Imām Mālik narrates in his Muwatta’ that the Tābi‘ī, Abu ‘Abdullāh al-Sanābihī, said:
I came to Madīnah in the Khilāfah of Abu Bakr al-Siddīq (radhyAllāhu ‘anhu) and I prayed the Maghrib prayer behind him.
In the first two rak‘ah, he recited Sūrat’l-Fātihah and then followed it each time with one of the short sūrahs
Then Abu Bakr stood up for the third rak‘ah, and I got as close to him as I possibly as could until my gown was almost touching his gown. I heard him reciting Sūrat’l-Fātihah but then this verse too:
‘Our Lord, do not let our hearts deviate after You have guided us. Grant us Your mercy: You are the Ever-Giving.
(Sūrah Āle-‘Imran, 3:8)
When you read this narration, remind yourself that we are talking about the Maghrib prayer.
When was the last time you heard or saw someone recite anything other than Sūrat’l-Fātihah in the third rak‘ah of the Maghrib prayer?
Fascinatingly, some of the greatest scholars in our history actually said that this was the du‘ā of Abu Bakr that he would plead to Allah with regularly in a position of the prayer where we don’t expect a du‘ā to be made.
A du‘ā of Abu Bakr showing his fear of FITNAH i.e. his fear of being trialled and tested in the religion in any of its forms.
Not a single soul.
Tests, examinations, stress, trials, problems, tribulation.
No one can escape their own trial and tribulation, whatever form it might take.
If Sayyidina Abu Bakr al-Siddīq is so worried about the tribulations he will face so that he would make du‘ā in the middle of his Maghrib prayer for help and protection, and that the great leader and Imam, ‘Umar b. ‘Abd’l-‘Azīz, who when he was told this narration, exclaimed:
“We will never leave doing this from now on!”
…then we should be concerned about fitnah too!
No one actually wants to experience these things. Everyone would prefer an easy ride. But would Allah jalla wa ‘alā send upon us something that intentionally harms us?
Think of it like medicine. Allah made medicine extremely powerful, giving it the ability to cure your disease when given in the right way, and yet also poison and kill you when used in an incorrect way.
And in Sūrat Āle-‘Imrān, when it comes to every type of fitnah, you have all the problems outlined and the course of treatment diagnosed: a true cure and recovery guide for all those who are suffering.
But what is Sūrat Āle-‘Imrān?
The magnificent sūrah which is Āle-‘Imrān - the third chapter of the Qur’ān - is a miracle in its own right.
It was described by the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as a “light” emphasising how it guides Muslims in their times of darkness. He said:
Read the Qur'ān, for it will come on the Day of Standing as an intercessor for its people. Read the two lights, al-Baqarah and Sūrat Āle-‘Imrān, for they will both come on the Day of Standing like two clouds or two shades or two flocks of birds, to argue on behalf of those who would read them.
As the second longest chapter in the Qur’ān, the one which the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would twin with al-Baqarah and recite in his nightly prayers in just two units, there is no doubt that this is one of the most fascinating and unique sūrahs of Allah’s Book.
If indeed Allah jalla wa ‘alā has a name which is the greatest of them all – the Ism al-A‘zam as it’s called – as a number of hadith indicate, then there is no doubt that it is in THIS chapter, in the verse of Sūrat Āle-‘Imrān where Allah says:
Allah: there is no god but Him, the Ever Living, the Ever Watchful.
(Sūrat Āle-‘Imrān, 3:2)
Few other chapters of the Qur’ān offer as much spiritual comfort to the believers, which makes it especially relevant in our modern time now where Muslims suffer from a number of terrible social and political problems that have led to much oppression, deaths and misery.
It is in this Sūrah which Allah explains His Wisdom, His Plan, and His Promise
It is this Sūrah which brings understanding and happiness to the believers despite their pain.
It is this Sūrah which when studied properly, will genuinely change your life.
On the very first page of this sūrah, we are given an incredibly stark warning: that the majority of people will suffer greatly from fitnah, and possibly even deviate. This is because Allāh tells us that only very few will do the right thing, otherwise known as the “al-rāsikhūna fil-‘ilm” who have only been mentioned in the Qur’ān in this chapter:
It is He who has sent this Scripture down to you [O Prophet]. Some of its verses are definite in meaning – these are the cornerstone of the Scripture – and others are ambiguous. The perverse at heart eagerly pursue the ambiguities in their attempt to make trouble and to pin down a specific meaning of their own. Only Allah knows the true meaning. Those firmly grounded in knowledge say, ‘We believe in it: it is all from our Lord’ – only those with real perception will take heed.
(Sūrat Āle-‘Imrān, 3:7
Yes, the “al-rāsikhūna fil-‘ilm” or “those firmly grounded in knowledge” are our saviours. We have to learn how to be like those very few! And that is what this sūrah is all about: reminding us of all the dangers and tribulations that we will come across in life, in all shapes and manners, and giving us the solution on how to protect ourselves each time.
This is the only chapter of the Qur’ān that warns us of something very dangerous: the misunderstanding of the Qur’ānic message and how to view its verses and act upon them.
