Alchemy of the Heart:
Shaykh Muhammad Maulud
Translated into English by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
The suffering of the world is spoken of in terms of wars, starvation, hatred, competition, and the struggle of the survivals of the fittest. Yet all the suffering of the world originates in the human heart. Every crime committed, every act of oppression, every callous cruelty, and every injustice to the self or others emanates from the hearts of men. However, for every wrong wrought by the human heart, a thousand acts of mercy have issued forth: every mother’s love, every child’s forgiveness, every teacher’s care, and every father’s concern for the well-being of his progeny-all have their source in the core of human being, the human heart. If we are to right the world, we must first rectify our hearts, and this is why every revelation has been granted to humanity: to make firm our hearts.
The most oft-recited prayer of the blessed Prophet, peace and prayers be upon him, was? O Revolver of the hearts, make firm my heart upon the straight way? In no equivocal terms, the Quran states? On the day of Judgment, when neither wealth nor children will avail, only one who brings forth a sound heart? A sound heart! The soundest of hearts was the heart of the messenger of Allah, peace and prayers be upon him, who through his purity and singularity of intention transformed the world. His teaching remains, and the challenge is for each of us to take it and with it transform our hearts and thereby the very world in which we now reside. Time is of the essence as the diseases of the heart, so prevalent among men now, threaten the very biosphere we have been commissioned to protect. Before you is a text that gives practical means and methods for transformation. Learn them, and use them, and then pass them on.
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Purification of the Heart
Allah subhanahu wa t'ala says, "On that day nothing will benefit the human being, neither wealth nor children, only the one who brings Allah a sound heart." A sound heart is one that is free of defects and spiritual blemishes. Though the spiritual heart is centred in the physical heart, the heart being referred to here is the spiritual heart, not the physical heart. In ancient Chinese medicine, the heart houses what is known as "chen" which is "a spirit." The Chinese character for "thinking," "thought," "love," "virtue," and "intending to listen" all contain the ideogram for the heart. In fact, in every culture in the world, people use metaphors that deal with the heart; in English, we call people who are cruel, "hard-hearted people." There is also the idea of having "a cold heart" and "a warm heart." People who do not hide their emotions well "wear their hearts on their sleeves." When deeply affected, we say, "he affected me in my heart" or "in my core." In fact, the English word "core" means "inner most," and in Arabic, the equivalent "lub" comes from the Latin word, meaning "heart." Thus, the core of the human being is indeed the heart. The word "courage" also comes from the same root word as for "heart" because courage is centred in the heart. The most ancient Indo-European word for heart means "that which leaps." The heart leaps or beats in the breast of man. For example, people say, "my heart skipped a beat" in reaction to seeing somebody. Many such metaphors are used for the heart.
Three Types of People
The ancients were aware of the spiritual diseases of the heart, and this is certainly at the essence of the Islamic teaching. One of the first things the Quran does is define three types of people: the mu'minun, the kafirun, and the munafiqun. The mu'minun are people whose hearts are alive while the kafirun are people whose hearts are dead. The munafiqun are people who have a disease or a sickness in their hearts; thus, Allah subhanahu wa t'ala says, "In their hearts is a disease, and they were increased in their disease." This is also in accordance with another verse: "When their hearts deviated, Allah made them deviate further." When somebody turns away from Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, Allah subhanahu wa t'ala causes them to deviate even further from the truth.
The Heart and the Brain
The actual physical heart in our breast beats at about 100,000 times a day, pumping two gallons of blood per minute, 100 gallons per hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for an entire life time! The vascular system that sends this life-giving blood is over 60,000 miles long: it is more than two times the circumference of the earth. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the heart starts beating before the brain is formed; the heart begins to beat without any central nervous system. The dominant theory was that the central nervous system is what is controlling the entire human being from the brain, yet we know now that in fact the nervous system does not initiate the heartbeat. It is actually self-initiated; we would say, it is initiated by Allah subhanahu wa t'ala.
The heart is the centre of the human being. Many people think the brain is the centre of consciousness, yet the Quran clearly states, "They have hearts that they are not able to understand with." According to the Muslims, the centre of human consciousness is the heart and not the brain itself, and it is only recently that human beings have learned there are over 40,000 neurons in the heart; in other words, there are cells in the heart that are communicating. Now, it is understood that there is two-way communication between the brain and the heart: the brain sends messages to the heart, but the heart also sends messages to the brain. The brain receives these messages from the heart, which reach the amygdala and the thalamus. The cortex receives input from the amygdala and thalamus that it processes to produce emotion; the new cortex relates to learning and reasoning. These processes are recent discoveries, and although we do not fully understand them, we do know that the heart is an extremely sophisticated organ.
According to the hadith, the heart is a source of knowledge. The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said that wrong action is what irritates the heart. Thus, the heart actually knows wrong actions, and this is one of the reasons why people can do terrible things, but, ultimately, they are affected negatively. In Crime and Punishment, the brilliant Russian author Dostoevsky's indicates that crime itself is the perpetrator's punishment because human beings have to live with the result of their actions: their souls are affected. When people do something against the heart, they act against the soul, and that actually affects human beings to the degree that they will go into a state of spiritual agitation, and people will use many ways to cover this up. This is what kufr is: "kufr" means "covering up." To hide their agitation, people use alcohol, drugs, and sexual experimentation; they also seek power, wealth, and fame, taking themselves into a state of heedlessness, submerging themselves into the ephemeral world which causes them to forget their essential nature and to forget their hearts. Thus, people become cut off from their hearts.
Wrong Actions Sicken the Heart
One of the things about being cut off from the heart is that the more cut off from the heart one becomes, the sicker the heart grows because the heart needs nourishment, and heedlessness starves the spiritual heart. When one goes into a state of unawareness of Allah and the akhirah, one becomes unaware of the infinite world in relation to the finite world, unaware that we are in this world for a temporary period. When we look at the infinite world in relation to the finite world, suddenly our concerns become focused on the infinite world and not on the finite world. On the other hand, when people are completely immersed within the finite world, believing that they will be here forever, believing that they will not be taken to account for their actions, this action in and of itself ultimately leads to the spiritual death of the hearts. However, before it dies and becomes putrid and completely fowl, the heart will show many symptoms. These are the spiritual diseases of the hearts.
Shubahat and Shahawat: Two Types of Diseases
There are two types of diseases of the heart. The first are called shubahat, and these are diseases that relate to understanding. For instance, if somebody is fearful of his provision from Allah, afraid he will not get his food for the day, then there is a disease in his heart because a sound heart has complete trust in Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, and a sick heart has doubt. For this reason, a sound heart does not worry. It is the nafs (ego), shaytan, hawa (caprice), and dunya (the love of this ephemeral world) that lead to this state of fear or of anxiety. The heart in it of itself is an organ designed to be in a state of stillness, but the stillness will only come about by the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. The Quran states, "Isn't it by the dhikr of Allah that the heart is stilled?" This is what the heart wants: it wants to remember Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. When Allah is not remembered, the heart goes into a state of agitation: it goes in a state of turmoil, and it becomes diseased because it is not being fed. Just as we need to breathe because cells need life-giving oxygen and if we stop breathing, cells die, similarly, the heart also needs to breathe, and the breath of the heart is the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. Dhikr is what feeds and nourishes the heart. The company of good people is the food and exercise of the heart. All of these things are necessary for the heart to be sound and healthy, and this is basically the purpose of Revelation. The Quran has come to remind people that our hearts need nourishment. Thus, Allah subhanahu wa t'ala tells us that the human being who will be in a good state in the next world is the one who brings a sound heart.
When we are born, we enter the world in a state of fitrah: the original inherent nature of the human being; then we learn to be anxious. We learn anxiety from our mothers, fathers, and society. Thus, the Quran says that the human being is created in a state of anxiety (hala'), and the one group of people who are removed from this state of anxiety are the musallin: the people of prayer. This "prayer" is not the five daily obligatory prayers; rather, it is the prayer of people who are always in a state of prayer (dhikr); they are always in a state of connection with Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, and this is the highest station. This is the station of people who are not diverted from the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala by buying, commerce, or anything else. They are the ones who remember Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, as the Quran states, "standing, sitting, and reclining on their sides." These are the people who are not the people of heedlessness (ghafla).
The second type of the diseases of the heart is called shahawat, and these are the base desires of the self. For instance, food and sex are shahawat; they are appetites. These become diseases when they grow out of proportion from their natural states. In Islam, we have a method or a means by which our hearts can be remedied and return to their sound state again. The dhikr that the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam did more than any other dhikr was "Oh Turner-Overer of the hearts, make my heart firm on your deen," and it is important that Muslims be reminded of this.
The Text: Mat-hartul Qulub
In Arabic, "Mat-hara" is ism makaan (a noun of place), and it means "a tool of tahara (purification)," and that is what Mat-hartul Qulub is. This text is the alchemy of the heart: it explains how to transform the heart. Mat-hartul Qulub was written by a great scholar, Shaykh Muhammad Maulud al-Musawir al-Ya'qubi from
Rectification Begins with the Self
If we look at the world today, the tribulations, the trials, and every war that we have, we will see that every bit of human suffering is rooted in human hearts. The reason people are aggressive against other people is due to diseases of the heart: covetousness, the desire to conquer, the desire to exploit other people, and the desire to steal their natural resources are all from diseases of the heart. A sound heart cannot commit such acts. Every murderer, every rapist, every idolater, every fowl person, every person showing an act of cruelty has a diseased heart because these actions emanate from diseased hearts. If the hearts were sound, none of these actions would be a reality. Therefore, if we wish to change our world, we cannot go about it by attempting to rectify the outward; rather, we change the world by rectifying the inward because it is the inward that precedes the outward.
In reality, everything that we see outside of us comes from the unseen world. The phenomenal world emerges from the unseen world, and all actions emerge from the unseen realm of our hearts. Thus, if we want to rectify our actions, we must first rectify our hearts. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the famous American preacher and civil rights activist, said that in order for people to condemn injustice, they have to follow four stages: the first stage is that they must ascertain that injustices are indeed being perpetrated. People must point out the injustices, and in his case, it was injustices against the African-American people in the
One of the things the Muslims of the modern world fail to recognise is that when we look at all of the terrible things that are happening to us, we often refuse to look at ourselves and ask ourselves, why are these things happening to us? If we ask that in all sincerity, the answer will come back in no uncertain terms that this is all from our own selves. We have brought all of the suffering upon ourselves. This is the only empowering position that we can take, and this is the Quranic position. Allah subhanahu wa t'ala says quite clearly that He places some of the oppressors over other oppressors because of what their hands were earning. According to Fakharudin ar-Razi's explanation, radi Allahu 'anhu, this verse means that whenever there is oppression in the earth, it is a result of other people's oppression. Thus, those people who are being aggressed upon are being oppressed because of their own oppression. However, this is obviously with the exception of tribulation. There are definitely times when the mu'minun are tried, but if they respond accordingly with patience and perseverance, Allah subhanahu wa t'ala always gives them victory.
The Impure Oppress and the Pure Elevate
There is no doubt that the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam and the sahaba were being oppressed when they were in Makkah, but Allah subhanahu wa t'ala later gave them victory. Within 23 years, the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam was not only no longer oppressed, he had conquered the entire Arabian peninsula, and all of the people who had previously oppressed him were begging him for mercy. Even though they deserved to be recompensed with punishment, the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam forgave them, and this is the difference between somebody whose heart is pure and somebody whose heart is impure. The impure people oppress, and the pure people not only forgive their oppressors, they actually conquer them by the power of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, and then they elevate them. This is what Muslims must recognise: the only solution to all of our problems is that we have to purify ourselves, and this is what Mat-hartul Qulub is about; it is a book of self-purification. If we take this book seriously, work on our hearts, and actually implement what we learn from it, we will begin to see changes in our lives, around us, and within our own family dynamics. It is a blessing that we have this book and that this teaching still exists in our community. All that is left is for us to take this teaching upon ourselves and to take it seriously.
Medicine for the Diseased Heart
If you use the techniques that are given by the imams, you will see results. However, it is just as the prescription that the doctor gives you: the doctor can only write the prescription; he can give you the medicine, but he cannot force you to take the medicine. It is left for us to take the medicine. The imams have given us the medicine: our teaching is there; it is clear; it does work; and we can change ourselves with it. If we do, Allah subhanahu wa t'ala has promised that we will be rewarded in this world and in the next. Thus, all that is left for us to do now is to go through these diseases and then set out to implement their cures in sha Allah.
Introduction and the Disease of Miserliness
Praise is due to the One who has clarified what is needed to purify the heart and adorn it.
Praise and peace be upon Muhammad and his family as long as he is the means by which it is achieved and grant him safety.
The lights of the pearls of tasawwuf in relation to other lights is like the pearl in relation to the oyster shell.
Or like the ninety-nine lines written in gold next to the one line written in ink.
Having said this, the condition of people, in this time of preoccupation and movement, seems to seek from me a book about the rectification of the hearts. Suddenly, I find a down-pouring of the bounty of Allah.
I responded by bringing forth a clarifying poem that fulfills the most important needs.
It draws the distant close even for one of slow comprehension, and with it the illiterate becomes literate.
Courtesy with Allah
I began by starting with the heart of beginnings (which is courtesy spelled backwards)
Since this is the highest and noblest of beginnings.
Thus, have courtesy with Allah, the High, the Majestic by practicing incessantly modesty and humility,
Dejected out of shame, humbled, imploring Him.
Shaykh Muhammad Maulud says in this poem, "Fa qultu badian bi qalbi al-bada'," and this line has two meanings. The first, more literal meaning is "I begin with the heart of beginnings." The word "al-bada'," has to do with "beginning," and the word "qalb" has two meanings: "heart" and "to turn over." Thus, this is a play on words, and so the author is also saying, "I am beginning by flipping the beginning over." If you flip over the word "bada'" (beginning), you get "adab" (courtesy). Hence, the author says he begins with adab because courtesy is the highest and noblest of beginnings, and Muslims should have adab with Allah.
The word "adab" has many meanings in Arabic. A person who is erudite is called "adib," because, generally, with learning comes manners. Thus, the root meaning of the word "adab" is related to "courtesy." In addition, a mu’addib is a teacher of children, and the word literally means "the one who is causing somebody to have adab." An educator of children is someone who teaches the students how to behave properly, and proper behaviour is at the heart of this science. Thus, the shaykh emphasises the extreme importance of having proper adab with Allah and of behaving properly with Him before anyone else.
Shame and Humility
We show adab to Allah in two ways: one, by expressing haya and the other, by having dhul. The root-word of "haya" is related to life. "Hay" means "living," and "hayat" means "life" itself. According to a famous Hadith, "Every religion has a quality that is characteristic of that religion, and the characteristic of my religion is haya." Haya is important not only in Muslim culture but in many other cultures as well, such as the Filipino culture. "Hayah," meaning shame in Tagalog, is significant to the Christian Filipinos as well as for many other northern Filipinos. (This is from the Muslim influence because the Muslims had a strong and lasting influence on the Filipinos before the Spanish arrived there).
Although this is no longer the case, there was once a time when if you had grown up in this culture, you most probably would have heard the phrase "shame on you" as a child. In modern American culture however, "shame" has become a bad word. We are told that shaming a child is a bad thing to do because it will harm the child's self-esteem. Therefore, everything a child does is okay, and we must make him feel good about himself, no matter what he does. If he just slit his brother's throat, they say, "well, he has had a trying childhood, so we have to make allowances for him." This is an extreme this culture has reached.
Anthropologists have divided traditional cultures into shame and guilt cultures where guilt is an inward mechanism, and shame is an outward mechanism. The word "guilt" comes from a German word that has to do with debt. When indebted, you feel an obligation to the person to whom you are indebted. The idea with guilt is that if you have done something wrong, there is an internal mechanism that caused you to feel guilty about your actions and thus you want to relieve that guilt by rectifying your wrongdoing.
Most primitive cultures are not guilt-based cultures but shame-based. For them, the reason why you refrain from doing something wrong is because you loathe being shamed by other people and do not desire others to say such things as, "How could you?", "How dare you!" or "Shame on you!" Furthermore, you do not want to bring shame upon your family, your tribe, and the like due to your own actions. While this culture has almost entirely lost and even dishonours this concept, Islam not only honors the idea of feeling shame for your wrong actions, it takes it to another level by instructing you to have shame before Allah and the unseen world. Thus, you recognise that even if people cannot see you, Allah and the angels always see you, so you have shame before Him and the angels. Hence, Muslims have a shame-based culture; however, that shame transcends the cultural sense of feeling shame towards one’s elders or towards one’s parents and takes it to another level which has an interior mechanism that is not akin to guilt.
"Haya" is having shame before Allah, and the author of this poem says that is part of having proper adab with Allah. Thus, if you want to have correct behaviour (adab) with Allah, then have a sense that Allah is always watching you so that you feel shameful to do something that is displeasing to Him. This is similar to the way most healthy people do not desire to act in a manner that displeases their parents because their parents are the means by which they came into existence. Their parents supported them; the mother cleaned the child when he was young and spent nights awake for him. By having this shame with his parents, the child honours them.
In addition to haya, Shaykh Muhammad Maulud says to have dhul. A dhalil person is someone who is lowly, abject, and humble. Although this is a negative quality when displayed towards others, it is a noble quality when shown toward Allah. The Quran mentions that people who incur the anger of Allah get dhul thrust upon them. The shaykh advises being dhalil before Allah alone. Al-dhalil is someone such as a slave who is afraid to do anything in the presence of his master; there is a type of humility before God contained in this idea.
Thus, according to the shaykh, a person with adab is one who possesses haya and dhul. Furthermore, he says that not only should you feel this haya and dhul, but you should also feel dejected out of shame before Allah. That is, you should feel you are munkasir, broken. You become broken in the presence of Allah when you recognise that you are bringing to Him nothing but yourself and your wrong actions. When you seriously ponder upon all that Allah has given you and then reflect over what you have given to Him in return, you really feel this breaking (inkisar) out of shame; you become humbled before Allah in awe, and you realise you can only implore Him to change your state.
Give up your desires for His, emptied of desire for what His servants have, hastening to fulfill His commands, fearful of the subtle fault of bad manners.
The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam is reported to have said "none of you truly believes until his desires are in accordance with the very thing that I brought." Muru'ah (virtuous merit) is what the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam brought, and that is what Allah subhanahu wa t'ala wants from us. Thus, the shaykh says that adab with Allah is to give up your designs for what Allah subhanahu wa t'ala desires for you to be emptied of desire, having no tam'a. Tam'a is greed, avarice, desire, wanting something out of situations, and having ulterior motives behind your actions. Al-tama'a is one who desires to know what he may gain out of all situations, asking himself, "what's in it for me?" According to the shaykh, we must rid ourselves of this attitude. We should desire nothing from the servants of Allah; rather, all of our desires should be sought from Allah subhanahu wa t'ala because He is the One who possesses everything.
Furthermore, the shaykh says that you should be quick to fulfill Allah's subhanahu wa t'ala commands and constantly be aware of the hidden fault of having bad adab with Him. The subtlety of bad adab is illustrated by the hadith, "A man amongst you will say a word giving it no consideration at all, and it will drag him 70 seasons in the hell fire." Thus, as this hadith demonstrates, if you do not learn the commands of Allah, you will not know when you are breaking them. For example, if you do not know what is a stop sign, you just pass right through it, unaware of having done something wrong. The problem is that accidents tend to occur when people, whether knowingly or unknowingly, do not follow the rules. Similarly, when we breach adab with Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, bad things happen: we bring harm upon ourselves, and this should be a serious fear of ours.
Once, a Mauritanian shaykh and I saw a mouse coming out of its hole, and we noticed that every time the mouse heard a sound, it would stop and shoot back into the hole. "That's taqwa," the shaykh explained. Taqwa is worrying about being eaten alive by your own mistakes. Having this kind of fear of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala ultimately turns into love, and that is the highest maqam (spiritual station). We do not fear Allah subhanahu wa t'ala because we think Allah subhanahu wa t'ala is horrible—the contrary is true: Allah subhanahu wa t'ala is the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Forgiving. However, at the same time, we wish not to incur the wrath of Allah because Allah does have wrath. Similarly, our parents will sometimes do painful things to us out of love, and often, we are not aware of the reason.
Servitude to Allah
If you realise your attributes of servitude, you are assisted with the attributes of the Independent One. Realise your abjectness and impoverishment, and you will gain dignity and wealth from the All-Powerful subhanahu wa t'ala.
Shaykh Muhammad Maulud then explains that if you realise the qualities of haya (shame), dhul (humility), and faqar (poverty) in yourself and empty yourself of all of their opposites, such as shameless behaviour and arrogance, then you will gain dignity and wealth from Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. Thus, by realising your 'ubudia (servitude) to Allah, you truly gain freedom.
Freedom is gained because in completing your servitude to Allah, you are no longer a slave to yourself, and such a person is in actuality the only free human being. If you cannot control yourself, you are a slave to yourself. Someone may claim to be free, but when the food shows up, he cannot resist and stop himself. Such behaviour does not indicate freedom as far as Muslims are concerned. Another person may also claim freedom, but when an opportunity to have an illicit relation emerges, he cannot control himself, even if he is the president of the
On the contrary, when such a situation arises for a person who is 'abd Allah, he has taqwa of Allah. Thus, even though the temptation might be there, as it is natural for human beings to have shahwa (desire), he can control it because he is not an ‘abd (slave) to his desire; rather, he is a sayyid (master) of it. If one has desire for one's spouse, then the shahwa is mubah (permissible). However, if the desire is for someone with whom such a relationship would be illicit, then the 'abd Allah does not even consider it, and such a person is a truly free person. The same applies to any other shahwa because the 'abd Allah is not a slave to any of his desires. They serve him, and he does not serve them.
