An incitement to learn Arabic

‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab famously said:

تعلموا العربية فإنها تثبت العقل وتزيد في المروءة

“Learn Arabic, for it strengthens the intelligence and increases one’s noble conduct”

[Shu’ab al-Eemaan, al-Bayhaqi (4/187)]

It is the sincere hope of this translator that this website’s presentation of classical texts in both Arabic and English can serve as a beneficial tool for those looking to improve their Arabic comprehension.
Another fantastic resource of beneficial articles with side-by-side English and Arabic translations can be found here from
JazaakumAllaahu khairan and any feedback from our readers is appreciated.

4 of the rewards of al-Taqwa: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah addressed his believing slaves in surah al-Anfaal when He says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنْ تَتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ فُرْقَانًا وَيُكَفِّرْ عَنْكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ‏‏

O you who have believed, if you fear Allah , He will grant you a furqan [criterion] and will remove from you your misdeeds and forgive you. And Allah is the possessor of great bounty. [8:29]

In his book of tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following about this ayah:

امتثال العبد لتقوى ربه عنوان السعادة، وعلامة الفلاح، وقد رتب اللّه على التقوى من خير الدنيا والآخرة شيئا كثيرا،فذكر هنا أن من اتقى اللّه حصل له أربعة أشياء، كل واحد منها خير من الدنيا وما فيها‏:‏

The slave’s adherence to having taqwa of his Lord is the epitome of ultimate joy, and a marker of success. And Allah has caused an abundance of good things in both this life and in the hereafter to follow from having al-taqwa, and here that whoever has taqwa of Allah, then that will bring about these four things, each of which being a source of good in this worldly life and what it contains:

الأول‏:‏ الفرقان‏:‏ وهو العلم والهدى الذي يفرق به صاحبه بين الهدى والضلال، والحق والباطل، والحلال والحرام، وأهل السعادة من أهل الشقاوة‏.‏

Firstly: al-Furqan, and that is knowledge and guidance by which its possessors can distinguish between guidance and and misguidance, between the truth and falsehood, between the halaal and haraam, and between the people of ultimate joy and the people of ultimate misery.

الثاني والثالث‏:‏ تكفير السيئات، ومغفرة الذنوب، وكل واحد منهما داخل في الآخر عند الإطلاق وعند الاجتماع يفسر تكفير السيئات بالذنوب الصغائر، ومغفرة الذنوب بتكفير الكبائر‏.‏

Secondly and thirdly: The expiation of sins, and forgiveness of sins. Each of these is included in the other when they are mentioned independently, however when they are mentioned together, the expiation of sins is explained as referring to minor sins, while the forgiveness of sins refers to the annulment of major sins.

الرابع‏:‏ الأجر العظيم والثواب الجزيل لمن اتقاه وآثر رضاه على هوى نفسه‏.‏ ‏{‏وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ‏}‏

Fourthly: The great recompense and wonderful reward for those have had taqwa of Him and prioritized His pleasure over their own desires.

‏وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ‏

And Allah is the possessor of great bounty

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 362]

For another explanation of this same ayah, see also: “If you have taqwa of Allah, He will grant you a Furqan”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

For further explanation of this ayah, see the comments of Sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-’Uthaymeen – a student of Imam al-Sa’di – here: 3 benefits that are a result of having Taqwa -Shaykh ibn al-’Uthaymeen

See also: “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The outcomes of Taqwa and truthful speech: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Four Means of Attaining Allah’s Forgiveness: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: Allah legislated the religion for His remembrance: Imam al-Sa’di

A definition and brief history of Masjid al-Aqsa: Ibn Taymiyah

Sheikh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyah offers a clarification on the definition of Masjid al-Aqsa and a short history in his brief work entitled Ziyaarah Bait al-Maqdis. In it he writes:

فالمسجد الأقصى اسم لجميع المسجد الذي بناه سليمان عليه السلام, وقد صار بعض الناس يسمي الأقصى؛ المصلى الذي بناه عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه مقدمه، والصلاة في هذا المصلى بناه عمر للمسلمين أفضل من الصلاة في سائر المسجد، فان عمر بن الخطاب لما فتح بيت المقدس وكان على الصخرة زبالة عظيمة، لأن النصارى كانوا يقصدون إهانتها مقابلة لليهود الذين يصلون إليها، فأمر عمر رضي الله عنه بازالة النجاسة عنها، وقال لكعب الأحبار أين ترى أن نبني مصلى للمسلمين؟ فقال خلف الصخرة . فقال يا ابن اليهودية خالطتك اليهودية، بل أبنيه أمامها فإنّ لنا صدور المساجد ،

al-Masjid al-Aqsa is the name for the whole of the place of worship that was built by Sulayman (‘alaihis salaam), though some people have begun to give the name of ‘al-Aqsa’ – ‘the farthest’ – to the prayer-place which was built by ʿUmar Ibn Al-Khattaab (radiAllaahu ‘anhu) at the front of it.

