Category Archives: Ibadah

Nurturing Nascent Strengths

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Muslims are encouraged to enact deeds to the very end of their lives. People seeking happiness at the end of their lives will facilitate working righteous deeds that will lead to that happiness sought. Imam Malik رحمه الله once received a letter from a close friend of his named ‘Abdullah al-Umari, he was a person known for being diligent in worship. In the letter, he advised Imam Malik not to be excessive in sitting and teaching hadeeth in Madinah, and that he should spend time alone in order to perform a lot of worship.

Imam Malik responded with a profound and sufficiently apt statement (found in Ibn Abd Al-Barr’s Al-Tamheed, 7/185):

إن الله عز و جل قسم الأعمال كما قسم الأرزاق فرب رجل فتح له في الصلاة ولم يفتح له في الصوم وآخر فتح له في الصدقة ولم يفتح له في الصوم وآخر فتح له في الجهاد ولم يفتح له في الصلاة ونشر العلم وتعليمه من أفضل أعمال البر

“Indeed Allah Almighty has divided deeds (of His servants) just as He has divided their sustanence. A person for whom salah is made easy may not have fasting made easy for him. And for another, sadaqah may be made easy but not fasting. And for another, striving in the path of Allah may be made easy but not salah or spreading of knowledge or teaching it from the preferred deeds of goodness and piety…”

Then he continued:

وقد رضيت بما فتح الله لي من ذلك وما أظن ما أنا فيه بدون ما أنت فيه وأرجو أن يكون كلنا على خير ويجب على كل واحد منا أن يرضى بما قسم الله له والسلام

“And I am pleased that Allah has made easy for me such (teaching of knowledge). And I think what I am occupied with is not the same [i.e. not lower in rank] as what you are occupied with, and I hope that both of us are upon khayr. And it is wajib upon every one of us to be pleased with the division Allah Has granted (and made easy). Salaam be to you.”

Our deen does not require from us to become all things or to partake in everything that the deen permits. Neither does it encourage us to take up roles and responsibilities for which we are neither ready nor prepared. Yet each of us are tasked to perform duties and obligations as servants of Allah, and work towards providing benefits according to each person’s genuine potential.

Those who hold important roles may influence decisions for the betterment of communities. Those who are given excess wealth may benefit others who are in need. Those who are granted understanding of deen may extend its benefits to the rest. However, we see in many cases people are sacrificing time and effort and wealth, so as to merely develop their potential in things that bring no benefit at all.

And tawfeeq is from Allah alone.

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The Dynamic Trio ✨

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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It is often the case with today’s Muslim youth that by gaining a cursory understanding of the lives of the early great Muslims, it is sometimes difficult to grasp the vigour and determination they possessed; and their tenacity for knowledge and Deen. It is for these reasons that Allah granted them a lofty status and made them examples for the future generations to follow. A glimpse into one such episode is what has been recorded by Imam Ibn al-Jawzi in his work, ‘Manaqib Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal’, 2/31 (chapter 58):

Hilal ibn al-‘Ala narrated:

خَرج الشافعي ويحيى بن معين وأحمد بن حنبل إلى مكة؛ فلما أن صاروا بمكة نزلوا في موضع، فأما الشافعي، فإنه استلقى، ويحيى بن مَعين أيضًا استلقى، وأحمد بن حنبل قائم يُصلي، فلما أصبحوا قال الشافعي: لقد عملتُ للمسلمين مئتي مسألة وقيل ليحيى بن معين: أي شيءٍ عملت؟ قال: نَفيتُ عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم مِئتي كذاب وقيل لأحمد بن حنبل: فأنت؟ قال: صليتُ ركعات ختمتُ فيها القُرآن

Al-Shafi’i, Yahya ibn Ma’een, and Ahmad ibn Hanbal traveled to Makkah. When they reached the place where they were staying, al-Shafi’i lay down to rest and so did Yahya. Ahmad however, stayed up to pray salah.

The next morning al-Shafi’i said (of the prior night), “I’ve worked out two hundred legal matters for (the benefit of) Muslims.” What did you do?” they asked Yahya. “I’ve refuted two hundred lies told against the Prophet ﷺ.” They turned to Ahmad ibn Hanbal and asked, “What about you?” He replied, “I prayed two rak’at in which I completed the entire Qur’an.”

