The virtues of Usaamah ibn Zayd: Fath al-Bari

In his Saheeh, Imam al-Bukhari includes a section in his Book of the Sahabah entitled ‘Mention of Usaamah ibn Zayd’: The following is one of 4 ahaadeeth included therein.

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها أَنَّ امْرَأَةً مِنْ بَنِي مَخْزُومٍ سَرَقَتْ، فَقَالُوا مَنْ يُكَلِّمُ فِيهَا النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَلَمْ يَجْتَرِئْ أَحَدٌ أَنْ يُكَلِّمَهُ، فَكَلَّمَهُ أُسَامَةُ بْنُ زَيْدٍ، فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ كَانَ إِذَا سَرَقَ فِيهِمُ الشَّرِيفُ تَرَكُوهُ، وَإِذَا سَرَقَ الضَّعِيفُ قَطَعُوهُ، لَوْ كَانَتْ فَاطِمَةُ لَقَطَعْتُ يَدَهَا ‏”

‘Aa’ishah said, “A woman from Bani Makhzumiya committed a theft and the people said, ‘Who can intercede with the Prophet (ﷺ) for her?’ So nobody dared speak to him (i.e. the Prophet) but Usama bin Zaid spoke to him. The Prophet said, ‘If a reputable man amongst the children of Bani Israa’eel committed a theft, they used to forgive him, but if a poor man committed a theft, they would cut his hand. But I would cut even the hand of Fatimah (i.e. the daughter of the Prophet) if she committed a theft.”

[al-Bukhari #3733]

In his expansive commentary of Saheeh al-Bukhari, Imam ibn Hajar writes the following concerning this hadeeth:

قوله : ( ذكر أسامة بن زيد ) ذكر فيه حديث المخزومية التي سرقت ، وسيأتي شرحه مستوفى في الحدود ، والغرض منه قوله في بعض طرقه : ” ومن يجترئ أن يكلمه إلا أسامة بن زيد حب رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – “

His [i.e. imam al-Bukhari’s] statement, “Mention of Usaamah ibn Zayd”, he mentions herein the hadeeth of the women from Bani Makhzumiya who committed theft – and its explanation will come in the chapter on the hudood punishments – and the purpose of including it here is its statement in one of the routes that “Nobody dare speak to him (i.e. the Prophet (ﷺ) ) except Usaamah bin Zaid, for he is the most beloved to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).

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No calamity occurs except that it is written in the Book of Decrees: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah informs His servants of something amazing in surah al-Hadeed when He says:

مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ وَلَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّبْرَ‌أَهَا ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى اللَّـهِ يَسِيرٌ‌  لِّكَيْلَا تَأْسَوْا عَلَىٰ مَا فَاتَكُمْ وَلَا تَفْرَ‌حُوا بِمَا آتَاكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ‌  الَّذِينَ يَبْخَلُونَ وَيَأْمُرُ‌ونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبُخْلِ ۗ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّ فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ

“No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in a book before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah. In order that you not despair over what has eluded you and not exult [in pride] over what He has given you. And Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful – Those who are stingy and enjoin upon people stinginess. And whoever turns away – then indeed, Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy.” [57:22-24]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, writes the following commentary on these ayaat:

يقول تعالى مخبرا عن عموم قضائه وقدره‏:‏ ‏{‏مَا أَصَابَ مِنْ مُصِيبَةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي أَنْفُسِكُم‏}‏ وهذا شامل لعموم المصائب التي تصيب الخلق، من خير وشر، فكلها قد كتبت في اللوح المحفوظ، صغيرها وكبيرها،

Allah the Exalted provides information about the total encompassing nature of His divine decree and pre-ordainment, “No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves” and this is comprehensive of the encompassing nature of the calamities which afflict creation, whether of good or evil, that all of them are written in al-Lawh al-Mahfooth (The Preserved Tablet), both miniscule and great matters.

