Advice on Electronic Currencies

Hb Umar hawsh

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

 

  • What do you say about investing in electronic currencies?

These are one of the tricks and ploys that have been used to delude people who are hoping to make some money. They have no basis in the Sacred Law and the end result in investing in these currencies will not be good.

 

  • I have already invested in these currencies. What should I do?

You should stop investing in them and you should give the money you have made to Muslims in need. If you have relatives who are in dire need then give it to them and if not send it to Muslims who are suffering from catastrophes across the world. Alternatively, you can donate it to a project which is of general benefit to society.

On Involvement in Protests

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

Should those involved in dawah take part in protests which condemn things like police brutality or the oppression of the Palestinian people?

Oppression must be condemned whatever form it takes as long as this does not lead to greater oppression or some other kind of evil. Ordinary people are free to get involved in such protests if they wish, but the role of those involved in dawah is to clarify the Islamic position on such matters. They should not be directly involved in protests because this may have political and social implications and may lead them to neglect aspects of their dawah.

On Difficulties for Muslim Women in France

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

The situation is very difficult for Muslim women in France. The hijab is banned in schools and in the workplace and attacks on Muslim women are on the increase. There is widespread Islamophobia in the media and in politics. How should we react to these attacks and how should we protect our religion and not allow hatred to enter our hearts?

The real essence of the believers becomes manifest in times of hardship. Women should retain their modesty as far as possible[1] and remain firm, show good character and patiently bear the hardships they are exposed to and the end result will belong to the people of taqwa. Allah mentions in the Qur’an the types of people who have hatred for Islam in every generation: You are those who love them, but they love you not… when they are alone, they bite off the very tips of their fingers in rage… if any good befalls you, it grieves them, and if any evil befalls you, they rejoice at it. Allah did not then say: “You should hate them, treat them harshly, plot against them or be happy if evil afflicts them.” Rather Allah said: If you have patience (sabr) and taqwa then their scheming will not harm you.[2] Our brothers and sisters should embody this Qur’anic character: we should wish goodness and guidance for them in spite of their harming and insulting us. Allah mentioned that the Messengers said to their peoples: We shall patiently bear the harm that you have inflicted upon us, for those who put their trust should put their trust in Allah.[3]

 

[1] Habib Umar mentioned that they may leave the niqab or face covering, since the scholars differ over whether it is compulsory. They may not, however, leave the hijab which covers the hair and they should avoid beautifying themselves and using perfume.

[2] Al `Imran, 3:119-20

[3] Ibrahim, 14:12

On Praise and Criticism of Western Society

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

 

How do we strike a balance between criticising the bad sides of Western society while at the same time recognising the good sides? Please clarify for us the principles here.

Any culture, understanding and moral character in agreement with the Sacred Law should be praised. We cannot accept for ourselves anything that is contrary to the Sacred Law in Western society. We have to clarify the bad sides of Western society in the best possible way. Our call to Allah should not, however, focus on this. Rather it is founded upon knowledge of Allah and prophethood. When someone accepts this, we gradually introduce legal aspects and we clarify things with the best words and best intentions.

The Islamic Perspective on Democracy

Answered by Sayyidi al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Hafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him).

What is our perspective as Muslims in the West on the concept of democracy?

Islam legislates the concept of shūrā (mutual consultation) and teaches us not to be oppressive or totalitarian. It also teaches us to act in the best interests of humanity. We should develop a proper understanding of these concepts and then we should convey these meanings well and teach them to those around us.

On Maintaining Modesty in a Hostile Environment

Answered by Sayyidi al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Hafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him).

When I was in Tarīm I loved the modesty that girls showed in their clothing and transactions at home and outside. How can we make this modesty a feature of our communities in the West in an environment which does not welcome these etiquettes?

It is possible for all these etiquettes to be followed. However, if it is difficult to implement some of them, it does not mean that they should all be left, and we should do what we can.

The various environments that we find ourselves in are not an obstacle for people with strong resolve and high aspiration whether they be men or a women. This strong resolve is the most important thing, and the effects are greater if one works gradually with wisdom. The modesty that you see in Tarīm and many places amongst the pious people of the Ummah is the result of the teaching of the Prophet, who came to a degenerated society where the modesty of women was exposed. This is the state of disbelieving societies today.

Allah says:

Do not expose yourselves like the exposure of the former times of ignorance.1

However, the society of the Prophet was transformed due to strong faith and resolve. Similarly disbelieving societies may change if there is this resolve and aspiration combined with Prophetic guidance. Allāh in His wisdom may cause things to happen in the short term or in the long term and the whole affair belongs to Him. We succeed by expending our efforts to try to bring about change to the extent of our ability sincerely for the sake of Allāh.

Another step we must take is to constantly teach our womenfolk about the modesty of the Mothers of the Believers, the daughters of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), the women Companions and the women who Allāh praises in the Qur’ān. We should also teach them the merit of modesty and its benefit in this life and the next. Finally we should pray to Allāh in abundance that modesty becomes a feature of our communities.

1Al-Aḥzāb, 33:33

 

 

On Increasing Our Awareness of Allah

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

How do we increase our awareness of Allah in a place in which we are surrounded by those drowning in heedlessness and good company is rare?

