“Clothed in the world but naked in the hereafter!”: Fath al-Baari

The Mother of the Believers Umm Salamah narrates that:

أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم اسْتَيْقَظَ لَيْلَةً فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ مَاذَا أُنْزِلَ اللَّيْلَةَ مِنَ الْفِتْنَةِ، مَاذَا أُنْزِلَ مِنَ الْخَزَائِنِ مَنْ يُوقِظُ صَوَاحِبَ الْحُجُرَاتِ، يَا رُبَّ كَاسِيَةٍ فِي الدُّنْيَا عَارِيَةٍ فِي الآخِرَةِ ‏”‏‏

One night the Prophet (ﷺ) got up and said, “SubhanAllah! How many fitan Allah has revealed tonight and how many treasures have been sent down! Who will awaken the women sleeping in these dwellings? O Lord! How many are clothed in this world, yet naked in the hereafter!”

[al-Bukhari #1126]

Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalaani, in his commentary on Saheeh al-Bukhari, writes the following in part of his notes on this hadeeth:

واختلف في المراد بقوله : كاسية وعارية “

There is differing about the intended meaning of ‘clothed’ and ‘naked’.

على أوجه أحدها كاسية في الدنيا بالثياب لوجود الغنى عارية في الآخرة من الثواب لعدم العمل في الدنيا ،  .

According to the first perspective: clothed in the dunya with clothing for the purpose of ostentation and naked in the aakhirah in terms of reward due to the absence of (good) deeds in the dunya.

ثانيها كاسية بالثياب لكنها شفافة لا تستر عورتها فتعاقب في الآخرة بالعري جزاء على ذلك ،

The second perspective: clothed with clothing, however it is transparent and does not cover her ‘awrah, so she will be punished in the aakhirah with nakedness as a recompense for that.

Continue reading

The Sibghah of Allah: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah mentions in surah al-Baqarah:

صِبْغَةَ اللَّـهِ ۖ وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللَّـهِ صِبْغَةً ۖ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ عَابِدُونَ

The Sibghah* of Allah, and which Sibghah can be better than Allah’s? And we are, to Him,  worshippers. [2:138]

*Translator’s note: the word sibghah linguistically means a dye or coloring, however the majority of the mufassiroon explain it here to refer to the deen of Allah. Imam al-Baghawi captures the intent of this dual meaning well when he reports:

قوله تعالى : ( صبغة الله ) قال ابن عباس في رواية الكلبي وقتادة والحسن : دين الله ، وإنما سماه صبغة لأنه يظهر أثر الدين على المتدين كما يظهر أثر الصبغ على الثوب

And His statement, “the sibghah of Allah” – Ibn ‘Abbaas said in the narration of al-Kalbi, as did Qataadah and al-Hasan: [it means] the deen of Allah, and it is only called sibghah [dye, coloring] because the effects of the deen manifestly appear on one who adheres to the deen just as the effects of the dyes manifestly appear on the clothing.

[Tafsir al-Baghawi 1/158]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, commented on this ayah by writing:

أي‏:‏ الزموا صبغة الله‏,‏ وهو دينه‏,‏ وقوموا به قيامًا تامًا‏,‏ بجميع أعماله الظاهرة والباطنة‏,‏ وجميع عقائده في جميع الأوقات‏,‏ حتى يكون لكم صبغة‏,‏ وصفة من صفاتكم، فإذا كان صفة من صفاتكم‏,‏ أوجب ذلك لكم الانقياد لأوامره‏,‏ طوعا واختيارًا ومحبة‏,‏ وصار الدين طبيعة لكم بمنزلة الصبغ التام للثوب الذي صار له صفة‏,‏ فحصلت لكم السعادة الدنيوية والأخروية‏,‏ لحث الدين على مكارم الأخلاق‏,‏ ومحاسن الأعمال‏,‏ ومعالي الأمور، فلهذا قال ـ على سبيل التعجب المتقرر للعقول الزكية ـ ‏:‏ ‏{‏وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللَّهِ صِبْغَةً‏}‏ أي‏:‏ لا أحسن صبغة من صبغته‏.‏

Meaning: they have been prescribed the sibghah of Allah, and it is His deen, and to establish it in the correct way and in its totality, with all of the its acts – both outwardly and inwardly – and with all of its beliefs during all times, until it becomes like a sibghah [dye, coloring] for them and one of their attributes. So then when it is one of their attributes, that mandates that they would conform to its commands in obedience, by their own choice and loving to do so. The deen would become part of their very nature like a sibghah which has completely dyed an article of clothing such that it took on that attribute (of its color). And this would entail happiness in this life and in the hereafter for them, since the deen stimulates them towards noble manners, excellent actions, and lofty affairs. So because of this as a rhetorical means of affirming the point for those of pure minds He said, “and which Sibghah can be better than Allah’s?” – meaning: there is no better sibghah than His sibghah. Continue reading

