Author Evening: ‘Great Muslims of the West – Makers of Western Islam’ with Muhammad Mojlum Khan

Written by R on . Posted in Author, Muhammad Mojlum Khan, News and events

FREE ENTRY & Refreshments provided!

WHEN: Thursday, 8 February 2018 from 6pm –
WHERE: IHRC Bookshop, 202 Preston Road, Wembley HA9 8PA (nearest station: Preston Road)
Click here to book your space!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The book will be available to purchase during the event!

The contributions of some extraordinary Muslims of the West in recent history is surprising, revealing and, most importantly, worth celebrating.

“[A] work of great synthesis. . . . [It] argues that the ‘makers of Western Islam’ have not only enriched Islam, but also humanity in general. This book is an important and timely contribution.”—Dr. Enes Karic, Professor at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, University of Sarajevo, and former Minister of Education, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

“[An] unusually informative, inspiring and timely contribution. Essential reading for Muslims and non-Muslims, Easterners and Westerners alike.”—Dr. Syed Mahmudul Hasan, F.R.A.S. historian, author, and formerly Professor of Islamic History and Culture at the University of Dhaka

Muslims have lived in the “West” for hundreds of years, yet the lives of all but a few are little knownIn this illuminating work, Muhammad Mojlum Khan sets out to change this by revealing the lives and impact of over fifty significant Muslims, from the founder of Muslim Spain in the eighth century to Muhammad Ali of yesteryear.

This extraordinary book features biographies on the enslaved African Prince Ayuba Sulaiman Diallo, who was put to work in the tobacco fields of Maryland; Abdullah Quilliam, the Victorian Shaykh of the British Isles; Alexander Russell Webb, the voice of Muslims in Victorian America; and W.D. Muhammad, Elijah Muhammad’s son, who mentored Malcolm X and transformed the Nation of Islam.

Read a sample: http://bit.ly/2htNV5s

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Muhammad Mojlum Khan is an award-winning British writer, literary critic and research scholar. He has published more than 200 essays and articles worldwide and his writings have been translated into several languages. He is the author of the bestselling The Muslim 100 (2008) and The Muslim Heritage of Bengal (2013). He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland and Director of the Bengal Muslim Research Institute UK.

Click here to book your space!

Manners and Morality in Islam

Written by R on . Posted in Adil Salahi, From Kube Shelves

Al-Adab al-Mufrad, an anthology of 1329 hadiths (recorded actions and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad), is a treasured work in Muslim history by one of its most respected scholars, Imam Bukhari (809-870), whose role in presenting the most trust-worthy teachings of the Prophet Muhammad place him head and shoulders above all others in this area.

In preparing this selection of hadiths Imam Bukhari aimed to set out a guide for moral conduct, based on the Prophetic example, and that of Muhammad’s closest companions. All of the hadiths are directly related to the standards of manners and morality Islam wants to prevail, and Muslims throughout the world have been guided by it since its preparation over a millennium ago.

What distinguishes the present work is that it includes a contemporary commentary on each topical collection of hadiths, clearly emphasising the relevance of the Prophet’s teachings in our modern and complex societies. This pioneering addition marks it out as perhaps the first English work commenting on and explaining a full anthology of hadiths.

The translator and author of the commentaries, Adil Salahi, has a long history of research in the Seerah and Hadith, and he has written extensively on both.

Read a sample below!

 

About the Author

Adil Salahi’s writings include the acclaimed Muhammad: Man and Prophet and Pioneers of Islamic Scholarship, and the English translation of the 18-volume In the Shade of the Qur’an. His main career has been in radio and print journalism, and for over 30 years he was editor of ‘Islam in Perspective’, a twice-weekly full-page column in the Arab News, a Saudi daily newspaper.

For more information on the book click here.

Hard back edition

Al-Adab al-Mufrad with Full Commentary

A Perfect Code of Manners and Morality By Imam Bukhari Translated and commentaries by Adil Salahi

A complete, newly translated edition of al-Adab al-Mufrad, the most famous collection of Prophetic traditions on manners and morals, with a pioneering commentary by Adil Salahi.

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A Look back at 2017…

Written by R on . Posted in From Kube Shelves, News and events, Uncategorized

Books Launched in 2017! Read our blog post to find out about all the books we’ve released this year. Thank you and Jazak’Allah Khair for all your support.


Vibrant Soul -Roszeen Afsar

Our first book for 2017 was our colouring book ‘Vibrant Soul’ this inspirational adult colouring book will take you on a spiritual journey to a world of swirling darvesh, majestic minarets, intricate floral patterns and wondrous birds.

Thought-provoking and uplifting quotes included inside are inspired by the eastern master poet, Jalal al-Din Rumi.

