Supplicating upon Completion of the Qur’an: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

Sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen was asked the following question during the program Fataawaa Noor ‘alaa al-Darb:

السؤال : سؤال يشكل على كثير من الإخوة المستمعين الكرام، السؤال يا فضيلة الشيخ: هو عن دعاء الختمة في أخر ليلة من رمضان، هل هو وارد عن الرسول الكريم أو عن السلف الصالح رضوان الله عليهم؟

Question: This is a question which has confused many of our respected brothers who are listening. The question, honorable sheikh, is about du’aa [supplication] upon completing the Qur’an on the last night of Ramadan – is this something which is textually transmitted from the Messenger or from the Salaf, may Allah be pleased with them?

الجواب الشيخ : الختمة التي يدعى بها في آخر رمضان ليس لها أصل في سنة الرسول عليه الصلاة والسلام، ولا عن خلفائه الراشدين، ولا عن أحد من الصحابة، فلا أعلم إلى ساعتي هذه أنه ورد عنهم أنهم كانوا يدعون مثل هذا  الدعاء في الصلاة. ـ

Response: The supplicating which people do at the end of Ramadan is not something which has any basis in the Sunnah of the Messenger (ﷺ), nor was it practiced by the Rightly-Guided Khulafaa’, nor by any of the Sahabah, and until now I don’t know of any textual evidence transmitted regarding them having practiced something like this supplication during the prayer.

نعم. ورد عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه أنه كان إذا ختم القرآن جمع أهله فدعا، وهذا في غير الصلاة وليس كل مشروع، وليس كل شيء مشروع خارج الصلاة يكون مشروعاً فيها؛ لأن الصلاة محددة في أفعالها محددة في أذكارها ـ

Yes, it has been transmitted from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) that he used to gather his family members together and make supplication upon having completed the Qur’an. But this was not in the prayer, and what is legislated outside of the prayer isn’t necessarily legislated inside the prayer. For the prayer is something with well-defined guidelines regarding its specific actions and utterances. Continue reading

Turning Away from the Sources of Tafsir: Ibn Taymiyah

In the midst of a wider discussion within his book al-Eemaan, sheikh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah included the following valuable aside regarding some of the causes for deviating while making tafsir, centering around turning away from the sources of tafsir. For any readers who are not already familiar with the sources of tafsir, we would recommend first reading this brief article from sheik Saalih al-Fawzan on the subject before continuing:

    وقد دلت النصوص على أنه يخرج من النار من في قلبه مثقال ذرة من الإيمان . وقد عدلت ” المرجئة ” في هذا الأصل عن بيان الكتاب والسنة وأقوال الصحابة والتابعين لهم بإحسان واعتمدوا على رأيهم وعلى ما تأولوه بفهمهم اللغة ، وهذه طريقة أهل البدع ; ولهذا كان الإمام أحمد يقول : أكثر ما يخطئ الناس من جهة التأويل والقياس . [ ص: 119 ]  ـ

The textual sources definitively prove that whoever has a mustard seed’s weight of eemaan in his heart will eventually be taken out of the Hell-fire. However, when it comes to this fundamental principle, the Murji’ah have turned away from the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the statements of the sahabah and those who followed them in goodness and instead they relied on their own opinions and their own interpretations and their own understandings of linguistic matters. This is the way of the people of religious innovation (ahl al-bid’ah), and it was in their vein that Imam Ahmad said, “The most common areas in which people err are interpreting words outside of their predominant meanings and analogical reasoning.”

     ولهذا تجد المعتزلة والمرجئة والرافضة وغيرهم من أهل البدع يفسرون القرآن برأيهم ومعقولهم وما تأولوه من اللغة ; ولهذا تجدهم لا يعتمدون على أحاديث النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم والصحابة والتابعين وأئمة المسلمين ; فلا يعتمدون لا على السنة ولا على إجماع السلف وآثارهم ; وإنما يعتمدون على العقل واللغة . ـ

And so you find the Mu’tazilah, the Murji’ah, the Raafidah, and other groups of the ahl al-bid’ah making tafsir of the Qur’an according to their own views, reasonings, and linguistic interpretations, and you find that they do not rely on the statements of the Prophet (ﷺ) or the sahabah or the tabi’oon or the scholars. So they do not rely on the Sunnah or on the consensus of the early generations or on the statements and positions relayed from them; they only rely on intellect and linguistics. Continue reading

Questions and Answers on Tawbah from Ibn Taymiyah

As it comes in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa of Ibn Taymiyah:

وسئل رحمه الله عن قوله : { ما أصر من استغفر وإن عاد في اليوم والليلة سبعين مرة } . ـ

And he – may Allah have mercy on him – was asked about the statement of the Prophet, “Nothing persists for the one who makes istighfaar (seeking Allah’s forgiveness) even if he returns (to the sin) seventy times in a day and a night.”

