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:
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ
“Call unto Me, I will respond to you.” [Surah Ghaafir: 60]
And the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم 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:
وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا
“And say: ‘My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.’” [Surah TaHa: 114]
And Allaah said speaking on behalf of Ibraaheem:
رَبِّ هَبْ لِي حُكْمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ
“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 صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “If the Haakim (judge), strives hard performing Ijtihaad…”
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم supplicated for Abu Hurairah radiya Allaahu ‘anhu to be granted the ability to memorize. He صلى الله عليه وسلم 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 radiya Allaahu ‘anhu didn’t hear anything except that he memorized it and Ibn ‘Abbaas radiya Allaahu ‘anhu 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.”
Posted from : Ten Guidelines for Obtaining Knowledge – Shaykh Abdullaah Adh-Dhufairee. The treatise has been introduced and praised by Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmee, one of the elder scholars in Saudi Arabia, thus indicating its importance and benefit.
You can Listen to the Speech of the Shaykh Uthaymeen rahimahullaah
The Beautiful Humble Dua of Abu Bakr -RadhiAllaahu anhu- the Best of Creation after the Prophets
Shaykh Albaani said after an announcer praised him:
‘I thank the brother, teacher Ibraheem for his statements and his praise, there is nothing that I can say in return except by following the first Khalifa Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq -RadhiAllaahu anhu- who was truly a Khalifa and the first of them for the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – but even though he was the Khalifa when he would hear a person praising him with goodness – and I believe that praise, no matter how excessive that person was in giving it, as long as it was for the Khalifa of the Messenger of Allaah, then he deserved it — but along with that -Allaah ul-Musta’aan (Allaah’s help is required) [here the Shaykh begins to shed tears] along with that Abu Bakr used to say:
اللهم لا تؤاخذني بما يقولون،
O Allaah do not take me to task with what they say,
واجعلني خيرًا مما يظنون،
and make me better than what they presume
واغفر لي ما لا يعلمون،
and forgive me for what they do not know.’
This is what as-Siddeeq al-Akbar said, so what can we say after him?
So I say – following him:
اللهم لا تؤاخذني بما يقولون، واجعلني خيرًا مما يظنون، واغفر لي ما لا يعلمون،
O Allaah do not take me to task with what they say, and make me better than what they presume and forgive me for what they do not know.
[The Shaykh cries trying to utter this statement]
The truth is – and I say the truth – I am not as was described previously, by what you heard from our respected brother Ibraheem, indeed I am only a student of knowledge, nothing else. It is upon every student of knowledge to be with the statement of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam:
(بلغوا عني ولو آية، بلغوا عني ولو آية، وحدثوا
عن بني إسرائيل ولا حرج، ومن كذب عليّ
متعمدًا فليتبوأ مقعده من النار)
‘Convey from me, even if it is only one Ayaah, convey from me, even if it is only one Ayaah. There is no problem of narrating from Bani Israel. Whoever intentionally lies against me then he should take his seat in Hell fire.’
Collected by Bukhari from the Hadeeth of Abdullaah bin Amr.’
[Silsilah al-Huda wa Noor no. 640]
Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya
Translated by Abu Ḥāzim Ṣābir Crispin hafidhahullaah
Audio ID: HAJU_TL_20150930_may_Allah_have_mercy_on_the_one_who_knows_his_level_ar_eng
Bismillāh wa -Alḥamdulillāh wa Ṣalātu wa Salām ‘alā Rasūlillāh ‘amma ba’d
On Wednesday 30th September 2015, Muwahhideen Publications hosted a LIVE tele-link lecture with Shaykh Ḥāmid Ibn Khamīs al-Junaybī (May Allāh Preserve Him) who is from the well-known Mashāyikh of the U.A.E.
Listen / Download Mp3 Here (Time 51:06)
This following is notes from the tele-lecture…
All praise belongs to Allāh; to Him alone belong all greatness. He is the Glorified, the One Who no one besides Him owns all the Greatness and Power. The dominion belongs to Him and all praise belongs to Him. All of the affairs are in His Hands; everything comes from Him and everything shall return to Him. He is to be praised and He is the All-Great. He is near His servants with His Knowledge and is aware of everything they say do and think; absolutely nothing is a secret from Him. He knows everything that is in their souls and is aware of what they do in private and in public. He is the Only One Who gives and withholds; He is the One Who debases and the One Who raises others. The One Who makes some people noble and lowers others; the One Who gives life and causes death. There is nothing and no one who deserves worship except Him. He – The Exalted – said about Himself: “To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, and He is the Most High, the Most Great.” 
