Khutbah regarding ‘Aashooraa’: Imam al-Sa’di

In a collection of more than 400 sermons of sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di, the following khutbah was one of several related to the month of Muharram:

خطبة ثانية لشهر الله المحرم

The second Khutbah regarding the month of Allah, al-Muharram

الحمد لله القاهر فوق عباده عزا وسلطانا ، القادر على مراده فما اتّخذ في خلق السماوات والارض أعوانا ، الناصر من نصر دينه فحاشاه أن يرهقه خذلانا ، العظيم الشان وناهيك بشأن الربوبية شانا ، خضعت لعزته رقاب الجبابرة إذعانا ، ودلت على وحدانيته شواهد الاعتبار عيانا ، قسم الخلق كما شاء شمائل وأيمانا ، فمنتحل إيمانا ومنتحل كفرانا ، قسمة كتبت فكتمت غير أنّ للسعادة والشقاوة عنوانا ، فطوبى للذين : < إِذَا ذُكِرَ‌ اللَّـهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا > [الانفال 2] ، وبعدا للذين إذا ذُكّروا بآيات ربهم خرّوا عليها صمّا وعميانا .  ـ

All praise belongs to Allah, the One who is irresistibly powerful over His slaves with might and authority; the One who is fully capable of enacting His will for He did not take any assistance in the creation of the heavens and the earth; the One who aids those who aid His deen so He saves these ones from being overcome by failure. How magnificent is His greatness, not to mention the greatness of His Lordship! The necks of the tyrants humble themselves to His might in submissiveness, and the testimony of witnessed examples proves His right to be singled out. He divided the creation as He willed into those of the right and those of the left; some of them ascribed to eemaan and some ascribed to disbelief. This division was ordained and then concealed except for the fact that ultimate happiness and sorrow have signs and indications, so glad tidings to those who:

إِذَا ذُكِرَ‌ اللَّـهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا

 when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith [8:2]

and ill tidings for those who, when the ayaat of their Lord are mentioned to them, they suddenly become deaf and blind.

أحمده سبحانه سرا وإعلانا . وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له شهادة أرجو بها يوم القيامة أمانا . وأشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله أكمل الخلق عقلا وأرجحهم ميزانا . ـ

I praise Him – exalted is He – privately and openly. And I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship in truth except Allah alone with no partners – a testimony through which I hope for safety on the Day of Judgement. And I testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger – the most complete of the creation in terms of intellect and the most just in judgement.

اللهم صلّ على عبدك ورسولك محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه الذين أيّد الله بهم دينه فكانوا على ذلك أنصارا وأعوانا ، وسلّم تسليما . ـ

O Allah, bestow peace and blessings upon Your slave and Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and his companions – those through whom Allah aided His religion and as such they were helpers and aids.

أما بعد : ـ فيا أيها الناس ؛ اتّقوا الله تعالى تقية من خاف وحذر واستقام ، والتزموا ما وجب عليكم من حقوق الإيمان والإسلام ، وأحبوه تعالى لما غذاكم به من جزيل الفضل والإنعام . ـ

To proceed: O People! Exercise taqwa of Allah – the taqwa of one who fears Him, keeps his guard up and is upright -, and adhere to what is obligatory upon you of the duties of al-eemaan and al-islaam, and love Him due to that with which He has nurtured you of abundant favors and blessings.

واعلموا رحمكم الله أنكم استقبلتم عاما جديدا ، وشهرا محرّما أكيدا ، خصّ باليوم العاشر ، بالأجر الجزيل الوافر . ـ

And know – may Allah have mercy on you all – that you are facing a new year and an emphasized sacred month – especially its tenth day – of abundant and plentiful rewards.

