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People used to be present when they cooked food. They cooked with love, I had one teacher Umar Malahji; his wife would cook her food doing prayer on the Prophet (peace be upon him) the entire time, with Niyat-us-Shifa. That God would make that food a healing for the people that ate it and make the energy that they derive from it, used for worshipping Allah. They would only buy from grocers in Madīnah that they knew prayed five times in the Masjid. They would go out and pick their own animals and sacrifice them, because they did not want to buy meat from these butchers, because they didn’t know how they were treating the animals. This is a real family, and it is a fact, and I guarantee you, many people have experienced this. If you go and have eaten a full meal, and you go there, and they serve you food in the house of Umar Malahji you will not get indigestion by eating a second meal immediately after, and they will force you eat. That food was made with presence. People don’t have energy anymore. How is your food being grown? How is it being cooked? Because this is where energy comes from.

Generosity |

In many narrations the Prophet (ﷺ) is described as being the most generous. The word used in ḥadīth literature usually to describe his generosity is jūd, another word for generous is sakāʾ but this to my knowledge is never used to describe the Prophet (ﷺ). When you look them up they both are defined as ‘generous’ or ‘open handedness’ but an in-depth analysis reveals a marked difference. Jūd is to be generous when not asked, whereas sakāʾ means the person is generous but only when asked. 

He (ﷺ) was the most generous, with some saying he (ﷺ) was more generous than the rain. Interestingly in etymology the English word ‘generous’ stems from the French word ‘généreux’ and the Latin word ‘generosus’ both when translated mean “of noble birth.” Tying in so well with the Messenger of God (ﷺ) 

It is important to note that in the harsh deserts of Arabia, generosity was a virtuous act that was lost among many. (The concrete jungles we currently reside in can be just as harsh) The definition for ‘generous’ in English in my opinion is lacking, in that it does not do the act itself justice. When made without ostentation, without causing harm, without belittling others, without rebuke, without prompting and most importantly without expectation of reward - then generosity is from the heart making it not just more meaningful, but Prophetic. 

The picture is of a door leading to the Blue Mosque (Sulṭān Ahmet Camii) in Istanbul, Turkey, it was built in the 17th Century. One thing you notice about many of the mosques in Istanbul is that many of the entrances have these heavy iron chains. The purpose of these chains was to ensure those that entered did so in a state of humbleness. Legend has it that only the Sulṭān was allowed to enter the courtyard of the Blue Mosque on horseback. The iron chains made sure he would lower his head every time he entered. A deeply symbolic gesture rooted in Prophetic character; ensuring humility of the ruler in the face of the Divine.

The picture is of a door leading to the Blue Mosque (Sulṭān Ahmet Camii) in Istanbul, Turkey, it was built in the 17th Century. One thing you notice about many of the mosques in Istanbul is that many of the entrances have these heavy iron chains. The purpose of these chains was to ensure those that entered did so in a state of humbleness. 

Legend has it that only the Sulṭān was allowed to enter the courtyard of the Blue Mosque on horseback. The iron chains made sure he would lower his head every time he entered. A deeply symbolic gesture rooted in Prophetic character; ensuring humility of the ruler in the face of the Divine.

The word ‘sin’ which, outside of the religious circle, has fallen out of favor in the modern world, is possibly related to a Saxon word that meant ‘to wander.’ Sin is an English translation of the Hebrew term ‘het’ which like both its Arabic and Greek counterparts — khati’ah in Arabic and hamartia in the New Testament — is originally an archery term that meant ‘to miss the mark.’ Sin was also used in archaic English as an archery term for a miss. The idea being that sin, in a metaphysical sense, originates in a sound attempt at achieving a good but ‘misses the mark’ by mistaking an apparent good for a real one. Repentance is, in essence, redressing the miss and re-aligning one’s spiritual sights for the next attempt.
Shaykh Ḥamza Yūsuf
There are many who invest in dinars and dirhams. But those who invest in their spirit are few.
Ibn ‘Aṭā’illāh al-Sakandarī
The only one who’s going to judge us is Allah. Thank God. Thank God all these people on twitter are not my judge. Did you open his heart? Did you look into his heart? Did you determine what his niyyah was? There are two qualities, there are no better qualities than these two qualities: having a good opinion of Allah, and having a good opinion of the servants of Allah. We’re all trying, and we hope that Muslims just…we need to unite, at least be united in acknowledging that people come to different conclusions about situations. We’re all trying.
Shaykh Ḥamza Yūsuf 
If you are really sincere in your advice, you address it in privacy. If it’s private, it’s easier to achieve the truth. But when you are in a large group, the ego takes over. And then there’s the chance that it’s not sincere, it’s for achieving the upper hand.
Shaykh Ḥamza Yūsuf translating Imām al-Ghazālī’s Kitāb al-‘Ilm.
Shaykh Ḥamza Yūsuf closed yesterdays class with a quote by Ibn al-Qāsim al-Ḥākim, that’s mentioned in al-Tibr al-masbūk which was partially written by Imām al-Ghazālī. 
A translation of the Arabic reads, “Fitna (strife) arises from three kinds of people: newscasters, news seekers, and news listeners. None of them is free of blame.” 
So basically, the internet! Especially Facebook, and Twitter!
May Allāh protect us. Amīn.

