Things Inconsistent With Accepting Fate – Imam Ghazali

Accepting Fate:
“Complaining, no matter what the circumstances, is inconsistent with accepting fate. Criticizing food and finding fault with it is a rejection of what Allah Most High has destined, since blaming what is made is blaming the maker, and everything is Allah’s work.
For a person to say that ‘poverty is an affliction and trial,’ or ‘having a family to support is worry and fatigue,’ or ‘working for a living is a
burden and hardship’ – all this is inconsistent with accepting fate.
One should rather leave the plan to its planner, the kingdom to its king, and say, as ‘Umar did (Allah be well pleased with him), ‘I do not care whether I become rich or poor, for I don’t know which is better for me.’” [Reliance of the Traveller, w59.1]

Purchase the Book:

Reliance of the Traveller: http://www.firdousbooks.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=282
Relevant Resources:
Trust in Allah and Provisions for Seekers of Knowledge
Divine Decree, Contentment, and Lessons From the Prophet’s Life
Affirming Free Will and the Divine Decree
Belief in Destiny, It’s Good and Evil – Shaykh Nuh Keller – Sea without Shore
Can Supplication Change Destiny?
Media: 
IslamCast Daily Hadith – 8. The Muslim as a Source of Safety and Trust
Courses:
Faith in Divine Unity & Trust in Divine Providence with Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

The Interfaith Master – Ustadh Ali Ataie – Seekers Highlight

Ustadh Ali Ataie is undoubtedly one of the foremost leading scholars in comparative religions today.
He is currently a teacher and researcher of the Islamic Sciences and specializes in theology and biblical interpretation. Additionally he is also the President and Founder of Muslim Interfaith Council and has been heavily involved in interfaith activities for the past 15 years.

Seeker of Knowledge

During the year 2000 Ustadh Ali graduated from California Polytechnic State University where he earned his degree in Accounting. In the course of his time at University he severed as the President of the Muslim Students’ Association.
Soon after Ustadh Ali received his Masters’ Degree in Biblical Studies from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. It is important to note that he is the first Muslim seminarian to attain this Degree in a 143 year history of the school.
Currently he is working towards a PhD in Islamic Biblical Hermeneutics.
Nevertheless these above credentials aren’t all that make Ustadh Ali an astounding scholar.
He began his Islamic studies in the Bay Area, Northern California under highly esteemed teachers, one of them being Zaytuna College founder, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.
Thereafter he went to the blessed land of Tarim, Yemen and graduated from the Badr Arabic Language Institute. He has been blessed to learn from some of the most eminent scholars in the world, including Habib Umar bin Hafiz amongst others.
He has continued his pursuit of knowledge at the prestigious Dar al-Mustafa where he obtained many other qualifications in the Islamic sciences.

Giver of Knowledge

He is Adjunct Professor of Islamic Studies and World Religions at both Zaytuna College and the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California.
Ustadh Ali also teaches on SeekersGuidance, his course: The Bible Through a Muslim Lens.
This course seeks to introduce and teach the Christian Bible’s 3 Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John to Muslims. The course introduces students to the four gospels found in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and provides them with new insights and a more nuanced understanding of who Jesus (peace be upon him) was for the objective of calling others to the truth of Islam.
He has been both a guest lecturer and guest instructor at several colleges and universities such as Cal Poly State, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles and Cal State East Bay .
In addition he has also dialogued and debated with Christian scholars about such critical topics as the resurrection of Jesus and the Prophethood of Muhammad (God’s peace and blessings be upon them both).
Ustadh Ali is certified in Arabic, Hebrew, and Biblical Greek, and fluent in Farsi. Few match his comprehensive knowledge of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions.

Relevant resources:

COURSE: The Bible Through A Muslim Lens
Fasting has Abrahamic Roots – Ustadh Ali Ataie

Answers by Ustadh Ali Ataie

Pauline Christianity, the Prophet’s Access to the Bible, and Similarities in the Gospels
Should I Continue to Attend Religious Discussions That I Don’t Benefit From?
Did Christians Originally Gather for Worship on Saturday or Sunday?
Jesus’s Role as Messiah and Savior According to Islam, Christianity, and Judaism
Fitrah and What Happens to Children Who Die Before Puberty
Why Does Allah Refer to Himself as “We” in the Qur’an?
Can Those Who Aren’t Descendents of the Prophet or Companions Be Truly Close to Him?

Prepare Yourself for Your Parents Old Age – Advice from Imam Tahir Anwar

Imam Tahir Anwar recently posted an interesting statement of advice on his Facebook page.

