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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Do we know how to live in the West?

Do we know how to live in the UK?

We were talking to a friend the other day who was shocked at local events which lead to many problems. There seem to be real deep seated social problems with second generation immigrants. Then he said something that I could not disagree with. He claimed that the second generation and third generation did not know how to live in the UK. He had a good point. Is this our problem? Do we not know how to live into this land in which we have been born? There seemed to be more questions and not answers that would occur to me after hearing what he said.

Many immigrant communities come to the UK with the promise of a better life. They escaped the poverty that they were born into, of their countries. As we know the Maliki School of law does not allow someone to live in an area were Islam is not practiced over one where Islam is not. Yet we came over in significant numbers to work as cheap labour and then we were disguarded when situations changed.

So for the first time in Islamic history we have many Muslims who have left their countries and sought to achieve other goals outside their homelands. Not just in small numbers, like in previous centuries, but in large and significant numbers. The other only other historical example that we can think of are those Muslims who remained in Spain after the last caliphate ended in 1492. They remained there in large numbers but suffered for their beliefs as the Christians sought to ‘cleanse’ Spanish soil of Islam. The bitter fruits of this were mass murder and eventually expulsion of all the Muslims by 1610.

We now live in a secular society which does not hold any religion superior but the roots of Christianity can be clearly visible in every town and city. There could be a valid argument that could claim that if the UK was a Christian country then it would not allow other races of other religions to live in such large numbers on its land.

Although at the same time we do benefit greatly, living in the UK, from the places and the communities we live in. Sometimes I feel that this is taken from granted. Local governments do a great deal to assist their minorities. Sometimes they fail but they do a lot.

Going back to the question; do we really know to live in the UK? As children growing up we really need to understand our environment, this is something that we really lack. We give our children two almost polar opposite environments to live in, side by side. The first is our home environment which can be harsh and doctorial; the second is our work or education environment which seems to have the attitude that anything goes! So how can we understand this? How can we live with these contradicting environments?

The way our minds work is that we incline to ease and thus so many Muslims incline to the world. Then we incline to what others are doing and this is about following the machinations of the self. Now we are on the downward spiral to ruin.

If we look at many Asian youngsters they seem bereft of any manners at all. This thought alone should scare everyone half to death! How can we as Muslims not know good manners? Is this down the fact many of our houses have parents who do not understand the world and thus their children do not? We know that we have to make lots of money but are we taught how or does that not concern us?

We bring our children up as we were brought up but hang on a moment; we are not in the same environment or country. So many we should do some things differently.

The solution

The education of children is something that we have to take great care in and we cannot leave our children to the public education system. What a parent can do at home with a child is more than what a teacher can do given the same amount of time. The second generation parents must take their roles seriously and set examples of ways in which they educate and support their children.

The parents have to know exactly where the child’s weaknesses are and try to develop them but at the same time the children should be allowed to play because they develop whilst playing as well.

This type of mob mentality really needs to be erased is it not needed and not welcome. Drugs and alcohol are things that should never be part of any Muslim community and these need to be erased from our areas.

We really need to look at the role that Masjid committees play in our societies. They should be at the forefront of the good work that comes out of our communities. Rather than the forefront of local petty politics, rivalry and family politics which is what are great deal of them are.

People should be honest and step down and allow people who are willing to work and build a better future for their children through correctly applying Islamic teachings. How many a masjid fails to do this?

We need to give children the balance of religious and non-religious teachings because they will need both to succeed. A good level of English is needed as well as understanding the language of their ancestors. Many first generation parents totally neglected the religious education of their children which caused the children problems later on in life; there needs to be a balance. We need to guide our children through the jungle of this world.

Their free time should not be filled with games consoles or endlessly watching television because children with too much visual stimulus are unable to concentrate for long. As the games have already done their damage. We need to know that education is the sound grounding of all children and then we must encourage them to follow a profession; a profession that is not illegal or harmful to people. We must encourage honesty and truthfulness in our children.

Parents have a massive role to play to solve these problems. I have seen some parents do wonderful things with their children but this needs effort and time, on behalf of the parent.

As for those who are older then we have to try to support them and assist them securing honest professions for their future. Even if they do not follow our career choice for them.

We as a community must learn from the mistakes of our past and move forward. We have to learn to live in the West because were else would we able to live?

See other posts about the rights that Muslims have over each other

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf

Families and Individuals parts one to five

Sheikh Atabek Shukurov


If you have to pay Zakah then you have to arrange for a sacrifice.

Everyone is responsible for themselves (to sort their own out)

A person should not be a traveller during the days of 10, 11 and 12 of Dhullhijjah.

You have to meet all the conditions before sunset the 12 (so if you are travelling and return before sunset 12 then a person has to do the sacrifice)

The sacrifice must be done after the eid prayer and if done before then he has to be repeated

You can pay for Qurbani in another country but they have to apply conditions in their area.

