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Back to Our Roots as SeekersGuidance – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

A Renewed Commitment to be the First Truly Global Islamic Seminary: An announcement by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Assalam alaykum,

The year 2019 will bring some exciting changes to our services and programming. Moving forward, we are very pleased to announce our new name: we’re going back to our founding name, SeekersGuidance.

This is part of the growth of our online Islamic seminary. Neither our services nor your donations will be affected by this change. Your donations to “SeekersHub Global” will continue as they are to support our shared causes of spreading light and knowledge; we have always been legally registered as “SeekersGuidance.” Also, we are resuming our teaching on the ground in Toronto as “SeekersGuidance Canada.”

And do bookmark www.seekersguidance.org as our new URL.

Why the Name Change?

SeekersGuidance began in the summer of 2008, by Sidi Mumen al-Hamawi (now our Programs and Development Director) and me. We were striving to establish an online portal to open access to Islamic education, and a free question and answer service to anyone, anywhere.

As part of this concern, we soon adopted the #KnowledgeWithoutBarriers paradigm, and made all our online courses and educational offerings completely free.

As a result, we grew from 600 students in 2011 to about 90,000 student registrations in 2018 alone. Alhamdulillah!

Establishing a Global Islamic Seminary

Our teachers – some of the leading Islamic scholars, such as Habib Umar bin Hafiz , Shaykh Nuh Keller, Shaykh Akram Abd al-Wahhab, and Imam Zaid Shakir – have urged us to take “all possible means” to establish a truly global Islamic seminary, offering a full curriculum of top-quality Islamic education, for anyone, anywhere.

This is a major mandate that we have been working steadily towards. For this, we added “Global Islamic Seminary” to our name, “SeekersHub.” However, “SeekersHub Global Islamic Seminary” was becoming quite a mouthful.

As such, we are returning to our roots, and our name is back to SeekersGuidance. Our moniker is “The Global Islamic Seminary.”

(There is also the matter of the parting of the ways with our previous home in Toronto, which is retaining the name “SeekersHub Toronto.” Though we own the rights to the name, “SeekersHub,” and retain the domain “SeekersHub.org,” part of our commitment to part with grace is that we are allowing our brothers and sisters at the Hub to keep the name – and we wish them all the best.)

What Are The Implications? Will Any Services be Affected?

None of our services be affected by this name change. Rather, we are renewing our commitment to excellence (ihsan) and to consistently improve and expand our educational services.

Thus, we are continuing to strive to make our Steps curriculum, online Courses, Answers, Podcasts, Blog, and other projects cater to the needs of our community in the best and most beneficial ways.

The “Double the Impact” Initiative

We reached 90,000 student registrations and nearly five million unique visitors to our website in 2018. But the need to spread the light of Prophetic knowledge and guidance is far, far wider. As such, our goal for 2019 is to “Double the Impact” of our online offerings.

We want to reach 200,000 student registrations and ten million visitors to our website in 2019.

This is not “just for the numbers,” but for the benefit, the need, and the urgent obligation and imperative to preserve and spread the light of Prophetic guidance to seekers everywhere.

We Love the Name SeekersGuidance

We love the name “SeekersGuidance,” because it highlights the two foundational pillars of our project:

  1. All believers should be seekers – we all seek Allah’s love and closeness, and knowledge is the only way to this;
  2. All believers seek guidance – the beneficial knowledge and inspiration that will show us the path of turning to Allah, upholding and spreading the good, and that inspires us to fulfill our true human potential.

What about My Donations?

If you were donating to “SeekersHub Global,” your donations are still reaching us. (We have, in fact, always been legally registered as “SeekersGuidance, Inc.”)

If you are not already a monthly supporter, you can help us Double the Impact of our online offerings by becoming a monthly supporter now by going to www.seekersguidance.org/donate.

We will continue to provide authentic, engaging, and relevant Islamic education. And most importantly, we will still offer all our services completely free of charge.

What about Toronto?

We have registered in Canada as “SeekersGuidance Canada,” and our classes and programs are continuing with Shaykh Muhammad Badhib, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, Ustadha Umm Umar, and myself. These classes are being held weekly at Jame Masjid Mississauga (Coopers), and other locations.