Shaykh Ḥamza Yūsuf closed yesterdays class with a quote by Ibn al-Qāsim al-Ḥākim, that’s mentioned in al-Tibr al-masbūk which was partially written by Imām al-Ghazālī. 

A translation of the Arabic reads, “Fitna (strife) arises from three kinds of people: newscasters, news seekers, and news listeners. None of them is free of blame.” 

So basically, the internet! Especially Facebook, and Twitter!

May Allāh protect us. Amīn.

Call on your Lord when your heart is brittle, that is a time when it’s in pieces and the Light of Allah can fill the gaps. That is why Allāh is with the broken hearted.
Shaykh Ḥamza Yūsuf 
Ahmad Ibn Idris one of the great scholars of the 19th century, if he wanted an ayah of the Qurʾan he looked in his right palm, if he wanted a hadith he looked in his left palm, we have PalmPilot now, thats a different type of palm pilot.

Shaykh Ḥamza Yūsuf 

The Gulf Between the Here and the Hereafter |

The significance of joys and sufferings in this world will dwindle to nothing before the next not only quantitatively, because of its eternity, but qualitatively because of its nature. The Prophet (ṣall Allāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam) said:

The person who had the most pleasing life in this world, of any of the people of hell, will be summoned on Resurrection Day and utterly plunged into the hellfire, then asked, ‘O human being, have you ever beheld any good at all; have you ever felt a single joy?’ and he will say, ‘No by God, my Lord.’ And the most miserable sufferer in this world, of any of the people of paradise, will be summoned and utterly plunged into paradise, then asked, ‘O human being, have you ever seen any bad at all; have you ever experienced a single misery?’ and he will say, ‘No by God, my Lord: I have never seen any bad or suffered a single misery’ 

They are not lying, but what their testimony means is that nothing in this world can even be called “joy” or “misery” compared with the next.

Keller, Nūḥ Ḥā Mīm. (2008). Suffering and Divine Wisdom

The blessed month of Ramaḍān has come to an end. It has been one of the most difficult months I can remember, with so much turmoil around the globe, I’ve looked on in horror. These are reminders for us, to renew, review and revive our faith firstly within our homes, and then the wider community. May Allāh accept our fasts, our worship, our prayers, bless us in our homes, our actions, fill us with light, and allow us to be of service. May Allāh accept from us, and from you! AmīnʻĪd al-Fiṭr Mubārak! 

The blessed month of Ramaḍān has come to an end. 

It has been one of the most difficult months I can remember, with so much turmoil around the globe, I’ve looked on in horror. These are reminders for us, to renew, review and revive our faith firstly within our homes, and then the wider community. 

May Allāh accept our fasts, our worship, our prayers, bless us in our homes, our actions, fill us with light, and allow us to be of service. 

May Allāh accept from us, and from you! Amīn

ʻĪd al-Fiṭr Mubārak! 

O Allāh, I seek Your forgiveness for every sin that Your pen recorded and Your knowledge encompassed - every one that I have committed and that I am to commit until the end of my life. I seek Your forgiveness for all my sins: the first and the last, the intentional and unintentional, the few and the many, the minor and the major, the subtle and the noticeable, the past, the recent, the secret and the open and public - and all those I am to commit throughout my life.

O Allāh, I seek Your forgiveness for every sin of mine.

O Allāh, I seek Your forgiveness for every sin that pollutes what You have made pure, exposes what You have covered, or makes repulsive what You have beautified within me.

I seek forgiveness from You O Allāh, besides Whom there is nothing worthy of worship - the Living, the Self-Subsisting Sustainer of all the worlds. And I turn to You seeking forgiveness that increases with every blink of the eye and with every breath, that remains as long as You remain and lasts as long as You last; for Your Dominion will never - for all eternity come to an end, cease, or die.

O Allāh, accept this prayer, even though it is lacking.

I ask You to open every door of goodness, of blessings and mercy and guidance for everyone in that reads this, and for their parents, families, and all our brothers and sisters in our dīn. O Allāh, fulfill our needs, ease our affairs, expand our rizq and put blessings in it. Heal our sick and give strength to us Ya Rabb.

O Allāh, help the oppressed, grant them patience, grant them ease, grant strength and grant them a lasting victory.

O Allāh, make mine a prayer that meets Your acceptance and a request that meets Your blessing. Indeed You have power over all.