وهذا أمر عظيم لا تحيط به العقول، بل تذهل عنده أفئدة أولي الألباب، ولكنه على الله يسير،

And this is a great affair which cannot be completely grasped by the intellect. Rather it amazes the minds of the people of understanding, however for Allah this is easy. Continue reading

Like a poor thief: Ibn Taymiyah

Sheikh al-Islam ibn Taymiyah mentions the following point of benefit:

 وَإِذَا اجْتَمَعَ فِي الرَّجُلِ الْوَاحِدِ خَيْرٌ وَشَرٌّ وَفُجُورٌ وَطَاعَةٌ وَمَعْصِيَةٌ وَسُنَّةٌ وَبِدْعَةٌ : اسْتَحَقَّ مِنْ الْمُوَالَاةِ وَالثَّوَابِ بِقَدْرِ مَا فِيهِ مِنْ الْخَيْرِ وَاسْتَحَقَّ مِنْ الْمُعَادَاتِ وَالْعِقَابِ بِحَسَبِ مَا فِيهِ مِنْ الشَّرِّ فَيَجْتَمِعُ فِي الشَّخْصِ الْوَاحِدِ مُوجِبَاتُ الْإِكْرَامِ وَالْإِهَانَةِ فَيَجْتَمِعُ لَهُ مِنْ هَذَا وَهَذَا كَاللِّصِّ الْفَقِيرِ تُقْطَعُ يَدُهُ لِسَرِقَتِهِ وَيُعْطَى مِنْ بَيْتِ الْمَالِ مَا يَكْفِيهِ لِحَاجَتِهِ . هَذَا هُوَ الْأَصْلُ الَّذِي اتَّفَقَ عَلَيْهِ أَهْلُ السُّنَّةِ وَالْجَمَاعَةِ وَخَالَفَهُمْ الْخَوَارِجُ وَالْمُعْتَزِلَةُ وَمَنْ وَافَقَهُمْ عَلَيْهِ فَلَمْ يَجْعَلُوا النَّاسَ لَا مُسْتَحِقًّا لِلثَّوَابِ فَقَطْ وَلَا مُسْتَحِقًّا لِلْعِقَابِ فَقَطْ . وَأَهْلُ السُّنَّةِ يَقُولُونَ : إنَّ اللَّهَ يُعَذِّبُ بِالنَّارِ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكَبَائِرِ مَنْ يُعَذِّبُهُ ثُمَّ يُخْرِجُهُمْ مِنْهَا بِشَفَاعَةِ مَنْ يَأْذَنُ لَهُ فِي الشَّفَاعَةِ بِفَضْلِ رَحْمَتِهِ كَمَا اسْتَفَاضَتْ بِذَلِكَ السُّنَّةُ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَاَللَّهُ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى أَعْلَمُ وَصَلِّ اللَّهُمَّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ .

If a man has [in him] both good and bad, good deeds and sins, Sunnah and Bid’ah, then he deserves to be loved with the amount of good he has. Additionally, he deserves to be hated and punished with regard to the amount of evil he has. Therefore, combined in one person are the obligations of honor and shame. Just like a poor thief; you cut off his hand for his thievery and you give him from charity that suffices his needs. This is the foundation that Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’a agreed upon. Those who differ in this are the Khawaarij, Mu’tazilah, and those who agree with them. They don’t make people either deserving reward only nor punishment only.

Ahlus-Sunnah [hold the position]: Indeed Allah will punish with the fire those who have major sins, then He’ll take them out of it those who’re permitted to receive intercession (from his excellence and mercy) as the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ) taught us.

[Majmoo’a al-Fataawa 28/209-210]

“When one of you sees a women who amazes him, let him go to his wife”: Sharh al-Nawawi

In Saheeh Muslim, Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah reported:

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم رَأَى امْرَأَةً فَأَتَى امْرَأَتَهُ زَيْنَبَ وَهْىَ تَمْعَسُ مَنِيئَةً لَهَا فَقَضَى حَاجَتَهُ ثُمَّ خَرَجَ إِلَى أَصْحَابِهِ فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ الْمَرْأَةَ تُقْبِلُ فِي صُورَةِ شَيْطَانٍ وَتُدْبِرُ فِي صُورَةِ شَيْطَانٍ فَإِذَا أَبْصَرَ أَحَدُكُمُ امْرَأَةً فَلْيَأْتِ أَهْلَهُ فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ يَرُدُّ مَا فِي نَفْسِهِ

