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CULTURE OF ISLAM

92 The Book of Constructive Virtues


Imtiaz Muhsin 24-Aug-12

The main objective of these talks (and therefore the scripts of these talks), is to stimulate thinking. Sensible, rational and logical thinking. So, my message, think, think & think! Be sensible, be rational and be logical.

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Please Note
1. I have had the great privilege, (since Aug 2010), of presenting talks on the weekly Radio Program Culture of Islam [Every Friday 8 to 8.30 pm, Radio Sri Lanka - FM 97.4] 2. Since these are Radio Talks, I refer to, or address the audience as listeners 3. I am well aware that the audience to these talks would consist of people belonging to a variety of faiths. So as to make people of all faiths feel included, I very often use words and names that are common to all religions. 4. For these reasons, I use the name GOD, as well as Abraham, Moses, Jesus etc as well as the names Allah, Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam), Moosa (Alaihis Salaam), Easa (Alaihis Salaam) etc 5. Muslims by habit usually say Sallallahu Alaihiwasallam, when the name of Prophet Muhammad is mentioned, and Alaihis Salaam' when the name of a Prophet is mentioned. However, in these series of talks I have reduced the use of these prayers & sayings to the bare minimum. 6. Muslims, also by habit, use a number of Arabic prayers or sayings, such as Alhamdulillah, Insha Allah and so on. Again, I have reduced the use of these prayers or sayings to the bare minimum. 7. Sometimes I have to write Arabic words in the English script. I have devised my own way of writing Arabic in English, as follows;

th TH

s Ss SW

DHL DHZ

H h

Gh GH

Information on these talks along with all download links can be found on my on my Blog (http://imtiazm.wordpress.com/) The dates or the schedules of these talks can be viewed on the Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/ImtiazMuhsin786) The Scripts of these talks can be downloaded from www.ScribD.com (www.ScribD.com Author Imtiaz Muhsin) The audio files of these talks can be downloaded from YouTube (YouTube Channel Imtiaz Muhsin) The YouTube Link to this talk is at

All Praise and Thanks is due to Allah and Allah alone Alhamdulillah! P.S. The picture on the cover is of the Matara Jummah Mosque. This is located in the Southern Provice of Sri Lanka

92 The Book of Constructive Virtues

92 The Book of Constructive Virtues


Dear Friends, Assalamu Alaikum, Imam Ghazzali has written a number of books on Islam and the most famous of his works are the series of 4 books titled Ihya Ulum Ud Deen which means Knowledge to revive Dheen The 4 books in this series themselves are titled; 1. The Book of worship 2. The Book of Worldly Usage 3. The Book of Destructive Evils 4. The Book of Constructive Virtues Each book consists of almost 500 pages and is made up of 10 Chapters. The Ten Chapters dealt with in the 4th book, namely the Book of Constructive Virtues are; 1. Taubah 2. Sabr & Shukur 3. Khauf and Rajha 4. Poverty & Asceticism 5. Tauheed & Tawakkal 6. Love & Attachment 7. Intention, Truth & Sincerity 8. Meditation or Muraqaba 9. Pondering over good 10. Death and pondering over death These are ten Chapters or ten virtues that every Muslim must be familiar with. I have taken short extracts from each of these 10 Chapters of this book, and I hope this would motivate listeners to seek out more information on each of these virtues. (Since this is the 4th book, in the description these Ten Chapters are numbered from 31 to 40)

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31. Repentance Tauba


Meaning of Tauba. Tauba means repenting for a sin by taking a promise not to repeat the same evil again. Tauba is the beginning in the life of a person who intends to walk in the path of religion. It is the root of the fortunate and of success. It is the first step of a disciple, the key to guidance to the straight path, the weapon of purification of those who wish to come close to Allah and a very dear thing to all the Prophets. Hazrath Adam (A.S) introduced the method and the rules of Tauba and he repented for the sin he committed in the past. It is necessary for a man to return to Allah penitently after the commission of sins. He who does good deeds is close to Allah. He who does evil deeds is close to the devil, and He who does good deeds after the commission of sins is a real man. Allah says in the Holy Quran: (25:70) except the one who repents and believes and does good deeds, then Allah will replace the evils of such people by good deeds, and Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful. *** (25:71) Whoever repents and does righteous deeds turns to Allah truly *** (24:31) Part - And repent to Allah O believers, all of you, so that you may achieve success. *** (66:8) O you who believe, turn to Allah with a faithful repentance. It is hoped from your Lord that he will write off your faults, *** (2:222) Part - Surely Allah loves those who are most repenting, and loves those who keep themselves pure.

