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Posts from the ‘Aqeedah (Creed)’ Category

26
Jul

An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds – Day 25

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Day 24.]

These two attributes (i.e. withholding and giving lavishly) are also mentioned in various ayaat (verses):

مَّن ذَا الَّذِي يُقْرِ‌ضُ اللَّـهَ قَرْ‌ضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضَاعِفَهُ لَهُ أَضْعَافًا كَثِيرَ‌ةً ۚ وَاللَّـهُ يَقْبِضُ وَيَبْسُطُ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْ‌جَعُونَ

“Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times? And it is Allah that decreases or increases (your provisions), and unto Him you shall return.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 245]

لَهُ مَقَالِيدُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ ۖ يَبْسُطُ الرِّ‌زْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ‌ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

“To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth, He enlarges provision for whom He wills, and straitens (it for whom He wills). Verily! He is the All-Knower of everything.” [Surah Ash-Shura (42) : 12]

Interestingly enough, this Surah (i.e. Ash-Shura) mentions the giving of provision two more times (the attribute of giving lavishly (or enlarging) is mentioned in the second ayah):

اللَّـهُ لَطِيفٌ بِعِبَادِهِ يَرْ‌زُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ ۖ وَهُوَ الْقَوِيُّ الْعَزِيزُ

“Allah is Lateef (very Gracious and Kind) to His slaves. He gives provisions to whom He wills. And He is the All-Strong, the All-Mighty.” [Surah Ash-Shura (42) : 19]

وَلَوْ بَسَطَ اللَّـهُ الرِّ‌زْقَ لِعِبَادِهِ لَبَغَوْا فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ وَلَـٰكِن يُنَزِّلُ بِقَدَرٍ‌ مَّا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرٌ‌ بَصِيرٌ‌

“And if Allah were to enlarge the provision for His slaves, they would surely rebel in the earth, but He sends down by measure as He wills. Verily! He is in respect of His slaves, the Well-Aware, the All-Seer (of things that benefit them).” [Surah Ash-Shura (42) : 27]

The second ayah (verse) shows that it is from Allah’s Perfection and complete ability that He can both withhold and extend provisions. This is why these two attributes, although opposites, are always mentioned together.

اللَّـهُ يَبْسُطُ الرِّ‌زْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ‌ ۚ وَفَرِ‌حُوا بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا فِي الْآخِرَ‌ةِ إِلَّا مَتَاعٌ

“Allah increases the provision for whom He wills, and straitens (it for whom He wills), and they rejoice in the life of the world, whereas the life of this world as compared with the Hereafter is but a brief passing enjoyment.” [Surah Ar-Raad (13) : 26]

وَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْ‌بَىٰ حَقَّهُ وَالْمِسْكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَلَا تُبَذِّرْ‌ تَبْذِيرً‌ا

إِنَّ الْمُبَذِّرِ‌ينَ كَانُوا إِخْوَانَ الشَّيَاطِينِ ۖ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِرَ‌بِّهِ كَفُورً‌ا

وَإِمَّا تُعْرِ‌ضَنَّ عَنْهُمُ ابْتِغَاءَ رَ‌حْمَةٍ مِّن رَّ‌بِّكَ تَرْ‌جُوهَا فَقُل لَّهُمْ قَوْلًا مَّيْسُورً‌ا

وَلَا تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُولَةً إِلَىٰ عُنُقِكَ وَلَا تَبْسُطْهَا كُلَّ الْبَسْطِ فَتَقْعُدَ مَلُومًا مَّحْسُورً‌ا

إِنَّ رَ‌بَّكَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّ‌زْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ‌ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرً‌ا بَصِيرً‌ا

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْ‌زُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرً‌ا

“And give to the kindred his due and to the Miskeen (poor) and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.

Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayateen (devils), and the Shaytaan (Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord.

And if you (O Muhammad) turn away from them (kindred, poor, wayfarer, etc. whom We have ordered you to give their rights, but if you have no money at the time they ask you for it) and you are awaiting a mercy from your Lord for which you hope, then, speak unto them a soft kind word (i.e. Allah will give me and I shall give you).

And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.

Truly, your Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills). Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His slaves.

And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.”

[Surah Al-Israa (17) : 26-31]

In the above ayaat (verses), Allah first orders us to give in charity and then informs us not to be spendthrifts (i.e. be moderate in spending). After this, we are informed that He enlarges and withholds provision out of His Knowledge. Then He commands us not to kill our children due to poverty as He will provide for us and them.

Ponder over the order of these ayaat. It’s very interesting.

The last ayah should also be a reply to those who say that they don’t want children or want only one or two because they “can’t afford the expenses”.

وَمَا أَرْ‌سَلْنَا فِي قَرْ‌يَةٍ مِّن نَّذِيرٍ‌ إِلَّا قَالَ مُتْرَ‌فُوهَا إِنَّا بِمَا أُرْ‌سِلْتُم بِهِ كَافِرُ‌ونَ

وَقَالُوا نَحْنُ أَكْثَرُ‌ أَمْوَالًا وَأَوْلَادًا وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ

قُلْ إِنَّ رَ‌بِّي يَبْسُطُ الرِّ‌زْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ‌ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ‌ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

وَمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُم بِالَّتِي تُقَرِّ‌بُكُمْ عِندَنَا زُلْفَىٰ إِلَّا مَنْ آمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَأُولَـٰئِكَ لَهُمْ جَزَاءُ الضِّعْفِ بِمَا عَمِلُوا وَهُمْ فِي الْغُرُ‌فَاتِ آمِنُونَ

وَالَّذِينَ يَسْعَوْنَ فِي آيَاتِنَا مُعَاجِزِينَ أُولَـٰئِكَ فِي الْعَذَابِ مُحْضَرُ‌ونَ

قُلْ إِنَّ رَ‌بِّي يَبْسُطُ الرِّ‌زْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَقْدِرُ‌ لَهُ ۚ وَمَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ فَهُوَ يُخْلِفُهُ ۖ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ‌ الرَّ‌ازِقِينَ

“And We did not send a warner to a township, but those who were given the worldly wealth and luxuries among them said: “We believe not in the (Message) with which you have been sent.

And they say: “We are more in wealth and in children, and we are not going to be punished.”

Say (O Muhammad): “Verily, my Lord enlarges and restricts the provision to whom He pleases, but most men know not.”

And it is not your wealth, nor your children that bring you nearer to Us (i.e. pleases Allah), but only he (will please Us) who believes (in the Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds; as for such, there will be twofold reward for what they did, and they will reside in the high dwellings (Paradise) in peace and security.

And those who strive against Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), to frustrate them, will be brought to the torment.

Say: “Truly, my Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills of His slaves, and (also) restricts (it) for him, and whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah’s Cause), He will replace it. And He is the Best of providers.””

[Surah Saba (34) : 34-39]

In the above ayaat, the fact that Allah enlarges and straitens provision is mentioned TWICE.

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ يَدُ اللَّـهِ مَغْلُولَةٌ ۚ غُلَّتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَلُعِنُوا بِمَا قَالُوا ۘ بَلْ يَدَاهُ مَبْسُوطَتَانِ يُنفِقُ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ

“The Jews say: “Allah’s Hand is tied up (i.e. He does not give and spend of His Bounty).” Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered. Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched. He spends (of His Bounty) as He wills.” [Surah Al-Maaidah (5) : 64]

Al-Qaabidh is the One who takes the provisions (i.e. withholds them) and the souls. Al-Baasit is the One who freely gives provisions and gives life to the hearts.

So, the first Name should cause us to increase in fear and the second Name should cause us to increase in hope.

