Sunday, November 9

‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Azīz said: "None can reach the state of taqwā until he possesses neither actions nor words that can be exposed to his embarrassment, either in this world or the Hereafter,” and he was once asked: "When does the worshipper reach the peak of taqwā?" So, he replied: "If he puts all the thoughts and desires in his heart on a plate and then wandered around in the market, he should not feel ashamed of anything there." [‘Min Akhlāq as-Salaf’; p. 56]

Friday, September 12

Ibn'ul Qayyim said: "I heard Shaykh'ul- Islam Ibn Taymiyyah - may Allah sanctify his soul - say: 'Dhikr is to the heart as water is to a fish; see what happens to a fish when it is taken out of water!' ... I once attended the morning (fajr) Prayer with Shaykh'ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, after which he sat down and engaged in dhikr of Allah until it was almost midday. He then turned to me and said: 'This is my morning meal, if I do not partake of it my strength diminishes."
Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said : "Gratitude is built upon five pillars: Submissiveness to Allah from the one expressing gratitude; lov­ing Him for it; acknowledging His favour; praising Him for it; and not utilizing it in a way that displeases Him"

Thursday, May 15

And we think we’re something…

Ponder over this verse:

{“Shall We inform you of the greatest losers in respect of their deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds!”} [al-Kahf; 103-104]

…and this hadith:

“If a man were to be dragged on his face from the day he was born until the day he dies in order to please Allah, then on the Day of Resurrection, he will not consider this to have been sufficient to gain Allah’s Pleasure.”

['Sahih al-Jami''; # 5249]

…and this statement of Ibn Taymiyyah:

“Verily, I constantly renew my Islam until this very day, as up to now, I do not consider myself to have ever been a good Muslim.”

[Narrated by Ibn al-Qayyim in 'Madarij as-Salikin'; 1/218]

And we think we’re something…

Courtesy of

Tuesday, March 11

“I know exactly who you are…”

Abu Bakr said: “Let not any Muslim belittle another Muslim, for the lowest of the Muslims is great in the Sight of Allah.”

Wahb (bin al-Munabbih) said: “When Allah Created the Garden of Eden, He looked to it and said: “You are forbidden for every arrogant person!”“

al-Ahnaf bin Qays used to sit with Mus’ab bin az-Zubayr on his sleeping mat and talk. One day, he came to find Mus’ab extending his feet forward, so, he pushed his legs aside to make room for himself to sit. When he saw the signs of displeasure on Mus’ab’s face from this, he said: “How strange is the son of Adam! He is arrogant while he was originated from an organ that transports urine!”

al-Hasan (al-Basri) said: “I wonder at the son of Adam! He uses his hand to wash himself from his waste once or twice a day, yet he seeks to compete with the All-Mighty?”

Muhammad bin al-Husayn bin ‘Ali said: “The heart of a person is never afflicted with the slightest bit of arrogance except that his intelligence and sanity is decreased because of that in accordance with how much of that arrogance has entered his heart.”

Sulayman was asked about a bad deed that cannot be wiped away with a good dead, so he replied: “Arrogance.”

‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-’Aziz went for Hajj before he became the khalifah, and Tawus saw him walking with a slight swing in his walk that he thought looked boastful. So, he went up to ‘Umar and nudged him in his side, saying to him: “Is this the walk of one whose stomach carries waste?”

Muhammad bin Wasi’ saw his son acting boastful, so, he called him over and said: “Do you know who you are? As for your mother, then I purchased her for a mere one hundred dirhams. As for your father, then may Allah not increase his likes amongst the Muslims!”

Mutraf bin ‘Abdullah saw al-Muhallab walking in a new overcoat he had bought, looking pleased with himself. So, he said to him: “O Abu ‘Abdullah! This is a type of walking that is hated by Allah and His Messenger!” So, al-Muhallab said to him: “Do you have any idea who I am?” So, Mutraf replied: “I know exactly who you are: your beginning is in the form of a tiny clot of sperm and egg, and your end is in the form of a rotten corpse!” So, al-Muhallab abandoned that type of walking from then on.

Courtesy of

Saturday, March 8


Gratitude (shukr) is expressed with the heart, by acknowledging Allah's favours, attesting to them and not considering oneself deserving of them, but instead recognizing that they are purely from the Lord's bountiful grace. It is expressed with the tongue by praising Allah for His favours and proclaiming them. [It is expressed] with the limbs by not being disobedient to Allah, but rather by utilizing His favours to obey Him.

If he is granted any worldly thing, he thanks Allah for it. If something of this world is removed from him, he [still] thanks Allah, for some­times the withdrawal of a favour removes the person from a greater evil. If he is granted the ability to do an act of obedience, he sees this as a grace (tawfiq) from Allah, for which he [again] thanks Him.

And Allah's aid is sought.

Thursday, February 28

Ibn al-Qayyim said:
"Al- Junayd said: 'The journey from this world to the Hereafter is smooth and easy for the believer, but leaving ordinary life for the sake of Allah is difficult. The journey from the ego (nafs) to Allah is extremely difficult, and patience (sabr) in Allah is even more difficult."
He was asked about patience, so he replied: 'It is to swallow bitterness without frowning.'
Dhu'l-Nun al-Misri said: 'Patience is to distance yourself from opposing [the truth], to remain calm when engulfed with calamities, and to display sufficiency when poverty occupies your daily life.'
It has been said: 'Patience is to face affliction with the best conduct.'
It has been said: 'It is to absorb affliction without display­ing complaint.'
It is said: 'It is accustoming the soul to the onslaught of adversi­ties.'
It is said: 'It is to settle down with adversities in good companionship, in the same manner as one settles down with well-being.'
And 'Amr ibn 'Uthman said: 'It is standing firm with Allah and meeting tribulations with magnanimity and welcome.'

Sunday, February 10


Umm Salamah said:

I heard the Messenger of Allaah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam say, “There is no Muslim who is afflicted with a calamity and says that which Allaah has enjoined, Innaa lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon. Allaahumma ajurni fi museebati wakhluf li khayran minha (Verily to Allaah we belong and unto Him is our return. O Allaah, reward me for my calamity and compensate me with something better than it), but Allaah will compensate him with something better than it.”

She said: When Abu Salamah died, I said, who among the Muslims is better than Abu Salamah, the first household to migrate to the Messenger of Allaah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam ? Then I said these words, and Allaah compensated me with the Messenger of Allaah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam.

Saheeh Muslim

Wednesday, February 6

Abu Hurayrah ( رضي الله عنه ) said: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: "It does not befit a Siddiq (righteous Muslim) to frequently curse others.'' [Muslim]

Abud-Darda' (رضي الله عنه) said: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, "Those who frequently resort to cursing (people) would neither be accepted as witnesses nor as intercessors on the Day of Resurrection.'' [Muslim].

Samurah bin Jundub (رضي الله عنه) said: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, "Do not curse one another, invoking Curse of Allah or Wrath of Allah or the fire of Hell.'' [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

Abu Zaid Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak Al-Ansari (رضي الله عنه) said: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, "..... Cursing a believer is like murdering him.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Abu Barzah Nadlah bin `Ubaid Al-Aslami (رضي الله عنه) said: A young woman was riding a she-camel on which there was the luggage of people. Suddenly she saw the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم). The pass of the mountain became narrow for her people (because of fear). The young woman said to the she-camel: "Go ahead.'' When it did not move, she said,"O Allah! Curse it.'' The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, "The she-camel that has been cursed should not accompany us.'' [Muslim].

Wednesday, January 16

Imaam Ahmad, an-Nasaa’ee, at-Tirmidhee and Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh report the hadeeth of Ka’b ibn Maalik al-Ansaaree, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, from the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that he said: “Two hungry wolves let loose among sheep are not more harmful then a person craving after wealth and status is to his Deen (Religion).” at-Tirmidhee said, “It is hasan saheeh.”