The stronger your taqwa is, the more control you have over your desires. According to Imam al-Ghazali, the stomach and the genitals are the two most dominant desires, and if you can control these two, then the other ones become easy. In addition, the desire of using the tongue is something that also causes people trouble. There are people who cannot stop backbiting no matter how much they are admonished to stop. I have seen this occur a great deal. In fact, I once pointed out to a person that he was saying something wrong, and in less than three or four minutes, he began to say the same thing and was not even aware of what he was doing. This inability to control the tongue is a major problem for most of us. We speak badly about others, complain, and say other things that we should not be saying. Learning to control the tongue is an important matter.
Another problem with human beings is that we perceive these qualities that the shaykh mentions, of being impoverished and being humble, as abject qualities. We do not wish to be poor, yet the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam chose poverty over wealth. He had no money or jewellery in his house; he slept on the ground on a "bed" made of leather and palm fibres; he had only two pillows in his room for his guests to sit upon. He lived in total poverty. In this culture, if people lived like that, they would most likely be in a state of total humiliation and degradation, being concerned about what other people think, not about what is best for them. On the contrary, the shaykh says that if you realise your true state of 'ubudia to Allah, you will have dignity with Allah; that is, you will be mu'azaz with Allah no matter what your living conditions are in this world.
In Surah Yasin, we are told about the two people who came to warn the town's people of Allah's punishment, yet the town's people threatened them in return. Then Allah says, “Azazna bithalithin: We gave them ‘iza with a third”. Allah subhanahu wa t'ala gives 'iza to whomever He wants. He says, "Ya'izu man yasha'u wa yudhilu man yasha'u. Tu'izu man tasha'u wa tadhilu man tasha'u: You give iza to whomever You want, and You humble whomever You want." Amazingly, there are people in the world today who are out on the streets begging while their ancestors were people who used to rule the world. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala can do so to any people He wants.
A secret of creation is that if you realise the true attribute in yourself before Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, Allah subhanahu wa t'ala gives you its opposite. For example, if you realise humility before Allah, Allah will make you 'aziz before other people, giving you dignity because of your realisation of your true state of humility with Him. If you are arrogant with Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, He may let it go for a while, but when He takes you to account, He completely humbles you before everyone. This is a big secret that the shaykh gives us in this poem.
The Tongue: the Heart's Articulator
Indeed, there is no salvation like the heart's salvation as all the limbs respond to its desires.
Here, the shaykh reminds us that there is no salvation like the salvation of the heart because every limb answers to the heart. Thus, if your heart is saved, your limbs are saved whereas if your heart is not saved, your limbs are not saved. In relation to this, a hadith says, "the heart lies under the tongue" which means that the tongue is the interpreter of the heart as it tells you what is in the heart. A munafiq (hypocrite) is wretched for this very reason: he says with his tongue what is not in his heart. This is in opposition to the purpose of the creation of the tongue as the tongue was created to express what is in the heart. Thus, the hypocrite is in fact oppressing his tongue as well as his heart.
A hadith warns us that the tongue is what takes people to the hell fire. If the heart is rectified, then the tongue becomes sound as the tongue is the heart's articulator. For this reason, Allah subhanahu wa t'ala says, "Ya ayuhallathina amanuttaqu Allah wa qulu qawlan sadida. Yuslih lakum a'amalakum…" (33:70-71). Allah subhanahu wa t'ala tells you to be upright in the way you speak because when the tongue serves to translate what is in the heart, this is an indication that the heart is upright. Thus, if your tongue is upright, this means that your heart is upright. According to a hadith, all the limbs shake every morning when they wake up in the spiritual world and say to the tongue, "Itaqi Allah fina ini istakamta istakmina wa ini'wajajta i'wajajna: fear Allah with us because if you are straight, we are all straight, and if you go crooked, we are all crooked." Thus, the significance of the tongue is clear from this hadith, and therefore a good deal of spiritual work should be performed upon the tongue, such as practicing much dhikr (remembrance) of Allah. We should replace empty chatter with remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, using the tongue for what it was created for, and not wasting time with it. The tongue is second in its importance only to the heart and is connected strongly to the heart.
Stages to Allah
After you have a firm grasp of this foundation, then a mastery of the heart's infirmities is the second stage.
According to the shaykh, the beginning foundation of this science is realising what adab is and that the whole point of existence in this world is to have adab with Allah and with His creation. That is, you were created simply to have adab with Allah subhanahu wa t'ala and to have adab with the creation of Allah. According to a hadith, the Quran is called, "madabatu Allah: the place you learn adab with Allah subhanahu wa t'ala "because the Quran was revealed to teach us adab.
The shaykh says that after you have a firm grasp of this foundational understanding of adab, then a mastery of the heart’s infirmities is the second stage. Your ultimate goal, the highest station, is to be with Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, and you cannot reach the higher maqamat (spiritual stations) without having mastered the primary stations. You want to raise yourself in degrees, and you cannot get to the level you wish to reach without going up the stages (darajat). Allah subhanahu wa t'ala says that He raises people in degrees. The first degree is recognising that you want adab, and then you have to recognise that what is preventing you from getting it is a diseased heart.
The Obligation of a Pure Heart
Knowledge of the heart's aliments, what causes all of them, and those things that remove them is an obligation incumbent upon every responsible individual.
Knowledge of the diseases of the heart, what causes them, and how to remove them is an obligation incumbent upon every human being: it is a binding obligation on every adult Muslim. According to the scholars of Islam, you must have some knowledge of the diseases in order to be able to free yourself from them. This ruling is based on the Quranic verse: "Qad aflaha man zakaha wa qad khaba man dasaha: the one who nurtures his soul is the one who has success, and the one who stunts its growth is destroyed" (91:9-10). Thus, the Quran is talking about tazkiya of the nafs. Allah also says, "Yawma la yanfa'u malun wa la banuna illa man ata Allaha bi qalban salim: on that day, neither wealth nor children will benefit, only the one who comes to Allah with a pure heart" (26:88-89). Thus, according to the Quran, the only people saved on the Day of Judgment are people with qulub salima (sound hearts). "Salim" (sound) is related to the word "aslama" because "Islam" is moving towards that state of soundness.
The Inherent Nature of Man: Good or Evil?
This is the ruling of Imam al-Ghazali. This ruling does not apply to one who was granted a sound heart according to scholars other than al-Ghazali.
Al-Ghazali reckoned the heart's illnesses inherently part of a human being. Other scholars deemed them predominant in man but not necessarily qualities inherent to his nature.
In agreement with Imam al-Ghazali's ruling, the shaykh states that purification of the heart is an obligation upon every individual. Imam al-Ghazali is really the master of this science, and this poem is an abridgement of al-Ghazali's fourth volume of the Ihya, the section on munjiat wal muhlikat. Not only is al-Ghazali radi Allahu 'anhu a master of this science, he is also the mujadid (reviver of Islam) of the fifth century according to the consensus of the ‘ulama who came after him. Al-Ghazali considers knowledge of the diseases of the heart fard 'ayn, incumbent upon every individual Muslim, because he considers the diseases of the heart to be instinctual, something that is inherent to the human condition and part of the Adamic nature (kharaiz). Some other scholars disagree: they maintain that while these diseases are predominant in man, nevertheless, there are some people who are born with a completely pure heart having none of the diseases, and therefore knowledge of this science is not obligatory upon those people.
For example, there are altruistic children who have no problem with sharing: they are not greedy about toys. Although this is not the norm, they do exist. Some hearts, for some reason and whatever secret, do not suffer from diseases of the heart, but most do. Children manifest diseases such as greed, avarice, and hatred. Little children will say, "I hate you." They have learned the concept of hate, and at that brief moment of uttering those words, hatred is what they feel. Thus, these diseases begin to show up even in children, and we believe that all children are born into fitra (a natural, inherent state). Hence, if these diseases are in fact inherent, do Muslims then believe in the Christian concept of original sin, that people are corrupt by nature?
The difference between the Muslims and Christians on this issue is that according to the Muslims, there is an inclination to these diseases that is instinctual. Muslims do not believe in any way that this inclination is a result of the wrong action of Adam 'alayhi salaam because we do not believe that Prophet Adam 'alayhis salaam did anything to bring the wrath of Allah upon himself; we do not believe that he fell from Grace. Such ideas are Christian. According to the Quran, Adam 'alayhis salaam is a prophet who made tawbah to Allah, and Allah accepted his tawbah, and therefore, he has no blemish. His offspring do not suffer because of anything he did.
What, then, do we mean by the fact that there is an instinctual inclination that manifests in the erring of human beings? This relates to the black area of the heart. The heart is a spiritual organ, and inside the heart, there is a black dot, a seed that has the potential of spreading like cancer and overwhelming the heart. For example, although most people are unaware of this, many people in the world have tuberculosis. They have a bacillus in their lungs, but it is dormant. If they were in a situation where they began to get ill or starve and their immune system shut down, then the tuberculosis would emerge. Similarly, there is a dormant element in the human heart that, if nurtured, will destroy the human being. For this reason, a hadith says that if the son of Adam does something wrong, a black spot appears on his heart. If a person makes tawbah, the black spot gets erased, but if he does not, the black spot continues to grow until the whole heart becomes pitch black. This is when one loses his humanity. We often refer to this as hard-heartedness.
This idea of the heart's ability to become corrupt, lose its light, and turn black is found in many cultures. For example, a Hausa man in
Understand that complete obliteration of these diseases until there is no trace is simply not in the capacity of human beings.
While knowledge of the diseases and their removal is obligatory, keep in mind that to remove these diseases until nothing is left is not in the human capacity. The Quran says, "Wa man yuka shuha nafsihi fa ulayka humulmuflihun: the one who has protection from the evil of his soul is from the people of success." Allah subhanahu wa t'ala does not say "the one who removes that shuh (evil) or the one the shuh is removed from." Rather, Allah subhanahu wa t'ala says, "the one who is protected from it." This is similar to that bacillus sitting in the lungs: if you are protected from it, it never becomes tuberculosis; it only remains dormant.
According to a hadith, every child is born on fitra. Many Muslims think this hadith means that every child is born a Muslim. However, the hadith does not say that. The Quran refers to Islam as "din al-fitra," so Islam is fitra, and this means that we are naturally inclined to Islam. "Fitra" is the inherent nature that human beings incline towards naturally, and what the human being is naturally inclined to is goodness. When human beings are raised and nurtured correctly, they usually incline towards the truth. However, they also have the susceptibility to go astray.
Obviously, there are various factors that affect the fitra state; one of them is legitimacy. According to the sharia', there is no fault on the child, but there is an effect that illegitimacy has in the unseen realm, and this is confirmed by several hadiths. Thus, it is important for people to choose righteous mates before having children. If there were no reality to the parents, there would be no meaning to choosing righteous people as mates.
When choosing a husband, a woman should look for his taqwa, and when choosing a wife, a man should look for her deen. One of the salaf said, "Don't marry your daughter except to a taqy (a man of taqwa) because if he loves her, he will show her ihsan (goodness), and if he doesn't like her, he will not oppress her." When marrying, you should think of future generations and want your children to be raised properly. The parents are important, and the effects they have on a child are extraordinary, so you want parents who have taqwa and deen.
Be as it may, here I am giving you what you need to know of their definitions, their aetiology, and their cures.
The shaykh says he is going to give us the definitions of the diseases of the heart from their root, explaining how the diseases are caused and how to cure them. He begins with bukhl, not because it is the worst disease but because he is going in alphabetical order.
The Diseases and their Cures
To begin with, the refusal to give what is necessary either by sacred law or by virtuous merit is the essence of miserliness that is mentioned (among the diseases of the heart).
A bakhil is a miser. Bukhlun is miserliness. According to the shaykh, the refusal to give what is necessary either by sacred law or by virtuous merit is at the essence of miserliness. Thus, there are two aspects to bukhl, one that relates to the sacred law (shari'a) and the other to muru’ah (virtuous merit). Muru’ah is an important concept in Arabic, and it comes from the word for "man." Its meaning has connotations of chivalry, manhood, and virtue.
As for the necessities of sacred law, they are such things at zakat, support of one's dependents, and similar rights due to others, such as relieving one in distress.
An example of the first aspect of bukhl that is related to shari'a is failure to give zakat. If you are not giving zakat, you are bakhil by shari'ah, and that bukhl is haram (forbidden). The same is true for a man who is not giving support (nafaqat) for his wife and children because men are maintainers and caretakers of women and children. If a man gets divorced, he must pay child support because that is a shari'ah right of the mother of his children. Similarly, the shari'ah demands that you fulfill the rights of other people and spend on others where the need exists if you have been given the capacity to do so. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says, "In their wealth there's a haq (right) to the beggar and to the one who doesn't have money and so his needs are not taken care of." The miser is the one who does not take care of people even though he is able to do so. These examples are related to shari'ah.
Examples of meritorious character are not giving people a hard time over some paltry matter or abandoning nitpicking over trivialities.
Avoiding such things is even more important for a neighbour, a relative, or a wealthy person or when hosting guests or concerning something in which such behaviour is simply inappropriate, such as purchasing a shroud. The same is true for one buying a sacrificial animal or purchasing something one wants to donate to the needy.
Not being bakhil by standards of muru’ah (virtuous merit) has to do with not constricting people or making matters difficult for them. The shaykh's example of this is not giving people a hard time over some paltry, insignificant, trivial matter. For instance, if someone owes you ten dollars, and you give him a hard time over it even though you have plenty of money and have no need for it, then you are considered bakhil by the standards of muru’ah, not by shari'ah. You have a right to that money by shari'a, but by muru'ah, such an attitude is despicable. The shaykh points out that refraining from such an attitude is even more important when dealing with a neighbour or a relative.
Furthermore, it is even worse to lack virtuous merit if you are wealthy because a wealthy person should have a type of magnanimity, a generosity that allows one to say, "don't worry about it" to others. According to a hadith, there was a wealthy man who had no good actions to his record except that he used to say to his servant when he went to collect money, "If they don't have it, tell them they don't have to worry about it." On the Day of Judgment, Allah subhanahu wa t'ala says to the angels, "this man was forgiving of people's transgressions against him, and I am more worthy of forgiving transgressions." Thus, Allah subhanahu wa t'ala says, "if he is going to forgive people for the debts that were owed to him, then I'll forgive him for the debts he owes Me." Having this kind of muru'ah is not insignificant: wealthy people are encouraged to let go of debts they really do not need paid off. If the wealthy see the indebted are having a hard time, they should just say "Bismillah. Don't worry about it;" such an attitude is encouraged by the shari'a also.
Similarly, if you are hosting a guest, and your guest spills something on the carpet, you should not say, "Can't you watch yourself a little bit? That's a brand new carpet I have;" saying such a thing is not showing muru'ah. On the contrary, you should try to keep them from feeling bad, saying such things as, "Don't worry about it. I love tea on my carpet. In fact, I heard a proverb that says, 'The best thing for a carpet is spilt tea.'" Obviously, this proverb makes the guest feel good when he spills tea. The point is that you do not show more concern for you carpet than for your guest.
The shaykh also gives the example of buying a funeral shroud. Haggling over the price is inappropriate because the funeral shroud should remind you of death, and you should put things into perspective, forgetting about the ephemeral world. The same advice applies to buying a sacrificial animal. Since you are sacrificing an animal for Allah, you should want to get a good animal and not say, "No, no; that’s too much." In addition, when purchasing something you wish to donate to needy people, you should desire to get something that is good and not cheap or else bukhl is exhibited in that act. Similarly, trying to get a bargain for something you are going to give as sadaqah for the sake of Allah is bukhl.
E.J. Cullen wrote a brilliant short story about a rummage sale for the church, "How Some People Feel about Jesus." In it, Cullen pointed out that people cared so much about the church that they were going to sell their worst junk to support it with their rummage sales. Muslims may learn from this important idea: it is shocking that some Muslim mosques are also having these rummage sales. You should give the masjid the best things you have, not the worst things or the garbage you wish to get rid of.
Thus, one who makes matters difficult for one whose rights make it clearly inappropriate to do so has indeed torn away the veils of dignity. This is as the majestic and wise guides have stated.
The same goes for one who fulfills his obligations without good cheer or spending from the least of what he possesses.
If you owe someone, such as your neighbour, a right and go to fulfill that right to him but are an unpleasant with him in doing so, then that is inappropriate. Furthermore, the shaykh says that by being unpleasant, you have torn away the veils of your dignity and of your muru’ah, and this is according to the "majestic and wise guides" who are the ‘ulama. Thus, someone who fulfills his obligations without good cheer falls into this category, such as a man who frowningly or proudly says, "Here's your zakat" to the receiver. The proper way to give zakat is to actually put your hand down, allowing the recipients to take it with their hands above yours. You should give it to them with a smiling face feeling honored to pay your zakat. Indeed, the recipients of your zakat truly are honouring you by helping you to fulfill the haq of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala.
Thus, by the standards of both shari'ah as well as muru'ah, bukhl is considered low in Islam as karam (generosity) is one of the highest qualities of our Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam. In fact, it could be said that his karam follows immediately after his rahmah (mercy). "Inna akramakum ‘inda Allah atqakum: indeed, the most karim of you in the sight of Allah is he who has the most taqwa" (49:13). The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam was the most atqa (person with taqwa) of us, so he was the most generous, the noblest. "Karim" means generous and noble, so the Arabs view generosity as nobility. Allah is al-Karim, the Generous. Therefore, it is important to recognise that doing just what the shari'a states is not enough: you should go above and beyond that by showing generosity to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala.
Its root is love of this world for its own sake or just so the self can acquire some of its fleeting pleasures.
The origin of this disease is love of dunya (this ephemeral world). You are bakhil because you love the stuff with which you are bakhil. If you did not love it, then giving it up would be easy: you would just say "bismillah" and give it up. However, when you love something, you want to hold on to it. In Mexican culture, they say kudah, meaning he has no hand to give out; he got cut off at the elbow; he is cheap. Similarly, another word for bakhil is mumsik. "Mumsik" means "constipated"; the idea is that the mumsik is unable to let go of what is actually of beneficial to let go. Thus, if you do not give out from your wealth, it will poison and kill you. You must let it go. For this reason, imsak is miserliness.
Furthermore, the root word for pure gold ('ikyan) is 'iky which is the meconium stool of an infant. Thus, gold is related to feces. In a hadith in the musnad of Imam Ahmad, the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Allah has made what comes out of the son of Adam a metaphor for the dunya." Ultimately, the dunya is like that: it is beautiful while it lasts, but in the end, it is what it is.
The height of dunya is gold, and the desire to hold on to it is like someone who cannot let go of his waste matter. Zakat is considered the waste matter of your wealth; it purifies your wealth. For this reason, bani Hashim, the family of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam cannot take zakat. It is the filth of your wealth because everyone who earns money will always have doubtful (shubahat) or prohibited matters (muharramat) in their wealth acquisition: there are always doubtful matters concerning financial transactions, and by giving zakat, you are purifying your wealth. Similarly, when you eat food, there is benefit and harm in your food. Hopefully, the body absorbs the benefit and removes the harm. The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said a du'ah after coming out of the bathroom: "Praise be to the One who has provided me with its delight (the taste of the food) and retained in me its benefit (its strength, the energy derived from food) and removed from me its harm." The idea here is much like the idea behind zakat: with it, Allah allows you to remove what is harmful from your wealth. When the bakhil holds on to his wealth, it harms him in the end.
According to Imam Ali, the worst person is the bakhil because in dunya, he is mahrum (deprived), and in akhira, he is mu'adhab (punished). In dunya, he does not even benefit from his wealth. There are several hidden millionaires in
Hence, the origin of this disease is either love of dunya for its own sake, simply because it is dunya, or because the self wants some benefit from the dunya. However, ibn Hazam would probably say that one of the benefits that the self is trying to secure by hoarding wealth is to alleviate the fear of poverty. The fact that the bakhil has millions in the bank makes him feel good even though he is not benefiting from it. This feeling is assuaging his hala' (anxiety). The amazing thing is that such people never feel good because they are always worried about such things as the stock index, NASDAQ. They pace up and down when the prices are falling, exclaiming, "Oh look at that! What's going to happen? I am only worth six billion now; I was worth 12 billion." There is such a man, and he is 70 years old; even if he set out to spend one million dollars every day for the rest of his life, he would be unable to finish the amount of money he has. Bukhl is a deep disease; ultimately, it is a type of worshiping of money. How wretched is the servant of the dinar and the dirham, "trusting in the almighty dollar," as they say. One day, when the stock market crashes, it is gone; and it may be sooner than when we think.
The Cure to Bukhl
Treat it by realising that those who indeed have achieved it (dunya) did so only by exhausting themselves over long periods of time. By doing so, they finally did accumulate the very things they were seeking.
Bukhl's cure is realising that those who achieved dunya did so by exhausting themselves over a long period of time. Thus, ask yourself how bad you want dunya. If you want it really bad, you have to work for it, and working for it means working day and night while life passes you by. Many people spend a tremendous amount of time at work; they never have time for their families because of dunya. They possess that "I have to keep working and making more and more" mentality. It becomes an obsession. Actual life passes them by, and the experiences of life are lost. People are obsessively searching for wealth and security, and in the end, their lives are over. The shaykh is telling us to look at those people and how they exhausted themselves chasing after the dunya.
