Author Archive

Knowledge on Steroids

Many of us live busy lives which we often have to compensate for by requiring things done instantly. Of course, the plus side of this is that ‘productivity’ increases, but it undoubtedly comes at a cost, often to our health and/or general lifestyles. Technology has played a significant role in facilitating this—take email as an […]

The War Against Traditions

When the Prophet ﷺ was sent with the divine message, the key change that took place was the fact that rather than traditions and ancients customs being the sole source of practice and yardstick for right and wrong, it was the book of Allah, subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He), the Qur’an and the Prophetic […]

A Prophetic Way of Teaching

The traditions of the Prophet ﷺ, namely in the form of sayings (hadith) as well as being a source of law and religious guidance, also holds many other meanings and lessons, available to those who read it analytically. This is alluded to in the following Hadith: “May Allah brighten [the face of] a person who […]

The Need for Consultation (mushāwara)

In the name of Allah, the most merciful, the most kind. As Muslims, the best role model we have is of course, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him). About him, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) says: And indeed, you are of a great moral character. And as Aisha radi allahu `anha […]

“And Every People Knew its Watering Place”

This article is based on the book “Qur’anic Principles” by Dr. Umar ibn Abd Allah al-Muqbil This verse in Surah Baqara is specifically referring to the incident wherein Moses prayed for water for the children of Israel: “And [recall] when Moses prayed for water for his people, so We said, “Strike with your staff the […]

Give Good Tidings to the Patient

Originally Published in October 2011 It is one of those unavoidable facts of life: sometimes we find ourselves in situations we don’t want to be in. Often, we have to do things or resist doing other things. The Qur’ān and Ḥadīth mention such occurrences, and also elaborate on our response to them. Thus the following […]

When Are ‘Good Actions’ No Longer Good?

Good actions are supposed to make us good people. Bad actions usually have the opposite effect. Yet what if ‘good’ actions do not have this positive effect? If doing good can have the opposite result to what was intended, are such good actions really good? Look at the following verse: “Kind speech and forgiveness are […]

The “Sheikh Google” Phenomenon

Islam and the Internet Series: Intro | Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IV Googling The Sheikh The term ‘Sheikh Google’ generally refers to an amateurish approach of studying Islam, more specifically to the study of Islamic Law (fiqh) and […]

“We follow only the Qur’an and Sunnah”

Sitting in the mosque board meeting, as one issue after another was raised, I’ll confess it was difficult not to drift into my own thoughts. However, one issue was raised that caught my attention that was, perhaps not surprisingly, the issue of finance and fundraising: the mosque needed funds for refurbishing the ablution (wuḍu) area. […]

Islamic Law: Between ‘Selecting’ and ‘Negating’ a Position

Knowledge is becoming widespread. More and more Islamic books are being translated into English. The number of avenues in which a Muslim may learn the Arabic language is growing, thus access to the abundance of resources that exist in the source language is becoming much easier. Yet if this growth in knowledge is not gradual […]

Constructive Criticism

It’s not a wonder that the term ‘criticism’ is often qualified with the adjective ‘constructive’. Constructive means to build and is the opposite of ‘destructive’. Hence ‘destructive criticism’ is criticism aimed simply at tearing down what others are doing or have done. One can easily fall into what seems to be ‘destructive criticism’ when care […]

When is the difference of opinion (al-Ikhtilāf) amongst scholars a mercy?

A quick search within the plethora of fatāwa (Islamic scholarly opinion) available on the internet alone will quickly help one to conclude that difference of opinion in matters relating to Islam is indeed a reality. The purpose of this short article is neither to address the causes of such differences nor to support one position […]

“…and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty”

There are many proofs for the fact that the shari`a (Islamic law) is based on ease and facilitation and is against rigidity and unnecessary constriction. Any good book on Usūl al-Fiqh will usually provide all such proofs. One of the key proofs used is the Qur’ānic verse mentioned above, in which Allāh subhanahu wa ta`ala […]

Is it Better to Avoid the Mubah?

Imam as Shatibi (r) discusses very elaborately and at length, in his famous work, al-Muwāfaqāt, the ḥukm (law) that is known as “mubāh” or that act which has a neutral status in Islamic Law. It is usually defined as “an act whose commission or omission is not required.” Is this subject too abstract? Though this […]

“Dissent or Discord is evil”

During Hajj, both the noble Companions Abu Bakr and Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) used to pray Two Rakah in Mina. However Uthman (R), when he was the Caliph, said he will pray 4 Raka’ah. Ibn Mas’ud (R) disagreed and stated that two people better than Uthman prayed 2 (referring to Abu Bakr […]

The Significance of Intentions (niyya)

The great Ḥanafī scholar Zayn al-Din bin Ibrāhīm bin Muhammad famously known as Ibn Nujaym1  in his scholarly work “al-Ashbāh wa al-Naẓâ’ir,” a book dedicated on the maxims of Jurisprudence (Qawā’id al-Fiqh), mentions the second maxim in the book “actions are judged by their end results” (al-Umūr bi Maqāsidihā) and thereafter discusses rulings that come […]