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The Adhan: Why We Are Missing Out On Great Benefits, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ made a tremendous promise to those who respond upon hearing the adhan – “My intercession will be granted to them on the Day of Resurrection…”

However, many of us don’t know or don’t remember the sunnas of doing the adhan and hearing the call to prayer (adhan). This is particularly the case in lands where the adhan is not publicly given. It is as if we don’t believe in what the Prophet ﷺ has promised. It could be the key to Paradise for us. May Allah make it so!

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives a step by step list of things to do.

Photo by Md. Mafizul Hasan Hawlader.

The Adhan: A Source of Often Neglected Great Benefits, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ Forbearance, by Imam Khalid Latif

In these dark and confusing times, Imam Khalid Latif reminds us how the best of mankind, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ responded to adversity.

Zayd ibn San’an (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates:
Once, God’s Messenger  borrowed some money from me. I was not yet a Muslim then. I went to him to collect my debt before its due time, and insulted him, saying; ‘You the children of ‘Abd al-Muttalib, are very reluctant to pay your debts!’ ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) became very angry with this insult of mine and shouted; ‘O enemy of God! Were it not for the treaty between us and the Jewish community, I would cut off your head! Speak to God’s Messenger politely!’
However, God’s Messenger  smiled at me and, turning to ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), said, “Umar, pay the man his debt! And add to it the amount of twenty gallons because you have frightened him!”
Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) relates the rest of the story: “We went together. On the way, Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him) spoke to me unexpectedly;

O ‘Umar! You got angry with me. But I have found in him all the features of the Last Prophet recorded in the Torah, the Old Testament. However, there is this verse in it: ‘His mildness surpasses his anger. The severity of impudence to him increases him only in mildness and forbearance.’ In order to test his forbearance, I uttered what I uttered. Now I am convinced that he is the Prophet whose coming the Torah predicted, so, I believe and bear witness that he is the Last Prophet.

The mildness and forbearance of God’s Messenger  sufficed for the conversion of Zayd ibn San’an (may Allah be pleased with him), who was one of the Jewish scholars of the time. [Suyuti, al-Khasa’is, 1.26; I. Hajar, al-Isabah, 1.566.]
The Prophet was a person of Haleem, his example for us was that he had a sense of kindness and love and a sense of justice and compassion.
Your prayer is not only for you but for all of humanity, your forbearance impacts all of humanity. Look inside and ask yourself “What am I going to give?”
The Prophet in his forbearance was always merciful, compassionate, generous, loving and a source of hope.
Pray, smile and love others from your heart. The things that are happening around us, hardships do exist, ask yourself how will you meet it? If you meet it with anything less than true forbearance, to be able to recognise and what it means for us individually and communally, Allah will give us opportunities for growth and we will have to decide if we are going to take it on or not.

We are grateful to ICNYU for this recording.

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On Mosques, Companionship, & Knowledge: Zackary King in conversation

When Zackary King decided to become Muslim after three long years of contemplation, he did it alone in his room. The time that followed, he compared to being at a track meet. There was a general sense of belonging, yet a very deep, painful sense of individuality, to the point of loneliness.

However, after a longtime friend admitted to him that he had also become Muslim, Zackary decided to visit a mosque. There, during a short conversation with a fellow Muslim, he got all his questions answered…and realized the importance of companionship and community.

“It’s not just one person plus one person equals two. As you add each person, it has its own spirit. The group has a spirit all of its own. And for me, that’s one the of key aspects of Islam.”

He also learned a lot about the importance of knowledge. “If you’ve ever done any sort of procedure, knowing how to do it yourself gives you a sense of security and confidence that nothing else really can.”

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We are thankful to Safina Society for this recording.

How Not To Let Stress Get You Down. Lessons From The Sunna – Dr. Rania Awaad

Ustadha Dr. Rania Awaad guides us through stress reduction strategies and techniques drawn from the way of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Reducing stress in our lives can put our minds and bodies in a better state, God willing, to take advantage of the manifold spiritual opportunities life offers.


