Posts By :

Shaykh Faheem

Harvard X – Dissertation

Harvard X – Dissertation 1245 1247 Shaykh Faheem

Abstract – The following is the dissertation by Shaykh Faheem for his speech requirement on Harvard University’s online program titled,  “Rhetoric – The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking”. Students were given the choice to write on any topical matter and Shaykh Faheem seized the opportunity to present his peers the highly propagandized matter of “Islāmophobia” from the perspective of the double standards of western academia in their ostracizing of the historic contributions of Muslims and the choice to bombard the populace regarding only the negative actions of an extremist few, in order to demonize the world of Islām as terrorists walking amidst you.  

Islamophobia – The Illogical Fear of Islam and Muslims

By Shaykh Faheem

“Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hate, and hate leads to violence. This is the equation”

(Ibn Rushd)

     “I greet you with the universal greeting of peace as promoted by Islam, which is a religion of peace. As a Muslim with fond memories growing up amidst many non-Muslim friends, I find it bizarre that the notion of Islamophobia exists at a time when the world is witnessing the zenith of human accomplishment. Disgruntled by the incogitant views of many, I sometimes wonder as to what form of wizardry has conjured up this convenient yet acute forgettery of the historical record that has veiled the view of the intellectuals of this age? Islamophobia is not new! In fact, in 2011 studies revealed that 52% of Americans and 48% of Canadians felt that the West does not respect Muslim societies.

    The media will be held accountable someday, maybe, when people of truth sit on the seat of power, but until then, we must endure this preposterous propaganda that promotes the false philosophy that since many terrorists are Muslims, that all Muslims are terrorists. And so, begins the fear, the phobia of approximately 1,8 billion Muslims, better known today as “Islamophobia”.

 Could it perhaps be the prevalence of an ignorant system? Or a system of ignorance prevailing? Or could it be as a corollary of the systematic removal of the contributions of Islam and Muslims over the ages from the minds albeit with a falcon-like focus featuring only events of recent history by isolated individuals who exhibit their brand of radical Islam? We can argue the possibilities, but unless the forgotten contributions are recognized henceforth, Muslims, in general, will continue to be persecuted for the specific wrongs of a few wayward souls instead of being honored for the immense industry of its historic majority. 

     I hereby remind the world of the wonders which Islam and its adherents have contributed to this amazing age, and that forgettery cannot erase the marks in history made by men of acumen!

     I appeal now to your senses, and further to the eyes of your hearts, to see beyond the veils of vilification instituted by evil-doers whose vile discriminatory agenda is nothing new to the pages of history. This Islamophobia industry operates like a well-oiled machine that shows no signs slowing down in fulfilling its demonic objective.

     When will the objective minds break free from the manacles of this subjective thought? When will they step up, by stepping in, to quell the false notions perpetuated by this irrational fear with an intellectual defense as opposed to an aggressive offense?

     Let us come to our senses now! Where are the scientists? Did they forget that the scientific method which they proudly cite in their circles, was introduced to the world by the famous Muslim scholar Ibn Al-Haytham, Latinized as Alhazen? You see, when you “Latinize” and fail to remind people of the origin of the scholar, they ‘forget’. It was this very Muslim scholar who is widely regarded as the ‘father of optics’ yet many people who wear glasses fail to ‘see’ this.

     Let us come to our senses now! So many of us have survived the operating table after being cut by the surgical precision of the scalpel, yet we have no clue that the scalpel originated with a Muslim scholar named Qāsim Al-Zahrāwī? So let us cut-out the shenanigans, the lies, and follow to operate based on the prevalence of truth, and not by these fallacies forged in falsehoods.

     Let us come to our senses now!! All students should be asking their teachers about the origins of Algebra? ‘Al-Jab-ra’ that’s Arabic! We remind them that it was a Muslim scholar who developed the subject from his book “Hisāb Al-Jabr Wal Muqābalah” (The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing), and not only did he bring Algebra to the world, but he is known as the ‘grandfather of computer science’ because of his theories on algorithms, and for this, he was Latinized as “Algorithmi’, but let me illuminate today that his Muslim name was “Al-Khawārizmī”. Without his contribution, we can question whether the existence of computers or the internet would have been possible? We could take it a step further and deduce that there would not be selfies to upload social media, even though many utilize these mechanisms to vilify Islam!

    The only way to free the mind from this matrix of madness, this blatantly biased, this illogical intoxicant, this irrational Islamophobia, is to drink from the elixir of untainted education.

