Category Archives: Hadeeth

Intentions Rain Rewards

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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‘Abdullah, the son of Imam Ahmad asked his father, “O my father, counsel me” . He replied:

يا بني انو الخير فإنك لا تزال بخير ما نويت الخير

❝ O my son, (always) maintain a good intention (of purpose), for you will still (be rewarded) the good that was intended. ❞  [Ibn Muflih, ‘Adaab al-Shari’yyah’, 1/104]

After recording this statement in his work, ibn Muflih commented:

وهذه وصية عظيمة سهلة على المسئول سهلة الفهم والامتثال على السائل، وفاعلها ثوابه دائم مستمر لدوامها واستمرارها، وهي صادقة على جميع أعمال القلوب المطلوبة شرعا سواء تعلقت بالخالق أو بالمخلوق وأنها يثاب عليها

“This is a great piece of advice that is easy to comply to and understand, and its enactment provides constant and continuous reward. And this is true of all the actions of the hearts that are required by shari’ah; whether it is related to the Creator or to His creation, they will be rewarded for this…

ولم أجد في الثواب عليها خلافا قال الشيخ تقي الدين في كتاب الإيمان: ما هم به من القول الحسن والعمل الحسن فإنما يكتب له به حسنة واحدة وإذا صار قولا وعملا كتب له عشر حسنات إلى سبعمائة، وذلك للحديث المشهور في الهم

And I didn’t find that (attainment of) such reward differed from what was said by shaykh Taqi’udeen (ibn Taymiyyah) in his book, ‘Kitab al-Iman’: “There’s nothing they (intend) of saying good words and doing good actions, except that it is written for him as one good one deed. And if he implements his words and actions, it is written as (anything between) ten to seven hundred good deeds. And this narration is well-known to inspire.”

See also Saheeh al-Bukhari, 7062 & Muslim, 128


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.


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


Satiety

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين، والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله، وعلى آله وصحبه ومن والاه إلى يوم الدين

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The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

ما ملأ آدميٌّ وعاءً شرًّا من بطنٍ، بحسبِ ابنِ آدمَ أكلاتٍ يُقمنَ صُلبَهُ، فإن كان لا محالةَ : فثلُث لطعامِه، وثُلُثٌ لشرابِه وثُلُثٌ لنفَسِه

“Man does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat a few mouthfuls, to keep him going. If he must do that (fill his stomach), then let him fill one third with food, one third with drink and one third with air.”

[At-Tirmidhi, 2380 – graded as saheeh in ‘Silsilat al-Saheehah’, 2265]

 

Imam An-Nawawi said, commenting on this hadeeth (14/25), “The scholars said: What the hadeeth means is to be content with little in this world and encouraging asceticism and contentment, in addition to the fact that eating little is a good characteristic, and eating a great deal is the opposite.”

And among the greater reasons that help one to remain active in seeking knowledge, understanding it and not losing it, requires taking from what is halal. Al-Imam ash-Shafi’i said, “For sixteen years I remained unsatisfied, this was because too much eating led to a lot of drinking, and drinking awakens the desire for sleep, causing ignorance and decreased ability to think, weakening the spirit and making bodies lazy. This does not include eating from things that are makrooh, and what threatens the onset of physical illness.”

And the Arabs of old would say, المعدة بيت الداء ، والحمية رأس الدواء – “The stomach is the home of disease and restraint is the basis of the remedy”. And as the great poet Ibn Roomi (d. 896H) said:

فإن الداء أكثر ما تراه يكون من الطعام أو الشراب

“Verily most of the diseases you see (are a result of) the food or drink.”

Ibn Abi Ad-Dunya narrated from Muhammad ibn Wasi’ that he said, “Whoever eats little would be able to understand, make others understand, purity & gentleness. Indeed eating a lot overwhelms one with matters that one desires.”

It was narrated from ‘Uthman ibn Zaydah that Sufyan ath-Thawri sent a letter to him stating, “If you want a healthy body and a little sleep, decrease in eating.”

Abu Bakr al-Marrudhi asked Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, “Can a person feel the softness of his heart in a state of satiety?”  Imam Ahmad replied, “I do not consider it to be so” . Thus, it may be plentiful eating inherits feelings of laziness in performing good deeds. It additionally resembles animal behaviour and encourage seeking lust and impermissible passions.

It was narrated from Ibraheem ibn Adham, “Whoever guards his stomach, is able to guard his Deen. Whoever controls his hunger, achieves commendable morals. Indeed disobedience stays away from the hungry, and is close to those who are full. Satiety kills the heart. From it, appears pleasure, pride and jest.”

Bishr ibn al-Harith said regarding the causes leading to a hardened heart, “Two attributes harden the heart: excessive speech and excessive eating.” 

It was narrated from Abu Sulayman ad-Darani, “If the soul is made to feel hunger and thirst, the heart becomes clean and soft. If the soul is made to feel full and satisfied in drinking, the heart becomes blind.”

It was also narrated from Imam ash-Shafi’i, “Satiety … will overwhelm the body, eliminate alertness, and bring about drowsiness and weaken one’s worship.”

If there is no ugliness of much eating and drinking other than causing one to visit the toilet frequently, it is sufficient for a reasonable person to keep away from it. Anyone who aspires success in their studies and wanting a life full of provision of knowledge, but accompanies it by a lot of eating and drinking and sleeping, then indeed he has put forth something that is not possible according to natural custom.

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[Partly adapted from ‘Tadhkirat as-Sami’ wal-Mutakallim fi Adabil ‘Aalim wal-Muta’allim’, p. 73-74, Imam Muhammad ibn Ibraheem ibn Badr ibn Sa’dillah Jamaat al-Kinani; and ‘Jaami ‘al-Uloom wal Hikam’, p. 576-577, Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali]


Be like birds

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحـمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آلـه وصحبه ومن والاه

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Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

يدخل الجنة أقوام أفئدتهم مثل أفئدة الطير

“A people will enter Jannah whose hearts will be like (those of) birds.”  [Saheeh Muslim, 6808]

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This hadeeth has been explained to mean such people are those who put their complete trust in Allah, while others explain these people have hearts that are (gentle yet) fearful, similar to that of birds (Imam Nawawi mentioned diverse opinions in his Sharh, 17/177).

From the characteristics of a bird is that they don’t worry about their sustenance and rely upon the provisions of Allah. They don’t hoard food like some other animals do, and leave their nests in search of food only to return fully satiated. It is therefore inspiring to read what the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said when giving an example with birds:

لو أنكم كنتم توكلون على الله حق توكله لرزقتم كما ترزق الطير تغدو خماصا وتروح بطانا

“If you put your tawakkul in Allah the way He deserves, He will provide for you as he provides for the birds. They leave in the morning with an empty stomach and return in the afternoon with a full one.”  [At-Tirmidhi, 2344 who graded it as hasan saheeh]

Mere lip service is not sufficient, what is required is confirmation by the limbs. Birds know that the One Who secures them in the air, is not their upward and downward movement, nor the spreading and folding of their wings, but rather Allah alone. They have understood to exert effort and rely on Allah, and recognise and exercise total Tawakkul on Allah without giving up on work. In pursuing this way of life, the birds have become an example for many rebellious people, on how Tawakkul should be and how Allah rewards those who exercise Tawakkul. They did not remain in their nests waiting for Allah’s provision but strive for their subsistence. Praise be to Allah Who taught birds Tawakkul so they would not expect provision except from Him.

Ibn Hajar when discussing ‘there is no animal on earth except that Allah has given it sustenance’, he said it was not intended to mean that one stands idle  with a lazy attitude, but rather to earn a living and . This does not contradict the purpose of surrendering one’s reliance to Allah. Imam Ahmad was asked about someone who just wants to sit in his house or in the masjid saying, “I do not want to work at all and just want to wait until rizq comes to me:. Imam Ahmad replied, “These people are really foolish. When the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم mentioned the hadeeth about the bird, it was (together) with action of departing in the morning. The noble Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم himself traded and worked and he is the best example for us. (see ‘Fath al-Bari, 11/306)

Trust in Allah and kindness of the heart are among the most valuable qualities for a person to achieve.


Madinah expels impurities

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحـمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آلـه وصحبه ومن والاه
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Jabir bin Abdullah رضي الله عنه narrated that a Bedouin came to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and gave him bay’ah (pledge) for embracing Islam. He arrived the next day feeling feverish and asked the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to be excused from emigrating to Al-Madinah al-Munawwara. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم refused his request thrice (each time he put his excuse forward) and then said:

المدينةُ كالكيرِ تنفي خبثَها وينصعُ طيبُها
“Al-Madinah bellows out impurities (within it) and admits goodness (within it).” [Agreed upon]

We know from many examples, the length to which the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم used to go to to ensure ease in the Deen and in making things easy for people and not difficult. What is striking about this hadeeth is that he صلى الله عليه وسلم did not accord any concessions for the Bedouin and instead made it an obligation upon him to travel to Madinah, while reminding him of a distinct virtue of the city that would see to it that his emaan is safeguarded and his sickness is cured.

Khabath denotes every type of impurity, wickedness, malignancy etc. and encompasses animate or inanimate objects. Such impurities are removed and the object eventually becomes purified just as iron becomes purified (of impure elements) from the bellows of fire.

[For an explanation of the hadeeth, see ‘Sharh al-Zarqani ‘ala Muwatta al-Imam Malik’, 1591, and read further about the merits and virtues of Madinatul Munawwara]


Being Patient with People

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه

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Being Patient when Associating with all Types of People

‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ood رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

حُرِّمَ عَلى النَّارِ كُلُّ هَيِّنٍ لَيِّنٍ سَهْلٍ قَرِيْبٍ مِنَ النَّاسِ

“The Fire is made forbidden for every light, lenient and easy-going (person) who keeps close to people.”

[Musnad Ahmad, 3808 and others – graded as saheeh by Ahmad Shakir in ‘Takhreej Musnad Ahmad’, 6/19; al-Albani in ‘Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3135; and Ibn al-Wazir al-Yamani in ‘Al-‘Awasim wal-Qawasim’, 8/415]

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1. Al-Manawi said in his ‘Fayd al-Qadeer’ (4/105) that this means to carry oneself calmly and with dignity, and not being distracted by people who may disparage him or annoy him. ‘layn’ (lenient) emphasises softness over roughness… and ‘sahl’ (easy-going) means going about one’s needs while continuing to command (the good) and forbid (the evil) – i.e. his easy-going nature does not result in being flexible or taking liberties when it comes to following and promoting the Shari’ah.

Al-Mawardi said that this hadeeth promotes husn al-khuluq (good manners) that will enter a person to Paradise and remove him from the Fire. Good manners are an aspect of people’s easy-going temperament (and disposition)…

2. It is unfortunate to find people who staunchly follow the Sunnah, and all the while their manners and etiquette contradict what they so passionately guard. This is not only a recipe for disaster when calling others to the Sunnah, but counter-productive in driving people away. Allah سبحانه و تعالى Said to the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم :

بِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ

“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…” [Aal-Imran, 159]

3. 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 and seeking Allah’s guidance for them, it also asks for one 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…” (see Tafseer at-Tabari, 8120). This can only be achieved when one excels in morality.

4. Knowing the truth is not enough, the way it is presented makes a huge difference (and reflects our own understanding/practice of it). Allahسبحانه و تعالى continued in the same Ayah and Said: “…and consult them in the affairs…” – This is a directive to empathise and discuss and deliberate in matters that affect them and work with them to find solutions. And if they attack you or shout you down, then assume a posture of dignity and do not let their actions and words lead you to follow suit and reply in kind.

5. ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘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 associates with people and patiently endures (tolerates) their injury is better than the believer who does not associate with people and does not patiently endure (tolerate) their injury.”

[Bayhaqi, 18573; Mu’jam al-Awst, 378; Hilyat al-Awliyah, 6484; and others – graded as saheeh by al-Albani in ‘Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6651 and ‘Silsilat as-Saheehah’, 939 – see also Saheeh at-Tirmidhi, 2507 with the wording “verily the Muslim who”; Musnad Ahmad, 4875 (7/94), which Ahmad Shakir graded it as saheeh; and Saheeh Ibn Majah, 3273 with the wording “has greater reward” and graded as saheeh by al-Albani]

6. This narration has many profound benefits:

i. 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 attitude 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.

ii. Scholars explained that any suffering experienced by a person while standing for the truth is greatly rewarded, and that patience, compassion and mercy must not be compromised when delivering the message of Islam.

7. Allah سبحانه و تعالى Said:

وَلَمَن صَبَرَ وَغَفَرَ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ لَمِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ

“And whosoever shows patience and forgives, verily that would be from (the resolute) things recommended (by Allah).” [Ash-Shoorah, 43]

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May Allah make us among the light and easy-going people who have tonnes of sabr and much hikmah.