Love Him by Being Like Him – The Prophet as the Beloved

Love Him by Being Like Him – A Session with Shaykh Walead Mosaad

SeekersGuidance produced an online 12-day program in celebration of our Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) called Perfect Mercy. Scholars and artists gathered together from around the globe to commemorate our Master Muhammed, the Seal of the Prophets and the Best of Creation. Amongst the sessions was that of Shaykh Walead Mosaad. He reflected on his blessed name, how to love him, and being a community of peace.

How do you love the Prophet?

One type of love discussed is that of his outward experience as humans are drawn towards things that are aesthetically pleasing. His characteristics were beautiful. His speech was deliberate, accurate. He was careful not to criticize. His laughter was gentle and not abrasive. His walk was as if the earth was moving underneath him. His physical light was so much that you could not discern between him and the horizon. The sweet smell of musk lingered after three days. His inward characteristics were equally beautiful.

To embody and follow the way of the Prophet (the sunnah) is the way is a sign of faith (imaan). Trying to embody his mercy, his mannerisms and his way of dealing with others – this is love for our Prophet (peace be upon him). Shaykh Walead expands on this in more detail.

An Important Reminder about our Response to Offense

As a community, we are being tested and tried with several different challenges. We have an influx of information. But remember – at the time the Prophet came with his message – the state of people changed because of his mercy and gentleness, not by the sword.

Muslims must take solace in this: the prophet Muhammad cannot be hurt – he is beyond the reach of anyone trying to hurt him. Words do not affect him, his state or his legacy. Make your response dignified. Do not fuel rage, hatred and division. This is the exact environment the Prophet sought out to change. Do not further sow rancor.

The session was part of the grand celebration on the 12th of Rabi Al Awwal. Watch the full program.

 

 

 

 

The Prophet’s Smile: Remembering Allah

The Prophet’s Smile Series Part 3 – Remembering Allah

Every year in the blessed month of Rabi al-Awwal, we should come to know our Prophet better (peace and blessings be upon him). In this series, we endeavor to do this by looking at the things that brought a smile to his blessed face and at times made him laugh and apply these lessons in our life in order to gain his pleasure.

By Shaykh Amin Buxton

Remembering Allah

Ummayah bin Makhshi narrates that the Messenger of Allah was sitting with a man who was eating. The man did not mention Allah’s name and he kept eating until there was only one mouthful left. When he raised the food to his mouth he said: “In the name of Allah at the beginning and the end.”

The Prophet laughed and said: “The devil was eating with him until he mentioned Allah’s name, at which point the devil vomited up everything that was in his stomach!” (Narrated by Abu Daud)

This hadith reminds us of the importance of mentioning Allah’s name before even the smallest and most mundane actions such as dressing, entering and leaving our homes, going to sleep and waking up, and, of course, eating and drinking.

The Messenger of Allah taught us the precise etiquette in all of these situations and revealed to us the consequences of neglecting it. When we mention Allah’s name, it acts as a barrier that prevents darkness and evil from entering our lives. Beyond this, it reminds us that only Allah sustains the existence of all things. When we eat, sleep and walk in Allah’s name, those actions take on a new meaning. This is because they are connected to the Divine and are blessed with Allah’s support and care.

If, however, we are not conscious of this reality (as is often the case) it is never too late. The key is to return to Allah as soon as we remember. If we forget to mention Allah’s name before we eat, we can say the following supplication when we remember:

بِسْمِ اللهِ أَوَّلَهُ وآخِرَهُ

Bismillāhi awwalahu wa ākhirahu

In the name of Allah at the beginning and the end.

 

This incident also shows us that the Prophet was actually witnessing the unseen. The angelic and demonic realms were unveiled to him. Although they are veiled to us (with very rare exceptions), it is part of our faith to believe that they exist just as the Prophet informed us of them.

Just as the devil is happy to see our actions come to nothing, the Messenger laughed and was happy to see the devil’s actions come to nothing. His happiness was always for the victory of light over darkness. In this case, a member of his nation was neglectful even though he was in the presence of the Prophet. But what pleased the Prophet was that he made amends. We can take comfort from the fact that however heedless or forgetful we are, we can always make amends. In doing so, we make our guide and teacher happy. May Allah shower him with blessings and peace.

Realize your Potential: The Prophet as a Remedy

In this illuminating article, one of our internal scholars, Shaykh Jamal ud-Deen Hysaw reflects on the opportunity Rabi Al Awwal presents us to embody the transformational life of the beloved. 

