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The Wicked Scholar ☢

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Scholars of Islam have a special place in our Deen because they are the inheritors of the Prophetic Message and are commissioned to solicit the truth and bring people to the truth. They should not call to themselves or to others whom usurp the truth or seek to undermine the laws and Commands of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ. Allah Almighty جل جلاله exhorts scholars with piety and righteousness:

كُونُوا رَبَّانِيِّينَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تُعَلِّمُونَ الْكِتَابَ وَبِمَا كُنتُمْ تَدْرُسُونَ

…Be you Rabbaniyyoon , because you are teaching the Book, and you are studying it.”  [Aal-Imran, 79]

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The ‘Rabbaniyoon’ are learned men of religion who practise what they know and preach to others. The Rabbani is the one who does not choose anyone over his Lord (Rabb); and the word itself is derived from (the word) ‘Ruboobiyya’ – the specifics of which is that Allah alone provides for the needs – spiritual and material – of the believers, and sustains them and takes care of them.

People whose religious knowledge is derived from the Knowledge of Allah, which He bestows upon them, are those who are elevated in degree by virtue of that Knowledge. This is also why scholars and the learned have special virtue, as Allah جل جلاله Said:

اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ

“Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge”  [Al-Mujaadilah, 11]

Thus, not every learned scholar is necessarily pious. The sincere people of knowledge have always spoke about the ulama’ al-shuuw’  [evil scholars], and the damage such people inflict upon the religiosity of their communities and their consequently, their Deen. Imam Al-Dhahabi رحمه الله for example, said in regards to the characteristics of the wicked and harmful scholar who causes loss and damage to the religion he represents:

‏علماء السوء يُحسِّنون للأمراء ما يقتحمون به من الظلم، ويَقلبون لهم الباطل، أو يسكتون مع القدرة على بيان الحق

“Evil scholars are those who persist (supporting and) doing good towards the umara’ [ruling authorities] by protecting (and appeasing) them – even when they are unjust (and oppressive). This way, they cause them to alter their outlook into falsehood, or by remaining silent when having the ability to manifest the truth.”  [Siyar A’lam An-Nubala’, 7/125]

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen رحمه الله said in his, ‘Liqa’ Bab al-Maftooh’, 9/112:

‏أكثر العلماء اليوم إما علماء دولة وإما علماء أمة، وقل من يكون من علماء الملة

“Many scholars of today are either scholars of state, or scholars of the ummah; and lesser still are the (real) scholars of the millah [i.e. Deen].”

He further elaborates these categories in his highly beneficial commentary, ‘Sharh Riyadus-Saliheen’, 4/307:

ليس كل عالم يكون ثقة، فالعلماء ثلاثة: علماء ملة، وعلماء دولة، وعلماء أمة. أما علماء الملة – جعلنا الله وإياكم منهم – فهؤلاء يأخذون بملة الإسلام وبحكم الله ورسوله صلى الله عليه وسلم، ولا يبالون بأحد كائناً من كان. وأما علماء الدولة فينظرون ماذا يريد الحاكم، يصدرون الأحكام على هواه، ويحاولون أن يلووا أعناق النصوص من الكتاب والسنة حتى تتفق مع هوى هذا الحاكم، وهؤلاء علماء دولة خاسرون، وأما علماء الأمة فهم الذين ينظرون إلى اتجاه الناس، هل يتجه الناس إلى تحليل هذا الشيء فيحلونه، أو إلى تحريمه فيحرمونه، ويحاولون أيضاً أن يلووا أعناق النصوص إلى ما يوافق هوى الناس

“Not every scholar is considered trustworthy. The scholars are of three type: scholars of the millah [Deen], scholars of state, and scholars of the ummah. As for the scholars of the millah – may Allah make you and me from them – They receive and take the Deen of Islam and rule according to what Allah and His Messenger ﷺ command with, not caring for who anyone else is. As for the scholars of state, they see what the ruler wants and they make judgments according to his desires. They try to blindly approach the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah so that it conforms and agrees with the state ruler’s edict. And such scholars of state are the real losers.

