Faith

An appeals court in the UK has ruled that the gender segregation practiced in an Islamic school is not legal:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/islamic-faith-school-segregation-court-of-appeal-unlawful-sex-discrimination-boys-girls-al-hijrah-a7998336.html

Firstly, can someone please explain how and why they are targeting an Islamic school while some of the most well-known schools in that same country (such as Eton), and many other religious schools run by Christian and Jewish groups, and even many secular schools, are also gender segregated?
Historically, some of the most reputable schools around the world have been gender-exclusive. And quite a few studies have shown that segregating boys and girls during that stage creates a better study environment.

Secondly, in light of all of the sex-scandals rocking Hollywood and political figures around the world (and let’s leave it at that for this post please!), isn’t it ironic that some very basic, common-sense policies rooted not only in the Shariah but also in historical validated and experienced policies of the pre-modern Western world are being criticized so severely? Modest clothes (for men and women), gender guidelines, gender interactions, sexual chastity (viz., only within marriage) and more issues, are all being mocked and dismissed as backward, yet the scandals of famous figures and politicians and Hollywood producers only increases (and what happens amongst regular folks is no less).

For sure, no single policy or system can make sexual harassment disappear – but there are common-sense rules that would minimize such harassment and protect those who are vulnerable. One such rule, which is observed by many religiously conservative faith traditions, is to put guidelines on gender interactions, and hence to segregate high-schools along gender lines.

The court ruled that such segregation does not prepare our children for real life. If real life includes the types of harassment that Hollywood producers are guilty of, then perhaps it is better that our children are not prepared for that type of life.

Judge rules segregating boys and girls in Islamic school is sex discrimination

An Islamic faith school’s policy of segregating boys from girls is unlawful sex discrimination, Court of Appeal judges have said in a landmark ruling. Ofsted placed the mixed-sex Al-Hijrah school in Birmingham into special measures last June after it claimed dividing classes was discriminatory. But…

A beautiful prayer to say at times of distress and grief:

When Ja`far b. Abī Ṭālib was martyred – and he was a dear cousin of the Prophet (salla Allah alayhi wa sallam) and someone whom he called ‘my brother’ – our Prophet (salla Allah alayhi wa sallam) taught this beautiful Dua to his wife, Asmā bint`Umays (r) to console her:

“Shouldn’t I teach you words that you should say at times of difficulty? Say: Allah! Allah is my Lord, and I shall never associate any partners with Him” [Reported by Abū Dawūd].

The Arabic is: اللهُ اللهُ ربي لا أشرك به شيئاً

This is such a simple Dua, and its effectiveness is in reminding us of the single most important being in our lives: Allah!

By repeating the name of Allah twice (which is an extremely rare occurrence in the regular duas), we remind ourselves of our Creator, and bring a calmness to our souls, and feel the sweetness of faith. And by reaffirming our commitment to never worship anyone or anything else, we remind ourselves that everything and everyone besides Allah is simply not the ultimate goal nor the primary focus of our lives.

If we believe in Allah, and worship Allah, and feed our souls by connecting with Allah, and remind ourselves that nothing else is truly important besides Allah, then each and every other calamity of this world is manageable.

I have been leading tours to Masjid al-Aqsa for a few years now. Not only is Aqsa one of the holiest and historic sites in the world, our Palestinian brothers and sisters need to see that the rest of the world has not forgotten them.

Our trips to Jerusalem are always iman-boosting; and we see first hand the political and economic and social difficulties of that region.

If you are able to join me for my next trip, in the first week of January 2018, please register ASAP at www.darelsalam.com/yq. (Only a few spots left….)

If you are not able to come on this trip, please do try to go at least once in your life if you are able to do so.

PS. The Umrah package in the last weak of Dec is sold out, but if you wish to do umrah as well, register and if any spots open up you will be contacted.


A video summary of my journal publication: “Exploring the Faith and Identity Crisis of American Muslim Youth” http://bit.ly/2vaX3Fh

Muslim Youth in the West are experiencing an identity crisis. Here are 5 reasons young Muslims struggle with their faith and what we can do to remedy the issue.

