Sunday, 31 May 2015

Ibn Khaldun: Islam's Man for All Seasons

Imam Ibn Khaldun

Benedikt Koehler has written another wonderful article, this time on Imam Ibn Khaldun.

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Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story
Early Islam and the Birth of Capitalism
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Gun Control?

The Case Against the EU

As usual, big government has led to corporatism, i.e. corporations exerting their influence and getting regulations passed to stifle and keep out the competition. One example mentioned in the lecture below is that of pharmaceutical companies trying to ban alternative remedies and herbal medicines within the EU.

The lecture itself is a comprehensive argument against the EU, from several angles, and is also an interesting historical and cultural lesson.

For more on the corporatism of the EU, the speaker wrote this article a couple days ago.

FIFA, the EU and the UN are riddled with crony corporatism
The EU's Thieves' Kitchen Makes FIFA Look Like Bumbling Amateurs 
Brussels is a corporatist racket
TTIP is About Giant Corporates Dominating Our Economies
John King: The left wing case for leaving the EU
Does the EU really bring peace?
Britain staying in Europe looks more and more absurd
Eight ways to tell if the EU renegotiation is real
The EU is dead: The Grexit crisis has laid bare Europe's inability to rescue itself
Auto Companies Fear British EU Exit Because Of Convenience, Not Economics
European Union exit could make British households £933 richer
Britain needs to get a better deal or leave the EU
The Pope joins the EU in a sad world of make-believe
Revealed: The European Union Plan to Censor Your Pictures of the London Eye
Brussels tells British mothers: get back to work
The EU: A Wounded Beast Whose Time Has Passed
Dear Britain, there is life outside the EU
The Case for Brexit 5) Global Engagement
New Report: EU Membership Increases Unemployment
The EU Is Dead: It Just Refuses To Lie Down
What is the EU for?
The UK governments fails to block a single EU measure (i.e. the UK has no influence on EU policy)
Europe faces political war on two fronts as backlash builds
Corbyn was the only moderate among the Labour leadership candidates - on the EU
Look to Guernsey for a model of a post-EU Britain
EU commissioner tells European governments to IGNORE voters

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Brief Notes on Shaʿbān

O Allah, enable us to reach Ramadan

Alhamdulilah, by the mercy of Allah, we have reached the month of Shaʿbān. May Allah bless us all in this month and allow us to reach Ramadan in health and wellbeing, ameen.

Shaʿbān is the eighth month of the lunar calendar, falling between Rajab and Ramadan. In the two saheeh collections, i.e. of Imams al-Bukhari and Muslim, it is related that Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, 

'I never saw the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, fast an entire month apart from Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Shaʿbān." 

Usamah ibn Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him, said,

'I said, "O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting in any other month like you fast in Shaʿbān."

He replied, 

"It's a month that people don't pay attention to, falling between Rajab and Ramadan, and it is a month in which deeds are lifted up to the Lord of all creation. I like for my deeds to be lifted up while I am fasting." [Narrated by An-Nasāʾī]

May Allah the Exalted grant us the enabling success and strength to follow in the footsteps of His Beloved, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and may He enable us to reach Ramadan and enjoy its blessings and bounties. Also, may Allah have mercy on those souls who yearned to fast Ramadan and are now under the earth. O Allah, cool their graves for them and open doors for them through which the cool breezes of Paradise may blow. Ameen.

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Explaining the 15th of Shaʿbān (Jurjis)
Authentic Narrations Regarding the 15th of Shaʿbān
Word of the Month for Rajab

Friday, 15 May 2015

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The 27th of Rajab, and Tawassul

A translation of this fatwa from Naseem al-Sham

قبة الصخرة


Faḍīlat ash-Sheikh, As-salām ʿalaykum,

Did the Miʿrāj (Ascent) of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, happen on the 27th of Rajab as some people claim? My second question: is it permissible to say “O Messenger of Allah, take my hand!” (Yā Rasūl Allah, khudh bi yadī) as some munshids say, and what is the proof? Please give us a fatwā, and may Allah reward you.
Answer (Sheikh Muammad Tawfīq Ramaān):

