Archive for the ‘Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar’ Category

Creating a Natural Dislike for Sin

May 13, 2014 Leave a comment

Bismillah Calligraphy pic image 10Shaykh Husain talks about muscle memory in the following lecture. He talks about how certain sins are naturally displeasing to us and how to create that inclination for all sins. Recognizing that every sin is an impediment in our path towards our Creator is the first step in overcoming our struggle with any sin.

Listen Here: Creating a Natural Dislike for Sin” by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

When we consider sin in Islam, we don’t consider if the sin is big or small; any transgression, big or small, is ultimately a transgression against Allah. We are not just trying to pass this test of life, we’re trying to get an A. Within the spectrum of transgressions against Allah, there are certain transgressions that we feel naturally inclined to avoid. For example, few Muslims struggle with pork. Avoiding pork is something that is easy for nearly all Muslims from all kinds of backgrounds. Allah has made it easy for us to avoid this transgression because it provides a good example. It establishes a goal. Every transgression should actually be this easy to avoid. The way we naturally avoid certain transgressions is the way we should be able to avoid them all. We should pray, “Allah, please make all sins as disgusting to me as much as this one sin disgusts me.”

It would be easier for us to avoid committing a sin if we start to naturally dislike the sin or at least some aspect of it. For example, Allah tells us numerous times in the Quran that the shaytaan is an open enemy; if we inculcate that message, it would become easier to us to avoid the things that shaytaan whispers us towards. Another way to create distance from sinful activity is to recognize that every sin is a step against Allah and that we dislike displeasing Him. The most important thing is our relationship with Allah, and sin just takes us away from Him.

The shariah has placed minimal responsibilities on us (limited prayer, one month of fasting, charity on excess wealth, and a hajj once in our entire lives), but along with our belief in Allah, these minimal things work together to develop closeness with Allah and entrance into eternal paradise. These are not the things we struggle with as Muslims, the issue is avoiding sin. We don’t protect our gaze, we misuse our tongues, we misuse our hands; these seemingly small transgressions are enough to destroy our progress. May Allah سبحانه و تعالى make every sin naturally disgusting to us.

To read more about avoiding sin, please read notes on the lecture Plugging the drain.”

The path is clear


Maintaining a Healthy Body

April 19, 2014 2 comments

Bismillah Calligraphy pic image 10I don’t think I’ve ever posted anything about health on this blog (that doesn’t mean I’m unhealthy…OK I’m a little bit unhealthy).

Our bodies are an amanah (a trust). In this lecture, Shaykh Husain talks about how to best uphold this amanah and use it as a means to make the most spiritual gains.

Listen Here: “Maintaining a Healthy Body  by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar


  • How can a person develop themselves spiritually if they don’t take care of what they eat and how they exercise? Maintaining a healthy diet is actually easier than spiritual development, “If you can’t trust a person to be careful about their food and withhold themselves in the battle in food, then how are you going to be able to trust a person to develop spiritually?”
  • The Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said to fill your stomach at the most with 1/3 air, 1/3 food, and 1/3 water. The sunnah is actually to eat as little as possible and the maximum is a 1/3 filled stomach.
  • We shouldn’t be slaves to our food. We shouldn’t drive 40 minutes to eat, come home, and then sleep (53rd and 6th gyro, anyone?).


  • We have to be very particular about our exercise this day in age. Before modern luxuries, people would get their exercise by doing daily chores. Lack of exercise causes us to become lazy, “The body is a vehicle by which we do good deeds.”
  • When you exercise, your goal shouldn’t be muscle mass, it should be cardio. You’re trying to develop the ability to do something over a long period of time, not to show off at the gym.
  • Exercise needs to be continuous, a habit, a routine. Families should exercise together, and children should be taught to exercise at a young age. They should especially learn swimming and martial arts.
  • Don’t say you don’t have time. Everyone finds time for what’s important to them or what they’re interested in. There was no texting, and now everyone has time for it.
  • Don’t destroy your spirituality for the sake of exercise though by going to mixed gyms with blaring music. A simple way to exercise is to go for a walk or run and do your dhikr at the same time.

By maintaining our health, we’ll be able to be more productive and energetic throughout the day. Not only are we seeking longevity in the day, we’re also seeking longevity over the years; we don’t want to be dependent on others in our 60’s and 70’s (we should be able to serve Allah in the same way during those years). May Allah make our bodies healthy so we are able to produce as many good deeds as possible until we reach our graves.


Being Prophylactic

December 20, 2013 3 comments

Whoa, it’s been so long. Uh, I left this long period Bismillah Calligraphy pic image 10of inactivity on here  so you guys can thoroughly absorb the previous content. Now you are ready for the next lecture…

Listen Here: “Being Prophylactic” by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

Prophylactic means to prevent against diseases. The way people react to physical diseases can be divided into three groups:

  1. The first group of people is preventative. They wash their hands constantly, get flu shots, go for regular checkups, etc. This group is easiest to treat because if they have any disease, it is caught quickly.
  2. The next group of people regularly monitor themselves and report to a doctor as soon as they notice any abnormality. They are easy to treat as well.
  3. The last group will not visit a doctor until the very end, at which point treatment becomes very difficult if not impossible.

