New eBook: A Caller’s Code of Conduct

New eBook: A Caller’s Code of Conduct

We are excited to announce our final product launch for 2023, a brand-new ebook: A Caller’s Code of Conduct: 12 Principles from the Qur’an and Sunnah.

This brand-new exclusive ebook will focus on 12 crucial principles that every da’ee (caller to Islam) must live by, with a critical focus on contemporary problems in the Dawah scene, and how they can be resolved by living by this code of conduct.

The book is currently available for early access along with a 14 video series explaining the book. (The first three videos are already up on our YouTube channel)

Paperback Edition available here:

Every caller must live by a code!

As a caller to Islam (da’ee), you have a sacred duty to invite people to Islam in the best of manners. To do this, you must learn and live by the caller’s code of conduct. In this important new book, Shaykh Ismail Kamdar extracts from the Qur’an and Sunnah 12 crucial principles that every caller should live by.

Dawah Drama

There are many problems with the way dawah is conducted today. Many young men who lack both wisdom and knowledge take a harsh arrogant approach to preaching Islam that pushes people away and serves only to boost their own egos.

Others go to the opposite extreme, being too soft and lenient, not wanting to upset anyone, and as a result being ineffective in proving why Islam is superior to other ways of life. In both cases, the problem is simply a lack of balance. A preacher should understand that there is a time for softness and a time for harshness, and wisdom dictates when we should utilize each method.

Living By a Code

There are many teachings of Islam that preachers need to live by, we have limited the discourse to twelve principles for the sake of ease of learning, and so that this book does not become too long. A preacher must have ikhlāṣ (sincerity) which means doing whatever he does for the sake of Allah, never for ego or fame. He must be a student of knowledge, continuously seeking to increase his own knowledge of Islam for life. Preachers must make time to focus on their own spiritual development through purifying their souls regularly. They should seek sincere counsel, keep good company, have righteous mentors, and work towards a vision.

Learn more here:

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, 0 comments
The Importance of Courage in Islam

The Importance of Courage in Islam

Khutbah on Courage in light of Palestinian Struggle

O you who believe! Whoever of you goes back on his religion, God will bring a people whom He loves and who love Him, kind towards the believers, stern with the disbelievers. They strive in the way of God, and do not fear the blame of the critic. That is the grace of God; He bestows it upon whomever He wills. God is Embracing and Knowing.

Quran 5:54

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Let not fear of the people stop one of you from speaking the truth, if he knows it.”

Musnad Aḥmad 11869

Courage is Necessary

Courage is necessary for Muslims. When calling people towards the truth, you will definitely find yourself at odds with many people and their ideas. The truth is often bitter and very difficult for people to swallow. Because they are unable to criticize the message, many people turn to criticizing the messenger instead. When you choose the path of Dawah, be conscious of the fact that you are choosing a path in which you will face great criticism, and perhaps even violence. The caller must be ready to defend the truth and propagate it in all circumstances.

When the Prophet ﷺ received the first revelation, Waraqah Ibn Naufal told him, “I wish I would live to assist you when your people exile you from this land.” The Prophet ﷺ was beloved to his people and could not understand why they would do that. Waraqah explained, “No messenger brought a message like this before you, except that his people turned against him.”

If the prophets could not convey their message without facing rejection, ridicule, and violence from their people, what makes us think that our Dawah will be easy and accepted without any pushback?

The Prophet ﷺ faced every kind of trial in the path of Dawah, yet he remained the model of courage and integrity throughout. He was mocked, slandered, ridiculed, boycotted, physically attacked, exiled, and eventually had to fight his own tribe in multiple battles. Yet he remained courageous in every circumstances.

The companions were all great models of courage in Dawah too. Abdullah Ibn Masud was the first to recite Quran openly by the Kabah, even though it led to him receiving a beating from the pagans. When Umar accepted Islam, he announced it in public, knowing that people would attack him for it. Sumayyah and her husband Yasir were killed by Abu Jahl for openly accepting Islam, and Bilal endured the stones and scorching sands of the desert for the sake of Allah.

