Monday, August 27, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Muslim Spain

Parts one and two
There are some opinions in this video that should be taken with a pinch of salt but it is a good historical record.

Link: Muslim Spain 1/2


Part two

Link: Muslim Spain 2/2

Monday, August 20, 2007

Imam Zaid Shakir - The Muslim: A Servant and Neighbour

Part two of two

Q & A

·Q. There is a big focus on mosque’s reconnecting with the youth and the issue of home-grown imams, what should the mosques do?

A. So how to re-engage the youth, and home-grown imams. Firstly, to acknowledge that they haven’t been engaged in the first place. So it’s a case of engaging not re-engaging.
The key is sponsoring and facilitating programs that involve the young people that extends beyond study circles, and halaqas, etc. Not everyone is engaged by these things in the beginning. You need hiking, sports leagues, basketball teams, cricket, etc. – and the mosque needs to sponsor such events. Creating activities where a Muslim young person sees himself/herself as being capable of being normal and being Muslim. Young born Muslims who are growing up in this society have been shaped by this society: they want to be normal, they don’t want to be different. So if we create a space for them to be normal and Muslim then they will succeed. But if normal means you can’t play sports, or do marital arts, or come to the mosque to relax then it creates a crisis, the outcome being leaving Islam officially or nominally or coming to accept that they’re not normal. Therefore, mosques need to engage the youth in activities that their non-Muslim friends are also engaged in but in a wholesome environment. For example, The ADAMS Centre in North America created the activity centre before they created the mosque: they pray in the gym. So the Muslims and the non-Muslims who attend play sports then they pray. So creating a youth friendly environment in and around the masjid.

Secondly, getting the young people involved: elder men don’t have time. Women and the young have time and the latter have so much energy to make change. The Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) didn’t have a youth axillary, rather the youth were intimately involved with the entire community.

Regarding the home grown imams we need home-grown, indigenous, programs and learning centres whose vision is shaped by this country, and until you have that you won’t have home grown imams. So you go to Iran, the imams are Iranian; Turkey, the imams are Turkish. You go to Britain and they’re Bengali, Algerian, Pakistani, etc. So the situation has to change. This is not to belittle the contributions of those who have come before us but there’s a disconnect, generally between the scholars and the youth. There’s an incongruity between way young Muslim women live their lives in Britain and the lives Muslim women led when are elder leaders were growing up. So the important thing is to have home grown institutions. Wallahu ’Alam. Allah knows best.

·Q. How can we establish a seminary like Zaytuna in this country?

A. You have good people here, like Aftab Malik, you just need to take the Nike philosophy and ‘Just Do It’.

·Q. How can we transcend the racism between the recently immigrated Somali community and the Pakistani community?

A. In Hamilton, near Toronto, there’s a non-Muslim centre to receive recent immigrants that the Muslims in that community get involved with. Many Somali’s who immigrate here are forced because of the terrible situation if Somalia right now. So the Muslims should work with and establish centres that help recently immigrated people to acclimatise to this country. Ibn Masu’d (May Allah be pleased with him) profoundly said, ‘Human hearts have been naturally inclined to love those who do good to them.’

This goes back to neighbourliness: if even a part of the community help acclimatise the Muslims then this will improve relations across the entire communities. Also, you need to open the masjids: Muslims these days are very territorial. We have to make the masajid neutral territory and every Muslim is welcome. And to have people feel welcome you can’t just have a sign on the door, inviting people in. Have Somali day in the local masjid – ask them to tell their stories; what does Somali food taste like? I’ll tell you, it tastes like everything else you just have to have a banana at the end. So make people feel welcome by putting a welcome sign in our hearts no on our mosques.

·Q. You mentioned self esteem and academic achievement. Many Muslims who do go and get and education don’t get a job, or find it more difficult to get a job. What would you say regarding this?