فعن ابن عباس قال : ( قدم النبي ﷺ المدينة فوجد اليهود صياما يوم عاشوراء ، فقال ‏”‏ ما هذا اليوم الذي تصومونه ؟ ‏”‏‏.‏ قالوا ” هذا يوم نجى الله فيه موسى وقومه ، وأهلك فيه فرعون وقومه ، فصامه موسى‏ شكرا لله ، ونحن نصومه ” .‏ قال ﷺ ‏”‏ نحن أَحقُّ وأولى بموسى منكم ‏”‏‏.‏ فصامه وأمر بصيامه.‏ )  [أخرجه البخاري (3315) ومسلم (2714)] ـ

For Ibn ‘Abbas reported:

Continue reading

al-Thann in the Qur’an: Imam al-Sa’di

Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di mentioned the following linguistic point in his book of thematic tafsir:

فائدة: الظن ورد في القرآن على وجهين: وجه محمود، ووجه مذموم . ـ

A point of benefit: al-Thann (thought/suspicion/assumption) is mentioned in the Qur’an in two ways; from a praiseworthy angle and from a blameworthy angle.

أما المحمود: ففي كل مقام مدح وجزاء بالخير والثواب، فإنه بمعنى العلم واليقين مثل قوله تعالى: { الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَاقُو رَ‌بِّهِمْ } [ البقرة: 46 ] أي: يتيقنون لذلك، ومثل قوله: { إِنِّي ظَنَنتُ أَنِّي مُلَاقٍ حِسَابِيَهْ } [ الحاقة: 20 ]. ـ

As for the praiseworthy angle, then in every situation of commendation, recompense for good, and reward it takes on the meaning of ‘ilm (knowledge) and yaqeen (certainty), such as Allah’s statement:

الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَاقُو رَ‌بِّهِمْ

Those who yathunnoon [lit. think] that they will meet their Lord [2:46]

– meaning: they are certain of that. And similarly His statement: Continue reading

Words for those in the midst of long-suffering: Ibn al-Jawzi

Imam ibn al-Jawzi wrote the following encouraging words for the one who finds themselves awaiting the response to their du’a:

إذا وقعت في محنة يصعب الخلاص منها ، فليس لك إلّا الدعاء واللجأ إلى الله بعد أن تقدم التوبة من الذنوب.

If a trials afflicts you from which it is difficult to be free, then there is nothing else for you to do except to supplicate and seek refuge with Allah after having preceded this with tawbah for your sins.

فإن الزلل يوجب العقوبة فإذا زال الزلل بالتوبة من الذنوب ارتفع السبب .

For verily sins require punishment, so if the sins disappear due to tawbah from the sins, then the reason (for the punishment) has been lifted.

فإذ تبت ودعوت ولم تر للإجابة أثراً فتفقد أمرك ، فربما كانت التوبة ما صحت فصححها ثم أدع ولا تمل من الدعاء

Then if you have repented and supplicate but you do not see any trace of response, then investigate your affair, for perhaps the tawbah was not sound, so correct it and then supplicate, and do not tire of supplication. Continue reading

“A Good Word is like a Good Tree”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In surah Ibrahim, Allah strikes a clear and vivid example for the believers when He says:

أَلَمْ تَرَ‌ كَيْفَ ضَرَ‌بَ اللَّـهُ مَثَلًا كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرَ‌ةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْ‌عُهَا فِي السَّمَاءِ * تُؤْتِي أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَ‌بِّهَا ۗ وَيَضْرِ‌بُ اللَّـهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُ‌ونَ * وَمَثَلُ كَلِمَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ كَشَجَرَ‌ةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ اجْتُثَّتْ مِن فَوْقِ الْأَرْ‌ضِ مَا لَهَا مِن قَرَ‌ارٍ‌

Have you not considered how Allah presents an example: a good word is like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches in the sky? * It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded. * And the example of a bad word is like a bad tree, uprooted from the surface of the earth, not having any stability. [14:24-26]

Imam ‘Abdur-Rahman bin Naasir al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, writes the following explanation of these ayaat:

