Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Meeting of Imam Malik and Imam Abu Hanifa

Category: SOUND

Before Malik and Abu-Hanifa’s encounter, Imam Malik used to say, “Beware of the people of opinion.” Abu-Hanifa’s school was called the “school of opinion.” Before their meeting, there was a lot of talk and exchange of letters but they only met during the rituals of the Hajj.

When they finally met, they chose to address three issues which were viewed differently by each party. The first jurisprudential issue was about how to address hypothetical questions; things that had not taken place yet. In Imam Malik’s juristic school of thought, we should not imagine situations and ask about things that have not happened, as this distracts people from already existing issues and lead to controversy. Imam Malik brought his evidence from various ayahs and ahadith. He stated the ayah where Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “They ask you concerning the new moons (Literally: crescents).” (TMQ, 2:189). Such questions are meaningless. Allah (SWT) replies in the ayah, that can be translated as, “Say, “They are fixed times for mankind, and (for) the Pilgrimage.” (TMQ, 2:189)

His other evidence was that Omar Ibnul-Khattab (RA) cursed the one who asked about situations that have not happened and used to say, “Do not engage us with things that have not happened, keep people busy with the truth instead.”

People used to come to Imam Malik and ask him hypothetical questions and he used to get angry and tell them not to ask about things that have not happened yet. Those people were usually from Iraq where Imam Abu-Hanifa was, who supported this kind of questions.

As for Imam Abu-Hanifa, his approach was based on inventing situations that have not happened. He invented 60, 000 such situations.

In their meeting Imam Malik disapproved Imam Abu Hanifa’s view. Abu-Hanifa replied that the circumstances in Iraq are different from Madinah. Iraq is the capital of the Caliphate and everyday there are new things being introduced and they should be prepared, while in Madinah problems are fixed and limited.

Then, he gave an example when he discussed with his students a situation of a woman whose husband traveled and was absent for so long that she thought he was dead and hence she married another man. Suddenly, the man returned. What should be done then? Imam Malik wondered why they would ask about things that have not happened, but Abu-Hanifa said that in Iraq, where soldiers went on conquests, this might occur and they should be ready for such situation. Imam Malik was silent.

Imam Abu-Hanifa reminded him of what the Prophet (SAWS) said when a man came to him saying, “Imagine if a man comes to take my money, what shall I do?” The Prophet (SAWS) told him not to give it to him. The man asked again, “Imagine if he fights me?” The Prophet (SAWS) urged him to fight him too. The man asked, “Imagine if he killed me? The Prophet (SAWS) said that he would be a martyr. The man asked once more “Imagine if I killed him?” The Prophet (SAWS) said that the man killed would go to the hellfire.

Abu-Hanifa said that the Prophet (SAWS) was asked by about a hypothetical situation four times. When Malik said that this was for a purpose, Abu-Hanifa replied, “In Iraq we do it for a purpose too.” Then, Al-Layth Ibn-Sa’ad said, “Glory to Allah. By Allah, you are enriching Islam.” Imam Malik kept people away from indulging in trivial issues and Imam Abu-Hanifa was questioning the future to protect people. That was what the Prophet (SAWS) did. He forbad asking about things that are hypothetical and replied to an important situation that could happen in the future.

Both Imams reached a conclusion of holding on to what they were doing, but to then integrate both approaches for the benefit of Islam.

The four principles previously mentioned certainly to this debate. Their difference of opinion is a natural phenomenon because the minds and environment of Iraq are unlike those of Madinah. Their difference of opinion resulted in an environment that enriched Islam. The calm and honest dialogue helped in presenting the various opinions and truths from all aspects. Meanwhile, the manner of conversation between both men was civilized, polite and outstanding.

The issues they discussed were not petty. Nowadays some people leave the obligatory issues related to the unity of the Muslims and dispute over trivial matters. Both Imams differed on core issues, but there was love and understanding between them.

The second issue which the imams disagreed on was that of the consensuses. In Islam, in order to reach a solution for any question is look it up in the Qur’an. If you did not find it, to look it up in ahadith, if not; then apply the rule of the consensus of the scholars.

Imam Malik believed that the consensus should be that agreed by the people of Madinah only because the companions of the Prophet (SAWS) lived and died there and so did his nine wives who saw all his actions and witnessed all his deeds. They are about 10,000 companions.

A man came to Imam Malik and asked him about disputed matters. The Imam said, “Search for the opinion of the people of Madinah. When you find it, be sure that it is the truth.” He said to another one, “You can find knowledge in Madinah, as Qur’an was not revealed in Euphrates (meaning Iraq and Abu Hanifa’s school).”

Imam Abu Hanifa was 13 years older than Imam Malik, yet he respected him. He replied, “Malik, the conquests during the reign of Omar Ibnul-Khattab distributed the Companions (RA) all over the world. You say that in Madinah there are 10,000 companions. In the last battle of the Prophet (SAWS) there were about 120,000 companions, so where are the rest? You cannot deny that Omar Ibnul-Khattab sent the companions particularly to teach people in different countries.”

He started to numerate some companions such as Mo’az Ibn-Jabal whom the Prophet (SAWS) described to be the most knowledgeable and sent him to Yemen. Also, he mentioned Abdullah Ibn-Mas’od whose way of reciting Qur’an was recommended by the Prophet (SAWS) for the people. He added the names of Abu-Dthar, Zobair Ibnul-A’wam, and Sa’ad Ibn-Abu-Waqqas in Egypt, Hudthayfa Ibnul-Yaman, Abdullah Ibn-Mas’od, and Ali Ibn-Abu-Talib in Iraq, Abu-Ubayda Ibnul-Jaraah, Bilal and Abul-Dardaa’ in Syria, etc.

