The Farewell Sermon: Reflections on the Prophet’s Counsel – Habib Muhammad Abdul-Rahman al-Saqqaf

On Thursday 30th July 2020, over a billion Muslims around the world prayed for Mercy and nearness to God on the holy day of Arafat.

It is our continued effort to disseminate light, clarity, and guidance to the global community. In pursuit of this endeavour, SeekersGuidance hosted a special online event in commemoration of the Day of Arafat. We were honoured to be joined by Habib Muhammad Abdul-Rahman al-Saqqaf for our Day of Arafat program.

(Read About the Program Here).

About – Habib Muhammad Abdul-Rahman al-Saqqaf

Habib Muhammad Abdul-Rahman al-Saqqaf is a direct descendant of our Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him). He studied with some of the greatest scholars of Hijaz of our time including Sayyid Mohammad Bin Alawi al-Maliki, Shaykh Ahmad Mashur Bin Taha al-Haddad and many others. He participated in the establishment of the teaching curriculum at Dar al-Mustafa (Tarim, Hadramawt) for Islamic Studies, and has trained, coached, and founded numerous circles of teaching and calling to God. He has also printed many beneficial publications.

In the video above, Habib Muhammad discussed the Prophet’s mission of spreading wisdom through profound lessons (blessings and peace be upon him). Habib Muhammad draws light upon one such lesson that The Prophet taught during his largest gathering ever on the Day of Arafat, only a few short months before he passed away.

“In the Farewell Hajj are so many lessons and wisdoms which demand great research and much study; the seeker of knowledge would need a full and detailed intensive study of it.”

In his historic sermon, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) laid down fundamental principles for correcting our lives.

Amongst the things he addressed in his speech were:

  • Rights of Islam
  • Rights of People
  • Economical Issues
  • Women’s Rights
  • and many other important topics

Through these lessons as discussed in the video, it is evident that The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was sent to us as a guiding light. It is through understanding his words and the importance behind them that we can begin to benefit from this beautiful religion. 

Abu Bakrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“Delivering the sermon during the Farewell Pilgrimage on the day of Sacrifice at Mina, the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, ‘Verily your blood, your property and your honour are as sacred and inviolable as the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours and in this town of yours. Verily! I have conveyed this message to you.’” – Bukhari and Muslim

The Islamic Scholars Fund

Our Day of Arafat program was organized in an effort to raise awareness of the SeekersGuidance Islamic Scholars Fund (ISF) which was established to help deserving scholars and students in need around the world.

We ask you to donate your Zakat and Charity to the Islamic Scholars Fund – so that scholars around the world can continue to spread clarity and light during these turbulent times.

 

The Masters and the Millennials | Part 6: From the Cradle to the Grave – Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

This is the sixth part of a series, click here for the previous article.

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

One of the challenges of the current age is that many young students of sacred knowledge stop studying after only a few years because they receive public recognition. They are not really scholars but imagine themselves to be, because they are either good at public speaking or are fulfilling some other scholarly role.

We should always seek to increase in sacred knowledge. For example, our Shaykh, sayyidi Habib Umar used to make a point of attending the classes of Habib Salim bin Abd Allah al-Shatiri before he passed away, even though his own classes drew hundreds or thousands of people.

‘Abd Allah bin ‘Amr bin al-‘As narrated that he heard the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) say:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَقْبِضُ الْعِلْمَ انْتِزَاعًا، يَنْتَزِعُهُ مِنَ الْعِبَادِ، وَلَكِنْ يَقْبِضُ الْعِلْمَ بِقَبْضِ الْعُلَمَاءِ، حَتَّى إِذَا لَمْ يُبْقِ عَالِمًا، اتَّخَذَ النَّاسُ رُءُوسًا جُهَّالاً فَسُئِلُوا، فَأَفْتَوْا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ، فَضَلُّوا وَأَضَلُّوا

His statement:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَقْبِضُ الْعِلْمَ انْتِزَاعًا، يَنْتَزِعُهُ مِنَ الْعِبَادِ

This means that Allah will not remove knowledge from this earth by stripping it from the hearts and minds of men.

