Posted by: Dawud Israel | November 14, 2009

Sky High Eman: 4M Guide to World Records in Ibadah

Bismillah, alhamdulillah, wa salat wa salam ala Rasulullah

The following is a serious guide to self-rectification (tazkiya) and is meant to be taken seriously. It may look simple enough but is a flexible model that can be applied to any aspect of spiritual life provided one’s own creativity. It requires one to be dead-serious and stubbornly and unwaveringly relentless in the battle against oneself.  This is the methodology of all the great Sufis and reformers, it is a powerful path.

As for Musharatah, it is to set a condition or a goal or choose an act of worship you wish to perfect you want to achieve until its a regular habit and helps you transform yourself. One may take an oath for this but it is not necessary. As for Murabatah, it is to endure in that act of worship and perseverance.

The two components of this seem to be: perseverance, consistency and going above and beyond. I would liken it to a marathons- running long distance and pushing the human spirit. I think the driving spirit for this is ikhlas (sincerity) and a sense of adventure. We want to journey to new places in our soul using what we have already. I can imagine how Muslims would pray 100 rakah a night or fast the fast of Prophet Dawud (alayhi salam), every other day or increasing the amount of dhikr you do.

Tama ar-ribat arba’una yawman- Ribat is completed in 40 days (khurooj) -weak Hadith

Inna jalna ma al’al-ardhi zinatulaha linabluwahum ayuhum ahsanu amala

Verily! We have made that which is on earth as an adornment for it, in order that We may test them (mankind) as to which of them are BEST in deeds. (Quran, Surah al-Kahf 18:7)

As for Muhasabah it is to take your self to account. If you succeeded you will give thanks to God- give to the poor or sadaqa to those who are needy. If you failed in what you aimed to do, you will move to Muaqaba, which is punishing yourself for those shortcomings by means of a penalty. You may have to make it more realistic or harder if you want to improve even more, or change it to something that is meaningful to you if it hasn’t worked so far.

One then continues to apply this model to other aspects of oneself, its a life-long struggle. But its better than looking at yourself 4-6 years ago and realize you are no better- you are still missing your prayers or faltering on the same sins and problems. You want to be better than that. All of us do. But It requires a serious attitude, and naturally it isn’t easy. Above all, one must focus on the aspect of Murabatah, being consistent and putting in one’s utmost.

Stories and Examples

Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) came across a Christian monk who had 2 bags of white stones and black stones and he was taking himself to account (Muhasabah) for the day to see which he had done more.

Ibn Wahb, a Maliki Muhadith, (rahimullah) trained himself to control his tongue by making an oath to fast a day for every instance of backbiting he committed, until he reached a point when he was fasting all the time. Since fasting was easy for him, he changed the muaqaba to paying a dinar, and his love of money eliminiated his backbiting.

Shehu Uthman dan Fuduye (rahimullah) was a scholar of West Africa. We know of him today as the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate, but his story is a unique one. He decided to make salawat to Nabi salallahu alayhi wasalam endlessly and continuously for one year, no matter what state he was in or what he was doing until Allah bestowed upon him a great spiritual opening and great spiritual strength, which he was able to revolutionise East Africa with.

The scholars of the past would compete as to how many hadith they could memorize with numbers reaching thousands to ten thousands. Imam Bukhari had memorized into the hundred thousands, but we must also consider he was a savant and more likely than not, had photographic memory. Many others would go through the entire hadith volumes over and over, hundreds of times because reciting hadith is also a dhikr.

Above all this requires and builds sincerity (ikhlas), and one begins to truly see what sincerity is in oneself and how doing greater and bigger deeds affects sincerity so slightly and so gradually, its like physically growing- you feel the same, but there is no denying you have changed for the better.

All the best.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.


  1. “Shehu Uthman dan Fuduye (rahimullah) was a scholar of East Africa”

    Shehu Uthman was WEST African not east. The Sokoto Caliphate is in Nigeria(West Africa)

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