Monday, June 4, 2018

why there was no need for an 'enlightenment' in Islamic world:

On Islamic philosophy, intellectual freedom in the medieval Muslim world,  the continuing philosophical tradition in the Muslim world and why there was no need for an 'enlightenment' in Islamic world:
(Extracts from an interview with Professor Peter Adamson, who is a professor of late ancient and Arabic philosophy at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. His primary areas of interest are late ancient philosophy and Arabic philosophy, and is the author of books including The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy and Philosophy in the Islamic World. He is also the host of the weekly podcast 'History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps'.)

   "In general, there was very little intellectual persecution in the Islamic world.
There was a lot more openness and freedom for intellectual debate in the Islamic world than in the Latin medieval world because there was no Church. There was no one who had authority to come along and say, ‘you can’t say that.’ Although there are some exceptions to this rule, generally speaking, it doesn’t really make much sense to think that the way that books were written in the Islamic world had to do with avoiding persecution, because there was so little persecution to be avoided.

When you say there was no Church, weren’t there religious leaders fulfilling that role?

There were religious scholars but they were independent of political institutions. They were the people you would consult if you wanted to know the answer to a question and they were involved in the law. But they couldn’t necessarily have ordered soldiers to come down and arrest you and execute you.

We’ve talked about philosophers in the early medieval period. There was this amazing flourishing of ideas in the Islamic world. Was that something that got closed off, or is it a continuing tradition?

It’s a continuing tradition. That’s why I wanted to mention the Rāzī because he, in a way, stands at the beginning of that later tradition, as a conduit through which people respond to earlier figures like Avicenna. Avicenna really became the main figure for subsequent generations. If you move ahead to philosophy in the Safavid period, there was a really important figure called Mulla Ṣadrā. He was contemporary with early modern thinkers, dying in 1640.

You have to remember that the Arabic to Latin Translation Movement happened around 1200, and Fakhruddin Al-Razi lived all the way out in Central Asia and Persia. So, he lived too late for his works to be translated into Latin. This contributes to the illusion and myth that philosophy in the Islamic world ended with Averroes, because he was the last figure whose works were translated into Latin. But really what happened is that, especially in the eastern part of the Islamic Empire, there was a continuing production of philosophical and philosophically-informed theological works which went on century after century, all the way up to the fall of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the 19th century.

Even in otherwise very good introductions to the history of philosophy, you’ll see this idea that philosophy in the Islamic world dies after Averroes, that it all becomes mysticism or whatever. This is complete nonsense. Just in terms of the number of texts, there were many more philosophical works after that period than before. But they’re very badly studied—and the main reason is that they had no influence on European culture. Specialists in the field have only started looking at them recently.

(Answering Why the Islamic world didn’t have an 'Enlightenment'?):

People often think that there was this break or collapse of Islamic philosophy. In a way, the contrast with Europe is not so much that it collapsed but that it didn’t. You didn’t have an Enlightenment where they made a big show of setting aside everything that came from the scholastic traditions, and starting from scratch (not that they really did this in Europe either, but they pretended to).

In the Islamic tradition they kept working on what were often very technical areas of Avicennan philosophy, trying to negotiate between Avicennan philosophy and Islam. They were innovative; they made progress in logic, metaphysics, psychology, and so on. But they didn’t have a real restart as happened in modern Europe. The result of that is that when the colonialist period happened, you had a confrontation between a very longstanding intellectual culture—that came from the period we’ve been talking about—and a new wave of ideas from Europe. They clashed and then more intellectual developments grew out of that, like, for example, radical Islam and Salafism which have been inspired, in part, by European philosophy. Whether they would admit that or not is another matter.