“If your parents are over 50, you have to read this:
– Your parents are getting old
– They can’t do the things they were able to do before
– If we are able to do something for them, we are lucky

2 things:
1) Begin supporting your parents financially, even if they don’t need any help. Purchase their groceries, buy their appliances. Get used to making room for their needs from your earnings while they don’t need us. So that when (and if) they need financial support from us, it’s less difficult. And in some cases, our parents may be totally dependent on us. If they are, and you have the honor to serve them, remember, it’s an honor, not a burden.
2) Parents can’t do half they things they used to be able to do. If there’s heavy lifting, moving large things, etc; do it for them. They should be able to call on us to assist, and we need to make time for them, so they are not burdened with such things.
– – Both of these suggestions have been inspired by 2 very sad incidences that I personally came across in the community within the last few days. I won’t mention the incidents, and in both cases, the parents didn’t mention a thing, I but I felt sorry for them, knowing they have children who could/should be doing such things for them – – ”

Supplication of Excellence to Parents – Du`a’ Birr al-Walidayn

Related, free, course at SeekersGuidance:

GEN160The Rights of Parents, taught Shaykh Rami Nsour, register here.

Watch a preview of the course here.

Related Answers:

Married Daughters Supporting Elderly Parents

Which Parent Has a Greater Right to Obedience Within the Home?

The Revival of the Religious Sciences – Studying the Ihya

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is covering two books in the Ihya in his weekly live classes from SeekersHub Toronto:

Book 2: The Principles of Islamic Belief

Book 13: Earning a Living

These classes will deepen the understanding of key subject-areas for concerned seekers, from one of the greatest, most blessed, and most insightful works of the Islamic tradition and develop seekers’ understanding of Arabic, as the text will be read in Arabic, translated, and some key Arabic vocabulary and usage will be explained.
Click here to register

Al_Ghazali_hdr

About Ihya ulum al-din
Imam al-Ghazali’s masterwork The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya ‘ulum al-din) is an unrivalled sourcebook of Muslim spiritual wisdom. Practical rather than abstract, the compelling force of this text has changed millions of lives – and continues to do so today.

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad explains in the introduction to The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife: Book XL of The Revival of the Religious Sciences, ed. by T. J. Winter, Islamic Texts Society 1995:

Imam al-Ghazali (d.1111), known as the ‘Proof of Islam’, authored over a hundred books on all the Islamic scholarly disciplines.

Famed as a jurist, theologian and teacher at the Nizamiyya madrasa in Baghdad, he mastered the swirling intellectual currents of his day to articulate the importance and harmony of Islamic orthodoxy with compelling and renewed clarity.

This is most clear in the work for which he is most celebrated, The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din), a compendium of spiritual guidance which he wrote to revive the flagging fortunes of the Islamic world in his age.

Covering every aspect of the religion, from belief, to worship, to daily life, to vice, virtue, and the final encounter with God, this text is regarded as one of the masterpieces of world sacred literature.

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani answered a question in regards to Ihya ulum-al din:

The reason that the scholars and others paid so much attention to Ihya’ `Ulum id Din, ‘The Revival of the Religious Sciences’ by Imam Ghazali is because he (may Allah have mercy on him and be well pleased with him) explained the realities of Islam in the most stunning way and with the most subtle of discourse.

Imam Ghazali also explained the diseases of hearts that destroy one on the Day of Judgment and explained the ways the shaytan enters upon one and how one may cure this.

Importance of Imam al-Ghazali today – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Lessons from the Life of Imam al-Ghazali – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

1. al-Zabidi, Ithaf al-sada al-muttaqin (Cairo, 1311), I, 27.

On Knowing Yourself to Know God – A SeekersCircle Reflection

by Ustadha Leila Adam 
Imam al Ghazzali, may Allah have mercy on him, said: Know that the key to knowing God is to know your own self.
Therefore, says Imam al Ghazzali in “The Alchemy of Happiness”, you must seek out the truth about yourself: What sort of thing are you? Where did you come from? Where are you going? What is the purpose of your creation? What is happiness and where does it lie? What is misery and where does it lie?
The Four Natural Drivers
In the journey of self discovery, it is useful to find out some aspects of what to look for. For example, our nature will have one or more of the following four attributes as a major driving force in it:

  1. Bestial (pig-like)
  2. Predatory (dog-like)
  3. Demonic
  4. Angelic/Lordly

A bestial nature will be preoccupied with satisfying the urges of sleeping, eating and copulating, and generally be driven by bodily pleasures. It uses the faculty of appetite to get what it wants.
A predatory nature will be dedicated to freedom of the self to think and do as it pleases. It uses the faculty of anger to get what it wants.
A demonic nature will derive pleasure from deception, treachery, slandering and corruption of truth. It uses the ego to get what it wants.
An angelic or lordly nature enjoys peace and contemplation, and has a sense of yearning for higher states. It uses knowledge to get what it wants.
The bestial quality is good for caring for and strengthening the body so that it is able to do good works, but it must be kept under careful check.
The predatory quality is good for self defence when attacked, but it must not be allowed to drive us to do injustice. The demonic quality will drive a person to think negatively about everything and everyone, valuing only their own self.
The angelic quality is that little voice in the head that suggests doing a valuable act, but one should also beware of the lordly tendency to be too clever and take advantage of others.
The Four Virtues
A person who has allowed their bestial qualities to dominate will be overtaken by greed, gluttony and passions. They will always be chasing their desires. A person who has their bestial qualities in good check will be contented, chaste; and moderate and balanced in behaviour and life habits. This can be termed ‘Temperance’.
A person who has allowed their predatory qualities to dominate will be overtaken by enmity, detesting, slandering and cursing others. They will always be arguing and getting angry at people who disagree with them. A person who has their predatory qualities in good check will be courageous, generous, chivalrous and patient with others. This can be termed ‘Courage’.
A person who has allowed their demonic qualities to dominate will be self-centred, and have a sense of superiority and arrogance over others. They will dislike others and look down on them. A person who has their demonic qualities in good check will be charitable and compassionate, having sincere concern for others. This can be termed ‘Justice’.
A person who has allowed their lordly qualities to dominate will be clever and might use cunning and guile to get what they want. A person who has their lordly qualities in good check will have insight and discernment, and a sense of certainty of what is good and right. This can be termed ‘Wisdom’.
From this understanding come The Four Virtues: Courage, Temperance, Wisdom and Justice. These are four virtues we should try to cultivate in ourselves.
The Heart is Our Kingdom
The heart is the kingdom of the person. We have to protect this kingdom from the ‘vandals’ that will capture and harm it. The heart was created for the Hereafter and its happiness is in knowing God. We get to know God through His Signs (His words and creation). The heart feels joy when it sees the wonder of what God does.
The heart ‘hunts’ for this knowledge of God through the 5 outward senses and the 5 inward mind processes. The body is the vehicle of the heart. It is the only way that the heart can access what it needs. The 5 outward senses are of course: sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. The 5 inward mind processes are: visualising (seeing something in the mind’s eye), cognitive thought and understanding, memory (remembering), recollecting and reusing (dhikr), and reflecting and pondering (tafakkur).
These 10 faculties can be thought of as the ‘armies of the heart’, and should be under its command. If the heart is overtaken with desires, passions or egotism, the armies will be misused. If a person doesn’t strive to develop the Four Virtues, the heart will get ‘captured and imprisoned’ by the base natures. It then has to ‘bow to the idols’ of dogs, pigs or demons.
Diseases of the Heart
If we let our behaviour go unchecked, the cumulative result of repeatedly following our desires, emotions or egos will be the development of diseases in the spiritual heart. Just as the body will get diseases if we don’t eat properly or sleep well or exercise regularly, so the heart will suffer if our behaviour isn’t controlled. 
A person who submits to the bestial urges of appetite will manifest diseases of greed, shamelessness, foul behaviour, flattery, envy, rejoicing in other people’s misfortunes, and miserliness.
A person who submits to the predatory urges of anger and emotion will manifest diseases of hastiness, impulsiveness, impurity, lawlessness, loudness, boasting and flaunting themselves. They will also be scornful and attacking of others.
A person who submits to the demonic urges of negativity and arrogance will manifest diseases of treachery, deception, fraud, meanness and spoiling of the good, as well as callousness and lack of empathy.
The angelic or lordly nature of humans is linked with their superior intellect, over and above the animals. This quality makes us able to understand things deeply and drives us to aim for higher states. Human life provides a limited time to achieve the higher states that the heart yearns for. When we die there is nothing left of appetites, passions and egos, but the damaging effects of the disease and scars they leave on our hearts can last for eternity.
Related links:
Purification of the Heart Video
SeekersGuidance free online courses: 
Purification of the Heart & Praiseworthy Character (from Ghazali’s 40 Foundations of Religion)
The Marvels of the Heart

Seeking Arabic from Auckland to Amman

By Aarif Rasheed

My Journey to Arabic

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani himself had mentioned during the one of the introductory classes on the Ajrumiyya (a classical primer on Arabic) that one of the most important Bid’ahs (innovations) of our time is to learn the language of the Quran. As someone who had been memorising the Quran from a young age I have been making “on and off” efforts for many years to learn properly. Many will relate, that it is not uncommon for “Arabic classes” to be starting in our local communities, only for it to not quite get off the ground properly for one reason or another. Some of us have almost fantasised about that great opportunity to finally start a firm study of  Arabic “once and for all” with that great Shaykh whom we are hoping we will one day somehow have access to.

