Friday, 21 February 2014

Knowing Allah - Between Anthropomorphism & Philosophy

The vast majority of people today claim they do not believe in God. Most of those who do claim to believe in God either believe in an anthropomorphic (human-like) god, as do Christians and Hindus, or  they believe in an abstract god, the way philosophers and scientists believe, where they argue and put forward theories for "the concept of god" and "the existence of god". But the God of Muslims is neither anthropomorphic nor philosophic (abstract). Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi says the God that Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, and all the other Prophets and Messengers called people to believe in and to worship was a real God with whom people could have a real and intimate relationship such as could not be had with any of the creation of God.

But today, we Muslims have also fallen into the same problems as others. We sometimes fall into anthropomorphism by expecting God to behave like human beings, as it happens when we require God to have intermediaries between us and Him "because we are so low and God is so high". Or we turn God into philosophical abstracts and theological concepts in the name of "aqeedah" or theology. Since these abstractions and concepts can have different perspectives, we now have different schools of "knowing God" such as the Salafi, Ash'ari and Maturidi. But, as Dr Nadwi asks, is this really what the Prophets and Messengers came to teach us about God?



"It is very clear that Eeman has been replaced by Aqeedah, Islam by Madhab and Ihsan & Tazkiyyah by Tasawwuf. This is the biggest problem for Muslims today." - Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi

How do we then know Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala?


<<[Prophet], glorify the name of your Lord the Most High, who created [all things] in due proportion; who determined their destinies and guided them; who brought out the green pasture then made it dark debris.>> [Surah Al-A'laa 87:1-5]

<<Prosperous are those who purify themselves, remember the name of their Lord, and pray. Yet you [people] prefer the life of this world, even though the Hereafter is better and more lasting.>> [Surah Al-A'laa 87:14-17]

Surah Al-A'laa gives us a hint as to how we can know God, and the surah following it - Surah Al-Ghashiyah - tells us that this means serious business because the consequences of not wanting to know God are very severe.



<<So [Prophet] warn them: your only task is to give warning, you are not there to control them. As for those who turn away and disbelieve, God will inflict the greatest torment upon them. It is to Us they will return, and then it is for Us to call them to account.>> [Surah Al-Ghashiyah 88:21-24]


Coming up this Saturday inshaAllah is the most fascinating, deep and detailed explanation of this pair of surahs, Surah Al-A'laa and Surah Al-Ghashiyah, by one of the foremost scholars and thinkers of the Western world today. Please make sure you attend this seminar either onsite in Cambridge or online worldwide.

Surah Al-A'laa & Al-Ghashiyah
The Solution to All the Problems of Mankind
By Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi (Oxford)

When: Saturday 22nd February 2014

Time: 9:45AM - 6:00PM    Coffee & Registration: 9:30AM

Venue: Cambridge University, Lady Mitchell Hall, Sidgwick Site, Cambridge CB3 9DA

Online: Worldwide - Live & Recorded Access

You can either register for individual sessions or apply for an annual pass with 50% discount.

Individual Seminar Registration: http://courses.meoc.org.uk/p/register.html

Series Registration: http://courses.meoc.org.uk/p/juz-amma.html

Testimonials

"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 Barkatulla, 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



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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Problem of Mankind and The Solution

The greatest challenge for thinkers, philosophers, politicians, academics, reformers and religious leaders in any age is to find solutions to the problems of human beings in their time and place. They are generally capable of finding solutions to improve the welfare of society.

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein

There are always a few extraordinary people who think differently to the rest and come up with solutions to problems. This can be witnessed throughout the history of mankind and it almost always relates to material progress. These are solutions to the "little problems" of human beings.

But what would be ever puzzling is when the human being himself is the problem. In this case, no human mind would be capable of coming up with the solution as the thinking used would be the same as that which created the problem in the first place. Every thinker, philosopher, reformer, politician and academic has his own prejudices and self-interests.Hence he could never be impartial and independent and he could never understand the problem and any solutions he comes up with would always be superficial and flawed.

