Two things for which there are no concessions

Following the great victory for the Muslims at the Battle of al-Qaadisiyyah, Ameer al-Mu’mineen ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab wrote a letter to his commander Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas wherein he said:

أما بعد فإن الله جل وعلا أنزل في كل شيء رخصة في بعد الحالات إلا في أمريم : العدل في السيرة والذكر. فأما الذكر فلا رخصة فيه في حال ، ولم يرض منه إلا كثير . وأما العدل فلا رخصة فيه في قريب ولا بعيد ، ولا في شدة ولا في رجاء. والعدل – وإن رئي لينًا – فهو أقوى وأطفأ للجور ، وأقمع للباطل من الجور

“To proceed: Verily Allah has provided concessions for everything in certain circumstances, except for two things: Justice and Dhikr. As for dhikr (remembrance of Allah), there is no concession under any circumstances and Allah is not pleased with anything except a great deal of it. And as for justice; there is no concession in it, neither at times of hardship nor ease. And justice – even if it appears soft – it is stronger than injustice and is more able to suppress falsehood than injustice.”

[Taareekh al-Tabari 4/410]

See also: “If there had been a concession for anyone in leaving off dhikr…”

See also: “So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Everything has two ends and a middle

“And for that He created them…”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

Allah says in His Book in surah Hud:

وَمَا كَانَ رَ‌بُّكَ لِيُهْلِكَ الْقُرَ‌ىٰ بِظُلْمٍ وَأَهْلُهَا مُصْلِحُونَ * وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَ‌بُّكَ لَجَعَلَ النَّاسَ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً ۖ وَلَا يَزَالُونَ مُخْتَلِفِينَ * إِلَّا مَن رَّ‌حِمَ رَ‌بُّكَ ۚ وَلِذَٰلِكَ خَلَقَهُمْ ۗ وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَةُ رَ‌بِّكَ لَأَمْلَأَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ

And your Lord would not have destroyed the cities unjustly while their people were reformers. And if your Lord had willed, He could have made mankind one community; but they will not cease to differ. Except whom your Lord has given mercy, and for that He created them. But the word of your Lord is to be fulfilled that, “I will surely fill Hell with jinn and men all together.” [11:117-119]

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

قوله تعالى‏{‏وما كان ربك ليهلك القرى‏}‏ أي أهل القرى‏.‏ ‏}‏بظلم‏}‏ أي بشرك وكفر‏.‏ ‏}‏وأهلها مصلحون‏}‏ أي فيما بينهم في تعاطي الحقوق؛ أي لم يكن ليهلكهم بالكفر وحده حتى ينضاف إليه الفساد، كما أهلك قوم شعيب ببخس المكيال والميزان، وقوم لوط باللواط؛ ودل هذا على أن المعاصي أقرب إلى عذاب الاستئصال في الدنيا من الشرك، وإن كان عذاب الشرك في الآخرة أصعب‏.‏

And Allah’s statement, “And your Lord would not have destroyed the cities” – meaning the people of the cities – “unjustly” – meaning for their shirk and kufr – “while their people were reformers” – meaning that amongst them were those gave each other their rights. Meaning that He would did not destroy them for kufr alone until they add corruption to that, such as the people of Shu’aib when they undervalued the weight and measure [in their financial transactions], or the people of Lut for their sodomy. And this shows that disobedience is more conducive to an eradicating punishment in the dunya than al-shirk, even though the punishment of al-shirk is more severe in the aakhirah Continue reading

The sad story of ‘Imran ibn Hittaan

There was an interesting individual from the time of the Tabi’een, whose name was ‘Imran ibn Ḥiṭṭān. Both Imam al-Dhahabi and Imam Ibn Kathir mentioned his biography in their historical works.