Source: https://fivebooks.com/best-books/peter-adamson-philosophy-islamic-world/?utm_content=buffereb0c0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Sahih Hadith against Leaving from the taraweeh before the Imam finishes

Leaving from the taraweeh before the Imam finishes:

It is noticed that some of the people during taraweeh prayers leave after imam finishes 8 rakats, thinking that sunnah is only 8 rakats or due to other reasons.
This is against saheeh hadith (given below) and also against the fatwas of Shaikhs Bin Baaz, Jibreen, Munajjid etc.

However, If someone wants to pray only 8 rakats then they should go to a Masjid where taraweeh of only 8 rakats is prayed.

It is proven from the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he encouraged praying Taraweeh in congregation and he said:
“Whoever stays with the imam until he leaves, (the reward of) qiyaam al-layl will be written for him.”

Narrated and classed as saheeh by al-Tirmidhi (806); also narrated by Abu Dawood (1375), al-Nasaa’i (1605), and Ibn Maajah (1327). Also classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi. 

This reward will not be attained by anyone but the one who prays with the imam until he has finished all the prayers.

*The one who only prays some of the prayer and then leaves is not entitled to the reward promised in this hadeeth, which is that of spending a night in prayer (qiyaam layl). 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: 

If a person prays in Ramadan with someone who prays twenty-three rak‘ahs, but he only prays eleven and does not complete the prayer with the imam, is this action of his in accordance with the Sunnah? 

*He replied: The Sunnah is to complete the prayer with the imam, even if he prays twenty-three rak ‘ahs, because the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever stands (in prayer) with the imam until he finishes, Allah will record for him (the reward of) spending a night in prayer.” According to another report: “… The rest of that night.” 

It is better for one who is praying behind an imam to stay with him until he finishes, whether he prays eleven rak‘ahs or thirteen or twenty three or whatever. That is preferable, to follow the imam until he finishes.
End quote from Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 11/325 

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Praying qiyaam in Ramadan is attained by praying part of the night, such as half of it or one third of it, whether that is by praying eleven rak‘ahs or twenty-three. Qiyaam is attained by praying behind the neighbourhood imam until he finishes, even if he finishes within one hour. 

Taken from:
https://islamqa .info/en/153247

Apart from loosing the rewards of qiyaam layl the brothers who leave the rows of the Masjid after 8 rakats become a cause of unnecessary disturbance to the congregation and a fitna for the other people with a weak determination and poor knowledge of the Deen, causing them to leave as well considering that it's okay to leave when one wants instead of forcing one's nafs to complete the taraweeh!

So if someone thinks that taraweeh is only 8 rakaats, then let him go to Masjid where only 8 rakaats are offered by the imam.
May Allah guide us all.

Monday, July 3, 2017

FUQAHAA HAVE THE MOST CORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF QURAN & HADITH:

FUQAHAA HAVE THE MOST CORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF QURAN & HADITH:

By Moulana Muhammad Abbasoomar.

"Some contemporaries, who degrade the Fiqh of the four Imams and their followers, actually do so because they view legitimate “difference of opinion” as evil. This is the reason for which they keep harping on the fact that we need to follow the Quran and Sunnah and not any of the Schools of Fiqh. This is an analysis of their claim.

My Honourable Teacher, Al-Muhaddith, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (may Allah protect him) responds to this with the following:

“Firstly, this implies that the Imams of the four Madhahib (Schools of Fiqh) were not following the Quran and Sunnah!"

Secondly, this can only be said in ignorance of the reality we are faced with; tell me in the name of Allah! Up to how many “schools” have they resulted in? After Muslims lived within the four schools for centuries? Where is the logic behind their claim? (I.e. They have created unlimited schools of thought)

Lastly, I will explain further that following the Quran and Sunnah actually leads us to legitimate difference of opinion.” 
(Atharul Hadithi Shareef, fi ikhtilafil A-immatil Fuqaha, pg.77) (The deeper the knowledge, the stronger the opinion)

A VALUABLE LESSON:

Shaykh ‘Awwamah (may Allah protect him) has included the following incident in his glorious book “Atharul Hadith”.

