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Acquisition of the Clear Light: Part 5

This is the fifth part of a series of translations of Habib Umar’s work, Qabs al-Nur al-Mubin, an abridgement of Imam al-Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din.

 

Obligatory precaution against the devil’s overpowering of the heart and the prevention of his entrances therein.

Know that the heart is like a pitched dome with doors through which concerns enter, and similarly like a target of which arrows from various directions are aimed towards, so the point of entry for these renewed influences are either external, through the five senses or internal, through imagination, desire, anger and natural traits within man’s composition.

The most notable of acquired influences within the heart are spiritual promptings, through the medium of thoughts and reflections which are its acquirement’s of knowledge by means of renewal or recall, which is called spiritual promptings, as a prompting takes place preceded by the hearts ignorance of it. So the base of actions are spiritual promptings, these spiritual promptings then awaken the desire, the desire awakens the resolve, the resolve awakens the intention and the intention awakens the limbs.

These are divided between that which calls to evil, of which is what is ultimately harmful and that which calls to goodness, of which is what is of benefit in the Final Abode. So these are 2 varying spiritual promptings, the good of which is called an inspiration and the bad of which is called a whisper. As long as the end result varies, it’s is an indication of the varying of its respective cause.

The agent of a good spiritual prompting is angelic and the agent of an evil spiritual prompting is demonic. The subtlety which equips the heart to accept a good inspiration is called harmonization and that which equips it to accept a demonic whisper is called deception and failure. An angel is an epitome of a creation which Allah Most High brought into existence, its role is the outpouring of goodness, benefiting by knowledge, revealing truth, counseling towards good, enjoining the good and this was the purpose for it being created and facilitated. A devil is an epitome of a creation which has an opposing role to that which is that of counseling towards evil, commanding immorality, to cause despair by means of distress, when considering to embark upon goodness.

A demonic whisper is opposite to inspiration, a devil is opposite to an angel, harmonization is opposite to failure, Allah Most high says: And of everything we have created pairs.” (Sura ad-Dhariyat 51:49). All matters have pairs except Allah Most High, as He is unique without a pair, in fact, He is the one, the Real who created all the pairs.

The heart is attracted towards the devil or the angel. He (SAW) said, : “In the heart there are 2 callings. A call from the angel promising goodness and belief of the Truth, so whoever amongst you finds this then know that it is from Allah Most High, so show gratitude to Him and a call from the devil promising evil, disbelief of the Truth and forbidding goodness, so whoever amongst you finds this should seek refuge in Allah Most High from the Devil.” Thereafter he recited His words: “Satan promises you with poverty and orders you to commit what is indecent, but Allah promises you His Forgiveness and bounty from Him. Allah is the Embracer, the Knower.” (Sura al-Baqarah 2:268)

Regarding the attraction towards these 2 dominating factors, He (SAW) said: “The heart of a believer is between the two fingers of Allah the Most Exalted.” Mujaahid mentioned regarding His statement: “From the mischief of the Whisperer who withdraws. It is spread out within the heart, upon him remembering Allah, it withdraws and shrinks and if he is unmindful, it spreads out within the heart.” Regarding their difference, Allah Most High says: “The Evil One has got the better of them: so he has made them lose the remembrance of Allah.” (Sura 58:19) Ibn Wadhaah said regarding the narration he mentioned: If a man reaches the age of 40 without repenting, the devil wipes his face with his hand and says: By my father, a face which will not succeed. By this, the meaning of a whispering, a spiritual prompting, an angel, a devil, harmonization and failure all become clear.

So it’s upon the servant to acquaint himself with every affair that comes to mind to know whether it’s an angelic calling or a satanic calling and to eagerly examine it with an insightful eye, without any caprice from the natural disposition, which is only perceived through the light of God-consciousness, insight and abundance of knowledge as He Most High says: “Those who fear Allah, when a thought of evil from Satan assaults them, make remembrance.” (Sura 7:201) Which means that they return to the light of knowledge. “At once, they have insight.” (Sura 7:201) Which means that the problem becomes manifest to them. As for the person who has not accustomed his self towards God-Consciousness, his nature is inclined towards the obedience of what has deceived him through the following of his caprice, and as a result, his mistakes are many and his destruction is brought near without him noticing.


