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To Defend Our Beloved Prophet, Let Us Exemplify His True Ideals Say Imams

Following the shocking murders in Paris, condemned by Muslims all over the world, and subsequent moves to depict the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once again, Imams from around the world have come together to issue the following advice to those concerned about the depiction.

1.    For Muslims, love of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a NECESSARY part of our FAITH. He is dearer to us than our parents and children. We prefer him to our own self.

2.    Accordingly we regret and are naturally hurt by the depiction of our Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace), a great personality held in high esteem by 1.8 billion Muslims and millions more, in such a manner.

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3.    Muslims do believe in freedom of speech. And they do respect the right for people to say what they believe to be correct. However, freedom of speech should not be translated in to a duty to offend. Furthermore, it is common knowledge that absolute freedom of speech does not exist. There are laws to protect the dignity and properties of people. We urge governments, civil society and our media to foster a culture of mutual respect and unity, not one of division and disdain.

4.    Most Muslims will inevitably be hurt, offended and upset by the republication of the cartoons. But our reaction must be a reflection of the teachings of the gentle and merciful character of the Prophet (peace be upon him).  Enduring patience, tolerance, gentleness and mercy as was the character of our beloved Prophet (peace and Blessings be upon him) is the best and immediate way to respond. With dignified nobility we must be restrained, as the Quran says “And when the ignorant speak to them, they say words of Peace.”

Our aim is to not, inadvertently, give the cartoons more prominence through our attention. Muslims must remain calm and peaceful in their speech and actions. Repel harm with goodness is the Qur’anic imperative and by which the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) lived. If we feel strongly, the only course of action to us is with reasoned debate, civil activism and other legal avenues, God willing.

5.Muslims have to remember that by depicting the Prophet (peace be upon him) no one can ever tarnish his image, as he is way beyond what is depicted, as Allah says, ‘We have elevated your remembrance’. We should spend such regrettable moments in supplicating with many litanies and prayers of blessings on the Prophet; may Allah’s mercy, peace and blessing be upon his soul.

6. Engage with others about your feelings. Speak of your love for the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and do not be shy to let your non-Muslim friends know your justified displeasure at the mockery that is made of our faith. People need to know how much love we have for our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

7.  Learn more and share more about the greatness of the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Hassaan bin Thaabit (may Allah be pleased with him) describes him with the following couplets:

“My eyes have never seen anyone more perfect than you
No woman has given birth to anyone more handsome than you
You have been created free from all defects
As if you were created the way you wished”

8. We should, through our actions and deeds, display the sublime character of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The Prophet faced many great challenges but he exhibited impeccable beauty of character in his actions. He did not react inhumanely or violently. He was attacked verbally and physically in Taif but he forgave the people. His uncle and companions were murdered but he reacted peacefully and in a humane manner. And there are many such examples from the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) we must display.

9. As citizens of our respective countries, we must not allow hate to creep into our hearts due to the horrific incidents of Paris. Muslims, non-Muslims and people of all backgrounds must come together and show unity and solidarity and not let it divide our communities. We must remember the statements of the Prophet (peace be upon him) such as: “Someone who unjustly kills a non-Muslim citizen cannot attain a whiff of Heaven, even though its fragrance is felt from a distance of forty years. (Bukhari), or, “He who hurts a non-Muslim citizen hurts me, and he who hurts me annoys Allah.” (Tabarani) And many other similar hadiths highlighting that Muslims are not allowed to hurt their non-Muslim brothers and sisters in humanity.

10. We must continuously supplicate to Allah that He rectifies our situation. Pray to Him that the chaos, injustice and oppression is lifted from all societies. We should pray to Allah so that He makes Britain, Nigeria, United States, India, United Kingdom, Australia, better, fairer and just countries for all. Pray to Him to aid the oppressed and the victims of the oppressors all over the world. Pray that He allows us to contribute to a more peaceful and just world. Sincerely pray at night and beseech Him to protect our honour and our dignity.

May Allah give us the ability to do what is right and avoid what is wrong. May Allah protect the whole of humanity from trials and tribulations.

Signed:

1. Mawlana Yunus Dudhwala (Head of Chaplaincy, Barts Health NHS Trust)
2. Dr Omer al Hamdoon (Muslim Association of Britain)
3. Imam Abdullah Hasan (Imams Against Domestic Abuse)
4. Imam Irfan Chishti (Chishtia Mosque, Rochdale)
5. Imam Shams ad Duha (Ebrahim College)
6. Sheikh Abdur Raheem Limbada (Tafseer-raheemi.com)
7. Imam Shafiur Rahman (Jibreel Institute)
8. Imam Ibrahim Mogra (MCB)
9. Imam Zuber Karim (Dundee Mosque)
10. Imam Abdul Wahhab (Plashet Grove Mosque)
11. Muhammad Ashraf Hansrot (Thornton Heath Islamic Centre)
12. Mawlana Abdul Mateen (Head teacher and Muslim Chaplain Quwwatul Islam Society London)
13. Mawlana Khalil Laher (Quwwat-ul-Islam Society, London)
14. Imam Sulaiman Gani (Chaplain and Presenter on Iqra TV)
15. Imam Wasim Kempson, West London Islamic Cultural Centre, UK
16. Imam Yahya Adel Ibrahim, Al Kauthar Institute, Australia
17. Imam Ghulam Moyhuddin, Ashton Central Mosque
18. Mawlana Mujahid Ali (Hafs Academy)
19. Imam Saeed Algadi (Almuntada Trust)
20. Dr Abul Kalam Azad (Khateeb, Dockland Community Mosque)
21. Dr Mufti Abdur-Rahman Mangera, Scholar and Founder Zam Zam Academy, UK
22. Sheikh Zahir Mahmood (As Suffa Institute)
23. Shaykh Muhammad Umar Al-Qadri, Al-Mustafa Islamic Educational & Cultural Centre, Ireland
24. Mawlana Adnan Qurayshi (Al-Ashraaf Secondary School)
25. Mawlana Zakaria Maljee (Stamford Hill)
26. Imam Ahmed Desai, Masjid Quba, Bradford, UK
27. Mawlana Abdullah Rawat, Musallah an Noor Stoke Newington, London, UK
28. Mufti Sajid (Azhar Academy Ltd/Quwwatul Islam Mosque)
29. Imam Tahir Talati (Imam Zakariya Academy)
30. Imam Ilyas Amin (Azhar Masjid)
31. Mawlana Muhammad Saleem  (Quwwat ul Islam)
32. Mawlana Zenulabedin Yakub (Masjid e Tauheed)
33. Mawlana Said Ahmed (Masjid e Salaam, Preston)
34. Mawlana Ilyas (Masjid e Mahad, Preston)
35. Imam Yusuf Rios, Muslim Chaplain, The Shaukani Institute, United States
36. Mawlana Muhammad ibn Ismail (Newham Ulama Forum)
38. Imam Qari Asim, Makkah Masjid, Leeds, UK
38. Mawlana Imran Ali, BMACC Bearsden, Glasgow, Scotland
39. Dr Mansur Ali (Cardiff University)
40. Imam Imtiyaz Damiel (Abu Hanifah Foundation)
41. Sheikh Jaffer Ali Ladak (Hyderi Islamic Cente)
42. Imam Shabir Moosa Adam, Masjid Ibrahim, Australia
43. Shaykh Arif Abdul Hussain (Al-Mahdi Institute)
44. Shaykh Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour (Resident scholar, Islamic Centre of England)
45. Sheikh Mohammed Al-Hilli (Noor Trust)
46. Ayatollah Seyed Milani (AlKhoie Islamic Centre)
47. Mufti Salim Ismail (Upton Park Islamic Centre)
48. Moulana Mohammad Shahid Raza, Leicester Central Mosque, UK
49. Sheikh Abdul Qayyum, East London Mosque, UK
50. Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi (World Ahlulbayt Islamic League)
51. Imam Fahimul Anam (Beacon Institute)
52..Imam Fadel Soliman (Bridges Foundation)
53. Dr Jasser Auda, Qatar
54. Imam Muhammad Mustaqeem Shah, Al Mustaqeem Centre, Bradford, UK
55. Imam Abdur Rahman Anwar (Imam, London)
56. Imam Amer Jamil (iSyllabus, Scotland)
57. Mufti Mohammad Ibrahim Qureshi (Islamic Center Northridge), Los Angles, CA, USA
58. Imam Yasuf iban Steven Deardorff
59. Maulana Mohammed Mota, Jame  Masjid  Batley, Birmingham, UK
60. Imam Omar Suleiman- Resident Scholar -Valley Ranch Islamic Center, TX, USA
61. Imam Ajmal Masroor (Palmers Green Mosque)
62. Imam Muhammad Tahir Kiyani, Batley, Birmingham, UK
63. Shybatu Hassan Ibrahim-Bayero University Kano, Nigeria
64. Barrister Unusa Karimu, Banjong Mosque
65. Mawlana Idris Abdus Salam, Darul Hidayah
65. Syed Zafar Mahmood, Zakat Foundation of India
66. Imam Abdul Hakim HamidMuslim Community of Palm Beach County
67. A Mushahid Kadir, Shadwell Jame Masjid
68. Kasali Kehinde, Asst Ameer Akinmorin Jamaa (Adeyemi College Mosque, Ondo) Muslim Student Society Of Nigeria
69. Javaid Ali Khan, Millat
70. Bro. Nassib Said (Abushureim), Director of Outreach,  Coast Muslim Youth Forum (Kenya)
71. Imam Ajmal Masroor (Palmers Green Mosque)
72. Imam Muhammad Tahir Kiyani (Batley, Birmingham)
73. Imam Hassan Rabbani (Zia ul-Quran Mosque)
74.Imam Adil Rehman (Beyond Boundaries)
75. Ustadh Abdur Raheem Green (iERA)
76. Imam Fahim Hammadur Rahman (European Islamic Centre, Oldham)
77. Imam Shams Tameez (Aylesbury Masjid)
78. Imam Abdul Malik Sheikh (Khateeb, Holborn Mosque)
79. Sheikh Shouaib Ahmed  Mirpuri (Abdul aziz ibn bazz masjid banbury)
80. Sheikh Abdul Hadi (Ameer Markazi Jamiat Ahlehadith, UK)
81. Imam Mohammed Ibrahim Mirpuri (Muhammadi Masjid, Bham)
82. Sheikh Hafiz Sharrif Ullah (Al Huda Masjid, Bradford)
83. Imam Hafiz Akhlaq Ahmed (Masjid Ahlehadith, Bradford)
84. Hafiz Abdul Aala (Masjid Muhammadi, Keighly)
85. Hafiz Hamood Ur Rahman (Makki Masjid, Manchester)
86. Sheikh Mustafidh Gani (Beyond Boundaries)
87. Imam Aziz Ibraheeem (Imaan Trust Community Centre, Saint Helens, Merseyside)
88. Imam Rizwan Hussain Al azhari (Imam Bashir Ahmed masjid, Southampton)
89. Mawlana Munawar (Khateeb, Balham Mosque)
90. Qari Ashraf (Tooting Islamic Centre)
91. Imam Choukri Majouli (Finsbury Park Mosque)
92. Imam Mubarak Manya (Zakariyya Jaame Masjid, Bolton)
93. Imam Ashraf Ali, Muslim Welfare Association of Port Talbot, Wales
94. Dato Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim Al-Haj, Chairperson JIHAD for JUSTICE, Malaysia
95. Shaykh Muiz Bukhary (Sakeenah Institute)
96. Shaykh Yasir Qadhi, USA
97. Imam Anas Hlayhel, East Valley Masjid, Phoenix, USA
98. Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda, Qalam Institute, TX, USA
99. Shaykh Yase Birjas, Valley Ranch Masjid, TX, USA
100. Imam Nadim Sulaiman Ali, Community Masjid of Atlanta, USA
If you are a leader of a congregation and would like to add your name to sign this statement please fill out this form:
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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Pingback: TO DEFEND OUR BELOVED PROPHET, LET US EXEMPLIFY HIS TRUE IDEALS SAY IMAMS | PASS THE KNOWLEDGE (LIGHT & LIFE)

    • Avatar

      vewsmith

      January 18, 2015 at 1:01 PM

      Just a question of clarification. I understand that an interpretation of the Qur’an that no pictures or depictions be made of Muhammad was to avoid worship of him as the prophet instead of Allah. This was a very long time ago when books did not exist, nor newspapers, and pictures and words were all hand-written. Christians and Jews are also not in favor of pictures of God or idols, but seem to have no ban on imagined depictions of Christian or Jewish prophets, though I think they would go along with worshipping those pictures of prophets instead of the one God. I am not talking about the fact that many Christians think Jesus is god or part of God as I know in Islam the distinction is clear between Allah and anyone or anything else. I understand is the same one God believed in by all the mono-theist religions such as Islam, Christianity, and the Jewish religion, even though there is that whole Jesus/God confusion which frankly isn’t to the credit of that particular religion. Since there were no photographs back in the day and no drawings done of the prophets at the time , any later depictions would have to be purely based on imagination, so it would not even possible to show any actual likeness of any prophet and someone’s later attempt to do so via cartoon seems in some way to be part of the cult of celebrity that currently runs the world. I also thought that the discouragement, not outright ban of such images of Muhammad was to deal with the cultures of a long time ago, closer to the time the prophet was alive, clearly discouraging undue adoration of him instead of Allah. My question is why such an issue is still relevant since everyone knows there is no way to really depict the prophets who lived so many centuries ago so any attempt to do so would not have any relation whatsoever to any reality. No one I know believes that the endless depictions of Jesus in paintings or drawings are what he looked like-I hope not anyway. Nor any depictions of Moses or other Jewish prophets.
      You are right to make a distinction between the prophet and Allah, but in this day and age I do not understand how it represents an insult, why someone could actually get so angry as to execute a whole room full of people over a drawing that both the drawer and the believer knows not possibly represent the prophet Muhammad nor any of the other religious leaders they drew pictures of. Thank you for listening to the question and answering it if you wish to.

