How to get closer to Allah – City Uni ISoc Annual Dinner 2011

On Friday I attended the City University ISoc annual dinner 2011, Alhmadulillah it was a great event full of reminders and inspiration. I just want to take this opportunity to say Jazakum Allahu khairan and mashAllah to all the brothers and sisters that helped make this event a success, but of course all praise is due to Allah, as without His blessing none of this would have happened.

This post is just a few notes from the event on how to literally flee to Allah from sins and the desires and temptations in life. It is from a lecture given by Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad, I’m writing it from memory so if anyone wants to add anything I’ve left out send an email to

These are reminders for myself first and foremost, InshaAllah I will be improving on all of these.

Step 1: Improve your relationship with the Quran.

Remember to read the Quran at least once a day. Don’t go to sleep at night without having read some Quran. Learn to read Quran with proper tajweed, don’t just read the translation on its own because the Quran was revealed in Arabic and that’s where the true blessings lye as the Arabic cannot be truly replicated in another language (it’s just not the same). Of course read the translations to accompany the Arabic so you understand what you are reading. Take the Quran with you when travelling, don’t waste a minute of the day, use up every second, you’ll never get that time back.

Step 2: Secrecy

Now by secrecy I don’t mean keep secrets from people, I mean do ibaada in secret. Give charity in secret, pray properly and more in secret. (i.e. don’t do things for show, re-evaluate your intentions and make your intentions be for the sake of Allah)

Step 3: Think about death often

Thinking about death should make us look at the dunya in perspective, for the dunya is but a blink of an eye. He gave an example of (I think the sahaba’s) who used to go and lye down in an empty grave to imagine and remind themselves that every soul will taste death. The prophet pbuh would visit graves often so that he could remember death and that it isn’t so far away.

Step 4: Contemplation

Think deeply about your day and what you have done. Before going to sleep think about your day and your deeds. Don’t just do things hastily for example don’t just give money to charity but think about it deeply before doing it, that way you will remember Allah more and make every action for His sake.

Step 5: Keep good company

Now you’ve all heard of the hadeeth of the blacksmith and perfume seller if not here it is:

“On the authority of Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (رضي الله عنه ), the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) said:A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.
[sahih al-Bukhari, vol 3, #314 and Muslim]”

This is basically saying if you spend time with good, religious or pious people it will prevent you from going astray, or at least help you recover from committing sin when you have made the intention that you want to stop. The Shaykh also said that even if you don't like some of the things these pious people do you shouldn't just leave them because being with them will be more beneficial for you. When you commit sin and you are so ashamed don't lock yourself away from the world but make sure you are around good people, for shaytaan attacks when you are alone.

Another point that was made by the Shaykh here was even if you know someone who is religious (attends Islamic talks, wears a kufi and a thobe) and they do wrong in secret (i.e. talks to girls, looks at inappropriate things etc) don't call him a hypocrite and expose him, because you don't know what is in his heart, for all you know that brother could be trying to make changes in his life, just because he does some things wrong you shouldn't shun him and say all religious people are hypocrites. He may be trying to get back on to the right track again, don't make his struggle any harder but help him by giving him advice and looking for ways to get him out of his situation. [I used 'brother' just as an example this also applies to sisters]
Step 6: Dhikrullah, The rememberance of Allah
Try to improve on your dhikr (remembrance of Allah). Thank Allah for everything, make du’a, repent often, be in constance remembrance of Allah. Make dhikr light on your tongue, the more dhikr you do, the easier it gets and the more you’ll do without even realising. 
A very good handbook of supplications I would recommend is ‘Fortress of the Muslim’ A small handbook packed full of authentic du’as. 
The shaykh gave an example of a pious man (I can’t remember who he said it was) but basically the shaykh was eating with this man and he realised that this man was making dhikr whilst eating, with every bite he was saying Alhamdulillah, he thought that maybe he has never eaten that dish in his life, but soon realised that the man was just thankful to Allah for his food and being able to eat, SubhanAllah that’s what you call constant remembrance of the All Mighty, how often do we remember to say ‘Bismillah’ before taking a sip of water? 
Step 7: Be humble
Don’t be arrogant for shaytaan was in a high position and his arrogance led him to be Allah’s greatest enemy. Arrogance is (for men) standing for salaah with your trousers below your ankle, telling someone to mind their own business when they give you some advice for the sake of Allah. The biggest signs of humbleness is putting your forehead on the ground in Sujood (that is the point you are closest to Allah). The reason why we put our right hand on top of our left hand on our chest in salaah is out of humbleness to our Lord. A person who has even an atom of arrogance/pride will not enter Jannah.
So that’s all I can remember for now, (I didn’t actually take notes I literally wrote this off the top of my head from what I could remember) May Allah forgive me for all of my shortcomings.
All good I have said is from Allah and any mistakes I have made are mine alone. Please do correct me if you come across anything not quite right.
I hope you found this useful inshaAllah.