Available here

Find out how author Roszeen incorporates Islam into her creative outlet.

£3.99 Paperback

ISBN: 9781847741158


Revive Your Heart – Nouman Ali Khan

“Revive Your Heart is a call for spiritual renewal and an invitation to have a conversation with one of the world’s most recognisable voices on Islam, Nouman Ali Khan.”

Available here

Kindle edition

£7.99 Paperback

£17.99 Hardback

ISBN:  9781847741011

Find out more here. Read a review by book blogger ‘Pardon My Writings’


Islam the faith of love and happiness – Haidar Bagir

What does Islam say about love and the pursuit of happiness?

How can we gain true happiness in this life before the next?

An eye-opening guide that shows us how to create meaning in our daily lives and become intimates of God.

Through touching stories, humorous anecdotes, and profound insights into the spiritual realm that draw on sacred Islamic teachings, Dr Bagir shines a brilliant light into the darkness that all too often overwhelms us.

“This message is vitally important in our dangerously polarised world.” – Karen Armstrong OBE FRSL.

“…offers an antidote […] by presenting the heart of Islam.” – John L. Esposito, Professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Available here

Kindle edition

£7.99 Paperback

ISBN: 9781847741103

Read a sample of the book here


Hassan and Aneesa Celebrate Eid – Yasmeen Rahim

Our first children’s book came just in time for Eid! ‘Hassan and Aneesa Celebrate Eid’ shares the excitement Hassan and Aneesa feel now that Eid al-Fitr has arrived, from decorating to getting ready to go the masjid.

Available here

Read a sample!

£2.50 Paperback

ISBN: 9780860376989

For more ideas for Children’s Books for Eid click here.


A Treasury of Ibn Taymiyyah – His Timeless Thought and Wisdom – Mustapha Sheikh

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728/1328) is one of the most fascinating scholars from medieval Islamic civilization, acknowledged for his intellectual brilliance by both his admirers and his detractors. His readiness to present his own scholarly interpretations of scripture, and his instinctive rejection of much of the received wisdom of his day, mark him out as one of the most original thinkers of Islam, and indeed, one of the most incisive minds in human history.

This collection, a commentary on a brief sampling of Ibn Taymiyyah’s writings, represents a drop in the ocean of his multifaceted scholarly legacy. The reader is given a taste of this scholar’s views on theology, worship, spirituality, law, reason, revelation, and much else that is sure to enrich the reader’s understanding of Islam.

Available here

Kindle edition

£7.99 Hardback

ISBN: 9781847741035

“refreshingly accurate… highly engaging, with elegant commentary, and adorned with footnotes referencing materials for further study.” – Yasir Qadhi, Al Maghrib Institute


A Treasury of Ghazali – Mustafa Abu Sway

This beautiful edition comprises forty gems from Ghazali’s inexhaustible treasury of writings with accompanying commentaries.

Al-Ghazālī  has been described by some scholars as the greatest Muslim in Islamic history. His prolific works, written over the duration of his relatively short lifetime, have deeply influenced Islamic thought for nearly a thousand years. Al-Ghazālī was a polymath who had mastered every discipline known to the scholars of his time. In many ways, his corpus of writings on law, theology, philosophy, and Islamic spirituality, represent the most influential understanding of the Islamic religion ever articulated.

This short volume, written by one of the world’s leading experts on al-Ghazālī, comprises forty gems from al-Ghazālī’s inexhaustible treasury of writings, that give the modern reader insights into both the richness of al-Ghazālī’s thought, and how they can better help us understand Islam today.

Available here

Read a sample here

£7.99 Hardback

ISBN: 9781847740816

Read a review by Gilded Dunya over here.


My First Book About the Qur’an – Sara Khan

My First Book About the Qur’an – Teachings for toddlers and young children is considered as “The perfect book to introduce children to the teachings in the Qur’an..”

Inside this board book toddlers and young children will find out about the Qur’an’s beautiful teachings: to care for all creation; to respect the books of the Prophet and God; to be good to one another; and to believe in Allah, the Creator.

Author Sara Khan shares her thoughts on her book, “Starting with My First Book About the Qur’an, I hope to capture young children’s attention through simple language and colourful illustrations in a board book format that is suitable for their age group and presents them with the fundamental teachings of the most important book in Islam. I hope it becomes a treasured introduction to the Qur’an and Islam and that it will be accessible to every young child and parent who values their child’s Islamic education or would like to raise their awareness and understanding with regards to a religion or way of life that may be different from their own.”

Read the sample here.

More info here.

Read a review here.

£4.99 Board book

ISBN:9780860376187


I wonder About the Qur’an – Ozkan Oze

Fourth in the I wonder series, focuses the Holy Qur’an.