We’re establishing a newer, bigger learning center and headquarters in Toronto – to serve the local community and as a base for our global Islamic seminary and its educational offerings. Click here to support our efforts.

Some New Projects Are Coming!

In addition to all our current services, we are working on some exciting new projects. These include:

  • Publishing our own ebooks and other digital content.
  • Newly revamped On-Demand courses offering many relevant topics.
  • New additions to our curriculum courses.
  • Exciting content released by the members of our Helpers program.
  • Forthcoming Podcasts by a number of scholars and counselors.
  • Reboots of our SeekersGuidance Arabiyya and SeekersGuidance Espanol partner pages, in order to reach seekers all over the world in other languages as well.

May Allah grant us and you facilitation and success.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani, Founder and Executive Director, SeekersGuidance,
And the SeekersGuidance team.


How SeekersHub Courses Work

If you’ve never taken a SeekersHub course before, you might be curious how it all works! Here is a complete tour of the SeekersHub course experience.

1) Lessons

When you log in, you will find a list of lessons for each week of the semester. Each course has weekly audio lessons; some also have supplementary video lessons. Download the audio lessons to listen and review on the go.

2)  Your Instructor & TA

SeekersHub courses have one or more instructors, and a teaching assistant (TA). Your live instructor will respond to messages on the forum and conduct your monthly online live class. In the meantime, your TA will help you work through course material with lesson reviews, weekly reflection questions, and more.

3) Forums

The News Forum is where you’ll find updates about your course – including review notes from your TA, and updates about your monthly live streamed classes. After listening to your recorded lessons for the week, post your questions and reflections on the SeekersForum. Your TA and instructor will either respond on the forum, or in person during your next live streamed class.

The bulk of your interaction with your instructor and TA will happen on the SeekersForum, so log in a few times a week to see what’s new.how SeekersHub courses work

4) Live Sessions

As beneficial as online classes are, we know that nothing replaces a real student-teacher relationship. That’s why SeekersHub gives you opportunities to meet with your instructor, and benefit from their knowledge and character via online live sessions.

Most courses have three online live classes each semester. You can log in to a joint online classroom with a chat box to type in your questions or ask for advice from the teacher. For those who can’t make it, recordings are posted on the main course page after the session.

5) Quizzes

Quizzes are an important way to consolidate your learning. Most courses have several quizzes with recommended deadlines to keep track of your progress and assess your understanding. This also lets you stay in tune with other students so you can clarify concepts with each other in the SeekersForum.


When You Can’t See the Vision, Trust the Visionary

Imam Siraj Wahhaj share his thoughts on the importance of supporting SeekersHub and the SeekersHub Islamic Scholars Fund.

Assalaam alaykum, brothers and sisters.

I have become a lover of the SeekersHub. I mean I fell in love with Shaykh Faraz. I’ve always loved the Shaykh, Alhamdulillah. You know what you remind me of? I think of you and I think of something that the Prophet, upon him be blessings and peace, did with his wife Aisha. He said one day, “Ya Aisha… Oh Aisha, here is Jibril, and he’s given you the salams. He’s saying to you: ‘Assalam alaykum.’” She said, “Peace and blessings be upon him and the mercy of Allah. You see, what I don’t see.”

“You see what I don’t see.” And sometimes when you can’t see the vision then trust the visionary. The insight and the wisdom of what has been done with you and others is astounding. It is so great I’m embarrassed that more people don’t know about it and I’m embarrassed that more people don’t help it.

So I’m going to spend a couple of minutes in trying to show our support for this fine institution. I want to tell you something. You know Allah blessed me and every time I say this, Shaykh, I get this big response. I’m going to tell you how many children I have.
Allah blessed me with nine children. I told you.

Instilling Sadaqa

And the one thing I will tell you that I’ve always done. I’ve always given my children allowance. How many of you give your children allowance? Raise your hand. How many don’t? Mashallah, mashallah. But I always believed in giving my children allowance. I gave them allowance every week but I would always tell them that whatever allowance I give you you should give some to sadaqa.

