vendredi 26 décembre 2008

La douceur

“Sache que la douceur est préférable, souhaitable et conseillée en toute chose, et que cela est dicte aussi bien par la loi divine que par l’intelligence. Par elle, on obtient des résultats et des bienfaits que ne sauraient produire ni la violence ni l’agressivité. La douceur est la caractéristique des sages, des miséricordieux qui sont les élus de Dieu par mi ses serviteurs. Pour décrire Son Prophète, le seigneur des êtres humains, Dieu, exalte soit-il, adit : Tu as été doux a leur égard par une miséricorde de Dieu. Si tu avais été rude et dur de cœur, ils se seraient séparés de toi (Coran 3 :159). Opte pour le pardon, ordonne le bien, écarte-toi des ignorants (7 :199) …les serviteurs du Miséricordieux, ceux qui marchent humblement sur terre et qui, quand les ignorants leur parlent, disent : « Paix ! » (25 :63)

Et le messager de Dieu, que les bénédictions et la paix de Dieu soient sur lui,a dit : « Dieu est doux et Il aime la douceur en toute chose. » Et il a dit, que les bénédictions et la paix de Dieu soient sur lui : « La douceur embellit toute chose, et lorsqu’on l’enlève, toute chose s’enlaidit. » La douceur consiste a prendre les choses avec gentillesse, facilite, gravite et réflexion.’’

(Imam al-Haddad, Livre du Savoir et de la Sagesse, ALBOURAQ, 2002, tr. Van den Broeck, p. 81

samedi 13 décembre 2008

tu es ce que tu manges!

J'ai eu l'honneur de rencontrer M Salim Khan, un homeopathe, où "hakim" en arabe, qui exerce sur Leceister, GB. Ses paroles sont remarcables, et il m'a fait notemment réaliser combien l'expression en anglais "you are what you eat" (tu es ce que tu manges) est vrai!
Paraît-il qu'un corps humain régénère toutes ses cellules en 7 ans. Et oui, tous les sept ans, on aurait un nouveau corps, forcément régénérer par ce que l'on mange et boit.
Vu de cette perspective, inutile de vous cacher que je me réjouis de ne pas manger de porc ni de boire de l'alcool lol!

La véritable évolution de l'homme

samedi 27 septembre 2008

Sufistic tourism

I left Fez for Oujda on Saturday 19 Ramadan 1429. I took the 10.55 train with Sherif and Maryam, both from Fez. I embarked on this journey on their invitation, thinking it would be nice to visit the new Alawi zawiya of Oujda. I sat silently in the train, continuing my daily remembrance. After an hour of silence (I was really tired after a sleepless night), I asked Sherif what was the plan and who would receive us. To my surpise he replied that no one was expecting our arrival! That is something that would not have surpised me back in Mauritania, where people do not expect to be told when they will have guests, but I had the idea that in Morocco the protocol was a bit more sophisticated. Alas I had boarded the train, there was no going back!

This is the only photo I took of Oujda, and to be honest, I didn't see much more than that, except the Zawiya of course!

Upon our arrival, we quickly jumped in a taxi. Maryam said to the driver: "Al Hudud!", meaning the border! Indeed Oujda is only few kilometres west of the border with Algeria; and the new zawiya is on the road going to the country of Sidi Ahmed Alawi.

Very fortunately - a miracle some would call it- Sidi Nabil, the muqaddam, was actually in the zawiya, as if he was waiting for us. He welcomed us and made us sit on the floor. We talked a bit inside the new place built for remembrance of God: a big room with a few pillars, a nice carpet and a few cushions around the walls. Very simple and modest, with no photos and a few dozen quran on a shelf at the back of the room, painted in white and tiled half way up the wall if I remember...

We broke our fast in a random place, haha I mean I have no idea who the host was! We then came back to the zawiya and prayed Isha and night prayers.

The following day, 'The Fez group' completely split up! Sherif went back to Fez, Maryam stayed, and I decided at the last minute to go to Nador to visit some friends and Sidna Buzidi. I took a bus at around midday.

When I reached Nador, Si Ismail and two of his "wahhabi friends", as he sometimes called them, came to pick me up.
I was initially thinking of taking a bus back to Fez the following day, or the day after at the latest. It has now been close to a week! I should be on my way back tomorrow God willing.

Although the city of Nador itself lacks beautiful buildings and history, in comparison with Fez for example, the surrounding countryside is absolutely amazingly beautiful! The sea and the mountains, two amazing features of God's creation, make the location of Nador unique. Property developers and investors know it, and the place is becoming apparently really expensive! But it's ok, just take out a mortgage with one of the Moroccan banks!

Throughout my time here, I have been visiting Sidna Buzidi in his zawiya, where I had the oportunity to ask him few questions, like what is the barzagh, can a shaykh tarbiyah be fully shaved, can we shake hands with a marriageable sister, or what does one have to do to see the Prophet in one's dream, and if it was possible to see him in a wakeful state? I finally asked him permission to visit the shaykhs of the past from our spiritual lineage, Moulay Abdes Salam bin Mashish, and Moulay Darqawi. Sidi Buzidi is a very humble and simple man, and you will not get much out of him, except if you are looking for someone that talks about God and sufism!

I went to Melilla twice. The first time to break fast at Sidi Ahmed's, a relative of the Shaykh, with a beautiful voice mashallah! He is the second from the left in the photo beneath. The second from the right is Haaj Maymoon, a son of bilHaaj and the shaykh of the zawiya of Melilla.

The first thing that struck me in Melilla was the immense wire fence all around the city! Melilla is indeed a Spanish town on Moroccan lands. This fence strangely reminded me Palestine... I felt sad for a moment, as sidi Ahmed was driving me around the city, thinking about the sinister situation the Muslim community is in... Melilla is also very clean compared to Morocco. A sad fact, since we know that Muslims are more entitled to cleanliness...

The second time I went to Melilla, last Wednesday evening I believe, was because a Moroccan from Melilla was throwing a party. 50-odd brothers attended the gathering. I had a really nice time, listening to the qasidas and chanting the chorus with everybody.

Prior to the gathering, we all went to pray tarawih in the zawiya of sidi Muhammadi bilHaaj, one of the Shaykh of the initiatic chain of sidi Buzidi. The zawiya is absolutely beautiful, and as one of the mureeds of Nador told me, as we were walking towards it: "Zawiya is big, but fuqara are little". Indeed the tariqa Alawiya has moved from Melilla to Nador, and not much of it remains, apart from this majestic building, the entrance of which can be seen below.

It is now Saturday 26 Ramadan, and the night of decree, as some scholars have said, could be tonight! Some people will come to the zawiya of sidi Buzidi from afar, for tonight's gathering, that seems to be very promising. We hope Allah accepts everybody's deeds done solely for his countenance in this blessed month of Ramadan! Amin.

vendredi 19 septembre 2008

Let me explain...

On my arrival in Morocco, I was surprised to see men shaking hands with women, as if the sharia, the scholars, the prophet, let us in complete darkness regarding this ruling.

As I was about to leave Mauritania, towards the end of July, for a vacation until the end of Ramadan, I had this feeling that challenges were ahead of me, notably with interactions with the opposite sex, and especially shaking their hands and kissing them (non-mahrams relatives).

