Capturing |Light| Avatar

Posts tagged Islam

9 Notes

Realities of Remembrance

"He who would delight in tasting some of the secrets of the path and having some of its realities unveiled before him, let him be intent on remembering God, the Exalted, with a heart that is present, courtesy that is abundant, attention that is sincere, and concentration that is piercing. Whenever these are combined in a person, to him is revealed the highest Malakūt, his spirit beholds the realities of the World of Utmost Purity, and the eye of his secret witnesses the Highest and Holiest Beauty."

—Imām ‘Abdullah Al-Ḥaddād, “Good Manners.”

6 Notes

The Muslim Chaplaincy at the University of Toronto presents: "On the Verge: What is Islamic Chaplaincy?" which discusses the Prophetic method of pastoral care and the roots of Islamic Chaplaincy within the Prophetic Way.

Embrace. Engage. Empower.

Please support the Muslim Chaplaincy at the University of Toronto: http://mcuoft.com/donate

2 Notes

The Ramaḍān Letter (Part 1)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين حمداً يوافي نعمه ويكافيء مزيده
اللهم صل على سيدنا محمد وآله وصحبه وسلم

Green Dome.jpg


All praise is due to Allāh, and may endless blessings be upon His Beloved Messenger Muḥammad, his Kin, and his Companions.

The Prophet Muḥammad s made the du‘ā’, “O Allāh bless us in Rajab and Sha‘bān, and let us reach Ramaḍān.”  We thank Allāh the Mighty, Majestic, and Exalted for blessing and honoring us to reach this blessed and noble month.

The Companions and the pious predecessors throughout this Ummah’s long and luminous history have always given this month their all. These are some excerpts taken from the book “Kanz Al-Najāḥ wa Al-Surūr” (“The Treasures of Success and Felicity”) as well as from the book by Al-Ḥabīb Muḥammad Al-Haddār, may Allah have mercy on him, titled “Al-Nafaḥāt Al-Ramaḍāniyyah” (“The Spiritual Breezes of Ramaḍān”) that encourages certain beneficial acts to maximize one’s benefit in Ramaḍān. 

Below is a long ḥadīth in which the Prophet s said at the end of Sha‘bān, right before the start of Ramaḍān. It is on the authority of Sayyidunā Salmān Al-Farisī g:

“O people, a great and blessed month has cast its shade over you! A month in which there is a night that is better than one-thousand months! Allāh has made fasting in it obligatory, and rising in prayer [at night] a great act of obedience. Whosoever performs a small act of good in it, it is as if he has performed an obligatory act, and whosoever performs an obligatory act, it like he has performed 70 obligatory acts in any other month. It is the month of patience, and the reward for patience is Paradise. It is the month of consolation. It is a month in which a believer’s provision increases for him. Whosoever feeds someone fasting, that [act] will cause forgiveness from his sins, he will be freed from the Fire, and he will have the same reward as the one who fasted without taking any reward away [from the one who fasted].”

The Companions said, “O Messenger of Allāh, not all of us have enough to feed someone fasting.”

He, peace and mercy of Allāh be upon him, replied, “Allāh gives this reward to someone who gives a fasting person a date, or a drink of water, or even a sip of milk. It is a month which its beginning is mercy, its middle is forgiveness, and its end is salvation from the Fire. And whosoever lightens the load upon his slaves, Allāh will forgive him and save him from the Fire.

“In this month, make excess of 4 things: two of which you please your Lord with; two of which you will always need. The two things with which you will please your Lord are pronouncing the testimony of Lā ilāha illā Allāh and asking Allāh for forgiveness (istighfār). As for the two things of which you will always need to do - they are asking Him for Paradise and seeking refuge in Him from the Fire. And whosoever quenches the thirst of a fasting person, Allāh with quench him [with water] from my basin [on the Day of Judgment] - a drink after which he will never be thirsty.”

Many people incorporate the four recommended acts mentioned by the Beloved, peace and mercy be upon him, into one long dhikr/du‘ā’:

أَشْهَدُ أنْ لا إله إلّا الله، أسْتَغْفِرُ الله، أَسْألُكَ الجنةَ وأعوذُ بِكَ مِنْ النار.

Transliteration:

“Ashhadu an lā ilāha illa Allāh, astaghfirullāh, as’aluka al-Jennata wa ‘aūdhu bika min al-nār.”

Translation: 

“I testify there is no god but Allāh, I seek Allāh’s forgiveness. I ask You for Paradise, and I seek refuge in You from the Fire.”


There are 3 things which the scholars urge during this month:

1. Fasting

As all Muslims know, it is obligatory to fast in the month of Ramaḍān. This means to refrain from the outward, bodily limitations related to fasting such as eating, drinking, etc. In addition, this also means to avoid sins related to the inward. The Prophet Muḥammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Five things break one’s fast (i.e. make it void of the promised reward): lying, backbiting, calumny, falsely swearing (i.e., saying,“wallāhi” and lying), and to look at someone (who is not one’s husband/wife) with passionate desire.”