Have you ever wondered why the Qur’an is in Arabic, why it was revealed over 23 years or how people can be so sure it has never been changed? These questions, and many more, are explored inside.

The “I Wonder About Islam” series give young readers answers to the BIG questions they have about Islam in brilliant little books. Written in a friendly and accessible style for today’s youth, these are essential companions for questioning young minds.

Perfect fodder for inquisitive young minds…” — Jamal Orme, author of The Victory Boys

£4.99 Paperback

Available here

ISBN: 9780860375135


Great Muslims of the West – Makers of Western Islam

Muslims have lived in the “West” for hundreds of years, yet the lives of all but a few are little known. In this illuminating work, Muhammad Mojlum Khan sets out to change this by revealing the lives and impact of over fifty significant Muslims, from the founder of Muslim Spain in the eighth century to Muhammad Ali of yesteryear.

Including the contributions of great philosophers, scientists and theologians, alongside the achievements of musicians, sportspeople and writers, this work shows just how diverse, original and positive the Muslim influence on the West has been, and continues to be.

This extraordinary book features biographies on the enslaved African Prince Ayuba Sulaiman Diallo, who was put to work in the tobacco fields of Maryland; Abdullah Quilliam, the Victorian Shaykh of the British Isles; Alexander Russell Webb, the voice of Muslims in Victorian America; and W.D. Muhammad, Elijah Muhammad’s son, who mentored Malcolm X and transformed the Nation of Islam. Scroll below to see the full list!

Read a sample: http://bit.ly/2htNV5s
Available here: http://bit.ly/2zKq2AM
ISBN: 9780860376187

by Muhammad Mojlum Khan 


Our final title for the year is..

Al-Adab al-Mufrad A Perfect Code of Manners and Morality By Imam Bukhari

This anthology of 1329 hadiths is a treasured work in Muslim history by one of its most respected scholars, Imam Bukhari. All of the hadith are directly related to the standards of manners and morality Islam wants to prevail and Muslims throughout the world have been guided by it since its preparation over a millennium ago.

This edition includes a contemporary commentary on each topical collection of hadiths, clearly emphasising the relevance of the Prophet’s teachings in our modern and complex societies. This pioneering addition marks it out as perhaps the first English work commenting on and explaining a full anthology of hadiths.

 

“I have only been sent to perfect good moral character.” – Prophet Muhammad (sws)

Available here

ISBN – 9780860376095

Translated and commentaries by Adil Salahi

Thank you and Jazak’Allah Khair for all the support this year! We hope and aim to continue publishing relevant and engaging books in 2018 and beyond – In Sha Allah.

Amazing Ways Reading Can Change Your Life For The Better!

Written by R on . Posted in From Kube Shelves, Uncategorized

The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study found that only 26 percent of students in England enjoy reading. That’s a really sad statistic. If you can’t remember when last you picked up an intriguing book and lost yourself in a story, it’s time to read more and do so with your children, too. There is a rich legacy of libraries in Muslim lands, which highlight the need for more reading, especially in our modern time where we are distracted by technology that prevents us from engaging with our imagination and the world around us. Here is why reading is so important for you and your family.

Reading Prevents Cognitive Decline

When you read, you decrease your risk of mental diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Protein that accumulates in the brain is directly linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have found that there are lower levels of these proteins in people who read, write, or play games. While you’re reading, you’re firing up your brain, learning lots of new things that keep your brain sharp.

 

Reading Decreases Depression

If you’re feeling down about life, reach for a book. Research from the University of Liverpool found that people who read are 21 percent less likely to say they feel depressed and 10 percent more likely to have positive self-esteem. Books transport you to other worlds and can help to distract you from what’s bothering you.

Reading Is Relaxing

A study by the University of Sussex found reading is an activity that eliminates stress. Researchers monitored people’s muscle tension and heart rates, finding that it takes just six minutes of reading for people to relax. In order to combat stress, Muslims can do well to turn to the Qur’an which offers a lot of comfort in the face of stress and trauma. There are also great books about understanding the Qur’an and daily wisdom to apply to your life that can prove highly valuable.

Reading Can Boost Your Sleep Quality

Studies have shown that poor quality of sleep is tied to electronic use before bed, such as using tablets or smartphones. These electronics emit a blue light that stimulates the brain, and can therefore make you battle to fall asleep. Avoiding screens is important. Reading with a book, in a dimly lit room, is a healthier way to encourage relaxation and sleep before bedtime, and is especially useful if your children are too energetic before bed.

