Have you met Kiva yet??

I loaned, a single mother of two, $25 dollars which helped her to grow her business. She's paid all my money back and now i'm loaning it to another woman. As altrusitic as sounds, it really is not. it is actually quite selfish, as i experience great PLEASURE everytime i see the measly $25 dollars make a small change in someones life.

I thought, i offer you a chance to feel great as well. Check out Kiva.org, help a person, and see what i mean.


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I complained to Waki of my bad memory
So he directed me to cease from evil doing;
For indeed memory is a favor from God
And a favor of God is not given to he who sins.

pg 51, Instruction of the Student, Imam Al-Zarnuji


Abu Hanifa: “The purpose of learning is to act by it, while the purpose of action is to abandon the fleeting [things of life] for what lasts forever.”


The Water Cycle

It is entirely possible that the water you drank for lunch was once used by a Prophet to wash his feet! Isn't the water cycle just amazing? Isn't water just magical?

Did you know, the same water that's nourished dinosaurs, quenched prophets, and satisfied millions of plants will also help you sustain your short life?

Yes, this might very well be common kowledge but i havent made the connection until today, so there. The earth is a closed system. wow. same waters been recylcing for so long. double wow. ok, i'll stop now.

Hadith Practice

I need to buy this book!

Hadiths 1-60 of Zad al-Talibin
PDF File

Hadiths 1-60 of Zad al-Talibin “Provisions for the Seekers”
Published by White Thread Press (www.whitethreadpress.com)
Zamzam Academy summer Hadith Program

Sample Excerpt
PDF file


Prayer is the Commitment to Remember

The great Spanish Muslim, Ibn Hazm, once wrote that the most consistent feature of human life is anxiety. Anxiety, he argued, traversed race, gender and social status, all religions, cultures and philosophical commitments.

In every society, those who are privileged are anxious about preserving, and perhaps augmenting what they have, be it wealth, health, good relationships or spiritual fulfillment. Those who are dispossessed, sickly, lonely or unfulfilled, on the other hand, are anxious about obtaining what they do not have.

All humans, however, instinctively recognize that something beyond their intelligence, good looks and social station will determine all of this. For all are aware that there are powerful people who have frail bodies or horrible relationships and that the unintelligent often acquire many times the riches of the intelligent.

Most of my private prayers and supplications (du'a) are part of my personal response to this cosmic anxiety, my way of tendering a cosmic "Thank You," on the one hand, and a cosmic "Please" on the other.

Beyond this, however, there is a canonical prayer (salah) that I offer at least seventeen times a day. This prayer reinforces the essence of my Islamic religiosity by reminding me that cosmic human anxiety is neither an accident nor an epiphenomenon, and that this basic feature of the human condition can never be overcome, but only prudently managed through a sincere relationship with God. This prayer also is the first chapter of the Qu'ran and it goes like this:

* Praise be to God, the Lord of being and becoming.
I recognize my contingency; every creature has a creator. And I recognize the grandeur of my Creator.
* The All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving.
I have been given much that I have not earned. How do I repay this cosmic debt? There is still more that can be earned. What will I do to earn it?
*Master of the Day of Judgment.
It matters how I live my life and how I respond to my cosmic anxiety and my cosmic debt; for I shall have to account for it all. Have I repaid my cosmic debt?
* Only You do we worship and only Your ultimate aid do we seek.I seek Your favor, even in fulfilling my debt to You. For I know that by myself I am not always selfless, courageous, wise or even strong enough to do the right thing. I seek Your aid, however, not through my own designs but by trying to live up to Your expectations, by worshiping You.
* Show us the straight path.
Guide me to the right responses to my cosmic anxiety and my cosmic debt. And inspire me to live by these right responses.
*The path of those upon whom You have bestowed Your favor.
I recognize that it is a bounty to be guided. And I recognize that granting me this recognition is among Your greatest bounties.
* Not the path of those who incur Your wrath.
Those who seek to cover rather than confront their cosmic anxiety or their cosmic debt, who believe themselves to be self-sufficient, either out of ignorance or simply because they want to remain self-serving.
* Nor those who go astray.
Who recognize their cosmic anxiety and their cosmic debt but who delude themselves with the idea that they, rather than You, can define what will earn Your pleasure.