Translator: Abdullah Salih, converted to Islam in 2003 and thereafter, embarked on a journey of seeking knowledge in the Valleys of Hadramouth in the beautiful city of Tarim. He was fortunate enough to sit in the company of Habib Umar, where he studied under him various sciences such as, but not limited to, some of the original works of Ihya as well that of the abridgment. He now resides in Namibia with his family and is engaged in Dawah activities locally as well as internationally.


Acquisition of the Clear Light: Part 2

This is the second part of a series of translations of Habib Umar’s work, Qabs al-Nur al-Mubin, an abridgment of Imam al-Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din.

 

A Summary of the Heart’s Qualities

Within a human being’s nature lie four blemishes:

Qualities of beasts of prey, animals, demons and that of a divine nature. When he is overcome by anger, he adopts the actions of beasts such as enmity, hatred, physical and verbal attacks. When he is overcome by desire, he adopts the actions of animals such as gluttony and greed. When within his soul there is something lordly, in accordance to Him Most High saying: “Say, ‘The spirit is my Lord’s affair.’” (Sura al-Isra 17:85) Therefore, he will call towards being worshiped, and has a liking for usurpation, appropriation, sole allocation and exclusive position within leadership, a slow withdrawal from worship, humility and seeking of knowledge. He is different from other animals in terms of his intellect, however if he adopts a demonic anger and desire, he then begins to use his intellect towards contriving ill intentions and attaining objectives by scheming, deception and deceit and carries out evil as if it were goodness, and these are etiquettes of the devils.

So, it’s as if the total urges in the skin of a human being are: a pig, which represents the desire, a dog, which represents the anger, a devil, which stimulates a pig-like desire and beast-like anger. The wise man which represents the intellect that has been assigned to repel the plots of the devil by exposing its deception, to break the pig-like desires, by setting the dog upon it, to repel the dog-like greed by setting the pig upon it, and if he does act in accordance with this, he will find consistency in his affair, state and striving upon the straight path and if he is unable to overpower all of this, it will conquer him and exploit him and as long as he is giving deep thought towards that satiating of the pig and pleasing the dog, likewise, will he continue to be in the worship of a dog and pig.

This is the state of the majority of people and it’s strange that the one who rejects the devoutness of the idol worshipers towards stones, for if the veil was to be lifted from him and the reality of his state was made manifest to him, he would see his soul personified in prostration to a pig on one occasion, and bowing to it in another, awaiting its directions and commands or he would see his soul personified in a dutiful and obedient servitude state to a mordacious dog and this is the peak of injustice.

Thereafter, what results after the obedience of the pig of desire, is the appearance of a quality of impudence, filth, squandering, stinginess, boastfulness, insanity, idleness, greed, covetousness, self-admiration, envy, hatred and pleasure toward another’s pain and the likes. As for what results after the obedience of the dog of anger, is the quality of heedlessness, spendthriftness, haughtiness, boastfulness, exaggeration, arrogance, self-praise, mockery, despising and hatred towards human beings and a desiring of evil and oppression and the likes.

As for the obedience of the devil, is by following the desire and anger and from within it, the quality of scheming, plotting, slyness, indolence, deception, corruption, secretiveness and the likes.

If the affair was to be reversed and all of this was subjugated under a principal of divine characteristics, then the divine characteristics would be established in the heart such as knowledge, wisdom, certainty, precaution towards the reality of matters and the knowledge of the essence of things, taking over everything with the power of knowledge and foresight, worthiness of leading the creation due to complete knowledge and loftiness, becoming independent of being in servitude towards desire and anger and spreading within in him, the control of the pig-like desire, returning it to the point of moderation, honorable qualities such as chasteness, contentedness, calmness, asceticism, scrupulousness, God consciousness, cheerfulness, tidiness, shyness, politeness, helpfulness and the likes.

