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Audio File
December 30, 2016 Jumuah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) - 2016 Was Horrible 06 - 12-30-2016
December 30, 2016 Jumuah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) - Sincerity & Knowledge 06 - 12-30-2016
December 16, 2016 Jumuah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) - Marital Relations & Counseling 05 - 12-16-2016
September 30, 2016  Jumuah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) - Interactions with the Opposite Sex 04 - 09-30-2016
September 12, 2016   Eid-ul-Adha Sermon
 - Manage the Unexpected
03 - 09-12-2016
August 12, 2016 Can I be confident and humble at the same time? 02 - 08-12-2016.m4a

January 15, 2016

Should I forgive someone who doesn't deserve it? Why?

01 - 01-15-2016.m4a

How Can I increase my Love for God - April 2017

Allah says, “And those who believe are more intense in love for God” (2:165)

People ask, “I want to be a believer, how can I increase my love for Allāh?”

Books have been written on this question. Here is a 5 step process on attaining Allah’s love.

1. - Have a desire to love Him intensely

2. - Learn about Him and His attributes (I recommend reading Al-Ghazāli on the Ninety-nine Beautiful Names of God)

3. - Count His blessings in different ways (Talking about His blessings with others, Writing about it, Reflecting, Dhikr)

4. - Read the verses in the Qur’an about people whom Allah loves. Try to be amongst those people.

5. - Faith increases and decreases. When you receive a spiritual high, ensure that you pour your heart out to Allāh and make this supplication

O Allāh, I ask You for Your Love, and the love of whoever loves You, and the love of deeds that will bring me closer to Your Love.

Tea Time with Imam Azfar - May 2017

Tea Time with Imam Azfar - April 2017


Spring Break Seminar

Click Here to Register

IFN under the guidance of Imam Azfar and Prof. Dr Anwar Basha will conduct an interactive educational seminar during spring break as follows:

  • Thursday, March 30 - 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday, March 31 - 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • Lunch will be provided.

Topics will range from historic learning to science and technology in reference to the Holy Qur'an. This seminar will be open to both boys and girls ages 12 and up. Adults are welcomed to attend.

Lecture for Adult Sisters

Salāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah

I will be having a lecture with the adult sisters on the following dates in the banquet hall from 11:00 A.M to 11:40 A.M followed by a question and answer session.

  • March 23, 2017
  • April 20, 2017
  • May 18, 2017
International Women's Day  
March 8, 2017 

Salāmu 'alaykum

Since March 8th is International Women's Day, it’s only appropriate that we learn about the four best women in history.

Khadijā bint Khuwaylid

  • She was the wife of the Prophet (upon him be peace) and the first person to believe in him.
  • She was his closest companion and greatest source of strength in the early years of his Prophethood.
  • The two were married for 25 years, during which the Prophet did not take any other wife.

Fatimah bint Muhammad

  • She was the daughter of Muhammad (upon him be peace)
  • She will be the leader of all woman in Paradise (Bukhari)

Āsiyah bint Mazāhim

  • She was the wife of the tyrant Firaun. She reached an extremely high level of faith due to her determination. 
  •  She was given a palace in paradise near Allāh.
  • Allāh referred to Āsiyah as “an example for the believers” for both men and women! Qur’an (66:11)

Maryam bint Imrān

  • She was the mother of Jesus (upon both of them be peace)
  • She is mentioned in the Qur’ān as being “chosen above all women” Qur’an (3:42)
  • She persevered superbly without displaying any negative annoyance while being falsely accused.

Tea Time with Imam Azfar
March 05, 2017 

Is Beer Halal according to Hanafi Fiqh? February 09, 2017

You might be forgiven for thinking so, if you believed the recent viral posting of an Egyptian Sheikh declaring that to be the case. Before you rush out to your local convenience store to celebrate, it is better to get the complete picture of the religious ruling, and that is the purpose of this article.

First of all, there are clear ahadith that suggest that all intoxicants are haram, regardless of how they are made:

“All intoxicants are khamr, and all khamr is prohibited”(Agreed upon)
“Whenever a large amount of an object intoxicates, a small amount of it is also prohibited.” (Tirmidhi)

So then, how did the Sheikh come to the conclusion about the ruling in Hanafi fiqh
According to Hanafi fiqh, the legal definition of khamr is the juice of grapes or date-syrup (nabeedh) that has been fermented to a point that the sugar turned to alcohol, thereby making it into an intoxicant.

