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At a time of turbulence, prevalent complaints of spiritual hyperboles and a widespread struggle with maintaining a steady spirituality, this course addresses the intellectual, emotional and psychological aspects related to sincere worship and balanced spiritual life. It summarizes the path to true freedom and balance and the way to develop a spiritual mindset that can overcome contemporary challenges. Based on Imam al-Muttaqi al-Hindi’s thematic categorization of Imam Ibn `Ata’illah’s Hikam, this course covers the entirety of this upliftingly beautiful text through a lucid unwrapping and exposition of selected aphorisms that encompass all of its thirty themes. These themes are related to every aspect of the spiritual path.

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Skill Level: Beginner
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About the text:

The Hikam is a collection of 264 aphorisms written by Imam Ibn `Ata’illah al-Sakandari, who lived in Egypt during the period of the Mamluks. For the past seven hundred years, the Hikam of Imam Ibn `Ata’illah, which is commonly known as al-Hikam al-`Ata’iyya, never failed to guide and spiritually uplift the seekers of the Path in their journey of self-purification, at the level of their thoughts, feelings, actions and intentions. The Hikam has been described by the great sage and spiritual guide of Ibn `Ata’illah, Imam Abu al–`Abbas al-Mursi as a summary of Imam al-Ghazali’s Ihya with additions to it.

About the Author:

Imam Ibn `Ata’illah al-Sakandari lived in Egypt during the period of the Mamluks. Originally from Alexandria, and hence was called al-Sakandari, he moved to Cairo, where his scholarly life involved teaching the Sacred Sciences in various mosques and schools, including al-Azhar al-Sharif. He also led a concurrent existence as a Master for the disciples of the Shadhili Order in specific and Islamic Spirituality in general. He was the spiritual grand-son of al-Imam Abu al-Hassan al-Shadili, as he was brought-up spiritually by Imam Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi, who was the direct inheritor of Imam Abu al-Hassan. The Hikam is his principal work, which received universal approval and elicited numerous commentaries, since his own time until our present day.

Who is this course for:
  • There are no specific requirements for enrolling in this course.
  • This course is suitable for anyone who is interested in Islamic spirituality.
Learning outcomes:

  • understand the sages’ way of living a life of true freedom and balance.
  • understand the spiritual implications of contraction and expansion.
  • understand the middle ground between hope and fear.
  • understand the power of now and the importance of living in the present time.
  • understand how submission to the Divine Decree alleviates the stresses of our modern lives.
  • understand the true meanings of worship and du`aa’, sins and rewards, patience and thankfulness.

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