Reading To Children Improves Their Vocabulary And Knowledge

Read wonderful books to your children to increase their vocabulary and knowledge. Benefits of regular reading time with children include getting them ready for school, teaching them to focus and concentrate on a task, teaching them new words that will enrich their language, and boosting their imagination which can make them more creative. Studies have found that children who are read to from when they’re really young have better language development and higher language scores in school. Reading with toddlers in which you let them hold the book and turn its pages can also develop their motor skills.

Reading Makes You Empathetic

Essex Libraries has tackled the question: what makes a book encourage empathy in readers? Something they found is that well-rounded characters that the reader can believe in are important, as well as characters who make it easy for the reader to feel they would do the same thing if they were in the characters’ shoes. Reading books to children can help them to imagine what it would be like to be in those characters in the stories, helping them take the empathy and understanding of others learned from books and use these skills in real life.

Reading is one of the most powerful ways you can enrich your life and help your children grow. By dedicating to daily reading, you can boost your brain function and gain better skills, such as empathy, that will make you a better person.

 

Jane Sandwood – Freelance Writer

Who Were The Makers Of Western Islam? – ‘Great Muslims of the West – Makers of Western Islam’ Muhammad Mojlum Khan

Written by R on . Posted in From Kube Shelves

Great Muslims of the West The Makers of Western Islam

By Muhammad Mojlum Khan

The contributions of some extraordinary Muslims of the West in recent history is surprising, revealing and, most importantly, worth celebrating.

“[A] work of great synthesis. . . . [It] argues that the ‘makers of Western Islam’ have not only enriched Islam, but also humanity in general. This book is an important and timely contribution.”—Dr. Enes Karic, Professor at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, University of Sarajevo, and former Minister of Education, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

“[An] unusually informative, inspiring and timely contribution. Essential reading for Muslims and non-Muslims, Easterners and Westerners alike.”—Dr. Syed Mahmudul Hasan, F.R.A.S. historian, author, and formerly Professor of Islamic History and Culture at the University of Dhaka

Muslims have lived in the “West” for hundreds of years, yet the lives of all but a few are little known. In this illuminating work, Muhammad Mojlum Khan sets out to change this by revealing the lives and impact of over fifty significant Muslims, from the founder of Muslim Spain in the eighth century to Muhammad Ali of yesteryear.

Including the contributions of great philosophers, scientists and theologians, alongside the achievements of musicians, sportspeople and writers, this work shows just how diverse, original and positive the Muslim influence on the West has been, and continues to be.

This extraordinary book features biographies on the enslaved African Prince Ayuba Sulaiman Diallo, who was put to work in the tobacco fields of Maryland; Abdullah Quilliam, the Victorian Shaykh of the British Isles; Alexander Russell Webb, the voice of Muslims in Victorian America; and W.D. Muhammad, Elijah Muhammad’s son, who mentored Malcolm X and transformed the Nation of Islam. Scroll below to see the full list!

About the Author

Muhammad Mojlum Khan was born in 1973 in Habiganj, Bangladesh and was brought up and educated in England. He is an award-winning British writer, literary critic and research scholar.

He has published more than 200 essays and articles worldwide and his writings have been translated into several languages. He is the author of the bestselling The Muslim 100 (2008) and The Muslim Heritage of Bengal (2013). He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland and Director of the Bengal Muslim Research Institute UK

 

Available here

 

Read a sample

 

 

Contents

Introduction

Early Period

  1. Abd al-Rahman I
  2. Ziryab
  3. Ibn Firnas
  4. Abd al-Rahman III
  5. Abulcasis
  6. Almanzor
  7. Ibn Hazm
  8. Wallada al-Mustakfi
  9. Avenzoar
  10. Avempace
  11. Dreses
  12. Abubacer
  13. Averroes
  14. Ibn Jubayr
  15. Bitar
  16. Abu Ishaq al-Shatibi
  17. Khayr al-Din Barbarossa
  18. Gazi Husrev Bey
  19. Roxelana
  20. Hasan Kafi Prusac
  21. Safiye Sultan
  22. Evliya Celebi

Modern Period

  1. Ayuba Sulaiman Diallo
  2. Lord Henry Stanley of Alderley
  3. Alexandra Russell Webb
  4. Ismail Bey Gaspirali
  5. William Henry Quilliam
  6. Philippe Grenier
  7. Lady Evelyn Cobbold
  8. Mehmed Dzemaludin Causevic
  9. Hafiz Ali Korca
  10. John Yahya Parkinson
  11. Marmaduke William Pickthall
  12. Musa Jarullah
  13. Yusuf Ziyaeddin Ezheri
  14. Julius Germanus
  15. Harry St. John Philby
  16. Rene Guenon
  17. Leopold Weiss
  18. Abdullah Ali al-Hakimi
  19. Knud Holmboe
  20. Mehmed Handzic
  21. Martin Lings
  22. Husein Dozo
  23. Noor Inayat Khan
  24. Thomas Ballantine Irving
  25. Alija Izetbegovic
  26. Lois Ibsen al-Faruqi
  27. W. D. Muhammad
  28. Muhammad Ali

