05: Charity & Zakat – Renewal by the Book: Quran Tafsir on Imam Ghazali’s Based Ihya – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In the fifth lesson on Quranic reflection and tafsir, Shaykh Faraz reflects upon two verses (103-104) from Surat al-Tawba on giving to charity, and the ultimate purpose of charity. The verses correspond to the fifth book Imam Ghazali’s Ihya on zakat.

In these verses, Allah commands the Prophet, peace be upon him, and through it commands all of us:
“Take from their wealth a charity that will purify them and increase them through it; and pray for them for your prayers are serenity for them; and truly Allah is Hearing and Knowing”
(خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً تُطَهِّرُهُمْ وَتُزَكِّيهِمْ بِهَا وَصَلِّ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ إِنَّ صَلَاتَكَ سَكَنٌ لَهُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ)
“Do they not know that it is Allah that accepts repentance from His servants and He takes charity; and that Allah it is He who is the Relenting and Compassionate.”
(أَلَمْ يَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَأْخُذُ الصَّدَقَاتِ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ)

Scholars detail that the charity referenced in these verses is that of obligatory Zakat. What then is the purpose of zakat? Allah mentions that is intended for purify them and to increase them through it. Zakat purifies three things: your wealth, your actions and your heart from being miserly and needy of this world.

In the second verse, Allah commands us to have certainty accepts the repentance of His servants. One should also have certainty that Allah accepts charity if it is given sincerely to Allah. Do not give it thinking that it is you that is benefiting that person instead one should have gratitude for Allah facilitating that you give and benefit from your charity.

Finally, Shaykh Faraz reminds us to focus our actions, not on the action itself; rather, on Allah by bringing to mind the names and attributes of Allah. Thus, busy yourself with Allah before, during and after an action of Good. The greatest charity is for a person to give themselves to Allah.

In this series Shaykh Faraz will be looking at points of reflection from key verses in the Quran. The series will follow the thematic order of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din (Renewing the Religious Knowledges). The aim is to connect the key verses of guidance from the Book of Allah with the blueprint of renewal, the Ihya, so that we experience a renewal by The Book.

Join our Ramadan 2017 program: #RamadanRenewal, in-person at SeekersGuidance Toronto or online through the SeekersGuidance Global platform. For more details, visit: https://seekersguidance.org/ramadan.

Checkout all of the SeekersGuidance podcasts by visiting https://seekersguidance.org/podcasts/

04: Establishing Prayer – Renewal by the Book: Quran Tafsir Based on Imam Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this episode, Shaykh Faraz highlights verse 14 of Surah Taha (Chapter 20), which is about establishing prayer out of remembrance: (إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي)  “Truly, I am Allah. There is no god but me. So worship Me and establish prayer out of My remembrance.”

Shaykh Faraz goes on to explain that the reason for prayer is remembrance of Allah. Within that there are three levels of remembrance: [1] those who worship seeking to remember, [2] those who worship in remembrance, and [3] those who worship out of remembrance. All of these levels are implicit in this verse.

There are 4 considerations to why we worship:

[1] What is worship? – That which is expressed by the slave towards their master.

[2] Who is the One worshiped? – Allah Most High ; the act of worship is not about the act itself, the one praying but about the One being prayed to. Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of all things.

[3] Who is the worshiper? – Slave of Allah: in absolute existential neediness of Allah. Worship: expression of neediness — only means of fulfillment of inherent neediness.

[4] What is the act of worship? – Prayer expresses neediness in the most comprehensive of ways because it is both inward and outward engaging both heart and limbs. Prayer expresses need, turning and presence with the One you are praying to.

Lastly, Shaykh Faraz emphasizes that one must prayer in the same way that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) did. No one expressed neediness of Allah, turning towards HIm and presence with Allah like the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did. We must, as believers, strive to uphold the outward manifestations of prayer because they are the containers of the meaning of presence, that is prayer.

In this series Shaykh Faraz will be looking at points of reflection from key verses in the Quran. The series will follow the thematic order of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Uloom ud-Din (Renewing the Religious Knowledges). The aim is to connect the key verses of guidance from the Book of Allah with the blueprint of renewal, the Ihya, so that we experience a renewal by The Book.

Join our Ramadan 2017 program: #RamadanRenewal, in-person at SeekersGuidance Toronto or online through the SeekersGuidance Global platform. For more details, visit: https://seekersguidance.org/ramadan.

Checkout all of the SeekersGuidance podcasts by visiting https://seekersguidance.org/podcasts/

03: Purification & Repentance – Renewal by the Book: Quran Tafsir Based on Imam Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this lesson, Shaykh Faraz highlights verses 222 of Surat al-Baqara, and how it corresponds to the third chapter of Ghazali’s Ihya on purification. (إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ) (Truly, Allah loves the oft-repentant and He loves those who purify themselves completely).

