"O my soul, it is only a few days, bear them patiently.A lifetime seems long but a flitting reverie"

~Imam Shafi~
" “The heart will rest and feel relief if it is settled with Allah and it will worry and be anxious if it is settled with people.” – Ibn al-Qayyim"....Say : "This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me with sure knowledge" (Qur'an - 12:108) "Say: we believe in God and in what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il: Isaac, Jacob and The Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another, among them, and to God do we bow our will (in Islam)." (Qur'an, Al-Imran 3:84) . "And if he (Muhammad SAW) had forged a false saying concerning Us (Allah),We would have seized him by the right hand;And then certainly should have cut off his life artery (Aorta),And none of you could withhold Us from (punishing) him" (Qur'an,Al-Haqqah 69:44-47) "Do they not ponder the Quran! If it were revealed from a source other than Allah,certainly they would have found,many contradictions."[Holy Quran 4:82] " O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions (good or bad), a sure returning, and you will meet (i.e. the results of your deeds which you did)" [Holy Qur'an, 84:6] Say, "Is it other than Allah I should desire as a lord while He is the Lord of all things? And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ." ~Holy Quran 6:164 Imam Malik (rh): “Do not look to the sins of people as if you are Lords, but look to your own sins as if you are slaves. Have mercy on the people of affliction and praise Allah for your well-being, and never say, ‘This person is from the people of Hellfire, and this person is from the people of Paradise.’ Do not be arrogant over the sinners, but rather ask Allah to grant them hidayah and rashad (i.e. guidance).” Ibn Kathir (Ra) narrated: كان نقش خاتم عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه : كفى بالموت واعظاً ياعمر “The engraving on ‘Umar ibn al Khataab’s(Ra) ring was: “Sufficient is death as an admonisher O Umar”. ["Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaaya]. "When you fear the creation, you run away from it, but when you fear the Creator, you feel close to Him,& run towards Him.".Ibn Qayyim . "Allahumma la‘aisha illa‘aish-al-Aakhirah": 'There is no life but the life of the next world' "And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (i.e. death)". (Quran 15:99) “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways.And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” [Quran: 29:69] "... And my success is not but through Allah . Upon him I have relied, and to Him I return." ~ Al Quran 11:88
"Nothing in this world is really useful to you unless it has some utility and value for the next world"-Imam Ali(R)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Enlightenment from Imam Ghazzali

Use your time wisely!

You should not neglect your time or use it haphazardly; on the contrary you should bring yourself to account, structure your litanies and other practices during each day and night, and assign to each period a fixed and specific function. This is how to bring out the spiritual blessing (baraka) in each period. But if you leave yourself adrift, aimlessly wandering as cattle do, not knowing how to occupy yourself at every moment, your time will be lost. It is nothing other than your life, and your life is the capital that you make use of to reach perpetual felicity in the proximity of God the Exalted.
Each of your breaths is a priceless jewel, since each of them is irreplaceable and, one gone, can never be retrieved. Do not be like the deceived fools who are joyous because each day their wealth increases while their life shortens. What good is an increase in wealth when life grows ever shorter? Therefore be joyous only for an increase in knowledge or in good works, for they are your two companions who will accompany you in your grave when your family, wealth, children, and friends stay behind.
- Imam Ghazali rahimullah –


The soul should take care of the body, just as the pilgrim on his way to Makkah takes care of his camel; but if the pilgrim spends his whole time in feeding and adorning his camel, the caravan will leave him behind, and he will perish in the desert.
— Imām al-Ghazzālī [رحمه الله] -

Imam al-Ghazzali 
Imam al-Ghazzali (rahmatullah alayhi) spent much of his life making this point, in some very sophisticated ways. Let me read to you his very passionate defense of this Qur’anic principle:
“If you are educating yourself, take up only those branches of knowledge which have been required of you according to your present needs, as well as those which pertain to the outward actions such as learning the elements of prayer, purification and fasting. More important however, is the science which have all neglected, namely, the science of the attributes of the heart, those which are praiseworthy and those which are blameworthy, because people persist in the latter, such as miserliness, hypocrisy, pride and conceit, all of which are destructive and from which it is obligatory to desist. Performing these outward deeds is like the external application of an ointment to the body when it is stricken with scabies and boils while neglecting to remove the pus by means of a scalpel or a purge. False ulema recommended outward deeds just as fake physicians prescribe external ointments [for virulent internal diseases]. The ulema who seek the aakhirah, however, recommend nothing but the purification of the nafs and the removal of the elements of evil by destroying their nursery-beds and uprooting them from the heart.”
A key component of the Ghazalian agenda is the restoration of balance between outward and inward. And the Imam himself realized that the balance comes about primarily through cultivating the inward. For a balance, which is the true meaning of al-sirat al-mustaqim, is a subtle thing, and requires wisdom, and wisdom exists only when the sould is illuminated.

