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

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“So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In surah al-Baqarah, after Allah revealed the command of changing the Qibla and dedicating a number of ayaat from the first part of the second Juz’ [2:142-150], He then moves on to mention:

كَمَا أَرْ‌سَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَ‌سُولًا مِّنكُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُوا تَعْلَمُونَ * فَاذْكُرُ‌ونِي أَذْكُرْ‌كُمْ وَاشْكُرُ‌وا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُ‌ونِ

Just as We have sent among you a messenger from yourselves reciting to you Our ayaat and purifying you and teaching you the Book and wisdom and teaching you that which you did not know. * So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me. [2:151-152]
Commenting on these ayaat, Imam al-Sa’di writes:
يقول تعالى‏:‏ إن إنعامنا عليكم باستقبال الكعبة وإتمامها بالشرائع والنعم المتممة‏,‏ ليس ذلك ببدع من إحساننا‏,‏ ولا بأوله‏,‏ بل أنعمنا عليكم بأصول النعم ومتمماتها‏,‏ فأبلغها إرسالنا إليكم هذا الرسول الكريم منكم‏,‏ تعرفون نسبه وصدقه‏,‏ وأمانته وكماله ونصحه‏.‏
ـ
Allah is saying: Verily, We have blessed you with facing the Ka’bah and completing the Divine legislation and other supplemental blessings. That is nothing new of Our Ihsaan, nor is that the beginning of it – rather, We have blessed you with the fundamental blessings and supplementary ones, for I have done this by sending this noble messenger to you from among you, so that you may recognize his lineage and his truthfulness, and his trustworthiness, excellence and sincerity. Continue reading

“O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In His Book, in surah al-Ahzaab, Allah directs His believing slaves with the following ayaat:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُ‌وا اللَّـهَ ذِكْرً‌ا كَثِيرً‌ا * وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَ‌ةً وَأَصِيلًا * هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَلِّي عَلَيْكُمْ وَمَلَائِكَتُهُ لِيُخْرِ‌جَكُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ‌ ۚ وَكَانَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَ‌حِيمًا * تَحِيَّتُهُمْ يَوْمَ يَلْقَوْنَهُ سَلَامٌ ۚ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرً‌ا كَرِ‌يمًا

O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance (41) And exalt Him morning and afternoon. (42) It is He who confers blessing upon you, and His angels [ask Him to do so] that He may bring you out from darknesses into the light. And He is Merciful to the believers. (43) Their greeting the Day they meet Him will be, “Peace.” And He has prepared for them a noble reward. (44)

Imam ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, wrote the following about these ayaat:

يأمر تعالى المؤمنين، بذكره ذكرا كثيرًا، من تهليل، وتحميد، وتسبيح، وتكبير وغير ذلك، من كل قول فيه قربة إلى اللّه، وأقل ذلك، أن يلازم الإنسان، أوراد الصباح، والمساء، وأدبار الصلوات الخمس، وعند العوارض والأسباب‏.‏

Allah the Exalted commanded the believers to remember Him with much remembrance —with (the utterance) of Tahleel (لا إله إلا الله); Tahmeed (الحمد لله); Tasbeeh (سبحان الله); Takbeer (الله أكبر) and other than that; and with every speech in which there is drawing close to Allah. And at the bare minimum that a person is constant in performing the supplications of the morning and the evening, after the five obligatory prayers, and at times when one is faced with obstacles and situations. Continue reading

The night of the middle of Sha’baan: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, in his discussion of the merits of the month of Sha’baan, writes the following concerning the magnification that some give to the night of the 15th of Sha’baan and performing extra special acts of worship therein:

وفي فضل ليلة نصف شعبان أحاديث أخر متعددة ، وقد اختلف فيها ، فضعّفها الأكثرون ، وصحّح ابن حبان بعضها وخرّجه في صحيحه

There are many hadeeth concerning the virtue of the night of the middle of Sha’baan, and there has been differing about them. The majority [of the muhaddithoon] have graded them as weak, but Ibn Hibbaan authenticated some of them and reported them in his Saheeh collection.

ومن أمثلها حديث عائشة ، قالت : فَقَدْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لَيْلَةً فَخَرَجْتُ فَإِذَا هُوَ بِالْبَقِيعِ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ أَكُنْتِ تَخَافِينَ أَنْ يَحِيفَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكِ وَرَسُولُهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنِّي ظَنَنْتُ أَنَّكَ أَتَيْتَ بَعْضَ نِسَائِكَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَنْزِلُ لَيْلَةَ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا فَيَغْفِرُ لأَكْثَرَ مِنْ عَدَدِ شَعْرِ غَنَمِ كَلْبٍ . خرّجه الإمام أحمد والترمذي وابن ماجه ، وذكر الترمذي عن البخاري أنه ضعّفه.

