Sunday, April 27, 2014

Remaining Firm Upon the Path of Ilm – Shaykh Taamir Fatooh

Question: How does one remain firm upon the path of seeking Ilm (Knowledge)?

Answer: Shaykh Taamir Fatooh (may Allah have mercy upon him and his family) said, first one must set goals; goals in regards to why he is seeking Ilm. He must set goals and try to attain them, bi’ithnillah. Setting goals will provide him with guidance and direction. He should set goals; saying, I want to memorize Qur’aan, in shaa Allah, he strives in attaining this. He wants to memorize various books; he then sets forth in trying to attain this, in shaa Allah.

The shaykh said, the student must set goals and try to attain these goals. In shaa Allah.

(Translators’s note): We must establish Ikhlaas Lillah (Sincerity for Allah) when establishing our goals. We must establish these goals seeking Allah’s Face and entrance into His Jannah by His Rahmah (Mercy).

The Shaykh Taamir said, he began his quest for Ilm while in his late 20′s. He began by memorizing Qur’aan. Next he said that he wanted to educate himself, so he entered the Ma’had (Learning center) of Ansaar was-Sunnah Al-Muhammadiyyah in Abdeen, Cairo; in which he completed his studies in 4 years. Along with 10 years of attending the various classes which were found in Masjid At-Tawheed in Abdeen, Cairo.

He studied with Shuyookh such as Ahmad Fahmiyy (rahimahullah), as well as Hasan Abdul-Wahaab Al-Bannaa, Aadil Sayyid and Aliyy Waseefiyy (hafithahumullah alaa khayr). He said that he began his studies by learning the books of Usool (Foundations) of Aqeedah (Creed), Fiqh (Legislation), Tafseer (Explanation of Qur’aan) and Hadeeth.

May Allah bless and reward with good all of the Scholars and students of Ahlus-Sunnah and have mercy upon them all.

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Ruling on using cosmetics for men

What is the ruling on using cosmetic materials for men, such as putting cream on the skin to beautify it (to whiten the skin)? Is that permissible? Because using cosmetics for men is something that is very widespread in the subcontinent.

Praise be to Allah.

The ruling on men using cosmetics such as creams and so on varies from one case to another. To explain further:


In the case of things that are used only for the purpose of beautification or adornment, it is not appropriate for men to use them, because the woman is the one who needs beautification; what is appropriate for the man is the marks of masculinity such as roughness and toughness; being feminine or effeminate is not appropriate for him.


Whatever is specifically for the adornment or beautification of women only, such as lipstick, nail polish, and so on, it is not permissible for men to adorn themselves with it, because that comes under the heading of imitating women, and imitating them is forbidden and is a major sin.


If the use of something will lead to a change in the colour of the skin, from dark to light for example, if that change is temporary then there is nothing wrong with it, but if the change is permanent, then it is not permissible, because that comes under the heading of changing the creation of Allah, may He be exalted.

It should also be noted that using these types of cosmetics is not appropriate for men, as stated above.


There is nothing wrong with using things that are for the purpose of removing defects, such as using creams to remove spots from the face, because this comes under the heading of medical treatment.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked:

What is the ruling on using creams and preparations to whiten the skin or to remove acne or other blemishes?

He replied:

With regard to the former, then no; that is, you should not use anything to change the colour of the skin, because this is worse than tattooing for which the one who does it is cursed.

With regard to removing acne and the like, there is nothing wrong with that, because this is treating disease, and there is nothing wrong with treating disease. There is a difference between that which is intended for the purpose of beautification and that which is intended for the purpose of removing a defect. The former is not permissible if it is done permanently, whereas the latter is permissible.

End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb, 22/2

It should also be pointed out that whatever of such preparations is made from impure (najis) substances or harmful chemical substances, it is not permissible to use it in any case whatsoever.

And Allah knows best.

Islam Q&A

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Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan on Loving and Hating for the Sake of Allaah

In the Name of Allaah…

Recently, the great scholar, Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan (may Allaah preserve him) was asked:

What is the ruling on rejecting the idea of hatred for the sake of Allaah and claiming that it is not from Islam? Is a person’s Islaam valid if he does not hate the Jews and Christians?

The shaykh responded:

Walaa’ and baraa’ (the islamic system of loyalty) is a must. (It is) disallegiance with the enemies of Allaah and loyalty to the allies of Allaah. Walaa’ and baraa’ means to have hatred, declaring oneself free of them (the disbelievers) and their religion, this is baraa’.

Walaa’ means to love Allaah, to love His Messenger, and to love His believing servants, take them as allies and come to their defense.

"Indeed you have a good example in Ibraaheem (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: We are free of you and all that you worship beside Allaah…”[Meaning of Quran 60:4]

They declared themselves free of them and their idols, their objects of worship.

“…We are free of you and all that you worship beside Allaah. We have disbelieved in you (i.e. your religion), and there shall be enmity and hatred between us forever, unless you believe in Allaah alone.” [Meaning of Quran 60:4]

Thus it is not permissible to love the disbelievers. Whoever takes them as allies, Allaah, the Mighty and Most High, has said [what means]:

“O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and Christians as allies! They are allies of one another. Whoever takes them as allies is indeed from them. Verily Allaah does not guide people who are oppressive.” [Meaning of Quran 5:51]

The issue is very serious. Walaa’ (loyalty) and baraa’ (disallegiance) are from the essential foundations of this Religion. The religion (of a person) is not valid without both of them.

Source: The shaykh’s answer given on 1434/8/23 in Jeddah. [ English & Arabic video /Arabic audio / Arabic transcript ]

As you can see, this hatred which some misguided Muslims try hide and/or negate from Islaam is in fact an absolutely essential concept in Islaam, according to the Quran, the Sunnah, and the scholars of Islaam.

Disclaimer: Muslims have every right to love and hate as their Lord has asked them to. While the non-Muslims typically frown on this concept, Muslims seek to please Allaah, not His disbelieving creation. We do not change our Religion to match the whims of the people and agree with what they feel are acceptable religious beliefs. This does not mean that our hatred is allowed to manifest through acts of transgression against innocent people living in a peaceful society. Allaah says (what means):

“Allaah does not prevent you from dealing justly and kindly with those who have not fought against you nor expelled you from your homelands. Verily, Allaah loves those who deal with equity.” [Meaning of Quran 60:8]

While Muslims are required to love and hate for the sake of Allaah, we are also commanded to be fair and deal with people fairly and kindly. Unjustly transgressing against non-Muslims’ personal safety and property is strictly forbidden in Islam.

And Allaah knows best.

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

What do the words hulool (incarnation) and ittihaad (union with the divine) mean?

When I read books about belief (‘aqeedah), I often come across refutations of those who believe in ittihaad (union with the divine), refutations of those who believe in wahdat al-wujood (“unity of being”), and so on. What is meant by hulool (incarnation) and ittihaad (union with the divine)?

Praise be to Allah.

Hulool (incarnation) and ittihaad (union with the divine) – which includes the term wahdat al-wujood (“unity of being”):

These two terms are often mentioned in books on beliefs (‘aqeedah). They are esoteric and Sufi terms, and these concepts are also frequently mentioned in the books of false religions such as those of the Brahmins, Buddhists and others.

1. Hulool (incarnation)


What this word means in general terminology is when one of two things is absorbed into or incarnated into another.

This is complete mixing.

Al-Jarjaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Complete hulool is the union of two bodies in such a way that pointing to one is also pointing to the other, such as the juice in an orange.

Incomplete hulool is when one of the two entities acts as a vessel containing the other, such as water in a jug.

At-Ta‘reefaat, p. 92.

