“For every period of zeal and enthusiam there is a slackening off”: Sharh al-Mubaarakfoori

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ) said:

إِنَّ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ شِرَّةً وَلِكُلِّ شِرَّةٍ فَتْرَةً فَإِنْ كَانَ صَاحِبُهَا سَدَّدَ وَقَارَبَ فَارْجُوهُ وَإِنْ أُشِيرَ إِلَيْهِ بِالأَصَابِعِ فَلاَ تَعُدُّوهُ

Everything has a period of zeal & enthusiasm, and for every period of zeal & enthusiasm there is a slackening off. So if a person is moderate and avoids extremes, then you may have hope for him, but if ‘fingers are pointed at him’, then don’t count him as anything.

[Jaami’a al-Tirmidhi #2453. Graded as ‘hasan’ by sheikh al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb #57.]

Sheikh al-Mubaarakfoori wrote the following in his explanation of Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi:

 قوله : ( إن لكل شيء شرة ) بكسر الشين المعجمة وتشديد الراء أي حرصا على الشيء ونشاطا ورغبة في الخير أو الشر ( ولكل شرة فترة ) بفتح الفاء وسكون التاء أي وهنا وضعفا وسكونا ( فإن ) شرطية ( صاحبها سدد وقارب ) أي جعل صاحب الشرة عمله متوسطا وتجنب طرفي إفراط الشرة وتفريط الفترة ( فأرجوه ) أي أرجو الفلاح منه فإنه يمكنه الدوام على الوسط ، وأحب الأعمال إلى الله أدومها ( وإن أشير إليه بالأصابع ) أي اجتهد وبالغ في العمل ليصير مشهورا بالعبادة والزهد وسار مشهورا مشارا إليه ( فلا تعدوه ) أي لا تعتدوا به ولا تحسبوه من الصالحين لكونه مرائيا ، ولم يقل فلا ترجوه إشارة إلى أنه قد سقط ولم يمكنه تدارك ما فرط . ـ

His statement, “Everything has a period of zeal & enthusiasm” – meaning interest in a thing, and excitement and desire, whether good or bad – “and for every period of zeal & enthusiasm there is a slackening off” – meaning loss of vigor and weakness and settling. “So if” – a conditionality – “a person is moderate and avoids extremes” – meaning if he controls his enthusiasm and makes his actions balanced, and avoids the two extremes of the excess of zealous enthusiasm and the deficiency of slackening off – “then you may have hope for him” – meaning, hope for his success, for verily he is able to persistently continue upon moderation, and the most beloved deeds to Allaah and the most consistent. “But if fingers are pointed at him” – meaning he is striving hard and exaggerating in deeds in order to become famous for his worship and asceticism, so that he will be famous and people will point at him in awe – “then don’t count him as anything” – meaning don’t think highly of him and don’t consider him as one of the righteous, rather he is showing off to be seen by others. And he did not say, “and do not hope for him“, indicating that he has fallen and he is not able to catch what he missed. Continue reading

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Balancing between seeking knowledge and softening the heart: Ibn al-Jawzi

Imam abu’l-Faraj ibn a-Jawzi, in his book Sayd al-Khaatir, wrote the following on the importance of softening the heart in the midst of talab al-’ilm (seeking knowledge):

رأيت الاشتغال بالفقه وسماع الحديث لا يكاد يكفي في صلاح القلب إلا أن يمزج بالرقائق والنظر في سير السلف الصالحين‏.‏ لأنهم تناولوا مقصود النقل وخرجوا عن صور الأفعال المأمور بها إلى ذوق معانيها والمراد بها‏.

I feel that occupying oneself with fiqh and acquiring narrations is hardly enough to rectify the heart, unless one mixes with that the study of al-raqaa’iq (heart-softening narrations) and examining the biographies of the salaf al-saaliheen, because they [i.e. the Salaf] realized the intended purpose of those narrations and extracted the commanded actions from them, perceiving their intended meanings and desired understandings thereby.

‏ وما أخبرتك بهذا إلا بعد معالجة وذوق لأني وجدت جمهور المحدثين وطلاب الحديث همة أحدهم في الحديث العالي وتكثير الأجزاء‏.‏ وجمهور الفقهاء في علوم الجدل وما يغالب به الخصم‏.‏ وكيف يرق القلب مع هذه الأشياء‏.‏

And I do not inform you of this except after personal trials and error, because I have found that the majority of the muhadditheen and students of hadeeth are primarily concerned with the shortest chain of narration and increasing the number of narrations. And that the majority of the fuqahaa’ (jurists) are primarily concerned with knowledge of debate, argumentation and how to win an a dispute. And how can hearts by softened with these things?