As for the scholars of the ummah, they are those who look at the orientation (and trend) of the people; considering if the people will allow and permit this thing in their favour, or prohibit it as impermissible? These scholars also try deafly wrapping the divine texts to what the people agree with, and so conform to what they like.”

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May Allah keep us connected with our true scholars, who sincerely serve the Deen without fear or favour. Ameen.

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The Uthmani Dawn ☀

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The nascent Ottoman Sultanate was founded at the end of the thirteenth century in northwestern Anatolia in the modern-day Bilecik Province in Turkey. The Oghuz Turks rallied around their tribal leader Osman in what was then, a small emirate – which was later to be transformed into a trans-continental empire in the centuries after his death, becoming the premier super power.  It is thus, always refreshing to learn about aspects of the values and visions these tribes held, by which Allah blessed them with honour and victory and in turn, reignited the pride of the Muslim world.

The following are excerpts from the wise counsel of Ameer Osman ibn Ertugrul (d.726H) – the founder of the Uthmani Sultanate – to his noble son and successor, Orhan I. On his deathbed, Osman called his son and imparted several pieces of gem, whose effects continued to define the character of early Uthmani leadership.

The Wise Counsel

يا بني: إذا واجهتْك في الحكم معضلةٌ فاتخذ من مشورة علماء الدين موئلًا

“O my son: If you encounter a dilemma in making judgment, seek advice from scholars of the deen.”

يا بني: لا يغرَّك الشيطانُ بجندك ومالك، وإياك أنْ تبتعدَ عن أهل الشريعة

“O my son: Do not let shaytan tempt you with your armed forces and wealth. And you should not turn away from the people of shari’ah.”

 يا بني: لسنا من هؤلاء الذين يقيمون الحروبَ لشهوةِ الحكم، أو سيطرةِ أفراد

“O my son: We are not among those who wage wars for the lust of power, or for dominating over individuals.”

يا بني: أوصيك بعلماء الأمة، أدِمْ رعايتَهم، وأكثِر من تبجيلهم، وانزِل على مشورتهم، فانهم لا يأمرون إلا بخير

“O my son: I advise you with the scholars of the ummah, take care of their needs and hold them in much esteem. And reach out to consult with them, for they don’t command anything except with goodness.”

يا بني: إياك أن تفعل أمرًا لا يُرضي الله عز وجل، وإذا صعب عليك أمرٌ فاسأل علماءَ الشريعة، فإنهم سيدلُّونك على الخير

“O my son: Do not enact an order that earns the displeasure of Allah. And if it becomes difficult for you, then ask the scholars of shari’ah, for they’ll guide you to goodness.”

واعلم يا بني: أنَّ طريقنا الوحيدَ في هذه الدنيا هو طريق الله، وأنَّ مقصدَنا الوحيدَ هو نشرُ دين الله، وأننا لسنا طلابَ جاهٍ ولا دنيا

“And know O my son: That our sole path in this dunya is the path of Allah. And that our only purpose is to spread the deen of Allah, and that we are not seekers of status/fame and dunya.”

يا بني: ليس في الدنيا أحدٌ لا تخضع رقبتُه للموت، وقد اقترب أجلي بأمر الله جل جلاله، أسلمك هذه الدولةَ وأستودعك المولى عز وجل، اعدِل في جميع شؤونك

“O my son: There is none in the dunya who does not succumb to death. I’m drawing near (to death) by the Will of Allah Almighty. I hand over to you the reigns of this dawlah, and I entrust you to the Almighty. Be just and fair in all your affairs.”

