These are a collection of tips from the retreat attendees of tazkiyah tun Nafs with Shaykh  Mokhtaar Maghraoui, collected and added to by the author:

Tip #1: Keep a tazkiyah journal.

Record your thoughts, state of the heart, what happened and how you reacted, ibaddah quantity and quality. It helps track progress (or lack thereof) and aids with muraqabah.

Tip #2: Review Notes

This will help us remember those moments spend at retreat and remind us to be steadfast on our Path to Allah subhan wata ‘ala.

Tip #3: Daily Taubah.

Tip #4: Don’t try to change too fast! Choose one or two items to focus on at a time. Once you have mastered those then you can move on to the next one.

Tip #5: Do further readings on Tazkiyatun Nafs.

A really good book that I just read is by Khurram Murad ” In the Early

Hours: Reflections on Spiritual and Self-Development”.

Tip #6: Buy a few CD sets from Shaykh Mokhtar Use it as your diet of’ilm… It really helps to reflect and take notes. A good one to get started on which I find absolutely amazing is “Orientation”.

Tip #7: Ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to make your renewal process easy and smooth.

Tip #8: Make time for quiet. I sat outside after fajr this past week one morning and really found the khalwah refreshing; nice to not HAVE to say anything, and more importantly I think just actively feeding the heart quiet instead of noise is very peaceful.

Tip #9 (from reviewing some old notes from sh mokhtar classes)

“Don’t rejoice at obedience because it has come from you; rejoice in it because it has come from Allah to you. A point of humility, deeper awareness and realism. When we do something righteous, whether in our relationship to the creatures or to Allah, we should remember the goodness we were blessed to commit is a gift from Allah; should learn to be aware that only Allah is the source of goodness; we often fail to see that, as well us what means from Allah led us to good, and to being successful at it. If we fail to do this we may go to Allah expecting to see ‘fruits’ of “our” deeds, and it may cause darkness in our lives. We SHOULD be happy if we do something good because it’s a sign that Allah made me do it, strengthened me to do it, led me to it, graced me with it– He is the one who makes good easy for those that find it easy.

And when one sins, it SHOULD lead one to feel very remorseful, because Allah did not shield me from committing it. He left me to me. It’s a punishment – see it as justice.

And when Allah truly envelopes His servants seeking Him, He makes them unaware entirely of their good deeds- they do good but feel they haven’t done anything. They see only Allah concealing and pardoning them.”

Tip #10: pray for each other and especially for sh mokhtar.

Tip #11: Speak less.

Tip #12: make a notecard of things to remind yourself with before entering into salah.

Sometimes when you’re coming from another task to salah it can be nice to have all the things you should do be all in one place, take a second to read it, and then start.

Example (I just made mine)

Have an attentive heart

Recite surah an-nas before

Have adab with Allah – no yawning or burping

Keep your limbs still and head down

Feel internally “alhamdulillah” before you even say it – that Allah

calls you to His presence 5x a day

Miss the retreat environment?? — treat salah as your 5x a day


Allah sees you ALL day. Salah is when you specifically come with your heart to Allah not just your body. Actively push out any thoughts that come in and remember that Allah is greater – will have to KEEP doing this through salah. And when you return your heart to Allah 5x a day and actively block out other things from it, it should help block out other attachments from accumulating in the heart. Should feel different before and after salaah! If not, missed the point.

Tip 13: Share your notes with a friend

Type and organize your notes and then discuss them with a friend who could not be there. Teaching is the best way to learn and retain.

Tip #14: Practice regular physical mujahaddah through exercise

Remember the learnings of our out door days? Keep it alive with regular exercise. Recite Dhikr as you struggle. Use it as a way to discipline your nafs who may not feel like working out.Use it to carefor the trust of your healthy body. Use it with the niyyah of being energetic and strong for ibadah. But most of all do it to teach yourself self restraint and willing yourself to do what is against your nafs.

