Repel evil with that which is better

From Al-Istiqaamah Magazine , Issue No.7 , Rabee’ ul-Awwal 1418H / July 1997

Allaah – the Most High – said:

“The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel evil with that which is better; then indeed, he between whom and you there was enmity, will become as though he was a close friend.” [Soorah Fussilat 41:34].

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

“Not equal are acts of goodness and obedience, which are done to earn the pleasure of Allaah; and acts of evil and disobedience, that bring about the anger of Allaah, and not His good pleasure. Likewise. not equal are those acts of goodness and kindness that are done towards the creation, and those acts of evil done against them – neither in their nature, their characteristics, nor in their rewards: “Is not the reward for good acts, goodness.” Then, a particular, but important act of ihsaan (goodness and kindness) is commanded, which is: showing ihsaan towards the one who has ill-treated you; because Allaah commanded to repel evil with that which is better. This means that whenever you are ill-treated by anyone from amongst the creation – in particular those that have great rights over you; such as relatives, friends, and their like – then return their ill-treatment of you with acts of kindness and goodness towards them. Thus, if you have been cut-off from then seek to join the ties of relation; if you have been oppressed, then be forgiving; if you have been spoken ill of, either in your presence or behind your back, then do not retaliate, but rather be forgiving and speak to them with mild and soft words; if you have been boycotted and abandoned, then continue speaking to those who have done so, with good words, and continue giving them the greetings of salaam. So if you return acts of evil with acts of ihsaan (goodness and kindness), then you will indeed acquire a tremendous benefit.”1

Consider also, the following incident.

‘Aaishah radiallaahu’anhaa said:

I asked the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: O Allaah’s Messenger, has there ever been a day more severe upon you than the day of Uhud? So he said: “Your tribe troubled me greatly, and the most troublesome thing which I experienced from them was on the day of ‘Aqabah when I presented myself to Ibn ‘Abd Yaaleel ibn ‘Abd Kulaal, and he did not respond to my Message as I had hoped. So I returned overwhelmed with grief and sorrow, and did not recover until I reached Qarnuth-Tha’aalib. I raised my head and saw a cloud shading me. Then I looked and saw (the Angel) Jibreel in it, and he called me saying. Allaah has heard what your people have said to you, and their reply. And Allaah has sent the Angel of the mountains to you to do whatever you wish. So the Angel of the mountains called me, greeted me with Salaam; and then said. O Muhammad. Allaah has heard what your people said to you, and I am the Angel of the mountains. My Lord has sent me to you, that you may order me as you wish. So what do you wish? If you should so wish, I will crush them beneath the two mountains.” So Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “No, rather hope that from their offspring will come who will worship Allaah alone, and not worship anything else along with Him.”2

Ibn Abee Haatim (d.328H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“I entered Damascus and came upon the students of hadeeth, and I passed by the circle of Qaasim al-Joo’ee (d.248H). I found a group sitting around him and he was speaking. Their appearance amazed me; and I heard him saying: “Seize the benefit of five things from the people of your time: when you are present, you are not known; when you are absent, you are not missed; when you are seen, your advice is not sought; when you say something, your saying is not accepted; and when you have some knowledge, you are not given anything for it. I also advise you with five matters: when you are treated unjustly, do not behave unjustly; when you are praised, do not become happy; when you are criticised, do not become upset; when you are not believed, do not become angry; and if people act deceitfully towards you, do not act deceitfully towards them.” Ibn Abee Haatim said: So I took that as my benefit from Damascus.”3


1. Tayseerul-Kareemur-Rahmaan (p.695).
2. Related by al-Bukhaaree (no.3231) and Muslim (no.1795).
3. Related by Ibn al-Jawzee in Sifatus-Safwaa (2/200)

 

Sincerity (Ikhlaas) – Shaykh Ahmad Fareed

Source: Tazkiyatun-Nufoos (pp.7-10)
Al-Istiqaamah Magazine , Issue No.4 – Jumâdal-Awwal 1417H / November 1996

Ikhlaas (purity and sincerity of intentions): It is the stripping (i.e. the purifying) of one’s intentions in order to draw closer to Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic – in all matters. It is also said that ikhlaas is intending to single out Allaah alone with acts of obedience. It has also been said that ikhlaas is to forget about the creation by constantly looking towards the Creator.

And ikhlaas (sincerity) is a condition for Allaah to accept those righteous actions that are done in accordance with the Sunnah (guidance) of Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. So Allaah – the Most High – commanded us with His saying:

“And they have not been commanded except to worship Allaah alone, having ikhlaas (purity of intention) in their Religion and not setting-up partners with Allaah in the worship of Him.” [Soorah al-Bayyinah 38:5].

Abu Umaamah radiallaahu ‘anhu relates:
Once a man came to Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa
sallam
and said: What do you think about a person who joins us in the fighting only to seek fame and wealth? So Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alalvhi wa sallam replied: “He receives nothing!” The man repeated the question three times, each time Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “He recieves nothing!” Then he said: “Indeed Allaah does not accept an action except if it is done with ikhlaas (i.e. purely for Allaah’s sake), seeking nothing but His Face.”2

Zayd ibn Thaabit radiallaahu ‘anhu relates:
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “May Allaah brighten whosoever hears my words, memorises them and then conveys them to others. Many a carrier of knowledge does not understand it, and many a carrier of knowledge conveys it to one who has better understanding. There are three things which the heart of a Believer has no malice about: Ikhlaas for Allaah in one’s action; sincere advice to the Muslim leaders; and clinging to the Jamaa’ah.”3

The meaning of the above being that these three matters strengthen the heart. And that whosoever adopts them, then his heart will be purified from deceit, corruption and evil. And no servant can be free from Shaytaan except by having ikhlaas, as Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic -said:

“Except those of Your servants who have ikhlaas.” [Soorah Saad 38:83].

It has been related from one of the pious people that he said: “O my soul! Have ikhlaas and then you will be purified.” Thus, whenever any share of this world – in which the soul takes comfort and the heart inclines towards, either greatly or slightly – enters into our actions, then it marrs the purity and ruins the ikhlaas. For man becomes preoccupied with his portion of the world and becomes immersed in his desires; and very seldom are his action, or acts of worship, free from temporary objectives or desires of this kind. That is why it has been said: “Whosoever secures in his lifetime even a single moment of ikhlaas, seeking the Face of Allaah, he will be saved.” This is because ikhlaas is something very precious, and cleansing the heart from impurities is something difficult.

So ikhlaas is: Cleansing the heart from all impurities – whether large or small – such that the intention of drawing closer to Allaah is stripped of all other motives, except that. And this matter cannot be imagined, except from someone who truly loves Allaah; and who is so absorbed in thinking about the Aakhirah (Hereafter), that there remains no place in his heat for the love of this world to settle. The likes of such a person – even when he is eating, drinking or answering the call of nature – has ikhlaas in his actions and has correct intentions. However, whosoever is not like this, then the doors of ikhlaas will be closed to him – except in rare exceptions. Likewise, whosoever is overwhelmed with the love of Allaah and the love of the Hereafter, then the actions that he does will all be characterised with this ikhlaas. However, if the person’s soul is overwhelmed with this dunyaa (world), then the actions that he does will be characterised with this love, such that no act of worship – whether it be Pasting or Praying, or other than these – will be accepted from him, except in a few cases.