The sheep has to be one year old (it can be 6 months if it's large)

The cow has to be two years old

The flesh has to be free from defect (any branding is ok)

It is Sunna to split the meat into three:
1) For hospitality, 2) The poor and 3) For yourself.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Reflections on the events of Ta'if


We were reflecting on the events of Ta'if; the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went to the leaders of the city to call them to Islam. The leaders rejected him and commanded the people to stone him. He was chased out of Ta'if to a garden; in which he found shelter from the people.

Sheikh Atabek informed us that the distance between Ta’if and the garden was three miles. The average runner takes between 8-12 minutes to run a mile. So to run three miles it could have taken anywhere from 24 to 36 minutes to cross.

We know, from hadith, that he fell and was picked up by these people who threw him out of their city. Anyone who knows the sport of boxing, a round of boxing is three minutes, three minutes which can break or make a boxer, three minutes is a long time in the ring. If we say that it was 3 minutes than that’s twelve rounds with a break; which is 24 minutes. No boxing association would ever allow a fight to last that long without breaks inbetween rounds.

It would take the average person twenty minutes to walk a mile, at a pace of three miles an hour. So to walk three miles it would've taken one hour. One hour of people throwing stones, shoes, throwing punches, kicks at you, could you take it?

Also, we know that he did not run all the way and his blessed blood reached his feet; due to the intenseness of the wounds and the bleeding. Zayd ibn Harith (may Allah be pleased with him) was there and tired to shield him as best as he could but he could not prevent this.

Of course these are estimates we could never know the true extent of the wounds and the distance that they chased him over. Of course we know that the angel Gabriel came with the angel of the mountains who wanted his say so to destroy the village. He refused, he actually prayed for their guidance, they stoned him and he did not return their evil. They had beaten someone calling to Allah, which is the worst evil you can do, and returned it with good. This is one of greatest attributes of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that he never returned evil with evil, he returned it with good. A fire is never put out with fire; it is put out by water.

What would you do in the same situation? He prayed for their offspring, from something evil, good came; many scholars would come from Ta’if but look at what he did. He had mercy on polytheists, think about it, people who are in the depths of ignorance, who have their hands red from stoning a Prophet, he does not curse them, they are not destroyed rather they are prayed for. This is the supplication the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) made:

اللهم إني أشكوإليك ضعف قوتي وقلة حيلتي وهواني على الناس يا أرحم الرحمين أنت رب المستضعفين وأنت ربي إلى من تكلني؟ إلى بعيد يتجهمني أم إلى عدو مكلته إمري إن لم يكن بك غضب علي فلا أبالي ولكن عافيتك هي أوسع لي أعوذ بنور وجهك الذي أضاءت له السموات و الأرض وأشرقت له الظلمات وصلح عليه أمر الدنيا والأخرة من أن ينزل بي غضبك أو يحل علي سخطك لك العتبى حتى ترضى ولاحول ولاقوة إلابك
O’ Allah, I complain to you of my insufficient strength; my deficiency of stratagem; my debasement before people; O’ most merciful of the merciful; you are the Lord of the subjugated and you are my Lord; there is no deity except you; to whom have you left me? To a stranger who attacks me? Or to an enemy who refrains this affair? If you are not angry with me then I am not concerned; although your well being upon me is vast. I seek refuge in the light of your countenance which lightens the heavens and the earth and illuminates the darkness; by it the affairs of the world and afterlife are correct; lest your anger befall me or your cause your wrath to return until pleased; there is no might or power except by you.”

Sources: Tabaqat ibn Saad 1/196 from p. 103 Fiqh us-Sira by Shiekh Ramadan Al-Bouti and Nur Al-Yaqin p.72

He desired good for them not just good but guidance. How many non Muslims do we know who have stoned our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)?

Can we not wish good for all of them?

Why don’t we pray for them?

Instead we treat them with contempt and even worse we abuse them. How can we claim to follow him? The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) spent his life calling people to Islam; if we have spent even a moment? He called people who harmed him could we call people to Islam who have harmed us? Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not go through hardship so we could make ourselves a tribulation for those who do not believe. Please ponder over the points of this lesson...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Asian culture stuff?

A few years ago I was standing in front of an Islamic stall, outside a masjid, before me were books, perfume, posters and all manner of religious material. We have a specific interest in books and that is where I was. The owner had some books about Sira (the life story of the Prophet (May Allah send him peace and blessings)). These books had caught my eye at the time.

Then I saw two non Muslim Englishmen who were passing by at the time. One asked the other about the contents of the stall. He replied, “It's Asian culture stuff.” In a manner that suggesting that he was brushing off the question.

They passed by and I looked again at the contents of the stall, bemused. As it was religiously related, the posters contained calligraphy, the perfumes smelt fresh; to me it was all Islamic and had little to do with ‘Asian culture.’

