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VIDEO: Sins of the Heart, Imam Nahlawi’s Uncovered Pearls

A two-part course with Shaykh Faraz Khan on the sins of the heart from Imam Nahlawi’s Uncovered Pearls on the Lawful and Prohibited, A Manual on Ethics, Character, and Creed.

Imam Nahlawi was a Damascene scholar of the last century (d.1931CE/1350AH) whose book is a notable contribution to the Islamic legal and ethical canon. The sections discussed in this course are summations of earlier formative works on Islamic ethics, such as Imam Ghazali’s Revival of the Religious Sciences.
Imam Nahlawi’s fascinating work expounds upon the lawful and prohibited related to food, clothing, gender relations, earning a living, and general sins of the tongue, heart and limbs. However, far from being just a fiqh text, it discusses the ethics and virtues related to these issues, providing a well-rounded understanding. Many of the questions you have about daily life will be answered through this manual; you will be exposed to those areas of fiqh rarely looked at, but that govern our everyday actions; and most importantly, you will gain confidence in your every act of worship.
Most of the major fatwā collections contain a chapter on the lawful and prohibited (hazar wa ’l-ibaha). This manual draws from the major works and is supplemented with ample evidence from the Qur’an and hadith. It has been used as a scholarly reference for decades. The rulings in this work are relevant to all Muslims seeking an authoritative Sunni manual on the halal and haram in Islam. [source]


This course was held over two Saturdays, March 19th and 26th, 2016 at MCC East Bay 5724 W Las Positas Blvd, Pleasanton, CA 94588.

Resources for seekers:

Cover photo by Syed Nabil Aljunid.

Distorting Islamic tradition in our responses to the Chapel Hill shooting – Sh Hamza Yusuf

hamza-yusuf.pngOn behalf of the board, faculty, staff, and students of Zaytuna College, I offer my heartfelt condolences to the parents, family, and friends of the three beautiful young Muslims—Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, and her sister Razan Abu-Salha—who were tragically and callously murdered last week in North Carolina. I had met Suzanne Barakat, Deah’s sister, some years ago when she attended a Rihla program in Maryland. Since the murders, she has represented her family in an exemplary manner on different programs on national television, voicing her love and her great loss with dignity and intelligence.

Unfortunately, some of the reaction in the Muslim community has been to see the death of the three young Muslims who were killed as somehow fortunate for them, with one imam going so far as to say in his Friday sermon that he “envied these martyrs” who were now in Paradise. This is a complete distortion of the Islamic tradition’s understanding of unjust violence and it plays into the disturbing and inaccurate narrative that Muslims love death. A perverse death cult in the tradition of the Hashashin (from where we get our English word “assassin”) has emerged today among a small minority of heterodox Muslims. In these trying times, it is important that we remember that all life is precious and that grief, as displayed and articulated by Suzanne Barakat, is not only natural but prophetic.

Our Prophet, God’s peace and blessings upon him, grieved. He cried out of sadness when his son, Ibrahim, died. He did not say, “I’m happy for him.” Instead, he said, “The eye weeps, and the heart grieves, but we say only what pleases our Lord.” This is the natural and prophetic response to tragedy. Furthermore, the year the Prophet, God’s peace and blessings upon him, lost his beloved wife, Khadijah, and his protector and uncle, Abu Talib, is known in the biographical literature as the “Year of Depression.” Feeling grief over the loss of those beloved to us is human nature.

Our Prophet, God’s peace and blessings upon him, told us not to wish for death but to ask for a long life that enables one to serve God through devotion and serve God’s creation through charity, kindness, and productive labor. This is exactly what these three young people were doing. They met their Lord in the best of states despite the terror inflicted on their young and innocent souls.

Our prayers are with their families at this difficult time. We hope that the wrongful loss of their lives becomes a catalyst for positive change on many fronts. We hope that all Americans begin to better understand the deep prejudice being perpetrated under the guise of patriotism—a prejudice ironically against patriotic American Muslim citizens who love their country and want to give back to a land that has provided them with great opportunities in education, work, and service.

“Growing up in America has been such a blessing,” Yusor Abu-Salha said in an interview months before her tragic death. “It doesn’t matter where you come from. There are so many different people from so many different places, of different backgrounds and religions—but here, we’re all one.”

We have a window of opportunity now to educate people about who these three young people were and what they were committed to in their lives: feeding and medically serving the homeless, helping refugees, displaying the best neighborly qualities, and most of all living a true and accurate life of devotion, prayer, and charity.

Sincerely, with tears and condolences,
Hamza Yusuf
President
Zaytuna College

Reflections of MicroMolvi: My First Interfaith Dialogue

By Yousaf Seyal
Today is a big day for me. I have left my home to fly out for the journey of a lifetime; headed towards America’s first Muslim Liberal Arts School, Zaytuna College. When flying, I usually try to sit beside an elderly person to enjoy a conversation to entertain me throughout my trip. This time I found myself sitting next to Timothy and Dorothy, a Christian couple, who are travelling to visit their granddaughter in Texas for her fourth birthday. They are a couple who both take religion very seriously and try to integrate it in every aspect of their lives. In fact, both of them teach religion at their local Church’s Sunday School. My conversation with Timothy began when he asked me if I was Sikh. I informed him that I was Muslim and we began to speak about Islam.
Sometimes we (Muslims) tend to believe that Islam is the ‘only’ scriptural based religion and often forget, if not neglect, very two important religions: Judaism and Christianity, who both received a complete revelation from God. In fact, God addresses these two religions in the Quran as “ahlul-kitab”or “the people of the book”. More so, God commands His Prophet Muhammad ﷺ‎ to bond with the people of the book and says

“Say: O People of the Book! Come to common terms as between us and you…” (3:64).