Then, he narrated the hadith of the Prophet (SAWS) where he said that his companions are like the stars any of which can guide people. Imam Abu-Hanifa went on to say that the brilliance of Omar Ibnul-Khattab is what led him to send the companions all over world and kept some in Madinah to keep a balance. Thus, Imam Abu-Hanifa showed Imam Malik that the distribution of the companions was for the sake of the integration of the ummah.

Al-Layth Ibn-Sa’ad said, “By Allah, this also, is an integration of the ummah.”

When you look from another angle you can see another aspect of the truth. This is the virtue of difference; to help you see the truth from all its aspects. If all people think alike, they will see only one side of the truth, but Allah (TWT) whose name is the Truth wants you to see all the sides.

The third issue tackled in the meeting was about the school of opinion and hadith. Imam Abu-Hanifa expands the explanation of the ahadith to the extent that he concluded 100 lessons from one hadith. Imam Malik saw that it as an exaggeration and overloading the hadith which the Prophet (SAWS) did not want.

Imam Abu-Hanifa replied that in Iraq, Greek, Roman and Persian philosophies and sciences are invading them, so he needs to keep people fixed on the path of the Prophet (SAWS). That is why he was searching in ahadith to counter the new ideas. On the other hand in Madinah, there are none but the companions and their followers, so there is no need for expansion in elaborating ahadith. Al-Layth Ibn-Sa’ad said, “This too is integration” Both Imams complement one another in keeping Islam.

If you discuss your problems calmly and honestly with your wife of husband, many problems will be solved. Similarly, if the politicians in Iraq, Darfur, and Lebanon, the religious scholars and the scientists do the same, many problems will be solved.

After the two Imams left the meeting, Al-Layth Ibn-Sa’ad, an Egyptian Imam whose juristic school of thought was just as superior as the other four Imams but had no students to spread it, was keen on knowing the impression of both sides.

He went to Imam Malik and asked him. Malik wiped his sweat and said, “By Allah, Abu-Hanifa made me sweat. By Allah, he is a true jurist. I’ve never seen a man debating like that. By Allah, if he told you that this iron rod is made out of gold, he would convince you.”

Al-Layth went to Imam Abu-Hanifa who said, “I debated hundreds of men, but have never seen a man accept the truth as fast as him.”

We need to teach the coming generations these manners. This is important for everyone; journalists, politicians, people working in the media, scholars, husbands and wives, parents and children.

What happened after that? First, Imam Abu-Hanifa sent his son Hammaad to Madinah to learn the jurisprudential approach of Malik and his book ‘Al-Mu’ata’. Then, Imam Malik asked for the books of Abu-Hnifa to benefit from them.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Ibnul-Hassan, a student of Abu-Hanifa’s, held a session in Iraq to present the approach of Malik.

Once, Imam Abu-Hanifa sent to Imam Malik consulting him on an issue before announcing his opinion to the public. Abu-Hanifa did not agree about naming a sinful person a disbeliever. Imam Malik agreed, so Abu Hanifa announced it. This did not arise from one meeting only, but there were numerous correspondences which contributed more to their integration.

The Abbassid Caliph Al-Mansour once came to Imam Malik offering him to cancel all other jurisprudential approaches, making Malik’s approach prevail, and also writing his book in gold and keeping it inside the Ka’ba.

Imam Malik who once rejected all other approaches and asserted on the opinion of the people of Madinah told him not to do so because the companions of the Prophet (SAWS) are spread all over the world. Those were Abu-Hanifa’s words from their encounter.

Look at the superb manners and morals of differentiating with someone as well as handling the truth.

The first principle indicates that difference is a universal fact that needs to be respected. You have to respect that variation is a part of our existence. The second principle shows that variation complements us; it is an advantage and not a drawback. You have to look at this as an enriching advantage. The third principle is that at the moment of dispute, calm and honest dialogue helps you see the truth from all perspectives. Truth is one, but it has many aspects and paradigms. The fourth and final principle is that at the moment of conflict; never forget the proper manners of dialogue. You must believe in those four principles as the basis of coexistence.


Friday, May 15, 2009

An Exposition of the Hearts: Part 2

Category: SOUND

[Note, Imam al-Ghazali is using slightly different terminology here, referring to what we might know as the Nafs or Self as just the soul, not to be confused with the pure Ruh or soul. From our perspective, both are from inside of us and some might not even be able to tell the difference between the two.]

On the subjugation of the soul and the enmity of Satan

It is the duty of the intelligent person to overpower the desire of the soul with hunger. This is because hunger results in subjugating the enemy of Allah. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "Satan flows in the body of man just as blood flows in his body. So constrict his passage ways with hunger."


Some wise people have said that the person whose soul overpowers them becomes a prisoner in the love of its desires, confined in the prison of its sins, and it prevents his heart from benefits. The person who irrigates the land of the limbs with desires has in fact planted in his heart the tree of regret.

Allah created the creation under three categories.

(1) He created the angels, gave them intelligence, but did not give them desires.
(2) He created animals, gave them desires but did not give them intelligence.
(3) He created humans and gave them intelligence and desires.