This is what is meant by hulool: affirmation of two entities, one of which is present in the other.

What is meant by this word as used by Sufis and others is the incarnation or presence of Allah – may He be glorified and exalted – in His creation or in some of His creation.


Types of hulool

Hulool may be divided into two types:

i. General hulool, which is the belief that Allah, may He be exalted, is present in all things.

But this hulool is similar to the idea of the incarnation of the divine (i.e., the Creator God) in the human (i.e., the created being), whilst affirming that the two entities are distinct and separate; in other words, He is not unified with the one in whom He is present, rather He is everywhere yet separate. Thus this is confirmation of two separate entities.

This is the view of the Jahamis and their ilk.

ii. Specific hulool, which is the belief that Allah – may He be glorified and exalted – is present in some of His creation, whilst believing that there is a Creator and a created being.

This is like the belief of some of the Christian sects, that divinity – meaning Allah, may He be glorified and exalted – is incarnated in humanity – meaning ‘Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) – and that ‘Eesa (peace be upon him) has two natures: the divine nature when he was speaking words of revelation, and a human nature when he was crucified (according to their belief).

This is also similar to the belief of some of the extreme Raafidis, such as the Nusayris, who believe that Allah – may He be glorified and exalted – was incarnated in ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, who was God (according to their belief); thus divinity was incarnated in him. This is one of their basic beliefs.

2. Ittihaad (union with the divine)


What is meant by ittihaad is that two things are one thing.

Al-Jarjaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Ittihaad means the mixing of two things until they become one thing.

At-Ta‘reefaat, p. 9


what is meant, according to those who believe in this notion, is that Allah – may He be glorified and exalted – becomes one with His creation or with some of His creation, in the sense that all created beings or some of them are the exact essence of Allah, may He be exalted.


Types of ittihaad:

i. Ittihaad in a general sense – which is also called wahdat al-wujood (“unity of being”). This is the belief that everything that exists is God Himself. In other words, the Creator is one with all of His creation. This is the meaning of wahdat al-wujood; those who believe in it are called al-ittihaadiyyah or ahl wahdat al-wujood, such as Ibn al-Faarid, Ibn ‘Arabi and others.

ii. Ittihaad in a specific sense, which is the belief that Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, became one with some created beings but not others.

Those who believe in this exclude from it the idea of His being one with filthy and abhorrent things; they say that He became one with the Prophets, the righteous, the philosophers or others, and thus they became the exact essence of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted.

This is like the view of some Christian sects who believe that divinity became one with humanity, and they became one thing. This is unlike those who believe in incarnation, who believe that he (i.e., Christ) has two natures, divine and human.

Those who believe in ittihaad say one nature, and those who believe in hulool say two.


The difference between hulool and ittihaad

The difference between them may be summed up as follows:

i. Hulool affirms two entities, unlike ittihaad which affirms one entity.

ii. Hulool accepts that they are separable, whereas ittihaad does not accept that.


Examples that explain the difference between hulool and ittihaad:

There are many such examples, including the following:

If you put sugar into water without stirring it, this is hulool, because they are still two separate entities. But if you stir it until it is absorbed by the water, then they become one, because they cannot be separated again.

But if you put something different into the water, such as pebbles, then this is called hulool, not ittihaad, because the pebbles are one thing and the water is something else, and they can be separated.


Ruling on which of these two beliefs is worse

There is no doubt that believing in hulool or ittihaad is one of the greatest kinds of disbelief and heresy – Allah forbid.

But ittihaad is worse than hulool, because it is belief in one essence, unlike hulool. Moreover, the belief that He is one with everything is worse than the belief that He is one with some of His creation.

To sum up, belief in hulool and ittihaad is obviously false. Islam came to erase it from people’s minds, because it is a belief that is taken from the teachings, philosophies and idolatry of the Hindus, Greeks, Jews, Christians and others, so it is based on fabrications and myths.

Taken from Mustalahaat fi Kutub al-‘Aqaa’id by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem al-Hamad, p. 42-47

And Allah knows best.

Islam Q&A

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Can a woman get married without a Wali (guardian)? – Imam Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

Question: Is it permissible for the virgin woman who has no wali (guardian) or without his presence to marry herself off or not? And is there in this ruling a difference between a virgin or a previously married whether divorced or widowed?

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen: It is not permissible for the woman to marry herself off or others whether she is a virgin or previously married.

And that is because Allah, Glorified and Exalted, has made the contract of marriage in the hands of other than the woman as He said:

{And do not marry polytheistic women} (The Qur’an, interpretation of the meaning 2:221)

In men He said:

{And do not let [the women] marry polytheistic men} (The Qur’an, interpretation of the meaning 2:221)

and He added that the marriage is for the husband himself but with the women He said:

{And do not marry polytheistic men [to your women] until they believe.} (The Qur’an, interpretation of the meaning 2:221)

So He made the marriage in the hands of other than the woman and He, Glorified and Exalted, said:

{Do not prevent them from remarrying their [former] husbands if they agree among themselves on an acceptable basis.} (The Qur’an, interpretation of the meaning 2:232)

And from the narration of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him:

“There’s no marriage without a wali (guardian).” (Bukhari)

So that is the proof of the narration that there is no other option for the woman than with a guardian marrying her off.

As from the point of view then the woman is deficient in intellect and religion as she is limited in thinking and she is also weak in religion and I say this from the narration of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him:

“I have not seen anyone more deficient in intellect and religion than you. A cautious sensible man can be led astray by some of you.” (Bukhari)

And from the saying of Allah Almighty:

{Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth.} (The Qur’an, interpretation of the meaning 4:34)

And if it was not for the deficiency of the woman then a man would not be in charge of her but rather in the Ayah:

{by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other} (The Qur’an, interpretation of the meaning 4:34)

So if the woman was in such description, as the Qur’an and Sunnah indicated, from deficiency of intellect and religion then she is in need of a guiding guardian who knows the appropriate/capable and knows the interests of marriage and knows who the woman is for him until he decides to marry her off or refrain (from such). This is why there should be a guardian for the woman to marry her off within the known requirements to the people of knowledge.

And the woman shall not marry herself off whether she is a virgin or previously married. However, there is an issue that should be noted/addressed which is that a woman must be asked for permission and consent whether she was a virgin or previously married and whether the one who marries her off is her father or anyone else. And the most correct saying is that it is not permissible for the man to marry his daughter off or anyone else until she agrees upon that husband and gives permission.

However, if she is a virgin then her permission is enough by being silent and if she stated/uttered to agree then that is better/complete however being silent is enough. And if she is previously married then she must state (speak) to agree and says ‘Yes’ that she agrees to marry this man.

And as for the guardian whether it is the father or anyone else, he must describe the suitor to the woman with a description that will take her to know him (suitor). So he does not say ‘do you want me to marry you to such’ until he clarifies to her the situation of this man and his description because as much as the man wants in a woman in beauty and righteousness, a woman wants this too in a man in beauty and righteousness. Therefore the man must clarify to the woman whose permission is sought (for marriage) in a way which takes her to know him but vagueness will not lead to the goal. Of course if the woman trusts fully her guardian and will suffice with what her guardian sees and she asked for example ‘are you happy/convinced with him (the suitor)’ in regards to his religion and to his manners then this would suffice if she trusts him and she is pleased with what he (the guardian) is pleased with.

