Imam Al-Ghazali:

Report
IMAM AL-GHAZALI:
A Salik’s Journey to Allah
ADAB OF LEARNING AND ETIQUETTES OF THE
MASJID
• Arrive on time
• Face the Qibla
• Maintain Wudu
• Imagine that you are in the company of the angels
PURPOSE
• To introduce us to one of the greatest scholars of Islam
• To cover some of the essentials of our faith, especially
the inner dimensions.
• To prepare us for the arrival of Ramadan.
WHO WAS IMAM GHAZALI?
• He was born around 450 AH (or about 1060 CE) and died in
505 AH
• Born in Khorasan and studied under the most renowned
scholar Imam Juaani
• He mastered all of the Islamic sciences as well as the
secular sciences of the day (linguistics, philosophy, logic,
etc.).
• He memorized 12,000 pages of Fiqh texts, wrote influential
books read throughout the Muslim world, and was
responding to those who attacked Islam.
WHO WAS IMAM GHAZALI?
• Was given the highest position in Darul-Hikmah in
Baghdad
• Had celebrity status and was known throughout the
Muslim world for his extraordinary knowledge.
• Inner crisis
• Journey as a Salik
WHO WAS IMAM GHAZALI?
• Allah cast a light by which I began to see the reality of
things as they really are
• Imam Ibnul Arabi’s visits Imam Ghazali
• Story of Moroccan Imam burning the Ihya
• Importance of respecting our scholars.
• Every 100 years Allah sends someone to revive the
Dean.
THE REVIVAL OF THE ISLAMIC SCIENCES
• There are 40 books and he himself is 40 years old at
this time. The first 10 deal with Ibaadat (prayer, fasting,
etc.), the next 10 are the Aadat (eating, marriage,
traveling, etc.), Muhlekaat (mortal vices) and then the
Munjiaat (saving virtues like repentance, Tafaqur, love,
etc.). He begins his first book on Ilm and ends his book
on the remembrance of death and the After Life. The
middle point exactly in this book (or Book 20) is on the
good manners of the Messenger of Allah.
THEME 1
• Muaamelaat
• Mukaashefaat
• Everything has a Zahir and a Batin
• The Quran is not just a revealed book but a hidden
book.
EXAMPLES
• Wudu
• Salawat
• Fiqh (examples of Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik)
• Knowledge of Allah
• Your prayer has become mechanistic (feet and not as
much focus on the heart). The entire purpose of
worship is to attain nearness to Allah and you are
preoccupied with whether the Tarawi is 8 or 20.
THEME 2
• As a believer is on a path to Allah, there are a few
obstacles that he/she can expect to encounter.
OBSTACLE 1
• Shaitaan
OBSTACLE 2
• Sin
OBSTACLE 3
• Love of Dunya
OBSTACLE 4
• Company of the heedless
OBSTACLE 5
• Nafs
CURES
• The cures are a life long journey and should be done
under the supervision of a teacher.
• However, our religion is designed to combat these
obstacles if done properly.
THEME 3
• The first step in performing a deed properly is having
the right intention.
• Uses the example of gold.
• If a deed is done for the wrong reasons but is done
absolutely properly, then it becomes a non-deed and a
source of debasement in the Hereafter.
EXAMPLES
• A qaarey, Mujahid, and charitable person.
• Story of Dhul Quaysira of Banu Tameem after Hunayn.
CONSIDER THE OPPOSITE
• Man who had his body burned.
• Man who lost his camel.
• Syedna Abu Bakr and his cloak.
• A person who simply intends to give but gives nothing.
• Summary
• Suggestions for the arrival of our friend.
WHO IS ALLAH?
• Allah in His essence is One, without any partner, Single
without any similar, Eternal without any opposite,
Separate without any like. He is One: prior with nothing
before Him, from eternity, without any beginning,
abiding in existence with none after Him, in Eternity,
without any end, subsisting without ending, abiding
without termination. He hath not ceased, and He will
not cease to be described with glorious epithets. He is
the First and Last, the External and Internal and He
knows everything.
WHO IS ALLAH?
• We witness that He is not a body possessing bounds
and limits—He does not resemble bodies either in
limitation or in accepting division. He is not a
substance, no entity resembles him, nothing is like Him
and He is not like anything, measure does not limit Him
and boundaries do not contain Him, the directions do
not surround Him and neither the earth nor heavens are
on different sides of Him.
WHO IS ALLAH?
• There is not in His essence his equal, nor in His equal
His essence. He is far removed from change of state or
of place. Events have no place in Him and mishaps do
not befall Him. Nay, He does not cease through His
glorious qualities to be far removed from changing and
through His perfect qualities to be independent of
perfecting increase.
WHO IS ALLAH?
