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Review: The Divine Opening Explained by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

Nurulain Wolhuter shares her excellent review of The Divine Opening: Surah al-Fatiha Explained, a course offered on SeekersGuidance by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus.

 

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus takes the seeker on an insightful journey into the meanings of Sura al Fatiha. He commences by exploring its many names. It is called Fatih al- Kitab because it is the opening chapter of the holy Qur’an. It is also called Umm al – Quran because it is the source of the Qur’an; and it is al – Assaas, containing the Qur’an’s foundational meanings. Its names reflect its limitless meanings as well as its merits, most notably that it is regarded as the best of the Qur’an.

Against this backdrop, Shaykh Yahya engages in an extensive exegesis of Sura al Fatiha, starting with the istiaatha – the seeking of refuge in Allah from the accursed devil. He says we seek refuge because we know we’re in need, and the more we realise our need, the more Allah will grant us sufficiency. Thereafter, the sura commences with the basmala, invoking all its blessings and enabling us to encloak ourselves with them. These blessings flow because the divine name is the greatest word of all, deserving of all perfection, and it is coupled with the attributes of al – Rahman, the universally merciful to all creatures, and al – Raheem, the specifically compassionate to the believer. Both are emphatic words derived from rahmah, meaning softness of heart, and compassion that necessitates showing goodness and grace to someone.

Turning to the ayat of al – Hamd, Shaykh Yahya explains that we praise Allah with the intention of glorifying and exalting Him, because He is the Lord of the Worlds. Integral to this praise is deep gratitude to Allah for all His blessings.

The next ayat repeats Allah’s divine attributes of al-Rahmaani Raheem, emphasising His mercy.

We then move from praise to a focus on Allah’s sovereignty and possession in the next ayat: Maaliki Yawmid Deen. The word maalik comes from either of two verbal nouns. The first one, Mulk, refers to the kingly traits of dominion, rule or sovereignty. The second one, Milk, refers to possession. So Allah is al – Mulk, the king, or al-Maalik, the owner. We are His Mamluk, subjects or property, and we connect with Him by doing His will. Our hearts should be in a state of reverential awe and fear at the mention of Yawmid Deen. It is the day of resurrection, the day of reprisals, the day where wrongs will be righted. And our Lord is king or master of it.

Thereafter, the sura moves to us, the servants of Allah: Iyyaaka na’budu – we worship You alone. We’re commanded to worship with the utmost humility and a deep sense of exaltation. Allah has placed worship before Istiaana (seeking help) because it is the appropriate etiquette to follow this order, and also because supplicating after worship is more amenable to a response.

Next, we ask Allah to guide us to the straight path (Ihdinas Siraatal Mustaqeem). Shaykh Yahya explains that al – Siraat is a path, a traverse, a way – the bridge over hell that all people will cross on their way to Paradise. It is thinner than a hair and sharper than a sword, and its length is 3,000 years. It is a straight path (al – Mustaqeem), involving outward compliance with the shari’a and inward submission. The way we adhere to the straight path in this world is the way we will cross the traverse in the next. This path is the path of those whom Allah has blessed (Siraatal latheena an’amta ‘alaihim), namely the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous. There was a multitude in the beginning and there are only a few in the end times, but we can be people who move upwards in rank, if we have guidance and uprightness.

Finally, we ask to be spared the way of those who anger Allah or who have gone astray: ghayril maghdoobi ‘alaihim wa lad daalleen. It is said maghdoobi ‘alaihim are the Jews, or the disbelievers, or those who know what is right but don’t do it because of a blameworthy trait in their hearts. al – Daalleen are variously said to be the Christians, or the hypocrites, or those who go astray because they don’t know the truth.

Shaykh Yahya’s journey through the Mother of the Book gives us the opportunity to attain a deeper understanding of its meanings, and, concomitantly, a closer relationship with our Lord. May Allah grant us openings as we listen.


Click here to register for: The Divine Opening: Surah al-Fatiha Explained

Qur’an and the Arabic Language – Shaykh Ali Hani

As part of our Helpers program, Ahmad Ariffin interviewed Shaykh Ali Hani on seeking knowledge, the sciences of the Qur’an and the Arabic language, and their importance in today’s world.