     Let us come to our senses now! Not by acts of aggression against this preposterous propagation, but by an intellectual injection to immunize all against the ignorance perpetuated by the hateful rhetoric of Islamophobia!

Those who know more, object less!

Those who know less, object more!

Shaykh Faheem

Co-Founder and Head of Da’wah, Media, Publications and Education Departments of the Islāmic Lifestyle Solutions

Why Argue Islāmic Matters When You Can Walk Away?

Why Argue Islāmic Matters When You Can Walk Away? 1500 1000 Shaykh Faheem

Advice to the Muslim Ummah on How to Assess the Relevance or Irrelevance of an Islāmic Argument

By Shaykh Faheem of the Islamic Lifestyle Solutions

Ignorance leads to confusion. Confusion leads to conflict. Conflict leads to argumentation. Argumentation leads to disunity. Disunity leads to destruction.

       Scenario – As the family gathered for their usual Friday evening supper, there was bound to be an argument on the table. Not because my family is argumentative, but because my family is “Islāmic”, and so Islāmic matters are discussed and debated every time the family meets for a meal. Just as these thoughts ran through young Ahmad’s mind, Uncle Ya’qūb asked, “Did you hear about the debate going on in Pakistan and India regarding the….” and immediately the opinions began flying like stray bullets in a gunfight between blind men. Each one firing their views by arguing, “Well I think that…”, and “I am no Ālim, but I think this…”, and “You don’t know what you are talking about!” etc.

To prove their point, each one begins to pull out a post from the internet, from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. “Look, this is what certain Ālim said in Pakistan and this is what that Ālim said in India”. Seeing as though each one was insistent on their stance, things escalated fast. “You don’t know what you are talking about! Catch a wake-up!” said one of the uncles in a heightened tone as the youngsters on the table looked skeptically at each other. “Lakum Dīnukum Wa liya Dīn (for you is your religion, and for me is my religion) uttered the frustrated uncle. And so, another Friday family supper spoiled due to an argument about something happening in another country! At that moment, the young cousin, Ashraf, who was always fashionably late, walked into the silent awkwardness and proceeded to whisperingly ask his fellow cousins about the reason for everyone’s stressed-out expressions? He was told that everyone is upset because of their dispute regarding some person in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who passed away all those years ago, and now they are arguing whether he is a Muslim or not? “Really? For that reason, they are all angry and not talking? About something which occurred 1400 years ago? About something that isn’t part of belief? So why are they arguing and disuniting over it?” asked Ashraf in utter sarcastic disbelief. –End scenario.

The above is a typical example of how so many adults in Muslim homes are setting a dangerous precedent for the youth by arguing over matters which are not prerequisites of the religion of Islām, and in some cases, forcing their views upon the youth at home.

This essay will briefly discuss how one needs to assess whether the matter of discussion is one which even requires argumentation at all, or should be left alone. Ignorance on the method to assess whether or not a point is to be argued or not forms the basis of unwarranted argumentation between Muslims on Facebook etc. as this growing “sickness” in our community is spreading faster than any contagion or pandemic out there. The essay will cover the following;

  1. How to distinguish between necessary argumentation and unnecessary argumentation?
  2. Am I responding based on emotion or intellect?
  3. How to deal with necessary argumentation?
  4. How to deal with unnecessary argumentation?
  5. The etiquette of arguing?

Seeing as though this article is not a scholarly endeavour, but a means to help individual Muslims overcome these issues, the explanations will be as succinct as possible, free from terminology where possible.

How to Distinguish between Necessary Argumentation and Avoidable Argumentation?

    The majority of the time, Muslims are debating one another on matters which are not even necessary for debate, and in the heat of these secondary or subsidiary matters, they call on each other with slogans of nifāq (hypocrisy), shirk (polytheism), and kufr (disbelief). This is a “killer mistake” on their part and one which is in dire need of correction. So how does one discern when an argument is necessary or not?

    The first thing one needs to consider when debates or discussions are ensuing is, “are these discussions or debates from the essentials of Islām or not?” and more often than not, Muslims are unaware of this basic information regarding the essentials of the religion pertaining to belief, hence the position is to differ and become angered based on the assumption that the matter is one of “primary” concern when in reality it is more than likely to be an issue of historical difference rather in Islāmic debate. This will be clarified towards the end of the essay dealing with the etiquette of disagreement.