A. You shouldn’t look at education this way. You know, you might get a job, you might not. Education should be seen as a tool to enrich yourself personally. It should not be seen to get a job: whether you drive a taxi or work in a skyscraper in London. Education is personal enrichment that gives you a skill set (discipline, time management, meeting deadlines) that helps you in life. In Zaytuna, the college educated students do better. And of course, self-esteem increases with education. Remember, if you quite once, you’ll always quit. And if you have trouble finding a job, or even if you don’t, then think outside of the box. Challenge people’s perceptions. Look at Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, they used their skills to benefit themselves.

·Q. Where do you see the Muslims in the West with the current state of affairs?

A. I see a bright future. People think we have it hard but in Iraq and Palestine people are dying, being prevented from receiving treatment, women have to give birth on the side of the road because they’re not allowed to go to a hospital. That’s difficulty. We have to realise that we have tremendous opportunities that we need to take advantage of. What are the challenges that all people face the West? We mentioned them above (see Conclusion). Islam addresses these challenges so we need to get out of the mosque and get out of this insular mentality that works against us, because at the moment we’re not out there so people can’t even see the alternative example. Just meeting people has a large impact. In America they took a poll and 50% of Americans have a negative perception of Islam, but 70% of those who just knew a Muslim had a positive perception.

We also need to remember the adage, ‘Beware the wrath of a generous host’ The Ulema’ say that our relationship within this community is reciprocal to that of non-Muslims in Muslim lands. Our position is exactly the same. And the ‘ulema also say that if we dislike this place, we should leave.

But we have a tremendous opportunity. You know around 200 years ago a number of scholars predicted that the West would accept Islam. A scholar said that the West was pregnant and it would give birth to the child of Islam.

Remember this is Allah’s world (Exalted is He!). So only He knows the future, but we have to take the means. Taking the means is to take advantage of the opportunities our hosts have offered us. Remember that nobody is stopping you from propagating and inviting people to Islam: this beauty. So we’re calling people to sound sexual ethics, sobriety, brotherhood amongst humanity: we have to make it real amongst ourselves, but we should call people to these things. We should be proud that we have held on to the heritage of the Prophets. For example, every religion has a hijab, but they have discarded it. So sisters should be proud that they’re holding on to this inheritance. This impresses so many non-Muslims who see this adherence to a tradition. Also, the beard is the man’s hijab and the only difference is that it’s on the bottom of the man’s head, not at the top.

Finally, remember, we don’t need an Enlightenment, if we did we might become like the other religions! We need to understand our religion. The important thing is faith, if you badger people you won’t see change. Everyone needs to grow in their own time . The future’s bright. And you have to believe that. Be beautiful and you’ll see the world as beautiful and you need share it. Allah (Exalted is He!) is beautiful and loves beauty. Shaykh Hamza says that we’re the first generation that has made our religion look ugly: and a lot of that is because of what we do. All we need to do is beautify ourselves and Islam will be unstoppable. People are coming to the religion because they see what we don’t see. When I went to Syria, some people there were amazed that I became Muslim: why would you want to do something like that? They didn’t see the beauty in Islam.

·Q. Culture

A. I just want to mention something about culture. Culture is very important. Islam has always been propagated along with the culture that it was spread. So the Sahaba (May Allah be pleased with them) sang songs and the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) watched the Abyssinians dance with Lady Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her). Remember, all the poetry we have, all the Qasidas, are songs. Dancing, dress, and food is all part of the culture and it’s beautiful. Culture is an integral part of the human experience. So when you do away it in the name of purification you’re going to fill it with something worse. In Saudi Arabia, etc. what has filled the vacuum? They don’t have the burda or qawalis, etc. They have Madonna, and Michael Jackson, etc. In Indonesia people are converting to Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism because people are being that their culture is bida’. (innovation)

So if you’re strict Alhamdulillah, but let people work things out. If someone is praying 5 times a day but listening to U2, let them work it out: soon they’ll get past that.

