Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Blueprints: Building a Society on Prophetic Guidance

Thawr Institute Presents:

Blueprints: Building a Society on Prophetic Guidance

Friday, January 15th:

Jumu’ah at Old Redmond Schoolhouse - Imam Abdullah Madyun
I’tikaf Program for Brothers Starting at 7:30 pm

Saturday, January 16th:
Lectures 10 am - 10 pm

All events at Islamic Center of Redmond
18080 NE 68th St, Bldg. D
Redmond, WA 98052

All lectures will be in English
Brothers & Sisters welcome
Entry is Free

Guest Speakers:

Shaykh Junaid was born in South Africa in 1975. He memorized the Holy Qur’an at age of 15. His higher studies began at the Madrasah ‘Arabiyyah Islamiyyah in Azaadville, South Africa where he immersed himself in the study of Arabic, fiqh, hadith, the Qur’an, and related sciences. Soon after graduating in 1996, he began teaching hadith and tafsir at Islahul Muslimeen a seminary in Durban. Shaykh Junaid has long been involved in the work of da’wah and has served as a social worker and leader for a number of communities. He is currently Imam at Masjid Jamat Islam in Inglewood, California. He is also the founder of the Riyadhul Uloom Institute in Torrance, CA.


A Chicago native, Imam Abdullah Yusuf Madyun pursued the Higher Islamic Sciences and Arabic studies at Madinah University. He also spent time in the UAE advancing his Islamic education and living with scholars of varying cultural and educational traditions during his time there. Imam Abdullah is active in delivering lectures at universities throughout the US, da’wah programs, and Social Service activities throughout the Chicago area. Previously, he served as imam at Masjid al-Amin in Gary, Indiana for over five years and was the first ever Muslim chaplain in the state of Indiana. He is
currently serving his fourth year as imam of Masjid al-Ihsan.


Shaykh Ahmed completed his memorization of the Qu’ran and higher Islamic studies at Darul-Uloom Bury, England, graduating in 1993. After graduation, he accepted the posi-tion of imam at the Islamic Center of Elizabethtown in Kentucky until 2004. Currently, he is the imam of the Islamic Center of Conejo Valley in Thousand Oaks, CA.

Local Scholars include:

Shaykh Hamzah bin Maqbul
Shaykh Fadhl Hasan

For more information:
(425) 248 0560

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Heart of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him

The love of the messenger of Allah is a ticket to be with him on the day of judgment as is corroborated by a number of sahih narrations...

Have we ever thought of what effect our seemingly insignificant actions have on his living heart, sallallahu'alayhi wa sallam?
(taken from, slightly edited)

You opened my eyes!

By Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf 'Ali Thanawi
Translated by Shaykh Yusuf Laher

There was once a poet of liberal mind and thought. Some people’s hearts are sensitive, and he was one of them. Thus, his poetry was heart-rending and passionate. A person in Iran read his Persian poetry and thought that the poet must be a very pious person. So he traveled all the way from Iran to meet the poet.

When he reached the place where the poet lived, he sees that the poet is seated by the barber having his face shaven. The traveller became annoyed (because he thought the poet to be pious and now sees him shaving his beard and flouting the Sunnah). The traveller says to him [in Persian]: “My master! You are having your face shaved!” The poet answers: “Yes, I am having my face shaved, but I do not shave (hurt) the heart of anyone.” (It is a major sin to hurt the feelings of another.) The traveller spontaneously answered: “Yes! You are shaving the heart of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)!”

By this he meant that when the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) will be informed that a certain person is flouting the Sunnah, then he will be greatly distressed.

On hearing this, the poet’s eyes opened. His whole attitude and body language was saying:

“May Allah reward you, jazak-Allahu khayran for opening my eyes. Up till now I was blind. Today I have come to realize that I was causing hurt to the heart of Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)”

Taken from “Stories and Anecdotes Related by Mawlana Thanawi”, a compilation of stories and anecdotes related by Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi (may Allah have mercy on him) in his lectures, majalis, etc. Extracted and compiled by Mawlana Qari Abu ‘l-Hasan A’azimi.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mawlana Ilyas Rahimahullah and Tabligh

Many people have benefited from the work of the Tablighi Jamat. Through it, Allah has given many a slave a chance to change their life for the better, learn to pray, fast, stay clean, and be tied to the sunnahs of our Nabi, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

For those like myself, who may have had some mixed or even downright negative experience with some individuals connected with this work. There are definitely some things that can use improvement and no group is without its problems, for sure.

All that being said, I thought that this post would be a beautiful look at the pure origin of the work of Tabligh, and the purity of its founder, Mawlana Ilyas, may Allah have mercy upon him. I haven't come across any reasonable person who could look at the life and sincerity of this person and not be lost in the fragrance of his wilayah, may Allah accept it from him and us.

So whether or not you want to join this work, or no matter how much a self-styled Ameer Sahib annoys you; however shameless the dervish-like tablighi insolently and ignorantly basks in his made up maqam of fana fit-tabligh, know that the work is noble, its origin is pure, its nisbat is high, and its barakat are profuse.

For those who are actively engaged in this work, I would encourage you to read this post and ponder over some of the disparities between the work as portrayed in it, versus what actually ends up happening, and maybe discuss it with some of the `ulama'. See the spirituality and spiritual connection with the messenger of Allah, sallallahualayhi wa sallam, the `ulama', the madrasah and the khanqah.

May Allah not withhold from us any of the khayr He divides up amongst his servants.

article taken from
lightly edited and emphasis added by humza

Hazrat Maulana Ilyas (ra), Tablighi Jama'ah, and the 'Ulama

Maulana Muhammad Aslam Shaikhupuri (db)

It was an ache that it distressed him all the time; he couldn't eat, he couldn't sleep. was a worry that had engulfed all other worries; it was a topic, the explanation and elucidation of which took up all energies of his tongue and pen to the extent that writing on any other subject was a trial for him. He had written to Shaykh al-Hadith Maulana Zakariyya (ra), "My heartfelt desire is that at least my brain, thought, time, and energy should be limited to nothing but this work." He used to say, "How can any other occupation be lawful for me when I see that the soul of Rasulullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is distressed (because of the weakness of the Muslims' faith and the supremacy of kufr)?" One day an attendant complained that he saw a lack of attention and affection in his behavior as previously compared. He replied, "I am very busy; I feel that Rasulullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is in distress; I cannot pay attention to anything else."

He did not attend gatherings where there was little chance of putting forward his message; he disliked going for the sake of an obligation only. He used to say, "If you go to a place, go with your message and put it forward, keep your invitation above anything."

Once in Delhi, he had to perforce attend a wedding ceremony of an acquaintance. He addressed the gathering at the wedding thus, "Today is the happiest of days for you when even the lowliest is pleased; it is not done to displease even the sweeping woman………tell me! Do you have any concern of pleasing Rasulullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam)?" then he explained that the endeavor to revive the Deen brought by Rasulullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) was the greatest way to please him (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam).

This fine references are of the founder of the Tablighi Jamat, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas (Nawwarallahu Marqadahu), who adored calling to the Faith to such extent that all other pleasures and opinions were dimmed before them; this spiritual pleasure had become sensory and natural for him.

Once, Maulana had defined Ishq (adoration) as such: "The pleasures and interests of man that are divided between so many things come out and converge at one point. This is Ishq." This definition was personified in the Maulana himself. He used to sob and cry on the departure of the Ummah from its Deen. Sometimes he used to writhe in pain, sigh, sob, and complain, "O Allah! What else should I do? I am not doing enough." Sometimes he used to turn agonizingly on his bed, then get up and pace the room. One night his wife at last asked him, "What is the matter? Can you not sleep?" he answered, "What can I tell you? If you get to know what I do then the waking ones will become two."

The result of this heart ache and dedication to his aim was that in just a few years, the ache that had bothered one breast caught fire in hundreds. The Mewatis who had become half Hindu despite being called Muslims, who celebrated many of the Hindu festivals, whose villages rarely had a mosque in them, who even used to kill their newborns; suddenly, little beacons of light sprung up in the same Mewati dwellings. Mosques were built, religious schools and Madaris mushroomed, the number of Huffaz exceeded hundreds, and there was a good number of qualified 'Ulama. The birth of the love of Iman extinguished kufr. The customs and traditions that had come to be a way of life for them began to be eradicated. An experienced Mewati explained this in a very clear manner when he was asked what was happening in his area. He said, "I don't know anything else; what I do know is some things for which we used to strive and they did not happen, are happening on their own; some things which we tried to stop with battles and great endeavor and did not stop, are being stopped on their own."

Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyas (ra) had a keen concern that if the 'Ulama did not overlook the preaching and this task was left to the common man alone, it would develop alot of flaws. His wish was for the educated 'Ulama to take an interest in this task and use their God-gifted talents for the propagation of this work. Because most of his life Maulana had been associated with learning, he knew intimately the pursuits of the Madaris, its teachers, and students. He wanted them to join hands with this work of calling to God but he also wanted a way out that would help those of the Madaris in their learning, yet not interfere with it. He writes, "Deen can progress and develop according to the progress and development of learning, and under the progress and development of learning. It would be the greatest of losses if my movement caused any set back to learning. I do not mean by Tabligh to prevent or hurt progress towards learning…"

He used to council the groups going in the way of Allah for Tabligh to sit and learn from the gatherings of elders with the intention of improving oneself, and never to mention their own work in their presence. If the elders asked anything of their own accord, well and good; otherwise they were to keep silent. He wrote to Shaykh al-Hadith Maulana Zakariyya (ra), "I have an old wish, that these groups benefit from the khanqahs, keeping to all the manners of khanqahs, and that the missionary work be done in particular timings in surrounding villages. (Please) make a plan concerning this after council with the coming groups. This humble person is also overwhelmed with the wish to attend with some companions; I am also thinking of Deoband and Thana Bhawan."

Hakim al-Ummah, Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali at-Thanwi (ra) was of the opinion that when 'Ulama educated for eight to ten years failed to solve some matters when on mission work, what would the ignorant Mewatis do without any formal education and training? His cautious and farsighted nature was unsatisfied and he feared some harm would come out of it. But when he received continuous news that the groups were working under supervision of the 'Ulama and getting guidance from them, and that they did not mention anything for which they were not allowed, he became satisfied.

The founder of the Jama'ah always tried to link the workers of Tabligh to the 'Ulama. He used to stress the importance of 'Ulama, the need to benefit from them, the rewards of meeting them, and used to teach the manners of talking to them. He used to educate the workers to take the best possible explanation of things they did not understand and keep their faith in the scholars. The results of this effort became apparent when those big businessmen who were against the 'Ulama started attending their gatherings with respect and reverence and invited them for discourses to their congregations. They did not have the condition that only those 'Ulama would give talks who had spent time in the Jamat; all authentic and righteous 'Ulama were invited.

The connection of Shaykh al-Islam Maulana Husain Ahmad al-Madani (ra) with politics was no secret, but he often gave discourses in gatherings although he had not spent any formal time in the Jamat. Shaykh Maulana Abul Hasan Ali an-Nadwi (ra), who was the heart and soul of Nadwat al-Ulama - and who was aware of the barrier between the Nadwa and the rest of the Madaris because of its special ambiance and isolation of some of its founders - his dealing with the founder of the Jamat was totally different. Hazrat Maulana Ilyas (ra) respected and loved all 'Ulama and so he did Maulana Abul Hasan Ali an-Nadwi (ra), and gave importance to his advice.

One day Maulana Abul Hasan Ali an-Nadwi (ra) said that although the Nadwa had always extended an affectionate hand towards the people of Deen, they had seldom had a positive response. "Thank God that he, Maulana Ilyas (ra), had been loving towards them." Tears ran down Maulana's face and he said, "What are you saying? Your Jamat is that of Deen; I am not in favour of leaving out even the people from Aligarh [i.e. the Muslims of secular education]."

Besides Maulana Abul Hasan Ali an-Nadwi (ra), Hazrat Maulana Manzoor Ahmad Nu'mani (ra) was also among Maulana's close associates. Hazrat Maulana Abdul Qadir Raipuri (ra) was also a frequent visitor [great shaykhs of knowledge and tasawwuf].

Not even a blind person can deny the fruit born by it; the whole world seems in a stir by its blessing, millions of people have been reformed by joining it; but despite all this, there is a need for guidance from the 'Ulama at each step. God forbid, if a rift is created between the Jamtat and the 'Ulama, and the 'Ulama are made to follow the Jamat instead of the other way round, it will have grave results for the religious circles.

Original article is entitled Tablighi Jamat and the Ulama.
Courtesy of

Friday, December 04, 2009

The Grace of Tawbah

I just read this article through today's CAIR news roundup. It is absolutely incredible. Unbelievable. I have to admit, that when I read the original story, I balked.

To read that he seems to have made good on both his tawbah is nothing less than yet another miracle of our Nabi, sallallahu'alayhi wa sallam, and a shining manifestation of the divine mercy.

It just goes to show that:

a- You don't know what is truly in someone's heart.

b- The grace of Allah is such that if He hits someone with it, there is no holding it back. Allahu Akbar!

It reminds me in some way of the tawbah of Fudhayl bin Iyyadh, although, admittedly he made tawbah while robbing someone without having to be put at gunpoint. Nevertheless, may Allah give our friend a deen like that of that (and give our convenience store owner his share too).


Robber Thanks Would-Be Victim For Saving His Life

A deli owner gives a $40 and a loaf of bread to a man who attempted to rob him.

Updated 1:30 PM EST, Thu, Dec 3, 2009


NBC New York

What can $40 and a loaf of bread do for a man?

Apparently it can turn a crook’s life around and help him get on track.

An ex-thug sent a thank-you note and a $50 bill to the Long Island deli owner who spared his life and saved him from a life of crime.

Back in May, the letter-writer attempted to rob the deli when the owner, Mohammed Sohail, 47, pulled out a rifle. But after the ex-crook pleaded for his life, explaining he was only doing this because his family was down on luck. Sohail spared the thief's life and gave him $40 and a loaf of bread.

"When you do good things for somebody, it comes back to you. I gave him $40 and he sent me back $50. It was a good investment," Sohail said, laughing.

The anonymous writer apologized to Sohail, his intended target. "First of all I would like to say I am sorry at the time I had [no] money no food on the table no job and nothing for my family," the ex-crook wrote.

The letter went on to say he "was wrong but I had [no] choice. I needed to feed my family," comments similar to those he made during the attempted robbery.

"When you had that gun to my head I was 100% that I was going to die," he wrote.

"Now I have a new child and good job make good money staying out of trouble and taking care of my family. You gave me forty dollars thank you for sparing my life. Because of that you change my life."

The letter-writer wrote that he initially said he would convert to Islam only because he feared for his life, but he has since followed through, according to the letter.

The Islam convert signed the letter: “Your Muslim Brother.”

"That's the same guy I gave $40 to," Sohail told the New York Post. He showcased the letter at his Shirley Express deli yesterday. The typewritten letter had no return address and was mailed on Long Island the week before Thanksgiving.

"I'm really thrilled," said Sohail. "I'm very happy for that guy, because he is now doing good for the community He has a job and he is a good person. I really feel great. Thank God he's doing good. He's got a new baby and he's not in jail."

Suffolk County police turned down the Post’s requests for comment until they have reviewed the letter. Detectives investigating the attempted robbery in were unable to track down the suspect after reviewing surveillance camera footage.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Sultan Alamgir and the Mimic

Alamgir and the Mimic

[taken from]

By Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf 'Ali Thanawi
Translated by Shaykh Yusuf Laher

When Alamgir (may Allah have mercy on him)1 became king, a function was held in which important people in the kingdom were granted gifts. A mimic also came to ask for something2. Due to Alamgir being an ‘Alim [and thus having knowledge of the laws of Shari'ah], there was no fund from which he could grant the mimic a gift. On the other hand, it was against royal etiquette to deny the mimic a gift, so he tried to evade him in a subtle way.

He said to the mimic: “A gift is presented on an achievement. Your achievement will be to present yourself in such a disguise that you are not recognised.” Thus the mimic kept on changing disguises and presenting himself, but the king never failed to recognise him. He told him that “The day you fool me, you will be worthy of receiving a reward.”

Incidentally, the king had to travel to Decca. The mimic lengthened his beard, adopted the appearance of the pious and went to stay in a village along the way [to Decca]. In a short time he became famous [as a pious person].