هل المراد ذكر الاستغفار باللفظ ؟ أو أنه إذا استغفر ينوي بالقلب أن لا يعود إلى الذنب ؟ وهل إذا تاب من الذنب وعزم بالقلب أن لا يعود إليه وأقام مدة ثم وقع فيه أفيكون ذلك الذنب القديم يضاف إلى الثاني ؟ أو يكون مغفورا بالتوبة المتقدمة ؟ وهل التائب من شرب الخمر ولبس الحرير يشربه في الآخرة ؟ ويلبس الحرير في الآخرة ؟ والتوبة النصوح ما شرطها ؟ . ـ

Is the intended meaning of al-istighfaar mentioning its wording? Or is that when one seeks forgiveness while intending in his heart not to return to that sin?

And if one repents from a sin and resolves in his heart not to return to it and is established on this for a period of them but then it does occur, then is that previous sin added to that later one, or is it forgiven by way of the previous tawbah?

And will the one who repented from drinking alcohol and wearing silk drink it in the hereafter and wear silk in the hereafter?

And sincere tawbah – what are its conditions?

So he responded: Continue reading

Three reasons why it is disliked to fast one or two days before Ramadan: Ibn Rajab

As it comes in both Saheeh al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim, Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:

لاَ يَتَقَدَّمَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ رَمَضَانَ بِصَوْمِ يَوْمٍ أَوْ يَوْمَيْنِ، إِلَّا أَنْ يَكُونَ رَجُلٌ كَانَ يَصُومُ صَوْمَهُ، فَلْيَصُمْ ذَلِكَ اليَوْمَ

None of you should fast a day or two before the month of Ramadan unless he has the habit of (optional) fasting, then in that case he can fast that day.

[al-Bukhari #1983, Muslim #1082, Abu Dawood #2335, al-Tirmidhi #684]

In his chapter on the month of Sha’baan, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali offers a long and beneficial discussion regarding the different rulings of fasting during the second half of this month leading up to Ramadan. After providing some of the different cases and rulings pertaining to the issue, he summarized and clarified the issue by writing:

وفي الجملة فحديث أبي هريرة هو المعمول به في هذا الباب عند كثير من العلماء ، وأنه يكره التقدم قبل رمضان بالتطوع بالصيام بيوم أو يومين لمن ليس له به عادة ولا سبق منه صيام قبل ذلك في شعبان متصلا بآخره. ـ

So in sum, the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah is acted upon by many of the scholars regarding this subject, and they disliked the practice of preceding Ramadan with one or two days of voluntary fasting for those for whom [voluntary fasting] was not their regular practice and who had also not done any fasting prior to that in the month of Sha’baan by which to connect that to fasting during its last part.

ولكراهة التقدم ثلاثة معان: ـ

And this aforementioned dislike is for three reasons: Continue reading

The Prophet Muhammad is the fulfillment of Ibrahim’s du’a : Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

In his discussion of the month of Rabee’ al-Awwaal, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali discussed some of the virtues of the Prophet and his prophet-hood. During this discussion he mentioned some of the proofs foretelling Muhammad’s prophet-hood, and began by writing:

 الدليل الأول : دعوة أبيه إبراهيم عليه السلام ، و أشار بذلك إلى ما قص الله في كتابه عن إبراهيم و إسماعيل لأنهما قالا عند بناء البيت الذي بمكة : { ربنا تقبل منا إنك أنت السميع العليم * ربنا و اجعلنا مسلمين لك و من ذريتنا أمة مسلمة لك و أرنا مناسكنا و تب علينا إنك أنت التواب الرحيم * ربنا و ابعث فيهم رسولا منهم يتلو عليهم آياتك و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و يزكيهم إنك أنت العزيز الحكيم } ـ

The first proof: The supplication of his forefather Ibrahim (‘alaihi al-salaam), and that points to what Allah narrated in His Book about Ibrahim and Ismaa’eel that when they were building the House in Mecca they said,

Continue reading

“And whoever places their reliance upon Allah, then He is sufficient for him”: Ibn Hajr

In his Saheeh, in the book of heart-softening narrations [baab al-Riqaaq], Imam al-Bukhari entitled one of his chapters:

باب ومن يتوكل على الله فهو حسبه قال الربيع بن خثيم من كل ما ضاق على الناس

The chapter of ‘And whoever places their tawakkal upon Allah, then He is sufficient for him.’ And al-Rabee’ ibn Khuthaim said, ‘[He is sufficient for him] concerning everything which constricts a man.’

