Scholars Biographies: Al Haafidh Ibn Rajab al Hanbalee (d.795H)

His Name, Kunyah, Nickname and Lineage

He was the noble Imaam, the Haafidh, the Critic, Zayn-ud-Deen ‘Abdur-Rahmaan bin Ahmad bin ‘Abdir-Rahmaan bin Al Hasan bin Mohammad bin Abil Barakaat Mas’ood As-Salaamee Al Baghdaadee (due to his place of birth), Al Hanbalee (due to his Madh-hab), Ad-Dimashqee (due to his place of residence and death).

His Kunyah was Abul Faraj, and his nickname was Ibn Rajab, which was the nickname of his grandfather who was born in that month (of Rajab).

His Birth and Upbringing

He was born in Baghdad in 736H and was raised by a knowledgeable family, firmly rooted in knowledge, nobility and righteousness. His father played the greatest role in directing him towards the beneficial knowledge.

His Teachers

He learned and took knowledge from the greatest scholars of the Ummah during his time. In Damascus, he studied under:

1. Ibnul Qayyim Al Jawziyyah,
2. Zayn-ud-Deen Al ‘Iraaqee,
3. Ibn An-Naqeeb,
4. Mohammad bin Isma’eel Al Khabaaz,
5. Dawood bin Ibraaheem Al ‘Ataar,
6. Ibn Qaadee Al Jabal,
7. Ahmad bin ‘Abdil Haadee Al Hanbalee.

In Makkah, he heard from:

8. Al Fakhr ‘Uthmaan bin Yoosuf An-Nuwayree.

While in Jerusalem, he heard from:

9. Al Haafidh Al ‘Alaa’ee.

In Egypt, he heard from:

10. Sadr-ud-Deen Abul Fath Al Maydoomee,
11. Naasir-ud-Deen bin Al Mulook.

The Educational Positions he was appointed to

Ibn Rajab devoted himself to knowledge and spent all his time in researching, writing, authoring, teaching, working in the field of knowledge and issuing legal rulings. He was given a teaching position in the Hanbalee School in 791H but then it was taken from him. During the lifetime of his father, he was appointed the Halaqah (study circle) on Tuesday in the Central Masjid of Banu Umayyah. This was after the death of Ibn Qaadee Al Jabal, may Allaah have mercy on him, in 771H.

His Students

Students of knowledge turned to Al Haafidh Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) to learn under him, benefit from his knowledge and hear his narrations. This was since he was an Imaam in the Science of Hadeeth – both in reporting and investigating. The reason for this was because he spent such a large portion of his time engrossed in that subject that he wasn’t known except through the Hadeeth. There was no one found that was more proficient in it (during his time) besides him.

From the most famous of his students were

1. Abul ‘Abbaas Ahmad bin Abee Bakr bin ‘Alee Al Hanbalee, known as Ibn Ar-Risaam [d. 884H],
2. Abul Fadl Ahmad bin Nasr bin Ahmad, the Muftee of the lands of Egypt [d. 844H],
3. Dawood bin Sulaymaan Al Mawsilee [d. 844H],
4. ‘Abdur-Rahmaan bin Ahmad bin Mohammad Al Muqree,
5. Zayn-ud-Deen ‘Abdur-Rahmaan bin Sulaymaan bin Abil Karam, well known as Abu Shi’ar,
6. Abu Dharr Az-Zarkashee [d. 846H],
7. The Judge ‘Alaa-ud-Deen Ibn Al-Lahaam Al Ba’alee [d. 803H],
8. Ahmad bin Sayf-id-Deen Al Hamawee.

The Scholars’ Praise for Him [This section was added to the translation for additional benefit.]

Ibn Qaadee Shuhbah said of him in his biography, as is stated in Al Jawhar-ul-Munaddad (pg. 48): “He read and became proficient in the various fields of science. He engrossed himself with the issues of the (Hanbalee) Madh-hab until he mastered it. He devoted himself to the occupation of knowledge of the texts, defects and meanings of the Hadeeth. And he withdrew himself in seclusion in order to write.”

Ibn Hajr said of him in Inbaa-ul-Ghamr: “He was highly proficient in the scientific disciplines of Hadeeth in terms of the names of reporters, their biographies, their paths of narration and awareness of their meanings.”

Ibraaheem bin Mohammad Ibn Muflih said of him: “He was the Shaykh, the great scholar, the Haafidh, the one who abstained from the worldly life. He was the Shaykh of the Hanbalee Madh-hab and he wrote many beneficial books.”

His Creed

Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) treaded the Manhaj of the Salaf with regard to the issues of Eemaan and acquiring knowledge. And he supported it and defended it from the false arguments of the opponents. His books are loaded with that. And he wrote some treatises specifically on this topic such as his book ‘Bayaan Fadlu‘Ilm-is-Salaf ‘alaal-Khalaf.’ However, there can be found traces of Sufism in his books, may Allaah protect him from inclining towards it’s dangerous paths, due to what Allaah has given him from vast knowledge of the Narrations and a clear Salafee Methodology.

His Madh-hab with regard to the Subsidiary Issues

In Fiqh, he (rahimahullaah) followed the Madh-hab of the venerable Imaam, Ahmad bin Hanbal, may Allaah have mercy on him. He is counted as being one of the major scholars of the (Hanbalee) Madh-hab, and of those who were highly proficient in it. What provides evidence for this is his book: ‘Al Qawaa’id Al Kubraa fil-Furoo’’ for this is one of his most prominent works on the subject of Fiqh, which shows his vast knowledge on the intricate details of Fiqh issues. This is such that Al Haafidh Ibn Hajr said in his book Ad-Durar: “He did excellent work in it.” And Ibn Qaadee Shuhba and Ibn Muflih said: “It indicates his complete knowledge of the (Hanbalee) Madh-hab.”

And in Kashf-udh-Dhunoon it states: “It is a book from the marvels of this time. And it is such that he sought to explain much in it. Some claim that he found the scattered principles of Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and gathered them together, but that is not the case. Rather, he, may Allaah have mercy on him, was above that. This is what was stated.”

Al Haafidh Ibn Rajab, may Allaah have mercy on him, was deeply attached to the works of Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, for he would issue legal rulings according to them and would constantly reference his books. This is since he served as a student under Ibnul Qayyim Al Jawziyyah, the most outstanding student of Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on all of them. But in spite of this, he (rahimahullaah) wasn’t a blind follower or a fanatical adherent (to his teacher). Rather, he would review, authenticate, verify and follow the evidences.

His Written Works

Al Haafidh Ibn Rajab, may Allaah have mercy on him, was considered one of the most able and famous scholars in his time at writing. Thus, he has numerous and beneficial works on the subjects of Tafseer, Hadeeth, Fiqh, History and Raqaa’iq (Heart-Softening Material). Amongst his books are:

On Tafseer and Qur’aanic Sciences:

1. Tafseer Surah Al Ikhlaas,2. Tafseer Surah Al Faatihah,
3. Tafseer Surah An-Nasr,
4. I’raab Al Basmalah,
5. Al Istighnaa bil-Qur’aan,

On Hadeeth and Its Sciences:

1. Sharh Jaami’ At-Tirmidhee,
2. Sharh ‘Ilal At-Tirmidhee,
3. Fath-ul-Baaree bi-Sharh Saheeh Al Bukhaaree,
4. Jaami’-ul-‘Uloom wal-Hikam fee Sharh khamseena Hadeethan min Jawaami’-il-Kalim, which is the source for this book,

He also has a collection of treatises in which he explains individual hadeeth, such as:

5. Sharh Hadeeth: Maa Dhi’baani Jaa’iaan ursilaa fee Ghanam… [English: The Craving for Wealth and Status],
6. Ikhtiyaar Al Awlaa fee Sharh Hadeeth Ikhtisaam Al Mala Al A’alaa,
7. Noor-ul-Iqtibaas fee Mishkaat Wasiyyat-in-Nabee Libn ‘Abbaas,
8. Ghayaat-un-Nafa’ fee Sharh Hadeeth Tamtheel-ul-Mu’min bi-Khaamat-iz-Zara’,
9. Kashf-ul-Kurbah fee Wasfi Haali Ahlil-Ghurbah [English: Alleviating Grievances in Describing the Condition of the Strangers], And many others.

On Fiqh:

1. Al Istikhraaj fee Ahkaam-il-Kharaaj,
2. Al-Qawaa’id-ul-Fiqhiyyah,
3. Kitaab Ahkaam-ul-Khawaateem wa maa yata’alaqu bihaa,

On Biographical and Historical Accounts:

1. Adh-Dhayl ‘alaa Tabaqaat-il-Hanaabilah,
2. Mukhtasar Seerah ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez,
3. Seerah ‘Abdul Malik bin ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez,

On Heart softening Material and Admonitions:

1. Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif feemaa Li-Mawaasim-il-‘Aam min Al Wadhaa’if,
2. At-Takhweef min An-Naar wat-Ta’reef bi-Haali Daar-il-Bawaar,
3. Al-Farq bayna An-Naseehah wat-Ta’yeer [English: The Difference between Advising and Condemning],
4. Ahwaal Ahlil Quboor,

His Death

Al Haafidh Ibn Rajab, may Allaah have mercy on him, passed away on a Monday night, the fourth of Ramadaan, 795H. He died while in Damascus in a land, which was called Al-Humayriyyah, in a garden area he used to rent. His funeral prayer was performed the next day and he was buried in the Baab As-Sagheer graveyard next to Shaykh Abul Faraj Ash-Sheeraazee.

Source: ‘Eeqaadh-ul-Himam’ an abridgement of ‘Jaami’-ul-‘Uloom wal-Hikam’ (pg. 8-11). Produced by Al-Ibaanah.com – [Slightly modified for clarity] 

They accompany the world with their bodies while their souls are drawn towards the great abode – Imam Ibn Rajab

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PEOPLE OF KNOWLEDGE

The Commander of the Believers (radhi Allaahu anhu) has described this category from the carriers of knowledge with certain attributes:

Among them is that: “Through them, the knowledge is fortified upon the reality of evidences.”

The meaning of this is that the knowledge directs them to the highest of goals and this is the awareness of Allaah. Thus they fear Him and love Him to the point that everything that is difficult upon others becomes easy for them.

So they do not look for a way towards that which others seek a way towards, from those who stop with this worldly life, its attractions and its pleasures. And from those who have pride in that and do not spread the knowledge, exaltation and honoring of Allaah in their hearts. Rather, they are the ones who turn towards that which the self-sufficient ones have abandoned.

Verily, the self-sufficient one, who has fallen and given into the desires of the world and its pleasures, finds difficulty in abandoning its desires and pleasures. This is because there is no substitute that could replace his desire for this world if he were to abandon it. So he does not have the patience to abandon it.

In the hearts of this type of people, for what they seek a way towards, is the biggest substitute over the desire to acquire the knowledge of Allaah and the love and honor for Him. This is as Al-Hasan (rahimahullaah) used to say:

“Verily, the ones who love Allaah are only those who inherit the good life and taste its pleasures due to what they seek a way towards, such as the private attachment to their Beloved (Allaah), and due to what they find from the sweetness of their love for Him in their hearts.”

These individuals only befriend that which the ignorant feel repelled by because those who are ignorant about Allaah are opposed to abandoning the worldly life and its pleasures. And this is because they don’t know anything that can compare to it (i.e. the worldly life) and thus it is that which they love and befriend. On the other hand, these individuals feel repelled by that and instead find love in Allaah, His remembrance, awareness of Him, love for Him, and the recitation of His Book. Meanwhile, those who are ignorant about Allaah feel repelled by these things and do not find any love or enjoyment in them.

Another of their attributes, which the Commander of the Believers described them with, was that:

They accompany the world with their bodies while their souls are drawn towards the great abode.”

This indicates that they do not take this world as their home nor are they content with it as a place of residence or a place of rest. Indeed, they only see it as a transition and they do not take it as a final abode. All of the messengers and revealed Books advised towards this aspect. Allaah informed us in His Book of the believing man from the house of Pharaoh who said to his people while he was lecturing them:

“O my people! Truly, the life of this world is nothing but a (quick passing) transition, and verily, the Hereafter that is the home that will remain forever.” [Surah Ghaafir: 39]

The Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said to Ibn ‘Umar:

“Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a passer-by.” [34]

So it is to be in this world as if you did not exist and in the next life as if you did not cease to exist.

And in another report it is stated:

“Count yourself amongst the inhabitants of the graveyards.” [35]

From the advice that the Maseeh ‘Eesaa gave, was his words to his companions: “Pass through it and do not become an inhabitant of it.”

And he also said: “Who is the one who will build a home upon the waves of the ocean? This is the worldly life, so do not take it as a home that will last forever.”

Thus, the believer, in this world is like the stranger crossing through a land other than his own, longing for his homeland and the day when he will return to it. He makes provision of what is necessary for his path back homeward. He does not compete for status with the people of the land he is passing through. Nor does he grieve over the degradation he experiences while amongst them.

Al-Fudayl bin ‘Iyaad (rahimahullaah) said:

“The believer in this world is worried and distressed. His main concern is to repair his equipment (as one who is stranded fixes his vehicle).”