Read more in “Exploring the Faith and Identity Crisis of American Muslim Youth” by Sh. Omar Suleiman here: http://bit.ly/2vaX3Fh


My khutbah from last Friday:

After escaping the clutches of Pharaoh, Prophet Musa (PBUH) and his people found themselves in the middle of the desert with no food, shelter, or hope for survival. It was at this point that Allah chose to remind them about gratitude.

What we learn from this passage from Surah Ibrahim is that, when we are faced with insurmountable challenges and odds, we must recognize that it is only with Allah’s help that we can be successful. If we are able to rise to this higher level of faith and only think of reasons why we should be grateful to Allah, especially at a time when our mind is being invaded by worries and negativity, then Allah has definitely promised that He will increase every possible avenue for good around us.

With this divine guidance and formula from the Quran, may we all find solace during our difficulties, peace during turmoil, and success during hardships. Ameen.

Of the many pictures from the event tonight, this one really touched me. Dr. Michael W. Waters and I spent the day organizing the event which brought together faith leaders, city officials, advocacy groups, and families who lost loved ones to gun violence. At the end of it, the Muslims gathered to pray our Maghrib prayer. I wasn’t aware until seeing this picture from the event page that Michael was watching our backs.

I spend a lot of time with this man, as does my wife with his wife, and my kids with his kids. Every time I need to pray, he watches my back. Every time we’re leaving a rally, he insists that I not walk to my car alone. Every time someone suspicious approaches, he steps up in front of him. I wanted to take the moment to just appreciate you publicly bro. Thank you for all that you do for me, my family, the community, and the city of Dallas.

#FaithForwardDallas

Dear Dallas, join us tonight as we #PrayforLasVegas at Thanks-Giving Square from 7-8 PM. There will be various government officials, faith leaders, and advocacy groups present. Spread the word. As we witnessed the worst mass shooting in American history last night, we call upon the residents of Dallas to pray for the victims and stand together reaffirming our commitment to ending gun violence.

We will be joined by various Government officials, faith leaders, and advocacy groups in tonight’s vigil.

Please join us tonight with your families and friends as we commit ourselves to a better future for our country.

Causes · 146 people

*JOB ALERT*

Closing Date Thursday 5th October @ Midnight

Full time or Part Time – Centre Manager

Good Rate of Pay based on experience.

We are looking for an energetic, enthusiastic and competent individual to work within a community organisation in Leicester City centre.

Experience in playing a lead or management role within an organisation is must.

You will play a lead role in delivering a number of services and events to a multitude and multi cultural group of people from all faith backgrounds.

The role will also include writing bids and applying for funding from different private and public bodies.

We want someone who:

– can engage with people from all walks of life
– has great written and verbal communication
– is highly organised
– knows how to lead and draw a crowd
– works as a team
– is self motivated
– has a caring personality and enjoys interacting with people
– can work with Muslim and non Muslim groups of people and know how to get the best from people.

Hours of work may differ but ability to work Monday -Friday 11-5pm is essential with some flexibility available. Cover is also required at weekend and at other times based on demands.

Please ensure you read the job description which is available at http://cityretreat.org/jobs/ Before you apply. Only applicants with relevant experience and passion need apply.

Send your CV and covering letter stating why you are interested in joining the City Retreat, why your experience is relevant and what your key strengths are to m.vhora@cityretreat.org. Please put ‘Centre Manager Job Application’ on the subject title.

Applications deadline is Thursday the 5th of October.

Please share with your groups.

Jobs – The City Retreat

Accountable for: Centre staff, Centre and Sub groups, Development & marketing, promotion and general office duties relating to the work of the Centre and undertaking any other duties consistent with this role as reasonably directed by the board.

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Nail on the head Shaykh Abdul Hameed like and share : )

Shaykh Abdul Hameed

We name mosques after great women of the past (Masjid Aisha) yet dont allow women to attend. We name mosques after great black men (Masjid Bilal) yet refuse committee members from other ethnicities. Lectures are dedicated to young companions, but we ban children from attending. We over invest in physical infrastructure, yet pay Imams minimal salary then complain why the masses are absent. We are desperately in need of strategic leadership. If the mosque facilitates change, it could be our lasting legacy to preserve the faith of future generations.
#SaveOurMosques #SaveOurFuture

Imam al-Shafi’i (d. 204 AH) said, “I never raised anyone above his level except that it resulted in me degrading myself by an equal amount.” Meaning: I never considered someone more intelligence or noble than he really was except that it resulted in me decreasing my own worth and intelligence in proportion to how much I over exaggerated in the first place.