<<And when it is said to them, "Do not cause corruption on the earth," they say, "We are but reformers." Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters, but they perceive [it] not.>> [Qur'an 2:11-12]

How then can we find solutions to our "big problems"? According to Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi, the only way the "big problems" of human beings can be addressed is if the solutions came from an external source to human beings. In other words, we need revelation and guidance from God - the Creator and Provider of all human beings.

So what really is the biggest problem of mankind?


<<He has certainly succeeded who purifies himself and mentions the name of his Lord and prays. But you prefer the worldly life, while the Hereafter is better and more enduring. Indeed, this is in the former scriptures, The scriptures of Abraham and Moses.>> [Surah Al-A'laa 87:14-19]

The end of Surah Al-A'laa informs us about our biggest problem - "you prefer the worldly life while the Hereafter is better and more enduring". This is not only the biggest problem but also the universal problem as it applies to all times and places - hence it is in all scriptures. 


These verses also offer us the universal solution - 1. purification of the self, 2. remembering our Lord and 3. prayer. The whole of this surah, Surah Al-A'laa, and the next - Surah Al-Ghashiyah, give a beautiful elaboration of these important points.

Coming up this Saturday inshaAllah is the most fascinating, detailed and deep explanation of these two surahs, Surah Al-A'laa and Surah Al-Ghashiyah, by one of the foremost scholars and thinkers of the Western world today. Please make sure you attend this seminar either onsite in Cambridge or online worldwide.

Surah Al-A'laa & Al-Ghashiyah
The Solution to All the Problems of Mankind
By Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi (Oxford)

When: Saturday 22nd February 2014

Time: 9:45AM - 6:00PM    Coffee & Registration: 9:30AM

Venue: Cambridge University, Lady Mitchell Hall, Sidgwick Site, Cambridge CB3 9DA

Online: Worldwide - Live & Recorded Access

You can either register for individual sessions or apply for an annual pass with 50% discount.

Individual Seminar Registration: http://courses.meoc.org.uk/p/register.html

Series Registration: http://courses.meoc.org.uk/p/juz-amma.html

Testimonials

"The Magnificent Journey continues... Today's seminar was yet another awesome seminar in the series with an exceptional crowd and amazing insights from Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi. This is truly a historic series of seminars on the explanation of The Qur'an, redefining our understanding and relationship with the Book of ALLAH. The emphasis of Dr Nadwi on establishing our connection with ALLAH and utilising the space given to us for recognising one God is the key highlight of these seminars. Each seminar begins by strongly negating the wrong practices which have been introduced into the true teachings of worshipping one ALLAH, and then builds on it by inviting us to ponder on the signs of ALLAH and get closer to our Rabb. Truly inspiring series, I would strongly recommend everybody including men, women and families to attend the Magnificent Journey Seminars as these are life-changing and truly instill in us the urge to love the Book of ALLAH. The subtle nuances of the language which make the Qur'an such a powerful speech are beautifully explained by Dr Akram Nadwi in a nice balanced way keeping things simple and interesting at the same time. His tremendous scholarship of Hadith literature and exceptional skill in Arabic language make this series a unique experience and a historic event in the city of Cambridge." - Awais Ahmed Awan, Cambridge

“There are not many people that you meet and in the first hour of sitting with them you decide you love them for the sake of Allah, but for me that was the case one week ago, when I had the honour of sitting in on a course by Shaykh Akram Nadwi. The next week I was with him again and by no means did he cease to amaze me any less. When someone like Shaykh Akram speaks and explains things the way he does, you know that anyone who is not benefiting from him will look back in 10 years and think, man I totally lost out there. You may know a topic inside out but because of the depth of his knowledge and more importantly his understanding, when he explains something you are thrown back by how he explained it in a way you never heard it before. MashaAllah. These courses are essential for every Muslim. If people are sincere about seeking knowledge that will connect them to their Creator, Allah (SWT), then they will take full advantage as they will not only help one understand their purpose in life in a deeper and more meaningful way but they will also be in a strong position to articulate Islam to the people around them in a way that makes sense and appeals the the hearts and minds.” - Tariq Shaekh, London



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Friday, 7 February 2014

Muslim Minority - Assimilation, Isolation or Integration?

