In this keynote address delivered at SeekersGuidance’s New Home benefit luncheon, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus explains the crucial role knowledge plays in bringing communities to life and the importance of sacrifice to spread knowledge.
Shaykh Yahya begins by reading a memorandum on the state of our community and the challenges its leaders face, explaining how it fits into the agenda set by their illuminated teachers: “If you can’t plow seeds, so plow the land so that it is fertile enough for the next generation to plant seeds.” He also draws attention to the vision, foresight, and sacrifice of SeekersGuidance’s founder Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.
Next, Shaykh Yahya stresses the importance of knowledge and religious education, necessary for wholistic Islamic living in the world today. He highlights the importance of building and laying foundations, and the crucial role of institutions like SeekersGuidance in preserving the wellbeing of the community.
Shaykh Yahya closes by reminding that knowledge is the number one way to bring a heart, family, community, and society to life. Knowledge should be an excuse for other things, not vice versa. We should make knowledge a priority—not only in seeking it, but in supporting initiatives spreading the knowledge which gives one one’s orientation in life.
And so they found one of Our servants, on whom We had bestowed Mercy from Ourselves and to whom We had taught Knowledge from Our Presence. (Surah Kahf, 18:65)
Beyond the many lessons of the Qur’anic account of Musa and al-Khidr in Surah al-Kahf, a Surah we are encouraged to read every Friday, its message about companionship speaks to both its external and internal benefits. While technology has immense benefits in providing us access to bland facts and information, this disconnected learning cannot replace the flowering of true, meaningful knowledge that can only occur through inter-personal relationships. The blessings and spiritual lessons of sitting with mentors and good company cannot be underestimated. How do we unplug and humble ourselves in a practical way that allows us to plug into the spiritual energy of righteous company and teachers?
Standing up is not just a posture of prayer, but a way of life that stands as a metaphor to assist us to meet our own challenges and set-backs. Listen as our teachers engage more deeply with the questions and doubts often raised in our minds. This session seeks to provide Qur’anic guidance for exploring the counter-intuitive messages of how we grow spiritually amidst personal and collective setbacks.
Have you seen him who takes his low desires for his god? (Surah Furqan, 25:43)
And know that Allah knows what is within yourselves, so beware of Him. (Surah Baqarah, 2:235)
Balance holds a very significant place in every phase of life, and yet the phenomenon of social media creates an inner world for us to become so self-focused that it can lead to narcissism. It is a self-love, a need for attention to keep the fragile inner ego convinced it is liked. A recent study has found that students who posted more often on Facebook and Twitter scored higher in specific measures of different types of narcissism, including personality traits such as being exhibitionists, exploitative, and feeling superior. This may result in over-evaluating the importance of our own opinions. How do we center ourselves to the consciousness that every individual should pursue life with firm balance and composure? The goal sought in the remembrance of God is the attainment of balance and being centered as one submits to the consciousness of the Divine.
This khutba examines the following wise statement of Ibn Qayyim: “Don’t ruin your happiness with worry; Don’t ruin your mind with pessimism; Don’t ruin your success with deception; Don’t ruin the optimism of others by thwarting it; Don’t ruin your day by looking back at yesterday. If you think about your situation, you will find that Allah has given you things without asking, so have trust in Allah that He doesn’t prevent anything you want except there is goodness for you.”
Shaykh Yahya Rhodus provides insights to help us along our lifelong struggle to find clarity, calm, and community through spiritual development and draw near our Creator with step-by-step tried and proven methods for removing pride (kibr or ujub).
Shaykh Yahya Rhodus speaks about celebrating who our beloved Prophet ﷺ is and how to keep his blessed light in our hearts so that we can keep happy, strong, and patient in these difficult days (of fitna) while being active contributors in our community. He spoke at the annual Tri-Valley Mawlid. This event was at the Muslim Community Center of East Bay (MCC East Bay) in Pleasanton, California on October 27, 2018.
This khutba takes a look at 10 signs of good character mentioned in the commentary of Imam al-Munawi. They are:
1. Rarely engaging in arguments
2. Treaty people fairly
3. Not seeking out people’s faults/mistakes
4. Thinking best of what appears from people’s mistakes
5. Seeking people’s forgiveness
6. Bearing harm from others
7. Reproaching one’s self
8. Focusing on one’s own faults
9. Having a cheerful presence
10. Speaking well
There is a lot of anger in our community and world. Whether it is due to current events, personal life events, or in general the environment around us, many find themselves trying to control their anger. How should we respond when faced with difficulties? Shaykh Yahya discusses this and more. This talk was delivered at the Islamic Centre of Oshawa as part of the Age of Anger – Southern Ontario Tour, April 2017.
Shaykh Yahya Rhodus discusses the importance of building ourselves in order to persevere in this world and it’s tribulations. This talk was delivered at the Muslim Association of Hamilton as part of the Age of Anger – Southern Ontario Tour, April 2017.
In this critical and timely talk, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus emphasizes and highlights the urgency of the preservation and dissemination of knowledge, which is the Prophetic inheritance. He continues to explain that Imam al-Ghazali highlighted three principles in his magnum opus, Ihya Ulum al-Din (Revival of the Religious Sciences), that are meant to bring about renewal of faith in people: knowledge, devotion and service.
According to Shaykh Yahya, establishing SeekersHub and other institutions of Islamic knowledge is the most important obligation of this time and fulfills these principles. “Learning the sciences of the Sacred Law, with an unbroken chain in the established traditional way, while utilizing the beneficial modern methods and ways of instruction and making it relevant to the times we live in, in order to facilitate practice.”
He expresses that this is what he sees when he looks at SeekersHub, and that no one should underestimate their potential in bringing this matter to fruition. He explains that realizing this potential is through seeking great matters from Allah, through His Greatness.
Shaykh Yahya highlights that the greatest gift that we have been given, is the gift of faith because enables us to live a life of purpose. Faith is also the greatest gift we can give to the modern world in which we live. As people move further and further away from belief, resulting in a state of agitation and a state of panic. Faith (iman) is related to security (amn). With faith one finds security in their Lord who absolutely sustains and takes care of everything from its beginning to its fruition.
Shaykh Yahya reminds us that history is in good hands. The umma of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is granted mercy. There are many things of this deen and in this world that one cannot fully understand or comprehend the wisdom of, until they take into consideration the afterlife, and see how it plays out in the next life.
With all the great calamities, suffering and tribulations happening around the world, it gives one solace to know that their Lord is Just. Everyone who has been wronged will be fully gifted their right on the day of judgement. Therefore, we have to view everything from two perspectives simultaneously: from the perspective of faith and the unfolding of Divine decree, as well as from of perspective of judging particular incidents outwardly from the standpoint of the sacred law (shari’a).
Shaykh Yahya reminds us that this world is perishing and that death is a transition into the next life. Therefore we should always keep the next life in perspective. He urges us to respond to the Divine decree with total submission out of recognizing that Allah is truly in total control.
Shaykh Yahya finally reminds us that every Muslim is looked upon as a representative of Islam. Therefore, we have to have principled engagement with the society in order to bring forth the beauty of faith. This means that every individual Muslim needs to first immerse themselves in the meanings of iman, isalm and ihsan and then engage with the world. Bringing forth the light of the sunna of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) through our state of being is much more eloquent than speech about Islam. We should live that light, and spread that light freely by seeing ourselves as the servants of humanity. If we do this, we will truly see amazing things.
This Friday Khutba was delivered at the London Muslim Mosque (http://www.londonmosque.ca/) as part of the Age of Anger – Southern Ontario Tour, April 2017.
In this lecture, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus of Al-Maqasid spoke in London, on living in an age of fitna (strife) but first, he dispelled some misunderstandings around the concept of bid’ah (innovations in religious matters) and using “the Prophet never did it” as a standard for deriving legal rulings.
It is the time of year where the word “love” is paraded about, amidst a wave of cards, chocolates and flowers. But is there more? Love is so central to our sense of self that its presence (or absence) influences every aspect of our perception and interactions with the world around us. We are often quick to profess our love, in all its mundane and metaphysical forms, from loving the physical, to loving another person to loving the Divine. Ultimately however, the proof of our love lies not in our words but how that love affects who we are and what we do.