Top 5 Challenges to Learning Quran & Arabic

Image courtesy

Image courtesy

CHALLENGE #1: I don’t have enough time.

We all claim to be too busy to achieve every one of our goals. But how much of our time could be used for something more productive? A LOT! We have to train ourselves to be more disciplined with our time.

CHALLENGE #2: I’m too old / too young.

No matter the age, in today’s world there are innovative ways for every one of us to learn…anything! That includes Quran and Arabic.

CHALLENGE #3: I’ve taken classes before, but no results.

There are courses which have provided results for tens of thousands of students around the world.

CHALLENGE #4: I’m bad at languages.

Allah (swt) has made the Quran and the Arabic language easy to learn and understand…you just need to do your part by putting in sincere time and effort to learn. You will be shocked at how simple it can be.

CHALLENGE #5: I’m not religious enough.

Don’t ever underestimate yourself, or let someone else tell you what it means to be “religious”. No matter your level of spirituality, you should be trying to improve yourself all the time. What better way to do so than by getting closer to Allah and His Book?

Adapted (with permission) from an inspiring email sent by Bayyinah Institute

From Rags to Riches


I would like to share with you a story about despair. It is an inspirational story, especially for those who are going through difficult times in their lives. It is the story of the Dua (prayer) of Prophet Musa (as) in the Quran. We all know the mistake he made in his youth: he accidentally killed a man, and then he ran away from Egypt until he came to the waters of Madyan. A lot of things must have happened on the journey from Egypt to Madyan. It was not a short journey, yet Allah (swt) chose not to mention that and instead focused on the following details in Surah Qasas:

“And when he arrived at the water of Madyan (Midian) he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: ‘What is the matter with you?’ They said: ‘We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take (their flocks). And our father is a very old man.’ So he watered (their flocks) for them, then he turned back to shade, and said: ‘My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!’ Then there came to him one of the two women, walking shyly. She said: ‘Verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us.’ So when he came to him and narrated the story, he said: ‘Fear you not. You have escaped from the people who are Zalimun (polytheists, disbelievers, and wrong-doers).’ And said one of them (the two women): ‘O my father! Hire him! Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy.’ He said: ‘I intend to wed one of these two daughters of mine to you, on condition that you serve me for eight years, but if you complete ten years, it will be (a favour) from you. But I intend not to place you under a difficulty. If Allah will, you will find me one of the righteous.’ He [Musa] said: ‘That (is settled) between me and you whichever of the two terms I fulfill, there will be no injustice to me, and Allah is Surety over what we say.’” (Al-Qasas 28:23-28)

It is important to note the details of the story. Allah (swt) chose a select number of real life stories to appear in the Quran, and He chose which details to share with us. There are no unimportant details in the Quran. The story begins with Musa (as) wearing rags, weary after a long journey, wanted by the law (with the order for him to be killed on sight), homeless, jobless, and penniless. In short, he was at the lowest point anyone can reach in life. It ends with Musa (as) employed, with a home and a family. How did this drastic change take place?

Musa (as) made a mistake, he repented for it, and he wanted to be forgiven. When you want to be forgiven by Allah (swt), you look for an indication of His forgiveness. One of the indications of forgiveness is that Allah (swt) sends you opportunities to help others. Musa (as) helped the two girls. Then he sat down in the shade away from them; he didn’t stick around and try to make small talk with them. He sat down at a distance and prayed to Allah (swt). He stated his position:  he was bankrupt and in need; in Arabic it means “my back is broken”.

We know Musa (as) is a strong man; yet he is expressing his utter helplessness before Allah (swt). The good he asks for has two meanings. One is that he is asking for the chance to do good deeds in order to atone for his past mistake. He knows what he has to make up for. So he is expressing his willingness to volunteer for the next project. The other good he is asking for is a positive change in his situation in life. It is a prayer of desperation from a man who has nothing left.

