Travelers on the Path of Knowledge

Knowledge is an ocean and a few drops just aren’t enough. -Unknown

Virtues of Knowledge: Educating Ourselves as Muslims March 31, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — musaafir @ 5:10 pm

“Whoever seeks a way to acquire knowledge, Allah will make easy his way to Paradise.” (Sahih Muslim)
“Verily the men of knowledge are the inheritors of prophets.” (Abu Dawud)

Speakers: Nouman Ali Khan, Mohamed Magid, and Zainab Alwani

Nouman Ali Khan:

Knowledge is disappearing. Each generation learns less and passes on less. If you are a seeker of knowledge then become a student or a teacher. That is what the Prophet* commanded.

  • memorization

The first step is memorization. Start memorizing ayat of the Qur’aan and different Hadiths. Today, we put our Islam in the hands of others. Study Arabic because things are lost in translation and therefore we are not using a primary source, we are using a secondary source. ALL of the Islamic sciences rely on Arabic.
Listening to speeches is not serious study. Lecturs are fun for many. Whenever the fun stops, we stop. This should not be the case. Imam Shafi said that it is incumbent upon Muslims to study Arabic. Umar* said that we should learn Arabic because it is from our deen. He also said that no one should teach Qur’aan unless they know Arabic.

  • Qur’aan
    1) academic pre-requisite: usul-al-tafseer
    2) internal pre-requisite:
    a) intention- must be for guidance
    b) commitment of making decisions according to the Qur’aan.
    c) it should be our highest priority
    d) the Qur’aan is beyond criticism (in the sense that you shouldn’t be reading it to criticize it, but rather to learn it… ties into point a)
    3) resolve to change according to the Qur’aan- struggle against the inner self (jihad-an-nafs) is considered the greatest struggle

    Blessings are a secondary benefit of the Qur’aan. The primary function is guidance.

Internally reflect upon the Qur’aan. The Sahabah studied for many years because they’d study 10 ayat, implement what was learned until the act became second nature and then move on. We should try our hardest to implement the Qur’aan into our lives. It is our map.

This was my last bit of notes on EZ… Sorry this last post is more incoherent than the others.

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Every Soul Shall Taste Death

Filed under: Uncategorized — musaafir @ 4:59 pm

Speaker: Nouman Ali Khan

One of the problems with making analogies to the hellfire today is that we’re overexposed to the media. We’ve been desensitized so the images aren’t as terrifying to us and we’re not touched. A way to cure this is to cut down our media intake and benefit from dhikr.

In today’s society, humility is frowned upon. A humble person seems to indicate a lack of self-confidence. Yet, we need to constantly humble ourselves and remember Allah.

We should take small steps. For instance, the Qur’aan was revealed first by describing heaven, then hell, then halal and haram. There was a easing into the deen. Sometimes we are overzealous, take our deen too fast and then fall out of it.

If we are already indulged in material desires, then our dhikr is superficial and not touching our hearts. Often we’ll do things and say well, it is halal. That term seems to be our scapegoat. Just because something is halal does NOT mean it is recommended. There is a difference between utlizing the dunya and loving it.

Out energy comes from our salat. It is a necessity for us to have khushoo in our prayer. If it is superficial that what is learned is lost and not reinforced. We should use salat as a reminder, not simply a ritual. We must also constantly remind ourselves of the aakhirah. The thought in our minds should be ubiquitous so that we may focus on our goals.

 

Cartoons March 25, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — musaafir @ 5:25 pm

Sad, inshAllah one day there WILL be peace in the Middle East. Arabs and Israelis are both Semites and have sooo many other similarities. Above all, neither’s religion teaches hate. So get along (if only it were that easy).

I thought this was particularly important. We as a community need to speak out against these crazies who get media attention.