Maybe he meant that the Muslims were all from the Indo-Pak culture; I was not sure. It was at a time that a far right party had penetrated local councils unlike ever before and maybe they were influenced by them. Or maybe that this was their limit or experience of the religion.

After some reflection I realised what they meant; he meant that our religion was our culture. He meant that the culture had a place in our lives that our religion did not. Not all Asians are Muslim some are Christians, Hindus and other traditions so his statement was false. Islam is not specifically allocated to one particular group it is for people of all races and all religions. Islam is not anyone’s property anyone can come and take their share of the religion without diminishing anyone else’s reward. Anyone claiming that it is theirs or just for their race or nationality has claimed something which they have no right to claim. This is a very dangerous game so don’t play it.

The problem with seeing Islam as a culture is that we leave that which is difficult and do whatever is easy. Islam is our religion and it transcends all negative practices of any people. At the same time positive practices of a people do have a place in Islam, as long as it does not contradict the religion.

We should try to distance ourselves from displaying a type of Islam that is only for one set of people. Our Masjids should be open for people to come and ask questions but what we find in many communities is that the masjid is for one set of people and one only. No people of different Muslim groups intermingle and these groups remain strangers. Each Nationality sticking to its own people which is really sad.

We have much work to do in order to really explain Islam to our own communities; they need this now more than ever. What I mean is people who are Muslim and those who are not because they all need help, we all need some sort of help. Who will stand now and really try to explain our religion correctly to the people we live around? If we did this correctly then when people would go past they would say, “That is Islamic stuff.”

Adherence to our culture will not allow us to enter paradise only adherence to religion will allow us to do that. So make your choice.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Habib Umar ibn Hafiz

Part Seven of Seven

Seventh Session

The outward should not conflict the inward

The shariah should be followed; these are Allahs rulings

Applying the rulings of the scared law whilst spiritual journeying

They ascribe their good deeds to Allah

When they travel this way Allah bring them out of the darkness into the light

Ask Allah for success, pardon, pleasure and to be with the righteous

He witnesses that every blessing is from Allah

Allah created us and what we do

Our ability and deeds are created, however we are responsible for the action

A person will be asked about they are responsible for

Final session and Question and Answers

There is a summary of the shariah, the reality and spiritual journeying

Pharaoh, Harrun had great armies and empires but were oppressors; then final outcome was in favour of Musa (upon him peace)

They are in a persistent punishment now and will arrive at a greater punishment

The fire is presented to them in the morning and evening

Musa, Haroon and their followers are show bliss in the morning and evening

Our master Hassan ibn Ali cried near death; our master Hussain said, “Did not Ali, your mother Fatima and your grandfather the Messenger of Allah all die?” he replied, “I swear by Allah that I am not crying for sadness of death or for leaving the world but I fear that I will die and I will not travel as they travelled.”

This is the fear of someone truthful


We have ability to acquire deeds and we are responsible for that

When someone does something they are held in responsibility for their action

If someone sees a dream it has to be in the sacred law if it is not then the problem is with the person who saw it

Deem all obstacles as major

Directly yourself to Allah and have glad tidings

Do not seek to be protected from sin because that’s is for the Prophets (upon them peace)

If you make a mistake repent and return

Please see other parts

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Habib Umar ibn Hafiz

Part Six of Seven

Sixth Session

Like the prayer needs to be directed to the Qibla likewise the prayer of the heart needs to be directed to the chosen one (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

This is uncovering of; if you follow me Allah will love you

Fear Allah and Allah will teach you

Allah mentions that we gave taught him knowledge about Khidr (Sura Al-Kaf)

This is a vast sphere

We ask Allah to gaze into hearts; and make this an opening for our hearts

Sura Takatur talks about different states of certainty, eye of certainty, knowledge of certainty and true certainty.

Entering paradise is the true certainty

Knowledge of certainty was that they heard about the gathering, eye of certainty is someone who saw us learning and the true certainty is when someone sits with us

There is a reality to every saying

The slave is given their wage upon completion and it remains to conclude the book

Please see other parts

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Habib Umar ibn Hafiz

Part Five of Seven

Fifth session

Much of the state of the Muslims is due to the lack of recitation of Quran and Hadith

The generality of Muslims neglect the blessing of the Quran

If our hearts were pure we would be satiated by this speech

If you mention a pure soul there is a subtle connection that opens up between you and them
The pure soul is the soul of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

How many people sent invocations to him, all the time? In the Earth and in the Heaven; As it is stated in hadith that Allah will return his soul back to his body so he can return the greeting/invocation; he is also praying; how pure is this soul?

Persist on reading the Quran, invocations and wirds (continuous ritual acts)

When you mention the pious, you are mentioned with them

It was said, “Mercy descends by the mention of the righteous.”

One of the companions used to say that they did not find the same state of heart when they with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when they were away

Who are the awilya of Allah/Men of Allah those who when mentioned, Allah is remembered

During some battles they would call those who had seen the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then they seek victory through them

Please see other parts

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven