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Al-Aqsa Reflections

Al Aqsa Reflections 1

Hafidh Farhan Jamadar, Ramadhan 1445/2024

Having arrived in Jerusalem last night, there are a number of perspectives I could start with. From the stories of the prophets mentioned in the Qur’an, and also those in the Bible and Torah, there are a plethora of prophets who have walked on this blessed land. Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Isa (Jesus), Zakariyya (Zachariah), Yaqub (Jacob), Yusuf (Joseph) and the list goes on. Despite the magnanimity of these chosen men from our past, who each have their own unique story and contribution to mankind, it is the story of a woman that has me most awestruck.
She is none other than Maryam (Mary), daughter of Imran and Hanna, the only woman to be mentioned by name in the Qur’an. Today we were able to catch a glimpse into her private chamber in Al-Aqsa. Her mother Hanna had promised to offer her child to the services of the Temple when she was still expecting. The custom of the time meant that this would only have been done for a male child. Nonetheless, despite her disappointment, Hanna fulfilled her promise and sent Maryam to Al-Aqsa where it was decided that her maternal uncle Prophet Zachariah would be her custodian.
Zakariyya, who had reached old age, was the only person with a key to the chamber of Maryam. The Qur’an relates how he would be shocked by what he would often find therein. Maryam’s devotion to Allah and connection with the Almighty was unmatched. She would be blessed with sustenance, such as fruits which were out of season, which could only have been through divine ordinance.
When she was of the age of 17, she was visited by the Angel Jibreel (Gabriel), who gave her glad tidings of a son. Maryam enquired how this could be so, since she had never had relation with a man. But as Allah had provided sustenance for her without the apparent necessary means, He had also chosen a special woman to carry a special child without the need for a father.
Maryam’s shyness led her to leave Al-Aqsa for the birth of her baby, and retreat to solitude in Bethlehem. Upon her return to Al-Aqsa with her son, she was immediately targeted with the most heinous accusation for a chaste women. In response to this, Maryam was ordered to remain silent by Allah, and she simply pointed at her child. Here Isa, the boy born of a miraculous birth, was given his first miracle. A child of a mere few earthly days said ‘Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the book and made me a messenger.’
Reflections:1. Sometimes we plan and we think that a thing is good for us. Then, reality plays out in contrast to what we planned and we may perceive this negatively. However, just as Hanna’s disappointment at the birth of a daughter was actually the birth of probably the greatest woman who has ever lived, it may be that our disappointments are soon replaced by something which is far better than that which we had planned for ourselves.2. As for the divine sustenance which Maryam was receiving in her chamber, Muslims believe that each iota of sustenance, whether it be food, drink, wealth, family or emotion, is allocated by Allah. Instead of worrying about things that are beyond our control, we should focus on working hard to attain that which is good for us in this life and the hereafter, alongside recognising that Allah is the sole sustainer by asking from Him alone.3. Finally, when we are accused of that which we have not done or labelled with tags that are false or inaccurate, is it always necessary for us to respond? Especially when we know that our response will have no bearing on the opposite party, regardless of how eloquent it is or how much it is supported by evidence. Sometimes it is better for the eventual outcome to do the talking. This is why we still talk about Isa (Jesus) and Maryam (Mary) to this day, peace and salutations be upon them both.

A look into the private chamber or Maryam (AS) within Al-Aqsa

Al-Aqsa Reflections 2
Today we had the opportunity to travel outside Jerusalem and visit areas of the West Bank such as Hebron.
My immediate thought is that the people living here are severely disadvantaged and in an extremely difficult situation compared to our brothers and sisters in Jerusalem. The people of Jerusalem benefit from the external visitors, who are able to contribute economically but also socially by contributing to an energy which includes love, solidarity and unity. On the other hand, the economic opportunities are few and far between in the West Bank. Many tourists are discouraged from visiting due to the surveillance and checkpoints. I heard stories of many Palestinian women having to give birth at the checkpoints due to the excessive and unnecessary delays at the checkpoints when trying to access hospitals.
We were invited to visit a centre facilitating for disabled people, which was a real eye opener. The smallest of blessings which Allah has bestowed us with and which we have never been grateful for, is a blessing that they they have never experienced. Further exploring the local areas in the West Bank exposed the scarceness of opportunity here. The desperate situation of the youth means that they may never be exposed to even a fractional percentage of the opportunities that we have as Muslims in the West. Their deteriorating situation over the decades, which has been implemented by design, leaves them with nothing but the pride of their homeland, resentment towards their occupier and hope in the mercy of their Lord the Almighty.
Masjid Ibrahim, the resting place of the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) is located in Hebron in the West Bank. How great must a man have been that Allah honoured him by guaranteeing that each practising person of the Ummah will send salutations upon Ibrahim (AS) and his family multiple times during every salah daily. His life of courage and determination was encapsulated by the myriad of sacrifices that he made for the sake of Allah.
Reflections:1. Our brothers and sisters in humanity and in Islam need us, more so in the areas of Palestine that have suffered and continue to suffer the most. As Muslims we may regularly travel to our countries of origin, chase temporary luxury in places like Dubai or spend lavishly to sit on white sand beaches. The reality is that we must visit Palestine and contribute with all we have wholeheartedly.2. We don’t know what it means to be grateful, we will probably never be in a situation which truly tests our gratitude. The smallest glimpse is when we fast between fajr and sunset and feel a little hunger or thirst, despite knowing that a banquet awaits us at iftaar. If there is anything that I would like to take away from today, it is to be grateful to Allahوان شكرتم لازيدنّكم And if you are grateful, I will give you more…3. What made Ibrahim (AS) so great? Why is he known as khaleel-Allah, the friend of Allah? What did he do in his life to attain such a level, that even today the 3 major religions of the world are known collectively using his name? In short, he was willing to sacrifice at every turn, on the command of his Lord, even when it made zero logical sense. He went against his father and his tribe, he was thrown into a fire for angering the king and he even took a knife to sacrifice his own beloved son. To free ourselves from the shackles of mediocrity, we too must sacrifice.

The rehabilitation centre for people suffering with disabilities in Hebron

Al-Aqsa Reflections 3
On the third day of reflection, I would like to take the time to focus on Al-Aqsa, the primary destination of this entire journey. It is the first qibla, the second masjid to ever be built and the third holiest site in Islam.
The first point to discuss, is what exactly constitutes Masjid Al Aqsa? Is it the dome of the rock? Is it Masjid Qibli where all salah take place? Or is it something else, maybe hidden underground? In short, the entire compound which is demarcated by the unmistakeable stone walls is Masjid Al Aqsa. According to our beloved Nabi Muhammad (SAW), there is not the area of a single hand span within Al-Aqsa except that a Prophet prayed in it or an angel stood on it. Just doing ziyarah of all the different monuments and significant landmarks within Al-Aqsa requires several days, such is its rich history and deep connection with all of the Prophets of Allah.
The people who safeguard Al-Aqsa, the Palestinian people, are a people who have truly been blessed with unique qualities by Allah. They express themselves with a warmth that is seldom found in any other corner of the Earth. Their love for Al-Aqsa is undeniable and unshakable, to even say that they would be willing to sacrifice themselves for the protection of this sacred place would be a disservice. It is much much more than that. For centuries, they have hosted travellers here from all over the world, offering a level of hospitality that is unmatched. Their energy is infectious and their deep rooted love for their homeland simply cannot be expressed in words.
One of the most unique things about Masjid Al-Aqsa, particularly in Ramadhan during the time of my visit, is the family atmosphere that buzzes throughout the Al-Aqsa compound and the city of Jerusalem. The sight of thousands of families gathering between Asar and Maghrib for iftaar is breathtaking, it demonstrates the fact that Al-Aqsa is their home more than their places of residence. Since I have been here, I have not seen or heard a single instance of gentle rebuke within the compound, let alone harsh admonishment. Every day without fail, we have been invited for iftaar by the locals. This leaves us feeling in a deficit, having taken so much when we imagined we were coming here to give.
Reflections1. There is no place like Masjid Al-Aqsa. This is the place where all the Prophets gathered and were led in salah by our beloved Muhammad (SAW). One who has love for Al-Aqsa will be loved in return multiple times over, and the one who disregards it is not needed by it, though he remains in need of it. It is our job to protect Al-Aqsa and when the Muslims return to the Qur’an and Sunnah, Al-Aqsa will be free.2. Our Palestinian brothers and sisters have sacrificed everything that they have for centuries, for the love of Al-Aqsa and their homeland. You will not find a Palestinian home without a physical symbol related to Al-Aqsa. It is our duty to support them with whatever we have and benefit from the goodness and knowledge which they are so willing to give us.3. If there is anything we can learn from our Palestinian brothers and sisters, it is to love one another as brothers and sisters in faith. If we cannot look each other in the eye and resolve petty disagreements, how could we ever stand shoulder to shoulder on the frontline to protect the borders of Islam, just as they have done and are doing to this very day.

