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Be Prepared: Understanding the Wisdom of Calamities

Be Prepared: Understanding the Wisdom of Calamities

By Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Pain. We cannot escape pain. Pain, in this life, is inevitable. We are here to be tested to determine our unending rank and recompense in the Hereafter. These tests are usually in the broad categories of ease – which demands gratitude – or difficulty – which requires a combination of patience and the expectation of a reward from God. 

The benefits that rain down upon us from these trials are numerous and well worth examining closely. However, prior to this, the difficulties need to be understood, felt, experienced, and processed. 

This is how those benefits dye a believer’s perception with the hues of a deeper faith. This is how one becomes malleable to the trials that hammer down upon us to shape us into better versions of ourselves. This is how the friction of pain polishes us to the point that we glisten and gleam. 

 


The Prophet’s Approach to Pain 

Running from the pain, or blocking it out with distractions, or feigned shows of strength – deny one of the fruits indicated above. Indeed, the greatest being in God’s creation (peace and blessings be upon him) engaged deeply with his human experiences, whilst remaining within the bounds of his slavehood to God. 

When his son, Ibrahim, passed away whilst only a toddler, he said, “Indeed the eye weeps, and the heart grieves – yet we don’t say anything but that which pleases our Loving Lord. We, by your parting – O Ibrahim – are truly saddened” (Bukhari). He felt the emotions and allowed the physical responses Allah created in us to occur and expressed what he felt. This was tempered with limiting the expression of grief to the words that increase one only in closeness to Allah, and not anything that would do otherwise. This is the response of someone who understood the purpose and benefit of tests and pain. 

 

How Do I Process My Pain? 

Besides the points gleaned from the blessed words of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), we have other gifts from the Qur’an’s perfect guidance. It gives us an understanding of the inherent – yet occasionally occluded – beauty in the trials, and the foreknowledge of the inevitable occurrence of these events. 

These two matters grant the believer a deep grasp of the wisdom behind trials, and aid one in seeing that one will grow and benefit from them. Without them, one can be crippled with pain, from not understanding the matter as it should be.

 

Working Towards Iron-Clad Fortitude 

Surah al-Hadid is an ocean that gives wave after wave of goodness and guidance. There are two particular verses that light the way in this discussion particularly well. They will be discussed briefly. 

“No calamity hits in the land, nor in your own selves, except that it has been in a tremendous book before We beautifully created it. Indeed, that, for Allah, is very easy. So you don’t be excessively grieved by what escapes you, nor overly exultant because of what He granted you…”

(Qur’an, 57:22-23) 

There are some Arabic words in the former of the two verses which deserve a closer examination. Seeing the beauty underlying the word choices in the Qur’an eventually gives one certainty that it is from God, and that every single word – in all canonical variants – was specifically chosen by Him. 

“What Hits Was Never Going to Miss” 

The first word of note is asaaba – ‘َأَصَاب.’ It has a root meaning which indicates the occurrence of events in the proper and most fitting manner. Added to this is the nuance of water flowing and settling in a spot, and the usage of a derivative of the root to express an arrow hitting the bullseye. This analysis of the word is not extensive. 

When we factor in the above nuances we see that every trial in our lives is tailor-made for us. It has hit its mark. We can’t escape it, and pondering the “If only…” scenarios is fruitless. 

It came at the right time, in the right way, and with the right intensity. It could not have been escaped, nor could it have been outrun. 

This is beautifully expressed in the hadith, “Know, what hit you was never going to miss, and what missed you was never meant to hit” (Tirmidhi).

This brings great ease to the believer. He takes the necessary precautions but realizes that what came into his life of difficulties, and what he was not affected by, are all matters that were meant specifically for him. 

The result is relief from the paranoia and excessive worry over being affected by the evil eye, black magic, and other matters that are a cause of stress and anxiety to those who don’t realize that Allah is in complete control.

A believer is at ease, knowing that whatever happens is tailor-made to bring him good through some avenue in his life. Everything is perfectly suited for his long-term, ever-lasting benefit. 

 

Perfectly Suited Trials 

We can be sure that everything that happens is perfect, and not just inevitable. What hits is actually perfect and beautiful, as is the missing of the arrows they were not meant to hit the mark. 

How do we know this? In expressing the creation of the calamities, Allah used a verb derived from the root bara – ‘برأ.’ It is understood, generally, to mean ‘creating’. However, a deeper analysis of the word indicates meanings of being devoid of deficiencies and flaws, which gives us the understanding of something being perfected and immaculately formed. 

Infuse these nuances into the reading of the verse, and you get the understanding that all tests are perfectly planned and beautifully designed by God to be the best possible situation for us – with eternity in mind. The benefit of the trial is to elevate, in Paradise, the immortal version of every believer. 

He is the canvas, and the calamity is the paint that alters the immaculate nature of that canvas. Focusing in on the actual point of contact may make one think the paint has stained the perfect white canvas, yet, when one steps back and looks with a gaze that shows the merging on the individual ‘stains’, it present before one an image of striking beauty, nuance, meaning, artistry, and skill. This is how all tests are for the believer, and God is the perfect architect who has designed your life. Reflect on this…

All that remains is the appropriate response. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

[I’m truly amazed] at the affair of the believer. Everything that happens to him is the best possible thing for him – and that’s not for anyone but the believer. If happiness comes he is grateful – and that’s best for him. And if harm comes to him he is patient – and that’s best for Him (Muslim). 

 

All Matters are Decreed 

Everything that afflicts us has been pre-planned by God, the perfect designer. The verse entails guidance about general calamities, such as pandemics, economic instability, floods, earthquakes, and other such wide-ranging trials. It also highlights the personal pain which hits harder and is felt more keenly by the individual. It is all in the right time and place, in the best way. 

Knowing that it is known to God, and preordained is also a huge blessing. With this knowledge, one can process this pain effectively.

