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Death is not the only way we lose our scholars – Launch of SeekersZakat Fund

Our teachers often remind us that upon the passing of a scholar, they take with them to their grave, the treasure chests of knowledge and wisdom they’d accumulated throughout their life of; hard work, years of dedication and sacrifice and as such, their passing is a loss on multiple levels.

Now we know death is inevitable but death is not the only way we’re losing our scholars.

Ustadh Amjad explains in this video:

Due to the chaos and ugliness that is spread by ISIS and others in Muslim lands, countless scholars have had to flee Muslim countries, live in refugee camps or work 2-3 odd jobs just to get by, thus making teaching secondary.

Teaching also ends up on the back-burner for several scholars right here within our communities because the need to earn a living and provide for oneself and one’s family takes precedence.

But it doesn’t have to be this way…

The SeekersZakat Fund has been formed as one solution to dispelling darkness and spreading the light that is sacred knowledge. With this fund, we can enable our scholars to teach, research, write and produce content for generations to come.

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SeekersZakat Fund will collect zakat donations and distribute to the following individuals who are zakat-eligible, deserving and have been approved as such by our qualified scholars:

Muslim scholars, enabling them to teach this religion instead of just trying to get by.
Your zakat enables qualified scholars to continue transmitting sound, reliable Islamic knowledge through teaching, writing, and research.

Students of Sacred Knowledge, to preserve this religion for the next generation.
Your zakat enables numerous students of Sacred Knowledge to pursue their studies full-time under mentorship of qualified scholars, facilitating the preservation and spread of the light of Prophetic guidance.

Others in dire need of urgent assistance.
Your zakat helps address the immediate needs of those who have been overwhelmed by difficult circumstances. Such cases are individually considered and assessed for zakat eligibility.

This is a critical and urgent need in our times. We owe it to these scholars, whom the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself referred to as his inheritors. We owe it to our future generations and we owe it to ourselves.

So give your zakat to the SeekersZakat Fund, even if in advance.

This is the best zakat you could give. Ibn Abidin said, ‘The best zakat is to those most worthy, and through which there will be the greatest resultant benefit’.


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If you already gave your zakat please support us with your charity by becoming a monthly donor here.
For other amounts or one-time donations, click here.

Note:
Donations are Tax Deductible in the US.
We ensure that the zakat you give us is distributed in accordance with Islamic principles

The Muslim 500 – SeekersGuidance’s Shaykh Faraz Rabbani selected for 2014/2015

It is not difficult to see why Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, the Founder and Managing Director of SeekersGuidance was chosen to be in the honourable list of 500 Most Influential Muslims for the year 2014/2015.
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The Muslims 500 is the annual publication by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre based in Amman, Jordan. The aim of the publication is to highlight the influences Muslims have on the global Muslim community.
The Muslims 500 defines influence as “any person who has the power to make a change that will have a significant impact on the Muslim world.”
Also on the list are our dear teachers and mentors, Habib Ali al-Jifri, Habib Umar bin Hafiz, Dr. Umar Faruq Abdullah and Imam Zaid Shakir.
We are also blessed here at SeekersHub Global to have guidance from other most deserving teachers, such as Shaykh Yahya Rhodus and Shaykh Ahmed Saad al-Azhari.
We pray for the good health, and continued guidance of all our teachers.

Student Assembly: The Way of the Seeker – Student Notes by Sr. Haleema

SeekersHub Global Student Assembly Term 1 2014:

 “The Way of the Seeker”

How to discern sound scholarship, choose a teacher and the role locality plays in this, Shaykha Zaynab Ansari:

[How do we know if it’s sound scholarship?]
We have the tools to discern what makes sound scholarship.
That is, the Sanad – a direct line of transmission from teacher to teacher, that can be traced all the way back to the Prophet (Peace be upon him).
What that means is that person is not teaching out of a vacuum, but teaching upon a very particular methodology, philosophy and epistemology. Their teaching is informed by the tradition of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah. As far as transmission of knowledge goes, it’s not just the text/info itself but it is the approach and paradigms, and the way we internalise and interpret it.
As far as scholarship is concerned, it should not contravene with the Shariah. If it does, it is not sound.
The teacher of that science should have proper regard for the sources of Law – Qur’an, Sunnah, Ijma’a, and so on.
The scholarship should not set up barriers between schools of Law, and it should embrace the diversity.
It should be non-sectarian and pointless debates should be avoided.
There is a recognition in the tradition of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah that there is difference of opinion and diversity, and different ways scholars have come to arrive at certain decisions.
[Choosing a teacher]
When it comes to choosing a teacher, the number one thing you must do is to pray and ask Allah (Mighty and Majestic).
Secondly, you must make sure that you are not isolated, and that you have contact with local teachers and the community, e.g. set up a SeekersCircle, participate in Halaqat at Masajid, and so on.
Thirdly, ask yourself what you want to know and what you need to know.
Do not pile too much on yourself, and be very patient.
Fourthly, sit and wait and observe the teacher to the extent that you need to benefit from their knowledge and wisdom. It is really important to be patient and to persevere.
Understand that everybody has their own personality – some teachers are more strict than others, and have that attention span. Focus to the extent possible on one topic at a time.
The topic you should choose should be essential to your situation.
Finally, focus first on essential knowledge – Aqidah, Fiqh, Tajweed, before you take on other Islamic sciences.
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Seeking guidance and treading the path of benefit:faraz rabbani
By Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
[Seeking our Beloved]
It is a tremendous blessing of Allah (exalted be He) that we have been given the means of seeking Him in our lives, we have been gifted with the tremendous gift of Iman [faith] and the tremendous gift of Hidayah [guidance].
On the path of guidance, it is tremendous that Allah (exalted be He) has shown us the ways of guidance [through Ibadah] so that we become from mere believers, to righteous and virtuous believers.
With the grace and facilitation of Allah (exalted be He), we strive to become of the Sabiqeen – the foremost of Allah’s (exalted be He) servants, the ones who have been drawn close [to Him] as He tells us in Surat al Wa’qiah.
[How to seek God]
Knowledge shows things as they are, which is why it has been described in the Qur’an, and by the Prophet (Peace be upon him), and by the inheritors [scholars], as Noor [light]: “Al ‘ilm an Noor”. Light is that which shows us things as they are, so that you can see reality as it truly is. And higher levels of knowledge show you how to behold Allah (exalted be He) through His creation.
Higher levels of consciousness show us things as being a sign of Allah (exalted be He). True knowledge makes one really literate.
It makes one see the reality of things, and not merely just the forms.
Beyond the fruit, one sees that this is the creating of Allah, the great mercy, wisdom, marvel, beauty and majesty of Allah’s creating and of the Creator Himself. Those signs, signify meanings of Divine Oneness. But of course this [higher levels of consciousness] requires striving, and that striving is the path of seeking guidance. Which is why we keep asking Allah (exalted be He) for guidance despite being on the straight path, because the levels of consciousness and guidance are without limit.
In order to seek that closeness, we need to strive in the right way, because not all those who strive, attain.
We don’t just ask Allah (exalted be He) to guide us to path, but to THE straight path, “Ihdinas Sirat al Mustaqeem” (1:6). Not whatever path one finds, but the path of those whom Allah had blessed before us, “an ‘amta” (1:7).
This is significant, because if we want to succeed in seeking guidance, we must do so in the footsteps of those who have come before us. Seek guidance on a trodden and clear path, and then seek guidance so that you can fulfill the meanings and potential of guided-ness in your life.
[Seek Knowledge]
In an individualistic age like ours, we can simply just follow [the basics] and do our Salat, fasting and so on. This is not bad, but it isn’t good either. Allah (exalted be He) tells us, “I swear by the Time, Man is in a state of loss, indeed. Except those who believed and did righteous deeds and exhorted each other to follow the Truth and exhorted each other to observe patience.” (103:1-3).
The seeking of knowledge has to be not only for our personal benefit but we must also have concern to benefit others. And this is particularly necessary in our times. People don’t know guidance and the Prophet (Peace be upon him). They are seeking light. Therefore, it is imperative upon us to seek knowledge to benefit ourselves and have concern to benefit others also.
Things do list:
* Commit to studying: study with excellence and seriousness. Uphold the Adab of studying.
* Have the right intention: for the sake of Allah (exalted be He).
* Serve: generally spreading awareness of the ways of this benefit.
* Convey and encourage others to be on this path of learning.
* Volunteer and support: help spread the transmission of knowledge with your time, supplications and Sadaqa.
* Come together: gather with other believers to spread benefit. It is very important to come together on the ways of benefit, as Allah (exalted be He) tells us in Surat al Asr.
God Willing, if one stays consistent on this path, this is the way to Divine mercy. The two great rivers of Divine mercy and blessing are teaching and learning. They are the means to quench the thirst. Strive to be on that path for this is the path of the beloved of Allah (exalted be He). Paraphrased and summarised. All mistakes/misinterpretations are from me.