At least seventeen times a day, at intervals spreading from dawn to night, I offer this prayer, as mandated by my religion. In the midst of all the daily threats and boosts to my ego, perhaps the point of this repetition is to keep me from 'forgetting' my contingency and my cosmic debt.

Forgetfulness, however, will always be with me, lurking behind every little accomplishment and every failure. This is why I must ever seek refuge in the remembrance supplied by prayer.
And God knows best.

Sherman Jackson

The hikam...

The branches of abasement only grow from the seeds of greed.

Nothing leads you on like illusion.
You are free when you despair of it.
You are a slave when you are eager for it.

Whoever does not advance to Allah by the tenderness of His goodness
is chained to Him by the fetters of trial.

Whoever is not grateful for blessings is asking for them to vanish.
Whoever is grateful for them ties them up with their own tether.

I Love This Man!



I don’t have time to blog anymore. I wish I did but I don’t. I don’t even have time to read or reflect, or even surf! :Sob: My day begins with the leftovers of the day before, and I can never seem to catch up. And that’s only after the first kid, sheesh. What no one warns you about is the aftermath – pregnancy is the easy part! That’s right. While pregnant you still have a free will – the will to sit on your arse if you please.

No siree, my day begins with fresh kicks in my ribs each morning. No matter what corner of the massive King Size Bed I move to – she finds me. She can’t crawl or walk yet she finds me. She kicks until I give up and give in. From that moment until the time she goes to bed at night, I have no time to myself. My world revolves around her needs.

As much as I sometimes want to hit myself with a frying pan (repeatedly), the minute I am away from her, a feeling of sadness enters my heart. As much as she annoys the crap out of me sometime, I just can’t picture my life without her. My life does not function without this person.

This ‘fear of separation’ is my biggest fear.

And this fear has clarified some higher truths for me…

1. Love is not just the result of our selfish desires but is sometimes indicative of something bigger than ourselves. Love is Divine. Love points to God.
2. Separation from the Divine, Our Creator, Our Lord, is what hell must be like.
3. I better start living my life in a way where Im not separated from that which I love…

May Allah swt remember us witho those who are meant to be remembered. Ameen.


Be a Star!

Exceptional individuals are not born with extraordinary abilities. Like others they too have unique and special dispositions, though it is their actions - the way in which they deal with their circumstance- and not their predisposed personalities that make them outstanding.

Any one of us can be an exceptional human being, despite our short-comings, regarless of our given disposition, in spite of our environment -- only if we choose to apply ourselves...

Here's trying yet again...



I find it hard to digest that there is a soul inside this flesh; my daughter on the other hand can’t believe she is stuck inside her precious little body. As she begins to gain awareness of her hands and feet, the look of sheer amazement on her face is priceless. Her eyes expand in shock as she wiggles her toes -- probably wondering how the heck I ended up inside this body.



We spend most of our life struggling to create means/images that would make people around us love and revere us. Yet we forget that the people we meet everyday are placed there by a preordained decree. so when things dont go your way, it's not because you've been cursed but because your hindsight's become dull.

allahuma inni audhubika Ar-Rahman

Quotes to Note...

When you do nothing at all, things have a way of finding themselves

You can burn books but you cant burn imagination

You see only what you want to see

The broken bond between heaven and earth can only mend by a prayer from a broken heart.

Your teeth hold your words, your brain remembers them.

Blessed are those whose own faults have preoccupied them from the
faults of the others,..." Imam suyuti

Another conversation from the past..


