The topic for these series of lectures delivered in Toronto is "The Practical Path to a Peaceful Heart"
In the first lecture, we discuss the role of Muharram in reviving our hearts and the roles and responsibilities of all of us during this period.
As suggested, it may be a good idea to write out a pledge for yourself of your intention and intended behaviour during this time. This greatly helps in reminding ourselves of the purpose of the month of Muharram and establishing our focus and ensuring that we use the time for what it was intended.
We also introduce the concept of the spiritual heart and share the outline of the proposed lectures:
Here is a brief outline of the plan for these 9 lectures inshallah
- What is the importance of the heart in Islam? What does the Quran say about the importance of the heart? What does it mean to have a healthy heart? Why is it important to talk about the heart? We usually focus on knowledge and deeds. Modernity and the challenges of focusing on the heart. The role of knowledge in purifying our heart
- Assessing disease and health of the heart? What does a spiritually healthy heart look like? What are we aiming for? What are some diseases of the heart?
- what’s the relationship between our minds and our hearts? We will also lay out the plan for purification and the tools that we have. I will be following the program for spiritual purification that is laid out in Sura Muzzamil, Chapter 73 of the Quran. It is a short but very beautiful Sura which lays out a blueprint of sorts for the purification of the heart. It might be helpful to take a look at that at some point.
- In terms of tools and resources we will first start with the Quran which Allah says is has been sent as a healer for the hearts. The Quran of course can never be separated from he who received the Quran on his heart and we will talk about the connection as well as some practical steps to improve our connection to the Quran in everyday lives.
- We will talk about night worship and meditation as mentioned in Sura Muzzamil. Why spirituality is so connected to wakefulness at night. In this lecture we will also talk about the practical hindrances to waking up and what we can do about them
- Keeping good company: why this is so important. Our relationships have a powerful impact on who we become and how we operate in this world. We will also discuss other rules about relationships and friendships that are outlined in Sura Muzzamil
- As one of the important things of being on the path, the HP (saw) is advised to have patience when his adversaries mock him or verbally abuse him or tell him off. We will talk about this important concept as many of us struggle in conversations where there is conflict. We will talk about speaking from the ego versus speaking from the heart. We will talk about silence and speech and how to speak up and when to stay silent.
- Salaat as a tool of purification. The HP (saw) has said that Salaat is like a river flowing outside our homes which purifies from every impurity. The Quran also talks about the protective powers of salaat in keeping us away from spiritual toxins. In this lecture we will discuss and discover the philosophy behind each action in salaat and the power of salaat to act as a major tool in keeping the heart pure
- We will conclude our series with a discussion on Dhikr as a tool of purification. What is dhikr, what are the different types of dhikr and how we can practice dhikr so our hearts become an illumined lamp.
For more resources on the Quran and practical spirituality, please visit: www.livingthequran.org