Not knowing this can lead one to excessive grief that holds one back, and, in cases of ease, it can lead one to become too fixated on a blessing, such that it can make one forget it came from God. This can then lead people to arrogance and boasting, because they see themselves as intrinsically deserving these blessings, and thereby feel superior to others who don’t have it. But this is a discussion for another time… 

Here, we wish to see that being aware that the slings and arrows of fortune are, in fact, gracious. One need not take arms against the sea of troubles, for it’s waves come to bring benefits to your shores. 

 

Forewarned is Forearmed 

Knowing that all matters are decreed provides a believer to see things differently: the trials of life will come, certainly. But they are carried by wisdom, and they leave gifts and goodness in their wake. 

Knowing that a loved one who passes onto the Hereafter at a particular time was meant to go makes the parting easier. The pain is there, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) expressed. That is the human condition. However, the pain is lessened knowing that matters are being directed by Allah, who has our best interests in mind. More so, than even ourselves. He sees what we do not, and knows what we do not. This knowledge makes his decision better than what we assume to be good for ourselves.

One knows that this life is temporary. Only that which is done for the sake of Allah lasts. One sees that the pain is temporary, and a test, just like the blessings, which are temporary, and a test. 

This doesn’t mean that we don’t feel sadness, or that it negates one’s patience. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) named the year of the passing of his wife, Khadija, and his uncle, Abu Talib, ‘The Year of Sadness.’ He felt grief despite having the perfect spiritual state.

What the verse negates is intense and excessive grief that stems from a lack of understanding of the purpose of calamities. This can be understood from the juxtaposition of the grief with the word that indicates excessive happiness in a blessing that leads to arrogance and boasting. 

Not seeing the wisdom behind trials, and not seeing the benefits they provide for a Muslim, makes detaching from the aspects of this life that we have a strong bond with difficult. One only feels the sense of loss and pain more keenly. 

Knowing that this is the nature of this life allows the believer to prepare himself. Blessings are enjoyed – but they don’t distract one from the Giver of the blessings. The pain of trials is felt, but it develops the believer. He becomes closer to God, and grains further gifts from Him. 

The grief and happiness benefit when one knows it is a trial ultimately designed to raise one higher in Paradise. Happiness and grief devoid of this are – for the believer – dysfunctional. They hinder him from his long-term benefit. That’s why understanding this allows one to be prepared, and so, forearmed.

 

About the Author

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return, he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Living Simple: Asceticism (Zuhd) – Listening More, Talking Less

Living Simple: Asceticism

Part Two: Listening More, Talking Less by Shaykh Farid Dingle

In order to get through life with ease, the Early Muslims (salaf) focussed on certain key ways of living that would make it spiritually and practically easier and more fruitful. They coined a term for the different and variegated rules that they lived by, a term that summarised the system of living for the Hereafter. They called it Zuhd: Unattachment in This World. For purposes of this article series, we have found the best match in terms of meaning to be asceticism. Other terms to describe Zuhd are unattachment or being unconcerned for worldly matters, or living simple. This is the second article from a series of articles and podcasts by SeekersGuidance scholar, Shaykh Farid Dingle.

Introduction to Asceticism (Part one)

This article deals with the importance of listening: listening to others and listening to sacred knowledge. One should only speak with knowledge and this requires that one has learned first. The microphone fever and desire to be the next best things bars one from benefiting oneself and others. 


Imam Waki ibn al-Jarrah opens this chapter with the words of Abdullah ibn Masud, ‘If you can, be a listener and not a talker.’

The self-centered ego loves itself, its ideas, and the sound of its voice. This is very dangerous. One has to train oneself to be a listener in relationships so as to give to others, and to be a listener to revelation so that one can learn, apply, and benefit. Ibn Ata Illah says, ‘Bury your existence in the earth of obscurity, for a seed that is not buried properly never grows properly.’ 

One has to train oneself to be a listener in relationships so as to give to others, and to be a listener to revelation so that one can learn, apply, and benefit.

In the Islamic sciences, this means that you listen to your teachers, read what books they guide you to read, and “absorb” their way of doing things. There is room for your own individuality, but not in the beginning. One has to listen a lot first.

In our public lives and on social media, this means being reserved and only expressing opinions that reflect wisdom and benefit to others. Continually reference to oneself, to one’s own opinions, and views that are neither based on religious nor worldly learning are often based left out. As Ibrahim ibn Adham said,

Whoever says whatever he wants kills himself.

Connecting this maxim to the specific sphere of learning Sacred Knowledge, Waki quotes Hasan al Basri saying,

Either be learned, a learner, a listener, or someone who would love to do that. Never be anything else lest you should be destroyed.’

Someone who acts without knowledge, or worse, preaches or teaches without knowledge is in great danger or falling into sin or misrepresenting the religion of Allah. One must listen first in order to learn and act according to the Sunna in a prophet fashion.

Umar ibn al Khattab gave words of encouragement to anyone even so much as trying to try to learn. He said, ‘Someone who is listening but cannot hear has the same reward as someone who is listening and can hear.’  The next hadith:

‘No man ever traveled in search of knowledge save that Allah made easy for him the way to Paradise. Whoever is slowed down by his deeds will not be sped up by his lineage. No people ever sat in one of Allah’s houses studying together the Book of Allah and learning it together save that mercy overspread them, the angels encircled them, and Allah mentioned them to those with him. They remain as His guest as long as they do not delve into something else.’

These words are of the utmost worth and encouragement. It tells us that the physically moving to go and listen to Sacred Knowledge is itself a means of divine help in overcoming one’s spiritual obstacles. Physically being with others is also very important, and not the same as merely reading an article or listening to a recording. This also applies to “being there” for someone: lending someone an ear on the phone is not like being there to give them a hug, and physical contact is a very important medium of communication. How often do we see the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) touch or hold someone he is teaching!

Physical contact is a very important medium of communication.

The hadith also emphasizes the importance of studying with others. The momentum gained by group effort, particularly when it is towards a religious goal that transcends the current generation is something truly felt by any student of knowledge. That is to say, the sense of being part of the tradition. There is, as is said, strength in numbers.

