Do Islamic Schools Have Their Priorities Straight?

July 19, 2016 Leave a comment

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

If we look at the majority of issues that Islamic Schools are focusing on or that parents are concerned about, it usually revolves around specific fiqh issues such halal meat, moon sighting, 20 vs 8 rakah and other issues. It is an art to manage the complexities of teaching Islamic Studies while appeasing to the various stakeholders: parents, teachers, belonging to diverse backgrounds in terms of sects, fiqh madhab/positions, liberal/orthodox etc.

To me, it seems like symptoms of a larger issue: the lack of leadership in the Muslim Ummah. If we reflect on the hadith where Rasoolullah (saw) instructed three people who are travelling together to appoint one as an ameer/leader, we see that even such a simple task as travelling requires somebody at the help to dissolve disputes, confusions as they occur. What about the affairs of the Muslims? The sahabas had delayed the funeral of Prophet Muhammad by 3 days just to resolve that issue.

The ummah is in such a state of decline and weakness that we amplify smaller issues and keep quarrelling endlessly on zabihah meat while muslims all over the world are being slaughtered. What about issues like – are we allowed to vote and give somebody authorization on our behalf to legislate laws when Allah has said that Allah is the sole law-giver? What about the issue of paying taxes to a government that actively wages wars against muslims or hijra which is rarely discussed? Why aren’t certain issues that the Quran and ahadith focused on, such as striving in the path of Allah or Al-Walaa wal Baraa, removed from the curriculums or meanings distorted? Don’t we read the ayat condemning the scholars of the past who took part of the book and discarded part of the book?

Yes, it is not easy covering certain topics living in the west, or most other places; but we fail to realize that the threat in the akhira is far greater than the difficulties faced in this duniya for sticking to the truth. We can reflect on a similar situation in our history when the issue of creation of Quran was enforced by those in power and a lot of the ulema gave in although they disagreed with the position. Imam Ibn Hanbal criticized such scholars and told them that if the ulema use the excuse of being compelled, then the truth would be lost. Islamic teachers and schools also share that responsibility to find ways that all aspects of our deen are imparted and not just those that we deem to be politically correct as Allah is the ultimate judge of what is right and wrong.

It is also true that the environment we live in impacts us. Inadvertently, we start embodying values of the larger society we live in without realizing it or questioning the validity of that value with respect to Islam – such as diversity in terms of respecting and recognizing everybody’s right to their opinions, beliefs etc. even if it is in conflict with Islam. For instance, in issues where we know that it is clearly incorrect or unacceptable in Islam, we should have the moral courage to communicate that as an Islamic School or teacher – be it issue of Shia student’s parent’s wanting shia perspective taught or a teacher or student not wearing hijab outside the school. In issues where there is acceptable ijtihad, then ofcourse tolerance and acceptance to the differences should be encouraged.



Palestine: A History of Oppression

December 7, 2014 Leave a comment

1914: The Shaping of the Modern Muslim World pt.2 – Yasir Qadhi & Nabil Bayakli (Jan 19, 2014)

Virtues of the First Ten Days of Dhu’l-Hijjah

September 25, 2014 Leave a comment



Among the great seasons of worship are the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, which Allah (Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala) has favored over other days. It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (MALE radi-allahu-anhu) that the Prophet (SAW) said: “There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” They said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out himself for jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.” 1

It was also narrated from Anas (MALE radi-allahu-anhu) that the Prophet (SAW) said: “There is no deed that is better before Allah or more greatly rewarded than a good deed done in the (first) ten days of al-Adha.” It was said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out himself for jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.” 2

These texts and others indicate that these ten days are better than all other days of the year, with no exception, even the last ten days of Ramadaan. But the last ten nights of Ramadaan are better than the first ten nights of Dhu’l-Hijjah, because they include Laylat al-Qadr, which is better than a thousand months.

So the Muslim should start these days with sincere repentance to Allah (Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala), then he should do a lot of righteous deeds in general, then he should pay attention to doing the following deeds: Read more…

Is Bitcoin Sharia Compliant? Davi Barker

August 22, 2014 Leave a comment



This is intended for a Muslim audience but I will endeavor to make it accessible to a general audience. It is really an appeal to Muslims for a little monetary sanity.

I am  in the uncomfortable position of being the only person I know even remotely qualified to answer this question. There’s no pride in that claim, but despair for the lack of interest in this subject in the Muslim community.

The Muslim scholars I’ve asked don’t really understand what Bitcoin is, and the average Bitcoin enthusiast doesn’t know anything about what has become a relatively esoteric area of Islamic law. So, I may be the only bridge between these two communities. Read more…

Categories: Money

India: The Biggest Democratic Failure

May 16, 2014 Leave a comment

India: The Biggest Democratic Failure

Friday, 18 April 2014 09:44 Kasim Javed

From the 7th April to May the 12th the world’s largest democracy will be having the world’s largest elections – arguably the largest democratic event in history. Over 800 million people inImage India will go to the polling stations to elect the next parliament of India. The sheer size of the population (the average constituency size is 1.3 million people) and the convolutions of such a big electoral process has created euphoria around the world. ‘people Power,’ ‘transparent governance,’ ‘accountability’ etc have become the mantra of newspaper headlines, however, beyond the surface of this event, democracy is in fact the virus that has infected India and turned it into another basket case of democratic failure.

Since India’s opening era in 1991, which was predicated with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 India has been analysed by economists, geopolitical experts and futurologists as an emerging power. It was recognized as one of the BRIC nations and a state that is today success story of global capitalism with a $1.7 trillion economy. Whilst the Chinese economy has been characterized as “The World’s Workshop” due its large manufacturing sector, India is known as “The World’s Back Office” due to the large IT services sector that generates 54% of the nation’s wealth. But like all capitalist countries, the wealth of India is concentrated in a handful of individuals with the 100 richest Indians worth $259 billion. The wealth that the country has generated has not trickled down to the rest of the population with 32.7% of the country living in extreme poverty of less than $1.25 per day, and although not considered as poverty, 96.3% live on less than $5 per day highlighting the sheer wealth disparity that exist and the failure of capitalism to distribute wealth. Today India is home to a third of the world’s poor. Read more…

Fear No One

March 6, 2014 Leave a comment

Fear no one

Monday 03 March 2014
Written By: Yvonne Ridley


In these treacherous times it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the heroes from the villains, the right from the wrong and even the oppressed from the oppressors. Friends have become enemies and old allies are fractured and broken.

Long held trusts have shattered and there have been few constants in a world in turmoil, and it’s not just the Muslim lands where there is chaos, death and misery.

But one voice which has remained true and pure throughout these dark times is that of Moazzam Begg. His focus has always been steadfast and unwavering; never politically motivated or financially driven he has remained with those in need.

Long before he walked in to the Cage offices in London a free man from the gulag that is Guantanamo, his commitment in life was to help those less privileged than himself. Even in his darkest hours, in the darkest dungeons of Bagram his prayers and thoughts were for those around him including the young taxi driver he saw being beaten and kicked to death by mocking US soldiers.

And he also experienced the brutality of that regime but still Moazzam’s thoughts were not for himself, they were for others – especially for the blood curdling screams of a woman we now know to be that of Dr Aafia Siddiqui. Her screams still haunt him today. Read more…

Lessons from the Life of Nelson Mandela

March 6, 2014 Leave a comment

Shaykh Zahir Mahmood talks about the lessons we, Muslims, can draw from the life of Nelson Mandela. How when the Muslims stop implementing the sunnah, there are non-Muslims who step up and revive it. Lots of food for thought!

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