Hujjat Podcast

Shiism in Italy - Conversation with Sheikh Abbas De Palma

An episode of Hujjat Podcast

By KSIMC of London
The Hujjat Podcast is a podcast set up by the KSIMC of London (AKA Hujjat Stanmore) which seeks to bring high-quality Islamic content to a digital audience. We will be posting our weekly Friday Sermons delivered at the centre in Stanmore as well as bespoke content from our resident scholars and community members, including The Breakdown - a podcast with Al Haadi Youth

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The Breakdown - Ep 8: The Hawza Experience - What is it like to study in an Islamic Seminary?
Is the Hawza still relevant for Western Muslims in 2019? Do we have infrastructure to encourage and support female students? What must one consider when looking at studying in an Islamic seminary? In this eye-opening segment, Ahmed and Abbas are joined by Br. Sadiq Meghjee - a Hawza student in Qom, who answers various pertinent questions on the need for seminaries and the reality of modern day traditional Islamic studies.  If you have questions for Sadiq after listening to this segment, or if you have any other topic/guest suggestions, you can reach on on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram - @alhaadiyouth. Hope you enjoy listening!
49:03
August 16, 2019
Friday Sermon: Using the faults in others to help see the faults within you
In this khutba, we propose the principle that when you notice a fault in a person, this should be enough of a lesson for yourself to take note and ensure you do not practise that act yourself. This principle is mentioned in the hadith by Imam Mohammed al-Baqir (a) who stated, "Sufficient is a person’s own defect (in himself) that he tries to pick and look for faults in other people when he himself has those same faults in himself (and does not recognize them." It is often the case that when a person does a bad act we notice it. It can be anything like how a person reacts to traffic on the road, or whether they keep in touch with their family members, a face they make when asked to do something, how they eat. All of these may be innocuous acts but they do not go unnoticed by ourselves and in fact may often grind or irk us or make us wish they did not act like this. However, it is also the case that more often than not we also have the same or similar trait - but just don't realise it! The Qur'an tells us not to laugh at others nor fault find: "O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not fault find amongst yourselves" (49:11). The scholars of Akhlaq add the following prescriptions to remedy or navigate this sort of heedlessness. When a person see's an act they dislike, either they truly do perform that act themselves or truly they do not. i) In the case where they do not, they should first thank Allah (swt) for having purified them that they do not commit that act. This is because guidance success is from Allah (swt) in the first place and so He is the prime cause of one's goodness. In sincerely thanking Allah (swt) he would keep you protected from this and improve you even further, as He states, "If you are grateful, I will surely increase you further [in favour]" (Qur'an 14:7).  If one is not humble to this, certainly they will soon fall foul and perform that act themselves. ii) In the case where they do perform such an act, it is most likely that Allah (swt) has covered that act such that most people will have never seen it performed. Allah (swt) indeed is the concealer of defects. The books of supplication are replete with lines of du'a that should be recited at this moment. For example: My God, so to Thee belongs praise! How many of my flaws Thou hast covered over without exposing me! How many of my sins Thou hast cloaked without making me notorious! How many faults I have committed, yet Thou didst not tear away from me their covering iii) And also In the case where they do perform such an act, one may entreat Allah (swt) to remove that practise in themselves for just as you dislike to see it in others, you should dislike it for your own self. Conclusion  It is normal to notice and dislike a bad trait or reaction in someone else; this is a sign of a healthy conscious and an awareness of inappropriate behaviours. However, it is just as normal that though we dislike something in others, we may find that same practise in ourselves. This noticing it in others and our own reaction to it should be sufficient as a means of self-improvement. After noticing it in others and in our own selves, the aware and God-conscious (Muttaqi) person takes himself to account greater than he would take another person to account. He holds himself to a greater responsibility for removing that action before expecting another to stop it. In this way he is more focused on his own development than finding faults with another. InshaAllah next week we will build on this principle with another Akhlaqi formula. 
25:18
July 31, 2019
Friday Sermon: Make your private behaviour better than your public behaviour
In this series of Friday Sermon's, we shall be focused on improving our character and mannerisms. Each week we will pick one Akhlaqi principle and delve into some of its features, the idea being that from one week to the next we make a special and dedicated intention to implement this particular practise. God-willing over the week, this one practise will help us to improve that element of our moral nature, preparing us for the following weeks principle.  This of course is based on the noble character of the holy Prophet Muhammad (s) who the holy Qur'an tells us, "Indeed in the Messenger of Allah, you have an excellent model for the one who seeks God, the Day of Judgement and remembers God unceasingly" (33:21). Our first Akhlaqi principle is to make our private behaviour surpass our public behaviour. It is often the case that our public behaviour is better than our private behaviour. This is because when we are in public, we want the best version of ourselves to be seen and so we become very aware of how we act; when in our private circles however, we revert to default behaviours or are less concerned with how people see us. This manifests itself in many ways: In public, I may never swear but in private I may. In private I will watch things I would never watch in public. In public the length of my Salaat is very long but in private it is extremely quick or with the TV still on. In public I will smile and talk nicely to people at the Mosque but when I return home, I am grumpy and would never spend time talking to my family and so on. This is problematic because of the hypocrisy it builds within us and normalises this dichotomy, entrenching its practises further. The narrations specify that when our inward state is corrupted so too will our outward behaviours be, as we will not always be able to control ourselves and these inward states will manifest themselves. But similarly when our outward behaviours are problematic such as acting differently, it will corrupt our inward realities. For example one narration states, "When the outward gets corrupted, the inward also gets corrupted."
24:23
July 30, 2019
A Hajj Veteran of 30 Years! - Interview with Ahmed Dungersi
Join Sheikh Jaffer Ladak and Ahmed Dungersi as they discuss his 30 years as chairman of the European Hajj Mission, how has he seen Mecca change and what happened when his group of 150 people were arrested?