The Seekers Arabic Excitement 

Recently there has been the excitement for the launch of Arabic, because of the great teachers we have access to for the classes, and not least of course the great Shaykh Ali Hani

The course is entitled An insight to the study of Arabic, and the first lesson was insightful indeed.

Despite my limitations in Arabic, I was determined to be a part of this class, both to gain from the Shaykh on the subject itself as well as to gain from the exposure to such a great scholar and the many obvious benefits that would flow from that.

Starting Up
The first session has been scheduled last week but postponed due to connection issues and today my hope and anticipation was even greater of just being able to see Shaykh Ali Hani. I had the peace and quiet of the house being asleep (signing in from New Zealand).

The class covered the Fada’il (Merit) of the knowledge of the Arabic language and its grammar.

Shaykh Ali Hani

Having read Shaykh Ali Hani’s biography, I was imagining an overwhelming sight, heavy in voice reflecting both the gravity of the subject and the seniority of his scholarship in it. What greeted me as I signed in was the beautifully gentle and sweetly pleasant expression of the Shaykh.

I concentrated with exertion as I tried to ensure I grasped the main points with the Arabic that I have.

The lesson itself was an amazing survey of great examples and sayings regarding the great merit and importance of the sciences of Arabic Language and Grammar (and typically, sometimes with references to other sciences!)

It was also familiar in the sense of the mentioning of the great sayings of the companions (Allah be pleased with them) some more familiar such as Sayyidina Umar, and others from the early community, such as Ayub as-Sakhtiyani.

What continuously struck me is how the Shaykh spoke about the greatness of the science of Arabic and grammar, clearly such a heavy and foundational matter in our religion, in such a soft, sweet and welcoming manner.

Aside from the beauty and attractiveness of Shaykh Ali’s persona, his own eloquence and pronunciation was also striking, even while so finely and gently presenting the subject.

SPR210Importance of Learning Arabic
After being thoroughly honoured in being present for the class, I also managed to squeeze in the last question for the lesson: what was the importance of knowing Arabic for those of us in the West? I asked this because my own understanding of why I was continuously trying to learn was clear but sometimes inconsistent, and also because I noticed that amongst many I know, there were certain “groups” of individuals who did observe their need to learn Arabic and were always very motivated, and then others who, for some reason, did not – they would be interested in many other subjects, but not in learning the Arabic language.

The answer was the typical outward-inward balance that we have come to know from scholars of the traditional sciences: the Shaykh referred to both the importance of understanding of Quran and the Sunnah, as well as to our relationship with Allah, that is entailed in knowing this great science.

I was greatly honoured to be a part of this first lesson. The Shaykh was equally warm to answering questions and was patiently calm as we briefly lost connection towards the end (perhaps another lesson for us in our world of instantaneity!).

This introduction to the great science with a great scholar, was a beautifully welcoming experience.

I acknowledge my debt to my Creator and that I am deeply indebted to those who have made such a truly unique opportunity possible, and to all those who assist it. This truly has been a blessed boost to my long-time efforts to learn Arabic, and I determined in – and hope and pray for – my own consistency and dedication to this course.

Turning Towards the Truth Through Remembrance of Allah – Friday Sermon by Shaykh Faraz Khan

In this compelling Friday Khubah, Shaykh Faraz Khan speaks about the importance of disconnecting ourselves from the chaotic world that we are living in. On how to turn way from everything that distracts us from Allah. He speaks about turning to al Haq, the owner of the truth.
Shaykh Faraz reminds us about how believers should be in constant remembrance of Allah through their tongues and hearts. We should strive to make Allah the central focus of their lives. Only then can we attain tranquillity (sakinah) and make our lives solely for the sake of Allah. Our life, profession, family and responsibilities would mean nothing if the qiblah of our heart is not directed towards Allah al Haq.
Who is Shaykh Faraz Khan?
Shaykh Faraz Khan is currently teaching at Zaytuna College as part of the Living Links program, find out more here.

By Sister Lina.

SeekersNotes: The Prayer of The Prophet ﷺ – Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

Salaah comes from Seerah and is the essential connection to our Lord.

Notes taken by Seeker Aashif Sacha

  • Imam Al-Junaid said “Ultimately life is praying 5 prayers and waiting to die”
    • This is the essential trait of the believer.
  • If you think about the implications and the greatness of this, every single opportunity that we have to pray and stand before our Lord is an opportunity for us to reestablish this connection..

As human beings we have an element that is the physical aspect of our bodies which is like clay and is moving downwards.

Another element in our bodies is the spiritual element which is the ‘Ruh’ which is always wanting to rise.

  • You constantly see the human being fluctuating between these two states that are:
    • Human Nature or Earthy Nature
    • Spiritual Nature

Ultimately the Prayer is the Miraj of the believer

  • It is the ascent of the believer.
  • Renewing the believer of connection to the heavenly realms.

