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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

EXPIATING ONESELF AND REPENTING FROM BACKBITING - Imam Nawawee

 

Know that it is required upon everyone that commits a sin to rush towards repenting from it. Repentance with regard to the rights of Allaah must meet three conditions:

1. One must stop committing that sin immediately,

2. He must feel remorse and sorrow for having done it, and

3. He must resolve to not return to committing that sin again.

Repentance with regard to the rights of humans must meet these same three conditions (listed above), as well as a fourth one, and that is:

4. Taking back any oppression that was inflicted on someone or asking for his forgiveness or absolvment from that.

So it is obligatory on a person who has committed backbiting to seek repentance according to these four conditions, because backbiting involves the rights of people, so he must seek the forgiveness of the person he has backbitten.

Is it sufficient for one to just say: "I have backbit you, so please absolve me from (this) sin" or must he inform him also of what he said about him?

There are two views on this according to the Shaafi'ee scholars:

The First: His clarifying what he said (when backbiting) is a condition. So if he is absolved without informing him of what he said, the pardon is not valid, just as if he were to absolve him from (stealing) unidentifiable money.

The Second: His informing him (of what he said) is not a condition, because this is something that one will not be able to tolerate and thus forgive. So his knowing (exactly what was said) is not a condition, contrary to the example of the (stolen) money.

The first opinion is the strongest, since people have the ability to grant forgiveness for certain types of backbiting but not other types.

And if the one who has been backbitten is either dead or absent, then one is excused from seeking to be absolved from it. However, the scholars say: He should supplicate much for that person and ask forgiveness for him, as well as do many good deeds.

Know that it is preferable for the one who has been backbitten to absolve the backbiter from his sin, but it is not an obligation on him to do so. This is because it is giving away and forfeiting one's right, so the choice is his. However, it is strongly recommended (muta'akkidah) for him to absolve him so that his Muslim brother can be free from the harm of this sin and so that he can be successful in receiving Allaah's great reward of Forgiveness and Love. Allaah, the Most High, says:

"Those who repress their anger and pardon people. Verily, Allaah loves the good doers." [Surah Aali 'Imraan: 134]

The proper way he should take in making himself allow the pardoning is by reminding himself that: "This matter has already happened and there is no way to remove it now. So it is not right for me to make him miss his chance of getting reward and absolving my Muslim brother."

Allaah says:
"And verily, whosoever shows patience and forgives (others), that is truly from the things recommended by Allaah." [Surah Ash-Shooraa: 43]

And He says:

"Show forgiveness!" [Surah Al-A'araaf: 199]

The ayaat similar to what we mentioned above are many.

And in the authentic hadeeth, the Messenger of Allaah ( sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam ) said:

"And Allaah remains in the assistance of (His) servant so long as the servant remains in the assistance of his (fellow) brother." [ Saheeh - Reported by Muslim (2699) ]

Ash-Shaafi'ee ( rahimahullaah ) said: "Whosoever is sought to be pleased, yet is not pleased is a devil."

The people of the past would recite:

"It was said to me: Such and such person has spoken badly of you And when a youth sets out to humiliate, it is a shame So I said: He has come to us and issued an excuse The blood-money (i.e. recompense) for a sin - to us- is the apology. "

So what we have mentioned here concerning the encouragement for one to absolve and forgive a person from backbiting is what is correct. As for what has been reported on Sa'eed Ibn Al-Musayyib that he said: "I will not forgive the one who has oppressed me" and on Ibn Sireen that he said: "I will not forbid it on him and then make it allowable for him, because Allaah has made backbiting forbidden on him and I am not going to make permissible what Allaah has forbidden, ever" then it is either unauthentic or erroneous.

This is because a person that pardons someone is not making something forbidden permissible. Rather, he is only forfeiting a right that is established for him. The texts of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah indicate clearly that it is recommended to forgive and forfeit one's rights, which are specific to this case. Or perhaps Ibn Sireen's words can be taken to mean: "I do not permit myself to be backbit, ever." This would be correct, for indeed if a person says: "I seek my honor back from the one who backbit me", he is not allowing for it to be done. Rather, he is forbidding everyone from backbiting him, just as he forbids others from being backbitten.