Order Your Copy

Paperback – ISBN 9781847741127

Hardback – ISBN  9781847741134

Kindle

5 Hadith on developing character – Reminders from the Sunnah

Written by R on . Posted in Uncategorized

Here are five Hadith on developing and maintaining righteous character:

  1. An-Nawwas ibn Sam’an reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

الْبِرُّ حُسْنُ الْخُلُقِ وَالإِثْمُ مَا حَاكَ فِي صَدْرِكَ وَكَرِهْتَ أَنْ يَطَّلِعَ عَلَيْهِ النَّاسُ

Righteousness is good character and sin is what waivers in your heart and you hate for people to find out about it. Sahih Muslim 2553,

2.  Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَلَا يُؤْذِي جَارَهُ

Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him not harm his neighbour. Sahih Bukhari 6110,

3. Umar ibn Al-Khattab reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّمَا الْأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّةِ وَإِنَّمَا لِامْرِئٍ مَا نَوَى فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ لِدُنْيَا يُصِيبُهَا أَوْ امْرَأَةٍ يَتَزَوَّجُهَا فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى مَا هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِ

Verily, deeds are only with intentions. Verily, every person will have only what they intended. So whoever emigrated to Allah and His Messenger, then his emigration is for Allah and His Messenger. Whoever emigrated to get something in the world or to marry a woman, then his emigration is for whatever he emigrated for. Sahih Bukhari 54,

 

4. Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيَقُلْ خَيْرًا أَوْ لِيَصْمُتْ وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيُكْرِمْ جَارَهُ وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيُكْرِمْ ضَيْفَهُ

Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak goodness or remain silent. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him honour his neighbour. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him honour his guest. Sahih Muslim 47,

5. In another narration, the Prophet said:

وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَلْيَصِلْ رَحِمَهُ

Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him uphold his family ties. Sahih Bukhari 5787,

 

These Hadith are from Imam Nawawi’s collection of 40 Hadith, which brings together some of the most important and pivotal Prophetic traditions. Each tradition encapsulates a great rule of the religion of Islam, described by Islamic religious scholars as an ‘axis’ in Islam. The commentary of the great Hadith master Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Daqiq al-‘Id is simple but erudite and was the first prepared on Imam Nawawi’s collection.

More information on the book is available on our website and Amazon

Why can’t I see Allah Dad? [Children’s Books]

Written by R on . Posted in Children's Books

The “I Wonder About Islam” series started one day with my son asking me, “Why can’t I see Allah, Dad?” The question was so unexpected that I didn’t know what to say, although I actually knew the answer. But when he asked so suddenly, I just said, “Umm, well…” He opened his eyes wide and started staring at me as if to say Come on, give me the answer! I beat around the bush for a while. You know, I was humming and hawing. In the end, I said, “Your eyes are so small, yet Allah is so big! This is the answer to the question. Because of this, you can’t see Allah!” “Oh, really?” he said.  Then, as if he hadn’t said anything, he went to his room.

He was only five years old… Perhaps, for a child his age, this answer was enough. I had handled the situation. However, as he got older, he would ask heaps of new questions about Allah. I had to prepare my answers. So, that is how I started the “I Wonder About Islam” series. The best thing about this book is that not only my kids, but kids from around the world can benefit from these answers. The first and second books in the series consist of answers I have given to questions about Allah. In the third book, you will find answers to questions about the Prophet, peace be upon him. The fourth book is about the Muslim holy book, The Qur’an.

Have I answered all the questions about all these topics? Of course not! I’ve only tried to answer the most frequently asked ones. But if you look at how these questions are answered, it will help you work out the answers to other questions yourself. If you hang on to your question’s tail and pull as hard as you can, a huge
answer will follow. From reading the book, you will see that questions don’t frighten you as much as before. You will bravely ask the questions you thought were the most challenging to answer, and soon you will see that you can’t think of a question that doesn’t have an answer.

Asking a question is saying, “I want to learn!”, “I want to understand!”, “I want to know better and love more!” You should never be afraid of asking questions, and don’t ever give up asking questions! Because a question is a key. Every question opens a door for you. And behind every door is a whole other world. Furthermore, asking a question is also a prayer. Make sure you pray a lot so that your mind and heart are filled with the light of knowledge; so that your path is always bright.

The “I Wonder About Islam” series has been written using the works of the great Muslim
scholar Said Nursi (1878–1960). The answers given to the questions and the examples to help you understand the topics have all been taken from his Risale-i Nur books.
Özkan Öze
İstanbul

This foreword was initially published in the ‘I wonder about Islam’ series, his books can be found here.