If we look back at the source of prayer we find in it a very deep indication about the nature of prayer itself.

  • When our Prophet ﷺ went on Isra’ wal Miraj and was taken to Jerusalem by night and ascended and went past the 7 seven heavens into the Divine Presence, this is where he ﷺ received the prayer.
    • This is the highest degree of Revelation that our Prophet ﷺ received from our Lord.
  • Every traveller when they come home they have a gift
    • When the Prophet ﷺ returned from Isra’ wal Miraj the gift that he brought back to the Ummah was the Prayer.

We should see the prayer as a deep and intimate gift and we have to move beyond merely the very base levels of the Nafs where we find it difficult and heavy to stand before our Lord and pray to where we reach a state and do it naturally.

  • Reach a state where this is the most exciting moment of our day is the moments where we stand before our Lord.
  • This was the state of our dearly beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ
    • When he bothered or troubled by an affair he used to hasten to prayer ﷺ.

This goes on to the beautiful statement of his “Pray as you see me Pray”

  • This is indication that this is our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ it is the means for us to know how to worship our Lord.
  • This is one of the miracles of Islam that every single one of our forms of Ibaa’dah are completely intact.
    • That after 1400years we know exactly how our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ prayed.
    • We have very detailed descriptions of things that he used to do in his prayer ﷺ.
  • This statement also helps us understand the state of the Prophet ﷺ before his Lord and the way he was.
    • Not only did he do this element outward but what was his internal state?
    • When he ﷺ was submitting before his Lord, the prayer is unique and gathers all of these different forms of worship.
  • When you see the true inheritors of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ which reflecting to you the way that our Prophet ﷺ used to pray himself.
    • When you sit before these rightly guided scholars that you start to tap into the way our Prophet ﷺ used to pray.

Included in this meaning of the hadith “Pray as you see me Pray”

  • There is not only an Outward element but an Inward element.
  • There is a spirit and a soul which both are important and inseparable.
  • We come from a Deen that a complete balance, between having the Latter of the Law and the Spirit of the Law.

Through the inner aspect of the prayer we concentrate on the meanings of what we are saying and take the opportunity to be humble before our Lord.

  • The pinnacle of the prayer is in the position of prostration.
  • The Prophet ﷺ said “The closest that a servant is to the Lord is when he is in prostration”
    • We find that the intellect is lower than the heart

The heart is higher than the intellect.

The heart is the tool which we come to have Ma’rifah – our gnosis and knowledge of our Lord.

  • The prayer is the greatest Wirid of all
  • The greatest opportunity to draw near to our Lord in this Life.
  • This is something we should take seriously.

As soon as the Prayer time enters we should be longing to stand before our Lord.

  • The more longing we have to stand before our Lord, it would directly translate into the next world into our degree of closeness to Him.

When the prayer is intact and in shape then everything else will be intact and in shape as well.

A’isha (may God be pleased with her) was from the greatest of those who got to see the Prophet ﷺ pray.

  • She prayed as she saw him pray.

When asked what was the most amazing thing that she saw about the Messenger of Allah ﷺ

She started to weed and say “What was not amazing of the Messenger of Allah, his entire affair was amazing. But when everyone went to sleep at night, and everyone went to lay with their beloved, the Prophet ﷺ used to stand before his Lord at night – this was the most amazing affair about him, the way he used to stand in night before his Lord in prayer.”

There is no better way to expose yourself to the Mercy and sweet breezes of Mercy of Allah than through the prayer and in particular praying as our Prophet ﷺ prayed, inwardly and outwardly.

  • We must be effort and strive to learn then it will be one of the most enjoyable and pleasurable experiences and will attain a portion of Prophetic inheritances.

SeekersNotes: The Virtues of Salaah – Imam Tahir Anwar

SeekersNotes: The Virtues of Salaah – Imam Tahir Anwar

Notes taken by Seeker Aashif Sacha

Allah reminds us of our obligation of Salaah – the prayer in various places in the Quran.

  • Recite from the Quran in your Salaah
  • Our recitation should increase in our Salaah

When we speak of the virtues of Salaah

  • We are fulfilling an obligation from Allah
  • The evil that every individual is inclined to do, a human is protected from that evil through their Salaah

·      This protection comes from Salaah performed in a manner and method it should be performed

There are many obligations of our Salaah we are not fulfilling

  • Among them is that we fulfill our Salaah in a manner and method in which the Prophet ﷺ taught us.
  • Once we have fulfilled that, any evil a human being is inclined towards an individual is protected when they pray their Salaah.