Continue reading

Do not delve deeply into the affairs of the Unseen: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

Abu’l-Faraj Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, in his magnum opus Jaami’ al-‘Uloom w’al-Hikam writes the following warning against delving too deeply into the affairs of the Unseen (al-Ghaib):

ومما يدخل في النهي عن التعمق والبحث عنه أمور الغيب الخبرية التي أمر بالإيمان بها ، ولم يبين كيفيتها ، وبعضها قد لا يكون له شاهد في هذا العالم المحسوس ، فالبحث عن كيفية ذلك هو مما لا يعني ، وهو مما ينهى عنه ، وقد يوجب الحيرة والشك ، ويرتقي إلى التكذيب .

And of those things for which it is prohibited to go deeply and investigate are the affairs of the Unseen (umoor al-ghaib) of which we have been informed and which we are commanded to have eemaan in them, and whose ‘how’ has not been made clear, and some of which do not have supporting evidence in this sensory world. So investigating into the ‘how’ of these thing is something which does not concern us, and which we have been prohibited from doing, and it would entail confusion and doubt, and would lead to denial.

وفي ” صحيح مسلم ” عن أبي هريرة عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ، قال : لا يزال الناس يسألون حتى يقال : هذا خلق الله ، فمن خلق الله ؟ فمن وجد من ذلك شيئا ، فليقل آمنت بالله وفي رواية له : لا يزال الناس يسألونكم عن العلم ، حتى يقولوا : هذا الله خلقنا ، فمن خلق الله ؟ وفي رواية له أيضا : ليسألنكم الناس عن كل شيء ، حتى يقولوا : الله خلق كل شيء ، فمن خلقه ؟ وخرجه البخاري ، ولفظه : يأتي الشيطان أحدكم فيقول : من خلق كذا ؟ من خلق كذا ؟ حتى يقول : من خلق ربك ؟ فإذا بلغه فليستعذ بالله ولينته

And there is in Saheeh Muslim from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

Man will continue to question to the extent that some one will say, “Allah created all things, but who created Allah?” So whoever experiences any of that, then let him, “I have eemaan in Allah.” [Muslim #134]

And in another narration of his: Continue reading

You will surely hear much abuse: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah سبحانة وتعالى said in His Book, in surah Aal Imran:

لَتُبْلَوُنَّ فِي أَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنفُسِكُمْ وَلَتَسْمَعُنَّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَ‌كُوا أَذًى كَثِيرً‌ا ۚ وَإِن تَصْبِرُ‌وا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ‌

“You will surely be tested in your possessions and in yourselves. And you will surely hear from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allah much abuse. But if you are patient and have taqwa of Allah – indeed, that is of the matters [worthy] of determination.” [3:186]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, wrote about this ayah:

يخبر تعالى ويخاطب المؤمنين أنهم سيبتلون في أموالهم من النفقات الواجبة والمستحبة، ومن التعريض لإتلافها في سبيل الله، وفي أنفسهم من التكليف بأعباء التكاليف الثقيلة على كثير من الناس، كالجهاد في سبيل الله، والتعرض فيه للتعب والقتل والأسر والجراح، وكالأمراض التي تصيبه في نفسه، أو فيمن يحب‏.‏

Allah informs and addresses the believers that they will be tested in regards to their wealth with the obligatory and recommended expenses, and with exposure to the loss of that wealth in the path of Allah. And [they will be tested] in regards to their selves with being charged with heavy, difficult burdens over many people, such as jihaad in the path of Allah, and exposure thereby to fatigue, fighting, difficulties and injuries, such as sicknesses which will afflict themselves or those whom they love.

‏{‏ولتسمعن من الذين أوتوا الكتاب من قبلكم، ومن الذين أشركوا أذى كثيرًا‏}‏ من الطعن فيكم، وفي دينكم وكتابكم ورسولكم‏.‏

And you will surely hear from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allah much abuse” including slanderous speech about them, and in regards to their deen and their Book and their Messenger.

