A Clarification on Kissing the Black Stone

Imam al-Bukhari, in his Saheeh, brings the following narration in the chapter on Hajj:

عُمَرَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ أَنَّهُ جَاءَ إِلَى الْحَجَرِ الأَسْوَدِ فَقَبَّلَهُ، فَقَالَ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ حَجَرٌ لاَ تَضُرُّ وَلاَ تَنْفَعُ، وَلَوْلاَ أَنِّي رَأَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُقَبِّلُكَ مَا قَبَّلْتُكَ

`Umar came near the Black Stone and kissed it and said “No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither harm anyone nor benefit anyone. And had I not seen Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) kissing you I would not have kissed you.”

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #1597]

al-Haafidh ibn Hajar, in his famous commentary on Saheeh al-Bukhari, writes the following in his explanation:

قوله : ( لا تضر ولا تنفع ) أي إلا بإذن الله ، وقد روى الحاكم من حديث أبي سعيد أن عمر لما قال هذا قال له علي بن أبي طالب : إنه يضر وينفع ، وذكر أن الله لما أخذ المواثيق على ولد آدم كتب ذلك في رق ، وألقمه الحجر ، قال : وقد سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : يؤتى يوم القيامة بالحجر الأسود وله لسان ذلق يشهد لمن استلمه بالتوحيد ، وفي إسناده أبو هارون العبدي وهو ضعيف جدا ،

His statement, “You can neither harm nor benefit” – meaning, except by the permission of Allah.

And al-Haakim has narrated a hadeeth from Abu Sa’eed that when ‘Umar said this, ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib said to him,

“Verily it does harm and benefit,” and he mentioned that when Allah took the covenants from the children of Adam (i.e. mankind), He wrote that out of compassion, so the Stone is fed bit by bit by them (i.e. their sins). He said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say, ‘On the Day of Resurrection, the Black Stone will be brought with an eloquent tongue, bearing witness for those who touched it while having al-Tawheed.'”

But in the isnaad there is Abu Haaroon al-‘Abdi, and he is da’eef jaddan (i.e. very weak).

وقد روى النسائي من وجه آخر ما يشعر بأن عمر رفع قوله ذلك إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ، أخرجه من طريق طاوس ، عن ابن عباس قال : رأيت عمر قبل الحجر ثلاثا ، ثم قال : إنك حجر لا تضر ولا تنفع ، ولولا أني رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قبلك ما قبلتك . ثم قال : ” رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فعل مثل ذلك ” .

And al-Nasaa’i has narrated it by another route by which it is known that the statement of ‘Umar is taken from the Prophet (ﷺ). It comes by way of Taawoos, that ibn ‘Abbaas said,

I saw Umar bin Al-Khattab doing that, then he said: You are just a stone that can neither cause harm or bring benefit; were it not that I saw the Messenger of Allah kissing you I would not have kissed you.’ Then Umar said, ‘I saw the Messenger of Allah doing that.'” [al-Nasaa’i #2938, Saheeh]

قال الطبري : إنما قال ذلك عمر لأن الناس كانوا حديثي عهد بعبادة الأصنام ، فخشي عمر أن يظن الجهال أن استلام الحجر من باب تعظيم بعض الأحجار كما كانت العرب تفعل في الجاهلية ، فأراد عمر أن يعلم الناس أن استلامه اتباع لفعل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، لا لأن الحجر ينفع ويضر بذاته كما كانت الجاهلية تعتقده في الأوثان ،

al-Tabari said: ‘Umar only said that because the people had recently come from the era of worshiping idols, so ‘Umar feared that the ignorant ones that his touching the Stone fell under into the magnification of certain stones as the Arabs had done in the era of al-Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance). So ‘Umar wanted to teach the people that touching the Stone is following the actions of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), not because the Black Stone can bring benefit or harm in and of itself as it had been believed about idols during al-Jaahiliyyah. 

وقال المهلب : حديث عمر هذا يرد على من قال : إن الحجر يمين الله في الأرض يصافح بها عباده ، ومعاذ الله أن يكون لله جارحة ، وإنما شرع تقبيله اختيارا ليعلم بالمشاهدة طاعة من يطيع ، وذلك شبيه بقصة إبليس حيث أمر بالسجود لآدم .