Alamgir’s practice was that wherever he travelled, he would make it a point to meet the pious en-route. When he reached this village, he heard of ‘the pious person’ residing here, and sent his minister to ask the pious person a few questions on Tasawwuf. The mimic gave all sensible answers to the questions. In those times the mimics would intentionally acquire every science (to assist them in their mimicry).

When the minister returned, he was full of praises for the mimic. The king now went himself to meet the mimic. They had a lengthy discussion and the king concluded that ‘Shah Sahib’ is a perfect saint. As he departed, the king presented one thousand ashrafis (gold coins) as a gift to the mimic. The mimic rejected the gift saying: “you consider me to be like yourself, a dog of this world!” This reaction increased the faith of Alamgir in this ‘pious person’.

[Mawlana Thanwi says]: undoubtedly, independence is a remarkable quality. Thereafter Alamgir returned to his entourage. Meanwhile, the mimic follows him and says: “Give my reward, may Allah protect you.” The king exclaims: Oh, it is you! Alamgir now presents him with a meagre reward and says to him: “Why did you not accept the gift I first presented which was much more than what I have now given you and I would never have demanded it back?” [He would not have demanded it back after coming to know that he is actually the mimic.] He answered: “Sir, if I had accepted that gift, the mimicry would not have been correct, because it was the mimicry of the dervishes. To accept it was contrary to the status of a dervish!”
Taken from “Stories and Anecdotes Related by Mawlana Thanawi”, a compilation of stories and anecdotes related by Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi (may Allah have mercy on him) in his lectures, majalis, etc. Extracted and compiled by Mawlana Qari Abu ‘l-Hasan A’azimi.

1. Alamgir was a learned and pious king from the Mogul rulers of India. ↩
2. A mimic would disguise himself and if the person he presented himself to did not recognise him, he would be entitled to receive a gift in lieu of the successful disguise. If the person saw through the disguise, he (the mimic) would not receive anything. ↩

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Laughing At US and Not With US

I just read a BBC World News Headline entitled "Obama Orders Afghan Troop Surge."

Firstly, our pseudo-Muslim President sure does seem to be doing a slow job ending wars...

But more ironically, I cannot help but visualize people in such diverse places as Russia and Vietnam falling off their seats with laughter.

Barack, my man, you should watch the movie The Princess Bride (unless you actually are a Muslim, in which case, watching movies is HARAM), and specifically the part where it is so wisely mentioned that the most well known of the classic blunders is to oppose the maxim, "Never start a land war in Asia..."

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Hmm... Democracy and freedom of religion...? This looks more like hypocrisy. Its funny how these people first invent and bring to life a screwed-up image of Islam themselves, then let it scare the snot out of them, then use the fact that they are scared snot-less as an excuse to act just as stupid as the screwed-up rendition of that which they fear themselves.

A state that allows the building of certain religions' places of worship to the exclusion of others... That sounds an awful lot like theocracy without the Theo...

Swiss voters back ban on minarets
One of four minarets in Switzerland
There are only four minarets in Switzerland

Swiss voters have supported a referendum proposal to ban the building of minarets, official results show.

More than 57% of voters and 22 out of 26 cantons - or provinces - voted in favour of the ban.

The proposal had been put forward by the Swiss People's Party, (SVP), the largest party in parliament, which says minarets are a sign of Islamisation.

The government opposed the ban, saying it would harm Switzerland's image, particularly in the Muslim world.

The BBC's Imogen Foulkes, in Bern, says the surprise result is very bad news for the Swiss government which also fears unrest among the Muslim community.

Our correspondent says voters worried about rising immigration - and with it the rise of Islam - have ignored the government's advice.

"The Federal Council (government) respects this decision. Consequently the construction of new minarets in Switzerland is no longer permitted," said the government in a statement, quoted by the AFP news agency.

This will cause major problems because during this campaign in the last two weeks different mosques were attacked, which we never experienced in 40 years in Switzerland
Tamir Hadjipolu
Zurich's Association of Muslim Organisations

Minaret vote: Your views

Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said the result reflected fear of Islamic fundamentalism.

"These concerns have to be taken seriously. However, the Federal Council takes the view that a ban on the construction of new minarets is not a feasible means of countering extremist tendencies," she said.

She sought to reassure Swiss Muslims, saying the decision was "not a rejection of the Muslim community, religion or culture".

Switzerland is home to some 400,000 Muslims and has just four minarets.

After Christianity, Islam is the most widespread religion in Switzerland, but it remains relatively hidden.

There are unofficial Muslim prayer rooms, and planning applications for new minarets are almost always refused.

Supporters of a ban claimed that allowing minarets would represent the growth of an ideology and a legal system - Sharia law - which are incompatible with Swiss democracy.

But others say the referendum campaign incited hatred. On Thursday the Geneva mosque was vandalised for the third time during the campaign, according to local media.

Before the vote, Amnesty International warned that the ban would violate Switzerland's obligations to freedom of religious expression.

'Political symbol'

The president of Zurich's Association of Muslim Organisations, Tamir Hadjipolu, told the BBC that if the ban was implemented, Switzerland's Muslim community would live in fear.

"This will cause major problems because during this campaign in the last two weeks different mosques were attacked, which we never experienced in 40 years in Switzerland.

"So with the campaign... the Islamaphobia has increased very intensively."

Sunday's referendum was held after the People's party collected 100,000 signatures from eligible voters within 18 months calling for a vote.

SVP member of parliament Ulrich Schluer said the campaign had helped integration by encouraging debate. He rejected the charge of discrimination.

In recent years many countries in Europe have been debating their relationship with Islam, and how best to integrate their Muslim populations.

France focused on the headscarf, while in Germany there was controversy over plans to build one of Europe's largest mosques in Cologne.

Monday, November 16, 2009


The Dissatisfaction of Sin

by Arif Billah, Hazrat Mawlana Shah Hakim Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (damat barakatuhum)

Hazrat (damat barakatuhum) says, “The question often arises: does one attain true satisfaction and contentment by fulfilling the demands of one’s base desires?

Hazrat Hakimul Ummah Thanwi (rahimahullah) says in answer to this, ‘If a person casts lustful glances at all the beautiful women of the world except for one. And then someone was to tell him whether he wants to see that one also, then he would definitely say yes.’

From this is it is understood that the example of trying to acquire fulfillment through committing sins is like hoping to extinguish a fire by adding more fuel to it.

And the example of hoping to gain satisfaction through committing sins is like the hope of trying to gain purity by washing away feces with urine.

Likewise, by closely observing the lives of people who worship their lust and are addicted to casting evil glances, one will discover a life of worries, depression, dissatisfaction and sleepless nights.

On the other hand, those people who are occupied with the remembrance of Allah Ta`ala and accompany the Ahlullah, their lives are filled with peace of mind, contentment of heart and comfort.

Through the blessings of Allah’s remembrance, a person actually enters the “lap” of Allah’s mercy. Allah Ta`ala takes the people of His remembrance into the loving embrace of His mercy.

Hazrat Hakimul-Ummah Thanwi (rahimahullah) says, ‘By continuously being involved in a tug of war with the lower self by fighting the temptations of the nafs, one actually attains more of a closeness to Allah Ta`ala, even though apparently the heart may become restless and disturbed by this.

On the other hand, by committing sin and falling into the trap of temptation, the temporary enjoyment and short-term satisfaction wherein the nafs finds gratification is actually the moment wherein the wrath of Allah Ta`ala descends.

[In other words, when a person fulfills his impermissible, base desires for the sake of coming out of the restlessness and inner agitation to gain “peace of mind”, this state is actually a cursed state, even though one may feel satisfied. This is because of the fact that this “satisfaction” has been acquired by Allah’s disobedience.]

And the continuous feeling of restlessness and non-fulfillment of desires was through taqwa and fear of Allah. [Therefore this will become a means of closeness to Allah and elevation of one’s ranks.]

A short while after committing the sin, that temporary satisfaction one was feeling will also be snatched away. After this stage, such an intense desire for sin will overtake the person that was never experienced previously.

This is because the nafs has now become strengthened by having received its vile sustenance of sin and the spirituality has become weakened. Now the onslaught of nafsani desires and temptations will be doubled.”