To alleviate a huge portion of the problem, one must know the essentials of the religion. They can be recollected by the famous 7th Kalimah which reads,

“I believe in, 1) Allāh, 2) His angels, 3) His books, 4) His Messengers, 5) on the Last Day (of judgment), 6) Good and bad is by His decree, 7) Life after Death.”

     According to the aqīdah (creed) of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’āh, the above constitutes the Dharūriyātud Dīn essential belief for a Muslim. If a person believes in the aforesaid matters, then such a person is classified as a believer (Mu’min). Thus, they form the “primary” matters of being a Muslim and all other unrelated debated matters are considered “secondary” or “subsidiary”.

      Once this information is recognized and understood, then the Muslim should consider whether any current matter of debate is directly related to the above matters of belief, or is it a matter of historical difference? Is it a matter of differences of opinion by scholars or fiqh, or hadīth or commentary of the Qur’ān? Or is the matter of discussion an “opinion” of a companion (sahābī) or the “opinion” of a pious sage or famous scholar? Once all of these ‘checks’ have been carried out, and the matter proves to be one which is not a debate concerning these essentials, then the ‘intellectually mature’ thing to do, is to “walk away” from these “unnecessary” debates.

     An example of needlessly debated issues can be seen by the example of say, the death of a person in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). One group may say, “He died as a believer!” and the other may say “There is insufficient evidence for his death on Islām!” and so, two groups of people will spend hours or even days preparing to “defeat” their “Muslim” or “Sunnī” opponents on this matter. However, in reality, a smart Muslim will first ask,

  1. Is the faith or disbelief of the debated person part of what I am obligated to believe in as a Muslim?
  2. Does my belief in this matter make me a better Muslim?

     Of course not! Why? Because this debate is not part of “essential” belief for Sunnī Muslims, yet uneducated and ignorant Sunnīs will excommunicate (call another a disbeliever) and alienate their own Sunnī Muslims based on a matter which the Allāh (SWT) and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not command belief in! If there is no explicit text in the Qur’ān commanding belief on a matter, then the “Islāmic” thing to do is to not convert that “secondary” matter into a “primary” of belief in Islām.

      Another example expressing the diabolical levels of ignorance within Muslim communities is the “importing of international disputes” to our land. Just because the people of another country are debating a matter (which most of the time is not part of the essential beliefs), that does not obligate anyone locally to get involved in those disputes. It does not matter how much of love and affiliation we have for those people of organizations overseas, if the matter is causing unrest, disputation, disunity and leading to each of the proponents calling on one another with slogans of kufr, etc. then why on earth would someone wish for the same to occur in your homeland?

The concept of disunity is highly abhorred in Islām as the Qur’ān clarifies,

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا لَسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ ۚ إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُمْ إِلَى اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ

“Surely they who divided their religion into parts and became sects, you have no concern with them; their affair is only with Allāh, then He will inform them of what they did.”

(Sūrah Al-An’ām, 6:159)

Commentating on the above verse, “Sayyidunā Abdullāh Ibn Abbās (ra) mentioned regarding this verse that Allāh (SWT) commanded the believers to remain steadfast with the congregation (majority), and he stopped them from disputation and division, and He (peace be upon him) informed (the believers) of the previous nations and their differing on religion as a corollary (of that division) they were destroyed.”

(The Beginning of the End – An Eschatological Endeavour to Unravel the Mysteries of the Modern Age, Islām and the Prevalence of Sectarian Strife with reference to Tafsīr Ibn Abī Hātim, Volume 5, Page 1430, Published by, Maktabah Nazār Mustafa, Makkah)

Even though there is much detestation against disputation, many Muslims (who are uneducated on the essentials of Islām) continue to import their overseas debates and cause local strife. Yes, if the matter was part of the essentials of belief, then it would necessitate the local “scholars” (and not the local keyboard warriors) to educate the Ummah on the matter. However, “majority” of these overseas debates have nothing to do with the necessities of belief according to the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamā’ah yet these matters are being vociferously promoted, and local Muslims are being consequently drawn into these divisive debates which cause unnecessary dispute and disunity.

    The inability to discern between the essential or necessary matters of debate stands to prove the prevalence of ignorance on the part of those promoting such argumentation. Thus, knowledge of the basics of Islām will grant us the ability to be free from the manacles of ignorance in this regard!

    Contrarily, an example of a necessary matter of debate or discussion for the sake of argumentation may be viewed in the case whereby a person claims that since the Prophet Muhammad k married Sayyidah Ā’ishah (ra), that he is a paedophile! Or that God Almighty is humanized, or questioning the existence of God, or that the Qur’ān is not the book of God, or if someone begins an atheistic inclination stating that they disbelieve in the hereafter. Such matters are of pivotal concern as they deal directly with topic of Imān.

