Category Archives: Adab

Is Seeing Believing?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

رأى عيسى بن مريم رجلا يسرق ، فقال له : أسرقت ؟ قال : كلا ، والله الذي لا إله إلا هو ، فقال عيسى : آمنت بالله ، وكذبت عيني

“Jesus, son of Mary saw a man stealing (something) and asked him, ‘Did you steal?’ He replied, ‘Most definitely not, by Allah besides whom there is no ilah’. Jesus said, ‘I believe in Allah and my eyes have deceived me’.” [1]

Jesus عليهم السلام had such awe for Allah ﷻ that to honour His Mention, he attributed the error to his eyes instead. Ibn Qayyim said, “The truth is that his heart was overwhelmed with (the love of) Allah, and an oath by a liar (in Allah’s Name) made him lay the charge to his eyesight…” [2]

We see in the folds of the story how the great Prophet of Allah attributed the wrong on himself despite the fact he viewed a wrong having taken place. If we compare such attitudes to what we see today of much mistrust and suspicion that occurs between Muslims, for things that may not have even taken place; and where abstracts and hearsay are common; and where even apologies are rarely accepted… far are we from the Words of Allah:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ

“O you who believe! Avoid suspicion much (as possible), for suspicion in some cases is a sin…” [3]

Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

إيَّاكُمْ والظَّنِّ، فإنَّ الظَّنَّ أكْذَبُ الحَدِيثِ

“Beware of conjecture, for conjecture is the most lying of speech” [4]

And contrary to conjecture, there is no doubt that Muslims need to invigorate Ihsan, and show genuine want in securing and safeguarding fraternal relationships. Strong bonds enliven hearts and reassure strength; and as an old Arab saying states, “resisting conjecture, is better than to offend”, so we need to find ways to resist supposition and remove negative temptation from our hearts. Some points of benefit that can be extracted from the original hadeeth are:

1. The humility of Jesus عليهم السلام and his open heart in accepting the witness of his people.
2. His not holding suspicion despite witnessing the theft because of a mighty oath.
3. That theft was a crime in all previous religions before Islam.
4. That the man who stole was likely unbeknown to Jesus عليهم السلام.
5. To maintain husn ad-dhann (having good opinions of others) as a rule, and not to always opt for exceptions to the rule.
6. Reconciling upon genuine goodness is better than to become estranged and alienate.

Abu Darda’ رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

ألا أخبركم بأفضل من درجة الصيام والصلاة والصدقة ؟ قالوا : بلى ، قال : إصلاح ذات البين ، وفساد ذات البين الحالقة

“Shall I inform you of what is better than the rank of (voluntary) fasting, prayer and charity?” The Companions said, “Yes (O Messenger of Allah)”. He said, “Reconciling (i.e. making peace) between yourselves, for discord between you is the shaver.” [5]

In the version of at-Tirmidhi (2509) it explains what the “shaver” is: هي الحالقة لا أقول تحلق الشعر ولكن تحلق الدين [“…(I do not say that) it shaves hair, but rather it shaves (one’s) Deen.”]

How many relationships have led to ruination due to suspicion, argumentation and misunderstanding and other such anomalies? The corruption caused by such outcome eat away at a person’s Islam until their unity weakens and victory departs from them. [6]

May Allah ﷺ strengthen and continually renew our bonds of brotherhood, for this is extremely hard upon Shaytan.

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References:

[1] Saheeh al-Bukhari, 3444
[2] see ‘Ighathatil Lahfan’ of Ibn al-Qayyim
[3] Al-Hujuraat, 12
[4] Agreed Upon
[5] Abu Da’wud, 4919 – graded as saheeh by al-Albani and al-Waadi’
[6] See also ‘Fath al-Bari’, 3260 and this explanatory article.


