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“The issue of the heart is not a matter of play, for it can be ruined in an instant but take lifetime to revive and rectify just like the making or rebuilding of a town. We should all strive our hardest to rectify our hearts and make them thriving communities.” –

Rectifying the Heart – Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad

http://www.tasawwuf.org/writings/sermons/khutbat_fivev1.htm

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“When my heart became constricted and my paths became narrow
I took my hope in Your pardon and forgiveness as an opening and an escape
My sins seemed very great to me but when I compared them to Your forgiveness
I found Your forgiveness to be greater”
– Imam Shafi’

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“And if your hearts get acquainted with [Quran] and taste this meaning, then the world that encompasses you will no longer have an impact on your heart, rather you will be of those who impact the world”

Sayyidi Habib Ali al- Jifri


The Smallest of Pebbles……

…. that’s tossed in a pond

makes ripples that reach far and wide,

just as the smallest of kindnesses shown

can touch someone deeply inside….

So we shouldn’t dismiss

any words that we’ve spoken

nor small, thoughtful gestures we’ve made-

For they’ve each left a mark

as they’ve reached someone’s heart

with a comfort that won’t quickly fade!

Source: Unknown

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.

“O Allah! I have believed in our master Muhammad and I have not seen him, so do not deprive my heart of a vision of him and provide me with his companionship and have me die on his way and lead me to drink from his pool plentifully, blissfully, heartily, a drink after which we will never feel thirst, for You are the Power of all things!”

~ Dala’il al-khayrat

“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!

Sayyidah Rabi’a al-‘Adawiyyah (may Allah be pleased with her and elevate her rank) was an incredible figure in Islamic spirituality. Her love for the Divine and poetry is truly captivating. Thought I’d share some of her amazing poetry here, as she is a great inspiration for many of us no doubt.

” O God the stars are shining;
All eyes have closed in sleep;
The kings have locked their doors,
Each lover is alone, in secret, with the one he loves,
And I am here too; alone, hidden from all of them – With You”


“The true knower looks for a heart that comes from God alone.
As soon as it is given to him, he gives it back again
So that God can hold it hidden in His Mystery,
Safe from the tampering of human hands”


“Your hope in my heart is the rarest treasure
Your Name on my tongue is the sweetest word
My choicest hours
Are the hours I spend with You —
O Allah, I can’t live in this world
Without remembering You–
How can I endure the next world
Without seeing Your face?
I am a stranger in Your country
And lonely among Your worshippers:
This is the substance of my complaint.”


“In love, nothing exists between heart and heart.
Speech is born out of longing,
True description from the real taste.
The one who tastes, knows;
the one who explains, lies.
How can you describe the true form of Something
In whose presence you are blotted out?
And in whose being you still exist?
And who lives as a sign for your journey?”

“Let me hide in You
From everything that distracts me from You,
From everything that comes in my way
When I want to run to You.”


Subhan’Allah, may we aspire to be like Sayyida Rabi’a and follow in her footsteps by increasing our devotion and love for the Divine!

This slave remains indeed amazed,
While begging for Your mercy too,
Estranged within this world, half-dazed,
Allah, my heart calls out to You.

Some only seek reward it’s true,
This slave seeks you and only You,
It’s idol worship that they do,
Allah, my heart calls out to You.

And paradise I don’t pursue,
Although its beauty’s always true,
I seek its Owner, yes I do,
Allah, my heart calls out to You.

In paradise without Your face,
The houris would be saddened too,
Your face illuminates that place,
Allah, my heart calls out to You.

Allah, this slave does suffer too,
His heart it only grieves for You,
A prey of this wolf he is too,
Allah, my heart calls out to You.

The love of this Your slave is meek,
Yet I complain only to You,
Upon my face I fall, I’m weak,
Allah, my heart calls out to you.

This slave remains indeed amazed,
While begging for Your mercy too,
Estranged within this world, half-dazed,
Allah, my heart calls out to You!

~ By Shaykh Fattaah

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