“All kinds of evil, Inward and Outward an individual is protected”

The Prophet ﷺ says “An individual who performs their Salaah correctly, Allah will forgive an individual’s sins until the next prayer”

The Prophet ﷺ goes out during autumn and shakes a tree and there’s so many leaves that fall down. The Prophet ﷺ says that “an individual who prays their Salaah their sins shed from that individual as trees shed their leaves in autumn.”

  • When we shake a tree outside, we see the leaves falling
  • When we see an individual praying you don’t see any sins falling
    • We should know that when are fulfilling this obligation to Allah, Allah is rewarding us.
    • In addition to the reward we are getting we should know and realise that our sins are being forgiven by Allah
    • Slowly and surely
    • As we go from one prayer to another prayer, Allah is forgiving our sins.

The Prophet ﷺ mentioned to the Sahabah’s “If there is a pool in front of someone’s house and they jumped into that pool 5 times a day, would any dirt remain on that individual?”

The Sahabah replied “Ya Rasool Allah, no dirt, no filth would remain on that individual”

The Prophet ﷺ replied “That’s the case with an individual who performs their Salaah.”

  • Allah is doing us a favor by forgiving our sins
  • Allah is doing us a favor by purifying us

We need to realise that when the Adhaan is called the time enters for a prayer, it is time for me to pray.

  • As soon as a person fulfills and completes this obligation we come to realise that we are being cleansed spiritually.
  • We are being elevated spiritually.

When the Prophet ﷺ had any difficulty he would resort to Salaah

  • These are extra prayers

On the Day of Judgment when an individual meets Allah the first thing they will be asked about is their Fard Salaah.

If there is any deficiency in their Fard Salaah then the extra prayer associated with each Salaah, they will be looked at.

  • We need to do our Sunnah and Nafl prayers in order to make up for any deficiency that may have taken place in our Salaah.
    • This is a great act of worship!

In Salaah we are talking directly to Allah, the Creator of ALL the creation.

  • Allah is the Creator of creation.
  • In our faith we are able to directly communicate to Allah.
  • We Bow and mention the Praises of Allah

“Subhana Rabbi Al-Adhim”

“Glorified be my Lord”

  • When an individual is in prostration, we happen to be at the lowest point on the face of this earth – the ground, the individual is highest in status while that individual is in prostration with Allah.
  • You are the king of all kings when you are in prostration because you are prostrating to the King of Kings.
  • You are in service to Allah – The Mighty, The Majestic.

We begin by Praising Allah “Allah is the Greatest”

We begin with Al-Fatiha by Praising Allah.

  • Then with our hearts and minds present we say

“O Allah, Guide us to the straight path” Ameen

  • There is no way that Allah can not guide a sincere individual who is asking Allah to guide him or her to the straight path in the form of Salaah.

Our mind and hearts need to be present then Allah will grant us all the rewards of Salaah and all the benefits of Salaah.

  • That begins with understanding all the magnitude of Salaah.

SeekersNotes: Nine Keys to Presence of Heart in Prayer – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

SeekersNotes: Nine Keys to Presence of Heart in Prayer – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

9 Keys to Prayer – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani from SeekersGuidance on Vimeo.

Notes taken by Seeker Aashif Sacha

Allah has never commanded merely to pray rather the Quranic command to pray has come in specific ways

Allah says “Establish the prayer for My Remembrance”

  • When you pray heedlessly of God you have done the form of what your Lord has commanded you but you have not fulfilled its purpose.
  • Establishing the Prayer is also known as iq’aamah – it is to make something upright without any crookedness or deficiency Uprightness has two aspects inward and outward
    • Outward: You fulfill the integrals and Sunnah’s during the prayer. You pray according to the Divine command and the Prophetic example
    • Inward: Praying with presence of heart. Your heart is directed to Allah because the prayer is the root meaning is Dua (supplication). You are calling on Allah.

Pray sincerely seeking the pleasure of Allah, with a heart that is mindful, a heart that is turning to Allah, a heart that is conscious of Allah during the prayer.

1. Who are you praying to?

The most significant reality is that you are praying to Allah.

The prayer is not an act you perform rather it is your turning to Allah.

The purpose is Allah and you must bring that to mind before you begin and in the prayer itself and after the prayer.

  • I am praying Allah
  • To my Lord
  • My Creator
  • My Sustainer
  • My Bestower
  • The One who has granted me all that I have
  • The One who has given me the gift of life
    • my health
    • my wealth
    • my knowledge
    • my guidance
    • my faith
    • everything that I have.

§  “You have no blessing Except that it is from Allah.”

So you pray to Allah and bring that mind.

