Friday, May 30, 2008

Tartuffe & Confusion: Two Rubaiyat by the Trobador


Do you count yourself among those
Of love while your tortured heart knows
Your deceit that over a sun
You a withering matchstick chose?

Weep, weep, weep, my heart, weep, weep, weep!
I know what silent sorrows heap
Upon you and confound the mind,
But when did sorrow ever sleep?

Masha'Allah, beautiful poems, as always, by our brother Motamid.

Gandhi on Earthly Provisions

EARTH provides enough to satisfy every man's NEED, but not every man's GREED.
- Mahatma Gandhi


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Hikma of Hakim Archuletta


AsSalamu'alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu.

Alhamdulillah, we were blessed once again in the GTA, with a visit from Sidi Hakim Archuletta this past weekend. Masha'Allah, he is truly a beautiful person to be with -- Salik, who met him for the first time, also quickly fell in love with Hakim.

As I did after his last visit here in March 2006 (A Weekend with Hakim Archuletta...), I'm going to post some of my notes from his talk/workshop, as well as some of the things I learned from him in a more informal way over the weekend -- my notes are not linear...just points that stood out to me.

Sidi Hakim began by saying "Alhamdulillah, Shukrulillah" -- and he said it with his entire being and mentioned that we cannot begin, but with those words of gratitude to the One without whose permission we could not have gathered together.

  • Traditional Medicine is called Hikma Medicine because it requires wisdom to understand the human body. He mentioned that Imam Ghazali said, "Do not offend your animal, learn to ride it so that it does not drag you" and the hadith "do not chase the camel". He also mentioned the example of ants in Pakistan that crawl up people who push them off only to have the ants return, not knowing that the best thing to do is help them in the direction they're headed by pushing them that way and not back where they came from.
  • Sidi Hakim told us that one of the principals of Hikma is that Allah's patterns in creation are the same. Therefore, what we find in animals, we find in ourselves, and what we find in ourselves is what we find in the environment. We are polluted. What we have done to the environment is simply a reflection of what we've done to ourselves.
  • Our lifestyles are obese -- we suffer what the kings of the past did. Our lifestyles aren't just destroying our environment, but our souls. Over tea, Hakim mentioned to Salik and I that people often will stuff themselves with food when they're already full in order to not "waste" food -- but since waste is anything that is excess, such people are wasting food, and unlike when thrown in the garbage, when excess food is thrown into our bodies, it's actually dhulm to our bodies. He reminded us of what he's often referred to in the past as "the bite" -- that is the point in our meal when our body signals to us that it does not need tells us not only through how our stomachs feel, but by the way the food looks, feels, and smells at that point...and that is when we should stop eating. Thus the hadith that we should fill 1/3 of our stomach with food, 1/3 with liquid, and 1/3 with air. He finished by saying that we should cook in accordance with what we can eat without wasting, likewise, we should take a little food at the table, and take more if we need it...rather than filling the plate with food because we're hungry when we first see it.
  • We are digging our graves with our teeth!
  • Addiction to a life of ease does not bring fulfillment.
  • Hakim spoke of the fact that there is much barakah in eating food prepared by a believer, and especially that of one's mother which is made with immense love. He told us the hadith that "the believer's heart goes through 2000 hals in a day and that the heart of the non-believer can stay in one hal for 2000 days".
  • As he often does, he told us that one Shaykh said that the flood in the time of the Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) was one of water, and that the flood of our times is one of separation. In light of this he advised us to never eat alone and added there is a hadith in which we were told that the one who eats alone eats with Shaytan and that in Morocco there are many people that still seek refuge in Allah if given a plate of food to eat from alone!
  • We are mammals and we have a need to connect. Just talking meaningfully affects our nervous system.
  • And men, as in the past, he mentioned once again the need to listen to your wives! He said that men often say that their wives are weak and that he says, Alhamdulillah because women have saved our humanity! Men don't express their feelings enough. The depressed person does not want to face things that bring grief, sorrow, distress, anger, and the like -- what we need to learn is to come into our sense and know where we have these feelings and to let them come out in words, tears, and vocal sounds that want to come out because they've been trapped inside. He said that when tears come because of something we've kept locked inside, they come from the stomach and bring deep breaths that feed the body with much needed oxygen -- just as Allah says in the Qur'an that He sends down rain to revive the dead earth, so too do tears revive a heart that is dying! He said once again that he has never met a depressed person that was really breathing.
  • Finally, although he did not specifically recommend or endorse these books, he did mention them in his talk in passing: Jerry Mander's In the Absence of the Sacred; biodiversity work by Vandana Shiva; Paul Hawken's Blessed Unrest; Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food; David Korten's When Corporations Rule the World; and work on the Bioneers. These aren't "recommendations", though...just works he referred to in the context of a workshop on Faith and the Environment. For his list of recommended books, click here.

Overall message: WAKE UP!