The cure for loving this world is to break these worldly desires that the soul has, curing-off the greed it has for this world and purifying it for the Hereafter. This will then become the overwhelming trait of the heart and with this state achieving ikhlaas will become much easier. For how many actions there are that a person does, thinking that they are done with true ikhlaas (sincerity), seeking only the Face of Allaah, but he is deluded, for he does not see the defects in them!

Thus it has been related about someone that he used to always pray in the first row of the mosque. One day he was delayed in coming to the Prayer, so he had to pray in the second row. Feeling embarrassed at praying in the second row, the man realised that the satisfaction and pleasure of the heart that he gained from praying in the first row was due to him seeing that the people used to admire him for it. This is a very fine and subtle point and actions are seldom safe from it. Indeed, very few are there who realise such subtleties – apart from those upon whom Allaah – the Most High – has blessed and helped. Rather, those who are negligent of such matters will see their good deeds appearing as evil ones on the Day of Resurrection, and they are the ones who are referred to in Allaah – the Most High’s – sayings:

“And there will become clear to them that which they were not expecting. For the evil of their deeds will become apparent to them.” [Soorah az-Zumr 39:47-48].

“Say: Shall We inform you about those who will lose most in respect to their actions? Those whose efforts have been wasted in the life of this world, whilst they thought that they were doing good actions.” [Soorah al- Kahf 18:103-104].

Some Sayings Concerning Ikhlaas

Ya’qoob- rahimahullaah – said:
“A mukhlis (one who truly has ikhlaas) is someone who conceals his good actions, as he conceals his bad ones.”

As-Soosee – rahimahullaah -said:
“True ikhlaas is not to see your ikhlaas. Indeed, whosoever identifies ikhlaas in his ikhlaas, then he is in need of having ikhlaas in his ikhlaas!” And what this indicates is to purify one’s actions from being amazed with oneself. Since whosoever considers his ikhlaas, being amazed with it, has fallen into great danger. For ikhlaas is to be pure and free from such dangers of being amazed with one’s own actions.

Ayyoob – rahimahullaah -said:
“Having Ikhlaas (sincerity for Allaah) in the intentions for any action, is much more harder than performing the action itself.”

One of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) said:
To have true ikhlaas even for a short time, is to be saved. However, ikhlaas is very rare.”

Suhayl – rahimahullaah – was asked: What is the thing most difficult for the nafs (soul)? He replied: “To have ikhlaas, especially when the soul is not disposed towards it.”

Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyyaad – rahimahullaah – said:
“Abandoning action for the sake of people, is to seek their admiration. To do an action for the sake of people is to commit Shirk (to associate in the worship of Allaah, others along with Allaah). Indeed ikhlaas is when Allaah saves you from both of these states.”


1. Tazkiyatun-Nufoos (pp.7-10).
2. Hasan: Related by an-Nasaa’ee (6/25). It was authenticated by al-Haafidh al-‘lraaqee in Takhreejul-lhyaa (4/28).
3. Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (4/80) and Ibn Maajah (no.230). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no.404).

Being a Slave to Wealth – Shaykh Sulaymân as-Sulaymî

Being a Slave to Wealth
The Great Enslavement by Shaykh Sulaymân as-Sulaymî
Source: Al-Istiqaamah, Issue No.7

Someone may ask: What is the proof that some people become slaves to money, or other similar things, and worship it? The proof is in the saying of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam where he said: “Woe be to the ‘abd (slave and worshipper) of the dirham, woe be to the ‘abd of the deenaar (dirham ond deenaar: equivilant to the Pound and the pence) …“[3] Someone may ask: How does this enslavement to money manifest itself, and what is its nature! It is when the heart becomes so in love with money, that it covers up, or suppresses the love for Allaah, This love can reach such an extent that a person desires to attain this wealth by any means possible – neither caring whether the wealth comes to him through halaal (lawful) means; in obedience to Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or means that are haraam (unlawful and forbidden) in the Religion.

So understand by reflection, that every single heart in all created things has feelings, desires and inclinations. It has the desire to love, to gain good and beneficial things for itself, it can feel fear and terror, and it can also surrender and become submissive. Thus, when its feelings, desires and inclinations are all directed to and for Allaah, then it is a heart that truly worships, submits and surrenders to Allaah alone. Therefore, it has khawf (fear) of only Allaah; it has rajaa (hope) in Allaah’s Mercy; it has mahabbah (love) for Allaah and whatever Allaah loves; and it has istislaam (submits and surrenders) to only Allaah. However, when these feelings, desires and inclinations are directed to other than Allaah, then it is a heart that is enslaved and worships that object which has captured and enslaved it.

The forbiddance of the heart submitting to other than Allaah should not be misunderstood to mean that Muslims must forsake the world and dealing with it. Rather, the true position of a Muslim is that which was with the Sahaabah (Companions) radiallaahu ‘anhum. They held the wealth in their hands, yet none of it was in their hearts. [About this, Shaykhul-lslaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) – rahimahullaah – said: “The position of wealth should be regarded like that of the toilet, in that there is need for it, but it has no place in the heart, and it is resorted to when needed.”[4] The point being made is that we are not trying to call the people to the opinion of some of the Soofees, who believe that it is forbidden for a Muslim to possess wealth and take part in worldly transactions. Rather, it is obligatory for the Muslims to be the richest of people so that they may use this wealth as a means to worship Allaah – the One free from all imperfections – and to help people.

Another form of submitting and being enslaved to other than Allaah is when people submit and enslave their hearts to power and leadership. They are prepared for humiliation to take hold of them, and to abandon their scruples, in order to gain votes during elections; or other such similar situations. They are prepared to submit themselves to people – doing whatever is necessary for them to do – in order to win other people’s favour, and thus gain that vote or position. Thus, this is another form of submitting and enslaving one’s heart to other than Allaah.

Footnotes:

3. Related by al-Bukhaaree (no.6435), from Abu Hurayrah radiallaahu ‘anhu.
4. Wasiyyatus-Sughraa (p.55) of Ibn Taymiyyah.

Eating collectively from a single plate – Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen

Al-Wahshiyyi ibn Harb radiallaahu ‘anhu related that some of the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

O Messenger of Allaah! We eat, but do not become satisfied.

So he said to them: “Perhaps you eat separately?”

So they replied: Yes.

