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Our Legacy for the Next Generation: Doubt?

Posted by abu abdAllah

Indeed all praise is for Allah.  I seek refuge with Him from the rejected-devil, from the evil that my misdeeds and excesses may bring upon me or others, and from every source of evil.  In the Name of Allah, I begin.

Ash-Shura, Ayat 14

Sahih International: And they did not become divided until after knowledge had come to them – out of jealous animosity between themselves. And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord [postponing the penalty] until a specified time, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, those who were granted inheritance of the Scripture after them are, concerning it, in disquieting doubt.

Muslims who go to the masjid regularly for salat often notice that many more Muslims attend Jum’aa (Friday khutbah and prayers).  And Muslims who regularly attend Jum’aa probably notice how many more Muslims attend Eid.  And the hard fact is that in most communities, only a fraction of Muslims will attend the two Eids.

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There are many reasons given for poor attendance at masajid nationwide — poor as percentages of the Muslims residing in those communities.  This article zeroes in on one of them — “those mullahs are always fighting.”  Those words were not from any dream sequence.  Those are the words that Muslim doctors often repeat to my father, also a physician, when he encourages them to be more involved in their local masjid.

Is there any truth to that accusation?  Let’s substitute for “mullah” the words “people who have some knowledge of Islam.”  Do people who have some knowledge of Islam fight or argue with others at the masajid?  Do they criticize each other in public or in secret?  Are there “turf wars” in our communities?

Suppose for the moment that to an outside observer the answers to those questions are all “yes!

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Our own Nouman Ali Khan discusses in this video khatirah what Allah warns the Muslims regarding fighting and arguing among people to whom revelation and knowledge have come.

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While the warning of Allah applies to all people, surely it is the ulema, the people of dhikr, who ponder His Message and give us our best living examples of how to take heed.  It is by the examples they set that ulema do justice or injustice to their inheritance from the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam.

Most of us who read MM have met shuyukh like Waleed Basyouni, Yasir Qadhi, and Yaser Birjas, and mashaAllah, can attest from personal experience how these shuyukh and so many others like them study and teach Islam with strength and kindness, firm in faith yet compassionate.  Do we not see how Allah puts barakat in the dawah of these shuyukh?

Our challenge as a community in America is to instill the same attitudes in our masajid, whether in their imams, their boards, their schools, or in any activity.  The legacy we leave the generation that follows us should not be one that fills them with discord, sowing the seeds of doubt.  Rather we have an obligation to call to what is right with salam, with peace.

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Bismillah walhamdolillah. May Allah accept my repentance and yours. I am an attorney, a stepfather, a husband, a son, and a Muslim. Studying Islam is a means, reflecting what I have learned is a must, and to Allah is the inevitable return.If you would like my help, know that Allah is the source of all aid. If you would like to contact me, try tariqnisarahmed at Gmail, LinkedIn, Twitter, or add me as a friend on Facebook.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Halal Tube

    January 21, 2009 at 11:02 AM

    More lectures by Nouman Ali Khan here.

  2. Avatar

    intelect1430

    January 21, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    Good article MM A,

    Now the facts:

    6000+ Masajids in USA,
    200+ qualified Imams, ( Is there a BIG difference in calculations here?)

    Question: Out of 200+ “Qualified” Imams How many are on the “Haqq” that we can recognise by their good deeds?
    Answer: “priceless”

  3. Avatar

    UmmeAmmaarah

    January 21, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    MashaAllah, a great article. I can tell from personal experience that wise shuyookh can actually help transform lives. It is a pretty difficult problem to deal with though. The masjid near my house distresses my husband because the friday khutbahs have a bountiful smattering of the stories of various ‘pirs’ and ‘auliyaas’, the indo-pak tradition of showering/throwing money at the imam accompanied by ‘waah-waah’s’, invitation to various ‘urs’, and he has no idea how to deal with the problem without causing a massive uproar/being excommunicated from the masjid ;) . Another problem at our masaajid is the ‘groupism’ – the arabs, the indo-paks, east-asians, and either the imams don’t recognize the problem or dont deal with it. I honestly feel very sad that in most masaajid, it doesnt feel like all muslims are equal/brothers/sisters. More effort must be put in to acheive ‘integration’. May Allah bring into our hearts the true feeling of oneness and love for the whole ummah.ameen.

  4. Avatar

    bintashraf

    January 21, 2009 at 1:23 PM

    The numbers intelect1430 has mentioned are staggering and I think they stand out as an area in the Muslim community with the need for improvement. We should work to have our next generation sprout more qualified imams and leaders in the masajid and community by striving to make our children, boys and girls, hufaadh of the Quran, and putting them under the wing of knowledgable people who we trust to teach the the fundamentals and the spiritual essence of this deen. True, this may be a stretch for some Muslims in the West, especially if the community one lives in is not strong, but I’ve seen such efforts sprout in nearby cities here in Texas and it’s really inspirational to see the zeal these young kids have for memorizing the Qur’an. So while they are helping their own selves as far as their deen and aakhira, we need to be able to provide the next level for competent leadership so that this knowledge of Qur’an that they have in their hearts can be taken further and applied more consistently and publicly in their lives.

