Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Surah Al-Jinn - The Mysterious World of Spirits & Demons

Surah Al-Jinn - The Mysterious World of Spirits & Demons

The Magnificent Journey

An Amazing Journey Through The Last Two Parts (Juzz Tabaarak and Juzz 'Amma) of the Qur'an, From Surah Al-Mulk to Surah An-Naas, by one of the foremost Islamic Scholars and Thinkers of the Western World today

 
By Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi (Oxford University)

Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013     Time: 10AM - 6PM

Venue: Cambridge University and Live Online Web Access

http://courses.meoc.org.uk   << Click Here To Register

Written Testimonials: http://courses.meoc.org.uk/p/testimonials.html

"Jazakumullahu khayran. I can't thank you enough for the opportunity. I am so impressed by the Sheikh, subhanallah, mashaAllah. A very rare example of tradition fused with awareness of the environment and reality while not compromising God consciousness. If only there were more like him.
Questions, I'm so glad we can ask them even if it's not about the sura. Yes, how else are we to learn from his wisdom and experience if we don't ask? The issues facing Muslims in the West are so many and so confusing and I just love the fact that he does not have an inferiority complex about Islam. It's really sad to see psychologically defeated scholars start throwing away tradition in the name of progress and fitting in. Sheikh Akram Nadwi gives you the sense that the real life is in the hereafter so don't have to get so tied up with the philosophies and controversies that sometimes take away our attention from the real purpose. The onus is on us, are we being pious?" - Aisha Barkatullah, Cambridge

"I recently attended the Tafsir of Surah Nuh. Whilst I had heard much about Shaykh Akram, this was my first class with him. The first thing that you cannot help but appreciate is how the Shaykh hooks you with his connection to knowledge, in a pure sense, there was no need to employ any speaking tactics to keep the attendees engrossed. The Shaykh, made every point relevant, to connect the text with our lives today and our response to get closer to our Creator. Indeed the Shaykh mentioned countless gems that he mentioned offhand but when contemplated on, really struck a chord in the heart. It was also great that the Shaykh was very open to questions, however sensitive, and tackled them head on, without compromising the principles of our faith, exemplifying that Allah azza wa jal has not only blessed him with knowledge, but also wisdom. I don't say this lightly, I genuinely believe, if you have the opportunity to study with the Shaykh, and you don't take it, then you have missed out on tasting the fruits of the knowledge of the Scholarship of our time and land" - Umer Suleman, South London


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The (Real) Origin of Species by Nuh (AS) - Not Darwin!

<<I (Noah) said, “Ask forgiveness of your Lord: He is ever forgiving. He will send down abundant rain from the sky for you; He will give you wealth and children; He will provide you with gardens and rivers. What is the matter with you? Why will you not fear God’s majesty, when He has created you stage by stage? Have you ever wondered how God created seven heavens, one above the other, placed the moon as a light in them and the sun as a lamp, how God made you spring forth from the earth like a plant, how He will return you into it and then bring you out again, and how He has spread the Earth out for you to walk along its spacious paths?”>> [Surah Nuh 71:10-20]

Reflecting on some parts of this passage, Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi comments as follows:

"Theme #6 - Man is created in stages. It is of no importance for the religious life what these stages refer to precisely, whether it is slow change over long eons of time, or abrupt shifts in some evolutionary process, as those who believe in evolution claim. For the religious life what is of importance is that the coming-to-be of a human being is a process through time, through experience , history, engagement with the natural and human world into which the individual is born and where he matures and, eventually, dies. The coming-to-be of a person is through time, through the effort of living and learning, of being nurtured and nurturing; it is a process of coming to know and experience, of awakening to the importance of being human, and the realisation that death is a stage, as birth was, as maturing was, as adulthood was and senility. The being created in stages means being created in a movement that is directed from one moment on to the next, from here to hereafter. Because this being created in stages is by God, it is a sign also of the minute, subtle and particular care that He has invested in His creation. Creation is not a careless thing, a matter of no importance,  a meaningless repetition like mass-produced goods. Life is not to be wasted. For every life, its time is irreplaceable. No stage is permanent; that is the meaning of “stage”. We are always moved on within this world. (Death is a break, marked by “thumma”. What comes after death follows directly, as marked by “wa”.)" - Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi on Surah Nuh (Seminar Outline Notes)