So he said: “Eat your food collectively, mention the Name of Allaah upon it, then there will be blessings for you in it.”[1]

Shaykh Ibn al-‘Uthaymeen said:

This indicates that it is essential to eat collectively from a single plate. So if there are five or ten people, they should eat collectively from a single dish, depending upon the situation. Indeed, doing so is a cause for barakah (blessings) to descend, whilst eating separately is a cause for barakah to depart.”[2]

[1] Hasan: Related by Abu Daawood (no.3764). It was authenticated by al-Haafidh al-‘lraaqee in his Takhreejul-lhyaa (214).
[2] Sharh Riyaadhus-Saaliheen (7/231) of Ibn al-‘Uthaymeen.

Source for the above: Al-Istiqaamah Newsletter, Shawwaal 1418H / February 1998 ,Issue No.8

The following is taken from Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen Chapter 107 :

745. `Abdullah bin Busr (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) had a large bowl called Al-Gharra’, which would be carried by four men. One day, when the Companions finished their Duha (forenoon optional) prayer, Al-Gharra’ was brought full of sopped bread, meat and broth, and they sat down around it. When their number increased, Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) sat down on his knees and rested on the soles of his feet. A bedouin said to him: “What sort of sitting is that?” Thereupon Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Verily, Allah has made me a courteous slave not a fierce tyrant.” Then he said, “Eat from the sides of the bowl and leave the central part of it so that your food will be blessed.” [Abu Dawud].

The Future is for Islam – Shaykh al-Albani

Allah – the Mighty and Majestic – said:

“It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He may make it prevail over all other religions, no matter how much the disbelievers detest it.” [Al-Qur’an 61:9]

We are given the good tidings in this verse that the future is for Islam, which gain dominance, ascendancy and rule over all other religions. Some people may think that this was fulfilled in the time of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Rightly-Guided Khulafah and the righteous kings – but that is not the case. Rather, only a part of this true promise was fulfilled then – as the Prophetsallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam indicated:

“Night and day will pass away until Al-Lat and Al-‘Uzza are worshipped.” So ‘Aishah – radhiallahu ‘anha – said: “O Messenger of Allah! I thought that when Allah sent down: ‘It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He may make it prevail over all the other religions, no matter how much the disbelievers detest it,’ that it would be complete. He sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallamsaid, “There will be of that what Allah wishes.” [Related by Muslim (8/182) and also Abu Ya’la in his Musnad (Q. 216/2)]

[In this hadith is a clarification that the prevalence and ascendancy mentioned in this ayah has not yet happened – its establishment is yet to be fully realised. There is no doubt that this ascendancy and prevalence continued after the death of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in the age Rightly­-Guided Khulafah and after them. And it not be completed until Islam is established over the whole of this earth – and this is realisation is certain.]1

There are other ahadith which show how far Islam will reach and dominate and how far it spread, such that there is no doubt that the future is for Islam, by the permission and favour of Allah. So I quote what I am able to these ahadith and hopefully they will strengthen the determination of the workers for Islam; and be a proof against those who are indifferent and those who have despaired!

Firstly

“Indeed Allah gathered up the earth for me so that I saw its east and its west; and indeed the dominion of my Ummah will reach what was what was gathered up for me from it.” [Related by Muslim (8/171), Abu Dawud (no. 4252) and others, from Thawban radhiallahu ‘anhu]

And even clearer than it and more general is the [next] hadith.

Secondly

“This affair will reach what is reached by the night and the day; and Allah will not leave a dwelling of brick, nor fur, except that Allah will cause this Din to enter it – bringing honour or humiliation. Honour which Allah gives to Islam and humiliation which Allah will give to disbelief.” [Sahih: Related by Ahmad (4/103), Ibn Hibban in his Sahih (no. 1631) and others. Shaykh Al­-Albani authenticated it in Tahdhirus­-Sajid (p. 118)]

[Therefore, it is upon the Muslims to prepare themselves, by turning to their Lord, holding on to His Book, following the Sunnah of His Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, turning away from all that Allah has made unlawful and uniting upon that which He – the Perfect, Most High – is pleased with.]2

Indeed, there is no doubt that fulfillment of this prevalence and domination necessitates that the Muslims return to spiritual, material and armed strength, so that they are able to overcome the might of kufr (disbelief) and suppression. This good tiding is given to us in the [next] hadith.

Thirdly

From Abu Qabil who said: We were with ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘As and he was asked which city will be conquered first – Constantinople or Rome? So ‘Abdullah called for a sealed trunk and he said: Take out a book from it.3 Then ‘Abdullah said: Whilst we were with the Messenger of sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam writing, The Messenger of sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was asked: Which city will be conquered first, Constantinople or Rome? So Allah’s Messenger sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The city of Heraclius will be conquered first.” – meaning Constantinople.4

The conquest mentioned, occurred at the hands of Muhammad al­-Fattah al-Uthmani – as is well known – and it occurred more than eight­hundred years after the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam foretold of the conquest. So the second conquest will take place, by the permission of Allah – the Most High – and it is certain and you will hear of it after a time. There is also no doubt that the fulfillment of the second conquest necessitates the return of the rightly-guided Khilafah to the Muslim Ummah, which is what he sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam foretold with his saying in the [next] hadith.

Fourthly

“Prophethood will remain amongst you for as long as Allah wishes it to, then Allah will raise it up when He wishes to raise it up. Then there will be Khilafah upon the manner of Prophethood and it will remain amongst you for as long as Allah wishes it to, then Allah will raise up when He wishes to raise up. Then there will be harsh kingship which will remain amongst you for as long as Allah wishes it to, then Allah will raise it up when He wishes to raise it up. Then there will be tyrannical kingship and it will remain amongst you for as long as Allah wishes it to, then will raise it up when He wishes to raise it up. Then there will be Khilafah upon the manner of Prophethood.” Then he was silent. [Sahih: Related by Ahmad (4/273) and others from An-Nu’man ibn Bashir radhiallahu ‘anhu. It was authenticated by Al­-Hafidh Al-‘Iraqi in Mahajjatul­-Qarab fi Mahabbatil-‘Arab (17/2)]

From the good tidings of the return of strength to the Muslims, and their having the ability to utilise the earth to attain their goals, and that they have a bright future even in the economic and agricultural spheres, is his sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam‘s saying:

Fifthly

“The Hour will not be established until the land of the ‘Arabs returns to being pastures and rivers.” [Related by Muslim (3/84), Ahmad (2/703) and Al-Hakim (4/477) from Abu Hurayrah radhiallahu ‘anhu]

The first signs of the fulfillment of this hadith have begun to appear in some parts of the Arab lands, upon which Allah has poured forth His blessings and great favours – such that plentiful water is extracted from the desert … and tomorrow is very near for the one who awaits it.