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Unless he repents, believes and works righteous deeds, for Allah will change the evil of such persons into good, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (25:70) Who ever repents and does good, has truly turned to Allah in repentance. (25:71) Oh believers, turn altogether towards Allah in repentance so that you may be successful (24:31) Oh you who believe turn to Allah with sincere repentance: in the hope that Your Lord will remove from you your evil deeds. (66:8) Allah loves those who repent constantly and he loves those who keep themselves pure and clean. (2:222)

Luqman (A.S) advised his Son: Oh dear Son, make no delay in making Tauba as death comes suddenly. He who does not repent without delay lives in two dangers. One of the dangers is that the darkness of sin is congested in his heart to such an extent that it is transformed in to rust, which would induce him to do more sins. The second danger is that he may die without his sin being forgiven. Tauba means repentance and determination not to repeat the sin again. Knowledge repentance and determination are the necessary conditions of Tauba. Tauba is the name given to the grief that comes as a result of loss of a dear thing. It has got many signs-pangs of mind and sorrow, shedding of tears, weeping, living in worry and anxiety. There is a Hadith: Keep Company of those who repent as they have soft hearts.

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32. Sabr and Shukr - Patience and gratefulness


Sabr means patience and Shukr means gratefulness, both qualities loved very much by Allah. We must make Shukr to Allah for all his favours and blessings that he has given us, and we must keep Sabr in the case of misfortunes and disappointments. This is the quality of all Prophets and pious people. Allah praises people who have patience and he has linked good deeds and merits to patience on many occasions in the Quran. Allah says in the Holy Quran: (32:24) And We appointed leaders from among them who guided (people) under Our command, when they observed patience, and kept firm belief in Our verses. *** (2:249) Part - Allah is with those who remain patient. *** (2:58) Part - and say: HiTTah (we seek forgiveness), so that We forgive your errors. And We shall give much more to those who do good. *** (16:96) Part - And certainly, We shall bless those who observed patience, with their reward for the best of what they used to do.

And we appointed leaders from amongst them, giving guidance under our command, so long as they persevered with patience and continued to have faith in our signs. (32:24) Allah is with the patient ones. (2:249) Say: Forgive us, We shall forgive you your faults, and increase the potion of those who do good. (2:58) And we will certainly bestow on those who patiently persevere, their rewards according to the best of their actions. (16:96)

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The Holy Prophet said: Patience is half of faith. The lowest measure of any good that has been given to you is sure Faith and firm determination of patience. He who has been given a potion of these two qualities has got no fear, even if he prays a little at night and fasts a little during the daytime. Shukr or gratefulness is a quality that gives us contentment and peace of mind. Allah says in the Holy Quran: (2:152) So Remember Me, and I will remember you, and be thankful to Me, and be not ungrateful to Me. *** (3:144) Part - Allah shall soon reward the grateful. *** (7:17) Part (Shaithan said) You will not find most of them grateful. *** (34:13) Part - Very few from My slaves are thankful. *** (14:7) Part - If you express gratitude, I shall certainly give you more, and if you are ungrateful, then My punishment is severe. *** (16:18) If you count the bounties of Allah, you cannot count them all. Surely, Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.

Remember Me, I will remember you. Be grateful to me and be not ungrateful (2:152). Allah will swiftly reward those who serve him with gratitude. (3:144) [Shaitan said} You will not find most of them grateful. (7:17) There are only a few who serve me who are grateful to me. (34:13) If you are grateful, I will surely grant you more, but if you are ungrateful, truly my punishment is terrible indeed. (14:7) If you would count up the favours of Allah, never would you be able to number them. (16:18)

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33. Khauf and Rajha - Fear and Hope


Khauf is fear of the anger of Allah and Rajha is hope for the love of Allah. Every Muslim has these qualities, but we must try to understand and further develop these qualities in us so that Ridhla will always make us love and relish doing things that Allah wants us to do and Khauf will always prevent us from doing things that will anger Allah. A person having these qualities will never be satisfied with the condition of his amals. He will always remember and fear his sins, and hope that Allah would have forgiven them. He would not have arrogance about the divine services that he does and he would always desire to do more. A believer having these qualities would love to do good actions and once he completes an amal he fears that the amal was not done in a manner to please Allah. Khauf and Rajha have been described by Sufis as a condition where, a persons heart is attached to Allah and Allah too is attached to him. To develop this quality in us we all must make Tauba after any good action we have done, whether it be Prayer, fasting, Sadaqa etc, as we must fear as to whether Allah will accept it and we must also entertain hope that Allah is very pleased with us as we have done these amals.

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34. Poverty and Asceticism.


