Purifying Our Hearts at U of T (Session 3 with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani)

Apologies for the delay in posting! Please keep the note-taker in your duas (And if I may be so bold, in particular, duas for my studies would be most appreciated in these blessed days of Dhul Hijjah. My notes below!

  1. Where you are reflects what is obligatory upon you. (i.e.-if you don’t have neighbours, not obligatory to know what is obligatory in that situation)
  2. Have focus. Many people spend time learning things that are not obligatory. and consider the obligatory a burden, but the most powerful actions of drawing close are the obligatory ones. Important to remember this so that when we do the the obligatory, we do them with the right resolve. Otherwise we do actions like prayer repeatedly, but we don’t give them the right focus. Also important to remember that beyond obligatory, actions that benefit others are greater than actions where the benefit is limited to oneself.
  3. Take on regular consistent, sustainable routines of drawing close to Allah.  Be consistent, do you best you can and increase gradually. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had consistent routines to do the good. Remember, if you fail to plan, plan to fail.  Schedule in your intentions to do the good. Sunna to have routines. Routines are incredibly powerful. Something done consistently, even if small, is transformative because something done consistently is not based on whims, its for Allah. And the concern of the righteous is not just actions but excellent actions. If your regular habit is not a juz of Qur’an recital daily, don’t do that in Ramadan if it will be a burden and not continued after the month is done. Do less, but have the sincerity and intensity of seeking Allah. And take yourself to account. If the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) left out something of his night routine, he would make it up.
  4. Book Recommendation: Book of Guidance.  Wonderful book. Shows you how to structure day, but it’s good to take this book step by step and consult, because Imam Ghazali sets the standard very high. Remain steadfastly committed, do the best you can, and be of glad tidings.
  5. He is with you wherever you are. If your heart is full of other than Him, how can you find closeness? Greatest of concerns should be Allah.
  6. Worldliness: That which busies you away from Allah. Dunya is worldliness. But Allah is not cursing the dunya, He created it. It is an abode of opportunity.
  7. Sometimes people read all kinds of strange things just because. So you can’t wake yourself up for fajr, but you’re reading about the causes of the fall of the Abbasid Empire. At the same time though, your own iman is falling off a cliff.
  8. Prophet  (peace and blessings be upon him) said: Keep tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah. Remembrance of Allah does away with self-consequence because realize the One of ultimate consequence. (you realize Allahu Akbar)
  9. For a lot of us, we are the qibla of our own concern.  We make tawaf of our own ego.  That is the spiritual path, that we are in latent (hidden) shirk until realized in ikhlas (sincerity)
  10. Merely manifesting fear without leaving sin is a delusion, a false claim.
  11. The definition of hope is to think well of Allah. It is for the heart to be at rest with something desired while taking the means of attaining it. (Remember the hadith qudsi, “I am as my servant thinks of me..”)
  12. Higher than hope or fear is thankfulness. That was the Prophetic focus.
  13. False hope is wishing for something without taking the means to attain it. Whoever hopeful for the meeting of God, let them perform righteous actions for it.
  14. Sincerity is to act solely for the sake of Allah. Starts with obligatory actions, then good actions, then have to expand the circle of sincerity to everything you do. Part of being realized in sincerity.
  15. Some people sought from Allah for personal benefit (sincere, but lower level). Higher level is doing things for reward, to avoid punishment. Higher still is to do things seeking Allah alone, His Good Pleasure, His Ridwaan.
  16. The heart matters. Each of the praiseworthy traits of heart like a seed. When nurtured, it results in countless good deeds. Likewise, bad traits multiply, and core bad traits lead to others. Envy can lead to greed and thinking ill of others, which can lead to not being concerned with others, which can lead to not being pleased with Allah.
  17. Make it a lifelong struggle to always take oneself to account.
  18. Book recommendation: Chapters on Character in the Book of Assistance, Marvels of the Heart by Imam Ghazali and Disciplining the Soul by Imam Ghazali. Note: The Ghazali way is to be hard on oneself. So don’t do it alone. Consult.
  19. Key cause of vice is bad company. Key to change is good company. Good company is of two types. Company that is itself good, which can be good companions that are striving to improve, and exemplars who are people you look up to. And the second type of good company is company that is made good, which is company kept with good purpose, intent and way.
  20. Maintain ties with neighbours and family. Feed them.
  21. Where we go is important. Often fall into error because of where we go. This includes virtual ‘going’ and the company we keep online.
  22. Tip: On the internet, sail but don’t surf.. Meaning go online with something to do, and then go off. Write down what you need to get done, describe the task, do it and get off. Also, it’s recommended not to be alone. Ex: don’t travel alone, go shopping, or enter any other environment that may be challenging.
  23. Harm is in the excess. At the mall, write down what you’re going to do (ie-check out fashions at x stores, go for lunch etc, do those things and then leave. Harm happens when we don’t focus. Doing things with purpose, and writing things down is a simple way to do that (whether shopping, being online or any other task).
  24. Whoever is careful of consequences remains safe.   True for speech, any acts, and your response to others. Circumspection brings only good..
  25. Your place is where Allah has placed you, and Allah seeks from you the best of where He has placed you. Allah seeks from you your turning to Him in the circumstances He has placed you. To want to be somewhere else is a kind of objection.
  26. The question arises: how do you turn in a specific circumstance? The benefit of gaining knowledge is that it gives you the capacity to deal with situations that arise.

2 thoughts on “Purifying Our Hearts at U of T (Session 3 with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani)

  1. As-salam`alaykum,
    I’m glad I came across your site through a backlink by sh. Faraz R. Beautiful advice, I’ve taken a few online seminars with SeekersG, but nothing compares to the studious environment of a Muslim lead “ilm fest”.

    Jazakallah khairan and salam from the UK!

    • Wa alaykum salaam Zaufishan! So glad you liked the notes, and that’s exciting you came across them all the way in the UK. Please keep us in your duas.

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