‘Ibad al-Rahman Part 2 – Steadfast Observance of Prayer: ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr, one of the contemporary scholars of al-Madinah, wrote a small booklet on the qualities of the ‘Ibad al-Rahman – servants of the Most Merciful – mentioned in the end of Surah al-Furqan. We have translated this booklet in a series of posts. This section discusses the second quality listed:

الصفة الثانية : محافظتهم على الصلاة، لاسيَّما قيام الليل

قال عز وجل : [ وَالَّذِينَ يَبِيتُونَ لِرَبِّهِمْ سُجَّدًا وَقِيَامًا ] ـ

The Second Characteristic: Their Consistent Performance of the Prayers, Especially the Night Prayers

Allah said:

وَالَّذِينَ يَبِيتُونَ لِرَبِّهِمْ سُجَّدًا وَقِيَامًا

And those who spend the night before their Lord, prostrate and standing. [25:64]

ومن صفات عباد الرحمن الظاهرة محافظتهم على أداء الصلاة التي هي أعظم الأعمال البدنية، فرضًا و نفلًا، لاسيما صلاة الليل، فإنها سنةٌ مؤكدة عن رسول الله وجاء في فضْل المحافظة عليها أحاديث عديدة، ولهذا جاء التنصيص عليها في الآية السابقة أنها منْ صفات عباد الرحمن. ـ

One of the visible characteristics of the ‘ibad al-Rahman – the slaves of the Most Merciful – is their steadfast observance of the prayers, which are the greatest form of bodily worship. They faithfully perform both the obligatory and optional prayers, especially the night prayers which are a strongly emphasized sunnah of Allah’s Messenger. There are many hadith narrations regarding the virtue of faithfully observing the night prayers, and in this ayah there is an explicit mention that this is one of the characteristics of the ‘ibad al-Rahman.

ومما ورد في فضْل قيام الليل قوله : أفضل الصلاة بعد الفريضة : صلاة الليل . ـ

Among those texts regarding the virtue of the night prayers is the Prophet’s statement, “After the obligatory prayers, the best prayer is the night prayer.”

وقال : عليكم بقيام الليل ؛ فإنه دأب الصالحين قبلكم ، وهو قربة إلى ربكم ومكفرة للسيئات ومنها للإثم . ـ

He also said, “Hold fast to the night prayers, for it was the practice of the righteous people before you and it is a form of drawing close to your Lord, an expiation of bad deeds, and a prevention against sins.” Continue reading

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The Different Frequencies of Completing the Qur’an

Sheikh Muhammad Moosaa Aal Nasr, one of the salafi scholars of recent times who specialized in the qiraa’aat and Qur’anic sciences, compiled the following beneficial discussion on how often one should complete a reading of the entire Qur’an. Sheikh Muhammad Moosaa was also a long-term student of sheikh al-Albani and limited himself to only using authentic hadith narrations throughout this chapter:

مراتب ختم القرآن
The Different Frequencies of Completing the Qur’an

قال الله تعالى : (فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ) [المزمل 20] .  ـ

Allah said:

فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ

So recite whatever of it is easy for you of the Qur’an [73:20]

عن ابن عمر رضي الله عنهما قال : قال رسول الله (إقرأ القرآن في أربعين) . ـ

Ibn ‘Umar said: Allah’s Messenger said, “Complete the Qur’an in 40 days.”

وعن سعد ابن المنذر أن رسول الله قال : (إقرأ القرآن في ثلاث إن استطعت) . ـ

Sa’d ibn al-Mundhir relayed that Allah’s Messenger said, “Complete the Qur’an in three days if you can.”

و عن عبد الله ابن عمر رضي الله عنهما : أن رسول الله قال : (لم يفقه من قرأ القرآن في أقل من ثلاث) .  ـ

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar relayed that Allah’s Messenger said, “Whoever completes the Qur’an in less than three days has not understood it.”

وله شاهد صحيح من حديث عبد الله ابن مسعود عند سعيد بن منصور: (اقرؤوا القرآن في السبع ، ولا تقرؤوه في أقل من ثلاث) . ـ

And in the hadith collection of Sa’eed ibn Mansoor there is an authentic support for this in the hadith of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood, “Complete the Qur’an in seven days, and do not complete it in less than three days.” Continue reading

Better than One Thousand Months: Tafsir al-Baghawi

In surah al-Qadr, Allah describes Laylah al-Qadr by saying:

لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ

Laylah al-Qadr is better than one thousand months [97:3]

Imam al-Baghawi wrote the following in his commentary on this ayah:

قوله – عز وجل – : ( ليلة القدر خير من ألف شهر ) قال عطاء عن ابن عباس : ذكر لرسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – رجل من بني إسرائيل حمل السلاح على عاتقه في سبيل الله ألف شهر ، فعجب رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لذلك وتمنى ذلك لأمته ، فقال : يا رب جعلت أمتي أقصر الأمم أعمارا وأقلها أعمالا ؟ فأعطاه الله ليلة القدر ، فقال : ( ليلة القدر خير من ألف شهر ) التي حمل فيها الإسرائيلي السلاح في سبيل الله ، لك ولأمتك إلى يوم القيامة . [ ص: 491 ] . ـ

Relaying from ibn ‘Abbaas, ‘Ataa’ said: The Messenger of Allah was told about a man from Banu Israa’eel who carried a sword on his shoulder in the path of Allah for one thousand months. So Allah’s Messenger was amazed by this and wished this for his ummah, saying, “O Lord, You made my ummah the shortest of nations in terms of lifespan and the least of them in terms of deeds?” So then Allah gave him Laylah al-Qadr and said,

لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ

Laylah al-Qadr is better than one thousand months

in which that man from Banu Israa’eel carried a sword in the path of Allah. It is for you and your ummah until the Day of Resurrection.” Continue reading

Some Benefits Derived from the Prophet’s Annual Review of the Qur’an with Jibril: Sheikh bin Baaz

The following question was posed the the former mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz bin Baaz:

السؤال: هل يمكن أن يستفاد من مدارسة جبرائيل عليه السلام للنبي ﷺ القرآن في رمضان أفضلية ختم القرآن؟ ـ

Question: Can we understand from the reviewing of the Qur’an with Jibril during Ramadan that completing the entire Qur’an during this month is an encouraged action?

الجواب: يستفاد منها المدارسة، وأنه يستحب للمؤمن أن يدارس القرآن من يفيده وينفعه؛ لأن الرسول عليه الصلاة والسلام دارس جبرائيل للاستفادة؛ لأن جبرائيل هو الذي يأتي من عند الله جل وعلا وهو السفير بين الله والرسل، فجبرائيل لابد أن يفيد النبي ﷺ أشياء من جهة الله ، من جهة حروف القرآن، ومن جهة معانيه التي أرادها الله. ـ

Response: From this reviewing, we can understand that it is recommended for the believers to study and review the Qur’an with someone who can benefit them. That is because the Messenger reviewed with Jibril in order to take some benefit, for Jibril was the one who came from Allah as an intermediary between Allah and the messengers. So of course Jibril was going to bring something of benefit from Allah to the Prophet – both in terms of the words of the Qur’an and in terms of the meanings which Allah intended by those words. Continue reading

How the Sahabah Read and Divided the Qur’an: ibn Taymiyah

Sheikh al-Islam ibn Taymiyah wrote the following letter on the subjects of “Dividing the Qur’an into Daily Portions”, “How Much to Recite”, and “The Legislated Amount of Optional Fasting and Night Prayers.” This letter has been translated in full with some abridgement of technical and tangential discussions. The omitted sections are signaled by ellipses (…). Section headings have been added in bold and placed inside brackets for ease of navigation.

وقال شيخ الإسلام فصل في ” تحزيب القرآن ” وفي ” كم يقرأ ” وفي ” مقدار الصيام والقيام المشروع ” . عن { عبد الله بن عمرو رضي الله عنهما قال : أنكحني أبي امرأة ذات حسب فكان يتعاهد ابنته فيسألها عن بعلها فتقول : نعم الرجل لم يطأ لنا فراشا ولم يفتش لنا كنفا مذ أتيناه فلما طال ذلك عليه ذكر ذلك للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال : القن به فلقيته بعد فقال : كيف تصوم ؟ قلت : كل يوم . قال : متى – أو كيف – تختم ؟ قلت : كل ليلة . قال : صم من كل شهر ثلاثة أيام واقرأ القرآن في كل شهر . قلت : إني أطيق أكثر من ذلك . قال : صم ثلاثة أيام من كل جمعة . قلت : إني أطيق أكثر من ذلك . قال : أفطر يومين وصم يوما قال : قلت إني أطيق أكثر من ذلك . قال : صم أفضل الصوم صوم داود صيام يوم وإفطار يوم واقرأ القرآن في كل سبع ليال مرة . قال : فليتني قبلت رخصة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وذلك أني كبرت وضعفت } ” فكان يقرأ على [ ص: 406 ] بعض أهله السبع من القرآن بالنهار والذي يقرؤه يعرضه من النهار ليكون أخف عليه بالليل ; فإذا أراد أن يتقوى أفطر أياما وأحصى وصام مثلهن كراهية أن يترك شيئا فارق عليه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم . ـ

