Seeking Allah: Imam Muhasibi's Treatise of the Seekers of Guidance Explained

Course ID: SPR210
Department: Spirituality
Instructor(s): Imam Afroz Ali
Starts On: November 16th, 2015
Length: 12 weeks
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All courses are FREE

Course Summary

“A layman’s guide to spirituality”

In Treatise for Seekers of Guidance, students will gain an in-depth understanding of  the foundational principles, attitudes, and conduct of a Muslim.  This is a highly practical and impactful course with everything one needs for spiritual enhancement.  

Imam Zaid Shakir’s masterful translation and commentary of Imam al-Muhasibi’s Treatise for Seekers of Guidance will be used.

Course Details

For the beginner on the path to Allah or one familiar with Islamic Spirituality, this class offers something to any seeker.  The founder of Sufi doctrine, teacher to Imam al-Junayd al-Baghdadi and Sari al-Saqati, and inspiration for Imam al-Ghazali, Imam al-Muhasibi’s text, Risaalat al-Mustarshideen, is clear, sound, sufficient and practical. The student will cover core concepts including: the true balance Fear and Hope; Patience that is beautiful; how to inculcate God-consciousness in our attitudes; the virtues and benefits of seeking sacred knowledge; the ultimate goal of knowledge and its subsequent action, which is Love of Allah, Most High. Using Imam Zaid Shakir’s masterful translation along with commentary by the course instructor, Imam Afroz, this class is an aide for any seeker of Sacred Knowledge in realizing his or her lofty goal.

The 12-week course covers many essential concepts of spirituality, including:

  • Servitude
  • Calamities and patience
  • Divine decree
  • Sincere concern and advice
  • Means and ends
  • Protection of the limbs
  • Purification of the soul

Upon  successful completion of this course students will:

  • Have a firm understanding of Islamic spirituality.
  • Have a practical guide in putting lessons into practice.
  • Learn how to spiritually enhance their lives

Course Format

12 downloadable lessons, 3 live sessions.

Lesson Overview

Lesson 1

  • Introduction by Imam Zaid Shakir
  • Importance of the Treatise
  • Biography of Imam al-Muhasibi

Lesson 2

  • Allah and servitude
  • The Messenger and guidance
  • Path towards enlightenment

Lesson 3

  • Your intention and drawing near to Allah
  • Mindfulness and action
  • Taking yourself to account

Lesson 4

  • Affliction and patience
  • Introspection and self-examination
  • Intending for and acting towards Higher Objectives

Lesson 5

  • Reliance on Allah
  • Understanding Divine Decree
  • Humility towards Truth

Lesson 6

  • Remembrance of Allah
  • Sincerity to Allah, His Messenger and people
  • Sincere Concern for others in one’s advice

Lesson 7

  • Constancy in thankfulness
  • Undertaking positive action
  • Taking self- responsibility

Lesson 8

  • Avoidance of disputation
  • Understanding means and ends
  • Harms of whimsical desire

Lesson 9

  • God-consciousness
  • Holding good opinion of others
  • Protecting one’s Deen

Lesson 10

  • Diligence in striving
  • Attaining sound knowledge
  • Righteous servitude

Lesson 11

  • Spiritual Excellence
  • Corruption of the heart
  • Protection of the limbs

Lesson 12

  • Purification of the soul
  • Caution and scrupulousness
  • Engaging only through compassion


“Though the translation of Imam al-Muhasibi’s Treatise for the Seekers of Guidance is clear and easy to comprehend, this course is enriched even further through Imam Afroz’s use of additional material from other scholars, and the use of examples in the context of today’s world e.g. how to deal with conflict. Live sessions are used well to discuss course material, as well as to provide students with additional information related to this Treatise, mainly through Hadith. Lecture notes are great for those who may not have purchased Imam Zaid’s translation.”

“I was first introduced to Imam Afroz Ali by taking this class and highly recommend studying with him. He is able to clearly explain subtle tendencies of human nature, especially issues that seekers of Allah are hoping to understand and fix in themselves. It always amazed me when he would provide on-the-spot yet brilliant answers to students’ questions in the live sessions. But some of the greatest lessons to learn from him are in his character (which is why you must be sure to go to the live sessions!): He embodies the noble character of our Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, with his very friendly and informal nature all while maintaining the proper etiquette befitting of a true scholar. The recorded lessons are relatively short and easy to listen to (meaning they are not dense or intellectually complicated), however it behooves one to reflect on their meanings and be honest about where one falls short in one’s own behavior and attitudes.”