• We witness that He is living, powerful and
commanding. Inadequacy and weakness befall Him
not, He is the Lord of the Worlds—the visible world and
the invisible, that of force and that of might, He
possesses rule, creation and the command: He created
the creatures and their works and decreed their
sustenance and their terms of life.
WHO IS ALLAH?
• We witness that He knows all the things that can be known,
comprehending that which happened from the bounds of the
earth unto the highest heavens; no grain in the earth or in the
heavens is distant from His knowledge—yes, He knows the
creeping of the little ant upon the rugged rock in a dark night
and He perceives the movement of the mote in the midst of
the air; He knows the secret and the concealed and has
knowledge of the suggestions of the minds and the movement
of the thoughts and the concealed things of the inmost
parts—by a knowledge which is prior from eternity.
WHO IS ALLAH?
• We witness that He is The Willer of the things that are, and
the things that happen; there does not come about in the
world, seen or unseen, little or much, small or great, good
or evil, advantage or disadvantage, faith or unbelief,
knowledge or ignorance, success or loss, increase or
diminution, obedience or rebellion—except by His will.
What He wills is, and what He wills not is not. We witness
that He is the All Hearing, the All Seeing and no audible
thing is distant from His hearing and no visible thing is far
from His seeing, however fine it may be. Distance does not
curtain off His hearing and darkness does not dull His
seeing.
WHO IS ALLAH?
• And we witness that He speaks, commands, forbids,
praises as well as threatens with a speech that is
subsisting in His essence from all eternity, not
resembling the speech of created things. He is Living,
Knowing, Powerful, Willer, Hearer, Seer as well as
Speaker through Life. Power, Knowledge, Will, Hearing,
Seeing, Speech—none of these are separated from His
essence.
TAWHEED
• Tawheed is to see the Creator in the creation. It is to
see the Provider in the provision.
EXAMPLES
• Surah Noor, Ayat 41
• Surah Duqaan, Ayat 29: Neither heaven nor the earth shed a tear for
them and they were not given any respite.
• Al-Imran, Ayat 191: Those who remember Allah standing, sitting, lying
down and they contemplate the wonders of creation in the heavens
and the earth. They say, Our Lord You have not created this in vain,
Glory to You. Give us relief from the fire.
• Al-Anbiya, Ayat 79 It was Our power that made the hills and the birds
celebrate Our Praises with Dawood and it was Allah who did all of
these things.
• Frog
• Trees
EYES OF THE MESSENGER
• The Messenger of Allah remarked, If you could see
what I see, you would find Allah everywhere.
OPPOSITE OF TAWHEED IS SHIRK
• Shirk Al-Jali
• Shirk Al-Khafi
QUESTION ON THE DAY OF RECKONING
• On the Day of Judgment, Allah will say, “Go to those
who you were doing these acts for and see if they have
any rewards for you on this Day.
ONE STORY, TWO JOKES
• Cat
• I am fasting
• I am nothing
PRAYER
• So when we pray, we go from praising Allah to be in his
presence. We go from Khitab Al-Gaaib to Khitaab alHadir (we go from a third person to the first person and
we speak to Allah directly (You alone we worship…).
We enter into the presence of our Lord. We say
Assalamu alayka and not Assalamu alayhi).
OBSERVATIONS
• Driving
• Yawning
BENEFITS
• Benefits of doing actions properly are many including
good dreams, a peaceful heart, enjoyment in worship,
and very importantly, he says that you will begin to
want to perform more worship because it’s meaningful
to you. He calls this Zaouq.). But an important blessing
is that your heart will do the Zikr without you knowing it.
IMPORTANT REMINDER
• Remember that whenever we speak or act, we have an
audience of One.
HEART OF THE MESSENGER
• The actions of the Prophet (alei salam) emanated from
a luminous heart. The reason his actions were so pure
is because his heart was pure. This is why Syedna Abu
Bakr said immediately after he (alei salam) passed
away, Oh Messenger of Allah, you were pure in life and
pure in death. The Quran says that Allah revealed the
Quran on the heart of the Messenger of Allah (alei
salam).
WHY DO WE PRAY?
• We don’t need to pray if there was only the body and
flesh.
• Reason 1: Our spirit was in the presence of Allah at
one time, before time.
• Reason 2: Salah removes impurities. (Hadith of a man
who bathes in a river).
WHY DO WE PRAY?
• Reason 3: Prayer is an opportunity for us to converse
with Allah. He gives the example of earthly kings and
the King of Kings. Allah allows us to converse with Him
intimately. Unlike earthly kings, He gently invites
whereas earthly kings grant you to see them on
occasion and when they have received a gift.
WHY DO WE PRAY?
• Reason 4: It is the first thing we are going to be asked
about and if it is sound then our other deeds will be
considered. Allah will not consider our other virtues if
we are neglectful of our prayer.
