Ramadan, Rumi, and Love By Zeshan Zafar

It is part of life to have a difference of opinion with various individuals or groups of people. Terry Tempest Williams, in one of her books, states, “Most of all, difference of opinions are opportunities of learning.”

However, generally speaking, on many occasions, when this occurs, if one doesn’t manage it well or lacks comportment, the result can turn into a feeling of animosity. Furthermore, when uncontrolled, it can turn into hatred, a spiritual disease that sits at the core of one’s heart, dictating and defining one’s behaviour unbeknown to oneself.

When such hatred sets into our way of life, individuals choose to deal with it in a variety of ways. Some try to mask the emotion or seek validation for that hatred; others seek revenge or violent harm with devastating consequences to those they may have loved unconditionally at one time. We also see the modern phenomenon of social media being used to spread this hatred, unfairly sowing the seeds of doubts that stick and label many unfortunate individuals with “justified” gossip becoming an accepted discussion on each of our tables.

Such behaviour has unfortunately broken down many marriages, families, friendships, communities, business partners, etc. as this trait continues to become rampant to the point that we no longer discern the goodness and sacrifices that many still work towards in our respective communities, regardless of our opinions. Instead, we tend to sideline them and bad mouth them, thinking we are safe to share statements against people in the confines of our close circles, yet at the same time we do not realise the terrible human beings we are all becoming through the mismanagement of this emotion.

One of my teachers once said in one of his lectures, “Do not have a crablike mentality whereby when crabs are put in a bucket together, each one tries to escape by pulling the other one down, just to escape themselves, leading to collective demise.” This is exactly what hatred is doing to the development and growth of our communities in times when our real challenges are elsewhere and which we should all really be focusing our energies on. Unfortunately, we cry out emotional slogans such as “Muslim Unity” without realising that little can be changed without changing oneself.

One of the most notable scholars and thinkers of Islam, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, recently shared a profound insight from the Qur’an that states, “Indeed, God will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” He stated that our community is besot by changing the world whilst forgetting the simple hard rule of changing oneself, and that the role of changing the condition of people as a collective is the role of God. So if we all focused on changing ourselves first, ridding ourselves of our hatred for one another and purifying our own hearts, God will take care of the rest.

The question arises, how can we move beyond this hatred and begin to remove this infection so that goodness can be achieved in the short time we tread on this earth, with the invaluable gift we have been given of life?

Many have their own mechanisms of dealing with this. Recently, whilst on a journey to the States, a dear friend of mine gave me valuable and practical advice on a way to manage such tendencies, by making a conscientious and sincere effort to reach out to individuals you feel you have wronged, or who you feel wronged you, or who seem distant to you. He suggested making a prayer for them to rid your heart of antagonistic presumptions by reaching out to them on a weekly basis, until all that is contained or constricts your heart disappears until you only have mahabba (love) for that person.

The Muslim community as a whole is known to be a giving community, especially when it comes to charity and hospitality, and they continue to hold tight to the noble virtues that are fast disappearing in a globalised world. Yet charity as described by our Prophet (peace be upon him) is also through actions and good deeds: hence being altruistic through your generosity, kindness, compassion, and time are equally important. Letting go of the self is important to move away at an individual level, especially in a world where the “self” has become a dictator over our natural inclination of moderation. Many argue over the ownership of ideas and whether certain ideas are relevant and can work. The best advice I was given was to let people learn from their mistakes but to not cause further rift that our communities are regularly torn by. Instead, you must choose the incision point that you feel can best help and support individuals that you perhaps disagree with, as our commonalities are far greater than our differences.

For those who feel they do not need help from someone sincerely trying to offer their support or help, remember even if such advice is not appropriate or compatible with your aims, never ignore it. You will always find a time when such advice can be found to be valuable at a different stage of your life or applicable to a different situation.

This is what distinguishes people of wisdom, such as Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, who represents someone that keeps love at the centre of how he lives (may Allah grant him good health and a long life), through his acts of consistency. He epitomises renewal in his scholarship, but, more importantly, through his self-discipline and observance, he embodies renewal in his character. He is someone who knows not of hatred. He is someone who cannot but love and be objective to those who may be fierce critics or who oppose him or his approach. What struck me in my observances of the Shaykh is that despite any animosity shown to him, he always takes the time to listen and offer his help as he would to those who are amongst his family. This is evident in the Shaykh’s writings and rulings that speak with kindness, graciousness, and nobility of the other. I am sure everyone can relate to an individual out there who embodies such prophetic characteristics, and if you can, do not be ashamed to acknowledge your shortfalls before making that effort of change required by those who inspire you.

