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When he is advised in regard to certain things with which he disobeys Allaah, he says: “at-Taqwaa is here in my Chest” – Rebuttal by Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen

Advising the one who says “Taqwa is here” and he continues to Sin

A Doubt and its Rebuttle

Question 15: What lead to this question is that nowadays there is a group of people when they are called to worship Allaah they say: “Allaah is the Rabb of the hearts.” We would like also that you comment on this response?

The Answer: We say that Allaah is indeed the Rabb of the hearts as well as the tongues. He is not the Rabb of the hearts only; and if the hearts become good then the limbs become good, because the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم says:

Verily, there is a piece of flesh in the body, if it becomes good [reformed], the whole of the body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart. [29]

This Hadeeth renders the futile and false the claim by some, who when you advise him in regard to certain things with which he disobeys Allaah, he says: “at-Taqwaa [30] is right here,” and he points towards his chest.[31]

His is a word of truth intended to imply something futile. In fact a word may be true in its general sense, but the speaker intends to imply by it a futile meaning. Indeed think of the Saying of Allaah, The Most High, concerning the Mushriks:

The Mushriks will say: “If Allaah had willed, we would have not committed Shirk, nor would our fathers, and we would not have forbidden anything [against His Will]! [Qur’aan, soorat al-An’aam (6): 148].

So, they said: “If Allaah had willed, we would have not committed Shirk,” and they were truthful in that which they said. Because if Allaah had willed, they would have not committed Shirk. They, however, did not intend the truth by using this word. Rather, they wanted to justify their staying on their Shirk and the lifting of punishment from upon them. This is why Allaah, The Most High, Said:

Likewise belied those who were before them, [they argued falsely with Allaah’s Messengers], till they tasted of Our Wrath. [Qur’aan, soorat al-An’aam (6): 148].

So, of no avail to them was the use of al-Qadar [32] [Allaah’s Pre-decree] as a plea when they intended it to be a justification for continuing on their Shirk, and an excuse for lifting the blame and punishment from upon themselves. [33]

The actual fact, however, is exactly as they have put it: “If Allaah had not willed, they would not have committed Shirk,” as Allaah, The Most High, said to His Messenger:

Follow what has been inspired to you [O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم] from your Rabb, Laa Ilaaha Illaa Huwa [none has the right to be worshipped but He] and turn aside from the Mushriks. Had Allaah willed, they would have not committed Shirk. [Qur’aan, soorat al-An’aam (6): 106-107].

There is, however, a difference between the two cases. In the latter case, Allaah Said to His Prophet (what means): “Had Allaah willed, they would have not committed Shirk,” in order to clarify that their Shirk occurs by His Will, and that He, The One free of all imperfections, The Most High, has a Wisdom as to the committing of Shirk by them; and in order to comfort His Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) that this action of theirs (Shirk) takes place by His, The Exalted and Most High’s, Will.

Therefore, the important thing is that the person who says when you give him advice: “at-Taqwaa is here [i.e. in his heart],” has said a true word indeed. However, he intended by it something futile and false, because the one who said: “at- Taqwaa is here…” is the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, the same one who also said:

“Verily, there is a piece of flesh in the body, if it becomes good [reformed], the whole of the body becomes good…”

If there is Taqwaa in the heart, then it is imperative that there is Taqwaa in the limbs, and the outward actions are a sign of the inward actions of the heart.

Footnotes:

[29] An agreed upon hadeeth. See Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, vol.1, no. 49.
[30] The true meaning of at-Taqwaa is fearing Allaah and hoping for His Mercy by executing His Commands and staying away from all that He has forbidden.
[31] The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) in the authentic hadeeth reported by Muslim said: “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. The Taqwaa is here [and while saying so] he pointed towards his chest thrice.” See Saheeh Muslim, vol. 4, no.6219.
[32] Al-Qadar: Allaah’s Pre-ordainment of the creation in accordance with His Foreknowledge, and in accordance with His Wisdom.
[33] In his book Sharh al-Usool ath-Thalaathah, Shaykh Muhammd Bin ‘Uthaymeen, may Allaah’s Mercy be upon him, said: “If there had been any excuse for them in al-Qadar then Allaah would not have sent down His Punishment upon them.” See Sharh al-Usool ath-Thalaathah [English Translation by brother Daawood Burbank], p.186, Daar al- Hidaayah Publishing, Birmingham, U.K.

Posted from eBook – Understanding Worship – Fiqh ul-‘Ibadah – QA Format – Ibn Uthaymeen – Dr Saleh as Saleh

Correct methodology with regard to advising the Rulers – Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan

Beneficial Answers to Questions on Innovated Methodologies by Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan Hafithahullaah. (Beneficial footnotes by Jamaal bin Fareehan Al-Harithee). Pg. 51-55

Question :

What is the correct methodology for advising, particularly with regard to advising the rulers? Is it by publicising their evil actions from their evil actions from the mimbars or by advising them in private? I would like to know what the correct methodology is concerning this matter?

Answer

Infallibility is not for anyone except Allaah’s Messenger . Rulers are humans and they make errors. So no doubt they have errors and mistakes, as they are not infallible. But do not make their errors a reason for you to publicise them and remove yourself from obeying them, even if they may be oppressive and unjust ,and even if they may be sinful, so long as they do not commit clear disbelief. This is that the Prophet commanded us.

Quote:
This is the Creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah with respect to the Muslim ruler. The author of Al-‘Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah said:“And we do not hold it permissible to rebel against our Imaams and our leaders, even if they may be oppressive. Nor do we supplicate against them or remove ourselves from obedience to them. And we hold that obeying them is part of obeying Allaah and hence an obligation so long as they do not order (us) commit sins. We supplicate to Allaah for them that He grant them rectification and pardon.”This is the same belief that the callers to truth are upon to this very day. These same words and those that bear a similar meaning to it were constantly repeated by our teacher, Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin ‘Abdillaah bin Baaz, may Allaah have mercy on him, in his classes and lectures.
Quote:

He is referring to the hadeeth of ‘Ubaadah bin as-Saamit (radhiyAllaahu anh) in which he said:“The Prophet summoned us and so we gave him the oath of allegiance that we would hear and obey (the leader) in matters that we liked and matters that we disliked and in things that were hard upon us and things that were easy upon us, and (that we would give him) preference over ourselves. And that we would not oppose the authority of the leader unless we notice him having open disbelief, for which you would have a clear proof from Allaah against him.”(Fath-ul-Baaree: 13/5)
Ahmad added to this in his narration:

“And if you believe that you have some justification in the matter (i.e. of rebelling), do no act upon this suspicion. Rather, just hear and obey until it reaches you, without removing yourself from the obedience.”

