Islamic Studies

Spiritual Influenza by Ibn 'Ataullah al-Askandari

“If you engage in an act of worship, such as prayers and recitation of the Qur’an; failing to find therein a collective heart or reflective mind, then know [take heed] that you are accompanied with an inner sickness like pride, self absorption or something comparable.”

Ibn ‘Atallah al-Askandari

Taj al-‘Urus

Al-Hawi li Tahdib al-Nufus Pg. 3

Translated by Suhaib Webb

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.

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  • Jazaakallahu khayr

    Imam Suhaib, do you know the authenticity of the famous conversation between Imam Ibn Ata’Allah and Imam Ibn Taymiyyah? I found it to be a beautiful example of the etiquette of debate but wasnt sure if it was just a hypothetical piece or a true narration recorded by those present.


  • Assalamu alaikum

    What is the scholarly opinion/advice if a person feels sad, and they do pray, read Quran (perhaps not enough) and do try to learn about the deen but they can’t get rid of this sad feeling? Is that an inner sickness?

    Jazak Allah Khayr Brother

    Fi amanillah

  • Assalamu Alaykum

    One of the biggest problems that youth face, myself included, is being able to reflect on the ayahs being recited during Salah. Scholars have said to know and understand the meaning of the verses recited. However, one of the problems I have during Salah is when I read it in Arabic. When I read the Arabic of the Surah, it is hard for me to reflect on what the Surah means because I am reading it in Arabic, and I don’t know Arabic. I’ve tried to read it in Arabic, then recite the meaning, but it kind of takes too long, plus, I enjoy reading it in Arabic. Also, going back, English to Arabic disturbs the flow of the Salah. In addition, I know this sounds bad, but when you are in school, you only have 15 minutes to pray salah, and sometimes, I have things to do like homework or teachers to see or other students who are part of the Jam’aah have hw to do or just can’t stand to stand that long in salah. Even for me, sometimes, it is hard to stand in Salah for 10-15 minutes, and that is just for the Fard salah. I want to stand for a long time, but I can’t because of life and because of my own weaknesses.

    So my questions are:

    1). How do we reflect on the things that we are saying during Salah? Language barrier is the problem here. Am I better off reading it in English? Can I read it in English?
    2). How do we manage our time in Salah? Because we are supposed to enjoy and spend time in Salah, but in the world we live in when time is constantly moving, how do we balance our timing in Salah to meet our spiritual and everyday timely needs?

    Please forgive me if I sound confused. I am not good at explaining things at all. But if you (Imam Suhaib Webb) or anyone can answer this, that would be greatly appreciated.

    Assalamu Alaykum
    A Lowly Servant

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