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Repentance: A Means For Purification – Farhan Abdul Azeez

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More often than not, speeches given to “the youth” are problematic. Our younger Muslim brothers and sisters complain about speakers being way too technical and their talks going over their head or being so negative and encouraging of self-loathing that the audience begins to become disenfranchised with Islam altogether.

This speech by Farhan Abdul Azeez of Canton, MI, however, was hailed as the best speech of the 2009 MMYC (Michigan Muslim Youth Council) Spring Conference.

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Right after it ended, every attendee I came across was raving not only about how good it was, but even saying it was the best speech of the conference, only halfway through the entire program.

So what made this speech so good for such a critical crowd?

farhan_mmyc2009_01Firstly, it contained solid and sound subject matter primarily focused on the Qur’an. The book of Allah is generously filled with wisdom we fail to grab, and even more so for the youth who are disconnected with it. This speech on repentance constantly referred back to the timeless events told in the Qur’an. When you keep it simple and go that route, you can’t lose.

Second, the speaker and his words carried social relevance, a huge tactic needed to connect with such a specific audience. Farhan would, for example, connect the topic of gaining mad amounts of taqwa with ascending to the level of a Super Sayian in DragonBall Z, a concept which you may know nothing about but totally hit home for some in the MMYC crowd.

Lastly, the speech was a lot of fun and made easy for the kids while maintaining seriousness and respect for the subject matter presented. There were jokes, but there were also moments of pin drop silence. There was crowd participation. There was even a break in between where Farhan had everyone massage their neighbors and hug them (AlMaghrib style!). Having small tricks like that really went a long way.

The crowd locked in.

So if you’re involved with high schoolers or younger, or are looking for a good example of how to cater a lecture towards them, check out this video. It’s a great example of the style needed for our younger brothers and sisters growing up with Islam today.

Oh, and the speech is super beneficial, too. It’s not just “for kids.” :)

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SaqibSaab is an average Desi Muslim guy living in Chicago. He enjoys videography and design as side hobbies, and helps out with AlMaghrib Institute in Chicago, Wasat Studios, and other projects here and there. His go-around vehicle is a 2007 Volkswagen Jetta 5-speed Wolfburg Edition. Originally born in Michigan, he and his wife reside in Chicagoland with his parents who come from Bangalore, India. He blogs personally at SaqibSaab.com.

27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Verbage

    September 18, 2009 at 3:59 AM

    congrats to br. farhan abdel-azeez! he just won the national qur’an competition in irvine, ca (judged by `afasy). you can watch it here: http://icoi.net/multimedias/view/icoi_1st_national_qur_an_competition_finals

    • Avatar

      MW_M

      September 18, 2009 at 9:27 AM

      Subhan Allah!

  2. Avatar

    Ali

    September 18, 2009 at 9:23 AM

    Mashallah, well worth watching…

  3. Avatar

    nilo

    September 18, 2009 at 9:57 AM

    Br Farhan, MASHALLAH. YOU HAVE CAPTURED EVERYTHING JUST RIGHT. YOUR TONE, YOUR MANNERIZM, YOUR QURAN RECITATION, YOUR SPEECH CONTENT. MASHALLAH.
    MAY ALLAH GIVE YOUR MORE BLESSING IN THIS LIFE AND THE NEXT. MAY ALLAH OPEN THE DOORS OF JANNET-TUL-FERDOUSE FOR YOU. MAY HE LET YOU DIE AS A SHAHEED AND MAY HE PROTECT YOU FROM ALL THE EVILS OF THIS WORLD AND FROM THE EVILS OF SHATAN.AMEEN

    BROTHER NO OTHER SPEEKER TOUCHED MY HEART THE WAY YOU DID. AT FIRST I THOUGHT IT WAS TO LONG TO LISTEN TO, BUT I PUT IT ON AND DID ALL OF MY OTHER THINGS I HAD TO DO ON THE PC,.
    AND BEFORE YOU KNOW IT MY TEARS WERE ROLLING DOWN MY FACE.
    THANK YOU BROTHER AND CONGRATS FOR WINNING THE AWARD FOR THE RECITATION YOUR DESERVE IT.

