Encouragement to Contemplate the Qur’an: Sheikh bin Baaz

In part of a longer advice regarding the Qur’an, Sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez bin Baaz said:

تدبر القرآن من أوله إلى آخره من الفاتحة وهي أعظم سورة في القرآن وأفضل سورة فيه إلى آخر ما في المصحف قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ والمعوذتين تدبر القرآن واقرأه بتدبر وتعقل، ورغبة في العمل والفائدة، لا تقرأه بقلب غافل، اقرأه بقلب حاضر بتفهم وبتعقل، واسأل عما أشكل عليك، اسأل أهل العلم عمَّا أشكل عليك مع أن أكثره بحمد الله واضح للعامة والخاصة ممن يعرف اللغة العربية

Contemplate the Qur’an from its beginning to its end, from al-Fatihah [01] – which is the greatest and most virtuous surah in the Qur’an – until the end of the mushaf – that is, surah al-Ikhlaas [112] and the mu’awadhatayn [113 & 114].

Ponder over the Qur’an; read it with reflection and deep thought, as well as with eagerness to act on it and benefit from it. Do not recite it with a heedless heart; recite it with an attentive heart so that you might understand it and think critically about it. Continue reading

Advertisements

‘Ibad al-Rahman Part 5 – Avoiding Major Sins: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr, one of the contemporary scholars of al-Madinah, wrote a small booklet on the qualities of the ‘Ibad al-Rahman – servants of the Most Merciful – mentioned in the end of Surah al-Furqan. We have translated this booklet in a series of posts. This section deals with the firth quality mentioned:

الصفة الخامسة : بعدهم عن كبائر الذنوب وعظائم الآثام
The Fifth Quality: Distancing Oneself from the Major Sins and Gross Misconduct

قال عز وجل : [وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّـهِ إِلَـٰهًا آخَرَ وَلَا يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّـهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَلَا يَزْنُونَ] ـ

Allah said:

وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّـهِ إِلَـٰهًا آخَرَ وَلَا يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّـهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَلَا يَزْنُونَ

And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. [25:68]

فمنْ أبرز صفات عباد الرحمن المتقين: اجتنابهم كبائر الذنوب والآثام، وقد خص الله عز وجل في هذا السياق ثلاث كبائر بالذِّكر؛ لأنها أعظم الكبائر وأشدها على الإطلاق، وهي: الشرك بالله عالى ؛ وقتل النفس المعصومة ؛ والزنى . ـ

One of the most important traits of the pious ‘Ibad al-Rahman – the slaves of the Most Merciful – is their avoidance of major sins and misdeeds. In this passage, Allah has selected three major sins to mention because they are the gravest and worst of all the major sins. They are:

  • al-Shirk – Associating partners with Allah, the Most High
  • Killing a person undeservedly
  • Fornication

فأم ا الشِّرْك فهو متعلِّقٌ بحقِّ الله على عباده، وهو الذنب الذي لا يغفره الله لمن مات عليه ، كما قال تعالى: [إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّـهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَىٰ إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا] . ـ

As for al-Shirk, it is connected to Allah’s rights over His slaves and it is the sin which Allah will not forgive for whoever dies in that state. This is as Allah said:

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّـهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَىٰ إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا

Indeed, Allah does not forgive associating partners with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin. [4:48]

Continue reading

‘Ibad al-Rahman Part 4 – Moderation in Spending: ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr, one of the contemporary scholars of al-Madinah, wrote a small booklet on the qualities of the ‘Ibad al-Rahman – servants of the Most Merciful – mentioned in the end of Surah al-Furqan. We have translated this booklet in a series of posts. This section discusses the fourth quality listed:

الصفة الرابعة : توسطهم في النفقة بين الإسراف والتَّقتير
The Fourth Quality: Moderation in Spending Between Wastefulness and Stinginess

قال عز وجل : [وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَنفَقُوا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ قَوَامًا] ـ

Allah said:

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَنفَقُوا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ قَوَامًا

And those who, when they spend, do so neither excessively nor sparingly but are ever, between that, moderate [25:67]