During this period, one of the companion who endured the greatest torture narrates the following. Khabbab ibn al-Arat reported: We complained to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ while he was leaning upon his rolled up cloak in the shade of the Ka’bah. We said, “Will you ask Allah to help us? Will you supplicate to Allah for us?” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Among those before you, a believer would be seized, a ditch would be dug for him, and he would be thrown into it. Then, they would bring a saw that would be put on top of his head to split him into two halves, and his flesh would be torn from the bone with iron combs. Yet, all of this did not cause them to abandon their religion. By Allah, this religion will prevail until a rider travels from Yemen to Hadhramaut, fearing no one but Allah and the wolf, lest it trouble his sheep. Rather, you are being impatient.”

Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6943

In every generation, the people of dawah and truth had to face opposition with great courage. The likes of Imam Malik, Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Ahmad were unjustly imprisoned for their opinions, yet we know today that they were in the right. Imam al-Bukhari was slandered and boycotted through a dedicated smear campaign, yet today his book is the most important hadith collection on earth. Ibn Taymiyyah was courageous in both the battlefield against the Mongols, and in the court when facing tyrannical rulers. Every great scholar in history had decisive moments in which they proved their courage by standing firm for what they believed in, regardless of the consequences.

A man asked the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, while he had his leg in the stirrup, “Which jihad is best?” The Prophet said, “A word of truth before a tyrannical ruler.”

Sunan al-Nasā’ī 4209

Be very clear about this, when you choose the path of Dawah, you will face opposition, obstacles, and trials, and you will have enemies that will try to bring you down and destroy your reputation. It is part of the job as an heir of the prophets that you face these obstacles with courage and trust in Allah.

This is why those who are beloved to Allah are described as, “They strive in the way of God, and do not fear the blame of the critic.”

Quran 5:54

Do Not Be Cowardly

Sadly, many Muslims today were raised without any sense of courage, resiliency or mental toughness. Too many people choose the path of Dawah with a naïve mindset that people will love them, praise them, and support them. They are shocked at the first sign of resistance and lose heart at the first criticism. Such people are not cut out for this work. It is not a job for the weak of heart, this is tough role that requires firm courage, resiliency, and firmness in faith. Without these qualities, we will fail easily.

I remember joining a new dawah organization that was facing criticism for the first time. Many people quit their jobs with the organization saying that they did not expect any harsh criticism. Others cried in meetings, saying that they are trying to do something good, so why are people being mean. Nobody was looking in the mirror, analysing the criticism for any merits, or displaying the mental toughness necessary to power through. It was as if they were expecting dawah to be an easy job which brings with it only praise and fame. Because of these unrealistic expectations, many of these people quit the dawah and chose easier paths in life instead.

Dawah require courage because dawah means challenging people’s worldviews, opinions, and core beliefs. It means upsetting the status quo. Dawah is about countering falsehood with truth. Like Moses in the court of Pharaoh, you have to stand firm and brave as you convey the message with conviction. You cannot be naïve and expect people to like you or even accept you. For many people, dawah is a lonely path they thread alone or with a small companionship of righteous friends. But they have Allah, and Allah is enough for them.

Without courage, multiple problems occur. Either you give up, distort the message, hide the truth or becoming a pawn for someone else. Spineless people sell out the Muslims every day because they lack the courage to speak the truth and bear the consequences of it. In our times, some preachers purposely hide some aspects of the message out of fear of upsetting specific demographics, resulting in a distorted message.

Be brave and be ready to handle the trials that come with a life dedicated to spreading the message of truth. Falsehood will fight back, we must be ready for this, and courageous in the intellectual battle between truth and falsehood.

Learn more about the courage of the early Muslims with our in-depth history, which has over 100 five-star reviews, available here:

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Leadership
Resource List: Palestine/Israel Conflict

Resource List: Palestine/Israel Conflict

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

As the genocide in Gaza continues, many of us feel helpless due to our inability to assist the Palestinians against their oppressors. The mass propaganda from the Zionist media outlets makes it even harder to sit back and do nothing. One way in which we can contribute productively to this is to fight propaganda with truth. To assist you in this, we have put together a resource list including some of the best courses, books, podcasts, and videos on the topic.