What's So Special About Muharram?

1) It is the first month of the Hijri calendar.

2) It is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allaah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein..." [al-Tawbah 9:36]

Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (sa) said: 'The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of: Dhu'l-Qa'dah, Dhu'l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha'baan.' (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2958).

3) The 10th of Muharram is the 'day of Ashura'

Fasting the day of 'Ashoora' does expiate for the past year, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: 'For fasting the day of 'Ashura, I hope that Allah will accept it as expiation for (the sins committed in) the year that went before.' (Narrated by Muslim, 1162.) This is by the bounty that Allaah bestows upon us, whereby fasting one day expiates for the sins of a whole year. And Allaah is the Owner of great bounty.

4) Sins in this month are more serious, and good deeds bring greater reward

It was reported that Ibn 'Abbaas said: Allaah's words (interpretation of the meaning):'so wrong not yourselves therein...'referred to all the months, then these four were singled out and made sacred, so that sin in these months is more serious and good deeds bring a greater reward.

5) Virtues of observing Nafl (voluntary fasts)

Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: 'The Messenger of Allaah (sa) said: 'The best of fasting after Ramadaan is fasting Allaah's month of Muharram.' (reported by Muslim, 1982).

InshaaAllah the day of 'Ashoora' is on Friday (18th Jan 2008), and those who intend to fast are required to fast Thursday (Jan 17th) or Saturday also (Jan 19th) - in order to avoid singling out the Friday for fasting.

May Allah accept from us and you..

Adapted from Islam Q&A - Shaykh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid

Friday, January 11

Ibn al-Qayyim said (2/248):

"Good character with the Creator and with the cre­ation revolves around two statements which were mentioned by Shaykh 'Abd al-­Qadir al-Jilani who said:

'Be with the Truth, without creation; and be with cre­ation, without ego (nafs).'

So consider carefully! How amazing are these state­ments, despite their brevity, and how they gather together the principles of way­faring (suluk) and every beautiful character. Corruption of character arises from putting the creation between yourself and Allah, and by putting your ego between yourself and His creation. So when you isolate the creation, in that state when you are with Allah the Exalted; and when you isolate your ego, in that state when you are with the creation - then you have fully attained to the ideals of the People of Spirituality (al-qawm). And Allah's aid is sought."

Wednesday, January 2

And on the authority of Shaddad bin al Hadi (may Allah be pleased with him):

‘A man of the [nomad] Arabs came and believed in the Prophet (PBUH). Then he said: "I shall emigrate with you." And the Prophet (PBUH) put him into the charge of some of his Companions. In a campaign the Prophet (PBUH) took some booty and this was divided up, and he gave him his share. And he [i.e., the Arab] said: "What is this?" He said: "I have apportioned it to you." He said: "It was not for this that I followed you; rather I followed you that I might be pierced here (and he motioned with his hand to his neck) with an arrow, and that I might die and enter Paradise." He said: "If you are truthful in what you have just said, then Allah will fulfil your desire." So they remained there for a space; then they rose to do battle with the enemy. He was carried over to the Prophet, having been struck with an arrow exactly where he had pointed. The Prophet (PBUH) said: "Is it he?" They said: "Yes." He said: "He was truthful in what he said, so Allah answered him." Then he was shrouded in the garment of the Prophet (PBUH), and he [i.e., the Prophet] walked before him and prayed over him. This is part of what he said in his prayer: "O Allah, this is your servant who went forth as an Emigrant in your way and was slain a martyr. And I am a witness unto it." (Transmitted by An-Nisaa'i)

Sunday, December 30

She Fought at the Side of the Prophet

Nusaybah Bint Ka'b's life and example as a Muslimah, wife and mother can be surpassed only by a few other women in the history of Islam.

She was one of only two women who traveled with seventy-three men to Makkah, and pledged allegiance to the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, to believe in Allah alone and not to associate others with Him. They also pledged themselves to jihad in complete obedience to the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, in ease and hardship and harsh circumstances. That historical meeting is known as the second pledge of al-Aqabah.

NuSaybah, known as Um Imarah, was a rare kind of Muslim. A pious and noble woman, Um Imarah was also a daring courageous fighter in the cause of Allah, and she proved more than once to be truthful to her pledge.

Hearing that the Makkan pagans were preparing for a great battle to take revenge for their heavy losses during the battle of Badr, and that they were moving towards Uhud, the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, mobilized the Muslim men in Madinah. Um Imarah went out with her husband and her two sons, `Abdullah and Habib, to join the fighters.

In the beginning she brought water to the wounded and tended to their needs, but as the battle raged, and the Muslims were being defeated, she saw that some were fleeing the enemy leaving the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam without protection. She tied her belt around her waist so that she would not trip, brandishing a sword at times and throwing arrows at others, she cut through the ranks of the enemy and took sides with the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam.

She fought fiercely that day, striking fatal blows to her opponents until she suffered many wounds, one of them left a deep gash in her shoulder, which took a whole year to heal. She herself related some of what had happened during that battle. "I realized that people fled leaving the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, exposed," she said, "So less than ten men remained to protect him, while the others were passing by, defeated. The Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, saw me without a shield and saw a man leaving the battlefield carrying his shield, he said, 'Surrender your shield to the one who is fighting.’ He surrendered it and I picked it up and used it to shield the Messenger of Allah. But those who gave us the hardest time were the horsemen, if they were on foot like us; we would have defeated them, insha'Allah. A cavalier came towards me, but he was unable to strike at me because I protected myself with the shield. As he was turning back I dealt a blow to his horse's hamstring and he fell on his back. The Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, cried out, 'O son of Um Imarah, your mother, your mother!' So he helped me kill the horseman."

Her own son related later more of her heroic behavior during the battle. He said, "I was wounded during the battle of Uhud, and the blood would not stop. The Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said, 'Bandage your wound.' My mother was busy fighting the enemy, but when she heard the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, she came toward me carrying bandages tied to her side, she bandaged my wound while the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, was standing by. She then told me, 'Get up my son, and fight’ The Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said, 'Who can endure what you are enduring, Um Imarah!' A short time later, the man who hit me was coming our way, so the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said, 'Here is the man who hit your son, O Um Imarah.' She went up to him and hit him in the leg; she left him kneeling on the ground. The Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, smiled at what she has done so broadly that his molar teeth were showing and said, 'You avenged yourself, Um Imarah.' Then more men came and struck the man and killed him. The Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said to her, 'Praise is due to Allah Who gave you victory over your enemy and satisfied you by showing you his death.'"

A few months later when the call was announced to prepare for the battle of Hamra-ul-Asad, Um Imarah got ready but she was not able to continue in her way because her wound got worse and she was bleeding profusely.

The battle of Uhud was not the only occasion when Um Imarah showed her bravery. She was among those who gave the pledge of ar-Ridhwan, to fight until martyrdom. She also witnessed the battle of Hunayn.

When the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam passed away, some of the Arab tribes apostatized, at their head was Musaylimah The Liar. Khalifah Abu Bakr rallied the Muslims to fight the renegades. Um Imarah asked permission from Abu Bakr to join the army, accompanied by her two sons. "We knew your bravery during the war," he said, "Come on in the name of Allah."

This battle was a great test for Um Imarah. The fight was hard and the two parties adamantly set to win it. She held her grounds, always advancing. Now she heard that her son Habib fell prisoner to Musaylimah the liar. He asked him, "Do you testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah?" When he said that he did, he went on, "And do you testify that I am the messenger of Allah?" he answered, "I do not hear." So Musaylimah began to cut him to pieces, organ by organ until he died. He asked him the same questions over and over, but he could not get a different answer.