Al-Baasit also gives people a chance to repent for the sins that they committed during the day:

إن الله عز وجل يبسط يده بالليل ، ليتوب مسيء النهار . ويبسط يده بالنهار ، ليتوب مسيء الليل . حتى تطلع الشمس من مغربها

Abu Musa (radiallahu anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, Stretches out His Hand during the night so that the people repent for the fault committed from dawn till dusk and He stretches out His Hand during the day so that the people may repent for the fault committed from dusk to dawn. (He would accept repentance) before the sun rises in the west. [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6644]

So, we should rush to take advantage of this by repenting from our sins. [And no, this hadeeth does not mean that we can sin and then repent as we wish!]

Want Al-Baasit to grant you more provision? Well, here’s what you have to do:

من أحب أن يبسط له في رزقه ، وينسأ له في أثره ، فليصل رحمه

Narrated by Anas bin Malik (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever loves that he be granted more wealth and that his lease of life be prolonged then he should keep good relations with his Kith and kin.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 15]

[Visiting inquisitive elderly aunts doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?]

There is a lot more to these two Names. I’ve just summarised it and pointed out the aspects which relate to what we’ve already covered like giving and rizq (provision).

What we also learn from these Names is that WE should generously to others.

Insha-Allah, this will be the last post for this Ramadan (I mentioned earlier that I was only going to be blogging for 7 days).

[I had mentioned earlier that I was going to cover dawah (calling to Islam) in this series during Ramadan but I wasn’t able to get to it. I’ll cover that in future, insha-Allah.]

I would like to remind myself and all of you to study the Names and Attributes of Allah, because without it, we won’t be able to know who Allah is. And if we don’t know who He is, we won’t worship Him the way that we’re supposed to.

I would also like to remind everyone to apply this knowledge in their daily lives. This is not just theoretical information. We can’t say “Oh yeah, I know the Names of Allah because I read a few blog posts on this topic.”

We need to keep learning them until we understand them.

Let me give you an example related to Ramadan:

Here we are in Ramadan, the Month of Rectification and these are some of the search terms that people used to reach my blog:

– “Is it okay not to fast in Ramadan?” [They got this post.]

– “Is it haram to masturbate whilst fasting?” [They got this post.]

-“Is it haram to listen to music whilst fasting?” [They got this post.]

These have been the top search terms for the past week now.

Subhan Allah, these people don’t realise that Allah is the All-Seer, the All-Hearer and the All-Knower. If they had known, this would have been a reason for them to try to overcome these problems rather than trying to google a way out.

Also, if they had realised that He was Samee As-Dua (the Hearer of supplications), they would have asked Him to aid them in worshipping Him and fighting their weaknesses

So, let’s remember His Names during this month as that will help us to improve (and yes, all of us need to improve).

A final reminder: I read this article by Shaikh Saleh Al-Fawzan recently and the following part caught my eye:

“Slaves of Allah, Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)would strive hard in this month more than he would strive in other months; and he, upon him be prayers and peace, would be serious in al-‘Ibaadah during all of its times. He would remove himself in this month from most distractions which are in actuality worship, but he would remove himself from the virtuous acts for that which was more virtuous than it. And the Salafus-Saalih would follow his example in that and would particularize this month with an abundance of importance and they would dedicate themselves therein to righteous actions. They would spend its night in Tahajjud and its day in fasting, remembrance and recitation of the Qur’aan. They would spend time in the masaajid with that; so let us compare our affair to their affair and what is the extent of our knowledge with this month. And let us know that just as the good deeds are multiplied therein, the sins committed therein are likewise and their punishment is increased. So let us fear Allah the Glorified and honor His sacred things: “And whoever honors the sacred things of Allah that is better for him with his Lord.” (Al-Hajj 22:30)”

So, I advise myself and you to take heed of this advice and fill up this month with the most virtuous acts of worship, including itikaf (retreat in the masjid) during the last ten days.

There are lots of resources on this blog for all the topics mentioned for those who are interested in learning more (the search function really, really does help).

Insha-Allah, I’ll resume this blog after Hajj season as I want to focus on my Hajj blogs (the links are on the right hand corner of the site) after Ramadan.

May Allah accept our fasts, prayers and all our good deeds in this blessed month.

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25
Jul

An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds – Day 24

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Day 23.]

In the previous part, I mentioned the two types of giving with regards to Allah’s Name Al-Mutee (the One who gives): the general (which includes believers and the disbelievers) and the specific (which is only for the believers, both in this world and the Hereafter).

The following hadeeth mentions the greatest thing that Al-Mutee gives His slaves in the Hereafter:

إن الله يقول لأهل الجنة : يا أهل الجنة ! فيقولون : لبيك . ربنا ! وسعديك . والخير في يديك . فيقول : هل رضيتم ؟ فيقولون : وما لنا لا نرضى ؟ يا رب ! وقد أعطيتنا ما لم تعط أحدا من خلقك . فيقول : ألا أعطيكم أفضل من ذلك ؟ فيقولون : يا رب ! وأي شيء أفضل من ذلك ؟ فيقول : أحل عليكم رضواني . فلا أسخط عليكم بعده أبدا

Abu Said al-Khudri (radiallahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said that Allah would say to the inmates of Paradise: O, Dwellers of Paradise, and they would say in response: At Your service and pleasure, our Lord, the good is in Your Hand. He (the Lord) would say: Are you well pleased now? They would say: Why should we not be pleased, O Lord, when You have given us what You have not given to any of Your creatures? He would, however, say: May I not give you (something) even more excellent than that? And they would say: O Lord, what thing can be more excellent than this? And He would say: I shall cause My pleasure to alight upon you and I shall never be angry with you after this. [Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 6787]

I ask Allah, Al-Mutee by His Beautiful Names and Lofty Attributes that He make us of those who He is pleased with, both in this world and in the Hereafter.

We should remember the following things:

a) Whatever blessings we have were given to us by Al-Mutee.

We forget this quite frequently, don’t we? We think we “earned” it, don’t we? 

يا عبادي ! لو أن أولكم وآخركم . وإنسكم وجنكم . قاموا في صعيد واحد فسألوني . فأعطيت كل إنسان مسألته . ما نقص ذلك مما عندي إلا كما ينقص المخيط إذا أدخل البحر . يا عبادي ! إنما هي أعمالكم أحصيها لكم . ثم أوفيكم إياها . فمن وجد خيرا فليحمد الله . ومن وجد غير ذلك فلا يلومن إلا نفسه

O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you, were all to stand together in one place and ask of Me, and I were to give everyone what he requested, then that would not decrease what I Possess, except what is decreased of the ocean when a needle is dipped into it.O My servants, it is but your deeds that I account for you, and then recompense you for. So he who finds good, let him praise Allah, and he who finds other than that, let him blame no one but himself.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6246]

[The full narration can be found here.]

I recall reading an article which asked us something like: “If you have a degree, then who caused you to have it?” It pointed out that so many people came from poor families who could not afford to pay for education.

Something for us to think about.

When we realise that we did not “earn” these blessings, then perhaps we’ll be a bit more grateful for all the stuff that we have instead of sounding like this.

b) There are no limits to His giving, nor does His giving decrease His Kingdom in the least.

The hadeeth mentioned above is a proof of this statement.

Subhan Allah, He gives to all of creation!

يَسْأَلُهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ ۚ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ هُوَ فِي شَأْنٍ

“Whosoever is in the heavens and on earth begs of Him (its needs from Him). Every day He has a matter to bring forth (such as giving honour to some, disgrace to some, life to some, death to some, etc.)!” [Surah Ar-Rahman (55) : 29]

c) If we want something, we should ask Allah to grant it to us.

We should do dua (supplication) and remember that if He wants to grant us something, out of His Mercy, then nobody can prevent it.

However, we should also remember that if He wants to prevent us from getting something, out of His Wisdom and Justice, then nobody can give it to us!

And this leads us to another topic: Being pleased with what Allah has decreed for us, in terms of provisions and the like.

