‘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]

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Leaving the Remembrance of Allah: Sheikh al-Fawzan

While describing the munafiqoon in part of surah al-Mujaadalah, Allah says:

اسْتَحْوَذَ عَلَيْهِمُ الشَّيْطَانُ فَأَنسَاهُمْ ذِكْرَ اللَّـهِ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ حِزْبُ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ أَلَا إِنَّ حِزْبَ الشَّيْطَانِ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ

The Shaytaan has overcome them and made them forget the remembrance of Allah. Those ones are the party of the Shaytaan. Indeed, surely the band of Shaytaan are the losers. [58:19]

Commenting on this, sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan said:

بين السبب الذي حملهم على هذا الكذب ، وهذه الأيمان الفاجرة وهو أن الشيطان استحوذ عليهم ، أي : تسلط عليهم وتمكن منهم فصاروا من جنده . ـ

Allah is explaining the reason which caused them to come to this disbelief and to make this false oath [see 58:17-18] – it is that the shaytaan has overcome them. Meaning he has prevailed over them and is in a position of power over them so they have become part of his band.

ـ [فَأَنسَاهُمْ ذِكْرَ اللَّـهِ] و إذا نسوا ذكر الله قلّ الإيمان في قلوبهم وقلت خشية الله في قلوبهم ، فلا يمتنعون من الكذب ومن الأعمال الرديئة ؛ لأنهم لا يذكرون الله إلا قليلاً ، فذكر الله يعصم الإنسان من الشيطان . ـ

فَأَنسَاهُمْ ذِكْرَ اللَّـهِ

So he caused them to forget Allah 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

Guidance for Interpreting the Qur’an in Surah Aal ‘Imran: Tafsir ibn Kathir

In the beginning of surah Aal ‘Imran, Allah says:

هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ۖ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ ۗ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّـهُ ۗ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ * رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ * رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ جَامِعُ النَّاسِ لِيَوْمٍ لَّا رَيْبَ فِيهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُخْلِفُ الْمِيعَادَ

It is He who revealed the Scripture to you. In it there are muhkam verses which are the Umm al-Kitab and others which are ambiguous. As for those in whose hearts is deviation, they follow the ambiguous parts of it, seeking fitnah and seeking distortion. But none knows its interpretation except Allah and those whose are firmly-grounded in knowledge. They say, “We believe in it. All of it is from our Lord.” And none will be reminded except for those of understanding.

“O our Lord, do not let our hearts deviate after You have guided us! And grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower.

Our Lord, surely You will gather the people for a Day about which there is no doubt. Indeed, Allah does not fail in His promise.” [3:7-9]

In his famous book of tafsir, al-haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir dedicated considerable space to explaining these ayaat. For the sake of clarity and brevity, we have used sheikh Muhammad Moosaa Nasr’s abridgement of Tafsir ibn Kathir in order to present a more streamlined explanation:

يخبر تعالى أن في القرآن آيات محكمات هن أم الكتاب ، أي : بينات واضحات الدلالة ، لا التباس فيها على أحد من الناس ، ومنه آيات أخر فيها اشتباه في الدلالة على كثير من الناس أو بعضهم ، فمن رد ما اشتبه عليه إلى الواضح منه ، وحكم محكمه على متشابهه عنده ، فقد اهتدى . ومن عكس انعكس ، ولهذا قال تعالى : ( هو الذي أنزل عليك الكتاب منه آيات محكمات هن أم الكتاب ) أي : أصله [ ص: 7 ] الذي يرجع إليه عند الاشتباه ( وأخر متشابهات ) أي : تحتمل دلالتها موافقة المحكم ، وقد تحتمل شيئا آخر من حيث اللفظ والتركيب ، لا من حيث المراد . ـ

Allah is informing us that in this Qur’an there are:

  1. Muhkam verses which are the heart of the Book – i.e. verses whose message is plain and clear, such that no one would have any confusion about them
  2. Other verses whose message is somewhat ambiguous to some or many of the people

So whoever refers those confusing passages back to the clear ones and makes the clear parts a judge over the those he finds to be ambiguous will be rightly guided. And whoever does the opposite will have the opposite result. That is why Allah 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

“A Word They Say with Their Mouths”: Tafsir al-Shawkani

Allah says in surah al-Tawbah:

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ عُزَيْرٌ ابْنُ اللَّـهِ وَقَالَتِ النَّصَارَى الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ اللَّـهِ ۖ ذَٰلِكَ قَوْلُهُم بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ ۖ يُضَاهِئُونَ قَوْلَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن قَبْلُ ۚ قَاتَلَهُمُ اللَّـهُ ۚ أَنَّىٰ يُؤْفَكُونَ

The Jews say, “‘Uzayr is the son of Allah “; and the Christians say, “The Messiah is the son of Allah.” That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded? [9:30]

Sheikh Muhammad al-Shawkani mentions the following benefit in his explanation of this ayah:

قوله : ذلك قولهم بأفواههم الإشارة إلى ما صدر عنهم من هذه المقالة الباطلة . ـ

Allah’s statement:

ذَٰلِكَ قَوْلُهُم بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ

That is their statement from their mouths

indicates that these things which have emanated from them are false statements.

ووجه قولهم بأفواههم مع العلم بأن القول لا يكون إلا بالفم ، بأن هذا القول لما كان ساذجا ليس فيه بيان ولا عضده برهان كان مجرد دعوى ، لا معنى تحتها ، فارغة صادرة عنهم صدور المهملات التي ليس فيها إلا كونها خارجة من الأفواه ، غير مفيدة لفائدة يعتد بها ، وقيل : إن ذكر الأفواه لقصد التأكيد كما في ” كتبت بيدي ومشيت برجلي ” ، ومنه قوله – تعالى – : يكتبون الكتاب بأيديهم ( البقرة : 79 ) وقوله : ولا طائر يطير بجناحيه ( الأنعام : 38 ) . ـ

The reason for saying “from their mouths” despite it being common knowledge that speech does not happen by any other means than the mouth is that this statement of theirs is nothing more than a claim since it is just a simple-minded statement without any further elaboration or supporting evidence. It is nothing more than an empty claim without any meaning beneath it, a careless utterance with no substance to it at all. It is just something that came from their mouths without actually having any real meaning to it. Continue reading

‘Ibad al-Rahman Part 2 – Steadfast Observance of Prayer: ‘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 second quality listed:

الصفة الثانية : محافظتهم على الصلاة، لاسيَّما قيام الليل

قال عز وجل : [ وَالَّذِينَ يَبِيتُونَ لِرَبِّهِمْ سُجَّدًا وَقِيَامًا ] ـ

The Second Characteristic: Their Consistent Performance of the Prayers, Especially the Night Prayers

Allah said:

وَالَّذِينَ يَبِيتُونَ لِرَبِّهِمْ سُجَّدًا وَقِيَامًا

And those who spend the night before their Lord, prostrate and standing. [25:64]

ومن صفات عباد الرحمن الظاهرة محافظتهم على أداء الصلاة التي هي أعظم الأعمال البدنية، فرضًا و نفلًا، لاسيما صلاة الليل، فإنها سنةٌ مؤكدة عن رسول الله وجاء في فضْل المحافظة عليها أحاديث عديدة، ولهذا جاء التنصيص عليها في الآية السابقة أنها منْ صفات عباد الرحمن. ـ

One of the visible characteristics of the ‘ibad al-Rahman – the slaves of the Most Merciful – is their steadfast observance of the prayers, which are the greatest form of bodily worship. They faithfully perform both the obligatory and optional prayers, especially the night prayers which are a strongly emphasized sunnah of Allah’s Messenger. There are many hadith narrations regarding the virtue of faithfully observing the night prayers, and in this ayah there is an explicit mention that this is one of the characteristics of the ‘ibad al-Rahman.

ومما ورد في فضْل قيام الليل قوله : أفضل الصلاة بعد الفريضة : صلاة الليل . ـ

Among those texts regarding the virtue of the night prayers is the Prophet’s statement, “After the obligatory prayers, the best prayer is the night prayer.”

وقال : عليكم بقيام الليل ؛ فإنه دأب الصالحين قبلكم ، وهو قربة إلى ربكم ومكفرة للسيئات ومنها للإثم . ـ

He also said, “Hold fast to the night prayers, for it was the practice of the righteous people before you and it is a form of drawing close to your Lord, an expiation of bad deeds, and a prevention against sins.” Continue reading

Assorted Qur’an Benefits #15

What follows is a collection of benefits originally posted on our Facebook page during August and September of 2016, a period which coincided with the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah and the Hajj:

♦ Restraining Oneself from Base Desires

Allah says in surah al-Naazi’aat:

 وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّهِ وَنَهَى النَّفْسَ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ * فَإِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ هِيَ الْمَأْوَىٰ

But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from desires. * Verily, Paradise will be his abode. [79:40-41]

Commenting on this in his tafsir, Imam al-Baghawi wrote:

عن المحارم التي تشتهيها ، قال مقاتل : هو الرجل يهم بالمعصية فيذكر مقامه للحساب فيتركها

He restrained himself from the forbidden matters which he desired.

Muqatil said: This is a man who was intending to perform an act of disobedience but then he remembered his appointment for the recompense of his deeds and so abandoned doing that act.”

[Tafsir al-Baghawi 8/331]


And If They Turn Away …

In surah al-Maa’idah, Allah instructs His Messenger: 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

What the Salaf Meant by “Abrogation”: Ibn al-Qayyim

In the midst of a discussion urging people not to be hasty or eager to issue legal rulings, ibn al-Qayyim mentioned the following narration about naskh – frequently translated as “abrogation” – and then added some valuable commentary afterwards:

وقال ابن وهب : حدثنا أشهل بن حاتم عن عبد الله بن عون عن ابن سيرين قال : قال حذيفة : إنما يفتي الناس أحد ثلاثة : من يعلم ما نسخ من القرآن ، أو أمير لا يجد بدا ، أو أحمق متكلف ، قال : فربما قال ابن سيرين : فلست بواحد من هذين ، ولا أحب أن أكون الثالث ـ

… ibn Sireen said: Hudhayfah said,

The only ones who issue legal rulings to the people are one of the following three types: 1) someone who knows which parts of the Qur’an have been subject to naskh, 2) a ruler who cannot find any alternative, or 3) an imbecile who fancies himself as being qualified.

The sub-narrator said: I think ibn Sireen said, “I am neither one of the first two, and I would not like to be the third.”

قلت : مراده ومراد عامة السلف بالناسخ والمنسوخ رفع الحكم بجملته تارة وهو اصطلاح المتأخرين ، ورفع دلالة العام والمطلق والظاهر وغيرها تارة ، إما بتخصيص أو تقييد أو حمل مطلق على مقيد وتفسيره وتبيينه حتى إنهم يسمون الاستثناء والشرط والصفة نسخا لتضمن ذلك رفع دلالة الظاهر وبيان المراد ، فالنسخ عندهم وفي لسانهم هو بيان المراد بغير ذلك اللفظ ، بل بأمر خارج عنه ، ومن تأمل كلامهم رأى من ذلك فيه ما لا يحصى ، وزال عنه به إشكالات أوجبها حمل كلامهم على الاصطلاح الحادث المتأخر . ـ Continue reading