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Muslim seeking the pleasure and mercy of Allah, Most High... Sunnah style!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fundamentals of Faith

As-salaamu 'alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

The following series, Fundamentals of Faith, is one which Sheikh Yasir Qadhi discusses in excellent detail, point by point, the key ingredients and conditions of our Kalima. It is a must watch for all Muslims: born, revert, young and old. It is divided into 6 parts. The contents are as follows:

  1. Importance and Blessings of Knowledge
  2. Belief In Allah: Tawheed
  3. Blessings and Importance of Tawheed
  4. Tawheed of Lordship (Tawheed-ar-Rububiya) NOT Enough
  5. Proofs of Existence of God
  6. Shirk - Its Definition and Dangers
Enjoy, take notes and benefit, in'sha'Allah:

Balance and Control

Success in this life means nothing if it means failure in the Hereafter.

Would such a statement imply that we should not strive for success in the dunya in terms of money, family, status or property? No. In fact, we should desire the best for ourselves in both the dunya and al-Akhira. We should not place all our attention and energy to one, whether this world or the Hereafter, and neglect the other. As Allah azza wa jall told us in the Qur'an which means:

“But seek, with the wealth which Allah has bestowed on you, the Home of the Hereafter, nor forget your portion in this world: but do good, as Allah has been good to you, and seek not occasions for mischief in the land: for Allah loves not those who do mischief." -Al Qasas 28: 77

Our purpose here is to serve or worship Allah. And worship as Allah and His Messenger described in many ayat and hadiths is any act Allah is pleased with that is done for His sake. And with regards to the good that we do and the fruits we hope to receive from such good, it's paramount that we remember "la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah", that there is no progress, might or power except in Allah. Nothing we do, whether applying for a job, trying to have children, taking medicine, going to school, etc; nothing we do will produce the desired result we expect or hope for EXCEPT that Allah permits it. Our complete tawakul (i.e. reliance on Allah) must be in Allah first and foremost. And no matter what happens we should understand it is ultimately for our own good whether we perceive that good or not, since Allah is Al Hakeem, The All Wise, whereas our wisdom is limited.

"And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is Allah for him. For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose. Verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion." -Al Talaq 65:3

As for those who commit acts which Allah has cursed and seem to have success or to have attained a type of happiness, their benefit is only in this life, this transitory life. Useless will it be in their graves and in the Hereafter. Remember, success in this life means NOTHING if it means failure in the next.

Rely solely on Allah. We are living on testing grounds so remember and praise our Rabb always even when at times we're disappointed or disheartened.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Iman: Protect & Perfect

Bismillahi ar-Rahman ar-Raheem

Indeed all praise is naturally and rightfully due to Allah and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His final messenger, Muhammad, and all his family and companions. May Allah forgive the sins and reward immensely those steadfastly committed to the guidance He has sent down as it was received, conveyed and exemplified by our beloved prophet, Muhammad, salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam.

Iman, or faith, to the Muslim should not be mistaken for knowledge. The pinnacle of faith, as Muhammad, 'alayhi wa-salaatu wa-salaam, as explained is "la ilaha ill Allah". But simply knowing the meaning of "la ilaha ill Allah" is but the first condition of our Iman, our Kalima, "la ilaha ill Allah". There are those who aren't even Muslim who know and understand the meaning of "la ilaha ill Allah". There are those who aren't even Muslim having more knowledge of our Deen than most Muslims themselves. So does such knowledge by itself make them Muslim? Nay, it is the implementation, sincere devotion and love of "la ilaha ill Allah" that truly makes one Muslim.

It is not sufficient that we but retain the knowledge and meaning of "la ilaaha ill Allah". It must be placed into practice. This is a reminder to myself more than anyone else. It is a reminder to me, most of all, that the preservation and development of our Iman relies heavily on our abstinence and resistance to anything that compromises or conflicts with our Iman. Even if those things are halal. If we find comfort or solace in anything to the extent that we'd rather or tend to turn to it instead of Allah than we should desist from that desire. As Allah told us, it is the Believers whose hearts tremble and find comfort in hearing the recitation of the Qur'an; not that they should prefer anything besides the Qur'an or what it calls to as a source of ease or relaxation.

