“Niyyah” in the Qur’an: ibn Rajab

In part of his celebrated and exhaustive commentary on al-Arba’een al-Nawawi, al-haafidh ibn Rajab al-Hanbali mentioned the following important points regarding the one’s intention for worship and how this is discussed in the Qur’an:

واعلم أن النية في اللغة نوع من القصد والإرادة وإن كان قد فرق بين هذه الألفاظ بما ليس هذا موضع ذكره. ـ

You should know that the word “niyyah” linguistically refers to a type of intention or desire even if one could further delineate these terms, but now is not the time to go into that.

والنية في كلام العلماء تقع بمعنيين: ـ

When the scholars talk about niyyah it can have one of two meanings:

أحدهما: تمييز العبادات بعضها عن بعض كتمييز صلاة الظهر من صلاة العصر مثلًا وتمييز رمضان من صيام غيره أو تمييز العبادات من العادات كتمييز الغسل من الجنابة من غسل التبرد والتنظيف ونحو ذلك وهذه النية هي التي توجد كثيرًا في كلام الفقهاء في كتبهم. ـ

First: Distinguishing different acts of worship from one another, such as differentiating between the Thuhr prayer and the ‘Asr prayer or between fasting during Ramadan and fasting outside of it, or distinguishing an act of worship from an act of habit such as differentiating between a ghusl one takes to remove ritual impurity verses a bath one takes to cool off or wash up or the likes. It is this usage of the word “niyyah” that you will find most commonly in the speech and writings of the scholars of fiqh.

والمعنى الثاني: بمعنى تمييز المقصود بالعمل وهل هو لله وحده لا شريك له أم غيره أم لله وغيره وهذه هي النية التي يتكلم فيها العارفون في كتبهم في كلامهم على الإخلاص وتوابعه وهي التي توجد كثيرًا في كلام السلف المتقدمين . ـ

Second: That it comes with the meaning of distinguishing the intention behind one’s action: is it for Allah alone with not partners, or is it someone other than Allah, or for Allah and someone else simultaneously? This is the niyyah that those devoted to worship speak about in their writings and speeches, referring to ikhlaas and what accompanies that, and this is the usage of the word that you will find most commonly in the speech of the early generations of the salaf.

وقد صنف أبو بكر بن أبي الدنيا مصنفًا سماه كتاب الإخلاص والنية وإنما أراد هذه النية وهي النية التي يتكرر ذكرها في كلام النبي ﷺ تارة بلفظ النية وتارة بلفظ الإرادة وتارة بلفظ مقارب لذلك. ـ

Abu Bakr ibn Abi’l-Dunya wrote a book entitled Kitaab al-Ikhlaas wa’l-Niyyah which is strictly dealing with this second meaning of the word “niyyah“. This is the niyyah that is frequently referred to in the sayings of the Prophet, sometimes being referred to by the word “niyyah” itself, other times being referred to by the word “al-iraadah” – “want/desire” – and other times with other words of close meaning.

وقد جاء ذكرها كثيرًا في كتاب الله عز وجل بغير لفظ النية أيضًا من الألفاظ المقاربة لها… ـ

And this second meaning is also frequently mentioned in the Qur’an but without using the word “niyyah” itself and instead using other closely-related words …

Continue reading

Memorizing the Qur’an and Applying it to Your Life: al-Sa’di

In the beginning of his book on the principles of tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di included the following list of considerations for anyone seeking to memorize and understand the Qur’an:

فعلى الناس أن يتلقوا معني كلام الله كما تلقاه الصحابة رضي الله عنهم فإنهم كانوا إذا قرءوا عشر آيات، أو أقل أو أكثر، لم يتجاوزوها حتى يعرفوا ويحققوا ما دلت عليه من الإيمان والعلم والعمل، فينزلونها على الأحوال الواقعة يؤمنون بما احتوت عليه من العقائد والأخبار، وينقادون لأوامرها ونواهيها، ويطبقونها على جميع ما يشهدون من الحوادث والوقائع الموجودة بهم وبغيرهم، ويحاسبون أنفسهم: هل هم قائمون بها أو مخلون بحقوقها ومطلوبها؟ وكيف الطريق إلى الثبات على الأمور النافعة، وتدارك ما نقص منها؟ وكيف التخلص من الأمور الضارة؟ فيهتدون بعلومه، ويتخلقون بأخلاقه وآدابه، ويعلمون أنه خطاب من عالم الغيب والشهادة موجه إليهم، ومطالبون بمعرفة معانيه، والعمل بما يقتضيه. ـ

People should learn the meanings of Allah’s speech in the same way that the Sahabah learned them. Their way was that if they recited 10 ayaat – give or take -, they would not move past that amount until they understood and actualized the eemaan, knowledge and actions that those ayaat involved.