What happens next? In response to his prayer, one of the girls comes to him with an offer to pay him for his help. She had gone home with her sister and relayed the event to their father, who, being an old man, could not go out to work and had to depend on his daughters to take care of the sheep. He trusted his daughters’ description of Musa (as) to the extent that he sent only one of them, alone, to bring him back to the house. When Musa (as) came, he told the old man his whole life story, with the two girls listening in the background. One of the girls called her father to the side and advised him to hire Musa (as). The old man understood that she liked him and he resolved to make him his son-in-law. If he could trust him enough to look after his sheep, he could trust him enough to marry his daughter. He had also solved the trouble of having a male shepherd working in a house with two unmarried girls. He married his Arab daughter to a child of Israel; he chose good character over ethnicity. The only marriage mentioned in the Quran is interracial.

I would like to give some advice especially to Desi people. When someone offers you something, the first thing you say is “no, thanks”, as a show of self-respect. When you are truly in need, don’t bother with that; take the good Allah (swt) sends your way. Musa (as) didn’t ask the girls for money; he asked Allah (swt). The job offer came because of the prayer. What I’m trying to tell you is let’s take the example of a job. If a friend tells you about a good job, that is from Allah (swt). Take it!

All those brothers who are trying to get married, there is hope for you in this story. You cannot arrive to meet your prospective father-in-law in a worse state than Prophet Musa (as) did.

You may say, “But he was a prophet! Something special like that won’t happen for me.” Every Friday, we’re supposed to recite the story of the people of the cave. In Surah Kahf, we see the story of the youths receiving the miracle of being saved from the polytheistic society; we see miraculous help being sent to non-prophets. You just have to ask. Help will come in ways you cannot imagine. We have to be people of optimism and hope. We have to be people who learn prayers from the Quran and make them with a sincere heart.

You can watch the original lecture at: Condensed and edited for Hiba Magazine by Iqra Asad

Understanding Surah Asr – 1

hour-glassTranscribed from the Bayyinah podcast Tafseer series by Iqra Asad.

“By Al-Asr (the time). Verily, man is in loss, Except those who believe (in Islâmic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Maruf) which Allâh has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar) which Allâh has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allâh’s Cause during preaching His religion of Islâmic Monotheism or Jihâd).”

Why is humankind in loss?

The central aspect of this Surah is “Khusr” i.e. loss. The previous Surah (Surah Takasur) discussed the people wanting to accumulate more and more, and this Surah discusses the reality, that people are actually in loss. The overwhelming theme of this Surah is warning; that is negative reinforcement. Humans are created in the best of forms; they are qualified to be successful, so then why are they in loss? Allah (swt) mentions four things in the end. The last two things are both actions, to enjoin the truth and to enjoin perseverance. Then Allah (swt) mentions faith and good deeds. He could have mentioned anything, like Zakat, but He mentions truth and patience. Why is it critical to mention these actions? Let’s analyze.

Surah Asr is Islam (in a nutshell)!

The only people who are the exception are the ones who do all the above four mentioned things. A famous quote by Fakhruddin Ghazi regarding this Surah, “In this verse, there is an intense, severe warning that is filled with a promise, because in this verse Allah (swt) declared utter loss against all humanity, except for the one who comes to Allah (swt) with these four things. The language illustrates that salvation hangs in the balance of these four conditions.” In many ways, this Surah is a summary of the Quran and Islam.

Success or Survival?

In this Surah, there is no mention of reward. No mention that “these people will get everlasting Jannah.” It demarcates between the people who fail and those who pass. This Surah does not talk about higher levels of success. It describes the bare minimum, the bottom line. So this Surah is not about success, it’s about survival; about escaping Hell, not earning Paradise. When your survival is being questioned, you forget everything else. If you’re drowning, for example, there is no time for you to talk about success. If you’re talking to your boss about promotion in the office, and there’s a fire alarm, you won’t stop in the office to finish discussing your promotion; that won’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense for someone to talk about anything other than survival, if they’re not meeting the bare requirements for survival.

This Surah does not talk about higher levels of success. It describes the bare minimum, the bottom line.