As for the hadeeth: "Are you not able to be like Abu Damdam - when he would go out from his home, he would say: 'I am giving my honor away in charity for the people.'" Meaning: I will not seek justice from those who oppress me whether in this world or the Hereafter. This is useful in removing a transgression that existed before the absolvement, but as for what occurs after it, there must be a new absolvement made after that. And with Allaah lies the success.


Taken from the book

Guarding the Tongue of Imaam An-Nawawee

The position of the Salaf with respect to the innovators By Sheikh Saalih bin 'Abdillaah al-Fawzaan


Taken from Al-Muntaqa Min Fataawa Fadeelatish-Sheikh Saaleh Bin Fawzaan Bin ‘Abdillah AlFawzaan (A selection from the legal rulings of the noble Sheikh Saaleh Bin Fawzaan Bin ‘Abdillah Al-Fawzaan), Vol.1, Pp. 173-174. [Translator’s note: Muassasatur-Risaalah, Beirut, 1st Edition, 1425/2004, compiled by ‘Aadil Bin Alee Bin Ahmed al-Fareedaan]


Sheikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan was asked: ‘We request from the noble Sheikh a clarification of the position of the salaf with respect to the innovators, and may Allah reward you with good.’

So he replied:
‘The salaf would not declare everyone as an innovator, and they would not exceed the bounds in applying the term innovation (bida’) upon everyone who had differed with some types of differing. Rather, they described (the one with) the innovation as being the one who did an action in order to get closer to Allah (but) without any proof for it, being from the worship which the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alaihi wa sallam) did not legislate, (with them) taking this (position) from his (sallalahu alaihi wa sallam’s) saying:

‘Whosoever does an action which is not upon our affair, then it is rejected.’ [ Narrated by Imaam Muslim in his ‘Saheeh’ (3/1343, 1344) from the hadeeth of ‘Aaishah
(radiyallahuanhaa)] And in a narration:

‘Whosoever introduces something new into this affair of ours which is not from it, then it is rejected.’ [ Narrated by Imaam Al-Bukhaaree in his ‘Saheeh’ (3/167) from the hadeeth of ‘Aaishah (radiyallahuanhaa)]

So, innovation is introducing something new into the religion, there is no proof for it from the Book ofAllah nor the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alaihi wa sallam), this is the innovation.
And if it was established that a person innovated an innovation into the religion and refused to return (from it), then indeed the methodology of the salaf was that they would boycott him and keep away from him and they would not sit with him.

This is their methodology. However, as I mentioned, after it is established that he is an innovator and after he is advised and he does not return back from his innovation, then at that time he is boycotted so that his harm doesn’t encroach upon the one who sits with him and the one who is connected to him, and so that the people are aware of the innovators and the innovator.As for exceeding the bounds in designating (the word) innovation upon everyone who differs with someone in opinion, (then it is when) it is said: This one is an innovator! (And) everyone calls the other an innovator and he has not brought anything new into the religion, (and he has done nothing) except that he and a person have differed, or he and a group from amongst the groups have differed. This is not an innovator.

And the one who does a prohibited action or an act of disobedience, he is called a sinner, and not every sinner is an innovator. And not every one who is mistaken is an innovator, because the innovator is the one who has introduced something new into the religion which was not from it. As for exceeding the bounds in the term innovation in applying it to everyone who differs with a person, then this is not correct, for indeed, perhaps the truth may be with the one who is differing (with the person), and this is not from the methodology of the salaf.

Remaining Steadfast After Ramadhaan : Sheikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan


Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab (pg. 155-157)


Sufyaan Ibn ‘Abdillaah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) said: “O Messenger of Allaah, tell me something about Islaam of which I will not ask anyone else besides you (after that).” He said: “Say: ‘I believe in Allaah’ and then be steadfast (on that).” [ Saheeh Muslim (no. 38)]

This hadeeth is proof that the servant is obligated, after having Eemaan in Allaah, to persevere and be steadfast upon obeying Him by performing the obligatory acts and avoiding the prohibited ones. This is achieved by following the Straight Path, which is the firm Religion, without drifting away from it to the right or to the left.