That's a very admirable quality; I, on the other hand, can’t seem to get my head out of my ... posterior. i think there are moments where i love for someone other than meself, but ahh then i put my conscious back to sleep.

and back to me. i dont exactly pose for arguments but i do let people develop their preemptive presuppositions as they deem fit. it aint my fault when my behavior doesnt fit into their finely crafted constructs that I get labeled, :insert your favorite label here: now, when I was a wee gal, I met this scholar who instead of being impressed, with my oh so creative imagination, was a wee bit turned off. He quite bluntly told me, to observe people in silence and first internalize what I know before I manifest it upon unsuspecting victims. Best piece of advice yet! Don’t ya love traditional shayks who smack your ego to death?

now, if you ever just sit and watch people, youll realize we're pretty funny. we live our lives like caged rats who have been trained to respond to various routines. even though we still manage to miracoulsy think with 'opposites.' we seem to have restricted ourselves to a very black and white (yes, just black AND white) interpretation that is rigid as well as ahistorical.

we seem to judge people according to our own beliefs or the beliefs of our adversaries. in other words, we only see through our own eyes or the eyes of our opponents. it's either this or that. nothing more. (hmmm, I should post this in girls and boys gone wild thread/ and ofcourse this idea too was picked from Mr. Jackson!)

hey wait, i havent spoken about myself or my views in the past 15 sec, so back to me. Now being a subjective human whos dependant on her Lawd's Will, i'm in the process of constantly re-evaluating my position and place in this oh-so-mean-world.

In my subjective happy world, ive
interpreted 'goodness,' 'purity,' 'nobility,' 'godliness,' and "other" virtues as abstract ideas that we humans attempt to internalize/humanize in our constant struggle. i, believe these ideals fluctuate in every body that has a beating heart, and these ideals manifest in different people of different creeds in various intervals. in other words, there is no guarantee that I, a muslim girl, will always remain in my current state based on the labels society has etched upon my forehead.

and so, again in my subjective struggle, seeing a lack of what i would call a reflection of submission to the Absolute Truth, i feel myself gravitating toward those who happen to exhibit some of the aforementioned "IDEALS."

like i stated in an earlier posting, i'm in love with the idea of love, not necessarily ARAGON. He just happens to be a vessel that carries the message.

now i dumped aragon for katsumoto, simply because, the later was more real and thus more believable in his embodiment of things characteristically virtuous. thus, the instant attraction. my departure from katsumoto fan club, however, was his ‘acceptance’ of suicide tactics, especially since they fell outside the boundary of ‘despair’ for which one can argue on individual bases. Anywho, In my subjective beliefs, life ends when God intends it not when I will it. All shame and honor comes from Him, as He uplifts and debases whom He wills. Katsumoto, believed himself so devoted to his cause, that his cause, transformed into his arse, causing him to end his life. (how we insult our ex? So sad) (I kid, I still love katsumoto!)

In walked this idea of Jesus, a person who supposedly devoted his life for what he believed to be the Message of God, a message of Love so pure, it made his personal pride and choice, irrelevant. Publicly humiliated, beaten senseless, and almost crucified on the cross, he still overcame the last temptation; a temptation of wonderment as to why God had forsaken him?

This modern Mel Gibson ideal happens to adhere very closely to what I would assume to be the qualities of an ideal personality: someone who is well-aware of God as well as his own position in the larger scheme of things. God, I can ramble on and on and on

And on. Hope that explains my LOOOOOOOOVE for James.

