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

Praying the voluntary prayers in the home: Ibn Qudaamah

The famous Hanbali jusrist, Ibn Qadaamahwrote the following on the topic of offering the optional prayers in one’s house:

والتطوع في البيت أفضل لقول رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ” عليكم بالصلاة في بيوتكم فإن خير صلاة المرء في بيته إلا الصلاة المكتوبة ” رواه مسلم، وعن زيد بن ثابت أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال ” صلاة المرء في بيته أفضل من صلاته في مسجدي هذا إلا المكتوبة ” رواه أبو داود وقال ” إذا قضى أحدكم الصلاة في مسجده فليجعل لبيته نصيبا من صلاته فإن الله جاعل في بيته من صلاته خيرا ” رواه مسلم. ولان الصلاة في البيت أقرب إلى الاخلاص، وأبعد من الرياء وهو من عمل السر وفعله في المسجد علانية والسر أفضل.

And performing the voluntary prayers in the house is preferable according to the statement of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) “So perform prayer in your houses for verily the best prayer of a person is in his house, except for the obligatory prayers“, narrated by Muslim, and on the authority of Zaid ibn Thaabit that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “the prayer of a person in his house is better than his prayer in my masjid, except for the obligatory prayers“, narrated by Abu Dawood. And he said, “When any one of you observes prayer in the mosque he should reserve a part of his prayer for his house, for Allah would make the prayer as a means of betterment in his house“, narrated by Muslim. For (optional) prayer in the house is nearer to ikhlaas, and further removed from riyaa’, and it is a secret action, and performing (optional) prayer in the masjid is public, and the secret action is better.

[al-Mughni 1/775]

See also: Do not make your houses like graves: Sharh al-Nawawi

See also: Reserve a part of your prayer for the house

See also: Allah’s commendations for those who prayer during the night

See also: “Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors.”: Imam al-Qurtubi’s tafsir of 7:55

See also: Du’a or dhikr after salaah?: Ibn Taymiyah

Du’a or dhikr after the salaah?: Ibn Taymiyah

In the great collection of Ibn Taymiyah’s works, in the book of fiqh under the section of salaah, one question was posed as follows:

وسئل عن هذا الذي يفعله الناس بعد كل صلاة من الدعاء : هل هو مكروه ؟ وهل ورد عن أحد من السلف فعل ذلك ؟ ويتركون أيضا الذكر الذي صح أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يقوله ويشتغلون بالدعاء ؟ فهل [ الأفضل ] الاشتغال بالذكر الوارد عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أو هذا الدعاء ؟ وهل صح أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يرفع يديه ويمسح وجهه أم لا ؟ .

And it was asked about what the people do of du’a (supplication) after every salaah – it is disliked? And has it been narrated that any of the salaf did that? And also, they leave of the dhikr which the Prophet (ﷺ) actually said while they busy themselves with supplication. So which is more virtuous – busying oneself with dhikr which has been narrated from the Prophet (ﷺ), or with du’a? And is it authentic that the Prophet (ﷺ) used to raise his hands and wipe over his face or not?

And ibn Taymiyah’s answer followed: Continue reading

Do not make your houses like graves: Sharh al-Nawawi

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar narrates that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

اجعلوا من صلاتكم في بيوتكم ولا تتخذوها قبوراً

“Observe some of your prayers in your houses and do not make them (like) graves.”

[Muslim #777]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his explanation of Saheeh Muslim, writes:

باب استحباب صلاة النافلة في بيته وجوازها في المسجد

The chapter on the desirability of optional [nawaafil] prayer in one’s house and the permissibility of it in the masjid

 وسواء في هذا الراتبة وغيرها إلا الشعائر الظاهرة وهي العيد والكسوف والاستسقاء والتراويح وكذا ما لا يتأتى في غير المسجد كتحية المسجد ويندب كونه في المسجد هي ركعتا الطواف . ـ

[And just as this applies to optional (nawaafil) prayers] this also applies routine optional prayers (al-rawaatib) and others, except for those prayers which are the outward rituals, and they are the ‘eid prayer, and al-kusoof (eclipse prayer), and al-istisqaa’ (prayer for rain), and al-taraaweeh (night prayer during Ramadhaan), and others such as those which cannot be done except in the masjid such as tahiyyah al-masjid (prayer for greeting the masjid) and those whose performance is relegated to the masjid such as two raka’aat of Tawaaf. Continue reading

The reward of ṣalaah while sitting: Ibn Taymiyah

In the epic collection of his writings, Ibn Taymiyah addresses the question: Is it true that the prayer of someone sitting is half (in terms reward) of the prayer of someone standing? He replied:

نعم . صحيح عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال : { صلاة القاعد على النصف من صلاة القائم } . لكن إذا كان عادته أنه يصلي قائما وإنما قعد لعجزه فإن الله يعطيه أجر القائم . لقوله صلى الله عليه وسلم { إذا مرض العبد أو سافر كتب له من العمل ما كان يعمله وهو صحيح مقيم } فلو عجز عن الصلاة كلها لمرض كان الله يكتب له أجرها كله ; لأجل نيته وفعله بما قدر عليه فكيف إذا عجز عن أفعالها . ـ

Yes. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “the alaah of one who is sitting is half of the alaah of one who is standing.” However if it is one’s norm to pray while standing and he is only sitting due to his inability (at that time), then verily Allah will give him the reward of one who is standing. This is according to his statement (ﷺ), “When a slave of Allah suffers from illness or sets on a journey, he is credited with the equal of whatever good works he used to do when he was healthy or at home” [al-Bukhari #2996]. So if one is unable to perform the alaah completely due to sickness, then Allah writes the complete reward of it for him, according to his niyyah (intention) and his practice while he had the ability to do it, so similarly when he is unable to do that.