Islamic Manners – A Brief Reminder

Written by R on . Posted in From Kube Shelves

Islamic Manners

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may God be well pleased with him, who reported that the Messenger of God, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him, said: ‘Whoever believes in God and the Last Day let him say something good or else keep quiet. And whoever believes in God and the Last Day let him honour his neighbour. And whoever believes in God and the Last Day let him honour his guest.’
[Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim]


His saying (whoever believes in God and the Last Day) means whoever believes fully, with a complete faith that saves from God’s chastisement and leads to God’s good pleasure, let him (say something good or else keep quiet). This is because the person who truly believes in God fears His threats, hopes for His reward and strives to do what He commands and refrains from what He prohibits. The most important thing in this process is to control his limbs which are his subjects and, therefore, he is responsible for them, as God Most High said, the hearing, the sight, the heart – all of those shall be questioned of [al-Isra 17: 36], not a word he utters, but by him is an observer ready [Qaf 50: 18].

 

The defects of the tongue are numerous. This is why the Prophet, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him, said: ‘Are people thrown in the Fire on their nostrils except for that which their tongues have reaped?’ He also said, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him: ‘All the speech of the son of Adam will be against him except for the remembrance of God Most High, enjoining the good and forbidding the wrong.’ Whoever knows this and truly believes in it will fear God with regard to his tongue and will only utter that which is good or else keep silent. One scholar mentioned that all the proprieties of goodness are derived from four prophetic sayings and he mentioned among them the saying of the Prophet, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him: ‘Whoever believes in God and the Last Day let him say something good or else keep silent.’


Another scholar said: ‘When a person wants to speak, he should first think: if what he is going to say is definitely good and he is going to be rewarded for it, then he should speak. Otherwise he should refrain from speaking whether what he is going to say appears to be unlawful, offensive or permissible. Hence, he is commanded to refrain from permissible speech, for it is recommended to do so, out of fear that it may lead him to speech that is forbidden or offensive, and this may happen quite frequently. God Most High said: not a word he utters, but by him is an observer ready [Qaf 50: 18].

 

The scholars have different views about whether everything uttered by a person is recorded, even if it happens to be permissible, or whether only that in which there is re-ward or punishment is recorded. The latter view is the view of Ibn Abbas and some other eminent scholars. The noble verse [Qaf 50: 18] is therefore of particular applicability to the speech that involves a requital. His saying (let him honour his neighbour… let him honour his guest) points to the rights of the neighbour and guest and the necessity of being kind to them and of protecting one’s limbs. In His Book, God Most High has enjoined being kind towards neighbours. The Prophet, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him, said: ‘Gabriel, peace be upon him, kept on enjoining me to take care of the neighbour until I feared he was going to make him among one’s inheritors.’

 

Giving hospitality is part of Islam as well as being the characteristic of the prophets and righteous people. Some scholars declared it to be an obligation, but most scholars are of the opinion that it is of the noble character traits.The author of al-Ifsah wrote: ‘Among the things that one understands from this prophetic saying is that honouring the guest is an act of worship, which is neither diminished by hosting a rich person nor is it changed by giving one’s guest whatever little one has. To honour a guest consists of showing him a happy manner and engaging him in good conversation. But the heart of offering hospitality lies in providing food. One has to hasten therefore to provide whatever God has made available without any display of affectation.’

 

The same scholar went on to mention a few things about offering hospitality until he said: ‘As for his saying (let him say something good or else keep quiet), this indicates that the utterance of that which is good is better than keeping quiet, while silence is better than saying something bad. Included in the utterance of what is good is to convey from God and from His Messenger, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him, teaching the Muslims, enjoining the good with full knowledge of what one is doing and forbidding the wrong also with full knowledge, reconciling between people and saying fair things to them. The best speech is to utter a word of truth in front of someone who is feared or sought in matters of substantiation [of claims] and settlement [of disputes].’

 

This excerpt is from ‘A Treasury of Hadith – A Commentary of Nawawi’s Selection of Forty Prophetic Traditions’ which is available here.

Al-Ghazali on Listening to Music in Islam

Written by R on . Posted in From Kube Shelves, Uncategorized

Listening to Music 

Listening [to songs] can be absolutely prohibited, permitted, reprehensible or praiseworthy. As for that which is prohibited, it is for most young men who are overwhelmed with the lust of this world; for listening will stir up in them nothing but the reviled attributes prevalent in their hearts. As for that which is reprehensible, it is for those who do not project what they listen to into the image of human beings, but take listening as a habit for most of the time, for entertainment. As for that which is permitted, it is for those whose share of listening is restricted to enjoying beautiful voices. As for that which is praiseworthy, it is for the one who is captivated by the love of Allah Most High, and listening will only stir in him his
praiseworthy attributes.


