As-Salaamu Alaykum thanks for visiting, The Sankore’ Institute of Islamic-African Studies International (S.I.I.A.S.I) is a non-profit, non-political educational institution founded for the sole purpose of researching into the educational, political, cultural and religious heritage of Islamic Africa. The primary area of concern is that part of Black Africa traditionally known as the Bilad ‘s-Sudan (The Lands of the Blacks). These lands include all the regions located south of the Sahara desert and north of the tropical jungles, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea.
The purpose of the S.I.I.A.S.I is to elucidate and evidence the Islamic traditions which were born out of African nations such as Takrur, Songhay, Mali, Ghana, Kanem-Bornu, Wodai, Fur, Funj, Sokoto, Segu, Massina and the Mahdist kingdom of the Nile valley. More>
Realize that the etymological root of the term fasting (as-sawm) means withholding oneself (al-imsaak) as well as elevation (ar-rif`a). This is true because the religiously prescribed fasting is elevated above all the rest of the acts of worship in rank, for this reason it is called sawm.
Allah ta`ala elevates the fasting by negating resemblance or likeness to it in any of the acts of worship. He ta`ala also strips the fasting from the servants even though they worship Him by means of it, He then attributes the fasting to Himself sub’hannahu wa ta`ala, and He finally rewards those who are described as fasting by His own Hand from His Divine assistance.
Allah ta`ala attaches fasting to Himself in the negation of resemblance and likeness,
because fasting actually is the avoidance of action, not an action. And due to the fact that the negation of likeness to fasting is an attribute of negation, it strengthens the relationship between the one fasting and Allah ta`ala. Allah ta`ala says about Himself:
“There is nothing like Him.”
Thus, Allah ta`ala negates all resemblance and likenesses to Himself, for He has no likeness whether through evidences of reason of Divine Law. Similarly, Allah describes fasting as being unlike other acts of worship, upon the tongue of His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace as related by an-Nasai’ on the authority of Abu Amama, who said:
“I once came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace and said: Command me to do an order that I can take from you. He said: “Obligatory upon you is fasting, for it has no likeness.”
Thus, likeness and resemblance to any of the various acts of worship that have been made lawful have been negated from fasting. Whoever realizes that this is the description of negation since it is avoiding eating and drinking, knows without doubt that He too is known through negation of likeness and resemblance to all created essences described with the attributes of existence.
It is for this reason that He said in a hadith Qudsi narrated by Imam Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said that Allah azza wa jalla said:
“Every action of the son of Adam is for him except fasting, it is for Me. I am the One who rewards for it. Fasting is a protection. When one of you is fasting he should not behave obscenely nor go into a rage.
For when someone curses him or fights him, he should say:
‘I am fasting’.
I swear by the One in whose Hand is the sole of Muhammad, the unpleasant smell from the mouth of the one fasting will be more pleasant to Allah on the Day of Judgment than the fragrance of musk. The one fasting will have two joys: when he breaks his fast he will be joyous with his eating, and when he meets his Lord, he will be joyous with his fasting.”
Excerpt from The Secrets of Ramadan
The Mobilization of the Champions of Truth
The translations below, and more are located in Digital Archive.
This concise work, Sabeel’n-Najaat (the Way of Salvation) by one of Black Africa’s leading statesmen, military generals and scholars, Shaykh Abdullahi ibn Fuduye`, is believed to have been produced after 1827 when he retired from active rule of the Gwandu region of the Sokoto Caliphate.
This work reflected the kind of instructions Shaykh Abdullahi was engaged in during this period. The two original manuscripts I used to translate this work were no less than 10 folios and no more than 13 folios respectively. Thus, the work is relatively small. It is divided into two chapters followed by a small conclusion.
- The first chapter is on repentance and its conditions.
- The second chapter is on guarding the five limbs which Shaykh Abdullahi enumerates as: the eyes, the ears; the tongue; the heart and the stomach.
- In his conclusion, ‘the professor’ simply reiterates a quote presumably taken from the conclusion of his brother, Shehu Uthman’s Ihya’s-Sunna wa Ikhmad’l-Bid`a, where he quotes from an Andalusian scholar, Abu’l-Abbas al-Abyaani.
This work is thus an epitomizing of the fundamentals of spiritual purification for the transformation of character (tasawwuf li’t-takhalluq) composed for the beginner in the spiritual path.
In these last days and times when tribulation, injustice, hypocrisy and inequity have filled our planet, it is with pleasure mixed with a little irony that we at SIIASI present this very concise but dense work on the basic research of repentance and guarding ones limbs from everything other than that which pleases Allah.
The Sankore’ Institute is honored to present to the reader a book which clarifies in the most concise and eloquent manner the reality (haqiqah) of the last and final Messenger to mankind, Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdu’l-Muttalib ibn Hashim, (may Allah bless him as long as the east wind blows and to the number of created things). Many writers in the past have written about the sublime reality of this noble Messenger. However, this book was written by one of Africa’s leading scholars and revolutionaries. Thus, we can get a glimpse as to how the people of the Lands of the Blacks viewed their beloved Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.
The Akhlaaq’l-Mustafa (the Character Traits of the Chosen One) byShaykh Abdullahi ibn Fuduye` is an exposition upon the personality of the most perfect creature that ever existed, our master, Muhammad ibn Abdullahi, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The title of the text is taken from the singular phrase ‘khuluq’ with the letter laam inflected with the damma, which means – one’s personal way of life, nature, and natural disposition.
This text, `Umdat’l-Muta`abideen wa’l-Muhtarifeen (The Support of the Dedicated Worshippers and Skilled Professionals) by Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduye`, may Allah engulf him in his mercy, is one of the most concise books composed dealing with the essential knowledge which is obligatory upon every responsible person to know and act upon. For the common Muslim who has not attained the station of scholar or student of knowledge, this text provides those necessary elements of the religion for which the servants will be questioned about on the Day of Judgment. For the student of knowledge, this text provides the sources from which the scholars derive their legal judgments: the Book and the Sunna.
On March 15, 1903 the armies of the Sokoto Caliphate were defeated at the hands of the British Imperialists. The Caliph (or ruler) of the Sokoto Caliphate at that time was Muhammad Attahiru, the twelfth ruler after Shehu Uthman Dan Fuduye’. After the ‘defeat’, Attahiru led a mass exodus (hijra) of his loyal supporters and officials on the famous ‘hijra to the east’, which had been foretold a century earlier by the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate, Shehu Uthman Dan Fuduye’. >>
This book was originally a letter of advice written for the regional amirs and officials of the Sokoto Islamic Caliphate. I believe that it was composed during the first year of his rule in 1818, when many regions began to revolt from under his rule, and many of the veterans of early days of the consolidation of the kingdom were becoming disillusioned either through longing for the asceticism that was the custom of the past, or being preoccupied with the responsibilities gained from their victories. >>