So they would apply those ayaat to their lives, believing in the beliefs and information they contained, complying with their commands and prohibitions, and put them into practice in any situations or events that happen to them or others.

And they would take themselves to task, asking: Am I living by these ayaat or have I fallen short in realizing and actualizing them? How can I become consistent in beneficial things and avoid falling short in that? How can I free myself from harmful matters? Continue reading

Ibn Mas’ood and Surahs al-Falaq and al-Nas

In efforts to spread doubts about the preservation of the Qur’an, some will cite reports that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood did not consider Surahs al-Falaq [113] and al-Nas [114] – collectively known as the Mu’awidhatayn – to be part of the Qur’an. This is an issue which has been covered extensively by Islamic scholarship, including recently in a study devoted to this very topic by Dr. Waleed Muhammad al-Kandari (Director of the Tafsir and Hadith department in Kuwait University’s College of Sharee’ah) and Dr. Mubarak Sayf al-Hajiri (Instructor in the Graduate School and College of Sharee’ah at Kuwait University). In this work, the authors first compiled and examined all of the transmitted narrations on this topic, waded through the different statements of major scholars on this issue, and then summarized their findings. What follows is a translation of the last part of their discussion and their conclusions section:

وقال ابن كثير : “وهذا مشهور عند كثير من القراء والفقهاء : أن ابن مسعود كان لا يكتب المعوذتين في مصحفه ، فلعله لم يسمعهما من النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ، ولم يتواتر عنده ، ثم لعله قد رجع عن قوله ذلك إلى قول الجماعة ، فإن الصحابة ، رضي الله عنهم ، كتبوهما في المصاحف الأئمة ، ونفذوها إلى سائر الآفاق كذلك ، ولله الحمد والمنة .”ـ

Ibn Kathir said:

This is something well-known among many of the reciters and scholars of fiqh, that ibn Mas’ood did not used to write the Mu’awidatayn (surahal-Falaq and al-Nas) in his mushaf. Perhaps this was because he did not learn them directly from the Prophet and they were not relayed to him at a level that he found sufficient for affirming them to be Qur’an. Then it seems that later he retracted this stance of his and agreed with the general opinion, for the Sahabah wrote both of these surahs in the ‘Uthmani Mushafs and sent them off to the different cities with those two surahs, and Allah is deserving of all praise.

وتعرض ابن حجر بهذه المسألة بكلام حسن ، نذكر بتمامه ، قال ابن حجر : وقد تأول القاضي أبو بكر الباقلاني في كتاب الانتصار وتبعه عياض وغيره ما حكى عن بن مسعود فقال لم ينكر بن مسعود كونهما من القرآن وإنما أنكر اثباتهما في المصحف فإنه كان يرى أن لا يكتب في المصحف شيئا الا إن كان النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أذن في كتابته فيه وكأنه لم يبلغه الإذن في ذلك قال فهذا تأويل منه وليس جحدا لكونهما قرآنا وهو تأويل حسن إلا أن الرواية الصحيحة الصريحة التي ذكرتها تدفع ذلك حيث جاء فيها ويقول أنهما ليستا من كتاب الله نعم يمكن حمل لفظ كتاب الله على المصحف فيتمشى التأويل المذكور وقال غير القاضي لم يكن اختلاف بن مسعود مع غيره في قرآنيتهما وإنما كان في صفة من صفاتهما انتهى وغاية ما في هذا أنه أبهم ما بينه القاضي ومن تأمل سياق الطرق التي أوردتها للحديث استبعد هذا الجمع وأما قول النووي في شرح المهذب أجمع المسلمون على أن المعوذتين والفاتحة من القرآن وأن من جحد منهما شيئا كفر وما نقل عن بن مسعود باطل ليس بصحيح ففيه نظر وقد سبقه لنحو ذلك أبو محمد بن حزم فقال في أوائل المحلي ما نقل عن بن مسعود من إنكار قرآنيه المعوذتين فهو كذب باطل وكذا قال الفخر الرازي في أوائل تفسيره الأغلب على الظن أن هذا النقل عن بن مسعود كذب باطل والطعن في الروايات الصحيحة بغير مستند لا يقبل بل الرواية صحيحة والتأويل محتمل والإجماع الذي نقله إن أراد شموله لكل عصر فهو مخدوش وإن أراد استقراره فهو مقبول وقد قال بن الصباغ في الكلام على مانعي الزكاة وإنما قاتلهم أبو بكر على منع الزكاة ولم يقل إنهم كفروا بذلك وإنما لم يكفروا لأن الإجماع لم يكن استقر قال ونحن الآن نكفر من جحدها قال وكذلك ما نقل عن بن مسعود في المعوذتين يعني أنه لم يثبت عنده القطع بذلك ثم حصل الاتفاق بعد ذلك وقد استشكل هذا الموضع الفخر الرازي فقال إن قلنا إن كونهما من القرآن كان متواترا في عصر بن مسعود لزم تكفير من أنكرهما وأن قلنا إن كونهما من القرآن كان لم يتواتر في عصر بن مسعود لزم أن بعض القرآن لم يتواتر قال وهذه عقدة صعبة وأجيب باحتمال أنه كان متواترا في عصر بن مسعود لكن لم يتواتر عند بن مسعود فانحلت العقدة بعون الله تعالى ـ

