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Ramadan Seminar Q&A Session – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Originally posted on May 8, 2018

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani answers questions on the fiqh of fasting, including the nullifiers of fasts, expiation for broken fasts, and the spiritual retreat.

Among the many questions and points Shakyh Faraz addresses, he mentions that if one breaks fast deliberately or by accident, the time of fasting is not over, and one is able to fast, then one refrains from everything a fasting person refrains from until fasting ends. This is a sign of contrition and remorse.

Hasten to Break Fast

The Shaykh also mentions that one should not delay breaking fast excessively out of a mistaken sense of piety or fervor. Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said:

قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَحَبُّ عِبَادِي إِلَيَّ أَعْجَلُهُمْ فِطْرًا

Allah Mighty and Majestic said: “The most beloved among my servants are those who hasten to break their fast.” (Tirmidhi)

Be Tactful and Considerate with Others

But one must also remember that when in a group of people who believe they are in the right to delay, one must be discreet about the matter and not make disagreement a point of contention or rancor. If you consider breaking it in such a situation do it tactfully.

These and many others points and rulings are covered in this session. And you should listen to it even if you know all the answers as there is no harm and abundant good in reviewing what one knows and strengthening one’s knowledge.

May Allah grant us eternal success in the blessed month of Ramadan and in all the months He has decreed for each and every one of us until we are brought before Him. Amin.


Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al Kallas, may Allah have mercy on him, as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersHub in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.

Support SeekersHub Global in our effort to bring the light of Prophetic Guidance to Muslims everywhere completely free of charge.


The Three Degrees of Fasting – Imam al Ghazali

This is Shaykh Faraz Rabbani’s translation of the passage on the three degrees of fasting from the Ihya of Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad al Ghazali.

It should be known that there are three degrees of fasting: ordinary, special and extra-special.

Ordinary fasting means abstaining from food, drink and sexual satisfaction.

Extraordinary Fasting means keeping one’s ears, eyes, tongue, hands and feet – and all other organs – free from sin.

Perfect Fasting means fasting of the heart from unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, in total disregard of everything but Allah, Great and Glorious is He. This kind of Fast is broken by thinking of worldly matters, except for those conducive to religious ends, since these constitute provision for the Hereafter and are not of this lower world.

Those versed in the spiritual life of the heart have even said that a sin is recorded against one who concerns himself all day with arrangements for breaking his Fast. Such anxiety stems from lack of trust in the bounty of Allah, Great and Glorious is He, and from lack of certain faith in His promised sustenance.

To this third degree belong the Prophets, the true awliya, and the intimates of Allah. It does not lend itself to detailed examination in words, as its true nature is better revealed in action. It consists in utmost dedication to Allah, Great and Glorious is He, to the neglect of everything other than Allah, Exalted is He.

It is bound up with the significance of His words:

قُلِ اللَّـهُ ۖ ثُمَّ ذَرْهُمْ فِي خَوْضِهِمْ يَلْعَبُونَ

Say: “Allah,” then leave them to their vain play. (Sura al An‘am 6:91)

Inward Requirements

As for Special Fasting, this is the kind practiced by the righteous. It means keeping all one’s organs free from sin and six things are required for its accomplishment.

See Not What Displeases Allah

A chaste regard, restrained from viewing anything that is blameworthy or reprehensible, or that distracts the heart and diverts it from the remembrance of Allah, Great and Glorious is He. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “The furtive glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Satan, on him be Allah’s curse. Whoever forsakes it for fear of Allah will receive from Him, Great and Glorious is He, a faith the sweetness of which he will find within his heart.”

Jabir relates from Anas that Allah’s Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, said: “Five things break a man’s Fast: lying, backbiting, gossiping, perjury and a lustful gaze.”

Speak Not What Displeases Allah

Guarding one’s tongue from idle chatter, lying, gossiping, obscenity, rudeness, arguing and controversy; making it observe silence and occupying it with remembrance of Allah, Great and Glorious is He, and with recitation of Qur’an. This is the fasting of the tongue.

Said Sufyan: “Backbiting annuls the Fast.” Layth quotes Mujahid as saying: “Two habits annul Fasting: backbiting and telling lies.”

The Prophet, on him be peace, said: “Fasting is a shield; so when one of you is Fasting he should not use foul or foolish talk. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: ‘I am Fasting, I am Fasting!’”

According to Tradition: “Two women were Fasting during the time of Allah’s Messenger, , blessings and peace be upon him. They were so fatigued towards the end of the day, from hunger and thirst, that they were on the verge of collapsing.