“Be more concerned about the acceptance of deeds than the deeds themselves”

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali writes in his discussion of saying farewell to Ramadan:

ومَن نقص من العمل الذي عليه نُقِّصَ من الأجر بحسب نقصه ، فلا يلم إلا نفسه . قال سلمان : الصلاة مكيال ، فمن وَفَّى وُفِّي له ، ومن طَفَّفَ فقد علمتم ما قيل في المطففين . فالصيام وسائر الاعمال على هذا منوال ؛ من وَفَّاها فهو من خيار عباد الله الموفّين ، ومن طَفَّفَ فيها فويل للمطففين . أما يستحيي من يستوفي مكيال شهواته ، ويطفف في مكيال صيامه وصلاته ، ألا بعدا للمذنبين . في الحديث < أسوأ الناس سرقة الذي يسرق صلاته > . إذا كان ويل لمن طفف مكيال الدنيا ، فكيف حال من طفف مكيال الدين ! <فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ * الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صَلَاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ >.ـ

Whoever is deficient in actions which then results in a reduction in reward according to his shortcomings, then he has no one to blame except himself. Salman said, “The ṣalaat is a measurement, so whoever fulfills their due then he will be repaid in full for it, and whoever is deficient in fulfilling their due, then you already know what is said concerning the muṭaffifeen [see 83:1-6].” So fasting and the rest of the actions follow this same pattern: whoever fulfills their due then he is from the best of the slaves of Allah who fulfill their due, and whoever is deficient in fulfilling their due then woe to the muṭaffifeen

Isn’t he ashamed, the one who fulfills the full measure of his desires and falls short of fulfilling the full measure of his fasting and prayer? Rather, the sinful one is on the brink of destruction! And the hadeeth mentions, “The worst of people in thievery is the one who steals from his prayer”. Then if there is woe for the one who falls short of fulfilling the due measure in this dunya, then what about the one who falls short of fulfilling the full measure of the deen!?So woe to those who pray but they are heedless of their prayers” [107:4-5] Continue reading

An encouragement towards rectification in the last days of Ramadan: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali writes in the conclusion of his discussion of the last ten days of Ramadan:

إخواني ! المعوّل على القبول لا على الاجتهاد ، والاعتبار ببر القلوب لا بعمل الأبدان .ربُّ قائم حظه من قيامه السهر ؛ كم من قائم محروم ، ومن نائم مرحوم ؛ هذا نام وقلبه ذاكر ، وهذا قام وقلبه فاجر .

O my brothers! The final determination [of deeds] depends on the acceptance and not on striving, and the account is according to the birr (righteousness) of the heart and not according to physical actions. Perhaps the one who stands the night in prayer has only gained sleeplessness – for how many of those who stand are deprived [of Allah’s mercy] and how many of those who sleep are given mercy. This one sleeps while his heart is attendant [to his Lord], and this one stands while his heart is immoral.

إن المقادير إذا ساعدت ***** ألحقت النائم بالقائم

Verily the measurement for one of ultimate blessing;
he is joined with those who stand in prayer even while he is sleeping Continue reading

Fasting is prescribed for you in order that you may become al-muttaqoon: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah informs the believers about the prescription of fasting in surah al-Baqarah when He says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

O you who believe! Observing the fast is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, in order that you may become Al-Muttaqun [2:183]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, writes the following points of benefit concerning this ayah:

يخبر تعالى بما منَّ به على عباده‏,‏ بأنه فرض عليهم الصيام‏,‏ كما فرضه على الأمم السابقة‏,‏ لأنه من الشرائع والأوامر التي هي مصلحة للخلق في كل زمان‏.‏

Allah informs us of this blessing of His upon His slaves, that He has prescribed fasting upon them just as He had prescribed it for the previous nations, because it is part of the divine legislations and commands which are beneficial for the creation in all eras.

وفيه تنشيط لهذه الأمة‏,‏ بأنه ينبغي لكم أن تنافسوا غيركم في تكميل الأعمال‏,‏ والمسارعة إلى صالح الخصال‏,‏ وأنه ليس من الأمور الثقيلة‏,‏ التي اختصيتم بها‏.‏

And in this is an encouragement for this ummah, that is should be to them as if they are competing against others in the completion and perfection of deeds, and rushing towards the beneficial qualities, and that this is not a burdensome affair which has been singled out for them exclusively. Continue reading

Blessed are those who read the Book of Allah and act accordingly

Imam al-Qurtubi, in his book of tafsir, reports that Qataadah said:

ذكر لنا أن عيسى – عليه السلام – رأته امرأة يحيي الموتى ، ويبرئ الأكمه والأبرص في سائر آياته فقالت : طوبى للبطن الذي حملك ، والثدي الذي أرضعك ؛ فقال لها عيسى – عليه السلام – : طوبى لمن تلا كتاب الله تعالى واتبع ما فيه وعمل به

“It has reached us that a woman saw ‘Eesaa (Jesus – ‘alaihis salaam) restoring life to the dead and healing the blind and the leper and the rest of his miracles, so she said, “Blessed be the womb which bore you, and the breast which suckled you!” So ‘Eesaa said to her, “Blessed be the one who reads the Book of Allah and follows what is in it, and acts in accordance with it.”