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Ruling on tasbeeh using the “electronic masbahah” program

In Internet chat rooms the electronic masbahah for tasbeeh has become widespread. The way it is used is simple; it helps one to remember Allah and, to be honest,I like it. These days every time I turn on the computer, I open this program and I sit reciting tasbeeh (“Subhaan Allah – Glory be to Allah”) and tahleel (“La ilaaha ill-Allaah – there is no god but Allah”), and I make myself do it, and I do not close the page until I am done, without anything to distract me or make me forget. I know that tasbeeh (counting on) the hand is better, but I am busy on the Internet, so this is better for me. But I want to ask about the ruling on it, because I heard that they are saying that it comes from the Sufis, and I did not intend to imitate them; I only want to remember Allah. I would like to find out the ruling, may Allah reward you. Please note that I have benefited from it a great deal.

Praise be to Allah.


The scholars differed concerning the ruling on the masbahah. Some of them said that it is an innovation (bid‘ah), and others said that that is not the case.

What there should be no dispute about is the following:

1. That counting tasbeeh on the fingers is better, because it is what the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) taught us.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Counting tasbeeh on the fingers is Sunnah, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to the women: “Glorify Allah (by saying Subhaan-Allah) and count on your fingers, for they will be questioned and will speak.” End quote.

Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 22/506

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

But better than that [i.e., better than the masbahah] is for a person to count the tasbeeh on his fingers, because they will speak, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) taught. End quote.

Fataawa ash-Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen, 13/173

2. Counting tasbeeh openly with the masbahah in order to show off is forbidden

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

With regard to adopting that – i.e., counting tasbeeh with the masbahah – unnecessarily or in order to show off to people, such as hanging it around one’s neck or wearing it like a bracelet on the arm, and so on, that is either showing off to people or is likely to be thought to be showing off and imitating those who show off unnecessarily. The former is haraam and the latter is, at the very least, makrooh, because showing off to people in doing private acts of worship such as prayer, fasting, dhikr and reading Qur’an, is one of the gravest of sins.

Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 22/506

3. Tasbeeh with the fingers when there is no focus of the heart or tongue on dhikr is invalid tasbeeh, which brings no reward to the one who does it.

Al-Mannaawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

As for what heedless people used to do, of holding a masbahah which is very ornate and costly, and carrying it without any presence of mind or thought, and talking or listening to people, or talking to them whilst moving its beads through his fingers, when his heart and tongue are distracted by worldly matters, this is blameworthy and is makrooh, and it is one of the worst of reprehensible deeds.

Fayd al-Qadeer, 4/468

Ibn al-Haaj al-‘Abdari (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Some of them hold the masbahah in their hands, so that people can see it, and they move the beads one by one, as if they are counting their dhikr, and in fact they are talking and gossiping with people about what happened to this one and that one. Obviously a person has only one tongue, so his counting on the masbahah in this manner is worthless, because he does not have another tongue so that he could be reciting dhikr with one tongue and talking about whatever he wants to do with the other. So he can only be using the masbahah in this manner for the purpose of showing off and as an innovation.

Al-Madkhal, 3/205


We have looked at the program referred to in the question, and it seems to us that it is less serious than saying tasbeeh using the masbahah; if it is said that the masbahah is permissible, then by the same token this program may also be permissible. That is because some of the objectionable matters that are present in the case of the masbahah are not present in this program, such as showing off to people by using the masbahah, or counting tasbeeh on the hand when the heart and tongue are distracted by worldly matters or talking to people.

However, we should point out a number of things:

1. In the case of adhkaar for which no specific number was narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), it is not prescribed to adhere to a particular number in reciting them; rather the Muslim may remember his Lord however he likes, a little or a great deal.

The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas said:

The basic principle with regard to dhikr and acts of worship is tawqeef (i.e., adhering to what is mentioned and prescribed in the Qur’aan and Sunnah and not worshipping Allaah in any way except that which has been prescribed on the lips of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)). Based on this, in cases where a certain time, number of times, place or manner has been specified, we must worship Allaah in the way that has been proven in sharee’ah. But when Allaah has prescribed dhikrs, du’aa’ and other kinds of worship in general terms without specifying a particular time, number, place or manner, then it is not permissible for us to set limits with regard to the manner, time or number of times. Rather we should worship Him in general terms as it was narrated.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Ghadyaan, SHaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Qa‘ood

Majallat al-Buhooth al-Islamiyyah, 21/53; Fataawa Islamiyyah, 4/178

2. In the program there is a icon called “The Beautiful Names of Allah”, the author of which relied on a report narrated by at-Tirmidhi to list ninety-nine names of Allah. But this is a da‘eef (weak) report according to the consensus of hadeeth scholars.

We should also point out that it is not prescribed to remember Allah, may He be exalted, by repeating His name on its own; so it is not prescribed to remember Allah by saying “Ya Allah, Ya Allah, Ya Allah” or “Ya Quddoos, Ya Quddoos, Ya Quddoos (O Most Holy…)” and so on.

And Allah knows best.

Islam Q&A

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Meaning of the verse “It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof”

What is the meaning of the verse at the end of Soorat at-Talaaq (interpretation of the meaning): “It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof (i.e. seven). His Command descends between them (heavens and earth), that you may know that Allah has power over all things, and that Allah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge.” [at-Talaaq 65:12]?

Praise be to Allah.

Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof (i.e. seven). His Command descends between them (heavens and earth), that you may know that Allah has power over all things, and that Allah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge.”

[at-Talaaq 65:12].

In this verse Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, tells us that He created seven heavens and seven earths, between which His command descends; this refers to His laws and commandments, and His decrees by which all things are controlled and His signs are made clear, so that His slaves may know that to Him belong the creation and the command, and that He has the utmost wisdom and perfect might; to Him belong the most beautiful names and sublime attributes; not even the weight of an atom (or small ant), in the highest heaven or the lowest earth, is beyond His power and knowledge; and so that they may know that He is able to bring people back to life after they have died, and raise them up and resurrect them from their graves, so that they will love Him and worship Him, and they will be obedient to Him and to His Messengers. This is the purpose for which He created mankind.

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Allah, may He be exalted, tells us of His perfect might and absolute power, so that this will motivate us to venerate the true religion that He has ordained. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof (i.e. seven).”

[at-Talaaq 65:12].

End quote from Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 8/156

Ash-Shawkaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “and of the earth the like thereof” means, and He created the earth something like them, i.e., seven. There was a difference of opinion concerning the nature of the levels of the earth. Al-Qurtubi said in his Tafseer: They (the scholars) differed concerning them, and there are two opinions. One of them, which is the view of the majority, is that there are seven earths in layers, one above another, and between each two earths there is a distance like that between heaven and earth. Ad-Dahhaak said: They are in layers, one above another, with no gap in between, unlike the heavens. But the former view is more correct, because the reports indicate that.

End quote from Fath al-Qadeer, 5/346

As-Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Allah, may He be exalted, tells us that He created all of creation, including the seven heavens and all that dwell therein, and the seven earths and all that dwell therein, and whatever is between them, and that He sent down His command, which is the laws and religious rulings that He revealed to His Messengers to remind and exhort His slaves, and His decrees by means of which he controls all of creation. All of that is so that His slaves will know Him and will understand that His power encompasses all things and His Knowledge encompasses all things. Then they will know Him by His holy attributes and beautiful names, and they will worship Him, love Him and fulfil their duties towards Him. This is the purpose behind creation and the command: to know Allah and worship Him. Those of the righteous slaves of Allah who were guided understood this and acted accordingly, but those who wronged themselves turned away from that.

End quote from Tafseer as-Sa‘di, p. 872

At-Tabaraani narrated in al-Mu‘jam al-Kabeer (8987) with a hasan isnaad from Ibn Mas‘ood that he said: The distance between the lowest heaven and the next one is the distance of five hundred years’ travel, and the distance between each heaven and the next is the distance of five hundred years’ travel.