No One Was Born a Scholar

Furthering the theme of the need to listen before one talks (or learn before one teaches), Waki cites the words of Abdullah ibn Masud, ‘No one was ever born a scholar. Knowledge is only acquired by study.’ These words tie in very subtly with the previous hadith: just because you are born Muslim, or born into a “religious” family, it doesn’t automatically make you a scholar or religious. It takes personal effort to get where other people got. This person’s effort means listening, studying, memorizing, and eventually positive debate to order to truly take on and inherit the Islamic science one is trying to learn.

Waki quotes the Abu al Darda saying,

‘Learn before knowledge is taken away. Knowledge goes when scholars go. The scholar and the student have the same reward.’

These words tell us Sacred Knowledge is something rare and precious. It is not something that one can be careless or complacent about. It is not only because its source is divine, or that it can be very complex, it is also because it can only be taken from scholars, and no simply stored on someone’s hard drive. Someone who just reads by himself may when get lots of bytes of knowledge into their brain, but they can never fully understand and master the science without a teacher. 

This concept of inheritance is mirrored by another hadith: The scholars are the heirs of the prophets. The prophets do not leave as inheritance dinars and dirhams. All they leave is sacred knowledge. So whoever takes it, takes a mighty share.’ This “mighty share” must be “inherited” and not simply dug out of books. Through tutelage, listening, discussing, and spending time with teachers, the real inheritance process can happen. That said, it is definitely not true that books are of no use or have no role. The large and vast depositories of Hadith, Tafsir, Fiqh, Usul, Arabic language, and literature play an indispensable role in the inheritance process. It is just that cracking the role and use of all these variance pieces of information can only be threaded together by someone who has been truly trained in the tradition.

Through tutelage, listening, discussing, and spending time with teachers, the real inheritance process can happen

The author then concludes this chapter with the non plus ultra of learning: the Qur’an. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace said, ‘The best of you is he who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.’ The book of Allah is the core of all Islamic learning; its role in the life of the scholar, student, and laymen is central and paramount. It is the ultimate word to physically listen to, to intellectually listen to, and to listen to with one’s heart.

When the Qur’an is read, listen to it with attention, and pay heed.

(Qur’an, 7: 204)

The Prophet himself (peace and blessings be upon him) was told to listen to the Qur’an while it was being revealed and not to try and even mouth the words (Qur’an, 75: 16-19).

Although the author doesn’t mention it here, listening to oneself is also important. By “self” I mean soul and not ego. Jalal al-Din al Rumi invites the listener to listen to the internal pain of his own soul by saying,

Listen to the complaint of the Flute as it tells its story…

By putting the word “listen” at the beginning of his spiritual magnum opus, the Masnawi, we can understand that it is of the utmost importance to spiritual change. That is, if we do care to listen!


About the Author

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language which can be found here. 

The corresponding podcast is due for release soon.

Introducing the Seekers Book Club – Revive the Art of Reading

Revive the Art of Reading

Recite. The first words revealed to our beloved Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon). The birth of our religion is intertwined with recitation.

Our religion values language. It birthed an Ummah of lovers of language. The Muslim scholastic tradition gave the world their first and most extensive dictionaries. It gifted the world with poetry, rhetoric, and vast linguistic miracles. The Holy Quran is the Book of all Books.

After the Mongols sacking the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, the River Tigris ran black with ink. Muslims are popularly credited through the “Golden Age of Islam” to have preserved the works of the great writers of the past, while medieval Europe, ignored these during the Dark Ages. Reading and seeking knowledge is an essential skill and practice for an informed and reforming society. Yet, it is becoming an art lost in the advance of technology.

Often, we fall in love with the idea of reading. But we become lost with how to read in order to gain the most benefit from the book.

SeekersGuidance aims to Revive the Art of Reading with the Seekers Book Club – An interactive session where our scholars take you on a journey to connect with the book. This session offers a unique experience to learn about the guest and their story. No prior reading required. 

The session will be live. Sign up now to reserve a place: Sign-up by entering your name and email. 

Save the Date

First Session of Seekers Book Club

Last Sunday of every month, join one of our scholars in an interactive session discussing a book that the scholar personally recommends. Allow them to take you on a journey as they share their own unique experience with their book. Prepare, learn, and ask questions as we enjoy the realm of linguistic arts – thoughts poured into words, directly imprinting onto your heart.

Discover multiple perspectives, guidance on how to connect with the book, and build your understanding of the book. This is a unique opportunity to spend time with an exceptional scholar. 

This month: Sunday 29th November

The Lives of Man with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani at 7pm EST. 

Discover the unique experience Shaykh Faraz Rabbani had whilst reading this book about our existence before we knew ourselves and the reality of our life after this life. What kind of realizations or reflections did you have reading this book? We wish to hear from you at the session.

The session will be live. Sign up now to reserve a place: seekersguidance.org/bookclub

Living Simple – Introduction to Asceticism (Zuhd)

An Introduction to Living Simple: Asceticism

Part One: Zuhd Literature by Shaykh Farid Dingle

In order to get through life with ease, the Early Muslims (salaf) focussed on certain key ways of living that would make it spiritually and practically easier and more fruitful. They coined a term for the different and variegated rules that they lived by, a term that summarised the system of living for the Next Life. They called it Zuhd: Unattachment in This World. For purposes of this article series, we have found the best match in terms of meaning to be asceticism. Other terms to describe Zuhd are unattachment or being unconcerned for worldly matters, or living simple. This is the first article from a series of articles and podcasts by SeekersGuidance scholar, Shaykh Farid Dingle. 


About Zuhd Literature

Based on this theme, and exactly under this title, many Early Muslims wrote books collecting hadiths and wisdom of the righteous.

Abdullah ibn Al Mubarak (d. 181 AH), Imam Ahmad, Ibn Abi Dunya, Abu Dawud, and Bayhaqi besides many others compiled the sayings and practices of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the early Muslims regarding the universal approach to life.