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saw a woman, and so he came to his wife, Zainab, while she was tanning a leather hide and had fulfilled his need. He then went to his Companions and told them:

The woman advances in the form of a shaytaan and retires in the form of a shaytaan, so when one of you sees a woman, he should come to his wife, for that will repel what he feels in himself.
[Saheeh Muslim #1403]
Imam al-Nawawi, in his commentary on Saheeh Muslim, wrote the following on this hadeeth:
قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( إن المرأة تقبل في صورة شيطان وتدبر في صورة شيطان فإذا أبصر أحدكم امرأة فليأت أهله فإن ذلك يرد ما في نفسه ) وفي الرواية الأخرى : إذا أحدكم أعجبته المرأة فوقعت في قلبه فليعمد إلى امرأته فليواقعها فإن ذلك يرد ما في نفسه . هذه الرواية الثانية مبينة للأولى .

His statement (ﷺ), “The woman advances in the form of a shaytaan and retires in the form of a shaytaan, so when one of you sees a woman, he should come to his wife, for that will repel what he feels in himself,” and in another narration, “When one of you sees a woman that he is amazed with her, then let him go to his wife, for indeed with her (his wife) is the same as that which is with her.” This second narration is an explanation of the first one.

ومعنى الحديث : أنه يستحب لمن رأى امرأة فتحركت شهوته أن يأتي امرأته أو جاريته إن كانت له ، فليواقعها ليدفع شهوته ، وتسكن نفسه ، ويجمع قلبه على ما هو بصدده .

And the meaning of the hadeeth is: it is highly recommended (mustahabb) for the one who sees a woman and then his desire is stirred by her to go to his wife or his concubine if he has one, in order to have sexual relations with her so that he may stave off his desire and calm himself and to fulfill his heart’s present concern. Continue reading

“And to Loot we gave judgement and knowledge”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah recounts the stories of many of His Messengers and Prophets in surah al-Anbiya and includes therein many benefits for those who reflect on them. In one place, He briefly mentions the story of His prophet Loot when He says:

وَلُوطًا آتَيْنَاهُ حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْقَرْ‌يَةِ الَّتِي كَانَت تَّعْمَلُ الْخَبَائِثَ ۗ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَوْمَ سَوْءٍ فَاسِقِينَ  وَأَدْخَلْنَاهُ فِي رَ‌حْمَتِنَا ۖ إِنَّهُ مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ

And to Loot We gave judgement and knowledge, and We saved him from the city that was committing wicked deeds. Indeed, they were a people of evil, defiantly disobedient. And We admitted him into Our mercy. Indeed, he was of the righteous. [21:74-75]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, writes the following about these ayaat:

هذا ثناء من الله على رسوله ‏‏لوط‏‏ عليه السلام بالعلم الشرعي، والحكم بين الناس، بالصواب والسداد، وأن الله أرسله إلى قومه، يدعوهم إلى عبادة الله، وينهاهم عما هم عليه من الفواحش، فلبث يدعوهم، فلم يستجيبوا له، فقلب الله عليهم ديارهم وعذبهم عن آخرهم لأنهم ‏{‏قَوْمَ سَوْءٍ فَاسِقِينَ‏}‏ كذبوا الداعي، وتوعدوه بالإخراج، ونجى الله لوطا وأهله، فأمره أن يسري بهم ليلا، ليبعدوا عن القرية، فسروا ونجوا، من فضل الله عليهم ومنته‏.‏

This is commendation from Allah upon His Messenger Loot (‘alaihis salaam) for his knowledge of the divine law, and his judging between the people with truthfulness and uprightness. And Allah sent him to his people, to call them to the worship of Allah, and to prohibit them from those immoralities which they were upon. And he stayed there inviting them, but they did not respond to him, so Allah overturned their houses and punished them in the hereafter because they were “people of evil, defiantly disobedient“, denying the caller, and vowing to drive him out. But Allah saved Loot and his family, so He ordered him to travel with them by night, to get far away from the city, so they were concealed and saved by the favour and provision of Allah upon them.

