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Have We Really Progressed? – Shaykh Sadullah Khan

* Originally published on the 19/07/2019 (Masjid al -Furqaan)

In this Pre Khutba talk delivered at at Masjid al – Furqaan in Cape Town (South Africa), Shaykh Sadullah Khan reflects on mankind’s progression and advancement in the scientific and technological domains. He asks us to ponder on the fact that the majority of human beings still live in poverty and under oppression despite the wonderful advancements that man has made. Our preoccupation with material progression has caused us to forget our moral and social responsibilities to humanity and our surroundings.

* Courtesy of Masjid al – Furqaan’s Youtube page

 

 

Spirituality Reflected Through Activism – By Shaykh Sadullah Khan

In this article, Shaykh Sadullah Khan deeply reflects on the life of Imam Abdullah Haron RA. Imam Abdullah Haron RA was a South African scholar, community leader, and political activist who stood against the apartheid regime in South Africa. He was martyred during his incarceration under the apartheid regime.

* The original source of this article is from the Muslim Views (March 2019):

http://muslimviews.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/MV-March-2019-LoRes.pdf


Hafidh-ul-Quran at 14, Imam at 31, Martyred at 45: ash-Shaheed Imam Abdullah Haron.

Having lost his mother in infancy, reared lovingly by his dear aunt Mariam and tutored in Makkah by the likes of Shaikh Abdurrahman al-Alawi al-Maliki, all impacted on the spiritual roots of this noble icon in our historic struggle against racism and injustice in South Africa.

As one who loved to constantly recite the Quran, as one who fasted every Monday and Thursday, Imam Haron’s spiritual consciousness demanded of him that he engage the world around him in a proactive manner.

As imam and spiritual leader of Al-Jamia Mosque (Stegman Road), in Claremont, he promoted youth programmes, initiated adult male and female classes, organised study circles and encouraged women to participate in the mosque’s executive activities.

He created discussion groups, established the progressive Claremont Muslim Youth Association, publishing the monthly bulletin Islamic Mirror, co-founded and edited the community newspaper Muslim News and, through these, he addressed spiritual, cultural, religious, social and political issues.

All of these played a functional role in engaging the community, informing the community, binding the community and enlightening the community.

Imam Haron’s spirituality was informed by the Quran, which imbued his life with clarity of moral purpose, and was exercised through social engagement rather than withdrawal from society. His moral depth and spiritual strength was evident in:

  • his fiery determination in standing up and publicly denouncing the apartheid state when his peers were cowed by the racist government. And it was highly uncommon for religious people to engage in ‘politics’ because it was neither socially safe nor politically correct to do so;
  • his preference was to walk the walk rather than talk the talk, living his ideals in practice by active involvement with all strata of civil society rather than sermonising and projecting beautiful visions and solutions without practical implementation;
  • his stand when the Group Areas Act threatened Al-Jamia mosque by forced removals. He said, ‘The precincts of the mosque are inviolable and the building sacred forever. No mosque can be sold or destroyed.’
  • his active involvement with the Defence and Aid Fund to assist freedom fighters, political prisoners, exiles, those who were banned and their families (who were often forgotten);
  • his ethical commitment to physically go and uplift the impoverished through personal interaction despite laws that were designed to keep people apart; so much so that even those not of his faith recognised his spiritual stature by calling him ‘mfundisi’ (holy/ religious man);
  • his physical ability, enormous courage and selfless dedication to endure harassment, interrogation, torment and torture for 123 days (even till death) without ‘selling out’ to the notorious brutality and power of the oppressors.

Imam Haron’s activism personified the ethical message of the Quran that he had memorised. Bearing witness (shahadah) is the foundation of spiritual life and Imam Haron lived the Shahadah and died a shaheed (martyr).

A martyr is never defeated nor conquered; they killed his body but his mission is alive. They silenced his voice but his message continues to inspire. His body lies buried but his spirit lives on; it lives in every person he taught and helped (young or old, male or female), in every poor home he visited (in Bonteheuwel or Langa), in every life he touched (Muslim or not).

The pain of his death and the memory of his martyrdom should evoke a moral responsibility on our collective conscience to ensure that the blood of martyrs is never spilled in vain.


Biography of Shaykh Sadullah Khan

Shaykh Sadullah Khan memorized the Qur’an at the age of eight, studied law in South Africa, journalism in Britain and Islamic studies in Egypt. He has spearheaded youth development programs in South Africa and the USA for two decades; has been an inspiring religious leader, motivational speaker and an educator for the past 25 years. Shaykh Sadullah is currently the COO of the Islamia College, in Cape Town, South Africa.


 

Change Happens: Qur’anic Principles for Social Change–Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

What is change? How does change happen? What is the purpose of change? What are the spiritual and worldly keys to change—for the individual, for groups, for communities, and for believers?

In the first part of the series, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani speaks about the definition of change, reform, and rights.

What is Change?

There is not, in fact, any intrinsic benefit mentioned in the Qur’an about change. Rather, we are called upon to change from an undesired state to a desired one, in accordance to what Allah has deemed to be good and true. Not only are we responsible to change our own states, but we also have  a social responsibility to have concern for the greater societal good.

Furthermore, we are taught about reform (islah). Something is considered to be reformed when it is free of harm. Therefore, a righteous person is called a salih, or someone who had made a personal change and fixed themselves.

We also have a definition for good. We have a moral criteria, we do not believe that good is relative. For example, just because someone is very rich, does not mean that we can steal from them. Allah has upheld justice, and His justice is not punitive. Rather, it is restorative. Justice entails that we are required to give everyone their rights, and deal with them in the best possible way.

Some obligations comes through choice, while others are circumstantial. For example, after choosing to get married, it is our duty to do well by our spouse. However, if we see someone bleeding on the sidewalk, it is our responsibility to help them, even if we haven’t been the cause of their injury.

In conclusion, we see social change as a responsibility, not as a whim-based function. We should be having a sense of responsibility to work to improve the lives of the poor or oppressed, rather than waiting until a picture goes viral.


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Rethinking Our Identity as Western Muslims: A Black-and-White Dichotomy?

As turmoil increases around the world, the identity of Western Muslims is increasingly being called into question. On one hand, some people have little interest in their religious or cultural identities and are eager to assimilate into the monoculture. On the other hand, there are people who believe that contributing to mainstream society, such as through social concern or involvement is not possible.

Shaykh Dr. Ridwan Saleem of Ha Meem College in Hounslow, England, talks about political, social, and religious identity. He refutes both extremes, and proves that being involved in the good of the wider community is a part of Prophetic Practice.

Can’t get enough? Sign up for SeekersHub’s FREE course “Being Muslim: A Clear Introduction to Islam”, taught by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, chaplain at the University of Toronto.

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We are grateful to the Ha Meem Foundation for this recording.