It must also be known that his sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam‘s saying: “A time will not come upon you, except that which comes after it will be worse – until you meet your Lord.” [Related by Al-Bukhari from the hadith of Anas radhiallahu ‘anhu] Then this hadith must be understood in the light of the preceding ahadith as well as in the light of others – such as the ahadith about the Mahdi and also the descent of Isa ‘alayhis-salam – which show that this hadith is not to be understood as having no exceptions. Rather, it is general and has exceptions. Thus, it is not permissible to cause the people to understand it or be unrestricted, so that they fall into despair which no Believer should have as an attribute:

“Indeed, no one despairs of Allah’s mercy, except those who disbelieve.” [Al-Qur’an 12:87]

I ask Allah to make us true Believer in Him.

(s) Silsilatul-Ahadethus-Sahihah (pp. 6-8) of Shaykh Al­-Albani. For the sake of brevity and simplicity, the hadith authentication and checkings by the Shaykh have been abridged.

Paving the Way for Victory

Shaykh Al­-Albani says in Fiqhul-Waqi’ (pp. 49­51):

“Therefore, the key to a return of the glory of Islam is: implementation of beneficial knowledge and establishing righteous and correct actions, and this is a very great affair which the Muslims cannot reach, except through the manhaj (methodology) of tasfiyah (purification and correction) and tarbiyah (education and cultivation). These being two very great obligations. By the first of these, the following is intended:

  1. Purifying the Islamic ‘aqidah from that which is alien to it, such as shirk (associating partners to in those things that are particular to Him), ta’til (rejection Attributes), ta’wil (twisting the meanings of Allah’s Attributes), refusing authentic ahadith, because they are connected to matters of ‘aqidah, and their like.
  2. Purifying the Islamic fiqh from the erroneous judgements made, which are contrary to the Book and the Sunnah, freeing the minds from the fetters of blind­following and the darkness of sectarianism and party­spirit.
  3. Purifying the books of tafsir, fiqh raqa’iq (matters concerning the heart) and other than that, from ahadith which are weak and fabricated, or the the unsupported narrations from the people of the Book, and the reprehensible narrations.

As regards the second obligation, then by it I mean: cultivating the young generation upon this Islam, purified all that we have mentioned, giving to them a correct Islamic education from the start – without any influence from the disbelieving western education.

There is no doubt, that bringing these two obligations about requires huge efforts and sincere co­operation between all Muslims – individuals and groups – from all those who are truly concerned with establishing the desired Islamic society, each one working in his own field and specialty.”

1. Silsilatul-Ahaadeethus-Saheehah (pp.6-8) of Shaykh al-Albaanee. All the ahadeeth authentication and checking’s have been abridged and edited.
2. Related by Muslim (8/182) and Abu Ya’laa in his Musnad (Q.216/2).
3. Related by Muslim (8/171) and Abu Daawood (no.4252), from Thawbaanradiallaahu ‘anhu.
4. Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (4/103) and Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh (no.1631).

Source:  Al- Istiqaamah magazine – Issue No.2 – Safar 1417H / July 1996

Do not Run Away from Qur’aan – Shaik Ibn Baaz

Source : Everyday Issues , Al-Istiqaamah Issue No.7 – Rabî’ ul-Awwal 1418H / July 1997

Fatwa from Shaik Ibn Baaz

[Q]: What is your advice – O Shaykh – for those who go without reading the Qur’aan for a month, or even many months, and who have no excuse for such behaviors? However, you will find some of them reading those magazines that contain no benefit for them, and following them up closely!

[A]: “It is recommended for every Believing man and woman to recite the Book of Allaah often, with due contemplation and understanding. This may be done by using a copy of the Qur’aan or from one’s memory. Allaah – the Most High – said: “This is a Book which We have sent down to you, full of blessings, that you may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember.” [Soorah Saad 38:29].And: “Indeed those who recite the Book of Allaah and offer the Prayer perfectly and spend in charity out of what We have provided for them – secretly and openly – hope for a sure trade-gain that will never perish. That He may pay them their wages in full and give them even more out of His Grace. Indeed, He is Oft-Forgiving, ready to appreciate good deeds.” [Soorah Faatir 35:29-30].

The aforementioned recitation of the Qur’aan includes both reciting and acting upon it. The recitation is to be done with contemplation and understanding of it. Sincerity to Allaah is a means of complying with and acting upon the Qur’aan, and its recitation contains a great reward – as the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Recite the Qur’aan. For on the Day of Resurrection, it shall come as an intercessor for its companion.” This was recorded by Muslim in his Saheeh (no.804). The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also said: “The best of you is he who learns the Qur’aan and teaches it.” This was Recorded by al-Bukhaaree in his Saheeh (3/66). Another narration states: “Whosoever reads one harf (letter) of the Qur’aan shall receive a good deed and ten good deeds similar to it. I do not say that Alif Laam Meem is a harf but Alif is a harf and Laam is a harf and Meem is a harf.”12 The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to ‘Abdullaah ibn “Amr ibn al-‘Aas: “Complete the recitation of the Qur’aan once a month.” He said: I am able to do more than that. So he said: “Then complete its recital once in seven days.”13 The Companions used to complete the entire Qur’aan once every seven days.

So I advise all the readers of the Qur’aan to increase in their reading of it, with contemplation and understanding it, along with sincerity to Allaah in this – with the purpose of learning and benefiting from the Qur’aan. They should read the entire Qur’aan once a month. If, however, they are able to do more than this without any difficulty, then they should complete it in less than this time. However, it is best not to complete it in less than three days, since this is the least amount of time that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mentioned to ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas. This is because if it is read in less than three days, the person becomes hasty and lacks thought and concentration …”14

12. Saheeh: Recorded by at-Tirmidhee (no.2912), who authenticated it, from the hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood radiallaahu ‘anhu.
13. Recorded by al-Bukhaaree (no.5054).
14. Fataawaa al-Mar’ah (no.294)

Mahr (Dowry) should be a small amount and that people should not compete – Imaam Ibn Baaz

[Q]: I and many others have observed that many people are very excessive when it comes to the matter of the mahr (wedding dowry that is paid to the bride), and that they seek great amounts of mahr when it comes to the marriage of their daughters, and they stipulate as a condition the giving of other gifts to them, along with the mahr. This wealth that people demand in such cases, is it halaal (lawful) or haraam (unlawful)?

[A]: What is prescribed in the Sharee’ah is that the mahr should be a small amount and that people should not compete with each other in this regard, acting in accordance with the many ahaadeeth which are related about this. They should also help facilitate marriages and be keen in preserving the modesty and decency of the young Muslim men and women. And it is not permissible for the awliyaa (guardians of the brides-to-be) to demand and stipulate gifts for themselves, since they have no right at all in this matter. Rather the right belongs to the woman, and in some particular cases to the father. He may stipulate a condition as long as it does not harm the daughter, nor lead to the delaying of the marriage. However, if the father forgoes such a right then this is better and more preferable. Allaah – the One free from all defects – says: “And marry those amongst you who are single and also marry the pious of your male and female slaves. If they be poor, Allaah will enrich them out of His Bounty.” [Soorah an-Noor 24:32].