  [Majmoo’ al-Fataawa 23/130]

See also: Du’a or Dhikr after Salaah: Ibn Taymiyah

See also: The supplication of Istikhaarah – before or after the tasleem: Ibn Taymiyah

See also: Be more concerned about the acceptance of deeds than the deeds themselves: Ibn Rajab

See also: “Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors.”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

“And remember when We took a convenant from the Children of Israa’eel”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah mentions in surah al-Baqarah:

‏وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لَا تَعْبُدُونَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَقُولُوا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْنًا وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِنْكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ مُعْرِضُونَ‏‏

And (remember) when We took a covenant from the Children of Israa’eel, [enjoining upon them], “Do not worship except Allah, and behave well towards parents, and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak good to mankind and establish the salaah and give zakah.” Then you turned away, except a few of you, and you were refusing. [2:83]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di, in his well-known book of tafsir, wrote the following commentary on this ayah:

وهذه الشرائع من أصول الدين‏,‏ التي أمر الله بها في كل شريعة‏,‏ لاشتمالها على المصالح العامة‏,‏ في كل زمان ومكان‏,‏ فلا يدخلها نسخ‏,‏ كأصل الدين، ولهذا أمرنا بها في قوله‏:‏ ‏{‏وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شيئًا‏}‏ إلى آخر الآية‏.‏

And these are the Divine Laws from the foundation of the deen which Allah has ordained in every Divine Legislation (i.e. these commandments were unwaveringly present in the teachings of all of Allah’s prophets and messengers), due to their encompassing of widespread benefits in every time and place. So like the fundamentals of the religion, none of them are subject to abrogation, and so we have also been commanded with them in His statement:

وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّـهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالْجَنبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالًا فَخُورًا

Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful. [4:36] Continue reading

“Are they equal, those who know and those who know not?”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah say in His Book in surah al-Zumar:

 ‏‏أَمْ مَنْ هُوَ قَانِتٌ آنَاءَ اللَّيْلِ سَاجِدًا وَقَائِمًا يَحْذَرُ الْآخِرَةَ وَيَرْجُو رَحْمَةَ رَبِّهِ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ‏

Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]? Say, “Are they equal, those who know and those who do not know?” Only people of understanding will pay heed. [39:9]

The ‘allaamah ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di, in his famous book of tafsir, wrote the following:

هذه مقابلة بين العامل بطاعة اللّه وغيره، وبين العالم والجاهل، وأن هذا من الأمور التي تقرر في العقول تباينها، وعلم علما يقينا تفاوتها، فليس المعرض عن طاعة ربه، المتبع لهواه، كمن هو قانت أي‏:‏ مطيع للّه بأفضل العبادات وهي الصلاة، وأفضل الأوقات وهو أوقات الليل، فوصفه بكثرة العمل وأفضله، ثم وصفه بالخوف والرجاء، وذكر أن متعلق الخوف عذاب الآخرة، على ما سلف من الذنوب، وأن متعلق الرجاء، رحمة اللّه، فوصفه بالعمل الظاهر والباطن‏.‏

This is a comparison between the one who performs acts of obedience to Allah and other than him, and between the who with knowledge and the ignorant one. And this is one of the things which is intended to highlight the differences for the [possessor of] intellect, and cause one to know the distinction with certain knowledge. So the one who displays obedience to his Lord is not like the one who follows his own capricious desires. (Rather) he is Qaanit (devoutly obedient), meaning – obedient to Allah with the most virtuous of ibaadah, which is al-salaah, in the most virtuous of times, which is the night time. So Allah describes him with an abundance of deeds and their virtue, then He describes him with fear and hope, and He mentioned that which is related to fear of the punishment of the hereafter for what has already occurred of sins, and what is related to hope of the Mercy of Allah. So He characterized him with both apparent and concealed deeds. Continue reading

Allah’s commendations for those who pray during the night

The great muhaddith, haadifh and faqeeh, Imam ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, wrote the following in his book Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif concerning the virtue of the night prayer (qiyaam al-lail):

وفي المسند عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن النبي قيل له : إنّ فلاناً يصلي من الليل, فإذا أصبح سَرَقَ, فقال :(سينهاه ما تقول). لأن وقت التهجد من الليل أفضل أوقات التطوع بالصلاة, وأقرب ما يكون العبد من ربّه, وهو وقت فتح أبواب السماء واستجابة الدعاء, واستعراض حواؤج السائلين. وقد مدح الله تعالى المستيقظين بالليل لذكره ودعائه واستغفاره ومناجاته. ـ

And in the musnad [of imam Ahmad] from Abu Hurayrah (raadiAllaahu ‘anhu) that it was said to the Prophet (ﷺ), “Verily so-and-so prays during the night, so what if it happens that he steals?” So he replied, “It [i.e. the prayer] will prevent him from doing what you said.”

