It was lovely to hear this week that yet another one of our Senior School pupils has completed their third revision of the 40 Hadith (Arbaeen) of Imam Nawawi and is moving on to the study of Riyadh-us-Saliheen. Well done Zahid ma sha Allah! The works of Imam Nawawi, particularly his Hadith compilations, are one of the great prized treasures of this ummah. Imam Nawawi was an extraordinarily prolific writer, a great scholar known for his piety, spiritual excellence and dedication to the deen. He passed away at a relatively young age of around 45 years old in 676 of the Hijra, 1277 C.E. Despite his short life, Allah Most High blessed him with an enduring legacy that continues to benefit Muslims to this day, and no doubt remains a means of eternal blessings for him unto eternity. Senior school pupils at Deenway not only memorise the entire forty-two hadith of the arbaeen but study its commentary every Friday. After reviewing the text three times they go on to study the Riyadh-us-Saliheen a larger collection of authentic hadith also carefully curated by Imam Nawawi for maximum benefit to scholars and non-scholars alike. In my post-Ramadan message (sent out last week) I mentioned that the school is in sha Allah seeking to extend its work to focus on sessions for parents in order to help enable a synergy between home and school so that our children can get the most out of their learning at Deenway and not be confused by mixed messages from home and school. With this in mind we will in sha Allah begin with a series of sessions for parents based around the Arbaeen of Imam Nawawi. More details to follow in due course in sha Allah.
It was also a real delight to see all the pupils from Lower Elementary to the end of Senior School attending dhuhr salah in the masjid this week. If we are to serve our deen properly and uplift the conditions of the ummah it is critical that greater access to prayers in the masjid is given to our womenfolk. And so it was especially good to see not only the boys, but the girls also, attending the masjid for dhuhr salah this week. There are several logistical challenges to keeping this up. Please make dua that we can continue this initiative with our pupils. It is one of the best ways to help them understand how to act and behave inside a masjid in order to respect its sanctity and gain its spiritual blessings. It is also an opportunity for us to help them improve their practice of salah and wudhu.
In these challenging times, when all news about our fellow brothers and sisters around the world seems to be bad news; and where many people around the world are faced with suffering, exploitation, expropriation of their rights and humiliation; where people in power, or in positions where they have a voice remain silent; where the masses-and that includes us-are too busy in the cycle of work-eat-watch-play (and maybe pray a little too when we have time); institutions such as Deenway are a tiny light in the darkness. A little oasis in a desert of heedlessness. If we work together truly, spare a little actual time to do the menial tasks, roll up our sleeves and raise our hands in dua, we will be better for it; and so will our children; and so will our communities and our lives. And these little lights, these little watering-places in desolate wastelands, can-if Allah wills- grow and spread and bring life to the dry lands of our hearts and the hearts of others. In this there is a healing and hope. In this small way we can play our part in the legacy of the great men and women-like Imam Nawawi-who have done so much for us through their lifes' works. May Allah, Most High make it so.
29. Say, 'He is the All-Merciful;
We believe in Him; And in Him we trust;
So you shall unfailingly soon know who is plainly astray.'
30. Say, 'Mind you well:
Did your water sink lost into the depths of the earth,
who should bring you forth a plenteous flowing stream?'
- Qur'an (67:29-30)
wa ma tawfeeqi illa billah.