The same concept applies to spiritual diseases:

  1. The first group is proactive about their spirituality. They constantly make astaghfar. In fact, they make astaghfar for their deficiency in making astaghfar. They stay in the company of the pious. If they know there is a place that will make it difficult for them to protect their gaze, they will avoid it altogether. They give sadaqah everyday.
  2. The next group constantly scans themselves like the first group. They look for deficiencies within themselves. If they find a malady in their heart, they go to a shaykh for treatment immediately.
  3. The last group of people will ignore their problems until the very end. If a person has an anger problem, he will let it escalate until it ruins his relationships with his children, his wife, his parents etc. If he had treated it at the start, it would not have seeped into every part of his life making it nearly impossible to resolve.

We have to strive to be people who are proactive about our religion, who constantly monitor ourselves and analyze our behavior. We cannot afford to be among the last group of people. If we have weird thoughts or doubts in our minds, we should not mull over it for years until it becomes a huge problem. We should seek the help of the scholars. If a person does not seek treatment for a physical disease, the worst thing that will happen is death. However, if we do not treat our spiritual diseases, we risk eternity in the worst of abodes.

Midnight Talk # 3

October 12, 2012 2 comments

Sister Amina Tirmizi was kind enough to send me these notes she took of Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar’s itikaf talks. Masha’Allah they’re excellent notes, I will put up the rest soon.

Listen Here: “Midnight Talk #3” by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

The way to attract the love of your Lord is through the Sunnah (the way of the Prophet). The believers recognize that they and their Lord are incomparable. Allah is majestic, humans are weak. Allah is rich, humans are poor. The interface in which human beings can connect with their Lord (need interfaces to connect to incompatible things, ie. need an adapter to plug in to use something abroad) is the interface of Rasoolallah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. The sunnah creates the opportunity for love of Allah, “qul in kuntum tuhibullah, fatabiuni, yuhbibukumullah.” We are physically and spiritually impure. How can we attract the attention of Allah despite our deficiencies? Allah loved the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم  and if we begin to mimic him, then that sunnah attracts the attention of Allah and makes us capable of being loved by him. The sunnah is the mechanism to attain the love of Allahسبحانه و تعالى .

Imagine you are someone who wants to beautify yourself,you look through your jewelry box and you put on diamonds, pearls, and rubies, because you know they will attract attention. In the same way, each sunnah is like a diamond or a pearl. Each one is its own magnet and attracts Allah in its own way.

Nabi  صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم left a very small footprint in this world, he used to wear worn-out clothing with patches on it, days would go by where he wouldn’t eat, fire did not burn in his house for months etc. This was our Nabi’s interaction with the world. Remember:

  • Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ owns the planet and the entire universe and if we use anything we should recognize that we are taking from his dominion. This means we should use according to necessity and not waste anything. We are travelers on a journey.
  • The companions of Nabi صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم used to think, “This is a place to give, and that is a place to take” (the world is a place where you take little and give a -lot, the hereafter is the place where you truly take). Hadrat Umar رضي الله عنه was given a cold cup of water and he wept thinking that maybe something in his next life would diminish if he took it. It’s like checking in to a hotel, you check in in 1973 and check out at 2020.
  • The goal is to take less here so we can take more there. We should take the wealth we have and feed others, use our time and strength to serve others, make sure everyone’s needs are filled before our desires are fed. We should plant seeds here, and reap our harvest in the hereafter.
  • Seek every opportunity to be in the service of Allah’s creation. Alleviating a difficulty of someone freezes us from the hellfire. Don’t you think we will be compared with the person who died of starvation? How can we fill our stomachs when other people are hungry? The way of the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is to take what you need (what is minimal) and make sure everyone else receives what they need.

May Allah make us amongst those who embed the sunnah in our lives, may He grant us abundance in our health and wealth so we can serve others with it.

Preparation and Progress

June 14, 2012 1 comment

As part of my efforts to attain consistency, readers can now expect to find at least three posts per month, a post in the beginning, middle, and end of the month inshaAllah.

The following two lectures go very well together because one deals with preparation while the other discusses progress. I happened to listen to them one after the other and the combinations of the two had an extremely strong impact on my daily actions…

Listen Here: The Power of Preparing by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

Preparation is the key to progress in the deen.

There are two types of people:

  • One person will come late to the masjid and leave fast. He will gain minimal benefit because of his lack of preparation.
  • The other person sees salah as an event and goes to the masjid having prayed the sunnah. He does dhikr on the way and prepares his heart. This process maximizes his benefit.

This applies to everything in the deen, to Ramadan, to Hajj etc. (Ramadan can meet you, or you can meet Ramadan). This applies to everything in the dunya as well. Preparation is what distinguishes people and their progress.

Always be prepared for the big event that is salah.