Ustadha Dr Rania Awaad has received a traditional license (ijazah) to teach Qur’anic recitation (tajwid) in both the Hafs and Warsh recitations from the late eminent Syrian scholar, Shaykh Abu Hassan al-Kurdi. In addition to completing several advanced texts of the Shafi’i school (madhhab), she is licensed to teach texts of Maliki jurisprudence (fiqh), literature (adab), and spirituality (ihsan). She is also a physician. Her medical interests include addressing mental health care concerns in the Muslim community, particularly that of Muslim women. Other on-going endeavors include the compilation of a manual addressing female-related medical issues from a fiqh-oriented perspective as well as a manual on raising Muslim children in the West.
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The Unconditional Rejoicing of the Believer, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

One of the most important Prophetic traditions of our religion is to always rejoice. A believer isn’t happy because nice things happen, because this life and all that happens in it, is fleeting. We rejoice because of our connection to Allah, the Everlasting. Listen on in this brief reminder from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Side Entrance: Why Mosques Are Still Getting It Wrong, by Mona Rahman

Mona Rahman on the consequences of entering mosques through a side entrance and disappearing from sight, especially if you’ve got boys in tow.

I’m going to just come out and say this. En route home from a soccer festival we stopped at a masjid. Alhamdulillah the masjid was open. We went to pray, my dad, my sons and I. I went through the Sisters’ side entrance and up the stairs to the prayer area.  My sons and father went ahead to the “main” entrance to the prayer area.  I could see them but they could not see me. I could not pray with them in jama’a (congregation) so prayed by myself. We like to pray in jama’a as a family.  I went out and waited a while for them to come.  The first thing my son said was, “Mommy, where were you?”
Let me tell you where I’m coming from. I grew up in a community without a masjid but with a strong community Alhamdulillah. When we were able to build a masjid I was 25 and my brother was 7. We were taught how the Prophet’s masjid was, what the Sunnah is and how brothers and sisters are partners to each other. Our community board has an official women’s representative to ensure that the sisters are always heard, and always had. However in addition to the women’s rep we have always had sisters in executive positions on the Board, Alhamdulillah.  We used to have youth and MSA reps until we became too large for it to be practical (and there were other issues) but we developed a forum so that they still have a voice. This was the mentality of our founding families. As such when the masjid was built it was done so with a common main entrance and with symmetry so that brothers and sisters had the same facilities. Yes there are alternate entrances but no one is designated as brothers only or sisters only. There are separate entrances to the musallah but they led to a simple open prayer area with sisters at the back and brothers at the front just as was described for the first masjid of the Prophet ﷺ.

People Aren’t The Same Anymore

Do some people not like it? Every once in a while someone new will come and say this is haram. But you know what? This is closest to the Sunnah. Oh people are not as at the time of the Prophet ﷺ. Really? From my understanding, men used to go to the back rows at the time of the Prophet ﷺ and try to see the women through their legs when in prostration. That is when the Prophet ﷺ said that the best lines for men are at the front and the best lines for women are at the back. He didn’t say to build a wall or stick the women on another floor. The Quran says to lower your gaze and guard your modesty. Lower your gaze is stated first. You are responsible for your own actions. These are principles taught 1400+ years ago but which we have been practicing since, Insha Allah.
Are people uncomfortable with this? Of course there are women who are uncomfortable praying in there same room as men as it is foreign to them, so in order to make everyone comfortable and not infringe on the rights of any of the women, when we expanded the sisters area we expanded sideways in order to create a space with more privacy for those sisters who do not want to be in the same visible space as the men but still keeping the structure of the main prayer hall. Note, it wasn’t done in response to the men who complained. A mere bookshelf separates the area so there is free flow from the private part to the main sisters area. That is their preference and everyone is free to worship in the main area or in the more private areas, which is also very useful if nursing.

