Talk by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - 16 June 2005 - Cambridge - 1 hr 35 mins 56 secs
In this talk, the sheikh discusses the role of the shari'a and the ulema in our age. We are closer now to the time when, in the words of the well-known hadith, a person who does one-tenth of what is prescribed will be saved. It is an age when we fear that being too demanding in our religion will drive people away from it, yet without steadfastness and scrupulousness we risk being swamped by the demands and temptations of modernity. The sheikh discusses how people of genuine knowledge resolves this tension by being gentle and compassionate with others and helping them see the Mercy of Allah, glorified and exalted is He; but at the same time themselves practising and worshipping with rigour and discipline. In this of course, they have the supreme example in the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), who was a mercy to the worlds and in his daily life the most generous and hospitable of men; but who in his own behaviour and worship was the most ascetic and self-denying. Sadly many people today act in the opposite away, and so by ostensibly (and often ostentatiously) calling people toward good they actually subvert the real role of religion in people's lives. In the second half of the talk, the sheikh discusses the life and work of Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, who notably embodied the wisdom of being attuned to the needs of the age. Born in Baghdad in 736 AH (1335 CE), he lived in a society still traumatised by the aftermath of the Crusades and even more so by the Mongol invasions. He exemplified the work of the real ulema whose teaching and preaching was a source of healing and comfort to those around him. May Allah reward him and protect the people of knowledge who live among us today.
Please don't be put off by the faint sounds in the background coming from another room (including apparently a choir practice!). Such is life in Cambridge!
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