On the 14th and 15th of December 2013, Madina Institute hosted a seminar entitled “Travel through the Foundations of Islam – an introduction to the One-Year intensive Usul Ud Din Program for 2014”. While the title was remarkably accurate, it simply did not do the seminar justice. This seminar did not only give the attendees an insight into the Usul ud Din program, it introduced, in a substantive way, the dimensions of the five foundational sciences – Fiqh, Aqeedah, Tazkiyyah, Qur’an and Hadith.
The subject of Fiqh was discussed by Mufti Abdul Kader Hoosen, the popular presenter of the Channel Islam International program, Q & A. Mufti AK as an expert in Fiqh, gave an informative and detailed presentation on the four Imams of the four accepted Madhahib of Islam.
The key presenter for the two day seminar was Shaykh Ahmad Sa’ad Al-Azhari . He hails from the UK, where he is the Imam of the North London Central Mosque where teaches Shafi’i Fiqh, Tasawwuf, Usul al-Fiqh, `Aqeedah, `Ulum al-Qur’an and Tajweed. He is involved in Da’wah and is also a Senior Lecturer at Madina Institute South Africa. Shaykh Ahmad Sa’ad explained that the Arabs in the 6th century were very simple, direct people. When asked about the existence of Allah (Peace be upon him), their answers were straightforward and uncomplicated – if one sees the stool of a camel on the path, one knows a camel caravan has passed, if one sees the footprints of a man, a man has passed. Similarly, when looking at the skies and the vast lands, one cannot ignore that there must be a Creator. Qur’anic instruction to ponder on creation was an answer to their search for the Designer. They understood `Aqeedah without having a name for it.
He explained that while the format or arrangement for this science is an innovation – the content was not invented. The well-known hadith where Jibril (AS) asked our Prophet SAW “Tell me about Iman” outlines the articles of faith perfectly and all the principles of `Aqeedah are based in Quran and authentic Sunnah, proof that it was practiced by our Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his companions (RA). Having discussed Iman, it was fitting that he would discuss Ihsan or Tazkiyya which he calls the missing component. When Jibrail (AS) asked our Prophet (Peace be upon him) about Ihsan, he said “It is to worship Allah as though you are seeing Him, though you don't see Him, but He surely sees you.” The science of Islamic spirituality is based on this answer, that purification of the heart only comes with complete and total Allah-consciousness at all times. Shaykh Ahmad Sa’ad outlined the sciences of Quran and Hadith, as well as Sirah, and had everyone’s undivided attention, scribbling notes, hanging onto every word. The highlight of the weekend was when Shaykh Ahmad Sa’ad Al-Azhari gave everyone in the audience a ‘gift’, an Ijazah (permission/license). Shaykh Fakhrudien Owaisi explained that Shaykh Ahmad Sa’ad had narrated a hadith (al-musalsal bi al-awwaliyyah) – the sanad (chain of narration) of which he (Shaykh Ahmad Sa’ad) is part of – an uninterrupted chain of narrators linking him to the Prophet (Peace be upon him).
The attendees who heard the hadith directly from him became part of this sanad, and could narrate the hadith with his permission. It was an honor and a privilege – truly a gift. Shaykh Sa’adullah Khan gave an overview of the Empowerment modules to be included in the One-Year Intensive Usul ud-Din program – from conflict resolution to leadership skills; Madina Institute plans to ensure their students are ambassadors of Islam on all levels. One can only imagine the excitement of the students who are attending Madina Institute One-Year Intensive Usul ud-Din program, having had a small taste of what is to come. Those who are unable to be a part of the full time program, are able to attend the weekend seminars which offers an amazing opportunity for education, upliftment and illumination. DVDs of this seminar can be purchased at the Madina institute Office, 7th floor, Icon Building, Cnr of Hans Strydom and Lower Long Street, Cape Town.
By Saleemah Jaffer