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The video clip posted below is taken from one of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s lectures: “The Critical Importance of Al-Ghazali in Our Times”. Shaykh Hamza in this 2:25 min video clip touches upon what Imam al-Ghazali meant when he spoke about Trust in God and Tawhid. I would encourage you to listen to the clip (and the whole lecture if you can, but this clip in particular). For me, this clip pretty much sums everything up. I think once we get our heads around this thing Imam al-Ghazali wrote about and Shaykh Hamza narrates (which doesn’t happen overnight), we will be able to deal better with the situations and circumstances God places us in. It’s not an easy thing, but hey, who said this life was meant to be easy? But we strive, and strive, and persevere, and try to build our understanding which ultimately gives us the strength and spiritual energy we need to carry on in our journeys back to our Lord.

I have transcribed the video clip (well most of it!) which I have pasted below. Hope you find it beneficial. 

 

Transcript
“…Realising that, the destination that you’re on is the one to your own death. And he ends this, he has fear and hope and trust in God, and he puts Trust and Tawhid in the same chapter which is very interesting. Because to him, Tawhid is not a theoretical construct which it is to most Muslims, this idea that God is One. No, to him, God is doing everything at every instant. That is Tawhid. And Ghazali is arguing that if you really understand this, you will have utter trust in God. You will put all your trust in God because it’s all God. God is doing everything in every instant. And this is why if you’re not content with your circumstances, he argues you’re not content with God because it’s God that put you in those circumstances but what God is asking you to do is to respond to them appropriately. That’s the challenge. It’s not the circumstances. The challenge is the power that God has given you in your will, your irada, to actually take your circumstances and respond appropriately. And there are only four circumstances and four requisite responses. You’re in tribulation, and he says the response to that is patience. You’re in a situation of blessing and you have to respond to that with gratitude, and that will increase you. And if you don’t do those things, what he says is, if you are in a state of gratitude and you respond by heedlessness, the blessings will be taken away from you. Not as a punishment, but as a reminder to pull you back. One of the things he says is, there are only two types of people (from a hadith):
1. People in tribulation
2. People in good situations
He said, if you are in a good situation, God will send the people of tribulation to you. And if you reject them and close the door on them, He will make you the people of tribulation. He will take away your blessings because your blessings are to serve the people in tribulation. These are the awakenings that he is trying to instill and inculcate, and this is why as you read this book, a transformation should occur. If it doesn’t, you haven’t read the book.”  

 

  • Anyone who is in a state of heedlessness, and reads the Ihya, it will take them into a state of presence.
  • Hearts have a colour. Everything we do colours the heart in a certain way. Something about the Ihya is that it grabs you and takes you from heedlessness to presence.
  • Ostentation- a type of ostentation is when you get happy when someone hears/find out you have done good.
  • Reading the Ihya is the process of healing.

 

  • Adab is the essence of our deen (religion).
  • Indeed the Qur’an is the banquet of Allah so benefit from it, and what He gives you.
  • If you let the world overtake you, it will let you. It will eat you up and you will always be constricted.