وفي إخباره لعباده المؤمنين بذلك، عدة فوائد‏:‏

And in informing His believing slaves of this there are many benefits: Continue reading

The Messiah was only a Messenger and his mother was a ṣiddīqah: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah mentions in surah al-Maa’idah:

مَّا الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ إِلَّا رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ وَأُمُّهُ صِدِّيقَةٌ ۖ كَانَا يَأْكُلَانِ الطَّعَامَ ۗ انظُرْ كَيْفَ نُبَيِّنُ لَهُمُ الْآيَاتِ ثُمَّ انظُرْ أَنَّىٰ يُؤْفَكُونَ

The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a iddīqah. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded. [5:75]
Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, writes the following commentary on this ayah:
ثم ذكر حقيقة المسيح وأُمِّه، الذي هو الحق، فقال: { مَا الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ إِلَّا رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ ْ} أي: هذا غايته ومنتهى أمره، أنه من عباد الله المرسلين، الذين ليس لهم من الأمر ولا من التشريع، إلا ما أرسلهم به الله، وهو من جنس الرسل قبله، لا مزية له عليهم تخرجه عن البشرية إلى مرتبة الربوبية.
Then He mentioned the reality about the Messiah and his mother, which is the truth, so He said, “The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him” – meaning this is the limit and the extent of his condition, that he is one of the slaves of Allah sent as a messenger, for whom belongs neither the power to command or divinely legislate matter except for that which Allah sent them with. He is from the same category of messengers as those before him; there is no special privilege conferred on him which would remove him from humanity unto a level of lordship.
{ وَأُمَّهُ ْ} مريم { صِدِّيقَةٌ ْ} أي: هذا أيضا غايتها، أن كانت من الصديقين الذين هم أعلى الخلق رتبة بعد الأنبياء. والصديقية، هي العلم النافع المثمر لليقين، والعمل الصالح. .
And his mother” Maryam “was a iddīqah” -meaning that this is also the extent of her condition, that she was one of the iddīqūn, those who are the highest rank of creation after the anbiyaa’. And al-iddīqiyyah is beneficial knowledge which produces yaqeen (certainty) and righteous actions. Continue reading

Everything has two ends and a middle

Abu Nu’aym, in his famous book Hilyah al-Awliyaa’, recorded the following inspirational narration:

 حدثنا أبي ثنا اسحاق بن ابراهيم ثنا محمد بن سهل ثنا اسماعيل بن عبدالكريم حدثني عبدالصمد بن معقل عن وهب بن منبه قال

…Wahb ibn Munabbiah said:

قال عالم لمن فوقه في العلم كم أبني من البناء قال يكفيك ما يسترك من الشمس ويكنك من الغيث قال كم آكل من الطعام قال فوق الجوع ودون الشبع قال كم ألبس من الثياب قال لباس المسيح عليه السلام قال كم أضحك قال ما يسفر وجهك ولا يسمع صوتك قال كم أبكي قال لا تمل أن تبكي من خشية الله قال كم أخفي من العمل قال حتى يظن الناس أنك لم تعمل حسنة قال كم أعلن من العمل قال ما يأتم بك الحريص ولا تؤتى أو قال ولا يقبل عليك كلام الناس

A scholar once asked another greater than him in knowledge, “How much should I build?” He replied, “As much as shelters you from the sun and the rain.” He asked, “How much food should I eat?” He replied, “More than what keeps you hungry and less than what makes you full.” He asked, “How much should I wear?” He replied, “As the Messiah (Jesus) did.” He asked, “How much should I laugh?” He replied, “As much as appears on your face but does not make audible your voice.” He asked, “How much should I cry?” He replied, “Never tire from crying out of the fear of Allah.” He asked, “How much should I hide my deeds?” He replied, “Until people think you had not done a good deed.” He asked, “How much should I make public my deeds?” He replied, “As much as will let the keen follow your example but not have the people talk about you.”

قال وسمعت راهبا يقول إن لكل شيء طرفين ووسطا فاذا أمسكت بأحد الطرفين مال الآخر واذا أمسكت بالوسط اعتدل الطرفان ثم قال عليكم بالأوسط من الأشياء

He said: I once heard a monk say: “Everything has two ends and a middle. If you grab one end, the other will slant, but if you take the middle, both ends will balance.” Then he said, “Stick to the middle in all affairs.”

[Hilyah al-Awliyaa’ 4/45]

See also: Two things for which there are no concessions

Like a poor thief: Ibn Taymiyah

Sheikh al-Islam ibn Taymiyah mentions the following point of benefit:

 وَإِذَا اجْتَمَعَ فِي الرَّجُلِ الْوَاحِدِ خَيْرٌ وَشَرٌّ وَفُجُورٌ وَطَاعَةٌ وَمَعْصِيَةٌ وَسُنَّةٌ وَبِدْعَةٌ : اسْتَحَقَّ مِنْ الْمُوَالَاةِ وَالثَّوَابِ بِقَدْرِ مَا فِيهِ مِنْ الْخَيْرِ وَاسْتَحَقَّ مِنْ الْمُعَادَاتِ وَالْعِقَابِ بِحَسَبِ مَا فِيهِ مِنْ الشَّرِّ فَيَجْتَمِعُ فِي الشَّخْصِ الْوَاحِدِ مُوجِبَاتُ الْإِكْرَامِ وَالْإِهَانَةِ فَيَجْتَمِعُ لَهُ مِنْ هَذَا وَهَذَا كَاللِّصِّ الْفَقِيرِ تُقْطَعُ يَدُهُ لِسَرِقَتِهِ وَيُعْطَى مِنْ بَيْتِ الْمَالِ مَا يَكْفِيهِ لِحَاجَتِهِ . هَذَا هُوَ الْأَصْلُ الَّذِي اتَّفَقَ عَلَيْهِ أَهْلُ السُّنَّةِ وَالْجَمَاعَةِ وَخَالَفَهُمْ الْخَوَارِجُ وَالْمُعْتَزِلَةُ وَمَنْ وَافَقَهُمْ عَلَيْهِ فَلَمْ يَجْعَلُوا النَّاسَ لَا مُسْتَحِقًّا لِلثَّوَابِ فَقَطْ وَلَا مُسْتَحِقًّا لِلْعِقَابِ فَقَطْ . وَأَهْلُ السُّنَّةِ يَقُولُونَ : إنَّ اللَّهَ يُعَذِّبُ بِالنَّارِ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكَبَائِرِ مَنْ يُعَذِّبُهُ ثُمَّ يُخْرِجُهُمْ مِنْهَا بِشَفَاعَةِ مَنْ يَأْذَنُ لَهُ فِي الشَّفَاعَةِ بِفَضْلِ رَحْمَتِهِ كَمَا اسْتَفَاضَتْ بِذَلِكَ السُّنَّةُ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَاَللَّهُ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى أَعْلَمُ وَصَلِّ اللَّهُمَّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ .

If a man has [in him] both good and bad, good deeds and sins, Sunnah and Bid’ah, then he deserves to be loved with the amount of good he has. Additionally, he deserves to be hated and punished with regard to the amount of evil he has. Therefore, combined in one person are the obligations of honor and shame. Just like a poor thief; you cut off his hand for his thievery and you give him from charity that suffices his needs. This is the foundation that Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’a agreed upon. Those who differ in this are the Khawaarij, Mu’tazilah, and those who agree with them. They don’t make people either deserving reward only nor punishment only.

Ahlus-Sunnah [hold the position]: Indeed Allah will punish with the fire those who have major sins, then He’ll take them out of it those who’re permitted to receive intercession (from his excellence and mercy) as the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ) taught us.

[Majmoo’a al-Fataawa 28/209-210]

“Work! for everyone is facilitated for what he was created.” Sharh al-Mubaarakfoori

‘Ali narrated:

بَيْنَمَا نَحْنُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَهُوَ يَنْكُتُ فِي الأَرْضِ إِذْ رَفَعَ رَأْسَهُ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ ثُمَّ قَالَ

“We were with the Messenger of Allah and he was scraping the ground, when he raised his head to the heavens, then said:

مَا مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلاَّ قَدْ عُلِمَ

‘There is not one of you except that his place is known’

وَقَالَ وَكِيعٌ إِلاَّ قَدْ كُتِبَ مَقْعَدُهُ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَقْعَدُهُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ

Waaki’ said [in his narration of the event]: ‘His place has been decreed, in the fire, or his place in Jannah.’

قَالُوا أَفَلاَ نَتَّكِلُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ

They said: ‘Shall we not rely upon this, O Messenger of Allah?’

قَالَ ‏”‏ لاَ اعْمَلُوا فَكُلٌّ مُيَسَّرٌ لِمَا خُلِقَ لَهُ ‏”

He said: ‘No. Work! for everyone is facilitated for what he was created.'”

[al-Tirmidhi #2135 Saheeh]

Imam al-Mubaarakfoori, in his explanation of Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi, wrote the following in part of his explanation of this hadeeth:

( أفلا نتكل يا رسول الله ) الفاء معقبة لشيء محذوف تقديره فإذا كان كذلك أفلا نتكل ، وزاد في رواية : أفلا نتكل على كتابنا وندع العمل أي نعتمد على ما قدر علينا  .

‘Shall we not rely upon this, O Messenger of Allah?’” – meaning, if it is like that then shall we rely upon this? And there is the addition in (another) narration, “Shall we not depend upon what has been written for us and give up deeds?” [Bukhari #474] – meaning, we would rely on what has been decreed for us.