On the very eve I left the Islamic school of Nabbaghiya, I asked my fiqh teacher, Mukhtar, about it. I wanted to hear from him that there was an opinion within the Maliki madhab, or outside it as a matter of fact, that allows it...

Shaykh Mukhtar (Shaykh Hadd Amin from Twemret also I remember...) was categorical: it is not permissible to shake the hand of a marriageable woman. I was asking him questions, to see if I could go around the ruling without doing something which the blessed divine law forbids. As I was loosing all hope of having an opinion favorable to my request, he recited the quranic verse who states that whoever fear Allah, He will make for him an exit and provide for him from where he had not imagined.

Based on the context, I understood that Allah will help me to apply this ruling with ease. Praise be to Him, it has so far... At least it was when I was in France!

As I arrived in Morocco, my belief was challenged by people who do not see it forbidden.

So I felt obliged to phone my teacher Mukhtar, for reassurance that it was indeed forbidden. I then did a little research about what scholars had to say about the issue. Here they are on my blog...

On the first entry, Imam Nawawi, people said my position was too shadid ("strong"), even though I never stated my position. I was even told that I was not qualified to translate! Maybe true...
Then when I published the opinion of Shaykhs Qaradawi and Bin Bayah, others told me I had weakened. Haha hello?? Did I stated my position. No.

All I did was publishing different texts treating the subject.

My position? Here it is: the scholars of the past have laid down the sharia, which is the sunna of the Prophet, peace be upon him, which can be found in the four sunni schools of Imam Abu Hanifah, Malik, Shafi'i et Ahmed Ibn Hanbal.
The Usuli scholars, from what I have understood, divide people into two categories: the mujtahids, and the muqallids. Anybody who hasnt got the qualifications to deliberate Islamic rulings (mujtahid), should follow and apply the most prominent opinions of the madhhab he is following.

To shake the hand of a marriageable woman is forbidden in the Maliki school of thoughts, as it is in the other 3 madhhabs.
Also I respect the fatwas of our shiyookh and think, whatever their opinions, that people should not write negative comments about their fatwas. This is adab.

dimanche 31 août 2008

Shaking hands with non-mahrams, by Abdullah bin Bayah

The Question:
“Is it allowable for me and women [who are eligible to marry] to shake hands sometimes?”

The Answer:
“The origin [of this ruling] is that a man is not allowed to shake hands with a woman [who he is eligible to marry and vice versa]. However, if she is an elderly woman then the school of Abi Hanifa [may Allah have mercy upon him] considered shaking hands with her permissible. Perhaps, the questioner will state that, “By not shaking a woman’s hand it could lead to hardship or shared ill feelings and so forth?” If not shaking hands will lead to the actuality of those fears, then it is allowable to shake hands as long as there is no evil feelings or affection for the woman [and vice versa]. And if the opposite holds true, then it is not allowed to do so.
Dr. Abdullah bin Bayyah
* Note, there was some abridgment done to this answer to make it clearer to the English audience. However, the meaning and answer of Dr. Bin Bayyah was not changed.


Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi on shaking hand with women

Firstly, shaking hands between males and females who are not mahrams is only permissible when there is no desire or fear of fitnah. But if there is fear of fitnah, desire, or enjoyment, then handshaking is no doubt haram (unlawful). In contrast, if either of these two conditions (that there is no desire or fear of fitnah) is lacking between a male and any of his female mahrams, such as his aunt or foster sister or the like, then handshaking will be haram (although it is originally permissible).
Secondly, handshaking between males and females who are not mahrams should be restricted to necessary situations such as between relatives or those whose relationships are established by marriage. It is preferable not to expand the field of permissibility in order to block the means to evil and to be far away from doubt and to take the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as a model when there is no proof that he shook hands with a non-mahram woman. Also, it is preferable for the pious Muslim, male or female, not to stretch out his/her hand to shake the hand of anyone of the opposite sex who is not mahram. But if he/she is put in a situation that someone stretches out his/her hand to shake hands with him/her, then he/she can do that.
I have tried to clarify the detailed ruling of the issue here in order to inform those who are in the dark about it how to behave while sticking to the tenets of their religion. Also, when the detailed Islamic ruling is explained and people are fully aware of it, there will be no room for personal justifications that are not supported by legal backing.

Read the full fatwa on:

Shaykh 'Abd al-Wakil Durubi on shaking hands with women

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wakil Durubi, Imam of the Mosque of Darwish Pasha, Damascus, Syria, says: “Ordinary people sometimes mistakenly assume that the Hanafi position that touching a woman do not nullify ablution (wudu) means they [Hanafi scholars] permit men shaking hands with women who are not wives or unmarriageable relatives, something which is unlawful, and which neither the Hanafi school nor any other holds to be permissible.

(Ibn Naqib al-Misri, Ahmed, “Reliance of the Traveller”, trsl. Keller, Nuh Ha Mim, Amana publications, Beltsville, Maryland U.S.A, 1994, pp. 513)

vendredi 29 août 2008

Imam Nawawi on shaking hand with beautiful people, with the commentary of shaykh Ibn 'Allan

“I [Imam Nawawi] say: it is necessary to be wary of shaking hand with a handsome beardless person. Looking at this person is forbidden (we have already mentioned this in the chapter before this one), and our companions have said that everything that is forbidden to look at, touching it is [also] forbidden; more to the point, touching [it] is worse. Looking at a woman, if one wants to marry her, is however allowed. As for buying and selling and taking and giving, to touch a person is not allowed in any of those instances, and God knows best.”

Shaykh Ibn ‘Allan, commenting on the above:
“The Shaykh [Nawawi] branched off the forbiddance of touching what is forbidden to look at, as he states, and uses as a basis [for his judgement]. As for the opinion that [looking at a beautiful person’s face] is allowed, the Shaykh kept silent. In At-Tuhfah [“The Gift”] of Ibn Hajr, [he says that] some [scholars] have asserted that it is forbidden to touch a handsome person even so looking at her is allowed. Thus, an unmarriageable [male relative] of a woman cannot touch that woman whatsoever […]. However, if we profess the relied upon opinion [in the Shafi’i school] about the permissibility of touching the head, or something else outside the private parts, of an unmarriageable relative – as the author has transmitted the consensus upon in his commentary of Muslim [Hadith collection] – as long as there is no desire and no temptation, whether out of necessity or affection, it is necessary to mention those particularisations for handsome people.

(Ibn ‘Allan, Muhammad ‘Ali bin Muhammad, “Al-Futuhat Al-Rabbaniya ‘ala Al-Adhkar Al-Nawawiya”, Dar Al-Kutub AL-Ilmiyah, Beirut, 2004, Vol V, pp. 261-262)

jeudi 28 août 2008

Saints of Morroco

Anybody who would like to pay a visit to one of the saints buried in Northern Morroco should read the last entry of sidi Khalid's blog

jeudi 17 juillet 2008


Shaykh Abul Hassan, in his commentary of the Rissalah of Ibn Abi Zaid, in red, in the chapter of Jihad, wrote:

"(And the protection [to a non-Muslim] from the lowest of the Muslims is permissible) [and the lowest of the Muslims] is the miserable man, who, if he is absent, is not awaited for; and if he is present, is not consulted, ([and have to be respected] by the rest of the Muslims), even more so the protection of the noble person; and this [protection] is for a definite number of people, and as to the people of a whole region or a country, protection cannot be granted except by the ruler (sultan); if it is granted by another person than him, he can cancel it if he wishes so.