This is because the time of tahajjud during the night is the best of times from the voluntary prayers, and it is when the slave is nearest to his Lord. It is the time when the doors of the heavens open and the supplications are responded to, and the needs of the petitioners are acknowledged.

And Allah the Exalted has praised those who awake during the night for His remembrance, supplication to Him, seeking His forgiveness, and seeking His protection.

فقال الله تعالى :  تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَ‌بَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَ‌زَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ  فَلَا تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَّا أُخْفِيَ لَهُم مِّن قُرَّ‌ةِ أَعْيُنٍ جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ . ـ

For Allah the Exalted said:

تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَ‌بَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَ‌زَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ  فَلَا تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَّا أُخْفِيَ لَهُم مِّن قُرَّ‌ةِ أَعْيُنٍ جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend out of what We have bestowed on them. No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do. [32:16-17] Continue reading

“Whoever stands Ramadan with eemaan and ihtisaab, his previous sins will be forgiven”: Sharh al-Nawawi

Imam Muslim records that Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ

Whoever stands Ramadan [i.e. in optional night prayers] with eemaan and iḥtisaab, his previous sins will be forgiven.

[Saheeh Muslim #759]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his commentary on this hadeeth, wrote:

قوله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : ( من قام رمضان إيمانا واحتسابا ) معنى ( إيمانا ) تصديقا بأنه حق مقتصد فضيلته ، ومعنى ( احتسابا ) أن يريد الله تعالى وحده لا يقصد رؤية الناس ، ولا غير ذلك مما يخالف الإخلاص . ) .

His (ﷺ) statement, “Whoever stands Ramadan with eemaan and iḥtisaab”. ‘With eemaan‘ means believing that it is true and intending its blessings, and ‘with iḥtisaab‘ means that one desires Allah the Exalted alone and does not intend being seen by the people nor anything else which contradicts ikhlaaṣ (sincerity). Continue reading

The great blessing of being a guiding leader: Tafsir al-Sa’di

After mentioning the story of Ibrahim being thrown into the fire by his people, and his subsequent migration with Loot, Allah says in surah al-Anbiyaa’:

وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ نَافِلَةً ۖ وَكُلًّا جَعَلْنَا صَالِحِينَ * وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِ‌نَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَ‌اتِ وَإِقَامَ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءَ الزَّكَاةِ ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا عَابِدِينَ

And We gave him Ishaaq and Ya’qoob in addition, and all [of them] We made righteous. And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of zakah; and they were worshippers of Us. [al-Qur’an 21:72-73]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his great book of tafsir, writes about these ayaat by saying:

{‏وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ‏}‏ حين اعتزل قومه ‏{‏إِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ‏}‏ ابن إسحاق ‏{‏نَافِلَةً‏}‏ بعدما كبر، وكانت زوجته عاقرا، فبشرته الملائكة بإسحاق، ‏{‏وَمِنْ وَرَاءِ إِسْحَاقَ يَعْقُوبَ‏}‏ ويعقوب، هو إسرائيل، الذي كانت منه الأمة العظيمة، وإسماعيل بن إبراهيم، الذي كانت منه الأمة الفاضلة العربية، ومن ذريته، سيد الأولين والآخرين‏.‏ ‏{‏وَكُلَا‏}‏ من إبراهيم وإسحاق ويعقوب ‏{‏جَعَلْنَا صَالِحِينَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ قائمين بحقوقه، وحقوق عباده، ومن صلاحهم، أنه جعلهم أئمة يهدون بأمره، وهذا من أكبر نعم الله على عبده أن يكون إماما يهتدي به المهتدون، ويمشي خلفه السالكون، وذلك لما صبروا، وكانوا بآيات الله يوقنون‏.‏

And We gave Him” when withdrew from his people “Ishaaq and Ya’qoob” the son of Ishaaq. “In addition” – i.e. after he had become old and his wife was barren, then the angels gave him glad tidings of Ishaaq “and after Ishaaq, Ya’qoob” [11:71]. And Ya’qoob is Israa’eel, from whom there was a great ummah. And there was also Ismaa’eel ibn Ibrahim, from whom there was a blessed Arab ummah, and from whose offspring was the sayyid of the first and the last.

And all of them” – Ibrahim and Ishaaq and Ya’qoobWe made righteous” – meaning: establishing and fulfilling His rights and the rights of His slaves. And because of their righteousness, He made them leaders guiding by His command. This is one of the greatest blessings of Allah upon a slave of His, that he would be a leader by whom the guided ones are guided, and the traversers of the path would follow in his footsteps. And that is because they exercised sabr and had yaqeen in the ayaat of Allah. Continue reading