Saturday, December 31, 2005

Sending Blessings upon the Prophet (Riyad al-Salihin)


Selections from Imam al-Nawawi's Riyad al-Salihin
The Book of Sending Blessings upon the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)

Allah (may He be exalted!) says,
"Verily Allah and His Angels send blessings
upon the Prophet; O you who believe, send blessings upon him and grant him a greeting of peace." (33:56)

Hadith # 1397:

'Abd Allah b. 'Amr b. al-'As (may Allah be pleased with the both of them)
reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) say, "Whoever sends a blessing upon me, Allah sends ten blessings upon him thereby."

Hadith # 1397

Ibn Mas'ud (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of
Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, "The people closest to me on the Day of Resurrection will be those who used to send blessings upon me abundantly."

Hadith # 1400

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Messenger of Allah
(may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, 'May the nose of a man in front of whom I am mentioned but who does not send blessings upon me be smeared with dust.'"

Hadith # 1403
'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Messenger of Allah (may Allah
bless him and grant him peace) said, 'The miser is the one before whom I am mentioned, but who does not send blessings upon me.'"

The Islamic Marriage & Raising Children

Two talks by Shaykh Abdallah Adhami (May Allah grant him shifa and afiya, and allow us to continue to benefit by him):

Men and Women in Islam
Shaykh Abdallah talks about how women and men who are shaped by Islamic ideals relate to one another in the dynamics of marriage in Islam.

For the Love of Our Children: Part 1 & Part 2
Citing exemplary examples from our Islamic tradition, Shaykh Abdallah approaches the topic of raising our children by focusing on two points: Children as mercy and children as trusts (amana) from God.

Shaykh Abdallah Adhami's Website

More RIS Pictures!

More RIS Conference Pictures!

Speakers, the bazaar, the concert, the halls!

Friday, December 30, 2005

RIS Pictures (Zaytuna)















Saturday, December 24th, 2005 -
Toronto, Canada

Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention: Shaykh Hamza addresses the topic, "Reviving the Spirit of al-Andalus."















Saturday, December 24th, 2005 -
Toronto, Canada

(Right to left) Student is reunited with teacher.















Saturday, December 24th, 2005 -
Toronto, Canada

Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention: Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah discusses "Muslims: Caught between ignorance and extremism."
















Sunday, December 25th, 2005 -
Toronto, Canada

Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention: Evening session with Imam Zaid Shakir on "Reviving The Islamic Civilization Model."
















Monday, December 26th, 2005 -
Toronto, Canada

Reviving the Islamic Spirit Knowledge Retreat: Shaykh Hamza Yusuf translates for Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Company One Keeps (Knowledge & Wisdom)

The Company One Keeps

Imam ‘Abdallah ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad-may Allah bless his soul-mentioned in his kitab, al-Fusul al-’Ilmiyya wa’l-Usul al-Hikamiyya (Knowledge and Wisdom):

The company one keeps has major effects. It may lead either to benefit and improvement or to harm and corruption, depending on whether the company is that of pure and eminent people or people who are depraved and evil. This effect does not appear suddenly, but is a gradual process that unfolds with time. The Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, said, “A man will be with his companions.” And, “A man’s religion is that of his intimates, so let each of you consider who he becomes intimate with.” He also said:

A virtuous companion is like the merchant of musk. Either he will offer you some, you will buy it from him, or you will find him pleasant to smell. But an evil companion is like the bellows-blower, either he will scorch your clothes or you will receive a rotten smell from him.

If you wish to know whether those you mix and sit with increase or diminish your faith, religion, and actions, compare your state with regard to good character, praiseworthy intentions, resolution in performing acts of obedience, and goodness before and after their companionship. If you find that these acts have become stronger and more firmly established and that you have become more desirous of and interested in them, then know that this particular company is of benefit to your religion and your heart, and that if you continue with it you will gain even greater benefits and acquire many more good things, God willing. If, on the other hand, you find that your religion has grown weaker and shakier, know that this company is harmful, that its harm to your religion and your heart is evident, and that if you continue with it it will lead to even greater harm and evil, may God protect us! You should also compare the bad points you had before and after keeping that company. This is the way to evaluate one’s position vis-a-vis those with whom one mixes and takes for one’s companions. The decisive factor here is whether good or evil is more powerful and predominant. When goodness in that company is more powerful and predominant, then a wicked man who mixes with them may become attracted to goodness and its people; whereas when wickedness prevails and dominates, then it is to be feared that the good people who keep such company may become attracted to wickedness and its people.

