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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Win-Win Replybullet Posted: 14 March 2019 at 9:04am
Love, Longing, Intimacy & Contentment

Imam Al-Ghazali's Book 36 from Ihya' Ulum al-Din

This chapter falls in the last of the four sections of the Ihya, the section dealing with the virtues or what is conducive to salvation.

The text starts by elucidating the love of God for humanity and the love of man for God, and proceeds to discuss the deepening of this love to include different degrees of longing, intimacy and contentment.

In this book, Imam Ghazali takes the reader on a convincing journey to not only the possibility of love for Allah, but the necessity of it.

He attempts to counter those who say love has nothing to do with Islam or Allah. He breaks down the conceptual understanding of love, what it is, its causes, and an explanation of the meaning of human love for Allah.

The result of this discussion that of a master weaver, constructing convincing arguments which are supported through the proof-texts from revelation, bringing the reader to acknowledge, understand and appreciate the position of love in the religion of Islam and with Allah.

Once Imam Ghazali breaks down the concepts of love, how humans love and why, he enumerates them, and then he takes the discussion to Allah, his attributes; proving that Allah above all created things is the most worthy of love, is the only one capable of completely fulfilling all the reasons for love. In other words, if these are the qualities that cause one to love, then know that Allah is most perfect in those qualities, thus most worthy of love.

Imam Ghazali delivers this incredible case for love in a very practical manner and the book is full of examples. One of the aims of Imam Ghazaliís writing is to strive for simplicity and clarity, and he achieves that in this book with ease.

After love, he also discusses pleasure, and how the best pleasure is that of attaining knowledge, and the best of knowledge is knowledge of Allah, His attributes, His actions, His providential design, His book and His messengers.

Imam Ghazali states: Moreover, the pleasure of knowledge is stronger than other pleasures; stronger, that is, than the pleasures of appetite, anger or the rest of the five senses. #

Imam Ghazali also discusses seeing the world, and increasing oneís love for Allah thereby it: The world in its totality is the handiwork Ė the writing Ė of God. The common man knows and believes this, but the discerning observer studies the minute particulars of Godís craftsmanship in this world until he perceives in a gnat an example of the prodigies of His craft such that his mind is bedazzled and his reason cast into confusion.

As a result, Godís might and majesty and the perfection of His attributes are magnified within his heart, and his love for Him increases. As he grows in knowledge of the wonders of Godís handiwork, he deduces Godís grandeur and majesty as Creator; his knowledge of Him grows alongside his love. The sea of this knowledge Ė by which I mean knowledge of the marvels of Godís artistry Ė is without shore. Surely then disparity among men of knowledge in this matter of love is also immeasurable.

Imam Ghazali argues that once love for Allah and longing to meet him is deepened in the heart, it even makes death something to long for: The heart cannot conceivably love another without also loving to see him and encounter him. If he learned that no such encounter were possible without bidding this world farewell through death, then he would turn to loving death and would not flee it.

For a lover, it is no burden to travel from his homeland to the belovedís dwelling just to gaze at him. Death is a key to the encounter; it is the entrance way to vision with oneís own eyes. However, he also discusses when aversion to death is acceptable: The second cause of aversion to death occurs when a person is at the beginning of the station of love.


(106 minutes)


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Seeking Divine Pleasure is Greater

As we travel through this world, it is the goal of the enemy to have us forget the very journey by lulling us into indulgence in the lower level tastes and pleasures of this world.

Yet the believers are they who do not sacrifice eternity for the temporal, but rather restrain and discipline themselves, live in excellence and balance, and so attain the transcendent pleasure of the Divine.

While most of the world seeks out self-indulgence, the Servants of the Most High are they who increasingly become subsistent on light and who are drawn through love to the worship of their Lord and Creator.


(7 minutes)


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How to Stay Calm in a Crisis

Crises, challenges and difficulties are a natural part of life and necessary for our awakening, growth and spiritual development.

By learning to develop presence through a daily meditative spiritual practice, you can develop root and anchor within so that when a storm does come to pass, it will not topple you.

In this video, Ihsan shares the key to remaining calm in a crisis, and how you can use the challenges, trials and tribulations of life for your continued growth, development, ascension and awakening.


(15 minutes)


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Allah Always Replaces With Something Better

A talk by sister Yasmin Mogahed


(21 minutes)


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The Spiritualizing Effects of The Remembrance of God (Thikr)


(7 minutes)



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Becoming Allah's Beloved and Trusting in Him


(12 minutes)




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We Each Have a Wounded Inner Child

Each human being carries within a wounded inner child that is at some level hurt, afraid, unhealed and not whole, having lost its fitra as a consequence of the inherent separation of the world of form and the consequential unconsciousness that arises as a result of a lack of God-consciousness.

Thus, it is important to do our best to treat both others and ourselves with mercy, love, forgiveness and compassion, for only through love can we and others be healed.


(7 minutes)



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See the Good

Shaykh Yahya speaks about the importance of dealing with people and how through those dealings our religion gets tested and our true level of piety shows.

He calls on everyone to reconcile with anyone they need to reconcile with. Shaykh Yahya finally advises us to see the good in people, things and situations so that we may attain goodness.


(12 minutes)



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Every Bounty We Have Is From God

An important reminder to always be grateful to Allah, by Sheikh Mokhtar in this excellent Friday speech

(Whatever you enjoy of favors is from Allah)


(31 minutes)



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The Two Dimensions of Fasting

Fasting has always been a powerful spiritual practice used by those seeking to both fulfill their religious obligation and to draw nearer unto the Divine.

Yet it is only when both the inner and the outer dimensions of fasting are observed in excellence that the deeper dimension and ultimate purpose of fasting becomes realized..

The prophetic path seeks to guide human beings ultimately to Truth and Reality, and this is only possible in the transcendence of the temporal world, necessitating progressively the transcendence of the self.

The goal of fasting thus ultimately becomes fasting from the self, and thereby making possible the awakening to and immersion in the Divine Presence of Light.


(17 minutes)




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Tazkiya Intensive Intro with Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui & Shaykh Yasir Fahmy

A 2017 talk in Boston on the purification of the soul:


(82 minutes)


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Happiness Only Real When Shared

Amongst the great casualties of current and modern technological progress are the bonds of kinship that have throughout history provided strength and stability for human beings.

In fact, our very cultures have evolved over the span of millennia largely to preserve and perpetuate healthy relationships amongst human beings, particularly amongst close family and relatives.

As believers, we must take great care to consciously and intentionally nourish, support and sustain vital relationships in an age and culture that is in many ways robbing human beings of the basic and fundamental factors of health and happiness by leading us to pursue self-interest at the expense of love and unity.

In this video, I share the importance of preserving and honoring the bonds of kinship, and reference the story of Christopher McCandless who essentially gave his life to give us this message: "Happiness only real when shared."


(19 minutes)



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Now That Ramadan is Over

The goal of holy and blessed Ramadan is to help create a permanent shift in consciousness and focus, and it is key to continue to maintain vision and discipline now that the sacred month of communal fasting is complete.

In this brief video, I share an excerpt of some advice given by Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (qs) to students regarding seeking to continue swimming in the mercy and light oceans of God that have been opened in this Ramadan.


(10 minutes)



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The Station of Knowledge

Delivered by Shaykh Muhammad Bin Yahya Al-Ninowy on January 29, 2016


(64 minutes)




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