Note: It is said in “The Jawahir”: The condition for the [granting of] protection is that it does not harm the Muslims, so if a spy or one who is harming the Muslims is granted protection, it cannot be observed.

Protection is made effective with a clear enunciation or [even] by an indirect declaration, or an understandable indication. (And so it is for that of a woman) her protection is permissible (and a boy) like her, it is permissible (if he understand [what is] the protection), namely, if he knows that to violate the protection is forbidden and entails punishment, and its fulfilment is rewarded […]

mardi 1 juillet 2008

Sidi Muhammad Ibn Suleyman al-Jazuli

"Ahmed Baba and al-Fasi and others mentioned in “al-Mir’ah” that when they carried [Imam al-Jazuli, author of “Dala’il ul-Khayrat”] to Marrakesh – and the one carrying him was the Sultan Abul Abbas Ahmed known as al-‘A’raj, and that was 77 years after his death (he had been buried in al-Jazulah), they find him not to have changed at all; and the earth did not ate his body, to the point that the trace of shavings from his hair on his head and his beard were still visible as if it had been the day of his death. Some of them put a finger on his face and the blood became concentrated in the spot where the finger were; and if the finger was lifted, the blood was returning as it occurs for the living."

(Al-Talidi, Shaikh Abd Allah Ibn Abd al-Qadir, “Al-Mutrib bi Mashahiri Awliyail Maghreb”, Dar al-Aman, 2003, pp. 146)

dimanche 29 juin 2008

Sidi Ahmed Zaruq makes funny marriage scenario!

Muslim jurists sometimes come up with funny examples to illustrate the issues they are treating!
What follow was taken from Sidi Ahmed Zarruq’s commentary of The Rissalat of Ibn Abi Zaid al-Qayrawani, a book of jurisprudence of the Maliki school of thoughts, one of the four Orthodox schools of Islamic law.

Imam Ibn Abi Zaid – May Allah be pleased with Him - says:
“And [it is permissible] for him (i.e., a man) to marry the daughter of his father’s woman [that she had] from another man, and [it is similarly permissible] for a woman to marry the son her father’s wife [she had] from another man.”

Sidi Ahmed Zarruq – May Allah be pleased with him and make us benefit from his books and his spiritual legacy – says, commenting on the above sentence:
“Meaning, [it is permissible] because each one of them is a foreigner to the other (i.e., not blood related); then, if a child is born after that from the father with the mother, he [the new born baby] would be the brother of them both [the two non-blood related who can marry], thus saying: “My brother married my sister!” […]

Our beloved imam of the two sciences, inward (tasawwuf) and outward (shariia), has also the talent to make his readers smile mashallah! May Allah rewards him!

mercredi 25 juin 2008

Mosque building project in Nabbaghiyya

The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said: "Who builds a Mosque for God (S.W.T.), even if it was as small as a birds nest, God would then reward him by building him a house in heaven".

Is there any Mosque that small? The answer is of course not. But the meaning is that if you participated in building a Mosque, even for a couple of pounds, God would then build you a house in heaven. See how God, with His mercy, did not leave this reward open just for rich people! The reward can be achieved by poor people as well. This is by participating in good deeds as much as they can! And God blesses their participation; He is the Bounteous and Generous.

Please donate generously for this mosque project! Find all the detail on

samedi 14 juin 2008

The Path

Sidi Buzidi, Shaykh of the Shadhili-Darqawi-Alawi tariqa in Morocco

Last December, as I was about to jump on my train to Marrakesh from his local train station near Rabat, my friend Khalid said: "And try to write an article on your blog about your meeting with Shaikhna". I replied: "Inshallah", as my train was departing.
As I sat near the window in a second class compartment, I felt glad to be alone. I was realising that almost a year in the depth of the Saharan desert in Mauritania left me quite unsociable. Those few days among the sufis of Morocco was rather challenging for my ego... But after all, wasn't I looking to master this ego??
My time in Mauritania, seeking knowledge, raised to me some questions. Where the truth lies? What is the correct path? What is the fastest and easiest and most righteous way to get nearer to our Creator?
Is it through the study and memorisation of texts of jurisprudence? Or is through the company of a sufi Shaykh? Or is through following our natural intuitions and find a way of its own? After all, didn't Imam Ghazali was travelling his own path without a tariqah? I was confused...
Confusion started essentialy because Allah showed me how deceptive jurisprudence can be. How can it be that someone who has memorised all the texts of the Maliki school of thought and still does not make Iqamah before his prayer? How can someone knows by heart the conditions to make permissible tayammum, yet do it without fulfilling those very conditions?
I noticed my deen was not complete. I needed something more... Could it be tassawuf? Could it be that I was in need of entering a sufi order in order to approach further The Almighty?
I remembered Shaykh Idriss, a British convert who studied 8 years in Fez, explaining me last August a basic point about those two different aspects of our deen, fiqh and tasawwuf. As we were drinking coffee on the terrace of a cafe in the new city of Fez, he told me: "fiqh is tadqiq and tahqiq (exactitude and verification), while tasawwuf is taslim (submission". Our discussion really had an impact on me, and when I got back to Twemret, it was never the same again. Ramadan was few days away; I was alone in the desert, with a big problem to solve in my hands: what should I do?? I was in the midst of a spiritual crises, with no one to seek help from; the vastness of the desert closed up on me to the point I felt I could not breath anymore!
At the time I was reading Ibn Ashor to Shaykh Hadd Amin. Towards the end of Ramadan, I reached the last chapter of this text, a concise counselling and explanation of the purposes and conditions of Tasawwuf. The text in itself is very basic, but the commentary written by Shaykh al-Mayyarah is very detailed and full of wisdom. A striking element of his commentary was when he said that the practice of sufism is a duty upon every Muslim. My decision was made. Although the practice of tasawwuf do not necessarily implies taking a shaykh, I felt it was the right time for me to do so, except that I was stuck in Mauritania for the next two months because of the studies!
Those two months were long. I knew I needed to see Sidi al-Buzidi Bujafri in the North of Morocco.
My meeting with him happened early Decembre 2007. In his zawiya near Melilla, Morocco. I went with my Khalid and the muqaddam of Oujda. We sat down. The Shaykh was not there yet. Food was served to us: lamb tagine! I love it! As I was having fun eating the excellent food, Sidi Buzidi walked in from behind my back. I saw on the face of Nabil, the muqaddam, and Khalid, that the Shaykh was behind my back. He moved his hand, telling us to carry on eating. I was happy to see him, although my ego was telling me: "Abdelmalik, you have been studying under great scholars! Do you think this Shaykh knows this or that?" It would not shut up!
I was introduced to him; he made me feel very welcomed. As he was sitting down, local young and old people were saluting him. Turning towards us, he started speaking, telling us stories of pious people, and some advices. His Arabic was mixed with his local dialect, so I did not understood most of it. I remember when he mentionned a verse of the Quran (this is my translation of its meaning): "O Yahya take the book with strenght!", upon which Sidi Buzidi that it was in a nutchell exactly what the tariqa is all about. He was then told I and a young brother from Oujda wanted to join the order and take him as our spiritual guide. He said he would give us the wird of the order and make the spiritual agreement between us (the Bai'ah) later on in the evening, during the gathering we were going to.
The gathering was such an uplifting experience. Perhaps 60 or more people attended it. The Shaykh gave the attendees some advices, people recited some Quran, the munshids sang some praises to the Prophet SWS. At the order of Sidi Buzidi, people got up in a circle, making a steady movement from back to front, focussing on remembering their Creator.
After the hadra, people sat in groups. I was called to join the group of the Shaykh. Delicious Moroccan couscous was served.
Sidi Buzidi then called me. He explained to me few basic principles of the tariqa, and handed me the wird, or litany. He explained to me how to recite it, morning and evening.
Then Nabil made us understood it was time to go. We got up to salute the Shaykh. As I kissed his forehead, I asked him to invoque the Lord for the guidance of my parents. He made us sit back down and told me the story of a sufi (can't remeber his name) who bought ten kufi hat and put them on the head of jews. The sufi the prayed to God: "O God, I have changed their outwards, but only you can change their inwards." All the Jews became Muslims. We left the gathering.
The funny thing is that on that night, I had a new hat on me, that Nabil had given me. In the car, Nabil was laughing: "O Abdelmalik, I changed your outward, and the Shaykh changed your inward!"