Families making iftaar together around the dome of the rock, the central point of the Al-Aqsa compound
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Muslim men Muslim women

12 Levels of Friendship

Did you know that in Arabic, there are 12 levels of friendship? 

For every level of friendship, there is an Arabic word to describe it. From Siddique to Khaleel, it is rare to find all 12 levels of friendship in one person.

1. Siddique (صديق) – a true friend; someone who doesn’t befriend you for an ulterior motive. The word “Siddique” is commonly translated as truth, so honesty and loyalty is at the core of this friendship.

2. 𝘼𝙣𝙚𝙚𝙨 (أنيس) – someone with whom you’re really comfortable and familiar with.

3. 𝙕𝙖𝙢𝙚𝙚𝙡 (زميل) – someone you have a nodding acquaintance with.

4. 𝙅𝙖𝙡𝙚𝙚𝙨 (جليس) – someone you’re comfortable sitting with for a period of time.

5. 𝙎𝙖𝙢𝙚𝙚𝙧 (سمير) – someone you have good conversation with them.

6. 𝙎𝙖𝙝𝙞𝙗 (صاحب) – someone who’s concerned for your well-being.

7. 𝙍𝙖𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙦 (رفيق) – someone you can depend upon.

8. 𝙆𝙝𝙖𝙡𝙚𝙚𝙡 (خليل) – an intimate friend; someone whose presence makes you happy.

9. 𝙉𝙖𝙟𝙞 (نجي) – a confidant; someone you trust deeply.

10. 𝙉𝙖𝙙𝙚𝙚𝙢 (نديم) – a drinking companion (just tea) that you might call when you’re free.

11. 𝙎𝙖𝙛𝙞 (صفي) – your best friend; someone you’ve chosen over other friends.

12. 𝙌𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙚𝙣 (قرين) – someone who’s inseparable from you; you know how they think (and vice versa).

Which ones do you have?

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Current Affairs articles

Five Questions Raised by the LGBTQ Community (or sometimes by innocent children due to lack of knowledge).

Five Questions Raised by the LGBTQ Community (or sometimes by innocent children due to lack of knowledge) from the lecture of Shaykh Yasir Qadhi, Texas.

1. Why does Allah SWT care if two people love each other, same gender or not?

To answer this we need to look at the Qur’an which explicitly mentions the story of Loot AS and uses the word Fahisha. There is “ijma” unanimous consensus that homosexuality is Haram, nobody ever disagreed with that from the Ummah, past or present.

We must remember anything that Allāh SWT prohibited is not only Haram but usually they are things that are harmful and detrimental for us.

Islam promotes opposite gender unions, via this avenue procreation is possible and family life with children is achieved by this. Even in the animal kingdom, we see naturally, the male is attracted to the female. If someone has same-sexsinner, but tendencies and struggles with this habit, they will be a sinner but it’s once you no longer think it’s Haram and be proud of your sin it leads to kufr/disbelief.

2. Why does it matter if two people sin in private? How does it harm Islam? Why do Imams and Preachers need to keep badgering us about it?

Firstly, let us establish some facts, nobody is knocking down your bedroom and nobody is invading your privacy. Every human is a sinner and those sins done in private still need to be preached against and the masses need to be educated regarding them.

What is an open sin?

Abu Huraira RA: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying. “All the sins of my followers will be forgiven except those of the Mujahirin (those who disclose their sins to the people). An example of such disclosure is that a person commits a sin at night and though Allah screens it from the public, then he comes in the morning, and says, ‘O so-and-so, I did such-and-such (evil) deed yesterday,’ though he spent his night screened by his Lord (none knowing about his sin) and in the morning he removes Allah’s screen from himself.” Bukhari

For example, if a person drinks alcohol, takes drugs or watches pornography (all done in private) we still have a moral duty to teach people the harms of these sins. Nowadays, sins are no longer private, due to a lack of modesty people are openly committing sins, sharing them (on social media), and then justifying them, we have “pride” over our sins, excuse the pun!

When you commit a sin and regret it, and show remorse you are in the realm of a sinner. But when you commit a sin and flout it, show off, and share it on social media to the point of justifying it then you are no longer a sinner, it is disbelief (kufr). The sin of LGBTQ is no longer a bedroom sin (maybe 20-30 years ago it was). We now have a whole month dedicated to it and millions are being spent to promote it, hence we will preach against it in public!

3. Why do religious people and Imams only talk about the the topic of LGBTQ? There are so many topics like racism, social injustice, and the broken health system. Is it because religious people love talking about sexuality?

We can answer this charge by saying that every sector talks about morality and sexuality in their own way and we Muslims have our way. Even liberalism speaks about their version of sexuality.

WhatAboutIsm

These sorts of questions come under the notion of WhatAboutIsm, don’t fall for it. This notion means to talk about one issue and not another. For example, a father tells his son to make sure you revise for your GCSE exams and pass. The son replies, don’t worry about my revision/exams, Dad. You just make sure you pay the mortgage and the bills and put food on the table! Naturally, the father will reply, what do your exams have to do with the mortgage?

In the same way, people criticise Imams by saying talk about one topic, not another. We see this a lot with workers from the Charity sector who always talk about Syria and Gaza and it’s only about Syria and Gaza, if an Imam talks about Domestic Violence they will say it’s irrelevant and not important. My short answer there are 52 Khutbahs in a year, one for LGBT, one for Syria/Gaza, one for DV, and so forth.

4. Islam teaches us about love, why do you preach against it? Two people love each and you tell us we can’t, isn’t this hate speech?

Nobody is against (halal) love, nobody is against caring for one another. Here we are preaching against the act of sodomy, there’s a big difference. Even if someone had a relationship with the opposite gender before nikah we would preach against it, let alone same-sex relationships which can’t be made halal through nikah.

When an Imam preaches against sin, any sin, it is to teach the masses that this is wrong and unethical. But if a brother comes to us in the Masjid and genuinely tells us he is struggling with the sin of LGBTQ then we will welcome him with open arms and help him to curb his desires, just like we help the alcoholic and the drug addict. Because we are all sinners, join the club! We all sin, maybe just in a different manner.

An article by a gay Muslim who explains his struggles and accepts it as a weakness.

If someone acknowledges they are doing wrong, we will help them. But when you take pride in your sin, how can we take pride in accepting you as our Muslim brother?

5. The LGBTQ Community is one that is a helpful community, they advocate justice and champion our civil rights. You imams with your religious rhetoric are fuelling hatred against them, which consequently leads them to get physically and verbally abused.

Getting help from someone is not a sin, whether they are a Christian or Jew or Gay. But appreciating someone’s help doesn’t mean we facilitate their sin. Read that again

Let us remember in the Seerah a man called Mutim bin Adiyy helped the Muslims but he also worshipped idols, the Prophet SAW appreciated his help and praised him after his death. If someone wants generic help we will help them no matter who they are, like feeding the homeless and handing out sadaqah, we will not ask people their sexual orientation. We will work together where we can.