This is a very lengthy topic. All I want to point out is that we should ask Allah and be grateful if we get what we want, and be patient if we don’t get it.

A reminder: Turn to Allah in times of distress and ask Him to grant you a way out. Do not turn to people.

من أصابته فاقة فأنزلها بالناس لم تسد فاقته ومن أنزلها بالله أوشك الله له بالغنى إما بموت عاجل أو غنى عاجل

Ibn Masud (radiallahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever is afflicted with a distress, and turns to the people (to solve it), he will not have his distress solved. And whoever turns to Allah, Allah will hasten independence to him, either by a quick death or a speedy richness.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1645. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1645]

d) Nobody should say “Oh, I’m not guided because Allah did not give me guidance.”

This is a common chirp. What the person really means is “I know that I have to be good, but I just don’t want to be.”

A person is misguided due to his own sins:

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَسْتَحْيِي أَن يَضْرِ‌بَ مَثَلًا مَّا بَعُوضَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا ۚ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّ‌بِّهِمْ ۖ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا

فَيَقُولُونَ مَاذَا أَرَ‌ادَ اللَّـهُ بِهَـٰذَا مَثَلًا ۘ يُضِلُّ بِهِ كَثِيرً‌ا وَيَهْدِي بِهِ كَثِيرً‌ا ۚ وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِ إِلَّا الْفَاسِقِينَ

“Verily, Allah is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger (or less when it is smaller) than it. And as for those who believe, they know that it is the Truth from their Lord, but as for those who disbelieve, they say: “What did Allah intend by this parable?” By it He misleads many, and many He guides thereby. And He misleads thereby only those who are Al-Fasiqoon (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 26]

In contrast, the sincere ones are the ones who are guided:

وَالَّذِينَ اهْتَدَوْا زَادَهُمْ هُدًى وَآتَاهُمْ تَقْوَاهُمْ

“While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance, and bestows on them their piety.” [Surah Muhammad (47) : 17]

Imam Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) states in his tafsir (explanation) of this ayah (verse):

“(And as for those who accept guidance, He increases them in guidance) which means that those who seek guidance, Allah facilitates it for them; He guides them to it, makes them firm on it, and gives them more of it.

(and bestows on them their Taqwa. ) meaning, He inspires them to their righteous guidance.”

So, the one who sincerely seeks guidance will be given it. So we need to do lot of dua asking Allah to guide us and then we need to take the means i.e. studying about Islam and increasing in our worship.

e) Al-Mutee gives more to certain types of people so we should try to adopt those qualities.

One of those types would be kind people:

يا عائشة ! إن الله رفيق يحب الرفق . ويعطي على الرفق ما لا يعطي على العنف . وما لا يعطي على ما سواه

Aishah (radiallahu anha), the wife of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Oh Aishah, verily Allah is Rafeeq (kind) and He loves kindness and confers upon kindness which he does not confer upon severity and does not confer upon anything else besides it (kindness).” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6273]

This hadeeth mentions another Name of Allah: Ar-Rafeeq (kind). So, if we want Al-Mutee, Ar-Rafeeq to give us more, we need to increase in kindness towards His creation, even if it were a wild camel.

f) We should also give.

If we want Allah to give us more, then obviously we should give more to others, shouldn’t we?

الأيدي ثلاثة فيد الله العليا ويد المعطي التي تليها ويد السائل السفلى فأعط الفضل ولا تعجز عن نفسك

Malik ibn Nadlah (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “There are three types of hands: The Hand of Allah is the highest, and the hand of the giver is below it, and the hand of the one who asks is the lowest. So give blessings (charity) and do not be too weak to overcome yourself.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1649. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1649.]

Reminder: This is Ramadan, the month where the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) would increase in his generosity, so we should follow his sunnah (way):

كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود الناس ، وكان أجود ما يكون في رمضان حين يلقاه جبريل ، وكان يلقاه في كل ليلة من رمضان فيدارسه القرآن ، فلرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود بالخير من الريح المرسلة

Narrated Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu): “Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Jibreel met him. Jibreel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Quran. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 5]

2) He is Al-Musair (the One who determines).

قال الناس : يا رسول الله ! غلا السعر فسعر لنا ! فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : إن الله هو المسعر القابض الباسط الرازق ، وإني لأرجو أن ألقى الله وليس أحد منكم يطالبني بمظلمة في دم ولا مال

It was narrated that Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) said: “The people said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, prices have become too high; fix the prices for us.’ The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Allah is Al-Musair (the One who determines), Al-Qaabidh (the One who withholds) and Al-Baasit (the One who gives lavishly) and Ar-Raaziq (the Provider). I hope that I meet Allah with no one among you making any claim against me concerning issues of blood or wealth.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 3451. Graded “sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 3451.]

[I’ve mentioned this hadeeth before when I discussed the Names Ar-Raaziq and Ar-Razzaq on Day 10.]

So Allah is the One who determines things (like prices, provisions, life etc) through His will, so we should be content with that. The people who don’t know this are the ones who suffer anxiety. [I just came across this interesting article on the Islamic perspective on the financial crisis.]

This should also encourage a person to be lenient with regards to prices, instead of behaving like a pest when he sells or buys.

رَحِمَ اللَّهُ رَجُلاً سَمْحًا إِذَا بَاعَ، وَإِذَا اشْتَرَى، وَإِذَا اقْتَضَى ‏

Narrated Jabir ibn Abdillah (radiallahu anhuma): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “May Allah’s mercy be on a man who is lenient in his buying, selling, and in demanding back his money.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadith No. 290]

3) He is Al-Qaabidh (the Taker / the One who withholds) and Al-Baasit (the One who gives lavishly/ the Extender).

The hadeeth mentioned above about Al-Musair also mentions these two Names.

قال الناس : يا رسول الله ! غلا السعر فسعر لنا ! فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : إن الله هو المسعر القابض الباسط الرازق ، وإني لأرجو أن ألقى الله وليس أحد منكم يطالبني بمظلمة في دم ولا مال

It was narrated that Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) said: “The people said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, prices have become too high; fix the prices for us.’ The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Allah is Al-Musair (the One who determines), Al-Qaabidh (the One who withholds) and Al-Baasit (the One who gives lavishly) and Ar-Raaziq (the Provider). I hope that I meet Allah with no one among you making any claim against me concerning issues of blood or wealth.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 3451. Graded “sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 3451.]

These two attributes (i.e. withholding and giving lavishly) are also mentioned in the following dua of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wassalam). In the previous post, I pointed out that this dua mentioned the attribute of giving as well:

لما كان يوم أحد ، وانكفأ المشركون ، قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم استووا حتى أثني على ربي عز و جل اللهم لك الحمد كله ، اللهم لا قابض لما بسطت ، و لا مقرب لما باعدت ، و لا مباعد لما قربت ، و لا معطي لما منعت ، و لا مانع لما أعطيت أسألك ابسط علينا من بركاتك و رحمتك و فضلك و رزقك ، اللهم إني أسألك النعيم المقيم الذي لا يحول و لا يزول اللهم إني أسألك النعيم يوم العيلة ، و الأمن يوم الحرب ، اللهم عائذا بك من سوء ما أعطينا ، و شر ما منعت منا اللهم حبب إلينا الإيمان وزينه في قلوبنا ، وكره إلينا الكفر والفسوق والعصيان واجعلنا من الراشدين اللهم توفنا مسلمين ، و أحينا مسلمين و ألحقنا بالصالحين ، غير خزايا ، و لا مفتونين اللهم قاتل الكفرة الذين يصدون عن سبيلك ، و يكذبون رسلك ، و اجعل عليهم رجزك و عذابك قاتل الكفرة الذين أوتوا الكتاب ، إله الحق