How the living may help the dead

Praying for the dead, asking forgiveness for them, and giving charity on their behalf are some of the things God causes the dead in their graves to benefit from and be protected by. There are many hadiths about this, and many fine and virtuous people have witnessed it in their dreams . Sa'd ibn 'Ubada, may God be pleased with him, once said to the Messenger of God, may peace and blessings be upon him: 'My mother's soul departed suddenly, and had she been able to speak she would have given alms . Would it bring benefit to her if I did it on her behalf?' 'Yes!' he replied . So he dug a well (for people to take water from) and said: 'This is on behalf of Sa'd's mother. '
And another man said: 'O Messenger of God! My parents have died; is there anything left with which I may be good to them?' And he replied: 'There are four things: praying and asking forgiveness for them, carrying out their promises, being good to their friends, and giving proper attention to those kinship bonds which could have only be attended to by them. '
And the Prophet said, may peace and blessings be upon him: 'Were it not for the living the dead would have been doomed'; in other words, because of the prayers and requests for forgiveness and for mercy which they receive.
And he said, may blessings and peace be upon him: 'My Nation is a nation covered with mercy. Its members enter their graves with sins like unto the mountains, and leave their graves having been forgiven because the living have asked forgiveness for the dead. '
It is related that the gifts of alms, prayers, and Qur'anic recitation sent by the living to the dead reach them carried by the angels on plates of light, and adorned with silk handkerchiefs, and they say to them: 'This is a gift from so-and-so', and in this way they find joy and delight.
A dead man was once seen in a dream and, upon being questioned about his state, said that he had been greeted by an angel who attempted to burn his face with a flame held in his hand. But one of the living said: 'God have mercy on so-and-so!' -and the flame went out.
One of the greatest things which one may offer to the dead is to recite Qur'an and send on the reward for it . This is of great benefit and baraka. The Muslims have agreed on this everywhere throughout the ages, the majority of scholars and virtuous people have recommended it, and there are hadiths to confirm this. Although, these hadiths have weak chains of transmission, there is a principle, as the hadith scholar al-Suyuti (may God show him His mercy) has said, that: 'Weak hadiths may be acted upon when they indicate acts of goodness. ' And these are indeed acts of goodness.
All the Qur'an is blessed and beneficial, but the most beneficial thing to offer to the dead is Surat al-Ikhlas eleven times, and this has been seen in many blessed dreams . Each person should recite this noble sura the said number of times, either each night, each day, or more, or less, or even only on Thursday night, and offer this reward to his parents, teachers and all those who had rights over him.
He must not forget his dead ones when he prays, asks forgiveness, or gives alms, lest he in turn be forgotten after his death, for the one who remembers is remembered, and the one who forgets is forgotten . Benevolence goes ahead of you, and God allows not the reward of those who have done good to be wasted. ( 18:30 )

Visiting Graves
You should know that it is recommended to visit graves . The Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, permitted this after having at first forbidden it . It contains benefits both for the living visitor and the dead person who receives the visit . The Prophet said, may peace and blessings be upon him: 'Visit graves, for they remind you of death . ' And: 'I used to forbid you to visit graves, but now you should visit them . They render one able to do without the things of the world, and remind one of the Hereafter . ' He also said: 'No man visits the grave of his brother and sits by it but that he (the dead man) finds solace in this, having his spirit restored to him until the visitor departs . ' And he said: 'A dead (person) in his grave is never more comforted than when those that he loved in the world pay him a visit. '
When a visitor enters the cemetery or passes it by he should say: 'Peace be on you, O place of believers. We are granted respite until tomorrow. That which you were promised has come to you, and we will, God willing, rejoin you. You are our predecessors and we are your followers. I ask God to give us and you well-being. O God, forgive us and them!
It is recommended to visit the cemetery on Thursday night, Friday, Friday night until sunrise, and on Monday, for it is said---and this is supported by various narrations---that the spirits of the dead return to their graves at those times.
The visitor must ask for forgiveness and mercy for them, read whatever Qur'an he can and make over the reward to them; he should remember that soon he will go to the same end, and learn the lessons to be drawn from their condition.
When he visits the graves of his parents, relatives, or anyone else who had rights over him, he must sit with unhurried serenity, pray for them, and ask abundantly for forgiveness, for they rejoice at this, and are glad. When he visits the graves of righteous people he should pray in abundance, for prayers are answered at many such places, as has often been experienced. The tomb of Imam Musaal-Kazim, the son of Imam Ja'faral-Sadiq, is known in Baghdad has the 'Proven Medicine', that is, for prayers to be answered and worries to be relieved, and so is the tomb of Ma'ruf al-Karkhi, also in Baghdad. Some of the noble house of the 'Alawi Sayyids used to sit at the tomb of our master al-Faqih al-Muqaddam for such long periods, in the heat of the sun, that sweat could have been wrung from their clothes, while they, because of their profound concentration in prayer, were unaware of this. This is reported of Shaykh 'Abdallah ibn 'Ali and others.