So the heavens are seven, and the earths are seven, and that is by the perfect might of Allah, may He be exalted, and the command and decree of Allah descend between them.

What is required of us is to adhere to what is known from sharee‘ah, and not overstep the mark. The Qur’an and the saheeh Sunnah have told us that there are seven heavens and seven earths.

We know from the Sunnah that each heaven has its inhabitants, but there is nothing that tells us about the earths other than the one in which we live. So what we must do is adhere to what the reports say, and believe that there are seven earths, without seeking to know further, or to find out whether this is proven by modern science or not, or other things that may generate doubt and uncertainty. Rather we must believe that complete knowledge and power over these higher and lower realms belongs to Allah alone. This is part of knowing that He has power over all things, and that He encompasses all things in His knowledge. Nevertheless, we say: We hear, we obey and we believe.

And Allah knows best.

Islam Q&A

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What is the best way for women to give da’wah? – by Shaykh Al-Albaani

Question: What is the best way for women to give da’wah?


I say to the women: “Remain in your homes.” [Surah Ahzaab: 33] And you should not concern yourselves with da’wah.

I reject the use of the word “da’wah” amongst the male youth by them making it seem like they are from the people of da’wah – as if the word da’wah has become the fashion of modern times. So every individual that knows something about the Religion becomes a Da’ee (caller to Islam)! And this matter did not stop with the male youth until it was carried over to the female youth and housewives. And in many instances, they have begun to turn away from fulfilling the obligations of their households and their husbands and their children, turning away from these obligations towards something that is not obligatory upon them, such as establishing the da’wah.

The general rule concerning the woman is that she is to stay in her home. And it has not been legislated for her to leave it unless she has a dire need. This is based on the statement of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “And (praying in) their homes is better for them”, i.e. than the (congregational) prayer in the masjid.

Today we see a prevalent phenomenon amongst the women in that they go out often to the masjids in order to pray the congregational prayer, not to mention the Jumu’ah prayer. In spite of this, their homes are better for them – unless there is a masjid in which the Imam is a scholar who teaches those attending some aspects from the sciences of the Religion. So in this case, the woman could go out to pray in the masjid in order to listen to the knowledge. There is nothing preventing her from that. As for the woman preoccupying herself with the da’wah (!), then let her sit in her home and read from the books that her husband or brother or other male relatives provide for her.

Furthermore, there is nothing preventing her from setting a day in which she calls the women to come to her house or she goes out to attend the house of one of them. That is better than a group of women going out (to her). One woman going out to a group of women is better for them than all of them going out to her. As for her moving about and traveling, perhaps traveling without a mahram, and she justifies that by claiming that she went out for the purpose of da’wah, then these are from the presentday innovations. And I do not specify the women only with that, rather, even some of the male youth speak excessively about the da’wah and yet they have very little knowledge.

[Al-Asaalah, Issue #19]

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Learning Arabic Part 1

By Amal S.


"Whosoever relieves from a believer some grief pertaining to this world, Allah will relieve from him some grief pertaining to the Hereafter. Whosoever alleviates the difficulties of a needy person who cannot pay his debt, Allah will alleviate his difficulties in both this world and the Hereafter. Whosoever conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will conceal his faults in this world and the Hereafter. Allah will aid a servant (of His) so long as the servant aids his brother. Whosoever follows a path to seek knowledge therein, Allah will make easy for him a path to Paradise. No people gather together in one of the houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, except that tranquility descends upon them, mercy covers them, the angels surround them, and Allah makes mention of them amongst those who are in His presence. Whosoever is slowed down by his deeds will not be hastened forward by his lineage." [Muslim]

It was around this time last year that I was in tears over Arabic. I found it overwhelming and felt like I could not keep up with my Arabic course. Alhamdulillah, nearly a year later I sat in class feeling overwhelmed again, but this time not with stress or confusion, but with awe and love of this amazing language – the language in which Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) chose for His kalaam (speech, words, etc) to be revealed to us. Alhamdulillah!

“Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, chose the Arabic language to be the vessel which would carry this light and guidance to mankind. This is mentioned in approximately ten places in the Qur’aan, such as the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation):

And We have certainly presented for the people in this Qur'an from every [kind of] example - that they might remember. [It is] an Arabic Qur'an, without any deviance that they might become righteous.” [39:27-28] (excerpt from

Why learn Arabic?

You are learning the language in which the Rabb of all the worlds, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), revealed His kalaam – Al-Qur’an!

Do we not already spend our lives learning different things for our dunya – math at school, different subjects at university, computer operation, so on and so forth? If someone told us that treasures would be made available to us if we learned X language, would we not do so? If we could earn an extra $1,000,000 promotion simply by learning an X skill, would we not do so? Learning Arabic exceeds this because the fruits of learning this language affect our eman and our Hereafter. What could be grander? We have probably heard about the beauty of the Arabic language from shuyook and books, and we should make the intention and effort to at least try and learn the basics of the language. We should try to get a glimpse of the beauty, sweetness, and magnificence of understanding the speech of the King, our Creator, Protector, Sustainer…the words of our Rabb as they were revealed.

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tips on Safeguarding and Improving Your Prayers

The following is some advice to help you preserve and safeguard your prayer, and perform it in a proper manner, which makes it more likely to be accepted,

• Perform Wudhoo’ (ablution) properly because the Prophet, sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “Allah made compulsory upon Himself to Admit into Paradise any Muslim who properly performed Wudhoo’, then prays two Rak’ah with attentiveness and submissiveness.” [Muslim].

• Leave your house in the state of Wudhoo’ because the Prophet, sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “The one who leaves his house in a state of Wudhoo’ to perform an obligatory prayer will get the reward of pilgrimage.” [Ahmad].

• Be keen to perform it as soon as its time is due because the Prophet, sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “The best of deeds is performing prayer on its due time” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

• Be keen to perform it with the congregation because the Prophet, sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “Prayer with the congregation is twenty seven multiples better than praying alone.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

• Be keen to reach before the Imaam utters the initial Allahu Akbar because the Prophet, sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “Whosoever prays forty days with the congregation, attending the initial (Allahu Akbar) of the prayer, will be free of two things: Hell Fire and hypocrisy.” [Ahmad]

• Be keen to walk to the mosque because the Prophet, sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “Give glad tidings to those who walk to the mosque during dark with complete light on the Day of Resurrection.” [Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi]

• Be attentive with your heart while performing prayer.

• Wait in the mosque for the next prayer as often as you can because the Prophet, sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said when he mentioned the seven whom Allah The Almighty will protect under the shade of His throne: “A man whose heart is attached to mosques.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

• Learn the rulings of prayer and the Sunnah (tradition) of the Prophet, sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam.

• Perform the regular optional prayers at home because the Prophet, sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “The best prayer is the one performed at home except the obligatory prayer.” [At-Tabaraani]

• Beware of staying up late at night because you are likely to miss the Fajr prayer.

• Beware of eating, drinking and laughing too much, because this makes performing prayer heavier on the heart.

• Set your alarm for Fajr or get someone to call you to wake up for prayer.

• Ponder upon the verses recited during the prayer.

• Read about the Salaf (righteous predecessors) and their ambition and keenness to guard prayer.

• Think about the glory of Allah The Almighty before you start praying.

• Always say the recommended supplications and remembrance after prayers, and do not leave the mosque before finishing them.

Ibn Al-Qayyim may Allaah have mercy upon him said,

‘There are five ranks of people in relation to prayer,

First, is he who transgresses against himself by neglecting parts of Wudhoo’, its timings and some of its conditions; and he will be punished.