Meanwhile, just as they are approaching the heights of its splendour, suddenly, without their permission, death assails them.
Just as they are beginning to get everything they want, suddenly, without their permission, death assails them. Dodi and Diana are good examples of that. People in
(Treat it also by recognising) the disdain shown to misers and the hatred people have for them even amongst themselves.
Nobody likes a miser. Even misers do not like each other.
With the same treatment, treat the one whose heart's ailment is love of wealth.
The disease of hub al dunya (love of the ephemeral world) is treated as you treat bukhl. The two diseases are related as we have already seen.
Diseases: Batar (wantonness)
Batar is wantonness or excessive mirth, too much exuberance. Inability to bear the blessings of this world (reckless extravagance). "How many cities have we destroyed they were so happy with their livelihood now look at their empty places?".
Every child in
Treat it with hunger and thoughts of death and al-akhirah. In traditional medicine related to spiritual cosmology too much food killed the spiritual heart. Which is seen in the physical heart too. Too much food causes the physical heart to literally harden (the heart is a metaphor for the spiritual world).
Abu Madyan Shuaib, one of the great spiritual masters of
Doing dhikr of the states of akhira is important.
Diseases: Bughud (Hatred)
Hatred for other than the sake of Allah. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) didn't hate things for their essence but he hated the manifestation of their actions. Incompatibility with someone is normal but that doesn't mean we should hate them. There was once a hadith where the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was sitting with his companions and he told them, "Shall I point to you one of the people of the Station of Paradise?" and they said "yes", so he pointed to a man that was walking by. One of the Sahabas decided to befriend the man, and asked him if it was okay if he followed him around. The man agreed. The Sahaba noticed that the man was just an average Muslim. He didn't do anything out of the ordinary, didn't pray at night, or fast as much...So he wondered what his secret was. When he finally asked the man, the man replied "I can't think of anything, but at night I do not go to sleep with rancor in my heart against any other Muslim". The Sahaba immediately knew that that was his secret. (This and other hadiths are roughly paraphrased).
Pray for the one you don't like. Make dua specifically for them, and for Allah to remove the rancour in your heart.
Disease: Al Baghyu (Harming creation when there is no just cause)
This is a deep and wretched disease.. Baghi is a root word for prostitution in arabic. Bagha means to desire. The root of oppression is desire. According to Buddhists the fundamental disease is desire. "Your oppression is against your own selves" (10:23). Root of it, is love of position. We should contemplate on how many an amir dies and when he is buried he is the same as everyone else around him? Know that this desire is an inclination toward the servants of Allah, taking you away from Him.
You will be worn out trying to kiss up to people, and you will still have enemies. People are selfish in nature.The concern with other's affection leads to hypocrisy, riyaa, manipulation, not only that, don't expect the pleasure of Allah, if you are seeking the pleasure of others. Honour people according to their level of knowledge and taqwa.
The one whose heart is encrusted with the love of this dunya his treatment is certainty. Thus place death in front of your eyes to cleanse the heart. Once Aisha (radhiallaahu anha) was asked what was the most wonderous thing about the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)? She said "Everything about him was wonderous!" She continued "When the night came and everyone went to be with their lover, he went to be with Allah subhanahu wa t'ala (his beloved)". Death is close and dunya is nothing compared to the akhirah. Death could be the next breath, step, etc.
Keep death close to you and you will be living in the present, not regretting over the past or hoping for the future. Everyone is dead except the one who lives in the present moment. The dunya is a bridge so pass over it, and don't build on it. We should love things that are means to bring us to Allah, which is Wajib, then there is a love which is Mubah (unblameworthy) such as love for your children, wives, etc, there is love that is Makruh and love that is Haram. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) reminded us not to curse the world because Allah subhanahu wa t'ala created it and it is a means to reach Allah. Alam is the world, dunya is the ephermeral aspect of the world. Alam-Aalamah- is the greatest sign of Allah. Anything that is obtained by necessity of life on earth is not considered dunya, even the first wife is not considered dunya (and others if married for reasons of protection, orphanage etc). Someone who earns wealth for Tafakhur/arrogance/show off is despicable.
Disease: Madah (love of praise)
Love of praise for other than what Allah has praised them for. It is okay to be praised for what you have done, but don't even desire it except from Allah. Madah that's haraam is flattery. That's why the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "throw dust at the face of Flatterers". Telling someone genuinely that you have done something well, and them accepting it is not blameworthy.
Tamaa is the reason people praise others, and like to be praised for what they didn't do.
A good example of this is in situations of higher education, where you have Professors getting praised for work solely done by their graduate students, or in Corporations where the manager gets the praise for the team work, or governments, etc.
Hasad is a serious disease. There is a difference of opinion on whether it is a root disease or a disease- As the source of it is still desire/Tama. Hasad was the first manifestation of wrong in the heavens. Nothing prevented Iblis from bowing down except hasad or Tazzuz and Takabbur. Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "Hasad eats good deeds like fire eats dry wood". Mahsud is he object of envy. Hasid is the envier. "Wahisidin Idha Hasad"- Hasid is the Shaytan, and to have envy is to manifest one of the attributes of the Shaytan. Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) "Every possessor of a blessing is envied". It doesn't matter at what level it is happening but it happens on all fronts of society. The one who envies is harmed faster than the one who is envied. The evil eye is related to hasad but not necessarily as some people may just have psychic powers that can affect others negatively.
Every culture has a concept of the evil eye, it is a universal concept, though now looked upon as superstitious by many westerners. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) "The evil eye is true". This is from a man who worked hard to dispel superstitions. When his son died, there was an eclipse of the moon. To the Arabs at that time the moon eclipses at the death of a great man, and soon people were claiming that. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "The moon is a sign of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala and the Sun is a sign of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala and none of them eclipse for anyone".
Hasad is manifested in ones desire for the loss of someone else's blessing. eg. hoping that someone loses a job, her husband, etc. Na’ima which comes from an Arabic word Na’ima (Softness or that which makes things easier). If Allah subhanahu wa t'ala gives someone a blessing, and you envy that then you are judging Allah's wisdom in bestowing that blessing to someone.
There was a story of a Sahaba called Al asmai, who used to wander to different camps/tents to collect wisdom. One day he went to a bedouin camp, and both the husband and wife were there (as was the norm) to entertain him. The husband was an incredibly ugly man, and the wife a gorgeous woman. When the husband left to slaughter a sheep, Al asmai turned to the wife and couldn't help but say "How could someone as beautiful as you end up with such an ugly man?" The woman told him, "Fear Allah ya Al-asmai. You never know, maybe my husband did something good and I am his blessing or I did something bad and he is my punishment!"
Al-Asmai learned never to question Allah's na’imah.
The difference between Adam and Iblis is that Adam repented. The Hasud/Iblis did not feel the need to repent because he felt he was better. There is a hadith that states "A mu'min is not safe from 3 things, and one of them is hasad".
If you have envy as long as you don't harm the individual even when you are in a position to do so, then it is not bad hasad if your taqwa prevents you from harming that person. Imam Ghazali said that if you despise that part of yourself that causes you to envy then it is a sign that you aren't an envious person. There is the nafs and Ruh and there aren't much different from each other. The nafs is the ruh that is still tarnished by being in this world, we have to recognise this within ourselves. If you detest this lower self then it is a sign that the Ruh is a stronger force within you. It is dawa/medicine is not to follow your caprice, hawaa, desires. Hawaa means to fall or wind.
The nature of hawaa/passion is like a wind, it comes stirs things up, and then dies dwon. If you follow this then you are following whims. Truth is firm, and falsehood transient. Hawiya is the name of Jahannam and it is hawaa that takes you there. To do the opposite of what your hawaa dictates. e.g if your hawaa wants to harm the person then give the person a gift, praise the person when the inclination is to say something bad about him.
If the person is good, then his heart will be inclined
towards you and inshaAllah this will change your heart too.
Know that hasad harms the hasid in this world, because you will always be anxious and mad "Why did he get that promotion?". You become obsessed with the object of your envy. There is an Aab saying "Al Hasud la Yasud" -the one who envies can't get into a leadership position. We as Modern day Muslims are filled with envy for the Kuffar in the west because the bottom line is that they have dunya and we don't. Or people from other countries who always diss the Gulf Arab for their riches and how they are wasting it, but if they were in that situation they would probably do the same thing. We have to question our anger, is it from hasad? Or is it really being stimulated by an altruistic desire?
Communism is another example of pure Hasad. Marx's writing is filled with resentment. "Getting what belongs to us from the rich people". From a shariah perspective both the rich and poor have an obligation, the rich not to undermine or belittle the poor, and the poor not to envy or want to overthrow the rich.
In Islam a woman gets part of the inheritance as well as it is spread amongst the rest of the family. Traditionally in Islam there is a strong middle class, which is a balancing force for the society. If a society is made up of a huge gulf between the rich and poor, it becomes a breeding ground for resentment, and revolutions to occur. Beware of self righteous indignation because it may fall into the realm of hasad.
A lot of communists suddenly became Islamists and Islam became a vehicle for the anger that is not rooted for the sake of Allah but rooted in not being satisfied with their worldly position. When you envy it doesn't benefit you or make the person lose the blessing, because ultimately Allah subhanahu wa t'ala gives and takes from who He will.
Enmity: A good example of this is the anti American feeling around the world, yet people are obsessed with the American culture.
Tahabbub: A type of hasad where two or more people have the same object of desire. eg. siblings fighting for parental love, or the disease of the second wife (that's why Shariah is adamant on being fair to the wives). Dharr- is a term referring to a second wife and it also means harm.
Takkabur: Arrogance is the root of this envy. Some Arabs such as Al Waleed ibn Mughairah and Abu Jahl were against the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) because he was "yateem Banu Hashim", an orphan, didn't have status, doesn't "deserve" this blessing. Pharaoh had this same disease when it came to Musa (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also Iblis.
Tawazzuz: Not wanting to disturb the status quo. As long as we have the same thing, then it iokay. But once you move forward then I will re attempt to re establish the equilibrium, because feeling of self worth is threatened. Arabs couldn't believe the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was chosen by Allah subhanahu wa t'ala "but he is a man just like us?", "may be if he were a king, or angel"...etc.
Ta’ajjub: Rooted in disbelief. "I can't believe this is happening to them"
Hubbul Riyasa: Love of position/leadership, wanting to maintain authority. If someone gets a blessing then that threatens the authority of the hasud.
Because these diseases are part of our nature, the purpose is to then transform them so that they can be beneficial to us. Getting your disability to become advantageous to you. In Native American cultures they used to name their children names with disabilities such as lame deer, etc this is because they noticed that animals with disabilities overcompensated for their disadvantage.
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “There is no envy except in two cases: one who uses his wealth for the sake of Allah, and one given wisdom and he teaches is to others". Ghibta is good envy, when you envy a person based on higher things (not dunya things), so that you can be like them. You do not wish that they lose their blessings. It is okay to have hasad for a Kaffir or bad Muslim because they are using their blessings for bad things.
Blameworthy Modesty: although modesty is part of faith, it can become blameworthy. e.g when modesty prevents you from stopping a wrong from happening. In order for something to become a Munkar though it has to be agreed upon by all scholars to be wrong (you can't make a munkar on something where there is a difference of opinion on it).
When modesty prevents you from asking questions concerning the deen. Aisha (radhiallaahu anha) praised the Ansari women because modesty didn't prevent them from asking questions.
As for hayaa of generosity it is not blameworthy. The example is when the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) married Zainab (radhiallaahu anha), he invited people over for the waleema and all the guests left except 3. They were enjoying the company and didn't leave, even though it was the Prophet’s (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), first wedding night! The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), didn't say anything. After a while, he left the room, then came back (to give them a hint), and they still didn't leave. He then left the room and came back again. An Ayah was then revealed to leave the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) when business was done. This is not blameworthy hayaa, because it was out of the Prophet’s (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) karam that he didn't kick them out. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "If modesty had been a man, it would have been a righteous man".
The heart's engagement with things that don't concern it.
Khawdh is the heart's reflection with things that are prohibited (Takhayyur when you think about sensory things).
e.g reflecting on the beauty of those that are non-Mahram, or reflecting on the weaknesses and faults of Muslims whether they are present or absent. Toobah is a tree in Jannah that is for people who focus on their own faults and not others. Another example of blameworthy thoughts is reflecting on Allah's essence, it is s haraam.
Fear of Poverty
The origin of fear of poverty is a bad opinion of Allah. The shaytaan promises us poverty/faqar. Allah promised to provide for us *if* we have Taqwa.
There was a Jewish man who used to sell oil, he was poor, covered in oil etc. One day this famous wealthy Aalim, passed by, riding on a white horse. The Jewish man walked up to him and asked "Did you relate that this dunya is a paradise for a non believer and a prison for the believer?" The alim said "yes". The Jewish man then asked "Tell me what kind of paradise am I in? And what kind of prison are you in!" The Aalim paused for a second looked up, then down, then responded "When I contemplate upon what is prepared for you in the hereafter because of your disbelief, I can only assume you are in paradise! When I reflect upon what is prepared for me in form of the delights of Akhirah I can only conclude that I am in prison!". The Jewish man immediately took the Shahada!
The point is poverty is relative and the fear of it is a foolish thing. If you are in poverty, you won't have anything to fear...you are already impoverished. If you have wealth and are afraid of poverty, then what's the point of being wealthy! Most of the people that are afraid of poverty, have no clue what real poverty is about! Mark Twain once said "Most of my problems I never actually saw". It is all in the head. "Anxiety is half of growing old" The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said. He also said "Righteousness will lengthen your life". The interpretation is that people who are righteous don't have anxiety. The non believers are consumed with restlessness and anxiety that ages them quicker. Allah is the Razzaq, the perpetual provider.
Allah's dominion is never diminished by His giving/bestowing. "Contentment is a treasure that's never exhausted" The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said. Know that Rizq that is allotted to you will reach you. Your rizq which was allotted to you in your mother's womb, is that which you will use. If you die and there is a million dollars you left behind, that money is not your rizq, it's the rizq of your heirs. There is a book written "How to live wealthy and die broke"- Such a selfish concept!!!
Mudahana (using religion to benefit your dunya)
One who uses his religion to benefit his dunya is a psycopathic hypocrite. Imam Ibn Khaldun "We try to saw our dunya by ripping our deen apart. So our deen does not remain and our dunya is never rectified". We lose both e.g when you are afraid to make inkaar because it's your job and you are afraid to lose it.
Duhun is covering up/oil using in cosmetics. Mudahanna is sitting with people of disobedience, praising their actions, etc in order to gain some worldly favour. Mudarrat - this concept is different from Mudahana. This is when we are nice to someone but not at the sake of our deen, in order to get some worldly benefit. An example is using your worldly position to help others. This is not blameworthy. It is a rukhsa to do worldly things.
The root cause is desire/tamaa, and doing worship to impress others (riyaa). Riyaa is lesser polytheism. "The thing that I fear most for my ummah is riyaa". The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: If it is something like showing off your worldly skills such as archery, then this is blameworthy by virtue but not Shariah.
There are three characteristics of riyaa:
a) Laziness and lack of actions when you are not around people.
b) When people are around you increase your worship and energy for worship. There is definitely an element of increase in energy when you are around righteous people, which is why we are told to have good company. It only becomes riyaa when you do it for the sole purpose of impressing others.
c) Increasing actions when one is praised and decreasing them when not being praised. The example of a person who was praying, and people were talking about how MashaAllah he is always praying etc. The person in the middle of his prayer goes "What about my fasting?"
It is not
bad to encourage others to do good, because the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa
sallam) did it.
It is to remove from the heart 4 things:
1. Love of praise from other than Allah.
2. Fear of blame from other than Allah.
3. Desire of worldly benefit from people
4. Fear of harm from people.
Have yaqeen/certainty that no harm and no benefit can come to you except from Allah. Don't be deluded by praise/blame from others as it is all related to your worldly position. When you have nothing it is difficult to have friends. But when you start gaining status or wealth then all of a sudden you have many friends. In traditional Muslim world people used to vie for knowledge as this was what people were respected for, not wealth, sadly this is not the case anymore.
Hellen Keller's autobiography is very powerful. She was deaf, dumb and blind and this is a story of the awakening of her consciousness. She wasn't born that way, but became blind as a result of scarlet fever when she was less than two years old. She said the fact that she can remember what a tree looks like, though she saw it when she was a baby pretty much, is enough for her. She said that there is no slave in this world that didn't have a king in his ancestry and no king in this world that didn't have a slave in his ancestry.
The point is nothing is permanent in this dunya. The history of Al Mansur, a minister in
The worst is that which is done to display virtue so one is entrusted with an endowment eg. an orphan's wealth so that he can misuse it. In Morroco there are those who do dhikr and praises of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) for money. It's pretty sad.
Scholars are of two opinions concerning riyaa. e.g If you recite Suratul Waqiah for the sole reason of not being afflicted by poverty (this is according to the Prophet’s (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) hadith that if your read Suratul Waqiah everyday you will not be afflicted by poverty). Another example is to worship just for the sake of akhirah. Some say this is permissible since Allah encourages us to strive for Jannah by doing good deeds. The people of Tassawuf on the other hand, are extremely down on this. They say that we should worship for the sole purpose of pleasing Allah subhanahu wa t'ala and not for the reward. Rabiah said "Go after the Gardener not the garden!". She also said "Oh Allah, if I worship you for the fear of hell fire, then throw me into hell. If I worship you for the desire of Jannah then lock the gates of paradise from me.” That is a bit of an extreme position but it depends on your station/maqam.
Ghazali said there are three types of worship:
1. The worship of a free man: Worships Allah subhanahu wa t'ala for the sake of His pleasure.
2. The worship of a merchant: Worship Allah subhanahu wa t'ala for the sake of Jannah (if I do this many hasanaat I will get this much) "What's in it for me syndrome".
3. Worship of a slave: Worship Allah subhanahu wa t'ala for the fear of Jahannam.
Allah subhanahu wa t'ala is encouraging us to do both Maghfirah and strive for Jannah. He uses both Takhwif (fear of hell) and Targhib (desire for Jannah) as a means of encouragement.
Some also warn against the pleasure of Ibadah. Ibadah becomes more pleasurable with constancy and sincerity, more pleasurable then even entertainment. But again this is a bit of an extreme position, since Allah subhanahu wa t'ala gives us the sweetness of Ibadah as a means of encouragement and reward too. The one who likes people to see him do Ibadah, even though he is doing it for Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, some scholars say this is riyaa and some say it is okay. But if praise is the reason you are doing it then it is definitely riyaa. There is a difference of opinion). One of the Ulamah said-whoever likes to do something and be praised for it and remembered by it, is committing shirk.
You can have riyaa even when no one is around eg you are reading a book and you find an interesting fact, so you write it down and memorise it, with the intent of impressing others with your knowledge. If the intent is to benefit people, then it is not riyaa. Sahl bin Abdullah, a scholar, said the one who desires the people to know what is in between him and His Lord then he is in a state of heedlessness, unless he is doing it as a reminder/Naseeha for others.
Ibn Masud and Ibn Umar used to go to the Masjid to pray Tahajjud as a means of reminding the Tabieen. Imam Malik was called An Najm (the star), did not consider it harmful as long as the original intent is sincere. Not to do something good out of fear of riyaa is riyaa too! Because the reason you are not doing it, is the people too, not Allah. If it is a worship you can hide, then it is better to hide it. It is better to do dhikr with the tongue, even when the heart is heedless, then not to do it at all. The dhikr of the tongue may reach the heart. Riyaa is seeing the people, not the people seeing you! If Ibadah is done for the sake of Allah then everyone else becomes insignificant. Fear of other than Allah and desire for it, is being devoid of tawakkul (reliance) because you don't have yaqeen (certainty), that everything good and bad is from Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. Tie your camel then rely on Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, don't be stupid either. Don't desire or fear creation.
Sakhatul Qadar is displeasure with the divine decree, when one resists Allah subhanahu wa t'ala and what He has decreed eg "I don't deserve this!", "Why is this happening to me?", "What did I do to deserve this suffering?" Imam Abul Hassan- A quality that destroys Hasanat is displeasure with the divine decree. "They were displeased with the divine decree and Allah subhanahu wa t'ala destroyed their deeds". With believers everything is good. People of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala recognise the dunya is a place of purification. There are only 4 possible states a human being can be in, and each state requires a response from Allah subhanahu wa t'ala:
1. Na’ma: State of blessing from Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. The required response is shukur/gratitude to Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. Using the blessing in a manner that is pleasing to Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. We need to have shukur on the tongue, by thanking Allah subhanahu wa t'ala and the people. Feel the blessing and show it. Act in a way that is pleasing to Allah.
2. Baliya: State of
3. Ta’aa: State of
4. Ma’asiya: State of disobedience to Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. The response is repentance.
All these states are a way to get closer to Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, so they are all a blessing in the end. If you get a tribulation, then thank Allah it is not worse than it could be. Look at the Prophet’s (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) life and the tribulations he faced! He buried 5 of his 6 children, his closest people died, people called him majnun, spit on him, held sanctions against him, drove him out of his home, etc and never once did he complain! To be angry at qadar is to be in a state of heedlessness. "Al Furuq is a book, talks about the difference between the a) Qadha is that Allah has decided to make something happen b) Qadar is that he has enabled it to happen (the means).
