Response to the one who says: ‘l do not need to learn ‘aqeedah.’ – Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan ibn al-Fawzaan [1]

Source: Al-Istiqaamah Magazine Issue No.8 – Shawwal 1418H / February 1998

[Q]: There are some people here, who keep away from [attending] lessons on ‘aqeedah (creed/beliefs), and they say: ‘We are Muslims, we are not unbelievers or idol-worshippers such that we have to learn ‘aqeedah or attend lectures about it’ So, O noble Shaykh, what is your view regarding this!

[A]: Teaching the Muslims [the correct] ‘aqeedah does not mean that we have judged them to be unbelievers. Rather, we teach the Muslims about ‘aqeedah in order for them to know about it thoroughly, and know what matters nullify it and what matters are contrary to it.

Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan, one of the distinguished Companions – radiallaahu ‘anhu – said:“People used to ask the Messenger about the good, but I used to ask him about the evil, for fear of falling into it.”[2]

Likewise ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab radiallaahu ‘anhu said: “Soon the bonds of Islaam will be loosened bit by bit, because people will enter into Islaam but will be unaware of Jaahiliyyah (ignorant practices that Islaam opposes).”[3]

Thus, when we teach ‘aqeedoh, this does not imply that we have judged those whom we are teaching to be non-Muslims. Rather, what it means is that we desire that they should be thoroughly aware of the correct Islaamic ‘aqeedah; so as to cling to it, and to be aware of what opposes it; so as to keep far away from it.

Allaah – the Most High – said, whilst addressing His Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “So have knowledge about Laa ilaaha illallaah (i.e, have knowledge that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah), and seek forgiveness for your sins, and for the believing men and women.” [Soorah Muhammad 47:19].

So it is essential that a person learns and that he does not content himself with merely saying: ‘I am a Muslim.’ Yes indeed, you are a Muslim – and all praise is for Allaah! However, if one of you were asked as to what Islaam means, or you were asked to explain what Islaam is, then many of you would not be able to correctly explain this. If one of you were to be asked to explain what are those factors which nullify Islaam, then many of you would not be able to explain this. Thus, if a person is ignorant [of such fundamentals], it is possible that he may fall into falsehood without realising it. If one of you were asked to explain the pillars of Islaam or eemaan (faith) that the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam explained and taught, we would find that most people would be unable to do so. So how is it that a person [suffices with] saying: ‘l am a Muslim,’ yet does not know these [basic] matters!

Unfortunately, many of the daa’ees (callers to Islaam) are themselves unaware of [basic matters such as] what are the conditions for Prayer, or unaware of the rules and regulations concerning wudhoo (ablution) and those matters which invalidate wudhoo. Some of them do not even know what matters form the arkaan (pillars) of the Prayer, or form its waajibaat (obligations), or those matters which invalidate the Prayer. So what Islaam are they calling to! Islaam is not merely a call, rather it is a reality to be learnt and practiced. So it is essential to acquire sound knowledge and understanding of the Religion. This is because a person who does not have sound knowledge, may fall into dangers without even realising it; just like a person who walks down a path, but is ignorant of the fact that along this path there is a ditch, or a hole, or even an ambush. Yet [due to his ignorance] he ends up falling into the hole, or the ambush, without even realising it.

Thus it is essential to learn about tawheed, since it is tawheed that is the basic foundation [of both the Religion and the correct Islaamic ‘aqeedah]. Indeed, no one abstains from learning about tawheed [and those matters it necessitates, as well as its limits, conditions, fundamentals, clear proofs, fruits and consequences, and those matters which increase and strengthen it, and those that decrease and weaken it, etc.] except one of two people: [i] an ignorant person – and the ignorant person’s [view] is not to be given any weight; or [ii] a bigoted deviant – one who desires to avert people from the ‘aqeedah of pure tawheed, and who wishes to conceal from the people his own false beliefs, and those other deviant beliefs that are [falsely] ascribed to Islaam. And this is possibly the Ease of many of those who abstain from learning about tawheed. Allaah – the Most High – said: “And it is not proper for all the Believers to go out together and fight. From every troop of them only a party of them should go forth, so that those who remain behind may gain understanding of the Religion so that they may [instruct and] warn their people when they return to them, in order that they may beware.” [Soorah at-Tawbaa 9:122]. Also, the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Whoever Allaah desires to show goodness to, He gives him the understanding of the Religion.” [4]

The meaning of this hadeeth is that whenever Allaah does not want to show goodness to a person, He does not give him the understanding of the Religion.

So the one who says: ‘l do not need to learn ‘aqeedah.’ It is as if he is saying: ‘l do not need to gain understanding of the Religion!’ And this is said by either an ignorant person, or one who is misguided!