Al-Hasan (rahimahullaah) said:

“The believer in this world is like a stranger. He does not become upset when it (the world) degrades him, nor does he compete with others with regard to what it gives of honor. For him is a condition and for the people is a condition.”

In reality, the believer is a stranger in this world because his forefather (Aadam) used to originally reside in the eternal abode and was then cast out from it. So he is constantly longing to return to his first place of residence. And he is always concerned with returning to the home from which he was cast out of.

This is as is said: “Love of one’s homeland is part of Faith.” [36]

And as it is said:

“How many homes in the world does the young man take charge of. Yet his longing will forever be for his first home.”

Some of our scholars [37] have said:

“So rush to the Gardens of Eden for indeed
It is your original home, and in it is a place of rest.
However, we are in the captivity of the enemy, so don’t you see?
Shall we return to our homes and find peace?
And it has been determined that when the stranger is far away
and his home has disappeared, then he is lost.
So what type of strangeness is greater than our strangeness
which the enemies amongst us have manifested?”

Footnotes:

[34] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree (Eng.): vol. 8, no. 425

[35] Sunan Ibn Maajah (no. 4114). This addition was graded weak in Da’eef Sunan Ibn Maajah (no. 895)

[36] This statement is based on a fabricated hadeeth: “Love of ones homeland is part of Eemaan (Faith).” Imaam Al-Albaanee declared it mawdoo’ (fabricated) and he listed several scholars from the past that held the same opinion. It is perhaps for this reason, that the author (Ibn Rajab) has not attributed it to the Prophet, but merely claimed it as a saying. However, the meaning of the statement itself seems to be incorrect. The scholars have discussed various meanings for it. What is the most correct is that if it is used as a saying, then it is correct in the context that the author (Ibn Rajab) has put it in here, in the sense that the homeland refers to the original abode of Paradise. Therefore, the love for this original abode is from the aspects of Faith. The saying taken in any other sense would breed love for nationalism and party spirit and these two are abhorred and detested in the Religion. Refer to Imaam Al-Albaanee’s long discussion of this statement in his al-Ahaadeeth ad-Da’eefah (vol. 1, no.36).

[37] He is referring here to his teacher Ibn Al-Qayyim. See his book Haadee Al-Arwaah (pg. 7).

SourceAlleviating Grievances in Describing the Condition of the Strangers – Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbalee, al-Ibaanah eBook

Related Link:
Dunya, Death & Hereafter – abdurrahman.org/finaljourney

Whoever Spends Something Today Will Benefit From It Tomorrow – Nice Story

Thus whoever spends something today will benefit from it tomorrow and whoever does not spend will come to find nothing, and he will have a great loss in the house of dwelling (in the Hereafter).

Some of the Salaf said,

O son of Adam, you will only live on the Day of Judgment in what you have built, and you will find on that day what possessions you have prepared in your life.”

A women entered upon ‘A’ishah (radiy Allaahu anha), and her hand was paralysed. She said, “O mother of the Believers, I went to sleep yesterday and my hand was healthy, and I woke up and it was paralysed. ‘A’ishah said, “How is that?” She said, “I had wealthy parents, and my Father used to pay zakat, host guests, and give to beggars, and he did not see any good except that he would do it. As for my mother, she was stingy, and did nothing good with my Father’s wealth. Then my Father died, and my mother died only two months after him. So I saw my Father in a dream last night, and he was wearing two yellow garments and in front of him was a flowing river. I said, “Father, what is this?’ He said, “Whoever does good in this life will see it, this is what Allah has given me.” I said, “What has happened to my mother?” He asked, “Your Mother dies?” I said, “Yes”

He said, “She has been turned away from me, so look for her on your left” So I turned to my left, and I saw my mother standing naked, covering her lower half with a rag and in her hand was a piece of fat. She was calling out, “My sadness, my thirst’ When she became tired she would rub the fat with her hand and then lick it, while in front of her was a flowing river. I said, ‘O mother, why are you crying out of thirst, and there is a flowing river in front of you?’ She said, ‘I am not allowed to drink from it.’ I said, Can I give you some of the water?’ She said, ‘I wish you would do that.’ So I filled my hand with water and let her drink, and when she swallowed it I heard a voice on my right, ‘Whoever has given this woman water, may his hand be paralysed,’ and they repeated it twice. Then I awoke and my hand was paralysed, and I am not able to do anything with it. ‘A’ishah asked: ‘Did you recognise the rag she was wearing?’ I said, ‘Yes, O Mother of the Believers, it was exactly the same one I saw her wearing, for I had never seen my mother give anything as charity, except that one day my Father slaughtered a bull. So a beggar came to ask for some, so my mother gave him a bone that had some fat on it. And I saw one day that a beggar asked her for charity, so she gave him that exact rag.’

A’ishah (radiy Allaahu anha) said, Allah is the Most Great! Allah has told the truth, and the Messenger has delivered the message.

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ
وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ

“So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it,
And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it”

[al-Azalzalah (99): 7-8]

This was nararted by Hafiz Abu Musa al-Madani with a good isnad.[21]

Footnotes:

[21] Hakim in his al-Mustadrak, (4/471) and by Ibn Abi al-Dunya in his ‘Kitab al-Mujabi al-Du’a,(p.74-75). Ibn Rajab also authenticated it.

Source: Transcribed by AbdurRahman.org from the  Book – “The Three that follow to the Grave” (pg 29-30) – Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Dar as-Sunnah Publishers, Birmingham, UK.

Exposing Someone’s Evil and Propagating it under the Pretense of Advising – Imam Ibn Rajab

From the apparent signs of condemning is: Exposing someone’s evil and propagating it under the pretense of advising, while claiming that it is only these defects that are making him do it, general or specific. Meanwhile, on the inside, his aim is only to condemn and cause harm.[33]

So he is from the brothers of the hypocrites, those whom Allaah has disparaged in His Book in many places, for indeed Allaah disparages those who outwardly display a good action or saying, while intending inwardly to accomplish a mischievous and evil goal. And He has counted that as one of the aspects of hypocrisy, as is stated in Surah Baraa,[34] in which He humiliates the hypocrites and exposes their despicable attributes:

“And as for those who set up a masjid in order to cause harm, (spread) disbelief, disunite the believers and to make it as an outpost for those who made war against Allaah and His Messenger since aforetime, they will indeed swear that their intention is nothing but good. But Allaah bears witness that they are certainly liars.” [Surah At-Tawbah: 107]

And Allaah says:

“Think not that those who rejoice in what they have done, and love to be praised for what they have not done – do not think that they are rescued from the torment. And for them is a painful punishment!” [Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 188]

This ayah was sent down concerning the Jews, when the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم asked them about something and they concealed knowledge of it informing him instead of something else. Yet they showed to him that they had indeed informed him about what he had asked them. And they sought praise from him صلى الله عليه وسلم because of it and became joyous at what they gained by concealing it and because he صلى الله عليه وسلم asked them. This is what Ibn ‘Abbaas radhi Allaahu anhu stated and his hadeeth concerning that is transmitted in the two Saheeh collections. [35]

Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudree radhi Allaahu anhu said:

“There was a group of men among the hypocrites who when the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم would go out to fight in the (military) expeditions, would refrain from going with him. And they would be happy with opposing the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم with their sitting (instead of fighting). So when Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم would arrive, they would make excuses for themselves and swear to him. And they loved to be praised for that which they did not do. So this ayah was revealed.” [36]

Therefore, these characteristics are the characteristics of the Jews and the hypocrites. And it is that someone outwardly displays a saying or an action, while presenting an image in which he appears to be upon good. Yet his intention in doing that is to accomplish an evil goal. So he is praised for what good he has made manifest outwardly, while accomplishing by it, the evil goal he has kept hidden inwardly. And he basks in the praise he receives for that which he has outwardly portrayed as being good, which is in fact evil on the inside, and he is happy that his evil hidden objective has been achieved. So his benefit is perfected for him and his scheme is carried out effectively by this deception!!

Anyone with this characteristic definitely falls under the (threat) of this ayah – thus he is threatened with a painful torment. An example of this is:

When someone desires to defame a man, belittle him and expose his faults so that people turn away from him. This is done either because he loves to cause harm to him, because of his enmity towards him, or because he fears him due to a rivalry that exists between them with regard to wealth, leadership, or other blameworthy causes. So he does not find a way towards accomplishing his goal, except by publicly degrading him due to some religious reason.

For example, someone (i.e. a scholar) has refuted a weak opinion from the many opinions of a well-known and famous scholar. So this (evil) individual spreads that amongst those who respect that scholar, saying: “This person (that did the refutation) hates this scholar, and is only defaming and criticizing him.” So by doing this, he (the evil person) deceives all those people that hold that scholar in esteem, making them believe that such a refutation was done out of hatred and with insult on the part of the one refuting, and that his deed was full of audacity and arrogance. So he (the evil person) is (outwardly) defending this scholar and uplifting the abuse from him – and that is an act pleasing to Allaah and in obedience to Him. So he combines this outer facade of advising with two disgusting and forbidden things: [37]

First: The insinuation that this scholar’s refutation of the other opinion was done out of hatred, seeking to belittle (the other scholar), and as a result of following his desires. But (in reality) he only desires by it to advise the believers and to make known some aspect of knowledge that is unlawful to keep concealed.

Second: He (the evildoer) manifests and magnifies the (scholar’s) criticism (for the other scholar), so that he can fulfill his desire and achieve his evil goal under the pretense of advising and defending the scholars of the Religion.

This type of evil plotting is similar to the injustice and oppression displayed by the tribe of Marwaan and their followers, who won the people’s affection and at the same time, turned these people’s hearts away from ‘Alee bin Abee Taalib, Al-Hasan, Al-Husayn and their offspring, may Allaah be pleased with all of them.

When ‘Uthmaan radhi Allaahu anhu was killed, the Muslim nation did not see anyone possessing more right to succeed him other than ‘Alee radhi Allaahu anhu, so they pledged allegiance to him. So those who sought to turn the people away from him set about their goal by manifesting the outrageous and scandalous murder of ‘Uthmaan. And it was just as they said it was.

But then they added to it that the one who conspired his murder and carried it out was none other than ‘Alee radhi Allaahu anhu. And this was a lie and a slander against him! And ‘Alee radhi Allaahu anhu would swear and reaffirm his oaths in denying this accusation – and he was truthful and innocent in his oath, may Allaah be pleased with him. But they began to fight against him, claiming that their struggle was for the sake of the Religion and that it was pleasing to Allaah, and then they began to fight with his children. These individuals strove hard in publicizing this (lie), propagating it on the mimbars on the days of Jumu’ah, as well as on other occasions in which there were large gatherings. This continued until it settled into the hearts of their followers that the matter was as these individuals said it was, and that the tribe of Marwaan had more right (to the Khilaafah) than ‘Alee and his children due to their closeness to ‘Uthmaan, and that they had more right to avenge his radhi Allaahu anhu death. So in doing this, they were able to unite the hearts of the people against ‘Alee and his sons and to turn the people to fight against him and his children after him. This asserted the kingship for them and their rule became established as a result of that.

While in privacy, one of them would say to those he confided in, something with the meaning: “No one amongst the Companions was more restrained from (causing harm to) ‘Uthmaan than ‘Alee.” So it would be said to him: “Then why did the people revile him?” So he would respond: “The kingship (i.e. end of the Khilaafah) would not be established if it weren’t for that.”

The meaning of this is that if they did not turn the people’s hearts away from ‘Alee radhi Allaahu anhu and his children, and if they didn’t attribute the injustice done to ‘Uthmaan to them, the hearts of the people would not feel sympathy for them (later), due to what they knew of their beautiful attributes and honorable qualities, for they used to rush to follow them and pledge allegiance to them (in the past). And because of this, the Umayyah dynasty came to an end and the people ceased obeying them. [38]

Footnotes:

[33] This is from the actions of the heart which no one has knowledge of except Allaah, the Most Perfect.

[34] [Translator’s Note: He means Surah At-Tawbah]

[35]Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (9/301), Muslim (17/123), Ahmad (1/298) and Ibn Jareer (4/207).

[36] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (8/233), Muslim (17/123) and Ibn Jareer (4/205). It must be noted here that Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr mentioned in Al-Fath (9/301) that it is possible to combine these two causes for the ayah’s revelation found in the two hadeeths by saying that it was revealed with regard to both of these groups (Jews and hypocrites). Shaikh Muqbil bin Haadee Al-Waadi’ee said in his As-Saheeh-ulMusnad (pg. 35): “If the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed is more established then that takes more precedence because the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas is from that which the two Shaikhs have been criticized by, as has been stated in Muqaddimat-ul-Fath (20/132) and as is stated in Fath-ul-Baaree (9/302). And there is no point in restricting it to only the People of the Book…”

[37][Translator’s Note: We ask the noble readers to consider these precious words stated by the author and compare them with the likes of the situations we find today. No doubt the scholars of the Sunnah in these days are accused in such a manner. Such an example can be found in Imaam Muhammad Naasirud-Deen Al-Albaanee (rahimhullaah) and the lies and attacks that were launched against him by Hasan Saqqaf, Kabbani and their likes, who make themselves appear as though they’re advising the Muslim ummah. But yet in reality they are doing no more than discrediting, defaming and belittling a scholar. And the claims that come from them are well known in that these scholars, such as Al-Albaanee, who warn against “blind-following” are labeled as deviants who hate the four Imaams and who want to do away with their teachings! May Allaah give us the ability to see through the false accusations of the ignorant and the unjust.]

