In Comics: 9 Reasons To Take Fiqh of Da’wah

9. Because like an ‘ajr-entrepreneur, you’re investing in your akhira. Take an Islamic seminar on da’wah. Watch all those hasanat, blessings and rewards roll in…

8. Because tranquility descends and the Angels surround those who partake in Islamic gatherings. Why miss out??

7. Because sometimes you need to take a break from studying physics, literature, history and math… And take a few days to study the deen. Priority, my friend, priority.

6. Because it’s Shaykh Kamal El-Mekki… Meaning you’re spending two weekends with THE black-belt expert of da’wah. Leaving this class, you’ll have gained top-notch training on how to get a shahada in 10 minutes. Your MSA president will be mindblown.

5. Because those long waits at the grocery line or the bus ride home are filled with people clueless about Islam. Wanna learn to answer their hardest questions? Shahada: Fiqh of Da’wah is where it’s at…

4. Because Allah says in His glorious Qur’an: “And who is better in speech than he who … invites others to Allah (and His religion)?” (Surat Fussilat)

He (swt) also says: “Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining al-ma`roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding al-munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is THEY who are successful.”

3. Umm, because everyone is going. ‘Nuff said.

2. Because AGAIN it’s Shaykh Kamal El-Mekki! With a perfect blend of wit and wisdom, his stories and teaching style will have you craving for a Fiqh of Da’wah part 2! And besides, it’s not everyday you get to hear the mango joke live… ;)

1. And because with all the knowledge you’ll gain–all the hikmah and pragmatism–everyone around you will want to embrace Islam. That’s right, everyone… Even your Siri iPhone.


Yeah… Thought so.


Were I to Interpret One Verse of the Qur’an Without Knowledge…

Abu Huraira narrated that Rasoolullah (saw) said, “Opinion-based argument about the Qur’an is KUFR (he repeated this three times). What you know of the Qur’an, act upon it, and what you are ignorant about, refer it to one who knows (scholar).” (Musnad Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal)

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “المراء في القرءان كفر” (وقالها ثلاثة مرات) ثم قال: “فما عرفتم منه فاعملوا وما جهلتم منه فردوه الى عالمه” – مسند امام احمد

The Prophet sternly warned his companions and later generations of Muslims of interpreting the Qur’an based on speculation and unsubstantiated opinion–especially when influenced by philosophical, western or secular ideas. This is because the Qur’an is the FOUNDATION of Islam, and its study, therefore, must remain pure and untempered with. The only acceptable tafsir is that which is done with proper knowledge, and adhering to the following sequence: tafsir of a verse in light of other verses; then by the sunnah (actions & statements of the Prophet via hadith); then by the explanations of the sahabah (who lived through revelation & witnessed the Prophet implement it); then by a study of the Arabic language and then by ijtihad (calculated opinions of the scholars).

What sky will shade me, what earth will hold me if I were to interpret ONE verse of the Qur’an without proper knowledge?”

Just another reason to register for “Heavenly Hues: Thematic Tafsir of the Qur’an.” May Allah

“Tafsir” of the Topic, “Thematic Tafsir”

Preparing a khutbah for a local MSA?

Trying to give your college friend some da’wah?

Craving an intimate relationship with the Book of Allah?

Good news: Whatever it is you’re pursuing, QMadinatayn’s upcoming seminar, “Heavenly Hues: Thematic Tafsir” harmonizes well with your Qur’an-related goals.

But what is thematic tafsir?

Thematic Tafsir (or “tafsir mawdhu’ee” {تفسير موعوضي} in Arabic) is a contemporary approach to exegesis of the Qur’an that pertains to the themes therein.

The mufassir (scholar of tafsir) begins with a particular theme–refer to the list below for some examples–and then surveys the Qur’an for a deeper understanding of this theme in a purely Islamic context. The premises, therefore, are formulated prior to the actual study. In other words, thematic tafsir serves the MESSAGE of the Qur’anic text rather than the order of verses. This is a slight diversion from classical tafsir, which calls for a chronological, sequence-driven analysis of the Qur’an, verse-to-verse, chapter-to-chapter.