  4. Avatar

    Amatullah

    September 18, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    mashaAllah he did a great job. jazahuAllahu khayran.

  5. Avatar

    Man

    September 18, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    hahahaha MashAAllah
    Super Saiyan, hahahah, classic

  6. Avatar

    Nahyan

    September 18, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    MashaAllah, good stuff bro.

    Jazakallahukhair for the post SaqibSaab

  7. Avatar

    ilmseeker

    September 18, 2009 at 1:43 PM

    Ma sha Allah very well done! May Allah (swt) bless the brother, ameen.

  8. Avatar

    Abu Sauleh

    September 18, 2009 at 2:59 PM

    mashaaAllaah… br. Farhan is a treasure of this ummah :) May Allaah guide him and preserve him.

  9. Avatar

    sister in deen

    September 18, 2009 at 8:20 PM

    Subahanallah..Mashaallah.Jazakumallahu khairaa

  10. Avatar

    Amatullah

    September 18, 2009 at 9:38 PM

    MashAllah, the brother has a really nice qira’ah..BarakAllahu feek

  11. Avatar

    Faraz Omar

    September 18, 2009 at 10:30 PM

    WoW! MAsha Allah. beautiful recitation and excellent speech…may Allah accept it from him and increase his ilm and amal.
    who is he btw? his profile?

  12. Avatar

    Sadaf Farooqi

    September 19, 2009 at 7:47 AM

    What a wonderful reciter he is, masha’Allah! No superficial undertones or artificial “tasannu“. How lucky his parents are to have him for a son. Throughout his lecture I kept thinking, “O Allah, make my son like him…”
    And may Allah guide our youth to repent. The fact is that the da’wah of a person who is himself young, has much more effect on the youth than that of an elderly person.
    And Allah knows best.

  13. Avatar

    amatul-Rahmaan

    September 19, 2009 at 8:01 AM

    subhaanAllah, I am speechless.

    once you start you can’t pause it. may Allah (swt) reward him profusely, Allahumma ameen…

  14. Avatar

    Fish

    September 19, 2009 at 11:17 PM

    YOUSFUUUUUUUUUUULLL SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!

  15. Pingback: Repentance:A Means For Purification (For Muslims) « Islamic rapidshare links

  16. Avatar

    DI

    September 20, 2009 at 12:41 AM

    Masha Allah la quwatta illah billah !

    The future is looking bright… :D

  17. Avatar

    Osman

    September 21, 2009 at 1:49 AM

    SubhanAllah! May Allah bless this brother.

  18. Avatar

    Farhan

    September 21, 2009 at 9:23 AM

    He described Ibrahim (AS) as “straight chillin” in the fire. hahaha, ma sha Allah

  19. Avatar

    Imani

    October 9, 2009 at 11:25 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah,

    Mashallah this was an EXCELLENT lecture, May Allah increase this brother in his knowledge. It’s true, once the lecture started you just can’t put it off. Mashallah.
    I was wondering if anybody had Brother Farhan’s contact information. We have a relatively new MSA and are looking for a speaker to come and have an event, and Mashallah Brother Farhan seems to really be able to connect with the youth. If anyone can direct me, just reply to this message.

    Jazak Allahu Khair

  20. Avatar

    Faraz Omar

    October 11, 2009 at 1:48 AM

    There was one thing I was not sure about in the lecture. Farhan says explaining the verse “wa in ta’uddoo ni’mat Allahi laa tahsoohaa (surah ibrahim)… that Allah mentions Ni’mah, which is singular. Allah didn’t use ni’am (plural), showing that we cannot even count the blessings of one favor of Allah upon us. I checked if that was the tafseer of the verse. I spoke to a student of knowledge and he said that it means Allah’s favors and it is not in singular, even though the word used is singular. He said its being used as a “Jins”… meaning the word is used collectively for all of Allah’s favors. Just as the word “Insaan” is used as a collective word for all human beings.