Duaa

In the Name of He that holds my heart, my soul, my beginning and my end in His hand. All Praises to the One that I call upon for aid and for forgiveness, for without Him I am nothing. As I stand before Him I am nothing. He, who is in need of nothing, nor anyone for anything, yet all is in need of Him for everything. Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the warner, the bringer of great news, the key to the Mercy of our Creator. The mercy to mankind, and the seal of the Prophets, our leader, guide, teacher, tutor, and the reviver of our hearts, Sayyid Muhammad. May Allah bless his family and companions and those that follow him until the end of time.

A Plea

My dear beloved brothers and sisters I hope this reaches you in the best of states and increased faith (iman). 

We have come to the time of another year in our Islamic calendar where we commemorate the birth and life of our beloved Messenger of Allah, (peace and blessings be upon him). As we reflect on the life of the Mercy to all of the worlds, (peace and blessings be upon him), we should reflect upon ourselves and our lives over this past year. We should be looking into those things that have brought us closer to our Lord and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), and those things that have taken us away from being in close proximity to Him and His messenger, (peace and blessings be upon him).  We should be looking at those things that have veiled our hearts from tasting the sweetness of His presence. 

We all know that at the end of every fiscal year, every “good” company takes out the time to review how the past year went and look at those things that have been preventing the company from developing.They begin to look at new ways and methods to increase revenue. They look at what elements of the business are costing them the most money and assess whether those elements are assets or liabilities. From those assessments, if they find that there are elements that do not make good business sense to keep, then they cut loose those elements and find newer ways to focus on that which will help the company grow, save, and aid in increasing revenue.

Review the Self

Just as a good company reflects on these questions year in and year out, are our hearts not infinitely more deserved of such an annual review? Are we not people that seek to acquire Allah’s blessings and true spiritual wealth that we will enjoy in the hereafter? When do we begin to do a thorough review of self? Have we looked at our hearts and seen the stains of arrogance, pride, lusts, greed, lies, deceptions, treachery, ignorance, vanity, selfishness, and ungratefulness, along with other vices too numerous to mention? 

Have we thought about the fact that our Lord is watching all we do, even when we think that no one can see us? Where are we in terms of our closeness to Him? Where are we with our beloved Prophet, (peace and blessings be upon him)? What do we know of him? How much of his way of living do we have in our lives? Do we really have love for him, and if we do, how do you define and measure that love? How are you showing that love? What are the consequences of that love? Let’s face it, even the best of us are falling short. 

Harsh Reality

For too many of us our practice of Islam is just routine and devoid of any “real” connection. Our Prayer is filled with thoughts of everything except the prayer.

We give our charity for all to see. We spend more time busying ourselves with social media, movies, music, fashion , work, school, and other worldly things, and give very little time or thought about our Lord and His messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). Every year we learn new lyrics to songs and yet the number of verses of the Quran we have committed to memory diminish.

Some of us go as far as masquerading under the garb of piety, acting as though we are more than what we are, looking for the praises of people instead of the pleasure of our Lord. We have pride in our poverty, acting like a friend of God (wali) in the masjids and gatherings of remembrance, but then act like Satan (Iblis) when we get home behind closed doors. 

Study, Reflect, Act, Connect

The point is we have to take an honest look at ourselves and make the decision that it is time for change. One of the best ways to inspire this change is to commit yourself to the study of the life of the Prophet Muhammad, (peace and blessings be upon him). I say study. and not just merely reading about him, because study requires one to take notes, and reflect, and act on what one learns.

It is time to become people of experience. It is no longer enough to have the “sunnah look”, there has to be something substantial of the sunnah reflected in our being. There has to be something internal going on so that we can begin to truly feel connected to him (peace and blessings be upon him).

Realize Your Potential

Think of it like this; If we were to study him, (peace and blessings be upon him), deeply reflect upon him (peace and blessings be upon him), deeply, emulate his actions and his treatment of mankind and all of creation, where would we be? Who would we become? We must come to the realization that dressing like him, (peace and blessings be upon him), is not enough, we have to study the internal aspects of him, (peace and blessings be upon him), so that we can begin to taste the sweetness of life that he (peace and blessings be upon him) tasted. The sweetness of proximity to the Divine.