    Surprisingly, or rather unsurprisingly –depending on your point of view-, Muslims are prepared to roll up their sleeves and “fight” against their Muslim brothers and sisters regarding secondary or subsidiary matters, yet when non-Muslim apologists and atheists, etc. attack the foundations of Islām, majority of Muslims seem to turn a blind eye to these matters and harness all of their energy in frivolous disputes about matters which have little or no impact on one’s faith! Is this logical?

    Thus, from an Islāmic intellectual perspective, this is certainly a sign of the prevalence of ignorance on the basic teachings of the religion on the part of those who are unable to discern between what is necessary and what is avoidable in the case of engaging in argumentation. Once a Muslim can discern between the two, then the next matter lies in the mechanics of how to deal with the situation. However, before that, we must address the fundamental reason which leads to our involvement in numerous argument as a Muslim community.

Am I Responding Based on Emotion or Intellect?

If I had a dollar for every time I was called to mediate an argument between Muslims which are based purely on an “emotional” position, I would be economically free today. Nonetheless, another vital reason for far too many unwarranted disputes and arguments in the Ummah as based on our “emotionally” charged mentality. Did you know that a cover to cover reading of the Qur’ān reveals that not once did Allāh (SWT) guide us to act on emotion? Contrarily, the Qur’ān is filled with verses in which we are implored the use of the rational faculty. Retrospectively, one of the many functions of sending the Qur’ān was to fulfill that purpose,

إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنٰهُ قُرْءٰنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

“Indeed We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran so that you may exercise your reason.”

(Sūrah Yūsuf, 12:2)

    In fact, the Qur’ān asks of its readers, “Will you not reflect?” (38:29), Will you not reason (6:50), and will what is it that prevents us from contemplating or pondering on the verses of the Qur’ān? (47:24). The reason for this is because subjectivity is linked to emotion. When a person approaches a subject with a predisposition on a matter, then our emotion veils us from the requisite objectivity to perceive the topic from the standpoint of knowledge.   If we stop and “think” about the discussion or debate, its consequences, ramifications and all-round implications, we will be in a position to identify whether or not it is a matter of scholarly endeavour or merely the ramblings of an emotionally driven rhetoric aimed at an emotionally charged audience. Knowledge-based endeavours however stand to be an unbiased approach that is not charged by the emotion of the arguer. This fault in the Muslim community –of reacting emotionally instead of intelligently- seems to be the default status of the dominant Sunnī community these days.  

How to Deal with Necessary Argumentation?

   If a matter is being debated on social media, or amongst family and friends, then one must revert to our first point of consideration and proceed to assess whether or not the matter is from the essential matters of Imān or not. If the matter is directly linked to any of the 7 beliefs elucidated earlier, then one should not be hasty in responding. A sincere Muslim who understands that the matter of “concern” is with regards to primary issues of Imān should first seek the advice of the Ulamā (scholars) regarding that matter as it deals with core beliefs, and unless one is erudite on the matter, then “commenting” can sometimes cause us to tread a very thin line between faith and disbelief. In these cases, the Muslim ought to realize that scholarly discussions should be deduced by scholars and not by autodidacts or those who surf the internet looking to “copy and paste”. There is a common statement prevalent amongst Muslims which is oxymoronic in nature, and has become a kind of disclaimer amongst certain people to get their views across, which states, “I am not an Ālim, but. I think…”

    Statements of this nature are very dangerous because firstly, if you are not an Ālim (scholar) then you should know that commenting on the matter is futile because if your perception of the matter is incorrect, then you risk misguiding others. There is no “but” in this matter. Surprisingly, we do not hear anyone saying “I am not a surgeon, but I think this is how the procedure should have gone”, yet people assume that the decades spent by the scholars can easily be on par with analogical arguments? Hence if it is a scholarly debate, let the scholars deal with it. An unscholarly remark in a scholarly discussion is as out of place as a donkey in a horse race.

How to Deal With Unnecessary Argumentation?