In the hadeeth of ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir radiallaahu ‘anhu, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The best dowry is that which is easy.” This was narrated by Abu Daawood and al-Haakim who authenticated it. And once a woman offered herself to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for marriage. However, one of his Companions desired to marry her, so the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said [regarding the mahr]: “Bring something, even if it be an iron ring.” So when he could not find even this, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married them for the dowry that the man would teach whatever of the Qur’aan he knew to her. 2

And the dowry of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam’s wives was five-hundred dirhams, which is equivalent to one-hundred and thirty riyaals today. And his daughters were married for the mahr of four-hundred dinaars, which is equivalent to one-hundred riyaals today. Allaah – the Most High – said: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah you have a most beautiful example to follow.” [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:21].

So whenever the difficulties relating to marriage are lightened, then preserving the modesty and decency of young men and women becomes easier, shameful and evil deeds decrease, and the Ummah – as a result – will increase in number. However if this matter is made difficult, and people continue competing with each other with regards to the mahr (dowry), then the number of marriages will decrease, fornication will become more widespread and more young men and women will remain unmarried – except those whom Allaah saves.

So my sincere advice to all the Muslims, wherever they may be, is to facilitate the marriage process and to cooperate in this and make it easy. They should turn away from demanding excessive mahr and avoid unnecessary hardships and difficulties in the waleemah (wedding-feast). Rather, they should content themselves with a waleemah that is according to the Sharee’ah, in which the burdens and difficulties for the husband and wife are minimal. May Allaah improve and rectify all the affairs of the Muslims and may He give them the guidance and ability to cling to the Sunnah (Prophetic guidance) in all matters. 3

2. Related by Abu Daawood in his Sunan.
3. Al-Fataawa (1/168-169).

Source : Concerning Everyday Issues published Al-Istiqaamah

Is clinging to the religion a cause of affliction? – Imam Ibn Baaz

Source : Al-Istiqaamah Issue No.7 – Rabî’ ul-Awwal 1418H / July 1997 – Everyday Issues

[Q]: There was a person in our city who was very firm in practicing the Religion, and was later afflicted with an illness. Some of the people started saying to him that the cause of him being afflicted with this illness is because of his adhering to the Religion. Being affected with this type of talk, the person then shaved off his beard and he neglected his Prayers. So is it permissible to say that the cause of his affliction was due to him clinging to the commandments of the Religion? And the one who says such a thing, is he considered a kaafir (disbeliever) because of such a saying?

[A]: ”Clinging on to the Religion is not a cause for his illness. Rather, it is a cause for every good, both in this life and in the Hereafter. And it is not permissible for any Muslim, that when some foolish and ignorant people utter words such as this, to give them any weight. Nor is it permissible to shave one’s beard or shorten it, or to neglect guarding the five obligatory Prayers in congregation. Rather, it is obligatory for such a person to remain steadfast upon the truth, and to keep away from all that Allaah has prohibited, and to beware of all that which angers Allaah and incurs His punishment – by obeying Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Allaah – the One free from all defects said: “Whosoever obeys Allaah and His Messenger will be admitted into Gardens of Paradise, beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. That will be the greatest achievement. But whosoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger and oversteps His limits, Allaah will cast him in the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a humiliating punishment.” [Soorah an-Nisaa 4:13-14]. And Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic – said: “Whosoever has taqwaa (piety, fear and obedience) of Allaah, He will make a way out for him. And He will provide for him from places he could never imagine.” [Soorah at-Talaaq 65:2-3]. And He – the Most Perfect – said: “Whosoever has taqwaa of Allaah, He will make his affair easy for him,” [Soorah at-Talaaq 65:4]. And the verses with this meaning are plentiful.

As for the person who says that the cause for such affliction is due to being firm and steadfast upon the Religion – then such a person is ignorant. It is obligatory to censure such a person and to know that clinging to the Religion does not bring about anything except good. As for what occurs to a Muslim by way of a calamity that he dislikes, then this is a form of expiating his evil actions and a forgiveness for his sins. As regards to the issue of takfeer (declaring a Muslim to be a kaafir, a disbeliever) upon this person, then this requires detail, and is known from the chapters concerning the judgement upon a murtad (apostate) – which can be found in the books of Islaamic jurisprudence and understanding. And with Allaah is the power and ability.”1

1. Al-Fataawaa (1/32-33).

Important principle of Permissibility & Prohibition

The Principle of Permissibility

Source : Islamic Principles #1: The Principle of Permissibility , Al-Istiqaamah Issue No.5 – Ramadân 1417H / January 1997

“The principle regarding acts of worship is one of prohibition, except if the Sharee’ah (Divinely Prescribed Law) relates a prescription for it. And the principle regarding customary behaviour is permissibility, except when the Sharee’ah relates a prohibition for it.” (Al-aslu fil-‘ibaadat al-hadhru illaa ma waradah ‘anish-shar’ee tashree’ahu. Wal-aslu fil-‘aadaat al-ibaahah illaa ma waradah ‘anish-shar’ee tahreemahu).1

The above principle is an important principle that Islaam teaches. Thus, with regards to matters of ‘aadaat (day-to-day actions), such as eating, drinking and wearing clothes, then everything is allowed in this regard, except if there is a clear and authentic evidence restricting or prohibiting its allowance. However, when it comes to ‘ibaadaat (acts of worship), then the opposite is the true. Here, nothing can be established as an act of worship, except if there is a clear and authentic text to allow it. So the basic principle for ‘aadaat is ibaahah (permissibility), whereas the basic principle for ‘ibaadaat is tahreem (prohibition).

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

“Peoples’ sayings and actions are of two kinds: ‘ibaadaat (acts of worship) by which their Religion is established, and ‘aadaat (customary practices) which are required for day-to-day living. From the principles of the Sharee’ah (Divinely Prescribed Islaamic Law) we know that acts of worship are those acts which have been prescribed by Allaah or approved by Him; nothing is to be affirmed here, except through the Sharee’ah. However, as far as worldly activities of people are concerned, they are necessary for everyday life. Here the principle is freedom of action; nothing may be restricted in this regard except what Allaah – the Mort Perfect – has restricted. This is the case because commanding and prohibiting are both in Allaah’s Hands. As far as worship is concerned, there has to be a command from Him concerning it. Thus, when it requires a command from Allaah to establish something, how can we say that something is restricted without His command? This is why Ahmad bin Hanbal (d.241H) and other jurists who base their judgements upon ahaadeeth (Prophetic narrations) say: In relation to acts of worship, then the principle is tawqeef (limitation); that is to lay, nothing can be legislated in this regard except what Allaah legislates. To do otherwise is to incur the risk of being included in the meaning of the Aayah (verse):

“Do they have partners with Allaah who prescribe for them in the Religion that for which Allaah has not given any permission.” [Soorah ash-Shooraa 42:21].