As Ramadan makes its yearly entrance into our homes, lives, and hearts, this is what I will be aiming to strive for, being mindful and realistic that things do not happen over night. I hope others can have mercy with me and forgive me for any wrongdoing. Imam Shafi’i famously said, “Be hard on yourself and easy on others,” noting that our God is a God that is all-merciful and all-forgiving; these are utterances that we grow up on and repeat daily.

So if your heart has flipped once, let it flip repeatedly until you have nothing but love for those who are around you. This can be achieved only by empathising. Ramadan Kareem. I will leave you with the words of Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Rumi:

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

Zeshan Zafar is the Director of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies and is currently based in Abu Dhabi.

Taken from Healing Hearts

The Fiqh (Law) of Peace – 12 Points Summarizing the Islamic Values Related to Peace Building by Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah

[Human Values]

Harmony and cohesion in a society are directly proportional to its adherence to share moral values. A society that does not adopt common values and turns away from a higher moral path becomes self-centered, and, as a result, experiences deterioration both internally and in relationship to others.

It may also adopt a negative value system based on an absence of individual limitations until society itself becomes absolutist, and people see themselves as absolute, so no restrictions apply to their behaviour not those set by scripture, not by consensus, not by general principles and axioms, and not even for the sake of the common good. Such a society can wage unlimited war, which is the very definition of fundamentalism, regardless of the belief system that drives the aggression.

The values of reason, justice, and moderation promote love and nourish humanity. It is our duty to revive the values of reconciliation and forgiveness and to commit ourselves to peace instead of conflict.

While some try to justify conflict in Islamic terms, these values are not Islamic. They are Western Hegelian values, for it was Hegel who believed that “Destruction is the basis for construction” and that society is based only on the struggle between slave and master. Destruction, which is an expression of ignorance and intolerance, has never been an Islamic value. Our tradition teaches us that trust and love are the basis for coexistence.

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) did not demolish the Ka’aba. He left it untouched so that he could rebuild it on the base laid by Abraham, Allah’s peace and blessings upon him, all while winning the favor of Quraysh. When the ‘Abbasid caliph wanted to demolish it and rebuild it on the location of Maqam Ibrahim (Abraham’s station), Imam Malik, may Allah have mercy on his soul, forbade him from doing so and said, “Do not let this House (of Allah) be a toy for princes.” In addition, neither the Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings upon him, not any of his successors ever demolished any churches, synagogues, or fire temples, as Ibn al-Qayyim discusses.

When the pious caliph, ‘Umar ibn Abd al-‘Aziz, assumed the caliphate, the understanding of the Shari’ah was already in decline, yet he wrote to his governors, “Do not demolish any church, synagogue, or fire temple.” Demolition and destruction are not Islamic values; they are values that grew out of ignorance and intolerance.

The following Hadith can be applied to a solidary society:

“The example of the person abiding by Allah’s order and restrictions in comparison to those who violate them is like the example foe those persons who drew lots for their seats in a boat. Some of them got seats in the upper part, and the others in the lower. When the latter needed water, they had to go up to bring water (and that troubled the others), so they said, ‘Let us make a hole in our share of the ship (and get water) saving us from troubling those who are above us.’ So, if the people in the upper part left the others to do what they had suggested, all the people of the ship would be destroyed, but if they prevented them, both parties would be safe.”

Learning about differences leads to an open mind, as Al-Maqqari advised:

“Learn about differences in order to open your mind, for he who learns about the differences between scholars and of their knowledge and opinions will surely have an open mind.”

We must navigate our differences without arrogance or abusive language, with an open mind and the intention of discovering truth rather than winning an argument. We can learn from the example set by Imam al-Shafi‘i, as described by Yunus al-Sadafi: “I have never seen anyone more reasonable than al-Shafi‘i. I debated with him once on a matter, and then we parted ways. He met me again, took my hand, and said, ‘Abu Musa, is it not right that we remain brothers even if we disagree?”

