shouldn’t wait for others to ask before we promote their events. We should be proactive in doing so—and doing so is a test of sincerity, trueness, and of having Prophetic attitude and concern.
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Four: Seek Allah’s Helping Through Help Others</>

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) promised that, “Allah is in the aid of His servant as long as they are in the aid of others.” [Muslim and Tirmidhi] This promise applies to both individuals and groups.
Have complete certainty with respect to this promise: when we help others and promote their projects—seeking Allah Most High thereby—we will find Divine Assistance and Divine Aid in our lives and our projects. Our attitude of collaboration should be a value we uphold for Allah, as a Prophetic way—without hesitation nor ulterior considerations. And it shouldn’t be conditional on others’ reciprocation.
To deeply root such collaboration, we should strive to establish formal relationships of mutual collaboration—and define the processes of making collaboration happen. But even without such relationships, we should uphold a collaborative spirit. More than this, we should promote others’ efforts even if they don’t and won’t promote our efforts and projects. Our actions aren’t for them—they should be for Allah.
There are a lot of good things happening in the community, and having a collaborative attitude actually helps you learn from others’ successful efforts. You will notice the things they’re doing well, it will help you in improving your individual and collective efforts.

Five: Ask From Allah Most High—Knowing that Success is from Him, not from your efforts

Remember that service is about seeking Allah—by Allah. In the Fatiha we affirm, “It is You alone we serve; and it is You alone that we rely upon.” [Qur’an, 1.4] The most powerful means for success in service is to seek assistance from Allah Most High.
How do we seek Allah’s assistance? Make dua before all that you do. Make dua for Allah’s assistance specifically for your efforts and projects of service after prayer, at night in night worship, whenever you work and plan.
Habib Kadhim said that 80% of true success is asking Allah. Our effort is necessary, but it is adab with the Divine. The Giver is Allah Himself.
This is a spiritual commitment for spiritually-meaningful and transformative activism: make dua for all the projects you’re involved in; make dua for others’ projects; make dua for those you are working with, individually and by name, and for others who are striving for the good.

Six: Strive To Embody What You Call Others To

Always reflect: “Am I striving to uphold what I am calling others to?” This shouldn’t hold you back if you find shortcomings in your own character and conduct. Rather, it should instill a renewed resolve to call yourself to Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), and to all good we’re calling others to.
The masters of the spiritual path would say, “Call yourself to Allah just as you call others to Allah.” Service (khidma) is both an honour and opportunity as well as a responsibility, trust, and test.
One aspect of this in our work is that everyone should strive to attend least one class a week. Calling others to seek beneficial knowledge is a communal obligation—but also a personal duty we shouldn’t neglect.
If we don’t strive to do this, it could be from the Divine Warning, “Believers, why do you say that which you don’t do?” [Qur’an, 61.2] This is a reminder to call oneself just as one calls others—and to begin with oneself, for blessed calling.
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Seven: Call To Benefit Without Hesitation

Don’t be shy about sharing benefit within your own circles. Sometimes the ‘there-are-other-people-taking-care-of-it’ attitude affects us. Or we feel shy to tell people—fearing being labelled or fearing negative perceptions.
Instead, anything good worth pursuing is worth promoting and sharing. This applies to the Hub’s programs, as well as others’ programs.
Whenever there is a program, new class, or project, strive to share the email or social media messages—and directly tell friends and family about it. People follow people more than they follow distant promotional messages.
May Allah Most High make us of those whom He praises: “Who is better in statement than one who calls to Allah, does righteous deeds, and affirms that ‘I am truly of those who submit’.” [Qur’an, 41.33]
And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

On the Sacred Journey: Meeting at the Oasis of the 2014 Seekers Retreat “Awakening the Heart”

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Reflection by Maryam J. Mathieu