46:04
July 16, 2019
The Breakdown - Ep 7: Overcoming the Stigma - Mental Health in Muslim Youth
The Breakdown - Ep 7: Overcoming the Stigma - Mental Health in Muslim Youth With mental health stigma proving to continually act as a barrier for people to seek help when necessary, especially among young Muslims, Zayn Ahmad and Aneesa Merali sit down to discuss these pertinent issues in our communities with director of Muslim Youth Helpline, Zohra Khaku.  In this podcast, they discuss the issues surrounding mental health, including the ‘taboo topics’, as well as how we can improve as a community, and Zohra shares insights into the amazing work done at MYH by her and their dedicated team of volunteers. This Episode is Sponsored by Not Just Travel Booking a holiday is about so much more than just flights and a hotel. Not Just Travel believe in providing a seamless journey to your next holiday experience; from picking the perfect destination to adding those little extras that make your holiday that bit more special. Call Akhtar Jaffer on 07453 906906 to book your next holiday experience the Not Just Travel way.
43:55
July 1, 2019
How does Imam Ali recommend we deal with the post-Ramadan blues?
One of the common phrases we hear after finishing a journey or interval from somewhere is ‘I have post holiday blues’. This is because after returning to normality or worse still, the rat race, we feel a low compared to the fervour and pace of what what before. We also hear this type of phrase of ‘post Ziyarat blues’ and ‘post  Ramadan blues’ for this same reason: So much enjoyment from the spirit and efforts of the month become replaced by a return to our daily grind and so we feel a disconnect or shortfall in our spirituality. Why does this occur and how do we navigate this? The Qur’an gives a clear reasoning for this low feeling. "And whoever turns away from My remembrance, his shall live a depressed life, and We will raise him on the day of resurrection, blind” (20:124) In the context of the Month of Ramadan, we build up so many good practises and God-consciousness by virtue of creating a new environment for ourselves personally and communally, that a return to what it was like previously will certainly leave a deficit. The verse gives both a worldly and next-worldly outcome of turning away from Allah's reminders: In this world, one will live miserably but worse still in the next world be raised blind. The subsequent verses explain such a person will ask on the Day of Judgement "He shall say: My Lord! why hast Thou raised me blind and I was a seeing one indeed?” The reply enforces the warning of not turning away from Allah swat’s remembrance: "He will say: Thus it is so, Our communications came to you but you had forsaken them; thus shall you be forsaken this day.” (20:125-126). Narrations indicate to the necessity of holding onto that environment that has been created and especially its people, those who will retain the good practises of the holy month such that you would too. Imam Ali (a) is narrated to have said, "Never hold on to one who turns back and do not separate from the one who moves forward.” This means that he who turns back into his normal practises, as he will feel those lows, one should not hold onto him as you will partake and absorb from him whilst those whom you find keep up their fervour, we are instructed not to separate from him. But Imam Ali (a) tells us to have a watchful, discerning eye stating, "It may be that sometimes the one who turns back moves forward and the one who moves forward turns back”. In this occasion the one who turns back, means he who turns back to God such as through Tawbah. It may be that he regrets not maximising the blessed month and has vowed to improve thereafter while he who thinks he is moving forward may not be due to something corrupting his service such a pride or impatience.  May Allah make us amongst those who uphold the accomplishments of the Month of Ramadan and allow us to witness it again next year.
22:57
June 8, 2019
Ep 4 - Sehri Sessions: Ramadhan Reflections?
Ep 4 - Sehri Sessions: Ramadhan Reflections? Join the boys for a laid back style second episode of Sehri Sessions - a circle where we discuss our opinions, experiences and ambitions as youth in a light-hearted setting. This episode, we share our thoughts on Ramadhan, the nights of Qdar,  the run up to Eid and making changes beyond Ramadhan.  Have any topic suggestions or questions you’d like to hear discussed? Hit us up on our social media accounts - @alhaadiyouth 
41:02
June 3, 2019
Sehri Sessions - Ep 3: Social Justice and the Secrets of Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)
 Join the boys for a laid back style third episode of Sehri Sessions - a circle where we discuss our opinions, experiences and ambitions as youth in a light-hearted setting. This episode, we share our thoughts on Imam Ali's (as) concept of social justice, his understanding of divine truth, as well as some of his deepest, most personal feelings and secrets. He was an exemplary man abandoned by his own people - yet a timeless example to learn from. Have any topic suggestions or questions you’d like to hear discussed? Hit us up on our social media accounts - @alhaadiyouth  On this episode: Abbas, Ahmed, Muntazir, Abbas Ali and Mohammed.
47:48
May 26, 2019
Keys to Qadr - Ep 4: Surah Dukhan
We are all aware of the power of the nights of Qadr – yet how do we unlock the full potential within Allah’s (swt) words in this holy month? Join Sheikh Jaffer Ladak for a four part podcast special series on the Keys to Qadr . Together, we unravel the beauty of these holy nights, to elevate our understanding of the holy book of the Almighty. In particular, understanding why we recite three particular chapters from the Quran. Releasing every five nights until the 20th of Ramadan, we hope you enjoy #KeysToQadr by Al Haadi Youth.  ---- This podcast is in memory of Marhuma Sakinabai Manji. Please recite Al Fatiha for the Marhuma and all Marhumeen
25:31
May 25, 2019
Sehri Sessions - Ep 2: Are Youth Making Effective Community Changes?
