Saving Our Souls Series | Part 1: Introduction – Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Everyone has what they deem to be the most important thing in life. However, it could be argued that nothing is more central to the human condition than the very thing that makes us human-our souls. In a world concerned with the physical and the superficial we see that lives remain empty, purposeless. Let us close our eyes to the world and look inward. In these articles we will be looking at the fragile nature of the soul and how to save it from the poison of sin. Topics discussed include the heart, the eyes, the tongue, the ears, the hands, and their respective sins.

These articles are based on the tazkiya (self-purification) section of the book entitled, “The Ladder of Success to the Realization of Love of Allah” by Habib ‘Abdullah Bin Husayn Bin Tahir (the other two sections being theology and law). And who was Habib ‘Abdullah Bin Husain Bin Tahir? Well, he was one of the luminaries of both the legal and spiritual aspects of Islam; a person well versed in the intricacies of the soul and its alignment with the Sacred Law. He and His brother Imam Tahir were exemplars of steadfastness, true brotherhood, and not wasting a single moment of their time. He passed away in the year 1844 (1272 A.H.), may Allah have mercy on him and his brother.

But it doesn’t stop there; we’ll be adding enriching content and benefits from the works of other scholars of the science such as Imam Ghazzali, Imam Haddad, Habib Umar Bin Hafiz and others.

The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) stressed the importance of the heart and its relation to the rest of the body in the famous hadith, “Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh, which, if it be whole, all the body is whole, and which, if it is diseased, all of [the body] is diseased. Truly, it is the heart.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Join us in this journey through our souls to discover Allah and let us learn about ourselves and our hearts, and become better spouses, better parents, better neighbors, and better humans.

SeekersGuidance offers a wide variety of free courses on the topics of tazkiya, the soul, and spirituality:

Saving Our Souls Series

Our teacher, Shaykh Yusuf Weltch, guides us through a journey, a path that ultimately leads to true happiness; the love of Allah.  Join us as we take this trip.  Keep an eye on this page for updates to new articles and podcasts.

Part 1: Introduction | Click here

  • An article on the heart and the need to take care of it

Part 2: Obligations of the Heart

  • We’ve heard of bodily obligations, but what are the obligations of the heart?
    • To be published July 10th, 2020

Part 3: Precious Counsel from a Revered Scholar

  • The believer’s state
    • TBA

Part 4: The Disobedience of the Heart

  • Yes, even the heart can sin, which are the worst of sins
    • TBA

Part 5: TBA

Part 6: TBA

Part 7: TBA

Part 8: TBA

Part 9: TBA

Part 10: TBA

Is It Obligatory to Participate in the Tabligh Movement?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Is it obligatory to participate in the Tabligh Jamat Effort? Should I feel bad for not participating? How do I deal with the criticisms I face for not joining the Tabligh Effort?

Answer: Wa Alaikum al-Salam

May Allah continue to bring you closer to His good pleasure and make you a conduit of guidance.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Tabligh Jamat is indeed a praiseworthy effort and was founded with great intentions of rectifying the state of the Muslims. They are indeed fulfilling a communal obligation of calling to Allah and forbid the evil.

It is, however, not an individual obligation. To consider this effort individually obligatory, such that one is sinful or shameful for not participating, is innovation and strictly prohibited.

Allah, Most High says, “Let there be amongst you a people who summon toward good, command what is right, and forbidding the prohibited. They are the successful.” [Qur’an; 07:104]

Calling to Good and Forbidding from Evil

The Believer is responsible to call to good and forbid evil on a general level within their one capacity. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever amongst you sees a wrong, then let him change it with his hand, and if (that is) not (possible), then with his tongue, if not, then with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim] However, to do so, in the form or way of the Tabligh Jamat is not an obligation.

What do I do?

If you experience hardship when you go to such a masjid then if you have another option it may be best to go there instead. That is, if the alternative masjid, is proper and teaches the correct Islamic Understanding. If you are not able to go to another masjid, just explain to the people that you don’t wish to participate anymore.

You should not blame yourself and you should not feel that you are any less of a Muslim for not participating in that effort. There are many ways to gain the pleasure of Allah and you should search what works best for you.

Allah, Most High says, “Verily those who strive for Us, We will certainly guide them to our ways.” [Quran: 29;69]

Allah, Most High in this verse, mention ways, in the plural.