His statement:

وَلَكِنْ يَقْبِضُ الْعِلْمَ بِقَبْضِ الْعُلَمَاءِ

However, He will remove it biqabd al-‘ulama’. The common meaning of qabd is to take possession. Thus, taking possession of the scholars is commonly interpreted as causing them to die, so that knowledge will die out with them.

Habib Abu Bakr al-‘Adani points to another meaning of biqabd al-‘ulama. He says it refers to the restriction of sacred knowledge in contemporary societies. Short courses are common, with most Islamic universities producing graduates who call themselves shaykhs after four years.

Traditionally, students would continue their journey of sacred knowledge for ten, twenty or even thirty years before becoming scholars. Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, for example, studied for thirty years before he was permitted to conduct his own classes. In Tarim, graduates of Dar al-Mustafa are called students of knowledge (talib al-‘ilm), nothing else, even if they study there for ten years. They are only called ‘Sayyid’ (for the family of the Prophet) or ‘Shaykh’ (for others) if they have obtained recognition from the senior scholars and established themselves in the community.

Gaining sacred knowledge is a life-long journey that requires years of sacrifice and effort. It is not gained by studying at the hand of an academic who does not pray in the mosque five times a day, or who does not pray the voluntary night prayer (tahajjud), or who adheres to modernist ideologies, or who is not even a Muslim.

Studying under such people does not illuminate the heart with sacred knowledge. One must be an exemplary Muslim to be a scholar.

Imam Shafi‘i, one of the most exemplary of all scholars, once looked at the shin of a woman and his memory deteriorated. He sought advice from his teacher, Waki’ ibn al-Jarrah, who advised him:

I complained to Waki’ of my weak memory,
To abandon sin is what he advised me,

For knowledge is light from my ilahi (my Lord),
And a sinner is not given from His Luminosity,

May Allah allow us to be amongst those who seek sacred knowledge only for His sake and allow us to be amongst those who act upon their knowledge.

Recapping Day of Arafat Event 2020

This past Thursday, July 30th, we had an amazing online Arafat event.  We were joined by notable scholars, devotional artists, and community thinkers from around the world.

Click the video above to watch the webinar.

Speakers included:

  • Imam Yama Niazi
  • Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
  • Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan
  • Ustadha Shireen Ahmed
  • Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat
  • Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
  • Ustadh Ubaydullah Evans
  • Nader Khan
  • Shaykh Amin Buxton
  • Peter Sanders
  • Shaykha Zaynab Ansari
  • Shaykh Amer Jameel
  • Habib Muhammad Abddur rahman al Saqqaf
  • Ustadh Abdullah Misra
  • Shaykh Muhammad Carr
  • Alman Nusrat
  • Sidi Edris Khamissa
  • Shaykh Jamal Ud Deen Hysaw
  • Shaykh Ahmed El Azhary

Click here to watch the full video: The Day of Arafat: Standing Before God Webinar

Don’t let a Faith Pandemic Happen

Help Support The Islamic Scholars Fund

“The Islamic Scholars Fund plays a very critical role in supporting individuals who are a means through which you and I will continue to draw closer to our Creator…” – Imam Khalid Latif

 

Term One Dar al Fuqaha Courses Now Available

Earlier this year, SeekersGuidance in partnership with the Sultan Mehmet Fatih University launched the Dar al Fuqaha Seminary in Istanbul, an important project to train the next generation of scholars.

Term One classes from the Dar al Fuqaha Seminary, are now available on the SeekersGuidance Course Catalog. Courses are taught by leading scholars including:

  • Shaykh Usama al Rifai
  • Dr Mahmoud Masri
  • Shaykh Khaled al Kharsa
  • Shaykh Ismail Majzoob, and more

To register for course visit: https://seekersguidance.org/course-catalog/

Note: The default courses displayed are English, so you will have to choose the Arabic option on the course catalog.

The Seekers Youth Intensive 2020

In the upcoming days, we have an exciting youth program starting online with SeekersGuidance. This is suitable for anyone who wants to learn their basics but is specifically designed for ages 13-18; both boys and girls. If you’re a parent or guardian you can sign up your child(ren), but if you’re a youth that’s interested we recommend you inform your parents before registering.

