Starting October 2nd, 2022, Ending May 2023
Suhba Online is an 8-month interactive Islamic curriculum of study, practice and fellowship based on the acclaimed Suhba Fellowship Program that was run in Istanbul, Turkey.
Developed by Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui, this unique program consists of a four-module curriculum taught through three essential, interrelated components of ‘ilm (Islamic knowledge), akhlaq and ‘amal (character refinement and spiritual practice), and suhba (fellowship).
Beginner, intermediate and advanced students of Islamic knowledge will find the program intellectually stimulating, spiritually inspiring, relevant, practical, and life-transforming, insha’Allah.
The program is taught by Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui and Shaykh Riad Saloojee through both live and recorded class material. Fellowship and Practice classes are taught by Dr. Ali Hazratji, Dr. Amir Abdelzaher, Sidi Naeem Saloojee, and Sidi Abdul-Basit Khan.
The curriculum of Suhba Online was the core curriculum of Al-Madina Institute’s renowned one-year intensive Suhba Fellowship Program in Istanbul, which has over 300 graduates from all over the world.
Suhba Online translates this tried-and-tested transformative experience for a global student base. It facilitates committed and customized learning through lectures, interactive classes, student reflections, a fellowship discussion board, detailed lecture resources, different learning streams, and much more.
The program’s four-module curriculum provides the spiritual and rational essentials to navigate the incredible challenges of our age. It does this in four ways:
By situating all knowledge within an envelope of experiential spirituality and character transformation;
Turning all knowledge into consistent action through a guided, gradual, progressive program of implementation;
Promoting fellowship, interaction and support with like-minded learners from all over the globe; and
Offering ongoing mentorship through teachers to translate, project, and contextualize learning material.
The spiritual heart (qalb) is the subtle, Divine creation that is the seat of all cognition, emotion and will. It is our greatest and most precious gift, by which we know Allah, experience Him, and seek Him.
Drawing from the rich legacy and practice of Islamic spirituality (Tazkiyat al-Nafs) from the Messenger ﷺ, the Companions (Allah be pleased with them) and the early and later generation of Scholar-Saints (Allah sanctify their souls), this module discusses the essential principles and practices of the science.
Topics include the Islamic psychology of the self; the attainment of khilafa (vicegerency) in the realization of the Divine Names and Attributes at the human level; the destructive vices and salvific virtues (akhlaq) of the heart; inner dimensions of worship; and a practical, holistic model of the essentials of Islamic spirituality such as ‘Ilm (Knowledge), Tawba (Repentance), Mujahada (Personal Striving), Dhikr (Divine Remembrance), Muraqaba (Divine Mindfulness), Du‘a’ (Supplication) and Khalwa (Spiritual Seclusion), among others.
The Islamic principles of textual interpretation (Usul al-Fiqh), the legal guidelines (al-Qawa‘id al-Fiqhiyya) induced from the corpus of jurisprudence, and the universal objectives in the attainment of human welfare through the promotion and preservation of faith, life, intellect, honor and wealth (Maqasid al-Shari‘a) are anchored in a historically unmatched method of rational analysis and synthesis.
For our spiritual journey to the Divine to be deeply rooted and fruitful in the modern age, we must gain an appreciation of the importance of these noble sciences, their aims and purposes, their basic concepts, and a general understanding of their application to specific cases.
This module will give us an introductory grounding in these sciences and illustrate key theoretical concepts through a critical analysis of contemporary issues. Time permitting, it will also include discussions and case studies of key principles and axioms that assist in rational and spiritually sensitive decision making in personal and collective life.
Our Master Muhammad ﷺ is the Beloved of Allah and the most perfect created expression of His Names and Attributes. He ﷺ is the door to experiential tawhid (Divine unicity) and to refined, exalted character (akhlaq).
Conventional studies of the Prophetic Biography (Sira) typically treat his life ﷺ as a chronology of events, crises or military engagements with scant attention paid to his reality ﷺ. This module will be an intensive introduction to his reality ﷺ and special station with Allah. Why is He Allah’s Beloved ﷺ? And why is He ﷺ so fully deserving of our fullest love and both external and internal obedience?
This new perspective on the Messenger ﷺ will grant us a fuller appreciation of the sublime majesty and beauty of his character ﷺ; change the way in which we relate to his words, deeds, and life ﷺ; and truly make him ﷺ the emulative archetype for our hearts, minds, and bodies throughout our lives. And with Allah is all success.
The Qur’an is Allah’s eternal speech to us, our most direct experience of His Names and Attributes, and the cure and remedy for all our spiritual ailments.
This module of Qur’anic exegesis (Tafsir) studies some chronological revelations of the Qur’an in Mecca, as well as a selection of the Medinan Qur’an. Both address the personal and collective challenges of the first believers and provide them — and us — with the spiritual meanings, strength and inner composure to navigate the environment around them.
The Qur’an unfolds with profound and transformative spiritual meanings that develop an experiential awareness of Allah’s Names and Attributes together with the akhlaq (inner character) essential for one’s individual and collective growth. As we internalize and actualize these meanings, we will build an emotional, personal connection to the words of the Qur’an and feel that it is revealed for us, and to us, in real-time and real-life. And with Allah is all success.
Suhba Online is not about gaining information. It is about genuine spiritual transformation through internalizing, practicing, and living what we learn.
In our Islamic tradition, knowledge is never intended for its own sake, but to reform and transform our hearts through beautiful akhlaq and heartfelt ‘ibada (worship). The emphasis on akhlaq and ‘amal is as important as the acquisition of knowledge — and in some cases even more important.
The Suhba Online curriculum contains practical written and audio resources for turning knowledge into transformative action. These will be introduced gradually over the course of the program through the teachers.
In essence, this will comprise of a daily schedule of ‘ibada that includes all the essential elements for a life of spiritual excellence. Each element will be introduced slowly and gradually, over the course of the year, in order to build comfort, habit and consistency with the schedule. We will also be practicing elements together to build momentum and resolve.
Elements include an emphasis on quality salah, Divine mindfulness (muraqaba), fasting, supplication (du‘a’), morning and evening remembrances (adhkar), self-accountability (muhasaba), moments of seclusion (khalwa), and much more.
While online suhba can never replace in-person suhba, Suhba Online currently provides six avenues to maintain the pedagogy and ties of fellowship:
The one-hour weekly Fellowship and Practice (FP) class: The weekly Fellowship and Practice (FP) class with our teachers —Dr. Ali Hazratji, Dr. Amir Abdelzaher, Sidi Naeem Saloojee, and Sidi Abdul-Basit Khan — is an opportunity for students to learn through interaction, reflection, and discussion. The intent of the class is to deepen knowledge by personalizing, contextualizing and customizing knowledge learned to each student’s reality.
Monthly Sitting Still session: In our monthly Sitting Still session, we will learn how to sit still, focus and concentrate by engaging in a guided dhikr together.
The Suhba Circle: The Suhba Circle is an online community where students will be able to post their brief reflections and read the reflections of their companions.
Q & A: Students will have ample opportunity to submit their questions to the teachers in the program.
The live weekly Remembrance with Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui: Students will have the opportunity to join our live weekly remembrance with Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui every Sunday. The weekly remembrance includes Qur’an, sending peace and blessings upon the Messenger ﷺ and reciting the daily litany of remembrance. It is a wonderful avenue to recharge spiritual energy for the week ahead.
The monthly Suhba Check-In: Students will meet monthly with Sidi Moutasem Atiya for an interactive discussion that charts their progress and listens to their concerns.
Jumu‘a Mubarak: Every Friday, students will receive a written reminder discussing an inner meaning of the blessed day of Friday, and how we can live that meaning to improve the spiritual quality of our week.
“This is a wonderful course to know Allah and His Messenger ﷺ, to know yourself and your approach to happiness, to reclaim your heart, and shape your character with the chisel of Islam. You will learn the path of nearness to Allah and you will be guided to take your first steps on this path, with a map showing you how to continue. The course is not only intellectually stimulating but also heart-felt and life-changing. I highly recommend the course….”
— Baher A. (Professor)
“I loved everything about the program. I have never been enrolled in such a prestigious program before…. The program is well-equipped with state of the art technological tools. It provides all the means for modern spiritualism, which is the need of the time. For me, it is the most valued asset of my life. Now, I can’t think of living without this suhba for as long as I am alive….”
— Madiha F (Teacher and Homemaker)
The suhba program has been my road map to my Lord. To truly know your self and your purpose here in this world opens the door for the opportunity to become the best human being possible as you embody the best character (akhlaq) that you can. Though the change must come from within, the suhba program has enriched me with the most powerful tools as I embody the knowledge (‘ilm) and then apply the practices in action (‘amal) to make the changes within.
The quality, the integrity, the transparency, the devotion and the commitment of Shaykh Mokhtar and the profound teachers are beyond words. The program is grounded with an incredible support system of impeccable teachers and fellow brothers and sisters that helps to anchor the teachings and guide us forward as we all journey together toward closeness to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta‘ala) and what He loves. May Allah help us to dissolve the tiny self into the vast awareness and Hubb love of the Divine. I thank Allah for this spiritual GPS program that continues to awaken and free my heart. Amin, Amin, Amin.
— Jo Ann L (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist)
The Suhba Online program is a transformational experience of the soul. Knowledge acquired in this program is not merely for academic purposes, nor does it lead to ideological division. Instead, its curriculum reminds all students that we learn in order to act, we act in order to serve, we serve in order to love, we love in order to purify our character and our hearts. This is the unifying experience of tawhid, and the powerful experience of fellowship. It is a catalyst for the journey to proximity to Allah, helping to build the lifeboat of a heart at peace. I have found that it constantly reminds me of the best of what human beings can be: beauty-makers in the world, whose hearts are at rest in the Eternal.
— Jeremy C (Non-profit Executive)