 

Shaykh Ali Hani is a leading scholar of Arabic and Tafsir from Jordan. He has dedicated his life to Quran from a young age. He has memorized the Holy Qur’an and studied the Ten Canonical Recitations and studied Tafsir .He is also one of the experts in the Arabic language of our time. He graduated from the University of Jordan specializing in Tafsir from the Faculty of Islamic Principles. Under his tutelage, many of his students became scholars of the language and are now teaching it around the globe.

His Teachers

He studied from many scholars but there are few of them have a lasting effect on him. He memorized the Qur’an under the guidance of Shaykh. Abu Ayman and completed the memorization in two years. One of the things that Shaykh Abu Ayman taught him is that knowledge is fear.It means the more knowledge you gained the more fearful of you towards Allah Most high.

He also completed the reading of the Qur’an by the way of Imam Hafs under the tutelage of Shaykh Abu Yasir and he mastered the Seven Canonical Recitations under the guidance of Shaykh Mahmood al-Uraydhi.

At the University of Jordan, Shaykh Ali studied with Shaykh Fadl Abbas. After he completed his degree he traveled to Yemen at the city of Sana. He studied the Arabic language and its brances with Shaykh Qasim Bahr. A story that Shaykh Ali shared on Shaykh Qasim was that Shaykh Qasim would reject when a student gave him money and instead the Shaykh would give the students money for their daily usage and that Shaykh Qasim was a very humble man.

Shaykh Ali then made his way to tarim and learned from the scholars in Rubat Tarim. He also receive guidance from other scholars such as Shaykh Abu Bakar Belfaqih, Shaykh Abdullah al-Mehdhor, Shaykh Muhammad Amin al-Shinqiti and many more.

The Importance of studying Qur’anic Tafsir and the Arabic language

In the modern world that we are living in, Tafsir and Arabic language are very important for Muslims to know. With the uprising of the orientalist movement and atheism, more people are joining them and supporting them. We, as Muslims, ought to seek refuge from the movements and the way to seek refuge is by learning. To learn the Islamic sciences we need to learn the Arabic language as it is the key to understanding the sciences and their texts. Language is the bridge between our mind and the author’s mind particularly when you are reading the classic texts. Without language you would not be able to fully derive what the authors want for you. The most important reason why you need to study Arabic is that the Qur’an is in Arabic. Without knowing Arabic, you would not be able to fully indulge in the beauty of the Qur’an and you would not comprehend the inimitabililty of the Holy Qur’an. Although we have the translated version of the Qur’an in different languages, the true beauty of the Quran is in its pure language which is the Arabic language.

As for studying Tafsir, its importance comes into play when you want to further understand the Quran and the context of why it was sent down and to whom and the deeper meaning of the Ayat. Tafsir is also important to rebut the claims of those who tries to demean the great status of the Holy Qur’an and Islam. By learning Tafsir we are also learning the Qur’an. Also, the Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him, said in one of the narrations: “The best among you are those who learn the Qur‘an and teach it.”

Shaykh Ali’s Advice for  Seekers of Knowledge

  1. To follow the footsteps of the past scholars in seeking sacred knowledge which is to read the basics of that branch of Islamic science and and to be expert in it before reading more advanced books.
  2. To teach what you know as this will help your memory and will make it stronger.
  3. To buy books for references as buying books is considered half of the knowledge itself.
  4. To be humble always with your teachers and to accompany them as often as possible as this will invite blessing and divine openings.
  5. To read both classical and contemporary texts and never abandon one of them.
  6. To put great importance in seeking scholars who has chains of narrations in his path of seeking.

 


 

Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa on Sura Luqman–Luqman’s Advice to His Son

Sura Luqman emphasizes tarbiya, or spiritual growth, and is named after a great sage. In this series, Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa explores the meanings of this chapter.

In this segment, Shayh Ibrahim gives commentary on the following verses, which cover Luqman’s advice to his son.

And remember, when Luqman said to his son while he was exhorting him, “O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah. Indeed, association [with him] is great injustice.” (31:13)

The theme of exhortation, of wa’dh, is common in the Qur’an. It is defined as to censure someone, or to instil fear into their heart, to being about a state of tenderness of the heart. Therefore, it is not fear for fear’s sake, but fear for a good cause. Oftentimes, people’s hearts can become hard, and feeling some wa’dh helps reverse this.