May Allah Ta`ala bestow us the ability to please Him and to abstain from those things which invite His displeasure. Ameen

(Kashkol-e-Ma`rifat; 367-68)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Pretty Accurate Synopsis of the War in Afghanistan

I got this commentary from the Jami'at al-Ulama newsletter from Transvaal in South Africa, which I had the good fortune to visit recently...

It pretty much accurately summarizes the situation in Afghanistan.

This just go to emphasize the need to stay away from the most well known of classic blunders:

Never start a land war in Asia.

Jamiatul Ulama

Online Newsletter

Vol.: 4 No.: 42

09 Dhu al-Qa'dah 1430 / 28 October 2009

Read the full Newsletter from your browser:

Weekly Comment

Afghanistan: An Exit Strategy for a Super Power
What was deemed far-fetched a year ago is a likely prospect in Afghanistan. The United States will have to cut a deal with the Taliban.

Regardless of the posturing and express support of NATO for the US, it is clear that the continuation of the war is going to be a hard-sell for Barack Obama.

With a toll of 55 killed, October has turned out to be deadliest month for the US troops. At such a rate, can the US stay the course? In any case, which ‘course’ has the US charted and how can it sustain it?

As it stands, combined US-NATO troops are reported to outnumber Taliban fighters on a ratio of 12:1. Will additional troops make any difference? It is no wonder that Obama has been averse to committing more troops as General Stanley McChrystal, has been pleading for.

What is increasingly evident is that the US has been stretched thin in as far as manpower is concerned.

Afghanistan is also proving to be a financial black hole for the US treasury. An estimated U$1m is required to keep one soldier in Afghanistan per annum. Add to that the Baghdad bill then you have a real mess to the fiscus.

As Afghanistan unravels, Matthew Hoh, a senior American diplomat in Afghanistan has become the first US official to resign in protest of the war he says is only being perpetuated by the occupation and ‘international support for a corrupt, unpopular government’.

Unsavoury stories of the occupation keep coming too. Only today, the New York Times has revealed that Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the embattled Afghan president and a suspected drug trafficker, has been on the CIA payroll for most of the past eight years.

About two weeks ago, it was the story of Italian soldiers who ‘paid protection money to prevent attacks on their troops.’

French troops who took control of the Sarobi district from the Italians back in August 2008, suffered ten fatalities due to being unaware of the 'Sicilian type of homage’ they had to give to the locals to secure protection.

The government itself is also faltering after a sham election which is now heading into a staged face-saving run-off between Hamid Karzai and Abdallah Abdallah after the former had won with a ‘boosted’ margin in the first round, thanks to stuffing of ballot boxes!

It is clear that no conventional warfare will win it in Afghanistan. No matter how much more resources the US is going to commit to stabilize Afghanistan, a genuine peace dividend will prove elusive.

White House will have to accept the fact and make peace with the Taliban. It should not be through bribing of ‘moderate’ warlords to be made viceroys without the consent of the masses. An all-inclusive process of national-building is imperative.

Washington would be better place for Obama with a carefully executed consensus-building initiative that respects the people of Afghanistan as capable of making choices of how to run their affairs as a sovereign.

Regardless, a consensus-building exercise will not be an easy way out. However, it would prove more durable at a much cheaper price than to fight a war without end.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Islamophobia In America

This recent op-ed piece penned by Nihad Awad gives a dirty glimpse into the nasty side of Islamophobia operating with indigence in the corridors of power of this country. I don't believe that such people represent a majority of Americans or even power-holders in government. However, these people are omnipresent in Congress and other institutions of government, and when given the opportunity, cherish the chance to spread their hate, which often spills over to anti-immigrant, anti-black, and anti-hispanic feelings as well as general xenophobia and plain ignorance about the world. The perils of such lobbying are intensified by the fact that the emotions of such people are mostly motivated not by genuine concern about the world around them, rather they are obsessed with the apocalyptic and messianic cartoons fed to them by opportunistic preachers and the half-baked religion they push.

Does anyone think that a Christian behaving like a ill-mannered and mean-spirited hooligan in the hopes that they'll make Christ's return happen any faster is true religion?

True religion has the capacity to change people for the better. True religion teaches people to deal with the decree of God; it doesn't make people trash any sense of morality in the hopes of affecting some sort cosmic bonus round...

CAIR: Islamophobia Machine Targets American Muslims
Nihad Awad

[Nihad Awad is national executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s leading Muslim civil liberties organization. He may be contacted at]

“Are you a believer?” asked the participant in a Capitol Hill gathering of Islamophobes and Muslim-bashers who -- according to conference materials -- were seeking to promote “freedom of speech and religion.”

When CAIR’s intern answered, “Yes, of course,” the conference participant -- whose card indicated he works for “Encountering Islam Christian Ministry” and obviously thinking “believer” meant something other than Muslim -- replied, “Good, because we want to cut their [Muslims’] necks off.”

Just one hour later, the officially-registered intern was asked to leave the conference, which was held in the U.S. Congressional Auditorium, because “some of the panel members do not feel comfortable with you being here.” So much for freedom of speech and religion.

Before being ejected, CAIR’s intern heard one audience member seek advice from a panelist as to how American Muslim rights could be “curtailed,” given the fact that “unfortunately” Islam itself cannot be outlawed.

But not to worry - one of the speakers at the Washington, D.C., conference does advocate outlawing Islam in America. That speaker, David Yerushalmi, works for one of the other speakers at the conference, Frank Gaffney Jr.

Other panelists included anti-Islam hate blogger Pam Geller, who has appeared at Muslim-bashing events with Gaffney and with another conference speaker, Florida House of Representatives Majority Leader Adam Hasner. Hasner recently hosted an appearance by extremist anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert “ban the Quran” Wilders in Florida, which was co-hosted by the hate blogger and promoted by another conference panelist, Tom Trento of the Florida Security Council.

Does all this make sense? It does if you understand that there is an “Islamophobia Machine” made up of extremists of all stripes who coordinate and cooperate in a relentless effort to demonize Islam and deprive American Muslims of their civil rights.

The list of attendees at CAIR’s recent sold-out 15th annual banquet in Arlington, Va., further illustrates how the Islamophobia machine works.

Two of those who purchased tickets for the banquet were notorious Islamophobes with histories of Muslim-bashing and associations with hate groups.

Among the 750 Muslim community members and activists, interfaith leaders and diplomats from Muslim-majority nations who heard addresses by speakers such as Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs of Progressive Faith Foundation were the two “moles” a hijab-clad representative of an anti-Islam group and a “counterterrorism consultant” who claims Thomas Jefferson only owned a Quran “so that he could know his enemy, so he could confront them, know them, kill them.”

The consultant, John Cosgrove, made that claim weeks earlier as he protested the “Day of Islamic Unity,” during which thousands of American Muslims gathered for prayer on Capitol Hill. Cosgrove is head of the Virginia chapter of the anti-Muslim hate group called the United American Committee (UAC). He was one of the main opponents of the expansion of an Islamic school in Virginia.

In 2007, the head of the UAC called Islam a “cult” and said terrorists are “honest” Muslims. He also stated that anyone who believes Muslims are not the “enemy” is “incredibly ignorant or a simple-minded fool.”

SEE: GOP Women's Group Promotes Anti-Muslim Hate

Hijab-wearing mole number two, Christine Brim, is senior vice president for policy and program management at the Center for Security Policy. She was asked to leave the event after being observed surreptitiously recording the banquet speeches, despite earlier being given legal notice that such recordings were prohibited. Instead of speaking to security personnel, Brim immediately fled to the hotel’s exit. (CAIR’s dinner was an open event with media present. Unauthorized recordings are prohibited only to prevent abuse by those who have, in the past, sought to smear the speakers by distorting their words.)

Brim, along with Cosgrove, was an opponent of the Islamic school in Virginia.

Her group and its President Frank Gaffney Jr. actively promote the racist and anti-Islam ideology of David Yerushalmi, the center’s general counsel, who has advocated outlawing the practice of Islam in America and permanently closing all U.S. mosques.