They therefore sent a message to Allah’s Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, requesting permission to break their Fast. In response, the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, sent them a bowl and said: “Tell them to vomit into it what they have eaten.”

One of them vomited and half filled the bowl with fresh blood and tender meat, while the other brought up the same so that they filled it between them. The onlookers were astonished. Then the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said: “These two women have been Fasting from what God made lawful to them, and have broken their Fast on what God, Exalted is He, made unlawful to them. They sat together and indulged in backbiting, and here is the flesh of the people they maligned!”

Hear Not What Displeases Allah

Closing one’s ears to everything reprehensible, for everything unlawful to utter is likewise unlawful to listen to. That is why Allah, Great and Glorious is He, equated the eavesdropper with the profiteer. In His words, Exalted is He:

سَمَّاعُونَ لِلْكَذِبِ أَكَّالُونَ لِلسُّحْتِ

Listeners to falsehood, consumers of illicit gain. (Sura al Ma‘ida 5:42)

Allah, Great and Glorious is He, also said:

لَوْلَا يَنْهَاهُمُ الرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالْأَحْبَارُ عَن قَوْلِهِمُ الْإِثْمَ وَأَكْلِهِمُ السُّحْتَ ۚ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُوا يَصْنَعُونَ

Why do their rabbis and priests not forbid them to utter sin and consume unlawful profit? (Sura al Ma‘ida 5:63)

Silence in the face of backbiting is therefore unlawful. God, Exalted is He, said:

إِنَّكُمْ إِذًا مِّثْلُهُمْ

You are then just like them. (Sura al Nisa 4:140)

That is why the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said: “The backbiter and his listener are partners in sin.”

Guarding the Limbs

Keeping all other limbs and organs away from sin: the hands and feet from reprehensible deeds, and the stomach from questionable food at the time for breaking Fast. It is meaningless to Fast – to abstain from lawful food – only to break one’s Fast on what is unlawful.

A man who fasts like this may be compared to one who builds a castle but demolishes a city. Lawful food is injurious in quantity not in quality. Fasting is to reduce the former. A person might well give up excessive use of medicine, from fear of ill effects, but he would be a fool to switch to taking poison.

The unlawful is a poison deadly to religion, while the lawful is a medicine, beneficial in small doses but harmful in excess. The object of Fasting is to induce moderation.

Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said: “How many of those who Fast get nothing from it but hunger and thirst!” This has been taken to mean those who break their Fast on unlawful food. Some say it refers to those who abstain from lawful food, but break their Fast on human flesh through backbiting, which is unlawful. Others consider it an allusion to those who do not guard their organs from sin.

Avoid Overeating

Not to over-indulge in lawful food at the time of breaking Fast, to the point of stuffing one’s belly. There is no receptacle more odious to Allah, Great and Glorious is He, than a belly stuffed full with lawful food.

Of what use is the Fast as a means of conquering Allah’s enemy and abating appetite, if at the time of breaking it one not only makes up for all one has missed during the daytime, but perhaps also indulges in a variety of extra foods?

It has even become the custom to stock up for Ramadan with all kinds of foodstuffs, so that more is consumed during that time than in the course of several other months put together. It is well known that the object of Fasting is to experience hunger and to check desire, in order to reinforce the soul in piety.

If the stomach is starved from early morning till evening, so that its appetite is aroused and its craving intensified, and it is then offered delicacies and allowed to eat its fill, its taste for pleasure is increased and its force exaggerated; passions are activated which would have lain dormant under normal conditions.

The Secret Nature of Fasting

The spirit and secret nature of Fasting is to weaken the forces which are Satan’s means of leading us back to evil. It is therefore essential to cut down one’s intake to what one would consume on a normal night, when not Fasting.

No benefit is derived from the Fast if one consumes as much as one would usually take during the day and night combined. Moreover, one of the properties consists in taking little sleep during the daytime, so that one feels the hunger and thirst and becomes conscious of the weakening of one’s powers, with the consequent purification of the heart.

One should let a certain degree of weakness carry over into the night, making it easier to perform the (tahajjud) and to recite the praises (awrad). It may then be that Satan will not hover around one’s heart, and that one will behold the Kingdom of Heaven.

Laylat al Qadr

The Night of Destiny represents the night on which something of this Kingdom is revealed. This is what is meant by the words of God, Exalted is He:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

We surely revealed it on the Night of Power.’ (Sura al Qadr 97:1)

Anyone who puts a bag of food between his heart and his breast becomes blind to this revelation. Nor is keeping the stomach empty sufficient to remove the veil, unless one also empties the mind of everything but Allah, Great and Glorious is He.

That is the entire matter, and the starting point of it all is cutting down on food.