Join the boys for a laid back style second episode of Sehri Sessions - a circle where we discuss our opinions, experiences and ambitions as youth in a light-hearted setting. This episode, we share our thoughts on whether we feel youth are given the platform, have the ability and have the willingness to make societal change. Featuring live questions from our Instagram followers who tuned in! Have any topic suggestions or questions you’d like to hear discussed? Hit us up on our social media accounts - @alhaadiyouth   On this episode: Ahmed, Salim, Sadiq, Muhammad, and Abbas Ali
37:33
May 23, 2019
Keys to Qadr - Ep 3: Surah Rum
We are all aware of the power of the nights of Qadr – yet how do we unlock the full potential within Allah’s (swt) words in this holy month? Join Sheikh Jaffer Ladak for a four part podcast special series on the Keys to Qadr . Together, we unravel the beauty of these holy nights, to elevate our understanding of the holy book of the Almighty. In particular, understanding why we recite three particular chapters from the Quran. Releasing every five nights until the 20th of Ramadan, we hope you enjoy #KeysToQadr by Al Haadi Youth.  ---- This podcast is in memory of Marhuma Sakinabai Manji. Please recite Al Fatiha for the Marhuma and all Marhumeen
35:02
May 21, 2019
The situation in Bahrain: A conversation with Dr Jalal Faiyrooz
Dr. Jalal Fairooz joins Sheikh Jaffer Ladak as they discuss the Arab Spring, the systemic sectarian cleansing in Bahrain and the role of the British government in keeping the Aal Khalifa dictatorship in power.  Dr Jalal is a former MP of Bahrain. You can find him on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/JalalFairooz
44:29
May 21, 2019
Keys to Qadr - Ep 2: Surah Ankabut
We are all aware of the power of the nights of Qadr – yet how do we unlock the full potential within Allah’s (swt) words in this holy month? Join Sheikh Jaffer Ladak for a four part podcast special series on the Keys to Qadr . Together, we unravel the beauty of these holy nights, to elevate our understanding of the holy book of the Almighty. In particular, understanding why we recite three particular chapters from the Quran. Releasing every five nights until the 20th of Ramadan, we hope you enjoy #KeysToQadr by Al Haadi Youth.  ---- This podcast is in memory of Marhuma Sakinabai Manji. Please recite Al Fatiha for the Marhuma and all Marhumeen
39:14
May 17, 2019
Interacting the with the Qur’an: The first step toward Tadabbur
Our religious texts allow us to appreciate communication at different levels: At times the ma'sum speaks to a non-ma’sum at his level; in another the ma'sum addresses a fellow ma'sum in which it may be a higher level of discourse; at another the ma'sum is conversing with Allah swt in which the restrictions are removed and is the peak of human expression toward the divine. The Qur’an being the Word of Allah swt is the creator communicating with the creation, of which there are billions. And therefore whilst the words are the same, each verse must communicate with each of the creation at their level. In the month of Ramadan we are encouraged to reflect on the Qur’an to unlock these deeper levels, however there are certain impediments to doing so: It may be the language barrier, or that we are used to reading at a very quick pace in order to complete our recitation or it may be that we don’t know how to reflect and are concerned about wrongfully imposing a meaning onto the Qur’an. In this sermon we will look at the examples of Ahl al-Bayt (a) and how they interacted with the Qur’an as opposed to reading it passively. We will find that they would pause at various types of verses and respond either with a du’a or verbalising the theme of the verse. This meant they were conscious of what was read and this would be the foundation of reading the Qur’an reflectively. Imam as-Sadiq (a) is narrated to have said, “Surely the Qur’an is not to be read in a rush or very quickly.  Rather, it should be recited in slow, measured portions. Whenever you reach a verse which talks about Heaven, then stop (at that verse) and ask from Allah (the bounties of) Heaven.  And whenever you reach a verse which speaks about the Hell, then stop (at that verse) and seek protection from Allah from the Hell Fire (and the punishment).” (al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi, Volume 3, Page 301)
24:05
May 14, 2019
Sehri Sessions - Ep 1: The Culture of Ramadan
Join the boys for a laid back style first episode of Sehri Sessions - a circle where we discuss our opinions, experiences and ambitions as youth in a light-hearted setting.  This episode, we share our thoughts on Ramadan practice and culture. Featuring live questions from our Instagram followers who tuned in!  Have any topic suggestions or questions you’d like to hear discussed? Hit us up on our social media accounts - @alhaadiyouth  On this episode: Abbas V, Ahmed, Abbas KG, Abbas Ali and Mohammed. 
47:21
May 13, 2019
Keys to Qadr - Ep 1: Ramadan and How to Dissect a Surah
We are all aware of the power of the nights of Qadr – yet how do we unlock the full potential within Allah’s (swt) words in this holy month? Join Sheikh Jaffer Ladak for a four part podcast special series on the Keys to Qadr . Together, we unravel the beauty of these holy nights, to elevate our understanding of the holy book of the Almighty. In particular, understanding why we recite three particular chapters from the Quran. Releasing every five nights until the 20th of Ramadan, we hope you enjoy #KeysToQadr by Al Haadi Youth.  ---- This podcast is in memory of Marhuma Sakinabai Manji. Please recite Al Fatiha for the Marhuma and all Marhumeen
23:27
May 11, 2019
How can the Muslim community effect social change? - Interview with Miqdaad Versi
On this special podcast episode, Sheikh Jaffer Ladak interviewed Miqdaad Versi, the assistant secretary general of the MCB, at a Friday night Baraza session at the centre organised by Al Haadi Youth. They discuss  structural Islamophobia, how we as a community can make change and much more! 
1:23:15
May 6, 2019
The Breakdown - Ep 6: Stress: Exams, Spouse Selection and Early Parenthood (With Dr. Hamid)
Do you feel exam stress? Are you worried at balancing spirituality with revision in Ramadhan? Do you find looking for a spouse stressful? Are you struggling to cope looking after young children?  The number of people that face stress is rising. In the past year, 74% of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.  Dealing with this stress in a healthy manner can be difficult, and this is what we discuss in our latest podcast featuring psychiatrist Dr. Hamid. Join your hosts Abbas and Aneesa as they delve deep into these issues with our exciting guest.