However, as far as living habits are concerned, the principle here is freedom, because nothing can be restricted in this regard except what Allaah has prohibited. To do otherwise is to be included in the meaning of His saying:

“Say: Do you see what Allaah has sent down to you for sustenance? Yet you have made some part of it halaal (lawful) and some part haraam (prohibited).” [Soorah Yoonus 10:59].

This is a great and beneficial principle, on the basis of which we can say that buying, selling, leasing, giving gifts, and other such matters are necessary activities for people, as are eating, drinking and the wearing of clothes. Thus, if the Sharee’ah (Divinely Prescribed Islaamic Law) says something about these day-to-day matters, it is in order to teach good behaviour. Accordingly, it has prohibited whatever leads to corruption, has made obligatory that which is essential, has disapproved of that which is superfluous, and has approved of that which is beneficial. All this has been done with due consideration of the magnitude and properties of the various types of activities involved. Since this is the position of the Sharee’ah, people are free to buy, sell and to lease just as they wish, just as they are free to eat and drink what they like – as long as it is not haraam (unlawful). Even though some of these things may be disapproved, they are still free in this regard, since the Sharee’ah does not go to the extent of prohibiting them – and thus the original principle (of permissibility) remains.”2

1. Minhaajul-Qaasideen Mukhtasar fee Usoolil-Fiqh (p.27) of Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan as-Sa’dee.
2. Al-Qawaa’idun-Nooraaniyyah al-Fiqhiyyah (p.112-113)

1. Minhaajul-Qaasideen Mukhtasar fee Usoolil-Fiqh (p.27) of Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan as-Sa’dee.
2. Al-Qawaa’idun-Nooraaniyyah al-Fiqhiyyah (p.112-113)

Excellence of Fasting on the Day of Arafah – Al-Istiqaamah Magazine

FASTING THE DAY OF ’ARAFAH:

The ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah is the day of ’Arafah, since it is on this day that the pilgrims gather at the mountain plain of ’Arafah, praying and supplicating to their Lord.

It is mustahabb (highly recommended) for those who are not pilgrims to fast on this day, since the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) was asked about fasting on the day of ’Arafah, so he said, “It expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year.” [4]

Likewise, the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘There is no day on which Allaah frees people from the Fire more so than on the day of ’Arafah. He comes close to those (people standing on ’Arafah), and then He revels before His Angels saying, ‘What are these people seeking.” [5]

Imaam at-Tirmidhee (d.275H) – rahimahullaah – said, “The People of Knowledge consider it recommended to fast on the day of ’Arafah, except for those at ’Arafah.” [6]

[4] Related by Muslim (no. 1162), from Aboo Qataadah (radiyallaahu ’anhu).

[5] Related by Muslim (no. 1348), from ’Aa‘ishah (radiyallaahu ’anhaa).

[6] Refer to Jaami’ut-Tirmidhee (3/377).

Source for the above :

The Month of Dhul-Hijjah – Al-Istiqaamah Magazine, Issue No.6

Between The Past And The Future – Imâm Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

al-Fawaa’id, pp 151-152, Al-Istiqaamah, No. 2

Your life in the present moment is in between the past and the future.

So what has preceded can be rectified by tawbah (repentance), nadam (regret) and istighfar (seeking Allaah’s forgiveness). And this is something that will neither tire you, nor cause you to toil as you would with strenuous labour. Rather it is an action of the heart.Then as regards the future (then it can be corrected) by withholding yourself from sins. And this abandonment is merely the leaving of something and to be at ease from it. This also is not action of the limbs, which requires you to strive and toil. Rather this is a firm resolve and intention of the heart – which will give rest to your body, heart and thoughts.

So as for what has preceded, then you rectify it with repentance. And as for the future – then you rectify it with firm resolve and intention. Neither of these involves any hardship or exertion of the limbs.

But then your attention must be directed to your life in the present – the time between two times. If you waste it, then you have wasted the opportunity to be of the fortunate and saved ones. If you look after it, having rectified the two times – what is before and after it, as we have said – then you will be successful and achieve rest, delight and ever-lasting bliss. However, looking after it is harder than that which comes before and after it, since guarding it involves keeping to that which is most befitting and beneficial for your soul, and that which will bring it success and well-being.

Some Points of Benefit regarding Shirk and Bidah

Source: : Al-Istiqaamah Magazine, Issue No.7 – The Beginnings of Deviation

Firstly: That Shirk began during the time of Noah ‘alayhis-salaam, due to the excessive love and veneration that the people had for certain dead pious Muslim.

Imaam al-Qurtubee (d.654H) – rahimahullaah – said: “The initial images that were made of these righteous men were done in order that the people could be reminded about their righteousness and so strive in being righteous; as they strove. So they worshipped Allaah by the graves of these righteous men. Then a people came after them who forgot the intent of their fore-fathers’ actions. So Shaytaan whispered to them saying: Your fore-fathers used to worship these images and held them in great veneration.”13

Secondly: “That Shaytaan is eager to misguide mankind and to plot against them. He comes from the angle of exploiting man’s emotions, and lures them into doing acts that are (apparently) good. Thus, when Shaytaan saw amongst the people of Noah their great love and esteem for the righteous, he tricked them into going beyond the bounds in their love, and he got them to make and place statues of these dead pious Muslims in their places of gatherings. The objective of this was to make them swerve away from the right path.

Thirdly: That Shaytaan does not only observe the present generation, and seek to deceive only them; but he also wishes to misguide and deceive future generations. Thus, when he could not plunge the present generation, from the people of Noah, into Shirk, he eagerly awaited the next generation’s arrival, in order that he could misguide them.”14

Fourthly: That the worshipping of dead pious Muslims continues to be practiced amongst the Ummah even today. The difference being is that the names have changed. Thus, instead of worshipping Wadd, or Yaghooth, or Ya’ooq; people have instead directed the same practices of Shirk – like supplicating directly to the pious dead, and taking them as intercessors between them and Allaah – to others; such as to Shaykh ‘Abdul-Qaadir al-Jeelaanee in Iraaq, or al-Baydaawee in Eygypt, or Chishtee in India, etc. However, changing the name of a thing, does not change its reality.

The Deen of Islaam – Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen

Sharh Usoolul-Eemaan (pp.4-7)

The Shaykh said in Sharh Usoolul-Eemaan (pp.4-7):

[1] The deen (religion) of Islaam: It is the way of life that Allaah sent the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with. By it, Allaah terminated the validity of all other religions, perfected this religion for His worshippers, completed His favour upon them and has chosen only this religion for them – no other religion will be accepted by Him from anyone. Allaah – the Most High – said:

“Muhammad is not the father of any man amongst you. Rather he is the Messenger of Allaah and the khaatim (last and final) of the Prophets.” [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:40].

“This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islaam as your religion.” [Soorah al-Maa’idah 5:3].

“Indeed the religion with Allaah is Islaam.” [Soorah Aal-‘Imraan 3:19].

“Whosoever seeks a religion other than Islaam, never will it be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.” [Soorah Aal-‘Imraan 3:85].

