Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A ship never sails upon dry land

Yahyaa Ibn Muaadh said: "
In my view, the worst kind of self-delusion is to greatly sin, yet hope for forgiveness without feeling any regret; and to hope to draw close to Allah - the Most High - without obedience to Him; and to await the fruits of Paradise, by planting the seeds for Hell-Fire; and to seek the abode of the obedient ones, by doing acts of disobedience; and to expect a reward, without doing any worthy action; and to hope in Allah - the Mighty and Majestic - after overstepping the bounds." "You hope for salvation but do not tread its path. A ship never sails upon dry land."

[Related by Ibn Hibbaan in Rawdatul-'Uqalaa (p.284), from the poetry of Abul-'Atiyyah]

Worn out by the world (unknown)

"Do you not see how the two renewables (night and day),
Wear us out, while we jest in secret and in public?
Trust not this world and it's pleasures,
For it's homes are not real homes.
And work for your benefit before your death.
And be not decieved by the abundance of friends and brothers."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Denied Hajj?

Peace and abundant blessings be upon our Master, Muhammed, the Messenger of Allah.

Assalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,

Many people I know, myself included were not permitted to make Hajj this year. What our Shaykh told us, and what I've been hearing, is that the Saudi government was in the midst of massive construction at mina and muzdalifah in order to accomodate larger numbers while ensuring the safety of all hajjis, but they miscalculated timing and weren't able to finish in time, thus the Hajj Ministry is allowing fewer people in for Hajj this year (and more have applied because of the holiday season). This is the outward reason for our being denied the hajj this year.

Before we went to the hajj meeting to find out whether or not we got the visas, Salik asked me to pause and promise that regardless of what happened, our hearts would not change with Allah -- that we should be content with whatever He has ordained, and if it is that we cannot go this year, we should pray that Allah make us worthy of such a sacred journey of purification.

I know a lot of people that were intending to go this year, but have been denied have been down...so I thought I'd post something to remind us all that the invitation to Allah's Home is when He wishes to have us, not always when we want to go...and ultimately, the time He ordains is the best of times for us.

Mawlana Rumi, who we had the honour of visiting at his resting place in Konya this past summer, writes:

Do Not Despair

Say, do not despair because the Beloved drives you away; if
He drives you away today, will He not call you back tomorrow?
If He shuts the door on you, do not go away; be patient
there, for after patience He will seat you in the place of

And if He bars against you all ways and passages, He will
show you a secret way, which no man knows.
Is it not the case that when the butcher cuts off the head of
a sheep with his knife, he does not abandon what he has slain,
but first slays, and then draws?

When no more breath remains to the sheep, he fills it with
his own breath; you will see whither God's breath will bring

I spoke this as a parable; else, His generosity slays no man,
rather it rescues him from slaying.

He gives all the kingdom of Solomon to a single ant; He
bestows both worlds, and does not startle a single heart.
My heart has travelled round the world and found none
like Him; whom does He resemble? Whom does He resem-

Ah, silence! For without speech He gives to all of this wine
to taste, He gives to taste, He gives to taste, He gives to taste.

-- Translation by A. J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 1"
The University of Chicago Press, 1968

May Allah make us all worthy of the Hajj and bless us with the journey of purification and return. May He Most High grant us and all those we love, long, healthy, happy lives of 'ibaadah spent in the service of the deen and the ummah of the beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him, his family, folk, and all those who seek to follow him until the Last Day). Amin, Amin, Amin.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The High Levels of Those Who Strive to Meet Their Brothers' Needs

The High Levels Of Those Who Strive to Meet Their Brothers' Needs
Dr. `Umar Al-Ashqar

One of the greatest things that will relieve a person's distress on the Day of Resurrection is his efforts in this world to relieve the distress of those who are in distress, and to help those who are in need, and to make things easy for those who are in difficulty, and to overlook the mistakes of those who err.

In Muslim it is narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever relieves a believer of distress in this world, Allah will relieve him of some of the distress of the Day of Resurrection. Whoever makes things easy for those who are in difficulty, Allah will make things easy for him in this world and in the next. Whoever conceals (the faults of) a Muslim in this world, Allah will conceal him (his faults) in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah will help the slave so long as the slave helps his brother."
[Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 1/71, hadith no. 204.]