  • Contentment is a treasure that will never perish, the Prophet sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam said.
  • The Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam is the way to ultimately judge everything by.
  • The story of the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam’s life should be directly related to our connection to the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam. You can only determine the scholar if they love the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam.
  • You should never increase in knowledge until you also increase in humility. The more in knowledge you increase, the more humility you should have.
  • Reward and punishment relate to the inner realities of human beings.
  • We need to bring back the sunnah of smiling!
  • Allah created everything in existence. He embellished its form and order. He is the One who measured it out and cautioned it in the best way. Nothing is in existence, except It’s wisdom.
  • Knowing how to apply ones knowledge is something, and knowing how to place something in its position is another thing.
  • The greatest crisis of our time is the crisis of adab.
  • Adab is related to wisdom and putting things in their right place.
  • The inward relates to the outward; and the outward relates to the inward.
  • The outward etiquette’s are proprieties. The way of carrying them outwardly is indicative of what is in one’s heart.
  • Nothing is done outwardly for except it stems from the heart, and nothing comes to the heart unless it’s from a thought.
  • Righteous people don’t even backbite people in their thoughts!
  • All behaviour begins with a thought; they have a natural inclination. Then you decide one way or the other on what you are going to do.
  • We are not taken into account for our thoughts or inclinations. We have to struggle- learning to control ourselves.
  • Our deeds that we do is a trait of our character.
  • The Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam is the gifted mercy from Allah to us. The Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam brought guidance to us.
  • Learning is a process; it’s from the cradle to the grave!
  • The hidden secrets of the heart- these are the planting places for seeds. It is the light of these innermost secrets of the heart; these are what shine outwardly.
  • Whomsoever’ heart is not in a state of humility, their outward state will not be in a state of humility.
  • The heart spreads light if there is light in it.
  • Your heart is constantly changing. It’s important to know the state of the heart.
  • The spiritual path is not linear. You will get what you need in the moment you need it but it’s not the way you expected. Everything that comes to you is in reality for your benefit. We accept the Qadr (Decree); not only accepting, but also knowing the lessons Allah has/is teaching us through that. We might learn through by being hurt, or through tribulations.
  • No one served like the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam did. He was in the service of people and His Lord. Anyone who does not serve, will not progress spiritually.
  • Don’t cut off ties with any of your family; doing so cuts off the Mercy from Allah.
  • One is in absolute need of his Lord and there is nowhere else to go!
  •  Knowledge gives birth to other knowledge! Anytime you learn something, you should write it down. Review and revisit notes. You take notes on the basis of teaching others.
  • If we don’t learn from lessons from people, we become lessons to other people.
  • There has to be a balance in everything, except dhikr of Allah which needs to be constant/often.
  • Be patient with everything that afflicts you.
  • If you are the easiest person to please, and the hardest person to get angry then everyone will love you!
  • Don’t be content with what you have achieved, keep going. Shaitaan and Nafs will tell you to stop and hold you down, but don’t you listen to them!
  • If we are not thankful to Allah for small amounts, then how are we ever going to be thankful for great amounts? Gratitude is the key to tawfiq (success).
  • Make big intentions. Allah opens 70 doors of tawfiq for the one who opens up him the door of righteous intention.

~ Shaykh Yahya Rhodus– The Life Conduct the Prophet sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam, Rihla 2011, Bursa, Turkey (Paraphrased)

More gems to follow inshaAllah ta’Ala……

(Photos’ courtesy- Rihla Student Please keep them in your prayers. Please do not re-use or save the photo without permission. )

Gems from Rihla 2011- Shaykh Hamza Yusuf (Part 2)

  • Imam al-Ghazali is a giant; he is a mountain. And the more you learn about him, the bigger the mountain becomes.
  • The Iyha was Imam al-Ghazali’s magnum opus. He wrote it with the intention of giving the Ummah the book that besides the Qur’an will be enough for the educated Muslims. Some argue that the Ihya is all you need as your guide back to Allah.
  • The Ihya has immense impact. First thing tells us that the Ihya is in 4 parts. In each section/part Imam al-Ghazali put 10 books. There are 40 books in the Ihya. 40 is a special number.
  • The Qur’an is central to Imam al-Ghazali’s teaching.
  • If God can make a house holy, you don’t think He can make a heart holy? If He can sanctify stones, He can sanctify a human heart.
  • If you’re knocking at the door, the knocking is itself the opening of the door; if you are journeying, your start is your beginning, don’t worry if you don’t get there. Stop wasting time. Death is waiting for you. This was the key message of Imam al-Ghazali
  • Only thing that reduces anxiety is by certainty (Yaqeen), and knowing that everything that happens is only because of Allah, and you’re in good hands.
  •  Wudu is ibadah. It’s independent worship. You can do wudu just as a form of worship. If you are not doing any practices to prepare for prayer, you will probably not feel anything in prayer. Sidi Ahmed Zarruq said “The degree of your presence in prayer is dependent on your wudu”
  • Wudu comes from Wada’a which means to make bright. The wudu is how the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam recognises his Ummah on the day of judgement, i.e by the light of their limbs.
  • Don’t let shaitaan take the light away from your prayer.
  • You have to have time between you and your Lord.
  • The greatness of the creation of the mosquito is no less than the greatness of the creation of the elephant. Everything that happens is a cause for marvel.
  • The whole world is a metaphor; we are all travellers in this world.
  • The world can reject you, but Allah will never reject us. His door is always open.
  • Allah created a world of expansion and contraction. The heart contracts and expands. Natural state of human is that he is in-between contraction and expansion.
  • Allah creates death and life to try us to see which of us is best in virtue and action.
  • If you are in blessing, you have to be very grateful.
  • The easiest thing in this world is not very beneficial. The hardest thing is very beneficial. The struggle is what makes us stronger and gets us closer to Allah.
  • In the lifting up of our feet, even the act of walking is indicative of our fitra desire to yearn for a return to al-Jannah.