“Sayyiduna ‘Urwah ibn Zubair – a Tabi’e- (rahimahullah) once objected to Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas -a sahabi- (radiyallahu ‘anhuma): “You have been misleading the people!”

Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu’anhuma) asked for the reason, to which ‘Urwah replied: “When a person dons his Ihram for Haj or ‘Umrah and after arriving in Makkah performs the tawaf only, you state that he is now free of his ihram. Whereas Sayyiduna ‘Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (radiyallahu’anhuma) actually opposed this view!” (They said he will not be halal until he performs the saee and halaq or qasr)

Ibn ‘Abbas responded: “Are the two of them (Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiyallahu’anhuma) preferred to you over what is in the Quran and Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam)?”

‘Urwah replied: “Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (radiyallahu’anhuma) had more knowledge/ understanding of the Quran and Sunnah than me and you put together!”
(Al-Mu’jamul Awsat of Tabarani, Hadith:21)

In a narration of Musnad Ahmad Sayyiduna Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu anhuma) responded to ‘Urwah’s objection by saying: “I am quoting a Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam) to you, and you quote Abu Bakr and ‘Umar?!”

‘Urwah replied: “They followed Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam) more than you, and they knew more about him than you know”
(Musnad Ahmad, vol.1, pg.252)

The narrator; Ibn Abi Mulaikah (rahimahullah) comments: “Urwah defeated him.” (Won the argument)

Shaykh ‘Awwamah (may Allah protect him) explains:

“…’Urwah is actually saying to Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas: “By us taking the view of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu’anhuma) we aren’t disregarding the way of the sunnah. In fact we find ourselves with two options; that which Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu anhuma) witnessed (and understood) from Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and what Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (radiyallahu anhuma) witnessed/ understood. We then preferred their view because they were most knowledgeable regarding the sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam).”
(Atharul Hadithi Shareef, fi ikhtilafil A-immatil Fuqaha, pg. 108)

Imam Sufyan Thawri (rahimahullah) said:
نسلم ما سمعنا، ونكل ما لا نعلم إلى عالمه، ونتهم رأينا لرأيهم
“We follow what we know, and hand over what we do not know to those who do know. We will even question our understanding in favour of theirs”
(Al-Intiqa, pg.265, 266)

THE REALITY OF "FIQHUS SUNNAH"

Shaykh (may Allah protect him) writes further: “And this is our response to those who ask us to abandon the Fiqh of Imams: Abu Hanifah, Malik, Shafi’e and Ahmad (rahimahumullah) and to rather take –what they label as- “Fiqhus-Sunnah” or “Fiqhul-Quran was-Sunnah”

We say to them: “We are not prepared to accept you all as alternatives to those Imams, for they were undoubtedly more knowledgeable than you all regarding the sunnah. In fact there is no comparison between you all and them in knowledge.

It is actually our eagerness to follow the way of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam) that leads us to follow what these great Imams had understood (and presented to the ummah) as the sunnah!” (Atharul Hadithi Shareef, fi ikhtilafil A-immatil Fuqaha, pgs. 108-109.)

THE TRUE MEANING OF FIQH OF ABU HANIFA ETC:

The word fiqh actually translates as: understanding.

Shaykh ‘Awwamah writes: “Therefore, when we say “Fiqh of Abu Hanifah, Fiqh of Shafi’e and so on, the actual meaning of this is: the understanding of Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Shafi’e. (I.e. Their research in to matters of deen)

The question that arises is: Their understanding of what?

It is their understanding of none other than the Quran and Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam)

The reason for this is that “Fiqh” in fact means: understanding.”

DON'T BE FOOLED!