If the debate or discussion is not directly linked to a matter of belief, meaning that whether or not one takes a position on the argument at hand, it will not impact his or her faith, then the best thing to do in these situations is to “walk away”. When we look at the disputes and debates on Whatsapp, Facebook or Twitter, etc. we find that 9 out of 10 times, there is much ado about nothing. People become enraged and post responses that incite aggressive responses from the community, and in these cases, both parties share in the ignorance and responsibility for perpetuating disunity in the Ummah over matters which should not have been divisive in the first place as they are not foundational beliefs of the religion. Instead of wasting valuable time on these debates which are of no primary concern or impact on our faith, one should be able to distinguish, discern and follow to divagate from such matters which cause us to become distressed over matters which are dramatized by those who themselves are completely oblivious to the status quo regarding matters of significance and matters of insignificance concerning the level of argumentation. 

The Etiquette of Arguing

Islām is a religion which implores from its adherents the principles of the highest form of morality in all regards, and even in matters of argumentation, there is a need for identifying the necessity of being ethical where there is a scope for differing views. This is known as “Adab Al-Ikhtilāf” (ethics of disagreement). From a logical perspective, the world of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamā’ah is jurisprudentially divided into four categories viz. Hanafī, Shāfa’ī, Mālikī, and Hanbalī. In Islām, the five daily prayers are compulsory, yet these four schools have differed (based on their methodology) pertaining to the mechanics of prayer, however, there is love and understanding between these four schools even today. If scholars can differ, and still maintain respect for one another on a matter which is explicitly established in the Qur’ān and Sunnah, and still maintain love and respect for their Sunnī brethren, why then should the non-scholars and laymen find reasons to create argumentation on matters which are not mentioned as matters of belief? Far from being illogical, it is also unethical to behave recklessly as we notice today that when someone differs with another and proceeds to social media to lambast the person who shares a difference of opinion on a matter. Unethical and unislāmic behaviour to debate an Islāmic point? Astounding indeed!

The correct approach for the laymen and even certain supposedly educated people within society should be to assess whether or not one is “qualified” to comment on a matter on not. This is because one of the core reasons for the prevalence of these disputes is because –the majority of the time- uneducated people who are unaware of the history, context and rulings on a matter, tend to base their views on a purely emotional or their perspective of rationale, which leads them to “disagree” and “dispute” on a matter. Additionally, they promote their fallacious opinions on social media which in turn fuels many others who are unfortunately on the same limited level of Islāmic insight, thus causing a cascade of misinformation to become widespread in the community.

If one considers themselves to “qualified” in Islāmic matters, then still, there is a need to assess whether or not the topic raised is one which warrants a response? In other words, is it a matter which is “open” for differing views or not?

Again, a reiteration of the earlier example ought to clarify this.

Scenario – A person passes away in the prophetic era. A debate ensues whether or not the person passed away as a companion of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or not? Here, the person must assess,

“Is this an Islāmic debate? Or is this a historical debate?”

1400 years later, and Muslims are still unable to distinguish between the two. An Islāmic debate should be premised around a topic dealing with those matters which affect our understanding of the beliefs of Islām. Hence, one must contemplate, “Is the matter of debate merely to exhibit a historical analysis on something?”, If so, then it means that the fact that there are two opposing views on the matter, proves that there is no explicit unambiguous text from the Qur’ān or Sunnah regarding it in the first place, thus there is a difference of opinion. The very nature of opinion means that it is not fact! Had there been any such factual evidence, then it would not have become a matter of debate in the first place. Thus, if it is merely historical in essence, why make it an “Islāmic” debate which then causes one group to label its opposition as disbelievers, hypocrites or weak in faith? Such behaviour is more than sufficient to prove that both parties are unaware of the Islāmic methodology and status quo for these matters.

Conclusion – If a matter is found to be sourced as a mere historical debate, then nothing we can do today can change history as it is in the past and we are located in the present. The correct thing to do would be to submit that in the end, it is God Almighty who knows the true reality and it is why He is Master of the Day of Judgment (1:1). Unfortunately, the principle reason why secondary matters are considered primary, leading to unnecessary debates, boils down to the unfortunate lack of Islāmic knowledge. If one is not erudite on an Islāmic matter, meaning that there is no formal Islāmic education on the subject, then why argue in the first place? Walk away, because it is the best thing you can do for your sense of calm and for the benefit of the Muslim community. So in future, prior to hastily responding, revisit some of the steps mentioned in this essay and after evaluating that the matter is not one which impacts on your faith, then ‘Why argue when you can walk away?’

Where are the Shaykh Ahmed Deedats? The Moulana Abdul Aleem Siddīqīs? And the Professor Fazlur Rahmān Ansārīs of Today?