The Qur’an says, “help each other upon goodness and piety and don’t help each other upon sin and transgression” (Surah Madinah). We will work with any community against racism, injustice and violence but we will not facilitate open sinners. We have a higher Lord SWT to answer to, it’s not a case of you scratch my back and I will scratch yours. No tit for that. Become men of principles.

Dear brothers and sisters, to conclude this topic, our Shariah teaches us purity and wholesomeness, it embraces modesty and shyness. Do not be ashamed of who you are, and do not be enticed by the path of others no matter how dazzling they look. Enter Islam in its entirety and follow the religion completely even if the whole world is against you and doesn’t understand you, we know we are following Haqq that’s all that matters, Allah keep us stead, Ameen.

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Current Affairs articles

Prayer or Protest?

“In Islamic History protests have always made changes. When the Crusaders took over Jerusalem, the Muslims protested in Baghdad.” Shaykh Yasir Qadhi, Texas

When Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal RH was incarcerated by Mu’tasim his students protested outside the palace of the Caliph. If you are a woman reading this, how can you forget the Suffragette movement that gave women a voice? If you are an Indian or Pakistani reading this, how can you forget Gandhi’s Salt March against the British? If you are non-White reading this, remember George Floyd’s protests a few years ago, fighting for all non-whites in America? Lesson: Protests are powerful!

Protests create awareness for Muslims and non-Muslims. Are you telling me a millions people in London last weekend didn’t raise eyebrows? “What’s going on here?” It was all over the news! People will talk and ask questions about Palestine thanks to demonstrations. What about the people in Gaza? When they see protests all over the world they know we are with them, it gives them hope despite dark times.

One of the biggest objections against protests and protestors is they don’t pray Salah, but march in their thousands?! My question to these religious folk is, is Salah a condition to carry out good deeds? We all know Salah is fardh, but if someone doesn’t pray Salah, they can’t give sadaqah? They can’t listen to an Islamic lecture? We need to start somewhere… Many people have started Salah because of the situation in Gaza.

وَأَن لَّيْسَ لِلْإِنسَـٰنِ إِلَّا مَا سَعَىٰ ٣٩

“And that each person will only have what they endeavoured towards.” What’s the point of Protests, you guys haven’t conquered alMasjid alAqsa? We can only make an effort, the results are in the hands of Allah SWT. Many people died fighting for things they didn’t see the results of, like the suffragette movement for women, and Malcolm X for black people in America. If we raise our voices for Palestine, our children or grandchildren will see the results, In Sha Allah

Remember the story of the prostitute who fed a dog water, she was forgiven i.e. granted Jannah. Was she regular in Salah? She fed a dog. Imagine the reward for helping humans, Muslims, Palestinians in the most blessed lands. Whether they pray Salah or not, wear a Hijab or not, you don’t have a right to become judge and jury. Many people who attend the masjid for bayans don’t pray regular Salah, most the jumuah congregation doesn’t pray x5. Where are they all week? Please. Ask them.

There are many flaws to your objections and the truth of the matter is most these Ulama and Tablighis objecting can’t be bothered protesting. We never forced you to. It’s always the وحده لا شريك له whole and soul attitude. “Our work is better” holier than thou… Alhumdu Lillah I am a protestor and clearly a loud and proud one, and have been for many years. But I will not say I am better than those whose line of work is different, because that is the work of God Almighty.

Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (one who is in need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure).

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Poems

Ten Years On….

27th November 2013 – Nazir Ahmed Satia (Allah drench him in his mercy)

Parents live forever. People say that when parents die, the world comes to an end. The house looks empty. But I feel that parents live forever and they stay with us. It’s us who forget them. The matter of fact is that a brother has the eyes of the beloved father, a sister has a pretty face like a compassionate mother, a sibling smiles like a dad, or a sister cooks like a mum.

Parents don’t die. They never leave us. They live among us. They live in us. We are the reflections of our parents. Despite their physical absence, they continue to live in us. When you want to remember your parents, when you want to see them, when you want to be with them, simply gather your siblings around you. You will find the mesmerising smile of the mother in one sibling, the soothing voice of the father in another. You will feel your parents very close to you. All around you. Deep inside you. The garden of love that parents cultivate and grow with love, from the time that you are born, with the hard work of their tears and blood; it will continue to bloom, unaffected by the cycles of tough weathers of life. They shelter us in tough times. But there are times, when we forget all their hard work and destroy the paradise that they built, with our selfishness, hatred, and opportunistic attitudes.

Parents don’t die. We put them to death. Love your parents. Love your siblings. Continue to feed the garden that parents cultivated with love and compassion so that it never stops blooming and blossoming. You will make your world a living paradise on Earth. A heaven that only knows love, compassion, care, respect and it has you with your loved ones around you.

Allah forgive our parents and have mercy on them, accept their good deed and grant them Jannah, Ameen

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Current Affairs articles

Interfaith Dialogue

“We can only live in peace and harmony by talking to each other and learning about each other.”

The phenomenon of ‘Interfaith Dialogue’ has gained importance in the world for decades due to many reasons; therefore it is an urgent need of the time to scrutinise it under the lens of Islamic Shariah.

An essential principle that must be understood before understanding the reasoning here is that the concern of scholars when giving a verdict on something is the reality of the nature of that problem at hand; not what it is called. An example is Ginger Beer. It does not matter that it has the word ‘beer’ in its name. If it does not fulfill the conditions of a prohibited drink, then it is permissible. It would be a clear error if someone were to conclude that this drink is prohibited because its name resembles that of a prohibited drink. Similarly, an Islamic bank may call something ‘interest-free’. If the conditions of interest in Islām are fulfilled, then that transaction is prohibited, even if the company has used the term ‘interest-free’. So names and titles should not deceive us into rushing into decisions. This is a well-known fiqh principle agreed upon by the scholars. Similarly, is the word interfaith, before venturing into the topic, it would be better to first see how the concept of ‘Interfaith Dialogue’ is defined by scholars.

http://www.deoband.net/blogs/the-phenomenon-interfaith-dialogue-islamic-shariah

The term interfaith dialogue refers to cooperative, constructive and positive interaction between people of different faiths at both the individual and institutional levels.[1] It refers to a meeting of qualified members of different faiths in a formal setting to discuss religious opinions and practices they have in common, usually with the intention of expanding their common ground.[2]

Similarly, there is another term ‘Interreligious dialogue’ which is seen as a challenging process by which adherents of differing religious traditions encounter each other in order to break down the walls of division between themselves.[3]

In this way ‘interfaith dialogue’ is distinct from syncretism or alternative religion. But, this term is actually used by different people in different contexts as per their motives and vested interests. This is the reason that ‘Interfaith dialogue’ is criticised by some religious leaders as a conspiracy designed to merge all religions into one. Certain individuals and communities fear the loss or weakening of their religious identities as a result of engaging in dialogue and interacting with followers of other faiths.[4]

Background of Interfaith Dialogue

Understanding the people of other faiths around you has been a natural process of human life as no human society can live in peace until it behaves tolerantly with his neighbours. However, at some juncture of history, there have been organized efforts to bring different religions closer to each other or even to intermix them. The Emperor Akbar (1542-1605), for example, established Deen-e-Ilahi in Mughal India, a diverse nation with people of various faith backgrounds, including IslamHinduismSikhism, and Christianity.[5]

Muslims, throughout their history, have been living with peace, tolerance, and coexistence along with people of other faiths. The Muslim societies have always observed religious pluralism and the people of other faiths have always lived under their rule very peacefully and amicably. Right from the era of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) up to the Ottoman Caliphate and Mughal Empire in India Muslims provide historical examples of generally peaceful coexistence with peoples of different faiths. The Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslim communities enjoyed full rights and lived shoulder-to-shoulder with Muslims.[6]

The wave of religious hatred and intolerance erupted after the Western powers started occupying and colonising the Muslim lands. In order to establish their sovereignty they sowed the seeds of differences among the communities of different faiths and beliefs.[7]

It was the time when the need for interfaith dialogue was felt as the world was made so chaotic by the struggle for powers, domination of materialism, and lack of spirituality. Later after the colonial powers shrank to their holes and much later when the Cold War between the US and the USSR calmed down, Islam again emerged as the first enemy of the West. The situation reached its height on 9/11 when the US was attacked by so-called Muslim terrorists. This state of affairs led many to think that Muslim and Western civilizations were going to clash.