An example of those is the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah, where she said, “I could not find the Messenger of Allah one night. So I left and found him at Al-Baqi. He said: ‘Did you fear that you had been wronged by Allah and His Messenger?’ I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! I thought that you had gone to one of your wives.’ So he said: ‘Indeed Allah – The Mighty and Sublime – descends to the lowest Heavens during the night of the middle of Sha’baan, to grant forgiveness to more than the number of hairs on the sheep of (Banu) Kalb.'” It was recorded by Imam Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi, and ibn Maajah, and al-Tirmidhi mentioned that al-Bukhari had graded it as weak. Continue reading

Neither add nor detract from the sunnah, even when it comes to sneezing

Hadrami, the freed slave of the family of al-Jaarood narrated from Naafi’ that:

 أَنَّ رَجُلاً، عَطَسَ إِلَى جَنْبِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ فَقَالَ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ وَالسَّلاَمُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ‏.‏ قَالَ ابْنُ عُمَرَ وَأَنَا أَقُولُ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ وَالسَّلاَمُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ وَلَيْسَ هَكَذَا عَلَّمَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلَّمَنَا أَنْ نَقُولَ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ عَلَى كُلِّ حَالٍ

“A man sneezed beside Ibn ‘Umar and said, ‘al-hamdulillaah w’al-salaam ‘alaa rasoolillaah. (All praise is due to Allah, and peace upon the Messenger of Allah)’. So Ibn ‘Umar said, ‘I too could say al-hamdulillaah w’al-salaam ‘alaa rasoolillaah, but this is not what the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) taught us. He taught us to say, “Al-Hamdulillah ‘alaa kulli hal (All praise is due to Allah in every circumstance).”

[al-Tirmidhi #2738, hasan]

Imam al-Mubarakfoori, in his commentary on Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi, wrote the following concerning this hadeeth:

اعلم أن العطاس نعمة من نعم الله ، فلا بد للعاطس إذا عطس أن يحمد الله تعالى . قال الحافظ ابن القيم في زاد المعاد : العاطس قد حصلت له بالعطاس نعمة ومنفعة بخروج الأبخرة المحتقنة في دماغه التي لو بقيت فيه أحدثت له أدواء عسرة ، شرع له حمد الله على هذه النعمة ، مع بقاء أعضائه على التئامها وهيئتها على هذه الزلزلة التي هي للبدن كزلزلة الأرض لها . انتهى .

Know that sneezing is a blessing from Allaah, so when the sneezer sneezes he should praise and thank Allah the Exalted. Al-Haafidh ibn al-Qayyim said in Zaad al-Ma’aad, “The one who sneezes has received a blessing and a benefit by that sneeze in the expulsion of the congestion in his head which, had it remained there, would have caused him severe illness. It is legislated for him to praise and thank Allah for this blessing, as well as his limbs remaining well and present in the midst of this great shaking which is like as earthquake to the body just as the earthquake is to the earth.” Continue reading

“Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah, Subhanahu wa ta’ala, says in His Book in surah al-‘Ankaboot:

اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ ۖ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ‌ ۗ وَلَذِكْرُ‌ اللَّـهِ أَكْبَرُ‌ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ

“Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book, and establish the prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.” [29:45]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di, in his tafsir, wrote:

يأمر تعالى بتلاوة وحيه وتنزيله، وهو هذا الكتاب العظيم، ومعنى تلاوته اتباعه، بامتثال ما يأمر به، واجتناب ما ينهى عنه، والاهتداء بهداه، وتصديق أخباره، وتدبر معانيه، وتلاوة ألفاظه، فصار تلاوة لفظه جزء المعنى وبعضه، وإذا كان هذا معنى تلاوة الكتاب، علم أن إقامة الدين كله، داخلة في تلاوة الكتاب‏.‏ فيكون قوله‏:‏ ‏(‏وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ)‏ من باب عطف الخاص على العام، لفضل الصلاة وشرفها، وآثارها الجميلة، وهي ‏(‏إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ‏)‏

Allah commands the recitation of His revelation, and that is this Great Book [the Qur’an]. And the meaning of reciting it is adhering to it, complying with what it commands, avoiding what it prohibits, being guided by its guidance, affirming its contents, pondering over its meanings, as well as reciting its words. So reciting its word is just one part of this meaning. So then if this is the meaning of “reciting the Qur’an”, then one should know that the establishment and enactment on the entire deen falls within the meaning of “reciting the Qur’an”.

So then His statement, “and establish the prayer” – is an example of mentioning something specific alongside something general. And this is due to the virtue and honor of the prayer, as well as its wonderful effects, which is that “Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing“.

