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Ebrahim College

The Exquisite Pearl

A brief introduction to the Islamic science of spirituality or wayfaring to Allah. Based upon a poem entitled, ‘The Journey to Allah and the Home of the Hereafter,’ written by the late Sheikh AbdurRahman al-Sa’di (1307H/1889CE), as well as a brief explanation to the poem, which he called, ‘The Exquisite Pearl.’

The Exquisite Pearl

This course aims to explore some of the main spiritual stations that are essential for the heart in its worship of Allah and journeying to Him. The stations being qualities such as sincerity, love, fear, hope, patience, contentment and their like. It will explain how to ‘arrive’ at these stations and make them part and parcel of who we are.

This course is a must for every seeker desiring guidance on how to purify their hearts and gain intimacy with their Lord. It will cover the knowledge of the soul and provide students with advice on how to gain nearness to Allah (swt).

Of all the faculties man has been endowed with, none excels the heart in importance and nobility. For the heart is both the seat of intelligence and understanding, and the locus of faith and spirituality; it is the quintessential faculty by which man may come to know his creator, and seek nearness and intimacy with Him. The heart’s spiritual sustenance lies in its being receptive to the effusions of divine grace and guidance, without which the veils that cover it will continue to corrupt its primordial purity, gradually rendering it dysfunctional! Each veil- a metaphor for heedlessness, sins and distraction- that is melted away by the rays of faith and spiritual endeavour, allows vital qualities such as love of Allah, as well as hope, fear, remembrance, and reliance upon Him, are referred to in the religious vocabulary as spiritual stations; only when the heart embraces these stations is it said to be truly sound. The Majestic Qur’an informs:

‘The day when wealth and sons avail not, save him who brings to Allah a heart that is sound.’

  • The Awakening
  • The Aspiration
  • The Station of Sincerity
  • The Station of Fear and Hope
  • The Station of Love
  • The Station of Remebrance
  • Seeking Nearness to Allah (swt)
  • Self-Inspection
  • The Station of Patience
  • The Station of Contentment
  • The Station of Gratitude
  • The Station of Reliance
  • The Station of Excellence
  • The Station of Good Character
  • The Station of Attentive Care
  • The Station of Renunciation
  • The Fellowship

Shaykh Abu Aaliyah

Ustadh Surkheel Sharif (Abu Aaliyah) is an imam, author, translator and Director of The Jawziyyah Institute. He has been involved in Islamic teaching both in the UK and abroad since the late 1980’s. Abu Aaliyah has studied the Islamic sciences (theology, law and spirituality) with a number of scholars over the last 20 years and still continues to do so.

He has authored a number of books including “More Fish Please”, “The Golden Rule of Differing” and “The Exquisite Pearl” as well as translating books from Arabic to English. He has an MA in Islamic Studies; serves as an imam for Eman Foundation in Goodmayes, London and has appeared on radio and TV. Some of his lectures and articles can be found at and Abu Aaliyah lives in London with his wife and four grown up children.

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