And there is further addition in the report of Ibn Hibbaan and Ahmad:

“…even if they take your wealth and beat your back.”

(Fath-ul-Baaree: 13/8)

And if they have sins and commit oppression and injustice, then indeed having patience while obeying them keeps the unity, maintains unification of the Muslims, and protects the lands of the Muslims. Furthermore, there are great evils that result from in opposing them and seceding from them, which are greater than the evils that (may) come from them. So there will occur greater evil –

Quote:
The Shaykh, may Allaah preserve him, is referring to the hadeeth of the Ibn ‘Abbaas (radhiyAllaahu anh) in which he narrated that the Prophet said:“Whoever sees in his leader something that he dislikes, then let him be patient with it, for indeed, whoever splits away from the Jamaa’ah (unified group) even an inch, and then dies, he does not die except the death of some in the Days of Ignorance.”(Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (7054); See Fath-ul-Baaree (13/5))And he is also referring to the hadeeth of Anas bin Maalik (radhiyAllaahu anh) in which the Prophet said:“You will indeed see things after me that you will disapprove of.”
So they said:“What do you order us to do with them, O Messenger of Allaah?”

He replied:“Give them (i.e. the leaders) their rights and ask Allaah for your rights.”

(Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (7052); See Fath-ul-Baaree (13/5) and Sunan At-Tirmidhee (2190))

Quote:

Such as the rallies and demonstrations that have appeared in some of the neighbouring countries. These demonstrations are from the practices of the disbelievers , and not from the Muslims. And it is not part of the Religion in any way. They result in the shedding of blood, the destruction of property, and that misery gained over the Sunnah and its adherents. So won’t the callers to political instigation reflect on these consequences?
– than that which comes from them in the first place, so long as this evil (on their part) is less than disbelief (Kufr) and polytheism (Shirk). We are not saying that one should remain silent at the errors that come out from the rulers. No, rather they should be corrected. But they must be corrected in a pure way, by advising them privately, and writing to them in private. By writing to them, we don’t mean that which is written down, passed through the hands of a group of individuals and then spread amongst the people. This is not permissible. Rather, a confidential letter, should be written, in which there is advice –

Quote:
(This is the methodology of the Salaf with regard to advising the rulers – that it be private and concealed so that there is no room for self-amazement (riyaa) to enter. And in these circumstances, it is much more likely that they (i.e. the leaders) will accept the advice and that Allaah will accept the (good) deed. We will mention some of the texts and narrations regarding this later.)
,and handed over to the ruler or read to him orally. As for a letter that is written, then photocopied, then distributed to the people, then this act is not permissible because it is publicising (his errors), and it is just like speaking against him from the mimbar. In fact, it is worse because it is possible for a person to forget a speech, but as for a written letter, it remains and passes through hands. So this is not from the truth. The Prophet said:

“The Religion is sincerity (advice). The Religion is sincerity (advice). The Religion is sincerity (advice).”

We said:

“To who, O Messenger of Allah?”

He said:

“To Allaah, His Book, His Messenger, the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk.”

(Reported by Muslim (55))

And in the hadeeth, it states:
“Verily Allaah is pleased with three things for you and He is displeased with three things for you. He is pleased that you (1) worship Him and not associate anything (in worship) with Him; and that (2) you hold tight onto the Rope of Allaah, all of you together, and not be divided, and that (3) you mutually advise he whom Allaah gives authority of your affairs.”

(Saheeh: An authentic hadeeth reported by Ahmad (2/367) and Maalik in Al-Muwatta (2/756) with the verification of ‘Abdul-Baaqee.)

The people most fitting and qualified to advise the rulers are the scholars, the members of legal and consultative decisions, and those responsible for making decisions and problem-solving. Allaah says:

When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people). But if Only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority amongst them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly).And had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allaâh upon you, You would have followed Shaitân (Satan), except for a few (from you).
(Surah an-Nisaa: 83)

So not everybody is fit to do this. And disseminating and publicising their errors is not from advising at all. Rather, it is from spreading evil and wickedness amongst those who believe. And it is not from the methodology of the Salaf As-Saalih, even if the intention of the one who does it may be good and pure, such as for the sake of forbidding an evil, according to his view. However, what he did is a greater evil than that which he is forbidding. Therefore, forbidding an evil may be evil in itself if it is done in a way other than what Allaah and His Messenger have legislated.

Quote:
Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said:“Gentleness is a way towards commanding good and forbidding evil. This is why it is said: “Let your commanding of good be good, and your forbidding of evil not evil.”And since commanding good and forbidding evil are from the greatest of obligatory and recommended acts, the benefit derived from it must always outweigh the evil… Rather, everything that Allaah commanded us with is in fact good. Allaah has praised good and the doers of good, and He has condemned evil and the doers of evil in many places (of the Qur’aan). So in the case where commanding good and forbidding evil will only bring about greater corruption, it is something that Allaah has not commanded, even if it results in a person abandoning an obligation and committing a prohibition, since the believer is only required to fear Allaah with regard to Allaah’s servants, and it is not upon him to guide.”(Al-Amr bil-Ma’roof wan-Nahee ‘anil-Munkar (pg. 19)This is since this person has not followed the legislated way of the Prophet, which he described when he said:“Whoever amongst you sees an evil, then let him change it with his hand. But if he is not able to, then with his tongue. And if he is not able to, then with his heart, and this is the weakest of Faith.”
(Reported by Muslim (49))

So Allaah’s Messenger divided people into three categories: Amongst them is he who able is able to terminate the evil with his hand, and he is the one in authority, such as the ruler and those entrusted with authority, such as committees, governors and leaders. The second type is the scholar who because he has no authority, forbids (evil) by explaining and advising with wisdom and fair admonition, and by advising those in authority in a wise manner. The third category consists of those who have no knowledge or authority. They should forbid the evil with their hearts, by hating it and by hating and withdrawing away from those who do it.