Imam al-Shafi‘i also said, “I have never debated people without praying to Allah to grant that the truth manifest in their hearts and on their tongues so that they may follow me if I am right and that I may follow them if they are right.”

Giving others the benefit of the doubt means assuming their best intentions, as did the Mother of Believers, Our Lady ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, and Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, who said, “Abu Abd al-Rahman did not lie; perhaps he forgot or made a mistake.”

Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah have mercy on his soul, said, “No man more learned than Ishaq has crossed the bridge, and if we disagree, it is because people disagree.”

Distinguishing among the categories of prohibitions and obligations menas understanding that there are degrees of prohibition: what is prohibited may be haram (prohibited) or makruh (disliked). The same applies to obligations, as we explained earlier.

In summation, our Islamic values are as follows:

  1. Cooperation and solidarity: “You shall cooperate in matters of righteousness and piety; do not cooperate in matters that are sinful and evil” (Qur’an)
  2. Maintaining good relations: “And keep straight the relations between yourselves.”
  3. Brotherhood and mutual understanding: “O people, We created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may know one another. The best among you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous. Allah is Omniscient, Cognizant.” (Qur’an) These are the bases of relationships, and not the Hegelian argument that is based on constant struggle in what he described as the “master and slave” theory.
  4. Wisdom: “And whoever attains wisdom has attained a great bounty. Only those who possess intelligence will take heed.” (Qur’an)
  5. Righteousness: “Never shall We cause the reward of the righteous to perish.” (Qur’an)
  6. Justice: “Allah calls for justice, charity, and giving to relatives. And He forbids evil, vice, and transgression. He enlightens you, that you may take heed.”
  7. Mercy: “We have not sent you except as mercy from Us towards the whole world.” (Qur’an)
  8. Patience: “Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure.” (Qur’an)
  9. Tolerance: Being open-minded, assuming the best of others, and distinguishing between the various categories of prohibitions and obligations.
  10. Love: Love means loving Allah the Almighty, who is the source fo all blessings; loving His Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings upon him, upon who He bestowed the blessings of mercy and generosity; and loving people and wishing the best for them, including those in tribulation. Ahadith states, “None of you is a true believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself,” and according to another narration, “… until he loves for people what he loves for himself.”
  11. Dialogue: Muslims established the etiquette of debate because without a culture of dialogue, individuals become selfish and narrow-minded, and society becomes fractured. A hadith also mentions this: “But if you see overwhelming stinginess, desires being followed, this world being preferred (to the Hereafter), every person with an opinion feeling proud of it, and you realized that you have no power to deal with it, then you have to mind your own business and leave the common folk to their own devices.”
  12. Moderation: This includes individual behavior, scientific moderation, and moderation between literal and whimsical interpretations of scripture. Moderation is a form of relativity and is integral to all ife in the universe, as described by al-Shatibi.

Excerpted from the “Framework Speech for the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies,” Abu Dhabi, 9–10 March, 2014 — In Pursuit of Peace: 2014 Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies
In March 2014 H.E. Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah founded this groundbreaking initiative as Chair and President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies. The forum addresses the critical humanitarian crisis within the vast framework of the Islamic tradition and legal theory.
In 2014 Over 250 of the world’s leading Islamic scholars from different persuasions, academics and thought leaders gathered to attend the opening of the Forum. The Forum is the first global gathering of scholars ever organized to form a unified front against the scourge of extremist ideologies, sectarianism, and terrorism that has afflicted the Muslim world for decades.
Since the opening of the Forum, delegations of experts, academics and scholars from the Forum have travelled to Africa to countries such as Senegal, Mauritania, and Morocco to engage with Governments, NGO’s and religious actors to gain insight on how to stop the increasing violence in Africa. These trips have resulted in the planning of two proposed reconciliation initiatives that will be held in April and June of 2015.
These events’ encourage a multi-disciplinary participation, in order to develop mechanisms and support required for peace and reconciliation in Central Africa Republic (C.A.R) and Nigeria.
The 2nd Annual gathering of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societieswill take place April 26th — 30th in Abu Dhabi

War is not the Way: Peace is the Path by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

The following is the foreword to the booklet entitled, “Pursuit of Peace: 2014 Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies.”