Where did this definition come from?

The proof of this is in the decisive, unequivocal texts of the Qu’ran (see 5:90) and Noble Sunnah, as the narrations of the prohibition of khamr together comprise multiple-chain transmission (tawatur). Its prohibition is also confirmed by scholarly consensus.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also said, “Intoxicants are from these two trees,” while pointing to grapevines and date-palms. [Sahih Muslim]. There is also consensus of the companions regarding this type of alcohol.

What this means is, that any other form of intoxicant that is not included in the above definitions (grapes and dates) cannot legally be called khamr, and therefore the ruling would have to be based on scholarly legal judgements, known as ijtihaad, or by analogy, which is known as qiyaas.

Therefore, any type of intoxicating drink made of barley, honey, figs, or anything other than those things that are clearly mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah, requires some detail, and is subject to a difference of opinion.

Because of this seeming ambiguity, the ruling on this category of intoxicant is divided:

1. The majority of the Ulemaa of the Hijaz and the Muhadditheen have said that all of these types of alcohol are prohibited, whether in small or large amounts.

2. The Scholars of Iraq, Ibrahim Nakhi from the Tabieen , Sufyan Althawri, Ibn Abi Layla, Ibn Shubrumah, Imam Abu Haneefa, and the rest of the scholars of Kufa, and the majority of the scholars of Basra say that the prohibition in these products is the intoxication in the product, not the product itself. This is based upon the seemingly ambiguous and contradictory texts regarding the ruling of these products.

However, prominent scholars from the Hanafi school, like Muhammad ibn Al-Hasan Shaybaani have declared the above opinion to be incorrect, as mentioned in prominent Hanafi books like Ad-Durr-Ul-Mukhtar, “And Muhammad (Shaybaani) has declared the drinks extracted from honey, figs etc to be haram.”

It is mentioned in Al-Mowsoo’atul Fiqh’iyah “As for the nabeedh of honey, figs, barley, and wheat, it is permissible according to Imams Abu Haneefa and Abu Yusuf, with the condition that it is not drunk with the intention of merry-making and mischief, and Imam Muhammad has opposed them in this opinion. The fatwa is given according to the opinion of Imam Muhammad in the Hanafi school of thought.”

The last line is the key in all of this discussion. Despite differences of opinion, the religious ruling (or the mufta-bihi qowl) is derived from the opinion of Imam Muhammad, and not the other Hanafi scholars.

In summary:

All intoxicants are prohibited in Hanafi fiqh

The leniency of the ruling according to some Hanafi scholars can be benefitted from in areas of extreme need, like alcohol in some medications.

What Can I Do? February 09, 2017

‘Assalamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullah wa barakatuhu

During these difficult and confusing times, one will find salāh, making du’a, giving sadaqah, and talking it out with your fellow brothers and sisters at IFN to be extremely valuable. Doing these 4 things will help you have a proper perspective in life. If one does these four things, then one is able to ask themselves the question: “What does this ALL mean when compared to the eternal Hereafter? What does this ALL mean when compared to eternity in Jannah?”

قال الطبري :

{ خالدين فيها أبداً } : يقول : باقين فيها أبداً ، بغير نهاية ولا انقطاع ، دائم ذلك لهم فيها أبداً .

" تفسير الطبري " ( 5 / 144 ) .

Al-Tabari said:

“abiding therein forever” means, they will stay there forever, and it will never end or cease; they will remain there forever.

Tafseer al-Tabari, 5/144

In addition to performing these four things, you may be wondering, "What else can I do for others?" I wish there were easy answers, but the reality is that these are symptoms of the ways in which our society has become so very distant from one another. Now, more than most times in our lives, it is incumbent upon us to put aside our differences and work together on joint projects at multiple levels to bring greater justice, humanitarian aid and peace to society. Rather than wait for those who have never met "the other" to come to us, we have to go out and meet them. I've started to meet with a local Pastor and Rabbi to explore what our communities might be able to do. If you'd like to help us plan for what meaningful, ongoing, shared, interfaith relationships and social action can look like, please click here and let me know!

