Understanding Tazkiyah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

The Four Parts of Dīn

The sole objective of our lives is to acquire the Pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā, which can only be achieved by following the whole Dīn. The whole Dīn can be categorised into four parts:

1.   External actions, which comprise of:

a.  Performing good actions e.g. Salāh;

b.  Refraining from sinful actions e.g. backbiting.

2.   Internal qualities, which comprise of:

a.  Purifying the heart from debasing qualities e.g. pride;

b.  Adorning the heart with praiseworthy traits e.g. humbleness.

Allāh ta‘ālā has laid down commands relating to both the external and the internal aspects of Dīn. In both, there are Do’s and Don’ts. For example, performing Salāh, giving Zakāh, fasting and performing Hajj are external actions which must be carried out; whilst causing physical harm, stealing and consuming harām are external actions which must be avoided. Similarly, jealousy, malice and pride are debasing qualities of the heart which are prohibited; whilst Shukr (being grateful to Allāh ta‘ālā) and Sabr (patience) and humbleness are praiseworthy qualities with which every Muslim should strive to adorn his heart.

We can therefore conclude that our duties as Muslims are: to carry out good actions; to refrain from sinful actions; to purify the heart from debasing qualities; and to adorn the heart with praiseworthy qualities. All four are termed as Al-A‘māl As-Sālihah (good deeds) and our success lies in carrying them out. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

Verily those who believe and do good deeds, for them shall be gardens beneath which rivers flow. That is the great success. (85:11)

Tazkiyah and its Importance

The process of removing the debasing qualities from the heart and adorning it with the praiseworthy qualities is known as Tazkiyah (soul purification). Through Tazkiyah a person first begins to recognise the shortcomings in his inner traits, such as the existence of pride and miserliness. As a result, he is able to exert effort and replace them with praiseworthy qualities such as humbleness and generosity. Allāh ta‘ālā has emphasised the importance of Tazkiyah in the Glorious Qur’ān by taking oath of seven different things before stating:

Undoubtedly, the one who purified it (the soul) has succeeded and the one who soiled it (through kufr, shirk, sin) has certainly failed. (91:9-10)

‘Ilm and Tazkiy

In order to understand the Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā and to carry them out, it is necessary to acquire ‘ilm. Through ‘ilm, we will be able to understand what we are required to do in every situation. Regarding the external actions for example, ‘ilm is required to understand the pre-requisites of Salāh as well as all the necessary aspects within Salāh. Similar is the case for the inner qualities; a person will require ‘ilm to understand which qualities are prohibited and the consequences of having such qualities. For example, our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has informed us that a person with pride equivalent to a mustard seed in his heart will not enter Jannah (without first going in Jahannam). (Abū Dāwūd, At-Tirmidhī, Ibn Mājah).

However, without Tazkiyah ‘ilm is not beneficial, as we find that a person has ‘ilm but is unable to practice according to it despite having the desire to do so. For example, a person is aware that offering Fajr Salāh is compulsory, but is unable to leave his bed and go to the masjid.  Similarly, despite being aware that sinful glances are not permissible, he is unable to control the gaze from lustful glances. The reason for this is a lack of spiritual stamina to carry out the Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā. Through the process of Tazkiyah, a person purifies his heart from debasing qualities and as a result gains the spiritual stamina required to fulfil all the external actions Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā.

External Actions Hold No Value without Tazkiyah

Another important point to understand is that without purifying the heart, despite carrying out the external actions of Dīn, they may not be accepted in the Court of Allāh ta‘ālā. This is because a corrupt heart could lead to a person performing deeds with the wrong intention. For example, if a person performs a good action with the intention of acquiring fame, he will gain no reward whatsoever, rather he will be answerable in the Court of Allāh ta‘ālā. Even though outwardly his action may appear perfect and in accordance with the Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā and the Sunnah of Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, due to his insincerity his action will yield no benefit.