Shaykh Faraz explains that repentance (tawba) is return (ruju’). He outlines the different levels of return: [1] from disbelief to belief, [2] from sin to submission, and [3] from distance to closeness.

Resource: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

Shaykh Faraz then explains that purification is the removal of impurities, both physically and spiritually. He tells us that there is a link between physical and spiritual purity. Some of the wisdoms of ritual purity is to assist the presence of heart, it’s expiatory, it nurtures God-consciousness, mindfulness, restraint and lumination.

Shaykh Faraz then highlights the explanation of the verse by Imam al-Qushayri. He says that those being referred to in the verse are on different levels. On one level they are those who repent from sins, and purify themselves from blameworthy traits. On another level, they are those who repent from the blameworthy, and purify themselves from distractions. On yet another level, they are those who repent with the water of seeking forgiveness, and purify themselves with the effulgent water of shame and brokenness. Finally, they are those who repent from slips and purify themselves from heedlessness.

Finally, Shaykh Faraz concludes with the story of one of the early imams of Islam, Imam al-Junaid and how he defines repentance. He tells us that repentance is to forget about the sin after repentance out of rejoicing in Allah’s favour and mercy.

Resource: Tafsir al-Qushayri
http://www.greattafsirs.com/Books/lataif.pdf

In this series Shaykh Faraz will be looking at points of reflection from key verses in the Quran. The series will follow the thematic order of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Uloom ud-Din (Renewing the Religious Knowledges). The aim is to connect the key verses of guidance from the Book of Allah with the blueprint of renewal, the Ihya, so that we experience a renewal by The Book.

Join our Ramadan 2017 program: #RamadanRenewal, in-person at SeekersGuidance Toronto or online through the SeekersGuidance Global platform. For more details, visit: https://seekersguidance.org/ramadan.

Checkout all of the SeekersGuidance podcasts by visiting https://seekersguidance.org/podcasts/

02: Faith & Certitude – Renewal By The Book: Daily Quran Tafsir Based on Imam Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this episode, Shaykh Faraz highlights the closing verses of Surat al-Baqara, verses 284-286, and how they correspond to the second chapter of Ghazali’s Ihya on faith. He tells us about the verses’ great merit, key underlying meanings as they relate to faith and certitude, and some guiding advice on how to benefit from these verses.

Shaykh Faraz relates to us the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) that: “whoever recites the closing verses from Surat al-Baqara at night, they will be sufficient for them. He explains that sufficiency here is unconditional, meaning that they are sufficient in everything.

Shaykh Faraz explains how verse 285 of Surat al-Baqara is an affirmation of faith. He tells us that faith is the confirmation of truth as transmitted, and entails complete slavehood and submissiveness to God, as well as complete acceptance.

Shaykh Faraz also highlights how Islam has the balance of ease and responsibility. The verses tell us that no soul is responsible for more than it is able. The verses call us to turn to Allah in faith, seeking pardon, forgiveness and mercy.

In this series Shaykh Faraz will be looking at points of reflection from key verses in the Quran. The series will follow the thematic order of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Uloom ud-Din (Renewing the Religious Knowledges). The aim is to connect the key verses of guidance from the Book of Allah with the blueprint of renewal, the Ihya, so that we experience a renewal by The Book.

Join our Ramadan 2017 program: #RamadanRenewal, in-person at SeekersGuidance Toronto or online through the SeekersGuidance Global platform. For more details, visit: https://seekersguidance.org/ramadan.

Checkout all of the SeekersGuidance podcasts by visiting https://seekersguidance.org/podcasts/

01: Knowledge & Guidance – Renewal By The Book: Daily Quran Tafsir Based on Imam Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this episode, Shaykh Faraz highlights the oft-repeated verse and supplication from Surat al-Fatiha, verse 6: (ٱهْدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٰطَ ٱلْمُسْتَقِيمَ) – (Guide us to the straight path). Shaykh Faraz connects this verse with the first of chapter of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya, the Book of Knowledge. He explains that one asks guidance towards what they seek. As believers we seek Allah Most High. Imam Ghazali also defines beneficial knowledge as, knowledge that guides one to Allah. Therefore from that aspect, asking for guidance entails asking for beneficial knowledge.

Shaykh Faraz continues on to make more linkages between sought guidance and beneficial knowledge. Shaykh Faraz concludes by explaining why seeking guidance in all things entails seeking knowledge in all one’s life.

In this series Shaykh Faraz will be looking at points of reflection from key verses in the Quran. The series will follow the thematic order of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Uloom ud-Din (Renewing the Religious Knowledges). The aim is to connect the key verses of guidance from the Book of Allah with the blueprint of renewal, the Ihya, so that we experience a renewal by The Book.

Join our Ramadan 2017 program: #RamadanRenewal, in-person at SeekersGuidance Toronto or online through the SeekersGuidance Global platform. For more details, visit: https://seekersguidance.org/ramadan.

Checkout all of the SeekersGuidance podcasts by visiting https://seekersguidance.org/podcasts/