THE VIRTUES OF SECLUSION In Times Of Confusion
Author: SHAYKH ‘ABD AL-GHANI AL-NABULUSI/Translated BY ABDUL AZIZ SURAQAH
Publisher: Ibriz Media
Al-Salam ‘alaykum everyone. May divine mercy and light be with you.
Last year, Allah blessed me to complete the translation of a very important work by the Ottoman polymath Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi (d. 1143 AH) entitled Takmil al-Nu’ut fi luzum al-buyut. The literal translation of the title is The Perfection of Good Qualities Through Remaining in One’s Home, but in English I’ve rendered it as
THE VIRTUES OF SECLUSION IN TIMES OF CONFUSION
In this work, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi discusses the importance of avoiding strife (fitna), steering clear of conflict with others, and details the worldly and Afterworldly virtues of minding one’s business, keeping aloof from “drama,” maintaining a low profile, and focusing on what’s truly important—care for one’s self and family, and salvation and leaving this world with one’s faith intact.
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 defenses 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
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi (d. 1143 ah) was a high ranking Hanafi jurist, theologian, and spiritual master in the Ottoman era from Damascus, Syria. He was a gifted and prolific author, and a virtual encyclopedia of Islamic knowledge, who joined the exoteric and esoteric, authoring over 200 book on a variety of sciences. He taught in the renowned Umawi Mosque in Damascus and the Salihiyya Seminary.
HERE’S A LOOK AT THE TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword by Dr. Shadee Elmasry
Biography of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi
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 Strife” in the Mosques
Chapter 3: How the Early Muslims (Salaf) Behaved 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 Withdraw and Seclusion)
Appendix II: Selected Narrations from Ibn Abi al-Dunya’s Kitab al-Tawadu’ wa al-Khumul (The Book of Humility and Obscurity)