23: Condemnation of Love of Wealth & Status – Renewing Religion: An Overview of Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Walead Mosaad

In this lesson, visiting scholar, Shaykh Walead Mosaad, gives an overview of Imam Ghazali’s chapters on condemnation of miserliness, love of wealth, status; and the condemnation of ostentation. These chapters fall in the third quarter of Imam Ghazali’s opus magnum that focuses on the vices of person.

All these vices are primarily about how one interacts with these things, wealth status, etc. Wealth in and of itself is not wrong, however, it can’t be all consuming such that it distracts you from everything else. One of the principal objectives of zakat to force you to give something you love for the sake of Allah.

Shaykh Walead counsels us to make a regular habit of taking stock of our shortcomings and identifying ways to improve upon them. One is either on a path of increase or decrease in their deen and iman and as such one should always strive to improve because if you stand still you will inevitably be on a downward trajectory. The nature of the world is that one is never satiated of it and thus one has to be content through other means that are not materialistic.

The remedy to this is a combination of knowledge and practice, to be content in your heart with Allah’s decree and to only be in need of Allah and that is the true wealth. Shaykh Walead explains that research has shown that one has a minimal threshold of needs that one needs to be fulfilled but beyond that any additional wealth doesn’t make you happy.

The chapter following that is on the condemnation of status and ostentation. How one is viewed by others is one of the most ingrained inclinations in a human and thus only those of truly high status are those who let go of their love of status and leadership. Seeking fame for the sake of fame has become central to our society today and that is blameworthy. Imam Ghazali comments that one should be famous only if Allah has made them known not through any effort or objective of their own.

Shaykh Walead concludes with a reminder that first and foremost one should seek roots through cultivating ourselves and character. If then Allah decides that we should be known to others and for us to bear fruit and benefit to the community then that should be but one should not seek it out.

 

In this brief overview of Imam Ghazali’s opus magnum, Ihya Ulum al-Din (Renewing the Religious Sciences), this series will serve as blueprint for how the believer can bring to life their religion. It will aim to help the believer to not just practice the form of the religion properly, but to also practice it with excellence.

Join our Ramadan 2017 program: #RamadanRenewal, in-person at SeekersGuidance Toronto or online through the SeekersGuidance Global platform. For more details, visit: http://seekershub.org/ramadan2017.

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

21: Condemnation of Dunya – Renewal by the Book: Quran Tafsir Based on Imam Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Walead Mosaad

In this lesson, visiting scholar, Shaykh Walead Mosaad, gives an overview of select verses from the Quran that correspond with the chapter on condemnation of the dunya (worldliness) from Imam Ghazali’s Ihya.

This chapter is the only chapter in the Ihya where Imam Ghazali says there are too many verses to mention on this subject, as if hinting to the fact that most of the Quran points to this theme in general. The Dunya intended in this chapter is not to condemn one’s living in this world but the Dunya here is in reference to the heart’s love for appetites and desires. Thus the point is to question one’s relationship to the Dunya and be aware that you are in it but not of it.

Shaykh Walead explains that this is why at a time of calamity one is enjoined to say we are from God to Him we return as a reminder that this Dunya is not our final abode. As we go along in life Allah sends us reminders of the pershing nature of the Dunya.

اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ ۖ كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَاهُ مُصْفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَامًا ۖ وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٌ ۚ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ

Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion. [Quran, 57:20]

The verse begins with an acknowledgement that the world is adorned with various objects that everyone wants to have some possession of that is not shared with others. Our love for beautiful things is part of our nature, however we can reorient that love towards the inner beauty of quality as opposed to the outward beauty of material things. The person with the most inner beauty is that of the Prophet, peace be upon him.

The parable given in the verse is that of a farmer who is happy with his crops but then it goes away with the change of seasons and then it turns into ash, such is the dunya, it may be pretty now but is inevitably destructed.

Shaykh Walead concludes by reminding us that the dunya is all which gets in your way from pursuing the afterlife. The dunya was made for you to take from it what you need to sustain your journey, not to make it the end goal in and of itself.

In this series Shaykh Faraz, and the other scholars and teachers 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 Sciences). 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: http://seekershub.org/ramadan2017.

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

22: Guarding Speech, Condemnation of Envy & Rancour – Renewing Religion: An Overview of Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Walead Mosaad

In this lesson, visiting scholar, Shaykh Walead Mosaad, reviews the chapters on holding one’s tongue and condemnation of rancour and envy. These chapters are originally written by Imam Ghazali in his book Ihya Ulum al-Din.

Shaykh Walead begins with the chapter on holding one’s tongue and the criteria for one should or should not speak. One should know that there speech is significant and has an effect. In addition, speech is not limited to what we say, but also what we propagate on social media. We have gotten into the habit of naming and shaming online in order to showcase that they’ve made a mistake. However, the sunnah of the Prophet was about having wisdom, and his speech was always measured. As such, we should follow his example and not what we have become used to in our cultures or current state of affairs.

The Quran and Sunnah give us very vivid descriptions of the punishments people are given for the sins of the tongue because of the gravity of those actions in the eyes of Allah. Imam Ghazali lists the sins of the tongue from the least worst to the worst:
[1] Talking about what doesn’t concern you.
[2] Talk that is trivial or repetition of something that isn’t important
[3] Talking about (or watching) sins even if one doesn’t partake in them
[4] Aimless disputation and arguing about things that may in and of themselves wrong to argue about
[5] Say something about someone that you feel has wronged you or taken your right but what you talk about is irrelevant to the situation
[6] Trying to talk very poetically to get people’s attention
[7] Using vulgar language
[8] Damning and cursing others (even animals)
[9] Singing songs with bad meanings
[10] Joking excessively
… there are 10 more mentioned in the chapter that were not covered in the lesson due to time constraints.