And you know when you have children whenever you give them a commandment, you should look at their faces, shaykh. So one of my children, Muhammed, may Allah bless him, he looked like he had an attitude when I said give some money. The allowance, give it to sadaqa. And I said, “Muhammed, what’s the matter?” He said nothing. I knew better. I know my son. I said, “Muhammed what’s the matter?” “Nothing.” I said, “Come on man, I know you. What’s the matter?”

He said, “Dad, how come I got to give some money to Sadaka?” Sadaka is a name of his older sister. True story. And he thought he had to give money to Sadaka. You know you will learn today, none of you ever knew my kunya. You know what my kunya is? Abu Sadaka. Sadaka is my first child. So I am Abu Sadaka. So today I want you to give to Sadaka, she lives in New York. No.

Food for Thought

I just want you to think about this, right? I’m going to ask you for your financial support and the beautiful thing about this; what we’re asking you for tonight ain’t much. When you study the Qur’an you will see that often in the Qur’an Allah is speaking to the Prophet, peace be upon him. It is almost as if we’re like on the outside listening to this conversation that Allah is having with the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him.

Example, you said the word “qalat.” He said “qalat” (she said). But if he said the word “qul” what does that mean? “Say…” It’s a command. But the Arabic language is very precise. So when you say “qul” you’re not talking about two people. You’re not talking about a bunch of people. You’re not talking about women. You’re talking about one person and that’s Muhammed, peace be upon him. I counted over 360 something times in the Qur’an where Allah says to Muhammed, peace be upon him, “qul,” say this.

I’m going to show you another, part of another verse where Allah is speaking to the Prophet, peace be upon him. Listen to how Allah says it. “They ask you, oh Muhammed, ‘How much should we spend?’” Allah is telling the Prophet that the people asking you, “What should we spend?” “Qul.” “Say, what is extra.” (Sura al-Baqara 2:219) Why is that important?

In my community, in other communities, we have people literally who work two and three jobs just to make ends meet. They work two and three jobs just to have a place to live in. They work two and three jobs to put food on the plates of their family. Others Allah blessed with more. They have what is called disposable income meaning that after they pay all of their expenses, they pay for their rent, they pay for everything, and yet they still got money left.

Compete in Charity

Let me tell you something about the Sahaba, may Allah be pleased with them. They, you know, they’re so pure. In this hadith some of the poor of the companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him came to him, and I don”t want to use the word complain, so I put it in quotation marks. They complained to the Prophet, peace be upon him. The rich ones, the wealthy are among us. They take away the reward. They pray like we pray. They fast like we fast. But they spend out of the excess of their wealth. We can’t be like them. We can’t compete with them. We want more. We want to compete.

I don’t want more money so I can build a better house. I don’t want money so I can get some jewellery. I want more money so that I can give in sadaqa. So today I’m not asking you to spend your rent money. I’m not asking you to spend your food money. I’m asking you to look if you have anything excessive and to spend that.

I want to give you one person and then I’m going to ask for your money. There’s a woman, I think her name is Laurene. I’ll think of her name in a moment. But this is the 25th wealthiest woman in America. 25th wealthiest woman in America. And she’s the 25th wealthiest person, not woman, person in America and the 45th wealthiest person in the world. And you know how much money she’s worth? 19 billion, 500 million dollars. And to put that in perspective she has more wealth than 80 nations you know gross domestic product. That’s how wealthy she is.

What Is Truly Yours

Lot of money, okay. I didn’t tell you her, that was her maiden name. I just wish I could remember her last name, her maiden name. Laurene, yeah. Where did she get her money from? Where she get that 19 billion dollars from? Where she get it from? I’ll give you a hint. I’ll give you her last name, her married name, Jobs. Where’d she get it from? Steve Jobs. How she get it. That money belonged to him. He died, she inherited it. That’s the way it is.

The reality is everything that you have you don’t use it’ll be inherited. This is why the prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said the people said, “My wealth, my wealth.” Really, for real? He said, what is really yours is what you eat and consume, what you wear and wear out and what you send ahead in sadaqa, that’s yours.