SEE: Center for Security Policy Staff

In a 2007 commentary headlined “War Manifesto -- The War Against Islam,” Yerushalmi called for a “war against Islam and all Muslim faithful.” He wrote in part:

“On the so-called Global War on Terrorism, GWOT, we have been quite clear along with a few other resolute souls. This should be a WAR AGAINST ISLAM and all Muslim faithful…At a practical level, this means that Shari’a and Islamic law are immediately outlawed. Any Moslem in America who adopts historical and traditional Shari’a will be subject to deportation. Mosques which adhere to Islamic law will be shut down permanently. No self-described or practicing Muslim, irrespective of his or her declarations to the contrary, will be allowed to immigrate to this country…”

Another such “manifesto” called for making “adherence to Islam” punishable by a 20-year prison term.

In a 2006 article for The American Spectator, Yerushalmi wrote: "Muslim civilization is at war with Judeo-Christian civilization…The Muslim peoples, those committed to Islam as we know it today, are our enemies."

In another article, Yerushalmi wrote: “Instead of a promise of victory, Sura 24:52 must be made ashes in the mouths of Muslims. A seemingly unending air control campaign over enemy territory is the way to continually remind the Muslims of their subordinate status and the impotence of Allah without becoming mired in the quagmire of counterinsurgency.”

He also wrote that he “has staked out an approach which is to Know the Enemy by declaring the enemy historical, traditional, and authoritative Islam.”

Yerushalmi’s website once contained the following white supremacist language as part of its mission statement:

“America was the handiwork of faithful Christians, mostly men, and almost entirely white, who ventured from Europe to create a nation in their image of a country existing as free men under G-d.”

Other articles on his website made racist statements such as: “There is a reason the founding fathers did not give women or black slaves the right to vote,” and "Race matters and affects your intelligence. Jews are the smartest white people around. Orientals smarter than Whites. Latinos next. Then Blacks.”

Another article stated:

“Is there something unique about the Black American (or, at least the Black New Yorker) that leads him to murder so disproportionately and to most often kill and victimize his own?”

Yerushalmi is also the former employer of Dave Gaubatz, his one-time “Director of Intelligence and Counter-terrorism Studies” and author of a Muslim-bashing book. In 2007, Yerushalmi’s group paid Gaubatz $148,898 for “research.”

Gaubatz has a long history of bigotry targeting Islam and Muslims. He has called Islam an “evil ideology” and a “terminal disease.” Along with his past rhetorical attacks Islam, Gaubatz has called President Obama a “crack head” and wrote that “a vote for Hussein Obama is a vote for Sharia Law.”

It is becoming obvious to anyone who puts all the parts of the Islamophobia machine together that American Muslims are being targeted by a coordinated and well-funded nationwide effort to disenfranchise their community and demonize their faith.

This insidious effort will only succeed if Americans of all faiths fail take a stand against un-American attempts to divide our nation along religious lines.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Islamic Wedding

We picked up the theme of marriage in a previous post. I thought that this important article sent to me, again, by Mawlana Tamim Ahmadi of Fremont, California, was something that most Muslims need to read...


Islamic Wedding

By Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullah

Wedding of Fātimah radiyallahu anha

Fātimah radiyallahu anha is the youngest daughter of our beloved Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Out of all the children, she was the most beloved to him. He said, ‘The queen of the ladies in Jannah is Fātimah.’ He also said, ‘Fātimah is part of my body. Whoever grieves her, grieves me.’

When Fātimah radiyallahu anha reached the age of fifteen, proposals for her marriage began to come from high and responsible families. But the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam remained irresponsive.

‘Ali radiyallahu anhu, who was 21 at the time, says:

‘It occurred to me that I should go and make a formal proposal, but then I thought, “How could this be accomplished, for I possess nothing.” At last, encouraged by the Prophet’s kindness, I went to him and expressed my intention to marry Fātimah radiyallahu anha.

The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam was extremely pleased and asked, “Ali! Do you possess anything to give her in mahr?” I replied, “Apart from a horse and an armour I possess nothing.”

The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “A soldier must, of course, have his horse. Go and sell away your armour.”’

So, ‘Ali radiyallahu anhu went and sold his armour to Uthmān radiyallahu anhu for 480 Dirham and presented it to Rasūlullāh sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Bilāl radiyallahu anhu was ordered by the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam to bring some perfume and a few other things and Anas radiyallahu anhu was sent to call Abū Bakr, Uthmān, Talhah and Zubayr with some companions from the Ansār radiyallahu anhum.

When these men arrived and had taken their seats, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam recited the khutbah (sermon) of nikāh and gave Fātimah radiyallahu anha in marriage to ‘Ali radiyallahu anhu. He announced, ‘Bear you all witness that I have given my daughter Fātimah in marriage to ‘Ali for 400 mithqāl of silver and ‘Ali has accepted.’ He then raised his head and made du‘ā saying, ‘O Allāh, create love and harmony between these two. Bless them and bestow upon them good children.’ After the nikāh, dates were distributed.

When the time came for Fātimah radiyallahu anha to go to ‘Ali’s radiyallahu anhu house, she was sent without any clamour, hue and cry accompanied by Umm Ayman radiyallahu anha. After the ‘Ishā Salāh, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam went to their house, took permission and entered. He asked for a basin of water, put his blessed hands into it and sprinkled it on both ‘Ali and Fātimah y and made du‘ā for them.

The sovereign of both worlds gave his beloved daughter a silver bracelet, two Yemeni sheets, four mattresses, one blanket, one pillow, one cup, one hand-grinding mill, one bedstead, a small water skin and a leather pitcher.

In this simple fashion, the wedding of the daughter of the leader of both the worlds was solemnized. In following this sunnah method, a wedding becomes very simple and easy to fulfill.

Some Points Derived from the Above Mentioned Marriage

1. The many customs as regards engagement are contrary to sunnah. In fact, many are against the Shari‘ah and are regarded sins. A verbal proposal and answer is sufficient.

2. To unnecessarily delay nikāh of both the boy and the girl after having reached the age of marriage is incorrect.

3. There is nothing wrong in inviting one’s close associates for the occasion of nikāh. However, no special pains should be taken in gathering the people from far off places.

4. It is appropriate that the bridegroom be a few years older than the bride.

5. If the father of the girl is an ‘ālim or pious and capable of performing nikāh, then he should himself solemnize the marriage.

6. It is better to give the Mahr Fātimi and one should endeavour to do so. But if one does not have the means then there is nothing wrong in giving less.

7. It is totally un-Islāmic for those, who do not possess the means, to incur debts in order to have grandiose weddings.

8. It is fallacy to think that one’s respect will be lost if one does not hold an extravagant wedding and invite many people. What is our respect compared to that of Rasūlullāh sallallahu alayhi wasallam?

9. The present day practice of the intermingling of sexes is an act of sin and totally against Shari‘ah.

10. There is nothing such as engagement parties and mendhi parties in Islām.

11. Great care must be taken as regards to salāh on occasions of marriage by all - the bride, the bridegroom and all the participants.

12. It is un-Islamic to display the bride on stage.

13. The unnecessary expenses incurred by the bride’s family in holding a feast has no basis in Shari‘ah.

14. For the engaged couple to meet at a public gathering where the boy holds the girl’s hand and slips a ring on her finger is a violation of the Qur’ānic law of hijāb.

15. It is un-Islamic for the engaged couple to meet each other and also go out together.

16. Three things should be borne in mind when giving one’s daughter gifts and presents at the time of nikāh:

i) Presents should be given within one’s means (it is not permissible to take loans, on interest, for such presents);

ii) To give necessary items;

iii) A show should not be made of whatever is given.

17. It is Sunnah for the bridegroom’s family to make walimah.

NOTE: In walimah, whatever is easily available should be fed to the people and care should be taken that there is no extravagance, show and that no debts are incurred in the process.

18. To delay nikāh after the engagement is un-Islamic. Some Customs In following modern day trends, we have adopted many cutoms that are unislamic and contrary to the sunnah. Some examples are:

i Displaying the bride on stage;

ii Inviting guests for the wedding from far-off places;

iii Receiving guests in the hall;

iv The bride’s people incurring unnecessary expenses by holding a feast which has no basis in Shari‘ah. We should remember that walimah is the feast arranged by the bridegroom after the marriage is consummated;

v It is contrary to sunnah (and the practice of some non-Muslim tribes in India) to wish, hope for or demand presents and gifts for the bridegroom, from the bride’s people. We should always remember that our Rasūl sallallahu alayhi wasallam did not give ‘Ali radiyallahu anhu anything except du‘ā.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Value is in the Eye of the Beholder

How much does guidance mean to you? How much should a person revere one who is a means for them finding a treasure no less than Allah, Himself?

