Hajj: the Inward Spiral

Friday sermon (jum'ah khutba) - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - 12 November 2010 - Cambridge - 20 mins 51 secs


This sermon, delivered just before Eid al-Adha, reminds us of the deep significance of Hajj. The great annual gathering of pilgrims from all over the world recalls an even greater gathering before time when every human soul bore witness to Allah's Divine Sovereignty: "Bala shahidna!" The outward ritual of journeying to the Noble Sanctuary thus corresponds, with Allah's help, to an inward journey toward remembrance of our true nature and station. The pilgrim's call of "Labbayk Allahumma labbayk!" ("At Your service oh Allah!") echoes the soul's primordial attestation. It is the worldly counterpart to the acknowledgment that He is our Lord, and we are His humble servants. Sheikh Abdal Hakim explains the kissing of the Black Stone in this context, and describes the fundamental tranquility brought about this great journey of remembering and submission. May we all be able, God willing, to journey to Mecca and receive the treasure of inward transformation that is the gift of travelling as humble supplicants to Allah's earthly court.

Image: 'Meccacentric' by Lateefa Spiker. Used with permission.

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Travelling Light Series III MP3s - 10% Off

Series III of Travelling Light with Shaykh Seraj Hendricks is out now as downloadable MP3s - a perfect alternative to the surrounding seasonal excesses. As a special introductory offer, there is 10% off until 1 January 2011 when buying the complete series.

Shaykh Seraj studied at the Al-Zawiya mosque in Cape Town, and then at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca. He was Chair of the Fatwa Committee of Cape Town, and is currently Imam of the Al-Zawiya mosque, where he regularly teaches the works of Imam al-Ghazali.

In Series III, he covers Books 13-16 of The Revival of The Religious Sciences, which are: The Courtesies of Earning a Living; The Halal & the Haram; Friendship, Brotherhood & Companionship; and The Courtesies of Seclusion.

As always, every penny of profit goes to support the Cambridge New Mosque Project, so please spread the word as far as possible and encourage your friends and family to buy!

Living with Our Selves

Talk by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - 30th November 2010 - Cambridge - 1 hour 30 mins 46 secs


How can one leave the self behind on the path to Allah when we are the self? This was the central paradox behind the sheikh's latest circle: living with our selves.

Approaching the question through the language left us by today's monoculture makes our task difficult; the word has been so desacralised that it is nigh on impossible. This is not to say that signs are not present. Ironically the depth of modern scientific study has only given us the opportunity to diversify our appreciation of God's signs, from the far reaches of the universe down to the enigmatic workings of the subatomic realm; these ayat all urge us to be what the sheikh calls 'New Cynics', the Rindan of Mevlana Rumi. Akin to the intoxicated joyful ones of old who would laugh at the absurdity of their own selves and the world around them, we need now more than ever to marry the exuberance of youth with a learned cynicism over what the modern world seeks to beguile us with.

This futuwwa has Hadhrat Ali - Shah e Merdan - as its champion, for his sword Zulfiqar with its two points indicated to the inward and outward rectification required of those who would tread the path of Islamic chivalry. That this dual jihad was and indeed is necessary was highlighted by the Sheikh in a chilling passage: al-Hasan al-Basri said that 'this world is a bridge, it is for passing over, not building on'; if you cannot realise this then your thoughts are not your own, and you are as good as dead.

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Humility & Recognition

Friday sermon (jum'ah khutba) - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - 5 November 2010 - Cambridge - 22 mins 3 secs


Humanity has a glory and a dignity granted to us by Allah the Creator, but His religion enjoins us always to humility. Pharaoh's definitive error, the paradigmatic opposite of the wonderful examples of the prophets of Allah (peace be upon them), was to seek 'exultation in the earth'; whereas we can reach the highest point of human dignity at the very moment our foreheads are on the floor in prayer and submission. Sheikh Abdal Hakim explores this theme in this sermon, mentioning the many reports of the spiritual benefit of humility, but also going on to describe how we can legitimately promote our qualifications and abilities when necessary in daily life.

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