So the person whose desires overpower their intelligence, then animals are better than them. And the person whose intelligence overpowers their desires, then they are better than the angels.

What do they mean by 'desire'?

If people understood the one fundamental principle about the human experience, then most of their problems would cease to exist. That is, the human experience is a subjective one. We are always going to be ruled by biases, it is up to us whether to accept the ones we mistakenly inherit as children or to consciously decide on our own as an attempt to guide our own lives in a direction of our choosing.

See all those updates on my blog where I quoted the Roman Stoics or newer Western philosophers like Descartes. Anything which pleases or displeases someone, including desires, is simply a judgement passed by the mind. One that is alterable. This is unanimous insight into our nature by all human civilizations. Some emphasize it, some do not.

It isn't simply a problem of indulging in desires, because even Islam allows for the fulfillment of basic desires. Or rather, needs. Islam recognizes needs. What turns a need into a desire? The specific expression of it. You need food and other people. The objective truth of the matter is any food or any people would do (or rather, what Allah says would do which is a little more specific). The subjective nature of our experience, however, leads people to conclude one kind or type of something is preferable to the other. This is due to desires being learned from constant exposure and/or socialization/indoctrination. So while we all know to what extent our desires should be controlled, our needs fulfilled, we tend to assume that our current state at any given moment actually means anything.

I need food. I like apples. I value apples over other food and tend to assume that this means something, that apples are therefore significant in some way and my desire for them a meaningful expression of my deeper soul or something. When the truth is, I learned that like for apples from a younger age. We're always learning, adapting, etc in this world, and it's impossible to know what's going on at a younger age when we start learning so much. Say apples in this case are forbidden by Allah for whatever direct or indirect harm they may cause. I know that to curb this desire, I can indoctrinate myself with a new preference. One that I choose. But I'm loathe to do so because... I think apples mean something, not realizing that this "feeling" of something deeper for the apples is merely another layer of manifestation of the desire to begin with. Desires permeate the highest levels of our consciousness and thought processes. They were imprinted into our subconscious minds from first (and repeated) exposure, and now the subconscious guides the conscious. It becomes difficult for me to realize that the only reason I like apples at all is because I had already gone through a period of adaption, socialization, indoctrination, orientation, whatever you want to call it. One that I had no choice or control over due to my young age. It is no more meaningful than anything else I might choose to re-indoctrinate myself with (probably less so, because I make a conscious choice in the latter).

If, as in this case, apples are bad, then I've formed "meaningful" attachments to bad things, and I'm well on my way to disaster because now my very soul is inclined to haraam. And all for what? Something that is seemingly random to the casual observer, completely without meaning or significance. The only significance to the lot that you're dealt in life, is that you have to deal with it. Not the 'lot' in and of itself. It's a means to an end. Everyone is given a 'lot' and everyone has to transcend it to become their own person, not a product of their times. The means is to reprogram yourself according to your own will and conscious choice, otherwise we would simply be products of whatever random occurrences combined to form our childhood, with no correlation to what is good or preferred by Allah. And this is the state of most of humanity today.

This thing, this "preference beyond the need" is a desire. And it is this which, if not ruled over by intelligence, turns men into animals. And if controlled by our intelligence (meaning, oriented in the proper direction for Allah), elevates us above angels.

We never respect desires. We only respect people and their souls/Selves, even if that includes an inability to reckon with their desires. Thus only a few things are made unlawful in Islam. If people want to waste time preferring one kind of food over another that is harder to obtain, so long as it does not take away from religious responsibilities and both are lawful, then it's okay. What's okay? Not the preference. But the inability by the person to control their Nafs, their weakness. Better to give some leeway rather than have people self-destruct under the burden. There are more important things to do than worry about food, such as ibadat and tasawwuf. The latter provides a means for circumventing the Nafs and defeating it if a direct attempt at resistance is impossible.

On negligence and inattention

Negligence increases remorse. Negligence removes bounties and comes as a barrier in fulfilling service to Allah. Negligence increases jealousy. Negligence increases rebuke and regret.

It is related that a pious person saw his teacher in his dream and so he asked him: "What is your greatest regret?" The teacher replied: "The regret [due to] negligence."

It is related that a pious person saw Dhu an-Nun Misri (ra) in his dream so he asked him: "What did Allah do to you?" He replied: "He made me stand before Him and said to me: 'O you who used to claim! O liar! You claimed to love Me but then you became unmindful of Me?'"

A poet says: "You are in negligence and your heart is inattentive. Your entire life has passed while your sins are still the same." (translated from Arabic)


It is mentioned in Uyun al-Akhbar that Shaqiq al-Balkhi (ra) said: People make three statements which they are very used to in their actions:

(1) They say: "we are the slaves of Allah" yet they do actions of free people. So this is contrary to their statement.
(2) They say: "Allah has guaranteed our sustenance." Yet their hearts are only satisfied with this world and gathering all its vanities. This is also contrary to their statement.
(3) They say: "It is inevitable for us to die." Yet they do deeds of a person who is not going to die. This is also contrary to their statement.

Therefore, my dear brother, you should think with which body you are going to stand before Allah, with which tongue you are going to answer Him, and what are you going to say when he questions you about every single thing - big and small. You should therefore prepare answers for the questions, and ensure the answers are correct. Fear Allah for He is fully aware of all that you do - be it good or evil. Allah then admonishes the believers that they should not abandon His orders and that they should believe in Him as one both in secrecy and in public.