“All praises and thanks be to Allāh, Who (Alone) created the heavens and the earth, and originated the darkness and the light, yet those who disbelieve hold others as equal with their Lord. He it is Who has created you from clay, and then has decreed a stated term (for you to die). And there is with Him another determined term (for you to be resurrected), yet you doubt (in the Resurrection). And He is Allāh (to be worshipped Alone) in the heavens and on the earth, He knows what you conceal and what you reveal, and He knows what you earn (good or bad).” 
Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) sent His Messenger as one who would give glad tidings and warn the people; he was a shining light who called others to Allāh. He was at the forefront of those who were humble; he was humble to Allāh, the Lord of all that exists. He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Do not excessively praise me as the Christians excessively praised ‘Īsā Ibn Maryam; I am only a slave, so say the slave of Allāh and His Messenger.”
He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to visit the sick, attend funerals and would accept invitations when people invited him. He used to ride a donkey and eat bread made out of barley and he would dip it in old oil when people would invite him. He performed Ḥajj on a very weak animal and was wearing clothing that was not even worth four dirhams and in spite of this he said: “O Allāh make this a Ḥajj in which there will be no showing off.”
When his Companions (عنھم الله رضي) saw him, they loved him more than anyone else and in spite of this they would never stand up for him when he entered because they knew he disliked that. He used to milk his own animal with his hands, fix his shoes with his own hands and he served himself in his house, and he was the one whom the entire Arabian Peninsula was under his control yet he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Whoever is humble for Allāh, Allāh would raise him.”
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) knew that establishing Tawḥīd and directing all forms of worship to Allāh is might and whoever does this is the mighty person and has reached the highest rank for the human being; a rank that no one else can reach except by fulfilling Tawḥīd. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) nurtured his Companions upon this principle and he knew that having arrogance prevents the perfection of Tawḥīd.
Arrogance and Tawḥīd cannot perfectly join in one soul; it contradicts the perfection of Tawḥīd. Tawḥīd necessitates that a servant humbles himself before his Lord and likewise he is humble to the created beings. The humble person who has fulfilled Tawḥīd does not see himself as being better than anyone else. He knows that the bounty is in the Hand of Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) and he does not see himself as having prestige over anyone else because this prestige comes from none other than Allāh.
When a servant completes Tawḥīd and builds this foundation of Tawḥīd, he will do so revering and worshipping Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) , having a complete and perfect love for Allāh which will cause him not to compete with Allāh in His Greatness and Majesty, which is befitting to nothing and no one other than Allāh.
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said teaching his Companions: “No one will enter Jannah if he has within his heart even a mustard seed of arrogance.” It was said: “O Messenger of Allāh, men like to have nice clothing and shoes.” So the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) responded: “Indeed Allāh is Beautiful and He loves beauty. Arrogance is rejecting the truth and disdaining the people.”
Likewise, he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Whoever drags his garment out of arrogance, Allāh will not even look at him on the Day of Resurrection.”
He also informed us saying: “The arrogant people will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection as small as ants and they will be covered with humiliation.”
In another ḥadīth the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Once a man was walking in a garment he was very impressed with and was combing the front of his hair (he was arrogant about his clothing and hair). Allāh caused the earth to swallow him and he will continue to be swallowed until the Day of Resurrection.”
If you know O servant of Allāh that you were created from nothing but dirt and will return to dirt, you should not put yourself above your level and give yourself any status you do not deserve. If you know this you would know that this only returns to the affair of Tawḥīd. That a person is only as good as he is in actions in worshipping his Lord and the only reason each person was created was to single out his Lord in worship. If you know this, it would cause you to fear giving your weak self any status it does not deserve or any position it has not earned. Allāh has made signs for the people of Īmān and signs for the people of arrogance. Allāh has made punishments for those who are arrogant on the earth without right just as He has made rewards for those who are humble. From the greatest of punishments for those who are arrogant is as Allāh said:
“I shall turn away from My Āyāt (verses of the Qur’ān) those who behave arrogantly on the earth, without a right, and (even) if they see all the Āyāt (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), they will not believe in them. And if they see the way of righteousness (monotheism, piety, and good deeds), they will not adopt it as the Way, but if they see the way of error (polytheism, crimes and evil deeds), they will adopt that way, that is because they have rejected Our Āyāt (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and were heedless (to learn a lesson) from them.” 