May Allah continue to bless you
Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Cleaning Impurity

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: How do I properly clean urine? If I step on a rug that is damp with impurity does the impurity transfer to my foot?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Important Note in Cleaning Impurity

With regards to cleaning impurities, such as urine, first, minimize the amount of impurity. Pouring water on urine will only spread the urine further. You should dry as much of it as possible then wash the area, being careful to minimize any spreading.

You may want to mop the floor once again to be cautious.

Regarding the rug that became damp during the process which you mentioned. If the water poured onto the urine spread to the rug, the rug would be impure as well. Your stepping on that damp rug would only cause your foot to be impure if there was a transference of wetness to the foot. [Hashiyah Ibn ‘Abidin]

In this case, it was correct for you to have washed your foot. [Hashiyah al-Tahtawi ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah}

In short, when dealing with impurities, the impurity should first be minimized, as best as possible. Secondly, it should be cleaned, carefully, such that the impurity doesn’t spread.

May Allah bless you

Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Accidental Mistake

Answered by Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: As-salam Alaykum, If someone accidentally consumed alcohol through ignorance such as eating Dijon mustard without knowing it was made with alcohol, do the 40 days apply to them as well? Would it be impermissible for someone to pray behind them?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

No, it wouldn’t apply to them; the wording of the hadith about their prayer not being accepted seems to imply that it is referring to a deliberate act.
It would also be permissible for someone to pray behind them; the books of fiqh do not mention not having consumed wine for forty days as a condition of being an imam. (Shurunbulali, Maraqi al Falah).

Mistakes Are Overlooked

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Allah has overlooked for my umma mistakes, forgetfulness, and what they are coerced to do.” (Ibn Majah)

In any case, the hadith about the prayer not being accepted for only applies to someone who does not repent from that deed. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Whoever drinks wine none of his prayers will be accepted for forty days. If he repents Allah will accept his repentance…” (Tirmidhi).

Also, it’s worth noting that not all types of Dijon mustard have wine in it. Some have vinegar as an ingredient, which is permissible.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish, and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Is the Night of the 27th of Ramadan Special? – Ustadha Shehnaz Karim

* Originally Published on 30/06/2016

Ustadha Shehnaz answers the important question of whether or not the night of the 27th of Ramadan is special. She speaks of the meanings behind seeking out the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr) .

Get Ready for Ramadan: Reflecting on the Great Opportunity – Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Ustadh Amjad Tarsin highlights the great opportunity for all Muslims in Ramadan to draw closer to Allah and be granted salvation. He urges everyone to reflect on that opportunity and increase in their aspirations for the good in Ramadan.

Is COVID-19 a Divine Punishment? – Shaykh Ahmed El Azhary

“Is COVID-19 a punishment from Allah?” is definitely a repeated question these days. I know of many Muslims who are asking themselves as they see all the mosques around the world, especially al-Haram al-Makki and al-Masjid al-Nabawi, closed: Is this a sign that Allah is angry at us? Are we being punished from Allah for all of our wrong-doings and short-comings as Muslims? 

Well, the closure of mosques – and also the shutdown of life as we knew it just few months ago – is certainly a “reminder” from Allah that we are after all not in control of things. It is a reminder of all the bounties that we had and never were appreciative or grateful for. Praying in mosques, or I should rather say “The Mosque-life,” was a gigantic blessing that deserved and required from us more care, gratitude, and respect. The closure of mosques is perhaps a reminder that we as Muslims cannot be turning the houses of worship into arenas for egos to battle and for greed to manifest.

And while the closure of mosques is a reminder from Allah of how we should value the houses of worship, staying at home is also a reminder of how we ought to carry our family lives. It is a reminder that our homes require our absolute attention; that our families deserve that we invest more time in them; and that our children need our direct effort in educating and teaching them about both religion and life. 