[Jaami’ li-Ahkam al-Qur’an 11/32]

Ibn Abi Shaybah recorded a similar narration from Khaithamah saying:

 مرت بعيسى امرأة فقالت : طوبى لبطن حملك ، ولثدي أرضعك ، فقال عيسى : بل طوبى لمن قرأ القرآن واتبع ما فيه .

Once a woman said to ‘Eesaa, “Blessed be the womb that bore you, and the breast that suckled you!” So ‘Eesaa replied, “Rather, Blessed be the one who reads the revelation and follows what is in it.”

[Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah 7/463]

Ibn Manthoor brings a similar narration from Khaithamah with the wording: Continue reading

“The people will remain on good as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast” : Fath al-Bari

Sahl ibn Sa’d narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

لاَ يَزَالُ النَّاسُ بِخَيْرٍ مَا عَجَّلُوا الْفِطْرَ

The people will remain on good as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast.

[al-Bukhari #1957]

Ibn Hajr, in his commentary on Saheeh al-Bukhari, wrote the following comments on this hadeeth:

قوله : ( باب تعجيل الإفطار ) قال ابن عبد البر : أحاديث تعجيل الإفطار وتأخير السحور صحاح متواترة . وعند عبد الرزاق وغيره بإسناد صحيح عن عمرو بن ميمون الأودي قال : ” كان أصحاب محمد – صلى الله عليه وسلم – أسرع الناس ، إفطارا وأبطأهم سحورا ” .

His [i.e. Imam al-Bukhari’s] statement, “The chapter of hastening the breaking of the fast” – ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said: The ahaadeeth of hastening the breaking of the fasting and postponing the suhoor are authentic and mutawaatir. And reported from ‘Abd al-Razzaaq and others with an authentic chain of narration from ‘Amr ibn Maymoon al-Awdi, “The companions of Muhammad (ﷺ) were the quickest of people in breaking the fast, and the slowest of people on taking the suhoor.”

قوله : ( عن أبي حازم ) هو ابن دينار .

And his statement, “narrated from Abi Haazim” – that is ibn Deenaar.

قوله : ( لا يزال الناس بخير ) في حديث أبي هريرة : ” لا يزال الدين ظاهرا ” وظهور الدين مستلزم لدوام الخير .

And his [i.e. the Prophet’s (ﷺ)] statement, “The people will remain on good” – in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah, it says, “The deen will continue to prevail” and the prevailing of the deen is a prerequisite for the continuance of good. Continue reading

“Those who listen to speech and follow the best of it”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in His Book in surah al-Zumar:

وَالَّذِينَ اجْتَنَبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ أَن يَعْبُدُوهَا وَأَنَابُوا إِلَى اللَّـهِ لَهُمُ الْبُشْرَ‌ىٰ ۚ فَبَشِّرْ‌ عِبَادِ * الَّذِينَ يَسْتَمِعُونَ الْقَوْلَ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ أَحْسَنَهُ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ هَدَاهُمُ اللَّـهُ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمْ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

“But those who have avoided Taaghoot, lest they worship it, and turned back to Allah – for them are good tidings. So give good tidings to My servants, those who listen to speech and follow the best of it. Those are the ones Allah has guided, and those are people of understanding.” [39:17-18]

Imam al-Sa’di explains this in his tafsir by writing:

لما ذكر حال المجرمين ذكر حال المنيبين وثوابهم، فقال‏:‏ ‏(‏وَالَّذِينَ اجْتَنَبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ أَنْ يَعْبُدُوهَا‏)‏ والمراد بالطاغوت في هذا الموضع، عبادة غير اللّه، فاجتنبوها في عبادتها‏.‏ وهذا من أحسن الاحتراز من الحكيم العليم، لأن المدح إنما يتناول المجتنب لها في عبادتها‏.‏

When Allah mentions the condition of the ­mujrimun (polytheists, sinners, criminals, the disobedient to Allah, etc.), He also mentions the condition of the repentant and their reward, so He said, “But those who have avoided Taaghoot, lest they worship it” – and the intended meaning here of al-Taaghoot is the worship of other than Allah, so avoid them and their worship. And this is one of the best acts of caution concerning al-Hakeem al-Aleem (The Wise and all-Knowing), because the commendation (from Allah, for this action) is only dealing with avoiding them and their worship. Continue reading