A wonderful narration of a short story I have heard several time, courtesy of Mawlana Shaykh Tamim Ahmadi of Fremont, California:

True Love Leads to True Value

Once, a beggar came to Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliyaa (RA) asking for some financial assistance. The Shaykh replied, “I will give you whatever I receive today.” It just so happened that the Shaykh had received nothing on that day. The Shaykh then told him, “Whatever I get tomorrow will be given to you.” The next day, too, the Shaykh had nothing. So, the Shaykh then gave his shoes to the beggar.

Amir Khusro (RA), who was a student of the Shaykh, was accompanying the king when he saw the beggar somewhere on a journey. Amir Khusro (RA) noticed that the beggar was extremely happy. He asked the beggar, “Where are you coming from?” He replied, “I am coming from Dehli.” Amir Khusro (RA) then asked about his Shaykh. The beggar informed him that the Shaykh was doing well. Amir Khusro (RA) told the beggar, “I sense some fragrant smell coming from you. Did the Shaykh give you something?” The beggar replied, “I have the Shaykh’s shoes. He had given them to me out his extreme kindness.”

Amir Khusro (RA) then asked the beggar, “Would you like to sell the shoes?” The beggar replied, “I had intended to sell the shoes so that I can acquire some money.” The beggar knew how much reverence Amir Khusro (RA) had for his Shaykh. The beggar then told Amir Khusro (RA) that he would sell the shoes for 500,000 rupees.

Amir Khusro (RA) happily paid the price for the shoes. Placing the shoes with the utmost care by him, he set off for Dehli to visit his Shaykh. Sultan al Mashaaikh, Hazrat Nizamuddin (RA) saw him approaching with the shoes and commented, “Khusro! You have bought those shoes for a cheap price.” Amir Khusro (RA) replied, “Hazrat, I only paid the price the beggar asked for; otherwise, I was prepared to give all of my wealth for these shoes.”

Subhaanallah! It is indeed intriguing to see the level of love Amir Khusro (RA) had for his shaykh. The pious of the past had value for the shoes of their shaykhs. Today, we don’t have value for our shaykhs, let alone their shoes. We overlook their feelings, likes and dislikes. We disrespect them and do not even realize it.

We pray to Allah that He grant us the ability to truly appreciate our shaykhs and to value them the way they deserved to be valued and appreciated.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Advice For Newlyweds


For those of you whose marriages are new or old or old and feel new or vice versa...

Wonderful advice from Mawlana Saleem Dhorat of the UK on how to cement a good marriage.

This is advice for you if you ARE married...

If you aren't married, then I have some advice to offer... get married.


[lightly edited for grammar and spelling only]
Key Advice for the Newlyweds

Based on the advices of Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat
prepared by Brother Aslam Patel

“You have never seen anything better than marriage for those who love.” (Ibn Mãjah)

Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat dãmat barakãtuhu advises:

1. Every action is dependent upon intention. When marrying, both partners should therefore make a firm intention to accomplish the following objectives:

* Following the Sunnah of our beloved Nabi Muhammad s
* Safeguarding oneself from sins
* Parenting pious children

2. When marrying, each becomes the other’s lifetime companion. Each should understand and appreciate that Allah S has brought them both together and that their destiny in life has now become one. Whatever the circumstances: happiness or sorrow; health or sickness; wealth or poverty; comfort or hardship; trial or ease; all events are to be confronted together as a team with mutual affection and respect. No matter how wealthy, affluent, materially prosperous and “better-off” another couple may appear, one’s circumstances are to be happily accepted with qanã‘ah (contentment upon the choice of Allah). The wife should happily accept her husband, his home and income as her lot and should always feel that her husband is her true beloved and best friend and well-wisher in all family decisions. The husband too should accept his wife as his partner-for- life and not cast a glance towards another.

3. Nowadays, the husband reads about, and is well-informed of his rights and demands them. Similarly, the wife reads of her rights and expects them. However, both should concentrate on being aware of each other’s rights and then strive to fulfill them. This is the prescription for a prosperous marriage and everlasting love.

4. During the first year of marriage, the couple must try and spend as much time as possible together. This is especially true for the first two months as it provides an opportunity to understand each other’s temperaments and establishes a firm foundation which contributes towards securing a prosperous marriage.

5. The couple (especially the husband) must make a point to arrive home early after ‘Ishã Salãh and scrupulously avoid the habit of socializing with friends late into the evening. Wherever possible, business, employment and other activities should be concluded beforehand or curtailed in order to set aside time for spending together.

6. Mutual respect between husband and wife should not be lost. They should each be very particular about following the Deen right from the initial stages of married life. This will also ensure a religious environment for the children to be nurtured in, contributing greatly towards their successful upbringing.

7. True and everlasting prosperity is only possible for Muslims when they follow the Sunnah of Rasulullah s in all affairs. The couple too, should adhere to the teachings of Rasoolullah s in all their matters and abstain from anything which contradicts them. Careful attention should be given to this in their intimate relationship too. Inshã’allah this will be an assured approach to acquiring the blessing of pious offspring.

8. In the initial stages of marriage, the love between the couple is a physical bond, wherein emotional changes take place all the time. Despite great passion and physical love for each other, affection between the couple is not yet well established or on a rational basis. Such rational love comes after many years together. It is therefore extremely important for the husband not to succumb to emotional weaknesses at the onset and let the marriage waver towards an irreligious direction. Both the husband and wife should make a pledge to each other to steadfastly follow the Deen, especially in the performance of Salãh and in avoiding all sins.

9. Marriage is like the weather, forever changing. Sometimes it is cloudy and rainy, life appears gloomy, then the sun appears and rays of happiness break through bringing joy. At times, one experiences rain, wind and sunshine all in one day. Such is life, and like the seasons, we go through different experiences. The secret is to remain devoted and steadfast to one’s Deen and spouse.

10. The husband should be sympathetic to the fact that his wife has left her parents, brothers and sisters to start a new life with him. Her sacrifice and her feelings should be respected and joy should be felt by both partners at the expansion of their families.
Just as the wife should treat her husband’s parents as her own, he should also extend affection, courtesy and respect to his new in-laws.

[Humza note: Our Shaykh, the Sayyid Mahmud Mian, may Allah ennoble his fine person, would frequently mention that no man will ever do so much for you, after your own father, than your father-in-law. One should honor him as his own father, and recognize the benefit that Allah gave at his hands. As the hadith goes: whoever hasn't thanked the people, hasn't thanked Allah.]

11. As soon as one experiences a problem, no matter how trivial, which remains unresolved for more than three days, consult a person who is both knowledgeable and your sincere well-wisher.

Monday, June 22, 2009

European Democracy: Liberty for Everyone Who We Agree With

Look at Nicolas Sarkozy, and his genuine concern for the freedom of Muslim Women. For God's sake, the man divorced his wife of years as soon as he became President and ran off with a model... Sounds like some real concern for the welfare of women.

How Europe despises Islam! It is all thinly veiled racism cloaked in the language of democracy. If a person wants to do outrageous things, destroy his family through alcohol and drugs, enter a "civil union" with a man, woman, or whatever, and show impunity to God Himself, that's all life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Its all okay, unless you are a Muslim.

God bless the USA for at least not being hypocrites about this issue.


Taken from

Sarkozy speaks out against burka
French President Nicolas Sarkozy
Mr Sarkozy was speaking at a special session of parliament in Versailles

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has spoken out strongly against the wearing of the burka by Muslim women in France.

In a major policy speech, he said the burka - a garment covering women from head to toe - reduced them to servitude and undermined their dignity.

Mr Sarkozy also gave his backing to the establishment of a parliamentary commission to look at whether to ban the wearing of burkas in public.

In 2004, France banned the Islamic headscarves in its state schools.

'Not welcome'

"We cannot accept to have in our country women who are prisoners behind netting, cut off from all social life, deprived of identity," Mr Sarkozy told a special session of parliament in Versailles.

To raise the subject like this, via a parliamentary committee, is a way of stigmatising Islam and the Muslims of France
Mohammed Moussaoui, French Council for the Muslim Religion

Sarkozy stirs debate

"That is not the idea that the French republic has of women's dignity.