The himmah (aspired strength) and the juhud (striving) is a notable and recurring feature in their lives. May Allah grant them His Pleasure and infinite mercy, and inspire us with the legacy they’ve left behind. Ameen.

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[Note: For short inspirational reminders, you may join us at:  t.me/mirqat]


The First Ten Days

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

ما من عملٍ أزكى عند اللهِ ولا أعظمَ أجرًا من خيرٍ يعملُه في عَشرِ الأَضحى

❝ There is no deed that is more virtuous (and purer) with Allah, nor has a greater reward, than enacting goodness in the (first) ten days of sacrifice [i.e. dhul-hijjah]… ❞  [1]

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali رحمه الله commented:

من عجز عن الحج في عام قدر في العشر على عمل يعمله في بيته يكون أفضل من الجهاد الذي هو أفضل من الحج

“Whoever is unable to perform hajj for the year, should magnify the (first) ten days (of dhul-hijjah) and enact good deeds at home. This is better (and more preferred) than  jihad, which itself is better than hajj.” [2]

Al-‘Allamah al-Faqeeh, ibn Salih al-‘Uthaymeen رحمه الله:

فالعمل الصالح في أيام عشر ذي الحجة ومن ذلك الصوم أحب إلى الله من العمل الصالح في العشر الأواخر من رمضان، ومع ذلك فالأيام العشر من ذي الحجة، الناس في غفلة عنها، تَمُرُّ والناس على عاداتهم لا تجد زيادة في قراءة القرآن، ولا العبادات الأخرى بل حتى التكبير بعضهم يشح به

“The good deeds (done) in the (first) ten days of dhul-hijjah – and from them is fasting – are more loved by Allah than the good deeds of the last ten days of Ramadan.

And with that however, people are neglectful of these ten days of dhul-hijjah. People pass by these days upon their usual habits, without finding any increase in reading the Qur’an nor any other acts of ‘ibadat; even to the extent of being stingy in making the (sunnah of) takbeer.” [3]

May Allah grant us the tawfeeq to capitalise on these blessed days that are about to come upon us. Ameen.

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References:

[1]  Saheeh Al-Targheeb, 1148

[2]  Lata’if al-Ma’arif, p.381

[3]  Sharh Al-Mumti’, 6/298

See also: http://bit.ly/2w0mPew


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.


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]

 


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)


Jaw Breaker

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Break the Jaw of Shaytan: Give in Charity

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It is reported that Buraydah al-Aslami رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said :

ما يخرج أحد شيئا من الصدقة حتى يفك لحى سبعين شيطانا

No person goes out to give sadaqah, except that he breaks (and escapes from) the jaw of seventy shaytan.❞ [1]

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Commenting on this Hadeeth, Al-Manawi said, “… Because giving sadaqah is intended to gain the pleasure of Allah, the shayateen prevent people from achieving this lofty status. And their failure to repel (the thought of giving sadaqah) from human psychology and dampen their spirit in the way of Allah is the strongest evidence of their integrity and sincerity of intention, thus providing a malefic blow to (the army of) shaytan (not restricting it to the apparent number of seventy)…”  [2]

Regarding sadaqatu fi-sabeelillah particularly, ibn Nuhhas said some beautiful words of reflection:

‏الإنفاق في سبيل الله من أعظم القربات وأجل الصدقات، ولا يجتهد الشيطان في منع شيء من الإنفاق كاجتهاده في منع النفقة في سبيل الله

“Spending in the Path of Allah is from greater act of gaining nearness (to Allah) and loftier (form of) charity. The shaytan doesn’t strive more to prevent anything than striving in preventing (mankind) to spend in the Path of Allah.” [3]

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References:

[1] Saheeh ibn Khuzaymah, 4/105 (#2457); Al-Hakim, 1/417; Al-Tabarani, ‘Al-Awsat’, (#1038), Al-Bayhaqi & others. Authenticated by Al-Haythami, Al-Haytami al-Makki, Al-Busayri & others. Al-Albani said it was saheeh in one of his grading (see ”Silsilat al-Saheehah’, 3/264 & ‘Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5814)

[2] See, ‘Fayd al-Qadeer’ 5/403

[3] Ibn Nuhaas, ‘Mashaari’ al-Aswaaq’