And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.

With a few exceptions, obedience to parents is extremely emphasised. Abusing parents is considered to be an enormity according to many Hadith.

In Sahih Bukhari, we find story of Juraij, a righteous man from the time of Banu Israel, who was worshipping in solitude when his mother called to him. Immersed in his prayer, he did not respond. Due to that, he was blamed by a prostitute for her pregnancy. The people smashed his sanctuary, until the baby, miraculously exonerated him.

 [And Luqman said], “O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or [anywhere] in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted. (31:14)

Here, Luqman’s son asks him about small sins. Luqman replies that even the smallest sin is still wrong, and Allah knows everything.

Listen to the rest of Shaykh Ibrahim’s tafsir to find out the rest of Luqman’s counsels.


With gratitude to Greensville Trust.


Resources for Seekers

The Honoured Guests of Ibrahim–Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat

In this article, Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat explores the theme of Karam, or honouring. He uses the example of Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, who is mentioned in the Qur’an as honouring his guests.

What is Karam?

Karam. A very rich and nuanced word of the Arabic language. Qurʾanic philologists, after deep analysis, tell us that its true meaning lies somewhere near ‘for something to be precious, valued, honoured, refined, esteemed and noble’. Meanings such as generosity, and being forgiving – which are common usages for karam in Arabic – are derivative, and not the root meaning itself.

Allah has informed us in the Qurʿan that ‘[By Allah] We have permanently honoured the children of Adam’ (17:70); that is to say, He has elevated the rank of humanity from amongst His creation. This is through various means, such as intelligence, articulate and eloquent speech, religion, morality, responsibility, knowledge, and the ability to traverse all the terrains of the planet – to name a few. The verb in the verse above (kar-ram-nā) indicates that this is something engrained within us, and permanent. It is from the karam of Allah, and so we may feel some of what it is like to have this quality, and to manifest it onto others.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) commanded us, ‘Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him honour (yukrim) his guest’ (Bukhari). The initial part of this statement is a beautiful usage of the rhetorical device employed to spark within a believer a desire to implement the instructions given after it, almost as though he has cause to prove that he believes in Allah and the Last Day.

Coming from the context of Arab generosity where bedouins would light bonfires at night to invite the desert travellers to their hospitality, this hadith took this beautiful trait of the Arabs and combined it with the qualities faith promotes and nourishes within a believer. In short, to make one’s guest feel precious, valued, honoured and noble is something desired in Islam and a mark of nobility itself. It also has far-reaching effects on one’s relationships, friendships, and society as a whole.

In order to see how it is done let us look at one of the most noble and generous men ever to walk the earth, and see how he was with his guests.

The Example of Ibrahim

‘Has the important account (ḥadith) of the honoured guests of Ibrahim come to you? [It was] when they entered his [house] and greeted him. He replied with a better greeting saying ‘[You are] a people completely unknown [to us]’ (51:24-25).

The verses start with an address to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant peace) asking if this particular story had been recounted to him. This serves to draw one’s attention to the story mentioned, and to prepare the listener for the wisdom and guidance it will impart.

Part of this wisdom is for one to spend on worthy causes knowing that one’s provision lies in the generous hand of Allah, which, incidentally, is one of the themes of Sura al-Dhariyat.

The event is referred to as a ‘ḥadith’, which means an event so significant that it should be regarded with due importance and made a frequent topic of conversation. This was, of course, the event when the people of the Prophet Lut were punished – may Allah protect us from His wrath.

The angels sent to them were first told to visit Ibrahim and give him the good news of the birth of his second son, Isḥaq. Allah referred to them as the honoured guests of Ibrahim. Exegetes have differed on the nature of this honouring: were they described as being honoured simply because all angels are honoured by Allah, or was it through the hospitality of Ibrahim? Both interpretations are possible in this situation. Their role as angelic messengers meant that they were honoured by Allah- yet, unaware of them being angels, Ibrahim honoured them to the best of His capacity too.

The verse then states that they entered his home without asking permission. This indicates that his great generosity and immaculate hospitality were known of far and wide, and that guests knew that they were free to enter without asking for permission. This fact alone speaks volumes about the generosity of Ibrahim.