( قال لا ) أي لا تتكلوا ، وحاصل السؤال ألا نترك مشقة العمل فإنا سنصير إلى ما قدر علينا ، وحاصل الجواب لا مشقة لأن كل أحد ميسر لما خلق له وهو يسير على من يسره الله ،

He said, ‘No’” – meaning, do not depend on this. And the question carries the meaning of, ‘shouldn’t we abandon the difficulties of performing deeds for verily we will be aided in carrying out what has been decreed for us’, and the answer carries the meaning of, ‘there is no difficulty, because everyone is facilitated to do that for which he was created, so it is easy for whomever Allah has facilitated it for him’.

وقال الطيبي : الجواب من الأسلوب الحكيم منعهم عن ترك العمل وأمرهم بالتزام ما يجب على العبد من العبودية وزجرهم عن التصرف في الأمور المغيبة فلا يجعلوا العبادة وتركها سببا مستقلا لدخول الجنة والنار بل هي علامات فقط

Al-Tayybi said: the answer is one of wise methods of preventing them for abandoning the performance of good deeds, and commanding them to fulfill what is obligatory upon every servant in terms of worship, and rebuking them for distorting (their perception) of the affairs of the unseen. For their performance of worship or abandonment thereof is not a factor completely unrelated to entrance into jannah or the hellfire, rather it is a sign of that.

[Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi #2136]

“When supper is brought and the prayer begins, one should first take food”: Sharh al-Nawawi

Imam Muslim records in his Saheeh from Anas ibn Maalik that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

إِذَا حَضَرَ الْعَشَاءُ وَأُقِيمَتِ الصَّلاَةُ فَابْدَءُوا بِالْعَشَاءِ

“When the supper is brought and the prayer begins, one should first take food.”

[Saheeh Muslim #557]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his commentary on Saheeh Muslim, wrote the following:

قوله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : إذا حضر العشاء وأقيمت الصلاة فابدءوا بالعشاء ، وفي رواية : إذا قرب العشاء وحضرت الصلاة فابدءوا به قبل أن تصلوا صلاة المغرب ولا تعجلوا عن عشائكم وفي رواية : إذا وضع عشاء أحدكم وأقيمت الصلاة فابدءوا بالعشاء ولا يعجلن حتى يفرغ منه ، وفي رواية : لا صلاة بحضرة طعام ، ولا وهو يدافعه الأخبثان  .

His statement (ﷺ), “When the supper is brought and the prayer begins, one, should first take food“, and in another narration, “When the supper is brought before you, and it is also the time to say prayer, first take food before praying salaat al-Maghrib and do not rush your dinner.” And in another narration, “When the supper is served to any one of you and the prayer also begins, then first take supper, and do not hasten (to the salaah) until you have finished it.” And in another narration, “There is no prayer can be when the food is present, or when he is prompted by the call of nature.

في هذه الأحاديث كراهة الصلاة بحضرة الطعام الذي يريد أكله ، لما فيه من اشتغال القلب به ، وذهاب كمال الخشوع ، وكراهتها مع مدافعة الأخبثين وهما : البول والغائط ،

In these ahaadeeth is the dislike of prayer while there is food which one would like to eat present, for therein is something which would thereby distract the heart and which would diminish the completeness of khushoo’ (concentration during the prayer). (And also in these ahaadeeth) is the dislike of prayer while one is prompted by the call of the two uncleanlinesses, which are urination and defection. Continue reading

When he leaves the sin, then he is still my brother

Abu Qilaaba reported:

أن أبا الدرداء رضي الله تعالى عنه مر على رجل قد أصاب ذنبا فكانوا يسبونه

Abu Al-Darda’, (raadhiAllaahu ‘anhu), once came upon a man who was being beaten because of his sin, and they were abusing him.

فقال : أرأيتم لو وجدتموه في قليب ألم تكونوا مستخرجيه

He said, “What do you think if he had fallen into a well, would you not try to rescue him?”

قالوا : نعم ، قال : فلا تسبوا أخاكم واحمدوا الله الذي عافاكم

They said, “Yes.” He said, “Then do not abuse your brother, and praise Allah who has protected you from sin.”

قالوا : أفلا تبغضه

They said, “Aren’t you angry with him?”

قال : إنما أبغض عمله ، فإذا تركه فهو أخي

He said, “Verily, I am only angry with his deeds, so when he leaves it then he is still my brother.”

(Hilyat Al-Awliya 6/179)

See also: The difference between sincere advising and shaming: Ibn Rajab

Also from Ibn Rajab: Love for your brother what you love for yourself