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Bismillahi Babuna - 'In the Name of Alllah is our Door'

Imam Harith ibn Asad Muhasibi and Shadhili connection
MP3- mam Muhasibi'Purification of the Soul - Full Audio' by Imam Zaid Shakir
MP3 and Vid lectures by Imam Suhaib Webb from Al-Muhasibi's text
Imam Harith ibn Asad Muhasibi
Notes from Imam Muhasibi Risalah al-Mustarshideen
Al Muhasibi's Risala al Mustarshidin note 1
Al Muhasibi's Risala al Mustarshidin note 3

Imam Harith ibn Asad Muhasibi and this Importance to Shadhili-Darqawi's to study
as well as all others too of every tariqah.

Why is it important to learn about Imam Al-Muhasibi, you may ask, well for many reasons, from a Shadhili-Darqawi point of view, he was one of the great Sufi masters that Imam Shadhili learnt and studied his works.

The great Sufi Shaykh Sidi Ibn Nahwi author of (Qasidah Munfarijah-The Poem of Relief, which is recited against Oppressors) keep good company with young Sidi Ali ibn Harzihim-(Ghazalian in tariqah) Later Sidi Ali ibn Harzihim become the Sufi master of Sidi Abu Madyan Ghawth-(Sidi Abu Maydan was the Sufi master of the Great Qutb Sidi Ibn Mashish and Sidi Ibn Mashish was the Sufi master of the greatest Qutb Imam Shadhili). Extra note-Sufi Mind Map -Four Shadhili Secrets- Hizbul Bahr, Qasida Burda, Hikam, Dalail Khayrat

The grandson of Sidi Ali ibn Harzihim, the Sufi master Sidi Mohammed ibn Harazem, was the 1st Sufi master that educated young Imam Shadhili and started his Sufi journey to seek the 'Spiritual Pole of the Time-'Qutb az-Zaman' who was Imam Shadhili's master, the Great Qutb Sidi Ibn Mashish. Extra Note Sufi Mind map of great Sufi masters alive or around in the time before or just after Imam Abul Hasan Shadhili

Sidi Mohammed ibn Harazem taught young Imam Shadhili many sufi books, the 3 main sufic authors were;

Imam al-Ghazali - - Ihya ulum al-din-The Revival of the Religious Sciences
Imam al-Muhasibi - Kitab al-ri`aya li-huquq Allah (Book of the observance of the rights of Allah);
Imam al-Qushayri - Risalah al-Qushayriyah fi ilm al-tasawwuf-Epistle on Sufism - or the 'Letters of the Science of Sufism'

Now Sidi Abu Madyan Ghawth learnt from Sidi Ibn Harzihim (whose grandson taught Imam Shadhili )
Sidi Ibn Harzihim received his khirqa (the Sufi robe) from Qadi Sidi Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi and
his uncle Sidi Abu Muhammad ibn Salih ibn Harzihim, who took it from Imam Al-Ghazali.

A dream worth relating from Imam Shadhili;
..from Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili that Ibn Hirzahm, one of the Moroccan shaykhs who had intended the burning of the book, saw the Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him -- in his dream commending the book before al-Ghazzali and ordering that Ibn Hirzahm be lashed for slander. After five lashes he was pardoned and woke up in pain, bearing the traces of the lashing. After this he took to praising the book from cover to cover.

Just to give a better picture of the importance of Imam al-Ghazali's Ihya ulum al-din to the Shadhili-Darqawi way or teachings. And more greatly important to the Shadhili-Darqawi staple diet of books to study is Imam Harith ibn Asad Muhasibi books who is one of the founders of Sufi doctrine and was the teacher to Imam al-Junayd al-Baghdadi, Sari al-Saqati, and was the inspiration for Imam al-Ghazali's Ihya. Also worth mentioning is Imam Haddad's books are an abridgment of Imam al-Ghazali's Ihya. Just to touch on Tariqah Ba-Alawi of Imam Haddad, the books of Imam Haddad are also influenced by the writings of great Sufi poet Sidi `Umar ibn al-Farid author of (al-Khamriyya” – 'Ode on Wine') and the poems of Sidi Abu Madyan Ghawth, as the Tariqah goes thorugh Sidi Abu Madyan to Faqih Muqaddam and down later to Imam Haddad. So one can see the Shadhili connection to the Ba-Alawi Tariqah. See Sufi Mind Map link of Great Sufi masters alive or around in the time before or just after Imam Abul Hasan Shadhili

Imam Muhasibi's books is the inspiration for Imam al-Ghazali's Ihya.
Imam Haddad's books-(see Mind map link) are the inspiration and abridgment from the Imam al-Ghazali's Ihya and includes Ibn Farid and Sidi Abu Madyan's poems too. The station of Certainty are 9 to know and master, says Imam Haddad in this poem, based on the last section of 10 books (The Deliverers-Rub' al-munjiyat) of Imam Ghazali’s Revival of the Religious Sciences-( Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din)-see mind map link

Imam Harith ibn Asad Muhasibi the sufi master and 'The Founder of the Muhasabah School

Imam Al-Harith ibn Asad Al-Muhasibi was born in the city of Basrah and lived and died in the city of Baghdad in the year 243 after the Hijrah. He was one of the Pious Predecessors (Salaf) of this Ummah and a contemporary of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. He was called ‘Al-Muhasibi’ due to his constant reckoning of himself, taken from the word ‘Muhasib’ that means ‘One who takes account of something.’ And is the sufi master and 'The Founder of the Muhasabah School' 'ilm Muhasaba', or self-inventory-(See Mind Map Link).

