Speaking About Allah Without Knowledge is the Foundation of All Shrik, Kufr, & Innovation: Ibn al-Qayyim

The great scholar ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah mentioned the following words in his famous Madaarij al-Saalikeen:

فصل القول على الله بغير علم
Speaking About Allah Without Knowledge

وأما القول على الله بلا علم فهو أشد هذه المحرمات تحريما ، وأعظمها إثما ، ولهذا ذكر في المرتبة الرابعة من المحرمات التي اتفقت عليها الشرائع والأديان ، ولا تباح بحال ، بل لا تكون إلا محرمة ، وليست كالميتة والدم ولحم الخنزير ، الذي يباح في حال دون حال . ـ

As for speaking about Allah without knowledge, this is the most strongly forbidden prohibition and the greatest of them in sinfulness. Because of that, it is mentioned in the fourth level of prohibited things, something that all the divine legislations agreed upon. It is not permitted in any situation nor can it take any other ruling than prohibited. This is unlike carrion, blood, or swine, all of which can become permissible in certain situations.

فإن المحرمات نوعان : محرم لذاته لا يباح بحال ، ومحرم تحريما عارضا في وقت دون وقت ، قال الله تعالى في المحرم لذاته قل إنما حرم ربي الفواحش ما ظهر منها وما بطن ثم انتقل منه إلى ما هو أعظم منه فقال والإثم والبغي بغير الحق ثم انتقل منه إلى ما هو أعظم منه ، فقال وأن تشركوا بالله ما لم ينزل به سلطانا ثم انتقل منه إلى ما هو أعظم منه ، فقال وأن تقولوا على الله ما لا تعلمون فهذا أعظم المحرمات عند الله وأشدها إثما ، فإنه يتضمن الكذب على الله ، ونسبته إلى ما لا يليق به ، وتغيير دينه وتبديله ، ونفي ما أثبته وإثبات ما نفاه ، وتحقيق ما أبطله وإبطال ما حققه ، وعداوة من والاه وموالاة من عاداه ، وحب ما أبغضه وبغض ما أحبه ، ووصفه بما لا يليق به في ذاته وصفاته وأقواله وأفعاله . ـ

You see, prohibited things can be classified into two types:

  1. Things which are forbidden due to some intrinsic quality, which are not allowed in any situations
  2. Prohibited things whose prohibition is in effect in certain situations but not others

Allah spoke about those things whose prohibition is intrinsic by saying:

قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ 

Say: My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed …

then He moved on to those prohibitions which are even greater by saying: Continue reading

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The Great Merits of Reciting the Qur’an with Contemplation: ibn al-Qayyim

The great scholar ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah once wrote:

فَلَو علم النَّاس مَا فِي قِرَاءَة الْقُرْآن بالتدبر لاشتغلوا بهَا عَن كل مَا سواهَا فَإِذا قَرَأَهُ بتفكر حَتَّى مر بِآيَة وَهُوَ مُحْتَاجا إِلَيْهَا فِي شِفَاء قلبه كررها وَلَو مائَة مرّة وَلَو لَيْلَة فقراءة آيَة بتفكر وتفهم خير من قِرَاءَة ختمة بِغَيْر تدبر وتفهم وأنفع للقلب وأدعى الى حُصُول الايمان وذوق حلاوة الْقُرْآن وَهَذِه كَانَت عَادَة السّلف يردد احدهم الاية الى الصَّباح وَقد ثَبت عَن النَّبِي انه قَامَ بِآيَة يُرَدِّدهَا حَتَّى الصَّباح وَهِي قَوْله {إِن تُعَذبهُمْ فَإِنَّهُم عِبَادك وَإِن تغْفر لَهُم فَإنَّك أَنْت الْعَزِيز الْحَكِيم} فقراءة الْقُرْآن بالتفكر هِيَ اصل صَلَاح الْقلب . ـ

If people only knew the great value of reciting the Qur’an with reflection, then they would devote themselves to it above anything else. For when one recites with contemplation, when he comes across an ayah which contains something needed to rectify his heart, he would repeat that ayah, perhaps as many as one hundred times or even for the entire night! For reciting a single ayah with contemplation and understanding is better, more beneficial for one’s heart, and more likely to bring about an increase in eemaan and tasting the sweetness of the Qur’an than reciting the entire Qur’an without reflection or understanding.

This used to be the practice of the Salaf, that one of them might repeat a single ayah until the morning came. It has also been authentically attributed to the Prophet that he stood in the night prayer until the morning came repeating a single ayah, which was:

إِن تُعَذبهُمْ فَإِنَّهُم عِبَادك وَإِن تغْفر لَهُم فَإنَّك أَنْت الْعَزِيز الْحَكِيم

If You punish them, then they are Your slaves. And if You forgive them, then You are the Mighty, the Wise. [5:118]

For reciting the Qur’an with contemplation is the very basis of the heart’s rectification. Continue reading

Which are More Virtuous, the First Ten of Dhu’l-Hijjah or the Last Ten of Ramadan?

A question was posed to Sheikh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyah: Which are more virtuous, the first ten of Dh’ul-Hijjah or the last ten of Ramadan? So he replied:

أيام عشر ذي الحجة أفضل من أيام العشر من رمضان، والليالي العشر الأواخر من رمضان أفضل من ليالي عشر ذي الحجة

The days of the first ten of Dhu’l-Hijjah are more virtuous than the days of the last ten of Ramadan while the nights of the last ten of Ramadan are more virtuous than the nights of the first ten of Dhu’l-Hijjah.

[Majmoo’ al-Fataawa 25/154]

Ibn Taymiyah’s student Ibn al-Qayyim commented and elaborated upon his teacher’s response in one of his own works by writing:

وإذا تأمل الفاضل اللبيب هذا الجواب وجده شافيا كافيا، فإنه ليس من أيام العمل فيها أحب إلى الله من أيام عشر ذي الحجة. وفيها يوم عرفة ويوم النحر ويوم التروية. وأما ليالي عشر رمضان فهي ليالي الأحياء التي كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يحييها كلها، وفيها ليلة خير من ألف شهر. فمن أجاب بغير هذا التفصيل، لم يمكنه أن يدلي بحجة صحيحة

If one were to consider the honor and sensibleness of this answer, he would find it to be comprehensive and sufficient. Indeed, there are no days in which deeds are more beloved to Allah than the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah – and they contain the Day of ‘Arafah, the Day of the Sacrifice, and the Day of Tarwiyah [the 9th, 10th, and 8th days, respectively]. Continue reading

The Deen is Built on Two Foundations: Dhikr and Shukr – Ibn al-Qayyim

al-‘Allaamah ibn al-Qayyim wrote the following beneficial words in his famous work, al-Fawaa’id:

مبنى الدين على قاعدتين: الذكر والشكر، ـ

The deen is built on two foundations: al-Dhikr and al-Shukr [remembrance and gratitude].

قال تعالى {فاذكروني أذكركم واشكروا لي ولا تكفرون} سورة البقرة، الآية: 152، ـ

Allah said:

فَاذْكُرُ‌ونِي أَذْكُرْ‌كُمْ وَاشْكُرُ‌وا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُ‌ونِ

So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me. [2:152].

وقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لمعاذ: «والله إني لأحبك فلا تنس أن تقول دبر كل صلاة: اللهم أعنِّي على ذكرك وشكرك وحسن عبادتك»، ـ

And the Prophet said to Mu’adh, “By Allah, verily I love you, so do not forget to say at the end of every salaah, ‘O Allah, aid me in remembering You and gratitude to You and in excellent worship of You.”

وليس المراد بالذكر مجرد ذكر اللسان بل القلبي واللساني، وذكره يتضمن ذكر أسمائه وصفاته وذكر أمره ونهيه وذكره بكلامه، وذلك يستلزم معرفته والإيمان به وبصفات كماله ونعوت جلاله والثناء عليه بأنواع المدح. وذلك لا يتم إلا بتوحيده. ـ

And the intended meaning of al-dhikr is not merely dhikr of the the tongue – rather of both the heart and the tongue. And making dhikr of Him comprises dhikr of His names and attributes, of His commands and prohibitions, and making dhikr of Him with His Words. And that necessitates knowing Him and having al-eemaan in Him and in His perfect qualities and marvelous attributes and extolling Him with all sorts of praise. And this is not made completed except by singling Him out with tawheed.

فذكره الحقيقي يستلزم ذلك كله ويستلزم ذكر نعمه وآلائه وإحسانه إلى خلقه. ـ

And the true dhikr of Him requires all of that and requires remembering His blessings, favors and excellent treatments towards His creation.

وأما الشكر فهو القيام له بطاعته والتقرب إليه بأنواع محابه ظاهرا وباطنا، ـ

And as for al-shukr, then it is establishing obedience to Him and seeking nearness to Him through the various forms of those things which He loves – both outwardly and inwardly.

وهذان الأمران هما جماع الدين، فذكره مستلزم لمعرفته، وشكره متضمن لطاعته، ـ

And these two issues comprise the entire deen, for dhikr of Him requires knowing Him, and shukr of Him involves being obedient to Him. Continue reading

Complaining about Allah vs. Complaining to Allah: ibn al-Qayyim

In his famous book of assorted benefits, al-Fawaa’id, Ibn al-Qayyim mentions the following issue:

فَائِدَة الْجَاهِل يشكو الله إِلَى النَّاس وَهَذَا غَايَة الْجَهْل بالمشكو والمشكو إِلَيْهِ فَإِنَّهُ لَو عرف ربه لما شكاه وَلَو عرف النَّاس لما شكا إِلَيْهِم

A point of benefit: The ignorant one complains about Allah to the people, and this is the height of ignorance when is comes to complaining about something and complaining to someone. For if he had known his Lord, then he would not have complained about Him, and if he had known the people, then he would not have complained to them.

وَرَأى بعض السّلف رجلا يشكو إِلَى رجل فاقته وضرورته فَقَالَ يَا هَذَا وَالله مَا زِدْت على أَن شَكَوْت من يَرْحَمك وَفِي ذَلِك قيل : ـ

One of the salaf saw a man who was complaining to another man about his poverty and dire need, so he said, “O you! By Allah, the only thing you’ve done is to complain to someone who does not take pity on you for that.” And it is said:

إذا شَكَوْت إِلَى ابْن آدم إِنَّمَا … تَشْكُو الرَّحِيم إِلَى الَّذِي لَا يرحم

When you complain to a son of Adam
You are only complaining about the Most Merciful One to someone who does not show mercy Continue reading

The Subtleties of the Supplications of Ayyub and Yusuf – ibn al-Qayyim

Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawzi wrote the following points of benefit in his famous work entitled al-Fawaa’id:

 من لطائف دعاء أيوب عليه السلام .ـ

From the subtleties of the supplication of Ayyub (‘alaihi al-salaam):

قوله تعالى (( وأيوب إذ نادى ربَّهُ أنِّي مَسِّنِيَ الضُّر و أنتَ أرحمُ الراحِمين )) الأنبياء 83 جمع في هذا الدعاء بين : حقيقة التوحيد ،وإظهار الفقر والفاقة إلى ربه ، ووجود طعم المحبة في التملق له ، والإقرار له بصفة الرحمة ، وأنه أرحم الراحمين ، والتوسل إليه بصفاته سبحانه ، وشدة حاجته هو وفقره . ـ

Allah said,

وَأَيُّوبَ إِذْ نَادَىٰ رَ‌بَّهُ أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ‌ وَأَنتَ أَرْ‌حَمُ الرَّ‌احِمِينَ

And [mention] Ayyub, when he called to his Lord, ‘Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful.’ [21:83].

He combined several things in this supplication:

-the reality of al-tawheed,
-and demonstrating his poverty and neediness of his Lord,
-and the presence of his deep-seated love in his adulation of Him,
-and his affirming Allah’s quality of al-Rahmah [Mercy] and that He is the Most Merciful of the merciful ones,
-and supplicating to Him by means of His attributes – Exalted is He – and by the severity of his personal need and poverty. Continue reading

A sin may be beneficial for a person: Ibn al-Qayyim

The great scholar Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) wrote:

إن الذنب قد يكون أنفع للعبد إذا اقترنت به التوبة من كثير من الطاعات ، وهذا معنى قول بعض السلف : قد يعمل العبد الذنب فيدخل به الجنة ويعمل الطاعة فيدخل بها النار ، قالوا : وكيف ذلك قال : يعمل الذنب فلا يزال نصب عينيه إن قام وإن قعد وإن مشى ذكر ذنبه فيُحدِثُ له انكساراً وتوبةً واستغفارا وندما فيكون ذلك سبب نجاته ، ويعمل الحسنة فلا تزال نصب عينيه إن قام وإن قعد وإن مشى كلما ذكرها أورثته عجباً وكبرا ومنة فتكون سبب هلاكه