Praying in the prayer-place which ʿUmar built for the Muslims is better than praying in any other part of the mosque. That is because when ʿUmar conquered Jerusalem there was a huge garbage dump on the rock, since the Christians wanted to show their scorn for the place towards which the Jews used to pray. ʿUmar issued orders that the filth be removed and asked Kaʾb [al-Ahbar], “Where do you think we should build a place of prayer for the Muslims?” He said, “Behind the Rock.” So ‘Umar replied, “You son of a Jewish woman! Are you influenced by your Jewish ideas! On the contrary, I will build it in front of it.”*

ولهذا كان أئمة الامة اذا دخلوا المسجد قصدوا الصلاة في المصلى الذي بناه عمر، وقد ورى عن عمر رضي الله عنه أنه صلى في محراب داود، وأما الصخرة فلم يصلي عندها عمر رضي الله عنه ولا الصحابة, ولا كان على عهد الخلف الراشدين عليها قبة، بل كانت مكشوفة في خلافة عمر، وعثمان، وعلي، ومعاوية، ويزيد، ومروان، ولكن لما تول  ابنه عبد الملك الشام ووقع بينه وبين ابن الزبير الفتنة، كان الناس يحجون فيجمعون بابن الزبير، فأراد عبد الملك أن يصرف الناس عن ابن الزبير، فبنى القبة على الصخرة وكساها في الشتاء والصيف ليرغب الناس في زيارة بيت المقدس، ويشتغلوا بذلك عن اجتماعهم بابن الزبير،

Hence when the Imaams of this Ummah entered the Masjid, they would go and pray in the prayer-place that was built by ʿUmar. And it has also been narrated from ‘Umar that he prayed in the mihrab of Dawood.

With regards to the Rock, neither ʿUmar nor any of the Sahaabah prayed there, and there was no dome over it during the time of the Khulafaa’ al-Raashideen (Rightly-Guided Caliphs). It was open to the sky during the times of ʿUmar, ʿUthmaan, ʿAli, Muʿaawiyah, Yazeed and Marwaan. But when his son ‘Abd al-Malik was the ruler over Syria and the fitnah took place between him and ibn al-Zubair, the people would make Hajj and join ibn al-Zubair [who controlled the city of Mecca at that time], so ‘Abd al-Malik wanted to divert the people away from ibn al-Zubair, so he built a dome on top of the Rock and covered it in the winter and in the summer in order to encourage people to visit Jerusalem, and so he kept them occupied from joining ibn al-Zubair.

واما اهل العلم من الصحابة والتابعين لهم بإحسان، فلم يكونوا يعظمون الصخرة فانها قبلة المنسوخة، كما ان يوم السبت . كان عيداً في شريعة موسى عليه السلام، ثم نسخ في شريعة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم بيوم الجمعة، فليس للمسلمين أن يخصوا يوم السبت ويوم الأحد بعبادة، كما تفعل اليهود والنصارى، وكذلك الصخرة إنما يعظمها اليهود و بعض النصارى

And as for the scholars among the Sahaabah and those who followed them faithfully, they did not venerate the Rock because it was an abrogated Qiblah, just as is the case with Saturday. Saturday was an ‘eid in the sharee’ah of Moosaa (‘alaihis salaam), then it was abrogated in the sharee’ah of Muhammad (salaAllahu ‘alaihi was-salaam) with Friday. And it is not appropriate for the Muslims to single out Saturday or Sunday for worship as the Jews and Christians do. Similarly with the Rock; it was only venerated by the Jews and some of the Christians.

[Majmoo’a al-Rasaa’il al-Kubraa 2/61]

Translator’s notes:

* Ka’b al-Ahbar was one of the Jewish Rabbis who had become a Muslim. ‘Umar rebuked him because his suggestion to build the prayer-place behind (i.e. on the north side of )the Rock would mean that when they congregation would prayer, they would have to pray directly towards the abrogated qibla of the Rock in order to also face the ordained qibla of the Ka’aba. ‘Umar wanted there to be no confusion, so he built the prayer-place to the south of the Rock.

Here is a diagram of Masjid al-Aqsa:

aqsa 1

-And according to ibn Taymiyyah’s description, Masjid al-Aqsa is all of what is contained within the black box, including Dome of the Rock and the prayer-place built by ‘Umar. This was previously the site of the temple built by the Prophet Sulayman, which was later demolished (see Qur’an 17:7), then rebuilt during the time of ‘Uzayr, then demolished again a few decades after Allah raised ‘Eesaa up to Himself. It has never been rebuilt however the site remains an honored place and the place to which Allah brought His Prophet on the night of al-Israa’ w’al-Mi’raaj, even though there was neither the Dome of the Rock nor the prayer-place of ‘Umar at that time.

-The golden dome in the center is the Dome of the Rock, built by ‘Abd al-Malik during his Khilaafah (65-86 a.h./685-705 c.e.)

