Maqasid al Tasawwuf and How to Reach Ihsan (Human Perfection) – Imam Nawawi

Bismillahi rahmani raheem

The hadith of Jibril which occurred 86 days before the prophets (saws) death, is described by Imam Nawawi as one of the hadiths upon which the Islamic religion turns, and the Ullumah (scholars) are in agreement it is one of the most important Hadith’s in All Islam. 

Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “While we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless with him and grant him peace, one day a man came up to us whose clothes were extremely white, whose hair was extremely black, upon whom traces of travelling could not be seen, and whom none of us knew, until he sat down close to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, so that he rested his knees upon his knees and placed his two hands upon his thighs and said, ‘Muhammad, tell me about Islam.’

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Islam is that you witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and you establish the prayer, and you give the Zakat, and you fast Ramadan, and you perform the hajj of the House if you are able to take a way to it.’

He said, ‘You have told the truth,’ and we were amazed at him asking him and [then] telling him that he told the truth.

He said, ‘Tell me about Iman.’ He said, ‘That you affirm Allah, His Angels, His Books, His messengers, and the Last Day, and that you affirm the Decree, the good of it and the bad of it.’He said, ‘You have told the truth.’

He said, ‘Tell me about Ihsan.’ He said, ‘That you worship Allah as if you see Him, for if you don’t see Him then truly He sees you.’

He said, ‘Tell me about the Hour.’ He said, ‘The one asked about it knows no more than the one asking.’ He said, ‘Then tell me about its tokens.’ He said, ‘That the female slave should give birth to her mistress, and you see poor, naked, barefoot shepherds of sheep and goats competing in making tall buildings.’

He went away, and I remained some time. Then he asked, ‘Umar, do you know who the questioner was?’ I said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said, ‘He was Jibril who came to you to teach you your deen’.” (Muslim and Bukhari both narrated it and has a grade Higher than Sahih, which is “Agreed upon”).

“The use of the word deen in the last line, Atakum yu’aallimukum dinakum, He “came to you to teach you your religion” entails that the religion of Islam is composed of the four fundamentals mentioned in the hadith: Islam, or external compliance with what Allah asks of us; Iman, or the belief in the Unseen that the prophets have informed us of; Ihsan, or to worship Allah as though one sees Him; and The Hour, or the remembrance of death and the afterlife”. Continue reading


Tasawwuf Established with Three Verses of the Quran and a Hadith

The Word Sufism is an english word, in our Deen we only use arabic to describe the Deen, the word in Arabic for Sufism is Tasawwuf, and the act you perform is called Tazkiyah an Nafs, purifying your self of evil and bad while promoting good qualities in your self, and what you try to achieve by it is Ihsan, Human Perfection.

1) Surah Shams, 91:9 Allah takes an oath in the Quran like no other and swears by the act of Tasawwuf, “Qad Aflaha man Zakaha” (Zakaha = Tazkiya an nafs), “He Who Purifies it succeeds”, This is talking about getting rid of your bad qualities, Tazkiya Nafs.

2) Surah Abbasa, 80:3 The Blind Man comes to the Prophet (saws) seeking Islam and the Prophet (saws) frowns upon Him as his attention is elsewhere, Allah responds by Saying, “Wama yudrika La-alahu Yazaka” (Yazaka = Tazkiyah an Nafs), “Yet for all thou didst know, [O Muhammad,] he might perhaps have grown in purity”, So in Surah al Shams Allah mentioned the first part of Tazkiyah an Nafs and that is Purifying your self of Evil, In Surah Abbasa he mentions the second part, learning and Promoting Good qualaties in your character and growing as a person.

3) Surah Ashurah, 26:88-89, Allah says, “The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, But only he (will prosper) that brings to Allah a sound heart”, “a heart free of sins and love for this worldly life” (Tanwir al miqbas Min Tafsir Ibn Abbas). You Have to know the Acts of Tazkiyah Nafs to Free your Heart from Sin and love for this Dunay (world), and Only One science in islam deals with this Subject in all of islams history and that is Tasawwuf, Fiqh does not cover Human Character and Psychology, it covers the Fiqh of Halal and Haram, how to actually change your self, the ullumah dealt with that in a different science of islam.