And Allaah – the Most High – obligated all of mankind to take Islaam as their religion. So Allaah said, whilst addressing His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

“Say: O Mankind! Indeed I have been sent to you all as the Messenger of Allaah; to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. None has the right to be worshipped except Him; it is He who gives life and cause death. So believe in Allaah and His Messenger – the Prophet who can neither read nor write – who believes in Allaah and His Words. So follow the Messenger of Allaah so that you may be rightly-guided.” [Soorah al-A’raaf 7:158].

And in Saheeh Muslim (1/93), from Abu Hurayrah radiallaahu ‘anhu that Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “By Him in whose Hand is the life of Muhammad! There is no one from this nation, be he a Jew or a Christian, who hears of me and dies whilst not having eemaan (faith) in what I have been sent with, except that he will be one of the companions of the Hellfire.”

And eemaan (faith) in the Prophet implies: affirming that which he was sent with, along with acceptance of it and submission to it. Without these two matters, mere affirmation is not sufficient. This is why even though Abu Taalib (the Prophet’s uncle) affirmed what was sent to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and that Islaam was the best of religions, yet he did not accept his message nor submit to it; and thus he did not have eemaan in the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

[2] The religion of Islaam contains all that was beneficial from the previous religions. It is suitable for implementation in any age, any where and by any nation. Allaah – the Most High – said, whilst addressing His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

“And We have sent down to you the Book in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it, testifying to the truth contained therein whilst exposing the falsehood that has been added therein.” [Soorah al-Maa’idah 5:48].

That Islaam is suitable for implementation in any age, any where and by any nation does not mean that it becomes submissive to nations – being altered and changed by them – as some people falsely think. But rather it means that whenever it is truly adhered to then it brings benefit and goodness to that nation, as well as reforming and correcting it – in whatever age or place.

[3] The religion of Islaam is the religion of truth. It is the way of life that Allaah – the Most High – guaranteed His help and victory to those who truly adhere to it, and that He would make it dominant over all other religions. Allaah – the Most High – said:

“It is He who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, that it may prevail over all other religions, even if the pagans detest it.” [Soorah at-Tawbah 9:33].

And Allaah – the Most High – said:

“Allaah has promised to those amongst you who truly have eemaan (true faith and belief) and act in obedience to Allaah and His Messenger, that He will grant them ruler ship upon the earth, just as He granted it to those before them, and that He will establish their Religion for them and grant them the authority to practice their Religion which He chose and ordered them with. And He will certainly change their situation to one of security, after their fear. Providing that they worship and obey Me, not associating anything else in worship with Me. Then, whoever rejects this favour by disobedience to their Lord – then they are the rebellious transgressors.” [Soorah an-Noor 24:55].

[4] The religion of Islaam is a complete religion comprising both ‘aqeedah (beliefs) and sharee’ah (laws).

  • It commands them with tawheed (to single out Allaah alone for worship) and prohibits them from shirk (associating partners with Allaah, in that which is particular to Him).
  • It commands them with being truthful and prohibits them from lying.
  • It commands them with ‘adl (justice) and prohibits them from injustice and oppression.
  • It commands them with fulfilling trusts and prohibits them from acting treacherously.
  • It commands them keeping promises and prohibits them from breaking them.
  • It commands them with kindness and good treatment of parents and prohibits them from disobedience to them in that which is not sinful.
  • It commands them with joining the ties of relations and prohibits them from severing them.
  • It commands them with good treatment of neighbours and prohibits the causing of harm to them.

In short, Islaam orders alls that is good, from manners and morals, and prohibits all that is evil from it. Likewise, it orders all actions which are righteous and good and prohibits all actions that are evil and harmful. Allaah – the Most High – said:

“Indeed Allaah enjoins upon you justice, kindness and the giving of good to relatives and near ones. And He prohibits you from all shameful and evil deeds, oppression and transgression. Thus He admonishes you, that you may take heed and be reminded.” [Soorah an-Nahl 16:90].

Source : Understanding Islaam : Shaykh ibn al-‘Uthaymeen

Unite upon that which we agree, and excuse each other in that which we disagree – Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn Baaz

Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn Baaz was asked about the correctness of the saying:

“We should unite upon that which we agree, and excuse each other in that which we disagree.”

The Shaykh commented:

“Yes! It is obligatory to co-operate in that which we agree, by aiding the truth, calling to it and warning against that which Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam have prohibited.

Its for excusing each other for that in which we differ – then this is not to be taken in an absolute sense, but rather in a general one. Thus, if the difference involves a particular issue of ijtihaad wherein the proofs are deep and detailed – then it is obligatory not to reproach or censure one another. However, if it opposes a clear text of the Book and the Sunnah, then it is obligatory to correct the one who has opposed the clear texts, but with wisdom, beautiful admonition and debating in the best possible manner, acting upon Allaah -the Most High’s – saying: “And help you one another in righteousness and piety, but do not help one another in sin and transgression.” [Soorah al-Maa’idah 5:2]

And His – the Most Perfect’s – saying:

“The Believers – man and woman – are protectors to each other, they order the good and forbid the evil … ” [Soorah at-Towbah 9:71].

And His – the Mighty and Majestic’s – saying:

“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful admonition, and argue with them in ways that are better.” [Soorah an-Nahl 16:125].

And he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

“Whosoever sees an evil, then let him change it with his hand. If he is unable to do this, then with his tongue, and if he is unable to do this, then with his heart. And that is the weakest of eemaan (faith).”

And he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

“Whosoever directs a person to do good, will have a reward similar to the one who does that good.” [5]

And the aayaat (verses) and ahaadeeth with this meaning are plenty.” [6]

[5]. Related by Muslim (13/38), from Abu Mas’ood al-Ansaaree radiallaahu ‘anhu.
[6]. Tanbeehaat fir-Radd ‘alaa man Ta’awwalis-Sifaat (pp.14-15)

Posted from the Article : “Clarity” – Istiqaamah Magazine , Issue No.2 ,1996

What are the means which the west uses in order to spread their ideas and thoughts? – ibn Baaz (rahimahullaah)

Q & A’s Concerning the Ideological Attack
Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz , Al-Istiqaamah Magazine

[Q3]: What are the means which the west uses in order to spread their ideas and thoughts?

[A3]: The means that the west employs in order to spread their thoughts and ideas are many, from them:-

Firstly: The attempt to conquer the minds of the Muslim children. They do this by infusing in them western values and concepts so that they then believe that the best way to adopt in any matter is that of the west – whether it is with regards to what religion or sect they believe, or with regards to the languages that they speak, or the manners, customs and values with which they clothe themselves.

Secondly: Custody of a large group of the children of the Muslims in every country, concern for them and bringing them up, so that when they absorb western thoughts, they return to their countries with a halo of praise and compliment, until they acquire position and authority in their countries by which they circulate western ideologies and establish learning centres conforming to western curricula or are directly influenced by them.