As Allah is my witness, and I swear by the One who created the Heavens and Earths, it truly saddens me to meet or receive emails from people who consider me to be far more than I truly am. They raise me degrees and ranks, in leaps and bounds, exponentially more than what I deserve, and while in their eyes I might be of the greatest scholars of Islam of our age, Allah knows my sins, the large of them and the small of them, the public of them and the private of them, and clearly I am not worthy of even a fraction of that estimation.

It is a mistake of the highest magnitude to raise me and other preachers to the level of the true inheritors of the Prophet (SAW). At most, we are but faint lights who, in a world of pitch and utter darkness, are presumed to be like the stars, but that is because the bystander has never seen a real star, much less the Sun, and hence presumes the flicker that we might emit here and there to be as bright as those emitted by the stars.

And if – God forbid, and we seek refuge in Allah the Sittīr from this ever happening – my sins, or some of them, of the large and small ones, and the public and private ones, were to be made known to you, what would happen?

Of course if some of these sins involved the rights of others, and people needed to be protected from me and my evils, it is understandable and Islamic that these sins be publicized. And if these sins were personal and did not involve the rights of others, we would be able to criticize the one who did make these sins public; but even in that case, I know my faults and sins, and before criticizing anyone who exposed them, I should blame myself and seek repentance for my own faults in front of Allah.

But let us return to the question. What would happen if my ‘fans’ and ‘admirers’ really discovered my true nature? For sure, they would lose respect in me, and they have every right to do that. Many would feel betrayed and angry, hurt and confused.

Yet, in this whirlwind of emotions, ask yourself: does my evil change the Quran and Sunnah? Does my status alter the basics of theology – basics that I myself might have preached and taught these people? Do my own sins in any way diminish the glory or tarnish the mesmerizing beauty of the life and Sīrah of the greatest human who ever lived (SAW)?

May Allah conceal and forgive my faults, dear brothers and sisters, but if you ever discover my sins, feel free to cut me back down to my true level, as you should have done from day one. I give you full license to be angry at me, disgusted with me, boycott me if I so deserve.

But whatever you do – whatever you do – I implore you, for the sake of your Creator, that you do not lost faith in Him, because your faith in Him should never have been linked with me or any preacher. I beg you, even as you leave me never wishing to see me again, to never waver in your commitment to Islam, or in your love for the one true example of humanity that all of us should idealize and learn from, the Raḥmat lil-alamīn and the Leader of the Children of Adam. I ask that you do not take my mistakes as a battering rod to hurl against other preachers and teachers, the majority of whom are more pious than I am. I request that you understand that my lectures and books that you benefitted from are still worthy of benefit insha Allah, because even if I am sinful and have fallen short, what I taught you that was correct was from the Sacred Texts and our blessed tradition. If the vessel that carried it (i.e., myself) was flawed, the message that was carried from the Quran and Sunnah was not. And all that moved you from my lectures before you heard of my sins: that was due to Allah’s blessings to have used me as an imperfect vessel to convey the message to you, and nothing in that has changed now that you have discovered the flaws of the vessel.

Lastly, and may Allah conceal and forgive my sins, if you do come to find out of my sins that Allah had hitherto kept from the eyes of others, please, even as you feel angry and betrayed, spare a prayer for all sinners, include myself, for it is sinners who most need Allah’s mercy and forgiveness. And if you hear that my sins involve the rights of others, pray for them as well, and stand with them against me if you are in a position to do so, until their rights have been returned.

PS. If you are confused by this post, please do no read into it, and realize that it is generic and of benefit to all insha Allah (and no, it does not deal with me even though I meant every word of what I wrote).
There is no need to mention people or names, and remember
من حسن إسلام المرء تركه ما لا يعنيه
There is little benefit in the average person reading up on the scandals that I or any other person might have been involved with. If for some reason you do have a legitimize need to know, find out only enough that will suffice your need, then move on to more productive matters.
My sins, and the sins of others, will not harm you on Judgment Day. But your sensationalizing those sins, and spreading gossip about them, and making them the subject of your meeting places and gatherings may very well cause you distress on Judgment Day, so beware.