This Surah proves that being good on your own, is not enough. Islam is about living with and for other people. Imam Shafi (ra) said, “If people only reflected on this Surah, it would encompass them.” It would be enough for them. “If this was the only thing that was revealed, it would have been enough.” What is in this Surah that made him say that?

Whenever the companions would meet, they would not leave each other without reciting Surah Asr to each other. Why? They felt this is something extremely important to remind each other of constantly.

We should never lose sight of the fact that Allah (swt) is talking to us like someone who is concerned about us would talk to us. Talking about this Surah is easy, internalizing it is very difficult.

Survival is interdependent

If you’re drowning and you’re unconscious, what do you need to survive? You need to wake up. Once you wake up, you realize that you’re drowning. Even if you don’t know how to swim, you will move every muscle in your body to move towards the surface. Once you reach the surface, you are pulled back down, because your leg is tied to a chain which is tied to your drowning cousin. You need to wake up your cousin to save yourself. Maybe you don’t even like your cousin. But you wake him up. Then you are pulled down by your unconscious grandmother. You need to wake her up. Your survival depends on each other.

To survive, you have faith, due to which you do good. You tell people about the truth, and you remain patient, because it’s a time consuming and draining process.

When we want to hurry through the prayer, which Surah do we recite? Surah Asr. What do we have hanging on the wall next to our TVs and our game consoles? Surah Asr. See the irony.

Allah (swt) oath must grab attention!

This is one of the Surahs that begins with Allah (swt) taking an oath. Whatever Allah (swt) swears by is grand and magnificent, demanding reflection. Allah (swt) is bringing time as a witness to the tragedy of the human being.

“Asr” literally means “time that is running out”. It comes from “Aseer”, juice that is squeezed out. The time for Asr prayer is when the daytime is ending.

If one really has faith, the next three things are bound to happen. If those things don’t happen, what is missing? Faith.

Faith- Most wanted!

If you are truly doing good, it is impossible for you to keep it to yourself. When you enjoin good, you will encounter people who respond to you and people who hate you for what you have to say, and for the haters you need patience.

When a decent human being comes across a dispute, the first thing he will do is to seek out the truth. When he has discovered the truth, he must take action according to the truth. It may be that when he finds the truth, he does not like what he finds. However, he must stand by the truth.

Now, when he sees other people doing wrong—in our society we have the “mind your own business” policy. However, that is not the way of the Prophets. Otherwise, Islam would just be confined to saying prayers and doing Dhikr (remembrance of Allah (swt)). Islam began as, “Arise and warn!” (Al-Muddatthir 74:2).When you want to stand up for justice, you think, “I know I shouldn’t do it, but I don’t have the guts to tell people not to do it.” People who act on their beliefs, stick to their beliefs, are known as “heroes”. Like Martin Luther King. His days are celebrated; this is a process of decency that people respect. The struggle of such human beings is commendable, but it is just a part of the truth, not the entire truth. We, Muslims, have the entire truth. How much more convinced and willing should the believer be to stand up for Islam? We should compete with the disbelievers with patience and perseverance.

Further reading and viewing:

8-minute illustrated explanation of Surah Asr [Nouman Ali Khan Collection]:

The concept of time in Hadeeth [Productive Muslim article]:

A message from myself to the Quran [I Got it Covered article]:

[To be continued Insha Allah..]

[Video] Tips to Wake Up For Fajr Prayer

Are you one of those who have trouble waking up for the Fajr Salah? Do you keep on hitting the snooze button until the sun rises? In this short, two-minute video, Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan presents some handy tips that will help you wake up more effectively for Fajr Salah daily.

Friends Mentioned in the Quran


According to a common adage, a man is known by the company he keeps. Our friendships define and reflect our own persona and innate characteristics. Therefore, it is imperative to watch our steps, before we stride on the road to lifelong camaraderie. “Hiba” guides its readers regarding the kinds of people one should befriend, as mentioned in the Quran.