Second, is he who maintains its timings and conditions, but his mind is occupied during prayer; and he will be questioned.

Third, is he who maintains its timings and conditions and all its rights and struggles against himself not to become busy thinking of something else; so he is in a state of Jihaad while praying; and he will forgiven.

Fourth, is he whose heart is fully consumed by praying during his prayer, and his main concern is establishing it properly and perfectly, and he is in a state of servitude to his Lord; and he will be rewarded.

Fifth, is he who does as the fourth, but in addition he sets his heart in the Hands of his Lord, watchful of his Lord, glorifying and honoring Him as if he can see his Lord; his mind is concentrated on praying; and this type is far higher than any other rank; and he is close to his Lord and will have the pleasure of being close to his Lord in the Hereafter .’

Which one of these five ranks do you fit in? Hold yourself accountable and weigh it according to your performance of prayer, because it is an accurate scale.

Ways to glorify the status of prayer:

1. Perform it on time.

2. Perfect its conditions and compulsory acts.

3. Rush to perform it.

4. Feel sorrow if any portion was performed improperly, like the one who becomes saddened for not performing it with the congregation because he missed out on the twenty-seven multiples of reward; or if he was inattentive during prayer, for a prayer without complete submission is like a body without a soul.

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The Best Ways to Increase Your Provision

The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) informed us that when the fetus in its mother’s womb is four months old, Allaah The Almighty sends an angel to breathe the soul into it and write down its provision, its lifespan and its deeds, and whether it is doomed or blessed.

Provision is also written down and connected to the means that one adopts to search for it. Among these means are that man should work to seek provision, as Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

{“He it is Who has made the earth subservient to you (i.e. easy for you to walk, to live and to do agriculture on it); so walk in the path thereof and eat of His provision. And to Him will be the Resurrection”} [Quran, 67:15]

One of the most important means of increasing one's provision is having Taqwa i.e., being conscious of Allaah The Almighty and fearful of Him. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {“And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). 3.And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allaah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allaah has set a measure for all things.”} [Quran, 65: 2-3]

Allaah The Almighty will reward the one who fears Him and is mindful of what pleases Him in all situations, in this life and the Hereafter. One of the worldly rewards is that Allaah The Almighty will make a way out for him from hardships and adversities and will provide him from means which he never could have expected. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {“And if the people of the towns had believed and had the Taqwaa (piety), certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they belied (the Messengers). So We took them (with punishment) for what they used to earn (polytheism and crimes”} [Quran, 7: 96].

Shaykh As-Sa’di may Allaah have mercy upon him said, "If they truly and sincerely believed with their hearts and proved their belief with actions, and were fearful of Allaah inwardly and outwardly, then Allaah would have opened for them blessings from the Heavens by sending rain and the earth by causing plants to grow by which they as well as their cattle would benefit; they would have lived the richest life without the least difficulty or effort."

What is this piety that Allaah The Almighty has made a reason behind gaining provisions? Why did He inform us that He would provide for the pious and grant them sustenance without limits and measures.

Piety is what puts a barrier between you and that which harms you; it is a protection, which entails fulfilling all that Allaah The Almighty has commanded one to do as well as refraining from everything that Allaah The Almighty has prohibited.

The Salaf (righteous predecessors) explained and defined piety thus:

Ibn Mas’ood may Allaah be pleased with him said: "It (i.e., piety) is to obey Allaah and never to disobey Him; to remember Him and not forget Him; and to thank Him and never be ungrateful to Him."

If you wish to increase your provision from Allaah and live a comfortable life, then fear Allaah and be pious in all your affairs: at home, at work and with your family. Protect yourself from sins, adhere to the commandments of your Lord, refrain from His prohibitions and protect yourself from whatever results in His punishment.

Other means of increasing one's provision are:

• Migrating for the sake of Allaah The Almighty

• Jihaad (striving) for the sake of Allaah The Almighty

• Thankfulness to Allaah The Almighty

• Marriage

• Supplicating to Allaah The Almighty during times of need

• Shunning sins and remaining steadfast upon the religion of Allaah The Almighty by performing acts of obedience. This last way is the most important of all what has been mentioned, because provisions are gained by obedience and lost by disobedience, and the person gets deprived from provisions due to a sin he commits. Sins are the greatest cause for losing provisions, having a difficult life and losing blessings in life. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {“If they (non-Muslims) had believed in Allaah, and went on the Right Way (i.e. Islaam), We would surely have bestowed on them water (rain) in abundance.” } [Quran, 72: 16] which means that if they maintained themselves upon the path of truth, guidance and belief, He would have increased their provisions.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Does the ‘Aql (intellect) reside in the brain or heart?

By Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-’Uthaymeen may Allah have mercy on him

Allah is The One who knows those who are treacherous and what is hidden in the chests, meaning the hearts. The hearts are in the chests and it is the heart that contains intellect, understanding, and contemplation.

Allah said,

أفلم يسيروا في الأرض فتكون لهم قلوب يعقلون بها

‘So have they not traveled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear?’

and He said,

فإنها لا تعمى الأبصار ولكن تعمى القلوب التي في الصدور

‘For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts.’

[Surah Hajj: 46]

Subhaanallah! It is as if this verse was revealed for the situation of the people today…(The question is) does the intellect reside in the brain or heart?

This issue has confused many educators who did not return back to the statement of Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). The reality of this affair is clear. The intellect resides in the heart and the heart is in the chest.

‘So have they not traveled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear?’

[Surah Hajj: 46]

And Allah said,

‘For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts.’

[Surah Hajj: 46]

Allah did not say the heart is in the brain. Therefore, this issue is very clear. The statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him) supports this as well.

He said,

ألا وإن في الجسد مضغة إذا صلحت صلح الجسد كله وإذا فسدت فسد الجسد كله ألا وهي القلب

‘Indeed in the body there is a piece of flesh. If it is righteous then the entire body will become righteous. If it is corrupt then the entire body will be corrupted, and it is the heart.’

[Bukhari, Muslim]

The Book of Allah has verified that the intellect resides in the heart, and He is The Creator, The All-Knowing of everything. Also, the Sunnah of the Messenger (peace be upon him) has mentioned this. So it is obligatory upon us to reject all statements which differ with the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him).

The shaykh mentions this point of benefit in his explanation of “Riyaadus Saaliheen” under the chapter “al-Muraaqabah”

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While I was praying, my menses began. What should I do?

Question: While I was praying, my menses began. What should I do? Do I make up the prayers of the time of my menses?

Response by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen: If the menses come after the beginning of a time for prayer, for example, if you receive your menses a half an hour after high noon, then you must make up that prayer after your bleeding has ended since when its time began you were in a state of purity. This is based on Allah’s statement, “Verily, the prayer is enjoined upon the believers at fixed hours” (an-Nisaa. 103). Do not make up the prayers you missed while menstruating. This is based on the lengthy hadeeth in which the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Is it not the case that when you menstruate, you do not pray or fast?” There is a consensus of the scholars that the prayers missed during menstruation are not to be made up. However, if she becomes pure [the bleeding stops] and she has enough time to pray one rak’ah or more of a prayer, then she must pray the prayer of that time in which she became pure. This is based on the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “Whoever catches one rak’ah of the ‘Asr Prayer before sunset has caught the ‘Asr Prayer.” If the woman becomes pure during the time of ‘Asr or before sunrise and there is enough time before sunset or sunrise to pray one rak’ah, then she prays ‘Asr in the former case and Fajr in the latter case.

Fataawa al-Mar.ah

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How should we dress our daughters?