These are subtle concepts known to people possessed of discernment and who have experience in such matters. [The Prophet] said, may blessings and peace be upon him, ” A good companion is better that solitude, and solitude is better than a wicked companion.” [The Prophet], may blessings and peace be upon him, was given a comprehensiveness of expression that no other man, whether of ancient or of recent times, was ever given.

The Lion and the Fly (Spiritual Tendencies)

The Lion and the Fly

Shaykh Ibn Atā’allāh al-Iskandarī—may Allāh bless his soul—said:

The person who pays too much attention to the life of this world while neglecting to prepare for the life to come is like a man being attacked by a lion. Imagine that the lion is poised to pounce upon him when a fly suddenly lands on his nose. If the man stopped to swat the fly instead of fending off the lion, wouldn’t he be an idiot? He must have lost his sense of reason! If he had a grain of reasoning power, he would certainly pay attention to the imminent onslaught of the lion with its deadly pounce while ignoring the disturbance of a mere fly. If people grow preoccupied with their lives in this world and neglect to prepare for the life to come, it proves that they, too, are idiots. If they had any understanding, insight and reasoning power, they would get ready for the upcoming life after death. That is their ultimate responsibility. For this they will each be held accountable. They should hardly be preoccupied with matters of material provision. Concern for material goods in comparison to concern for spiritual health is like the taking care of the annoying fly instead of the impending pounce of the deadly lion. Idiot!

A Parable: The Straying Servant (Heart of Water)

A Parable: The Straying Servant

...The following is from Ibn' Ata' Allah Al-Iskandari's Kitab al-Tanwir fi Isqat al-Tadbir; known in the English language as The Book of Illumination....Open your hearts and read:

The Straying Servant

A person who is concerned for himself is like a servant whose master has dispatched him on a mission. The master has sent him to some land that the master owns in order to procure some cloth there for him. When the servant arrives in that place, he begins to say to himself, "Where will I reside? Whom will I marry?" He gets preoccupied with these questions, expending all his energy on anxiety about these concerns until he is delinquent in executing the commands for which his master had sent him. When his master calls on him, his reward from the master will be that the master cuts him off and seperates himself from the servant, since he was totally preoccupied by his own affairs rather than observing the perogatives and rights of his master.

So it is with you my fellow believer. The true One has dispatched you to this world and commanded you to serve in it faithfully, and has undertaken to support and sustain your existence contingent on your service. If you beome engrossed in worrying about your own concerns for yourself and neglect the rights held over you by your master, then you have turned aside from the path of right guidance and slid down the low road to ruin.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Allah Bless Him & Grant Him Peace


Tha'labi writes,

"He brought his community from darkness to light, and afforded shadow for them when the sun was burning bright; Muhammad, God's messenger and closest friend, His prime choice among His creatures, the best one ever created by God and His proof on His earth; he, guiding to His truth and alerting to His wisdom and calling to His guidance; he, whose birth was blessed and whose arrival was fortunate; radiant is his morning light and glowing his lamp at night; he, whose wars are victorious and whose sermons glorious, ..."


- Taken from page 181 of Annemarie Schimmel's And Muhammad is His Messenger: The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety

Al-Haqq: The Truth


Al-Haqq: The Truth

"And they shall know that Allah is the manifest Truth." (Qur'an 24:25)

Allah is the only Reality, so manifest, so high and so great. "He is the Truth, and what they invoke apart from Him--that is the false." (Qur'an 31:30)

He is the only True God and thus has every right to be worshipped. All other beings set up as deities are but shadows. "That then is Allah, your Lord, the True; what is there, after truth, but error? How then can you turn away from Him?" (Qur'an 10:32).

All His doings testify to this attribute: "It is He who created the heavens and the earth in truth" (Qur'an 6:73). We see in what true and perfect proportions all creation is held together.

He helps us find the truth. "Say: 'Allah--He guides to the truth,'" (Qur'an 10:35) and "Allah has sent down the Book with the truth." (Qur'an 2:176)

If people were to have a say in the running of the universe, its whole order would collapse. "Had the truth followed their caprices, the heavens and the earth and whoever dwelt therein would surely have been corrupted." (Qur'an 10:71)

The Prophet, peace be upon him, used to glorify his Lord, saying: "You are the Truth, Your saying is the truth, Your promise is the truth, Paradise is true, Fire is true, the Hour is true, the Prophets are true, and Muhammad is true." (Al-Bukhari)

Honest partners have a third partner in Allah.