Allah says: "He who is not pleased with My decision, who is not patient over what I afflicted him with, who is not grateful over My bounties and who is not content with what I give him, then he should look for a Sustainer apart from Me."

A person said to Hasan al-Basri (ra): "I do not experience any enjoyment in obedience to Allah." So he said to him: "You probably looked at someone who does not fear Allah." Worship demands that you abandon everything solely for Allah.

A person said to Abu Yazid (ra): "I do not experience any enjoyment in obedience to Allah." So he said to him: "That is because you are worshipping acts of obedience and not worshipping Allah. Worship Allah so that you experience enjoyment in acts of obedience."

It is related that a person commenced salah and when he came to the words "You alone do we worship", the thought crossed his mind that he is really worshipping Allah. An announcement was made in his heart: "You are lying. You are actually worshipping the creation." So he repented and remained aloof from people. He then started his salah again and when he came to the words "You alone do we worship", an announcement was made: "You are lying. You are actually worshipping your wealth." So he gave all his wealth in charity. He then started his salah again and when he came to the words "You alone do we worship", an announcement was made: "You are lying. You are actually worshipping your clothing." So he gave all his clothes in charity except what he really needed. He then started his salah again and when he came to the words "You alone do we worship", an announcement was made: "Now you are speaking the truth. You are really worshipping your Sustainer."


Allah says: "He who desires the plantation of the hereafter, We give him more in his plantation. And he who desires the plantation of this world" (26:20), i.e. the pleasures of clothing, food and drink of this world, "We give him some of it and there is no share whatsoever for him in the hereafter." (59:19) In the sense that love for the hereafter is removed from his heart. It is for this reason that Abu Bakr (ra) spent 40,000 dinars on the Prophet (saw) in secrecy and 40,000 dinars in public - to the extent that there remained nothing with him. As for the Prophet (saw), he shunned the world, its desires and its pleasures - he and his family. It is for this reason that when the Prophet (saw) got his daughter, Fatimah (ra), married to Ali (ra), her dowry was merely a tanned piece of sheep leather and a leather pillow whose filling was fibres.

That last anecdote was intended by Imam al-Ghazali (ra) for the prevailing sentiments of the audience of his time, in which marriage was used as a means to greater wealth and status. It is still used predominantly for that in much of the world, but that might be alien to those of us who've lived in the West. It is still used as a means to a worldly end, but the desire is not solely for wealth or status for the majority of people but for aesthetics and (over)indulgence in lust (keeping in mind that Islamic society was very open with regards to sexuality compared to Western society in Imam al-Ghazali's (ra) time so lust does not mean sex... it means specifically the sexual instinct separated from the rest of the thought processes and emotions which should govern it, so it functions like it does in animals initially then eventually strays even from that and descends into the demonic).

Source: An Exposition of The Hearts by Imam al-Ghazali (ra)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

An Exposition of The Hearts: Part 1

Category: SOUND

These are excerpts from An Exposition of the Hearts, an English translation of Mukashafah al-Qulub al-Muqarrib ila Hadrah 'Allam al-Ghuyub which is an abridged version of Mukashafah al-Qulub al-Akbar by Imam al-Ghazali (ra).

Recorded by az-Zabidi in Ittihaf as-Sadah al-Muttaqin bi Sharh Ihya' 'Ulum ad-Din:
"The reality of remembrance [of Allah] cannot be realized in the heart except after inhabiting it with taqwa and purifying it from reproachable traits. If not, this remembrance will merely be [like a person] speaking to himself. This has no power over the heart nor can it repulse Satan. ... Just as your supplications are not answered because the prerequisites of supplication are not present, in like manner you remember Allah and Satan does not flee from you because the prerequisites of remembrance are not present."
-Imam al-Ghazali (ra)

"If the soul is not stopped from some of the lawful things, it will desire the unlawful things."
-Imam al-Ghazali (ra)

"The ailments of the heart cannot be treated except through knowledge and practicing on that knowledge."
-Imam al-Ghazali (ra)

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "He who fills his eyes with the unlawful, Allah will fill his eyes on the day of resurrection with the fire."

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "When a morsel of unlawful food goes into the stomach of a person, every angel in the earth and the heaven curses him as long as that morsel remains in his stomach. If he dies in that state, his abode is Hell."

"Do not fear people, but fear Me." (5:44)

"As for he who transgressed and preferred the life of this world, Hell alone is his abode. As for he who feared standing before his Sustainer and stopped his soul from from lower desires [lust, etc], then Paradise alone is his abode." (79:37-41)

It is reported from the Prophet (saw) that Allah says: "When a servant is afflicted by a calamity and he turns to Me, I shall give him before he even asks Me, and I shall accept his supplication even before he supplicates to Me. And when a servant is afflicted by a calamity and he turns to the creation to My exclusion, I shall shut the gates of the heavens upon him."

Ad-Dahhak (ra) said: "A person who is not put through a test either by some affliction, worry or calamity every forty days, then there is no good for him in the sight of Allah."

Wahb ibn Munabbih (ra) narrates that a Prophet worshipped Allah for 50 years. So Allah inspired to him saying: "I have certainly forgiven you." He asked Allah "O my Sustainer! Why are you forgiving me when I have never committed a sin?" So Allah ordered a vein of his to palpitate fiercely. Consequently, he did not sleep that night. When the morning angel came to him, he complained to him about the palpitation of his vein. The angel replied: "Your Sustainer says to you that your worship of 50 years does not equal this complaint about this vein of yours."