Source: Imam 'Abdallah ibn'Al-awial-Haddad, Sabil al-iddikarwa 'li 'tibar bimay amurru bi'l insan min al-a'mar,( The Lives of Man), translated by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi, The Quilliam Press, London, England, 1411/1991, p. 45-48



Firstly,Why do we want our children to be perfect? Is your child perfect? Uh, no. But i do wish things will be perfect for her. Even then what is this obsession with perfection? What is with the transference of personal arrogance to this simple and pure Soul?
Secondly, being a parent or teacher doesn't excuse us from personal growth. As much as your child is dependant on you, you too are dependant on your child, for guidance, for self-reformation, for spiritual growth.
And lastly, how can you not believe in God, after holding a child in your hand. The love that you feel - that raw emotion - can't be human. Equally, how can you not feel the same emotion for all those who are weak and needy in the world...

We need to lift the veils of arrogance to see the true colors of our world, our children, and our personal realities.


Now that I’m about to become a parent, a mother, I seldom think about how I will raise this child. What values do I want her to acquire and how will i go about helping her attain them?

I thought to myself let me start at the beginning. I started this blog to take snaps of myself, and to collect random stuff I find exciting. I’ve started writing personal narratives from my childhood so I can give them to my child(ren) someday. Among them are some of my earliest memories, my most exciting moments, and things that have changed me in someway.

So far I’ve found ways to introduce myself to this new person but how do i find ways to remind this person of her origin? She took her earthly form in my womb and thus has become my responsibility, but what about her soul? What does it seek? How do I remind her that her life didn’t begin here and that home is not really home? (I realize I sound crazy and no im not part of some Astro-Cult).


The Pursuit of Happiness...

I've written about this before and lately after watching so many programs on the topic, i felt like revisiting it. I remember the first time I read the Yusuf Ali translation, I couldn't believe how happy i was. I wanted to write to him not realizing he had passed on years ago. Then i went looking for answers but for the most part found very irritated and unhappy Muslims. I wondered why weren't these people happy? Happy because there was more to this world and we're all meant to be something more. That there was something, some Higher Power, just as eager for us to wake up, as we were to discover it.

Whenever i meet a Muslim, the first thing i look at is his or her state. Are they happy? Are they depressed? Are they angry? I mean, we've all met specimens who will start frothing at the mouth if they see you do something that doesn't jive with their chosen group. I look at these people and wonder what is it 'exactly' that's eating you... your anger can't be due to your love of Islam, because being in love makes a person happy and happy people don't shout at strangers.

I think, some people just dont know how to be happy. Most South Asians (as i know this group quite well) suffer from very low self-esteem. They determine their personal worth by how they are judged by the larger community. Being part of a group is more important than standing up for whats right. or rather, doing what feels right in the heart. they ignore their inner voice in order to please others, in the process negating their'self.' They stop pursuing happiness and instead focus on building a performance that might satisfy some of their audience but never brings them the satisfaction, the acceptance, their self really seeks.

This makes them angry. As long as they are with the 'in-group,' they feel somewhat 'worthy,' but as soon as they cross paths with someone who doesn't seem to care about 'group-think,' and is able to hold his own, they become angry. Perhaps its because in their presence they feel less worthy, unable to fill the void they've created for themselves for the most part of their life? Perhaps they feel cheated because they've given up so much of themselves and this happy person seem to be enjoying his life without having to sacrifice as much as them?

I've many faults and I try to better myself, but despite this im happy. I have countless reasons to be happy, we all do, and equally we all have the option to wake up happy or cranky each day of our life. I've met many people who see the countless faults in me, yet my shortcomings does not take away from their happiness, because that state only comes from within...


