Category Archives: Adab

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


Habituate Goodness 💫

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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“Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” thus states Newton’s third law of (natural) motion. Whatever may be your action, there is bound to be a reaction; and nothing that illustrates this theory better than the shari’ idea of recompense. Rather, a good action may return a reward greater than the act itself.

It is authentically attributed to the eminent Companion, Ibn Mas’ood رضي الله عنه that he said, when advising people of causes and consequences:

تعودوا الخير فإنما الخير في العادة

Get in the habit of doing good, for indeed doing good becomes habitual. ❞  [Al-Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah, 4/165 (#4993)]

In other words, nurturing and priming oneself to enact good deeds will over time, accustom him to regular fulfillment of that deed. And it is revealed:

هَلْ جَزَاءُ الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ

Is the reward for good (anything) except good? ❞  [Al-Rahman, 60]


Brotherhood Upon Obedience

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Sometimes we become immersed in the daily chores of family life, and an open and deliberate cognisance of the Hereafter takes a back seat. Brothers and friends in Deen on the other hand, push us towards Allah’s dhikr and obedience of Him ﷻ‎.

Al-Hasan al-Basri رحمه الله said in comparing family and brotherhood:

إخواننا أحب إلينا من أهلينا وأولادنا، لأن أهلنا يذكروننا بالدنيا وإخواننا يذكروننا بالله والدار الآخرة

❝ Our ikhwan are more beloved to us than our family members and our children. For our families remind us of the dunya, while our brothers remind us of Allah and the abode of the akhirah. ❞  [Ihya’ Uloom al-Deen]

The importance of brotherhood in Islam is something our Deen has expounded in great detail. Even in today’s world, the virtue of righteous friendship remains highly guarded. However, the intent and love behind such brotherhood needs to move beyond mere worldly reasons and into more loftier motivations.

Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه said, while observing the state of bonds of brotherhood in his own time:

قد صارت عامة مؤاخاة الناس على أمر الدنيا وذلك لا يُجدي على أهله شيئاً

❝ It has generally become such that brotherhood of people is based on matters of the dunya, and it doesn’t notably (and positively) impact a person’s household of anything. ❞  [Kitab al-Zuhd, Ibn al-Mubarak, p.353]

This type of brotherhood that propels righteousness and obedience needs to develop into a mutual longing for the tangible benefits that inspires and influences one’s own personal development and that of those around him. And tawfeeq is from Allah alone.


Protecting Your Fast

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Abu’l-Mutawakkil رحمه الله narrated that whenever Abu Hurayrah and his companions would be fast, they would go and sit in the masjid, and exhort:

  نطهر صيامنا  (“Let us purify our fasting”).

Abu’l-Mutawakkil said, in elaborating this statement:

لأن مخالطة الناس ومعافستهم قد تكون سببا في خدش الصوم فما أحوجنا إلى إحياء هذا الهدي في أيام الصوم

“(This is) because mingling with people (outside of the masjid) and social interaction may be a reason to scratch the fast, so we need to revive this guidance (of increased sitting in masajid) in the days of fasting.”  [Ibn Abi Shaybah, #8881]

While it’s not possible for many of us to sit in the masajid for prolonged periods of time, we can however, endeavor to strengthen the essence of fasting while out and about. As shaykh ‘Ali al-Tantawi رحمه الله said:

إذا أردتم أن تصوموا حقاً.. فصوموا عن الأحقاد والمآثم والشرور كفوا ألسنتكم عن اللغو وغضوا أبصاركم عن الحرام

❝ If you want to fast in reality… Then fast from malice and misdeeds, and cease the evil of false-speech that appears on your tongue; and turn your eyes away from the prohibited. ❞

May Allah grant us the acumen to see beyond rituals and safeguard the development of our spiritual well-being.


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)