Maqdhi is the thing that happens itself. We don't have to be happy with every Maqdhi, since Allah subhanahu wa t'ala has decided that there will be evil in this world. This doesn't mean that we will be pleased with sharr because Allah subhanahu wa t'ala isn't. It just means that we can not be displeased with Allah's creation- the world. An analogy is you have a doctor and you go and he declares that he has to cut your arm off. Then the doctor overhears you complain to someone else "I went to this stupid doctor and he cut off my arm!" etc. The doctor will be hurt and saddened that he tried to help you and here you are talking trash. But if he overhears you saying something like "I went to this doctor and Alhamdullillah he helped me, but I am in a lot of pain etc" the doctor will be moved to compassion.
The difference is that it is okay to express your pain, tribulations, etc in a way of releasing it, but you can't complain about Allah subhanahu wa t'ala to His creation. We were not commanded to enjoy tribulation (no takleef) but what Allah says is that tribulations are sent to us to humble us and to bring us closer to Him.
Sum’a is identical to riyaa except that riyaa relates to the eye, while sum’a to the ear (you want to tell others about the good actions you did). "Whoever tells people what he did (of good), Allah willl tell people what he really did (of bad) yawmul Qiyamah" The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said. Even if you did the action with sincerity to Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, then told people about it, you ruin your actions. If you make tawbah it rectifies it. Also the one who does something for the sole reason of telling people about it. Should the desire be to benefit people and relate a blessing to them, then this is not blameworthy.
Shidhadh was a brigant from Bani Duada. He was a bad robber that was well known amongst the arabs who used his name in proverbs etc. The Brigant (highway robber) on all those people on the way to Allah is Tamaa.-Abul Abas Al Mursi was a well known religious man. He went to the market and noticed a salesman he knew, he thought "perchance he recognise me and give me a discount"...At that moment he got a call that told him for the peace of deen leave your desire for creation.
The source of tamaa is ghafla of the heart of Allah's providence. "If Allah decrees a harm to you, no one can cure it except Him". "If all of creation got together to harm you, and Allah didn't decree it, then they wouldn't be able to harm you...." The pens have been lifted and the ink is dry.
Question: What if a person makes dua against you? Sh. Hamza's response was: If you are not an oppressor then you shouldn't worry about people's dua against you. If a person makes dua against you and you have not wronged them, then they are oppressing you (committing a dhulm) and they will be accountable to Allah. But if you are an oppressor then you have a lot to worry about, since Allah does not return the dua of the oppressed. The best weapon of a believer is dua!
Imam Junaid said "the only disease is ghafla". If
you are really in a state of awareness you wouldn't do wrong.
Ghafla is a state of being fooled. A type of temporary stupidity. Tamaa is the cause of every harm eg. gheeba what's the cause of you wanting to talk about someone else's faults, except that you wish to gain something from it (make yourself look good, envy, etc), another one is lying, we lie to somehow benefit from a situation.
Tamaa will preoccupy your heart during salat and also lead into Mudahanna. A good example of this is Salesmen. Sh. Hamza told a story where he went to buy some ugly yet cheap glasses. When he tried them on, the salesman exclaimed "you look really good!" (mudahanna), Sh. Hamza said "Actually I think they are really ugly but I am buying them because they are cheap". The salesman goes "yeah you are right, I agree with you." "The truth Merchant will be raised with the Martyrs" The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said. It is because they have gotten rid of tamaa from their hearts, and realise that Allah subhanahu wa t'ala is the Razzaq.
In traditional cultures, when you go to the markets all the similar stores are lined up. Like
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "Competition over dunya is the disease of civilisation, and it will bring the world down." The whole philosophy of "us against them". We are their "them" and in the end we will wipe each other out. Greeks had the word eroes- a type of longing desire that is never fulfilled. This is the driving force for most people.
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "Nothing will fill the mouth of the son of Adam except the dust of his grave". "Two people will never be satiated, seekers of knowledge and seekers of dunya" another hadith. You are either of the two, which one would you choose? Tamaa of Allah is good desire, the disease if for other than Allah. If you ask desire what's your trade? He will say earning humiliation. Who is your father? Doubt concerning divine measuring. What is your goal? Deprivation of the very thing that is desired!
Tamaa is your desiring something. Rizq is what is allotted to you, like said earlier there is a difference of opinion on Rizq, some say it will be what you only use up during this lifetime, others say that it is everything you will get. Allah is Ar Razzaq, Ar Razziq- We are the Marzuq, and what we are getting is Rizq.
There are two types of Rizq:
1. Rizq Batini: Hidden/inward rizq, like your knowledge, character, company, etc
2. Rizq Dhahiri:Outward/Manifest rizq like your food, health, wealth etc.
One of the interesting aspects of life is that the same people keep coming back in your life. Considering that the earth has 5 billion people, the people surrounding us that are important to us are very few. This is because our company is part of our rizq. Because the nature of the world is that Allah subhanahu wa t'ala has divided the provisions of people, it may be that your rizq lies in another person's hands. There are then asbab/means that lead you to get your rizq. e.g you are a guest of someone. That dinner that you eat is part of your rizq. Guests are a blessing, and they leave the house with some of your sins (they are a kaffara/expiation). They don't do "damage" because they are eating what belongs to them anyway. Because of these asbab/means, people start thinking that the rizq is from the sabab/means and lose sight of the Musabbib/true cause of the means.
The biggest sign of this is when you get angry for not getting what you want. It is one thing to be angry over your right, if someone oppressed you or took what belonged to you. It is another thing to be angry over something that you "wished/desired" for.The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said Jibril (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to him" No soul will die until it completes the rizq that was alloted to it. So fear Allah and don't do anything haram to obtain your rizq, and don't beg/plead with creation to give you money, don't let the delay of your rizq be a cause of your disobedience to Allah!"
Sh. Muhammad Al Mawlud stated that the immediate acting poison of this tamaa, love of dunya, etc. is accustoming/assuming self that death is a long way off. This is intrinsic in our nature and there is wisdom in it. If people didn't have extended hope, they wouldn't even plant a tree, there will be no infrastructure for the next generation. There is a famous story of a Persian King that passed by an old man planting an olive tree. The King asked him "Will this tree benefit you? And you'll die before it comes to fruition" (a good olive tree takes several decades to produce). The old man replied "They planted before us and we ate, we therefore plant so others can eat". The king was impressed and said "This tree already benefited me!" He gave the old man a reward. This extended hope is a Rahma from Allah.
It is interesting that in this modern culture people are beginning to lose hope about the future. There is a morbid perspective of the world. The fast food culture and credit culture is producing a generation that for the first time looks at the future to be worse than the past. Too much hope is bad because it causes hard heartedness and indolence.
The world is divided into two types of people: a) Saeed-Felicitious and b) Shaqee-Wretched.
Aristotle who is the foundational to western philosophy wrote a book called "Ethics". In it he proposes that the goal of life is leisure and happiness and that is reflected in the declaration of independence. "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".
The original wording was being free of debt when you come into the world, but that was changed to pursuit of happiness. Happiness in the modern context is associated with things, material goods. Islam radically altered the understanding of happiness. Sa’ada is in the next world. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "If you are not angry with me Ya Allah, then I don't care what you do with me". It is the understanding that akhirah is better than now. The opposite concept of Sa’ada is Shaqawa. A Shaqee is one that doesn't have the akhirah. Al Fudhayl Ibn Ladh- both a scholar and a Zahid said there are 5 signs of wretchedness:
1. Hard Heartedness: "Have Mercy on those on the earth and the one in the sky will have Mercy on you."
2. The eye that doesn't weep.
3. Lacking Modesty: "If you have no shame then do whatever you want"
4. Desiring dunya: No one increases in the akhirah except that it harms his dunya, and no one increases his dunya except that it harms his akhirah. In Nurul Yaqeen, the Seerah by an Egyptian scholar, he said that the Sahaba had lost most of the dunya but that didn't swerve them from the quest of akhirah. Quba was such a simple masjid that many of us in the modern context would not have recognised it. We are obsessed with ornamenting the outside now, while we are empty on the inside.
5. Extended hope: It leads to indolence, lack of energy to
do things that are obligatory on us. There are some people who have incredible
energy to do worldly things, but when it comes to deen they are simply
Hassan Al Basri said I saw 70 people of Badr and if you saw any of them you would have thought they were mad. If they saw the best of you they would say these people have no character. If they saw the worst of you they would say these people don't believe in the Akhirah. There is a tradition that is often mistook for a hadith that states "Act for dunya as if you would live forever, and act for Akhirah as if you would die tomorrow". Sh. Uthmaan Bashir explained the above tradition. He said that most people don't understand it, it is a saying used by dunya lovers to justify their actions...."We have to act as if we will live forever.." But if you look at the saying and your situation bifocally it means "I have forever to do my dunya obligations, but I only have one day to fulfil my akhirah obligations". This puts it in perspective. We don't have much time to work for akhirah and that should be our main goal.
"Don't forget your portion of the dunya". Don't forget what Allah has given you so expend for akhirah, or is that the dunya is there so don't forget it. Essentially we are not anti world but are reminded not to forget the akhirah either. If you are not thinking about akhirah the longer you stay on earth the more hard hearted you become.
Children cry easily because their hearts are very supple. They can go from extreme joy to extreme sadness in one day, but as a person gets older this purity becomes harder to achieve. One of the things that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was made to love was women, because their hearts were more brittle than men.
Regarding the person who benefits people with knowledge, it is not a bad thing to have hope for a long life. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "don't desire to die". If you did wrong you need the time to make Tawbah and rectify your actions, if you did right you need more time to do even more. "Extended hope is a mercy from Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, had it not been for it, you wouldn't see a farmer planting trees, or a woman giving birth". The idea is not to get into a state of paralysis, but reflect. A good exercise is to reflect on the states of death and akhirah. ne of the things that athletes are trained to do is visualisation as a psychological preparation. We should prepare for the inevitable journey to akhirah. When we get into a hyper conscious state that makes this state look like a dream. We wake up when we die.
Some of the Ulemah said if people have shahawat/appetites reflection on death will give them sobriety. The difference between Ar Rajaa and extended hope. Rajaa is hope for Allah. There is a famous hadith that states" The one who love to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him" Aisha (radhiallaahu anha) said "What about disliking death?" The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied "Everyone hates death, but every Mumin wants to meet Allah". Khawf and Rajaa- We have to have the two sandals of hope and fear. Too much fear leads to despair of the Mercy of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. It is a common religious illness. Some Christians focus too much on the apocalyptic nature of religion, hellfire, damnation etc. The pilgrims believed only 144,000 will make it to heaven (even Jehovah's witnesses). There were more pilgrims than that, so the odds of making it, weren't so high.
Excessive hope on the other side, leads to a complacency and makes us stop acting. There is an article about Baptism that talks about the fact that Baptists can pretty much do anything since they are saved. Salvation through Christ absolved all they wrong actions. There is no sense of khawf at all. That's why priests can get away with a lot, then come back and preach and people will listen (eg. Jimmy Swagger). Muslims have a high expectation of their leaders. That is why an illegitimate child is Makruh to lead prayer. There is no ithm/bad associated with the child since it wasn't his fault, but it is just a bad example for the community. Umniya- Is blameworthy. This is where the means is not taken but hope is there eg someone wants to lead a healthy life, but they don't watch their diet, they don't exercise, etc and still expect to be healthy. Rajaa is the means is taken and hope is there for the Mercy of Allah.
There is a story where a Pakistani was in a plane with two
people. One said I want to go to
Extended hope leads to headlessness about the reality of death which is not a sin in itself. Reflecting on death is like dhikr of Allah, its mandub not fardh (obligatory). The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) highly recommended reflection on death. Including visitation of the graves, for they are a good reminder of death. Trying to make money is Jaiz-mubah-allowed. Even on Hajj we are allowed to trade. Unless it was for Tafakhur, = takkabur, competition, hoarding wealth or putting off tawbah. Then it becomes a sin.
In this culture we have a concept of "sowing your wild oats" do Ma’asi/sins while you have the energy. That's why Allah loves a young man who is obedient to Him. There are people who do a lot of ma’asi when they are young, then they get old, and repent but then go into this self righteous mode. All of a sudden they forget their past, and start pointing fingers at others.
Disease: Tattayur (superstition)
Tattayur comes from a Jahili concept called Teera (which is a root arabic word from Tair, bird). When Arabs wanted to make a decision on something they would go to a flock of birds, and run at it. If the birds went to the left they took it as a bad omen. If the birds went to the right they took it as a good omen.
Yemeenis right, comes from the fact that
Shamal is left- comes from the fact that Sham is on the left.
A digression on maps/geography
The Muslims traditionally put the South on the top and the North on the bottom of the world map. Idrisi was the first map maker of the world (a Muslim). He put the south on top and north on the bottom of the map. The Europeans realised the significance of the South being on top, it puts Africa over the top of Europe and nothing over the top of
In Arabic language south is referred to as up, and north to as bottom. Australians caught on to this, and made maps with the South up. It's actually interesting to look at a southern map, we realise how close
Teera is a superstition. Mutattayyir is a pessimist.This action was based on the ignorance that everything belongs to Allah, and Muslims should have a good opinion of Allah. Tattayur is of two types:
1. Those that are dangerous in the normative state- e.g if you see something really harmful like a Cobra, then you should avoid. It is incumbent by Shariah to avoid harm coming to you.
2. Having a bad opinion based on no proof- eg. black cats, ladders, knock on wood (based on Pagan worship of trees), that's teera.
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "You'll never be free of three things...." and one of them is Tattayur. Superstitions are a part of our nature. The cure of tattayur is if you feel "a bad omen", lets say you see a ladder and you don't want to walk under it...then just get over your nafs, and do it! Don't make dua against people, and actually don't belittle any Muslim because you never know he/she may be a Walee of Allah.
Bad opinion of others. Suspicion without facts to support your thoughts. The worst case is when you have a bad opinion of people who are outwardly righteous. Wasma-Waseema is a good face. Firasa is the ability of seeing the goodness/badness of a person through his/her face. Gheeba of the heart is a bad unfounded opinion against someone is actually written against you. Allah doesn't take you for what just occurs to your heart, but He does take to account azm/a distinct decision made by the heart.
If the heart is convinced without any proof then it is written against you. "Beware of bad opinion because it is the most false of speech". Some people have no daleel "I just know he is". Nothing wrong with doubting someone. If it is based on something concrete. Shakk is Doubt I don't know. Dhanni – to make a decision without proof.
What if you doubt someone?
If he is a fasiq (a fasiq is someone who commits major sins openly or minor sins consistently) don't take the word of a fasiq at face value. Find out if what he says is true or not.
anyone with your deen, family, wealth unless you try them a thousand, thousand,
One of the
poets said, if you have a good opinion of people, in these days (of
corruption), then that is foolishness. Be cautious.
If the time is bad then it is incumbent upon Zakat distributors to check out people, who claim they deserve zakat. A bad opinion of a person, who has evidence is bad, is not a sin, its commonsense. If he makes tawbah, then don't remind them of their past. That is wrong. "A good opinion of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala and a good opinion of His slaves, are two things a believer is given". No servant was ever harmed by having a good opinion. People are innocent until proven guilty. "I am in the opinion of my servants, so if he thinks good of me, he finds good, and if he thinks bad he finds bad".If you are a true Mu'umin then everything will be good for you.
Disease: Ujub (exalting the blessing and forgetting who gave you the blessing)
Imam Al Ghazali said the difference between ujub and kibr is that kibr needs two people:
The Mutakkabir (arrogant one) and the Mutakkabir alayhi (he one whom arrogance is shown).
A Mu’ajjib doesn't need a second person, he is one that is simply impressed with himself. The definition of uju is exalting the blessing and forgetting who gave you the blessing. In this culture when someone says "You are beautiful", we say "Thank you" as if we had anything to do with it. If Allah subhanahu wa t'ala made someone beautiful/talented/ etc then they should praise Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. "The Master of Rhetoric is he who speaks so eloquently, that people think I can do that too." "I worked so hard and I made it!" People think that its by their accomplishment that they were successful instead of Allah's aid. "Allah subhanahu wa t'ala makes every creator and his creation", so airplanes, cars, computers, etc are all creations of Allah. Once you realise that you will lose your ujub over anyone who knows something there is someone who knows more, this is characterised in the story of Musa and Al Khidhr.
Vanity is excessive pride in ones accomplishment or beauty. The root meaning of vanity is emptiness. There's always another side to things. As a result of your impotence you can neither create any benefit nor harm. Ignorance of Allah's Will and Mastery over creation leads to foolishness like ujub.
Disease: Al-Ghish (Fraud, to conceal fault/harm either for religious/wordly pursuits even from a protected minority)
Adornment of a fault or making an evil look good. In the Shariah it is haram to sell something without pointing out its faults. This is prominent in modern advertising. In
Disease: Ghadhab (Anger)
As for the swelling ocean of all these diseases, (ghadhab), if you come to it's shores you'll see things that will astonish you. Say what you want of it without constraint. This is a weak hadith, but nonetheless important. A man came to the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and asked him "tell me the best thing to get to near to Allah", The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)] responded "Good Character". The man went to his right and asked the same question, the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) again responded the same way. The man went to his left and asked the same thing, the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) again answered the same way. The man went behind him, and finally the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "Haven't you understood? Do not get angry!".
A man once asked the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) "What is the worst thing that one can incur concerning Allah".The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) responded "His Wrath". The man asked "How do you avoid it?" The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) responded "Don't be angry!". There is another famous hadith where a man came to the Prophet Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and asked him "Give me advice". The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) responded "Don't be angry!", He asked three times and the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) responded the same way. Ghadhab and the controlling of Ghadhab is key to good character. It doesn't mean don't feel anger. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) himself said" I am but a man, I get angry like you". Anger in itself is not a bad thing, if it is transmutated in a positive way. Don't allow anger to take control of you.
Anger is like a hunting do, if you dont' train it, it won't get you want you need. Anger is essential to human existence, without anger injustices would go unchecked. We are encouraged to get angry only for the sake of Allah, not for ourselves.
Imam Al Ghazali identified four essential qualities in a human soul. This is a model that looks at the human soul and recognises certain characteristics. It has been used in other traditions as well, not just Islamic.
1. Quwwatul Ilm: The Rational Soul within the human being there is a power related to what man knows.
2. Quwwatul Ghadhab: Irrasible Soul. This element relates to emotions the basis of which is anger. Rumi said the wisdom behind the prohibition of Khamar is that the core of man, which is angry and billigerant is exposed when he is drunk. We are otherwise veiled by the Rahma of Allah, but when we drink we remove that veil.
3. Quwatul Shahwa. This is the appetative soul.
4. Quwwatul Adl. This is the power that harmonises the above three.
Those powers within the soul above are related to the cardinal virtues (which is also within the christian and other traditions).
1. Wisdom/Hikma: When the rational soul is balanced the result is hikma. "However is given hikmah is given much good". Hikma is the mean between stupidity and trickery. When it is lacking, one becomes foolish. When it is in excess one becomes manipulative. This trickery is a dominant trait in CEO's of modern corporations.
2. Courage/Shaja’a: When the irrasible soul is in control the result is shaja’a. The extremes are impetousness/irrational behavior (when it is in excess), and cowardice (when it is lacking).
3. Iffa/Temperance:’iffa is the mean between Jumud/Indifference/no energy (which is unhealthy in shariah) and the extreme is fisq (ne is who a slave to his appetative soul). The balance is ‘iffa.
4. Adl/Justice: Justice has no extremes, it only has an opposite which is dhulm/oppression. When everything is in balance within the soul, the result is a just man. When of the elements is out of balance, the result is oppression to oneself and others.
The only human being that ever completely balanced these is the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). This is why the more you emulate him, the more you become a just person. He was never an extremist in anything, his fasting, his anger, etc. If we look at his Sunnah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), we see many traditions that are based on balancing our nafs.
The worst vessel son of Adam can fill is his stomach" This is the justice of the stomach. If we absolutely have to fill it, we are told to leave 1/3 for food, 1/3 for water, and 1/3 for air.
Sexual appetites: don't go over limit. As you grow older this aspect of yourself diminishes, as you look more toward akhirah. Those people who don't believe in Akhirah, stil want to engage in mental shahawat (since the physical shahwa is naturally down), the result is the emergence of the Viagra society.
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) never allowed his anger to get the best of him. He had more knowledge than any other human being but never used it for trickery If we look at the Khulafa Ur Rashidun, we see that each one of them embodied one of the cardinal virtues as their dominant character type.
a) Abu Bakr (radhiallaahu anhu): his main virtue was courage. No one was more courageous than Abu Bakr. What is the reason people hesitate to give? Fear of the unknown. Abu Bakr was the most generous at all times, he gave up all his wealth for the sake of Islam, and that is Shaja’a. He was one whose heart never wavered when others around him did. He was Thabit.
b) Umar (radhiallaahu anhu): Umar's man trait was justice.
c) Uthman (radhiallaahu anhu): Uthman was ‘affif (even the angels were shy around Uthman ((radhiallaahu anhu).
d) Ali (radhiallaahu anhu): Ali was endowed with Hikma (he was called Babul Ilm, the door to knowledge).