Glimpse into Merit of ‘Ilm

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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It is recorded by Ibn ‘Abd Al-Barr, in his ‘Jaami’ Bayan al-‘Ilm’ [1],  that Mu’ad Ibn Jabal رضي الله عنه said:

تعلموا العلم ، فإن تعلمه لله خشية ، وطلبه عبادة ، ومذاكرته تسبيح ، والبحث عنه جهاد ، وتعليمه لمن لا يعلمه صدقة ، وبذله لأهله قربة ، لأنه معالم الحلال والحرام ، ومنار سبيل أهل الجنة ، وهو الأنيس في الوحشة ، والصاحب في الغربة ، والمحدث في الخلوة ، والدليل على السراء والضراء ، والسلاح على الأعداء ، والزين عند الأخلاء ، يرفع الله به أقواماً فيجعلهم في الخير قادة وأئمة ، تقتص آثارهم ، ويقتدى بأفعالهم ، وينتهى إلى رأيهم ، ترغب الملائكة في خلتهم ، وبأجنحتها تمسحهم ، يستغفر لهم كل رطب ويابس ، وحيتان البجر وهوامه ، وسباع البر وأنعامه ، لأن العلم حياة القلوب من الجهل ، ومصابيح الأبصار من الظلم . يبلغ العبد بالعلم منازل الأخيار ، والدرجات العلى في الدنيا والآخرة . التفكر فيه بعدل الصيام ، ومدارسته تعدل القيام ، به توصل الأرحام ، وب يعرف الحلال من الحرام ، هو إمام العمل ، والعمل تابعه ، يلهمه السعداء ويحرمه الإشقياء

❝ Aquire knowledge, for indeed seeking it for Allah (develops) fear. Seeking it is worship; studying it is glorification; researching is striving; teaching it to the one who does not know is a charity. Humbling towards its people is a drawing nearness, and it is an illuminated path to Paradise. It is a comfort in times of loneliness; a companion in times of strangeness; and it provides comfort in times of solitude. It is a guide in times of prosperity and adversity, a weapon against the enemy; an adornment among (close) friends. With it Allah raises up a group of people placing them among the best of leaders and imams, whose stories (of achievement) are followed and actions emulated. Their opinions are always sought; the Angels are eager to touch them with their wings; and every moist and dry patch (on earth) seeks forgiveness for them.

The fish and creatures in the sea; animals on land all seek blessings for him. Because knowledge gives life to the hearts from ignorance; brightens eyes in the darkness [and strengthens the body from weakness]. Through it, the slave (of Allah) reaches ranks of the righteous and pious, and a high status in this world and the Hereafter. Reflecting (upon knowledge) is as (voluntary) fasting and studying it equates to standing (in prayer). Through it the ties of kinship are kept, the lawful and unlawful are known. It is the leader of actions; and the one who acts is inspired by the successful and ignored by the wretched. ❞

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[1] #268; (with a weak mawqoof sanad)


Wisdom for Every Du’at 💫

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Qadi Sa’ud al-Shuraym imparted a few words of wisdom for those involved in da’wah:

‏لا تحدِّث الناس بما تفهمه أنت دون مراعاة تفاوت أفهامهم، فإن ذلك حريّ بصدهم عنك، أو تكذيبك، أو إساءة الظن بك، قال عَلِي: حدثوا الناس بما يعرفون

“Do not speak to people with what they’re unable to understand, without taking into consideration the varying contrast (of ability) in order to make them comprehend. It behooves you to repel (misunderstandings) from yourself, or from being (accused) of lying, or (permitting others to) think badly of you. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib رضي الله عنه said: “Narrate to people what they can understand…”

It is important to be able to read people and show empathy towards them, for this is a key component to delivering a message successfully. Commenting on the chapter entitled: “A person preferring some people with certain knowledge to the exclusion of others”; Ibn Hajar رحمه الله said in his Fathul-Bari: “(In this) there is evidence that ambiguous knowledge should not be mentioned among the general public.”

Ibn al-‘Uthaymeen رحمه الله explained an important principle regarding the narration of ‘Ali:

…ولهذا كان من الحكمة في الدعوة ألا تباغت الناس بما لا يمكنهم إدراكه ،بل تدعوهم رويدا رويدا حتى تستقر عقولهم

“Thus it is from wisdom in da’wah that you don’t surprise people with what they’re unable to perceive (or understand). Rather, you should call them gently, bit by bit until their minds settle…”

He continued, “…The same is the case when enacting a Sunnah that people are not familiar with, and which they might find objectionable. We should act by this Sunnah, but also inform people about it, to ensure they’ll be able to accept it and feel comfortable about it.”

