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Audio File/Link
March 09,  2018Jumuah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) - Surah Shams TafsirClick Here
September 15, 2017 Jumuah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) - What would Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) say about BurmaClick Here
August 18, 2017Jumuah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) - Let it goClick Here
July 28, 2017Jumuah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) - Lessons from of Prophet Yusuf's Interaction with Zuleykha
Click Here
July 14, 2017 Jumuah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) - Lessons from the Story of Prophet YusufClick Here
June 16, 2017 Jumuah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) - Be Like the HoneybeeClick Here
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

Fiqh of Fasting - May 2018

Click the following link for the full presentation: Fiqh of Fasting Seminar.pdf

Make a Goal That You Have Stamina For - May 2018

On the first day of Ramadan, we excitedly dust off the cover of the Qur’an, and start reading enthusiastically only to burn out after a few days.

“The most beloved deed to Allah is that which is done consistently even if it’s small.” - Prophet Muhammad

Here are two items to note this Ramadan

1) Commit to a juz, or a surah, or a page, or just one line. Whatever you decide, commit to it everyday!

2) Repeat it until it flows off your tongue just as Surah-tul-Fatiha flows off your tongue.

Tea Time with Imam Azfar - January 2018

Umrah Seminar - October 2017

Download an Umrah Checklist as you prepare for your use.


Zaid bin Thābit (may God be pleased with him) writes that the Prophet was taken from this life whilst the Qur’ān had not yet been gathered into a book. He used the word ‘gathered’ rather than ‘written’. The Qur’ān had been written down in its entirety during the Prophet’s lifetime, but had not been collected together, nor were the suras arranged. After the Yamāma battles had taken place, Zaid (may God be pleased with him) was assigned the momentous task of supervising the committee of gathering the Qur’ān all into one book. While the focus lay on the written word, once the primary written source was found - whether parchment, wooden planks or palm leaves, the writings were verified not only against each other but also agains the memories of Companions who had learned directly from the Prophet. Zaid gathered the Qur’ān from various parchments and pieces of bone, and from the chests of men. After Zaid sought out verses from scattered sources, he collated them against the recollections of the huffaz. In this way everyone participated in the collection process.

Abu Bakr (may God be pleased with him) acquitted himself most admirably heeding its mandate of two witnesses for establishing authenticity and applying this rule to the Qur’an’s own compilation. In the beginning, there were some disputes in recitations over the pronunciation of the Qur’an, Uthman (may God be pleased with him) made copies relying exclusively on the Suhuf kept in Hafsa’s (may God be pleased with her) custody. He then arranged for the scribing of duplicate copies. He assembled a committee of twelve from both the Quraish and the Ansār. ‘Uthmān delivered a sermon stating, “The people have diverged in their recitations, and I am determined that whoever holds any verses dictated by the Prophet himself must bring them to me” So the people brought their verses, written on parchment and bones and leaves. Uthmān questioned them, “Did you learn these verses directly from the Prophet himself?” All contributors answered under oath, and all the collected material was individually labelled and then handed to Zaid bin Thābit. If there were any controversies that arose concerning a particular verse the scribes would say, “Where is the scriber of this parchment? How did the Prophet teach him this verse?” They would resume scribing, leaving that portion blank and sending for the man in question to clarify his scribing. Then he sent “Umar bin Shabba to retrieve the parchments upon which the Prophet had dictated the Qur’ān in its entirety. The independently prepared mushaf was then checked against these parchments. After the correction of all errors (by Zaid bin Thābit) he ordered that all other copies of the Qur’an be destroyed. The definitive copy, once verified against the suhuf was “read to the Companions in ‘Uthmān’s presence” He wanted the Companions to make duplicate copies of the Mushaf for their own personal use. When the task was complete and duplicate copies were dispatched, there was no need for the numerous fragments of the Qur’ān circulating in people’s hands. Thus all such fragments were burned. To ensure accurate reading, no copy was sent forth without a Qāri. These included Zaid b. Thabit to Madinah, ‘Abdullah b. as-Sa’ib to Makkah, Al-Mughira b. Shihab to Syria, ‘Amir b. Abd Qais to Basra and Abu ‘Abdur-Rahman as-Sulami to Kufa. Each of these scholars recited to the people through authenticated, multiple channels going back to the Prophet in complete agreement with each other.

