This is the first of two posts about Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad’s recent book Travelling Home. This post is a summary and reading guide of the book, and the second one is a review, analysis and critique.
The book is a collection of essays, most of which are derived from lectures the shaykh has given over the years. In fact the introduction lists the lectures that the chapters are derived from. The writing style is reflective of being derived from lectures. The arguments presented aren’t structured the way one is used to in an academic essay, as the narrative often moves freely from topic to topic. There are also lots of fancy words used where simpler ones would have sufficed. Because of that, the average reader might be confused by the book, have difficulty getting through it, or not know what to make of it. I’ve put this reading guide together to help.
There’s a widespread problem among men that needs addressing. This problem exists among women too, but since I’m a man I’ll speak to my fellow brothers. I don’t expect to solve the problem but if even a handful of people make some improvement after reading it, I’ll consider that a success.
The problem is that a lot of men harbor sexual thoughts and fantasies about women who they’re not married to. These are often people they know and interact with, such as their colleagues and coworkers, or are from the internet such as Instagram and Facebook, and so on. Celebrities and pornography can also be considered an extension of this problem.
In this post I will first argue that harboring these sexual thoughts is bad in and of itself, and shouldn’t be seen as something that only becomes bad if they’re “acted” upon, e.g. by masturbating to them, or not lowering one’s gaze, or engaging in physical contact. Then I will give 3 good ways to help fix this problem, and 2 bad ways to try to fix this problem.