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[See ‘Majmu’ Fatawa’, 10/140 for further discussion: http://bit.do/detzQ%5D

 


Charity that Melts Hearts 🌼

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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At-Tirmidhi recorded in his Sunan (#3641) on the authority of ‘Abd Allah ibn Al-Harith, who narrated:

{ ما رأيت أحدا أكثر تبسما من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم }

“I have not seen anyone more (in the habit of) smiling than the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. “

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ saw the smile as a gift of joy – an emotional gift, not a material one – a gift whose effect is seen on the heart, as is frequently evidenced:

إنِّ البسمةَ الصادقة والكلمةَ الطيبة، ربما انتزعت من بعض القلوب أشواكًا من اليأس والشر، وأنبتتْ في بعض القلوب أزهارًا من الأمل والخير !وأنت لا تدري، ولا تتكلف بذلك أي جهد

“Indeed an honest smile and a good word, may tear out from some hearts thorns of despair and evil; and bring forth in some hearts flowers of hope and goodness. You do not know and it isn’t burdensome nor does it cost you any effort!”

It is therefore part of a Muslim’s personality that they habituate smiling. The facial muscles must be accustomed to smiling so that any hesitancy we feel when meeting someone, which often comes with interpersonal dealings will not prevent us from delivering a broad, heartfelt smile. Imam ibn Battal said:

لقاء الناس بالتبسم وطلاقة الوجه من أخلاق النبوة، وهو مناف للتكبر وجالب للمودة

“To meet people with a smile and a cheerful countenance are from the Prophetic etiquette, it’s contrary to arrogance and creates feelings of affection.”

And that’s why it is said: ‏ التبسم والبشاشة عند اللقاء من دواعي المحبة (“The smile and being jovial during encounters are from the causes that initiate love”). Ibn al-Qayyim noted in his, ‘Zad Al-Ma’ad’ that, “…all of his laughter ﷺ was to merely smile, in a way showing his front teeth. He smiled at whatever caused laughter or surprise…”

May Allah ﷺ make it a regular feature upon our persona, to smile every day. Ameen.

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Prioritising the Heart 💛

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Qur’an Reforms Hearts

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Scholars identify a hardened heart as “root” of all punishments, and its basis in found in Al-Baqarah 74:

ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ فَهِيَ كَالْحِجَارَةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً

“Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder…”

Qaswat al-qalb (hardening of the heart) is a topic many scholars have addressed throughout history because of its pivitol status and the profound impact it has on one’s life in determining success or failure. It is directly linked to receiving guidance and self-reformation.

And in the moving words of Malik ibn Dinar (d.127H) who said, “What is there that strikes the slave (of Allah) greater than hardening of the heart, for the wrath of Allah is upon a nation from whose hearts mercy and compassion is removed.”

Al-‘Allamah Muhammad ibn Salih al-‘Uthaymeen رحمه الله said, in response to a question regarding causes of apathy and feeling weakness in one’s Deen. And how preservation of the heart and moving away from incessant disputation is key:

‏ترى العامي خيرا في عقيدته وإخلاصه من كثير من طلاب العلم الذين ليس لهم هم إلا الأخذ والرد والقيل والقال هذاالذي يضيع العبد ويسلب قلبه عن الله

“…and (thus) you will see that the layperson is better in his ‘aqeedah and ikhlas than many of the students of knowledge, whose only concern is to criticise and refute and (indulge in) qeela wa qaal – causing the slave to become lost and his heart taken away from Allah.” [1]

Thus, taking special care of the heart ensures it remains soft and absorbant; readily accepting admonishment and guidance. Al-Allamah al-Sa’di رحمه الله said:

صلاح القلب بكمال الإنابة إلى الله وقوة التوكل عليه، وتمام الإخلاص له، ومحبة الخير لكافة الخلق، وفساده ونقصه بضدِّ ذلك

“Rectifying the heart fully (and perfectly) confers itself to Allah, and wholly renders sincerity to Him. (Such a heart) loves goodness for all of the creation, and opposes corruption and deficiency.” [2]

Ibn Uthaymeen also said:

إن قسوة القلب لها دواء وهو الإكثار من قراءة القرآن، دليل ذلك قول الله عز وجل: ﴿لَوْ أَنْزَلْنَا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَى جَبَلٍ لَرَأَيْتَهُ خَاشِعاً مُتَصَدِّعاً مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ﴾ [الحشر:21] والجبل كما نعلم حجارة صماء لو نزل القرآن عليها لخشع وتصدع، كذلك القلب إذا ورد عليه القرآن وقرأ الإنسان بتفكر وتمعن فلا بد أن يؤثر في قلبه

