Aug
12
Alhamdulillah, as of today, you now have access to all 3 parts of this e-book series on How to Get More Done With Less Stress.

If you didn’t do it already, you can go ahead and download them here:

Part 1 – Brain Dump to Brain Breeze: How to Stop Being Overwhelmed

Part 1 showed you how to do a Brain Dump that results in Brain Breeze.  If you ever find yourself stuck or overwhelmed, not knowing what to do, I can’t recommend this enough.  It’s the key to getting yourself un-stuck.  And all you need is a pen and a piece of paper.

Part 2 showed you how to implement a system to keep your brain free and clear of the clutter that was bogging it down.  It’s just 6 D’s – Delete, Deter, Drawer, Do it, Delegate it and Date it and the change they’ll make in your life will be dramatic.  See for yourself in sha Allah.

Part 3 was a little different.  After taking care of stuff accumulated from your past in Part 1, and implementing a system in Part 2 to deal with the present, we want to look at the future on where you want to go next.

How would you like to spend your days? 
What would you like your financial situation to look like?  How about your health?  

But before heading to our destination, we first need to understand where we’re departing from.  And that’s what you do in Part 3.

What I’m doing through this e-book series is exposing you to simple but effective techniques to help you get things done.

Because change happens when you take action.

And taking action is the heart of what we’ll be doing in theBringIt! 4-Day Challenge. Together, in sha Allah, we’re going to be taking actions that lead to Time Mastery, Wealth Mastery, Deen Mastery and Health Mastery.  

It’s going to be a blast, in sha Allah!

The first bonus live session starts on Monday, August 10.  So register while you can.

Get all the details here ==> BringIt! 4-Day Challenge

With best wishes to see you succeed at the highest level!
– Muhammad Alshareef

P.S. The e-books will only be available for a limited number of days so download them while you can.

See here –> download Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of How To Get More Done With Less Stress.

Jul
31

Queen_Brand

Jul
31

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jul/24/david-cameron-extremism-struggle-generation-abdul-wahid

Since the Islamic State atrocity in Tunisia David Cameron has made a series of statements pointing the finger at those he calls extremists. These people, says the prime minister, refuse to subscribe to British values such as free speech and the rule of law.

Cameron does not assert that all extremists are terrorists. He does, however, warn that extremists form a pool where terrorism can flourish and from which killers emerge. This week, in a headline-grabbing speech, he laid out a counter-extremism strategy to fight what he described as “the struggle of our generation”.

As the prime minister has developed this theme he has persistently raised one group’s name as the most noxious: Hizb ut-Tahrir. Cameron called for HT, the pan Islamist movement which presses for the restoration of the caliphate and introduction of sharia law, to be banned in 2007, following the example of Tony Blair two years earlier. He named it again a month ago in his Today programme interview in the wake of the Tunisian atrocity.
As the latest round of this debate has unfolded, one voice has been noticeably absent: that of the alleged extremist. And it seems worth examining exactly what form that extremism takes. So it is that I go to a leafy street in West London, where Dr Abdul Wahid, chairman of the executive committee of the of the British wing of HT, lives with his wife and two sons.

I have known Wahid for around a decade, ever since the time of the Iraq invasion. We have dinner occasionally. As well as his role at HT, he’s a GP. Today the weather is warm and he answers the door in a safari suit. He bought it, he says, on a recent pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. (Later, he emails to specify that it’s from Medina, explaining “Saudi is an entity that was conceived in the Foreign Office, not in Islam”.)

His front room is a very ordinary environment for a man who leads an organisation so frequently accused of bigotry and worse. In recent years HT has been charged with trying to bring down democracy, antisemitism and suppressing women. It also outrages many foreign governments. When the head of the Pakistan army visited Britain in January, getting Britain to clamp down on HT was top of his agenda.

So, then: what does it feel like to be singled out by the government as an extremist? “Extremist,” says Wahid, “is the secular word for heretic. It means that you don’t subscribe to certain political and social norms.” Blair and Cameron,” he adds, “suffer from the disease of populism. Blair felt like after 7/7 he had to do something, and Cameron echoes a lot of that kind of talk. He is relying on the ignorance of most people and trying to get away with it.

“Someone murders people in Tunisia, and he goes on talking about people in Britain with political ideas and religious views he doesn’t like, who have nothing to do with violence. And he spins it in a way that makes it look almost seamless.” But what of the link, which has been made by many besides the prime minister, between extremist opinions and terrorism? Wahid is well prepared for this question: “Nobody serious has any evidence of that link. And in fact, several big players have actually refuted it.” He cites the work by Marc Sageman, a former CIA officer and forensic psychiatrist, which (he says) challenges the notion of a linear progression towards radicalisation. He quotes then MI5 chief Eliza Manningham-Buller telling the Chilcot enquiry that the Iraq invasion provoked Muslim terrorism. He has chapter and verse from a leaked cabinet memo from 2010 saying there was no “typical pathway to violent extremism”.
What of elections? In Britain, I suggest, we believe in democracy, free speech, tolerance. His critics say that he doesn’t believe in any of those things and in particular, not in democracy. Wahid replies: “Well, we have a view on democracy. I believe in voting, I believe in elections. The caliphate we want to see is one where a ruler would be elected, accountable, not above the law; accountable to people, to political groups, to elected assembly, to independent media.”