End

Du’a by Imam Zaid (and a song!)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Imam Zaid Shakir - The Muslim: A Servant and Neighbour

Part one of two(May Allah ta'ala reward the donator of these notes)

Imam al-Haddad’s Intention:
I intend:
1.Learning and teaching
2.Receiving and giving admonition
3.Giving and receiving benefit and gain
4.Encouraging adherence to the Book of Allah and the Sunna of the Messenger (saw)
5.Calling to right guidance
6.And leading to goodness
7.This is out of a desire for Allah’s Countenance, His Pleasure, Nearness, and Reward

15 August, 2007
Imam Zaid Shakir - The Muslim: A Servant and Neighbour
Start
·Hamd
·Salawat
·It is important for us as Muslims to see ourselves as servants and neighbours: both locally and globally as the world continues to shrink and the global village becomes more and more of a reality. To approach life in the spirit of servitude and good neighbourliness is what we should aim at.

·Now this neighbourhood, Lozells, has been visited by violence, so I want to start with a question: What is the total population of Birmingham? Around a million; and how many gang related murders have you had in the past year? 20, 30, around 20. Now I’m coming from Oakland, CA: a city of 400,000 and there they have around 150 gang related murders each year. This isn’t to say everything is good here, for as Allah (Exalted is He!) says, one innocent life is one too many.

·So unless someone makes a commitment to stop this violence, Lozells is going the way of Oklahoma. You’ll look up in 3 or 4 years and the number of murders will be 500. Someone has to step up and say the dehumanization that is going on has to stop. Because this is what is happening: dehumanization that allows a person to take another life, someone who can do that has lost what it means to be human, and it must be stopped. Someone has to stop it.

·The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Don’t envy one another’, yet how many people are killed because of envy: I should have that car, or I should have that house. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also said not to conspire against one another: yet how many people are killed because people are dealing against one another. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also said, ‘Don’t hate each other’, because once we hate each other, it is easier to kill one another. What we have going on in Iraq and Afghanistan can partly be attributed to Muslims hating each other and so they forget that the person they are harming is a Muslim.

·So we have to have people to step and up and say that we can’t allow these schemes and conspiracies and jealousy to build up between each other and our communities so that it becomes easy to kill and harm one another.

Neighbourliness

·So we need to be good neighbours and someone needs to step up as a lead. Who better than a Muslim? Drugs are a problem, and drugs are haram: therefore we don’t have any issue with disassociating ourselves with them. We should on principle as a community say that we are going to work against a culture of violence that involves selling and dealing in drugs. But first, we need to start by cleaning up our communities first: and this may involve giving up our time, even our lives.

·This is what we did in America: we made a commitment that even the poorest neighbourhoods aren’t going to be involved in drugs. And Allah gave us tawfiq. You’ve probably heard of Imam Siraj Wahaj in Brooklyn, he closed an entire street of crack houses. So who better than the Muslims, in the interest of being a good neighbour, to say that this there are good people here and we and they shouldn’t have to live in these communities where people are afraid to leave their houses.

·If we’re not doing this, then we’re not being good neighbours. Remember, our ethic as Muslims is that if we can’t use it (e.g. alcohol, drugs, pork, etc.) then we’re not going to be involved. So getting rid of these things shouldn’t take a lot of thought. Remember the Hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): we should change something with our hands, if not that then we should speak out, and if not that, then at least we can hate it in our hearts.

·So we have to speak out and if we can’t do that then at least hate it in our hearts: and the hate of these harmful things should be like burning embers, that it might be ignited one day with some gasoline or some oxygen. But if we’re turning a blind eye, and these harmful things aren’t affecting our hearts, we just walk by, then there is something wrong with our faith (as stated in the Hadith) – if the embers aren’t at least burning in our hearts, you could pour gasoline over them, but nothing would happen. At least if we hate it in our hearts, Allah can cause a spark.