“In light of the above, we can now realize a widespread grave mistake which nobody seems to pay attention to, or even rectify; when certain people label their “understanding” as “Fiqhus Sunnah” or Fiqhus Sunnah wal Kitab”

This term literally translates as: “the understanding of the Quran and Sunnah”. In this case it is the understanding of some unknown, or under qualified person. It is his understanding which he seeks to legitimise by attributing it to the Quran and Sunnah. This is done to give the impression that they are presenting before the people the “original authentic source” of knowledge (whereas it is merely their distorted understanding). In this manner they deter others from the Fiqh of the Imams; Abu Hanifah, Shafi’e, Malik and Ahmad (rahimahumullah).

They even boldly venture to say: “People! Do you want “Fiqh of Muhammad sallallahu’alaihi wasallam” or “Fiqh of Abu Hanifah and Shafi’ie”?

One of them had the audacity to ask before leading the salah; “Should I perform the salah of Muhammad (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam) or the salah of Abu Hanifah”!!

This is all the consequence of them attributing their Fiqh/understanding to the Quran and sunnah, and the fiqh/understanding of Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Shafi’e to Abu Hanifah and Shafi’e, not to the Quran and Sunnah.

In so doing, they have separated the correct understanding of the Quran and Sunnah (the understanding of legitimate scholars) which in reality was the most appropriate explanation of the Quran and Hadith. They severed this and then produced a new understanding which they attribute to the Quran and Sunnah!” (Atharul Hadith, pgs.134-135)

THEY TRULY DID KNOW BETTER:

Imam Malik (rahimahullah) said:
سلموا للأئمة ولا تجادلوهم، فلو كنا كلما جاءنا رجل أجدل من رجل اتبعناه: لخفنا أن نقع في رد ما جاء به جبريل عليه السلام

“Submit to the Imams and don’t argue with them, for if we were to make a habit of following every more convincing debater, I fear we may end up refuting what Angel Jibreel brought from the skies”. (Atharul Hadith, pg.117)

Imam Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah (rahimahullah) said:
التسليم للفقهاء سلامة في الدين

“In conceding to the Fuqaha (Jurists), is the security for our deen” (Atharul Hadith, pg.117)

Imam Sufyan Thawri (rahimahullah) said:
نسلم ما سمعنا، ونكل ما لا نعلم إلى عالمه، ونتهم رأينا لرأيهم

“We follow what we know, and hand over what we do not know to those who do know. We will even question our understanding in favour of theirs”. 
(Al-Intiqa, pg.265, 266)

THESE QUOTATIONS ARE SO GLARING IN THE CURRENT CONDITIONS:

So the next time someone confronts us with arguments like the ones discussed above, we shouldn’t be moved. In fact, these last three quotations are sufficient in response!

May Allah Ta’ala keep us under the shadows of our Imams which ultimately lead us to the shadow of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam). Ameen.

~Al Miftah website

Friday, June 23, 2017

Very balanced fatwa on Mawlid celebration:

Shaikh Abdullah bin Bayyah on Mawlid celebration:

http://binbayyah.net/english/2011/12/31/on-celebrating-the-prophet%E2%80%99s-birthday/

Background:

The celebration of the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is an issue of controversy amongst the scholars. Thus, there were some who considered it a disliked innovation, a few even saying it reached the level of prohibition, and there were others who considered it a praiseworthy innovation.

This difference is traced back to a divergence concerning the division of innovation (bid’ah). Some scholars recognized the validity of such innovations and this was, primarily, the school of Imam Al-Shafi’i (May Allah have mercy upon him) and the head of this thought was Al-’Izzi Adin Abdul Salam (May Allah have mercy upon him). In addition, Imam Al-Qarafi (May Allah have mercy upon him) who was a Maliki, carried this same opinion, giving it great attention , explaining it in an exhaustive manner. In his discussion Al-Qarafi (ra) expanded the concept of innovation to included innovations that were commendable, highly recommended, obligatory and a disliked nature. Thus, he divided innovation into five parts: (obligatory, recommended, permissible, disliked and forbidden).