If you look at the Siratal Mustaqeem. Mustaqeem means upright. Istiqamah is perfectly balanced. There are two ways to deviate from the perfectly balanced path:
1) Ziada which is being excessive in what's wajib. Christians are the archetype of this example. They invented Monkery though they were not obliged to go into this extreme ascetism. The main thing about excess is that you will not be able to fulfill it. "Don't go to excess because Allah won't taper with His rewards until you taper off".
The extreme of ‘iffa is puritan. The result is that you are no longer in balance, and eventually you will go to the other extreme. The Europeans came here as puritans to be perfect in their religion and the end of that era has emerged into the Modern American society which is full of satiating your shahawat. In the Christian methology they go into extremes with shaja’a too, "turn the other cheek". With this concept, they end up massacring more human beings than the history of any human group. In justice, they demand justice in everything, which is essentially based on dhulm. As it is justice for them, but oppression for everyone else. The law is based on lawyers, and how many loopholes they can find to let others get away with things. With knowledge it started being knowledge that was beneficial to humanity, and now it's turned to trickery.
2. Naqs: Being deficient in the Obligations. The archetype of this are the Jews. Musa's (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) complaint to the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) during the Miraj was that the Jews couldn't even pray twice a day. There are plenty of examples in the Quran on how the Jews tried to get away with not fulfilling their obligations.
These are simply archetypes and not absolute. Going astray is dhal: the root word is to be in love Excessiveness leads people astray. A Muslim is supposed to be in the middle of the two. The root of Christian doctrine is Rahma/mercy. They believe that whatever they do they will be forgiven no matter what. With the Jews it's the opposite. The ghadhab and rahma have to be balanced.
There is Shariah and Haqiqah. The law and the spirit of the law. The law is rules, and the spirit is Rahma. When they are balanced (iman on the inside, and Islam on the outside) we get the Muhsin. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "Beware of Tyrannical Scholars". The concept of the ignorant worshipper- embodiment of a Christian or extreme sufi. The balance is to be a Sufi-Faqeeh. Imam Shafi said about the two (sufi and faqeeh) "Don't have one without the other. A faqeeh alone will be hardhearted" A sufi alone, leads to this new age phenonemon of "all is good", "all is one", "we are all going to heaven"..etc. -Christians are closer to us, because we are on the side of Rahma "Forgivenes is closer to Taqwa" -"When love exists there is no need for justice".
The Sahaba loved each other so much, and didn't want to hold each other accountable over minor things. The great Fitna in Islam was the case of Sayyidna Ali (radhiallaahu anhu) and Sayyidna Muawiya (radhiallaahu anhu). Ali (radhiallaahu anhu) wanted forgiveness, and Muawiya (radhiallaahu anhu) wanted justice. We are supposed to love all our leaders despite their mistakes. In this case Sayyidna Muawiya (radhiallaahu anhu).
Ghadhab comes from something that's essential to human nature. If you look at the brain there are three dominant centers:
1. Lowest Brain: R brain: Reptilian brain, this is the appetative center of the brain where urges originate.
2. Mid Brain: Emotions are centered here. The root of all emotion is ghadhab/anger. This is the first emotion that children is ghadhab, through crying, tantrums, they learn to say "No" before "yes".
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) "Love your beloved up to a point, because one day he might hate you, hate your enemy up to a certain point, because one day you may love him. The wisdom is to be balanced. The Arabs used to say "don't be too sweet you will get eaten up. And don't be too bitter you'll be thrown away".
3) The new brain: This is the rational center of the brain.
The reptilian mode is totally reactionary, no humanity. If you are in the mid brain mode, you will be an emotional person, and some people are totally rational everything is theoretical when it comes to them.
There are three main reasons that people get angry:
1. Primal needs: When your food, shelter, life, etc is being threatened. This is survival you have to respond to it. If you don't you are stupid. It is courage to fight for your rights. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "Any one who dies defending his property, dies a Shahid". This is the Ultimate amr bil Ma’ruf wal Nahi anil Munkar (enjoining good and forbidding evil) in society no one should feel that it is okay to just take someone else's property.
2. Position: This is related to seeing yourself, dignity, job etc. It is getting angry over a sense of being belittled.
3. Specific to a person e.g an Aalim/scholar may get mad to see someone mistreating a book, while to an illiterate farmer that doesn't mean anything to him. To the farmer though, if someone mishandles his pitchfork.
Imam Al Ghazali said the first one is healthy, the second is healthy up to a point. Don't get angry over what doesn't benefit you to get angry about. Don't obssess yourself with little things, let it go. The third situation if there is ghairah (the idea that something is yours and you don't want harm to come to it) then its okay.
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) encouraged Ghairah. When Abu Sa’d said "If I see my wife with another man I would kill him!". The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "I have more ghairah then him, and Allah has more ghairah than me". If a Muslim sees a non Muslim make fun of their deen, this ghairah should prompt him to defend the deen. Ghairah is good, for the husband and wife, otherwise adultery will be rampant in society.
Ghadhab has two cures, one of them will remove the anger when it comes and the other suppresses it. Remember this in order to be ornamented with the quality of removal of anger, then humility and forebearance are a must. An arrogant person will always be angry. If you are seeing yourself you will be angry. Humility is praised by all sages. "The one who humbles himself before Allah, Allah will elevate him, the one who elevates himself before Allah, Allah subhanahu wa t'ala will bring him down". The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was the most forebearing of all people.
All the Prophets have been characterised by humility and forebearance. You can prevent anger by realising there is no action except from Allah. Recognise that "La Illaha Illa Allah".
"The strong man is not the wrestler but one who can control his anger". Al Ghazali said the stupid people see virility and macho tendencies as being courageous. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) cure for anger was "If you are standing, then sit down, if you are sitting then recline. If that doesn't work take wudhu and pray". Taking wudhu (with cold water), will put out the heat of Shaytaan. Anger is from shaytaan and shaytan is made from fire.
The nature of anger is you start rising. If you feel it, sit down, and even leave the room if necessary. Remember to say "Audhu Billahi Minal Shaytani Rrajeem". An angry man once hired a man to insult him, and listened to him until he could control his anger. "Anger will afflict the best of my ummah" The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said. Umar (radhiallaahu anhu) was the best example of one who mastered his anger throughout his life development. By the end of his Khalifate, he was very forgiving. Once the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was sitting with some Quraishi women and when they saw Umar (radhiallaahu anhu) approaching they fled and hid behind a curtain. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) laughed and called them out. Umar (radhiallaahu anhu) was perplexed "Why aren't you fleeing from the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and he is more worthy of that type of respect?" The women said "yes, but you are meaner". The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) laughed and told him "if shaytaan saw you coming down one path, he will go down another."
souls are developed with age:
1. The first 7 years: the appetative soul is
developed, allow the children to discover the world, let them play and indulge
for this is the time they grow into their bodies and discover their
2. The second seven years: is ghadhab, this is the time to discipline them and don't let them get angry with you.
3. The next 7 years: The rational soul is developed. This is when they need your guidance and counsel.
There is a hadith that states "Play with them till they are 7, discipline them for another 7, and befriend them for 7 years".
"Knowledge and forebearnce and gained through acquisition". You are not born an alim,you need Mujahada, study, reflect, etc That's what Umar (radhiallaahu anhu) did with forebearance, he learned to it. Imam Al Ghazali gave the example of the pen. If you have bad writing go to a master, ask him to show you, tell him to draw the letters so you can copy them. It takes time and effort to learn how to write well. It is the same with good character.
There are three things that you need:
1. Know what good character and bad character is.
2. Mujahadah: Struggle for the sake of Allah to implement it in your life.
3. Sahba: Find people with good character and be in their company.
Imam Shafi was asked about his excellent character. He said "I looked at what my detractors said about me. If I found it in myself I worked hard to eliminate it". Prophet Isa (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was asked about his excellent character and he said "I looked at the bad character of people and avoided it". Sayyidna Ali said "youth is a type of madness and the cure is to get old".
We have about 4 more diseases and then we'll go into more sections for the cure of all diseases. We have to treat these diseases like the "gordian knot". The story of the Gordian knot. There was a knot in
The 4 enemies of man are: shaytaan, nafs, hawaa, and dunya.
Disease: Ghafla (Heedlessness)
Imam Junayd said this is the root of all diseases, some scholars say its tamaa and others procrastination (which is also a type of ghafla.). This is a serious illness of the heart. Ghuful is inattentiveness, heedlessness, being unaware. A simpleton in arabic is a Mughafal. The defining factor of ghafla is Sujdatul Sahw. Sujud Sahw is provided for us in prayer though the prayer time is so short! Allah knew how forgetful we are.
Insaan comes from the word uns- which could mean intimacy since we are social beings. Or nsiya which means to forget. in the Quran Al Insaan sometimes refers to Adam (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). The first slip of Adam (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was being taken unaware. That's why we have to be vigilant. Ghafla occurs as a result of the absence of vigilance and wakefulness. When Sayidda Ali (radhiallaahu anhu) said "People are asleep and when they die they wake up", what he meant was that people are heedless (ghafiloon) on their destination and that's the prime reason they do what they do. If humans were really awake they wouldn't sin.
This is the metaphor of the cave. Where all humans are in
this cave, and there is a light at the very back of the cave. This light is
causing this long shadows and people are so fascinated by these shadows they
are convinced this is their reality. Then one of them gets away from the cave,
and sees the sun, skies, the trees, and the beauty outside. So he runs back and
tell them "Wake up this is not real, it's all an illusion! Reality is
outside...come with me" and these people turn on him and kill him. This is
essentially the story of the Messengers, where Prophets come and because of the
unveiling of Knowledge from Allah, they try to wake us up from our illusionary
Samid is another word that's used in the Quran. Samidun is a type of ghafla but has more awareness to it.
"You were in ghafla about this (yaumul Qiyamah) and we removed the veil”. There is a veil that prevents us from seeing things as they truly are. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to pray "Oh Allah show me things as they truly are". The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also used to pray "Oh Allah show me the truth as the truth and give me the ability to follow it, and show me falsehood as falsehood and give me the ability to stay away from it."
Ghafla is being heedless about what Allah has commanded us to do and what he has prohibited us to do. A Mu'umin when reminded of something wrong he is doing will automatically say "Astaghfirullah". But the arrogant ones when told to fear Allah, they get mad at the people.
The cure for it lies in having good company, people that will tell you when you are doing wrong, and encourage you to do good.
The cure lies in four rectifying qualities:
Realisation brings you to repentance. The scholars said "Istighfar and salah ala Nabi are the two dhikr of the end of time". Tawbah is a cure for ghafla. We should make istighfar at least 70 to 100 times a day (that is what the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) himself did!). We should also memorise Sayyidul Istighfar.
Muhasabah: using the idea of the merchant who counts money at the end of the day, to see his profits/losses. Look at your day and see if you had a loss with Allah make tawbah. and if there was a gain with Allah give thanks. For Allah gives more to His grateful servants.
Visiting righteous people.We all have stations with Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, beginning with the Nabi, Sadiq, Shaheed, and Saleh. Really all the above are saliheen. Saluha is to be sound and this is related to salamah. One whose heart isn't diseased. The definition of Saleh is to give Allah subhanahu wa t'ala what is due to Him and give His slaves what is due to them.
Haqqal Allah: The right of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala is taqwa from His servant.
Haqqal Ibad: The right of Allah's subhanahu wa t'ala servants is the dealing with them in daily obligations.
The Saleh doesn't cheat or lie to people. Most ulamah encourage visiting the Saliheen that are dead too e.g when going to Madinah making sure you visit Jannatul Baqee. There is a greater benefit in visiting the graves of the righteous. There is a difference of opinion whether women can visit graves or not. There is also an adab of visiting graves. Don't do grave worship, tying knots, asking for favuors, etc. That's what gives tassawuf a bad name. That is not Tassawuf it is just cheating.
There are a lot of people who go by the names of Pir,
Shaykh, etc and they don't have much knowlege at all. They inherit these titles
from their forefathers, and people treat them special. There are alot of
pretenders out there so be careful who you consider a Saleh. "Allah made
the world huge and created numerous ways for halal provisions, anytime you see
someone using religion to serve his dunya he is in bad condition" said of
the righteous men. People can make their living through teaching Quran etc. the
point is not to amass wealth.
Imam Malik had massive wealth and he consistently gave it
away to people. In the Muslim world there is a huge gulf between
esoteric/exoteric Islam. We are out of balance. We should all desire to be one
of the Saliheen. A poet once said "If a man doesn't gain heights he can at
least aspire for heights, and whoever is content with less than heights he is
less than heights". The hieghest aspiration is to be close to Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. If you don't think Allah subhanahu wa t'ala can make you one of His Awliyaa
in an instant then you don't know much about His Qudra (power). These Saliheen
are not chatty and they will make dua for you. One of Sh.Hamza Yusuf's friends
hates kissing hands. He went to visit Sh. Mulla Ramadhan and he swore that he
felt pressure on his head to bow down and kiss his hand! Fortunately these people
still exist, Murattal Hajja's wife, Maryam and they had a servant Qabulah.
People used to visit the couple and then also visit the servant and ask for dua
from her. Another righteous woman is
3. Prayer on the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)
4. Reciting the Quran with Taddabur/Reflection
We have to do a wird of Quran each day, at least a hizb, or a juzuu a day. If not at least the daily recommended surahs like Mulk (after Isha), Yaseen (after Fajr) and Waqiah (after Maghrib). Every substance in the world resonates at a specific wavelength. Medicine resonates in our bodies to cure the diseases. The thing about the Quran is that the sound waves (in arabic) resonate in every part of your body.
A man asked about Islam and said he had read the entire Quran. Sh. Hamza told him "you haven't read the Quran until you have read it in Arabic". The man disagreed. Then Sh. Hamza started reading just the beginning of Suratul Rahmaan. The man paused and said "I now understand". Part of the meaning of the Quran is not even understood in this realm of existence.
Allah warns the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in the Quran about sitting with people who "He put in a state of heedlessness". "Those who deviated and Allah made them deviate more". Ghaflah is a punishment and result of our own sins.
Ghafla ends at the moment we die. We want to be more in a state of wakefullness then heedlessness. Umar (radhiallaahu anhu) said the best remembrance of Allah is when you get to the limit set by Allah subhanahu wa t'ala e.g when you want to do a Ma’siya and then you think of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala and that prevents you from doing haraam. Ghafla becomes a disease when it prevents you from doing what Allah subhanahu wa t'ala has commanded you to do. We are not obliged to make dhikr of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala all the time. But the more dhikr we do the less we'll fall into Ghafla.
Disease: Ghill (when the heart is bound to treachery or khiyana)
This disease is related to rancor/malice/anger/resentfullness. The root word is Ghul-aghlal-things that bind you.
Khadi’a is to betray/trick. Hiqd is resentful malice, is what holds ghill together. "Don't put in our hearts ghill for the people who have imaan". Ghill will kill our hearts. In Jannah Allah subhanahu wa t'ala removes ghill completely from the righteous people. One man who was fighting Sayiddna Ali during the battle of Camel came to him and apologised and Sayidna Ali (radhiallaahu anhu) told him not to worry for in Jannah Allah will remove ghill from our hearts.
Show goodness to that person. The nature of Ihsan is "The hearts are naturally inclined towards one who does good to them". When you are good to a noble person, you possess him. When you are good to a lowly person he becomes more rebellious. The point is to do your part and the outcome is not in your hands. Someone wondered why Kuffar can live together peacefully and that is because shaytaan doesn't bother with them. Shaytaan has despaired that he will be worshipped in the greater
Disease: Fakhar/Kibr (Pride)
Boasting is different from Fakhar in that Fakhar is boasting about something you have not earned e.g I am a Shareef. In the battle of Uhud, while all the Quraishi's used to boast "I am the son of so and so", the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to say "I am the son of the women named Atika". No one used to brag about the women. If you boast about parents who had honor even if it's true, they have left behind a bad child. The man is not one who says "my father was..." he is one who says "I Am". This is what children do...it's a childish phenomenon. The mountain of this tendency is Arrogance. Deem that mountain insignificant if you desire to destroy it.
Kibr is arrogance.
Root is kabura or kabura-to be big or grow old.
Kabir is great.
Kibrun is the manifestation of kibr in the heart. Takkabur is when it manifests in the limbs (action).
There are many signs of kibr and it's frightening because we all have some degree of it. Rarely would you meet one who doesn't have any kibr. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) "no one would enter
Ibn Hajj said "Shaytan go into this Ummah by two ways: In the Eastern by giving their children names of grandiosity e.g Akbar, Adheem, etc. In the Western by causing Muslims to mispronounce good names e.g "Abdul Qadir" becomse Abdul Ghadir (the slave of the treacherous one). Imam Yahya Al Nawawi's father named him MuhyiDeen and he completely refused that name and demanded to be called Yahya. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) had a wife called Barra and he named her Zaynab, don't "zakki" yourselves, he said.
The truest names according to the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) are Harith (the one who sows) and Humam (the one with one with concerns), because all of us sow and have concerns. The best names according to the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) are Ahmad, and any names that begin with Abdul. There is a hadith by Tirmidhi that states "on the day of Qiyamah the people of arrogance will be turned to atoms (or ants), and everyone would walk on them, and then they would go to a prison in Jahannam called Bolis".
There are different types of Istikbaar:
1. The worst one is Takabbur of refusing the truth and submitting to Ibadah.
One of the Sahabah told the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) "I am a man who loves beauty so I wear good shoes and nice clothes. Is this Kibr?" The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied "Allah is beautiful and loves beauty". The point is the reason why he loved to put on nice things (because he loves beauty), and the point is not to outdo others...a perfect example is some Muslim weddings, and to what extent people would go to out do each other's outfits. The idea of Istikbaar is that it has two faces to it:
2. Want to be great-A desire to be great for the sake of Allah is good. The Sahabas himma was high, but one which is blameworty is to try to show people you are better than they. Allah commands us though to show non Muslims that we are better. According to the Christians the world's problem is simple. People are corrupt/sinful by nature. But Allah commands us to show them that this is not true (we are Witnesses unto them). Towards the end of time there will be no more Shuhadaa. And people will become Kuffar. Allah subhanahu wa t'ala will give the dunya to Kaffirs, and Muslims will leave their deen because they also want the dunya. This is scary because it is happening. The seal/raan over the heart, depending on the power of Truth and the source of it, is something that can crack, but if nothing is done (i.e Tawbah) it will seal up again e.g when you listen to an inspirational Khutbah it may move the heart, but action has to follow.
There are different types of Kibr with different qualities:
1. It is fixed in the heart and the person considers himself better than other people. Once the Sahaba told the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) concerning one man who they deemed to be righteous. Suddenely the man appeared at the gathering and the Sahaba pointed him out to the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) immediately discerned in his face and said "I see traces of shaytaan in this man's face". When the man joined the group the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked him "By Allah, I ask you, did your nafs tell you when you came to this gathering that no one here is better than you?" The man said "yes". The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saw kibr in his heart and wanted the Sahaba to be careful over who they deemed righteous and not. Imam Ghazali said of all people it is the people of ilm that have more danger of kibr than others. If you fight it and force yourself to suppress the fruits of the tree of kibr in your heart, then they wouldn't emerge in your actions.
2. Manifesting kibr to others. This is when you look down on people, or frown in people's faces. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) never frowned in someone's face.
3. Takakabur because of hasab (qualities that you have) and nasab (lineage).
Traditionally they went together. If you are from a noble
family you had to act noble. If you are from
Quraish you had to be dignified. (e.g a tribe had a quality because of nasab people
emulated that quality). e.g some Arabs feel they are better than Indians. One
Arab remarked to Sh. Hamza that "I never thought a non arab could be a
real Muslim". In
Do you recognise where you are from? You are created from a vile fluid. One of the Salafi remarked that he didn't know why someone was arrogant when all he was carrying between his two sides was a bag of feaces -"To be arrogant with one who is arrogant is a type of worship". To use this as a cure for one who is arrogant, to give him a taste of his own medicine. If you feel you are righteous know that it is kibr. There was a righteous man who was sitting in a gathering and he moved his foot when another moved out of deference. The other man said "you did that for me?" and he said "I don't see anyone here who is worse than me!". If you are aware of your humility you are Muttakabbir. It's better though to fake humility than to be an outright Mutakkabir. You have to practice, - the brain learns through repetition, consistency imbeds an action in the brain e.g driving, most people drive in a completely sub conscious state. Interesting thing about stroke/dementia is that even with loss of brain they retain the things they did repetitively. Ilm is by repitition. Force yourself to be humble until it becomes a natural thing.
d. Kibr because of beauty: The cure is to know that beauty is an illusion. You don't retain your beauty and also Allah gave it to you. It's superficial and really stupid. There was a study done on beautiful people and the result was that they were really average. They realised when you put average eyes, nose, lips, etc on one face, the result is what people deem beautiful. There was a hadith where the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked Aisha who came in? And Aisha said "The short lady". The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) rebuked her and said "you have backbitten her". Because Aisha felt she was taller than her, and hence made the comment.
e. Kibr with wealth: this is with kings and merchants. They look down on others. There was a famous person who was on a helicopter looking down on a ski lodge (for not wealthy people) and she commented "look at all those little people down there". At that moment the helicopter tipped and crashed! We are all little people.
f. Kibr because of strength: The example is the wrestler who bragged that no one could throw him and the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) threw him twice. You have to remember even with physical strength you will get old.
g. Kibr in teachers who have a lot of students, or one with powerful relatives, or a royal family etc.
h. Takkabur because of knowledge: most insidious. People naturally are in awe of knowledgable people and they show them deference, this is dangerous for the heart.