And al-Muhallib said: the hadeeth of ‘Umar is a refutation of those who say, ‘Verily the Stone is the right hand of Allah on the earth and ‘shaking hands with it’ [i.e. touching it] is ‘ibaadah,” and refuge is sought with Allah from that. And kissing it was only legislated as a choice in order that the obedience of those who obey may be known and witnessed, and that resembles the story of Iblees when he was commanded to prostrate to Adam.

وقال الخطابي : معنى أنه يمين الله في الأرض أن من صافحه في الأرض كان له عند الله عهد ، وجرت العادة بأن العهد يعقده الملك بالمصافحة لمن يريد موالاته والاختصاص به ، فخاطبهم بما يعهدونه .

And al-Khattaabi said: it means that it is the right hand of Allah on the earth, that whoever touches (lit. ‘shakes hands with’) it on the earth, then there is a pact for him with Allah. And traditionally, a pact was made with a ruler by shaking hands for the one who desires his patronage, and doing that exclusively with him, so they agreed to the pact they had made.

وقال المحب الطبري : معناه أن كل ملك إذا قدم عليه الوافد قبل يمينه ، فلما كان الحاج أول ما يقدم يسن له تقبيله نزل منزلة يمين الملك ، ولله المثل الأعلى

And al-Muhibb al-Tabari said: its meaning is that whenever a guest comes before any ruler, he kisses his hand. So when the pilgrim comes, it is more befitting for him to kiss what has been sent down in place of the hand of the ruler, and Allah is above such comparisons.

 وفي قول عمر هذا التسليم للشارع في أمور الدين ، وحسن الاتباع فيما لم يكشف عن معانيها ، وهو قاعدة عظيمة في اتباع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فيما يفعله ولو لم يعلم الحكمة فيه ، وفيه دفع ما وقع لبعض الجهال من أن في الحجر الأسود خاصة ترجع إلى ذاته ، وفيه بيان السنن بالقول والفعل ، وأن الإمام إذا خشي على أحد من فعله فساد اعتقاد أن يبادر إلى بيان الأمر ويوضح ذلك ، وسيأتي بقية الكلام على التقبيل والاستلام بعد تسعة أبواب . .

And in the statement of ‘Umar is submission to the source of Divine Legislation in the affairs of the deen, and beautiful following (al-ittiba’) in those things which did not disclose their meanings. And this is a great foundational point in following the Prophet (ﷺ) in what he does, even if one does not know the wisdom underlying it.

And in this is a refutation of some of the ignorant ones who claim that the Black Stone has a nature  of its own. And in this is a clarification that the sunnah is by both speech and action (i.e. on the part of ‘Umar), and that if the imam fears that one of his actions would corrupt the beliefs, that he would take the steps to explain the affair and clarify that. And the rest of the statements concerning kissing and touching the Black Stone will come after nine chapters.

قال شيخنا في ” شرح الترمذي ” : فيه كراهة تقبيل ما لم يرد الشرع بتقبيله ، وأما قول الشافعي : ومهما قبل من البيت فحسن ، فلم يرد به الاستحباب ، لأن المباح من جملة الحسن عند الأصوليين

And our sheikh said in Sharh al-Tirmidhi : In this is the dislike of kissing that which the sharee’ah does not prescribe to kiss. And as for the statement of al-Shaafi’: and whomever one kisses from his household, then that is fine, rather it is recommended, because it is value-neutral (mubaah) from good things with those who study usool al-Fiqh.

  تكميل  : اعترض بعض الملحدين على الحديث الماضي ، فقال : كيف سودته خطايا المشركين ، ولم تبيضه طاعات أهل التوحيد ؟ وأجيب بما قال ابن قتيبة : لو شاء الله لكان ذلك ، وإنما أجرى الله العادة بأن السواد يصبغ ، ولا ينصبغ على العكس من البياض . وقال المحب الطبري : في بقائه أسود عبرة لمن له بصيرة ، فإن الخطايا إذا أثرت في الحجر الصلد فتأثيرها في القلب أشد . قال : وروي عن ابن عباس : إنما غيره بالسواد لئلا ينظر أهل الدنيا إلى زينة الجنة ، فإن ثبت ، فهذا هو الجواب . قلت : أخرجه الحميدي في فضائل مكة بإسناد ضعيف ، والله أعلم .