ومن أوصاف عباد الرحمن توسطهم في باب النفقة بين الإسراف والتقتير لأنهم علموا أن الله سيسْألهم يوم القيامة عن هذه النِّعمة التي أعطاهم إياها، كما صح عن الرسول الله أنه قال : لا تزول قدما عبد يوم القيامة حتى يسأل عن عمره فيما أفناه ، وعن علمه فيما فعل فيه، وعن ماله من أين اكتسبه، وفيما أنفقه، وعن جسمه فيم أبلاه . ـ

One of the qualities of the ‘Ibad al-Rahman – the slaves of the Most Merciful – is their moderation when it comes to spending, falling between wasteful extravagance on the one hand and miserliness on the other. That is because they know that on the Day of Judgement Allah will ask them ask the blessings He has given them, as has been authentically transmitted from Allah’s Messenger that he said: Continue reading

‘Ibad al-Rahman Part 3 – Fear of the Hellfire: ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr, one of the contemporary scholars of al-Madinah, wrote a small booklet on the qualities of the ‘Ibad al-Rahman – servants of the Most Merciful – mentioned in the end of Surah al-Furqan. We have translated this booklet in a series of posts. This section discusses the third quality listed:

الصفة الثالثة : خوفهم وإشفاقهم من عذاب النَّار
Third Quality: Their Great Fear of the Punishment of the Hellfire

قال عز وجل : [وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اصْرِفْ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا * إِنَّهَا سَاءَتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا ] ـ

Allah said:

وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اصْرِفْ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا * إِنَّهَا سَاءَتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا

And those who say, “Our Lord, avert the punishment of Hell away from us. Indeed, Its torment is an inseparable, permanent punishment. * How evil it is as an abode and as a place to dwell. [25:65-66]

فعباد الرحمن مع إحسانهم بالعمل والتعبد لله ، قد خافوا ووجلوا من عذاب الله وسخطه وهذه حال المؤمنين الكمل؛ كما قال الله : [ وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوا وَّقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ رَاجِعُونَ ] أي: يقدِّمون ما يقدِّمونه من عباداتٍ وطاعاتٍ وقلوبهم خائفةٌ أن ترد عليهم أعمالهم، فيصيبهم بعد ذلك عذابٌ من الله . ـ

Despite the goodness that they have in their actions and seeking to draw closer to Allah, the ‘ibad al-Rahman – the slave of the Most Merciful – feel great fear and apprehension about Allah’s punishment and displeasure. This is the way of the complete believer. It is just as Allah has said: Continue reading

‘Ibad al-Rahman Part 1 – Composure: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr, one of the contemporary scholars of al-Madinah, wrote a small booklet on the qualities of the ‘Ibad al-Rahman – servants of the Most Merciful – mentioned in the end of Surah al-Furqan. We have translated this booklet in a series of posts. Following the introduction, this section discusses the first quality listed in the passage:

الصفة الاولى : السَّكينة والوقار والتواضع لله ولعباده

قال تعالى : [ وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا ] ـ

The First Quality: Composure, Dignity, and Humility towards Allah and His slaves

Allah said:

وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا

And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth with composure, and when the ignorant address them, they say words of peace. [25:63]

من صفات عباد الرحمن وجميل نعوتهم : تواضعهم لله ولعباده، فيمشون بسكينةٍ وطمأنينة ووقار، وهذا التواضع الذي ظهر على مشيهم وهيئتهم إنما هو ثمرةٌ من ثمار الإيمان، وأثرٌ من آثاره. ـ

One of the characteristics and beautiful traits of the ‘Ibad al-Rahman – servants of the Most Merciful – is their humility towards Allah and His slaves, such that they go about with composure, calmness and dignity. But this the humility which is plain to see from the way they walk and outwardly appear is actually one of the fruits and effects of eemaan.