Um Imarah went to al-Yamamah with the Muslims and took part in the war against Musaylimah. She was eager to see the end of Musaylimah, and it was the will of Allah that he be slain by her other son `Abdullah, and another companion. Um Imarah returned from the war having suffered twelve wounds inflicted by spear and sword, and having lost an arm, and her beloved son.

Um Imarah, Nusaybah bint Ka'b, was a woman who was true to her words, a woman who occupies a special place in the history of Islam.

Compiled by Alia Amer - Al-Jumuah Magazine

Saturday, December 29


The servant's perfection lies in these two matters, which are: reliance (tawakkul) upon Allah, and striving diligently to obey Allah. The ser­vant's perfection is hindered by the loss of anyone of them.

The reality of reliance entails two matters: dependence upon Allah and trust in Allah. So he depends upon his Lord with his heart for procur­ing what will benefit him, in both his religious and worldly affairs. He acknowledges his lack of power and inability and instead places his trust in Allah in order to acquire what will benefit him or to repel what will harm him. Futhermore he strives to utilize those causes (asbab) that will lead him to what is sought after.

The details of this is that when he firmly resolves to perform an act of worship, he strives to complete it and beautify it, sparing no effort to do so. He frees himself from depending upon his own self and strength, but instead resorts to, and depends upon, his Lord in order to allow him to complete and perfect [that act]; having a good expectation of Allah. When he firmly resolves to leave an act of disobedience that his soul incites him to, he fulfills those causes that will lead him to leaving that sin; such as considering it and turning his limbs from it. Then, after this, he places his trust in Allah, resorts to Him in order that He may protect him from it, and has good expectations of Allah with regards to Allah protecting him.

If he does this in everything that he does and leaves, then success is to be hoped for him, if Allah the Exalted wills. But as for the person who seeks Allah's aid and relies upon Him, but leaves the striving that is a pre-requisite for it, then this is not reliance. Rather, it is mockery! Such is also the case of one who does strive, but depends upon his owns elf and does not rely upon his Lord; he is only deluding himself.

The Exquisite Pearl By Shaykh 'Abd al-Rahman al-Sa'di

Friday, December 28

"I have known people and kept company with groups who neither rejoiced when the things of this world came to them, nor grieved when they lost anything in this world. The life of this world was more insignificant to them than dust. One of them might live for a year or for sixty years without ever having a garment that would entirely cover him, and without ever having anything that would come between him and the ground, and without ever having any food that he could ask to be prepared for him in his own home. When night came, they would be on their feet, with their foreheads flat against the earth, tears rolling down their cheeks, secretly calling on Allah to save them on the Day of Judgement. If they did something good, they never stopped being grateful for it, and they were always asking Allah to forgive them for it. By Allah, they were not safe from wrong actions, and were saved only by their constant turning in repentance. May Allah be pleased with them and grant them His mercy..."

al-Hasan al-Basree rahimahullah

From the Benefits of Winter

It is reported from Abû Hurayrah – Allâh be pleased with him – that he said: "Shall I not point you to comfortable proceeds? People responded, “And what is that o Abû Hurayrah?” He replied, “Fasting in winter.”

The Arabs used to refer to matters which were relatively easy to gain as being cool. In this narration, the relative ease of fasting in winter and its consequent reward is likened to acquiring war proceeds without the heat of violence.

It is reported from ‘Umar – Allâh be pleased with him – that he said: "Winter is booty for the devout worshippers."

This is further explained in the following narration: It is reported from ‘Ubayd b. ‘Umayr – Allâh have mercy on him – that he said: "It used to be said when winter came: O people of the Qur`ân, the night has become long so you can pray (more) and the day has become short for you to fast."

Abû Nu’aym, Hilyah Al-Awliyâ`.

As with other experiences in this world, the Salaf used to be reminded of the hereafter when experiencing cold weather: It is reported from the famous worshipper Râbi’ah – Allâh have mercy on her – that she said: "I have never heard the adhân except that I remember the caller who will announce the Day of Resurrection, and I never see the falling snow except that I imagine the flying pages of the records of peoples deeds (on that day), and I never see swarms of locusts except that I think about the Great Gathering on the Last Day."

Ibn Al-Jawzî, Sifah Al-Safwah Vol. 2 p433.

Monday, December 24

“Whoever reflects will find that the noblest and most dignified person of every gathering is the one who is most silent, because silence beautifies the scholar and conceals the faults of the ignorant.” -Ibrâhîm an-Nakhâ‘î (rahimahullâh)

“A person speaking about unnecessary things is [an indication] of Allâh abandoning him.” -Ma‘rûf al-Kirakhî (rahimahullâh)

Bakr ibn ‘Abdullâh al-Muzanî (rahimahullâh) said, “If you see someone older than you then respect him saying, ‘He has beaten me to Islâm and righteous action.’ If you see someone younger than you then respect him saying to yourself, ‘I have beaten him in sins.’ If the people honour you then say, ‘That is from the grace of Allâh, but I do not deserve it.’ If they degrade you then say , ‘This happened as a consequence of a previous sin.’ If you throw a pebble at your neighbor’s dog, then you have harmed him.”

Friday, December 21

Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said:

"The heart, in its journey to Allah, Majestic is He, is like that of a bird: love is its head, and fear and hope are its two wings. When the head and two wings are sound, the bird flies gracefully; if the head is severed, the bird dies; if the bird loses one of its wings, it then becomes a target for every hunter or predator"
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said: 'Zuhd is of three degrees: Firstly, to avoid the forbidden; this is the zuhd of the common people. Secondly, to avoid what is lawful but unnecessary; this is the zuhd of the elite. Thirdly, to avoid everything that distracts one from Allah; this is the zuhd of the gnostics.'

Thursday, December 20

Sincerity and Conforming to the Book and the Sunnah

Imam Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said in Madarij al-Salikin (2/68):

''Allah said: He Who created death and life, to test which of you are best in action. [al-Mulk 67:2]

Fudayl ibn 'Iyad said [about this verse]: 'It is what is most sincere and most correct.' They asked: O Abu 'Ali, what is most sincere and most correct? He replied: 'An action, if it is sincere but not correct, will not be accept­ed. If it is correct but not sincere, it will [also] not be accepted; until it is both sin­cere and correct. Sincere means that it is exclusively for Allah, and correct means that it conforms to the Sunnah.'"

Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said in Madarij al-Salikin (2/70):

"It has been said: 'Sincerity is to forget the creation seeing you because of contin­ually looking towards the Creator. Whoever adorns himself before the people with what he does not possess, has fallen from Allah's grace.'

From the words of Fudayl are: 'Leaving an action for people's sake is ostentation (riya'), whereas doing an action for people's sake is shirk. Sincerity is where Allah saves you from both of these.'

Al-Junayd said: 'Sincerity is a secret (sirr) between Allah and His servant which not even the angel knows so as to record it; nor does Satan know so as to corrupt it; nor is the desire (hawa) aware of it so as to influence it.'

It was said to Sahl: What is the hardest thing upon the ego (nafs)? He replied: 'Sincerity, because the ego has no share of it.'''

Imam Ibn al-Qayyim said about conformity (2/348):

"The master of the spiritual faction (sayyid al-ta'ifah) and their shaykh - Al-Junayd ibn Muhammad, may Allah's mercy be upon him - said: 'The paths, all of them are closed to the creation, except for one who emulates the footsteps of the Messenger; may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him.'

He [also] said: 'Whoever does not memorize the Qur'an nor record the hadith should not be followed in this matter, because our science is confined to the Book and the Sunnah.'