Reference: Beneficial Answers to Questions on Innovated Methodologies by Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan Hafithahullaah. (Beneficial footnotes by Jamaal bin Fareehan Al-Harithee). Pg. 51-55

Advising is Linked to Secrecy while Condemning is linked to Publicizing – Imam Ibn Rajab

Al-Fudail (rahimahullaah) said: “The believer conceals (the sin of his brother) and advises (him), while the evildoer disgraces and condemns (him).”

This is what Al-Fudail has mentioned as being from the signs of advising and condemning – and it is that advising is linked to secrecy while condemning is linked to publicizing.

It used to be said: “Whosoever commands his brother (towards doing good) at the head of a gathering, then he has condemned him.” Or it is something with this meaning.

The Salaf used to hate that commanding good and forbidding evil be done in this manner. Instead, they loved that it be done privately between the one commanding and the one being commanded, for indeed, this is from the signs of sincere advice.

This is since it is not the goal of the one who is advising to spread and publicize the faults of the person he is advising, rather his goal is only to put an end to the evil that he has fallen into.

As for spreading and exposing someone’s faults, then that is from the things that Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم have forbidden. Allaah, may He be Exalted, says:

“Verily, those who love that the evil and indecent actions of those who believe should be propagated (and spread), they will have a painful torment in this world and the Hereafter. And Allaah knows and you know not. And had it not been for the grace of Allaah and His mercy on you, (Allaah would have hastened the punishment on you) and that Allaah is full of kindness, Most Merciful.” [Surah An-Noor: 19-20]

The ahaadeeth concerning the virtue of keeping the faults of others secret are many.[27] Some of the scholars would say to those who were commanding towards good:

“Strive hard to conceal the faults of the sinners, for indeed, exposing their faults shows a weakness in Islaam. The thing that deserves the most to be concealed is one’s faults.”

It is for this reason that spreading someone’s evil and indecent actions is linked to condemning. And they are both from the affairs of the evildoer, since it is not the goal of the evildoer to put an end to the fault nor that the believer avoids that fault or defect. Rather his only goal is to spread and publicize the defects found in his believing brother, and to destroy his honor. So he initiates that and repeats it. And his intention is to belittle his believing brother by exposing his defects and bad qualities to the people so that some harm can fall upon him in this world.

But as for the person that is sincerely advising, his aim in doing that (advising) is to eradicate the faults found in his believing brother and to help him avoid it. This is what Allaah the Most High, has described His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم with, saying:

“Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any harm or difficulty. He is anxious over you (to rid you of faults and sin), for the believers he is full of pity, kind and merciful.” [Surah At-Tawbah: 128]

And He described his صلى الله عليه وسلم Companions with that, saying:

“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah. And those who are with him (i.e. his Companions) are severe with the disbelievers and merciful towards one another.” [Surah Al-Fath: 29]

And He described the believers with the characteristics of patience and mutual advising of one another towards mercy and compassion. [28]

But what drives the evildoer to propagate (his brother’s) evil and to disgrace him is force and harshness, his love for abusing his believing brother, and (his desire) to inflict some harm upon him. These are the characteristics of the Devil – the one who beautifies disbelief, sin and disobedience to the children of Aadam so that due to it they may become amongst the dwellers of the Hellfire, as Allaah says:

“Verily, the Devil is an enemy for you, so take him as an enemy. Verily, he only calls his party (of followers) to be from amongst the dwellers of the Hellfire.” [Surah Faatir: 6]

And He says, after telling us the story of Iblees (the Devil) when he was with the prophet of Allaah, Aadam, and the evil plot that he unleashed on him, such that it brought him to be cast out from Paradise:

“O Children of Aadam! Let not the Devil deceive you, as he got your parents out of Paradise, stripping them of their garments, to show them their private parts.” [Surah Al-A’araaf: 27]

So what a difference there is between one whose intention it is to advise (naseehah) and one whose intention it is to disgrace (fadeehah)! And no one confuses one of these with the other, except someone who does not possess sound intellect.

Footnotes:

[27] See Fath-ul-Baaree (5/97) and Saheeh Muslim (4/1996)
[28] As is found in Allaah’s saying: “Then he became from among those who believed and recommended one another towards patience and recommended one another towards compassion.” [Surah Al-Balad. 17]

Source: From the al-ibaanah eBook :
The Difference between Advising and Condemning – Imaam Ibn Rajab

Exposing Someone’s Evil and Propagating it under the Pretense of Advising – Imam Ibn Rajab

From the apparent signs of condemning is: Exposing someone’s evil and propagating it under the pretense of advising, while claiming that it is only these defects that are making him do it, general or specific. Meanwhile, on the inside, his aim is only to condemn and cause harm.[33]

So he is from the brothers of the hypocrites, those whom Allaah has disparaged in His Book in many places, for indeed Allaah disparages those who outwardly display a good action or saying, while intending inwardly to accomplish a mischievous and evil goal. And He has counted that as one of the aspects of hypocrisy, as is stated in Surah Baraa,[34] in which He humiliates the hypocrites and exposes their despicable attributes:

“And as for those who set up a masjid in order to cause harm, (spread) disbelief, disunite the believers and to make it as an outpost for those who made war against Allaah and His Messenger since aforetime, they will indeed swear that their intention is nothing but good. But Allaah bears witness that they are certainly liars.” [Surah At-Tawbah: 107]

And Allaah says:

“Think not that those who rejoice in what they have done, and love to be praised for what they have not done – do not think that they are rescued from the torment. And for them is a painful punishment!” [Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 188]

This ayah was sent down concerning the Jews, when the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم asked them about something and they concealed knowledge of it informing him instead of something else. Yet they showed to him that they had indeed informed him about what he had asked them. And they sought praise from him صلى الله عليه وسلم because of it and became joyous at what they gained by concealing it and because he صلى الله عليه وسلم asked them. This is what Ibn ‘Abbaas radhi Allaahu anhu stated and his hadeeth concerning that is transmitted in the two Saheeh collections. [35]

Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudree radhi Allaahu anhu said:

“There was a group of men among the hypocrites who when the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم would go out to fight in the (military) expeditions, would refrain from going with him. And they would be happy with opposing the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم with their sitting (instead of fighting). So when Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم would arrive, they would make excuses for themselves and swear to him. And they loved to be praised for that which they did not do. So this ayah was revealed.” [36]

Therefore, these characteristics are the characteristics of the Jews and the hypocrites. And it is that someone outwardly displays a saying or an action, while presenting an image in which he appears to be upon good. Yet his intention in doing that is to accomplish an evil goal. So he is praised for what good he has made manifest outwardly, while accomplishing by it, the evil goal he has kept hidden inwardly. And he basks in the praise he receives for that which he has outwardly portrayed as being good, which is in fact evil on the inside, and he is happy that his evil hidden objective has been achieved. So his benefit is perfected for him and his scheme is carried out effectively by this deception!!

