Posts

Rich Muslim, Poor Muslim – Sidi Tushar Imdad

Rich Muslim, Poor Muslim – Which Would You Rather Be?

Acquiring money and building wealth can be a confusing topic for Muslims.

On one hand, when we read the Seerah and learn of the extreme frugality and hardships borne by the Sahaba it seems as if our luxurious, consumer-fed lives are opulent in comparison.

But then we have many other Sahaba who amassed and spent their great fortunes on helping the Ummah. For example, the third caliph, Uthman ibn ‘Affan, during a famine in Madinah, purchased a large caravan of food and goods at 10X the price before giving away the entirety to the sufferers!

This is the wonderful balance and perfection of Islam: we have prophets like Sayyidia Ayyub (a.s.) who was the personification of patience during adversity, having suffered extreme poverty, sickness and loss. In contrast, Allah sent us Prophet Sulaiman (a.s.) – whose wealth, power and kingdom will never be matched.

What’s remarkable is that both prophets are praised by Allah with the same words: ‘How excellent a servant, verily he was ever-returning in sincere repentance.’ (see Qur’an 38:30 & 38:44).

Sometimes, a thought may come to you – as it has to me many times – that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself was frugal and actually chose to be poor. Indeed, I asked this very question to Shaykh Ahmad Saad al-Azhari (who has taught tafsir for SeekersGuidance) when he visited my local masjid.

‘Didn’t the Prophet (s.a.w.) choose to be a servant prophet, rather than a ‘king prophet’ and therefore it’s his Sunnah to be poor?’

The shaykh replied that a ‘servant prophet’ is interpreted here as being ‘close to the people’. Think of a leader who is a king – distant and far in his ivory tower; now compare that to a leader who mingles with his people. The point was effective dawah and leadership, not poverty.

SubhanAllah, this is why we need the guidance of ‘ulema to help us navigate through such topics!

To summarize, Shaykh Ahmad Saad told me that there are ‘no restrictions’ in earning wealth as long as the ‘money doesn’t change their personality’, i.e. it doesn’t get a grip on our hearts.

In one of the finest contemporary manuals of spirituality ‘Sea without Shore’, Shaykh Nuh Keller gives a comprehensive list (my emphases):

“Beneficial wealth is that which is spent on one’s family, or gifts to others, charity, gaining useful knowledge, facilitating one’s works or worship, making final bequests… saving up for such things as buying a home, the children’s education, building mosques, training ‘ulema, or fulfilling other Islamic communal obligations – all of which are sound reasons to make and save money.”

IN OUR TIMES, WE NEED MORE WEALTHY PRACTISING MUSLIMS

The priorities for the Ummah change according to time and place. When Islam was a dominant force culturally and politically, scholars and righteous Muslims were the superstars, the celebrities! That’s why many shaykhs of the past placed heavy emphasis on zuhd (non-attachment to the world), frugality, anonymity, etc.

Now though, it is no secret that Muslims are in a state of extreme weakness. Our Ummah is filled with refugees, political prisoners, persecuted minorities, oppressed civilians and starving orphans (Ya Allah, aid them all!).

For those of us who are fortunate not to be in those groups – or living in the West – one of the greatest acts of worship we can do is to gain wealth and power for the sake of helping the Ummah. Living in the West, we have privileged access to quality education, technology and opportunity which can help us build powerful institutions – like SeekersGuidance, masajid, darul ulooms and charities – which can help heal our Ummah.

Think of Sayyidah Khadija (r.a.) – a mother of the believers. She was one of the wealthiest women of Makkah and her charity was critical in supporting the new, emerging Muslim community.

Remember Abu Bakr (r.a.) and his freeing of Bilal (r.a.) and many other slaves.

Are we not in a similar situation?

ENTREPRENEURS – TODAY’S TRADERS

Another amazing emphasis in our Deen is the status of traders.

In Hadith we read: ‘Verily the trustworthy and truthful trader will be counted among the siddiques and the martyrs.’ (Tirmidhi)

Our contemporary ‘ulema have encouraged Muslims to excel in trade and business. An amazing example is recounted in Faza’il-e-Tijaarat where ‘Umar (r.a.) bemoaned the fact that many Muslims had given up trade due to becoming independent through the wealth flowing from conquered lands.

He replied: ‘If you are going to do that and discard trade as a profession, you will find your men will be in need of their men and your women in need of their women.’

