The Dynamic Trio ✨

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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It is often the case with today’s youth Muslims that by gaining a cursory understanding of the lives of the early great Muslims, they find it difficult to grasp the vigour and determination they possessed; and their tenacity for knowledge and Deen. It is for these reasons that Allah granted them a lofty status and made them examples for the future generations to follow. A glimpse into one such episode is what has been recorded by Imam Ibn al-Jawzi in his work, ‘Manaqib Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal’, 2/31 (chapter 58):

Hilal ibn al-‘Ala narrated:

خَرج الشافعي ويحيى بن معين وأحمد بن حنبل إلى مكة؛ فلما أن صاروا بمكة نزلوا في موضع، فأما الشافعي، فإنه استلقى، ويحيى بن مَعين أيضًا استلقى، وأحمد بن حنبل قائم يُصلي، فلما أصبحوا قال الشافعي: لقد عملتُ للمسلمين مئتي مسألة وقيل ليحيى بن معين: أي شيءٍ عملت؟ قال: نَفيتُ عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم مِئتي كذاب وقيل لأحمد بن حنبل: فأنت؟ قال: صليتُ ركعات ختمتُ فيها القُرآن

Al-Shafi’i, Yahya ibn Ma’een, and Ahmad ibn Hanbal traveled to Makkah. When they reached the place where they were staying, al-Shafi’i lay down to rest and so did Yahya. Ahmad however, stayed up to pray salah.

The next morning al-Shafi’i said (of the prior night), “I’ve worked out two hundred legal matters for (the benefit of) Muslims.” What did you do?” they asked Yahya. “I’ve refuted two hundred lies told against the Prophet ﷺ.” They turned to Ahmad ibn Hanbal and asked, “What about you?” He replied, “I prayed two rak’at in which I completed the entire Qur’an.”

The himmah (aspired strength) and the juhud (striving) is a notable and recurring feature in their lives. May Allah grant them His Pleasure and infinite mercy, and inspire us with the legacy they’ve left behind. Ameen.

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[Note: For short inspirational reminders, you may join us at:  t.me/mirqat]

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Mixing and Enduring

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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‘Abd Allah bin ‘Umar رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

المؤمن الذي يخالط الناس و يصبر على أذاهم ، أفضل من المؤمن الذي لا يخالط الناس و لا يصبر على أذاهم

“The believer who mixes (and associates) with people and patiently endures (and tolerates) their injury is better than the believer who does not mix with people and does not patiently endure their injury.” [1]

This narration has many profound benefits, from them are the following three:

1. The word أذاهم means more than injury, it denotes every type of damage or offense or annoyance caused by people, whether physical, verbal or mental. The most glaring example would by the bitter harsh experience of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم himself when he travelled to Ta’if to invite its people to Islam. His صلى الله عليه وسلم composure and manner in face of severe physical injury and verbal attacks suffered at the hands and tongues of the people epitomises a moral standing in the history of this ummah that will continue to guide Muslims until the Last Day.

2. It is necessary for Muslims in general and the preachers in particular to be patient with the people for any harm they may encounter, to recognise the reward for such an attitude and always show discerning acumen. Any suffering experienced while standing for the truth is indeed greatly rewarded – and that patience, compassion and mercy must not be compromised when delivering the message of Islam. Allah سبحانه و تعالى Said to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم regarding his gentleness:

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ ۖ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ

“And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you; so pass over (their faults), and ask (Allah’s) Forgiveness for them; and consult them in the affairs…” [2]

4. This profound Ayah provides a blueprint for the type of characteristics one should adopt in dealing with people around them. Not only does it call for being polite and gentle and overlooking their faults, while seeking Allah’s guidance for them, it also asks to be empathetic to their situation and to discuss their affairs in bringing about mutual understanding and reasoning. Qatadah said about the words: ولو كنت فظا غليظ القلب لانفضوا من حولك – that Allah cleansed him صلى الله عليه وسلم from (using) vulgar language and cruelty and made him (become) closer to the believers through his (adapting of) mercy…” [3]. This can only be achieved when one excels in morality. As Allah سبحانه و تعالى Said:

وَلَمَن صَبَرَ وَغَفَرَ إِنَّ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ لَمِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ

“And whosoever shows patience and forgives, verily that would be from (the resolute) things recommended (by Allah).” [4]

 

References:

[1] Al-Bukhari, ‘Al-Adab al-Mufrad’, 300; Ibn Majah, 3273; Al-Bayhaqi, 18573 and others – graded as hasan by Ibn Hajar (Bulugh al-Maram, 451), Al-Ajluni (Kashf al-Khafa’, 2/446), Ibn Muflih (Al-Aadab al-Shar’iyyah, 3/449); Al-Manawi and others; Al-Albani said it was saheeh (Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6651 & Silsilat al-Saheehah, 939). See also Saheeh at-Tirmidhi, 2507 with the wording “verily the Muslim who”; Musnad Ahmad, 4875 (7/94), which Ahmad Shakir grading as saheeh; and Saheeh Ibn Majah, 3273 with the wording “has greater reward” and graded as saheeh by al-Albani.