Anyone with this characteristic definitely falls under the (threat) of this ayah – thus he is threatened with a painful torment. An example of this is:

When someone desires to defame a man, belittle him and expose his faults so that people turn away from him. This is done either because he loves to cause harm to him, because of his enmity towards him, or because he fears him due to a rivalry that exists between them with regard to wealth, leadership, or other blameworthy causes. So he does not find a way towards accomplishing his goal, except by publicly degrading him due to some religious reason.

For example, someone (i.e. a scholar) has refuted a weak opinion from the many opinions of a well-known and famous scholar. So this (evil) individual spreads that amongst those who respect that scholar, saying: “This person (that did the refutation) hates this scholar, and is only defaming and criticizing him.” So by doing this, he (the evil person) deceives all those people that hold that scholar in esteem, making them believe that such a refutation was done out of hatred and with insult on the part of the one refuting, and that his deed was full of audacity and arrogance. So he (the evil person) is (outwardly) defending this scholar and uplifting the abuse from him – and that is an act pleasing to Allaah and in obedience to Him. So he combines this outer facade of advising with two disgusting and forbidden things: [37]

First: The insinuation that this scholar’s refutation of the other opinion was done out of hatred, seeking to belittle (the other scholar), and as a result of following his desires. But (in reality) he only desires by it to advise the believers and to make known some aspect of knowledge that is unlawful to keep concealed.

Second: He (the evildoer) manifests and magnifies the (scholar’s) criticism (for the other scholar), so that he can fulfill his desire and achieve his evil goal under the pretense of advising and defending the scholars of the Religion.

This type of evil plotting is similar to the injustice and oppression displayed by the tribe of Marwaan and their followers, who won the people’s affection and at the same time, turned these people’s hearts away from ‘Alee bin Abee Taalib, Al-Hasan, Al-Husayn and their offspring, may Allaah be pleased with all of them.

When ‘Uthmaan radhi Allaahu anhu was killed, the Muslim nation did not see anyone possessing more right to succeed him other than ‘Alee radhi Allaahu anhu, so they pledged allegiance to him. So those who sought to turn the people away from him set about their goal by manifesting the outrageous and scandalous murder of ‘Uthmaan. And it was just as they said it was.

But then they added to it that the one who conspired his murder and carried it out was none other than ‘Alee radhi Allaahu anhu. And this was a lie and a slander against him! And ‘Alee radhi Allaahu anhu would swear and reaffirm his oaths in denying this accusation – and he was truthful and innocent in his oath, may Allaah be pleased with him. But they began to fight against him, claiming that their struggle was for the sake of the Religion and that it was pleasing to Allaah, and then they began to fight with his children. These individuals strove hard in publicizing this (lie), propagating it on the mimbars on the days of Jumu’ah, as well as on other occasions in which there were large gatherings. This continued until it settled into the hearts of their followers that the matter was as these individuals said it was, and that the tribe of Marwaan had more right (to the Khilaafah) than ‘Alee and his children due to their closeness to ‘Uthmaan, and that they had more right to avenge his radhi Allaahu anhu death. So in doing this, they were able to unite the hearts of the people against ‘Alee and his sons and to turn the people to fight against him and his children after him. This asserted the kingship for them and their rule became established as a result of that.

While in privacy, one of them would say to those he confided in, something with the meaning: “No one amongst the Companions was more restrained from (causing harm to) ‘Uthmaan than ‘Alee.” So it would be said to him: “Then why did the people revile him?” So he would respond: “The kingship (i.e. end of the Khilaafah) would not be established if it weren’t for that.”

The meaning of this is that if they did not turn the people’s hearts away from ‘Alee radhi Allaahu anhu and his children, and if they didn’t attribute the injustice done to ‘Uthmaan to them, the hearts of the people would not feel sympathy for them (later), due to what they knew of their beautiful attributes and honorable qualities, for they used to rush to follow them and pledge allegiance to them (in the past). And because of this, the Umayyah dynasty came to an end and the people ceased obeying them. [38]

Footnotes:

[33] This is from the actions of the heart which no one has knowledge of except Allaah, the Most Perfect.

[34] [Translator’s Note: He means Surah At-Tawbah]

[35]Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (9/301), Muslim (17/123), Ahmad (1/298) and Ibn Jareer (4/207).

[36] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (8/233), Muslim (17/123) and Ibn Jareer (4/205). It must be noted here that Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr mentioned in Al-Fath (9/301) that it is possible to combine these two causes for the ayah’s revelation found in the two hadeeths by saying that it was revealed with regard to both of these groups (Jews and hypocrites). Shaikh Muqbil bin Haadee Al-Waadi’ee said in his As-Saheeh-ulMusnad (pg. 35): “If the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed is more established then that takes more precedence because the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas is from that which the two Shaikhs have been criticized by, as has been stated in Muqaddimat-ul-Fath (20/132) and as is stated in Fath-ul-Baaree (9/302). And there is no point in restricting it to only the People of the Book…”

[37][Translator’s Note: We ask the noble readers to consider these precious words stated by the author and compare them with the likes of the situations we find today. No doubt the scholars of the Sunnah in these days are accused in such a manner. Such an example can be found in Imaam Muhammad Naasirud-Deen Al-Albaanee (rahimhullaah) and the lies and attacks that were launched against him by Hasan Saqqaf, Kabbani and their likes, who make themselves appear as though they’re advising the Muslim ummah. But yet in reality they are doing no more than discrediting, defaming and belittling a scholar. And the claims that come from them are well known in that these scholars, such as Al-Albaanee, who warn against “blind-following” are labeled as deviants who hate the four Imaams and who want to do away with their teachings! May Allaah give us the ability to see through the false accusations of the ignorant and the unjust.]

[38] See Al-‘Awaasim min-al-Qawaasim of the Qaadee Ibn Al-‘Arabee al-Maalikee (rahimahullaah) for in there is what is sufficient for one who seeks the truth about this subject, Allaah willing.

