Author: Naveed Shah, Tayybah Volunteer
Date: January 19, 2018
Have you ever wondered how to stay in touch with your faith in the rapidly evolving world around you? Everyday you log into social media and there’s a new trend that everyone is talking about. Everyday you watch the news and there’s always something in the headlines related to Islamophobia or our current government that may affect you. Every few months some new innovative technology is unveiled that may be an opportunity for investment, but finding a fatwa about it is impossible in the classical books of Islamic law. Every few years, a new generation arises with unique needs and challenges and you’re left wondering how to deal with this new generation and ground them in our theology? You long and aspire to meet the Prophet (peace be upon him), see his beautiful smile, hug his blessed body, and hear him say that he loves you and is happy to finally meet you.
What does it take to attain this dream despite the numerous challenges you face in the 21st century, living in NYC? Knowledge. Authentic Islamic knowledge. Delivered to you by qualified individuals. Experts in their field holding Doctorate degrees, teaching young passionate talented students of knowledge, all of them seeking to enrich your life with the Deen of Allah SWT. This is what AlMaghrib institute is all about and what Qabeelat Tayybah aims to do for our community here in NYC.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) gave us the key to our survival in a Hadith. He says: “There lies within the body a piece of flesh. If it is sound, the whole body is sound; and if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted. Verily this piece is the heart." Your heart and mind define your world. If you allow your heart and mind to get corrupted, your world is going to get corrupted. If you keep your heart and mind clean and sound, you will be clean and sound. It’s no wonder that Mutariff ibn Abdillah (may Allah have mercy on him) said, ”The greatest blessing after Iman is a sound mind.” If you feed your mind junk, then that’s what it will become eventually. But if you nourish your mind with wholesome authentic Islamic knowledge, your world will change. Despite the external factors around you, you think and do only that which pleases Allah SWT. By learning the Deen of Allah and keeping your mind busy with Islamic knowledge, ‘ilm becomes a part of who you are and changes you for the better. This is described by the beautiful Hadith Qudsi:
فَإِذَا أَحْبَبْتُهُ، كُنْتُ سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ، وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ، وَيَدَهُ الَّتِي يَبْطِشُ بِهَا، وَرِجْلَهُ الَّتِي يَمْشِي بِهَا،
“When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which
he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks.”
When you busy yourself with learning the Deen of Allah and apply your knowledge sincerely for the sake of Allah, you attain the love of Allah SWT. Shaykh Muhammad Al-Munajjid explains the above Hadith Qudsi saying, ”The meaning of this is that when the believing slave strives to draw closer to Allah by doing obligatory acts of worship, then nawafil acts (extra deeds), Allah will bring him/her closer to Himself, and will raise him/her from the level of Iman-- just being a believer, just being a Muslim, to the level of Ihsaan-- so he/she will start to worship Allah as if he/she can see Him.” Once you get to that level, the toxic and corrupted environment around you cannot affect you. Your heart will be filled with knowledge of your Lord, love and awe for Him, fear of Him, and glorification of him; you wouldn’t care less about the Fitnah around you. It’s as if you turn blind to the Fitnah surrounding you. Your heart and mind are your environment. Your world inside of you. If you take care of this, then what’s outside won’t harm you. Allah SWT also says:
ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ ۗ
"Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves."
Authentic Islamic knowledge is needed in order to make that change within yourself on a spiritual and psychological level. Simple Iman boosting events here and there or motivational talks, won’t do the job. If you want to see lasting results and a positive change in your life, you must embark on a journey to gain Islamic knowledge. The good news is, that’s what we’re here for. To help you on this journey by facilitating for you the platform and more. I hope to see you at our next seminar in sha Allah!
Photo Credit: Sarra' Ellaboudi