Shaykh Abdur-Rahman (hafizahullah) explains that one of the main obstacles for the aspirant in reaching Allah is when they have too many links to the world. The Shaykh explains that the problem with this is that the aspirant begins to believe that there benefit and harm comes from the Allah (its people/objects) and not from Allah. This belief goes against the true conviction of faith that everything lies in the hands of Allah. The aspirant must understand that the Ultimate Benefactor and the only one who can cause distress is Allah, and thinking another to be the cause is a sign of a faulty heart and a weakness in ones iman. A sound heart is one which has its hope fully attached to its Creator and not on the creation. As Allah mentions in the Qur’an: “On that day none (wealth/children) will avail you except the one who comes to Allah with a sound heart.”
Shaykh Abdur-Rahman advises how the seeker should not rely purely on the prescribed dhikr regimen, the basic internal nutrition, for spiritual growth. Rather the path to Ihsaan lies in the fulfillment of both its internal and external factors. The external supplements needed for spiritual growth will come as a result of the seekers own exertion: being regular on the prayers; aiming to maintain purity both internally (keeping away from evil thoughts) and externally (trying to remain in a state of wudu) and other mentioned acts.
The light of prophecy is a light given to only the prophets whereas, the light of wilayah (friendship) is available to everyone. Shaykh mentions that the reason why hearts are not becoming illuminated with the Nur of Allah is because of the darkness of one’s sins from the fulfilment of ones unlawful passions and desires in this world. Shaykh Abdur-Rahman mentions three parts of the body that are constantly exposed to sins and how they are the gateway for dust settling on the heart. He explains that just how dust easily accumulates in ones house and needs regular cleaning, because of the salik’s constant exposure to the outside world regular polishing of the heart also must take place. Here, the Shaykh explains the importance of the aspirant exerting effort to increase one’s dhikr, trying to match their dhikr in accordance to their exposure to the dirt. If this is done the aspirant will find themselves less attracted to sins, having less problems and will find their love for Allah having increased.
In this talk the Seeker is reminded that the journey towards الله will be an ongoing struggle right until the end. The Shaykh advises that by the Seeker delving more into the names and attributes of الله it will increase one’s love for the Creator and thus increase ones pleasure in worship. This pleasure attained in worship along with adhering to disciplined values and cultivating the fear of الله within oneself is all which the seeker needs to assist them in their journey towards الله.
In this talk, Mufti Abdur-Rahman describes the correlation between performing good deeds and how it increases one in guidance. He highlights how one should race and strive to perform good deeds as الله loves piety, virtue and righteous actions. For the one who carries out a good deed, it is only that الله has responded by enshrouding them in happiness, success and prosperity. Shaykh mentions that only after one begins to grow in taqwa (god-consciousness) will he/she find their heart more receptive to the words of the Holy Qur’an, almost as if it is directly addressing them. He goes on to mention two praiseworthy traits which lie at the basis of ones faith that if one strives to acquire these traits, الله will grant them understanding of the pearls of wisdoms from the Qur’an whereby allowing the person to distinguish between those things which are the means of their assistance and those things which are the means of their downfall.
Shaykh Ibn Ata’illah al-Iskandari & Shaykh ‘Abdullah Gangohi
Translation of the Hikam by Victor Danner Commentary Edited by Andrew Booso & Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf
Muslim religious life not only consists of belief in orthodox tenets of faith and a determined effort to follow the Sacred Law, it also requires one to scale the heights of the spiritual path. The Kitab al-Hikam of Shaykh Ibn ‘Ata’illah al-Iskandari is the inspiring explanation of the soul’s journey through this life, as determined through the Qur’an and Sunna. Along with his treatises and intimate discourses (munajat), the substantive feature of the work is the author’s 264 spiritual aphorisms (hikam)—concise, comprehensive and sublime sayings on self purification (tazkiya), and guidelines to help strengthen the relationship between humans and their Lord. These aphorisms, which have never failed to inspire, are presented in this edition according to the systematic arrangement of the great Indian scholar Shaykh ‘Ali Muttaqi (d. 975/1567), together with the indispensable commentary of the twentieth-century sage Shaykh ‘Abdullah Gangohi.