During the drive to Camp Couchiching for the annual SeekersHub Toronto retreat, all I could think about was what questions I could ask the scholars to help me figure out how to make hijra into a new life. For years, and especially since I converted to Islam a year and a half ago, I’d obsessed about where I want to go, besides where I am, and what I want to do, besides what I’m doing.
I thought the answer to my happiness and my salvation was just around the corner. I believed that somewhere else is where I needed to be in order to be who I want to be and do what I’m meant to be doing. I felt like the friends and community I yearned for were somewhere else, and the work I longed to be doing was something else. I believed that in order for me to be happy and beloved to All Mighty Allah, I needed to go find that community where I belonged and that work for His sake that I longed to be doing.
My mind turned and turned on these questions, but within hours of arriving at the retreat, that changed. In one of the very first lectures, before I could think of the right questions or find the opportunity to seek counsel from any of the scholars, the questions I couldn’t even articulate were answered with finality, Praise be to God.
In his lecture from the Hikam of ibn Ata’illah, Shaykh Ahmad Saad warned us of the barriers that prevent our hearts from waking up to hear All Mighty Allah’s Call and the Messages He Sends everyday to Guide us on our Journey to Him. One of these barriers, Shaykh Ahmad told us, is the danger of attachment to states, the belief that another state of being, whether it’s a place or way of living, is the key to our happiness and salvation.
Rather, he explains to us, the state we are in at the moment is the state we are meant to be in, and yearning for another state, believing it is the key to our happiness and salvation prevents us from achieving that very happiness and salvation. Our mission is in the moment, and we need to trust All Mighty Allah to bring us to successive beautiful states while we focus on navigating the terrain He lays at our feet and heeding His Guidance as we travel terrain we can only see with our hearts.
As Muslims, we understand that this life is temporary; it’s a bridge between worlds, and we’re travelers on a Journey to our eternal Home, insha’Allah. And as Muslims, we know we’re traveling together. We’re on a sacred caravan through the worlds, and we have a responsibility to help each other on this Journey. We are instructed by the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) to feed each other when we’re hungry, support each other when we’re weak and protect each other when we’re in danger. Our strength is in community, and it’s in unity and coming together to guide, protect and shelter each other from the ravages of the dunya that our success in the akhira, both individually and as an Ummah, depends. The question is not, who do I want to be helping on the Path, but rather, who has Allah put on my Path to help?
Being at the SeekersHub retreat, I realized that my mission as a Muslim is to be where I am, on the terrain that All Mighty Allah has placed me. I need to be here with excellence, and while I’m focusing on what is at my feet, I need to put total trust in All Mighty Allah to Guide me to the next state I am meant to be in, God Willing. I realized also that retreats like this one, and like the Al Maqasid retreat I was at just a couple weeks prior, are oases on this Journey. I may not be where I long to be, but here are the people I love all gathered in remembrance of The Most Merciful, preparing to return to their homes to do His work, God Willing.
As Muslims, we all recognize this Journey, on some level, but it is easy to forget our mission and the responsibilities of the trusts that All Mighty Allah has put in our care. We get transfixed by the kaleidoscope of our fears, desires, conflicts, jealousies, resentments and other fleeting impulses meant to divert our gaze from the Face of Allah. In the daily grind of life in the dunya, our internal map becomes shredded and worn out and our compass, our heart, becomes unbalanced. We focus on our own needs, or the needs of those we love, rather than focusing on our neighbors’ needs and our community’s needs. But this retreat reminded me that we’re all in this together.
That’s why retreats like this one are vital to us, as individuals and as an Ummah. They are an oasis on the Journey where we can pause from the frantic pace of life and have our scholars help us repair and update our maps while they help us re-calibrate our hearts. The Qur’an with the Sunnah is our map and our hearts are our compasses, and without both in working condition, we are lost.
These oases are also a place to meet up with fellow travelers and seekers who remind us of what it means to be a Muslim. They offer the kind of companionship that is the promise of Islam, but which is so often lacking in our communities, so much so that we can forget it even exists. I’ve begun to meet friends at these retreats who I hope will be reminders on my Path and who I pray will be my neighbors in the akhira, God-willing. It’s also an opportunity to drink deep from the Spring of faith and prophetic guidance, which we will need for the next leg of our Journey, before we reach the next oasis retreat.
So as my map was filled in and updated, my compass calibrated and my heart warmed by the fire of companionship with gentle and soft-hearted Muslims, I’m reminded of my sacred mission on my Journey. I’m given renewed faith and energy to undergo the trials and tribulations that are the nature of the Path through life, because it’s not where I will end up on my Path that is important. Rather it’s where I am now that matters, and my sacred mission is to navigate the terrain at my feet with faith, patience and excellence, and to trust Allah to take care of the rest. Ameen.

