What Are We Here For?

وَما خَلَقتُ الجِنَّ وَالإِنسَ إِلّا لِيَعبُدونِ

“I only created jinn and man to worship Me.“Qur’an, 51: 56

وَأَنَّ إِلىٰ رَبِّكَ المُنتَهىٰ
وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَضحَكَ وَأَبكىٰ
وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَماتَ وَأَحيا

“And that the final destination is back to your Lord. For He’s the One Who grants laughter and tears – that He is the one Who brings about both death and life“Qur’an, 53: 42-44

قَيِّمًا لِيُنذِرَ بَأسًا شَديدًا مِن لَدُنهُ وَيُبَشِّرَ المُؤمِنينَ الَّذينَ يَعمَلونَ الصّالِحاتِ أَنَّ لَهُم أَجرًا حَسَنًا

“[The Qur’an] is upright in order to warn of a painful torment directly from Him and to give the good news to the faithful: those who do right actions and for that there is an excellent reward for them.“Qur’an, 18: 2

إِنّا جَعَلنا ما عَلَى الأَرضِ زينَةً لَها لِنَبلُوَهُم أَيُّهُم أَحسَنُ عَمَلًا

“We made everything on the earth adornment for it so that We could test them to see whose actions are the best.“Qur’an, 18: 2


Silence and Ihsan – A Means of Drawing Closer to God

مَن صَمتَ نجا

“The Prophet ﷺ said: ‘The one who is silent is saved.‘“ — Ahmad Shakir, #10/140

فأخبرني عن الإحسان، قال: أن تعبد الله كأنك تراه، فإن لم تكن تراه فإنه يراك

“Gabriel said to the Prophet: ‘Tell me about what Excellence (Ihsan) is’. The Prophet ﷺ replied, ‘that you worship Allah as if you see Him, though you are not capable of seeing Him, most certainly He sees you’.“ — Sahih Muslim, #9

وَالأَرضَ مَدَدناها وَأَلقَينا فيها رَواسِيَ وَأَنبَتنا فيها مِن كُلِّ زَوجٍ بَهيجٍ

“And the earth: how We stretched it out and cast firmly embedded mountains onto it and caused luxuriant plants of every kind to grow in it,“Qur’an, 50: 7

إِذ يَتَلَقَّى المُتَلَقِّيانِ عَنِ اليَمينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمالِ قَعيدٌ

ما يَلفِظُ مِن قَولٍ إِلّا لَدَيهِ رَقيبٌ عَتيدٌ

“And the two recording angels are recording, sitting on the right and on the left. [Man] does not utter a single word, without a watcher by him, pen in hand!“Qur’an, 50: 17-18

وعموم الآية يقتضي أن الملكين يكتبان جميع أعمال العبد، ولذلك قال الحسن وقتادة: يكتبان جميع الكلام فيثبت الله من ذلك الحسنات والسيئات ويمحو غير ذلك

“Ibn Juzayy relates in his tafsir: ‘The general meaning of the verse is that the two angels are commanded to record all the deeds of the slave. This is the opinion of al-Hasan and Qatadah. They also write down what the slave says where by God establishes the proof for assigning good deeds or evil deeds, with some being wiped away’.“ — Ibn Juzayy from al-Tashil li ‘Ulum al-Tanzil


Whoever Is Silent Is Saved – The Power of Silence in a Time of Noise

مَن صَمتَ نجا

“The Prophet said: ‘The one who is silent is saved.‘“Ahmad Shakir, #10/140

There is more to this than just not opening your mouth. When one keeps silent, one does not add to the noise of the world.

