Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion. (Surah Hadid, 57:20)
We are often reminded in the Qur’an that the world around us is filled with distractions that can keep us from realizing the true potential of our humanity. The modern world’s incessant concentration on material and social pursuits has granted many of us with lots of possessions and ideas, yet we still feel empty inside. Even as Muslims’ identity appears galvanized in a response to an endlessly news cycle, Islamophobia and injustice, this reactive activism to those challenges in itself often paralyzes and distracts us from the pressing issues of the soul that are humanity’s greatest need. In this session we will seek to examine how we can shed the weight from our hearts and unlock our spiritual potential.
The Book of Assistance, authored by Imam al-Haddad, is widely considered the greatest summary of Islamic spirituality ever written. It summarizes the foundations of Islamic spirituality into 32 succinct, practical chapters covering topics such as certainty, vigilance, knowledge, reflection, prayer, adherence to the sunnah, and much more. The book serves as a comprehensive, practical manual for traveling the path to Allah (swt) and is taught to the present-day by teachers of Islamic spirituality throughout the world. Soundly based on the Qur’an and Hadith, this book is invaluable to all who love the Prophet (saw) and his way.
In this monthly class, Shaykh Abdul Karim Yahya will guide attendees through the Book of Assistance, covering each lesson with a special focus on what we can do now to apply the Imam’s teachings, improve our spiritual states, and strengthen our relationship with Allah (swt).
Our modern condition bombards us with artificial stimuli that not only teases our senses and creates in us the yearning for things we do not need, it also blurs our inner vision and distracts us from the real purpose of our lives — to know, remember and worship Allah. In this lecture, sister Yasmin Mogahed, discusses the danger that the modern condition poses to the actualization of our true humanity, the resultant spiritual poverty and how it can be overcome.
Sh. AbdulRahman Chao gives a very inspiring lecture what is [on how to achieve] true happiness, as well as touching upon the true nature of the dunya. He also examines practical steps of how to increase happiness through moderate asceticism.
In this seminar held at the ‘Global Peace and Unity’ event in London (Oct 2010), Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi talks about dhikr, its various meanings and benefits. The Q&A session at the end covers topics such as the need for a spiritual guide, reciting the Names of Allah, and dhikr from the Sunna.
Mankind is lost and confused. Islam has the answers and solutions but yet we stray from it. We do not reflect upon the Quran. Our hearts yearn for Allah and want to be purified. In this lecture Shaykh Hamza discusses ways to improve our souls and get closer to Allah.
After thoroughly addressing the first dimension of Islam in his first four lectures of this series, Abdal Hakim uniquely explores the final two dimensions in Islam of iman and ihsan. This talk, which consists of two parts, is another highly intellectual discourse about a vast religious science. The speaker begins by providing a historical background in an effort to identify the processes that brought this science about. This lecture effectively paints a colorful picture of the nature of the spiritual life in Islam and examines its foundation. What does the Qur’an say about these two types of higher knowledges, imam and ihsan? How does the Muslim come to know God if He cannot be seen? And what about the early Islamic controversies of free will vs. predestination and the existence or “problem” of evil? How does Islam answer the age-old philosophical questions of why the world exists and what the purpose of life is? (Recorded at the Dar al Islam Teachers’ Institute seminar). Other topics discussed: Emanuel Kant, the 99 names of God, the film “Barakah”, the volition of God to create the universe, heedlessness, thikr (meditation or contemplation), and the absence of symbols for God in Islam.
In this session, Hamza Yusuf takes a traditional approach to this science based on the teachings he received while studying in West Africa. The result is a rich and refreshing look at exactly how the Muslim goes about making his or her experience in the world a thing of beauty so one can truly contribute to the human condition in a positive way. He begins this discussion by placing the concept of “ihsan” in the context of the contemporary political scene in the Muslim world to show how important this concept is for the proper practice of Islam and what happens when it is neglected. Then he defines “ihsan” and analyzes ways in which the Muslim can go about recapturing the station of “ihsan” enjoyed for so long by the early generations of Muslims. A useful talk for non-Muslims on the topic of Islamic spirituality and a vital lesson for Muslims about how to regain the deeper understanding and appreciation of their own tradition. (Recorded at the Dar al Islam Teachers’ Institute seminar). Other topics discussed: the highest act of making beautiful, the fountainhead of all misdeeds, back-biting, obsession with young age, arrogance, remembering death, and the most hidden of all blessings.