A supplement: some of the heretics have objected to the previous hadeeth [which states that the Black Stone was blackened by the sins of the sons of Adam], they say, “How can the sins of the mushrikoon blacken it, while the obedience of the people of al-Tawheed do not whiten it?” And Ibn Qutaybah responded to this by saying, “If Allah has wished for that, then it would be so, But Allah has caused it to be the case that black usually changes other colors and its not changed itself, which is the opposite to what happens with white.”

And al-Muhibb al-Tabari said, “In its remaining black is a lesson for those who have insight, for verily if the sins are able to leave a mark on a hard rock, then its marks marks on the heart are more severe.”

He said: narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas: It was only changed to black in order that the people of this world might look forward to the beauty of al-Jannah. And if this is true, then this is the answer. I [Ibn Hajar] say: this has come from al-Humaidi concerning the virtues of Mecca through a weak isnaad. And Allah knows best.

[Fath al-Baari #1520]

And Imam al-Nawawi, after mentioning some of the various fiqhi positions on the issues, commented on the same hadeeth by writing:

 وأما قول عمر – رضي الله عنه – : ( لقد علمت أنك حجر وإني لأعلم أنك حجر وأنك لا تضر ولا تنفع ) فأراد به بيان الحث على الاقتداء برسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في تقبيله ، ونبه على أنه لولا الاقتداء به لما فعله ، وإنما قال : وإنك لا تضر ولا تنفع ؛ لئلا يغتر بعض قريبي العهد بالإسلام الذين كانوا ألفوا عبادة الأحجار وتعظيمها ورجاء نفعها ، وخوف الضرر بالتقصير في تعظيمها ، وكان العهد قريبا بذلك ، فخاف عمر – رضي الله عنه – أن يراه بعضهم يقبله ، ويعتني به ، فيشتبه عليه فبين أنه لا يضر ولا ينفع بذاته ، وإن كان امتثال ما شرع فيه ينفع بالجزاء والثواب فمعناه أنه لا قدرة له على نفع ولا ضر ، وأنه حجر مخلوق كباقي المخلوقات التي لا تضر ولا تنفع وأشاع عمر هذا في الموسم ؛ ليشهد في البلدان ، ويحفظه عنه أهل الموسم المختلفو الأوطان . والله أعلم .

And as for the statement of ‘Umar (raadiAllaahu ‘anhu), “I knew that you are only a stone and verily I know that you are a stone and that you are not able to harm nor benefit anyone“, then the intention by that is to clarify the eagerness to emulate the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) in kissing it, and to point out that he would not have emulated that if the Prophet (ﷺ) had not done it. And he said, “And verily you cannot harm not benefit” lest it mislead some of those who were new to Islam who were used to worshiping and magnifying stones, hoping for their benefit and fearing harm in falling short in their magnification. And is was still close to that era, so ‘Umar feared that some of them would see him kissing it, and they would be concerned about it and imitate him in it (i.e. without the correct intention), so he clarified that the stone is not able to harm nor benefit anyone in and of itself. And if one complies with what has been divinely legislated concerning it, then he it will benefit him with rewards, so the meaning is that is does not have any power over benefit or harm, and that it is a created stone like the rest of the created things which can neither harm nor benefit anyone, and ‘Umar propogated this message during the Hajj season, in order that it would be known throughout the lands, and so the people of the season would protect the various lands from that (shirk). And Allah knows best.

[Al-Minhaaj bi Sharh Saheeh Muslim #1270]

See also: The Black Stone was blackened by the sins of the children of Adam

See also: Two Qur’anic proofs that Ismaa’eel is the sacrificed son: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

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‘Umar and valuing human resources over material resources

al-Haakim collects in his book of hadeeth, al-Mustadrak ‘alaa Saheehayn:

حدثنا أبو بكر بن إسحاق أنا بشر بن موسى ثنا عبد الله بن يزيد المقري ثنا حيوة بن شريح أخبرني أبو صخر أن زيد بن أسلم حدثه عن أبيه عن عمر رضي الله عنه أنه قال لأصحابه تمنوا فقال بعضهم أتمنى لو أن هذه الدار مملوءة ذهبا أنفقه في سبيل الله وأتصدق وقال رجل أتمنى لو أنها مملوءة زبرجدا وجوهرا فأنفقه في سبيل الله وأتصدق ثم قال عمر تمنوا فقالوا ما ندري يا أمير المؤمنين فقال عمر أتمنى لو أنها مملوءة رجالا مثل أبي عبيدة بن الجراح ومعاذ بن جبل وسالم مولى أبي حذيفة وحذيفة بن اليمان.