Click here for the original link

[Spread Peace]

The pursuit of peace is a most noble human endeavour. The Qur’an states,

Now if they incline towards peace, then incline to it, and place your trust in God, for God is the all-hearing, the all-knowing. And if they mean to deceive you, surely you can count on God” (8:61-62).

This verse indicates that one should not avoid reconciliation out of fear that it may only be an enemy’s subterfuge. That is not our teaching. We are asked to seek peace and place our trust in God. Such is the preciousness of peace that its mere possibility, however remote, demands our most sincere and faithful efforts. The New Testament also reminds us, in words attributed to Jesus, peace be upon him, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the dependents of God.”

Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah is a peacemaker and has placed his trust in God. He believes that peace is not simply the starting point but the only point. War, should it arise, is a disruptive suspension of peace, one that all men of intelligence should seek to end by any means necessary. Shaykh Abdallah once said that the only blessing in war is that when it befalls men, they fervently hope for peace.

[Calling to ‘Jihad’]

1505575_10154847648185038_4169699459438496389_nAs for those who claim that calling to peace is canceling out jihad, the converse is true, as Shaykh Abdallah cogently argues: Jihad is not war, and while it does have military applications, Muslims waging war on other Muslims is not one of them. That is called fitnah, something our Prophet, God’s peace and blessings upon him, shunned so much that he sought refuge from it.

Shaykh Abdallah, a master of usul – the tools of ijtihad – and a man who profoundly understands the time we live in, is uniquely qualified to determine when the military application of jihad is valid and when it is not. Hence, his call for peace, far from cancelling out jihad, is itself an act of jihad.

The pre-Islamic Jahili Arabs knew war all too well, as they lived in societies rife with strife: blood vengeance was their way, and the cycles of violence, like a millstone grinding its grain, constantly ground the bones of their bodies. When Islam appeared as an oasis in the desolate desert where wars were far too common, and the Prophet Muhammad, God’s peace and blessings upon him, offered another path, the path of peace through submission, the Arabs saw a way out of their wanton violence that invariably left children without fathers and women without husbands.

[End the Madness]

A new world order was born, and though not immune at times to violence, it was one in which learning, science, and commerce prevailed, not war, violence, and vengeance. These became the pursuits of men who went forth to form societies that became some of the most tolerant and peaceful in human history. But that was then: this is now a turbulent time for Muslims. Failed states, senseless violence, and teeming refugees now characterize large parts of the Muslim world. 

Despite these troubles, some Muslims are still calling, like pre-modern physicians, for a bloodletting to cure the social body. But blood leads only to more blood, and the body, far from being healed, is further sapped and drained of its strength. Much like the pre-modern patient whose bloodletting often led to his demise, today’s victims of this militant bleeding are drowned in rubble, dazed and confused, wondering when it will all end. 

Shaykh Abdallah is calling Muslims to end the madness and restore the way of the Prophet Muhammad, God’s peace and blessings upon him, the way of peace and prosperity. He is reminding us by using our own sources – the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the prescriptions of our pious predecessors – that peace, not war, is the only way out.

For those who would believe otherwise, let them contemplate the words our Prophet, God’s peace and blessings upon him, repeated throughout his life after each daily prayer:

“O Allah, You are Peace, and from You is Peace, and to You returns Peace, so let us live, O our Lord, in Peace.” 

Shaykh Zayed Al-Nahyan, the Father of the United Arab Emirates, was committed to peace and unity, and it is no surprise that his honorable sons, following in his illustrious footsteps, would be the ones to host and support this powerful initiative from Islam’s teaching by the great Mauritanian scholar, Shaykh Abdallah b. Bayyah. With war being waged on peace all around us, Shaykh Abdallah’s message is a simple cure: Wage war on war in order to have peace upon peace. For war is not the way: peace is the path. The path is peace.