Source: From the al-ibaanah eBook :
The Difference between Advising and Condemning – Imaam Ibn Rajab

The Virtues Of First 10 days of Dhul Hajj

The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are the best and most virtuous days of the year. They are the days in which Allaah the Mighty and Majestic – most loves the doing of good deeds. About this the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The best days in the world are the ten days.” [1]

Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim (d.751H) – rahimahullaah – said, “Indeed, its days are the most excellent of all the days with Allaah. And it has been confirmed in Saheehul-Bukhaaree (2/382), from Ibn ’Abbaas (radiyallaahu ’anhumaa) who said, that Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “There ore no days during which good deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these (ten) days.” He was then asked, ‘Not even jihaad in the path of Allaah?’ So he replied, “Not even jihaad in the path of Allaah, except for a person who goes out with his self and his wealth, and comes back with nothing.” And it is these ten days that Allaah has taken an oath by in His Book, by His saying,

“By the Dawn and by the Ten Nights.” [Sooratul-Fajr 89:1-2]

This is why it is recommended to increase in making takbeer (saying Allaahu akbar), tahleel (saying Laa ilaaha illallaah) and tamheed (saying Alhamdulillaah) during these days …”[2]

The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “There are no days that are greater with Allaah, and in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days. So increase in making tasbeeh (saying Subhaanallaah), tamheed, tahleel and takbeer, during them.”[3]

[1] Saheeh: Related by al-Bazzaar (1/234). It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Saheehul-Jaami’ (no. 1133).

[2] Refer to Zaadul-Ma’aad (1/56).

[3] Saheeh: Related by at-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer (3/110/1) It was authenticated by al-Mundharee in at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (2/24).

The Result of Following ones desires By: Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (691-751H)

The Imaam Shams Uddin Abee ‘Abdillaah Muhammad bin Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah rahimahullaah said:

“Having patience (in) restraining oneself from desires is easier than having patience upon what the desire (itself) entails, because it:

- Either necessitates pain and punishment, or it cuts off a delight that would have been greater than it.

- Or it will waste much of ones time, whose wastage is only a means of sorrow and regret, or it causes a breach in ones honour, such honour whose rise and continuation would have been more beneficial than its defilement.

- Or its causes the loss of wealth, which if it remained would have been better than its loss or it causes the loss of ones value and authority, such that its having been upheld would have been better than its absence.

- Or it causes one to become deprived of a blessing, a blessing whose having been accomplished and reached would have been more joyful and pleasant than the fulfilment of the desire.

- Or it opens upon you an approach, such that was not found before[Meaning: that undertaking the desire became a cause for the tongues of people to unleash themselves upon you], or that it

brings about distress, and sorrow, and grief, and fear, such that it outweighs the pleasure of the desire itself.

- Or it causes the loss of knowledge, whose remembrance would have been more delightful than to earn the desire.

- Or that you cause an enemy of yours to rejoice at your misfortune - and cause a close friend sorrow,

- Or that you sever from yourself the opening of an imminent blessing, or that you bring about a deficiency – such that you become marked with it – a mark irremovable.

For indeed actions leave behind attributes and characteristics.”

Taken from the book: Fawaa’id Al-Fawaa’id of Ibn Al-Qayyim (Daar Ibn Hazm). Page 387

 

Categories of People Regarding 'Ilm (knowledge) by Imaam Ibnu Qayyim

An Article Based Upon Imaam Ibnu Qayyim's Discussions in his Classical Miftaahu Daari-s-Sa'aadah The Key for the Abode of Happiness
Adapted to English By
Dr. Saleh As-Saleh


Categories of People Regarding 'Ilm (knowledge):

The Prophet (sallaAllahu 'aleihi was-sallam) said, "The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. (And) another portion of it was hard and held the rain water and Allah benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. (And) a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation (then that land gave no benefits). The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah's religion and gets benefit (from the knowledge) which Allah has revealed through me (the Prophet sallaAllahu 'aleihi was-sallam) and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not take Allah's guidance revealed through me (He is like that barren land.)" [Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadeeth 79].

In his commentary on this hadeeth, Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) concluded in his book (Muftahu-daris-Sa'aadah), that the Prophet (sallaAllahu 'aleihi was-sallam) categorised people into three types with respect to their acceptance and readiness to memorise, understand and deduct the wisdoms and benefits of knowledge.

The First Category: Ahlul-hifthi-wal-Faham (People of Memorization and Understanding).
They are those who memorise, understand the meanings, deduct the aspects of rulings, the wisdoms therein, and the benefits. Their example is like the land which accepts the rain water (memory absorbing knowledge) and brings forth vegetation and grass in abundance. This vegetation and grass is the fahm (the understanding) and ability to deduce. This is the example of those who kept what they memorised and understood it. They are the people of texts and understanding.

The Second Category: Ahlul-hifth (People of Memorization Only)
Those are able to memorise and relate in precision, but they do not have the ability to understand the meanings, nor to deduct or address the wisdoms and benefits therein.
They are like those who recite the Qur'aan, memorise it, precisely recite and pronounce the letters and hold to the grammar, but without comprehending it.

On the other hand people vary to great extents in terms of their understanding of the texts spoken by Allah and (or) by His Messenger. Some may understand a ruling or two while others may deduce from the same text one hundred or two hundred rulings. The example of these two categories as mentioned in the hadeeth is like the land which has the water. People can benefit from it: drinking, giving it to others to drink, arrogation, and so forth.

These two categories, the first and the second are the happy ones, and the first category is higher in rank. This is the Favour of Allah:
This is the Grace of Allah, which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allah is the Owner of Mighty Grace. [Qur'aan 62:4].

The Third Category
They are the ones who have no share in memorization nor in understanding. Their similitude in the hadeeth is that of the barren land, which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation. Hence no produce (no benefit), and these are the wicked ones.

The first two categories, those who memorised, learned and understood, and the others who memorised without being able to understand, share the knowledge and teach, each in accordance with the extent he may have received and accepted. The latter knows the wording of the Qur'aan, teaches it and memorises it, while the former knows the wording, the meaning and the ruling and teaches them. The third category has no knowledge nor teaching.