Together, we can respond to hate with love, to divisiveness with togetherness. Doing so honors the lessons and messages taught by Allah and His Messenger and turns a moment of blind, ignorant stupidity into something that can make our world better.

Wasalāmu ‘alaykum Wa Rahmatullah

Phone Free December 09, 2016

Spent the past weekend with my YM brothers at the Indiana Retreat. One of blessings of the retreat was that we didn’t have any phone service. It felt that everyone was more “in the moment” instead of being constantly distracted. Moments of brotherhood were created that we will probably remember for a lifetime. If we had our cell phone with us, I doubt those moments would have happened.

Umrah Seminar December 09, 2016

Silver Lining  November 2016

Sometimes we can’t comprehend why Allāh allows certain events to occur. The way that people respond to trials is a test of their faith and morals.

“But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not”. (2:216)

There might be a “silver lining” behind the result of this election. Perhaps it will bring out the best in us. Perhaps we will start to see each other, not as Democrats vs Republicans, or Liberals vs Conservatives, but rather as human beings. If we don’t embrace our humanity and diversity now, when will we?

Can I Celebrate Halloween October 2016 

Before you make any statement about Halloween, go to your local library and read about the origins of Halloween.

As an alternative, read this article posted on the Library of Congress.
“Samhain, with its emphasis on the supernatural, was decidedly pagan”.

What is the first and primary message of the Divine Law?

The first objective of the Divine Law is the preservation of monotheism (tawheed)

Well didn’t the Prophet say, “Actions are based upon intentions” What if I have a good intention and don’t believe in the origins of Halloween? I want to celebrate Halloween just for fun and get free candy!

النية الحسنة لا تبرر الحرام

“A good intention cannot render an unlawful action, lawful”

Something unlawful can only be rendered temporarily lawful by absolute necessity and not by one’s whims or intentions

“For example, if one is threatened with starvation and the only food available is pork, it is temporarily permissible to eat the pork, something normally forbidden, in order to sustain one’s life. Once the absolute necessity justifying the consumption of pork passes, it is no longer permissible. No one can claim that celebrating Halloween is an absolute necessity, which could, in their view, justify it being lawful”. (Imam Zaid Shakir)

In addition, the Prophet upon him be peace said

دع ما يريبك إلى ما لا يريبك

“Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.”


In other words, when in doubt, throw it out!

But Halloween is just an American custom, why are you so strict?

“Custom is only a legal consideration when it does not contradict or conflict with established rulings or principles of Islam. This is clearly not the case with Halloween, which conflicts with many Islamic rulings and principles”. (Imam Zaid Shakir)

FYI, the issue of celebration Halloween is not a blanket condemnation of all western holidays. Each holiday has to be considered on a case-by-case basis, as each is unique and distinct.

We do not celebrate Halloween. But there are other families who will celebrate halloween?

“Each family is responsible for their own decisions. Just because another Muslim family is doing something, it does not mean that their decision is right for your family. Remind your children to be confident in their decisions and not to be judgmental of other people”. (Paul Galloway. Halloween - 10 tips for Muslim Parents)

“It is OK to be different. Tell your children that this does not mean that cannot have non-Muslim friends or that they will have to be excluded from all of their school or peer activities.” (Paul Galloway. Halloween - 10 tips for Muslim Parents)

We take the best aspects of whatever culture we are living in and exclude ourselves from the things that go against the Islamic principles.

Last tip: Ensure that you are doing an halal alternative on this night so your children don’t feel left out. This will help them take their minds off Halloween.

May Allah allow us to perform deeds which will cause us to attain His LoveReflections on the 9th and 10 of Muharram October 2016 

1) I miss Ramadān.

“Man, I wish my imān (faith) was just as high as it was in other months like it is in Ramadan”. How often do we hear that? My respected readers of IFN, if you sincerely wish your faith to be as high in the other months as it was in Ramadan, than you have to do the things that you used to do in Ramadan. One thing we used to do in Ramadān was fast.

2) Best fast after the month of Ramadān is?