  • The Van Allen belt is formed by Earth’s rotation and serves as a protection barrier from radiation. This is the secret behind the power and protection of making tawba and our turning to towards Allah.
  • The recording Angel on the left doesn’t record our sins until the end of the day. So hasten to make tawba.
  • Our aspirations should always be in the celestial. That’s why almost all of the early scholars of Islam were astronomers.
  • Every civilization in power has been obsessed with astronomy and law. Astronomy equals law of the heavens; Law equals law of the land. 
  • If the stars ever go out in the night sky, how will men come to know God?
  • Just as the sun rises bit by bit, it’s the sunnah of God for openings from Him to also come bit by bit. So, be patient

Allah created the stars:

1. As a way to ornament the sky with the lamps- stars so we would marvel at them.

2. To strike down the shaitan.

3. Signs that we are guided by.

4 Levels of patience:

1. Patience with ibada (worship).

2. Patience with avoiding sins.

3. Patience with tribulations and we show this by being content with the decree of Allah.

4. Patience with blessings, we show this by thanking Allah for all the blessings He has given us.

  • When things get really bad, know that things will get better. The Sahaba (companions) of the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam used to say that when they were in trepidation, they knew bad/hard things will be coming their way, and when bad things happened, they knew that good things will be coming their way.
  • If someone commits to the practice of surrendering and sabr (patience), over time the tribulations become easy and they no longer feel the tribulation. You are in paradise whilst in duniya then!
  • ‘We will test you until we see who is patient’- to see what you are made out of. The struggle and patience go together. The best attitude to have is patience.
  • Patience takes time and effort. Over time you can acquire this natural state.

Don’t attach to dunya because:

1. It’ not permanent

2. It is the tests you will go through due to it

  • ‘With hardship comes ease’ The ease will overwhelm the hardship!
  • In tribulations, things come slowly. The night is peeled away. Just as the night is peeled away slowly, tribulations move away slowly.
  • The opening is there, but will only come when the time is right!
  • The clouds of goodness contain rain; when the time comes, it will pour. Allah sends down rain to dead lands; He does it at the appropriate time. When the appropriate time for openings come, it will come. He does things in His time, not our time. This is part of being content with the Qadr and what happen has been apportioned for you.
  • A person is not a Sufi until the angel does not record a sin for 20 years!!
  • A person on a path will change 40 times in a day where as those who do not have a path stay in the same state for 40 years!
  • Your spiritual life is not curvier linear; it should be constantly moving up!
  • A life is made up of building blocks and how you move through the knowledge block.
  • Every believer is a wali.
  • Shariah = outward path to Allah, Tariqah= inward path to Allah and only joining the both together will give you Haqiqa- reality.
  • Seeing the Creator in all of creation and seeing the Provider in all provision is Tawheed in a nutshell.
  • When doors of guidance open for you, hasten up. Don’t try to get to the end before the beginning.
  • ‘Practice makes perfect…’ no it doesn’t, it makes permanent. If you practice wrong, it doesn’t make perfect. You need a Teacher.
  • Don’t follow books; follow the people who know the books.
  • Often times people are deficient in one area, but are made up for it in another area. Historically, Muslims recognised this.
  • One of the great mysteries of the Qur’an is that no matter how often you read it, you always find something new in it.
  • So many verses in the Qur’an relate to being patient. Being patient with people in Iman/faith. Some are naturally born more tolerant, but you can change that.
  • Patience is a sign of sincerity and its from Taqwa you show patience.
  • Even the Prophet sallaAllahu alayhi wasalm was commanded to be patient!
  • Allah loves the patient; part of the reason the tribulation comes is to draw the quality of patience out of them- He loves this quality. Allah is with the patient one.
  • When tribulations hit you, patience (sabr) is actually when you are accepting something. This also relates to having a good opinion of Allah. When you have a good opinion of Allah, the tribulation you know happen for a reason, although it might not seem so at the time.
  • The one who submits their entire being. This means that the future is not a concern for them, and the past is not a worry for them. They are living in the present. There are people of good and those who do good; they are not in fear and nor do they grieve.
  • Children are very much in the moment, they do not worry or care about their past or future. The Arifs’ (Gnostic) heart is like the child. Childrens hearts are in submission. They are in Tawhid.
  • Trusting the past is over, and doing Tawba that its over. If you truly made tawba, you don’t remember your sin as it obliterates the past. Tawba is like editing a video. You go and edit the parts of the video you do not like so on the day of Judgement, you can see the film without any blunders. Just say Astagfirullah, the angels will cut the bad thing!
  • Hold onto Allah! He is your Lord, He is the One who takes care of your affairs.
  • Some people focus on reliance on Allah, others only focus on means; but a balance of both is all that will save the ship of humanity.
  • If you make all of your concerns of the akhira (afterlife), Allah will take care of everything for you.
  • The benefits of your Lord are many; all the benefits of your Lord are for your nourishment. It has a beautiful fragrance- seek it out.
  • The blessings of Allah are countless.
  • Sometimes there is a fail that comes that brings you to life; there are great waves/ocean that come to you. Creation is all in the hands of Allah; some are being elevated, some being debased; some are being difficult or tested in blessing.
  • Media is one of the tribulations of our life, they make things worse!
  • Single most difficult limb is the tongue. Its one of the great wonders of Allah. You have to discipline the tongue. The tongue is a great tribulation.
  • The world is not cursed. The world is also the cosmos. When we talk about the blameworthy aspects, we mean the duniya. This mountain (Uludag) is not cursed, it’s an incredible testimony of Allah. 
  • You should worship Allah because He is worthy of worship!
  • Allah is Wahid- al-Qahr. Everything in the heaven and earth are acknowledging this at some level. He is calling us to reflect on this. The events that happen in our lives are purposeful; there is always a reason behind it.
  • The best sleep is immediately after Isha and the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam said not to engage in too much entertainment at night.
  • Nawafil night prayers protect the body from diseases and wrong actions. But you won’t be able to get up if you sin a lot.
  • Contentment with the decree of Allah is appropriate- this should be your reliance. The Contentment with Allah’s decree is a very high Maqam. Rabia al-Adawiya was asked how do you know if someone is content with Allah’s decree. She replied by saying ‘ When you feel the same joy in periods of tribulation as you do during periods of blessing’

~ Shaykh Hamza Yusuf – Jewels and Pearls of the Qur’an lesson, Rihla 2011, Bursa, Turkey (Paraphrased)

More gems to follow inshaAllah ta’Ala……

(Photos courtesy- Rihla Student Please keep them in your prayers. Please do not re-use or save the photo without permission. )

Since it’s Ramadan, I thought I’d share some notes relating to the benefits of fasting, eating less etc, from “Breaking the Two Desires” class we had with Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad on the Rihla this year.

