Four Means of Attaining Allah’s Forgiveness: Imam al-Sa’di

While mentioning some of the benefits derived from the story of Moosaa and Haaroon, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di mentions the following point of clarity and great benefit:

ومنها : أن قوله تعالى :  < وَإِنِّي لَغَفَّارٌ‌ لِّمَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا ثُمَّ اهْتَدَىٰ > استوعب الله بها الأسباب التي تدرك بها مغفرة الله . ـ

And from the benefits is that Allah’s statement:

وَإِنِّي لَغَفَّارٌ‌ لِّمَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا ثُمَّ اهْتَدَىٰ

But indeed, I am the Perpetual Forgiver of whoever repents and believes and does righteousness and then continues in guidance. [20:82]

With this statement Allah comprises all of the means by which the forgiveness of Allah is reached.

أحدها: التوبة، وهو الرجوع عما يكرهه الله ظاهرا وباطنا إلى ما يحبه الله ظاهرا وباطنا، وهي تَجُبُّ ما قبلها من الذنوب صغارها وكبارها. ـ

First: al-Tawbah (repentance), and that is returning from what Allah hates – both outwardly and inwardly – back towards what Allah loves – both outwardly and inwardly. And this is in respond to what previously occurred in terms of both major and minor sins. Continue reading

“A donation is not to be compared to a bribe”: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

Abu’l-Faraj Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, in part of a longer discussion on repentance, wrote the following insightful words on a great difference between our father Adam (‘alaihis salaam) and the Shaytaan.

سبحان من إذا لطف بعبده في المحن قلبها منحاً, وإذا خذل عبداً لم ينفعه كثرة اجتهاده, وعاد عليه وبالا. لُقِّنَ آدم حجَّتَه وأُلقي إليه ما تُتَقبَّلُ به توبته : ( فَتَلَقَّىٰ آدَمُ مِن رَّ‌بِّهِ كَلِمَاتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ).

Exalted is He who, if He is kind to His slave in tribulation He bestows a blessing upon his heart, and if He abandons a slave, then no large amount of effort will be of benefit to him, and this effort will turn upon him [i.e. he will be punished for his misguided efforts]. Adam was inspired with his plea and received what would lead to the acceptance of his tawbah (repentance), “Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance.” [2:37]

وطرد إبليس بعد طول خدمته فصار عمله هباء منثورا (قَالَ فَاخْرُ‌جْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّكَ رَ‌جِيمٌ  وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكَ اللَّعْنَةَ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ). إذا وضع عدله على عبد لم تبق له حسنة, وإذا بسط فضله على عبد لم تبق له سيئة

يُعْطِي وَيَمْنَعُ من يشاء كما يَشَا     وهِباتُهُ لَيْسَتْ تُقارِنُها الرُّشا

And Iblees was expelled (from Jannah) after he prolonged his dispute, so his deeds all came to nothing, “[Allah] said, ‘Then get out of it, for indeed, you are expelled. And indeed, upon you is the curse until the Day of Recompense.” [14:34-35]. When Allah executes His justice on a slave, then no good remains for him, and when He extends His favor to a slave, then no sins remain for him.  

Allah gives and withholds to whom He wills, as He wills
And a donation is not to be compared to a bribe

[Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif pg. 123]

See also: “All of you are astray except whomever I guide”: Explanation of Ibn Rajab

See also: Allah created His creation in darkness: Sharh al-Mubaarakfoori

See also: The purpose of Allah’s creation: Imam al-Shinqitee

“All of you are astray except whomever I guide”: Explanation of Ibn Rajab

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali writes in his commentary on al-Arba’een al-Nawawi:

وقوله كلكم ضال إلا من هديته قد ظن بعضهم أنه معارض لحديث عياض بن حمار عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول الله عز وجل خلقت عبادي حنفاء وفي رواية مسلمين فاجتالتهم الشياطين وليس كذلك فإن الله خلق بني آدم وفطرهم على قبول الإسلام والميل إليه دون غيره والتهيؤ والاستعداد له بالقوة لكن لا بد للعبد من تعليم الإسلام بالفعل فإنه قبل التعلم جاهل لا يعلم كما قال عز وجل

Some people think that His saying “All of you are astray except whomever I guide” contradicts the hadeeth of ‘Iyaadh ibn Himaar that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah said, ‘I created My slaves naturally inclining towards the truth (hunafa),” and in another another narration, “…as Muslims, then the shayaateen caused them to deviate” [Muslim 2865]. But this is not so, because Allah created Bani Adam and gave them the natural disposition (fitrah) to accept Islam, and an inclination towards it to the exclusion of other religions, and a preparedness for that, and a potential, but there is no avoiding the need for the slave to actually learn Islam, since before learning he is ignorant and does not know. This is as Allah says:

وَاللَّهُ أَخْرَجَكُم مِّن بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا‏‏ النحل وقال لنبيه صلى الله عليه وسلم

“Allah brought you out of your mothers’ wombs knowing nothing at all,” [16:78] and He said to His prophet (ﷺ):

Continue reading