Rifaa az-Zurqi (radiallahu anhu) said, “In the Battle of Uhud when the idolaters retreated, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, ‘Form straight ranks so that I can praise my Almighty Lord.’ They formed in ranks behind him. He said, ‘O Allah, all praise is due to You. O Allah, none can contract what You expand nor bring near what you put far away. None can put far away what You bring near. None can give what You withhold nor withhold what You give. O Allah, expand to us some of Your blessings, mercy and favour and give us provision! O Allah, I ask You for the abiding blessing which is neither changed nor removed. O Allah, I ask You for blessing on the Day of Utter Poverty and security on the Day of Fear. O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the evil of what You give us. O Allah, make us love belief and adorn our hearts with it. Make us hate disbelief, deviance and rebellion. Place us among the rightly-guided. O Allah, make us die Muslims and make us live as Muslims and join us to the rightly, acting, who are neither disappointed nor afflicted. O Allah, fight the unbelievers who bar your path and who deny Your Messengers. Place You abasement and punishment over them. O Allah, fight the unbelievers who were given the Book, O Lord of Truth!'” [Adab Al-Mufrad, Hadeeth No. 699. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Adab Al-Mufrad, Hadeeth No. 538. I got the latter reference from Dorar.]

[Completely awesome dua, isn’t it?]

You might have noticed that both these attributes are opposites of each other.

Insha-Allah, I’ll discuss that in the next part.

To be continued…

23
Jul

An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds – Day 22

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Day 21.]

10. Many people don’t have a correct understanding of dua (supplication).

In this section, I’m not going to be focusing on the etiquettes of dua but rather some errors that people make with regards to dua. The reason for these errors is due to their lack of knowledge of Allah’s Names and Attributes and of His Rights.

a) Forgetting to do dua.

Unfortunately, this is a very, very, very common problem.

A couple of years ago, I had a Ramadan workshop and was talking about the importance of dua.

One of the sisters in attendance, came up to me at the end and told me that during the workshop, she realised that she hadn’t been doing dua. At all.

[Note: I do not teach anymore. I moved over to blogging.]

This was a bit shocking to me. How could people NOT do dua?

Subhan Allah, after that, I met so many people who had the same issue. Either they didn’t ask at all or they forget to do dua for things that they wanted!

One of my classmates was searching for a specific type of cat for her daughter and she was telling me the story. I asked her if she had done dua. No, she had forgotten.

Have you wanted something (halal) for a long time?

If the answer is yes, have you ever asked Allah for it? If you haven’t asked, then why not??

ASK ALLAH.

I repeat: ASK ALLAH.

Read more »

22
Jul

An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds – Day 21

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Day 20.]

[Note#1: This series started last Ramadan so for those who missed it, here’s Day 1.

Note #2: I made a mistake in yesterday’s post (which I corrected now). The ayah (verse) mentioned after the ayah about Ramadan is the one in Surah Al-Baqarah, not the one in Surah Al-Ghafir. May Allah reward the sister who pointed this out to me.]

9. Why do we need to know about shirk (polytheism) in dua (supplication) if we’re only calling upon Allah alone?

a) A thing is known through its opposite.

We won’t truly understand what “dry” is until we know what “wet” is.

We won’t truly understand what “hot” is until we know what “cold” is.

In the same way, we won’t understand the beauty of tawheed (worshipping Allah alone) if we don’t understand the ugliness of shirk (attributing partners to Allah).

Also, knowing what shirk is, will protect us from falling into it.

Read more »

21
Jul

An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds – Day 20

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Day 19.]

3. He is Al-Qareeb (the One who is close) and Al-Mujeeb (the One who responds/answers).

وَإِلَىٰ ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَالِحًا ۚ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّـهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيْرُ‌هُ ۖ هُوَ أَنشَأَكُم مِّنَ الْأَرْ‌ضِ وَاسْتَعْمَرَ‌كُمْ فِيهَا فَاسْتَغْفِرُ‌وهُ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّ رَ‌بِّي قَرِ‌يبٌ مُّجِيبٌ

“And to Thamud (people, We sent) their brother Saleh. He said: “O my people! Worship Allah, you have no other Ilah (God) but Him. He brought you forth from the earth and settled you therein, then ask forgiveness of Him and turn to Him in repentance. Certainly, my Lord is Near (to all by His Knowledge), Responsive.”” [Surah Hud (11) : 61]

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِ‌يبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْ‌شُدُونَ

“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 186]

[This ayah (verse) comes right after the ayah about Ramadan being the month of Quran. The ayah after this also relates to fasting and Ramadan. Something to think about, isn’t it?]

وَقَالَ رَ‌بُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُ‌ونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِ‌ينَ

“And your Lord said: “Invoke Me, I will respond to your (invocation). Verily! Those who scorn My worship [i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness, (Islamic Monotheism)] they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!”” [Surah Ghafir (40) : 60]

Read more »

4
Jul

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #1: Seek Knowledge… – Part 7

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here are Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.]

What should knowledge do for us?

I spoke about the importance of applying one’s knowledge in the previous parts so in this part, I’d just like to summarise what this knowledge should do for us:

-It should increase us in our knowledge of Allah i.e. His Names and His Attributes.

– It should improve us as people – both from the perspective of ibaadah (worship) and good manners.

– It should soften our hearts.

Yes soften, NOT harden because sadly, some people let their hearts get hard even though the knowledge has come to them.

– It should make us aware of our deficiencies and ignorance.

– It should make us humble, not arrogant. Basically it needs to break us and pour into our pores (if you will).

The following two ahadeeth should clarify the above points:

إن المؤمن يرى ذنوبه كأنه قاعد تحت جبل يخاف أن يقع عليه ، وإن الفاجر يرى ذنوبه كذباب مر على أنفه ، فقال به هكذا . قال أبو شهاب بيده فوق أنفه

Narrated Al-Harith ibn Suwaid: Abdullah ibn Masood (radiallahu anhu) related to us two narrations: One from the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and the other from himself, saying: A believer sees his sins as if he were sitting under a mountain which, he is afraid, may fall on him; whereas the wicked person considers his sins as flies passing over his nose and he just drives them away like this.” Abu Shihab (the sub-narrator) moved his hand over his nose in illustration. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 320]

أن عبد الرحمن بن عوف رضي الله عنه أتي بطعام ، وكان صائما ، فقال : قتل مصعب بن عمير ، وهو خير مني ، كفن في بردة : إن غطي رأسه بدت رجلاه ، وإن غطي رجلاه بدا رأسه . وأراه قال : وقتل حمزة ، وهو خير مني ، ثم بسط لنا من الدنيا ما بسط ، أو قال : أعطينا من الدنيا ما أعطينا ، وقد خشينا أن تكون حسناتنا عجلت لنا ، ثم جعل يبكي حتى ترك الطعام 

Narrated Ibrahim: Once a meal was brought to Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) and he was fasting. He said, “Musab ibnUmair was martyred and he was better than I and was shrouded in his Burd (a black square narrow dress)  and when his head was covered with it, his legs became bare, and when his legs were covered his head got uncovered. Hamza was martyred and was better than I. Now the worldly wealth have been bestowed upon us (or said a similar thing). No doubt, I fear that the rewards of my deeds might have been given earlier in this world.” Then he started weeping and left his food. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 2, Hadeeth No. 365]

Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) was one of the greatest companions and he was one of those who was granted Paradise in his lifetime. Subhan Allah, look at how much he feared Allah!

Read more »

3
Jul

How to make a fresh start – Part 4

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here are Parts 1, 2 and 3.]

[Yes, I know. You’re struggling to remember what this series is all about. It’s about the man who murdered 99 people.]

