Unity Through Diversity (Ar Rihla Course - July 2001)

Br. Saqib Ilyas

p>The Sub-editor of The Revival - Br. Saqib Ilyas- attended the Rihla Deen intensive course that was held in July at the Zaytuna Institute in California (USA), founded by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. Here's his personal account, check it out:

The 3-week course was based on the theme of "Unity through Diversity" where talks concentrated on matters of Fiqh (Jurispudence), unity through our diverse ways and simply on the importance of understanding and learning Traditional Islam.

The course attracted several hundred dedicated brothers and sisters from all corners of the world bringing together people of all colours, races and cultures under the banner of Islam.

The four core subjects taught were: Fiqh, Ihsan (Spiritualism), Farida and Tajwid (Quranic pronunciation). The wonderful, unique, knowledgeable, and distinguished Shuyukh (or scholars to me and you -ed.) who were present consisted of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf (USA), Shaykh Abdullah bin Baiyyah (Sd.Ar), Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi (Syria, now residing in the USA), Dr. Umar Faruq Abdallah (USA), Shaykh Taufiq al-Bouti (Syria), Shaykh Abdallah al-Kadi (Sd.Ar), and Imam Zaid Shakir (USA).

The day would begin at fajr and recitation, which would be followed by classes. There were no breaks as such except of lunch and prayers through out the day. Classes were held by all the Shuyukh present and some would be delivered in Arabic; the traditional way, and translated by one of the Shuyukh.

At the end of each lecture the opportunity was given to ask questions. Many questions that scholars all over the world hav eproblems answering were addressed. Questions were answered with accuracy and clarity, backed by the Quran and Sunnah.

The day would end by Shaykh Yaqoubi's lecture on Ihsan which was awesome.The day would end at Isha prayer.

In retrospect it has been an enlightening experience. A real eye-opener as to how we have lost the traditional way in Islam. This is the very reason for our failure in so many walks of life. To see how superior early Islam is and how the Muslims themselves have degraded it by not knowing of the Deen they follow.

I was fortunate enough to present and discuss The Revival to my fellow students and distinguished scholars. Alhamdulillah they responded positively and showed an eagerness to distribute, support and get involved with The Revival.

May Allah help us all in our attempts towards seeking, understanding and acting upon traditional Islamic education. Ameen.

© The Revival 2001