Be Guided by the Light of the Prophet

We learned from our beloved teacher Aisha, radi Allahu ‘anha, our beloved Prophet was like a walking Quran. What does that mean? What does that mean for us? One possible perspective is this: Allah says of the Quran in surah Ash-Shurah verse 52, in a translation that could mean: “We have made it a light by which We guide whom we will of Our servants.” From this we understand that the Quran is a light (among other things), so if it is a light then our beloved Prophet is the living example of that light, so then when you and I finally decide to truly follow the way of our beloved Prophet, (peace and blessings be upon him), inwardly, then we too can be examples of this light! Think about it! Isn’t just the thought exciting? It should be.

Emulate the Beloved

As Shaykh Nur Ad-Din ‘Itr says, (Allah be pleased with him and raise his rank in the hereafter), in his text Loving the Messenger of Allah: “Emulation is the greatest sign of love” and “such emulation empowers a believer to practically and experientially feel the beauty of what the Messenger of Allah, (peace and blessings be upon him) brought and his perfection.”

Make the emulation of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) your aim, as Hussan Al basri said: “it is rare that one does not become like the company he keeps.” Live as though he (peace and blessings be upon him) is your companion and as if he is with you at all times. Read and study the Quran so that you can institute it in your life daily, so you can be at least a spark of illumination, and find renewed pleasure and proximity to our Creator.

Send Peace and Blessings Upon the Beloved

I ask you my dearest beloveds, to send as much peace and blessings (salawat) upon the Messenger of Allah, (peace and blessings be upon him), for its merits for you are high and it brings safety, comfort, and peace to the heart. The authenticated hadith are many concerning this issue and I challenge you to seek them out and study them and absorb them. Our time is short in this life so we should be looking to build and develop better actions preparing for our hereafter and most importantly, looking for those things that will bring us closer to our Master and His messenger (peace and blessings be upon him).

You are the Ummah of the Beloved

We have such a great opportunity to turn our lives around and turn our weaknesses into strengths and acquire all the Baraka Allah has for us. But if we do not take the time to recognize and review and change then we have wasted this life and the blessing of being a part of the Ummah of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

May Allah bless you all and make us of those who are the emulators of the best of creation. Ameen.

 

Salawat: A Source of Joy for the Prophet

The Prophet’s Smile Series – Salawat: A Source of Joy for the Prophet

by Shaykh Amin Buxton

Every year in the blessed month of Rabi al-Awwal, we should endeavor to create a connection with our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). One way is to get to know him. In this series, we intend to know him better by looking at the things that brought a smile to his blessed face and at times made him laugh.

Sending Peace and Blessings Upon our Beloved Prophet (Salawat)

Abu Talha narrates that one day the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) was in good spirits. Joy could be seen on his face. The Companions said: “O Messenger of Allah, today you are in good spirits and joy can be seen on your face.”

“Yes,” said the Prophet, “A visitor came from my Lord and said: ‘When a member of your nation bestows one prayer upon you, Allah records for that person ten good deeds, erases ten of his bad deeds, raises him ten degrees and bestows upon him a prayer like the prayer he bestowed.’” (Narrated by Ahmad and al-Nasa’i)

There was nothing that pleased the Companions more than to see the Prophet with joy on his face. They could not help remarking on this, hoping to know why this was the case. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) explained that an angel had come to him bearing good tidings. In some narrations this angel is named as Jibril (may Allah be pleased with him).

The message which the angel conveyed from his Lord relates to the reward given to someone who bestows one prayer upon the Prophet. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was overjoyed at what had been gifted to his nation through this simple act. His joy was in what benefited his followers the most – an increase in their good deeds, an erasure of their bad deeds and the raising of their ranks  – all of this multiplied tenfold! But what is even greater, is that Allah Himself bestows prayers upon such a person.

 

Allah’s Prayers Upon Us

We learn from other Hadith that if we bestow one prayer upon the Prophet, Allah responds by bestowing ten prayers upon us. But even if it is only one, this is more than enough since a prayer from Allah is something which cannot be measured or quantified. Imam Ibn Ata’illah al-Iskandari said that if all the good actions of the whole of creation from the time of Adam to the Day of Judgement placed on one side of the scales and one prayer from Allah was placed on the other, the prayer from Allah would outweigh all those actions. 

