Category Archives: Fiqh

Essential Wisdom of Fasting

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Shaykh al-‘Allâmah Ibn Bâz رحمه الله was asked:

لا شك أن للصيام معانٍ سامية عظيمة، فنسأل يا سماحة الشيخ ونقول: ما هو الغرض من الصيام؟

Question: “No doubt, fasting has many great and lofty meanings. Therefore, we ask your eminence, ‘What is the (main) purpose of fasting?'”

الغرض من الصيام هو التقرب إلى الله جل وعلا وترك الشهوات التي كان يحتاجها طاعة له، وتعظيماً له, وتقرباً إليه بما شرع-سبحانه وتعالى

Answer:  “The purposeful intent behind fasting is to draw close to Allah ﷻ‎, by leaving all the (usual) desires he needs in order to be obedient to Allah and glorify Him, draw closer to Him with what He has prescribed.

لأن الله يحب من عباده أن يتقربوا إليه بترك ما تحبه نفوسهم طاعة له وتقرباً إليه، فإن من طبيعة الإنسان محبة الأكل والشرب والاتصال بأهله

For Allah loves His servants to draw closer to Him by leaving what they desire, in order to adhere and draw closer to Him. As the nature of man is to love to eat, drink and have relations with his wives.

فالله جل وعلا فرض عليه ترك ذلك في أيام الصيام تقرباً إليه، وابتلاء وامتحاناً له، هل يؤثر محاب الله أو يؤثر هواه

Thus, Allah ﷻ‎ made it obligatory to leave all of this during the days of fasting in order to draw closer to Him, as a means of trial and test for the servant. To see if he is puts the love of Allah ahead, or his own desires.

فإذا وفقهه الله لإيثار محاب الله وطاعته سبحانه وتعالى وصيانة صيامه عما حرم الله عليه كان ذلك دليلاً على قوة إيمانه وقوة يقينه، ورغبته بما عند الله عز وجل

So if Allah has permitted him to conciliate (in agreement) to the love of Allah and obedience to Him, and maintains fasting from what Allah has forbidden, then this is evidence of strength of his certainty (of faith) and the strength of his expressed will for the sake of Allah ﷻ‎. ”

[http://www.binbaz.org.sa/noor/9810]

Speaking about the wisdom behind fasting, shaykh al-‘Allâmah Ibn ‘Uthaymeen رحمه الله said:

والسنة تدلُّ على أن الحكمة الوحيدة هي التقوى، أما ما يكون وافداً عليها فهذا أمر ثانويٌّ مثل قول بعضهم: إن الإنسان يتذكر نعمة الله عليه بالغنى وتيسير الطعام والشراب حيث إنه يَمَسُّه الجوع والعطش وفقدُ النكاح في يومه، وقالوا: ليتذكر حال الفقير… الخ

” The Sunnah indicates that the primary (reason) is taqwah, as for what is considered secondary, such as the saying of some of them, ‘(It is) a reminder of the blessings of Allah upon the person for the riches (he is granted) and the ease with which he can access food and drink; whereas he is touched by hunger and thirst and the loss of marital relations during his day’. They also say, ‘It is to remember the state of poverty that people endure… etc. ”

[Al-Duroos al-Fiqhiyyah, 2/29]

 


So Allah Forgave Him

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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It from the rights of a Muslim that he is rendered what is due to him, and indeed the hand that gives is better than the hand that takes. However, there are situations where it’s not becoming of a Muslim to uncessarily demand and goad what is due to him of debt from one who is genuinely struggling to pay and is impoverished to do so. A person in such a state should be accorded grace and a rescheduled opportunity by the lender for repayment. If is becomes clear the indebted is in no position to repay what is owed, then the injunction of the Qur’an states: It is better to cancel debt

This act of immense kindness and mercy brings with it, relieving a believer from burden and grief, as well as becoming a sadaqah of immeasurable reward for the canceller of debt. Often times, we like to see everything in black and white and what is rightfully owed and what is rightfully due. However benevolence and empathy are ingredients many of us have need to refine and improve upon; and the consequence of which leads to something that money can rarely buy.

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said:

كان تاجرٌ يداين الناس، فإذا رأى معسراً قال لفتيانه: تجاوزوا عنه، لعل الله أن يتجاوز عنا، فتجاوز الله عنه
كَانَ تَاجِرٌ يُدَايِنُ النَّاسَ، فَإِذَا رَأَى مُعْسِرًا قَالَ لِفِتْيَانِهِ تَجَاوَزُوا عَنْهُ، لَعَلَّ اللَّهَ أَنْ يَتَجَاوَزَ عَنَّا، فَتَجَاوَزَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ

“There was a merchant who used to lend the people, and whenever his debtor was in straitened circumstances, he would say to his employees: ‘Forgive him so that Allah may forgive us.’ So, Allah forgave him.” [1]

From the many lessons and points of benefits one can take from this narration, the following three will suffice:

1. Commenting on this narration, Ibn Battal [1] mentioned the words of Mahlab ibn Abi Safrah:

فيه أن الله يغفر الذنوب بأقل حسنة توجد للعبد، وذلك -والله أعلم- إذا خلصت النية فيها لله تعالى- وأن يريد بها وجهه، وابتغاء مرضاته فهو أكرم الأكرمين، ولا يجوز أن يخيِّب عبده من رحمته

“In this case (of cancelling debt) Allah forgives sins with minimum amount of goodness accorded to the servant (of Allah). Therefore, and Allah knows Best, if the intention is sincerely for the sake of Allah Most High, and he intends (by his action) seeking His Face and for His Pleasure, then He is the most Generous of those who show generosity. It then becomes disallowed for Him to disappoint His servant from his Mercy.”

فضيلة التجاوز عن المعسرين، وأن ذلك مما يجلب مرضاة رب العالمين

2. The virtue of overcoming (and abstaining) from being insolvent, and that this brings the satisfaction of the Rabb of the Worlds.

أن الجزاء من جنس العمل، لأن هذا التاجر كان يقول لفتيانه: إذا رأيتم معسراً فتجاوزوا عنه لعل الله أن يتجاوز عنا، فكان الغلام يفعل ذلك، فلقي الله فجازاه عزوجل بمثل ما يجازي به الناس.. فتجاوز عنه

3. The reward for this type of action, because the merchant was saying to his two employees: If you see an insolvent then forgive him so that Allah may forgive us. They followed orders and did so, Allah forgave him just as he (the merchant) forgave the people. [3]

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References:

[1] Al-Bukhari, 2078, 3480; Muslim, 1526
[2] Ibn Battal, ‘Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhari’ (2/616)
[3] Taken from the


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


Beyond Mere Citation 📖

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Mothers of our Imams and scholars of the Ummah were instrumental in nurturing and pushing them to seek knowledge. And the mother of Sufyan Ath-Thawri was no different; she would encourage him to seek knowledge and met his expenses for this noble cause through utilising her skill in spindling thread. She once parted the following profound advice to him:

يا بَنِي، إِذَا كتبت عشرة أحاديث، فانظر هل ترى فِي نفسك زيادة فِي مشيتك، وحلمك ووقارك، فَإِن لَمْ تر ذَلِكَ، فاعلم أَنَّهُ ل يضرك، ولا ينفعك

O my son, if you write down (and study) ten ahadeeth, then look to see in yourself if there has been increase in (positive) change, and in forbearance and poise. For if you don’t see (any of) that, then know (such endeavour) will cause you harm, and be of no benefit to you. ❞  [Al-Sahmi, ‘Tareekh Jarjan’, 471]

In an age of information overload where ‘ilm and information is incorrectly conflated, it’s not often enough that we take stock of what we’ve learnt and measure its impact within our selves and even upon those around us.

Indeed the virtue of ‘ilm lies in acting upon it and internalising it. Otherwise it can become a wasteful exercise and a source of grief in this world and the Hereafter.


Follow Up With Goodness 💫

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

اتَّقِ اللَّهِ حَيْثُمَا كُنْتَ وَأَتْبِعْ السَّيِّئَةَ الْحَسَنَةَ تَمْحُهَا وَخَالِقِ النَّاسَ بِخُلُقٍ حَسَنٍ

❝Fear Allah wherever you are. And follow up a bad deed with a good deed and it will wipe it out. And behave towards the people with good character.❞ [1]

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Following up a bad deed with a good deed illustrates an important point: that even those with taqwah are not free from faults or immune from slipping. No one is perfect, but those who are from the people of taqwah, do not persist in sin and take immediate remedial recourse in proactively blotting out sin, and building a contiguous stack of hasanat (i.e. good deeds).

Ibn Rajab said in his valued work, ‘Lata’if al-Ma’arif’ about indicators of acceptance and rejection of deeds:

من عمل طاعة من الطاعات وفرغ منها فعلامة قبولها أن يصلها بطاعة أخرى، وعلامة ردها أن يعقب تلك الطاعة بمعصية

“Whoever does an act (of ibadah) from obedience (to Allah) and earnestly completes it, the sign of its acceptance is that he follows it up with another (act of obedience). And the sign of a rejected act (of ibadah) is that its obedience is followed up with sin.” [2]

Our understanding of sin should be mobilising and not debilitating. Too often, we respond to a sin by putting ourselves in a corner and overwhelming ourselves with guilt and regret only – this needs to be a catalyst to move forward in good deeds and no become dejected. Sins can’t be used as an excuse to lag behind, and absolutely must not stop us from swiftly partaking in all other types of qualitative goodness.

Ibn al-Qayyim said about the ease in which deeds can become corrupted and the need to ensure their integrity:

ومحبطات الأعمال ومفسداتها أكثر من أن تحصر وليس الشأن في العمل إنما الشأن في حفظ العمل مما يفسده ويحبطه

“And things that cancel out good deeds and spoils them are too many to enumerate. It is not the importance of deeds (that count), rather it is the importance of protecting one’s good deeds from whatever may corrupt them or cancel them out.” [3]

Our response to a sin should not be languid, but rather a race to enact something good in hope of erasing sin. Our attitude should be one of caution and of eternal hope that Allah will have Mercy on us as long as we keep struggling and pushing forward. As He ﷻ Said in Al-Zumar (53).

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References:

[1] Al-Tirmidhi, 1987
[2] Lata’if al-Ma’arif, (1/224)
[3] Al-Wâbil al-Sayyib, p.18

 


Repentance Closes the Past

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Ibn ‘Umar narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say:

يدنو المؤمن من ربه حتى يضع عليه كنَفَه فيقرره بذنوبه: تعرف ذنب كذا يقول أعرف يقول رب أعرف مرتين فيقول سترتها في الدنيا وأغفرها لك اليوم ثم تطوى صحيفة حسناته

The believer will be brought close to his Rabb until He covers him and makes him confess his sin. Allah will Say, ‘Do you remember such and such a sin?’ The man will say, ‘Yes, I admit it.’ Al-Rabb will Say, ‘I concealed it for you in the world and I forgive you for it today.’ He will then close his record of good deeds.❞ [1]

There is a growing tendency among people, and especially the youth to speak about their past objectionable deeds, whether prior to finding guidance and commencing to practice the Deen, or what they indulge in presently. They bring to attention their wrongdoings and sometimes do it in a proud boastful manner.

One’s past experiences can have a valid purpose in encouraging others to stay away from sinful habits, but usually it also reflects negatively on the person and judgements that are assumed. It also risks enticing others to seek committing those very misdeeds!

Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said:

وجمهور العلماء على أن من تاب من ذنب, فالأصل أن يستر على نفسه, ولا يقر به عند أحد, بل يتوب منه فيما بينه وبين الله عز وجل

“Majority of scholars are of the position that anyone who repents from sin, the original stance is to cover up (the wrongdoing) and not to admit (or confess) to anyone. But repent from it and leave it (known) between himself and Allah ﷻ‎.” [2]

Therefore just as tawbah is between us and Allah ﷻ‎, so too are our wrongdoings. It is from His Mercy that our failures and shortcomings are veiled from people so that we may lead normal and dignified lives in society without the burden of facing shame. So what of those who publicise what had been kept concealed? Abu Hurayrah narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say:

كل أمتي معافى إلا المجاهرين، وإن من المجاهرة أن يعمل الرجل بالليل عملاً ثم يصبح وقد ستره الله عليه فيقول يا فلان عملت البارحة كذا وكذا وقد بات يستره ربه ويصبح يكشف ستر الله عنه

All of my ummah will be forgiven except those who sin openly. It is a part of sinning openly when a man does something at night, then the following morning, when Allah has concealed his sin, he says, ‘O so and so, I did such and such last night,’ when all night his Rabb has concealed him and the next morning he uncovers what Allah had concealed.❞ [3]

‘Umar ibn ‘Abd Al-Azeez said:

إن الله تبارك وتعالى لا يعذب العامة بذنب الخاصة، ولكن إذا عُمل المنكر جهارا، استحقوا العقوبة كلهم

“Allah تبارك وتعالى will not punish the general masses for their particular sins, but if their evil deeds are done publicly, they will all deserve punishment.” [4]

Al-Rabi’ bin Khaytham asked about the height of disease and what it was:

أتدرون ما الداء وما الدواء والشفاء قالو لا قال: الداء الذنوب والدواء الاستغفار والشفاء أن تتوب ثم لا تعود

“Do you know what is the disease and what is the cure and the healing? They said, ‘No’. He replied, ‘Disease is the sins, and the cure is repentance, and the healing is to repent and then not return (to the sin).” [5]

It is therefore from prudence to keep one’s deeds – good as well as the bad – to oneself and never divulge them. We hope that Allah ﷻ‎ will multiply and reward our secret and sincere good deeds, while conceal and diminish our sins, for verily He alone is the one who accepts repentance and loves doing so.

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References:

[1] Agreed upon
[2] Fath al-Bari, 1/76
[3] Agreed upon
[4] Ibn Abi Dunya, ‘Al ‘amr bil ma’roof wan-nahiy-anil munkar’, 67
[5] Hilyat al-Awliya’, 1722

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