Hakim's Site


May Allah forgive me for any mistakes I've made in sharing Hakim's Hikma.



Oh, and the picture's mine (I took it) and is copyrighted like all other pictures on my blog!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hajj 2008: Sacred Tours


AsSalamu'alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu,

Thinking of making hajj this year? I highly recommend going with Sacred Tours - Canadian Hajj Services.

We went with them for Hajj 2007 and it was *excellent* -- great adminstration (the organizer is pleasant and really knows what he's doing) and the spiritual leadership is beyond anything one could possibly want or ask for (shuyukh who know not only the outward of hajj, but the inward as well...thus leading by example, the way to a beautiful hajj experience).

May Allah give you success in your intentions.



Living the Light: Understanding the Qur’an & Sunna with Sh. Faraz Rabbani

Living the Light: Understanding the Qur’an & Sunna
with Faraz Rabbani

Wednesdays 7 – 9 p.m.

Shalimar Community Center -3024 Cedarglen Gate
(Dundas just East of Erindale Station Rd. Mississauga)


(1) Understanding the Call to the Believers in the Clear Qur’an
Commentary on the 89 verses in the Qur’an where Allah addresses the believers with “O you who believe!” based on classical sources, and Shaykh Ahmad Jami’s “Call to the Believers.” These verses contain some of the central guidance and principles of Islam

(2) Understanding the Prophetic Example: Imam Nawawi’s Gardens of the Righteous (Riyad al-Salihin) Explained
Commentary on one of the greatest and most important hadith works, in which Imam Nawawi gives the Prophetic hadiths that outline that way to become one of the righteous

All welcome.

Monthly fees: $25 (Individuals); $40 (Family)
(No one will be turned away due to lack of funds)

For details & directions email:

Directions: Go North on Cedarglen Gate from Dundas. Take immediate left. Drive to end of lane. You’ll end up in an open-air parking lot. The Shalimar Community Center is straight ahead. Cedarglen Gate is West of Mavis, just East of Erindale Station Rd.
[View on Google Maps]

Living the Light: Understanding the Qur’an & Sunna
with Faraz Rabbani

Monday, May 05, 2008

Sisters Halaqa with Shaykh Talal Ahdab


… LACK knowledge or have issues with the fundamentals of Islam?
… ASK yourself questions or have doubts about "what this is all about?"
… TEACH or deal with those who have issues with or lack knowledge of the fundamentals
… HAVE a strong desire to further strengthen your foundation?

If you answer YES to any of the above, then this course is for YOU


  • TO GET people to learn, discuss, and enjoy;
  • TO OBTAIN an understanding of what is meant by the oneness of Allah; What can and cannot be ascribed to Him or described of Him; an understanding of the infallibility of His Messengers and the necessity of this as well as what constitutes a tenet of faith that must be believed in and areas of belief that are subsidiary.


By the end of this course,

  1. You will gain a deeper understanding of the What; the Why and the How
  2. You will gain a basic understanding of the purpose of life; the relationship between the Creator, the creature and the universe; and how the universe really works
  3. You will learn tenets concerned with the Attributes of God; with Belief / Faith; with the Divine Decree; with the Muslim Community; with the Unseen; as well as those tenets pertaining to the Day of Judgment and the Next Life
  4. You will become acquainted with the proofs from the Qur'an and the Sunna
  5. You will become familiar with the various Muslim sects throughout history as well as those of today
  6. You will be able to have a discussion about issues related to Faith; God; and/or the Prophets

The creedal text called al-Tahawiyah is one of the earliest and primal works in the field of Aqida. For centuries, it has been widely circulated amongst the scholars and students of knowledge. The text is written in simple yet precise language keeping to the fundamentals of a Muslims' belief.


  • DURATION Two parts; SIX (6) sessions for each part; May– July 2008
  • TIME / LOCATION TBA; A Location / Time, convenient for all attendees
  • TUITION $20 CAD for each part OR $30 CAD for the whole course
  • TEXTBOOK The Creed of Imam al-Tahawi (provided)
  • FORMAT 2-hour sessions; Q&A sessions; sessions will be recorded
    This course was requested by few sisters and as such it will be a Sister-ONLY-Course: High-school students, university students; and professionals preferred
    SIZE – Seating is limited to 10 sisters (maximum of 20 will be allowed); SERIOUS applicants ONLY

A full syllabus will be provided to registrants.
A reading list and resources will also be made available.

INTERESTED? Please email CREED101RAZI@GMAIL.COM, with the following details
1. Full Name; Occupation / Profession; Main Email; and your Cell Phone Number
2. Please indicate what location / day / time would NOT be suitable.
3. A one page (12 font size, double spaced lines) description of why you wish to take this course
4. COPY & PASTE the following line into your email subject heading: CREED101RAZI – REQUEST FOR REGISTRATION – SUMMER 2008 – "YOUR NAME HERE"