Category Archives: Dawah

Etiquettes for Dawah Discussions

In order for people to get the most out of dawah discussions, Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) recommends observing the following etiquettes:

 

  1. You should believe that you are not worthy of attending such a gathering and that you are only attending out of Allah’s bounty.

 

  1. Your heart should be filled with veneration for the work of dawah. Allah ennobled the Prophets and the Leader of the Prophets ﷺ by making it their mission.

 

  1. You should intend to rectify yourself, your family, the people of your town and all Muslims and you should seek to resemble those that truly serve the Sacred Law.

 

  1. You should realise that you are in need of all those in attendance, even those who lack knowledge and experience.

 

  1. You should never think that had it not been for you the gathering would not have taken place. This is one of the faults of the lower self which leads to Allah’s displeasure.

 

  1. You should realise that Allah decreed that completion and perfection are attained when the views of all those attending are put together.

 

  1. You should welcome and respect every person’s opinion. You should never openly say that someone’s opinion is wrong. Always look for an element of truth in it.

 

  1. You should not refrain from expressing your opinion out of fear of it being rejected. Rather you should express your opinion and be completely prepared for it to be rejected.

 

  1. You should reflect upon what will be discussed in the meeting for a week beforehand. This gives you time to fully explore any ideas that you may have.

 

  1. You should focus fully on what is being discussed during the meeting and not think about anything else, even if it is an idea you wish to present.

 

  1. Only one person should speak at one time during the meeting. Only one discussion should take place.

 

  1. No one should cut anyone else off in mid speech except out of necessity.

 

  1. You should not express your own view until the previous person’s view has been fully discussed.

 

  1. Once a decision has been made based upon consultation this should not be reversed except out of necessity and on condition that everyone is in agreement.

 

  1. When people have different views on something a decision should be made based on the view of the majority. Goodness, blessings and success are in this, even if someone whose understanding is limited thinks it is not the best thing to do.

 

  1. Those who attend the meeting should smile at one another, pray for one another in their absence, show respect for one another and check up on one another. This will strengthen the ties between them.

 

The Etiquettes of Embracing Islam

Answered by Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him).

What etiquettes should be observed when someone embraces Islam?

It is good that it be made public.

As for the wording, the person embracing Islam should be told to say:

أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ و أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّداً رَسُولُ الله

Ashhadu allā ilāha ill’Allāh wa ashhadu anna Muḥammadan rasūlullāh

The meaning should be explained to him or her:

“I bear witness that there is no deity save Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”  

If possible she told to say the following and the meaning should be explained:

آمَنْتُ بِاللهِ و مَلائِكَتِهِ و كُتُبِهِ و رُسُلِهِ و اليَوْمِ الآخِرِ و بِالْقَدَرِ خَيْرِهِ و شَرِّهِ مِنْ اللهِ تَعَالى

Āmantu billāh wa malāi`katihi wa kutubihi wa rusulihi wa’l-yawmi’l-ākhir wa b’il-qadari khayrihi and sharrihi min Allāhi ta`ālā

“I believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day and in pre-ordainment, whether it be good or bad from Allah Most High.”

رَضِيتُ بِاللهِ رَبّاً، وبِالإِسْلامِ دِيناً، و بمُحَمَّدٍ نَبِيَّاً ورَسُولاً

Raḍītu billāh rabban wa bil-Islāmi dīnan wa bi Muḥammadin nabiyan rasūlan

“I am content with Allah as a Lord, with Islam as a religion, and with Muhammad as a Prophet and Messenger.”

Advice on Interacting with Others

11755124_1115549978474418_6659300682278337091_n

Advice from Habib `Ali al-Jifri (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

In our interactions with others, there are two methods we can adopt:

  1. The first is to see yourself as interacting with Allah, so that you respond to both good and evil by doing good, seeking Allah’s pleasure and reward.
  2. The second is to see yourself as interacting with people, so that you respond to the actions of others with similar actions – you respond to evil with evil and good with good.

Allah says in reference to the second method:

The reward of evil is evil similar to it..

Then Allah completes the ayah by demonstrating the superiority of the first method:

But whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with Allah..

Finally, Allah warns against transgressing the limits and choosing any other method, by saying:

He does not love the unjust. (42:40)

 

On Non Muslim Parents Who Engage in Forbidden Things

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

How do we deal with non-Muslim parents when they engage in things which are forbidden?

