Understanding the spiritual meanings on which the practices of Islam are based, opens up the vastness of the inner life. Even though young Muslim children are not yet obliged to fast or pay zakat, the virtues and spiritual dimensions on which these are based can easily be introduced and comprehended even by five-year olds. Imam al-Ghazali’s stories and metaphors offer an effective way for parents to communicate with their children, in a language which can be used and directly related to the occurrences within everyday life. In the following two books of the Ihya, such virtues as generosity, gratitude, selflessness, reflection, self-discipline, patience, honesty, moderation, and trust in God’s loving wisdom are no longer abstract concepts but can be clearly seen instead as urgent and absolutely relative to each individual. We are indeed blessed to have Imam al-Ghazali’s systematic presentation of aspects belonging to the inner sunna and his detailed map for guarding and perfecting our innate and noble nature. Read Here ordownload
Ramadan Treasure Fun with Imam Al-Ghazali – 27 Days Exploring The Book of Fasting
A Ramadan surprise offering carefully prepared by a group of Ghazali home and pilot school educators. The first activity begins with moonsighting today. read here
A Ramadan Gift of 9 Stories for Children Too Young to Fast
Children can learn how Ramadan is celebrated by their global brothers and sisters in countries such as China, Mauritania and Syria, as well as identify with their common concerns and discoveries in an entertaining way. These stories were written and researched by a Ghazali Grandmother, who has also experienced being a refugee. Read Here
Allah Almighty has sent to us Sharia, Tariqa, Marifa and Haqqiqa. Sharia is the means by which we could reach to Haqqiqa or Reality. The Sharia is like a ship and Tariqa like an ocean across which you have to move towards Haqqiqat, your destination. Without Sharia, Tariqa would be useless. It would be like parking a boat in the beach. You have to take it to the ocean to use it. So Sharia without Haqqiqat is nothing. Whoever keeps to the Sharia must enter the Ocean and move on his direction to his destination, be it east or west, north or south. There are forty-one Tariqat’s and each one is an Ocean. You can use any one of them according to your destination. All of them keep to the Sharia and expect its followers to keep perfect Sharia as without a ship you cannot cross over the Oceans. The knowledge of our destination, which is Haqqiqa, is called Marifa. We ask for Haqqiqa or for the Reality, which is Allah Almighty. Therefore Sharia is like a boat, Tariqa like an Ocean, knowledge of your destination is Marifa and your reaching the destination is Haqqiqa.
The question now is do you need a Sheikh to reach to that destination. For example, you need a Captain in a ship or a Pilot in an airplane to take you from one place to another unless you can steer and guide it yourself. The final destination of people is the Divine Presence of Allah Almighty. The forty-one Tariqat’s are like forty-one Oceans and you may choose any one of them. If you want to reach anywhere you have to move your boat from the beach to the ocean. Similarly Sharia must be practiced through Tariqa. The Sheikh is like the Captain or Pilot. He is the one who is experienced in going back and forth. We novices cannot lead. It is enough to choose a way with one guide. All the Prophets were guides while those who guide after them are their Inheritors. In Mecca and Medina we need the guidance of a Mutawwaf who holds us by the hand and takes us around the Ka’aba etc. So what of going to the Divine Presence of Allah Almighty. All the Prophets before Islam taught their believers Tariqa , as without it Sharia would be useless. As we said before a boat serves no purpose on land. Its usefulness is only in the Oceans. Once in the Ocean it can reach its destination from different directions. The forty-one Tariqat’s are forty-one Oceans needing different types of vessels to traverse them. Some need very high tonnage vessels while a simple boat will do for others. Allah Almighty created many Tariqat’s so that each one could choose his mode of travel according to his capacity.
If you have a big capacity ship you may move through the Oceans, seas or lakes to your destination which would be the same from any direction. Keeping Sharia only, is like keeping a boat on the beach. So take it to the ocean. The Tariqa, the ocean would never take anything away from Sharia, therefore, you should bring the whole of Sharia into Tariqa and taking anything away makes you an imperfect Tariqa follower. It is not acceptable to Tariqa. Tariqa demands a perfect following of the Sharia as leaving anything out would be like making a hole in your vessel, and that hole is enough to drown you. Therefore, Tariqa people try to keep more firmly to the Sharia than the others. Finding our destination is a very serious subject. Allah Almighty will ask why we did not take care in finding our destination. Only the Wahabi’s, mindless, empty headed and square headed people don’t understand the Seal of the Prophet Sayyidina Muhammed (on whom be peace). The Wahabi’s do not understand Tariqa. Leave them and keep to your way.