2. Qiyām Al-Layl (Night Prayer) 

Broadly, this means to give life to the night through different types of good works. One can rise in the night and pray extra prayers, read Qur’ān, attend gatherings in which Allāh is remembered, or attend gatherings in which sacred knowledge is being taught. Whoever prays ‘Ishā’ in congregation and then Fajr in congregation, that person has received a large portion of Qiyām during Ramaḍān, and this is especially important during the last ten nights in order to reap the benefits of Laylat Al-Qadr. The Prophet Muḥammad s said, “Who prays ‘Ishā’ in congregation it is as if he prayed half the night; who [then] prays Fajr in congregation it is as if he prayed the entire night.”


3. Preparing Yourself to be Freed from Hellfire

Whosoever fulfills the preceding two acts of worship and avoids being disobedient to their parents, cutting of ties with their relatives, arguing, and drinking alcohol will be freed from Hellfire. In a ḥadīth, the Angel Gabriel e made a du‘ā’, telling the Prophet to say “Āmīn.” The du‘ā’ was, “Whosoever reaches Ramaḍān and does not [succeed in] having his sins forgiven, may Allāh distance him! Say ‘Āmīn!’” The Prophet, peace and mercy be upon him, then said, “Āmīn.”

Finally: As many of us know, this is the Month of the Qur’ān, so we should all attempt to become intimate with the Book of Allāh - read it, reflect on it, allow the glory and beauty of Allāh’s words to reach your heart. If there is any time to try and connect with the Qur’ān, this is the month. 

Insha’Allāh, another email will be sent out in the following days focusing particularly on the recommended acts and du‘ā’s to perform. May Allāh put tremendous blessing in these days for you all, your families, and the rest of the Muslims. Please remember the whole Ummah in your prayers. Jazākum Allāh khayr. 

والحمد لله رب العالمين

NOTE: In order to be concise, the exact strength of certain ḥadīths have not been mentioned. It is agreed upon by the vast majority of scholars to use weaker ḥadīths to encourage people to do extra acts of worship and goodness.

15 Notes

271 plays

Group Badr : L9lob A3mat - Ecouter et Telecharger music mp3 2011

A beautiful traditional Arabic poem describing the journey and experience of someone setting out on the path of love for God. This rendition is more recent and catchy. For those who speak Arabic, pay attention to the words - they will inspire you!

5 Notes

NOBILITY

The Sharīf Mowlāy Ḥasan of Morocco. He was a student of the great scholar and sage, Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Al-Ḥabīb (may Allah be well pleased with him). He is one of the most luminous, kind, gentle, loving, and awe-inspiring human beings I have had the honor of meeting. May Allah preserve and bless him.

(Copyright Amjad Tarsin 2012)

NOBILITY

The Sharīf Mowlāy Ḥasan of Morocco. He was a student of the great scholar and sage, Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Al-Ḥabīb (may Allah be well pleased with him). He is one of the most luminous, kind, gentle, loving, and awe-inspiring human beings I have had the honor of meeting. May Allah preserve and bless him.

(Copyright Amjad Tarsin 2012)

13 Notes

"Love and Respect" is an intimate dialogue with Bay Area Imam, Yassir Chadly, about the role of culture in Islam. He speaks about the importance of an Imam or religious leader having a firm grasp of the local customs of a place before giving any Fatwas or religious edicts. He explains how love and respect are pillars of the faith and that if left, "the whole house will fall and Islam will fail."

9 Notes

Shaykh Abdul Basit sending peace and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad. Wish this happened more often in mosques. Beautiful!

1 Notes

"Saving Our Children" is a discourse from renowned scholar and academic Dr. Sherman Jackson. Dr. Jackson discusses how if the values of Islam being presented to our children, contribute nothing to what it means to be cool, what it means to be accepted, to be held in high esteem… then Islam will begin to not only lose its meaning, but will become an impediment to the very social lifeblood of what children in a particular environment need.

28 Notes

Shaykh Nuh Keller’s book “Sea Without Shore” which I am currently reading (and thoroughly enjoying). 

A beautiful quote from the book attributed to Abu Sulayman al-Darani, “When souls make up their mind to abandon all sins, they roam freely in the spiritual world and return to their owners with exquisite pieces of wisdom without any scholar having imparted knowledge to them.”

Shaykh Nuh Keller’s book “Sea Without Shore” which I am currently reading (and thoroughly enjoying). 

A beautiful quote from the book attributed to Abu Sulayman al-Darani, “When souls make up their mind to abandon all sins, they roam freely in the spiritual world and return to their owners with exquisite pieces of wisdom without any scholar having imparted knowledge to them.”