Listen Here: Dhikr: an Indispensable Tool for Progress by Shaykh Omar Hussaini

Dhikr prepares the heart. It is the light that cleanses the soul. Many students try to progress in the deen. They have their hands in various activities but fail to take time out for the dhikr of Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ which makes their spiritual progress stagnate.

Beautiful Points:

  • The word “bored” should not be in the vocabulary of a Muslim, “When the dhikr of Allah is there, how dare you say you’re bored?”
  • If it is possible to be engrossed in the dunya, then undoubtedly there is state of obsession in the remembrance of Allah.
  • The similitude of one who remembers Allah and one who does not is the similitude of the one who is alive and the one who is dead (hadith).
  • What lover is there that does not remember his beloved?

Put in at least an hour of dhikr. You have to dedicate serious time in order to progress in anything in the dunya as well as in the deen.

Focusing on the Core

April 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Listen Here: “Focusing on the Core” by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

I wish we would discuss Islamic lectures the way we discuss tv shows. We often have lengthy discussions on a show’s characters, premises, events, effects, and thoughts on what will happen next. This is especially true for Pakistani dramas. However, we leave Islamic events and the discussion in the car goes like:

Fatima: “So that was a nice talk.”

Mariam: “Yeah (nods), I liked it. It was beneficial. I’m kind of in the mood for Chinese.”

Most talks provide opportunities for great reflections when you really think about them, especially Shaykh Husain’s talks. In “Focusing on the Core,” he discusses how we should focus on what matters more and learn to ignore the superficial fluff that surrounds us, he says, “Every matter has a surface, and behind that surface lies a core… people become people of the core by learning to overlook the surface.”

For example there is a house and there is a home. The house is a structure no matter how beautiful and ornate, but a home is connections, memories, peace, and love. People usually focus on the house (surface) but only the home (core) brings you tranquility and happiness. You can buy a house but not a home.

The surface of something doesn’t explicate it’s core, a person could look very physically strong but be completely incapable of controlling his desires, lack courage and character etc. Nice clothes and hair don’t make us beautiful, we are beautiful if our core is beautiful because Allah  سبحانه و تعالى‎ is seeing that beauty.

The people of Allah are those who, as described in the Quran, remember Him standing, sitting, and lying (every possible stance= constantly). They recognize that the whole of creation is nothing but a sign of Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ and they reflect upon this creation. They are able to conclude that there’s nothing left for them to do except worship Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ and seek refuge from the torments of the fire. They are the ones focusing on the core. We as humans have to get past the games of this life and establish the core.

My Thoughts: So what are some other examples of how we neglect the core and focus on the fluff? One thing we students do is spend so much time on our worldly studies that we can’t even remember the last time we studied this much about Islam, while Islam is the only true knowledge to be had. Sometimes parents are so passionately concerned about the college, career, and marriage of their children, that encouraging the deen just becomes a side-note. If the children let them down in any of these spheres then that becomes the main source of aggravation, not that they’re hardly praying or openly sinning. The real concern should be the deen of the children and everything else should be a side-note. May Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ help us navigate through the insignificant and reach the significant.


Acting Upon the Future

March 30, 2012 1 comment

Listen Here: “Acting Upon the Future” by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

One of the best parts of Shaykh Husain’s talks is his detailed and relevant metaphors, I don’t know how to describe them except to say that they’re profound. They tend to highlight the idea that if we had the same concern and dedication for our afterlife as we do this life, then we would be truly on the path to success. These metaphors are important because we don’t always realize the ways in which we give preference to our transient worldly existence as opposed to our eternal hereafter, and it’s only when Shaykh Husain spells it out for me that I even notice.

In “Acting Upon the Future,” Shaykh Husain discusses how everyone has expectations for the future and they invest time and money to make their expectations a reality when they have no guarantee for any return. This idea is often satirized in movies and books when a character finds out what will happen tomorrow. Once they have a guarantee and know for sure what will happen, they don’t go to work, they go to the lottery or invest in stocks, and they stay away from anything bad that was going to happen. They completely alter today’s behavior because they’re certain about tomorrow.

Let’s apply this principle to something greater: “You want to read tomorrow’s paper? I’ll tell you tomorrow’s paper, it says there’s a Jannah and Jahannum and we’re all going to our graves”

The Muslim has no doubt about tomorrow’s reality, Allah  سبحانه و تعالى is true and there will be consequences for our behavior. This place is a deception, we came with nothing and we’ll go back with nothing except our deeds. We know our endgame. Just as a person would change their behavior knowing tomorrow, we too as Muslims, have to act accordingly.

This doesn’t mean we abandon this life. Rasullalah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم was sent to give warnings of hell and glad tidings of paradise, and he outlined the exact deeds that take a person into either abode.

  • We have to make our decisions according to Islam
  • The reality of tomorrow should change how we spend our time and wealth, how we keep our relationships, and what our dreams and aspirations are.
  • Just as we prepare our children for this life, we prepare them for the aakhirah
  • Just as we invest for the comforts of this life, we have to invest for the comfort of our families in the next.

With everything else in life, we prepare and prepare, but with the ultimate truth, we assume it will all work out fine.