• Syedna Abu Bakr used to say when the call to prayer
was announced, Get up and extinguish the hell fire you
have kindled for yourself.
WHY DO WE PRAY?
• Reason 5: We pray because it is the most beloved to
Allah and most beloved to the best of creation (alei
salam). He says that if something was more beloved to
Allah then the angels would be performing that act. We
know that countless rows of angels are performing
some act of Salah.
SAJDA
• The servant draws nearest to Allah in prostration.
Shaitaan weeps and says “This person has obeyed and
paradise is his. I too was commanded to prostrate, but I
disobeyed and hell is my lot.”
• He says that when you prostrate, you should imagine
that you are restoring the branch with its root. When
you go back for a second prostration, you are
reaffirming your connection with Allah.
SAJDA
• A good word from Allah is like a good tree, whose root
is firmly fixed and its branches reach the sky. It brings
forth fruit at all times by the permission of its Lord. And
Allah narrates stories for mankind so that they may
remember and be guided. (Surah Ibrahim, Ayat 24-25)
GROUND
• Syedna Anas Ibn Malik said, If a person remembers
Allah on a plot of ground, either in prayer or in Zikr, that
plot will boast this honor to all the surrounding plots.
TWO PRAYERS
• If someone performs the prayer properly and with
sincere intension and due humility, the prayer will rise
up, bright and luminous, and will say “May Allah take
care of you as you have taken care of me.” But if the
opposite is true, the prayer will rise up like a dark cloud
and will say “May Allah neglect you as you have
neglected me.” Then it will be folded up like a rug and
that person will be slapped in the face with it.
EXAMPLES
• Syedna Ali use to quake and change color when he
used to stand for the prayer. When questioned, he used
to remark that this trust was offered to the heavens and
the earth and the mountains who rejected it. And we
have taken it on.
• Syedna Muslim Ibn Yasar did not notice the collapse of
a column of the Masjid while he was praying. There
were Sahaba who would perform prayer before pulling
an arrow from their body to ease the pain.
EXAMPLES
• Syedna Rabia Ibn Qaythum used to visit Syedna Abdullah
Ibn Masud for 20 years. He used to keep his gaze low and
his eyes used to be mostly closed. Syedna Abdullah’s
servants used to say that your blind friend is here. Once
while the two were walking, he fell unconscious when he
saw a blacksmith working with fire. He used to say that
when I begin my prayer, the only thought that enters my
mind and heart is that I am speaking with Allah and He is
speaking with me. Syedna Abdullah remarked that if the
Messenger of Allah (alei salam) was alive today, he would
have loved you and smiled upon seeing you.
EXAMPLES
• Syedna Talha and Syedna Zubair were famous for
keeping their prayers brief. When asked why they do
this, they responded that they do it to forestall the
whisperings of Shaitaan.
EXAMPLES
• Hatem al-Asad said, “When the time for prayer
approaches, I go to the spot where I intend to pray and
sit there until all my limbs are in a collected state. Then
I stand to perform my prayer, placing the Ka’ba
between my forehead, the Siraat under my feet,
paradise to my right and hell to my left, and the angel of
death behind me with the thought that this will be my
last prayer. I stand in the presence of Allah between
hope and fear, and only then do I say Allahu Akbar.”
STATE OF MIND
• Awareness
• Understanding
• Reverence. A person can be both aware and understand but not show
reverence.
• Awe: this is above reverence because it emanates from fear and
recognizing the glory and majesty of Allah.
• Hope: this is the hope of Allah’s pleasure that Allah may accept it from
us.
• Shame: this is the realization of one’s deficiencies and sins that one
has done.
AFTER THE PRAYER
• After our prayer, we do Istighfar with a sense of shame.
• Sometime a wrong action that engenders humility and
repentance is better than a right action that engenders
a sense of superiority and arrogance.
• Wrong actions enable us to become humbled by them.
AFTER THE PRAYER
• Then you thank Allah for allowing you to perform this
prayer. And imagine that you are saying farewell to this
prayer and you may not see another like it.
• Even as humans, we emphasize not the gift but how it
is presented.
ZIKR
• The Adab of performing Zikr:
• Perform a proper Wudu with a present heart.
• Face the Qibla
• Lower your gaze
• Remember death
• Imagine that you are in the presence of Allah and only
then begin your Zikr. (Hudur Billah).
TIME
• Time is of the essence.
THREE PARTS
• Glorification of Allah
• Istighfar
• Salawat
ANGELIC AND ANIMALISTIC SIDES
• Angelic and animalistic side. When we allow our
animalistic side to guide our behavior, we join the rank
of the animal herd. Himmar Bin Nahar and Jifa Bil Layl.
And when we cultivate our angelic side, then we join
the rank of the angels who are in the presence of Allah.