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The Sacred Months

Allah سبحانه وتعالى informed the believers in His Book when He said:

إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ‌ عِندَ اللَّـهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ‌ شَهْرً‌ا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّـهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضَ مِنْهَا أَرْ‌بَعَةٌ حُرُ‌مٌ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ ۚ فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمْ

Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them” [9:36]

Ibn Kathir mentions in his great book of tafsir:

وقال علي بن أبي طلحة، عن ابن عباس قوله: {إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا} الآية {فَلا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ أَنْفُسَكُمْ} في كلِّهن، ثم اختص من ذلك أربعة أشهر فجعلهن حراما، وعَظم حُرُماتهن، وجعل الذنب فيهن أعظم، والعمل الصالح والأجر أعظم

‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas about the statement, “Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months” until “so do not commit injustice against yourselves therein” [meaning] in any of them, then He specified four months* from those and he made them sacred, and He emphasized their sacredness, and made sins in them magnified, and righteous actions and the reward (also) magnified. Continue reading

“Work! for everyone is facilitated for what he was created.” Sharh al-Mubaarakfoori

‘Ali narrated:

بَيْنَمَا نَحْنُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَهُوَ يَنْكُتُ فِي الأَرْضِ إِذْ رَفَعَ رَأْسَهُ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ ثُمَّ قَالَ

“We were with the Messenger of Allah and he was scraping the ground, when he raised his head to the heavens, then said:

مَا مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلاَّ قَدْ عُلِمَ

‘There is not one of you except that his place is known’

وَقَالَ وَكِيعٌ إِلاَّ قَدْ كُتِبَ مَقْعَدُهُ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَقْعَدُهُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ

Waaki’ said [in his narration of the event]: ‘His place has been decreed, in the fire, or his place in Jannah.’

قَالُوا أَفَلاَ نَتَّكِلُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ

They said: ‘Shall we not rely upon this, O Messenger of Allah?’

قَالَ ‏”‏ لاَ اعْمَلُوا فَكُلٌّ مُيَسَّرٌ لِمَا خُلِقَ لَهُ ‏”

He said: ‘No. Work! for everyone is facilitated for what he was created.'”

[al-Tirmidhi #2135 Saheeh]

Imam al-Mubaarakfoori, in his explanation of Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi, wrote the following in part of his explanation of this hadeeth:

( أفلا نتكل يا رسول الله ) الفاء معقبة لشيء محذوف تقديره فإذا كان كذلك أفلا نتكل ، وزاد في رواية : أفلا نتكل على كتابنا وندع العمل أي نعتمد على ما قدر علينا  .

‘Shall we not rely upon this, O Messenger of Allah?’” – meaning, if it is like that then shall we rely upon this? And there is the addition in (another) narration, “Shall we not depend upon what has been written for us and give up deeds?” [Bukhari #474] – meaning, we would rely on what has been decreed for us.

( قال لا ) أي لا تتكلوا ، وحاصل السؤال ألا نترك مشقة العمل فإنا سنصير إلى ما قدر علينا ، وحاصل الجواب لا مشقة لأن كل أحد ميسر لما خلق له وهو يسير على من يسره الله ،

He said, ‘No’” – meaning, do not depend on this. And the question carries the meaning of, ‘shouldn’t we abandon the difficulties of performing deeds for verily we will be aided in carrying out what has been decreed for us’, and the answer carries the meaning of, ‘there is no difficulty, because everyone is facilitated to do that for which he was created, so it is easy for whomever Allah has facilitated it for him’.

وقال الطيبي : الجواب من الأسلوب الحكيم منعهم عن ترك العمل وأمرهم بالتزام ما يجب على العبد من العبودية وزجرهم عن التصرف في الأمور المغيبة فلا يجعلوا العبادة وتركها سببا مستقلا لدخول الجنة والنار بل هي علامات فقط

Al-Tayybi said: the answer is one of wise methods of preventing them for abandoning the performance of good deeds, and commanding them to fulfill what is obligatory upon every servant in terms of worship, and rebuking them for distorting (their perception) of the affairs of the unseen. For their performance of worship or abandonment thereof is not a factor completely unrelated to entrance into jannah or the hellfire, rather it is a sign of that.

[Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi #2136]

Forbidding the permissible to prevent the forbidden: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In surah al-Baqarah, Allah instructs the believers with the following command:

‏‏يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقُولُوا رَاعِنَا وَقُولُوا انْظُرْنَا وَاسْمَعُوا وَلِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

“O you who believe! Do not say, ‘attend to us,’ but say, ‘bear with us,’ and listen. And the unbelievers will have a painful punishment.” [2:104]

In his book of tafsir, Imam al-Sa’di has mentioned the following points of benefit concerning this ayah:

كان المسلمون يقولون حين خطابهم للرسول عند تعلمهم أمر الدين‏:‏ ‏{‏رَاعِنَا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ راع أحوالنا‏,‏ فيقصدون بها معنى صحيحا، وكان اليهود يريدون بها معنى فاسدا‏,‏ فانتهزوا الفرصة‏,‏ فصاروا يخاطبون الرسول بذلك‏,‏ ويقصدون المعنى الفاسد، فنهى الله المؤمنين عن هذه الكلمة‏,‏ سدا لهذا الباب، ففيه النهي عن الجائز‏,‏ إذا كان وسيلة إلى محرم، وفيه الأدب‏,‏ واستعمال الألفاظ‏,‏ التي لا تحتمل إلا الحسن‏,‏ وعدم الفحش‏,‏ وترك الألفاظ القبيحة‏,‏ أو التي فيها نوع تشويش أو احتمال لأمر غير لائق، فأمرهم بلفظة لا تحتمل إلا الحسن فقال‏:‏ ‏{‏وَقُولُوا انْظُرْنَا‏}‏ فإنها كافية يحصل بها المقصود من غير محذور،

During their addresses to the Messenger while he was teaching them the matters of the deen, the Muslims used to say, “attend to us”, meaning take care and bear in mind our situation, so they intended a good and honest meaning by this. But the Jews intended a wicked meaning by this*, so they seized the opportunity and they began to address the Messenger with that, intending thereby a wicked meaning. So Allah prohibited the believers from this phrase, thereby closing off this avenue. So in this is the prohibition of something permissible when it is a gateway to what is forbidden. And in this is a point of etiquette, in using wordings which only convey good (meanings) and the opposite of vulgar (meanings), and abandoning despicable wordings or those which have some kind of muddled or deranged meaning, or those which convey something inappropriate. So He commanded them with wordings which only convey good (meanings), so He said, “but say ‘bear with us’“, for verily that is sufficient in conveying the intended meaning without any problem.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 54]

Translator’s note: This is further explained elsewhere by Allah’s statement in surah al-Nisaa’:

مِّنَ الَّذِينَ هَادُوا يُحَرِّ‌فُونَ الْكَلِمَ عَن مَّوَاضِعِهِ وَيَقُولُونَ سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا وَاسْمَعْ غَيْرَ‌ مُسْمَعٍ وَرَ‌اعِنَا لَيًّا بِأَلْسِنَتِهِمْ وَطَعْنًا فِي الدِّينِ ۚ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا وَاسْمَعْ وَانظُرْ‌نَا لَكَانَ خَيْرً‌ا لَّهُمْ وَأَقْوَمَ وَلَـٰكِن لَّعَنَهُمُ اللَّـهُ بِكُفْرِ‌هِمْ فَلَا يُؤْمِنُونَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

“Among the Jews are those who distort words from their [proper] usages and say, ‘We hear and disobey’ and ‘Hear but be not heard’ and ‘Raa’ina,’ twisting their tongues and defaming the religion. And if they had said [instead], ‘We hear and obey’ and ‘Wait for us [to understand],’ it would have been better for them and more suitable. But Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not, except for a few.” [4:46]

For more on how the Prophet dealt with the distortions of the Jews, see also: Overlooking the foolishness of those upon falsehood: Sharh al-Nawawi

See also: “Do not insult those they invoke other than Allah”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The Preservation of the Qur’an and the Preservation of the Tawrah: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: Notes on Allah’s Might and Wisdom: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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

The great mufassir and haafidh Ismaa’eel Ibn Kathir devoted one section of the introduction to his famous and invaluable book of tafsir to the famous hadeeth narrated by ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan that the Prophet said (ﷺ):

 خَيْرُكُمْ مَنْ تَعَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ وَعَلَّمَهُ

The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.