·Also recall the Hadith that whoever believes in Allah (Exalted is He!) in the last day let him/her speak well or remain silent; and let them honour their guests; and let them treat their neighbour well. We know the rights of the neighbour in Islam– that we should inspect 7 houses on either side to make sure they have enough to eat. And we know it is Sunnah to make extra food for our neighbours.

·And these are small things but they are indicative of bigger principles: that the Muslims are concerned about those around them. Now the world is growing smaller, so everyone is becomg closer. And if we develop these principles in our communities, it has to have a knock on effect that it will affect other societies around the world.

·In the past, I would never have had the opportunity to come to Birmingham; what would have I done? It would have been like making Hijra – I would ride my horse across America and then catch a boat, brave the hurricanes….so it was difficult. But now it’s easy. I left Washington DC at 8 in the morning and arrived in one day here. So the world is shrinking. And what we do affects others. How we heat our homes, how we drive our cars: that affects people all over the world.

·So our way in life has to be predicated on good neighbourliness. We need to be able to discuss things maturely and be able to back down from our position. If you’re neighbour is playing his music too loud, who moves? In Islam, it is about bearing the abuse of others and if I can’t bear the abuse, I have to be the one to move out.

·People would put thorns and garbage on the path of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when he left his house; and when it wasn’t there one day, he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) didn’t say, ‘Maybe they died!’, No, he went and checked up on them! You know, are they Ok? ‘What’s wrong, I didn’t see any thorns today.’

·Good neighbourliness is also about holding you r abuse from others. This is a characteristic of the Muslims: one whose brothers/sisters are safe from their tongue and their hands. Nowadays people think they’re the best Muslims, but they create websites www.ihateshaykhx.com. These websites are full of attacks, etc. Thus, are people safe from their tongues?

·Here’s another question for you: Is the Muslim or the Mu’min the higher station? The answer is the Mu’min. So the Mu’min should have a wider range than the Muslim. For the Mu’min is one who spares the PEOPLE from their wickedness. So with the Muslim it’s just their brothers/sisters, but the Mu’min’s reach is wider.

·We need to understand that good neighbourliness extends across the world now: whatever I do shouldn’t adversely affect those people in South America, Africa, or Asia. Like in Italy, people were dumping their toxins near Somali, their neighbours! And we have to internalise and live these things. One of the big problems of our community is that we don’t internalise lessons, we talk and we listen, but we don’t live these things.

·Remember that faith isn’t a mere thought, rather it is that which takes firm root in the heart and is testified in the actions.

·So we can talk all we want: Islam did this, Islam did that, Islam liberated the woman, Islam creates the best brotherhood; and yet we prevent women from going to University and in our mosques we have people fighting for control. As a Muslim, this masjid is mine just as much as it is yours. If we get agitated at that idea, then this isn’t the house of Allah (Exalted is He!). See these days people are in “Mosque Market”: people think that it works like the Stock Market that if they pay more money to build the mosque, they think it’s like shares, that they have more of a part in the mosque. It doesn’t work like that. Everyone has an equal part and say.

·Unfortunately, some people think they’re showing the power of Islam by shooting things, and blowing things up. In fact, that just makes us look foolish. There are those out there who are simply laughing at us now.

·There’s an American movie called ‘Shooter’ and there’s one scene in it that’s very telling. In the movie, Danny Glover says that there’s no Sunni, no Shia, there’s only money. See if America leaves Iraq now the Americans have won: not the mujahids. Why? Because they’ve destroyed the country and laced the country with radioactive waste via depleted uranium, trucked away the money and they’ve split Sunnis and Shias (something that no one was able to do for centuries). They’ve lined their pockets and destroyed the country. How have they lost? And if they can blame it on the Muslims, then that’s all the better.

·Therefore, we need to see things as they really are. Say you have bad soccer team, and you haven’t won a game in 5 years, but you think you’re just 1 year from the Championships. If you think you’re good when in fact you’re bad, you’re never going to get better. The first step to getting better is to recognise that you’re lousy. If you delude yourself then you’ll never get better. So as Muslims we can’t delude ourselves, or we’ll never get better: we’ll continue to be used as pawns in other people’s games. That’s the reality.

