Category Archives: Adab

With What People Can Understand

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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‘Ali ibn Abi Talib رضي الله عنه said:

حَدِّثُوا النَّاسَ، بِمَا يَعْرِفُونَ، أَتُحِبُّونَ أَنْ يُكَذَّبَ، اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ

 “Narrate to people what they can understand; do you want Allah and His Messenger be lied against?” [1]

1. Ibn Hajr رحمه الله commented in his ‘Fath Al-Bari’:

وفيه دليل على أن المتشابه لا ينبغي أن يذكر عند العامة . ومثله قول ابن مسعود: ما أنت محدثا قوما حديثا لا تبلغه عقولهم إلا كان لبعضهم فتنة

“[In this narration] there is evidence that ambiguous knowledge should not be mentioned among the general public. And an example of this is (found in) the saying of Ibn Mas’ood, ‘Whatever you tell a people (anything) that their intellect don’t understand, will become a fitnah for some of them.’” [2]

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2. Shaykh Muhammad Salih ibn al-‘Uthaymeen رحمه الله expounded on this important and often misunderstood point beautifully. After mentioning the narration of ‘Ali, he stated:

“It is therefore an aspect of wisdom in da’wah (calling others to Allah) that you should not surprise people with things they are unable to comprehend. Rather, you should call them in stages, bit by bit until their minds settle…

He continued saying:

“[The statement of ‘Ali] ‘Do you want Allah and His Messenger to be disbelieved?’ is a rhetorical question, posed as a criticism of such behaviour. It means: by narrating to people things they cannot understand do you want Allah and His Messenger to be disbelieved? This is because in such cases when you say, “Allah said, and His Messenger said” they will say you have lied if their minds cannot comprehend what you are saying. They are not disbelieving Allah and His Messenger per se, but they are disbelieving you for the speech you have attributed to Allah and His Messenger. Thus they will end up disbelieving Allah and His Messenger – not directly – but by way of the one who transmits this knowledge (i.e. you).

Now if it is said: Should we stop telling people things they cannot understand even if they need to know? The answer is: No, we do not leave this knowledge altogether, but we should tell them in a way that they will be able to understand. This is done by telling them in stages, bit by bit until they can accept the speech we want them to know, and they can feel comfortable with it. We do not abandon knowledge that people cannot understand and just say ‘this is something they will reject or dislike so we will not speak about it at all.’

The same is the case with acting upon a Sunnah that people are not used to and which they might find objectionable. We should act by this Sunnah, but only after informing people about it, such that they will be able to accept it and feel comfortable about it.

We learn from this narration (of ‘Ali) that it is important to employ wisdom in calling to Allah, and it is incumbent upon anyone who calls to Allah to consider the level of understanding of those he is inviting, and he should put everyone in its proper place.” [3]

3. What then of the confusion caused by Muslims who’re openly engaged on social media, discussing matters in public, which are usually privy in circles of knowledge. Imam Al-Dhahabi رحمه الله said:

وليجتنِبْ روايةَ المُشْكِلات مما لا تحملُه قلوبُ العامَّة فإن رَوَى ذلكَ؛ فليكُن في مجالسَ خاصّة

“Leave out relating difficult (and problematic info) that can’t be borne by the hearts of the general public. If such is narrated, then let it be in private gatherings.” [4]

4. Similar to this topic is the benefits we gain from understanding the wisdom behind the length of various Surahs of the Qur’an: http://tinyurl.com/3row8z2

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References:

1. Saheeh al-Bukhari, ‘Book of Knowledge’ (127): Whoever specified some people to teach them knowledge, preferring them over others for fear that others may not understand it.

2. Fath Al-Bari, 1/225

3. See, ‘Majmu’ Fatawa’, vol. 10, (pgs. 774-775)

4. Al Muwaqidha fi Mustalah al-Hadeeth, p.85

 

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Towards Self-Reform

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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The path of self-reform primarily begins with having an intricate knowledge of the shortcomings within us and our imperfections – by recognising the diseases of our souls and our hearts – before the process of abandonment and detoxification treatment can begin. This is achieved in four important ways, as mentioned by the late Sh. Dr. Uthman ibn Jumaa al-Dhumayri (may Allah have mercy on him).