The best fasting after the month of Ramadān is the month of Allah, Al-Muharram. (Sunan an-Nasa’i)

3) Mentally prepare yourself to fast

Just as sport psychologists tell athletes to mentally prepare themselves for an important game, we must mentally prepare ourselves from today and make the intention that we will fast on the 9th and 10th of Muharram.

4) Motivate family members to fast

One reason why it’s easier to fast in Ramadan is because other Muslims are fasting in the month of Ramadan. We are influenced by who we hang out with.

5) Even if others are not fasting, be strong enough to realize the virtues of this month.

YOU realize that this is a sacred month

YOU realize that the 9th and 10th of Muharram is sacred.

That should be sufficient to fast on these days even if nobody around you is doing so. Just as YOU would fast in the month of Ramadan even if others were not doing so, YOU should have the same mindset for the 9th and 10th of Muharram.

6) Spend on your family on this day

“One who generously spends on his family on the 10th of Muharram (Ashura), Allah will be generous on him for the entire year.” (Recorded by Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in his Lata’if al-Ma’arif from Tabarani in his al-Awsat and Al-Bayhaqi in his Shu’ab al-Iman)

The above narration is considered weak, but scholars of hadith agree on the permissibility of acting upon weak narrations for virtuous actions, as long as the narration is not fabricated. At the same time, scholars of hadith have stated that this practice of spending on your family on the 10th of Muharram should not be considered as an act that is firmly established from the Prophetic teachings and therefore, one should avoid attaching extra significance to it.

Reflections on Hijrah & the Muslim Calendar October 2016 

This article was featured in Darul Qasim’s AlQasim newsletter. You can visit the DarulQasim website at

By Shaykh Mohammed Amin Kholwadia

Suyuti writes, with reference to Bukari’s Tarikh, that Umar asked Allah for Divine Providence (istikharah) for a month. Thereafter he consulted ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and had the Hijrah dates inserted in all administrative directives two and a half years after assuming the Caliphate, and this became the practice from 16 AH onward.

That ‘Umar deliberated for a whole month and asked for Divine Providence is proof that he attached great importance to making the right choice for the Muslim Ummah. That he consulted his advisors, especially Ali, proves that he had utmost confidence in the assembly with him and refused to act without their unequivocal support. The words of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) come to mind: “He who seeks Divine Providence [istikhara] will not be disappointed; he who seeks advice [istashara] will not regret.”

There was no doubt that the beginning of the months was to be determined by the crescent. Both the Qur’an, in Surat al-Baqarah (2:189) [4] and the practice of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) confirm this beyond dispute. But ‘Umar was especially aware of how serious the matter was, since the Qur’an explicitly forbids believers from manipulating time. He wanted to make sure that the both the year he chose and the conference he enacted would stand the test of time—literally.

Having already accepted the lunar cycles as a conference to determine the months, ‘Umar did not immediately find any specific mandate regarding fixing a year from which to chronicle Muslim history. Along with the other Companions, he looked to the life of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace). They wanted to give Islam its true place in history and that was not possible without revering the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) himself. It was their insatiable love for their leader that shook off any and every consideration that was not exclusive to him. They considered the year he was born and the year he died. They could not settle on those years, as the birth of a prophet was not exclusive to the Prophet Muhammad (upon him blessings and peace). Other prophets were born and they all passed away, save one, ‘Isa, who will also pass away after return. They considered the year when the Qur’an was first revealed. They did not choose that conference either, since revelation came to other prophets and was thus not exclusive to our Prophet. After a month of tremendous exertion (ijtihad) and through istikhara and istishara, ‘Umar was guided by the nazm, or order, of the Qur’an’s verses to a unique solution.

The verses in Surat al-Tawbah that speak of the year’s consisting of twelve months are followed by a didactic call toward sacrifice in the path of Allah.