Resources for Seekers:
The Menace of So-called “Jihad” – Imam Zaid Shakir
Jihad, Abrogation in the Quran & the “Verse of the Sword”
Understanding the Qur’anic Verse “Slay them wherever you find them”: Balance, Justice, and Mercy in Islamic Rules of Jihad

VIDEO: This is not the path to paradise, advice from Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah

Abdullah-Bin-Bayyah“Young men and women, we plead with you to take time out for contemplation. The path you are taking is not correct. It will never lead to paradise. This is a path of total destruction to both this life and the next. Your Jihad should be building up your countries. Your jihad should be treating people with excellent charity. Your Jihad should be treating your parents with the most excellent of manners instead of this harsh and improper conduct. Your jihad is in your parents, as the Prophet (pbuh) said. Your Jihad is in all noble deeds as stated by Ibn Tayymiya. This is the Jihad we’re directing you towards – the indisputable Jihad.

“As for the path you’re taking, it is nothing but a dark tunnel, leading to nothingness. Islam does not allow wasteful nothingness. Islam is all about being positive, not negative. Allah said, “…and do not destroy one another for, behold, God is indeed a dispenser of grace unto you!” To the people and the scholars of Baghdad, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said, “Do not shed your blood and cause the bloodshed of Muslims because of your choices – instead, ponder deeply and think of the consequences of your deeds. The path of mutual bloodshed is definitely incorrect. All young men and women involved in this path must return to the pinciple Truths of Islam. They must take a long and hard look at reality and sincerely revisit their own intentions. They must fear Allah and come back to the mosques for proper worship and learning. They must come back to hospitals where they can help treat their people. They must join forces in charitable acts towards the poor. This is the true path of Islam.”

Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah (biography)


Warning: This video contains disturbing images.

Resources for Seekers:

Islam: A Religion of Life Not Death – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

“Answer the call of God and God’s Messenger to what brings you to life.”

– Qur’an

“If I asked for people to die for the sake of God, I would have them lining up at my house; but when I ask people to live for the sake of God, I can’t find anyone.”

– Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah

I am traveling to New Jersey next week to present for the Princeton Pro Life lecture series. The topic is being addressed from the perspective of the three Abrahamic faiths. I have been asked to present the Islamic view, so I have been thinking about how to address this topic to an American audience in the context of today’s climate. Unfortunately, so many people in the U.S. now associate Islam with death rather than with life.

Nietzsche, the German philosopher, wrote in The Antichrist that Christianity “cheated us … out of the harvest of the culture of Islam. The wonderful world of the Moorish culture of Spain, really more closely related to us, more congenial to our senses and tastes than Rome and Greece, was trampled down … because it said Yes to life even with the rare and refined luxuries of Moorish life.”

1 Nietzsche’s point was that Islam was more balanced in its attitude (I recognize the reification) toward this world and celebrated it, unlike Christianity, which traditionally was far more focused on being other-worldly to the detriment of people’s experiences in the world.

Why is it that Nietzsche, a leading intellect of the nineteenth century, recognized Islam as a religion that celebrated life, yet so many people today have the opposite view? Perhaps one reason is that Nietzsche lived at a time when the Ottomans still existed and were seen in a relatively good light (emphasis on relatively) by many educated people. Moreover, the Muslim world was still unaffected in its everyday life by the incredible changes that were occurring in the West, and most Muslim countries in the nineteenth century were relatively stable and extremely safe places to visit. A cursory review of Western travel literature to the Muslim world at the time will verify this (see, for instance, Florence Nightingale’s travelogue to Egypt). Muslims had never shied away from the sensual and aesthetic components of life, which re-emerged in the West in spite of Christianity, as Islam was meant to offer a balanced life, and educated Europeans, who were raised with a sense of shame of the senses, were astounded by the celebration of the body and its experiences noted in such places as the hammams and gardens of the Muslim world.

Given this current hatred of Islam and all things Muslim that has arisen, I would argue that Muslims have a great challenge presently to redefine the faith from within here in the West and to stop allowing others who hate us to define it for us. We need to identify enemies out there and allies not to mention potential friends who may appear to be enemies today. Look closely at what they are saying and why. Many of their critiques are the same ones St. John of Damascus articulated in a small chapter on Islam back in the seventh century! We need to also recognize, as Ibn Taymiyyah pointed out in his Jawab al-Sahih, that some Muslims are ignorantly violent in their responses to the critiques of Christians, and this reinforces their very attack on Islam – that it spread by the sword and not by the strength of its Truth. One of the ways to do that is to create a strong and effective internet presence. There are currently several anti-Muslim websites run very professionally, and, in my estimation, they are very disturbing. For example, many of these websites decontextualize Qur’anic verses and invariably use hadith traditions that are sometimes deeply troubling or difficult to square with other aspects of Islam. Most people are unaware that the great hadith collections are only meant for scholars’ reference, and even those that are categorized as Sahih contain many traditions that are not considered authoritative by Ahl al-Sunnah. I do not want to go into a detailed explanation here, as this is not the proper forum, but suffice it to say that Imam Malik did not like excessive use of hadith for the very reason that these websites exploit: the hadith can be very confusing to those not versed in the tradition, as only highly skilled scholars are able to discern what is the relevance of each hadith and which hadith are used and which are not.

