Category Archives: Dawah

On the Best Response to Attacks Upon the Prophet ﷺ

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

What is the best response to attacks upon the Prophet ﷺ like the French cartoons?

The best response is to educate people about the Prophet ﷺ through public talks, conferences and social media. The perpetrators wish to divert the Muslims from doing that which benefits them, so we should ignore them and show the falsehood of the cartoons without mentioning the cartoons and those who drew them. The fact that people pay attention to the cartoons helps them to spread.

We should look at how Allah responded to those who abused the Prophet ﷺ. Rather than directly reporting their words and mentioning their names, Allah asserts the greatness of the Prophet:

You are not, by the favour of your Lord, a madman. You shall have a reward that is unlimited. Yours is indeed a tremendous character.[1]

So I swear by all that you can see and all that you cannot see that it is indeed the word of a Noble Messenger. It is not the word of a poet. Little do you believe. Nor is it the word of a soothsayer. Little do you remember. This is a message sent down from the Lord of the Worlds. [2]

This is our response and there is nothing better than the way Allah responds. If we respond to everything which they do in the way they want us to respond then we will lose our way. Many of us act as if we do not have an example to follow. So let us follow the teachings of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ and this will be a means of success and victory.

[1] Al-Qalam, 68:2-4

[2] Al-Haqqah, 69:38-43

On Killing and Oppression Occurring in Blessed Lands

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

How can killing and oppression take place in lands where there are numerous pious people? Do the pious not protect such areas from these tribulations?

Does not the existence of these pious people make it incumbent on the habitants of those lands to realise their sanctity and follow their example? How can we live in lands where these people exist and then forget them and be heedless of them and go against their teachings and methodology? Some of us even insult them. We have neglected the Sacred Law; we have neglected their legacy; we do not read their biographies or attempt to emulate them; we do not love them or have veneration for them. What has happened recently is a result of those things that have happened previously. We have replaced the stories of the pious with the stories of the heedless and those that call us to evil. We have left the pious and their places and headed for the places of heedlessness and disobedience. Then we ask: “How can these things happen in our lands?”

We have to ask: “How did what came before happen?” The punishment we are now receiving is nothing compared to what we deserve. Had it not been for Allah’s kindness things would be much worse.

So let us return to the way of the pious and look at how they constantly returned to Allah. Let us pledge our love for them and allegiance to them for the sake of Allah. By them Allah will then remove these tribulations and calamities.

On Conveying the Message to Non Muslims

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

I live with non-Muslims, some of whom are interested in Islam. What can I do to convey the message of Islam to them?

You should tell them that through uttering the testification of faith mankind is raised by freeing himself from created things. You should tell them about the Messenger of Allah ﷺ: his mercy and compassion, his awesome character and his benefit and service to mankind. The meanings of the testification of faith will thus become ingrained in their minds. Showing them good character, having good dealings with them and giving them gifts will assist in this.

 

On Helping New Muslims at the Mosque

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

What can we do to help new Muslims at our mosque?

You should be cheerful in your dealings with them, you should invite them to your homes and help and serve them. You should discuss with them the attributes of Allah, the Prophets and the pious and talk to them about the next life.

On Going to Palestine

 

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

 

Would you recommend that we go to Palestine to show political solidarity with the Palestinian people?

What is recommended is to go to Masjid al-Aqsa, as the Prophet ﷺ encouraged us to do, to pray to Allah there and to help the Muslims in need there. The more Muslims that come together in the masjid to pray, the more likely it is that Allah will relieve people’s suffering. There is no need for us to get involved in politics.

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.

Our Condition Today: The Disease and The Remedy

Sayyidi Habib Ali al-Jifri (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) assesses the condition of the Ummah.

We live in a time of struggle. Things happen fast and one event quickly follows another. This leads to an imbalance, impairs people’s judgement and clouds their vision. People are in dire need of some quiet time in which to stop and reflect. They may then attain a moment of truthfulness and Allah will in turn bless him with some insight.

Away from the noise and the disputes, someone who reflects will find that the calamities of the Arab world can be attributed to three diseases:

  • Sectarianism (Sunni versus Shia, Christian versus Muslim)

The roots of this disease lie in what our the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ called: “The disease of nations.” He said: “The disease of previous nations has crept up upon you: envy and hatred. Truly, hatred is a razor: it shaves away not a person’s hair, but their religion.”

The remedy lies in spreading peace and love, as mentioned at the end of the same hadith: “I swear by the One in Whose hand my soul lies, you will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not inform you of something which enables you to attain this? Spread peace among yourselves.” (Narrated by Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Abu Ya’la)

  • Racism (Arab versus Persian, Kurd versus Turk, white versus black)

The roots of this disease lie in what the Prophet ﷺ called: “The rallying cry of the Age of Ignorance.” A dispute took place between some of the Emigrants (Muhajirun) and the Helpers (Ansar) and each side called for support from their respective group. Another dispute took place between members the Aws and the Khazraj, the two tribes which made up the Helpers and each side called for support from their respective tribe. The Prophet said ﷺ: “Is this the rallying cry of the Age of Ignorance while I am amongst you? Leave this, for it is repulsive!” (Bukhari)

Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I once traded insults with a man. I insulted him by mentioning his mother, who was not an Arab. He complained about this to the Messenger of Allah. He said ﷺ: ‘O Abu Dharr, you are someone who still possesses some of the qualities of the Age of Ignorance!’” (Bukhari, Muslim)

Imam Ibn Hajr and Imam al-Nawawi mention that the man who Abu Dharr insulted was the Companion Bilal bin Rabah. His mother’s name was Hamamah and she was Nubian.

