Prophet King or Slave Messenger : Imam Ibn Rajab

By al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbalee
Excerpt from the last chapter of Ibn Rajab’s famous book: al-Khushoo’ fis-Salaat

Al-Ibaanah Issue No.3

Bismillaahir-Rahmaanir-Raheem

The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) chose the station of al-’uboodiyyah (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 (sallallaahu ’alayhi 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 (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) that he said, “Do not over praise me as the Christians over-praised ’Eesaa, son of Maryam. Indeed, I am only a slave. So call me the Slave of Allaah and His Messenger.” [3]

Imaam Ahmad (d.241H) – rahimahullaahu ta’aalaa – reports from Muhammad Ibn Fudayl, from ’Ammaarah, from Aboo Zur’ah who said: I do not know this except from Aboo Hurayrah – radiyallaahu ’anhu – who said: Jibreel was sitting with the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) looking towards the sky, when he saw an angel. So Jibreel – ’alayhis-salaam – said to him: Indeed, this angel has never descended before today. So when the angel had descended, he said: O Muhammad! 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 Yahyaa Ibn Katheer – rahimahullaah that the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi 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 Aboo Ma’dhr from al-Maqburee from ’Aa‘ishah – radiyallaahu ’anhaa – that the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “An angel came to me and said: Allaah sends blessings upon you and says: If you wish you may be a Prophet-King or a Slave-Messenger. So Jibeel – ’alayhis-salaam – indicated to me that I should humble myself: So I said: A Prophet-Slave.” So ’Aa‘ishah said: So after that day, the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi 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 – rahimahullaahu ta’aalaa – who said: we were informed that an angel came to the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), who had never come to him before. Accompanying him was Jibreel – ’alayhis-salaam. So the angel spoke, and Jibreel – ’alayhis-salaam – remained silent, so he said: Your Lord inquires whether you wish to be a king or a Prophet-Slave. So the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) looked towards Jibreel – ’alayhis-salaam – as if he was seeking his advice. So Jibreel indicated that he should be humble. So Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “A Prophet-Slave.” Az-Zuhree said: So it is said that from that day onwards, the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) never ate whilst reclining, until he departed from this world. [7]

And it is related in the Musnad, or in the Sunan of at-Tirmidhee, from Aboo Hurayrah radiyallaahu ’anhu), from the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) who said, “My Lord – the Mighty and Majestic – gave me the choice that the valley of Makkah be filled with gold, but I said: No! O Lord. However, grant food to me one day, and hunger the day after. So when I am hungry I humble myself before You and remember You, and when I am full, I am grateful to You.” [8]

Some of the knowledgeable people have said: Whoever claims al-’uboodiyyah (slavery and servitude to Allaah), but desires still remain with him, then he is lying in his claim. Indeed, al-’uboodiyyah 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-Rahmaan: the Slaves of the Most Merciful).

Al-Haafidh Aboo Nu’aym – rahimahullaahu ta’aalaa – relates in the book: Asmaa‘us-Sabaabah, by way of Shaykh Aboo Sulaymaan ad-Daraanee (d.215H) – rahimahullaahu ta’aalaa – who related from ’Alqamah Ibnul-Haarith al-Azdee, from his father, from his grandfather who mentioned the saying of Luqmaan the wise when he said to his son, “I have gathered my wisdom for you in six sentences: Work for this world in proportion to how long you shall remain in it, and work for the Hereafter in proportion to how long you shall remain in it. Commit acts of sin in proportion to how much you can endure it. Act for Allaah in accordance to how much you are in need of Him. Commit acts of disobedience in accordance to how much you can endure the punishment. Do not ask except from the One who is in need of no one. And when you intend to commit a sin against Allaah, then do it in a place where He cannot see you.”

Ibraaheem al-Khawwaas – rahimahullaahu ta’aalaa – said, “The cure for the hearts is in five things: reciting the Qur‘aan with reflection and contemplation; emptying the stomach (i.e. frequent fasting); praying at night; humbling oneself in the early hours of the morning; and being in the company of the saaliheen (righteous).”

Ibraaheem Ibn Adham (d.160H) – rahimahullaahu ta’aalaa – said in an admonition, when he was asked (by some people) about the saying of Allaah – the Most High -:

“Call upon Me and I will respond to you.” [Soorah Ghaafir 40:60]

(They said): We call upon Him, but He does not respond to us. So he said to them, “You know Allaah, yet you do not obey Him. You recite the Qur‘aan, but you do not act according to it. You know Shaytaan, but still agree with him. You claim to love Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), yet you abandon his Sunnah. You claim to love Paradise, yet you do not work for it. You claim to fear the Fire, yet you do not stop sinning. You say: Indeed death is true, yet you have not prepared for it. You busy yourselves with the faults of others, but you do not look at your own faults. You eat the sustenance that Allaah provides for you, yet you are not grateful to Him. You bury your dead, but you have not heeded its lesson.”

We ask Allaah to grant us the ability to please Him and to bestow upon us His mercy.

Footnotes:

[1] He is the Imaam, the haafidh, the zaahid (abstainer from this world), the admonisher Abul-Faraj ’Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Ahmad Rajab as-Salamee better known as Ibn Rajab al-Hanbalee. Ibn Fahd said about him, “The Imaam, the haafidh, the hujjah (proof), the knowledgeable Scholar, the dependable one. He was one of the Scholars who shunned the world, and one of the Imaams and worshippers. He was an instructive Scholar from the Scholars of Hadeeth – and an admonisher of the Muslims.” Ibn Fahd also said, “He – rahimahullaahu ta’aalaa – was a pious Imaam who shunned the world. Hearts inclined towards him with love, and the different sects accepted him. His sittings for advising the general people were of great benefit and used to open up the hearts.” As-Suyootee said about him, “The Imaam, the haafidh, the Scholar of Hadeeth, the admonisher ’Abdur-Rahmaan…” He learnt from some of the major Scholars of his time, such as Ibnul-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, al-Haafidh al-’Iraaqee, Ibnun-Naqeeb and others. He authored many books in the field of tafseer, hadeeth, biography and history, raqaa‘iq (heart-affecting matters) and also in fiqh. He is enumerated as one of the great scholars of Fiqh of the Hanbalee madbhab – as is proven by his excellent book: al-Qawaa’idul-Kubraa fil-Furoo’ – about which Ibn Muflih said, “It is a proof about his complete knowledge of the madhhab.” And al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar also spoke with similar praises about the book. He – rahimahullaah – died in the year 795H.

For a complete biography, refer to: Inbaa‘ul-Ghamr bi Anbaa‘il-’Umar (3/175-176) and ad-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-Salaah (p. 57-62).

[2] Saheeh: Related by Ibn Sa’d in at-Tabaqaat (1/23) in mursal form. However, it has been related in connected form by Ibn Maajah (no. 3312) and al-Haakim (3/47) from Aboo Mas’ood radiyallaahu ’anhu. Shaykh al-Albaanee authenticated it in as-Saheehah (no. 1876).

[3] Related by al-Bukhaaree (6/345), ad-Daarimee (2/320) and others, from ’Umar Ibnul-Khattaab radiyallaahu ’anhu.

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

[5] Saheeh: Related by Ibn Sa’d in at-Tabaqaat (1/371) and Shaykh al-Albaanee authenticated it in Saheehul-Jaami’ (no. 8). Refer also to Takhreejul-Ihyaa‘ (2/4) of al-Haafidh al-’Iraaqee.

[6] Hasan: Related by al-Baghawee in Sharhus-Sunnah (no. 4683) and Abush-Shaykh in Akhlaaqun-Nabee (no. 213), and al-Haythamee 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 ’Abbaas – which is related by al-Baghawee (no. 3684) and Abush-Shaykh (no. 213-214).

[8] Da’eef Jiddan: Related by Ahmad (5/254) and at-Tirmidhee (no. 2348), from Aboo Umaamah radiyallaahu ’anhu. It was declared weak by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Da’eeful-Jaami’ (no. 3704).

 

The Conditional Promise – Al-Ibaanah Magazine

Al-Ibaanah Magazine, Issue No.1 – Dhul-Qa’dah 1415H / April 1995

Allaah has promised to those of you who believe and do righteous actions, that He will certainly grant them succession (khilaafah) upon the earth, as He granted it to those before them; and that He will grant them authority to practice their Religion, the one that He has chosen for them and He will change their state from one of fear in which they lived, to one of peace and security. They will worship Me alone, not associating any partner with Me.  But whosoever disbelieves after this, then they are the rebellious ones.” [Soorah Noor 24:55]

’Ubayy Ibn Ka’b relates that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said: “Give glad-tidings to this Ummah of high position, establishment upon this earth, victory and a lofty status in this world and in the Hearafter.” [1]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (d.774H) – rahimahullaah – said: [2]

“This is a promise from Allaah – the Most High – to His Messenger, may the Prayers of Allaah and the peace be upon him, that he will make this Ummah the khulafaa‘ (successors) upon the earth.  Meaning that they will be the leaders and rulers over mankind, by whom nations will be corrected and to whom mankind will submit.  And that He will replace their state of fear in which they lived, to one of security and dominion.  Allaah – the Blessed, the Most High – has fulfilled His promise, and to Him belongs all praise and thanks.  For the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) did not die until Allaah made him conquer Makkah, Khaybar, al-Bahrain, the remaining lands of the Arabian peninsula and the whole of Yemen.  He took jizyah (protection tax) from the Magians of Hajar and from the people of the surrounding areas of Syria.  The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) received gifts from Heraclius – the king of Rome; the ruler of Egypt and Alexandria – the Mawqawqis; the kings of Oman; and Negus, the king of Ethiopia, who became king after Ashamah died – may Allaah have mercy upon him and grant him nobility.

After the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) died, Allaah having chosen for him the reward that is with Him, Aboo Bakr as-Siddeeq was then established as his Khaleefah (successor), taking charge unwaveringly.  Aboo Bakr took the Arabian peninsula and put it in order.  He sent forth armies of Islaam to the lands of Persia, under the command of Khaalid Ibnul-Waleed (radiyallaahu ’anhu).  They conquered parts of these lands, slaying a number of it’s inhabitants.  A second army was sent to the lands of Syria, under the leadership of Aboo ’Ubaydah (radiyallaahu ’anhu) and those who followed him.  A third army was sent to Egypt under the leadership of ’Amr Ibnul-’Aas (radiyallaahu ’anhu).  It was during his time that the armies sent to Syria conquered the cities of Busra, Damascus and it’s environs from the land of Hawraan and it’s surroundings.  Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic – took the soul of Aboo Bakr – choosing for him the reward which is with Him.  Allaah blessed the people of Islaam by inspiring as-Siddeeq to chose ’Umar al-Faarooq as a successor.

’Umar then stood up, taking charge completely.  The heavens will not witness – after the Prophets – anyone like ’Umar, whether in the strength of his reign, or in the fulfillment of justice.  It was during his time that the conquest of Syria was completed; as was that of Egypt to it’s farthest reaches, as well as the province of Persia.  He destroyed Kisraa (Chosroes) and humiliated him to the utmost, forcing him to retreat back to the farthest reaches of his kingdom.  Similarly, ’Umar destroyed Qaysar (Caesar), wrestling from his hands the lands of Syria and bottling him up in Constantinople.  He spent the wealth (conquered from them) in the path of Allaah – as the Messenger of Allaah had informed and promised – may the most complete salaam and most purest salaat be bestowed upon the Messenger from his Lord.

Then there was the rule of ’Uthmaan, under whom the possessions of Islaam extended to the furthest eastern and western reaches of the earth.  The lands of the west were conquered to the farthest reaches of what lies there – Andulus, Cyprus, the lands of Qayrawaan and the lands of Ceuta – which is next to the all encompassing ocean; and to the farthest lands of China.  Kisraa was killed and his kingdom totally vanquished.  The cities of al-’Iraaq, Khuraasaan and Ahwaaz were conquered and the Muslims slew a large number of Turks.  Allaah having humiliated the Turks and their great king Kha-Khaan.  The wealth of the east and the west was collected and brought to the Ameerul-Mu‘mineen (leader of the Believers) ’Uthmaan Ibn ’Affaan (radiyallaahu ’anhu).  All of this came about as a result of his recitation, study and gathering the Ummah upon the preservation of the Qur‘aan.

It is confirmed in the Saheeh that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said: “Indeed Allaah gathered up the earth for me, so that I saw it’s east and it’s west.  Indeed the dominion of my Ummah will reach what was gathered up for me, from it.” [3] We fluctuate in what Allaah has promised us with and in what His Messenger has promised.  Allaah and His Messenger have spoken the truth.  We ask Allaah to grant us eemaan (faith) in Him and His Messenger, and that we establish gratitude of what Allaah has given us, in the matter that He is please with.

’Umar related to us, that Sufyaan related to us from ’Abdul-Malik Ibn ’Umayr, from Jaabir Ibn Samurah who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) say: “The affair of the people will continue to be upright whilst twelve men are in charge in of them.”  The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) then said something which I could not make not.  So I asked my father: What did the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) say?  He replied: “They are all from Quraysh.”  This narration is also narrated by al-Bukhaaree. [4]

In this narration there exists a clear evidence that all twelve of these man must be leaders from Quraysh.  They are not the twelve imaams claimed by the Shaee’ah, because many of them had no leadership over the Muslims.  As for these twelve, they will be from Quraysh and they will be just rulers.  The glad-tidings of their appearance have also occurred in the previous scriptures.  Furthermore, it is not necessary that they succeed one another.  Rather, their appearance in the Ummah could be successive or separate.  Four of them were in order, namely, Aboo Bakr, ’Umar, ’Uthmaan and ’Alee (radiyallaahu ’anhum).  After these four there was a gap.  Others amongst the twelve appeared as and when Allaah willed.  It is possible that some of them will appear during a time which only Allaah – the Most High – knows.  Amongst them will be the Mahdee whose name will be that of the Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), and his kunyaa (nickname) that of his kunyaa.  He will fill the earth with justice as it is filled with tyranny and injustice.

Imaam Ahmad, Aboo Daawood, at-Tirmidhee and an-Nisaa‘ee have all reported from the hadeeth of Sa’eed Ibn Juhmaan, from Safeenah – the mawlaa (master) of the Messenger of Allaah (sallalaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said: “The Khilaafah (successorship) after me will last for thirty years.  Then kingship will appear.” [5]

Indeed ar-Rabee’ Ibn Anas has said that Abul-’Aaliyah has remarked concerning this aayah: “The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and his Companions were in Makkah for ten years afraid, secretly calling to Allaah and His worship alone, He has no partner.  They remained in such a state that they were ordered to migrate to al-Madeenah.  They were ordered by Allaah to fight.  Whilst they were (in al-Madeenah) they were in constant fear (of attack).  They would go to sleep armed and awake armed.  They remained patient upon that state for as long as Allaah willed, until one day when one individual from amongst the Companions said: “O Messenger of Allaah!  Will we remain in a state of fear until the end of time?  Will there not come a time when we will be in a state of security, so that we may lay down our weapons?”  The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) then said: “Be patient for a while, for there will come a time when any man from amongst you will sit in a crowd unharmed.”  Allaah sent down this aayah and made his Prophet victorious over the Arabian Peninsula.  The Companions of the Prophet were now safe and they could lay down their weapons.  Allaah – the Most High – then took the soul of His Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and the Muslims remained in such a state during the leadership of Aboo Bakr, ’Umar and ’Uthmaan; until the Muslims fell into what they fell into from discord.  So fear entered into their hearts and they took armies and guards for protection.  For they had changed, so Allaah changed their state.  One of the Salaf has remarked that the khilaafah of both Aboo Bakr and ’Uthmaan was true.  He then recited this aayah, al-Baraa‘ Ibn ’Aazib has said: “This aayah was revealed whilst we were in a state of extreme fear.”

This noble aayah is similar in meaning to His statement – the Most High – :

And remember when you were few and were reckoned weak in the land and were afraid that men might kidnap you, but He (i.e. Allaah)provided a safe place for you, and strengthened you with His help and provided you good things so that you might be grateful.” [Sooratul-Anfaal 8:26]

And the statement of Allaah – the Most High – : “As he granted that to those before them.”  This aayah is similar to what Allaah said about Moosaa (’alayhis-salaam) that he said to his people:

“It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you succeed (the present rulers) upon earth, so that He may see how you act.” [Sooratul-A’raaf 7:129]

Allaah – the Most High – said:

And We wished to confer a favour upon those who were oppressed in the land; and to make them leaders and to make them heirs; and to establish them upon earth...” [Soorah Qasas 28:5-6]

And Allaah’s statement: “And that He will change their state after the fear in which they lived to one of security and peace.”  This is similar to what the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said to ’Adee Ibn Haatim when ’Adee came as a delegation to the Messenger.  The Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said: “Do you know Hira?”  ’Adee replied: ‘I have not seen it, but I have heard of it.”  The Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) then said: “By Him in Whose Hand is my soul!  Allaah will complete this matter (i.e. Islaam) until a woman will be able to travel from Hira, until she goes around the House not needing the protection of anyone.  And you will surely conquer the treasure of Kisraa Ibn Hurmuz.”  I (i.e. ’Adee) replied: “Kisraa Ibn Hurmuz!”  The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) replied: “Yes!  Kisraa Ibn Hurmuz.  Money will be spent until no one will accept it.”  ’Adee Ibn Haatim said: “Now here is the woman leaving from Hira until she goes around the House.  And I was from amongst those who conquered the treasure of Kisraa.  And by Him in Whose Hand is my soul!  The third matter will come to pass because the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) has said so.”

Ahmad reports upon ’Ubayy Ibn Ka’b who said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) has said: “Give glad tidings to this Ummah of ease of life, exalted stature, establishment of their Religion, and victory and leaderhsip upon the earth.  Whoever does acts of the Hereafter for this world, he will have no portion of the Hereafter.” [6]

And the statement of Allaah: “They worship Me alone and do not associate anything with Me.”  Ahmad reports upon Mu’aadh who said: ‘I was sitting behind the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and I except the end of his saddle.  The Prophet said to me: “O Mu’aadh Ibn Jabal!”  I said: “Here I am O Messenger of Allaah in your service.”  The Prophet said: “Do you know what is the Right of Allaah upon His servants?”  I said: “Allaah and His Messenger know best.”  He said: “The Right of Allaah upon the servants is that they worship Him and do not associate anything with Him.”  The Prophet continued to ride on for some time and then he said to me: “O Mu’aadh Ibn Jabal!”  I said: “Here I am O Messenger of Allaah at your service.”  The Prophet said: “Do you know what is the right of the servants upon Allaah if they worship Him alone?”  I said: “Allaah and His Messenger know best.”  He said: “The right of the servants upon Allaah is that He does not punish whomsoever does not associate anything with Him.”  This narration is also narrated in the two Saheehs. [7]

And the statement of Allaah: “But whoever disbelieved after this, and they are the rebellious ones.”  Meaning, whoever steps outside my obedience after that promise, has stepped outside the Command of His Lord, and sufficient is that as a sin.  Since the Companions of the Prophet (radiyallaahu ’anhum) were the most upright and obedient of the people after the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) in fulfilling the commands of Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic – their victory was accordingly.  The Companions of the Prophet made the Word of Allaah supreme, so Allaah Himself aided them in such a manner that He subdued for them the rest of mankind, as well as their lands.

When the people after the Prophet’s Companions fell short in adhering to some of Allaah’s Commands, their victory accordingly fell short.  It is, however, affirmed in both Saheehs (i.e. al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) in many ways from the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) that he said: “There shall not cease to be a group from my Ummah, victorious upon the truth, not being harmed by those who abandoned them or go against them, until Allaah’s favour comes, and they are like that.” [8] And in a narration: “Until the last of them fights the Anti-Christ (Maseehud-Dajjaal).” [9] All of these narrations are authentic and there is no contradiction between them.”

Imaam ’Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Naasir as-Sa’dee (d.1376H) said:

“This is one of His true promises whose meaning and accomplishment has been witnessed.  He promised those who came with eemaan (faith) and ’amalus-saalih (righteous and correct actions) from this Ummah, that He will cause them to be successors upon this earth, so that they are the ones in authority and in charge of the affairs.  Further, that He would establish their Religion – that which He was pleased with for them, which is the Religion of Islaam, which gained ascendancy over all other religions.  He was pleased with it for this Ummah, due to its excellence, nobility and favours upon it, in that He enabled them to establish it, and to establish it’s laws and prescriptions – relating both to manifest and non-manifest matters – upon themselves and upon others, so that the people of other religions and the rest of the disbelievers conquered and humbled.

And that He would change their condition of fear to one of security, since it was previously the case that one of them would not be able to manifest his Religion, and they suffered harm and injury from the disbelievers.  The united body of Muslims was very small in number, in comparison to the rest of the people of the earth, who combined to attack them and hope for their downfall.  However, Allaah promised them these things when the aayah was sent down, at a time when they were not witnessing ascendancy and establishment upon this earth, nor the ability to fully establish the Religion of Islaam and full security – such as would enable them to worship Allaah, not associating anything with Him – in a state of not having to fear anyone besides Allaah.

So the first and foremost of this Ummah combined eemaan and righteous and correct action to a degree surpassing everyone else, so He established them in the land and gave them authority over the people, and granted them the conquest of the east and the west.  They attained full security and complete authority and establishment – and this is one of the astounding signs of Allaah.  This applies until the Hour is established – that whenever the Muslims combine eemaan (faith) and righteous and correct action – then that which Allaah promises will certainly occur.  Indeed Allaah only grants that they be overcome by the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and that they suffer humiliation when the Muslims neglect eemaan and righteous and correct action.” [10]

Footnotes:

[1] Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (5/134) and al-Haakim (4/311); and it was authenticated by al-Haafidh al-Mundhiree in Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (1/31).

[2] Tafseer Qur‘aanil-’Adtheem (3/311-313)

[3] Related by Muslim (8/171) and Aboo Daawood (no. 4252), from Thawbaan (radiyallaahu ’anhu).

[4] Related by al-Bukhaaree (6/416), Muslim (6/3-4) and Ahmad (5/101), the wording is from Ahmad.

[5] Saheeh: Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 4646), at-Tirmidhee (2/35) and others.  It was authenticated by at-Tabaree in his I’tiqaad (p. 8), and by al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar in Fathul-Baaree (13/182).

[6] Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (4/134) and al-Haakim (4/311) and it was authenticated by al-Albaanee in Ahkaamul-Janaa‘iz (p. 52).

[7] Related by al-Bukhaaree (6/58) and Muslim (1/232)

[8] Related by Muslim (6/52-53) and at-Tirmidhee (2/36), from Thawbaan (radiyallaahu ’anhu).

[9] Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (4/492), Aboo Daawood (1/388-389) and al-Haakim (4/450), from ’Imraan Ibn Husayn (radiyallaahu ’anhu).  It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no. 1959).

[10] Tayseerul-Kareemir-Rahmaan (4/123)

’Ubayy ibn K’ab relates that the Prophet – sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam – said:

“Give good-tidings to this Ummah of high position, establishment upon this earth, victory and a lofty status in this world and in the Hereafter.”

Related by Ahmad (5/134) and al-Hâkim (4/311) and authenticated by al-Hâfidh al-Mundharî in Targhîb wat-Tarhîb (1/31).

Sunnah & Bidah – A Lengthy explanation of the first three points from “Foundations of the Sunnah “

A Lengthy Explanation of the first three points from “Foundations of the Sunnah ”
Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d.241H)
Source: Al-Ibaanah Magazine, Issue No.1 – Dhul-Qa’dah 1415H / April 1995

Bismillaahir-Rahmaanir-Raheem

THE TEXT:

Shaykh Aboo ’Abdullaah Yahyaa Ibn Abil-Hasan Ibnul-Bannaa narrated to us saying: My father Aboo ’Alee al-Hasan Ibn ’Umar Ibnul-Bannaa related to us saying: Abul-Husayn ’Alee Ibn Muhammad Ibn ’Abdullaah Ibn Bushraan al-Mu’addil related to us, saying: ’Uthmaan Ibn Ahmad Ibn as-Sammaak reported to us, saying: Aboo Muhammad al-Hasan Ibn ’Abdul-Wahhaab, Abun-Nabr narrated to us, reading it to him from his handwritten copy in the month of Rabee’ul-Awwal, in the year two-hundred and ninety three (293H) who said: Aboo Ja’far Muhammad Ibn Sulaymaan al-Munqaree, in Basrah related to us, saying: ’Abdoos Ibn Maalik al-’Attaar narrated to me, saying: [1] I heard Aboo ’Abdullaah Ahmad Ibn Hanbal [2] – rahimahullaah – say:

“The Fundamental Principles of the Sunnah [3] with us [4] are:

Clinging to that which the Companions [5] of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) were upon, taking them as our example to be followed, [6] avoiding innovation; [7] and every innovation is misguidance.” [8]

COMMENTARY:

[1]: This is the isnaad (chain of narration connected to the text) which – just as in the case of the hadeeth of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) – helps ascertain whether or not the statement and the ascription is authentically related back to the one it is being reported from. As regards the importance of the isnaad, then a few narrations from the Scholars of the early generations will be mentioned.

Sufyaan ath-Thawree (d.161H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“The isnaad is the weapon of the Believer. So if he has no weapon, with what will he fight?”[1]

Ibnul-Mubaarak (d.181H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“The isnaad with me is from the Religion. If there were no isnaad, then whosoever wanted would relate whatever they wanted. However, when it is said to him: Who narrated to you? He remains silent.” [2]

As regards the ascription to Imaam Ahmad, then a number of Scholars have agreed to its ascription from ’Abdoos Ibn Maalik al-’Attaar – one of the close students of the Imaam – and from these verifying Scholars are: Ibn Abee Ya’laa in Tabaqaatul-Hanaabilah (1/241-246), al-Laalikaa‘ee in Sharh Usoolul-I’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah (1/158-164) and also Ibnul-Jawzee in Manaaqib Ahmad (p. 222-228).

The text of this brief ’aqeedah was first printed by Daarul-Manaar in al-Mujaahid magazine (no. 28-29, Sha’baan – Ramadaan 1411H); and the original is a manuscript copy, transcribed by the Shaykh and muhaddith, Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaanee, rahimahullaah, in the month of Sha’baan 1374H, from the manuscript copy (no. 68, Q. 10-15) which is housed at the Dhaahiriyyah library in Damascus, Syria. We ask Allaah – the Most High – to grant us the ability to serialize the introduction of this valuable and concise tract, adding to it – for the benefit of the honourable readers – a brief commentary and explanation.

[2]: He is Aboo ’Abdullaah Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Hanbal ash-Shaybaanee – the Imaam of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah in his time. Born in Baghdaad in Rabee’ul-Awwal, 164H, he attended the circles of al-Qaadee Aboo Yoosuf (the student of Abee Haneefah) – rahimahullaah – where he studied fiqh. He left this in favour of hadeeth, which he began to study at the age of thirteen – having already memorized the Qur‘aan at a young age. He traveled extensively acquiring and learning ahaadeeth from over two-hundred and eighty teachers. From them are: Wakee’ Ibnul-Jarraah, Yahyaa Ibn Sa’eed al-Qattaan, ’Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Mahdee, Sufyaan Ibn ’Uyaynah, ash-Shaafi’ee, Yazeed Ibn Haaroon and others – rahimahullaah. He underwent severe torture and trial due to defending the correct ’aqeedah – the ’aqeedah of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah (the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), his Companions and those who followed them in ’aqeedah and manhaj) – being from those who were foremost in clinging to their way, whilst shunning the innovations.

Aboo ’Umayr said: “May Allaah have mercy upon him. There was no one having more patience regarding this world than him, nor anyone more closely resembling those who cam before him, nor anyone more rightfully amongst the righteous. This world was presented to him, but he rejected it, and he expelled innovations.” In his time, he was the Imaam of the people of Hadeeth specifically, and the Muslims in general.” [3]

Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee (d.204H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“I left Baghdaad, and I did not leave behind me a man better, having more knowledge, or greater Fiqh (understanding), nor having greater taqwaa (piety) than Ahmad Ibn Hanbal.”

Ishaaq Ibn Raahawayh (d.238H) said:

“I used to sit with Ahmad and Ibn Ma’een revising ahaadeeth; and I would say: What is the Fiqh (understanding) of it? What is its explanation? So they would remain silent, except for Ahmad.”

Aboo Daawood (d.275H) said:

“The lectures of Ahmad were sittings for the Hereafter. He would not mention in them any worldly affairs; and I never saw him mention this world.”

’Alee Ibnul-Madeenee (d.324H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“Indeed Allaah aided this Religion through Aboo Bakr as-Siddeeq on the day of apostasy, and through Ahmad Ibn Hanbal on the day of the trial.” [4]

Due to these qualities, he became a sign for Ahlus-Sunnah – as Qutaybah Ibn Sa’eed (d.240H) said, “If you see a man loving Ahmad, then know that he is a person of the Sunnah.”

And Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree (d.324H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“Our statement which we hold and take as our Religion is: Clinging to the Book of Allaah, our Lord the Mighty and Majestic, and to the Sunnah of our Prophet, Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), and what is narrated from the Companions, the Taabi’een and the Imaams of Hadeeth. This is what we cling to, and also that to which Aboo ’Abdullaah Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Hanbal – may Allaah enlighten his face, rais up his rank and grant him a magnificent reward – used to say, distancing ourselves from those who oppose his statement. Since he was the noble and complete Imaam, by whom Allaah made the truth clear, and removed the misguidance, and made the minhaaj (methodology) clear, and though whom Allaah annihilated the innovation of the innovators, the deviation of the deviant and the doubts of the doubters. So may Allaah have mercy upon him, the foremost Imaam.” [5]

Taajud-Deen as-Subkee (d.770H) – rahimahullaah – said, “Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree is the foremost of Ahlus-Sunnah and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal…” [6]

Ibraaheem al-Harbee (d.285H) – rahimahullaah – said, “I saw Aboo ’Abdullaah, and it was as if Allaah had gathered for him the knowledge of the earlier people and the later people.”

Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal died in the year 241H.

[3]: The term ‘Sunnah’ here, refers to the principles and foundations of the correct Islaamic ’aqeedah (belief) and manhaj (methodology), since the Salafus-Saalih (pious predecessors) would apply this term to matters of ’aqeedah and manhaj – as can be seen from their books and writings – for example: [i] Kitaabus-Sunnah of Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d.241H); [ii] as-Sunnah of al-Athram (d.273H); [iii] Kitaabus-Sunnah of Aboo Daawood (d.275H) – being part of his Sunan. [iv] Kitaabus-Sunnah of Ibn Abee ’Aasim (d.287H); [v] Kitaabus-Sunnah of ’Abdullaah (d.290H), the son of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal; [vi] as-Sunnah of al-Marwazee (d.292H); [vii] Sareehus-Sunnah of Ibn Jareer at-Tabaree (d.310H); [viii] as-Sunnah of al-Khallaal (d.311H); [ix] Sharhus-Sunnah of al-Barbahaaree (d.329H); [x] as-Sunnah of al-’Asaal (d.349H) and [xi] as-Sunnah of at-Tabaraanee (d.360H).

The term ‘Sunnah’ was employed in this context to differentiate those matters of ’aqeedah and manhaj of the Salafus-Saalih were upon, from that which was innovated by the deviant and misguided sects.

[4]: Meaning, with the Scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah and at the head of them in his time was Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. And in this regard, the way of the Salafus-Saalih was to point out to the people, the true followers and adherents to the Sunnah so that their ’aqeedah and manhaj (methodology) could be learnt and adhered to, as Imaam Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee (d.131H) – rahimahullaah – said, “From the success of a youth, or a non-Arab is that Allaah guides him to a Scholar of the Sunnah.” [7]

And ’Amr Ibn Qays al-Mulaa‘ee (d.143H) said,

“If you see a youth when he begins to sprout, keeping company with Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah then have hope for him. If you see him keeping company with the people of Innovation, then fear for him, because the youth is according to his initial upbringing.” [8]

[5]: Companions: Arabic: Sahaabah, or Ashaab; singular: Sahaabee. As regards the Sharee’ah definition of ‘Sahaabee’ or ‘Companion,’ then:

al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar (d.825H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“The most correct of what I have come across is that a Sahaabee (Companion) is one who met the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) whilst believing in him, and died as a Muslim. So that includes one who lived with him for a long or short time, and those who narrated from him and those who did not, and those who saw him but did not sit with him and those who could not see him due to blindness.” [9]

Imaam an-Nawawee (d.676H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“The correct position is that whosoever accompanied the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), even for an hour, then that person is from his Sahaabah.” [10]

Imaam Ahmad (d.241H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“Every person who accompanied the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), whether for a year, month, a day, or even for an hour, or even just saw him is from his Companions.”[11]

Imaam al-Bukhaaree (d.256H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“H who accompanied the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) or saw him – from the Muslims – then he is from his Companions.” [12]

al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar said in Fathul-Baaree (7/1),

“That which al-Bukhaaree states is the saying of Ahmad and the great majority of the Scholars of Hadeeth.” Some of the proofs that the Scholars have used for this are: The saying of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), “There will come upon the people a time when a group from amongst the people will go off to fight and it will be said to them: Is there any amongst you who has seen the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam)? So they will say: Yes. So victory will be granted to them. So a group will go off to fight and it will be said to them: Is there any amongst you who were the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam)? So they will say: Yes. So victory will be granted to them. Then a group will go off to fight and it will be said to them: Is there any amongst you who have seen the companions of the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam)? So they will say: Yes. So victory will be granted to them.” [13]

The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) also said,

“You will not cease to be upon good as long as there amongst you those who accompanied me. By Allaah! You will not cease to be upon good as long as there are amongst you those who accompanied those who accompanied and saw me.” [14]

So these narrations contain a clear proof that a Muslim seeing the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) is granted virtue and excellence and is established as being from amongst the Companions.