Mirror mirror on the wall

I've decided that the most beautiful thing in this world is not a diamond or a pearl but the beating heart of an individual that is capable of understanding God. A mind that is capable of processing the attraction that exists between her and God. A body that kindly releases motivational inspiration to those who look for God.

Heaven must not be about hoarding money, women, and property. How can it be? How can material possessions make us happy there, when they don't help us here. Here where we exist within the confine of this measly body. The rich still seek therapy despite having all the luxuries that rot the soul. No, Heaven must be about being in the company of those WHO KNOW. There's nothing more pleasurable, more exciting, more satisfying than being in the company of one who understands...


Stereotyping the “Other.”

(Excerpt from a conversation from 2003)

"Ever notice how we restrict images of the ‘other’ that support the dominant social ideology by concealing individual characteristics of members of a group? Is it fair to reduce the living data base we have present in those lands as authoritative and barbaric?

Insiders’ perspectives don’t serve as the ‘final’ authority but are simply informed through their privileged access as members of a group; by lived realties in the life of that group, etc… I can sit with a given hanafi sheikh, learn his perspective without pledging alliegence. I can even keep silent and simply observe and come back to my sketch board to purge personal thoughts. I doubt I will be stoned for such a heresy?

I’m not advocating the superiority of one over the other; rather the need for the western student to be more vigilant in tapping into various resources, to recognize that meanings represented in texts are not universal, to comprehend that knowledge making is not objective but socially constructed. In a nutshell, the modern western student forgets to ‘contextualize’ his own subjectivity and in turn behaves in exactly the same way as your given ‘tradionalist.’ By stereotyping the other, he proceeds to flash us his/her half-assed fatwas and expects us to digest them? We suddenly have threads on this message board questioning the validity of Quranic Verses?? I mean, I can understand if Sherman Jackson comes out with a “ I can kick yo arse and prove such and such’ given his level of research (ofcourse he would be more respectful as well) but I really cant understand when people with no viable research decide to not only reject well-established norms/ methods of transmission (in certain schools of thought at least) but also present their personal bias as objective.

>>you talked of being a good critic, but what's inherently wrong in being a bad critic in a non-authoratative sense?

Authority is not a bad thing. However, when one particular ideology renders a minority’s perspective invisible and at the same time stereotypes that group as the ‘other,’ you got yourself a problem. There will always be a struggle between the authority and the other, a very healthy phenomenon, in my opinion. But this process can become easily diseased when the latter’s laxness becomes the cause of the formers corruption, something like the ‘salafi phenomenon,’ or in this case as rightfully named by zilla, the bastard lost step brother of the salafi… (something like that)..."


Quotes to Note

And Shaykh Ba, a West African scholar, said this about Islam:

The river is crystal clear.
Its water remains pure,
Sweet and unpolluted.
It reflects the color of the riverbed.

The Art Of Integration


The Secret...

There is an Islam, a reality, no one seems to speak about. (At least no one i know personally). There is an Islam that speaks of unseen worlds filled with angels that are all around us, a heavenly assembly that watches over us, even as i write this.

Don't you sometime wonder, who are the angels that surround you; what must they be like? What do they tell each other when they change stations. Do they like me, do they think I'm a good person, do they pray for me? Or does my stench drive them away?

All those times, I've felt alone and lonely, do they quietly remind me of my various connections? Will i recognize them someday?

Will i recognize myself without this shell of a body. What do i look like without this body? Where does my soul ago when I'm asleep? What does my soul look like?

There are so many layers, so many mysteries, waiting to be solved. But we don't seem to care. We're so consumed with all things dense, that we don't have time to formulate thoughts. Thoughts that can turn into heartfelt prayers. Prayers that can mend the broken link between heaven and earth.