The remedy is in making God-consciousness (taqwa) the criterion in judging a person’s merit. The Prophet ﷺ said: “An Arab only has merit over a non-Arab through taqwa.” (Grading: sahih. Found in Ahmad and others)

  • The relentless pursuit of worldly things (wealth, power, dominance over others)

The roots of this lie in what our Master ﷺ called feebleness (wahn). He said: “Allah will surely cast feebleness into your hearts.” Someone asked: “What is feebleness?” “Love of worldly things and hatred of death,” he replied. (Grading: sahib. Found in Abu Dawud)

The Prophet ﷺ also said: “This material world is sweet and lush and Allah is placing you in it to see how you act. So beware of the material world.” (Muslim)

The Prophet ﷺ said: “I swear by Allah that I do not fear that you will commit polytheism after I have gone. I fear rather that you will compete over it [the material world].” (Bukhari)

The Prophet ﷺ also said: “I swear by Allah that I do not fear poverty for you. I fear rather that the material world will be opened up to you as it was opened up to those before you and that you compete over it as they competed over it and it destroys you as it destroyed them.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ warned us about what these sicknesses will lead to:

1. Tribulations

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Rush to perform good works before tribulations come like part of a dark night. A man will be a believer in the morning and become a disbeliever by the evening or he will be a believer in the evening and will become a disbeliever by the morning. He will sell his religion for some small worldly gain.” (Muslim)

2. Widespread killing

The Prophet ﷺ said: “I swear by the One in Whose hand my soul lies, the world will not end before people experience a time in which the killer will not know why he killed and the person killed will not know why he was killed.” Someone asked: “How will that be?” He said: “There will be killing: both the killer and the person killed will end up in the Fire.” (Muslim)

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Just before the last hour there will be killing. You will not be killing polytheists but rather you will be killing each other, to the point where a man will kill his neighbour, his brother, his uncle or his cousin.” The companions asked: “Will we still possess our intellects at that time?” He said: “The intellects of the people of that time will be removed. All that will remain will be the dregs of society. Most of them will believe that they are fighting for a cause but in reality have no cause [to fight for].” (Grading: sahih, in Ahmad, Ibn Hibban, Ibn Abi-Shayba)

3. Conspiring of Others against Muslims

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Other nations will soon summon one another to attack you just as people invite others to share their dish.” Someone asked: “Will that be because of our small numbers at that time?” He replied: “No, you will be numerous at that time, but you will be like particles of waste that are seen upon a torrent. Allah will remove fear of you from the hearts of your enemy and cast feebleness into your hearts.” Someone asked: “What is feebleness, O Messenger of Allah?” “Love of worldly things and hatred of death,” he replied. (Grading: sahih, in Abu Dawud)

Analysis

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ informed us that the roots of these calamities lie in diseases in the souls of individuals. The severe consequences of these diseases are like branches which spring forth from these roots. May Allah cure the Ummah of these diseases.

Allah Himself alludes to this in the Qur’an in Surat al-Shams. Firstly, He swears by things which have an effect upon our cosmos: the sun, the moon, the day, the night, the heavens and the earth, then He swears by the human soul as if to say that this too is one of the forces that has an influence in our lives. In the response to these oaths ‘success’ and ‘failure’ are made dependent upon how man deals with his own soul. Allah says: Truly he who purifies it, succeeds, and he who corrupts it, fails.

The Quranic remedy and solution to these calamities is purification of the soul. What we need today is the courage to confront this reality. We must not allow our lower selves which command us to commit evil to make light of this reality. We must not let ourselves flee from confronting it under the pretext of being too preoccupied with solving the seemingly greater problems of the ummah.

May Allah implant taqwa in our souls and purify them; He is the best able to purify them and He is the soul’s Guardian and Master, the Possessor of Majesty and Generosity

 

On Taking a Wage for Teaching the Islamic Sciences and the Qur’an

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

 

Should someone take money for teaching the Islamic Sciences?

Earning money should not be the intention and objective of the one teaching. Teaching the Islamic sciences should not be turned into a business. Rather, the teacher should be concerned about conveying the Sacred Law to people. If someone gives you something and he is happy to do so and it is easy for him to do so then you can accept it. If you need it, you can keep it and if you do not then you can give it to someone in need. You should not accept money if the person who gives it has gone through difficulty to obtain it – such as if he had to borrow the money. The highest level of sincerity is not to stipulate a fee, not to be concerned with the fee and to accept whatever comes your way regardless of how much it is and then spend it in a way which is pleasing to Allah.

The sign of the teacher’s truthfulness is that he does not differentiate in the way he teaches and cares for his students between those who pay him and those that do not and those that pay him a little and those that pay him a lot. Rather he treats them all equally.

 

Should I take a wage for teaching the Qur’an?

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The best thing to take a wage for is the Book of Allah.” Some scholars use this hadith as evidence for the permissibility of taking a wage for teaching the Qur’an. Your intention should be good and the sign of your sincerity is that you would continue teaching even if you stopped being paid. You should use what you earn to pay for your needs and you should give any extra money away in charity.

On Consulting the Shaykh Regarding Dawah Efforts

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

 

We would like to consult you on every affair relating to our dawah efforts. However, we do not wish to take too much of your time. What principle should we follow in consultation?

You should consult us in affairs which are unclear. For example, if it is not possible to determine whether a certain act will have good or bad consequences. There is no need to consult us regarding affairs which are clear. However, you should still seek the blessing of consulting those who are close to you and those who are easy to consult as much as possible.

[Note: this does not prevent someone from sending in a report on their dawah efforts for Habib Umar or the Dawah Department in Dar al-Mustafa to look at and give advice]