يقول تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَة‏}‏ ‏‏ وهي شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله، وفروعها ‏{‏كَشَجَرَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ‏}‏ وهي النخلة ‏{‏أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ‏}‏ في الأرض ‏{‏وَفَرْعُهَا‏}‏ منتشر ‏{‏فِي السَّمَاءِ‏}‏ وهي كثيرة النفع دائما، ‏{‏تُؤْتِي أُكُلَهَا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ ثمرتها ‏{‏كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا‏}‏ فكذلك شجرة الإيمان ، أصلها ثابت في قلب المؤمن، علما واعتقادا‏.‏ وفرعها من الكلم الطيب والعمل الصالح والأخلاق المرضية، والآداب الحسنة في السماء دائما يصعد إلى الله منه من الأعمال والأقوال التي تخرجها شجرة الإيمان ما ينتفع به المؤمن وينفع غيره، ‏‏

Allah the Exalted says, “Have you not considered how Allah presents an example: a good word” – and it is the bearing witness that Laa ilaaha illallaah [There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah], and its (associated) subsidiary matters – “is like a good tree” – and this is the date-palm tree – “whose root is firmly fixed” in the ground “and its branches” are widespread “in the sky” and it is prolific in benefit at all times. “It produces its food” – meaning: its fruit – “all the time, by the permission of its Lord” and like this is the tree of al-eemaan. Continue reading

The Names of Allah: al-Ghanī – explanation of Imam al-Sa’di

Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman bin Naasir al-Sa’di, in his work discussing the names and attributes of Allah, writes the following on Allah’s name al-Ghanīالغَنِيّ ) – which is often rendered into English as ‘The One Who is Free of Need’, ‘The Rich’, ‘The Sufficient’, ‘The Self-Sufficient’ and other similar translations:

 قال تعالى : يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَنْتُمُ الْفُقَرَاءُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيد

Allah said: “O mankind, you are those in need of Allah, while Allah is the Free of need (Al-Ghanī), the Praiseworthy (al-Hameed).” [35:15]

فهو الغني بذاته، الذي له الغنى التام المطلق، من جميع الوجوه، والاعتبارات لكماله، وكمال صفاته

So He is The One Who is Free of Need in His essence, who is completely and unequivocally Free of Need in all aspects and completely in all respects, and His attributes are perfectly complete.

فلا يتطرق إليها نقص بوجه من الوجوه، ولا يمكن أن يكون إلا غنياً، لأن غناه من لوازم ذاته، كما لا يكون إلا خالقاً قادراً رازقاً محسناً فلا يحتاج إلى أحد بوجه من الوجوه

So no loss occurs to Him from any angle, and it is not possible for Him to be anything except free of need, because His freedom from need is a intrinsic part of His essence, just as He cannot be anything except the Creator, the Irresistibly Compelling, the Provider, the Excellent. So He does not have need of anyone in any way. Continue reading

“The entire dunya is a month of fasting for the muttaqeen”

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, in his beneficial work, Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif, wrote the following beautiful words:

الدنيا كلّها شهرُ صيامِ المتقين ، وعيدُ فِطرِهم يوم لقاءِ ربِّهم ، ومعظمُ نهار الصيام قد ذَهَبَ ، وعيدُ اللِّقاء قد اقترَبَ

The entire dunya is a month of fasting for the muttaqeen, and their ‘Eid al-fitr is the day of meeting their Lord. And most of the days of fasting have already passed, and the ‘Eid of meeting is swiftly approaching.

[Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif pg 85]

And in another part of the same work, he expanded on this theme by writing:

قال بعض السلف : صم الدنيا واجعل فطرك الموت . الدنيا كلها شهر صيام المتقين ، ويصومون فيه الشهوات المحرمات ، فإذا جاءهم الموت فقد انقضى شهر صيامهم واستهلوا عيد فطرهم.

And some of the Salaf said: Fast this dunya and make your breaking of the fast death. The entire dunya is a month of fasting for the muttaqeen, and they fast from their unlawful desires. So when death comes, it has completed their month of fasting and ushered in their ‘Eid al-Fitr. 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

Ask that his eemaan be preserved!