-The building on the southern end  is the prayer-place built by ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, known as Jaami’a al-Qibli and sometimes referred to as Masjid al-Aqsa itself, although the definition of Masjid al-Aqsa encompasses the entire area. And Allah knows best

Posted Muharram 21, 1435 (11/25/13)

See also: The Blessings of al-Shaam as mentioned in the Qur’an: ibn Taymiyah

See also: “Jerusalem is not a place which is called sacred”: Ibn Taymiyah

The reward is according to your hardship: Sharh al-Nawawi

Al-Qaasim narrated that the Mother of Believers said:

قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ يَصْدُرُ النَّاسُ بِنُسُكَيْنِ وَأَصْدُرُ بِنُسُكٍ وَاحِدٍ

I said, “O Messenger of Allah! The people return (from Mecca) having done two acts of worship (both Hajj and‘Umrah), but I am coming back with only one.

قَالَ ‏ “‏ انْتَظِرِي فَإِذَا طَهَرْتِ فَاخْرُجِي إِلَى التَّنْعِيمِ فَأَهِلِّي مِنْهُ ثُمَّ الْقَيْنَا عِنْدَ كَذَا وَكَذَا – قَالَ أَظُنُّهُ قَالَ غَدًا – وَلَكِنَّهَا عَلَى قَدْرِ نَصَبِكِ – أَوْ قَالَ – نَفَقَتِكِ ‏”‏

He said, “You should wait and when the period of menses is over, you should go to Tan’im and put on lhram and then meet us at such and such time (and I think he said tomorrow). And it [the reward of this ‘Umrah] is according to your hardship”, or he said, “your spending.”

[Muslim #1211]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his explanation of Saheeh Muslim, wrote about this hadeeth:

قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( ولكنها على قدر نصبك أو قال : نفقتك ) هذا ظاهر في أن الثواب والفضل في العبادة يكثر بكثرة النصب والنفقة ، والمراد النصب الذي لا يذمه الشرع ، وكذا النفقة .

His (ﷺ) statement “‘And it is according to your hardship’, or he said, ‘your spending’” – It is apparent that the reward and excellence of the (act of) worship increases with an increase in hardship and spending, and the intended meaning of hardship is that which is not dispraised by the sharee’ah, and similarly with spending.

[Al-Minhaaj bi Sharh Saheeh Muslim]

“He made for you hearing and vision and intellect in order for you to be grateful”

Allah informs us in His Book:

وَاللَّـهُ أَخْرَ‌جَكُم مِّن بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ‌ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ ۙ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُ‌ونَ

“And Allah has extracted you from the wombs of your mothers not knowing a thing, and He made for you hearing and vision and intellect in order for you to be grateful.” [16:78]

Imam al-Sa’di writes in explanation of this ayah in his tafsir:

أي‏:‏ هو المنفرد بهذه النعم حيث ‏{‏أَخْرَجَكُمْ مِنْ بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا‏}‏ ولا تقدرون على شيء ثم إنه ‏{‏جَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ‏}‏ خص هذه الأعضاء الثلاثة، لشرفها وفضلها ولأنها مفتاح لكل علم، فلا وصل للعبد علم إلا من أحد هذه الأبواب الثلاثة وإلا فسائر الأعضاء والقوى الظاهرة والباطنة هو الذي أعطاهم إياها، وجعل ينميها فيهم شيئا فشيئا إلى أن يصل كل أحد إلى الحالة اللائقة به، وذلك لأجل أن يشكروا الله، باستعمال ما أعطاهم من هذه الجوارح في طاعة الله، فمن استعملها في غير ذلك كانت حجة عليه وقابل النعمة بأقبح المقابلة‏.‏

Meaning: He is the exclusive and sole provider of this blessing when “[He] extracted you from the wombs of your mothers not knowing a thing” and not being able to do anything, then He “made for you hearing and vision and intellect“. And He singled out these there faculties, in order to honor them and favor them because they are the keys to all knowledge, so the slave does not attain knowledge except through one of these three doors, and except through the remaining the limbs and capacity – both openly and secretly: He [alone] is the one who gives that to them. And He made them grow little by little until they reached their proper state, and that is in order for them to be grateful to Allah, by using what he has given them of these faculties in the obedience of Allah. For whoever uses them for other than that, it is a hujjah (proof) against him and he is one who accepts a blessing with the ugliest of acceptances. 

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

See also: “Work, O family of Dawood, in gratitude”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Human nature: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Each one of the five pillars expiates sins: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

Abu’l-Faraj ibn Rajab al-Hanbali began writing about the occasion of the hujjaaj (pilgrims) returning from Hajj by bringing forth the following point:

في الصحيحين عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه ، عن النبي ﷺ ، قال : مَنْ حَجَّ هَذَا الْبَيْتَ، فَلَمْ يَرْفُثْ وَلَمْ يَفْسُقْ، رَجَعَ كَمَا وَلَدَتْهُ أُمُّهُ. مباني الإسلام الخمس ؛ كل واحدٍ منها يُكفِّرُ الذنوب والخطايا ويَهدِمُها، ولا إله إلّا الله لا تُبقي ذنباً ولا يسبِقُها عَمَلٌ ؛ والصلوات الخمس ؛ والجمعة إلى الجمعة ، ورمضان إلى رمضان مُكفِّرات لما بينهن ما اجتنبت الكبائر ؛ والصدقة تطفئ الجطيئة كما يطفئ الماء النار ؛ والحج الذي لا رفث فيه ولا فسوق ، يرجع صاحبه من ذنوبه كيوم ولدته أمه

In the Saheehayn (al-Bukhari and Muslim) from Abu Hurayrah (radiAllaahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever performs Hajj to this House, and does not have sexual relations nor commit any disobedience, will return like the day his mother bore him“.