Centuries ago one had to go to special places and gatherings to listen to songs, which were not available all
the time. When Muslim scholars discussed and ruled over listening to music and songs, they could not
imagine a time in the future when literally millions of recorded songs would be stored in a virtual reality
that are readily available all the time. But what are they listening to?


Imam al-Ghazali’s first concern was about the content which might lead youngsters to psychological
projection and fantasising about sexuality. They colour what they hear through their own lustful desires. Once the content in itself is problematic, it becomes prohibited. The degree of prohibition of this type of songs may have been more severe had the scholars of old known about some of the explicit lewd content of many songs today. And while there are songs today that may be considered positive, because they motivate people to overcome challenges and do something good, there are dark-themed songs that entertain suicide and encourage wrong behaviour.

Once the song is devoid of problematic content according to Islamic universal norms, and the listener does not project any ill thoughts, but only listens by way of habit for extended periods, then listening is reprehensible. Al-Ghazali is concerned here with wasting time, as with any type of extended activity that does not generate personal or public good, material or spiritual. Listening here is a distraction from a purposeful life. It is interesting that the synonyms of ‘entertainment’ include diversion and distraction.


The third category is when listening to songs is simply permitted. Here the listener enjoys the beautiful
voice and the melody. There is no transgression in content and it is done only occasionally.

The fourth category is when listening becomes commendable. It is for those whom the love of Allah occupies their whole time, emotions and actions. They are the opposite of the first category, for once they hear a song about the beloved, they think of Allah. The song, in their case, becomes a tool that helps in bringing forth the best in their souls and character.

This excerpt is from ‘A Treasury of Ghazali: A Companion for the Untethered Soul’

You can find out more information about the book here. To read a sample of the book click here.

Al-Ghazali on Travelling

Written by R on . Posted in From Kube Shelves, Uncategorized

Travelling

The benefits that motivate travelling are either running away from something or seeking out something, for the traveller is either bothered about something where he is staying, without which he would not aim to travel, or he has an objective and purpose in doing so.

Running away takes place because of worldly issues that have adverse effects on him, such as the plague and epidemics when they appear in a country, or out of fear because of sedition, a dispute or a hike in prices. The reasons for travelling are either general, as mentioned, or particular such as being targeted with personal harm in a town so that one runs away.

The reason for travelling may also be for matters detrimental to one’s religion such as being tried with prominence, money and a host of other material causes that prevent one from dedicating one’s time for the sake of Allah, thus preferring the life of an unknown person or a stranger to avoid wealth and status. And it may be that one is coerced to subscribe to a blameworthy innovation in religion or invited to take a public office which is unlawful to assume, and hence one flees from it.



Al-Ghazali captures [in the above passage] the essence of travel. One travels to avoid danger or discomfort, to
look for better conditions for one’s final destination, or simply to seek some other good. There is nothing
more iconic than the image of refugees coming from different religious, ethnic and national backgrounds,
trying to cross the Mediterranean in overcrowded boats. They ran away from war and poverty. Their plight does not end simply by reaching their new destination. If they survive the waves of the sea, the tide of xenophobia is awaiting them.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم sent two waves of early Muslims to Abyssinia to seek refuge because Muslims
were persecuted in Makkah. The Makkan idol worshippers were the first known Islamophobes. They tried unsuccessfully to poison the air between these Muslim refugees and the Negus of Ethiopia, their host.

Travelling, al-Ghazali adds, is sought either for worldly gains or for religious purposes. The latter can be divided into seeking knowledge or action. Knowledge covers personal practical ethics that can be acquired through travelling, but also the knowledge of geography which reflects the marvels of the earth.

As for action, it can be divided into acts of worship such as the formal Pilgrimage or the visitation of Makkah, Madinah and Jerusalem.

Today, People flock to Makkah and Madinah without hesitation, but not to Jerusalem because it is still under occupation. There is a strong scholarly argument encouraging Muslims to visit al-Aqsa Mosque because it is spiritually meritorious to do so. Imam Al-Shaf’i, founder of the legal school to which al-Ghazali belonged, said in one of his poems, extolling the merits of travelling: Travel, you will find recompense for what you leave behind And strive, for the pleasure of life is in working hard.

I have seen water stagnating when left still, Refreshing when flowing, if not it doesn’t taste well. Travelling may take place to avoid tribulations and unwanted personal roles that defy Allah’s plan for humanity. Al-Ghazali travelled to seek knowledge, but once he became the most famous scholar in the Muslim world, he left Baghdad in order to purify his heart from egotistic residues resulting from fame, money and power.