Ibn Katheer (d.774H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“The fact that just seeing him (the Prophet) is enough for one to be called a Companion is clearly stated by al-Bukhaaree, Aboo Zur’ah and others who have written books regarding the names of the Companions – such as Ibn ’Abdul-Barr, Ibn Mandah, Aboo Moosaa al-Madanee, Ibnul-Atheer…” [15]

As regards the statement attributed to the taabi’ee and Imaam Sa’eed Ibnul-Musayyib – rahimahullaah – concerning the definition of a Companion, then this cannot be used as a proof at all. This is because al-Haafidh al-’Iraaqee – rahimahullaah – says, “The third saying is what is related from Sa’eed Ibnul-Musayyib, that he had not used to count someone as being a Companion, except one who accompanied the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) for a year or two and fought along with him in one or two battles. Ibnus-Salaah said, “What is meant by this if it is authentic from him – refers back to what the Scholars of Usool say (i.e. what is meant be companionship language wise). However, this definition contains restrictions, which will mean that we do not count as Companions those such as Jareer Ibn ’Abdullaah al-Bajalee – who obviously does not fulfill these conditions that are made – but such are people about whom we know of no difference of opinion with regards to them being Companions.” I say, this is not authentic from Ibnul-Musayyib, since the isnaad (chain of narration) from him contains Muhammad Ibn ’Umar al-Waaqidee – who is da’eef (weak) in hadeeth.” [16]

[6]: Here the Imaam – rahimahullaah – explains and lays down the signposts for the correct manhaj followed by Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, and that is the methodology of the best and most excellent of mankind, the Companions, then those who followed them (the taabi’een), then those who followed them (the atbaa’ut-taabi’een).

So Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah cling to what the first three generations of Muslims were upon – the Salafus-Saalih – whose excellence has been testified to by the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) in his statement, “The most excellent of mankind is my generation, then those who follow them, then those who follow them.” [17] And he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The most excellent Ummah is the generation which I have been sent in, then those who followed them, then those who followed them.” [18]

As regards to the following generations, then they have not been praised with any specific excellence. Rather, they have, in general, been spoken ill of by the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam). Indeed, in some authentic narrations, after mentioning the excellence of the first three generations, the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “…then there will come a people amongst whom fatness will appear and who will testify without having been asked to do so.” [19] And in another narration, “…then there will come a people in whom you will not find any good.” [20] Also, there occurs in another authentic narration, the wording, “…then there will come a people who will testify without being asked to do so, who make promises but do not keep them, who are treacherous and not trustworthy and fatness will appear amongst them.” [21]

So it is the first three generations – the Salafus-Saalih – whose era has been praised with an excellence, whose path is to be followed and whose understanding of the Religion is to be accepted and affirmed. ’Aa‘ishah – radiyallaahu ’anhaa – said: A man came to the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and said, ‘Who is the most excellent of mankind?’ So the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The generation which I am in, then the second, then the third.” [22]

And it is the first of these generations – the Companions – radiyallaahu ’anhum – who were the foremost in excellence from mankind; since they were: [i] those who learnt the Religion directly from the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and, “Being informed is not like seeing.” [23] [ii] those who knew best and understood the Religion – and this is the root of their excellence – as the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whosoever Allaah intends to show excellence to, He gives him the understanding of the Religion.” [24] [iii] They were those who followed it the best, and [iv] They were the ones who were furthest away from and remained free from innovations. About the excellence of the Salafus-Saalih, and the excellence of those who follow them, and the obligation to follow their path, Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic says,

“Those foremost of those who first migrated and those that helped them and those who follow them in goodness, Allaah is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them gardens underneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.” [Sooratut-Tawbah 9:100]

And Allaah – the Most Perfect – says,

“Whosoever contends with the Messenger, even after guidance has been clearly conveyed to him, and follows a path other than that of the Believers; We shall leave him in the Path he has chosen and land him in Hell, what an evil destination.” [Sooratun-Nisaa‘ 4:115]

Indeed, “This is a clear definition and a decisive proof upon the worshipper, in making following the path of the Believers obligatory. And who were the Believers at the time this aayah was revealed, except the Companions (radiyallaahu ’anhum). Thus, Allaah has threatened those who leave their way and traverse other than their path, with lowliness and humiliation in this world; and a severe punishment in the Hereafter.” [25]

What further adds to the above decisive proofs, and is considered to be the correct explanation of those aayaat, are the ahaadeeth of the Propht (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), “Indeed my Ummah will split up into seventy-three. All of them are in the Fire except one.” It was said, ‘What is the one?’ He said, “The Jamaa’ah.” And in another narration, he said, “That which I and my Companions are upon.” [26]

He – sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam – also said,

“Those of you who survive after me shall see many differences of opinion. So hold fast to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Caliphs after me. Cling to it tightly and beware of newly-invented matters, for every newly-invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is a going astray.” [27]

And the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said,

“The stars are the custodians of the sky, when the stars pass away, that which has been decreed for the sky will come upon it. I am the custodian for my Companions, so when I pass away there will come upon my Companions that which is decreed for them. And my Companions are the custodians for my Ummah, so when my Companions pass away, that which has been decreed upon my Ummah will come upon it.” [28] Below is a summary of the aforementioned proofs:

[i] That the iftiraaq (splitting-up) of the Ummah into various sects – on the basis of differences in ’aqeedah and manhaj – has been foretold.

[ii] All of the various firaq (sects) have been threatened with Hellfire, except those who adhere to the ’aqeedah and the manhaj of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and his Companions, and that is al-Firqatun-Naajiyah (the Saved-Sect) and the Jamaa’ah.

[iii] That the authentic hadeeth about iftiraaq (splitting-up) is an explanation of, and in full agreement with the aayah from Sooratun-Nisaa‘ [4:115] in that all those who, “follow a path other than that of the Believers (the Companions),” have been threatened with Hellfire.

[iv] The obligation to follow the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and his Companions, and that is the way of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, cannot be fulfilled, except by avoiding and shunning innovation and its people.

[v] When differences and innovations arise, it is obligatory to cling to the Sunnah, and also that which the Jamaa’ah have ijmaa’ (consensus and agreement) upon.

[vi] That the Companions were made examples to be followed and were for this Ummah, after the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), the custodians of the correct knowledge, manhaj and ’aqeedah.

[vii] The root of the Companions excellence is in their understanding of and clinging onto the correct ’aqeedah and manhaj and also in their defending it, preserving it, and in their conveying it.

[viii] This is also the root cause for the excellence of those who followed the Companions in the next two generations. So it is binding upon the Muslims to follow the path taken by the Salafus-Saalih, those Muslims who – living in the first three generations – adhered to the ’aqeedah and manhaj, and have been praised with an excellence over and above the rest of mankind.

[ix] Opposing the way of the Salafus-Saalih is considered iftiraaq (splitting-up) and opposing them in matters related to Islaamic manhaj is also considered iftiraaq. So whoever chooses to oppose their knowledge and understanding of the Revelation, has split from them; and has therefore split from the way of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, and has taken one of the forbidden and innovated paths.

Indeed, Ibn Mas’ood (radiyallaahu ’anhu) said,

“Indeed, Allaah looked into the hearts of the servants and found the heart of Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) to be the best of the hearts of the servants. So He chose him for Himself and sent him as a Messenger. Then He looked into the hearts of the servants after Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and found the hearts of the Companions to be the best of the hearts of the servants. So He made them ministers of His Messenger, fighting for His Religion. So whatever the Muslims (i.e. the Companions) hold to be good, then it is good with Allaah, and whatever the Muslims hold to be evil, then it is evil with Allaah.” [29]

Imaam al-Barabahaaree (d.329H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“The foundations upon which the Jamaa’ah is made clear is the Companions of Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam). They are Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, so whoever does not take from them has gone astray and innovated; and every innovation is misguidance and misguidance and its people are in the Fire.” [30]

Indeed, “The truth is that which comes from Allaah the Mighty and Majestic. Th Sunnah is that which the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) laid down, and the Jamaa’ah is that which the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) united upon, in the Caliphate of Aboo Bakr, ’Umar and ’Uthmaan. So he who limits himself to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and that which the Companions were upon, is successful and triumphs over all the people of innovation, is saved and his Religion is preserved – if Allaah wills. Since the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “My Ummah will split up into seventy-three sects,” and he told us that which would be the saved sect, saying, “That which I and my Companions are upon.” So this is the cure, the explanation, the dear affair and the straight and distinct road.” [31]

Ibn Mas’ood (radiyallaahu ’anhu) said,

“The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) drew a line for us and said, “This is the Straight Path of Allaah.” Then he drew lines to its right and its left and said, “These are other paths; upon every one of them is a devil calling towards it.” Then he recited,

“Indeed, this is My Straight Path, so follow it. And do not follow other paths, they will separate you from His Path.” [32]

About the statement of Allaah, “And do not follow other paths,” ad-Daarimee relates in his Sunan (1/68) and al-Bayhaqee relates in al-Madkhal ilas-Sunan (no. 200) that Mujaahid (d.204H) said explaining this aayah, “Innovations and doubts.”

Abul-’Aaliyah (d.90H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“Learn Islaam. Then when you have learnt Islaam, do not turn away from it to the right, nor the left. Rather, be upon the Straight Path and be upon the Sunnah of your Prophet and that which his Companions were upon…And beware of these innovations because they cause enmity and hatred amongst you. Rather, stick to the original state of affairs which was there before they divided.” [33]

[7]: Arabic: Bida’ (singular: Bid’ah). Linguistically, bid’ah means: a newly invented matter. The Sharee’ah definition of bid’ah is: “A newly invented way (beliefs or actions) in the Religion, in imitation to the Sharee’ah (prescribed Law), by which nearness of Allaah is sought, not being supported by an authentic proof; neither in its foundations, nor the manner in which it is performed.” [34]

Imaam ash-Shaatibee (d.777H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“Everyone who follows the mutashaabihaat (those aayaat without a clear meaning), or twists the underlying meanings or gives a meaning to the aayaat not given to it by the Salafus-Saalih, or clings on to the very weak and unauthentic ahaadeeth, or takes that which is apparent as a proof – for every action, statement or belief in agreement with his objetives and intentions, not finding a fundamental proof for understanding it in that manner – then this is the method of deduction and derivation which gives rise to innovations and those who innovate.” [35]

Ibn ’Abdul-Haadee (d.745H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“It is not permissible to invent an interpretation about an aayah or a Sunnah which was not there in the time of the Salaf, nor did they have any knowledge of it, nor explain it to the Ummah. Since this would mean that the Salaf were ignorant of the truth in this matter and failed to reach it, whereas the late-coming opponent is somehow guided to the truth!” [36]

Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim (d.756H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“Inventing an explanation with regards to the Book of Allaah – to which the Salaf and the Scholars ar in opposition – necessitates one of two things; [i] either the explanation in itself a mistake, or [ii] that the sayings of the Salaf which run contrary to it are in error! And no one with an ounce of intellect would doubt that the one whose saying is in opposition to that of the Salaf is the one who is mistaken and in error.” [37]

And avoiding bida’ (innovations) is one of the great usool (foundations) of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, and it involves: [i] keeping away from them; [ii] having hatred for them; [iii] warning the people about them; [iv] clarifying them to the people so that they do not fall into them; [v] refuting the innovators.

Imaam as-Saaboonee (d.449H) said about Ahlus-Sunnah,

“They follow the Salafus-Saalih – the Imaams and Scholars of the Muslims – and they cling to the firm Religion that they clung to and the firm truth. And they hate Ahlul-Bid’ah (people of innovation) who innovate into the Religion that which is not from it. They do not love them and they do not keep company with them. They do not listen to their sayings, nor sit with them, nor argue with them about the Religion, nor debate with them. Rather, they protect their ears from their futility – things which if they pass through the ears and settle in the hearts – will cause harm and will cause doubts and wicked ideas to appear. And concerning this, Allaah the Mighty and Majestic sent down:

“And when you see people engaged in vain discourse, then turn away from them unless they turn to different theme.” [Sooratul-An’aam 6:68].” [38]

Imaam ash-Shawakaanee (d.1255H) said,

“And this aayah contains a severe reprimand for those who allow people to sit with the innovators, those who twist the Words of Allaah, play around with His Book, and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam). And refer them back to their own misleading desires and wicked innovations. Since, if he is unable to reprimand them and change them from what they are upon, then at the very least, he should avoid sitting with them – and that is easy for him, not difficult. And the innovators may make use of his presence with them – even though he may be free from their mistakes – through a doubt by which they will beguile the common people, in which case his presence will cause an extra evil, in addition to just listening to their evil.” [39]

The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Indeed, Allaah does not accept the repentance of an innovator, until he ceases from the innovation.” [40] And he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Every innovation is misguidance and going astray.” [41] And he also said, “Whosoever innovates, or accommodates an innovator, then upon him is the curse of Allaah, the Angels and the whole of mankind.” [42]

Sufyaan ath-Thawree – rahimahullaah – said,

“Innovations are more beloved to Iblees than sin. Since a sin may be repented from, but innovation is not repented from.” [43] The following narrations will highlight – if Allaah wills – the manhaj (methodology) adopted by our Salafus-Saalih with regards to the mubtadi’een (innovators). A man said to ’Abdullaah Ibn ’Umar, ‘Najdah (a man from the Khawaarij) says such and such.’ So Ibn ’Umar prevented himself from listening for fear of that some of it should enter into his heart. [44]

Imaam al-Hasan al-Basree (d.110H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“Do not sit with the people of innovations and desires, nor argue with them, nor listen to them.” [45]

Asmaa‘ Bint ’Ubayd said: Two of the people of vain desires and innovations entered upon Ibn Seereen (d.110H), and said, “O Abaa Bakr, may we speak with you?” So he said, “No!” They said, “May we recite an aayah?” He from the Book of Allaah said, “No, indeed either you must get up and leave me, or I will get up and leave.” So said, “O Abaa Bakr, what harm would they left, so some of the people it have done to you, for them to recite an aayah from the Book of Allaah?” He said, “I feared that they would read an aayah to me and distort it, and that would remain in my heart.” [46]

An innovator asked Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee (d.131H), “O Abaa Bakr, may I ask you about a word?’ He turned away and indicated with his hand, “No, not even half of a word.” [47]

Ibraaheem Ibn Maysirah (d.132H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“He who honours an innovator has assisted him in the demolition of Islaam.” [48]

Aboo Qilaabah (d.140H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“Do not sit with the people of innovation, because I do not feel secure that they will not drown you in their misguidance and make part of what you used to know unclear to you.”[49]

Ibn ’Awn (d.150H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“Whosoever sits with an innovator is worse than him.” [50]

It was said to Imaam al-Awzaa’ee (d.157H) – rahimahullaah, ‘A person says, ‘I sit with Ahlus-Sunnah and I sit with the innovators.’ So al-Awzaa’ee said, ‘This person desires to fluctuate between the truth and falsehood.” [51] Commenting upon this statement, Ibn Battah said, “Indeed, al-Awzaa’ee has spoken the truth. And I say, indeed this person does not know the truth from falsehood, nor faith from disbelief.” [51]

Sufyaan ath-Thawree (d.164H) – rahimahullaah – said, “Whosoever listens to an innovator has left the protection of Allaah and is entrusted to the innovation.” [52]

And al-Fudayl Ibn ’Iyaad (d.187H) – rahimahullaah – said, “Do not sit with an innovator, for I fear that curses will descend upon you.” [53]

Imaam Maalik (d.197H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“How evil are the people of innovation, we do not give them salaam.” [54]

Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee (d.197H) – rahimahullaah – said, “That a person meets Allaah with every sin except Shirk is better than meeting Him upon any one of the innovated beliefs.”[55]

Aboo Daawood as-Sijjistaanee (d.275H) – rahimahullaah – said,

I said to Aboo ’Abdullaah Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, “If I see a man from the people of the Sunnah sitting with a man from the people of innovation, should I speak with him?” He said, “No, you should first inform him that the one whom you saw him with is a person of innovation. Either he will cease speaking to the innovator, so continue speaking with him, or if not, then consider him to be like him. Ibn Mas’ood said that a person is like his friend.” [56]

Indeed, the people of knowledge throughout the ages continued warning the masses against the innovators and considered this matter important enough to dedicate chapters in their various books about this. For example:

Aboo Daawood placed a chapter in his Sunan (4/197), called: “Chapter: Turning away from the innovators and having hatred for them.”

Al-Haafidh al-Mundhiree (d.656H) – rahimahullaah – placed a chapter in at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (3/14) called: “Deterrent against loving the people of innovation, since a person will be with those whom he loves.”

Imaam an-Nawawee (d.676H) – rahimahullaah – says in al-Adhkaar (p.323), “Chapter: Disassociating from the people of innovation and sin.”

Imaam al-Bayhaqee (d.458H) – rahimahullaah – said in al-I’tiqaad (p.236), “Chapter: The prohibition from sitting with the people of innovation.”

Imaam al-Laalikaa‘ee (d.418H) said in Sharh Usoolul-I’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah (1/128), “What is related from the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) with respect to the forbiddance of debating with the innovators.”

Imaam al-Baghawee (d.516H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Indeed the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) informed about the division in this Ummah, and the manifestation of desires and innovations in it. And he designated salvation for those who follow his Sunnah and the Sunnah of his Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them. So it is upon the Muslim, that if he sees a man having something from innovations and desires in belief, or something neglected from the Sunnah, that he makes Hijrah (migration) from him, and he frees himself from him, and abandons him in life and death. So he must not greet him if he meets him, and he must not answer him if he (i.e. the innovator) begins the greeting, until he abandons his innovation and returns to the truth…So verily the hijrah from the people of desires and innovation continues until they repent.’’ [57]

Qaadee Aboo Ya’laa (d.333H) – rahimahullaah – said in Hajarul-Mubtadi’ (p. 32), “There is ijmaa’ (consensus) from the Companions and the taabi’een as regards disassociating and cutting-off from the innovators.”

It is also necessary to mention here, the distinction that the Scholars make between a newly-invented matter being bid’ah (innovation) and passing a judgement upon the one who is involved in it that he is a mubtadi’ (innovator).

[8]: Just as the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said in his sermons, “…and every innovation is misguidance and all that misguides, misguides to the Fire.” [59]

And ’Abdullaah Ibn ’Umar (radiyallaahu ’anhu) said,

“Every innovation is misguidance, even if the people think it is good.” [60]

Imaam al-Barbahaaree (d.329H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“Beware of small innovations, because they will grow until they become large. This was the case with every innovation introduced into this Ummah. It began as something small, bearing resemblance to the truth, which is why those who entered into it were misled and then were unable to leave it. So it grew and became the religion that they followed, and thus deviated from the Straight Path and left Islaam. And may Allaah have mercy upon you! Examine carefully the speech of everyone you hear from in your time particularly. So do not act in haste, and do not enter into anything from it until you ask and see: Did any of the Companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) speak about it, or any of the Scholars? So if you find a narration from them about it, cling to it, do not go beyond it for anything and do not give precedence to anything over it and thus fall into the Fire.”[61]

Imaam al-Hasan al-Basree said,

“The Sunnah is – by Him besides whom none has the right to be worshipped – between those who exceed the limits and those who fall short. So be patient upon it, may Allaah have mercy upon you. For indeed, Ahlus-Sunnah were a minority from those who preceded and shall be a minority from those to come. They did not accompany the people of excessiveness when they exceeded, nor the people of innovation when they innovated. Rather, they persevered upon the Sunnah, until they met their Lord.” [62]

In summary, two major principles of manhaj – with regards to the ’aqeedah of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah – have been covered in the first part of this serialization: Firstly, “The source for the ’aqeedah is: the Book of Allaah, the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and the ijmaa’ (consensus) of the Salafus-Saalih.” Secondly, “Every newly invented matter in the Religion is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Fire.” [63]

Footnotes:

[1] Related by Ibn Hibbaan in al-Majrooheen (1/27)

[2] Related by at-Tirmidhee in al-’Ilal (4/388), Ibn Hibbaan in al-Majrooheen (1/18) an al-Khateeb in al-Kifaayah (no. 393).

[3] For a comprehensive biography of the imaam, refer to Manaaqib Ahmad of Ibnul-Jawzee; and also Siyar A’laamun-Nubalaa‘ (11/177-358) of adh-Dhahabee – from which the above biography and most of the following narrations have been taken.

[4] Tadhkiratul-Huffaadh (2/432) of adh-Dhahabee. The trial mentioned here is the trial of torture and persecution that Imaam Ahmad, whilst refuting the kufr (disbelief) of those who declared that the Qur‘aan was created, and standing firm upon the correct belief that the Qur‘aan is the Word of Allaah, uncreated. An explanation of this matter will come in its appropriate place, if Allaah wills.

[5] al-Ibaanah ’an Usoolid-Diyaanah (no. 24) of Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree.

[6] Tabaqaatush-Shaafi’iyyatul-Kubraa (2/250)

[7] Related by al-Laalikaa‘ee in Sharh Usoolul-I’tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah (no. 30)

[8] Related by Ibn Battah in al-Ibaanah (p. 133)

[9] al-Isaabah (1/4-5) of al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar

[10] Sharh Saheeh Muslim (16/85) of an-Nawawee

[11] al-Kifaayah fee ’Ilmir-Riwaayah (p. 99) of al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee

[12] Saheehul-Bukhaaree (7/1 – with Fath) of Imaam al-Bukhaaree

[13] Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 3649) and Muslim (no. 3456) from Aboo Sa’eed al-Khudree (radiyallaahu ’anhu)

[14] Related by Ibn Abee Shaybah in al-Musannaf (no. 3242) from Waathilah (radiyallaahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by Ibn Hajar in Fathul-Baaree (7/7) saying, “It’s isnaad is hasan.”

[15] Mukhtasar ’Uloomul-Hadeeth (p. 174) of Ibn Katheer

[16] Fathul-Mugheeth (p. 346) of al-Haafidh al-’Iraaqee

[17] Related by al-Bukharee (no. 2652) and Muslim (no. 2533) from ’Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (radiyallaahu ’anhu)

[18] Related by Muslim (no. 2534) from Aboo Hurayrah (radiyallaahu ’anhu)

[19] Saheeh: Related by at-Tirmidhee (no. 2334), Ibn Hibbaan (no. 2285) and others, from ’Imraan Ibn Husayn (radiyallaahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee Silsilatul-Ahaadeethus-Saheehah (no. 699)

[20] Hasan: Related by at-Tabaraanee from Ibn Mas’ood (radiyallaahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Saheehul-Jaami’ (no. 3293)

[21] Related by Muslim (7/186) and Aboo Daawood (no. 4657) from ’Imraan Ibn Husayn.

[22] Related by Muslim (no. 2536)

[23] Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (1/215) from ’Abdullaah Ibn ’Abbaas (radiyallaahu ’anhumaa)

[24] Related by al-Bukhaaree (1/25) and at-Tahaawee in Mushkilul-Aathaar (2/278), from Mu’aawiyah (radiyallaahu ’anhu).

[25] as-Sabeel ilaa Manhaj Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah (p. 16)

[26] The first hadeeth is mentioned by Aboo Daawood (no. 4598) and ad-Daarimee (2/249) and is Saheeh, and the second is related by at-Tirmidhee (no. 2792) and al-Haakim (1/128-129) and it is hasan. Shaykh al-Albaanee has authenticated them both in Silsilatul-Ahaadeethus-Saheehah (no. 204-205).

[27] Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (4/126), Aboo Daawood (no. 4607) and Ibn Maajah (no. 43), from ’Irbaad Ibn Saariyah (radiyallaahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar in Takhreej Ahaadeeth Mukhtasar Ibnul-Haajib (1/137).

[28] Related by Muslim (16/82) and Ahmad (4/398), from Aboo Moosaa al-Ash’aree (radiyallaahu ’anhu)

[29] Related by Ahmad (no. 3600) and at-Tiyaalisee (no. 23). It was authenticated by al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar in ad-Diraayah (2/187), as did as-Sakhaawee in al-Maqaasidul-Hasanah (no. 959)

[30] Kitaab Sharhus-Sunnah (no. 2) of Imaam al-Barbahaaree

[31] Kitaab Sharhus-Sunnah (no. 82)

[32] Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (1/435), an-Nisaa‘ee (7/49) and ad-Daarimee (1/67-68). It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in his checking to Kitaabus-Sunnah (no. 16-17) of Ibn Abee ’Aasim.

[33] Related by Ibn Battah in al-Ibaanah (no. 136) and Aboo Nu’aym in Hilyatul-Awliyaa‘ (2/218)

[34] al-I’tisaam (1/37) of the Imaam, the Scholar of usool, ash-Shaatibee

[35] al-I’tisaam (1/321) of ash-Shaatibee

[36] as-Saarimul-Munkee (p. 427) of Ibn ’Abdul-Haadee

[37] Mukhtasar Sawaa’iqul-Mursalah (2/128) of Ibnul-Qayyim

[38] Risalah fee I’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah Ashaabul-Hadeeth (p. 100) of Imaam as-Saaboonee

[39] Fathul-Qadeer (2/218) of ash-Shawkaanee

[40] Saheeh: Related by at-Tabaraanee in al-Awsat (no. 4360) and others. It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Silsilatul-Ahaadeethus-Saheehah (no. 1620)

[41] Saheeh: Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 4607), at-Tirmidhee (no. 2676) and others, and al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar authenticated it in Takhreejul-Ahaadeeth Ibnul-Haajib (1/137).

[42] Related by al-Bukhaaree (12/41), Muslim (9/140) and the hadeeth is general, as has been duly explained by al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar in Fathul-Baaree (13/281).

[43] Related by al-Laalikaa‘ee (no. 238)

[44] Related by al-Laalikaa‘ee (no. 199)

[45] Related by ad-Daarimee in his Sunan (1/121) and Ibn Battah in al-Ibaanatul-Kubraa (2/444)

[46] Related by ad-Daarimee in his Sunan (1/109)

[47] Fathul-Qadeer (2/128) of ash-Shawkaanee

[48] Related by al-Laalikaa‘ee (1/139)

[49] Related by al-Bayhaqee in al-I’tiqaad (p. 118) and ’Abdullaah Ibn Imaam Ahmad in as-Sunnah (p. 18).

[50] Related by Ibn Battah in al-Ibaanatul-Kubraa (no. 446)

[51] Related by Ibn Battah (1/456)

[52] Related by Aboo Nu’aym in al-Hilyah (7/26) and Ibn Battah (no. 444)

[53] Related by al-Laalikaa‘ee (no. 262) and Ibn Battah (no. 441)

[54] Related by al-Baghawee in Sharhus-Sunnah (1/234)

[55] Related by al-Bayhaqee in al-I’tiqaad (p. 158)

[56] Related by Ibn Abee Ya’laa in Tabaqaatul-Hanaabilah (1/60) and Ibn Muflih in Aadaabish-Shar’iyyah (1/263)

[57] Related by al-Baghawee in Sharhus-Sunnah (1/224)

[59] Saheeh: Related by an-Nisaa‘ee (1/224), from Jaabir (radiyallaahu ’anhu), and declared authentic by Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah in Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (3/58).

[60] Related by al-Laalikaa‘ee (no. 126), Ibn Battah (no. 205), al-Bayhaqee in al-Madkhal ilas-Sunan (no. 191) and Ibn Nasr in as-Sunnah (no. 70). This narration refutes the concept of bid’ah hasanah (good innovation) with regards to beliefs and worship, and a more detailed explanation of this will come in a later issue – if Allaah wills.

[61] Kitaab Sharhus-Sunnah (no. 7-8) of al-Barbahaaree

[62] Related by ad-Daarimee in his Sunan (1/71-72)

[63] Mujmal Usool Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah fil-’Aqeedah (p. 7-9) of Dr. Naasir al-’Aql

Methodology of the Saved Sect : Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Jameel Zaynoo

By Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Jameel Zaynoo [1]
Minhâj al-Firqatun-Nâjiyah wat-Tâ‘ifat al-Manrûrah (pp.6-17)
Al-Ibaanah Magazine, Issue No.3 – Dhul-Qa’dah 1416H / April 1996[1]

Allaah – the Most High – said,“And hold fast altogether to the Rope of Allaah and do not become divided.” [2]

[2] Allaah – the Most High – said,

And do not be of those who commit Shirk (associate partners with Allaah), those who split-up their Religion and become sects; each sect rejoicing in what is with them.” [3]

[3] The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “I advise you to have taqwaa of Allaah and to hear and to obey, even if an Abyssinian slave becomes your leader. Those of you who live long after me will see a lot of differences, so hold fast to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs after me. Cling to it tightly and beware of newly-invented matters, for every newly invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance, and all misguidance is in the Fire.” [4]

[4] He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam also said, “Indeed, the people of the Book before you split-up into seventy-two sects. And this nation will split-up into seventy-three sects, seventy two are in the Fire and one is in Paradise .” [5] And in another narration, “All of them are in the Fire except one.” It was asked, ‘Who is that one?’ He replied, “That which I and my Companions are upon.” [6]

[5] Ibn Mas’ood – radiyallaahu ’anhu – said, [7] Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) drew a line for us and then said, “This is Allaah’s Path.” Then he drew lines to its right and its left, and said, “These are differing paths, upon each of them there is a Shaytaan (devil) calling to it.” Then he recited, “And verily this is My Path, so follow it, and do not follow other paths for they will separate you away from His Path.” [8]

[6] Shaykh ’Abdul-Qaadir al-Jeelaanee (d.561H) said, “As for al-Firqatun-Naajiyah (the Saved-Sect) it is Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, and there is no name for Ahlus-Sunnah except one – and that is Ashaabul-Hadeeth (the People of Hadeeth).” [9]

[7] Allaah – the One free from all defects, the Most High – orders us to hold fast altogether to the Noble Qur‘aan; and not to be of the mushriks (those who associate partners with Allaah in that which is particular to Him) who split-up their Religion and become shee’an (sects) and hizbs (parties). And the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) informed us that the Jews and the Christians will be divided into many sects and that the Muslims will split-up even more. And that these sects will be fitting for entry into the Fire, due to their deviations and their being far from the Book of their Lord and the Sunnah of their Messenger. And that only one sect will be saved from the Fire and enter Paradise – and that is the Jamaa’ah; those who cling to the Book and the authentic Sunnah and to the actions of the Companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam. O Allaah! Make us from amongst the Saved-Sect; and grant the Muslims the guidance and ability to be from it.

Methodology of the Saved-Sect:

[1]al-Firqatun-Naajiyah (the Saved-Sect) is that which adheres to the manhaj (methodology) of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) during his lifetime, and to the minhaaj of his Companions after him: and that is the Noble Qur‘aan which Allaah revealed to His Messenger, and which he explained to his Companions in the authentic Sunnah – ordering the Muslims to cling to these two, saying, “I am leaving amongst you two things, you will never go astray as long as you cling to them: the Book of Allaah and my Sunnah. They will not separate from each other, until you meet me at the Lake .” [10]

[2] The Saved-Sect returns to the Word of Allaah and His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) whenever there is disagreement or difference of opinion; acting upon the saying of Allaah – the Most High, “If you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger, if you do believe in Allaah and the Last Day. That is best and most suitable for final determination.” [11] And He – the Most High – said, “But no, by your Lord! They cannot have any faith until they make you (the Messenger) a judge in all disputes that they have between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decision, but accept them with full submission.” [12]

[3] The Saved-Sect does not give precedence to the word of anyone over the Word of Allaah and His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), acting upon His – the Most High – saying,

O you who believe! Do not put yourselves forward before Allaah and His Messenger, and have taqwaa of Allaah. Indeed, Allaah is all-Hearing, all-Seeing.” [13]

Ibn ’Abbaas – radiyallaahu ’anhu – said, “I fear that stones will descend upon you from the sky, that I say to you that the Messenger of Allaah said; and you say to me that Aboo Bakr and ’Umar say something else!” [14]

[4] The Saved-Sect values Tawheed: and it is to single-out Allaah alone in worship, in supplication, in seeking aid and assistance, in seeking refuge in times of ease and hardship, in sacrificing and vow-making, in placing total reliance and trust in Him and in judging by what Allaah has revealed; and all other forms of worship. These are the foundations upon which the true Islaamic governance is based. It is therefore essential to remove Shirk (associating partners with Allaah in those matters that are particular to Him) and its manifestations – which is present in all the Muslim lands – since this is a requirement of Tawheed. And victory is not possible when Tawheed is neglected, nor can Shirk be fought with its like. We must – in this – follow the examples of the Prophets and in particular, the example of our noble Prophet – may the Peace of Allaah and His Prayers be upon them all.

[5] The Saved-Sect revive the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) in their ’ibaadah (worship), sulook (behaviour) and in their lives, thus becoming strangers amongst the people – as Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) mentioned in his saying, “Islaam started as something strange and will return as something strange as it began, so Toobaa (a tree in Paradise) is for the Strangers.” [15] In another narration, “ … so Toobaa is for the Strangers. Those who correct and put right what the people have corrupted.” [16]

[6] The Saved-Sect does not have ta’assub (bigoted adherence) to the sayings of anyone, except the saying of Allaah and the saying of His infallible Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), who does not speak from his own desires. As for every other person – however elevated his rank – then he errs and makes mistakes, according to his (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, “All the children of Aadam err and commit mistakes, and the best of those who make mistakes are those who turn in repentance.” [17]

Imaam Maalik (d. 179H) – rahimahullaah – said, “There is no one after the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), except that you can take his saying or leave it, with the exception of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam).” [18]

[7] The Saved-Sect are Ahlul-Hadeeth (the People of Hadeeth), about whom the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “There will not cease to be a group from my Ummah victorious and uppermost upon the truth, those who abandon them will not harm them, until the command of Allaah comes about.” [19]

A poet said,

“Ahlul-Hadeeth are the people of the Prophet, although;

They accompany him not, they are with his every movement.” [20]

[8] The Saved-Sect love and honour the mujtahid Imaams (those Scholars who are able to extract rulings from the Book and the Sunnah). However, they do not have ta’assub (bigoted blind adherence) to any particular one of them. On the contrary, they take fiqh (rulings) from the Qur‘aan and the authentic ahaadeeth, upon the understanding, and the sayings, of all of the Scholars – if it is in agreement with the authentic ahaadeeth. Indeed, this agrees with their saying, that you should take it if it agrees with the authentic hadeeth and leave whatever disagrees with it.

