The Content of Character

Videos: Ustadh Yahya Rhodus on Disciplining the Soul

Videos: Ustadh Yahya Rhodus on Disciplining the Soul

A lecture series based on two sections in the third quarter of Imam al-Ghazali’s Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya’ Ulum al-Din). This course will delve into the foundational principles of disciplining one’s soul, offering a theoretical framework of how this is achieved. Brought to you by Zaytuna College.

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus is also a teacher with Seekers Guidance teaching courses on the works of Imam al-Ghazali on spirituality.

Excerpt from Part 1: Imam al-Ghazali also mentions in the chapter on scrupulousness, how people reach the particular levels of scrupulousness where there was a person who worked for a king. And he mentioned this individual wouldn’t give that king an inkwell because he feared what would be written from that inkwell would’ve been something against the Shariah and so he would have directly helped a ma’siya (sin) take place. It’s the level of wa’ra (scrupulousness) the people of Allah have.

Excerpt from Part 2: One time one of the scholars in Yemen passed away 653, had his sons go out to get some food and to bring it back. They were in a particular place and one of his sons, Alawi, didn’t come back with any food. And he asked him, “Why didn’t you bring any food?” He replied, “Every time that I wanted to pick some fruit, I saw the tree or the vine in and of itself making tasbih, glorifying Allah subhana wa ta’ala, I couldn’t bear myself to pick that fruit and at the same time I had this witnessing that I had, that everything in reality is glorifying the praises of Allah subhana wa ta’ala.”

Excerpt of Part 3: al-Hasan said: “Good character is a cheerful face, magnanimity, and doing no harm.” al-Wasiti said, “It is that one should not argue with anyone, or be argued with by anyone because of one’s firm knowledge of God exalted is He.”

Excerpt from Part 4: The other illusory notion which is adduced is the statement, that ‘Anger, desire, worldliness and other traits of its kind cannot be torn from the human creature as long as he lives.’ This is also an error into which a faction has fallen which imagines, the purpose of spiritual struggle is the complete suppression and effacement of these attributes. Such a view is absurd, for desire has been created for a purpose. There is a wisdom behind desire; how else are you going to get a product from the farthest parts of the Earth? If human beings did not have desire what would enable people to travel long distances for business? It’s desire. Doesn’t mean desire is always good but there is a wisdom behind everything that Allah subhana wa ta’ala does.

Excerpt from Part 5: It’s wajib for parents to do everything they can to facilitate for their children to  become people of Allah. It’s obligation that they be thinking about this. Yes, they have to provide for them outwardly, yes they have to provide food, clothes, shelter, and the safety and security, but more important than all of that is that they provide a way to get close to Allah subhana wa ta’ala, to attain adab and good character.