[38] See Al-‘Awaasim min-al-Qawaasim of the Qaadee Ibn Al-‘Arabee al-Maalikee (rahimahullaah) for in there is what is sufficient for one who seeks the truth about this subject, Allaah willing.

Source: From the al-ibaanah eBook :
The Difference between Advising and Condemning – Imaam Ibn Rajab

Three Categories Of The Bearers Of Knowledge – Imam Ibn Rajab

The Commander of the Believers has divided the carriers of knowledge into three categories:

Category One: The People of Doubts

They consist of the one who has no evidences from the carriers of knowledge. Doubt has pierced his heart when it was first presented to him. He grasped it and thus fell into mass confusion and uncertainty. From that, he came out producing such acts as innovations and misguided affairs.

Category Two: The People of Desires

Their portion is of two types:

The first consists of he who seeks after the worldly life, under the pretense of desiring knowledge. So he makes knowledge a means of attaining worldly goals.

The second portion consists of the one who is overcome with the desire of amassing worldly gains, its riches and its treasures.

None of these types of people are from amongst the shepherds of the Religion. Rather, their similitude is only like that of the cattle.

For this reason, Allaah the Most High has compared those who were entrusted with the Torah and then failed that trust to donkeys carrying books. And He has compared the learner of evil, the one who detaches himself from the verses of Allaah, clinging onto this world and following his lusts, with the likeness of a dog. The donkey and the dog are the lowest forms of animals and the worst types of examples.

Category Three: The Carriers of Knowledge

They are the possessors of knowledge. They uphold it, protect it and establish it upon the evidences and clear proofs of Allaah.

It already has been stated that they are the fewest of people yet greatest in stature in the sight of Allaah. This is an indication towards their few numbers and towards the strangeness of the carriers of knowledge from this category.

Al-Hasan Al-Basree (rahimahullaah) said:

“The reciters of the Qur’aan are of three types:

Those who take it as a commodity and gain their sustenance from it.

Those who establish its words, yet neglect its commandments (i.e. read it but don’t practice it). Due to (their knowledge of) it, they act arrogantly towards the people of their land and they use it (the Qur’aan) as a support for gaining positions of authority. These types of people from among the bearers of the Qur’aan are many. May Allaah diminish their number!

There is also a type of people that apply the remedy of the Qur’aan and thus place it over the sickness of their hearts. Due to it, their battles come to a standstill and they feel compassionate in their burnooses (long capes worn by the people of old). And they feel a sense of fear (of Allaah) and the worries (of the worldly life) have left them. They are the ones upon whom Allaah sends His rain down and He sends victory through them over the enemies. By Allaah, this type of people from among the carriers of the Qur’aan are more honorable than that of flaming torches in the sight of the rest of the reciters of the Qur’aan.”

Thus, he (rahimahullaah) has informed us that this group – and they are the reciters of the Qur’aan who place it as a cure for their hearts, such that all traces of fear and worry leave them – is more honorable amongst the other reciters than the example of flaming torches.

From the E-Book: Alleviating Grievances in Describing the Condition of the Strangers

The recompense of one who spreads the evil deeds of his believing brother and seeks after his faults – Imam Ibn Rajab

The recompense of one who spreads the evil deeds of his believing brother and seeks after his faults and exposes his defects, is that Allaah will seek after his faults and disgrace him (by exposing them) even if he may have committed them in the privacy of his own home.

This is based on what has been reported from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم in several places, and Imaam Ahmad, Abu Dawood and At-Tirmidhee have transmitted it from numerous paths of narration. [29]

At-Tirmidhee transmitted from the hadeeth of Waa’ilah Ibn Al-Asqa’ on the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that he said:

“Do not express joy at your brother’s misfortune or else Allaah will pardon him for it and test you with it.” [30]

And he (At-Tirmidhee) said that it was a hasan ghareeb hadeeth. He also reports the hadeeth of Mu’aadh ” in marfoo’ form: “Whoever condemns his brother because of a sin (he committed) will not die until he commits it (himself).” Its chain of narration is munqati’ (broken).

Al-Hasan (Al-Basree) said: “It used to be said: ‘Whoever condemns his brother for a sin that he repented from, will not die until Allaah tests him with it (i.e. the same sin).’” [31]

And it is reported from the hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood ” with a chain of narration that has weakness in it: “Affliction is charged by speech. So if a man condemns another man by saying that he breast-fed from a female dog, then that man (who said that) will indeed breast-feed from one.” [32]

The meaning of this has been reported on a group amongst the Salaf. And when Ibn Sireen failed to return a debt he owed and was detained because of it, he said: “Indeed, I am aware of the sin (I committed) by which this befell me. I condemned a man forty years ago saying to him: ‘O bankrupt one.’”

Footnotes:

[29] The checking for this has been stated previously

“O you group of people that believe with your tongues but not with your hearts! Do not abuse the Muslims nor seek after their faults. For indeed, he who seeks after their faults, Allaah will seek after his faults. And whoever has Allaah seek after his faults, He will expose them, even if he may have committed them in the privacy of his own home.”

Reported by Abu Ya’laa in his Musnad (1675) and Abu Nu’aim in Ad-Dalaa’il (356) on the authority of Al-Baraa’ radhi Allaahu anhu. Al-Haithamee (rahimahullaah) said in Al-Majma’ (8/93): “Abu Laylaa reported it and its narrators are all reliable. It has also been reported from the hadeeth of Abu Barzah radhi Allaahu anhu with a strong chain of narration in Ahmad (4/421 & 424) and Abu Dawood (4880).” And in this section occurs the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar with a hasan chain of narration in At-Tirmidhee (2033), Al-Baghawee (3526) and Ibn Hibbaan (1494 of the Mawaarid). See also At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (3/177) of Al-Mundhiree.

[30] At-Tirmidhee reported it under number (2507) and in its chain is Al-Qaasim bin Umayyah Al-Hidhaa.

Ibn Hibbaan mentioned him in Al-Majrooheen (2/213) and said: “He was a shaikh who reported from Hafs bin Gayyaath many strange and weak narrations. It is not permissible to use him as a support when he is alone (in his narration).” Then he reported this hadeeth from him and commented upon it, saying:

“There is no source for this found in the sayings of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم.” I say: This hadeeth has also been reported by At-Tabaraanee in Al-Kabeer (22/53), Musnad Ash-Shaamiyeen (384), AlQadaa’ee in Musnad Ash-Shihaab (917-918) and Abu Nu’aim in Al-Hilyah (5/186). And it is also succeeded by ‘Umar bin Isma’eel bin Mujaalid found in At-Tirmidhee, Abu ash-Shaikh in Al-Amthaal (202) and Al-Khateeb in At-Taareekh (9/95-96). However, there is no point in that, since ‘Umar is matrook (rejected).

[31] The discussion of this has been stated previously in detail.

[32] Reported by Abu Nu’aim in Akhbaar Asbahaan (1/161) Al-Khateeb in his Taareekh (13/279) and Ibn Al-Jawzee mentioned it in Al-Mawdoo’aat (2/83). Al-‘Ajaloonee in Kashf-ul-Khufaa (2/343) added to that by attributing it to Ad-Daylamee. The hadeeth is reported through other paths from ‘Alee and Hudaifah, however they have severe weaknesses in them. See Al-Laalee Al-Masnoo’ah (2/293-295) of As-Suyootee and Mukhtasar Maqaasid-ul-Hasanah (pg. 83) of Az-Zurqaanee and Ad-Durr–ulMultaqitt (pg. 22) of As-Saghaanee.

Source: From the al-ibaanah eBook :
The Difference between Advising and Condemning – Imaam Ibn Rajab

Advising is Linked to Secrecy while Condemning is linked to Publicizing – Imam Ibn Rajab

Al-Fudail (rahimahullaah) said: “The believer conceals (the sin of his brother) and advises (him), while the evildoer disgraces and condemns (him).”

This is what Al-Fudail has mentioned as being from the signs of advising and condemning – and it is that advising is linked to secrecy while condemning is linked to publicizing.

It used to be said: “Whosoever commands his brother (towards doing good) at the head of a gathering, then he has condemned him.” Or it is something with this meaning.

The Salaf used to hate that commanding good and forbidding evil be done in this manner. Instead, they loved that it be done privately between the one commanding and the one being commanded, for indeed, this is from the signs of sincere advice.

This is since it is not the goal of the one who is advising to spread and publicize the faults of the person he is advising, rather his goal is only to put an end to the evil that he has fallen into.

As for spreading and exposing someone’s faults, then that is from the things that Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم have forbidden. Allaah, may He be Exalted, says:

“Verily, those who love that the evil and indecent actions of those who believe should be propagated (and spread), they will have a painful torment in this world and the Hereafter. And Allaah knows and you know not. And had it not been for the grace of Allaah and His mercy on you, (Allaah would have hastened the punishment on you) and that Allaah is full of kindness, Most Merciful.” [Surah An-Noor: 19-20]

The ahaadeeth concerning the virtue of keeping the faults of others secret are many.[27] Some of the scholars would say to those who were commanding towards good:

“Strive hard to conceal the faults of the sinners, for indeed, exposing their faults shows a weakness in Islaam. The thing that deserves the most to be concealed is one’s faults.”

It is for this reason that spreading someone’s evil and indecent actions is linked to condemning. And they are both from the affairs of the evildoer, since it is not the goal of the evildoer to put an end to the fault nor that the believer avoids that fault or defect. Rather his only goal is to spread and publicize the defects found in his believing brother, and to destroy his honor. So he initiates that and repeats it. And his intention is to belittle his believing brother by exposing his defects and bad qualities to the people so that some harm can fall upon him in this world.

But as for the person that is sincerely advising, his aim in doing that (advising) is to eradicate the faults found in his believing brother and to help him avoid it. This is what Allaah the Most High, has described His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم with, saying:

“Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any harm or difficulty. He is anxious over you (to rid you of faults and sin), for the believers he is full of pity, kind and merciful.” [Surah At-Tawbah: 128]

And He described his صلى الله عليه وسلم Companions with that, saying:

“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah. And those who are with him (i.e. his Companions) are severe with the disbelievers and merciful towards one another.” [Surah Al-Fath: 29]

And He described the believers with the characteristics of patience and mutual advising of one another towards mercy and compassion. [28]

But what drives the evildoer to propagate (his brother’s) evil and to disgrace him is force and harshness, his love for abusing his believing brother, and (his desire) to inflict some harm upon him. These are the characteristics of the Devil – the one who beautifies disbelief, sin and disobedience to the children of Aadam so that due to it they may become amongst the dwellers of the Hellfire, as Allaah says:

“Verily, the Devil is an enemy for you, so take him as an enemy. Verily, he only calls his party (of followers) to be from amongst the dwellers of the Hellfire.” [Surah Faatir: 6]

And He says, after telling us the story of Iblees (the Devil) when he was with the prophet of Allaah, Aadam, and the evil plot that he unleashed on him, such that it brought him to be cast out from Paradise:

“O Children of Aadam! Let not the Devil deceive you, as he got your parents out of Paradise, stripping them of their garments, to show them their private parts.” [Surah Al-A’araaf: 27]

So what a difference there is between one whose intention it is to advise (naseehah) and one whose intention it is to disgrace (fadeehah)! And no one confuses one of these with the other, except someone who does not possess sound intellect.

Footnotes:

[27] See Fath-ul-Baaree (5/97) and Saheeh Muslim (4/1996)
[28] As is found in Allaah’s saying: “Then he became from among those who believed and recommended one another towards patience and recommended one another towards compassion.” [Surah Al-Balad. 17]

Source: From the al-ibaanah eBook :
The Difference between Advising and Condemning – Imaam Ibn Rajab

Know Allah in prosperity, He will know you in adversity – Imam Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī

Selections [1] from Jāmi’ al-‘Ulūm wal-Ḥikam:

[1] Taken from Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī’s book Jāmi’ al-‘Ulūm wal-Ḥikam, an explanation of the forty-two famous ḥadīth collected by Imām al-Nawawī. The ḥadīth explained in this article is number nineteen.

The prophet ( صلّى الله عليه وسلّم ) said:
Know Allah in prosperity, He will know you in adversity.” [2]

When a worshipper is conscious and fearful of Allah in times of ease and wellbeing, preserving His rules and paying careful attention to His rights upon him, he begins to know Allah. There is then established between him and his Lord a special relationship. In return, his Lord will remember and know His worshipper during his times of hardship. He will preserve and take care of such person’s relationship with Him in difficult times. Because of this relationship, Allah saves his worshipper from his difficulties. This special relationship brings an individual close to his Lord and ensures His love for him and His answering of his prayers.

A person’s “knowing his Lord” is of two types:

1. A general knowledge. When a person is familiar with Allah is this manner, he simply accepts that He exists, affirms correct belief in Him, and has faith in Him. All believers in general know Allah in this way.

