A collection of words of wisdom and excerpts from the spiritual gatherings of Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq

Spiritual Rehabilitation

We should treat Ramaḍān as a period of spiritual recovery and treatment. If someone spends a month in hospital due to a serious illness, they have a unique environment where everything is controlled for them so that they can recover. Upon discharge they need to follow medical advice regarding lifestyle, diet and exercise otherwise their recovery could be compromised and their illness could be fatal. This is analogous to the spiritual rehabilitation we undergo in Ramadan.

When Ramaḍān arrives, a unique atmosphere and climate is prepared by Allāh. Allāh places salvation, forgiveness and mercy in this month. This is to help us train for our life outside of Ramaḍān. Similar to the analogy of the patient discharged from hospital, we need to ensure that we do not lapse back in to our normal routine after Ramaḍān, once that special, sanitised atmosphere is no longer there.

Taqwá is the greatest lesson that we can take with us beyond Ramaḍān.  Allāh سبحانه و تعالى says in the Holy Qurʾān:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ


O believers, fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those who came before you so that you may attain Taqwá [al Baqarah 2/183]

 Taqwá means more that the ‘fear of Allāh’. Taqwá literally means to guard; it can mean anything that guards, shields or protects. We need to guard ourselves from the displeasure of Allāh. How can we do this? By guarding our limbs from sin and therefore the displeasure of Allāh.

[This short excerpt is based on a lecture delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on 30th June 2017].


Malnourished Spirit

We are allowing our Rūḥ (spirit) to become malnourished because we are too focused on our body.

Is Your Body Your Temple?

The custom of most of us is to lavish attention on our bodies and neglect our spirits. The love of life drives us to ensure that we remain healthy so that we can live longer. We train and exercise to look good and to prolong life. Healthy eating, exercise, and diet are ultimately about prolonging life via good health i.e. preserving the physical body.

We often hear the phrase ’your body is your temple’. We may not explicitly say it but this is what we live by. Many people train hard in gyms not just for health reasons but to look good i.e. for cosmetic reasons. Gyms are full of mirrors so that people can admire themselves. This is vanity in the extreme. In contrast to this, in many parts of the world, Christian monks and nuns were forbidden to look into mirrors because it was considered an act of vanity, self-conceit, and an invitation to pride and self-worship.

It is important that we look after our bodies as the Prophet ﷺ has taught us that our bodies have a right over us. However, the attention that we lavish on our bodies is misplaced if we neglect our ruh. Our ruh has a greater right over us. We are allowing it to become malnourished because we are too focused with the body.

As Muslims, we must maintain the health of the mind, body and the spirit. We fear diseases of the body because we are frightened of death, that these illnesses may lead to. Diseases of the heart prevent the flourishing and growth of our soul and our good deeds. The heart has many diseases. These include hypocrisy, pride, envy, malice, haughtiness, and hatred. These are corrosive. For example, in a ḥadīth, envy is described as consuming our good deeds just as fire consumes dry wood. We may perform good deeds externally but due to these diseases within we are sick and rotten.

Many verses of the Qur’an speak about health of the spirit and diseases of the heart. For example, in Surah Baqarah, Allah سبحانه و تعالى  says:

فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللّهُ مَرَضاً وَلَهُم عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ

In their hearts is a disease, so Allah hath increased unto them that disease; and unto them shall be a torment afflictive, for they have been lying. [al Baqarah 2/10]

Diseases of the heart are very destructive. These are what will make us or break us.

[This excerpt is based on a spiritual gathering held by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on 17th April 2016].

A Message of Peace

Eid ul Fitr:

Eid Mubarak to everyone! May Allah accept our deeds, and on this auspicious day may He bring peace and joy to everyone’s hearts and homes.

Ramadan Day 30

Ramadan Day 30:

The five prayers, Friday to Friday, and Ramadan to Ramadan are all expiators of what’s in between them if one avoids major sins (Muslim).

Ramadan Day 29

Ramadan Day 29:

Oh Allah! Cause the crescent to dawn upon us with blessing and iman and with safety and Islam. (Oh Crescent) My Lord and Your Lord is Allah!

Ramadan Day 28

Ramadan Day 28:

‘There are many who purify their clothes yet pollute their faith!’ – The companion Abu Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah (رضى الله عنه). 

Ramadan Day 27

Ramadan Day 27:

We can get obsessed with halal and haram but we forget about the essence of worship, the core spirituality.

Ramadan Day 26

Ramadan Day 26:

In Ramadan the nafs is grinded, pressured, burdened and weaned off its desires.

Ramadan Day 25

Ramadan Day 25:

During Ramadan we should spend more moments in silence, meditation, reflection and try more consciously to engage in tasbeeh and dhikr (remembrance of Allah).

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