Working with Muslim Youth – The Do’s and Do Not’s

This is a question which has probably been lingering in the minds of many “Islamically-aware” youth in the Muslim community for a very long time. They may be the main volunteers in their masjid, be active in their MSA, but cannot figure out an effective means to working with the Muslim youth of their locality.

My intention with this post is to shed some light as to the proper and most effective way of guiding (in the directional sense; it’s only Allah who guides) Muslim youth who have strayed from the community, back to the masjid. So after working with Young Muslims for the past six years, being a youth director for a period of time, and taking the advice of du’aat and scholars in the west, I have put together this small post.   To start:

a. Give Da’wah with Wisdom

Allah tells us in Surah Nahl 16:125, “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction.” If you want to work with a teenager, realize that different circumstances surround that teenager’s issues. He/she may be neglected by their parents, they may be hanging around with bad friends, or may simply be looking for the right path but have not found it yet. Every situation must be treated different for the most part.

Another item to remember is the saying of Aa’isha (R) the wife of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who said, “If the first revelation was to tell the Arabs to stop drinking, they would have never stopped drinking.” The hadith went on to mention the act of fornication in that context as well. The whole point is that we cannot expect results in a day; rather, we need to be patient and persistent in the youth work we are involved in. Do not ask a sixteen-year-old Muslim youth to stop listening to Jay-Z or stop wearing tight jeans if he/she is not praying salah.

b. Three Types of Muslim Youth

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As one of my teachers categorized it, generally the Muslim youth in the west fall into three categories:

1. “Religious Youth”

They are your MSA going, weekend seminar attending, shaykh so-and-so rocks, etc type of brothers/sisters (You know who you are). They are keen on gaining knowledge, want to go study overseas, and attend college/high school at the same time. They’re active in da’wah and are recognized in their communities. They teach sunday school and conduct the weekly halaqas in their masjid, and truly care about their communities. They are the rising leaders of the Muslim youth.

The brothers and sisters in this category may have issues of their own relating to family, community, school, etc, but they are motivated to continue working in the path of Allah no matter what. They use their situations to relate to youth who are looking for guidance. For the most part this category is pretty much self-explanatory.

2. “Middle-Men Youth”

a. Be their Friend

THESE are the youth the religious crew need to focus on! Who are they? They come to the masjid for Jumu’ah, come to the Friday night youth group, Islamic events, etc. At the same time they may listen to Lady Gaga, could find some better friends to hang out with, and may even let a few curse words fly here and there while they are with their friends. They have a relationship with the religious youth and with the third category (who will be talking about next), the non-religious youth. The religious youth need to understand that THESE are the people who they need to work with and build a rock-solid relationship with! They are the most effective route towards getting across to the non-religious Muslim youth. How?

Be a brother, not a scholar!

Instead of being du’aat, ameers, ameerahs, MSA presidents, and coordinators, learn to be good friends with the middle-men youth. Take them out to eat randomly and buy them a slice of pizza, take them to the mall if they need a ride, etc. Simply, be really chill with them. That’s the first thing before anything. As John Maxwell says, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

b. Conduct Relevant Activities

Do not focus on many lecture/knowledge type events for them. The weekly halaqa should be their main Islamic discourse for self-development. These halaqas need to be lots of fun and attention catching. Make sure there are moments in which you have the guys (and/or girls) on the edge of their feet, at times be laughing with them, and at times be really emotional with them. This will stir their emotions to make them think about their true purpose. At the same time, stay 1000 miles away from presenting overly academic material in halaqas in which the middle-men youth are present. Sorry, but Usool al-Fiqh, Uloom al-Qur’an, and Deviant Sects won’t work here. Please impart your Deen Intensive and Ilm Summit notes somewhere else.