The main reason why people don't submit is Takkabur. A lot of people have a big problem with being a slave to Allah. They would rather be a slave to their genitals, petty goals, etc. but not their own Creator!
The cure is really knowing your Lord and yourself. Reflecting on the self will come to the realisation that are completely bound by our enslavement to the Creator. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said"I am the best of the Children of Adam and I am not boasting!" The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) fakhar was in his Uboodiya to Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. Another saying of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) "My impoverishment before Allah is my glory". Whoever knows will be humbled (And Allah will raise him). The station of kibr negates the possiblity of being grateful. The abd can't be Muttakabir. The nature of humility is that it takes you to gratitude. It helps you see things in the right perspective. The feeling of being undeserving makes you grateful for every little thing you have. Deem the big mountain of kibr insignificant. Believers use the terms "Allahu Akbar", "MashaAllah", "Alhamdullillah" to keep reminding us of our Source.
Disease: Dhull and Dha’a (abasement or humiliation)
Wasita (the mean). The dangers of virtues is that virtues are means between two extremes (except for justice which only has an opposite). In this case the virtue is humility, when there is a ziada (excess) the result is arrogance. When there is a naqs (reduction), the result is dhull. Dhilla was part of an affliction given to Bani Israel for being disobedient. Allah afflicts people with dhilla for their sins. Many a Muslim country are in this state.
Many Muslims would lie, cheat, etc just to get a visa for this country. People can get afflicted with tribulation but bear it with dignity. "A believer does not abase himself" A hadith. Humility is not the same as humiliation. Dha’a is to be low. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "Nothing raises itself except that Allah abases it" With Allah it is actually good to have dhull. We should be dhaleel infront of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala only and not His creation. Sh. Jilani saw all the doors of Allah crowded except that of humbleness. Be proud in front of a rich, arrogant, person. The noble things of this world, are the rich, humble person. And the Sunni who is a Shareef. When man becomes rich, he deems himself self sufficient, leading to transgressions. "To show arrogance in front of an arrogant person is part of Ibadah" The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
Disease: Blame Hating
Part of our nature is that we don't like to be blamed. We teach our kids from a young age that blame is bad (it comes with beating, frowns, etc) and praise is good (comes with smiles, gifts, etc). Hatred of blame can become a disease. Concerns with creations opinions becomes an impediment to Ihsaan. The reality is that we are going to die at anytime and we should not worry about no one else but Allah. This disease prevents one from doing the right thing because the right thing is often what others detest. Courageous stances most often become known later. Geronimo a Native American fighter who fought incessantly for his land, was betrayed even by his own people. Malcolm X was taking positions that were very unpopular back then. If he had worried about people he wouldn't have said the truth. Even their own enemies co opt them now... now that they are no threat to them.
Overcoming this barrier entails knowing that no benefit or harm can come from anyone except Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. Recognise the two names of Allah Al Nafi (The one who benefits) and Al Dharr (The one who harms). If you notice this is a cure for many diseases. Thinking that others can somehow benefit us is being delusional about reality itself. But still recognise the Asbab (means for things to happen in this world). The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) still wore two coats in the battle of Uhud. We should use diplomacy and our intellect in all situations. "The greatest Jihad is speaking the truth in front of a tyrant" the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said. But there are situations when we have to measure things out.
The impermissibility of this disease is what leads to the prohibited. e.g If you have to enjoin good and forbid evil and you get scared or you need to pray but you are afraid of your co-workers etc. Being worried about blame for doing haraam things is normal. Real Imaan doesn't establish itself in our hearts until blame and praise mean the same thing to us (i.e. all that you do is for the sake of Allah). In the desert they never encourage little children to display their Quranic skills, knowledge, etc. because it leads to a desire to do these things for praise, and thus the early roots of Riyaa. It's normal to have some pride in the achievement of your children..eg. When the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked his Sahabah "Which tree is like a Mumin?" and no one could answer. Abdullah bin Umar bin Khattab knew it was a palm tree but was afraid to say so, because everyone around him was older. He later told his father, and Umar Bin Khattab remarked "I would have loved for you to have said that".
Disease: Antipathy towards Death
It's when one flees from death, and hates for it to be mentioned, as if he doesn't recall Allah's words "That every soul will taste death". This death you are fleeing from you will meet it, and then you are going to be returned to the One who knows the seen and unseen world. We live in an anti-death culture. People get deluded into thinking if they are young, healthy, etc they won't die. If you mention death, you are called morbid. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) passed by a laughing gathering and remarked "Mix your gathering with rememberance of the destroyer of all pleasures". Reflections on death brings sobriety to frivolous conversations and gatherings.
Don't be in the Majalis of gafla "No hour in this life will you regret except the hour that you spent not remembering Allah". A hadith.
"Anyone who gets up from a gathering without remembering Allah is one who gets up from a dead carcass". Another hadith. As humans we are inclined to intimacy/socialising, and also we are created to worship Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, so we should mix our gatherings with Ibadah, and things of Importance to our Akhirah. Be content with what Allah has decreed for you. If you are in a state of death acceptance it won't bother you. "We are all on death row we are just waiting for the executioner to come". The one who condemened you to death, is the very one that gave you life.
Death should be a celebration for the Mu'umin. Sh. Ibn Al Habib said" in death there lies a thousand repose". As long as you are here, each cell in your body is exposed to pain, etc the minute you die its over. Death for a Mu'umin is like being bumped from third class to first class. For believers we are only allowed three days of mourning. The worst thing about this country is the industry of mourning, people who don't let go...end up in therapy, medication, etc. If your beloved dies, the believer knows it is the Qadar of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. No people can deal with death with as much strength as Muslims. It is the divine connection.
Maurice Baucaille a French doctor said one of the things
that interested him in Islam was seeing how the Algerians faced death in
Sh. Uthman ended up in Madina, just like the man told him. He became sick with cancer and was being treated in Jeddah. One night, against Doctor's orders, he left to go back to Madina with his son. All the way there he recited the Kalimah. He died shortly after dawn, and was prayed upon the Rasul's Masjid after Jummah (he was the only Janaza that day). When they went to bury him, they found a spot near Sh. Malik Al Nafiwhich was already dug up. And they buried him there.
There's a story of Fareedudeen Al Ataar who used to sell perfume. A beggar came to him and asked him for money. Al Attar told him to get a job. The beggar told him "the most important thing you'll ever do is die and I know how to die". He immediately said the Kalima and died! Al Attar made Tawbah and lead a righteous life after that.
It is a blessing to do dhikr of death. Think about dying, being washed, the angels, resurrection. If someone doesn't like death because he feels unprepared to meet Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, then it is not blameworthy. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said it's okay not to desire death, for a good person they need time to do more, and for a bad person, they need time to rectify. Dislike of death is at a cellular level. We feel the adrenaline rush that comes in near death situation that helps us save our lives and others. On the other hand, there are some who don't care what Allah does to them, they are pleased with His decree, this is not blameworthy either. Remember that disliking death will not distance you from it. The one who remembers death much is enobled by 3 things:
1. Qana’a: Contentment. If you really know you will die at anytime you will feel the impetus to enjoy life. "contentment is a treasure that's inexhaustible." The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said ”a qanoo; is the only wealthy person. A discontent rich man is in reality poor as to be rich is to be free of want. True wealth is the wealth of the soul. This is an age where so many false needs/wants are put in the heart (the media does a good job at this).
2. Energy in the heart to do more obedience.
3. A state where you'll hurry to do Tawbah. When you slip, you will be quick to rectify yourself.
The opposite is also true for one who is negligent of death:
1. The person will never be content.
2. They will always do wrong actions.
3. Won't have remose when they do wrong.
Disease: Oblivion to Blessings
Shukr is essential to the deen of Islam. A kafir is an ingrate and even Muslims can be Kuffar (Kufrul Nai’ma).
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) warned women of being ungrateful toward their spouses. Ayah "And there is no nai’ma that you have except from Allah". In this culture we are told to count our blessings "If you enumerate blessings of Allah you'll never encompass them". The Quran we begin "Bismillahi Al Rahmani Al Raheem"
Al Rahman: Giver of big blessings. Al Raheem: Giver of subtle blessings e.g the blessing just of the fact that our eyes have lubrication. People who don't have that, need to use drops, and know the pain of dryness of the eyes. The fact that we have sockets in our eyes for protection, the fact we blink and it cleanses our eyes. Balance is another na’ima, we can walk upright...
All the subconscious systems our respiratory system, digestive, etc. Our brain. Our very thumb..."We enobled Bani Adam". Our tastebuds, the fact that we enjoy a variation of food. Allah tells us in the Quran to look at our food. "We brought down the rain and split the earth".
The importance of gratitude can't be over estimated. Some ayas
should strike fear in our hearts: "Allah will not change the condition of
a people until they change what's within themselves". Disobedience takes
away your blessings. Al wakee was asked about his quick movements and he said
"we guarded our limbs when we were young for Allah's sake and Allah
guarded them for us in our old age". The keeping of na’ima is gratitude.
Allah subhanahu wa t'ala has announced to us that He will give us more if we are grateful.
Istidraaj: That Allah will allow you to continue on with disobedience and increasing you in blessings until you think "Allah loves me". People think that difficulty is because Allah hates them, and blessings reflect Allah's love for them.
Na’ima can be divided into different categories:
1. True Na’ima: Things the benefit you in the short term and longterm (dunya and Akhirah). e.g Ilm and good character (husnul Khuluq).
2. Then we have Dharr/harms, things that harm us in the long
and short term eg. ignorance and bad character.
3. Others are beneficial in the short term but harmful in the long term, such as feeding into our desires. Ignorant people think this is a good thing. A test was conducted where cookies were placed in front of children. When the child asked for a cookie he was told "you can either have one now or two later". Consistently the more intelligent children chose to have two later.
4. Things that are harmful in the short term but beneficial in the long term. Such as suppressing our desires.
Muslims are becoming short sighted because we left guidance. Intelligence stems from following the guidance of Allah. "We are a people that Allah gave us dignity with Islam if we look for dignity elsewhere Allah will humiliate us!" Umar bin Khattab (radhiallaahu anhu). Allah subhanahu wa t'ala gave kuffar temporary success in the dunya but long term failure.
There are two types of Na’ima:
1. Usoolil Na’ima:
Roots of Na’ima- Health, imaan, islam etc.
2. Furoo’il Na’ima: Branches of Na’ima- This is the oranmented blessings, things you may want but not need.
The more Na’ima you have, the more hisaab you are going to be held up for. In this category it could be someone with a good face, or height (most leaders aside from Napoleon have height).
"If you send a messenger send one with a good face". Umar bin Khattab (radhiallaahu anhu), the wisdom is that hearts are inclined towards them. That's why most Prophets (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) have good faces. A man once prayed "Oh Allah I ask you for the completion of Na’ima!" The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked him "do you what it is?" the man said "No". The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied "The completion of Na’ima is entering Jannah". Islam is the na’ima Allah subhanahu wa t'ala gave us. "Whoever wakes up in a healthy state, and safe in his possession, and has enough to get through the day is as if he has the whole world and what's in it!" A hadith. This is something that we take for granted but should be grateful for, everyday.
The sahaba told the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) "we realise we don't have much Na’ima to be accounted for". Allah sent Jibril (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to ask "Do they wear sandals and drink cool water?" Even the fact that water is cool is something we should be grateful for. We could be drinking hot water.
Sayiddna Ali (radhiallaahu anhu) said "The most intelligent of people are those that do with out. The most stupid of people are the misers (as they don't get to enjoy their wealth in this world and will be punished in the Akhirah". The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to live a balanced life but by modern standards he was living way below poverty level.
You can be wealthy and still be a zahid. That is if your heart is not attached to your wealth. If you lose your wealth you will not fall apart in despair. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) chose to be hungry one day and full the next, to break the attachment to this dunya.
Disease: Al Hazu'u (Derision or making fun of people)
Nowadays we have a whole industry of derision, caricatures, comedians etc. The cure for this is the same as the cure for arrogance as it is a type of kibr. Sayyidna Ali said "Don't belittle anyone because he may be a Wali of Allah". Even if you see someone vomiting and drunk you shouldn't look down upon them because you never know what their seal will be. Umar (radhiallaahu anhu) even when he was bowing to idols was still a beloved of Allah, because it was only a temporary state he was in. "Don't let one people mock another people lest they should be better than them". "Don't curse those who worship other than Allah, because they might curse Allah". e.g burning a U.S/Israeli flag, this might incite them to burn the Quran or a Saudi flag (With la illah Illa Allah written on it).
When the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) went into Makkah he walked in with his head bowed down, humbly. It's Mustahhab to make dua for your enemies to guidance, (it's not wajib), you can curse them too. But remember they are still humans and can be Muslim. Hind at the liver of Hamza (radhiallaahu anhu), it doesn't get any more barbaric than that! And she was still guided to Islam later on. Even Wahsh the man that killed Hamza became Muslim. People do things in war and they end up paying for it for the rest of their lives. More soldiers committed suicide later, than died in the Vietnam war! There is duas in the Quran cursing the oppressors, liars, etc. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "One might read the Quran and it may be cursing him". Know that one's purpose to deride others is to humiliate them, and yet he is humiliating himself before Allah. He will be repayed by ignorance.
will deal with a comprehensive plan for the treatment of the heart. This is the
If we look at the 7 deadly sins:
We notice that he covered the first five but not gluttony and lust by themselves. He deals with Shahwa (gluttony and lust) as causes but not diseases in themselves. This is because these are both fitrah inclinations. Even in the Catholic tradition they are the last two, because they aren't considered as bad as the rest. Gluttony is fuel for lust. Imam Al Ghazali covers these two extensively in his book "Breaking the Two desires" by Abdul Hakim Winters (translation). This is an excellent book, that's highly recommended as an addition to this course. The point is to balance those two, control them, and not completely eliminate them.
General Treatment Plan for the diseases of the heart
The treatment plan that's comprehensive is to prohibit the self from what it desires coupled with hunger. Vigilance in the night, silence and Meditation. Prohibiting the self from what it desires, "None of you truly believes until his hawaa is in accordance with what I have brought" a hadith. This incorporates prohibiting the self until it no longer desires disobedience.
"The nafs is like an infant if you neglect it, it will grow loving to suckle and if you wean it, it won't want to". In
The one who fears Allah and prevents his self from doing what it desires acquires self discipline. In this culture all the self help books are for people who can't control themselves. We have prayer, fasting, cleanliness, and all these are related to learning how to discipline ourselves.
The way to
do that is:
The stomach is the key impulse for most people. One of the Salafi said "For me to raise my hand from the plate while I am still hungry, is better than staying up all night in prayer". Some people get really mad when they don't get their food fast enough.The infantile nafs- A baby cries for food and the minute it gets the breast it goes into this state of relaxation. It's the same reaction with people who are controlled by their stomach. You will not die if you miss a meal! The early Shuyukh focused on hunger more than anything else.
A man who from
People eat a lot more meat nowadays than ever before. People used to eat it only once a week, and sometimes only during Eid days! In the modern culture people are like animals they literally graze. People snack all the time, and convenience stores are around every corner. The average American has twenty food contacts a day! People are encouraged to eat smaller meals throughout the day. But traditionally there are set times for meals, and there was discipline.
In the American army there now hot food, they put water in it, and the food heats up. There is no fortitude whatsoever, for every man in the field he needs at least 17 to back him up. The Muslims can deal with shortage, just because of fasting. It's sad though, because Ramadhan has become a feast for some people, all night long. There's more barakah in eating food together from one plate.
Sh. Khatri when he returned to
2. Vigilance in the Night
To bring the heart to life give the night sometime even if it is just two Rakaats. In this age where its harder to get up, its better to get up even 5 minutes before fajr consistently then to try and do an hour one day and then skip a couple of days.
When the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) went to Madina he gave a Khutba in Masjid Quba "Give greeting (spread peace), feed people, and pray at night when others are asleep and you will enter Jannah". Very simple advice, if we were all to follow it, we would be in a much better place.
We have to be careful though, there was a woman who used to pray at night, give sadaqa, etc but she was mean to her neighbors and the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "she is in hell".
Tahajjud is a big thing, and Allah has encouraged that for His believers. It is good to have a steady practice. It is also good to do the shorter surahs with great rewards, to try and get as much rewards as possible.
If you practice every night, and you wake up late one night, it's okay to do your prayers before you pray fajr (as long as it doesn't make you late for fajr).
If women can't pray it is acceptable to do dhikr, read beneficial books, meditate, duas etc. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) remarked on Abdullah bin Umar (radhiallaahu anhu), "what an excellent man would that he prayed at night". It doesn't mean he would be an excellent man if he prayed. It means he is a good man, and how much better would he be if he prayed. When Abdullah heard that, he never left night prayers from that day on.
Aisha (radhiallaahu anha) said "The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) prayed so much until his feet cracked and were swollen." She asked him "why do you do this and Allah has forgiven you all your past and future sins?" the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied "Should I not be a grateful servant?"
"Whoever seeks high things will spend his nights awake". The best time is to divide the night into six parts from Maghrib to Fajr and the last sixth is the best time to get up and pray Qiyam. So if Maghrib is at and fajr at 6am, the best time would be .
Any time after Isha is considered Qiyam. Those with a heavy liver is harder for them to get up after they fall asleep, so it is okay to pray before they go to bed. It's actually easier to wake up at 4am because the sleep right before fajr is the heaviest. The hikma is that Allah wants us to wake up when it is difficult to break out of sleep.
Ten Rakaahs is considered best. It's actually better to do witr right after Isha unless you are very consistent in waking up. Sayidna Abu Bakr (radhiallaahu anhu), although he woke up, he still preferred to pray witr before going to bed.
The best thing to do is to sleep and then wake up, because it is harder, (Mujahadah).
The Shaytaan binds three knots in the back of our heads at night and whispers "you have a long night ahead of you". If you wake up and say dua, the first knot is untied. If you do wudhu, the second is untied. If you pray the third is untied and you are freed from the binding of shaytaan.
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "If you sleep all night shaytaan urinates in your ear". Some Ulamah take that to be literal (we are warned not to make the literal into metaphoric unless it is necessary). Some say it mainly means shaytaan prevents us from doing good at night.
May Allah give us Tawfiq to keep vigilance for Him at night (Amin).
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to read the last part of Suratul Imran when he woke up at night (from ayah 190- to the end). Murattul Hajj used to wake up 4-5 hours before fajr!
The thing that prevents us from waking up for Qiyaam is our sins. Waking up is a gift from Allah, and our sins take that away from us.
One righteous man was deprived of Qiyam for 40 days for saying something about someone he shouldn't have.
Witr should preferrably be the last prayer, but if you aren't sure you are going to wake up,its better to do it right after Isha before going to bed.
Sh. Habeeb "Go the path of ease with yourself in order for you to move along with yearning. Two Rakaats performed by a lover is better than 100 done without love. It should all come from yearning for Allah's pleasure".
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "Whoever was given silence is given much wisdom". Imam Shafi said when he was in a gathering and needed to say something he would first look into himself and determine what his intention was if it was to show off, he didn't say anything.
Imam Shafi said that he never had a debate with someone without praying that the truth will be manifested on the tongue of his oponent, so that he would submit to it. Subhana Allah!
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) didn't like chatterboxes. Imam Malik said of his student "he is a good man, except he speaks a month worth of talking in a day".
It's a good practice. There are different ways to meditate: we can reflect upon Qiyama, or the Divine names of Allah and His attributes, upon our blessings, our death, our life.
Keeping the Company of Good people
Imam ibn AtAllah said "don't take as a company someone whose state does not elevate you and whose speech does not guide you to Allah subhanahu wa t'ala." A good person can help change your focus even when you are gloomy to be more grateful to Allah.
Sidi Abul Hassan said "Whoever tells you to go to the world has cheated you...." One thing we have to remember is that we will die anytime. If you have a salesman who offers you two houses. One, he tells you is temporary, it can vanish at any time. The other is permanent, beautiful but is more expensive. Which one would you choose to invest in? The Akhirah is bought by saving your soul.
Abul Hasan continued "And the one who tells you to do a lot of good deeds has exhausted you, but the one who indicates the contentment of Allah has guided you". To finally take refuge in the one to Whom all affairs are returned to.
The only real cure to these diseases is going to Allah with complete submission and plea with Him to change your condition.
Teach the ignorant one to guidance.
You have to be like someone who is drowning or one in a barren desert with no other recourse but Allah.
Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl said his guidance came on a boat. He was with some Habashi Christians, and waves were rocking the boat. So Ikrimah called to his idols for help. The Habashi laughed at him "You are calling an idol all the way in Makkah to help you here at sea?" Ikrimah realised the foolishness of that, and Tawheed entered his heart at that moment. He realised only Allah could help him.
Actions that purify the heart
None is more beneficial than that which is consistent even if it is slight. Take the example of two rusty coins. On one you scrub it vigorously once then put it to the side, on the other you consistently scrub it lightly for a long time. The second one will become brighter and shinier and stay like that with time. The first will eventually rust again.
The proof of this is that the Sahaba were consistent even in the Nafila.
If we use the example of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and the fact that he sometimes fasted, and sometimes didn't, sometimes woke up at night and sometimes didn't etc. we have to remember that he (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is a universal Messenger. In him everyone could find an example. He encompasses every good in all believers.