There were some scholars who failed to accept this division contending that, “Any innovation, if it appears, then it is repulsive in nature.” They did this by restricting the statement of ‘Umar (ra), regarding the tarawih prayers, “This is a good innovation” to its linguistic meaning. There was a large body of scholars who held this opinion such as Taqi al-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah, Al-Shatibi, in his book Al-’Itisam, and many scholars from the Maliki and Hanbali schools (may Allah have mercy upon all of them).

Finally, there were scholars who wrote in support of celebrating the Mawlid such as Al-Suyuti (May Allah have mercy upon him) and, at the same time, there were others who wrote against it. Thus, in my opinion, there is no need to drag this discussion out, nor continue to argue about it any longer.

The Ruling:

Whoever wants to celebrate the Prophet’s (sa) birthday should celebrate it and avoid doing any action contrary to Islamic Law. This act should be done with an intention that it is not a sunna nor an obligatory act. If these conditions are observed, and one is careful not to contradict Islamic Law, out of sincere love for the Prophet (Peace and blessing of Allah upon him), then, Allah willing, there is nothing wrong with this action and this person will be rewarded.

Commenting on this, the Shaykh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (May Allah have mercy upon him) said, “Indeed, such a person will be rewarded because of his intention.” Likewise, for the one who shuns this celebration, seeking to cling to the sunna out of fear of falling into innovation, then this person will also be rewarded, Allah willing. It is important to note that this is not a big issue. Nor is it necessary to give it more attention then it deserves.

The Methodology:

Our attention towards this issue is directed towards uniting the Muslims and curbing these differences. We base this understanding on facilitation (for both sides) and ease. This ease is not founded on an empty premise, but is referenced directly back to the Quran, traditions of the Prophet (sa), the fundamental objectives of Islamic law, and the order of the Prophet (sa) to work towards unity between others. If a contentious issue arises pertaining to a matter, we exercise great consideration and respect for both sides. This consideration is not simply an act of being overly accommodative, as some contend, or attacking those who hold weak opinions. But, this respect and consideration for differences is guided by the fact that both opinions are based on proofs from Islamic Law. In some regards these proofs are clear, and in other regards the opposite holds true. Thus, some (scholars) have provided evidences for these acts’ legitimacy, and others hold proofs for the opposite. In conclusion, our stance is that both are on goodness, Allah willing, as long as this act is not mixed with some type of evil and the intention is correct.

Allah knows best.

Translated by Suhaib Webb

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Advice for Muslim Graduates

Advice For Muslim Graduates

By Shaikh Omer Bajwa

[Omer Bajwa is the “Director of Muslim Life” in the Chaplain’s Office at Yale University.  He earned his Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy from Hartford Seminary]

I have had the privilege of working with intelligent, talented and ambitious university students for over a decade, and over the years, I have developed some advice and then shared it with students as they graduate before entering the next phases of their lives. In this season of transitions and life moments, I wanted to share this advice and some action items:

Stay Humble

Studying at and receiving accolades from prestigious institutions can easily inflate the Nafs, especially if it’s not regularly monitored. Graduations literally feature ‘pomp and circumstance’ as commencement addresses laud students' accomplishments and families shower effusive praise on their children.

Indeed, you’ve likely worked diligently for many years, but don’t be distracted by the power, status, and privilege that you have accumulated. Indeed, these are both blessings and tests from Allah.

Were it not for Allah facilitating the path to your college education, you wouldn’t be there. Your loving and supportive parents, and their financial sacrifices, as well as your helpful teachers helped make you who you are. Our Islamic Tradition is replete with timeless wisdom about not claiming ownership for our worldly successes, be they coveted positions or prestigious professional school admissions.

Do not mistake worldly success for Allah being pleased with you because, remember, there are many successful people whom Allah is displeased with; Pharaoh was one of the most successful people in his time. If you want to know your standing with Allah, look at His standing with you.

Therefore, we must reassess and recalibrate our common definitions of success. True success (falah) consists of consistent commitment in worshipping Allah (ibadah) and selfless service to others (khidmah).