Thirdly: Their active drive towards promoting the learning of western languages in the Muslim lands, making them compete with the Muslims’ languages, especially the Arabic language, which is language of the Qur’aan – by which this Book was sent and by which the Muslims worship their Lord;in their Salaah (Prayer), their rites of Hajj (Pilgrimage), their forms of remembrances and glorifications, etc. From this is the encouragement of destructive propaganda that fights against [the usage and learning] of [pure and classical] Arabic Language and attempt to weaken the conformity to it in the Muslim lands. They do this by calling to using colloquialism, and by arranging numerous studies that intend to ‘develop’ grammar in order to corrupt it; as well as formalising folk literature and and matters of national heritage.

Fourthly: Development of western universities and missionary schools in Muslim countries and also initiating the role of kindergarten and playschools, hospitals and clinics which they make as dens and nests for their evil aims. They encourage the higher classes to study in them (western and missionary schools and universities) and after them help in acquire leadership posts and great position until they become an aid for their masters in following their plots in the Muslim lands.

Fifthly: The attempt to control education curricula in Muslim lands and drawing out their politics, either directly; as occurred in some Muslim countries when the priest Dunlop undertook that task there, or by indirect methods. When the task was undertaken, most of the successful students who studied in Dunlop’s schools and graduated in them, arose as a destructive pickaxe in their country, or as one of the enemies most lethal weapons. [Such students] strive hard to influence the educational curriculum and steer it towards secularism – an ideology which does not centre around having eemaan (faith) in Allaah and His Messenger; but rather steers in the direction of atheism, or towards immorality and corruption.

Sixthly: The large number of individuals amongst the jews and christians who have undertaken the study of Islam, Arabic Language, compiling books, and taking positions of teaching in universities; until they created an ideological turmoil and confusion amongst the educated Muslims, which they hurl at those that they are teaching, or with which they fill their books – until some of those books became sources which writers and researchers refer to in matters of ideology or history. Many people who were responsible for creating some of these fitnahs (trials and turmoil) in the Muslim countries, were actually Muslims who graduated at the hands of the people. The praise and awe which surrounded such graduates helped them to achieve this, as well as achieve their post and positions; such as important posts in teaching and leadership. So they completed what their teachers had initiated [of corruption and destruction] and fulfilled what they couldn’t achieve, because they were of Muslim offspring and from the same skin, ascribing themselves to them and speaking their tongue – so we ask and seek Allaah’s help.

Seventhly: A large number of missionary workers calling to christianity have proceeded between the Muslims that they have performed their work on. [This missionary activity is done upon] well studied principles, and upon a large scale; employing hundreds of thousands of men and women. Huge financial budgets are put aside for this task, and [they are aided in such a way that] their task is made easier for them and obstacles are removed for them.

“They want to extinguish the Light (i.e, the Religion) of Allaah with their mouths, but Allaah will bring His Light to perfection and completion, even though the disbelievers hate it.” [Soorah as-Saff 61:8].

Just as the efforts of the missionaries are set up and aimed mostly at the common levels; then the efforts of the orientalist are directed to the educated – as I previously mentioned. The missionaries take on huge hardships in their work in the African Countries, and in the remote villages of the far extreme Muslim lands; in eastern Asia. After that, every so often, they hold conferences in order to review their accounts and their plans; then they analyse, adjust and implement. They met in Cairo in 1906, in Edinburgh in 1910, in Lucknow (India) in 1911, and in Jerusalem in 1935, and they continue to hold such assemblies, seminars and conferences – so glory be to the One in Whose Hand is the sole sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and to Him return all affairs.

Eighthly: Spreading corruption in the Muslim societies; belittling the with regards to their role in life, making her transgress the limits set by Allaah for her, creating in her a satisfaction in abstaining from the [correct] Path. They do this by spreading propaganda amongst the Muslims in various ways and manners, so that women freely mix with men, and so that women work in the places of men. By this, they aim to corrupt the Muslim society, and to put an end to the chastity and purity which is found therein. Additionally, by bringing up imaginary issues and false propaganda – [claiming] that Islaam oppresses women, and that Muslim women have very little rights – they want to take her out of her home, and put her wherever they may want; even though the limits that Allaah has set [in the Qur’aan] are clear; as are His commands [concerning these matters], and as is the Sunnah (Guidance) of His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Allaah – the Most High – said:

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the Believing women to draw their jilbaabs (cloaks) over their entire body. That will be better, that they should be known (as free and respectable women), so as not to be harassed, And Allaah is Ever-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:59].

And – the Most High – says:

“And let the Believing women draw their khimaars (head-scarves) over their faces, necks and chests, and not to display their beauty, except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons …” [Soorah an-Noor 24:31].

And He says:

“And when you ask them for something, ask them from behind a screen; that is purer for your hearts and their hearts.” [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:53].

“And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of jaahiliyyah (pre-lslaamic ignorance).” [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:33].

The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
“Beware of entering into the company of women.” A man from the Ansaar said: O Messenger of Allaah, what about the husband’s brothers and relatives! He replied: “The husband’s brothers and relatives are death!” [3]

He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also said:
“A man must not be alone in the company of a women, for indeed the third of them is shaytaan.” [4]

Ninthly: The Building of churches and temples in the Muslim lands and spending great amounts of wealth on them; beautifying them, making them very conspicuous and noticeable, and building them in the largest and best of places.

Tenthly: Radio stations set up solely for the purpose of calling to christianity and communism, spreading their [false] objectives. They intend to misguide, through such false ideas, the children of the innocent and naive Muslims – who neither understand, nor did they receive a sufficient Islaamic education. This is the case, in particular, in Africa where the Bible is published and distributed in plenty of hotels, etc. [They also] send missionary publications and false preaching to many of the Muslim children.

These are some of the means utilised by the enemies of Islaam today – from east and the west – in waging war against the Muslim’s thought, [intending by this ideological attack] to put an end to correct righteous thought, so that they are replaced by [false and] foreign ideas; whether eastern or western.

And – O noble reader – as you can see, these means involve tremendous efforts, enormous amounts of money and a multitude of soldiers. All of this is done in order to take the Muslims away from Islaam, even if they do not actually embrace christianity, judaism or marxism. Since their primary goal in doing this is to take the Muslims away from Islaam, so that when this stage is achieved, then whatever [misguidance] follows becomes far easier to implement.

However, despite all this we say: that Allaah will frustrate them in their hopes, and will nullify their plans – but only if the Muslims are sincere in their fight against them, cautious and alert to their plans, and obedient and upright upon their Religion; as Allaah said:

“But if you remain patient and become pious and obedient to Allaah, their plots will not harm you in the least. Indeed, Allah encompasses all that they do.” [Soorah Aal-lmraan 3:120].

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Footnotes:

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

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

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

AsSalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu

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

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

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

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

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

Allaah – the Most High – said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

AsSalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu

Supplication for the Best of Both Worlds

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

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

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

Sahih Muslim (no.2721)

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

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

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