      • Avatar

        Sheima Salam Sumer

        January 18, 2015 at 1:53 PM

        Dear Vewsmith,
        Thank you for your sincere comment and question. First of all I want to say that I and 99.9% of Muslims would never ever defend murder in the name of our beloved faith. Our beloved Prophet was a Messenger of Mercy and disliked bloodshed extremely. I also want to say that yes, Muslims believe in the same 1 God of the Bible, Torah and other books all sent from the same 1 Merciful, Great Creator. Now, I would like to attempt to answer your question, which I understand to be: Why do Muslims today still ban the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) even though such depictions would not accurately represent him and it is unlikely that these depictions would lead people to worship him instead of Allah (Glory be to Him the Most High)? I hope this is the correct summary of your question. My answer as a practicing Muslimah is that Muslims hold the Prophet Muhammad with the highest respect and we consider it disrespectful to draw him or depict him in any form. To my knowledge, Muslims really shouldn’t depict any of the Prophets, because we love and revere them all, including Prophets Jesus, Moses, Abraham etc. So today it’s more an issue of respect, but even today there might be a risk of deifying Prophets.

    • Avatar

      Mark

      June 21, 2015 at 1:58 PM

      I can’t help thinking that the numerous points have over-egged the pie. It only needs two or three.

      After the Danish cartoons and the Charlie Hebdo thing (ie numerous murders), the whole thing was about “Love of Muhammed” and “Limits of free speech”.
      I saw the problem as the “Love of Muhammed” and it being needed to be tackled from that direction, rather than “Free-speech” being the problem, so there is a little light here in that this is the first attempt I’ve seen to do this.

      Points 1 and 3 are still problematic.

      Point 1: Can someone tell me how “we love Muhammed more than our own families,” can possibly translate into any practical use in day to day life? Could it be that a daughter asks her dad to help with her homework, otherwise she will fail an exam, but he says, “no, I have to go to the mosque to pray, so Allah and Muhammed comes first.” I really don’t know, so it seems like empty, impractical words. Otherwise, it could be one of these:

      1. Make people admire the stance? That isn’t going to happen.
      2. An explanation for the murders? That would be mad.
      3. An excuse for the murders? That would be even madder.
      4. A veiled threat, in that “This fervent love isn’t going away, so think twice before you draw that picture, write a book, make a TV documentary,” etc, etc. This one is my favourite.

      But I suppose number 4 is being tackled to an extent in this article.

      Point 3: The problem here is the “however” as always. And as I say, the problem is not from this direction at all. It is with the fervency of the “love of Muhammed,” which can be tackled from that direction. People aren’t born with it, it is indoctrinated. I suppose other religions (of particular types) “love” their religious idols, but there are none at the moment who go as far as what we have seen happen. It is up to those within the religion to put a stop to it and find a balance.

      Finally, I’d say that this article talks of “Muslims” with the implied “all”.
      Surely you know that there is a broader range of people in any given religion, but you seem to be pushing that the orthodox is the only way “Muslims” can go, and that, in my opinion is dangerous.

  2. Avatar

    Gavin Volaire

    January 14, 2015 at 12:37 PM

    I’m sure this comment has no shot of ever appearing but here is my two cents. Nobody cares to hear you speak about the depictions at this point. If you must speak and deem to give counsel to your fellow Muslims, tell them to speak against the murders, not the depictions. To focus on the depictions instead of the murders might be construed as missing the big picture.

    An apology to the free world would be a better way to go at this point, boys.

    • Avatar

      Inam Saifi

      January 14, 2015 at 5:25 PM

      Everyone had different level of tolerance, and the two who carried out the attached naturally has no more tolerance left against the offence Charlie committed to offend Muslim world, they didn’t listen to wise advice of 1.8 billion Muslims of not to carry out such offence, but truth is society of west actually think that ‘Freedom of Speach’ is ‘Freedom to Offend’, and to the making mockery of people is their birth right,
      SO you(because you are Charlie), carried on with your act without thinking anybody’s sentiments and consequence, and so did the two, in their frame of mind, being right.
      So don’t be cry baby and please don’t be offended because it is ‘Freedom of Speach’, just a dialogue (that you wanted).

      • Avatar

        aliama mehru

        July 17, 2015 at 1:35 AM

        What pretty words we use to paint pictures of our Man Mohammed, gushing with emotion in our submission to this perfect image that has been painted for us by the men who have gone before.
        what is the difference in using ink and paper to paint images in pictures or words? Is the effect not the same. An artefact that we can associate with and be captured by, and embue with our emotion. The image is not the creation.

        Unfortunately the Arabs wrote their images down, and then fought wars over whose version was the only one. What arrogance and pride. ‘we are special’, ‘it was only given to my ancestors’, ‘my way is the only way and you must all submit to it’.

        Is the creation so feeble and sheepish that it has only been noticed by a single man? No, it is ever present, ever shining, and there are many who bump into aspects of it and occasionally recognise and name it throughout the world on a daily basis. Has it sewn only a single seed in a single location in the history of mankind? No it is virile, and our history is littered with many ways that show how to get closer to the creation.Revelations abound before and after the 6th century.

        Unfortunately It it the nature of man that our attention is captured by our own desires and arrogance and pride and a million other emotions, even love and hate, and we lose these fleeting connections, concentrating instead on the form of a revelation rather than what is being taught. In this way Religions become prisons. and Islam is no different.

        We have created a prison that has ensnared 1.8b people around the world. Our attention is captivated by images that have been written of the perfect prophet and the perfect way. we are so convinced in the superiority of our 6c arab way that we consume ourselves competing with and destroying those who dare to disagree with us and have the audacity to use other ways to get close to the creation, and in our crazy imaginings we dream that this is what the creation wants.