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) understood that everyone has been given a different opening, for some its waking up at night, for others its reading Quran, for others its fasting, etc. That's why there are more than one door to Jannah. Abu Bakr (radhiallaahu anhu), asked if anyone would be able to enter all the doors of Jannah, and the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said yes, and he hoped Abu Bakr (radhiallaahu anhu), will be one of them.
Imam Malik used to wear nice clothes. He liked musk, and was always dressed nicely, and surrounded by a lot of people because he taught a lot. One Zahid looked at him and wrote him a letter, chastising him for being around people and wearing nice clothes. Then Imam Malik wrote a nice letter back to him, telling him that Allah has openend many doors of righteousness, some people have fasting, some sadaqa, etc. He said "I am pleased with what Allah has given me, and I don't think I am less than you".
You should follow what Allah has facilitated for you. Include actions that are done in the absence of others secret charity, prayer etc.
Fudhayl was walking and a man commented to another "there's someone who prays all night long". Fudhayl heard this and thought "I dont' remember any night that I spent all of it in prayer" he began weeping "how great Allah subhanahu wa t'ala is to veil me and make the man think I am better than what I really am!"
Actions done based on the love of Allah are the highest ones. The one who is free of want from dunya and even tamaa of Al Akhirah, and reserves the best and highest for Allah earns His pleasure. Zuhd is really lack of want.
The actions of those who strive out of hope are better than one who is compelled by fear. Actions that extend to others are also better eg. teaching, sadaqa, planting a tree, feeding an animal etc. Fasting is good to abstain from desires. Sadaqa for a miser is better for the heart. "The best Sadaqa is when you are sound in mind and body, and you are in fear of poverty" Said the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Youth spent in avoiding wrong actions is better. Tawbah becomes easier when you are older. Some Muslims spend their youth doing wrong, and when they get older become righteous and start pointing fingers at others.
Allah subhanahu wa t'ala loves the obedient youth.The definition of youth is about 15-35 some say 15-40. Anything done with discretion and concealment is good for the heart.
The worst things are those that harden the heart and the nafs likes, and that you are constant in. Speaking a lot without mentioning Allah subhanahu wa t'ala hardens the heart. The more the tongue remembers Allah the softer the heart gets.
A wrong action that leads to shame and impoverishment before Allah is better than obedience and feeling kibr before Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. The wisdom of wrong actions is to give us humility.
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) "if it wasn't for wrong actions I would have feared worse which is ujub". Ahmad Zarruq said "The good of Ta’a is in the essence of Ta’a"...if the secondary result of good is pride, and the result of Ma’siya is tawbah then at the very end the Ma’siya brings you closer to Allah. Although this is not saying disobedience is a good thing. e.g some people rob and kill and end up in jail, where they receive guidance.
An atom's weight of praiseworthy action from the heart is better than mountains of actions that are simply outer. Leaving one penny/farthing of a haraam is bettern than 70 hajjs.
There are four things that even the best of them have some abasement in it:
1. Debt even a farthing/penny.
b. A daughter as she is vulnerable in society and needs protection.
c. Asking a question even if its directions.
d. Being alone even for a night.
The comprehensive ideology is love of this temporary world (there is a difference of opinion some say it is desire, which is the root of all diseases).
Ibn AtAllah thought the source of diseases is self satisfaction. It is better to keep the company of an ignorant man that is dissatisfied with himself than that of a learned man that is satisfied with himself. The reason for every good character is lack of self satisfaction.
Zarruq said the three signs of being content with the self are:
1. Seeing the Haqq for the self:
In this culture we have a bill of rights but not a bill of responsibilities. In Islam we focus more on responsibilities because Allah has rights over us. Taqwa is Allah's right.
There are people who always see others as against them "I have a right!" There was an alim who went to a self satisfied Shaykh he didn't like very much and said "The least of my students is better than you!" The Shaikh said "why?" The alim said "Come to my madrassa tommorow and I'll show you why." He then told his students when the Shaikh comes in and gives you salaam don't say salaam back. And then he also said when another student comes in and says salaam do not say salaam back.
The Shaykh came in and said "Assalamu Alaykum" and no one responded. He said it a couple of times loudly and no one responded. He got billigerant and angry and said "These are your students? They are ignorant. Don't they know that Allah's subhanahu wa t'ala Message that said if you are given salaam you should reply with something that's better!" .Then a little while later a late student came in. He said salaam and no one responded and said salaam again and no one responded. Immediately he became humble and said "I am sorry if I haven't fulfilled one of your huquq. Please forgive me" The student's attitude was to immediately look at himself and humble himself in that situation "what did I do?" the Shaykh's attitude was "this is my right!"
2. Ignoring the faults of self by deeming the self above impurity or by interpreting the faults to sound good.
3. Having compassion for the self and complaining.
The 3 signs of discontenment are:
1. He is always checking himself and accusing the self.
2. Careful of the blemishes of the soul.
3. Forcing the self to do difficult things. Eating less, praying more, engaging in Mujahada.
Abu Uthman said "Whoever sees anything good about his self hasn't seen the faults of his soul". This attitude is antethical to the west which is always talking about feeling good. It's not about self loathing but more importantly about striving for constant self improvement.
Mastery is only achieved by consistent improvement. The minute you stop, then that's the most you'll grow. When a man is dissatisfied he seeks more good and is vigilant against evil.
Miftah is key in Arabic. The root word for Miftah is Fataha. Miftah is a tool you use to open something up, it causes an opening which is different from unlocking. Miftah is also related to one of Allah's names Al- Fatah.
There's a hadith that states sabr is the key for Faraj (opening/ease). Part of patience is not complaining.
The Doors of Knowledge: The key to prayer is wudhu (if you are heedless of your wudhu and cleanliness you will be heedless of your prayer). Wudhu is spiritual preparation for Prayer.
Key to Hajj is Ihram
The Key to
righteousness is charity.
The key to
Jannah is Tawhid.
has teeth (asnan) and these keys branch out to others.
The key to
ilm/knowledge is asking intelligent questions and learning to listen
The key to
gaining is patience. With patience you will gain whatever you desire, with
Taqwa you can bend even iron!
The key to
increase of good in dunya and akhirah is gratitude.
The key to Wilaya is love and remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala.
The key to Tawfiq (your will in accordance to Allah) is understanding what you should naturally incline to or avert to (Rahba and Raghba).
The key to getting a response from Allah subhanahu wa t'ala is Dua (calling/supplicating to Allah).
The key to entering into the presence of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala is the heart entering into submission and sincerity in what you love and hate (all should be for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala).
The key to life of the hearts is reflecting on the meaning of the Quran and calling onto Allah with sincerity before dawn and leaving bad deeds/wrong actions.
The key to gaining mercy from Allah subhanahu wa t'ala is doing ibadah properly and striving to help out creation.
"Show Mercy to those on earth and Allah will have mercy on you".
The key to provision is to go out and get it but do a lot of istighfar (the nature of going out into the dunya is acquiring dhunub/sins).
The key to
dignity is obedience to Allah subhanahu wa t'ala.
The key to
getting ready for akhirah is having short hopes.
The key to
all good is desire of akhirah the key to all evil is desire for dunya.
Shaykh Al Khatri spoke for the last part of the tape:
The root of diseases is a human being being self satisfied. That human will not be able to acquire good as long as he is content with the self. The origin of good is knowing your self. If you really know yourself you won't be content with it and you'll be motivated to do good. If you are self satisfied yu deem wrong actions to be good. So the nature of your hawaa is that it inclines towards Ma’siya (wrong doing) and if you aren't careful of your soul it will convince you that bad deeds are good. (e.g this culture). The soul when it is not satisfied will seek what's good (what Allah says is good not the aql or self). The Shariah tells us what is good and bad and intellect has no access to that. The aql/intellect is a limited source of guidance. Shariah recognises what's good. The nafs looks to what Allah tells it to do for guidance.
The origin of those two (disease and treatment) is the company he keeps. "A man is of the deen of his companions". If you keep company of one who does wrong it will affect you. People have to look at who he keeps company of e.g if you sit at the door of the bar you will smell the foul odour of the alcohol. If you are sitting at the door of the perfumer you will smell the incense. Whatever you keep proximity of affects you (good and bad). Luqman said to his son keep the company of Ulamah those who act upon their knowledge they are like rain to the earth of your heart without even you being aware of it. Iman will increase as a result.
The sitting with the alim will take you from six states that are bad to six that are good:
1. From doubt to certainty (shaqq ila yaqeen).
2. From riyaa to sincerity
3. From heedlessness to remembrance
4. From desire of dunya to desire of akhirah.
5. From arrogance to humility
6. From a bad internal nature to a good character with good intentions.
the company of one whose state does not elevate you or speech does not direct
you to Allah.
Of all these diseases the comprehensive treatment is remembrance of Allah (dhikr). The highest dhikr is recitation of the Quran, praying, saying Subhana Allah, Laillaha Illa Allah, Alhamdullillah, etc. All the duas of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
A person in a constant state of dhikr will have a pure heart.
Sidi Ahmad Ibn Hanbal saw Allah in his dreams 99 times! In one of those times he asked Allah "Of all the things we do, which one draws your servant closest to you?" Allah replied "Reading the Quran". Ibn Hanbal asked "with or without understanding?" Allah said "It doesnt' matter. Even if one doesn't understand the Quran, if he reads it that action would draw him closer to Allah". In Sahih Al Bukhari the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "The likeness of one who remembers Allah and one who doesn't is like the living and the dead".
In another hadith he (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), said "Make remembrance of Allah until people say his is a madman". Someone talking to himself is considered crazy, so make dhikr until people who are looking at you think you are crazy (be consistent).
In another Hadith, he (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "Should I not tell you what the best of your action is? And the purest in front of your Lord? And the most exalted in all of the deeds in degree? And better for you than spending in gold and silver? And better than Jihad where you they kill you and you kill them?" The sahaba eagerly said "yes!" "Remembrance of Allah".
Dhikr of Allah
is the end, where as every Ibadah is a means to that end.
"remember me and I'll remember you".
Dhikr is not the same as other forms of worship, because it
can encompass all human acts, and is not limited by time. The one who always is
in a state of remembrance, an affliction will never touch him and he will die a
Shahid. Medicine for the soul is
dhikr. When you want to do dhikr start
with Istighfaar (to remove the wrong actions) and after that Pray on the Prophet
(sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) (it acts as a Murabbi, for cleansing the
soul). The only dhikr that is definitely
accepted is Salaat Ala Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) Allah commands where
He himself begins with it "Allah and His angels pray on the Prophet
(sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), Oh believers pray on the Messenger and say
Tasleem". So whoever prays on the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)
one time, Allah prays for him ten times.
In a hadith the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) "Prayer for
me is the light of the heart, the grave and on the siraat". Every time you
do it start with the ayah. The one who prays on the Nabii should keep in mind
that it is Mandub, to have wudhu, face the Qiblah and do siwaak. Also have the presence of the Prophet
(sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in mind. These are the same courtesies of prayer.
Every dhikr has things appropriate for that dhikr eg saying "Laillaha Illa
Allah" you negate shirk.
Alhamdullillah reminds us of the blessings of Allah.
Lahawla Wala Quwatta Illa billah, reminds us to completely disengage ourselves from any power/strength except for Allah.
When your pray on the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), you should bring the presence of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in front of you, and all the wonderful things he has done. You are participating on something that even Allah and His angels do.
Another thing to avoid in dhikr is Lahn (incorrect Pronunciation). Try to learn to say things properly. Some mis pronunciations can take you outside the pale of Islam. People who really can't pronounce something after they have tried really hard, are excused.
One of the greatest forms of worship is meditating on the creation of Allah. Allah makes mention of people who remember Him standing, sitting, and reclining, those who reflect on His creation.
Action of the heart (tafakkur) is better than all the actions of the limbs.
on one moment is better than a year of Ibaadah.
The signs of reflection are in 4 directions:
1. Reflection on the Signs of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, reflecting on Allah's subhanahu wa t'ala creation leads to love of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala in the heart.
2. Reflection on the promise of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala in terms of rewards this leads to a desire of Akhirah (Al Raghba)
3. Relfection on the punishment of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala this leads to fear (Rahba) of disobedience to Allah.
4. Reflections on the harshness of self towards Allah subhanahu wa t'ala despite Allah's consistent Ihsan towards us. This leads to shame in front of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala, having hayaa, and gratitude.
is the thing that differenciates between good and evil. The heart has these khawatir/insinuations.
Q and A session
People who are Mutassawifa that is people who claim to be Sufis, who do a lot of dhikr but ignore the wajib, what about them?
First a human has to learn Fardh Ayn. He will go astray without it.The great Imams all say before Tassawuf there has to be Fiqh or you will deviate. Even showing filial piety towards parents has to be superseded by learning the Fardh ayn, this will take about a year of serious study.
What about women who are menstruating?
Women who are menstruating can't read from the Quran. If she memorises some verses and needs to maintain what she has memorised (from memory) then its okay. She can do anything as far as dhikr, Dua, Istighfaar, etc
What about people who are guided to true Islam through sufism?
People are guided by Allah subhanahu wa t'ala first and foremost. We worship Allah subhanahu wa t'ala by His ahkaam, tawheed, prayers, (methology of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)). Pseudo spirituality claims that you can have Haqeeqah without Shariah and that is anti Spirituality in reality. The fruit is protected by the shell. You can't get spiritual without the Shariah, you will be filled with the diseases of the heart.
If you have done things wrong should you tell people about it?
If you have done something wrong, veil it and ask for Allah's forgivenss. But if you commit it openly, then this will lead to worse tribulation. A man came to the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and confessed "I have commited Zina, punish me" The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) turned away from him. The man insisted, so the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "Didn't you just pray with us?", "whoever does wrong and says istighfaar and covers it Allah will forgive him, but if he confesses then we have to punish him".
Companionship in terms of dunya is to always be with someone either lower than you or the same (in terms of wealth). If you hang out with rich people you will begin to desire their wealth. In terms of spirituality always hang out with someone who is higher than you in station. People of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala tend to look at themselves as lower than everyone else, this will teach you humility. Don't belittle anyone because they might be the wali of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala.
Imam Malik said "Who are the people of Biddah?" "Anyone who calls himself other than Muslim is Ahl Bidaah". To say you are Hanafi, Maliki, etc is not wrong, because according to Ahlus Sunnal Wal Jamaah, the 4 imams are absolutely by consensus rightly guided. Anyone who asks about the hazy things in the Quran is deviated.
In age where shuyukh are dying what should do?
Take a simple aqeedah and learn. Even women can go to places like
Anyone who calls people to Islam and doesn't know the fundamentals is not a true Dayeeah. We should learn the basics and then invite people through that first.
Treatment with Remembrance
No better treatment than dhikr.
If we get
ill, then we treat ourselves with dhikr and sometimes we abandon and have
Man wanted to get in to see Umar, and the man’s cousin got in and said “Ya Umar give me what Allah because you are someone who hasn’t given out much, and is unjust”. Umar was mad and the cousin reminded to remember what Allah told him ‘to forgive ignorance”and Umar immediately let go.
Do a lot of dhikr, only people who will benefit Allah’s Messenger are people who remember Allah subhanahu wa t'ala.
Tazkiya means to grow. Spiritual work that you do is dependent on dhikr of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala.
Sayyidna Umar wrote to his people “I consider prayer to be most importance, and who is vigilant guarded his deen, and whoever is negligent he is negligent about everything else”.
Know the ahkaam of the prayer.
stay up all night doing dhikr then miss fajr prayer. It is a waste.
conditional on wudhu and tahara.
remembrance is to remember Allah at His limits.
dhikr is Quran, recite with reflection.
time the Quran is not the best dhikr is when other dhikr is preferred e.g.
after fajr do the dhikr of
Istighfaar. Then prayer of Prophet, then Tahlil.
Ikhlaas and Muawadhitayn. (Surah Ikhlaas, Surah Naas, Surah Falaq three times).
prayer and guard yourself from lahn (mispronunciation).
and Qibla (but this is only mandub). You don’t have to if you can’t. No one protects his wudhu except a
To recite from Mushaf is more reward then (listen or memorize) because eye, ear, the hands, all get the rewards.
shuyukh haven’t touched a mushaf in 30 years.
of the printing of the Quran was instituted by
Because there are so many Quran’s today people have no respect for it.
Beware of bad pronunciation because you can actually say something haraam as a result. Unless you really cannot help it.
The ulama considered lahn (mispronunciation) a prohibition
and it is like one who worships Allah through disobedience.
The best of ibadah is Tafakkur (reflection) and the highest state is Fanaa (extinction). This comes from the idea that the nafs experiences separation from itself. Newborns have no concept of it. As a child grows it comes into its identity and sees itself as an individual.
1. Haal: When someone is overcome with a spiritual state that is uncontrollable.
2. Maqam: Fixed in a state (higher than haal because of its constancy). For example the Maqam of tawbah is not wanting to do wrong, while the haal of tawbah is when you do wrong and suddenly you feel bad about it.
3. Warid: In rush that comes into the heart and floods it with light. This is temporary.
4. Fanaa: highest- when the self is no longer aware of itself. Loss of the experience of the self. It doesn’t last and if it does, it becomes insanity.
Spiritual psychosis: is a real concept. Some people go into meditation and lose their mind because they don’t have the protection of wudhu, salat, etc. Islam is grounding. It is not about getting a spiritual high.
New age spiritualists have experiences but can’t distinguish
between satanic, nafs, and angelic experiences.
The idea of fanaa is the person who does dhikr is no longer aware of self. Sayyidna Ali’s other son (not Hassan or Hussein), was struck by an arrow.His companions waited until he was praying to take it out, because he wouldn’t feel the pain. Other people (spiritualists) have incredible experiences that are spiritual. So this concept is not just particular to Islam. We don’t believe in the idea of Hulul (incarnation). The human being though can be in a state of absolute witnessing where they see Allah subhanahu wa t'ala in all of His creation. That’s why for a mu’umin everything good and bad is from Allah subhanahu wa t'ala.
Sabah wal Masaa (Morning and Evening Remembrances).
These adhkaar are formulations and there are different ones out there. Focus on the ones that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) before doing from various scholars.
Shaytaan’s foremost task is to get you away from dhikr and if he can’t do that he will get you away from the Quran and Sunnah.
Always start with Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim. Whatever action that is done without the name of Allah is cut off from Barakah.
Ikhlaas 3 times (Surah Ikhlaas is equivalent in weight and meaning to a 1/3 of the Quran). Muawadhatayn (Nas and Alaq 3 times)
Rabi Inni Audhu Bika Min Hamazatil Shayateen Waudhu Rabi and Yuhdharoon 3 times.
(I seek refuge in Allah from the whispering and insinuation of Shaytaan and I seek refuge from their presence)
One of the signs of time is that insinuations and whisperings will increase. People’s minds are filled with clutter. The TV is on, or music, bill boards, etc. It is all from shaytaan. By indulging we are giving shaytaan the ticket to whisper and give us visual images that destroy our souls.
Majority of sports have awrah and we shouldn’t watch. We need to disengage ourselves from useless entertainment, wean ourselves from the dunya.
Afahasibtum annama Khalaqnakum abathan waanakum ilayna la trujaoon, Fala Allahu Malikul Haqqu, Lailaha Illa Huwa Rabbul Arshil Kareem.
(Do you think we created you in vain and to us you wouldn’t return? Exalted is Allah, the King, the Truth, There is no God but He, the Lord of the Noble Throne)
Waman Yadu maa llahi illahan akharan la burhana lahu bihi fainna hisabuhu maa rabbihi inn Allaha la yuflihul Kafiroon
And He who
worships with God there is no proof on him, and his account is with Allah,
verily Allah will not grant success to the Disbelievers
Wa Qul Rabbi, Ighfir Warham waanta Khayrul Rahimeen.
Say My Lord
forgive and have Mercy for you are the best of those who show Mercy.
Fasubhana Allahi Hina Tumsoon wa Hina Tusbihoon, Walahul Hamdu Fisamawati Wal Ardhi Wa ashiyan Wahina Tudh-hiroon.
Glory be to
Allah when you come into the evening and when you come into the morning, and He
has praise in the heavens and earhte and in the evening and at Dhuhur time.
Yukhrijul Hayaa Minal
the living form the dead and the dead from the living (this could refer to the
Audhu Billahi Samiul Aleem minal Shaytanil Rajeem
I seek refuge in Allah the all Hearing the All Knowing from the Accursed Satan.
Read the last 4 ayahs of Suratul Hashr.
A poet once said: How wondrous is it that a man can disobey or disbelieve in Allah, while in every movement, and stillness and always there is a witness. Everything in creation is a sign that testifies He is One.
Attributes are only approximations for humans to understand in our limited scope due to time and space constraints who Allah is. The sunnah is like the ark of Noah for the flood of Bidaah, Kufr and all the other vices. Sayyidna Malik said.
Some duas to do every day:
"Audhu Bikalimatti llahi Tammati min sharri ma khalaq" (three times)
"I seek refuge in all the complete names of Allah from the evil of His creation". Whoever says this in the morning/evening will not be afflicted by any harm.
"Bismillahi Alladhi laa yadhurru maa ismihi shay'an fil ardhi wala fisamai wahuwal samiul alim".