Where are the Shaykh Ahmed Deedats? The Moulana Abdul Aleem Siddīqīs? And the Professor Fazlur Rahmān Ansārīs of Today? 1200 726 Shaykh Faheem

Da’wah Dimensions by Shaykh Faheem of the Islamic Lifestyle Solutions

Many will recollect as young folk, the tenacity and vigour on exhibition by the likes of the late Shaykh Ahmed Deedat as he diffused the arguments of the opposing proponents with relative ease and a panache which gained him much acclaim to this day. Others will recall the exhilarating experience of being present for discourses by the late Moulana Abdul Aleem Siddīqī whose wisdom captivated even the academics of his era. Many can recall the mesmerizingly academic depth of knowledge propounded by Allāmah Professor Fazlur Rahmān Ansārī from the podiums of the many universities he visited.

Forward the clock to the modern age and the realization is that we are dwarves in the shadows of those giants in the field of Da’wah. One has to wonder, what has become of the Muslim world today? And who will take on the mantle left by the great scholars of the past? These are questions to which we may never be able to answer right now. Unfortunately, the world of Islām is stagnant at best…primarily because we have forsaken the pursuit of Islāmic education with the zeal it was once persevered. Nowadays, we seem to be more involved in the business of ridicule rather than rectification of the self. Sadly, extremism seems to have encapsulated our hearts, and instead of pursuing the mission of “Da’wah” to spread the religion of Islām, we are far too busy issuing verdicts against our own brethren!

This brief essay is an appeal to those who are dissatisfied with the modus operandi of others who cannot speak a sentence unless it is to ridicule another Muslim, and in the process, to arrogantly claim an “All Rights Reserved” attitude to Islām. This essay is an appeal to those who are frustrated at the ‘state of Islām’ and who want to inject positive change via the pristine teachings of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ because if we continue on this trajectory of trouble-making at every given instance, how then will we inspire the youth of today to take on the mantle of the Ahmed Deedats? The Moulana Abdul Aleem Siddīqīs and the Professor Fazlur Rahmān Ansārīs of tomorrow? 

If you share my enthusiasm for wanting to see a better, more beautiful approach to the religion of Islām, then we must begin with an Islāmically academic approach to the Qur’ān and Sunnah, of course within the parameters of the four schools of fiqh, as theirs is a tried and tested system which has passed the acid test over the centuries since its inception.

If we want to aspire to inspire, then we must acknowledge that there is a need for a deep-rooted critique of the current Islāmic education systems out there, and whilst critics are a dime a dozen, critiquing is effortless, but creating change requires effort. So my advice to all those who support the idea that there is definitely a need for change, to also look deep within themselves and ask the question as to what are the solutions to these problems?

For instance, it is relatively easy to critique a Darul Uloom from the outside, but has anyone taken the time to know the struggle it takes to keep the doors of such an institution open? It is easy to critique a madrasah, but are we also willing to empty our pockets to provide the ‘professional’ service we covet? Unfortunately not! You see, it takes two hands to clap, and whilst it is easy to recognize and acknowledge these shortfalls in the Islāmic educational systems, the reality is that until the people do not come forward with their support and expertise, then moving forward in a positive step seems like a fairytale.

Right now, at this very moment, there are uncultivated Ahmed Deedats, Moulana Abdul Aleem Siddīqīs , and Professor Faluz Rahmān Ansārīs out there, and they just don’t know it, because the flame of that realization has not been lit in their hearts and minds yet, and all it needs sometimes is a little spark, in a small way, and who knows where that burning desire will take them in their quest to spread the religion of Islām? Could that spark be you? Could your actions spark into being the next great leader of the Muslim community? Could the beauty of your character or kindness of your actions give a spring of new life in the cold hearts of winter today? I believe so! I believe that within each and every one of us is the capacity to aim high and become beacons of light and hope for others as long as we remain sincere, subservient and in sublime surrender to the will of God Almighty!

So where are the Ahmed Deedats, the Moulana Abdul Aleem Siddīqīs and the Professor Fazlur Rahmān Ansārīs of today? They are nowhere, yet everywhere! But like the flower whose way to the rays of the sun is blocked by many other obstacles, they cannot blossom unless we nurture them with the light of the Qur’ān and water them with the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ!

So what is it going to be? Break the flower at its root with all the negative rhetoric by telling the young minds about everything that is ‘wrong’ with the Islāmic educational systems? Or nurture the flower to blossom into a floriferous garden of hope for the future of Islāmic knowledge and Da’wah for all? Choose wisely, for the future depends on it!

Do You Worship Allāh (Ta Aala) or Do you Worship the Musjid?

