Archive for the ‘MSA hotspot’ Category

Dawah worksheet!- Copy, paste, print and pass out!

May 21, 2008

What Islam says about…


“Say, “He is Allah, [Who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent.” (Qur’an, 112)


“Indeed, We [God] have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], as We revealed to Noah and the prophets after him. And we revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the Descendants, Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the book [of Psalms].” (Qur’an, 4:163)

FREEDOM “There is no compulsion in religion.” (Qur’an, 2:256)


“Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.” – Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him

“…So their Lord accepted their prayers, (saying): I will not suffer to be lost the work of any of you whether male or female. You proceed one from another…” (Qur’an 3:195).

“O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality. And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” (Qur’an, 4:19).


O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for God can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily God is well-acquainted with all that you do. (Qur’an, 4:135)

“Whoever kills a person [unjustly]…it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind.” (Qur’an, 5:32)

 "…and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness" ( Qur'an, 5:8 )

“Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil.”

– Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

"All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action." 
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Qur’an 49:13)


Peace sign for your handshake?

November 6, 2007

A sister and I were discussing the shaking hand issue with the opposite gender, and good/bad experiences we’ve had with regards to dawah. She told me about one time which she politely explained why she could not shake this man’s hand, and he verbally expressed his offense.

The day after this conversation I was on campus and I went to sign up for a club project outside the student union. I started speaking with one of the organizers, and after some time the lady wanted to introduce me to the man she was standing next to. He introduced himself and kindly put his hand out.

I saw his hand, and my mind flashed back to the conversation I had just had with the sister about handshakes and how offended the man was. but with Allah’s help, I met his handshake with a peace sign. I asked him, “Could I give you a peace sign in exchange for your handshake?” It took him a second took get it, but Alhamdullilah he was all for the idea once it clicked.

 I explained, “Out of modesty, we do not have much opposite gender physical interaction, so we give peace signs in exchange for handshakes.”

[if anyone has a better one-line explanation than that, please let me know.]
There were a couple of people around the table, including a cameraman who had been taping the whole handshake situation.  Once the cameraman saw that he commented, “that’s hecka cool!” Alhamdullilah we were in agreement: The Muslim peace sign is as cool as the handshake…if not cooler.

Anyway, I wanted to mention this story because we have a lot of interfaith/interclub, etc work we do through the MSA and I know it’s hard to assess every situation, but Alhamdullilah, I have found that giving something to someone- meeting them with a peace sign, makes them feel much more recognized than pulling your hand back.

Also, another idea that came to mind: you could keep chocolate or something with you, and when you know you might be in a situation where the handshaking comes up, give the individual something and explain that we give “chocolate in exchange for handshakes” or whatever the thing is.

Seriously, imagine if you wanted to shake someone’s hand and they gave you chocolate in exchange for shaking your hand. I’d want to know more about Islam…

It might be different, but, as the cameraman said, “it’s hecka cool.”

May Allah give us tawfiq.

Inter-Gender Interaction on Campus

July 30, 2007

Inter-Gender Interaction On Campus

Answered by Imam Suhaib Webb




Gender relation questions are a constant on campus. What are the guidelines and limits for interaction between non-mahrams on campus?


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

The question of gender interaction on campus is one of great importance. Unfortunately, at least in many cases, it has been handled from one or two extremes. I remember visiting an MSA and finding the entire MSA was shut down because, at the first meeting a brother stood up, pointed at the sisters and said, “Why are they here? It is not allowable for you to be here!” On the other side of the coin I’ve heard of MSA’s who conduct their meetings at Starbucks! Thus, while enjoying the latest frappuccino, Fatima and Zaid are sitting together with no respect for our sacred texts and principles. Insha’Allah, it is our hope to answer this question from the perspective of Islamic activism and dawa using a few very important verses from the Book of Allah Most High.

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The Responsibility of Islamic Activism

Allah Most High says:

“The believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and they establish worship and they pay the poor-due, and they obey Allah and His messenger.”[1]

Imam Al-Tabari (may Allah be pleased with him) said, commenting on this verse, “They invite humanity toward faith in Allah and His Messenger (may peace and blessings be upon him) and everything that the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) was sent with by Allah.” [2] The scholars have said that, because of the wording of this verse, it is clear that the responsibility of dawa and Islamic work falls upon both males and females.[3]

The Scope of Inter-Gender Relations:

In Sura Al-Qasas we find a very interesting example of inter-gender relations found in the story of Sayyiduna Musa (peace be upon him).

Allah Most High says:

“And when he went towards (the land of) Madyan, he said: “It may be that my Lord guides me to the Right Way.” And when he arrived at the water of Madyan he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: “What is the matter with you?” They said: “We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take (their flocks). And our father is a very old man.” So he watered (their flocks) for them, then he turned back to shade, and said: “My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!” Then there came to him one of the two women, walking shyly. She said: “Verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us.”[4]

By taking a quick glance at these verses we can garner a number of lessons related to Islamic work, the personality of the Islamic caller and rules and adab for inter-gender relations:

1. The importance of d’ua. If we look at this story as large structure, we can see that supplication forms its foundation and roof. Thus, Prophet Musa began his actions with a du’a and completed it. For this reason the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) said, �Nothing is more honorable (most liked) before Allah Most High than Supplication.”[5]