This is also a unique sūrah which gathers the most amount of fitan – tests and trials – in one place, warning us and helping save us from:
Frankly, if we were to keep it real, there is not a practising Muslim on this planet that fears anything more than losing his or her faith in a time where political, social and theological pressures upon us is forcing thousands to lose their religion. We all know someone close, or know someone “big”, who has fallen. That is the nature of fitnah. And in this
single-weekend seminar “Fitnah – The Tafsīr of Selected Verses of Sūrat Āle-‘Imrān” we hope we will equip our students with a Qur’ānic template on how to protect ourselves from as many tribulations in life as possible.
Few keep it as real as Shaykh Abu Eesa Niamatullah, and in teaching this class which he has been preparing for over five years, and as someone who is already well known for his many writings on tafsīr and his ART series, you really cannot afford to miss this class when it comes to your city!
In this seminar, you will:
In the tafsīr of the key verses of Sūrat Āle-‘Imrān, we believe you will enjoy but more importantly benefit in a small time frame from an experience with the Qur’ān which will be second to none, and leave you will the tools to protect yourself and others for the long road ahead which is the Journey of Life.
This is the truth from your Lord, so do not be one of those who doubt.
"Sheikh AE is a one off. We love him to bits and May Allah reward him abundantly."
Fahim Lunat, London
"I love AE's teaching style and he does it in such a way that inspires you to want to learn and know more!"
Halima Salim, London
"While many people might comment about his jokes and ability to work the crowd, the one thing that remains in my mind with regard to this teacher is: RESPECT! I truly respect Sh Abu Eesa, as he puts a lot of time and effort into giving various opinions from different madhahib, the opinions of his own teachers, his own ‘taught position’ and the position that he finds safest. This is the first time that I've had a teacher of Islamic studies to affirm that we as students must be empowered to seek the answers from good, solid teachers, using our own brains and power of reason to completely understand a topic."
Raihanah Starbuck, Singapore
"Sheikh AE is truly incredible, his style of teaching, his method, his story telling, his examples, his real talk..."
Sameah Javaid, Glasgow
"Got to know the AE style, many super-useful tips and mashaAllah the sheikh's opinion on matters that really matter...is gold."
Bushra Haseeb, Calgary
"Sh Abu Easa is among the best sheikhs I've seen. Very straight forward, clear and thus easy to connect with. He is knowledgeable and explains the subject with humour. He also gives real life examples from his own experience throughout the course, which elevates the seminar further. May Allah bless him and his family."
Salma Mohamed, Stockholm
Shaykh Abu Eesa Niamatullah is original, addictive and with an unparalleled sense of humour, Shaykh Abu Eesa (universally known as "AE") combines experience, 'ilm and a modern understanding and application which is unique and utterly relevant. Don't be fooled by his jocular exterior - it is unsurprising just how treasured he is to our student body as one of our most passionate and knowledgeable senior instructors.
Born in London, England, he tracks his roots to the Naser Kheil tribe of the North West Frontier in Pakistan. He studied both Pharmacy at the University of Manchester and then Anthropology, and then later studied Arabic, Islamic Law and the Qur'an with its memorisation from scholars in a diverse array of locations in the East and West. His time spent with many different teachers has led to a real variety of experiences and depth in the Islamic Sciences which are so famously expressed in Shaykh AE's multi-dimensional da'wah and teachings.
Shaykh Abu Eesa previously served as the Resident Scholar of Cheadle Masjid in South Manchester, yet still continues to teach Fiqh weekly there as part of our onsite and online initiative known as "Logical Progression." He was the previous Resident Scholar of the 1st Ethical Charitable Trust in Bolton, an organisation dedicated to civic engagement and Islamic legal and financial education; he was the original founder of 'Prophetic Guidance' (PG) and still remains as the main teacher presenting PG's classes and events such as the famous "Last Testament" play; his popular commentary to 'al-Adab al-Mufrad' class is still aired today on Islamic TV channels. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Al-Qalam Sharī‘ah Panel, the UK's premier fatwa body for legal and financial concerns.
We started up in 2002 with a simple question - how could we teach you Islam in a way that was fun, social, quality, spiritual, and oh yeah, academic?
We asked around, and it turned out people wanted teachers who knew their stuff and who didn't turn learning Islam into a snoozefest, they wanted super quality and they didn't want endless weeks of lectures that would get in the way of their busy lives.
We listened. And AlMaghrib Institute was born. Based upon an ethos of excellence and a refusal to accept excuses for poor quality, we offered single and double-weekend seminars, with the most engaging instructors around, using top professional multi-media materials. Since that time, your response has been insane! You’ve asked us to establish chapters (also known as Qabeelahs) in over 40 cities worldwide, from North America, to Europe, to Asia, to the Middle East and to Australia too! Amazingly, we've now taught the Islamic Sciences to over 80,000 unique students and growing every day.
With the blessings of Allah, Most High, AlMaghrib is now the leading Institute teaching premiere Islamic education in the West with the largest on-site student body. Year by year, we’ve set the standard and launched exciting new projects, inspired so many more to do great work in their communities, and raised the bar on how knowledge is not only sought...but loved!
AlMaghrib is exceptionally selective about its instructors to ensure that all of them are fluent in the language of instruction. It delights us and our student body that our seminars are taught by highly specialized scholars and educators who are among the best in their field, bar none.
Take the website for a spin: discover our seminars, explore the curriculum, find out about our high-impact projects, log in to your MyAlMaghrib Student Portal, and engage with us on our social networks. We think you will agree that what we offer by the Will of Allah is nothing but the best.
AlMaghrib is a non-profit organization.