From time to time, philosophers and scientists have put forward propositions and theories with regards to the origins of species - the most significant being On The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin published in 1859. Although Darwin claimed that it was purely scientific in nature, his theory has had enormous idealogical impact on religious, cultural, social, political and economic spheres. [You can read the article titled "Reflections on The Theory of Evolution as A Cultural Dogma" by Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi attached to this email]. Sadly Muslims have also been affected by this. Another important point that many of us don't realise is that no matter how good a theory seems the inferences made by that theory are based on Inductive Reasoning which by definition is probabilistic and can never be certain even if all the premises are true. So these theories can never be a source of belief. At best they are useful for understanding the natural world.

"Now a scientific theory is not, or should not be promoted as, a matter susceptible to believing or not believing it. Ideally, a scientific theory is a tool of human thought which helps us to perceive, understand and explain elements and features of the natural world (including our bodily selves) that, otherwise, we could not even perceive clearly, let alone understand or explain. Like any tool a theory does its job for a while, and then is re-designed or an altogether different theory does the job more efficiently, more elegantly, more comprehensively. A theory can be of use, for scientific purposes, if it accurately explains something in part, or in some aspect of it, even if, in respect of other aspects of the same thing, it is useless, inaccurate, and leads to a dead end. The worth of a scientific theory, ideally, is dependent on its capacity to understand and explain the natural world in a way that opens up reality to continued effort to understand and explain it."- Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi on Evolution (full article attached)

Therefore the real origin of species is what is explained by the Prophets and Messengers of Allah (SWT). Their explanations are deep and meaningful - not superficial like the scientific theories and explanations - they connect the origin to the purpose, the end and to what comes after - "... how God made you spring forth from the earth like a plant, how He will return you into it and then bring you out again". They speak based on revelation, certainty and truth - not assumptions, inferences, conjecture, speculation and induction, like the scientists and philosophers.

<<Most of them follow nothing but assumptions, but assumptions can be of no value at all against the Truth: God is well aware of what they do.>> [Qur’an 10:36]

<<If you obeyed most of those on earth, they would lead you away from the path of God. They follow nothing but speculation; they are merely guessing. Your Lord knows best who strays from His path and who is rightly guided.>> [Qur'an 6:116-117]

The seminar coming up this Saturday on Surah Nuh is an essential opportunity to not only understand our origins but moreover, our real purpose and our end as well. This life-changing seminar is taught by one of the foremost scholars and thinkers of the Western world today - Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi of Oxford University.

Surah Nuh - The Struggle of The Prophets

The Magnificent Journey

An Amazing Journey Through The Last Two Parts (Juzz Tabaarak and Juzz 'Amma) of the Qur'an, From Surah Al-Mulk to Surah An-Naas, by one of the foremost Islamic Scholars and Thinkers of the Western World today

 
By Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi (Oxford University)

Date: Saturday 26th January 2013     Time: 10AM - 6PM

Venue: Cambridge University and Live Online Web Access

http://courses.meoc.org.uk   << Click Here To Register


Written Testimonials: http://courses.meoc.org.uk/p/testimonials.html

"Jazakumullah khair for the efforts of the MEOC for arranging these blessed gatherings of knowledge. The seminars I've attended so far have several elements that make them very special, starting from the choice of topics themselves which cater to the more profound needs of the people rather than addressing some superficial issues that seem to be more fashionable today. Even the content of the seminars and the manner of teaching by Shaikh Akram Nadwi are directly focussed towards developing a deeper understanding of these issues. In these seminars, one gets a glimpse of the years of learning that have gone into the brilliant scholarship of Shaikh Nadwi. Furthermore his knowledge seems to be blessed by an acute understanding of the needs of the Ummah. The seminar on the 'Legacy of Ibrahim (a.s.)' was exceptionally beautiful, wherein, the Shaikh in his own words confessed that he was attempting to transmit, not knowledge, but the state of his heart, to the others present. While the knowledge and the insight that one gains into the Qur'an, the Sunnah and the history of Muslims through these seminars is invaluable, I personally feel that these sessions are more than just one-day courses. I am inclined to call them gatherings of Remembrance of Allah, and we all know the blessings of such gatherings!" - Mohini Verma, PhD Student, Cambridge University