This is one of many hadith that inform us of the benefits of bestowing prayers (salawat) upon the Prophet. When we take a few moments to do this, we recognize the huge debt that we owe our guide and acknowledge our inability to recompense him. We thus ask Allah to do this on our behalf and hope that it brings joy to our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

Muharram: The Islamic Calendar’s January | A Reader

The new Islamic year is almost upon us and although setting New Year’s Resolutions based on the Islamic calendar isn’t a common practice, there are a few things we should do; reflect over the previous year and take a moment to assess our accomplishments, and think about how we can make the next Islamic year better.

The first month of the Islamic calendar is Muharram; a very special month in Islam. Not only does it mark the start of a new year but it is from what Allah deems “the sacred months”.

Allah says:

God decrees that there are twelve months- ordained in God’s Book on the Day when He created the heavens and earth- four months of which are sacred: this is the correct calculation. Do not wrong your souls in these months- though you may fight the idolaters at any time, if they first fight you- remember that God is with those who are mindful of Him. (9:36)

In this reader, we have compiled for our valued readers most of our articles, questions, videos, and audio segments related to this blessed month.

Articles

Bidding Farewell to this Year and Welcoming a New Year – Muwasala

  • How should we end the year and how should we start the upcoming one?
    • “At the end of the financial year businessmen analyse their year’s trading, but our trade is with Allah and is more worthy of being evaluated. “

Muharram: Mankind’s Memorial – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

  • Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said explains why Muharram, the first in the Islamic calendar, is an especially auspicious month on many levels.

Sacred Months by Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

  • An article highlighting the virtue of fasting in these sacred months amongst other things.

Answers

Can I Purchase Household Accessories in Muharram?

  • Clearing up some misconceptions

Is it Forbidden to Buy New Clothes During Muharram?

  • Clearing up some more misconceptions

Fiqh of The Islamic Month of Muharram

  • A detailed reply to a question posed to Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, “What is the fiqh of the Islamic month of Muharram?”

Can I Combine My Intentions for a Missed Ramadan Fast and An Optional Sunnah Fast?

  • If you’ve decided to fast some days this month but have fasts you still have to make up from Ramadan, can you combine them?

Videos

Muharram: An Opportunity to Transcend Hypocrisy

  • Dr Yusuf Patel discusses the importance of transcending the recurrent partisan and divisive issues of Muharram, and rather focus on following the universal values that Prophet Musa (peace be upon him), Imam Hussain (Allah be pleased with him) and other great personalities stood for.

Audios

Muharram & New Beginnings, by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

  • A Friday sermon delivered by the Shaykh regarding the concept of shahada, commonly translated as “martyrdom.” The term in reality, goes much deeper than its’ simple translation.

Gratitude, Celebration & Mercy as Sunnah of the Believer: Allah’s basis of dealing with creation is the overflowing tremendous good that he has bestowed on us, says Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this uplifting and lofty reminder, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani calls the community to gratitude and contemplation of the sheer gift of being alive. “Allah’s basis of dealing with creation is the overflowing tremendous good that he has bestowed on us,”  says Shaykh Faraz, and these blessings culminate and manifest in the life of the believer.

The life of the believer highlights the tremendous  gifts of life,  guidance and mercy.  Mercy encompassing over every moment and event for the believer is one who looks at reality and sees not only form and the temporary and the fleeting nature of things, the believer is one who sees meaning and recognises that all is from Allah.  Shaykh Faraz explains that, “the believer sees that it is all Mercy and Allah sent it and the blessing in it is how one responds to it.” When one responds to affairs in ways pleasing to Allah then that opens the door of Mercy.  “Wondrous is the life of the believers, ” proclaims the Messenger of God, ” for when pleasing things happen to them they are grateful and if distress comes to them they remain contentedly patient.”  It is not what comes to you, but how you respond to it and the response itself is mercy; that is why the believer sees everything in a positive attitude.

Resources for the Seekers

How To Be Like The Prophet Muhammad In His Gratitude to Allah
A Reader on Thankfulness to Allah and True Gratitude
The True Cause of All Happiness and Good is Turning to Allah
Invite Allah’s Generosity into your Life – Shaykh Muhammad
Understanding the Ninety-Nine Names of Allah: Al-Rahman
“His Mercy is our only constant”, by Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said
The Believer’s Clarity When Tested: The Power of Patience
Clarity in Crisis: How Believers Look at Trials
Worship, Coffee and the Meaning of Life

Cover Photo by Anita Anand. Video courtesy of Seekershub

The Beginning is Allah; the End is Allah~ Imam Amin

The Beginning is Allah; the End is with Allah.