56:14
April 24, 2019
The etiquette of dealing with differences of opinion (part 3)
In our first two parts we discussed the following points: 1) The Qur’an mentions people were one. When divine knowledge came to guide them, they used this as a means of misguidance against each other.. 2) Differences in any one issue show the depth of that matter and how much knowledge it may contain 3) Scholars advise to keep their differences of opinion private before going public  4) Differences emanate from two places: i) Ignorance and ego ii) Newscasters; news-hounds; and news consumers  5) The Maraji’ welcome challenges (within reason, obviously) In this weeks discussion we will look at the question of our attitudes toward people who have differences with us. Karen Armstrong has written one of the most important books of our generation: ‘Muhammed: Prophet for our time’. At the onset of the book she says it was disturbing to her to see the Prophet (s) denigrated as a militant Prophet, when this is a man who spent his entire life trying to solve the problem of human conflict. He was born into a society of perpetual cycles of violence. An example of this is the famous 40 year war over a horse race called ‘Harb al-Dahis was Ghafra’, referring the names of the horses between the tribes of Abs and Dibyan. The man who started the war became a monk because he could not bear to look at the faces of those whom he’d been the cause of injury or death to.  We can see how the Qur’an addresses the attitude of believers to be amongst themselves (48:29) Muhammad is God’s Apostle; and those who are [truly] with him are firm and unyielding towards all deniers of the truth, [yet] full of mercy towards one another. This is why the Prophet (s) had to warn, “Do not turn back after me as ingrates striking at the neck of one another”  The Qur’an is critical of those who use their extremism in personal beliefs to be a means of dividing the community. This is mentioned twice in the Qur’an: (23:53) “But they (who claim to follow you) have torn their unity wide asunder, piece by piece, each group delighting in [but] what they themselves possess.” (30:32) “Among those who have broken the unity of their faith and have become sects, each group delighting in but what they themselves hold.” What is the attitude of our Maraji’ toward differences between them? I was present in the lesson of Grand Ayatollah Syed Mohammed Taqi al-Modarresi when he categorically stated, ‘Whichever Marja’ you follow you are guided’. He also said, “Syed as-Seestani is my friend. Syed Khamenei is my friend” when talking about how people wanted to create differences between them. In a famous lesson, during the intellectual battle between the Akhbaris and Usulis, when the groups had vast differences, the leaders of of those periods kept their unity. When Sheikh Wahid Behbehani, head of the Usuli movement, died, he willed that Syed Yusuf al-Bahrani, head of the opposition Akhbari movement, should lead his funeral prayers. This shows the differences are academic but the responsibility of protecting the community was tantamount. And these are the examples set for us. In our last part next week we will ask how do we respond when emails and video clips are circulated within the community.
29:02
April 23, 2019
The etiquettes of dealing with differences of opinion (part 2)
In this week's Friday Sermon, Sheikh Jaffer continues his series.  In part 1 we introduced the importance of this topic and how we would navigate the series. We mentioned that we will look at verses of the Qur’an and Ahadith around the topic, give scholarly opinions and stories of how the scholars themselves deal with differences of opinion. In the first discussion we mentioned the opinion of Sheikh Ahmad Zarrooq who said, "The difference of opinion about one reality, when those differences multiply, indicate toward the depths of understanding the totality of that thing (meaning it is so deep”, demonstrating that when a mas’alat (particular Islamic issue) has multiple opinions, it has that level of profundity to it. We also mentioned the story of ‘Allama Tabataba’i and Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi debating in private before going public with their differences of opinion. This week we ask the question, ‘Why do differences of opinion occur? Allah (swt) mentions that divine books and Messengers (a) were sent to remove differences and unite us but envies and jealousies caused abuse of those blessings and to were used as means of division: "Mankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it - after the clear proofs came to them - out of jealous animosity among themselves." (2:213)
26:59
April 16, 2019
Shiism in Italy - Conversation with Sheikh Abbas De Palma
Sheikh Jaffer talks to Sheikh Abbas De Palma, Resident Alim of the Imam Mahdi centre in Rome about Shiism in Italy and the challenges of the Muslim community there. 
44:54
April 15, 2019
The Breakdown - Ep 5: Feminism, Extremism and the Hidden Virtues of Lady Zainab (with Father Christopher Clohessy).
 Did Lady Zainab (as) play a much greater role in Karbala than we know? How do her sentiments of leadership differ or compare to those of Western feminist movements in the post-modern era? Does free speech exist within any religion? Or, is it a luxury limited to believers in God? All this, and much, much more in our latest podcast featuring the world renowned Father Christopher Clohessy . Mohammed and Ahmed found Father Chris to be really cool - he is cultured, humble despite his global recognition, and incredibly intelligent. Having grown up in an Irish Catholic family in South Africa, he then pursued the study of religion.  Father Christopher spent a year in Cairo, Egypt, studying Islamic studies as a Catholic priest, and then became aware of Imam Hussain (as). Since then, he learned of the battle of Karbala, and subsequently two of the most incredible personalities in world history - Lady Fatima (as) and Lady Zainab (as). Father Christopher has been one of the first academics to publish works in the English language on these two characters. He has lectured in communities worldwide, alongside his day-to-day work as a Professor in Shi'i studies at the Pontifical Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies in Rome. We hope you enjoy the episode - make sure to share feedback with us!
48:31
March 28, 2019
The Breakdown - Ep 4: Christchurch - Protecting Muslim centres and the struggle with the media
After Friday's terrorist attacks at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Ahmed Gokal and Abbas Gulamhussein sit down with Sheikh Jaffer Ladak to discuss the aftermath of the attacks, how we as a community should respond and what more can be done to protect our centres. They also discuss the media's role in creating the Islamophobic environment that has led to such an unprecedented attack at mosques during Juma prayers. Please recite a Sura Al-Fatiha for those who lost their lives in Friday's terrorist attack.
37:07
March 18, 2019
Sheikh Ladak discusses racism and Islamophobia in Football with Arsenal Fan TV's Moh Haider
Recorded just a few days before the North London derby between Arsenal and Spurs. Our resident Aalim and lifelong Spurs fan Sheikh Jaffer Ladak sits down with Moh Haider a passionate Arsenal fan from Arsenal Fan TV.  They discuss Moh's censorship for supporting Palestine, racism in football, Islamophobia - and that time that Sheikh put Moh's shoes under a gutter, in the rain, at Mosque...