You should show mercy to them and wish that Allah guides them and use whatever means are available to enable this. Treat them well at all times but avoid their company when they are doing things which are inappropriate or are disobeying Allah. Give them gifts and assist them in all that is permissible.

Feeding Non-Muslims in Ramadan During the Day

habib-umar-bin-hafiz-surabaya-2014

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

Is it permissible to feed non-Muslims in Ramadan during the day?

Non-Muslims are not required to fast, so it is permissible to feed them during the day in Ramadan. It is our duty to invite them to Islam. Once they have entered Islam they are required to fast. We should not, however, give them food if they will then eat it in front of Muslims who are fasting. In a country in which the majority of people are Muslim, non-Muslims should not eat and drink openly, for this may encourage Muslims to do the same.

If this is not the case, it is permissible to feed them during the day but it is preferable to do so at night so that they are aware of the sanctity of Ramadan. There is a great reward in feeding non-Muslims and it is a means of calling them to Allah.

It would be a sin to feed a Muslim who is not a traveller and who is able to fast. There is no harm in feeding a traveller or someone who is unable to fast due to illness or old age.

 

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.

 

Say: ‘This is My Path’ | Wisdoms of Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad

Words of wisdom from Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad (may Allah have mercy on him and benefit us by him). 

Allah says to His Prophet  :

“Say: ‘This is my path..’”[1]

With this command Allah honours the Prophet and affirms his station. The command also contains the meaning of granting permission (ijazah). The ijazah is one of the foundations of the religion and is especially important in the science of hadith. Scholars traditionally give each other ijazah and shaykhs give their students ijazah. The ijazah is an affirmation of what is contained in the heart of the person receiving it and is a means for the pious to exchange secrets with one another.

If a Shaykh tells you to do something or gives you permission to recite a certain invocation, it means that he sees that you have the capability and the readiness to do that thing or recite that invocation. Through that permission you may receive strength and secrets from the Shaykh. For this reason it is said that only through the ijazah do the secrets of reciting the Qur’an, the adhkar or the names of Allah become manifest.

When Allah says to His Prophet: ‘Say,’ this is a command and also a sign that the Prophet is worthy and capable of fulfilling His command.

“Say: ‘This is my path: I call to Allah on clear evidence – I and whoever follows me.’”

So whoever takes that path will be with the Prophet . Anyone who calls people to Allah will be blessed with being with Allah’s Beloved . This a high station and only those who are patient and immensely fortunate will attain it.

We must, however, call to Allah with insight and on clear evidence. We cannot show arrogance or contempt to any Muslim. We cannot attack the beliefs of the Ummah of Muhammad, the Ummah to which Allah showed mercy.

The Prophet said:

“My Ummah shall not concur on misguidance.”[2]

O Allah, make us among those who convey this message and follow Your Messenger and among those who are guided by the light of Prophet-hood.

***

[1] Yusuf,  12:108

[2] Narrated by al-Tabarani

Prophetic Guidance in Times of Tribulation

In light of recent political events in Yemen and other countries, Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) clarifies the Prophetic perspective on how to deal with tribulations.

Habib Umar delivered the lecture in Dar al-Mustafa on 9th Jumada al-Akhirah 1436 / 29th March 2015 and it was attended by students of forty two nationalities. In it Habib Umar gave general guidelines as well as specific advice for those currently studying in Tarim. What follows is a summary of the main points.

Introduction

We must clarify to every individual, young and old, the methodology which we must follow and the foundations upon which it is built. We need to realise the true meaning of coming together in this blessed place under the banner of the Prophetic Call. This dictates that we realise our duty and responsibility and how we deal with events that take place on the earth.

The Reality of Recent Tribulations

Among those events are the attacks that several nations have launched against certain groups in Yemen. The majority of those involved in this conflict have power and worldly aims as their main motives and this is what has driven them to take up arms. The people who are involved in these struggles have no desire to make the Word of Allah transcendent. They have no desire to establish the Sunnah of Muhammad. They are not motivated by mercy and compassion for the weak and for orphans. Their Lord knows best what their intentions are. None of those who threw themselves into these struggles in various places attained any good out of it. I believe that they would all say that had they seen what has now happened they would have acted differently. But most people have not looked carefully at the teachings of the Prophet ﷺ. Had they done so, they would have taken a different path from the beginning.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ informed us of the tribulations that would befall his Ummah at the end of time. The events we are now witnessing are like a link in a chain most of which has passed and only a little of which remains. These tribulations will take their course in the places and ways that have been decreed for them. They will not increase or decrease except in the case where Allah permits certain actions or supplications to have an effect. In reality the affair has been sealed – “the pens have been lifted and the ink has dried.”