  • The way of the fitra is to keep things in balance.
  • The 2 main desires are: gluttony (obsession with food) and lust (sexual desires)
  • The dangerous of sins is gluttony, for by means of this desire, Allah expelled Adam and Hawa from the abode of permanence to the abode of humiliation and neediness. In so far they had been forbidden the tree, but their desires overcame them and they ate from the tree. Desire for food is the primal desire which kick starts the whole process of what expelled Adam out of al-Jaanah in the first place.
  • The belly is the fountainhead of desire and the seabed of sickness and defect. It is followed by the desire by sexual relations. The desire for food and physical relations is followed by strong desire for status and wealth, as these provide more opportunities for sexual enjoyment and gluttony. Once we have stuffed ourselves with food, we fill ourselves with other desires. By acquiring wealth and prestige, the vice of ostentation, boasting, pride and arrogance then follows. This then leads to hatred, rancor, envy and other things; which then leads the person who has these vices into oppression and other ugly acts. All of this comes from not paying attention to the stomach and what goes in it.
  • The halal we eat, the adab and attitude towards food is very important. We need to get our attitude right towards food and then the other things will all fall into place.
  • Get two things right:

1. Eat what is in front of you and be less fussy

2. Don’t be obsessed by food and desire less

If you get these two things right, you will find the rest of the deen will become a lot easier.

  • Imam al-Ghazali talks about the sunnah of food and eating in the Ihya, but its something which we do not want to think about.
  • We are not designed biologically to eat in a 5 star hotel! We are designed to eat less…
  • The holy Prophet salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam shows us the alternative. His way is a way of zuhd, and not being very interested in a whole lot of food.
  • Fasting helps, eating not too much helps, and not being inwardly attached to food helps overcome the beast within us.
  • We need to be less interested in what is provided, and more grateful for what Allah ahs provided us, i.e being in that maqam of shukr.
  • Allah created our bodies in balance, but we have eating disorders and dieting disorders. People over-eat for many reasons, such as anxiety, fear.  The disorder in this world is to do with gluttony.
  • Allah created enough for us to eat but due to greed, we are destroying the planet by eating too much!
  • The holy Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wasalams’ hunger was so great that he would tie stones to his belly. The sacrifices he made when he could have been the lord of the Queresh are unimaginable, and he only made those sacrifices for us. Where as we can be in this hotel and all we do is complain about the buffet!
  • The lives of the awliya have always been focused on the principle of eating less. It’s the quality of the awliya.
  • Through fasting, we are constantly knocking on the door of paradise.

Imam al-Ghazali talks about the benefits of fasting/eating less and making the stomach hurt (Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad went through these benefits in detail but I have summarised only a few below)

1. Purification of the heart and helping one’s perception to be more penetrating. If you don’t eat so much, you will be more perceptive; your basira (insight) will go much further. Ramadan is hard work, but towards the end of it, we do feel that things in deen are coming to us with more ease. We can feel we are detached from duniya and the hunger you feel, you get used to it so you don’t even notice it much or think about it. You are no longer distracted by hunger, and are in a state of greater purity.

2. Brokenness, humbleness and ending of pride and exuberance. The pride we get into after eating good food, if we are hungry our pride is broken. We experience this in Ramadan. In Ramadan if you have been fasting for 10-12 hours, it is harder to be proud, we are broken a little bit. Pride is deadly of the deadly sins and hunger helps suppress that.

3. Through hunger we do not forget Allah’s trials and tribulations. The one who is always full ignores the one who is hungry and ignores the reality of hunger. However, when we fast, we empathise with those who are hungry.

4. Breaks everyone of the desire for sins, and helps control the nafs- the beast that is within us.

5. Helps us worship more.

6. No need to earn so much if we eat less. If you eat less, you can spend less, and that extra money you are saving can go towards sadaqa.