وقال ابن عباس في قوله تعالى : [ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا ] ، أي : بالطاعة والعفاف والتواضع . ـ

Ibn ‘Abbaas said about Allah’s statement:

الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا

… those who walk upon the earth with composure …

i.e. in obedience, exercising self-control and practicing humility towards others. Continue reading

‘Ibad al-Rahman – Introduction: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr, one of the well-known scholars of al-Madinah, wrote a small booklet discussing the closing of surah al-Furqan where Allah lists several honorable traits of His believing slaves. We have translated this booklet as a series of posts, and what follows is the sheikh’s introduction:

الحمد لله، والصلا ة والسلام على رسول الله، وعلى آله وصحبه ومن والاه، أما بعد: ـ

All praise is due to Allah. May peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, as well as his family, his companions and whoever aligns themselves with him. To proceed:

فإن مقام العبودية لله مقامٌ عظيم، بل هو أشرف المقامات التي امتدح الله بها أنبياءه وأولياءه ، وأضاف أهلها لنفْسه في آيات عديدة؛ تشريفًا لهم وتعليةً لمقامهم. ـ

The station of servitude to Allah is a tremendous station; in fact it is the most noble position with which Allah has praised His prophets and allies. In numerous ayaat Allah has mentioned those who fulfill this rank in conjunction with His name as a form of honoring them and showing the elevated nature of their rank.

وقد ذكر الله لأهل هذا المقام الشريف أوصافًا عديدة، وسماتٍ مباركة، في نصوصٍ كثيرة؛ ليجتهد المسلم في الاتِّصاف بها، والعمل بمقتضاها؛ لينال المقام الرفيع، والشرف الكبير عند رب العالمين. ـ

Allah has mentioned a number of characteristics and blessed titles for those people who hold this noble station. These are mentioned in numerous places in our texts so that the Muslims would strive to imbue themselves with these qualities and conduct themselves in the way that these characteristics entail. In doing so, they would achieve a lofty station and great honor with the Lord of all creation.

ومن أبرز المواضع التي ذكر الله فيها أوصاف عباده المؤمنين في سياقٍ واحدٍ ما جاء في خواتيم سورة الفرقان، حيث ذكر ثمانية أوصافٍ، بدأها بقوله عز وجل [ وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا … ] وفي هذا دلالة على عظيم اختصاصهم بما دل عليه هذا الاسم من معاني الرحمة، فبرحمته هداهم للإيمان، ورباهم على طاعة الرحمن، وحسْ التقرب إليه عز وجل . ـ

One of the most prominent places in which Allah mentions the qualities of His believing slaves is in a single passage found at the closing of surah al-Furqan. Here Allah mentions eight qualities, starting from His statement:

وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا

And the servants of al-Rahman are those who walk upon the earth with composure … [25:63]

We get an indication of the great distinction of these people in this ayah due to what the meanings of this word “al-Rahman” entail. For it is out of His Rahmah – mercy, kindness – that He guided these people of have eemaan and raised them up to be obedient to al-Rahman and to draw close to Him through the proper ways means.

ثم عدد صفاتهم كل صفةٍ مبْدوءةٍ بقوله : [ الذين ] وختم الله هذا السِّياق الكريم بذكر ما أعده لهم منْ ثوابٍ عظيم، وأجرٍ جزيل. ـ

Allah then lists their characteristics, beginning each new characteristic by saying:

وَالَّذِينَ

and those who …

and then Allah concludes this noble passage by mentioning the tremendous rewards and great recompense He has prepared for them.

وجديرٌ بكلِّ مسلمٍ يسعى في نجاة نفسه وسعادتها أن يتأمل صفات عباد الرحمن التي وردت في هذا السِّياق المبارك؛ فيعْرفها معرفةً جيدة، ثم يسْعى بعد ذلك في تحقيقها على أكمل وجهٍ. ـ

So every Muslim working towards the salvation and eternal joy of his own soul ought to reflect on these descriptions of the ‘Ibad al-Rahman – the slaves of the Most Merciful – which have been mentioned in this noble passage. In this way he will become well acquainted with them, and thereafter he will be able to work towards actualizing and enacting them in the most complete way.