The date of the Miʿrāj is the same as that of the Isrāʾ (Night Journey), and its specified time being the 27th of Rajab is not just what some people claim. Rather, it is the narration that many scholars have relied on. As for tawassul of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, it is a legislated matter. Those who oppose this cite as their evidence the ḥadīth: {When you ask, ask Allah…}, which is a aḥīḥ ḥadīth, but tawassul does not contradict this ḥadīth. Rather, tawassul is nothing but asking for his intercession, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and if seeking his intercession in his lifetime is established by the ḥadīth of the blind man, which is not denied by those who deny tawassul, and it is established in the ḥadīth of al-Bukhārī that he, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, will intercede on the Day of Resurrection…is tawassul after his death thus not legislated? Thinking like this actually necessitates idolatry (shirk) because it implies that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has some sort of intrinsic benefit that he could bestow whilst alive, but since his death he is no longer able to do so![1] We, on the other hand, do not say that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has any intrinsic ability to benefit or harm. Rather, it is all in Allah’s Hand,[2] but Allah grants intercession to some of His slaves.[3]

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[This translation is also available from the English Naseem al-Sham site]

[1] (tn): The sheikh’s father, Imam Muḥammad Saʿīd Ramaḍān al-Būṭī, may Allah have mercy on him, expands on this further while discussing the law of causation in the universe in his book Kubrā al-Yaqīniyyāt al-Kawniyyah. The Imam says,

‘What is amazing is that certain people continue to attribute matters to their apparent causes. Indeed, they use expressions that would clearly indicate that the apparent cause is actually that which produced the effect, such as attributing a cure to medicine, or asking a physician for it. Then you see these same people paying very close attention to the words of others and whenever they hear the words tawassul or tabarruk [seeking blessings] of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, from anyone, they declare them guilty of shirk and kufr, even though this individual did not attribute the production of the effect to him, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and did not say anything more about the Messenger than what they say about physicians and medicines. Is the causation of medicine with regards to a cure  greater than the causation of our master Muḥammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, with regards to blessings and mercy?! What we say is that there is no actual causation in this or that, but it is preposterous to elevate this apparent causation in medicine and medication to even one-tenth of the degree to which the apparent causation in Muḥammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, is raised with regards to mercy, forgiveness and blessings.

What is also amazing, and which boggles the mind, is to see them saying, “The Companions only did tawassul of him because he was still alive…after his passing, tawassul was nullified and its ruling was abolished, and it became shirk and kufr.”!!

Can anyone say this unless they think that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, assumed, while he was alive and had physical capacity, the means of producing an effect for those who did tawassul and tabarruk of him, and then when he died the means of producing an effect disappeared and therefore tawassul of him became tawassul of something that cannot produce an effect?! This is nothing but pure kufr, and it’s worse than what these people pretend they are fleeing from.

Indeed the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, cannot produce an effect in anything whatsoever, not in his lifetime nor after his death. Whoever believes otherwise is a disbeliever in Allah and His Messenger. As for the anchor of tawassul and tabarruk of him, it is nothing but an honouring from Allah, Mighty and Majestic, that is bestowed upon him, and He made him a means of mercy for His slaves. This honouring and ennoblement was not detached from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, upon him passing away. Rather, it was increased, as we know, in sublimity and nobility.’ [p.295-296]

[2] Ar. yad
[3] (tn): See Āyat al-Kursī, for example (Al-Baqarah 2:255)

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Word of the Month for Rajab

A translation of this article from Naseem al-Sham

In the Name of Allah, the All Merciful, the Most Merciful

شهر رجب

Word of the Month for Rajab

By Asmāʾ Ramaḍān

Translated by Mahdi Lock

Praise be to Allah, Lord of all Creation, praise that complies with His blessings and compensates His abundance, and blessings and peace be upon our master Muammad, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him and all his family and Companions.

To proceed:

Al-Bukhārī and Muslim have related in their two Ṣaḥīḥ collections, from the adīth of our master Abū Bakrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, gave a khuṭbah in his farewell pilgrimage and in that khuṭbah he said, {Indeed time has come full circle and returned to how it was the day Allah created the heavens and the earth. The year is twelve months and four of them are sacred, three of which are in succession: Dhūl Qaʿdah, Dhūl ijjah and Muarram, and the other is Rajab Muḍar, which comes between Jumādā and Shaʿbān}…and the rest of the adīth.

Allah, Mighty and Majestic, has said in Sūrat at-Tawbah: {There have been twelve months with Allah in the Book of Allah, from the day He first created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are sacred. That is the true religion. So do not wrong one another during them. However, fight the idolaters totally just as they fight you totally, and know that Allah is with the godfearing.} [At-Tawbah 9:36]

Thus, Allah, Glorified is He, has informed us that since the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the creation of night and day, both have revolved in their orbits and as a result we have the darkness of the night and the whiteness of the day, and that was when the year was made to comprise twelve months based on the sighting of the crescent moon.

Therefore, the year in the Revealed Law is measured according to the moon and its ascending, not the sun and its passage through the zodiac, as is done by the People of the Book.