Bukhari narrated from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

"The Muslim is the brother of his fellow-Muslim; he should not mistreat him or let him down. Whoever meets the needs of his brother, Allah will meet his needs, and whoever relieves a Muslim of some distress, Allah will relieve him of some of the distress of the Day of Resurrection. Whoever conceals (the faults of) a Muslim, Allah will conceal him (his faults) in this world and the next."
[Bukhari: Kitaab al-Mazaalim, Baab laa Yazlim al-Muslim al-Muslim, Fath al-Baari, 5/97.]

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Emptiness of the Heart

"Truly in the heart there is a void that can not be removed except with the company of Allah.

And in it there is a sadness that can not
be removed except with the happiness of
knowing Allah and being true to Him.

And in it there is an emptiness that can not be
filled except with love for Him and by
turning to Him and always remembering Him.

And if a person were given all of the world and
what is in it, it would not fill this emptiness."

-Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyya

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Reader on the Fiqh of Hajj

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful & Compassionate

The following links are sorted under five headings: General Questions, Making Mistakes in Hajj, Financial Issues, Women’s Issues, and Types of Hajj/Performing Hajj on Another’s Behalf. Please pray for the needy compiler of these links.

May all those making Hajj have a blessed journey and may their Hajj be accepted by Allah…ameen. Please remember all those suffering in the Ummah and in the world, and all those Muslims unable to make Hajj this year, in your duas.

Please see the following links, sorted by topic:

General Questions

Various Questions
Hajj Questions
Hajj Question: Toothpaste, Deodorant, Soaps, and Suntan Lotion
Hajj: Books/Resources?
Mobile/Cell Phones during Hajj in Mosques
Using Zamzam for Wudu During Hajj
The Current Spirit of Hajj
The Day of `Arafah: The 9th of Dhu'l Hijjah

Making Mistakes in Hajj

Is it permissible for one to do the pelting of stones, during the hajj, on behalf of one's parents, if one fears that they wont be able to do it themselves [due to the crowd]?
The consequences of leaving tawaf al-ifada Prayer while traveling: (Qasr Salah) and its conditions
Penalties in Hajj
Performed Hajj, Are Make-Ups Excused?

Financial Issues

Performing Hajj with a debt
Hajj questions and unlawful wealth
Does Hajj funded by parents fulfill one's obligation?
Hajj on an interest-bearing loan?
Hajj as a Team Doctor
Hajj On Free Transportation?
Can I pay for my father and mother to go for hajj?
Claiming Hajj Expenses as Educational Expenses
Hajj on parent's money which may involve interest
Hajj questions and unlawful wealth
Debt, brothel, and Hajj

Women’s Issues

Hajj and Menstruation
Would it be permissible to take birth control to stop her menstruation in order to avoid menstruation during Hajj?
Hajj: Can an elderly lady perform Hajj alone?
Hajj without a mahram?
Adopted Girl: Covering
Marriage: The Father-in-Law - Hajj & Hijab
Niqab in Ihram

Types of Hajj/Performing Hajj on Another’s Behalf

Is there any preference between the modes of Hajj, i.e. tammatu and qiran?
One Page Hajj Guide (Tamattu)
Can some one do Hajj for their love ones who died and couldn't perform Hajj?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Patience in adversity...

So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief.
Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.
(Qur'an 94:5-6)
After a difficulty, Allah will soon grant relief.
(Qur'an 65:7)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Eid Mubarak!

Eid Mubarak!

May Allah accept our fasts, prayers, charity, and all good works done this month, and help us bring those good habits into the rest of the year until we are blessed with another Ramadan. May Allah forgive our many shortcomings and sins. May Allah Most High bless us in abundance, give us long, healthy, happy lives of 'ibaadah and have rahmah on our parents, siblings, spouses, children and loved ones today and always. Ameen Ameen Ameen.


Friday, October 20, 2006

The City of Masjids

For some time now since I've been back I've been wanting to post about Turkey. The truth I've come to realize, is that I fell in love with Turkey and its people, and love that is for the sake of Allah is Infinite. It cannot be expressed in words that are finite.