The second chapter, Shaykh Walead reviews relates to the condemnation of rancour and envy. The desires of the human are divided into two types: appetites and anger. These desires are there to support a person’s survival. For this reason, anger can be both justified and unjustified. Unjustified anger stems from entitlement and ego, when one isn’t recognized for that which they are deserving of that makes them angry. When that is left to fester it develops into enmity and envy. The cure to it is a combination of knowledge and practice. Knowing that this is wrong and harms you more than the other person. In addition, practicing patience and suppressing anger; there is great reward in that.

Lastly, remember that anger and envy stem from an objection to Allah’s decree and Allah’s giving to you and to them.

In this brief overview of Imam Ghazali’s opus magnum, Ihya Ulum al-Din (Renewing the Religious Sciences), this series will serve as blueprint for how the believer can bring to life their religion. It will aim to help the believer to not just practice the form of the religion properly, but to also practice it with excellence.

Join our Ramadan 2017 program: #RamadanRenewal, in-person at SeekersGuidance Toronto or online through the SeekersGuidance Global platform. For more details, visit: http://seekershub.org/ramadan2017.

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

Key Tips on Prayer in Islam – Shaykh Walead Mosaad

Shaykh Walead highlights some key virtues and meanings of the prayer in Islam. He then gives essential tips to improve one’s prayer.

Shaykh Walead advises to start off by making sure that one is consistent in their obligatory prayers. Then, to add on the emphasized sunna prayers, like witr and duha. And finally, to add the other sunna prayers. Shaykh Walead then gives tips to have presence in prayer. He advises to set aside a consistent area of prayer, to vary the verses being recited in prayer, and to strive to have presence outside the prayer.

How To Talk To Children About Death, by Shaykh Walead Mosaad

How do we prepare children for the death of someone close to them, and indeed, the concept of our own mortality? Shaykh Walead Mosaad gives some advice on the SeekersHub podcast.

 

 

Parting Words From Shaykh Walead Mosaad, #YourRamadanHub Xtra

Shaykh Walead Mosaad’s residency at SeekersHub comes to an end. If you missed the livestream of his final sessions, you can listen to them in full on the SeekersHub podcast on iTunes. Please subscribe for automatic updates. If you could take a moment to rate the podcast and leave a review, we’d really appreciate it! In the meantime, we present you with #YourRamadanHub Xtra – a final round-up interview with Shaykh Walead by Abdul-Rehman Malik.

 

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

Stations of the Wayfarers (Part 7), by Shaykh Walead Mosaad

Stations of the Wayfarers (Part 7), by Shaykh Walead Mosaad

Capturing the Spirit of Ramadan
Mercy, Forgiveness and Salvation

Every night our Ramadan scholars will explore one of the three key spiritual goals of Ramadan. Each talk will conclude with a dynamic conversation as we explore mercy, forgiveness and salvation deeply and see how we can attain these divine gifts practically. These talks will enliven and inspire us as we begin our nightly ‘isha and tarawih prayers.

Daily at 10:00 pm EST. Attend in person at SeekersHub Toronto or watch live.

 

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

Listen Attentively The Way The Prophet Did (30 Deeds, 30 Days), by Shaykh Walead Mosaad

Listen Attentively The Way The Prophet Did, by Shaykh Walead Mosaad

30 Days, 30 Deeds
Sacred Acts to Transform the Heart

Every night, our scholars in residence explore one simple deed that could have far reaching spiritual impact on our lives – and the lives of others. Every day we’ll make the intention to put that teaching into practice. Whether it’s forgiving someone who’s wronged us or putting service to others at the top of our list of priorities, these powerful lessons will remind us of the great gift the Prophet ﷺ‎  gave us: the best of character.

Daily at 8:10 pm EST. Attend in person at SeekersHub Toronto or watch live.

 

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

 

Photo credit: Matthew G

Day 16 in a Nutshell – Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone, #YourRamadanHub Xtra

If you missed the livestream of the extraordinary short talks by Shaykh Walead Mosaad, you can listen to them in full on the SeekersHub podcast on iTunes. Please subscribe for automatic updates. If you could take a moment to rate the podcast and leave a review, we’d really appreciate it! In the meantime, we present you with #YourRamadanHub Xtra – the best of the day’s events in a nutshell, with Abdul-Rehman Malik and his guest, Amr Hashim.

 

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

Stations of the Wayfarers (Part 6), by Shaykh Walead Mosaad

Stations of the Wayfarers (Part 6), by Shaykh Walead Mosaad

Capturing the Spirit of Ramadan
Mercy, Forgiveness and Salvation

Every night our Ramadan scholars will explore one of the three key spiritual goals of Ramadan. Each talk will conclude with a dynamic conversation as we explore mercy, forgiveness and salvation deeply and see how we can attain these divine gifts practically. These talks will enliven and inspire us as we begin our nightly ‘isha and tarawih prayers.

Daily at 10:00 pm EST. Attend in person at SeekersHub Toronto or watch live.

 

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.