Wahid says David Cameron’s belief in democracy is just skin deep: “You don’t have to be a member of HT to say this, there are an awful lot of flaws and contradictions in the democratic system.

“Let us just remind ourselves at this juncture that Britain’s head of state is actually a hereditary monarch; she’s not elected and her successor will not be elected. Britain’s legislature has two houses, one of which is an appointed house. Cameron goes and has tea and dinner with the royal families of the Middle East. So suddenly pulling out the democracy card is a little bit rich.

“And that’s without saying that in democracies the people with voting power are not actually the masses. And if you need an example of that, just look at Greece. Greece had a popular referendum a week ago, and that decision is basically overturned by closed-door meetings in Europe. That’s democracy as it exists.”

I move onto another topic: HT and women. Critics of the organisation point to its draft constitution, which states “the primary role of a woman is that of mother and wife, she is an honour that must be protected”. Does Wahid agree?

“The view of HT on all those things is a traditional Muslim view: women and men before God have the same value, the same worth, the same status. The instructions for human beings, men and women, are broadly speaking, the same. However, there are distinctions in the way that Islam addresses men and women. Islam puts the burden of providing for the family on the man, which doesn’t mean to say that a woman can’t work.
What about his own wife? “My wife stopped working when we had kids. Before then she worked as a teacher, before that she worked in market research. My mum worked most of her adult life. I have two sisters, who are married, have kids, and they both worked before they had kids; one still works, even with kids. And that was the choice of my wife, when she gave up work.”

Do you believe that women can and should go into politics? “Yes, absolutely.” Can they become the caliph? “No, because of the specific injunction of the prophet, they can do everything except become the ruler.

“They can be the Judge, they can be in the assembly, they should be in the elected assembly. In our own drafted constitution it says that.

“They can be in the administrative services of the state. In the time of one of the prophet’s successors, peace be with him, he appointed a female judge in his time, you know, 14 centuries ago. And in fact HT has a very active political women’s movement, they organise their own conferences and meetings.”

I remind Wahid that men and women are segregated by a screen at these HT meetings. “Yes, the women and men sit separately, usually with a sort of screen between them, which is the normal Islamic etiquette. Actually, we believe very much that it’s the way it should be.“It should be that women and men engage in political discourse actively. Our women’s section all across the world, by the way, organises conferences that address thousands of people.”
I suggest the HT women’s section is an affront to modern British sensibilities: “Is it? Do you ever listen to Woman’s Hour on Radio 4? Is it an affront to British sensibilities that there should be a regular magazine programme on one of its main broadcasting stations which is dedicated to women? If Mr Cameron thinks it’s in affront to Britain that there is a women’s section in HT, then tell him to go and say that to the Women’s Institute. I daresay a fair number of the Conservative party belong to men only clubs in the City.”

I turn to the charge that his organisation is antisemitic. Fifteen years ago HT published a notorious article entitled The Muslim Ummah will never submit to the Jews. It contained unpleasant language, some of which I read out to Wahid, and invite him to denounce the article. He refuses. “HT is not antisemitic at all, but we are absolutely anti-Zionist … It actually doesn’t matter whether you’re Jewish or non-Jewish, if you’re Zionist, we cannot support someone who believes that it’s right that the land was usurped from some people and given over to others, especially when the occupying force is particularly murderous and bloodthirsty, as it has been.

“You will never find those words being used about Jews living in other parts of Middle Eastern world, Iraq, Morocco or those places. And you should never find those words being used about that.

“And you will never find this language used by us, because probably here we have more understanding of the particular European experience, and what it means.”
Once again I invite Wahid to denounce the pamphlet. “Of course I am not going to denounce it! Because it’s about a leaflet, a small extract of the leaflet, which was written in response to murder, brutality. The people who wrote this in original Arabic in the context it was written, and the people who read it, understand what it means. When you take it out of context, you translate it into English, you take it to Europe and put an interpretation to it, which is not what it was, you find that people misunderstand it. But I am not going to denounce the leaflet.”

Later on, he emails about all this, saying he has now read it. “I appreciate through a European lens, after the massacre of millions of Jews by Europe, any generic negative language about Jewish people sets off alarms,” he writes. “But through a Middle East lens, where ‘Israel’ calls itself the Jewish state and the term Jew and Israel are used synonymously, where people see themselves in a war, people understand this language as the rhetoric of conflict and understand it within the context of that region and NOT Jews per se.”