Only a few days left to register! Please share.

We’ve all heard these dangerous cliches:
“A believer should never be sad.”
“Sadness is from the shaytan (satan).”
“Depression is due to a weakness in iman (faith).”

350 million people worldwide suffer from depression and it is the leading cause of disability. In this seminar, we will discuss the psychological roots of depression and anxiety and dispel many of these myths that have plagued our community when it comes to issues of mental health. We will discuss both psychological and spiritual tools given to us by Allah and His messenger (pbuh) to help us cope with the difficulties of life.

Join me LIVE this Saturday at 8:30 am Los Angeles time/11:30 am New York time/4:30 pm UK time/11:30 pm Malaysia time, insha Allah. (Time zone converter: http://www.thetimezoneconverter.com/)

Those who register will be able to join the live seminar, as well as participate in an exclusive Q&A session. They will also be given exclusive access to all recordings to be viewed at their convenience.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/depression-and-anxiety-spiritual-weakness-or-chemical-imbalance-tickets-37793138294


Ryan Harris, a Muslim Superbowl Champion. But so much more. Ryan is family and one of the best people I know. Hear him talk about what it means to be a #ConfidentMuslim in today’s world.

Ryan Harris built a successful 10 year career as an offensive tackle for the NFL, and became a Super Bowl Champion, while cherishing his identity as a Muslim. At this year’s #ConfidentMuslim session held at ISNA Chicago, Harris spoke about how to stay confident in your faith despite the obstacles and challenges you may face.

We’ve all heard these dangerous cliches:

“A believer should never be sad.”

“Sadness is from the shaytan (satan).”

“Depression is due to a weakness in iman (faith).”

350 million people worldwide suffer from depression and it is the leading cause of disability. In this seminar, we will discuss the psychological roots of depression and anxiety and dispel many of these myths that have plagued our community when it comes to issues of mental health. We will discuss both psychological and spiritual tools given to us by Allah and His messenger (pbuh) to help us cope with the difficulties of life.

Join me LIVE this Saturday at 8:30 am Los Angeles time/11:30 am New York time/4:30 pm UK time/11:30 pm Malaysia time, insha Allah. (Time zone converter: http://www.thetimezoneconverter.com/)

Those who register will be able to join the live seminar, as well as participate in an exclusive Q&A session. They will also be given exclusive access to all recordings to be viewed at their convenience.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/depression-and-anxiety-spiritual-weakness-or-chemical-imbalance-tickets-37793138294

Never give up.
I know. You’ve heard his cliche countless times. I promise this isn’t a slogan. And I’m not talking about never giving up on a project or dead end personal investment. Wisdom sometimes requires us to quit. To leave. To let go. And to move on.
When I say never give up, I mean never give up your only lifeline: Hope.
Through all the ends and all the beginnings, all the wins and all the crushing defeats, only faith and hope will keep you alive. No matter what. And so it is *this* that you can never ever, give up.

The Ones of little faith in the world say they are only peacemakers. And this plot stop the believers from stopping oppression leading to evil acts all over the world. This leads to suffering and chaos. Allah guide us!!! Ameen.

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لاَ تُفْسِدُواْ فِى الأَرْضِ قَالُواْ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ

(11. And when it is said to them: “Do not make mischief on the earth,” they say: “We are only peacemakers.”)

أَلا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْمُفْسِدُونَ وَلَـكِن لاَّ يَشْعُرُونَ

(12. Verily, they are the ones who make mischief, but they perceive not.)

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Q: Will Allah (SWT) punish an ignorant person who commits a mistake?

I answer this question in my video below.

Follow Faith IQ for more videos like this.

Wake up call.

The first step a Muslim minority takes towards its self perpetuated alienation is to retreat to the ghetto with an entrenched blinkered view of Islam. In the process they chase away plurality of faith, culture and education leading to a breakdown of inter community understanding. This can lead to Islamaphobia, hate crimes, or worse still atrocities committed against them.