“A person is upon the religion of their friend.” (Tirmidhi) This simple Hadeeth of Prophet Muhammad (sa) defines the sort of relationship we should have with people around us. We should be very careful before making friends. Even if one is pious and religious, if a person’s friends are not on the right path, they will bring about his/her downfall. Hence, we should be very careful, while making friends. Even if we have friends which are not on the right path, instead of following their desires, we should try to guide them and mend their ways. The relationships that we have in this world can lead to our failure or success in the hereafter. Achieving the latter is the ultimate aim of all Muslims. Hence, we should try to make friends who help us achieve this goal.

Since the Noble Quran guides Muslims in every walk of life, it also enlightens regarding the type of friends one should keep. These guidelines are presented by giving friends different terms that help identify the right kind. Following is a brief explanation of the sort of friends that we come across in our life.


The word Qareen actually comes from the Arabic term Kiham, which means ‘a rope that ties two camels together’. Hence, Qareen is a kind of friend, who is always with you, spending time with you, texting and emailing you. Such a friend is always around you.

When a person achieves paradise, he/she will remember their friends. They will say: “I used to have this friend, this Qareen, I wonder what happened to him?” They will remember that Qareen used to lure them towards sin. Many a times, they listened to their friend and did all that they were invited to.

Friends generally share the same activities. For instance, when one goes to movies or to watch a basketball game, he invites others as well, so that he may have company. Hence, friendships are based on mutual interests. Therefore, there might have been times, when one was compelled to join their friend in some vain activity out of sheer pleasure.

However, soon they realise that such activities are nothing but sin and mend their ways. On the contrary, their friend keeps egging them on towards such pleasures, making fun of them when they refuse. When one in paradise will inquire about such friends, they will see that they are burning in the worst part of hell. The pious one will thank Allah (swt) for guiding him and saving him from hellfire and will be happy that he stopped listening to his friend.

This is testimony to the fact that a friend can either utterly destroy you or guide you to the right path. The ones in paradise will thank Allah (swt) for guiding them and preventing them from following their friend. They have achieved the ultimate success, which in this context is to escape the temptation of a bad friend, who wants to pull you into evil deeds.

You may be a Qareen or you might have a Qareen. You might be a bad influence yourself, or you might be someone, who is influenced by one far worse than you. Gauge yourself, think about your life. What kind of role do you play among your friends? Are you the person who always uses foul language to get attention? Are you a Qareen, who makes fun of others, when they stop you from doing wrong? Do you look at the things that are highly inappropriate on the web and encourage other people to look at them too?

There is another Qareen that is discussed in the Quran and that is Satan. He befriends those who walk away from the remembrance of Allah (swt). Even when they perform prayers, they are not actually remembering Allah (swt). They just wait for it to be over, so that they can indulge in worldly activities. There is no other motivation for them. Their Qareen constantly compels them to indulge in evil. May Allah (swt) protect us from that kind of Qareen.


Khazool is a kind of friend, who only accompanies one in good times, and when the friend needs him, he simply vanishes. He poses to be sincere but shows his true colours in difficult times. Allah (swt) mentions that Satan has always been a Khazool for human beings. A person loses his/her humanity, when giving in to temptations. Satan deceives thousands of young people, because he wants everyone to land in hellfire. He is a Khazool, who will be with you in this life to misguide you, but on the Day of Judgement, when people who followed him will be cursing him, he will simply rebuke them saying that they followed him out of their own free will and he is not to be blamed.


Rafeeq comes from the Arabic word Mirfaq which means ‘a pillow, something on which you relax when you are exhausted’. A Rafeeq is a kind of friend that you can count on in the hour of need. Such a friend gives sincere advice and is a source of comfort. Allah (swt) explains that a person’s Rufaqah are Nabyeen, Siddiqeen, Shuhada and Sualeheen. Firstly, the prophets are our Rafeeq. Then, the Siddiqeen – those who relentlessly confirm the truth. Thirdly, the Shuhada – those who bear witness of the truth. These are the people who live Islam and are not afraid to show it. Lastly, the Sualeheen – the righteous people are our Rafeeq. These are the people that one can depend on.

