1998 Virginia Suhba

"Allah doesn't lead anyone to the path except that He wants them to complete it and reach Him."

What is the spiritual path? What does it require of an individual? Does Sufism have a place in traditional Islam? Who are ahl-Allah? These are a few of the many questions answered in this introductory series about Sufism.

The deen of Islam consists of Islam, Iman and Ihsan. All three are in some sense dependent on the other. Islam is explained by the scholars of shariah. Iman is addressed by the scholars of aqeeda. The third, Ihsan, is addressed by the scholars of Sufism. It is to worship Allah as if you see Him, knowing He sees you.

Sufism is the science of the heart; its subject matter is the ruh. Unlike the intellect, the ruh's knowledge is unobstructed by the limits of the universe. The food of the ruh is dhikr of Allah. The three integrals of Sufism are repentance, abstinence (zuhid) and realizing one's slavehood to Allah. Two necessary preconditions include having a sahih aqeeda and following a sheikh who is a true murshid. These concepts are explained more thoroughly in these lessons.

The transformation of the heart is not easy: bad habits are formed over time and the nafs (the self or ego or "me") deceives one in subtle ways. Islamic revelation teaches Muslims to change habits but it does not tell how. Therefore, we consult those who know, the scholars. To keep the company of a teacher and follow his example are teachings of the sunnah. Islamic knowledge is transferred from person to person, not just from writings. The nature of knowledge is concerned with the state of being not just knowing.

The murid is the student who is seeking knowledge of Allah. Allah, not one's nafs, is supposed to be in control so training is needed to submit to Him. The sheikh removes obstacles for the murid so he (or she) may reach this goal. The reaching of Allah is in fact reaching the knowledge of Him. Understanding one's slavehood to Allah and having gratitude towards Him are key teachings. The love of Allah is the cure for all bad traits such as envy and arrogance. One must constantly work towards reattaching one's heart to Allah.

This series provides an introduction of what it means to be a murid on a practical level. All murids must possess the following two attributes: 1) a lack of self-satisfaction, and 2) a veneration of all of Allah's commands. Other characteristics such as having a madhab and reciting a daily litany are also explained throughout the lessons.

This questions and answers included in this series cover a broad range of topics. Some of these topics include: the qualifications of a true sheikh, things that entail kufr, the validity of music/singing in Islam, how one determines his or her station with Allah, what is a sincere tawba, Imam Ghazali's use of weak hadith, forgiveness of sins, if vain talk is included in the first muraqaba dars, how to identify showing off in oneself, why Allah created evil, permissibility of visiting people who cook unslaughtered meat.