2. A specific knowledge and relationship. When a person truly knows Allah, he turns his heart completely to Him, devotes himself to Him, and feels at ease with Him. He is comforted when Allah is mentioned although he is still shy before Him and fears Him. Those who truly know Allah focus on this specific type of “knowing Him.”

Similarly, Allah’s “knowing his servant” is of two types.

1. A general knowledge. This is Allah’s knowledge of all His servants, His observation of everything they conceal or make apparent, as He ( تعالى ) says:

“And indeed We have created mankind, and We know what his own self whispers to him.” [3]

Another example of this general type of Allah knowing His creation is His statement:

“He was most knowing of you when He produced you from the earth and when you were fetuses in the wombs of your mothers.” [4]

2. A specific knowledge and relationship. This type of “knowing His servant” is when Allah loves His worshipper, brings him close to Him, answers his prayers, and helps him out of difficulties. This is the type of relationship the prophet ( صلّى الله عليه وسلّم ) refers to when he said that Allah says (in a ḥadīth qudsī):

“My servant continues to come close to Me with extra acts of worship until I love him. When I love him, I become his ears with which he hears, his eyes with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks. Were he to ask Me for anything, I would certainly give it him, and were he to seek My help, I would certainly help him.” [5]

Illustrating this specific type of Allah knowing His servants, there is a report that when al-Ḥasan was fleeing the oppression of al-Ḥajjāj, he came to the house of Ḥabīb Ibn Muḥammad. Ḥabīb said to him, “Abū Saī’d, is there no relationship between you and your Lord by which you could pray to Him to hide you from these people? Come into the house.” al-Ḥasan went inside, and al-Ḥajjāj’s soldiers went in after him but could not see him. When that was mentioned to al-Ḥajjāj, he said, “He was inside the house but Allah blinded your eyes so that you could not see him.”

In summary, whoever shows Allah constant, respectful fear and obedience during times of ease and prosperity, Allah will show him gentleness and assistance during times of difficulty and adversity.

al-Tirmidhī recorded a ḥadīth from Abū Hurayrah ( رضي الله عنه ) that the prophet ( صلّى الله عليه وسلّم ) said:

“Whoever would like Allah to answer him during hardships and difficulties then let him increase in supplication during times of wellbeing.” [6]

The most difficult hardship a servant faces in this life is death; what comes after it is even more severe if the servant’s final destination is not good (Paradise). So it is necessary for a believer to prepare for death and what follows it during times of ease and wellbeing by remaining constantly conscious and fearful of Allah and doing righteous deeds (during life). Allah ( عزّ وجلّ ) says:

“Oh you who believe, fear Allah and let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow. And fear Allah, indeed Allah is aware of what you do. And do not be like those who forgot Allah so He made them forget about their own souls. Those are the defiantly disobedient ones.” [7]

Whoever remembers Allah while in good health, in times of ease and comfort, and prepares himself for his meeting with Allah ( عزّ وجلّ ) upon death and afterwards, Allah will in return remember him during these hardships (associated with death). He will be with the person during such difficulties. Allah will be gentle with him as He assists him, takes care of him, and keeps him firm upon the worship of Allah alone (when he dies). Allah will then meet the person while being happy with him.

On the other hand, whoever forgets Allah during times of ease and comfort (in life) and fails to prepare for his meeting with Him, Allah will forget him during these hardships (of death). And the “forgetting” here means Allah will abandon the person and disregard him.[8]

But when death comes to a true believer in Allah, one who has prepared for it and has good expectations of his Lord, and the good news of Allah comes to him, he then would love to meet Allah and Allah would love to meet him. However, a wicked person is just the opposite of that (i.e., he hates to meet Allah so Allah hates to meet him).[9] The believer is then filled with happiness with what he put forth before him (in life) and with what he is about to arrive at (Paradise). As for someone who is negligent (who forgot about his own soul), he is filled with regret, saying:

“Oh, how I regret what I neglected regarding Allah. [10]

Footnotes:

[2] This is part of a longer ḥadīth recorded by Aḥmad, al-Bayhaqī, and al-Lālakāī and Shaykh Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī said it is authentic in his al-Jāmi’ al-Saghīr wa Ziyādatuh (5272).
[3] The Quran, Sūrah Qāf (50:16)
[4] Sūrah al-Najm (53:32)
[5] Recorded by al-Bukhārī
[6] Recorded by al-Tirmidhī (no. 3382) and al-Albānī said it is ḥasan in Ṣaḥīḥ Sunan al-Tirmidhī (no. 2693).
[7] Sūrah al-Ḥashr (59:18-19)
[8] About this type of “forgetting” them, Allah says in Sūrah al-‘Arāf (7:51):

So today We will forget them just as they forgot the meeting of this day of theirs and for having rejected Our verses.

And His ( سبحانسَه وتعالى ) frightening verses in Sūrah ṬāHā (20:124-126):

And whoever turns away from My remembrance, he will certainly have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind. He will say, “My Lord, why have you raised me blind while I used to see?” (Allah) will answer, “Likewise Our signs came to you but you forgot them, so likewise you will today be forgotten.”

[9] About this, the messenger of Allah ( صلّى الله عليه وسلّم ) said (recorded by al-Bukhārī):

Allah says, “If my servant loves to meet Me, I love to meet him, and if he hates to meet me, I hate to meet him.”

[10] Sūrah al-Zumar (39:56)

[Note: Arabic Text of the Verses and Hadeeth not mentioned in the above article. Please read the below PDF for the  same]

[Download PDF Here]

Courtesy of authentic-translations.com
Translated by Abu az-Zubayr Harrison hafidhahullaah

Reference: AbdurRahman.Org
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The Strangers (Ghurabaa) & The Evils of Doubts and Desires – Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab

l praise is for Allaah with much praises and blessings, as our Lord loves and is pleased with and as is required for attaining the honor of His most Sublime Face.[1] And may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon our teacher Muhammad, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his family and his companions.Imaam Muslim reported in his Saheeh from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah, radyAllaahu ‘anhu, that the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:“Islaam began as something strange and it will return to being strange as it began. So Toobaa [2] is for the strangers.” [3]

Imaam Ahmad and Ibn Maajah have also reported this hadeeth on the authority of Ibn Mas’ood, radyAllaahu ‘anhu, with the addition at the end of it:“It was said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, and who are the strangers?’ He, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: ‘The Nuzaa’ (those who extract themselves) from their families and close relatives.’” [4]

Abu Bakr Al-Aajuree also transmitted it and in his report there occurs: “It was said: ‘Who are they, O Messenger of Allaah?’ He, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: ‘Those who rectify (themselves/others) when the people have become corrupt.’” [5]

Others have transmitted it with the following words, in which he, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “They are those who flee from trials (fitan) for the sake of their Religion.”

At-Tirmidhee reported it from the hadeeth of Katheer Ibn ‘Abdillaah Al-Maznee on the authority of his father who reported from his grandfather that the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Verily, this Religion began as something strange. And it will go back to being something strange. So Toobaa is for the strangers – those who rectify what the people have corrupted after me of my Sunnah.” [6]

It has also been transmitted by At-Tabaraanee from the hadeeth of Jaabir, radyAllaahu ‘anhumaa, on the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. And in the hadeeth there occurs:

“It was said: ‘And who are they, O Messenger of Allaah?’ He said: ‘They are those who rectify and make corrections when the people have become corrupted.” [7]

He (At-Tabaraanee) also reported it from the hadeeth of Sahl Ibn Sa’ad, radyAllaahu ‘anhu, with a similar wording.[8]

Imaam Ahmad also transmitted it from the hadeeth of Sa’ad Ibn Abee Waqqaas, radyAllaahu ‘anhumaa, on the authority of the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. And it is stated in the hadeeth: “So Toobaa on that day will be for the strangers – when the people have become corrupt.” [9]

In another narration transmitted by Imaam Ahmad and At-Tabaraanee from the hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr, radyAllaahu ‘anhumaa, the Prophet,sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Toobaa is for the strangers.” It was said: “And who are the strangers? He, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:“A righteous people surrounded by people abounding in much evil. Those who disobey them are more numerous than those who obey them.” [10]

And it has been reported on ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr, radyAllaahu ‘anhumaa, in marfoo’ and mawqoof [11] form in this hadeeth, that: “It was said: ‘Who are the strangers?’ He, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: ‘They are the ones who flee for the sake of their Religion. Allaah, may He be Exalted, will send them with ‘Eesaa Bin Maryam’” [12]

Concerning his, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, statement: “Islaam began as something strange”, then it is referring to the people before his advent, who were upon widespread deviance. This is as the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Indeed Allaah looked at the people of the earth and hated them, both Arabs and non-Arabs, except for some remnants that were from the People of the Book.” [13]

So when the Prophet was sent forth and began calling towards Islaam, his call was not answered at first instance except by a few from each tribe. And those that did accept his call feared from their tribes and families lest they should be subjected to extreme punishment. And they would suffer while being patient with that for sake of Allaah.

Due to their weakness, the (first) Muslims would be frightened by every opposing force and they would flee for the sake of their Religion to far-off lands as was shown when they migrated twice – to the land of Abysinnia, and then when they migrated to Madeenah. And there was from among them, he who was tortured for the sake of Allaah and he who was killed. So those who entered into the fold of Islaam, back in those days – they were the strangers.

Then Islaam spread after the Hijrah to Madeenah and its followers became victorious over every group. After that, the people entered into the Religion of Allaah in multitudes. And Allaah perfected the Religion for them and completed His favor upon them. Then the Messenger of Allaah died, and the Muslims were upon the utmost level due to their firm adherence to their Religion. They were powerful and dominant. And they continued to be upon this condition during the times of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (during their Khilaafah).

Then the Shaytaan (Devil) unleashed his evil plot upon the Muslims and discord fell between them. And the trials of Doubts (Ash-Shubuhaat) andDesires (Ash-Shahawaat) became widespread. These two evils did not stop increasing at all until the plan of Shaytaan was established and the majority of the creation obeyed him.

So from among them were those who entered into obedience to him by way of the evil of Doubts (Ash-Shubuhaat). And from among them, were those who fell into the evil of Desires (Ash-Shahawaat). And from among them, were those who combined between them both. All of that was from what the Messenger of Allaah, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, had warned us would occur.

As for the evil of Doubts:
Then it has been reported on the Prophet through many paths of narration that his ummah would divide into more than seventy sects. This is based on the differing found in the reports concerning the exact number with which they will exceed the number seventy. And it is reported on him, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, that all of these groups will be in the Hellfire, except for one group – and it is that (group) which adheres to what he and his companions were upon (during their time). [14]

And as for the evil of Desires:
It is reported in Saheeh Muslim on the authority of ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr, radyAllaahu ‘anhumaa, that the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:“When the treasures of the Persians and the Romans are opened for you, how will your people be?” ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan Ibn ‘Awf,radyAllaahu ‘anhu, said: “We will say what Allaah has ordered us (to say).”[15] He, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Or other than that. You will compete against each other, then you will envy one another, then you will turn your backs on one another.” [16]

And in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree on the authority of ‘Amr Ibn ‘Awf, radyAllaahu ‘anhu, the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “I swear by Allaah! It is not poverty that I fear for you. Rather, what I fear the most for you is that the pleasures of this world will be presented to you as they were presented to those before you. And you will compete against each other for it, as they competed against each other. And it will destroy you, just as it destroyed them.” [17]

And there occurs in the two Saheeh collections on the authority of ‘Uqbah Ibn ‘Aamir, radyAllaahu ‘anhu, a hadeeth from the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, with a similar meaning.

And when the treasures of Kissra (Chosroes) were opened for ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, he began to weep and said: “Indeed this (treasure) did not open upon a people ever, except that Allaah placed discord between them.” [18]

The Prophet used to fear these two evils (of Doubts and Desires) for his ummah as has been reported in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad on the authority of Abu Barzah that the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Indeed, I only fear for you the desires of transgression found in your stomachs and your private parts and the calamities (fitan) that lead people astray.” And in another narration there occurs: “…and the desires (hawaa) that lead people astray.” [19]

So when a majority of the people fell victim to either or both of these evils, they began to cut off ties with one another and they began to hate one another. This only came after them having been brothers, loving and supporting one another. Indeed the evil of Desires became something common and accepted amongst a majority of the creatures. And it tested people by way of the worldly life and its pleasures. So that became the goal of the people’s striving. They sought after it and became pleased with it. They became angry due to it and they hated for its sake and loved for its sake. Because of this, they would sever family relations and spill blood unlawfully. And for this purpose, they committed disobedience to Allaah.

As for the evil of Doubts and vain desires that lead astray, then it was because of this that the Muslims divided and became sects, some groups declaring others as disbelievers. Thus, they became enemies, divided into groups and parties. This only happened after having been brothers. Their hearts were united upon the heart of one man. So not one of all these sects is saved, except for the one saved sect (Al-Firqat-un-Naajiyah). And they are the ones mentioned in the saying of the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

“There will not cease to be a group from my ummah triumphant upon the truth. Those who oppose them will not be able to harm them, nor will those who abandon them, until Allaah’s order comes about (Day of Judgment) and they are in that state.”[20]

They will be the strangers – the ones who have been mentioned in the previous ahaadeeth – during the Last Days. They are the ones who will correct others when the people have become corrupt. They are those who will rectify what the people have corrupted of the Sunnah. They are the ones who will flee from affliction for the sake of their Religion. They are the ones who will extract themselves from their close relatives (for Allaah’s sake).