And shower blessings, peace and mercy on our master and chief - Muḥammad, the best of creation, and his family, with every glance and every breath, as many times as the number of all things encompassed within Your limitless knowledge.

Amīn! al-Fātiha.

#10Companions: Series
“Why should you not give for God’s cause when God alone will inherit what is in the heavens and earth? Those who gave and fought before the triumph are not like others: they are greater in rank than those who gave and fought afterwards. But God has promised a good reward to all of them: God is fully aware of all that you do.” -— Qurʾān [57:10]
Abū Bakr
ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb
ʿUthmān b. `Affān
ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib
Ṭalḥah b. ʿUbayd Allāh
Al-Zubayr b. Al-ʿAwwām
Saʿd b. Abī Waqqāṣ
Saʿīd b. Zayd
ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAwf
Abū ʿUbaydah b. al-Jarrāḥ 

May God be pleased with them and fill their graves with light.
All mistakes are mine, and Allāh alone knows best. Duʿāʾs requested.
“Verily, God and His angels bless the Prophet: [hence,] O you who have attained to faith, bless him and give yourselves up [to his guidance] in utter self-surrender!” -— Qurʾān [33:56]
اللهم صل وسلم وبارك على سيدنا ومولانا محمد خير البرية، وعلى اله في كل لمحة ونفس عدد ما وسعه علم الله
الفاتحة
Further Reading:
Hamid, Abdul Wahid. Companions of the Prophet Vols I and II.
as-Suyuti, Jalal ad-Din. The History of the Khalifas who took the right way.
Keller, Nuh Ha Mim. Reliance of the Traveller.
Alkhateeb, Firas. Lost Islamic History.

SeekersGuidance. Following the Footsteps of the Noble Companions. (Online course starts Sept 2014)

#10Companions: Series

“Why should you not give for God’s cause when God alone will inherit what is in the heavens and earth? Those who gave and fought before the triumph are not like others: they are greater in rank than those who gave and fought afterwards. But God has promised a good reward to all of them: God is fully aware of all that you do.” -— Qurʾān [57:10]

May God be pleased with them and fill their graves with light.

All mistakes are mine, and Allāh alone knows best. Duʿāʾs requested.

“Verily, God and His angels bless the Prophet: [hence,] O you who have attained to faith, bless him and give yourselves up [to his guidance] in utter self-surrender!” -— Qurʾān [33:56]

اللهم صل وسلم وبارك على سيدنا ومولانا محمد خير البرية، وعلى اله في كل لمحة ونفس عدد ما وسعه علم الله

الفاتحة

Further Reading:

Hamid, Abdul Wahid. Companions of the Prophet Vols I and II.

as-Suyuti, Jalal ad-Din. The History of the Khalifas who took the right way.

Keller, Nuh Ha Mim. Reliance of the Traveller.

Alkhateeb, Firas. Lost Islamic History.

SeekersGuidance. Following the Footsteps of the Noble Companions. (Online course starts Sept 2014)

#10Companions:  Abū ʿUbaydah b. al-Jarrāḥ
Abū ʿUbaydah was one of the first to accept Islam, memorize the Qurʾān, and also participate in the emigrations to Ethiopia and to Madīnah. The Prophet (ﷺ) designated him ‘amīn al-ummah’ (Trustee of the Muslim Community) because of his honesty. He is the last of the ten Companions promised paradise.
Abū ʿUbaydah possessed supreme skill, he was one of the best archers in the ranks, and could scout out the opposition and help develop strategies to overcome the enemy. In his childhood it was his father that trained him, he taught him how to shoot an arrow from various positions such as from a stationary position, a moving position etc. When he accepted Islam, his father was furious, and wanted to kill him.
He took part in many battles and fought heroically in the Battle of Badr, having to face his own father, this was very difficult for him, it’s reported that his father chased him around seeking confrontation; eventually he relented and killed his own father. Now imagine that for a moment, having to kill your own father, but he did, a verse of the Qurʾān relating to this specific incident was revealed [See 58:22]. He was among those that guarded the Prophet (ﷺ) at during the turmoil at Uḥud. One that day, the Prophet (ﷺ) suffered severe facial injuries resulting in shards being lodged into his noble face, Abū ʿUbaydah decided that using his teeth would the best way to extract the wedged pieces, as it would cause the Prophet (ﷺ) the least amount of pain, in doing so Abū ʿUbaydah himself lost two teeth this resulted in a defect in his speech. 
Abū ʿUbaydah always placed Islam before himself, irrespective of the scenario, once he led a secondary unit into battle, he relinquished the reins to Amrū ibn al-‘Āṣ, the leader of the first battalion to avoid wrangling over leadership. Abū ʿUbaydah was held in high esteem by the other companions, it’s reported that ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb asked some of the companions, “What do you wish for?” some replied they wished for a room full of gold to spend in the way of God, others said similar things stating they would spend it in charity. ʿUmar then said, “I wish that this house was full of men like Abū ʿUbaydah b. al-Jarrāḥ.”
He played an active role in the Caliphate of Abū Bakr and an even greater one under ʿUmar, who appointed him Supreme Commander of the army replacing the great Khālid ibn al-Walīd. There was great wisdom in his decision, Abū ʿUbaydah was a great thinker and negotiator, and he made deals and reassured many Christian’s that they would be safe under Muslim rule in Syria. Many people would become Muslim, and no blood would be shed. His diplomacy skills were more superior to those of the great Khālid ibn al-Walīd.  Some historians to have said that he founded the first hospitals in the Middle East; he even built a dam in Syria to prevent flooding.
He served as a governor under ʿUmar, who was shocked to find as governor his house had so few possessions, reportedly just a rug to sleep on and a jug, the world had not consumed him from his religion, he remained steadfast, fair and deeply spiritual. He said that these possessions were more than enough, ʿUmar cried and said “That the world had changed them all, accept for Abū ʿUbaydah. Syria was struck by an epidemic, and as governor he had the chance to leave or isolate himself from those infected, but he remained faithful to them and suffered with the troops, this would eventually lead to his demise, he would die during the caliphate of ʿUmar. His tomb lies in present day Jordan.