The pillars of Islam are five; each one of them expiates the sins and bad deeds and and abolishes them. And La ilaaha illallaah (There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah) does not leave any sins remains nor the actions which preceded it. And the five (daily) prayers, and from one jumu’ah to the next, and from one Ramadan to the next are expiators of what occurs between them for the one who avoids the major sins. And charity extinguishes bad deeds just as water extinguishes fire. And the Hajj in which one does not have sexual relations nor commit disobedience, then its doer will return free of sin like the day on which his mother bore him.

[Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif pg. 124]

See also: Avoid the sins which prevent forgiveness and the acceptance of du’a: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

See also: The relationship between al-Tawheed and al-istighfaar: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

See also: “Whoever stands Ramadan with eemaan and ihtisaab, his previous sins will be forgiven”: Sharh al-Nawawi

Fasting ‘Aashooraa’: Sharh al-Nawawi

Imam Muslim, in his Saheeh in the chapter entitled “Fasting on the Day of ‘Aashooraa'” reports the following from Ibn ‘Abbaas:

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَدِمَ الْمَدِينَةَ فَوَجَدَ الْيَهُودَ صِيَامًا يَوْمَ عَاشُورَاءَ فَقَالَ لَهُمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ مَا هَذَا الْيَوْمُ الَّذِي تَصُومُونَهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالُوا هَذَا يَوْمٌ عَظِيمٌ أَنْجَى اللَّهُ فِيهِ مُوسَى وَقَوْمَهُ وَغَرَّقَ فِرْعَوْنَ وَقَوْمَهُ فَصَامَهُ مُوسَى شُكْرًا فَنَحْنُ نَصُومُهُ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ فَنَحْنُ أَحَقُّ وَأَوْلَى بِمُوسَى مِنْكُمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَصَامَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَأَمَرَ بِصِيَامِهِ ‏.‏

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) arrived in al-Madinah and found the Jews observing fast on the day of ‘Aashooraa’. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said to them, “What is this day that you observe fast on it?” They said, “It is a great day when Allah delivered Moosaa and his people, and drowned the Firawn and his people, and Moosaa observed fast out of gratitude so we fast it.” Upon this the Messenger of Allah said, “We have more right, and we have a closer connection with Moosaa than you have; so Allah’s Messenger observed fast, and gave orders that it should be observed.

[Saheeh Muslim #1130]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his commentary on Saheeh Muslim, brought the following explanation:

قوله : ( أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قدم المدينة فوجد اليهود يصومون عاشوراء ، وقالوا : إن موسى صامه وإنه اليوم الذي نجوا فيه من فرعون وغرق فرعون ، فصامه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ، وأمر بصيامه ، وقال : نحن أحق بموسى منهم )  .

His statement [in another narration], “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) arrived in al-Madinah and found the Jews observing fast on the day of ‘Aashooraa’. And they said to him, ‘Verily Moosaa fasted it, and verily it is the day on which they were saved from Firawn and Firawn was drowned.’ So the Prophet fasted it, and commanded it’s fasting. And he said, ‘We have more right to Moosaa than them.'”

قال المازري : خبر اليهود غير مقبول ، فيحتمل أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أوحي إليه بصدقهم فيما قالوه ، أو تواتر عنده النقل بذلك حتى حصل له العلم به . ـ

Al-Maaziri said: The information of the Jews is not accepted, so it is likely that the Prophet (ﷺ) received revelation of the veracity of what they said, or it was reported with such a high degree of mutually affirming transmission such that he knew of it.

قال القاضي عياض ردا على المازري : قد روى مسلم أن قريشا كانت تصومه ، فلما قدم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم المدينة صامه ، فلم يحدث له بقول اليهود حكم يحتاج إلى الكلام عليه ، وإنما هي صفة حال ، وجواب سؤال ، فقوله : ( صامه ) ليس فيه أنه ابتدأ صومه حينئذ بقولهم ، ولو كان هذا لحملناه على أنه أخبر به من أسلم من علمائهم كابن سلام وغيره ،

Al-Qaadhi ‘Iyaadh said a refutation of al-Maaziri: Muslim has narrated that the Quraish used to fast it [i.e. the day of ‘Aashooraa’], so when the Prophet (ﷺ) arrived in al-Madinah he fasted it. So it was not introduced to him by the speech of the Jews as a legislative ruling requiring a comment about it; it was only a description of the situation, and a response to the question. So his statement, “He fasted it” – this is not an initiation of  his fasting at that time due to their statement, and even if it did carry that meaning [i.e. that the Prophet instituted the fasting based on a single report], then it is likely that he was informed of it by one of those who became a Muslim from among their scholars, such as Ibn al-Salaam of other than him.