So what about Britain? Would he fight for it? “You know what, I have no issue with serving the people of this country, but I wouldn’t fight for any country or a flag, a national flag. I think the Islamic idea of fighting is actually fighting for an idea, for a principle, it isn’t about fighting for a flag.”

Does Wahid regard himself as a subject of the Queen? “I have no particular issue with the Queen, I am sure she’s a very pleasant old lady. But I don’t regard myself as her subject. And, by the way, I never did.”

Would he support those who fought against British soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan? “If someone invaded a country, then that would be their right to do that.” For justification he produces a quote from Winston Churchill: “It is the primary right of men to die and kill for the land they live in, and to punish with exceptional severity all members of their own race who have warmed their hands at the invaders’ hearth”.
I ask him why he joined HT. Wahid cites a possibly surprising reference: Lady Evelyn Cobbold, daughter of the seventh earl of Dunmore. “She became a Muslim in an odd way. Someone took her to a private audience with the Pope. The Pope asked her which denomination she was. She answered she was a Muslim. This spontaneous answer shocked her, although probably not as much as it shocked the Pope.”

Wahid takes down a book from his shelves and reads Cobbold’s account: “What possessed me I don’t pretend to know, as I had not given a thought to Islam for many years. A match was lit and I then and there determined to read up and study. The more I read, the more I studied, the more convinced I became that Islam was the most practical religion, and the one most calculated to solve the world’s many perplexing problems, and to bring to humanity peace and happiness.”

Wahid adds: “When I read that, years later, it echoed exactly with what my own journey was.”

Wahid has a well-organised mind, perhaps in part the product of his upbringing. His own family came to the UK from Pakistan. His father worked as a travel agent and made many sacrifices to send his son to Merchant Taylors’, a private school in north London. He also understands Britain, and the contradictions embedded in the British identity, uncomfortably well.

He is widely read, too. Before I leave, I look at the books on the wall. There is the collection of commentaries on the Qur’an by Sayyid Qutb, the Muslim Brotherhood theorist who has executed in Egypt by Nasser in 1966, and became (in part through Ayman al-Zawahiri) one of the inspirations for al-Qaida. Kissinger’s Diplomacy is there, as is Niall Ferguson’s Empire and Robert Peston’s Who Runs Britain?, alongside Dirty Wars by Jeremy Scahill and Ibn Khaldun’s masterpiece Al Muqaddimah: “It’s a very good book. I actually got it when I was working in obstetrics, and there is a chapter on midwifery which is fantastic.”

A man’s bookshelves can hardly be said to define him. All the same, they do teach an ironic lesson about the range of allowable voices. You can say many things about Wahid, and be appalled by much of what he says. But in a democracy he surely has the right to say it. Whatever the government thinks.

Jul
30
Guzzy Bear wants to congratulate David Cameron on his wonderful speech today…

It’s surely going to unite us all in this battle against the radicalisation and extremism amongst young people in our nation.

This is the truth but cameron cant listen to it because there are “private contractors ” to sell weapons to and drugs to be produced we are a war mongering drug pushing disgusting country and our queen sits at the helm .
Jul
23

Great site some amazing videos – http://www.islamicguidance.co/

As-salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuhu; I went to secondary madrasah and graduated with a first class Islamic scholarship, I’ve always been shy and I was never able to deliver a lecture or even speak in front of people and having the Islamic scholarship I felt I had to do something so on the 23rd of June 2008 I opened a YouTube channel named SoldierOfAllah2 and alhamdullillah it’s now been seven years in the making and we are now one of the largest and most well-known Islamic YouTube channel consisting of over 160,000 subscribers with total views of over 11 Million video views. In October of 2014 we decided we had to change the channel name because of the current issues happening across the world, we felt our name might seem inappropriate to some, so we changed it to Islamic Guidance, the whole purpose of this channel is to help Muslims and of other faiths to truly understand and propagate the true Islam, not what the media says or what the extremist may say, but what Islam really teaches us which is in fact Peace, so we hope this channel will benefit you and me. Peace Be Upon You.

Relate unto them the stories, It’s a command from Allah SWT given to rasullullah SAW, so that they may reflect, these stories are not to entertain us, these stories are for us to derive lessons and reflect and to contemplate and to think about; to deeply reflect on them, that is what we need to do, we all claim that we love the anbiya of Allah, but if we don’t know the details of their life, we don’t know what they went through, how could we have respect for them? It becomes mandatory upon us to convey the message of the anbiya of Allah SWT and their stories, so the prophethood begun with the first man and the first prophet: Adam, calling the people towards good action, coming to the people in their time, in their language, ordering the people with the same way, O my people obey almighty God and worship only almighty God and do good actions, that’s what Abraham said, that’s what Noah said, that’s what Moses said, that’s what David said, that’s what Solomon said, that’s what John the Baptist said, that’s what Jesus christ said, that’s what Muhammad PBUH said.