"O man! You should know that the soul that has been commanded to evil is a greater enemy to you than Satan and that Satan gets the upper hand over you through the whims and desires of the soul. Your soul should therefore not delude you with false hopes and deception. ... Its invitation is baseless and everything from it is a deception. If you are pleased with it and follow its dictates, you will be destroyed. If you are negligent in taking it to account, you will drown. If you are unable to act against it and follow its desires, it will drive you towards the fire. There is no return for the soul towards good. It is the head of trials and tribulations, the mine of disgrace, the treasure house of Satan, and the source of every evil. None but its Creator truly knows it. Fear Allah for surely Allah knows all that you do, be it good or evil. When a servant ponders over his life that has passed in search of his hereafter, this pondering will be a cleansing of the heart."
-Imam al-Ghazali (ra)

The Messenger of Allah said: "pondering for a little while is better than a year's worship." As stated in the Tafsir of Abu al-Layth. It is therefore the duty of an intelligent person to repent from past sins and to ponder over those things that will take him closer [to Allah] and with which he will gain salvation in the hereafter. He should also curtail all his hopes, hasten in repentance, engage in the remembrance of Allah, abstain from the prohibitions, impose himself to patience, and abstain from following the desires of the soul. This is because the soul is an idol. The one who worships the soul is actually worshipping an idol. And the person who worships Allah with devotion, he is the one who has subjugated his soul.

^ [Note, Imam al-Ghazali is using slightly different terminology here, referring to what we might know as the Nafs or Self as just the soul, not to be confused with the pure Ruh or soul. From our perspective, both are from inside of us and some might not even be able to tell the difference between the two.]

Source: An Exposition of The Hearts by Imam al-Ghazali (ra)

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Predicament of Our Times

Category: SOUND

The following are excerpts from a particularly poignant post on

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “You people should continue to enjoin people towards the doing of righteous deeds and you should continue to prohibit them from evil; otherwise Allah will put into authority over you the worst of people to rule over you. At such time the best from among you will pray to Allah (for deliverance) and your prayers will go unanswered.’."


Everything in our power must be done to enjoin the good and forbid the evil, but in doing so extreme precaution must be taken to ensure it is only through completely Halaal means. Halaal and Haraam are clear as daylight. But we keep resorting to matters that may fall in between Halaal and Haraam, convinced that, our lack of reliance on what is undoubtedly Halaal, will not affect Allah‘s barakah on us.


Thus they dived deeper and deeper into doubtful actions, until what is blatantly Haraam, still retained the shape of Halaal in their eyes.


The slightest of transgression and negligence by one person can and does affect the whole Ummah:

When Allah provided help to the army of Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas, by enabling his army to cross on top of the river, Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas was repeatedly reciting, “ As long as there is not a single unjust person in my army, Allah will help us”.

Umar (ra) once reprimanded a man severely for selling items in the market without knowing all fiqh rulings of trading. He genuinely feared that due to one man’s negligence of the Shariah, Allah will withhold His rain from the whole Ummah.

Khalid Bin Walid, due to an undesirable word he uttered inadvertently, found a subsequent battle many times more arduous than his previous battles, despite having better numbers and weaponry.


Abu Darda (Radiallahu anhu) reports that Rasulullah
(Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Allah says: I am Allah besides whom there is no Diety, the Master of Kings, King of Kings. Verily the hearts of kings are under the control of My Hands. When My servants obey me, I turn the hearts of kings and rulers towards them so that they rule over them with mercy and kindness and when My servants disobey Me, I turn the hearts of kings and rulers to treat them harshly, with anger and vengeance. Thereby they mete out torture and oppression. Hence do not occupy yourselves with praying for curses upon kings and instead turn to Me in remembrance and with humility. And I will preserve you against the tyranny of the kings.”


When Hadhrat Umar (ra) approached Jerusalem after its conquest, and observed some of the Sahabah wearing extravagant clothes, he became furious and started pelting stones at them, uttering words that, as was to become a habit of his, turned out to be truly prophetic:

“We were amongst the most abased of man, and Allaah had
granted us honour with Islaam, hence if we ever seek
honour in anything besides what Allaah had honoured us
with, Allaah (will once again) debase us.”

Externally we have lost our identity, having barely any physical resemblence to the Salaf, and internally only Allah knows how much more distant we are from the Sunnah. Worse still, the virtual absence of the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw) does not seem to cause any discomfort to the majority of us, with some even venturing as far as defending this indifference. Those of us who attempt to adopt the attitude of the Sahabah towards the Sunnah, are regarded as fundamentalist, rigid bearded fanatics, by such people.

The Sahabah were fervently passionate about every single practice of the Prophet (saw). The weight of no acts of Sunnah was lightened due to the existence of some other supposedly bigger fitnah - one of the reasons parroted nowadays as an excuse to neglect certain Sunnah. Any act that had the slightest possibility of being Sunnah would be grasped onto so firmly and rigidly, such that the level of our attachment to the major Fard acts today, pale in comparison.

One wonders what Hadhrat Umar would pelt at us if were here to view our extravagance and our negligence of the Sunnah of Prophet (saw).


“Even if your tongues become dry from all the prayers you say (while calling on Me) and even though you lift up your hands in prayer till they reach the very heavens, I shall not show any Mercy to any of you who cry and wail so bitterly until you people discard all your unjust dealings and unfair treatment among yourselves.”