[Imaam Aboo Haneefah (d.150H) – rahimahullaah – said, “If a hadeeth is found to be authentic, then that is my madhhab.” [21]

Imaam Maalik (d.179H) – rahimahullaah – said, “Indeed I am only a man. I am sometimes mistaken and at other times correct; so look into my opinions. All that agrees with the Book and the Sunnah, accept it; and all that does not agree with the Book and the Sunnah, then abandon it.” [22]

Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee (d.204H) – rahimahullaah – said, “Everything that I say, for which there is something authentically related from the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) contrary to my saying, then the hadeeth of the Prophet comes first. So do not make taqleed (blind-following) of me.” [23]

Imaam Ahmad (d.241H) – rahimahullaah – said, “Do not make taqleed (blind-following) of me, nor make taqleed of Maalik, nor of ash-Shaafi’ee, nor of al-Awzaa’ee, nor of ath-Thawree. But take from where they took.” [24]]

[9] The Saved-Sect orders the good and forbids the evil. Thus it renounces the innovated ways and destructive parties and groups which split the Ummah: those that innovate in the Religion and innovate with regards the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and that of his Companions.

[10] The Saved-Sect calls the Muslims to cling to the Qur‘aan and to the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and to the way of his Companions, until victory is decreed for them; and until they enter Paradise by the Grace of Allaah and the shifaa’ah (intercession) of His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam).

[11] The Saved-Sect reject those laws which are man-made when they contradict the judgement of Islaam. Rather, it calls to the judgement by the Book of Allaah, which Allaah revealed for the happiness and benefit of mankind, both in this world and in the Hereafter, and Allaah – the Most Perfect, the Most High – knows what it is that will correct and reform them. So His Law is firm and constant, it will not alter for the rest of time, nor does the passage of time alter its values. Indeed, the reason for the misfortunes of this world in general, and the Islaamic world in particular – which is experiencing misfortune, lowliness and humiliation – is: abandoning judging by the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam). And nothing will make the Muslims strong again except by them returning to the teachings of Islaam – individually, collectively and in their governance – acting upon the saying of Allaah, the Most High,

Indeed, never will Allaah change the condition of a people until they change themselves.” [25]

[12] The Saved-Sect call the Muslims collectively to Jihaad in the path of Allaah – which is obligatory upon every Muslim in accordance with his ability and strength. And Jihaad comprises the following:-

[i]Jihaad with the Tongue and the Pen: to call the Muslims and others to the adherence of the true and correct Islaam and adherence to Tawheed free from the Shirk which has spread in the Islaamic lands; and which Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) informed us would appear amongst the Muslims, saying, “The Hour will not be established until a group from my Ummah will follow the mushriks, and large groups [26] of my Ummah will worship idols.” [25]

[ii]Jihaad with Wealth: and it is to give wealth for the propagation of Islaam and for printing da’wah books based upon the correct approach. It also consists of the distribution of funds to the weak Muslims to incline their hearts and to strengthen them. It also consists of the manufacture and purchase of weapons and equipping the mujaahideen – providing them with food, clothing and other requirements.

[iii]Jihaad with Oneself: it consists of fighting and participating in battle for the victory of Islaam, such that the Word of Allaah is made uppermost, whilst the word of kufr (disbelief) is debased and made low.

And the noble Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) pointed to these three types of Jihaad in his saying: “Make Jihaad against the mushrikeen with your wealth, yourselves and your tongues.” [28]

And the ruling concerning Jihaad in the path of Allaah is according to the following cases:-

Fard ’Ayn (individual obligation): When the enemy aggressors take over any part of the Muslim lands – such as Palestine – which has been over-run by the wicked Jews. So it is an obligation upon the Muslims – whether with their wealth or their selves – to drive out the Jews from Palestine and return Masjidul-Aqsaa to the Muslims – the Muslims being sinful until they do so.

Fard Kifaayah (collective obligation): If some Muslims carry it out, then it is no longer obligatory upon the rest of them. And it is to convey the da’wah (call) of Islaam to the rest of the lands until they are ruled by Islaam. So whosoever contends with and obstructs the da’wah, then they must be fought until the obstruction is removed and the da’wah is allowed to continue freely.

The Signs of the Saved-Sect:

[1]al-Firqatun-Naajiyah (the Saved-Sect) are few amongst the people. Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) prayed for them in the following words: “Toobaa (a tree in Paradise) is for the Strangers – the people who are righteous amongst a people who are mostly wicked, those that disobey them are more than those who obey them.” [29] And the noble Qur‘aan inform about them. So it says in praise of them,

But few of My Servants are grateful.” [30]

[2] The Saved-Sect are abandoned by most people, who slander them and ridicule them with insulting names. So there is for them an example in the Prophets – ’alayhimus-salaam – about whom Allaah said,

And so We appointed for every Prophet an enemy; devils amongst mankind and jinn, inspiring one another with flowery discourses by way of deception.” [31]

And Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) was treated in this way by his people. So when he called them to Tawheed they called him a sorcerer and a liar – whereas prior to this they used to call him as-Saadiq (truthful) and al-Ameen (trustworthy).

[3] Shaykh ’Abdul-’Azeez Ibn Baaz – hafidhahullaah – was asked about al-Firqatun-Naajiyah (the Saved-Sect), so he said, “They are the Salafees [32] and all who adhere to the path of the Salafus-Saalih (the Pious Predecessors).”

The Aided and Victorious Group:

[1] The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “There will not cease to be a group from my Ummah victorious upon the truth, not being harmed by those who oppose them until the command of Allaah comes about, and they are like that.” [33]

[2] He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “When the people of Shaam (Syria, Jordan, Palestine) become corrupt then there will be no good in you. And there will not cease to be a group from my Ummah being helped; those that oppose them will not harm them, until the hour is established.” [34]

[3] Ibnul-Mubaarak (d.151H) – rahimahullaah – said, “According to me, they are Ashaabul-Hadeeth (the Scholars of Hadeeth).” [35]

[4] Imaam al-Bukhaaree (d.256H) – rahimahullaah – said, “It means: Ahlul-Hadeeth (the People of Hadeeth).” [36]

[5] Imaam Ahmad (d.241H) – rahimahullaah – said, “If this Taa‘ifatul-Mansoorah (Victorious and Aided Group) is not Ashaabul-Hadeeth, then I do not know who they are.” [37]

[al-Qaadee ’Iyaad (d.544H) – rahimahullaah – said, “What Ahmad intended was Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah: those who hold the ’aqeedah of Ahlul-Hadeeth.” [38]]

[6] Indeed, Ahlul-Hadeeth, by virtue of their competence in the study of the Sunnah, are not attached to any person, but are altogether concerned with the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam); his guidance, his manners, his battles, and whatever else pertains to him.

[7] Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee said, whilst addressing Imaam Ahmad, “You are more knowledgeable about Hadeeth than I am. So if there comes to you a Hadeeth that is authentic, then make me aware of it, until I accept it and accord with it – it is from Basrah.” [39]

So Ahlul-Hadeeth – may Allaah make us amongst them – do not have ta’assub (bigoted blind adherence) for the saying of any particular person, however elevated, or whatever position he holds. Rather, they cling to the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), as opposed to those who do not ascribe themselves to Ahlul-Hadeeth; those who have ta’assub to their Imaams – who have actually prohibited them from this – just as Ahlul-Hadeeth readily cling to the sayings of their Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam). So it is not surprising that Ahlul-Hadeeth are al-Firqatun-Naajiyah (the Saved-Sect ) and at-Taa‘ifatul-Mansoorah (the Aided and Victorious Group).

[8] al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee (d.463H) said, “And if only the people of blameworthy opinion busied themselves with beneficial knowledge, and seeking the Sunnah of the Messenger of the Lord of Creation, and followed the way of the fuqahaa‘ and muhaddithoon – then they would find that this would be sufficient for them. And the narration would take the place of his opinion which he used to hold; since the Hadeeth comprehends the fundamentals of Tawheed, the reported Threats and the Promises, the Attributes of the Lord of Creation – who is High above the saying of the apostates, it also contains information about Paradise and Hell-Fire, and what Allaah has prepared therein for the pious and the wicked, and what Allaah has created in the earths and the heavens, and the remarkable things and great signs, and a mention of the nearest Angels – those drawn up in ranks and those who recite tasbeeh.

And the Hadeeth comprehends stories of the about the pious ascetics and Awliyaa‘, wonderful admonition and sayings of the Scholars. It contains histories of the kings of the ’Arabs and non-’Arabs, and the accounts of past nations, and descriptions of the battles of the Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam); his expeditions, rulings, judgements, sermons, warnings, predictions and miracles. It also contains information about the number of his Wives and Children, his Relatives and Companions, and a mention of their excellence and merit, and a mention of their lives, their actions and their ancestry. And the Hadeeth contains tafseer of the Qur‘aan, information and the wise remembrance contained in it. It contains the sayings of the Companions about its preserved rulings, the different sayings they held, as well as those of the Scholars and mujtahideen.

And Allaah made Ahlul-Hadeeth (the People of Hadeeth) the pillar of the Sharee’ah and the destroyer of every despicable innovation. So they are Allaah’s wardens amongst His creation, and the link between the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and his Ummah, and the strivers to preserve His Religion. So their light shines brightly, their excellence remains, their signs are clear, their positions evident and their proofs are over-powering. And all the sects coil themselves around vain desires and prefer opinion which they cling to – except for Ahlul-Hadeeth, since the Book is their provision, the Sunnah is their proof, the Messenger their leader and to him is their ascription. They do not deviate upon vain desires, nor turn to mere conjecture. They accept what is reported from the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and they are the trustworthy and reliable ones, who memorise the Religion and are its treasurers, its storehouses of knowledge and its bearers. If anyone differs about a hadeeth, then it is referred back to them. Thus, their judgement is accepted and listened to. From them is every Scholar and Imaam, and every true ascetic, and one of excellence, and precise reciter and righteous Khateeb. They are the Saved-Sect and their way is the straight one…” [40]

May Allaah make us from amongst Ahlul-Hadeeth, and provide us with the ability to act upon it, love its people and to act in accordance with it.

Footnotes:

[1] Minhaajul-Firqatun-Naajiyah wat-Taa‘ifat al-Mansoorah (p. 6-17) – slightly adapted. Four additional narrations have been added to the main text, by the editors, and are indicated by […].

[2] Sooratul-’Imraan [3:103]

[3] Sooratur-Room [30:31-32]

[4] Saheeh: Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 4607), at-Tirmidhee (no. 2676) and it was authenticated by al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr in Takhreej Ahaadeeth Mukhtasar Ibnul-Haajib (1/137). The addition: “…and every misguidance is in the Fire.” was narrated by al-Bayhaqee (10/114) and others. It was authenticated by Ibn Taymiyyah in Iqtidaa‘us-Seeraatul-Mustaqeem (1/111).

[5] Hasan: Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 4597) and Ahmad (4/102) and it was authenticated by al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr in Takhreej Ahaadeethul-Kashaaf (no. 63).

[6] Hasan: Related by at-Tirmidhee (5/62) and al-Haakim (1/128) and others. It was authenticated by al-Haafidh al-’Iraaqee in Takhreejul-Ihyaa‘ (3/199) and al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no. 204).

[7] Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (1/435) and also al-Haakim (2/318) who authenticated it and adh-Dhahabee agreed.

[8] Sooratul-An’aam [6:153]

[9] al-Ghuniyatut-Taalibeen (p. 212).

[10] Saheeh: Related by al-Haakim from Aboo Hurayrah (radiyallaahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in Takhreejul-Mishkaat (no. 186).

[11] Sooratun-Nisaa‘ [4:59]

[12] Sooratun-Nisaa‘ [4:65]

[13] Sooratul-Hujuraat [49:l]

[14] Related by Ahmad (no. 3121), al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (1/145) and Ibn ’Abdul-Barr in Jaami’ Bayaanul-’Ilm (2/196), from Sa’eed Ibn Jubayr. The isnaad is Hasan.

[15] Related by Muslim (2/175-176) and Ibn Maajah (2/320) from Aboo Hurayrah (radiyallaahu ’anhu).

[16] Saheeh: Related by Aboo ’Amrad-Daanee in as-Sunanul-Waaridah fil-Fitan (1/25) and al-Aajurree in al-Ghurabaa‘ (p. l5-16), from Ibn Mas’ood (radiyallaahu ’anhu). Shaykh al-Albaanee authenticated it in as-Saheehah (3/267).

[17] Hasan: Related by at-Tirmidhee (no. 2399), Ibn Maajah (no. 4251) and others, from Anas (radiyallaahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah (no. 3428).

[18] Related by Ibn ’Abdul-Haadee in Irshaadus-Saalik (227/l) who declared it Saheeh. Delighted with the beauty of this saying, Taqiyyud-Deen as-Subkee said in al-Fataawaa (1/148), “These words were originally those of Ibn ’Abbaas and Mujaahid, from whom Maalik took them and became famous for them.” Imaam Ahmad also took this saying from them, as Aboo Daawood relates in his Masaa‘il Imaam Ahmad (p. 276), “I heard Ahmad say: There is no one, except that his opinion is taken or is abandoned, except the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam).”

[19] Related by Muslim (6/52-53) and Aboo Daawood (2/202) from Thawbaan (radiyallaahu ’anhu).

[20] From the poetry of Hasan Ibn Muhammad an-Nasawee, as is quoted by al-Haafidh Diyaa‘ud-Deen al-Maqdisee in his booklet Fadlul-Hadeeth wa Ahlihi.

[21] Related by Ibn ’Aabideen in al-Haashiyah (1/63) and also in Rasmul-Muftee (1/4).

[22] Related by Ibn ’Abdul-Barr in al-Jaami’ (2/32) and Ibn Hazm in Usoolul-Ahkaam (6/149)

[23] Related by Ibn Abee Haatim in al-Aadaab (p. 93) and Ibn ’Asaakir in Taareekh Dimashq (15/9/2).

[24] Related by Ibnul-Qayyim in I’laamul-Muwaqqi’een (2/302).

[25] Sooratur-Ra’d [13:11]

[26] Arabic: fi’aam. In an-Nihaayah (3/406), Ibnul-Atheer (d.606H) explained fi’aam to mean: many groups.

[27] Saheeh: Part of a hadeeth which was related by Aboo Daawood (no. 4252), Ibn Maajah (no. 4000) and al-Haakim (4/448-449) who declared it Saheeh and adh-Dhahabee agreed. Refer to Tahdheerus-Saajid (p. 139) of Shaykh al-Albaanee. The hadeeth was reported by Thawbaan (radiyallaahu ’anhu).

[28] Saheeh: Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 2504) from Anas (radiyallaahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheeh Jaami’us-Sagheer (no. 3090).

[29] Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (1/177), Ibnul-Mubaarak in az-Zuhd (p. 266) and others, from ’Abdullaah Ibn ’Amr (radiyallaahu ’anhumaa.) Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaalee authenticated it in al-Ghurbah wal Ghurabaa‘ (p. 16).

[30] Sooratus-Saba‘ [34:13]

[31] Sooratul-An’aam [6:112]

[32] as-Sam’aanee (d.562H) said in al-Insaab (3/273), “As-Salafee: this is an ascription to the Salaf and following their ways, in that which is related from them.” Ibnul-Atheer (d.630H) said in al-Lubaab fee Tahdheebil-Insaab (2/162), commenting upon the previous saying of as-Sam’aanee, “And a group were known by this ascription.” So the meaning is: that the term Salafee, and its ascription to them was a matter known in the time of as-Sam’aanee, or before him. Likewise, in al-Qaamoosul-Muheet (no. 1060), al-Fayroozabaadee (d.817H) said – after mentioning a few Scholars who called themselves Salafee -: “They ascribe themselves to the Salaf.”

[33] Related by Muslim (6/52-53) and Aboo Daawood (2/202) from Thawbaan (radiyallaahu ’anhu).

[34] Saheeh: Related by at-Tirmidhee (2/30) who said, “The hadeeth is Hasan Saheeh.” It was also related by Ibn Maajah (1/6-7) and Ahmad (3/463), from Qurrah al-Muzanee (radiyallaahu ’anhu).

[35] Sharaf Ashaabul-Hadeeth (p. 26) of al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee

[36] Sharaf Ashaabul-Hadeeth (p. 27)

[37] Related by al-Haakim in Ma’rifatu ’Uloomul-Hadeeth (p. 3), and al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr declared its isnaad to be Saheeh in Fathul-Baaree (13/293).

[38] Sharh Saheeh Muslim (13/67) of an-Nawawee

[39] Related by Ibn Abee Haatim in Aadaabush-Shaafi’ee (p. 94-95), Aboo Nu’aym in Hilyatul-Awliyaa‘ (9/106) and al-Khateeb in Ihtijaaj bish-Shaafi’ee (8/1). It was declared to be Saheeh by Ibn al-Qayyim in al-I’laam (2/325).

[40] Sharaf Ashaabul-Hadeeth (p. 7-9).

 

The Ruling Concerning Multiple Groups and Parties : al-Albaani, ibn Baz, ibn Uthaymeen

Fatwaas by Shaykh ’Abdul-’Azeez bin Baaz, Shaykh Naasirud-Deen al-Albaanee, Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen
Al-Ibaanah Online, Issue No.3 – Dhul-Qa’dah 1416H / April 1996

Fatwa of Shaykh bin Baaz [1]

[Q] What is the obligation upon the Muslim Scholars with regard to the large number of jamiyyaat (societies) and jamaa’at (groups) in many of the Islaamic lands and elsewhere, and with regard to the differences that exist between them, to the point that each group declares the others to be misguided. Do you not hold that it is fitting to enter into explaining the like of this matter, and to clarify the truth concerning their differences, for fear that these differences will increase and lead to evil consequences for the Muslims?

[A]: Our Prophet sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam made clear to us a single way which it is obligatory upon the Muslims to follow and traverse, and that is Allaah’s Straight Path and the methodology of His upright religion. Allaah – the Most High – said: “And this is My Straight Path, so follow it and do not follow other paths that will separate you from His Path. This has He ordained for you, that you may become pious.” [Soorah al An’aam 6:153]. Just as the Lord of Might and Majesty warned the Ummah (nation) of Muhammad sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam against splitting and disunity, since that is one of the greatest causes of failure and of the enemy taking control, as occurs in the saying of Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic’s – : “And hold fast altogether to the rope of Allaah and do not be divided.” [Soorah Aal-Imraan 3: 101 ]. And His – the Most High’s – saying: “He has ordained for you the same religion which He ordained for Nooh, and that which We revealed to you, and that which We ordained for Ibraaheem, Moosaa and ’Eesaa ’alayhimus-salaam, saying: that you should establish the religion by doing that which you are ordered with, and make no divisions in it. Intolerable for the Pagans is that to which you call them.” [Soorah ash-Shooraa 42:13].

So this is a Divine call to unity and for hearts to be harmonised. And in any Islaamic land, if there are many groups for the purpose of good, aid, cooperating in righteousness and piety between the Muslims without their being differences between the desires of the companions and followers – then this is good, is a blessing, and produces great benefit.

However, if each of them declare the others to be misguided and attack their actions, then this harm is very great and its evil consequences very serious. Then what is obligatory upon the Muslims is to clarify the true state of affairs and to discuss with each group and to sincerely advise all of them that they should proceed upon the way laid down by Allaah for His servants, and upon that which our Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam called to. Then those who ignore this, or continue in their stubbornness, due to personal benefit or goal – known only to Allaah – then what is obligatory upon those who know the reality is to make this known about them and to warn against them, so that the people may avoid their path, and that those who do not know the reality of their affair may not fall into it and be led astray, and that they are not turned away from the Straight Path which Allaah ordered that we follow, as occurs in His – the Mighty and Majestic’s – saying: “And this is My Straight Path, so follow it and do not follow other paths that will separate you from His Path. This has He ordained for you, that you may become pious.” [Soorah al-An’aam 6:153]. And from that which there is no doubt about is that the multitude of sects and groups in the Islaamic society is, firstly something desired by Shaytaan, and secondly something desired by the enemies of Islaam from amongst mankind. Since agreement and unification of the Muslims, and their being aware of the dangers which threaten them and their ’aqeedah (beliefs), will make them active in refuting and rebutting it, and acting in a unified manner for the benefit of the Muslims, thereby repelling the danger from their religion, their lands and their brothers. And this is something which the enemies -from amongst mankind and jinn – are not pleased with. Therefore they are very eager to split-up the Muslims, destroy their unity and to sow the seeds of enmity and discord between them. We ask Allaah that He unites the Muslims upon the truth and that He removes from their society every type of misguidance and every cause of discord. Indeed He is the One Who is able to do that, and He is the One having full power over it.

The Fatwaa of Shaykh al-Albaanee [2]

[Q]: What is the Sharee’ah ruling concerning these numerous Islaamic groups, parties and organizations which differ amongst themselves in their minhaaj (methodology), their modes of operations, their da’wah (call), their ’aqeedah (beliefs) and the foundations upon which they are based. Especially when the group of truth is a single one, as is proven by the hadeeth?

[A]: We have spoken a lot about the answer to this question, therefore we shall be brief whilst speaking about it. So we say: It will not be hidden from any Muslim who has knowledge of the Book and the Sunnah and that which our Salafus-Saalih (Pious Predecessors) – may Allaah be pleased with them all – were upon, that firstly; formation of parties and organizing into groups with differing thought, and secondly; differing in the minhaaj (methodology), is not from Islaam at all. Rather it is from what our Lord – the Mighty and Majestic – has actually forbidden, in more than one aayah (verse) from the noble Qur‘aan. From this is His – the Most High’s – saying: “And do not be like those who worship others besides Allaah – those who split-up their religion and become sects. Each party rejoicing in only that which is with them.” [Soorah Room 30:31-32]. And our Lord – the Mighty and Majestic – also says: “And if your Lord has so willed, He could have made mankind a single nation. But they will not cease to differ, except those upon whom your Lord has bestowed His Mercy.” [Soorah Hood 11: 118 -119] So Allaah – the Most Blessed, the Most High – made exempted from this differing and disagreement – a differing which must occur by Allaah’s creational Decree , but not as something that He is pleased with or desires from us – that sect upon which He has bestowed His Mercy, as occurs in His saying: “ … except those upon whom your Lord has bestowed His Mercy.” And there is no doubt whatsoever, that any group that has purity of intention for Allaah, and earnestly desire to be from that nation which is exempted from this differing; and upon whom Allaah has bestowed His Mercy, then there is no way to practically reach and attain this in the Islaamic societies, except by returning to the Book and to the Sunnah of the Messenger sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam and to what our Salafus-Saalih (Pious Predecessors) – may Allaah be pleased with them all – were upon.

And Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam made clear the manhaj (methodology) and the correct way, in many authentic ahaadeeth: From the Prophet sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam, that one day he drew a straight line upon the ground, and drew short lines around the straight line. Then he recited Allaah – the Most Blessed, the Most High’s – saying: “And this is My Straight Path, so follow it, and do not follow paths other that will separate you from His Path.” [Soorah al-An’aam 6:153]. He then pointed with his finger to the straight line and said that this is Allaah’s Straight Path. Then he pointed to the other lines away from the Straight Path and said: At the head of each of these other paths, there is a devil calling the people to it. [3]

And there is no doubt that these short paths are those which represent the many parties and groups. Therefore, what is obligatory upon every Muslim who truly desires to be from al-Firqatun-Naajiyah (the Saved Sect) is that he proceeds upon the Straight Path – neither turning to its left or its right. And there is no party which is successful, except the Party of Allaah, about which the noble Qur‘aan mentions to us: “Indeed, it is the Party of Allaah who are succesful.” [Soorah al-Mujaadilah 58:22].

Therefore, every party which is not the party of Allaah is only from the party of Shaytaan and not from the party of ar-Rahmaan (the Most Merciful). And there is also no doubt at all, that proceeding upon the Straight Path requires correct knowledge of it, and this cannot be attained by mere organization and mere formation of parties – that desire to be upon true Islaam, but not truly understanding what was the Islaam that Allaah – the Most Blessed, the Most High – sent down upon the heart of Muhammad sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam. And the sign of the Saved-Sect was clearly stated by the Prophet sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam, when he was asked about it – so he said: It is that which I and my Companions are upon. [4]

So this hadeeth indicates to the one eagerly seeking knowledge of Allaah’s Straight Path, that one must have knowledge of two extremely important matters: – Firstly: That which the Messenger sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam was upon. Secondly. That which his sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam’s Companions were upon. this is because the noble Companions were those who transmitted the guidance of the Prophet sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam and his Sunnah to us, and secondly that they were the ones who best followed this Sunnah in practice. So since this is the case, it is not therefore possible for us to have a correct understanding of the Prophet’s Sunnah, except by way of his Companions … Thus, attaining a correct understanding of Islaam cannot be possible except through knowing the life examples of the Companions and how they followed this great Islaam which they took from the Prophet sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam – either from his sayings, actions or tacit approvals.

Therefore, we believe with certainty, that every group that does not establish itself upon the foundations of the Book and the Sunnah and the manhaj (methodology) of the Salafus-Saalih having extensively and comprehensively studied the rulings of Islaam, the large and the small, the principles and the branches then this group will not be from the Saved Sect; the Sect that which proceeds upon the Straight Path which was indicated by the Messenger sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam in the authentic hadeeth.

And if we imagined that there are separate groups in the Islaamic lands, upon this manhaj (methodology), then they will not be considered as being parties, rather they are a single group, with a single manhaj and its path is a single one. Though they are separated by land, they are not, however, separated in thoughts, ’aqeedah (beliefs), or manhaj. Rather this separation is only due to a physical separation of land – as opposed to the various groups and parties, which may even be in a single land, yet despite this, each party is pleased only with what it possess. As for these types of parties, we do not believe that they are upon the Straight Path. Rather we state with certainty, that they are upon those paths – at the head of each one there is a devil calling the people to it. And hopefully this contains an answer for what has preceded.

The Fatwaa of Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen [5]

[QJ: Are there any texts from the Book of Allaah or the Sunnah of His Prophet sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam which contain an allowance of multiple groups and parties or al-Ikhwaan?

[A]: I say: There is not in either the Book or the Sunnah that which allows multiple parties and groups. Rather, there is in the Book and the Sunnah that which censures this. Allaah – the Most High – said: “Verily those who split-up their religion and become sects, you have no concern with them in the least. Their affair is with Allaah, Who will tell them about what they used to do.” [Soorah al-An’aam 6: 159]. Allaah – the Most High – said: “Each sect rejoicing in only that which is with itself.” [Soorah Room 30:32]. And there is no doubt that these parties are contrary to what Allaah ordered. Rather what Allaah has ordered and encouraged is in His saying: “And indeed this Ummah of yours is one Ummah and I am your Lord, so fear and obey Me.” [Soorah al-Mu‘minoon 23:52]. And some people say: It is not possible for the da’wah (call) to be strong unless it is done within the framework of a party! We say to that: This is incorrect! Rather the da’wah will be strong whenever the person is under the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam following the narrations of the Prophet sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam and that of his Companions.


References

1. Majmoo’ Fataawaa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah (5/202-204).
2. Fataawaa Shaykh al-Albaanee (pp.106-114)
3. Hasan: Related by Ahmad (l/435) and an-Nasaa‘ee (7/49).
4. Hasan: Related by at-Tirmidhee (5/26).
5. From a cassette entitled Majmoo’ Kalaamul-’Ulemaa fee ’Abdur-Rahmaan ’Abdul-Khaaliq (side two).


Comprehensive Guidance

From al-Haarith al-Ash’aree radiallaahu ’anhu, who said that Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam said:

Indeed Allaah – the Most High – ordered Yahyaa ibn Zakariyyaa ’alayhimus-salaam with five things; that he should act upon them and order the Chldren of Israa‘eel to cat upon them. ’Eesaa ibn Maryam ’alayhis-salaam said to him: Indeed Allaah ordered you with five things, that you act upon them and that you order the Children of Israa‘eel to act upon them. So either you order them, or I will order them. So Zakariyyaa said: If you precede me in that, I fear that I will be punished or swallowed up by the earth. So he gathered the people in the mosque of Jerusalem until it was filled, and the people sat upon its walls. He admonished them saying:

“Indeed Allaah has ordered me with five things which I should act upon and order you to act upon. The first of them is that you should worship Allaah and not associate anything along with Him in this worship. That one who associates anything in worship with Allaah is like a man who bought a slave with his own wealth – either gold or silver – and said: This is my house and this is my work, so work and give the wages to me. So the slave worked and gives the wages to other than his owner. So which of you would be pleased for his slave to be like that? But Allaah created you and provides for you, so do not associate anything in worship with Him.

And I order you with Prayer, and when you pray then do not turn aside.

And I order you with Fasting. And that is the like of a man, amongst a group of people, who had a small pouch containing musk. Each of them likes to smell it. And, to Allaah, the fasting person is better than the smell of musk.

And I order you with sadaqah (charity). For its likeness is that of a man taken prisoner by the enemy, so they take hold of him and tie his hand to his neck, so he says: Will you not allow me to ransom myself from you? So he gives them small and large amounts to escape from them.

And I order you to make mention and remember Allaah alot. And the like of this is a man being chased by the enemy, who are hastening after him. So he comes to a protected fortress and enters into its protection. Likewise is the case for the servant. For he does not protect himself from Shaytaan, except through the remembrance of Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic.”

Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam said: “I order you with five things which Allaah ordered me with: The Jamaa’ah, [1] hearing, obeying, hijrah (migration) and jihaad in the way of Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic. So whosoever separates from the Jamaa’ah by a hand-span, throws of the yoke of Islaam from his neck, unless he repents. And whosoever calls with the call of the days of ignorance, then he is from the horde of Hell-Fire” It was said: Even if he fasts and prays? He said: “Even if he fasts and prays. So call with the call of Allaah, which Allaah gave: The Muslims, the Believers, Worshippers of Allaah.” [2]


1. At Teebee said – as occurs in Tuhfatul-Awaadhee Sharh Sununut-Tirmidhee (5/162): “What is meant by the Jamaa’ah is the Companions, the Taabi’een and the generation after the Taabi’een – the Salafus-Saalih (Pious Predecessors): That is, I order you to cling to their guidance and their way, and to associate with them.”
2. Saheeh: Related by at-Tirmidhee (nos.2863.4), at-Tiyaalasee (nos.1161-2) and others. And its chain of narration is Saheeh

The Virtues of the Night of Al-Qadr : ‘Abdullaah Ibn Saalih Al-Fawzaan

Author: ‘Abdullaah Ibn Saalih Al-Fawzaan
Source: Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam (pg. 141-143)
Translator: Al-Manhaj.Com Staff

Abu Hurairah (radhi Allaahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) said: “Whoever performs the night prayer on the night of Al-Qadr with Eemaan (firm belief) and seeking reward will have all his past sins forgiven.” [1]

This hadeeth is evidence for the virtue of the night of Al-Qadr as well as performing qiyaam (night prayer) during it. And it indicates that it is a grand night, which Allaah has honored and made better than a thousand months, with regard to its blessing and the blessings found in the righteous deeds that are performed in it. Thus it is better than the worship of a thousand months and that is equivalent to eighty-three years and four months. Due to this, whoever performs qiyaam (night prayer) with true faith and while seeking reward in it, will be forgiven his past sins. There were certain verses revealed concerning this virtue:

Allaah says: “We sent it (the Qur’aan) down on a blessed night. Verily We are Ever-Warning. Therein (on that night) is decreed every matter of ordainment.” [2]

Therefore, it is a “blessed night” meaning it possesses much good and blessing due to its merit and the great reward that awaits the one who does good deeds in it. Among its blessings, is that Allaah revealed the Qur’aan in it. Allaah says:

“Verily, We have sent it (the Qur’aan) down in the night of Al-Qadr. And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr is? The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Rooh (Jibreel) by their Lord’s permission with all decrees. (All that night) there is peace, until the appearance of dawn.” [3]

Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) said concerning Allaah’s saying: “Therein descend the angels and the Rooh: “This means that the descending of the angels increases during this night due to the vast amount of its blessings. And the angels descend along with the descent of blessing and mercy, just as they descend during the time when the Qur’aan is recited and encompass the gatherings in which Allaah is remembered and spread their wings for the true seeker of knowledge, out of respect for him.” [4]

This night occurs only in Ramadaan, since Allaah revealed the Qur’aan in it. He informs us that its revelation occurred during the month of Ramadaan in His saying: “Verily, We have sent it (the Qur’aan) down in the night of Al-Qadr.” [5]

And His saying: “The month of Ramadaan in which was revealed the Qur’aan” [6]

This means that its revelation from Allaah to His Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) began in it.

Allaah’s statement: “The night of Al-Qadr” is either an indicative of the honor and station of that night, as it is said: “Such and such person has great Qadr”. The conjunction of “the night” to Al-Qadr is the joining of a descriptive feature to it, thus making it mean “An honorable night”. The word “Al-Qadr” may also be in reference to the ordainment and disposal of affairs. Thus, its being joined to the word “the night” would be in order to denote a place or time for it. So it would mean “the night in which all that will occur in the following year will be decreed.” This is similar to Allaah’s saying: “Therein (on that night) is decreed every matter of ordainment.” [7]

Qataadah said of this: “Therein is decreed every matter for the (upcoming) year” [8] and Ibn Al-Qayyim said that this is the correct opinion. [9]

What seems most correct is that there is nothing that restricts the possibility of these two understandings and Allaah knows best.

His statement: “with Eemaan means with firm conviction in what Allaah has prepared for those who stand in prayer during this magnificent night. And “seeking reward” means looking for reward and the attainment of recompense.

Thus, this is a grand night, which Allaah has chosen for beginning the revelation of the Qur’aan. So the Muslim must acknowledge its weight in worth, by guarding it and spending it in worship whilst having firm conviction and seeking the reward of Allaah, in order that Allaah may forgive all of his previous sins. This is why the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) warned us about being heedless of this night and being neglectful of spending it in worship, for the Muslim would be prevented from its good.