45:10
March 17, 2019
The etiquettes of dealing with difference of opinion (Part 1 )
Our first Friday series looked at ‘effective listening’ and the second at ‘Where and where not to gain knowledge from’. In this series we will look at how to navigate differences of opinion. This is because increasingly there is a trend that when differences arise, be they in the family unit, political issues of the jamaa’at or between scholars, people sometimes resort to sending out communications to defame one another, often with little knowledge of the facts.  This of course is intolerable, especially as the Prophet Muhammad (s) said, “I was raised to bring morality to its peak.” How then can we as a community learn to deal with differences of opinion maturely? Our series will focus on three things: 1) What the Qur’an & Ahl al-Bayt (a) have said about differences of opinion 2) What the scholars themselves have said about differences of opinion and 3) What examples they give us about navigating differences of opinion.  1) The Qur’an introduces where differences of opinion came from: “Mankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it – after the clear proofs came to them – out of jealous animosity among themselves.” (2:213) This explains that differences existed and then Prophets and Revelation was sent to judge between said differences. However, because jealousy and animosity lay within some people, they weaponised this knowledge and used it fuel discord. This is why Allah swt told the Prophet (s) to purify people first and then teach them, for without removing their ill natures, knowledge would just add to differences, stating “reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book” (62:2) 2) Scholastic differences of Ijtihadat demonstrate the depth of that matter and emanate from from various knowledges and experiences. Sheikh Ahmad Zarrooq stated: "The difference of opinion about one reality, when those differences multiply, indicate toward the depths of understanding the totality of that thing (meaning it is so deep, it is hard to grasp it in any one articulation). If you go back to one source that contains a summation of what has been stated about it, that articulation is based on what was understood by that thing. And its expression by each individual is on account of his knowledge, experience, state, taste and other matters.” 3) The scholars themselves allowed for differences of opinion but ensured their Akhlaaq in dealing with those differences. These included keeping their debates in house as much as possible. Ayatollah Nasir Makarem Shirazi narrates,  “One day ‘Allamah Tabataba’i called for me and said, “I would like Al-Mizan to be translated and I believe you should do this”. I accepted the offer and translated the first volume which was in Arabic – and contained very precise and condensed information – into two volumes [of Farsi]. One day I visited him and said, “Agha! You are a learned scholar but I am someone who cannot resort to others (taqlid) in certain matters. Therefore as I translate your discussions, do I have your permission to write any difference of opinion I might have in the footnotes?” He replied with one meaningful sentence, “Let us discuss and criticize between ourselves first, and not among the public.”
21:53
March 14, 2019
Where do I go for my knowledge? Whom do I trust when there are so many opinions out there? (Part 3)
“And those who accuse free women then do not bring four witnesses, flog them, (giving) eighty stripes, and do not admit any evidence from them ever; and these it is that are the transgressors” (24:4) This verse first teaches us that accusing a woman of indecency is such a weighty issue, it requires four witnesses to testify the same as evidence. In our context, when politicians make large claims, there needs equal evidence. Second, when we see persistent liars, they have used up the currency of trust and not permitted to make claims ever again. Those politicians that have constantly been wrong or peddled falsities, no matter their claims going forward, should not be listened to. As there are multiple claims made, it requires the interrogation of each claim and claimant in order to clearly view the truth. Only by putting these claims side by side can we begin to distinguish between them. This is something Imam Ali (a) taught us. When the Holy Prophet (s) migrated, he left behind Imam Ali (a) as his representative. Handhalah Ibn Abi Sufiyaan instructed U’mair Ibn Waail to make a false claim and go to Ali and tell him: “I had placed one hundred mithqaal of gold with the Holy Prophet (s). Hand my property back to me.” Handhalah added that if Ali asked for witnesses Abu Jahl, I’krimah, U’qbah, Abu Sufiyaan and Handhalah would testify. The Imam (a) asked him to bring his witnesses near the Ka’bah. When all of them had arrived, he began questioning each one, individually and separately, about the items being held in trust.  “What time was it when you had placed your possession with Muhammad (s)?” he questioned U’mair first. “It was morning when I gave him the gold and he handed it over to his servant,” replied U’mair. H. Ali (a.s.) asked Abu Jahl the same question. He replied, “I have no idea.” When Abu Sufiyaan was questioned, he responded, “It was at sunset and he had placed it in his sleeves.” When Handhalah was questioned, he gave the answer,“He took possession of the gold at the time of Dhuhr and placed it in front of him.” When U’qbah was questioned, he replied, “It was A’sr when the Prophet took the possession in his own hands and carried it to his house.” And finally, when the Imam (a.s.) questioned I’krimah, he answered, “It was bright and early in the morning when Muhammad (s.a.w.) took possession of it and sent it to the house of Fatimah (a.s.).” The Imam (a.s.) then informed them of their conflicting statements and their deception thus became apparent. Then, turning to U’mair, he asked him, “Why was it that while you lied, you appeared uneasy and your face had gone pale?” U’mair replied, “By the Lord of the Ka’bah! I had not placed anything in trust with Muhammad (s.a.w.). It was a deception Handhalah had bribed me into. This necklace here, belonging to Hind, with her name inscribed on it, is one of the things presented to me as a bribe.” This gives to us various principles of navigating the veracity and truthfulness of those who make claims or expect us to follow them.
20:59
March 14, 2019
Where do I go for my knowledge? Whom do I trust when there are so many opinions out there? (Part 2)
Whom are we prohibited from taking knowledge from and why? - 2 + 2 = 4 - Water boils at 100 Celsuis - Grass is green - Mixing red and blue makes purple - Liverpool will win the Premier League this season Each of these statements represent a different type of claim. Where are they rooted? One claim is from mathematics, one is from physics and chemistry, others are by trial and observation. One is from the Bible, one is from the books of Ahadith and the last is a belief. But what makes us claim these and why should they be believed? What happens when the Bible tells us the world is 6,000 years old but archeology or carbon dating may tell us the world is 4 million years old, for example. Whom do we believe, when do we create a hierarchy of beliefs and why? In our previous two Friday Sermons we addressed the question: ‘Why is there a problem finding sound knowledge?’  This is because firstly, there are so many people claiming expertise yet all claiming different positions and secondly, because we live in a time when truth is purposefully convoluted with falsehood. "O Ibn Mas’ood, from amongst the signs and conditions [of the end of times] will be that people will trust treacherous people and consider trustworthy people treacherous and the truthful one will be called a liar and the one telling the lie will be called truthful." This week, I will present the first set of verses in which the Qur’an provides us with categories of people we are forbidden from taking our knowledge from – whether this be religious knowledge or political knowledge – because they are not qualified, worthy or trustworthy in order for us to lend them our ears. Each of these categories mention qualities of people who should be abstained from.