  • Imam al-Ghazali talks about rejecting the imbalance, he doesn’t say abandon food completely but instead watch what we eat.
  • Ramadan is all about sabr- patience.
  • To be in a maqam of aboodiya (servanthood) shows us that we are always in need of Allah.
  • Allah is active in every moment. He is constantly creating and re-creating. Everything is the unique consequence of Him.
  • Allah didn’t just wind the clock at the beginning of the time and sat back to see everything unwind; our needs which we are not even aware of, He fulfills them.
  • The benefits of physical discomfort like eating less is that we are in  a constant state of absolute need, absolute dependence on Allah. He doesn’t need us, but we need Him for everything!
  • When we start to recognise everything is from Allah and He is al-Wakil, we will find tranquillity. People who have always been in hardship will always be in a state of calmness and ease, then those who always have things their way.
  • Sometimes to be woken up, we need to be slapped!

~ Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad, ‘Breaking the Two Desires’ class, Rihla 2011, Bursa, Turkey (Paraphrased)

More gems to follow inshaAllah ta’Ala……

(Photos courtesy- Ibrahim Varachia. Please keep him in your prayers. Please do not re-use or save the photo without permission. )


Please be aware that these are my notes; I was unable to write down everything, but what I have, I pray it’s of some benefit to the readers. Any mistakes, errors or misinterpretations of words are from me alone, so please do forgive and overlook my shortcomings!

May Allah reward all those who were involved in organising and facilitating this blessed course, and may Allah elevate the rank of Shaykh Yahya, bless his family are teachers. Amin!

“The Wonders of the Heart” by Imam al- Ghazali

Taught by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus (USA/Yemen) on 19th December 2009, Woodlands Road Mosque, Birmingham (UK)

Shaykh Yahya began by introducing the Ihya’ ‘ulum al-din (Revival of Religious Sciences). He said that it’s the most important text Imam al-Ghazali wrote. The Ihya is divided into 4 parts, each part consisting of 10 chapters thus 40 parts in total. Shaykh Yahya briefly spoke about how 40 is a special number for various reasons. For example, each Prophet received prophecy at the age of 40; if you do something for 40 days, it becomes a habit and so on. That is one of the reasons why the Ihya is divided into 40 parts.

