“All of you are astray except whomever I guide”: Explanation of Ibn Rajab

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali writes in his commentary on al-Arba’een al-Nawawi:

وقوله كلكم ضال إلا من هديته قد ظن بعضهم أنه معارض لحديث عياض بن حمار عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول الله عز وجل خلقت عبادي حنفاء وفي رواية مسلمين فاجتالتهم الشياطين وليس كذلك فإن الله خلق بني آدم وفطرهم على قبول الإسلام والميل إليه دون غيره والتهيؤ والاستعداد له بالقوة لكن لا بد للعبد من تعليم الإسلام بالفعل فإنه قبل التعلم جاهل لا يعلم كما قال عز وجل

Some people think that His saying “All of you are astray except whomever I guide” contradicts the hadeeth of ‘Iyaadh ibn Himaar that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah said, ‘I created My slaves naturally inclining towards the truth (hunafa),” and in another another narration, “…as Muslims, then the shayaateen caused them to deviate” [Muslim 2865]. But this is not so, because Allah created Bani Adam and gave them the natural disposition (fitrah) to accept Islam, and an inclination towards it to the exclusion of other religions, and a preparedness for that, and a potential, but there is no avoiding the need for the slave to actually learn Islam, since before learning he is ignorant and does not know. This is as Allah says:

وَاللَّهُ أَخْرَجَكُم مِّن بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا‏‏ النحل وقال لنبيه صلى الله عليه وسلم

“Allah brought you out of your mothers’ wombs knowing nothing at all,” [16:78] and He said to His prophet (ﷺ):

Continue reading

“All that which they used to enjoy shall not benefit them”: Tafsir al-Baghawi

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in His Book, in surah al-Shu’ara’ (26):

كَذَٰلِكَ سَلَكْنَاهُ فِي قُلُوبِ الْمُجْرِ‌مِينَ ﴿٢٠٠﴾ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ حَتَّىٰ يَرَ‌وُا الْعَذَابَ الْأَلِيمَ ﴿٢٠١﴾ فَيَأْتِيَهُم بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُ‌ونَ ﴿٢٠٢﴾ فَيَقُولُوا هَلْ نَحْنُ مُنظَرُ‌ونَ ﴿٢٠٣﴾ أَفَبِعَذَابِنَا يَسْتَعْجِلُونَ ﴿٢٠٤﴾ أَفَرَ‌أَيْتَ إِن مَّتَّعْنَاهُمْ سِنِينَ ﴿٢٠٥﴾ ثُمَّ جَاءَهُم مَّا كَانُوا يُوعَدُونَ ﴿٢٠٦﴾مَا أَغْنَىٰ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا يُمَتَّعُونَ ﴿٢٠٧﴾ـ

Thus have We caused it to enter the hearts of the Mujrimun. (200) They will not believe in it until they see the painful torment; (201) And it will come to them suddenly while they perceive it not; (202) Then they will say: “Can we be respited?” (203) Would they then wish for Our Torment to be hastened on? (204) Have you then considered if We let them enjoy themselves for years, (205) And then there came to them that which they were promised? (206) All that  which they used to enjoy shall not benefit them. (207)

Imam al-Baghawi, in his book of tafsir, wrote about these ayaat:

{كَذَلِكَ سَلَكْنَاهُ} قال ابن عباس، والحسن، ومجاهد: أدخلنا الشرك والتكذيب {فِي قُلُوبِ الْمُجْرِمِينَ}.

Thus have We caused it to enter” – Ibn ‘Abbaas, Hasan [al-Basri], and Mujaahid said [it means], “We have caused shirk and denial to enter “into enter the hearts of the Mujrimun.”

{لا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ} أي: بالقرآن، {حَتَّى يَرَوُا الْعَذَابَ الألِيمَ} يعني: عند الموت.