2. The great mercy and compassion of the Prophets. Prophet Musa felt compassion for the two women and went to assist them. It is important for the Islamic worker have mercy and concern for those around him. For that reason the poet Ahmed Shawqi wrote:

“And if you (Muhammad) implement mercy, then you are a mother or father. And they, in this life, are the exercisers of extreme mercy.”[6]

3. The importance of obeying and serving one’s parents: Prophet Shu’ayb’s daughters not only served him in his old age, but obeyed him by carrying themselves with great fidelity and morality in his absence. The same can be said for the campus. Many of us live away from our parents on campus and it is important to respect them in their absence by being pious and righteous children. It is sad to see many university students drooling at the opportunity to escape to the campus environment just to disobey their parents. However, the truly righteous slaves of Allah obey their parents even in their absence. Of course, this obedience is in the good and not the evil.

4. It is well known that both of these women were eligible for marriage with Prophet Mosa. In fact, we know that later he married one of them. Thus, these verses are used to prove that interaction between non-marhams is permitted as long as they observe certain adab which will be explained shortly, inshallah.

5. Inter-gender interaction is an exception, not the rule. Meaning that such interaction should take place only under situations which are clear necessities. The proof is the statement, “Our father is a very old man.” Meaning that Musa (peace be upon him) saw them under severe duress and spoke to them in an effort to remove their hardship, and their response was based on the necessity of getting water to drink. Thus, it can be said, that the call to Islam and its propagation fall under such a necessity however, such work must be done observing the following adab.

a. Remember that any encounter involves the eyes, tongue and limbs. However, the most important component for this encounter is the heart. Thus, before any gathering check your heart and make sure that it is with Allah Most High, full of love for Him and in submission to the sunna of the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him). A great du’a to say before such a gathering is the following supplication of the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him):

Allahumma muqallibul Qulub thabit qalbi ‘ala deenek.

“O turner of the hearts! Establish my heart upon Your religion.”

b. After one’s heart has submitted and his whims have been crushed, it is logical the rest of his body will follow and this would entail:

Lowering the gaze as everything has an entrance and one of the entrances to the heart is the glance.

Avoid speech or actions which could be taken as flirting. I was told by one of my sheikhs that laughing and joking should be avoided between non-mahram couples. For that reason Allah described the daughter of Shu’ayb, when she approached Mosa, “Then there came to him one of the two women, walking shyly.”

Avoid being alone as Shaytan will be the third amongst you. Try your best to meet as a group as private meetings amongst a brother and sister who are non-mahram are strictly prohibited. In addition, during group meetings there should be a good amount of distance between brothers and sisters.

Observe the correct Islamic dress code and remember to ask yourself an important question. “Am I making dawa to myself, or to Allah and the call of His beloved (may peace and blessings be upon him)?”

There is no better solution than asking. Thus, it is important to refer any specific questions or issues to local scholars as they are your life source for survival in the campus jungle.

I ask Allah to bless our questioner, plant her feet firm upon his obedience and make her a great caller to Allah (may peace and blessings be upon him). I would like to express my gratitude to two of my early Sheikhs, Abu Mustafa of Senegal and Shaykh Abdul Jalil of San-Diego. Most of my humble attempt at an answer came from the questions I asked them while in my university days. May Allah bless them and continue to use them as a source of benefit to the shabab in the West.

In need of your prayers and happy Eid,

Suhaib D. Webb

[1]Qur’an 9/71

[2]Tafsir Al-Tabari, surah 9/71

[3]For and excellent Arabic reference on this refer to Sh. Faisal Malwais Darul Mara Fe Al-A’mal Al-Islamiy.”

[4]Qur’ana 28/22-25

[5]Reported by At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim graded it Sahih

[6]Al-Shawqiyat pg. 193

Brothers and sisters chillin?

July 30, 2007

A couple of years ago an MSA (Muslim Students Association) that I knew about was having mixed socials.The socials weren’t in wide-spread areas like having an MSA BBQ or welcome back dinner, etc, it was more brothers and sisters ‘chillin.’ The MSA justified it saying it was a small MSA, they had to ‘ get to know each other..’ etc.. which is understandable, but doesn’t have to be done through the wrong venues..

One of the brothers sent out this article (see next post) as a reminder on how we need to avoid propagating such gatherings, and another sister reminded the MSA board that it’s one thing when brothers and sisters hang out together on their own time for fun [ie- without necessity, without observing proper adaab, etc]. Even though it’s incorrect, and may Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala guide us all, it is not necessarily MSA who is organizing that type of gathering. But once the MSA facilitates for the free mixing of both genders in a social environment without providing channels and organizing the event to follow the guidelines that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has provided for us to follow …then how can those on the MSA boards not fear being questioned about such facilitation by the One Who is the All Seeer?

Alhamdullilah after much discussion they stopped having mixed social events, and focused on building brotherhood [only] and sisterhood [only] and building ummah-hood during bigger events, such as BBQs, welcome back dinners, etc, where there was enough room and channels to have a nice environment with enough separation for it to be comfortable, and inshaAllah according to the Qur’an and Sunnah.

If you all have suggestions on how we can work on these issues, especially since the MSAs can get grilled at times for handling them without hikmah, please share..

May Allah ‘Azza wa Jal help us adhere to the Qur’an and Sunnah and put noor and baraka in our MSAs. Ameen.