[Sifat ‘Ibad al-Rahman pg 5-6]

Continue reading: ‘Ibad al-Rahman Part 1 – Composure: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr

For more information about this series, see our ‘Ibad al-Rahman Series Guide

See also: Qualities of the Successful Believers Series

See also: Qualities of the Successful Ones: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Craving Wealth and Rulership: ibn Taymiyah

In one of his many writings, sheikh al-Islam ibn Taymiyah made the following insightful comments:

لا ريب أن الحرص والرغبة في الحياة الدنيا وفي الدار الدنيا من المال والسلطان مضر كما روى الترمذي عن كعب بن مالك قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ” { ما ذئبان جائعان أرسلا في زريبة غنم بأفسد لها من حرص المرء على المال والشرف لدينه } ” قال الترمذي حديث حسن صحيح . فذم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم الحرص [ ص: 143 ] على المال والشرف وهو الرياسة والسلطان وأخبر أن ذلك يفسد الدين مثل أو فوق إفساد الذئبين الجائعين لزريبة الغنم . ـ

There is no doubt that craving and pining after this worldly life and the wealth and rulership in it is something harmful. This is just as al-Tirmidhi relayed from Ka’b ibn Malik who said: Allah’s Messenger said:

Two hunger wolves let loose in the sheep pen is no more destructive to them than a person’s craving for wealth and rulership is to his religion.

and al-Tirmidhi said that this was a hasan saheeh hadeeth. So the Prophet criticized pining after wealth and al-sharf – which is positions of rulership and authority – and he informed us that such things corrupt one’s religion as much if not more than the destruction that two hunger wolves unleash upon an enclosure of sheep.

وهذا دليل على أن هذا الحرص إنما ذم لأنه يفسد الدين الذي هو الإيمان والعمل الصالح فكان ترك هذا الحرص لصالح العمل وهذان هما المذكوران في قوله تعالى { ما أغنى عني ماليه } { هلك عني سلطانيه } وهما اللذان : ذكرهما الله في سورة القصص حيث افتتحها بأمر فرعون وذكر علوه في الأرض وهو الرياسة والشرف والسلطان ثم ذكر في آخرها قارون وما أوتيه من الأموال وذكر عاقبة سلطان هذا وعاقبة مال هذا ثم قال : { تلك الدار الآخرة نجعلها للذين لا يريدون علوا في الأرض ولا فسادا } كحال فرعون وقارون ; فإن جمع الأموال من غير إنفاقها في مواضعها المأمور بها وأخذها من غير وجهها هو من نوع الفساد . ـ

This is a proof that this craving is dispraised precisely because it corrupts one’s deen, that is, one’s eemaan and righteous deeds. So a person should leave off this avarice for the sake of doing good deeds. And these objects of desire are also mentioned together in Allah’s statement: Continue reading

What the Memorizer of the Qur’an Ought to Know: Makki ibn Abi Taalib

Abu Muhammad Makki ibn Abi Taalib (died 437 AH) was one of the great scholars of the Qur’anic sciences in his era, having produced enduring works in the fields of the qiraa’aat, tajweed, tafsir, and the Arabic language. What follows is a small excerpt from al-Ri’aayah li-Tajweed, a definitive work on tajweed among the earlier generations:

باب ما يكمل به حال طالب القرآن
What the Seeker of the Qur’an Needs in Order to be Proficient

ينبغي لطالب القرآن أن يتعلم أحكام القرآن فيفهم عن الله ما فرض عليه ، ويلقن عنه ما خاطبه به ، فينتفع بما يقرأ ويعمل بما يتلو وأن يتعلم الناسخ والمنسوخ فيعلم ما فرض عليه مما لم يفرض عليه وما سقط العمل به مما العمل به واجب ، وأن يتعلم الفرائض والأحكام ، فما أقبح حامل القرآن أن يتلو فرائضه وأحكامه عن ظهر قلب وهو لا يعلم ما يتلو ، فكيف يعمل بما لا يفهم معناه ؟ فما أقبح أن يسأل عن فقه ما يتلوه ولا يدريه ! فما مثل من هذه حالته إلا كمثل الحمار يحمل أسفارا . ـ

The one seeking to learn and memorize the Qur’an ought to learn the legal rulings of the Qur’an so that he can know and understand from Allah Himself what Allah has mandated for him and comprehend what He is addressing him with. In doing so he can benefit from what he is reading and act according to what he is reciting.