This is because they are so few that you will not find any among them in an entire tribe (family), except one or two. In some tribes, you will not find any of them, just as it was when the first people entered into Islaam. This is the way the majority of the scholars have explained this hadeeth.


FOOTNOTES:

[1] What is meant here is the attainment of Paradise in which the people who are granted it will be able to see the Face of Allaah, as has been stated in various texts of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.

[2] It is said that Toobaa means something good. Allaah mentions this word in Surat-ur-Ra’ad of His Final Revelation: “Those who believe and do righteous deeds, Toobaa is for them and a pleasant destination.” According to Ibn Katheer’s Tafseer (Abridged 1/281), Ibraaheem An-Nakha’ee (rahimahullaah), the great Taabi’ee, said it means “good is for them.” Qataadah said: “When a man says Toobaa for you it means you have attained something good. ‘Ikrimah and Mujaahid said that Toobaa means Paradise. And it is also said that Toobaa refers to a tree in Paradise which the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, spoke of when he said: “Verily, there is a tree in Paradise under the shadow of which a rider can travel for a hundred years without being able to cover (it’s distance) completely.” [Saheeh Muslim] This is what seems to be indicated in the above hadeeth, due to another hadeeth reported on the Prophet, in which he said: “Toobaa is a tree in Paradise. Its (shade’s) distance (in traveling) is one hundred years. And the garments of the inhabitants of Paradise will be extracted from its branches.” Imaam Al-Albaanee graded it hasan in his Silsilat-ul-Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah (no. 1985).

[3] Saheeh Muslim (1/130): See Sharh Saheeh Muslim of Imaam An-Nawawee (2/175-176)

[4] Sunan Ibn Maajah (no. 3988), Sunan At-Tirmidhee (5/18) and he said it was authentic, Musnad Ahmad (5/296). It has also been recorded by Al-Khattaabee in his Ghareeb-ul-Hadeeth (1/175). Shaikh Al-Albaanee declared it weak (da’eef) in his collection Al-Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah (no. 1273)

[5] This hadeeth is also reported by Ahmad and At-Tabaraanee and it is saheeh as has been stated by Shaikh Saleem Al-Hilaalee in his book Toobaa Lil-Ghurabaa (no. 1). However the hadeeth with a different wording from the hadeeth of ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan Ibn Sanah is weak. See Toobaa Lil-Ghurabaa (no. 10)

[6] This hadeeth was reported by At-Tirmidhee in his Sunan (5/18) and he said it was saheeh. It was also reported by Ibn ‘Adiyy in Al-Kaamil (6/2080), At-Tabaraanee in Al-Kabeer(17/16), Abu Nu’aim in Al-Hilyah (2/10) and Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee in Al-Jaami’ (1/112) as well as others. In his checking to the book Al-‘Itisaam of Imaam Ash-Shaatibee (1/22), Shaikh Saleem Al-Hilaalee said concerning At-Tirmidhee’s authentication of this hadeeth: “This is from the hadeeth that he, may Allaah have mercy on him, has overlooked. For indeed, Katheer (Ibn ‘Abdillaah) is very weak. Rather, Ash-Shaafi’ee accused him of being a liar! And he described him with that (lying) as being one of his main supports, as occurs inManaaqib-ush-Shaafi’ee of Al-Bayhaqee (1/547-548). This is a criticism (jarh) that reaches the highest level of severity. Thus his hadeeth are to be disregarded completely.” Therefore, the hadeeth is da’eef jiddan (very weak) as is stated in Toobaa Lil-Ghurabaa (no. 13) and Da’eef Al-Jaami’-us-Sagheer (no. 1441)

[7] This hadeeth has been reported by At-Tahaawee in Mushkil-ul-Aathaar (1/298), Al-Laalikaa’ee in Sharh Usool ‘Itiqaad Ahl-is-Sunnah (2/112), and Al-Bayhaqee in Az-Zuhd-ul-Kabeer (200). Al-Haythamee attributed it to At-Tabaraanee in his book Majma’-uz-Zawaa’id (7/278), saying: “In its chain is ‘Abdullaah Ibn Saalih, the scribe of Laith, and he is weak. However, he has been declared reliable.”

[8] At-Tabaraanee reported this hadeeth in his Kabeer (6/164) and his Sagheer (1/104). Al-Haythamee said in Majma’-uz-Zawaa’id (7/278): “Its narrators are all of the standards of the Saheeh (collections), except Bakr Ibn Saleem, for he is reliable. Saleem Al-Hilaalee said in his checking of Al-‘Itisaam (1/18): “Bakr Ibn Saleem is weak. However, he is used as a support during cases when hadeeth need to be backed up and supported. Al-Haafidh (Ibn Hajr) said in At-Taqreeb: ‘He is acceptable’ meaning when a hadeeth needs to be supported. And if this is not the case, then he is layyin.”

[9] This hadeeth is recorded by Imaam Ahmad, Al-Bazaar and Abu Ya’laa. Al-Haythamee said in Majma’-uz-Zawaa’id (7/277): “Its narrators are the narrators of the standard of the Saheeh (collections).” Saleem Al-Hilaalee declared it saheeh in his Toobaa Lil-Ghurabaa (no. 11)

[10] Al-Haythamee (rahimahullaah) said in Majma’-uz-Zawaa’id (7/278): “In its chain is Ibn Lahee’ah and there is weakness in him.” The hadeeth can be found in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad (2/177). It is authentic due to its many paths of narration. Imaam Al-Albaanee authenticated it in Saheeh Al-Jaami’-us-Sagheer (no. 3291)

[11] A marfoo’ hadeeth is a statement that has been reported by a companion, yet “raised” to the level of being a saying of the Prophet. A mawqoof hadeeth is a statement that is reported by a companion and “stopped”, meaning it ends up being only his statement, as opposed to being raised to a saying of the Prophet.

[12] This hadeeth has been narrated by Imaam Ahmad in mawqoof form, and by his son ‘Abdullaah in marfoo’ form. It can be found in Az-Zuhd (77149). The hadeeth is da’eef as has been clarified by Shaikh Saleem Al-Hilaalee in his book Toobaa Lil-Ghurabaa (no. 3)

[13] Saheeh Muslim (Eng.): vol. 4, no. 6853. What is meant by the remnants of the People of the Book are those who stuck to their religion upon truth without changing it.

[14] This hadeeth has been reported from a number of different routes. Perhaps the one most similar to what the Shaikh (Ibn Rajab) is paraphrasing here is that which has been reported by At-Tabaraanee in his Mu’jam-us-Sagheer (no. 724), in which the Prophet said: “This ummah will split into seventy-three sects, all of which will be in the Hellfire, except for one.” They asked: “And which is that sect?” He, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “(The ones that adhere to) That which I and my Companions are upon today.” In another narration on the authority of Anas Ibn Maalik, radyAllaahu ‘anhumaa, the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Every one of them will be in the Hellfire, except one and it is the Jamaa’ah.” And in another narration on the authority of Abu Sufyaan, radyAllaahu ‘anhu: “The Messenger of Allaah, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, stood amongst us one day and said: ‘Indeed those before you from the People of the Book divided into seventy-two groups. And, indeed, this group (Muslims) will divide into seventy-three. Seventy-two groups will be in the Fire and one of them will be in Paradise. And it is the Jamaa’ah.’” This latter hadeeth was reported by Ahmad, Al-Haakim, Abu Dawood and others. Al-Haakim authenticated it and Adh-Dhahabee agreed. At-Tirmidhee (no. 2641) also reported a similar hadeeth to it and graded it saheeh. Imaam Al-Albaanee listed all its paths of narrations and different wordings in his Silsilat-ul-Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah (no. 204) and clarified that it is an authentic hadeeth without any doubt about its authenticity. In summary, the hadeeth and its additions are hasan due to its various paths of narrations, which serve as supporting evidences.

[15] He means by this: We will praise Him, thank Him and ask Him for an increase in His Bounty.

[16] Saheeh Muslim (no. 2962) and Sunan Ibn Maajah (no. 3996)

[17] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree (Eng.): vol. 5, no. 351

[18] Refer to Al-Bidaayah-wan-Nihaayah (7/70) of Ibn Katheer for an account of the event. It is recorded in his book under the section of the Battle of Jaloolaa’.

[19] Imaam Ahmad (4/423) and others reported this hadeeth. Al-Manaawee said that it had a good chain in his book Al-Jaami’-ul-Azhar (1/146). Al-Albaanee graded it saheeh in his checking of At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (no. 49)

[20] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree (4/252), Saheeh Muslim (no. 170), Sunan At-Tirmidhee (4/504), and Sunan Ibn Maajah (no. 3952)

From the E-Book: Alleviating Grievances in Describing the Condition of the Strangers
isma’eel alarcon (all footnotes by translator)

The Strangeness Of The Sunnah And its Adherents – Imam Ibn Rajab

Concerning the statement of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم):

Islaam began as something strange and will return to being strange, as it began“,

Imaam Al-Awzaa’ee (rahimahullaah) said:

“As for this, then it does not mean that Islaam will go away, but rather it means that the Ahl-us-Sunnah [21] will go away, up to the point that there will not remain in a land, any from them except one person.”

Based on this understanding, there can be found in the statements of the Salaf much praise for the Sunnah and their describing it as being strange, and describing its adherents and followers as being few.

Al-Hasan Al-Basree (rahimahullaah) used to say to his companions:

“Oh Ahl-us-Sunnah! Be gentle with one another and may Allaah have mercy on you. For indeed, you are from amongst the fewest of people.” [22]

Yoonus Ibn ‘Ubayd (rahimahullaah) said:

“There is not a thing more stranger than the Sunnah. And what is more stranger than it, is the one who knows it.”

Sufyaan Ath-Thawree (rahimahullaah) said:

“Treat the Ahl-us-Sunnah kindly, for verily, they are strangers.” [23]

The understanding of the term “Sunnah” to these scholars, was the way of the Prophet – that which he and his companions were upon – free from Doubts (Ash-Shubuhaat) and Desires (Ash-Shahawaat).

Due to this, Al-Fudayl Ibn Tyaad (rahimahullaah) used to say:

“Ahl-us-Sunnah is he who knows what is entering his stomach from the halaal”

That is because the consumption of halaal is from the greatest aspects of the Sunnah, which the Prophet and his companions were upon.

Then it remained the custom of the majority of the later scholars, from the scholars of hadeeth and other fields, that the Sunnah consisted of what was free from Doubts in regards to Creed. This was especially the case with issues such as the belief in Allaah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, and other issues such as Al-Qadar (Divine Pre-Ordainment) and the merits of the Sahaabah. They compiled literary works concerning this knowledge and named them books of “Sunnah”. This knowledge was only labeled with the name “Sunnah”, because its significance was tremendous and all those who opposed it were on the brink of destruction.

And as for the complete Sunnah, then it is the path that is free and safe from Doubts and Desires, as has been stated by Al-Hasan, Yoonus Ibn ‘Ubayd, Sufyaan, Al-Fudayl and others besides them. Due to this, its adherents are described as strange because of their small number and rarity in the Last Days.

This is why it has been mentioned in some of the previously stated reports that they are:

“A righteous people surrounded by people abounding in much evil. Those who disobey them are greater in number than those who obey them.” [24]

In this is an indication of the smallness of their amount in number and in the amount of those who answer and accept their call. We also are made aware of the greatness in number of those who oppose them and disobey them.

That is why it is reported in numerous ahaadeeth, praise for the one who sticks firmly to his Religion during the Last Days. And that he who does so will be like one who holds tightly onto hot pieces of coal. And that the one who acts upon it, will receive fifty times the reward more than those before him. [25] This is because he will not find any supporters in doing good deeds.

These strangers are of two categories:

The first of them are those who rectify themselves when the people have become corrupt.

The second category contains those who rectify what the people have corrupted of the Sunnah. And this (latter one) is the most highest and virtuous of the two categories.

Footnotes

[21] What is meant by the term Ahl-us-Sunnah are all the Muslims who strictly follow the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad. They learn it, act upon it, enforce it and teach it to others. They consist of the scholars, their students and those that follow in their footsteps.

[22] This report was recorded by Al-Laalikaa’ee. Badr Al-Badr indicated its weakness in his notes to Kashf-ul- Kurbah. However, a similar narration to this one has been recorded by Ad-Daarimee (1/72) and its wording is: “For verily, Ahl-us-Sunnah are the least of people in number who have preceded, and they are the least of people in number who remain.” This narration is authentic. See Dr. Nasr Al-‘Aql’s book Maflioom Ahl-is- Sunnati wal-Jamaa’ah (pg. 84)

[23] This narration was recorded by Al-Laalikaa’ee in his Sharh Usool ‘Itiqaad Ahl-is-Sunnah (1/64) and it was mentioned from him by Ibn Al-Jawzee in Talbees Iblees. Dr. Nasr Al-‘Aql mentioned it in his book Mafhoom Ahl-is-Sunnati wal-Jamaa’ah (pg. 85)

[24] Musnad Ahmad (2/177) and its checking has been stated previously.