Abu Sulayman al-Darani,may Allah have mercy upon him, said: 'Indeed a word of wisdom occurs to my heart as it does to the nation [of the righteous], but I do not accept it until it is supported by two just witnesses: the Book and the Sunnah.'

From the footnotes of The Exquisite Pearl By Shaykh 'Abd al-Rahman al-Sa'di

Friday, December 7

First Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah: Days of Virtue And Righteous Deeds

Ibn 'Abbas says about the Aayah, "Remember Allaah during the well known days," that it refers to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. [This is related by al-Bukhari]

Allaah swears an oath by them, and swearing an oath by something is indicative of its importance and great benefit. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "By the dawn; by the 10 nights" [al-Fajr 89:1-2]. Ibn Abbaas, Ibn al-Zubayr, Mujaahid and others of the earlier and later generations said that this refers to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Ibn Katheer said: "This is the correct opinion." [Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 8/413]

Praise be to Allaah Who has created Time and has made some times better than others, some months and days and nights better than others, when rewards are multiplied many times, as a mercy towards His slaves. This encourages them to do more righteous deeds and makes them more eager to worship Him, so that the Muslim renews his efforts to gain a greater share of reward, prepare himself for death and supply himself in readiness for the Day of Judgement.

This season of worship brings many benefits, such as the opportunity to correct ones faults and make up for any shortcomings or anything that one might have missed. Every one of these special occasions involves some kind of worship through which the slaves may draw closer to Allaah, and some kind of blessing though which Allaah bestows His favour and mercy upon whomsoever He will. The happy person is the one who makes the most of these special months, days and hours and draws nearer to his Lord during these times through acts of worship; he will most likely be touched by the blessing of Allaah and will feel the joy of knowing that he is safe from the flames of Hell. [Ibn Rajab, al-Lataaif, p.8]

Ibn 'Abbas reports that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these days [meaning the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah]." The companions asked, "O Messenger of Allaah, not even jihad in the way of Allaah?" He said, "Not even jihad, except for the man who puts his life and wealth in danger [for Allaah's sake] and returns with neither of them." [This is related by the group except Muslim and an-Nasa'i]

Ahmad and at-Tabarani record from Ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "There is no day more honorable in Allaah's sight and no acts more beloved therein to Allaah than those in these ten days. So say tahlil (There is no deity worthy of worship but Allaah : Laa ilaaha illallaah), takbir (Allaah is the greatest : Allaahu Akbar) and tahmid (All praise is due to Allaah : alhumdulillaah) a lot [on those days]." [Reported by Ahmad, 7/224; Ahmad Shaakir stated it is saheeh]

Abu Hurairah relates that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "There are no days more loved to Allaah for you to worship Him therein than the ten days of Dhul Hijja. Fasting any day during it is equivalent to fasting one year and to offer salatul tahajjud (late-night prayer) during one of its nights is like performing the late night prayer on the night of power. [i.e., Lailatul Qadr]." [This is related by at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and al-Baihaqi]

Ibn 'Umar narrated that at Mina, the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Do you know what is the day today?" The people replied, "Allaah and His Messenger know it better." He said, "It is the forbidden (sacred) day. And do you know what town is this?" They replied, "Allaah and His Messenger know it better." He said, "This is the forbidden (sacred) town (Mecca). And do you know which month is this?" The people replied, "Allaah and His Apostle know it better." He said, "This is the forbidden (sacred) month." The Messenger added, "No doubt, Allaah made your blood, your properties, and your honour sacred to one another like the sanctity of this day of yours in this month of yours in this town of yours."

Narrated Ibn 'Umar: On the Day of Nahr (10th of Dhul-Hijja), the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) stood in between the Jamrat during his Hajj which he performed (as in the previous Hadith) and said, "This is the greatest Day (i.e. 10th of Dhul-Hijjah)." The Messenger (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) started saying repeatedly, "O Allaah! Be Witness (I have conveyed Your Message)." He then bade the people farewell. The people said, "(This is Hajjat-al-Wada)." [Bukhari 2.798]

Fasting Day of ArafatAbu Qatadah reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Fasting on the day of 'Arafah is an expiation for two years, the year preceding it and the year following it. Fasting the day of 'Ashurah is an expiation for the year preceding it." [This is related by "the group," except for al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi]

Hafsah reported, "There are five things that the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) never abandoned: fasting the day of 'Ashurah, fasting the [first] 10 [days of Dhul-Hijjah], fasting 3 days of every month and praying two rak'ah before the dawn prayer." [This is related by Ahmad and an-Nasa'i]

'Uqbah ibn 'Amr reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "The day of 'Arafah, the day of sacrifice, and the days of tashreeq are 'ids for us--the people of Islam--and they are days of eating and drinking." [This is related by "the five," except for Ibn Majah. At-Tirmidhi grades it sahih]

Abu Hurairah stated, "The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) forbade fasting on the day of 'Arafah for one who is actually at 'Arafah." [This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, and Ibn Majah]

At-Tirmidhi comments: "The scholars prefer that the day of 'Arafah be fasted unless one is actually at 'Arafah."


It is Sunnah to say Takbeer ("Allaahu akbar"), Tahmeed ("Al-hamdu Lillaah"), Tahleel ("La ilaha ill-Allaah") and Tasbeeh ("Subhaan Allaah") during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and to say it loudly in the mosque, the home, the street and every place where it is permitted to remember Allaah and mention His name out loud, as an act of worship and as a proclamation of the greatness of Allaah, may He be exalted. Men should recite these phrases out loud, and women should recite them quietly.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"That they might witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e., reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade, etc.), and mention the name of Allaah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice)..." [al-Hajj 22:28]
The majority of scholars agree that the "appointed days" are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, because of the words of Ibn Abbas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father), "The appointed days are the first ten days (of Dhul-Hijjah)."

The Takbeer may include the words "Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, la ilaaha ill-Allaah; wa Allaahu akbar wa Lillaahil- hamd (Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great, there is no deity worthy of worship but Allaah; Allaah is Most Great and to Allaah be praise)," as well as other phrases.

Takbeer at this time is an aspect of the Sunnah that has been forgotten, especially during the early part of this period, so much so that one hardly ever hears Takbeer, except from a few people. This Takbeer should be pronounced loudly, in order to revive the Sunnah and as a reminder to the negligent. There is sound evidence that Ibn Umar and Abu Hurairah (may Allaah be pleased with them) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, reciting Takbeer, and the people would recite Takbeer when they heard them. The idea behind reminding the people to recite Takbeer is that each one should recite it individually, not in unison, as there is no basis in Sharee'ah for doing this.

Monday, December 3

And From the Qualities of Umar ibn al-Khattab…

Umar (ra) would often hold a straw in his hand and say: “I wish I were a straw like this.”

Sometimes he would say: “I wish my mother had not given birth to me.”

Once he was busy with some important work when a person came to him and, complaining about some petty grievance, requested for its redress. Hadhrat Umar (ra) laid a lash across his-shoulders, saying:

“When I sit for that purpose, you do not come to me but when I am engaged in other important work you come with your grievances to interrupt me.”

The person walked away. But Hadhrat ‘Umar (ra) sent for him and, handing his whip over to him, said:

“You now lash me to even the matter.” He said: “I forgive you for the sake of Allah.”

Hadhrat Umar (ra) went home, prayed a Salaat of two rakaats in repentance and upbraided himself saying:

“Oh, Umar! You were low but Allah elevated you. You were wandering astray but Allah guided you. You were base but Allah ennobled you and gave you sovereignty over His people. Now one of them comes and asks you for redress of the wrong done to him, and you beat him? What answer have you to give before Allah?”

He kept on chiding himself thus for a very long time.