Allama Abdul Hay Kattani comments on this prophecy that indeed Muslims left the ranks of trade and commerce whilst ‘others took hold of it and controlled the business world to such an extent that the entire Ummah came to be in need of others.’

SubhanAllah, this was written over 40 years ago, before the digital revolution and the rise of massive Western monopolies. We are now witnessing the corporate take over of the planet; businesses and businessmen are wealthier than entire nations.

Today’s traders are entrepreneurs like Bill Gates or Richard Branson. Rather than buying and selling in the physical marketplace – they leverage technology and modern skills of marketing to amass fortunes.

A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN ABOUT ‘MONEY MASTERY’

I hope I have convinced you that it really is part of our Deen to become wealthy enough to support our families and communities.

Indeed, many readers will be familiar with the heavy modern costs of merely owning a house and educating one’s children to university level.

For women, who already have to juggle considerable parenting and wife responsibilities, entrepreneurship is a unique solution. We are seeing an impressive rise of Muslima ‘mompreneurs’ who are modern day Khadijas!

However, there is still a huge lack of knowledge – in society as a whole – about wealth creation.

We still are caught up in outdated models of ‘work hard, go to uni, get a salaried job, save and enjoy your pension.’

It was only when I read ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ that I had my own personal paradigm shift and realised that one should ‘not work for money, but make money work for you.’

We weren’t taught financial intelligence at school. And unless your parents were businessmen, you weren’t taught by them either.

How do you learn the fundamentals of wealth creation, money management, savings, investment and entrepreneurship (even if you are working fulltime) – all within an Islamic framework?

I am delighted to be able to invite you to a remarkable workshop Money Mastery for Purpose co-organised by one of my respected readers, Tanim Zaman – a serial entrepreneur.

 This is a two-day workshop with so many raving testimonials from Muslim professionals that it needs no praise from me.

And Tanim has given a very special discount ONLY for readers of SeekersGuidance and my community. Alhamdulillah, he has generously discounted more than I asked – over 50% off the public price!

There are only 20 seats left. Deadline is Sunday 1 March, 23:59. Please read about the event below:

https://moneymastery.eventbrite.co.uk/?aff=tusharimdad&afu=219108279281

I’d love to meet my readers in person. InshaAllah, I shall be speaking on Day 2 of the event.

For readers who can’t make it to London for the event, you can still benefit from watching this unique panel discussion with 3 Muslim Entrepreneurs discussing how they ‘Escaped the Rat Race’ in search of a more meaningful path. The 3 speakers who are from very different backgrounds shared some incredible insights from their journeys and valuable tips for anyone thinking of doing the same:

https://www.goldentouchacademy.co.uk/escaping-the-race-recording


Biography:
Tushar Imdad (aka Tushar Mohammed Imdad-ul-Haque Bhuiya) is an Islamic Time Management Coach and Educational Entrepreneur. Professionally trained as a high school English teacher, Tushar has taught or managed prominent Islamic schools in Leicester, UK, between 2007-2016. With a flair for managing multiple roles, Tushar is also a GCSE English examiner, a teacher trainer for AMS UK; professional proofreader; former lead instructor at Madrasa Manara; and is currently the Director of Shaykhspeare’s Online English Academy and High Impact Tutors.  
 A long-term student of knowledge, Tushar has studied a range of Islamic sciences at the feet of scholars such as Shaykh Nuh Keller, Umm Sahl, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Maulana Ilyas Patel and Ustadh Tabraze Azam. In 2015 he completed Level 5 of the Classical Arabic Program from the prestigious Qasid Institute, Amman.   
Throughout his varied career, Tushar has always been driven by a passion for time management. Starting in 2009, he has delivered a mixture of workshops, webinars, web-coaching and client visits, attracting delegates as varied as CEOs, corporate professionals, housewives, dentists and scholars from places spanning the UK, US and Middle East. Tushar has published articles and delivered training for ProductiveMuslim.com, SeekersGuidance.org and Qibla.com (now Kiflayn). In recent years he has immersed himself in  productivity systems, learning from world-class experts such as Demir Bentley, the authors of The One Thing, Leo Babuta and James Clear. His recent courses have included  ‘Principles of Islamic Time Management’, ‘Time Tactics 101’ and ‘The Breakthrough Habit’.

The Intimate Prayers of Ibrahim b. Adham – By Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

I’ve left all people, entirely, for your love.

I’ve orphaned my dependants so I can see you.

 

If, for love, You diced me up into many pieces,

My deep-feeling heart would yearn for none besides You.

 

Pardon (this) weak (slave) who has hastened to You.

