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

Utter Devotion

Allāh told the Prophet ﷺ at the beginning of Prophethood ‘Read by the name of your Lord.’ [Sūrat ul-ʿAlaq].

We look at this verse and think look how much the Qurʾān has emphasised learning and education. It is true. But, has the the Qurʾān focussed on, and emphasised, learning and education purely for the the sake of reading, or learning for the sake of learning? Or is there a greater purpose?

If we think the Qurʾān has emphasised learning and reading, for the sake of learning itself then we have misunderstood the verse. Following revelation of this verse, Sūrat ul-Muzzammil and Sūrat ul-Muddaththir were revealed. In Sūrat ul-Muzzammil, Allāh says

Oh one wrapped in a shroud. Rise at night except for very little. [Sūrat ul-Muzzammil, 73:1-2]

(meaning spend as much of the night in prayer as possible leaving only a little time not spent in prayer).

Later Allāh says:

And Remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself unto Allāh with an utter devotion. [Sūrat ul-Muzzammil, 73:8]

The purpose even for the Prophet ﷺ was not reading for the sake of reading, or learning for the sake of learning . The Prophet ﷺ did not have to learn anything. Allāh taught him everything.

Hence, for the Prophet ﷺ the meaning of reading here is not reading a script for the purpose of learning. Reading here is recital of what Allāh gave him . Of course the duty of the Prophet ﷺ was rising and warning the people and conveying the message of Allāh (as mentioned in Sūrat ul-Muzzammil and Sūrat ul-Muddaththir). We know about that duty.

But, what about his personal relationship with Allāh? Of that, Allāh says ‘Remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself to him with an utter devotion.’ That was right at the beginning of his Prophethood, long before he had a band of followers, long before Hijrah and before he had a position of power , influence, or authority.

[This short except is based on the talk ‘The Spirituality of the Prophet ﷺ’ which was delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on 17th December 2017]

Success and Wealth

We think money will buy us everything – power, love, influence, recognition, peace, joy, happiness and so on. Money cannot necessarily buy these things. We think success is in wealth. We often say that he or she is ‘successful’ meaning that they are wealthy. If someone does well in business, they are considered successful. Hence, we equate wealth with success and success with wealth.

We think success lies in gaining wealth. Allāh سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ‎ says success lies in giving away wealth.

We think success is acquiring wealth. Allāh سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ‎ says success is in distributing wealth.

We believe success is in gathering, collecting and hoarding wealth. Allāh سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ‎ says success is in giving away that wealth. That is why Allāh سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ‎ says in a verse of Sūrat Ar-Rūm:

“So give the relative his due and the poor and the traveller.[Sūrat Ar-Rūm 30:38]

Remember, this is over and above zakāh.  Zakāh is obligatory but Allāh سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ‎ has told us that zakāh is the bare minimum that you should give. Over and above zakāh, you should give as much wealth as possible. To whom? To all kinds of categories of people as in this verse.

[This short except is based on the talk ‘True Success’ which was delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on Friday 3rd March 2017]

Rise and Fall

We want perfection in everything around us. We would all want the weather to be perfect, for example, but we have to learn that we have no control over it. When the weather is not the best, how do we react? If we accept, we may see beauty in what we accept. If not, there will be bad weather outside and there will be bad weather inside us.

If things are not perfect, we are aggrieved, agitated, unhappy and disillusioned. As a result our spirit suffers, our rūḥ and religion suffers. Allāh has told has what we need to do – to remember Allāh, to focus on Allāh, to accept that the world around us was never meant to be perfect. It is organised chaos. There are always highs and lows.

The Prophet ﷺ had a very beautiful and prized camel, Qaswa, which would always win in a race. Once Qaswa lost and the Sahabah became very saddened. The Prophet ﷺ said to them that it is a duty on Allāh that nothing rises in the world except that Allah brings it down again. This is the reality of the world. There are highs and lows. Everything that rises in the dunya, rises to fall. That is the cycle of life. We rise and we fall by the end of our life. Nothing lasts forever. Even the greatest of structures in the dunya have collapsed and will collapse. This is not a world of permanency and perfection. It is how we deal with things around us that is important.

[This excerpt is based on a talk entitled ‘The Pursuit of Perfection’ delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on 16th December 2018]

Ramaḍān 2019 – Day 29: Decompression

A sudden transition from the intense spirituality of Ramadan to a less devotional atmosphere can result in ‘spiritual bends’ (decompression)

Ramaḍān 2019 – Day 28: Avoid Distraction

Let not the fatigue of our month’s endeavours or the excitement of the pending Eid distract us from the last few blessed moments of Ramadan.

Ramaḍān 2019 – Day 27: Spiritual Focus

Fasting itself is a form of i’itikāf whereby we retreat into a bodily seclusion, renounce food, drink and desire, and focus on the spirit.

Ramaḍān 2019 – Day 26: Last Friday

As the final hours of the last Jumuah of this Ramadan pass, let not the beauty and blessings of these moments escape us. Du’as!

Ramaḍān 2019 – Day 25: Malnourished Souls

In Ramadan we should deny our overindulged bodies their earthly gratification and instead provide heavenly food for our malnourished souls.

Ramaḍān 2019 – Day 24: Content

Instead of learning to just ‘live’ with what we have but learning to be actually ‘content’ with what we have is true belief in Allah’s Qadr.

Ramaḍān 2019 – Day 23: No Equal

A hadith on fasting:

Abu Umamah al-Bahili relates: I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Instruct me with a deed through which Alläh will benefit me.’ He ﷺ replied, ‘Adhere to fasting for it has no equal.’ (al-Nasai in his Sunan)

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