From among that which takes place within him as a result of the strength of anger, the conquering of it, returning it to the point of necessity, the quality of braveness, generosity, courage, self-control, patience, forbearance, tolerance, forgiveness, steadfastness, nobleness, sagacity, tranquility and the likes.

The heart is like a mirror which has been surrounded by these influential factors and these effects are continuously coming into the heart. As for the praiseworthy effects, they increase the heart in clarity, radiance, illumination and brightness.

As for the blameworthy effects, they are like dark smoke ascending towards the heart’s mirror which accumulate around it, until it turns pitch black and this is known as the seal and the stain. “By no means! but on their hearts is the stain of the [ill] which they do!” (Sura al-Mutaffifin 83:14)

 


This is part one of a translation of al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz’s abridgment of Ihya Ulum al-Din by Imam al-Ghazali entitled Acquisition of the Clear Light, not only provides the reader with a concise understanding of the Ihya but also serves as clear guideline to the main themes and focal points within the actual book.

Translator: Abdullah Salih, converted to Islam in 2003 and thereafter, embarked on a journey of seeking knowledge in the Valleys of Hadramowt in the beautiful city of Tarim. He was fortunate enough to sit in the company of Habib Umar, where he studied under him various sciences such as, but not limited to, some of the original works of Ihya as well that of the abridgment. He now resides in Namibia with his family and is engaged in Dawah activities locally as well as internationally.


 

Back to Our Roots as SeekersGuidance – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

A Renewed Commitment to be the First Truly Global Islamic Seminary: An announcement by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Assalam alaykum,

The year 2019 will bring some exciting changes to our services and programming. Moving forward, we are very pleased to announce our new name: we’re going back to our founding name, SeekersGuidance.

This is part of the growth of our online Islamic seminary. Neither our services nor your donations will be affected by this change. Your donations to “SeekersHub Global” will continue as they are to support our shared causes of spreading light and knowledge; we have always been legally registered as “SeekersGuidance.” Also, we are resuming our teaching on the ground in Toronto as “SeekersGuidance Canada.”

And do bookmark www.seekersguidance.org as our new URL.

Why the Name Change?

SeekersGuidance began in the summer of 2008, by Sidi Mumen al-Hamawi (now our Programs and Development Director) and me. We were striving to establish an online portal to open access to Islamic education, and a free question and answer service to anyone, anywhere.

As part of this concern, we soon adopted the #KnowledgeWithoutBarriers paradigm, and made all our online courses and educational offerings completely free.

As a result, we grew from 600 students in 2011 to about 90,000 student registrations in 2018 alone. Alhamdulillah!

Establishing a Global Islamic Seminary

Our teachers – some of the leading Islamic scholars, such as Habib Umar bin Hafiz , Shaykh Nuh Keller, Shaykh Akram Abd al-Wahhab, and Imam Zaid Shakir – have urged us to take “all possible means” to establish a truly global Islamic seminary, offering a full curriculum of top-quality Islamic education, for anyone, anywhere.

This is a major mandate that we have been working steadily towards. For this, we added “Global Islamic Seminary” to our name, “SeekersHub.” However, “SeekersHub Global Islamic Seminary” was becoming quite a mouthful.

As such, we are returning to our roots, and our name is back to SeekersGuidance. Our moniker is “The Global Islamic Seminary.”

(There is also the matter of the parting of the ways with our previous home in Toronto, which is retaining the name “SeekersHub Toronto.” Though we own the rights to the name, “SeekersHub,” and retain the domain “SeekersHub.org,” part of our commitment to part with grace is that we are allowing our brothers and sisters at the Hub to keep the name – and we wish them all the best.)

What Are The Implications? Will Any Services be Affected?

None of our services be affected by this name change. Rather, we are renewing our commitment to excellence (ihsan) and to consistently improve and expand our educational services.

Thus, we are continuing to strive to make our Steps curriculum, online Courses, Answers, Podcasts, Blog, and other projects cater to the needs of our community in the best and most beneficial ways.

