The Singularity of Intention and Will

Jum'ah khutba - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - October 2012 - 27mins 39secs

'Do not push aside those who call upon their Lord morning and night desiring His Face...'
Surah Al-'An`ām, verse 52

The Sheikh begins this khutba with this ayah, which touches on the key Qur'anic concept of irada and niyya, will and intention. A 'key counterbalance to excessive exteriority', these principles are the gateways the Almighty uses to judge our actions in this earthly realm. Famously Imam Bukhari begins his great corpus of Sahih Hadith with the foundational narration starting "actions are by intentions".

Quite often when discussing intentions, the idea of sincerity is mentioned, a translation of ikhlas. Whilst this translation is common, the Sheikh points out that ikhlas can be defined not simply as sincerity but rather as a purification of an entity to its most singular essence. Thus in this context the believer is asked to have a singularity of intention in all his or her affairs.

Judgement is not by ones goods and wealth but with, as the Qur'an says a sound heart, qalbin saleem. As Imam Ghazali notes one can't have singularity of intention without having a sound heart. The uproarious tumult of our desires doesn't settle just because we simply want to have a pure intention. This comes only with the purification of the heart, for as the Qur'an says "truly he succeeds that purifies it".

Photo of the grave of Umm Haram, known as Hala Sultan taken at the Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca, Cyprus by the CKETC team.

Listen to this khutba

Download thus khutba (MP3, 25.3MB)

Universality and Particularity

Talk - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 18th June 2012 - 45mins 38secs

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds!
Qur'an, Al-Fatiha, Verse 1 

Islam is not just a large religion, it is religion at large. "I am sent to all mankind" 
Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Contentions 16:95 
As British society agonises over cases of prejudice against ethnic minorities in this supposedly post-racist age the universalising message of Islam is a much welcome one. The Sheikh discusses this message, why classical Islamic civilisations were able to be so diverse.

 One reason may be that the Qur'an, unlike the Bible, is not about the continuity of a people but rather principles. It is not about the drama of a people, not a Judaism of the Arabs. The Islamic story begins with Abraham and Hagar rather than one of his descendents, echoed in the central rites of Hajj. the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and the Arabs are of Semitic lineage but also from the gentile Hagar, something that calls on Islam to be a message for the world, not one particular tribe. This is noted in the language of the Qur'an itself: when Arab is mentioned it usually denotes the language rather than the people. Classically in Maliki law an Arab is one who can speak the language well, rather than one who has a certain set of genes. If anything the Qur'an disparages 'it's people', the contemporary Arabs as they were they propagators of the jahiliyya that Islam came to destroy. Thus the Sheikh notes that Abraham is the forefather of a universalism that co-exists with particularism. Most Islamic cities were incredibly heterogenous, yet the set of core practices remained stable and familiar. The sacred law itself is race-blind, and so whilst we have a legitimate claim to belong to the culture of our ancestors, we also know that this matters not to the Heavenly Judge in terms of proximity to Him in this life and the next.

Picture of a courtyard in the Alcazar, Seville. Taken by the CKETC team

Listen to this talk

Download this talk (MP3, 41.8MB)

The Scholarship of the Indian Subcontinent

Talk - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - London - 23rd June 2012 - 32mins 43secs

The Sheikh gave the opening lecture at the event entitled 'The Reviver and Spiritual Physician: Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanawi'. The illuminating talk outlined the development of scholarship in the subcontinent from the early 8th century period of Muhammad b. Qasim to that of Maulana Ashraf himself in the modern era. 

The event itself was organised by Turath Publishing and Huma Press, and associated with others mentioned at the start of the video. 


Reflections after the Summer Stroll

Talk - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 24th June 2012 - 14mins 20secs

After this year's Summer Stroll fundraising event for the new Cambridge Mosque the Sheikh offered a few thoughts after spending some time in Cambridgeshire's countryside. He began by noting that iman, faith, is the entity that connects and binds us to Reality, as it involves the internalising and experiencing of the principle of Tawhid. Thus our becoming monotheists involves not only mental function but also the life of the heart. We have to allow the heart to see things, just as the Qur'an describes the heart as something that sees. This is how we heal the painful divide between the ghayb and shahada, what is hidden and what is seen. Engaging in nature is engaging in this effort, a wisdom the Qur'an sends for this time when we the world seems stuck in a solely positivistic viewing of the creation. This iman makes the Muslim at home anywhere, as he knows where he is going, where he has been and what the purpose of existence is. This, the Sheikh prposes, is one of the meanings of the Prophet's words, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, 'for me, the whole earth has been made a mosque, and made pure'. 

The image above is a scale model of the proposed Cambridge mosque revealed at a pre-planning exhibition on September 7th, 2011

Listen to this talk

Download this talk
(MP3, MB)