He informed us that the most severe tribulations would come to pave the way for the victory that Allah will give him once again and for the raising of His banners. Relief will come from Allah and the triumph of truth and guidance in a way that people would not be able to imagine.

Those who will be harmed most by these tribulations will be those who deliberately get involved and throw themselves into the conflict and will thus have the greatest responsibility. They will be asked why they got involved, for whom, in what way and whether they have proof from Allah for what they are doing. As for those who suffer harm despite not deliberately getting involved they are potentially martyrs in Allah’s sight and will not have lost anything.

These days will pass and we await the days in which Allah pours His generosity upon us and upon the Muslims. This region (Hadramawt) will remain, with Allah’s permission, in a state of wellbeing, but we ask Allah to show His gentleness to our brethren in Sana`a, Aden, and all areas of Yemen and all areas of the world.

 

 Prophetic Guidance

The Prophet ﷺ, the one entrusted with guiding mankind, told us how to deal with tribulations when they arise. He said that:

“The one who exposes himself to them will be caught up in them.”

He said that in these times the one lying on his side is better than the one sitting; the one sitting is better than the one standing; the one standing is better than the one walking and the one walking is better than the one running. Did he convey the message or not? He definitely conveyed the message ﷺ. One of the Companions asked the Prophet ﷺ which side he should take if the Muslims were divided into different groups. He said to him:

“Distance yourself from all these groups.”

 

The People of Truthfulness

In times of tribulation, Allah singles out truthful people who honour their covenant with Allah. They are not shaken by the events that take place. They are guided by the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah and their hearts are filled with trust in Allah, reliance upon Him, hope in Him and fear of Him. Allah describes them as follows:

Those that convey Allah’s messages and fear Him and fear none other than Allah. Allah suffices as a Reckoner [1]

Those to whom men said: “The enemy have gathered against you, so fear them!” But this only increased their faith, and they said: “Allah is sufficient for us! He is the best Guardian!” So they returned with grace and bounty from Allah and no harm touched them. They attained the good pleasure of Allah and Allah possesses immense bounty [2]

Those who possess these attributes regardless of the time in which they live attain high stations and live in a state of safety and tranquillity. Allah says:

When the believers saw the Confederates they said: “This is what Allah and His Messenger had promised us. Allah and His Messenger have spoken the truth.” It only increased them in faith and submission (to Allah). Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah. Some of them have died and some are waiting. They have never changed their determination in the least. Allah may then reward the truthful for their truthfulness and punish the hypocrites if He wills or relent toward them [3]

 

Our Methodology

We follow the path which the Prophet ﷺlaid out for us and the way of the people of truthfulness. This has been the correct way throughout our history. It is not something which we have invented. This was the way of the Prophetic Household, the Companions, the Followers and all those that came after them. It was the way of Zayn al-`Abidin `Ali bin al-Husayn, Hasan al-Basri, Sa`id bin al-Musayyib, Sa`id bin Jubayr, al-Harith al-Muhasibi, Abu Talib al-Makki, Imam al-Ghazali, al-Junayd bin Muhammad and Imam `Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylani. It was the way of al-Muhajir, Ahmad bin `Isa and all his forefathers. It was the way of al-Faqih al-Muqaddam Muhammad bin `Ali Ba `Alawi and it was the way of my father and my teachers. From them I took the path and from them I received the understanding of the Book and the Sunnah, the understanding of our duty in life, the purpose for which Allah created us and how we prepare to return to Him, our connection to Muhammad and our duty in dealing with every event that occurs.

The way of the people of truthfulness was to avoid tribulations. They fulfilled their obligations in doing that which is clearly good and avoided anything in which the Devil had a hand. This is the path they took and we follow in their footsteps by Allah’s permission.

We consider the work which we are involved a form of jihad to which no-one may raise any objection. It consists of working with truthfulness and sincerity towards attaining the three objectives of attaining knowledge, acting upon it and calling people to Allah on an individual level, a family level and a community level in whatever time, place or situation we find ourselves. Our leader in this is the soul of Muhammad ﷺ, his clear Sunnah and the way of his Companions and those who follow them in excellence. We have chosen this form of jihad in the way of Allah. We refuse to get involved in any affair unless it is completely good and completely clear and only if we will be free from being subordinate to any group and safe from the meddling of the Devil. If we have any doubt then we return to the advice of the Prophet ﷺ:

“Leave that which causes you doubt in favour of that that which does not cause you doubt.”

