24 – Standing Vigil Over Myself

What can I practically do to inculcate beautiful character (akhlaq) by ensuring that my heart (qalb) does not fall prey to the selfish, evil and subtle snares of my lower-self (nafs)?  How can I become more aware of what lurks within me? And how can I guard myself from character that the Divine despises? While […]

23 – Knowledge That Truly Empowers

In the next series of discussions, we will be looking at a number of means to help protect us, and our activism, from the ills within us. Today’s discussion concerns knowledge (‘ilm). Knowledge (‘ilm) is light.  It is the energy that propels us to journey in nearness to the Divine. Allah is not worshipped with […]

22 – Politics of the Veil

The greatest peril in our relationship with the Divine are the sins (dhunub) of the lower-self (nafs).  Sins are transgressions against the Divine will.  They are disobedience to Him in what He prescribes and proscribes. We don’t usually understand sins as having consequences.  But they do.   Regardless of their consequences, it be should be […]

21 – Slips of the Tongue and Pen

The first step in purifying our hearts (qulub) is to become vigilant regarding the use of our senses.  Our senses are the gates to our hearts (qulub). Whatever I allow through my senses and limbs will either beautify my heart or corrupt it.  Indeed, the contents of my heart – my emotions, thoughts, ideas and […]

20 – Idolizing the Means

Allah is the Cause of all causes, the Originator of means and ends.  Nothing exists except by His will and power.  This belief is a necessary truth of his Divine unicity (tawhid). We seek nearness to Him by surrendering to His prescriptions and proscriptions and actualizing them in our lives.  This striving is our worship […]

19 – The Making of a Megalomaniac

Pride and arrogance (kibr) were Shaytan’s cardinal sin. In fact, his pride and arrogance caused him to become Shaytan – the one damned and distant from the Divine. A profound lesson for each of us is that Shaytan became Shaytan because of his lower self (nafs).  This is itself an evidence and proof that our […]

18 – A Heart Co-opted

To associate partners or equals with the Divine (shirk) is the antithesis of Divine unicity (tawhid). This association is the sin of all sins, the ultimate criminality.  It is the unforgivable sin in the sight of the Divine. It is unforgivable because it is the pinnacle of ingratitude: a denial of the source of your […]

17 – A Constitution Corrupted

All good comes from remembrance (dhikr) of the Divine and all harm comes from heedlessness (ghaflah). Heedlessness or negligence in remembering the Divine (ghaflah) is the polar opposite of Divine remembrance (dhikr).  Heedlessness (ghaflah) is anytime that I am not remembering the Divine. It is the root of all harm because when I am in […]

16 – Falling from Grace: Virtue to Vice

The inner image of the heart (qalb) is its character, or khuluq.  Evil character (khuluq) is due to the impact and stranglehold of the lower self (nafs) upon the heart and its lack of refinement and reformation. As this stage, it would be useful to enumerate some of the cardinal vices of the lower self […]

15 – The Enemy Outposts in Your Head

We have established the foundations for Islamic spirituality and saw how that spirituality may be projected upon the realm of activism through a deeper understanding of the concept of vicegerency (khilafa) and its realization of the Divine Names and Attributes.  Continuing along this line of inquiry, we enter a new field of discussion: the ailments […]