“But I learned something crucial in the process of looking: that the absence of noise correlated to the absence of other types of unwanted input. Put simply, places that were quiet in terms of auditory noise were low in other kinds of noise as well. You don’t get Tweeted in the southern Sahara, there are no billboards in the depths of a nickel mine, Trappist cloisters have no TV, you see and feel nothing in a darkened soundproof chamber. On Cape Cod, where I used to live, you see landscape and feel beachgrass when it is quiet, but pinewoods and spartina are gentle; they do not attack you, they are low level actors.”George Michelsen Foy, “Why We Need Silence to Survive”

وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ باللهِ وَاليَومِ الآخِرِ ، فَلْيَصِلْ رَحِمَهُ ، وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللهِ وَاليَومِ الآخِرِ ، فَلْيَقُلْ خَيْراً أَوْ لِيَصْمُتْ

“He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be hospitable to his guest; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain good the ties of blood relationship; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, must speak good or remain silent.“Sahih Muslim, #9


When Truth Becomes Utility – Challenges of the Postmodern World

In this episode, Imam Marc discusses two modes of thinking that are currently hampering Muslim development: postmodernism and hyper-traditionalism.

Race and Secularism by Jonathon Kahn and Vincent Lloyd.

The Death of Character by James Davison Hunter.

Our Shadowed Present by Jonathan Clark.


Hope – Seek and And Give It

إِذَا ضُيِّعَتِ الأَمَانَةُ فَانْتَظِرِ السَّاعَةَ قَالَ كَيْفَ إِضَاعَتُهَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ‏ إِذَا أُسْنِدَ الأَمْرُ إِلَى غَيْرِ أَهْلِهِ، فَانْتَظِرِ السَّاعَةَ

“‘When trust disappears look for the Hour’. It was asked, ‘How will it disappear?’ to which the Prophet, may Allah grant him safety and peace, replied, ‘When authority is delegated to other than those who deserve it, look for the Hour’.”Sahih al-Bukhari, #6496

يدرُسُ الإسلامُ كما يدرُسُ وَشيُ الثَّوبِ حتَّى لا يُدرَى ما صيامٌ، ولا صلاةٌ، ولا نسُكٌ، ولا صدَقةٌ، ولَيُسرى على كتابِ اللَّهِ عزَّ وجلَّ في ليلَةٍ، فلا يبقى في الأرضِ منهُ آيةٌ، وتبقَى طوائفُ منَ النَّاسِ الشَّيخُ الكبيرُ والعجوزُ، يقولونَ: أدرَكْنا آباءَنا على هذِهِ الكلمةِ، لا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ، فنحنُ نقولُها فقالَ لَهُ صِلةُ: ما تُغني عنهم: لا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ، وَهُم لا يَدرونَ ما صلاةٌ، ولا صيامٌ، ولا نسُكٌ، ولا صدقةٌ؟ فأعرضَ عنهُ حُذَيْفةُ، ثمَّ ردَّها علَيهِ ثلاثًا، كلَّ ذلِكَ يعرضُ عنهُ حُذَيْفةُ، ثمَّ أقبلَ علَيهِ في الثَّالثةِ، فقالَ: يا صِلةُ، تُنجيهِم منَ النَّار ثلاثًا

“Islam will slowly wear away in the way embroidery on a garment wears away until such things as fasting, prayer, worship and charity will be known to no one. The Book of Allah will be taken away at night, and not one verse of it will remain on earth. There will, however, remain a group of old and enfeebled men and women, who will say: ‘We known that our forefathers by the following words: “La ilaha illallah”, so we too repeat them’. On account of this narration Silah (from the Successors of the Companions) said, ‘What benefit will that bring them? Saying “La ilaha illallah”, when these people didn’t even know what prayer, fasting, worship or charity were?’ Hudhayfah, the Companion (and narrator of this hadith), turned away from Silah but Silah repeated his question three times to Hudhayfah and each time Hudhayfah turned away. Finally Hudhayfah turned to Silah on the third time and said, “Silah! It will save them from Hell,” repeating this three times.”Sunan Ibn Majah, #4049, graded by al-Albani as “sound”


Are Third Spaces Permanent ER’s? Thoughts from the Convert Conference

During the last week of October, the Institute of Knowledge in cooperation with WhyIslam? hosted “Meccan Adversity — Early Muslim Struggles”, a conference directed towards the needs of those who’ve become Muslim. The following are some thoughts by Imam Marc on the conference.