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File Info Size
199801 Virginia CD01.1 16:51
  • Loving for the sake of Allah and hating for the sake of Allah.
  • Have great respect for all who have said the kalimah, in fact have respect for all of Allah’s creation.
  • What is nisbah?
199801 Virginia CD01.2 14:41
  • You need four things to travel the spiritual path: tawakkul, yaqeen, sabr, and sidq.
199801 Virginia CD01.3 16:31
  • The humanity of the Sheikh should not be a veil from the spirituality. The Shadhili tariqa does not emphasize the person of the Sheikh.
  • The Sufis don’t see individual people, but rather they see them as dust in a ray of light.
  • Everybody who takes the tariq is encourages to learn Arabic.
199801 Virginia CD01.4 5:04
  • Sheikh explains the sunnah of putting the hand in the Sheikh for taking the tariq.
  • Sheikh giving the tariq to someone.
199801 Virginia CD01.5 3:25
  • Rufiat sung by the Sheikh.
199801 Virginia CD01.6 22:23
  • A detailed explanation of 'sama and the Hadra.
199801 Virginia CD02.1_QA 14:40
  • Question on Aqeeda
  • Aqeeda is a condition
  • Must have the Aqeeda of ahl-Sunna wal-Jama' — Ashari or Maturidi.
199801 Virginia CD02.2 16:11
  • The Sheikh begins to teach the 41 attributes of Allah.
  • Attributes of Allah: Wujud (Existence, Being)
  • Al-Qidam (Beginninglessly Eternal)
  • Al-Baqa (Endlessly Eternal)
199801 Virginia CD02.3_QA 14:45
  • Mukhalafi lil hawadith — Allah is complete dissimilarity from anything created.
  • Al-Ghina — Allah’s complete freedom of need.
  • Al-Wahdaniyya — The oneness of Allah. Allah is one in His entity, divine attributes, names, and His rulings.
  • Siffat al-Ma’ani
    • Al-Qudra (Omnipotent Power)
    • Al-Irada (Will)
    • Al-‘Ilm (Knowledge)
  • Question: He is not subjected to any of his creatures, two of which are time and space, we however are bound by time and space. Does this in fact debug the Christian theory of God became man?
199801 Virginia CD02.4 17:13
  • Al-Sami (all Hearing)
  • Al-Basir (all Seeing)
  • Al-Haya (Life)
  • Al-Mutakalim (Divine speech)
  • The next 20 attributes is that which is impossible — contrary of the first 20 attributes
  • Attributes of the Prophets (peace and blessing be upon them)
    • Trustworthy
    • Intelligence
    • Delivered the message in its entirety
    • Free of all diseases
  • Attributes impossible of the Prophets (peace and blessing be upon them)
    • Treachery
    • Did not hide anything
    • Stupidity
    • Existence of sickness that causes revulsion
  • A sickness that does not cause revulsion is possible (human states)
199801 Virginia CD02.5 12:00
  • Differences between Sayyiduna Ali and Sayyiduna Muawiya
199801 Virginia CD03.1 18:02
  • Sheikh explains a few lines of poetry.
  • Sheikh al-Alawi's Qasida
  • Dhikr 'La ilaha ilaLallah'
199801 Virginia CD03.2_QA 11:40
  • Question: In the interpreters log you said that Sheikh Younis said "One can hope for nothing from the tariqa so long as one's heart had something in it for this world and the next"
  • Sheikh explains the different levels of Ikhlas
  • Question: With respect to the wird al-Amm, can we add to it?”
199801 Virginia CD03.3_QA 17:17
  • Question: May we read the wird of Imam al-Nawawi?
  • Sheikh gives ijaza to read the wird (silsila is through Hadramaut)
  • Question: How can someone determine their station with Allah Subhana wa ta'ala?
199801_Virginia_CD03.4_QA 15:26
  • A question pertaining to make up prayers.
  • Question: How do you know if your tawba is sincere?
199801 Virginia CD03.5 14:55
  • Brief introduction to the Ihya Ulumdin.
199801 Virginia CD04.1_QA 13:42
  • Continued description of Ihya.
  • "Allah has cut off both the travellers to Him and those who have reached this knowledge from seeing their actions or beholding their own states. As for the travellers, because they haven't realized true sincerity in their works, as for those who have reached Allah because they don’t see anything else."
  • Question: Sins which are not repented for, will the believers be punished for them?
199801 Virginia CD04.2 16:37
  • "Belief in this path of ours is wilaya" Sheikh al-Junayd
  • "If the souls of the people become accustomed to leaving their sins, they soar through the spiritual world and return to their owners with gifts of divine wisdom without any 'aalim having delivered knowledge to them." Abu Sulayman al-Durani
  • The Sheikh explains the seven things we need to avoid:
    1. Gheeba — Backbiting
    2. Namima — Tale bearing
    3. Riya — Showing off in spiritual works