Thus, success is the realization we must use His divine blessings of our faculties and opportunities to seek His pleasure to serve His creation as we work for His paradise. Allah encourages us to, “Seek the life to come by means of what Allah has granted you, but do not neglect your rightful share in this world. Do good to others as Allah has done good to you.”1

ACTION ITEMS

Ask yourself: what does success mean to me?  What do I want my life to look like?  How did I get to where I am?  Where do I want to go from here? Every time you feel self-impressed, say Alhamdulilah, thank Allah, and recall one of your shortcomings. This will discipline your Nafs.

Inculcate Gratitude

No one accomplishes anything by themselves; surely, there are parents, friends, teachers and mentors who facilitated your work and impacted your trajectory. You should identify these people, from your past and present, and you should express sincere gratitude to them, for their patience and encouragement as well as their exhortation and admonition.
Their involvement in your life has likely had an immeasurable effect, all of which is from Allah who reminds us: “And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah.”2

To express and inculcate genuine gratitude, our Prophet ﷺ taught us that, “Whoever does not thank people has not thanked Allah.”3
Thus, be more grateful to the people in your life and you will in turn be more grateful to Allah.

Gratitude is a state of being that you must actively choose, integrate and embody; thereafter, it will transform your terrestrial and celestial relationships. Gratitude is connected to humility because if you’re grateful, you’re ascribing agency to another, which demonstrates humility.

Much of our dominant culture’s malaise and ennui stem from deep spiritual ingratitude which leads to perpetual dissatisfaction and condemnation in the world. Our Prophet ﷺ cautioned us to, “Look at those who are lower than you and do not look at those who are higher than you. That is more likely to prevent you underestimating the blessing of Allah on you.”4  Perhaps no verse illustrates this consciousness better then ar-Rahman’s interrogative: “So which of Lord’s favors do you deny?”5  At the same time, Allah reassures us, “Remember that He promised, ‘If you are thankful, I will give you more.”6

ACTION ITEMS
Honestly ask yourself: who and what are you grateful for?  Why?  Have you actively expressed your gratitude?  If not, why?You should thank at least five people who helped you get to where you are. Write them a sincere letter of gratitude and then read it to them.

Develop Heartfelt Connection to Allah

We live in age of superficial “friendships” yet we restlessly seek notions of “authenticity” in our relationships, conversations and institutions.

Essentially, what we are all seeking, and in need of, is love. If we want Islam to be a vibrant and transformative force in our lives, we must understand that our core religious emotion needs to be love.7 

We will never succeed, in this life or the next, without love being indelibly rooted in our hearts. It is said that the Qur'an is the only book in which the ‘author’ is in love with the ‘reader’ and so Allah reminds us throughout the Qur'an about his love, mercy and compassion for us. These powerful states are engendered by His remembrance: “...It is in the remembrance of Allah that hearts find tranquility.”8  And know with conviction that He says if you, “Remember Me, I will remember you”9 and that “He is with you wherever you are.”10 Thus, the most powerful and meaningful relationship that you will ever experience will be with your Lord because your soul was created to know and love Him.

Graduations can be turbulent transitions because when you graduate you move away from friends and you may move away, again, from family for work. But the one constant is Allah. Therefore, building a connection with Allah will anchor you in the midst of all this movement. Your family and friends may be distant, but Allah promises “if My servant asks about Me, verily I am close.”11

ACTION ITEMS
Ask yourself: how often do I think of Him?  Who do I long to share my hopes and dreams, or fears and anxieties with?  When was the last time I unburdened my soul’s yearning or weariness unto Him?

Make your Dua a daily conversation with Allah. Start one small daily Zikr litany and be consistent. Excellent options include “The Book of Remembrances” [Kitab al-Adhkar] by Imam Nawawi and “The Accepted Whispers” [Munajat-e-Maqbul] by Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi.

