11 – Supplication

In the eleventh lesson of Renewal by the Book we are joined by visiting scholar, Shaykh Riad Saloojee. Shaykh Riad reviews key verses of the Quran that correspond to Imam Al-Ghazali’s chapter on supplication. He covers verse 60 from Surat Ghafir, the 40th chapter of the Quran.

وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ
And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible.

Shaykh Riad reflects on this verse, indicating that this verse points to one’s relationship with Allah that it is one of neediness. So one should ask Allah for both material and spiritual giving. The verse continues to say that “those who are too proud for My worship…” and worship here refers to supplication. Those who refrain from supplication are thus characterized with arrogance and pride. Thus the scholars say when I find myself refraining from supplication or find it hard to engage in it, then that is an indicator of one’s pride and arrogance.

In order for one to engage in proper supplication one should not do it as a form of ritual. Rather, one should engage in supplication with presence of heart and with sincerity. Indeed, one should make supplication like a drowning person with your reliance solely on Allah. In turn, the greatest prize of supplication that your heart is focused on Allah.

In conclusion, Shaykh Riad reminds us that the most important part of supplication is reminding ourselves that there are no means other than Allah and that requires work, especially at a time when there may be many other superficial means that one thinks they can rely on, but our true reliance should always be on Allah.

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.

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