Jul
21

http://freebabarahmad.com/press-and-media/press-releases/item/585-press-release-first-statement-of-babar-ahmad-upon-release-from-us-prison-after-11-years سبحان اللہ الحمد للہ اللہ اکبر لا الہ الا اللہ

We, the family of Babar Ahmad, are delighted to announce that by the grace of God,  Babar has returned home to us after 11 years in prison. Our lives will be enriched by his return. 

Although the past 11 years have been indescribably difficult for us all, we were heartened by Judge Janet Hall’s comments at Babar’s sentencing this time last year. She said:

“There was never any aid given by these defendants to effectuate a plot. By plot, I mean a terrorist plot … Neither of these two defendants were interested in what is commonly known as terrorism … It appears to me that he [Babar] is a generous, thoughtful person who is funny and honest. He is well liked and humane and empathetic…This is a good person who does not and will not seek in the future to harm other people.”

Today, we remember and thank all those who have supported us throughout. But for now, we kindly ask everyone to give us some privacy and space and not to contact us for the time being.

Babar has the following comment to make:

“11 years of solitary confinement and isolation in ten different prisons has been an experience too profound to sum up in a few words here and now. In October 2012, I was blindfolded, shackled and forcibly stripped naked when I was extradited to the US. Last week, US and UK government officials treated me with courtesy and respect during my journey home. “

“Today, I have absolutely nothing. Yet I am rich. All praise be to God.”

“In time, I look forward to sharing reflections on my experience to help inform others. I recognise that the world has moved on since 2004, yet in some ways, sadly it has failed to progress. “

“For now, I intend to reconnect privately with my incredible family, to whom I owe so much.  It was a great joy to celebrate Eid with them for the first time in 11 years and to hug three of my nieces and nephews whom I had never met before. It has been a long time.”

Jul
21

http://www.hizb.org.uk/current-affairs/repeated-rhetoric-from-camerons-failed-extremism-policy

Repeated rhetoric from Cameron’s failed ‘extremism’ policy | Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain

David Cameron has made yet another widely previewed speech about combating ‘extremism’ following a pledge for a full-blown UK offensive against ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq, saying he wants to “destroy the Caliphate in both countries”.

His latest proposals include pushing Muslims to speak out against Islamic ideas such as the Caliphate (not simply speaking out against ISIS); measures to ‘rein in extremists’; targeting those who criticize or question policies and actions of the state labeling them ‘conspiracy theorists’; clamping down on schools to avoid more episodes like the ‘Trojan Horse’ affair; an aggressive promotion of ‘British values’ and a ‘creed’ of shared ideas (including freedom of speech); and a legal definition of extremism including opposition to the rule of law and religious tolerance.

Like his predecessors, Cameron conflates legitimate religious and political views that Muslims hold with the chaos that has been created in Iraq and Syria. His recipe for dealing with ‘extremism’ is a dog’s breakfast – gesture politics, policies that will cause more damage within communities and add to the confusion and chaos across the world, plus a spectacular ideological own goal.

It is gesture politics because he comes across as a showman as opposed to a politician who is genuinely concerned about real issues. So he is showboating by talking about preventing another ‘Trojan Horse’ in schools (though Graham Stuart, Conservative chair of the education select committee in the last Parliament, had said that apart from one solitary incident, no evidence of extremism or radicalisation was found by any of the inquiries into any of the schools involved).

It is gesture politics when he talks about bombing ISIS in Syria and Iraq. We hold no brief for ISIS – who are a militia, lack Islamic legitimacy for any Caliphate or Islamic state and for many of their actions. However, Cameron’s back-of-an-envelope proposal for carpet bombing regions of Iraq and Syria are as credible as ISIS’s Caliphate and Blair’s war in Iraq, and will do little to solve the region’s problems. While almost all Muslims globally do not recognise ISIS as a Caliphate, Cameron and other Western governments are happy to describe it as such and to justify their onslaught against people in the region while openly defending tyrants that kill people in Egypt and the wider region.

It is a recipe for more destruction across the world because military intervention by western governments – whether in Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya – has destabilised entire regions, blighting millions of lives. Cameron says he wishes to destroy ‘the Caliphate’ in both countries (which isn’t a Caliphate), ignoring Britain’s role in destroying the Ottoman Caliphate after World War One, which subsequently destabilised the entire Middle East for decades.

It is a recipe for more division and alienation in communities within the UK because it clamps down on Muslims who express legitimate political views, or who hold normal Islamic views on the Caliphate and Jihad. The Prevent policy has silenced legitimate and credible views of Imams or scholars who are able to explain concepts like ‘Islamic state’ or events such as the murders in Tunisia or Woolwich in any kind of meaningful or credible way for fear of being labeled ‘extremists’.