The “Double the Impact” Initiative

We reached 90,000 student registrations and nearly five million unique visitors to our website in 2018. But the need to spread the light of Prophetic knowledge and guidance is far, far wider. As such, our goal for 2019 is to “Double the Impact” of our online offerings.

We want to reach 200,000 student registrations and ten million visitors to our website in 2019.

This is not “just for the numbers,” but for the benefit, the need, and the urgent obligation and imperative to preserve and spread the light of Prophetic guidance to seekers everywhere.

We Love the Name SeekersGuidance

We love the name “SeekersGuidance,” because it highlights the two foundational pillars of our project:

  1. All believers should be seekers – we all seek Allah’s love and closeness, and knowledge is the only way to this;
  2. All believers seek guidance – the beneficial knowledge and inspiration that will show us the path of turning to Allah, upholding and spreading the good, and that inspires us to fulfill our true human potential.

What about My Donations?

If you were donating to “SeekersHub Global,” your donations are still reaching us. (We have, in fact, always been legally registered as “SeekersGuidance, Inc.”)

If you are not already a monthly supporter, you can help us Double the Impact of our online offerings by becoming a monthly supporter now by going to www.seekersguidance.org/donate.

We will continue to provide authentic, engaging, and relevant Islamic education. And most importantly, we will still offer all our services completely free of charge.

What about Toronto?

We have registered in Canada as “SeekersGuidance Canada,” and our classes and programs are continuing with Shaykh Muhammad Badhib, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, Ustadha Umm Umar, and myself. These classes are being held weekly at Jame Masjid Mississauga (Coopers), and other locations.

We’re establishing a newer, bigger learning center and headquarters in Toronto – to serve the local community and as a base for our global Islamic seminary and its educational offerings. Click here to support our efforts.

Some New Projects Are Coming!

In addition to all our current services, we are working on some exciting new projects. These include:

  • Publishing our own ebooks and other digital content.
  • Newly revamped On-Demand courses offering many relevant topics.
  • New additions to our curriculum courses.
  • Exciting content released by the members of our Helpers program.
  • Forthcoming Podcasts by a number of scholars and counselors.
  • Reboots of our SeekersGuidance Arabiyya and SeekersGuidance Espanol partner pages, in order to reach seekers all over the world in other languages as well.

May Allah grant us and you facilitation and success.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani, Founder and Executive Director, SeekersGuidance,
And the SeekersGuidance team.


The True Scholar: A Person of Knowledge and Action by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This podcast is a recording of a talk that Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gave in Johannesburg Habib Umar’s tour. He speaks about the definition of a true scholar.

Click here to access the podcast. 

In Johannesburg, Shaykh Faraz spoke about the characteristics of a true scholar, or, a true Sufi as, “A person of knowledge who acted upon their knowledge, so Allah granted them knowledge of what they didn’t know.”

The first step to this, is simply being a person of knowledge, or ilm. Each time has its particular challenge. In our times, we see many educated Muslims who still have questions and doubts. We need to remain connected to sacred knowledge, so that we can help others clear up their doubts and misconceptions. Complaining about people who are disrespectful or rude will not help. In fact, even knowledgeable people can start having doubts if they disconnect from the knowledge and their teachers. Therefore, we should always have a regular routine of learning, even if small.

The second step is aml, or action. We have a responsibility to embody our knowledge and take our deen seriously. The Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, was known as The Honest and Trustworthy, even before he became a Prophet. We carry the trust of the religion, and we should ask ourselves whether we are fulfilling that trust.

The third aspect is haal, or our state with Allah. We should be engaged in correcting ourselves, and work on spiritual purification. A great scholar from Damascus, Shaykh Ali Zafar, used to give fiery sermons, saying, “O you who have turned away from your Lord! O you who have forgotten the command of your Lord!” The listeners used to cry and repent. One of his students went back to visit his hometown, and was asked to give a sermon. He did it in the same way as Shaykh Ali had, but before two minutes had passed, the congregants got angry and beat him. When he returned and told the story to his Shaykh Ali, he told him,” My son, when I address people, I am addressing people, I place myself in front of myself. I’m not putting anyone down, I’m talking to myself. And because I’m being true to Allah, people are being affected.”