قال القاضي : وقد قال بعضهم : يحتمل أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يصومه بمكة ، ثم ترك صيامه حتى علم ما عند أهل الكتاب فيه فصامه ، قال القاضي : وما ذكرناه أولى بلفظ الحديث

Al-Qaadhi said: And some of them have said, “It is likely that he (ﷺ) used to fast [the day of ‘Aashooraa’] in Mecca, then he abandoned his fasting [on that day] until he learned that the Ahl al-Kitaab would fast it. And al-Qaadhi said: And what we have mentioned of it is according to the wording of the hadeeth.

قلت : المختار قول المازري ، ومختصر ذلك أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يصومه كما تصومه قريش في مكة ، ثم قدم المدينة فوجد اليهود يصومونه فصامه أيضا بوحي أو تواتر أو اجتهاد ، لا بمجرد أخبار آحادهم . والله أعلم

I [Imam al-Nawawi] say: The statement of al-Maaziri is selected, and the summary of that is that he (ﷺ) used to fast it [‘Aashooraa’] just as the Quraish fasted it in Mecca, then when he arrived in al-Madinah he found the Jews fasting it, so he fasted it also according to revelation or mutawaatir reports or out of independent judgement, but not merely according to a single report. And Allah knows best.

[Sharh al-Nawawi ‘alaa Muslim pg 204]

See also: The Four Stages of Fasting ‘Aashooraa’: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

See also: Khutbah regarding ‘Aashooraa’: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: A brief clarification on ‘Aashooraa’: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

The first deed to be reckoned

Huraith ibn Qabeesah narrates that “I arrived in Al-Madinah and said: ‘O Allah! Facilitate me to be in a righteous gathering.'” He said: “I sat with Abu Hurayrah and said: ‘Indeed I asked Allah to provide me with a righteous gathering. So narrate a hadith to me which you heard from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) so that perhaps Allah would cause me to benefit from it.’ He said: ‘I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) say:

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا يُحَاسَبُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنْ عَمَلِهِ صَلاَتُهُ فَإِنْ صَلُحَتْ فَقَدْ أَفْلَحَ وَأَنْجَحَ وَإِنْ فَسَدَتْ فَقَدْ خَابَ وَخَسِرَ فَإِنِ انْتَقَصَ مِنْ فَرِيضَتِهِ شَيْءٌ قَالَ الرَّبُّ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ انْظُرُوا هَلْ لِعَبْدِي مِنْ تَطَوُّعٍ فَيُكَمَّلَ بِهَا مَا انْتَقَصَ مِنَ الْفَرِيضَةِ ثُمَّ يَكُونُ سَائِرُ عَمَلِهِ عَلَى ذَلِكَ

Indeed the first deed by which a servant will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection is his Salaat. If it is complete, then he is successful and saved, but if it is defective, then he has failed and lost. So if something is deficient in his obligatory prayers then the Lord, Mighty and Sublime says: ‘Look! Are there any voluntary prayers for my worshipper?’ So with them, what was deficient in his obligatory prayers will be completed. Then the rest of his deeds will be treated like that.

[al-Tirmidhi #413, saheeh]

Imam al-Mubarakfoori writes in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, his explanation of Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi, about this hadith:

قوله : ” إن أول ما يحاسب به العبد ” بالرفع على نيابة الفاعل ” يوم القيامة من عمله صلاته ” أي المفروضة . قال العراقي في شرح الترمذي : لا تعارض بينه وبين الحديث الصحيح : إن أول ما يقضى بين الناس يوم القيامة في الدماء . فحديث الباب محمول على حق الله تعالى ، وحديث الصحيح محمول على حقوق الآدميين فيما بينهم . فإن قيل : فأيهما يقدم محاسبة العباد على حق الله أو محاسبتهم على حقوقهم ، فالجواب أن هذا أمر توقيفي ، وظواهر الأحاديث دالة على أن الذي يقع أولا المحاسبة على حقوق الله تعالى قبل حقوق العباد ، انتهى . وقيل الأول من ترك العبادات والثاني من فعل السيئات

His statement, “indeed the first deed by which a servant will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection is his Salaat” – meaning the obligatory ones. Al-Iraaqi said in his explanation of al-Tirmidhi, “There is no contradiction between this hadith and the aunthentic hadith “The first matter concerning which scores will be settled among the people on the Day of Resurrection will be bloodshed.” For this hadith is concerning the rights of Allah, and the other authentic hadith is concerning the rights between human beings. And if it is said, “So which of these two comes first, the accounting of the slaves for the rights of Allah, or their accounting for their mutual rights?” Then the answer is that this is a matter of revelation, and the clear hadiths show that that which occurs first is the reckoning for the rights due to Allah, the Exalted. And it is said first comes the abandoning of ‘ibaadaat and second comes the performing of sins.