In the last part, I mentioned the importance of having good friends. Here’s one more hadeeth on the importance of being around righteous people:

إن لله ملائكة يطوفون في الطرق يلتمسون أهل الذكر ، فإذا وجدوا قوما يذكرون الله تنادوا : هلموا إلى حاجتكم . قال : فيحفونهم بأجنحتهم إلى السماء الدنيا ، قال : فيسألهم ربهم ، وهو أعلم منهم ، ما يقول عبادي ؟ قال : تقول : يسبحونك ويكبرونك ويحمدونك ويمجدونك ، قال : فيقول : هل رأوني ؟ قال : فيقولون : لا والله ما رأوك ، قال : فيقول : وكيف لو رأوني ؟ قال : يقولون : لو رأوك كانوا أشد لك عبادة ، وأشد لك تمجيدا وأكثر لك تسبيحا ، قال : يقول : فما يسألونني ؟ قال : يسألونك الجنة ، قال : يقول : وهل رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لا والله يا رب ما رأوها ، قال : يقول : فكيف لو أنهم رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لو أنهم رأوها كانوا أشد عليها حرصا ، وأشد لها طلبا ، وأعظم فيها رغبة ، قال : فمم يتعوذون ؟ قال : يقولون : من النار ، قال : يقول : وهل رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لا والله يا رب ما رأوها ، قال : يقول : فكيف لو رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لو رأوها كانوا أشد منها فرارا ، وأشد لها مخافة ، قال : فيقول : فأشهدكم أني قد غفرت لهم . قال : يقول ملك من الملائكة : فيهم فلان ليس منهم ، إنما جاء لحاجة . قال : هم الجلساء لا يشقى بهم جليسهم

Narrated by Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): Allah ‘s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Allah has some angels who look for those who celebrate the Praises of Allah on the roads and paths. And when they find some people celebrating the Praises of Allah, they call each other, saying, “Come to the object of your pursuit.’ ” He added, “Then the angels encircle them with their wings up to the sky of the world.” He added. “(after those people celebrated the Praises of Allah, and the angels go back), their Lord, asks them (those angels)… though He knows better than them… ‘What do My slaves say?’ The angels reply, ‘They say: Subhan Allah, Allahu Akbar, and Alhamdulillah.

Allah then says ‘Did they see Me?’ The angels reply, ‘No! By Allah, they didn’t see You.’ Allah says, How it would have been if they saw Me?’ The angels reply, ‘If they saw You, they would worship You more devoutly and celebrate Your Glory more deeply, and declare Your freedom from any resemblance to anything more often.’ Allah says (to the angels), ‘What do they ask Me for?’ The angels reply, ‘They ask You for Paradise.’ Allah says (to the angels), ‘Did they see it?’ The angels say, ‘No! By Allah, O Lord! They did not see it.’ Allah says, How it would have been if they saw it?’ The angels say, ‘If they saw it, they would have greater covetousness for it and would seek It with greater zeal and would have greater desire for it.’

Allah says, ‘From what do they seek refuge?’ The angels reply, ‘They seek refuge from the (Hell) Fire.’ Allah says, ‘Did they see it?’ The angels say, ‘No By Allah, O Lord! They did not see it.’ Allah says, How it would have been if they saw it?’ The angels say, ‘If they saw it they would flee from it with the extreme fleeing and would have extreme fear from it.’ Then Allah says, ‘I make you witnesses that I have forgiven them.”‘

Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) added, “One of the angels would say, ‘There was so-and-so amongst them, and he was not one of them, but he had just come for some need.’ Allah would say, ‘These are those people whose companions will not be reduced to misery.’ [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 417]

Read more »

24
Jun

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #1: Seek Knowledge… – Part 4

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here are Parts 1, 2 and 3.]

Some of the problems with the way knowledge is sought today

[The difference between the previous section (in Part 3) and this one is that the former discussed those who were NOT seeking knowledge, whereas the latter will discuss those who are already seeking knowledge.]

1) Seeking knowledge as a “fashion”

[One of my friends asked me to mention this on my blog. I told her that I was already planning to!]

What do I mean by this? Well, it seems that these days it’s all the trend to be a “student of knowledge”.

People attend a one week crash course on Islam and after that, they appoint themselves muftis of their area…

[It seems that everyone is trying to win the “How many fatwas can I pass in an hour” award.]

Subhan Allah, is this what knowledge is sought for? So that we can show everyone how “knowledgeable” and “pious” we are? Sadly, it seems that for some people, this is indeed the case.

Brothers and sisters, Islamic knowledge is not sought to increase us in the coolness factor, but rather to increase in the khashya (fear of Allah) factor:

إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّـهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ

“It is only those who have knowledge among his slaves that fear Allah.”  [Surah Faatir (35) : 28]

 So, as I mentioned in the last part, we need to keep our intentions in check. We shouldn’t be doing this to get entrance into celebrity shaikhdom.

2) Having bad thoughts about Allah

Many people today have very low ambitions with regards to seeking knowledge.

Instead of doing dua (supplication) to Allah, relying upon Him and having good thoughts about Him (i.e. that He would fulfill your duas and make it easy for you to get knowledge), many people just give up because they think they can’t do any better. They think seeking knowledge is very difficult.

What happens after this? Well, seeking knowledge does indeed become very difficult for them and they barely get to the low standard that they set for themselves.

They assume that they were right all along, when in reality, this difficulty arose as a punishment for them due to their bad thoughts about Allah.

يقول الله تعالى : أنا عند ظن عبدي بي ، وأنا معه إذا ذكرني ، فإن ذكرني في نفسه ذكرته في نفسي ، وإن ذكرني في ملأ ذكرته في ملأ خير منهم ، وإن تقرب إلي شبرا تقربت إليه ذراعا ، وإن تقرب إلي ذراعا تقربت إليه باعا ، وإن أتاني يمشي أتيته هرولة

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Allah says:  ‘I am just as My slave thinks I am (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if he remembers me. if he remembers me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than they; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.'” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 9, Hadeeth No. 502]

مَا قَدَرُ‌وا اللَّـهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِ‌هِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ

“They have not appraised Allah with true appraisal. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.” [Surah Al-Hajj (22) : 74]

This story (make sure to read until the end) will help you understand what I mean.

So, please Brothers and Sisters, have good thoughts about Allah and have high ambitions with regards to seeking knowledge.

3) Seeking knowledge from the wrong sources

This knowledge was sent down by Allah, the Most High, so we need to make sure we get it from the right sources.

What are the main sources? Well, the Quran and the Sunnah obviously. This is what Allah has ordered us to refer to.

[The Sunnah is the way of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahi alaihi wasallam). The Sunnah has been transmitted to us via the authentic ahadeeth (plural of hadeeth).]

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّـهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّ‌سُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ‌ مِنكُمْ ۖ فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُ‌دُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّـهِ وَالرَّ‌سُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ‌ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ‌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا

“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.” [Surah An-Nisaa (4) : 59]

[Note: “Those who are in authority” refers to the rulers and the scholars.]

Some people have been misled to believe that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) only came with the Quran. They don’t believe in following the Sunnah.

If we are not required to follow the Sunnah, then why does Allah say:

مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَىٰ

وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ

إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَىٰ

“Your companion (Muhammad) has neither gone astray nor has erred. Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only an Inspiration that is inspired.” [Surah An-Najm (53) : 2-4]

And why does He say:

لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَ‌سُولِ اللَّـهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْ‌جُو اللَّـهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ‌ وَذَكَرَ‌ اللَّـهَ كَثِيرً‌ا

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” [Surah Al-Ahzab (33) : 21]

Unfortunately, some of these individuals (they call themselves “Quraniyoon” although they are far from being the people of the Quran!) will still reject all the ahadeeth (which is very dangerous because rejecting the Sunnah in its totality is major disbelief that expels a person from the fold of Islam).

Subhan Allah, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallan) warned us about such people!