In order to gauge who Rafeeq is, one should consider the character of a particular person. Does interaction with him or her make you a better person? One should befriend people who live Islam. They do not give in to temptations and live life for a higher purpose. The best thing to do in this regard is apart from spending time with people of your age, one should also befriend older people. When one spends time with people that are older, they become more mature and also get good advice.

In Islam, as soon as one reaches puberty, s/he becomes an adult. In other words, when you turn to certain age, there are some adult expectations from you. If prayer is binding upon you, then you have to pray, you have to be responsible, and you cannot do certain things that you could have done, when you were a kid. Hence, in this age, it is imperative that one chooses friends wisely, so that they are guided to the right path.


Wali is a protective friend, who is there to watch your back. You can rely on him/her whenever there is a danger. Your first Wali is Allah (swt) followed by His Messenger Muhammad (sa). Holding on to the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (sa) is a means of protection. For example, for a young man, growing a beard is a big challenge; however, it protects him from so many temptations and problems. Just by holding on to the Sunnah of the Messenger (sa), such as to walk with humility and lower your gaze, you will be saved from committing a lot of sins.

Also, all the believing Muslims are your Wali. The ones who perform prayers and follow the limitations set by Islam. By performing regular prayers, they show humility. Nowadays, in schools and colleges, arrogance is being glorified. Five to six days a week, the youth witness that the one who shows arrogance is considered the star of the school.  On the contrary, when such youth go to a Friday sermon, they hear humility being glorified. Hence, they remain confused and it does not impact their minds.

Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “Whoever has the amount of seed worth of arrogance in their heart, they will never see paradise.” (Muslim) This Hadeeth includes even those who are religious – because of their following Islam, they have become arrogant; when they see others that are comparatively less religious, they think that they are better than them. This is also the arrogance that earns Allah’s (swt) wrath. Analyze yourself, remove arrogance from your heart and befriend a Wali.


Siddique is the most sincere and truthful friend that will tell you the truth, whether you want to hear it or not. Such a friend knows what is in your best interest and does not shy away from expressing it. Sometimes your friends will not say the right thing, because they are afraid that your feelings might get hurt – Siddique will not do that. S/he is a sincere friend, who can point out your flaws and help you change.

We can learn a lesson from the sincerity of Yousuf (as), when he was thrown in prison. There were criminals all around him that are considered to be the worst kind of people in the society. He remained in such an environment; however, he did not change. Those he interacted with called him “al- Siddique,” the sincere one, who never shies away from telling the truth. We should have this kind of character.


Khaleel is a very close friend, for whom you feel love in your heart. Anything that hurts them, hurts you; any joy that comes to them gives you joy. This is the kind of relationship that is so honoured in the Quran. Allah (swt) chose Ibrahim (as) as a Khaleel. Ibrahim (as) shared a special relationship with Allah (swt). Many a times, when he was afflicted with trials, he relied only on Allah (swt), such as when he was thrown in the fire and when he was in the middle of the desert.


Hameem is the one, who is very close to you through kindness and generosity. They are always there, where you want them to be. Khaleel is in the heart, Hameem is in the manifest; on the outside.


Waleejah is the friend, whom you trust to the extent of involving him/her in your private matters. They help you out in business transactions or personal relationships. They assist you in managing problems and disputes in your life. Your Waleejah should only be a true believer. Allah (swt) has strictly forbidden us to keep Waleejah other than Muslims, as they will employ every means possible to cause you harm.

Make sure you are friends with those people who are good role models, rather than those who open doors to sins. The responsibility lies in parents as well. If they do not want their kids to be in trouble or have problems in life, they should make sure that their children have good, sincere Muslim friends. The five hundred people on your Facebook profile are not your friends. Your true friends are those, who guide you to the right path.


Akhdam are friends that you are attracted to. Nowadays, we call them boyfriend or girlfriend. Allah (swt) speaks about them in the Quran, too. Allah (swt) guides that marriage should not be based on some shallow infatuation. Media misguides youngsters, and they enter wedlock having lowly standards. Lose your addiction to entertainment. If you are involved with someone out of wedlock, then walk away from it; save yourself now. You think nobody is watching you; however, Allah (swt) is always there. You think you are not in trouble, because your parents do not know; however, Allah (swt) knows. If you even have an ounce of belief left in your heart, then you know that it is better to walk away.