At this juncture in time, the need for interfaith dialogue resurfaced with even greater gravity as this was the only way to avoid civilization clashes and prevent the world from destruction.

Concerns about the Motive of Interfaith Dialogue

Dialogue between individuals and communities of different faiths is a natural phenomenon that takes place at stages of multi-faith communities. The process of dialogue forces people to examine and reconfirm their own religious identity and strengthen their own beliefs while respecting those of others with patience and dignity.

Globalisation and the invention of modern communication facilities have reduced the world to a village and the fastest transportation means provided an opportunity for people to interact with each other as never before. In this scenario, interfaith dialogue can provide a platform to understand and cooperate with each other and move forward peacefully.

The prevalent idea of interfaith dialogue is based upon the following principles: followers of all religions are free to lead lives in accordance with their own beliefs; and the moral values inherent in all religions — especially patience, tolerance, and coexistence – are respected.

And in order to cooperate with the idea, in July 2008, a historic interfaith dialogue conference was inaugurated by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in Madrid, the capital of Spain, with the objective of solving world problems through concord instead of conflict. The conference was attended by religious leaders of different faiths such as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism.[8]

However, there are serious concerns about the motives and hidden agenda under the banner of ‘interfaith dialogue’. According to some, this might be a conspiracy of the enemies of Islam to weaken the attachment of Muslims to their religion as they see it as the biggest hurdle in the way of their imperialism expansions. Usually, such dialogues are arranged with so-called Muslim intellectuals who are not firm in their religious knowledge and belief and thus fall prey to the hidden agenda.[9]

These concerns are intensified by the dual policies of the Western powers and the contradictions between their words and deeds. On one side they supervise interfaith dialogue and on the other hand, they attack Islam and Muslims. The Prophet Muhammad and the Quran are blasphemed in their lands and they are not ready to punish the culprits. This has created doubts in Muslim minds that these ‘staged’ interfaith dialogues are not political strategies to serve their own ends.

Islam and Interfaith Dialogue

Nevertheless, the phenomenon of interfaith dialogue, whatever the motive behind may be, cannot be ignored by Muslims. If such dialogues will not be attended by proficient Muslim scholars it might be hijacked by incompetent persons who will consequently cause harm to Islam and Muslims. Therefore, it is the need of the hour for competent Ulama to take the lead and represent the true face of Islam. It is not only requirement of the time which cannot be overlooked; rather it poses great challenge that they have to face boldly.

In order to understand the view of Islamic Shariah about ‘interfaith dialogue’, it is imperative to learn the basic principles in this regard:

(1) Islam is the only Religion Acceptable to Allah: Though all religions of the world claim to be true, it is only Islam that stands as the final and perfect religion established on strong evidence and solid foundations. As Muslims, we must have a firm belief that Islam is the only religion acceptable to Allah and it is the only way of life that can guarantee the success of human beings in this world and their salvation in the hereafter. As the Quran says:

{إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ الإِسْلامُ}

“Truly, the (recognised) religion in the sight of Allah is Islam.” [3:19]

{وَمَنْ يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلامِ دِيناً فَلَنْ يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ}

“Whoever seeks a faith other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.” [3:85]

(2) Syncretism or unification of religions is absolutely unacceptable in Islam: The ridiculous theory of Syncretism or unification of religions is unacceptable in Islam for reasons. The foremost among them is that this is unnatural and at no time in the history of mankind have they been adhering to one set of beliefs. It is so destined by Allah that people will never be converted into a single community, as He says:

{ولو شاء ربك لجعل الناس أمة واحدة ولا يزالون مختلفين}

 “Had your Lord willed, He would have made all the people a single community. But, they will continue in their differences.”  [11:119]

(3) Coexistence but not Compromise: The interfaith dialogue should be free from any kind of compromise on the part of religious rulings even to minor issues. A tolerance that prevents from speaking the truth or favour un-Islamic thoughts cannot be allowed. The Quran describes that the disbelievers wish Muslims to be flexible, but it is unacceptable:

{ودوا لوتدھن فیدھنون}

“They wish that you become flexible (in your faith) so that they should become flexible.” [68:9]

{ولا تركنوا إلى الذين ظلموا فتمسكم النار}
“And do not incline towards the wrongdoers, lest the Fire should catch you.” [11:113]

The chapter al-Kafiroon (109) from the Quran was revealed in response to the proposal of the disbelievers to strike a compromise deal seeking Muslims to worship their Gods and binding them to worship Allah in return, but the Quran very emphatically rejected it and said:

“Say, O disbelievers, I do not worship that which you worship, nor do you worship the One whom I worship.  And neither I am going to worship that which you have worshipped, nor will you worship the One whom I worship. For you is your faith, and for me, my faith.” [109:2-6][10]

Common Grounds for Interfaith Dialogue

Dialogue, or peaceful negotiation, is the path prescribed by Islam. The Holy Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) set standards for dialogue with people of other faith. The Quran encouraged Muslims to talk to the Jews and Christian on matters which are common:

{قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَى كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَلاَّ نَعْبُدَ إِلاَّ اللَّهَ وَلا نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شيئاً وَلا يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضاً أَرْبَاباً مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَقُولُوا اشْهَدُوا بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ} [آل عمران: 64]

“Say, O people of the Book, come to a word common between us and between you, that we worship none but Allah, that we associate nothing with Him and that some of us do not take others as Lords instead of Allah. Then, should they turn back, say, .Bear witness that we are Muslims.” [3:65] 

The Prophet Muhammad SAW advocated reconciliation with other religions. In Makkah in 615 CE, he sent Muslims fleeing persecution from the Meccans to find refuge with the Christian king of Abyssinia, current-day Ethiopia, as a signal of mutual trust with Christianity. Later when he migrated to Madinah, he signed a peace treaty with the Jewish tribes and later with the tribes of Makkah in 6th year of Hijra. He also had religious discussions with the Christians of Najran in his holy mosque. He also wrote letters to the rulers in and around Arabia in order to convey the message of Islam.

So, following the footsteps shown by the Quran and Hadith, Muslims can engage themselves in dialogue with the people of other faiths on the issues that form a common ground for them and which may help in promoting peace and enable Muslims to represent Islam to others.

(a) There is no Compulsion in Religion

First of all, Islam rejected forced conversion and gave people the full right to freely choose what they adhere to. Islam regarded freedom of expression as a birthright of human beings and termed force and oppression as unfair and forbidden. The Quran very clearly declares:

“There is no compulsion in Faith. The correct way has become distinct from the erroneous. Now, whoever rejects the Taghut (the Rebel, the Satan) and believes in Allah has a firm grasp on the strongest ring that never breaks. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” [2:257]

(b) Tolerance Towards other Religions

People have differences in belief, religion, culture etc, but while following their religion, they have to have mutual respect for others and discover a common bond between them, which shows them all to be human beings. Islam did not create any ill will and hatred in its followers about other religions and their leaders; rather it pushed forth their love and strengthened their relationship with other religions by various means. Sometimes, it admitted the greatness of the leaders and prophets of other communities saying:

“We did raise a messenger among every people, with the message.” [16:36]

It also forbade Muslims to blaspheme the sacred personalities of other religions saying: “Do not revile those whom they invoke other than Allah, lest they should revile Allah in transgression in ignorance.” [6:109] 

The Quran presented a model of high-grade tolerance that it regarded all the prophets and messengers of the Jews and the Christians as true prophets sent down by Allah. The Quran says:

“Surely, We have revealed to you as We have revealed to Noah and to the prophets after him.” [4:163]

And, it regarded the original books believed by the Jews and the Christians as divine revelation from Allah:

“Surely we have sent down the Torah, in which there was guidance and light.” (5:44) “We gave him the Injil (Gospel) having guidance and light therein, and confirming the Torah that was (revealed) before it; guidance and a lesson for the God-fearing.” (5:46)

Thus it extended the hand of friendship towards Judaism and Christianity which were the well-known and prominent religions of the age. As far as other religions and nations are concerned, it declared that there were prophets from Allah to other nations and communities:

“And there was no community without a Warner having passed among them.” (35:24)


Concisely, it secured the honour of the sacred figures of other religions in the eyes of Muslims forever and stopped Muslims absolutely from abusing any religious leader. Thus, it established the foundation of universal brotherhood, sympathy, and tolerance which was extinct before the advent of Islam.