vendredi 13 juin 2008

I remember...

I remember few years ago I was having lunch in the garden with my family. Islam was on the table again, can't remember why...

I was telling them (May God guide them), that for every mosque they'll see around the world, at least one person in it knows the complete Quran by heart...

I remember my father in law was amazed! He could not believe it!

vendredi 16 mai 2008

It's all good

The reward and advantages for having memorised Quran are uncountable. What we do not realise is the memorising process in which children of the umma have to go through…

And it could go without saying, in traditional countries, like Mauritania, children get beaten up. It is part of the learning process. For them, it's like that, no other way...

I realised that quite early into my stay in Mauritania. And let me tell you, when they get beaten up, it is real!

The question that could be raise is, is that beating legal under Islamic law? I do not hold the definite answer, and I suppose there are differences of opinions among the scholars in that matter.
However, from what I have gathered, I’d say no.
Ibn Abi Zaid Al-Qayrawani in his famous book of Maliki jurisprudence, Al-Rissalat, says that a child should be beaten up (it is mandoob, not wajib!) if he refuses to pray at the age of 10. This ruling has come from a hadith of the prophet, Peace and Blessing be upon him, that said: “Order your children to pray at the age of 7 and beat them for it at the age of 10”. (Narrated by Abu Dawud, An-Nissai and Tirmidhi who said of it hassan sahih).
However even amongst the scholars of the Maliki madhab, we have for example Ibn Nafi’i, a student of Imam Malik I think, who forbid this beating on the ground that it is oppression since nothing is obligatory upon them (Sharh Rissalat of Sidi Ahmed Zarruq). The beaten should be light, no crying involved.
This is for prayer. It is arguably the only legal reason to beat a child.

However, I would like to bring here two important points. On one side, you have the nicest, most spiritual and easy going Mauritnians, that beat children. Once, in Twemret, I thought of a brother: “That person would never beat a child”. Few days later I saw him beating the ache up his little brother for not memorising fast enough.
And on the other side, the children are totally submitting to this beating and find it absolutely normal. I was once with a guy in Twemret memorising in the rocks, when he started to beat his little brother so hard I became heart broken and left the 13 year old kid crying out loud. When I saw the kid again, he told me I should not have left just because his brother was beating him up. I thought: “O yeh of course!”

Since that episode, I try to hold back my feelings and think nothing of it.

I now live in Nabbaghiya, in a room inside the Quranic school. A bunch of children come every morning from 5.30 to 8.30 and every evening from 5 to 7. Their numbers vary from only a few individuals to up to 30, all between the age of 7 to 13. And they get beaten up. No joke.
Their teacher, Sayyd, is really nice and soft mashallah. He is a close student of Shaykh Bah. You would not picture him beating children. But he does. Here it is a cultural thing, nothing big, like nowadays in the West, were hitting a child, even your own, is forbidden under law!

From time to time, when a kid feel his “time” is near. He just gets up and runs as fast as possible to the door and then run away in the village, usually with the Quran still in his hand.

The photo I posted just above is such an event. The small kid in the middle ran away with a red Quran in his hand. He tried to run as fast as possible on the sand, but the Quran in his hands slowed him downed considerably. The teacher sent two other students to catch him and bring him back, which they did with great pleasure. The kid on the right is actually the runner’s cousin.

I make it sounds horrible, although this particular event was actually hilarious!

I later on was told by one of the kids that in order to study the Quran, beatings is necessary.

So if nobody complain, why should I?

I have this photo as a wall paper on my desktop, and every time I see it, I can’t help my self not to laugh or at least smile.

Whatever we might think, I sometime regret not to have been beaten up as a child. With that methodology, one tends to learn fast!

dimanche 3 février 2008

"Loving the Beloved of Allah", Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqubi

Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi
His biography :
He is one of the leading scholars of Islam in the world whose words have transformed the lives of thousands of people. He is a charismatic public speaker in both Arabic and English; and studied seven languages. He is a descendant of the Prophet PBUH, from a family of scholars which have taught the Sacred Knowledge for centuries. Three of his ancestors were Imams in the Grand Omayyad Masjid in Damascus, including his father, the great erudite scholar and master of both shari’a and tasawwuf, the late shaykh Ibrahim al-Yaqoubi. Shaykh Muhammad was born in Damascus in 1382, accompanied his father until he died in 1406. He was his servant, his disciple and his student. His father trained him in the Sufi path and gave him and qualified as a murshid. He studied under him the major works of the Sacred Knowledge, memorized many texts and didactic poems. His father gave him several ijazas. He also received several other Ijazas from the top scholars of Syria such as: the Hanafite Mufti of Syria Shaykh Muhammad Abul-Yusr ‘Abideen; the Malikite Mufti of Syria, Sayyid Makki al-Kittan; Shaykh Ali al-Boudaylimi of Tlemsan; Sh. Saalih al-Khateeb; and Shaykh Abdul ‘Aziz ‘Uyoon al-Sood. He made his debut as Friday speaker at the age of 14, was appointed as Friday Imam and speaker at the age of 17 and as a teacher of the Sacred Knowledge at the age of 20. Since then, he has been teaching the sciences of the shari’a such as ‘Aqeeda, tafsir, Hadith, fiqh, usool, grammar, etc. to students of all levels. He taught Tafsir al-Nasafi, Sahih al-Bukhari five times, Sahih Muslim, al-Muwatta six times, al-Shama’il of al-Tirmidhi 17 times, Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar, al-Tahawiyya over twenty times, Sharh al-‘Aqaa’id al-Nasafiyyah, Ihya ‘Uloom al-Din, al-Hikam of Ibn ‘Atta’illah, al-Shifa of Qadi ‘Iyaad, al-Qudouri, al-Hidayah, Maqaamt al-Hariri, Mughni al-Labeeb and many other books. Shaykh Muhammad is an authority of hadith; his isnads i.e. chains of transmission, are of the highest amongst scholars of our time. Students and scholars visit him in Syria or when he travels to hear the masalsalaat and take ijaza in narration of hadith. Between 1992-2001, He worked in Kuwait, Sweden, and USA; and travelled across the world teaching the sacred knowledge and calling people to Allah. He toured many countries in North America and Europe, the Far East and the Arab World. Over a thousand people took shahada at his hands; and many repented after listening to him. He resides now in Damascus and teaches in the masjid of sh. Muhyiddeen Ibn ‘Arabi, and in his home; while several of his students are spreading the sacred knowledge and reviving the way of Ulema around the world.