Reading the works and biographies of the pious, following their on-line lessons and connecting your heart to them are all types of companionship. Even if you are in a place where you are surrounded by the heedless and by disbelievers, you may attain some of the secrets of this company.

Also, if Allah allows for you to have presence when you are remembering Him, then you are sitting in the presence of the One you are remembering. Allah says “I am the companion of the one who remembers Me.” [Hadith Qudsi]

You may also enter into the company of the Messenger of Allah  by truly loving him, sending abundant blessings upon him, by intending to follow him in everything you do, by reading his biography and by realising his greatness in the sight of Allah. Through keeping the company of the pious you prepare yourself to keep the company of the most pious of them (the Messenger of Allah) and then you are ready to be in the company of Allah through pure sincere slavehood.

On Assimilating into Western Society

Answered by Sayyidi al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Hafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him).

To what degree should we be assimilated into Western society?

We can be assimilated as long as everything we do is condoned by the Sacred Law and as long as that assimilation brings benefit to Allah’s slaves.1 One of the blessings of Allāh is His saying: Allāh has made faith beloved to you and has made it beautiful in your hearts; and He has made disbelief, corruption and disobedience hateful to you; such are those who are rightly guided – a grace and favour from Allāh, and Allāh is All-Knowing, Wise.2

 —

1 Whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim.

2Al-Hujurāt, 49:7-8.

On Avoiding Worldly Delusions and Connecting to the People of Allāh in Non-Muslim Lands

Answered by Sayyidi al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Hafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him).

How can someone be connected to the people of Allāh while living in a country where the majority of people are non-Muslim? How can he prevent himself from being deluded by their worldly possessions?

You must remember the reality. Allāh says of the disbelievers: Do not be impressed by their wealth and children;1 Do not strain your eyes in longing for things We have given for enjoyment to groups of them, the splendour of the life of this world, through which We test them; the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring.2 He also says: Let not the movement of the disbelievers in the land deceive you.3 You should see their worldly possessions as being completely insignificant things which cause them to lose out on their portion in the next world. You should feel sympathy for those who have been deceived by this contemptible world and you should wish that they are given insight. They are like children who are promised sweets and toys in exchange for being slaughtered. Not knowing the meaning of being slaughtered, they happily accept the sweets and toys. So look at these disbelievers with sympathy just as you would look at those poor children. Save them if you are able to. Do not be deceived as they have been deceived but wish that they be guided and have sympathy for them.

You should also focus on your attachment to the Master of the People of Allāh, Muḥammad and his Family and Companions and the friends of Allāh. This connection can be strengthened through reading their books and learning more about them on websites and other means so that you live with them, even if you are in a country where the majority of people are non-Muslim. The whole earth was created for the pious and not for the disbelievers, but Allah tests His slaves through the existence of disbelievers: Such days (of varying fortunes) we give to men in turns4 but the pious Muslims will eventually inherit the earth: We wrote in the Zabūr (Psalms), after the Message (given to Mūsā) that My pious slaves will inherit the earth5.

Wherever you are on the earth, even if most of the people living there are disbelievers, you are in a place to whose people Muḥammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was sent. The land where you are is also a place of prayer and prostration (masjid) because the Messenger of Allah said: “The whole earth was made a place of prostration for me.” So whatever place in the earth you live in, you are in the masjid of your Prophet. This is why he said: “If the time for prayer comes and any member of my Ummah is in any place on the earth then he should pray in that place.” The whole earth is his masjid, which has been given to him by Allāh. If you are aware of this you will be connected to the people of Allāh.

1Al-Tawbah, 9:55

2Ta Ha, 20:131

3 Al `Imran, 3:196

4 Al `Imrān, 3:140

5 Al-Anbiyā’, 21:105

 

 

On Protecting Our Hearts from Heedlessness

Answered by Sayyidi al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Hafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him).

What advice do you have for people who due to work or study spend long periods of the day with non-Muslims who are heedless of Allāh? How can they prevent their hearts from being affected by them?

We have to be with them physically while are hearts are connected to Allāh. We have to know that our work or our studies are of secondary importance to our connection with Allāh and His Messenger and the truth with which he was sent (may Allāh bless him and grant him peace). We should interact with them illuminated by the light of Allāh and His Messenger, displaying the Prophetic character and the beauty and perfection that we have been commanded to display. We should be trustworthy in all our dealings and we must not engage in actions, sayings and customs of non-Muslims that contravene the Sacred Law.

We should also constantly remember Allāh and His Messenger in our hearts while at work or university, and spend time outside of work or studies connecting to Allāh and the pious people through their books or their websites. We should remember that Allāh is the One who changes people’s hearts and at any moment He could make us disbelievers like those around us. He has favoured us by showing us the truth, and we should have concern for those around us.

We should thus call non-Muslims to Allāh, not relying on ourselves but rather on the greatness of Allāh and His Messenger. We should have humility in our hearts while at the same time being in a state of nobility due to our connection to our Lord. Although we may be learning something related to the material world from non-Muslims, in reality we are there to teach them something far greater and more important. The fact that Allāh has ennobled us with lā ilāha ill`Allāh Muḥammad Rasūlulllāh dictates that we are teachers, and on this basis we should interact with them. We should be aware that Allāh has entrusted us with the message, and if they are ready to accept it we should choose the best means of conveying it.