Three Categories of Love: Imam al-Sa’di

In part of his explanation of the famous Kitaab al-Tawheed of Sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di wrote:

أصل التوحيد وروحه: إخلاص المحبة لله وحده وهي أصل التأله والتعبد له، بل هي حقيقة العبادة، ولا يتم التوحيد حتى تكمل محبة العبد لربه، وتسبق محبته جميع المحاب وتغلبها، ويكون لها الحكم عليها بحيث تكون سائر محاب العبد تبعا لهذه المحبة التي بها سعادة العبد وفلاحه. ـ

The foundation of tawheed and its very essence is this: sincere love for Allah alone, and this is the foundation of deifying Him and worshiping Him; rather it is the reality of worship and tawheed is not completed until the slave’s love for his Lord is perfected and it supersedes and prevails over one’s love for all other beloved things, and that that love becomes the measuring scale over them to the extent that all of the slave’s other inclinations follow in accord with this love. It is through this that the slave attains ultimate joy and success.

ومن تفريعها وتكميلها الحب في الله، فيحب العبد ما يحبه الله من الأعمال والأشخاص، ويبغض ما يبغضه الله من الأشخاص والأعمال، ويوالي أولياءه ويعادي أعداءه، وبذلك يكمل إيمان العبد وتوحيده. ـ

And part of its branches and completeness is love for the sake of Allah. So the slave loves those actions and personalities which Allah loves, and he hates the persons and actions which Allah hates, and he aligns himself with Allah’s allies and shows enmity to Allah’s enemies. Through this is the slave’s eemaan and tawheed perfected. Continue reading

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Oaths are a magnification of the Creator: Imam al-Sa’di

In one section of his explanation of sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab’s famous Kitaab al-Tawheed, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following regarding oaths:

أصل اليمين إنما شرعت تأكيدا للأمر المحلوف عليه، وتعظيما للخالق، ولهذا وحب أن لا يحلف إلا لله، وكان الحلف بغيره من الشرك. ـ

The basis of oaths is that they were legislated as an affirmation of an issue which is being sworn to and as a magnification of the Creator. So for that reason, it is incumbent that one does not swear by anything but Allah, and swearing by other than Him is from shirk.

ومن تمام هذا التعظيم أن لا يحلف بالله إلا صادقا. ومن تمام هذا التعظيم أن يحترم اسمه العظيم عن كثرة الحلف ، فالكذب وكثرة الحلف تنافي التعظيم الذي هو روح التوحيد. ـ

And from the completion of this magnification is that one does not swear by Allah in any other way than truthfully. And from the completion of this magnification is that one venerates His magnificent name by not being prolific in swearing. For lying and a proliferation of swearing negates the magnification which is the essence of al-tawheed. Continue reading

Major Shirk and Minor Shirk: Imam al-Sa’di

In his concise explanation of the famous Kitaab al-Tawheed of Sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab, Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di brings the following definitions of major and minor shirk:

 الشرك في توحيد الإلهية والعبادة ينافي التوحيد كل المنافاة وهو نوعان: شرك أكبر جلي، وشرك أصغر خفي. ـ

al-Shirk in regards to al-Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah – which is also known as [al-Tawheed] al-‘Ibaadah – contradicts al-tawheed in every way, and it is made up of two categories: 1) open shirk al-akbar (major shirk), and 2) concealed shirk al-ashgar (minor shirk).

فأما الشرك الأكبر: فهو أن يجعل لله ندا يدعوه كما يدعو الله أو يخافه أو يرجوه أو يحبه كحب الله، أو يصرف له نوعا من أنواع العبادة، فهذا الشرك لا يبقى مع صاحبه من التوحيد شيء، وهذا المشرك الذي حرم الله عليه الجنة ومأواه النار. ولا فرق في هذا بين أن يسمي تلك العبادة التي صرفها لغير الله عبادة، أو يسميها توسلا، أو يسميها بغير ذلك من الأسماء فكل ذلك شرك أكبر، لأن العبرة بحقائق الأشياء ومعانيها دون ألفاظها وعباراتها. ـ

So as for al-shirk al-akbar (major shirk), it is that one takes an equal with Allah and supplicates to it just as one would supplicate to Allah or he fears it or he places his hope in it or he loves it as one would love Allah, or he diverts some form of worship to it. So this shirk does not leave anything of al-tawheed remaining with the one who commits it, and he is a mushrik for whom Allah has forbidden al-Jannah and his final abode is the Hell-fire. And there is no distinction as to whether this worship which is diverted to other than Allah is called ‘ibaadah (worship), or if it is called tawassul (intermediation), or if it is called by some other name, for all of that is shirk al-akbar, because the final consideration is according to the reality of a thing and its meaning rather than its wording and terminology. Continue reading

“Do not say, ‘If only…'”: Imam al-Sa’di

Abu Hurayrah narrates that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

ـ … وَإِنْ أَصَابَكَ شَىْءٌ فَلاَ تَقُلْ لَوْ أَنِّي فَعَلْتُ كَانَ كَذَا وَكَذَا ‏.‏ وَلَكِنْ قُلْ قَدَرُ اللَّهِ وَمَا شَاءَ فَعَلَ فَإِنَّ لَوْ تَفْتَحُ عَمَلَ الشَّيْطَانِ

“If something afflicts you, do not say, ‘If only I had done such-and-such…,’ rather say, ‘Allah decreed this and He does what He wishes.’ For the phrase ‘if only…’ opens up the work of the shaytaan.

[Saheeh Muslim #2664]

Commenting of the content matter of this hadeeth in his concise explanation of Kitaab al-Tawheed, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following points of clarification:

اعلم أن استعمال العبد للفظة: “لو” تقع على قسمين: مذموم ومحمود . ـ

Know that the slave’s use of the phrase “if only…” can fall into one of two categories: blameworthy or praiseworthy.

أما المذموم فأن يقع منه أو عليه أمر لا يحبه فيقول: لو أني فعلت كذا لكان كذا، فهذا من عمل الشيطان؛ لأن فيه محذورين: ـ

As for the blameworthy usage, it is when the slave does something or when something happens to him which he does not like and so he says, “If only I had done such-and-such then such-and-such would have happened” for this is from the work of the shaytaan, because it contains two things which are warned against: Continue reading