 

Reviving the Forgotten Sunnah: Awakening the Soul

Filed under: Uncategorized — musaafir @ 4:23 pm
“And Muhammad* is no more than an apostle; the apostles have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means do harm to Allah in the least and Allah will reward the grateful.” (3:144) Speakers: Nouman Ali Khan, Hisham Mahmoud and Altaf Hussain

Nouman Ali Khan:

Topic: Consistency

One extreme loves the personality too much, and the other says to go to books, not the Sunnah. At the end of the day, taqlid is done with wisdom. Allah does say to ask those of knowledge if you know not. Especially because the ones against taqlid and listening to the rulings of scholars are doing taqlid themselves. Books are by people( scholarly works, Hadith books, Qur’aan tafseers). Yes, no one is free of flaws, but we tend to look at the flaws more than the good that the people are doing (There can be a mountain of good someone does, but we’ll ingore it for the one bad thing they did). We can disagree with these people, but we must do so with respect. Only the Qur’aan (and no not the translations of it) is protected from error, but we have to rely on scholars as well. We’ve lowered the bar because we’re not the Sahabah (we can’t do all the things they did), but this should strengthen us. They should be our examples because the Prophet* was their example. Nothing is as devastating and will hurt more than death, we need to be prepared and be consistent in our works.

Hisham Mahmoud:

Topic: Character

Before talking about Hadith, Imam Malik would shower, burn incense, wear nice clothes, etc. etc. He revered the Prophet* to that extent (He also walked barefoot in Medina because he didn’t want to put his shoes where at one time the Prophet* might have walked). The Prophet’s* example should heal us and our heart’s diseases. Can we love the Prophet* without knowing him? Of course not. We can summarize his life like an encyclopedia article, but that does not mean we know him. It doesn’t mean we have learned ANYTHING meaningful. We should read the Seerah of the Prophet*. Did Allah only love the Prophet* because he ate with his right hand (or some other small Sunnah)? No, it was because of the Prophet’s* character. Everything else came later. If someone cursed the Prophet*, he* would turn it into a prayer for him. Do we do that? Of course not. Isa* (Jesus) once said that a man can only spend from what he owns. If goodness is all you have, that’s all you can give. Just because we do the small Sunnahs doesn’t mean we’ve reached our goal. The Prophet* was protected from sin, yet EVERYDAY he would say istigfaar (repentance) SEVENTY times a day! He* is a mirror for us.

Altaf Hussain:

Topic: Concern

We should love the Prophet*, but not as much as to raise him to the status of God. That would be committing shirk. The Prophet* is not the one who guides, God guides.

We take for granted everyday that we will be here, but we have no guarantee. We don’t have a contract with God telling us when we will die. We should try and save ourselves and our families from hellfire. Once the Prophet* said “If you knew what I know, you would laugh less and cry more.” Look at the situation we’re in! Allah does not raise a people unless they change themselves. Open any newspaper and you’ll see headlines of Muslims doing x, y and z. Things that would have been inconceivable at the time of the Prophet*. This is the man that united the whole Arabian peninsula without the means we have. And we’ve tarnished the name of Islam. We’ve let extremists show the world who the Muslims are when they are not representative of us. The port deal wasn’t pushed because of the fear of Muslims. But SIXTY PERCENT of ports are ALREADY owned by foreigners and there was no objection. The company that was actually an originally British company was turned down even though it meant immense financial gain for the U.S. We need to work to preserve the name of Islam.

We should not go home unchanged because we are accountable for what we learn. Why are we so concerned if the imam goes on a bit too long for the khutbah?? We should learn from the khutbah and not be impatient.
We should show concern for humanity. The Prophet* was not a guide for Muslims, he was sent as a mercy to mankind. How many lives have we touched or reached out to? Things like this will count of the Day of Judgment, not our material desires. We should be charitable to society, not just Muslims because this is our duty and the reward comes back to us. Aisha* used to perfume the charity she gave so that when it reached Allah, it would smell sweet. We are the Ummah of the Prophet* and we need to start acting like it in our actions.

