Tag Archives: ihya

Ramadan Challenge With Imam Ghazali

You might be wondering what challenge has to do with someone who has passed away centuries back. Well, his sadaqatu jariah lives on and one of his blessed works – the Ihya is very much alive with us and I want to take us through how all the forty books in the magnus can help us prepare for Ramadan. Ihya is arguably the most talked-about book in Islam after the Qur’an and the books of hadith. Ihya is praised for capturing every aspect of knowledge an average Muslim needs to live a life of fulfillment and Imam Ghazali has a way of making you feel that you are sitting with him whenever you are reading from the book. I have rated The Magus Opus as the all-time best-selling self-help book. The Ihya ulumudeen is composed of Four Parts or Quarters and each quarter has 10 books hence a total of 40 books on various topics systematically laid out in order of relevance from abstract to essence and from the beginning to the end of life of a human being. And each of these topics has been explained in metaphors that made the lessons more relatable to our core. Ramadan is a month chosen to be special such that human beings are made to sculpt the best out of themselves for both the Ephemeral and after-life. We are encouraged to double our potential for the greater good so, that believer do their best to outdo others eager to learn and unlearn the best ways to achieve maximum rewards in the Holy months. Here are some summarised applications from the 40 chapters – arranged in the order of the book, that hopefully will give a direction on what to seek out for in Ramadan: Knowledge – Seek or review relevant knowledge (shariah) on what is required of you in Ramadan. The significance of Ramadan and some related relevant histories. Most significantly the spiritual significance of the components of Ramadan with your lord. Reaffirm your acceptance of the articles of faith and hold on to the correct beliefs in Allah and his messenger without anchoring any grudge in your submission, no doubt it will prepare you mentally for Ramadan knowing that you are about to journey on the instruction of your Lord. Learn to stay purified both externally and internally – by de-cluttering filthy; words, images, thoughts, and actions unbefitting of a Muslim in your preparation. Raise the bar of your Salah by constantly practising your focus when you have the chance to be one-on-one with Allah. Salah is a gift that makes the believer VIP before their Lord. Give the charity for Allah’s sake, and be kind to your recipients knowing that they are the ones doing you a favour. For those of us unable to give Zakah, let it be known that no one is disqualified from giving sadaqah or charity. So check all the gifts and blessings of Allah upon you and give out of it, even in your smile. Reflect on the metaphorical lesson in the Hajj or pilgrimage on how the whole exercise reflects the human journey from Allah to Allah. Develop friendship with the Qur’an, invocations and supplication and Night vigil activities to get closer to Allah. It is a known tradition that it is through voluntary actions that a slave attains high station and true celebrity status. The theme of the Second quarter is about Norms of Daily life. Manners of eating is the first topic and it is very relevant to Ramadan – the fear of hunger and evening feasting makes us lose our spiritual focus, so beware and be disciplined. Do not – in the name of Ramadan, develop strained relations in your marriage and it should not stop your acquisition and earning of a livelihood. Ramadan is not asking us to pause our mundane but to bring the best out of us while living our normal lives by abiding by lawful and staying away from prohibited acts, strengthening brotherhood in every possible way while avoiding too much or unnecessary socialization to develop your spiritual energy and mental health. Enjoy pleasurable sounds, and the best of them is the recitation of the Quran. Enjoy good, forbid evil, and live the Muhammadan way in your mannerisms. In the third quarter, the theme is about the thing that can lead us to perdition but Imam Ghazali started by explaining the wonders of the heart because that is the centre and the core of humans where the spirit meets the nafs hence, the centre of control. If the core of human beings is understood, such knowledge will help us stay alert and return whenever we are straying from moderation. Watching out the seat of desires; the stomach and the private parts, shunning Rancor and Envy, condemning the world through the realization of its reality, condemning miserliness, love of wealth, status and ostentation, pride, conceit and self-delusion. The final quarter discusses the way to salvation. The things that can help you stay moderate, elevated and return every affair to our Lord, are repentance, patience and thankfulness, having fear and hope in your Creator, through the affirmation of His attributes and essence. Cultivating abstinence, having faith in divine unity and trust in divine providence should lead to intimacy and contentment. Renaming pure in our intention, sincere and trustworthy. Constant self-examination and meditation. And ultimately to constantly remember death and the afterlife to prepare for it. The journey of life is a constant struggle, driving through the storm and fighting to be on the right track. A successful journey requires that one remain focused on the goal of the journey by constantly renewing the intentions and orientating the self to Allah to lead us to the right action and a good ending. Ramadan is a month that encourages us to buckle up and these 40 lessons can help us stay on track in Ramadan and even beyond, such that if Allah blesses us to be successful in them, our […]