    Though the meaning of what he said, that we can’t count the blessings of just one favor, is fine, but i was unsure if that is the meaning of the verse.

    It’ll be great if MM can reach him and let him know. If he has evidence of what he’s saying from the classical tafaseer…. I would love to know.

    I wonder if the question can be put up to YQ also to check it up?

    • Avatar

      Eman

      October 3, 2010 at 12:47 AM

      I asked Br Nouman Ali Khan about this and he said that yes the word ni’mah used here is Ism Jins, from a Balaghi perspective in analyzing the Quran, what was mentioned in the lecture is correct and that Allah SWTA chose the word Ni’mah here and not Ni’am or An’um which are Jami’ Kathra and Jami’ Qilla respectively to give the meaning that we are unable to even count the value of one blessing of Allah SWTA upon us, let alone thank Him for it.

      He mentioned the verse about Ibrahim (AS), being such a great Nabi, when Allah SWTA described that he was thankful for some of His blessings upon him (the Jami’ Qilla version An’um — “Shaakiran Li An’umuhi” — this is in fact very high praise, when for the rest of us we dont even come close to that as is mentioned in the ayah referred to in the speech.

      Wa Allahu A’lam.

  21. Avatar

    abdullah

    October 20, 2009 at 10:34 AM

    can someone please post the information/profile about this brother.

  22. Avatar

    umm haya

    November 14, 2009 at 1:09 PM

    Barakallahu feek….excellent…….

  23. Avatar

    Niha Athar

    December 11, 2009 at 7:26 PM

    Asalam u Alikum wa rehmatullahi wa barakatahu!!

    Jazak’Allah!! :) It was great!!

    May Allah guide him & make it eaiser to remain steadfast on the right path. Ameen!

  24. Avatar

    Ahmad

    September 30, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    Farhan Abdul Azeez,
    Location: Canton, Michigan, USA.
    Born: 1986
    Current age at 2010: 24

    Did this khutbah at april 2009. 2nd year med school.

    Was a biology major at michigan state university. By that time he was also MSA president there. (2006)
    Then went to med school there.
    (data based on http://www.ghazali.net/archives2006/html/professor_s_hate_e_mail.html)

    He also tis active not only in da’wah but also for volunteer and charity efforts.
    on august, 2009 “Dr. Farhan Abdul Azeez conducted a fundraiser, where about $28,000 were received. Everyone promised to introduce HHRD to others in the community and some administrators from the community organizations pledged further support for HHRD(Helping Hand For Relief & Development) in years to come.”

    Won the Quran competition
    http://icoi.net/multimedias/view/icoi_1st_national_qur_an_competition_finals
    september 2009

    02/13/2010
    MIA graduate.
    3rd year medical student in MSU as of the feb. 2010.
    http://podcasts.doubletwist.com/MCWS-Podcast/OPWbyxDv3G#q=a&id=OPWbyxDv3G
    His talk “Rasulullah(SAWS) and his relationship with Khadijah RA” at MCWS Masjid at his hometown.

    Talk at Same Masjid @ Dec 2008 talk:
    Hajj, a spiritual journey.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipG3dHc4gxU

    other talks:

    https://www.msu.edu/~azeezfar/Articles.htm <– articles that he wrote.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62oWBa9huFo <– another talk, MMYC conf. 2008.. Prophet SalAllahua'laihiwasalam and humbleness
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EehEe2-M0Wc <– Meaning of Allahuakbar, importance of salah, and some divine link marketing.
    ALMAGHRIB Qabeelat Ittihad, fiqh of salah class.
    giving salah rug gifts, sh. yaser birjas is there too:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oa95pax5lA8 <– sharing prayer rugs gift. jokes about marriage. funny story about hajj with Sh. Yaser QAdhi.