Something to ponder about if you are preparing a journey to Hajj, making Hijrah or if you are travelling abroad.

This excerpt is from our title ‘A Treasury of Ghazali – A Companion for the Untethered Soul

Read a sample of the book here!

Al-Ghazali on Seeking True Happiness

Written by R on . Posted in From Kube Shelves

Seek Felicity

The otherworldly felicity we are concerned with is
subsistence without end, pleasure without toil, happiness
without sadness, richness without impoverishment, perfection
without blemish and glory without humiliation.

In sum, it is everything that can [at the same time] be
conceived of as sought and seeking, desired and desirous,
eternally and forever, such that it is undiminished by the
passage of time and successions of generations.

Indeed, if the whole world was full of gems and a bird was to
pilfer one of them every one thousand years, then the
gems will be exhausted but everlasting eternity
would not be diminished a bit.


No matter how plentiful they are, the good and enjoyable things in this world are finite. In fact, even the bad things are finite. Worldly pleasures, often conflated with happiness, are dependable on finite components. Even when they are wholesome and there is nothing controversial about them, or about how they are acquired, they are always incomplete and lacking. Material fulfilment is temporary in its very nature and the physical pleasures cannot be maintained, even when wealth and good health are at one’s disposal. One cannot eat continuously, for example, because food is plentiful and tasty, even if one does not care about health issues. Eating continuously is not sustainable. Everything that one builds will inevitably wither away in time, and all those beloved to one will either leave one or one will leave them, just as every accumulated wealth, big or small, will one day be left behind.

  

 

It is foolish to prefer what is finite and perishable to everlasting life, perpetual happiness and infinite rewards, where no effort is required. An abode where there is no striving or toil, where all joys are eternal, without any negative associations as in this worldly life. It is important not to confuse wealth with the state of happiness. Material wealth does not translate necessarily into happiness, for there are many people who are comfortable financially yet lead a miserable life. Many of them end up committing suicide due to a lack of meaning in their lives. Yet, material wealth does not necessarily preclude happiness, nor could it be automatically considered antithetical to a fulfilling spiritual life. It all depends on what is going on in one’s heart, and not on what is available in one’s bank account. The heart may be obsessed with material wealth to the extent that this prevents one from tending to one’s spiritual needs.

Muslims are, for instance, enjoined to perform the Pilgrimage to Makkah and circumambulate the Kabah, the first house established for the worship of Allah. This pillar of Islam is required once in a Muslim’s lifetime if he or she is capable financially and physically. Yet, many choose to
circumambulate the malls and the marketplaces time and again, often buying unnecessary things, or simply walking around as if time is not the most precious ‘commodity’. What is life if not the sum of these moments, whether utilised properly or not. But leading a purposeless life is not about time, it is about the path one charters.

Not using time properly is an act of ingratitude towards Allah who has gifted one with life. Is death not an end to time in this life? Is wasting time not a kind of death of the wasted months and years? Why, then, does one lament and feel a deep sense of sorrow for the former form of death but not lament or feel a deep sense of sorrow for the latter form?

This excerpt is from our title ‘A Treasury of Ghazali – A Companion for the Untethered Soul

Read a sample of the here!

My First Book About the Qur’an [Children’s Book]

Written by R on . Posted in Children's Books, Uncategorized

My First Book About the Qur’an – Teachings for toddlers and young children is Kube Publishing’s new board book!  Considered as “The perfect book to introduce children to the teachings in the Qur’an..”

Inside this board book toddlers and young children will find out about the Qur’an’s beautiful teachings: to care for all creation; to respect the books of the Prophet and God; to be good to one another; and to believe in Allah, the Creator.

Stunning illustrations, full of colour, bring the pages to life and the carefully written text is simple, easy to understand, and suitable to be read aloud.

At the end, the book also features some facts about the Qur’an and common questions children might ask, such as: what does the word “Qur’an” actually mean? Which are useful for starting an introductory discussion about the Qur’an with your children, in a madrasa or a classroom!

Author Sara Khan shares her thoughts on her book, “Starting with My First Book About the Qur’an, I hope to capture young children’s attention through simple language and colourful illustrations in a board book format that is suitable for their age group and presents them with the fundamental teachings of the most important book in Islam.

I hope it becomes a treasured introduction to the Qur’an and Islam and that it will be accessible to every young child and parent who values their child’s Islamic education or would like to raise their awareness and understanding with regards to a religion or way of life that may be different from their own.”  

Read the sample here.

My First Book About the Qur’an: Teachings for Toddlers and Young Children is available to order here.

By Sara Khan, illustrated by Ali Lodge

£4.99 (prices vary internationally)

ISBN:9780860376187

 

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