If a Muslim lived through Ramadaaan and spent its days in fasting and its nights in prayer, and in that month he accustomed himself to doing acts of good, then he must continue to remain upon this obedience to Allaah at all times (after that). This is the true state of the servant (‘abd), for indeed, the Lord of the months is One and He is ever watchful and witnessing His servants at all times.

Indeed, steadfastness after Ramadaan and the rectification of one’s statements and actions are the greatest signs that one has gained benefit from the month of Ramadaan and that he struggled in obedience. They are tokens of acceptance and signs of success.

Furthermore, the deeds of a servant do not come to an end with the end of a month and the beginning of another. Rather they continue and extend until one reaches death, for Allaah says: “And worship your Lord until the certainty (i.e., death) comes to you.” [Surat-ul-Hijr: 99]

If the fasting of Ramadaan comes to an end, then indeed the voluntary fasting is still prescribed throughout the entire year, and all praise is due to Allaah. If standing in prayer at night during Ramadaan comes to an end, then indeed, the entire year is a time for performing the night prayer. And if the Zakaat-ul-Fitr comes to an end, then there is still the Zakaah that is obligatory as well as the voluntary charity that lasts the whole year. This goes the same for reciting the Qur’aan and pondering over its meaning as well as every other righteous deed that is desirable, for they can be done at all times. From the many bounties that Allaah has bestowed upon His servants is that He has placed for them many different types of acts of worship and He provided many means for doing good deeds. Therefore, the enthusiasm and the zeal of the Muslim must be constant and he must continue to remain in the service of his Master.

It is unfortunate to find some people performing worship by doing different types of righteous acts during Ramadaan – they guard strictly their five daily prayers in the masjid, they recite the Qur’aan abundantly and they give in charity from their money. But when Ramadaan comes to an end, they grow lazy in their worship. Rather, sometimes they even abandon the obligations, both generally, such as praying in congregation, and specifically, such as praying the Fajr prayer!

And they (even) commit forbidden acts such as sleeping over the time of prayers, indulging in places of foolishness and entertainment, and mingling in parks, especially on the day of ‘Eed! Obtaining help from these evils is only through the Grace of Allaah. Thus, they demolish what they have constructed and they destroy what they have established. This is an indication of deprivation and a sign of perdition. We ask Allaah for His safeguarding and protection!

Indeed, these types of people take the example of turning in repentance and ceasing from committing evil deeds as something specific and restricted to (only) the month of Ramadaan. So they stop doing these (good) acts when the month stops. Thus, it is as if they have abandoned sinning for the sake of Ramadaan, and not out of fear for Allaah! How evil are these people who do not know Allaah except in Ramadaan!

Truly, the success that Allaah grants His servant lies in the fasting of Ramadaan. And Allaah’s assisting him to do that is a great blessing. Thus, this calls for the servant to be grateful to his Lord. And this understanding can be found in Allaah’s saying, after having completed the favor of the month of fasting: “(He wants that you) must compete the same number of days, and that you must magnify Allaah (by saying Allaahu Akbar) for having guided you, so that you may be grateful to Him.” [Surat-ul-Baqarah: 185]

So the one who is grateful for having fasted, he will remain upon that condition and continue to perform righteous deeds.

Indeed, the true manner of a Muslim is that of one who praises and thanks his Lord for having been bestowed the ability to fast and make qiyaam (night prayer). His condition after Ramadaan is better than it was before Ramadaan. He is more ready to obey, desiring to do good deeds and quick to implement the obligatory acts. This is since he has acquired benefit from this prominent institute of learning. It is that of one who fears for having his fast not accepted, for indeed Allaah only accepts from those who have Taqwaa.

