The Qur'an
Tazkiyyah (Spiritual Development)

How to Connect With the Qur’an

I want to share a beneficial technique which I feel is useful in connecting with the Qur’an and which I have been utilizing for a few years now. I see too many people obsessed with finishing the Qur’an without really connecting with it, which is one of its intended purposes. The advice below may be useful for everyday average Muslims who are not enrolled in an Islamic studies program and/or thorough study of the religious sciences. Of course, there is a much deeper and thorough connection that can be built with the Qur’an only through a thorough study of the…

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Tazkiyyah (Spiritual Development)

Fear and Hope in Allah

True and praiseworthy fear is that which comes between its possessor and what Allah Most High has prohibited. If it transcends beyond this, it could become hopelessness and despair. Praiseworthy hope is when a person performs acts of obedience through a light from Allah and anticipates His reward, or when one commits a sin and then repents to Allah hoping for forgiveness. As for one who is constantly indulging in excesses and wrongdoings and is entertaining hopes of mercy from Allah Most High without doing good deeds, then this is a delusion, empty wishing, and false hope. Abu Ali al-Rawdhbari…

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Tazkiyyah (Spiritual Development)

Spiritual Diseases of the Heart

Spiritual diseases of the heart are those sins which are committed by the heart and cannot be seen. They have an impact on our outer actions, because they are often the cause of other sins. Imam Al-Ghazali once wrote: “Other sins are like the mosquitoes hatched in a swampland and the sins of the heart are like the swampland itself. Unless the swampland (i.e. sins of the heart) is not eradicated, it would not be possible to get rid of the mosquitoes (i.e. other sins).” If we do not cure these diseases, we cannot truly get rid of the cycle…

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Tazkiyyah (Spiritual Development)

45 Supplications (Duas) Every Muslim Should Know

The supplication (dua) is a weapon of the believer. It is one of the best ways for a believer to connect with his Maker. Allah in the Qur’an commands the believers call out to Him: And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided. [Qur’an 2:186] In another verse Allah tells Muhammad (pbuh) to tell his followers: Say, [O Muhammad], “I only invoke…

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Tazkiyyah (Spiritual Development)

Ibn Taymiyyah on Khushu’ (Humility) in Prayer

The word khushu’, humility, implies two meanings: One is humility and submissiveness, while the other is calmness and tranquility, which require a tenderness of the heart that is contrary to harshness. Thus, a humble heart implies its worship of Allah as well as tranquility; hence, humbling oneself in prayer implies both humility and tranquility.  The word ‘humble’ cited in the verse “Those [the believers] who humble themselves in their prayers” (23:2) means to Ibn Abbas that the believers are in a state of submissiveness; according to al-Hassan and Qatadah, they are in a state of fear while praying before Allah. Also they…

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Tazkiyyah (Spiritual Development)

Six Inward Requirements for Fasting

By Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali 1. See Not What Displeases God A chaste regard, restrained from viewing anything that is blameworthy or reprehensible, or that distracts the heart and diverts it from the remembrance of God, Great and Glorious is He. Said the Prophet, on him be peace: ‘The furtive glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Satan, on him be God’s curse. Whoever forsakes it for fear of God will receive from Him, Great and Glorious is He, a faith the sweetness of which he will find within his heart.’ 2. Speak Not Guarding one’s tongue from twaddle,…

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Tazkiyyah (Spiritual Development)

Spiritual Development (Tazkiyyah): The Islamic Way

Islam does not subscribe to the type of asceticism where we purify our hearts and yet remain immersed in political, economic or social corruption. Tazkiyyah must encompass our entire life – the privacy of our thoughts as well as their social manifestations in our daily life. Everything must be in conformity with Allah’s will. This will of God also requires you to seek and maintain a delicate balance between the various obligations that demand your attention; between your obligations to Allah, your obligations towards others and your obligations towards yourself. The Prophet advised us against extremism of any kind. It…

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