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Al-Cordoby  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Topic: Purifying The Soul
    Posted: 01 May 2008 at 1:27pm
I just found and bought a book titled (Selected Writing on Purifying the Soul) by Sa'eed Hawwa
 
The book is based on the famous book of Imam Al-Ghazali, Al-Ihyaa' (Revival of the Sciences of Religion)
 
The author explains that purifying the soul is comprised of purification, incorporating this inner change into one's actions, and emulating righteous deeds which through ritual practices affects one's behaviour toward Allah and His creation. It also has its effect in disciplining the body in accordance with Allah's commandments
 
He views that purifying the heart and soul can be attained through performing acts of worship and other deeds, if performed correctly, purify the heart and consequently affect the other organs and limbs such as the tongue, the eye, the ear, ... and so on. The most apparent fruit of the purified soul is proper conduct and higher morals with regards to Allah and mankind
 
In this way, the soul is purified and the fruit is made manifest. One result is the disciplining of the body in conformity with Allah's commandments with regards to one's dealings with family, neighbors, society and humanity at large.
 
This is the subject matter of this book
 
Some summary extracts will follow In-Shaa-Allah in due course
 
May Allah purify our souls and guide us to His Straight Path
 
Ameen
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 02 May 2008 at 4:22pm
Extracts from Chapter 1: Prayer
 
Prayer is the greatest means of purifying the soul. It is the token of a purified soul so, it is both a means and an end at the same time.
 
Prayer inculcates in the heart of man the meaning of Tawhid and the meaning of servitude to Allah, as well as being a token of greatefulness to Him. ...
 
Establishing prayer wipes out boastfulness, vain pride and rebellion against Allah. It reminds one of the Lordship of Allah and His governance over all affairs. Indeed, establishing prayer perfectly and punctually eradicates ostentation, and improper and indecent behavior [in its entirety] ...
 
Humility is the key element, which enables the worshiper to purify his soul and adher to noble characteristics. ...
 
Humility is the prime evidence of a healthy heart. If it is taken away, the Muslim's heart is ruined. When humility deserts the heart, the heart is attacked by egregious vices such as extreme love for this life, or competing with others for worldly pleasures. The heart that is overcome with love for this worldly life loses love for the Hereafter. When the heart reaches this stage, there is no hope for the Muslim to progress ...
 
The chapters of this book aim at awakening humility in the soul. If one befriends righteous companions as well, one is further supported on his path. Humility in the prayer is the measure of humility in the heart ...
 
(to be continued In-Shaa-Allah) ...
 
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 04 May 2008 at 12:44am
The Inner Dimensions Required for a Living Prayer
 
Know that this subject can be dealt with extensively, but we shall summarize it into six items: the conscious heart, profound understanding, glorification of Allah, feeling awa for Him, hoping for His reward, and feeling shame.
 
- The Attendant Heart: By an attendant heart we mean that the heart should be entirely dedicated to what the worshipper recites and does in order to connect words with action. The worshipper's thoughts should not be distracted by affairs unconnected with the Prayer. Thus, the attendant heart can be achieved as long as the worshipper considers [deeply] what he does and says
 
- Deep Understanding: Deep understanding is the direct result of an attendant heart. It may be that the worshipper performs the Prayer with a heart conscious of the verbal words without reflecting on their meaning. People differ concerning the meanings of the Qur'an and the words of glorification. Many subtle meanings that did not occur to the worshipper come to light while in Prayer. For this reason, Prayer is an effective instrument in shunning improper conduct and immorality [reprehensible abominations], for it certainly demonstrates to the worshipper how he may eschew evil
 
- Glorification of Allah: This arises from both the attendant heart and deep understanding. ... the worshipper should pray unto his Lord with extreme reverence.
 
- Feeling Awe [Veneration]: Feeling awe is different from glorification, for it is the feeling arising from the latter. Other types of fear are base feelings, and are in no way to be equated with the feeling of awe
 
- Hope: It is an increasing affair. ... the servant of Allah should hope for Allah's reward in his Prayer, just as he should fear His punishment on account of his shortcomings
 
- Modesty [Haya']: It is very important because it is the feeling of not wanting to fail in fulfilling one's covenant with Allah, and the fear of committing sins. Glorification, fear and hope could not be imagined without the feeling of modesty
 
( ... to be continued In-Shaa-Allah ... )
 
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote saira3 Replybullet Posted: 04 May 2008 at 1:27am
Salaam brother and jazakhAllah khair for this thread.
SAIRA3 AKA SAIRA2 AKA SAIRA!!
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 05 May 2008 at 1:01am
Salam sister, and Jazakum Allah Khairan
 
How to Have A Counscious Heart in Prayer?
 