- Taken from The Most Beautiful Names of Allah

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Content of Character - Shaykh Hamza Yusuf



The Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Islam is clean, so cleanse yourselves, for only the cleansed shall enter Paradise." At-Tabarani

The Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "The characteristics of a hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he lies; when he gives his word, he breaks it; and when he is given a trust, he is unfaithful." Al-Bukhari and Muslim

The Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Consideration is from God, and haste is from the devil." Al-Bayhaqi

The Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Keep God in mind wherever you are; follow a wrong with a right that offsets it; and treat people courteously." At-Tirmidhi

These are the first 4 sayings of 130. The book also includes a useful note by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf about hadith and a section dedicated to biographies of the narrators. I picked this book up at the RIS Conference this weekend...it's beautiful...I can't put it down...I *highly* recommend it!

Links & Blogs Updated

Assalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah,

Just updated my Links and Blogs...check them out :)

Wassalam,
Salikah

Mulla Nasruddin on a Husband & Wife from Heaven

Mulla Nasruddin on a husband and wife from heaven

One day, Mulla Nasruddin looked at his wife and said, “Do you know that both you and I are from the people of Paradise?”

His wife was confused by this sudden statement and asked, “How come?”

Mulla Nasruddin replied, “Well, when I look at you and how ugly Allah has made you, I’m patient… and the patient are people of Paradise.

“Likewise, when you look at me and how handsome Allah has made me, you’re thankful… and the thankful are people of Paradise…”


[from a short (serious) work by Mufti Rafi Usmani]


- Found via Seeker's Digest -- Shaykh Faraz, keep the Mulla Nasruddin posts coming, please...!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Lying

The Noble Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was asked: "Can a believer be a coward?" The Prophet said: "Yes." He was then asked: "Can a believer be a miser?" He replied: "Yes." And finally, he was asked: 'Can a believer be a liar?" The Prophet said: "No." (Al-Muwatta, Volume 56, Hadith 19)

He
(Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Maintain truthfulness, for truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Heaven. A man continues to maintain truthfulness until he is recorded in Allah’s book as truthful. Refrain from lying, because lying leads to blatant evil, and evil leads to the fire. A man continues to lie until he is recorded in Allah’s book as a liar" (Related by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood and Al-Tirmithi).

The
Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said, "Honesty descended from the Heavens and settled in the roots of the hearts of men (faithful believers), and then the Quran was revealed and the people read the Quran, (and learnt it from it) and also learnt it from the Sunna." (See Hadith No. 208)

and
“Lying is not good, whether in seriousness or joking.” (Related by al-Bayhaqiyy.)

and, he also said,
“Do not ever lie, because lying leads to very abhorrent sins, and those in turn lead to Hellfire. One keeps on lying and seeks to do that until one is recorded as a liar in some books of Allah.” (Narrated by Ibn Majah.)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Temptation...

O people! What evil temptation lured you away from your Lord, who created you, proportioned you, and endowed you with an upright form? He molded you into whatever form He willed; yet you deny the Day of Judgment. Behold, there are watchers guarding over you, noble guardians, who record all that you say and are aware of all that you do. Verily the righteous shall dwell in delight, the wicked burn in Hell. (Qur'an 18: 6-14)

Once a powerful man of Basra detected the beautiful wife of the gardener as he strolled in the courtyard. Overcome by lust, he sent the gardener on an errand and ordered his wife to lock all the gates.
"I already have," she replied, "but one gate I cannot."
"And which one is that?" he asked furiously.
"The gate which lies between the two of us and Allah." Shaken by the answer, the man instantly pleaded with God for mercy.

- Al-Hujwiri, The Kashf al-Mahjub,
p. 13
(Found in The Bounty of Allah, p. 367)

How Did You Spend Your Life...?

What did you accomplish in your life? How did you consume your sustenance and strength? Where did you lose the luster of your eyes? Where did you lose all the five senses? I gave you bounty. Where is your gratitude? I gave you capital. Come show me the interest.

Rumi, Mathnawi, 3:2150-51, 2164-65
(Found in The Bounty of Allah, p. 366)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

One's Name...

Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.

Iago to Othello in Shakespeare's Othello (Act III, scene iii, 156-162)

O Allah, I Seek Your Forgiveness...