How do you know? Steve Jobs, his wealth, 19.5 billion dollars belonged to him until he died and it no longer belonged to him. Think about this. The car that you drive one day won’t be your car. All your beautiful clothing, your shoes. Shaykh, am I allowed to ask the sisters a question? Laurene Powell, mercy, I knew the Shaykh would get it. Shaykh, can I ask the sisters a question? Brothers, can I ask the sisters a question? Your permission, Shaykh, can I ask the sisters? [Shaykh Faraz:] “By all means.”

How Many Pairs of Shoes…

By all means. Now sisters you got to be honest with you, right. How many of you own more than two pairs of shoes? Raise your hand. Mashallah, Allahu Akbar. You should see what I see. How many of you have more than five pairs of shoes? Raise your hand. Allahu Akbar, all right.

I’m almost finished. How many of you own more than 10 pairs of shoes? Come on, Mashallah, Allahu Akbar. How many of you have more than 20 pairs of shoes? Come on, Allahu Akbar. The average American woman, okay good, okay.

Oh, ask the brothers. I should ask the brothers. [Women:] “Yes.” I don’t want to ask the brothers. They ain’t got no shoes. They got one or two pairs of shoes (laughter) Let me tell you though, right. The average American woman has 20 pairs of shoes. Average American woman, average, has 20 pairs of shoes.

What’s my point? The point is that there’s going to come a time. Every soul is going to taste of death. What about what we have left? This excess wealth that we have, what are we going to do with it? Why not spend some of it and get some ajar (reward) for SeekersHub?


Share and Support SeekersHub Global

Share Imam Siraj Wahhaj’s passion for SeekersHub Global and help us build a support system for Muslim scholars to attend to their most important duty. Hear what Imam Siraj says about the vision, insight, and wisdom of what has been done by SeekersHub and the SeekersHub Islamic Scholars Fund, which is at the of its mission.

Share with us our concern for Muslim scholars and allowing them to carry on their mission to spread the prophetic light of guidance and knowledge; despite all the economic burdens that they shoulder.

Give now! Whether it is your zakat or sadaqa, it’s not too late to give your end-of-year charitable donations to a worthy cause, one that pleases Allah and supports the heirs of His prophets in our time.


How SeekersHub Courses Work

If you’ve never taken a SeekersHub course before, you might be curious how it all works! Here is a complete tour of the SeekersHub course experience.

1) Lessons

When you log in, you will find a list of lessons for each week of the semester. Each course has weekly audio lessons; some also have supplementary video lessons. Download the audio lessons to listen and review on the go.

2)  Your Instructor & TA

SeekersHub courses have one or more instructors, and a teaching assistant (TA). Your live instructor will respond to messages on the forum and conduct your monthly online live class. In the meantime, your TA will help you work through course material with lesson reviews, weekly reflection questions, and more.

3) Forums

The News Forum is where you’ll find updates about your course – including review notes from your TA, and updates about your monthly live streamed classes. After listening to your recorded lessons for the week, post your questions and reflections on the SeekersForum. Your TA and instructor will either respond on the forum, or in person during your next live streamed class.

The bulk of your interaction with your instructor and TA will happen on the SeekersForum, so log in a few times a week to see what’s new.how SeekersHub courses work

4) Live Sessions

As beneficial as online classes are, we know that nothing replaces a real student-teacher relationship. That’s why SeekersHub gives you opportunities to meet with your instructor, and benefit from their knowledge and character via online live sessions.

Most courses have three online live classes each semester. You can log in to a joint online classroom with a chat box to type in your questions or ask for advice from the teacher. For those who can’t make it, recordings are posted on the main course page after the session.

5) Quizzes

Quizzes are an important way to consolidate your learning. Most courses have several quizzes with recommended deadlines to keep track of your progress and assess your understanding. This also lets you stay in tune with other students so you can clarify concepts with each other in the SeekersForum.


SeekersHub Global Impact Report: A Snapshot of the Growing, Global Impact Made Possible With Your Support

Click to access the SeekersHub Global Impact report in PDF

SeekersHub has launched our Global Impact Report. It expounds on our vision to build an Islamic Seminary with Global Impact, while upholding the Prophetic ethos of making knowledge free and accessible to all those who seek it.