One such work on this topic was that a very influential teacher of Imam al Shafii, Waki ibn al Jarrah (d. 197). Waki was a major hadith narrator and scholar of law (fiqh). To get a sense of what kind of a man he was, here are a few lines of poetry that Imam al Shafii composed after he asked him for advice on seeking Sacred Knowledge:

I complained to Waki of my bad memory

So he told me to leave off sin.

He said Sacred Knowledge is a light

And that the light of Allah is not given to sinners.

Waki was not just a scholar of Islamic Law (faqih), or just a hadith narrator (muhadith). Above and beyond his learning, he was someone who had genuinely internalized the spiritual teachings of Islam and become a beacon of light to the hearts of those around him – or rather a beacon of light for all posterity. Waki opens his work on Asceticism (Zuhd) with the words of Muhammad ibn Kab al Quradhi (d. 108), ‘When Allah wishes well for a slave, He makes him uninclined towards This World, gives him a proper understanding of religion, and opens his eyes to his faults. Whoever has been given these have been given the good of this life and the next.’

These three traits summarise the whole book and whole way of life of the Early Muslims (salaf): 1. a heart that is turned towards Allah & the Hereafter and away from the Devil & this life, 2. sound and objective learning in Islam, and 3. the willingness and aptitude to engage in personal change.

Letting Go of This Life

He then follows it up with another piece of wisdom from the Prophetic Companion Abu Waqid al Laythi that shows why exactly the Early Muslims (salaf) focussed so much on Asceticism (Zuhd). He said,

‘We searched all the deeds that could be done in this life, and never found anything more helpful in striving for the next life than being unconcerned about this life.’

The reason why this is so central to the Islamic way of life is that whilst we long for this life and its pleasures, we have to persistently contend with desires that pull us towards the haram: illicit sexual relations, amassing money in haram ways, the lust of showing off or belittling others, etc. As soon as we are able to let go a little, we give ourselves a fighting chance of keeping to the straight and narrow while still giving our bodies what they need. As Umar ibn al Khattab said,

‘You will never be able to work for the next life with anything better than unattachment to this life.’

Live a Balanced Life

Waki then clarifies a very important point: one being uninterested in this life does not mean one does not get involved, or even enjoy, this life. The point is that we use our time and opportunities in this life to maximize our benefit in the next life. Although this often means doing without, consuming less, and generally delaying our own gratification, it doesn’t necessarily mean we ignore our own emotional and physical pleasures. It means we temper them and use our emotional and physical pleasures for worship of Allah.

The Trade-Offs in the Face of Limited Time

The great jurist, hadith scholar, and ascetic Sufyan al Thawri states, ‘Abstinence in this life means working with the assumption that you will not live long. It is not about eating coarse food or wearing poor clothes.’ When you know that your time on earth is extremely limited, and your time in the next life is not limited at all, you “trade-in” whatever you can of this life for the next. Sometimes the trade-off means less immediate enjoyment, such as fasting, and sometimes it is not a trade-off at all: you literally get to keep your cake and eat it. There is a reward, for example, in celebrating Eid, getting married, or breaking your fast, even though there is no obvious and outward “abstinence” in these acts of worship. This is a very fundamental point indeed and makes a very clear and determined line between Islamic asceticism and asceticism as applied by many other religions.

Earn Allah’s Pleasure

The point is to take advantage of your life and not let your attachment to it lead you away from finding ways to earn Allah’s good pleasure. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘Take advantage of five things before five things happen: your life before you die, your health before you get sick, your free time before you become occupied, your youth before you get too old, and your wealth before you become poor.’

Avoid Complacency – Life is Short

Another aspect of the way of Zuhd is not being complacent. Waki quotes the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saying,

‘There are two blessings that most people sell themselves short on: free time and health.’ As the quote from Sufyan al Thawri stated previously The proper way to live life is to assume you do not have a lot of time. Complacency creeps in when we assume we have all the time in the world to get our obligations done, or to repent from our bad ways. Allah reminds of death’s eminence in the Quran saying, ‘Indeed the very death from which you all are fleeing is already coming to you.’ (Quran, 62: 8).  And as Imam al Ghazali says, ‘Whoever wakes up in the morning thinking that he will be alive at night, or vice versa, will necessarily be plagued by some form of laziness or procrastination, and will only be able to travel forward at the slowest of paces.’

This sense of urgency is exactly what Mujahid, one of the greatest scholars of Quranic exegesis (tafsir) and law (fiqh), learned from Ibn Umar. He told him, as Waki and others narrate to us, ‘Mujahid! When you enter the morning, don’t assume you will be alive in the evening, and when you enter the evening, don’t assume you will be alive in the morning. Take advantage of being healthy before you get sick, and take advantage of being alive before you die. You have no idea what will happen to you tomorrow.’

Understand Life and Seek Basic Knowledge

In order to clarify what is meant by the opening words of Muhammad ibn Kab al Quradhi, Waki cites a hadith that delineates the way and point of studying Sacred Knowledge. ‘O Messenger of Allah,’ said one of the Companions, ‘teach me something really novel (gharaib)!’

‘Why are you asking about what is novel?’ he replied. ‘Have you applied the basics of knowledge yet?’

‘O Messenger of Allah, what are the basics of knowledge?’

‘Do you appreciate who and what the Lord is?’

‘Yes,’ he replied.

‘What have you done to honor His due.’

‘Such and such.’

‘Do you recognize the fact that you will die?’

‘Yes,’ he replied.

‘So what have you prepared for it?’

‘Such and such.’

‘Go and apply the basics of knowledge properly first, and then come and learn novel sacred knowledge.’

We can see very clearly that Sacred Knowledge in the eyes of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and in the eyes of the Early Muslims was nothing to do with glamour, self-gratification, or debating abstruse and esoteric theories of law, being or anything else. It was about an attitude towards oneself and others that were dyed and imbued by one’s deeds, fear, awe, respect, and love of Allah Most High.

Waki quotes another hadith to the same effect:

‘O Messenger of Allah, verily Allah has blessed all of the Muslims by you, so teach me something special [that no one else knows]!’