After a long study of 2 years when Imam Ghazzali (rahimahu Llah) was returning, he was blocked by a bandits, who tried to snatch his and companions belonging. Among them was his books and notes, the Chief among the robbers snatched it from him, and imam says,
It contains all that i have learned, and it is not of use to you.
The reply that the chief gave changed his life, Cheif said,
So, all that i have to do to strip away your knowledge is to take these notes.
Which made him realize
Your real possession is that which you will not lose in a ship wreck (sinking ship) – i.e. your imaan and good deeds with sincerity and what you memorized.

If you see Allah, Might and Magnificent, holding back this world from you, frequently trying you with adversity and tribulation, know that you hold a great status with Him. Know that He is dealing with you as He does with His Awliya and chosen elite, and is watching over you.
- Imam al-Ghazzali (rahimullah) -

“Hikmah is knowledge of the most excellent of things through the most excellent Knowledge. Allah is therefore the true possessor of hikmah (Hakim), since He knows the most excellent things through the most excellent knowledge…”
- Imam al-Ghazzali (rahimullah) -


Each faculty of our delights in that for which it was created;
lust delights in accomplishing desire, anger in taking vengeance,
the eye in seeing beautiful objects, and the ear in hearing harmonious sounds.
The highest function of the soul is the perception of truth.
- Imam al-Ghazzali rahimahu Llah -


I reflected on my intention in public teachings, and I saw that it was not directed purely to God, but rather was instigated and motivated by the quest for fame and widespread prestige. So I became certain that I was on the brink of a crumbling bank… Mundane desires began tugging me with their chains to remain as I was, while the herald of faith was crying out:
“Away! Up and away! Only a little is left of your life, and a long journey lies before you! All the theory and practice in which you are engrossed is eyeservice and fakery! If you do not prepare now for the afterlife, when will you do so? And if you do not sever there attachments now, then when will you sever them?”
- Imam Ghazzali –


It is personally obligatory to….

Imam Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (rahimullah) said: “As for having knowledge of the heart and its diseases such as: envy, conceitedness, ostentation, and its likes, al-Ghazzali said that it is personally obligatory upon each individual.”
Source: Al-Ashbah wal-Naza’ir

Imam Ghazzali while dying…

There is a story to the effect that when Imam Al-Ghazzali fell ill and felt that his death was approaching, he sent away those who were with him. No one entered his presence until the next morning when they went in as he had bidden them. They found him facing Qiblah, clad in his shroud, dead, and at his head they found a sheet of paper bearing these verses:

“Say to my friends when they look upon me dead
Weeping for me and mourning me in sorrow
Do not believe that this corpse you see is myself.

In the name of God I tell you it is not I
I am a spirit and this is nothing but flesh
It was my abode and my garment for a time.
I am a treasure, by a talisman kept hid,
Fashioned of dust which served me as a shrine.

I am a pearl which has left it’s shell deserted
It was my prison where I spent my time in grief.
I am a bird and this body was my cage
Whence I have now flown forth and it is left as a token,
Praise be to God Who has now set me free
And prepared for me my place in the highest of the heaven.

Until today I was dead though alive in your midst.
Now I live in truth with the grave-clothes discarded.
Today I hold converse with the saints above.
Now with no veil between I see God face to face
I look upon the tablet (Lawh Al-Mahfuz) and therein I read
Whatever was and is and all that is to be.

Let my house fall in ruins. Lay my cage in the ground.
Cast away the talisman. It is a token, no more.
Lay aside my cloak. It was but my outer garment.
Place them all in the grave. Let them be forgotten.
I have passed on my way and you are left behind
Your place of abode was no dwelling-place for me.
Think not that death is death. Nay, it is life,

A life that surpasses all we could dream of here.
While in this world we are granted sleep.
Death is but sleep, a sleep that shall be prolonged.
Be not afraid when death draws near.
It is but the departure for this blessed home
Think of the mercy and love of your Lord,
Give thanks for His Grace and come without fear.

What I am now even so shall you be
For I know that you are even as I am.
The souls of all people come forth from God.
The bodies of all are compounded alike.
Good and evil alike it was ours.
I give you now a message of good cheer.
May God’s peace and joy for evermore be yours.”

Taken from “Al-Ghazzali His Psychology Of The Greater Struggle” by Laleh Bakhtair (Page 111)

Useful knowledge


Useful knowledge is that which makes you grow in the fear of Allah, increases you in awareness of your defects, deepens your knowledge of the worship of your Lord Most High, decreases your desire for this world and increases your desire for the life to come, and opens your eyes to the defects of your actions so that you guard against them.
                                               -- Imam Al-Ghazali –

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