    RECITATIONS:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FfOniTNgsw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9RHE5N4Wyk

    Good to hear young youth who are balanced, active, and mashAllahs. I did this research mostly for my own curiosity of seeking role models, but thought I'd share so others might benefit from it too :)

    May Allah keep him firm, make us all repentant slaves, and guide us all to success in Jannah.

  25. Avatar

    Sabina Moid

    April 4, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    MashaAllah he did a great job. JazahuAllahu Khayran.

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#Islam

The Estranged Middle Way

The following excerpt is part of the introduction of a longer article that I am writing. I felt it merited being a separate article as well in the hopes that it benefits readers in points of collective reflection and elevating our discourse in matters of disagreement. The mark of civilization is not that they reach uniformity but how people deal with disagreement.

Shaykh Hasib Noor

Published

“Our entire system of life is truly as God Almighty defined, a middle among all people, never being confined to the different variations of thoughts of man, and encompassing and transcending all of them. God’s words cannot be limited by man.”

Islām is rooted as being a faith that has a holistic way of life because it is an all-encompassing framework of guidance. Its framework divides into three integral, interlinked, and inseparable components: actions, beliefs and spirituality.

Actions and practices encompass guidance of every facet of the private, public, and societal. Such a detailed framework in actions serves to ingrain the purpose and objectives of Islām through a practical faith that not only gives over-arching principles but carefully considers even the most minute of subtleties for individual context and scenario.

Beliefs discuss essential faith and foundational theology. Belief, or īmān, are not to be confused with theology, or ‘āqīdah. Often times they may be used interchangeably while there are key elements of differentiating between what īmān is and what ‘is aqīdah. Belief or īmān is referred to primarily in two different contexts.

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The first is the breakdown of what comprises faith.

Belief (īmān) is comprised of actions (‘amal) and statements (qawl):
1. Actions of the Heart, which are the root and catalyst of actions of the limbs: like reliance on God, sincerity, hope, fear, awe, seeking the pleasure of God, etc.
2. Actions of the Limbs.
3. Statements of the Heart: is theology, the study of the nature of God and all religious belief. It encompasses the tenets of faith a person believes in and has certainty.
4. Statements of the Tongue.

The second context of īmān or belief refers to the state of spirituality which increases with righteousness and decreases with sin.

When we refer to beliefs, we are referring to  of these contexts, holistically. As you can see belief encompasses theology but does not solely define it. Among the functions of theology is building foundational understanding of the nature of God, the nature and function of man in light of the temporal world and the Hereafter, the reality of the Afterlife, the meaning of life, etc.

Theology,  here, subsequently contemporizes and responds to any contentions from philosophies or ideologies opposing to the universal belief Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) sent to humanity. Beliefs also elucidate what is considered acceptable differences within orthodoxy and what is considered heterodoxy. The study of valid  (saigh) and invalid (ghair saigh) interpretation in theology include tolerance of differences within orthodoxy (murā’at al khilāf), highlighting what types of theological deviance are forgivable and what kinds are grounds for falling outside of acceptable faith, and what are unequivocal (qat’i) and equivocal (dhannī) aspects of theological belief.

The last component of spirituality (tazkiyah/tasawwuf), is the ultimate guide in balancing mechanics and belief. But it also contains within it pitfalls for those that focus on it in absence of and balanced with practice and beliefs. Spirituality is at the heart of faith. It is led by actions, guided by the sea of belief to wonder in reflection and amazement at the grandeur of the Almighty in the macro and micro.

Many have been drowned in and lost the objectives (maqāsid) of the holistic framework of Islām with dogmatic overt-focus of one aspect over another. They neglect one of the other of these components, in spite of the inseparable connection of the three. We witness a faulty approach on the practice and mechanics without considering spirituality. We see in certain groups a lack of focus on ethics, character, and delivery being as vital, if not more so, as the emphasis on correct action.

