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Humza Maqbul Chaudhry at Rihla 2013

Humza Chaudhry was born in Whittier, California. He pursued a program of traditional Islamic studies. His educational tour took him to several countries, including Syria and Egypt, where he studied the Arabic language; Morocco, Mauritania, and UAE, where he studied the ethical and legal school (madhhab) of Imam Malik, grammar, transmissional criticism (usul al-hadith), and the Qur'anic recitation (qira'ah) of Imam Nafi`, according to its two renditions (i.e. those of Imam Warsh and Imam Qalun); and finally, Pakistan, where he had the opportunity to study Qur'anic exegesis (tafsir), tranmissional criticism (usul al-hadith), Prophetic traditions (hadith), narrator criticism ('ilm al-rijal) and ethics and law (fiqh) according to the Hanafi madhhab.

LastProphet interviewed Ustadh Humza Maqbul at the 2013 Rihla in Konya:

On the Sirah

The Sirah of the Prophet is the universal story of the triumph of good over evil, the triumph of sincerity over fakeness, the triumph of somebody who looks toward inner meaning rather than those who look towards superficiality. You look at Islam now, and it is something that nobody can ignore in the world, it’s something that gets noticed and people have to take it seriously. Nonetheless, remember that there was a time that Islam was abu Bakr and the Prophet in a cave, and that cave was so small a person couldn’t even sit down in it, you had to lay down to slip into the cave. Islam was just the two of them, the Prophet and abu Bakr, but who was the third One with them? Allah subhana wa ta’ala (God, glorified and exalted), and so if you have Allah with you, no matter how bleak the odds look, you have a bright future.

Islam was just the two of them, the Prophet and abu Bakr, but who was the third One with them? Allah subhana wa ta’ala (God, glorified and exalted), and so if you have Allah with you, no matter how bleak the odds look, you have a bright future.

That is something that only someone who understands and see with the eyes of spiritual insight will appreciate. You have a billion plus Muslims and centuries of culture, history, heritage and intellectual development that is unmatched, has not been repeated by anyone else. And that developed in what appears like a vacuum, but every other civilization has benefited from it. And you have to be a person of spiritual insight to perceive that all of that was present when the Prophet told abu Bakr in the cave, “Don’t grieve. Allah is with us.” And if Allah is with you, then no matter how bleakly the odds look, you are successful.

On the Sunnah

The thing about Islam is that Islam is submission, and the Prophet brought us a complete way of life, a complete way of being. Not only complete in the sense that it gives us instructions in all aspects, inward and outward, but also in the sense that it completes us. People are deficient and the Sunnah will complete them. Outward and inward are not correct; like having a left and right hand, we use both and we would rather lose neither. So the commandment of Allah in the Quran “so submit to me completely” means that instead of cherry picking, which is the way of the previous communities of Jews and Christians – many of whom picked which commandments of their religion and their prophets they wanted to follow, and they left those they didn’t want to follow, and some people were more infatuated with some things and some were more infatuated with others – we just ‘hear and we obey’, we accept what was given to us by the Messenger of Allah. We do so not out of ignorance but out of knowledge. Knowledge that comes not from a country or a people, not even a person – the Prophet is a distributor, the Producer is not even in Paradise, but from above the seven heavens and the Arsh-ul-Azim (Mighty Throne). So that’s the knowledge with which we accept everything, and we don’t discriminate afterward. For those who require empirical evidence, let them look to the centuries of Islam, we have unparalleled and unmatched personalities in politics, knowledge, asceticism and piety. We have civilizations that took care of the poor and the weak, that didn’t discriminate against races and classes, at a time when those concepts were alien to the rest of the world. That is the evidence that we base this decision on knowledge, that whatever could do that for them, could do the same for us. And so we take all of this knowledge, to the best of our ability, may Allah give us tawfiq (success).

We have civilizations that took care of the poor and the weak, that didn’t discriminate against races and classes, at a time when those concepts were alien to the rest of the world. That is the evidence that we base this decision on knowledge, that whatever could do that for them, could do the same for us. 

On Raising Children

None of the Prophet’s male children made it to adulthood, but he had a number of daughters to whom he showed a great deal of love. He was greatly concerned about how children are an amanah (trust) with which we are entrusted. If Allah were to entrust you with the very keys of the Ka’abah, not even that trust would be greater than the trust of raising a life. You must ensure that this child is eating halal, is seeing the halal, is hearing the halal, is learning what is best, playing with other children who are best… are getting an upbringing that is best. Raising a child is a tremendous burden, and it would be too much for anyone to carry, were it not that Allah has blessed us with love. Were it not for love, a person would not be able to carry it. However, if a person has power through love, Allah blesses that person to shoulder burdens that would otherwise not be bearable.

 

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