"Of all the scholars I have had the opportunity to study with, I have found Shaikh Akram Nadwi to be the closest, in knowledge, manners and teaching, to how I would imagine some of the great Hadith scholars of the past would have been. He has a vast knowledge of Qur'an, Hadith and Fiqh, a down-to-earth, humble, approachable style, and great teaching ability. His classes are not just beneficial from a learning perspective, but also to marvel at the awe-inspiring wealth of knowledge of our scholars masha Allah. His 57 volume work going through the biographies of some 8,500 women scholars of Hadith is a monumental endeavour. The mere fact of its existence can be a major talking point in discussion with Muslims and non-Muslims, and is almost a stand-alone proof of Islam's unparalleled wealth of female scholarship." - Dr Omar Mahroo, London

"I want to thank your organisation for arranging these series of lectures by Dr Nadwi. I have attended two of these lectures and have found them immensely enlightening. Dr Nadwi is a rare scholar of our times and although he is knowledgeable enough to talk at length on issues of philosophy, literacy or poetry, he is always keen to emphasise the practical implications of his teachings - that Islam in essence is a religion to be practiced with real actions and not confined to theory written in textbooks. MEOC has done an excellent job in the way they have taken care of all the details required of organising such events. I pray that Allah rewards all those involved in all aspects of these courses." - Dr Atiqul Baree, Portsmouth

"The course by Shaykh Nadwi lived up to its billing and the course splendidly drove home just how crucial and relevant lessons from Ibrahim’s (as) life are to us today. Ibrahim's (as) life is not covered enough in Muslim circles or public discourse, which made the course very interesting. The stories of Ibrahim (as) particularly that of him and his two sons Ismail and Ishaq (as) are endlessly rich and fruitful and understanding them will go a long way in helping us make some sense of our reality. Shaykh Nadwi mashAllah demonstrated in-depth knowledge of Ibrahim's (as) story as narrated in the Quran and also the Biblical account as he taught us the Abrahamic foundations. His passion and the layout of the course were engaging and I left with a strong attachment to the 'intellectual & moral courage' of Ibrahim (as); a principle myself and every Muslim should be implementing in our lives.JazakAllahu Khair" - Mohamed Abdalla, Cambridge

Video Testimonials: http://courses.meoc.org.uk/p/blog-page.html

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Seminar Highlights of Surah Al-Haqqah



http://courses.meoc.org.uk   << Click Here To Register


Previous Posts

Preview of Nuh (AS) Seminar - Gems from Shaykh Akram Nadwi

The People of Nuh (AS) and the People Today - Same Idols But Modern Names

The Big Debate: Nuh (AS) Vs Richard Dawkins - Coming Up Soon!

SURAH NUH (NOAH) - THE STRUGGLE OF THE PROPHETS

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Preview of Nuh (AS) Seminar - Gems from Shaykh Akram Nadwi

What follows is some extracts from the notes by Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi on the forthcoming unique seminar - Surah Nuh.

"Like every part of the Qur’an, Surah Nuh holds its meaning in relation to the context of the revelation of the Book to the Prophet, salla-llahu `alayhi wa sallam. This is an early surah connected to the condition of the Prophet’s mission before the command to do Hijrah to Yathrib. It is implicitly addressing the expressions, postures and attitudes of the mushrikun in Makkah in their refusal of God’s message. For the Prophet there is consolation and strength from the precedent of Nuh, `alayhi s-salam, just as, for the the mushrikun, there is warning and threat from the precedent of what befell the ones who rejected Nuh" - Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi on Surah Nuh