Imam Al-Muhasibi was most famous for his purity of faith and righteousness. And he is an example of a true Sūfi as understood in its true and original meaning, not as understood by many today as being one who worships dead people, or whirls in circles for hours on.

He was a scholar in all of the traditional Islamic Sciences: Aqidah, Fiqh, and Tasawwuf (i.e. Iman, Islam, and Ihsan), and he excelled at each one of them. He is believed to have met and studied with Imam Shafi’i and followed his madhhab (School of Law). Imam Al-Muhasibi – despite enjoying such prestige – wasn’t free of opposition from certain scholars of his time due to the fact that he took an approach that was different from many of the scholars of his age.

The second and third centuries of Islamic History was the era of hadith documentation and the development of the hadith sciences. So most of the major scholars of the time were focused on the preservation of hadith and distinguishing fabricated and weak reports from those that were sound.

Imam Al-Muhasibi on the other hand, was inspired to focus on the purification of the heart and understanding the human psyche. So he would question his students about their thoughts and inclinations, try to understand them and how to cure those that were mischievous, and then he would write books inspired only by spiritual intuitiveness as opposed to what came in the form of scripture.

He was one of the earliest author of Sufi treatises and the teacher of al-Junayd. `Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi, Taj al-Din al-Subki, and Jamal al-Din al-Isnawi all reiterate the statement whereby “Upon the books of al-Harith ibn Asad al-Muhasibi on kalam, fiqh, and hadith rest those among us who are mutakallim (theologian), faqih (jurist), and sufi.”

Pious Words of Imam Harith ibn Asad Muhasibi made Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal faint:

Imam Ahmad wept to the point that he passed out upon hearing the discourse of al-Harith al-Muhasibi for the first time.

His extant works are:
Kitab al-ri`aya li huquq Allah (Book of observance of the rights of Allah); Shaykh al-Islam al-`Izz ibn `Abd al-Salam wrote an abridgment of it.
Kitab al-tawahhum (Book of imagination), a description of the Day of Judgment;
Kitab al-khalwa (Book of seclusion);
Risala al-mustarshidin (Treatise for those who ask for guidance);
Kitab al-ri`aya li-huquq Allah (Book of the observance of the rights of Allah);
Kitab fahm al-Qur’an (Book of the understanding of Qur’an);
Kitab mahiyyat al-`aql wa ma`nahu wa ikhtilaf al-nas fihi (Book of the nature and meaning of the mind and the differences among people concerning it);
al-Masa’il fi a`mal al-qulub wa al-jawarih wa al-`aql (The questions concerning the works of the hearts, the limbs, and the mind);
Kitab al-`azama (The book of magnificence);
al-Wasaya wa al-nasa’ih al-diniyya wa al-nafahat al-qudsiyya li naf`i jami` al-bariyya (The spiritual legacies and counsels and the sanctified gifts for the benefit of all creatures)

His greatest work is considered to be Kitab al-ri`aya li huquq Allah (Book of observance of the rights of Allah); Most of the themes in Kitab al-ri`aya are dealth with in Risala al-mustarshidin (Treatise for those who ask for guidance); but in a briefer, far less rigorous and systematic manner. However on of the the strengths of Risala al-mustarshidin is that Imam Muhasibi takes especial care to build his arguments fromthe quran and sunnah and thus even non sufi oriented muslims also welcome this Risala al-mustarshidin (Treatise for those who ask for guidance). And the links above are about the book, Risala al-mustarshidin -'Treatise for those who ask for guidance'; Which Imam Zaid Shakir has Translated.


‘One who rectifies his inner self with an awareness of God’s surveillance and sincerity; God adorns his outer self with devotional acts and adherence to the prophetic way {Sunnah)”

He said concerning the hadith, “The best of sustenance is that which suffices.” “That is the basic provision, which comes day to day, and you do not worry about the sustenance of tomorrow.”

“Anyone divested from the world finds his divestment in proportion to his knowledge, his knowledge in proportion to his intellect, and his intellect in proportion to the strength of his faith.

“Knowledge bequeaths fear, divestment from the world bequeaths comfort, and gnosis bequeaths self criticism.

“Good character is bearing abuse, rarely becoming angry, a pleasant face, and sweet speech.”

“Everything has an essence. The essence of a human being is his intellect, and the essence of his intellect is patience.

“One who does not thank God for a blessing has called for its eradication.”

“The best person is one who does not allow his Hereafter to preoccupy him from his worldly affair nor does he allow his worldly affair to preoccupy him from his Hereafter”

“The tribulation of the seeker of the world is the idling of his heart from remembrance of the Hereafter.

People differ in worldly divestment in proportion to the soundness of [their] intellects, and the purity of [their] hearts. The most virtuous are the most intelligent and those who best understand God.’

Abu Darda said, “Whoever avoids the forbidden gaze. God will wed him to any of the wide-eyed maidens of Paradise that he chooses; and whoever peeks from rooftops, God will render him blind on the Day of Resurrection.’

Never consider any sin to be insignificant, never divulge a secret, never reveal what God has concealed, never contemplate committing a sin, and never persistently commit a minor transgression.

Do not hold back anything from God in your devotional acts. Do not allow your soul to be pleased with an action that should have been undertaken solely for God. Stand before God in prayer with your entire being.


Muhammad Sajad Ali


0753-5654-125 UK







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