“The hardening of the heart has a cure, and it is the recitation of the Qur’an. The evidence for this is in the Words of Allah Almighty, ‘If We had sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and coming apart from fear of Allah…’ [Al Hashr, 21] And the mountain as we know is (made of) deaf stones, yet if the Qur’an was revealed upon them would render them humbled and asunder apart. Similar to that is how the the heart should respond when the person reads the Qur’an with contemplation and ponderance, it must affect the heart.” [3]

Ibn Uthaymeen also warned those to take note said regarding this remedy:

‏إذا رأيت قلبك لا يتأثر بالقرآن فاتهم نفسك لأن الله أخبر أن هذا القرآن لو نزل على جبل لتصدع، وقلبك يتلى عليه القرآن ولا يتأثر

“If you see your heart is not affected by the Qur’an then indict yourself, for Allah informed us that if this Qur’an descended on a mountain, it would cleave it (asunder). And yet your heart recites the Qur’an and is not affected.” [4]

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May Allah grant us hearts that are quick to return back to Him in repentence, and reform upon reminders and admonishments. Ameen.

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References:

[1] Al-Bab al-Maftooh, 232 (Audio @ http://bit.ly/2l4kqeM)
[2] Majmu’ al-Fawa’id wa Iqtinas al-Awabid
[3] See: http://binothaimeen.net/content/1661
[4] Majmu’ Fatawa wa Rasa’il, 8/278


To Mazâh or Not to Mazâh?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

لا تكثر الضحك فإن كثرة الضحك تميت القلب

Do not laugh too much, for too much laughter deadens the heart.” [1]

The consequences of a dead heart are extremely dire, as some scholars identified it to be “root” of all punishments (due to what is mentioned in Al-Baqarah 74  for example). From a hardened or dead heart rises every type of negative characteristic. One such risk of excessive laughter is highlighted by Ibn Hibban, who said of mazâh:

‏و كم من افتراق بين أخوين و هجران بين متآلفين كان أول ذلك المزاح

“And how much of division (and breakup) has occurred between brothers and desertion among (those who were previously) harmoniously close, the first (cause) of which is due to mazâh.” [2]

Ibraheem an-Nakha’i said: لا يمازحك إلا من يحبك

“Do not Mazâh around except with those whom you are beloved to.” [3]

And the reasons for this are obvious. One who loves you will tolerate your antics.

المزاح (Al-Mazâh) is something that includes joking, humourism and jesting; it also denotes practical jokes. And when the limits and conditions of mazâh are exceeded, it usually leads to souring of relationships and even ruination because of abuse and hatred it risks breeding. Imam Al-Nawawi said it aptly in his ‘Al-Adhkar’, (p.390) that:

المزاح المنهي عنه هو الذي فيه إفراط ويداوم عليه ، فإنه يورث الضحك وقسوة القلب ويشغل عن ذكر الله تعالى ويؤول في كثير من الأوقات إلى الإيذاء ، ويورث الأحقاد ، ويسقط المهابة والوقار ، فأما من سلم من هذه الأمور فهو المباح الذي كان رسول الله ﷺ يفعله

“Al-Mazâh that is forbidden is what is excessive and persistent, which leads to (much) laughter and hardens the heart, which distracts from the remembrance of Allah Almighty; and is given to much abuse and breeds hatred, and what diminishes one’s prestige and dignity. Thus it was to be safe from such things that the Messenger ﷺ would permit actions (to the contrary).”

What is not recommended is making people laugh using false speech or making it a  regular habit of a person, otherwise it isn’t to be detested; for the Messenger ﷺ used to laugh until his premolars appeared. Seeking comfort in such thing every now and then is like adding salt in the cooking pot (to enhance flavour). The Companions too, used to enjoy lighter moments and laugh, yet they were the firmest of men of faith and understood moderation and the proportionate wisdom behind humour.