May God be pleased with him and fill his grave with light.
Further Sources:
Abū ʿUbaydah b. al-Jarrāḥ
Abū ʿUbaydah interaction with ʿUmar

#10Companions:  Abū ʿUbaydah b. al-Jarrāḥ

Abū ʿUbaydah was one of the first to accept Islam, memorize the Qurʾān, and also participate in the emigrations to Ethiopia and to Madīnah. The Prophet () designated him ‘amīn al-ummah’ (Trustee of the Muslim Community) because of his honesty. He is the last of the ten Companions promised paradise.

Abū ʿUbaydah possessed supreme skill, he was one of the best archers in the ranks, and could scout out the opposition and help develop strategies to overcome the enemy. In his childhood it was his father that trained him, he taught him how to shoot an arrow from various positions such as from a stationary position, a moving position etc. When he accepted Islam, his father was furious, and wanted to kill him.

He took part in many battles and fought heroically in the Battle of Badr, having to face his own father, this was very difficult for him, it’s reported that his father chased him around seeking confrontation; eventually he relented and killed his own father. Now imagine that for a moment, having to kill your own father, but he did, a verse of the Qurʾān relating to this specific incident was revealed [See 58:22]. He was among those that guarded the Prophet () at during the turmoil at Uḥud. One that day, the Prophet () suffered severe facial injuries resulting in shards being lodged into his noble face, Abū ʿUbaydah decided that using his teeth would the best way to extract the wedged pieces, as it would cause the Prophet () the least amount of pain, in doing so Abū ʿUbaydah himself lost two teeth this resulted in a defect in his speech. 

Abū ʿUbaydah always placed Islam before himself, irrespective of the scenario, once he led a secondary unit into battle, he relinquished the reins to Amrū ibn al-‘Āṣ, the leader of the first battalion to avoid wrangling over leadership. Abū ʿUbaydah was held in high esteem by the other companions, it’s reported that ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb asked some of the companions, “What do you wish for?” some replied they wished for a room full of gold to spend in the way of God, others said similar things stating they would spend it in charity. ʿUmar then said, “I wish that this house was full of men like Abū ʿUbaydah b. al-Jarrāḥ.”

He played an active role in the Caliphate of Abū Bakr and an even greater one under ʿUmar, who appointed him Supreme Commander of the army replacing the great Khālid ibn al-Walīd. There was great wisdom in his decision, Abū ʿUbaydah was a great thinker and negotiator, and he made deals and reassured many Christian’s that they would be safe under Muslim rule in Syria. Many people would become Muslim, and no blood would be shed. His diplomacy skills were more superior to those of the great Khālid ibn al-Walīd.  Some historians to have said that he founded the first hospitals in the Middle East; he even built a dam in Syria to prevent flooding.

He served as a governor under ʿUmar, who was shocked to find as governor his house had so few possessions, reportedly just a rug to sleep on and a jug, the world had not consumed him from his religion, he remained steadfast, fair and deeply spiritual. He said that these possessions were more than enough, ʿUmar cried and said “That the world had changed them all, accept for Abū ʿUbaydah. Syria was struck by an epidemic, and as governor he had the chance to leave or isolate himself from those infected, but he remained faithful to them and suffered with the troops, this would eventually lead to his demise, he would die during the caliphate of ʿUmar. His tomb lies in present day Jordan.

May God be pleased with him and fill his grave with light.

Further Sources:

Abū ʿUbaydah b. al-Jarrāḥ

Abū ʿUbaydah interaction with ʿUmar