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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Actions and Belief

Good actions will lead you to paradise but not put you in. Correct belief will put you in paradise without leading you there.

Wrong actions will lead you to hell without putting you in there. Wrong belief will place you in hell without leading you there.

So correct your beliefs and your actions then remain in hope from a merciful Lord.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Advice for a teacher

Chapter Seventeen

The teacher must be aware of the area that he is in. If he is not from that area then he must study the area, the people and the circumstances. He must know what he could face and he must know what people are doing and try to figure out a way to reach them.

The teacher must not be proud or boastful this will prevent people taking knowledge from him and this will confirm what people think of some teachers. That they are not able to relate to the people because they are arrogant.

As a teacher of Islam a person must be aware that he is there to serve other people not there to serve himself. He has to be ready to speak to people and serve them without them finding him difficult to approach. So be easy to approach and do not be hasty to judge.

The teacher must make time for other people and be prepared to sacrifice his own time for other people. They must realise that they are servant for the people and they have to do their bestfor them.

They must also be aware they will recieve harm from those people who are the most ignorant. They are the ones who have sat in your lectures and not heeded then gone against you on a matter that is minor.

Know that you may not be able answer every question and that you may need to check things up. Never be afriad to say that you do not know, as even this can help a student, sometimes.

Being a teacher, in this time, you will be aware of the sins of people more than the good sometimes you have to be aware of this. Note that people do not value Islamic knowledge anymore and some even belittle knowledge!! So any teacher in this time knows that they are belittled by people who want progress without understanding things correctly so they may want to finish a book without understanding it.

You may have students who are lazy so be prepared to work hard to get them up to scratch and do not turn any student away.

Many teachers are not paid well nor do they recieve the benefits that other professions recieve, even though they deserve more.

A teacher is someone who corrects, changes and puts things right but in many ways people are happy being in darkness and it is too difficult to wake them up.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Some points of Aqida/Doctrine/Theology

This is a response to a request made by a brother a few months ago.

I was recently in a debate with someone who I had met, about Aqida/Islamic belief/Islamic theology. The fruits of that debate were bitter and it left me with a taste that I did not like.

It seems that this is the debate of this century, to argue about positions of belief. It does not matter what position someone will disagree with someone else about it. We are not talking about scholars here we are talking about the average person who has read a few books and thinks he knows the subject well.

Basic belief is easy to get your head around and it does not take that much time to understand. Read the Hadith Gibril and this explains the basics of faith. As for the remainder, these are issues that are the branches of faith and not the source. To reject the source, a Muslim leaves faith but to reject the branch; a Muslim can become an innovator. But it is these details that people seem to disagree upon the most.

The major thing that we must all know is that we are not scholars and therefore we are not the ones who should be sat around debating whether you agree with the Maturdi or Ashari schools. Your job, as an average person, is to follow one of the sound schools of relied upon belief; the Ahl As-Sunna wa Jamma’; namely, the Ashari, Maturdi or Athari schools.

Your job is not to think about which school is correct and not to declare that I agree with this position and not that. When you have not studied the reasons for what they are stating.

Muslims seem to get bogged down with all the information then become confused. Or even worse still they “think” they understand; when they clearly do not. The person, who I was speaking to, told me opinions that were held by one school which were not of that school but were of another. I could see that he had become mixed up because he was trying to understand all the schools. You will get so mixed up that you will not know what you are following.

The Tahawiyyain doctrine/Aqida Tahawiyya is a great basic text that does not delve into these issues but even that some people have a problem with. This was the teaching of Imam Abu Hanifa (may Allah show him mercy) which was dictated to from student to student until it reached Imam Tahawi who recorded it. If this is all you study then it is sufficient for you. Imam Abu Hanifa states in Fiqh Al-Akbar; if a person has a question in belief he should find a scholar and get the answer.

One of our problems is that we have people who have no qualifications to speak about Islam or doctrine, yet give out legal verdicts that Muslims are disbelievers because of this or that issue. Only a Qadi/Islamic Judge can decide who is a disbeliever. What happens now is that some of us listen to unqualified people and repeat what they say. We call each other disbelievers on a whim! Don’t we think that something is going wrong here?

How can the religion that supersedes all other traditions have so many people calling each other disbelievers! When we call each other disbelievers we mean anyone who does not believe in the ethos of our group. In other words that person does not believe in our group and therefore he is a disbeliever. This conclusion is a wrong one and not yours to make.

Where we have a focus on the correct belief, in some groups, we have an abandonment of righteous actions, almost. We need both the correct belief and righteous action which is the best mixture.

As bad actions will lead a person to the hellfire and bad belief will put someone into the hellfire. Good actions will lead a person to the garden and good actions will put someone into the garden.

So do not waste your time debating about issues of belief this is not your job nor are you taxed to do this nor should you attempt to do this. Aqida Tahawiyya separates Muslims into two parts: one is the Ahl As-Sunna and the other is the Ahl Qibla. So as long as we do not reject the foundation or the sources of belief we are still Muslim.

Rant over!!

Here are some quotes to back up my argument!

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Reflect upon creation of Allah, do not reflect on Allah."

Abu Naeem Al-Hilya

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Reflect on the favors of God, do not reflect on His Essence, for you will never be able to give Him His due."

Imam Al-Bayhaqi in Shu'ab Al-Imam (120)

Someone asked our master Ali (may Allah ennoble his face), "Dear cousin of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) where is our Lord? Or is he in a place?" His face changed and he remained silent for a moment.

Then he said, "You are saying where is Allah? questioning about place? Allah was before there was place, then he created time and place. He is now, as he was, before time and place." Meaning, Allah was and nothing besides, he is now as he was, so understand.

(Ibn Ajiba in Miraj at-tshwafa Haqiaq at-Tassawaf p.55)

When Imam Shafi delivered his first speech about “The Treatise” he said, “All praise is for Allah, who is as he described himself, beyond how creation describe him.” Then he explained (may Allah show him mercy), “Allah is described, as he described himself, in his book and upon the tongue of his Prophet peace and blessings of God be upon him.”

Likewise, Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal said, “There is no description of Allah except as he described himself or as his Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did."