Cost: Free

This youth program will be delivered by two of our SeekersGuidance scholars:

  • Imam Yama – an American who served as an Imam in Santa Barbara for 8 years. He dealt directly with youth on a day to day basis and knows the challenges they face
  • Shaykh Yusuf Weltch – Shortly after converting to Islam over a decade ago, Shaykh Yusuf studied Islam full time at an Islamic Seminary for nearly five years, but after studying there he was looking for a deeper understanding of the religion that addressed the spiritual dimensions of the message of the Qur’an and the Prophetic Way, and that had a deep concern for calling others to this truth and beauty, he found himself traveling to Tarim, Hadhramawt (Yemen). He then spent four years there completing his Islamic studies.

Dates: August 2-16th, 2020

Upon registration, on August 2nd, students will be given access to two courses:

  1. A course on Islamic belief – mainly covering the pillars of faith but with a bit more detail
  2. A course on the fiqh of worship – this will cover: i) purification (taharah) ii) ghusl and iii) prayer (salah)

This program will also have live sessions (timings to be announced soon) where the teachers along with a guest will take students’ questions and discuss common challenges they go through, such as, and not restricted to, substance abuse, video game addictions, etc.

Students will have the opportunity to ask their questions and have them answered.

So why should you sign up?

  • To engage your teens (or yourself) and give them a spiritual boast before the start of the school year.
  • This unique online opportunity gives students a chance to ask more embarrassing questions that they would otherwise be too shy to ask in person.
  • You’ll learn purification (taharah) and prayer, while learning how to purify your soul and remove ailments such as arrogance, etc, to grow spiritually.

Click here to sign up

The Masters and the Millennials | Part 5: The Shaykhs We Meet – Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

This is the fifth part of a series, click here for the previous article.

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

Here, we will be discussing the different shaykhs and teachers we may encounter in our lives. They may fall into one or more of the following three categories (Although a shaykh can to fall into all of them, it rarely happens).

  1. The Shaykh al-Fath (Shaykh of Opening)

The first, and the greatest, is the shaykh al-fath – the shaykh who is the means of receiving an opening of sainthood. Through him, one becomes detached from the world and connected to his Lord, Allah Most High. One draws closer to Allah and finds enjoyment in worship.

The shaykh al-fath is the door to continuous presence with Allah. Many shaykhs experience this presence to such an extent that, if their heart is absent from their Lord for a minute, they regard themselves as apostates. For example, a shaykh repented to Allah for a single sin for forty years. His students asked him about the sin, and he said, “I had guests over one evening and served them fish. Afterwards, as they left my home, I had the smell of fish on my hands and wanted to get rid of it so I took a piece of mud from my neighbour’s wall and cleaned my hands”. The students said, “that is not a serious sin because you could have told the neighbour you took it by mistake and he would have pardoned you”. He said, “that is not the reason I am crying. I went to the neighbour immediately and apologised and he overlooked the sin. I am repenting of the fact that, for the moment that I took my neighbour’s mud without his permission, I was heedless of Allah.”

Words cannot describe the state that the shaykh al-fath facilitates in his students. He may be someone we meet once in our lives. He may be the most unassuming person, and we may think of ourselves better than him. In so doing, we may deprive ourselves of receiving the great opening.

We must take note that the opening is not given by the shaykh himself. Allah has made him a means for others to attain the state. You may reject this, saying there is no proof. However, our shaykhs are living proof of this.

For example, one day Habib ‘Ali al-Habashi was playing in the road with his friends, and Habib Abu Bakr al-‘Attas looked at him from his window. When Habib al-‘Attas’ gaze fell upon him, he became disconnected from everything around him and connected to his Lord.

  1. The Shaykh of Tarbiyah (Shaykh of Spiritual Nurturing )

The second is the shaykh of tarbiyah. He is the one from whom we take the pledge of spiritual allegiance (‘ahd or bay’ah). He tells us which adhkar or litanies (awrad) to recite, and he advises us in times of difficulty.

There is a debate among the scholars as to whether one should have a shaykh of tarbiyah. It cannot be regarded as compulsory, because this would imply that many Muslims around the world who do not have shaykhs are sinful. No scholar would wish to ascribe to this view.

