Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

In this short, but profound discourse, Shaykh Fadhlalla concisely summarizes for us the spectrum of the human self and what drives us on deeper levels to act and behave virtuously or to choose the path of vice, and how, following the middle path between extremes, is what the Prophetic path prescribes for us.

We are taken on the journey of the self, from one that is self-absorbed to another that is content and humble.

We learn that at an innate level we are caught between the drives of attraction, our animalistic or ‘bestial’ instinct, and repulsion, our ‘predatory’ instinct, which make us swing between virtues and vices.

Until we learn to be aware of these drives and refine ourselves consciously and intentionally, we can swing between two extremes and end up engaging in behaviors characterized as vice; for example, when we are extremely abstemious or over-indulgent. The middle way between these two is the act of self-restraint, which is a path to acting with modesty.

Shaykh Fadhlalla describes how we all have a sense of wisdom, courage, modesty, love and justice within us, and these are considered to be the highest virtues, but we also have the opposites of these qualities, such as foolishness, cowardice, greed, hatred, and unfairness.

The mercy of Allah allows us to journey through the levels of the self and use even our vices as stepping stones to refine ourselves and to turn away from the base qualities that are undeniably present in us all.

By maintaining certainty and trust that Allah will illuminate the way with His guiding Light, we are given the gift, through the light of the Ruh contained within our hearts, of turning away from darkness to Light and from vices to virtues…

Key Terms: Self; Spectrum; Drives; Attraction; Repulsion; Vices; Virtues; Bestial; Predatory; Wisdom; Courage; Modesty; Love; Justice; Light; Ruh