Asceticism or renunciation is to understand the true nature of the world and thus not to hanker after its glitter. A person who builds up has developed true values of he hereafter would not desire the materials of this world and he would be on the path to asceticism. He would have contentment and peace of mind and would gradually lose his quality of poverty. To develop these qualities we must spend time meditating on the true nature of the world and associate them with the examples given in the Holy Quran and in the Hadith. The more we meditate and keep company with pious people these good qualities of renunciation would develop in us and the bad quality of poverty or hankering after the world will leave us. The Holy Prophet said: The best person is the poor man who gives his hard earned money in charity. Allah loves one who has a big family and restrains from begging. The poor amongst my followers will enter Jannath 500 years before the rich. The poor are the best amongst my followers and the weak amongst them will roam in Paradise before all the others. I have two dear things. If anybody loves them both, he loves me and if anyone hates them both, he hates me: these two are poverty and jihad. He amongst you who rises early morning with his body healthy, his mind serene and with his daily livelihood, all the treasures as it were have been gathered for him. (that is this niameth is like having all the treasures) Keep company with the poor and acquire blessings from them, as there is wealth with them. The companions asked, Oh Messenger of Allah, what is their wealth? The Prophet replied: When the day of Judgment comes, they will be told: Take hold of the hands of those who gave you a handful of food, or a tumbler of water, or a piece off cloth and enter Paradise. A Poem Seek what you wish from Allah, not from men, Be satisfied in joy, there is honour therein, Do not be a burden on relatives and friends, Rich is he who hopes from Allah, and not from men.

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35. Tauhid and Tawakkal.


What is Tauhid? Know Oh readers that Tauhid mans to have firm faith that there is no god other than Allah, he is one and has no partner. Tauhid means learning and believing in all his qualities and to know that he has these qualities in abundance. To believe and recognize his limitless Power, Kindness and Skills. This quality of Tauhid is like a vast ocean and a person can spend his whole life developing it but still be unable to perfect it. What is Tawakkal? Literally it means trusting in Allah. It is to have a firm belief in the promises of Allah and to have the patience and the confidence that Allah will come to the aid of the believers. Allah says in the Holy Quran: (5:23) Part - In Allah you must place your trust, if you are believers. *** (3:159) Part - once you have taken a decision, place your trust in Allah. Surely, Allah loves those who place their trust in Him.

On Allah put your trust if you have faith, (5:23) Put thy trust in Allah, for Allah loves those who put their trust in him. (3:159)

A person who develops the qualities of Tauhid and Tawakkal will develop knowledge about Allah, all his attributes, and his promises and also learn where Allahs help lies. He will thus also develop the bounty of leading his life with divine help and guidance. He will keep his trust on the promises of Allah and so long as he obeys Allah, Allah will never let him down.

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36. Love and Attachment.


Know Oh dear readers, that true love of Allah is the last stage in religious service and the highest in rank. There is no higher stage after acquisition of love of Allah. Before this stage a lover of Allah has to go through the stages of repentance (Tauba) patience (Sabr) and renunciation. These are the preliminaries stages on the journey to the love of Allah. Though it is difficult to enter the region of love, it is possible for the human mind to be filled up with Allahs love as a result of firm faith. To believe in Allahs love is difficult. Some learned men have even thought it to be impossible. With love comes attachment, a condition where the lover of Allah lives as if he can see Allah everywhere.

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37. Intention, Truth and Sincerity.


Will has got two elements in it knowledge and action. Knowledge comes before action as it is the basis of action and action comes after knowledge. Action is the fruit of knowledge and its branch. He who has made his sole object of life to get happiness in the next world does all his deeds in this world with that object alone. The object of worship of Allah is to free the soul of diseases, to keep it alive and to keep it healthy and improve it to gain happiness in the next world. The object of divine service is to get relish of the sight of Allah. He will not attain this object unless he loves Allah and dies in that condition. He will not get the love of Allah unless he gets knowledge about him. He will not get his knowledge unless he remembers him excessively. So the attainment of the love of Allah is the result of constant remembrance of Allah and thoughts about Him and His works.

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38. Meditation Muraqaba.


Allah says in the Holy Quran: (21:47) We shall place scales to do justice on the Day of Judgment. So no one shall be wronged in the least. Even if it (a deed) is to the measure of a mustard seed, We will bring it forth, and We are enough to take account. *** (18:49) And the book (of deeds) will be placed (before them), then you will see the guilty people scared of its contents and saying, Woe to us! What a book is this! It has missed nothing, minor or major, but has taken it into account. Thus they will find whatever they did present before them, and your Lord will not wrong anyone. *** (58:6) on the Day when Allah will resurrect them all together, and will tell them what they did;

We shall set up scales of Justice for the Day of Judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least. And if there be (no more than) the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it (to account): And enough are We to take account (21:47) And the book (of Deeds) will be placed (before you); And you will see the sinful in great terror because of what is (recorded) therein; they will see: Ah! Woe to us! It leaves out nothing small or great, but takes account thereof! they will find all that they did, placed before them: And not one will thy Lord treat with injustice. (18:49) On that Day when Allah will raise them all up, He will inform them of what they did. (58:06) On that Day, will men proceed in companies sorted out to be shown the Deeds that they (had done). Then shall anyone who has done an atoms weight of good l see it (99:6-7) Know that Allah knows what is in your hearts. (17:25)