223 Notes

Hijab: a Male Perspective

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله رب العالمين

وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم

"There are men among the believers who honored their pledge to God: some of them have fulfilled it by death, and some are still waiting. They have not changed in the least." (Qur’an 33:23)

There is no doubt that, as of late, many Muslim women have decided to remove their head-scarves, despite a consensus among scholars that hijab is required. Oftentimes, when modesty as a virtue is discussed within our communities, the discussion almost always exclusively surrounds the modesty of Muslim women. Personally, I feel that when discussing modesty (both character (inward) as well of clothing (outward)), a greater focus needs to be put on men as contributors to the decline of modesty within the community. Although there are many factors that play into Muslim women’s decisions to remove their head-scarves, that is not part of this particular discussion. It is my belief that many of the causes in the decline of modesty are based mainly upon the lack of modesty amongst Muslim males (and the double standards they tend to enjoy). Through reviving Prophetic chivalry and masculine modesty within themselves, Muslim men can more effectively contribute to sustaining modesty within the Muslim community. 

In a profound noble prophetic narration, the Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) gives us an understanding of communal modesty and chastity which places the greater (but not exclusive) responsibility upon men. He says (peace and blessings be upon him, "Be kind to your parents, and your children will be kind to you; be chaste, and your women will be chaste." [Tabarani - classified as hasan]

The first half of the Prophet’s statement (God bless him and grant him peace) is general, whereas the second half of the narration is directed specifically at men. One way of understanding this prophetic narration is that if Muslim men implement modesty and chastity within themselves, their virtuous character will spread and positively influence women as well. By extension, the opposite is also true: if men lose their sense of chastity, their immorality will negatively influence women within society. If one takes a moment to reflect on the way this plays within society, they will see its truth, especially in today’s world. It suffices to say that the pornographic industry which essentially turns women into sex-slaves is largely run and sustained by males.

The fact of the matter is that we live in a hyper-sexualized world obsessed with appearances, and this presents severe challenges upon the Muslim spiritual psyche. We are bombarded with immodest images (oftentimes against our will) of the human body that affect us consciously and unconsciously, making it an uphill battle to be a chaste and modest human-being. Nevertheless, the definition of a righteous Muslim is one who fights against their lowly desires and purifies their souls from the tarnishes of this world. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and mercy be upon him) said, "Islam began as a stranger and it will return to being a stranger as it once was. Therefore, blessed are the strangers who remain virtuous when everyone else becomes corrupt." [Muslim, Tirmidhi].

Regardless of what we are surrounded by, Muslim men must hold themselves to a higher standard of morality and virtue. Once Muslim men take their piety, education, and character seriously, our noble female counterparts will recognize and appreciate that within us. We must abolish the double standard that exists in our communities - not by lowering the standard of feminine modesty, but rather by demanding Muslim men live up to standards of modesty already given to us by God and His Messenger. When Muslim males gawk at half-naked women (whether in public, on television, or on the internet), act and speak lewdly, and show a greater appreciation for immoral women, then what kind of message does that send to Muslim women who attempt to maintain their dignity inwardly and outwardly? Oftentimes, when Muslim women see so many Muslim males acting this way, they lose hope in finding a righteous husband and sometimes ask themselves why they even bother to wear the head-scarf. If Muslim men held themselves to a higher standard, acted like gentlemen, and appreciated the greater qualities within women such as mercy, trustworthiness, loyalty, and modesty - then Muslim women would feel more appreciated for their struggle to be modest, or at the very least feel that Muslim men can relate.

Being a male does not make you a man. A man is made through uprightness, dependability, and virtuous character. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and mercy of God be upon him) was the greatest human being and the greatest man to ever walk this earth, and one of his most outstanding virtues was his intense modesty. He is our standard; he is our master; he is our model - may God bless him and grant him peace! We have to hold ourselves to higher standards and not unjustly place the entire burden of communal modesty upon our sisters’ shoulders. When men step up and take greater responsibility in their own modesty, it will show our care for and solidarity with our Muslim sisters, and create a sense of cooperation between the believing men and women. When Muslim men show greater appreciation towards the struggles of Muslim women by being upright men, it will make our sisters feel truly appreciated and create a sustainable moral environment within our communities.

As the great poet, Amir Sulaiman once said, “When a man is truly a man, it makes a woman comfortable to truly be a woman.” 

And success is from God.

18 Notes

Yearning

It is said that Yahya ibn Mu’adh wrote to Abu Yazid al-Bistami:

"Here is the one who drunk from the cup of love and will never feel thirst again."

Abu Yazid responded to him:

"I am surprised at the weakness of your spiritual state! Here’s a man who has gulped down all the seas of existence, yet his mouth is agape, wanting more."

- Imam al Qushayri’s "Risalah"

18 Notes

Bliss!

15 Notes

Warrior Saints

 Umar al-Mukhtar

Emir Abdul-Qadir al-Jaza’iri

God bless the warrior saints

Whose souls the devil cannot taint

Those who defend Muhammad’s way

And glorify God night and day

11 Notes

"Believers, respond to God and His Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. Know that God comes between a person and their heart, and that you will be gathered to Him." (Qur’an 8:24).

"Believers, respond to God and His Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. Know that God comes between a person and their heart, and that you will be gathered to Him." (Qur’an 8:24).

14 Notes

Aid us in the light of this Muhammad’s way,
And make its glorious end as bright as its first day

The Prayer of the Oppressed (Du’a an-Nasiri)

Translated by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Likes