23:00
March 14, 2019
The Breakdown - Ep 3: The biggest challenge young Muslims face
The Breakdown  Episode 3 - The biggest challenge young Muslims face Known within the community for his lead role in "313", Inayat Kanji faced many of the most severe challenges a Muslim teen can face. Inayat has since turned his life around to inspire many around him. Now an acclaimed actor and social activist, Inayat sits down with Ahmed and Mohammed to discuss the greatest challenges Muslim youth face - and steps to overcome it. (p.s. this discussion is far less depressing than it sounds!) Join your hosts, Ahmed Gokal and Mohammed Gulamhusein as we discuss all of this throughout this highly entertaining episode. Be sure to follow us on social media to suggest topics/speakers and stay up to date with all news!
1:01:17
March 4, 2019
Identity, self-reflection and plans for 2019!
Sheikh Jaffer Ladak and Dr Masuma Jaffer (our Resident Aalim and Resident Aalima respectively) sit down together to discuss the results from the recent surveys that were conducted amongst our community as well as their plans for the year 2019 with regards to community engagement and the direction they wish to steer discussions through their classes and speaking engagements as well as how they plan to work together moving forward for the betterment of our community inshallah! 
56:51
February 12, 2019
Where do I go for my knowledge? Whom do I trust when there are so many opinions out there? (Part 1)
Part 1: Presenting the Problem In a world with so many opinions vying for your attention and belief, how do you know what is true and what is false? To whom do you go to get your knowledge and how do you know whom to trust? Take the issue of Brexit. A spectrum of politicians, experts, panel guests, radio and tv hosts all claim to know what they are talking about and know what is in your best interest. Or take the number of scholars and speakers each with varying opinions on the same topic. It can become confusing and difficult to navigate. How do I know whom to listen to and who is truthful? Our topic over these forthcoming Friday Khutba’s will be to review what the Qur’an and Ahadith instruct us about where to place our trust when there are so many multiple voices God-willing. The Qur’an mentions to us the story of Prophet Shu’ayb (a) and his dialogue with the people of Medyan. “He said, ‘O my people, have you considered: if I am upon clear evidence from my Lord’” (Qur’an 11:88). All the prophet’s (a) have similar dialogues. Usually the prophet is rejected because he doesn’t have the elite following him or their lives are comfortable so they see no need to change their practises, such as the people of Hud (a) who had the greatest technological advancements of time. Place yourself in the shoes of the community of Prophet Shu’ayb (a). If he came to you and said, ‘Believe in me. Because I am on clear evidence from my Lord’, a legitimate question would be raised, ‘Would someone saying to you, ‘I am on evidence of truth’ be enough to convince you?’ (We will discuss this verse more in the coming weeks). This issue of whom to trust was mentioned by Imam Ameer al-Mo’mineen Ali (a) in Sermon 32 of Nahj al-Balaghah when he stated, “O people! We have been born in such a wrongful and thankless period wherein the virtuous is deemed vicious and the oppressor goes on advancing in his excess.” When reputations and qualities of people are mixed up, it becomes even more difficult to know whom to trust for sound opinions. In fact this is a challenge particularly emphasised at the End of Time. In a famous narration the holy Prophet Muhammad (s) mentions signs for the Last Days saying يَا ابْنَ مَسْعُودٍ إِنَّ مِنْ أَعْلَامِ السَّاعَةِ وَأَشْرَاطِهَا أَنْ يَكُونَ الْمُؤْمِنُ فِي الْقَبِيلَةِ أَذَلَّ مِنَ النَّقَدِ “O Ibn Mas’ood, from amongst the signs and conditions [of the last days] is the Believer will be humiliated worse than the ugly goat.” ابْنَ مَسْعُودٍ ، إِنَّ مِنْ أَعْلَامِ السَّاعَةِ وَأَشْرَاطِهَا أَنْ يُؤْتَمَنَ الْخَائِنُ ، وَأَنْ يُخَوَّنَ الْأَمِينُ. و ان يُصدِّق الكاذب و ان يُكذِب الصادق  O Ibn Mas’ood, from amongst the signs and conditions will be that people will trust treacherous people and consider trustworthy people treacherous and the truthful one called a liar and one telling lie will be considered truthful. An example of this is a true story about Donald Trump. Recently he was visited by Disney who have animatronic figures of all the past Presidents. They wanted to record something so that as visitors came they would hear what President Trump had to say. Usually recordings are something grand, inspiration, like the Gettysburg Address. Trump however, wanted his recording to say, “Americans invented the Skyscraper.” This is not true at all. Skyscrapers are just taller buildings than those before. The Qur’an mentions the people of Hud (a) as being the first to build talk buildings! He outright lied! And why?! Because he owns Trump Towers and so wanted to be associated to a historical achievement – so he decided to just make one up! This is our dire situation today and so our series addresses where to get knowledge and whom to trust.
18:10
February 7, 2019
The Breakdown - Ep 2: Can you chase happiness?
The Breakdown  Episode 2 - Can you chase happiness? (with Dr. Mahmood Mawjee)  After the loss of his father in 2016, Dr Mahmood made the decision to change his life - and not just his own, but those around him. His goal is to become a billionaire - by touching the lives of a billion people worldwide. He's spoken internationally alongside names such as Steve Wozniak, Mel Gibson, Al Pacino, and many more! Can you chase happiness? Is there a way to discover your purpose in life? How does one turn their biggest weakness into their biggest strength?  Join your host, Ahmed Gokal as we discuss all of this in this episode. Be sure to follow us on social media to suggest topics/speakers and stay up to date with all news!