The example of faulty approach to theology is also visible. Neglecting spirituality is as much of a problem as the other extreme of esoteric philosophies and mysticism which delved into symbolism to such an extent that it contradicted foundational principles in how the faith is interpreted and understood according to the practice of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), and his teachings relayed to his companions as well as heterodoxical beliefs or innovative practices all in the name of “the spirit of Islam.” In some of these groups, the sum of proving theology was more important than the tone of delivery and capturing hearts. After all, even the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was disciplined by the Lord with nothing more in the Quran than how he delivered the message. An empirical tasawwuf as well is central to the faith of Islām. A spirituality which ingrained in prophetic teachings, the best of worshipers of course knows the best path to connect the Creator. Esoteric tasawwuf was sought after in neglect of such empirical spirituality.

In other cases, the practice of Islām becomes not only secondary but deemed irrelevant while ‘the bigger and most important matter is the heart in faith.’ A slogan which is outwardly true but misguided in application. While seeking the spirit of Islām, the integral component of spirituality is rooted and inseparable with practice and beliefs. The protective cloak of Islam, the shariah, is stripped, its logical framework and shield, the beliefs, usurped.

In summary, two extremes mutate and fight at odds with each other while both exemplify inconsistency and a false practice of Islam: the claim to see the spirit of Islām was lost without practice, and the dogmatic indignation to correct beliefs lost audience with abhorrent manners and vile speech, while the claim to follow correct practice is deluded with no objectives.

Actions are studied in fiqh, beliefs, in specifically theology in the study of ‘aqīdah, but beliefs (īmān) are ingrained in the studies of all Islamic sciences such as hadith and knowing the meanings of the teachings of the Prophet, his life, manners, and etiquette in sīrah, the meanings of the words of Allah in tafsīr, in understanding the intricacies of the eloquence in the arabic language etc. as well as the direct discussion of spirituality in the study of tasawwuf or tazkīyah.

Having a teacher is vital as well to model all of this. And we have dedicated and entire article to the importance of such guidance in teachers and avoiding religious complexes in Muslim discourse.

It is vital to enumerate the aforementioned issues in this introduction because often times the holistic approach of understanding faith is neglected in discussions regarding the sub components of Islām . There is an absence of awareness of such framework. The more compartmentalized discussions of theology, fiqh, or spirituality become the more distant they are from the essential interconnected relationship that our Islāmic paradigm functions in, the constructs in which we see the world through, and the principles on which we derive all matters from.

With this in mind, I also have a disclaimer that I will share in the form of a story. While shopping in a bookstore in Madinah, I ran into a good friend who works there and we caught up. We studied together very closely under a teacher; even though we have differences in the madhab we study, as well as the Sunnī theological school we ascribe to. But our hearts are one in faith, and love is uniform in its essence. We studied spirituality with a teacher who imparted this and it was visibly applied in everything that he taught. He had students not only from all four madhabs of fiqh but also theological sunnī schools (Ash’arī, Māturīdī, and Atharī), alongside the different nationalities that we all came from (in hindsight, this is what Madinah has always represented: known as Ma’riz Al Īmān — the refuge of faith, where all come together and unified in their bond of Islam).

After exchanging pleasantries, catching up as we were happy to see one another, my friend and I discussed a problem. We were both seeing those who ascribe themselves as scholars and students of Islam in their dogmatic discussions across theology, fiqh, and spirituality lack not only basic ethics, manners, genuineness, and sincerity but also lack a sense of just and amicable difference (insāf). He said something profound in our discussion:

“You know, those in the middle will always be attacked the most. Look at what’s happening now, an Ash’arī attacks an Atharī, an Atharī attacks an Ash’arī … and the people in the middle are attacked by both! The people in the middle work twice as hard!”