Abu Hurairah (raa) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) said: “Ramadaan has come to you – a blessed month. Allaah has made it obligatory upon you to fast in it. During this month, the gates of heaven are open, the gates of the Hellfire are closed and the evil devils are chained. To Allaah belongs a night in it, which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is prevented from its good, then he has been deprived.” [10]

The Muslim should supplicate much on the nights in which the night of Al-Qadr is sought. And he should supplicate with that which the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) instructed ‘Aa’ishah (raa) with, when she asked him: “What if I know on which night the night of Al-Qadr occurs, what should I say?” So he (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) said: “Say: O Allaah, indeed you are All-Pardoning. You love forgiveness, so forgive me.” [11]

Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) said: “It is recommended to supplicate a lot at all times and (to supplicate) more than that during the month of Ramadaan, its last ten days and its odd days. And it is highly recommended to increase ones invoking with this supplication: ‘O Allaah, indeed you are All-Pardoning. You love forgiveness, so forgive me.'” [12]


Footnotes:

[1] Al-Bukhaaree (4/2550 and Muslim (759)

[2] Surat-ud-Dukhaan: 3-4

[3] Surat-ul-Qadr: 1-5

[4] Tafseer Ibn Katheer: (8/465)

[5] Surat-ul-Qadr: 1

[6] Surat-ul-Baqarah: 185

[7] Surat-ud-Dukhaan: 4

[8] Reported by At-Tabaree in his Tafseer (25/65) as well as Al-Bayhaqee in his book Fadaa’il-ul-Awqaat (pg. 216). Its chain of narration is saheeh.

[9] See Shifaa’-ul-‘Aleel of Ibn Qayyim (pg. 42)

[10] This hadeeth is reported by Ahmad and An-Nasaa’ee. See Ahmad Shaakir’s checking of the Musnad (no. 7148) and Saheeh At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb of Al-Albaanee (1490) as well as Tamaam-ul-Mannah (395)

[11] Reported by At-Tirmidhee and Ibn Maajah with an authentic chain. [Translator’s note: The supplication transliterated from Arabic reads: “Allaahumma Innaka ‘Afuwwun Tuhibbul-‘Afwa Fa’affoo ‘annee.” ]

[12] Tafseer Ibn Katheer: 8/472

The Righteous Action – Shaykh al-Albani

Shaykh Muhammad Nasirud-Din al-Albani – al-Hijra magazine (vol.4 no.2)
Al-Ibaanah Magazine Issue No.1 – Dhul-Qa’dah 1415H / April 1995

What Benefits the Dead

Abû Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said: “The likeness of wealth, family and the actions of the son of Âdam is of a man who has three companions. One of the man’s companions says: I am with you as long as you live; when you die, you have taken your share of yourself and you have taken your share of me – this is his wealth. The second companion says: I am with you until you reach that tree; you have had your share of yourself and your share of me – this is his family. The third companion says: I am with you in life and in death.” [2]

The above authentic hadîth is in fact like the following hadîth in meaning and in subject matter. Anas said that the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said: “The dead person is followed (to his grave) by three: His family, his wealth and his actions. Two of them return and only one remains. His family and wealth return, but his actions remain.” [3]

These two ahâdîth show that actions alone endure and enter the grave with their doers. Both these ahâdîth also affirm the fact that anything other than actions – such as wealth, servants or relatives – are of no benefit at all. Rather, they all return (to this world). His wealth becomes the property of his inheritor, whilst his relatives and family do not grant him anything from Allâh.

These ahâdîth intend to direct Muslims to be concerned with actions which will stay with them forever; and not to strive for wealth and position for the sake of relatives, family and servants. Apparently, the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam wanted to show us the value of good actions when he related these ahâdîth to us, (which can be found) in the books of Zuhd (renouncement of the world). He pointed out to us that because actions will last rather than wealth, you have to make your actions righteous. Part of making ones actions righteous is through good wealth that is earned lawfully and spent in a good manner. Then one gains the rewards of ’amalus-sâlih (a righteous action).

The Acceptable Action

Therefore, in these ahâdîth, the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam encouraged us to make our actions righteous, whether gaining wealth or other things. However, we must remember a certain fact about this action, a fact that many people neglect. The explanation of this fact should actually be a complete lesson in itself; and it is that only a righteous action is beneficial, not just any action.

So what are the conditions that a Muslim must fulfill in order for the action to be righteous? This is shown in the statement of Allâh – the Exalted and Sublime: “Say (O Muhammad): Verily I am only a man like yourselves, but revelation has been revealed to me that the One whom you should worship is only One Deity. And whoever hopes to meet his Lord, let him do righteous actions; and in the worship of your Lord, do not associate anyone along with Him.”

Two Important Conditions

The Scholars of Tafsîr have said that the end of this verse is an indication that there are two conditions for an action to be righteous and acceptable: [5]

Firstly: That the action must be in accordance with the Sunnah. Therefore, if the action is done as an act of worship, but is not in accordance with the Sunnah, it is not a righteous action. The reason is that compliance with the Sunnah is one of the conditions for the action’s righteousness. The proofs of this are many, but it is enough to state one: The hadîth of the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam in which he said: “Whoever innovates in this matter of ours what is not upon it, it shall be rejected.” [6]

Therefore, any action that was not part of Islâm when Allâh revealed it upon the heart of the Prophet Muhammad sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam is not a righteous action. About this, Allâh – the Most High – says: “This day I have perfected your Dîn for you and completed My favour upon you and I have chosen Islâm as your Dîn.” [7] It must be remembered that Bid’ah (innovation) [8] is not divided into five categories, as some Scholars say. A proof for this is that the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said: “Every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.” [9]

Secondly: That after being in accordance with the Sunnah, the action has to be sincere, purely seeking the Face of Allâh – the Most High – because Allâh says at the end of the aforementioned verse: “And in the worship of your Lord, do not associate anyone along with Him.” This means that the person seeks, by his righteous action, only the Face of Allâh – the Exalted and Sublime. However, if he seeks other than Allâh, then he has setup partners with Allâh (made shirk with Allâh), therefore his action is rejected.

This is confirmed by Allâh in an authentic hadîth Qudsî: “I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having any partners. Thus, whosoever does an action for the sake of someone else as well as Me, will have that action rejected by Me, to him whom he associated with Me.” [10]

Consequently, if the action is righteous but not sincere for the sake of Allâh’s Face, it is rejected. Moreover, if the action is purely for the sake of Allâh’s Face, but not in accordance with the Sunnah, it is likewise not accepted.

The Worthless and Sinful Action

So these arc the two conditions for every action to be a righteous action. If one of these conditions is not present, the action does not become a righteous action, rather, it becomes an evil one. Had the person not done this action, it would have been better for him.

If a man prays two rak’ât of prayer at night, while others sleep, then even if he prays them according to the Sunnah – without addition or deletion – but he does this so that people may talk about him and say: “This Person is a righteous man. He prays at night when the people are asleep,” then his action becomes bâtil (null and void), since he did not sincerely seek the Face of Allâh alone, but rather he sought the praises of people, thus becoming sinful by associating partners with Allâh in his action.

However, if his action only became null and void, then the following hadîth would apply to him; and he would not be punished for this action: “How many fasting people obtain nothing from their fasting except hunger and thirst. And how many people who stay up at night (praying), obtain nothing from their being awake except sleeplessness and tiredness.” [11]

But this is not the case, for this person’s action has changed into a sin. The two rak’ât that this person performed without intending to seek only the Face of Allâh – the Exalted and Sublime – are the same as if he had disobeyed Him, that is to say: He will be punished for these two rak’ât because he associated others along with Allâh – the Exalted and Sublime – in his action.

If a man prays eleven rak’ât at night with the intention, in this worship, that his brothers would say about him: “This man is correctly following the Prophet; he does not add to the Sunnah,” his action becomes null and void; and his action changes to a sin against him. Rather, he must pray according to the Sunnah but sincerely seeking only the Face of Allâh – the Most High. He must be absolutely free of seeking the pleasure of others along with Him in this worship.

This has been but a summary about the action that does not leave the person but enters the grave with him – whether the action was good or bad – and that what is of benefit is the person’s righteous action. What is a righteous action and what are its conditions? The two conditions are:- Muwwâfaqah (compliance) with the Sunnah; and Ikhlâs (sincerity and purity of intention) to Allâh. Therefore, one must remember these two conditions and act upon them so that one may become righteous and pious.

Safeguarding against Insincerity

Many people unfortunately neglect the first condition (complying with the Sunnah) because they are astray and believe that bid’ah (innovation) is good in the religion.[12] But there are those upon whom Allâh has granted His favour, by guiding them to the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam. They are those who know the reality of this condition and adhere to it the best they can. Yet they must pay attention to the second condition, which either group may fail to fulfill, and that is riyâ’ (insincerity and showing-off). No one is exempt from riyâ’ and all people are susceptible to it in their actions.

This matter is a very serious one and must be stressed here, so that we may know that we are in need of making our actions correct and purely for the Face of Allâh – the Exalted and Sublime. Part of this is that we are tested even while making Da’wah to the Qur‘ân and the Sunnah, for trials are not only in evil matters, but also in the good matters: “And We test you with evil and good, by way of fitnah (trial).” [13]

This da’wah has been neglected by Muslims throughout the world so that the du’ât (the callers) have become strangers. Not only are they strangers in foreign countries, but they are strangers even in their own countries; amongst their relatives and brothers. This makes them praiseworthy, but they must not stand up to be praised for this da’wah. This is the reality, for the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said: “Verily Islâm started as something strange and it will return as something strange, so Tûbâ is for the Strangers.” [14]

Tûbâ and the Strangers

The meaning of Tûbâ in the Arabic language is: “Praise and thanks.” The meaning according to the Sharî’ah refers to a tree in Paradise, which would take a rider a hundred years to traverse its shade. [15] This hadîth gives glad tidings to the newcomers of Paradise in which there is: “What no eye has never seen, no ear has ever heard, and no heart has ever imagined.” [16] This tree is mentioned in the Qur’ân in the statement of Allâh: Tûbâ is for them, and the best abode.” [17] Therefore, Tûbâ is for the Ghurabâ (the Strangers), but who are they? The answer to this is in the reply of the Prophet: “Those who correct [themselves and others], when the people have become corrupt.” [18]

The Need for Care

These Strangers call the people to the revival of the Sunnah and eradication of all that differs from it. However, they must still pay attention to the second condition of the righteous action: To be sincere in their da’wah. They must neither seek fame, pride, nor arguments from their da’wah.

They must not seek anything that an-Nafs ul-Amârata bis-Sû’ (the soul that calls them to evil) orders them to do. Whatever they call to is as a result of Allâh – the Most High – having ordered them to make da’wah to the Qur’ân and the Sunnah and to make da’wah to what the Muslims have neglected. They must take care of this da’wah. However, they stand in danger. It can happen that one may say a word seeking only to have fingers of praise pointed at him, not sincerely advising the people and desiring to guide them. Rather, to do that for fame.

Here we mention a saying of some Sûfîs, who have some wise sayings that can not be denied: “The love of fame breaks backs.” Therefore, I insist, that we who make Da’wah to the Sunnah be sincere in our actions so that when our actions enter the grave with us, it will help us to answer correctly when we are asked: “Who is your Lord? Who is your Prophet? What is your religion?” If the deed is evil, when the person enters the grave, he will deny it. His deed will come to him in the worst of forms. He will ask it: “Who are you?” It will say: “I am your deed.”

Wealth – its Reality and Purpose

The next Hadîth is also authentic. Abû Hurayrah said that the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said: “The servant says: My wealth! My wealth! However, he gets from his wealth three things: What he eats and finishes. What he wears and makes shabby; and what he gives away and pleases others with. Whatever else is besides this, goes and is left for the people.” [19]

This Hadîth also emphasises the subject of the previous ahâdîth. It shows us the care taken by people in amassing wealth. Allâh pointed this out in the Qur‘ân by His statement: “And for the love of good he is strong.” [20]

The Prophet depicted the nature of mankind for us in his saying: “The servant says: My wealth! My wealth!” Nevertheless, what is the amount that remains left over for him from his wealth? Is all his wealth for him? No! He gains from his wealth only the examples that the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam specified. The first is defined by the Prophet’s statement: “What he eats and finishes.” From his wealth is that which is necessary for him to survive and that which enables him to accomplish the rights of Allâh. These rights are the rights of His Tawhîd (singling out Allâh alone for worship), as Allâh said: “And I have not created the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” [21]

The second is what a person wears until it becomes shabby. Add to this that which he volunteers and does good with, which is mentioned in the statement of the Prophet: “Or what he gives away and pleases others with.” He got rid of his wealth by giving it away to another in charity. Therefore, the wealth that is for the servant is the amount that he eats and the amount that he wears in order to survive. However this is not an end in itself. Rather, one exists solely to accomplish the obligation of worship, as we pointed out previously.

The third kind of wealth that returns with a benefit is not only the obligatory charity, but it also includes non-obligatory charities. Then the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam explained what is left after these categories. He said: “And other than that is gone, and is left, for the people.”

The relation of this Hadîth with the previous one is: Why do people exhaust themselves in amassing wealth, when this is the reality of wealth? They do not benefit from there wealth except the amount that they eat, drink and with which they help other people. All else will be left and it will remain for the people who inherit it.

The following Hadîth is also Sahîh (authentic). Abdullâh ibn ash-Shikhkhîr said: I came to the Prophet whilst he was reciting: “Seeking increase diverted you.” The Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said: “The son of Âdam say My wealth! My wealth! What do you obtain, O son of Âdam, from your wealth except that which you eat and consume, or wear until it becomes shabby, or what you give as charity and accomplish.”

This hadîth is also similar in meaning to the previous one, though some of its words are different; and was recorded by Muslim, at-Tirmidhî and an-Nasâ‘î. This hadîth is clear in its wording, however, the statement of the Prophet at the end of the hadîth: “or what you give as charity and accomplish.” may not be clear to some people.

Generosity and Miserliness

This statement aims at drawing one’s attention to the fact that what is intended for charity is that which he actually gives away. It is not sufficient that a person should just make out a will, that he should give such and such to the poor, or such and such for a specific masjid. However, the Prophet calls our attention to the fact that benefit is in that wealth which a person actually gave away during his lifetime, since he did not really know what would happen with his wealth after he died, if he had made a will.

with this word, the Prophet points to a hadîth in the Sahîh of al-Bukhârî – the meaning of which is that the miser is one who when death comes to him makes a will and says: “Give so and so such amount and for so and so such and such amount.” The Prophet said: “This was already for so and so and so and so.”

What the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam meant was that the deceased did not own anything anymore. He had left this dunya (life of this world ) and had entered into the Âkhirah (the Hereafter) and his inheritance will remain for those people who are still alive. Then should not the person have made his will earlier? Should he not have given charity whilst he was strong, hoping to be rich and fearing poverty?

This is the nature of the people today, they say: “Hoard your white Dirham for your black day.” They hoard this money for themselves for when they become old. They are covetous of this wealth. The generous person is the one who gives away his own wealth when his own soul is attached to it.

As for the one who is on the brink of death and who says: “Give so and so such and such amount,” he is a miser and is not generous. Rather, a truly generous person is one who gives charity whilst he holds onto his life and also whilst he loves this wealth very much.

The Insignificance of this World

The next hadîth is narrated by Jâbir ibn ’Abdullâh: The Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam passed by the market place coming from the direction of ‘Âliyah and people were around him. He passed by a dead kid goat (i.e. a baby goat) which had very short ears. He held it by its ears and said: “Who amongst you would like to have this for a dirham?” They (the Companions) said: We would not want it even for less than that! What can we do with it? He said: “Do you wish to have it (for any price)?” They said: By Allâh, even if it were alive it (we would not want it), as it has very short ears, let alone now when it is also dead! The Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said: “By Allâh, this world is more insignificant to Allâh than this (goat) is to you all.” [23]

Let us return to the hadîth. He passed by the market place “and the people were around him.” Here I would like to pause a little in order to remind people about some of the guidance of the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam that most of the Shaykhs of today have neglected.

The Shaykhs of today walk with their students behind them. This was not the way of the Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam. The ahâdîth describing this are many and the following is from them: “He used to walk side by side with Abû Bakr and side by side with Abû Hurayrah; and they all walked with each other.”

Moreover, it is authentically proven that the Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam used to say to his Companions radiallâhu ’anhum, when he used to walk with them: “Walk in
front of me and leave my back for the angels.”
[24]

Here he highlights two matters from one saying. People do not see angels, they see only people. Therefore, if anyone saw the Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam walking, they would only see people walking in front of him. The Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said in the authentic hadîth: “He who humbles himself for the sake of Allâh, Allâh will raise him.” [25] His humbleness raised him to a degree whereby the angels walked behind him. Therefore, is a noble person one behind whom people – good or bad – walk; or is he the one who is followed by those described by Allâh in the following verse: “They do not disobey what Allâh ordered them to do and do precisely what they are commanded.” The nobility of the Prophet manifested itself in a visible and an invisible side. The visible side is that the Companions used to walk in front of the Prophet and not behind him. The invisible side is that the angels walked behind him.

Of course, the first phenomenon is the one in which we are ordered not to act proudly with our companions and our brothers in faith, even those who may be less than us in knowledge, morals, worship and righteousness. This is enough for us, because Allâh says: “Do not sanctify yourself. He knows best the ones who are pious.” [26] It is sufficient for us at least, to walk with people side by side. Whosoever intentionally goes against this Sunnah, without doubt, does not truly love the Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam. This is because one’s degree of love from him, is based upon following him. This is established in the Qur’ân by the statement of Allâh: “Say (O Muhammad): If you do love Allâh then follow me; Allâh will love you and forgive you your sins.” [27]

So, if this was the case with the Prophet who was infallible and protected from the whispering of the Shaytân and this was an indication of the level with his Companions, then what can we say about ourselves? We are not infallible and are not protected from the Shaytân. We must adhere to this Sunnah as if it were obligatory. It is better for us to walk with people around us than to walk looking with our eyes at the backs of their shoulders. The statement of the Prophet, at the end of the hadîth: “By Allâh, this world is more insignificant to Allâh than this (goat) is to you all,” is to be reflected upon by people of intellect!

The next authentic hadîth is similar to the previous hadîth. Ibn ’Abbâs said: The Prophet passed by a dead goat that had been thrown away by its owners. He said: “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, this world is more insignificant to Allâh than this is to its owner.”

Sahl ibn Sa’d said that the Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said: “If this world was worth as much to Allâh as the wing of a mosquito, He would not have given a disbeliever even a sip of water.” [28]

Salmân said: Some people came to the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam and he asked them: “Do you have food?” They said: Yes. He asked: “Do you have drink?” They said: Yes. He said: “Verily their outcome is like the outcome of this world, one of you stands behind his house holding his nose from their bad smell.” This is the similitude of this world. What is the eventual outcome of food and drink? They change to stool and urine. Therefore, a person hates the smell for himself. This is the similitude of the outcome of this World.

The following hadîth has the same meaning. Ubayy ibn Ka’b said that the Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said: “Indeed the food of the son of Âdam is like the example of the world. Even if he puts spices and season into it, see what becomes of it.” [29]

What is the eventual outcome of spices and seasoning in his food? Look at what it becomes! Likewise, this world becomes a similar thing except that which is for Allâh. The next hadîth explains this.

Abû Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said: “The world and all that it contains is cursed, except for the remembrance of Allâh and what supports it; or a Scholar and a student.” [30]

In Conclusion

This is the reality of this world in the Sharî’ah, it has no value. The similitude of this world is like good food and drink: its outcome is decay. The exceptions arc those things which are done for Allâh whether remembrance of Allâh, knowledge or even food because it helps to support the worship of Allâh. These things are among the deeds of man that endure in this fleeting life. The goal behind these ahâdîth is that a person should not be overly concerned about this world, except with which is sufficient to keep him alive and strong; and sufficient enough to be able to accomplish the worship of his Lord. For if his wealth is greater than this, it will only benefit him by the amount of good that he does by helping others; otherwise, he is going to leave this wealth behind and it will not benefit him at all. However, what will benefit him are the righteous actions that he has done.

We ask Allâh not to put love of this world in our hearts, but to guide us to earn in this life what helps us to worship and obey Him. And all praise is for Allâh, Lord of the Worlds.


References

1. Taken from al-Hijra magazine (vol.4 no.2) Shawwâl 1411/August 1990. Footnotes are from the Editors of al-Ibânah.
2. Sahîh: Related by al-Bazzâr and al-Albânî authenticated it.
3. Related by al-Bukhârî and Muslim.
4. Sûrah Kahf 18:110.
5. Ibn Kathîr says in Tafsîr Qur’ân ul-’Adhîm (3/114): “Thus, for an action to be acceptable it has to fulfill two conditions. Firstly: It must be sincere for Allâh alone. Second: It must be corrcct and in accordance with the sharî’ah. So if the action is sincere, but not correct, it will not be accepted.”
6. Related by al-Bukhârî (5/301) and Muslim (no.1718) – from
’Âishah radiallâhu ’anhu.
7. Sûratul-Mâ’idah 5:3. Imâm ash-Shâtibî relates in al-’ltisâm (l/49): “Imâm Mâlik – rahimahullâh – said: Whosoever introduces into Islâm an innovation has lied against the message of Muhammad sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam. Since Allâh has said: “This day have I completed your Dîn for you.” So whatever was not Dîn that day, cannot be considered as part of the Dîn today.”
8. Ash-Shâtibî says in al- ’ltisâm (1/37) about the Sharî’ah definition of Bid’ah: “A newly invented way in the Dîn, in imitation of, or corresponding to the sharî’ah, through which nearness to Allâh is sought. This action not being supported by any authentic proof – neither the action itself, nor the way in which it is performed.”
9. Sahîh: Related by Muslim (6/153) from Jâbir ibn ’Abdullâh. The additional wording “and all that misguides, misguides to the Fire.” is related by an Nasâ‘î (l/224) with a Sahîh isnâd – as Ibn Taymiyyah has mentioned in al-Fatâwâ (3/58).
10. Related by Muslim (no.2985) and Ibn Mâjah (no.4202) – from Abû Hurayrah radiallâhu ’anhu.
11. Sahîh: Related by Ibn Mâjah (1/539) and Ahmad (2/441) – from Ibn ‘Umar radiallâhu ’anhu.
12. The evidence to refute the notion of Bid’ah Hasanah (good innovation) are many. However, for the sake of brevity, only one will be mentioned:- The Sahabî ’Abdullâh ibn ’Umar radiallâhu ’anhu said – as is related by ad-Dârimî in al-Madhkal ilas-Sunan (no.191) with a Sahîh isnâd -: “Every innovation is misguidance, even if the people regard it as something good.”
13. Sûratul-Anbiyâ 21:35.
14. Related by Muslim (2/175-176) and Ibn Mâjah (2/320) – from
Abû Hurayah radiallâhu ’anhu.
15. Sahîh: Related by Ahmad (3/71) and authenticated by al-Albânî in as-Sahîhah (no.1241) that the Prophet was asked: What is Tûbâ? So he sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said: “A tree in Paradise, which would take one hundred years to traverse. The clothes of the people of Paradise are taken from it.”
16. Part of a hadîth Qudsî – related by al-Bukhârî and Muslim from Abû Hurayah radiallâhu ’anhu – in which the Prophet said that Allâh said: “I have prepared for my righteous salves what no eye … ”
17. Sûrah Ra’d 13:29.
18. Sahîh: Related by ad-Âjurrî in al-Ghurabâ (pp.15-16) from Ibn Mas’ûd. The isnâd is Sahîh as al-Albânî states in as-Sahîhah (no.1273).
19. Related by Ahmad and Muslim – from Abû Hurayah radiallâhu ’anhu.
20. Sûratul-’Âdiyât 100:8.
21. Sûratudh-Dhâriyât 51:56.
22. Sûrat at-Takâthur 102:1
23. Related by Muslim and Ahmad
24. Sahîh: Related by Abû Nu’aym in Hilyatul-Awliyâ (7/117) from Jâbir radiallâhu ’anhu. It was authenticated in as-Sahîhah (no.1557).
25. Related by Muslim (16/141), ad-Dârimî (l/396) and others – from Abû Hurayrah radiallâhu ’anhu.
26. Sûratun-Najm 53:32.
27. Sûrah Âl-Imrân 3:31.
28. Sahîh: Related by at-Tirmidhî (no.2436) and al-‘Uqaylî in ad-Du’afâ (no.250) and it was authenticated in as-Sahîhah (no.943).
29. Hasan: Related by Ibn Hibbân in his Sahîh (no.2489) and at-Tabarânî in al-Kabîr (1/27/2) and authenticated in as-Sahîhah (no.382).
30. Hasan: Related by Ibn Mâjah (no.4112) and authenticated in Sahîhul-Jâmi’ (no.3414).

The Pillars which support the correct Da’wah – Shaykh Salih al-Fawzan

Bismillaah

All praise is for Allaah, Lord of all the Worlds, who ordered us to follow His Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )  and to call to His Way, and may Allaah send praises and blessings of peace upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions, and those who truly follow them until the Day of Judgement. To proceed:

Calling to Allaah (ad-Dawah ilallaah) is the way of the Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )  and his followers, as Allaah, the Most High, says:

قُلْ هَٰذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ ۚ عَلَىٰ بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي ۖ وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

“Say, Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم ) , this is my way, I call to Allaah (i.e. to the testification that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, alone, with no partner) upon certain knowledge – I, and those who follow me. I declare Allaah free and far removed from all that they associate as partners with Him, and I am free of those who worship anything else along with Him.” [Soorah Yoosuf (12):108]

Indeed calling to Allaah was the mission of all the Messengers and their followers, in order to bring the people out from darkness and into light, from unbelief (kufr) to true Faith (eemaan), from shirk [2] to tawheed [3], and from the Fire to Paradise. This call to Allaah rests upon firm pillars, and is established upon foundations which are absolutely essential. If any of these are missing the da’wah will not be correct and will not produce the desired results – no matter how much effort is expended and time wasted – and this is the reality which we witness with regard to many of the present day calls which are not supported by those pillars and built upon those foundations. These pillars which support the correct da’wah are clearly shown in the Book and the Sunnah, and can be summarized as follows:


01.Knowledge of that which one calls to:

Since the ignorant person is not suitable to be a caller (daa’ee). Allaah, the Most High, said to His Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )  :

قُلْ هَٰذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ ۚ عَلَىٰ بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي

“Say, O Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم ), this is my way: I call to Allaah (to the testification that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, alone, having no partner) upon certain knowledge (baseerah). I, and those who follow me.” [Soorah Yoosuf (12):108]

‘Baseerah’ is knowledge. So the caller is certain to face those who are scholars of misguidance, those who will attack him with doubts and futile arguments in order to rebut the truth. Allaah, the Most High, says,

وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ

“And argue with them in a way that is better.” [Soorah an-Nahl (16):125]

Furthermore the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم ) said to Mu’aadh, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, “You are going to a people from the People of the Book.” So if the caller is not armed with sufficient knowledge for him to face every doubt and contend with every opponent, then he will be defeated in the first encounter, and will be halted at the beginning of the way.


02.Acting in accordance with that which he calls to:

So that he will be a good example – his actions attesting to his words, and leaving no excuse for the opponents of the Truth. Allaah, the Most High, said about His Prophet Shu’ayb that he said to his people:

وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَنْ أُخَالِفَكُمْ إِلَىٰ مَا أَنْهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ ۚ إِنْ أُرِيدُ إِلَّا الْإِصْلَاحَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ

“I do not wish to forbid you from something and then do it myself. Rather I only wish to rectify you as far as I am able.” [Soorah Hood (11):88]

Allaah, the Most High, said to His Prophet Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )  :

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ – لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ ۖ وَبِذَٰلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

“Say, O Muhammad, indeed my Prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are all purely and solely for Allaah, Lord of all the Worlds. There is no share in any of that for other than Him. That is what my Lord ordered me, and I am the first of this nation to submit to Allaah as a Muslim.” [Soorah al-An’aam (6):162-163]

Allaah, the Most High, said:

وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا

“Who is better in speech than one who calls the people to Allaah and does righteous deeds?”
[Soorah Fussilat (41):33]


03.Purity Of intention (al-ikhlaas):

Such that the call is made purely and sincerely to seek the Face of Allaah (and seeking His Reward) – not for show, or repute, or status, or leadership, nor desiring worldly goals – since if any of these goals adulterate it, the call will not be for Allaah, rather it would then be a call for oneself or for the attainment of the worldly goal – as Allaah informs that His Prophets said to their people:

لَّا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا

“I do not ask you for any reward for conveying this Qur’aan.” [Soorah al-An’aam (6):90]

لَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مَالًا ۖ إِنْ أَجْرِيَ إِلَّا عَلَى اللَّهِ

“I do not ask you for any wealth for my admonition.” [Soorah Hood (11):29]


04.Beginning with what is of primary importance, then with that which comes next in importance, and so on:

So firstly he calls to the correction of ‘aqeedah (belief and creed) – by ordering that all worship is made for Allaah, and shirk is forbidden. Then ordering the establishment of the Prayer, and the payment of the Zakah, and that the obligatory duties are carried out and that forbidden things are avoided. This was the procedure followed by all of the Messengers, as Allaah, the Most High, says:

“We sent a Messenger to every nation, ordering them that they should worship Allaah alone, obey Him and make their worship purely for Him, and that they should avoid everything worshipped besides Allaah.” [Soorah an-Nahl (16):36]

Allaah, the Most High, says:

“We did not send any Messenger before you, O Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )  , except that We revealed to Him that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah – so make all of your worship purely for Allaah.”  [ Soorah al-Ambiyaa (21):25]

Furthermore when the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )   sent Mu’aadh to Yemen he (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )   said to him,

“Indeed you are going to a people from the People of the Book – so let the first thing that you call them to be the testification that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah. So if they accept that then inform them that Allaah has obligated five Prayers upon them in each day and night…”

The best example of giving da’wah is to be found in the method of the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )   – it is the most perfect and complete methodology – in that he (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )   remained in Makkah for thirteen years, calling the people to tawheed and forbidding them from shirk, before (he ordered) them with Prayer, Zakaat, Fasting and Hajj, and before he (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )   forbade them from usury, fornication, theft and murder.


05.Patient perseverance in facing difficulties encountered in calling to Allaah, and in facing harm from the people:

For the path of da’wah is not strewn with roses, rather it is covered with hardships and hazards. The best example of this is the case of the Messengers, may Allaah’s Praises and Blessings of peace be upon them all, with regard to the harm and the mockery which they suffered from their people. As Allaah, the Most High, said to His Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )  :

“Indeed Messengers were mocked before you, but those who mocked them were overtaken by the punishment which they made light of.” [Soorah al-An’aam (6):10]

He, the Most High, said:

“Indeed Messengers were also denied before you, but they bore these denials with patient perseverance, and they suffered harm until Our help came to them.” [Soorah al-An’aam (6):34]

Likewise the followers of the Prophets are met with the same harm and hardship in proportion to their effort in calling to Allaah, following the example of those noble Messengers – may Allaah’s praises and purest blessings of peace be upon them.


06. The caller must be a person of good manners:

He must use wisdom in his call, since this will be an important reason for the acceptance of his call. Just as Allaah ordered His two noble Prophets, Moosa and Haaroon, that this was the manner in which they were to face the worst unbeliever upon the earth – Fir’awn (Pharaoh) – who claimed Lordship for himself. Allaah, the One free of all imperfections, said:

“And speak mildly to him that he might accept admonition or fear and obey Allaah.”  [Soorah Taa Haa (20):44]

Allaah, the Most High, said to Moosa, ‘alayhis-salaatu was-salaam:

“Go to Fir’awn (Pharaoh) who has transgressed all bounds in his haughtiness, pride and disbelief, and say, ‘Will you not purify yourself from the sin of disbelief and be obedient to your Lord, so that you may submit fearfully to Him and obey Him?’” [Soorah an-Naazi’aat (79):17-19]

Allaah, the Most High, said, concerning His Prophet Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )  :

“By the Mercy of Allaah you behaved with gentleness to them and had you been severe and harsh-hearted they would have left you and departed.” [Soorah Aal-’Imraan (3):159]

Allaah, the Most High, says:

“Indeed you, O Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )  , are on an exalted standard of character.” [Soorah al-Qalam (68): 4]

He, the Most High, says:

“O Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )  , call mankind to the way prescribed by your Lord (i.e. Islaam) with the Revelation sent down to you (the Book and the Sunnah), and admonish them with the examples and warnings which Allaah has provided in His Book, and argue with them in a way that is better.” [Soorah an-Nahl (16):125]


07.The caller must remain firm in his expectation and hope for good:

He should not despair of the effectiveness of his call, or about the guidance of his people. Nor should he despair about the aid and the help of Allaah, even if a long time passes, and again he has the best example in this matter in the Messengers of Allaah. So the Prophet of Allaah, Nooh, ‘alayhis-salaatu was-salaam, remained amongst his people for nine hundred and fifty years, calling them to Allaah.

Also when the harm and the hurt of the unbelievers became severe against the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )  , and the angel of the mountains came to him (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )   asking if he wanted him to crush them between the two mountains, he (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم )   replied, “No, I wish to have patience with them, hopefully Allaah will produce from their offspring those who will worship Allaah alone, not giving any partner to Him.”  [Reported by Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. 4/300 no.454) and Muslim (Eng. trans. 3/987 no.4425)]

If the caller lacks this attribute he will halt at the start of the path and feel discouraged and frustrated.

Read further: Da’wah of the present day groups (jamaa’aat) who have neglected the importance of ‘aqeedah (correct belief and creed) – Shaykh Saalih Fawzan

Footnotes:

[2] Attribution of worship or any of Allaah’s Rights to others besides Allaah.

[3] The pure worship of Allaah alone, recognizing Him as the sole Lord – the possessor of the most perfect Names and Attributes.

[Excerpted from : Shaykh Saalih Fawzan’s hafidhahullaah Introduction to the book : “The Methodology of the Prophets in Calling to Allaah – that is the way of wisdom and intelligence” – by Shaykh Rabee hafidhahullaah, translated by Dawud Burbank rahimahullah]

Download the full PDF Book:
https://abdurrahman.org/dawah/methodology-of-the-prophets-in-calling-to-allaah/

Preserving the Usool : Shaikh al-Uthaimeen

Shaikh Muhammad Bin Saalih al-Uthaimeen [1] – from the Book Tuqrîbut-Tadmuriyyah (pp.7.14)

Source: Al-Ibaanah Magazine, Issue No.2 – Rabi’ul-Awwal 1416H / August 1995

The Messenger of Allaah explained to the people -completely and clearly-what their Lord had revealed for them; both the detailed matters and the important ones, the apparent matters and the hidden ones, to such an extent that he taught them what they needed to know with respect to matters of eating, drinking, marriage, clothing and housing. So he taught them the ettiquettes of eating, drinking and relieving one’s self; the ettiquettes of marriage; the ettiquettes of clothing and of entering and leaving the house – just as he taught them what they needed to know with regard to the worship of Allaah -The Mighty and Majestic-such as purification, Prayer, Zakaah, fasting, Pilgrimage and other than this.