  ” فإن صلحت ” بضم اللام وفتحها ، قال ابن الملك : صلاحها بأدائها صحيحة ” فقد أفلح وأنجح ” الفلاح الفوز والظفر ، والإنجاح بتقديم الجيم على الحاء يقال أنجح فلان إذا أصاب مطلوبه . قال القاري في المرقاة : فقد أفلح أي فاز بمقصوده ، وأنجح أي ظفر بمطلوبه فيكون فيه تأكيد ، وفاز بمعنى خلص من العقاب ، وأنجح أي حصل له الثواب

If it is complete” – Ibn Maalik said, “complete by its correct performance” – “then he is successful and saved“. ‘Successful’ means victorious and triumphant, and ‘Saved’ – it is said that so-and-so is saved when he gets what he seeks. Al-Qaari said in al-Mirqaah “‘he is successful’ meaning he has achieved his objectives, and ‘saved’ meaning he has won what he sought so in that he is assured. And ‘successful’ has the meaning of safe from punishment, and ‘saved’ means he got his reward.”

” وإن فسدت ” بأن لم تؤد أو أديت غير صحيحة أو غير مقبولة ” فقد خاب ” بحرمان المثوبة ” وخسر ” بوقوع العقوبة ، وقيل معنى خاب ندم وخسر أي صار محروما من الفوز والخلاص قبل العذاب  .

But if it is defective” because he did not perform them or he did not perform them correctly or they are otherwise unacceptable “then he has failed” being deprived of the reward “and lost” by incurring punishment. And it is said that the meaning of ‘failed’ is regret and loss – meaning the he became deprived of success and sincerity before punishment.

” فإن انتقص ” بمعنى نقص المتعدي ” شيئا ” أي من الفرائض ” هل لعبدي من تطوع ” أي في صحيفته سنة أو نافلة من صلاة على ما هو ظاهر من السياق قبل الفرض أو بعده أو مطلقا

“So if there is a deficiency” meaning something is lacking “of something” – meaning from the obligatory salaat. Look! Are there any voluntary prayers for my worshipper?” – meaning in the record of his sunnah or naafilah (optional) prayers according to what is apparent from the context either before the obligatory prayer, or after it, or in general.

” فيكمل ” بالتشديد ويخفف على بناء الفاعل أو المفعول وهو الأظهر وبالنصب ويرفع قاله القاري ” بها ” قال ابن الملك : أي بالتطوع وتأنيث الضمير باعتبار النافلة . وقال الطيبي : الظاهر نصب فيكمل على أنه من كلام الله تعالى جوابا للاستفهام ، ويؤيده رواية أحمد فكملوا بها فريضته ، وإنما أنث ضمير التطوع في بها نظرا إلى الصلاة  .

So it will be completed with them“. Ibn Maalik said, “meaning with the optional prayers.” [Some portions of the text deal with the Arabic grammar and hence will be excluded from this translation]

” ما انتقص من الفريضة ” فهو متعد قال العراقي في شرح الترمذي : يحتمل أن يراد به ما انتقصه من السنن والهيئات المشروعة فيها من الخشوع والأذكار والأدعية ، وأنه يحصل له ثواب ذلك في الفريضة وإن لم يفعله فيها ، وإنما فعله في التطوع ، ويحتمل أن يراد به ما انتقص أيضا من فروضها وشروطها ، ويحتمل أن يراد ما ترك من الفرائض رأسا فلم يصله فيعوض عنه من التطوع . والله سبحانه وتعالى يقبل من التطوعات الصحيحة عوضا عن الصلوات المفروضة ، انتهى

What was deficient in his obligatory [prayers]“. Al-Iraaqi said in his explanation of al-Tirmidhi:

Perhaps what is meant by that is what is deficient in terms of the sunan and legislated matters of it, such as al-khushoo’ and dhikr and supplications, and that he still gets rewarded for the obligatory prayers even if he doesn’t do these things therein, and only does them during the optional prayers. And perhaps what is intended by that is also deficiencies in the core part and pillars of the prayer, and perhaps what it is intended is the abandonment of the principle obligations, so he does not pray them, in which case he would not be compensated for that deficiency by his optional prayers. And Allah, High and Exalted is He, accepts from the correct optional prayers as compensation for the obligatory prayers.

 وقال ابن العربي : يحتمل أن يكون يكمل له ما نقص من فرض الصلاة وأعدادها بفضل التطوع ، ويحتمل ما نقصه من الخشوع والأول عندي أظهر لقوله ، ثم الزكاة كذلك وسائر الأعمال ، وليس في الزكاة إلا فرض أو فضل فكما يكمل فرض الزكاة بفضلها كذلك الصلاة وفضل الله أوسع ووعده أنفذ وعزمه أعم ، انتهى  .

And ibn al-‘Arabi said,

Perhaps what is meant is to complete what is lacking from the obligatory prayers and their numbers by virtue of the optional prayers, and perhaps what is meant is the lack of al-khushoo’ and to me that is what is most clear from his statement [in another narration ] “then the zakaat and so on for the remaining deeds,” for there is nothing of zakaat except for what is obligatory or what is extra, so just as the obligatory zakaat is perfected by giving extra, so it is with the salaah. And Allah gives the most expansive blessing and His promise is the most able to be fulfilled and His decision is the most encompassing.