Do You Worship Allāh (Ta Aala) or Do you Worship the Musjid? 1600 1067 Shaykh Faheem

All extremist responses can be sent to –

  The last time I checked, the God of Islām is known is Allāh (SWT) and even though there are more than 99 other attributes by which He is known by, “Musjid” is definitely not one of them, yet some minorities are behaving as if worshipping Allāh (SWT) is impracticable unless it is in the Musjid? And in some cases, the manner in which these false notions are perpetuated, makes me wonder whether people are worshipping the Musjid, or worshipping Allāh (SWT)?

This succinct article is not for the quidnuncs out there, but has been composed to appeal to our ‘God-given’ intellect as a call to come to ‘reason’. Furthermore, it must be stated at the onset that no Muslim –particularly this writer-, wants to see the Musjids closed or the congregation suspended, but given the circumstances, the erudite from amongst us understand the dynamics of the situation and have understood the basic reasoning in the verdicts of the scholars for the temporary closure of the mosques.

   Given, that the situation is unprecedented in our era, and has therefore presented a major challenge in every sector of industry as well as religious thought, it does not mean that Muslims should begin behaving like ‘online gangsters’ and ‘hooligans’ who ‘demand’ people to follow their subsidiary-related views in a manner that is unbefitting of the prophetic character. Yet, the very same people are ‘fighting’ for the Musjid to be opened are telling the people that if we do not have access to the Musjid, how then will be propagate the teachings of the Messenger k?

Well, a good idea may just be to actually refer to the historical record with view to drawing the inferences from the life of the Messenger k prior to engaging in ‘fatwah wars’ which further promotes dissent in the Ummah?

Retrospectively, I am yet to see a verdict from the extremist minorities calling the Saudi Wahhābī’s as ‘hypocrites and disbelievers’ as a result of the suspension of Ramadān Umrah as well as the closure of the Harams for periods of time?

   How sad it is, that in a ‘life-threatening’ situation -the likes of which the Covid19 epidemic has presented us with-, that Muslims are becoming the laughingstocks of the 21st century, from both inter and intra-related discussions as a consequence of unnecessary argumentation, at a time when the collective power of the Ummah is suppose to rise to the occasion and be ‘the’ example!

   How is it that a religion which contributed to the field of education by establishing the very first degree-awarding university in Fez, Morocco has reached such a state of academic and spiritual inertia?

   How is it that a religion which contributed to the field of science by introducing the world to the modern scientific method by the likes of Ibn Al-Haytham has reached such a deplorable state of intellectual stagnation?

   How is it that a religion which contributed to fields of mathematics and algorithms from the likes of Al-Khawārizmī, be unable to compute simple problems?

   How is it that a religion which created the means of spectacles or glasses to world, cannot see the difference between the need to attend the musjid Musjid when weighed against the value of human life?

   How? How?! These are merely some of the questions which I find myself lamenting upon after witnessing the comments, views, articles, expositions and general discussions from Muslims today.

   Some minorities are behaving in a manner unbecoming of an intellectual people, and are labelling others as hypocrites or even out of the fold of the religion itself just because they share a view in opposition to theirs? Madness! This extremism is causing further confusion and stagnation and as a corollary of this ‘cat and mouse’ game which the puppeteers they fail to realise is contributing to the confusion of the masses and stands in contradiction to one of the primary objectives (maqāsid) of Sharī’ah, viz. ‘to create ease’.

   Instead, these argumentations are stirring up emotions and causing Muslim homes to become split with divisive views of an extremist nature and consequently leading the Ummah into a quagmire of utter disrepute in the process.

Where was the Musjid in the Entire Meccan Period of the Sīrah?

   For 13 years of his da’wah, the Prophet Muhammad k did not establish a single musjid in the city of Mecca, and this is a fact for which anyone who has ever visited the holy lands will convey, that whilst on ziyārah tours, we are taken to a famous mosque called Musjid Al-Qubā. It is here that the tour guide will proudly inform the visitors that it is the ‘first’ Musjid of Islām, which was established after the Prophet Muhammad k was commanded by God Almighty to leave Mecca and migrate to the city of Medīnah due to the intent of the Meccans to assassinate him.

   For those 13 years in Mecca, why wasn’t a Musjid established by the Prophet k? The simple reason is because the ‘situation’ did not allow for it, as the Quraysh were the dominant force and the religion of their pagan ancestors was the dominant religion during that time! If we are to follow the wayward path of the incogitant few in society, they will have you believe that those who have suspended prayer in the Masājid in order to abide by the lockdown regulations are merely ‘scared’ and are lacking ‘faith’.

