A Heart Serene – Studies in Tazkiyah (The Purification of the Soul) by Al Maghrib Institute

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Ihsan is worshipping Allah s.w.t as is you can see Him, but even though you cannot see Him, He can see you.

That was the theme for the first ever Al-Maghrib Institute’s event in Singapore, called “A Heart Serene – Studies in Tazkiyah (The Purification of the Soul). Held at Pince George’s Park Residences Auditorium, National University of Singapore, this was the first ever 5-day double weekend degree seminar conducted by Al-Maghrib Institute in Singapore. The first weekend started last Friday night from 7 – 10 pm, and continued on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am – 7 pm. The second will be happening this weekend on 19 and 20 May 2012.

The seminar was conducted by Shaykh Riad Ourzazi, who is known for his “excited outbursts, infectious energy, catchy chants, and class exercises.” Not your usual Shaykh, wearing a purple shirt and jeans and entering the auditorium with a pair of boxing gloves and shocking all of us with his dynamic energy and passion,

Shaykh Riad first asked the question:
“ What is the difference between heart, soul and nafs?
“ What kind of heart do you have?”
“ We spend so much time taking care and cleaning our favourite things but we neglect our hearts to be one for the One.”
“What is the link between the heart and ihsan?

The highest level of ihsan is ihsan to Allah s.w.t, hence to achieve this highest degree of ihsan, one needs to have a pure heart. The first person that comes up in my mind with having achieved this – our dearest Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

However, for the rest of us, fret not as Allah is Most-Forgiving and knows all things. There are many levels of ihsan, and to be able to reach the highest levels of ihsan, one needs to continue the process of purifying our hearts.

“Your heart is like a diamond. Even if it is covered with mud, it does not lose its value. It just needs some polishing and cleaning.”

Based on Ibn Qayyim’s six categories of Ihsan, the seminar would cover:
1. Ihsan to one’s self
2. Ihsan to parents
3. Ihsan to children
4. Ihsan on upholding the ties of kinship
5. Ihsan on Islamic society
6. Ihsan on all mankind

Shaykh Riad emphasized on how important it is to have ihsan towards our parents, as there are two types of sins that you will get punished in both dunya and hereafter. The first one is being unkind to our parents and the second one is oppression. On the Day of Judgement, Allah s.w.t will not even look, let alone glimpse at the person who was unkind to their parents.

He also reminded us of how special it is to be in a gathering of worship towards Allah. Whenever a group of people meet to seek knowledge and worship Allah, the Prophet (pbuh) says


3 things happen concurrently:

1. Mercy (Rahmah) from Allah will descend and tranquility (sakeenah) will overwhelm them.

2. The Angels will surround them with their wings. There are Angels whose sole purpose is to worship Allah by traveling the world finding people and gatherings just like these, and will “drop by” and join along.

3. Allah will mention their names to the Angels. Imagine having your name specially mentioned by Allah s.w.t? SubhanAllah!

As I only went for the session on Friday, I realize how little are my sharings and experience of the event. However, MashaAllah it was a great 3 hours of my time, with reminders much needed and surrounded by wonderful companions eager to learn and seek knowledge in their journey in worshipping Allah s.w.t. I am sure the participants would have had a great experience and more things to be shared, insyaAllah. Hence, I apologize for any shortcomings and lack of knowledge in sharing about this program. May Allah continue to guide us all and ease our path in seeking knowledge, insyaAllah!

The second weekend of “A Heart Serene – Studies in Tazkiyah” begins today and ends on Sunday.

About AlMaghrib Institute:

AlMaghrib Institute is the leading Islamic Institute in the West teaching premiere Islamic education to the largest Islamic Sciences student body. Formed in Canada in 2002, AlMaghrib aims to teach Islam in a way that is fun, social, spiritual, and also academic. AlMaghrib conducts double- and single-weekend seminars, teaching Islamic Sciences to over 33,000 students and is now in 6 countries – Canada, USA, UK, Malaysia and Indonesia. To find out more please go to www.almaghrib.org

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