They will not believe in it” – meaning the Qur’an – “until they see the painful torment” – meaning at the time of death. Continue reading

Whoever is silent is saved

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

مَنْ صَمَتَ نَجَا

“Whoever is silent is saved”

[al-Tirmidhi #2501. Imam al-Tirmidhi described it as ghareeb. Sheikh al-Albaani graded it as saheeh in Saheeh al-Tirmidi. Imam ibn Hajr al-Asqalani, in Fath al-Baari  11/351, wrote that ‘its narrators are reliable’. Imam Ahmad Shaakir graded it to have a saheeh isnaad by two chains in Musnad Ahmad (9/196, 10/140). However, others such as al-Mubaraakfoori, al-Suyooti and al-Nawawi have graded it to be da’eef.]

Sheikh al-Mubaarakfoori, in his commentary on Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi, wrote the following about this hadeeth:

 قوله‏:‏ ‏(‏من صمت‏)‏ أي سكت عن الشر ‏(‏نجا‏)‏ أي فاز وظفر بكل خير، أو نجا من آفات الدارين‏.‏ قال الراغب‏:‏ الصمت أبلغ من السكوت لأنه قد يستعمل فيما لا قوة له للنطق وفيما له قوة للنطق، ولهذا قيل لما لا نطق له الصامت والمصمت، والسكوت يقال لما له نطق فيترك استعماله‏.‏ فالصمت في الأصل سلامة لكن قد يجب النطق شرعاً‏.‏ ومقصود الحديث أن لا يتكلم فيما لا يعنيه ويقتصر على المهم ففيه النجاة‏.‏

His statement, “Whoever is silent” – meaning he was silent from (speaking any) evil – “he is saved” – meaning he has succeeded in every good, or he is saved from the trials of both worlds [i.e. this life and the hereafter].

Al-Raaghib said: al-samt [the word used for ‘silence’ in this hadeeth] carries more weight that al-sukoot [another, more common, word for ‘silence’] because it can be used [both] when one does not have the ability to speak and when one does possess the ability to speak, and so it is said that that when one does not speak then he is al-saamit [silent] and al-musmat [expressionless], while al-sukoot is said when he spoke and then he abandons speaking. So at its root, al-samt is safety, however one must speak according to the sharee’ah [i.e., it is not permitted to take a vow of silence, etc].

And the message of the hadeeth is to not speak about that which does not concern oneself, and to limit oneself about those matters which do concern him, for in this is salvation.

[Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi #2550]

Reserve a part of your prayer for the house

Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

إِذَا قَضَى أَحَدُكُمُ الصَّلاَةَ فِي مَسْجِدِهِ فَلْيَجْعَلْ لِبَيْتِهِ نَصِيبًا مِنْ صَلاَتِهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ جَاعِلٌ فِي بَيْتِهِ مِنْ صَلاَتِهِ خَيْرًا

“When any one of you observes prayer in the mosque he should reserve a part of his prayer for his house, for Allah would make the prayer as a means of betterment in his house.”

[Muslim #778]

Al-Manaawi, in explanation of al-Suyuti’s al-Jaami’ al-Sagheer, wrote the following about this hadeeth:

” إذا قضى أحدكم الصلاة في مسجده ” : يعني : أدى الفرض في محل الجماعة ، وخص المسجد لأن الغالب إقامتها فيه ، ” فليجعل لبيته ” : أي : محل سكنه ، ” نصيبا ” : أي : قِسما ، ” من صلاته ” : أي : فليجعل الفرض في المسجد والنفل في بيته لتعود بركته على البيت وأهله كما قال ” فإن الله تعالى جاعل في بيته من صلاته ” : أي : من أجلها وبسببها ، ” خيراً ” : أي كثيراً عظيماً ، لعمارة البيت بذكر الله وطاعته ، وحضور الملائكة ، واستبشارهم ، وما يحصل لأهله من ثواب وبركة .

If any one of you observes prayer in his masjid” – meaning: to perform the obligatory prayer in the place of congregation, and specifically the masjid since that is the most common place in which to perform it, – “he should reserve for his house” – meaning: his place of residence – “a part” – meaning: a portion – “of his prayer” – meaning: so he should make the obligatory prayers in the masjid and the optional prayers in his house in order to return his blessing on the house and it’s people, as he (ﷺ) said, “for Allah would make the prayer as a means” -meaning: a source and cause of it – “of betterment in his house” – meaning: in great and abundant measure, for filling the house with the remembrance of Allah and obedience to him, and the presence of the angels, and their glad tidings, and its inhabitants obtain of reward and blessings.