‘Umar said to his companions, “Make a wish”. So one of them said, “I wish that this house would be filled with gold so that I could spend it in the path of Allah and give in charity.” And another man said, “I wish that it would be filled with precious stones so that I could spend it in the path of Allah and give in charity.”

Then ‘Umar [again] said, “Make a wish”. So they said, “We don’t know, O Commander of the Believers.”

So ‘Umar said, “I wish that this (house) would be filled with men the likes of Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarraah, Mu’adh ibn Jabal, Saalim the mawla of Abu Hudhaifah, and Hudhaifah ibn al-Yamaan.”

[al-Mustadrak ‘alaa Saheehayn #5005, 3/252; Ismaa’eel al-Asbahaani also recorded the same wording through a different chain in his book, Siyaar al-Salaf al-Saaliheen 2/650; Ibn Sa’d (3/220), Abu Na’eem (Hilyah 1/102), and Ibn Abi al-Dunya (1/89) recorded similar incidents in which ‘Umar only mentioned Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarraah]

Imam al-Bukhari records a similar hadeeth in his book of history, al-Taareekh al-Awsat, with the following addition:

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو سَعِيدٍ الْمَدِينِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مَسْلَمَةَ الْمَخْزُومِيُّ، حَدَّثَنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ دِينَارٍ، حَدَّثَنِي عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عُمَرَ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، وَزَيْدِ بْنِ أَسْلَمَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ: قَالَ عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، يَوْمًا، ” تَمَنَّوْا ! ” فَجَعَلُوا يَتَمَنَّوْنُ، فقَالُوا: تَمَنَّ أَنْتَ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ، قَالَ: ” أَتَمَنَّى أَنْ يَكُونَ مِثْلُ هَذِهِ الدَّارِ رِجَالا مِثْلَ أَبِي عُبَيْدَةَ بْنِ الْجَرَّاحِ ”
فَقَالَ: مَا تَمَنَّيْنَا بَعْدَ هَذَا قَالَ عُمَرُ: لَكِنِّي أَتَمَنَّى أَنْ يَكُونَ مِلْءُ هَذَا الْبَيْتِ رِجَالا، مِثْلَ أَبِي عُبَيْدَةَ بْنِ الْجَرَّاحِ، وَمُعَاذِ بْنِ جَبَلٍ، وَحُذَيْفَةَ بْنِ الْيَمَانِ، فَأَسْتَعْمِلَهُمْ فِي طَاعَةِ اللَّهِ.
قَالَ: ثُمَّ بَعَثَ بِمَالٍ إِلَى حُذَيْفَةَ قَالَ: انْظُرْ مَا يَصْنَعُ قَالَ: فَلَمَّا أَتَاهُ قَسَمَهُ ثُمَّ بَعَثَ بِمَالٍ إِلَى مُعَاذِ بْنِ جَبَلٍ فَقَسَمَهُ، ثُمَّ بَعَثَ بِمَالٍ يَعْنِي إِلَى أَبِي عُبَيْدَةَ قَالَ: انْظُرْ مَا يَصْنَعُ، فَقَالَ عُمَرُ: قَدْ قُلْتُ لَكُمْ أَوْ كَمَا قَالَ.

‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab said on day, “Make a wish,” so they made wishes. Then they said, “Now you make a wish, O Commander of the Believers.” He said, “I wish to have a house like this (full) of men the likes of Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarraah.”

So they said, “That is what we would have wished for after this [i.e. after wishing to gold and fine stones to spend in the cause of Allah].”

‘Umar replied, “No, rather I wish that the wealth of this house would be men, the likes of Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarraah, Mu’adh ibn Jabal, and Hudhaifah ibn al-Yamaan, so that I could employ them in obedient service to Allah.”

So ‘Umar sent some money to Hudhaifah and said [to his messenger], “Look to see what he does with it.” So when it reached him, he distributed it [in charity]. Then he sent some money to Mu’adh bin Jabal, and he also distributed it [in charity]. Then he sent some money to Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarraah and said [to his messenger], “Look to see what he does with it.” [And he also distributed it in charity]. So ‘Umar said to his companions, “Is it as I told you, or as you said?”