• Conversation of the two devils
• Nafs
SENSORY PLEASURES
• There are five sensory pleasures according to
Syedna Ali that Imam Ghazali discusses:
• Drink
• Food
• Cloth
• Scent
• ??
THREE SELVES
• He talks about the swine, the dog and the sage. The
swine is the appetitive self and the dog is the metaphor
for the lustful self. The first two have preoccupied us
and the sage (the spiritual self) within has been buried.
• Donkeys by day and dead corps by night
RAMADAN
• The great cleanser
• Fish at the bottom of the sea
THREE GRADES OF FASTING
• There are three grades of fasting: ordinary, special and
superlative. Ordinary deals with abstaining from food,
drink, and other desires. Special fasting deals with
keeping one’s eyes, ears, and other parts of the body
free from sin. And superlative fasting is the fasting of
the heart.
ARE WE REALLY FASTING?
• Story of two women who vomit in a bowl. These two women
fasted the proper way. But they broke their fast on the flesh
of others. They sat together and indulged in backbiting and
the Prophet (alei salam) stated to the effect that the vomit is
the flesh of the people they backbit against.
• Silence in the face of backbiting is unlawful. The Prophet
(alei salam) taught that the backbiter and listener are
copartners in sin.
• Exceptions
ARE WE REALLY FASTING ?
• “It doesn’t make sense to fast from lawful things and
then indulge in the unlawful. A man who fasts like this is
compared to one who builds a castle but demolishes a
city. A person might give up excessive use of medicine
from fear of its effects, but he would be a fool to switch
to taking poison. The unlawful is a poison that is deadly
to your Dean, while the lawful is a medicine, beneficial
in small doses but harmful in excess.”
ARE WE REALLY FASTING?
• Syedna Abu Dharda: How many of those who fast are
not fasting and how many of those who are not fasting
are keeping the fast. The fasting person who is a nonfaster is the one who keeps his limbs and organs free
of sin while eating and drinking. The non-faster who
keeps his fast is the one who refrains from eating and
drinking but is a servant to his lower desires.
ARE WE REALLY FASTING?
• Imam Ghazali gives the example to describe such a person as
the one who performs Wudu by going through the motions
without using water. Because of his stupidity, his Wudu and
prayer are rejected. In contrast, he who eats and yet fasts by
keeping his limbs pure is like the one who performs Wudu with
water once over his body. His Wudu and prayer are accepted
because he paid attention to the essentials, even if he omitted
the details. But the one who combines the two may be
compared to the one who washes each part of his body three
times and therefore attains perfection.
FAST OF THE HEART
• “What use is the fast as a means of conquering Allah’s
enemy that at the time of breaking the fast, one makes up
for what he missed during the daytime and then indulges in
a variety of excessive eating which makes the Nafs
stronger. It is well known that the object of fasting is to
weaken the Nafs so as to empower the soul.”
• Give body its rights but not its privileges
• Focusing on anything that is Ghair Allah is to be rejected
FORGIVENESS
• He says that sweet water tastes bitter in the mouth of the
sick. It’s not that the water is bitter, but rather, the container
of the person is sick. Thus, as the body gets sick and weak
by disease, so as the heart gets sick by sin. These sins are
preventing you from enjoying the true pleasure of your
worship. And this is the punishment. Being deprived from
the sweetness of Zikr is the punishment. So stop doing
what you are doing in the day, ask Allah for forgiveness,
and Allah will grant you the ultimate gift of enjoying worship.
This will be your gift and you will have a content heart.
ETIQUETTES
• Intention before Fajr of the day of the fast
• Take Suhuur even if it be with one date or water
• My Ummah will be in good standing as long as they
take a late Suhuur and break the fast early (i.e.
immediately as the call to the Maghrib prayer is
announced)
• Vomiting, Gargling, and Accidently Eating or Drinking
ETIQUETTES
• Dua of the fasting person right before breaking the fast
is not rejected.
• Soumukum Yaoma Tasoomun, Wa Fitr Rakum Yaoma
Tafturoon (Your fasting is the day you begin your fast,
and your Fitr is the day of your Eid.”
INTERNATIONAL SIGHTING
• If the moon is not sighted internationally, and if it is
sighted by us, then what would you go with?
• Saudi Arabia follows local moon sighting
• Emphasis is on Matla
• Fajr
• Eclipse
LOCAL MOON SIGHTING
• If there is textual proof of following international
sighting, then there is no harm in going with it.
• Focus on what is most important which is the group
and attaining nearness to Allah.
WHAT TO AVOID
• Following one country
• Calculation
REMINDERS
• Intention should be pure like gold. Remember we have
an audience of One.
• Wudu is a purification and a vehicle by which the noble
eyes of the Messenger (alei salam) will recognize us.
• Salawat should be extended with correct presence
• Salah is to be done as if we are in the presence of Allah
• Sajda

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