“Our eyes shed tears and our hearts grieve, but we do not say anything except what pleases our Lord”: Sharh al-Nawawi

Anas ibn Maalik narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ وُلِدَ لِيَ اللَّيْلَةَ غُلاَمٌ فَسَمَّيْتُهُ بِاسْمِ أَبِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ دَفَعَهُ إِلَى أُمِّ سَيْفٍ امْرَأَةِ قَيْنٍ يُقَالُ لَهُ أَبُو سَيْفٍ فَانْطَلَقَ يَأْتِيهِ وَاتَّبَعْتُهُ فَانْتَهَيْنَا إِلَى أَبِي سَيْفٍ وَهُوَ يَنْفُخُ بِكِيرِهِ قَدِ امْتَلأَ الْبَيْتُ دُخَانًا فَأَسْرَعْتُ الْمَشْىَ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقُلْتُ يَا أَبَا سَيْفٍ أَمْسِكْ جَاءَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏.‏ فَأَمْسَكَ فَدَعَا النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِالصَّبِيِّ فَضَمَّهُ إِلَيْهِ وَقَالَ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَقُولَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ أَنَسٌ لَقَدْ رَأَيْتُهُ وَهُوَ يَكِيدُ بِنَفْسِهِ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَدَمَعَتْ عَيْنَا رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ ‏”‏ تَدْمَعُ الْعَيْنُ وَيَحْزَنُ الْقَلْبُ وَلاَ نَقُولُ إِلاَّ مَا يَرْضَى رَبُّنَا وَاللَّهِ يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ إِنَّا بِكَ لَمَحْزُونُونَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

A child was born into me this night and I named him after the name of my father Ibrahim. He then sent him to Umm Saif, the wife of a blacksmith who was called Abu Saif. He (the Holy Prophet) went to him and I followed him until we reached Abu Saif and he was blowing fire with the help of blacksmith’s bellows and the house was filled with smoke. I hastened my step and went ahead of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and said, “Abu Saif, stop it! as there comes Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ).” He stopped and Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) called for the child. He embraced him and said whatever Allah wished. Anas said: I saw that the boy breathed his last in the presence of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ). The eyes of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) shed tears and he said, “Ibrahim, our eyes shed tears and our hearts are filled with grief, but we do not say anything except that by which our Lord is pleased. O Ibrahim, we are grieved for you.”

[Saheeh Muslim #2315]

Imam al-Nawawi, in part of his commentary on Saheeh Muslim, writes:

قوله : ( فدمعت عينا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إلى آخره ) فيه جواز البكاء على المريض والحزن ، وأن ذلك لا يخالف الرضا بالقدر ، بل هي رحمة جعلها الله في قلوب عباده ، وإنما المذموم الندب والنياحة ، والويل والثبور ، ونحو ذلك من القول الباطل ، ولهذا قال صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” ولا نقول إلا ما يرضي ربنا ” .

In his statement, “The eyes of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) shed tears” until the end of the hadeeth there is the permission to weep in the case of sickness and grief. And that does not contradict being content with the qadr; rather it is a rahmah that Allah has placed in the hearts of His slaves. And what is blameworthy is only lamentation, wailing, excessive weeping and acts of destruction [i.e. ripping clothes, pulling out hair, etc.], and the likes of that in terms of false speech, and it was for this reason that he (ﷺ) said, “but we do not say anything except that by which our Lord is pleased

[Sharh al-Nawawi ‘alaa Muslim #2315]

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Never say, “Verily I will do that tomorrow”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah commands His messenger and by extension all Muslims until the end of time with the following command in surah al-Kahf:

وَلَا تَقُولَنَّ لِشَيْءٍ إِنِّي فَاعِلٌ ذَٰلِكَ غَدًا  إِلَّا أَن يَشَاءَ اللَّـهُ ۚ وَاذْكُر‌ رَّ‌بَّكَ إِذَا نَسِيتَ وَقُلْ عَسَىٰ أَن يَهْدِيَنِ رَ‌بِّي لِأَقْرَ‌بَ مِنْ هَـٰذَا رَ‌شَدًا

“And never say of anything, ‘Indeed, I will do that tomorrow,’ Except [when adding], ‘If Allah wills.’ And remember your Lord when you forget, and say, ‘Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct.'” [18:23-24]

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

هذا النهي كغيره، وإن كان لسبب خاص وموجها للرسول صل الله عليه وسلم، فإن الخطاب عام للمكلفين، فنهى الله أن يقول العبد في الأمور المستقبلة، ‏{‏إني فاعل ذلك‏}‏ من دون أن يقرنه بمشيئة الله، وذلك لما فيه من المحذور، وهو‏:‏ الكلام على الغيب المستقبل، الذي لا يدري، هل يفعله أم لا‏؟‏ وهل تكون أم لا‏؟‏

This is a prohibition like other prohibitions, albeit for a specific reason and directed to the Messenger (ﷺ), however the address is general to all those who are legally capable. For Allah prohibits that the slave should say about future affairs, “Indeed I will do that tomorrow” without pairing that with the (mention of) will of Allah. And that is because one should beware of what that entails, and that is: speaking about the unknown future events, which one does not know – will he do them or not? Will they occur or not? Continue reading

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

One of the numerous topics addressed by Sheikh al-Islam ibn Taymiyah, in his epic work Majmoo’a al-Fataawa, was posed as: “Which is more virtuous: Memorizing the Qur’an, or seeking ‘ilm? The Sheikh’s response:

فأجاب : أما العلم الذي يجب على الإنسان عينا كعلم ما أمر الله به وما نهى الله عنه فهو مقدم على حفظ ما لا يجب من القرآن فإن طلب العلم الأول واجب وطلب الثاني مستحب والواجب مقدم على المستحب .

The answer: As for the ‘ilm which is obligatory for each individual, such as knowledge of what Allah commanded him with and what Allah prohibited him from, then this takes precedence over memorization of what is not obligatory from the Qur’an. Definitely seeking knowledge of the first kind is obligatory while seeking the second kind is commendable, and the obligatory matters take precedence over the commendable ones. Continue reading