In Istanbul every block we would walk we would see a beautiful Ottoman masjid. Each one had the same Ottoman architecture, yet each one was unique in some way. One would go inside a small masjid tucked away amidst stores or in a corner off of a street, and find that it had its own keeper(s) -- people tending to the masjid as if it were their home -- ensuring everyone that entered was dressed appropriately for entering a home of Allah Ta'Ala, that there were ample misbahas available, that things were kept neat and tidy, and each worshipper or visitor was greeted with a warm smile. And in each masjid one's heart would long for Allah with such intensity that words are not sufficient to express that longing, to say the least.

Looking out from the hotel each day and night, we would see the breathtakingly magnificent view of the Sultan Ahmet and Aya Sofya on the shore of the Marmara - no photo, no words can capture the site - how strong an Islamic presence the Ottomans made here...ya Rabb...

This evening Salik and I were sitting at Tim Horton's sipping away and I couldn't help, but say to him that I felt as if we must have dropped somehow in Allah's eyes, for He took us from sitting on a rooftop viewing the Sultan Ahmet, Aya Sofya and countless other majestic masjids, sipping on herbal Turkish chai made especially for sick Salikah with nobody around, but a lovely Kurdish waiter who soon became a friend of Salik's and who refused to let us pay for chai that I was drinking to help calm my cough...to a commercialized, capitalistic franchise serving food that was mass produced without any particular customer in mind, which we sipped away sitting in a crowded Tim Horton's on a main street in Toronto. Perhaps it's true, but what's definately true is how superior the former was and how ugly and pale the latter is in comparison. Ya Rabb. Ya Rabb. Ya Rabb.

The courtyard of Sultan Ahmet (the Blue Mosque)....

Inside the Sultan Ahmet ...the main domes...

After Friday Congregational Prayer...

Salik and I would often sit for a long time just trying to take in all the detail...one thing that really struck us was the purpose with which everything was done...we started to notice that calligraphy that was hung up or on painted always had to do with where it was placed...for example at the entrance....

...and above a tap of water on a pillar inside the masjid...

I could go on forever about this masjid alone, but I'll just put up pictures of some other sites. Below are some photos of the Aya Sofya (now a museum) which was really one of the oddest places we visited. Odd in many senses -- the heart feels odd when it's inside it -- no doubt some inward reflection of the external -- all the hallmarks of an Ottoman masjid complete with mihrab, mimbar, and the standard in Turkish masjids: eight huge circles containing the names of Allah, the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), Abul Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, 'Ali, Hasan, and Hussein (Allah be well please with them all)....but then paintings of Jesus and Virgin Mary peaking out from beneath the paint...

More to come soon...photos of masjids, historical sites, and something about Turkish hospitality...

**NOTE: All images on this blog are copyrighted and cannot be used without the express permission of Salikah Al-Tariq. All rights reserved.**

Bosphorus meets the Black Sea - Istanbul, August 2006

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Muhammadan Art

A good friend of mine sent me a link to a site called
Muhammadan Art. Beautiful work masha'Allah, a very talented sister indeed.Calligraphy is the tongue of the hand, the delight of the conscience, the ambassador of the mind, the inheritor of the thought, the weapon of knowledge, the companion of absent friend, the converser with them over long distances, the depsitory of secrets, and register of events."

- Ibrahim Ibn Muhammad Ash-Shaybani

Wednesday, October 11, 2006



Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;f
or always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Friday, September 29, 2006

A Must Read - Being Muslim by Haroon Siddiqui

Being Muslim is a short work by journalist
Haroon Siddiqui, a writer for the Toronto Star. I have often linked to his articles (for recent articles, click here). I really believe he is one of the ummah's greatest assets, especially here in Canada -- a clear thinker, he has a real talent for simply presenting the facts in a way that is understandable to all. Journalists with integrity are harder and harder to find, but Haroon Siddiqui is definately among the best.

I wholeheartedly recommend that everyone buy this short book...a good digest of what has led to current world dynamics.

Salik and I were looking at the cover and wondering why it is what it is. His theory (and it makes good sense to me) is that the young Muslim girl is shown in a dark scarf, positioned such that we cannot see her facial expression -- she represents the hidden, the unknown, the mystery that Islam and Muslims are on the current global stage. The other girl however, looks like a typical young western girl, smiling -- only she is positioned such that she can see what to us is hidden -- and seeing what is unknown to us in its true light, the young girls is smiling -- she is enjoying the company of the young Muslim girl. They can co-exist, they are friends, and they are happy.