So, COVID-19 is absolutely a reminder of all of these things and many more, but is it really a “punishment” from Allah? Allah the Most High has told us clearly in the Qur’an that we shall be tested. He said in verse (155) of Surat al-Baqarah: “And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits but give good tidings to the patient.” And He said in verse (31) of Surat Muhammad: “And We will surely test you until We make evident those who strive among you and the patient, and We will test your affairs.” So, we were told in the Qur’an that there will be “tests” that shall bring to the surface what is hidden in our hearts and minds. For this reason, amongst others, we can say that such tests are in actuality blessings, because they provide us with inner illumination. They inform us about ourselves and give us opportunity to understand ourselves better. Hence, they help us to improve and develop ourselves spiritually, as Imam Ibn `Ata’ Allah (may Allah be pleased with him) said in his Aphorisms: “States of need are gift-laden carpets.” However, it is our response to these difficulties that defines whether or not they are punishments, because if one responds to such states of need with anger, irritation and annoyance that would imply that they are punishments, because obviously that would mean the person has failed the test. On the other hand, if one responds to such turbulences with patience and resilience that would suggest that these events were sent as means for expiation of sins and salvation from past misdeeds. Better than this, if one responds to these dire circumstances with acceptance, good-will and content, then that would be an indicator that one’s spiritual rank has elevated, and it is a sign of one’s closeness to Allah the Most High. So, in these regards, COVID-19 is one event – one test – that means different things and brings different results for different people. And Allah knows best.

May Allah grant us wisdom and awareness; keep us away from foolishness and pretension; and protect us from both the diseases of the body and the diseases of the heart. 


Biography of Shaykh Ahmed Hussein El Azhary:

Shaykh Ahmed El Azhary is a researcher in Islamic intellectual history and a teacher of Islamic traditional sciences. He’s currently a teacher of Hadith, Usūl, Logic, and Kalam at Rawdatul-Na`īm under the supervision of Habib `Ali al-Jifrī; and at Madyafat Shaykh Ismaīl Sadiq al-`Adawī (RA), a prominent learning center by al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo.

Formerly, Shaykh Ahmed worked as a Lead Researcher at Tabah Foundation. He was appointed by Habib `Ali al-Jifrī to architect the philosophical framework of Suaal initiative – an initiative concerned with modeling an Islamic philosophical response to contemporary existential questions, supervised by Shaykh `Ali Jumu`ah, Habib `Umar and Shaykh Usama al-Azhary. Shaykh Ahmed continues to participate in Suaal initiative through essays, public lectures, and workshops.

Shaykh Ahmed studied Anthropology at American University in Cairo and received his training in Leadership Communication from Tulane University and The University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is also a life-long learner. He holds a diversified portfolio of almost 50 certificates in a variety of subjects – extending from Teaching Character and Clinical Psychology of Children and Young People to Complexity Theory, Model Thinking and Conflict Analysis.

Shaykh Ahmed began his journey of studying traditional sciences about 20 years ago. In addition to studying with scholars from al-Azhar, he had the privilege of studying with visiting scholars from Algeria and India in a one-on-one format and was thus given an exceptional opportunity to study and discuss advanced-level texts of different sorts and over a long period of time. Shaykh Ahmed has more than 70 Ijazas from scholars from all over the Muslim world.


 

Parenting Question of the Week – Shaykh Hamza Karamali

* Courtesy of Basira Education

How do I answer my five-year old daughter when she asks, “Where is Allah?”

15-year olds in my Why Islam is True class learn how to answer this question. They learn that God is not in a space because space is a property of things in the created universe. Since God created the universe and is not something inside it, He exists without needing any space to exist in. The question is thus a loaded question that mistakenly assumes that God exists in a space. The correct way to answer a loaded question is to deny the mistaken assumption. The answer to this question is therefore, “God does not exist in a space.”

But five-year olds have simpler minds than 15-year olds. Your five-year old isn’t confused about whether or not God exists in a space. She is confused about something else.

When she asks you where her sister is, you point somewhere and say, “There she is,” when she asks where her father is, you point somewhere and say, “There he is,” and when she asks where her pet hamster is, you point somewhere and say, “There it is.”

When she asks, “Where is Allah,” she wants you to point somewhere and say, “There He is.”

Your job is to explain in simple language that: (a) God is not like the things that she sees around her, (b) that God’s relation to those things is a relation of creation, not a relation of location, and that therefore (c) God is “with” everything in the sense that He sustains it and keeps it in existence.

Based on that, here’s an answer you could give: “God is not like anything else. He created everything. He is with you wherever you are.”

Why Islam is True E12: Who Designed the Designer? – Shaykh Hamza Karamali

Atheists object to the argument for God’s existence from design by asking the question, “Who designed the designer?” This objection is, in fact, a sound objection because the design argument in its common formulation by Christian theists is, in fact, flawed. But it is not a valid objection to the inferences that Muslim theologians make from design because they make a different argument.