The righteous predecessors would struggle to complete and perfect their deeds, hoping afterwards, that they would be accepted and fearing that they would be rejected. From the reports of ‘Alee (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) is that he said: “Be more concerned with having your deeds accepted than with the deed itself. Did you not hear Allaah say: ‘Verily Allaah only accepts from those who have Taqwaa’?” [ Surat-ul-Maa’idah: 27] [ Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif (pg. 246)]

‘Aa’ishah said: “I asked the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) concerning the aayah: ‘And those who give away that which they give (i.e., charity and other good deeds), while their hearts tremble with fear.’ Are they the ones who drink alcohol and steal?” He (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “No, O daughter of As-Siddeeq. But rather, they are the ones who fast and pray and give in charity, yet fear that it won’t be accepted from them. They are the ones who rush to do good deeds and they are the first to do them.” 

So be warned and again be warned – of turning backward after having attained guidance, of going astray after persevering! And ask Allaah to provide you with endurance in doing righteous deeds and continuity in performing good acts. And ask Allaah that He grant you a good end, in order that He may accept our Ramadaan from us.

Seal The Month Of Ramadan With Seeking Forgiveness - Ibn Rajab

 

Ibn Rajab [رحمه الله] said:

❝Seeking forgiveness is a seal for all righteous deeds. It seals the prayer, Hajj, Qayyam al-Layl the night prayer and it seals gatherings. Therefore, if it was a Remembrance of Allaah then it is like putting a stamp of seal on it and if there were mistakes and deficiencies then it would be an expiation for it. Likewise it is befitting to complete the month of Ramadan with seeking forgiveness.

Umar bin AbdulAziz wrote to the different regions commanding them to complete Ramadan with seeking forgiveness and giving Sadaqa al-Fitr. Indeed Sadaqa al-Fitr is purification for the fasting person from mistakes and evil deeds and seeking forgiveness patches that which is torn from the fast due to mistakes and evil deeds.

This is why some of the previous scholars said: ‘Indeed Sadaqa al-Fitr for the fasting person is like performing the two Sajdas for forgetfulness for the prayer.’

Umar bin AbdulAziz [Died 101 A.H.] [رحمه الله] said in his book, say as your father Adam said:

رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنْفُسَنَا وَإِنْ لَمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

«They said: “Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.”» [Ara’af: 23]

Say as Nuh [عليه سلم] said:

وَإِلَّا تَغْفِرْ لِي وَتَرْحَمْنِي أَكُنْ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

«And unless You forgive me and have Mercy on me, I would indeed be one of the losers.» [Hud:47]

Say as Musa [عليه سلم] said:

رَبِّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي

«My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself, so forgive me.» [Qasas: 16]

Say as Dhul-Noon [عليه سلم] said:

سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

«Glorified [and Exalted] are You [above all that [evil] they associate with You]. Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers.» [al-Anbiyya: 87].❞

[Lataif al-Ma’arif, (Page: 383) ]

Doubt/Misconception About Ramadhan explained by scholars

Doubt/Misconception 01:

Whoever Fasts the Days of Ramaḍān and Stands Steadfast in Its Nights Will Have All of His Sins—Major and Minor—Forgiven

This misconception arose due to the generality in the Ḥadīth mentioned by the questioner, as the shaykh clearly indicated; however, this generality was made specific with other evidence from the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah of His Messenger (ﷺ).

Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) was asked:

"You mentioned in the beginning of our meeting that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: 'Whoever fasted with faith during the month of Ramaḍān, while seeking its reward from Allāh, will have whatever he has done [from sins] forgiven [i.e. he will have his past sins forgiven].'[ Reported by al-Bukhārī and Muslim.] Does this apply to both the major and minor sins, as well as the rights of the people [between themselves]? We hope for an elaboration on this issue, and may Allāh grant you tawfīq."

The Shaykh (رحمه الله) stated the following[ al-Liqāʾ al-Shahrī, Sitting no. 33, Question no. 12.]:

This is how the Ḥadīth came, general—"will have whatever he has done [from sins] forgiven," and the word, 'whatever' is from the expressions that show generality which necessitates that all sins are forgiven; however, this generality was made specific with other evidence: that it is necessary that the major sins be avoided. The proof for that is the statement of the Prophet (ﷺ): "The five daily prayers, and from one Jumuʿah prayer to the next, and from one Ramaḍān to the next are expiations for the sins committed in between their intervals, providing no major sins were committed."[Reported by Muslim and others.]