(c) Moral and Ethical Values 

The moral and ethical values like justice and fairness, tolerance and patience, and good conduct have been much emphasized by Islam. These values can form a common ground for interfaith dialogue. 

Here are some references from the Quran:

Justice and transparency: “But if you judge, judge between them with justice. Surely, Allah loves those who do justice.” (5:42) At another place it says: “Allah does not forbid you as regards those who did not fight you on account of faith, and did not expel you from your homes, that you do good to them, and deal justly with them. Surely Allah loves those who maintain justice.” (60:8) 

Fulfilling Promises: “And fulfil the covenant, surely the covenants shall be asked about (on the Day of Reckoning).” (17:34) It asserted: “So, fulfil the treaty with them up to their term, surely Allah loves the God-Fearing.”  (9:4)

Good conduct: “Good and evil are not equal. Repel (evil) with what is best, and you will see that the one you had mutual enmity with him will turn as if he were a close friend.” (41:34)

“Allah does not forbid you as regards those who did not fight you on account of faith, and did not expel you from your homes, that you do good to them, and deal justly with them. Surely Allah loves those who maintain justice.” (60:8)

“The recompense of evil is evil like it. Then the one who forgives and opts for compromise has his reward undertaken by Allah. Surely, He does not like the unjust.” (42:40)

(d) Dialogue as a means of Dawah 

Dialogue can be utilized as one of the best means to convey the message of Islam to people of other faiths. Nowadays, non-Muslims have many misconceptions about Islam and Muslims which are caused by their insufficient knowledge of Islam. So this opportunity can be utilized to remove the misconceptions and to transmit the true spirit of Islam to the world. Islam is based on the principle of dawah which is another name for peaceful negotiation. The Quran itself describes how to make this dialogue fruitful:

“Invite (people) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good counsel, and argue with them in the best of manners. Surely, your Lord knows best the one who deviates from His way, and He knows best the ones who are on the right path.”  [16:125]

Islam asserts that our conversation with others should be carried out wisely and in the most gracious way. Listening to their objections, the point should be made in such a way that appeals to their minds.

Conclusion & Summary

To sum up, these are the main points which should be kept in mind in order to understand the concept of Islam about interfaith dialogue:

·         Islam favours divine revolution by striving for a society in which spiritual, ethical, and human values are cherished. Islam advocates an atmosphere where peace, tolerance, and respect prevail. It wishes to create an atmosphere where disputes are resolved without the use of violence. This is the desired world of Islam and such a world can be established only through peaceful dialogue.

·         The phenomenon of interfaith dialogue cannot be ignored and left for incompetent individuals and institutions to misrepresent Islam and Muslims; rather it should be headed by proficient Muslim scholars.

·         Interfaith dialogue should be fitted in the framework of Islamic Shariah and no compromise should be made on the part of religious fundamentals and its teachings.

·         Through interfaith dialogue, the common grounds of ethical and social values can be explored which help in promoting peace, harmony, and tolerance.

·         Interfaith dialogue forums should be used by competent Muslim scholars to represent the true face of Islam and to remove the misconceptions spread against Islam.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interfaith_dialog
[2] What is Interfaith Dialogue? http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110315104231AAnMRJV
[3] Sandi Fults, What is Interreligious Dialogue? http://globalfaithinaction.org/what-is-interreligious-dialogue
[4] Qazi Abdul Qadeer Khamosh, Conspiracy or cure? An Islamic perspective on interfaith dialogue, 27 April 2010 http://www.commongroundnews.org/article.php?id=27696
[5] Shaikh Muhammad Ikram, Rood-e-Kausar, p 85-131, New Delhi 2003
[6] For details see Civilization of the Arabs by Gustav Le Bon
[7] Maulana Hussain Ahamd Madani, Naqsh-e-Hayat, Deoband
[8]  Saudi Gazette, 17 July 2008, http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2008071712004
[9] Mufti Rasheed Ahmad Balakoti, Monthly Bayyinat, Sep 2008, Jamia Banuria Karachi
[10] Muhammad bin Jareer Tabri, Jami’ al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Quran, 22/662

Presented in a seminar on “Shariah Methods of Interfaith Dialogue” dated April 22-24, 2013 at Seminar Hall, Dept of Arabic, University of Delhi, Delhi. The Seminar was Organized by:
ISESCO, Rabat, Morocco
In Collaboration & Coordination of:
Islamic Fiqh Academy (INDIA), New Delhi
Dept of Arabic, University of Delhi, Delhi

Fatwa: https://islamqa.org/hanafi/daruliftaa-birmingham/245313/engaging-in-interfaith-meetings-to-stop-the-violence-in-south-africa/

Categories
Current Affairs articles

Educating Our Children About Palestine

Whether your Chîldrėn ask you or not, you must tell them that we *L♡VĖ* Palestine because… 

*01:* Palestine has been the land of the Prophets, peace be upon them all. 

*02:* Prophet Ibrahim عَــلَيْه السَّـلاَم first migrated to Palestine. 

*03:* Allah Ta’ala saved Prophet Lut عَــلَيْه السَّـلاَم from the punishment that had befallen his people in Palestine. 

*04:* Prophet Dawood عَــلَيْه السَّـلاَم lived in this land and built a masjid here.

*05:* Prophet Sulaiman عَــلَيْه السَّـلاَم used to sit in this country and rule over the whole world.

*06:* The famous story of the ant and Sulaiman عَــلَيْه السَّـلاَم in the Quran, in which an ant said to the rest of his ants, “O ants, get into your burrows and hide” happened right here in a valley in the city of Ashkelon in this country, which was later named “Wadi al-Naml” – Valley of the Ants”.

*07:* The mihrab/prayer place of Prophet Zakariyya عَــلَيْه السَّـلاَم is also in this city of Jerusalem. 

*08:* Prophet Musa عَــلَيْه السَّـلاَم told his companions about this country and to enter this holy city. He called this city holy because of its being free from shirk and being the land of Prophets. 

*09:* Many miracles took place in this city, including the blessed birth of Jesus from the blessed and pure virgin Sayyidina Maryam.

*10:* When his people wanted to kill Prophet Isa عَــلَيْه السَّـلاَم 

*Âllåh (ﷻ)* took him up to the heavens from Jerusalem. 

*11:* After giving birth, when a woman is at the extreme of her physical weakness, Sayyidina Maryam’s shaking of the palm trunk to get dates in such a state is also a divine miracle. 

*12:* One of the signs of the Day of Judgement will be the return of Isa to the earth in this city. 

*13:* Prophet Isaa عَــلَيْه السَّـلاَم will kill the Dajjal at Bab Lud in this land. 

*14:* Palestine is the land where everyone will be raised, resurrected and judged. 

*15:* It is from this city that Gog and Magog will start fighting and rioting across the earth. 

*16:* One of the Quranic stories that happened in this city is the story of Talut and Goliath and Talut’s triumph over Goliath.