Stay Connected to Community

We are witnessing a rise of spiritual rootlessness across society, especially as we live increasingly atomized lives, and emerging unmosqued voices are identifying genuine discontent, which must be acknowledged and addressed. But remember that community is your lifeline.
If we imagine the Prophet’s ﷺ Ummah as a beautiful, sturdy tree, then our communities are its branches and our people are its leaves.

Just as leaves that fall from a tree turn brown and die, so too can we as disconnected people wither away, especially from social and spiritual drought. Communities, like the tree branch, bring nourishment that would be impossible to obtain yourself.

Yes, our communities suffer from many problems, but do not let those problems drive you away from the community altogether. Rather, strive to create and nurture intentional communities that are committed to shared values and are still connected to the larger community.

Virtuous companionship (suhba) is essential for personal development and spiritual edification because hearts affect each other. The Prophet ﷺ counseled, “A man follows the religion of his friend, so everyone should consider whom he befriends.”12 

Life will only get more complicated and distracting, and so you need to actively seek out people and places that spiritually nourish and sustain you.

At the heart of this is thinking well of your community. This must be rooted in love, which our Prophet ﷺ said is invaluable because “No man loves another for Allah’s sake without his Lord honoring him,”13 and “Verily, Allah would say on the Day of Resurrection: Where are those who have mutual love for My Glory's sake?  Today I shall shelter them in My shadow when there is no other shadow but the shadow of Mine.”14

ACTION ITEMS
Ask yourself:  do I think well of others in my community just as I want them to think well of me?  What can I contribute to my community?  How can I benefit and uplift those around me?  Who do I sincerely love for the sake of Allah?  Where do I find spiritual solace?
Find a community and offer your time, treasure or talent. Follow the community on social media. Invite two people from the community to a meal.

Find a Mentor

Every field has specialists and we are all in need of mentorship and guidance, especially in our religious and spiritual lives. This life is a journey and an intelligent traveler seeks out a guide, as both companion and teacher, to elucidate the path, highlight the pitfalls, and show the fastest and easiest way to get to the destination.

Even Olympic athletes who have reached the pinnacle of performance still seek out coaches, nutritionists and personal trainers.
Our spiritual and personal development also need a wise, trusted and experienced figure who can appropriately guide, counsel and educate. Indeed, Allah beautifully instructs us to, “Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know.”15 

This is especially important in an age of autodidacticism and DIY-Islam. The purpose is to find an interlocutor for serious spiritual inquiries and trustworthy example of refined character (akhlaq). Undoubtedly, the Prophet ﷺ is our exemplar as he demonstrated this ancient arrangement of ‘teacher and student’ or ‘mentor and mentee’ with his Companions. He ﷺ taught us, “Verily, I have been sent only as a teacher,”16 and “the best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character.”17

ACTION ITEMS
Ask yourself:  what am I struggling with?  Who inspires me to become a better Muslim?  What are the areas I want to grow in?
Make a plan to identify and contact a potential mentor.

Graduations are life moments infused with anxiety about the unknown future as well as with excitement about new possibilities. I hope these recommendations are beneficial as you forge your path of personal and professional development. The path ahead will likely be filled with joys and struggles, and so let us reflect on the prayer attributed to Sayyiduna Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him): “Oh Allah, when I lose my hopes and plans, help me remember that Your love for me is greater than my disappointments, and Your plans for me are better than my dreams.”

May Allah grant you the best of this world and the next; ameen!