Make sure there are lots of halal activities available for them. The middle-men youth have interests and hobbies as anyone else would. As a “religious youth”, you need to find out what they are. For example, the youth I was working with were into basketball, skiing, fencing, bowling, and the like. A few months back we went bowling. After wards, we went to playing basketball after Fajr every Sunday, football before the halaqa on Fridays, etc. Basketball tournaments were a big turn on for our community’s youth; then again, as one of the aspiring leaders of the youth you would know what activities your community’s youth are into.

c. Be Upto Date

Another thing which is important is to be up to date with sports, movies, and music which is popular amongst youth. If you try to relate to them through Ferris Buehler’s Day Off (best movie ever :D) and the youth you are speaking with are 13 years-old, then perhaps you should read up a little bit more on today’s media. I am not saying to go out of your way to watch or not watch Social Network or Inception or listen to the latest song by Rihanna or Drake, but at least do research and find out whose tracks are topping the charts, which movie is currently a hit in the theaters, and what is the latest sports drama, etc. If you’re not up to date with pop-culture and live in a cave, then it is time to enter the real world and feel the sunlight. Once again, I am not saying to be or not be a movie buff, just know what everyone is talking about around you.

3. “Not-So-Islamic Youth”

These youth have a bit of a long road ahead of them. They may not come to the masjid except on Fridays when their parents bring them. They also may not be involved with the masjid, MSA, or even pray regularly. They have girlfriends/boyfriends, do drugs/alcohol, and also do not hang out with a healthy group of friends. The middle-men youth are really the only group to have a grip on these guys. They are the ones who can bring the “not-so-Islamic youth” towards the masjid and/or activities planned by the religious youth. Of course the religious youth can have an effect on the non-religious youth directly, but it is the mildy-religious youth who may have a greater chance at convincing the “not-so-Islamic youth” through indirect means to come to the masjid.

“But They Still Don’t Listen!”

Even after we may put in our effort, we need to understand that guidance is solely in the hands of Allah. At the same time it is never a black/white situation when working with the Muslim youth. We can only do so much as to ask Allah to put in us the ability to direct our youth towards the right path. Please do keep in mind that this is a process which takes months and years and not hours and days to implement in the community. But inshaAllah if we are steadfast, the fruits of this type of work may sprout in front of you or perhaps when you are gone; you never know! 

In conclusion, remember the hadith of the Prophet (SAW) in which he said, “To guide one person towards Islam is better then the world and all that it contains.” We are working with youth for Allah’s sake, no matter if our efforts reaped benefit in front of us or not. This hadith should be our motivation to do what we do.

Leave a comment to let me know what I could add, change, remove. Remember to be respectful in your responses. Looking forward to hearing from you all!

40 / View Comments

40 responses to “Working with Muslim Youth – The Do’s and Do Not’s”

  1. Nihal Khan says:

    Also, a special shoutout to SaqibSaab for reviewing the article!

    • Baraa says:

      Very well written article. I’ve been dealing with the youth for around a year now. Dealing with them delicately and speaking their tounge is key. I loved the part where the article said that getting them to pray is more important than getting them to ditch Jay Z, its prioritizing. And speaking their tounge means being up to date and not talking about Ferris Bueller lol. Great article!

    • Muhammad says:

      Mashallah reading this gave me alot of advice on how to approach people of that sort. Alhamdulilah

  2. Moe says:

    Gotta agree with the basketball thing, if there was a designated unofficial Muslim sport that would definitely be it :D

    The emphasis on being gentle and patient is definitely key. I’ve seen too many times where an overzealous uncle or arrogant student will attack or even backbite against brothers who aren’t doing all the right things. And oftentimes, it makes them reluctant to get involved, go the Masjid, etc. (If they feel they’re going to be criticized)

  3. Daughter of Adam (AS) says:

    TabarakAllah, I truly enjoyed this article! does anyone have a good idea for alternative entertainment/group activities for girls besides sports, because I work with several young Muslim women and I still haven’t entirely figured out what relatively simple ongoing project to do to interest them and I’m a girl myself! Having cook-offs, baking cupcakes etc only works when you have a giant kitchen.. plus it’s expensive.