*17:* Palestine also has the honour of being the first Qibla of Muslims after the five prayers became obligatory. After the Hijra, Sayyidina Jibreel عَــلَيْه السَّـلاَم directed our Prophet *ﷺ* to turn his face from Masjid al-Aqsa (Jerusalem) to the Kaaba (Makkah) during prayer. The mosque in which this incident took place is still called the Qiblatin Mosque. 

*18:* The Holy Prophet *صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم* was brought here from Makkah to Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) before he was taken to heavens on the night of Ascension. 

*19:* All the Prophets عَــلَيْه السَّـلاَم 

prayed here behind our Prophet *ﷺ* Thus, Palestine once again became the land of all the Prophets.

*20:* Sayyidina Abu Dharr *رَضِيَ اللّهُ عَنْهُ* says that I asked the Messenger of *Âllåh (ﷻ)* *صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم* , which was the first mosque built on earth? So he said: Masjid al-Haram (i.e. the Kaaba). I asked which one? (When the mosque was built) he said: Al-Aqsa Mosque (i.e. Bait al-Maqdis). I then asked how much time was there between the two of them? The Prophet *ﷺ* said: “Forty years, and whenever you can, you should pray there” 

*21:* After the departure of the Prophet *ﷺ*, Sayyidina Abu Bakr *رَضِيَ اللّهُ عَنْهُ* dealt with the wars of apostasy and false prophets. Despite the dire need of military resources and manpower to deal with these many battlefronts, it is also an unforgettable fact that the army prepared by the Prophet *ﷺ* was still sent by Abubakr *رَضِيَ اللّهُ عَنْهُ* to liberate the land of Palestine.

*22:* In the golden era of Islam, Sayyidina Umar as Khalifah, leaving aside all the other numerous Muslim conquests around the world, solely for the liberation of Palestine, himself went from Madinah and prayed there, highlighting the importance and greatness of this city.

*23:* The re-conquest of this city by Salahudidn Ayyubi on Friday 27th Rajab 583 Hijri on the night of Mi’raj is also a sign of Allah.

24: The name of Jerusalem is also Bait al-Maqdis and Al Quds due to the sanctity and holiness of this city which distinguishes it from all other cities. More than 5000 Companions of the Prophet sacrificed their lives to acquire this city and save it from the oppression and tyranny of the Christian Romans. And that chapter of martyrdom is not closed until this day. This city of Jerusalem is thus also known as the city of martyrs.

Categories
Dhulm/Oppression

I am Israel

I am Israel – written by Professor Norman Finkelstein.

‘I am Israel. I came to a land without a people for a people without a land. Those people who happened to be here, had no right to be here, and my people showed them they had to leave or die, razing 400 Palestinian villages to the ground, erasing their history.

I am Israel. Some of my people committed massacres and later became Prime Ministers to represent me. In 1948, Menachem Begin was in charge of the unit that slaughtered the inhabitants of Deir Yassin, including 100 women and children. In 1953, Ariel Sharon led the slaughter of the inhabitants of Qibya, and in 1982 arranged for our allies to butcher around 2,000 in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila.

I am Israel. Carved in 1948 out of 78% of the land of Palestine, dispossessing its inhabitants and replacing them with Jews from Europe and other parts of the world. While the natives whose families lived on this land for thousands of years are not allowed to return, Jews from all over the world are welcome to instant citizenship.

I am Israel. In 1967, I swallowed the remaining lands of Palestine – East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza – and placed their inhabitants under an oppressive military rule, controlling and humiliating every aspect of their daily lives. Eventually, they should get the message that they are not welcome to stay, and join the millions of Palestinian refugees in the shanty camps of Lebanon and Jordan.

I am Israel. I have the power to control American policy. My American Israel Public Affairs Committee can make or break any politician of its choosing, and as you see, they all compete to please me. All the forces of the world are powerless against me, including the UN as I have the American veto to block any condemnation of my war crimes. As Sharon so eloquently phrased it, “We control America”.

I am Israel. I influence American mainstream media too, and you will always find the news tailored to my favor. I have invested millions of dollars into PR representation, and CNN, New York Times, and others have been doing an excellent job of promoting my propaganda. Look at other international news sources and you will see the difference.

I am Israel. You Palestinians want to negotiate “peace!?” But you are not as smart as me; I will negotiate, but will only let you have your municipalities while I control your borders, your water, your airspace and anything else of importance. While we “negotiate,” I will swallow your hilltops and fill them with settlements, populated by the most extremist of my extremists, armed to the teeth. These settlements will be connected with roads you cannot use, and you will be imprisoned in your little Bantustans between them, surrounded by checkpoints in every direction.

I am Israel. I have the fourth strongest army in the world, possessing nuclear weapons. How dare your children confront my oppression with stones, don’t you know my soldiers won’t hesitate to blow their heads off? In 17 months, I have killed 900 of you and injured 17,000, mostly civilians, and have the mandate to continue since the international community remains silent. Ignore, as I do, the hundreds of Israeli reserve officers who are now refusing to carry out my control over your lands and people; their voices of conscience will not protect you.

I am Israel. You want freedom? I have bullets, tanks, missiles, Apaches and F-16s to obliterate you. I have placed your towns under siege, confiscated your lands, uprooted your trees, demolished your homes, and you still demand freedom? Don’t you get the message? You will never have peace or freedom, because I am Israel.’

– written by Professor Norman Finkelstein.

Please also read ‘The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine’, by Israeli history professor and activist Ilan Pappé . 

https://youtu.be/vPndQGImVMc?feature=shared

How Palestine Became Occupied – watch the video above

The world has been lied to for 73 years. The Palestinian people are being destroyed before our eyes, and many of those who have been shouting loudly, ‘Never again’, look away.

Categories
Current Affairs articles

The Caravan of al-Rahman – 8 Days in Afghanistan

Alhumdu Lillah, through the sheer blessing and mercy of Allah SWT, I was honoured to be part of a delegation sent by Human Aid & Advocacy to Afghanistan on Wednesday 26th July 2023. This journey was a fact-finding mission to separate the truth from the lies and to distinguish between Western Media Propaganda and the reality of the new government. I have penned down my thoughts and reflections from the journey.

Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires,

The land of the conquerors (that never conquered),

The land of the occupiers (that never occupied),

The land where angels descended to protect these people.

وَإِن تَصْبِرُوا۟ وَتَتَّقُوا۟ لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ كَيْدُهُمْ شَيْـًٔا ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ مُحِيطٌۭ ١٢٠

Yet, if you are patient and mindful of Allah, their schemes will not harm you in the least. Surely Allah is fully aware of what they do.

Afghanistan is a large country, three times the size of the UK, and has a population of 40 million. This is a country that has been at war for the last 30-35 years, against two world superpowers. Afghan people are very brave, and resilient and fear nobody but Allah SWT. One of the reasons they kept fighting the USA is they couldn’t take someone who doesn’t believe in Allāh SWT rule over them. “We would rather die…”

On the first day, we met with Maulvi Amir Khan, every meeting we attended started with a recitation of the Holy Qur’an. One of the questions we asked him was, what are his expectations from the Muslims in the West and particularly British Muslims? Can anyone think of what he requested? Tanks? Weapons? Money? That’s what the media will tell you… He lowered his voice and in a solemn tone he replied with an example, (there were tea cups in front of us), “As you can see the cup in front of you is white tell the world it is white.” That’s all he wanted! I was dumbfounded by the answer… Subhan Allah! They only want people to know the truth about them, the whole truth. In Sha Allah and this is what we intend to do… He further added, what you see here, tell people exactly as it is, the media have destroyed us more than their drones and planes.

Before continuing, one must understand when you live in the West you are constantly bombarded with negative images and comments regarding the Taliban government, the question is why? It’s simply because they want to bring back Shariah in its original and pristine form, they want to implement the Qur’an to the full extent, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. The enemies of Islam can never see this as it means that they would also be under Islamic law.