He taught them what they needed to know with regard to the social behaviour with the people, such as kindness to parents, keeping ties of kinship, good companionship with friends and neighbours and other than this.He taught them how to conduct themselves in matters of buying and selling, pawning, leaving deposits, leasing, renting, giving and receiving donations, and other such matter, to such an extent that Abu Dharr(radhi Allaahu anhu) said: “Indeed the Messenger of Allaah passed away and there is not a bird flapping its wings in the sky, except that he mentioned to us some knowledge about it” (2)

Foundations of the Deen

Salmaan al-Farsee (radhi Allaahu anhu) narrated that it was said to him:Your Prophet has taught you everything, even how to relieve yourselves?So he said to them:”Yes indeed! And he has prohibited us from facing the qiblah (direction of prayer) whilst relieving ourselves…”(3) Along with this, he also taught them the foundation of all these acts of worship, manners and social interactions.

This foundation being what the worshippers hold as ‘aqeedah (belief) concerning Allaah-the deity who is worshipped and who alone deservs to be worshippped -regarding His Dhaat (Essence), His Names, His Attributes and His Actions, and what follows from this regard to His Universal Laws and His prescribed Laws, which is based upon His ultimate Wisdom and utmost mercy.The Companions learnt all this from the Prophet, clearly and without any ambiguity, and all this was built upon the complete “Tawheed” of Allaah (to single out Allaah alone for worship), having as its foundations two great pillars: Affirmation and Negation.

As for affirmation: It is affirming what is due to Allaah-the Most High-from the rights of His Lordship, worship, and His names, attributes and actions.

As for negation: Then it is negating any partners to Allaah-the Most High-in all that is due to Him.

The People of Sunnah

Those who followed in goodness (ie in aqeedah and manhaj) from those who reached the period of the companions , or those who came after them from the Imaams of guidance-who deserved the Pleasure of Allaah – remained upon this path, as Allaah-the Most High-said:

“The first to embrace Islaam from the Muhaajireen(those who migrated from Makkah to al-Madeenah) and the Ansaar(those who lived in al-Madeenah and aided them after migration) and those who follow them in goodness(correct aqeedah and manhaj).Allaah is well pleased with them, as they are well pleased with Him.He has prepared for them Gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever.This is the suporeme achievement”(4)

Then they were followed by those who came later, being blind to the truth, or pretending to be blind to the truth.So they went astray and led others astray either due to inabilities or shortcomings, or due to enmity and oppression. They innovated in the Deen of Allaah -the Most High – that which did not belong to it, in matters of aqeedah (beliefs), ibaadah (acts of worship) and sulook (manners).They did this by altering the texts of the Book and the Sunnah; and of it was possible, they rejected them entirely!

Brief History of the Innovated Sects

Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah ( d.728H) said: “And know that most of the innovations connected to ‘uloom(sciences) and acts of worship occured in this Ummah at the end of the period of the Rightly guided Khaleefahs; just asa the Prophet informed, when he said: “Those of you who live long after me will see a great deal of differences. So Hold fast to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Khaleefahs after me”…So when the period of the Rightly Guided Khaleefahs had passed and the rule of kingship appeared, deficiencies appeared in the leaders, and therefore deficiency spread also to the people of knowledge and Deen.So during the end of the rule of ‘Alee (radhi Allaahu anhu) – the innovation of the Khwaarij (5) and Raafidah (6) appeared; this being connected to the issue of leadership and khilaafah, and what was connected to this from actions and Shareeah rulings.

The kingship of Mu’aawiyah was a kingship of mercy, so when it passed, the rule of Yazeed came and fitnah (trials and discord) took place within it: the killling of al-Husayn in Iraaq, the fitnah of the people of Hurrah in al-Madeenah and the seige of Makkah when ‘Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr made his stand. Then Yazeed passed away and the Ummah split-up. Ibn az-Zubayr in the Hijaaz, Banu Hakam in ash-Shaam (Syria, Jordan and Palestine) and the jump to power of Mukhtaar ibn Abee’Ubayd and others in ‘Iraaq. All of this took place at the end of the period of the Companions, when there only remained the likes of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abaas, ‘Abdullah ibn Umar, Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah, Abu Saeed al-Khudree and others. The innovations of the Qadarriyah (7) and the Murjiah (8) then occured and it was refused by those Companions who remained, as they had, along with others, refuted the innovations of the Khawaarij and the Raafidah.

A Brief Summary

Ibn al-Qayyim (d.751H) (rahimahhullaah) said: “The innovation of the Qadariyyah started at the end of the period of the Companions. So those that remained at the end of the periods of the Companions.So those who remained at that time, such as ‘Abdullah ibn Umar, Ibn Abbas, and their like, oppsed and refuted it. Then the innovation of the Murjiah occured, after the period of the Companions, so those of the major ‘Tabiyoon who faced it, refuted it.Then came the innovation of the ‘Jahyimmah’ (9) after the passing away of the Tabbi’oon. Its evil reached alarming proportions and the matter had become dire during the age of the Imaams such as Ahmad (d.241H) and those with him.There appeared after this, the innovation of hulool (incarnation), this appeared with, and in the time of al-Hallaaj.

So whenever Shaytaan brought about an innovation from these innovations, or from other than them, Allaah established from His party an army, those who refuted it and warned the Muslims against it-all for the sake of sincerity and sincere advice for Allaah, His book, His Messenger and the people of Islaam”(11)

Compilation of the Aqeedah

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr (d.852H) (rahimahhullaah) said: “From that which occured was:compilation of hadeeth, then tafseer, then the compilation of issues of fiqh (jurisprudence) eminating from pure opinion, and then the compilation of matters related to actions of the heart.

As for the firts matter; it was opposed by ‘Umaar, Abu Moosaa and a few others whilst the majority allowed it. As for the second:It was oppsed by a group from the Tabioon such as Imaam ash-Sha’bee(d.104H) and a small group. Imaam Ahmad’s opposition of this intensified.

Also from that which occured was the compilation of the sayings about Usool ud-Deen (fundamentals of the Deen). Some embarked to affirm it (ie the attributes of Allaah), whilst others negated it. The former went to the extent of making tashbeeh (resembling Allaah to his creation), whilst the latter went to the extent of making ta’teel (denying the attributes of Allah). The rejection of this from the Salaf such as Abu Haneefah(d.150H), Abu Yoosuf(d.182H) and ash-Shaafiee(d.204H), and their sayings with regards to censuring the people of Kalaam (philosphical speech and theology) is well known. The reason for such censure was that the people of ‘Kalaaam’ spoke about those matters which both the Prophet and his Companions remained quiet about. It is established from Maalik(d.179H) that there did not exist at the time of the Prophet nor that of AbuBakr (radhi Allaahu anhu) or Umar (radhi Allaahu anhu), anything from these desires – meaning: the innovation of the Khawaarij, the Raafidah and the Qadiriyyah. Indeed, those who came after the first three excellent generations expanded upon matters which the Imaams of the Tabioon and those who followed them, rejected.

The people of Kalaam did not content themselves, until they filled the Deen with issues and the sayings of the philosphers. They made this philoshopy the basis and the fundamental principle to which everything was refered back to, and all that which opposed it from the narrations (of the Prophet, his Companions and the Salaf who followd them) then ta’weel (false interpretation ) was made of them, even if they were averse to the result. Nor did they content themselves with just this.They claimed that what they had compiled was the noblest branch of knowledge and the most deserving to be acquired; and that those who did not use what they had laid down, then they were from the laymen and the ignorant ones.

So delight is for the one who clings to what the Salaf were upon, and distances himself from the innovations that the khalaf (the latecomers who oppsed the aqeedah and manhaj of the Salaf) introduced.However, if one cannot keep away from it, then let him take only that which he needs and let the way of the Salaf be his intended goal.”(12)

Notes

(1)From the Shayk’s introduction to his book:Taqreebut-Tadmuriyyah (pp.7-14) -slightl edited.

(2) Saheeh:Related by Ahmad (5/153), at-Tiyaalasee(n0.479)and at-Tabaranee in al-Kabeer(no.1647).Its isnaad is saheeh)

(3)Related by Muslim(1/152) and Abu Dawood(no.8)

(4)Soorah at-Tawbah 9:100

(5)The Khawaarij were the first sect in Islam to split from the way of the Prophet and his Companions.They arose in the khilaafah of ‘Alee (radhi Allaahu anhu) making khurooj (rebellion) against him, before the arbitration between him and Muawiyah (radhi Allaahu anhu).From their false aqeedah (beliefs) is:allowing rebellion against the legitimate Muslim ruler-whether pious or wicked , and declaring the Muslim to be kaafir (disbeliever) due to a commission of a major sin. They were discussed by the Prophet as the Dogs of Hellfire. Refer to Maqaalaatul-Islaamiyeen(1/168) of Abul-Hasan ash-Asharee, al-Bidaayah(8/22-44) of Ibn Katheer and Fathul-Baree(12/282-302) of Ibn Hajr.

(6) The Raafidah (the rejectors) are an extreme sect of the Sheeah who rejected Zayd ibn Alee ibn ‘Alee ibn al-Husayn due to his refusal to condemn Abu Bakr and Umar (radhi Allaahu anhu).They rapidly deteriorated in ‘aqeedah’, morals and Deen-until the present day-where their beliefs are those represented by the Ithna Ashariyyah Shee’ahs of Iraan. From their false beliefs are: declaring all but three or five of the companions to be disbelievers, the belief that their imaams have knowledge of the Unseen past, present and future, considering the imaamah to be one of the main pillars of eemaan (faith) and the incompleteness of the Quraan. Refer to: Maqalaatul-Islamiyeen (1/65), al-Farq baynal-Firaq (no.21) of Abdul-Qaahir al-Baghdaadee and Talbees Iblees (pp.94-100) of Ibn ul-Jawzee.

(7)The Qadariyyah are the follwers of Mabad ibn al-Juhanee, and from their false beliefs are; that Allah has no prior knowledge of anything until it come into existence; that it is people -and not Allah -who are creators of their own actions, denying aqeedah in the Punishment of the Grave, and denying that the authentic hadeeth is an evidence for the aqeedah, unless it is related in mutaawatir form. Refer to al-Milal wan-Nihal(1/72) of ash-Shahrastaanee and Sawnul-Mantaq wal-Kalaam (p.160) of as-Suyotee.

(8) The Murjiaah are those who reject that actions are a part of eemaan (faith) and they say that eemaan is affirmation of the heart and atatement of the tingue only.The extreme from amonngst them limit eemaan to belief of the heart only .They also deny that eemaan increases and decreases.Refer to al-Maqaalat (1/214) and al-Farq baynal-Firaq (p.202)

(9) The Jahyimmah are the followers of Jahm ibn Safwaan, who unleashed upon this Ummah the horrific innovation of ta’teel (denial of Allah’s attributes) either directly, or by twisting the meaning of Hand of Allah to mean:His power and generosity. They also deny that Allah is above creation, above His Throne, as well as holding the belief that Paradise and Hellfire are not ever-lasting. Refer to ar-Radd ‘alal-Jahyimmah by Imaam Ahmad and also ad-Daarimee and al-Ibaanah (p.141) of Abdul-Hasan al-Assharee.

(10) Majmooul-Fataawaa (10/354-368) of Ibn Taymiyyah.

(11) Tadheeb Sunan Abee Dawood (7/61) of Ibn al-Qayyim.

(12) FathulBaree (13/253) of Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalaanee.

(13) Ar-Radd ‘alal-Jahyimmah waz-Zaanadiqah( p.2) of Imaam Ahmad.

The Meaning of Worship (Ibaadah) : Shaykh ’Abdur-Rahmaan aalush-Shaykh

Author:Shaykh ’Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Hasan aalush-Shaykh (d.1258H)
Source:His commentary Fathul-Majeed li-Sharh Kitaabit-Tawheed (1/84-90)
Translator:Al-Ibaanah Magazine

THE MEANING OF WORSHIP: [1]

The statement of Allaah, the Most High: “I did not create the Jinn, nor mankind, except to worship Me.” [Sooratudh-Dhaariyaat 51:56]

Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“Worship (al-’Ibaadah) is obedience to Allaah by following that which He ordered upon the tongues of His Messengers.” He also said, “Worship (al-’Ibaadah) is a comprehensive term covering everything that Allaah loves and is pleased with – whether saying, or actions, outward and inward.” [2]

Ibnul-Qayyim (d.751H), rahimahullaah, said:

“Worship revolves around fifteen principles. Whosoever completes them has completed the stages of ’uboodiyyah (servitude to Allaah). The explanation of this is that ’ibaadah is divided between the heart, the tongue, and the limbs. And that for each one of these three come five types of rulings, covering all actions: waajib (obligatory), mustahabb (recommended), haraam (prohibited), makrooh (disliked), and mubaah (permissible).” [3]

Imaam al-Qurtubee (d.671H), rahimahullaah, said:

“The root of ’ibaadah is humility and submissiveness. The various duties that have been prescribed upon the people are called ’ibaadaat (acts of worship), since what is required is that these acts of worship must be done with humility and submissiveness to Allaah, the Most High.” [4]

Ibn Katheer (d.774H), rahimahullaah, said:

“And ’ibaadah is obedience to Allaah by acting upon what He commands, and abandoning what He forbids; and this is the reality and essence of Islaam. And the meaning of Islaam is: istislaam (submission and surrender) to Allaah, the Most High, along with the utmost compliance, humility, and submissiveness to Him.”

He also said whilst explaining the above aayah:

“Indeed Allaah, the Most High, created the creation so that they could worship Him alone, without associating any partner with Him. Whoever obeys Him will be completely rewarded, whereas whoever disobeys Him would be punished with a severe punishment. And He has informed that He is neither dependant, nor does He have any need for them. Rather, it is they who are in dire need of Him, in every condition and circumstance, since He is the One who created, sustains, and provides for them.” [5]

THE MEANING OF TAAGHOOT:

The statement of Allaah, the Most High: “And to every nation We sent Messengers, ordering them that they should worship Allaah alone, obey Him, and make their worship purely for Him; and that they should avoid at-Taaghoot.” [Sooratun-Nahl 16:36]

And at-taaghoot is from the word at-tughyaan, which means: going beyond the limits.

’Umar Ibnul-Khattaab (radiyallaahu ’anhu) said:

“The taaghoot is Shaytaan.” [6]

Jaabir (radiyallaahu ’anhu) said:

“The taaghoots are the soothsayers and fortune-tellers upon whom the devils descend.” [7]

Imaam Maalik (d.179H), rahimahullaah, said:

“Taaghoot: that which is worshipped besides Allaah.” [8]

So this is what has been mentioned by certain people. However, Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim, rahimahullaahu, has given a very comprehensive definition, so he said, “The taaghoot is all that which causes the person to exceed the limits with regards to that which is worshipped, followed, or obeyed. So the taaghoot in any nation is whosoever turns to other than Allaah and His Messenger for matters of judgement; or is pleased to be worshipped besides Allaah; or is followed without a clear proof from Allaah; or is obeyed in that which is known to be disobedience to Allaah.” [9]

Footnotes:

[1] Fathul-Majeed li-Sharh Kitaabit-Tawheed (1/84-90)

[2] Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (10/149) of Ibn Taymiyyah.

[3] Madaarijus-Saalikeen (1/109)

[4] Al-Jaami’ li-Ahkaamil-Qur‘aan (1/225), and (17/56) of al-Qurtubee.

[5] Tafseerul-Qur‘aanil-’Adtheem (7/402)

[6] Related by at-Tabaree in Jaami’ul-Bayaan ’an-Ta‘weelil-Qur‘aan (no. 5834), al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar said in Fathul-Baaree (8/251), “Its chain of narrators is strong.”

[7] Related by at-Tabaree in his Tafseer (no. 5845)

[8] Related by as-Suyootee in ad-Durarul-Manthoor (2/22), by way of Ibn Abee Haatim.

[9] I’laamul-Muwaqqi’een (1/53)

The Beautiful Names and Lofty Attributes : Shaykh Ibn Baaz

Source: Al-Ibaanah Magazine – Issue No.2 – Rabî’ul-Awwal 1416H / August 1995

The Shaykh – hafidhahullâh – said: [1]

From îmân (faith) in Allâh is to have îmân in those of His Asmâul-Husnâ (beautiful Names) and Sifâtul-’Ulyâ (lofty Attributes) that occur in His Great Book and that have been affirmed by His trustworthy Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam – without tahrîf (distorting the wording or the meaning), ta’tîl (divesting or denying the Attributes), takyîf (asking how) or tamthîl (resembling Allâh to any of His creation). Rather, it is obligatory to leave them as they came, without takyîf. Along with this, it is also obligatory to have îmân in the meaning that Allâh – the Mighty and Majestic – has been described with, in a way which befits Him; without resembling Him to His creation in any of His Attributes. Allâh – the Most High – says:

“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.” [2]

Allâh – the Mighty and Majestic – also says:

“And do not put forward any similitude for Allâh. Indeed, Allâh knows and you do not know.” [3]

So this is the ’aqîdah (belief) of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamâ’ah from the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam and those that followed them in goodness. This is what has been recorded also by Imâm Abûl-Hasan al-Ash’arî (d.324H) – rahimahullâh – in his book: “Al-Maqâlât ‘an Asbâbul-Hadîth wa Ahlus-Sunnah.” This has also been stated by many others from the people of knowledge and îmân.

Imâm al-Awzâ’î [4] – rahimahullâh – said:
“I asked az-Zuhrî and Makhûl about the âyât pertaining to the Sifât (Attributes of Allâh), so they said: Leave them as they are.” [5]

Al-Walîd ibn Muslim – rahimahullâh – said:
“I asked Mâlik, al-Awzâ’î, Layth ibn Sa’d and Sufyân ath-Thawrî – rahimahumullâh – about the reports related about the Attributes, so they all said: Leave them as they are, without asking how.” [6]

Al-Awzâ’î – rahimahullâh – said:
“We – whilst the Tâbi’ûn were many – would say: Indeed Allâh – the Most Perfect – is above His Throne, and we have îmân in what is related in the Sunnah about the Attributes.” [7]

Rabî’ah ibn Abî ’Abdur-Rahmân [8] – rahimahumullâh – said:
Al-Istiwâ (Allâh ascending) is not unknown, and how is not comprehendible, and from Allâh is the Message, upon the Messenger is to clearly convey it, and upon us is to affirm it.” [9]

Imâm Mâlik [10] – rahimahullâh – said:
Al-Istiwâ is known, and how is unknown, to have îmân in it is obligatory and to question it is an innovation.” Then he said to the questioner: “I do not think, except that you are an evil man.” So he ordered him to be expelled. [11]

This has also been related about Ummul-Mu‘minîn Umm Salamah radiallâhu ’anhâ. [12]

’Abdullâh ibn al-Mubârak [13] – rahimahullâh – said:
“We know that our Lord – the Most Perfect – is above the heavens, above His ’Arsh (Throne), separate from His creation.” [14]

The words of the Scholars about this matter are very numerous indeed, and it is not possible to relate them all in such a short space. However, whosoever further desires to be acquainted with this topic, then let him turn to the books by the Scholars of Sunnah about this subject, such as the book:- Kitâbus-Sunnah by ’Abdullâh the son of Imâm Ahmad (d.290H), Kitâbut-Tawhîd by the great Imâm, Muhammad ibn Khuzaymah (d.311H), Kitâbus-Sunnah by Abûl-Qâsim al-Lâlikâ‘î at-Tabarî (d.418H), and Kitâbus-Sunnah by Abû Bakr Ibn Abî ’Âsim (d.287H).

Refer also to the reply given by Shaykhul-Islâm Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) to the people of Hamah (entitled al-’Aqîdatul-Hamawiyyah), as it is a great reply, full of benefit. In it he –rahimahullâh – has made clear the ’aqîdah of Ahlus-Sunnah, and has recorded many of the sayings of the Scholars; as well as giving proofs from both the Sharî’ah and sound reasoning about the correctness of what Ahlus-Sunnah say, showing also the futility of those who oppose them.

Likewise, his book entitled al-’Aqîdatut-Tadmuriyyah in which he established and explained the ’aqîdah of Ahlus-Sunnah with both textual proofs and proofs from sound reasoning. In this treatise he has – for all those of understanding, intending righteousness and desiring to realise the truth – thoroughly refuted all opposition, by clarifying the truth and refuting the falsehood.

All those who oppose Ahlus-Sunnah in their ’aqîdah concerning Allâh’s Names and Attributes, have indeed fallen into opposing the textual evidences and sound reasoning along with clearly contradicting all that Allâh has affirmed or negated for Himself.

So Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamâ’ah affirm for Allâh – the Most Perfect – what He has affirmed for Himself in His Noble Book, or what has been affirmed for Him by His Messenger Muhammad sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam in the authentic Sunnah. Affirming without tamthîl (resemblance) and freeing Allâh – the Most Perfect – from any resemblance to His creation, whilst also rejecting and being free from ta’tîl. So whosoever holds fast to the truth which Allâh sent, humbling and accepting it, whilst being sincere to Allâh in the quest for it, then it is the way of Allâh – the Most Perfect – that He will grant such a person harmony with the truth and show them His clear evidences, as Allâh – the Most High – mentions:

“Nay! We hurl truth against falsehood, so it destroys it; and behold, falsehood is vanquished.” [15]

And Allâh – the Most High – said:

“And no example or similitude do they bring, except We reveal to you the truth and the best explanation thereof.” [16]

Al-Hâfidh Ibn Kathîr (d.774H) rahimahullâh explained in his famous tafsîr – whilst commenting upon the saying of Allâh – the Mighty and Majestic:

“Indeed your Lord is He who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then He ascended (istiwâ) over the Throne.” [17]

He explained this issue in a most beautiful manner, which I have quoted here in its entirety, due to its great benefit.

Ibn Kathîr – rahimahullâh – said:
“The sayings of the people in this issue are very many. However, this is not the place to enter into a detailed discussion about it. Indeed, the path we traverse in this issue is to follow the way of the Salafus-Sâlih (Pious Predecessors) such as: Mâlik, al-Awzâ’î, ath-Thawrî, Layth ibn Sa’d, ash-Shâfi’î, Ahmad, Ishâq ibn Bâhâwaih, and other from the Scholars of the Muslims – both past and present. And their way is: to recite them as they are, without takyîf, tashbîh, nor ta’tîl. Indeed, Allâh does not resemble anything of His creation in any way:

“There is nothing like Him, He is the all-Hearing, all-Seeing.” [18]

Rather, the matter is as the Scholars – such as Nu’aym ibn Hammâd al-Khuzâ’î (d.228H), the Shaykh of al-Bukhârî – said: “Whosoever makes tashbîh (resemblance) of Allâh to His creation, has committed kufr (disbelief), and whosoever denies what Allâh has described Himself with, has also committed kufr … Indeed, all that Allâh has described Himself with, or what His Messenger has described Him with, then there is no tashbîh in it at all.” [19] So whosoever affirms for Allâh – the Most High – what is related in the clear Âyât and the authentic narrations – in a way which befits Allâh’s Greatness and Majesty – whilst also denying and negating from Allâh – the Most High – any defects and imperfection, then such a person has truly traversed the path of Guidance.” [20]

The Shaykh (bin Bâz) – hafidhahullâh – also said: [21]
Tahrîf (distortion) means: changing the wordings of the Names and Attributes, or changing their meanings. Like the saying of the Jahmiyyah that istiwâ (ascending above) is istawlâ (conquering and having dominion over); and like the saying of some of the Innovators that al-Ghadab (Anger) when referring to Allâh means ‘intending to punish’ and that ar-Rahmah (Mercy) means ‘intending to send blessings.’ And all of this is tahrîf: And their saying about istawâ that it is istawlâ is tahrîf of the wording, and their saying that ar-Rahmah is intending to send blessings and al-Ghadab is intending to punish is tahrîf of the meaning. The true saying, however, is that istawâ means ascending and being above – as is clear in the ’Arabic language. And the Qur‘ân came to show that its meaning is ascending and being above the ’Arsh (Throne) in a manner which befits Allâh’s Majesty and Greatness. Likewise, al-Ghadab and ar-Rahmah are two real Attributes befitting Allâh’s Majesty and Greatness – just as is the case with the rest of the Attributes reported in the Book and the Sunnah.

Ta’tîl (divesting) means: removal of the Attributes and to deny them for Allâh the Most High. It is taken from their saying: ‘A graceful neck without adornment (mu’attal).’ So the Jahmiyyah and their like divest Allâh of His Attributes and are thus called the Mu’atillah. And this saying of theirs is totally futile, since it is not possible for there to be anything in existence without attributes – and the Qur‘ân and the Sunnah repeatedly affirm Attributes (for Allâh) in a manner befitting Allâh’s Majesty and Greatness.

Takyîf means: Explaining how the Attributes are. So it is not said: ‘How did He ascend?’ And ‘How is His Hand?’ And ‘How is His Face?’ Since, speaking about the Attributes of Allâh follows the same principle, and is treated the same, as speaking about the Dhât (Essence/Self) of Allâh. So just as He has a Dhât – and we do not know how it is, then likewise, He has Sifât (Attributes) – and we do not know how they are either, no one knows that except Him. But we believe in the reality of their meaning.

As regards to tamthîl, then it means: tashbîh (making resemblance). So it is not said: Allâh has a Dhât (Essence) like ours, or resembling ours, etc. Thus, it is not said about the Attributes of Allâh that they are like – or resembling – our attributes. Rather, the Believer must stick to His – the Most High’s – saying: “There is nothing like Him.” And the meaning is that there is none who resembles Him.”

Note: Shaykhul-Islâm Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) mentioned: If it is said to you: We interpret the meaning of Anger to be ‘desiring to punish’ and Mercy to be ‘desiring to send blessings’ then say: Does this desiring resemble that of the creation, or is it a desiring befitting His Majesty and Greatness? So if he says the first – then he has done tashbîh! And if he says the second, then say: Then why do you not say, ‘Mercy and Anger befitting His Majesty and Greatness?’ And this will put an end to his argument.


References

1. Al-’Aqîdatus-Sahîhah wa Ma Yudâdahâ (pp.9-13).
2. Sûrah ash-Shûrâ 42:11
3. Sûrah an-Nahl 16:74
4. He is Abdur-Rahmân ibn ’Amr al-Awzâ’î – the Scholar, worshipper and mujâhid. Al-Hâkim said: “Al-Awzâ’î was the Imâm of the people of his time in general, and he was the Imâm of the people of Shâm in particular.” He died in Bayrût, in the year 157H. Refer to at-Tadhbirab (l/178) and al-Hilyah (6/135) for his biography.
5. Related by al-Harawî in Dhammul-Kalâm (p.18).
6. Related by al-Âjurrî in ash-Sharî’ah (p.314), al-Bayhaqî in al-Asmâ was-Sifât (p.453), al-l’tiqâd (p.118) and the isnâd is Hasan.
7. Related by al-Bayhaqî in al-Asmâ was-Sifât (p.408). The isnâd is jayyid, as al-Hâfidh Ibn Hajar said in Fathul-Bârî (13/406).
8. He is Rabî’ah ibn Abî ’Abdur-Rahmân – better known as Rabî’atur-Râ’î – one of the Tâbi’ûn of al-Madînah. Al-Khatîb said: “He was a Faqîh, a Scholar and a Hâfidh in Fiqh and Hadîth.” He died in the year 136H. Refer to Târîkh Baghdâd (8/420) and Hilyatul-Awliyâ (3/259) for his biography. Related by al-Bayhaqî in al-Asmâ was-Sifât (no.516) and al-Lâlikâ‘î in Sharh Usûl I’tiqâd Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamâ’ah (no.665). Ibn Taymiyyah said in Majmû’al-Fatâwâ (5/365): “It is established from Rabî’ah.” He also said in al-Hamawiyyah (p.80): “Al-Khallâl narrated it with an isnâd all of whom are thiqât (precise and reliable).”
10. He is Abû ’Abdullâh Mâlik ibn Anas – the Imâm from the Atbâ’ut-Tâbi’ûn of al-Madînah and one of the Scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah. Imâm ash-Shâfi’î said: “When the Scholars are mentioned, then Mâlik is a dazzling star.” He died in 179H. Refer to Siyâr A’lâmun-Nubalâ (7/366) of adh-Dhahabî for a complete biography.
11. Related by al-Bayhaqî in al-Asmâ was-Sifât (p.516) with the wording: “Al-Istiwâ is not unknown and how is unknown, to have îmân in it is obligatory and to question it is an innovation.” Al-Bayhaqî also relates (p.516), as does ad-Dârimî in ar-Radd ’alal-Jahmiyyah (p.55) – with a jayyid isnâd, as Ibn Hajr says in Fatbul-Bârî (13/406) – that Imâm Mâhk said: “The Most Merciful ascended as He Himself described, and it is not to be asked: How? Since how is unknown.”
12. Related by al-Lâlakâ‘î in Sharh Usûl I’tiqâd (no.663). Ibn Taymiyyah said in al-Fatâwâ (5/365): “Its isnâd cannot be relied upon.” Adh-Dhahabî said in al-’Uluww (p.82): “This saying has been preserved from a group, such as Rabi’atur-Ra‘î, Mâlik and Abû Ja’far at-Tirmidhî. However, the narration from Umm Salamah is not authenhic – since Abû Kinânah is not reliable and Abû ’Amîr is not known.” So the Shaykh was indeed correct in not definitely ascribing this saying to the Mother of the Believers, Umm Salamah – and all praise is for Allâh.
13. He is Abû ’Abdur-Rahmân ’Abdullâh ibn al-Mubârak al-Marwazî. The Imâm from the Atbâ’ut-Tâbi’ûn, the Hâfidh, the Shaykh of Islâm, example for the people of zuhd and a leader of the mujâhidîn. He died in the year 181H. Refer to Târîkh Baghdâd (l/152) and at-Tadhkirah (l/274) for his biography.
14. Related by ad-Dârimî in ar-Radd ’alal-Jahmiyyah (no.23), ’Abdullâh ibn Ahmad in as-Sunnah (no.22) and al-Bukhârî in Khalq Af’âlul-’Ibâd (no.8). It was declared Sahîh by Ibn Taymiyyah in al-Hamawiyyah (no.41).
15. Sûrah al-Anbiyâ 21:18
16. Sûrah al-Furqân 25:33
17. Sûrah al-A’râf 7:54
18. Sûrah ash-Shûrâ 42:11
19. Related by Imâm adh-Dhahabî with his isnâd in al-’Uluww (no.217), and the isnâd is Sahîh and the narrators are all well-known – as al-Albânî said in Mukhtasar al-’Uluww (p.184).
20. Tafsîr Qur‘ânul-Adhîm (2/230) of Ibn Kathîr.
21. Added from the footnotes to at-Tanbîbâtul-Intîfab ’alâ mabtawat ’alayhil-’Aqîdatil-Wâsitiyyah (pp.15-16).


The Testimony of Imâm at-Tirmidhî

Speaking about those ahâdîth which mention the Attributes of Allâh, Imâm at-Tirmidhî (d.279H)- rahimahullâh – said in his Sunan (l/128-129): “It has been said by more than one person from the People of Knowledge – about such ahâdîth – that there in no tashbîh (resemblence) to the Attributes of Allâh. And the Lord – the Blessed, the Most High – descends to the lowest heaven every night. So they say: Affirm these narrations, have îmân in them and do not deny them, and do not ask how. The likes of this has been related from Mâlik ibn Anas, Sufyân ath-Thawrî, Ibn ’Uyaynah and ’Abdullâh ibn al-Mubârak, who all said about these ahâdîth: “Leave them as they are, without asking how.” Such is the saying of the People of Knowledge from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamâ’ah. However, the Jahmiyyah oppose these narrations and say: This is tashbîh!!

However, Allâh – the Most High – has mentioned in various places in His Book the Attribute of Hand, Hearing and Seeing. So the Jahmiyyah make ta’tîl (false interpolation) of these Âyât and explain it in a way other than that explained by the People of Knowledge. They say: Indeed, Allâh did not create Âdam with His own Hand. And they also say that the meaning of Hand is Power.

Ishâq ibn Ibrâhîm ar-Râhawaiah said:
Tashbîh is if it is said: Hand like my hand, or similar to my hand. Or Hearing like my hearing, or similar to my hearing. So when it is said: Hearing like my hearing, or similar to my hearing, then this is tashbîh. But if what is being said is what Allâh has said: Hand, Hearing, Seeing; and it is not asked how, nor is it said: like my hearing, or similar to my hearing – then this is not tashbîh. Allâh – the Most Blessed, Most High – said in His Book: “There is none like unto Him, and He is the all-Hearing, the all-Seeing.” [Sûrah ash-Shûrâ 42:11]”

Purification through Tawheed Mankind’s Greatest Need

Source: Al-Ibanah Magazine
Issue No.2 – Rabî’ul-Awwal 1416H / August 1995

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy

Introduction

Ibn Abil-’Izz (d.792H) – rahimahallâh – said:
“Knowledge of Usûlud-Dîn (the fundamentals of the Dîn) is the most noble branch of knowledge, since the excellence of a certain type of knowledge depends upon what it is concerned with, and this is the greater Fiqh (understanding), which is why Imâm Abû Hanîfah (d. 150H) – rahmatullâhi ’alayhi – called that which he compiled concerning Usûl ud-Dîn: “al-Fiqhul-Akbar.” (the Greatest Fiqh). The need of the servants for this knowledge is greater than every other need; and it is the most necessary of all things for them, since there is no life for the hearts, nor any delight, nor any tranquility, except through knowing their Lord, the One to be worshipped, their Creator – with His Names, His Attributes and His Actions, and that He – along with all that – is more beloved to the person than anything else. So man’s striving is with regards to everything that will draw him nearer to Allâh, to the exclusion of the creation.