Anyhow, do get yourself a copy and read it...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

To benefit from changes in life...

To benefit from changes in life, spiritual travelers must be with Allah, not their own story line. When a young woman marries, for example, she suddenly finds herself not only with another ego in the house to live with, but within a short space, that the comparative ease and calm of her younger days have been swept away by the sheer work needed to keep up and think of everything in a real home. When she has her first baby, she must manage for another life even more dependent on her personal sacrifices. By the second, third, or fourth child, her days and nights belong almost entirely to others. Whether she has a spiritual path or not, such a mother can seldom resist a glance at the past, when there were more prayers, more meanings, more spiritual company, and more serenity. When Allah opens her understanding, she will see that she is engaged in one of the highest forms of worship, that of producing new believers who love and worship Allah. She is effectively worshipping Allah for as many lifetimes she has children, for the reward of every spiritual work her children do will be hers, without this diminishing anything of their own rewards: every ablution, every prayer, every Ramadan, every hajj, and even the works her children will in turn pass on to their offspring, and, so on till the end of time. Even if her children do not turn out as she wishes, she shall be requited in paradise forever according to her intention in raising them, which was that they should be godly. Aside from the tremendous reward, within the path itself it is noticeable that many of those who benefit most from the khalwa or “solitary retreat of dhikr” are women who have raised children. With only a little daily dhikr and worship over the years, but much toil and sacrifice for others, they surpass many a younger person who has had more free time, effort, and “spiritual works.” What they find is greater because their state with Allah is greater; namely, the awe, hope, and love of the Divine they have realized by years of sincerity to Him.

To summarize, the traveller who is grateful to Allah for everything cannot be veiled from Allah by anything, whether living in the world or doing without it, and it is such a person who most benefits from the spiritual path. Abu Yazid al-Bustami was once asked, “Can the servant reach Him in a single moment?” and he replied, “He can, though he is returned with profit and benefit in the measure of his journey.”

To read the entire commentary on Hikam No. 3 by Shaykh Nuh Keller, click here

Fasting & Ramadan: A Course on SunniPath

Friday, September 22, 2006

...and upward we shall go...

On our way to Turkiye, we had a short stopover in Athens. At the airport in Rome Salik turned to me and said, "I say we have to check out the Acropolis in Athens" -- "you're serious?" -- "yes! come on, it'll be great!". So with that enthusiasm, how could I refuse to see one of the most famous buildings in all of history? On the plane I asked the lady sitting beside me if this was a plausible idea, and she told me that if we got a cab we could do it...

...So the second we landed, we went straight out to the cabs, cut a deal with a cabby who drove us to the Acropolis, waited over an hour there, and drove us back -- showing us sites along the way!

I spotted a church on our way there that seemed as though it may have once been a masjid because it had what looked distinctly like a minaret that was topped with a cross when it was transformed into a church -- likely after the end of Ottoman rule...but that is just my theory...see for yourself...

...and then when we got to the Acropolis, we looked at one another..."and upward we shall go...again!" A long climb later, having avoided dog after dog for fear of our wudu and our lives, we made to the top of the Acropolis! Again, how amazing it is to stand in a place that one has seen so many a time in textbooks, movies, photos...

...tired, dehydrated, and sun-burned...we made our way all the way down and to the airport to head to Turkiye!

NOTE: All images on this blog are copyrighted and cannot be used without the express permission of Salikah Al-Tariq. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

...one long ascent...

Next we went to St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City...the place is huge! One's immediate feeling as a Muslim is how different the atmosphere becomes with the addition of statues everywhere....aside from which architecturally it is beautiful, especially the courtyard.

...just prior to entrance you have to pass a security check...

...sadly, many women would temporarily cover their skin with a handkerchief and remove it once they were allowed in and they were out of the eyes of security. That really had us wonder how much respect some people actually do not have, for the very place they deem so sacred. Perhaps another wonder of the modern world, "no one shall tell me what I will wear!". In any case, the main reason we went in was to climb to the top of the dome to see the spectacular view of Rome that it has to offer. In the two hours that it took, there were many contemplations of turning around and just leaving...but we stuck it out...and well, the view, as our Lonely Planet guidebook promised, was well worth it...