Therefore, this generality was made specific by the Sunnah, by his (ﷺ) statement: 'From Ramaḍān to the next are expiations for the sins committed in between their intervals, providing no major sins were committed.'

In addition to this, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Muḥsin al-ʿAbbād (حفظه الله) stated the following when commenting on the Ḥadīth: "Whosoever performs [supererogatory] prayers at night during the month of Ramaḍān, with faith and in the hope of receiving Allāh's reward, will have whatever he has done [from sins] forgiven [i.e. he will have his past sins forgiven,"[Reported by al-Bukhārī and Muslim.] This is as it relates to the minor sins. They are expiated by the performance of good deeds, from them is the performance of supererogatory prayers during the nights of Ramaḍān. As for the major sins, then its expiation requires tawbah, having remorse and having the determination to never return to them."[Ṣharḥ Sunan Abī Dawūd, vol. 7, pg. 448.]

Doubt/Misconception 02:

Whoever Fasts the Days of Ramaḍān and Stands Steadfast in Its Nights Will Have All His Sins Forgiven Unconditionally

This misconception originated from carelessness and absent-mindedness, since forgiveness based upon the Ḥadīth below is conditional. Two of these conditions are stated in the said Ḥadīth. The first of them being, having faith. The second and final condition mentioned is seeking Allāh's reward and recompense. A third condition is stipulated which is not found in this Ḥadīth but is found in other texts; that the individual must have avoided major sins. Thus, the forgiveness which is mentioned in the Ḥadīth is conditional.

Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) when commenting on the Ḥadīth "Whosoever fasted with faith during Ramaḍān, while seeking its reward from Allāh will have his sins forgiven [i.e. he will have his past sins forgiven]"stated:

'Whoever fasted with faith during Ramaḍān,' meaning, faith in Allāh and believing that fasting is compulsory. 'While seeking,' meaning, while seeking Allāh’s reward and recompense. Thus, it is necessary for these two things: faith and seeking Allāh’s reward. So whoever observed fasting based upon this description, will have his past sins forgiven.

However, there are some Aḥadīth that have been reported which state that what is meant by this is other than the major sins [i.e. the minor sins], since they [the major sins] require sincere tawbah.


Taken from

https://www.troid.ca/ibadah/siyam/ramadan/2427-a-clarification-of-some-common-doubts-and-misconceptions-affiliated-with-the-month-of-ramadan#unconditionally

 

Why we should seek Laylatul-Qadr on all of the last ten nights of Ramadan – Ibn Taymiyyah

 

Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah -rahimahullaah- was asked about LaylatulQadr, whilst imprisoned in the mountain citadel (in Cairo) in the year 706 H. So he responded:

“All praise is for Allaah. Laylatul-Qadr is in the last ten (nights) of the month of Ramadaan. This is what is authentic from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) , that he said: ''It is within the last ten of Ramadaan'', and it is within the odd nights from them [ Reported by al-Bukhaaree (no.2016) and Muslim (no.1167/217) as a hadeeth of Aboo Sa`eed al-Khudree -radiyallaahu `anhu; and by al-Bukhaaree (no.2017) as a hadeeth of `Aa·ishah -radiyallaahu `anhaa.]

However the odd nights may be counted with reference to what has already passed by, such that it should be sought on the night of the twenty first, the night of the twenty third, the night of the twenty fifth, the night of the twenty seventh, and the night of the twenty ninth; and they may otherwise be counted with reference to what remains, just as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: ''On the night when nine remain, on the night when seven remain, on the night when five remain, on the night when three remain'' [ Reported by al-Bukhaaree (no.2021) as a hadeeth of `Abdullaah ibn `Abbaas -radiyallaahu `anhumaa.] [1]

So based upon this, if the month is of thirty days, then that will be one of the even nights. So the twenty second will be (the night) when nine remain, the twenty fourth will be when seven remain; and this is how Aboo Sa`eed al-Khudree explained it in the authentic hadeeth; and this is how the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) established it in the month. If, however, the month is of twenty nine days, then counting in accordance with what remains will then be just the same as counting in accordance with what has passed.