However, the shaykh of tarbiyyah is important. Imam Ghazali says in Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din that there are different ways of attaining spirituality. For example, you can ask a friend – a trusted person who is close to you – to make you aware of your faults. You will respond readily when he advises you of your bad qualities because you trust him, and you will try your best to rid yourself of them. Nevertheless, Imam Ghazali says that a shaykh of tarbiyyah is the best way to attain closeness to Allah, to increase in spirituality, and to develop the qualities of a real believer.

What qualities should you be looking for in a shaykh of tarbiyah?

  1. There should be an appropriate bond or connection between you and the shaykh
  2. The shaykh’s students shouldn’t try to encourage you to become their shaykh’s student. You should be given the space to find someone who will have a life-long impact on your heart
  3. In addition to fulfilling all the commands of Allah, the shaykh should emulate the characteristics (shama’il) of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and display as much of his sunnah as possible

Habib ‘Ali al-Habashi said if you find yourself in your shaykh’s heart and he receives divine outpourings, you will share in them. Imam Hasan al-Basri said if Allah gazes at your shaykh’s heart and you find a place in his heart, you will also receive Allah’s gaze.

  1. The Shaykh of Knowledge

The third shaykh is the shaykh of knowledge (shaykh al-ta‘lim). He is the shaykh from whom you study Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), Islamic doctrine (‘aqidah), Islamic legal theory (usul al-fiqh), tafsir, and all the other sacred sciences.

The shaykh of knowledge plays a major role in our lives. This shaykh ensures that I know how to worship Allah. Through this shaykh, we come to know halal and haram and are able to live lives that are pleasing to Allah. This shaykh assists us in knowing how to execute Allah’s command and to abstain from His prohibitions outwardly; while the shaykh of tarbiyah assists us in doing so, inwardly and outwardly.


Conclusion

We are emphasizing the shaykh of tarbiyah because we are in need of purification of our egos and assistance with our struggle to live as Muslims in the modern western world. The best way to learn how to live our lives in the west is to observe those shaykhs of tarbiyah who have adopted the way of the Messenger of Allah. For example, it is impermissible for a man to shake a strange woman’s hand. This is a big challenge in the west. However, if you really want to follow Allah’s law, He will make things easy for you. When Habib ‘Umar entered a university lecture theatre in North America, a woman professor tried to shake his hand. He raised his hands to his chest politely, thereby letting her know that it was not permissible for him to shake her hand, and smiled at her radiantly. So he made up for not shaking her hand by his smile, as well as his politeness and humility.

While the three kinds of shaykhs are all important, the shaykh of tarbiyah is of the greatest importance to modern western Muslims because he connects us to Allah and guides and benefits us in navigating the challenges we face.

The Best Ten: A Dhul Hijjah Reader

There’s only so much a pandemic can disrupt and if there’s one thing that will remain intact, it’s the virtuous days in the year Allah has selected.

We experienced ten blessed nights at the end of Ramadan and upon us now are ten blessed days. Days that the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) said regarding them, “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (i.e. first ten days of Dhul Hijja).” Some of the companions asked, “Not even Jihad?” He replied, “Not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger and does not return with any of those things.” (Bukhari)

Help to support deserving scholars and students during these blessed days by donating your zakat and charity to the Islamic Scholars Fund. Your support is a sadaqa jariya and will have a lasting impact on ensuring the Prophetic legacy continues within our global communities.

Here is some of our content regarding these blessed days:

Articles:

Podcasts:

Answers:

Videos:

May Allah – the Most High – accept from us our prayers, sadaqa, and fasting.

Announcing The SeekersGuidance Online Summer Intensive 2020

Join us for The SeekersGuidance Online Summer Intensive 2020!

Spend this summer immersing yourself in an online blended learning environment, students from all around the world will have an opportunity to delve into three areas of study which have been compiled by some of the worlds leading scholars in their area.

We are offering three streams of study for students at different levels and learning outcomes.

Completely Free.