This hadeeth, therefore, makes clear the nobility and rank of knowledge and teaching, and the children of Adam’s ('aleihis-salaam) categories with respect to this matter. The happy ones and the wicked ones. And in this hadeeth there is evidence that people's need for knowledge is like their need for rain, rather more. And if they fail to find (seek) the knowledge then they are the land that missed the rain. Imam Ahmed (rahimahullaah) said: “People are in need of knowledge more than their need for food and drink, because food is needed only once or twice a day, whereas knowledge is needed as much as the number of breaths." This is because each breath needs to be accompanied with faith and wisdom. And if faith and wisdom disassociate from a single breath, then he is ruined. And there is no way to protect against this except by the way of knowledge.
Listen now and contemplate the verse in the Qur'aan, in soorat ar-Ra’d (13:17). Allah, the Most High, says:

“He sends down water (rain) from the sky, and the valleys flow according to their measure, but the flood bears away the foam that mounts up to the surface, and (also) from that (ore) which they heat in the fire in order to make ornaments or utensils, rises a foam like unto it, thus does Allâh (by parables) show forth truth and falsehood Then, as for the foam it passes away as scum upon the banks, while that which is for the good of mankind remains in the earth. Thus Allâh sets forth parables (for the truth and falsehood, i.e. Belief and disbelief)” (Qur'aan 13:17).

In this aayah (verse), Allah gave a similitude for the knowledge which He bestowed upon His Messenger (sallaAllahu 'aleihi was-sallam). It is like the rain which He sent down from the sky, because it produces life and benefits mankind in their livelihood, and for the provisions they need in their journey of return to Allah. Then He set the parable of the heart as the valley when He sallaAllahu 'aleihi was-sallam said (what means): “And the valleys flow according to their measure.” A big heart accommodates a lot of the knowledge, like a great valley accommodating a lot of rain, and a small heart accommodates little knowledge like a small valley holding little water. That is why He sallaAllahu 'aleihi was-sallam said (what means): “And the valleys flow according to their measure.” This is parable of the knowledge when it sets or touches the heart. It takes away from the heart the foam (of false doubts), and it carries it to the surface of the heart, like when He sallaAllahu 'aleihi was-sallam said (what means): “The flood bears away the foam that mounts up to the surface.” It does not settle in the valley. Similarly, the false misconceptions when removed by knowledge go to the top surface of the heart where they float and do not settle. Rather they dry out and go away. What settles in the heart is that which benefits it from guidance on truth, as the pure water settles in the valley while the foam washes away.

Then Allah set another parable in the same verse:
“And (also) from that (ore) which they heat in the fire in order to make ornaments or utensils, rises a foam like unto it."
This is the ore people use to heat and to melt the gold and silver, copper and iron, in order to take away the impurities contained therein. The impurity is the foam driven out by the fire's heat, and what remains is pure essence. Therefore, in these parables you see two things mentioned:
(i) the rain which is the water, because of the life therein, its cooling and what it produces from benefits,
(ii) the other is fire, which eliminates and burns.

The verses of the Qur'aan bring life to the heart as the rain gives life to the earth, and it burns away the doubts and the lust and its filth, just like the fire burns what falls in it. In addition, the verses distinguish what is good of the essence as compared to falsehood (the foam), just like the fire takes away the impurities from gold, silver, copper and the like.

Then Allah said
"Thus Allah sets forth parables
(for the truth and falsehood, i.e. Belief and disbelief).” [Qur'aan 13:17].

True Ubūdiyyah - Choice of our Prophet sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam by al-Ḥāfiẓ ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī

Taken from

 This is an excerpt from the last chapter of Ibn Rajab's [1] famous book: al-Khushūʿ fī-al-Ṣalāt. Here, he deals with the status of a slave-messenger which the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) actually selected for himself when given the choice. The chapter expounds upon the nobility of such a choice and the reasons behind it. 


Do not over-praise me as the Christians over-praised ʿĪsá, son of Maryam. Indeed, I am only a slave. So call me the Slave of Allāh and His Messenger.
Related in al-Bukhārī 6/345

The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) chose the station of al-’ubūdīyyah (slavery and servitude) over and above the station of kingship. Once - on the day of the conquest of Makkah - a man stood-up (out of reverence) for the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam), who, being shocked, said to him, “Do not trouble yourself! Indeed, I am not a king. Rather, I am merely the son of a Qurayshee woman who eats dry meat.” [2]

It has also been authentically reported from the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) that he said, “Do not over praise me as the Christians over-praised ’ʿĪsá, son of Maryam. Indeed, I am only a slave. So call me the Slave of Allāh and His Messenger.” [3]

Imām Aḥmad (d.241H) - raḥimahullāhu ta’aʿalá - reports from Muḥammad Ibn Fuḍayl, from ’Ammaarah, from Abū Zur’ah who said: I do not know this except from Abū Hurayrah - raḍī Allāhu ʿʿʿanhu - who said: Jibrīl was sitting with the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) looking towards the sky, when he saw an angel. So Jibrīl - ʿalayhi al-Salām - said to him: Indeed, this angel has never descended before today. So when the angel had descended, he said: O Muḥammad! I have been sent by your Lord (to inquire) whether He should make you a Prophet-King or a Slave-Messenger. [4]

And in a mursal narration from Yahyá Ibn Kathīr - raḥimahullāh that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, “I eat as a slave eats, and I sit as a slave sits. Since indeed I am a slave.” [5] This has been related by Ibn Sa’d in at-Tabaqaat.

There is also a narration related by Abū Ma’dhr from al-Maqburee from ’Aa‘ishah - raḍī Allāhu ’anhaa - that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, “An angel came to me and said: Allāh sends blessings upon you and says: If you wish you may be a Prophet-King or a Slave-Messenger. So Jibreel - ʿalayhi al-Salām - indicated to me that I should humble myself: So I said: A Prophet-Slave.” So ’Aa‘ishah said: So after that day, the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) never ate whilst reclining, saying, “I eat like a slave eats and I sit like a slave sits.” [6]

And from the mursal narrations of az-Zuhree - raḥimahullāhu ta’aʿalá - who said: we were informed that an angel came to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam), who had never come to him before. Accompanying him was Jibrīl - ʿalayhi al-Salām. So the angel spoke, and Jibrīl - ʿalayhi al-Salām - remained silent, so he said: Your Lord inquires whether you wish to be a king or a Prophet-Slave. So the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) looked towards Jibrīl - ʿalayhi al-Salām - as if he was seeking his advice. So Jibrīl indicated that he should be humble. So Allāh’s Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, “A Prophet-Slave.” Al-Zuhrī said: So it is said that from that day onwards, the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) never ate whilst reclining, until he departed from this world. [7]

Some of the knowledgeable people have said: Whoever claims al-ʿubūdiyyah (slavery and servitude to Allāh), but desires still remain with him, then he is lying in his claim. Indeed, al-ʿubūdiyyah will only be true for the one who annihilates his desires and establishes the will of his Master, where his name is what He called him (i.e. ’ibaadur-Raḥmān: the Slaves of the Most Merciful).