    I particularly liked the advice about being “friends”, with the people you’re trying to advise! Too many of the “starting-to-be-religious” kids, especially, want to advise everyone on what to do right without actually caring about them~ in order to advise anyone really effectively, just like you said, you have to let them know you really care about them.

    when working with the other youth I used to become easily frustrated and almost begin to lose hope for the future.. I was hoping you would elaborate on the fact that “guidance is only in the Hands of Allah”.. because we say it often and I don’t think we truly realize the meaning sometimes.
    my favorite way to get out the slump of thinking like that is to catch myself right there and ask myself why I’m so sad about the “state of the youth”.
    Well… “I sacrificed SO MUCH for these kids, why didn’t it change anything?! They stillllll _____!!!”
    Then: Hmm, it’s not my job to change anyone, this world was not meant to become perfect anyway. My job isn’t to change the world either, Allah doesn’t give us any more than we can take. I simply do as much as I can and leave the rest to Allah. In other words, I’m not measuring my effort or success through their change… If I do see any change, alhamdulillah, but if not, I’m not responsible because I’m still continuing to do as much as I can for them and leaving the results of my efforts with Allah.

    JazakAllahu khairan again for the extremely relevant article!

    • Aisha says:

      Salamualaikum sister,

      I’ve been working with the Muslim girls in my neighbourhood and I have had the same problem with coming up with activities but over time we came up with a few that do not include cooking (though they do enjoy having cooking competitions). The thing is it doesn’t have to be something amazing that costs a lot of money, it can be simple. I’ll list a some of them below;

      -Discussion group ( Since most of them love to talk bring up a random topic and the group can discuss this and somehow link it back to Islam. It allows for everyone to get to know one another and break down some of the cliques that might exist amongst the group. If its during the summer time you can outside to a local park and have your discussion group there. If backbiting gets into it try to veer back to the subject as the group leader.
      -SKITS- Give them a scenario and they can act it out and present it to the group. Ex. someone struggling to start praying, first day of school wearing the hijab..etc. You’d be surprised at what they can come up with.
      Poetry- They can either do it individually or in a group setting and come up with a poem on a topic you give them. A group setting is better since many would be shy to present their work otherwise.
      Sports- Try to find a sport that everyone could participate in. Basketball and soccer will only bring in the athletic girls. Whereas a self-defense class or swimming would get more people to come. The main problem here would be getting a facility with privacy, you would have to talk to your local community centre’s to get this going, Their always looking for female sports activities since physical activity is even low amongst the young Non-Muslim females as well.
      -Trips- This may have a cost to it but it can be something as simple as a “nature walk” .

      Thats all I can think of for now hope it was somewhat helpful.

      • Daughter of Adam (AS) says:

        Wa’alaai’kum assalaam warahmatullah,

        JazakAllahu khairan for your advice! I like the nature walks idea. I also appreciate that you realize the drawbacks of the discussion.. when the girls get to know each other a little- or if they already know each other- it turns into a gossip session or completely turns off-topic. D:
        The skits and poetry is also a good idea, although that too is difficult if there aren’t enough girls willing to share.

        :) good luck with your girls! may Allah help you and all of us trying to help each other!

        • Hebah Ahmed says:

          We Alikum Asalam,

          Masha Allah and may Allah reward you for your efforts to help the Muslim youth. May Allah give us all success in this world and the next and purify our intentions INsha Allah.

          I am in the process of writing an article (insha Allah it will come out in the next month or two) about our local Muslim Girls group. Perhaps it will be of assistance Insha Allah in your efforts. In the meantime you can get an idea by going to our website (DaughterzofEve.com).

          Hope that helps!
          Hebah

          • Daughter of Adam (AS) says:

            Assalaamua’laai’kum warahmatullah Sr. Hebah!