A letter from our founder, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, is included. He talks about his focus, the gradual and steady growth of SeekersHub since 2011, and the SeekersHub commitment.

Two case studies are presented which illustrate local work and global impact. Statistics are presented which illustrate 600 course registrations in 2011, and an anticipated 120,000 projected for 2018.

Testimonials are presented from students in Toronto, India, and New Zealand–which demonstrate the global reach to students taking our courses and accessing our online services.

Highlights presented for SeekersHub Toronto Islamic Seminary are:

  1. Step One: Certificate & Seminary Track Students

  2. New Resident Scholar – Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Ba-Dhib

  3. Community Engagement

  4. Collaboration with Global Muslim Deaf Canada

Highlights presented for SeekersHub Global Islamic Seminary are:

  1. Launching our Global Arabic Language Program

  2. Launching Seekersub Global in Arabic

  3. Our Commitment to Female Islamic Scholarship

  4. Deploying the World-Class Five-Level Steps Curriculum

We feature our Steps Curriculum Courses with 650+ Toronto registration and 3,000+ Global registrations, as well as our other offerings such as On-Demand Courses, Q&A Service, Podcasts, and more.

This Global Impact Report was launched and presented at our Impact Luncheon at SeekersHub Toronto on 11 August 2018.

All this work is only possible by the Help of Allah and supporters like you, so we ask you to consider becoming a monthly donor. No amount is too small, even $10/month can help us sustain our growth and support the increasing needs of our community. Donate Today.

Thank God for SeekersHub

Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa was at the SeekersHub booth at the 2015 Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference in Toronto. In this video, he gives pertinent and relevant advice to SeekersHub’s volunteers and students of knowledge. He emphasizes the importance of recognizing and rejoicing in Allah’s blessing of us being connected to the SeekersHub, especially the scholars.

 

Resources on Thankfulness and How to Make The Most of What SeekersHub has to offer

 

We need to raise $100,000 by Ramadan – A message from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,
Dear fellow seekers on the path to Allah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits. As Ramadan is fast approaching, I wanted to make an urgent appeal for support – and share some good news with you.
First, the urgent appeal…
SeekersHub urgently needs to raise $100,000 before the start of Ramadan to pay our scholars and staff; assist a number of scholars and seekers who are in dire need; and cover the costs of our upcoming programs and initiatives that will directly benefit you and your community.
You can make an immediate one-time donation; become a monthly donor; or give your zakat – which is used to support deserving and needy scholars and seekers of knowledge (considered the best of zakat).
Remember that hastening your charity has greater reward than ‘waiting for Ramadan’.
Click here Support SeekersHub

Second, the good news:

(1) Alhamdulillah, SeekersHub Global will be broadcasting a full range of daily Ramadan programming from our website.
This will include live broadcasts of the lessons and Tarawih recitation by Shaykh Ahmad Saad al-Azhari, whom SeekersHub Toronto is hosting for the entire month of Ramadan.
(2) In Ramadan, SeekersHub is launching its full Spanish-language site – with thousands of Answers, articles, audio and video lessons, and other resources, alhamdulillah. (BTW: The site is up, but in development… try to find it!)
(3) During Ramadan, our Term 3 courses will open for registration. We have many new courses, including:
Being Muslim: A Clear Introduction to Islam and Principles of Calling to Allah, with a new SeekersHub teacher, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin;
Explanation of Surat al-Fatiha, with Shaykh Yahya Rhodus; and
New courses in our Arabic Steps curriculum for both beginners (with new SeekersHub teacher, Shaykh Shuaib Ally) and more advanced seekers (with Shaykh Ali Hani, one of the foremost specialists of Qur’anic and Arabic studies in the world).
Take the Ramadan Short Courses: In the meantime, registration is open for our special Ramadan short courses. These are all completely free – supported by our Knowledge Without Barriers program.
Help us spread light by enrolling, and sharing widely with your friends and family.
Register here for Ramadan courses

Third: help us #SpreadLight:

In Ramadan, we’re launching our #SpreadLight campaign, to increase our capacity and reach from serving tens of thousands of students across the world to reach and serve hundreds of thousands of students.
This is at the counsel and call of our senior scholars – who have labelled our work as “the most pressing communal obligation of our times.”
Another of our teachers has challenged us, “This project needs to reach millions of people.”
We’re taking this challenge, trust, and responsibility on – with your support, prayers, and active involvement – and have set a goal of striving to reach a million students through our programs by the end of 2018, by Allah’s leave.
To make this happen, we need three things from you:
(1) Your immediate support, even if small; Donate Now.
(2) Host a fundraising iftar at your home or in your community, to raise funds for the #SpreadLight campaign. Just email [email protected]
(3) Join Team Lanterns. We’re putting a team together to raise funds by taking our message to your family, friends, and community. It’s simple and can be done online. Join the team here.
(4) Join the SeekersHub team – whether to help get the word out about our courses and services in the Outreach team; or to help directly with the #SpreadLight campaign in the Development team; or to help with the Techology team.
Just email [email protected] with the subject line: Volunteering with Seekers, and share some background about yourself, your interests, skills, and time commitment. We need a lot of hands on deck to make this happen, alhamdulillah!
May Allah make this Ramadan a Ramadan of light, in which we turn to the Light of Allah’s Closeness, Love, and Good Pleasure-through turning to His Light of the Qur’an, the Light of His Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), through the lights of prayer, fasting, recitation, charity, remembrance, service, and all doors of good that our Merciful and Loving Lord has facilitated for us.
May Allah bless you, your families, communities, and the Umma of the Beloved Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him and his folk).
Wassalaam,
Faraz Rabbani
Executive Director and Senior Instructor, SeekersHub Global
Click here to Support SeekersHub

Video: Seekers Monthly Training: Service with Excellence – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani – January 2012

Video: Seekers Monthly Training: Service with Excellence – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani – January 2012

[Saturday, January 28, 2012] In the monthly Seekers Training Session, for SeekersHub & SeekersGuidance team members, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani mentions some of the characteristics of strong believers, from the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, though there is good in both,” and then explained the characteristics of the strong believer: “Be avid for all that benefits; rely on Allah; and don’t deem yourself incapable…”

Shaykh Faraz explains what is means to be a “strong believer;” what it means to “be avid for all that benefits;” and the concern underlying seeking knowledge and our service & activism. The significance of societal obligations (fard kifaya) and how they are both more important and greater in reward than personal obligations (fard `ayn).

Closeness & Thankfulness – Eid al-Fitr Khutba 2011 – Faraz Rabbani at SeekersHub Toronto – Video & Audio

SeekersHub’s Free Islamic Podcast: Eid al-Fitr Khutba – 2011:

In the first Eid khutba at SeekersHub Toronto, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains that the central lesson of Ramadan–learned through the fasting, prayer, recitation of Qur’an, and other spiritual acts in the month–is seeking closeness to Allah.

It is this meaning of seeking closeness that we celebrate and express thankfulness for on the day of Eid, and which we must strive to nurture past Ramadan, in all our actions of devotion & life.

It is through realizing our neediness to Allah that we can attain this closeness; and it is only through this realization that we can be truly thankful & find purpose in life.

 

Part I

Part II

 

Audio:


You can subscribe to the SeekersHub free Islamic podcast from the SeekersHub (www.SeekersHub.org) page, or directly through iTunes: SeekersHub Podcast (Canada; US; UK)

SeekersHub is a project of SeekersGuidance. For more details, see: About SeekersHub.

Videos: Ramadan Webinar 2011 – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Ustadha Shireen Ahmed and Abdul Rehman Malik


Recorded live at the SeekersHub Toronto

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani begins with commentary about Surah Yusuf verse 108.


Sidi Abdul Rehman Malik of Radical Middle Way shares highlights of advice and inspiration given by Habib Ali Al-Jifri on how vast the heart of the Beloved of Creation is. We are reminded to engage in the Prophetic Way as it is a transformative way. The guidance from the Beloved Prophet should motivate us to transform our communities to benefit others.

Recorded live in London on August 20, 2011.