        The door to this prison is not closed, but
        we have become so accustomed to the support and friendship our brothers in this prison, that they have become the bars that hold us in place and prevent us from submitting to the creation instead of submitting to the creation of the Arabs.

    • Aly Balagamwala

      Aly Balagamwala

      January 15, 2015 at 10:58 AM

      I think this is what you are looking for http://muslimmatters.org/2015/01/09/get-the-muslim-icondemn-app/

      *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

    • Avatar

      Ahmad

      January 15, 2015 at 11:15 AM

      Why would the Imam’s or anyone else, apologize for the actions of those. They condemn it as everyone does.

      Just like its not you job to personally apologize for all lunatics that walk about your neighborhood, killing, murdering and doing even worse. Or apologizing for your governments actions in going and killing a bunch on innocent people who have never done any harm to you.

      So if you want to start apologizing for all the crimes committed by, you relatives, neighbors, community members, religious groups, organisations, namesakes or any other body remotely related to you. I will be more then happy to start apologizing for the same. When do you want to start Gavin?

      Also i may remind you that there are a lot of LAW’s limiting free speech, specifically doing what has been done to muslim’s if it was done to Jews the Magazine would have been fined and the cartoonist jailed. So please dont go about preaching Free Speech. As we speak there are people(non-Muslims) being brought to criminal courts just because they spoke out against what the magazine did.

      • Avatar

        Gavin

        January 19, 2015 at 7:46 AM

        You must not have heard about the lowlifes who killed a bunch of innocent people over a cartoon, M. Mahmud.

      • Avatar

        Gavin

        January 19, 2015 at 7:50 AM

        How about everyone who wants to focus on the cartoon instead of the murderous psychopaths who killed innocent people apologize to the entire world for their incredibly stupid, rude, belligerent attitude?

      • Avatar

        M. Mahmud

        May 6, 2015 at 1:31 AM

        Gavin I repeat-none of us owe you an apology. If you want an apology, try to run in-front of me when I’m driving or something. Barring that, you won’t get an apology so get off your knees and stop begging for one. It’s undignified.

    • Avatar

      M. Mahmud

      January 15, 2015 at 10:30 PM

      None of us owe you an apology.

    • Avatar

      Haider Rehman

      June 18, 2015 at 2:41 PM

      Why should I apologize for a crime some other person committed? I can only condemn it, and that’s what I do.
      Non-Muslims used to disrespect prophet PBUH, but he tolerated them. We educate people that they are not following prophet PBUH by murdering people who disrespect him. But I do NOT owe you an apology if a particular group does not heed to it.

  3. Pingback: TO DEFEND OUR BELOVED PROPHET, LET US EXEMPLIFY HIS TRUE IDEALS SAY IMAMS « The Quran Blog - Enlighten Yourself

  4. Pingback: Imams From Around The World Have Shared Advice On How Muslims Should Respond To The Muhammad Cartoons | InTheKnow

  5. Avatar

    Haig McCarrell

    January 17, 2015 at 9:15 PM

    I am a Christian and after these attacks I tweeted: “Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo”, I am not Charlie Hebdo. Why? I find the cartoons to be gratuitous and that they were offensive, immature, peurile and in the end, irresponsible. Mere offence is not satire. Satire is intended to criticize, expose hypocrisy or complicity and tends to take on “untouchables”. It has intent to illicit discussion and to challenge those given or having power. Just the same, commentary, even offensive commentary, does not justify taking life, which was also wrong.

    As you note this is not Muhammad’s way, nor is ti Jesus’ way. On the cross, he asked his Father in heaven to forgive those who killed him, saying that they did not know what they were doing. When we foment hatred, unrest, slander and intolerance, we disobey God’s will for us. When we kill another, we desicrate his image in which we are all made.

    Where do we go from here? I hope leaders in our communities, elected officials, those in authority, Muslims, Christians and others can discuss inclusion, understanding and mutual respect. In North America, a very high percentage of Muslims identify as American and Canadian. National identification is a very low number in some European countries such as France and maybe the UK too? How are immigrants and minorities being included and integrated? How do they have opportunity and hope for a better life.

    This is a problem elsewhere too. This is a human problem. The discussion ought to be expanded to discuss the fate of Christians and other minorities including Muslims in the Middle East for example. When we come together and advocate for each other, and permit unfettered freedom of religion without compulsion in all countries, we will live out God’s call to foster the dignity of each person.

    I hope you agree and you will be an advocate for this inclusion without fear as well. Peace.

  6. Avatar

    Truth

    January 25, 2015 at 11:09 AM

    White people are trying to demonize the Muslims to make their murder of them fair-seeming and justified – the same as white people did to the Natives of every continent and island before they slaughtered them and stole their lands and resources!! Muslims are the final feast for these white satanic BEASTS! As prophesied!

    • Avatar

      Haider Rehman

      June 18, 2015 at 2:44 PM

      I think you have a problem against white people, which I as a Muslim and a human, find disturbing.

  7. Avatar

    arshad bin zakir

    March 2, 2015 at 1:28 PM

    peace be upon all,,,,,,,,,,,
    I wonder that some people only only these few people who are killing people (as they are killing even muslims) nowhere is such thing to kill people, while more than 1.8 billion muslims condemn this shameful act.

  8. Avatar

    iftekhar

    May 6, 2015 at 5:54 AM

    assalam
    the best way to protest is to introduce all human beings about Prophet (SWS) and his teaching.

  9. Avatar

    Sheima Salam Sumer

    May 31, 2015 at 2:12 AM

    http://www.islamicity.com/articles/articles.asp?ref=ic0811-3718

    To Jalalaa: First, scholars of Islam have shown that our beloved Prophet (s) actually married Aisha (r) when she was around 17. You can view the above link. And even though some scholars said that she was younger, you need to understand that in that time and culture, marrying young was very normal. The Quran and Islam teach that both people need to be at the age of maturity when they get married:

    “Test the orphans until they reach the age of marriage ; if you then find sound judgment in them, release their property to them… When you release their property to them, take witnesses in their presence.” (Quran, 4:6)
    In this passage, marriageable age is equated with sound judgment–an age at which a person can responsibly handle his or her wealth & possessions. Common sense, then, would dictate that a person has not reached marriageable age until adulthood, since children could hardly be expected to look after their possessions responsibly.

    This passage is from a great article by Ro Waseem that I recommend you read: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/quranalyzeit/2015/03/08/child-brides-and-the-quran-dispelling-the-misconceptions-on-international-womens-day/

  10. Avatar

    Sweetz

    June 22, 2015 at 5:20 PM

    Before world leaders marched in Paris, the Muslim world had condemned the actions of the gunmen. But, I guess such actions are overrided by Hate for Muslims in general, rather than for the few Radicals.