“If you do not help (your leader), (it is no matter), for Allah did indeed help him, when the disbelievers drove him out. He had no more than one companion; they two were in the cave, and he said to his companion, ‘Do not grieve, for indeed Allah is with us.’ Then Allah sent down His peace upon him, and strengthened him with forces which you did not see, and humbled to the depths the word of the disbelievers. But the word of Allah is exalted to the heights. For Allah is Exalted in might, Wise.” (Surat al-Tawbah, 9:40)

‘Umar realized that there was a link between the story behind this verse and the previous verses that spoke of the twelve months. He saw the pre-ordained order of recitation as giving him an ordinance for his case. Time for Muslims had to be regulated by an acquired act of a human that transcended time itself. The revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet was not an acquired act. Human beings are not capable of following the act of revelation. Likewise, birth and death are divinely regulated and human beings cannot determine each other’s day of birth or death. Similarly, the Night of Isra and Mi‘raj (Ascension) was not something the Ummah could copy. Being the role model for Muslims in their affairs, the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) showed the community that if they followed his footsteps in matters related to time, they would be universally accepted. ‘Umar thus concluded that the Hijrah of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace), the story of the Prophet’s (upon him blessings and peace) flight and migration from Makkah to Madinah, was an act that could be and should be commemorated every year. It was a journey into the unknown; it was riddled with so many intangibles that they were almost uncountable. The Messenger of Allah (upon him blessings and peace) threw himself into the infinite mercy of the Unseen and voluntarily left all tangible consequences to the Creator of time (al-Dahr).

Being severely compromised by his own people in Makkah, Muhammad (upon him blessings and peace), through Divine Providence, instructed his followers to migrate to Yathrib, a small town north of Makkah that later became known as Madinah. Muslims obliged, leaving their relatives and belongings in Makkah and seeking refuge in the unknown dimensions of Yathrib. The Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) and his best companion, Abu Bakr, were among the last to leave Makkah. Their strategy was to hide in a cave south of Makkah called Thawr in the hope that the Makkans, if they launched a search for him, would veer northward. They did not. The Makkans found out that they had headed south and followed their trail all the way up to the mouth of the cave. There was nothing shielding the entrance of the cave except a flimsy spider’s web [7] that could have been broken by a mere sneeze. The defenseless companions of the cave were ironically guarded by something that cannot protect itself. “If they had entered,” said the Makkans, “they would have broken the web.” But it was their web that was broken.

These moments of extreme exposure had countless consequences for the two companions of the cave. History stood still, but time was re-energized by the words of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) to the concerned Abu Bakr: “Do not grieve, for indeed Allah is with us.” Abu Bakr’s expedited and precarious grief was that if they were caught, history indeed would stand still, as Islam would definitely perish without Muhammad (upon him blessings and peace). The Prophet’s (upon him blessings and peace) timeless faith in Allah embodied Divine Ordinance and Providence that still relentlessly withstands the test of modern times.

‘Umar saw this event as the axis about which Muslim time would revolve. He read the verse, “If you do not help (your leader), it is no matter…” as pushing him to appreciate Allah’s assistance in time over time. From the outside looking in, a neutral observer would have called the end of Islam in the cave of Thawr. From a universal standpoint, ‘Umar observed the infinite powers of the Unseen delivering the living from imminent death in the cave. Islam’s apparent and imminent death was replaced by Islam’s sure birth and unchecked growth. The Qur’an repeatedly reminds us of this phenomenon: “He [Allah] extracts the living from the dead.” The Hijrah of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) and, by association, of Abu Bakr rejuvenate believers every time they pass by that time of the year.

The story of the Hijrah is preceded by an ordinance not to meddle with time. It would necessarily follow that the Hijrah was already ordained by Allah to be the conference upon which Muslims were to set their calendar. So by reading into the pre-ordained order of the verses of the Qur’an, ‘Umar and the Companions of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) found order in their world. By understanding the recited order of the Qur’an’s verses, ‘Umar and the Companions wrote their names in the annals of history and time.

Even Activism has a Place with Scholarly Advice - October 2016 

Advice from Shaykh Omar Suleiman in response to the playboy magazine article featuring a young Muslim hijabi sister.:

"A brotherly advice to young Muslim activists, and I mean this with full love: Try to take an Imam or some scholars into confidence while doing MSA events, youtube campaigns, or anything that will represent Islam to the public. That will protect you from crossing divinely legislated barriers and also from the backlash that follows. I'm deeply concerned with sincere young activists acting without scholarly discretion and not only unintentionally misrepresenting the religion, but also getting hurt in the process". - Shaykh Omar Suleiman

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