Following are a few verses of the Noble Quran that explain how our friends will turn away from us on the Day of Resurrection.

“And (remember) the Day when the Zalim (wrong-doer, oppressor, polytheist, etc.) will bite at his hands, he will say: ‘Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger (Muhammad). Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a friend! He indeed led me astray from the Reminder (this Quran) after it had come to me. And Satan is ever a deserter to man in the hour of need.’ And the Messenger (Muhammad) will say: ‘O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Quran (neither listened to it, nor acted on its laws and orders).’” (Al-Furqan 25:27-30)

Before making friends, we should understand the reality of resurrection. Those who believe in resurrection are well-aware of the fact that there shall be no relationships on that day. They will mean nothing on the Day of Judgment. All the worldly relationship that we nurture and blindly follow will not help us. We will be alone with our records in front of Allah (swt).

It is difficult for youngsters to save themselves from peer pressure at school. No matter how much parents try to guide their children, they at times succumb to it and, as a result, indulge in something that is forbidden by Allah (swt). They do it just because all their friends are doing it; hence, it is really important to choose our friends wisely – those who do not force us to tread the forbidden path. At that moment one thinks that they are deviating from what the whole world is doing and being experimental. A person feels his reputation will be at stake in this world. However, this is not so. People do not care for whatever we do in this. They forget, as they have problems of their own to deal with.

We should only think of saving our reputation in front of Allah (swt). Allah (swt) has blessed this Ummah with health and luxury, but we have forgotten His favours and indulge in petty worldly affairs whining about everything. This is all because we are over influenced by the company around us. The materialistic, self-centered people have become our role models. We should redefine our priorities by fixing our relationships with the fellow human beings. We should only be friends with God-fearing people for the sake of Allah (swt). May Allah (swt) guide us. Ameen.

Transcribed for hiba by Sadaf Khalid

Surah Al-Asr: Illustrated Explanation by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

In our weekly “View with Us” segment, take some time out to watch this brief, illustrated explanation of Surah Al-Asr by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan. CEO of Bayyinah, an Islamic educational institute in the USA. Video courtesy:

People of Substance – Who are They?

people of substance

By Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan – CEO and founder of “Bayyinah”, an Islamic educational institute in the USA

When we think of Islam, we immediately think about the five pillars of our Deen, and feel that it is sufficient to follow them. We appear very religious on the outside but have no character on the inside.

Think back to when the Prophet (saw) invited people to Islam in Makkah. The Sahabah, who allied with him, made incredible efforts along with him. Hence, they were bestowed with the title of Assabiqoon Assabiqoon (first and the foremost believers). They are held in high esteem and honour in the sight of Allah (swt) for all times to come.

The fundamental question that arises here is: what were their personalities, what did they look like, and how did they dress up? Interestingly, the Shariah had not yet been revealed to them, so naturally there were no laws for abstinence from alcohol, no dress code and no inheritance laws to abide by. Yet, something set them apart from the others. What was it? The brief answer is their commitment to ethics and justice. This was a permanent part of the Sahabah’s life. The following principles also apply to these ‘people of substance’:

The people of substance know how to respond to criticism

It is human nature that we do not appreciate it, when we are corrected. Well, we will seriously have to rethink this attitude and learn to take criticism in our stride. A common woman stood up and corrected Umar (rta), the Ameer ul-Mumineen, in public. How did he react? Did he tell her off? No. He not only listened to her but he admitted his error on the spot.

We should be open to criticism and not jump to self-explanation and justifications for our behaviour. No one is perfect. Even if people hold incorrect notions about us and we feel wronged, there could be 1% truth somewhere. We can work on our shortcomings, only if we actually admit our faults first.