He has come full of hope in Your generosity.

 

If, O Overseer, he has disobeyed You,

At least he has not prostrated to anyone worshipped besides You.

 

My Dear God, your sinful slave has rushed to You,

Admitting his sins, and has called on You;

 

So, If You forgive, that is becoming of You,

And if You cast (him) away, who will show mercy besides You?

 

 

Ibrahim b. Adham, the great early ascetic, has been greatly respected throughout Islamic history for his righteousness and devotion. He was a prince, enjoying the lavish lifestyle his social position afforded him, when, one day, the call to God changed the course of his life.

He was out hunting when he heard a voice speak from his saddle. It said, “O Ibrahim, you were not created for this, nor were you commanded to do so.” This had such a deep effect on him that he left his life of luxury and set off to find the pleasure of Allah.

These lines are an expression of the state of slavehood he had before Allah. They express his desire to please Allah through the many sacrifices he gave hoping attain closeness with the divine. The emit the fragrance of his love for Allah which nothing could change. They cry out for the forgiveness and acceptance a needy slave years for from his perfect, generous Lord.

He died in the year 162 AH defending the Muslim lands at Jablah, on the Syrian coast. May Allah be well-pleased with him, and us because of His love for this great saint.

Imam Hasan and the Effect of Hajj – Habib Umar bin Hafiz

* Courtesy of Muwasala

Imam Hasan, the son of Imam Abdullah bin Alawi al-Haddad was a seeker, a person of piety and a scholar who acted according to his knowledge. Imam al-Haddad, however, was waiting for him to reach higher levels. He said: “When that son of mine performs hajj something will be ingrained in him which was not in him before.”

So he went to perform hajj and implemented all the sunnahs, exerted great caution and effort until the hajj had its effect upon him. Then he returned to Hadramawt and became a paragon of renunciation of worldly things (zuhd).

They told him that part of his house was falling and it needed to be repaired (houses in Hadramawt are built from mud bricks and require regular repair) but he replied that he did not need that part of the house and life was short.

He focused on teaching and preparing for the next life until one half of the house caved in. He said: “The other half of the house is sufficient.”  He carried on in this way until only one room of the house was left standing. When people criticised him, he replied with a verse of poetry:

They say your house is so small it could have been woven by a spider!

I say to them I will not live long in it and it is plenty big enough for someone who is sure to die

This is the exact opposite of what hajj does to some people. They go to hajj and they have some humility but they return with more desire and concern for worldly things. This would be a sign that their hajj has not been accepted and we seek Allah’s refuge from that.

The whole purpose of hajj is to draw us closer to Allah, the King, the Living and that we see things as they truly are.


 

 

Is It Best to Eat and Sleep Well and Worship More or to Eat and Sleep Less and Worship Less?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

1. Is it best to eat well and worship more or to eat less and worship less?

2. How do we reconcile the Islamic view on eating, drinking and sleeping less with modern-day recommendations to get all of the necessary minerals and vitamins which requires us to eat way more than the recommended one third for food, one third for drink and one third for air? They also say that not getting enough sleep is dangerous for the health? They recommend around 8 hours.

3. The righteous say that such habits is bad for the spiritual heart but how is it good for the spiritual heart to feel tired, unsatisfied and having mineral and vitamin deficiencies?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. I pray you’re well.

The answer to your questions are simple insha’Allah; Seek the way of moderation.

Allah Most High tells us, ‘We have made you a justly balanced community’ [2:143], and the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Verily, your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you, and your wife has a right over you.’ [al Bukhari]

Practical application

The practical application of moderation in eating and sleeping is to eat/sleep as much as you need to fulfil your obligations, perform voluntary worship, and carry out your daily activities.

It is better to eat/sleep sufficiently and be productive and feel well in mind and body, than eat frugally and unable to function or be depressed. People will differ according to their needs, so assess what you need to eat drink, and sleep, and act accordingly.

Furthermore, what you eat is also very important. A blend of protein, good fats, plenty of vegetables, and some carbohydrates usually work for most people.

Training

Having said the above, spiritual training does often consist and benefit from hunger and some tiredness. However, in the same way we cannot expect a non-runner to breeze through the New York Marathon, we should not diminish our food intake suddenly and expect to be able to function as usual. The soul and body are the same in that they both require training and conditioning.

The way to reduce one’s food intake therefore, is to very gradually reduce the amount of food one eats, very slowly and over a long period of time. For example, you may lessen your portions slightly every 1-2 months. For many people, eating ‘a third’ is difficult, so one must build up to this very slowly to achieve it without harm. The same principle applies to sleep, one reduces it very slowly over a long period of time, such as 10 minutes every week.