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: I think that people should not dress their daughters in these(skimpy and small) clothes when they are young because if the girl gets used to them she will continue to wear them and take the matter lightly. But if she gets used to modesty from an early age, she will remain modest when she grows up. What I advise my Muslim sisters to do is to forsake the clothing of foreigners and enemies of Islam, and make their daughters get used to wearing concealing clothes and to modesty, for it is part of faith.

From Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen in al-Da’wah magazine, issue no. 1709, p. 35.

How should our Muslim girls dress?

Q. Some people have made it their habit to dress their daughters in short, tight clothing that describes the body, whether they be young or old. I hope that you can guide and advise such people.

A. It is obligatory upon a person to observe his responsibility. It is upon him to fear Allah and prevent all those who have control over his girls from dressing them in such clothing. For it has been authenticated from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), that he said:

“Two types from the inhabitants of the hellfire I have not yet seen…..”

Then he mentioned:

“…clothed women but yet naked, alluring in their walk and in their heads like the leaning humps of camels. They will not enter paradise or smell it’s scent…”

These women who wear short skirts are clothed because they are wearing clothing, but they are naked due to the fact that their private zone is revealed. For the entire body of a woman is her private zone, regarding to viewing by non-mahrams, including her face hands and feet. Similarly, naked is the woman who wears tight clothing, for she appears to be clothed but in reality she is naked, because the detailed description of the body through tight clothing is nakedness. It is upon a woman to fear Allah and not reveal her beauties. She should not go to the markets except wearing clothes that do not turn heads and she should not be perfumed so as not to attract men in which case it would be feared that she is an adulterous woman. It is upon a Muslim woman not to leave her house except for a needy requirement. If she does leave it she should not be perfumed, beautified or walk in a lewd fashion. Let it be known that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

“I have not left behind me a trial more harmful to men than women.”

The trial of women is immense and virtually no one is safe from it. It is upon our nation of Muslims not to follow the paths of the enemies of Allah, such as the Jews, Christians and others. For verily, this issue is of enormous importance. It is narrated from him (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) that he said:

“Verily Allah gives respite to an oppressor until the time that he seizes him, then he does not allow him to escape.”

He then read the Most High’s words:

{Such is the grip of your Lord when He grips the towns while they are doing wrong. Verily, His grip is painful and severe.}


Those propagators of Islam who call to the unveiling of women’s faces and free mixing of the sexes are upon clear misguidance and immense ignorance, for they are at variance with the guidance of Allah and His messenger. They are ignorant or play ignorant to what has happened to those nations that have been afflicted with these issues. They seek escapement from this disaster, but how is that possible for them when they take such a stance? It has become a habit that will not be changed except with a huge effort. Allah is the helper.

Islamic Fatawaa Regarding the Muslim Child pg.152, Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saalih Al Uthaymeen [Fataawa Manaar al-Islaam:3/809]

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Ibnul-‘Uthaimeen addresses saying “whoever studies from a book, will have more wrongs than rights”

The noble Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen rahimahul-llaah was asked:

Is it permissible to seek knowledge only from the books without the scholars, particularly if it is difficult to seek knowledge from the scholars due to their rarity? And what is your opinion on the saying “whoever his Shaykh is his book, his wrong will be more than his right”?

And the noble Shaykh replied:

“No doubt, knowledge can be sought from the scholars and from the books, because the book of the scholar is the scholar himself, he is speaking to you via his book. So, if it is difficult to seek knowledge from people of knowledge, then knowledge can be sought from the books, however seeking knowledge from people of knowledge is (faster or easier) than seeking it from the books, because the one who seeks it from the books will be more exhausted and he will need to exert a very big effort, and even then it is possible that some matters will be hidden from him like the divine principles and guidelines which people of knowledge laid down, so it a must that he has a reference to people of knowledge as much as possible.

As for his saying: “whoever his guide is his book, his wrong will be more than his right”, this is neither correct in its abstract nor it is false in its abstract, as for the person who takes knowledge from any book that he finds then no doubt he will make many errors, as for the person who relies in his seeking on books of men who are known for trustworthiness and knowledge, then this person will not have too many errors rather he could be right in most of what he says”.

Source: collection of Fatwas, 26/197.

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Invoking Difference of Opinion

And this is my path, leading straight, so follow it and follow not the other paths for they will lead you astray from His path. This He instructs you that you may protect (yourselves, have taqwā). Meaning of Qurʾān 6:153

O you who believe! Obey Alāh and obey His Messenger and those in authority amongst you; and if you differ over anything refer it back to Allāh and the Messenger if you truly believe in Allāh and the Last Day. That is best for you and will result in the best outcome. Meaning of Qurʾān 4:59

The Prophet – Allāh’s peace and blessings be upon him – said:

For he who lives long amongst you will see much controversy. Thus you must follow my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs after me. Adhere to it with all your strength …

This is what Allāh and His Messenger have commanded us to do when scholars differ over an issue, i.e. we take from their statements and positions what is supported by evidence (dalīl) from the Book and Sunnah and we leave what contradicts the evidence; because this is the sign of having true belief in Allāh and the Hereafter, and because this is best for us and will result in the best outcome. [Allāh told us] that if we accept statements and opinions that contradict the evidence, this will separate us from the path of Allāh and put us on the path of misguidance; like He also told us about the Jews and Christians, that they ‘took their rabbis and monks as lords besides Allāh’. When ʿAdī b. Ḥātim – Allāh be pleased with him – had difficulty understanding how they had taken [their rabbis and monks] as lords besides Allāh, the Prophet – Allāh’s peace and blessings be upon him – explained that their taking them as lords meant obeying them in making permissible (ḥalāl) what Allāh had forbidden (ḥarām) and making forbidden what Allāh had made ḥalāl.

Many people nowadays, if you see them doing something wrong and forbid them, will say to you, “There is a difference of opinion on this issue.” They take difference of opinion as a justification for what they are doing, even if it contradicts the evidence. So what is the difference between such people and what the People of Scripture who took their rabbis and monks as lords besides Allāh did? These people must fear Allāh for themselves and they must understand that the existence of a difference of opinion on an issue does not permit them to contradict the evidence. It has got so bad that many ignorant people have started to search through opinions saved on [their] computers, quoted from books about differences of opinion, and begun to give verdicts based on what agrees with their desires from those various opinions, without distinguishing opinions backed by correct evidence from those that are not, either because of their ignorance or because of their personal desires. An ignorant person is not allowed to speak about the law and religion (sharʿ) of Allāh based on what he has read or watched in some recording while he does not know how correct it is and what basis it has in the Book and Sunnah. Allāh did not command us to simply refer back to what is in a fiqh book without understanding [the correctness of the evidence]. Rather, He commanded us to ask the people of knowledge when He said:

Ask the people of knowledge if you know not. Meaning of Qurʾān 16:43

A person who has desires is not allowed to take his desires as a god besides Allāh, adopting opinions that agree with his desires and leaving those that do not. Allāh taʿālā said:

And who is more astray than he who follows his desires without guidance from Allāh? Meaning of Qurʾān 28:50

Have you seen the one who takes his desires as his god? Are you then going to be a warden over him? Meaning of Qurʾān 25:43

And it is not allowed for anyone who has knowledge to seek out for people what agrees with their desires [and give it to them through verdicts, answers], thus misleading them from the path of Allāh, with the excuse of facilitating matters for people, because facilitating things for people is achieved by following the evidence. Lest he be one of those about whom Allāh said:

They will be liable for their sins in full on the Day of Resurrection and in part for the sins of those they lead astray without knowledge. Meaning of Qurʾān 16:25

May Allāh give us all success in beneficial knowledge and righteous action. And may Allāh’s peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muḥammad and upon his Family and Companions.