To give you a glimpse of Qur’anic themes, consider the following topics addressed in the Qur’an:

  • Marital rights in Islam
  • Social justice
  • Rules of worship
  • Heart and soul purification
  • Human relations
  • World of the unseen
  • Concept of God

Say a mufassir chose the topic of HUMAN RELATIONS. He would determine the scope of this subject by exploring its various dimensions (i.e. marital relations; interpersonal communications, dissolving conflict, etc.); next, he would compile all the verses pertinent to the subject in study, making sure they cover the various dimensions; then he would classify this list of verses based on subtopics; and from there, he would study the list from different tafsir books and infer lessons and guidance from the tafsir to apply in real life.

And remember when Hasan al-Basri said, {إنّ من كان قبلكم رأو القرآن رسائل من ربهم فكانوا يتدبرونها بالليل وينفّذونها بالنهار} “There were once a people before you who regarded the Qur’ân as a message from their Lord; hence they would contemplate upon it in the night and act upon it in the day…” May Allah grant us all the greatest gift: the gift of understanding, internalizing, implementing and appreciating His Divine Book. Ameen, Ammen, Allahumma Ameen.

Avoiding the AlMaghrib-Shock: What to Expect From Fiqh of Salah

Engaging the mind, nourishing the soul five times a day as limbs move blithely to prostration; an expression of servitude to He who created you—that is the prayer of our faith. Have you learned to perfect it?

The weekend of Minnesota’s THIRD AlMaghrib seminar is approaching and scores of ‘ilm-thirsty students are rushing to reserve their seats. The reason is obvious: they are Muslims investing in their Salah.

We have been taught that prayer, one of the five essential building blocks of Islam, is an act where the spiritual, humble impulses of the heart easily take root and flourish. But what is common now is treating Salah as a burden, and like another item on our to do lists, we finish it quickly before checking it off for good.

“It is the tragedy of our times,” one AlMaghribite said. “We find ourselves praying, but not praying.”

Is that the only Salah dilemma? Hardly. Because this class falls under Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), the knowledge provided delves into specific rulings, descriptions, madhahib (schools of thought), the various forms of prayer—Eid, voluntary, Shaf’i Wal-Witr, Istikharah, Janaazah (funeral)—and their purposes. Let’s be honest: can you count how many times your friends debated about the proper position of sujood?!

Fear no more because Divine Link: Fiqh of Salah with Sheikh Yaser Birjas is coming to enlighten you. In this course, Insha’Allah, you will…

Develop the skills to focus and fix mistakes during Salah
…and finally gain the confidence to pray without confusion or worry!

Feel the benefits of a heart that is attached to the worship of Allah
…and escape to the tranquility of prayer, a minimum of 5 times a day!

Reflect on Seerah stories, Quranic verses and Hadith about the importance of Salah
…and laugh your heart out with one of our favorite AlMaghrib instructors, Sheikh Yaser Birjas!

Understand the difference of opinions regarding how to perform prayer
…and finally put an end to the endless argumentation!

Learn the meaning and wisdom behind the motions and supplications in Salah
…and realize why Muslims don’t need yoga!

And lastly, you will gain the necessary elements to perfecting your divine link with Allah, subhanahu wa-ta’aala
…and forever appreciate having taken Fiqh of Salah!

Need I say more?

Link Up With Allah. Enroll Now!

9 Things You Missed…

Five days of ‘Ilm-packed fun? Much indeed could be written of it, and it pays to sweat the details. With this list of nine, however, you will get a glimpse of some highlights of the class. We begin with day one…

9. It was 9am Saturday morning and the corridors of Willey hall were swarming with jubilant crowds, as students young and old waited to receive wristbands, books and morning snacks. Tables laden with savory food—Somali tea, muffins, chocolate donuts, warmed Sambusas and an assortment of fruit—were presented to the students, until finally class was officially in session. 10am sharp. A head count of over 260+ students attended Light of Guidance—our newest Qabeelah milestone, Alhamdulillah.

8. Sheikh Yasir Qadhi is, amongst various other scholars, distinguished for his eloquence in speech. Students during Light of Guidance recorded rigorously the precious quotes uttered by our Sheikh. We titled this collection of quotes and thoughts “Genuinely Enlightening Moments”—GEMs for short. No need to feel deprived ‘cause we got you covered. Check out our GEMs on the AlMaghrib forums here.