            I loved looking through the event flyers on your website! They definitely provided a lot of inspiration!! I can’t wait for your article insha’Allah :)

            May Allah help you in all your efforts and I will iA remember you in my dua’a :) <3

      • ahlam says:

        Oh wow, jazakillahu khairan for your comment. I was struggling too to find a way to get into these girls mindsets and basically enter their circle, i’ll definitely try some of those outdoor activities,during summer holidays ideally!.

  4. Asmaa says:

    Hmm.. sounds like Nouman Ali Khan’s lecture’s transcript ..Contradicting Community..

    A beneficial reminder nonetheless..

    One important point is this…. Following up on someone’s progress: Once you get involved with helping someone out, make sure you are following up on them and their attitude towards life and religion after that. Don’t leave them hanging in the middle of nowhere on their own.

    Know when to be there and when to back off..

  5. Sammy says:

    I’m mostly a middle man and I have no control over the Not-So-Islamic Youth I interact with. I’m usually unsure about whether I should continue hanging out with them because it either a) gives me a superiority complex or b) pulls my iman down instead of raising it.

    It’s interesting how the “middle path” you mentioned is not considered the most Islamic one.

    As far as taqwa is concerned, the PACE with which different individuals reach them, is highly variable and it is only with wisdom/ personalization that we can influence each of them to follow the righteous path [I’ve basically stated the gist of your article right there].

  6. This should be on the front page of MM.

  7. Cucumber says:

    lol interesting characterization. Solid piece mashaAllah :)

  8. Aflaha says:

    As-salaalualaykum,

    I have been working with the local youth for a few years now–I’ve kind of figured out these groups that you have mentioned—also the fact that each person has multiple personae. All this time the real issue I have is not being able to mix things up—The youth get tired of listening to the same advice over and over again. So as you also mentioned, this year, my friend and are doing things a little diferently—not so much lecturing but befriending and talking about subjects in the news and how they effect/affect as muslims. I still feel as though we aren’t making very much progress—but the girls continue to show up, acting uninterested….Leaving us feeling a little hopeless. What can we do differently??

    Wasalaam

  9. Abdul says:

    Asalaam wa’alaykum!

    Mashallah great article! Im a total middle man, ive tried getting more involved in islamic circles, but honestly, i cant find that religious youth to help guide me into communal gatherings. Its really sad, i dont know where i should go to get in touch with these brothers! Nihal is completely right about my groups connection with the not so religious crowd, i try to encourage being more islamically aware, sometimes they listen….but, speaking from experience, its hard tearing ppl away from dunya, even if it is for an hour

  10. Mombeam says:

    Wow, you just lumped the “good religious kids” into one broad category and basically said that they don’t need any help, or as you’ve said it is “self-explanatory”. How short-sighted can you get? Have you never met kids who USED to be the type you describe and are now in one of the other two categories and wondered how that happened? Do you not realize that many of the kids who are in the good-Muslim or even super-Muslim crowd have their own issues, and that hyper-idealism combined with the arrogance of youth often leads to burnout? That people who tend to be extremely strict in their views as idealistic youth tend to swing to the other extreme as burned out and disillusioned adults? These kids need mentors too, without writing a book here in the comments box, I think you are seriously in need of a wake-up call about the issues faced by kids who are either self-conforming or who may feel forced by the environment to conform to a very narrow view of what a good, religious, observant, strict, practicing, whatever Muslim kid is like, particularly in “Salafi”-oriented circles. I find from my own experience and the experience of the many kids I’ve been around that young idealistic believing and practicing kids need to learn about balance, both in their beliefs, in their attitudes, in their practice, in how they conduct their lives, otherwise they’re headed for disaster later in life.