The best way to destroy all of this is to paint the Taliban with a negative brush, which isn’t something new! Titles and degradation were also faced by the Prophet ﷺ. The Prophet ﷺ was also called a poet, a magician, and a soothsayer, but this didn’t deter him ﷺ from relaying the truth. Today we have the Daily Mail and back then we had Abu Jahl & Co, all eggs of the same basket. This mustn’t weaken us, hold on to your faith.

Our second day, was Friday 28th of July which coincided with Ashoora. About 10% of the population is Shia in Afghanistan and we often get told by the BBC and others that Shia Muslims get attacked by the Taliban often leading to many Shia deaths, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Friday morning we were told that all networks will be down for the duration of the day, which means no WiFi and no mobile coverage. The Taliban government do this on 10th Muharram to prevent any sort of attacks/bombings of which Shias and their masajid are usually the targets.

So if the Taliban didn’t care about Shia Muslims or people of other faiths, why take the network down in the whole of Kabul? Many of you will ask if the Taliban are not bombing the Shia, then who is? There is a large presence of Daaish in Afghanistan and they are usually the perpetrators, but sadly the blame lands on the Taliban. Who is Daaish? Nobody really knows not even the Taliban but they certainly don’t represent Islam.

We prayed Jumuah Salah at the Jaame Masjid Wazir Akbar Khan, we met the Imam, Mawlana Muhammadullah Mohsin he was a young Imam. In our brief chat with Mawlana, we asked him what challenges he faced in Kabul? He replied the youth don’t attend the Masjid nor do they connect with the Ulama. He further added, teenagers, particularly disliked Ulama because of the propaganda of the Americans. Sometimes the occupier leaves, but the people are still mentally occupied. People realise when the occupier leaves who is right and wrong. Just like in India when the British left, but their influence is still there. The good thing is the Afghan people were not influenced as much, as they don’t accept other religions, ideologies, and cultures.

2/3 of Afghanistan’s economy used to come from foreign aid, America has now put sanctions on the country whereby money cannot be transferred to their bank accounts. When we asked the people how they survive? “We are resilient people!”

When America occupied Afghanistan in 2001 they had the whole world with them.  It was like the Arabic saying, “When Banu Tameem is angry with you, you will think all of the people will be angry with you.”

When America came they promised Sharia Law in Afghanistan, they said they love Palestine, etc. One of the first things they did was buy tanks? Weapons? Guns? No! They bought the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan. This caused major rifts between the people, as they didn’t know who was genuine. Local people were offered 1000s of dollars to spy and give information.

We met Shaykh Abdul Matin, an alim, a mawlana, I think the first thing we all picked up was his eloquence. He spoke “Fushaa Arabic”, “Articulate English” and “Tayz Urdu” a master of all languages. He opened the gathering with the following, “Two years ago we cannot imagine a majlis so big, or a gathering like this. Alhumdu Lillah, now we sit together, we are open, we are free, this is the land of all Muslims, not just Afghans.”

He expressed his happiness on meeting us because for 16 years he didn’t speak Arabic, as he didn’t meet anyone, so there was nobody to converse with.

“We thank the brothers who gave their lives for this freedom.”

These brothers had young, beautiful wives, and small, innocent children, but they left all this for the hereafter as they didn’t have an ounce of love for the world. Remember, these soldiers of the Taliban don’t get paid much, they do it for Allah SWT. The Americans do it for money, for dunya. One of the reasons many soldiers suffer PTSD is they realise what they were doing was wrong.

We have forgiven our oppressors, normally after victory people take revenge. But the Prophet ﷺ forgave everyone of the victory of Makkah. We are at the place we are because of our resilience, I remember when the Russian war started in the 90s the Taliban didn’t even have proper meals. We survived on dates, bread, and water, this was our sacrifice and now Allah SWT has opened his doors, Ma Sha Allah!

We also met Abdul Qahhar Balkhi, originally from New Zealand so he spoke English, some quotes from his speech:

“Our pain is one our prosperity is one.”

“We are the supporters of every single nation oppressed.”

“The wounds of the Ummah are one… This dates back to Andalus.”

“We will not allow them to harm others using our territory.”

“We don’t hand over Muslims to others except if we have a treaty… we will follow Islam completely.”

We follow Islam and negotiate as long as, my religious, cultural beliefs, and national interests don’t clash and conflict with these.”

India violates all international law in Kashmir and so does Israel, nobody bats an eyelid.

A question was posed by our delegates, “Why does it seem other Islamic countries are not as successful, in Syria, Gaza etc?

i) Our land is mountainous and surviving in Afghanistan is difficult, other countries are easier to occupy as the land is flat and climate is not difficult

ii) all credit is thanks to our Ameerul-Mumineen. He created unity among all Afghans, he implemented Shariah, He had pure intentions

iii) the problem with the Arab countries is, although their countries are not occupied their mind are occupied. They have sold themselves to the West and completely bow down to America

iv) all our instructions and guidance are under the supervision of ulama, following true ulama is important. We have seen others follow fake shaykhs/pseudo Sufis so they have not been successful. The major factor we have is pious ulama which has led to our unity and success.

Women in Education

“In order to understand a community you must mix with them.”

One must understand for 1400 years Afghan women didn’t leave the house, there was nothing for women because that was the culture.

King Zahir Shah in 1930s started social reforms for women’s education and liberation which was about 100 years ago.

Since 2021, Amirul Mumineen has given orders to open a women’s Madrasah (for Islamic knowledge) other sciences will be taught too. Education is available for boys and girls Year 1 – Year 6. Just in the last two years, we have seen a 22% increase in girls attending madrasah. And girls’ schools are now established in provinces where there were no schools before.

One of our delegates objected saying, we have heard you do not allow women to study medicine.

“This is not true, as medicine was always allowed, we need female doctors.”

Further, he added, “Girls’ education has always been there, however, we disagree with mixed schools, we provide segregated education. As for secular education, we will provide it under our methodology, not the Western methodology.”

Alhumdu Lillah, our delegation visited a girls’ madrasah and widows vocational and educational centre. We saw women and children roaming in the parks, despite the press saying “Taliban bans women from parks!”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/10/taliban-ban-women-from-parks-and-funfairs-in-afghanistan-capital

Allamah Iqbal mentions the importance of Afghanistan by calling it as the heart of Asia in a poem. The following is the poem and its translation:

                              درنهاد ما تب وتاب از دل است        خاک رابيداري وخواب ازدل است

                           تن زمرگ دل ديگر گون مي شود        در مسا ما تش عرق خون مي شود

                                    ازفساد دل بدن هيچ است هيچ         ده بردل بندوجز بر دل مپيچ

                                آسيا يک پيکر آب وگل است        ملّت افغان در آن پيکر دل است

                                         از فساد او فساد آسيا        درگشاد او گشا د آسيا

                              تا دل آزاد است آزاد است تن        ورنه کاهي در رهي باد است تن

                                همچوتن پا بند آين است دل        مرده ازکين زنده ازدين است دل

                             قوّت دين از مقام وحدت است         وحدت ار مشهود گردد ملّت است

Asia is a body of water and clay,

Of which the Afghan nation forms the heart,

The whole of Asia is corrupt,

If the heart is corrupt,

Its decline is the decline of Asia;

Its rise is the rise of Asia,

The body is free only as long as the heart is free,

The heart dies with hatred but lives with faith.

Muhammad Iqbal RH (1877-1938) was a scholar of the Quran, a philosopher, a politician and a poet par excellence.

Saturday 29th July 2023

Today, we went to the Ministry of Justice and we met Mawlana Abdul Hakim, he told us in the war against America, many people, including Ulama said, there is no chance you will win against them… but help came from Allah SWT and all credit is due to him. A few weeks before the fath (victory), Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani Saheb told us, we are shameful we didn’t help you. But soon you will get victory, within 2-3 weeks we took over the country, Alhumdu Lillah!