He should also learn what is naasikh and what is mansukh[1] so that he can distinguish what is binding on him from what is not mandatory on him, and that which is no longer acted on from that which is he required to carry out.

So let him learn the legal obligations and rulings, for what is worse than a person who carries the Qur’an and recites its obligations and rulings by heart but doesn’t know what he is reciting? How will he act according to something he does not understand? What is worse than someone who asks about the meaning of something he recites while not even knowing it? There is nothing more fitting to describe the condition of such a person than a donkey hauling around tablets. Continue reading

Reciting Surah al-Mulk: Sheikh bin Baaz

The following question was posed to sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz bin Baaz:

السؤال: هل أقرأ سورة تبارك قبل النوم كل ليلة، وهل ينجي الله بها من فعل ذلك من عذاب القبر؟ ـ

Question: Should I recite surah Tabaarak [i.e. surah al-Mulk] every night before sleeping? And is is true that through such an action Allah saves whoever does that from the punishment of the grave?

الجواب: سورة تبارك لها شأن عظيم، وإذا قرأها فقد جاء فيها حديث يدل على فضلها وأنها تشهد لصاحبها يوم القيامة، لكن إنما تنفعه قراءتها وقراءة القرآن إذا عمل بذلك، أما إذا قرأها ولم يعمل فلا تنفعه؛ لقوله ﷺ: القرآن حجة لك أو عليك حجة لك إن عملت به وحجة عليك إذا لم يعمل به، فإذا قرأ القرآن أو قرأ سورة الكهف أو تبارك وهو مضيع لأمر الله ومرتكب لمعاصي الله فهو على خطر عظيم، فلا يكون القرآن حجة له بل يكون حجة عليه فيما أضاع. ـ

Response:Surah Tabaarak has tremendous merit, as does reciting it. There is a hadith which shows its virtue, which is that, on the Day of Recompense, it will bear witness for the one who recited it.

However, reciting surah Tabaarak or reciting the Qur’an will only be of benefit if one acts according to it. As for the one who recites it but does not act accordingly, then it will not be of benefit to him. Continue reading

Three Levels of Responding to People’s Harms: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah al-Shooraa:

وَجَزَاءُ سَيِّئَةٍ سَيِّئَةٌ مِّثْلُهَا ۖ فَمَنْ عَفَا وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِينَ * وَلَمَنِ انتَصَرَ بَعْدَ ظُلْمِهِ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ مَا عَلَيْهِم مِّن سَبِيلٍ * إِنَّمَا السَّبِيلُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَظْلِمُونَ النَّاسَ وَيَبْغُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ * وَلَمَن صَبَرَ وَغَفَرَ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ لَمِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ

The retribution of a harmful act is a harm like it. But whoever pardons and makes reconciliation, then his reward is due from Allah. Indeed, Allah does not love the unjust ones. * And whoever seeks revenge after having been treated unjustly, there is nothing against these ones. * The grounds for actions is only against those who wrong others and cause trouble in the earth without due right. For these ones there will be a painful punishment. * But whoever exercises patience and forgives; indeed, that is one of the ‘azm al-umoor. [42:40-43]

In his famous book of tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote:

ذكر الله في هذه الآية، مراتب العقوبات، وأنها على ثلاث مراتب: عدل وفضل وظلم. ـ

In this noble ayah, Allah mentions the different levels of retribution for harms, and that there are three different levels of responding to harms:

  • Justice
  • Goodness
  • Injustice

فمرتبة العدل، جزاء السيئة بسيئة مثلها، لا زيادة ولا نقص، فالنفس بالنفس، وكل جارحة بالجارحة المماثلة لها، والمال يضمن بمثله. ـ

The level of justice is that you repay a harmful action with a harm similar to the original harmful action without any increase or decrease. So a life for a life, or an equivalent piece of the body for piece of the body harmed, or wealth of an equal amount to that lost. Continue reading