[2] Aal-Imran, 159
[3] See Tafseer Al-Tabari, 8120
[4] Ash-Shoorah, 43

See also, shaykh Waleed al-Sa’eedan’s short commentary: http://www.ahlalhdeeth.com/vb/showthread.php?t=251587


The First Ten Days

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

ما من عملٍ أزكى عند اللهِ ولا أعظمَ أجرًا من خيرٍ يعملُه في عَشرِ الأَضحى

❝ There is no deed that is more virtuous (and purer) with Allah, nor has a greater reward, than enacting goodness in the (first) ten days of sacrifice [i.e. dhul-hijjah]… ❞  [1]

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali رحمه الله commented:

من عجز عن الحج في عام قدر في العشر على عمل يعمله في بيته يكون أفضل من الجهاد الذي هو أفضل من الحج

“Whoever is unable to perform hajj for the year, should magnify the (first) ten days (of dhul-hijjah) and enact good deeds at home. This is better (and more preferred) than  jihad, which itself is better than hajj.” [2]

Al-‘Allamah al-Faqeeh, ibn Salih al-‘Uthaymeen رحمه الله:

فالعمل الصالح في أيام عشر ذي الحجة ومن ذلك الصوم أحب إلى الله من العمل الصالح في العشر الأواخر من رمضان، ومع ذلك فالأيام العشر من ذي الحجة، الناس في غفلة عنها، تَمُرُّ والناس على عاداتهم لا تجد زيادة في قراءة القرآن، ولا العبادات الأخرى بل حتى التكبير بعضهم يشح به

“The good deeds (done) in the (first) ten days of dhul-hijjah – and from them is fasting – are more loved by Allah than the good deeds of the last ten days of Ramadan.

And with that however, people are neglectful of these ten days of dhul-hijjah. People pass by these days upon their usual habits, without finding any increase in reading the Qur’an nor any other acts of ‘ibadat; even to the extent of being stingy in making the (sunnah of) takbeer.” [3]

May Allah grant us the tawfeeq to capitalise on these blessed days that are about to come upon us. Ameen.

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References:

[1]  Saheeh Al-Targheeb, 1148

[2]  Lata’if al-Ma’arif, p.381

[3]  Sharh Al-Mumti’, 6/298

See also: http://bit.ly/2w0mPew


Prowess of a Young Mind

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Ibn ‘Abbas رضي الله عنه was asked, “How did you gain all of this knowledge?” He replied:

بقلب عقول ولسان سؤول

With a discerning heart and an insistent tongue.

Discernment reflects an intellect and ability to judge well, while insistence upon asking questions and seeking clarification reflects a genuine and sincere thirst for knowledge.

‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab رضي الله عنه attested to both of these qualities belonging to Ibn’ Abbas while in his youth. [See, ‘Tareekh Jarjan’, #722]

Yet there was far more to his ingenuity as Ibn Taymiyyah forthwith said, relating a particular distinction of ibn Abbas:

وقد سمعوا ما سمع وحفظوا القرآن كما حفظه، ولكن أرضه كانت من أطيب الأراضي، وأقبلها للزرع، فبذر فيها النصوص

“They (the people) heard what he heard and memorised the Qur’an as he memorised it, however, his land (i.e. Madinah) was from the best of lands, and he settled there to cultivate and sow therein, the (legal) texts.”  [‘Majmu’ al-Fatawa’, 4/93]

He was therefore, shaped by his geography, while learning from the best of people – attaining a broad array of knowledge that not only specialised in tafseer, but enveloped fiqh and hadeeth – leaving a theological legacy and legal jurisprudence of his own, which the Ummah continues to appeal to in understanding fields of knowledge.

Same is also the case for another Companion who achieved a lofty status in knowledge, even as a youth. Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah said in his prized ‘I’lam al-Muwaqqi’een’ (1/24):

‏قال ابن جرير: لم يكن في الصحابة أحدٌ له أصحاٌب معروفون حرّروا فتياه ومذهبَه في الفقه غيرَ ابنِ مسعود

Ibn Jareer (al-Tabari) said, “There was none among the Sahabah known in his youth to have freedom in (forming and choosing matters of) jurisprudence, other than Ibn Mas’ood.”

May Allah make them the best of examples for our own youth to emulate. Ameen.

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Most Hated of Permissible Things

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Allah جل جلاله Said in Suratul Furqan (54):

وَهُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ مِنَ الْمَاءِ بَشَرًا فَجَعَلَهُ نَسَبًا وَصِهْرًا

And it is He who has created from water a human being and made him [a relative by] lineage and marriage…

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It has been narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is reported to have said:

أَبْغَضُ الْحَلاَلِ إِلَى اللَّهِ الطَّلاَقُ

❝ The most hated of permissible things to Allah is divorce. ❞  [1]

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Divorce has become a convenient scourge upon the ‘Ummah today; people easily washing their hands of familial responsibility – wreaking in their midst – devastation in the lives of wives and children; many of whom end up losing their stability and religious identities too. Ending up in the arms of pop culture and hedonistic societal “norms”.