Allah’s commendations for those who pray during the night

The great muhaddith, haadifh and faqeeh, Imam ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, wrote the following in his book Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif concerning the virtue of the night prayer (qiyaam al-lail):

وفي المسند عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن النبي قيل له : إنّ فلاناً يصلي من الليل, فإذا أصبح سَرَقَ, فقال :(سينهاه ما تقول). لأن وقت التهجد من الليل أفضل أوقات التطوع بالصلاة, وأقرب ما يكون العبد من ربّه, وهو وقت فتح أبواب السماء واستجابة الدعاء, واستعراض حواؤج السائلين. وقد مدح الله تعالى المستيقظين بالليل لذكره ودعائه واستغفاره ومناجاته. ـ

And in the musnad [of imam Ahmad] from Abu Hurayrah (raadiAllaahu ‘anhu) that it was said to the Prophet (ﷺ), “Verily so-and-so prays during the night, so what if it happens that he steals?” So he replied, “It [i.e. the prayer] will prevent him from doing what you said.”

This is because the time of tahajjud during the night is the best of times from the voluntary prayers, and it is when the slave is nearest to his Lord. It is the time when the doors of the heavens open and the supplications are responded to, and the needs of the petitioners are acknowledged.

And Allah the Exalted has praised those who awake during the night for His remembrance, supplication to Him, seeking His forgiveness, and seeking His protection.

فقال الله تعالى :  تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَ‌بَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَ‌زَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ  فَلَا تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَّا أُخْفِيَ لَهُم مِّن قُرَّ‌ةِ أَعْيُنٍ جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ . ـ

For Allah the Exalted said:

تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَ‌بَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَ‌زَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ  فَلَا تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَّا أُخْفِيَ لَهُم مِّن قُرَّ‌ةِ أَعْيُنٍ جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend out of what We have bestowed on them. No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do. [32:16-17] Continue reading

“For every period of zeal and enthusiam there is a slackening off”: Sharh al-Mubaarakfoori

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ) said:

إِنَّ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ شِرَّةً وَلِكُلِّ شِرَّةٍ فَتْرَةً فَإِنْ كَانَ صَاحِبُهَا سَدَّدَ وَقَارَبَ فَارْجُوهُ وَإِنْ أُشِيرَ إِلَيْهِ بِالأَصَابِعِ فَلاَ تَعُدُّوهُ

Everything has a period of zeal & enthusiasm, and for every period of zeal & enthusiasm there is a slackening off. So if a person is moderate and avoids extremes, then you may have hope for him, but if ‘fingers are pointed at him’, then don’t count him as anything.

[Jaami’a al-Tirmidhi #2453. Graded as ‘hasan’ by sheikh al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb #57.]

Sheikh al-Mubaarakfoori wrote the following in his explanation of Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi:

 قوله : ( إن لكل شيء شرة ) بكسر الشين المعجمة وتشديد الراء أي حرصا على الشيء ونشاطا ورغبة في الخير أو الشر ( ولكل شرة فترة ) بفتح الفاء وسكون التاء أي وهنا وضعفا وسكونا ( فإن ) شرطية ( صاحبها سدد وقارب ) أي جعل صاحب الشرة عمله متوسطا وتجنب طرفي إفراط الشرة وتفريط الفترة ( فأرجوه ) أي أرجو الفلاح منه فإنه يمكنه الدوام على الوسط ، وأحب الأعمال إلى الله أدومها ( وإن أشير إليه بالأصابع ) أي اجتهد وبالغ في العمل ليصير مشهورا بالعبادة والزهد وسار مشهورا مشارا إليه ( فلا تعدوه ) أي لا تعتدوا به ولا تحسبوه من الصالحين لكونه مرائيا ، ولم يقل فلا ترجوه إشارة إلى أنه قد سقط ولم يمكنه تدارك ما فرط . ـ

His statement, “Everything has a period of zeal & enthusiasm” – meaning interest in a thing, and excitement and desire, whether good or bad – “and for every period of zeal & enthusiasm there is a slackening off” – meaning loss of vigor and weakness and settling. “So if” – a conditionality – “a person is moderate and avoids extremes” – meaning if he controls his enthusiasm and makes his actions balanced, and avoids the two extremes of the excess of zealous enthusiasm and the deficiency of slackening off – “then you may have hope for him” – meaning, hope for his success, for verily he is able to persistently continue upon moderation, and the most beloved deeds to Allaah and the most consistent. “But if fingers are pointed at him” – meaning he is striving hard and exaggerating in deeds in order to become famous for his worship and asceticism, so that he will be famous and people will point at him in awe – “then don’t count him as anything” – meaning don’t think highly of him and don’t consider him as one of the righteous, rather he is showing off to be seen by others. And he did not say, “and do not hope for him“, indicating that he has fallen and he is not able to catch what he missed. Continue reading