Footnotes:

[1] Al-Muntaqaa min Fataawa (1/303-306).
[2]. Related by al-Bukhaaree (no.3606) and Muslim (no.1847).
[3]. Related by Ibn Taymiyyah in his Majmoo’ Fataawaa (10/301).
[4]. Related by al-Bukhaaree (1/25), from Mu’aawiyah radiallaahu ‘anhu.

Source:  Al-Istiqaamah Magazine, Issue No.8 – Shawwal 1418H / February 1998

Me, Myself and I – Imam Ibn Al Qayyim (rahimahullaah)

Shaykh ul –Islaam Ibn Al Qayyim as-Salafi -Rahimullaah-
From his book ‘Za’ad al-Ma’aad’
Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya

Ibn al-Qayyim said:

‘Every Muslim should be warned of the oppression of:  ‘I – My/Mine – I Possess’

Indeed these three words are what Iblees (Shaytan), Fir’awn and Qaroon were tried with.

  • Iblees said: ‘I am better than him’
  • Fir’awn said: ‘Is not mine the Kingdom of Egypt,’
  • Qaroon said: ‘This has been given to me only because of knowledge I possess.’

So regarding the saying of the Slave of Allaah ‘I’ – then the best that he can be described with is:

  • I am a slave who sins, makes mistakes, seeks forgiveness and recognizes this.

So regarding the saying of ‘My/Mine’ – and those statements similar to that is:

  • My sins, my crimes, my humbleness, my depravation and submissiveness.

So regarding the saying of ‘I Possess’:

  • Forgive me for my mistakes and what I do intentionally, in jest, or in seriousness and I possess all these shortcomings.

[Taken from ‘Za’ad al-Ma’aad’ 2/475 – By Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawzeeyah]

[Inspirational] The Example of a Servants Hope in Allaah’s Mercy – Shaykh Ahmad Fareed

AsSalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu

The example of a servant’s hope in Allaah’s mercy and forgiveness
By Shaykh Ahmad Fareed
Source: Al-Istiqaamah Magazine, Issue No.3 – Rabî’ul-Awwal 1417H / August 1996

The example of a servants hope in Allaah’s mercy and forgiveness can be likened to the hope of a farmer:

If the farmer searches for fertile soil, then sows it with good and healthy seeds, giving to the seeds what they need at the appropriate time, removing from around them the weeds and anything else that may hinder or ruin their growth, then he sits and waits for the Favour of Allaah – the Most High – with regards to Him keeping away violent storms and other harmful elements, until the seeds have fully ripened and grown – then this type of waiting and expectation can truly be described as hope. However, if the farmer sows the seeds in hard and barren soil, too high up for water to reach it, and he does nothing to care and protect the seed from harm, and then he sits and waits for a good harvest – then this waiting and expectation is not called hope, rather, such waiting is called foolishness and delusion!

So, the term hope only applies to waiting for what is dear or desired, after all the means – that will assist in realising this desire and are within the ability of the person – have been utilised. As for that which is not within the servants ability, then it is left to the favour of Allaah – the Most High – and He is the One who can prevent harmful matters, if He so wishes.

So if the servant sows the seeds of eemaan, and waters them with acts of obedience to Allaah, and cleanses his heart from harmful qualities and traits, then waits for the favour of Allaah – the Most High – with regards being granted firmness upon this until death and an excellent end leading to His forgiveness – then such a wait can truly be called hope.

Allaah – the Most High – said:

“Indeed those who believe and those who migrate and who make jihaad in the path of Allaah, they are the ones who have the hope of Allaah’s mercy. And indeed Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:218].

The meaning of this being that such people are truly worthy of hoping in Allaah’s mercy. And He did not intend only to particularise them with this, since others also can hope in Allaah’s mercy. However, He particularised them as being those who truly deserve to hope. So the one whose hope in Allaah’s mercy guides him to obedience and deters him from disobedience, his hope is true. And the one whose hope invites him to being immersed in sin and disobedience, is in delusion.

It is also necessary to know that truly hoping in something necessitates three things:

  1. Firstly: Yearning for what one hopes.
  2. Secondly: Fearing to miss gaining it.
  3. Thirdly: Striving to achieve it.

If hope is not connected with any one of these matters, then it is mere wishful thinking, since hope is one thing, and wishful thinking something else. And every person who is hopeful, is also fearful, and whosoever traverses a path, makes haste when he fears that he may miss what he hopes for.

Each Group Claiming to be the Victorious One! – Imam Ibn Baz (rahimahullaah)

Bismillaah

Various groups, each claiming to be the victorious one!
by Ibn Baz (rahimahullaah) in Nur Al-Adab Session.
http://alifta.net

Q3- There are many religious sects and groups, each claiming that they are the victorious one. This matter is perplexing to many people, so what should we do, especially as there are groups that are related to Islam, such as Al-Soofiyyah (صُوفِيَّة) Al-Salafiyah, and others, and how can we distinguish between them? May Allah bless you.