[25] This saying is based on the following hadeeth of the Prophet: “Verily, after you there will come times requiring patience. (In those days) the one who holds fast to that which you are upon will have the reward of fifty amongst you. He will receive the reward of fifty (i.e. the one holding onto the way of the companions in later times).” Reported by Al-Marwazee in As-Sunnah (no. 35), At-Tabaraanee in Al-Kabeer (17/117), Abu Dawood in his Sunan (no. 3441), At-Tirmidhee (no. 3057), who declared it saheeh, and Ibn Maajah (no. 4014). Imaam Al-Albaanee authenticated it in As-Saheehah (no. 494)

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Seeking status through authority, leadership & wealth is very dangerous – Imam Ibn Rajab

A person’s craving after status is even more destructive than his craving after wealth. Seeking after worldly status, position, leadership and domination causes more harm to a person that his seeking after wealth – it is more damaging and harder to avoid since even wealth is expended in seeking after leadership and status. Craving after status is of two types.

The First Type of Craving for Status

The first is seeking status through authority, leadership, and wealth and this is very dangerous – since it will usually prevent a person from the good of the Hereafter and nobility and honour in the next life, Allaah, the Most High says:

“That home of the Hereafter We shall assign to those who seek neither haughtiness nor any corruption on earth. The good end is for the pious.” [Al-Qasas (28):83]

So it is rare that a person seeks after position in this world by seeking authority and is guided to and granted what is good for him. Rather he is entrusted to his own self, just as the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to `Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Samurah, radiyallaahu `anhu, “O `Abdur-Rahmaan! Do not ask for authority since if you are given it due to requesting it then you are abandoned to it, but if you are given it without requesting it then you will be aided in it.” [10]

One of the Salaf said, “ No one seeks after authority and then behaves justly in it.” Yazeed ibn `Abdillaah ibn Mawhib was a just judge and one of the righteous people and he used to say, “Whoever loves wealth and status and fears adversity will not behave with justice.” There occurs in Saheeh al-Bukharee from Aboo Hurairah, radiyAllaahu`anhu, from the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that he said, “You will be keen to attain authority and it will be a source of regret on the Day of Resurrection. So what an excellent wet-nurse it is and what an evil weaner.” [11]

(Al-Bukhaaree) also reports from Aboo Moosa al-Ash`aree, radiyAllaahu `anhu, that two men said to the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), ‘O Messenger of Allaah! Appoint us to some position of authority.’ So he said, ‘We do not appoint to authority in this affair of ours one who requests it, nor one who is keen to have it.” [12]

Know that craving after status and position inevitably causes great harm before its attainment due to the striving necessary to attain it, and also afterwards due to the person’s strong desire to hold onto it which produces injustice, haughtiness and other evils.

Aboo Bakr al-Aajurree, who was one of the wise scholars and teachers at the start of the fourth century, wrote at treatise about the manners and the sentiments of the scholars and it is one of the best works on this topic. One who studies it will know from it the way of the scholars of the Salaf, and will know the innovated ways contrary to their way. So he describes the evil scholar at length, from this description is that:

‘He has become infatuated with love of this world, and with praise, honour and position with the people of this world. He uses knowledge as an adornment just as a beautiful woman adorns herself with jewellery for this world, but he does not adorn his knowledge with action upon it.”

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Three Ways to Forgiveness – Imam Ibn Rajab

Three Ways to Forgiveness
جامع العلوم واحلكم :Original Title
Original Author: Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī
Translated by: Abu az-Zubayr Harrison – authentic-translations.com

Contents

The Ḥadīth
The First Way: Hopeful Supplication
The Second Way: Asking Allah for Forgiveness
The Third Way: Tawḥīd

Anas Ibn Mālik (radhi Allaahu anhu) said: I heard Allah’s messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) saying:

“Allah ( تعاىل ) said,

  • ‘Oh son of Adam, as long as you call on me and hope in me, I  will forgive you for whatever (sins) you have and I will not mind.
  • Oh son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds in the sky and then were you to ask for my forgiveness, I would forgive you and I would not mind.
  • Oh son of Adam, if you were to come to me with sins as much as the earth and then you meet me not worshipping anything else along with me, I would come to you with as much forgiveness.’”

Recorded by at-Tirmidhī (no. 3540). Shaykh al-Albānī said it is authentic in “Ṣaḥīḥ Sunan at-Tirmidhī” (no. 2805)

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Three Ways to Forgiveness-Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali [PDF]

The Forbiddance of Oppression – Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

The Forbiddance of Oppression
جامع العلوم واحلكم :Original Title
Author: Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī
Translated by Abu az-Zubayr Harrison authentic-translations.com

Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī’s book, “Jāmi’ al-‘Ulūm wal-Ḥikam,” is an explanation of the forty-two famous ḥadīth collected by Imām an-Nawawī. The ḥadīth explained in this article is ḥadīth number twenty-four of that book. The forbiddance of oppression, while it is the first lesson in the ḥadīth, is only one of many lessons

Contents

The Ḥadīth
The Explanation of: “I have made oppression forbidden even for myself…”
The Explanation of: “…and I have made it forbidden among you as well…”
The Explanation of: “Oh my servants, each of you is astray except those I have guided, so ask me for guidance and I will guide you…”
The Explanation of: “Oh my servants, you sin night and day but I forgive all sins…”
The Explanation of: “Oh my servants, you will never be able to harm me…”
The Explanation of: “Oh my servants, if the first of you and the last of you, the people and jinn among you, were all to be as righteous…”
The Explanation of: “Oh my servants, if the first of you and the last of you, the people and jinn among you, were all to stand in a single place asking of me…”
The Explanation of: “…that would not decrease what I have…”
The Explanation of: “Oh my servants, it is only your actions for which I call you to account…”
The Explanation of: “…and then I will pay you in full for them.”
The Explanation of: “So whoever finds good, let him thank Allah…”

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The Forbiddance of Oppression-Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali [PDF]

 

 

Relieving a Believer’s Hardships – Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

Relieving a Believer’s Hardships
جامع العلوم واحلكم :Original Title
Original Author: Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī
Translated by Abu az-Zubayr Harrison authentic-translations.com

Taken from Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī’s book, “Jāmi’ al-‘Ulūm wal-Ḥikam,” an explanation of the forty-two famous ḥadīth collected by Imam al-Nawawi. The ḥadīth explained in this article is the thirty-sixth one.

“Whoever relieves a believer of a hardship of this life, Allah will relieve from him a  hardship of the Day of Resurrection…”

Contents

The ḤadĪth
The Explanation of: “Whoever helps a believer with a hardship…” 
The Explanation of: “…Allah will help him with a hardship…”
The Explanation of: “Whoever shows leniency towards someone in difficulty…”
The Explanation of: “Whoever conceals a Muslim, Allah will conceal him…”
The Explanation of: “And Allah will continue to help the servant…”
The Explanation of: “Whoever pursues a path seeking knowledge…”
The Explanation of: “No group of people gather in one of the houses of Allah…”
The Explanation of: “And whoever is prevented by his deeds will not be hastened…”

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Relieving a Believers Hardships-Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali [PDF]

Be in this Life as if you were a Stranger or a Traveler on a Path – Ibn Rajab al-Hanbalī

Title: …As If You Were a Stranger
Original Title : جامع العلوم واحلكم
Original Author: Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī
Translator : Abu az-Zubayr Harrison
authentic-translations.com

…As If You Were a Stranger [1]

[1] Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī’s book, “Jāmi’ al-‘Ulūm wal-Ḥikam”, is an explanation of the forty-two famous ḥadīth collected by Imam al-Nawawī. The ḥadīth explained in this translations is number forty.

Contents 

  1. The ḤadĪth
  2. Explanation of the ḤadĪth
    1. The First State: As a Stranger
    2. The Second State: As a Traveler
  3. Explanation of Ibn ‘Umar’s Advice

The Ḥadīth

Ibn ‘Umar ( radhi Allaahu anhu  ) said: Allah’s Messenger ( sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) took me by my  shoulder and said:

» كُنْ فِي الدُّنْيَا كَأَنَّكَ غَرِيبٌ أَوْ عَابِرُ سَبِيلٍ «
Be in this life as if you were a stranger or a traveler on a path.

And Ibn ‘Umar used to say:

If you reach the evening, do not expect to reach the morning, and if you reach  the morning, do not expect to reach the evening. Take from your health before
your sickness and from your life before your death. [Recorded by al-Bukhārī (no. 6416)]

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..As If You Were a Stranger-Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali [PDF]

The Difference between Advising and Condemning – Ibn Rajab

AUTHOR: Imaam Zayn-ud-Deen Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbalee
TRANSLATED: Al-Ibaanah Book Publishing
PRODUCED BY: Al-Ibaanah.com

About the Book:

This is a complete translation of the classical treatise “Al-Farq baynan-Naseeha wat-Ta’yeer”[The Difference between Advising and Condemning] of Imaam Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbalee, may Allaah have mercy on him. The source used for this translation was the Daar ‘Ammaar publication.

In this treatise, Imaam Ibn Rajab discusses some of the manners and etiquettes of differing amongst Ahlus-Sunnah, explaining the distinction between advising and condemning. This is since these two things are often confused for one another. So the author goes into depth explaining the characteristics of sincere advice and condemnation. This treatise also lays down some guidelines for Ahlus-Sunnah in their criticisms and refutations. It should be noted, as the author states, that this treatise only applies to Ahlus-Sunnah, and as for the innovators and people of desires, then these guidelines do not apply to them.

In recent times, Shaikh Rabee’ Al-Madkhalee has provided an explanation for some of the important points covered in this book in a two-part lecture which was later transcribed and can be downloaded for free from his website http://www.rabee.net.

Quotes from the Book:

“Therefore, refuting weak (erroneous) opinions and clarifying the truth with regard to what opposes it, based upon sound evidences, is not from what these scholars detested. Rather, it was from that which they loved and for which they commended and praised those who did it. So it does not enter into the realm of backbiting at all. But suppose there is someone that hates to have his error, which contradicts the Sunnah, exposed. In this case, there is no consideration given to his hatred for that, because hating to manifest the truth – if it is in opposition to the opinion of a man – is not from those matters that are praiseworthy. Rather it is an obligation on the Muslim to love that the truth be made manifest and that the Muslims (in general) are aware of it, regardless of whether it is in conformity or in opposition to his (personal) view.”

“Therefore, these characteristics are the characteristics of the Jews and the hypocrites. And it is that someone outwardly displays a saying or an action, while presenting an image in which he appears to be upon good. Yet his intention in doing that is to accomplish an evil goal. So he is praised for what good he has made manifest outwardly, while accomplishing by it, the evil goal he has kept hidden inwardly. And he basks in the praise he receives for that which he has outwardly portrayed as being good, which is in fact evil on the inside, and he is happy that his evil hidden objective has been achieved. So his benefit is perfected for him and his scheme is carried out effectively by this deception!!”

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Articles Extracted from this eBook :

Advising is Linked to Secrecy while Condemning is linked to Publicizing – Imam Ibn Rajab

The recompense of one who spreads the evil deeds of his believing brother and seeks after his faults – Imam Ibn Rajab

Alleviating Grievances in Describing the Condition of the Strangers – Ibn Rajab

AUTHOR: Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbalee
TRANSLATED: Al-Ibaanah Book Publishing
PRODUCED BY: Al-Ibaanah.com

About the Book:

This book is a translation of a short treatise entitled “Kashf-ul-Kurbah fee wasfi Haali Ahlil-Ghurbah[Alleviating Grievances in Describing the Condition of the Strangers] written by the great Imaam, Al-Haafidh Zayn-ud-Deen Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbalee, may Allaah have mercy on him.

In this treatise, Ibn Rajab discusses the topic of the “Strangers”, listing the many ahaadeeth of the Prophet reported about them. They are given this name because they will be strange during the Last Days, due to their adherence to the Sunnah and to the Way of the first Muslims, the Salaf As-Saalih. So just as those who first accepted Islaam at the hands of Muhammad were considered strangers to their families and close ones, then indeed, those who adhere to the Sunnah in the last Days, when innovations and misguidance are rampant and widespread, will also be considered strangers to their families and close ones, not to mention the disbelievers.