However, it is impossible for the minds to come to know and understand all that in detail, so the Most Merciful , the Most Majestic – from His mercy, sent Messengers to teach that and call to it; and to give good news to those who accept their Call and to warn those who reject it. The key to their Call and the essence of their message was the servant’s drawing closer to Allâh – the Most Perfect – through His Names, Attributes and Actions, since all that the Messengers were ordered with is built upon this. This then is followed by two great principles:- Firstly: Knowing the path that leads to Him – and that is the Sharî’âh which is comprised of His orders and prohibitions. Secondly: That those following the path know what lies in store for them, which is endless bliss. So the people who know Allâh best are the ones who best follow the way to Him; and know best what lies at the end of the way.” [1]

Firmness Upon the Dîn

So, firmness upon the Dîn of Allâh, excellence in this world and salvation in the Hereafter is built upon two great matters: “Firstly: Knowledge of Allâh and the beautiful Names and lofty Attributes that befit Him and His Actions – and this necessitates appreciation of His Majesty, honouring Him, fearing Him, being in awe of Him, loving Him, placing one’s hopes in Him, placing reliance upon Him, being pleased with His decree and having patience with what He sends down as regards hardships. Secondly: Knowledge of what He loves and is pleased with, and what He hates and angers Him – whether beliefs saying, or outward or inward actions. So the one who has knowledge of this has to rush to fulfill that which Allâh loves and is pleased with, and to avoid that which He hates and which angers Him.” [2]

Sufyân ibn ’Uyaynah (d.197H) – rahimahullâh – said:
“There are three types of Scholars: one who knows Allâh and knows Allâh’s commands; and one who knows Allâh, but does not know His commands; and one who knows Allâh’s commands, but does not know Allâh. And the most complete of them is the first – and that is the one who fears Allâh and knows His rulings.” [3]

The Essence of Islâm

Explaining the essence of Islâm and its main pillar, the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said: “Islâm is built upon five: Testifying that none has the right to be worshipped except Allâh and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allâh, establishing the Salâh, paying the Zakâh, making pilgrimage to the House and fasting in Ramadhân.” [4] In another narration: “Islâm is built upon five: To worship Allâh and to reject anything along with Him … ” [5] Also in another narration: “Islâm is built upon five: The Tawhîd of Allâh … ” [6]

Thus: “Testifying that none has the right to be worshipped except Allâh,” has the same meaning as: “To worship Allâh and to reject anything along with Him,” which has the same meaning as: “The Tawhîd of Allâh,” So, it will be clear to the honourable reader that Tawhîd is the essence of Islâm, and it is the starting and ending point for all goodness and excellence.

Linguistically Tawhîd means: “To make something one, or to assert the oneness of something.” [7] However, what we are concerned with here is the Sharî’ah or technical meaning of Tawhîd which is: “To single out Allâh alone for worship.” [8]

Al-Bayjowrî – rahimahullâh – said:
“It is to single-out al-Ma’bûd (the One to be worshipped – i.e. Allâh) with worship, along with belief and affirmation in the oneness and uniqueness of His Dhât (Essence), Sifât (Attributes) and Actions.” [9]

Shaykh al-Ghunaymân – hafidhahullâh – said:
“It is to single Him out with worship, with love, lowliness and submissiveness to Him, by complying with His commands and submitting to them.” [10]

The Divisions of Tawhîd

And Tawhîd – with the Salaf and the Scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamâ’ah – has three divisions.

’Allâmah as-Safârînî (d.1112H) – rahimahullâh – said:
“Know that Tawhîd has three divisions:- Tawhîd ar-Rubûbiyyah (the Oneness of Allâh in His Lordship), Tawhîd al-Ulûhiyyah (to single-out Allâh alone for worship) and Tawbîd al-Asmâ was-Sifât (the uniqueness of Allâh’s Names and Attributes).” [11]

“And Allâh has gathered these three divisions in His – the Most High’s – saying: “Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, so worship Him alone and be constant and patient in the worship of Him. Do you know of any who is similar to Him?” [12]” [13]

“So Tawhîd ar-Rubûbiyyah implies: A firm and definite belief that Allâh alone is the Creator, the Master and Owner, and the Command is for none but Him.” [14]

“And Tawhîd al- Ulûhiyyah is to single-out Allâh alone for all worship and not to worship anything along with Him, whether it be an angel, a Messenger, a Prophet, a pious person, a tree, a stone, the sun, the moon, or other than these.” [15]

“And Tawhîd al-Asmâ was-Sifât is the uniqueness of Allâh – the Most High – with regards to His Names and His Attributes, by affirming that which Allâh has affirmed for Himself – whether in His Book or by the tongue of His Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam – without tahrîf (distorting the Names and Attributes), ta’tîl (denial of the Names and Attributes), takyîf (saying how they are), or tamthîl (making any resemblance with the creation).” [16]

Tawhîd in Knowledge and Action

The above three divisions of Tawhîd have been grouped – by some of the Scholars – into two types:- the first type deals with knowing Allâh through His Names, Attributes and Actions (i.e. Tawhîd al-Asmâ was-Sifât and Tawhîd ar-Rubûbiyyah), and the second deals with actualising and manifesting this Tawhîd through singling out Allâh alone for worship (i.e. Tawhîd al-Ulûhiyyah). The first type of Tawhîd is connected with knowledge, whilst the second type is connected with action.

Ibn al-Qayyim (d.756H) – rahimahullâh – said:
“As regards the Tawhîd which the Messengers called to and which the Books were sent down with, then it is of two types:- Tawhîd al-Ma’rifah wal-Ithbât (the Tawhîd of knowledge and affirmation) and Tawhîd fit-Talab wal-Qasd (the Tawhîd of actions and intentions).

So the first type affirms the reality of the Dhât (essence) of the Lord – the Most High – along with His Names, His Attributes, His Actions, His speaking in His Books and His speaking to whomsoever He wishes from His servants. It also affirms the all-embracing nature of His Predestination and Pre-Decree and His wisdom. The Qur‘ân has completely clarified this type of Tawhîd – as occurs at the start of Sûrah Hadîd and Sûrah Tâ Hâ, at the end of Sûrah al-Hashr, at the beginning of Sûrah Sajdah, at the beginning of Sûrah Âl-’Imrân and all of Sûrah al-Ikhlâs, and other than these.

The second type: Then it is what is contained in Sûrah al-Kâfirûn and contained in His – the Most High’s – saying: “Say: O people of the Book! Come to a word that is just and fair between us and you, that we shall worship none but Allâh and that we shall associate no partner along with Him, and that we shall not take others as lords beside Allâh. Then if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are Muslims.” [17] It is also contained at the beginning of Sûrah Tanzîl and at the beginning, middle and end of Sûrah al-Mu’min, and at the beginning and end of Sûrah al-A’râf and the greater part of Sûrah An’âm. Indeed every Sûrah in the Qur‘ân comprises these two types of Tawhîd, witnessing to it and calling to it.

Since the Qur‘ân either gives [i] information about Allâh, His Names, His Attributes, His Actions and His Sayings – which is Tawhîd al-Ma’rifah wal-Ithbât (the Tawhîd of knowledge and affirmation); or [ii] it is a call to worship Allâh alone without any partner, and a rejection of whatever is worshipped besides Him – and this is Tawbîd al-Irâdî at-Talabî (the Tawhîd of actions and intentions); or [iii] it is a command to obey Him and to comply with His orders and prohibitions – so this is from the rights of Tawhîd and is a completion of it; or [iv] it gives information about the people of Tawhîd and how they were treated in this world and how they will be honoured in the Hereafter – and this is the reward for Tawhîd; or [v] it gives information about the people of Shirk (associating partners along with Allâh) and the punishment they receive in this world and the torment they shall receive in the Hereafter – so this is the reward for those who abandon Tawhîd.” [18]

Tawhîd – its Importance in the Qur‘ân

Ibn Abil-’Izz – rahimahullâh – said:
“So the Qur‘ân – all of it – is about Tawhîd, its rights and its rewards; and about Shirk, its people and their punishments. Thus: “All praise belongs to Allâh, Lord of the worlds.” [19] is Tawhîd (of knowledge). “The Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.” is Tawhîd (of knowledge). “The Master of the Day of Judgement.” is also Tawhîd (of knowledge). “You alone do we worship and You alone do we seek aid and assistance from.” is Tawhîd (of action). “Guide us to the Straight Path.” concerns Tawhîd and asking for guidance to the path of the people of Tawhîd, (which is): “The Path of those whom You have favoured. Not of those who have earned Your anger, nor of those who have gone astray.” those who have separated themselves from Tawhîd.” [20] So Allâh begins this Sûrah by first informing us about Himself – the Most Perfect (i.e. Tawhîd of knowledge). Then after having knowledge of Allâh – the Most High – Allâh orders us with the Tawhîd of action: “You alone do we worship.”

Likewise just as: “the great Qur‘ân opens with Tawhîd it also ends with it. So the Qur‘ân opens with Sûrah al-Fâtihah: “All praise belongs to Allâh, Lord of the worlds.” and the great Qur‘ân ends with the Sûrah: “Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of mankind.” [21]” [22]

Likewise, the greatest âyah in the Qur’ân is Âyatul-Kursî. [23] Since this great âyah informs us – from start to finish – purely about Allâh’s Names, His Attributes and His Actions. So this further emphasises the importance of the Tawhîd of knowledge

Similarly, Sûrah al-Ikhlâs – from start to finish – is concerned with the Tawhîd of knowledge, whilst Sûrah al-Kâfirûn is connected with the Tawhîd of action. Indeed, the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said about a man who was reciting al-Kafirûn in the first rak’ah: “This is a servant who believes in his Lord.” Then the man recited al-Ikhlâs in the second, so he sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said: “This is a servant who knows his Lord.” [25] The Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said: Say: He is Allâh, the One” is equivalent to one third of the Qur‘ân. And Say: O disbelievers … ” is equivalent to a quarter of the Qur‘ân. [26]

What further demonstrates the importance of this Tawhîd is the fact that the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam “would begin his day with Tawhîd (of knowledge and action), since he recited both Sûrah al-Kafirûn and Sûrah al-Ikhlâs in the two rak’ât before Fajr (dawn prayer). [27] And he would end the night by reciting both of these Sûrahs in his witr prayer. [28]” [29]

“Indeed, all of the Qur‘ân is about Tawhîd.” [30] And Allâh – the Mighty and Majestic – says: “A book We have sent down, full of blessings, that men may ponder over its messages; and those who possess understanding may take them to heart.” [31]

Tawhîd – its Importance from the Sunnah

And what proves the importance of Tawhîd from the Sunnah is that the Chosen one – ’alayhis-sallâtu was salâm – remained in Makkah thirteen years amongst the disbelievers, calling them to it, and saying to them: “Say: None has the right to be worshipped except Allâh and thus be successful … ” [32]

The Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said: “I have been sent close to the Hour, with the sword, so that none has the right to be worshipped except Allâh alone, without any partner. My sustenance is beneath the shade of my spear. And humiliation and ignominy is for whosoever opposes my command. And whosoever resembles a people is from them.” [33]” [34]

Similarly he would send his Companions to various communities ordering them with this Tawhîd first – as was the case when he sent Mu’âdh ibn Jabal to Yemen, saying: “Indeed you are going to a people from the People of the Book, so let the Tawhîd of Allâh be the very first thing you call them to … ” [35]

And just as the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam started his Prophethood and teaching with the matter of Tawhîd, then likewise, “he sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam mentioned the matter of Tawhîd during his final illness from which he ’alayhis-sallâtu was salâm died, when he said: “The curse of Allâh be upon the Jews and the Christians, for they took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” [36]” [37]

Clearing a Misconception

Shaykhul-Islâm Ibn Taymiyyah (died 728H) said:
“The Tawhîd with which the Messengers came with comprises of affirming that Divinity and worship belong to Allâh alone, such that a person witnesses that none has the right to be worshipped except Allâh, and that none is worshipped except Him, nor depended upon other than Him, nor are alliances or enemies made except for Him, nor is an action done except for Him. This affirmation also covers those Names and Attributes which Allâh affirms for Himself, as Allâh – the Most High – says: “And the Allâh to be worshipped is only one Allâh. None has the right to be worshipped except Him, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.” [38] And Allâh – the Most High – says: “Do not take two objects of worship. Indeed, Allâh is the only Deity to be worshipped, so fear Him.” [39]. And He – the Most High – says: “Whosoever calls upon (i.e. supplicates or prays to) other than Allâh, for which he has no proof, then his reckoning is only with his Lord. Indeed the disbelievers will not be successful.” [40] Allâh – the Most High – also says: “And ask those of our Messengers whom we sent before you: ‘Did We ever appoint objects of worship besides the Most Merciful?’ ” [41]

And Allâh informed us about every Prophet from amongst the Prophets that they called the people to the worship of Allâh alone, having no partner, as He said: “Indeed there is an excellent example for you in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people: ‘Indeed we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allâh. We have rejected you, and there has arisen between us and you, hostility and hatred forever – until you believe in Allâh alone.’ ” [42] And Allâh said about the mushriks (pagan idolaters): “When it is said to them: ‘None has the right to be worshipped except Allâh’, they become arrogant. And they say: ‘Are we to abandon those deities that we worship because of a mad poet?’ ” [43] And this occurs a lot in the Qur‘ân.

And what is meant by Tawhîd is not merely Tawhîd ar-Rûbubiyyah – the belief that Allâh alone is the Creator – which is what some of the people of Kalâm (speculative theology) and the Sûfîs think! So they think that if they affirm this type of Tawhîd, along with its proofs, then they have affirmed the utmost limits of Tawhîd and that if they bear witness to this and become absorbed in it, then they have absorbed themselves in the limits of Tawhîd! However, this is not the case. Since even if a person agreed to those attributes which are befitting to the Lord, and declared Him free from everything He should be declared free from and affirmed that He alone is the creator of everything – then still such a person would not be a muwahhid (a person of Tawhîd) until along with this, he witnesses that the only Ilâh (i.e. object of worship) is Allâh (Allah) – (i.e. none has the right to he worshipped except Allâh alone) – affirming that Allâh alone is the Ilâh deserving off all worship, adhering to this worship and associating no partners with Him. Also affirming that this Ilâh (object of worship) is He who is deified and worshipped and who deserves worship and it is not that Ilâh merely with the meaning: “The One who has the power to create and originate.” [44]

So if an explainer (of the Qur‘ân) explains Ilâh to mean: “The One who has the power to create and originate” and believes that this is the most particular description of Ilâh and affirms this to be the limits of Tawhîd – as is done by the people of Kalâm, and it is what they say from Abûl-Hasan al-Ash’arî [45] and his followers – then they do not know the true reality of the Tawhîd with which Allâh sent His Messengers, since the Arab mushriks used to agree that Allâh alone is the Creator of everything. Yet despite this, they were still mushriks, as Allâh – the Most High – says: “Most people do not believe in Allâh except that they commit shirk (i.e. associate others with Him in belief and worship).” [46]

A group from amongst the Salaf (the first three generations of Muslims) said: “If you ask them who created the Heavens and the earth, they will say: ‘Allâh’ – yet along with this, they worshipped others besides Him.” [47]

Allâh – the Most High – said: “Say: ‘Whose is the earth and all that is in it, if you do indeed know?’ They will say: ‘It belongs to Allâh.’ Say: ‘Will you not then remember?’ Say: ‘Who is the Lord of the heavens and the Lord of the great Throne?’ They will say: ‘Allâh.’ Say: ‘Will you not then fear Him?’ ” [48] So not everyone who affirms that Allâh is the Lord of everything and is its Creator, will be a worshipper of Him to the exclusion of everything else – calling upon Him alone, hoping in Him alone, having fear of Him alone, forming allegiance and enmity for Him, obeying His Messengers, ordering what He orders and forbidding what He forbade.” [49]

In Conclusion

Shaykh ’Abdul-Qâdir al-Jîlânî (d.561H) said:
“So it is upon you to fear Allâh – the Mighty and Majestic – and not to fear anyone else except Him. Turn to Allâh – the Mighty and Majestic – for your every need, and rely upon Him alone – the Most High – seeking that which you need from Him alone. Do not rely upon anyone other than Allâh. And Tawhîd – all is contained in Tawhîd.” [50]


References

1. Sharhul-’Aqîdatul-Tahâwiyyah (p.69).
2. Fadl ’Ilmus-Salaf (p.47) of al-Hâfidh Ibn Rajab (d.795H).
3. Related by ad-Dârimî (1/102) and Abû Nu’aym in al-Hilyah (7/280), with a Sahîh isnâd.
4. Related by al-Bukhârî (1/49) and Muslim (no. 16) from ’Abdullâh ibn ’Umar – radiallâhu ’anhu.
5. Related by Muslim (no.20).
6. Related by Muslim (no.19).
7. Lisân ul-’Arab (3/450) of Ibn Mandhûr and also al-Hujjah fî Bayânil-Mahajjah (1/305) of Abûl-Qâsim al-Asbahânî.
8. Ad-Dururus-Sunniyyah (1/48) of Shaykh ’Abdur-Rahmân ibn Hasan.
9. Jawharah at-Tawhîd (p. 10).
10. Sharh Kitâbut-Tawhîd min Sahîhil-Bukhârî (1/38).
11. Lawâmi’ al-Anwârul-Bahiyyah (1/128) of as-Safârînî. For the division of Tawhîd into three types, refer to: al-Ibânah ’an Sharî’atil-Firqatin-Nâjiyah (p. 693-694) of Ibn Battah (d.387H); Kitâb ut-Tawhîd of Ibn Mandah (d.395H) and al-Hujjah fî Bayânil-Mahajjah (1/85, 1/111-113) of Abûl-Qâsim al-Asbahânî (d.535H).
12. Sûrah Maryam 19:65
13. Taqrîbut-Tadmuriyyah (p.110) of Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymîn.
14. Taqrîbut-Tadmuriyyah (p.110-111).
15. Taqrîbut-Tadmuriyyah (p.112-113).
16. Taqrîbut-Tadmuriyyah (p.116-117).
17. Sûrah Âl-’Imrân 3:64
18. Madârijus-Sâlikîn (3/449-450) of Ibn al-Qayyim.
19. Sûrah al-Fâtiha 1:1 – and what follows is a completion of this Sûrah.
20. Sharhul-’Aqîdatul-Tahâwiyyah (pp. 89-90) of Ibn Abil-’Izz.
21. Sûratun- Nâs 114:1
22. Hukmul-Intimâ (p.58) of Shaykh Bakr Abû Zayd – slightly adapted.
23. Related by Muslim (no.1768) from ’Ubayy ibn Ka’b – radiallâhu ’anhu.
24. Refer to Majmû’ al-Fatâwâ (1/54) of Ibn Taymiyyah.
25. Hasan: Related by at-Tahawî and Ibn Hibbân. Al-Hâfidh Ibn Hajar authenticated it in Ahadîthul-’Âliyât (no.16).
26. Sahîh: Related by at-Tabarânî in al-Mu’jamul-Kabîr (3/203/2) from Ibn ’Umar – radiallâhu ’anhu. It was authenticated by al-Albânî in Sahîhul-Jâmi’ (no. 4405).
27. Related by Muslim (no.726)
28. Sahîh: Related by an-Nasâ’î and al-Hâkim, who declared it sahîh.
29. At-Tawhîd wa Atharahu fî Hayâtil-Muslim (p.30) of Ahmad ibn Ibrâhîm al-Harîqî.
30. Madârijus-Sâlikîn (3/450).
31. Sûrah Sâd 38:29.
32. Related by Ahmad (4/63).
33. Sahîh: Related by Ahmad (no. 5114) and Ibn Asâkir (19/96/1), from Ibn ’Umar – radiallâhu ’anhu. It was authenticated by al-Hâfidh al-’Irâqî in Takhrîjul-Ihyâ (3/42), and al-Hâfidh Ibn Hajr in in Fathul-Bârî (10/222).
34. At-Tawhîd wa Atharahu fî Hayâtil-Muslim (p.29).
35. Related by al-Bukhârî (1/13) and Muslim (1/272), from Ibn ’Abbâs – radiallâhu ’anhu.
36. Related by Bukhârî (1/532) and Muslim (5/16).
37. At-Tawhîd wa Atharahu fî Hayâtil-Muslim (p.29).
38. Sûrah Âl-’Imrân 3:163.
39. Sûrah Nahl 16:51.
40. Sûrah Mu’minûn 23:117.
41. Sûrah az-Zukhruf 43:45.
42. Sûrah al-Mumtahinah 60:4.
43. Sûrah Sâfât 37:35-36.
44. This is the saying of the people of Kalâm, such as Abû Mansûr al-Mâturîdî in at-Tawhîd (pp.20-21), and for a similar misconception refer to Fî Dhilâlil-Qur’ân (5/2707) of Sayyid Qutb. Compare this meaning of Ilah with the correct explanations of great mufassirs – such as Imâm Ibn Jarîr at-Tabarî in his Tafsîr (20/102) and Ibn Kathîr in his Tafsîr (3/398) – which is: the one who is who is worshipped and who alone deserves to be worshipped.
45. He is Abûl-Hasan ’Alî ibn Ismâ’îl al-Asharî (died 324H) – to whom the Ash’ariyyah ’aqîdah is is incorrectly ascribed, since he abandoned this ’aqîdah – and that of the Mu’tazilah previously – for the ’aqîdah of the Salaf – as is mentioned by Ibn Kathîr in Tabaqâtush-Shâfi’iyyah and shown by his last book: Al-Ibânah ’an Usûlid-Diyânah.
46. Sûrah Yûsuf 12:106
47. This is the saying of lbn ’Abbâs and others – as occurs in Jâmi’ul-Bayân ’an Ta’wîlul-Qur‘ân (13/50-51) of at-Tabarî.
48. Sûrah Muminûn 23:84-87.
49. Majmû’ul-Fatâwâ (3/97-105) of Ibn Taymiyyah.
50. Futûhul-Ghayb (p.176).

The Origins of Shirk : Shaykh al-Albaanee

The Origins of Shirk [1]
Al-Ibaanah Magazine , Issue No.3 – Dhul-Qa’dah 1416H / April 1996

From that which has been established in the Sharee’ah (prescribed law) is that mankind was – in the beginning – a single nation upn true Tawheed, then Shirk (directing any part or form of worship, or anything else that is solely the right of Allaah, to other than Allaah) gradually overcame them. The basis for this is the saying of Allaah – the Most Blessed, the Most High:

“Mankind was one Ummah, then Allaah sent prophets bringing good news and warnings.” (Soorah Baqarah 2:213)

Ibn ‘Abbaas – radiallaahu ‘anhu – said: “Between Nooh (Noah) and Adam were ten generations, all of them were upon Sharee’ah (law) of the truth, then they differed. So Allaah sent prophets as bringers of good news and as warners.” [2]

Ibn ‘Urwah al-Hanbalee (d.837 H) said: “This saying refutes those historians from the People of the Book who claim that Qaabil (Cain) and his sons were fire-worshippers.” [3]

I say: In it is also a refutation of some of the philosophers and atheists who claim that the (natural) basis of man is Shirk, and that Tawheed evolved in man! The preceeding aayah (verse) falsifies this claim, as do the two following authentic hadith:

Firstly: His (the prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying that he related from his Lord (Allaah) : “I created all my servants upon the true Religion (upon Tawheed, free from Shirk). Then the devils came to them and led them astray from their true Religion. They made unlawful to people that which I had made lawful for them, and they commanded them to associate in worship with Me, that which I had sent down no authority.” [4]

Secondly: His (the prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying: “Every child is born upon the Fitrah [5] but his parents make him a jew or a christian or a magian. It is like the way an animal gives birth to a natural offspring. have you noticed any born mutilated, before you mutilate them.”

Abu Hurayrah said: Recite if you wish: “Allaah’s fitrah with which He created mankind. There is to be no change to the creation (Religion) of Allaah.” (Soorah ar-Rum 30:30) [6]

After this clear explanation, it is of the upmost importance for the Muslim to know how Shirk spread amongst the believers, after they were muwahhideen (people upon Tawheed). Concerning the saying of Allaah – the most perfect – about the people of Nooh:

“And they have said : You shall not forsake your gods, nor shall you forsake Wadd, nor Suwaa’, nor Yaghooth, nor Ya’ooq, nor Nasr.” (Soorah Nooh 71:23)

It has been related by a group from the Salaf (Pious Predecessors), in many narrations, that these five deities were righteous worshippers. However, when they died, Shaytaan (Satan) whispered into their people to retreat and sit at their graves. Then Shaytaan whispered to those who came after them that they should take them as idols, beautifying to them the idea that you will be reminded of them and thereby follow them in righteous conduct. Then Shaytaan suggested to the third generation that they should worship these idols besides Allaah – the most high – and he whispered to them that this is what their forefathers used to do!!!

So Allaah sent to them Nooh alayhis-salaam, commanding them to worship Allaah alone. However none responded to hiscall except a few. Allaah – the mighty and majestic – related this whole incident in Soorah Nooh Ibn ‘Abbas relates: “Indeed these five names of righteous men from the people of Nooh. When they died Shataan whispered to their people to make statues of them and to place these statues in their places of gathering as a reminder of them, so they did this. However, none from amongst them worshipped these statues, until when they died and the purpose of the statues was forgotten. Then (the next generation) began to worship them.”[7]

The likes of this has also been related by Ibn Jareer at-Tabaree and others, from a number of the salaf (Pious Predecessors) – radiallaahu ‘anhum. In ad-Durral-Manthoor (6/269): ‘Abdullaah ibn Humaid relates from Abu Muttahar, who said: Yazeed ibn al-Muhallab was mentioned to Abu Ja’far al-Baaqir (d.11H), so he said: He was killed at the place where another besides Allaah was first worshipped. Then he mentioned Wadd and said: “Wadd was a Muslim man who was loved by his people. When he died, the people began to gather around his grave in the land of Baabil ( Babel ), lamenting and mourning. So when Iblees (Satan) saw them mourning and lamenting over him, he took the form of a man and came to them, saying : I see that you are mourning and lamenting over him. So why don’t you make a picture of him (i.e. a statue) and place it in your places of gatherings so that you maybe reminded of him. So they said: Yes, and they made a picture of him and put in their place of gathering; which reminded them of him. When Iblees saw how they were (excessively) remembering him, he said : “Why doesn’t every man amongst you make a similar picture to keep in your own houses, so that you can be (constantly) reminded of him.” So they all said “yes”. So each household made a picture of him, which they adored and venerated and which constantly reminded them of him. Abu Ja’far said: “Those from the later generation saw what the (pevious generation) had done and considered that……..to the extent that they took him as an ilah (diety) to be worshipped besides Allaah. He then said :” This was the first idol worshipped other than Allaah, and they called this idol Wadd”[8]

Thus the wisdom of Allaah – the Blessed, the Most High – was fufilled, when he sent Muhammed sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as the final prophet and made his Sharee’ah the completion of all divinely Prescribed Laws, in that He prohibited all means and avenues by which people may fall into Shirk – which is the greatest of sins. For this reason, building shrines over graves and intending to specifically travel to them, taking them as places of festivity and gathering and swearing an oath by the inmate of a grave; have all been prohibited. All of these lead to excessiveness and lead to the worship of other than Allaah – the Most High.

This being the case even more so in an age in which knowledge is diminishing, ignorance is increasing, thre are few sincere advisors ( to the truth) and shaytaan is co-operating with men and jinn to misguide mankind and to take them away from the worship of Allaah alone – the Blessed, the Most High.

FOOTNOTES:

1. Tahdheerus-Saajid min Ittikhaadhil-Quboori Masaajid (pp.101-106)

2. Related by Ibn Jareer at-Tabaree in his tafseer (4/275) and al-Haakim (2/546) who said: “It is authentic according to the criterion of al-Bukhari.” Adh-Dhahabee also agreed.

3. Al-Khawaakibud-Duraaree fee Tarteeb Musnadul-Imaam Ahmad’alaa Abwaabil-Bukhaaree (6/212/1), still in manuscript form.

4. Related by Muslim (8/159) and Ahmad (4/162) from ‘Iyaadh ibn Himaar al-Mujaashi’ee radiallaahu ‘anhu

5. [From the Editors] Ibn-al-Atheer said in an-Nihaayah (3/457): “Al-Fitr: means to begin and create, and al-Fitrah is the condition resulting from it. The meaning is that mankind were born upona disposition and a nature which is ready to accept the true Religion. So if he were to be left upon this, then he would continue upon it. However, those who deviate from this do so due to following human weaknesses and blind following of others…..” Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar said in Al-Fath (3/248): “The people differ concerning what is meant by al-Fitrah and the most famous saying is that it means Islaam. Ibn ‘abdul-Barr said: That is what was well known with most of the salaf (pious predecessors), and the scholars of tafseer are agreed that what is meant by the saying of Allaah – the Most High – “Allaah’s fitrah wiht which He created mankind.” is Islaam

6. Related by Al-Bukhaaree (11/418) and Muslim (18/52)

7. Related by al-Bukhaaree (8/534)

8. Related by Ibn Abee Haatim also, as is in al-Kawaakibud-Duraaree (6/112/2) of Ibn ‘Urwah al-Hanbalee, along with an isnaad which is Hasan, up to Abu Muttahar. However, no biography could be found for him, neither in ad-Dawlaabee’s al-Kunaa wal-Asmaa, nor Muslim’s al-Kunaa, nor any one elses. And the hidden defect here is that he is from the Shee’ah, but his biography is not included in at-Toosee’s al-Kunaa — from the index of Shee’ah narrators.

 

Major Signs Before the Day of Judgement : Imaam ibn Uthaimeen

Imaam Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen
Sharh Lumu’at-ul-‘Itiqaad [pg. 105-110]
Al-Ibaanah.com

1. The Emergence of the Dajjaal – Linguistically, Dajjaal is derived from the word dajl, which means lying and impostering. Religiously, it refers to a man who is an imposter and who will appear during the Last Days, claiming lordship.

His emergence is established in the Sunnah as well as the Ijmaa’ (consensus). The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Say: ‘O Allaah, verily I seek refuge in you from the punishment of the Hellfire, and I seek refuge in you from the punishment of the grave, and I seek refuge in you from the trial of Maseeh Ad-Dajjaal. And I seek refuge in you from the trial of life and death.” [1]

“The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would seek refuge from him during prayer” [2] and the Muslims have agreed upon his emergence.

His story: He will emerge from a road in an area between Shaam and ‘Iraaq and will begin to call the people to worship him. A majority of the people that will follow him will be from the Jews, women and bedouins. Seventy-thousand Jews from Asfahaan (in present-day Iran) will follow him and he will travel throughout the entire earth, just as the wind blows rain in all directions, except for Makkah and Madeenah, for he will be prevented from entering them.

The length of his stay will be forty days. One day will be like a year, one day like a month, one day like a week and the rest of the days will be as normal. He is one-eyed (i.e. one eye is good and the other is defective) and between his two eyes will be written KA FA RA (i.e. kaafir or disbeliever). Only the believers will be able to read it. He will bring about great trials, some of which are that he will command the heavens and it will rain and he will command the earth and it will produce vegetation. He will have with him a Garden and a Fire. However, his garden will be a fire, and his fire will be a garden.

The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) warned of him by saying: “Whosoever hears of him, then let him distance himself from him. And whosoever has him reach him, then let him recite the opening verses of Surah Kahf upon him” – or – “…let him recite the opening verses of Surah Kahf.” [3]

2. The Descent of ‘Eesaa Ibn Maryam – The descent of ‘Eesaa Ibn Maryam is established in the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and the consensus of the Muslims. Allaah says:

“And there is none of the People of the Scripture, except that he must believe in him (‘Eesaa) before his death.” [4]

This refers to the death of ‘Eesaa which will occur after his descent, as has been interpreted by Abu Hurairah. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “I swear by Allaah, ‘Eesaa Ibn Maryam will indeed descend judging (mankind) with justice.” This hadeeth is agreed upon. [5]

The Muslims have unanimously agreed upon his descent. He will descend by the white minaret in the east of Damascus, placing his hands upon the wings of two angels. Then it will not be possible for a disbeliever to perceive the scent of his breath, except that he will die. And his breath will extend as far his eyesight extends. He will search for the Dajjaal until he reaches him by the gate of Ludd, where he will kill him. He will break the cross and abolish the jizyah (taxation collected from subjected disbelievers). And the prostration (of worship) will be only one – for Allaah the Lord of the universe. He will also perform Hajj and ‘Umrah. All of this is confirmed in Saheeh Muslim and some of it in both Saheehs. [6]

Imaam Ahmad and Abu Dawood reported that “‘Eesaa will remain for forty years after killing the Dajjaal. Then he will die and the Muslims will pray the funeral prayer (Janaazah) over him.” [7] Al-Bukhaaree mentioned in his At-Tareekh that he will be buried next to the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and Allaah knows best. [8]

3. The Emergence of Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj – These are two non-Arab names or (perhaps) they are Arab names derived from Ma’j which means riotous disruption or from Ajeej which means the setting ablaze and kindling of a fire. They are two nations from the tribe of Aadam that are currently in existence, based upon the evidences from the Qur’aan and Sunnah.