May Allah allow us to be those who apply what they know, so Allah gives them knowledge of what they do not know.


Parenting – A Reader

Parenting can be a challenging endeavour. This reader gathers various resources on parenting from an Islamic perspective.

General Guidance

Rights of Children in Detail 

Islamic Parenting: Ten Keys to Raising Righteous Children – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Raising Muslim Children On The Straight Path-Shaykh Walead Mosaad

Ibn Khaldun on the Instruction of Children and its Different Method

Traditional Methods of Raising Children 

When Should Children Start Praying?

Helping our children find the light in dark times, by Hina Khan-Mukhtar

Six Steps to Instilling the Attribute of Courage in Muslim Children 

Rethinking Our Actions and How They Affect Our Children

Raising Children With A Sound Heart – Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

The Sunnas of Parenting

40 Hadiths on Parenting

How To Make the Prophet Muhammad Real for Small Children

Raising Your Children with Deen & Dunya – Radio Interview with Hina Khan-Mukhtar 

Our Children: Nurturing the Prophet’s ﷺ Spiritual Intelligence

Explaining a Hadith on Disciplining Children 

The Prophet Muhammad’s Love, Concern, & Kindness for Children

Playing with your Children – Advice from Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz

 

Parenting in Challenging Situations

Parenting in the Age of Social Media, by Ustadha Rania Awaad and Hosai Mojaddidi

A Ragged Shirt and Toast Crust: Raising Successful Children

How Do We Deal With Parents Who Emotionally Abuse Their Children

How Can I Raise My Children in the West?

Who Gets Custody of the Children After a Divorce?

Is There a Dua Protecting Children from Bad Intentions of People?

How Do I Protect my Children from Bad Influences in Society?

How To Talk To Children About Death

How Is a Child with Autism Viewed in Islam?

Fitrah and What Happens to Children Who Die Before Puberty 

How to Raise Children in Difficult Environments?

Why Worry About Children If We Know They Will Go to Paradise?

Wanting Children and Infertility

Is It Obligatory to Try to Have Children?

Infertility: Why does Allah Not Bless Some With Children 

Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a

My Husband Doesn’t Want to Have Kids. What Can I Do?

Supplications for Having Children and For Dealing With Pain

Is It Obligatory to Try to Have Children? 

The Virtues of Having Children and Stillbirth

The passing of Habib ‘Umar’s mother

To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return.

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of the blessed mother of Habib Umar bin Hafidh, Hababah Zahra bint Hafiz bin `Abdullah al-Haddar.

When her husband, Habib Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz, was abducted and martyred she showed great steadfastness and gave her children the best upbringing.

Habib Ali Mashhour bin Hafidh

Habib Ali Mashhour bin Hafidh, Mufti of Tarim

Her oldest son is Habib `Ali al-Mashur, Mufti of Tarim, and her youngest son is Habib `Umar. She also leaves behind her others sons: Habib `Attas, Sayyid Salim, Sayyid `Abdullah and three daughters.

She passed away at the age of nearly 96 after a life spent in worship and service. She was known for her uprightness, taqwa, fear of Allah and humility. She was constantly engaged in the remembrance of Allah. Her nights were spent standing in prayer and her days were spent fasting. She would give abundant charity in private.

If something bad was said about someone in her presence she would cut the person speaking off saying:

“May Allah guide us and guide him (or her) and may He guard our tongues and our hearts.”

Habib Ali al-Jifri said he would always request dua from her, but out of humility she would say that she was in need of dua due to her shortcomings. When she did make dua, she would always pray for the whole Ummah.

The janazah took place in Tarim on 22nd Sha`ban (9th June 2015).

May Allah pour His mercy upon her, raise her to the highest of stations and make her grave one of the gardens of Paradise. May He bless her children and loved ones with steadfastness.

Source: Muwasala