Counsel for Seekers: Listen to and follow the counsel of your teachers

In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful

 

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A student of knowledge asked for counsel (nasiha). I replied:

 

[1] Reflect on what you have learned from your teachers.

[2] Write down the most important counsels they gave you.

[3] Resolve to act upon these counsels the best of ways till the last of your breaths.

[4] Have a specific plan on how to act upon and live these counsels.

[5] Review these counsels on a monthly basis–and renew your resolve to follow them, with complete reliance upon Allah in this.

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

Why Learn From a Teacher? – Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Why Learn From a Teacher?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 

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Question: What’s the significance of studying fiqh with scholars rather than just reading the text yourself, if it’s a reliable text. The texts have commentaries and are written by scholars, so you would still be getting your knowledge from scholars in a way. So what would you get from a sheikh that you wouldn’t find in texts?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful

 

The benefits of studying with a teacher include:

 

1. Sound understanding: the chance of erring without a teacher to guide one in one’s understanding and learning is far greater. Given how serious religious knowledge is, one cannot rely on someone whose knowledge is taken only from books. A teacher “tests” one’s understanding, and picks up on one’s errors; a student is able to ask questions and to verify where they have understood.

2. Correct understanding: books, even the best books, sometimes contain weak positions, errors, false arguments, missing details, unmentioned conditions or implications, special terminological usages… without a teacher explaining how texts are unpacked and interpreted, one can and almost certain will fall into gross errors.

3. Correct progress: if you don’t know, you are likely to have little knowledge or practical understanding of how to gain knowledge. A teacher directs one’s path of learning, and focuses one’s endeavors.

4. Understanding context, wisdom, and how to apply the theoretical knowledge. Not everything can be applied literally…

5. Learning adab and humility, by submitting one’s presumed understanding to the established understanding of an inheritor of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

6. Following the sunna of the Prophets, who didn’t just print a ‘book of guidance’ and distribute it: they taught, and their companions learned.

7. The baraka of this teacher-student relationship. There are great secrets in it. The Prophets themselves were ‘students’ of Jibril (peace and blessings be upon him).

8. Benefiting from the manners, character, and habits of one’s teacher.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

Dr. Umar Abd-Allah on SeekersGuidance, its Teachers, Trust, and Learning

Dr. Umar Abd-Allah of the Nawawi Foundation on encouraging people to take the SeekersGuidance courses and to benefit from its teachers and educational opportunities.

“Ibn Ata’illah says: ‘The expressions of the teachers, what they teach us, the people of knowledge of this religion as it truly is to be taught, is the basic sustenance of the family of the listeners.’ The expression of family of listeners it means the people who are poor and needy and need to be taught and given knowledge. The people of the path who are seeking God are like children in a family that have to be fed. So they have to have their sheikhs, their teachers, and they need to know the food they give them is good and proper for them. And when we don’t have people of the ibarat, that can speak these words of guidance and truth, then we are truly poor. And the poverty of not having people who can guide us is a poverty that is much greater and much more harmful than the poverty of people living in poor third-world countries who don’t have food to eat or clean water to drink. And SeekersGuidance is one of God’s solutions to that crisis because it gives us teachers who are authorized to teach the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) religion, who follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and who belong to Ahlus Sunnah wa’l Jammah, who belong to the community of the sunnah and the larger community and will give us the nourishment we will need.” -Dr. Umar Abd-Allah

 

Learn & grow:
“Whomever Allah wishes well for, He grants understanding of religion,” said the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him).