    Furthermore, I stand corrected, but Muslims are not permitted to draw anything that depicts life, not even animals. Neither can we pray where such pictures are visible. One won’t find photos displayed in a Muslim home either as we know the consequences.

    Don’t understand the reason that people want to draw The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) other than to provoke pain to Muslims. Has a Muslim drawn anything to upset any other religion?

    The action of extremists cannot be blamed on over 1.6 billion and still growing Muslims.

    THEIR REACTION IS NOT CONDONED!

    • Avatar

      Aliama Mehru

      June 29, 2015 at 3:32 PM

      Seems to me that the Man Mohammed has become an idol! What has been written about idols?

      “Muslims have to remember that by depicting the Prophet (peace be upon him) no one can ever tarnish his image, as he is way beyond what is depicted, as Allah says, ‘We have elevated your remembrance’. We should spend such regrettable moments in supplicating with many litanies and prayers of blessings on the Prophet; may Allah’s mercy, peace and blessing be upon his soul.”

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    kang cepot 46

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Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas | Book Review

In the second decade of the 21st century in America, Muslims consider themselves “as American as apple pie,” don American-flag hijabs, and consider their presence and participation in American politics as a crowning achievement. There is little to no resemblance between the majority of the American Muslim population today, and the very first Muslims who landed in America – not as privileged individuals, but as enslaved people at the hands of vicious white colonizers who had already decimated the Indigenous population and who had no qualms about destroying the lives of their slaves. Dr Sylviane A. Diouf’s book “Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas” tracks the journeys and experiences of African Muslims who found themselves shipped aboard slave-trafficking vessels and taken to the other side of their known world. From their induction into the Transatlantic slave trade, to their determination to uphold the five pillars of Islam – regardless of their circumstances – to the structure of the enslaved Muslim community, their prized (and dangerous) literacy, and their never-ending resistance against slavery, Diouf illustrates in incredible detail the powerful and painful experiences of enslaved African Muslims, and the legacy that they left behind in the Americas.

This review of “Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas” will focus on the unique qualities and formidable faith of the very first Muslims in the Americas, and the legacy that they left for Muslims in the Americas today.

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In Chapter One, Diouf begins by answering the very first question that arises when considering the path of enslaved African Muslims: how did they end up enslaved in the first place? Slavery already existed as an institution in Africa, though vastly different from the horrifying standards of the European slavers. Between the existing slave trade, military conflicts that created prisoners-of-wars who were then sold as slaves, and the European propensity for kidnapping innocent people, many Muslims found themselves swept into the Transatlantic slave trade. These same Muslims were the ones who provided us with much of the knowledge that we have today regarding the American slave experience. Most African Muslims were literate, due to the religious and cultural importance of education; of those enslaved, many were religious scholars or students of knowledge. They described how they were captured, the torturous journey of the slave caravans across the continent, and the even more horrific experience of the slave ships themselves. These men also documented their lives as slaves, and indirectly, provided deep insight into their own inner nature. 

Despite the intense pressure and demands on African enslaved people to renounce their ‘heathen faith’ and be inducted as Christians, African Muslims demonstrated a commitment to Islam that should cause modern Muslims today to feel deeply ashamed in comparison. The very first words that Job ben Solomon (Ayuba Suleyman Diallo) uttered, after running away and then being discovered in Pennsylvania, were the shahaadah; Omar ibn Sa’id wrote numerous Arabic manuscripts, in which the shahaadah was always found (Diouf, 2013, p. 72-73). When Catholic priests tried hard to educate slaves about Christianity as part of the conversion process, the African Muslims were both resistant and unimpressed; they were already familiar with many Biblical stories, thanks to their Qur’anic education. Of those who seemed to have accepted Christianity, many did so only outwardly, while confirming their belief in Allah and His Messenger in every aspect of their lives. Indeed, in Brazil and other areas where there were large concentrations of Muslim slaves, the Muslims established underground madaaris to maintain and pass on their Islamic knowledge and education. Muhammad Kaba Saghanughu was a man whom the missionaries had thought was successfully converted when he provided all the right answers to their pre-baptismal questions – eleven years later, in a Baptist Missionary Society notebook, he wrote a 50-page fiqh manual in Arabic that encompassed the rulings of salaah, marriage, and other topics. 

Slavery did not stop the African Muslims from maintaining their salaah in whatever manner they could manage, considering their circumstances. Some did so in secret, while others insisted on upholding their salaah in public, to the extent that these incidents were recorded by the descendants of slaves and slaveholders alike. In Brazil, the African Muslim community – both enslaved and freed – held together so strongly that they were able to secretly establish Salatul Jumu’ah and attend gatherings of dhikr, even in the face of intense scrutiny (Diouf, 2013, p. 88-89). 

Perhaps one of the most greatly moving examples of enslaved African Muslims’ dedication to their Islam was that even in the midst of the utter poverty of slavery, they found a way to uphold zakaah, sawm, and Hajj. In Brazil, it was recorded that the Muslims would end Ramadan with the exchanging of gifts, no matter how simple they were; in truth, these gifts were zakaatul fitr and zakaatul maal.

In other areas, the descendants of Muslim slaves recalled that their parents and grandparents would make rice cakes called saraka at least once a year – saraka was a corruption of the Arabic word sadaqah, and the rice cakes were a Jumu’ah tradition in West Africa. (Diouf, 2013, p. 92-94) In Ramadan, many Muslims sought to fast; indeed, despite the incredible hardship and lack of nutritious food that the slaves already endured, there were those who fasted voluntarily outside of Ramadan as well, often by pretending to be ill. They knew that their situation meant that fasting – in Ramadan and outside of it – was not obligatory on them, and yet, to them, no circumstance was bad enough to warrant not even attempting to observe Ramadan. Hajj was another pillar of Islam that was both impossible and no longer obligatory on the enslaved Muslims; yet in Brazil, in a house that was used as a masjid, there were illustrated depictions of the Ka’bah – demonstrating the emotional bond that the African Muslims had with the Sacred House. 

Throughout Diouf’s book, the overwhelming theme that arises is the fierce commitment that enslaved African Muslims had to Islam. It was not superficial, shallow, or easily shrugged away in the face of difficulty. Instead, the African Muslims held onto their belief in Allah and their daily, lived practise of Islam, even when they had every excuse to relax their obligations. They upheld their Islamic and cultural dress code, not just at its minimum standard of modesty, but in a way that clearly demonstrated their religious identity (Diouf, 2013, p. 101-110). They found ways to make prayer mats and dhikr beads; they gave their children Muslim names in secret, when they were expected to present themselves as Christians; they even strove to observe whatever they could of the Islamic dietary code, by refusing to drink alcohol or eat pork – Ayuba Diallo went so far as to only eat dhabiha meat that he himself slaughtered (Diouf, 2013, p. 119-122). The enslaved African Muslims valued their Islamic identity above all. Even in slavery, they knew that their ‘izzah came from their Deen – and so did those around them, who noted their unique bearing in the face of the horrors of slavery. 