Join Safina Society and leading contemporary teachers and scholars in the premiere of the Converts Conference  as we visit essential themes and issues facing the awakened community and how to benefit and enrich the faith within every heart.

Imam Amin  begins our conversations with a moment of reflection. Imam Ghazali in his magnum opus indicates that there are two fundamental aspects ,that if properly understood by the individual would lead them to the purpose of life.   Take a moment and reflect on what is your beginning? and  what then is your End? If you can answer these then you have your purpose at hand. sTherefore,  the ultimate purpose of paradise is not itself , it is Allah.

When you are with Allah, there is no End; and when you start with Allah there is no Beginning.

 

Why knowledge?
The purpose of life is to know Allah. Since knowing Allah is the Ultimate goal, how do we go about this? What then is beneficial knowledge?

It is that which leads you to Allah; that which leads you to realisation of Allah.

everything other than Allah is truly false; and when you understand that you will never get trapped in any other than Allah.

Whatever you imagined ; it is not Allah.
When you are no longer in the forms of words, sounds and imaginations…you are in reality.
Why beneficial knowledge? So that we may possess what we need to fulfil our purpose. We are travelling, on a journey to get back to our location; back to our Lord. It takes knowledge to get there.

everything other than Allah is truly false; and when you understand that you will never get trapped in any other than Allah.

when you have a hard time with worship, good deeds or kindness to others…know that you are cut off from Allah.

Allah commanded Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, in the Quran–” My Lord, Increase me in Knowledge.”
The prophet will teach us, increase us  in knowledge and purify us so that we may receive the gift of a Sound Heart : Qalb Saleem.

Seeking the knowledge of the religion is an obligation on every Muslim.Knowledge is that which is necessary for your existence at your present condition.

What do I need to know right now to get right with Allah?

There are 3 basic  types of knowledge:
1) knowledge of tenets of faith that will help you know Allah — what am I supposed to believe as a Muslim?
because if the belief is firm and established then you will make a connection with Allah
The Prophet (SAW) was asked, which knowledge is superiour? Faith that is not shaky– faith that is firm.
Think of big mountains–do you notice that they do not crumble? but if they are faced with something that is unshakeable.

Your faith needs to be unshakeable

2) The knowledge of how to serve Allah; Islamic Jurisprudence  opens the doors to practice what you learn and strive to fulfil what your personal responsibility is to Allah. Within yourself you need to be One. ‘You need to have a faith that if everything else was gone, I would still stand on La Ilaaha Illallah’, states Imam Amin; for our Lord is truly , ” with you everywhere you go.”

3) Spirituality. This is where  you taste the sweetness of Faith; for faith has a sweetness like nothing else in the world.

All of our sciences lead us to our purpose…to please our Lord.

Why do I marry? I want this person to help me to reach Allah
Why do I have friends? I have friends to help me know Allah
These righteous people have ” no fear and no anguish”; Allah takes care of all of their concerns.

Society has taken  the soul of the religion; and the body without a soul is just a hollow form. We need to put the soul back into the body.

How do we get there?

Knowledge is required by an active process of learning.
Islam is the religion preserved by the relationship based on the framework of the  teacher and student transmission of knowledge.
The one who acquires knowledge comes to the realisation that they have no knowledge to speak of; and humility sets in.

Humility of the heart is to be able to say ‘I do not know’ in its own proper place.’ explains Imam Amin.

for knowledge to transform you need 3 matters:
1) Sources and evidences: ask yourselves where do we get it from? Our primary resources in the whole world are the Quran and Sunnah.
The true wayfarer finds all his sources from the Quran, if you are getting things from somewhere else then you are without.
2)  Now that we have connected to the Quran and the Prophetic Traditions; you need a methodology of how to extract rulings and understandings from these sacred sources.  If you do not have a way, then you will be caught up in opinions.
3) You need someone with the ability and the  divine gifts from Allah to understand the received knowledge.

I’ve learned enough to know that I don’t know anything…knowledge is a journey that never ends.

A student is not a student who doesn’t learn from those who know more than him,  from the  one  equal  in knowledge and the one less  in knowledge.
Traditional learning is defined as the studying with a teacher; so no book without a teacher. The framework set in place, requires a deep respect and love for the way of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Knowledge is vital and ‘ learning is from the cradle to the grave, ‘reminds Shaykh Yahya Rhodus.