Ibn Hajr took up this issue in such a nice way that we shall mention his entire text. Ibn Hajr wrote:

In his book al-Intisar, al-Qadhi Abu Bakr al-Baqilani interpreted the narrations regarding ibn Mas’ood – and his interpretation was also taken up by ‘Iyaadh and others – by saying: Continue reading

The Prophet Muhammad was Sent to All Mankind: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Allah says in surah Aal ‘Imran:

فَإِنْ حَاجُّوكَ فَقُلْ أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّـهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ ۗ وَقُل لِّلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَالْأُمِّيِّينَ أَأَسْلَمْتُمْ ۚ فَإِنْ أَسْلَمُوا فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوا ۖ وَّإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَاغُ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ

So if they argue with you, say, “I have submitted myself to Allah, and so have those who follow me.” And say to those who were given the Scripture and to the unlearned, “Have you submitted yourselves?” And if they submit, they are rightly guided; but if they turn away – then only notification is required of you. And Allah is Seeing of His servants. [3:20]

Commenting on this in his book of tafsir, al-haafidh ibn Kathir wrote:

قال تعالى : ( فإن حاجوك ) أي : جادلوك في التوحيد ( فقل أسلمت وجهي لله ومن اتبعن ) أي : فقل أخلصت عبادتي لله وحده ، لا شريك له ولا ند [ له ] ولا ولد ولا صاحبة له ( ومن اتبعن ) على ديني ، يقول كمقالتي ، كما قال تعالى : ( قل هذه سبيلي أدعو إلى الله على بصيرة أنا ومن اتبعني [ وسبحان الله وما أنا من المشركين ] ) [ يوسف : 108 ] . ـ

Allah said:

فَإِنْ حَاجُّوكَ

So if they argue with you …

i.e. if they argue with you regarding Allah’s sole right to be worshiped

فَقُلْ أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّـهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ

… then say, “I have submitted myself to Allah, and so have those who follow me.”

i.e. then say, “I have made my worship exclusively for Allah alone, without making any partner, counterpart, offspring, or spouse for Him

وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ

“… and so have those who follow me.”

i.e. follow me in my religion – they will also say the same thing. Continue reading

Links Between Surah Yunus and Surah Hud: Sheikh Muhammad al-Rabee’ah

Sheikh Muhammad al-Rabee’ah, a professor in the College of Shree’ah at al-Qasim University, devoted one of his books to the study of themes of surahs. In one section on the link between a surah‘s name and its theme, the sheikh gave the following example:

وفي سورة يونس تركيز على الموعظة والدعوة بالترغيب ولذلك افتتحت بالتذكير بآيات الله تعالى وحال المكذبين بها، وتخلل ذلك عرض للطف الله تعالى بأوليائه، وعباده المؤمنين والتائبين، وتضمنت الموعظة بالقرآن كما قال تعالى (يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ) ]يونس: 57 [، ولذلك تضمنت قصة قوم يونس الذين آمنوا بعد ما دعاهم يونس وهددهم بالعذاب فكشف الله عنهم العذاب، فهذه القصة هي النموذج الإيجابي للغرض الذي تركز عليه السورة. ـ

Surah Yunus contains a focus on exhortations and calling the people to Islam through glad tidings and inspiring hope. That is why it begins with a reminder of Allah’s signs and how those who deny them respond to them. This is interspersed with mentions of Allah’s kindness towards His close ones and repentant believing slaves. And exhortations are a part of the Qur’an, as Allah said:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

O mankind, an exhortation has come to you from your Lord, and a healing for what it is the chests, and a guidance and a mercy for the believers. [10:57]

That is why this surah includes the story of the people of Yunus who believed after Yunus had supplicated for their punishment and informed them of it, and then Allah lifted the punishment from them. So this story is a positive example of the central theme of this surah. Continue reading