The importance of a purified heart has been explained by Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in a hadīth:

Indeed there is a piece of flesh in the body; if it is sound, then the whole body will be sound and if it is corrupt then the whole body will be corrupt. Indeed it is the heart. (Al-Bukhārī)

Tazkiyah: The Key to Practising the Whole Dīn

From the above, it is clear that Tazkiyah is the path that leads to the reformation of the heart, providing the spiritual stamina required for external actions; and making them perfect and worthy of acceptance.  Having understood the importance of Tazkiyah, the question arises as to how it can be achieved. For this, read and study ‘The Path to Purification’, published by At-Tazkiyah. 

Let us recognise the importance of Tazkiyah and exert effort towards its acquisition, so that we may practice the whole Dīn and acquire the eternal bliss of the Hereafter.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 26 No. 11/12, Nov/Dec 2017)


We are witnessing an era where Islām, in spite of its vastness and applicability in every sphere of the human life, has been confined to mere beliefs and a handful of rituals. As with some other important obligations of Islām, the obligation of ensuring the correct procedures in the field of inheritance has also been subjected to gross disregard and outright neglect. In fact, this section of Dīn can be said to be the most neglected one among all. Seeing such state of affairs, the respected Shaykh hafizahullāh embarked on the task of acquainting the Muslims on the importance of this vital duty. The lectures delivered proved to be highly informative and beneficial, but only to a limited audience. In order to extend the benefits to a larger part of the Ummah, it was decided that two of these lectures be selected and published in booklet form.

A few topics mentioned in the booklet are as follows:

• Equality in inheritance
• What can be drawn from the estate
• The importance of drawing up a will
• Causes of incorrect wills
• Criteria for wasiyyah (bequest)
• What to do following a death
• Common errors and customs

To order the above book or for details of our other publications, please email info@idauk.org or call 0116 262 5440.


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Forty Hadith

al-arbaoon Please see PDF for Hadith compilation – Jazak Allah

FORTY FORGOTTEN HADITH

hadeeth

All praise is due to Allah Who made His creation and portions out His slaves to be rich and poor. He set down rain and opened the channels for the rain to percolate into the soil. I praise Him – glorified is He – Who bestows abundant reward to the obedient ones and veils the disobedient one. He is the one who knows what is above the sky and what is beneath the soil; the crawling of the ant in the night when it crawls is not hidden from His knowledge.

The heavens and His angels glorify Him, and the stars and their orbits glorify Him. The rivers and their fish glorify Him; the earth and its inhabitants glorify Him and the oceans and creatures living in them glorify Him.

I testify there is none worthy of worship except Allah Alone; He has no partner, equal to Him or bearing any similarity to Him. And I testify that Muhammad is His slave, messenger, honest and intimate friend, and the best of His creatures as well as the custodian over His revelation.

He sent him as a mercy to the universe and as a proof to the entire mankind. May Allah’s blessings be upon him as much as the mention of him by the righteous, and as many as (the number of) the alternating days and nights. We ask Allah the Exalted to make us all be among his righteous followers, and may He resurrect us in his company on the day of resurrection. Ameen.

 

To proceed,

The tradition in Muslim religious literature of gathering collections of forty Hadiths dates as far back as the first century after the Hijrah. Abdullah ibn Mubarak al-Marwazi (Allah have mercy on him) is thought to be the first to have gathered forty Hadith in a collection. Perhaps the most well-known collection is that of Imam an-Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him), which has been translated into English, and on which there are several commentaries.

The practice of gathering forty Hadiths springs from a Hadith, narrated through several Companions, which puts the spiritual rank of religious scholarship within easy reach of the ordinary believer: “Whoever memorises forty narrations for my nation in matters of this religion, Allah will raise him up a scholar and I shall be an intercessor and witness for him on the Day of Rising.”

Allah make us from them.

hadith

I have put together Hadith which are mostly related to Mu’aamalaat (social interactions). Which you will all agree is a very important part of our Deen, at the same time greatly neglected. There are a few specific for women, again whom we neglect and leave behind in Ta’leem and Tazkiyah (Islamic education and spirituality). The rest are Fadhail (virtues) or evil traits which I am sure we all hear time and again, but often forget to practise upon or refrain from the latter.

