Assalamu alaikum warahmatullah (peace be on you and the loving compassion of God)
The talk I want to share here is by a great luminary in our tradition, a direct descendant of our beloved prophet;s (peace be upon him) couzin, Ali (Allah be pleased with him), Sh. Habib Ali Jiffry comes from a long line of scholars and can trace his ‘isnad’ (chain), I believe it’s called, a very long way..I think all the way to Muhammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). You see in traditional or classical Muslim scholarship, a scholar ‘graduates’ to be able to teach by obtaining ‘ijaza’ which is basically a ‘license’ to teach, from his teacher. And traditional Muslim scholarship is taught one-to-one, with often the student living with his teacher to observe the teacher’s characteristics, behaviours, manners etc. which together we use the arabic term ‘adab’ to denote. So really good Muslim scholars can trace their scholarly chain of transmission back a very long way and the more luminaries one recognizes in the ‘isnad’ the more one realizes the worth or the caliber of that particular scholar. You can read more about Sheikh Habib Ali Jiffry here (well worth clicking on this link, it will give you a taste for what authentic Muslim scholars are about). One thing I want to point out from Sh. Habib’s isnad is his noted taking of knowledge from female scholars, something apparently quite common in our tradition before but for some reason not understood in the mainstream today. In fact, one of the greatest scholars of all time in the Muslim tradition, is Ayesha, our beloved mother, the prophet’s wife (may Allah be pleased with her). She taught many men and women for years from all over the Muslim world and she is a source of much of our scholarly material.
Having said all the above, the talk itself was delivered at RIS last year. RIS stands for ‘Reviving the Islamic Spirit’, it is a twice annual conference held in Toronto and California, and it brings together amazing scholars, artists, etc. Truly living up to its name. You must have all heard of the ‘tedtalks’, well RIS, has now launched ‘ristalks‘, where you can listen to some great talks given at RIS. Do check out the website
Here is the talk, the title speaks for itself, everything in faith is really about love. Remove love from faith and what you are left with is something vacuous and even dangerous. So my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, let’s realize the place of love in our faith. Peace to all and please keep me in your prayers
NB – I apologize, Sh. Habib is a descendent of Ali (ral) not Muhammed (sal). I have corrected the sentence above so it is accurate. Also wanted to mention to those who don’t understand arabic, that while the brother translation is doing a great job, not all the beauty and depth of the arabic comes across. This is often the case with translating arabic, so much can be said with so few words that it very rarely can be translated well.