O Allah, I seek Your forgiveness for every sin that diverted me from the way to which You had guided me; or from doing what you had commanded me and avoiding what You had forbidden me; or from doing anything to which You had directed me, in which there would have been for me prosperity and attainment of Your pleasure, Your love, and Your nearness. [Amin.]

Du'a #11 from Prayers for Forgiveness by Hasan al-Basri, translated by Sh. Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Basis of Inner Peace or Peace of Heart


The Basis of Inner Peace or Peace of Heart (SunniPath)

Taken from Qur'anic Psychiatry By Shaykh Syed Mubarak Ali al-Jilani al-Qadiri

"Know that in the thikr of Allah (also following the guidance in the Holy Qur'an) lies the peace of quloob (heart)."

In this ayaat the Creator of the physical and non-physical bodies, Allah Ta'ala, has declared the very basis of the immutable law governing a person's health.

Therefore, the very structure of spiritual health rests on "peace of heart." If this does not exist many psychological disorders, such as nervousness leading to neurosis, and other similar disorders will develop...[read more...]

Mozilla Search Plugin for SunniPath

Mozilla Search Plugin for SunniPath

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve quickly wanted to find what SunniPath has to say on a certain topic, so I made a Mozilla search plugin for SunniPath (also available on Mycroft). Now you have no excuse not to look up that question that’s been bugging you. Oh, and please let me know if it stops working (it seems the SunniPath site is always changing).

Relevant Firefox Hotkeys:

  • To focus the search bar: Ctrl+K
  • To navigate search plugins once focused: Ctrl+Up and Ctrl+Down.
Found via Seeker's Digest

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Desert Roads (Guidance Media)

Desert Roads
By Mustafa Shaheed Davis


We stopped at a street side store to buy milk, vegetables and some dried meat. I swore the meat was alive until I realized that it was just the flies that had occupied its entire surface. I was definitely no longer in California. To the right was a young boy, I’d say he was about 7 years old with a lesion on his head and a blood saturated dirty bandage that was barely fixed to his wound. Flies crawled in and out of his nose and mouth and he made no attempt to wipe them away. He just sat there, almost lifeless and stared at me with his head hung low. His gaze pierced my very soul. The boy kept his eyes fixed on me as we drove away, never blinking once and never changing his expression. I can remember his face as if it was yesterday, and when I experience any type of tribulation, I remember him… the little boy who taught me a lifetime of lessons with just one glance. [Read More...]

Excellent Resources: Readers on the Deen

Some Excellent Resources from SunniPath

A Reader on Islamic Spirituality (Sufism)

A Reader on the Fiqh of Hajj


The Fiqh of Fasting...Hanafi FAQ

A Reader on Traditional Islam (looking for the original link!)

An Exposition of the Signs of Good Character (Traditionalist)

An Exposition of the Signs of Good Character (Traditionalist)

Know that every man is [at first] ignorant of the faults which lie in his soul. When he comes to struggle with it, even in the least degree, until he has abandoned the grosser transgressions, he may think to himself that he has refined his soul and made good his character, and may now dispense with any further struggle. It is therefore essential to explain what are the signs of good character, since good character is equivalent to faith, and bad character to hypocrisy, God (Exalted is He!) has in His Book made mention of the traits which characterise believers and hypocrites, which are all the fruits of good or bad character. We shall now set forth some of the texts so that you may come to know the sign by which good character is to be recognised… [read more]

Originally from Red Sulphur

Looking for the Perfect Woman… a Mulla Nasruddin Tale (Seeker's Digest)

Looking for the Perfect Woman… a Mulla Nasruddin Tale

One afternoon, Nasruddin and his friend were sitting in a cafe, drinking tea and talking about life and love. His friend asked: “How come you never married?”

“Well,” said Nasruddin, “to tell you the truth, I spent my youth looking for the perfect woman. In Cairo I met a beautiful and intelligent woman, but she was unkind. Then in Baghdad, I met a woman who was a wonderful and generous soul, but we had no common interests. One woman after another would seem just right, but there would always be something missing. Then, one day, I met her. Beautiful, intelligent, generous and kind. We had very much in common. In fact, she was perfect!”

“What happened?” asked Nasruddin’s friend, “Why didn’t you marry her?”

Nasruddin sipped his tea reflectively. “Well,” he replied, “it’s really the sad story of my life…. It seemed she was looking for the perfect man…

Source: Arabesque Rhapsody

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A poem by Mother Theresa

A poem by Mother Theresa

This poem was written by Mother Teresa and is engraved on the wall of her home for children in Calcutta.