ASK PERFECTION FROM A PERFECT ONE
Now we are in this temporary life. Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year or maybe the next century we are going to leave. We must leave this life and move from this world to another world, which is described to us by the Prophets. No one may open the veils from the coming days, and no one can know what will happen after tomorrow in the endless future. Only He Who created you, mankind, may know what is going to happen in the future, and He is the Only One who can remove the veils. He is the Creator of the coming days and the Designer of every day’s program. Don’t think that any day may come by itself without a program, no. Every day must come by His Will, and everything, which is coming into existence, which will appear tomorrow, is programmed by Him with all the details, not only with the headlines. Yourself and every creature, everything, is representing our Creator’s endless power, His endless perfection. It begins with the smallest representative of creatures, which is less than an atom, then continues to the atomic world, the solid world, the plant world, the animal world, the human nature world, mountains, oceans, the earth, stars and galaxies. Everything shows Allah’s perfection, and He puts perfection in everything, never leaving any imperfection in any creature in any of these worlds. There is a perfect connection between everything, from the smallest unit in the atomic world, to the gigantic star systems in the world of the galaxies. Nothing and no one can be by itself, by himself. By that connection everything in existence knows its Creator. This is a common connection between everything in existence, that they know, or must know, their Creator- heavenly beings, earthly beings, the smallest creatures up to huge, gigantic galaxies. None among the countless creatures are going to deny the existence of their Creator. Only fully foolish, drunken people from mankind deny this. The second common connection among everything in existence is that all creatures give their most high and endless respect to their Lord, which is their glorification. Everything must glorify! They are saying that some things are not alive, but everything in existence has a life, and everything is alive with that glorification. If something is not glorifying the Lord, it is going to vanish, finish, it will lose its life. Everything that is coming into existence must glorify its Lord Allah Almighty. Oceans are glorifying, mountains, earths, skies, sun, moon, stars, galaxies, plants all are glorifying Him, even animals, your body is glorifying. But mankind, because they are heedless, are not using their tongues to say: “Subhanallah”- “Glory be to Allah Almighty! “ Therefore the events which are going to happen tomorrow are in their most perfect position. You can’t find any imperfection in anything in existence. Events are in their full perfection, because He, who created that event and that creature is in His endless perfection. So perfection may be taken from a perfect person. An imperfect person can’t give perfection to someone else, because if he is imperfect, he must give from his imperfection. I can only give from what I have. If I haven’t, what am I going to give to you? If I have perfection, I am giving perfection. If I have imperfection, I can only give imperfection. There is no imperfection with the Lord of the Heavens, and He gives to everything its perfection. He is asking His servants to ask for what they are in need of from Him: perfection. But people ask for this or that. No, ask from Him, from His perfection oceans, to give you perfection, so that you don’t come to His Divine Presence in an imperfect condition. He may ask: “Why you are coming in such a condition? Why are you not coming to My Divine Presence with perfection? Why are you coming imperfect?” If the servant says: “I never asked for more than this, I didn’t know where perfection was”, then Allah Almighty may say: “Oh My servant, why didn’t you look for a perfect one among My servants? If you had asked, you would have found someone, but you never asked, so you never found anyone and you are coming to Me not becoming perfect. If you were asking for perfection from Me, I would have granted it to you, but you didn’t ask. You asked for this and that, although perfection was the best thing for you to ask for, and the highest honour was to come to My Divine Presence with perfection.” It is important. Ask, and you can find. There must be some people who have perfection. It is not for common people, but if you ask, you can find a perfect servant and he may give to you. This is the meaning of the Prophet Muhammad’s (sal) saying: “If knowledge is to be found even in China, you must go for it.” At that time China was the last known place on earth, beyond which no country was heard of. The Prophet (sal) knew better, but he was addressing the people in front of him who knew only China as the furthest place. He meant to say: “If you are asking for knowledge, and the person who can teach you that knowledge is in China, then run to him.” What kind of knowledge? The knowledge which gives you perfection. Not the kind of knowledge which is only written down to make books, no. There are millions of books. But try it yourself, can you take perfection from them? You can? Oh, very good; but you can’t find the perfection which belongs to you. There may be a big warehouse full of keys, thousands of keys, and you are in need of a single key, and you are coming and saying: “Oh keeper of this warehouse of keys, I have lost my door key, give me the key.” But he doesn’t ask what kind of key it was and what it looked like, he only says: “This is the key,” and gives it to you. And you go and try the key, but you can’t open the door. You come back and ask: “Give me another key and then another.” But up to the end of the world the keys are so many and never ending and they do not open that door. So there are millions of books full of knowledge, but which one is giving you perfection? You need maybe a million years of lifetime to try and find out which one is for you. Oh heedless people. Never ending… even in a million years you will not finish. But that person, who is an expert, is saying to you: “What are you asking for? What kind of lock do you have, tell me.” And then he is looks and says: “Bring this key to him.” Therefore that person must know the perfection that you need. And that knowledge may be found in sometimes in China, but not in books. Real knowledge through our hearts is what we are asking for. So that is the wisdom of what the Prophet (sal) was saying. Knowledge is knowledge, here or in China. But if that person, who may give you that perfection is living there, run to him and take from him. He may give you the key to open your treasures. May Allah forgive us and make us understand something from perfection. Look for His representatives on earth to reach Him. If you don’t find them, you can’t reach Him.