Allaah says concerning the story of Dhul-Qarnain: “Until when he reached between two mountains, he found before both of them, a people who scarcely understood a word. They said: ‘O Dhul-Qarnain! Verily, Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj are doing great mischief in the land. Shall we then pay you a tribute in order that you might erect a barrier between them and us?'” [9]

Also, the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “On the Day of Judgement Allaah will say: ‘O Aadam, rise and extract the people of the Fire from your offspring.’ Aadam will say: ‘Who are the people of the Hellfire?’ Allaah will say ‘Out of every thousand, (take out) nine hundred and ninety-nine (persons). At that time, children will become hoary-headed and every pregnant female will drop her load (i.e. miscarriage). And you will see the people as if they were drunk, yet they will not be drunk. But Allaah’s punishment will be severe.” News of that distressed the companions severely, so they said: “O Messenger of Allaah, who amongst us will be that (one) man (out of a thousand)?” He (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Give the good tidings, for indeed from among you will be one and from Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj will be a thousand.” [10]

Their emergence, which is one of the signs of the Hour, has not occurred before in the past. However, its first indications were present during the time of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). It is confirmed in the two Saheeh collections that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “‘Today a hole has been opened in the barrier of Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj, like this’, and he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) made a circle with his index finger and thumb.” [11]

Thus, their emergence is established in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Allaah says: “Until when Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj are let loose (from their barrier), and they swoop down from every mound. And the true promise (Day of Resurrection) shall draw near.” [12]

The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Verily the Hour will never be established until you see ten signs before it.” Then he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) mentioned: “The smoke, the Dajjaal, the Beast, the rising of the sun from the west, the descent of ‘Eesaa Ibn Maryam, Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj, three tremors (in which the earth will open and swallow those upon it) – one in the east, one in the west and one in the Arabian peninsula. And the last of them will be a fire that will come out from Yemen, which will drive the people to the (final) place of assembly.” [13]

Their story is found in the hadeeth of An-Nuwaas Ibn Sam’aan (radyAllaahu ‘anhu). The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said concerning ‘Eesaa Ibn Maryam, after the Dajjaal is killed: “It will be that way, when Allaah will reveal to ‘Eesaa: ‘I have brought forth certain servants of Mine, against whom none will be able to fight. So lead my servants safely to the Mount (Toor).’ And then Allaah will send Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj and they will come swarming down from every slope. The first portion of them will pass by the lake of Tiberias and drink from what is in it. Then the last portion of them will pass by it and say: ‘There was once water here.’ They will continue traveling until they will stop at the mountain of Al-Khamar, which is the mount of Al-Bait-ul-Maqdis. Then they will say: ‘We have killed those on earth, come, let us now kill those in the heavens.’ So they will begin to throw their arrows toward the sky and Allaah will return their arrows back to them, smeared with blood. Then the Prophet of Allaah (‘Eesaa) and his companions will be laid siege (so severely), to the extent that the head of an ox would be better to one of them than one hundred deenars is to one of you today. So the Prophet of Allaah ‘Eesaa and his companions will supplicate to Allaah, and Allaah will send down upon them, insects which will set upon their (i.e. Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj) necks (biting at it). In the morning, they will perish, like one single person. The Prophet of Allaah ‘Eesaa and his companions will then descend (from the Mount) to the ground and they will not find a place the size of a hand span, except that it would be filled with their putrefaction and stench. So the Prophet of Allaah ‘Eesaa and his companions will beseech Allaah and He will send birds, whose necks look like that of bactrian camels, which will throw them (corpses of Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj) wherever Allaah wills.” [14]

4. The Emergence of the Beast – Linguistically, the word Ad-Daabbah refers to every creature that moves about the earth. What it means here, is the Beast that Allaah will bring forth, close to the establishment of the Hour. Its emergence is confirmed in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Allaah says:

“And when the word of torment is fulfilled against them, We shall bring out from the earth, a Beast for them, to speak to them because mankind believed not with certainty in Our Ayaat.” [Surat-un-Naml (27): 82]

And the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Verily the Hour will never be established until you see ten signs before it.” And he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) mentioned from among them: “The Beast.” [2Saheeh Muslim and its checking has been stated previously]

There is nothing mentioned in the Qur’aan or the authentic Sunnah that indicates the place from where this Beast will emerge or its description. These two have only been mentioned in ahaadeeth, of which there is speculation concerning their authenticity. What is apparent from the Qur’aan, however, is that it is a Beast that will warn mankind of the nearness of punishment and destruction, and Allaah knows best.

5. The Rising of the Sun from the West – The rising of the sun from the west is established in the Qur’aan and the authentic Sunnah. Allaah says:

“The Day that some of the signs of your Lord do come, no good will it do for a person to believe then, if he believed not before nor earned good (by doing good deeds), through his Faith.” [Surat-ul-Ana’aam (6): 158]

The meaning of this (some of the signs) is the rising of the sun from the west, for the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The Hour will not be established until the sun rises from the west. And when it rises and the people see it, they will all believe, and that will be when: ‘No good will it do for a person to believe then, if he believed not before nor earned good (by doing good deeds), through his Faith.’[Surat-ul-Ana’aam (6): 158]” [15]


Footnotes:

[1] Saheeh Muslim: Book of Masjids and Places of Prayer (no. 590) from the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas (radyAllaahu ‘anhu). Checking of Hadeeth and Footnotes by Ashraf Ibn ‘Abdul-Maqsood.

[2] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: Book of the Call to Prayer (no. 832) and Saheeh Muslim: Book of Masjids and Places of Prayer (no. 589) from the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (radyAllaahu ‘anhaa)). Also in this section is the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) found in Saheeh Muslim (no. 588).

[3] Refer to the hadeeth of An-Nuwaas Ibn Sam’aan (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) in Saheeh Muslim: Book of Tribulations (no. 2937).

[4] Surat-un-Nisaa (4): 159

[5] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: Book of Business Transactions (no. 2222) and in the Book of Prophets (no. 3448). It is also found in Saheeh Muslim: Book of Faith (no. 155).

[6] Refer to the hadeeth of An-Nuwaas Ibn Sam’aan t in Saheeh Muslim (no. 2937). As for his saying: “He will break the cross and abolish the jizyah (taxation collected from subjected disbelievers). And the prostration (of worship) will be only one – for Allaah the Lord of the universe” then it is found in the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah t in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree (no. 3448) and Saheeh Muslim (no. 155). And there occurs in both Saheehs: “…until the single prostration becomes better than the world and what is in it.” However, the wording that the Shaikh (Ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen) mentioned has been attributed by Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr in Al-Fath (6/492) to Ibn Mardaweeh. As for his saying: “He will perform Hajj and ‘Umrah”, then it is found in Saheeh Muslim: Book of Hajj (no. 1252) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu), that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “By He whose Hand my soul is in, (‘Eesaa) Ibn Maryam) will surely invoke Allaah’s name (i.e. Tahleel) in the valley of Rauhaa, making Hajj or ‘Umrah or a combination of the two.”

[7] Hadeeth Saheeh: An authentic hadeeth reported by Ahmad (9259), Abu Dawood (4324), Ibn Hibbaan (8/277) and Al-Haakim (2/595) who authenticated it and Adh-Dhahabee agreed. It is also reported by Ibn Abee Shaibah (15/158) and Ibn Jareer (9/388) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah t. Ahmad Shaakir (ra) graded its chain saheeh in his notes to Al-Musnad.

[8] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree in At-Taareekh-ul-Kabeer (1/263), At-Tirmidhee (3617) and Al-Aajuree in Ash-Sharee’ah (pg. 381) from the path of: ‘Uthmaan Ibn Ad-Dahhaak on Muhammad Ibn Yoosuf Ibn ‘Abdillaah Ibn Salaam on his father on the authority of his granfather who said that: “It is written in the Torah, the description of Muhammad and the description of ‘Eesaa Ibn Maryam. And he will be buried with him.” Al-Bukhaaree said: “This is not authentic in my opinion and should not be followed.” At-Tirmidhee said: “This is a hasan ghareeb hadeeth.” Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr said in Al-Fath (7/66): “And it is reported on her – meaning ‘Aa’ishah (radyAllaahu ‘anhaa) – in a hadeeth that is not established, that she asked permission of the Prophet r, that if she were to outlive him, that she be buried alongside him. So he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘And how can you do that when there is nothing in that place except for my grave and the graves of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Eesaa Ibn Maryam.’ And in the reports of Madeenah (Akhbaar-ul-Madeenah) from a weak source, it is reported that Sa’eed Ibn Al-Musayyib (ra) said: ‘Verily, the three graves are in a section of ‘Aa’ishah’s house. And there is the place where the grave of ‘Eesaa Ibn Maryam is located.’”

[9] Surat-ul-Kahf (18): 93-94

[10] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: Book of Riqaaq (no. 6530) and Saheeh Muslim: Book of Faith (no. 222) from the hadeeth of Abu Sa’’eed Al-Khudree (radyAllaahu ‘anhu). And the wording found in both of them is: “He will say: ‘Take out the people of the Fire…” The wording found in Al-Bukhaaree (no. 6529) is: “Extract the People of the Hellfire from your offspring.” This wording is very close to the wording mentioned by Shaikh Ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen.

[11] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: Book of Afflictions (no. 7135) and Saheeh Muslim: Book of Tribulations (no. 2880) from the hadeeth of Zainab Bint Jahsh (radyAllaahu ‘anhaa).

[12] Surat-ul-Anbiyaa (21): 96-97

[13] Saheeh Muslim: Book of Tribulations (no. 2901) from the hadeeth of Hudhaifah Ibn Usaid Al-Ghifaaree (radyAllaahu ‘anhu).

[14] Saheeh Muslim: Book of Tribulations (no. 2937). Refer to An-Nawawee’s comments on the ghareeb hadeeth in Riyaad-us-Saaliheen (no. 1817)

[15] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: Book of Commentary on Surat-ul-Ana’aam (no. 4636) and Saheeh Muslim: Book of Faith (no. 157) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu)

The Grave Mistake : Denying the Punishment of the Grave

Source: Al-Ibaanah Magazine, Issue No.2 – Rabi ul-Awwal 1416H / August 1995

PAST HISTORY:

From those early sects which denied eemaan (firm faith) in the Punishment of the Grave were the Khawaarij and a group from the Mu’tazilah. [1] The Mu’tazilah said, “Our scholars deny the Punishment of the Grave and its rewards.” [2] This is because they innovated a rule that only mutawaatir [3] ahaadeeth amount to knowledge, whereas the authentic aahaad [4] ahaadeeth do not.  And this statement of theirs, that the aahaad ahaadeeth do not amount to knowledge means that such ahaadeeth – in their false opinion – are not free from the possibility of falsehood, nor error.

Due to this innovated principle, they denied those ahaadeeth affirming that the Punishment of the Grave in indeed a true fact, and that it will definitely occur for the disbelievers and some of the sinful ones from this Ummah – may Allaah protect us from it – since these ahaadeeth were to them of the aahaad category.  So this false principle caused them to deny eemaan in the Punishment of the Grave – not holding it as part of the ’aqeedah (belief) which is in total opposition to that of the Salafus-Saalih (Righteous Predecessors) and the Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah who followed them.

PRESENT-DAY TRAGEDY:

During the last few years, some of the innocent du’aat (callers to Islaam) have stumbled across the same innovated principle – that the authentic aahaad hadeeth does not amount to knowledge, and therefore cannot be taken as proof for matters of ’aqeedah – causing a great number of them to doubt and to reject that the Punishment of the Grave is indeed a true fact; and that it was part of the ’aqeedah held fast to by our Salaf.  The result is that discord – and it’s vile fruit – has raised it’s head again amongst some of the precious youth of this Ummah, encircling them just as a ring encircles the finger.

Imaam Abul-Madhaffar as-Sam’aanee [5] – rahimahullaah – said:

“If a narration is authentically reported from the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) – and related by reliable narrators and scholars – and they report it in connected form – their latter people from their predecessors – back to the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), and it is accepted by the scholars, then it necessitates knowledge, where it leads to knowledge.  This is the statement of the great majority of the People of Hadeeth, and those who are precise, and those who work to preserve the Sunnah.  But this saying of theirs, that the aahaad narration does not amount to knowledge, and that it must be narrated in mutawaatir form in order to result in knowledge, then this is something innovated by the Qadariyyah and the Mu’tazilah.  Their intention behind it was to reject the narrations.  It (the principle) was seized from them, without understanding, by some scholars of Fiqh, those who did not have a firm footing in knowledge, nor realize what the intent of this saying was.”[6]

THE DESIRED HOPE:

So this article will attempt to clarify – by the permission of Allaah – that having eemaan in the Punishment of the Grave is an obligation upon all Muslims, and that it was indeed part of the ’aqeedah of our Salafus-Saalih, previously being denied only by a group of innovators.  It is hoped that those who have erred from the way of the Salafus-Saalih – the way of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah – would re-assess their stance in light of the evidences presented, hoping that they will return to the truth.  “For indeed the truth is cherished by the Believer, and in returning to it is nobility.  Whereas remaining upon falsehood and defect is despicable.” [7]  Remembering that, “the select and correct way is that which the Salafus-Saalih were upon – that being the truth.” [8]

EVIDENCES FROM THE PURE SUNNAH:

We shall – for the sake of brevity – consider the evidences from the pure Sunnah, and then look at the sayings of our Salafus-Saalih, and the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah who followed them – omitting the evidences from the Qur‘aan and it’s explanation from the Companions and the Taabi’een.

[i] From ’Aa‘ishah (radiyallaahu ’anhaa) who said that:

A Jewess came to her and mentioned the Punishment of the Grave, saying to her: May Allaah protect you from the Punishment of the Grave.  So she asked the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) about it and he said, “Yes, there is Punishment in the Grave!”  ’Aa‘ishah (radiyallaahu ’anhaa) said: After that, I never saw the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), except that he sought refuge from the Punishment of the Grave in every Prayer that he prayed. [9]

[ii] From Ibn ’Abbaas (radiyallaahu ’anhumaa) who said:

The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) once passed by two graves and said, “They are being punished, not for something great.”  Then he said, “Rather one of them used to spread gossip and carry tales, whilst the other never protected himself from being soiled by his own urine.”  Ibn ’Abbaas said: He then took a green leaf and spread it into two pieces and places each piece upon each grave, and then he said, “May their punishment become lightened until these two pieces dry.” [10]

[iii] From Ibn Mas’ood (radiyallaahu ’anhu) who said:

The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Indeed the dead are punished in their graves, and the animals hear them.” [11]

[iv] Haanee, the freed slave of ’Uthmaan, related:

Whenever ’Uthmaan (radiyallaahu ’anhu) stood at a grave he would weep until his beard became soaked in tears.  It was said to him: Paradise and Hell are mentioned to you, and you do not weep, but you weep over this.  So he said: Indeed the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Indeed the grave is the first stopping place for the Hereafter.  So if he is saved therein, then what comes after that is easier than that.  If he is not saved therefrom, then that which comes after is harder.” [12]

[v] From Aboo Hurayrah (radiyallaahu ’anhu) who said:

The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “When one of you finishes the last tashahhud (testimony of faith), he should seek refuge in Allaah from four things: From the Punishment of Hell, from the Punishment of the Grave, from the trials of life and death, and from the evil trials of the Maseehud-Dajjaal (Anti-Christ).” [13]

[vi] From Umm Khaalid Bint Khaalid (radiyallaahu ’anhaa) who said:

The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Seek the Refuge of Allaah from the Punishment of the Grave, since the Punishment of the Grave is haqq (a true fact).” [14]

THE STATEMENTS OF THE SALAF OF THIS UMMAH:

Now consider – O honourable reader – the statements of the Salaf of this Ummah with respect to having ’aqeedah (firm belief) in the Punishment of the Grave.

[1] Sufyaan Ibn ’Uyaynah (d.197H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“The Sunnah is ten.  Whosoever accepts them has completed the Sunnah, and whosoever abandons anything from them has abandoned the Sunnah: Affirming al-Qadar (pre-destination), giving precedence to Aboo Bakr and ’Umar, the Pond in Paradise, Shafaa’ah (Intercession), the Scales, the Bridge over Hellfire, eemaan is statement and action, the Qur‘aan is the speech of Allaah, Punishment in the Grave, being raised-up on the Day of Judgement and not testifying that any Muslim will definitely be in Paradise or Hell.” [15]

[2] Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee (d.204H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“Indeed al-Qadar (pre-destination); both good and evil consequences are from Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic.  Indeed the Punishment of the Grave is a true fact, the Resurrection is a true fact, the Accountability is a true fact, Paradise and Hellfire are true facts.  Whatever else is related in the Sunnah and so mentioned by the scholars, and their followers throughout the lands of the Muslims is also true.” [16]

[3] Imaam Ahmad (d.241H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“From the essential Sunnah, which if a person leaves any one of its points – not accepting it and not having eemaan in it – then he will not be from amongst its people are: (he then mentions) eemaan in the Punishment of the Grave.” [17] He also said, “Punishment in the Grave is a true fact.  The servant will be questioned about his Religion and his Lord.  Munkar and Nakeer and Paradise and Hellfire are also true facts.”

[4] Aboo Daawood (d.275H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“Chapter: Questioning in the Grave and the Punishment of the Grave.’’ [19]

[5] Ibn Qutaybah (d.278H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘The People of Hadeeth are united upon the fact that whatever Allaah wills, happens, and whatever He does not will, does not happen; that He is the Creator of good and evil; and that the Qur‘aan is the Speech of Allaah, uncreated; that Allaah will be seen on the Day of Judgement, giving precedence to Aboo Bakr and ’Umar, upon eemaan in the Punishment of the Grave.  They do not differ in need of these fundamentals.  Whosoever opposes them in any of these matters, then they reject, hate, and declare such a one an innovator, and cut themselves off from him.’’ [20]

[6] Imaam at-Tahaawee (d.321H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘This is an explanation of the ’aqeedah of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah upon the way of the scholars of this Religion; Aboo Haneefah an-Nu’maan Ibn Thaabit al-Koofee, Aboo Yoosuf Ya’qoob Ibn Ibraaheem al-Ansaaree, and Aboo ’Abdullaah Muhammad Ibnul-Hasan ash-Shaybaanee – may Allaah be pleased with them all – and the beliefs they held concerning the fundamentals of the Religion, and their ’aqeedah concerning the Lord of the Worlds.’’  Up until he said, ‘‘We have eemaan in the Angel of Death who is charged with taking the souls of all the worlds; and in the Punishment of the Grave for those who deserve it.’’ [21]

[7] Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree (d.324H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘The Mu’tazilah denied the Punishment of the Grave.  It has been related by the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) through many paths, and by his Companions (radiyallaahu ’anhum).  Nothing has been related from a single one of them denying or negating this, to the point where there is ijmaa’ (consensus) from the Companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam).’’ [22] He also said, ‘‘There is consensus that the Punishment of the Grave is a true fact, and that the people will be tested and questioned in their graves.  So may Allaah establish us upon that which He loves.’’ [23]

[8] Imaam al-Aajurree (d.360H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Chapter: Tasdeeq (affirmation) and eemaan in the Punishment of the Grave.’’ Here he brings many of the ahaadeeth related by al-Bukhaaree and Muslims and ends the chapter by saying, ‘‘So what is the condition of those who deny these ahaadeeth, except that they have deviated very far and are in a huge loss.’’ [24]

[9] Ibn Abee Haatim (d.327H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Our chosen way is to follow the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), the Companions, the taabi’een, and all those who followed them in goodness; along with the abandonment of looking into the innovated matters, to hold fast to the way of Ahlul-Athar (People of Narrations), such as Aboo ’Abdullaah Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Ishaaq Ibn Ibraaheem, Aboo ’Ubayd al-Qaasim Ibn Sallaam and ash-Shaafi’ee; to hold fast to the Book and the Sunnah upon the way of the Imaams who follow the narrations of the Salaf; adopting what was adopted by the Ahlus-Sunnah from the various cities.’’ Up until his statement, ‘‘Faith increases and decreases, and we have eemaan in the Punishment of the Grave.’’ [25]

[10] Imaam al-Barbahaaree (d.329H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Eemaan in the Punishment of the Grave, and Munkar and Nakeer.’’ [26]

[11] Al-Ismaa’eelee (d.371H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Know – may Allaah have mercy upon us and you – that the way of the Ahlul-Hadeeth, Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah is to affirm belief in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and to accept whatever is recorded in the Book of Allaah – the Most High – and whatever is authentically reported from the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam),’’ up until he said, ‘‘Punishment in the Grave is a true fact.’’ [27]

[12] Al-Qayrawaanee (d.386H) – rahimahullaah – said:

Under the chapter, ‘‘What is related in the Sunnah about the ’aqeedah of the heart from the obligatory matters of the Religion.  From this is eemaan in the heart, and pronouncing with the heart that Allaah is the only deity worthy of worship, none has the right to be worshipped except Him.’’  Up until he statement, ‘‘And the Punishment in the Grave is a true fact, and the Believers will be tested in their graves.’’ [28]

[13] Ibn Abee Zamneen (d.399H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Ahlus-Sunnah have eemaan in the Punishment of the Grave, may Allaah protect us and you from this.’’ [29]

[14] Imaam al-Laalikaa‘ee (d.418H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Chapter: A report of what is related from the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) with regards to the fact that when the Muslims are lowered into their graves, they will be questioned by Munkar and Nakeer, and that the Punishment in the Grave is a true fact, and eemaan in it is obligatory.’’ [30]

[15] Imaam al-Bayhaqee (d.458H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Chapter: eemaan in the Punishment of the Grave.’’ [31]

THE MEANING OF EEMAAN:

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar (d.852H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Eemaan in the language means: tasdeeq: (attesting to the truth).  In the Sharee’ah, it means: tasdeeq of what the Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) brought from his Lord – and this much is agreed upon.  Then there is difference.  Is anything else a condition on top of that, such as stating this eemaan upon the tongue, as well as it being in the heart, or action upon what is attested to by what is ordered and leaving what is forbidden.’’  Up until where al-Haafidh said, ‘‘So the Salaf say, eemaan is ’aqeedah in the heart, statement of the tongue, and action of the limbs.  They mean by this, that actions are a condition for its completeness.  So from this comes their saying that it increases and decreases, as will follow.  The Murji’ah say, it is ’aqeedah and a statement upon the tongue only.  The Karraamiyyah say, it is the statement of the tongue only.  And the Mu’tazilah say, it is action, statement and ’aqeedah.  But the difference between the Mu’tazilah and the Salaf is that the Mu’tazilah make actions a condition for the correctness of eemaan, whereas the Salaf make it a condition for its completeness.  As for the second point, then the Salaf hold that it increases and decreases, whereas most of the people of kalaam (theological rhetoric) reject this by saying that if it is liable to decrease, then it is doubt.’’ [32]

Thus, the Salaf agreed that eemaan is ’aqeedah, statement, and action.  So, whosoever denies ’aqeedah in the Punishment of the Grave, has likewise denied eemaan in it.  Since ’aqeedah in the heart is the foundation of eemaan – about which there is agreement from the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah.

Imaam al-Baghawee (d.535H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘The Companions and the Taabi’een, and those who came after them from the scholars of the Sunnah are agreed that actions are a part of eemaan…and they say: Indeed eemaan is a statement, action and ’aqeedah.  It increases with obedience, and decreases with disobedience.’’ [33]

Having understood this, the falsehood of those who claim to have eemaan in the Punishment of the Grave, whilst denying ’aqeedah in it, will become very clear.  Since our Salafus-Saalih held that the root of eemaan in the Punishment of the Grave is to have ’aqeedah in it – so if there is no ’aqeedah in the Punishment of the Grave, then there is – by default – no eemaan in it as well!

THE GRAVE MISTAKE:

It is thus clear, that the Salaf and those who followed them were agreed that the Punishment in the Grave will definitely occur (for the disbelievers and some of the sinful ones from amongst the Muslims) and that it is obligatory to have eemaan in it, and to consider it as part of the Islaamic ’aqeedah – and no one whose saying is taken account of opposes them in that.

However, the founder of the modernist party Hizbut-Tahreer, like the Mu’tazilah before, also denied ’aqeedah in the Punishment of the Grave, explaining his position by saying:

‘‘Indeed from them (the aahaad ahaadeeth) are those which require an action, so it is acted upon.  So from Aboo Hurayrah who said: The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘‘When any of you finishes the last tashahhud, he should seek refuge in Allaah from four things: from the Punishment of the Hellfire, from the Punishment of the Grave, from the trials of life and death, and from the evil trials of the Dajjaal.’’  And from ’Aa‘ishah: from the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), that he used to make supplication in the Prayer saying: ‘‘O Allaah!  I seek refuge in You from the Punishment of the Grave, I seek refuge in You from the trials of the Maseehud-Dajjaal, I seek refuge in You from the trials of life and death.  O Allaah!  I seek refuge in You from debt and sin.’’  So these two ahaadeeth are aahaad narrations, and they contain the requirement of an action, i.e. to carry out this supplication after finishing the tashahhud.  So it is recommended to make this supplication after finishing the tashahhud, and it is permissible to make tasdeeq (attest) of what is contained in them.  However, what is haraam (prohibited) is to hold it with certainty – meaning: to have it as part of ones ’aqeedah – as long as it has only been reported in the aahaad hadeeth, a dhannee (non-mutawaatir) proof.  However, if it occurs in mutawaatir form, then it is obligatory to make it part of ones ’aqeedah.’’ [34]

This saying contains a number of short-comings:

[i] Differentiating between the aahaad and mutawaatir ahaadeeth in matters of ’aqeedah is an innovation of the Qadariyyah and the Mu’tazilah – as has already been explained.

[ii] Making tasdeeq of the Punishment of the Grave, whilst prohibiting a person to have ’aqeedah (belief) in it, is a contradiction in terms.  Since – as has preceeded from the words of al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar – tasdeeq is attesting to the truth of something in the heart, which is the same as ’aqeedah and which thereby necessitates eemaan.  However, differentiating between tasdeeq and ’aqeedah is innovated speech, opposing the way of our Salaf.  Unfortunately, the likes of this innovation has clearly been stated by the present leader of Hizbut-Tahrir in Britain, when he said: ‘‘We trust it; and I encourage all of you ’an tasaddiqoo bi ’adhaabil qabr (to have tasdeeq in the Punishment of the Grave).  I encourage all of you ’an tasaddiqoo bi ’awdatil-Mahdee (to have tasdeeq in the return of the Mahdee).  I encourage you for that, but whoever believes in that, then he is sinful.’’ [35]

[iii] How is it possible to affirm the Punishment of the Grave upon the tongue, whilst prohibiting ’aqeedah (belief) of it in the heart – is this not but nifaaq (hypocrisy)?!  Rather, eemaan in the Punishment of the Grave necessitates – as a foundation – ’aqeedah in the heart!!  May Allaah have mercy upon Imaam Ahmad, who said: ‘‘You should beware of speaking about an issue in which you are not preceded by a scholar.’’ [36]

[iv] Along with all this, it must be remembered that: ‘‘It is not permissible to invent an interpretation about an aayah, or about a Sunnah, which was not there in the time of the Salaf; nor did they have any knowledge about it; nor explain it to the Ummah.  Since this would imply that the Salaf were ignorant of the truth in this matter and failed to reach it, whereas the late-coming opponent is somehow guided to the truth!’’ [37]

Imaam al-Awzaa’ee (d.157H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Hold fast to the narrations of the Salaf, even if the people were to abandon you.  Beware of the opinions of the people, no matter how much they beautify it with their speech.’’ [38]

Aboo Haneefah (d.150H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Stick to the athar (narration) and the way of the Salaf and beware of newly invented matters, for all of it is innovation.’’ [39]

So denying ’aqeedah in the Punishment of the Grave, declaring this to be something sinful and prohibited, declaring also that it is not a matter which will definitely occur, but it is a matter which may possibly occur – is speech in opposition to that of the Salafus-Saalih – the like of which was previously uttered by only the Khawaarij, and a group from amongst the Mu’tazilah; and there is no doubt in its being a deviation from the Straight Path.

Likewise, outwardly affirming tasdeeq and apparently affirming eemaan in the Punishment of the Grave, whilst denying ’aqeedah in it, is only a contradiction in terms – since tasdeeq, eemaan, and ’aqeedah in the opinion of the Salaf, all imply certainty and being definite – even if the modernists dislike this!

Imaam Ahmad (d.241H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘The Punishment of the Grave is a true fact; and no one denies it except one who is misguided and misguiding others.’’ [40]

An-Naasiree (d.652H) – rahimahullaah – said in an-Noorul-Laami’ (no. 110):

‘‘We have eemaan in the Punishment of the Grave and its bliss…this is the madhhab of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah.  So it is obligatory to have ’aqeedah in this.’’

Imaam an-Nawawee (d.676H) – rahimahullaah – said in Sharh Saheeh Muslim (5/85):

‘‘This chapter shows the virtue of seeking refuge – between the tashahhud and tasleem – from these (four) matters; and in it is an affirmation of the Punishment of the Grave, and it is the position of the people of the truth – as opposed to the Mu’tazilah.’’

Imaam al-Qurtubee (d.671H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘To have eemaan in the Punishment of the Grave and its trials is obligatory, due to what the most truthful (Muhammad – sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) has mentioned.  This is the belief of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah.’’ [41]

NEED FOR VERIFICATION:

‘‘So examine – may Allaah have mercy upon you – the speech of everyone you hear from, particularly in your time.  Do not act in haste, nor enter into anything from it until you ask and see: Did any of the Companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) speak about it, or any of the Scholars.  So if you find a narration from them about it, then cling to it.  Do not go beyond it for anything, and do not give precedence to anything over it, and thus fall into the Fire.’’ [42]

Ibn Seereen (d.110) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘This knowledge is the Religion, so be careful from whom you take your Religion.’’ [43]

Qaadee Shareek (d.177H) – rahimahullaah – said:

’Ibaad Ibnul-’Awwaam said: Shareek Ibn ’Abdullaah came to us more than fifty years ago, so we said to him: O Abaa ’Abdullaah!  There are a group of the Mu’tazilah who deny the ahaadeeth about Allaah descending to the lowest heaven and that the people shall see their Lord.  So Shareek quoted about ten ahaadeeth like that, and then said: ‘‘As for us, then we have taken our Religion from the sons of the Taabi’een, from the Companions.  From whom did they take theirs?’’ [44]

So there is in what has preceded – if Allaah wills – a clear explanation for those whose hearts have been enlightened by Allaah with the light of Revelation, and whose has hearts have found peace and delight in the narrations of the Salafus-Saalih.  Indeed it is this which brings about a firmness of understanding and is a remedy against the darkness of hizbiyyah (party-spirit).  This, in turn, produces the purity and quality, even if numbers are small.  Indeed mere numbers in opposition to the manhaj (methodology) of the Salaf – the manhaj of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah – leads to nothing but deception, destruction and extreme disappointment.

Footnotes:

[1] As quoted by Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree in al-Maqaalaatul-Islaamiyyeen (p. 430).

[2] Fiqhul-Usoolil-Khamsiyyah (p. 733), and Fadlul-I’tizaal (p. 202) of Qaadee ’Abdul-Jabbaar, the Mu’tazilee.  What they denied was having faith, or ’aqeedah in what the narrations entailed, not that thy denied the existence of ahaadeeth concerning the Punishment of the Grave – as some have mistakenly said!

[3] Shaykh Mahmood at-Tahhaan says in Tayseer Mustalahil-Hadeeth (p. 20-21) about the definition of mutawaatir, “Technically, it is that which is related by such a large number of people, that it is impossible that they could have invented a lie.  It’s conditions are i) that it must be narrated by a large number of people, scholars differ about the actual number required, ii) That this number must be found in every level of the chain, iii) That is is impossible that they could have gathered together upon a lie.”  Refer to Nuzhatun-Nadhr fee Tawdeehi Nukhbatil-Fikr (p. 57) of al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar, and Tadreebur-Raawee (2/177) of as-Suyootee.

[4] Ibn Hajar says in Nuzhatun-Nadhr (p. 71), about the definition of the aahaad hadeeth, “It is that which does not fulfill the condition of the mutawaatir.”  And the aahaad narrations constitute the majority of narrations, whether in the collections of al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, or in other than them.

[5] He is Abul-Madhaffar as-Sam’aanee, the scholar of Hadeeth and Usool.  He died in the year 489H – may Allaah have mercy upon him.

[6] Sawnul-Mantaq wal-Kalaam (p. 160) of as-Suyootee quoting al-Intisaar Ahlil-Hadeeth of as-Sam’aanee.

[7] Iqaamatul-Burhaan (p. 23) of Shaykh Hamood at-Tuwayjiree.

[8] Al-Adhkaar (p. 32) of Imaam an-Nawawee.

[9] Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 1372)

[10] Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 1378)

[11] Saheeh: Related by at-Tabaraanee (3/78/2), and it was authenticted by al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no. 1377).

[12] Hasan: Related by at-Tirmidhee (no. 2424), and Ibn Maajah (no. 4267), and it has been authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Takhreejul-Mishkaat (no. 132).

[13] Related by Muslim (2/93), Aboo Daawood (no. 983), and others from Aboo Hurayrah (radiyallaahu ’anhu).

[14] Related by at-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer from Umm Khaalid Bint Khaalid Ibn Sa’eed Ibnul-’Aas (radiyallaahu ’anhaa), it was authenticated by al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no. 1444).

[15] Sharh Usoolul-I’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah (no. 312) of al-Laalikaa‘ee.

[16] al-Manaaqibush-Shaafi’ee (1/415).

[17] Usoolus-Sunnah (no. 8) of Imaam Ahmad

[18] Risaalatus-Sunnah (p. 72) of Imaam Ahmad

[19] Kitaabus-Sunnah (p. 900) of Sunan Abee Daawood

[20] Ta‘weel Mukhtaliful-Hadeeth (p. 18)

[21] ’Aqeedatut-Tahaawiyyah (no. 79-80)

[22] al-Ibaanah ’an Usoolid-Diyaanah (p. 201)

[23] Risaalah ilaa Ahlith-Thaghr (p. 279) of Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree.

[24] ash-Sharee’ah (p. 358-364) of al-Aajuree

[25] Aslus-Sunnah wa I’tiqaadud-Deen (no. 14)

[26] Sharhus-Sunnah (no. 18)

[27] I’tiqaad A‘immatul-Hadeeth (no. 22)

[28] Related by Ibnul-Qayyim in Ijtimaa’ul-Juyooshil-Islaamiyyah (p. 152)

[29] Usoolus-Sunnah (Q.7)

[30] Sharh Usoolul-I’tiqaad (6/1127) of al-Laalikaa‘ee.

[31] al-I’tiqaad (p. 107) of al-Bayhaqee

[32] Abbreviated from Fathul-Baaree (1/60-61)

[33] Sharhus-Sunnah (1/38-39) of Imaam al-Baghawee

[34] ad-Dawsiyyah (p. 6) of Taqiyyud-Deen an-Nabahaanee – the founder of Hizbut-Tahreer – may Allaah forgive him.