Tip Number 15: Thank Him (Subhanawataala)

Thank Him swt for your health.  Your hair. (read this article in the NY Times about Alopecia:

Your sight.  Your hearing.  Your memory.  Your forgotten memories.

Your touch.  Your ability to thank.

Tip Number 16:  Don’t ask Him (Subhanawataala) to take the pain away.

Ask Him swt to allow you to serve Him. To take you towards His grace and shower

you with mercy.




  2. Jkhair for your worthy advice, my dear sister.

    I read your blog everyday, and look forward to your post.

    In fact I am reviewing your tarzikayh posts at moment. I appreciate your advice with regards to the hijab, I am very conscious of it at the moment, perhaps as it is new to me. But now that I have been wearing it for nearly two weeks it feels like I have always worn it. I am trying hard to keep silent, and thinking before I speak…with a view to minimise any backbiting or partaking in any gossip. Shaban is passing by, so I am busy in preparation of Ramadan.

    I want to get in the habit of praying and the zikr I need to do prior to it. I am working on this at the moment. They say someone who fasts out of full faith, and prays for forgiveness will have all his sins forgiven during Ramadan. This is all I am yearning at the moment. It seems to hard to attain and sometimes I feel I will not achieve it. the more I read the more I find how ignorant I am, and it is scary.

    I was wondering what are your goals this ramadan? I have registered on this website, I am afraid I will be doing most of the studying myself, my friends are otherwise busy. I dont mind this. It would be nice to have a group of like minded people,I have made good friends over the internet via blogs like yours.

    May Allah swt bless you through this Shaban and Ramadan.


    • Asalaam o alaikum! Start by removing distractions and invite a like minded friend to listen to tafseer with you atleast once or twice a week and then keep going………..May Allah reward you for all your efforts!

    • Jkhair for this. It is nice and simple. Inshallah I am looking forward to implementing it. I will let you know how I get on.

      Also thank you for your wishes, words from your blog and others culminated into helping me take that step with the hijab.

      May Allah swt bless you this Shaban and Ramadan, may He make us steadfast in our deen.


      • Asalaaam o alaikum!
        I do want to caution you that when you wear hijab ( as a head covering) you immediately become the face of Islam.

        This means that if you frown people say Islam is harsh, if you smile (a sunnah) people say Islam is kind, if you push people or are verbally insensitive than people attribute that to Islam not you. If you are defensive people view Islam as weak, whinny and apologetic, if you hide in the house and do not do your normal duties, people say Islam teaches laziness and oppression.

        Thus wearing a hijab is a great honor but comes with great leadership responsibilities. It is similar to suddenly becoming a “rock star” and every one is looking at you:)

        I personally found the best way to act was to think before I spoke, to keep a smile on my face and be overly kind to strangers, and non judgmental to my non hijabi friends:) and it has been easy, fun and energizing.

        I hope this helps!

        You will need fuel to keep going with energy so tank up on your Ilm.

        Study, read, or listen to the tafseer of the Quran ( is free) at least for 15 minutes daily and more on weekends and holidays. Have a tafseer party, invite friends (a few) listen, discuss and then break bread together:)

        Thank you for your Duas, May Allah open the spigots of happiness and flood your life with it.
        Jazaik Allah Khair!

  3. Hello Dear Sister

    I got in touch with you earlier in the month, about wearing the Hijab (which I am doing so and enjoying being enveloped in Allah’s mercy – so far I have found it easy with the help of Allah swt). My work colleagues gave me weird looks but people are more used to it now. I am really happy and now looking to focusing on making the most of Shaban, inshallah. Hence this article caught my attention, I am hoping to do itikaf this year, I am nervous never having done anything this before so your article is welcomed. Have you any more tips for someone preparing a trip, I wish I could have gone on that retreat like you. I appreciate you are a busy lady, but I need some worthwhile advice.

    Kind Regards

    Kind Regards

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