A Message To American Muslims, from Habib Ali al-Jifri

“Those whose faith only increased when people said, ‘Fear your enemy: they have amassed a great army against you,’ and who replied, ‘God is enough for us: He is the best protector,’ returned with grace and bounty from God; no harm befell them. They pursued God’s good pleasure. God’s favour is great indeed.” [Quran 3:173-174]

Despite the apparent challenges facing the American Muslim community, the underlying meaning behind such circumstances is great. This situation is a moment to deeply root your faith with trust in Allah, have certainty in Him alone, and relieve yourselves of the veil that is reliance on people and their institutions.

What transpires during these days presents an opportunity to acquaint American society with the realities of Islam through eloquence that is articulated through behaviour and character before it is articulated with words. The world is in greater need of seeing actions than words and people are in need of fellow humans with sincere hearts more than eloquent tongues. And it may just be that holding steadfast to these meanings is more appropriate, more pleasing to Allah and His Prophet ﷺ, and more redeeming of our goals in this life and the next, than entering the battle zone of current domestic politics.

Brothers and sisters, you have seen during this time, and by Allah’s grace, the support extended to you by your fellow citizens and various organizations whose hearts still beat with a strong sense of humanity and justice. This is but a message from Allah: seek refuge in Him and place your trust in Him alone, for Allah is the holder of the hearts of human beings and turns them as He wills. It is a reminder for you to fulfill the duty of what it means to be a good citizen and acquaint your fellow Americans with the magnanimity and tolerance of this religion and its noble traits in the best way possible.

The path towards realization of these meanings can be summarized as follows:

1. Filling the heart with mercy and compassion. Being resolute in your love of wanting good for everyone—for those who disagree with you before those who agree and for your adversary before your ally.

2. Being unfaltering in your commitment to upholding noble, prophetic character traits with those who are good to you as well as those who wrong you, all for the sake of Allah.

3. Having excellence in your life affairs and upholding the virtue of ‘perfection’ (itqan) in your work, by which you are seeking to attain the pleasure of Allah.

4. Extending the hand of support and cooperation to fellow Americans to work together to promote a spirit of love and human fraternity in society, and to collectively stand against calls for division, hatred and animosity.

5. Doing all of this sincerely for Allah alone, having true reliance on Him and tranquility in the heart that flows from the light of placing trust in Him.

6. Putting your trust in what Allah has above and over the anxiety that comes from expecting from His creation, and pursuing Allah’s pleasure such that it occupies the heart away from seeking the pleasure of people, for Allah said: “And Allah’s good pleasure is greatest of all”

A litany for attaining tranquility of the heart

Read every morning and evening:

HasbunaLlah wa ni’ma-l wakīl (x70)
Wa ufawidu amri ilaLlah, innaLlaha basirun bil-ibaad (x11)

May Allah grace you with every success, ennoble you with the light of His love and protect you with His protection.

With the greeting of peace,
Ali Al-Jifri, seeker of your prayers

Cover photo by Geoff Livingston. Thumbnail photo by jprwpics.

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Trump Glitch – A Historical Recap by Ustadh Salman Younas

Ustadh Salman Younas offers some perspective as the controversial property and media mogul, Donald J. Trump assumes his position as the President of the United States of America.

This is a very brief history recap.
The Muslim community endured the death of the greatest creation (peace and blessings upon him). This community then witnessed the Ridda wars. During the caliphate of Umar, the community experienced extreme drought and a virulent plague that killed thousands in Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. This was followed by the assassinations of Umar ibn al-Khattab and Uthman ibn Affan, the second and third caliphs respectively. The community then went through a period of prolonged civil war where thousands of people died, including numerous Companions, and which concluded with the assassination of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth caliph. A brief reign of peace under Mu’awiyah was interrupted by the massacre of al-Husayn and his family, the siege of Mecca where the Ka’aba was destroyed, and the events of Harra where hundreds of Muslims were killed in the holy city of Madina. All of this, and more, occurred within seventy or so years of the establishment of the Muslim community.
Following the consolidation of Ummayad rule, the situation was no less difficult. Tyrants like al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf were given free reign to oppress the community: exorbitant taxes, mistreatment of non-Arabs, imprisoning and killing political opponents was common. The grievances in many segments of the population ran high. Consequently, political unrest and rebellion became a constant feature during this period: the Berbers of North Africa, Ibn al-Muhallab, al-Harith ibn al-Surayj, and Zayd ibn Ali, all led armed revolts against the government within a span of three decades or less. This is not to mention the severe financial crisis during the last two decades of Ummayad rule, the depletion of the army, and more. Eventually, the dynasty collapsed after the Third Fitna and a series of bloody battles over a span of five years that saw the Abbasids come to power.
This was also the experience of the Muslim community during the reign of the Abbassids. While there were a number of positive developments and years of intense prosperity, there was also continued political instability. There was the Fourth Fitna. Then there was the Fifth Fitna and the Anarchy of Samarra that saw four caliphs violently come to power and fall in the span of ten years due to the intense power plays of rival military groups. Then there was the nearly 15 year long Zanj rebellion, which was described as “one of the bloodiest and most destructive rebellions which the history of Western Asia records.”
Right now we have only reached the year 270 A.H./883 A.D and have only focused on internal Muslim problems. After the Zanj rebellion, the Qaramita engaged in a rebellion that lasted years and years and killed many. They ended up stealing the Black Stone from the Ka`ba. We still have twelve hundred years to go, which include the Mongol invasions that wiped out the eastern Muslim lands, the collapse of the caliphate, colonialism, and more.