(Mawlana) Ismail ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure)

3 Rabiul Akhar 1438

Spiritual Illnesses

A human has two aspects to his life: physical and spiritual. The physical aspect is related to the body and the spiritual aspect is related to the soul. Both aspects are vulnerable to illnesses. Just as the body can suffer from physical ailments such as cancer, TB, fever, headache, etc., the soul can also suffer from spiritual illnesses, such as riyā (ostentation), takabbur (pride and arrogance), hasad (jealousy), lack of sabr (patience), lack of shukr (gratitude), love for fame and wealth, etc. Both aspects are very important for us because just as physical health is important in order to ensure an enjoyable life, similarly, spiritual health is also vital to secure a peaceful mind and a heart full of contentment. In fact, spiritual health is far more important because the everlasting success in the Hereafter depends solely upon it. However, the concern shown towards the two is very different.

When we are afflicted with a physical illness, we will have great concern. However, when it comes to spiritual illnesses, no concern whatsoever is shown. Whereas, in reality, more concern should be shown for our spiritual health for the following reasons:

1.   To treat a physical illness is sunnah; whereas, to treat a spiritual illness is necessary.

2.   If a person bears a physical illness with patience it is a means of expiation for his sins; whereas, spiritual illnesses lead to good deeds being washed away.

3.   The detrimental consequences of a physical illness will come to an end upon death; whereas, the evil result of a spiritual illness will begin upon death for eternity.

4.   If a person dies with a physical illness, he will be granted shāhādah; whereas, spiritual illnesses will jeopardise the Hereafter altogether.

Despite this, we do not see the necessary and required concern. This is in stark contrast to physical illnesses, when we will not even tolerate a slight headache or cold without resorting to medication!

Now that we have understood the severity of spiritual illnesses, let us exert every effort to keep ourselves spiritually healthy. In order to do this, the following guidelines will be of immense benefit inshā’allāh:

1.   Find a qualified Shaykh and associate yourself to him. Continually inform him of your spiritual condition, referring to him regarding spiritual illnesses and their cures, and follow his instruction to the best of your ability.

2.   Make constant du‘ā to Allāh ta‘ālā that he eradicates spiritual illnesses from the heart, for in reality He is the real healer of the illnesses. The Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would recite this du’ā:

“O my Rabb, grant taqwā to my nafs and purify it; You are the Best Purifier and You are its Guardian and Master.” (Ahmad)

3.   Keep a close eye on yourself, constantly assessing the condition of the heart, throughout the day. If time is set aside for a daily assessment of the full day, it will go a long way to help recognise spiritual illnesses.

4.   Once a particular spiritual illness is recognised, read up on the evil consequences and punishments of the illness, so that concern is created which will then serve as a barrier from continuing with it. It will also encourage contacting the Shaykh and following his guidance.

5.   Adopt pious company, especially that of your Shaykh; and refrain from wrong company.

6.   Stay in a pious environment, refraining from an evil one.

7.   Perform excessive dhikr. This can be in the form of:

•     Adhkār prescribed by your Shaykh.

•     Recitation of the Glorious Qur’ān, preferably one juz per day.

•     Supplications of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam for prescribed actions and situations. For example, the du‘ās before entering and at the time of leaving the masjid, before and after eating, etc.

•     Adhkār encouraged by the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. For example, the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam says in a ḥadīth:

“Two words which are loved by Ar-Raḥmān, light on the tongue and weighty on the scales are:

Subhānallāhi wa bi hamdihī Subhānallāhil ‘Azīm.” (Bukhārī)

Similarly, in a another ḥadīth, the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam says, “Whoever recites (the following) a hundred times in  a day, will get the reward for emancipating a hundred slaves, a hundred virtues will be written in his account, a hundred sins will be forgiven, and it shall be protection for him from Shayṭān for that day until evening. None shall surpass him in virtue on that day other than he who recites this more than him:

Lā ilāha illa llāhu wahdahū lā sharīka lahū lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu wa huwa ‘alā kulli shay’in qadīr.” (Bukhārī)

If we understand the severity of spiritual illnesses, make a concerted effort to cure ourselves from them, and follow the guidelines above, we will inshā’allāh see ourselves spiritually healthy. May Allāh grant us the tawfīq.