After that two hour climb, we made our way to the Sistine Chapel. As we were going up the road, I turned to Salik and said, "why is it that everywhere we go, there's a long, steep, upward climb of one sort or the other?"...he looked at me with a smile and a raised eyebrow, and before he could answer, I put forth my own theory, "I suppose all the ancients, when they made these sites that were of religious significance to them, they wanted to put them as high up as possible. That way, when pilgrims visit, they feel as though they are going up towards that which is Good, Holy, and Pure. I mean, imagine if all these sites were downhill, it would feel as though one was going to the 'underworld'. Yeah, that's probably it." That won be the biggest smile yet from Salik, who exclaimed "did you read that somewhere?" -- "No? Why?" -- "Do you know that that theory has been put forth by some of the greatest of scholars?" -- "No, but I guess that means someone's probably beat me to publishing it, eh? :)". Then we got into a discussion about how if one looks at modern architecture, it consists of flat buildings, whereas older ones always had something pointing upward because they believed in a Higher Reality, but in the modern world, there is this feeling that this is it, that there is nothing higher.

La hawla wa la quwwata illa bi'Llah.

Then came the highlight of our tour of Roma...the Masjid -- the biggest masjid in all of Europe! What we got from the Arabs living there was that the Saudis funded the building of this HUGE Islamic Centre which houses a masjid, a library, a school, board-rooms, and more...plus beautiful lush green exterior grounds.

Earlier we found our way to another tiny little masjid tucked away behind some stores. The sisters' side was empty, but Salik managed to make a few friends on the brothers' side -- the Muslims there seemed always pleased and excited to see fellow Muslims.

...and our last stop in Roma were the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, a nice place to just sit down and have some yummy Italian icecream!

...and that was it for our time in Roma!

NOTE: All images on this blog are copyrighted and cannot be used without the express permission of Salikah Al-Tariq. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


We started our journey in Roma, Italia and it turned out to be quite different from what we had imagined. No fancy villas, just apartment buildings and streets that were quite littered for a nation with the reputation that it has...the subway trains had so much graffitti that we couldn't see out the windows to know what stop we were at! The odd part of the transportation system was that aside from the underground metro, we never saw people pay a fare, there was nobody collecting a fare (in fact, on the buses the driver was sealed off from the passengers)...there were just these odd yellow ticket 'stampers' that everyone ignored...so it was pretty much a free ride -- it wasn't until we got back home that we found out Italy's been running on an 'honour system'...and all that time we thought the yellow ticket stampers were just some guy's really bad idea that the country gave up on!
The first place to see was, of course, the Roman Colosseum...and oh, what a site! It's quite the feeling to stand inside something so ancient, so large, so famous -- something one has seen many a time in photos and history textbooks -- and suddenly one has been transported to it and is standing in it! We could not help it but wonder how human beings could have built something so sophisticated, so long ago, without any of the technology we have today...and yet they produced a far better architectural piece than anything in the modern world...
A view from the outside on a clear, blue summer day...

A magnificent view of the interior. In the centre are what used to be dungeons that held gladiators and animals...the floor has eroded to expose the place of much cruelty that lay beneath it...in the far back one can see the floor being restored.

To be continued, bi idhnillah

NOTE: All images on this blog are copyrighted and cannot be used without the express permission of Salikah Al-Tariq. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

SunniPath Fall 2006...Sign up now!

Register now for the Fall 2006 Semester at SunniPath...awesome new courses in addition to the excellent ones previously offered!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006



Assalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,

Alhamdulillah, back from my summer off...visited Rome, Athens, Istanbul and Konya...pictures/reflections coming shortly insha'Allah!

A breathtakingly beautiful view of the Aya Sofya at Sunrise.

All praise is due to Allah. Peace and Blessings on the Chosen One, his family, companions and all those who follow him until the last day.



Monday, July 17, 2006

Muslim While Flying

Couldn't resist posting this one:

Muslim While Flying (Found via DP)

...and with that...insha'Allah, see you in September '06 :)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Have a Great Summer...!

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful & Compassionate
Peace and Blessings be upon the final Prophet and Messenger, Muhammad, his family, companions and all those who seek to follow his blessed way until the Last Day

Assalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,

Insha'Allah, I pray this post finds you all in the best of health, happiness, and times. Just a note to let readers know I'm taking the rest summer off from the blog. Insha'Allah, I'll be back at it in September 2006. In the meantime, for every visit you would have made to this blog, please read some Qur'an :) ...and please remember my family and I in your blessed du'as. May Allah grant you every good in this life and in the hereafter.

Wassalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah,
Your Sister,

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Take a Minute...

...and thank Allah for all the blessings in your life.

Alhamdulillah, all praise belongs to Allah Alone.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Between The Past And The Future

Your life in the present moment is in between the past and the future. So what has preceded can be rectified by tawbah (repentance), nadam (regret) and istighfar (seeking Allaah’s forgiveness). And this is something that will neither tire you, nor cause you to toil as you would with strenuous labour. Rather it is an action of the heart. Then as regards the future (then it can be corrected) by withholding yourself from sins. And this abandonment is merely the leaving of something and to be at ease from it. This also is not action of the limbs, which requires you to strive and toil. Rather this is a firm resolve and intention of the heart – which will give rest to your body, heart and thoughts. So as for what has preceded, then you rectify it with repentance. And as for the future – then you rectify it with firm resolve and intention. Neither of these involves any hardship or exertion of the limbs. But then your attention must be directed to your life in the present - the time between two times. If you waste it, then you have wasted the opportunity to be of the fortunate and saved ones. If you look after it, having rectified the two times – what is before and after it, as we have said – then you will be successful and achieve rest, delight and ever-lasting bliss. However, looking after it is harder than that which comes before and after it, since guarding it involves keeping to that which is most befitting and beneficial for your soul, and that which will bring it success and well-being.

Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Nations and Tribes

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).
(Yusuf Ali translation - Qur'an 49:13)

My local masjid has this ayah printed on a banner that hangs in the gymnasium/extended prayer hall...and growing up, when I my heart first consciously began to incline toward practicing this beautiful deen of ours, the ayah always resonated with me...each time I'd see it, I'd be filled with a certain, unmistakable peace...the knowledge that this was the way for all of mankind -- regardless of colour, culture or language, and free of all castes -- that Allah had made us all and that He loves us all. I thought I'd post it to remind myself and others who read this blog, that this is really the way of Allah, and that we need to pay more than just lip service to this ideal that is free of all racism, if we are to unite and be successful as an ummah at both the micro and macro level -- Arabs are not superior to Persians, Persians are not superior to Indo-Paks, and as much as I love being Punjabi, we are not superior to Hydrabadis (nor are they superior to us!)..and well, you get the point.

must come to truly and sincerely love one another.


Time with Mufti Taqi: Smiling through sickness, and the hadith of mercy (Seeker's Digest)

Time with Mufti Taqi: Smiling through sickness, and the hadith of mercy

June 28th, 2006

Over the last few days, some of us have been spending a lot of time with Mufti Taqi Usmani, as he fell rather ill during the Islamic Fiqh Academy’s annual session, here in Amman (Jordan.) [He is much better now, Alhamdulillah.]

It has been amazing how the noble shaykh has been smiling and joyous throughout his illness and subsequent weakness–and how patient he has been under the barrage of questions that has been showering down upon him.

The scholars at the conference–many of the leading scholars of our Umma–have amazing deference and respect for Mufti Taqi. Some scholars, including Shaykh Muhammad Adnan Darwish, came down from Syria just to visit him briefly, and to seek his du`a’ and ijaza of baraka. Other notable scholars, such as Shaykh Akram Abd al-Wahhab al-Mawsuli, visited him. Mufti Taqi and Shaykh Akram exchanged ijazas, after each insisted that they were unworthy of such a matter.

Questions and the Hadith of Mercy

There was a beautiful majlis in which these scholars from Syria, Jordan, and Iraq asked Mufti Taqi a number of questions on contemporary issues, and sought his guidance.