Forgetting the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool. a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, posed and responded to the following question:

قال : لا أريد أن أحفظ القرآن خشية أن أنساه، فأدخل في قوله تعالى: (كَذَلِكَ أَتَتْكَ آيَاتُنَا فَنَسِيتَهَا ) ، ويستدل ببعض الأحاديث الضعيفة

A person says: I do not want to memorize the Qur’an out of fear that I will forget it and therefore fall under Allah’s statement:

قَالَ كَذَٰلِكَ أَتَتْكَ آيَاتُنَا فَنَسِيتَهَا ۖ وَكَذَٰلِكَ الْيَوْمَ تُنسَىٰ

Allah will say, “Thus did Our ayaat come to you, and you forgot them; and thus will you be forgotten this Day.” [20:126]

and this person goes on to cite a number of inauthentic hadith narrations.

قلت : لم يثبت عن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم توعد من حفظ القرآن ونسيه . لم يثبت في ذلك شيء عن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم وكل ما ورد هو أحاديث ضعيفة ، والثابت عنه عليه الصلاة والسلام أنه رغب في حفظ القرآن الكريم وحث عليه وأمر بتعاهده وأكد على ذلك فقال صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ( تَعَاهَدُوا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ فَوَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ لَهُوَ أَشَدُّ تَفَلُّتًا مِنْ الْإِبِلِ فِي عُقُلِهَا ) [ رواه البخاري ومسلم وغيرهما واللفظ لمسلم ] ، ـ

I say: There is nothing authentically transmitted from the Messenger regarding a threat against someone who memorized and then forgot the Qur’an. There is nothing at all authentically transmitted from the Messenger regarding this; all of the hadith narrations on that topic are weak. What is actually authentically transmitted from the Prophet is that he encouraged us to memorize the Qur’an, promoted that, instructed us to retain what we had memorized and emphasized that point, for he said:

Commit yourself to this Qur’an, for I swear by the One in Whose Hand is Muhammad’s soul that it is more liable to escape than a camel is from its restraint.

[Transmitted by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others; here with Muslim’s wording] Continue reading

Assorted Qur’an Benefits #42

What follows is a collection of benefits originally posted on our social media pages during the second half of March 2020:

♦ On the Name al-Hameed

Allah includes the following ayah in surah al-Buruj regarding the crimes that the People of the Ditch committed against the believers:

وَمَا نَقَمُوا مِنْهُمْ إِلَّا أَن يُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّـهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ

And they only resented them because they believed in Allah, al-‘Azeez al-Hameed [85:08]

Sheikh Salih al-Fawzan commented on the named al-Hameed in this ayah by writing:

ـ<الحميد> المحمود على كل حال ، فما يجري من شيء في هذا الكون من خير أو شر إلا ويحمد عليه ؛ لأن الله لم يخلق الشر لذاته ، وإنما خلقه وأوجده لحكمة ، وهي : الابتلاء والامتحان به ، فهو يحمد على كل حال وعلى أقداره وعلى شرعه وعلى جميع أفعاله ، فليس هناك شيء في أفعاله لا يحمد عليه . ـ

“al-Hameed” – i.e. the One who is worthy of praise in every situation. For nothing in the universe, whether good or bad, takes places without Allah deserving to be praised for it.

That is because Allah did not create evil for its own sake; He only created evil and brought it into existence for a reason, which is to use it as a test and a trial.

So He deserves to be praised in every circumstance, for every thing that He has decreed, for every thing that He has legislated, and for all of His actions. For there is not a single action of His that is not worthy of being praised. Continue reading

Tafsir of Surah al-Baqarah 228-233: al-Tafsir al-Muyassar

This is the twenty-fourth installment of our translation of al-Tafsir al-Muyassar‘s explanation of surah al-Baqarah, covering ayaat 228-233. This section continues to discuss legal rulings related to marriage, divorce and parenting. See the series guide here for more information about this series and other installments.

وَالْمُطَلَّقَاتُ يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ ثَلَاثَةَ قُرُوءٍ ۚ وَلَا يَحِلُّ لَهُنَّ أَن يَكْتُمْنَ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ فِي أَرْحَامِهِنَّ إِن كُنَّ يُؤْمِنَّ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ وَبُعُولَتُهُنَّ أَحَقُّ بِرَدِّهِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ إِنْ أَرَادُوا إِصْلَاحًا ۚ وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۚ وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods, and it is not permissible for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have more right to take them back during this if they want reconciliation. And the women have rights similar to those over them according to what is reasonable, but men have a degree over them. And Allah is Almighty, All-Wise. [2:228]