Lecture entitled: “Loving the Beloved of Allah”
As some of you may know, our blessed teacher and spiritual guide gave a talk about the beloved of Allah, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him (pbuh), on Thursday 31 January in Kensington Town Hall .
The Shaykh, upon his entering, asked everyone to stay seated. He discreetly went to seat on the front row, only to be asked by the organiser to sat on the stage.
After a praising and introducing him, Adil, a chemistry student at Imperial College, asked the sheykh to address the audience…
Sheykh Muhammad got up, walked towards the pulpit, put his walking stick on his left, and wonders started coming out of his mouth…
What follows is what a remember from what he said; I ask Allah forgiveness for any inaccuracy, and also ask for your duas:
Starting by praising Allah, asking blessings to be showered on the prophet (pbuh) and invoking the blessing of God upon the people in the gathering, our beloved Syrian scholar went directly to the point: Love.

Talking about love brings love to everybody. Love enlightens the spirit, lifts up the people; it has an effect on an intellectual as well as on an emotional level. He explained the crowed that everybody experiences love, may it be to someone; or to something.
Wali Muhammad then described what kind of love people are experiencing at different stages of their lives:
1. Love for the parents: it is the first love one experiences. When our parents leave us, we miss them, thus demonstrating that we love them.

2. Love of friends, classmates: our second love; we love their company.

3. Love between spouses: the shaykh said that young people eventually need to get married. He made a dua for young people who are not married to marry As Soon As Possible. Many people giggled, probably because they couldn’t cry in front of everybody lol!

The attachment of one’s spouse, emotional, is different from the love for parents, based on respect, when the love for friend is on a social level.

After mentioning the importance of love in one’s life, our beloved teacher remarked that God in the Koran did not used the word “love, Hubb” when talking about the relationship between husband and wife: “And of His signs is this: He created for you helpmeets from yourselves that ye might find rest in them, and He ordained between you love (“mawadda”) and mercy. Lo! herein indeed are portents for folk who reflect. » (chapter of rum, verse 21)

The Shaykh said the word translated here as love is not Hubb (love), but mawadda. He himself translated it as friendship, or permanent love. He stated that in order to keep the family strong one needed something else than “Hubb” between mates. Indeed it is friendship and mercy that can make a marriage lasts.
He justly pointed out that many people married for love, but then work against each other after few years under the same roof.
The Sham scholar explained that a major reason for disputes is that either wife or husband is too busy with the children. Husband can end up being jealous. Similarly he said the wife needs a break from the husband, achieved for example when spending time with the children.

Shaykh Yaqubi subsequently had a word about one’s love for business: making money. He said it was not a problem in itself to love our business, saying it would actually cause it to prosper. He made a distinction between people who love their job because it is a mean, while others (alas!) see their trade as an end…

Our Imam finally mentioned the love one has for his home, for his homeland, affirming that this type of love is a rational ones, invoking souvenirs and memories to a person.

He further explained that these various levels of love were all mentioned and acknowledged in the Holy Koran: “Say: ’If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your clan, your possessions that you have gained, commerce you fear may slacken, dwellings you love -- if these are dearer to you than God and His Messenger, and to struggle in His way, then wait till God brings His command; God guides not the people of the ungodly.” (At-Tawbah: 24)

The Shaykh continued: if we love all the above-mentioned more than Allah and His messenger, we need to beware of a coming punishment, ie His command in the verse.

He affirmed that love was a starting point: the people of Allah, the Sufis, find that the way to Allah is neither through extra prayers nor extra fasting, but through love, refering to the hadith when a Bedouin asked the Prophet about the Hour. He said, "It will surely come to pass. What have you prepared for it?" The man said, "O Messenger of Allah, I have not prepared much in the way of prayer and good works, but I love Allah and His Messenger." The Prophet said, "You will be with those you love." The Muslims had never rejoiced as much they did when they heard this hadith. Our blessed Shaykh confirmed that love was the shortest way to Allah, allowing one to understand and see the blessings and the miracles of the Creator.

Although arguing that love is the most important issue, he warned us against being in an ivory tower, through “loving our enemies”… However, from an ethical and spiritual perspective, he said that love was the solution. He affirmed that the love mentioned by Allah in the Koran was of a spiritual dimension.

Our Wali remarkably insisted that the love for Allah and His messenger (pbuh) was in every human being…
Ok for the 1.5 million Muslims all have love for the Prophet, but why would it be so for the whole of mankind??

The Shaykh amazingly said that it was simply so because everyone loves perfection!

He at once stated that the best approach to Da’wa in the West was [simply] to act like the Prophet (pbuh). He criticised all the different approaches to Da’wa: when talking to Christians and Jews, they agreed –especially the Jews- to unity (= ineffective)… When calling people to ‘Ibada (acts of worship), it puts too much burden on the people…

He said we, as Muslims in the West, have to consider the approach of love. Wanting to prove his point, the Shami scholar reminded us that the best Muslim is someone people are safe from his tongue and hand, according to an authenticated hadith.

He deplorably avowed that the Muslims have lost energy in wrong Da’wa approach for the past 50 years, focusing on fighting polytheism (shirk).
He said: “All Muslims agree Muhammad (pbuh) is not God! He is human; and we do not downgrade him through saying that.”
He then related a hadith narrated by Anas Bin Malik, where the Prophet (pbuh) said that we should love Allah for what he provides of bounties, love him (pbuh) because Allah loves him (pbuh), and love his family because he (pbuh) loves them”: this is why we should love the Messenger of Allah.

Shaykh Muhammad Yaqubi continued by affirming that Allah does not deprive, but sometimes gives us although we simply cannot see it. Indeed, we love Him because He gives, because He is our Master, us His servants.
In fact, he continued, there is little reason why we should love the Messenger, as he (pbuh) said: “Love me for the love of Allah”.

Wali Yaqubi attested that most of the sins one commits is because of heedlessness, adding that we sometime have too much hope, taking us away from the straight path, or too much fear, giving us a sense of despair.
Going back to the love, he reiterated that Allah loves the messenger, so we love him (pbuh).

He illustrated the love factor in the deen by the mention of few poetry lines written by Rabi'a Al-Adawiyyah:

“ I have loved Thee with two loves, a selfish love and a love that is worthy (of Thee).As for the love which is selfish, I occupy myself therein with remembrance of Thee to the exclusion of all others,As for that which is worthy of Thee, therein Thou raisest the veil that I may see Thee.Yet is there no praise to me in this or that,But the praise is to Thee, whether in that or this.”

The point he emphasised is that Rabi’a, a major female saint of Islam, was finding great pleasure in the remembrance of her Lord (‘dhikr’).