It is a spectacular ideological own goal because of the contradictions in the policies – as well as the abandonment of any pretence that he actually believes in the values he professes to be upholding.

You cannot launch a PR campaign to promote “British values” whilst simultaneously using civil, legal and security agencies to forcibly convert people to your ‘creed’ because you have failed to convince them intellectually.

You cannot argue that you believe in free speech then clamp down on Muslims who say the Iraq war was a driver of grievance; or who have arguments about the legitimacy of the Zionist entity based on legal and historically valid positions; or by labeling those who expose how Prevent has led to spying on Muslims, or a McCarthyite atmosphere, as conspiracy theorists to be targeted; or targeting those who expose the fact that he and his predecessors in government support dictators and tyrants like Sisi and the Saudi regime (a matter that Eliza Manningham Buller mentioned as deeply troubling in her Reith Lectures some years ago); or by silencing criticism by dismissing any notion of a grievance in a manner that is frankly intellectually dishonest.

You cannot argue that you believe in the rule of law then silence those who expose British complicity in rendition and secret jails, troop abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan and the unlawful actionsof his own Home Secretary.

You cannot claim you believe in tolerance and then preside over one of the most intolerant periods in English history towards a minority community, stigmatizing the majority of Muslims if they do not tow a government line. Ironically, he demands Muslims denounce the very concept of a Caliphate that presided over harmony between different faith communities for centuries because of its Islamic approach to protecting peoples’ beliefs and worships – a lesson for him to learn from.

When Cameron clamps down or ridicules those who criticize and expose him, he only proves that he is not able to tackle their arguments.

His message to Muslims is ‘convert to our beliefs and political viewpoints’ or die a political and legal death. The most he can do is gag people, preventing them from saying what they think or punishing them for expressing their views.

Our message to the Muslim community is to ignore the man with the big mouth and little mind. When he has finished this round of rhetoric he will start again, and again. The more he bullies, the more he will fail.

The Muslim community has an important role to fulfil. When Cameron talks about the Caliphate, Muslims should look to the Islamic sources and understand what Islam really says about the Caliphate – and realise that both ISIS and Cameron are wrong!

The Muslim world needs a real Caliphate, not a bogus entity that kills people indiscriminately, is facilitating the breakup of Iraq, and has obstructed the campaign against Assad. The world needs a state to argue against the hegemony of global capitalism, that causes so much suffering.

The Muslim community in Britain needs more Islam, not less, to uphold their dignity in this world and the next in the face of the onslaught from politicians like Cameron, to carry a message of Islam in their words and deeds – expressing frank political views to challenge the state sponsored propaganda.

If the Muslim community follows this dignified Islamic path, little men like Cameron will just wither away, and crumble into political dust.

Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain

21 July 2015
4th Shawwal 1436

Categorized in ISLAMIC

Jul
14

RAMADAN 2015 – By Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

Categorized in ISLAMIC

Jul
14

Nouman Ali Khan Statement on the classical science of Aqeedah

A hard core illiterate Salafi has been trying to debase Nouman Ali Khan on a Facebook rant..Don’t waste time reading their rubbish but check his excellent response.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=671094313023314&id=185523868247030&ref=m_notif&notif_t=like

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

I’ve decided to write this post because a few close friends forwarded me comments being made about a clip of mine taken from a program I conducted recently teaching the core concepts of Surah Yasin. It seems a number of people (whose sincerity I wouldn’t question nor do I have the right to) are concerned that I’m poking fun at the learning of the classical science of Aqeedah and some of the most famous classical scholarly manuals that deal with the monumental subject. This post will be longer than my usual writings and for that I apologize in advance.

First and foremost, Allah, His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم and His Deen are infinitely more worthy that I stand up for them and defend them as opposed to me defending myself. If the intention behind defending oneself is to preserve dignity or reputation, my belief, as is the belief of all Muslims, is that dignity was granted to us because of this religion and when we pursue any other means to attain it, we will fail. Having said that I am compelled to explain what motivates this writing. Allah says وعسى أن تكرهوا شيئا وهو خير لكم والله يعلم وأنتم لا تعلمون. “It may well be that you all despise something and it is better for you while it is Allah, He knows and you! You don’t know!” I think in this frenzy of comments and outrage there is an opportunity to share something of value about this beautiful religion and I will try to do so to the best of my ability with clarity and sincerity. I’d also like to comment right from the get go that I was taught from an early age to uphold the dignity of all human beings especially Muslims. I don’t go around reading comments being made about me but for any who are outraged at me or may have made disparaging or judgmental remarks, they are still my family in faith and I wish them well and pray for them as I would for myself and my own family. That isn’t something special. This is just what Muslims are supposed to do.