The people of substance turn in repentance to Allah (swt)

Prophet Adam (as) forgot his promise and disobeyed Allah (swt). But he pro-actively turned back to Him and repented sincerely. A genuine and emotional talk with Allah (swt) where we cry out before Him weighs heavier on our scale than hundreds of monotonous words of Istaghfar on a Tasbeeh.

The people of substance foster healthy relationships

Relationships need to be healthy on two levels: relationship with the spouse, and relationship with our parents.

We need to ask ourselves: is our spouse emotionally healthy? It is imperative for the husbands to value and respect their better halves in this world. Being the head of the family, they are the shepherds, who are responsible for their wives and their kids.

Similarly, we need to be the best to our parents. A common question is: who has more rights – wife or parents? This is not a boxing match. Our sense of justice needs to prevail at all times. Parents have their own circle of rights and the wife has her own. No one’s rights should be overstepped. Men have to maintain that balance to ensure cordial homes.

Muslim marriages are one of the biggest issues that the Ummah is facing these days. Unsettled marriages and insufficient Tarbiyah lead to restless individuals, who vent their anger on the society.

The people of substance call others to Islam, using creative ways

We need to think of original ideas of entrepreneurship based on the Islamic system of merit and justice. This will offer successful projects and business opportunities to Muslims. In turn, it will not only elevate their standard of living but also polish their character and help reform the society.

Once, a CEO from Mumbai, who headed a firm of 500 employees, shared his initiative. After the work hours were over at his firm, he had permitted his employees to use the premises and other office resources for their personal study of Islam by taking up on-line classes with various scholars, etc. As their character refined, they became better serving employees, too.

We should not try to hasten change. In time, it will come. Remember Nuh (as). Even after 900 plus years, he persisted with his Dawah. Guidance is in Allah’s (swt) hands. But it is our responsibility to consistently pursue the different means of contributing our share and becoming one of the people of substance. Small deeds can lead to great Barakah. The youth, especially, should become an inspiration and show the beauty of Islam to the rest of the world.

The people of substance collaborate for the greater good

We need to connect with each other: Daees, Alims and Mufakkirs. Islamic scholars need to show the economists of the highest level how an Islamic economic system works. The Ulemas will have to understand the lifestyle and pulse of the society today. Considering the trends, they will have to seek Islamic solutions to close the gap between the learned people of Deen and the masses, and help them implement Halal solutions to their problems.

This is hardly the time to be involved in worrying about the 1% differences among different schools of thought in Islam. We need to come together on the 99% common grounds to solve greater problems plaguing the Ummah, such as killings, unemployment, injustices, etc.

We need to establish new job ethics in the market, fulfill our promises and contracts, build the highest level of educational institutes, create an environment conducive to healthy debates and freedom of speech without anger, engage all intellectuals to form a think tank to operate within the Shariah, help evolve a force of young religious minded people to tackle the present day and age challenges.

To transform ourselves and become one of the people of substance, we need to do the following:

  1. Educate ourselves seriously. Acquire fundamental education in the understanding of the Quran to become intelligent Muslims.
  2. Read the Seerah of our Prophet (sa) by multiple authors. We can pick one each year, comprehend different perspectives, and connect to the Quran.
  3. Learn the language of the Quran and the Prophet (sa) to gain direct access to the plethora of works in Arabic. This will ensure that we grow in the right direction in Islam.
  4. Besides our own field of education, try to take up courses in social sciences, such as sociology, psychology, humanities, etc. This gives an in-depth comprehension of human behavior and facilitates the understanding of Islamic doctrines, too.
  5. As we mature in our studies, we can pose questions to the Ulema for better understanding and meaningful implementation in the real world.

We need to understand that the revival of Islam is directly linked to the quality of education in which we invest. It is appalling to learn that the East Coast of the USA, mainly New York, has more universities in comparison to all the universities put together in the entire Muslim world. The Muslim Ummah will have to raise the bar and set very high standards for itself in order to accomplish great things.

Based on a lecture-shop organized by “LiveDeen”. Transcribed for Hiba by Rana Rais Khan.