I chuckled in agreement and said,

“Yes twice as hard to relay to both sides how much they agree on and regarding the minority of views they contend, how to disagree amicably with love and care for what bonds them while maintaining balance in approach!”

He throws his arms in the air and says,

“This is why it would be great if people stuck to ‘aqīdat al ‘ajaiz!”

This phrase, “the belief of old women,” is a term used to refer to the essential and foundational faith of very devout, loving, and practicing older women who engaged in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah, recitation of the Quran, du’ā (prayer) for all Muslims, and had no rancor or hatred in their heart for anyone because they were more engrossed in the love of God and His Prophet in yearning to be in companionship in the Everlasting Garden from engaging in highly-charged polemical theology. They were content with imān (faith) that’s the ultra-unifying variable for any dissent in Islām, and not in divisive kalām (theological discourse) which often times proved so theoretical that it lost tenability. Old ladies are blissfully ignorant of kind of theology.

The disclaimer is: the middle group will always be attacked more. I recognize that.

I ask the reader not to employ their rational abilities to find holes to criticize but to reflect on the message in light of this holistic aspect. If you have valid criticism and disagreement weigh it in light of the following: is your view valid? Is my view valid (saigh)? Are you criticizing my views in regard to invalidity or are you criticizing it based on what’s ideal? If you view what I’m saying as invalid provide evidence. If you feel what I’m saying isn’t ideal then don’t lose sight of the bond of fellowship our faith teaches us in kindness and disagreeing amicably. Reflect over the unifying unequivocal principles of our faith (muḥkamāt). You may disagree with an aspect, but do you disagree with the objective? If you disagree with the objective and approach, why? What are some critical reasons for why you differ? Do you perceive some harm, is it truly harmful, and to what level is this harm? Do you feel an aspect that you agree with generally but disagree on its application? State it. Do you believe it needs more specific elucidation? Can you clearly and succinctly state what you agree with prior to your disagreement by highlighting points of agreement before departures? Does this disagreement occur in something that is unequivocal (qat’ī) or equivocal (dhannī) and open to interpretation?

If we only exercised noble disagreement in points of contention, we would realize what kind of disagreements are fundamental and which ones superficial and unnecessary.

As a beloved teacher once said, when we look at who implements what we’ve mentioned above one will notice that everyone will claim that they follow the middle path. Everyone will agree with all that’s been mentioned in regard to temperament, amicable disagreement, and moderation, yet when it comes to the application, we all falter.

How do we recognize this middle and moderate way?

Shaykh Hatim Al-‘Awni says, “the middle and moderate path is the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم that Allah described as a marker of this faith,

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“And so We have made you ˹believers˺ a wasat )middle, upright, just) community so that you may be witnesses over humanity and that the Messenger may be a witness over you…” Quran 2:143.”

Wasat — middle is the marker of this nation. It’s a mark of its divinity. A revealed divine system of life from the Almighty can never be encompassed by human mechanism, understanding, thought, or ideology. Our beliefs in morality are neither completely moral universalism nor relativism. Our economics is neither capitalism nor socialism. Our politics isn’t based on absolute majority-rule neither is it autocracy with repression of voices, rights, and stifling opinion, criticism, and freedoms. Our entire system of life is truly as God Almighty defined, a middle among all people, never being confined to the different variations of thoughts of man, and encompassing and transcending all of them. God’s words cannot be limited by man.

A Muslim should always seek such middle path of understanding in the exemplar of it and whose life is the application of it, the Beloved Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). His life is the rubric of what is middle and what is right and wrong. Following that exemplar in the principles he set out is our objective while aiming to never estrange the middle path.

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#Islam

An Ashura Message: Proclaim Good And Refrain From Evil, Always And At All Costs!

Shakeel Syed

Published

Light coming through the stone lattice window


“If you do not march forth, Allah will chastise you grievously and will replace you by another people, while you will in no way be able to harm Him. Allah has power over everything”. (The Holy Quran – 9:39)

No people can live successfully, fruitfully and triumphantly without a strong memory of their past. Ashura, the 10th of Muharram, is one such milestone.