7. On the fourth day, Sheikh Yasir Qadhi enlightened us about various manifestations of Shirk. Talismans, omens, astrology, magic—even those little cracker treats that come you’re your order of lo mien fried chicken. Didn’t know they were Haram, did you? But that’s where Islamic fortune cookies come in! Sheikh Yasir Qadhi had our Ameer and Ameerah revise the content in a custom-made order, just for us. And you thought Halal marshmallows were good…

6. When YQ says “no cell phones on,” it’s no joke. To demonstrate the seriousness of this rule, our volunteers implanted a cell phone into a brother’s book bag, placed the Lion King ring tone (A Circle of Life) on the loudest volume and called the phone during class.  “Is that some kinda Somali song?” he asked, while the phone was dragged and thrown into the box of shame. ReallyYQ, a Somali song?! Perhaps the Sheikh’s been away from Disney movies a bit too long, eh?

5. Sisters Q&A Session: The Sheikh voluntarily reserved an hour-long session for the sisters where questions on various topics could be addressed. Check out that pile of notecards. There was no way the sisters would let YQ leave without having squeezed as much knowledge from him as possible.

4. Shirk, Bid’ah, Kufr—WARNING! Completing two intensive weekends on Aqeedah doesn’t render us credible to throw around the labels “Shirk,” “Bid’ah” and “Kufr” at everything and everyone we see. “Use these terms with caution,” Sheikh Yasir Qadhi warned us. “Acting on Kufr doesn’t earn a person the title of a ‘Kafir,’ and reading a fortune cookie doesn’t earn someone the label of a Mushrik. That is only for Allah to decide.” Well said YQ, well said. Our master note-takers recorded with precision all main points from the seminar, and we hope to have them posted shortly Insha’Allah.

3. Announcing our next class: Only registered students witnessed a sneak peek “teaser trailer” for our next AlMaghrib seminar. “The Divine Link: Fiqh of Salah” with Sheikh Yaser Birjas.  You got that right “ya jama’a,” he’s back! A special shout out awaits…

2. Think Q.Madinatayn would send YQ home empty-handed? Giving the Sheikh a gift is a thread amongst many in the fabric of AlMaghrib tradition, and there was no way we would let the opportunity pass. Days before the final class, our volunteers lent themselves to major research and brainstorming sessions. What could YQ possibly want? A personalized pen? U of M winter attire? Book holders? Or maybe something that would cater to his Hagen Daz addiction (shhh, we weren’t supposed to know that). After hours of discussion and heated debate, the idea of an ice cream scooper and Ben & Jerry’s gift card reigned supreme–an ice cream scooper amongst other things, of course. Yes YQ, we’ve got you (and your addiction) covered.

1. Popping Shirk: The universe began with a BIG BANG and our Light of Guidance seminar ended with a BIG BANG! This was our final class activity… Check it out:

May we see you all at the upcoming seminar, Insha’Allah.

Calling All Love Notes Students!

Note on Test Scores & Competition

To a Qabeelah pursuing excellence, high test scores are sacred—really, really sacred. Yet, as we newly venture into the AlMaghrib world, we’re aware that you may not be equipped with the experience and confidence to ace the upcoming exam. Should that dampen your spirits and discourage you from trying your hardest?

Most definitely not! Where we lack in numbers and years, we take pride in a history of record-shattering; yes, record-shattering, and we have the promo event pictures and registration numbers to prove it. After all, Minnesota’s Q. Madinatayn has always demanded the best from her students and we continue to demand the best of ourselves, for Allah described the believers in the Quran:

“They are those who hasten to do righteous deeds, and they compete therein…” [Surat Al-Mu’minoon, 23:61]

You’ve excelled in your contribution to our AlMaghrib community so far—registering for Love Notes, paying the complete $85, committing a full weekend for your Islamic education, battling your nagging doubts and your almost-never-ending excuses—think you’re capable of more? This is our last call for the Love Notes exam:

Students of Qabeelat Madinatayn—this one’s for you—study hard, have tawakkul (reliance in Allah) and say bismillah as (this Sunday) you unleash your stable of knowledge…

Let our test scores be a proof of our intellect and a shining light to further bolster the height of our glory. Isn’t it time those around us hear of the new Qabeelah in town?

This is Qabeelat Madinatayn, and on Sunday, January 9 from 9am to 9pm, we write a new chapter of our milestones and acheivements, bi’ithnillah.

May Allah grant us success in our texts, in this life and the next. Ameen.

Barak Allahu Feekum,
Q. Madinatayn Volunteer