    • ummMaryam says:

      salam,

      politeness please

      • amatullah says:

        I totally agree with Mombeam…she got to the point and she gave the BEST advice!! I can tell she’s writing from experience and from her heart. Her advice is also “tell it like it is” and common sense. This is what we need to hear and need to see in writing. She is living in reality w/all the problems that are going on, and it seems like she dealt with alot in terms of our youth, so I can take her advice and use it, insha Allah

        **UMMmaryam….there was NOTHING IMPOLITE about her comment….There seems to be a lot of sensitive ppl here!!! Take it ez and stop being so critical

    • Nihal Khan says:

      JazakAllahu khair for your comment.

      The article is geared towards providing a general overview of our youth; at the same time I said that every situation must be treated different when dealing with youth.

      As for Muslim youth who have been burned out, that is a whole other topic which needs its own place to be addressed, not here. I also mentioned that the religious youth may have issues as well, but that does not stop them from trying to give back to their communities.

      Yes, religious kids have problems: pornography, parents, drugs, and much more, but just because I did not address them here does not mean they do not exist. My goal of this article is to the least identify who is doing what. Many times people will come to the masjid to do a halaqa on the Sahaba in their youth but they are not dispersing themselves to the right crowd.The three groups are defined around a mindset more so then what they do or what their problems are. Everyone has issues at the end of the day, even our Imams; but that does not make them any less of people because of the problems they go through.

      I love you for the sake of Allah akhi, I hope we can continue this dialogue. I had also mentioned that this post was written by me; hence these are my opinions. But I really think we could have had some more adab in our comments.

  11. hayat says:

    machalla very important. keep up and jezakellah

  12. Mohammed says:

    Jazakoum ALLAH khair on this great Artical.
    I think it will be a good idea if all the information about this topic get more extented by talking about and giving out some tips on how to deal with the three type of youth in real life. There are some “not so islamic youth” and even some religious youth where some people finds hardship in dealing with especially when it comes to religion.
    Jazakom Allah khair.

  13. Siraaj says:

    Nihal, excellent article, and on point. Middle man insight is golden, looking forward to more gems from your experiences and the mentoring you’ve received from others, insha’allah.

    Siraaj

  14. Kashif Dilkusha says:

    Masha ALLAH

    really beneficial

  15. Hassen says:

    Salaamu Alaykum,

    Good advice in this article, masha’Allah.

    One point that I wanted to see clarified more was the suggestion to stay up to date with current pop culture (tv, music, etc). What is the benefit of having a specific awareness of this stuff? In the end of the day, we know that whoever the new music artist is or new tv show on or whatever… it’s going to be the same type of song/ tv show that promotes the same corrupted values- mainly related to relationships and money (i.e. mostly filth). It’s not like we’re discovering anything that new.

    I think the youth directors/ activists out there should convey to the youth their dislike of the garbage our society produces (with hikmah), as this is consistent with the sunnah (from what I know). This is more of an important point than seeking an avenue to connect with them. Ultimately I think we need the role models in the community (youth leaders and activists) who focus first on striving to livefully consistent with the sunnah before seeking any other avenues to connect with the youth. Implementing the pure example of the rasool should be the #1 thing on the minds of the youth leaders; besides, seeing someone who represents the pure sunnah is a better way to call people to Allah than any other strategy. Wallahu a’lam.

    I can’t imagine any good coming out of discussing the latest pop culture, but I’m open to hearing the other side.

    Jazaki Allahu khayran for the reminder overall.

    – Hassen

    • HadithCheck says:

      I completely agree with brother Hassen, keeping up to date on music and movies is not the best approach, not to mention the Islamic prohibition on such things. From my experience, a much better approach is to find some common ground to talk about and relate to the youth. Talk with them about their classes and their major, advise them on what classes/professors they should take, help them look for internships/jobs, talk about day to day issues that they face… There is no way better to relate to a person than to show a sincere interest in him.