Communities and Families Partitioned

Let’s go back to today’s experience. I know what the Prophet ﷺ taught. I have also lived in a different community where there were areas partitioned by walls but they evolved with the community, with greater understanding. From my experience there though, I will say it is difficult to concentrate on prayer and it is sometimes difficult if one arrives late. However, I will pray in your masjid without making a fuss as that is the climate of your community.  I have prayed in the smelly closet by myself. I have prayed in the mezzanine unable to communicate with my sons.
As a mother of boys, who tends to be alone with the boys at the masjid, you have to understand the difficulty we are put in.  If I visit with my sons you are asking me to let them go alone without supervision into a place where they don’t know anyone. They can’t look back to ensure I’m there. They can’t find me if they need help.  They do not feel like I am part of the jama’a. They will not come with me to the women’s area as they are 7 and 10 and once they are 7, they were taught they should go to the brothers section as they are now big boys.
Is this the type of community our Prophet ﷺ built? He was the man who would shorten his prayers if he heard a child cry so as to not cause any more distress to the mother. He was the man who asked the men in his community to wait a bit so that the sisters could leave the masjid without discomfort. He was the one who gently turned the head of his young companion when he couldn’t help but stare at the beautiful woman. He taught haya so that we could be true partners in community. This is a haya which is independent of what others are wearing or how they act.

It’s not about “free mixing”

If I as a grown woman who is strong in my Muslim identity (Masha Allah) feel uncomfortable and uncertain when I go to a masjid, afraid of offending because of my gender or going through the wrong door, then how would one who may be wobbling, especially our young Muslim sisters, feel? How about the sister who goes for the first time? If you don’t teach your youth (or adults) how to behave with each other at the masjid with their brothers and sisters, how do you expect them to know how to behave when in the wider community with their peers? How do you think our sons feel when their mom has to go somewhere else?
It’s not about “free mixing”. That is not what I’m saying. It is possible to pray in a musallah without barriers and still be separate. It is possible to go to school and work without compromising your haya. It’s about proper manners. It’s about truly learning what the Sunnah is and practising it without crutches. It’s about separating the cultural norms of back home from what Allah Most High taught us through His Messenger ﷺ through the Qur’an and Sunnah. It requires us to not just accept what we grew up )especially if it was from a land where most are Muslim) but understanding the why. It’s about learning about our religion from reliable sources, not just relying on what our forefathers told us.
My mother argued with her grandfather who felt there was no need for girls to be educated past grade 6. Masha Allah he was a pious man and ensured an Islamic education and it was this which also taught her the importance of education. So she argued with truth in her words and continued her education, Masha Allah. Sometimes we need to question the status quo to ensure we are on the Straight Path.
Anything good is from Allah swt; all else is from my own deficiencies. I beg Allah’s forgiveness if I have erred or misled.

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"They Are Not Our Teachers" – Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

“They are not our teachers”  said Omar Mukhtar, the leader of Libyan Mujahideen, when asked why he would not avenge the way Muslims had been treated by the Italian Colonists. His declaration demonstrated a deep understanding of the way of the Prophet ﷺ.

In this video, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin uses this example and others from the life of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to show how the way of the Prophetic way can heal us and the world around us.

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Cover photo by Wallace Parreiras.

The Love between the Prophet ﷺ and Abdullah ibn Mas’ud – Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa

Imagine the city of the Prophet ﷺ, illuminated by him ﷺ, by his Companions and by the love they all had for each other. Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa gives us a glimpse.