“We all know that the Lord of Heavens created four seasons on Earth, and of those seasons, spring is known for its rain; there is something very special and valuable about spring rain which falls in March, April and May. Yet the most precious month of spring is April, and there is wisdom and reasons for that month being so special. It has been selected to have such a quality because the Seal of the Prophets ﷺ, the Most Beloved One for whose honor all was created, was born in April!
Heavenly knowledge reaches some special, chosen and selected people, and it has also reached through Grandshaykh (qs). Knowledge that April rain is special is hidden knowledge and it carries hidden treasures that are hidden wisdoms. Of the twelve months April is so beloved and hence, the most valuable treasures are granted in that month. In April, the Lord of Heavens sends a special and blessed rain from the heavens; such rain that reaches Earth and gives it new life. If it did not rain in April, the Earth would dry out and nothing more would grow on it.
It is well known to heavenly, holy people that blessed April rain comes from under the Holy Throne. If one drop of that blessed rain falls onto the earthly rain clouds, all that rain takes baraka, blessings from it, then that rain gives new life to everything! It changes them and takes terrible burdens from everything, particularly from Man. And whoever knows that secret wisdom will stand under that rain, allowing it to completely touch their bodies. When those drops of April’s rain falls, even the fishes in the oceans come up, opening their mouths to reach just one drop of that blessed rain and waiting at the ocean’s surface. Allahu Akbar, all of creation is waiting to reach those Divine Waves of Mercy!”
This enlivening and pleasant call, which is full of His love and affection, attracts the man’s attention to itself so deeply, and gives him joy, happiness and spirituality, that does not match any other bounty.
Yes hearing the call of the beloved one, is a call filled with love and mixed with grace which causes the people of Paradise to be thoroughly rejoicing, a moment of which is superior to the whole world and whatever exists in it.
A tradition narrated from the Prophet of Islam (S) indicates that he said:
“While the people of Paradise are busy enjoying the bounties of Heaven there will appear a light above them”.
This is the light of Allah which is cast upon them and at the same time a
call will be heard saying: ‘Peace and greeting on you, O’ the people of Paradise!’
And this is the same thing which has been mentioned in the Qur’an. It is here that the view of Allah attracts them so strongly that they neglect His all other things and, in that state, they forget the whole bounties of Paradise.
It is here that the angels come out from every door and say: ‘Peace upon you’.”
Yes, the ecstasy of the intuition and presence of the Beloved and the visit of the Lord’s Grace are so delightful and gratifying that a moment of which is not equal with any blessing, even with the whole world.
The lovers of visiting Him are so that if this spiritual gift might be ceased from them, they would die. Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) in a tradition said: “If I remain walled from the visit of the Lord for a moment, I will die.”
It is interesting that the apparent of the verse is that this greeting of Allah unto the believers in Paradise is a direct greeting without any intermediator.
It is a greeting from the Lord, Allah, the greeting which originates from His special Mercy, i.e., the rank of His specific Mercy, and all grace and favours are gathered in it. Oh, what a blessing it is!
In principle, Paradise is ‘the Abode of Peace’, as Surah Yunus, No. 10,
verse 25 says: “And Allah does call mankind to the Abode of Peace…”
And the people of Paradise, who are the dwellers of this abode, will sometimes face with the angel’s greeting.
At the time of arrival into Paradise, the angels arrive to them from every door and say:
“Peace (be) upon you (saying) that you persevered in patience! (And now) how excellent is the Ultimate Abode.”
And sometimes the dwellers of ’A‘raf call them and say:
“…Peace be upon you!…”
And sometimes they will be faced with the angels’ greeting after entering
into Paradise: “…and the warders thereof say unto them: ‘Peace be unto you…”
Sometimes, at the time of taking their souls, this greeting is delivered to them from the side of the angels of death. They say: “…Peace be upon you! Enter the Paradise because of what you used to do.”
And sometimes they themselves greet each other. And, in principle, in their greeting there is ‘Peace’, the Qur’an says: “…their greetings therein is: ‘Peace!’.”
And, finally, the superior and above all of these is the greeting of Allah: “‘Peace’: is the word from a Merciful Lord (for them).”