Once Hadhrat Umar (ra) was going on his usual round towards Harrah (a suburb of Madinah) with his slave Aslam, when he saw a distant fire in the desert. He said:

“There seems to be a camp. Perhaps, it is a caravan that could not enter the town due to night fall. Let’s go and look after them and arrange for their protection during the night.”

When he reached there, he found a woman and some children. The children were crying. The woman had a pan of water over the fire. Hadhrat ‘Umar (ra) greeted her with salaam and, with her permission, went near her.

Umar: “Why are these children crying?” The Woman: “Because they are hungry.” Umar: “What is in the pan?”

The Woman: “Only water to soothe the children, so that they may go to sleep in the belief that food is’being prepared for them. Ah! Allah will judge between Umar (ra) and me, on the Day of Judgement, for neglecting me in my distress.”

‘Umar (weeping): “May Allah have mercy on you! How can Umar know of your distress?”

The Woman: “When he is our Amir, he must keep himself informed about us.”

Hadhrat ‘Umar (ra) returned to the town and straightway went to Baitul-Mal to fill a sack with flour, dates, fat and clothes, and also drew some money.
When the sack was ready, he said to Aslam:

“Now put this sack on my back, Aslam.”

Aslam: “No please, Amir-ul-Mo’mineen! I shall carry this sack.”

‘Umar refused to listen to Aslam, even on his persistent requests to allow him to carry the sack, and remarked:

“What! Will you carry my load on the Day of Judgement? I must carry this bag, for it is I who would be questioned (in the Hereafter) about this woman.”

Aslam most reluctantly placed the bag on Umar’s (ra) back, who carried it with a swift pace right to the woman’s tent. Aslam followed at his heels. He put a little flour and some dates and fat in the pan and began to stir. He blew (with his mouth) into the fire to kindle it. Aslam says:

“I saw the smoke passing through his thick beard.”

After some time, the pottage was ready. He himself served it to the family. When they had eaten to their fill, he made over to them the little that was left for their next meal. The children were very happy after their meal and began to play about merrily. The woman felt very grateful and remarked:

“May Allah reward you for your kindness ! In fact you deserve to take the place of Khalifah instead of ‘Umar.”

‘Umar consoled her and said: “When you come to see the Khalifah, you will find me there.”

He sat for a while at a place close by and kept on watching the children. He then returned to Madinah. On his way back, he said to Aslam:

“Do you know why I sat there, Aslam? I had seen them weeping in distress; I liked to see them laughing and happy for some time.”

It is said that Hadhrat Umar (ra) while leading Fajr Salaat used to recite ‘Kahf, *Taha’ and other such Soorahs in his Salaat, and would weep so much that his crying could be heard way back to several rows. Once he was reciting Surah ‘Yusuf in Fajr. When he came to the verse:

“I only plead for my distress and anguish unto Allah,” (12: 86)

he wept so much that he could not recite any further. In Tahajjud, he would sometimes fall to the ground and would get indisposed with excessive weeping.

Such was the fear of Allah in Hadhrat Umar (ra) whose name struck terror in the hearts of the mightiest monarchs of his time. Even today, the people are filled with awe when they read about him. Is there any person in power today who is prepared to show such kindness to the people in his charge?

Friday, November 23


To love what Allah loves, such as the Prophets, and to prefer the love of Allah over the love of other than Allah, and to avoid any act that will distance one from the love of Allah.

Love has categories comprising it.

1) Love of the Divine - and this must be exclusive only to Allah (otherwise it is shirk).

2) Love for the Divine - this means to love something for the sake of Allah, or brings you closer to Allah, or Allah has told you to love it. This includes love of the Prophets, scholars, and the rest of the Muslims.

3) Natural love - love for anything that benefits you. We love our spouses and parents. We love good food and comfort. These are all types of natural love.

The first 2 types are spiritual, and the 3rd is worldly.

"You wilt not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day and yet they love those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even though they be their fathers, or their sons, or their brethren, or their kindred. These are they in whose hearts Allah has inscribed true faith and whom He has strengthened with inspiration from Himself. And He will admit them into Gardens through which streams flow. Therein they will abide; Allah is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him. They are Allah’s party. Surely, it is Allah’s party who are the successful." (Al-Mujaadilah, 58:22)

The muhsin converts his natural love into spiritual love. For example, everyone loves their parents, but a muhsin will use that love to treat their parents the way that Allah loves.

If a person, out of a natural love, falls into disobedience to Allah, then this is a sin. For example, a person may love alcohol and fall into drinking it. This is not shirk.

If anything enters into your love of the Divine, then this is shirk. If a natural love prevents you from love of the Divine, then this is shirk. An example of this is Heraclius not accepting Islam due to his love of his kingdom and power.

To love something like they love Allah is shirk.

And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else). If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is Severe in punishment. (2:165)

"Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are Al-Fasiqun (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah)." (9:24)


There are 2 types of spiritual hope.

1) Forgiveness of sins.

2) Acceptance of good deeds.

Both of these are unique to Allah (swt) only.

"And who forgives the sins except Allah." (Aali-'Imraan, 3:135)

"Those who believe and those who emigrate and strive hard in the cause of Allah, it is these who hope for Allah’s mercy; And Allah is Most Forgiving Merciful." (Al-Baqarah, 2:218)

"And slacken not in seeking these people. If you suffer, they too suffer even as you suffer. But you hope from Allah what they hope not. And Allah is All-Knowing, Wise." (An-Nisaa, 4:104)

"He said, 'None despairs of his Lord’s mercy, except those who are astray?" (Al-Hijr:56)

"The greatest of all major sins are shirk, feeling safe from the plotting of Allah, giving up hope in Allah's Mercy, and feeling despair from the help of Allah." (Ibn Mas'ood)

"Let none of you die unless he has good expectations from Allah." (Muslim)


"Those who deliver the messages of Allah and fear Him, and do not fear any one but Allah" (Al-Ahzaab, 33:39)

"It is Shaitaan who only frightens his friends, so fear them not but fear ME, if you are believers." (Aali-'Imraan, 3:175)

Fear can be religious or worldly. Religious fear is the fear of a Divine Being, and must be exclusive only to Allah. Fear of Laat or Uzza would be an example of a fear that is shirk.

Worldly fear can be fear of anything worldly like fear of a snake. These are natural and tangible fears, they are not supernatural. A natural fear may be cowardice, but it is not shirk.

The more emaan one has leads to less fear of the worldly things.

Saturday, November 10

Zur’ah ibn Ibraaheem narrated that a man came to ‘Umar and said to him:
“I have an old mother who is unable to go answer the call of nature, so I carry her on my back. I also help her perform ablution while turning my face away from her (out of respect). Have I fulfilled my duty towards her?”
‘Umar said, “No.”
The man said, “Even though I carry her on my back and exert myself in her service”
‘Umar said: “She used to do the same for you when you were young, while hoping that you will live. As for you, you await when she will go away (die).”

Friday, November 9

Ibn al-Jawzî (rahimahullah) says:

“You should know that the beauty of a person's Islâm lies in his leaving those things that do not concern him. When Allâh wills evil for a person he puts him through the test of argumentation - when Allâh wills good for a person he inspires him to do good deeds.

If Allâh takes away your tongue and gives back to you your heart he has been extremely kind to you; but if he takes away from you your heart and gives you back your tongue then know that you are in a serious calamity. "

al-Mutashâbihât fil-Qur’an – Page 11

Tuesday, November 6

Description of Paradise in Ahadeeth

Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri narrated that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, “The people of Paradise will look at the dwellers of lofty mansions (i.e. a superior place in Paradise) in the same way as one looks at a brilliant star, far away in the East or in the West of the horizon. This is because of their superiority over one another (in reward).” One of the people asked, “O Allah’s Messenger, are these lofty mansions for the Prophets which no one else can reach?”