Look To God With Fear And Hope

After the Fast has been broken, the heart should swing like a pendulum between fear and hope. For one does not know if one’s Fast will be accepted, so that one will find favor with God, or whether it will be rejected, leaving one among those He abhors. This is how one should be at the end of any act of worship one performs.

It is related of Al Hasan ibn abi al Hasan al Basri, that he once passed by a group of people who were laughing merrily. He said: “Allah, Great and Glorious is He, has made the month of Ramadan a racecourse, on which His creatures compete in His worship. Some have come in first and won, while others have lagged behind and lost. It is absolutely amazing to find anybody laughing and playing about on the day when success attends the victors, and failure the wasters. By Allah, if the veil were lifted off, the doer of good would surely be preoccupied with his good works and the evildoer with his evil deeds.”

Rather it is the one whose fast is accepted who should be in too full of joy to indulge in idle sport, while one who has suffered rejection laughter should be precluded by remorse.

Of Al Ahnaf ibn Qays it is reported that he was once told: “You are an aged elder. Fasting would enfeeble you.” But he replied: “By this I am making ready for a long journey. Obedience to Allah, Glorified is He, is easier to endure than His punishment.”


Why Muslims Fast: The Higher Aims of Fasting Explained – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Why Muslims Fast

 

Have you ever wondered why Muslims fast? What’s the point of avoiding food and drink for a month? Surely I can still reach “the heights” whilst I continue to eat and drink? Why is going hungry good for my spirituality? If you’ve thought about Ramadan before and one of these questions has arisen, this is the course for you!

 

In this six part, short course, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani takes listeners on a journey which extracts the profound meanings, merits and benefits of fasting in the month of Ramadan. Using Sultan al-‘Ulama, al-‘Izz b. ‘Abd al-Salam’s brief treatise, Maqasid al-Sawm, as a basis, Shaykh Faraz expounds upon the reality of the fast, works, righteousness and spiritual transformation. In reality, the fast is one of the greatest acts of worship you can do because it is wondrously sincere, and accordingly, something that Allah Most High Himself will reward for – “Fasting is for Me, and it is I who shall recompense for it.”

 

One of the central verses of this course is the one found in Sura al-Baqara where Allah Most High says, “Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed as a guide for humanity with clear proofs of guidance and the standard to distinguish between right and wrong. So whoever is present this month, let them fast. But whoever is ill or on a journey, then let them fast an equal number of days after Ramadan. Allah intends ease for you, not hardship, so that you may complete the prescribed period and proclaim the greatness of Allah for guiding you, and perhaps you will be grateful.” (2:185)

 

The virtues of the fast are numerous, but some of those discussed here include the fact that it (1) is an expiation for your sins and wrongs, (2) is a means of breaking your impermissible desires, and (3) facilitates acts of devotion. The instructor continues to explain the reality of taqwa and its levels, namely: (a) taqwa al-iman: shielding oneself against disbelief; (b) taqwa al-islam: shielding oneself against sin and all that leads to sin; and (c) taqwa al-ihsan: shielding oneself against anything other than Allah Most High.

 

This course also briefly touches upon the important rules with respect to the fast, and also when you can fast outside of Ramadan. Further, it covers the sunnas and proper manners (adab) of fasting, as well as covering important supplications which are to be recited at the time of breaking the fast. One thing which really stands out from this course is the great number of Companion-stories which are related, as well as, importantly, the way of the Noble Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, in the blessed month of Ramadan.

 

So, what are you waiting for? Registering is easy and you’ll get immediate access to all lessons:

https://seekersguidance.org/courses/why-muslims-fast-the-higher-aims-of-fasting-explained/

Watching Over Oneself – Living Hearts Series

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani covers a critical topic; how to gain nearness to Allah through personal reformation. In this segment, he offers advice for time management and watching over oneself.

Imam Ghazali mentioned that one should establish a regular routine and stick to it watchfully. Watchfulness, or muraqaba, is key to success, as it can help you determine what’s working and what’s not working. Our religion has purpose, and we are not just here to obey Allah and save our skins. The higher purpose is mentioned in Hadith Jibreel as ihsan, or excellence. The least of it will save you, and the highest is that you’ll attain worshipping Allah as thought you see Him.

Watching over your thoughts is a higher level of spiritual discipline, because thoughts can lead to good or bad actions.  There are five levels of thoughts:

  1. Thought: a mere suggestion of the mind.
  2. Consideration: when you begin thinking deeper about the suggestion.
  3. Inclination: when your heart begins considering following through.
  4. Resolve: when you decide to follow through with the action.
  5. Determination: deciding to do the action.