Living as a Muslim Minority in the East or the West can be very challenging and difficult but yet at the same time it can be one of the greatest blessings, opportunities and strengths for the Muslims. According to Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi, the best of the Muslims were formed when they were living as a minority in Makkah under the harshest of conditions. These include Abu Bakr As-Siddique, Omar Al-Farooque, Othman ibn Al-Affan and 'Ali ibn Abi Talib. The world has never seen the likes of them after. They emerged from a Muslim minority.


<<God will be well pleased with the first emigrants and helpers and those who followed them in good deeds, and they will be well pleased with Him: He has prepared Gardens graced with flowing streams for them, there to remain for ever. That is the supreme triumph.>> [Qur'an 9:100]

Today we think that it would be better for Islam and Muslims to have power, authority, wealth and glory. But this is not necessarily the case. We can readily realise this if we look at our history and the current condition of the Muslims.

However, are the Muslims living as minorities today like their predecessors? Some are said to be "assimilated" with the society - i.e. same as everyone else; others are said to be "isolated" from the society - i.e. they form their own mini societies within the larger society and yet others are said to be "integrated" - i.e.  they are like the rest in some aspects and unlike in other aspects. But were the early Muslims in any of these three categories? Understanding this is key to living as effective and strong Muslim minorities (and Muslim majorities) and be of those whom Allah refers to as  "those who followed them in good deeds".

Coming up on the 8th February in London and Online Worldwide is a groundbreaking seminar that looks at this question and many other confusing questions for both Muslim minorities and majorities in a way that has never been discussed before in the English language. In the seminar Shariah Law, Islamic State & Jihad - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi will address these issues head-on in the light of Qur'anic paradigms, prophetic thinking, historical lessons and current context.

This is the final call for online booking. Please book your tickets now for attendance either onsite in London or online worldwide.
Cambridge Islamic Sciences Worldwide Presents
Shariah Law, Islamic State & Jihad
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow


By Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi (Oxford)

Date: Saturday 8th February 2014 | Time: 9.30AM - 6.00PM

Venue: Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

Online: Worldwide - Live & Recorded Access

A groundbreaking seminar on the current developments in the Muslim and Western worlds in the light of Quranic paradigms, Prophetic thinking, historical lessons and current context, delivered by one of the foremost scholars and thinkers of the Western world today.



“The principal reason for the waste of the effort of the Muslims, whether they are fighting or not fighting, is that they do not have a clear and comprehensive plan.” - Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi

The seminar covers:

  • The portrayal of Shariah Law, Islamic State & Jihad in The Qur’an
  • The Prophet peace be upon him as the leader of the Muslim Society
  • The early Muslim Khilafat and their role in the society
  • History of Islamic Empires from the Abbasids to the Ottomans
  • Analysis of traditional Islamic revival movements
  • The decline of the Muslims and the rise of the West
  • The effect of colonialism on the Muslim mindset
  • Analysis of modern Islamic revival movements - Ikhwanul Muslimeen, Tabligh-i-Jamat, Jamat-e-Islami, Hizb at-Tahrir, Salafi based movements and Sufi based movements
  • Analysis of modern day conflicts in Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Kashmir and other places
  • Clash of civilisations and Islamophobia in the West - a myth or a reality?
  • Muslims and democracy - compatible or a contradiction?
  • Muslim society in a secular state - is this possible?
  • Islamist-Muslim and Secular-Muslim - who are they?
  • What is the role of Muslims in the West?
  • What is the future for Muslim in the the West?
  • What is the way forward for the Muslims in the East?
  • What is the “Comprehensive Plan” for the Muslims?
Special Offer: Early Bird Discount, Student & Group Tickets

Registration: www.CambridgeIslamicSciences.com

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Revolution, Democracy & Islamic State - What is The Problem?