The signs that Allāh will turn away from the arrogant people are both the signs in nature, which are evidence to His Oneness and likewise the signs and verses of His Book. He will turn them away such that they will look at the evidence all around them in nature, which point to the fact that the Creator is One and that He alone should be worshipped, they could have the evidence right in front of them in the Qur’ān and read it but not understand it. Because of their arrogance Allāh would turn their hearts away from pondering the truth, and this is the greatest of punishments – having a blind heart; having a covering over the heart such that the truth is presented to a person and they cannot even recognize it.
What is befitting for the servant to keep in mind is that he is a slave who has been commanded to make his entire life for the Sake of Allāh. He was created to worship his Lord and he was not created to have arrogance and make himself better than others or try to become the ruler over others and compel others. Whenever someone’s soul whispers to him that he is better than others and he has these thoughts of arrogance, he is to remember how great Allāh is. That He (Allāh) is the Only One Who is worthy of this Greatness, and by doing so the person humbles himself.
Imām Ibn al-Qayyim (الله رحمھ) mentions about the people of Īmān that when they feel within themselves that they are better than others, they remember how great and exalted their Lord is and that He is the Only One deserving this Greatness. And they should remember how angry He becomes with whoever tries to compete with Him in this Greatness. By doing so the servants humble themselves in their hearts and souls and they get rid of these feelings of arrogance. This is the peak of having humility.
Whenever Allāh blesses someone and allows them to gain some understanding of the Dīn, allows them to learn some of the legislative rulings or He blesses them to be a devout worshiper or one who remembers Allāh often or blesses him to be one who fasts often or stands the night in prayer or any of the other acts of worship and because of that blessing the servant feels that he is better than those who do not perform these acts of worship, he feels that he has a higher status than other people because of this blessing he has been given, he should realize that this is part of having insufficient knowledge of Allāh and His Names and Attributes and having a lack of reverence for Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى).
Take a minute and ponder with me, O my brother about the story of Qārūn and how he was arrogant and thought he was better than everyone else. Allāh mentions his story in Sūrah Qaṣaṣ:
“Verily, Qārūn (Korah) was of Mūsā’s (Moses) people, but he behaved arrogantly towards them. And We gave him of the treasures, that of which the keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men.When his people said to him: ‘Do not be glad (with ungratefulness to Allāh’s Favours). Verily! Allāh likes not those who are glad (with ungratefulness to Allāh’s Favours). But seek, with that (wealth) which Allāh has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of legal enjoyment in this world, and do good as Allāh has been good to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allāh likes not the Mufsidūn (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupts). He said: ‘This has been given to me only because of knowledge I possess.’ Did he not know that Allāh had destroyed before him generations, men who were stronger than him in might and greater in the amount (of riches) they had collected. But the Mujrimūn (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, etc.) will not be questioned of their sins (because Allāh knows them well, so they will be punished without account).”  “So We caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place. Then he had no group or party to help him against Allāh, nor was he one of those who could save themselves.” 
After mentioning this story Allāh reminds His servants and gives them a get principle when He said:
“That home of the Hereafter (i.e. Paradise), We shall assign to those who rebel not against the truth with pride and oppression in the land nor do mischief by committing crimes. And the good end is for the Muttaqūn.” 
Ponder upon this with me, O my bother – may Allāh bless you – two great statements in which the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) clarified to you the virtue of being humble for the Sake of Allāh.
The first of them is: “Whoever leaves alone some clothing out of humbleness for the Sake of Allāh and he is able to wear that clothing, Allāh will call him on the Day of Resurrection in front of all of the creation and give him the choice to wear whichever of the garments of īmān he wishes.” 
What is meant by this ḥadīth is whoever is living amongst people who are middle class and they dress in a way that is normal (they do not wear very poor clothing or very fancy clothing) and this person himself is able to wear the clothing of the rich people but so that he fits in with the others and so that their hearts are not hurt when they see him wearing clothing they are not able to wear, he dresses as they do. Whoever does this out of humility for the Sake of Allāh will get this great reward. He will be called in front of the creation on the Day of Judgement and will be given the choice to wear whichever of the garments of īmān he wishes. However, if a person is living amongst people who wear nice clothing, he should wear the same as they wear because, “Indeed Allāh is Beautiful and He loves beauty.”
The second ḥadīth that I would like you to ponder with me about is the statement of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم): “Shall I not inform you of the people of Jannah?” His Companions said: “Please do.” He said: “Every weak person (i.e. he is not arrogant); if this person swears in the Name of Allāh then Allāh will make whatever he swears to come true.” He then said: “Shall I not inform you of the people of the Hellfire?” They said: “Please do.” He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Every person who is rough, harsh and arrogant (in the way that he walks; the one who struts arrogantly when he walks).” 
I would like to conclude – may Allāh bless you – by informing you of some of the means to gain this humility, to make ourselves humble for the Sake of Allāh. In doing so I will site some of the statements of Imām Ibn al-Qayyim in his book Ar-Rūh in which he said that humility comes from having knowledge of Allāh and knowing His Names and Attributes and the characteristics of Majesty that belong to Him. Likewise, it comes from revering Him, loving Him and giving Him His due respect. This humility also comes from a person knowing himself and knowing the details of his own shortcomings and knowing how very imperfect he is and knowing all of his mistakes and the outcomes of all of his mistakes.
As a result of knowing these things a person becomes humble. His heart breaks in front of Allāh and he lowers the wing of humility to the servants of Allāh. He does not consider himself to be better than anyone else and he does not consider himself to have any rights over anyone else. Rather, he believes that everyone is better than him and that he owes something to everyone else. This state of being humble is something that Allāh only gives to those whom He loves and those who are close to Him.
We ask Allāh to make us all from those who are humble for the Sake of Allāh and who are humble towards the servants of Allāh. And we ask Allāh to make us from those who love Him and those whom He loves. We ask Him to make us from those who are merciful towards the other servants of Allāh and we ask Him to forgive all of our shortcomings and sins and to grant us success in achieving what He loves and is pleased with. And we ask Him to cause us to live upon Islām, Tawḥīd and the Sunnah and to die following nothing but Islām, Tawḥīd and the Sunnah. And Allāh is the Highest and Most Great, and He knows best.
Wa Billāhi Tawfīq
Wa SallAllāhu wa Sallama wa Bārak ‘alā Nabiyyinā Muḥammad wa ‘alā Ālihi wa Ṣaḥbihi wa Sallam
 Sūrah ash-Shūrā 42:4
 Sūrah al-An’ām 6:1-3
 Sūrah al-A’rāf 7: 146
 Sūrah al-Qaṣaṣ 28:76-78
 Sūrah al-Qaṣaṣ 28:81
 Sūrah al-Qaṣaṣ 28:83
 Reported by at-Tirmidhī and authenticated by Shaykh al-Albānī
 Reported by al-Bukhārī
Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen
Excellence of giving up Elegant Clothes for Humility
802. Mu`adh bin Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever gives up wearing elegant and expensive garments out of humbleness, when he can do so, Allah will call him on the Day of Resurrection and before all the creations, He will give him the choice to wear whichever garment of Iman he would like to wear.”
You should know – may Allah have mercy upon you – that when the slave [of Allah] leaves his house to go to the mosque, that he is going to face Allah, the Irresistible, the One, the Omnipotent, the Exalted in Might, the Oft-forgiving, in the knowledge that nothing is hidden from Allah, wherever it might be, and that nothing is hidden from Allah and that even something as small as a mustard seed is not concealed from Him, nor even something smaller, nor larger – in the seven earths or the seven heavens, in the seven seas or the lofty mountains, fixed and firm. And verily, the mosque to which he comes is one of the Houses of Allah. He desires only Allah and he sets out to one of Allah’s Houses, which:
In houses (mosques), which Allah has ordered to be raised (to be cleaned, and to be honored), in them His Name is glorified in the mornings and in the afternoons or the evenings, Men whom neither trade nor sale diverts them from the Remembrance of Allah (with heart and tongue), nor from performing As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), nor from giving the Zakat. They fear a Day when hearts and eyes will be overturned (from the horror of the torment of the Day of Resurrection). [Qur’an 24:36-37, Muhsin Khan Translation]
So when anyone from amongst you sets out from his house (for the mosque) he should say quietly to himself words of remembrance [of Allah] – words unconnected with the affairs and business of this world. He should set out calmly, somberly, for this is what the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, ordered us to do; he should set out with (his heart full of) longing and desire [for Allah’s pleasure] and fear and apprehension [of Allah’s anger] and with humility and meekness towards Allah. For the more humble, the more meek, the more submissive he is to Allah, the more virtuous and righteous does he become in Salah and the greater becomes his reward, and the more noble and nearer to Allah becomes the worshipper. But should he be filled with pride, Allah will destroy him and will reject his deeds, for the deeds of the proud are never accepted.