Ibn Is-haq conveyed that Al-Zuhri would teach knowledge, and then afterwards end his gathering by saying, “Bring forth your humour. Bring forth your poetry. Engage in some of what amuses you and increases your jovial mood, for the ears are no longer absorbing (serious knowledge) and the hearts are unstable.” Malik ibn Dinar said, “When people before you got weary of serious talk, they would say, ‘the ears are desorbing and the hearts are sour, so bring forth your funny stories.'” Abu Zayd said that his father told him, “Ataa’ ibn Yasar would talk to me and Abu Hazim until we would weep; then he would (lighten the mood by) talk to us until we would laugh.” Then he added, “Once like this, and once like that.” [4]

A man once said to Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah:

المزاح هجنة أي مستنكر! فأجابه قائلاً : بل هو سنة ولكن لمن يُحسنه ويضعه في موضعه

“Al-Mazâh is faulty and should be denounced.” He replied, “Rather it is Sunnah, but only for those who know how to perfect it (and use it) at the appropriate time.” [5]

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May Allah grant us a good clean sense of humour that strengthens bonds and makes people smile, for indeed putting a smile on the face of your brother is an easy charity.

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References:

[1] Al-Tirmidhi, 2305; graded as hasan by Al-Albani in ‘Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7435
[2] ‘Rawdatul Uqala’ (p.81)
[3] Rawdatul Uqala’, 1/80

[4] See Ibn Al-Jawzi, ‘Akhbar al-Hamqa’ for more on the suject matter
[5] Hilyat al-Awliya,

 


When Silence is Golden 🔸

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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From the noble jawaami’ul kalim (concise speech [with expansive meaning]) of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is the renowned hadeeth:

من كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر، فليقل خيرًا، أو ليصمت

He who believes in Allah and the Last Day must either speak good or remain silent. ❞ [1]

Ibn Hibban said in his ‘Rawdatul ‘Uqala’:

الواجب على العاقل أن يلزم الصمت إلى أن يلزمه التكلم فما أكثر من ندم إذا نطق وأقل من يندم إذا سكت وأطول الناس شقاء وأعظمهم بلاء من ابتلى بلسان مطلق وفؤاء مطبق

“It is incumbent on the intelligent (and wise person) to (maintain the need of) remaining silent than having to speak. Because much remorse lies in uttering speech, while there’s less regret if one is silent. People’s misery is lengthened and greatly afflicted by their calamitous tongues… “ [2]

Thus, much of people’s sins are borne from the tongue, and many trespasses are carried out due to unnecessarily long periods of (social) gatherings. It’s prudent to conclude your gatherings swiftly and end with virtuous words, otherwise curiosities settle in. Imam al-Zuhri said:

إذا طال المجلس كان للشيطان فيه نصيب

“If your gatherings become long, shaytan then takes his share from them.” [3]

Ibn Taymiyyah highlighted a basic outline of how to assess one’s need to speak. He said:

‏التكلّم بالخير خيرٌ من السكوت عنه والصمتُ عن الشرِّ خيرٌ من التكلّم به

“To speak well is better than remaining silent (about something), and keeping silent from (uttering) evil is better than speaking (about it).” [4]

When we have nothing of benefit to say, silence is golden. Mu’ad ibn Jabal asked the Prophet ﷺ to inform him of good deeds that would admit him into Paradise and distance him from the Hellfire. The Prophet ﷺ mentioned to him the virtues of many good deeds, and then added, “Shall I inform you of the foundation of all of that?” He took hold of his tongue and said, “Restrain yourself from this.”

Mu’adh asked, “O Prophet of Allah! Are we held to task for the things that we say?” The Prophet ﷺ replied:

ثَكِلَتْكَ أُمُّكَ يَا مُعَاذُ ، وَهَلْ يَكُبُّ النَّاسَ فِي النَّارِ عَلَى وُجُوهِهِمْ أَوْ عَلَى مَنَاخِرِهِمْ إِلا حَصَائِدُ أَلْسِنَتِهِمْ ؟

May your mother be bereaved of you, O Mu’adh! Does anything cause people to fall headlong into the Hellfire except the harvests of their tongues? ❞ [5]

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May Allah grant us wisdom and foresight in weighing the benefits of advantages when considering to speak or remain silent. Ameen.

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References:

[1] Agreed upon
[2] Rawdatul ‘Uqala’ (1/47)
[3] Hilyat al-Awliya’, 1/366 (#1413)
[4] Majmu’ al-Fatawa (25/158)
[5] Al-Tirmidhi, 2616; who graded it hasan saheeh