This chapter was comprised of the single hadeeth in which ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ مِنْ أُمَّتِي سَبْعُونَ أَلْفًا بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ هُمْ الَّذِينَ لَا يَسْتَرْقُونَ وَلَا يَتَطَيَّرُونَ وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

Seventy thousand people from my ummah will enter into al-Jannah without question, and they are those who do not practice al-ruqya, nor do they consult omens and they place their tawakkal upon Allah [alone].

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #6107]

Commenting on this, ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalaani writes:

قوله باب ومن يتوكل على الله فهو حسبه استعمل لفظ الآية ترجمة لتضمنها الترغيب في التوكل وكأنه أشار إلى تقييد ما أطلق في حديث الباب قبله وأن كلا من الاستغناء والتصبر والتعفف إذا كان مقرونا بالتوكل على الله فهو الذي ينفع وينجع

His statement, “The chapter of ‘And whoever places their tawakkal upon Allah, then He is sufficient for him.’” – he is using the wording of the ayah [65:3] because it contains an exhortation for al-tawakkal. And it is as if he is indicating a specification of what he had generalized in the hadeeth of the previous chapter*, and that being independent/content from asking for the help of others, and sabr and abstaining are all connected to placing one’s al-tawakkal on Allah, for He is the one who benefits you and has a real effect [on your well-being].

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

An incitement towards steadfastness: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

In his book, Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali gives a succinct and powerful reminder on the importance of steadfastness. He writes:

علامة قبول الطاعة أن تُوصل بطاعة بعدها, وعلامة ردِّها أن تُوصل بمعصية. ما أحسن الحسنة بعد الحسنة, وأقبح السيئة بعد الحسنة!! ذنب بعد التوبة أقبح من سيعين قبلها. النكسة أصعب من المرض الأوّل. ما أوحش ذلَ المعصية بعد عزّ الطاعة! ارحموا عزيز قومٍ بالمعصية ذلَ, وغني قومٍ بالذنب افنقر. سلوا الله ثبات إلى الممات, وتعوّذوا من  الحَوْرِ بعد الكَوْرِ. كان إمام أحماد يدعو يقول : اللهم أعِزَّنِي بطاعتك ولا تذلَّني بمعصيتك.

A sign of the acceptance of obedience is following it with obedience after that, and a sign of its rejection is following it with disobedience. What is better than a good deed after a good deed, and what is more disgraceful than a sin after a good deed?! One sin after repentance is more shameful than 70 sins before it. A relapse is more difficult than the initial illness. What is more distressing than the humiliation of disobedience after the honor of obedience? … We ask Allah for steadfastness until death, and we seek refuge from loss after plenty*. This was the supplication of Imam Ahmad when he said, “O Allah! Honor me with obedience [to you] and do not disgrace me with disobedience [to you]!”

      و كان من عامة دعاء إبراهيم بن أدهم رحمه الله :  ” اللهم انقلني من ذل المعصية إلى عز الطاعة “. وفي بعض الآثار إلهية : يقول الله تبارك وتعالى : أنا العزيز, فمن أراد العزّ فليُطِع العزيز.

And from the common supplications of Ibrahim ibn Adhham (rahimahullaah) was “O Allah! Take me from the disgrace of disobedience to the honor of obedience!” And in part of the divine narration: Allah tabaarak wa ta’aala said, “I am al-‘Azeez, so whoever desires honor (al-‘izz) then let him obey al-‘Azeez.”

ألا إنَّمـا التَّقـوَى هي العـزُّ و الكَـرَمْ          وحبُّــكَ الدُّنيـــا هـــو الــذُّلُّ والسَّـقَمْ
ولــيسَ على عَـبْــدٍ تـقـيٍّ نَـقِـيـصَــةٌ          إذا حقَّقَ التَّقْــوَى وإنْ حاكَ أو حَجَمْ

Verily taqwa is only an honor and nobility
and one’s love of the dunya is a humiliation and illness

And there is no defect for the pious slave
when he has attained taqwa, even if he has a lowly profession.**

[Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif pg. 128-129]

*The editor makes a note here saying:

في الحديث : (نعوذ بالله من الحَوْرِ بعد الكَوْرِ) , أي الرجوع بعد الاستقامة

In the hadeeth: (We seek refuge in Allah from loss after plenty) – meaning turning back after uprightness

**literally: even if he weaves or performs hijaamah

If you see a man speak ill of the Companions, then suspect his Islam

Imam Ismaa’eel ibn ‘Umar ibn Kathir wrote in his famous work of history, al-Bidayah w’al-Nihayah:

قال الإمام أحمد رحمه الله:  إذا رأيت رجلا يذكر أحدا من الصحابة بسوء فاتهمه على الإسلام

Imam Ahmad said, “If you see a man speak ill of the Companions, then suspect his Islam.”

[al-Bidayah w’al-Nihayah 8/142]