Every morning, the whole city would wait, impatient to hear the blessed sound of the footsteps of the Prophet ﷺ as he left his house to sit in his corner for spiritual retreat – a sound that announced to them that the prayer sanctuary was now open. And then, swiftly, the mosque would fill.
Who made the call to that night prayer (tahajjud)? It was Abdullah ibn Mas’ud. He was he who had the honor of announcing this prayer throughout his life. Abdullah ibn Mas’ud was the first to witness the spiritual Sun – our Prophet ﷺ – rise every morning before the physical sun rose.
One day, the beautiful Apostle ﷺ suddenly fell ill. He ﷺ went to visit his living Companions and the martyrs of Uhud. He ﷺ wept, saying, “I miss my brothers!” He ﷺ was referring to his buried brothers before anything. But he ﷺ was also talking about you.
A Companion who was present asked the Prophet ﷺ, “Are we not your brothers?” He ﷺ said, “Yes, you are my brothers by companionship, but I speak of those who accepted the good news, even though they never met me. It is they who I speak of now. How I miss them!”
Not long after, the Prophet ﷺ developed a fever, similar to the one he ﷺ experienced upon the first revelation of “Iqraa.” He ﷺ asked to be covered, just like the first time. This time it was Sayyida Ayesha who had the honor of covering him ﷺ. For seven days, he ﷺ couldn’t leave his house. The Companions anxiously awaited his recovery: there were those who raised tents in the streets, others in the mosque’s yard. No one thought this would be the illness that would bring the end of life as they knew it.
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, the close Companion who welcomed the first glimpse of the Prophet ﷺ each morning would be the one to witness the very last look, before the curtain fell – never to be raised again. After many days of sickness, the Prophet ﷺ lifted the curtain between his home and the sanctuary, and addressed his Companions, ‘I give you peace.’ The Companions were in prayer at the time, and were seized by the desire to run to their Beloved ﷺ. Heﷺ told them to stay in prayer. But Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said: ‘The prayer could be repeated, but that look I couldn’t miss. I looked at his face and it was like a page of the Qur’an.’
It’s clear that Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud was not talking about the physical page upon which the Qur’an was transcribed. What physical resemblance would the Prophet’s ﷺ countenance have with the leathers or papyrus which hosted the Word of God at that time? Rather, he was talking about the light of the Qur’an, that light that emanates from the Word of God, and is visible to those who have clear vision. That light was the light he saw on the Face of his Beloved ﷺ.
The light of Qur’an is the light of eternity, not of black-inked letters. Light is light. Abdullah ibn Mas’ud was an expert of that light as well – the Qu’ranic light. It was Abdullah ibn Mas’ud who recited the Qur’an for the Prophet ﷺ: for, even though the letters of God were engraved in his ﷺ heart, the Beloved ﷺ would ask to hear the Word of God recited in the voice of someone else, in order to experience its beauty in yet another way. And that someone else was Abdullah ibn Mas’ud. The Prophet ﷺ would say: “Recite to me the last thing you learned.” Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said that one time, in response, he started reading from Surah al-Nisa (The Chapter of Women) [in another narration it was al-Nahl (The Chapter Bees)], until he reached the verse: “and when we will call from each nation their witness, and we will call you as a witness for that nation.” Hearing these words, the Messenger ﷺ wept. His tears flowed, flowed, flowed. Everytime he ﷺ recited or heard the Qur’an, he ﷺ lived a new experience of Revelation.
In this love between the Prophet ﷺ and Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, we witness the way in which the Qur’an that is recited is a rope connected to the Qur’an that is revealed.

Be a Guardian (30 Deeds, 30 Days), Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa

Be a Guardian: conceal someone’s faults and shortcomings, Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa

30 Days, 30 Deeds
Sacred Acts to Transform the Heart

Every night, our scholars in residence explore one simple deed that could have far reaching spiritual impact on our lives – and the lives of others. Every day we’ll make the intention to put that teaching into practice. Whether it’s forgiving someone who’s wronged us or putting service to others at the top of our list of priorities, these powerful lessons will remind us of the great gift the Prophet ﷺ‎  gave us: the best of character.

Daily at 8:10 pm EST. Attend in person at SeekersHub Toronto or watch live.

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

Photo credit: Rignam Wangkhang

The Prophet’s ﷺ Example of Hope and What it Teaches Us, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Prophet’s ﷺ Example of Hope and What it Teaches Us

Capturing the Spirit of Ramadan
Mercy, Forgiveness and Salvation

Every night our Ramadan scholars will explore one of the three key spiritual goals of Ramadan. Each talk will conclude with a dynamic conversation as we explore mercy, forgiveness and salvation deeply and see how we can attain these divine gifts practically. These talks will enliven and inspire us as we begin our nightly ‘isha and tarawih prayers.

Daily at 10:00 pm EST. Attend in person at SeekersHub Toronto or watch live.

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

Cover Photo by Bartleby