Book Launch: Makkah to Madinah – A Photographic Journey of the Hijrah Route


I was privileged to be at the book launch of ‘Makkah to Madinah – A Photographic Journey of the Hijrah Route’ on the evening of Friday 27 March 2015 at the Royal Geographic Society in Kensington.

The Photobook by Dr Abdullah Al Kadi documents in great detail the  Hijrah Journey that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, took from Makkah to Madinah.

Left to RIght: Peter Sanders, Dr Abdullah Al Kadi, Bettany Hughes
Left to RIght: Peter Sanders, Dr Abdullah Al Kadi, Bettany Hughes

The event was chaired by historian Bettany Hughes with presentations from Dr AlKadi and Photographer Peter Sanders. The evening closed with a reception and book signing with Dr AlKadi.

Dr Abdullah AlKadi‘Dr. Alkadi is the Vice Rector for Studies, Development and Community Services, as well as being a Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Dammam in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. He is the author of several books covering diverse topics such as the use of GIS applications on social development in urban areas, to analysis of the planning characteristics of urban mosques at the time of the Prophet in Madinah. Currently, Dr. Alkadi continues to explore and expand his research not only on the Hijrah Route, but other ancient pathways as well.’

I arrived late at the event due to unforeseen circumstances that afternoon on a return journey from Bognor Regis. As a result I missed a good chunk of Dr AlKadi’s presentation. What I did catch was him documenting through pictures the difficulty he and his team had to endure to find and detail all the places that the Prophet, peace be upon him, and Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased him, trekked through on their momentous journey from Makkah to Madinah.

They uncovered many new milestones that marked the way, reaching some areas that were only accessible by foot, and hand digging various milestones and artefacts from underground. Along the way they uncovered ancient writings on rocks that predate even the Islamic Period in Arabia.

Dr AlKadi has  had all of his new findings documented with the relevent Tourism and Archeology department within the Government of Saudi Arabia.

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Dr. Alkadi explains: “Makkah to Madinah is the culmination of several years of research driven by the simple desire to determine as precisely as possible the exact route of the Hijrah. In the course of this study, I have conducted dozens of field expeditions, collecting data, recording GPS coordinates, identifying landmarks, calculating distances, and covering as much as possible the entire route by foot. I have also examined every available resource from Hadith and Seerah literature and narrations, to historical documents, maps from the eighteenth century to the present. I have also conducted extensive interviews with local residents to glean information handed down through generations.”

“After analysing, synthesising, and cross-checking the information from this research, I have by the grace of Allah realised my original goal: to determine as precisely as possible the exact route of the Prophet’s Hijrah.”

After Dr AlKadi Peter Sanders took to the stage. He mirrored what Dr AlKadi had said and stated that in all his years of travelling to and photographing Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Sites, he could not believe that the sites uncovered by Dr AlKadi actually existed.

Although he was only on the journey for part of the way he found the whole experience spiritually uplifting knowing that they were walking on the exact same path that the Prophet, peace be upon him, had trodden.

Peter also mentioned the sites that were hard to reach and had to be gotten to on foot and commended Dr Al Kadi’s commitment and vigour in completing those journeys on foot. Peter summarised that the landscapes that they visited and saw was like seeing the Artistry of Allah in His creation.

IMG_20150330_191239Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, who was also present at the launch, wrote the forward to the book.  It was through Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and his audio tapes in the 90s that I first heard of Dr AlKadi, and I was glad that I finally got a chance to meet him in 2015! Alhamdu Lillah. He writes in his forward to the book:

In a just world, this exaustive effort would be seen as a groundbreaking masterwork, and would be discussed and celebrated by historians of humanity worldwide. But our world is far from just, and Shaykh Abdullah may have to wait for the Hijrah to that truly just world for his work to be acknowledged and rewarded. For now, may our gratitude suffice.

After the presentations was a brief Q&A conducted by the chair which was followed by the reception and book signing.

Dr AlKadi signing my copy of his book with the inscription: 'Preserving History for the Future Generations.'
Dr AlKadi signing my copy of his book with the inscription: ‘Preserving History for the Future Generations.’

The book can be purchased from all good bookstores and online through Amazon and the publisher’s own website: http://orient-east.com/buy

I would like to end by thanking brother Masud Ahmed Khan for posting the details of the event on his Facebook feed, without which I would not have known of the event. I would also like to thank Helen Lewis of literallypr.com for extending the invite to me and giving me the opportunity to meet such great personalities from the Islamic World.

GEMS & STARS IN THE UK: SHAYKH ABDUL AZIZ AHMED FREDERICKS


Shaykh Abdul Aziz Ahmed Fredericks (Hafizahullah)

Source: http://aynacademy.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=27:abdulaziz&catid=3:teacher&Itemid=33

Shaykh Abdul Aziz Ahmed Fredericks was born in Nottingham in the United Kingdom where he completed his schooling before moving to Leicester for University studies. He completed a BEd degree in primary education specialising in Language Arts. He then went on to carry out post-graduate studies in Education in various universities including London University Institute of Education, Strathclyde University and the Open University. Continue reading GEMS & STARS IN THE UK: SHAYKH ABDUL AZIZ AHMED FREDERICKS

GEMS & STARS IN THE UK: SHAYKH AHMED SAAD AL-AZHARI


SHAYKH AHMED SAAD AL-AZHARI (HAFIZAHULLAH)

Source: http://www.ihsaninstitute.co.uk/Home/Founder

Sheikh Ahmad Muhammad Saad Ash-Shafi’ie Al-Azhari Al-Hasani was born into a family of scholars whose lineage goes back to the Prophet (salla Allahu alayh wa sallam) through his grandson Al-Hasan ibn Ali (radia Allahu anhu) in the northern Egyptian governorate of Monofiyyah, in the Nile Delta. The land of Monofiyyah is known to be the cradle of great scholars of Islam including people like Shaykh Al-Islam Ibrahim Al-Bayjouri, Imam Tajuddin As-Subki and Taqiyuddin As-Subki, Shaykh Al-Islam Ash-Shanawani, Shaykh Nour Ad-Din Al-Mihi, Shaykh Hasan Al-Quwaysini, Shaykh Ash-Shurunbilali and many others. As the custom of the family was to memorise Qur’an at an early age, Sheikh Saad completed the memorisation of the Holy Qur’an at the age of ten at the hands of his father and studied basic Arabic and Islamic sciences with focus on the sciences of Arabic language (‘Ulum Al-‘Arabiyyah) before enrolling into Al-Azhar system of schools where he studied from 1988 to 2004 graduating with a B.A. Honours in Islamic Studies in English and finishing his post graduate years. Continue reading GEMS & STARS IN THE UK: SHAYKH AHMED SAAD AL-AZHARI

Their Name Is Today: Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World


In his book ‘Their Name Is Today: Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World’ author Johann Christoph Arnold stands up for children and the rights of childhood.

He advocates for the preservation of the innocence of children in world where children are constantly exposed to adult themes. He talks of the pressures applied on children from a very young age to excel academically without having had the chance to learn through play and interpersonal interactions with other children and adults. He talks of children that our sidelined and outcast, bereft of opportunities because the system doesn’t know how to cope with them. He mentions the dangers of the media and the exposure that young children have to magazines, satellite television, the internet and so on and how these are shaping the way they think and behave moreso than the teaching they receive at home or in school.

The author brings anecdotal examples from his experience as a teacher, mentor, educator, counsellor and a father to show how, with a little consideration, love and gentleness, we can give children the wonderful childhood that every child deserves.

He implores adults to see the world through a child’s eyes and to learn from their innocence, their genuineness, their sincerity, their curiosity and so on. He asks us to see each child as a unique miracle of God and to nurture the special qualities that they possess.

Below are some quotes from the book that I have shared previously on our Facebook Page:

‘Experts inform us that overpopulation is destroying earth. I disagree: greed and selfishness are ruining the planet, not children.’

‘Obviously, it is impossible to live without money and material goods, and every household must have its provider and its plans for the future. But ultimately it is the love we give our children, and not the material things, that will remain with them for life.’

‘As a teenager, I grumbled about the never-ending chores, but my parents had no pity. And in retrospect I am grateful. I see now how their insistence taught me self-discipline, concentration, perseverance, and the ability to carry through – all things you need to be a father.’

‘If we are going to protect innocence in a child, we need to cleans our own hearts of pollution.’

Children are the generation of the future and therefore if we can make a positive change in the children of today than tomorrow will be a better day.

The book is available for free in the UK from the following website. I think that every parent, educator, mentor and anyone involved with young people should read it. I found it to be a very insightful read.

http://www.communityplaythings.co.uk/learning-library/training-resources/their-name-is-today

Abu Zaynah

06.03.2015

Muslim Parents – Online Resources for the Upbringing of Children


Assalamu ‘Aliakum,

I hope and pray that you are all well.

I am in the process of compiling a list of websites and blogs that might be of benefit in regards to the upbringing of children. I will add to the list as I discover more, but below is what I have found useful so far (to be updated as I discover more).

If you know of any that may be of benefit to others, please share in the comments box below.

JazakAllahu Khair

Abu Zaynah

* Please note that Islamopedia can not be held responsible for the content of external sites. 

Links:

Muslim Mommy:

http://muslimommy.com/category/parenting/

Learning Roots, I want to be Like:

http://www.iwanttobelike.com/

Productive Muslim:

http://productivemuslim.com/tag/parenting/

Seekers Hub:

http://seekershub.org/blog/2010/04/raising-your-children-with-deen-dunya-radio-interview-with-hina-khan-mukhtar-seekersguidance-islamic-parenting-course/

Simple Tips 4 Moms: 

http://www.simpletips4mom.com/?cat=17

Read Little Muslims:

http://www.readlittlemuslims.com/free-resources/little-deen-explorers/

Islamic Playground:

http://www.islamicplayground.com/Scripts/default.asp

Muslim Kidz:

http://www.muslimkidz.com/

Al Islah Kids:

http://alislahkids.com/index.php

Sayyiduna Imam al-Nawawi’s Maqam Destroyed in Nawa


Islamopedia:

La Hawla Wa La Quawwata illa Billah

Originally posted on Journey of a Seeker Of Sacred Knowledge:

Sayyiduna Imam al-Nawawi's Maqam Destroyed in Nawah

Assalamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh , We pray this finds everyone well, wrapped in Allah’s mercy and steadfastly traveling the path to eternal felicity, in sha Allah.

The Maqam of The Erudite Scholar and Friend of Allah Sayyiduna Imam Abu Zakariyah Muhiy al-Din Yahya Ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi Radi Allah ‘anhu has been destroyed in Nawa.  La hawla wala quwatta illa billah.

تدمرت اليوم ضريح إمام من أبرز أئمة أهل السنة والجماعة الإمام النووي رحمه الله تعالى شارح صحيح الإمام مسلم على أيدي الإرهابيين. اللهم انصرنا على القوم الكافرين.

He is Yahya Ibn Sharaf , Muhiy al-Din Abu Zakariyah al-Nawawi (631–676 AH) the pious, ascetic, most learned, scrupulously Godwary, accomplished jurisprudent and Hadith Master, the impeccable Shaykh al-Islām by the unanimity of the people of the Sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), fearless before kings, lordly and chaste, who died young yet, in a short life of 45 years, produced works of…

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Wednesday Circle – New Years Action Plan for 2015


Wednesday Circle – New Years Action Plan for 2015:

Yesterday at the Wednesday Circle we discussed our collective plans for 2015 and came up with the action points below.

We shall be monitoring ourselves against the targets below on a monthly basis to check how we are progressing. May Allah give us the Tawfiq.

Action Plan:

  1. Regularly attend the Wednesday Circle 

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “There are no people who remember Allah without the angels surrounding them, mercy covering them, tranquillity descending on them, and Allah mentioning them to those who are with Him.” [Muslim, at-Tirmidhi] 

  1. Read at least 12 books (of all genres) in the year

Read: In the name of thy Lord Who createth, Createth man from a clot. Read: And thy Lord is the Most Bounteous, Who teacheth by the pen, Teacheth man that which he knew not.

[Qur’an 96: 1-5]

  1. Pray the 5 daily prayers and make up later in the day any that are missed due to School or other reasons.

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said to Abu Dharr (RA): “Observe prayer at its prescribed time, then go (to meet) your needs, and if the Iqama is pronounced, and you are present in the mosque, then observe prayer (along with the congregation).” [Sahih Muslim]

  1. Complete the Recitation of the Qur’an at least once in 2015

Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)saying, “Read the Qur’an, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.” [Muslim].

  1. Attend the Masjid regularly

The Messenger of Allah (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Prayer in a group is twenty-seven times better than the prayer of a man by himself.” [Muwatta of Imam Malik]

  1. Give Da’wah to others

The Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Indeed, Allah, the angels, the denizens of the heavens and the earth, the ants in their burrows, and the fish in the sea pray for blessings to come upon those who teach good to people.” [At-Tirmidhi]

  1. Complete an act of Sadaqa Jaariyah (an action that has ongoing benefits to others, such as teaching someone to recite Al-Fatiha or teaching someone a skill that you have like riding a bike, tying shoe laces etc)

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Every right thing is Sadaqa (charity).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

The youngsters also added their own individual targets to the list, such as getting good exam results, doing better at School etc

What are your aspirations for 2015 – share below.

A Mercy to Mankind – Muhammad: The Chosen One


Islamopedia:

Reposting my poem from last year. Enjoy!

Originally posted on Islamopedia Blog:

As it is the month of Rabi’ Al Awwal, I would like to try and compose a poem/rhyme dedicated to Our Master Muhammad (Alayhis Salam).

I shall start with a few short verses, and then every day of the month, I shall try and add to it at least one line, in honour and praise of Our Messenger (Alayhis Salam).

Bismillah.

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Advice to the Seekers – New Years Resolutions


Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray’s advice to the students at SeekersHub Toronto (Ayah and Hadith additions in italic below are mine and not of Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray):

  1. Be people of the Night Prayer (Tahajjud)

‘And during the night, wake up for Salāh of Tahajjud , an additional prayer for you. It is very likely that your Lord will place you at Praised Station.’ [Qur’an 17:79]

The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.” [Muslim]

  1. Devote at least one hour per week to Seeking Knowledge (‘ilm)

‘So High above all is Allah, the True King! And do not hasten with (reciting) the Qur’ān before its revelation to you is concluded, and say, “My Lord, improve me in knowledge.”’ [Qur’an 20:114]

The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “He for whom Allâh desires great good, He grants him (superlative) understanding in the Religion.” [Part of a longer Hadith from Bukhari and Muslim]

  1. Spend at least one hour per week giving to the community (Khidmah)

‘The believers, male and female, are friends to each other. They bid virtue and forbid vice and establish Salāh and pay Zakāh and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those are the ones whom Allah will bless with mercy. Surely, Allah is Powerful, Wise.’ [Qur’an 9:71]

The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “Allah will relieve anyone who relieves a believer of one of the afflictions of this world, of one of the afflictions of the Day of Rising. Allah will give ease in this world and the Next to anyone who eases the hardship of another. Allah will veil anyone who veils another Muslim in this world and the Next. Allah will help His slave as long as His slave is helping his brother.” [Muslim]

What better way to start the New Year than to pledge to commit to each of the above. Imagine if we all made the small steps mentioned above, what difference it could make to our lives and the lives of those around us.

May Allah give us Tawfiq – Ameen

Abu Zaynah

Source: https://www.facebook.com/iffat.syed.10/posts/10101218911309487

Human-Kind


Human-Kind 

As 2014 ends and 2015 begins

I think to myself, where have I been?

What have I done? How have I grown?

What deeds were done? What seeds were sown?

 

In life there is no pause, rewind or forward,

Just continuous play, onwards and upward.

Treasure the moments, for once gone, won’t return.

Grow with the passing of time, as the clocks continue to turn.

 

What is our plan for the future?

What will we leave behind?

Not more of the same, I hope,

Let us be more Human-Kind.

 

© Abu Zaynah 29.12.2014

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