- Learn about Sufism as it has been practiced and taught by masters over the centuries
- Listen to the exposition of the Hikam from a living spiritual heir of the author
- Ustadh Hatim Yousef shall provide his commentary on Sheikh Nuh's exposition and answer student questions
About the Course
This course will cover eight lessons from Sheikh Nuh Keller's exposition of Imam Ibn 'Ata' Illah's famous treatise on Sufism al-Hikam al-'Ata' Illah. Sheikh Nuh Keller is one of Imam Ibn 'Ata' Illah's living spiritual heirs, being an authorized spiritual guide in the Shadhili Tariqa with an unbroken chain of transmission to the author himself. Ustadh Hatim Yousef shall conduct the live classes, providing an explanation of Sheikh Nuh's exposition and answering student questions. Four to five Maxims shall be covered per lesson, the entire work being covered in a number of courses comprising the Mystic Maxims series.
Eight lessons from the Hikam al-'Ata' Illah shall be covered in this course.
Being a Ramadan Intensive course, classes shall meet twice a week over the duration of the month, for a total of eight lessons. The course shall comprise of recorded lessons from Sheikh Nuh Keller as he intricately explains the Maxims. Ustadh Hatim Yousef will conduct the live classes and offer his commentary on Sheikh Nuh's exposition and answer student questions. The course does not have any graded quizzes, exams or assignments. Ustadh Hatim will hold weekly office hours where students can consult with him one-on-one.
Weekly Time Commitment
The course requires an estimated hour to an hour-and-a-half per week outside the live classes to listen to the pre-recorded lessons and take notes.
There is no required text for the course since all the material shall be covered in the pre-recorded lessons. If students would like to purchase a copy of the text, the Hikam has been translated into English as The Book of Wisdoms by Whitethread Press.
There are no pre-requisites to enrolling in the course. Courses in the Mystic Maxims series can be taken in any order.
Who is Imam Ibn 'Ata' Illah al-Iskandari?*
A faqih, scholar, and teacher Imam Ibn 'Ata' Illah, was born into a family of revered Maliki jurists in Alexandria, Egypt, where he gained fame as an expert in Islamic Law. He found similar acclaim in Cairo, where he later moved and became at teacher at the prestigious Al-Azhar. He was a scholar in Arabic grammar, hadith, tafsir, usul or fundamentals of law or faith, and fiqh. In him the worlds of outward and inward knowledge converged - he became a disciple of the spiritual master Imam Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi, the sole successor of Imam Abu 'al-Hasan al-Shadhili, and within his teacher's lifetime, he himself was authorized as a full spiritual guide or murshid, becoming the third spiritual master of the Shadhili Tariqa. The life of a prominent and recognized jurist did not prevent him from leading the spiritual path and training his numerous disciples, which he did while maintaining his role as a lecturer in Islamic Law. His true legacy however lies in the spiritual path he served, the disciples he left to further it, their hearts opened to the knowledge of Allah Most High through his instruction in the mystic way, which his Hikam and other works amply attest to his profound mastery of.
*Answer referenced from Reliance of the Traveller and The Book of Wisdoms
What is Sufism?
"Many Muslims look into their hearts today and find a spiritual emptiness. Speeches abound, but when the chairs are folded up and people go home, they find their prayers and inner life as dry as ever. Something is clearly missing - the centre of the Islamic revelation, there is a brilliant light that has never been put out, but in our time has been covered over by the bushel-basket of modernist and Muslim-reform literature. It proves from the Qur'an and Sunna that from the very beginning of Islam, there has been a fully orthodox and operational science for increasing the impetus and intensity of one's relationship with the Divine, a traditional spirituality that is today called 'Sufism', in all previous Islamic eras was simply known and practiced as 'the way to Allah'."
Excerpt from Sufism and Islam by Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller: "This path is not monasticism, eating barley and bran, or the garrulousness of affectation, but rather perseverance in the divine commands and certainty in divine guidance."