Ṣāliḥ b. Fawzān Al-Fawzān (hafidhahullaah)

Member of the Council of Senior Scholars

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Praying for the newborn to be righteous in various ways

I prayed for a newborn and said: “May Allah make her righteous, and make her grow in a good manner, and make her kind to her parents.” Is there anything wrong with this supplication?

Praise be to Allah.

There is nothing wrong with your offering supplication for the newborn by saying, “May Allah make her righteous, and make her grow in a good manner, and make her kind to her parents.” Use of the present tense [in the Arabic original] in these phrases refers to the future, in the sense that when she grows up and reaches the age of maturity, she may be settled in the path of righteousness, lead others in the path of righteousness and be kind to her parents, as Ibn al-Warraaq (d. 381 AH) said in his book ‘Ilal an-Nahw (1/563): the present tense may refer to two times (i.e., the present and the future). And az-Zamakhshari (d. 538 AH – may Allah have mercy on him) said: it may refer to the present and the future.

End quote from al-Mufassal fi San‘at al-I‘raab, p. 321

Moreover, no particular format for offering congratulations on the birth of the newborn is proven in the Prophet’s Sunnah. Rather there is a report was narrated by ‘Ali ibn al-Ja‘d in al-Musnad, p. 488, where he said: al-Haytham ibn Jimaaz told me: A man said in the presence of al-Hasan: Congratulations to the horseman. Al-Hasan said: What does congratulations to the horseman mean? Perhaps he will own cows and donkeys (not horses)! Rather say: May you give thanks to the Bestower, may what He gave you be blessed, may (the newborn) reach maturity and may he be kind to you.

Its isnaad is da‘eef (weak) because of al-Haytham ibn Jimaaz. It was classed as da‘eef by Yahya ibn Ma‘een. Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: He was rejected by the scholars. An-Nasaa’i said: He is matrook (rejected).

See: Lisaan al-Mizaan, 8/352

But there is a corroborating report – which is somewhat weak – that was narrated by Ibn ‘Asaakir in Tareekh Dimashq (59/276) via Mu‘aawiyah ibn Muhammad al-Adhri, according to which Ahmad ibn Ibraaheem ibn Bakaar al-Qurashi told them: Sa‘eed ibn Naseer told us: Katheer ibn Hishaam told us: Kalthoom ibn Jawshan told us: A man came to al-Hasan… And he narrated the report.

However the basic principle concerning the wording of du‘aa’ (supplication) outside prescribed acts of worship is that there are no restrictions, and the one who is offering supplication may choose whatever supplication he likes and whatever best suits his aim. The scholars regarded it as mustahabb to offer supplication in the words narrated from al-Hasan al-Basri, as mentioned by Imam an-Nawawi in al-Majmoo‘ (8/443) and in al-Adhkaar (p. 289), and by Ibn Qudaamah in al-Mughni (9/464).

They also regarded it as mustahabb to offer supplication in the words narrated from Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaani (may Allah have mercy on him); when he offered congratulations on the birth of a baby, he would say, “May Allah make him a blessing to you and to the ummah of Muhammad.” Narrated by Ibn Abi’d-Dunya in al-‘Iyaal (no. 202). He said: Khaalid ibn Khaddaash told us: Hammaad ibn Zayd told us: Ayyoob used to … And he narrated the report. It was also narrated by at-Tabaraani in ad-Du‘aa’ (1/294).

This format was also narrated from al-Hasan al-Basri with a hasan isnaad. That was narrated by at-Tabaraani in ad-Du‘aa’ (p. 1243); its isnaad was classed as hasan by the commentator on the book, Dr Muhammad al-Bukhaari.

At-Tabaraani said: Yahya ibn ‘Uthmaan ibn Saalih told us: ‘Amr ibn ar-Rabee‘ ibn Taariq told us; as-Sirri ibn Yahya told us: A son was born to a man who used to sit with al-Hasan, and another man congratulated him by saying: Congratulations to the horseman. al-Hasan said: How do you know that he will be a horseman? Perhaps he will be a carpenter, perhaps he will be a tailor. He said: What should I say then? He said: “May Allah make him a blessing to you and to the ummah of Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).”

We ask Allah, may He be exalted, to make all the children of the Muslims a blessing to their parents and to the ummah of Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).

And Allah knows best.

Islam Q&A

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He noticed a smell but did not feel any wind coming out of him

I am affected by waswaas (whispers from the Shaytaan) and I am trying hard to avoid doubts that come to me regarding wudoo’ and prayer.

But two days ago, when I was praying in the mosque, I suddenly noticed a smell (of passing wind), even though I did not feel anything in my stomach, and I did not feel that anything came out of me before I noticed the smell.

I said: This is waswaas, and I completed my prayer. But after I had prayed, I began to strongly doubt the validity of my prayer. Perhaps there had been some movement in my stomach and I had forgot, or perhaps it was gas, because that happens to me sometimes.

I still have my doubts until now.

Is my prayer valid, or should I make it up? Do I have to do anything, because several days have passed since I offered that prayer?

Praise be to Allah

Your prayer is valid and you do not have to repeat it; do not worry about the smell that you noticed so long as you did not feel anything coming out of you. You should not pay attention to the waswaas that comes to your mind and cast aside the doubts that cross your mind.

With regard to the hadeeth which says that a man complained to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he felt something during the prayer, and asked whether he should stop praying, and he said: “No, unless you hear a sound or notice a smell” (narrated by al-Bukhaari, 20546; Muslim, 361), this has to do with one who feels something and is not sure whether it came out; this indicates that one should not do something that is due to waswaas, because the certainty of being in a state of purity cannot be affected by uncertainty or doubt.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

The believer should not pay attention to this waswaas, because this will encourage the Shaytaan, and the Shaytaan is keen to spoil the good deeds of the sons of Adam, such as prayer and so on. What he must do is be aware of his tricks and whispers, put his trust in Allah, and assume that whatever happens of waswaas is from the Shaytaan, so that he will not pay any attention to it. Then if something comes out of him and he is certain of it, not uncertain, he should clean himself again (istinja’) and repeat wudoo’. But so long as there is any uncertainty, even if it is slight, then he should not pay attention to that, and he should still believe that he is in a state of purity and ward off the whispers of the Shaytaan.

End quote from Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 10/123

And Allah knows best.

Islam Q&A

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Remember To Do This Before You Sleep

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “When any of you goes to bed, he should shake off (or dust off) his bedsheets because he does not know what might have fallen on it after he had left it. Then he should recite: ‘Bismika Rabbi wada’tu janbi, wa bika arfa’uhu, in amsakta nafsi farhamha, wa in arsaltaha fahfazha bima tahfazu bihi ‘ibadakas-salihin [With Your Name, my Rubb, I place my side (upon the bed) and with Your Grace I will raise it up. If You withhold my soul (cause me to die), have mercy on it but if You let it go (let me live), guard it against which You guarded Your pious servants].”‘

[Al- Bukhari and Muslim].

Sheikh Raslan commented, “People, unfortunately, are not aware of the Prophet’s life; he taught us every little thing. However, those bestowed with success strive to investigate the Prophet’s life (peace be upon him); the follow the knowledge they acquire and implement it, and thereby they are rewarded with the best of rewards. On the other hand, those who claim loving the Prophet (peace be upon him) while being ignorant of his life and how did he managed to live it; their claim must be revisited and reconsidered.

