Introduction

The goal of all sacred knowledge is to aid you on your journey of self-improvement as you make your way through this life into the afterlife. This series of three courses succinctly summarizes the stages of this spiritual journey and its most important milestones, such as certainty in the afterlife, the stages of spiritual development, presence of heart in acts of worship, good character with other people, and sincerity, gratitude, and love of God, all in the 32 short chapters of a masterpiece of Islamic spirituality, The Book of Assistance. This first part focusses on how to use sacred knowledge to nurture your soul. 

Curricular Context

  • Complete Level One before taking this course

Course Outline

Lesson 1  Abridged Biography of Imam al-Haddad
Lesson 2 Introduction (Part 1)
Lesson 3 Introduction (Part 2)
Lesson 4 On Certainty – Chapter 1
Lesson 5 On Intention – Chapter 2
Lesson 6 On Vigilance – Chapter 3
Lesson 7 On the Inner and Outer Self – Chapter 4
Lesson 8 On Regular Devotions (Part 1) – Chapter 5
Lesson 9 On Regular Devotions (Part 2) – Chapter 5
Lesson 10 On Reciting the Qur’an – Chapter 6
Lesson 11 On Acquiring Knowledge – Chapter 7
Lesson 12 On Remembrance – Chapter 8
Lesson 13 On Reflection (Part 1) – Chapter 9
Lesson 14 On Reflection (Part 2) – Chapter 9
Lesson 15 On Following the Book and the Sunna – Chapter 10
Lesson 16 On Doctrine – Chapter 11
Lesson 17 On Religious Obligations – Chapter 12
Lesson 18 On Cleanliness – Chapter 13
Lesson 19 On Following the Sunna (Part 1) – Chapter 14
Lesson 20 On Following the Sunna (Part 2) – Chapter 14
Lesson 21 On Conduct in Mosques and the Ritual Prayer – Chapters 15 & 16
Lesson 22 On Prayer in Congregation – Chapter 17
Lesson 23 On Zakat – Chapter 18
Lesson 24 On Fasting – Chapter 19
Lesson 25 On Pilgrimage (Chapter 20)
Lesson 26 On Scrupulousness (Chapter 21)
Lesson 27 On Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil (Chapter 22)
Lesson 28 On Social Duties (Chapter 23)
Lesson 29 On Kindness and Charity (Chapter 24)
Lesson 30 On Counsel (Chapter 25)
Lesson 31 On Salutations and a Salutary Opinion (Chapter 26)
Lesson 32 On Repentance, Hope and Fear (Chapter 27)
Lesson 33 On Patience and Gratitude (Chapters 28 & 29)
Lesson 34 On Renunciation (Chapter 30)
Lesson 35 On Reliance on God (Chapter 31)
Lesson 36 On Divine Love and Contentment (Chapter 32)

What You Will Learn:

  • Learn how to turn this world into a journey to your afterlife
  • Learn the key terms of the science of Islamic spirituality
  • Learn what it means to have good character with people
  • Learn how to turn away from this world and focus on Allah Most High
  • Appreciate the depth of the Muslim spiritual tradition

About the Course Text

The course is an exposition of The Book of Assistance by the great scholar, saint, and renewer of the twelfth Islamic century, Imam ‘Abdullah b. ‘Alawi al-Haddad [link to: https://www.amazon.com/Sufi-Sage-Arabia-al-Haddad-Spiritual/dp/188775265X](d. 1132 AH / 1720 CE). Imam al-Haddad’s profound mastery of the sacred sciences was condensed into this masterpiece, in which he maps out various acts of devotion and the spiritual path in 32 succinct chapters. Long considered a summary of Ghazali’s seminal Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din, and translated from its original Arabic into Malay, Swahili, and English, this short treatise has been used as a manual of practical spirituality by Muslims all over the world ever since it was written. For a summary of the book and this course, watch Shaykh Yahya Rhodus’ introduction [ link to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W7Neu4TirE ]

“Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward”– The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)