This is why we begin prayer saying “Allah hu Akbar – Allah is Greatest”

This consciousness is helped by upholding the Inward Virtues related to your prayer. Thankfulness, Yearning, Love, Awe, Beholding & Bliss

You are supposed to be praying out of Thankfulness to Allah,

You are supposed to be praying with a deep sense of Yearning for Allah,

You are supposed to be praying with a deep sense of Love for the Divine,

You are supposed to be praying with sense of Awe of Allah

And when these become true with Beholding Allah with the eye of our heart, the eye of faith and a sense of absolute Bliss in that state of Beholding and intimacy with Allah.

  • The Prophet ﷺ said, “Spiritual excellence, the perfection of faith is that you worship Allah as though you behold Him.”
  • When you behold Allah, you are with Allah

You are in a sense of Awareness, Consciousness and Active Remembrance

Then you experience absolute Serenity, Contentment and Joy.

To get these you should stir your heart with these meanings:

  • The meanings of Thankfulness
  • The meanings of Yearning
  • The meanings of Love
  • The meanings of deep Awe of the Divine
  • The meanings of Fear of Allah.

The prayer is for Allah, and we may reach a day when these meanings are there in our hearts already and in our prayer we are nourishing and nurturing that which is already within us.

  • Until then we have to stir these meanings within us.
  • The Prophet ﷺ said:

“Cry when you pray, and if you don’t cry then make yourself cry for the sake of Allah”

“Knowledge is only through learning and Forbearance (Hilm) is only through making oneself act Forbearantly”.

 

2. Your neediness

You have to realise your neediness to Allah, your slavehood and indigence.

  • He is Free of all need
  • Worthy of All Praise
  • Possessor of All Majesty
  • Magnificence and Beauty.

Allah says in the Quran “O People you are the ones who are in absolute need of Allah, and Allah is Free of all need, Worthy of All Praise”

When Aisha (May God be pleased with her) asked the Prophet ﷺ why he prayed so long his reply was that  “Should I not be a slave that is Thankful?”

The state of the slave is neediness to their Lord and their Master.

  • That’s what made the Prophet’s prayer so beautiful because he ﷺ prayed it with a complete neediness to his Lord.
  • The Prophetic supplication “O Lord, I am in desperate need for any good that you may send me.”
    • This is pure Tauheed, Pure awareness of Divine Oneness.
    • Tauheed is to affirm That there is none free of need than any other worthy of all praise Except Allah.
    • There is none free of any other whom all are absolute need of Except Allah.

Allah defines Himself for us in the Quran in Surah Ikhlaas:

“Say He is Allah the Unique,

Allah the Absolutely Independent whom all depend upon”

  • Allah is Al Qayyum – The Sustainer.
    • At every moment your life is only yours because Allah is granting it to you at every moment.
    • All that you have is not only given by Allah but is being kept for you at every moment by Allah.

Your state should be like the one whose hands are out begging their Lord in neediness, and you bring to mind the Majesty of Allah

  • That He is the Possessor of absolute existence
  • All else besides Him is fleeting and waning
  • Its only there because He affirmed it
  • He is the One who is possessed by absolute transcendence
  • He is the One who is Beginningless and Endless
  • He is the One who is absolutely distinct from Creation
  • He is the One who is absolutely Independent in no need of any other
  • He is the One who has the attributes of Perfection
  • He has Absolute Life, Knowledge, Will, Power
  • He has the attributes of Speech, Hearing and Seeing all things
    • Think of the Majesty of Allah in prayer,

§  This is how you engage your heart in the prayer.

Even when you are standing silently in prayer i.e. in Taraweh prayer

  • Busy your heart with a sense of your Lord.

Keep in mind your neediness and His Majesty.

3. Enter With Purpose

Start your prayer in the right way by entering the prayer with a purpose

  • Pause for a moment
  • Gather your resolve
  • Bring to mind whom you’re praying to
  • Fill your heart with the sense of yearning, loving, thankfulness
  • Intend to pray for the sake of Allah
    • Then you begin.

The most important prayer is the obligatory prayer

  • The wisdom of having the Sunnah prayer before the obligatory prayer is for you to strengthen your sense of purpose in the obligatory prayer.
  • The Sunnah prayer is like a training ground for the training ground for the obligatory prayer because that is worth 80 times the Sunnah prayer.
    • It is praiseworthy to sit for a few moments to gather your thoughts, and do some Dhikr before you begin praying

§  When you do this – your prayer will be completely different.

Allah is your beloved, and those who believe are more intense in their love of Allah.

  • This is your moment of your direct encounter with Allah.
  • When you are waiting for the one you love, how do you wait for them?
  • That is why you prepare yourself
  • That is why it is recommended to renew your Wudu because it creates a sense of break of what you were doing before and what you’re about to enter into right now.
  • Enter the prayer with purpose
  • Gather your intention
  • Your resolve
  • Your focus
  • Get rid of distractions
    • The Prophet ﷺ said “A person only has from their prayer that which they were conscious of”.