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, in his monograph Noor al-Iqtibaas fi Mishkaat Wasiyyah al-Nabi l-Ibn ‘Abbaas wrote the following:

ودعا رجل من لبعض السلف بأن يحفظه الله فقال : يا أخي ، لا تسأل عن حفظه ، ولكن قل يحفظ إيمان . يعني :  أن الهم هو الدعاء بحفظ الدين ، فإن الحفظ الدنيوي قد يشترك فيه البر والفاجر ، فالله يحفظ على المؤمن دينه و يحول بينه وبين ما يفسده عليه بأسباب قد لا يشعر العباد ببعضها وقد يكون يكرهه

A man once said to one of the Salaf, “May Allah preserve him.” So he replied, “O my brother! Do not ask that he be preserved. Ask instead that his eemaan be preserved!” Meaning: to stress the importance of supplicating for the preservation of one’s religion. This is because worldly preservation could be conferred on both the righteous and the sinner, but Allah only safeguards the religion of the believer, and comes between it and anything that would corrupt it via numerous means, some of which the slave is unaware of, and yet others he may dislike.

وهذا كما حفظ يوسف – عليه السلام – < كَذَٰلِكَ لِنَصْرِ‌فَ عَنْهُ السُّوءَ وَالْفَحْشَاءَ ۚ إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُخْلَصِينَ > [يوسف ٢٤] فمن أخلص الله خلصه الله من السوء والفحشاء وعصمه منها من حيث لا يشعر ، وحال بينه وبين أسباب المعاصي المهلكة

And this is like how He preserved Yusuf (‘alaihis salaam), “And thus [it was] that We should avert from him evil and immorality. Indeed, he was of Our chosen servants“. So whoever is sincere to Allah, Allah will safeguard him against evil and indecency. He will guard him against them via means that he is not even aware of, and He will come between him and the routes leading to destructive disobedience.

[Majmoo’a Rasaa’il ibn Rajab 3/106]

See also: We preserved these limbs in our youth, so Allah preserved them for us in old age

“Mukhayreeq is the best of the Jews”

In his monumental book chronicling the entire span of human existence, al-Haafidh ibn Kathir mentions the following in his coverage of the battle of Uhud:

قال ابن إسحاق‏:‏ و كان ممن قتل يوم أحد مخيريق، وكان أحد بني ثعلبة بن الغيطون، فلما كان يوم أحد قال‏:‏ يا معشر يهود، والله لقد علمتم أن نصر محمد عليكم لحق‏.‏ قالوا‏:‏ إن اليوم يوم السبت‏.‏ قال‏:‏ لا سبت لكم، فأخذ سيفه وعدته وقال‏:‏ إن أصبت فمالي لمحمد يصنع فيه ما شاء‏.‏ ثم غدا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقاتل معه حتى قتل، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فيما بلغنا‏:‏ ‏(‏‏(‏مخيريق خير يهود‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

Ibn Ishaaq said: One of those who was killed on the day of Uhud was Mukhayreeq, and he was a member of the Banu Tha’labah ibn al-Ghaytoon clan. So on the day of Uhud, he said, “O Jewish people! By Allah, you well know that aiding Muhammad is a duty upon you!” They said, “Verily today is the day of the Sabbath (a day of rest for the Jews)” He replied, “May there be no rest for you,” then he took his sword and his accoutrements and said, “If I am killed (during the battle), then my wealth goes to Muhammad, who may do with it what he wishes.” Then he went out to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and fought alongside him until he was killed. So the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said about him, “Mukhayreeq is the best of the Jews.”

قال السهيلي‏:‏ فجعل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أموال مخيريق – وكانت سبع حوائط – أوقافاً بالمدينة لله‏.‏

al-Suhayli said: Then the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) made the wealth of Mukhayreeq – and it was a significant amount – as a waqf (charitable trust) for the sake of Allah in al-Madinah.

قال محمد بن كعب القرظي‏:‏ وكانت أول وقف بالمدينة‏.‏

Muhammad ibn Ka’b al-Qarthi* said: That was the first waqf in al-Madinah.

[al-Bidayah w’al-Nihayah 4/42] 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