Of Deeds and Lineage

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه

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Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

من أبطأ به عمله لم يسرع به نسبه

“Whoever is delayed (slowed/pulled down) by his own deeds, will not be hastened (pulled up) by his lineage.”

[Abu Daw’ud, 3643; Ibn Maajah, 185 (see also Tirmidhi, 2945) – graded as saheeh by  and al-Albani in ‘Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5715 and 6577]

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Ibn Rajab said in his valuable ‘Jaami’ al-Uloom wal-Hikam’ that the deeds of a slave will be of various levels in the Hereafter, as Allaah سبحانه و تعالى Said:

وَلِكُلٍّ دَرَجَاتٌ مِّمَّا عَمِلُوا

“For all there will be degrees (or ranks) according to what they did.” [Al-Anaam, 132]

And whoever delays his deeds, is diminishing his rank (and opportunity) in attaining higher and elevated position with Allaah. His lineage does not hasten (or help him) in his attainment of the (higher) rank, for Allaah has arranged these ranks and degrees based upon one’s deeds and not on lineage (or genealogy). Allaah سبحانه و تعالى Said:

فَإِذَا نُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَلَا أَنسَابَ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَلَا يَتَسَاءَلُونَ

“Then, when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no kinship among them that Day, nor will they ask of one another.” [Al-Mu’minoon, 101]

Allaah has enjoined upon us to hasten towards His Forgiveness and Mercy through our actions; as He Said:

وَسَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِي

“And march forth (hasten) towards the forgiveness from your Rabb, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the Muttaqoon.” [Al-Mu’minoon, 133]

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And Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has provided us with profound examples from the lives of the Prophets, where some of their family members were not sufficed with their ties and noble lineage with the Prophets. Ibraheem’s father did not benefit from his relationship with his son and was of the losers – see Saheeh al-Bukhari, 3350

Nooh عليه السلام did not benefit his son when he called out:

رَبِّ إِنَّ ابْنِي مِنْ أَهْلِي

“O my Rabb! Verily, my son is of my family…” [Hud, 46]

Allaah سبحانه و تعالى responded:

يَا نُوحُ إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ أَهْلِكَ ۖ إِنَّهُ عَمَلٌ غَيْرُ صَالِحٍ ۖ فَلَا تَسْأَلْنِ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۖ إِنِّي أَعِظُكَ أَن تَكُونَ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِي

“O Nooh! Surely, he is not of your family; verily, his work is unrighteous, so ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge. I admonish you lest you should be one of the ignorant.” [Hud, 47]

(See also At-Tahreem, 10)

 

Righteousness is something that should be inherited from parents and kindred. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى did not consider the relationship between two of the greatest Prophet kings. It was narrated that Da’wud عليه السلام said:

إلهي كن لسليمان كما كنت لي  فأوحى الله عز وجل إليه: أن قل لسليمان أن يكون لي كما كنت لي أكن له كما كنت لك
“My illah, be to my son Sulayman, as you were to me”. So Allaah عز وجل inspired to him that: “Tell Sulayman to be for me as you were to me, and surely I will be to him as I were to you.” [Tareekh ad-Dimashq 22/238; Tafseer ibn Katheer 7/73; Bustaan al-‘Arifeen of an-Nawawi, p.45; Manhaj al-Tarbiyah al-Nabawiyah lil-Tifl, p.33]

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When the ayah: وَأَنذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ الْأَقْرَبِي  “And warn your nearest kinsmen” [Ash-Shu’ara’, 214] was revealed, the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم gathered Al-Quraysh and he addressed them both in general and specific terms, he said:

يا معشر قريش , اشتروا أنفسكم من الله , لا أغني عنكم من الله شيئاً , يا صفيّة عمّة رسول الله , لا أغني عنك من الله شيئاً , يا فاطمة بنت محمد سليني من مالي ما شئت لا أغني عنك من الله شيئاً

“O assembly of Quraysh, save yourselves from (the punishment) of Allaah, I cannot do anything for you (to protect you from Allaah). O Saffiyah the (paternal) aunt of the Messenger of Allaah, I do not have anything (with which to protect you) from Allah. O Fatimah bint Muhammad, Ask me of what I have of wealth anything you wish; I do not have anything (with which to protect you) from Allah.”  [see also Saheeh al-Bukhari, 2753 and 4771]

And he صلى الله عليه وسلم is also reported to have said:

يا بني هاشم , لا يأتيني الناس بأعمالهم وتأتوني بأنسابكم

“O Bani Hashim, do not come to me (on the Day of Judgement) without (righteous) deeds because of your lineage (to me).” [‘Ahkam al-Qur’an al-Jasaas’]

Linguistically the word ‘Aal’ is not confined to mean the immediate family of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, scholars explain that it incorporates relations of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and all his true followers and supporters from the ummah until the Last Day – be he a foreigner from among them or an Arab. The usage of the word ‘Aal’ is also precedented in the Qur’an, for example:

النَّارُ يُعْرَضُونَ عَلَيْهَا غُدُوًّا وَعَشِيًّا ۖ وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ أَدْخِلُوا آلَ فِرْعَوْنَ أَشَدَّ الْعَذَابِ

“The Fire, they are exposed to it, morning and afternoon. And on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the Angels): “Cause Fir’awn’s Aal to enter the severest torment!” [Al-Ghafir, 46]

And this obviously excludes the wife of Fir’awn, who was a pious believer and described as one of the best four women from mankind.

In regards to the family of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, it is reported that Al-Hasan ibn Al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (the great grandson of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to a person from the Rafidah Shi’a:

“Love us, but if we disobey Allaah, then hate us; for if Allaah was going to benefit anyone because of his relation to the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم without obedience (to Allaah), He would have benefited the mother and father (of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم).”  [Al-Dhahabi, ‘Siyar A’laam An-Nubala’, 4/486 – see also Saheeh Muslim 203 and its respective commentary for further details]

Allaah سبحانه و تعالى Said:

وَأَن لَّيْسَ لِلْإِنسَانِ إِلَّا مَا سَعَ

“And that man can have nothing but what he does (good or bad).” [An-Najm, 39]

Allaah سبحانه و تعالى also Said:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمْ وَاخْشَوْا يَوْمًا لَّا يَجْزِي وَالِدٌ عَن وَلَدِهِ وَلَا مَوْلُودٌ هُوَ جَازٍ عَن وَالِدِهِ شَيْئًا

“O mankind! Be afraid of your Rabb, and fear a Day when no father can avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for his father…” [Luqman, 33]

Allaah سبحانه و تعالى also Said:

إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ

“Verily, the most honourable of you with Allaah is the (believer) who has At-Taqwa.” [Al-Hujurat, 13]

(See also Al-Ma’arij, 10-15 and Abasa, 34-37 and others)

These narrations and Ayaat are exhortations to believe and to do good deeds, and not to rely on one’s kinship, however noble, virtuous and honourable it may be. Thus, the one who indulges in bad deeds and delays (is negligent) in performing good deeds, any honour of his lineage will not benefit him in the Hereafter in raising of his rank and status… He who fails in his deeds, his lineage will do nothing to bring him closer to the mercy of his Rabb.

The Ahl al-Bayt are loved and honoured because of their love and allegiance to the truth, supporting and implementing the guidance of Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم. If any of them believe and act contrary to this, then they forfeit this honour and respect in the eyes of the ummah.

Allah knows best.

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