Servitude


·The second issue is that of service: we need to learn the ethic of service. As Muslims, we’re here to serve, not to be served. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked to be a Prophet King or a Prophet Servant, what did he choose? He chose to be a servant. So he served his family, he sowed his clothes; he swept his house; milked his own cows. And we’re his Ummah. Remember, in the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) we have been told that we have the best example. People these days get mad when they’re not served: they miss the point.

·And to serve people we need to love people. I’m sure someone will say, ‘How can we love these kafirs? What are you talking about Imam Zaid? Give me some proof.’ Here’s the proof: No one truly believes except that he loves for his brother/sisters what he loves for himself? Aren’t non-Muslims are brothers and sisters in humanity; as one of the scholars in his commentary reminds us. Wouldn’t you love Islam for them? Wouldn’t you love for them to have drug free life, as you have? An alcohol free, like you have had? Wouldn’t you love for them to have family values, a father, like you have had? Your faith isn’t complete unless you want non-Muslims to have these things.

·Also remember, Imam Ghazali (May Allah be pleased with him) said that unless someone’s disbelief is confirmed by proof in the Qur’an or the Sunna, like Abu Lahb, Imam Ghazali said you better not call any person a kafir. Why? Because if you say that and it’s not true, it comes back to you? So was I a kafir before I converted? We don’t know these things so be careful.

·How can we guide and serve humanity if our hearts are closed? How can we do anything? And again our example is the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He didn’t hate any of his enemies: when people converted how did he treat them? How did he treat Khalid bin Walid (May Allah be pleased with him) after he led the forces against the Muslims at Uhud, killing some of the best Sahaba (May Allah be pleased with them)? What did the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say? He said Ahlan wah Sahlan. (Welcome)

·Abu Sufyan (May Allah be pleased with him) spent his whole career working against Islam. Now I want an honest answer: who is worse, Abu Sufyan (May Allah be pleased with him) before he became Muslim or Bush or Blair? If Blair was as bad as Abu Sufyan we wouldn’t be allowed to set up masajid in this country. Abu Sufyan before he became Muslim tried to destroy Islam entirely. He didn’t allow them to make Hajj or make mosques. What happened when he converted? Ahlan wah Sahlan. When he (May Allah be pleased with him) became Muslim, he lost both of his eyes in Jihad. All of the vehement enemies of Islam were welcomed. How can someone, were his heart filled with hatred, be able to accept these people? Now we have Muslims cutting other peoples heads off.

·So we have to hate what non-Muslims do, but pray that they improve and repent so that they have a chance of Jannah. We want to see as many people in Jannah as possible.

·Remember the Hadith: Allah (Exalted is He!) will continue to help the servant as long as he continues to help his brother.

·So if people are doing something wrong, then we should ask what are WE doing wrong? Now we tend to point the finger: but we don’t look in the mirror. What are we doing for Allah’s religion? What am I doing for the religion?

·Look at our communities: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Don’t envy one another’ and yet there’s widespread envy in our communities. People are afraid to bring new furniture into their homes in case someone puts the evil eye on them. Rampant envy. What’s the consequence of that?

·Allah (Exalted is He!) said that, ‘If you give thanks for your blessings I will increase you in them and if you reject them then know that Allah’s punishment is severe.’ What is jealousy? It is rejection of Allah’s blessings. Allah has blessed a person and for you to reject that…

·So I’m not saying that other people don’t cause problems, but what are we doing? Remember Allah has blessed us, so service is a form of shukr.

·So what has Allah (Exalted is He!) given you that you can put back? Muslims make up around 3% of the UK’s population, yet 10% of the prison population is Muslim: and 1/3 of that is Muslim women. One of the main causes of criminal behaviour is low self esteem and one of the main causes of that is low academic achievement. Where do Muslims rank academically? Second last. So why don’t we have tutoring systems in the Masjid? If you’ve been giving knowledge then share it to build up the self esteem of our young people. And block one of the pathways of criminality.