‘Are you going to apply what I teach you?’ the Companion replied.

‘Yes.’

‘Whenever you decide to do something, think carefully about its end result: if it is good, do it; if it misguidance, then don’t do it. Now go!’

It is in this very vein that Waki quotes Umar ibn al Khattab saying, ‘Understanding life (fiqh) is not something acquired by becoming old, rather it is a gift from Allah and provision from Him.’

Die Before You Die

As an acid test of sound and meaning Islamic knowledge, Waki cites another hadith:

The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) recited, ‘As for he whose heart Allah opens up to Islam, he is on a brilliant light from his cherishing Lord.’ Then he said, ‘When light dawns upon the heart, it dissipates and spreads.’

‘O Messenger of Allah, does it have any tell-tale signs?’

‘Yes, a lack of concern for the abode of delusion, turning to the abode of immortality, and readying oneself for death before one dies.’

This hadith sums up the method and results of this beautiful way of life and provides the checks and balances needed to make sure that one is truly going in the right direction.

First, there is a drive from within to make things right again with Allah. That light spreads and manifests in various aspects of one’s life making life more lucid and meaningful. The sign of this happening is taking the practical measures to fix things up before one dies.

This requires that one let go of this world a little, and it results in one letting go completely. Dying before one dies, so as to speak.

This is the theme of the Asceticism (Zuhd) literature. Easy words to read. Hard words to put into practice.


About the Author

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language which can be found here. 

The corresponding podcast is due for release soon.

Gratitude is the Best Attitude – Friday Reminder with Shaykh Yusuf Weltch 

Gratitude is the Best Attitude – Friday Reminder

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch 

In this week’s Friday Reminder, Shaykh Yusuf Weltch discusses the importance of being in a permanent and active state of gratitude and how we can all learn to arrive at such a state through deep and honest reflection upon our blessings. The prize? A heart at peace through closeness to God.


A Great Quality Praised by the Greatest of Mankind

Amongst the greatest qualities that Allah Most High praises in the Qur’an is gratitude, and we see that shaytan (satan) tells Allah that he will try to misguide us and that he will try to take us off this path to Allah. He says, “you will not find majority of them to be grateful” (Quran, 7:17). Allah tells us that he is our enemy and that we should treat him as our enemy! 

Allah Most High tells us about this quality of gratitude, He (Most High) says, “Allah would not punish you if you are grateful and you believe” (Quran, 4:147)We are often blind to the blessings that God showers upon us in our daily lives. And so we wrongly attribute our talents and blessings to our own efforts and blame our hardships on the failures and shortcomings of others.
This leads the human being into a state of complaint (shakwa). And for the one who complains much, God will give them much more to complain about.

As for the one who recognizes who they really are, they see everything as a freely given gift by God and so enter into a state of complete gratitude (shukr). And for the one that is grateful, God will them much more to be grateful for. “If you show gratitude, I will increase you” (Quran 14:7).

However, this quality of gratitude is very easy to neglect in our day-to-day lives. We see the blessings of Allah Most High as something merely normal, as something that must be there, something that is just common. We don’t realize the gravity of these blessings from Allah Most High. Or even worse – we don’t acknowledge them as blessings of our Lord Almighty.

 

The Conditions of True Gratitude

To have true gratitude to Allah Most High requires three efforts:

  1. To acknowledge that whatever blessing we have – it is from Allah Most High. That blessing is from Allah Most High. 
  2. To acknowledge that what we have is a blessing, this also accounts for those things which are undesirable, even some of the calamities that befall us and the tribulations and the tests that we experience in our day-to-day lives. They tend to be very beautiful for us spiritually. They are lessons that we can take, ways that we can refine our character, ways we can turn to Allah Most High in neediness and tribulation to acknowledge that these things are blessings.
  3. To use these blessings in a way that is pleasing to Allah Most High by reflecting on the blessings that we have, we will grow and we will increase in our love of Allah Most High.

Taking in the virtue of gratitude; we should all strive for this great quality, we should always see Allah Most High in all that we experience and feel. If some difficult affair presents itself to us, we should be thankful that Allah Most High has gifted us an opportunity to draw closer to him. All that we have is from Allah and to him it will all return.

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Human Potential – The Source of Yearning: The Primordial Purpose

Human Potential – The Source of Yearning: The Primordial Purpose

by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

This is the second of a series of articles by SeekersGuidance internal scholar Shaykh Yusuf Weltch on human potential. Shaykh Yusuf poses thought-provoking ideas about what humans are capable of; both success and destruction. How does one truly and deeply desire what the heart desires – God?


You may be asking yourself, “If transcending to the fulfillment of human potential hinges on the deep desire for God, how does one acquire such a passionate desire?” Reflect on the saying of Allah Most High,

“This is a reminder. Let whoever wishes, take the way to his Lord. But you will only wish to do so if God wills—God is All-Knowing, All-Wise.” (Qur’an, 76:29–30).

​This verse and many more like it shed light on realities relating to human desire and inclination toward the Divine.

For this reason, the murid (the one seeking) is sometimes referred to as the murad (the one sought). This means that those who seek Allah Most High are merely those who Allah Most High seeks. We see an elite group of Allah’s righteous servants referred to in the Qur’an as the ​muqarrabun​—those brought near. In essence, the reality is that one’s heart, desires, inclinations, and so on are —as the Messenger of Allah tells us—‘between the two fingers of the fingers of the Most Merciful; He turns them as He wishes.’ (Tirmidhi, Ahmed)

This realization, that we don’t have as much control over our hearts as we thought we had, can be quite daunting for those who ponder upon it too much. In fact, this realization should greatly humble us and bring forth from deep within us a great state of brokenness and desperation to Allah Most High.