    4. Sum’a — Showing off in good works for the ears of people
    5. Iftikhaar — Bragging about one’s actions
    6. Khadib — Lying
    7. Khawd fil-Batil — Speaking of indecencies
199801 Virginia CD04.3 13:25
  • "The ideal of the Sufis is purity, and you cannot have purity if you keep stepping on your soul." Sheikh Nuh
199801 Virginia CD04.4_QA 19:58
  • Paying back what you have ripped off in the bad old days.
  • Sheikh explains that the people who did best in the khalwa are ones who have the strongest sense of attachment to the sharia.
  • Question: If you insult someone, do you have to go back and correct it?
199801 Virginia CD04.5 10:22
  • Everyone in the tariqa must make a plan and learn Arabic.
  • Sheik al-Alawis qasida
199801 Virginia CD05.1 15:13
  • Qasida by Sheikh al-Hashimi (Salli ya Salam)
  • Qasida #2
  • Qasida #3
199801 Virginia CD05.2 5:22
  • Dhikr "La ilaha il'lAllah"
199801 Virginia CD05.3_QA 12:07
  • Question: Will the tariqa spread Islam?
  • Question: Have you seen any karama from Sheikh al-Shagouri?
199801 Virginia CD05.4 6:54
  • Sheikh explains the script of the awraad book.
199801 Virginia CD05.5 19:24
  • Everyone who has taken the tariqa has an ijaza to recite the awraad of Sheikh Abul-Hassan al-Shadhili
  • Sheikh gives an overview of the awraad and discusses the importance of dua.
  • Maula Abdul Salam ibn Mashisis said "Best of works are four things after four other things."
    1. Love of Allah
    2. Satisfaction with what Allah destines
    3. Non-attachment of the heart towards the world
    4. Reliance totally on Allah
  • As for the other four things:
    1. Doing all of things Allah has made obligatory
    2. Avoiding the things that Allah has forbidden
    3. Patience with holding oneself back from everything that doesn’t concern one
    4. Abandoning everything that distracts one
199801 Virginia CD05.6 14:37
  • "If you want to do something great in the tariq, you have to fall in love with Allah" Sheikh Nuh
  • The bridge to love is shukr (gratitude to Allah)
  • Sheikh outlines the adab of dua
199801 Virginia CD06.1 17:00
  • Conditions of dua:
    • Income is halal
    • Absolute certitude that Allah will answer your dua
    • Totally focused on Allah while making dua
    • You don’t ask Allah for committing a sin, or dissever family ties, or the right of another Muslim not to be fulfilled
    • Do not make dua for something impossible
199801 Virginia CD06.2_QA 14:59
  • Question: What is the position of Abu Talib’s imaan?
  • Adaab of dua:
    • Choose the best time and places to make your duas
    • Best times: just before dawn (tahajud), after the obligatory prayers
    • Have wudu, two rakats of salat, and face the Qibla
    • Raise your hands
    • Preceding your dua you make absolute tawba from every sin
199801 Virginia CD06.3 12:55
  • Continuation of the Adaab of dua:
    • Say Alhamdulillah before and after the dua
    • Say salat on the Prophet (May Allah bless him) before, after, and in the middle of the dua
    • Giving sadaqa
    • Ask for the greatest thing that you can conceive
  • "Whoever wants Allah to know him in tough times, then know Allah in easy times."
199801 Virginia CD06.4_QA 11:51
  • Question: How does the hikam of not asking for certain things from Allah play into the adab of dua?
  • What do you think about William Chittick’s book?
  • How does one deal with the cultural influences of dealing with one’s own wealth?
  • How can one detect riya (showing off)?
199801 Virginia CD06.5 17:02
  • Zuhd is a fundamental principle of the tariq.
  • "The tariq is a battlefield in the heart, between Allah and other than Allah." Sheikh Nuh
  • Zuhd is to unplug from things that you do not need.
  • A sufi is a minimalist
199801 Virginia CD07.1 16:12
  • -A sufi is a maximalist in terms of the akhira.
  • "Absorb your time with that which will benefit you." Sheikh Nuh
199801 Virginia CD07.2 14:17
  • Eliminate the television and read books
  • The most repulsive of Sufis is a stingy Sufi.
199801 Virginia CD07.3_QA 17:40
  • Maximize your time, it is permissible to be greedy about your time.
  • How to minimize your sleep: sleep on wudu, exercise
  • If you are sleeping more than 7 or 8 hours you are sleeping too much.
  • Question: What about the food of the kufaar versus Muslims?
199801 Virginia CD07.4_QA 13:28
  • The way of our Sheikhs is gratitude towards Allah
  • The mujahada in our tariq is leaving the haram and makruh.
  • Naseeha on Marriage
  • Question: How about those who come to Islam married?
  • Question: Can you clarify your statement on not taking more than one wife?