  • If Allah is remembered, shaytan is withdrawn from that gathering- prophetic hadith.
  • Shaytan can only have power as much as you give him power.
  • People have lost the ability to see things holistically like the scholars did.
  • Every single verse in the Qur’an has 60,000 ways to understand it!
  • Any knowledge that doesn’t lead you to the presence of Allah has no benefit in it.
  • Allah is Infinite, anything you put over infinity is zero!
  • Who knows what is hidden in the hearts? Who knows what the human beings conceal in their hearts? Allah sees everything in your heart!
  • The “Wonders of the Heart”- its something internal without our hearts. If you deny there is such a thing as a ‘heart’, how will you experience these wonders? Experience these jewels?
  • Anyone can build outwardly- but what about building the inner?
  • The outward heart is a vascular system, spreading the blood around the body etc- that’s the outward ‘wonders’ of the heart. The inward wonders of the heart is the spiritual heart, which has more ‘wonders’ but you might not even know what is there! For example, when you clean the house, you might clean it well, but may not see the dust. Then you might do a ‘deep clean’ of the house and see things you do not normally see, like the dust. This is the case of the heart, you need a deep cleansing of it. We have regular cleansing of it like in Ramadan when we fast, pray tarawih etc. The ‘deep cleansing’ is like hajj- when you come back, you are all purified and ready to meet your Lord.
  • The Prophet sallaAllahi ‘alayhi wasalam said that religion started strange and will end strange. If you are considered as ‘strange’, then that is a good sign. Nowadays, if you have a beard, don’t drink alcohol etc, you are considered as ‘strange’. The Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam said glad tidings to the strangers- you are entering the ‘bisharah’ (glad tidings)
  • The honour and excellence of man (humankind) which he surpasses all other creatures is to know Allah- ability to have Marifah. This knowledge is man’s duty.
  • Every human being wants glory, perfection, beauty etc. Despite how you look outwardly, it doesn’t really matter, it all depends on your ability to know your Lord. Your knowledge of Allah is storing up your provision in the next world.
  • The way that you prepare yourself to have this knowledge is through your heart. It is the heart that knows Allah, the heart that works, strives for Allah, and it’s the heart that has secrets unveiled to it.
  • We get distinguished from the rest of creation because of the heart.
  • Its at the level of the heart that received unveiling, and feels the intimacy with Allah.
  • It is the heart that is accepted in the presence of Allah.
  • There are people in this world who can be walking outwardly in this world, but their hearts are connected to the celestial realm. It is important that you are mentioned in the higher realm.
  • There is a hadith which goes along the lines that if Allah comes to love a servant, He calls Gibreel alayhi salam to love them. When you are beloved to Allah, Allah announces it to Gibreel alayhi salam, who then announces it to the rest of the angels and then the creation becomes inclined to you.
  • If you are sincere, you will always be tested by Allah.
  • It is the heart that is veiled from Allah.
  • Every container pours out what is in it. If your heart is good, it will only pour out khair- goodness.
  • If the human being comes to know the heart, he comes to know who he is, and then he comes to know his Lord. If they are ignorant about themselves, then they are ignorant about their Lord. If you are ignorant of yourself, how can you know anything else? Allah says in the Qur’an how those who have forgotten Allah, He has caused them to forget themselves. These are the people who will not be able to do anything good.
  • The human being must know their place in the hierarchy of existence. If we don’t know where we are, how will we get to where we want?
  • The intellect is never enough; knowledge, information is not enough itself. You need belief in Allah and the love for RasulAllah sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam
  • If you forget Allah, He will make you forget yourself. If you forget yourself, how can you know anything?
  • The knowledge of the heart, its true nature, its qualities is the foundation of the deen. If you want to be firm, you need to know this!
  • To speak about the ‘Wonders of the Heart’ is from the unseen, most peoples’ hearts can’t comprehend this. There is a whole realm with the heart which we do not perceive.

Qalb- Heart
2 meanings:
1. The pine shaped organ located in the left; it’s a flesh of a particular sort. This is the physical heart. It’s a piece of flesh which is from the seen world and doesn’t have much worth.
2. The spiritual heart, it’s a latifa, subtlety. The spiritual heart can be killed, can die, just like the physical heart. The spiritual heart is from the unseen, but has a connection to the physical heart. Majority of people are bewildered in perceiving its connection.

Ruh- Spirit
This also has 2 meanings:
1. The subtle body- connection to the physical heart.
2. The subtle thing which knows and perceives.
As long as the spirit in your body is there, you are alive

Nafs- Soul
It’s essentially who you are.

Aql- Intellect
2 types:
1. Lower intellect, which is the brain
2. Higher intellect, which is located in the heart

In summary:
Heart- Place which we know Allah
Soul- Who we are
Spirit- The tool in which we love Allah
Aql- That what we know

All actions come from the heart, and all actions come from thought:

Thought- Heart- Action

1. The first thing that comes to the heart is a thought.
2. The second thing that comes to the heart is the natural inclination towards that particular thing.
3. The third thing is the judgement of the heart- if you should do it or not
4. The fourth is having firm resolution and actually having the intention of doing it.

In the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd stages, you are not taken into account for it, its only when you get to the 4th stage, you are taken into account for. For example, a thought of stealing something comes to your heart, it then moves onto the next stage which is the inclination of the heart about stealing, then it moves onto the 3rd stage where you judge whether to steal or not, then the last stage is when you actually intend to steal, or don’t intend to steal. And its only at the 4th stage, when you have made that intention to do it, you are held accountable. You can’t control the thoughts that come to your heart. Sometimes they come even if you do not want them to. No matter how many thoughts that come to your heart, you are not accountable as long as you do not intend to do it. With the stealing example, you will only be held accountable if you actually reach the 4th stage and intend on stealing. You can have all the thoughts and inclinations, but its only when you actually intend on stealing, you are held accountable for it.

  • If you want strong ‘Yakeen’ (Certainty), then give charity, give your wealth.
  • The people who were around the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasalam were saturated, wrapped in his light. The Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam is your door to Allah.
  • People have forgotten Rahma. Where is the Rahma in your heart? The Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam had Rahma in his heart for everyone, even when he made du’a against people, it was out of Rahma for them.
  • Different people get tested in different ways- Allah is Just, He will only try you with what you can bear.
  • Allow people to better themselves- we should want people to change, better themselves and get out of these lower stages.
  • You get certainty if you open your heart to it- polish it, and you will get certainty, Yakeen!
  • The heart has a homeland, you are either travelling to your destination or away from it.
  • The heart is the place of knowledge.
  • Every known thing has a reality.
  • We have to remove obstacles from our heart to obtain what we set to obtain.

Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu
Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu
Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu

Subhana Rabbika Rabbi l’izzati amma yasifun, wa salamun ala l’mursalin, wal-humdulillahi Rabbi l’alamin.

Imam Ghazali (rahmatullahi alayh) woke up one early morning and as usual offered his prayers and then enquired what day it was, to which his younger brother, Ahmad Ghazali replied, “Monday.” He asked Ahmed to bring his white shroud, kissed it, stretched himself full length and saying “Lord, I obey willingly,”

“Say to my friends, when they look upon me, dead

Weeping for me and mourning me in sorrow

Do not believe that this corpse you see is myself

In the name of God, I tell you, it is not I,

I am a spirit, and this is naught but flesh

It was my abode and my garment for a time.

I am a treasure, by a talisman kept hid,

Fashioned of dust, which served me as a shrine,

I am a pearl, which has left it’s shell deserted,

I am a bird, and this body was my cage

Whence I have now flown forth and it is left as a token

Praise to God, who hath now set me free

And prepared for me my place in the highest of the heaven,

Until today I was dead, though alive in your midst.

Now I live in truth, with the grave – clothes discarded.

Today I hold converse with the saints above,

With no veil between, I see God face to face.

I look upon “Loh-i-Mahfuz” and there in I read

Whatever was and is and all that is to be.

Let my house fall in ruins, lay my cage in the ground,

Cast away the talisman, it is a token, no more

Lay aside my cloak, it was but my outer garment.

Place them all in the grave, let them be forgotten,

I have passed on my way and you are left behind

Your place of abode was no dwelling place for me.

Think not that death is death, nay, it is life,

A life that surpasses all we could dream of here,

While in this world, here we are granted sleep,

Death is but sleep, sleep that shall be prolonged

Be not frightened when death draweth night,

It is but the departure for this blessed home

Think of the mercy and love of your Lord,

Give thanks for His Grace and come without fear.

What I am now, even so shall you be

For I know that you are even as I am

The souls of all men come forth from God

The bodies of all are compounded alike

Good and evil, alike it was ours

I give you now a message of good cheer

May God’s peace and joy for evermore be yours.”

Source:The Winds of Mercy

“Truly amazing is the believer’s affair. Everything transpiring in his life is good for him. This is something that only occurs for the believer. If a blessing is his lot, he gives thanks for it, and this is good for him. And if he is afflicted with hardship, he patiently endures it, and this is good for him.”

~ Prophet Muhammad (sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam)

“To completely trust in God is to be like a child who knows deeply that even if he does not call for the mother, the mother is totally aware of his condition and is looking after him.”

~ Imam al-Ghazzali

“You disobey Him using His favors, yet disobedience does not make Him withhold His favors.
How can you love other than this Generous God? Or how could you disobey this Compassionate Lord?” 

~Imam al-Haddad

“A calamity that makes you turn to Allah is better for you then a blessing which makes you forget the remembrance of Allah”

~ Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah

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