He then gave us something to reflect upon: “What is your position in the Universe??”, “When you fail, what do you think?” i.e. whether we are angry, or satisfied by Allah’s decree.
Our blessed teachers raised his voice: “Look at how Allah makes thing!” What he tried to convey then was that everything is happening because of Allah: “Medecine does not cure by its nature!” How amusing yet true statement!
He described Rabi’a as being annihilated by Allah, seeing him everywhere.

According to a hadith narrated by Anas r.a, said Sheikh Muhammad, we should love the Messenger of God more than our fathers and our children and the people altogether. He defied the people attending the talk to do a list of their most beloved people, and see where the Prophet (pbuh) fits: “Actions speak louder than words!” He indeed adjoined that one’s love should be reflected in his actions, jokingly asking what kind of love is that of the man who says: “I love you but I can’t help you.”

The Sheikh then commented the hadith where Umar bin Khattab said he loved the Messenger (pbuh) more than any body else, except his own self, upon which the Prophet (pbuh) responded: "None of you will believe until I am dearer to him than his own soul", upon which Umar replied: "By the One who sent down the Book on you, I love you more than my soul which is between my two sides."

The righteous Syrian scholar asked the attendees: “Do you see that? Where he stands [in relation to the Prophet (pbuh)]?”, asserting that the Prophet (pbuh) is not a mere messenger… He did so much favours to us; he is central to our lives.

To demonstrate the love His companions had for the Messenger (pbuh), he gave the example of a woman who lost her brother, her husband and her son at the battle of Uhud. When someone approached her to announce her that her close family had been martyred, her first question was: “Where is the Messenger of Allah?!” She indeed did not ask where her husband or son were. She was only thinking about seeing the Prophet (pbuh), and would not be reassured until she sees him (pbuh) from her own eyes. On seeing him (pbuh), she cried out: “Every calamity after you is nothing O Messenger of Allah!”

This is how much love the Sahaba had for him (pbuh).

Another of his companions said that he (pbuh) is more beloved to us (the Sahaba) than cold water when thirsty in the desert.

Imam Yaqubi subsequently quoted from the Hikam of Ibn Ata Illah: “What has he lost who has found you (O Allah), and what has he found who has lost you (O Allah)?”
Indeed, the sheikh continued, if we do not find Allah, we have lost everything.

Another reason for loving thing, the Sheikh said, is because they are beautiful. The attachment to images is a very important aspect of one’s life. “Allah knows that, so He made Rasul Allah the most beautiful person!” Expressions of amazement and excitement resonnated in the hall.
He carried on saying that we have a detailed description of the entire body of the Prophet, except for his ‘awra’, ie between is knees and navel. The Eastern spiritual master ornated his argument with a prophetic saying: “Prophet Yusuf was given half of beauty; I was given all of it!”
One of the sahaba said that he (pbuh) was more beautiful than the full moon!
The description of the appearance of the Nabi (pbuh) is complete: his hair, his beard, his eye brows, his lips, his mouth, teeth, earlobs, hips, the way he walks... No other human being in the history of man is described with as much details as he (pbuh).
He then gave the example of how the shari’a meets every need, with for example the rules of etiquette in eating, such as how to spit out an olive seed, which he explained and demonstrated… Amazing!

Shaykh Muhammad asserted that the ‘sunna’ is for all times, in all places, and for all people.
One of the mercy that the Prophet came with is that Allah will not punish mankind immediately, but it is rather delayed.
He said that the messenger is constantly making dua for us, emphasising his concern for his community, according to the hadith of Ibn mas’ud: ” My life is a great good for you, you will relate about me and it will be related to you, and my death is a great good for you, your actions will be presented to me, and if I see goodness I will praise Allah , and if I see evil I will ask forgiveness of Him for you.”

One way to get closer to Allah, told the Sheikh, is achieved through sending prayers and blessings on the Prophet (pbuh). It is also an indirect way to achieving likeness to our Nabi (pbuh).

When you make a prayer to the Prophet (pbuh), they are presented to him on Friday; furthermore, he (pbuh) answers them with his own tongue! Upon hearing that, his companions were surprised: how can he hear? They knew all too well that a body do not last long buried under the earth… The Prophet explaine: “Allah has forbidden the Earth to eat the flesh of prophets." The prophet is alive in his grave, a thing upon which even controversial scholars like Ibn Taymiya or Ibn Qayyim agree!

Imam Muahammad asked us: “Do you feel the connection??” On the Day of Judgement the Prophet will say: “O Allah! My umma! My umma! (my community! My community!)” He will offer people water to drink from his pond…

We can love our husband, or business etc, but as a mean, not an end!

One of the few questions one will be asked in his grave is ‘what did you do about this man (Muhammad) I sent you?”

Terrorism is a lack of love for the Prophet (pbuh). Sheikh Yaqubi mentioned the names of few works written about the Prophet (pbuh): Dala’il Al-Khayrat (he said it is best seller number two after the Quran in Islamic writing!), Shama’il Tirmidi, Shifa Qadi Iyad… “Where are we now?!” We need to follow his way, peace and blessing be upon him, his family and companions.

“We do not negate Jihad, [but] when we need it”, there are rules: it is legitimate for people under attack, like in Palestine in Iraq, but not when one lives in peace with non-Muslims.
“We defend every bit of our deen, but we need to understand his way (pbuh).” He asserted it is the only way to victory: to follow his way!

Sheikh Muhammad Al-Yaqubi next wished for everyone to go home and see the Prophet in his dream. To dream of him is salvation, referring to a famous hadith... “Engage in loving him”. Shaytan do not take the appearance of the Prophet (pbuh).
To conclude, he asked: “Do you miss him (pbuh)? Do you yearn to see him? Apply the Sunna, change your life!”
He finally guarantied us that if we see the Prophet in our dream and then look at ourselves in the mirror when waking up, “you will see it has changed!”

What a beautiful talk ma sha Allah. May Allah give him a long life in order to make the Umma benefits from his teachings, amin!

(Abdelmalik Fransi)

dimanche 27 janvier 2008


I wrote I have been living for a year in the UK, it's wrong... I have been living 10 years in the Uk

So you want to work it out?

It's funny how my mind is proper messed up! Well I say it's funny, but it's not!! I have been living in the UK for over a year now, thus as time went by I became "Englishized". I started this blog with the intention to write articles in English with French translations... I realised it would take me up too much time, so I opt for the language of Shakespear... But then when I went to France recently, I stood up again for my French heritage, and switch to the tongue of Voltaire...

Hahaha, and guess what? I came back to England, and forgot about those poor French people eager to read my blog (now I am joking)!

To proceed; yeh the scholars, mashallah, may God rewards them. Humanity, the muslims, are in dire need to listen to them. Because ut's them who are on the truth.