Once inside they greeted him with the familiar greeting of Islam, which he, in turn, replied to. The grammatical state used to express their cordial greeting is weaker than the one used to express his greeting, which shows that he responded to their greeting with warmer and more welcoming words. In short, his reputation of being an impeccable host was immediately apparent.

Without delay, he started to make conversation with them, lest they feel like they were unwanted or intruding. Their being unknown to him was not a cause of frustration, or him not wanting to serve them with the best he had. Rather, he saw them as people sent to him by Allah as a means for him to draw closer to Allah through hospitality. He was not yet aware that they were angels.

‘Immediately, he quickly and quietly slipped away to his household, and soon brought a plump [roasted] calf’ (51:26)

Next, after making them comfortable, he slipped away. The word ‘rāgha’ in the verse implies that he was quick in departing, and that it was imperceptible and unceremonious. From this we can infer that he did not want to keep his guests waiting. Travelling is tiring, so feeding one’s guests immediately is a sign on good hospitality.

We can also see that he did not ask them whether they wanted anything to eat or drink. Many people would simply refuse due to their modesty, despite actually desiring some food. Ibrahim did not place them in this situation, nor did he give them a choice between foods; because many people would either refuse or simply choose what would be the least taxing on the host, even if they desired otherwise.

We then see that he went to his household – his wife, and their servants, if they had any. This indicates that the role of hospitality was a shared one, and each of them saw they great opportunity to please Allah the guests had brought with them.

To add to this, exegetes have mentioned that the particles mentioned in the verse indicate quick succession, which means that they hurried to honour their guests, and that it is almost as if the food was half prepared waiting for some guests to pass by. This is tremendous reflection of his generosity and reliance on Allah in matters of provision.

It can also be inferred that the host should serve what is easily available to him, whether it is a meal, some nuts, or a cup of tea. Guests in Ibrahim’s scenario were travellers through the desert; all the food a traveller had was what he could carry with him, so being someone’s guest was an opportunity to have a good meal which may not present itself again soon. Therefore, you do not have to serve a three course meal every time the neighbour comes over to pick up a parcel she had missed in the post.

Serving what is easily available also means that one does not have to sneak out of the back door for a secret trip to the supermarket to get some food for the guest. What is available is sufficient, and the host’s company is more important.

After a short space of time he took a plump roasted calf to the guests. Cows were the best food they could provide for a guest, as well as being very expensive. A fully grown cow can provide a lot of meat which can be eaten, shared or preserved. Yet, he chose to slaughter a calf.

A calf would have been quicker to cook, and its meat would have been more tender, but there would not have been much excess meat. Ibrahim’s prioritising of his guests in choosing the best and tastiest food, quick service, and selflessness here is nothing short of admirable.

‘He then placed it very close to them, and said, ‘Will you not eat?’ (51:27)

Ibrahim served his guests himself, and this is not a flaw; rather, it is the height of nobility for a man to serve his guests himself. This is a practice I noticed amongst the scholars and the righteous in the middle-east. For a man of distinction to place food in your plate – despite his rank and virtues – is an honour to say the least.

Not only that, Ibrahim gently requested them to eat. It was not a command. It was nothing but a warm and gentle word of encouragement to eat, posed in the form of a question.

Many guests feel shy, and it may not be easy for them start eating of their own accord. This gentle reminder once again shows that Ibrahim did everything he could to honour his guests, who, as far as he knew until this point, were normal people, beneath him in rank.

The food was also placed very close to them in order to prevent them from being too shy to eat anything served, and to have everything within easy reach. The guests of Ibrahim really were honoured.

We ask Allah – who, more than any, deserves to be described with the meanings of the word karam – to bestow His karam on us, and the believers, in this life and the next. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace), upon receiving the opening verses of Sura al-Muʾminun, asked for this when he said,

اللَّهُمَّ زِدْنَا وَلَا تَنْقُصْنَا، وَأَكْرِمْنَا وَلَا تُهِنَّا، وَأَعْطِنَا وَلَا تَحْرِمْنَا، وَآثِرْنَا وَلَا تُؤْثِرْ عَلَيْنَا، وَأرْضِنَا وَارْضَ عَنَّا

‘O Allah, give us an increase, and not a decrease; honour us and do not abase us; give us and do not debar us; prefer us and do not prefer [others] to us; and please us and be pleased with us’ (Tirmidhi).


Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. He moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time, such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.
In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies in Fiqh, Usul al Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.


Resources for Seekers

The Great Event: Sura al Waqi’a Explained – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives a thematic study of this Sura, its explanation (tafsir), key lessons, and how to grow one’s relationship with Allah through deepening one’s understanding and relationship with this great Sura.

Sura al Waqi’ah is one of the most beloved and most recited Suras of the Qur’an. This is because of the sense of urgency and opportunity it conveys.

This Sura has three main themes:

The Resurrection

The first theme, found in verses 1-56, described the amazing awe-inspiring power of the Resurrection, as well as the various stations which all people will be in.

The resurrection is a reality. It has been said, “If the light of faith were in your heart, the hereafter would be so real that you wouldn’t feel the need to travel to it.” There are two types of disbelief in the Hereafter; the explicit denial, and lesser denial. The latter involves a lifestyle that does not act as if the Hereafter exists. We should nurture a sense of reality of the hereafter, to give us the sense of urgency that we need to ensure that we take this life seriously.

Proofs of the Resurrection

The second theme, found in verses 57-80, speak about the rational proofs of the Resurrection.

Modern science usually argues that there is no Creator, However, we believe that things cannot create themselves, and we have many proofs in the Qur’an and in other places. The human being is like a plant, nurtured by reflection and watered by remembrance. If bereft of these, the faith could shrivel and die. Therefore, we have a duty to learn more about our beliefs. If a society isn’t firmly rooted in their faith, the faith can leave when in testing times.

During and After Death

The third theme, from verses 81-96, speaks about the state of a person during and after death.

After death, there are many types of people. The ones brought near, will have joy and ease in Paradise. There will also be those of the right hand, who will be greeted with good. As for the one who denied, they will be in Hellfire.

All  blessings are from Allah, even life itself. We must respond to these blessings while we still have time. However, Allah asks us why we only look at these blessings when we are close to dying, or when we see someone else die, even though Allah is closer to us than anyone else.  Closeness to Allah is not an issue of distance, but in the sense that He sustains everything, at all times.


Resources for Seekers

Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa on Sura Luqman – On Knowledge of the Qur’an

Sura Luqman emphasizes tarbiya, or spiritual growth, and is named after a great sage. In this series, Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa explores the meanings of this chapter.

Shaykh Ibrahim begins by saying that there are two keys to Paradise, both who have to be inserted into the lock together. The first one, to is to connect to Allah’s mercy through the Prophet, Allah bless him and give his peace. The second one, is to wait patiently for Allah’s blessings, which He grants as He wills.

Similarity, knowledge is of two types, kasbi and wahbi. Knowledge that is kasbi, is the knowledge that you actively seek and have to strive for. This type of knowledge is the most accessible to us.  Wahbi knowledge is a gift from Allah, which Allah gives to those whom He had favored, such as the sage Luqman, as well as the Prophets.

The Qur’an has been revealed so that people can reflect on the meaning. Imam Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, was once asked whether the Prophet singled out members of his family in order to teach them things that he did not teach the rest of the Muslims.

“No,” Imam Ali replied, “Except for something of the understanding of the Book of Allah.”

Much of the knowledge of the Qur’an is kasbi, which is why scholars study for years to be able to understand the meanings of the verses. However, in every generation, certain wahbi knowledge of the Qur’an is revealed to some people from the Ahl al-Bayt, the family of the Prophet. This has been proved in the following hadith:

“I have left two things amongst you; if you hold onto them, you will never be led astray. The Book of Allah, and my family. They are always together, and do not depart, until they meet me at the Pool.” 


With gratitude to Greensville Trust.


Resources for Seekers

Knowledge & Guidance – Ramadan Renewal Xtra

Struggling to keep on top of your podcast subscriptions? SeekersHub Ramadan Renewal Xtra offers you a bitesize summary of each night’s lessons at SeekersHub Toronto this Ramadan. Catch up on the essential lessons, captured by our media team in this special episode.

Learn To Live: A 30 Day Program in God’s Mercy, Forgiveness and Salvation

God’s Mercy, Forgiveness and Salvation

God’s Mercy, Forgiveness and Salvation: SeekersHub Toronto is offering a 30-day intensive course – also available live online – which will reconnect you with the Qur’an and make you fall in love with Allah Most High’s miraculous revelation again.