·The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is instructed us to give in the areas that he has been blessed (look at Surat al-Dhuha in the Qur’an). So the thankfulness is categorical to the blessings that we receive in all the ways that we have been blessed.

Conclusion·

In conclusion, we need to give focus to service and neighbourliness. Furthermore, for the sake of our communities and for the sake of our world we need to oppose certain realities:

1.The militarisation of this world. You know what they’re experiment with in Iraq? Electromagnetic wave weapons from satellites that fry your brains. How are we going to live on this planet if this is what we’re developing?

2.Anti-Incarceration. Increasingly prisons are becoming big business: more prisoners mean more profits. If we are destroying innocent lives merely to feed the machine then something is wrong.

3.Anti-corporatism. Everything is now commoditised, everyone is now judged according to their utility. Even our relationships are becoming like that: our marriages are for the sexual gratification of ourselves alone, or the money that our partner can bring. So this corporate mentality permeates our entire life and needs to be challenged.

4.Anti-environmental degradation. Because this is our home. And the weapons and corporations we oppose, helps the environment. Here’s a question: what’s one of the greatest threats of global warming? Not the rising sea levels, but that the plankton might die, which are essential for our Oxygen. So as Muslims, who follow the ‘Mercy to all the Worlds’ we should take a stand on this issue as an expression of our good neighbourliness.

5.Anti-Racism. A lot of this stuff in the world is straight up racism. This threat to Western Civilization is a joke. Look at Osama and Zahrawi, they couldn’t even bring down Egypt and Saudi Arabia, so how are they going to threaten the entire world. Another question for you: why is their an immigration problem in America? Why are the Mexicans coming? Because the free trade agreement of NAFTA destroyed the agrarian economy of South America; so the farmers lose their farms and they go to America doing menial labour. That’s why there’s a problem. So we start where we began at good neighbourliness: how would we, as Muslims, treat this situation differently in light of our ideals of good neighbourliness and servitude?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Imam Ghazali - The Mysteries of Fasting

The man who is truly fasting while not abstaining from food and drink is he who keeps himself free from sin; and the fasting man who is not truly fasting is he who, while he hungers and thirsts, allows himself every freedom in sin. But everyone who truly understands fasting and its secret knows that he who abstains from food, drink, and sexual intercourse but commits [all manner of] sins is like the person who, in performing the ablution runs his hand over one of his members thrice, thereby outwardly fulfilling the Law as far as the member is concerned, but neglecting the truly important thing which is the actual washing.

Consequently, because of his ignorance, his prayer is rejected. On the other hand, he who breaks the fast through eating but observes it by keeping himself free from sin is like the person who, in performing the ablution, washes each of the members of his body once only. His prayers are, by the will of God, accepted because he has fulfilled the principal thing in the ablution, although he has failed to fulfil the details. But he who does both is like the person who, in performing the ablution, washes each member of his body thrice, thereby fulfilling both the principal purpose of ablution as well as its elaborate details, which constitutes perfection.

The Apostle of God once said, "Verily fasting is a trust; let each, therefore, take good care of his trust." Again when he recited, "Verily God enjoineth you to give back your trusts to their owners," he raised his hands and touching his ears and eyes said, "[The gift of] hearing and [the gift of] seeing are each a trust [from God]."

Similarly [the gift of speech is a trust], for if it were not so the Apostle would not have said, "If anyone disputeth with another and sweareth at him let the latter say, 'I am fasting, verily I am fasting'." Or in other-words, "I have been interested with this my tongue in order to keep and hold, not in order to give it free rein in retort and reply to thee."

It is clear, then, that every act of worship is possessed of an outward form and an inner [secret], an external husk and internal pith. The husks are of different grades and each grade has different layers. It is for you to choose whether to be content with the husk or join the company of the wise and the learned.