Few month ago, back in Mauritania, I was reading an explanation of Nawawi's compilation of 40 hadiths by Ibn Daqiq. The hadith is as follow:

While we were one day sitting with the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam ["peace be upon him"], there appeared before us a man dressed in extremely white clothes and with very black hair. No traces of journeying were visible on him, and none of us knew him.He sat down close by the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, rested his knee against his thighs, and said, "O Muhammad! Inform me about Islam." Said the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, "Islam is that you should testify that there is no deity save Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, that you should perform salah (prayer), pay the zakah (alms giving), fast during Ramadan, and perform pilgrimage to the House [i.e., the Ka'ba], if you can find a way to it (or find the means for making the journey to it)." Said he (the man), "You have spoken truly."We were astonished at his thus questioning him and telling him that he was right, but he went on to say, "Inform me about Emaan (faith)." He (the Messenger of Allah) answered, "It is that you believe in Allah and His angels and His Books and His Messengers and in the Last Day, and in fate (qadar), both in its good and in its evil aspects." He said, "You have spoken truly."Then he (the man) said, "Inform me about Ihsan." He (the Messenger of Allah) answered, "It is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet He sees you." He said, "Inform me about the Hour." He (the Messenger of Allah) said, "The one questioned knows no more than the questioner." So he said, "Well, inform me about the signs thereof (i.e. of its coming)." Said he, "They are that the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress, that you will see the barefooted ones, the naked, the destitute, the herdsmen of the sheep (competing with each other) in raising lofty buildings." Thereupon the man went off.I waited a while, and then he (the Messenger of Allah) said, "O 'Umar, do you know who that questioner was?" I replied, "Allah and His Messenger know better." He said, "That was Jibril. He came to teach you your religion."

This hadith is very famous. it succintly represents the teaching of Islam, vertically and horizontally. What is referred to in this hadith as Islam coulb be translated in practical term as fiqh, or jurisprudence. Of course in order to perform a prayer, you need to know what it is, how it is performed, what cancels it, and so on... Islam requires knowledge, thus you have the prophet sws who is reported to have said that seeking knowledge is a duty to all muslims.

Emaan is what the scholars have defined as 'Aqida, belief.

Ihsan is what is referred to by the scholars of the inward as tassawwuf, or sufism in English.

From this hadith, we understand that those three aspects constitute the religion, the "deen". Whoever has not got in his deen those three aspects has not got a complete deen.

Any way, this is from what I have gathered over the years, and it is quite known to many people, and Allah knows best.

My point is that one can work out things by himself from reading such hadith, for example what I just mentionned above. But normal people like us sometime can't see things in their entirety.

I read Ibn Daqiq as I said earlier. He is amazing. The scholars.. May God rewards them.
He said that this hadith stands as a proof that you need to wear your best clothes when you go and see the scholars!!! I find that comment so obvious after being mentionned, yet so subtle! Did you worked that out yourself?

I thought it would be worth mentionning, especially in those days and age, where people try to deduct islamic laws from hadiths and Quran, not knowing any of the sciences attached to them, like abrogating and abrogated, reasons for the revelation, etc... We sometime think we understand everything there is to understand about something, yet we don't see the obvious.

dimanche 13 janvier 2008

La France

Hier, il s’est passé un truc bizarre. Comme une espèce de prise de conscience que j’étais français. Pas du tout une crise d’identité ; non, juste une prise de conscience. Leo, enfin Abdelmalik, est français ; et fier de l’être ? Certes pas de maniere absolue, mais bon je suis ce que je suis, français.

Tout a commencé quand hier je suis allé manger chez un gars très bien de Poissy, Rachid, un Marocain qui est né et qui a grandit en France. On avait fait connaissance après qu’il soit tombé sur mon blog.
Chez lui, on a parlé de l’islam en France, que je connais tres peu : Je me suis converti en Angleterre et mon islam s’est developé là-bas, où je me suis carrément epanoui, grace à un islam et une communaute tres pluri-ethnique, tolerante et bien organisée.

J’etais a l’université, en septembre 2004, quand j’ai commence à prier et à frequenter une mosqué appelée Leeds Grand Mosque ( L’imam de la mosqué, un Libien, est tombe amoureux de moi et m'a tout de suite prit sous son aile ; j’ai répondu a ses avances (un amour fraternelle… calmez-vous), et j’ai pris confiance, et mon islam a fleuri. L’environnement etait propice : pas mal de convertis anglais, meme un francais, Ben, un type vraiment drole.

Leeds Grand Mosque est frequentée par des arabes (Egyptiens, algériens, lybiens, tunisiens, et les pays de la peninsule arabe), des pakistaniais, des indiens, des bengalis, et pas mal d’étudiants de la fac de Leeds.
En bref je ne me sentais pas du tout différent, puisque tout le monde était différent… de tout le monde !

Et puis, en Angleterre, il y a aussi les shaykhs américains et anglais qui font des conférences trop bien: Shaykh Abdel Aziz Fredricks, shaykh Saad Attas ( , shaykh Jihad Brown, Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller ( , Imam Zaid Shakir ( , Abdul Hakim Murad ( et bien sur ce génie de Hamza Yusuf ( Ses reunions donnet bien sur l'occasion aux jeunes de se retrouver, de faire de nouvelles connaissances, et d'arreter d'etre une proie facile pour le shaytan.

Et puis il y a les Shaykhs arabes, qui visitent l’Angleterre assez souvent, comme Habib Ali Jifri ( , Shaykh Mohammed Yaqubi ( et bien d’autres encore.

Quand un de ces savants viennent, c’est une fète pour nous : on s’habille bien, on sent bon ; et la mosqué qui organise l’évènement offre un repas a tout le monde (quelques centaines de personnes...), qu’on mange assit par terre, avec les mains (comme au bled!). En general c’est de la bouffe indienne, super bon.

Les mosqués, parlons-en. Une mosqué, c’est le centre de la vie du musulman; il y prie, mais aussi il y etudie, et puis il y fait des rencontres…
En Angleterre les mosqués sont quatre etoiles ! Moquettes epaisses, chauffage central, salle d’eau tu te croirais a Aqua Park, équipement sono du style Bose, la classe quoi. Et puis du dehors, une mosqué en Angleterre, ca ressemble a une mosqué, avec dome et minaret etc…

Les shaykhs que j'ai vu en Angleterre (notemment Habib Ali), quand je les ai revu en France, j’ai vraiment eu un choque ; le manque de moyen y joue beaucoup: les conférences, gratuites en Angleterre, ne le sont pas en France. Eten France, le repas est gratuit... pour les savants seulement! Les autres, ils paient, ou ils ne mangent pas; et avec tout ca, tu es forcé de manger à l'européenne, sur une table, et des couverts.

Tout ca m’a petit a petit désinteressé de l’islam en France. Sans pour autant diminuer mon interet pour l’islam, car bien sur, j’étais en Angleterre…

Cette semaine, je suis venu en France visiter ma famille et mes amis d’antant. Et puis aussi de nouvelles connaissances… comme Rachid.

Chez lui, on a eu le temps de discuter un peu des problemes que les musulmans en France ont a faire face. Trop de problemes, pourrit de l’interieur, et pourrit par l’exterieur.

Ce qui m’a fait reflechir -et m'a meme ammené à écrire en français cette fois- c’est quand il m’a dit que Fabe, un chanteur de rap des annees 90, s’etaient convertit a l‘islam. Oui, bien sur je le connais ! Ca m’a transporté dans mes années lycée ; un voyage que je n’avais pas fait depuis longtemps. J’étais pas un fan de ce chanteur la –moi c'était plutot le reggae- mais il faisait parti du décor musicale de mes années lycée.
Ca m’a fait drole, ca m’a rappelé que j’ai quand meme vécu 18 ans en France. Ca m’a rappelé que pendant 20 ans de ma vie, les 20 premières, je n’etait pas musulman. Je n’allais pas a la mosqué, je ne mettais pas mon front sur le sol, je ne disait pas alhamdulillah (gloire a Dieu). J’etais un jeune doué en rien en particulier. J'aimais sortir avec les potes, je travaillais pas a l’école, je voulais aimé, étre aimé, joyeux, triste… Un jeune lycéen normal en fait, avec un troupe de potes : des blancs, des noirs, des arabes, des jeunes sympas, mais bon, qui ne m'aspirait pas a m'elever spirituellement.