1. Quran 28:77
2. Quran 16:53
3. Jami at-Tirmidhi
4. Agreed upon
5. Quran 55:13
6. Quran 14:7
7. Paraphrased from Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad in Introducing the Burda of al-Busiri documentary: “If religion is to survive and endure and to flourish, it’s no good imposing it on people. It’s no good trying to persuade people with abstract, doctrinal, theological, or philosophical arguments. What they need is to love it. They need to have that huge human capacity for a rich spectrum of emotions satisfied by the religion that seeks to sit at the core of their identity. And no amount of religion is going to succeed ultimately as a transformative, popular, vibrant force in society’s life, if it’s just about ideas or if it’s just about obedience. It has to be about emotion and the core of religious emotion always has to be love.”
8. Quran 13:28
9. Quran 2:152
10. Quran 57:4
11. Quran 2:186
12. Sunan Abu Dawud
13. Jami at-Tirmidhi
14. Sahih Muslim
15. Quran 16:43
16. Sunan Ibn Majah
17. Sahih al-Bukhari

http://almadinainstitute.org/blog/advice-and-action-items-for-muslim-graduates/

Saturday, May 13, 2017

 Dua for freedom from Debts and haram earnings:

 Dua for freedom from Debts and Haram earnings:

وعن عليّ أنَّ مُكَاتباً جاءهُ فَقَالَ : إنِّي عَجِزْتُ عَنْ كِتَابَتِي فَأعِنِّي ، قَالَ : ألا أُعَلِّمُكَ كَلِماتٍ عَلَّمَنِيهنَّ رسُولُ الله لَوْ كَانَ عَلَيْكَ مِثْلُ جَبَلٍ دَيْناً أدَّاهُ اللهُ عَنْكَ ؟ قَالَ : قُلْ : « اللَّهُمَّ اكْفِني بِحَلاَلِكَ عَنْ حَرَامِكَ ، وَأغْنِنِي بِفَضْلِكَ عَمَّنْ سِواكَ » . رواه الترمذي ، وقال : ( حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ ) . فيه : استحباب الدعاء بهؤلاء الكلمات .

 'Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A slave who had made a contract with his master to pay for his freedom, came to me and said: "I am unable to fulfill my obligation, so help me." He said to him: "Shall I not teach you a supplication which the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) taught me? It will surely prove so effective that if you have a debt as large as a huge mountain, Allah will surely pay it for you. Say: 'Allahumm-akfini bihalalika 'an haramika, wa aghnini bifadlika 'amman siwaka (O Allah! Grant me enough of what You make lawful so that I may dispense with what You make unlawful, and enable me by Your Grace to dispense with all but You)."

[At-Tirmidhi].

Commentary: It is important to recite this Du'a in order to seek Allah's Help in paying one's debts and in avoiding to beg of people.

  « اللَّهُمَّ اكْفِني بِحَلاَلِكَ عَنْ حَرَامِكَ ، وَأغْنِنِي بِفَضْلِكَ عَمَّنْ سِواكَ »
This sunnah Dua is also for getting sufficient Halaal Earnings and protection from Haraam income and it's temptations and also for financial independence.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Advise after death of a near one:

May Allah Grant the deceased Maghfirat and jannat ul firdaws.

Please do remember these things to benefit the departed soul:

1. Seek pardon on his/her behalf from the relatives, neighbors​, friends and those with whom they had any transactions.

2. Repay the loans or any other things they owed to others.

3. Do Hajj or arrange some one to do Hajj on their behalf if they had not done Fardh Hajj.

4. Pay fidya of any qadha Fardh or wajib Salah or  Ramadan missed fasts to the poor.

5. Fulfill the jaiz oaths or pay its fidya as the case may be.

6. Fulfill the jaiz Wills\wasiyath.

7. Then arrange for distribution of the inheritance left by them according to Shariah. It includes even the smallest value things they owned. Don't just give their items in charity with out full permission from all the heirs.

8. Follow the sunnah in the funeral rites. Avoid all Biddahs in this.

9. Continue to pray for their maghfirat.

10. Regularly send isaal e sawaab of nafil ibadaat and charity on their behalf.

11. Maintain respect and good relationship with their relatives and friends.

12. And lastly, we all have to prepare for our own meeting with our Lord. Every death is a reminder of our own mortality.