What is the point of relaying the above?

What is the point of relaying the above? The Muslim community endured all of this. This community is still here. Not only are we still here, but we are a billion strong and growing. The same periods that saw such horrible and intense strife, killing, oppression, and distress also saw the creation of people like Malik, Abu Hanifa, Shafi`i, Ahmad, and righteous people committed to God, to justice, to worship, to knowledge, to hope, to love, to good, to helping the poor and oppressed, and more.
Trump is another glitch and in the context of what we have endured as a community he is a minor glitch. We will continue to do what we have always done: move forward and strive to spread the good and truth trusting in God in whose power all things are. God is the one in charge and this being the case we must firmly believe in His promise to preserve this message and the religion brought by His beloved Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him).
Shock, anger, and sadness are all natural responses we have as humans to events we experience. Yet, our community does not despair. Rather, we recognize our challenges and face them the way the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) taught us to face them. So long as there is one person who says la ilaha illa allah, one person who places his forehead on the ground in prostration, or one person who invokes blessings on the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), etc. the struggle for truth and righteousness will go on with the aid of God, Today, there are a billion plus people who fit the above description. Muslims are here to stay and our religion is here to stay by the promise of God.
Let’s get to work.

Ustadh Salman Younas is a teacher at SeekersHub Global. Check out his writings and fiqh answers on the SeekersHub website and also follow him on his own page on Facebook.

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#‎Blacklivesmatter Because Our Lord Demands It – Ustadh Salman Younas

‪#‎Blacklivesmatter‬ because our Lord has “ennobled all the children of Adam” (17:70) and commanded us to “stand firmly for justice.” (4:135), writes Ustadh Salman Younas.

‪#‎Blacklivesmatter to me not because it is politically prudent for Muslims to side with African-Americans.
They matter to me not because it’s viewed by some as the new countercultural trend that people should hop on.
They matter to me not because it is a convenient and beneficial alliance for my community.
They matter to me not because of a mere desire to be integrated into mainstream society and its indigenous people.
Why do they matter to me? Because my Lord has “ennobled all the children of Adam” (17:70) and commanded me to “stand firmly for justice.” (4:135)
They matter to me because my Prophet (God bless him) said that when his followers become “afraid to say to the oppressor that you are an oppressor, they will be abandoned by God.” [Ahmad, Musnad with a rigorously authentic chain]
They matter to me because my Prophet (God bless him) spent his entire life serving the weak, underprivileged, and those treated unjustly. His justice and mercy extended to all regardless of their religion or color. His teachings condemned racism as he stressed that virtue lay in doing good and being pious, not through possessing “white skin over black skin.” [Ahmad, Musnad with a sound chain].
They matter to me because oppression, killing, racial injustice and the systematic abuse of a people is a heinous crime in my religion. I dread the day I have to stand in front of my Lord and in front of my Prophet having witnessed police brutality against a black father, the shooting death of an innocent black teenager, the mass and oppressive incarceration of an entire black generation, the racial inequality experienced daily by the black community, and say I did nothing to fight this plague that occurred every day in front of my eyes.

These lives must matter to Muslims because our Lord demands they do, our Prophet (God bless him) demands they do, and our religion demands they do. This is what being a Muslim is about. We will continue to strive for justice and to rid this world of all forms of oppression through whatever noble means we can.

We ask everyone to support such movements in keeping with the directives of God to “cooperate with one another in righteousness” (5:2) and the directive of our beloved Prophet (God bless him) who advised us to “make such alliances in order to return rights to their people, that no oppressor should have power over the oppressed.” [Musnad al-Humaydi]
We ask God to give us the strength and courage to stand up against all forms of injustice in the way our Prophet Muhammad (God bless him) did. May His blessings descend upon us and all those suffering throughout the world.
Follow Ustadh Salman Younas on Facebook.

Resources for seekers

Excellent Interview with Muslim Woman Removed From Trump Rally

On Friday night, Muslim flight attendant Rose Hamid was escorted out of a Donald Trump rally in Rock Hill, South Carolina after she stood silently for a few moments, wearing a t-shirt that said “Salam: I Come In Peace,” as well as a yellow star-shaped badge reminiscent of the patches worn by Jews in Nazi Europe.

“Do you have a bomb?”

After her ejection, Hamid told CNN’s Don Lemon about the experience, which she said included Trump supporters asking her “Do you have a bomb?” (to which she replied “No, do you have a bomb?”).
Hamid said she attended the rally with the “sincere belief if people get to know each other one-on-one they will stop being afraid of each other and we can get rid of the hate in the world…There were people who were very nice and sharing their popcorn. It was very nice, people around me, the people I had conversations with. But then what happened when the crowd got this hateful crowd mentality as I was being escorted. It was really quite telling and a vivid example of what happens when you start using this hateful rhetoric, and how it can incite a crowd where moments ago were very kind to me. One woman reached over and shook my hand and said “I’m so sorry this is happening to you.””
See also, Hamid’s interview with Marie Claire magazine.

Resources for seekers:

VIDEO: Forget Trump. Focus On The One ﷺ We Are Obliged To Love – Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

In this blessed month of Rabi-al-Awwal, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin warns against wasting time and energy on those who spread hate and injustice, focussing instead on the lessons from the life of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.

An Obligation to Love The Prophet Muhammad

When we truly fulfill the divinely ordained obligation to love him, peace be upon him, no Islamophobia, no bombs, no dirty looks, no rage, not even death itself will faze us.

Resources for seekers: