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Friday, July 27, 2007

Sheikh Kadhim Al-Saqqaf lectures

This is a link to a video lecture on the best of creation, from the Guidance Media website

Also, if you go the audio section there are four audio lectures for download.

The voice of the person doing the introductions in the audio is my mate Adil Wainwright.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sheikh Samir Al-Nass

Isra and Miraj/Night Journey and Heavenly Ascent

Sidra al-Mutaha is the last physical thing in the created world

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the closer than this to Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala

A wali cannot ascend to heaven or have Quran revealed to him

When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was on Buraq, he came down to 1. Medina, 2. Mt Sinai 3. the birthplace of Isa (upon him peace)(and other places)

This highlights that any spot that has punishment upon it, will continue, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) Thamud passed Thamud quickly. If you don’t cry, Allah may give you the same punishment

If there is a spot where a blessing has occurred, it will continue to be blessed until the end

If an Imam is good at leading the prayer, he will get the reward of all the people behind him. So when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) lead all the Prophets (in Al-Quds), he got all their rewards

This tells us how special we are as an Umma, we will inhert his specialities (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

Each layer of heaven has its own significance, related to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) how was in it

The 3rd level was Yusuf (upon him peace) this related to beauty

Every Prophet has a special name of Abid, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) name was Abid Al-Jamma

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gathered all the good things on the earth and the heaven, he’ll lead the prayer in all the levels

There is a place of creation and a place of order

Ibrahim (upon him peace) told the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to make the most of your requests for your nation

This is the night that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was given the (five) prayer

We don’t give the prayer, its rights

The prayer is the hotline to Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala, without interference

For some people its too heavy for them

It’s a shame about the prayer, it’s a shame on us

In this night he was given Sura Fatiha and the last two verses of Sura Baqara.

They were treasures from underneath the Arsh (throne)

Do we give Sura Fatiha its right?

A scholar said why is that people can’t do something? When they have Sura Fatiha

All the sins of the Umma have been forgiven except the major sins

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Habib Ali al-Jifri

From Protest to Engagement – Bradford

(May Allah reward the donator of these notes)

All praise is due to Allah and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and companions.

Habib Ali (may Allah preserve him) began by drawing attention to the filthy state of the toilets in the theatre and requested that people volunteer along with himself to clean them up at the end of the talk. By doing so, he said, we are performing an act of worship which brings us close to Allah. He referred to the hadith that to remove harm from the path is charity.

Having begun by calling for engagement, he commented on the theme of the programme, ‘from Protest to Engagement.’ He said that by engaging we are not leaving behind protest, and that protest is part of engagement. When there is a need for protest we engage in it, but with the etiquette, the adab of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, without causing harm and transgressing the bounds of the shari`a.

Likewise we recognise good whatever its source, whether it be from Islam or from outside it. An example is the comment of the Prophet on the Hilf al-Fudul, an agreement made in the period of Jahiliyya between some of the clans of Quraysh to combat injustice and protect the rights of the weak.

The Prophet said that were he invited to partake in a similar treaty in the period of Islam he would have accepted. In other words he recognised the intrinsic values that it represented, regardless of the fact that it was an agreement made by idolators before the advent of Islam. This should be our approach – that we recognise the good in this society and support those who are doing good whatever their belief.

He then mentioned three points for us to focus on with regard to ourselves:

1. The need for us to have a correct understanding of our Deen, in particular the Prophetic Biography, and that we take our understanding from qualified scholars with a chain of transmission going back to the Prophet, upon who be blessings and peace. Furthermore there is a need for students from every city to go abroad to seek knowledge for a period of time such that they can return and benefit their communities. These students must be able to then practically implement and act upon their knowledge in the UK, in so doing differentiating between the practice of the Deen in the country in which they have studied and the practice of the Deen here.

2. The need for us to implement our knowledge, being upright and consistent in doing so. There is no benefit in knowledge if it is not reflected in one’s actions, especially at times of difficulty and times of anger. We all know that Islam teaches cleanliness, but where is this in practice? How many of us would have difficulty picking up litter from the street? We see it as lowering ourselves, when in fact it is a means of ennobling ourselves, since to remove harm from the path is charity, and charity is given from the one who possesses to the one who does not. The hand which gives is above the hand which takes, as the hadith states. How can we be entrusted with the task of cleaning and purifying hearts (which was the mission of the Prophet) when we cannot even be entrusted with the task of cleaning the streets?

3. We have to be capable of self-criticism, as we read in Sura Yusuf: I do not absolve my own self (from blame), the human soul (nafs) is prone to evil. Likewise we must assist each other with constructive criticism. Sayyiduna Umar said: ‘may Allah have mercy on someone who gives me the gift of showing me my faults.’ He asked that Allah have mercy on such a person and likened that person’s act to giving a gift, which is proof to us of the greatness of such an act.

Habib Ali then mentioned three things that we have to work on in regard to the society we live in:

1. We have to work hard to educate people about what Islam is, through whatever means: courses, open days, literature etc. We can use events covered by the media to educate people. Habib Ali himself used the Danish cartoon episode to the advantage of Islam, first by reviving the love of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in the hearts of the Muslim and then by educating the non-Muslims about the reality of the Prophet, which he did, amongst other things, by visiting Denmark and speaking to the people.

2. We have to make a practical contribution to society. One way is to offer Islamic solutions to the problems this society is facing from drugs to depression to teenage pregnancy and so on.

3. We need to look at the ‘parable of the ship,’ mentioned in the hadith. There are two groups of people aboard a ship, one group on the deck and one in the hull. Those in the hull are thirsty and wish to bore through the hull to quench their thirst. However those on the deck prevent them from doing so, knowing that this would cause the ship to sink, in so doing saving themselves and everyone on the ship. We have to recognise that we are all aboard the ship of humanity, whether we are Muslim or not and we have to work together to avoid that ship from sinking. There are individuals and groups from amongst the Muslims and the non-Muslims who, if allowed to do so, will cause the ship to sink. They may do so by actions which they consider to be righteous, and it is down to us to prevent them from doing so.

He finally gave two pieces of advice. One was not to attend talks such as this without a pen and paper to make notes. The second was to stick to reading the formula which expresses the transcendence of Allah: subhan Allahi wa bi hamdihi one hundred times a day, since the one who does so will have all his sins forgiven even if they are as numerous as the foam on the top of the sea, as attested to by the hadith.

At the close he stressed that we leave in a state of tranquillity and reflection upon what has been said.

Notetakers summary: In this talk Habib Ali gave us a lesson in making da’wa. He showed us how the da’i should capitalise on events to put the message across. Instead of blaming anyone for the state of the toilets he used it to encourage engagement and present the teachings of Islam. Likewise, at the time of the Danish cartoon episode he didn’t engage in meaningless protest but used the episode as a platform...