Ibn Kathir, in his massive work of history, al-Bidayah w’al-Nihayah, summarized ibn Ḥiṭṭān’s biography by writing:

عمران بن حطان الخارجي، كان أولا من أهل السنة والجماعة فتزوج امرأة من الخوارج حسنة جميلة جدا فأحبها. وكان هو دميم الشكل، فأراد أن يردها إلى السنة فأبت فارتد معها إلى مذهبها

“‘Imran ibn Ḥiṭṭān al-Khaarijee. He was originally among Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, but then he married a woman from the Khawaarij who was extremely beautiful, so he loved her. And he himself was ugly and misshapen. So he intended to return her to the sunnah, but she adamantly refused, so he apostatized with her to her way (i.e. became a Khaarijee after have been a scholar of Ahl al-Sunnah!).”

[al-Bidayah w’al-Nihayah 9/64]

Imam al-Dhahabi wrote about him saying: Continue reading

Referring issues back to their experts – Imam al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah al-Nisaa’:

وَإِذَا جَاءَهُمْ أَمْرٌ‌ مِّنَ الْأَمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُوا بِهِ ۖ وَلَوْ رَ‌دُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّ‌سُولِ وَإِلَىٰ أُولِي الْأَمْرِ‌ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ ۗ وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّـهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَ‌حْمَتُهُ لَاتَّبَعْتُمُ الشَّيْطَانَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

And when there comes to them information about [public] security or fear, they spread it around. But if they had referred it back to the Messenger or to those of authority among them, in order that the ones who [can] draw correct conclusions from it would have known about it. And were it not for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy, you would have followed Shaytaan, except for a few. [4:83]

Commenting on this in his famous book of tafsir, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di wrote:

هذا تأديب من الله لعباده عن فعلهم هذا غير اللائق. وأنه ينبغي لهم إذا جاءهم أمر من الأمور المهمة والمصالح العامة ما يتعلق بالأمن وسرور المؤمنين، أو بالخوف الذي فيه مصيبة عليهم أن يتثبتوا ولا يستعجلوا بإشاعة ذلك الخبر، بل يردونه إلى الرسول وإلى أولي الأمر منهم، أهلِ الرأي: والعلم والنصح والعقل والرزانة، الذين يعرفون الأمور ويعرفون المصالح وضدها. ـ

This is a chastisement from Allah to His slaves for their committing an act which was inappropriate.[1] And when an issue comes to them from among the issues of importance and public well-being related to (public) safety and the secrets of the believers or concerning fear of a crisis for them, in order that they may be fortified and not take part in spreading that news it is befitting for them that they should refer it back to the Messenger and to those in authority among them – the experts: those of ‘ilm, sincerity, intelligence and poise, those who know the issues and know the pros and cons. Continue reading

The Prophet Muhammad is the fulfillment of Ibrahim’s du’a : Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

In his discussion of the month of Rabee’ al-Awwaal, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali discussed some of the virtues of the Prophet and his prophet-hood. During this discussion he mentioned some of the proofs foretelling Muhammad’s prophet-hood, and began by writing:

 الدليل الأول : دعوة أبيه إبراهيم عليه السلام ، و أشار بذلك إلى ما قص الله في كتابه عن إبراهيم و إسماعيل لأنهما قالا عند بناء البيت الذي بمكة : { ربنا تقبل منا إنك أنت السميع العليم * ربنا و اجعلنا مسلمين لك و من ذريتنا أمة مسلمة لك و أرنا مناسكنا و تب علينا إنك أنت التواب الرحيم * ربنا و ابعث فيهم رسولا منهم يتلو عليهم آياتك و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و يزكيهم إنك أنت العزيز الحكيم } ـ

The first proof: The supplication of his forefather Ibrahim (‘alaihi al-salaam), and that points to what Allah narrated in His Book about Ibrahim and Ismaa’eel that when they were building the House in Mecca they said,

Continue reading

The command to extol the Prophet, and the punishment for harming him or the believers: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah mentions the following in surah al-Ahzaab:

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا * إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ اللَّـهَ وَرَ‌سُولَهُ لَعَنَهُمُ اللَّـهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَ‌ةِ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ عَذَابًا مُّهِينًا * وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ بِغَيْرِ‌ مَا اكْتَسَبُوا فَقَدِ احْتَمَلُوا بُهْتَانًا وَإِثْمًا مُّبِينًا

Verily Allah and His angels offer salaah on the Prophet. O you who believe! Send salaah on him , and offer greeting of peace in submission. * Verily, those who trouble Allah and His Messenger, Allah curses them in this world, and in the Hereafter, and prepares for them a humiliating torment. * And those who harm the believing men and believing women undeservedly, they indeed carry a slander and plain sin. [33:56-58]

Commenting on this in his famous book of tafsir, Imam al-Sa’di wrote: Continue reading

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

In his famous work of seerah, Imam ibn al-Qayyim addressed the issue of the relative merits of slow recitation with contemplation and a large amount of reading with quick recitation without contemplation. He wrote:

وقد اختلف الناس في الأفضل من الترتيل وقلة القراءة ، أو السرعة مع كثرة القراءة : أيهما أفضل؟ على قولين . ـ

The people have differed concerning which is better; reading a small amount with tarteel (slow, measured and deliberate recitation), or reciting a large amount quickly – which of the two is more virtuous? On this subject there are two opinions: Continue reading

The Good Life, and how to get it: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Allah says in surah al-Nahl:

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِنْ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَى وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُمْ بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

“Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward according to the best of what they used to do.” [16:97]

Imam ibn Kathir, in his famous book of tafsir explains:

هذا وعد من الله تعالى لمن عمل صالحا- وهو العمل المتابع لكتاب الله تعالى وسنة نبيه من ذكر أو أنثى من بني آدم، وقلبه مؤمن بالله ورسوله، وإن هذا العمل المأمور به مشروع من عند الله- بأن يحييه الله حياة طيبة في الدنيا وأن يجزيه بأحسن ما عمله في الدار الآخرة.

“This is a promise from Allah to whoever does righteous deeds – which are actions in accordance with the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet – whether the doer be male of female from the Children of Adam – and his/her heart is a believer in Allah and His Messenger – and so long as these deeds are from Allah’s Divinely Legislated commands, then this is a promise that Allah cause him to live a good life in this dunya  and that He will reward him in the next life according to the best of what he/she used to do.


والحياة الطيبة تشمل وجوه الراحة من أي جهة كانت. وقد روي عن ابن عباس وجماعة أنهم فسروها بالرزق الحلال الطيب


“And the good life includes all sorts of comforts/ease. And it has been narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas and a group of exegetes that they explained it as good and lawful provisions.”

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 4/601]

See also: “Whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray nor suffer”: Tafsir of Sheikh bin Baaz

The meaning of al-thulm : Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

Allah says in surah al-An’aam:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَلَمْ يَلْبِسُوا إِيمَانَهُم بِظُلْمٍ أُولَـٰئِكَ لَهُمُ الْأَمْنُ وَهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ

Those who believe and do not mix their belief with thulm – for them (only) there is security and they are the guided.

[al-Qur’an 6:82]

Commenting on this ayah, al-Haafidh ibn Rajab al-Hanbali wrote:

خرّج البخاري ومسلم : من حديثِ ابن مسعود ، قال : لمّا نزلت : < الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَلَمْ يَلْبِسُوا إِيمَانَهُم بِظُلْمٍ > ، قال أصحاب الرسول الله ﷺ : أيّنا لم يظلم نفسه ؟ فأنزل الله : < إِنَّ الشِّرْ‌كَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ > . ـ

Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported the hadeeth of ibn Mas’ood that he said, “When the ayah, ‘Those who believe and do not mix their belief with thulm‘ [6:82] was revealed, the companions of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, ‘Which of us does not wrong himself?’ So Allah revealed the ayah, ‘Verily al-shirk is great thulm‘ [31:13].

و معنى هذا : أنّ الظلم يختلف : ـ

And this means that the meaning of al-thulm varies: Continue reading