It is my sincere plea to Allah that we, Muslims, ponder the lesson discussed here and by our sincerity may Allah improve us. May we continually increase and strengthen in iman, hikma, taqwa and knowledge of His Deen and may we identify and resist those things which turn us away from our obligation as Believers. May we persistently carry out His Deen and properly equip ourselves to explain His Deen and even defend it against the manifold lies, insults and misconceptions we may encounter.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Sunnah, The Better

Bismillah, Alhamdulillah, wa-Salaatu wa-Salaam 'ala Rasulillah

All praise belongs to Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala, may the peace and blessings of Allah eternally be upon our Messenger, Muhammad, salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam, and his companions, may Allah be pleased with them. And may the efforts of those who follow the Sunnah in piety and sincerity until the Last Day be received by Allah, Most High. Ameen.

The second and final part of the Shahadah, after testifying that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah, is to testify that Muhammad, peace be upon him, is the Messenger of Allah; as such we are commanded to follow his Sunnah. In this series, Abu Usamah ad-Dahahbi explains the Sunnah and clears misconceptions about our beloved Prophet, peace be upon him. Each episode is 25 minutes long. Courtesy of Islam Channel.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dear, Muslimeen (a heart to heart and audio debate):

Bismillah, Alhamdulillah wa-Salaatu wa-Salaam 'ala Rasulillah

As-salaamu 'alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu ya Muslimeen.

Today, it's more apparent than I've ever realized that our Ummah are notionally divided on the issue of voting and participating in democratic elections. The concern and weight on this issue would seem to have elevated as the activism among Muslims in secular politics and elections has increased.

Surely, I've clarified where I stand as regards to voting. And there is a significant number of Muslims who honorably disagree, others who spitefully contest it and yet even another portion who just don't understand why it's such a big deal to begin with.

We have clear consensus that as a minority in secular lands we are only obligated to live peacefully, dealing justly and kindly with everyone, speaking out against injustice and most importantly fulfilling and calling to tawheed to the best of our individual abilities. We are to obey the secular laws; taking advantage of the ones allowing us the things Allah Loves and detesting/avoiding those allowing that which Allah hates. Being that it is not compulsory to participate in the voting process and being that it is a system founded on the premise that a governing body, human beings, has the right to legislate; correspondingly declaring that Allah does N
OT have the right to legislate. Needless to say, a forerunner opponent of Allah's Shari'ah that will do all within its power to prevent its fruition, occupying predominately Muslim lands while misplacing thousands to millions of our brothers and sisters, young and old, therein. How then do we justify consciously engaging to further support such a system in its nationalistic efforts that are openly against (what should be) our interest?

We weigh the pros and cons. We consider who will cause less harm to the Ummah and humanity in general. We consider who wants more peace. But do we consider that either way, harm will afflict humanity and our Ummah under their authority? Do we consider, either way, Muslims (whether one hundred or one million) will be killed as a result of orders they approved? And so the question is, are we accountable for that which Allah will hold them to account by simply having an unforced hand in placing them in office?

The arguments proceed back and forth. Each point as compelling and strong as the next. And the question remains, where should we stand on this issue? We know that we must approach this issue the same way we base our actions, within the framework of the Qur'an and Sunnah. We cannot base it on any emotional or superficial reason such as I've heard from some Muslims in defense of their choice to vote: "I'm not voting because of religion, I'm voting because of race." This, of course, is a shallow, short-sighted... just altogether horrible excuse and a justification unacceptable on all levels. Let's keep it in perspective. The one thing that makes us a family, a global community, an Ummah, is the very fact that our Islam takes precedence over every other aspect of ourselves. We do not make the mistakes of followers of prophets of old. We do not assimilate the ways of the disbelievers. We don't divide or assign status among ourselves according to nationality, race, posession, etc. and certainly we are not Secular Muslims (the phrase itself is oxymoronic).