Category: SOUND

Imam Shafi'i (ra) stated, “I debated a scholar and beat him. Then I debated a layman and that layman beat me - he had no knowledge of the principles and texts. I had nothing to say.”

Imam Razi stated: "There is no meaning to Shirk other that a human taking a ma'bud other than Allah."
(Tafsir Kabir 16/33)

Imam Sanusi mentioned:
"Shirk is of 6 types.

-Shirk al-Istiqlal- Affirming two separate "gods" like the shirk of the Majus
-Shirk Tab'idh- To believe in a god who is made up of multiple gods, like the shirk of the Christians
-Shirk Taqrib- Worshiping other than Allah, so that they could take one closer to Allah, like the shirk of the early part of the Jahiliyyah era.
-Shirk Taqlid- Worshiping other than Allah, in emulation of someone else, like those of the later Jahiliyyah era
-Shirk al-Asbab- Attribution effect to the apparent means, like the shirk of the Philosophers etc
-Shirk al-Aghradh- Performing actions for other than Allah

The First four are Shirk by consensus, while the sixth is disobedience and there is detail concerning the fifth..."
(Sharh al-Muqaddamat Pg. 33 and 40)

Idolatry [shirk], like disbelief [kufr], is a covering up of the obvious truth.

There is "major idolatry," which expels a man from his faith, and "minor idolatry" (instances of which include ostentation and some sins), which does not.

It is therefore appropriate to quote what one of correct doctrine says about idolatry. Its kinds - may God protect us! - are six:

1. Autonomous idolatry [shirk istiqlal]. This is to affirm the existence of two autonomous dieties, as is the case with the Zoroastrians.

2. Separative idolatry [shirk tab'id]. An instance of this is the Christians who say that God is one of three, the other two being Jesus and his mother. {79}

3. Approximative idolatry [shirk taqrib]. This is to worship other that God with the purpose of drawing nearer to Him through them. Such was the belief of the early Arabs who worshipped stones, saying, "We only worship them so that they may bring us closer to God" (QURAN, 39;3)

4. Imitative idolatry [shirk taqlid]. This involves worshiping other than God in imitation of others. This also was the form of idolatry present in the pre-islamic era of ignorance. They say, "We found our fathers following a religion, and by their footsteps shall we be led" (QURAN, 43;22)

5. Idolatry of secondary causes [shirk al-asbab]. {80} An instance of this is the idolatry of the philosophers and those who believe in nature, and those who follow them.

6. Idolatry of intention [shikr al-aghrad] {81}. This is to carry our acts for other than God.

The unanimous ruling regarding the first four is that they are forms of disbelief.

The sixth is a sin but does not constitute disbelief.

As for the fifth, a distinction has to be made between, first, those who say that secondary causes [in themselves] produce effects by virtue of their intrinsic properties [as, for example, fire leading to burning, water to irrigating, and food to satiety]: such people are disbelievers; second, those who believe that they are effective through a power that God the Exalted has put in them: they are guilty of innovation [bid'a].


{79}: Since the Virgin Mary is called in Christian terms "Mother of God," the implication is that she herself is divine. This is how the word "mariolatry" came into being.

{80}: The Primary Cause or Prime Mover is God Himself. To believe that creatures or secondary causes have autonomous power is to set them up as gods beside God.

{81}: Acting out of ostentation or simply to satisfy some lust or appetite is to set one's intention in competition with sincerity with God. It is to worship one's ego, passions, or appetites.


The Day of Judgement and the Hereafter

Category: SOUND

Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that Allah's Messenger (saw) said:
"The Last Hour will not come till you wage war against a people who wear shoes made of hair and till you fight the Turks with small noses, red faces and small eyes, as though their faces are smitten shields. You will find good people strongly opposing this. People are of different kinds--good people of the jahiliyyah and good people of Islam."
(Bukhari 2927; 2928) (Muslim 4711:2912) (Abu Dawud 4303) (Tirmidhi 2215)

The Holy Prophet (saw) has said, "When you see the base becoming rulers, desires being followed and everyone taking pride in his opinion then it is incumbent on you to worry about yourself and leave the masses to themselves."
(Tafsir Tabari p-3/25. Mustadrak Haakim. Ittihaf.)

Abu Sa'eed Khudri (ra) reported that Allah's Messenger (saw) said, "Soon the best property of the Muslim will be a herd of sheep. He will take them and retire to the peak of the mountains where he will get rain water that he may preserve himself from trial in religion."
(Bukhari [Kitab al-Eeman]) (Abu Dawud [Kitab ul-Malahim]) (Nasa'i [Kitab ul-Eeman]) (Ibn Majah [Fatan])

Abu Hurayrah (ra) reported that Allah's Messenger (saw) said, "The poor Muslim will be admitted to Paradise half a day before the rich. That will be like five hundred years."
(Tirmidhi 2354) (Musnad Ahmad p-2/343)

Anas (ra) said, "The time that comes on people is followed by a time that is worse than it. This will go on forever, till you meet your Lord. I had heard this from your Prophet (saw)."
(Bukhari 7068)

Anas (ra) reported that someone asked, "O Messenger of Allah, when should we cease to enjoin righteousness and to forbid evil?" He said, "When you experience the condition of the Banu Isra'il and when your elders are indecent and immoral, knowledge is with the base people, and rule with the young."
(Ahmad p-3/187) (Fath al-Bari p-13/301)