This is our advice to those who will listen. As for those who do not wish to listen we will not declare anyone a disbeliever (kafir), someone who associates partners with Allah (mushrik) or an innovator. We will not struggle against anyone, abuse anyone, or look for support from anyone. We do not fear evil from anyone. Let them busy themselves with the conclusions which their intellects have caused them to arrive at. We are concerned with conveying the message of Allah and His Messenger and fulfilling our responsibility in the way that Allah loves. Allah says to our Master ﷺ:

So remind, for you are but a reminder – you are not their controller… for to Us will be their return; then it will be for Us to call them to account [4]; your duty is only to convey the message [5].

We have been taught to respond to our Most Generous Lord by saying:

If You punish them, they are Your slaves and if You forgive them You are the Mighty, the Wise [6]

He who follows me is of me; while he who disobeys me.. You are Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful [7].

These are the teachings we have inherited from the previous Prophets.

Praise be to Allah for the fact that you have no Muslim blood on your hands. May He also cleanse your hearts and your minds so that you are not taken to account for any blood that has been spilt, or any person whose honour has been violated or for putting fear in the heart of any believer. Likewise guard your tongues. You have not physically entered any battle but you may be taken to account for what you say. Someone may say: “So and so deserved to be killed,” and he may then be taken to account for his part in killing him.

Allah knows best what people’s intentions are. We cannot judge people’s intentions. Our role is only to teach people and not to control them. Our leader did not control anyone so how can we? Allah says:

You are not their controller.

The Prophet ﷺtaught us to say in the morning and evening:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الَّذِي لا يَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِهِ شَيءٌ في الأَرْضِ ولا فِي السَّمَاءِ وهْوَ السَّميعُ العَلِيمُ

“In the Name of Allah. Nothing in the heavens and earth may harm the one who mentions His name. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.”

“Nothing in the heavens and earth..” Do you know what that means? You read this in the morning and evening. Are you a believer or a disbeliever? Are you sincere or are you a hypocrite?

Allah shows us what our methodology should be in the face of adversity:

If you have steadfastness (sabr) and taqwa their schemes will never harm you.[8]

Say: “Nothing will befall us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Protector. In Allah let the believers place their trust.” Say: “Are you waiting for anything to befall us except one of two glorious things?” [9]

All praise be to Allah – everything that is awaiting us is good for us.

Every Muslim has the ability to give advice, teach others and help those in need so they should do what they can sincerely for Allah’s sake. This is their duty regarding their concern for the affairs of the Muslims. They are thus safe from being part of the problems confronting the Ummah or causing more problems.

 

Specific Advice for those Living and Studying in Tarim

Many of you in this place knew nothing about what was going on until a family member from outside Tarim contacted you after seeing what has been happening on the news or when some of your governments requested that their citizens return home. It is fitting that you have only heard about it from outside Tarim because naturally people outside Tarim are affected by the media, whose mission is to shake and scare people and spread false rumours and in doing so serve the Devil. People have become completely captivated by the media.

May Allah reward those countries that wish to protect their citizens. This is what they believe to be correct and it is natural that they be worried. The whole arena in which they operate is based upon fear and worry and they only have a small portion of faith and tranquillity. If they feel that it is in the interests of their citizens to return home and if they have provided means of transport, may Allah reward them. Families are naturally affected by these events and this is excusable. They are not excused, however, from doing their duty.

Thus if someone wishes to leave, we will not prevent them and if someone wishes to stay, we will not prevent them. However, these days of tribulation will pass and meanwhile we will be amongst the safest of people on the face of the earth. We will be in a state of complete tranquillity due to the fact that we receive special protection and care from Allah. Neither our food supply, nor our safety nor our tranquillity will be affected.

Had we known that any harm would come to any one of you in your religion or your worldly affairs, we would order you and request you to leave. This, however, will not happen by Allah’s will. Even if some harm were to befall us and we told people to leave then those who are completely truthful would say:

“I do not prefer myself over you.”

Let each one of you decide how we deal with these events and how he speaks to his relatives at home. He cannot, however, change his path in fulfilling his obligation in this life due to these events. We must convince our relatives that our path is correct, but we are not content for a student, a teacher or a worker to remain here if his parents are not content with that. We must give each person the rights that are due to them. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ turned away someone who wished to perform jihad with him due to the fact that his parents were not content for him to do so. He said to him:

“Your struggle is with them.”