[The Legislated Amount of Optional Fasting and Night Prayers]

It is relayed from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr that he said:

My father married me to a women from a good family, so he used to always ask his daughter-in-law about her husband, and she would say, “What a good man he is, he has not come to my bed or approached me since he married me.” So after that continued for a while, my father mentioned this to the Prophet, who said, “Let me talk with him.” So I met with him and he said, “How do you fast?” I said, “Every day.” He said, “How often do you complete a recitation of the entire Qur’an?” I said, “Every night.” He said, “Fast three days of every month, and recite the Qur’an once in a month.” I said, “I am able to do more than that.” He said, “Fast three days every week.” I said, “I am able to do more than that.” He said, “Do two days off and one day of fasting.” I said, ” I am able to do more than that.” He said, “Fast the the best kind of fasting, which is the fasting of Dawud: one day on and one day off. And recite the Qur’an once every seven nights.”

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said, “If only I had accepted one of these allowances from Allah’s Messenger, for I have become old and weak.” He used to read a seventh of the Qur’an to one of his family members each day and he would have them check his memory so that it would be easier for him to recite that portion during the night. And whenever he wanted to gain some strength, he would skip fasting for a number of days while counting those days to make them up later, for he disliked leaving anything that he used to do during the time of the Prophet.

وقال بعضهم : في ثلاث وفي خمس وأكثرهم على سبع . وفي لفظ : ” { اقرأ القرآن في شهر قلت : إني أجد قوة . قال : فاقرأه في سبع ولا تزد على ذلك } ” رواه بكماله البخاري وهذا لفظه . وروى مسلم الحديث بنحوه واللفظ الآخر مثله . وفي رواية { ألم أخبر أنك تصوم الدهر وتقرأ القرآن كل ليلة فقلت : نعم يا نبي الله . وفيه قال : اقرأ القرآن في كل شهر قال : قلت يا نبي الله إني أطيق أفضل من ذلك قال فاقرأه في كل عشر قال : قلت يا نبي الله إني أطيق أفضل من ذلك قال : فاقرأه في سبع ولا تزد على ذلك . قال : فشددت فشدد علي وقال لي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إنك لا تدري لعلك يطول بك عمرك قال : فصرت إلى الذي قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم } ” وعن عبد الله بن عمرو عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : ” { اقرأ القرآن في كل ثلاث } ” رواه أحمد وأبو داود . ـ

Some narrations mention three or five nights, but most say seven.

In one narration, it is worded:

“Recite the Qur’an once a month.” I said, “I have it within me to do more.” He said, “Then recite it once a week, and do not increase beyond that.”

This is narrated in full by al-Bukhari, and that is his wording. And Muslim relayed a similar hadith with another wording like this one. And in one narration:

“I have heard that you fast every day and recite the entire Qur’an every night.” I replied, “Yes, O Prophet of Allah.”

and also in the same narration: Continue reading

The date of Laylatu’l-Qadr being unknown – “Perhaps that is better for you”: Ibn Kathir

Imam al-Bukhari records in his Saheeh:

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم خَرَجَ يُخْبِرُ بِلَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ، فَتَلاَحَى رَجُلاَنِ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ إِنِّي خَرَجْتُ لأُخْبِرَكُمْ بِلَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ، وَإِنَّهُ تَلاَحَى فُلاَنٌ وَفُلاَنٌ فَرُفِعَتْ وَعَسَى أَنْ يَكُونَ خَيْرًا لَكُمُ الْتَمِسُوهَا فِي السَّبْعِ وَالتِّسْعِ وَالْخَمْسِ ‏

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) went out to inform the people about the (date of the) Laylatu’l-Qadr, but a quarrel took place between two of the Muslim men. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “I came out to inform you about (the date of) Laylatu’l-Qadr, but so-and-so and so-and-so quarreled, so its knowledge was taken away. And perhaps that is better for you. Search for it in the 7th, the 9th and the 5th (of the last 10 nights of Ramadan).”