وفيه : أن النفل في البيت أفضل منه في المسجد ولو بالمسجد الحرام

And from this: that optional prayers in the home are better than those in the masjid, even if it is in al-masjid al-haraam.

[Fayd al-Qadeer 1/418]

See also: Do not make your houses like graves: Sharh al-Nawawi

See also: Praying the voluntary prayers in the home: ibn Qudaamah

See also: The first deed to be reckoned

See also: Indeed, the prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Du’a or Dhikr after the Salaah?: Ibn Taymiyah

Tafsir al-Sa’di on the objective of revealing the Qur’an and its benefits

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in His Book:

أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُ‌ونَ الْقُرْ‌آنَ ۚ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ‌ اللَّـهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرً‌ا

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction. [4:82]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, writes:

يأمر تعالى بتدبر كتابه، وهو التأمل في معانيه، وتحديق الفكر فيه، وفي مبادئه وعواقبه، ولوازم، ذلك فإن تدبر كتاب الله مفتاح للعلوم والمعارف، وبه يستنتج كل خير وتستخرج منه جميع العلوم، وبه يزداد الإيمان في القلب وترسخ شجرته‏.‏ فإنه يعرِّف بالرب المعبود، وما له من صفات الكمال‏;‏ وما ينزه عنه من سمات النقص، ويعرِّف الطريق الموصلة إليه وصفة أهلها، وما لهم عند القدوم عليه، ويعرِّف العدو الذي هو العدو على الحقيقة، والطريق الموصلة إلى العذاب، وصفة أهلها، وما لهم عند وجود أسباب العقاب‏.‏

Allah the Exalted commands contemplation of His Book, meaning reflection and attentive thought concerning it. And [reflecting over] both it’s fundamental principles and its ultimate conclusions, and its underlying attributes, for in contemplation of the Book of Allah are the keys of knowledge and understanding, and from it is derived every good and extracted all knowledge. And it increases one in eemaan in the heart and fortifies his position. For verily it makes one aware of the Lord who ought to be worshiped, and of His perfect attributes, and He does not suffer from a shortage of names, and it makes one aware of the the path which is conducive to Him and the qualities of the people of that path, and what [reward] is incumbent for them. And it makes one aware of the enemies which are the enemies of the truth, and the path which is conducive to punishment, and the qualities of its people, and what are the causes of punishment for them.

وكلما ازداد العبد تأملا فيه ازداد علما وعملا وبصيرة، لذلك أمر الله بذلك وحث عليه وأخبر أنه ‏[‏هو‏]‏ المقصود بإنزال القرآن، كما قال تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏كِتَابٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ‏}‏ وقال تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَى قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا‏}‏

And along with the slave’s increasing in reflection over it [the Qur’an] comes an increase in ‘ilm (knowledge) and (good) deeds and insight, and that is why Allah commands that and encourages it and He informs us that that is the objective of revealing the Qur’an, and He the Exalted said, “A blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.” [38:29] and He the Exalted said, “Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon [their] hearts?” [47:24].

ومن فوائد التدبر لكتاب الله‏:‏ أنه بذلك يصل العبد إلى درجة اليقين والعلم بأنه كلام الله، لأنه يراه يصدق بعضه بعضًا، ويوافق بعضه بعضًا‏.‏ فترى الحكم والقصة والإخبارات تعاد في القرآن في عدة مواضع، كلها متوافقة متصادقة، لا ينقض بعضها بعضًا، فبذلك يعلم كمال القرآن وأنه من عند من أحاط علمه بجميع الأمور، فلذلك قال تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِنْدِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كثيرًا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ فلما كان من عند الله لم يكن فيه اختلاف أصلًا‏.‏