Remember, Allah will not bless our Ummah with the establishment of a khalifah until we prove ourselves ready. Once we're all operating on the same wavelength, Allah, will reward us greatly in this world. Otherwise, the revival of Islam and the Shari'ah is countered against by our own efforts.

Allah tells us what means:

So set thou thy face STEADILY AND TRULY to the Faith: establish Allah's handiwork according to the pattern on which He has made mankind: NO CHANGE let there be in the work wrought by Allah: that is the standard Religion: but most among mankind understand not." -Surah Al Rum ayah 30

Below, I'll post one of the more respectable, dignified and healthy dialogues revolving about the topic of voting among Muslims that I believe every Muslim should lend their ear. Brother Saad of DawahWorks debates Brother Farhan on this increasingly concerned issue among our Ummah, especially in the West. Thanks to Islam and Friends for organizing and moderating this much needed discussion.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Now That the Elections are Over...

America is not one man. America is its institutions, which have compromised the very principles they claim to uphold. America has its capitalist system whose weaknesses lie exposed. One man can never change those problems that are systemic in a state, no matter how eloquently he pledges to do so. America is a capitalist state with a capitalist foreign policy and that is to colonize other states. As such she will seek to maintain her domination of the Muslim world and continue that capitalist agenda of exploitation. Presidents come and go, policies may be amended, but there will be no real change.

We should look beyond personality and evaluate declared policies. Barack Obama has declared his willingness to attack Pakistan, intensify the war in Afghanistan and keep promoting disaster capitalism. He has also pledged unstinting support for the brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine. Where is the 'real' change from the policies of George W Bush?

Real change in the Muslim world cannot come from having faith in one man. It will never come from emulating a failed capitalist system. It will only come when the Muslim world transfers its faith in Islam to faith in Islam's political ideas and restore the Islamic Khilafah: an accountable, just system, not open to manipulation, which puts the poor and needy at the centre of its economic programme, and which will defend its lands from occupation and exploitation.

Respected speaker and Imam, Anwar al-Awlaki, had this to say:
One of the characteristics of a humiliated and oppressed community is their submission to their oppressor and their tolerance of oppression. On the other hand they are arrogant and intolerant among themselves. This is how it was with Banu Israel when living under the Pharaoh. I am sorry to state this but unfortunately this attitude is been reflected by many American Muslims who humiliated themselves by voting for candidates who have no serious concern for their issues. I mentioned in my previous post:

"The perception the American Muslims are giving is that by giving them nothing substantial and by giving them just a little bit of recognition you can get their support, vote and loyalty even if you carry on your war against their brothers and sisters. Just like a dog owner abusing his dog but as long as the bone is thrown out the dog will still give his owner all his loyalty."

It is sad but true.

The American Muslims who decided to vote have made a fool out of themselves and the whole world knows it. Under the heading: "America’s outcast Muslims: Once Bush backers, Muslims today are staunch Democrats. But both Obama and McCain shun them." The UK’s The Guardian states:

“American Muslims have been called the “outcasts” of this presidential election. Muslims themselves have told the media that Islam is being treated as “political leprosy”, a “scarlet letter”, or the “kiss of death”".

Why not just call them house Negros?

The Australian newspaper The Age says: “Neither campaign courts America’s Muslim vote.” They go on to state that: “Neither presidential candidate has made a single visit to a mosque.” If they didn’t even bother to visit a mosque, which is no more than a ceremonial thing anyway but does make the house Negros happy, how can one expect from them any support on our issues?