J’avais cultivé un gout pour l’Afrique. Mon père avait monté une entreprise là-bas de transport de poissons, au Senegal exactement. Je suis allé le visiter plus d’une fois. Ca m’avait ouvert les yeux sur le fait que les occidentaux nétaient pas les seuls au monde ; que leur mode de vie, notre mode de vie, n’est pas le seul au monde, et n'est pas nécéssairement le mode de vie ‘correcte’. Ceci etant dit, ce n'est pas ça qui m’a persuadé de la véracité de l’islam. En fait je crois que ça n’a rien a voir. C’est Dieu qui a choisi, pas moi...

A ce sujet, hier, j’étais dans le métro, sur la ligne 2, pour rentrer chez moi, à métro Anvers. Un gars avec une coupe au bol un peu bizarre vient s’asseoir en face de moi. J’etais occupé avec le souvenir de Dieu, avec mon tasbih, où chapelet. Mon wird à peine finit, alors que je remettais mon tasbih dans ma poche, le gars m’adresse la parole : « Tu es algerien ? », je le regarde, lui sourit gentilment, et lui dit que non. Il continue : « Mais tu es musulman ? », J’acquiesce : « oui, et vous ? ». Il me dit que non, et, sans attendre, ayant compris qu’il voulait engager une conversation, je lui dis : « Ah, pas encore ? ». Il me dit : « Ah non moi pas du tout!» je lui dis : « Vous savez, ça, on choisit pas, c’est Dieu qui guide qui il veut.» Il me répond :« Ah oui mais moi c’est pas possible parce que j’adore le sexe.» Alors qu’il me dit ça, il me scrutait de haut en bas. Un peu en panique, je lui dis : « Ah oui mais la tu vois, t’es homosexuelle, c’est ton probleme… » Il abandonne : « Oui non mais tu vois moi j’adore le sexe, c’est pour ça je t’ai demandé si tu étais musulman, parce que si tu es musulman c’est pas possible.» Apres une minute de silence, il partit.

C’est qu’il a réussi a me mettre mal a l’aise ce gars. Je partage ça avec vous, pas pour émettre un jugement sur les homosexuelles -on ne connait que trop bien la position de l'islam sur ce sujet-, non, c’était juste pour l’annecdote, que je lui avais dit : « Vous savez, ça, on choisit pas, c’est Dieu qui guide qui il veut.

Oui, la France, soyons direct: les musulmans qui habitent en France se sont fait endormir.

Le probleme dans ce pays, c'est que l'islam a prit soit une tournure nationale et politique, détaché de spiritualité; ou soit une tournure spirituelle, trop detache des problemes inherants a la communaute.
Les musulmans pensent comme le gouvernement veut qu'ils pensent. Ils n'ont pas realise que l'etat francais est un redoutable adversaire, pratiquant l'aikido entre autre, utilisant notre energie pour nous mettre au sol. Croyant travailler pour l'islam, des musulmans actifs tombent dans le piege tendu par la France, et toute l'énergie qu'ils ont est utilisée à des fins non-essentiels. Où est passé l'islam avec un grand I, celui de nos ancetres?

Il faut régler nos affaires, en premier, avec nos solutions: Allah. Et oui, trop souvent on parle et on essaie de résoudre les problèmes, et on oublie notre but, notre finalité: Dieu.

Avec une force de 5 millions, nous nous devons d'etre une communauté uni et surtout exemplaire pour le reste des communautés musulmanes en Europe.

Dieu nous dit dans le coran qu'Il ne changera pas la conditon d'un peuple tant qu'il ne changeront pas ce qu'il y'a à l'intérieur d'eux-memes. Ceci est claire: la réforme d'un peuple passe par la réforme de l'individu.

vendredi 11 janvier 2008

Paris Grand Mosque

First Friday prayer for Islamic new year 1429 -11 January- in Paris Grand Mosque, that sidi Ahmed Alawi himself opened up back in the 1920's.
Today's sermon was very nice, talking about the migration of the prophet sws to Medina Munawara; how the prophet left his house reciting a verse of the Koran, upon which his ennemies did not see him.

The imam also told the story of when Abu Bakr and the prophet sws were standing next to the ka'aba, and Umm Jamil (Abu Lahab's wife and fierce ennemy of the prophet sws) went up to them to hit the prophet with a stick I think and asked Abu Bakr: "Were is your companion?", meaning the prophet sws. Abu Bakr replied he was next to him, upon which Umm Jamil said: "Are you mocking me??" The prophet was hidden to her eyes!!

Just after the prayer people quickly get up to go back to their daily life. Whenever I visit Paris Grand Mosque I immediately feel transported in Morocco! The mosque has been nicely renovated recently.

mardi 8 janvier 2008

But a clear warning

St Pancras, Eurostar waiting room. People get up to board their train...

Paris is all ours in less than 3 hours Inshallah.

It reminds me the story of a man who planted his tent on a rail track. Another man came up to him and told him: "What are you doing?? This is a railtrack!". The man asked: "A what??". He said : "a rail track, for trains, you got to move!" He said: "No, you are kidding me, what you say does not exist, you just want to take my spot, I am not moving!"

So the man who is trying to tell him to move, explains to him that he will first feel a vibration, then hear the whistle of the train; the signs of a train... He says: "If that happened, will you believe me and move from the railtrack?" He said yes. But when the vibration happened, he did not believed him, saying it was something else (I can't remember...). Then when he heard the whistle he denied it was a train, saying it was a bird! The warner finally left the man, willing to save his own life.

A muslim's job is not to guide people; only to warn.

samedi 5 janvier 2008

Photo of my local mosque in Kingston on Thames. Arrived late for jumua 04 Jan, just in time for final dua (classic!). Imam is Moroccan I believe, community very heterogeneous: Blacks, Arabs, Pakistanis, Bengalis, Brits, and even a French (me)!

vendredi 4 janvier 2008

Smiling for the camera

"He has not believed who has not felt the weight of the turban".
Abdal-Hakim Murad, Contentions 9, No 75 (

mardi 1 janvier 2008

My tentmates

This is the photo of my "tentmates" haha: Ahmed Salim and his little brother Abdullah. I lived few months with them both. While Abdullah is memorizing Quran, Ahmed Salim was just about to start Khalil, an advanced text of jurisprudence, when I left.
May Allah guide me and them.

Those are kids who came under a tent I was in, in a town next to Guéru on the way to Nouakshot. I was tempted to grab one and go back to the UK with him; lucky I didn't after all I heard from all those troubles those French people went through for trying to steal kids in a neighbouring country, Tchad...


I was saddened to learn that the Planetarium has closed down a few years ago apparently... I apologize if anybody rushed to it to see the stars and discovered it was closed. We are considering reopening it. Please send cheques on my name to re-open the Planetarium campaign. Direct Debit and cash is also accepted ;)