4) The most famous Hadith in all of Islam is the hadith of Jibril (hs), which occurred 86 days before the prophets (saws) death, it defines all the parts of Islam with out a Doubt, into Fiqh (Islam), Aqeedah (Iman), Ihsan (Tasawwuf) and the Sings of the Hour. Continue reading

What is Jihad? A Scholar’s Perspective

What is Jihad? A Scholar’s Perspective

Contributed by Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani
Chairman, Islamic Supreme Council of America

In this presentation, we would like to shed light on the meaning of Jihād, a term that has become universally known today. One can find countless interpretations of this term which differ from its true spirit and the meaning that God intended in the Holy Qur’ān and in the narrations of the Prophet (sas). Instead of adhering to these canonical principles, people today use the term Jihād in a way that suits their own whims without realizing the damage they are causing to Islam and Muslims.

What is meant by Jihād? It certainly does not mean “holy war.” That is “al-Harb al-muqaddasah” in Arabic. Indeed, nowhere in the Qur’ān can one find any term that expresses the meaning “holy war.” Rather, the meaning of combative Jihād expressed in the Qur’ān or Hadith is simply war.

That said, we will show in this presentation that Jihād, in the classical sense, also means much more than that. In fact, Jihād is a comprehensive term which traditionally has been defined as being composed of fourteen different aspects, only one of which involves warfare.

In this presentation we will explain unambiguously the different aspects of Jihād defined by the Prophet (sas) together with what renowned mainstream Muslims scholars have written about this subject, citing them at length in order to arrive at an accurate understanding of this term. Islamic thought includes all scholarly opinions rendered in amplification of Islam’s core principles, its simplicity and its tender and compassionate approach to all aspects of human relations.

Today, there are many individuals who study Islam from a superficial point of view and emerge with their own ideas and novel interpretations which often diverge greatly from established legal opinions. Such studies lack any real basis in Islamic jurisprudence. However, this fact is not apparent to most non-Muslims, and these misguided proclamations give them a distorted understanding of Islam.

In this presentation, we will return to the original source texts that discuss the issue of Jihād in order to explain its various facets and clarify its meaning once and for all.


The general meaning of Jihād is “to struggle.” Jihād derives from the word juhd, which means “to struggle.” The meaning of Jihād fī sabīlillāh, Struggle in the Way of God, is striving to exhaust the self in seeking the Divine Presence and promoting God’s Word, which He made the Way to Paradise. For that reason God said:

And strive hard (jāhidū) in (the way of) God, (such) a striving a is due to Him; [22:78]”

It is essential to understand that under the term jāhidū come many different categories of Jihād. The common understanding of Jihād as referring only to war is refuted by this tradition of the Prophet (sas): A man asked the Prophet (sas) “Which Jihād is best?” The Prophet (sas) said, “The most excellent Jihād is to say the word of truth in front of a tyrant.”1. The fact that the Prophet (sas) mentioned this Jihād as “most excellent” demonstrates that there are many different forms of Jihād.


Islamic scholars, from the time of the Prophet (sas) until today, have categorized Jihād into at least fourteen distinct categories. A cogent discussion of these categories is found in the book Zād al-Ma‘ād, by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyyah. According to him, the categories of Jihād are:

    1. By heart
    2. By tongue
    3. By wealth
    4. By person
    1. By heart
    2. By tongue
    3. By wealth
    4. By person
    1. Fighting him defensively by rejecting the false desires and slanderous doubts that he throws towards the servant.
    2. Fighting him defensively by rejecting what he throws towards the servant of corrupt passion and desire.
    1. Striving to seek guidance and learn the religion of truth, without which there is no felicity or happiness in life or in the hereafter.
    2. Striving to act upon it after he has learned it, for the abstract quality of knowledge without action, even if it yields no wrong, is without benefit.
    3. Striving to call to God and to teach the religion to someone who does not know it.
    4. Striving with patience in seeking to call to God and bearing with patience whatever adversity comes from that for the sake of God.2


Ibn Rushd, in his Muqaddimah, divides Jihād into four categories:

  1. Jihād of the heart
  2. Jihād of the tongue
  3. Jihād of the hand
  4. Jihād of the sword.3


The Jihād of the heart is the struggle of the individual with his or her own desires, whims, erroneous ideas and false understandings. This includes the struggle to purify the heart, to rectify one’s actions and to observe the rights and responsibilities of all other human beings. Continue reading