”  ثم يكون سائر عمله على ذلك ” أي إن انتقص فريضة من سائر الأعمال تكمل من التطوع

Then the rest of his deeds will be treated like that” – meaning if there are deficiencies in the obligations from the remaining deeds, they will be completed by the optional deeds.

[Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi]

For more on the importance and benefits of al-salaah, see also: “Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Reserve a part of your prayer for the house

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

Human nature: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah informs us about the nature of man in surah Fussilat when He says:

لَّا يَسْأَمُ الْإِنسَانُ مِن دُعَاءِ الْخَيْرِ‌ وَإِن مَّسَّهُ الشَّرُّ‌ فَيَئُوسٌ قَنُوطٌ ﴿٤٩﴾ وَلَئِنْ أَذَقْنَاهُ رَ‌حْمَةً مِّنَّا مِن بَعْدِ ضَرَّ‌اءَ مَسَّتْهُ لَيَقُولَنَّ هَـٰذَا لِي وَمَا أَظُنُّ السَّاعَةَ قَائِمَةً وَلَئِن رُّ‌جِعْتُ إِلَىٰ رَ‌بِّي إِنَّ لِي عِندَهُ لَلْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ فَلَنُنَبِّئَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا بِمَا عَمِلُوا وَلَنُذِيقَنَّهُم مِّنْ عَذَابٍ غَلِيظٍ ﴿٥٠﴾ وَإِذَا أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَى الْإِنسَانِ أَعْرَ‌ضَ وَنَأَىٰ بِجَانِبِهِ وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ‌ فَذُو دُعَاءٍ عَرِ‌يضٍ

Man is not weary of supplication for good, but if evil touches him, he is hopeless and despairing. * And if We let him taste mercy from Us after an adversity which has touched him, he will surely say, “This is [due] to me, and I do not think the Hour will occur; and [even] if I should be returned to my Lord, indeed, for me there will be with Him the best.” But We will surely inform those who disbelieved about what they did, and We will surely make them taste a massive punishment. * And when We bestow favor upon man, he turns away and withdraws aside; but when evil touches him, then he is full of extensive supplication. (41:49-51)

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, writes in explanation of these ayaat as follows:

هذا إخبار عن طبيعة الإنسان، من حيث هو، وعدم صبره وجلده، لا على الخير ولا على الشر، إلا من نقله الله من هذه الحال إلى حال الكمال، فقال‏:‏ ‏{‏لَا يَسْأَمُ الْإِنْسَانُ مِنْ دُعَاءِ الْخَيْرِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ لا يمل دائمًا، من دعاء الله، في الغنى والمال والولد، وغير ذلك من مطالب الدنيا، ولا يزال يعمل على ذلك، ولا يقتنع بقليل، ولا كثير منها، فلو حصل له من الدنيا، ما حصل، لم يزل طالبًا للزيادة‏.‏

This is information about human nature, what are his origins, and his lack of patience and endurance, both in the face of good and evil, except for he for whom Allah has changed his condition to the perfect condition, and He says, “Man is not weary of supplication for good” – meaning, he never tires of supplicating to Allah for riches and wealth and offspring and other such objects of desire in this worldly life. And he does not desist in toiling for that, and he is not satisfied with a little or even with a lot of the worldly riches. And whether he were to achieve those things or not, he would not cease to seek more.

‏{‏وَإِنْ مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ المكروه، كالمرض، والفقر، وأنواع البلايا ‏{‏فَيَئُوسٌ قَنُوطٌ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ ييأس من رحمة الله تعالى، ويظن أن هذا البلاء هو القاضي عليه بالهلاك، ويتشوش من إتيان الأسباب، على غير ما يحب ويطلب‏.‏

But if evil touches him” – meaning those disliked things such as illness, poverty, and all sorts of trials – “then he is hopeless and despairing” – meaning he despairs of the mercy of Allah the Exalted, and thinks that this trial has been brought upon him for his destruction, and is confused about its causes, and that it is other than what he loves and requests.

إلا الذين آمنوا وعملوا الصالحات، فإنهم إذا أصابهم الخير والنعمة والمحاب، شكروا الله تعالى، وخافوا أن تكون نعم الله عليهم، استدراجًا وإمهالاً، وإن أصابتهم مصيبة، في أنفسهم وأموالهم، وأولادهم، صبروا، ورجوا فضل ربهم، فلم ييأسوا‏.‏

Except for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, for certainly they, when they are struck with good, blessings and that which they love, they are grateful to Allah the Exalted. And they fear that the blessing of Allah upon them may be a test of endurance or a respite [i.e. a delay of punishment from this life to the next]. And if they are afflicted corporeally or financially or in terms of their offspring, they are steadfastly patient, and they hope for the good from their Lord, and they never despair or give up hope.