Now, on to the subject at hand…

Part 1: My Attitude Towards the Subject of Aqeedah and the Hadith:

I have tremendous respect for the entire corpus of our scholarly tradition including the science of Aqeedah codified by great human beings of the past, may Allah grant His forgiveness and loving mercy to all of them. For those of you to whom my comments were perceived as offensive to that tradition, I apologize for coming across as insensitive and dismissive. I have studied some of the books I’m accused of making fun of with some of my own teachers and mentors (which I will get to a bit later). Historically, it is that legacy that prevented great philosophical confusion from ransacking the ummah and kept us holding on to the core teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah in a manner that was true to the sacred text.

Secondly, often times the word Qur’aniyyoon is thrown my way. This guy always talks about the Qur’an, never about hadith. Though I’ve talked about this before, I will here again. I have regard for the subject of Hadith that is hard to put into words and appreciate that to be a muhaddith is to engage in some of the most rigorous, laborious and life consuming scholarship of any of the other Islamic sciences. In my early years learning about Islam, I would learn from brothers more knowledgeable than myself who were not hadith scholars and they would quote a hadith from Sahih Al Bukhari or Muslim or Sunnan Al-Tirmidhi. It was years later that I went through some of the same ahadith with an actual muhaddith only to discover that the context and scholarly understanding of the very same texts was so different than what a shallow translation yielded. This happened on multiple occasions. If ones understanding of the Qur’an can be problematic if not keeping in mind the historical context of revelation, and that is the word of Allah, that would certainly have to be of paramount importance when it comes to the hadith tradition. There’s far more to consider than whether or not a hadith is authentic. When did our blessed messenger say it? Who did he say it to? How was it acted upon? Are there other ahadith that complement its understanding? How did the early generations discuss this hadith? How did the fuqaha discuss this hadith? Did scholars of the past deal with potential misconceptions that may arise from this hadith if not properly understood in its rich language and context? These are a lot of questions and I for one do not suppose about myself that I can confidently comment on them without having learned them directly from a scholar of the subject. I’d rather not quote a hadith than to quote it with a partial understanding. I do cite the ahadith that I’ve had the honor of learning with certain muhadditheen for which I am eternally grateful. I also happen to have an ijazah in Al-Nawawi (may Allah show him loving mercy)’s collection of forty ahadith. Incidentally, I conducted a program a year ago called ‘Honoring the Messenger’ and part of it was to illustrate how it is impossible to believe in the book of Allah without believing in the Sunnah of His beloved Messenger SAW. So yeah, I believe in our sacred Hadith tradition and the flawless Sunnah of our messenger SAW but I’m unwilling to be reckless in citing it.

Part 2: The Pulpit and The Street

I found Islam in New York City in the nineties. When I decided to fix my life according to the mandates of Islam, I needed someone to teach me the religion. If you know anything about NYC, you know that depending on which masjid you set foot into, you’re going to be shown a very different picture of Islam. I went to a masjid where the Imam told me not to worry about learning the meanings of the Qur’an because that is only for scholars. I should concern myself with the five pillars and following the scholars (by which he meant himself and the individuals he would approve of from his particular line of thought). This by the way is not an isolated incident. I have met countless Muslims from the indian sub continent who are told that they should not attempt to understand the meanings of the Qur’an because they will get confused and they should leave that to the scholars. Just learn some dhikr and if you have a question, ask the scholar. He’s already got the perfect understanding so you wouldn’t have to do any heavy lifting.

Being a restless soul, that didn’t sit well for too long. I ended up in yet another circle, where the entire focus was to debate the truth of Islam with non-Muslims, then to another group where your spirituality was pegged to your personal relationship with a spiritual mentor without whom you wouldn’t be able to become a better Muslim and better yet, you might only be saved through this relationship. I met some brothers at a restaurant once. I remember it like it was yesterday. They saw me and recognized me as a Muslim and so they started talking to me. They told me that if my aqeedah isn’t correct that I’m fuel for the hellfire. I was worried. I asked them what they thought of all the people I had previously learned from by name. And for each of them they had the same answer. ‘He’s a good brother but his aqeedah is flawed and he’s calling people to the hellfire’. Now I was really worried. I joined their circle and was in it for more than a year. I learned to ask the first and most important question before asking anything else not only of scholars or khateebs or da’ees but also of fellow muslims. What’s his aqeedah? I even asked my dad once. What’s your aqeedah? He said, beta (which means son) we’re sunni. I didn’t respond but in my heart I said to myself, that’s what they all say. I actually believed that my family believed in what will lead them to the hellfire because they didn’t have the right aqeedah. Then came the problem of ‘how do you tell if someone has the right aqeedah or not’? For all practical purposes, I was indoctrinated into thinking that when it comes to this issue, there is no such thing as benefit of the doubt. You have to assume that anyone and everyone is corrupted in their aqeedah and you have to listen to what they say with extreme caution waiting to hear something that could prove that AH HAH! they are deviant in their aqeedah. Bear in mind this became more about fishing for what might be creatively interpreted as a problem of aqeedah than an actual problem of aqeedah. We have to be cautious, and if there is even a millionth chance that this person might mean something problematic, not only do I have to never listen to anything he ever has to say, but also warn others to stay away from him. For a short while in those two years, my only mission was to save the ummah from deviants in aqeedah. I was good at it too. Somebody could quote a book and I’d say, this person has read this book and is influenced by the ideas of the author whose aqeedah is unknown, therefore he is on the deviant list. The list was updated regularly.