And from the benefits of contemplating the Book of Allah is that through that the slave reaches a level of yaqeen (certainty) and ‘ilm that it is the Speech of Allah, that he sees that one part affirms another, and that one part concurs with another. So you see the wisdom and stories and information which are repeated in the Qur’an in many places – all of them in agreement and mutual affirmation, no part contradicting another part. And by that he knows the completeness and perfection of the Qur’an and that it is from One who has knowledge of all things. And concerning this Allah the Exalted said, “If it had been from other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction” – meaning, so since it is from Allah there is no contradiction in the first place.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

See also: We have sent him in order that you may believe: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it”: Ibn Kathir

See also: Recite the Book with its true recitation

See also: Which is more virtuous: reading a small amount of the Qur’an with tarteel and contemplation, or a large amount quickly? – Ibn al-Qayyim

See also: Which is more virtuous – memorizing the Qur’an, or seeking ‘ilm? : Ibn Taymiyah

See also: The Two Types of those who Believe in the Qur’an: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: Appropriate Miracles for Each People and Era: Ibn Kathir

See also: Naseehah to the Qur’an: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali on relative and absolute evil in Allah’s creation

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali writes in his commentary on al-Arba’een al-Nawawi:

ولا ينقص ملكه بمعصية العاصين ولو كان الجن والإنس كلهم عصاة فجرة قلوبهم على قلب أفجر رجل منهم فإنه سبحانه الغني بذاته عمن سواه وله الكمال المطلق في ذاته وصفاته وأفعاله فملكه ملك كامل لا نقص فيه بوجه من الوجوه على أي وجه

Allah’s kingdom does not decrease because of the disobedience of the disobedient, even if all the jinn and human beings were disobedient and trespassing the limits and their hearts were like the heart of the most wicked man among them. For He, Exalted is He, in His essence is Rich (al-Ghani) beyond the need of anyone other than Him. He has absolute perfection and completeness in His essence, His attributes and His actions. So His dominion is perfect and complete, and there is no defect or imperfection in it in any way.

كان ومن الناس من قال إن إيجاده لخلقه على هذا الوجه الموجود أكمل من إيجاده على غيره وهو خير من وجوده على غيره وما فيه من الشر فهو شر إضافي نسبي بالنسبة إلى بعض الأشياء دون بعض وليس شرًا مطلقا بحيث يكون عدمه خيرًا من وجوده من كل وجه بل وجوده خير من عدمه وقال هذا معنى قوله بيده الخير ومعنى قول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم والشر ليس إليك يعني أن الشر المحض الذي عدمه خير من وجوده ليس موجودًا في ملكك فإن الله تعالى أوجد خلقه على ما تقتضيه حكمته وعدله وخص قومًا من خلقه بالفضل وترك آخرين منهم في العدل لما له في ذلك من الحكمة البالغة

And from the people there was someone who said, “Verily His creating His creation in this way that exists is more perfect and complete than creating it in any other way, and it is better than it existing according to any other way. And as for what is present in it of evil, that is relative evil which can be ascribed in relation to some things in exclusion to others, but not an absolute evil which its non-existence would be better than its existence in every way. Rather its existence is better than its non-existence.” He said, “This is the meaning of the statement of the Prophet (ﷺ), ‘in His Hands is good’ and the meaning of the statement of the Prophet (ﷺ) ‘And evil is not attributed to you.'” Meaning that pure evil whose non-existence would be better than its existence is not present in His dominion, for verily Allah the Exalted originated His creation as required by His wisdom and His justice. And He chose [some] people from His creation by His bounty and left the rest of them to His justice because of His far-reaching wisdom in that.”

[Jaami’a al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hikam 2/46-47 (ch. 24)]

See also: Ibn al-Qayyim on the Wisdom and Benefits of the Creation of the Shayaateen

See also, from our brothers at Trying to Follow the Salaf: Is evil attributed to Allah? – Shaykh al-Albaani

A reply to those who say, “If God can do anything, why can He not have a son?”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says His Book in surah al-Maa’idah:

لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ‌ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّـهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْ‌يَمَ ۚ قُلْ فَمَن يَمْلِكُ مِنَ اللَّـهِ شَيْئًا إِنْ أَرَ‌ادَ أَن يُهْلِكَ الْمَسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْ‌يَمَ وَأُمَّهُ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ جَمِيعًا ۗ وَلِلَّـهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا ۚ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ‌