والفحشاء‏:‏ كل ما استعظم واستفحش من المعاصي التي تشتهيها النفوس‏.‏

And immorality (fahshah) is every excessive and indecent act of disobedience which the lower self desires.

والمنكر‏:‏ كل معصية تنكرها العقول والفطر‏.‏

And wrongdoing (munkar) is every act of disobedience which the (functioning) intellect and natural inclination (fitrah) would prevent.

ووجه كون الصلاة تنهى عن الفحشاء والمنكر، أن العبد المقيم لها، المتمم لأركانها وشروطها وخشوعها، يستنير قلبه، ويتطهر فؤاده، ويزداد إيمانه، وتقوى رغبته في الخير، وتقل أو تعدم رغبته في الشر، فبالضرورة، مداومتها والمحافظة عليها على هذا الوجه، تنهى عن الفحشاء والمنكر، فهذا من أعظم مقاصدها وثمراتها‏.‏ وثَمَّ في الصلاة مقصود أعظم من هذا وأكبر، وهو ما اشتملت عليه من ذكر اللّه، بالقلب واللسان والبدن‏.‏ فإن اللّه تعالى، إنما خلق الخلق لعبادته، وأفضل عبادة تقع منهم الصلاة، وفيها من عبوديات الجوارح كلها، ما ليس في غيرها، ولهذا قال‏:‏ (وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ‏)‏

And the way that the prayer prevents one from immorality and wrongdoing is that he slave who establishes it – the one who fulfills its pillars and conditions and establishes it with khushoo’ – then it illuminates and purifies his heart, and increases his eemaan, and increases his taqwa and his desire to do good, as well as decreasing or even eliminating his desire to do evil. And it necessarily follows that it also increases his persistence and regularity of these good qualities -which prohibit him from immorality and wrongdoing- and this is one of the greatest objectives and fruits of the prayer.

But there is an even greater objectives of the prayer, which is what it involves of the remembrance of Allah, with the heart, tongue and body. For Allah only created the creation for the purpose of His worship, and the best form of worship is the prayer, for therein all the limbs are engaged in worship, and this is not found in other forms of worship, and on this subject He said, “and the remembrance of Allah is greater“.

ويحتمل أنه لما أمر بالصلاة ومدحها، أخبر أن ذكره تعالى خارج الصلاة أكبر من الصلاة، كما هو قول جمهور المفسرين، لكن الأول أولى، لأن الصلاة أفضل من الذكر خارجها، ولأنها – كما تقدم – بنفسها من أكبر الذكر‏.‏

But this ayah could also be interpreted to mean that when Allah commanded the performance of the prayer and lauded it, He also informed us that the remembrance of Him outside of the prayer is greater than the prayer itself, as is the position of the majority of the mufassiroon. However, what I mentioned first is more correct, because the prayer is more virtuous than remembrance outside of the prayer. And that is because, as we have mentioned elsewhere, the prayer itself is one of the greatest forms of remembrance.

‏(‏وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ)‏ من خير وشر، فيجازيكم على ذلك أكمل الجزاء وأوفاه‏.‏

And Allah knows that which you do” of good and evil. And He will reward you for that with the most complete fulfillment and recompense.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahmanp. 632]

For more on the importance and benefits of al-salaah, see also: The first deed to be reckoned

See also: Prayer is the Root of Every Good: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

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: The outcomes of Taqwa and truthful speech: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “Indeed the patient will be given their reward without measure”

See also: Performing the Prayers in their Proper Times: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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

A cure for 99 problems

Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, in his discussion of the famous hadeeth of ibn ‘Abbaas (‘Preserve the limits of Allaah and He will preserve you…’), brings this following point of benefit regarding belief in qadr (the preordainment of Allaah) and placing ones reliance in Allaah:

وفي حديث أبي هريرة عن النبي < لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله دواء من تسعة وتسعين داء ، وأيسرها الهم > خرّجه الطبراني والحاكم

And in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The statement ‘La hawla wa laa quwwata illa billaah‘ [There is no might or power except that of Allaah] is a cure for 99 ailments, the easiest of which is worry.”*

فإن تحقيق هذه الكلمة يقتضي تفويض الامور إلى الله ، وأنه لا يكون إلا ما شاء والايمان بذلك يذهب الهم والغم

Actualizing this statement entails entrusting ones affairs unto Allaah, and believing that nothing happens except what Allaah wills. And having faith in that removes worry and distress.

[Majmoo’a al-Rasaa’il ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, vol. 3 pg. 145-146]

*[al-Tabarani in al-Awsat #5028. al-Haakim #1990, and he said it was Saheeh, however al-Dhahabi disagreed with him, and al-Albaani ruled it to be da’eef (Da’eef al-Targheeb #970-1147)]

See also: “I entrust my affair to Allah”: Tafsir al-Shawkani