What happened as a result was a spiritual void that I’ve never felt before in my life. I wasn’t close to Allah. I knew how to argue His names and attributes and debate whether He was above or everywhere but I didn’t feel His love, His guidance, His mercy and His constant company. Allah just became a subject of debate. I became accustomed to mocking Muslims who didn’t see Islam the right way that I saw it. I developed hatred for those who taught anything about Islam in ways that didn’t align with my authentic and flawless understanding. The people that I had love for were reducing by the day and by the way, some of the guys in the authentic aqeedah circle had disagreements with each other and started calling each other deviant too. That was ultra-confusing because now I didn’t know which side to pick. They both quoted the same scholars from abroad who of course wrote in Arabic so I had no way of looking at the information myself except through the lens of translation. We studied aqeedah manuals most of the time. Sometimes we studied certain ayaat of the Qur’an but we only studied them to reinforce that we are on the right aqeedah and how this ayah and that hadith were evidence against such and such group. Qur’an and Sunnah were ammunition for us.

Then a friend of mine, whom I loved because he was totally not into this whole religious debate scene, took me to this program where my first Qur’an teacher was doing a rapid translation and explanation of the entire Qur’an in Urdu. I’ll be honest, I first sat in to check for aqeedah mistakes. But the first night, as he just talked about the word of Allah, I couldn’t help my tears from rolling down my eyes. The ayaat and their explanation was doing something to me that no halaqah, no debate, no study had ever done. I genuinely desired seeking forgiveness that night. That was different because the nights before that one I was more concerned with whom else should be seeking forgiveness. As the nights of the series in Ramadan continued, I experienced a never before felt love for the Qur’an, for the messenger, for Allah. I didn’t want to learn anything else anymore. I wanted this. This is not like any other book. Nothing else has ever made me think like this, feel like this. My journey into the Qur’an began with Dr. Abdus Samie and his brilliant little Arabic class. I started memorizing more and more of the Qur’an. I started losing interest in the deviations of others and started noticing the deviations in myself.

My comments may have been disparaging to some of you and for that I apologize. But the way our beautiful scholarly tradition is being abused to pass blatant judgment against other fellow Muslims who are each in their own unique struggle spiritually, intellectually and emotionally is just unfair and cruel. Our faith is no different from the faith of Adam AS or Ibrahim AS or the Messenger of Allah SAW. The Qur’an is the best and most primary source to understand who God is because He speaks for Himself in it. When I meet young hot headed Muslims who are ready to quote a aqeedah text and defend it but haven’t had the time to memorize or recite or learn the meanings of even few surahs, I find that to be an abandonment of our salaf.

In the Musnad of Ahamd RA and Sahih Muslim, the messenger SAW says

إن الله يرفع بهذا الكتاب أقواماً ويضع به آخرين

Certainly Allah, He elevates because of this book entire nations and puts other down because of it. So when our beloved SAW says that this book will the cause of the rise of nations, which ayaat is he SAW referring to? The ones that we find useful in refuting each other? The ones that fortify our positions against others? This book is above our agendas. It is above our comfort zones. This book reign supreme and nothing will ever be a bigger priority than it. وكلمة الله هي العليا. The word of Allah, it is the Highest. It is not just another subject in Islamic studies. It is the central beam that holds this entire religion and its people together. If I spent my entire life emphasizing that it is the ultimate priority of the Muslims, it won’t be nearly enough. The Sunnah of our messenger is best described by our mother RA, كان خلقه القرآن. It is to be viewed as the Qur’an brought into practical application. It is thus not a separate entity or different subject matter but really a necessary and fundamental manifestation of the book of Allah from words to actions. When average Muslims, (not specialized students or scholars) are being taught that their first priorities need to be elsewhere, I will disagree till my dying breath. This word was powerful enough to guide the lost souls of Quraish and turn them into the greatest generation history has ever seen. It was powerful enough to guide jinns passing by just as they heard some of its miraculous ayaat. It is still powerful enough to guide any human being, Muslim or non through this age of fitnah. We are at its service and it is not at ours. Its surahs dictate what is priority. We do not impose our priorities on it. We don’t get to decide which ayaat are more important than others. Which surahs are more important than others. That is for Allah and His messenger SAW. So much of the ummah today has no idea what the word of Allah is. This Qur’an is passed to us through the sweat, blood and tears of generations before us starting with our beloved himself SAW. It isn’t cheap. People before us paid with blood so we can recite it, ponder upon it, seek guidance from it and live by it today. How is it not my top priority? Everything I will learn about islam, I will learn in the shade of Allah’s word. For that, I am not sorry.