Then Shaykh Iyad al-Ghawj asked the Shaykh to transmit the “Hadith al-Musalsal bi’l Awwaliyya,” a famous Prophetic hadith transmitted (with contiguous isnad) with each narrator having heard this particular hadith first before others from the person above them in the chain. The hadith is, without the full chain, is related by Abd Allah ibn Amr (Allah be pleased with him), that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

“The merciful are shown mercy by the All-Merciful. Have mercy to those on earth, and the Lord of the Heavens will have mercy upon you.” [Tirmidhi]

عن عبد اللَّه بن عمرو - رضي الله عنهما - قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله
عليه وسلم: «الراحمون يرحمهم الرحمن، ارحموا من في الأرض يرحمكم من في

Mufti Taqi related this from Shaykh Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda, Shaykh Hasan al-Mashshat al-Maliki, and Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani. [The previous day, Shaykh Ali Jumu`ah had narrated this hadith through his chains, including Shaykh al-Hafidh al-Tijani, and Shaykh Abd Allah ibn Siddiq al-Ghumari.]

May Allah shower His mercy upon us, and make us of those whom He loves.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Contentions 10 - Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad

Some of my favourite contentions from Sh. Murad's latest set:

  • The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways. The point, however, is not to be changed by it.
  • If you cannot be of the poor, then be with the poor. If you cannot be with the poor, then pray with the poor. If you cannot pray with the poor, then pray for the poor. Beyond this there remains not an atom’s weight of faith.
  • ‘Blessing’ is a large word, but do not be slow to use it.
  • To switch on a television is to acknowledge one’s own lack of refinement.
  • Use silence to suffocate falsehood, not truth.
  • Feminism? First empower femininity.
  • Dress in that which you would not see dishonoured.
  • The Qutb has been replaced by the kutub.
  • Blame yourself, not the age. Blame the age, not others.
  • Knowledge is to see the door. Penitence is to approach it. Prayer is to knock upon it. But to open it is not within your power.
  • Our condition is ignorance of our condition.
  • Only in the din al-fitra are women adequately acknowledged.
  • Do not doubt another’s salvation until you are certain of your own.
  • There is no knowledge of Him without love of beauty. We have been created to love beauty.
  • Despair not of those who are drawn to ugliness, for they too are probing the mysteries.
  • Others are our fellow-travellers, even if they have lost the road.
  • He that struggles to progress, though he has not been shown the road, is better than he that stands upon the road, pridefully mocking.
  • He who does not love fiqh has no body.
  • ‘I never think back. Since I cannot change the past, why should I deal with it?’ (Shimon Perez.)
  • Contingent being has no power. (‘No fear is upon them, neither do they grieve.’)
  • Religion begins where empathy tends.
  • A tariqa carries fare-paying passengers. If they will not pay, it should not continue as a railway preservation society.
  • You may show a man a thousand miracles, but if you show him no compassion, he will not believe.
  • I am my weakness; You are my strength.
  • A good prayer is from Him; a bad prayer is from us.
  • A pious young cricketing fan,
    Cheered Middlesex and Pakistan;
    For with contemplation
    On God’s revelation
    He found neither team in the Koran.
  • Which is it, of the blessings of your Lord, that you deserve?

Thursday, June 22, 2006



"And the remembrance of Allah is greater!"

"Wa la-dhikru'Llahi Akbar!"

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Augustine on Coming to Love

Augustine writes,

"Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you.
see, you were within and I was in the external world and sought you
there, and
in my unlovely state I plunged into those lovely created
things which you
made. You were with me, and I was not with you. The
lovely things kept me far
from you, though if they did not have their
existence in you, they had no
existence at all. You called and cried out
loud and shattered my deafness. You
were radiant and resplendent, you put
to flight my blindness. You were
fragrant, and I drew in my breath and now
pant after you. I tasted you, and I
feel but hunger and thirst for you.
You touched me, and I am set on fire to
attain the peace which is yours."

(X. XXVII(38), Chadwick trans., p. 201)

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Basis of the Path

The basis of the path is the focus of one's entire being on Allah. Detachment allows the heart to focus on Allah...

"Whoever leaves something of this world to gain something of the next world, will gain both. Whoever leaves something of the next world to gain something of this world, loses both."

Allah is the Most Merciful of the merciful and keener for our best interest than we are ourselves. Whoever knows the favour of Allah upon him, spends his life in thanking Him. Abu'l Hasan al-Shadhili said while spending seven years in a cave, "Oh Allah, when will I be a servant who is grateful to You?" and he heard an echo "When you don't see anyone in the world bestowing favours on you, but Allah, you are grateful". Most people don't see the greatness of Allah because of their ego--the ego has trouble avoiding arrogance, it must have it's way always vying with Allah and what He has decided.

