Do not search for them

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

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Abu Tha’labah al-Khushani Jurthoom bin Nashir رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said:

إنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى فَرَضَ فَرَائِضَ فَلَا تُضَيِّعُوهَا، وَحَدَّ حُدُوْدًا فَلَا تَعْتَدُوهَا، وَحَرَّمَ أَشْيَاءَ فَلَا تَنْتَهِكُوهَا، وَسَكَتَ عَنْ أَشْيَاءَ رَحْمَةً لَكُمْ غَيْرَ نِسْيَانٍ، فَلَا تَبْحَثُوا عَنْهَا

“Verily Allah, The Most High, has prescribed (religious) obligations, so do not neglect them. He set limits, so do not transgress them. He made forbidden some things, so do not violate them. He remained silent about some things as a mercy for you and not due to forgetfulness; so do not search for them.”

[Daraqutni, 4/185 and others – graded as saheeh by Ibn Qayyim, ‘I’lam al-Muwwaqi’een’, 1/221; Ibn Katheer in his Tafseer, 1/405; Ahmad Shakir, ‘Umdah at-Tafseer’, 1/744′; graded as hasan by An-Nawawi, ‘Al-Adhkaar’, 505; Ibn Hajar said it has supporting witness, ‘Fath al-Bari’ 13/280; Al-Albani said the isnad was manqatu’, and graded it hasan li ghayrihi in ‘Sharh Tahawiyah’, 302; Ibn Wazeer al-Yamani said it was proven in his ‘Al-Awasim wal-Qawasim’, 2/143]

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Ibn al-‘Uthaymeen رحمه الله تعالى commented on this narration in his Sharh al-Arba’een an-Nawawi and explained that “He remained silent about some things as a mercy for you and not due to forgetfulness; so do not search for them” means silence in matters where He سبحانه و تعالى did not deprive people of, nor imposed upon them. Silence in the sense that He did not Say anything in enjoining or forbidding the matter. And He سبحانه و تعالى did not forget or leave matters by mistake because (as He Said): “your Rabb is never forgetful” [Maryam, 64], but it is from His Mercy for His Creation so that they do not narrow it (i.e. His Mercy).

“So do not search for them” means do not ask questions or dig into (hypothetical) questions etc. He رحمه الله تعالى provides a practical example of this, and continues to impart further benefits from the beautiful hadeeth.

The Sahabah used to ask questions that were relevant and practical to their situation and impacting them personally. Ibn ‘Umar رضي الله عنه warned against asking hypothetical questions and his father رضي الله عنه is known to have cursed those who did so. Ad-Darimi records a narration from Al-Qasim who said, ”You are inquisitive about matters that were never queried into. Queries such as the ones you raise were unknown to us…” And ‘Amr Ibn Is-haq said: ”I have met more of the Companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم than I have missed; I have never seen people who were more easygoing and less pedantic (i.e. nit-picking/hairsplitting) than them.” And also ‘Ubadah al-Kindi was asked a question concerning a woman who died as a stranger among the people, without having any male guardian. He said: ”I had the opportunity of meeting with people who were never as pedantic as you are, or as inquisitive as you are.”

There is far more to keep us busy with things that Islam has obligated as well as recommended, and to avoid what has been prohibited and disliked, than to chase/crave topics and issues where the Deen remains silent upon – thereby confusing ourselves and confusing others when there is no real genuine or practical need for it, thus risk falling into doubtful/sinful matters.

May Allah give us the Tawfeeq to stay away from that which does not concern us.

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