“They have certainly disbelieved who say that Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary. Say, “Then who could prevent Allah at all if He had intended to destroy the Messiah, the son of Mary, or his mother or everyone on the earth?” And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them. He creates what He wills, and Allah is competent  over all things.” [5:17]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, writes:

لما ذكر تعالى أخذ الميثاق على أهل الكتابين، وأنهم لم يقوموا به بل نقضوه، ذكر أقوالهم الشنيعة‏.‏

Allah mentioned when He took the covenant from the People of the two Books [i.e. Jews and Christians], and that they did not establish their part of it, but rather they negated it. He mentioned some of their outrageous statements.

فذكر قول النصارى، القول الذي ما قاله أحد غيرهم، بأن الله هو المسيح ابن مريم، ووجه شبهتهم أنه ولد من غير أب، فاعتقدوا فيه هذا الاعتقاد الباطل مع أن حواء نظيره، خُلِقَت بلا أم، وآدم أولى منه، خلق بلا أب ولا أم، فهلا ادعوا فيهما الإلهية كما ادعوها في المسيح‏؟‏

So He mentioned the statement of the Christians, the statement which no one other than them said, that Allah is the Messiah, [Jesus] the son of Mary, and their misconceived perception that he was born without a father, so they therefore believe in these false beliefs. [These beliefs are false because if that were so then] Hawa’ [Eve] would be his counterpart- she was created without a mother. And Adam was the first of them; he was created without a father or a mother. So then would they claim divinity for these two just as they have claimed it for the Messiah?

فدل على أن قولهم اتباع هوى من غير برهان ولا شبهة‏.‏ فرد الله عليهم بأدلة عقلية واضحة فقال‏:‏ ‏{‏قُلْ فَمَن يَمْلِكُ مِنَ اللَّهِ شيئًا إِنْ أَرَادَ أَن يُهْلِكَ الْمَسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَأُمَّهُ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا‏}‏

This demonstrates that their statement is based upon desires, and not proof or [even] doubts. So Allah refutes them with clear intellectual proofs when He said, “Say, ‘Then who could prevent Allah at all if He had intended to destroy Christ, the son of Mary, or his mother or everyone on the earth?’

فإذا كان المذكورون لا امتناع عندهم يمنعهم لو أراد الله أن يهلكهم، ولا قدرة لهم على ذلك ـ دل على بطلان إلهية من لا يمتنع من الإهلاك، ولا في قوته شيء من الفكاك‏.‏

So the aforementioned people [those who claim divinity for Jesus] cannot deny that – if Allah wished – He could destroy them, and they have no power against that, showing the falsehood of their gods who cannot prevent their own destruction and who do not have any ability to escape.

ومن الأدلة أن ‏{‏لِلَّهِ‏}‏ وحده ‏{‏مُلْكُ السموات وَالْأَرْضِ‏}‏ يتصرف فيهم بحكمه الكوني والشرعي والجزائي، وهم مملوكون مدبرون، فهل يليق أن يكون المملوك العبد الفقير، إلها معبودا غنيا من كل وجه‏؟‏ هذا من أعظم المحال‏.‏

And this is one of the proofs that “to Allah” alone “belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth” to dispose of them without any restriction according to His universal wisdom, divine law and requital, while they are owned and under His care – so is it befitting for a god who is worshiped and free of all needs to be a servant who is owned and in need? This is one of the greatest impossibilities.

ولا وجه لاستغرابهم لخلق المسيح عيسى ابن مريم من غير أب، فإن الله ‏{‏يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ‏}‏ إن شاء من أب وأم، كسائر بني آدم، وإن شاء من أب بلا أم، كحواء‏.‏ وإن شاء من أم بلا أب، كعيسى‏.‏ وإن شاء من غير أب ولا أم ‏[‏كآدم‏]‏

And regarding their amazement at the creation of the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, without a father, then certainly Allah “creates what He wills“. If He wills someone with a father and a mother, like the rest of the children of Adam [then He can do that], and if He wills someone with a father and not a mother, like Hawa’ [(Eve) then He can do that], and if He wills someone with a mother and not a father, like Jesus [then He can do that], and if He wishes someone without a father or a mother, like Adam [then He can do that].

