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Holidays Free of Religious Overtones – Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah

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Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah

This article was originally published on binbayyah.net
The holidays which are forbidden [for Muslims] to observe are those with religious overtones, such as Christmas and Easter, not the festive gatherings people observe due to certain events. Therefore, people are allowed to celebrate wedding anniversaries, birthdays or any occasion such celebrations are not related to religious holidays. It is imperative that we work to remove the confusion surrounding this misunderstanding and the doubts that have affected many people [regarding this issue].
[Because of this misunderstanding], people find hardship and difficulty in their religion. Especially when a religious-minded person holds [such non religious celebrations] to be from the major sins or rejected acts when, in fact, they are not.

Understanding an Important legal maxim [The origin of things is permissibility unless there is a text to the contrary]

The origin of things is permissibility so there is no problem with you attending such an event. The school of Imam Ahmad [Ibn Hanbal] allowed the celebration of al-’Atirah which was a sacrifice, during the month of Rajab, observed by the people who lived prior to the advent of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Although the school of Imam Malik considered it disliked, since it was a practice from those days, the school of Imam Ahmad allowed this practice since there was no text [from the Qur’an, Sunna or Consensus] that explicitly forbade it.
Thus, this practice remained upon its original ruling [as to its] permissibility. So if people gather together to sacrifice there is no objection for them to congregate, celebrate, enjoy themselves and commemorate the independence of their country. Therefore, there is no hardship in celebrating such occurrences.
With regards to the statement [of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)] that “Allah the Exalted has given you better than those (feasts): Eid al-Adha (Sacrificing) and the ‘Eid al-Fitr”, then “those feasts” were those with strict religious overtones: one a Christian holiday and the other a pagan one.
In addition, the Prophet (may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) mentioned that the Islamic holidays were two: ‘Eid al-Fitr and ‘Eid al-Adha. But it is not understood from this that he [may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him] forbade people from gathering and celebrating [other non-religious occasions].
Even if a person considered [such gatherings] disliked, there is no need for him to bother others by making things difficult that were not prohibited by the Qur’an, the Sunna, the Consensus, and where no agreement was reached within the schools of Islamic law.
This is because ease in matters [such as these where there is no prohibition and the origin is that of permissibility] is a must, and those statements that create hardship and burden [related to such matters], that are not based on explicit texts [that prohibit them], are weak. Thus, there is nothing that prohibits us from facilitating such matters for the people and giving them some breathing room because ease and facilitation are from the foundations of Islam: Allah says, “And He did not make any hardship for you in religion.” [Surah al-Hajj 78] and “Allah wants to lighten your burdens.” [Surah al-Nisa V. 28] and “Verily, with hardship there is ease. Verily with hardship there is ease.” [Surah al-Sharh V. 5-6]. The Prophet [may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] said, “Facilitate [things] and do not make things difficult. Give glad tidings, and do not cause others to flee.” In closing, we reiterate that the foundation of Islam is ease and the independent interpretation of the legal sources [ijtihad of scholars] is respected but is not [equal to] texts from the Shari’ah [Qur’an and Sunna].”

How Can I Raise My Children in the West? [Video]

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

How can I raise my children in the West?

Answer:  Wa’leykum Salam,

Here is a video answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani to this question:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

Is There Islamic Banking in the West? [Video]

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is there Islamic banking in the West?

Answer:  Wa’leykum Salam,

Here is a video answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani to this question:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

How Should Muslim Women Dress in the West? [Video]

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

How should Muslim women dress in the West?

Answer:  Wa’leykum Salam,

Here is a video answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani to this question:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

PHOTO: Mrs accurate

Are Non-Muslims Our Brothers, as Mentioned in the Hadith?

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani was asked “According to a commentary I read on Hadith 13 (None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.] – this hadith is very broad and includes Non-Muslims. Should we then consider Non-Muslims to be our brothers and sisters?”

The question came from Shaykh Faraz’ class on Imam Nawwawi’s 40 hadith – take the course for free today.

 