      One thing that I would mention regarding interacting with the 2nd and 3rd groups (although I would have divided our community in a different way rather than into such 3 groups), is that if the person isn’t very cautious then he/she might start off as giving dawah, and then with time he might end up being just like them without even realizing it! The shaytan misleads people in small steps, and the first step some times might even be in the name of dawah! How many times does this happen when one starts going to the gatherings of people (from groups 2 and 3) thinking that although such gatherings aren’t good or completely halal, but going there to relate to them and maybe try and remind them of Allah, only to end up having them affect him with their actions and words (ie they gave him their own dawah!) or even worse he might end up being just like them without even realizing it, and goes regularly to their gatherings and does what they are doing, things which he used to recognize as wrong, but with time he gets used to them and ends up falling into them as well. My advice is for every person to guard his own eman first and foremost and worry about his own condition, and then even when trying to help others and give them dawah, be very cautious and keep your own eman and the well being of your own religion as your first priority.

    • Rollp says:

      Yes, I agree with Hassen. We have to rmember to keep ourselves away from fitna. This cannot be the true way to help them, instead we will start becoming like them ourselves.

  16. […] Working with Muslim Youth – The Do’s and Do Not’s | MuslimMatters.org. […]

  17. HadithCheck says:

    In conclusion, remember the hadith of the Prophet (SAW) in which he said, “To guide one person towards Islam is better then the world and all that it contains.”

    This hadith that you mentioned towards the end of the article is not correct with that wording. The actual wording that is found in the authentic narrations is:

    “If Allah were to guide one man through you, that would be better for you than having red camels.” Narrated by Bukhari (3009) and Muslim (2406).

    The beauty of this hadith is that it reminds us that Allah is the one who guides, and even if some people accept Islam because we gave them dawah, but Allah was the one who guided them, through us, so we should be grateful for that. Furthermore, if you are giving dawah but it seems like no one is responding or listening to you, you don’t despair nor give up, because it is Allah who guides whomever He wants.

  18. JazakAllah to Br Nihal for YM shout out. YM is actively working towards real solutions for the youth of America, and the it’s primary method is weekly, engaging halaqahs nationwide (with sports/food). Some of the brothers who attend our “NeighborNets” (meetings), have serious issues like dating, zinah, drugs – or maybe they are just looking for something to do on a Friday/Saturday night. YM gives an outlet to these youth to develop strong bonds of brotherhood, share their problems, and grow as Western Muslims with their peers.

    Our age range/limit is 13-25, so we are truly an organization for the Youth, by the Youth. For more info visit our website: ymsite.com

  19. nayma says:

    Very nice article mashallah. I agree with many others that we have to find common ground to talk about first. That is a little hard sometimes for those who were not brought up here. But then again we can benefit from everyone.
    We’ve(my husband and I) had youth group meetings in different cities for the last 10 years. We have one in DE now that I feel is the best. One of the sisters arranges for a tafsir class and the girls and mothers join in. They take notes and then we go around having each of us give an input of what interested us.

    At the same time we arrange for social activities, like volunteering at Ronald McDonald’s and social get togethers. You can read about an event here:

    http://nurkose.net/2010/12/11/fun-at-ronald-mc-donald-house/

    We try to listen to different speakers online to spark interest. But the best thing I believe is that we are following the tafsir of the Quran.

    And we genuinely have to care for them. Take the time out to reach out to them not just to advice, but see how they are doing…

    And make lots and lots of dua for them. It’s not easy in the schools.

    May Allah give us wisdom in dealing with them.

  20. Sarah says:

    JazakaAllahu khayrn for the article.

    It reminded me of this GEM Dr. Reda Bedeir mentioned to us in the Eternal Journey Class:

    Ibn Tamiyyah said that there are three pillars to Dawah
    1. Ta’leef: get the people to love you, enjoy your talk and your company.
    -In this stage don’t talk about the deen, just talk about what he likes. When the person starts missing you and your company. It’s about the dunya (ie what they like) right now.

    2. Ta’reef: indirectly introducing the merchandise to him. You should indirectly share a story with him. Don’t say that smoking leads to cancer and Allah will punish you. Say for example that this is what happened with one of my friends.