The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, replied, “No! By Allah, in whose Hands is my life, these are for men who believe in Allah and also believe in the Messenger.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Abu Musa al-Ash’ari narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, “Verily, for the believers in Paradise, are tents made of a single hollow pearl. The length of which would be sixty miles long from all sides, their wives being therein. The believer will go around them (i.e., visit them) and they will not be able to see each other.” (Sahih al-Jami)

Abu Hurairah said that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, “There is not a tree in Paradise, except that its trunk is made of gold.” (Sahih al-Jami)

Anas ibn Malik narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, “Verily in Paradise there is a market in which (the inhabitants of Paradise) will come to every Friday. The North wind will blow and scatter fragrances on their faces and on their clothes. This will add to their beauty and their attractiveness. They will then go back to their families after having an added luster to their beauty and their attractiveness. Their families will say to them, ‘By Allah you have been increased in beauty and loveliness after leaving us,’ and they will say, ‘By Allah you too have increased in beauty and attractiveness after us.’” (Muslim)

Jabir ibn Abdullah narrated that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, “(I saw in a dream that) I entered Paradise, and behold, there was a palace built of gold. I asked, ‘Whose is this palace?’ They (the angels) replied, ‘For a man from the Quraysh.’ So I thought it might be I, so I asked, ‘And who is he?’ They said, ‘Umar Ibnul Khattab.’ Nothing stopped me form entering it except your Ghirah (sense of honor).” Umar said, “My Ghirah would never be offended by you, O Messenger of Allah.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Anas ibn Malik said that Allah’s Apostle sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said,
I entered Paradise and found myself by a river, by its edges were tents of pearls. Then I tapped with my hands where the water was running, and there was then a beautiful smell of Musk. I asked, ‘What is this O Gabriel?’ He said, ‘This is Kawthar (river in Paradise) which Allah has given to you.’”
(Sahih al-Jami)
“The most common thing which leads people to Paradise is taqwa of Allah and good conduct, and the most common thing which leads people to the Hell Fire is the mouth and the private parts.” (Tirmithi)

“All of my followers will enter Paradise except those who refuse.” It was asked, “O Messenger of Allah, who would refuse?” He said, “He who obeys me enters Paradise and he who disobeys me has refused.” (Bukhari)

The Prophet (saw) saw Sidrat al-Muntahaa, a tree in Heaven, and near it, Paradise, as is mention in al-Bukhaari, and Muslim in the hadith of Anas (ra). At the end of this narrative of al-Israa, the Prophet (saw) said, “Then Jibreel brought me to Sidrat al-Muntahaa which was veiled in colours indescribable. Then I entered Paradise, and its lights were of pearls and its soil was musk”.

Muslim, Abu Dawud and Imaam Ahmad report from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger (saw) said, “When Allaah (swt) created Paradise and Hell, He sent Jibreel to Paradise, saying “Go and look at it and at what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants”. So he went and looked at it and at what Allaah had prepared therein for its inhabitants…. then He sent him to Hellfire saying, “Go and look at it and what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants” So he looked at it and saw that it was in layers, one above the other….”

Muslim reports from Aishah (ra) that there was a solar eclipse in the time of the Messenger (saw) and he said, “Whilst I was standing here I saw everything that you have been promised, I even saw myself picking some of the fruits of Paradise, when you saw me stepping forward. And I saw Hellfire, parts of it consuming other parts, when you saw me stepping backward”.

al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Ibn ‘Abbas the same incident, “I saw Paradise and I tried to take a bunch of its fruit. If I had managed to do so, you would have eaten from it until the end of time. And I saw the Fire of Hell, and I have never seen anything so horrific or terrifying. I saw that the majority of its inhabitants are women.” (Nas’al Allaah al ‘afiyah)

Muslim also reports from Anas that the Prophet (Saw) said, “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, if you had seen what I saw, you would laugh little and cry much.” They said, “What did you see, O Messenger of Allaah?”, He said, “I saw Paradise and Hell”.

al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Jaabir that the Messenger of Allaah said, “I entered Paradise where I saw ar-Rumaysa, the wife of Abu Talhah. And I heard footsteps and asked, “Who is that?” He (Jibreel) said, “That is Bilaal”. And I saw a palace with women in its courtyard. I asked, “Whose is this?” They said, It is for ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab” (Mishkaat al-Masaabih, 3/226)

al-Bukhaari and Muslim report that Abu Hurayrah (ra) said, “Jibreel came to the Prophet (saw) said, “O Messenger of Allaah, Khadeejah is coming, carrying a container of food. When she comes to you, convey to her greetings of peace from her Rabb and from me, and give her the glad tidings of a house in Paradise made of brocade, in which there is no noise or exhaustion.”" [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/266]

Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ahmad, an-Nasaa’ee, and Ibn Maajah report from Umm Habeebah that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, “Whoever prays twelve extra [supererogatory] rak’ahs every day, Allaah (swt) will build for him a house in Paradise.” [Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5/316, no. 6234]

The Light of Paradise

Ibn Katheer in his commentary on the aayah: “And they will have therein their sustenance, morning and evening. Such is the Paradise, which We shall give as an inheritance to those of Our slave who have been al-Muttaqoon [pious and righteous]” [19:62-63] said, “This means something approximate to the times of day and night, it does not mean that there will be a day and night there. They will know the passing of time by the changes in the light” [Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 4/471]

Ibn Taymiyyah said, “There is no sun and moon in Paradise, and no day or night, but they will know morning and evening from a light that shines from the direction of the Throne” [Majmu’ Fataawa Shaikh al-Islaam, 4/312]

Allaahumma Innaa Nas’alukal Jannah Wa na’oothu Bika Min An-Naar

Friday, November 2

“Whoever says one hundred times in a day: ‘None deserves to be worshiped except Allah; alone, without any partner, to Him belongs the dominion and all praise, and He is omnipotent over all things (la ilaha ila’Llahu wa˙dahu la sharika lahu lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer)’, will have the reward of emancipating ten slaves; a hundred good deeds will be written for him; a hundred bad deeds will be erased from him; he will be protected against the Devil all that day until the evening; and none shall come with anything better than this, save for a person who does more than it.”

Al-Bukhari, no. 6403; Muslim, no.2691.

Wednesday, October 31

The Night Prayer

All Praise is due to Allah, Who has made Salah a relaxation for the believer, a refuge for the fearful, and a guidance for the savage. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the leader of those who perform salah, perform tahajjud, and make rukoo and sujood. And also upon his family, companions, and those who follow them in the right way until the day of judgement.

As for what follows:

Night prayer is the diligence of the righteous, the transaction of the believers, and the action of the victorious. At night the believers are alone with their Lord - they turn towards their Creator complaining about their situations and asking of His bounties. They are standing in front of their Lord, devoted to the confidential talk with their Shaper, gently breathing the fragrances, taking from the lights of the good deeds, and seeking and begging for the greatest of gifts.

Night Prayer as mentioned in the Quran

Allah the Most Exalted said: “They arise from [their] beds” [As Sajda 32:16]
Mujahid and AlHasan said: “it means night prayer”.
Ibn Kathir explained the verse: “The meaning is night prayer, leaving sleep and rest upon a soft and flat furnishing.
AbdulHaq al Ashbeeli said: “Their sides find no rest upon a bed. So they are not settled on it because of the fear of the punishment, and hoping for reward.”

Allah the Exalted mentioned about the people who make tahajjud: “They used to sleep but little of the night, And in the hours before dawn they would ask forgiveness” [Dhaariyaat 51:17-18]
AlHasan said: “They burdened themselves with the night. They extended the salah until the early dawn, then they sat making dua and seeking forgiveness.”

