Introduction

The goal of all sacred knowledge is to aid you on your journey of self-improvement as you make your way through this life into the afterlife. This series of three courses succinctly summarizes the stages of this spiritual journey and its most important milestones, such as certainty in the afterlife, the stages of spiritual development, presence of heart in acts of worship, good character with other people, and sincerity, gratitude, and love of God, all in the 32 short chapters of a masterpiece of Islamic spirituality, The Book of Assistance. This first part focusses on how to use sacred knowledge to nurture your soul.

 

Curricular Context

  • This is a first-level course in Step Two
  • Complete Step One before taking this course

Course Outline

  • LESSON 1: Abridged Biography of Imam al-Haddad
  • LESSON 2: Introduction (Part 1)
  • LESSON 3: Introduction (Part 2)
  • LESSON 4: On Certainty – Chapter 1
  • LESSON 5: On Intention – Chapter 2
  • LESSON 6: On Vigilance – Chapter 3
  • LESSON 7: On the Inner and Outer Self – Chapter 4
  • LESSON 8: On Regular Devotions (Part 1) – Chapter 5
  • LESSON 9: On Regular Devotions (Part 2) – Chapter 5
  • LESSON 10: On Reciting the Qur’an – Chapter 6
  • LESSON 11: On Acquiring Knowledge – Chapter 7
  • LESSON 12: On Remembrance – Chapter 8

What You Will Learn:

  • Learn how to turn this world into a journey to your afterlife
  • Learn the key terms of the science of Islamic spirituality
  • Learn what it means to seek sacred knowledge with sincerity
  • Appreciate the depth of the Muslim spiritual tradition

Course Requirements:

  • Students are encouraged to take Beginning of Guidance (ISBGG10A & ISBGG10B) before registering for this course.

Course Format: 12 downloadable lessons, 3 live sessions

About the Course Text

The course is an exposition of The Book of Assistance by the great scholar, saint, and renewer of the twelfth Islamic century, Imam ‘Abdullah b. ‘Alawi al-Haddad [link to: https://www.amazon.com/Sufi-Sage-Arabia-al-Haddad-Spiritual/dp/188775265X](d. 1132 AH / 1720 CE). Imam al-Haddad’s profound mastery of the sacred sciences was condensed into this masterpiece, in which he maps out various acts of devotion and the spiritual path in 32 succinct chapters. Long considered a summary of Ghazali’s seminal Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din, and translated from its original Arabic into Malay, Swahili, and English, this short treatise has been used as a manual of practical spirituality by Muslims all over the world ever since it was written. For a summary of the book and this course, watch Shaykh Yahya Rhodus’ introduction [ link to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W7Neu4TirE ]

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“Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward”– The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)