On Working With ‘Salafi’ Groups

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Can we work with ‘Salafi’ groups?

If these groups truly follow the Salaf (the Pious Predecessors) in the realm of tenets of faith then we are in agreement with them. If, however, they claim to follow the Salaf but in reality go against their methodology then we should avoid mixing with them so that confusion does not arise regarding how we call people to Allah. It may be possible to work with the moderate elements among them on things on which there is scholarly consensus and which benefit society. We may also work with them on projects which are run in the name of all Muslims in the region, not in the name of a specific group.

On Responding to False Claims About Sayyiduna Muawiyah

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How do we respond to those that claim that Sayyiduna Muawiyah is not one of the Companions and that we should not say ‘may Allah be pleased with him’?

The best response is to continue to say ‘may Allah be pleased with him,’ and to avoid any argumentation. This is just one of a number of issues that certain people bring up today to cause friction, disunity, to waste Muslim resources, to stop them from having an influence on others and to show them as being divided. So we should focus on that which is of benefit and not allow them to achieve these base goals.

Reminding Believers of What was Sent with the Best of Messengers

This is a translation of a treatise by Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him) entitled ‘Reminding Believers of What was Sent with the Best of Messengers.’ Although small in size, the treatise contains a comprehensive summary of the message which the Prophet ﷺ conveyed. Many people have tried and will try to summarise the teachings of Islam, but few have been able or will be able to do so in a way as complete and comprehensive as this great Imam, who combined inward and outward knowledge. May Allah allow us to be included in the prayer of Habib `Abdullah that ‘those who use it as a reminder or disseminate it will be people who commanded the good and forbade evil, and that they be beloved to the Best of Creation.’

 

Download here

Dealing With Those Who are Reluctant to Work With Us

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What can we do if we find our brothers are reluctant to work together on dawah projects?

We should ask Allah to rectify the situation, maintain ties with them and ask other people to encourage them to co-operate. We should also invite them to attend meetings or gatherings from time to time.

 

On Giving Advice to Shia Friends and Relatives

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How do we give advice to relatives or friends who follow the Shia branch of Islam?

If you see that they are ready to listen you should try to explain to them in the most appropriate way that the Qur’an praises the Companions, the Prophet ﷺ praised them and so too did Sayyiduna Ali and his children and grandchildren. The example we should follow is the example of the Prophet and the elect of the Prophetic Household (Ahl al-Bayt). They loved the foremost, the first of the Emigrants and the Helpers and none of them spoke badly about any of the Companions. If we do not follow their example, who are we following in reality? Should we follow the path of those who wronged the members of the Prophet Household and cursed them or should we follow the path of the Prophetic Household? Can we express our love for the Prophetic Household by going against their way and following the way of those who showed enmity to them?

Tell them that the chain of transmission of all the four Sunni schools goes back to Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq: Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Malik received knowledge from Imam Ja`far directly; Imam al-Shafi`i received knowledge from Imam Ja`far through Imam Malik, and Imam Ahmad received knowledge from Imam Ja`far through Imam Shafi`i and Imam Malik. You should praise the four schools without denigrating any of the other schools.

On Advising Parents or Elders

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How do we give advice to parents or relatives who are older than us if they disobey Allah?

We should ask elders or people they respect to give them advice. We can also give them books or show them videos which we think may affect them. The consequences in the next life of acts of disobedience may be mentioned to them but indirectly and with the appropriate respect and courtesy.

In general we should not be overly affected by the negative things we see in them. We should focus on their positive attributes and do what we can to rectify the situation.

On Avoiding Those Who Do Not Benefit Us Without Driving Them Away From Islam

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

 

How do we avoid keeping company with people who do not benefit us without driving them away from Islam?

You must avoid the wrong that they do while showing them good character and giving them good advice and kind words when the opportunity arises. If they are doing something which is forbidden do not partake in it but do not be harsh to them when they are not doing so. Continue to ask Allah to rectify them and guide them. Keep in mind that they may be guided and then intercede for you on the Day of Judgement. The bounty of Allah cannot be limited.

On Uniting the Rich and Poor

 

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

 

How can we unite the Muslims in the US, particularly the rich and poor?

We should encourage Muslims to show mercy and compassion to each other and we should encourage the wealthy to donate some of their wealth to the poor. We should bring them together in gatherings of knowledge and remembrance. We should arrange visits between different communities. The wealthy should visit the poor with humility and the poor should visit the rich not desiring their wealth. They should visit each other for the sake of Allah, to please the Prophet ﷺ and to strengthen the ties of brotherhood.

On Ashura Gatherings

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

 

What should we do if our Shia friends invite us to one of their gatherings on Ashura?

We tell them that there are sunnahs which the grandfather of Sayyiduna al-Husayn taught us to implement on this day. If there is anything prohibited that takes place in the gathering, such as people hitting themselves or cursing the Companions, then we cannot attend. This goes against the Sunnah of the Prophet and the Ahl al-Bayt. If not, it is fine to attend merely to remember al-Husayn. We do not involve ourselves in anything that will cause dissension.

Some people make false claims that Ashura is a day of sadness in Tarim and that this was the way of Imam al-Haddad, but this is completely false. Such people only have to witness what takes place in Tarim on that day.

On Dealing with Objections to Tasawwuf

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him).

 

My husband does not agree with the way of tasawwuf and does not like my attachment to this way. What can I do?

You need to deal with him according to the principles of tasawwuf: being patient, treating him well and not arguing with him. If you do this he will be completely immersed in tasawwuf. Treat him well and treat him gently and ask Allah in abundance to expands his heart.[1] All that the people of tasawwuf need to do in every situation is to deal with people according to the principles of tasawwuf. The realities of tasawwuf are, however, hard to attain and its stations are lofty and we ask for a great portion of it.

 

[1] Meaning he becomes convinced of the correctness of the way of tasawwuf