ألا إني أوتيت الكتاب ومثله معه ، ألا يوشك رجل شبعان على أريكته يقول : عليكم بهذا القرآن ، فما وجدتم فيه من حلال فأحلوه ، وما وجدتم فيه من حرام فحرموه ، ألا لا يحل لكم لحم الحمار الأهلي ، ولا كل ذي ناب من السبع ، ولا لقطة معاهد ، إلا أن يستغني عنها صاحبها ، ومن نزل بقوم فعليهم أن يقروه ، فإن لم يقروه فله أن يغصبهم بمثل قراه

It was narrated from Al-Miqdam ibn Madi Yakrib (radiallahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Verily, I have been given the Book and something like it with it, but soon a satiated man will be on his couch and he will say: ‘You should adhere to this Quran. Whatever you find permitted in it, take it as permissible, and whatever you find forbidden in it, take it as forbidden.’

But Lo! The domesticated donkey is not permissible for you (to eat), nor every predator that has fangs, not the lost property of a muahid (non-Muslim with whom there is a covenant) unless its owner has given it up.

Whoever stops among a people, they are obliged to entertain him, and if they do not entertain him, then he has the right to take from them an amount equivalent to that which they should have entertained him.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 4604. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani, Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 4604.]

لا ألفين أحدكم متكئا على أريكته يأتيه الأمر من أمري مما أمرت به أو نهيت عنه فيقول : لا ندري ما وجدنا في كتاب الله اتبعناه

It was narrated from Ubaidullah ibn Abee Rafi from his father that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Let me not find one of you reclining on his couch, and when he hears of a command that I have enjoined or a prohibition that I have issued, he says: ‘We do not know; what we find in the Book of Allah, we follow.'” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 4605. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani, Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 4605.]

Of course, these people are unmoved by the above narrations because they don’t believe in them!

Enough for those who truly believe in Allah and the Last Day is the statement of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam):

من أطاعني فقد أطاع الله ، ومن عصاني فقد عصى الله

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “He who obeys me, obeys Allah, and he who disobeys me, disobeys Allah.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 4, Hadeeth No. 204]

So, it makes no difference whether the order or prohibition is mentioned in the Quran or the Sunnah, as they both have the same legal weight (i.e. nobody can use “It’s not in the Quran, it’s only in the Sunnah” as an excuse).

Note: The ahadeeth have been gathered in many books by the early scholars. Some of these books like Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim contain only authentic ahadeeth. However, the others contain both authentic and inauthentic (weak) ahadeeth, so one needs to check the scholars’ gradings of each hadeeth to determine its authenticity.

For example, if they say that it is “sahih” or “hasan” then that means that it is authentic. If they say “daeef” or “mawdoo” then this hadeeth is not accepted as it is not authentic. Of course, there are times when there is disagreement over the authenticity of a hadeeth.

To know more about this issue, one would need to study a subject called “Usool Al-Hadeeth”. I’ll discuss this in more detail in Part 6, insha-Allah.

Okay, so we’re all agreed that we need to follow the Quran and Sunnah. How do we interpret them though?

Do we use our own logic and desires? Or do we follow someone?

The answer is that we follow the the Quran and Sunnah according to the understanding of the Sahaabah (the Companions of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

Why, you ask? Well, when Allah revealed the Quran and Sunnah (yes, this is also revelation), they were revealed with a particular understanding. Who better to ask than the generation that accompanied the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and lived the events that surrounded the revelation of the Quran?

We know that Allah is pleased with them so how can we put our own understanding over theirs, when we don’t even know our own status before Allah and whether or not He is pleased with us???

Also, Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) have praised the Sahaabah and asked us to follow them:

خير الناس قرني ، ثم الذين يلونهم ، ثم الذين يلونهم ، ثم يجيء من بعدهم قوم : تسبق شهادتهم أيمانهم ، وأيمانهم شهادتهم

Narrated by Abdullah (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wassalam) said, “The best people are those of my generation, and then those who will come after them (the next generation), and then those who will come after them (i.e. the next generation), and then after them, there will come people whose witness will precede their oaths, and whose oaths will precede their witness.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 437]

[Note: The first three generations are called the Sahaabah (the Companions), the Tabieen (the followers i.e. those that accompanied the Sahaabah) and the Atbaa At-Tabieen (the followers of the followers i.e. those that accompanied the Tabieen). These three generations are often referred to as the “Salaf” (i.e. the predecessors). So, we understand Islam according to the understanding of the Salaf due to the fact that they were singled out by the Prophet (sallallalahu alaihi wasallam).

When we say “Salaf”, we mean the whole group, not just one person. Hence, if they all agreed on a matter, we follow their opinion. End of discussion.]

[Note #2: It seems that today some people have become so brave that they think nothing of saying bad things about the Sahaabah. If we truly believe in Allah and the Last day, then we need to keep our mouths shut with regards to the Prophets (alaihissalam) and the Sahaabah (radiallahu anhum). These are the people that are the most beloved to Allah so we should never even dream of saying anything negative about any of them.]

وَالسَّابِقُونَ الْأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِ‌ينَ وَالْأَنصَارِ‌ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحْسَانٍ رَّ‌ضِيَ اللَّـهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَ‌ضُوا عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِ‌ي تَحْتَهَا الْأَنْهَارُ‌ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

“And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajiroon (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (the citizens of Al-Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhajiroon) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.” [Surah At-Tawbah (9) :100]

أتينا العرباض بن سارية ، وهو ممن نزل فيه ولا على الذين إذا ما أتوك لتحملهم قلت لا أجد ما أحملكم عليه فسلمنا ، وقلنا : أتيناك ؛ زائرين ، وعائدين ، ومقتبسين . فقال العرباض : صلى بنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ذات يوم ، ثم أقبل علينا ، فوعظنا موعظة بليغة ، ذرفت منها العيون ، ووجلت منها القلوب . فقال قائل : يا رسول الله ! كأن هذه موعظة مودع ، فماذا تعهد إلينا ؟ فقال : أوصيكم بتقوى الله والسمع والطاعة وإن عبدا حبشيا ، فإنه من يعش منكم بعدي فسيرى اختلافا كثيرا ، فعليكم بسنتي وسنة الخلفاء المهديين الراشدين تمسكوا بها ، وعضوا عليها بالنواجذ ، وإياكم ومحدثات الأمور فإن كل محدثة بدعة ، وكل بدعة ضلالة

Abdur Rahman ibn Amr As-Sulami and Hujr ibn Hujr said: “We came to Al-Irbaad ibn Saariyah who was one of those concerning whom the ayah (verse)

وَلَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ إِذَا مَا أَتَوْكَ لِتَحْمِلَهُمْ قُلْتَ لَا أَجِدُ مَا أَحْمِلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ

“Nor (is there blame) on those who came to you to be provided with mounts, and when you said: ‘I can find no mounts for you,’…” [Surah At-Tawbah (9): 92]

was revealed. We greeted him and said: ‘We have come to you, to visit you, and benefit from you.’ Al-Irbaad said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) led us in prayer one day, then he turned to face us, and he exhorted us in an eloquent speech upon which our eyes filled with tears, and our hearts filled with fear. Someone said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, it is as if this is a farewell address. What do you enjoin upon us?’ He said: ‘I enjoin you to fear Allah, and to hear and obey, even if (the leader appointed over you) be an Ethiopian slave. Whoever among you lives after I am gone will see great disputes. You must adhere to my Sunnah and the way of the rightly guided khalifas. Hold on to it and cling fast to it. And beware of newly invented matters, for every newly invented matter is an innovation, and even innovation is a deviation.'” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 4607. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 4607.]