Utilize and promote any of the resources below to help spread the truth about the plight of the Palestinians:

  1. FREE ONLINE COURSE: Virtues & History of Al-Aqsa by Sh. Ismail Kamdar
  2. PODCAST SERIES: History of Zionism and Palestine – Toledo Society
  3. BOOK: Why Israel? The Anatomy of Zionist Apartheid – A South African Perspective by Suraya Dadoo and Firoz Osman
  4. PODCAST EPISODE: The Thinking Muslim – Gaza: Resistance and Betrayal with Sami Hamdi
  5. DEBATE: Piers Morgan vs Mohammed Hijab On Palestine and Israel-Hamas War
  6. PODCAST EPISODE: The Lies About Palestine with Imam Tom, Dr. Omar Suleiman and Dr. Ovamir Anjum
  7. BOOK: The Palestine Nakba: Decolonising History, Narrating the Subaltern, Reclaiming Memory by Nur Masalha
  8. VIDEO: How to become an indomitable ummah with Imam Tom, Shaykh Mikaeel Smith and Sami Hamdi
  9. DOCUMENTARY: Palestine 1920: The Other Side of the Palestinian Story by al-Jazeerah
  10. VIDEO: How Israel STOLE Palestine by OnePath Network

I hope the above resources help you to educate yourself and others about this topic. Please message me if you know of more resources to add to this list. Let us make this as comprehensive as possible.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Islam, Leadership

Podcast: Auditing a Podcaster’s Week

In this new podcast interview, I audit a week in the life of Mahin the Podcaster. We go through his weekly routine and challenges, and work through the deeper problems that may be causing lack of motivation or procrastination. This interview may help you understand your own life better, as many of us share the same problems and obstacles. It is a long interview, two and half hours almost, but worth taking the time to listen to, especially if you want to see Islamic Self Help in action.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Life Hacks, Productivity
The Benefits of Solitude

The Benefits of Solitude

“Remembering Allah verbally is good, but contemplating about the blessings of Allah is the best act of worship.”

Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz

In an always connected world, we are never truly alone. Through our phones and social media, we never give ourselves enough time to think, reflect, or even engage in quality worship. Making time to be alone and spending that time in a way that is pleasing to Allah is an integral part of purifying the soul. It is in solitude that we develop our best ideas, find solutions to our problems, unlock deeper understandings of our scriptures, and benefit from quality alone time with Allah. Solitude is therefore crucial for success in every aspect of our life.

The Prophet ﷺ received the first revelation in the cave of Hira. He had already been there for a few days, and it was his habit to isolate himself from society for a few days to contemplate and figure out solutions to the problems facing his community. Spending time alone to think deeply or to worship Allah is a cherish Sunnah that we need to revive in our times. It has a rich history and there are many great examples of this throughout Muslim history.

When Ibn Taymiyyah was thrown in prison, he cherished the idea that it would be a khalwa (solitude) with Allah. He used that time to worship Allah, reflect, and to write his books. When Ibn al-Haytham was placed under house arrest, he used that time to think and experiment and ended up figuring out the science of optics. When Imam al-Ghazali felt that he was getting too popular and was worried that it would affect his intentions, he disappeared from society to focus on purifying his soul. There are many other examples like this showing that many of the great all practised solitude in different ways at different points in their lives.

A Balanced Approach

Solitude is something built into our religion, but Islam also warns us against complete isolation. A believer must find balance between making time to sit alone and worship Allah, and time to serve the community and take care of the family. Complete isolation is unnatural and derives one of the benefits of being part of the ummah. Solitary confinement is a punishment for a reason, and one should not put oneself into voluntary confinement. The key is to make time for oneself, while still being part of society.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The believer who mixes with people and is patient with their harm has a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people, nor is patient with their harm.”