"The burka is not a sign of religion, it is a sign of subservience. It will not be welcome on the territory of the French republic," the French president said.

But he stressed that France "must not fight the wrong battle", saying that "the Muslim religion must be respected as much as other religions" in the country.

A group of a cross-party lawmakers is already calling for a special inquiry into whether Muslim women who wear the burka is undermining French secularism, the BBC's Emma Jane Kirby in Paris says.

The lawmakers also want to examine whether women who wear the veil are doing so voluntarily or are being forced to cover themselves, our correspondent says.

Mr Sarkozy's speech was the first a French president has made to parliament since the 19th century - made possible by a constitutional amendment he introduced last year.

Later on Monday, Mr Sarkozy was expected to meet the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah al-Thani.

Find out about different styles of Muslim headscarf

In graphics

In 2004, France banned the Islamic headscarf and other conspicuous religious symbols from public schools, triggering heated debate in the country and abroad.

Members of the French government have been divided over the issue.

The immigration minister, Eric Besson, has said a full ban will only "create tensions" while the junior minister for human rights, Rama Yade, said she would accept a ban if it was aimed at protecting women forced to wear the burka.

France's official Muslim council has criticised the debate.

"To raise the subject like this, via a parliamentary committee, is a way of stigmatising Islam and the Muslims of France," said Mohammed Moussaoui, head of the French Council for the Muslim Religion.

France is home to about five million Muslims.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Life After Death

Taken from

Advices by Hakim al-Umma Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi
Translated by Shaykh Yusuf Laher

[Advice 75] Life after death

Generally people think that when a person dies and he is placed in the qabr (grave), he remains alone in that fearful place and that life there is ‘lifeless’. Friends! This is not so! There is great comfort for a Muslim there.

It is mentioned in the hadith sharif that the arwah (souls) come and meet and welcome him (the newly deceased). Also, relatives and family who passed away before him come and meet him. They ask him questions regarding their relatives (who they think are still living). If this newly deceased answers that so and so has already passed away, they express their grief and say that that person has entered jahannam (hellfire) otherwise he would have definitely met us. The arwah become saddened at that person’s entry into jahannam. Anyway, the arwah meet each other and become happy. People think that after death one will just lie lifeless and useless! La Hawla wa La Quwwata illa Billah!

Behold! Qabr is not merely that hole. The hole is the external and visible form. In reality qabr is the name of ‘alam al-barzakh (the realm of barzakh). There, they meet each other and it is a meeting of the pure.

People get separated in the world. A worker obtains leave and returns home to stay with his family. On completion of his leave he returns to his place of employment and gets separated again. On the other hand, in the realm of barzakh the togetherness and companionship doesn’t come to an end. There is comfort upon comfort there. The problem arises due to people being unaware of the reality of death, resulting in an unwarranted fear, whereas mawt (death) is a bridge by which one meets the Beloved i.e. Allah Most High! What can be better than meeting Allah Most High? For this very reason do the Ahlullah long for death. Ask them regarding the reality of death! A hadith says: Death is a gift unto a believer.

If the ruler of Hyderabad sends a gift to a person, isn’t it a shame if the recipient’s family cries and laments on such an occasion? What I am referring to here is deliberate and intentional grief and not natural and uncontrollable grief which occurs at the time of separation. There is no harm in natural grief. To deliberately bring back memories of sorrow for the purpose of increasing the grief is wrong and evil. In fact a person should rather ponder over the above-mentioned points with the intention of decreasing the grief.

This world compared to the akhira (hereafter) is like the womb of the mother. For as long as the baby remains in the womb, it considers the womb to be everything. Even if the baby is told to leave the narrow confines of the womb and enter the spacious world, it will not believe and will still consider the womb to be everything. Eventually, when the baby does emerge from the womb, it now sees the world and realizes that the womb is insignificant compared to the world. If the baby is told to re-enter the womb it will refuse and never accept to go back. In the same way, this world compared to the akhira is absolutely narrow and confined. When a person departs from this world he will express shukr (gratitude) and never wish to return.

When the time draws near to meet Allah Most High (the time of death), the bounties of the hereafter are revealed to the dying person. If at that time the dying person is offered a life prolonging substance and is told that if you consume this you will live longer, he will angrily reject it and will wish that he dies immediately.

There was a foreign student who was affected by the plague. To pacify him people would tell him not to worry and grieve, for he will be cured. He would say in reply: “Don’t say that, for now I desire to meet Allah Most High and at this very moment I am receiving the following glad tidings from Allah Most High:

تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْـمَلائِكَةُ ألاّ تَخَافُوْا وَ لاَ تَحْزَنُوْا وَ اَبْشِرُوْا بِالْـجَنَّةِ الَّتِى كُنْتُمْ تُوْعَدُوْنَ

On them angels will descend (at the time of death) (saying): Fear you not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of janna, which you have been promised. (Sura Fussilat)

Another example is when a ruler sends a proposal of ambassadorship to someone. When this person departs from his home his family will be grieved by his separation but he himself will be happy, eager and excited. Even if the ruler tells him that he may delay his departure by a few days, he will not be happy and will wish to depart immediately.

In the same manner, a person is not only informed of the bounties of the hereafter (at the time of death) but also sees it. He will never be pleased to remain in this world even if he is told to do so.

Friends! Desire that which is by Allah. It is because of this desire that the Ahlullah always remain in high spirits, they constantly desire the various boons of the akhira. They are never grieved. In short, death is child’s play for the Ahlullah and they are preoccupied with it.

We should also adopt this attitude and condition. Instead of grief we should experience the desire for death.

An easy way to develop this desire is to ponder over these points I have mentioned. Insha Allah it will be a cure for grief and simultaneously the desire for the akhira will be developed.

So, in the verse:

مَا عِنْدَكم يَنْفَدُ وَ مَا عِنْدَ اللهِ بَاق

Allah has given us this cure.

SubhanAllah! What an amazing cure! Meditate frequently that the pleasures and comforts of the akhira are far more superior and much more than worldly comforts and also that the deceased have reached Allah. Meditate that it is better for the deceased to stay with Allah than to stay with us, for Allah loves him more than we can ever love him.

It is mentioned in a hadith that the love of Allah for His servant is much more than the combined love and affection expressed by animals and mothers towards their offspring.

Although there is a possibility of the deceased receiving punishment in the akhira, why should we think ill of our deceased and believe that they are receiving the punishment meted out to sinners? In accordance with this hadith: “My mercy has overtaken my wrath”, think well of the deceased. For him (the deceased) to receive this mercy make du‘a for him and also isal al-thawab (by giving charity, making tilawa, etc.) and sending the thawab to him. This is more beneficial to the deceased than merely expressing our grief and sadness.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ibn 'Abidin al-Shami

Imām Ibn Aābidīn ash-Shāmī (ra)

[Note: This is a biographical note about Ibn `Abidin, the author of the canonical collection of fatwas of the Hanafi madhhab. His name, when attached to a Hanafi fatwa is basically an endorsement of the veracity of that fatwa according to the Hanafis. Obviously, his position within the madhhab for all those who came after him is great. I would like to call attention to the relatively late period in which he came, and the fact that we have 'ulama in later times who are of a high caliber and that there is always much in the way of service to the sciences of the deen to be taken by Allah from the people of knowledge, should He give them the tawfiq. May Allah keep us attached to them and not deprive us of their barakat in this world or the hereafter... humza

Taken from]

Imām Ibn Aābidīn ash-Shāmī (ra)

1198-1252 AH / 1783-1836 AD

Sayyid Muhammad Amin ibn Sayyid Úmar ibn Sayyid Ábd al-Áziz ibn Sayyid Ahmed ibn Sayyid Ábd ar-Rahim ibn Sayyid Najmuddin ibn Sayyid Muhammad Salahuddin widely known as ‘Ibn Áabidin’ is praised in these words: the prominent, praiseworthy and noble scholar; an ocean of knowledge; the master scholar [jahbadh]; the great jurist [faqih]; the genius; the finest among the later scholars and the last of the research scholars; one with an exalted ancestry [hasib, nasib]; the erudite Imam; the litterateur.


The Imam was born - Rahimahullah - in Damascus (Syria), in a family of scholars and high ancestry in the year 1198 AH. His lineage reaches Sayyid Sharif Zayn al-Áabidin (ra) and from him to Sayyidah Fatimah (R), the daughter of the Master of all creation, Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim. Ibn Áabidin’s father Sayyid Úmar and his mother were both famed for their righteousness and taqwa [being fearful of Allah]. May Allah have mercy on them.