Hazrat Ali (ra) said to Abdullah ibn Saba', "Woe to you! By Allah, I have never concealed from people anything that I knew. I did hear Allah's Messenger (saw) say that there will come before the Last Hour many liars. (And I say,) You are one of them!"
(Bukhari [Book of Fitan, ch. 25]) (Ahmad 2/118) (Kanzul Ummal 38381, 38762)

Jabir ibn Abdullah (ra) reported that the Prophet (saw) said that the Dajjal will emerge when religion will be taken lightly and learning would be avoided.
(Ahmad 14937) (This is reported from more than one source)

Ibn Umar (ra) reported that Allah's Messenger (saw) said, "The Dajjal's destination is this hillock. Most of those who go to him will be women so much so that a man will go to his wife, to his mother, his daughter and his aunt and chain them lest they go to him."
(Muslim 7667) (Tirmidhi 2236) (Musnad Ahmad 2/67, 4/217, 3/368)

Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrates that the Prophet (saw) said, "When three things appear, faith will not benefit one who has not believed previously, or earned any kind of good from his belief: the Dajjal, the beast of the earth and the rising of the sun from the west or from its place of setting."
(Muslim 396) (Tirmidhi 3072) (Musnad Ahmad 2/445)

Abu Sa'eed Khudri (ra) narrated: Allah's Messenger (saw) said, "As the Hour draws near, there will be much lightning. In fact, a man will come to his people and ask, 'Who was struck by lightning yesterday?' They will say, 'So and so and so and so were struck by lightning'."
(Musnad Ahmad 2/94) (Kanzul Ummal 31406) (ad-Durr al-Manthur 6/55)

As for the Prophet's (saw) words 'the slave gives birth to her master', it means that in the last era the female slave will enjoy a high position and will be held in esteem. Only the elite will have them and ordinary people will not have female slaves. This is why this phrase is complimented with, 'the bare-footed and the naked will become chiefs'. They will build large houses, have much wealth, possess high esteem and will lack courage except to compete in constructing houses.
(Ibn Kathir - Al Fitan wal Manahim)

"The Hour will not come till the 'reproacher son of the reproacher' is one who enjoys the world most of all people." (Worldly possessions with one who has no manners and no religion)
(Tirmidhi 2209) (Musnad Ahmad 5/389) (Kanzul Ummal 38476)

Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated: the Prophet (saw) said, "By Him Who has sent me with the truth, this world will not end till there occur with the people swallowing (into earth), throwing away (or scandalising) and metamorphosis." They asked, "When will that be, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "When you see women seeking sexual satisfaction, and (when there are) many female singers and false testimony (is given often), and men enjoy men and women enjoy women."
(Mustadrak Haakim 4/437) (ad-Durr al-Manthur 6/55, 2/324) (Majma' az-Zawa'id 8/10, 10/8)

"Men will be fewer and the number of women will increase so that for (every) fifty women there will be one man to look after them. They will indulge in sexual play in the streets as though they were animals."
(Bukhari 81) (Muslim 6727) (Tirmidhi 2205)

"The Hour will come tomorrow and touch you."
(Muslim 7334) (Ibn Majah 4040)

Ibn Abbas (ra) narrated that Allah's Messenger (saw) said, "How can I be at ease while the holder of the Trumpet has put it to his mouth and bent his forehead waiting for the command that he may blow."
(Tirmidhi 2431) (Musnad Ahmad 1/326, 4/374) (Kanzul Ummal 39743)

Ibn Umar (ra) narrated: Allah's Messenger (saw) said, "If anyone would like to look at the Day of Resurrection as though he saw it with his eyes then let him recite the surah [When the sun is folded up], [When the heaven is cleft] and [When the heaven is rent asunder]"
(Mu'jam Kabir 17/287) (Kanzul Ummal 2586, 2587)

Ibn Umar (ra) narrated that he heard the Prophet (saw) say, "My pond is as between Aden and Amman. It is more cold than ice, sweeter than honey and more fragrant than musk. Its cups are like the stars of the heaven. He who takes a drink from it will never be thirsty after that. The first of the people to come to it will be the poor of the muhajirs." Someone asked, "And who are they, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "Their heads are dishevelled, their faces are pale and their clothes are dirty and closed doors are not opened for them, and graceful women will not marry them. They give all that is due from them but do not take that which is due to them."
(Musnad Ahmad 2/132)

Abdullah ibn Amr (ra) narrated that Allah's Messenger (saw) said, "Surely Allah does not love the indecent and indecency [or He hates the indecent and indeceny]. And the Hour will not come till indecency and vulgarity is observed openly, and severing of ties of relationship, wickedness with neighbours, trusting the betrayer and betrayal by the trusted. Know that your appointment is at my pond whose breadth and length are identical being as between Aylah and Makkah, a month's journey. In it are pitchers like the stars. Its drink is whiter than silver. He who drinks from it once will never feel thirst again after that."
(Musnad Ahmad 2/159, 2/195, 4/180, 6/135)

Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw) said, "I will precede you to the pond and some of you will surely be picked up and then removed away from me. I will say, 'O Lord, my sahabah!' But, it will be said, 'You do not know what they did after you'."
(Bukhari 7049)