Ibn Majah 4032

We must keep this hadith in mind when seeking solitude. Solitude should not interfere with our family and communal duties; it should supplement and enhance it. The purpose of making time for oneself in Islam is primarily to worship Allah. Every Muslim should make time to worship Allah in private, the ideal time is during the Last Third of the night but even at any other time it is beneficial and a great deed. There are other usages of solitude as well which includes deep thinking, contemplation, meditation, and problem solving. It is when we take time to sit alone and think deeply that we develop our best ideas and solutions to our problems.

The benefits of solitude are many, but for the sake of brevity I will just list the primary benefits here:

  1. Quality sincere worship of Allah
  2. Focused time to do deep work or think deeply
  3. Potential of solving complex problems
  4. Potential to overcome dark thoughts and work through them
  5. An opportunity to unlock deeper understandings of Islamic scripture
  6. A chance to reset the mind and take a break from pressures of society

These benefits alone should make solitude something we all should carve time out for regularly.

How to maximize your alone time

Alone time works best when it is structured, and you have a process. If you block out time to be alone but do not plan how you will use that time, then you may end up wasting it with entertainment, dark thoughts, or even sinful deeds. To avoid this, alone time must be planned and structured. Here are some ways to use this time productively.

Engage in extra acts of worship – Utilize a portion of your alone time to worship Allah. This gives you some quality worship that is free from any wrong intentions. Every Muslim should have secret good deeds that only Allah knows about. Use this time to recite Quran, pray Salah, make dua, and engage in zikr and istighfār. Maming time daily for private worship is a must for every believer.

Have a clear agenda of topics to focus on – When sitting down to think, have a clear agenda. Do not allow your mind to wonder freely from topic to topic. Go in with specific topics to reflect on or problems to solve. Focus on those topics and avoid any topics that distract you from your goals.

Create a beautiful environment for solitude – Build for yourself an ideal environment for deep thinking. How this environment looks will differ from person to person. The goal is to have a place you can go to that is free from distraction, and that inspires you to think deeply and positively. Many people benefit from being out in nature for their alone time. Others prefer a small room with some comfy features. Find what works for you and set up your thinking space.

Give yourself a time limit – Alone time should not override your duties. You still need to work, care for your family, and serve your community. To ensure that your thinking time does not violate the rights of others, give yourself a strict time limit. As soon as the time is over, move on to the next priority on your to-do list.

Obstacles to solitude

There are many reasons why people are unable to find time for themselves today. For some, life is too busy, and they do not view it as a priority. For others, they have surrounded themselves with so many distractions (media, social media, technology) that they are never truly alone with their thoughts. A big one today though is that many people are afraid of their own thoughts.

Everybody has dark thoughts lurking deep in their minds. For many people, they avoid these thoughts by distracting themselves constantly from thinking and being alone. Because of this, they never confront these thoughts or work through them. To unlock deeper parts of our brain, we need to work through whatever is clouding our minds. This means making time to face our dark thoughts, work through them, resolve them, and discover deeper parts of ourselves. Do not be afraid to face the darkness within. It is better to recognize it, face it, and overcome it internally, than to ignore it as it festers and grows uncontrollably.

Another common obstacle to solitude are our gadgets. We are constantly connected with the rest of the world through the internet. Because of this, we are never truly alone. To overcome this, when blocking out time to be alone, switch off your devices and detox from the online world. Let your family or co-workers know that you cannot be disturbed for the assigned time unless it is an emergency and close all unnecessary channels of communication. This will give you the focused alone time you need to get things done.

Getting Started

For some people, making time to be alone may be very new. It is, however, one of the best habits you can learn at any point in life. Making time daily to worship Allah in private and to think deeply is a great way to enhance the quality of your life. Get started today by setting a time, choosing your environment, and deciding on a topic to reflect on. Start small and build a consistent habit of deep reflection in solitude. Remember that small consistent good deeds are most valuable in the long run.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.”

Ibn Majah 4240

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Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Inner Peace, Life Hacks, Positive Thinking