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References:

📗 العثمانيون في التاريخ والحضارة لأستاذي لدكتور المؤرِّخ محمد حرب: ص16
📗 تاريخ الدولة العثمانية للدكتور الصلابي: ص49

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Essence of Eloquence 💫

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Imam Abi Al-Qasim, Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi al-Gharnati al-Andalusi (d.741H) wrote the following lines of beautiful poetry in attempting to delineate his feelings towards the act of praising the noble Prophet  ﷺ:

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اروم امتداح المصطفى ويردني
قصوري عن ادراك تلك المناقب
ومن لي بحصر البحر والبحر زاخر
ومن لي باحصاء الحصى والكواكب
ولو ان اعضائي غدت السنا اذا
لما بلغت في المدح بعض مارب
ولو ان كل العالمين تسابقوا
الى مدحه لم يبلغوا بعض واجب
فامسكت عنه هيبة وتادبا
وعجزا واعظاما لارفع جانبي
ورب سكوت كان فيه بلاغة
ورب كلام فيه عتب لعاتب

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❝ I desired to praise Al Mustafa, being hindered by my own inability to grasp the extent of his immaculacy.

How can one such as I confine the ocean, when the ocean is vast? And how can one such as I count the stones and the stars?

If all of my limbs were to become tongues, even then I couldn’t begin to praise him as intended.

And if all of creation gathered to compete in attempting to praise him, even then they would fall short in his due.

I have altogether ceased trying – awestruck, clinging to courtesy, laced by timidity in glorifying his most lofty rank.

Indeed, sometimes silence has within it, an essence of eloquence. And often speech becomes mere fuel for those who like to find fault. ❞

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Reference:

ابن جزي ومنهجه في التفسير 2/236


Nurturing Nascent Strengths

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Muslims are encouraged to enact deeds to the very end of their lives. People seeking happiness at the end of their lives will facilitate working righteous deeds that will lead to that happiness sought. Imam Malik رحمه الله once received a letter from a close friend of his named ‘Abdullah al-Umari, he was a person known for being diligent in worship. In the letter, he advised Imam Malik not to be excessive in sitting and teaching hadeeth in Madinah, and that he should spend time alone in order to perform a lot of worship.

Imam Malik responded with a profound and sufficiently apt statement (found in Ibn Abd Al-Barr’s Al-Tamheed, 7/185):

إن الله عز و جل قسم الأعمال كما قسم الأرزاق فرب رجل فتح له في الصلاة ولم يفتح له في الصوم وآخر فتح له في الصدقة ولم يفتح له في الصوم وآخر فتح له في الجهاد ولم يفتح له في الصلاة ونشر العلم وتعليمه من أفضل أعمال البر

“Indeed Allah Almighty has divided deeds (of His servants) just as He has divided their sustanence. A person for whom salah is made easy may not have fasting made easy for him. And for another, sadaqah may be made easy but not fasting. And for another, striving in the path of Allah may be made easy but not salah or spreading of knowledge or teaching it from the preferred deeds of goodness and piety…”

Then he continued:

وقد رضيت بما فتح الله لي من ذلك وما أظن ما أنا فيه بدون ما أنت فيه وأرجو أن يكون كلنا على خير ويجب على كل واحد منا أن يرضى بما قسم الله له والسلام

“And I am pleased that Allah has made easy for me such (teaching of knowledge). And I think what I am occupied with is not the same [i.e. not lower in rank] as what you are occupied with, and I hope that both of us are upon khayr. And it is wajib upon every one of us to be pleased with the division Allah Has granted (and made easy). Salaam be to you.”

Our deen does not require from us to become all things or to partake in everything that the deen permits. Neither does it encourage us to take up roles and responsibilities for which we are neither ready nor prepared. Yet each of us are tasked to perform duties and obligations as servants of Allah, and work towards providing benefits according to each person’s genuine potential.

Those who hold important roles may influence decisions for the betterment of communities. Those who are given excess wealth may benefit others who are in need. Those who are granted understanding of deen may extend its benefits to the rest. However, we see in many cases people are sacrificing time and effort and wealth, so as to merely develop their potential in things that bring no benefit at all.

And tawfeeq is from Allah alone.

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The Dynamic Trio ✨

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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It is often the case with today’s Muslim youth that by gaining a cursory understanding of the lives of the early great Muslims, it is sometimes 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]


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