Letter to the West: we just have to learn to live together – Habib Ali al-Jifri

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Original article can be found here.
This is a letter to the West, particularly to its thinkers, academics and opinion-makers. The publication of a new set of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in the aftermath of the Paris attacks was regrettable. For many people it demonstrated a commonality between the thought process of the attackers and the publishers. Both seemed to subscribe to the notion of a clash of civilisations.
The cartoons were not an act of absolute freedom of expression. Every society places limits on freedom of expression. In general, anything that incites hatred would be prohibited by the law. For example, France’s 1972 Plevan law bans anything that provokes hatred and racial discrimination. Its current government is working on a law to criminalise the denial of the 1915 Armenian genocide. Even Charlie Hebdo had its limits. It fired cartoonist Maurice Sinetin 2008 for an anti-Semitic remark.
There are restrictions elsewhere in Europe too. The glorification of Nazism is prohibited in Denmark. In 2005, British historian David Irving was convicted of Holocaust denial by an Austrian court and sentenced to three years for speeches that he made in 1989. In 2003, the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten refused to print cartoons of Jesus Christ because they would have “provoked an outcry”.
Clearly then, certain moral and ethical considerations do place limits on freedom of expression in the West. Therefore, why not reconsider the provocations against Europe’s beleaguered minority community?
The cartoons empower the narrative that extremists use. There are impressionable sections of the Muslim community that can be drawn to extremism simply by lending an ear to the way the extremists frame the issue. Terrorists will always exploit freedom of expression to drive our societies towards the a real clash of civilisations. Does this not warrant consideration?
Laws against anti-Semitism are said to be essential in order to prevent the repetition of recent history in Europe. Prior to the Holocaust hate speech was used to incite people against the Jewish community. Clearly, the arguments for outlawing anti-Semitism are moral in essence.
Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 11.58.58 pmSimilarly, legislating against any aggression towards the symbols of minority faith communities, in this case the Muslims, might help prevent a repetition of the massacres in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. The sequence of events that led to these tragedies started with mosque attacks and increasing acts of aggression towards Muslims.
In 2013, Olivier Cyran, a former employee of Charlie Hebdo, wrote a letter that said the magazine had drifted into racism over the years and how an “Islamophobic neurosis gradually took over” after the events of September 11.
This is a critical juncture for humankind. It has two choices right now. One, to tread a path that leads towards the triumph of values like coexistence and respectful acceptance of different world views. Or to take the road that enables extremists to drive us towards a war in which there can be no winner. Let us initiate an intellectual revolution against the politicisation of religious and liberal thought and its use in igniting the flames of conflict. None stand to benefit from conflict except the arms industry and the religious and extreme right.
I would like you to understand our perspective. The Prophet Mohammed is more dear to Muslims than their own lives, children and parents.
While we respect and acknowledge that the modern West was built on a particular worldview and has its own defined systems and its own paradigm, we too have a world view and an ethical, moral and spiritual paradigm that informs it. The question we must really ask is as follows: are we prepared to genuinely and respectfully accept diversity in world views and all that entails in terms of respectful coexistence?
Habib Ali Al Jifri is a religious scholar and founder of Tabah Foundation, a research institute in Abu Dhabi
On Twitter: @alhabibali

Is it Permissible to Study in a Western Country?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: I told a friend that I intend to pursue master in the west. He then quoted a Hadith of our Beloved Prophet Peace be upon Him. I don’t remember the words exactly but it is something like: “I have nothing do with a muslim who lives in a non-muslim country…”
Could you please shed some light on it and tell me what is the ruling about travelling to the west for studies?
Answer: assalamu `alaykum
It is permissible to travel to a non-Muslim country for the purpose of education.
The Hadith on the Issue
The prophetic tradition that your friend has mentioned states, “I am free from every Muslim who settles among the polytheists.” [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i] This statement, however, applies to those non-Muslim lands where it is not possible for one to practice his or her religion, as stated by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani and others. It is not to be understood as a general and unconditional prohibition for Muslims to reside in the West.
The only situation wherein which it is necessary to move from a non-Muslim country to a Muslim country is when one is unable to practice their religion and possesses the means to actually move to a Muslim country where he can practice his religion without hardship. Otherwise, it would not be impermissible to remain in the non-Muslim country that one is resident in.
In other words, like other issues, the ruling of living in a non-Muslim country differs based on the person and situation, and may range from being permissible to recommended to impermissible.
Our Contemporary Context

Additionally, it should be kept in mind that classical legal rulings pertaining to such discussions were formulated within a particular political context that may differ from the one we find ourselves in.
Thus, in countries like America and the United Kingdom, there are not only sizable Muslim communities, but also mosques, religious seminaries, and so forth, which effect the legal rulings surrounding Muslim residence in non-Muslim lands as well as broader questions concerning the concept of Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb.
For this reason, it is not always sufficient to simply quote a particular proof-text or classical legal work on such issues. Rather, it is the responsibility of living jurists with a sound understanding of contemporary contexts to shed light on this issue in light of the principles of the religion.
Please see also: Obeying the Law of the Land in the West and: Muslim Participation in Non-Muslim Governments
Salman
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Muslim Participation in Non-Muslim Governments

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it permissible to take part in non-Muslim governments with the intention of letting the Muslims have a voice in domestic and foreign politics?

Answer: In the name of Allah, most merciful, compassionate

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

Yes, it is not only permitted but praiseworthy and practically needed. However, such participation should be part of a larger vision for the Muslim community in the particular area or country.

Faraz Rabbani

Video: Cambridge Muslim College – featuring Sh. Abdal Hakim Murad, Sh. Hamza Yusuf, and others

The Cambridge Muslim College supports the development of training and Islamic scholarship to help meet the many challenges facing Britain today. The college is dedicated to maintaining academic excellence and pushing the boundaries of Islamic learning in the West. Drawing on resources and expertise in Cambridge and beyond, the college’s mission is to help translate the many existing strengths of British Muslims into stronger, more dynamic institutions and communities.

For more information visit: www.cambridgemuslimcollege.org

 

 

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Sh. Hamza Yusuf: Islamophobia Production and Re-Defining Global “Security” Agenda for the 21st Century – Video

Sh. Hamza Yusuf: Islamophobia Production and Re-Defining Global “Security” Agenda for the 21st Century

 

An important lecture by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf on Islamophobia, at University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Law School.

 

 

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