More Astray Than Cattle: Ibn al-Qayyim

Allah presents the following description of the disbelievers by way of comparison in surah al-Furqan:

أَمْ تَحْسَبُ أَنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ يَسْمَعُونَ أَوْ يَعْقِلُونَ ۚ إِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا كَالْأَنْعَامِ ۖ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ سَبِيلًا

Or do you think that most of them hear or reason? They are nothing more than like cattle. In fact, they are even more astray from the path. [25:44]

Commenting on this ayah, the great scholar ibn al-Qayyim wrote:

فشبه أكثر الناس بالأنعام والجامع بين النوعين التساوي في عدم قبول الهدى والانقياد له

Allah has compared most of mankind to cattle here, and the characteristic that both groups have in common is their lack of accepting the truth and conforming to it.

وجعل الأكثرين أضل سبيلا من الأنعام لأن البهيمة يهديها سائقها فتهتدي وتتبع الطريق فلا تحيد عنها يمينا ولا شمالا والأكثرون يدعوهم الرسل ويهدونهم السبيل فلا يستجيبون ولا يهتدون ولا يفرقون بين ما يضرهم وبين ما ينفعهم والأنعام تفرق بين ما يضرها من النبات والطريق فتتجنبه وما ينفعها فتؤثره

And He stated that most people are even more astray from the path than cattle. That is because a herder drives the livestock, resulting in them being guided and following the path without deviating to the right or left. However, for most people, despite the messengers calling them and guiding them, they do not respond to the call nor do they adopt their guidance, nor do they even distinguish between what is harmful or beneficial to them. Meanwhile cattle do distinguish between what harms them, such as certain plants and paths which they thus avoid, and what benefits them, which they then take an interest in. Continue reading

‘Ibad al-Rahman – Conclusion: ‘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. He concluded the booklet with the following:

خاتمة
Conclusion

ثم ختم الله هذا السياق المبارك بذكر جزاء من اتصف بالصفات السابقة، وعظيم ثوابه، فقال عز وجل : [أُولَـٰئِكَ يُجْزَوْنَ الْغُرْفَةَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا وَيُلَقَّوْنَ فِيهَا تَحِيَّةً وَسَلَامًا ﴿٧٥﴾ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ حَسُنَتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا] فكان الجزاء من جنس العمل؛ فلما كانت أوصافهم رفيعةً عاليةً كافأهم رب العالمين بالغرْفة العالية جزاءً لهم. ـ

Allah then concludes this blessed passage by mentioning the recompense of those who are characterized by these aforementioned qualities and the greatness of His reward for them. He says:

أُولَـٰئِكَ يُجْزَوْنَ الْغُرْفَةَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا وَيُلَقَّوْنَ فِيهَا تَحِيَّةً وَسَلَامًا * خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ حَسُنَتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا

Those will be awarded with a dwelling for what they patiently endured, and they will be received therein with greetings and words of peace. * Abiding therein; excellent it is as an abode, and as a place to dwell. [25:75-76]

For the rewards of deeds are of the same nature as the deeds themselves. So since their qualities are so lofty and elevated then the Lord of all creation will compensate them with this elevated dwelling place as a reward. Continue reading

‘Ibad al-Rahman Part 8 – Attention to Supplication: ‘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 is the eighth and final quality mentioned before the conclusion:

الصفة الثامنة : عنايتهم بالدعاء والتَّضرع لله
The Eighth Characteristic: Their Attention to Supplication and Humility Towards Allah

قال عز وجل : [وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا] ـ

Allah said:

وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.” [25:74]

فمنْ صفات عباد الرحمن الكمل: عنايتهم بالدعاء، فهم مفتقرون إلى الله ملْتجئون إليه، مقْبلون عليه، وجميع حاجاتهم ومصالحهم الدينية والدنيوية يرجونها منه وحده لا شريك له. ـ

One of the characteristics of the complete ‘Ibad al-Rahman – slaves of the Most Merciful – is their attention to supplication, for they are completely in need of Allah and seek refuge in Him and turn to Him. For every single need and benefit – whether in this life or the next – they place their hopes in Him alone, making no partner with Him.

ثم هم في دعائهم يحرصون على جوامع الدعاء وأنفعه، فقولهم: [وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا] هذا الدعاء من أجمع الدعاء وأنفعه، ففيه أولًا دعاء المرء بأنْ تقر عينه، ويسعد قلبه بصلاح أهله وأولاده؛ في تعبدهم، وأخلاقهم، وتعاملاتهم، وعيْشهم، وبرِّهم بوالديهم، وغير ذلك. ـ

But more than that, when it comes to their supplications they stick to those supplications which are comprehensive in meaning and especially beneficial. For example, their statement: Continue reading

‘Ibad al-Rahman Part 7 – Reverence of Allah’s Speech: ‘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 is the seventh quality mentioned:

الصفة السابعة : تعظيمهم لكلام الله وعملهم بما فيه
The Seventh Characteristic: Their Reverence of Allah’s Speech and Acting in Accordance With It

قال عز وجل : [وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ لَمْ يَخِرُّوا عَلَيْهَا صُمًّا وَعُمْيَانًا] ـ

Allah said:

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ لَمْ يَخِرُّوا عَلَيْهَا صُمًّا وَعُمْيَانًا

And those who, when reminded of the verses of their Lord, do not fall upon them deaf and blind. [25:73]

كلام الله شأنه عظيم، ومكانته جليلة في نفوس عباد الرحمن، فلا يقابلونه بالصدود والإعْراض، بل يعظِّمونه ويجلونه، ويحسنون اسْتماعه والانْتفاع به. ـ

Allah’s speech has tremendous standing and holds an important place in the hearts of the ‘Ibad al-Rahman – the slaves of the Most Merciful. They do not respond to it with rejection or evasion. On the contrary, they revere and venerate it, making sure to listen to it carefully in order to benefit from it.

وقوله : [ لَمْ يَخِرُّوا عَلَيْهَا صُمًّا وَعُمْيَانًا] أي: إذا استمعوا لكلام الربِّ لم يكونوا كالأصمِّ الذي لا يسْمع فينتفع بالموعظة، وكالأعمى الذي لا يبصر، بل هم يحْسنون الاسْتماع، و ينتفعون بالمواعظ، ويعْملون بأحكامه وهداياته. ـ

Allah’s statement: Continue reading

‘Ibad al-Rahman Part 6 – Avoiding Bad Company: ‘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 is the sixth quality mentioned:

الصفة السادسة : بعدهم عن مجالس الباطل والمنكرات
The Sixth Characteristic: Distancing Themselves from Gatherings of Falsehood and Evil-Doing

قال عز وجل : [وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا ] ـ

Allah said:

وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا

And they are those who do not witness al-zoor, and if they pass by some ill talk, they pass by it with dignity [25:72]

ومنْ أخلاق عباد الرحمن، وجميل صفاتهم أنهم ينزِّهون أنفسهم عن حضور المجالس التي يعم فيها المنكر، ويغْمرها الباطل واللغو المحرم، فقوله عز وجل : [وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ] أي : لا يحْضرون الزور والباطل، ولا يغْشون مجالسه ، ولا يشاركون أهْله . ـ

One aspect of the manners and beautiful qualities of the ‘Ibad al-Rahman – the slaves of the Most Merciful – is that they hold themselves above participating in gatherings in which wrongdoing is common and which are overrun with falsehood and foul speech. For Allah said:

وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ

And they are those who do not witness al-zoor

meaning: they are not present for al-zoor and falsehood, they do not attend gatherings which contain such things, and do not join in with the people who practice them.

فيدخل في الآية السابقة: ـ

There are several things which fall under this ayah: Continue reading

‘Ibad al-Rahman Part 5 – Avoiding Major Sins: Sheikh ‘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 deals with the firth quality mentioned:

الصفة الخامسة : بعدهم عن كبائر الذنوب وعظائم الآثام
The Fifth Quality: Distancing Oneself from the Major Sins and Gross Misconduct

قال عز وجل : [وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّـهِ إِلَـٰهًا آخَرَ وَلَا يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّـهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَلَا يَزْنُونَ] ـ

Allah said:

وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّـهِ إِلَـٰهًا آخَرَ وَلَا يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّـهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَلَا يَزْنُونَ

And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. [25:68]

فمنْ أبرز صفات عباد الرحمن المتقين: اجتنابهم كبائر الذنوب والآثام، وقد خص الله عز وجل في هذا السياق ثلاث كبائر بالذِّكر؛ لأنها أعظم الكبائر وأشدها على الإطلاق، وهي: الشرك بالله عالى ؛ وقتل النفس المعصومة ؛ والزنى . ـ

One of the most important traits of the pious ‘Ibad al-Rahman – the slaves of the Most Merciful – is their avoidance of major sins and misdeeds. In this passage, Allah has selected three major sins to mention because they are the gravest and worst of all the major sins. They are:

  • al-Shirk – Associating partners with Allah, the Most High
  • Killing a person undeservedly
  • Fornication

فأم ا الشِّرْك فهو متعلِّقٌ بحقِّ الله على عباده، وهو الذنب الذي لا يغفره الله لمن مات عليه ، كما قال تعالى: [إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّـهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَىٰ إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا] . ـ

As for al-Shirk, it is connected to Allah’s rights over His slaves and it is the sin which Allah will not forgive for whoever dies in that state. This is as Allah said:

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّـهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَىٰ إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا

Indeed, Allah does not forgive associating partners with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin. [4:48]

Continue reading

‘Ibad al-Rahman Part 4 – Moderation in Spending: ‘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 fourth quality listed:

الصفة الرابعة : توسطهم في النفقة بين الإسراف والتَّقتير
The Fourth Quality: Moderation in Spending Between Wastefulness and Stinginess

قال عز وجل : [وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَنفَقُوا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ قَوَامًا] ـ

Allah said:

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَنفَقُوا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ قَوَامًا

And those who, when they spend, do so neither excessively nor sparingly but are ever, between that, moderate [25:67]

ومن أوصاف عباد الرحمن توسطهم في باب النفقة بين الإسراف والتقتير لأنهم علموا أن الله سيسْألهم يوم القيامة عن هذه النِّعمة التي أعطاهم إياها، كما صح عن الرسول الله أنه قال : لا تزول قدما عبد يوم القيامة حتى يسأل عن عمره فيما أفناه ، وعن علمه فيما فعل فيه، وعن ماله من أين اكتسبه، وفيما أنفقه، وعن جسمه فيم أبلاه . ـ

One of the qualities of the ‘Ibad al-Rahman – the slaves of the Most Merciful – is their moderation when it comes to spending, falling between wasteful extravagance on the one hand and miserliness on the other. That is because they know that on the Day of Judgement Allah will ask them ask the blessings He has given them, as has been authentically transmitted from Allah’s Messenger that he said: Continue reading

‘Ibad al-Rahman Part 3 – Fear of the Hellfire: ‘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 third quality listed:

الصفة الثالثة : خوفهم وإشفاقهم من عذاب النَّار
Third Quality: Their Great Fear of the Punishment of the Hellfire

قال عز وجل : [وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اصْرِفْ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا * إِنَّهَا سَاءَتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا ] ـ

Allah said:

وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اصْرِفْ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا * إِنَّهَا سَاءَتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا

And those who say, “Our Lord, avert the punishment of Hell away from us. Indeed, Its torment is an inseparable, permanent punishment. * How evil it is as an abode and as a place to dwell. [25:65-66]

فعباد الرحمن مع إحسانهم بالعمل والتعبد لله ، قد خافوا ووجلوا من عذاب الله وسخطه وهذه حال المؤمنين الكمل؛ كما قال الله : [ وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوا وَّقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ رَاجِعُونَ ] أي: يقدِّمون ما يقدِّمونه من عباداتٍ وطاعاتٍ وقلوبهم خائفةٌ أن ترد عليهم أعمالهم، فيصيبهم بعد ذلك عذابٌ من الله . ـ

Despite the goodness that they have in their actions and seeking to draw closer to Allah, the ‘ibad al-Rahman – the slave of the Most Merciful – feel great fear and apprehension about Allah’s punishment and displeasure. This is the way of the complete believer. It is just as Allah has said: Continue reading

‘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

‘Ibad al-Rahman Part 1 – Composure: Sheikh ‘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. Following the introduction, this section discusses the first quality listed in the passage:

الصفة الاولى : السَّكينة والوقار والتواضع لله ولعباده

قال تعالى : [ وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا ] ـ

The First Quality: Composure, Dignity, and Humility towards Allah and His slaves

Allah said:

وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا

And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth with composure, and when the ignorant address them, they say words of peace. [25:63]

من صفات عباد الرحمن وجميل نعوتهم : تواضعهم لله ولعباده، فيمشون بسكينةٍ وطمأنينة ووقار، وهذا التواضع الذي ظهر على مشيهم وهيئتهم إنما هو ثمرةٌ من ثمار الإيمان، وأثرٌ من آثاره. ـ

One of the characteristics and beautiful traits of the ‘Ibad al-Rahman – servants of the Most Merciful – is their humility towards Allah and His slaves, such that they go about with composure, calmness and dignity. But this the humility which is plain to see from the way they walk and outwardly appear is actually one of the fruits and effects of eemaan.

وقال ابن عباس في قوله تعالى : [ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا ] ، أي : بالطاعة والعفاف والتواضع . ـ

Ibn ‘Abbaas said about Allah’s statement:

الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا

… those who walk upon the earth with composure …

i.e. in obedience, exercising self-control and practicing humility towards others. Continue reading