We are grateful to Safina Society for this video. Cover Photo by  Al Maaida

 

 

Resources for Seekers:

Worship, Coffee and the Meaning of Life

Habib Hussein Al Saggaf on Beneficial Knowledge and Intentions

Audio & Notes: What is Beneficial Knowledge

How does Islamic knowledge transform us and why?

The Treasure of a Sound Heart, Surat al-Shu’arā’ (verses 83-89)

The Rights of Our Hearts 

On Knowing Yourself to Know God

Keys to Successful Seeking of Islamic Knowledge: Advice from Teachers and Teaching Assistants

Bringing Certainty to the Heart: A Step-by-Step Guide

Who is looking out for Muslim converts this Ramadan?

How Can A Convert Follow A School Of Thought Correctly?

Family Problems, Islamic Support, and Marriage Preparation for Converts

What Role Does Culture Play in Islam?

Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah: The Parameters of Respecting Differences of Opinion in Islam

What does it mean to have a difference of opinion in Islam?

In Islam we have different opinions about things and those different opinions are based on the nature of Islamic law.
We also have rules that indicate to us how we can live together, what things we need to agree upon and not differ and what things are open to different interpretations.

Community and Continuity

Two of the most important aspects of religion as a dynamic, social and political reality is community and continuity.
Community means that we are able to create a community that brings people together and continuity means that we are connected to the past, the present and the future.
Historically, Islam has always had a world community. It spread all the way to the east and all the way to the west. Islam in China looked extremely Chinese and yet it was pure Islam and Islam in West Africa looked very African and it too was pure Islam.
We have a beautiful tradition that gives us meaning and goes back to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Therefore we must be able to live this religion by working together, respecting, loving and cooperating with each other.

Enjoining right and forbidding the wrong

One of the most important aspects of our religion is to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. When we study Islam we are taught how to do that so that it becomes constructive and positive not destructive and negative.
Many times we can see trouble in our communities when we try to enjoin right and forbid wrong because the thing we are insisting upon is our own opinion, custom and we think that everyone should do it.
We must understand and respect that there are different categories of Islamic Law

  1. واجب / فرض (farḍ/wājib) – compulsory, obligatory
  2. مستحب (mustaḥabb/mandūb) – recommended
  3. مباح (mubāḥ) – neutral, not involving God’s judgment
  4. مكروه (makrūh) – disliked, reprehensible
  5. حرام (ḥarām) – forbidden

In this lecture Dr Umar outlines for us how to build communities rooted in knowledge and wisdom and service. He explains that we are not people of argumentation or controversy, rather we are people who love and respect one another.

Dr. Umar Abd-Allah is an American Muslim who embraced Islam in 1970. He studied Arabic and Islamic studies at the University of Chicago, where he received his doctorate in 1978. He taught at the Universities of Windsor (Ontario), Temple, Michigan, and King Abdul-Aziz (Jeddah). During his years abroad, he was able to study with a number of traditional Islamic scholars. He returned to the United States in 2000 to work with the Nawawi Foundation (Chicago), where he remained for more than a decade. He is currently working as an independent educator under the auspices of the Oasis Initiative (Chicago). He is engaged in research, writing, lecturing, teaching, and related activities in connection with various national and international forums in the United States, Canada, Europe, West Africa, and elsewhere with a focus on Islamic theology, spirituality, law and legal theory, and history

Resources for Seekers

Cultivating One’s Environment to Develop the Inner Self – Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

* Courtesy of Cambridge Muslim College

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus draws a beautiful parallel between the human heart and soil.  We are experiencing over-cultivation and depletion of minerals in our soil that bares real fruits that lack any sort of nutrients.  Our hearts, similarly, have experienced a drought, and as a consequence this has manifested within our limbs.  We need to till our hearts. Even though this is our current state, we must understand that our hearts are not void of good, Shaykh Yahya says:

…there are so many aspects of our religion that are of a social nature, because its in the coming in contact with human beings that a lot of the meanings that lie dormant in the hearts rise to the surface, stirred up, in a way that you would have a bitter cup of tea with sugar at the bottom of it, that tea is not going to taste sweet until you stir it up, and once you stir it up, depending upon the amount of sugar, it will taste sweet.  Likewise, there are many things that lie dormant by way of potentiality in the hearts of the children of Adam that it’s only with that spiritual struggle and exerting oneself that these things ever truly become realized within one…

Check out this lecture on their Youtube page and leave them a comment.