"Surely Allah will call the slaves on the Day of Resurrection. He will say, 'I did keep quiet for you since I created you. I observed your deeds and heard your words. Now, you should keep quiet for Me. These are only your deeds and your scrolls (records of deeds). They will be read over to you. He who finds good, let him praise Allah but he who finds otherwise, he must blame only himself.'"
(Muslim 6517) (Al-Ba'th wa an-Nushur 669) (al-Matulat 36) (ad-Durr al-Manthur 5/339-342)

Tabarani reported that Tha'labah ibn Hakam (ra) narrated: Allah's Messenger (saw) said that Allah will say to the ulema (Islamic scholars, people with knowledge of Deen) when He sits on His Chair to pass judgement, "I did not give you My knowledge and My wisdom except that I intend to forgive you. And, I do not care."
(Ibn Hajar in al-Matalib al-Aaliyah 4629) (Kanzul Ummal 39094)

"There is nothing heavier in the scale than good manners."
(Musnad Ahmad)

"On the Day of Resurrection, (the surah) al-Baqarah and al-Imran will come as two canopies or clouds with two wings and defend those who had recited them."
(Musnad Ahmad 4/183, 5/249, 251, 255, 257, 348, 352, 361)

Ibn Mas'ud (ra) narrated: "My legs are thin. When the wind blew heavily, I came off balance. So the other people laughed. Allah's Messenger (saw) asked, 'At what do you laugh?' They said, 'O Prophet of Allah, at his lean, weak legs.' He said, 'By Him in Whose Hand is my soul! They will be heavier than the Uhud in the scale.'"
(Musnad Ahmad 1/114, 421, 5/131)

Anas (ra) narrated: The Prophet (saw) said, "By Him Who has the soul of Muhammad in His Hand! If you see what I see, you will weep much and laugh little." The sahabah (ra) asked, "O Messenger of Allah, what do you see?" He said, "I see the Paradise and the Hell."
(Musnad Ahmad 3/217)

Anas ibn Maalik (ra) narrated: The Prophet (saw) said to Jibril, "Why is it that I do not see Mika'il laugh, at all?" He said, "He has never laughed since the Hell was created."
(Musnad Ahmad 3/24)

Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated: Allah's Messenger (saw) said, "Indeed, the slave may utter a word carelessly not considering what its worth is. Thereby, he will slip down in Hell further than what separates the east and the west."
(Bukhari 6477) (Muslim 7407) (Tirmizi 2314)

"Surely a man speaks a careless word that earns Allah's wrath. Thereby, he is dropped into Hell to a depth seventy years."
(Musnad Ahmad 7214, 7945)

Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated: Allah's Messenger (saw) said, "Seek refuge in Allah from the well of grief (which is jubb ul-hizn)." They asked, "O Messenger of Allah, what is jubb ul-hizn?" He said, "It is a valley in Hell from which Hell seeks refuge everyday four hundred times. It is prepared for reciters (of the Qur'an) who are ostentatious with their deeds. And, indeed, the most detested of the reciters in Allah's sight are they who wish to be seen by the chiefs and tyrants."
(Tirmizi 2383) (Ibn Majah 256)

Tabarani reported that Abu Musa (ra) narrated: Allah's Messenger (saw) said, "When Adam landed down from Paradise, Allah taught him to make everything and provided him the fruits of Paradise. These fruits of yours are from the fruits of Paradise except that they have changed while those (of Paradise) have not changed."
(Kanzul-Ummal 6344, 35323) (Tazkiratul Mawdu'at lil fitnah 161)

Umm Salamah (ra) asked, "O Messenger of Allah, some of the women marry twice, thrice, four times before they die. Then they go to Paradise and their husbands also go there. Who then will be their husband there?" He said, "Such a woman will be given choice. She will choose the best of them in manners. She will say, 'O Lord, this one was the best mannered with me in the world, so marry me to him.'. O Umm Salamah, good manners get the best of the world and the Hereafter."
(Al-Mu'jam al-Kabir, Tabarani 23/870)

Ahmad reported that Anas ibn Malik (ra) narrated: Allah's Messenger (saw) said, "Paradise is surrounded by hardships and Hell is surrounded by temptations."
(Musnad Ahmad) (Muslim 7061) (Tirmizi 2559)

Ahmad reported that Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated: Allah's Messenger (saw) said: When Allah created Paradise, He sent Jibril to it, saying, "Look at it and at what I have prepared for its inhabitants." So, he went, looked at it and at what Allah had prepared for its inhabitants and returned to Allah, the Exalted. He said, "By Your Honour, no one will hear of it without entering it!" Then, He commanded it and it was concealed in unpleasant things and difficulties. Then He said, "Go back to it and look at it." So, he went and looked at it. Behold! It was concealed in difficulties. He came back to Allah and said, "By Your Honour! I fear, indeed, that no one will get through the difficulties."
(Musnad Ahmad 2/332)

Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that Allah's Messenger (saw) said, "Mostly two hollow things are responsible for man's entry into Hell -- the private organs and the mouth. And mostly fear of Allah and good manners take man to Paradise."
(Musnad Ahmad 2/392)

Know! The Hell is surrounded by desires (and temptations) but in its inside are all harmful (and painful) things and reptiles. Paradise is surrounded by hardships but inside is what eyes have not seen, ears have not heard and the human heart has not contemplated the pleasant and enjoyable things there. This is as the clear verses of the Qur'an and authentic Ahadith tell us. Its bliss is perpetual and its enjoyment is constant. It is what the ears have never heard.

Source: Al-Fitan wal Malahim by Ibn Kathir