"In the name of Allah the one who does not harm anything in the earths and heavens and He is the All Hearing the Knower"
Saying this will protect you from harm by poison, animals, creation. There was an anecdote about this dua. Where Khalid bin Walid told some Christians that nothing can harm him without the will of Allah. The Christians dared him to take poison. He said this dua and took it, and wasn't hurt. CAUTION: Do NOT try this at home, our imaan levels are no where near that of the likes of Khalid bin Walid.
"Allahuma ini Asbahtu minka binimatin,waafiyattin, wasitrin, faitimma nimatika aaliyya, waafyatika, wasitrika, fil dunya wal Akhirah" (three times)
Oh Allah I have wakened in blessings, health, and covering (from my misdeeds), so complete my blessings, health and covering in this world and the next. Whoever says this has completed his gratitude.
"Allahuma ini Asbahtu ash-hiduka, wa-ashhidu hamalata arshika, wamalaikatak, wa jamiu khalqika annaka Allahu laillaha Illa anta, Wa anna Muhammadan abduka Warasuluka" (4 times)
"Oh Allah I come into the morning calling You to bear witness and the angels that bear your throne, and all your angels and all of your creation that You are Allah without partner and Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). is Your servant and Messenger". Releases a man from bondage to anything but Allah.
"Alhamdullillahi rabil Alameen Hamdan yuwafi nimatahu wa kufi mazida" (3 times)
"I praise Allah for the Lord of the Worlds A praise that is appropriate for all His blessings and also recompenses the increase He gives us.
"Amantu billahil Adheem, wakafartu bil Jibti, wal taghuti, wastamsaktu bil urwatil wuthqaa lanfinsama laha, Wallahu Samiun alim".
in Allah the Great, and I have disbelieved in magic, and association with Allah,
and I have held on to the firmest handle, this handle will never break off, and
Allah is the All Hearing, All Knowing".
Saying this removes all shirk and is a protective dua.
"Radhaitu billahi Rabban Wabil Islami deenan wabi Muhammadin (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) nabiyyan warasulan".
"I am content with Allah as my Lord, Islaam as my deen, and Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is the Messenger and Prophet".
Hasbiya Allahu Laa illaha illa Huwa alaihi tawakaltu wahuwa rabbul Arshil adheem”
I put my
trust in Allah the Lord of the Magnificent Throne
"Allahuma Sali Alaa Muhammad waala alihi Waashabihi Wassalim".
the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam))
Jibril (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) gave the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) glad tidings that whoever says prayers on him, Allah says it on the person 10 times. (It is recommended to do at least 100 in the morning and 100 in the evening.) Uthmaan da Fodio, did prayers on the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) at least 5000 times daily! Imam Al Jazuli for 14 years in a row, finished the Quran once a day, said Bismillahi Rahmanil Raheem 114,000 times daily while he was in seclusion. When he came out people made tawbah just by seeing his state! This Imam memorized a difficult Maliki fiqh book. He stayed in the room for so long, people convinced his father to go look as maybe he had some hidden treasures in there. His dad went to check on him and saw all over the walls the word "Maut"/death written. The dad then realised his son was in a different station all together. Subhana Allah.
"Allahuma inni Asaluka min fujaatil khayri, wa adhubika min fujaatil Sharri".
"Oh Allah I seek good surprises and I take refuge from bad surprises!".
"Allahuma Anta Rabi laa illaha illa anta. Khalaqtani wa ana abduka. Wa ana ala ahdika wa wadika mas tatatu. Audhu bika min shari ma khalaqtu, a boou bika binimatikka alayya, faghfirli fainnahu laa yaghfirul dhunooba illa anta." (3 times)
"Oh Allah You are my Lord, there is no God but You, You created me and I'm your servant, and I am under your covenant and your promise as best as I am able to. I seek refuge in you from the evil i have perpetrated. I return in admittance that all my blessings are from you. I take full responsibility for my sins. So forgive me, for you are the only one who can forgive my sins".
This is called the master of Istighfar - the best way to seek forgiveness.
"MashaAllahu Kana wamalam yashaa lam yakun. Walahawla wala quwaata illa billahi aliyil adheem".
"Whatever Allah wills will happen and whatever He doesn't will not. There is no power except from Allah, the Most High, The most Gracious".
Good to recite during calamaties.
"Alamu ana Allaha ala kulli shayin qadeer, waanna Allaha Ahadta ala kulli shayin Ilman, Allahuma ini Aduhubika min sharri nafsi, wamin sharri kulli dabbatin, anta akhidhun binasiyatiha. inna rabi ala siratil Mustaqeem."(3 times)
"I know that Allah is powerful over all things. And He encompasses over all things in knoweldge. Oh Allah I seek refuge in you from the evil of my soul and the evil of every creation that you have taken by the Forelock, my Lord is on the straight path"
"Yahayyu ya Qayyum birahmatika astaghith, wamin adhabika astajir, aslihi shaani kullahu wala takilni ila nafsi wala ahadin min khalqika tarafata aynin"
"I am seeking succor of your Mercy and I am seeking respite from your torment, rectify all my affairs, and do not leave me to my soul or anyone from your creation for a blink of an eye!"
This doesn't mean that you won't get help from others, but you will see it from Allah.
"Allahuma ini audhubika minal hammi walhuzni, waminal ajzi wal kasli, waminal jubni wal bukhli, wamni ghalabatil dayni wa qahratul rijal.:
"Oh Allah I seek refuge in your from the grief (of my past), or anxiety (of the future), from incapacity or laziness, from cowardice (of self) or miserliness, and from overpowering debt and oppression of man"
Debt is how the kuffar go over the Muslims. It is through debt that they could begin to ask for concessions. This whole country is designed to get people in debt. Economic slavery! When you are in debt you are weak and bound to be guilty. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) told us to beware of debt and kufr. The fact that it is put with kufr shows how bad it is.
"Allahuma inni asalukal afwa, wal afiya, wal muafatal daima, fi deeni, wadunyaya, wa ahli, wamali. Allahuma istir awrati, waamin rawati. Allahuma ihfadhni min bayni yaddaya, wamin khalfi, waaudhu bi adhmatika an ughtala min tahti".
"Oh Allah I seek I am asking for forgiveness and health in my deen, world, family, and wealth. Oh Allah cover my misdeeds and nakedness, secure me from fearr, protect me in between my hands, my back, from above me, and from assasination by trickery from under me."
"Allahuma anta khalaqtani waanta tut'imni, waanta tasqini, waanta tumituni, waanta tuhyini".
"Oh Allah you have created me,and you guide me and it is You who feeds me and quenches my thirst and you cause me to die and to live".
"Asbahna ala fitratil Islam wala Kalimatul Ikhlaas, wala deeni nabiyana Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). wa ala millati abeen Ibraheema hanifan Musliman wama kana minal Mushrikeen".
"We have awoken into the Fitra of Islam, and the pure word, and on the deen of our Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and on the path of our father Ibraheem (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and he was inclining towards truth, submission in Islam and not amongst the polytheist".
"Allahuma bika asbahna wa bika amsaina, wabika nahya wabika namut wailaika nushur"
"Oh Allah through you we awaken, and by you we come
into life, and through you we die, and to you is our Ressurection".
"Allahuma ini as aluka khayra hadhal yamu wakhayra ma baadahu, waaudhubika min shari hadhal yaumu, wamin sharri maa badahu"
"Oh Allah I ask the goodness of this day and the goodness of whats after it, and I seek refuge in you from the evil of this day and whats after it"
"Allahuma maa asbaha bi min nimatin aw bi ahadin min khalqika faminka wahdaka laa sharika laka, falakal hamd walakal shukr"
"Oh Allah there is no blessing that has come on me this morning, or any of your creation except from you there is no partner with you, so to You goes my gratitude and my praises".
I want to take a moment and say its very hard to write Arabic in English. MashaAllah sis Jannah has an awesome collection of these duas and more in english and Arabic! Check it out Here! (http://www.jannah.org/articles/adhkaar.doc ). May Allah reward her immensely (Amin).
There are demons all over and we need protection of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. By dua we are creating the space around us so that they can't mess with us. If you dilligently practice these duas you will see a difference in your life. Do this for the sake of Allah and the fact that these motivations/rewards we should be more inspired to do os. People nowadays are considered to be good Muslims just because they pray! Neurosis of this society is that everyday we are in a state of haste, fast food, televisions, fast computers..fast everything. In Islam the morning is a time of tranquility. Haste is from shaytan and the kuffar know this. Take time with Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. Do your wudhu and still your soul.
We don't deny the world. e.g Imam Malik had nice clothes, good house, perfumes etc. If Allah gives you wealth then it is okay to live in a good state. Initially in the early state of Islam the shuyukh were wearing really ragged clothes. Umar (radhiallaahu anhu), went to Shaam and saw Muawiya (radhiallaahu anhu), was wearing really nicely ornamented clothes, and he got angry! Uthmaan (radhiallaahu anhu), advised Umar (radhiallaahu anhu), and said "these people, if they wore what we wear in the desert would be looked down upon". Indicating there is a hikma in that. So Umar (radhiallaahu anhu), said "Allah gave us dignity through Islam and if we seek dignity in other than that, Allah is going to humiliate us!"
There is a ikhtilaaf in the issue of dhikr in congregation. Imam Malik considered it to be Makrooh, Imam Shafi thought it was permissible based on a sound hadith (that Allah was sending speeding angels to the gatherings of dhikr. and when they descend on them, they go to Allah and Allah asks them about His slaves (although He knows better) and they tell Him they found them praising and glorifying Him).
(sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) liked poetry and he used to listen to it, like
anasheed are permissible halal entertainment. The point is remember Allah subhanahu wa t'ala.
To do Hajj
voluntarily is better than Jihaad (the end point of Jihad is worship of Allah.)
Jihad is what brings us back to life as an Ummah. Never belittle Jihad. (Whoever dies without even the yearning for Jihaad has died a Munafiq).
Somone asked about celebration of the Prophet's birthday (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) Maulid. Abu Lahab gets respite with a little water every Monday (in hell) because he freed a slave the day the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was born. But the point about it is if you really want to celebrate his birthday just do what he asked you to do! Follow his example and you will be celebrating everyday.
"The faster has two joys when he breaks his fast and when he sees His Lord". Hadith. As a closing we'll go through some concepts on the "Secrets of Fasting" by Imam Al Ghazali. One of the greatest blessings Allah gives us to protect us from the plots of Shaytaan and destory shaytaan's hopes. He made fasting a shield/fortress for believers.The means by which shaytaan takes a hold of the believer is through Shahawat.
Two things destroy a person:
1. Shahawaat: sensory pleasures, desires.
2. Shubuhaat: understanding.
If the shaytaan can't get to the shubuhaat (which is hard if you stick to the right aqeedah), he will try to entice you with desires. "Fasting is half of patience".(hadith). "Patience is half of Imaan". Therefore fasting alone is a 1/4 of Imaan.
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "Every good action is multiplied by 10 to 700 except fasting for it is Mine and I will reward it accordingly" Hadith Qudsi. Fasting teaches us the attributes of the independent one. Patience is the key to many openings from Allah. This is why the greatest victories for the Muslims were in Ramadhan. The foul smell of the mouth is more pure with Allah than the scent of Musk. Hadith. "Everything has a door and the door to worship is fasting" (weak hadith).
The shaytaan flows in men like the flowing of the blood (that's why its important to abstain from haram food and alchohol), so constrict the way shaytaan can flow by hunger. "When Ramadhan comes the gates of
We live in
a pleasure culture, in this country we are like grazers who snack all day long.
Imam Al Ghazali talked about the Fiqh of fasting:
1. Outwardly (Dhahir)
2. Inwardly (batin)
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "How
many people fast and gain nothing except hunger and thirst!".
There are three types of fasting:
1, General: The common people fast that abstain the stomach and genitals from pleasure.
2. Elect: Where you hold the limbs accountable too (eyes, ears, tongue, hands, stomach, genitals, feet...the pathways of shaytaan).
3. Elect of elect: The heart fasts too (from bad thoughts etc). The body is like a country with seven boundaries (the seven limbs), the heart is the command center to guard the borders from unwanted visitors.
Give amanat to its people (Trust).The believer-Mu'umin comes from the word Amana. Allah has given us a trust. The sight, hearing, sound, heart, etc are all a trust from Him and we have to bring back the amana safe and sound. Children are both a trust and a blessing. Fasting trains us on taking care of our trust. The fasting of the elect of the elect. Fasting the heart from low aspirations, and worldly thoughts. Infaq is giving out. During Ramadhan we are in Akhirah mode we give out a lot (rest of the year we acquire). One of the scholars of
The fasting of the heart is important. There was an Imam who used to have a majlis, giving lectures to people. This one man would come from the street every day walk over people's shoulders and whisper in his ear. Then walk away. He did this for a long time, then suddenely stopped. The Imam went to find the guy and asked him why he didn't come anymore. The man said "I have daughters that I have to marry and some people who were envious of you told me to come to you everyday and bother you in your majlis in return for money. They wanted you to become angry and humiliated in front of your students. I came everyday whispering curses in your ear but you never responded or got angry. At last I gave up." The imam said "Why didn't you come to me, I would have given you money and saved you the trouble".
brought up a Zoroastrian worshippers of fire. His father was in charge. The
fire was supposed to be eternal, but he saw his father keeping the flames up.
Then he went to stay with a monk in his search for truth but saw him stealing
money. Finally he went to another monk who told him to be patient for a
Messenger was going to come from Yathrib, so he went to Yathrib to wait for the
Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
Don’t talk a lot, don’t waste time.
The Salaf used to pray 6 months before Ramadhan to see it, and used to spend the next six months begging for it to be accepted.
The greatest proof of deficiency of man is to know he could have done it better.
Do Qiyaam every night, short surahs are recommended towards the end of time, since most people don’t have the himma or the time.
Dhuha prayer is mandub either 2, 4, or 6 Rakaats. Prayer on time, is the most important of all affairs.
Don’t eat the full meal till after you pray Maghrib. It is better to pray Isha in the house, though if you want to do Khatm of Quran go to the Masjid.
Avoid the mentality that Taraweeh is only 8 Rakaats and while people are doing more, you are outside talking.
Remember your brothers and sisters.
Don’t feel giddy with the spiritual light, learn to contain the benefits.
Imam Malik used to like doing dhikr during Ramadhan and the best of which is Quran.
Imam Abu Hanifa recommended you read the Quran at least twice a year. More than one Khatm in Ramadhan is good!
The 7 day schedule of reading Quran:
Day 1: First 3 surahs
Day 2: Next 5 Surahs
Day 3: Next 7 Surahs
Day 4: Next 9 Surahs
Day 5: Next 11 Surahs
Day 6: Next 13 Surahs
Day 7: Finish the Quran
Counsel Sidi Ahmad Zarrooq (d. 1492 C.E.)
Know (may Allah give you and us success, and rectify our worldly and other worldly lives and grant us adherence to way of the truth in our journeys and in our sojourns) that:
Repentance is a key. And taqwaa (awareness of Allah subhanahu wa t'ala) is vast and uprightness is the source of rectification. Furthermore a servant is never free of either blunders, or shortcomings, or lassitude. Therefore never be neglectful of tawbah (repentance), and never turn away from the act of returning to Allah subhanahu wa t'ala and never neglect acts that bring you closer to Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. Indeed, every time one of these three occurs, repent and return.
Every time that you make a mistake, listen and obey. Any time you display shortcoming or lack of enthusiasm, don't desist in your efforts. Let your main concern be to remove from your outer state anything that is displeasing, and then maintain its outward state from continuous counsel. Continue doing this until you find that your fleeing from anything outwardly displeasing is second nature, and your avoidance of the boundaries of prohibited things is as if it acts like a protective net that is placed before you. At this point, it is time to turn inward, toward your heart's presence, and to its reality with both reflection and remembrance. Don't hasten the end result before you have completed the beginning. But likewise, don't begin without looking toward the end result. This is so because the one who seeks the outset at the end loses providential care; and the one who seeks the end at the outset loses providential guidance.
Act in accordance with principles and the appropriate legal rulings, and not in accordance with stories and fantasies. Don't even consider stories of how things went with others, except as a tonic to strengthen your resolve. Certainly not as a reference based upon their outward forms, or what they seem to be telling us. In all of this, depend upon a clear path you can refer to, and a foundation that you can depend upon in all of your states. The best of these is the path of Ibn Ata'ullah, given that in it is a clear direction to Allah subhanahu wa t'ala.
Do not take from others' words unless it is in accordance with your own path, but submit to their implications if you desire realisation.
Avoid all forms of vain and foul speech to your absolute utmost. Put aside anything that you cannot discern its benefit immediately.
Beware of being extremely hard on yourself before you've obtained a mastery over it. But also beware of being too lax with it, in anything that concerns sacred rulings. This is so because it is constantly fleeing from moderation in everything, and it inclines towards extremism in both matters of deviance and guidance.
Seek out a companion to help you out in your affairs, and take his counsel concerning matters that occur from both your inward states and your outward affairs. If you do indeed take his companionship, then treat him in a manner commensurate with his state and give him of your counsel based upon his inabilities and abilities, because a perfected friend is no longer to be found. Indeed, in these times even a suitable companion who is agreeable rarely lasts!
And beware of the majority of people in matters that concern your religious and your worldly states, unless you have ascertained he has some sound relationship with his Lord based upon a knowledge that is free of his caprice or love of leadership, and a sound intellect free of the pitfalls of hidden agendas. Do not be heedless of the machinations of others or their hidden states. Consider these two from both their origins and their actions. A person of character and family-distinction rarely affects you with other than good. And yet a person of low origin's roots usually cause him to disregard you when times get tough.
Be extremely vigilant of the dominant qualities of a given people in any given land, and don't be heedless of the Divine Wisdom in the creation. And notice gathered-ness and separation, some of this we have already covered in our book Al-Qawaa'id, so take a look at it there.
Organise your time in a manner appropriate to the time-specific needs using gentleness and toleration. And be very wary of either harshness or laxity. This is so because too much laxity concerning permissible matters pulls the heart backward in its journey, until even a man of resolve ends up looking like a foolish boy.
Work for this world as if you would live forever, but work for your next life as if you would die tomorrow. Thus do not neglect the externals of your worldly needs. In the meantime do not be heedless of your end and final resting place.
Be extremely vigilant about avoiding positions of leadership, but should you be tried with such matters at least know your own limitations. Be absolutely sincere to Allah with the sincerity of one who knows full well who is placing demands upon him.
Surrender completely to His Decree with the submission of one who knows he can never overcome Him.
Have a firm foundation for all of your affairs and you will be safe from their pitfalls.
Organise your devotional practices, and you will find your time extended due to the barakah (blessings) in it.
Never be fanatical about anything, whether it is the truth or whether it is false, for your heart will then remain in a state of soundness towards others.
Never claim anything you are entitled to, not to mention what you're not entitled to and you'll be safe from tricks and treachery. This is so because anyone who claims some rank above his own will fall in humiliation. Whereas those who claim a rank they want will have it stripped from them. While those who claim a station less than their true rank will be elevated to even higher levels than they actually deserve.
Never give your companion anything of your state other than what his own state wants. This is so because if you go down to his level, he will show you contempt. Whereas if you attempt to raise him up to your level, he will abandon you.
Never demand a right from anyone whether an intimate or a stranger. The reason for this is a stranger in reality owes you nothing, and someone close to you is too precious to direct your blame to him.
Never assume that anyone in this world can really understand your circumstances other than from the perspective of his own circumstances. This is so because in reality everyone only sees things in accordance with their frames of reference and their personal path. However when aims, purposes and aspirations are similar, people tend to work together toward a common goal.
Never belittle any talk that involves absent people, even if there is no harm in it due to the possibility of harm entering into it. Guard your secrets even if you feel safe with someone, because the one you divulge your secret to is not a safer place than your own heart from whence it emanates.
Never leave an atom's weight of your regular devotional practice. Never be lenient with yourself in either lax times or times of high resolve. Indeed, should you miss some of your practice in a given time, redress it in another time. If you're not able to do your usual practice, at least occupy yourself with something else similar.
Never obey your ego even for a moment, nor believe any of its claims no matter what it tells you.
Be vigilant about your resolve in all of your affairs to your utmost. In fact, should you resolve to do something, then do it immediately before the resolve wanes.
Examine your soul constantly in matters that you are obliged to do, or are needed to be done. Anything you are in no need of doing, leave it. Even if it is something that is recommended. That means not involving yourself in anything other than absolutely necessary things, and real discernable needs.
Treat others just as you would want to be treated, and fulfill to them what is due to them.
All of this is really epitomised in the words of the poet when he said, if you desire to live such that your religion is safe, And your portion is full and your honour is sound, guard your tongue and never mention another's faults remembering you yourself have faults and others have tongues.
Watch your eye: Should it ever reveal to you the faults of others say to it, "O my eye! Other people have eyes too!"
Live treating others well And avoid aggression. And should others aggress against you. Leave them but in the best way. The source of these words is in fact nothing other than the traditions of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) when he said, "Be vigilant of Allah wherever you are, and follow a misdeed with a good deed, and it will remove it. And treat others with the most excellent of character."
In another, he (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, "Every child of Adam makes mistakes, and the best of those who make mistakes are those who seek to redress them. Again, the Holy Spirit inspired my heart's core that no soul will die until it fulfills its decreed portion of this world and its appointed time here. So be conscious of Allah and make your request with dignity."
In summation, repentance, awareness of Allah and uprightness are the foundations of all that is beneficial. The Truth is clear, and its details are weighty and significant. The affair belongs only to Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. Success is in His Hands.