   Well, if that is the case, then are they also saying –Allāh forbid- , that the Messenger k too was afraid and therefore did not establish a Musjid? No sane Muslim would ever think such putrid thoughts! All Muslims agree that everything from the blessed life of the Prophet Muhammad k is to be ‘considered’ as a means to develop strategic lessons, and thus, Allāh Y exhibited to us via His Messenger k that the situation must be ‘considered’ or else the Ummah will be placed in grave peril.

With this knowledge in mind, let us place the current dilemma of the ongoing debacle regarding the suspension of congregational prayer in the mosques, with view to an inquisition of whether or not its re-opening to the public is beneficial or detrimental to the well-being of Muslims?

 Why did the Global Muslim Populace Agree to Close Mosques to the Public?

Now, I am certain that the reasons are ‘elementary’ enough for even primary school students to explain, but for all intent and purpose, let us revisit the situation. The Covid19 virus is one which has caused thousands of deaths worldwide and the rate of infection seems to be on the rise in most regions. Consequently, governments decided to initiate a global lockdown in hope of quelling the curve of its growth as the virus depended on the movements and interaction of people in order to spread. The lockdown was a logically inevitable decision which has already heralded positive results, and the statistical curvature is in evidence of that decline.

Now, remember, that the Qur’ān was also sent to induce thinking (12:2), and that many people would be regretful of their inability to exercise reason (67:10) and are therefore experiencing punishment. Logically, if a virus of this nature is spreading due to human interaction, then the best possible means of survival is to ‘limit’ human interaction, hence the lockdown!

Now, it does not take a rocket scientist to realize that the Musjid is a place of ‘congregation’ and therefore stands to become a possible ‘hub’ for the spread of the disease because Covid19 does not differentiate between religions and will spread wherever and however it can.

The Musjid is a place where Muslims are;

  • ‘shoulder to shoulder’,
  •  and who are prostrating on the carpets,
  • and shaking hands,
  • utilizing communal towels,
  • gargling in the ablution facility, etc.

And considering all of the above, it sparked debate amongst scholars as it was definitely a means of great concern for the ‘well-being’ of the Muslims who frequented the mosque! In the end, the lockdown was initiated and as per the presidential decree, the mosques are to remain closed until such a time that the virus is under control.

What most of the extremists who oppose this view have not understood, is that Salāh is ongoing in majority of the masājid by the Imām and Muazzhin, and the ‘closure’ is mainly to the general public and not a complete closure of the Musjid itself!

Furthermore, the current situation of the lockdown does not impede on our ability to worship Allāh Y at all, whilst still allowing us the opportunity to help quell the spread of the virus. Anyone who claims that Muslims cannot ‘fulfill’ their religious obligations without a functioning mosque, is indeed uneducated on the basic religious obligations of a Muslim.

Alhamdu Lillāh, whilst the 5 daily prayers are even more meritorious in congregation at the Musjid, its recitation in ‘congregation’ at home is not less virtuous at all. We should be grateful that we are living in a country which is not oppressing us Muslims, as other regions in the world are undergoing grave oppression.

Furthermore, hypothetically, if the musjids are reopened and –Allāh forbid- if the virus is traced as having been spread from a single mosque to any non-Muslim local, then I fear that it will give rise to a host of bigots and Islāmophobes out there who are awaiting like vultures to a carcass ready to attack Islām and Muslims in any way they can. If that happens as a corollary of its spread from the Mosque, then those involved will have to take responsibility for acting in contradistinction to the objectives of the sharī’ah by causing more difficulty to Muslims than creating ease!

All of this brings us back to the original question…Do you worship Allāh (SWT), or do you worship the Musjid? If the former is the answer, then you will realize that regardless of this temporary situation, the permanence of worshipping Allāh (SWT) is not impeded upon and is easily achievable, even during lockdown!

Those who worship the Musjid, and who believe that it is a pre-condition for being a Muslim, without which Muslims cannot function, then that wayward ideology need to be reminded that in the end, Allāh (SWT) does not reside in a Musjid, and even when the two sacred sanctuaries of Mecca and Medīnah are temporarily suspended, and the third, forgotten haram is also closed, He is All-Seeing, All-Hearing and ever aware in His infinite Wisdom of our deeds!

May Allāh (SWT) guide us all during these testing times and may we be able to lockdown all avenues of shaytaan’s entry into our hearts and minds!