The Three Streams of Study:

  • Ijaza Islamic Studies Program (دورة العلوم الشرعية) – Arabic
    • This program gives students of knowledge the opportunity to read classical texts in Arabic in a wide range of key Islamic sciences with some of the leading scholars of our time, from Sham and elsewhere
    • Cost? Free!
  • Foundational Islamic Studies – English
    • This covers the personally obligatory knowledge that all Muslims must know
    • Students will complete a critical portion of Level One of our Islamic Studies Program, in English, with qualified SeekersGuidance teachers
    • In addition, we’ll be offering enrichment sessions with thought and community leaders
    • Cost? Free!
  • The Seekers Youth Intensive – English
    • This program is a carefully designed program for Muslim Youth growing up today
    • The program will be taught by our Youth teachers Imam Yama Niazi and Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
    • This summer program give the youth a chance to connect with our rich Islamic tradition
    • Cost? Free!

When: August 2nd – August 31st, 2020

Where: Online

Who: Students who are interested in studying the Islamic Sciences

Cost: Free

Class Availability:

Thank You for your interest. Registration is now closed for the summer program.

Six Month Introductory Certificate Program in Shafi’i Fiqh and Usul

Matn Abu Shuja’ (Level Two) with Imam al-Haramayn’s Waraqat  (Level Two) conducted by Shaykh Muhammad Carr

In the Name of Allah, Merciful and Compassionate, with blessings and peace upon our Master Muhammad, his folk, and companions

Program Description

This Program is a Beginner Program in Shafi’i Fiqh and Usul. It covers Level two of the SeekersGuidance Islamic Studies Curriculum in Shafi’i Fiqh and Usul.

This program will encompass a thorough study of:

  • Matn Abu Shuja’ (Level Two of the SeekersGuidance Islamic Studies Curriculum), in full – with readings from the commentary of the matan, Kifayat al-Akhyar, and Ibn Qasim al-Ghazzi’s Sharh
  • Waraqat of Imam al-Haramayn in full

Class Format

Three pre-recorded classes per week, 45-60 Minutes each and one bi-weekly live discussion. Students are expected to follow the recordings and attend the live session.

Preparation, participation, and asking questions is strongly encouraged – as is the following of recommended readings.

There will be an online forum for questions, discussion, and related texts and resources. 

Conditions for Joining the Class

This is an introductory level class in Shafi’i fiqh (Level Two) and Usul (Level Two). It is therefore essential for students to have completed the study of the following works or their equivalent:

Required Text:

  • al-Risalah al-Jami’ah (Habshi’s Encompassing Epistle Explained)
  • al-Mukhtasar (Ba Fadl’s The Short Abridgement)

 This level adequately prepares a student to study the Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller) and Level Three Usul.

This class is completely free and open to the public, students should apply in order for the SeekersGuidance Academy team to collect their emails and add them to the course.

Language of Instruction

The Arabic text will be studied with English commentary.

Students Evaluation

Students will be evaluated through a variety of quizzes (a quiz will accompany each class), and a final comprehensive exam for each course. Oral exams are imperative to receive the Certificate.

Student Expectations

The expectations from the students would be to:

i. Prepare for the class.

ii. [a] Attend the class, with attentiveness, [b] participation, [c] asking questions.

iii. Review the class notes and text. Diagramming the text helps.

iv. Take notes. It is best to write out the matn itself, and essentials from the commentary (such as the key details and reasoning). This is also a good Arabic writing practice.

v. Participate in the Class Forum–by asking questions, sharing issues of benefit, and getting involved in the relevant discussions, with the proper manners of a keen seeker of knowledge (talib `ilm).

vi. Seek Allah’s Pleasure, and have high secondary intentions of acting upon what you learn with excellence, preserving and transmitting Prophetic guidance, to benefit yourself and to benefit others, and to gain all the benefits mentioned by Allah and the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) for those who seek and transmit sacred knowledge for the sake of Allah.

And Allah alone gives success.

Click Here for More Information

The Masters and the Millennials | Part 4: Etiquettes Towards One’s Teachers- Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

This is the fourth part of a series, click here for the previous article.

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

No matter how much a student develops, the etiquette with his teacher is of the utmost importance. Seventy percent of knowledge is gained through the student’s connection with his teacher – through his love of and attachment to his teacher, and through his adab and respect. More than five thousand students attended the classes of Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal. The majority of them attended to learn adab, while around only five hundred attended to record hadith.