القاعدة التي يوصى بها عند الخلاف بين الزوجين هي ﴿ أمسك عليك زوجك واتق الله ﴾  فلا توصي أحد الزوجين بالانفصال وأنت تجد للوفاق سبيلا

“A (highly advised) fundamental rule when a dispute between spouses arises {Hold on to your husband and fear Allah} It is never recommend that one of the couple disengage (and separate), for you will (eventually) find a path towards conciliation.”

و تذكر ‏المحبة والعلاقة الزوجية الرفيعة لاتأتي بين يوم وليلة! بل هي رصيد ضخم من العطاء والبذل والتضحية والتعاون عبر عقود من الزمن!

“Love and marital bonds are not formed over a day and night, but require a huge deposit of giving, making sacrifice and cooperation over decades!”

فرأو‏لا يصحّ أن يُبنى الزواج على الحبّ وحده إلّا إن صحّ أن تُبنى العمارة الضخمة على أساس من الملح، في مجرى الماء

“(It is also) not true that marriage is built on love alone, it is true however true, that the erection of a tall building is built on the foundation of salt in the (running) stream of water.” In other words, the dynamics of any marital relationship needs to be nurtured and constantly weighed against anything that might risk or upset the harmony between the spouses.

And there are many statements from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab for example, pertaining to maintaining of the Muslim household, even it is requires bearing with a loveless marriage, for the alternative usually fares far worse for all those involved. Problem with many trigger-happy Muslims nowadays is that they act hastily and do not ponder enough over the devastating consequences of divorce.

The Shari’ah has, with all its wisdom and acute acumen of human condition, has provided for separation where the genuine need and betterment of the parties is safeguarded as much as possible. It recognises and caters for exit strategies for the sake of preserving human dignity and sanctity of life and religion. There is a due process, which may also involve counselling and conciliatory approach; the clause must not be abused or taken liberties with.

May Allah strengthen and preserve the bonds of marriage where a workable solution can be found, and separation is not considered the standard solution.

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Further reading:
https://www.islam21c.com/islamic-thought/dont-play-dare-with-divorce/
https://www.islam21c.com/islamic-thought/protecting-a-marriage-from-tearing-apart/

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[1]  A very well-known narration that is found many books of hadeeth. Most scholars classify it as being from the ‘mursal’ narrations, although others have authenticated it to a higher grade. See ‘Sunan Abi Da’wud’, #2178; Al-Bayhaqi, ‘Sunan al-Sagheer’, 3/112; ‘Fath al-Bari’, 9/269; Al-Albani, ‘Irwa’ al-Ghaleel’, 7/108 (and ‘Al-Ta’aliqat’, 2/238); Ibn Baz, ‘Majmu’ Fatawa’, 25/253. See also Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, ‘Sharh Buloogh al-Maram’, 5/4


Habituate Goodness 💫

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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“Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” thus states Newton’s third law of (natural) motion. Whatever may be your action, there is bound to be a reaction; and nothing that illustrates this theory better than the shari’ idea of recompense. Rather, a good action may return a reward greater than the act itself.

It is authentically attributed to the eminent Companion, Ibn Mas’ood رضي الله عنه that he said, when advising people of causes and consequences:

تعودوا الخير فإنما الخير في العادة

Get in the habit of doing good, for indeed doing good becomes habitual. ❞  [Al-Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah, 4/165 (#4993)]

In other words, nurturing and priming oneself to enact good deeds will over time, accustom him to regular fulfillment of that deed. And it is revealed:

هَلْ جَزَاءُ الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ

Is the reward for good (anything) except good? ❞  [Al-Rahman, 60]


Brotherhood Upon Obedience

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Sometimes we become immersed in the daily chores of family life, and an open and deliberate cognisance of the Hereafter takes a back seat. Brothers and friends in Deen on the other hand, push us towards Allah’s dhikr and obedience of Him ﷻ‎.

Al-Hasan al-Basri رحمه الله said in comparing family and brotherhood:

إخواننا أحب إلينا من أهلينا وأولادنا، لأن أهلنا يذكروننا بالدنيا وإخواننا يذكروننا بالله والدار الآخرة

❝ Our ikhwan are more beloved to us than our family members and our children. For our families remind us of the dunya, while our brothers remind us of Allah and the abode of the akhirah. ❞  [Ihya’ Uloom al-Deen]

The importance of brotherhood in Islam is something our Deen has expounded in great detail. Even in today’s world, the virtue of righteous friendship remains highly guarded. However, the intent and love behind such brotherhood needs to move beyond mere worldly reasons and into more loftier motivations.

Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه said, while observing the state of bonds of brotherhood in his own time:

قد صارت عامة مؤاخاة الناس على أمر الدنيا وذلك لا يُجدي على أهله شيئاً

❝ It has generally become such that brotherhood of people is based on matters of the dunya, and it doesn’t notably (and positively) impact a person’s household of anything. ❞  [Kitab al-Zuhd, Ibn al-Mubarak, p.353]

This type of brotherhood that propels righteousness and obedience needs to develop into a mutual longing for the tangible benefits that inspires and influences one’s own personal development and that of those around him. And tawfeeq is from Allah alone.