In this re-broadcasted lesson, we are joined by visiting scholar Shaykh Riad Saloojee. Shaykh Riad reviews the ninth chapter of Imam Al-Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din on remembrance and supplication. This chapter is situated at the end of the first section of the book on acts of worship. One theme that runs through this chapter is manifested in the verse of the Quran: “oh you who have attained faith, be in Allah’s remembrance plentifully”. Divine remembrance is not restricted to any time or place, as such one should be in His remembrance all the time.
Shaykh Riyad details the functions of the heart by which one engages in remembrance, to know Allah, to experience Him, and to will and desire to seek him. That is why divine remembrance is so important because it is the heart’s nourishment.
Shaykh Riyad also speaks to the importance of supplication and the essence of dua’ is the expression of one’s need, poverty, and desire for Allah. The gift of supplication is Allah allowing a person to be near to Allah in the closeness of asking. Supplication should free our will, reliance, and dependence from anything else but Allah. This chapter by Imam Al-Ghazali also has a comprehensive listing of the various supplications one should engage in throughout the day. Shaykh Riyad concludes by giving us practical steps of application:  set our goal: that we should struggle to have our heart perpetually in Divine remembrance and habitually engage in supplication.  Understand the importance of remembrance and supplication.  Ramadan is a great time to push ourselves to implement what we learn because it fits with our daily struggle to fast from all that is wrong and good is easy. Remember, the supplication of the fasting person is accepted.  Engage in remembrance after prayer and engage in remembrance whenever you have some time.  Make a commitment to engage in supplication for five minutes at a specific time on a daily basis.
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.
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