Supplications for the Oppressed and Distressed from SeekersHub Toronto


PDF Attachment: Selected Supplications – Hub Toronto
Attached is a collection of supplications and prayers, from great scholars of the Islamic tradition, that we recite regularly at SeekersHubToronto (Toronto.SeekersHub.org).
These supplications include the two powerful Prayers for Victory (Hizb al-Nasr), of Imam Abdullah bin Alawi al-Haddad and Imam Abu’l Hasan al-Shadhili; the Prayer for the Oppressed (Dua al-Nasiri, included here with Ayesha Bewley’s translation); and other supplications and prayers.
You can also find these at here
Do share with friends and family, insha’Allah! 
Allah Most High has promised, “Call upon Me and I will indeed answer you.”[Qur’an]
The central adab of supplication is to, “Call upon Allah with complete certainty in His response,” as the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) reminded us.
This response is in the way and time that Allah wills, but is a promise and guarantee for any sincere supplication made with presence of heart and neediness.
Contents:
Hizb al-Nasr – Imam Shadhili
Hizb al-Nasr – Imam Haddad
Dua al-Nasiri
Ya Arham al-Rahimin – Habib Abd Allah b. Husain b. Tahir
Salat al-Mashishiyya – Ibn Mashish
Hizb al-Bahr – Imam Shadhili
Wird al-Shaykh Abu Bakr b. Salim
Dua Sayyidi al-Husain b. al-Shaykh Abu Bakr b. Salim

The Revival of the Religious Sciences – Studying the Ihya

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is covering two books in the Ihya in his weekly live classes from SeekersHub Toronto:

Book 2: The Principles of Islamic Belief

Book 13: Earning a Living

These classes will deepen the understanding of key subject-areas for concerned seekers, from one of the greatest, most blessed, and most insightful works of the Islamic tradition and develop seekers’ understanding of Arabic, as the text will be read in Arabic, translated, and some key Arabic vocabulary and usage will be explained.
Click here to register

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About Ihya ulum al-din
Imam al-Ghazali’s masterwork The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya ‘ulum al-din) is an unrivalled sourcebook of Muslim spiritual wisdom. Practical rather than abstract, the compelling force of this text has changed millions of lives – and continues to do so today.

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad explains in the introduction to The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife: Book XL of The Revival of the Religious Sciences, ed. by T. J. Winter, Islamic Texts Society 1995:

Imam al-Ghazali (d.1111), known as the ‘Proof of Islam’, authored over a hundred books on all the Islamic scholarly disciplines.

Famed as a jurist, theologian and teacher at the Nizamiyya madrasa in Baghdad, he mastered the swirling intellectual currents of his day to articulate the importance and harmony of Islamic orthodoxy with compelling and renewed clarity.

This is most clear in the work for which he is most celebrated, The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din), a compendium of spiritual guidance which he wrote to revive the flagging fortunes of the Islamic world in his age.

Covering every aspect of the religion, from belief, to worship, to daily life, to vice, virtue, and the final encounter with God, this text is regarded as one of the masterpieces of world sacred literature.

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani answered a question in regards to Ihya ulum-al din:

The reason that the scholars and others paid so much attention to Ihya’ `Ulum id Din, ‘The Revival of the Religious Sciences’ by Imam Ghazali is because he (may Allah have mercy on him and be well pleased with him) explained the realities of Islam in the most stunning way and with the most subtle of discourse.

Imam Ghazali also explained the diseases of hearts that destroy one on the Day of Judgment and explained the ways the shaytan enters upon one and how one may cure this.

Importance of Imam al-Ghazali today – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Lessons from the Life of Imam al-Ghazali – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

1. al-Zabidi, Ithaf al-sada al-muttaqin (Cairo, 1311), I, 27.