[al-Taareekh al-Awsat 173]

An incitement to learn Arabic

‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab famously said:

تعلموا العربية فإنها تثبت العقل وتزيد في المروءة

“Learn Arabic, for it strengthens the intelligence and increases one’s noble conduct”

[Shu’ab al-Eemaan, al-Bayhaqi (4/187)]

It is the sincere hope of this translator that this website’s presentation of classical texts in both Arabic and English can serve as a beneficial tool for those looking to improve their Arabic comprehension.
Another fantastic resource of beneficial articles with side-by-side English and Arabic translations can be found here from Subulaasalaam.com.
JazaakumAllaahu khairan and any feedback from our readers is appreciated.

A definition and brief history of Masjid al-Aqsa: Ibn Taymiyah

Sheikh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyah offers a clarification on the definition of Masjid al-Aqsa and a short history in his brief work entitled Ziyaarah Bait al-Maqdis. In it he writes:

فالمسجد الأقصى اسم لجميع المسجد الذي بناه سليمان عليه السلام, وقد صار بعض الناس يسمي الأقصى؛ المصلى الذي بناه عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه مقدمه، والصلاة في هذا المصلى بناه عمر للمسلمين أفضل من الصلاة في سائر المسجد، فان عمر بن الخطاب لما فتح بيت المقدس وكان على الصخرة زبالة عظيمة، لأن النصارى كانوا يقصدون إهانتها مقابلة لليهود الذين يصلون إليها، فأمر عمر رضي الله عنه بازالة النجاسة عنها، وقال لكعب الأحبار أين ترى أن نبني مصلى للمسلمين؟ فقال خلف الصخرة . فقال يا ابن اليهودية خالطتك اليهودية، بل أبنيه أمامها فإنّ لنا صدور المساجد ،

al-Masjid al-Aqsa is the name for the whole of the place of worship that was built by Sulayman (‘alaihis salaam), though some people have begun to give the name of ‘al-Aqsa’ – ‘the farthest’ – to the prayer-place which was built by ʿUmar Ibn Al-Khattaab (radiAllaahu ‘anhu) at the front of it.

Praying in the prayer-place which ʿUmar built for the Muslims is better than praying in any other part of the mosque. That is because when ʿUmar conquered Jerusalem there was a huge garbage dump on the rock, since the Christians wanted to show their scorn for the place towards which the Jews used to pray. ʿUmar issued orders that the filth be removed and asked Kaʾb [al-Ahbar], “Where do you think we should build a place of prayer for the Muslims?” He said, “Behind the Rock.” So ‘Umar replied, “You son of a Jewish woman! Are you influenced by your Jewish ideas! On the contrary, I will build it in front of it.”*

ولهذا كان أئمة الامة اذا دخلوا المسجد قصدوا الصلاة في المصلى الذي بناه عمر، وقد ورى عن عمر رضي الله عنه أنه صلى في محراب داود، وأما الصخرة فلم يصلي عندها عمر رضي الله عنه ولا الصحابة, ولا كان على عهد الخلف الراشدين عليها قبة، بل كانت مكشوفة في خلافة عمر، وعثمان، وعلي، ومعاوية، ويزيد، ومروان، ولكن لما تول  ابنه عبد الملك الشام ووقع بينه وبين ابن الزبير الفتنة، كان الناس يحجون فيجمعون بابن الزبير، فأراد عبد الملك أن يصرف الناس عن ابن الزبير، فبنى القبة على الصخرة وكساها في الشتاء والصيف ليرغب الناس في زيارة بيت المقدس، ويشتغلوا بذلك عن اجتماعهم بابن الزبير،

Hence when the Imaams of this Ummah entered the Masjid, they would go and pray in the prayer-place that was built by ʿUmar. And it has also been narrated from ‘Umar that he prayed in the mihrab of Dawood.

With regards to the Rock, neither ʿUmar nor any of the Sahaabah prayed there, and there was no dome over it during the time of the Khulafaa’ al-Raashideen (Rightly-Guided Caliphs). It was open to the sky during the times of ʿUmar, ʿUthmaan, ʿAli, Muʿaawiyah, Yazeed and Marwaan. But when his son ‘Abd al-Malik was the ruler over Syria and the fitnah took place between him and ibn al-Zubair, the people would make Hajj and join ibn al-Zubair [who controlled the city of Mecca at that time], so ‘Abd al-Malik wanted to divert the people away from ibn al-Zubair, so he built a dome on top of the Rock and covered it in the winter and in the summer in order to encourage people to visit Jerusalem, and so he kept them occupied from joining ibn al-Zubair.

واما اهل العلم من الصحابة والتابعين لهم بإحسان، فلم يكونوا يعظمون الصخرة فانها قبلة المنسوخة، كما ان يوم السبت . كان عيداً في شريعة موسى عليه السلام، ثم نسخ في شريعة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم بيوم الجمعة، فليس للمسلمين أن يخصوا يوم السبت ويوم الأحد بعبادة، كما تفعل اليهود والنصارى، وكذلك الصخرة إنما يعظمها اليهود و بعض النصارى

And as for the scholars among the Sahaabah and those who followed them faithfully, they did not venerate the Rock because it was an abrogated Qiblah, just as is the case with Saturday. Saturday was an ‘eid in the sharee’ah of Moosaa (‘alaihis salaam), then it was abrogated in the sharee’ah of Muhammad (salaAllahu ‘alaihi was-salaam) with Friday. And it is not appropriate for the Muslims to single out Saturday or Sunday for worship as the Jews and Christians do. Similarly with the Rock; it was only venerated by the Jews and some of the Christians.

[Majmoo’a al-Rasaa’il al-Kubraa 2/61]

Translator’s notes:

* Ka’b al-Ahbar was one of the Jewish Rabbis who had become a Muslim. ‘Umar rebuked him because his suggestion to build the prayer-place behind (i.e. on the north side of )the Rock would mean that when they congregation would prayer, they would have to pray directly towards the abrogated qibla of the Rock in order to also face the ordained qibla of the Ka’aba. ‘Umar wanted there to be no confusion, so he built the prayer-place to the south of the Rock.

Here is a diagram of Masjid al-Aqsa:

aqsa 1

-And according to ibn Taymiyyah’s description, Masjid al-Aqsa is all of what is contained within the black box, including Dome of the Rock and the prayer-place built by ‘Umar. This was previously the site of the temple built by the Prophet Sulayman, which was later demolished (see Qur’an 17:7), then rebuilt during the time of ‘Uzayr, then demolished again a few decades after Allah raised ‘Eesaa up to Himself. It has never been rebuilt however the site remains an honored place and the place to which Allah brought His Prophet on the night of al-Israa’ w’al-Mi’raaj, even though there was neither the Dome of the Rock nor the prayer-place of ‘Umar at that time.

-The golden dome in the center is the Dome of the Rock, built by ‘Abd al-Malik during his Khilaafah (65-86 a.h./685-705 c.e.)

-The building on the southern end  is the prayer-place built by ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, known as Jaami’a al-Qibli and sometimes referred to as Masjid al-Aqsa itself, although the definition of Masjid al-Aqsa encompasses the entire area. And Allah knows best

Posted Muharram 21, 1435 (11/25/13)

See also: The Blessings of al-Shaam as mentioned in the Qur’an: ibn Taymiyah

See also: “Jerusalem is not a place which is called sacred”: Ibn Taymiyah

“Do not insult those they invoke other than Allah”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

Allah commands the believers in His Book when He says:

وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّـهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ‌ عِلْمٍ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَ‌بِّهِم مَّرْ‌جِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

“And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do.” [6:108]

Imam al-Qurtubi, in his book of tafsir, writes about this ayah:

قوله تعالى‏{‏ولا تسبوا الذين يدعون من دون الله‏}‏ نهي‏.‏ {‏فيسبوا الله‏}‏ جواب النهي‏.‏ فنهى سبحانه لمؤمنين أن يسبوا أوثانهم؛ لأنه علم إذا سبوها نفر الكفار وازدادوا كفرا‏.‏ قال ابن عباس‏:‏ قالت كفار قريش لأبي طالب إما أن تنهى محمدا وأصحابه عن سب آلهتنا والغض منها وإما أن إلهه ونهجوه؛ فنزلت الآية‏.‏

His statement, “And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah” – a prohibition. “Lest they insult Allah” – the condition for the prohibition. So Allah (Exalted is He) prohibited the believers from insulting their idols, because He knows that insulting them will drive the kuffaar away in aversion and increase them in kufr. Ibn ‘Abbaas said, “The kuffaar of Quraish said to Abu Taalib, ‘why don’t you prohibit Muhammad and his companions from insulting our gods and belittling them, and we will assume a similar attitude towards his god.” So the ayah was revealed. Continue reading

The best of the Taabi’een: Uwais al-Qarni

Imam Muslim narrates in his saheeh from Asair ibn Jabal that:

أن أهل الكوفة وفدوا إلى عمر وفيهم رجل ممن كان يسخر بأويس فقال عمر هل هاهنا أحد من القرنيين فجاء ذلك الرجل فقال عمر إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قد قال إن رجلا يأتيكم من اليمن يقال له أويس لا يدع باليمن غير أم له قد كان به بياض فدعا الله فأذهبه عنه إلا موضع الدينار أو الدرهم فمن لقيه منكم فليستغفر لكم

A delegation from Koofah came to ‘Umar. Among them was one who used to make fun of Uwais. ‘Umar inquired, “Is there anyone among you who is from Qaran?” So this man stepped forward. Then ‘Umar said, “I heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, ‘A man will come to you from Yemen named Uwais. He will have left in the Yemen only his mother. He was suffering from leucoderma [a skin condition involving loss of pigmentation in certain areas] and prayed to Allah to be cured of it. So he was cured except for a space of the size of a dinar or a dirham. Whoever of you should meet him should ask him to pray for forgiveness for him.”‘

Imam Muslim also records another narration from a different chain in the same chapter:

عن عمر بن الخطاب قال إني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول إن خير التابعين رجل يقال له أويس وله والدة وكان به بياض فمروه فليستغفر لكم

‘Umar said: “I heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, ‘The best of the Taabi’een [the generation after the sahaabah] is a man called Uwais, he will have a mother and he will be suffering from leucoderma. Go to him and ask him to pray for forgiveness for you”.

[Saheeh Muslim #2542]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his explanation of Saheeh Muslim, writes:

قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( فمن لقيه منكم فليستغفر لكم ) وفي الرواية الأخرى ( قال لعمر : فإن استطعت أن يستغفر لك فافعل ) هذه منقبة ظاهرة لأويس رضي الله عنه . وفيه استحباب طلب الدعاء والاستغفار من أهل الصلاح ، وإن كان الطالب أفضل منهم .

His statement (ﷺ), “Whoever of you should meet him should ask him to pray for forgiveness for him” and in another narration, “He said to ‘Umar, ‘And if it is possible for you, ask him to ask forgiveness for you’” – this is a clear virtue of Uwais (radiAllaahu ‘anhu). And in this there is the recommendation to seek the du’a and istighfaar from righteous people, even if the seeker is better than them.

قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( إن خير التابعين رجل يقال له أويس إلى آخره ) هذا صريح في أنه خير التابعين ، وقد يقال : قد قال أحمد بن حنبل وغيره : أفضل التابعين سعيد بن المسيب ، والجواب أن مرادهم أن سعيدا أفضل في العلوم الشرعية كالتفسير والحديث والفقه ونحوها ، لا في الخير عند الله تعالى . وفي هذه اللفظة معجزة ظاهرة أيضا .

His statement (ﷺ), “The best of the Taabi’een is a man called Uwais…” – this is clear statement that he is the best of the taabi’een. And it has been said, “Ahmad ibn Hanbal and others have said, ‘The most virtuous of the taabi’een is Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib'” and the response to that is that Sa’eed was the most virtuous in the sciences of sharee’ah such as tafsir and hadeeth and fiqh and so on, not the best in the estimation of Allah, exalted is He. And in this wording there is a clear miracle also.

[Sharh al-Nawawi ‘alaa Muslim 16/94-95]

O Messenger of Allah! What kind of wealth should we acquire?

Thawban, the mawla of the Prophet, narrated that when the ayah of gold and silver [9:34] was revealed, the companions said, “what kind of wealth should we acquire?”

So ‘Umar said, “I will tell you about that.” So he rode on his camel and caught up with the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم , and I followed him.
He said, “O Messenger of Allah! What kind of wealth should we acquire?” So the Messenger said:

لِيَتَّخِذْ أَحَدُكُمْ قَلْبًا شَاكِرًا وَلِسَانًا ذَاكِرًا وَزَوْجَةً مُؤْمِنَةً تُعِينُ أَحَدَكُمْ عَلَى أَمْرِ الآخِرَةِ

One should acquire a thankful heart, a tongue that remembers Allah and a believing wife who will help him with regard to the Hereafter.

