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Instructors: Shaykh Yahya Rhodus & Shaykh Ahmed El Azhary

Level: Two


Course Overview

This is a Level Two course in the Islamic Studies Curriculum. It is based on Imam Haddad’s Book of Assistance.


The Book of Assistance by the great spiritual master Imam Haddad is vital for gaining spiritual and practical guidance that ultimately forms a balanced understanding of life. It connects the outward with the inward, carefully guiding us through various pitfalls and mishaps, so that we may be of those who are protected and guided on the straight path.


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.


The Book of Assistance succinctly summarizes the stages of this spiritual journey and its most important milestones, such as certainty in the Afterlife, the stages of spiritual development, and presence of heart in acts of worship. Good character with other people, sincerity, gratitude, and love of God are other important topics that are all in the 32 short chapters of this masterpiece of Islamic spirituality.


Attaining a pure heart is the single most important asset that one gains from this abode. By taking this course, students will learn how to purify their hearts. This course will also help students attain nearness to the Divine and to gain gnosis (ma`rifa). It imparts the necessary guidance on how to turn away from this world and turn to Allah completely.


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 (d. 1132AH / 1720 CE). Imam 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.


About the Author

Imam Abdullah ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad (1044–1142 AH) was an outstanding scholar of his time. His significance stemmed from his work to revive the Islamic tradition, and he is considered a reviver of Islam (mujaddid) for the twelfth century.


He is primarily known for his works in Islamic spirituality from the Ba ’Alawiyya Sufi order. His works include The Book of Assistance, The Lives of Man, Religious Counsels, and Knowledge and Wisdom.


Imam Haddad had the unique ability to synthesize the knowledge that had come before him into works easily accessible for Muslims of his time. His legacy provides us with valuable information on how to act with wisdom.


Who is this course for?

• This course is for teenagers and adults.

• It is particularly beneficial for someone who intends to tread the spiritual path.

• It is a Level Two course. In order to successfully complete this course, students should first take the course Living the Sunna, Leaving Sin, and Acquiring Good Character: Ghazali’s Beginning of Guidance.

• This course can also be taken by anyone interested in Islamic Spirituality.


Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

• Understand how to transform everyday acts into worship.

• Learn the key terms of the science of Islamic spirituality.

• Explain what it means to have good character with people.

• Learn how to turn away from this world and focus on Allah Most High.

• Appreciate the depth of the Muslim spiritual tradition.

• Cultivate sincerity in their actions.


Course Outline

Lesson 1: Abridged Biography of Imam 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

Lesson 13: On Reflection (Part 1) – Chapter 9

Lesson 14: On Reflection (Part 2) – Chapter 9

Lesson 15: On Following the Book and the Sunna – Chapter 10

Lesson 16: On Doctrine – Chapter 11

Lesson 17: On Religious Obligations – Chapter 12

Lesson 18: On Cleanliness – Chapter 13

Lesson 19: On Following the Sunna (Part 1) – Chapter 14

Lesson 20: On Following the Sunna (Part 2) – Chapter 14

Lesson 21: On Conduct in Mosques and the Ritual Prayer – Chapters 15 & 16

Lesson 22: On Prayer in Congregation – Chapter 17

Lesson 23: On Zakat – Chapter 18

Lesson 24: On Fasting – Chapter 19

Lesson 25: On Pilgrimage (Chapter 20)

Lesson 26: On Scrupulousness (Chapter 21)

Lesson 27: On Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil (Chapter 22)

Lesson 28: On Social Duties (Chapter 23)

Lesson 29: On Kindness and Charity (Chapter 24)

Lesson 30: On Counsel (Chapter 25)

Lesson 31: On Salutations and a Salutary Opinion (Chapter 26)

Lesson 32: On Repentance, Hope, and Fear (Chapter 27)

Lesson 33: On Patience and Gratitude (Chapters 28 & 29)

Lesson 34: On Renunciation (Chapter 30)

Lesson 35: On Reliance on God (Chapter 31)

Lesson 36: On Divine Love and Contentment (Chapter 32)


About The Instructors:

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He embraced Islam at the age of 19 in Santa Clara, California, where he began his study of Islam with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and visiting Mauritanian scholars. In 1998, Shaykh Yahya traveled to Mauritania to pursue a full-time course of study, where he learned from some of Mauritania’s greatest scholars, including the distinguished, Murabit al-Hajj. He also spent an interim period in Damascus, Syria where he received formal education in the Arabic language, grammar, and Qur’anic recitation. In 2000, Shaykh Yahya moved to Tarim, Yemen to continue his studies at the prestigious learning institute, Dar al-Mustafa. There, he spent his formative years studying foundational Islamic sciences with Habib ‘Umar bin Hafiz, Habib ‘Ali al-Jifri, and other scholars of Tarim. The scholars of Tarim are heirs of the spiritual way of Imam al-Ghazali as taught by the great sage of Arabia, Imam Abdullah ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad. At the hands of these scholars, Shaykh Yahya has studied and applied the book that he teaches in this course.


Shaykh Ahmed El Azhary is a researcher in Islamic intellectual history and a teacher of Islamic traditional sciences. He’s currently a teacher of Hadith, Usūl, Logic and Kalam at Rawdatul-Na`īm under the supervision of Habib `Ali al-Jifrī; and at Madyafat Shaykh Ismaīl Sadiq al-`Adawī (RA), a prominent learning center by al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo. Shaykh Ahmed studied Anthropology at American University in Cairo and received his training in Leadership Communication from Tulane University and The University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is also a life-long learner. He holds a diversified portfolio of almost 50 certificates in a variety of subjects – extending from Teaching Character and Clinical Psychology of Children and Young People to Complexity Theory, Model Thinking, and Conflict Analysis. Shaykh Ahmed began his journey of studying traditional sciences about 20 years ago. In addition to studying with scholars from al-Azhar, he had the privilege of studying with visiting scholars from Algeria and India in a one-on-one format and was thus given an exceptional opportunity to study and discuss advanced-level texts of different sorts and over a long period of time. Shaykh Ahmed has more than 70 Ijazas from scholars from all over the Muslim world. Besides a number of edited works about to be released in Islamic pedagogy, linguistics, and Hanafi Usūl, Shaykh Ahmed has authored Rūh al-`Ilm – a treatise in the art of scientific investigation, based on a survey of roughly 200 traditional Islamic texts, and has been endorsed by Dr. Jamāl Fārūq, the Dean of Islamic Da`wah College at al-Azhar University and Dr. Ahmed Mamdūh, the Chair of Research Division at Dar al-Iftaa’ al-Masrīyah. Rūh al-`Ilm will be published by Tabah Foundation in the early of summer of 2019.


Number of Lessons: 35 Lessons
Total Duration: 48 hrs 54 mins
Category Featured: No
Both Display this course: Yes
Total Lesson: 36
Number of hours: 22
Weightage: 12
Show in catalog: Yes
What You Will Learn:

  • Distinguish between true religious knowledge that is beneficial and ostensibly religious knowledge that is not
  • Identify instances of the sins of the limbs (particularly those of the tongue)
  • Identify instances of the sins of the heart
  • Complete a regimen of protecting your tongue from sin
  • Improve your character with your teachers, relatives, friends, and strangers
  • Appreciate the spiritual value of good company

Skill Level: Beginner
Monday: No
Tuesday: No
Wednesday: No
Thursday: No
Friday: No
Saturday: No
Sunday: No
Self enrolment AUTO (Student)