Category Archives: Points of Benefit

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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The Wicked Scholar ☢

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Scholars of Islam have a special place in our Deen because they are the inheritors of the Prophetic Message and are commissioned to solicit the truth and bring people to the truth. They should not call to themselves or to others whom usurp the truth or seek to undermine the laws and Commands of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ. Allah Almighty جل جلاله exhorts scholars with piety and righteousness:

كُونُوا رَبَّانِيِّينَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تُعَلِّمُونَ الْكِتَابَ وَبِمَا كُنتُمْ تَدْرُسُونَ

…Be you Rabbaniyyoon , because you are teaching the Book, and you are studying it.”  [Aal-Imran, 79]

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The ‘Rabbaniyoon’ are learned men of religion who practise what they know and preach to others. The Rabbani is the one who does not choose anyone over his Lord (Rabb); and the word itself is derived from (the word) ‘Ruboobiyya’ – the specifics of which is that Allah alone provides for the needs – spiritual and material – of the believers, and sustains them and takes care of them.

People whose religious knowledge is derived from the Knowledge of Allah, which He bestows upon them, are those who are elevated in degree by virtue of that Knowledge. This is also why scholars and the learned have special virtue, as Allah جل جلاله Said:

اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ

“Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge”  [Al-Mujaadilah, 11]

Thus, not every learned scholar is necessarily pious. The sincere people of knowledge have always spoke about the ulama’ al-shuuw’  [evil scholars], and the damage such people inflict upon the religiosity of their communities and their consequently, their Deen. Imam Al-Dhahabi رحمه الله for example, said in regards to the characteristics of the wicked and harmful scholar who causes loss and damage to the religion he represents:

‏علماء السوء يُحسِّنون للأمراء ما يقتحمون به من الظلم، ويَقلبون لهم الباطل، أو يسكتون مع القدرة على بيان الحق

“Evil scholars are those who persist (supporting and) doing good towards the umara’ [ruling authorities] by protecting (and appeasing) them – even when they are unjust (and oppressive). This way, they cause them to alter their outlook into falsehood, or by remaining silent when having the ability to manifest the truth.”  [Siyar A’lam An-Nubala’, 7/125]

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen رحمه الله said in his, ‘Liqa’ Bab al-Maftooh’, 9/112:

‏أكثر العلماء اليوم إما علماء دولة وإما علماء أمة، وقل من يكون من علماء الملة

“Many scholars of today are either scholars of state, or scholars of the ummah; and lesser still are the (real) scholars of the millah [i.e. Deen].”

He further elaborates these categories in his highly beneficial commentary, ‘Sharh Riyadus-Saliheen’, 4/307:

ليس كل عالم يكون ثقة، فالعلماء ثلاثة: علماء ملة، وعلماء دولة، وعلماء أمة. أما علماء الملة – جعلنا الله وإياكم منهم – فهؤلاء يأخذون بملة الإسلام وبحكم الله ورسوله صلى الله عليه وسلم، ولا يبالون بأحد كائناً من كان. وأما علماء الدولة فينظرون ماذا يريد الحاكم، يصدرون الأحكام على هواه، ويحاولون أن يلووا أعناق النصوص من الكتاب والسنة حتى تتفق مع هوى هذا الحاكم، وهؤلاء علماء دولة خاسرون، وأما علماء الأمة فهم الذين ينظرون إلى اتجاه الناس، هل يتجه الناس إلى تحليل هذا الشيء فيحلونه، أو إلى تحريمه فيحرمونه، ويحاولون أيضاً أن يلووا أعناق النصوص إلى ما يوافق هوى الناس

“Not every scholar is considered trustworthy. The scholars are of three type: scholars of the millah [Deen], scholars of state, and scholars of the ummah. As for the scholars of the millah – may Allah make you and me from them – They receive and take the Deen of Islam and rule according to what Allah and His Messenger ﷺ command with, not caring for who anyone else is. As for the scholars of state, they see what the ruler wants and they make judgments according to his desires. They try to blindly approach the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah so that it conforms and agrees with the state ruler’s edict. And such scholars of state are the real losers.

As for the scholars of the ummah, they are those who look at the orientation (and trend) of the people; considering if the people will allow and permit this thing in their favour, or prohibit it as impermissible? These scholars also try deafly wrapping the divine texts to what the people agree with, and so conform to what they like.”

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May Allah keep us connected with our true scholars, who sincerely serve the Deen without fear or favour. Ameen.


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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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.


Commensurate

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Allah جل جلاله Said:

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ  

“Allah has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practise their religion, that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islam). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieved after this, they are the Fasiqoon.” [Al-Noor, 55]

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Ibn Al-Qayyim said:  والعبد إن غير المعصية بالطاعة غير الله عليه العقوبة بالعافية والذل بالعز

“If the slave (of Allah) changes his sin (and disobedience) to obedience, Allah will change his punishment to safety, and change his humiliation to honour.”   [Al-Jawab al-Kafi, 93]

Shaykh Abdul Aziz bin Baz (rahimahullah) said:

فمتى تمسك المسلمون بدين الله والتزموا بما أوجب الله عليهم, وابتعدوا عما حرم عليهم, وحكموا شريعته, فإن الله سبحانه ينصرهم, ويؤيدهم على أعدائهم, ويكتب لهم النجاح والسعادة في الدنيا والآخرة, ويمنحهم الأمن في الدنيا وفي الآخرة, كما قال عز وجل: الذين آمنوا ولم يلبسوا إيمانهم بظلم أولئك لهم الأمن وهم مهتدون

“Whenever Muslims hold fast to the religion of Allah, and commit themselves to what Allah has enjoined upon them, and moved away from what is forbidden to them, and rule by His Law, then verily Allah Almighty will grant them victory and support them against their enemies. He will write for them success and happiness in this world and the Hereafter. As Allah ‘Azza wa Jal Said:

الذين آمنوا ولم يلبسوا إيمانهم بظلم أولئك لهم الأمن وهم مهتدون

“Those who believe and do not mix their belief with injustice – they will have security, and they are rightly guided.”  [Al-An’am, 82]

~ Majmu’ul Fatawa, 7/18


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