[al-Bukhari #49]

In his famous book of tafsir, al-haafidh Abu’l-Fidaa’ Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir comments on the phrase, ‘perhaps it was better for you‘ by writing:

 وقوله : ” وعسى أن يكون خيرا لكم ” يعني : عدم تعيينها لكم ، فإنها إذا كانت مبهمة اجتهد طلابها في ابتغائها في جميع محال رجائها ، فكان أكثر للعبادة ، بخلاف ما إذا علموا عينها فإنها كانت الهمم تتقاصر على قيامها فقط . وإنما اقتضت الحكمة إبهامها لتعم العبادة جميع الشهر في ابتغائها ، ويكون الاجتهاد في العشر الأواخر أكثر . ـ

And his statement, ‘perhaps it is better for you‘ – i.e., the lack of it being specified for you. For since it was left uncertain, those who seek it exert themselves, aspiring for it in all places of the month, hopeful of finding it. So there is an increase in worship, in contrast to if its specific time were known, for then its significance would certainly lead to restricting the night prayers to it exclusively. And the wisdom of its being left uncertain results in worship being spread throughout the entire month in pursuit of it, and that effort is increased even more so during the last ten nights. Continue reading

Khutbah on Welcoming Ramadan in the Proper Way: Imam al-Sa’di

The following khutbah was taken from a collection of the Friday sermons written and delivered by sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di:

خطبة في استقبال رمضان بما يُناسبه

Khutbah on Welcoming Ramadan in the Proper Way

الحمد لله الذي جعل مواسم الخيرات نُزُلاً لعباده الأبرار ـ وهيّأ لهم فيها من أصناف نعمه وفُنون كرمه كل خير غزير مدرار ، وجعلها تتكرّر كل عام ليوالي على عباده الفضل ويحُطَّ عنهم الذنوب والأوزار . ـ

All praise is due to Allah, the One who made the seasons of goodness as way-stations for His righteous slaves, and who amply prepared various forms of blessings, hospitality and every sort of good for them therein. He made these seasons such that they are repeated every year, so that bounty might be bestowed upon His slaves and they might be protected from sins and the burdens thereof.

أحمده أن جعل الليل والنهار خلفة لمن أراد التيقّظ والشكر والادّكار ، وأشكره أن جعل شهر رمضان أفضل المواسم الكريمة التي تضاعف فيها الأعمال وتربح بضائع التجار . ـ

I praise Him for making the the night and day in succession for whoever wants to be vigilant, grateful and mindful. And I thank Him for making the month of Ramadan the most virtuous of the noble seasons in which deeds are multiplied and workers make a profit on their goods.

وأشهد أن لا إله الله وحده لا شريك له العزيز الغفار . وأشهد أن محمد عبده ورسوله النبي المختار . اللهم صل عل محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه البررة الأطهار . ـ

I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone, with no partners; the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger; the chosen prophet. O Allah, bestow peace and blessings upon Muhammad, and upon his family and righteous purified companions.

أما بعد : أيها الناس ؛ اتقوا الله تعالى : { يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ‌ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ خَبِيرٌ‌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ * وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّـهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ } [الحشر 18-19] . ـ

To proceed: O People, Exercise taqwa of Allah:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ‌ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ خَبِيرٌ‌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ * وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّـهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

O you who have believed, have taqwa of Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and have taqwa of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. * And do not be like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient. [59:18-19]

واعلموا أنه قد أظلّكم شهر عظيم ، وموسم مبارك كريم ، جعل الله صيامه أحد أركان الاسلام ، وندب إلى قيامه فمن أكملها إيماناً واحتساباً تمّ له دينه واستقم . ـ

Know that a great month and a blessed and noble season is almost upon you! Allah made its fasting one of the pillars of Islam and made its night prayers an encouraged action. So whoever perfects them with eemaan and the expectation of reward, then he has completed his deen and made it upright. Continue reading

The wisdom of not disclosing the date of Laylatu’l-Qadr: Imam al-Baghawi

In his tafsir of surah al-Qadr, Imam Abu Muhammad al-Baghawi mentions some of the different opinions regarding the date of Laylatu’l-Qadr and then concludes by writing:

وفي الجملة : أبهم الله هذه الليلة على هذه الأمة ليجتهدوا في العبادة ليالي رمضان طمعا في إدراكها ، كما أخفى ساعة الإجابة في يوم الجمعة ، وأخفى الصلاة الوسطى في الصلوات الخمس ، واسمه الأعظم في الأسماء ، ورضاه في الطاعات ليرغبوا في جميعها ، وسخطه في المعاصي لينتهوا عن جميعها ، وأخفى قيام الساعة ليجتهدوا في الطاعات حذرا من قيامها . ـ

In sum, Allah left the exact date of Laylah al-Qadr uncertain for this ummah in order that they might strive in worship during all the nights of Ramadan in hopes of attaining it. This is just as He concealed which hour of Friday is the hour in which supplications are accepted, and just as He concealed which of the five daily prayers is the middle prayer, or which of His names is the greatest. His pleasure is in acts of obedience, so let the people aspire to do them all, and His displeasure is in acts of disobedience, so let them abstain from all of them. And Allah also concealed the time of the Final Hour in order that the people would exert themselves in acts of obedience in watchfulness of its establishment.

[Tafsir al-Baghawi 8/491]

See also: The date of Laylatu’l-Qadr being unknown – “Perhaps that is better for you”: Ibn Kathir

See also: The Meaning of “Laylah al-Qadr”: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: Better than One Thousand Months: Tafsir al-Baghawi

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

See also: “We are not able to perform qiyaam al-lail”: Responses from the salaf

See also: The Blessed Night is Laylah al-Qadr, not the Middle of Sha’baan

A Khutbah just before the last ten days of Ramadan: Imam al-Sa’di

In a collection of more than 400 sermons which sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote and/or delivered from the minbar of the main masjid of his native city of ‘Unayzah, Saudi Arabia, the following khutbah was written to be delivered on the 19th of Ramadan in the year 1376 A.H. (corresponding to April 19th, 1957 C.E.)*:

خطبة قُبيل العشر الأواخير من رمضان

A Khutbah just before the last ten days of Ramadan

الحمد لله الذي بسط خيره وإحسانه في هذا الشهر الكريم ، وجعله مورداً للعباد يغتنمونه للوصول إلى النعيم المقيم . ـ

All praise belongs to Allah who has extended His goodness and ihsaan during this noble month, and has made it a well-spring for the slaves through which they can attain lasting bliss.

وأشهد أن لا إله إلّا الله وحده لا شريك له ذو الفضل العظيم ، والإحسان الشامل العميم . وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله النبي الكريم . اللهم صلّ على محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه وأتباعهم على الهدى المستقيم ، وسلّم تسليماً . ـ

I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship in truth except Allah alone with no partners, the Possessor of great bounty and abundant and encompassing ihsaan. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger, a noble prophet. O Allah, bestow Your peace and blessings upon Muhammad and upon his family and companions and upon those who follow them according to the correct guidance.

أمّا بعد : أيها الناس ، اتقوا الله تعالى بفعل مراضيه واجتناب مناهيه ، وتداركوا الأوقات الفاضلة قبل أن يندم المفرط على غفلته عن مصالحه وتماديه . ـ

To proceed: O mankind, have taqwa of Allah by performing what pleases Him and avoiding His prohibitions, and make good use of this meritorious time before you regret wasting it out of heedlessness of its benefits and out of immoderate behavior.

فقد أمدّكم مولاكم في هذا الشهر من موائد جوده بفضائل جمّة ، وتفضّل عليكم يخيرات وكرامات وخصائص مهمّة . ـ

For your Master has allowed you to live until this month out of the bounty of His generosity due to His abundant blessings, and He has favored you with goodness, noble endowments and a great distinction. Continue reading

The relationship between al-Tawheed and al-istighfaar: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

In his discussion of the conclusion of the month of Ramadan, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali mentions the following points of benefit concerning the relationship between al-Tawheed and al-istighfaar (seeking Allah’s forgiveness). After mentioning some notes concerning what is conducive to freeing oneself from the hell-fire during Ramadan, he writes:

و فيه أيضا : [ فاستكثروا فيه من أربع خصال : خصلتين ترضون بها ربكم و خصلتين لا غناء لكم عنهما فأما الخصلتان اللتان ترضون بهما ربكم : شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله و الإستغفار و أما اللتان لا غناء لكم عنهما : فتسألون الله الجنة و تستعيذون به من النار ] فهذه الخصال الأربعة المذكورة في الحديث كل منها سبب العتق و المغفرة : فأما كلمة التوحيد : فإنها تهدم الذنوب و تمحوها محوا و لا تبقي ذنبا و لا يسبقها عمل و هي تعدل عتق الرقاب الذي يوجب العتق من النار و من أتى بها أربع مرار حين يصبح و حين يمسي أعتقه الله من النار و من قالها مخلصا من قلبه حرمه الله على النار

And on this topic also is, “So be prolific in four characteristics: Two characteristics by which you please your Lord, and two characteristics which you cannot do without. As for the two characteristics by which you please your Lord – they are they shahaadah that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah, and al-istighfaar [seeking Allah’s forgiveness]. And as for the two which you cannot do without – they are your asking Allah for al-jannah and seeking refuge in Him from the Hell-fire.” So all four of the aforementioned characteristics in this statement are causes of emancipation and forgiveness. As for the kalimah al-tawheed (i.e. the shahaadah), then verily it destroys sins and completely erases them and sin does not remain, and no action precedes it [in virtue]. It is equivalent to freeing a slave, which necessitates the freeing of one from the Fire.

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