"The purpose of Islam was never to give Arabs or Muslims a glorious position in this world. Today the main concern of the Muslims, sadly, is to try to restore the former glory. This entails resentments, even hatred for those who took away that glory from Muslims. In this regard Muslims became confused and self-contradictory – they want the power of the enemies of Islam, while wishing to be unlike them. The result is trying to copy the cultural, political and economic systems of the enemies of Islam, while giving that system an Islamic colouring, and some very weak roots in the text of Islam. My position will be to look outside of this perspective." - Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi

What really is the purpose of Islam? What really is the problem of the Muslims? What really is the purpose of Shariah Law, Islamic State and Jihad?

Coming up on the 8th of February in London & Online Worldwide is a key seminar that explains the whole issue of Shariah Law, Islamic State & Jihad in a way that has never been explained before in the English language. Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi will address these issues head-on in the light of Qur'anic paradigms, prophetic thinking, historical lessons and current context.

The 10% early bird discount ending tomorrow. Please book your tickets now for attendance either onsite in London or online worldwide.
Cambridge Islamic Sciences Worldwide Presents
Shariah Law, Islamic State & Jihad
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow


By Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi (Oxford)

Date: Saturday 8th February 2014 | Time: 9.30AM - 6.00PM

Venue: Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

Online: Worldwide - Live & Recorded Access

A groundbreaking seminar on the current developments in the Muslim and Western worlds in the light of Quranic paradigms, Prophetic thinking, historical lessons and current context, delivered by one of the foremost scholars and thinkers of the Western world today.

“The principal reason for the waste of the effort of the Muslims, whether they are fighting or not fighting, is that they do not have a clear and comprehensive plan.” - Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi

The seminar covers:

  • The portrayal of Shariah Law, Islamic State & Jihad in The Qur’an
  • The Prophet peace be upon him as the leader of the Muslim Society
  • The early Muslim Khilafat and their role in the society
  • History of Islamic Empires from the Abbasids to the Ottomans
  • Analysis of traditional Islamic revival movements
  • The decline of the Muslims and the rise of the West
  • The effect of colonialism on the Muslim mindset
  • Analysis of modern Islamic revival movements - Ikhwanul Muslimeen, Tabligh-i-Jamat, Jamat-e-Islami, Hizb at-Tahrir, Salafi based movements and Sufi based movements
  • Analysis of modern day conflicts in Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Kashmir and other places
  • Clash of civilisations and Islamophobia in the West - a myth or a reality?
  • Muslims and democracy - compatible or a contradiction?
  • Muslim society in a secular state - is this possible?
  • Islamist-Muslim and Secular-Muslim - who are they?
  • What is the role of Muslims in the West?
  • What is the future for Muslim in the the West?
  • What is the way forward for the Muslims in the East?
  • What is the “Comprehensive Plan” for the Muslims?
Special Offer: Early Bird Discount, Student & Group Tickets
30% Discount - Ends 23/01/2014 [Code: EARLYBIRD01]
20% Discount - Ends 30/01/2014 [Code: EARLYBIRD02]
10% Discount - Ends 06/02/2013 [Code: EARLYBIRD03]

Registration: www.CambridgeIslamicSciences.com

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Rise of Islamophobia – Real or Imaginary? Who is Behind It?

Opposition to Islam is as old as Islam itself. Whenever a Prophet or Messenger came to a nation inviting to the worship of Allah and His obedience, there was always a group of people (generally the elite of the society) who would oppose them. This opposition to the Prophets and Messengers was rooted in pride, arrogance, racism, tradition and a lack of thinking. It was rarely the case that the cause of this opposition was ignorance or misunderstanding of the message. The Prophets and Messengers of Allah made the utmost effort to convey the message of Islam plainly and clearly to the people.