Know that consciousness of the heart is a result of determination.
 
Your heart follows your determination; it strives for what you determine as long as you adhere to it. It has been created for this purpose. When one performs the Prayer with an absent heart, this does not mean that the heart is idle; rather it is absorbed in your worldly conserns.
 
Thus, there is no way to perform the Prayer with an attendant heart except through determination to focus totally on the Prayer.
 
You will have no determination to focus completely on the Prayer until your aim is clear: this is the [firm] belief that the Hereafter is better and more lasting, and that the Prayer is the road to this [salvation] ...
 
( ... to be continued In-Shaa-Allah ... )
 
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 07 May 2008 at 1:02am
The Useful Remedy for a Conscious Heart
 
Know that the Muslim should constantly glorify Allah, fear Him, hope for His reward, and be ever responsive to His commands
 
He should never abandon these traits after faith has entered his heart ...
 
Nothing distracts the worshipper except recurring thoughts. The answer to this is to repulse such thoughts, while one must go to the root cause.
 
External factors are what distracts the hearing or sight by taking away one's attention from the Prayer. A worshipper who has a strong determination will not be distracted by this. For the weak worshipper, the remedy lies in removing such causes by lowering the gaze, praying in a dark place, leaving what may attract his attention out of the Prayer, and performing the Prayer as close as possible to a screen. ...
 
The inner causes are stronger,  for he who is distracted by worldly concerns becomes confused in many affairs. He may wonder from place to place, while lowering his gaze does not help him. Such a person must compel his soul to comprehend what he recites in Prayer and to focus on it. It is helpful to prepare onself before uttering the opening Takbeer reminding himself of the Hereafter, reflecting on the gravity of standing before Allah, who sees and watches all things, and to supplicate Allah's help in the matter ...
 
( ... to be continued In-Shaa-Allah ... )
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 09 May 2008 at 4:54am
Extracts from Chapter 2: Zakah
 
Poor-due [Zakah] and Spending in the Way of Allah

Zakah and spending in the way of Allah occupy a role in the purification of the soul, second only to Prayer.

This is because the human soul was created with an inclination towards miserliness.

Allah (SWT) says:

"... And human inner-selves are swayed by greed ..." (4:128)

Spending in the way of Allah purifies the soul from miserliness. Allah (SWT) says:

" And Al-Muttaqun [the pious] will be far removed from it [Hell]. He who spends his wealth for increase in purification." (92:17-18)

Zakah and spending in the way of Allah are effective in purifying the soul only if both the external and internal manners are properly attended to ...

(... details to follow In-Shaa-Allah ...)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 12 May 2008 at 12:55am

Curing Miserliness and Thanking Allah

It is necessary to purify the Muslims from miserliness, for it is destructive.

The Messenger of Allah is reported to have said:

"There are three destructive things: to be a miser, to follow ones whim, and to be arrogant."

Thanking Allah Through Zakah

One should thank Allah for the favors He grants for the soul, the body, and wealth. The acts of worshop express thankfulness for physical favors. Giving one's wealth in charity expresses gratitude for the blessing of money one has.

Also, concealing one's Zakah is superior, for it is farther from showing off and ostentation.

The Messenger of Allah said:

"The best Zakah is that paid by a person whose sources hardly suffices him to a poor man in secrecy".

In The Qur'an, Allah (SWT) says;

" ... But if you conceal and give to the poor that is better for you." (2:271)

(... to be continued In-Shaa-Allah ...)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 15 May 2008 at 12:40am

Fasting

Among the means of purifying the soul, fasting occupies the third most important place.

The desire for food and sexual gratification are two overwhelming cravings that urge man to deviate from the straight path. Fasting helps the Muslim to overcome both desires.