People are often unreasonable, illogical, & self-centered; Forgive them
anyway.

If you are kind, People may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be
kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true
enemies; Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank
anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight: Build
anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world
the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never
between you and them anyway.

Source unknown and unverified.

It's been a year...


Assalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,
May God's Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you,

In the hustle and bustle of life in this world, I totally forgot that December 1st was the one year anniversary of my blog. So...

Happy Anniversary!

May Allah bless all those who have dropped by since I begun this humble endeavour at sharing things I have found to be of benefit to me as I travel the path to Allah Most High.

Please pray for me, that Allah grant me tawfiq (success) in being a true servant to Him, that I never do anything that displeases Him, that He forever guide me and protect me from disbelief, sin, and all reprehensible things. Pray that He ease my difficulties, put barakah (blessings) in my time and work, bless my family and loved ones, accept our efforts and supplications, and grant us all good.

And may He grant you the same.

Wassalam,
Salikah

Reviving the Islamic Spirit 2005

Reviving the Islamic Spirit (website)

And that is the secret to this world. If you remove love of dunya from your heart, the dunya is yours for the taking.You can have the dunya because it's in your hand, and not in your heart.

- Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, RIS 2004

RIS 2005 Trailer


Check out the SunniPath table in the Grand Souk while you're there.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Sun and the Wind (Heart of Water)

A new blog from one the reader's here seems to be off on a good foot, masha'Allah. Brother Liam posted the following parable from Shaykh Nuh Keller -- I have also heard him tell it in so many words...enjoy:

The Sun and the Wind

The following was a story told by Sheikh Nuh during one of his darses in America. I'm not sure where it originated and I'm using my own words in telling it. So please bear with me if my wording isn't all that great:

Long ago, the wind and the sun decided to have a challenge to see who was more powerful. So they looked to the earth and saw a man wrapped in a cloak walking along a path and felt that this man would make a good example as to who was the more powerful of the two. They decided to see who could get the man to remove his cloak first.

The wind decided to go first and tried to blow the man's cloak off of him. When it wouldn't come off, he blew harder and harder with all his might and could not get the cloak off the man. In fact, the man only drew the cloak tighter and tighter to his body. When the wind exhausted all of his might, there the man sat with his claok wrapped tightly around him still.

So the sun took it's turn and just shined on the man with no effort...just a nice warm glow. After time, the man began to loosen his grip on the cloak. Then after a while longer, he began to sweat. And finally after some waiting and some patience from the sun, the man finally removed his cloak thus declaring the sun the winner.

The moral here is that when dealing with people (in dawah or otherwise), approaching them with harshness will only cause them to draw furthur away from you and make them more tight-lipped. The key is to have sabr and give the charity that all can give whether rich or poor...a smile. Then people will be more open with you and share what is in their hearts, thus causing you to be able to know the real; the only thing worth truly knowing in any of us.

May Allah guide us all.

Traditionalist

Assalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah,

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani has a new alternative Blog called "Traditionalist: Traditional Islamic Answers and Guidance".

Check it out.

Wassalam,
Salikah

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Make a Prayer (Sami Yusuf)

Make A Prayer - Sami Yusuf

O people
In a hut made of tin and clay
A small boy dreams away
Of clean water and a meal a day
And not to fear mines as he plays each day

O people
Somewhere dark and out of the way
Aids has found yet another prey
To save his life he just couldn’t pay
Tell me what we’re going to do

For our brothers in Durban
For our sisters in Darfur
Show me what we’re going to do
Are we just going to sit there?
Nice and cosy on our armchairs
Will we not even make a prayer?

You might ask yourself
Why should I help these people?
They’ll tell you why
We’re not so different from you
We have dreams just like you
But they were buried with the
bodies of our loved ones

O people
Are we deaf, dumb, and blind?
What is going through our minds?
Don’t we care for the rest of mankind?

O people
We claim to love peace and justice
Why do we preach what we don’t practice?
Let’s help them out of this darkness

Tell me what we’re going to do
For our brothers in Ethiopia
For our sisters in Rwanda
Show me what we’re going to do
Are we just going to sit there?
Nice and cosy on our armchairs
Will we not even make a prayer?

lyrics: Sami Yusuf & Bara Kherigi
composition: Sami Yusuf
© 2005 Awakening