Sin may be more beneficial for a person – if it leads him to repent – than engaging in many acts of obedience. This is the meaning of the statement of one of the salaf,

“‘A person may commit a sin and enter Paradise because of it, or he may do an act of worship and enter Hell because of it.’ They said, ‘How is that?’ He replied, ‘He may commit a sin and then it remains at the forefront of his thoughts, and when he stands or sits or walks he remembers his sin. So then there comes about shame, repentance, seeking forgiveness and regret, so that that will be the means of his salvation. And [on the other hand] one may perform a good deed and it remains at the forefront of his thoughts, so when he stands or sits or walks he always remembers it and it results in him being amazed [with himself] and prideful. So that will be from the cause of his doom.'”

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

“If he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels?”: Ibn al-Qayyim

Ibn al-Qayyim, while speaking about some of the events of the Battle of Uhud, mentions the following points of great benefit:

ومنها : أن وقعة أحد كانت مقدمة وإرهاصا بين يدي موت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، فثبتهم ووبخهم على انقلابهم على أعقابهم إن مات رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أو قتل ، بل الواجب له عليهم أن يثبتوا على دينه وتوحيده ويموتوا عليه أو يقتلوا ، فإنهم إنما يعبدون رب محمد ، وهو حي لا يموت ، فلو مات محمد أو قتل لا ينبغي لهم أن يصرفهم ذلك عن دينه ، وما جاء به ، فكل نفس ذائقة الموت ، وما بعث محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم ليخلد لا هو ولا هم ، بل ليموتوا على الإسلام والتوحيد ، فإن الموت لا بد منه سواء مات رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أو بقي ،

And from the benefits: That the Battle of Uhud was like a precursor and prelude before their very eyes of the (actual) death of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). So Allah fortified them (for that eventually), and rebuked them for their having turned back on their heels in the event that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) had died or been killed. Rather, it was obligatory upon them to remain firm upon his Deen and his (message of) tawheed and for them to die or be killed upon that. For verily they were only worshipping the Lord of Muhammad, and He is alive and does not die. So if Muhammad died or was killed, it is not appropriate for that to change them from his deen. And he did not come for that, for every soul will taste death, and Muhammad (ﷺ) was not sent to remain alive forever – neither he nor they. Rather, in order that they could die upon al-Islaam and al-Tawheed, for death is inevitable, whether it is the death of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) or anyone else. Continue reading

The Mahdi will be from the offspring of al-Hasan: Ibn al-Qayyim

Ibn al-Qayyim, in his book al-Manaar al-Muneef, while collecting the different views of the Mahdi, brings this as the opinion of Ahl al-Sunnah:

أنه رجل من أهل البيت النبي ﷺ ، من ولد الحسن بن علي ، يخرج في آخر الزمان ، وقد امتلأت الارض جوزا وظلما ، فيملؤها قسطا و عدلا ، وأكثر الأحاديث على هذا تدل.

He is a man from the ahl al-bait (household) of the Prophet (ﷺ), from the children of al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali, who will come at the end of time. And the earth will have been filled with injustice, so he will fill it with justice, and most of the ahaadeeth show this.

في كونه من ولد الحسن سِرٌّ لطيف ، وهو أن الحسن رضي الله تعالى عنه ترك الخلافة الله ، فجعل الله من ولده من يقوم بالخلافة الحق المتضمنة للعدل الذي يملأ الأرض ، وهذه سنة الله في عباده : أنه من ترك لأجله شيئا أعطاه الله ، أو أعطى ذريته أفضل منه ، وهذا بخلاف الحسين رضي الله عنه ، فإنه حرص عليها ، وقاتل عليها فلم يظفر بها ، والله أعلم

In his being from the offspring of al-Hasan is a subtle wisdom, and that is that al-Hasan (raadi Allaahu ta’aala ‘anhu) abdicated the khilaafah, so Allah then made someone from his progeny to establish the khilaafah in truth to establish the justice which would fill the earth. And this is the sunnah of Allah with His slaves: that whoever gives up something for His sake, then Allah gives him – or He gives to his progeny – something better than it. And this is in contrast to al-Husain (raadi Allaahu ‘anhu), for verily he was keen on attaining the khilaafah, and he fought for it, and he did not achieve it, and Allah knows best. Continue reading