It has been narrated in a hadith concerning Prophet Ibrahim, `alaihis salam, Allah’s Khalil, that he spent the night in worship and remembrance of Allah, and in the morning, he was pleased with the night’s worship and he said: “How Good is the Rabb (Lord), and how good is the slave, Ibrahim (`alaihis salam).” On the following day, finding none to share his food with him – and he loved to share his food – he took his food outside to the road and sat, waiting for any passerby to eat with him. then two angels descended from the heavens and approached him.So he invited them to eat with him and they accepted. Then Ibrahim `alaihis salam suggested that they approach a nearby garden which contained a fresh water spring. They agreed to this and approached the garden, only to find that the spring had run underground, so there was no water. This was a severe blow to Ibrahim, `alaihis salam, and he was embarrassed by what he had said (because there was no spring in evidence) and so the angels said to him: “Ask your Rabb to return the spring.” He did so, but the spring did not appear, and this was a great blow to him and so he said to the angels: “You ask Allah.” So one of them asked Him, and behold! The water returned, then the other supplicated Allah and the water flowed near to them. Then they informed him that his being impressed by his own standing in prayer the previous night had caused his supplication to be rejected.
So beware – may Allah have mercy on you – of pride, for no deed will be accepted if it is accompanied by pride. Be humble in your Salah. Should any of you stand in Salah before his Rabb, he should know Allah, in his heart by the great blessings which He bestows upon him and the abundant favour which He grants him, for Allah has honoured him with great goodness, but he has saddled himself with sins. Therefore it is incumbent upon him to be excessive in his humility and meekness towards Allah.
It is reported from Abu ad-Darda that he said, “That may face be covered in dust for my Rabb (is most loved by me), – for that is the best kind of worship for Allah.” So let none of you fear the dust, nor find it distasteful to make sujud in it, for there is no doubt that every one of you comes from it (i.e. mankind was created from dust). Nor should any of you fear an excess of it, for verily, it is by this means that one attempts to attain freedom from slavery and salvation from the Hellfire – a fire before which the fixed lofty mountains which were placed as pegs (holding the earth) could not stand, nor the seven strong heavens, built one above another, which are placed as a well graded canopy over us, nor the earth, which was placed as a dwelling for us, nor the seven seas, of which none knows their depths or their size except the One Who created them. Then what about us, with our feeble bodies, our delicate bones, our flimsy skin? We seek refuge with Allah from the Fire!
So should any of you stand in Salah – may Allah have mercy on you – then let him be as if he sees Allah before him, for though he may not see Allah, verily, Allah sees him. It is narrated in a hadith that Allah’s Messenger, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, advised a man, saying:
“Fear Allah as though you see Him, for verily, though you may not see Him, He sees you.” [Something similar to this wording is quoted in the hadith in which the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam spoke to Jibril, `alaihis salam, informing him about the meaning of ihsan, as reported by Bukhari and Muslim.]
This then, is the advice of the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, to the slave in all his affairs, so what about when he performs Salah, when he stands before Allah, in a particular place, a sacred place, desiring Allah and turning his face towards Him? Does not his standing, his situation in Salah merit the same ihsan as all his affairs? It says in a hadith:
“Verily, the slave, when he starts his Salah, should turn his face to Allah, and he should not turn it away from Him until he leaves or turns to right and left.” [That is, when he makes taslim at the end of the prayer.] (Narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and an-Nasa’i).
It is also narrated in a hadith:
“Verily, the slave, as long as he is in Salah, possesses three qualities: Blessings are showered upon his head from the heavens above, the angels sit around him, from his feet to the heavens and a caller says: ‘If the slave knew the One Who hears his whispered utterances, he would never leave his Salah.'” [This narration was mentioned by Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Mirwazi in Kitab as-Salah from the hadith of Al-Hasan Al-Basri in a mursal form (an incomplete chain of narrations, in which no Companion is mentioned).
Allah showers His Mercy upon the worshipper who approaches prayer in a state of humility and meekness towards Allah, in fear and supplicating Him with desire (for His Pleasure), and in hope (of His Mercy), making Salah to his Rabb, his most important consideration, dedicating his whispered utterances to Him and his standing erect in worship and his ruku` and his sujud, poring out his heart and his feelings and struggling to perfect his acts of worship, for he knows not whether he will perform another prayer after it, or whether he will be overtaken (by death) before he can perform Salah again. He stands before his Rabb, earnestly, with deep feelings, hoping for its acceptance and fearing its rejection, for verily, its acceptance is a cause for joy, while its rejection is a cause for misery and wretchedness. Nothing could be more important to you – O my brother – in this Salah, or indeed in any of your actions [i.e. that Allah should accept them]. What is more deserving of your distress and misery, your fear – indeed your terror – you know not whether your Salah will find favour with Allah at all, nor whether any of your good deeds will be accepted.