ثم قال تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏وَلَئِنْ أَذَقْنَاهُ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ الإنسان الذي يسأم من دعاء الخير، وإن مسه الشر فيئوس قنوط ‏{‏رَحْمَةً مِنَّا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ بعد ذلك الشر الذي أصابه، بأن عافاه الله من مرضه، أو أغناه من فقره، فإنه لا يشكر الله تعالى، بل يبغى، ويطغى، ويقول‏:‏ ‏{‏هَذَا لِي‏}‏ أي‏:‏ أتاني لأني له أهل، وأنا مستحق له ‏{‏وَمَا أَظُنُّ السَّاعَةَ قَائِمَةً‏}‏ وهذا إنكار منه للبعث، وكفر للنعمة والرحمة، التي أذاقها الله له‏.‏ ‏{‏وَلَئِنْ رُجِعْتُ إِلَى رَبِّي إِنَّ لِي عِنْدَهُ لَلْحُسْنَى‏}‏ أي‏:‏ على تقدير إتيان الساعة، وأني سأرجع إلى ربي، إن لي عنده، للحسنى، فكما حصلت لي النعمة في الدنيا، فإنها ستحصل ‏[‏لي‏]‏ في الآخرة وهذا من أعظم الجراءة والقول على الله بلا علم، فلهذا توعده بقوله‏:‏ ‏{‏فَلَنُنَبِّئَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِمَا عَمِلُوا وَلَنُذِيقَنَّهُمْ مِنْ عَذَابٍ غَلِيظٍ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ شديد جدًا‏.‏

Then He said, “And if We let him taste” – meaning, mankind which never tires of supplicating for good, and if he is touched by evil them he is hopeless and despairing – “mercy from Us” – meaning, after that evil which afflicted him, because Allah cured him from his sickness of enriched him from his state of poverty, then certainly he will not be grateful to Allah the Exalted; rather he will transgress and overstep the bounds, and he says, “This is [due] to me” – meaning, this is for me because I deserve it and I have a right to it – “and I do not think the Hour will occur” and this is him denying the resurrection, and disbelieving in the blessing and mercy which Allah has allowed him to taste. “And [even] if I should be returned to my Lord, indeed, for me there will be with Him the best” – meaning, when the Hour is established, and I will certainly return to my Lord, if He has something for me, then it will be good such as what blessing I had in the worldly life, so this will also be mine in the next life. And this is the greatest crime to say [something] about Allah without ‘ilm. And there is his promise in His statement, “But We will surely inform those who disbelieved about what they did, and We will surely make them taste a massive punishment“.

‏{‏وَإِذَا أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَى الْإِنْسَانِ‏}‏ بصحة، أو رزق، أو غيرهما ‏{‏أَعْرَضَ‏}‏ عن ربه وعن شكره ‏{‏وَنَأَى‏}‏ ترفع ‏{‏بِجَانِبِهِ‏}‏ عجبا وتكبرًا‏.‏ ‏{‏وَإِنْ مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ المرض، أو الفقر، أو غيرهما ‏{‏فَذُو دُعَاءٍ عَرِيضٍ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ كثير جدًا، لعدم صبره، فلا صبر في الضراء، ولا شكر في الرخاء، إلا من هداه الله ومنَّ عليه‏.‏

And when We bestow favor upon man” with health or provisions or other than that, “he turns away” from his Lord and from gratitude to Him “and withdraws” – elevates himself – “asideamazed and prideful. “But when evil touches him” – meaning, sickness or poverty or other than that – “then he is full of extensive supplication” – meaning, very abundant, the absence of his sabr, for there is no sabr in adversity, nor gratitude in prosperity, except for the one whom Allah guided and bestowed a blessing upon him.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 885]

See also: “Work, O family of Dawood, in gratitude”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “He made for you hearing and vision and intellect in order for you to be grateful”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

A brief clarification on ‘Aashooraa’: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

While discussing the virtue and prescribed acts of worship legislated for the day of ‘aashooraa’ (the 10th of Muharram), Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali briefly yet eloquently addresses a common misconception. He writes:

وأما اتخاذه  مأتماً كما تفعله الرافضة لأجل قتل الحسين بن علي رضي الله عنهما فيه, فهو من عمل مَن ضلّ سعيه في الحياة الدنيا وهو يحسب أنّه يُحسن صُنعاً, ولم يأمر الله ولا رسولُه باتخاذ أيّام مصائب الأنبياء وموتهم مأتماً, فكيف بمن دُونَهم؟

And as for taking it [i.e.yawm al-‘aashooraa’] as a time of mourning as the raafidhah (Shi’a) have made it on account of the murder of al-Hussain ibn ‘Ali (radiAllaahu ‘anhuma) on this day, then this is from the actions of those whose efforts have gone astray in the life of this dunya and who consider it as a beautified invention. And neither Allah nor His messenger ordered the taking of the calamitous days of the anbiyaa’ or their deaths as times of mourning, so then what about someone less than them?

[Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif pg. 113]

For a explanation of the true origin of fasting ‘Aashooraa’ and its merits, see: Khutbah regarding ‘Aashooraa’: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: A Comprehensive Statement regarding Bid’ah: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: The Mahdi will be from the offspring of al-Hasan: Ibn al-Qayyim

See also: Fasting ‘Aashooraa’: Sharh al-Nawawi

See also: The Four Stages of Fasting ‘Aashooraa’: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali