Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Fitr khutba by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - Eid al-Fitr 1427 (23 October 2006) - 27 mins 05 secs

Eid Mubarak to one and all. May God accept the fast and good deeds of all the Muslims during the past blessed month. No prizes for guessing the topic of the sermon in this post . . .

The sheikh mentions the hoped-for fruit of fasting: increased taqwa (God-consciousness), an awareness of our own fragility, dependence on God and need for guidance. Forcing ourselves to abstain from many of His Blessings helps us to appreciate them; but by a merciful paradox, it increases us in the one blessing that truly matters, which is iman (faith). Eid is above all a day of gratitude. Many who saw the last were taken back to God before the next; so we enjoy God's blessings freely again but also reflect on how they remind us about the essence of our existence. The message of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was rooted in this essence; and his own understanding and embodiment of it brought the fundamental sakina (inner peace) that radiated in his face and smile. The sheikh therefore describes Eid as at once a serious day but also one that encourages the inner peace upon which true happiness and celebration are founded.

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Qasida al-Burda - The Poem of the Mantle

Rendition of 'The Poem of the Mantle' led by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 14th June 2007 - 52 minutes 20 seconds

The Sheikh leads a rendition of the Qasida al-Burda - a poem famous across the Muslim world - after the Maghrebi fashion. The poem, properly known as al-Kawakib ad-Durriya fi Madh Khayr al-Bariya ("Celestial Lights in Praise of the Best of Creation") was written in Egypt in the 13th century by Imam Salih Sharaf ad-Din Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Busiri. Previously a court poet famed for his panegyrics of contemporary figures of authority, an intractable period of paralysis inspired him to turn his talents towards praise of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Tradition holds that upon completion of the poem the Imam was visited in his sleep by the Prophet himself, who with a sweep of his cloak (Burda) cured him of his malady. The Qasida's fame quickly spread and soon after the poem could be heard recited regularly in the far corners of the Islamic world, much loved by Muslims due to its beauty and expression of love for the Prophet (peace be upon him).

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This resource may be of use in following the poem:


The Sheikh can also be heard talking about the poem on the following video

Kemal Pashazade, Sheikh al-Islam

Talk by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - date unknown - 1 hr 53 mins 30 secs

In this talk, the sheikh discusses the religious institutions of the Ottoman Empire and how they embodied Sunni Islam as articulated by the great scholar Imam al-Ghazzali (may God have Mercy on him). He reminds us that the Ottoman dynasty spanned more than half the history of Islam, lasting from the 13th century CE until within living memory. Although their medieval origins as warriors and herdsmen of Anatolia seem very distant today, the long history of the empire as a sacred civilisation has a lot to teach us; in particular, how they managed plurality - of different religions and different Muslim groups - within an Islamic framework.

The sheikh talks specifically about Ahmed b. Kemal, known as Kemal Pashazade (may God have Mercy on him), who was appointed Sheikh al-Islam by Sultan Suleyman I Kanuni (the Lawgiver). This scholar gave up his early career as a cavalryman to become one of the most prolific and important scholars in Ottoman and Islamic history. Sheikh Abdal Hakim reads from and explains one of Kemal Pashazade's works, al-Risala al-Munira, which was written to help local imams (religious leaders) and qadis (judges) resolve the conflicts caused by the existence of many different sects and groups in the empire.

Questions and a discussion follow after about 1 hr 5 mins.

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Counsel & Purity of Heart

Jum'ah khutba (Friday sermon) by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 26th January 2007 - 27 mins 12 secs

The word nasiha is usually translated as advice or counsel. However, in this sermon the sheikh explains another connotation, which is to be pure and sincere. The Qur'an and hadith urge us to have nasiha toward God and and His Prophets (peace be upon them), which gives the sense of having a pure and open heart toward them. This is related to ikhlas (sincerity) and also a reverent longing which can make worship easier and more joyful. The sheikh also relates this to nasiha in the sense of giving advice - whether from a learned person to a tyrant or from one believer to another - and the adab (good manners) of doing so.

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A Common Law?

Law in Action - Sharia and England: a common law? - BBC Radio 4 - 23 September 2008 - 28 mins 56 secs

In his recent book, England: An Elegy, the philosopher Roger Scruton described a fundamental characteristic of the English common law: it treats law as something to be discovered rather than made; it views justice as an independent reality that the courts attempt to approach, not the application of arbitrary rules.

On the face of it, this suggests an interesting parallel with Islamic law (shari'a), which similarly tries to apply its judgements according to ideal justice. The difference, of course, is that it explicitly locates that origin of that justice in the Divine.

But could there be more to this parallel than just coincidence? Are there any historical links between the two? The answer is a tantalising, 'Maybe'. A recent programme on the BBC considers the evidence that the development of common law in the 13th century CE was related to England's contact with the Muslim world.

It's a fascinating argument, even if ultimately inconclusive.

If you have access to a library or database that holds it, you can read more about the scholarly work on this in an article by Prof. John Makdisi, 'The Islamic Origins of Common Law', North Carolina Law Review 77 (1998), p. 1635ff.

Unfortunately this programme is no longer available through BBC Podcasts, but you can still read about it through the link below.

Read 'Is English law related to Muslim law?' on BBC News

Names of God

Heart & Soul: the Ninety-Nine Names of God - 26 mins 06 secs

A radio programme reflecting on the ninety-nine beautiful names of God and their importance for Muslims.

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Distractions of Dunya

Jum'ah khutba (Friday sermon) by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - date unknown - 14 mins 40 secs


The sheikh describes the Qur'anic and prophetic attitude towards the material world. God may give the benefits and beauty of this world from His Mercy to thos who need them. But both scripture and the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) warn strongly against excessive attachment to anything of the dunya (the present, material world) for its own sake: it must disappear eventually, its only ultimate worth being how we used it in charitable actions towards others and to come closer to God. Imagine the calming and healing effect of the Prophet's attitude if we acted upon it today, when the frenzied competition for wealth (takathur) has created a gap between the rich and poor never greater or more destructive

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