Briefly speaking, there will be heard there neither a vain word nor a sinful thing. There will be only ‘peace’ and ‘peace’. The Qur’an says: “They shall not hear therein vain or sinful discourse,”
Of course, it is not a greeting in mere pronunciation, but it is a greeting the effect of which penetrates in the depth of man’s soul and makes it thoroughly full of tranquillity, peace, and health. See comment Surah 36 Yasin
When The Moors Ruled In Europe is a documentary movie presented by the English historian Bettany Hughes. It is a series on the contribution the Moors made to Europe during their 700-year reign in Spain and Portugal ending in the 15th century. It was first broadcast on Channel 4 Saturday 5 November 2005 and was filmed in the Spanish region of Andalusia, mostly in the cities of Granada, Cordoba and the Moroccan city of Fes.
The era ended with the Reconquista during which the Catholic authorities burnt over 1,000,000 Arabic texts.
Join British historian Bettany Hughes as she examines a long-buried chapter of European history–the rise and fall of Islamic culture in what is now Spain and Portugal.
Although generations of Spanish rulers have tried to expunge this era from the historical record, recent archeology and scholarship now shed fresh light on the Moors who flourished in Al-Andalus for more than 700 years.
This fascinating documentary explodes old stereotypes and offers shocking new insights. You’ll discover the ingenious mathematics behind Granada’s dazzling Alhambra Palace, trace El Cid’s lineage to his Moorish roots, and learn how the Iberian population willingly converted to Islam in droves.
Through interviews with noted scholars, you’ll see how Moorish advances in mathematics, astronomy, art, and agriculture helped propel the West out of the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance. What emerges is a richly detailed portrait of a sensuous, inquisitive, and remarkably progressive Islamic culture in Christian Europe.
History of the Moorish Empire in Europe
Samuel Parsons Scott’s three-volume history of the Moors in Spain and their influence on the culture of Western Europe was a landmark publication when it first came out in 1904. The first two volumes provide a detailed chronological history while the third volume presents aspects of the culture of al-Andalus, revealing the achievements of the Moorish empire and its impact upon Western scholarship and progress. Topics covered include the Moorish modes of conquest, government and administration; agriculture, trade and commerce; the influence of Moorish learning in science, literature and the arts; and reflections on Muslim social life and practices.Read Here:
Table of contents
Introduction by Elizabeth Drayson
Chapter I: The Ancient Arabians
Chapter II: The Rise, Progess, and Influence of Islam
Chapter III: The Conquest of Al-Maghreb
Chapter IV: The Visigothic Monarchy
Chapter V: The Invasion and Conquest of Spain
Chapter VI: The Emirate
Chapter VII: Foundation of the Spanish Monarchy
Chapter VIII: The Ommeyades; Reign of Abd-al-Rahman I
Chapter IX: Reign of Hischem I; Reign of Al-Hakem I
Chapter X: Reign of Abd-al-Rahman II; Reign of Mohammed
Chapter XI: Reign of Al-Mondhir; Reign of Abdallah
Chapter XII: Reign of Abd-al-Rahman III
Chapter XIII: Reign of Al-Hakem II
Chapter XIV: Reign of Hischem IIVolume II
Chapter XV: The Moslem Domination in Sicily
Chapter XVI: The Principalities of Moorish Spain
Chpater XVII: Wars with the Christians; The Almoravides
Chapter XVIII: The Empire of the Almohades
Chapter XIX: The Progess of the Christian Arms
Chapter XX: Prosecution of the Reconquest
Chapter XXI: The Last War with Granada
Chapter XXII: Termination of the ReconquestVolume III
Chapter XXIII: Influence of the Moors on Europe Through the Empire of Frederick II and the States of Southern France
Chapter XXIV: The Spanish Jews
Chapter XXV: The Christians Under Moslem Rule
Chapter XXVI: The Moriscoes
Chapter XXVII: General Condition of Europe from the VIII to the XVI Century
Chapter XXVIII: The Hispano-Arab Age of Literature and Science
Chapter XXIX: Moorish Art in Southern Europe
Chapter XXX: Agriculture, Manufactures, and Commerce of the European Moslems; Their Manners, Customs, and Amusements
Moorish Architecture in Andalusia
Spain owes its special historical position in Europe very largely to his intensive encounter with the Orient. In the summer of 710, a small force under the command of a Berber named Taî f ibn Mâ lik landed to the west of Gibraltar. The Islamic armies that followed in its wake succeeded in conquering large areas of Spain within a short span of years. The conquerors gave the country the name of “”al-andalus.”” Thus began a period of cultural permeation that was to last for almost 800 years. In spite of intolerance and animosity, there developed between Muslims, Christians, and Jews a shared cultural environment that proved the basis for great achievements. Moorish-Andalusian art and architecture combine elements of various traditions into a new, autonomous style. Among the outstanding architectural witnesses to this achievement are the Great Mosque in Cordova and the Alhambra in Granada, recognized and admired as part of the world’s heitage right up to the present day. They are described in detail in this book. The main centres of Hispano-Islamic art and architecture, the cities of Cordova, Seville and Granada, are discussed within the chronological framework of developments, both political and cultural, from 710 to 1492. Read Here