Even though creation is existentially in this shattering state of desperation before Allah at every moment, it is in the embracing of this state that draws us nearer to Him. It is narrated that Musa (peace be upon him) asked Allah, “Where shall I seek You out?” He (Allah) replied, “Seek Me out with those whose hearts are broken for My sake,” (Abu Nu’aym, Hilya al-Awliya)

One can find solace, however, in the fact that Allah Most High has given us a profound gift. He has given us a key to unlock His limitless treasures; supplication (du’a). The best of that which you can ask Allah Most High for is the desire to draw near to Him. Ibn ‘Ataillah al-Sakandari said in one of his aphorisms, “The best of what you can seek from Him is that which He seeks from you.” (Hikam Ibn Ataillah, al-Hikma 75)

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would constantly beseech Allah Most High saying, “O Turner of the hearts! Make my heart firm on Your religion and obedience.” (Ahmad)

So, to answer your question, I say plead to Allah Most High to fill your heart with the desire and yearning for His nearness and be certain of His acceptance. The proof that He intends to give you what you ask is that He allowed you to ask. Lastly, strive your best to obey Him and travel the Prophetic path of guidance.

َوإذا َسألك ِعبَاِدى َعنى فإنى قریٌبۖ أجیُب َدْعَوَة ٱل َّداع إذا َدَعانۖ فلیَْستَجیبُو۟ا لِى َولیُْؤِمنو۟ا بى لَعلُهْم یَْرشُدوَن ِِِِِِِِ

When My servants ask you (O Prophet) about Me: I am truly near. I respond to one’s prayer when they call upon Me. So let them respond (with obedience) to Me and believe in Me, perhaps they will be guided (to the Right Way).


About the Author

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied inheritance law, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance teachers team in the summer of 2019.

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The Power of Intention -Turning the Mundane into Sacred

“The Power of Intention – Turning the Mundane into Sacred” – Friday Reminder

Imam Yama Niazi

The Best of Actions and the Purest in the Sight of your Lord

In one hadith, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) told the companions, “shall I guide you to an action that is the best of all actions the purest in the sight of your Lord and one that raises your rank and is better than you spending in the way of Allah through gold and silver and better that you should meet your enemies in battle that they strike you and you strike them?” 

They said, “Indeed oh Messenger of Allah! Tell us what is this great action!” He said, “the remembrance (dhikr) of Allah Most High.”

Indeed in another hadith qudsi – a hadith in which the prophet (peace and blessings upon him) mentioned what Allah says – he said: “I am as my servant thinks of me and I am with him when he remembers me. If he remembers me to himself I will remember him to myself. And if he remembers me in a group or gathering I shall remember him in a group and gathering better than theirs.” Meaning: the gathering of the great angels in the heavens.

Allah tells us in the Qur’an “remember me and I shall remember you.” (2:152)

 

The Essence of our Religion

In essence, our religion revolves around the verse from surah Fatiha (1:4), “You alone O Lord do we worship and You alone we ask for help.”

We’re with Allah in this world, we’re with Allah in the next world, we’re with Allah in our grave and we’re with Allah in our hereafter on the Day of Judgment – all that we do is about pleasing our Lord Allah.

 

Turning the Mundane into Sacred

Now remembering Allah often doesn’t entail that we sit from morning to evening and just recite the Qur’an or make remembrance (dhikr) all day long. Though wouldn’t that be wonderful? However, we cannot do that all day long. We have obligations towards our families, towards our parents, we have jobs, we have school and we have a lot of different things that we tend to on a daily basis. However, there is a way to convert all of these mundane simple acts, and make them sacred, make them pleasing to our Lord and Creator Allah Most High.

As when ‘Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) described the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), she said, “he used to remember Allah in all of his states.” 

So how can we remember Allah? 

 

The Key to Transformation

We remember Allah through every action that we do. Ask yourself before you do an action, “is this for the sake of Allah? How did the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) do this? What does the sacred law (shari’a) say about this action that I’m doing?”
For example, you’re going to go to the market to bring some food for your family. You can just get in the car, go to the store and just come back and never have thought about Allah. 

Or, as you leave your home you say, “I intend by going to the market to bring permissible (halal) provisions to feed my family as this is an obligation upon me. Therefore I seek your pleasure and your acceptance and your reward.” Then you go for the sake of Allah while making sure you bring everything that is permissible (halal) and good. This becomes rewarding for you! Even when we go to sleep at night; we intend to rest our bodies so that we can wake up and worship later whether it be through prayer or things like providing for our families.

Even when we go to work – we intend the pleasure of Allah. “I’m going to go seek the permissible (halal) provision for myself and my family and to support myself.” This is rewarded and this is a sacred act. There is nothing that doesn’t become sacred if it is for Allah Most High. All of this becomes sacred, all of this becomes rewarded.

 

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The Prophet’s Smile: Responding to Rudeness With a Smile

The Prophet’s Smile Series Part Six: Responding to Rudeness With a Smile

By Shaykh Amin Buxton

In this series, we discuss the practices and acts that brought a smile to the Prophet Muhammad’s blessed face and made him laugh. We hope that by applying these lessons, we can gain his pleasure, and gain closeness to Allah Most High.  In this article, we explore valuable lessons from an incident our beloved Prophet had with a bedouin.

 


Responding to Rudeness With a Smile

Anas narrates that he was once walking with Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), who was wearing a Najrani shawl with a rough edge. All of a sudden, a bedouin came up behind him, took hold of the shawl, and pulled it with great force. The Prophet turned to face the man and Anas noticed that the force of the pull had left a mark on the Prophet’s neck.

“Muhammad,” he said, “Give me some of Allah’s money which is in your possession!”

The Prophet looked at him, smiled and instructed that he be given something.

(Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

 

This short incident brings to the forefront a number of the Prophet’s astounding character traits. 

He was walking with a servant, Sayyiduna Anas, who was a child at the time, shows his humility. Although he was the greatest human ever to walk the earth, he was glad to walk with anyone regardless of their age, gender, race and social standing. His choice of clothing is further evidence of his humility and lack of concern for worldly things. He could have worn the finest and smoothest of fabrics but he was happy with a shawl made in the Najran region of Yemen with an edge so rough – it was uncomfortable.  

