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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.”  

 

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The Prophet salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam said

“Call unto Allah with certainty that your call will be answered. And know that Allah does not answer a supplication which comes from a heedless and distracted heart.”

(Tirmidhi)

Once Musa alayhi salam asked Allah ta’ala: O Allah!  You have granted me the honour and privilege of talking to you directly, have you given this privilege to any other person? Allah ta’ala replied: O Musa! During the last period I am going to send an ummat, who will be the ummat of Muhammad (salla’Allahu alayhi wasalam) with dry lips, parched tongues, emaciated bodies with eyes sunken deep into their sockets, with livers dry and stomachs suffering the pangs of hunger, who will call out to me (in dua), they will be much closer to me than you O Musa! While you speak to me there are 70,000 veils between you and me but at the time of iftaar (breaking of fast) there will not be a single veil between me and the fasting ummati of Muhammad (salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam). O Musa! I have taken upon myself the responsibility that at the time of iftaar I will never refuse the dua of a fasting person!

Prophetic Hadith

“Allah loveth the good; And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins – Who forgiveth sins save Allah only? – and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did. (Qur’an 3:134-5)

We are in the second (middle) part of the blessed month of Ramadan which are the days of forgiveness. A reminder to myself first and foremost that we should try and seek the forgiveness of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in abundance. As a beautiful friend said the other day “Life is very short, who knows if another Ramadan has been destined for us…………”

Our beloved Prophet salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam said:
“Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His salve than any one of you is pleased by finding his camel, lost in the desert”.

And in another hadith:

“The best of sinners are those who repent”

Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annaa – O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive us!

“No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even though it were the prick he receives from a thorn.” (Narrated by Sayyida Aisha radhiAllahu anha, Sahi Bukhari, Vol: (7)  Hadith No: (544))

Life can be tough at times, but the above hadith reminds us that nothing goes un-noticed to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, not even a tiny thing such as a prick from a thorn; so what about everything else that the heart endures when afflicted with calamities, hardships, trials/tribulations?

With this in mind, let’s rejoice and seek comfort in knowing that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is aware of what is going on in our hearts. Each difficult moment, day, month, year(s) we experience, lets be assured that He subhanahu wa ta’ala is aware of our state and situation. Life is short, and thus time is important; each breath is a blessing and gives us an opportunity to get closer to Him subhanahu wa ta’ala, which is really want all these situations are about- for us to run to Him subhanahu wa ta’ala. As Mawlana Rumi very eloquently sums it all up for us: 


“He has afflicted you from every direction in order to pull you back to the Directionless.”

 May our hearts always be attached to Him subhanahu wa ta’ala, and may each difficulty we all face be a means of purification for us. Amin ya Rabb! Allahumma salli ‘ala sayyidina Muhammad!

One day Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it and he asked the Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered, “I put my trust in Allah.” The Prophet then said, “Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah” (At-Tirmidhi).

Sometimes we can very easily forget that we have to do our bit in our endeavours as well; effort and struggle is required from us if we truly want to achieve or attain something…….. (A reminder for myself first and foremost)
 

 

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