Imam Haddad said, in his book Adab Suluk al-Murid, that if a student is filled with reverence, love and respect for his shaykh, and this is apparent inwardly and outwardly, and he follows the way of his teacher, he will inherit his teacher’s secret. Sayyid Imam ‘Ali Ibn Hasan al-‘Attas said a student will receive knowledge, openings, light and unveilings in proportion to the amount of etiquette he adopts towards his teacher.

Imam Baha’ al-Din al-Subki (d. 1372AD/773AH) told the following story: “We were travelling to greater Syria. My father (Imam Taqi al-Din al-Subki) was riding his horse, and we passed a farmer who said he had asked Imam Nawawi something. It was clear that he had met and studied under Imam Nawawi so my father descended from his horse, saying I will not ride a horse while someone who has seen Imam Nawawi is walking.” Imam al-Subki never met Imam Nawawi but he read many of his books and adopted him as his teacher. So when he met the student of Imam Nawawi he made him ride the horse while he walked.

Habib Salim al-Shatiri was regarded as the most senior teacher in the ribat of Tarim. He met Habib Muhammad al-Haddar, the father-in-law of Habib Zayn and Habib ‘Umar. Habib Salim was Habib Muhammad’s junior, so he tried to kiss his hand. However, Habib Muhammad kept refusing because Habib Salim’s father, Habib ‘Abd Allah, was one of his teachers. He said, “how could I ever allow my teacher’s son to kiss my hand?”

When they both lived in Madinah, someone gave Habib Muhammad a first-floor apartment and gave Habib Salim an apartment on the ground floor below him. Habib Muhammad refused to live on the first floor. He insisted that Habib Salim move into the first-floor apartment and he took the ground floor one, saying, “how can I sleep above the son of my shaykh?”

This etiquette must be emphasised. We do not revere our teachers. We must make dua that Allah hides the faults of our teachers so we do not see them. These days we look for our teacher’s faults, and when we find them we think less of him and, worse than that, we talk about them and make others think less of the teacher.

We should pray for our teachers. Abu Hanifah said, “I made istighfar for my teacher after every salah after he had passed away. I will continue making istighfar for every teacher from whom I have learned and every student I have taught.”

According to a narration, a man has three fathers – his biological father, the father whose daughter he marries, and his teacher, and the teacher is the best of fathers. By honouring and respecting our teachers, we will succeed in our studies and gain knowledge from our teachers.

Imam Hakim developed a dangerous wound that was infected and would not heal. His student, Imam Bayhaqi, asked the resident imam in a town through which he travelled to make dua for Imam Hakim. The imam did so, and a lady who was present at the gathering where the dua was made went home and made dua for him. She fell asleep and dreamed that the Prophet told her to tell Imam Hakim to build a well and give people water to drink and through that he would receive a cure. She told the resident imam who told Imam Bayhaqi who told Imam Hakim. So he built a well and gave water as charity to passers-by and he was soon cured. He received his cure through giving charity, not through medicine.

The outward means we take to become students, namely putting in many hours of effort and hard work, is very important. However, a big part of acquiring knowledge is about lowering ourselves in front of our teachers, and adopting the right etiquette towards them. The companions were the best examples of excellent etiquette. For instance, Ibn Mas‘ud used to carry the Prophet’s sandals (Allah bless him and give him peace).

The more you hold your teacher in great esteem, the more Allah holds you in great esteem. Habib ‘Ali al-Habshi said he did not see the human aspect of his teacher, Habib Abu Bakr. He only saw perfection.

Many academics think they only need books, not teachers. An academic once read the hadith that the Prophet said black seed is the cure for all ills. The Arabic word for seed is habbah (), and he read it incorrectly as hayyah (), which means snake, so he thought the hadith said the black snake is the cure for all ills. He ate a venomous black snake and went blind and eventually died from the snake’s poison.

It is often the case that we make subtle mistakes when we read books without the guidance of teachers. This can lead to diseases of the heart which can cause our hearts to die. It can also cause us to develop an ego. We imagine that we have different titles and think we are better than our teachers. Imam Ghazali said this is one of the things that will lead to our destruction in the hereafter. We must ask Allah to keep us from taking this path.