A: It is confirmed that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“The Jews split into seventy-one sects; one will be in Paradise (i.e., those who followed Moses) and seventy will be in the Fire. The Christians split into seventy-two sects; seventy-one will be in the Fire and one will be in Paradise (i.e., those who followed Jesus). And by the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, this Ummah (nation) of mine will split into seventy-three sects; one will be in Paradise and seventy-two will be in the Fire.

It was asked, “Who are they, O Messenger of Allah?”

He (peace be upon him) said, “Al-Jama‘ah (i.e., the group which adheres steadfastly to the way of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and his Companions).”

And in another narration:

(Those who follow) what I and my Companions are following.”

This is the saved group; those who adhere steadfastly to the truth that the Messenger (peace be upon him) came with, and adopt the way of the Messenger (peace be upon him) and that of his Companions. They are Ahl Al-Sunnah wal-Jama‘ah (those adhering to the Sunnah and the Muslim community). They are the people who adhere to the Hadith; the righteous predecessors who follow in the footsteps of the early generations in acting upon the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Any sect that contradicts them is threatened with the Fire.

Dear questioner, you have to study every group that claims to be the victorious one. Scrutinize their deeds; if they are in conformity with the Shari‘ah, they are included in the victorious group; otherwise they are not.

The measure here is the Qur’an and the Sunnah, so any group whose words and deeds are in accordance with the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger (peace be upon him) is within the victorious one and any that contradict this, such as:

  • the Jahmiyyah (الجهمية) (an Islamic sect denying some of the Attributes of Allah, claiming they are ascribed to people and cannot be ascribed to Allah),
  • the Mu’tazilah (المعتزلة) (a deviant Islamic sect claiming that those who commit major sins are in a state between belief and disbelief),
  • the Raafidah (الرافضة‎) (a Shi`ah group denying the caliphates of Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq and ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab, and making accusations against them and many other Companions),
  • the Murji’ah (المرجئة) (a deviant Islamic sect claiming that Faith is restricted to belief not deeds), and others, as well as most of the Sufis who invent matters in the religion, which Allah does not permit.

They are all among the groups that the Messenger (peace be upon him) forewarned of the Fire, until they repent from going against Shari‘ah.

Any group that adopts anything contrary to Shari‘ah have to repent from it, and return to the right path and the truth that our Prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him), brought. In this way they will be saved from the threat. But if they insist on the rejected innovations they have introduced in religion and do not follow the way of the Messenger (peace be upon him), they will be among the threatened groups. Not all of these groups are disbelievers, but they are threatened with the Fire. Among them are those who are disbelievers for committing acts of disbelief, and among them are those who are not disbelievers, but they are still threatened with the Fire, because they have introduced heresies in religion and sanctioned what Allah has not permitted (may He be Glorified and Exalted).

Source: Ibn Baz in Nur Al-Adab Session
http://alifta.net/Fatawa/FatawaChapters.aspx?View=Page&PageID=4&PageNo=1&BookID=8

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Comprehensive and beneficial du’aa – for the Best of Both Worlds : Imaam as-Sa’dee

AsSalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu

Supplication for the Best of Both Worlds

Taken From the articles “Reflections
Al-Istiqaamah Magazine, Issue No.6 – Dhul-Qa’dah 1417H / March 1997

‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood radiallaahu ‘anhu relates that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would supplicate:

O Allaah! I ask You for guidance, piety, safety and well-being, and contentment and sufficiency.”
[Allaahumma innee as’alukal-hudaa wat-tuqaa wal-‘afaafa wal-ghinaa].

Sahih Muslim (no.2721)

Imaam as-Sa’dee (d.1376H) – rahimahullaah – said:

This du’aa (supplication) is from the most comprehensive and beneficial du’aas (supplications), since it includes asking Allaah for well-being with regards to both the Religion and the world. Thus, al-hudaa (the guidance) is beneficial knowledge, and at-tuqaa (i.e. taqwaa or piety) is righteous actions and leaving-off what Allaah and His Messenger have forbidden; and this is (asking) for correctness and well-being of a person’s Religion. For indeed, the Religion comprises of beneficial knowledge and recognising the truth – which is guidance – and standing firm upon obedience to Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – and this is piety.

And al-‘afaafa (well-being and safety) and al-ghinaa (contentment and sufficiency) comprises of being safe from (the harms of) the creation and that the heart is not attached to them. And it also comprises of being contented with Allaah and what He provides, and seeking whatever will cause the heart to be satisfied with Him. So with this, happiness in this worldly life is completed, and the heart tastes true sweetness and delight – and this is a goodly life. So whosoever is granted the provisions of guidance, Piety. well-being and contentment has indeed achieved true happiness, and has acquired all that could be possibly sought after, as well as being saved from all that is dreadful and frightening.” [Bahjatul-Quloobul-Abraar (p.198)]