In my estimation, most Muslims have not recognized how problematic such websites are. Over time, they attract hundreds of thousands of viewers and have viral impact. They eventually reach millions, and we have a duty to defend our Prophet and clarify obfuscations about our faith as lovers of our Prophet, peace be upon him, and defenders of our faith. A serious effort from a select and talented group of Muslims needs to be spearheaded to address the issues raised on these websites, point by point. Over ten years ago, I met with several American leaders and scholars in Southern California and mentioned that I saw these websites that were spawning at that time as a serious problem that I suspected would grow worse over time, and I felt we must address this serious issue, as I feared that some of these sites would confuse not only people of other faiths but uneducated Muslims also. Unfortunately, at that time, everyone else in the room disagreed, and it was decided that we should not run that route as it was an apologetic position, and it was better to just ignore those websites as they would eventually fizzle away. However, that did not happen, and it is much worse today. The issue of Park 51 is a flashpoint, and though I hate to say this, if 9/11 had happened today – God-forbid – in this current climate, matters would be far worse for Muslims than they were in the halcyon days of this community ten years ago. It is time for Muslims to wake up and smell the qahwah.

1The Portable Nietzsche. Edited and translated by Walter Kaufmann. (New York, Penguin Books, 1982), 652.

Islamic Discourse: Between the Conclusive and the Variable – Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah

Islamic Discourse: Between the Conclusive and the Variable – Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah
Tabah Foundation

Perhaps the most looming challenge before Islam today is to be understood. Mis-representation on the part of international media punditry does contribute much to this dilemma, as well as general myopia within the consciousness of Western publics regarding their own “others”; a category within which Islam, more often than not, features as the primary candidate.

March 2010

English PDF

Pictures from the 8th Annual Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention in Toronto – Habib ‘Ali al-Jifri, Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, and Others

Alhamdulillah, SeekersGuidance attended the 8th Annual Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention this past weekend in Toronto,  Canada. This year’s convention featured Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, Shaykh Habib ‘Ali al-Jifri,  Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Imam Zaid Shakir, Shaykh Mokhtar Magroui, Shaykh Abdallah Idris Ali, Imam Tahir Anwar, Shaykh Suleiman Mulla, Ustadha Zainab Alwani, Dr. Sherman Jackson, Dr. Tariq Suwaidan, Tariq Ramadan, Amr Khaled,  Imam Johari Abdul Malik, Sr. Tayyiba Taylor, and others. Allah Made Me Funny and Junaid Jamshed gave highly entertaining performances. Over 17,000 people attended this years conference.

SeekersGuidance set up its first booth at a conference. The booth featured our scholars, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Omar Qureshi, and Mufti Umer Ismail as well as Nader Khan who gave a live performance of one of his latest songs “Alhamdulillah.” We launched the 2010 Winter Semester with a 15% discount for on-site registration.

Here are some pictures from the conference:

Shaykh Faraz along with many others welcoming Shaykh Habib Ali al-Jifri to the convention.

Shaykh Faraz showing Mufti Umer Ismail the new homepage

World-famous graphic designer Peter Gould jokingly to convince Shaykh Faraz to sign up for a course. Peter’s firm, Azaan, designed the new SG banner and logo.

A computer monitor featuring the newly redesigned homepage for the SeekersGuidance site

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad meeting with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani in the bazaar.

Nader Khan finishing up a live performance at the Firdous Books booth in order to bring awareness to the “Winter Feed Me Campaign” put together by Relief Works

SeekersGuidance met with key individuals from the Fawakih Institute to strengthen cooperation and coordination between the two institutes. Here, Shaykh Faraz is talking with Saad Ansari over lunch.