Therefore, before engaging in conversation, we both agreed to disagree, and made it clear to one another that we would respect each other firstly as brothers; brothers in humanity. Timothy began this conversation with introducing himself, and emphasized on the fact that he puts his full trust in the Christ alone. I told him that Muslims shared a similar concept of trust, but instead trusting in the One God (Allah) alone. I shared our perspective with him as Muslims; explaining to him that Jesus was a Prophet of God and how the Quran itself has a full chapter dedicated to Mary and the birth of Jesus. We also touched upon some very essential concepts of religion and spirituality such as sincerity and intention. Timothy personally does not like using the term ‘religion’ because he feels religion itself can become a mechanism or a habitual practice deploying the worshipper from the greater realities of prayer. In Timothy’s words, ‘Good works is out of a heart for God’.
Shared Ideas
I shared our understanding of worshipping God with him; to worship Him because God deserves to be worshipped. We continued to talk for nearly two and a half hours and shared stories of the Prophets such as the story of Prophet Yusuf and Abraham. Topics such as trust in God, pre-eternal destiny, and individual choice were also discussed thoroughly. Interestingly enough, we also had a brief conversation on culture and arranged marriages in the Muslim world! At this point, I am flying over Lovington, New Mexico. The very obvious term that sticks out here is love. Love as we all know is very subtle but it does not need to be limited to one specific community, gender, race, color, or religion. It is a universal which should be shared by all of its particulars. It is both a superior and inferior; sent from God Himself and revolving around all of creation. Love was never meant to be some accident, but a necessary property existing in every genus of the worlds. We are all the creation of God. God is our King and we live together under His rule. Therefore, let us learn to share this kingdom of His, spread peace throughout it, and spread joy within it. Show this world that love still exists. For most people a smile can express love. Otherwise when the sun rises to its peak, we will all drown in the selfish materialistic chocolate palaces created by our own fantasies and fallacies.

Let us strive to establish, build, and polish our palaces together with perfection in every aspect of our dealings, starting with a solid foundation of love for God and His creation. This is what it means to be God’s vicegerent on earth.

Specifically addressing the Muslim community: It is our duty to spread the lights of Islam here in the West. This is no part-time job or something left for the Turks, Arabs or Pakistanis. The bare minimum upon us is to be exemplifiers of good character. The uniqueness of our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ‎ was that he was just not a prophet to those who believed in him, but a universal Prophet sent as a mercy to all of the worlds. He was a manifestation of the attribute ’rahmah’ mercy from the ‘ar-Rahman’ the all-Merciful and manifested it in his interactions with everyone. So let be among those who continue to spread this mercy; offering it to even those who reject it. As Timothy himself put it, “God didn’t say that I did not see that coming!”. He was referring to our ‘coincidental’ meeting. I also do truly feel that our meeting was no coincidence. This was the first conversation I had embarking on this new path of mine. It made me realize that the task of conveying God’s word and exemplifying good character was not to wait till I started studying formally at school, but it had already started from the moment I had stepped out of my door, to travel on this path of knowledge, earlier this morning. I felt as if God was indicating a responsibility that lays ahead of me in my upcoming journey of knowledge, action, and service.

The MicroMolvi,
Yousaf Seyal

Video: How to Read a Book, Part 2 by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Video: How to Read a Book, Part 2 by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf


“How to Read a Book, Part 2”, a Zaytuna Faculty Lecture by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.
The Zaytuna Faculty Lecture Series presents lectures by Zaytuna College faculty members exploring a variety of contemporary topics.

See also:

Video: How to Read a Book by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf – Part 1

Video: “The Irony of Democracy” – Zaytuna Faculty Lecture by Imam Zaid Shakir

“The Irony of Democracy”, a Zaytuna Faculty Lecture by Imam Zaid Shakir

The Irony of Democracy, can it be resolved? A Zaytuna Faculty Lecture by Imam Zaid Shakir.
The Zaytuna Faculty Lecture Series presents lectures by Zaytuna College faculty members exploring a variety of contemporary topics.http://www.zaytunacollege.org/

Zaytuna College Admissions Open for Fall 2011

Zaytuna College Admissions are now open for Fall 2010. Co-Founder, Imam Zaid Shakir invites you to apply at http://zaytuna.org/admissions

 

Zaytuna College October 2010 Update – Imam Zaid Shakir

Zaytuna College October 2010 Update – Imam Zaid Shakir

A glimpse into the student life of the new Zaytuna College. Imam Zaid Shakir delivers an update on the latest happenings at Zaytuna College for the month of October.