[Ibn Majah #1929, Hasan]

And in another narration the Messenger of Allah  صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

أَفْضَلُهُ لِسَانٌ ذَاكِرٌ وَقَلْبٌ شَاكِرٌ وَزَوْجَةٌ مُؤْمِنَةٌ تُعِينُهُ عَلَى إِيمَانِهِ ‏

The best of it (i.e. wealth) is a remembering tongue, a grateful heart, and a believing wife that helps him with his eemaan.

[Al-Tirmidhi #3377, and graded as Saheeh by Sheikh al-Albani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi]

Sheikh al-Mubarakfoori writes in his explanation of Sunan al-Tirmidhi:

( فقال أفضله ) أي أفضل المال أو أفضل ما يتخذه الإنسان قنية ( لسان ذاكر ) أي بتمجيد الله تعالى وتقديسه وتسبيحه وتهليله والثناء عليه بجميع محامده وتلاوة القرآن ( وقلب شاكر ) أي على إنعامه وإحسانه ( وزوجة مؤمنة تعينه على إيمانه ) أي على دينه بأن تذكره الصلاة والصوم وغيرهما من العبادات وتمنعه من الزنا وسائر المحرمات

The statement “So he said ‘the best of it” – meaning the best wealth, or the best of what man can acquire. “A remembering tongue” – meaning with glorification of Allah ta’ala, and revering Him, and glorifying Him, and exalting Him, and praising Him with all sorts of praise and thanks, and recitation of the Qur’an. “And a grateful heart” – meaning grateful for His blessings and Ihsan. “And a believing wife that helps him with his emaan” – meaning in his religion by reminding him of salaah and fasting and other forms of worship, and preventing him from zina and all other sorts of prohibited actions.”

And Sheikh al-Islam ibn Taymiyah wrote:

المرأة الصالحة تكون في صحبة زوجها الرجل الصالح سنين كثيرة ، وهي متاعه الذي قال فيها رسول الله : ( الدنيا متاع ، وخير متاعها المرأة المؤمنة ، إن نظرت إليها أعجبتك ، وإن أمرتها أطاعتك ، وإن غبت عنها حفظتك في نفسها ومالك ) .

A righteous wife to be in the company of her husband -a righteous man- for many years, that is the provision which the Messenger of Allah mentioned when he said “This worldly life is a provision/pleasure, and the best of its provisions is a believing wife; if you look at her,  you are pleased; if you command her, she obeys you; and if you are absent from her, she guards herself and your wealth.”

وهي التي أمر بها النبي في قوله لما سأله المهاجرون أي المال نتخذ فقال : ( لساناً ذاكراً ، وقلباً شاكراً ، أو امرأة صالحةً تعين أحدكم على إيمانه ) رواه الترمذي ، من حديث سالم بن أبي الجعد ، عن ثوبان .

And this is what the Prophet mentioned when the Muhaajiroon asked him which wealth they should acquire, so he said, “a remembering tongue, a grateful heart, and a believing wife that helps him with his eemaan,” in the narration of al-Tirmidhi, from the hadeeth of Saalim ibn Abi al-Ja’d, narrated by Thawban.

ويكون منها من المودة والرحمة ما امتنَّ الله تعالى بها في كتابه ، فيكون ألم الفراق أشد عليها من الموت أحيانا وأشد من ذهاب المال وأشد من فراق الأوطان ، خصوصا إن كان بأحدهما علاقة من صاحبه ، أو كان بينهما أطفال يضيعون بالفراق ويفسد حالهم . “

And from that there is the affection and mercy which Allah ta’ala has graciously promised in His Book. So the pain of separation is greater than death sometimes and greater than the loss of money and greater than being separated from ones’ own homeland, especially if one of the two is closely connected to the other, of if between them there are children who would be neglected or adversely affected by such separation.”

[Majmoo’ al-Fataawa 35/299]

And another narration also records that the Messenger of Allah said:

وزوجة صالحة تعينك على أمر دنياك ودينك خير ماكتـنز الناس

“A righteous wife to help you with your worldly and religious affairs is the best treasure anyone could have.”

[Reported by al-Bayhaqi in Saheeh al-Jaami’ #4285]