The Virtues of Seclusion in Times of Confusion

Ibriz Media

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The Virtues of Seclusion in Times of Confusion is a timely work about unplugging, physically and virtually, as a viable and sorely needed third option between absolute isolation from society and unrestricted social interaction. In this work that speaks to us and our time, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi brilliantly weaves together the Quranic verses, hadith reports, and counsels of the Salaf concerning self-imposed seclusion and its importance as a protective measure to safeguard our faith and shore up our spiritual defences in times of strife and confusion (fitna).

This seclusion, he tells us, is not about withdrawing completely from society and heading for the hills, but rather sitting things out, keeping busy with personal and familial concerns, minding our business—staying at home. It is a call for taking careful stock of where we are spiritually and assessing where exactly our sphere of influence is and not overextending ourselves to our own detriment and the detriment of our loved ones.

“The goal of this book and its fine-tuned translation is to put an exclamation point on the importance of seclusion and to construct a nuanced and scholarly understanding of the matter. Readers will enjoy, learn, and take examples from the stories of how our predecessors withdrew from societies when they felt their corruption. I pray that this work marks the beginning of our regular practice of retreat—physically and digitally—in a way that makes us more at peace and thus more effective in bringing positive change to ourselves, our families, and our communities.” —Dr. Shadee Elmasry



Chapter 1: On Self-imposed Isolation and Avoidance of People During times of Confusion and Strife

Chapter 2: The Legal Dispensation Allowing One to Avoid the “Imams of Fitna” in the Mosques

Chapter 3: How the Early Muslims (Salaf) Were During Periods of Corruption

Chapter 4: Early Imams Who Withdrew from Society


Appendix I: Selected Narrations from Ibn Abi al-Dunya’s Kitab al-‘Uzla wa al-Infirad (The Book of Withdrawal and Seclusion)

Appendix II: Selected Narrations from Ibn Abi al-Dunya’s Kitab al-Tawadu’ wa al-Khumul (The Book of Humility and Obscurity)

  • By - Shaykh Abdal Ghani al-Nabulusi
  • Translated by - Abdul Aziz Suraqah
  • Paperback - 65 pages
  • Book size - L 17.5cm X  W 12.6cm
  • Published - 2017
  • ISBN - 9781944820930

Who Is Shaykh Abdal Ghani al-Nabulusi?

`Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi was born in Damascus in 1641 into a family of Islamic scholarship. His father, Isma`il `Abd al-Ghani, was a jurist in the Hanafi school of fiqh and contributor to Arabic literature. `Abd al-Ghani showed diligence in the pursuit of Islamic knowledge and before the age of twenty he was both teaching and giving formal legal opinions (fatwa). He taught in the Umawi Mosque in Damascus and the Salihiyya Madrasa, his fame as an accomplished Islamic scholar spreading to all neighbouring Islamic cities. He died in 1731 at ninety years of age, having left behind hundreds of written works in virtually all the Islamic sciences.

His status as a scholar and wali (friend of Allah) is also unstintingly acknowledged by Islamic scholars who came after him. As a prolific contributor to Hanafi fiqh, there is hardly a work in the school that appeared after him that does not depend on or discusses his legal opinions. In the well known and most depended upon work in Hanafi fiqh, Radd al-Muhtar, commonly known as The Hashiya of Ibn `Abidin, the author and Imam of the school in his time, Muhammad Amin ibn `Abidin (d.1836), frequently quotes the legal opinions of Sheikh `Abd al-Ghani, referring to him with reverence and respect that is not apparent in the mention of other scholars quoted in his work. Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Tahtawi (d.1816), the al-Azhari Sheikh of the Hanafi Jurists, in his well known Hashiya of Maraqi al-Falah, when discussing a legal opinion of Sheikh `Abd al-Ghani refers to him as “The knower of Allah, my master `Abd al-Ghani (al-arif billah Sayyidi `Abd al-Ghani)”.

Bio courtesy of Umm Sahl

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