[The rightly guided khalifas are Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, Umar ibn Al-Khattab, Uthman ibn Al-Affan and Ali ibn Abee Taalib (radiallahu anhum), the four best Companions. Other scholars also added Al-Hasan ibn Alee ibn Abee Taalib (radiallahu anhu) as one of the rightly guided khalifas as some ahadeeth point to the rightly guided caliphate as totaling 30 years and the first four khalifas only total 29.5 years in their rule so they added the 6 months of Al-Hasan’s rule to that.]

This isn’t the only hadeeth where the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) foretold the fitnah (trials and tribulations). The following hadeeth is something that should really stun us into action:

ليأتين على أمتي ما أتى على بني إسرائيل حذو النعل بالنعل حتى إن كان منهم من أتى أمه علانية لكان في أمتي من يصنع ذلك . وإن بني إسرائيل تفرقت على ثنتين وسبعين ملة ، وتفترق أمتي على ثلاث وسبعين ملة كلهم في النار إلا ملة واحدة ، قال من هي يا رسول الله ؟ قال : ما أنا عليه وأصحابي

Abdullah ibn Amr (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “What befell Bani Israil will befall my Ummah (nation), step by step, such that if there was one who had intercourse with his mother in the open, there would be someone from my Ummah who would do that. Indeed, Bani Israil split into 72 sects and my Ummah will split into 73 sects. All of them in the Fire except one sect.” He (Abdullah ibn Amr) said: “And which is it, O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “What I and my Companions are upon.” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2641. Graded ‘hasan’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2641.]

والذي نفس محمد بيده لتفترقن أمتي على ثلاث وسبعين فرقة واحدة في الجنة وثنتان وسبعون في النار قيل يا رسول الله من هم قال الجماعة

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam): “I swear by the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, my Ummah will split into 73 sects, one in Paradise and 72 in the Fire.” It was said: “O Messenger of Allah, who are they?” He said: “Al-Jamaah (the main body)”. [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 3992. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 3992.]

A few points about this hadeeth:

1) The saved sect is referred to as Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah (the people of the Sunnah) and the other sects are generally referred to as Ahlul Bidaa (the people of innovation). Of course, Ahlul Bidaa is composed of several sects like the Shia, the Sufis, etc. And of course, sects like the Shia and the Sufis are composed of even more sub-sects…

2) People should not assume that these 73 sects are all equal sized! It could be that some of them are large whilst others have a few followers.

Ahlus Sunnah, on the other hand, is quite large, because the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) called them “Al-Jamaah”.

3) “In the fire” does not necessarily mean that all these sects and those who follow them are out of the fold of Islam. Some of them are but many of them are not. As the scholars pointed out, some of these will remain in the fire forever (i.e. as they exited the fold of Islam) but many of them will be there for a time and not for eternity as they were still Muslims.

4) For those who are always confused about all the different groups and who to follow, the answer is provided in this hadeeth: Follow the Sahaabah.

When the Sahaabah (radiallahu anhum) or the scholars after them agreed over a particular issue, we are obliged to follow that opinion because Allah says:

وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّ‌سُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَىٰ وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ‌ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّىٰ وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرً‌ا

“And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers’ way. We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell – what an evil destination.” [Surah An-Nisaa (4) : 115]

So, we need to make sure that we follow the ijmaa (consensus) of the scholars.

What about if we have some questions? Who do we ask? After all, the Salaf aren’t around!

Well, we ask the people of knowledge:

فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ‌ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

“So ask of those who know the Scripture if you know not.” [Surah An-Nahl (16) : 43]

Subhan Allah, we need to take advantage of the true scholars before they die, because this is how the knowledge is taken away –  with their deaths:

سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : إن الله لا يقبض العلم انتزاعا ينتزعه من العباد ، ولكن يقبض العلم بقبض العلماء ، حتى إذا لم يبق عالما ، اتخذ الناس رؤوسا جهالا ، فسئلوا ، فأفتوا بغير علم ، فضلوا وأضلوا

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al-Aas (radiallahu anhuma): I heard Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) saying, “Allah does not take away the knowledge, by taking it away from (the hearts of) the people, but takes it away by the death of the religious learned men till when none of the (religious learned men) remains, people will take as their leaders ignorant persons who when consulted will give their verdict without knowledge. So they will go astray and will lead the people astray.” [ٍSahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 100]

And we should make sure to ask TRUSTWORTHY scholars not just anybody:

عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ سِيرِينَ، قَالَ إِنَّ هَذَا الْعِلْمَ دِينٌ فَانْظُرُوا عَمَّنْ تَأْخُذُونَ دِينَكُمْ

Muhammad ibn Sireen said, ““Knowledge is religion so be careful from whom you take your religion” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 26 of the Introduction]

This statement of Muhammad ibn Sireen is a rule that we should all live by. After all, who do we take our knowledge from? How did we judge whether they were upon the truth or not?

So, to all the readers, please apply this principle to every place where you get any sort of Islamic information – starting from this blog. [Yes, of course, you need to apply this principle to this blog as well. You thought I was going to exclude myself from the scrutiny?]

The scholars have a saying: The truth is not known by men. Men are known by the truth.

This means that you don’t take the person as being right and then follow him in everything. Rather you put the Quran and the Sunnah first, and then follow the person based on that.

After all, just because someone talks nicely and seems to be knowledgeable, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are right.

أنه قدم رجلان من المشرق فخطبا ، فعجب الناس لبيانهما ، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( إن من البيان لسحرا ، أو : إن بعض البيان لسحر )

Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar (radialalhu anhuma): Two men came from the East and addressed the people who wondered at their eloquent speeches. On that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Some eloquent speech is as effective as magic.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 7, Hadeeth No. 662]

This hadeeth points to the dangers of those who are eloquent upon falsehood (it’s okay to be eloquent upon the truth), because these people will then mislead others due to their eloquence despite their lack of proofs from the Quran and the Sunnah. A very common occurrence these days!

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) warned us about these liars:

  ‏ “‏ سَيَكُونُ فِي آخِرِ أُمَّتِي أُنَاسٌ يُحَدِّثُونَكُمْ مَا لَمْ تَسْمَعُوا أَنْتُمْ وَلاَ آبَاؤُكُمْ فَإِيَّاكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُمْ ‏”‏ ‏

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wassalam) said: “There will be in the latter part of my Ummah a people that will relate to you ahadeeth of which you and your fathers never heard previously. So let you and them beware.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 15 of the Introduction]

‏ “‏ يَكُونُ فِي آخِرِ الزَّمَانِ دَجَّالُونَ كَذَّابُونَ يَأْتُونَكُمْ مِنَ الأَحَادِيثِ بِمَا لَمْ تَسْمَعُوا أَنْتُمْ وَلاَ آبَاؤُكُمْ فَإِيَّاكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُمْ لاَ يُضِلُّونَكُمْ وَلاَ يَفْتِنُونَكُمْ ‏”‏

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wassalam) said: “There will be in the last days liars and fabricators. They will come to you with ahadeeth of which you never heard, you or your fathers, so let you and them beware that they will not misguide you, and be a trial for you.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 16 of the Introduction]

So, we need to be cautious.

[Note: For those who would like to read more about this issue, a good place to start is the book where three of these ahadeeth are from: The Introduction to Sahih Muslim. This wasn’t been translated in the older versions of Sahih Muslim, but has been translated in the new Darussalam translation. However, you can read a separate translation of it here. You can read the ahadeeth in Arabic here.]

Now, someone might ask: How do we know which scholars to follow?

Insha-Allah, I’ll mention some tips (yes, tips not names) on how to do that in Part 6. However, the first way would be to do dua to Allah asking Him to guide you to the truth.

And Allah knows Better.

To be continued…

11
Jun

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #1: Seek Knowledge… – Part 2

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Part 1.]

I mentioned the three types of answers that I got in the survey and why one set was right, the second set was sort of right and the third set was not so right.