  5. Avatar

    gohar

    January 21, 2009 at 4:31 PM

    This can also be a problem with muslim bloggers who are also in a type of leadership position. Just look at the bickering, lack of tolerance, and harsh language of late. For the first time ever yesterday I finally understood where people, who say that the in-fighting puts them off religion, are coming from.

  6. Avatar

    Anisa

    January 21, 2009 at 7:14 PM

    Good lecture, masha’Allah

  7. Avatar

    osman

    January 21, 2009 at 8:31 PM

    6000 masjids but only 200 qualified imams? come on show some respect to our imams, there are way more qualified that you might want to believe. Sure they might not be up-to-date about teenager lives in America and stuff but most try their best and are trying to improve.

    Its easy to blame every single problem on the “unqualified” imam, rather than actually deeply look at the problem, which is probably the parents…

  8. Avatar

    syed kaschif ahmed

    January 22, 2009 at 12:13 AM

    As-salaamu alaykum,

    Problem is that we are lacking leaders, they maybe imams, but leading people, be able to put down dissent (with haqq and adhab) and show unification is very hard..

    on the other hand…

    the masses need a forum for dissent, people bottle it up and since there are no forums for venting in a halaal way.. it comes out like in the Sahabah time, out it in front… which maybe ok for them since the messenger was there.. and/or they had respect for each other…
    here we make stats like only “very few” imams are on the haqq…. 1 out of 200 out of 6000….
    How optimistic are we about our future here? Is it better anywhere else?

    Wa Allaho Alim

    As-salaamu alaykum

  9. Avatar

    abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    January 22, 2009 at 2:35 PM

    bismillah. you know, thinking about the shuyukh whose names i mentioned, and thinking about the shuyukh i could easily have added to that list, their comments about the number of Muslim masajid and imams are all positive.

    they point out that more masajid mean more places in which people pray to Allah. and fewer people who live and work far from a musallah. if anything they want there to be more jamat all over the country (and i share that goal, hence my web site — shameless plug).

    i hear these shuyukh mostly when they come to Houston, and they do not rebuke the people for setting up masajid and musallahs, more every year, mashaAllah. but they do nudge people gently into praying more often in jamat.

    yes, a person could assert that many masajid and musallahs could use better leadership. in fact, though, this article (and i think the video, too) does not single out imams or masjid administrators. it’s often students who have acquired a part of knowledge who have the zeal that overtakes their kindness. and rather than becoming assets for their musallah, they engage in behavior that reduces participation.

  10. Avatar

    intelect1430

    January 22, 2009 at 6:48 PM

    @ AAH:
    it’s often students who have acquired a part of knowledge who have the zeal that overtakes their kindness. and rather than becoming assets for their musallah, they engage in behavior that reduces participation.

    I agree, these students have become the “Imams” also. (fortunately and un-fortunately)

    @osman

    6000 masjids but only 200 qualified imams? come on show some respect to our imams, there are way more qualified that you might want to believe.

    These are CAIR statistics, what does “respecting” Imams got to do with the numbers?

  11. Avatar

    sam

    February 14, 2009 at 3:12 AM

    For the new generation,all we can do is become practising muslims so that they will follow our example.Personally,I think that what child learns from the actions and daily life routine of his parents is much greater than what he can learn through books.Islam should become a part of our lives for us to raise a good Muslim child.Also,keeping our religious disputes out of our children’s hearing will also inculcate in them a true love for the religion of Allah.

  12. Avatar

    zfnd

    March 17, 2009 at 12:23 AM

    Our challenge as a community in America is to instill the same attitudes in our masajid, whether in their imams, their boards, their schools, or in any activity.

    How?

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30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 10: The Dua’ of Umm Salama

Now that we have learnt about a good word, let’s talk about the dua’ of Umm Salama.

Today I’m going to share with you a story of a very important woman in Islamic history named Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her). She was a female companion, which means she was a sahaabiya (female companion)

Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) was one of the first people to embrace Islam and she was one of the few Muslims who actually performed the hijrah twice. 

Question: Who can tell me what a hijrah is?

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A hijrah is when someone leaves a place they are in for the sake of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). The first hijrah was to Ethiopia, where a just Christian ruler named Najashi took in a group of Muslims and took good care of them. 

So Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) and Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) went to Ethiopia. After some time living there, they really wanted to go back to Mecca so that they could be next to the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and learn everything about Islam. As they waited patiently, news traveled all the way to Africa saying that the Muslims were no longer getting persecuted because Umar ibn al-Khattab raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and Hamza raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), the uncle of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), had embraced Islam. 

Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) and Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) decided to return back to Mecca, and when they did, they realized that it was only a rumor and that the Muslims were still being tortured by Quraysh. So, when the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) instructed all of the Muslims of Mecca to leave to Madina for the second hijrah, they wasted no time getting ready. 

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Question: Do you see how they were so active and didn’t take their Islam for granted?

As Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) was about to mount her camel, her tribe, the Banu Makhzum, came and told Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) that they would not allow him to take Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) to Madina. Then Abu Salama’s tribe, the Banu Asad, takes Salama, his child, away.  Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) could not defend himself against all of these men, so he sets off to Madina.

In just one day Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) lost her husband and her child, and she suffers so much because of it. She is in a lot of pain. After some time her cousin starts to feel sorry for her and speaks to the tribes on her behalf. He is then able to reunite her with her son. Then after a year of waiting, Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) is finally able to meet her husband in Madina. 

Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) was known to be a very caring husband and courageous man. He fought in the Battle of Badr as well as in the Battle of Uhud. In Uhud, he received a wound that he wasn’t able to recover from. 

Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) was so sad the day Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) died, but the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) taught her to recite a beautiful dua’:

إِنَّا لله وإنا إليه راجعون اللهم أجرني في مصيبتي وأخلف لي خيرا منها 

“We belong to Allah and to Allah is our return. Oh Allah, reward me for my calamity, and replace my loss with something better.”

Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) recited this dua’, but in her mind she thought, “Who can be better than Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)?” 

After a few months passed, Umar ibn al-Khattab raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) proposed to Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her), but she said no. 

Then, Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) proposed to Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her), but again she said no. 

Then, the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) proposed to Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) and she accepted. So now, she was not only the mother of Salama, but the mother of all of the believers until the end of time! 

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30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 9: A Good Word

Now that we have learnt about the life of this world, let’s talk about a good word.

I want you all to close your eyes and think of a beautiful tree. 

Question: Who can tell me what their tree looks like? Is the tree big and strong? Does it have lots of branches and leaves? Does it have fruit?

Now, I want you to think of a time when someone said something really nice to you.

Question:  What are some of the nice statements you remember people telling you?

Question: How did those statements make you feel?

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Yes, they fill us up with a warm feeling. We may have felt proud of ourselves and we may have felt loved. Do you know that Allah [wt] describes a good word to a good tree? 

In Surah Ibrahim, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاءِ 

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تُؤْتِي أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا ۗ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ 

Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky? [Surah Ibrahim; 24]

It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded. [Surah Ibrahim; 25]

Question: Now, I want you to think of a time when someone said something mean to you. How did that make you feel?

It’s not fun to remember the mean stuff right? Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) continues in Surah Ibrahim and says:

وَمَثَلُ كَلِمَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ كَشَجَرَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ اجْتُثَّتْ مِن فَوْقِ الْأَرْضِ مَا لَهَا مِن قَرَارٍ

And the example of a bad word is like a bad tree, uprooted from the surface of the earth, not having any stability. [Surah Ibrahim; 26] 

Question: What do you think are good words we can use to build strong, firmly rooted trees?

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30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 8: The Life of This World

Now that we have learnt about qalbun saleem, let’s talk about the life of this world.

Question: Do you know that there is an ayah in the Qur’an that takes us through all the stages of life and tells us what we find to be the most important aspect based on our age?

This ayah is found in the chapter named Al-Hadeed. 

Question: Does anyone know what Hadeed means? 

Yes! It means iron! The verse in Surah al-Hadeed starts by saying:

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اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ 

“Know that the life of this world is play and amusement.”

Question: When you were really, really young, what was something that was important to you?

Yes, playing! You would use your imagination, play with your toys, and build legos. That is what  لَعِبٌ la’bun means. Then you got a bit older and you wanted to hear stories and be entertained. 

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Question: Can you tell me in what other ways you’re entertained? (Examples can include watching TV, reading books, etc)

Yes! This is what is meant by  لَهْوٌ l(ahwun). Then we get a bit older and our goals change. The ayah continues by saying, وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ (wa zeenatun wa tafakhirun baynakum). All of a sudden, you become a tween and a teenager, and you really care about your looks. You want to dress in the nicest clothing and look beautiful. This is zeena

Then you get even older and you enter college. You compete with your classmates and show off your knowledge and skills to impress future employees. This is tafaakhirun baynakum , i.e. boasting with one another. 

Then what usually happens after college? Work, marriage, and children! The ayah continues by saying, وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ (wa takathur fil amwaali wal-awlaad), i.e. and competition in increasing wealth and children.

As parents, we try to give you the best life and education, and we work hard to provide for you. But, we always have to remember that it won’t be permanent, right? 

Question: We will be so happy, like farmers watching our seeds grow into beautiful plants, but what happens in the fall when it’s no longer sunny and becomes windy and cold? 

Yes, the plants turn yellow. Remember that toy you used to love playing with as a really little kid? Is it as interesting to you anymore? Remember that TV show you could not stop watching? You even memorized all the lines in it. Do you remember the title? Are you interested in something else now?

This is the example of our whole life. Once we get something we once were so excited to have, we realize that after some time has passed, that it has “turned yellow” to us. 

Question: What do you think that means?

Yes! It’s not as interesting as it once was. So knowing that this is going to happen, how can we make sure to not get distracted by the bright and shiny and stay focused on Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)?

We’re in luck, because Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) gives us the answer! Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

 “سَابِقُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ 

Race toward forgiveness from your Lord and Jannah! 

Question: How do you think we can race towards Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)?

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

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