49:47
January 30, 2019
Part 2: Why did the people of Prophets Hud & Shu’ayb claim the message wasn't clear to them?
The previous three weeks have discussed various elements of ‘Effective Listening.’ Week One looked at why the people of Salih (a) ‘did not love to receive good advice’ (Qur’an 7:79). Week Two looked those who put their fingers in their ears (71:7) and how to improve our listening.  Last week saw that the communities of Prophet’s Hud (a) and Shu’ayb (a) claimed ‘We do not understand the Message’ (11:91) and ‘The Message isn’t clear’ (11:53). This is because there was a wilful impediment that stopped them from understanding the simple and divine message. The first reason was because they did Tahreef, or distortion of the words that reached them. When we don’t like a message, we take its content out of context or purposefully misunderstand what is being said. This is a reason for not being able to understand a divine message. The Prophet (s) warned that there would be two groups of Muslims: Those who upheld truth and knowledge, and those who purposefully distorted the knowledge that came to them saying, “This knowledge will be carried in each generation by upright, just people. They’ll repudiate the misquotations of extremists; (out of context). Plagiarisms of people trying to falsify, interpretations of zealots.” This week we will look at the other reason as to why the people of Hud (a) and Shu’ayb (a) would say, ‘We don’t understand your message’ and that is what they held on to in their hearts became the impediment. It was a false assumption that they did not allow to be challenged, and so whatever came to them was dismissed by their faulty assumptions. In the case of the people of Hud (a), they believed that their gods had struck him with evil and so his Message was considered to be just ravings. They said, “We cannot say anything but that some of our gods have smitten you with evil” (11:54). No matter what Hud (a) said to them, it was not listened to because of this false assumption. In the case of Shu’ayb (a), the elites considered their power to be greater than his and so dismissed what came from him, saying: “O Shu’ayb! We do not understand much of what you say and most surely we see you to be weak among us” (11:91). This tells us that a person may not listen to another because of what they harbour in their hearts either a) about the person, b) about the message or c) a false assumption that they will not challenge. Any of these three things will be causes of not listening to another person fairly.  This affected Waleed bin ‘Aqabah in the last hours of his life. A’qabah had once spat upon the face of the Prophet (s) in Mecca. He had joined the Quraysh in the battle of Badr. When defeated, Aqabah was brought before the Prophet (s), who ordered Imam Ali (a) to put him to death. Consequently, his son Waleed, who had been appointed the governor of Kufah during the caliphate of U’thman, always harboured malice towards Imam Ali (a) and continued to abuse him. When Waleed fell ill, Imam Hasan (a) paid him a visit. He opened his eyes and witnessing Imam (a) said: I am repentant of all my past deeds and seek God’s forgiveness for them, except the abuses which I hurled at your father, for which I am not repentant. The Imam (a) said: My father had killed your father and had punished you (for consuming wine) and this is the reason of your animosity towards him.” Due to this malice in his heart he was unable to listen to whatever treasures came from Imam Ali (a). In reality this impediment in Waleed’s heart did not affect anyone but himself. Imam Ali (a) said, “One who harbours evil feelings [and ill will] for others has actually harmed himself.”
21:51
January 27, 2019
Part 1: Why did the people of Prophets Hud & Shu’ayb claim the message wasn't clear to them?
This week's Friday Sermon, Sheikh Jaffer Ladak continues his series on 'Effective Listening'. In the first two sermon’s discussing ‘Effective Listening’ we focused on the statement of Prophet Salih (a) that his community were a people who did not love good advice (Qur’an 7:79). This was because (1) It was a truth that made them introspect;  (2) They did not love to learn; and (3) They were arrogant. We also mentioned the verses of the people of Prophet Nuh (a) who would literally put their fingers in their ears so as not to have to listen to what he had to say (Qur’an 71:7) In the following sermons we will focus on the stories of Prophet’s Hud (a) and Shu’ayb (a) specifically in regard to what impeded their communities to hear the messages of their prophets. This will be in the context of their dialogues so as to reflect on the reasons that impede us from understanding the point of view of someone else when we dialogue with them. Visit www.hujjat.org for a full write-up of this week's Khutba.
21:13
January 18, 2019
The Breakdown - Ep 1: Meet the Sheikh
The Breakdown is a new podcast launched by Al Haadi Youth. We wish to address key issues that affect Muslim youth in the West - in particular, those living within the UK. We have lined up a fantastic array of dynamic guests to discuss thought-provoking topics, which we hope will instigate much needed dialogue within the Muslim community. In this first episode, Ahmed Gokal welcomes Sheikh Jaffer Ladak to the Stanmore community, in his new role as the resident scholar. Sheikh Jaffer has pretty much done it all - an author, researcher, international speaker, debater - as well as former entrepreneur, football club owner and high school teenage rebel! This episode explores his exciting history, his vision and ambitions for the community, as well as what he hopes to bring to the thousands of members within the Stanmore community. Stay tuned for updates on our podcasts, as well as getting the opportunity to ask your questions to guest speakers by following us online. Instagram: @alhaadiyouth Facebook: Al Haadi Youth Snapchat: @alhaadiyouth
40:26
January 16, 2019
Friday Sermon - 11th Jan 2019 - Sheikh Jaffer Ladak