"Theme #9 - Unfortunately, people cannot always see through this world to the Reality, so over time their belief in God becomes enfeebled, lukewarm, then diluted, mixed with something else and so perverted. They come to fear and reverence only what they can see –the forces of nature, or the powers of some men over others, and both these have psychological effects as inhibitions, superstitions, taboos. Their world becomes narrower, their vision likewise. Their feeling of anxiety and fearfulness in the world makes them look with special reverence to great individuals of their community’s past, who were powerful or wise or who helped them to accomplish things that now they fear they cannot accomplish. History quickly degenerates into myth, and myth evolves as fetishism and superstitious religion. Eventually these mis-remembered great individuals or misunderstood and feared forces of nature come to be worshipped as lesser powers, separate from even if beneath God (bi-duni-llah). The people, trapped in this degeneracy, come to elevate the historical achievements of their ancestors, to turn them into pseudo-religious myths, and then they cling to these myths. In principle and practice they behave as if these great ancestors had become gods beneath God with power to shape their present and future, to influence the coming of rain or safe travelling over the sea, or the outcome of other human efforts, like marriage or war. In Surah Nuh, the proper names are listed of some of these false ancestor-deities whose stories had travelled to, and so were known in, the world of the Arabs of the Jahiliyya. In our time, likewise, though never formally deified, the achievements and great figures of a people are turned into mythical entities, and they cling to them, and want to “follow their ways”, to “live up to them”, no matter what they did really. In this way, the Reality is veiled from them, and they do not experience it and cannot make themselves open to it. They mouth adherence to the great people or great ways (ideas, values) of their past (like, for example, rationalism, enlightenment, freedom, democracy, equality), and so they are blind to the realities of what they are doing in the present, as well as being blind to the historical realities of what was done in the name of these mythologised values in the past" - Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi on Surah Nuh
The story of Nuh (AS) is a deep and powerful story that has immense relevance to the time that we are living in. His story would help us understand this world and its workings in a way that we have never thought of before. The upcoming seminar on Surah Nuh is a wonderful opportunity to study this important story in the Qur'an and discover its many lessons, under the guidance of one of the foremost scholars and thinkers of the Western world today - Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi of Oxford University, who very effectively combines traditional scholarship with modern research to have a way of thinking and teaching that is truly unique.

 Prices going up this weekend. Please book your place today. 
Surah Nuh - The Struggle of The Prophets

The Magnificent Journey

An Amazing Journey Through The Last Two Parts (Juzz Tabaarak and Juzz 'Amma) of the Qur'an, From Surah Al-Mulk to Surah An-Naas, by one of the foremost Islamic Scholars and Thinkers of the Western World today


By Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi (Oxford University)

Date:
Saturday 26th January 2013     Time: 10AM - 6PM

Venue: Cambridge University and Live Online Web Access

Very Special Offer: Annual Pass - 12 sessions for the price of 5

[Audio recordings will be provided for the sessions missed if signed up for the annual pass]

http://courses.meoc.org.uk   << Click Here To Register

Video Testimonials: http://courses.meoc.org.uk/p/testimonials.html

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-j3cFBAmt-mU/UNT1pOmWC6I/AAAAAAAAAEM/t43_ZNUX0mw/s1600/TMJ_Int__01_05.jpg   http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-udjl1lZSVsE/UNT1rLK62iI/AAAAAAAAAEk/02I697wcKjw/s1600/TMJ_Int__02_02.jpg   

Previous Posts

The People of Nuh (AS) and the People Today - Same Idols But Modern Names

The Big Debate: Nuh (AS) Vs Richard Dawkins - Coming Up Soon!

SURAH NUH (NOAH) - THE STRUGGLE OF THE PROPHETS

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The People of Nuh (AS) and the People Today - Same Idols But Modern Names

<<Noah said, ‘My Lord, they have disobeyed me and followed those whose riches and children only increase their ruin; who have made a grand plan, saying, “Do not renounce your gods! Do not renounce Wadd, Suwa ', Yaghuth, Ya'uq or Nasr!”>> [Surah Nuh 71:21-24]

Nuh (AS) complained about his people to Allah (SWT) thousands of years ago. But people today are no different to the people of Nuh (AS) because they are also following "those whose riches and children only increase their ruin". The only difference is that people today have different names for their gods than those of the people of Nuh (AS). The gods today are not Wadd, Suwa ', Yaghuth, Ya'uq or Nasr but capitalism, liberalism, rationalism, evolution, science, 'freedom', 'progress', secularism and atheism. They have made a grand plan saying 'do not renounce these gods' or rather they have gone further by trying to impose these gods on everyone else through their economic, military, political and media might.