If patience occupies the highest rank in virtues, then fasting is its means. For this reason, it was narrated that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:

"Fasting is one half of patience"

(Hadith in Al-Tirmidhi)

( ... to be continued In-Shaa-Allah ... )

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 17 May 2008 at 12:56am

The Inner Dimensions of Fasting and its Conditions

There are three levels of fasting:

- Fasting of the mases, it is [mere] abstention from food and sex

- The fast of the righteous [goes a step further and] debars the heart from base concerns and worldly pleasures

- The fast of the elite [does all this and] avoids all concerns that distract the heart from any other than Allah

The fast of the righteous is the abstention of the limbs from evil. This sort of fast has six conditions:

1) Lowering one's gaze from unlawful scenes and whatever distracts from the remembrance of Allah

2) To keep one's tongue from delirium, backbitting, slandering, lewdness, debauchery and dispute along with compelling it to silence and preoccupying it with the remembrance of Allah and the recitation of the Qur'an (this fasting is related to the tongue)

3) A fasting person should avoid hearing or listening to improper speech

4) A fasting person should keep his limbs from detested actions and his stomach from suspect food at the time of breaking fast

5) A fasting person should not overeat after having broken his fast

6) The heart of the fasting person should be suspended between hope and fear, for he does not know whether his fast will be accepted or not

( ... to be continued In-Shaa-Allah ...)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 20 May 2008 at 12:16am

Pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj)

There is no way to Allah except through the abandoment of lusts and desires. One should confine himself to the necessities of life, seeking to please Allah with every movement.

When humanity had forgotten this and followed their desires, Allah sent His Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, to revive the way to the Hereafter, and renew the call of the previous messengers ...

Allah has favored this nation when He appointed the Hajj as their celibacy, and as He honored the Ancient House [i.e. the Sacred Precinct in Makkah] by attributing it to Himself and making it a destination desired by all. ...

Muslims are ordered to honor the Precinct by attesting to the Majesty of Allah and by glorifying His perfection, which is free from any imperfection. For this, Allah has ordained rituals which reason cannot [fully] grasp, such as throwing pebbles and walking back and forth between the Mounts of As-Safa and Al-Marwah seven times. [Performing such] rituals demonstrates perfect belief in the Tawhid of Allah, and full servitude to Him ...

( ... to be continued In-Shaa-Allah ... )

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 22 May 2008 at 12:47am

Reciting the Noble Qur'an

Reciting the Qur'an disciplines the soul in many respects. It teaches man what he is required to do and stirs in him what he needs to purify his soul.

Reciting the Qur'an enlightens the heart and reminds it of every proper conduct. In this way, it aids the other duties of Islam bringing forth their fruits, such as the Prayer, alms-giving, fasting and the pilgrimage ...

Reciting the Qur'an is more likely to be effective if one ponders over the meanings with humility and contemplation

The Ten Inner Prerequisites of Reciting the Qur'an

The ten inner prerequisites are: understanding the original meaning of the words in the Qur'an, feeling of awe, consciousness of the heart, pondering over the meanings, deep understanding, abandoning the barriers of understanding, the feel that Allah is addressing you, to respond to the meanings of the words, to be aware that Allah is witnessing your recitation, and to believe the words of the Qur'an are referring to you

( ... to be continued In-Shaa-Allah ... )

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 24 May 2008 at 12:47am

The Remembrance of Allah (Dhikr)

Al-Ghazali said: "Know that those endowed with insight know that there is no salvation except by meeting Allah (in the Hereafter)

If there is no means to this except to die [while in a state of] loving Allah, while love and intimacy can occur only in the case of unceasingly remembering Allah, and being punctual and persistent in this.

One cannot know Him except through contemplating His creation, His attributes, and His deeds. There is nothing in existence except Allah and His acts. And unceasing contemplation will not be achieved except by abandoning worldly desires and taking only what is necessary of worldly sustenance, and by remembering Allah all the time ...

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:

"The most beloved people to Allah are those who remember Allah all the time"

(Hadith in Al-Tirmidhi)

( ... to be continued In-Shaa-Allah ... )

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 27 May 2008 at 12:55am

Contemplation of Allah's Creation

Allah (SWt) says:

"Do they not look in the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all things that Allah has created ..." (7:185)

Reason cannot attain perfection unless contemplation of the remembrance of Allah unite. If we know that perfection in the heart is man's perfection, we come to know the status of remembering and contemplation in purifying the soul

Al-Ghazali depicts in his work how one should contemplate Allah's creation. The reader is required to ponder while reading any subject uniting remembering Allah and contemplation together so that he would realize the effects of them on his heart.

Both contemplation and the remembrance of Allah deepen belief of Allah within the heart.

This is the starting point of the process of purification.

( ... to be continued In-Shaa-Allah ... )

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