Muslims attempt to recall the tragic event that took place around the 60th year after Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) migrated from Makkah to Madinah. This time it was his family led by his noble grandson Imam Hussayn ibn Ali raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him).

Reciting Divine words, reflecting Prophetic advises and studying history enables us to crystallize our insights. However, when we attempt to draw the imagery of Karbala, no heart could be so hard as not to be pierced with sadness while replaying the Day of Ashura. Words cannot do justice to the sacrifices made that day.

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They kept their heads high, faces flowing with blood and tears, looking one upon another. Others stood in dolorous pain, looking up to the highest heavens, fixing their eyes upon it, crying out, asking help from the Only Helper; while others made lamentations in the manner of dirge.

Today we try to recall their pain, suffering and sacrifices, as they happened, to inspire ourselves and to understand the concept of sacrifice for a noble cause.

Regrettably, sacrifice as it is generally understood today, is to give up something that should not have been touched in the first place. Selfless and unasked giving is a rarity and unheard of. Giving one’s entire self and offspring for His pleasure is unimaginable. Muslims must spiritually survive from the unparallel yesterdays of the Prophet’s progeny.

We have been largely overwhelmed by a culture that has emptied our memories, made us apologetic for who we are, and stripped us along the way of the sheerest hope of self-definition. We alone are presumed past less and are left to repair our self-esteem. Imperative it is for us today, to define ourselves by our ongoing tribulations and those who mete them out to us. Otherwise, we cannot be collectively successful if we have no idea or, worse that we have the wrong idea of who we were and who we are.

The intent of this writing is to stimulate, not to sate — to pose the question and to invite reflection — to cause ourselves to act for an almost forgotten legacy of the sacrifices made by our beloved Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)and his progeny.

O Allah! Bestow upon us the courage to enjoin, proclaim and enforce the good and the patience and perseverance to forbid and stop the evil for and by all.

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30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 21: The Strong Believer

Marwa Aly, Guest Contributor

Published

Now that we have learnt about how we come to success, let’s now talk about the strong believer.

Question: Who can tell me who was a strong believer during the time of the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)?

Yes! There are so many of them, like Umar, Hamza, Khalid ibn Walid, az-Zubayr ibn Awwaam, Nusaibah, and Ali [may Allah be pleased with them all].

Before Umar ibn al-Khattab raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) became Muslim, the Muslims would not pray publicly in front of the Ka’bah. They would be beaten and hurt if they attempted to do so. But, when Umar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) became Muslim, he went directly in front of the Ka’bah to pray. When the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) commanded the Muslims to perform the hijrah (migration from Mecca to Medina), many Muslims did so at night so as not to be seen by the Qurayshi tribes that wanted to keep them in Mecca. Umar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) on the other hand, declared his migration and threatened anyone that attempted to stop him. Abdallah ibn Mas’ud raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: 

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MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

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.

“Umar’s submission to Islam was a conquest, his migration was a victory, his khalifa (period of rule) was a blessing. I have seen when we were unable to pray at the Ka’bah until Umar submitted. When he submitted to Islam, he fought them (the pagans) until they left us alone and we prayed.”

There is a phrase in the Qur’an where Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) commands Prophet Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Prophet Yahya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to take the book with determination; فَخُذْهَا بِقُوَّةٍ  (fa khuth-ha bi quwwa) [take it with power] . 

Question: What do you think it means to take the book with determination, or with power?

While the Qur’an is definitely a book that is soothing for our souls, it is also supposed to empower us and strengthen us, so that we can then go forth and empower others by it as well. 

When we practice what is in the Qur’an, it allows us to remain upright, and builds our spiritual muscles as well. Just like you have to train to grow your physical muscles, you have to keep training for spiritual muscles too. 

Question: What are some ways we can train our spiritual muscles?

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MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

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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