والمطلقات ذوات الحيض، يجب أن ينتظرن دون نكاح بعد الطلاق مدة ثلاثة أطهار أو ثلاث حيضات على سبيل العدة؛ ليتأكدن من فراغ الرحم من الحمل. ولا يجوز لهن تزوج رجل آخر في أثناء هذه العدة حتى تنتهي. ولا يحل لهن أن يخفين ما خلق الله في أرحامهن من الحمل أو الحيض، إن كانت المطلقات مؤمنات حقًا بالله واليوم الآخر. وأزواج المطلقات أحق بمراجعتهن في العدة. وينبغي أن يكون ذلك بقصد الإصلاح والخير، وليس بقصد الإضرار تعذيبًا لهن بتطويل العدة. وللنساء حقوق على الأزواج، مثل التي عليهن، على الوجه المعروف، وللرجال على النساء منزلة زائدة من حسن الصحبة والعشرة بالمعروف والقِوامة على البيت وملك الطلاق. والله عزيز له العزة القاهرة، حكيم يضع كل شيء في موضعه المناسب.ـ

228. Divorced women who still menstruate must wait for three periods of cleanliness or three menstrual cycles after divorce before a new marriage. This is her waiting period, so that she can be sure that her womb is not pregnant. It is not permissible for her to marry another man during this waiting period; only after the waiting period ends. Nor is it permissible for her to conceal what Allah has created in her womb – whether that be a pregnancy of menstruation – if the divorced women really believe in Allah and the Last Day. And the husbands of the divorced women have the right to take them back during the waiting period, but that must be done with the intention of reconciliation and goodness, not for the purpose of harming or punishing her by prolonging the waiting period. And women have rights over their husbands, just as the husbands have rights over them, according to what is reasonable. But men have a higher position over women due to their role in treating them well, providing for them reasonably, managing the house and being able to initiate divorce. And Allah is Almighty, having overwhelming power, and All-Wise, placing every thing in their proper places. Continue reading

Becoming Deceived by This Life: Ibn al-Qayyim

Allah strikes the follow parable in surah Yunus:

إِنَّمَا مَثَلُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا كَمَاءٍ أَنزَلْنَاهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَاخْتَلَطَ بِهِ نَبَاتُ الْأَرْضِ مِمَّا يَأْكُلُ النَّاسُ وَالْأَنْعَامُ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا أَخَذَتِ الْأَرْضُ زُخْرُفَهَا وَازَّيَّنَتْ وَظَنَّ أَهْلُهَا أَنَّهُمْ قَادِرُونَ عَلَيْهَا أَتَاهَا أَمْرُنَا لَيْلًا أَوْ نَهَارًا فَجَعَلْنَاهَا حَصِيدًا كَأَن لَّمْ تَغْنَ بِالْأَمْسِ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

The example of this worldly life is like water which We have sent down from the sky which then mixed with the earth’s vegetation, which people and beasts of burden then eat. Then, when the earth has taken on its adornment and become beautiful and its people think that they have control over it, Our command comes by night or by day and We make it barren, as if it had not been there yesterday. In this way do We explain the signs for people who reflect. [10:24]

Commenting on this in a longer discussion on the parables of the Qur’an, the great scholar ibn al-Qayyim wrote:

شبه سبحانه الحياة الدنيا في أنها تتزين في عين الناظر فتروقه بزينتها وتعجبه فيميل إليها ويهواها اغترارا منه بها حتى إذا ظن أنه مالك لها قادر عليها سلبها بغتة أحوج ما كان إليها وحيل بينه وبينها

Allah has made this comparison to the life of this world in that this worldly life appears beautiful to the eye of the beholder and he is pleased and impressed with its beauty and thus finds himself inclined to it and captivated by it, so much so that he becomes deceived by it. Then once he thinks that he has control and ownership over it, suddenly it is taken away from him just he needs it the most and he cannot get it back.

فشبهها بالأرض الذي ينزل الغيث عليها فتعشب ويحسن نباتها ويروق منظرها للناظر فيغتر به ويظن أنه قادر عليها مالك لها فيأتيها أمر الله فتدرك نباتها الآفة بغتة فتصبح كأن لم تكن قبل فيخيب ظنه وتصبح يداه صفرا منهما فهكذا حال الدنيا والواثق بها سواءوهذا من أبلغ التشبيه والقياس. ـ

So Allah compared this to the earth upon which the rain falls and then grows vegetation which becomes beautiful and pleasing to look at until the beholder becomes deceived into thinking that he has power and ownership over it. Then the command of Allah comes and the plants are suddenly struck with disease and it becomes as if they were never there. So his thinking had betrayed him and he winds up empty-handed.

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