Endnotes:

[1] He is the Imām, the ḥāfiẓ, the zāhid (abstainer from this world), the admonisher Abū al-Faraj ’Abdur-Raḥmān Ibn Aḥmad Rajab as-Salamee better known as Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalee. Ibn Fahd said about him, “The Imām, the ḥāfiẓ, the hujjah (proof), the knowledgeable Scholar, the dependable one. He was one of the Scholars who shunned the world, and one of the Imāms and worshippers. He was an instructive Scholar from the Scholars of Ḥadīth - and an admonisher of the Muslims.”

For a complete biography, refer to: Inbaa‘ul-Ghamr bi Anbaa‘il-ʿUmar (3/175-176) and al-Durarul-Kaaminah (2/321-322) of Ibn Hajr, Dhayl Tabaqaatul-Huffaadh (p.532) of as-Suyootee and Luhdhul-Labaadh (p.180-182) of Ibn Fahd al-Makkee. This article has been taken from the last chapter of his book: al-Khushoo’ fis-al-Ṣalāh (p. 57-62).

[2] Ṣaḥīḥ: Related by Ibn Sa’d in at-Tabaqaat (1/23) in mursal form. However, it has been related in connected form by Ibn Mājah (no. 3312) and al-Ḥākim (3/47) from Abū Masʿūd raḍī Allāhu ʿʿʿanhu. Shaykh al-Albānī authenticated it in al-Ṣaḥihah (no. 1876).

[3] Related by al-Bukhārī (6/345), al-Dārimī (2/320) and others, from ʿUmar Ibn al-Khaṭṭāb raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu.

[4] Related by Aḥmad (2/321), al-Bazzaar (no. 4262) and al-Haythamī in al-Majma’ (9/18-19) where he said, “It has been narrated by Aḥmad, al-Bazzaar and Abū Ya’lā, and its initial narrators are all the narrators of as-Ṣaḥīḥ.”

[5] Ṣaḥīḥ: Related by Ibn Sa’d in at-Tabaqaat (1/371) and Shaykh al-Albānī authenticated it in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Jāmiʿ (no. 8). Refer also to Takhreejul-Iḥyā‘ (2/4) of al-Ḥāfiẓ al-’ʿIrāqee.

[6] Ḥasan: Related by al-Baghawī in Sharḥ al-Sunnah (no. 4683) and Abūsh-Shaykh in Akhlāqun-Nabī (no. 213), and al-Haythamī authenticated it in al-Majma’ (9/19).

[7] Although this is a mursal narration, it does however, have support from those narrations that have already preceded, and it has a further witness from the narration of Ibn ʿAbbās - which is related by al-Baghawī (no. 3684) and Abūsh-Shaykh (no. 213-214).

Part two-Ten Guidelines for Obtaining Knowledge by Abdullah bin Salfeeq Adh dhufairee

Sixth: Having a Strong Desire to Obtain Knowledge is a Cause for Acquiring it and for Gaining Aliaah’s Assistance in that Matter

Allaah says:
“Verily, Allaah is with those who are dutiful to Him and those who are good- doers.” [Surah An-Nahl: 128]

When a person realizes the importance of something, he strives hard to obtain it. Knowledge is the greatest thing that a person could hope to obtain.

So it is upon the student of knowledge to have a strong desire for memorizing and understanding knowledge, and for sitting with the scholars and taking from them. He should also be keen on doing a lot of reading and taking advantage of his life and free time. So this means he should be very stingy with his time (i.e. only use it for beneficial things).

Seventh: Seriousness, Motivation and Perseverance for Acquiring Knowledge

One should remain far away from laziness and apathy, and he should fight against his desires and the Devil. This is since Desires and the Devil are two things that impede one from seeking knowledge.

One of the ways that help in motivating a person to seek knowledge is: Reading the biographies of the scholars, as well as their patience and endurance in the face of trials. This also includes reading about the journeys they undertook for the sake of acquiring knowledge and obtaining Hadeeth.

Eighth: Proficiency

This is when the student applies the highest extent of his effort to the point that he achieves what he desires from knowledge as well as strength in it, which is exemplified in: memorization and understanding.

Ninth: Accompanying a Teacher

Knowledge should be taken from the mouths of the scholars. In order for the student to establish himself in his search for knowledge upon a firm and correct pillar, he should sit in the gatherings of the scholars and take knowledge from them. This will ensure that his search for knowledge will be founded upon correct principles and it will ensure that he will pronounce the texts from the Qur’aan and Hadeeth with a correct pronunciation, which contains no grammatical errors or reading mistakes. It will also ensure that he will understand the material correctly.

Apart from all of this, the student may also acquire the following from sitting with a scholar: Good behavior, noble manners and piety.

The student should also avoid having books become his teacher. This is since whoever’s books is his teacher, he will err frequently and seldom be correct.

This matter has not ceased to exist up until this day of ours. There is not a man that excels and become proficient in knowledge except that he has been educated and taught at the hands of a scholar.

Tenth: The Passage of Time

The student of knowledge should not think that his studies will be completed in a day or two or a year or two. Rather, a student of knowledge needs to be patient for many years.

Al-Qaadee ‘lyaad, may Allaah have mercy on him, was once asked: “Until when should a student seek knowledge?”

He replied: “Until he dies, at which point his inkwell should be spilled upon his grave.”

And Imaam Ahmad said: “I sat studying the Book of Menstruation for nine years until I understood it.”

The intelligent students of knowledge should not stop sitting with the scholars after ten years have passed nor even after twenty years have passed. Rather, they should continue to sit with the scholars until Allaah takes their souls in death.