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Know for certain that He will not give you salvation without introspection of your passions, correct movements, good thoughts, examination of breaths and time. Who so takes account of himself before his accounts are taken, his accounts will be easy on the resurrection day as his reply will be ready so the time of the question and his resting place will be good. He who does not take account of himself and his activities will be driven to a place of dishonour and chastisement. So Allah advises the believers by saying: (3:200) O you who believe, be patient, compete with each other in patience, and guard your frontiers and fear Allah, so that you may be successful. *** O, you, who believe, Persevere in Patience and Constancy, compete in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allah; that you may prosper. (3:200)

There are six stages of Spiritual Efforts: 1. The first stage is Mosharata, which is to bind oneself in a firm tie by setting up conditions with passion. 2. The second stage is Morakaba, which is to guard oneself and examine passion by good thoughts. 3. The third stage is Mohasaba, which is to take account of passions. 4. The fourth stage is Moakaba, which is to punish passions. 5. The fifth stage is Mojahada, which is to disobey the dictates of passion by constant efforts. 6. The sixth stage is Moataba, which is to rebuke passions. The basis of all these stages is Mohasaba, or to take account of oneself.

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39. Pondering over good


The Holy Prophet said: Good thinking for an hour is better than divine service for one year. The Holy Quran gives encouragement to Tadabbar (efforts to recognize attributes), Itebar (take lessons), Nazr (deep insight) and Iftekar (thinking). It is no secret that good thought is the key t light, the beginning of deep insight, door to various branches of knowledge and path to Marifath and understanding. Many men have understood its excellence, but have not known its real nature, its effects, its roots and ways. How to think of Allah? What to think? Why to think? With whose help to think?

These are things that were unknown to men. Imam Gazzali explains these things in detail in his book Ihya Ulam id Din.

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40. Death and pondering over death.


Oh, dear readers, that the man who is grossly immerged in the world and cheated by charming coquetries, is unmindful of the remembrance of death. He does not remember death. When he is reminded of it, he does not like it. Allah says in the Holy Quran: Never will they express their desire for death, because of the deeds their hands have sent on before them! And Allah knows well those that do wrong! (62:7)

The Holy Prophet said: Think more of that which destroys happiness. The reason of this good is that remembrance of death keeps him far away from this world of deception and compels him to prepare for the next world. The gift of the believer is death. Death expiates the sins of every Muslim. Remember death excessively as it obliterates the sins and makes you fear Allah in this world. Remember death. Beware, by One in whose hand there is my life, had you known what I know, you would have laughed little and wept much.

Hazrath Ayesha (Radha) once asked the Holy Prophet: Oh Prophet of Allah, will anybody rise with the martyrs? He said: He who remembers death twenty times a day will rise with them. Hazrath ibn Umar said: I along with ten other companions were near the Messenger of Allah. Then an Ansari asked him: Oh, Prophet of Allah, who are the most wisest and honoured of men? He replied: They pass away with honour in this world, and the next who remember death most, and prepare most for it.

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Conclusion
Imam Gazzali, when he wrote this epic on reviving Islam, he had this to say: If any Muslim student were to be asked about the virtues and vices of the qualities like patience and thankfulness, fear and awe, envy and malice, hypocrisy and deception, contentment and sincerity or how to avoid hankering after the praise and respect of others, he would not be able to give any answer, although he ought to know these as the preparation for life in the world-to-come depends on them. However if you were to ask him about lian, zihar, sabaq or rami, he will give out a detailed description of each, although one seldom comes across these issues, and, if anybody does need a juristic opinion on these matters, he can easily obtain it in every town. These scholars thus devote their entire time and energy in learning and teaching the details of similar insignificant issues but remain oblivious of the knowledge essential for a religious teacher. This he said almost 1000 years ago. Isnt it truer today? It is very necessary that we must learn about qualities that would make us very, very, human. We must plough into our hearts virtuous qualities, and weed out of them, the destructive ones. The true educative process should have this inbuilt process. We must identify, construct and develop these morals and values. Only then would the Shariath blossom into a system that would give us peace, social order and prosperity. Ihya Ulam id Din, the book consists of over 1500 pages. Imam Gazzali has in detail explained each quality and showed us how to develop the good qualities in us and how to cure ourselves from the bad or destructive ones. I was able to give you only a very short introductions to these qualities. The object of this Presentation is to make us all aware of how much hard work and dedication is necessary to make us good humans. I hope you all learned and enjoyed this Presentation, as much as I learned and enjoyed presenting it to you. May Allah Taaalah guide us all and accept us all. Jazza Kalla Khairan. Assalamu Alaikum
Imtiaz Muhsin Colombo Sri Lanka crescent786@hotmail.com

You Tube Channel - HaneefanMusliman

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