فنوع خليقته تعالى بمشيئته النافذة، التي لا تعصي عليها شيء، ولهذا قال‏:‏ ‏{‏وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ‏}‏

The varieties of His creation are from His will-power, which does not disobey Him at all, and about this He said, “And Allah is competent over all things.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman p. 248-249]

See also: A Principle to Dispel Specious Arguments and Doubts: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: Four categories of parentage and four categories of offspring: Tafsir ibn Kathir

See also: A response to those who say “We are the children of Allah”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “Had Allah willed to take a son…”: Tafsir al-Sa’di and Tafsir ibn Kathir

See also: The Messiah was only a Messenger and his mother was a ṣiddīqah: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The story of ‘Eesaa, his mother, Zakariyyah and Yahya – Imam al-Sa’di

If they do not respond to you, then know that they only follow their desires

Allah says in surah al-Qasas:

فَإِن لَّمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوا لَكَ فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّمَا يَتَّبِعُونَ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ ۚ وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنِ اتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ بِغَيْرِ‌ هُدًى مِّنَ اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

But if they do not respond to you – then know that they only follow their desires. And who is more astray than one who follows his desire without guidance from Allah? Indeed, Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people. [28:50]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, writes:

وفي قوله‏:‏ ‏{‏فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوا لَكَ فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّمَا يَتَّبِعُونَ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ‏}‏ دليل على أن كل من لم يستجب للرسول، وذهب إلى قول مخالف لقول الرسول، فإنه لم يذهب إلى هدى، وإنما ذهب إلى هوى‏.‏

And in His statement, “But if they do not respond to you – then know that they only follow their desires” there is proof that every one who does not respond to the Messenger, and goes with a speech which contradicts the speech of the Messenger, then certainly he has not gone with guidance, and certainly he has only gone with desire.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

The story of Nuh and his son

Allah, سبحانه وتعالى , informs us of the stories of His prophets and righteous slaves throughout His Book, and makes mention of the story of Nuh (Noah) (عليه السلام) in surah Hud, from the 36th ayah until the 49th ayah. Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman writes in explanation of this passage:

وقوله‏:‏ ‏{‏وَأُوحِيَ إِلَى نُوحٍ أَنَّهُ لَنْ يُؤْمِنَ مِنْ قَوْمِكَ إِلَّا مَنْ قَدْ آمَنَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ قد قسوا، ‏{‏فَلَا تَبْتَئِسْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ فلا تحزن، ولا تبال بهم‏,‏ وبأفعالهم، فإن الله قد مقتهم، وأحق عليهم عذابه الذي لا يرد‏.‏

And Allah’s statement, “And it was revealed to Nuh that, ‘No one will believe from your people except those who have already believed‘” – meaning their hearts have hardened – “so do not be distressed by what they have been doing” – meaning, do not be saddened, and do not heed them or their actions, for verily Allah has detested them, and they are most deserving of the His punishment which cannot be turned back.

‏{‏وَاصْنَعِ الْفُلْكَ بِأَعْيُنِنَا وَوَحْيِنَا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ بحفظنا، ومرأى منا‏,‏ وعلى مرضاتنا، ‏{‏وَلَا تُخَاطِبْنِي فِي الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ لا تراجعني في إهلاكهم، ‏{‏إِنَّهُمْ مُغْرَقُونَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ قد حق عليهم القول، ونفذ فيهم القدر‏.‏

And construct the ship under Our observation and Our inspiration” – meaning under Our protection, and in Our sight, and according to Our pleasure. “And do not address Me concerning those who have wronged” – meaning: do come to me (asking) about their destruction. “Indeed, they are [to be] drowned” – meaning: Our word has been justified against them, and Our decree for them accomplished. Continue reading