Part one - Ten Guidelines for Obtaining Knowledge by Abdullah bin Salfeeq Adh dhufairee

Taken from

 Ten Guidelines for Obtaining Knowledge by Abdullah bin Salfeeq Adh dhufairee



First: Seeking Allaah’s Assistance

A person is weak - he has no motion or power except by Allaah’s leave. If he entrusts things to himself, he will fall into ruin and perdition. But if he entrusts his affairs to Allaah and seeks His assistance in seeking knowledge, Allaah will aid him. Allaah has incited us towards this in His noble Book, as He says:

“You alone do we worship and in You alone do we seek assistance.” [Surah Al- Faatihah: 5]

And He says:

“And whoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He is sufficient for him.” [Surah At- Talaaq: 3]

And He says:

“And upon Allaah put your trust if you are truly believers.” [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 23]

The Prophet 0 said: “If you were to put your reliance upon Allaah the way you ought to, He would surely provide for you just as He provides for the birds - they set out with empty stomachs and return with their stomachs full.”

The greatest sustenance that Allaah can provide us with is knowledge. Our prophet Muhammad sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam would always put his reliance in Allaah and seek His assistance in all of
his affairs. It is authentically reported that the Prophet sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam would supplicate when going outside, saying: “In the Name of Allaah, I put my trust in Allaah, and there is no might or power except by Allaah’s Leave.” This proves what we stated above that he sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam would always put his trust in Allaah.

Second: Good Intention

A person should make his intention for the sake of Allaah when seeking knowledge, thus doing that purely for His sake alone and not desiring to be heard or to become famous, nor seeking one of the worldly goals.

Whoever makes his intention for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will grant him success in that matter and reward him. This is since knowledge is a form of worship. In fact, it is the greatest form of worship.

An individual is not rewarded for his deed unless he performs it purely for Allaah’s sake and whilst following the Messenger S in that matter. Allaah says:

“Verily, Allaah is with those who are dutiful (Taqwaa) to Him and those who are good-doers.” [Surah An-Nahl: 128]

The greatest form of dutifulness ( Taqwaa ) to Allaah is making one’s intention purely for the sake of Allaah. As for the one who seeks knowledge for the sake of showing off, then apart from being a loser in this world, he will also be punished for this in the Hereafter as has been reported in the hadeeth about the three people who will be dragged on their faces into Hell, amongst whom will be a man who sought knowledge so that it could be said: “He is a scholar” and such was said about him.

Third: Humbling Oneself before Allaah and Asking Him for Success and Prosperity

One should also ask his Lord to increase him in seeking knowledge, since an individual is destitute and in the utmost need of Allaah. This is why Allaah has encouraged His servants to ask of Him and to lower themselves before Him, as He says:

“Call unto Me, I will respond to you.” [Surah Ghaafir: 60]

And the Prophet sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Our Lord descends every night to the lowest level of heaven and says: ‘Who is calling Me that I may respond? Who asks of Me that I may give him? Who seeks My forgiveness that I may forgive him?”’

Allaah commanded His Prophet to ask Him for an increase in knowledge, as He said:

“And say: ‘My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.’” [Surah TaHa: 1 14]

And Allaah said speaking on behalf of Ibraaheem:

“My Lord! Bestow Hukm (i.e. knowledge) on me, and join me with the righteous.”

[Surah Ash-Shua’raa: 83]

The word Hukm refers to knowledge, as the Prophet sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam said: “If the Haakim (judge), strives hard performing Ijtihaad...”

The Prophet sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam supplicated for Abu Hurairah to be granted the ability to memorize. He sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam also supplicated for Ibn ‘Abbaas to be granted knowledge, as he said: “O Allaah, give him understanding of the Religion, and teach him the ta’weel (interpretation of the Qur’aan).”

Allaah answered His Prophet’s supplication, such that afterward Abu Hurairah didn’t hear anything except that he memorized it and Ibn ‘Abbaas came to be the scholar of the ummah and the interpreter of the Qur’aan.

The scholars have continued to carry on this practice, thus lowering themselves before Allaah and asking Him to grant them knowledge. Look at the example of Shaikh-ul- Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah, may Allaah have mercy on him - He would go to the masaajid, prostrate to Allaah and supplicate to Him, saying: “O teacher of Ibraaheem, teach me! O educator of Sulaymaan, grant me understanding!”

And Allaah answered his supplication, such that Ibn Daqeeq-ul-‘Eid said about him: “Allaah gathered the knowledge for him to the point that it was as if it (i.e. the knowledge) was between his eyes and he would take what he wished from it and leave off what he wished from it.”

Fourth: An Upright Heart

The heart is the container where knowledge is stored. If the container is firm, it will store and protect what is placed in it, and if the container is damaged, it will lose what is placed in it.

The Messenger of Allaah sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam made the heart the foundation of everything, as he said:

“Verily, there is a morsel of flesh in the body that if it is correct, the entire body will be correct, and if it is corrupt, the entire body will be corrupt. Indeed, it is the heart.”

An upright heart comes about through awareness of Allaah and knowledge of His Names, Attributes and Actions. It also comes about by way of reflecting on His signs and creations, and by pondering on the Qur’aan. An upright heart also comes about due to one constantly prostrating (in prayer) and frequently observing the night prayer.

One should also avoid the things that corrupt and sicken the heart, since if these things are present in the heart, it will not be able to carry the knowledge. And even if the heart does carry it, it will not be understood, as Allaah says about the hypocrites - those with diseased hearts:

“They have heart with which they do not comprehend.” [Surah Al-A’raaf: 179]

The diseases of the heart are of two types: Desires and Doubts

Desires are such as love for this worldly life and its pleasures and being preoccupied with that; love for unlawful images; listening to unlawful things such as musical voices and instruments; and looking at the forbidden.

Doubts are such as corrupt beliefs; innovated actions; and ascribing to innovated ideological movements.

Some other diseases of the heart that also serve as obstacles before knowledge are: jealousy, spite and pride.

Some other things that corrupt the heart are: excessive sleep, excessive speech and excessive eating.

Therefore, one should avoid these diseases and corruptors in order to rectify the heart and make it upright.

Fifth: Intelligence

Intelligence may be natural and it may also be acquired. So if a person is naturally intelligent, he should work towards strengthening it. And if he is not, then he should condition himself until he is able to acquire it.

Human aptitude is one of the strongest methods that assist one in obtaining, understanding and memorizing knowledge. It also aids one in differentiating between the various (Fiqh) issues, gathering evidences and other matters.

To be continued

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