It must be noted that Ibn Rajab uses several weak ahaadeeth in this treatise, which have been pointed out. Also, towards the end of his treatise, he begins to divert from the topic by going deep into the issue of inner strangeness, sometimes focusing on aspects that have no basis in Islaam, such as talk about wajdkhulwah and so on. These were Sufi concepts that were prevalent during his time. Consequently, the last pages of the treatise, which included several quotes and lines of poetry, were left out from this translation. However, the omission of this last part of the book does not detract from the overall meaning and intended theme of the treatise, and Allaah knows best. For the most part, the treatise is of great importance and is often referenced by the scholars, and that is what we hope to convey to the readers. All footnotes were added by the translator based on research and the use of several sources. We ask Allaah to accept this work as a sincere act and that He place it in our scale of good deeds on the Day of Judgement. And we ask that He benefit all the Muslims generally with it

Quotes from the Book:
“So when the Prophet was sent forth and began calling to Islaam, his call was not answered at first instance except by a few from each tribe. And those that did accept his call feared from their tribes and families lest they should be subjected to extreme punishment. And they would suffer while being patient with that for the sake of Allaah. Due to their weakness, the (first) Muslims would be frightened by every opposing force and they would flee for the sake of their Religion to far-off lands as was shown when they migrated twice to the land of Abysinnia, and then when they migrated to Madeenah. And there was from among them, he who was tortured for the sake of Allaah and he who was killed. So those who entered into the fold of Islaam, back in those days – they were the strangers. Then Islaam spread after the Hijrah to Madeenah and its followers became victorious over every group. After that, the people entered into the Religion of Allaah in multitudes. And Allaah perfected the Religion for them and completed His favor upon them. Then the Messenger of Allaah died, and the Muslims were upon the utmost level due to their firm adherence to their Religion. They were powerful and dominant, and they continued to be upon this condition during the times (i.e. khilaafah) of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. Then the Devil unleashed his evil plot upon the Muslims and discord fell between them. And the trials of Doubts (Shubuhaat) and Desires(Shahawaat) became widespread. These two evils did not stop increasing at all until the plan of the Devil was established and the majority of the creation obeyed him.”

“Concerning the statement of the Prophet: ‘Islaam began as something strange and will return to being strange, as it began’, Imaam Al-Awzaa’ee (rahimahullaah) said: ‘As for this, then it does not mean that Islaam will go away, rather it means that Ahlus-Sunnah will go away, up to the point that there will not remain any from them in a land except one person.’”

“Based on this understanding, there can be found much praise in the statements of the Salaf for the Sunnah and their describing it as being strange, and describing its adherents and followers as being few. Al-Hasan Al-Basree (rahimahullaah) used to say to his companions: ‘Oh Ahlus-Sunnah! Be gentle with one another, and may Allaah have mercy on you, for indeed, you are from amongst the fewest of people.’ Yoonus bin ‘Ubayd (rahimahullaah) said: ‘There is not a thing more strange than the Sunnah. But what is stranger than it, is the one who knows it.’ Sufyaan Ath-Thawree (rahimahullaah) said: ‘Treat Ahlus-Sunnah kindly, for verily, they are strangers.’”

“And from the words of Ahmad bin ‘Aasim Al-Andaakee, who was one of the biggest scholars at the time of Sulaymaan Ad-Daaraanee, was: ‘Indeed, I have reached from all the times, a time when Islaam has returned to being strange as it began. In it, the description of truth has returned to being strange as it began. If you were to turn to the scholar, you would find him being tested with the love of this worldly life and the love for honor and authority. And if you were to turn to the worshipper, you would find him ignorant in his worship, deceived and fallen victim to his enemy Iblees (i.e. the Devil). He has mounted to the highest levels of worship while being ignorant of how to perform them so how can he be at that level? And the rest of the people are from among the ignorant followers, simple-minded and quick to follow a way, as if he were a wolf looking to steal a sheep, or a hungry lion, or a fox on the prowl. This is the description of the people of your time from the carriers of knowledge and the Qur’aan and the callers of wisdom.’ This was the description of the people of his time. So how much has the situation increased and the crisis become greater after it. Indeed, it has reached a point that would have never been thought of nor imagined!”

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Following articles were extracted from this book:

The Signs of Beneficial and Non-Beneficial Knowledge – Ibn Rajab

AUTHOR: Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbalee
SOURCE: Fadlu ‘Ilm-is-Salaf ‘alaa ‘Ilm-il-Khalaf (pg. 39-43, Dar-ul-Imam Ahmad Ed.)
PRODUCED BY: Al-Ibaanah.com

The Signs of Non-Beneficial Knowledge:

An indicative sign of this non-beneficial knowledge is that it breeds haughtiness, pride and arrogance in the one who possesses it. And it causes him to seek after grandeur and elevation in the worldly life and to compete for that. It also leads one to pursue competing with the scholars, arguing with the foolish and turning the people’s attention his way. And it has been reported that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that whoever seeks knowledge for these reasons, then “the Fire, the Fire.” [1]

It could be that some of the people who possess these types of knowledge claim to know Allaah, seek after Him and abstain from everything apart from that, however, their goal behind that is for nothing else but to gain a high place in certain people’s hearts, such as that of the rulers and their likes. Perhaps their goal is to have these people think good thoughts about them or to gain large gatherings of followers or to have them venerate them because of that.

Another sign of this is when one openly claims to have a close relationship with Allaah, i.e. claims to be a walee, as the People of the Scripture would do, and as the Qaraamitah,[2] Baatiniyyah[3] and their likes would assert for themselves.

This is contrary to what the Salaf were upon for they would constantly belittle and scorn themselves, in hidden and in open. ‘Umar said: “Whoever says he is knowledgeable is really ignorant. And whoever says he is a believer is really a disbeliever. And whoever says he is in Paradise is in the Hellfire.”

Also from its signs is that one fails to accept and submit to the truth, and that he acts arrogantly towards those who speak the truth, especially if that person is considered below them in the eyes of the people. Also from its signs is that one persists upon falsehood out of fear that the people’s hearts will turn away from him if he openly shows his going back to the truth.

Perhaps these individuals may even openly condemn and belittle themselves with their tongues in front of large gatherings so that people will believe that they are truly humble, thus drawing (their) praises for that. And this is from the most intricate and subtle forms of showing off (riyaa), as indicated by the Taabi’een and the scholars that came after them. Furthermore, their blatant acceptance and receipt of such praise is to such an extent that it negates any honesty or sincerity on their part. This is since a truly honest person fears hypocrisy for himself and dreads the thought of having a bad end, whereas these individuals busy themselves with accepting and consenting to praises.

So based on this, one of the signs that people have beneficial knowledge is that they don’t see themselves as having any special position or status, and that they hate with their hearts any commendation or praise and that they do not exalt themselves arrogantly over anyone.

Al-Hasan said: “The Faqeeh (one with understanding of the Religion) is only he who abstains from the worldly life, longs for the next life, has deep insight into his Religion and is persistent in worshipping his Lord.” [4]

In another narration, he said: “He is one who does not envy those above him, nor does he belittle those below him, nor does he charge any fee for the knowledge that Allaah has given him.”

A statement with a similar meaning to this last one was reported on Ibn ‘Umar as a saying of his.[5] So every time the people who have beneficial knowledge increase in this type of knowledge, they increase in humbleness, fear, lowliness and submission to Allaah.

One of the Salaf said: “A person with knowledge should place dirt upon his head out of humbleness to his Lord.” [6]

For indeed every time he increases in knowledge and awareness of his Lord, He increases in fear and love for Him as well as submission and debasement towards Him.

The Signs of Beneficial Knowledge:
From the signs that one has beneficial knowledge is that it leads him to flee from the worldly life and its splendors, as well as from leadership, fame and praise. Keeping far away from these things and exerting one’s efforts in avoiding them are indications that one has beneficial knowledge. And if he were to fall into committing any of these things unintentionally and unwillingly, he would be in immense fear of being punished for that since he would fear that such (praise or leadership or fame) is perhaps a plot or gradual delusion (before inevitable punishment from Allaah). Such was the case with Imaam Ahmad, for he would fear for himself when his name became famous and his reputation spread.

Also from the signs of beneficial knowledge is that one does not claim to have knowledge nor does he use it to act arrogantly towards anyone, nor does he describe anyone as being ignorant – except for those who oppose the Sunnah and its followers, for in this case, he may speak about them out of anger for the sake of Allaah and not his own sake nor intending to elevate himself over anyone.

As for the one who does not have beneficial knowledge, his only concern is to use his knowledge to arrogantly elevate himself over people and to manifest the virtue of his knowledge to them while at the same time ascribing them to ignorance. His only concern is to belittle them so that he may exalt himself over them by doing that. This is one of the vilest and most despicable of actions. Perhaps he may even describe those scholars that came before him as being ignorant, negligent and forgetful. So his love for himself and his love for exposing himself leads him to think highly of himself while thinking poorly of those who preceded him!

Those who possess beneficial knowledge are upon the opposite of this, for they think poorly of themselves while thinking highly of those scholars that came before them. And they affirm with their hearts and souls the virtue and superiority that their predecessors have over them and their own inability to reach and attain the levels that they were at, let alone get near to them.

How beautiful was the response of Imaam Abu Haneefah[7] when he was asked about ‘Alqamah[8] and Aswad[9] as to which of them was better. He replied saying: “By Allaah, we are not qualified to even mention their names, so how can we choose between them?”

When the etiquettes of those who preceded would be mentioned, Ibn Al-Mubaarak would recite the following verses of poetry:

“Do not present our mention along with their mention,
The healthy one who walks is not like the crippled.”

So if this individual with non-beneficial knowledge feels that he is superior to those who came before him in terms of producing elaborate speech and statements, he will then assume that he is also superior to them in knowledge and rank before Allaah, due to his having a special virtue over those who preceded him. This will then lead him to scorn those who came before him (i.e. the Salaf) and audaciously accuse them of having little knowledge. However, this ignoramus doesn’t realize that the reason why the Salaf made such few statements was only because of their piety and fear of Allaah. Had they wanted to speak profusely and elaborate themselves through many statements, they would not have been unable to do it.

Footnotes:

[1] Saheeh: Reported by Ibn Maajah (254) from the narration of Jaabir bin ‘Abdillaah and authenticated by Al-Albaanee in Saheeh-ul-Jaami’ (7370).

[2] Al-Qaraamitah: They are one of the deviant factions that emerged from the Raafidah whose adherents follow Abu Sa’eed Bahraam Al-Hanaabee who was the founder of the Qaraamitee belief. They believed that ‘Abdullaah bin Al-Haarith Al-Kandee was a prophet and so would worship him. And they have other corrupt beliefs apart from that.

[3] Al-Baatiniyyah: This is a name given to a group that splintered from the Isma’eeli Shiites. They believe that the entire Book of Allaah is open to reinterpretation and claim that it cannot be understood in its apparent (literal) form and so as a result they went astray. Their beliefs have influenced the Sufi movement, which claims that all of the Qur’aan has an apparent as well as a hidden meaning.

[4] Reported by Ahmad in az-Zuhd (pg. 267), Ad-Daarimee (1/89), Al-Aajurree in Akhlaaq-ul-‘Ulamaa (pg. 74), and Abu Nu’aim in Hilyat-ul-Awliyaa (2/147) and its chain of narration is sound (hasan). [A]

[5] Reported by Ad-Daarimee (1/88) as a statement of Ibn ‘Umar. [A]

[6] Reported by Al-Aajurree in Akhlaaq-ul-‘Ulamaa (pg. 71 and Al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/113) as a statement of Ayoob, and its chain of narration is authentic (saheeh). [A]

[7] He was the great Imaam, Abu Haneefah An-Nu’maan bin Thaabit, the Jurist from Iraq. He saw Anas bin Maalik on more than one occasion. He was pious, knowledgeable and diligent in performing deeds. Ash-Shaafi’ee said about him: “With regards to Fiqh, the people are dependent upon Abu Haneefah.” He died in 150H.

[8] He was ‘Alqamah bin Qais bin ‘Abdillaah bin Maalik bin ‘Alqamah An-Nakha’ee from Koofah, Iraq. He was born during the lifetime of Allaah’s Messenger but never met him. He was from the major Taabi’een, being the main Jurist and Muhaddith of the people of Iraq. He studied very closely under Ibn Mas’ood and spread his knowledge after him, passing rulings and verdicts. He died in 72H and some say in 73H.

[9] He was Al-Aswad bin Yazeed bin Qais An-Nakha’ee from the companions of Ibn Mas’oodt. His kunyah was Abu ‘Amr, but he was also called Abu ‘Abdir-Rahmaan. He was from the major Taabi’een, reliable and knowledgeable, and he narrated many hadeeth. He passed away in either 74H or 75H.

Published on: March 19, 2007

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).

 

Farewell to Ramadan – Al Hafith Ibn Rajab – Mustafa George

Ibn Rajab‘s book: Lataif al Maa’rif.

A portion of this book pertaining to Ramadan was summarized by Sheikh Abdur Rahman bin Muhammed bin Qassim the compiler of Majmu al Fatawa by Ibn Taymiyyah, with several additions by Sheikh Abdur Rahman himself.

Translated by Mustafa George

Chapter: The End of Ramadan

Several narrations related to the merits of this month have proceeded, and from them is that which is recorded in Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, that The Messenger “salAllahu alayhi wa salem- said:

“Whoever fasts Ramadan with faith and seeking the reward will have his past sins forgiven.”

In the narration recorded in the Musnad of Imam Ahmed there is an additional portion of the same hadith stating:

“his past and future sins will be forgiven”

The chain of narrations for this additional wording is good (hasan). The Messenger “salAllahu alayhi wa salem also said:

“Whoever stands the night of decree (Laylatul Qadr) with faith and seeking the reward will have his past sins forgiven, and whoever fasts Ramadan with faith and seeking the reward will have his past sins forgiven.”

An additional wording is recorded in An Nisaee stating: “…his past and future sins will be forgiven”

Later the author states: Forgiveness of sins during this blessed month is conditional to the preservation of what one is instructed to preserve (i.e. Fulfilling the orders of Allah, and abstaining from what is forbidden). The majority (jemhoor) of the scholars hold that this expiation of sin is specifically referring to minor sins. This is because of the hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim, that The Messenger “salAllahu alayhi wa salem- stated:

“The five daily prayers, Friday prayer to the following Friday prayer, and Ramadan to the following Ramadan are expiations for sins as long as one abstains from major sins.”