If someone is truthful, Allah will enable him to convince his parents to allow him to stay.

Your concern for the affairs of the Muslims should be expressed in your supplications and pleading with Allah and your presence of heart when you remember Him. Do not waste your time following events in the news. You have a role to perform. Your focus should be on the Qur’an and the Sunnah and your studies: whether it be fiqh, tafsir, hadith or grammar. Let your hearts be present in your studies for this is your provision for your meeting with Allah. This is what you are involved in now. None of you are in government and are thus responsible for the decisions governments makes.

Closing Supplications

O Lord, it is Muslim houses, Muslim airports and Muslim property that are being destroyed! It is Muslim honour that is being violated! It is Muslim blood that is being spilt! It is Muslim women and children that are being frightened! What is the cause of this? O Allah, save the Muslims and remove the tribulations that have befallen them. Your enemy and his followers have divided the Muslims so unite them, O Lord, by Your power and the station of Your Beloved Muhammad.

Let us and our loved ones be with Your Beloved in this life, at death, in the Barzakh, on the Day of Judgement and in the Abode of Honour. Allow them to see him, to kiss his hand, to be with him, to be in the same row as him, to follow him and to receive his care and compassion. I take refuge in the light of Your countenance that anyone who is connected to us, has attended our gatherings or received knowledge from us be separated from him ﷺ . Let us gaze at his face and let he be the one who gives us to drink from the Pool along with `Ali and may Fatimah be pleased by this. The raising of voices in supplication in places of worship causes tribulations to be lifted. This gathering is more effective than whole squadrons of fighter planes. May Allah save the Muslims whatever school or group they belong to. May He guide everyone that says la ilaha ill’Allah.

Go forth with Allah’s protection, with your path illuminated and complete tranquillity. Be truthful with your Lord and work together for His sake. May we be among those who are accepted by Him. All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

 ***

[1] Al-Ahzab, 33.39

[2] Al `Imran, 3:174-4

[3] Al-Ahzab, 33.22-24

[4] Al-Ghashiyah, 88:21-22/25-26

[5] Al-Shura, 42.48

[6] Al-Ma’idah, 5:118

[7] Ibrahim, 14:36

[8] Al `Imran, 3:120

[9] Al-Tawbah, 9:51-52

 

When will Relief Come?

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

We witness the suffering of our brethren in Palestine and we feel helpless. When will relief come and what can we do to help?

There is no doubt that the people of Palestine and the Muslims in many other lands are suffering. We should not expect anyone other than Allah to alleviate that suffering, and the correct way to seek relief is to be upright in doing that which pleases Him. We should reflect upon the wisdoms that Allah has in testing His slaves. We should plead with Allah to remove the suffering and improve the states of the Muslims while at the same time being content with whatever He decrees. We should realize that we deserve worse than what we are receiving due to our wrongdoings.

Allah says:

If Allah were to take people to account for their wrongdoings, He would not leave on the earth a single living creature.[1]

We should continually ask Allah for His forgiveness and pardon. We should look at those who had patience alongside their Prophets, look at their suffering and look at how Allah gave them victory.

Allah says:

Many a prophet was killed[2] with a number of devoted men beside them but they never lost heart due to what befell them in Allah’s way. They were not weakened and they did not give in. Allah loves those who are steadfast. All that they said was: ‘Our Lord, forgive us our sins and our transgressions, make our feet firm and assist us against those who reject faith.’  

What they said reflects their state: they recognized their wrongdoings and then sought forgiveness and assistance from Allah. The result was:

So Allah gave them a reward in this world and the best reward of the Hereafter, and Allah loves the people of excellence.[3]

They were so shaken that even the Messenger and those of faith who were with him said: “When will the help of Allah come?” Indeed the help of Allah is near.[4]

Until the time came when the Messengers despaired (of their people) and knew that they were treated as liars, Our victory came to them.[5]

The Prophet said ﷺ:

“With patience comes victory, with difficulty comes relief and with hardship comes ease.”

 

 ***

[1] Al-Nahl, 16:61

[2] Another reading of the Qur’an would translate as: ‘Many of the pious fought with the Prophets..’

[3] Al `Imran, 3:146 -8

[4] Al-Baqarah, 2:214

[5] Yusuf, 12:110

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.