5's you should know:

5 Pillars
1. Shahada
2. Salah
3. Sawm
4. Zakah
5. Hajj

5 Evaluations
1.Obligatory (Wajib)
2. Recommended (Mandub)
3. Neutral (Mustahab)
4. Disliked (Makruh)
5. Forbidden (Haraam)

5 Basic neseccaties/5 Ultimate objectives
1. Religion that makes sense
2. Preservation of life from hunger, disease, crime, starvation..., etc.
3. Preservation of intellect
4. Family
5. Economy

5 Maxims of Law
1. Things are judged by their objectives
2. Certainty will not be removed by doubt
3. Harm should be removed
4. Hardship shall bring alleviation
5. Good custom has legal weight

The Shari`ah has come to observe three categories of people’s interests (Masalih), namely

Daruriyyat (necessities),
Hajiyyat (complementary),
and Tahsiniyyat (embellishments).

It is one of the objectives of Shari`ah to draw an equitable balance between the merits and demerits of a certain thing. One of the well known and agreed-upon set of rules in Shari`ah are the following:

Fending off harm takes priority over incurring a benefit, the lesser harm can be shouldered to fend off a greater one, the harm is to be waived, the harm can’t be waived by resorting to another harm, necessity knows no laws, the boundaries of necessity are to be clearly identified, one can bear an individual harm to fend off a public one, of the two evils one should choose the lesser one, the need is to take the same priority as necessity, hardships necessitate relaxing the law, and harm should not be neither inflicted nor reciprocated.


Wow! I am impressed...

Toward an Adamic Education:

"If it has not been a fatalistic mentality of “this is the way things simply are,” then it has been our “weak theoretical foundations, simplistic interpretation, and intemperate application” of an Islamic pedagogy that has been the greatest challenge to Islamic schools in North America. The lack of a clearly articulated Islamic pedagogy and what that entails for both the purpose and practice of Islamic education within the modern West must be addressed with a sense of urgency.


We have chosen to adopt the term Adamic Education from Abdal Hakim Murad (T.J. Winter), as opposed to the commonly used term Islamic Education to illustrate the roots of an Islamic education and also its relevance to the greater discourse on education.Western epistemologies refer to the moment that Adam was sent from the heavens to spend the remainder of his life on earth as the great “Fall.” That single moment of ignorance where Adam ate from the forbidden tree and therefore earned himself the consequence of being sent to earth is understood in the Islamic epistemology as an ascent, not a fall. Islamically, Adam’s physical displacement from heaven to earth is understood as an ascent because spiritually he was raised from a state of ignorance to one of knowledge.

Through a process of education, Adam was raised in status in becoming Allah’s khalifa (vicegerent) on earth and the angels bowed to him. It is therefore this process of education and move from a state of disobedience to obedience that raised Adam in status to an “Adamic state”.

The process of becoming educated is not a forward motion toward things unknown, rather it is a search for knowledge that will bring an individual back toward their fitra (natural state of purity). “All education is a re-education – a reclamation” of a pure state of being again. It is a process of recognizing the magnanimity of the Creator– of His Oneness (Tawheed).

All forms of knowledge that bring an individual closer to that state of understanding are considered educative. There is no distinction, as Imam al-
Ghazzali notes, between knowledge that is considered secular or that which is considered religious.

Ahsan states in a beautiful metaphor that within Islam, all areas of knowledge are “like branches of a single tree rooted in the cognition and awareness of God.”

Learning is for the purpose of attaining a state of being, whether that is achieved through learning about photosynthesis or prayer, the intent is the same. Learning(ta’allum) is a form of worship (ibaada) that proclaims an individual’s slave hood(ubudiyyah) to the Creator. It is no different than fasting and prayer – because all of them are processes of returning and regaining what we have lost.

An Adamic Education therefore, alters the purpose of schooling entirely. It is about
“human transformation and not merely about the transmission of knowledge.” The
acquisition of knowledge as an act of worship makes learning into a sacred event.
Everything about the class is treated with a sense of reverence, dignity, and
austerity;“utterly unlike the modern educational experience.”