Nevertheless, the proud American Muslims have been running around in service of both candidates. Many American Muslims still insisted on voting. Chasing a mirage that somehow the new president will improve their lot. First it was Bush now Obama. There is a striking similarity between the American Muslim community and the Muslims of al Andalus who chose to stay behind after Muslim Spain fell into the hands of the Catholic monarchs. There are some writings that reveal that after all the oppression they suffered they still had hope that their situation would improve, even after the Catholic monarchs showed them the worst treatment. Since there were no elections back then and no Barak Obama they were clinging their hopes on a Mahdi that would appear and deliver them to safety. A few decades later, no Mahdi appeared and their children and grandchildren slowly but surely were loosing their identity until Islam seized to exist all together in the Iberian peninsula.

I do not believe that America would do the same because they have grown wiser and more sophisticated than their Spanish predecessors. Muslims will be allowed to pray, fast, and practice Islam as long as it is contained within the spiritual compartment. But they will not be allowed to be Muslim in the full sense of the word. The issues of Sharia law, Jihad, wala and bara, hudud, khilafah, the Quranic teachings concerning the Jews and Christians, and support of Muslim resistance fighters around the world will not be tolerated. Now the spiritual aspect will also be under attack, probably not by the government but by the society at large. The American culture will destroy their families. It will deprive their children and grandchildren of their identity. Time will be the witness. Muslims have given their vote for free. Back in the 90s we were told that we should not expect anything back because we are not seen as a voting block (back then the prominent view among the Muslims was against participation in the elections). Well now there is definitely a voting block and it is quite large as some reports say that the Muslim registered voters are around two million!So what are the Muslims getting in exchange for their vote? NOTHING.

Brothers and sisters you can vote, you can run around supporting the campaigns, you can stay silent about the aspects of your religion that do not appeal to your fellow citizens, you can speak out against your Muslim brothers and sisters who support the Muslim causes around the world, you can try your best to fit in and be accepted and the end result will be that you will always be seen as the enemy and you will never be accepted unless you do one thing: give up your religion. As Allah told us what means:

“And never will the Jews and Christians approve of you until you follow their religion” [2:120]

With all of this activism and increased participation the situation of the American Muslims did not improve but in fact it regressed. The Bush campaign of 2000 has outreached to the Muslims more than both candidates of 2008.Giving a fatwa calling on people to vote in democratic elections is not an easy thing. One would expect solid evidence from Quran and Sunnah when inviting people to take such a step. However, what I have seen is the opposite.

I would ask you to read such fatawa and judge them not based on the names or numbers of scholars who are behind them but on the evidence. There was a moment in time when the majority of the scholars of the Muslim world were towing the official line of the Mu’tazila and that didnt make it right. Then look at the fatawa of scholars such as al Albani, the Lanjna da’ima, Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi, al Gabashy and many of the scholars of the salafi orientation around the world who are against participation in democratic election. That is the position of large Islamic movements and individuals such as Sayed Qutb, Dr. Israr Ahmad, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, and the Salafi Jihadi movement. In Yemen prominent scholars from the Muslim Brotherhood have finally come to the conclusion that the democratic process is no more than a game that wastes the efforts of Muslims with very little gain.

In addition to that I found out that many people are asking the ones who are telling the people not to vote to bring their evidence! The burden of proof is on the ones who call others to participate in a disbelieving system, in a disbelieving country not the other way around.

Anyway, the evidence for not voting are all the verses of Quran that refer to governance as a right of Allah in surat al Nisa and al Bakarah, the verses talking about disavowal of the disbelievers in surat al Bakara, al Nisa and al Mumtahina, and the hadiths of Rasulullah, salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam, that instruct us to be separate from the disbelievers. There are scholars who wrote detailed papers on the subject and you may find the links to them on the comments made by some brothers and sisters on my last two posts. For those who did send me evidence for the position on voting I did respond to some of them and there remains the issue of the Muslims in Abyssinia and Yusuf (as). The response to this is very straightforward: Both the king of Abyssinia and the King of Egypt were not at war with the believers and were both very supportive of the Muslims. In addition to that, there are authentic narrations that al Najashi was Muslim and weaker ones that state that the king in the time of Yusuf became Muslim. But lets assume that this is not the case. Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of Fiqh should realize that there are stark differences on how Islam calls us to deal with those who are at war with us and those who are not. Allah says:

"Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous towards them and acting justly towards them. Indeed Allah loves those who act justly. "[60:8]

Now that Obama is in office we will see how these four years will unfold. I personally think that since what Obama stands for is falsehood, the justifications of the Muslims in choosing him were false and the process in which the Muslims chose him were also false we cannot expect any good to come out of falsehood.“Indeed Allah does not amend the work of the corrupters” [10;81]

Assalamu alaykum

Your Brother,
Anwar Al Awlaki

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tawheed 101

Bismillah, Alhamdulillah wa-Salaatu wa-Salaam 'ala Rasulillah

Perhaps among the effective ways of identifying what something is, is identifying what that something is not.

I've become increasingly aware of how easily, it would appear, some Muslims and particular factions within our Ummah fall into committing shirk against Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala. By excelling to extremes in their love for the Prophet, salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam, our late, beloved Imams and pious believers (they blaspheme in calling "saints"), Allah be pleased with them, they slip into the very error(s) committed by Ahl-al-Kitab; calling upon their names for intercession, though none can intercede except with Allah's Permission. It is both a blessing from and a right belonging ONLY to Allah to permit particular believers to intercede for others on the Day of Recompense. It is the essence of shirk to approach any grave and prostrate, make sujood and/or du'a to it. Having more kushuu before these graves than in their obligatory salaat.

To claim that an object or someone, no matter how holy or pious, has the right to intercede is to claim that very thing or individual also has the right to accept worship and the right to accept Repentance. O Muslim, don't decieve yourself into believing these acts are not shirk. They are in fact the essence of shirk. The right to accept worship, grant Jannah and to abase sins are rights belonging to Allah and to Allah alone. What was sent down by Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala, to Muhammad, salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam, was a restoration and invitation to mankind BACK to Tawheed. Even Surah Al-Ikhlas we're told by our Prophet, salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam, is worth 1/3 of the entire Qur'an on the basis that it is the greatest summary epitomizing Tawheed. Though the Surah contains but 4 ayat, still it's worth 1/3 the Qur'an! We know the key to Jannah is accepting "la ilaha ill Allah" in our hearts and fulfilling its conditions and the key to His Anger and Wrath is the violation or acts that contradict "la ilaha ill Allah." Shirk is the opposite of Tawheed and ultimately nullifies one's Islam. Allah has warned that if even Muhammad, salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam, were to commit shirk against Him then all his good deeds would be erased leaving nothing but his bad deeds to be judged by on the Last Day.

Shirk is so greivous, yet so easy to slip into when one goes to extremes in their love for the creation. There is no justification for comparing or equating anything or anyone to Allah. There is no justification for giving rights belonging only to Allah to other than Allah. How does one prostrate before any grave or call upon the name of any Prophet, Saint or Imam and say it's right, then turn to certain Christians praising idols of Maryam, Allah be pleased with her, prostrating before the graves of "saints" or calling upon the name of Jesus, alayhi salaam, and say it's wrong? In reality, between these acts, there is no difference. Islam is a call to tawheed and shirk of such major status is the opposite of tawheed and the finest, fastest and surest way to abandon tawheed.

O Muslim, if you have committed any of these acts, know that it is indeed shirk and that you should, please, renew your Islam and make tawbah to Allah, Al-Gaffar, Ar-Raheem, subhanahu wa ta'ala, and do nothing to compromise the direct link between yourself and Al Rabbil'alamin. In'sha'Allah. The only thing that can intercede on your behalf and the only thing you can rightfully ask Allah to accept on your behalf in this life are your deeds. We seek refuge in Allah from associating partners with Him and pray we remain absolved of this repugnant act. I bare witness the only one worthy of our worship, our sajdah, our du'a, our tawbah, our veneration and our highest extent of love is Allah, azza wa jall.