 

The Guiding Light: The Prophet* and His Companions

Filed under: Uncategorized — musaafir @ 10:21 am

Abu Darda (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah* said, “The supplication of a Muslim for his (Muslim) brother in his absence will certainly be answered. Every time he makes a supplication for good for hid brother, the angel for this particular task says: ‘Ameen! May it be for you, too.'” (Sahih Muslim).

Speaker: Nouman Ali Khan

The relationship between the Prophet* and the Sahabah is a very different and special kind of relationship…

When the Prophet* brought his message of one God, the Arabs opposed his message. Having only one God was acceptable (since they pretty much focused on only praying to one idol), but actually having to obey this God? That was a preposterous idea! It is very hard to break traditions and habits. Even today, there are traditions some Muslims follow that are unIslamic. To embrace Islam and the oneness of God, you whole world changes. Islam is not simply a religion, it is a way of life.

When one embraces Islam with enthusiasm, Shaytan hits that person harder. He wants to cause fitna between the groups you join for good reasons. He wants to break your spirit and bring you back to disobedience.

Amongst the believers, there are also hypocrites. Even in the time of the Prophet*, when the people were so effected by the message that they were purer, there were hypocrites. The best way to deal with people like this is not to call them out. They are analogous to the rotten kids in a classroom that sit in the back. The teacher will come and separate the “bad” kids and seat them next to the “good” ones. We should also spread out so the “troublemakers” won’t be alone and so that maybe Allah will soften their hearts when they are surrounded with people aware of Him.

Also, if you’re going to get involved in things, don’t be half-hearted. Be serious! It is a sign of the hypocrites that they wouldn’t commit themselves fully.

If the president of the MSA comes to you and is disappointed and may come off as harsh remember that the harshness of a leader comes out of frustration. But it works two ways, the leader must also be loving and forgiving. Anyhow, if you are hurt by the president or ANY OTHER PERSON, the Prophet* commanded that you:
1. First, forgive them in your heart.
2. Second, make duaa for them in front of and to Allah.
3. Then consult them in matters of decision so that they’ll know that there is no more tension.

The Prophet* would receive ayat from Allah, when a companion felt that the Prophet* might be harboring an ill feeling towards him. Once, the Prophet* frowned, and ayat came down telling the Prophet* to be better (even though he was never harsh). Today, we go much much farther than a frown in our relationships. That’s why we should be good in all of our relationships.

The Companions of the Prophet* are his vehicle with which he spread Islam. If you think about it, we are all Muslim today because of the Sahabah (and ultimately, Allah’s will).

We should also immerse ourselves in the study of our deen. The people who dedicate their lives in deen are the ones who enlighten people and make change. Our relationships amongst each other must and should be strong or else we fail as an Ummah.

 

“Divide you Not”: Transforming Divisions into Decisions March 23, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — musaafir @ 11:01 am

“And hold fast, all together, by the rope which God (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves…for you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, you became brethren…That you may be guided.” (3:103)

Speakers: Mohamed Magid, Mohamed Sheibani, Ahmed Sidky, and Asma Mirza

Mohamed Magid:

(He asked us to shake hands with the person next to us and introduce ourselves) Just by shaking hands, you don’t know one another. It takes more effort than that.

The Sahabah* said salaam to every person they came across and if a pillar were to divide them from that person, they would repeat their salaam. What we have to learn from that is the necessity for us to be united and get to know other people.

Good friends are like a strong rope. When you are in trouble or are lacking iman, they will pull you up. You should join together with those of good character to do good.

The other speakers spoke about MSAs and how we have so many colleges and universities lacking MSAs and that we need to network and connect with one another. We should tell each other about our events, host events together, fund raise together, etc.

 

Skills for a Successful MSA: Gender Interactions on Campus

Filed under: Uncategorized — musaafir @ 10:57 am

Back to EZ:

Speaker: Omaira Alam

Okay, so I left the other session to attend this. And I got something really simple out of it.

Gender interactions should be PLP:
Purposeful
Limited
Public

And with regards to MSA—
Encourage everyone; Discourage no one.