Tazkiyyah (Spiritual Development)

Spiritual Development (Tazkiyyah): The Islamic Way

Islam does not subscribe to the type of asceticism where we purify our hearts and yet remain immersed in political, economic or social corruption. Tazkiyyah must encompass our entire life – the privacy of our thoughts as well as their social manifestations in our daily life. Everything must be in conformity with Allah’s will. This will of God also requires you to seek and maintain a delicate balance between the various obligations that demand your attention; between your obligations to Allah, your obligations towards others and your obligations towards yourself. The Prophet advised us against extremism of any kind. It…

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Tazkiyyah (Spiritual Development), Translations

Brief Explanation of the Words of Salah

The Takbeer The takbeer is repeated throughout the prayer. The prayer is started by it and positions are changed by it. الله أكبر Allah is Greater Allah is greater and higher than everything else.  Istiftaah (The Opening) There are different supplications reported in the hadith literature but the following one is the most common, therefore, I will stick to it alone. سبحانك اللهم وبحمدك، وتبارك اسمك، وتعالى جدك، ولا إله غيرك How perfect You are O Allah, and with You is all praise. Blessed be Your name, and lofty is Your position and none has the right to be worshiped…

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Tafseer, Translations

Surah Al-Fatihah: A Brief Explanation

Al-Fatihah literally means The Opening because the Qur’an opens with it. It is the first chapter (surah) of the Qur’an and is considered its ‘greatest surah’. It is seen to be a precise table of contents of the Qur’anic message because some scholars of exegesis have stated that this chapter is a summary of the whole Qur’an. Its seven verses are regularly recited at the start of every unit (rak’ah) of the prayer and this is why one of its names is The Seven Oft Repeated Verses. The ritual five daily prayers without it are considered invalid. It has other names as well, such…

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Tafseer, Translations

Surah Al-Kafirun: A Brief Explanation

Introduction This chapter was revealed in the Meccan period. This chapter instructs the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to inform the disbelievers that the worship of false deities and the worship of One God are not, and can never be, compatible. It takes its name from “the disbelievers” (al-kafirun) mentioned in the first verse. It is authentically narrated from the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that he would recite this chapter in the Sunnah prayers of Fajr and Maghrib as well as in the two rak’ahs after the tawaf around the ka’ba. Why It Was Revealed The chapter was a response to some of…

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Dawah/Non-Muslims, Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)

Wisdom Behind the Ḥudūd Laws in Islam

By Ibn ‘Ashur (d. 1973) Translated by Mohamed El-Tahir El-Mesawi Thus, the aim of the Sharī’ah with regard to the legislation of fixed penalties (Ḥudūd), just retribution (Qiṣāṣ), discretionary penalties (ta’zīr) and injury compensation (urūsh al-jināyāt) is to achieve the following three objectives: To reform the criminal To satisfy the victim To deter the imitator of criminals (1) The first objective, that is, reformation, refers to the highest objective of the Sharī’ah, which is bringing reform (iṣlāḥ) to every aspect of the daily lives of individuals comprising a society. This we discussed in chapter 12 on the all-purpose principle of…

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Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), Usul ul Fiqh (Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence)

The Truth About Taqlid

By Surkheel (Abu Aaliyah) Sharif The initial era of Islam produced many great jurists and legalists: men who not only possessed exceptional acumen, but who led profoundly spiritual lives too. These jurists have been described as ‘grammarians of the Divine Word’: explaining it, systemizing it and deriving new rulings from it. Out of these many jurists, four became reknowned throughout the ummah. It was from them that four famous madhhabs, or schools of law, flowered and flourished: the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi‘i and Hanbali schools of law. In recent times, intense schisms have arisen over the issue of madhhabs and the…

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The Qur'an
Tazkiyyah (Spiritual Development)

Religious Knowledge Should Increase Your Righteous Actions

“No person to whom God had given the Scripture, wisdom, and prophethood would ever say to people, ‘Be my servants, not God’s.’ [He would say], ‘You should be devoted to God because you have taught the Scripture and studied it closely’” [Quran 3:79]. There is no point in seeking religious knowledge if it does not increase your taqwa (mindfulness of God). One of the fundamental points of seeking this sacred knowledge is to increase your level of righteousness. In a verse in the Qur’an, Allah directly draws a connection between acts of devotion to to Him and knowledge: “What about…

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