Wassalamu Alaikum

Numan Ali Khan

Categorized in ISLAMIC

Jul
14

Shikwa and Jawab e Shikwa by Dr. Alama Iqbal

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shikwa_and_Jawab_e_Shikwa

Shikwa (Urdu: شکوہ‎) (Complaint) and Jawab-e-Shikwa (Urdu: جواب شکوہ‎) (Response to the Complaint) are poems written by well known Urdu language poet Muhammad Iqbal, which were later published in his book Kulliat-e-Iqbal. “Shikwa” is an Urdu word which translates to “complaint” in English.

Though much of his best poetry is written in Persian, he was also a poet of stature in Urdu. Shikwa (1909) and Jawab-i-Shikwa (1913) extol the legacy of Islam and its civilising role in history, bemoan the fate of Muslims everywhere, and squarely confront the dilemmas of Islam in modern times. Shikwa is thus, in the form of a complaint to Allah for having let down the Muslims and Jawab-i-Shikwa is Allah’s reply.

When the first part of these poems, Shikwa (1909), was published it created a big confusion amongst Muslim scholars who thought that Iqbal is being rude and harsh in his words when talking to God in his book and being unthankful of the blessings of God, since the second part of his poem (Jawab-e-Shikwa) was not announced with the publication of the first one. But later when Jawab-e-Shikwa (1913) was published all the problems went away and everyone praised Iqbal for his contribution to Urdu Poetry and making a difference in Islamic literature.

Iqbal wrote the two poems, “Shikwa” and “Jawab-i Shikwa” (Complaint to God and its Response), in early twentieth century. It was the prime time of his poetic revelation, which is called his third period that began in 1908 and ended at his death in 1938. During that time Muslims in India had almost lost their identity as a nation. They had become the most oppressed community in British ruled India. A little before Iqbal, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) had realised that the major cause of Indian Muslims’ misfortune was their illiteracy and the lack of knowledge. After a long struggle and much hardship he succeeded in establishing an Anglo Oriental College at Aligarh which later on became a university. Presently this university is a big place of learning and research in India. This university became a source of self-awareness among a negligible portion of Muslim minority in India. However, the masses of the community remained deprived of education and ultimately remained suffering in all parts of life. Due to poverty and lack of resources they were unable to educate their children. Among those who were lucky and got education remained unable to get a job. They remained jobless as all the fields of life and key posts were occupied and dominated by non-Muslims and the British. Such a situation gave birth to the persons like Altaf Husain Hali, Shibli Nomani, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, Ali Brethren, and others who worked in their respective fields to fight for the rights of Muslims. All of them were contemporaries of Iqbal and were among the front-line fighters for freedom. However Iqbal stood alone with his powerful poetic way to waken self-confidence in the people of his community. He and his contemporaries (named above) were able to move the masses and carried them forward on the road to get rid of the British rule. Iqbal nurtured the minds of the people and changed the direction of the society through his melodious voice reciting his own songs in a touching way reminding them of their past glory. He was the person who discovered a leader like Muhammad Ali Jinnah and convinced him to lead the nation under whose banner Muslims of India were united and marched towards independence till the world saw a new country “Pakistan” emerged on the world map with the rising sun of the morning of August 14, 1947.

Iqbal’s poem “Shikwa” was one of his most thrilling poems, which he recited personally in the month of April 1911 at the annual session of Anjuman Himayat-i Islam held in the compound of Islamia College, Lahore. It was largely applauded and subsequently published in the magazines and journals of the country. This poem consists of 31 stanzas having six verses each. In the poem Iqbal has highlighted Islam’s living traditions in such a way that it strikes the very heart of a person. The carefully selected and well-knit words of the poem were immensely effective. They filled the hearts of a deprived nation with new life, courage and enthusiasm. The poem “Shakwa” is a unique example of a complaint to God. We have used English translation from Dr. M.A.K. Khalil’s Call of the Marching Bell, which is English rendering of Iqbal’s Bang-i Dara.

In the first stage of this poem Iqbal counts the chivalrous deeds of the Muslims reminding them of their past glory when they happened to be the leaders and teachers of mankind. They implemented the rule of God on the earth and brought revolutionary reforms in the states under their control where justice prevailed. Hereunder I quote three stanzas from this part of “Shakwa”:[1]

Categorized in ISLAMIC

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