4. What you say. What you do.

Within they prayer focus on two meaning What you say and What you do.

In every position. When you’re standing focus not only on what you are saying but the meaning of what you are saying.

  • Do you know what ‘Allah hu Akbar’ means?
  • Do you know what ‘Audhu billahi min al-shaitanir-rajim’ means?
  • Do you know the meaning of the opening supplication?
    • These are High meanings!

Don’t say anything that you say in the prayer in a hurried way,

Say it in a calm manner.

  • Pronounce it properly without emphasis without exacting
  • Your prayer is not a tajweed class
  • Say it properly with the tongue as it helps stir the heart
  • Don’t make your pronunciation the focus rather say it in a way that is comfortable and move your heart with it
  • Don’t say anything in prayer without bringing to heart what it means
  • Recite without haste
  • Say it with your tongue and with your heart
  • Move your heart
  • Review the meanings
  • Bring to mind the position that you are in
    • When you are standing, you are standing towards Allah
    • When you bow, you are bowing toward the tremendous Majesty of Allah

§  You say “Subhana rabbi al-atheem

“Glory be to my Lord, the Most Tremendous”

o   When you prostrate yourself

§  “Subhana rabbi al-a’laa”

“Glory be to my Lord, The Exhalted”

This is the highness on Majesty.

He is closer to you than your jugular vein and He is with you wherever you may be. It is we who are heedless of our Lord.

5. Fight distractions – Flee to Allah

You have to fight distractions, and anytime you find distracted Renew your sense that your prayer is for Allah.

  • Refocus on what you are saying and what you are doing.

 

6. After the prayer

After the prayer is finished, don’t just get up and leave

  • Adhere to the Sunnah’s after the prayer
  • Learn the Sunnah’s
  • Make a routine and don’t leave it – even if you are in a rush
    • Right after Salaah say:

Astagfirullah” 3 times

“I seek Allah’s forgiveness from my sin and shortcomings”

  • Say it sincerely for it is the tongue that guides the heart
    • Learn the post prayer supplication:
    • “Allāhumma Antas-Salām, wa minkas-salām, tabārakta yā Dhal-jalāli wal-ikrām.”

“O Allah, You are Peace, and Peace is from You, Exalted are You, O Possessor of Majesty and Grace”

o   “Allahumma a’inni ‘ala dhikrika wa shukrika wa husni’ibadatika”

“O Allah assist me in worshipping You, O Allah assist me in remembering You, and to be thankful of You, and to worship You beautifully”.

7. Keep to turning to Allah – Knowledge. Action. State

You need three things to keep turning to Allah

  • You need Knowledge: to know what Allah seeks from you at the level of obligation and that the level of what He’s encouraged you to do in order for you to draw closer to Him
  • Acting upon that knowledge sincerely
  • Result in State of becoming a true servant of Allah
    • Someone whose on the footsteps of Al-Mustafa ﷺ
    • Someone who draws ever closer to that state in which you worship Allah as though you behold Him and you’re granted true experience of the state of remembering Allah which is the state of true joy

§  It is only by the remembrance of Allah that hearts find rest.

8. Law as Love

If you’re with Allah in life, you’ll be with Allah in prayer

If you struggle to be conscious of Allah in life, you’re going struggle in prayer and you’re going miss out

  • Everything that you do remaining within the limits of the sacred law
  • Do it not as a burden but do it as a declaration of Love for Allah.
  • Do it seeking the pleasure of Allah

9. Knowledge is the path to God

In order to succeed in seeking the pleasure of Allah in life, in order to succeed in having a meaningful prayer you have to seek knowledge.

  • Knowledge is the path to Allah
  • Make a commitment to seek knowledge
    • You should know how the Prophet ﷺ prayed
    • You need to know how to purify your conduct and your character
    • You need to know how to be in a state of submission to Allah
    • You need to instill in yourself the Islamic manners
    • You need to know how to recite the Quran properly
    • You do all these things for Allah.

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whomever Allah wishes well for He grants deep understanding of religion”

  • Knowledge is a light that shows the way to Allah
  • Knowledge that is beneficial and inspired your heart helps you tread that path to the pleasure of your Lord

Commit to learn

  • The Prophet ﷺ said “Whoever travels the path seeking knowledge therein, Allah facilitates for them through that the path to paradise”
    • It’s a sustained seeking in an orderly fashion
    • A path is a way that has been trodden by those before you that leads your desired goal and destination which is closeness to Allah
    • Seeking knowledge therein, the knowledge is on the path but it is not the purpose of the path, its purpose is your Lord

Remember your prayer must be established

Strive to learn the Prophetic way of prayer Outwardly to gain the Inward sense of turning to Allah in your prayer out of remembrance of Allah

“Verily it is only by the remembrance of Allah that hearts find rest”