The story of the African Muslims who were enslaved and brought to the Americas is not merely a history lesson, or a token homage in honour of Black History Month. It is a story that echoes the persecution of the earliest Muslims in Makkah, and applicable to Muslims today. Muslim minorities in the West are often all too eager to complain of our difficulties and to seek religious exemptions for our minor inconveniences. Yet who are we in comparison to the earliest African-American Muslims, who endurable the unspeakable? Who are we, with our privileges, with our very freedom, in comparison to those Muslims who were stripped of everything and everyone they knew and loved, and who still held ever tighter to the Rope of Allah? One may say that it is unfair to compare us and them; that to recognize their struggles should not mean invalidating the challenges we face today. Certainly, we face numerous different fitan that are very different from what they experienced, but the truth is that we should compare our attitudes with those of our predecessors. We should be ashamed of our own weaknesses in times of privilege compared to their strength in times of oppression. More importantly, we must learn from them what it means to have such a relationship with our Creator and our Deen that we are capable of surviving and thriving in even the worst of circumstances. 

May Allah have mercy on the enslaved African Muslims who endured one of this Ummah’s historic tragedies, and may He make us of those who demonstrate their strength of love for Him through every tragedy of our own.

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Remembering Mufti Naeem (Jamia Binoria)

Guest post from Areeba Baig

Sometimes you are so busy with life you don’t think much of where it all started, how you became who you are, the journeys you took and the people who helped you along them. And then something happens which forces you to pause. Only then you remember there were people who played a major role in shaping you to the person you are today, in turning your dreams which you thought would remain dreams forever into a reality.

I’m remembering now.

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I was just one of his thousands of students. Not one of the best, not even close to accomplished. I’ll admit I wasn’t even someone who was considerate enough to keep much contact, keep him updated, despite how much he had advised us to. As the years went by, the relationship, even memories, faded away.

And yet I haven’t been able to focus on anything else all week long. Not surprising, of course, considering the influence he had and the role he played in enabling me to study. It’s surprising, rather, how I took his presence granted for all of these years.

I wasn’t sure whether I’d share this initially. I was writing this to sort my own mind and thoughts. Then I remembered he would tell us that he hoped we’d remember him with goodness all our lives, and share his words when we teach in the future, the same way he’d always quote his own teachers and mention them by name when he taught. A legacy through ‘ilm. Sadaqah jariyah. That is all he ever worked for.

Apart from the final year Bukhari class, I didn’t have much direct encounter with him, but my entire stay in Pakistan was due to him and under his care. It was his invitation and his hospitality that brought me ther,e so everything about my stay in Pakistan is intrinsically linked to him and his family.

When I went to Pakistan to study back in 2006, there were few, if any, quality Alimiyyah programs in America for girls. I chose Pakistan because I had family there. But, really, I chose it because of his school. There are many seminaries in Pakistan, but it was only his that really accommodated foreigners.

He would go out of his way to encourage and allow foreign students in and accommodated every request or need along the way. Although he had many other responsibilities, foreign students were his personal guests. He understood that traveling so far and studying in a land where everything was different was a big adjustment and sacrifice, so he did his best to make it easier. He also understood the stakes here; if these students could successfully study and go back to their lands, the benefit they could have in their communities was critical.

This treatment wasn’t just for western students. This is how he treated every student who came from afar. Students from Thailand and Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Tajikistan, Russia and Fiji; students from remote villages in Sindh and Baluchistan and other parts of Pakistan all called his madrasa their home. And that’s one of the biggest things that sets him apart.

As Mufti Rafi said, “His service to foreign students can never be forgotten. There is no similar example in any other madrasa.”

When I last visited Pakistan two years ago, a classmate of mine and now a teacher at the madrasa for the past decade asked me “We don’t get many students from America anymore the way we used to before. Why? You guys aren’t encouraging kids to study anymore?”

It dawned upon me then that his dream to spread this knowledge worldwide had already begun to be realized. I told her there were now so many programs and schools and teachers in America that students didn’t need to go abroad the way they did before.

Thousands of his students, male and female, are teaching across the world. He’d proudly tell us of his students starting madrasas in remote villages in Baluchistan and Sindh. “These girls are educating their entire villages and communities, people didn’t even know how to say the Kalima before. People come from miles away to learn from our students.”

It is this that really gave him joy and fulfillment.

At a time when the political climate in Pakistan made it difficult for foreign students, he took responsibility for all of them. He promised them he would take care of them. He fought for their right to study. He built relationships with ambassadors of other countries. He opened his doors to both foreigners and anyone else who wanted to see what a madrasa is like. He invited the media to come and see a madrasa from the inside, to show them that far from being places of extremism and violence, they were places of learning and teaching sacred knowledge. He so earnestly believed that madrasas could and should exist in the modern world, and he knew it wouldn’t be possible without building links with the outside world, something that many madrasas were hesitant to do then.

His efforts and attitude enabled so many to come and study the words of Allah and the Prophet ﷺ. Even those who didn’t attend his institute benefited from his presence, knowing that he was there to stand up for them if anything was to happen. He didn’t discriminate when it came to helping others. Any foreign student of any institute was welcome at his place.

There are so many stories of entire families traveling to Pakistan to study at his seminary. And many more of them entrusting their children to him completely. He fulfilled that trust.

There was a girl in my class from Tanzania. When she was about 9 her uncle came to Pakistan for Tabligh, and upon visiting the seminary he was impressed with the opportunities here for girls. Mufti Naeem invited him to send his children, and he went back and brought four of his daughters and nieces to study. The girls grew up there. They first memorized the Qur’an, then started the alim course. He came back eight years later at the graduation ceremony of the oldest girl and decided to take all the girls back because the separation had been too long. He brought home with him four hafizas of the Qur’an, one who had completed the alima course, and another who had nearly completed it. Her uncle’s plan was that the oldest girls would tutor the rest in their studies and then they’d all teach together in their city in Tanzania. We had laughed then at the idea of her and her cousin teaching the younger cousins books like Mishkat, but we missed the bigger point, that this was how knowledge is shared and spread.

There was another girl in my class from Sri Lanka. Her entire family moved to Pakistan and both parents and all three siblings enrolled. They first memorized the Qur’an, and then completed the course before returning to Sri Lanka.