So, this being the case, it is befitting that the Believer seeks it out in all of the last ten, just as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: ''Seek it out in the last ten'' [ Reported by al-Bukhaaree (no.2020) and Muslim (no.1169) as a hadeeth of `Aa·ishah – radiyallaahu `anhaa.] And it occurs more frequently in the last seven; and it occurs most frequently on the twenty seventh, just as Ubayy ibn Ka`b used to swear an oath that it was the twenty seventh night. So it was said to him: “How have you come to know that?” So he replied: “On account of the sign which Allaah”s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) informed us of. He informed us that the sun rises on the morning following it being like a brass dish, having no rays.” [Reported by Muslim (no.762).]

So this sign which Ubayy ibn Ka`b reported from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is from the most well known signs occurring in hadeeth; and it is related regarding its signs that it is a night that is “bright, shining”; and it is calm; it is not very hot, nor very cold. It may occur that Allaah reveals it to some of the people in a dream, or whilst awake, such that he sees its light, or he sees one who says to him: “This is Laylatul-Qadr”; or he may open his heart to witnessing such things that make the affair clear to him, and Allaah -the Most High- knows best.”

[“Majmoo`ul-Fataawaa”: (25/284-286).]

Footnotes:
[1]The narration of Muslim (no.1167/217) contains the addition that the narrator Abun-Nadrah said: “I said: “O Aboo Sa`eed! You know better about the numbers than us.” He said: “Indeed, we have more right to that than you.” He said: I said: “What is the ninth, the seventh, and the fifth?”He said: “When twenty one have passed, then that follows it is the twenty second:and it is the ninth; and when twenty three have passed, then that which follows it is the seventh; and when twenty five have passed, then that which follows it is the fifth.”

The best of Sadaqa is During Ramadan- By Shaykh Muhammed bin Haadi


The following is a summary translation taken from the Lecture
The guidance of the Salaf during Ramadan

The month of Ramadan—giving charity during this month has a high status.
It has been authenticated from the hadith of Anas—may Allah be pleased with him—that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
The best Sadaqa is the Sadaqa of Ramadan

Thus the Sadaqa during Ramadan has a high status. And included in this is providing food for the fasting person to break their fast with. It has been authenticated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

Whoever provides food for the fasting person to break their fast with, he will have the reward of the fasting person without decreasing the reward of the fasting person at all. 

It was said to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم:

O Messenger of Allah, all of us do not find that which is sufficient to break the fast of the fasting person?
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
Allah will give that (reward) to the person who breaks the fast of the person even if it is with a drink of water.
Thus the water which quenches the living creatures contains a tremendous blessing. Thus it is upon the slave to give this matter concern.
Abdullah ibn Umar—may Allah be pleased with them—would only break his fast during Ramadan with the poor. And it has been mentioned in his biography, that if his family would prevent the poor from breaking their fast with him—as they would refuse them sometimes—then he would not eat dinner. He would feel sadness—may Allah be pleased with him—thus he would not eat dinner that night. May Allah be pleased with him.

Once a beggar came to him asking for food while he was about to break his fast, so he took his portion of food enough to break his fast and left the food for the beggar. So when he returned home, his family had already eaten the food in the house. Thus he remained hungry until the following night. There was no food in his home.

As for our refrigerators, what is in our homes? A person goes to Panda; and Hyper Panda (Supermarkets in the gulf) and amasses food which he will not eat in a year. And the rest of the food will remain seven or eight months; the expiration date expires and the following Ramadan comes around so the food spoils.

Ramadan did not come for the purpose of gluttony. Ramadan did not come to overload the stomachs. It came to alleviate them so that the soul may be lightened. When the stomach is light the soul becomes light and proceeds towards worship. Look at the camel. If it is slender it is suitable for racing. This outcome comes as a result of leanness. It did not come as a result of filling the stomach; it came as a result of leanness, leanness of the stomach and minimal amount of food. Thus as it relates to worship; if the person deceases his food and drink intake, he will be energetic towards worship.

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