Further, we witness the immensity of the Prophet’s forbearance, a beautiful quality known in Arabic as hilm. We are told that the description of the Prophet in the Torah is that the more rudely he is treated, the more he increases in forbearance. The Bedouin came from behind and, without any warning, grabbed the Prophet’s shawl, pulling it so hard that it physically hurt him. To add to this, he addressed him in a rude and blunt fashion. We are told in the Quran not to address the Prophet as we address our peers and equals, but this man was obviously ignorant of this. With no regard for good manners and without explaining his situation, he demanded that he be given some charity or zakat. 

We have to ask ourselves, how would we react in a similar situation? Our surprise and shock at being accosted from behind would quickly turn to anger and indignation. Then perhaps some pride and arrogance would creep in: how dare this person treat me like this! Who does he think he is? Does he really think he’ll be given anything after this?

This might well be our reaction. But it was not the reaction of Allah’s Beloved (peace and blessings be upon him). He had justification for becoming angry, but he did not. He could have turned away and ignored the man, and this would have taken great self-control, but rather he turned towards him. Instead of turning away from him, he turned towards him. The companions tell us that whenever someone called the Prophet from behind, he would turn his whole body to face them, give them his full attention and then respond. 

The Prophet’s response to the rudeness of the man’s demand was a smile or even a chuckle, depending on how the hadith is translated. Ugliness was met with beauty. He then instructed that the man be given something.

The Prophet recognized the truth of the Bedouin’s statement – that indeed it was not his money, but rather Allah was the true giver and he was merely distributing what Allah had given. This is true humility – to accept words of truth from whoever utters them, even if they come in such a blunt form.

The Bedouin had most likely recently embraced Islam and the Prophet knew that he had to be treated with special care. In this, there is a valuable lesson for us in how we should treat anyone, particularly those who are new to the faith or new to practicing it. They may not be familiar with some of the manners and etiquettes that we have learned over time. They may have grown up and lived in difficult environments.

This was perhaps the only time that the Prophet and the Bedouin were to meet and had the Prophet rebuked him, it could have shaken the man’s faith. 

Instead, his faith would have been made firm by the Prophet’s beautiful character and the receipt of financial support. This would have been his abiding memory of the Prophet. This is what he would have told his family, his children and his tribe about. The Prophet’s beautiful and warm smile would have lived with him for the rest of his days. 

 

Guidance for the Concerned Muslim by Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi

Four: Guidance for the Concerned Muslim: Attaining Taqwa

by Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi

The following article presents the fourth set out of four counsels. These were recorded by the esteemed Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi for SeekersGuidance. They have been translated and transcribed with subtitles.

Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi is a senior theologian and scholar of the rational sciences based in Konya, Turkey. He delivers a class for Dar al Fuqaha Seminary in Istanbul.


In the Name of Allah, the Encompassingly Merciful, the Particularly Merciful. All praise belongs to Allah. May the best of blessings and most perfect of peace be upon our master Muhammad ibn Abdullah, and upon his followers, his companions, and all guided by his teachings.

 

Allah’s Counsel to Believers

Allah Most High has counseled all believers in His Noble Book, by His saying: “Surely the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the one most mindful of Him” (Quran, 49:13). The most important thing for the Muslim to embody whilst counseling fellow believers is mindfulness (taqwa) and to pay close attention to it, then to devote one’s concern to the means of taqwa.

Allah Most High emphasized taqwa by His saying “Surely the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the one most mindful of Him.” He made it the scale to evaluate a person’s having honor in the sight of Allah. This is because taqwa refers to protecting oneself from God’s punishment and wrath. This is achieved by full adherence to His commands and staying away completely from His prohibitions.

When a person has children, who will be the most honored in their sight? It will be the most obedient and deferential of the children. But here we are talking not about a parent, but about the Creator—the Creator and Provider of everything one has. And the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the one with the most taqwa.

 

Taqwa—and the Means to Attaining It

Allah Most High says, “Provide well for yourselves: the best provision is to be mindful of God (taqwa)” (Quran, 2:197). He follows this with a command—and when Allah Most High gives a command, particularly when it is of great importance, He usually clarifies the means to fulfill it. Thus, Allah says, “You who believe, be mindful of God, and seek ways to come closer to Him.”

The pronoun can refer to God: “seek ways to come closer to Him.” Or it could be read as referring to having mindfulness of God: “seek ways to come closer to it.” Meaning that one is to be mindful of God, but also to seek the means to taqwa in order to attain it. This is a general command, in which Allah Most High ordered us to seek ways to come closer to taqwa in order for us to become realized and characterized with taqwa.

 

Be with the People of  Taqwa

Allah Most High also says, showing one of the means of taqwa, “You who believe, be mindful of Allah and be with those who are true” (Quran, 9:119). In this verse, Allah Most High commands us to have mindfulness or taqwa—that is, to protect ourselves from Allah’s wrath and punishment. He also highlights one of the most important ways to come closer to taqwa, which is to constantly be with the people of taqwa: being with those who are true with Allah, who are true to themselves, who are true to the believers and to all people. “Be with those who are true.” So if we are with those who are true, and constantly adhere to them, we shall attain taqwa.

Of course, this topic is one to be discussed in a matter of minutes, nor of hours, nor of days. It is a topic discussed in lengthy works and volumes. It is the subject of The Revival of the Religious Sciences and other works. But we will summarize this discussion with the utmost brevity.

 

  1. Keeping good company

In the most concise of hadiths, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “A person will be with the one whom they love.” He also said, in another hadith which is of the most concise statements on the topic, “A person is upon the way of their close companion. So let each of you look carefully as to whose close company you keep.”

The scholars of spirituality have explained that the first way to attain taqwa, the vigilance of Allah, and constant awareness of His presence is by keeping the company of people with these character traits, or of a scholar with these traits.

