A Journey to God,
Reflections on the Hikam of Ibn Ata'illah,
*[A5] Paperback - 117 pages,
Al-Hikam by Ibn Ata-Allah al-Sikandriya,
Edited by Jasser Auda,
Published by Claritas.
Back in Stock February 2023
A Journey to God by Jasser Auda is a book on some of the wisdoms of Ibn Ata’illah, may Allah have mercy upon him. They are short wisdoms with short commentaries but very powerful.
The ultimate yearning of the human soul is to return to its Lord in a state where He is pleased with His servant and the Servant is pleased with his Master. This book offers a unique insights to prepare you for the journey to God through the wisdom of the great spiritual master Ibn Ata'illah al-Iskandari as expounded in his masterpiece al-Hikam.
Table of Contents :
---Introduction : The start of the journey
There is no real distance between you and Him in order for you to journey. And the connection between you and Him is not cut in order for you to seek to mend it.
---[1st] Step: Repentance and hope ;
--------If you find yourself having less hope in God when you make a mistake, then realise you are only relying on your work, not on God’s Mercy.
---[2nd] Step: The dominance of the universal laws of God ;
--------A human will, however strong it is, can never pierce through the veils of destiny.
---[3rd] Step: Relying on God ;
--------Save yourself from worrying. Someone else already took care of your affairs for you.
---[4th] Step: Sincerity to God ;
--------Actions are like statues that only come to life with the spirit of sincerity.
---[5th] Step: Reflection ;
--------Bury yourself in the land of anonymity. A seed that is never buried underground will never produce. There is nothing more beneficial to the heart than an isolation that allows it to enter a state of reflection.
---[6th] Step: Purification before shining ;
--------How can the mirror of the heart shine if material images are covering it? How can the heart journey to God if it is chained by its desires? How can the heart ever hope to enter the divine presence if it has not purified itself from its forgetfulness?
---[7th] Step: Seizing time ;
--------Postponing good deeds until you have free time is an indication of an immature soul.
---[8th] Step: Patience with tests ;
--------Do not be surprised when difficulties happen in this worldly abode. It is only revealing its true character and identity.
---[9th] Step: Perfecting the beginnings ;
--------A sign of success in the end is to refer to God in the beginning. If there is no sunrise in the beginning, there is no sunrise in the end.
---[10th] Step: Discovering one’s flaws ;
--------Trying to discover the flaws within you is better than trying to discover the worlds hidden from you.
---[11th] Step: Self-criticism ;
--------The origin of every sin, forgetfulness, and lust is in being self-righteous, and the origin of every good deed, awareness, and chastity is in being self-critical.
---[12th] Step: Good friends ;
--------Do not befriend someone who does not elevate you with his state, or guide you to God with his speech. It could be that you are doing evil, yet you think that you are doing good, because you are comparing yourself to your friend who is worse than you.
---[13th] Step: Keeping up with mentioning God ;
--------Do not stop mentioning God just because your heart is not present. Forgetting Him completely is worse than being inattentive while you are mentioning Him; perhaps He will elevate you from being inattentive to being attentive, and from being attentive to being fully present with Him, and from being fully present with Him to being fully absent from anything but Him. This is not difficult for God (35:17).
---[14th] Step: Freedom from humiliation, neediness, and illusion ;
--------The tree of humiliation stems from a seed of neediness. Nothing deceives you as your illusion. You are free from what you gave up on, and you are a slave to what you are in need of.
---[15th] Step: Thanking God for His blessings ;
--------You risk losing your blessings when you do not thank Him for them, and you tie them to you firmly when you do. And if you do not advance towards Him by doing excellent deeds, He will pull you towards Him with the chains of tests.
---[16th] Step: Understanding God’s giving and depriving ;
--------You might think that he is giving you, while in reality he is depriving you. And you might think that he is depriving you, while in reality he is giving you. If through your deprivation, He opens the doors of understanding for you, then this deprivation is exactly a gift. You feel bad about your deprivation because you do not understand. He might open the door of worship for you, but does not open the door of acceptance. And you might be destined to sin, but this becomes a means to ascension towards Him. A sin that produces humbleness and need is better than an act of worship that produces arrogance and prejudice.
---[17th] Step: Enjoying God’s company and praying to Him ;
--------If He takes you away from people, then know that He is opening to you the doors of His Company. And if He allows you to ask, then know that He wants to give you something.
---[18th] Step: Ascending in the levels of worship ;
--------God diversified the acts of worship for you because He knows how quickly you get bored. And He did not permit you certain acts of worship at certain times so you do not go to extremes. The objective is to perfect your prayers not to merely perform them. Not every performer of prayers perfects them.
---[19th] Step: Calls of distress ;
--------The best way to ask Him is through your expressing distress, and the fastest way to acquire good traits is through expressing your humility and need.
---[20th] Step: Certainty of faith and indifference about the world ;
--------If the light of deep faith shines on you, you will see the Hereafter before journeying to it, and you will see the trappings of this world vanishing before your eyes.
---[21st] Step: Dealing with people’s praise ;
--------When people praise you for what they assume about you, blame yourself for what you certainly know about yourself. The most ignorant is the one who denies what he really knows about himself and believes what others assume about him.
---[22nd] Step: Mercy with people’s faults ;
--------A person, who learns of people’s secrets and does not have Godly mercy on them, brings upon himself great danger and disaster.
---[23rd] Step: Witnessing God’s bounty and your shortcomings ;
--------If you want the doors of hope in Him opened, recall what He offers you, and if you want the doors of awe of Him opened, recall what you offer Him.
---[24th] Step: Keeping priorities straight ;
--------A sign of following one’s whims is to be active with optional good deeds while being lazy with required obligations.
---[25th] Step: Telling people about their Lord ;
--------Every speech comes out with a cover from the heart of the speaker. If God allows a speaker to express himself, people will understand his words and comprehend his gestures.
---[26th] Step: Satisfaction ;
--------His most perfect blessing on you is to give you just enough, and to deprive you from what will cause you to do wrong. When you have less to be happy with, you will have less to be sad about.
---[27th] Step: Humbleness ;
--------A person is not humble if he thinks that he is above his act of humbleness. A humble person thinks he is below his act of humbleness.
---[28th] Step: A blessed life and a continuous impact ;
--------How often has a long life brought about so little, and how often has a short life brought about so much. If someone’s life is blessed, he will reach, in a short time, bounties from God that cannot be expressed in words or comprehended in descriptions.
---Conclusion : Re-starting the journey. What a failure to be free of distractions and not turn back to Him! Or to have fewer obstacles and not journey back to Him!
*Dimensions : 21.6 x 14cm.