These are just some of the hundreds of stories of people studying at his seminary, who otherwise wouldn’t have that chance, and then going back to benefit others. This was his constant emphasis. Study and teach those who don’t have access. Always be involved in teaching, he told us in one of our final lessons. Even if you have no formal teaching opportunity, just invite people to your home to learn.

His concern for girls’ Islamic education in particular is especially noteworthy. Of course, there are many seminaries and institutes of Islamic knowledge for girls in Pakistan, and many people who support them. But he was one of the influential people who was an outspoken proponent from the beginning and truly believed in the potential. He was also one of the few who accommodated female foreign students, especially those who were there without family.

Before I went to Pakistan to study, my father consulted other scholars. Some discouraged him. Doing an Alima course isn’t that important they said, especially with all the difficulties and risks of going far from home. It’s not fard to study the deen at that level. Karachi was going through a very unstable period back then so they did have a point. We also inquired with other girls madrasas in Karachi, that were closer to where my extended family lived (Jamia Binoria was in the outskirts of Karachi). But they all said they don’t allow girls over the age of 13 and they don’t encourage Americans to attend.

Mufti Naeem, rahimahullah, was the only one who really encouraged it. He’s the one who understood the value and need, who was willing to take responsibility for it all, despite the risks. He’s the one who kept inviting my father, and reassured him everything will be taken care of, that there would be nothing to worry about. He accommodated all our requests and needs, to the point of welcoming my grandmother into the madrasa community and allowing her to spend her day there whenever she liked. He assured us that my only worry should be to study. Everything else will be taken care of.

While many other girls madrasas in Pakistan suffice with the standardized curriculum for girls, which back then (it has since changed a bit) was an abridged version of the regular curriculum and especially subpar when it came to subjects like Arabic. Jamia Binoria had its own curriculum, which included a very strong Arabic curriculum. Many other teachers including my late teacher, the principal of the girls division, Maulana Masood Baig rahimahullah, had a role in this but it was also something Mufti Naeem would take pride in and mention. It’s something I took for granted initially and only much later did I learn that most madrasas in Pakistan, and perhaps even worldwide do not have a strong Arabic program for girls, which makes it very difficult for them to pursue independent research and further studies after graduation.

Jamia Binoria was also one of the few madrasas in Pakistan then that had an ifta (mufti) course for women. In my final year, at least once a week he’d encourage us to enroll in it the next year. He’d tell us how important doing takhassus fil ifta was, how if he was to have it his way he would make ifta a requirement for all students. He would emphasize how much there is a need for female mufti(a)s, how there are already thousands of male Muftis, but they can never replace the role a female one can have.

He’d talk about how proud he was of all the female ifta students, how every time he looks at their work he’s so impressed. “They’re better than our male students,” he’d say. “Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t become a mufti. If a woman can become a surgeon or engineer why can’t she become a mufti?”

As a teacher he was always encouraging, appreciative of the smallest of achievements, and ready to praise and make du’a for his students. The term “mushfiq” is what everyone is using to describe him, because that is what he was. Loving, caring, encouraging.

In Pakistan, teachers don’t really praise students; the tendency (both in schools/colleges and madrasas) is to put students down. And yes, too much praise can be dangerous, but a little bit of encouragement and upliftment is needed. He wouldn’t withhold this.

There was a curtain in our classroom, separating the male teachers from the students. This was the standard system of all girls madrasas in Pakistan, preserving religious guidance and cultural sensitivities regarding modesty and hijab while still enabling students to communicate with and build a positive relationship with male teachers. Hadith classes usually involve a student reading the Arabic text, with the teacher interrupting every now and then to explain. He would make it a point to ask the name of the person who read and praise them and make du’a for them.

It’s these little things that would encourage us all to work harder to succeed. He would often call my father and keep him updated and congratulate him on mine and my sister’s progress. Knowing that despite being in charge of 5000+ students and a host of other responsibilities, he was personally invested in our success always helped drive us to work hard.

He taught Bukhari with passion, you could sense the love for the Prophet ﷺ in his words. The Bukhari class was more than just facts and technical explanation. There was always a practical lesson. He strongly emphasized that knowledge must lead to action and he always made his classes reflect that. He would say, my goal is to teach you in a way you’ll never forget, that you still hear my voice when you read these hadiths the way that I hear my teacher’s voice when I read them, and that you carry these lessons with you lifelong the way my teachers enabled me to.

Now I hear his voice, not just in those hadiths but in every hadith or ayah I read. Everything has a connection with him for it is in his madrasa that I studied everything. It is in his madrasa, and through him, that Allah allowed the doors of knowledge to be opened for me, and for that I am forever indebted.

Hospitality is another word that defines him. Anyone that has visited him can testify to his boundless hospitality. This is something he practiced with both words and actions. It’s something he strived to build in his students and family too. I remember him going off on a tangent once in Bukhari. In a hadith in Kitab al-Nikah, the topic of guests came. He talked about how guests are a blessing, how we should always honor guests, how we should never complain about guests. “Many people complain about the work involved in hosting. They complain when they have family that constantly visits. Guests are a blessing from Allah. When you go to your homes remember this. Don’t ever complain about guests.”

I’ve always remembered this when someone is coming over.

My friend tells me that after his passing, as people crowded his house for ta’ziyah for his family, something that of course was more challenging and complicated with covid-19, his wife mentioned, “He would always tell us to honor guests. So what can I possibly do now?”

Thankfully others intervened and told people that it is best to show sympathy by genuinely doing what’s best for grieving family, which in these circumstances means not visiting so as not to afflict them with more worries and difficulties.

His hospitality meant that the doors of madrasa were always open to those who needed help. Beyond hospitality, he took care of those around him. Orphans, widows, converts to Islam. The madrasa was a shelter for so many who didn’t have a shelter. There would always be some girls sheltering there. He’d take care of their expenses and education and even get them married when they were ready if needed.

Once, he was hosting the wedding of a convert girl. This girl had spent quite some time at madrasa so everyone was excited. Obviously it wasn’t logistically possible to invite all of the students to the wedding but my classmates decided to try to get an invite anyway. When he came in to teach Bukhari the day before the wedding, they broached the subject of the upcoming event, knowing he would be excited to talk about it. He took the bait and started talking about the wedding plans and arrangements. “But we aren’t invited,” they said.

“You aren’t? Why didn’t anyone invite you? I am inviting you all. You all can come as my special guests.” He replied.

His wife wasn’t too pleased with us, “You have no shame in asking for an invitation, in taking advantage of the softheartedness of your teacher like that?”