الطريق الأول: العلم الذي يبصرنا بذلك ويوضح الطريق أمامنا، فهو الكشاف الذي يكشف لنا خبايا العلل وسبيل ذلك والطريق إليه هو: مصاحبة كتاب الله تعالى ومدارسته، ومدارسة حديث الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم والتأسي به واتباعه

The first way: Building our knowledge base that permits us to see all those (faults and) and clarifying the way ahead for us. It is like a scout with a searchlight revealing to us the ambiguity (and secrets) of our ills. And the path (in attaining that) is accompanying the Book of Allah and the school of hadeeth of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, and by reviving it and following it (as per our righteous predecessors).

والطريق الثاني: أن تطلب لك أخاً ناصحاً شفيقاً، وصديقاً صدوقاً، يبصرك بعيوبك، ويرى أن ذلك واجب عليه يفرضه الإسلام عملاً بقوله عليه الصلاة والسلام: “الدين النصيحة” قالوا: لمن يا رسول الله؟ قال: لله ولكتابه ولرسوله ولأئمة المسلمين وعامتهم . وقد كان أمير المؤمنين الفاروق عمر رضي الله عنه يقول: رحم الله امرءاً أهدى إلينا عيوبنا . ولنذكر أن المؤمن مرآة أخيه المؤمن

The second way: Seeking the counsel of a well-tempered and empathetic brother and a righteous friend who sees your faults. He sees looking our ofr his brother as a duty obligated on him by Islam, as per the words of the Prophet ﷺ, “The Deen is Naseehah” [in showing sincerity]. It was asked, “To whom O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “To Allah and His Book, and His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their common people.”  [Saheeh Muslim, #55]

And in the words of Ameer’ul Mu’mineen, Al-Farooq ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) who said, “May Allah have mercy on a man who shows to us, our faults/shortcomings.” Let us remember that the believer is a mirror of his believing brother.

الطريق الثالث: أن تنظر إلى ما يقوله فيك خصومك، فإنهم يتلمسون لك المعايب، فلا تأس على فعلهم ذاك، فإنهم بهذا يعرفونك بعيوب نفسك التي قد تغفل أنت عنها، أما هم فلا يسكتون
وقديماً قال الشاعر: وعين الرضا عن كل عيب كليلة… ولكن عين السخط تبدي المساويا

The third way: Looking at what your adversaries and opponents are saying. They sense and perceive (what you don’t), so don’t be aggrieved by that, for by doing so, they will highlight your defects that you may have overlooked. They won’t keep quiet about it either; as the poet said: “The eye of pleasure (seeks) after every fault (even at) night… And yet the eye of discontent shows its equivalent (opposite).”

والطريق الرابع: مخالطة الناس ومعايشتهم، فإذا رأيت منهم ما لا تحمده من الصفات التي نهى الله تعالى ورسوله عنها فخذ نفسك بالابتعاد عنها والحذر منها، وتحل بمكارم الأخلاق ومحاسن الصفات التي تحبها في الناس وتحببك أنت إليهم

And the fourth way: Associating with people and seeing how they live their lives. If you see from them, any qualities that Allah and His Messenger forbade, do not applaud them and remove yourself away and beware of them. Only consolidate and settle for the lofty akhlaq and beautiful qualities that you love in people and they love you for.

فهلا حاولت ذلك أيها المسلم وجربت وجاهدت نفسك ليكتب الله تعالى لك الهداية إلى السبيل الأقوم وإلى الفلاح والفوز في الدنيا والآخرة (والَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهدِيَنَّهُم سُبُلَنَا وإنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ المُحسِنِينَ)

Therefore, endeavor to implement this and experience and strive in fulfillment of personal reform so that Allah Almighty may write for you guidance upon the path of people who are successful and triumphant in the dunya and akhirah. As Allah Said, “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” [Al-Ankaboot, 69]

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Reference:
Adapted from an article entitled: على طريق الإصلاح النفسي (as found in the channel of Sh. Muhammad ibn Abdullah bin Jaber Al-Qahtani).


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


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


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