    3. Takhleef: Tell people to go back to Allah. You can be open and direct with him now.

    He brought up to us how we usually jump to Takhleef right away, skipping Ta’leef and Ta’reef but if you have no relationship with them, they won’t listen to what you have to say. waAllahu’alim.

    • Nayma says:

      Jazak Allahu Khairan for sharing Ibn Taymiyyah’s advice on Dawa.

      I saw it being used this weekend at the Lancaster Camp. Br. Alhashemi’s first two slides on his presentation was a map of where he was born and where he studied. Then he shared pictures of his two children. That was the first I had seen a lecturer start like that. But you know what? It created an affinity to the speaker. A speaker has such a short time to make his audience know him in a convention. It needs art and creativity to be able to relate to the audience.
      I totally understand and appreciate Ibn Taymiyyah’s advice. Jak for sharing it with us!

  21. […] of the articles a few weeks ago was about the different types of Muslim youth and the writer made some solid characterizations for each group. I completely agree with everything […]

  22. Muslimah says:

    Assalamu Aliakum

    JazakAllah for this article. I have one question. I am currently starting a young adults program for Muslims from the ages 17-24, and we are brainstorming ideas for events and programs that will draw in different types of youth, including the three you mentioned in the article above. What do you think of having an open-mic night at the masjid? Where people would preform poetry, nasheed, and, rap/beatboxing at the masjid? My concern is that is this really appropriate for the masjid?

  23. al faruk says:

    salaamunalaikum

  24. Usul al-fiqh was pointed out as having the same relation to Islamic law as grammar has to language: it is a science that protects you against error. Moreover, the science discusses four matters according to the fuqaha: 1) ahkam (rulings); 2) adillah (sources of the ahkam); 3) how to derive rulings from the sources (culminating in the science of ijtihad, or independent legal reasoning); and 4) qawa’id (legal precepts) and masalih (benefits). The early jurists like Abu Hanifa and Malik had a pure Islamic understanding of the sources; yet, after the second hijri century, Muslim usul came to be dominated by the Muslim engagement with the Greek-Hellenic tradition. This led to the division of the usuliyyin first put forward by Ibn Khaldun in al-Muqaddimah: namely, the division between the tariqa al-fuqaha and the tariqa al-mutakallimin. Of course, such a binary understanding, as is usually the case with such attempts at simplification, obscures the method of those who tried to join the two tariqas. Shaykh Akram lamented that usul al-fiqh lost importance after the third hijri century, as it was not actually used to produce fiqh, because in most cases usul became preoccupied with philosophical generalities (kulliyyat) divorced from practical legal cases and/or fiqh became a process of producing fatwas according tonaza’ir (taking a known legal case and then applying it to similar matters, as opposed to looking at the foundational sources for direct answers to new occurrences). In terms of preserving a “pure” theory of usul al-fiqh, Shaykh Akram considered the Hanafis to be less affected by Greek-inspired‘ilm al-kalam than the other madhhabs.

  25. jannah focus says:

    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته.

    bro nihal.. jazaakallah khayr for a wonderful article. ..keep it up. great job. may Allah increase you and us all in hikmah.

    beautiful categorisations. ..and I also enjoyed the comments section till the end. barakallaah feekum.

    I hope that there is a continuation of this article where the broad categorisations are discussed much deeper.

    I agree with hassen..abt the issue of getting updated on the current fitnah vibes on celebrities, music etc .. unless there’s further clarification as to how important that it..

    we need to seriously fashion out a common ground to connect without compromising on what’s halal.
    Rabbanaa aatinaa hikmah.

    Once again. jazaakallah khayr. Please post in response if there’s a follow up to this very important well written article. shukran jazeelan

  26. Hadil says:

    JAK. Thanks for your article. It said Dec. 2010 so it’s 6 years old. Still the ideas are relevant. The comments were good too. I think your efforts are very heartfelt mashaAllah.

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