Growing up

He grew up in his father’s care in the Qanawat area. He memorized the Qur’an at a very young age. He was a frequent visitor at his father’s shop where he learnt the skills of the trade [to enable him earn an honest livelihood]. Sometimes, he would recite the Qur’an in the shop.

On one such occasion, a passerby objected to his recitation in a public place, since people neither listen to the Qur’an nor pay heed to what is being recited. He also pointed out a few minor mistakes in his recitation. Immediately, he set out seeking good reciters to correct his mistakes.

Seeking Knowledge

He was referred to the master reciter of his time, [Shaykh al-Qurra’a, `Allamah] Muhammad Saýid ibn Ibrahim al-Hamawi (d.1236 AH). He perfected his tajwid under him and memorized Sha_ibiyyah, Maydaniyyah and Jazariyyah. He also learnt Shafi' fiqh from him and memorized Az-Zabd. He learnt Arabic grammar and morphology [nahw, sarf] before finally completing his studies and obtaining a general degree of authorization from him [ijazatun áammah].

Allah (SWT) had destined him to meet the greatest scholar of his age, Shaykh Shakir al-Áqqad, famously known as Ibn al-Miqdam Saád. Under him, he read books of Qur’anic exegesis, juristic principles, inheritance, tasawwuf, mathematics [tafsir, hadith, usul, farayiI, tasawwuf, hisab] and the rational sciences.

Áqqad was instrumental in changing his madh’hab to that of Imam al-Aážam [Ibn Áabidin was a Shafi' earlier]. He read major books of Hanafi fiqh under him like Multaqa al-Abhur, Kanz ad-Daqayiq and its exegesis Bahr ar-Rayiq, Dirayah and Hidayah.

He began reading Durr al-Mukhtar under well-known scholars, the most famous among whom was Shaykh Saýid al-Halabi. Ibn Áabidin’s meeting with Shaykh Shakir was a giant stride in his career as a scholar and a pilgrim upon the spiritual path. No wonder then, he remained in his company for seven years, after which Shaykh Shakir would present him to his own teachers and recommend them to grant him authorizations. His chain of transmissions [sanad] became more elevated and shorter than earlier ones. He also became a member [murid] of the Qadiri order to which he kept forever. [Tariqah of Ghawth al-Aážam Shaykh Ábd al-Qadir Jilani (ra) ]

After the death of Shaykh Shakir (ra), he continued studying under his deputy, Shaykh Saýid al-Halabi. Al-Halabi was the most learned man in Shaykh Shakir’s circle and was also the foremost Hanafi scholar of his time. He loved Ibn Áabidin so much that he did not start his lessons until Ibn Áabidin was present. The lessons of Durr al-Mukhtar were held next to the Umawi mosque after morning prayers.

Heir of the Prophet (S)

Ibn Áabidin was very handsome and charismatic; he was tall and had a good physique. He was mild mannered, kind and always cheerful; yet, he was dignified and poised. He had a certain awe about him that commanded respect. His speech was full of wisdom and foresight.

An Indian shaykh once said to his teacher Al Áqqad, when he left Ibn Áabidin behind waiting at the door: "Bring along the young man, for I see the light of Prophethood shine between his eyes."

Degrees of Authorization

He received degrees of authorization from major scholars of his time, from his shaykhs, and their shaykhs. This was on account of his shaykh Áqqad, who introduced him to his own shaykhs and grand-shaykhs when he noticed the extraordinary intelligence, sincerity and talent of the young man. Given below are the degrees of the authorization he obtained:

* A general degree of authorization from the famous shaykh, Muhammad al-Kazburi al- Kabir, the muhaddith of his time who passed away in 1221 AH. He signed the certificate of authorization in the year, 1210 AH when Ibn Áabidin was only a little over twelve years old.

* Another general degree from the great scholar and famous muhaddith shaykh, Ahmed al-Áttar who passed away in 1218 AH. He granted him this ijazah in 1216 when he was about eighteen years old.

* Another general degree of authorization from the great scholar, Al-Amir al-Kabir (d.1232 AH), which he had it sent to him in 1228 AH.

* An ijazah to narrate from the reciters of Damascus, through his first teacher Muhammad Saýid al-Hamawi (d.1236 AH) which includes many prominent scholars of that time.

* And the degree from his own shaykh, Muhammad Shakir al-Áqqad, famously known as Ibn Miqdam Saád.

The Scholar

Ibn Áabidin began writing when he was barely seventeen. Among his earliest writings were annotations on books that he read from his shaykh, Áqqad, especially on Bahr ar-Rayiq and Durr al-Mukhtar.

He worked very hard and kept a steady progress until eventually, he become the foremost authority on Hanafi fiqh in his time. In the times of Shaykh Husayn al-Muradi, he was made the chief mufti of Damascus. He received questions through mail from all over the world on various matters to which he replied, sometimes in a very detailed manner.

The Hashiyah or the Marginalia on Durr al-Mukhtar is his magnum opus in which he compiled the preferred rulings [of Hanafi fiqh], thereby making it an authority in the Hanafi madhhab. Durr al-Mukhtar is a concise work; thus, many matters have been omitted to keep it concise. Sometimes, descriptions are cryptic for anyone but a trained eye and an experienced master. Ibn Áabidin saw the need for its exegesis, and inclusion of many matters omitted therein.

Incidentally, earlier authors who attempted such a comprehensive work, passed away before they could complete their work. Usually these books did not progress beyond the section on ijarah [hiring, renting] like Fat’h al-Qadir [of Kamal ibn Humam] for example. Therefore, Ibn Áabidin started his marginalia from the part on ijarah saying, "If death takes me sooner, this should serve as the completion of the unfinished earlier ones. But if I live long enough, I shall return to make it a whole, complete work."

He began writing the Marginalia under the auspices of his shaykh, Saýid al-Halabi after he finished reading Durr al-Mukhtar the first time and from the notes he had made for the same. Thereafter, he read it once more with the annotations of Ibrahim al-Halabi. In the meantime he would show his drafts to the shaykh who would be pleased and say: "The time has come for this huge collection to be finally ordered and the giant task to be completed." As mentioned earlier, he started from the part on ijarah and went on till the end. He then started it from the beginning and finished at ijarah. Once it was completed, he began ordering the manuscript, but death didn’t spare him time to complete the fair copy of his manuscript. His son Álauddin later completed the fair copy and appended his own notes spanning two separate volumes, and named it Qurrat al-Úyun al-Akhyar bi Takmalati Radd al-Muhtar.

Setting of a Star…

A pious life spent in earning the pleasure of his parents, and duteous to Allah; a life spent in amassing knowledge and good deeds extinguished on Wednesday, the 21st of Rabi' ath-Thani, 1252 AH. He was only 54 when he died. His funeral prayer was led by his own teacher Saýid al-Halabi who broke down, weeping and clutching his own beard said: "I was treasuring you, for what comes after my old age." Prayers were held in the Sinaniyyah mosque and he was buried – in accordance with his will – near the grave of Shaykh Álauddin al-Haskafi, the author of Durr al-Mukhtar and next to the great muhaddith Salih al-Jaynini in Damascus. May Allah be pleased with him and grant him the most extensive of paradises.

A Note on Radd al-Mukĥtār

Abbreviations used in this work: when he marks it as ta, he means the Hashiyah of Államah at-Tahtawi on Durr al-Mukhtar; ha means the Hashiyah of Államah al-Halabi, who wrote the marginalia of Durr al-Mukhtar in two volumes.

In all his works, including his Marginalia he shows utmost respect to earlier scholars and refers to them with due deference. However, sometimes when he quotes Tahtawi or Halabi he adds: ‘Ponder’ or, ‘Needs ascertaining’ or ‘Pending further examination’ - he means that though he quotes them, he may not accept their opinion. He thus hints at his disagreement respectfully instead of an explicit statement.

by Abu Hasan
Based on the biographical note in Arabic by Shaykh Ábd al-Jalil Áta of Damascus printed as the preface of Radd al-Mukhtar, the Dar Ihya at-Turath edition. [Square parenthesis indicate translator’s comments]