As we see, there is a history of efforts being made during the early period of Islām to preserve the Qur’ān in its original form. During the Apostle of God’s life, people wrote, memorized and recited the Qur’ān. The entire Qur’ān was already written by the time of the Prophet’s death. It was shortly after the death of the Prophet that the Qur’ān was compiled and transcribed by experts who carefully verified every verse by cross referencing it against both the written word and memorized verses to ensure accuracy. After the process was complete, the completed transcript was then copied and distributed across the growing Islāmic empire and a qāri was sent to ensure accurate reading. These copies served as the basis for all copies of the Qur’ān written or printed since. While we may have slightly different translations of the Qur’ān, all copies of the Qur’ān in Arabic contain nearly identical language. This standardization, coupled with the millions of people who continue to memorize the entire Qur’an, ensures the text’s authenticity. “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)”. (Q 15:9)

Tea Time with Imam Azfar - September 2017

How the Qur'an was Compiled - September 2017

What Can Muslims do to Combat Islamophobia - August 2017

Get to truly know one another and build a relationship with the local Muslim community

God says, “We created you in different tribes/religions so that you can get to know one another”

Take the the time to visit a local masjid and speak directly to the people there instead of simply googling “Muslims” or “Islam”. If Muslims and non-Muslims have a continuous relationship with one another and become friends, they can then tackle the difficult questions which may not be possible in the first session.

2) Learn about Islam and educate others

Misinformation and a lack of information are some of the reasons why Islamaphobia is present. Simply recognizing this fact is crucial to moving forward. Once we learn about the true peaceful teachings of Islam and educate others, this will help combat Islamaphobia.

3) Whenever we hear a false statement about another race or religion, we should speak up.

For example, Muslims should speak up if Jews are being depicted in an incorrect light.

4) Spread your positive interactions with Muslims on social media.

Some people may not visit the masjid.

5) Thank elected officials for doing their part or encourage them to do their part

In addition to posting positive interactions with Muslims on social media, we can write to to politicians thanking them for doing their part in preventing Islamaphobia. If they are doing nothing to prevent it, we should encourage them. When politicians are aware that the people responsible for voting them into or out of office disagree with what they are doing, they will listen.

Tafsir of Surah Fatiha -
August 2017

Every Thursday after Maghrib during the month of August, Imam Azfar will be providing a tafsir session on Surah Fatiha

Calling Someone Else a Kafir 

If a person says that he is a Muslim, it is not up to anyone else to call someone else a kāfir unless they say something which contradicts a core tenet of Islamic belief.

The 3rd verse of Surat al-Fatiha tells us that Allah is the master of the Day of Judgement, not us.

Imam Tahawi states in his well-known creed, “A servant is not considered to have left his faith except by denying that which originally caused him to enter into it,” i.e., except by denying one’s very belief in the central tenets of Islamic faith, such as Allah and His attributes (His oneness, omnipotence, omniscience, etc.), His books, His angels, His prophets and messengers, the Last Day, or the Sacred Law (sharia).

Disbelief could result from denial or contempt for anything that is “necessarily known of the religion.”

For example, murder (qatl), adultery (zina), and consuming wine (khamr) are necessarily known as prohibited by the religion. Deeming such things as religiously lawful would also entail disbelief.

In several traditions, the Prophet and his companions warned us about the severity of charging a Muslim with unbelief or apostasy.

Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

أَيُّمَا امْرِئٍ قَالَ لِأَخِيهِ يَا كَافِرُ فَقَدْ بَاءَ بِهَا أَحَدُهُمَا إِنْ كَانَ كَمَا قَالَ وَإِلَّا رَجَعَتْ عَلَيْهِ

Any person who called his brother: "O unbeliever" (has in fact done an act by which this unbelief) would return to one of them. If it were so, as he asserted (then the unbelief of man was confirmed but if it was not true), then it returned to him (to the man who labeled it on his brother Muslim).

Source: Sahih Bukhari

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِذَا قَالَ الرَّجُلُ لِأَخِيهِ يَا كَافِرُ فَقَدْ بَاءَ بِهِ أَحَدُهُمَا

When a man says to his brother: O disbeliever! Then it will return to at least one of them.

Source: Sahih Bukhari

Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him,


لَا يَرْمِي رَجُلٌ رَجُلًا بِالْفُسُوقِ وَلَا يَرْمِيهِ بِالْكُفْرِ إِلَّا ارْتَدَّتْ عَلَيْهِ إِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ صَاحِبُهُ كَذَلِكَ

"If somebody accuses another of Fusuq (by calling him 'Fasiq' i.e. a wicked person) or accuses him of Kufr, such an accusation will revert to him (i.e. the accuser) if his companion (the accused) is innocent.”

Source: Sahih Bukhari

Thus, a person who wrongfully accuses another Muslim of unbelief and apostasy will himself carry the heavy burden of unbelief on the Day of Resurrection.

Recite Qur'an to Imam Azfar - July 2017

Tea Time with Imam Azfar - May 2017

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 - 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).