The author also states: (Some scholars held a different view) Ibn Munthir mentioned pertaining to Laylatul Qadr: “It is hoped that the major and minor sins are all forgiven”

But the majority hold that one must make sincere repentance from all major sins ( in order for them to be expiated).

The aforementioned hadith of Abu Hurairah informs that those three elements mentioned within the hadith are an expiation for past sins. Therefore, it is understood (after combining all the hadiths related to Laylatul Qadr) that one receives this expiation of sins even if one was unaware of the specific night of Laylatul Qadr. And as for the fasting of Ramadan, then one receives this expiation upon commencement of the month. It is also said that one receives expiation for the fasting of Ramadan the last night of the month. The proof for this is what is recorded in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad on the authority of Abu Hurairah who said:

Those fasting will be forgiven the last night in Ramadan. The people said: Oh Messenger of Allah, will this take place on Laylatul Qadr? The Messenger “salAllahu alayhi wa salem- responded: “No, verily the worker receives his pay upon completion of his duties”

The author later states: Az Zuhree used to mention:

On the day of Fitr (eid), once the people gather to perform the prayer Allah will look at them and say:

“Oh my servants, verily for Me you fasted, and for Me you stood in prayer! Return (to your homes), indeed your sins are forgiven.”

The author later states: The person who fasts and performs all other obligatory actions is from the best servants of Allah. And those who are negligent in fulfilling their obligations and do not give Allah His full due, then woe be to them. If the individual who deals unjustly with the scales (Mutaffif) in this worldly life is warned of a terrible punishment, then what is the case with the individual who deals unjustly with the scales of the hereafter!

(Poetry)

Tomorrow the souls will be granted what they worked for, and the farmers will harvest what they planted. If they did good, then they did so for themselves, and if they did evil, then what terrible actions they have prepared.

The Salaf worked diligently in perfecting their actions and making them faultless, then after that, they showed great concern for acceptance of their actions. They did this because they feared that their actions would be rejected. They are those who gave what was incumbent upon them while their hearts were in a state of fear. It is reported that Ali bin Abi Taleb said:

Be more concerned that your actions are accepted than your concern of performing the action itself.

Did you not hear the statement of Allah:

{Verily Allah only accepts the actions of the Mutaqeen (pious)}

Fudalah said: For me to know that Allah has accepted from me an action the size of a mustard seed, is more beloved to me than this world and everything within it. This is because of the statement of Allah:

{Verily Allah only accepts the actions of the Mutaqeen (pious)}

Malik bin Dinar said:

Fear that an action is not accepted is more difficult than performing the action itself.

“Ataa as Sulamee stated:

The pious fear that their righteous actions were not done sincerely for Allah.

Abdul Azeez ibn Abee Ruwaad said:

I have met people very diligent in performing actions, and upon completion of those actions they are faced with sadness in fear of the action being accepted or not.

Some Salaf used to say:

The people of the past would supplicate 6 months to Allah to allow them to reach the month of Ramadan, and then upon completion of the month, they would again supplicate 6 months (begging) for acceptance of their fast.

Some of the Salaf would display sadness on the day of Eid. It was said to them: This is a day of happiness and joy! They would respond: You have spoken the truth, but I am a servant, my Lord has ordered me to perform an action but I am not sure if He will accept it from me or not.

Wahb noticed people laughing on the day of Eid, upon seeing this he stated: If their fast was accepted, then know that this is not the action of those who are grateful, and if it was not accepted, then this is not the action of those who are afraid.

Hasan (al Basri) stated:

Indeed Allah has made Ramadan a means of gain for His creation. (Within this month) they race to gain His pleasure through obedience to Him. Some individuals will gain (win), while others will remain back and lose. It is amazing to see a person playing and laughing on a day that the good doers will be rewarded, and the wrong doers will be defeated.

It is reported that Ali bin Abee Talib would call out on the last day of Ramadan:

Where is the winner so that we may congratulate him, and where is the loser so that we may give him condolences. Oh winner, we congratulate you! Oh loser, may Allah give you ease in your time of calamity!

The author continued to say: The blessed month of Ramadan has within it several means of forgiveness, and from them:

– Feeding the fasting person
– Lightening the burden (work) of the slave
– Remembrance of Allah

It is stated in a hadith:

“The one who remembers Allah in Ramadan will have his sins forgiven, and the one who calls on Him will not be disappointed”

(Continued means of forgiveness)

– Seeking forgiveness
– The supplication of the fasting individual is answered during the fast and at the time of breaking it.

It is reported that Abu Hurairah said:

Everyone will be forgiven except he who rejects. Those around him asked: Oh Abu Hurairah, who will reject? He responded: The one who does not seek Allah”s forgiveness has rejected.

(continued reasons for forgiveness)

– The Angels will seek forgiveness for the fasting person until they break their fast.

Due to these numerous means of forgiveness during the month of Ramadan, the one who misses this great opportunity has indeed been afflicted with extreme, great lose. The Messenger “salAllahu alayhi wa salem- climbed the minbar and said:

“Ameen, Ameen, Ameen”

The companions inquired concerning this, and he responded:

“Verily Jabriel approached me and said: Whomsoever reaches the month of Ramadan but does not have his sins forgiven before his death and due to this he enters the Hell-fire, may Allah distance this person” Jabriel then ordered me to say Ameen, so I said Ameen. (Ibn Hiban)

Qatadah said:

It used to be said: Whoever does not have his sins forgiven in Ramadan, he will not have his sins forgiven in other than Ramadan (meaning: if one did not take advantage of such great opportunity in Ramadan, more than likely he will not take advantage of any other opportunity). There is also a hadith similar to this, its wording is: “Whoever does not receive forgiveness in Ramadan, then when will he receive forgiveness?”

The author continues to state: When will a person be forgiven if he is not forgiven in this month?! When will a person”s actions be accepted if they are not accepted on Laylatul Qadr?! When will a person correct their affairs if they can”t correct them in Ramadan?! When will a person correct himself from the disease of negligence and ignorance?!

The author later says:

Indeed the day of Fitr is an Eid (celebration) for the whole Ummah, this is because the sinners who fasted the month will be forgiven and saved from the Hell-fire. When this takes place, the sinners will join with the righteous (on the day of Eid). Just as the day of Nahr (Eid celebrating the conclusion of Hajj) is considered the Great Eid (Eid al Akbar), because before this day is the day of Arafat. There is no day of the year that more people will be freed from the Hell-fire than this day. Therefore, whoever is freed from the Hell-fire during these two times of the year (Ramadan, Dhul Hijjah) enjoys two days of celebration (Eid al Fitr, Eid al Adha), and whoever is not freed from the Hell-fire will bear a day of torture.

Due to forgiveness and salvation from the Hell-fire being related to fasting the month of Ramadan and standing in prayer during this month, Allah has ordered that glorification and gratitude are shown to Him upon completion of the month. He said:

{” in order for you to complete the prescribed amount of days and to glorify Allah for guiding you and so that you may show gratitude}

Therefore, one shows gratitude due to the blessing of Allah in allowing one to fast and pray, His assistance to the servant and His forgiveness of his sins and his salvation from the Hell-fire. Due to all of these blessings, one is instructed to remember Allah and show gratitude to Him, and fear Him with true fear.

Oh you, who your Lord has freed from the fire, be warned of returning to the servitude of the wretched after being freed! Will your Lord distance you from the fire, while you seek to become nearer to it?! He (Allah) saved you from it, while you seek to throw yourself in it, and don”t care to protect yourself from it! If mercy is shown to the good doers, then the wrong doer should not despair from it, and if forgiveness is shown to those who have piety, then one who has wronged himself will not be deprived of it.

(Poetry)

Oh Allah, if the only one that calls on You is the good doer, then who should the sinner call on!

Why should we despair of the pardoning of our Lord, and how can one not seek His gentleness?! It is mentioned in a hadith that Allah is more forgiving and merciful to His servants than their own mothers. Allah says:

{Oh My servants who have wronged themselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah, verily He forgives all sins}

Oh sinner -and all of us are sinners, do not despair from the mercy of Allah because of your evil deeds. How many people will be freed from the Hell-fire during these days, and their affair is similar to yours. It is upon you to think good of your Lord, and repent to Him, for verily no one will be destroyed except he who destroys (himself).

(Poetry)

If your sins are harming you, then cure them by raising your hands during the dark night. Do not despair from the mercy of Allah, for verily your despairing from His mercy is a greater fault than the sin you committed.

It is incumbent upon one who desires salvation from the Hell-fire to perform the actions that warrant this salvation”.

The author continues to say: The declaration of Tawheed eliminates sins and wipes them away. No sin will remain nor will any action out weight Tawheed, and it is similar to freeing a slave which warrants one’s salvation from the Hell-fire”.

He further says: As for the speech of Istigfar (Kalimat al Istigfar), then it is the greatest reason for forgiveness. Verily Istigfar means supplication for forgiveness, and the supplication of the fasting individual is answered while he is fasting, and at the time of breaking the fast.

Hasan (al Basri) said:

Increase in you seeking of forgiveness, for verily you don’t know when the mercy of Allah will befall you.

Luqman said to his son:

Oh my son, condition your tongue to constantly seek forgiveness from Allah. Verily Allah has specific hours that He does not reject supplication.

There is also a narration that Shaytan mentioned:

I have destroyed mankind with sins, and they have destroyed me with La ilaaha illa Allah and Istigfar.

Istigfar is the conclusion of all actions. One completes prayer with istigfar, along with Hajj and night prayer. It is also used to close gatherings. If these gatherings are gatherings of obedience, then istigfar is considered a brand to the gathering. But if the gathering was one of vein talk, then istigfar is considered expiation. Likewise, it is befitting that one concludes the month Ramadan with istigfar. Umar bin Abdul Azeez wrote to his governors informing them to end the month of Ramadan with istigfar and charity (sadaqatu fitr), for verily sadaqatu fitr is a means of purification for the fasting person from vein talk and lude acts, and istigfar mends the fault caused by actions that harm one”s fast. Umar bin Abdul Azeez mentioned in his letter:

Say as your father Adam -alayhi salam- has said:

{Oh my Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will be from the losers}

And say as Nuh -alayhi salam- has said:

{If you do not forgive me and have mercy upon me, I will be from the losers}

And say as Musa -alayhi salam- has said:

{Oh my Lord, I have wronged myself, so forgive me}

And say as Dhu Nun -alayhi salam- has said:

{There is no deity worthy of worship except You, glory be to You, indeed I have been amongst the oppressors}

The author continues: Fasting is a fortress from the Hell-fire, as long as one does not damage his fortress with evil talk. Istigfar patches what harms this fortress.

The Messenger “salAllahu alayhi wa salem- instructed ‘Aisha on the night of Laylatul Qadr to seek pardoning from Allah, this is because the believer is diligent in fasting and standing the full month of Ramadan, and once the end of the month nears and Laylatul Qadr approaches, one is instructed to ask pardon from Allah due to the deficiency present during the month.

Yahya bin Muaadh said:

The smart individual is not the one whose greatest goal is other than seeking the pardon of Allah. (The smart individual is not the one who) seeks forgiveness with his tongue, while his heart is firmly attached to sin, and he truly intends to return to sin after the completion of Ramadan. This individual’s fast is rejected, and acceptance is closed in his face.

Ka’b said:

Whoever fasts Ramadan while inwardly saying: Once the month is over, I will disobey Allah; this person’s fasting is rejected. And whoever fasts the month while inwardly saying: Upon completion of the month, I won’t disobey Allah, this person will enter Jannah without questioning or debate.

The author further states: Oh servants of Allah, indeed the month of Ramadan has prepared to leave, and nothing remains except a few more days. Whoever has done well during the month should continue to do well, and whoever was deficient, should try to end the month in good, for indeed actions are according to their completion. Therefore, take advantage of what remains of the month, and give the month the best farewell and peace.

The hearts of the believers yearn for this month and morn over its departure. If this is the case with those who have gained during this month, then what is the case with those who have been negligent during its days and nights? What will the crying of this negligent person benefit him, when his trial and calamity is so great and tremendous? How many times was this poor individual advised, but he did not accept this advice! How many times was he called to correction, but he did not answer this call! How many people did he view gaining in this month, while he distanced himself from gain! How many times have the obedient passed him by, while he sat! (And now) time is constrained and reality has befallen him, now he regrets, but there is no benefit in this regret.

Trans. Note: This is a small, quick translation of a portion of Ibn Rajab”s book: Lataif al Maa”rif. A portion of this book pertaining to Ramadan was summarized by Sheikh Abdur Rahman bin Muhammed bin Qassim “the compiler of Majmu” al Fatawa by Ibn Taymiyyah, with several additions by Sheikh Abdur Rahman himself. May Allah have mercy on Ibn Rajab, Sheikh Abdur Rahman and all the Muslims and forgive us for our shortcomings.

Mustafa George hafidhahullaah
http://knowledgeofislamblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/farewell..