Page 31

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Imam An-Nawawi

Chapter: On the obligation to fast Ramadan and clarification of the excellence of fasting and what is connected to it

From Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

Imam An-Nawawi

Translated by Aisha Bewley

Please click on the title

Zaytunas Ramadan pack

Yes, its last years pack but theres some useful audio links.

(Please click on the title)

Imam Zaid Shaikr

Approaching Ramadan

Please click on the title to read the article

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sheikh Saad Al-Attas

Spirit of Ramadan part three

Every hour one million people are freed from the hellfire

We can be dealt with in two ways, on the Day of Judgement, 1. Mercy, 2. Justice.
(Ask for mercy!!!)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Regret is repentance.”

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There is nothing more evil that Ibn Adam fills like his stomach.”

Imam Qusheri (may Allah show him mercy) said, “Everything rusts and the rust of the heart is a full stomach.”

Good works are not your own efforts

Pride befits Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala, like a giant who wears a giants cloak and pride does not fit a man or a midget. The giants cloak cannot fit a man or midget, Sheikh Ramadan Al-Bouti said this.

If you think it's from your own effort then it is bad manners.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sheikh Saad Al-Attas

Spirit of Ramadan part two

Gratitude can be with the tongue, limbs or the heart.

Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala gives lots for little

Ask Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala for what he asks from you

This is the month of request

Don’t think about what you’ll be breaking your fast on

Don’t look at anything that is offensive, according to the sacred law

What’s Prohibited/haram to look at, is haram to touch. What’s disliked to look at, is disliked to touch (rule)

Don’t read literature that has credit/loans etc on it. Throw them away

Satan starts with a gaze then it goes from there.

These are the steps of Satan
From 1. a look 2. smile 3. speech 4. appointment.

If someone looks at a thing purposely then it is written as sin

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Five things breaks fast. Lying, backbiting, tale bearing, false oath and looking with desire.”

In Imam Owazi’s (may Allah show him mercy) madhab/juristic school, your fast or ablution breaks if you lie

The adultery/Zina of the heart is to desire the Prohibited/haram, you need to reject this if you feel it

If someone comes to you and doesn’t guard there tongue, don’t say anything and remember Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala

Sufyan ibn Ayuna (may Allah show him mercy) said, “Backbiting corrupts fasting.”


EARS

Avoid the Television

A scholar said, “Anyone who allowed a radio into his house, has allowed an open sinner/Fasiq into their house.”

Music brings hypocrisy/Nifaq into the heart

Mentioning a brother in what he doesn’t like is disliked

Backbiting can be without speech like mimicking someone

In the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) there was a wind that carried the backbiting of the hypocrites.

If your backbiting reached the person then find him and apologise. If it did not then be silent and ask for forgiveness

The truth is Geeba/Backbiting

If you have done Geeba/Backbiting
1. Go back to ther person who told the lie to
2. Find the person you talked about
3. Go to Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ibrahim Ibn Adham - May Allah Have Mercy On Him

Ibrahim Ibn Adham - May Allah Have Mercy On Him - a third century Scholar, a teacher and a companion of Sufyaan at-Thawri, was asked about the Quranic verse:

"Call Me and I will respond." [Surah Ghaafir 40:60]

They said, "We supplicate and we are not answered."

So he said:

"You know Allâh; yet you do not obey Him.

You recite the Qur'ân; yet you do not act according to it.

You know the devil; yet you continue agreeing with him.

You claim to love Allâh's Messenger(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) yet
you abandon his Practice (Sunna)

You claim to love Paradise, yet you do not work for it.

You claim to fear the Fire; yet you do not stop sinning.

You say, Indeed death is true; yet you have not prepared for it.

You busy yourselves with the faults of others; yet you do not look at your own faults.

You eat the sustenance that Allâh provides for you; yet you are not grateful to Him

and

You bury your dead; yet you do not take admonition."