One can also experiment with going for ‘long’ periods of time without food (e.g. 6-12 hours), such as trying intermittent fasting, or fasting the sunna days of Mondays and Thursdays. Getting accustomed to an empty stomach and feeling hunger pangs for some part of the day is good for both the body and soul and strengthens them.

However, in all these, one should always make sure one can function, be productive throughout the day, and take care that they feel well emotionally. If not, then they should adjust their food/fast/sleep accordingly so that no harm is done. Allah loves His servants and does not like that they harm themselves.

And Allah knows best.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

A Description of the Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ Bed – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

What did the bedding of the Prophet ﷺ like, and why did he choose it? In this short but inspiring video, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani discusses how the choices of the Most Beloved indicated his ultimate choice: the hereafter.

Why did he choose a mat that didn’t cover his body if he was given the keys to the treasures of the whole earth? What did he choose instead? What were his priorities? 

Resources for Seekers

Is the Hadith: ‘Love of This World Is the Root of All Evils’ Authentic?

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Is the hadith:’ love of this world is the root of all evils’ authentic?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

Source of the Statement

The statement you are referring to is:

حب الدنيا رأس كل خطيئة
Love of this world is the root of all evil

It is a hadith in Bayhaqi’s Shuʿab al-Iman, traced back to al-Hasan al-Basri, who ascribes it to the Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him. The vast majority of the narrations from al-Hasan are considered authentic.
It has also been ascribed to the Prophet Jesus peace be upon him [Abu Nuʿaym, Hilya; Bayhaqi, Zuhd].

Meaning of the Tradition

Irrespective of its provenance, a large number of works dealing with purification of the soul relate this tradition, including Imam al-Ghazali’s Revival, Abu Talib al-Makki’s Sustenance of the Heart, and others.

Imam Jamal al-Din al-Hubayshi, in his short work on themes related to knowledge and its people, Nashr Tayy al-Ta’rif, explains that the hadith does not mean that love of this world is always blameworthy. What is blameworthy is the type of behaviour exemplified by the Pharoah, Qarun, and others: loving this world for its own sake; yearning to remain in it; a desire to revel or bask in the excesses of this life, to the point of usurping others’ rights; insubordination to divine commandments; and focusing on this life to the extent of rejecting or forgetting the hereafter.

When a person’s love for this world is so characterized, it constitutes for them the source for all evil, as it facilitates for them further sinful behaviour. It causes people to lose interest in the permissibility of their earnings, and manipulates their internal states to the point where being warned of punishment no longer affects their soul.

In contrast, a person who knows God does not desire this world for these aims; rather it is a means for him to attain the hereafter. Imam al-Ghazali, in his Beginnings of Guidance, explaining this tradition, says that were a person to take from this world only as needed, to assist themselves towards the hereafter, it would be like a field to him in which he sows for the future. But if one were to use it as a place of merely fulfilling his desires, it would become for him a place of destruction.

Wassalam,
Shuaib Ally

Benefits of Simplicity – Shaykh Hussain Abdul Sattar – Sacred Learning

Benefits of Simplicity – Shaykh Hussain Abdul Sattar – SacredLearning

A detailed lecture on the simple lifestyle of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), its benefits and how one can practically bring it into their daily life. Shaykh Husain shares experiences and reflections from his own life in bringing this forgotten Prophetic example to life.

Listen – 07.25.04

“And the slaves of the Most Merciful are those who tread lightly upon the earth…” (Quran, al-Furqan, v. 63)

Sacred Learning also offers excellent lecture recordings on Hajj for free download as well as regular lectures on Seerah, Tafsir, Tazkiya, Arabic and Hadith.

The Best of Spiritual Actions – Imam Shadhili relates from his teacher, Ibn Mashish

Abu’l Hasan al-Shadhili relates from his spiritual guide, Ibn Mashish:

The best of spiritual actions are four after four.

[The four actions are:]

(1) loving Allah;

(2) contentment with Allah’s destiny;

(3) non-attachment to worldly matters; and

(4) relying upon Allah.

 

[These come after four:]

(1) fulfilling Allah’s commands;

(2) leaving Allah’s prohibitions;

(3) steadfastly leaving all that doesn’t concern one; and

(4) scrupulousness in leaving useless amusement. [Durrat al-Asrar]

And Allah alone gives success.