Allah said: “ Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]? Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding .” [Zumur 39:9]
In other words: Is the one whose character is this, similar to the one who sleeps at night and wastes himself? Can he be anything other than one who is knowledgeable about Allah’s rewards but ignorant of His punishments?

My brothers and sisters: Where are the people of the night? Where have the virtuous gone, and only the idle and inactive are left?!

Oh people of the night exert yourselves
[Seeking] A Lord who does not refuse when asked

Night Prayer as mentioned in the Sunnah

My dear Muslim brother/sister: The Prophet SAWS encouraged making night prayer and arousing interest in it.
It is upon you to perform night prayer, because it was the practice of the righteous people before you. It is a means of obtaining closeness to Allah the Exalted, it erases sins, it prevents wrondoings, and it drives away sicknesses from the body .” [Narrated by Ahmad, AlTirmidhi, and graded saheeh by AlAlbaani]

The Prophet SAWS said about the condition of Abdullah ibn Umar: “How excellent Abdullah is! If only he would pray salah at night ” [Agreed upon]
Saalim ibn Abdillah ibn Umar said: “After that, Abdullah slept very little at night.”

The Prophet SAWS said: “There is a room in Jannah where the exterior is seen from the interior, and the interior is seen from the exterior.
Someone said: “Who is it for, Messenger of Allah?”
He said: “It is for the one whose speech is pleasant, he feeds others, and he spends the night standing while the people are asleep ” [Narrated by AlTabarani, AlHaakim, and graded saheeh by AlAlbaani]

The Prophet SAWS said: “Jibreel came to me and said: ‘Oh Muhammad: Live as you wish for you will die. Love whom you will for you will be separated. Do as you will for you will be recompensed for it. Know that the most honored of the believer is his standing at night, and his prestige is in not needing anything from the people ” [Narrated by AlHaakim and AlBaihaqi. It has been graded hasan by AlMundhiri and AlAlbaani]

He SAWS said: “Whoever stands at night and recites ten ayaat is not recorded among the heedless. Whoever stands at night and recites one hundred ayaat is recorded among the pious. Whoever stands and recites one thousand ayaat is recorded among those who received a huge quantity of good deeds .” [Narrated by Abu Dawood and graded saheeh by AlAlbaani]

Someone told the Prophet SAWS about a man who slept the night until morning time. He said “That is a man in whose ear the Shaytan urinated! ” [Agreed upon]

The Prophet SAWS said: “The best prayer after the obligatory ones is night prayer” [Narrated by Muslim]

The Night Prayer of the Prophet SAWS

Allah the Most Exalted ordered His Prophet to perform night prayer in the following: “O you who wraps himself [in clothing], Arise [to pray] the night, except for a little - Half of it - or subtract from it a little. Or add to it, and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation. ” [AlMuzzammil 73:1-4]

And He said: “And from [part of] the night, pray with it as additional [worship] for you; it is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station .” [Israa 17:79]

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “The Prophet would stand at night until his feet became cracked. I said to him: Why do you do this oh Messenger of Allah, while all of your sins past and future have been forgiven? He said: Shouldn’t I be a thankful slave? ” [Agreed upon]

This proves that thankfulness is not only by the tongue. It is only done by the heart, the tongue, and the limbs. The Prophet SAWS established the duties of worship in the most complete manner, and in the most perfect form. He did all of this despite the fact that he had to spread the Islamic Aqeedah, teach the Muslims, exert himself in the path of Allah, and fulfill the duties of his family and children.

He was as Ibn Rawaha said:

Among us is the Messenger of Allah reciting His book
When the courtesy is separated from the morning, glowing.

He showed us guidance after blindness, so our hearts
Are full of certainty that what he said is reality.

He spends the night separated from his bed
When the beds are heavy with the idol-worshippers.

Hudhaifa said: “I prayed with the Prophet one night. He started with AlBaqara, so I thought that he will make rukoo after that. Then he started AlNisaa and recited it. Then he started Aal-Imraan and recited it. He would recite slowly; when he came to an ayaa with Tasbeeh, he would make Tashbeeh. When he came to a request, he would request. When he came to a seeking of refuge, he would seek refuge…. ” [Narrated by Muslim]

Ibn Masood said: “I prayed one night with the Prophet. He continued standing until I thought of a bad idea. Someone said: What did you think of doing? He said: I thought to sit down and leave him! ” [Agreed upon]
Ibn Hajar said: “In this hadeeth is proof that the Prophet SAWS chose to prolong the night prayer. Ibn Masood was strong-willed in preserving his emulation of the Prophet SAWS. He did not think of sitting down until the prayer was much longer than he was used to.”

Night prayer in the lives of the early Muslims

Imam AlHasan AlBasri said: “I did not find any worship more powerful than salaah in the middle of the night”.

Abu Uthmaan AlHindi said: “I was the guest of Abu Huraira for seven [days]. He, his wife, and his servant would divide the night into three parts, praying one part and staying awake for another part”.

When Shaddad ibn Aws would go to bed, he would be like a grain in a frying pan. Then he would say: “Oh Allah, hell-fire does not stop me from sleeping”. Then he would stand to pray.

Taawus would strongly awaken his family, then he would make wudhu and face the qibla until morning. He would say “The sleep of the worshippers has caused them to completely stop remembering the hell-fire!”

Zum’a al-Aabid would pray long hours of the night. When dawn would approach, he would raise his voice and announce: “Oh riders of the beds, are you going to sleep and waste away the entire night? Will you not get up and leave the bed!” He would then hear crying from one place, a person making dua from another place, and someone making wudu from another place. When fajr time would come, he would say: “At the morning time, the people are thankful for the announcement”

The levels of the early Muslims with regards to Night Prayer

Imam Ibnul Jawzi said: You should know that the early Muslims were at one of seven levels with regards to night prayer:

  • Level one: These would stay up the entire night. Some of them would pray Fajr with the same wudu as Isha.
  • Level two: These would pray half of the night.
  • Level three: These would pray one-third of the night. The Prophet SAWS said: ” The most beloved salah to Allah The Exalted is the salah of Dawud. He would sleep half of the night, pray one-third, and sleep one-sixth“. [Agreed upon].
  • Level four: These would pray one-sixth of the night or one-fifth.
  • Level five: These would not specify an amount of the night. He would only pray until he became sleepy, and would then sleep. When he woke up, he would pray.
  • Level six: These would pray two or four rakah.
  • Level seven: These would stay awake between the two Isha times [the early time for Isha and the later, recommended time], and they would sweeten their mornings [with dua]. This way, they would join the night and morning. The Prophet SAWS said: ” Indeed in every night is a time wherein if the worshipper asks Allah for something good, He will give it. And this is in every night.” [Narrated by Muslim]

The factors that make Night Prayer easy

Imam Abu Hamid AlGhazali mentioned some external and internal factors that make Night Prayer easy.

External factors are four:

1: That the individual should not eat or drink too much. Then sleep will overpower him, and waking up will be difficult.
2: The person should not tire himself in the daytime with things of no benefit.
3: He should not avoid the mid-day nap because it helps with regards to waking up.
4: He should not make sins in the daytime because that will prevent him from night prayer.

Internal factors are four:
1: The heart should be free from these: malice towards the Muslims, bid’as, and excessive worldly interests.
2: The heart should have a lot of fear and not too much hope.
3: He should know the benefits of night prayer.
4: The best motivation: Love of Allah, and having strong eman that in his prayer every letter that he utters is freeing him from the punishment of his Lord.

Night Prayer in Ramadhan

Night prayer in Ramadhan is Salah at-Taraweeh which the Muslims perform during Ramadhan. It is one of the greatest acts of worship by which the worshippers seek to come closer to Allah in that month.