The next step is watching intentions. Once you’ve decided to do something, take a moment to reflect on your intentions rather than jumping into action. Judge whether your intentions fit into your life plan. Intentions is how you direct every little thing in your life towards your purpose, giving everything meaning.

Intentions can make all the difference, so be sure to make high intentions. A person will no intention will not have much direction in life, and will have lived without purpose. Conversely, a person who lives with much intention can still have a strong sense of direction, even if things seem to be falling apart.

The third step is having watchfulness in actions. To know whether a certain action fits into your life purpose or not, requires knowledge of two things. Firstly, it requires knowledge of the deen, to measure where any actions fits into the realm of permissibly. Secondly, it requires a knowledge of the sunna, or Prophetic practice, to establish a standard for the actions.

About the Series

In this engaging and inspiring series Shaykh Faraz Rabbani covers Imam Ghazali’s brilliant explanation in his Renewal of the Sciences of Religion (Ihya Ulum al-Din) of how one could become God conscious through watchfulness (muraqaba), and self-accounting (muhasaba). This series will give you keys, insights, and timeless wisdom on how to change oneself, through setting goals and conditions, watching over oneself, taking oneself into account, and spiritual striving.


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


Support SeekersHub Global as it reaches over 10,000 students each term through its completely free online courses. Make a donation, today. Every contribution counts, even if small: http://seekershub.org/donate/


Advice of Leading Muslim Scholars on Seeking Islamic Knowledge

Shaykh Faid Muhammad Said, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Shaykh Salek bin Siddina and Habib Ali al-Jifri: the keys to succeeding on the path of knowledge, the adab of gaining Sacred Knowledge, and the blessing and high rank of this path.

 

Resources for Seekers

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani on Seeking Beneficial Knowledge

In this series of five videos, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani answers some common questions people ask about seeking knowledge.

 

1. Why study Islam?
2. Don’t I know enough already?
3. What should I prioritize in my study?
4. Who should I study with?
5. When reconnecting or considering Islam, where do I begin?

Resources for Seekers

The Blessed Experience of Seeking Knowledge, by Shaykh Faiz Qureshy
Ten Adab of Seekers of Knowledge
Importance of Intention in Seeking Knowledge
10 Steps to Firm-Footedness in Seeking Knowledge of Fiqh

10 Steps to Firm-Footedness in Seeking Knowledge of Fiqh

In this brief podcast, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani provides 10 genuinely useful tips on gaining and retaining a firm grasp of your knowledge of fiqh.

See also:

“From knowing nothing to becoming a student of knowledge”
Advice from Habib Ali Al-Jifri for Seekers of Knowledge
The Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge

Habib Umar’s Advice to the Seekers of Sacred Knowledge
Shaykh Áwwamah’s advice for Students of Sacred Knowledge
Importance of Intention in Seeking Knowledge

 

Student Assembly Review – Great Scholars of the Past

On Sunday May 5th, I had the pleasure of hosting SeekersGuidance students for our term opening Student Assembly. This was no regular student assembly of course – it wouldn’t be a Seekers event without an online component, and indeed, we broadcast live via our LiveStream channel from our Hub in Toronto and also from our new office in California. As students of sacred knowledge preparing for their classes, we sought to engage our audience by honing in on those whose legacy our classes are built on – great scholars of the classical Islamic period.
Shaykh Rami Nsour, our new Dean of Academics enlightened us on the life and work of Imam Malik.
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani focused on Imam Abu Hanifa, and also took questions live from viewers.

When this term comes to an end, we will, God willing, have another Student Assembly, which will focus on great scholars of the modern era. Let us know which scholars you want to know more about by emailing us. Also stay tuned for video from the Assembly, to be posted on our website and Facebook page soon.

Indeed, our teachers sought to describe how a heart connected to saints and scholars of the Islamic tradition give a sincere student wisdom and energy with which to pursue sacred studies. I will leave you with counsel from Shaykh Faraz, who advised students of SeekersGuidance, through the words of Imam Abu Hanifa, as to how we can utilize mention of the rightly guided scholars in our own pursuit of knowledge:

“Abu Hanafi would say ‘moments spent in the mention of the righteous are more precious to me than hours spent in the review of Fiqh.’ Why? The mention of the righteous gives us an embodiment of what the purpose and reality of knowledge is, and qualities that remind us how to become of the true seekers of knowledge, and how we can fulfill the true purpose of knowledge.”

Like us on Facebook and Twitter.

Abrar Qadir,
Development Manager, SeekersGuidance Global

Operating without Barriers

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?


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