Here are some courses we offer by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus at SeekersGuidance:

  • Haddad’s Book of Assistance: Complete Guidance for Turning to Allah | Click here for this free course
  • First Principles of Islamic Spirituality: Ibn Ashir’s Introduction to Sufism Explained | Click here for this free course
  • Clarity and Calm in an Age of Anger – Lessons on Navigating Troubled Times| Click here for this free course
  • The Divine Opening: Sura al-Fatiha Explained | Click here for this free course
  • 30 Days, 30 Deeds: A Roadmap of Virtues and Good to Transform Your Life and Relations | Click here for this free course

Saving Our Souls Series | Part 2: Thirty-Two Obligations of the Heart – Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

When we think of obligations we often think of the five daily prayers, fasting, zakah, hajj, being good to your parents, etc; which are all bodily obligations.  We hardly hear of obligations of the heart. Yes, the heart has actions and can commit haram and other vile deeds.

These obligations of the heart are:

  1. Faith in Allah Most High
  2. Faith in all that has come from Allah Most High
  3. Faith in the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace)
  4. Faith in that which the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) has brought
  5. Sincere affirmation:
    • which is the essential meaning of faith
  6. Conviction:
    • which is a lack of doubt in that which one believes
  7. Sincerity:
    • which is acting in obedience to Allah, alone.
  8. Remorse for disobedience:
    • since it is contrary to the command of Allah
  9. Trust (i.e. reliance on) in Allah in matters of provision, safety from harm, and other things:
    • not relying on the means
  10. Constant awareness of Allah:
    • which is to remain aware that Allah Most High knows, sees, hears, and is aware of you
    • so that fear of Allah always prevents you from disobeying
  11. Contentment in Allah Most High:
    • to submit to Him and to abandon objecting to Him
  12. Holding a good opinion of Allah Most High:
    • to constantly bring to mind the blessings that Allah has bestowed on you in the past and to yearn for similar in the future
  13. Holding a good opinion of the creation of Allah Most High:
    • not to assume bad of anyone without sufficient religiously recognized proof
  14. To revere the symbols of Allah Most High:
    • everything that signifies obedience to Allah, like prayer
    • i.e. to revere everything that is revered in the Sacred law
  15. To be grateful for the blessings of Allah Most High:
    • meaning, not to use them in His disobedience
  16. Perseverance in fulfilling what Allah has obligated:
    • meaning, forcing oneself to do that and to hold fast to that
  17. Perseverance in abandoning that which Allah has prohibited:
    • restraining oneself from doing the forbidden
  18. Bearing patiently in the tests that Allah Most High sends your way:
    • that the test does not drive you to the forbidden
  19. Being confident that Allah will provide:
    • knowing that whatever is decreed for you to benefit from will never miss you
  20. Accusing the self:
    • accusing yourself in that which your desires call you towards lest it deceive you and draw you toward the forbidden
  21. Never being pleased with the self:
    • by always keeping in mind its deficiencies
  22. Abhorring the Devil:
    • by inclining to his disobedience
  23. Abhorring the world:
    • by not turning your attention to that which distracts you from the obedience of Allah Most High
  24. Abhorring the people of disobedience:
    • by inclining away from them, being averse to their disobedience, and refusing to follow them therein
  25. Love of Allah:
    • by accustoming the heart to His obedience alone, obeying His commands, and abstaining from His prohibitions
  26. Love of His speech:
    • by venerating its verses, submitting to it, and acting upon it
  27. Love of His Messenger:
    • our Master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and give him peace) by believing in him, honoring him, striving to follow him entirely
  28. Love of all the Prophets:
    • by believing in them and honouring them
  29. Love of the companions:
    • by keeping in mind their virtue; that they surpassed all in their Islam, in honor (by their companionship with the Prophet may Allah bless him and give him peace), their giving Him assistance, and their conveying the religion
  30. Love of the Prophetic family:
    • having concern for them, out of honor for the Prophet, for they are His family and closest relatives
  31. Love of the emigrants and the Helpers
    • those from the people of Mecca and Medina who helped the religion
    • especially the predecessors amongst them. (Loving them) by keeping in mind their uniqueness.
  32. Love of the righteous:
    • by revering them, turning to them, and travelling their path