[Khushû' fis-Salâh, Ibn Rajab]



Source
http://www.lutonmuslims.co.uk/mowtweflee.htm

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sheikh Saad Al Attas

The Spirit of Ramadan Part one

The companions used to pray for another Ramadan, they used to look forward to it

One night is worth a thousand months

Abu Abbas al Mursi (may Allah show him mercy) For a person of gratitude (suhkr) everyday is like the night of power (layat al Qadr)

Congratulations for (receiving the gift of) Ramadan

Imam Nawawi (May Allah show him mercy) said that the best book after the Quran is the Ihya

We have to take this month seriously

The Prophet (Peace and blessing be upon him) said, “Fasting is half of patience.”

Patience is what the Prophets (upon them peace) taught

One the objectives of Ramadan is to change routines

To change routines into worship

A person who isn’t sincere in his worship, is like a man who goes to the market with a bag of stones, what will he buy with a bag of stones? (People may see the bag and think he might have a lot)

Patience (sabr) is of two kinds, sabr with obedience and patience with sins

Ibn Ata’llah said Allah made worship colourful, so a person can chose, this encourages us

Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala is the only actor, he will reward is, “Fasting is for me.”

Every act can be seen except for fasting

All our actions should be based on sincerity

There can be no way of recording the account of fasting

If a person is patient every day for 30 days, he will become a patient person

There was a man who used to do evil but when Ramadan came he would change completely and replace haram with halal in that month and he died at the end of Ramadan. He was seen in a dream by one of the righteous who asked him what did Allah do with you? He said, “If it wasn’t for Ramadan then I would’ve been placed in the hellfire.”

The greatest gift for the people of heaven, is the vision of Allah

The breaking of the fast has two rewards all the other actions have one

Imam Abu Laith As-Samerqandi says the Naafs is stronger than seventy satans

Prayer is broken by sleep but fasting is rewarded in sleep

Allah Subhanu wa Ta’ala tells us that he is closing the doors of hell and opening the doors of heaven, this tells us that Allah Subhanu wa Ta’ala doesn’t want us to go to hell, he wants us to go to heaven

The food of the ego/nafs is food and drink and fasting/saum comes to close them

Hunger is a barrier between you and satan by calling the nafs

The hard times go past slowly and the easy times go easy

Say dua after sleep and you have given thanks for your sleep

In this month a person can raise themselves up to the status of an angel

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sidi Sohail Hanif

Fasting, preparing for Ramadan

When a king speaks to you, its very different than someone else. That’s why we look at the Quran first

Ya implies distance, he is showing his majesty. He is a king speaking to his servants

Pagan religions did not come with fasting only the monotheistic ones did.

Fasting is a valuable act of worship

Avoid the haram

Three reasons for disobedience
1. Naafs (self)
2. Devil
3. World

The least benefit of fasting is controlling the Naafs

The word “Ramdd” means to burn (that is the root of the word Ramadan)

The Quran was revealed to the lowest heaven in Ramadan. Then revealed piecemeal to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to fast in the cave of Hira

Fasting makes things easy for you, it helps you

A person may begin Ramadan in one place and then finish up in a different place

This is the month of worship, piety and gratitude

The word bashr means the skin

The more piety a person has the more they get out of the Quran

Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala showing his love for us

Fasting cleans up the hearts in Ramadan

Sheikh Abdurrahman Shaghouri said the book of the Sufis is the Riyad As-Saliheen

The Prophets (peace and blessings be upon him) breath, was more worship that we could never equal in our entire lives

The month of Ramadan is the month of the cure, don’t take the poison with it. If you do then you won't get the where Ramadan is desiring to go

One expedition (Kaffara) covers all mistakes, everything in the past but not in the future

When reading the Quran out aloud, you have to be careful, of the people present. Don’t force people to listen or make them uncomfortable

If a group is present and at least one is listening, then its not a sin

Tarawiah means to pause at least 3 times (it's plural)

If it was two breaks it would called something else