The Pedagogical Divide: Toward an Islamic Pedagogy
Nadeem Memon, PhD Candidate, OISE/UT
Qaiser Ahmad, M.Ed, OISE/UT
(PDF File)


Quotes to Note

The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence.
A. Bronson Alcott

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
William Arthur Ward

There is nothing more fruitful than ignorance aware of itself.
José Ortega y Gasset

If you plan for a year, plant a seed. If for ten years, plant a tree. If for a hundred years, teach the people.
Kuang Chung

What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.
Karl Menninger

In the education of children there is nothing like alluring the interest and affection; otherwise you only make so many asses laden with books.
Michel de Montaigne

Teaching that impacts is not head to head, but heart to heart.
Howard G. Hendricks

The first idea that the child must acquire in order to be actively disciplined is that of the difference between good and evil; and the task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility and evil with activity.
María Montessori

The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.
Anthony Jay

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.
Edward De Bono 1933-, British Writer On Thinking Process

Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.
Albert Szent Gyorgi

Creative thinking involves imagining familiar things in a new light, digging below the surface to find previously undetected patterns, and finding connections among unrelated phenomena.
Roger von Oech


Instruction of the student: The method of learning

It is said, "He who knows himself knows his Lord." For one when realizes his own limitations, he knows more of the power of God, and he [learns] not to rely on himself and his own intellect. Instead, he places his trust in God and seeks the truth from Him. And those who rely on God, He suffices them and will guide them along the straight way.
Imam Al-zarnuji

Education... should be undertaken for the spiritual development of man, and with the aim of deepening his understanding of the world around him... and to use this understanding as a gateway to spiritual love and apprehension of God.
Ibn Sina

Progress is a not a forward motion but a move back toward our roots.
Martin Lings

God's mercy is such that every affliction is a stopper - it blocks a greater affliction.

"...Along these lines, I'm thinking of a very famous story in the Masnavi, in which a farmer comes to Moses, one of the children of Israel. And he says, "Moses, would you please teach me the language of the animals?" He says, "Of course not! How do you know I even know the language of the animals?" Every day he comes back and pesters Moses. One day God says, "Teach him." So the next day this guy comes and Moses teaches him the language of the animals.

The man is so happy with himself. And he goes back and he's living his daily life. One day he hears the chicken, you know the hen saying to the rooster. "Well, too bad about the old goat here." And the rooster said, "What's going on?" "Oh, he's going to die. Can't you see?" The farmer takes the goat into town and he sells it, right? Sure enough, the next day he hears, the guy comes back, the guy who bought the goat. "Hey, your goat died on me." "It was perfectly health when you bought it."

A few days later. About a month later, you know. He was out in the barnyard again. He hears one of the sheep talking to another sheep. He says, "Well, too bad about the old horse. You know, his days are numbered. Look at him, you know. Not much time." So, he grabs the horse, takes the horse to the market. A week later, the buyer comes back. "What did you do? You sold me a sick horse!" "You looked at his teeth, you checked him out. You said what a fine specimen of horse flesh. How can you blame me? I know nothing. You must have fed him some bad food or something."

So, this goes on. The farmer starts getting very wealthy, I mean, relative to the other farmers he knows. He's doing very well. And then a year down the line he hears one of the cows talking to another. "Gee, too bad about the master." "What's wrong with the master?" "Oh can't you see? I don't think he has more than a week left to live."

And of course the farmer says, this can't be! He runs back to Moses. He says "Moses, save me." He says "What are you talking about?" "Moses, save me. I'm going to die. The cow is saying I'm going to die in a week. Don't you remember you taught me the language of animals?" Moses says, "What can I do?" "You're the one who taught me. You're the one that can save me." Moses says, "It's far, far too late for that. Don't you understand that every affliction you suffer prevents a greater affliction? If you had left that goat to die the first time, and just ignored it, you never would have gotten sick. Your lifespan would have lasted 150 years." Think about that.