Do you know if your sins will be forgiven at all? After all this, you have no assurance that you will be spared from it (i.e. the punishment of the Hellfire). So who is more deserving of your tears and sadness [than Allah] – that He may accept from you (your deeds)? In addition to this, you know not whether or not you will awaken in the morning, nor if you will still be here in the evening – will you be given the good news of Paradise, or the bad news of the Hellfire? I only desire to warn you – O my brother – of this terrible danger. It is not fitting that you should be happy because of your family, your wealth or your children. It is a most amazing thing that you should continue to be unmindful, chasing after vain desires, wasting your time in disregard of this most important matter, for you are being driven at a fierce pace (towards death) day and night, hour by hour, like the blink of an eye. You should expect – O my brother – that your time may come at any moment and do not be unmindful of this great danger which may visit you. Most assuredly, you must (eventually) taste death.
Your time may come in the morning or in the evening. You will be separated from all that you possessed – either (to be rewarded with) Paradise or (to be punished in) the Hellfire. Descriptions and stories of them (have become) superfluous. Have you not heard – O my brother the words of the pious slave: “I am amazed concerning the Hellfire – how does the one who could flee from it sleep? And I am amazed concerning the Jannah – how does the one who desires it sleep? For by Allah! If you neither desire Paradise, nor fear the Hellfire, then you are destroyed and grievous will be your sorrow, interminable your sadness and without limit your tears; you will be amongst the wretched, the punished ones. So if you claim that you are amongst those who seek refuge from the Fire and desire Paradise, then strive for that which you seek and do not be misled by your worldly desires.”
Posted from the Book – Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s Treatise on Prayer (Salah)
Translated by Sameh Strauch
This treaties, by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal was written several hundred years ago to the inhabitants of a town where the Imam stayed for a period of time. It contains a full and clear description of the prayer and includes detailed observations of the mistakes, which Imam Ahmad observed during his time in that town. It was and remains an invaluable work for all Muslims, detailing as it does many common errors made during prayers, some of which are serious enough to invalidate the act of worship. The book includes several explanatory notes by the translator, Sameh Strauch.
Subhan Allaah. May Allaah have mercy on Shaykh ‘Uthaymeen.
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Statement of Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him):
“O Allah, don’t hold me responsible for that which they say, make me better then that which they think of me. And forgive me for that which they don’t know.”
While mentioning what one should and should not do in the Prophet’s Mosque, and near the grave of the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihiwasallam), Shaikh ibn Baaz said,
“Similarly, those who, at the time of offering Salaam to the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihiwasallam) put their right hand on the left side of their chest: this posture is not lawful at the time of offering Salaam to him (salallaahu ‘alaihiwasallam) or to any ruler or leader, for this posture signifies one’s humility and submission which is valid in the case of Allaah alone.
This point is made by Hafidh Ibn Hajar on the authority of the great ‘Ulama. This point will be clear to anyone who gives attention to it, provided he intends to follow the way of the righteous predecessors [salaf]. However, those who are swayed by prejudice, selfish desires and blind imitation, and those who are biased against the way of the righteous people, Allaah would decide their fate. We seek from Allaah for us and for them guidance, and preference of the truth over everything.”
Similarly, those who face the Prophet’s grave at a distance and move their lips for Salaam or supplication, it also belongs to the category of bid’ah. It is not permissible for a Muslim to invent such things in Faith as they are not permitted by Allaah. By doing such things, he transgresses rather than expressing love for the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihiwasallam).
Condemning such practices, Imam Malik said that reform of the later generations will only be in the same manner as of earlier generations. It is common knowledge that what reformed the earlier generations was their observance of the way of of the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihiwasallam), and his Rightyly-Guided Caliphs, his companions and successors. Later generations of the Ummah too, would find the right path by adhering close to the Prophet’s way. This alone can reform them. May Allaah grant Muslims the ability to do such things which may ensure their welfare and success both in this world and the hereafter.”
This excerpt is from: Shaikh Ibn Baz’s book Hajj,’Umrah & Ziyarah, In the Light of the Qur`an and the Sunnah, Chapter Seven (An account of Visiting the Prophet’s Mosque), Pg. 182-184.