Al-Hafidh ibn Rajab said: “You should know that in Ramadhan the believer combines two actions by which he struggles against himself: during the day-time by fasting, and during the night-time by night prayer. Whoever combines these two forms of struggle receives his reward without any account.”

Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen said: “Salah at night during Ramadhan has benefits and merits not found in other times. The Prophet SAWS said: ‘Whoever makes night prayer during Ramadhan, with Eman and hoping for reward from Allah, all his previous sins are forgiven. ‘ [Agreed upon]. Night prayer during Ramadhan is inclusive of salah in the early as well as late part of the night. For this reason, Taraweeh is part of night prayer during Ramadhan. It is necessary to seek it, to protect it, and to hope for reward from Allah because of it. It is only during a limited number of nights, so the intelligent believer takes advantage of the opportunity before it is lost.”

Salah at-Taraweeh has been legislated as a congregation in the mosques. The Prophet SAWS was the first to start the Sunnah of Salah at-Taraweeh in the mosque, but then he left it out of fear that it would become obligatory on the people. When the Prophet SAWS left this world and went to be with his Lord, the Sharia was completed and there was no fear of Taraweeh becoming obligatory. Its religious nature as a congregational salah has remained and is established.

It is necessary for the Muslims to take care of this salah and offer it completely, and have patience for the sake of Allah the Exalted.

Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen said: “No one should fall behind in obtaining the rewards of salah at-Taraweeh. He should not leave until the Imam finishes it and Witr, so that he obtains all the reward for praying at night.”

It is allowed for the women to attend salah at-Taraweeh in the mosques so long as there is no danger, whether from them or against them. But it is necessary that she attends covered and wearing hijab, not showing off, perfumed, raising her voice, or displaying her beauty.

It is from the sunnah that they stand behind the men and away from them. They should begin with the last row because that is the opposite from men. They should leave the masjid right after the Imam makes tasleem and not stay unless due to some necessity.
This is because of the Hadith of Umm Salama (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: “When the Prophet would make salaam, the women would get up when he finished tasleem. He would stay in his place for a little while before he would stand. She said: We think, and Allah Knows Best, that this was so that the women could depart before the men would catch up to them .” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari]

May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet, his family, companions, scholars, and all the Ummah.

Voluntary prayers

"...My servant keeps drawing nearer to Me with voluntary deeds until I love him."

"Whoever prays twelve rak'ahs of prayer voluntarily in a day and night, Allah will build him a house in Paradise." ['Sahih Muslim'; 1/503]

he first thing which the people will be called to account for of their actions on the Day of Judgment is their prayer. If it is in a good state, then he is successful and has passed. If it is in a bad state, then he has failed and has lost. Allah will then say: "See if there are some optional prayers that can compensate for the deficiency in his obligatory prayer!" Then all the actions will be dealt with similarly." ['Sahih at-Tirmidhi'; 1/130]

Allah Says: "My servant approaches Me with nothing more beloved to Me than what I have made obligatory upon him, and My servant keeps drawing nearer to Me with voluntary deeds until I love him. And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he seizes, and his foot with which he walks. If he asks me, I will surely give to him, and if he seeks refuge in Me, I will surely protect him."" ['Fath al-Bari'; # 6502]

1 - Fajr

"Two rak'ahs before the Fajr prayer is better than the World and all that is in it." ['Sahih Muslim'; 1/501]

'A'ishah said: "The Prophet was never more obliged to an optional deed than the two rak'ahs before Fajr." ['Sahih al-Bukhari'; 1/393]

2 - Dhuhr

"Whoever is constant and regular in praying four rak'ahs before Dhuhr and four afterwards, then the fire of Hell will not touch him."
['Sahih al-Jami''; # 6195]

3 - 'Asr

"May Allah have Mercy on the one who prays four rak'ahs before 'Asr."
['Sahih al-Jami''; # 3493]

4- Maghrib

And those who spend the night before their Lord, prostrate and standing."} [al-Furqan; 64]

al-Kalabi said: "Whoever prays two rak'ahs after the Maghrib prayer and four after the 'Isha prayer will be considered like those mentioned in this verse." ['Tafsir al-Qurtubi']

5 - 'Isha

{"And those who spend the night before their Lord, prostrate and standing."} [al-Furqan; 64]

Ibn 'Abbas said:
"Whoever prays two rak'ahs or more after the 'Isha prayer will be considered like those mentioned in this verse." ['Tafsir al-Qurtubi']

6 - Duha

"Whoever prays four rak'ahs of Duha prayer, and before the first, he prays four (for a total of eight), a house is built for him in Paradise." ['Sahih al-Jami''; # 6340]

"Allah Said: "O Children of Adam! Pray to me four rak'ahs (of Duha) at the beginning of the day, and I will suffice you until the end of it."" ['Sahih al-Jami''; # 1913]

"None is constant in performing the Duha except the one who is awwab, and it is the prayer of the awwabbin (the ones who return to the straight path, or return to their home in Paradise)." ['Sahih al-Jami''; # 7628]

"Whoever makes ablution and proceeds to the mosque for the Duha prayer, then this is easier for him than participating in a battle, has greater spoils, and is quicker in return." ['Sahih at-Targhib wat-Tarhib'; 1/349]

"Whoever prays two rak'ahs of Duha is never written as negligent; whoever prays four is written as a worshipper; whoever prays six, it is sufficient for him that day; whoever prays eight is written from amongst the devout servants; whoever prays twelve, then Allah has built for him a house in Paradise, and there is not a day or night therein except that Allah graciously bestows upon His servant some reward, and what Allah gives to any of His servants is better than anything one can imagine."
['Sahih at-Targhib wat-Tarhib'; 1/351]

7 - Witr

"O people of the Qur'an! Perform your Witr, for surely Allah Loves the Witr."
['Sahih al-Jami''; # 7860]

8 - Prayer after ablution

"Whoever makes ablution - and makes it well - then prays two rak'ahs, not letting his mind wander in them, then Allah forgives him all of his previous sins." ['Silsilat al-Ahadith as-Sahihah'; # 6041]

"Whoever makes ablution - and makes it well - then prays two rak'ahs concentrating on them intensely with his heart and his face, then Paradise is obligatory for him." ['Silsilat al-Ahadith as-Sahihah'; # 6062]

Monday, October 29

The Tawbah of Al-Fudayl b. ‘Ayyâd

Al-Dhahabî describes Al-Fudayl b. ‘Ayyâd as an Imâm, an example, and Shaykh Al-Islâm.

He is renowned as one of the pious Salaf, and many wise and inspiring statements are related from him. Allâh have mercy on him. Here is the story of how he made tawbah.

Al-Fadl b. Mûsâ reports:

Al-Fudayl b. ‘Ayyâd used to be a highwayman, between Abyûrd and Sarkhas. He was in love with a girl, and the cause of his repentance was that he was once climbing a wall to meet her when he heard someone reciting the following verses:

Has not the time come for those who believe, that their hearts should be humbled and submitted (to Allah)…? [Al-Hadîd: 16]

When he heard this, Al-Fudayl said, “Indeed my Lord, it is time.” So he left, and seeking a night’s shelter he found himself at some ruins, and there he saw some travelers. Some of them said, “We should move on.” Others said, “Wait until morning, Al-Fudayl operates in this area, he will rob us.” Al-Fudayl said, “So I thought and said to myself: I spend the night in sin and there are some Muslims here who fear me; I think that Allah only led me to them so that I might take lesson and stop what I am doing. O Allah! I have repented, and as part of my tawbah I will live next to Al-Bayt Al-Harâm (in Makkah).”

Al-Dhahabî, Siyar A’lâm Al-Nubalâ` in his biography of Al-Fudayl b. ‘Ayyâd.