199801 Virginia CD07.5 14:38
  • Sheikh discusses preternatural phenomenon.
  • "Not everything that glitters is gold."
  • "There is no karama greater than being given the karama of believing and having certitude in the Divine guidance." — Abul Hassan al-Shadhili
199801 Virginia CD08.1_QA 18:08
  • Sheikh discusses the pitfalls of credit and mortgages; he encourages purchasing everything on cash.
  • Question concerning dua
  • Question: How does one detect arrogance within oneself?
199801 Virginia CD08.2_QA 19:44
  • "Arrogance is an attribute that Allah creates in the heart of those He wishes to enter in the hell fire." — Sheikh Abdul-Rahman al-Shagouri
  • Question: Does a person intend arrogance? And is that when Allah creates it?
  • Question: What if you have a spouse that is not a mureed? And is there a book you recommend that a husband and wife can read together?
199801 Virginia CD08.3 3:41
  • Qasida — Salli Ya Salam
199801 Virginia CD08.4 20:59
  • Explanation of Hadith Jibril (peace and blessings be upon him)
199801 Virginia CD08.5 16:57
  • Get rid of the entertainment industry — digital detox.
  • "Happiness does not come from entertainment. Happiness comes from Allah putting it in one’s heart" — Sheikh Nuh
  • The Shadhili tariqa is one of knowledge.
199801 Virginia CD09.1 15:24
  • -Total surrender to the Shariah
  • The desire of taking the tariqa has to come from with, it means that one has to change.
  • The Sheikh discusses the general conditions for entering the khalwa.
199801 Virginia CD09.2 13:24
  • Continuation of the conditions for entering the khalwa.
199801 Virginia CD09.3 17:34
  • Tasawuf has three integrals: repentance, abstinence, and realization of ones slavehood.
  • The Sheikh explains the wisdom of following a Madhab.
199801 Virginia CD09.4 7:06
  • -Personal Jihad — The internal jihad of getting rid of all of the haram and makruh in ones life.
199801 Virginia CD09.5 18:03
  • The place of tasawuf in Traditional Islam.
  • Summary of the teachings of Sheikh Abdul-Rahman and Sheikh Abdul Wakil
199801 Virginia CD10.1 12:05
  • Continuation of the summary — 'The place of tasawuf in Traditional Islam.'
199801 Virginia CD10.2 12:31
  • Continuation of the summary — 'The place of tasawuf in Traditional Islam.'
199801 Virginia CD10.3 9:30
  • Sheikh Nuhdiscusses the qualifications of a true Sheikh
    1. Total reverence for the command of Allah SWT
    2. Individual not be self satisfied
    3. The person understands what they are teaching — authentic spiritual experience.
    4. They have a connected chain of transmission back to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)
    5. His aqeeda be correct.
    6. He is an ‘Aalim — knows most of the basic fiqh.
    7. There are no hidden departments in his life where he contravenes the shariah.
199801 Virginia CD10.4_QA 12:28
  • Question regarding the Islamic state
  • Question: Is the hell fire eternal?
199801 Virginia CD10.5_QA 13:21
  • Question: What is the role of the Sheikh in a mureed’s life?
199801 Virginia CD10.6_QA 16:58
  • -Question: What are the circumstances that lead a person to envy and how can they be avoided?
  • Question: What role does the shay tan play with the nafs?
  • Question: What is the medicine for showing off?
199801 Virginia CD11.1_QA 15:13
  • Question: How would you protect yourself against discontentment?
  • Question Regarding pre-eternity
  • Question: What ranks do the saints have?
199801 Virginia CD11.2_QA 14:33
  • Question: Are the Naqshbandi and Shadhili tariqa different in nature?
  • Question: You mentioned that the way of Imam Ghazali is not the way of the Shadhilis?
199801 Virginia CD11.3_QA 8:20
  • Question: The way to rid diseases differ from the two paths?
  • Question regarding creation of the world
199801 Virginia CD11.4 10:05
  • Qasida: Salli ya Salam
  • Qasida: Bushrakum by Sheikh al-Alawi
199801 Virginia CD11.5 17:00
  • Explanation by the Sheikh on how to perform the Latifiyya (i.e. the adab of the Latafiyya)
199801 Virginia CD12.1_QA 16:31
  • Question regarding the sunnah adkhaar versus the Shadhili dhikr.
199801 Virginia CD12.2_QA 13:21
  • Question: Do you see the future of Islam in this country (America) becoming a major factor in the world?
199801 Virginia CD12.3_QA 10:01
  • Question: Sometimes it seems that the tariqa augments our Islam…
  • Question: It seems like people forget other parts of Islam when they take on a tariqa…
  • Question: You mentioned that everything in this universe is in a certain state and that state has to do with the attributes of Allah SWT. How can we prove or disprove this?
199801 Virginia CD12.4_QA 10:03
  • Question: What is the relationship between the brethren in the tariqa? You have mentioned not to criticize each other and keep a positive attitude.
199801 Virginia CD12.5_QA 10:12
  • Question: Is it wise for a Muslim to label a fellow Muslims?
  • Question: Do you have to follow a madras?
  • Question: Is it wise to judge somebody?
199801 Virginia CD12.6_QA 15:37
  • Question: I’ve heard things about other Sufi groups claiming to have supernatural powers. What is your opinion on that?
  • Question: What is the difference between mu’jiza and karma?
  • Questions: How did you chose a tariqa? And is there any general advice for one choosing a tariqa?
199801 Virginia CD12.7 4:44
  • Dhikr
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