[al-Bukhari and Muslim]

After mentioning and discussing the various chains of narration of wordings of this hadeeth, Imam ibn Kathir then wrote the following words:

 والغرض أنه – عليه الصلاة والسلام – قال : خيركم من تعلم القرآن وعلمه وهذه من صفات المؤمنين المتبعين للرسل ، وهم الكمل في أنفسهم ، المكملون لغيرهم ، وذلك جمع بين النفع القاصر والمتعدي ، وهذا بخلاف صفة الكفار الجبارين الذين لا ينفعون ، ولا يتركون أحدا ممن أمكنهم أن ينتفع ، كما قال تعالى : ( الذين كفروا وصدوا عن سبيل الله زدناهم عذابا فوق العذاب ) [ النحل : 88 ] ، وكما قال تعالى : ( وهم ينهون عنه وينأون عنه ) [ الأنعام : 26 ] ، .

And the purpose that he (ﷺ) said, “The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it” is that this is from the characteristics of the believers who followed the messengers, and they perfected it in themselves, and perfect it in others, so this combines between benefit that is limited to themselves and benefit that extends and reaches others.

This is in contrast to the characteristics of oppressive disbelievers who do not benefit others, nor do they allow anyone who could benefit others to do so, This is as Allah said,

الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَصَدُّوا عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ زِدْنَاهُمْ عَذَابًا فَوْقَ الْعَذَابِ

Those who disbelieved and averted others from the way of Allah – We will increase them in punishment upon punishment [16:88]

and as He said,

وَهُمْ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ وَيَنْأَوْنَ عَنْهُ ۖ وَإِن يُهْلِكُونَ إِلَّا أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ

They prevent others from it and they themselves keep away from it [6:26] Continue reading

The original Ash’aris

Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) said,

إن الأشعريين إذا أرملوا في الغزو أو قل طعام عيالهم بالمدينة جمعوا ما كان عندهم في ثوب واحد ثم اقتسموه بينهم في إناء واحد بالسوية فهم مني وأنا منهم

“When the Ash’ariyoon [a tribe from Yemen] run short of food during an expedition or when they are at home in Al-Madinah, they gather all the provisions they have in a single sheet and then divide it equally among themselves. They are of me and I am of them.” [al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his explanation of Saheeh Muslim, writes about this hadith:

قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( إن الأشعريين إذا أرملوا في الغزو إلى آخره ) معنى ( أرملوا ) فني طعامهم . وفي هذا الحديث فضيلة الأشعريين ، وفضيلة الإيثار والمواساة ، وفضيلة خلط الأزواد في السفر ، وفضيلة جمعها في شيء عند قلتها في الحضر ، ثم يقسم ، وليس المراد بهذا القسمة المعروفة في كتب الفقه بشروطها ، ومنعها في الربويات ، واشتراط المواساة وغيرها ، وإنما المراد هنا إباحة بعضهم بعضا ومواساتهم بالموجود .

His statement, “When the Ash’ariyoon run short of food during an expedition…“; the meaning of “run short” is that their food supply dwindles. And this hadith includes the excellence of the Ash’ariyoon, and the excellence of the altruism and sympathetic charity, and the virtue of mixing the provision during travel, and the virtue of gathering them in something when they are small in number, then dividing them (equally). And the well-known division found in the books of fiqh involving contractual agreements is not the intended meaning here, and preventing it from becoming usurious, whether based on altruistic charity or otherwise. And the only meaning here is the permissibility of some (giving) to others in altruistic charity. Continue reading