So, let’s go through it over again:

[Note: Some answers can be looked at from more than one perspective which would change which group they belonged to.]

1) The ones who got it right were doing it to get closer to Allah.

There’s no argument about this one.

A warning: Yes, this is the correct intention but we need to make sure that it really IS our intention and not what we THINK our intention is.

Sincerity is one of the toughest things to attain – and it’s not attained in one go. One needs to keep working on it and keep fighting oneself.

The ones who are sure that they are sincere are most definitely insincere.

So, one needs to do lots of dua (supplication) to Allah asking for sincerity and also keep taking account of oneself and one’s intentions.

2) The ones who were sort of in the middle were doing it for a reason that led to the main reason.

The answers were as follows:

– Reminding oneself about Islam

I thought about putting this answer in the third group but I didn’t because the implications of this answer differed from the implications of the third group’s answers.

This is an acceptable reason to seek knowledge and it leads to the main reason. The person realises that she needs to be reminded about the religion of Allah and hence needs to be reminded about Allah.

However, some people could also seek knowledge for this reason and miss the boat completely so one needs to be careful.

– Reminding oneself of the hereafter

I thought of putting this answer with the first group but I didn’t due to the way it was phrased.

Yes, this is also a reason for seeking knowledge but we should also remember that we were created to worship Allah alone and seeking knowledge is a way of worshipping Him. The Hereafter is the “reward” for this: Paradise for the good guys (i.e. those who worshipped Him alone) and Hell for the bad guys (those who did not worship Him alone).

– To improve oneself

This is a very common reason and it’s not wrong. However, this is a means and not an end.

Why should we improve ourselves? Well, because we can then become better worshippers of Allah and so attain a higher level of Paradise.

So, this is a goal but not the ultimate goal, rather it leads to it.

To feel the foretaste of Paradise

I overlooked this one in Part 1 (sorry!).

Yes, seeking knowledge does give us the “foretaste” of Paradise for many reasons (the feeling of closeness to Allah, the reminder of the Hereafter, etc). This is a FRUIT of seeking knowledge though, not the main reason for doing so.

So, if the sister meant that she was seeking knowledge to feel close to Allah, then this answer is correct and would belong to the first group. If she meant that she wanted to feel “nice”, then this answer is not so correct and would belong to the third group.

[As I cannot read minds, I decided to take the safe route and put her in the second group….]

3) The not-so-right ones

Why did I say that they were not right? Well, because they missed the point.

Someone pointed out that perhaps they were still doing it for Allah and so would get the rewards.

Well, I cannot comment as to the intentions of people. I can only comment on what they’ve told me.

From what I could understand, and Allah knows Better, it seems that these reasons do NOT lead to the proper reason i.e. doing it for the sake of Allah.

[However, I did try to look at it from another perspective in order to give them the benefit of the doubt.]

Let me go through each reason and explain further:

– Just for the sake of seeking knowledge

Knowledge is not sought for its sake. Even acts like salah (prayer), zakah, fasting, etc are not done for their own sake. All of them are done in order to know and worship the Creator.

Knowledge is a means i.e a means to worship. Knowledge (of Islam and the Shariah) tells us WHY we need to worship Allah, and HOW we need to worship and the REWARD we get for doing that.

Yes, seeking knowledge is itself an act of worship but like all acts of worship, it needs to be accompanied by the proper intention i.e. seeking the Face of Allah.

Variations of the above reason (i.e. seeking knowledge just for its sake) included thirst/yearning/desire for more knowledge.

The reason I put them all together is that they all lead to the same thing: being excited about seeking knowledge for its own sake and missing the point of the whole thing.

And this is something very dangerous.

I always assumed that feeling excited about seeking knowledge meant that one was sincere – until I come across a certain article that is.

In it, the shaikh pointed out that some people get excited about knowledge for its own sake. It makes them feel “the rush”, you see. He pointed out this was not the right reason to seek knowledge.

I was very shocked to read that because it never occurred to me we might get excited by the knowledge itself, rather than the end that it was supposed to lead to.

After a lot of reflection, I realised that he had a point. Many times, seeking knowledge is a “thrilling activity” to such a degree that people even compete in this act – not for the reward, but for information gathering!

So then we get a bunch of people who are in danger of being amongst the following group:

أَلْهَاكُمُ التَّكَاثُرُ‌

حَتَّىٰ زُرْ‌تُمُ الْمَقَابِرَ

“The mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you, until you visit the graves (i.e. till you die).” [Surah At-Takathur (102): 1-2]

Think about it.

– To know/feel the beauty of the Quran or Islam; the sadness about not knowing about Islam

Many people find Islam and the Quran beautiful. The disbelievers in the Prophet’s (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) time found the Quran so mesmerising that they would actually go to listen to it being recited!

So wanting to “feel” the beauty of Islam and Quran is not the purpose, rather the purpose is to know Allah and to worship Him.

Yes, Islam and the Quran are beautiful. One of the things that we can derive from that is that the Majesty of Allah, and that should cause us to strengthen our relationship with Him.

Another sister said that she sought knowledge because she felt the sadness about not knowing about Islam. I almost put this one in the second group but then I decided against it.

If she meant that she was sad about not knowing how to worship Allah, then this this answer would belong in the second group.

However, if she meant that she was sad not to learn about Islam due to its beauty, then I would say this is not quite the right answer. As I said above, knowledge of Islam is not sought for its sake but rather due to what it leads to.

Allah has not ordered us to learn each and every aspect of Islam. Rather, we have been ordered to try our best, so we should remember that.

Also, as many of the scholars pointed out, the important thing is to ACT upon your knowledge, even if it (i.e. the knowledge that you possess) is very little. So we should be sad at not practicing the aspects of Islam that we know about, rather than being sad at not knowing every aspect of Islam.

– Greater understanding in order to answer other people’s questions

A lot of people seek knowledge for the above reason. Sadly, it is not the right reason.

Why not? Because it implies that we are learning about our Creator and His religion (okay, so Islam is actually a “deen” i.e. a way of life) in order to answer other people’s questions!

Remember something, brothers and sisters: Islam is the absolute truth. Each and every aspect of it is correct, because it was revealed by the Creator, who is Perfect in every way, therefore His deen is also perfect.

Just because many people do not understand this very simple point, it does not make Islam any less perfect.

Now, there is nothing wrong with trying to correct other people’s misunderstandings. In fact, this is something that we should all strive to do. However, we shouldn’t make this the main reason for learning about Islam. Rather, we should make sure to seek it in order to first strengthen our own knowledge about Allah.

Sadly, we find many people who try to correct other people’s misconceptions about Islam, yet they themselves are not firm in their understanding of Islam!

Now, if the sister meant that she wanted to seek knowledge in order to call people to the worship of Allah, then this would be a secondary reason for seeking knowledge (as per Imam Ahmad’s statement which I mentioned in the first part) . However as I said, the main reason should be to first call ourselves to worship Allah.

– To do ijtihad on day to day issues.

The meaning of ijtihad is to try to arrive at the correct ruling of something. As such, ijtihad is the role of scholars and not the role of laymen.

If the sister meant that she was trying to seek knowledge in order to deduce the correct rulings of everything, well I think that she should first seek knowledge for at least 30 years, because I don’t think anyone can become a mujtahid in less than that time!

However, if she meant that she wishes to know how to worship Allah properly and so wants to learn about the proper way to pray, do wudhu, fast, keep family relations, etc, then this answer would be in the first group.

So, the above were my thoughts on the answers give by many of you.

I’m not saying that I’m right. I’m just asking you to think over what I said.

If what I said is not correct, then as always, you are free to share your input (and you are also free to throw my words into your brains’ Recycle Bin).

In the next part, insha-Allah, I’ll mention more issues related to seeking knowledge.

And Allah knows Better.

To be continued…