La ilaha ill Allah wadahu la sharika lahu.

All this talk of shirk and raising awareness thereof was prompted from a reminder I received by my sister-in-Islam, of the Facebook group "Islam 101: What You Really Need to Know". Her message I'll include below. Wa'salaam:

Asalaamu Alaykum

All praise is due to allah(Swt) we beleive in him and we seek refuge in him from the evil of our own souls, the one whom Allah(Swt) guides none can misguide and the one whom Allah(Swt) misguides there is none who can guide. May peace and blessings be upon our messenger Muhammad(pbuh)

In Saheeh al-Bukhaari (5705) and Saheeh Muslim (220) it is narrated that
Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The nations were shown to me and I saw a Prophet with a group of men, a Prophet with one or two men, and a Prophet with no one with him. Then a huge crowd was shown to me, and I thought that they were my ummah, but it was said to me, ‘This is Moosa and his people. But look at the horizon.’ I looked, and there was a huge crowd. Then it was said to me: ‘Look at the other horizon,’ and there was (another) huge crowd. It was said to me: ‘This is your ummah, and among them are seventy thousand who will enter Paradise without being called to account or punished.’”



Many people around the world, who are muslims have no idea what tawheed is, there are many who worship graves, those who worship their Ulama(humans), those who call on to Saints, those who are superstitious and the list goes on.

DID ALLAH(SWT) NOT SAY INVOKE ME AND I WILL ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS AND LEAVE ALONE THOSE WHO CALL UPON OTHERS BESIDES ALLAH AND MANY MORE EXPLAINS IN THE QU'RAN but why is it so easy for muslims to ignore this and continue associating partners with Allah The Most high? Know dear brothers and sisters that these things we call upon will not benefit us in anyway but instead they will lead us to our destruction and on the day when man will be resurrected they will find no other helper but ALLAH GLORIFIED BE HE.

Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) call to the Onesness of Allah(Swt) and this is the first thing he mentioned to his followers and the first thing He(pbuh)communicated to those who were none believers and THIS IS WHAT WE NEED TO GO BACK TO, ALL THE KNOWLEDGE OF THIS DIIN WILL BE OF NO USE IF OUR BELIEF IN TAWHEED IS NOT CORRECT, ALL THE WORSHIP WE PERFORM WILL BE OF NO US IF OUR BELEIF IN THE ONENESS OF ALLAH (SWT) IS NOT DEEPLY ROTTED IN OUR HEARTS.


know dear muslims that no Imam can interceed for you to Allah(Swt), know that no dead persons can answer your dua,
Know that no Saint can can bring good or prevent harm
Know that nothing happens in the heavens and the earth without the permission of Allah(Swt),
know that no matter how many times that you call out YA rasullah , Muhammad(pbuh) was only the messenger and ALLAH(sWT) IS THE ONE WHO HAS ALL THE POWER, so invoke allah(Swt), ask allah for help, worship allah, call upon allah, place your trust in allah, seek the guidance of allah and KNOW THAT IT IS ONLY ALLAH WHO DESERVES ALL PRAISES AND GLORY.

I ask Allaah to make it easy for us and for our Muslim brothers and sisters to attain all that is good. To make us from those who follow the sunnah and not from the innovators, i ask allah(Swt) to bless this ummah and guide this ummah to the teachings of Muhamamd(pbuh) ,his campions and those who follow them in good. I ask allah(Swt) to correct our aqeedah, to correct our understanding of Tawheed, to make us from the seventy thousand who will enter Paradise without being called to account or punished.’” AMEEN YA RABB

~~~Everything good mentioned is from ALlah(Swt) and the mistakes and errors are none but mine alone and i ask allah(Swt) for his forgiveness for the mistakes i made.~~~~~