Focusing on the One: Lessons from the Tazkiyah Retreat

Focusing on the One: Lessons from the Tazkiyah Retreat on

Mohammad Ali  Hazratji

The 2016 Al-Madina Institute Retreat on Purification of the Soul was a deep and powerful experience structured to purify one's soul. At the conclusion of the retreat, participants had the opportunity to share their moving reflections with the rest of the group. ImanWire will be sharing several of those reflections that describe the internal spiritual journey each participant was experiencing during this retreat. 


Passage of time, a carpet of leaves, yellow, red and brown; but where have all the flowers gone,
Makes me think of a distant past, on earth, stars like the trustee, the sage, and the siddiq shone.

Every day, eager to behold, Ah! What peace, in his presence, must they have felt.
The beautiful smile, the glowing face, the gentle ways, with each one, he dealt.

Woe on you! Only thirty six generations, still your question why for you, this age, He decreed.
Rida with His Wisdom, gratitude for the sunnah  and his texts preserved and agreed.
Now , upon you is the scrupulous implementation. Beware! Be not of those who mislead.
Implore Him in du‘a at every stumble, and help at the moment of your greatest need.

Haven’t you heard of the return of the ghuraba’ in the end of times
To revive your Deen and resuscitate hard hearts, dark as coal-mines;
Till the truth of The Truth, on this earth, once more shines
Won’t you be one of them, or would you busy yourselves with music and rhymes
What are you waiting for? New revelation? Then keep waiting till the death knell chimes.

The caravans, no longer visible, with the passage of ages
It’s His Rahmah that in every century, He deputed saints and sages,
Whose wisdom and teachings, like the Hikam, are recorded in history’s pages
No matter where you stand, they move you to Him with time and stages.

The well trodden path is still visible where his noble feet moved and rested
Footsteps in the sand, for your feet to embrace, lest you falter and be tested
On an alternative path; surely by the quicksand of the world, you want to be molested
In the imprint of his sandals, if only you knew the grand prize being contested

If you don’t move or struggle, the law of entropy will lead to your decay
You have no one to blame for your emptiness, constriction and dismay.
It’s never too late, like the lost camel, to find back your way.
Remember, the day when neither your status, wealth or children will hold any sway
Take heed, Oh! Nafs, hasn’t the time come for you NOW, so no further delay.
An essential step of your path is to work on the way you pray,
Five times a day, He calls you, is your response befitting His Majesty in any way?

Is there something more majestic and life-giving than His very Word?
Read, learn, understand, implement, then teach. Searching elsewhere is surely absurd.
You keep talking, hardening your heart, while it is His Word that should be heard
Forgive, forgo, soften your heart, Jannah is for those with the heart of a bird
Watchful awareness of thoughts in private, and in public guard every word.

Remember your status, O slave, one day you will be held accountable
A parade of witnesses, heaps of evidence, but no defense attorney to turn the table
So set conditions for yourself, free and healthy and while you still are able.
Remove the arrogance, the conceit, ostentation and greed, be instead polite, merciful and humble.

Cultivate character traits befitting the khalifah of the Infinite, of Jamaal
All the while preparing yourself for challenges emanating from His Jalaal.
Remain steadfast, constant through tests and trials  in very conceivable haal
Remember the greatest teacher, who graduated Abu Bakr, Abu Hafs, Uthman, Ali and Bilal
Compassionate, gentle, generous, merciful, paragons of zuhd, wara’, amanah, haya and ithaar.

Let go of my heart, my prized possession, Oh nafs, for I now long for a qalbun- saleem
I am done with your suggestions, calls and desires, the zeenah of this dunya , I no longer dream
Enough indulgence and latitude were you granted from Al-Haleem
Isn’t it time, finally, to stop, turn back and come clean.

Will you still continue, as always, for your actions, to find justification
For “halaal” enjoyment, food for your indulgence on every vacation
I seek protection in Him from Iblees, from every apparent and hidden deception
No. I don’t want eternity or to be an angel, for I am preparing for a higher reception.