However, what is very clear, if we look around with the light of revelation, is that they are on a path of self-destruction similar to the people of Nuh (AS). Sooner or later they will all be drowned because they are "those whose riches and children only increase their ruin". What is even more unfortunate is that some of us Muslims are also following the same path - the path of "those whose riches and children only increase their ruin". We behave like them, we act like them and worse, we think like them. So what do we think our fate would be? No doubt we will also drown with them! Simply being born in a Muslim family would not be of help to us, as not even kinship to a prophet helped the very own son of Nuh (AS). Only those people who respond to the call of Nuh (AS) and board the ship would be saved.

The story of Nuh (AS) is a deep and powerful story that has immense relevance to the time that we are living in. His story would help us understand this world and its workings in a way that we have never thought of before. The upcoming seminar on Surah Nuh is a wonderful opportunity to study this important story in the Qur'an and discover its many lessons, under the guidance of one of the foremost scholars and thinkers of the Western world today - Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi of Oxford University, who very effectively combines traditional scholarship with modern research to have a way of thinking and teaching that is truly unique.

Surah Nuh - The Struggle of The Prophets

The Magnificent Journey

An Amazing Journey Through The Last Two Parts (Juzz Tabaarak and Juzz 'Amma) of the Qur'an, From Surah Al-Mulk to Surah An-Naas, by one of the foremost Islamic Scholars and Thinkers of the Western World today


By Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi (Oxford University)

Date:
Saturday 26th January 2013     Time: 10AM - 6PM

Venue: Cambridge University and Live Online Web Access

Very Special Offer:
Annual Pass - 12 sessions for the price of 5

[Audio recordings will be provided for the sessions missed if signed up for the annual pass]

http://courses.meoc.org.uk << Click Here To Register


Book your place today to avoid any disappointment. Prices going up this weekend.

Video Testimonials: http://courses.meoc.org.uk/p/testimonials.html

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Previous Posts

The Big Debate: Nuh (AS) Vs Richard Dawkins - Coming Up Soon!

SURAH NUH (NOAH) - THE STRUGGLE OF THE PROPHETS

 

Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Big Debate: Nuh (AS) Vs Richard Dawkins - Coming Up Soon!

Of course there is no real debate happening between the two but the people who Nuh (AS) had to deal with were as stubborn in their disbelief as Richard Dawkins (the leading atheist in the world) is or even more. Therefore the message of Nuh (AS) and the way he dealt with them is relevant for us than ever before. He had to deal with such people for nearly 950 years! The patience, persistence, perseverance and the concern for the people he showed in those 950 years is unimaginable.

<<He said, ‘My Lord, I have called my people night and day, but the more I call them, the further they run away: every time I call them, so that You may forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, cover their heads with their garments, persist in their rejection, and grow more insolent and arrogant. I have tried calling them openly. I have tried preaching to them in public and speaking to them in private.’>> [Surah Nuh 71:5-9]

As we can see Dawkins is not as bad as the people that Nuh (AS) had to deal with because he will at least listen. So perhaps if we show a fraction of the courtesy of Nuh (AS) to Dawkins he may actually change his mind and consider accepting Islam! Nuh (AS) adopted different ways to call his people. What ways can we adopt in this day and age based on the story of Nuh (AS)?

This is your opportunity to learn and understand how to approach and deal with people like Dawkins through the story of Nuh (AS) as mentioned in the Qur'an. This is taught by one of the foremost scholars and thinkers of the Western world today - Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi of Oxford University where Dawkins is also a fellow.

Surah Nuh - The Struggle of The Prophets

The Magnificent Journey

An Amazing Journey Through The Last Two Parts (Juzz Tabaarak and Juzz 'Amma) of the Qur'an, From Surah Al-Mulk to Surah An-Naas, by one of the foremost Islamic Scholars and Thinkers of the Western World today


By Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi (Oxford University)

Date: Saturday 26th January 2013     Time: 10AM - 6PM

Venue: Cambridge University and Live Online Web Access

Video Testimonials:
http://courses.meoc.org.uk/p/testimonials.html

Very Special Offer: Annual Pass - 12 sessions for the price of 5

[Audio recordings will be provided for the sessions missed if signed up for the annual pass]

http://courses.meoc.org.uk << Click Here To Register