Ibn Rajab on the First 10 Days of Dhul-Hijjah

In his book, Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif, which focuses on the deeds and actions with which Allah has distinguished certain times of the year, Imam ibn Rajab al-Hanbali discusses the merits of the first ten days of the month of Dhul-Hijjah, starting with the hadeeth from the Prophet:

خرج البخاري من حديث ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رضي الله عنهما عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ قَالَ: مَا الْعَمَلُ فِي أَيَّامٍ أَفْضَلَ مِنْهَا فِي هَذِهِ. قَالُوا: وََلا الْجِهَادُ، قَالَ: وََلا الْجِهَادُ، إَِلا رَجُلٌ خَرَجَ يُخَاطِرُ بِنَفْسِهِ وَمَالِهِ فَلَمْ يَرْجِعْ بِشَيْءٍ.

al-Bukhari narrates the hadeeth from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Prophet said, “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these [first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah].” Then some companions of the Prophet said, “Not even jihaad?” He replied, “Not even jihaad, except in the case of a man who went out to fight expending himself and his wealth, and came back with nothing.”

al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab then proceeds to explain this hadeeth by writing:

وقد دلت هذه الأحاديث على أن العمل في أيام ذي الحجة أحب إلى الله من العمل في أيام الدنيا من غير استثناء شيء منها، وإذا كان أحب إلى الله فهو أفضل عنده. وقد ورد هذا الحديث بلفظ [ما من أيام العمل فيها أفضل من أيام عشر]. وروي بشك في لفظه أحب أو أفضل. و إذا كان العمل في أيام العشر أفضل و أحب إلى الله من العمل في غير من أيام السنة كلها, صار العمل فيه, وإن كان مفضولا, أفضل من العمل في غير وإن كان فاضلا ولهذا قالوا: يا رسول الله ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله؟ قال: ” ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله “، ثم استثنى جهاداً واحداً هو أفضل الجهاد .

This hadeeth has shown that deeds in the [first ten] days of Dhul-Hijjah are more beloved to Allah than deeds in (any) other days of this dunya without any exception at all. And if they are more beloved to Allah then they are more virtuous in His sight.

And this hadeeth has also been narrated with the wording, “There are no days in which actions are more virtuous than the ten days,” and it was narrated with some uncertainty in the wording as to whether it was “more beloved” or “more virtuous”.

And if deeds done in the ten days [of Dhul-Hijjah] are more virtuous and more beloved to Allah than deeds done during any other time of the entire year, then deeds performed in those days – even if if they are not the most meritorious – become more meritorious than deeds done at other times – even if those are more meritorious. And concerning this they [i.e. the companions] said, “O Messenger of Allah! Not even jihaad in the path of Allah?” He said, “Not even jihaad in the path of Allah”, and then he made the exception of one certain type of jihaad which is the best of jihaad.

And Ibn Rajab went on to write in the same section:

و أما بقية أنواع الجهاد فإن العمل في عشر ذي الحجة أفضل وأحب إلى الله عز وجل منها, و كذلك سائر الاعمال. وهذ يدل على أنّ العمل المفضول في الوقت الفاضل يلتحق بالعمل الفاضل في غيره, و يزيد عليه لمضاعفة ثوابه و أجره

But as for the remaining types of jihaad, then definitely the deeds in the [first] ten of Dhul-Hijjah are more virtuous and more beloved to Allah – Azza wa jall – than that, and the same goes for all other remaining deeds. And this shows that meritorious actions performed in a virtuous time overtake meritorious actions in other times, and the reward and recompense for them is increased and multiplied.

[Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif, pg 458-459]

Ibn Rajab continues on to discuss the merits of different categories of deeds during these days and to give a series of in-depth examinations of the narrations and issues concerning them. For anyone who can read the Arabic language, this amazing wealth of a text is available for download here.

See also: The Sacred Months

See also: Khutbah regarding Hajj: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: Eemaan, jihaad and Hajj mabroor: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

See also: The Multiplication of Rewards and its Causes: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: Voluntary Fasting in Muharram and its virtues: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

See also: The Month of Rajab

See also: Which are More Virtuous, the First Ten of Dhu’l-Hijjah or the Last Ten of Ramadan?