Today too Islam continues to be attacked and Muslims the world over are experiencing opposition in various forms. In Europe we have seen the banning of niqab as well as headscarves in public institutions; the activities of the English Defence League in the UK; the media's disrespect of the Prophet Muhammad, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and more. In Asia, there has been the targeting of “halal” products and Muslim businesses by Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Force Legion) in Sri Lanka and the anti-Muslim campaigns of Shiv Sena (Shiva God’s Legion) in India. Vilification of Islam carries on through the internet by Evangelical Christians in the USA. The list continues with the onslaught against Islam by “militant” atheists such as Richards Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens, not to forget the popular pro-Zionist “islamophobes” such as Daniel Pipes and Douglas Murray.

We would like to think that the current opposition shares the same roots as the opposition faced by the blessed Prophets and Messengers.  But is that really the case? Today it is most often the case that people oppose Islam and Muslims out of ignorance and misunderstanding of the message of Islam, an ignorance which is only furthered by the bad character and unworthy example of the Muslims themselves. It is not necessarily due to pride, arrogance, racism, tradition or a lack of thinking. Who is then responsible for this opposition? Is the main cause of Islamophobia the Muslims themselves?

Of the many misunderstood aspects of Islam that have contributed towards Islamophobia, the greatest confusion appears to lie in the subject of Shariah Law, Islamic State and Jihad. This is as true for Muslims as it is for non-Muslims. Coming up on the 8th of February in London & Online Worldwide is a key seminar that explains the whole issue of Shariah Law, Islamic State & Jihad in a way that has never been explained before in the English language. Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi will address these issues head-on in the light of Qur'anic paradigms, prophetic thinking, historical lessons and current context. 

The 10% early bird discount ending soon. Please book your tickets now for attendance either onsite in London or online worldwide.
Cambridge Islamic Sciences Worldwide Presents
Shariah Law, Islamic State & Jihad
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow


By Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi (Oxford)

Date: Saturday 8th February 2014 | Time: 9.30AM - 6.00PM

Venue: Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

Online: Worldwide - Live & Recorded Access

A groundbreaking seminar on the current developments in the Muslim and Western worlds in the light of Quranic paradigms, Prophetic thinking, historical lessons and current context, delivered by one of the foremost scholars and thinkers of the Western world today.
“The principal reason for the waste of the effort of the Muslims, whether they are fighting or not fighting, is that they do not have a clear and comprehensive plan.” - Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi

The seminar covers:
  • The portrayal of Shariah Law, Islamic State & Jihad in The Qur’an
  • The Prophet peace be upon him as the leader of the Muslim Society
  • The early Muslim Khilafat and their role in the society
  • History of Islamic Empires from the Abbasids to the Ottomans
  • Analysis of traditional Islamic revival movements
  • The decline of the Muslims and the rise of the West
  • The effect of colonialism on the Muslim mindset
  • Analysis of modern Islamic revival movements - Ikhwanul Muslimeen, Tabligh-i-Jamat, Jamat-e-Islami, Hizb at-Tahrir, Salafi based movements and Sufi based movements
  • Analysis of modern day conflicts in Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Kashmir and other places
  • Clash of civilisations and Islamophobia in the West - a myth or a reality?
  • Muslims and democracy - compatible or a contradiction?
  • Muslim society in a secular state - is this possible?
  • Islamist-Muslim and Secular-Muslim - who are they?
  • What is the role of Muslims in the West?
  • What is the future for Muslim in the the West?
  • What is the way forward for the Muslims in the East?
  • What is the “Comprehensive Plan” for the Muslims?
Special Offer: Early Bird Discount, Student & Group Tickets
30% Discount - Ends 23/01/2014 [Code: EARLYBIRD01]
20% Discount - Ends 30/01/2014 [Code: EARLYBIRD02]
10% Discount - Ends 06/02/2013 [Code: EARLYBIRD03]

Registration: www.CambridgeIslamicSciences.com