In last weeks sermon, we asked two primary questions: ‘Why do two people listen to the same thing yet understand it so differently?’ and ‘Why would a person hate to receive good advice?’ What is occurring in relation to a person’s listening that would determine these outcomes? These questions were raised from the verse (7:79), “O’ my people! verily I have delivered to you the Message of my Lord, and advised you sincerely; but you do not like sincere advisers’”.  Some texts place the emphasis on the speaker to ensure proper conveyance of their speech and ideas; as we’re focused on the listener in these discussions there are also texts that place responsibility on the one hearing to ensure they have understood whats been said. That means paying attention, noting down, seeking clarification or reflection. For example, Imam Ali (a) is narrated to have said, “Knowledge is not ruined except by the miscomprehension of the listener” (Ghurar al-Hikam)  The Qur’an mentions how far people will go to avoid listening to something beneficial. In the story of Nuh (a) it mentions, (71:7) “Whenever I called unto them with a view to Your granting them forgiveness, they put their fingers into their ears, and wrapped themselves up in their garments [of sin]; and grew obstinate, and became [yet more] arrogant in their false pride.” At the time of the Prophet Muhammad (s), a champion poet, Tufayl ibn ‘Amr, was warned by the Quraysh not to listen to the Prophet lest he become ‘enchanted’ by his words. When he performed Tawaf he would put his fingers in his ears, until he said to himself to listen to what was being said. When he listened to the Qur’an being recited, he fell in love with it, followed the Prophet (s) home, and converted to Islam that day. This tells us the importance of taking fingers out of our own ears, metaphorically speaking. Arguably, we are losing our listening skills. This has been occurring since we invented ways of writing, recording on tapes, CD’s etc. Indeed a premium on accurate listening disappeared. One way to prove a person has lost their hearing is the need to shout louder to get someones attention. As a society, we have lost our hearing. The media has to shout at us and still we don’t pay attention. For example, only two months ago there were headlines that the planet has 9-12 years left before environmental damage goes past the fail safe point. But who is listening? Our texts inform us on how to be better listeners.  Both prohibited (haraam) and dis-advised (makruh) things must be avoided. Imam Ali (a) said, “Train your ears to listen well and do not pay attention to that which does not increase anything useful for you by listening to it, for verily this corrodes the hearts and leads to dispraise” (Ghurar al-Hikam) 2) Choose wisely what you listen to Imam Ali (a) said, “Do not desire for everything that you hear, for this suffices as gullibility (or foolishness).” While the Qur’an says, (39:18) “Those who listen [closely] to all that is said, and follow the best of it: [for] it is they whom God has graced with His guidance, and it is they who are [truly] endowed with insight! 3) Silence. Take several minutes a day to sit in silence and allow yourself to hear what comes from the heart 4) Listen for channels of sound. Pick out something to listen to when there are lots of sounds at once and focus on being attentive to that sound such as on the road when there’s cars, listen for the birds. 5) Savour. We’ve been so accustomed to recording and putting everything up on What’sApp or Social Media. Just be present and allow the moment to sit with you. 6) Realise what ‘Listening Positions’ you require to be in during different gatherings; when should I be an active vs. passive listener, or a critical vs. empathetic listener.
21:09
January 16, 2019
Friday Sermon - 4th Jan 2019 - Sheikh Jaffer Ladak
(7:79) “Then he turned away from them and said: ‘ O’ my people! verily I have delivered to you the Message of my Lord, and advised you sincerely; but you do not like sincere advisers’.” Why do two people hear the same thing and understand it so differently? Why do two people have one conversation and react uniquely to the same words shared between them? Even to the extent that they may have a shared experience or family unit? Previously, we said our Friday Sermons format would be to look at verses in the Qur’an regarding the Prophetic mission, personality and relationship between prophetic call and those called upon (us). The idea is each week we take a verse, discuss it and take it home with us as homework to reflect on and implement. I have chosen this verse to begin with for two reasons: First, because the New Year spurs in us a desire for renewed development and second because our forthcoming series will be focused on the stories of Prophet’s Hud (a) and Salih (a). The theme of the verse is ‘effective listening’, that is to maximise what we listen to. We spend 60% of our communication listening yet only 25% or less is retained. Listening not limited or reduced to listening to lectures but refers to being attentive and allowing for deeper truths to penetrate. The bones and flesh of the ear are just the tools for listening, but effective listening requires a state of observance to what around you. To this end Imam Ali (a) is narrated to have said, “’Whoever listens effectively reaps its benefits immediately.’ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَن أحسَنَ الاستِماعَ تَعَجَّلَ الانتِفاعَ. (Ghurar Al-Hikam, No. 9243). We can appreciate here the difference between listening and hearing. The sequence of verses start from verse 75 when the chiefs mockingly asked the believers, “Do you know that Salih is sent by his Lord?” “Those who were haughty said, ‘Indeed we are deniers of what you believe in.” The verses continue, “Then the earthquake overtook them so they became motionless bodies in their abode.” This means Prophet Salih (a) was addressing dead bodies! He (a) was a sincere advisor to them. He spoke to them about things which should be readily acceptable: Truth, justice, goodness, reform. Yet isn’t it strange to see people who react so aggressively or stubbornly to a call of Amr bil Ma’roof. One might say to their friend or family member, “Don’t listen to..” or “Don’t watch..” and you will often find obstinance or even a hostility toward sincere advice.   What is the reason a person would be hostile toward beneficial advice? The verse explains, they “Did not love good advice.” As a result, whatever advice they heard could not do more than just reach their ears. This also means the opposite would be true, that had they loved good advice, they would have been receptive to it and benefitted from it. There are three reasons from them not loving or disliking religious advice: 1. Hearing it shook them 2. They did not love to learn 3.They were arrogant.  This verse teaches us the foundations of ‘Effective Listening’. To re-read it, reflect upon it and think about whether, when and how we love to receive religious advice is this week’s homework. May Allah  make us the humble, attentive and truth seeking. Ameen Ya Rabb.
21:46
January 8, 2019
Friday Sermon - 22nd Aug 2018 - Sheikh Jaffer Ladak
Sheikh Jaffer Ladak's third Friday sermon after being announced as the new Resident Aalim, starting in January 2019. He outlines the way in which we plan to frame discussions in his community addresses going forward.
18:09
January 2, 2019
Friday Sermon - 10th Aug 2018 - Sheikh Jaffer Ladak
Sheikh Jaffer Ladak's second Friday sermon after being announced as the new Resident Aalim, starting in January 2019. He outlines the way in which we plan to frame discussions in his community addresses going forward.
26:36
January 2, 2019
Friday Sermon - 3rd Aug 2018 - Sheikh Jaffer Ladak
Sheikh Jaffer Ladak's first Friday sermon after being announced as the new Resident Aalim, starting in January 2019. He outlines the way in which we plan to frame discussions in his community addresses going forward.
18:13
January 2, 2019
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