Shaykh-Walead-Mosaad

Shaykh Walead Mosaad

This year, the Ramadan program is being organized around the theme of “Learn to Live”, which will see us explore Mercy during the first 10 days, Forgiveness during the second 10 days, and Salvation in the last 10 days.
During each third of the month we will focus on what the Qur’an teaches us on each of these matters with a focus on concepts, stories and practical spiritual action.

Teaching the course will be  Shaykh Walead Mosaad, Shaykh Muhammad Mendes, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Ustadha Shireen Ahmed, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, and others.
Daily programs will include tarawih prayers at the beautiful new SeekersHub Toronto, with master of Qur’anic recitation Qari Hafidh Abdullah Francis from Cape Town, South Africa.

Shaykh-Muhammad-Mendes-Ustadh-Abdul-Aziz-Suraqah

Shaykh Muhammad Mendes (left)

You are also welcome to join us for a communal iftar or even sponsor a meal for a 100+ people. Just email [email protected] for details.
Stay tuned for more information in the upcoming weeks, and make SeekersHub Toronto #YourRamadanHub.

Do you recommend the Study Quran?

Study-Quran-Syed-Hossein-NasrThe Study Quran is a 2000 page discussion of the Qur’an, by 15 contributors led by renowned scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Containing maps, annotations, timelines and indices, it is said to offer a rigorous analysis of the Qur’an’s theological, metaphysical, historical, and geographical teachings and backgrounds.

Scholars and commentators from around the world have lauded The Study Quran as “perhaps the most important work done on the Islamic faith in the English language to date.” Read the reviews here.

Others, such as Dr Shadee Elmasry have expressed grave concern over The Study Quran‘s promotion of perennialism and for being “dishonest with the evidence” while Imam Suhaib Webb has said, “I’m concerned about certain positions taken in the text and encourage those who have it to read it with a local scholar, using them to clarify any concerns. Let me add that this is the first edition. The translation of Yusuf Ali has gone through a number of editions and is still lauded till this day. My over all experience with this edition has been a positive one and I’m hopeful that further editions will continue in that direction.”

 

faraz rabbaniShaykh Faraz Rabbani was asked if he would recommend The Study Quran, and responded with:

The brief answer is yes, but with consideration.

Yes, because it is a deep, rich, valuable study companion for any English-speaker seeking to deepen their understanding and appreciation for the Book of Allah.

The consideration or caution is that this is not meant to be an authoritative reference work. It presents a range of views–Sunni, Shia, mainstream and sometimes (such as on the issue of perennialism–the “universal validity of all religions”) non-mainstream. Its editors, such as Joseph Lumbard, whom I respect and consider a friend from a distance, have said as much.

Thus, I would recommend this impressive work. Benefit from it in your connecting to the Quran, and in your gaining understanding of its guidance and beauty but don’t take it as “the final word” or an authoritative reference on matters of theology or law. It isn’t meant to be this.

Rather, it remains our duty–for each and every concerned believer–to find reliable teachers, and to learn our religion with clarity. Study Islamic beliefs, worship, spirituality, and other core sciences with qualified teachers who themselves studied–with contiguous chains connecting back to the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk). This will give you clarity and will nurture your certitude, as you navigate the challenges of life, and the nuances of knowledge, writings, books, and opinions.

May Allah reward the editors of The Study Quran for their work and service. May He accept its good and place benefit in it. And may He grant us the insight and awareness to take this benefit, and to recognize the Truth and uphold it.

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

 

Resources for seekers:

What does Allah mean by “Light Upon Light”? – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the Verses of Light (Surat al-Nur 35-38) from the Tafsir of Imam Ahmed ibn Ajiba, al-Bahr al-Madid. What is meant by the light in these verses? What is meant by the niche and oil? Who attains this light, and what are some qualities of the believers? All these questions and other meanings are answered in this brief talk by Shaykh Faraz.

This talk is part of the weekly gathering at SeekersGuidance Toronto, Circle of Light: A Night of Remembrance, Praise & Inspiration. Join us for free, in-person and online.

Help SeekersGuidance provide free classes to 1,000,000 students around the globe through our #SpreadLight campaign.