But that’s how he was. Always rushing to take care of everyone around him. Solving problems, fixing things.

No problem was too small for him to address personally. He told us once about a former student who lives abroad who called him and asked if he could add photos of the girls’ campus to the website. The website had photos of the boys campus but not the girls. She missed the madrasa and wanted to see it again. He had photos taken and put up right away.

That’s the type of person he was. People would go to him for anything big or small and he’d oblige.

I remember when his own father passed away, he came a day later to teach his class. We asked about his father and he broke into tears. He shared the story of his father, the last moments, highlighting how his father was continuously reciting Qur’an until the end.

It is people like him who bring barakah to institutions, he said. Madrasas run through spirituality, not through money. Make dua this institution continues to run. He was worried about fulfilling his responsibilities after his father passed. He cited that with the passing of each scholar, degeneration follows.

Now we’ve lost another link to the previous generation.

He was a simple man. Whatever he did he did for the institution, for all madaris, for the deen. No personal benefit or enjoyment. No fun vacations. No days off. Just working for the people.

He didn’t care what people thought. It wasn’t glamorous work. Being under the spotlight meant there would always be people out there to criticize. But that didn’t bother him. He just went out of his way to serve the people, to do things that nobody else was doing, that many didn’t even see the point of doing.

Mentioning him won’t be complete without also mentioning his family, especially his wife. If he was the father figure of all students, his wife was/is the mother, especially of the girls. They were a team. She’d be with him on many of his travels. She was also the head in charge of the girls school, his representative at madrasa. Always looking out for the girls affairs, always ready to address issues that needed care, always extending hospitality. She took care of the girls as if they were her own daughters, especially those who had no family nearby. Because of her active involvement with the madrasa, he also was always an integral part of it, always accessible, always concerned about the girls. The madrasa was a family effort, and his entire family served it day in and day out.

May Allah always protect her and allow her to continue.

Although one the most defining thing about him is his service to others, which he spent his life doing, it never came in the way of worshipping Allah. He was a man who was always reciting the Qur’an, following the footsteps of his own father. A man who never left tahajjud. A man who always finished a recitation of the Qur’an in taraweeh independently every year. A man who always prayed in congregation. Even on his last day, though he was feeling unwell the whole day, he prayed at the masjid. He came home from Maghrib, rested for a while, felt more unwell. They took him to the hospital and he passed away on the way, before Isha.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon.

It is examples of my teachers like him and others which have given me the energy to carry on teaching even when life is busy, and balancing everything is difficult. Remembering their advices and their constant urging that teaching is a right that knowledge upon us, has always reminded me that it is not optional, that it is not a favor we do upon anyone, but rather an honor and trust Allah has given us.

What I feel now is a renewed purpose to continue this work and to internalize all the lessons from his own life.

I learned from him that the road less traveled may be difficult to take, but it is a necessary road to take to cause lasting good, and that sometimes the most benefit is in doing things that others are not doing.

I learned from him what it means to be the people about whom Allah says, “La yakhafun fillahi lawmata laim.” They do not fear the blame of the blamers. I learn that it is only Allah who we should work to please, because it is to Allah we will return, and as long as we are sincere and on the right path, there is no need to worry about what others say.

I learned from him to think beyond my own benefit and to think of the benefit of those around me. To think beyond the needs of the present, and consider the needs of the future generations as well.

I learned from him that while you should dream big and work hard, small efforts should never be underestimated. It is small efforts that grow into the big things that help fulfill those big dreams. No dream is too big if Allah’s help is with us and no action too small for Allah’s reward.

I learned from him what it means to be a hafidh of the Qur’an. That more than just memorizing the words, it means to fill one’s life with the Qur’an, and to regularly and always recite it, and to understand and implement it.

I learned from him that no matter how busy a person may be, it is always possible to have time for the Qur’an if a person wills it. The ability to recite the Qur’an is an issue of devotion and priorities, not an issue of the availability of time.

I learned from him that our character and our dealings with people speak much louder than any other words, that a student is more likely to remember and feel inspired by a kind word than a long lecture.

I learned from him what it means to be hospitable and generous with one’s time, and that this is the first step of dawah and teaching. I learned what it means to serve others for the sake of Allah. By lowering ourselves in front of others for the sake of Allah, we are only raised in rank by Allah.

But most of all, I learned that knowledge increases and multiplies as it is shared. I learned that the benefit of knowledge is not limited to the teacher and student, but rather it flows to the entire community. I see from his example how just one person of knowledge can have the ability to change the lives of hundreds of thousands, if Allah so wills it. And I learned that the legacy of sacred knowledge is the most valuable legacy to leave.

May Allah accept his efforts, overlook his shortcomings, raise him to the highest levels of Jannah, and increase his sadaqah jariyah.

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30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 15: Fruit Out of Season

Now that we have learnt about making our intentions big, let’s now talk about fruit out of season.

Who can tell me who Maryam raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) is

Yes, she was the mother of ‘Isa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), and also the best woman to ever live. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Qur’an that He chose her over all the women in the world.

Question: Do you know that she was also the niece to a Prophet? Does anyone know her uncle’s name? 

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His name is Zakariya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), good job! Do you know that Prophet Zakariya  'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)  was actually inspired by something he saw in Maryam’s raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) room? It’s unusual for adults to admit that they learn from younger people, but we actually do, all the time! 

One day, Prophet Zakariya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) went inside Maryam’s raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) room and he saw fruit that was out of season. 

Question: Can anyone tell me what fruit would be out of season in the spring, but we love to eat it in the summertime? Can we get that same fruit in the wintertime?

Well, Maryam raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) would get fruit that was supposed to only grow in the summer during the wintertime too! This was a gift that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) would give her. Zakariya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was so amazed by this! He asked Maryam raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) how she came upon the fruit and she replied:

 هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّـهِ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

“It is from Allah. Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without measure.” [Surat Ali ‘Imran; 37] 

Now, by this time, Zakariya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was very old. And when you get to be very old, it is very unusual to have any more children. Zakariya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and his wife never had any children at all. But, he was so inspired by what his niece said that he raised his hands in dua’ and asked Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for a child. Even though having a child seemed  impossible because it was “out of season” for Prophet Zakariya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) he asks anyway knowing that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) can grant us anything- even if it is not “in season!”

Question: Can we get that same fruit in the wintertime?Did Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) answer Prophet Zakariya’s 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) dua’? 

Yes! Prophet Zakariya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was blessed with Yahya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), who too became a Prophet and was the cousin of Prophet ‘Isa  'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)!

This shows us that it’s never too late or too early to ask for what our heart desires. Maybe Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will grant you something that is out of season too!

 

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