If you want to move on the Path, you must be organized. Shaykh Nuh translated a text (roughly) as follows: "Whoever wants to draw closer to Allah, let him organize his works. Let him begin by disengaging his keenness for this worldliness: the meaning of zuhd is the diminishing of things. The blessings one needs to do without are the ones he has no shukr to Allah for because these are doing him no good".

We must understand the difference between the finite and the infinite. The finite is that which calls one to "things, things, and more things"; the infinite consists of actions done by the limbs and the heart, which call to that which is without end. We must leave excess the way a mountain climber only takes with him the absolutely necessary because we are on a journey out of this world.

[Sh. Nuh Keller, Toronto Suhba 2006 - reading from a text. These are my notes and may contain errors -- if so, they are mine and in no way reflective of the Shaykh or his teachings.]

Ignorance is not bliss

What you don't know may very well hurt you.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Doha Debates Special (Qatar Foundation) BBC World

Doha Debates Special (Qatar Foundation) BBC World
For more information, please visit: www.thedohadebates.com
QuickTime: Low

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Recommended Reading List

It's that time of year again when school's almost out for the summer. Two months off for the students so I thought I'd send them off with a reading list different from the classics they have to read in school. The following are all books I'd like to own, insha'Allah:

TV Related

Environment Related

Food Related

  • Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser
  • Chew On This : Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food by Eric Schlosser
  • The China Study : The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health by T. Colin Campbell


  • The Disappearance of Childhood by Neil Postman
  • No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies by Naomi Klein
  • The Tipping Point : How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Culture Jam: How to Reverse America's Suicidal Consumer Binge-And Why We Must by Kalle Lasn

Computer/Technology Related


  • The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School by Neil Postman


Note: I have not yet read all of these myself - - some I have read, some are recommendations to me, and others I've read about online.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Imam Ghazali on Repentance

The weighty words of the Proof of Islam:

"If you repent then break your repentance by returning to sin, then rush back to repentance. Say to yourself, 'Perhaps I will die before returning to sin this time.' Similarly, do this a third and fourth time. Just as you have made sin and returning to it a profession, make repentance and returning to it a profession. Do not be more incapable of repentance than you are of sin, nor lose hope, and do not let the Shaytan use this to prevent you from repenting. For indeed it is a sign of good. Did you not hear his [the Prophet's] (Allah bless and grant him peace) saying, 'The best of you are every one who is often tried and often penitent.' Which means they are often tried by sin and repent much and return to Allah (Transcendent and Exalted is He) with remorse and seeking forgiveness. Remember the saying of Allah (Most high): 'And he who does evil or wrongs himself, then seeks forgiveness from Allah, he will find Allah Very Forgiving, Merciful.'[4:110]" [1]

And Allah knows best and He alone gives success (tawfiq).

[1] Muhammad Bin Muhammad al-Ghazali, Minhaj al-'Abidin Ila Jannah Rabbi al-'Alamin (Damascus, al-Dar al-Dimashqiyyah, 1422 A.H.[2002]), pp.31-32.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Four Keys to the Reality of Faith (Seeker's Digest)

Four Keys to the Reality of Faith (Seeker's Digest)

Sahl ibn Abd Allah al-Tustari said,
“One doesn’t attain unto the reality of faith until one has four traits:
(1) Fulfilling one’s obligations, in accordance with the sunna
(2) Eating the halal, with scrupulousness
(3) Avoiding prohibitions, both outward and inward
(4) Remaining steadfast on this, until one’s death.”

[Ghazali, Ihya `Ulum al-Din, 2.91]

وقال سهل التسترى لا يبلغ
العبد حقيقة الإيمان حتى يكون فيه أربع خصال أداء الفرائض بالسنة وأكل الحلال
بالورع واجتناب النهي من الظاهر و الباطن و الصبر على ذلك إلى الموت

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Sh. Nuh: Recommended Books

Shaykh Nuh recommended some very important books to read tonight...I thought I'd post them here for anyone who may be interested:

Anyone who cares about the future, especially those with children...read!

Free SunniPath Course: The Hadith Jibril Explained

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