 

  1. Self-accounting

Allah Most High also says in His Great Book, “You who believe! Be mindful of Allah, and let every soul consider carefully what it sends ahead for tomorrow” (Quran, 59:18). In this verse, Allah Most High commanded us to be mindful, then showed one of the means to taqwa. What is this means? It is self-accounting (muhasaba). Self-accounting is one of the most important means to taqwa. “Let every soul consider carefully what it sends ahead for tomorrow”: this is referring to self-accounting.

Allah then follows this by saying, “Be mindful of Allah.” Here, He commands to have taqwa, and hence shows the means to attain it, and shows the result of that means. And the result of self-accounting is having mindfulness of Allah.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The smart person is the one who takes themself to account, and then acts for that which comes after death. And the incapacitated one is the one who allows their self to follow its desires.” This is the second of the primary means to attain taqwa.

 

  1. Remembrance of Allah (Dhikr)

The third way is giving attention to the remembrance of Allah. Allah Most High has emphasized having attention for His remembrance in a number of verses. Of the most concise of them is His saying, “Truly, it is by the remembrance of Allah that hearts find rest” (Quran, 13.28). This weighty statement begins with “Truly,” then “It is by the remembrance of Allah that hearts find rest.” 

Allah says, “Whoever turns away from the remembrance of the Lord of Mercy, We assign a devil as a comrade who deters people from the right path, even though they may think they are well guided.” (Quran, 43:36). Allah is our refuge! One who inclines away from the remembrance of Allah will constantly be with the Devil and on his way. They will not be aware of this nor refrain and imagine they are well guided.

The Prophet (Allah Most High bless him and give him peace) says in a concise statement from among his comprehensive words, “The difference between the one who remembers Allah and the one who does not remember Him is like the difference between the living and the dead.”

 

  1. Reciting the Quran with reflection

The fourth of the most important means to taqwa is to recite the Book of Allah Most High, with reflection, so that one may take reminder. As Allah Most High says, “This is a blessed Scripture which We sent down to you, for people to contemplate its verses and for those with understanding to take heed” (Quran, 38:29). This is because the Book of Allah is a healing for what is in the hearts, and guidance and mercy.

The most important of the means of taqwa, the most important means to fulfill God’s command to have taqwa, is that we give attention to these four matters, which are the most important ways to seek taqwa.

 

May Allah make us and you among those who carry out Allah’s commands, those who are realized in their meanings, those who seek ways to come closer to Allah and to become mindful of Him.

And peace be upon you, and Allah’s mercy and blessings.

 

 


 Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi and Dar al Fuqaha

It is an honor to have Shaykh Salih teach within the Dar al Fuqaha seminary in Istanbul. Read about him here. 

Human Potential: Greater than Angels or Lower than Beasts

Human Potential: The Two Paths Presented to Us

by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

This is the first of a series of articles by SeekersGuidance internal scholar Shaykh Yusuf Weltch on human potential. Shaykh Yusuf poses thought-provoking ideas about what humans are capable of; both success and destruction. The potential of both is within us – how do flee to Allah?


Amazing it is, the human’s potential. To become greater than the angels, in their beauty and perfection, or worse than the lowliest of beasts, in their selfish appetite driven temper. Why is it, though, I wonder, that we don’t have more angelic humans? Perhaps the answer is gravity.

I’m not talking about the gravity that caused Isaac Newton’s headache, per se. Rather the idea that falling is easier than climbing.

Although we have the potential for both great virtue and vice, the former requires strength and a strong resolve as opposed to the latter. Among the mind-boggling manifestations of human potential, is that the human can accomplish great feats and unheard of triumphs, when and only when he truly desires it.

Humans have climbed the highest of mountains and walked between skyscrapers with nothing holding them except a tightrope beneath their feet. Humans have the capacity to transcend their animalistic ways and adopt their God-given potential, however, only when deep desire and fervent zeal penetrates to the core of his heart.

Allah Most High says, “ But whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it accordingly, and is a ˹true˺ believer, it is they whose striving will be appreciated.” (Qur’an; 17:19)

The human’s striving is in accordance with their desire. The stronger the desire the greater the striving. It is because of this desire that the human dares to cast aside their animalistic desires for higher aims and purposes.

So for those whose deepest desire is a relationship with their Creator – a deep desire and yearning for reunion with the Divine – their striving manifests itself in their throwing off the garments of their lowly human qualities and transcending human norms and customs to a station indescribable.

At such a point, Allah Most High takes on the concern of their affairs and they live and act by God, for God, with God, and to God. Allah frees them from the shackles of worldly concerns and needs and they evaporate in the sea of true eternal love and gnosis.

As great as these words sound, very few have placed even the tip of a finger in such a sea or had even a moment of such realization. Most are trapped within the bonds of mere humanness, enslaved by worldly concerns, and subjugated to human norms and customs. What is the cause? An absence of desire. An absence of aspiration. A heart bereft of true yearning.

Imam Abdullah al-Haddad – a great 11 century scholar of Hadramawt – expressed that one’s start on the journey to God is by a strong impulse in their heart that urges them, pushes them, and compels them to turn fully to God and the Hereafter. It turns their attention away from the world and the concerns of creation.

He goes on to say that whoever Allah blesses with such a noble impulse must know its magnificent value and that it is the most tremendous blessing that Allah has bestowed upon them…

Allah has placed us before two paths – a path of virtue and a path of vice. We were then honored by our ability to choose. A trust of sorts. Such a trust that the heavens, earth, and mountains refused to carry. But the human bore its immense burden. Will we choose our appetites, our lusts, the constant seeking to inflate our egos? Will we choose to be pompous and arrogant? Will we allow ourselves to fall the proverbial fall from heaven?

Or will we finally realize that nothing in the mirage of the created realm could equate in any comparison to a relationship with the Creator of all. Will we finally wake up from our heedlessness and answer the call of Allah. What are we waiting for?! If we have Allah, we have everything and we escape the bondage of our lowly nature. Allah Most High tells us, “Flee to Allah..” (Qur’an; 51:50).

Let us then flee from the lowly and base inclinations and desires that will never be.


About the Author

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied inheritance law, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance teachers team in the summer of 2019.Join a free course taught by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch: