Book Review: Zulhaqem Zulkifli on ‘Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth’

“Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth”, is a translation of Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi’s “Mukhtasar Minhaj al-Qasidin”, which is an expounding and commentary on Ibn al-Jawzi’s “Minhaj al-Qasidin”. As the title denotes, this is a text dedicated to the softening of hardened hearts and to rain upon spiritual droughts. The author lists extensively the qualities that define a Muslim and they should be constantly working towards improving their spiritual state. He writes on ways of disciplining one’s soul, refining one’s character, and the importance of curing the spiritual sicknesses of the heart – something this writer is also seeking and striving for. Much ink is also spent in the censure of the tongue, actions, and also qualities such as pride, self-ostentation, delusions, miserliness, anger, envy, desires, and many other impediments to spiritual growth. I found the author’s censure of the world really useful – asceticism (zuhud) is not that you deny the world but rather, being able to immerse one’s self in the world but without attachments to it. He also criticises false asceticism and spiritual showing-off harshly, which I think is quite important, seeing the increase in number of strange religious figures on social media nowadays.”Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth”, is a translation of Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi’s “Mukhtasar Minhaj al-Qasidin”, which is an expounding and commentary on Ibn al-Jawzi’s “Minhaj al-Qasidin”. As the title denotes, this is a text dedicated to the softening of hardened hearts and to rain upon spiritual droughts. The author lists extensively the qualities that define a Muslim and they should be constantly working towards improving their spiritual state. He writes on ways of disciplining one’s soul, refining one’s character, and the importance of curing the spiritual sicknesses of the heart – something this writer is also seeking and striving for. Much ink is also spent in the censure of the tongue, actions, and also qualities such as pride, self-ostentation, delusions, miserliness, anger, envy, desires, and many other impediments to spiritual growth. I found the author’s censure of the world really useful – asceticism (zuhud) is not that you deny the world but rather, being able to immerse one’s self in the world but without attachments to it. He also criticises false asceticism and spiritual showing-off harshly, which I think is quite important, seeing the increase in number of strange religious figures on social media nowadays.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s