Your sins have caused vibrations and turbulence in the web of time and space,
Use a broken heart and hot tears if these are indeed what you choose to erase.
Obedience of parents, love for a child, best of akhlaq for the jannah you chase,
Be  sincere for Him, you need no other witnesses, strive only seeking His glorious face.

I am focused on One, His nearness I desire, for Him I long, He is my goal in life
I know with His help, till my last breath, insha Allah, I will strive
Through constriction and expansion, one day, at His doorstep, I hope to arrive


You want to hear salaamu -alaikum, you are one of those that succeeded
Enter through any gate, for Al-Ikhlas, ten times after each salah repeated
Of the ones, from whom, defeat finally, Iblis conceded
Trees of gold for you to behold, reflections of which, on your canoe trip, were provided
Adorned with his name, in Jannah, the leaves  are decorated.


Enter now His returning slave, pleasing and pleased , His Paradise
No longer will touch you fatigue, toil, discomfort, displeasure or vice.
You always remembered, it is His Mercy, by which, here you arrive.
The results are always in His hands, all He asked was for you to strive.

He wasn’t unaware, but answered every time when you raised your hands
It is out of His haya’ that  even on stained palms, His blessing lands.

Your du‘as never went unheard or unheeded
He always kept them for you when you most needed
Withholding some of what you asked to keep you protected
Always sending you messages, even though, His wisdom, at times, you doubted
At times when you felt abandoned, He was near you, and all those times you were carried


Reserve for the day, your counter of salah ‘alan-Nabiyy  thrown in the lake, He watched , as you hurried
For the day when a single deed could make a difference as the earth divulges what it carried.
You wondered why it wouldn’t sink to the bottom, as you watched and you tarried
Remember, Salah ‘alan-Nabiyy, He decreed its benefits to be manifest and cannot be buried

As you walked to ‘Arafah with your shaykh, for Him, you were not just a number
And the night so special in Muzdalifah, perched above the masjid at Masharal-Haram,  in total surrender
These were His gifts to you, the prayer next to his noble grave, you remember
All because He noticed your love for the space between his hujrah and mimbar.

His help came to you at your worst, at a time when your heart was full of aghyaar
His gift to you, your Shaykh, to bring you back from the brink of Naar
Little did she know, Al-Butool, the future of the baby she held and named Mokhtar
That, one day, Allah would use him to revive His Deen, near and far
As He groomed him for the latter times, among the abrar, a shining star.


Thank you for your gift, ya Ummi, may you always be blessed and face no grief
May your grandchildren always prosper and be worthy of being from the shareef.

Ya Rabbi, immerse me in Your Glory till every space in my heart has Tawheed wijdani
Remove all else of attachments, desires, impulses, till there is no trace of any
Enrich me with knowledge that benefits, authentic, and whose sources are many
Let my tawbah be cleansing, intense, sincere, tearful, not just words worth a penny.

Let my dhikr me continuous, in depth and full of focus and meaning.
Let my provision be adequate, enough for the stomach, to keep the back from leaning.
Let few hours of sleep suffice me for my health and vigilance, not for prolonged dreaming.
Let my tongue speak only khair, save me from hours of damage control, mop-up and cleaning.
Protect me from company that distances me from You, and visits to places, worth bereaving.

As the retreat draws to a close, a solemn look on the face of the lake, a heavy heart, any new resolution?
To be steadfast in fulfilling what I promise, an immersion in tazkiyah is my solution.
To be always in an inner state of purity, in my heart and body by tawbah and renewed ablution.
A declaration of war against Iblis and my nafs, to keep me from destitution.
Focus on my self and not on others, for I am required first to be in full submission,
Then forget yourself and focus on Him alone, till you achieve, in Him, total self-annihilation.

Love for Your Rasul,  ahl-al-bait, my teachers, my Shaykh, and the deen You bequest
In my bankruptcy, my waseelah to You, Your beloved, his sandal on my head through every test
Let Your Rida, Your Qurb, and the company of Your Messenger be my ultimate quest
Rabbi inni li ma anzalta ilayya min khairin faqeer, رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ
So grant me of Your generosity, the very best.  Aameen.

By Mohammad Ali Hazratji , 03 Nov 2016

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