[35] From an available taped lecture entitled Punishment of the Grave.  [Regents Park Mosque, 2nd May 1992CE] by Omar Bakri Mohammad.

[36] Quoted by Ibnul-Qayyim in I’laamul-Muwaqqi’een (4/266)

[37] as-Saarimul-Munkee (p. 427) of al-Haafidh Ibn ’Abdul-Haadee

[38] Related by al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee in his excellent book, Sharaf Ashaabul-Hadeeth (p. 7).

[39] Related by as-Suyootee in Sawnul-Mantaq wal-Kalaam (p. 32)

[40] Tabaqaatul-Hanaabilah (1/174) of Ibn Abee Ya’laa

[41] at-Tadhkirah (p. 137) of Imaam al-Qurtubee.

[42] Kitaab Sharhus-Sunnah (no. 5)

[43] Related by Muslim in the introduction to his Saheeh (no. 114), and also by Aboo Nu’aym in Hilyatul-Awliyaa‘ (2/278)

[44] Related by Ibn Mandah in at-Tawheed (1/97)

Fawaa’id : Points of Benefit : Imam Ibn al-Qayyim

By the Imâm – the Shaykh of Islâm – Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah [1]
Al-Ibaanah Magazine , Issue No.3 – Dhul-Qa’dah 1416H / April 1996

[1] Six Etiquettes of Learning [2]

Ibn al-Qayyim – rahimahullâh – said:
“There are six stages to knowledge:-
Firstly: Asking questions in a good manner.
Secondly: Remaining quiet and listening attentively.
Thirdly: Understanding well.
Fourthly: Memorising.
Fifthly: Teaching.
Sixthly – and it is its fruit: Acting upon the knowledge and keeping to its limits.” [3]

[2] Fruits of Humility

Ibn al-Qayyim – rahimahullâh – said: [4]
One of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) said: “Indeed a servant commits a sin by which he enters Paradise; and another does a good deed by which he enters the Fire.” It was asked: How is that? So he replied: “The one who committed the sin, constantly thinks about it; which causes him to fear it, regret it, weep over it and feel ashamed in front of his Lord the Most High – due to it. He stands before Allâh, broken-hearted and with his head lowered in humility. So this sin is more beneficial to him than doing many acts of obedience, since it caused him to have humility and humbleness – which leads to the servant’s happiness and success – to the extent that this sin becomes the cause for him entering Paradise. As for the doer of good, then he does not consider this good a favour from his Lord upon him. Rather, he becomes arrogant and amazed with himself, saying: I have achieved such and such, and such and such. So this further increases him in self-adulation, pride and arrogance – such that this becomes the cause for his destruction.”

[3] Purifying the Heart

Ibn al-Qayyim – rahimahullâh – said:
“There is no doubt that the heart becomes covered with rust, just as metal dishes – silver, and their like – become rusty. So the rust of the heart is polished with dhikr (remembrance of Allâh), for dhikr polishes the heart until it becomes like a shiny mirror. However, when dhikr is abandoned, the rust returns; and when it commences then the heart again begins to be cleansed. Thus the heart becoming rusty is due to two matters: sins and ghaflah (neglecting remembrance of Allâh). Likewise, it is cleansed and polished by two things: istigfâr (seeking Allâh’s forgiveness) and dhikr.” [5]

[4] Jihâd Against the Self

“Jihâd (striving) against the soul has four stages:

Firstly: To strive in learning guidance and the religion of truth, without which there will be no success. Indeed, there can be no true happiness, nor any delight in this world and in the Herefater, except through it.

Secondly: Striving to act upon what has been learnt, since knowledge without action will not benefit, rather it will cause harm.

Thirdly: Striving to invite others towards it and to teach those who do not know, otherwise he may be considered from those who hide what Allâh has revealed of guidance and clear explanation. Such knowledge will neither benefit, nor save a person from the punishment of Allâh.

Fourthly: Striving to be patient and persevering against those who oppose this da’wah (call) to Allâh and those who seek to cause harm – patiently bearing all these hardships for the sake of Allâh.

When these four stages are completed then such a person is considered to be amongst the Rabbâniyyûn. The Salaf were agreed that a Scholar does not deserve the title of Rabbânî until he recognises and knows the truth, acts upon it, and teaches it to others. So whosoever has knowledge, acts upon it, and teaches this knowledge to others, is considered from the Rabbâniyyûn.” [6]

[5] Trials of the Heart

Ibn al-Qayyirn said, whilst commenting upon the following hadîth: “Trials and tribulations will be presented to hearts, as a reed mat is interwoven stick by stick. Any heart which absorbs these trials will have a black mark put in it. However, any heart that rejects them will have a white mark put in it. The result is that hearts will be of two kinds: one white like a white stone, which will not be harmed by trials as long as the heavens and earth endure; and the other dark and rusty, like an over-turned vessel; not able to recognise the good, nor reject evil, but rather being absorbed with its desires.” [7]

“The fitan (trials) which are presented to the hearts – and which are the cause of its weakness – are: [i] the trials relating to shahwah (false desire) and [ii] the trials relating to shubhah (doubt) … So the first causes intentions and desires to be corrupted, whilst the second causes knowledge and beliefs to be corrupted.” [8] Speaking about such trials, he – rahimahullâh – said: “Hearts – when exposed to such fitan (trials) – are of two types: [The first type]: a heart, which, when exposed to such trials, absorbs it like a sponge that soaks-up water, leaving in it a black stain. Such a heart continues to soak-up the various trials that are presented to it, until it becomes dark and corrupted – which is what is meant by “an over-turned vessel”, so when this occurs, two dangerous and deadly diseases take hold of it and plunge it into destruction

Firstly: confusing good with evil, so it neither recognises the good, nor rejects the evil. This disease may take hold of it to such an extent that it believes good to be evil; and evil to be good, Sunnah to be bid’ah (innovation); and innovations to be the Sunnah, and the truth to be falsehood; and falsehood the truth.

Secondly: judging by its whims and desires, over and against what Allâh’s Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam came with – being enslaved by its whims and desires and being led by them also.

[The second type]: a white heart in which the light of îmân is bright and its radiance is illuminating. So when trials are presented to such a heart, it rejects and turns away from them. This further increases its light and illumination and its strength.” [9]

[6] Four Principles of Worship

“(The Âyah): “You alone do we worship.” [Sûrah al-Fâtihah 1:5] is built upon four principles:- Ascertaining what Allâh and His Messenger love and are pleased with, from [i] the sayings of the heart and [ii] of the tongue; and [iii] the actions of the heart and [iv] of the limbs.

So al-’ubûdiyyah (servitude and slavery to Allâh) is a comprehensive term for all these for stages. The one who actualises them has indeed actualised: “You alone do we worship.”

The saying of the heart: It is i’tiqâd (belief) in what Allâh – the Most Perfect – informed about His Self; concerning His Names, His Attributes, His Actions, His Angels, and all that He sent upon the tongue of His Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam.

The saying of the tongue: It is to inform and convey (what Allâh has revealed), to call to it, defend it, to explain the false innovations which oppose it, to establish its remembrance and to convey what it orders.

The action of the heart: Such as love for Him, reliance upon Him, repenting to Him, having fear and hope in Him, making the Dîn purely and sincerely for Him, having patience in what He orders and prohibits, having patience with what He decrees and being pleased with it, having allegiance and enmity for His sake, humbling oneself in front of Him and having humility in front of Him, becoming tranquil with Him and other than this from the actions of the heart which are actually connected to the action of the limbs … and actions of the limbs without the action of the heart is of little benefit, if any benefit at all.

The action of the limbs: Such as Prayer and Jihâd, attending the Jumu’ah and being with the Jamâ’ah, aiding those who are unable and displaying goodness and kindness to the creation, and other than this.” [10]


References

1. He is Abû ’Abdullâh, Shamsud-Dîn Muhammad ibn Abû Bakr better known as Ibn al-Qayyim (or Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah). He was born in the year 691H in the city of Damascus. From an early age he set about acquiring knowledge and studied under many prominent teachers, the most notable of whom was Shaykhul-Islâm Ibn Taymiyyah. His students include the likes of Ibn Kathîr, adh-Dhahabî, Ibn Bajab, Ibn ’Abdul-Hâdî and others. He authored over ninety books and booklets – all of them being characterised by their touching address to the soul and the heart, as well as their accuracy, precision and depth of research. Ibn al-Qayyim died on the night of Thursday 13th Rajab at the time of the ’Ishâ adhân in the year 751H. Testaments about his comprehensive knowledge, firm adherence to the way of the Salaf; excellent manners, worship and zuhd have been given by Al-Hâfidh Ibn Hajar in ad-Dururul-Kâminah (3/400), Al-Hâfidh Ibn Rajab in Dhayl Tabaqâtul-Hanâbilah (2/447), ash-Shawkânî in al-Badrut-Tâli’ (2/143-146) and also Al-Hâfidh Ibn Kathîr who said about him in al-Bidâyah wan-Nihâyah (14/246): “He attained great proficiency in many branches of knowledge, particularly knowledge of Tafsîr, Hadîth and Usûl. When Shaykh Taqiyyud-Dîn Ibn Taymiyyah returned from Egypt in the year 712H, he stayed with the Shaykh until he died, learning a great deal of knowledge from him; along with the knowledge which he had already occupied himself in obtaining. So he became a singular Scholar in many branches of knowledge. He also continued to seek knowledge greatly day and night and was constant in humbly calling upon his Lord. He recited well and had fine manners. He had a great deal of love and did not harbour any envy for anyone, nor harm anyone, nor seek to find fault with anyone, nor bear any malice towards anyone. I was one of those who most often kept company with him and I was one of the most beloved of people to him. I do not know anyone in the world, in this time, who is a greater worshipper than him. His Salâh (Prayer) used to be very lengthy, with prolonged rukû’ (bowing) and sujûd (prostration). His companions would often reproach him for this, yet he never retorted back, nor did he abandon this practice – may Allâh shower His Mercy upon him.”
2. The following are some points of benefit – extracted from the various works of the Shaykh – pertaining to purification of the souls and curing the diseases of the hearts.
3. Miftâh Dârus-Sa’âdah (p.283).
4. Al-Wâbilus-Sayib minal-Kalimit-Tayyib (p.15).
5. Al-Wâbilus-Sayyib (p.80).
6. Zâdul-Ma’âd fi Hadî Khayril-’Ibâd (pp.9-11).
7. Related by Muslim (no.144), from Hudhayfah radiallâhu ’anhu.
8. Ighâthatul-Luhfân (p.40).
9. Ighâthatul-Luhfân (pp. 39-40).
10. Madârijus-Sâlikîn (1/100-101).

Etiquettes of the Seekers of Knowledge: Giving Priority to the Qur‘an : Shaykh Abu Anas Hamad al-’Uthman

Al-Ibaanah Magazine , Issue No.3 – Dhul-Qa’dah 1416H / April 1996
Shaykh Abu Anas Hamad al-’Uthman [1].
From An-Nubadh fî Âdâbit-Talabil-’Ilm (pp.61-66)

Hudayfah – radiallâhu anhu – said:

The Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam related two matters to us. I have seen one of them, and I am waiting for the other. He informed us: “Trustworthiness was sent down in the depths of the heart of the people, then they learnt it from the Qur‘ân, and then they learnt it from the Sunnah.” [2]

Al-Hâfidh Ibn Hajr (825H) – rahimahullâh – said:

“His saying: “then they learnt it from the Qur‘ân, then they learnt it from the Sunnah.” So it occurs in this narration with the repetition of “then”, which contains an indication that they would learn Qur‘ân before learning the details of the Sunnah. And what is meant by the details of the Sunnah is anything that they would learn from the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam – whether it was obligatory or recommended.” [3]

Al-Maymûnî said:

I asked Abû ’Abdullâh (Imâm Ahmad) which is more beloved to you, that I should begin teaching my son the Qur‘ân or the Hadîth? He said: “No! The Qur‘ân.” I said: Shall I teach him all of it? He replied: “Unless that is difficult, in which case teach him some of it.” Then he said to me: “If he begins reciting first, then he will learn correct recitation and will persevere in it.” [4]

Ibn Muflih – rahimahullâh – said:

“Upon this are the followers of Imâm Ahmad right up until our time.” [5]

Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) – rahimahullâh – said:

“As for seeking to memorise the Qur‘ân, then this is to be given preference over many of the things that the people consider to be knowledge, but are – in reality – either totally useless, or having little benefit. It is also to be given precedence in learning especially by those who wish to acquire knowledge of the Dîn, its principles and its particulars. Since what is prescribed for such a person at this time is that he should begin by memorising the Qur‘ân, as it is the foundation of the branches of the knowledge of the Dîn. This is contrary to what is done by many of the people of Innovation from the non-Arabs and other than them, in that one of them will pre-occupy himself with superfluous parts of knowledge; such as kalâm (rhetorical speech) and argumentation; or very rare matters of differences; and blind-following; which there is no need for; or very strange and rare ahadîth, which are not established, nor of benefit; and many discussions which do not establish proofs. And he abandons memorising the Qur‘ân which is more important than all of this.” [6]

Muhammad ibn al-Fadl said:

“I heard my grandfather say: I asked my father for permission to study under Qutaybah so he said: “First learn the Qur‘ân and then I will give you permission.” So I memorised the Qur‘ân by heart. So he said to me: “Remain until you have led the people in prayer with it (i.e for Tarawîh Prayer).” So I did so, then after the ’Îd he gave me permission, so I left for Marw.” [7]

Ibn ’Abdul Barr (d.463H) – rahimahullâh – said:

“Seeking knowledge is of levels and is of different stages which should not be skipped over. Whoever skips over them altogether, then he has overstepped the path of the Salaf – may Allâh have mercy on all of them. Whoever deliberately takes a path other than this has seriously deviated. However, whoever oversteps due to an ijitihâd (a knowledge based judgment that a qualified Scholar makes, intending to reach the truth), then such a person has erred. So the first knowledge is memorisation of the Book of Allâh and seeking to understand it. And it is obligatory to seek everything which will aid in understanding it. However, I do not say that is obligatory to memorise all of the Qur‘ân, but I do say that it is obligatory and essential for anyone who wishes to become a scholar – not that it is something obligatory in itself.” [8]

Al-Khatîb al-Baghdâdî (d.463H) – rahimahullâh – said:

“It is fitting for a student that he begins with the memorisation of the Book of Allâh – the Mighty and Majestic. Since it is the greatest of the branches of knowledge and that which should be placed first and given precedence.” [9]

Al-Hâdfidh an-Nawawî (d.676H) – rahimahullâh – said:

“So the first thing he should begin with is memorisation of the mighty Qur‘ân, which is the most important branches of knowledge. And the Salaf did not use to teach Hadîth or Fiqh, except to one who memorised the Qur‘ân. So when he has memorised it, then let him beware of pre-occupying himself from it with Hadîth, Fiqh or other things, to the extent that it leads him to forget anything of the Qur‘ân, or makes that likely.” [10]

Seeking Knowledge in Due Amounts [11]

Allâh, the Most High – said:

And this is a Qur‘ân which We have divided into parts, in order that you recite it to men at intervals. And we have sent it down in stages.” [12]

The Prophet sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam said to ’Abdullâh ibn ’Amr ibn al-’Âs radiallâhu anhumâ: “Read the Qur‘ân in every month.” I said: I find that I have more strength than that. “Recite it in every twenty nights.” I said: I find that I have more strength than that. “Then recite it in every seven days and do not increase upon that.” [13]

’Abdullâh ibn ’Amr ibn al-’Âs radiallâhu anhumâ also related from the Prophet sallâhu alayhi wa sallam that he said: “He does not understand the Qur‘ân who recites it in less than three days.” [14]

’Umar ibn ’Abdul-Wâhid – a companion of al-Awzâ’î – said:

We read al-Muwatta to Mâlik (d.179H) in forty days, so he said: “A book that took me forty years to compile, you take from me in forty days! How little you understand of it.” [15]

Al-Khatîb al-Baghdâdî said:

“It is fitting that he take care in acquiring knowledge and that he should not take too much in one go. Rather, he should take a little at a time, such that he can bear it, memorize it and be able to understand it. Because Allâh – the Most High – says: “And those who disbelieve say: Why is the Qur‘ân not sent down to him all at once? Thus (is it sent down in parts) that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We have revealed it to you gradually, in stages.” [16]” [17]

Al-Khatîb – rahimahullâh – also said:

“And know that the heart is an organ from the organs. It is able to bear some things and unable to bear others – just like the rest of the body. Thus, some people are able to carry one-hundred pounds, whereas others are unable to carry even twenty. Some people are able to walk a number of mites in a day without tiring, whereas others are unable to even walk a mile in a day before they become tired… So let each person limit himself to what he is able without expending all his energies, because that will better aid him in learning with a good mind, from a arm and proficient teacher.” [18]

Supplicating for an Increase in Knowledge [19]

Allâh – the Most High – said:

“Say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge. [Sûrah Tâ Hâ 20:114]

Umm Salamah – radiallâhu ’anha – said:

Allâh’s Messenger sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam used to supplicate in the morning Prayer: “O Allâh! I ask you for beneficial knowledge, righteous action and pure sustenance.” [20]

Atlas bin Mâlik – radiallâhu ’anhu – said:

I heard Allâh’s Messenger sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam supplicated: “O Allâh! Benefit me with knowledge. Teach me that which will benefit me, and provide me with knowledge from which I can derive benefit.” [21]

Abû Bakr Muhammad ibn Ja’far said:

l heard Ibn Khuzaymah (d.311H) being asked: From where did you acquire this knowledge? So he said: “Allâhs Messenger sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam said: “Zam-zam water is that for which it is drunk.” [22] So when I drunk the Zam-zam water, I supplicated to Allâh for beneficial knowledge.” [23]

Shaykhul-lslâm Ibn Taymiyyah said: [24]

“The reality of this matter is that the servant differs in what he asks of knowledge and guidance, and of what he seeks to ask. So with remembrance of Allâh and turning towards Him, Allâh guides such a person – as He said – : “O My servants! All of you are misguided, except whomsoever I guide. So seek your guidance from Me.” [25] And as the Prophet sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam used to say: “O Allâh! Lord of Jibrîl, Mikaîl and Israfîl. The Originator of the heavens and the earths. Knower of the Unseen and the apparent. You judge between Your servants in that which he differs. So guide me in that which I differ from the truthby Your permission. Indeed, You guide whomsoever You please, to a path that is straight. [26]


1. From An-Nubadh fî Âdâbit-Talabil-’Ilm (pp.61-66), slightly abridged.
2. Related by al-Bukhârî (no.7086)
3. Fathul-Bârî (13/39)
4. Related by Ibn Muflih in Al-Âdâbush-Shar’iyyah.
5. Related by Ibn Abî Ya’lâ in Tabaqâtul-Hanâbilah (1/41).
6. Fatâwâ al-Kubra (2/54-55).
7. Related by adh-Dhahabî in Tadhkiratul-Huffâdh (2/722).
8. Jâmi’ Bayânul-’Ilm wa Fadlihi (pp. 526-528)
9. Al-Jâmi’ li-Akhlâqir-Râwî wa Âdâbis-Sâmi’ (1/106).
10. From the introduction to Al-Majmû’ Sharhul-Muhadhhab (1/38)
11. From An-Nubadh (pp.67-69)
12. Sûrah al-Isrâ 17:106.
13. Related by al-Bukhârî (no. 5052) and Muslim (no. 1159) and the wording is from Muslim).
14. Sahîh: related by Abû Dâwûd in his Sunan (no. 1394) and it was authenticated by al-Albânî in Sahîh Sunan Abî Dâwûd (no. 1294).
15. Related by Ibn ’Abdul-Barr in at-Tawhîd (1/77)
16. Sûrah al-Furqân 25:32.
17. Al-Faqîh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/101).
18. Al-Faqîh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/107).
19. An-Nubadh (pp. 97-99).
20. Hasan: related by Ahmad (6/305) and at-Tiyâlasî (p.224). It was authenticated by al-Hâfidh Ibn Hair in Natâ’ijul Afkâr (2/313).
21. Related by Hâkim (1/510) and he said: “It is authentic upon the condition of Muslim.” Adh-Dhahabî also agreed.
22. Hasan: It has been narrated by many different ways. Refer to al-Maqâsidul Hasanah (no. 928) of as-Sakhâwî for its authentication and sources.
23. Related by adh-Dhahabî in Tadhkiratul-Huffâdh (2/721).
24. Majmû’ul-Fatâwâ (4/39)
25. Related by Muslim (no.2577) form Abû Dharr.
26. Related by Muslim (no.770) from ’Âishah

Taqwaa : The Key to Learning : Shaikh Abu Anas Hamad-ul-‘Uthmaan

Author: Shaikh Abu Anas Hamad-ul-‘Uthmaan
Source: His book Nubadh Fee Aadaab it-Talab (pp.12-15)
Al-Ibaanah Magazine – Issue No.2 – Rabî’ul-Awwal 1416H / August 1995

Allaah – the Most Perfect, Most High – said:“O you who Believe! Have taqwaa (fear) of Allaah and believe in His Messenger; and He will bestow upon you a double portion of His Mercy and He will provide you with a light by which you will walk.”[2]

Allaah – the Most High – also said:

“O you who Believe! If you have taqwaa of Allaah, He will give to you a Furqaan (criterion to judge between right and wrong).”[3]

AI-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (d.777H) – rahimahullaah – said:

Ibn ‘Abbaas, as-Suddee, ‘Ikrimah, ad-Dahhaak, Qataadah and Muqaatil ibn Hayyaan all said about Furqaan “that it means: a way out (from difficulty).” Mujaahid added: “A way out (from difficulty) both in this world and in the Hereafter.” In a narration from Ibn ‘Abbaas he said it means: salvation; and in another narration from him: being helped. Muhammad ibn Ishaaq said that it means: “a criterion to judge between truth and falsehood.” This explanation from Ibn Ishaaq is the most general of what has already preceeded and it is a necessary consequence of it. Since whoever has taqwaa of Allaah by obeying His command and abandoning what He has prohibited, will be given the ability to recognise truth from falsehood. This will be the cause for his salvation, his being helped; and the cause for his worldly affairs being made easier and his happiness on the Day of Judgement. It will also be the cause for his sins to be expiated by Allaah, and his being granted forgiveness and Allaah shielding him from the people. It will likewise be the cause of him being the recipient (if a great reward from Allaah, as He – the Most High – says: ‘O you who Believe! Have taqwaa (fear) of Allaah and believe in His Messenger; and He will bestow upon you a double portion of His Mercy and He will provide you with a light by which you will walk.'[4]”[5]

lbn Mas’ood – radiallaahu anhu – said: “Indeed I hold that a person forgets knowledge that he used to know because of sins that he commits.”[6]

Wakee’ (d.197H) – rahimahullaah – said: “I seek help in memorization by abandoning sin and disobedience.”[7]

Maalik (d.179H) said to ash-Shafi’ee when they first met: “Indeed I see that Allaah has placed a light upon your heart so do not extinguish it with the darkness of disobedience and sin.”[8]

Imaam ash-Shaaf’ee (d.204H) – rahimahullaah – said:”Whosoever loves that Allaah Should open up his heart for him and grant light to him, then let him abandon speech about that which does not concern him, and abandon sins and turn away from acts of disobedience. Then there will be between him and Allaah a hidden treasure of good actions. So if this is done, then Allaah will open up such knowledge for him, that will pre-occupy him. And indeed in death is the greatest pre-occupation.”[9]

Shaykhul- Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d .728 H) said: “Allaah – the Most Perfect – has made as a punishment for people’s sins, the absence of guidance and beneficial knowledge, as He says: “They say: Our hearts are wrapped-up (and we do not understand). Rather, Allaah has put a seal upon their hearts because of their disbelief.”[10] And He said: “They say: Our hearts are wrapped-up (and we do not understand). Rather, Allaah has cursed them for their disbelief. ” [11] And He said: “And we shall turn their hearts and their sight away from guidance, as they refused to believe therein for the first time.” [12] And Allaah says: “In their hearts is a disease, and Allaah increases their disease.” [13] And He says: “So when they turned away, AlIaah turned their hearts away.” [14]” [15]


Footnotes:

  • 1. An Nubadh fee Adaabit Talab (pp.12-15)
  • 2. al-Hadeed 57:28
  • 3. aI-Anfaal 8:29
  • 4. al-Hadeed 57:28
  • 5. Tafsir Qur’anil Adheem (2/301-302)
  • 6. Related by Wakee’ in oz-Zuhd (no.329) and its isnaad is Saheeh.
  • 7. Related by Ibn Hibbaan in Rawdatul Uqulaa (p.39).
  • 8. A’laam ul-Muwaqqi’een (4/258) uf Ibn al-Qayyim.
  • 9. Related by al-Bayhaqi in Manaaqib ush-Shafi’ee (2/171).
  • 10. an-Nisaa 4:155
  • 11. al-Baqarab 2:88
  • 12. al-An’aam 6:110
  • 13. al-Baqarab 2:10
  • 14. as-Saff 6l :5
  • 15. Majmoo Fataawaa (14/52) of Ibn Taymiyyah

Foundations of True Faith : Love for Allah : Shaykh ’Abdur-Rahman ibn Hasan Alush-Shaykh

Al-Ibaanah Magazine , Issue No.1
By Shaykh ’Abdur-Rahman ibn Hasan Alush-Shaykh [1] , (d.1285H) – rahimahullâh
Source: Fathul-Majîd Sharh Kitâbit-Tawhîd (pp.470-473).

Love for Allâh

Shaykh ’Abdur-Rahmân ibn Hasan said: [1]

“Allâh – the Most High – says:

Say: If you truly love Allâh, then follow me, and Allâh will love you.” [2]

This âyah is also known as Ayatul-Muhabbah (the âyah about love). Some of the Salaf have said, “The people claimed that they loved Allâh, so Allâh the Most High revealed the âyah about muhabbah (love), Say: If you truly love Allâh, then follow me, and Allâh will love you.” [3] So this âyah indicates the proofs and evidences for muhabbah and its fruits and benefits. So from the proofs of muhabbah and its clear signs is: to follow the Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam; and from its fruits and its benefits is: that Allâh will love you. So whosoever does not seek to follow the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam, then such a person will not attain the love of Allâh.

Characteristics of True Love

Allâh – the Most High – also says:

O you who believe! If any of you turns back from his religion (then wait) Allâh will create a people who will love Him and He will love them, who will be soft and gentle with the Believers and harsh with the disbelievers, who will fight in the path of Allâh, and will not be afraid of the blame from the blamers.” [4]

Here, Allâh has mentioned four characteristics of those who love Him:

Firstly and Secondly: they are gentle and soft towards the Believers. It is said that this means: to be merciful, compassionate and kind. ’Atâ‘ (d.114H) – rahimahullâh – said, “A Believer’s gentleness for another Believer is like that of a child towards his father, or a slave towards his beloved master; and against the disbeliever, it is like that of a lion towards its prey: Strong against the disbelievers, and merciful towards each other.

[5] ”

Thirdly, Jihâd in the Path of Allâh with the soul, the hand, the tongue, and with wealth and property. This is the characteristic by which the true muhabbah is ascertained.

Fourthly, they are not afraid of the blame and reproach of the blamers. This being the truest characteristic of muhabbah.

If the one claiming muhabbah, whilst loving his beloved, fears the blames and reproaches or others, then this is in reality, not considered to be true muhabbah. Allâh the Most High says:

Those whom they call upon, themselves desire the wasîlah (means of approach) to their Lord to which of them should be nearest. They hope for His mercy and fear His punishment.” [6]

Here, three levels which are linked to muhabbah have been mentioned, [i] Love, which is desiring to seek nearness to Him; [ii] at-Tawassul (seeking the means of approach) to Him, through righteous and correct actions; [iii] Hope and fear, a proof of desiring the means of approach to Him through righteous and correct actions is that such actions are done hoping in His mercy and also fearing His punishment.

And it is known with necessity that seeking nearness (to Allâh) can only be achieved when there is a desire and love for this, and the desire and love for seeking nearness (to Him) stems from love of Him. Indeed, true love for Him necessitates desiring to draw near to Him. However, the Jahmiyyah and the Mu’attilah, none of this has any value. Since, in their (false) view, Allâh does not draw near to anyone, nor does anyone draw near to Him, nor does He love anyone. So they deny life for the hearts, bliss for the souls, coolness for the eyes and highlights the delights of this world and the Hereafter. And due to this denial, their hearts became hardened, and between them and Allâh there came barriers and obstacles from knowing Him and loving Him. They do not know Him, nor do they seek to love Him, nor do they mention Him, except by negating and denying His Names and Attributes. They criticize and condemn those who make mention of the perfect and majestic Names and the Attributes of Allâh, accusing them of that which is more befitting to be attributed to themselves! And sufficient is it for one possessing knowledge and possessing a heart with life, that they view the sayings of such people with harshness, contempt and hatred; knowing that such people have disassociated themselves from the love of Allâh the Most High and from knowing and understanding His Uniqueness and Oneness (with respect to His Names, Attributes and Actions).

A Comprehensive Definition

Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) – rahimahullâh – says:
“There cannot be clearer recognition of mahabbah than this, and this recognition in itself increases love for Allâh. And people have discussed (at lengths) about mahabbah – its causes, its signs, its fruits, its supports and its rulings. The most comprehensive of what has been said about this is what Abû Bakr al-Katânî relates from al-Junayd (d.297H):

Abû Bakr al-Katânî said:
A discussion about mahabbah took place in Makkah, during pilgrimage season. The Shaykhs who were present spoke about this topic, and al-Junayd being the youngest of them. They said to him: What do you say, O ’Irâqî? So al-Junayd lowered his head and tears were gushing from his eyes, then he said:

“A servant should overcome his soul,
And be continuous in the remembrance of his Lord,
Establishing the rights of his Lord,
Focusing upon Him with his heart,
The light of fear setting ablaze his heart,
Whilst drinking from the vessel of pure love,
And certain hidden realities being unveiled for him.
So when he talks, it is due to Allâh,
When he speaks, it is from Allâh,
When he moves, it is by the Command of Allâh,
And when he is serene, then it is from Allâh,
He belongs to Allâh, is for Allâh and is with Allâh.

Upon hearing, the Shaykhs all started weeping, and they said: There is nothing left to add to that, may Allâh reward you O Crown of the Knowledgeable Ones.”

Developing Love for Allâh

Ibn al-Qayyim – rahimahullâh – says:

“The reasons which cause mahabbah of Allâh to develop, are ten:

Firstly: Reciting the Qur‘ân, reflecting and understanding its meaning and its intent.

Secondly: Drawing closer to Allâh – the Most High – through optional deeds, after fulfilling the obligatory duties.

Thirdly: Being continuous in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allâh, with the tongue, the heart and the limbs – under all circumstances. The more constant the dhikr, the more mahabbah develops and intensifies.

Fourthly: Giving precedence to what Allâh loves over personal loves, when being overcome by desires.

Fifthly: Contemplating and deliberating over the Names and Attributes of Allâh.

Sixthly: Recognising and remembering the favours and bounties of Allâh – both the manifest and hidden.

Seventhly: To be humble and submissive before Allâh – and this is the greatest matter.

Eightly: To be in seclusion reciting the Qur‘ân, during that time in which Allâh descends to the lowest heaven (which is the last third of every night), finishing this recitation with seeking Allâh’s forgiveness and repenting to Him.

Ninthly: To sit in the gatherings of true and sincere lovers of Allâh, reaping the fruits of their speech, and not to speak except if there is benefit in it and that you know that such talk will increase you in goodness and that it will benefits others as well.

Tenthly: To stay clear of all those causes which distances the heart from Allâh – the Mighty and Majestic.

So these are the ten reasons which cause the person to develop true love for Allâh and to reach the rank of al-muhabbah, by which he reaches his Beloved.” [7]


References 

1. In Fathul-Majîd Sharh Kitâbit-Tawhîd (pp.470-473).
2. Sûrah Âli-’Imrân 3:31
3. This is the saying of al-Hasan al-Basrî, as is reported by Ibn Kathîr in his Tafsîr (1/366).
4. Sûrah Mâ‘idah 5:54
5. Sûrah al-Fath 48:29
6. Sûrah Mâ‘idah 5:54
7. Madârijus-Sâlikîn (3/17-18).

Abû Hurayrah – radiallâhu ’anhu – relates that the Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said:

“Allâh – the Most High – has said: Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, I shall be at war with him. My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more beloved to Me than the obligatory duties. And My servant continues to draw near to Me with the optional actions, so that I shall love him. So when I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask something of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to ask Me for shelter, I would surely grant him it.

”Related by al-Bukhârî (11/340-341)

 

Jihad Against the Self – Imam Ibn al Qayyim

“Jihâd (striving) against the soul has four stages:

Firstly: To strive in learning guidance and the religion of truth, without which there will be no success. Indeed, there can be no true happiness, nor any delight in this world and in the Herefater, except through it.

Secondly: Striving to act upon what has been learnt, since knowledge without action will not benefit, rather it will cause harm.

Thirdly: Striving to invite others towards it and to teach those who do not know, otherwise he may be considered from those who hide what Allâh has revealed of guidance and clear explanation. Such knowledge will neither benefit, nor save a person from the punishment of Allâh.

Fourthly: Striving to be patient and persevering against those who oppose this da’wah (call) to Allâh and those who seek to cause harm – patiently bearing all these hardships for the sake of Allâh.

When these four stages are completed then such a person is considered to be amongst the Rabbâniyyûn. The Salaf were agreed that a Scholar does not deserve the title of Rabbânî until he recognises and knows the truth, acts upon it, and teaches it to others. So whosoever has knowledge, acts upon it, and teaches this knowledge to others, is considered from the Rabbâniyyûn.” [Zâdul-Ma’âd fi Hadî Khayril-’Ibâd (pp.9-11)]

Source : Purification of the Souls: Fawaa’id – Points of Benefit , By the Imâm – the Shaykh of Islâm – Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, Al-Ibaanah Magazine , Issue No.3 – Dhul-Qa’dah 1416H / April 1996