Banu Israeel were blessed with many blessings but they showed ungratefulness “kufraan”, so Allah SWT took it away. This is one of the reasons few people get the victory because of their ungratefulness.

“We need to show people, show the world, the mercy of Islam and the justice of Islam.” – Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad

وعن النعمان بن بشير رضي الله عنهما قال‏:‏ قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ مثل المؤمنين في توادهم وتراحمهم وتعاطفهم، مثل الجسد إذا اشتكى منه عضو تداعى له سائر الجسد بالسهر والحمى” ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏ 

Nu’man bin Bashir (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

“The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion, and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever”.

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

We then met Muhammad Agah Hakeem, “In 20 years of war we suffered financially, nobody was helping us everyone cut off from us, but Allah SWT helped us! Allah SWT assisted us because He has promised us in the Holy Qur’an if you obey me I will help you. So Allah SWT fulfilled His promise.

The Americans were shocked, “We torture you, give you pain, insult you, but you don’t flinch.” But the Islamic Emirate was not cheap, we gave our lives, our limbs, our blood, and our time, we thank our shuhadaa.

Dear youth, I would like to mention at this point, value your time and value your youth by doing something for Islam. Become closer to Allah SWT and spend time in the masjid praying Salah, reading Qur’an and gaining knowledge.

We asked about Baghram prison, “We used to pray Salah looking at the sun, we were not allowed to congregate for Jumuah, and we were not allowed medicine unless we were extremely ill/dying.”

What helped you in jail and what motivated you? “The cause you are in jail for, the deen, Allah SWT, the Emirate, is what motivates you.”

There were many difficulties with spirituality in prison, the food was bitter and there was a lot of noise and banging. Every single movement was monitored and with a slight noise or movement, the guards would come and strip the prisoners. Baghram was similar to Guantanamo, with one toilet to 100+ prisoners and one of the worst things was the toilets had no door and walls, just cages… Modesty is part of faith.

In Baghram the Americans tortured us then the Afghans tortured us with pipes, electric shock, and bottles up the back passage. They would often say, “Bring your god to help you.” The fans would blow cold air in winter and hot air in summer, they often put blindfolds on us and headphones and then took us for interrogation.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/22/life-in-bagram-through-the-eyes-of-former-prisoners#:~:text=The%20facility%20located%20within%20the,of%20Afghanistan%20on%20August%2015.

We also spoke about the sad plight of Aafia Siddiqui (Allah hasten her release), they were very sad they could not help her and mentioned her sister had been granted a visit to see her.

Aafia Siddiqui: A case of lies and inconsistencies report

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ ٱلْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ ۗ وَلَوْ ءَامَنَ أَهْلُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًۭا لَّهُم ۚ مِّنْهُمُ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ ٱلْفَـٰسِقُونَ ١١٠

You are the best community ever raised for humanity—you encourage good, forbid evil, and believe in Allah. Had the People of the Book believed, it would have been better for them. Some of them are faithful, but most are rebellious (3:110).

Sunday 30th July 2023

We met Mawlana Khaleel Saheb who runs the “Ministry of Amr Bilmaroof and Nahee Anil Munkar” (enjoining good and forbidding evil).

He started the gathering by telling us about the work they do in this unique ministry (previously Saudi Arabia also had such a ministry, which recently closed down). He mentioned that over 4 million people were drug addicts for the last twenty years. We are now helping these people with rehabilitation services and getting them into employment so they can stand on their own two feet. Many are hafidhul Quran and alims, we send them to the madrasah to teach, we want to make people productive and work for their country.

مَنْ غَشَّ فَلَيْسَ مِنِّي ‏

He who deceives is not of me (is not my follower)

(Saheeh Muslim).

In the markets there was a lot of deception, for example, there was gold of a less grade selling for a higher price. So the Taliban turned the gold to liquid and sold it for the correct rates and now export to other countries. It is now wedding season, previously weddings had music, dancing, free-mixing, no hijab, and alcohol. When we received complaints, we spoke to the hotel owners and they were saying it is not our responsibility. We reminded them it is a collective responsibility. Hence we called all hotel/restaurant owners and requested they make the rules, so they did. Now, they have no alcohol, no music, segregated events, and all weddings following shariah. We had 150 wedding halls, now 188 so numbers have increased which shows people like the new rulings.

In the previous twenty years, we saw men force relationships with women, brothers were taking the rights of sisters in inheritance. If a man killed another, they would go to the killer’s family and say give me your sister because you killed our brother! In mahr/dowry, the bride was not getting the money, her father or brother would steal it. We stopped all this injustice, Alhumdu Lillah!

To be continued….

وعن النعمان بن بشير رضي الله عنهما قال‏:‏ قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ مثل المؤمنين في توادهم وتراحمهم وتعاطفهم، مثل الجسد إذا اشتكى منه عضو تداعى له سائر الجسد بالسهر والحمى” ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏ 

Sufyan bin ‘Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I said, “O Messenger of Allah, tell me something of Islam which I will not ask anyone else about it.” He (ﷺ) said, “Say, ‘I believe in Allah’ and then be steadfast”.

[Muslim].

 This is the Dua we make for our brothers, Allah has given them victory, now stay steadfast.

Ismail ibn Nazir Satia (one who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure).

17th Muharram 1445

Categories
Shaykh Saleem Dhorat

Short and Beneficial Advice for Students Sitting Exams

Short and Beneficial Advice for Students Sitting Exams

By Shaykhul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat dāmat barakātuhum

1. Work hard to achieve the highest possible grades. You will not be able to reach great heights without putting effort into your studies.

2. Manage your time appropriately by making a timetable and a revision plan. Adequate time should be allocated for exam preparation and also for resting and eating, as the mind is not able to function efficiently without sufficient rest and food.

3. Whilst acknowledging that your efforts and preparations alone cannot guarantee success without the Help of Allāh ta‘ālā, turn to Him with utmost humility. Make du‘ā yourself and request your parents, the ‘Ulamā and pious to make du‘ā for you too.

4. Repent and abstain from every disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā. This is the most important advice as any sort of disobedience will incur the Displeasure of Allāh ta‘ālā and close the doors of His Help.

5. Recite Sūrah Yāsīn in the morning of the exam. It has been narrated that Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘Whoever recites Sūrah Yāsīn in the morning, his needs will be fulfilled.’ (Sunanud-Dārimī)

6. Perform two raka‘āt of salāh before leaving for the exam. Allāh ta‘ālā says, ‘Seek help with salāh and patience.’ (2:45)

7. Give sadaqah (charity) according to your capacity, even it is as little as 10p, 20p or 50p.

8. Whenever the examinations make you worry, recite the following:

 يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِيْنَ، يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّوْمُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَسْتَغِيْثُ،

 حَسْبُنَا اللهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيْلُ 

O The Most-Merciful of the merciful! O the Ever-Living! O the Sustainer (of all)! Only through Your Mercy do I seek help. Allāh is sufficient for us and He is the best one in Whom to trust.

9. Begin the exam paper with bismillāh and salāt ‘alan-Nabī. If you get stuck on any question during the exam, then before giving more thought to the question, recite two or three times a short formula of salāt ‘alan-Nabī such as sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam or Allāhumma salli ‘alā Muhammad. Salāt ‘alan-Nabī creates ease and provides a solution for every problem.

10. Show gratitude to Allāh ta‘ālā for whatever you were able to write by performing two raka’āt after the exam.

11. If the exam does not go as well as you desired, then do not become despondent. Remain content with the Decree of Allāh ta‘ālā regarding your exam results and remember that He is the Most-Wise. Inshā’allāh, your efforts along with your obedience to Allāh ta‘ālā will, sooner or later, bring success.

I pray that Allāh grant all the students barakah in their studies, success in their examinations and make them true ambassadors of Islam. Āmīn.