The reason for shaking off the bedsheets lies in the potential possibility that there could be something harmful on the bedsheets you’re not aware of its presence; this thing could harm you. However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) teaches you to check your bedsheets before you go to sleep. He guides you towards what is best for you even in this life. Not only you get to benefit from doing so, but also top this with the benefit Allah confers upon you as a reward for the Dhikr (remembrance) you recite when you get to sleep.”

Source: Sunnan Mahjoorah [Deserted Sunnan of the Prophet (?)] by Sheikh Muhammad Said Raslan: pages: 27-28.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Ruling on Saying صُدْفَة “sudfah” (coincidence)

The Ruling on Saying صُدْفَة “sudfah” (coincidence)

The following question was posed to the Eminent Scholar Saalih Fawzaan حفظه الله

Arabic audio for the Q & A:

Arabic text 1

فضيلة الشيخ وفقكم الله : هل يجوز قول هذا القول وهو ( قابلت فلانا صدفة ) إذا كان مقابلته بدون موعد ؟

العلامة صالح الفوزان حفظه الله :

إذا كان قصده صدفة يعني بدون موعد فلا بأس ، أما إن كان صدفة أن هذا ما قدر في القدر السابق فهذا لا يجوز ، هذا إنكار للقدر لكن غالب المسلمين لا يقصدون هذا ، لا يقصدون إنكار القدر يقصدون صدفة يعني ما كنت أُؤَمِّل هذا أو لست على موعد معه , نعم .

Q: Noble Shaikh, (we ask that) Allaah grant you success, is the following statement permissible: “I met this person by coincidence” when it was a meeting without a prior appointment?

A: When a person intends by sudfah (coincidence): without a prior appointment, then there is no harm in this. As for when a person intends by sudfah (coincidence) that this was something that was not already decreed (by Allaah) in a previous decree, then this is not permissible. This is rejection of qadr (divine predecree). However, most of the Muslims don’t mean this, they don’t mean the rejection of qadr. They mean by sudfah (coincidence) that they weren’t expecting it and that there was no previous agreement.

Shaikh Albaanee رحمه الله تعالى was asked2 about saying “sudfah”, specifically the expression:

حدث هذا صدفة

‘This happened by coincidence.’

and part of his reply was:

“So if he intends by sudfah (coincidence) that there is no qadr (divine pre-decree), then he has disbelieved….As for when he intends by it that all of this is by the command of Allaah and His decree then there is nothing wrong with it.”


1 Taken from:

2 In the series al-Hudaa wan-Noor, audio/tape #216, (p.8 in the file)

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Music Strengthens Satanic States, and the Qur’an Strengthens Emaan - Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah

Music Strengthens Satanic States, and the Qur’an Strengthens Emaan - Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah

From the greatest things that strengthen satanic states is listening to song and music, this is none other than the listening of the polytheists about which Allaah, the Exalted says:

“And their prayer at the House was nothing save whistling and clapping.”[Al-Anfal (8): 35]

Ibn Abbas & Ibn Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them), & others from the Salaf said,

“At-Tasdiya is clapping with the hands & al-Mukaa is like whistling. The polytheists used to do this as an act of worship” [As-Suyuti, ‘ad-Durr al-Manthur’ [3/183] referred it to al-Faryabi, Abd Bin Humaid, ibn Jarir, ibn al-Mundhir & Ibn Abi Shaybah from Ibn Abbas]

As for the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and his Companions, their worship consisted entirely of that which was ordered by Allaah such as salah, recitation of the Qur’an, Dhikr and the likes. They gathered together for those actions of worship legislated & therefore they never gathered to listen to song…done by clapping or drums.

Never once did he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) become overcome with spiritual ecstasy and never did his cloak fall off him – all narrations that mention this are lies by agreement of the scholars of hadith.

When the Companions of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to gather, he would order one of them to recite and the rest would listen. [Refer to at-Turtushi, al-Hawadith wal Bida’a pp.161-167].

Umar bin al-Khattab (May Allaah be please with him) used to say to Abu Musa al-Ashari:

“Remind us of our Lord” So he would recite and they would listen. [Reported by ad-Darimi & Abdur-Razzak al-Musannaf, with a Sahih isnad]

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) passed by Abu Musa while he was reciting and he said to him,

“I passed by you last night while you were reciting, so I stood listening to your recitation.” He replied, ‘If I knew that you were listening, I would have embellished it for you in the best of ways’.

Meaning that I would have beautified my recitation for you.

This is as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“Beautify the Qur’an with your voices” [Abu Dawud & Nasa’i, with a sahih isnad]

He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to ibn Masud:

“Recite the Qur’an to me”.

He said ‘Should I recite to you when it was revealed to you?’

He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied: “Indeed I love that I hear it from other than me.”

So I recited Surah an-Nisa to him until I reached this verse: “So how [will it be] when We bring from every nation a witness and We bring you [O Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)] against these [people] as a witness?” [An-Nisa (4): 41].

He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “That is sufficient for you,” and his eyes were overflowing with tears. [Sahih al-Bukhari wa Sahih Muslim]

The likes of this listening is the listening of the Prophets & their followers as has been mentioned by Allaah in the Qur’an:

“Those were they unto whom Allah bestowed His Grace from among the Prophets, of the offspring of Adam, and of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nooh (Noah), & of the offspring of Ibrahim (Abraham) & Israel & from among those whom We guided & chose. When the Verses of the Most Beneficent (Allah) were recited unto them, they fell down prostrating & weeping.” [Maryam (19): 58]

Allaah said concerning the People of Cognisance:

“And when they hear what has been revealed to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of what they have recognized of the truth” [Al-Maidah (5): 83]

He, Glorious is He, commended those who listen in this way due to what they attain of increase in faith, the trembling of their skins and the tears in their eyes. He, the Exalted says:

“Allaah has sent down the best statement; a consistent Book wherein is reiteration. The skins shiver therefrom of those who fear their Lord; then their skins and their hearts relax at the remembrance of Allaah” [Az-Zumar (39): 23]

“The believers are only those who, when Allaah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, & when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; & upon their Lord do they rely – the ones who establish prayer & spend from what we have provided them. Those are the believers truly. For them are degrees [of position] with their Lord, forgiveness & noble provision.” [Al-Anfal (8): 2-4].

As for the innovated listening which is the listening of clapping, drum, & wind instruments, none of the Companions, the Successors and any of the great Imaams of this religion took this to be a route to Allaah, the Blessed & Exalted. Not one of them considered it to be a means of drawing close to Allaah & an action of obedience; instead they considered this to be a blameworthy innovation.

Ash-Shaafi’ee said:

“I have left behind me in Baghdad something that was innovated by the heretics that they called at-taghbir, which used to distract people from the Qur’an.” [Refer to al-Hafiz Diya ad-Din al-Maqdisi, ‘Juz Ittiba as-Sunan’ [pp.28-29] & Tablis Iblis [p.301 of the summary].]

Ibnul Qayyim in “Masalah as-Sama”, pp119-120, said,

“Taghbir was where they struck stretched leather with the stick or a cushion which gave off a particular sound to which they would recite moving poetry that would incite one to asceticism. Now if this is what ash-Shaafi’ee, may Allaah sanctify his soul, thought of taghbir then what would he have said concerning listening to the types of poetry & singing that contains mention of the belover, the excellence of meeting him, the sweetness of his reprimand, communion in love, coming close to him, the bitterness of leaving….”

The Awliya of Allaah know this fact well & know that shaytan has a major role to play in it and this is why the best of them who used to attend such sessions later repented.

The further a person is from cognizance & completion in his closeness to & love of Allaah, the greater the role that shaytan has to play in misguiding him. This innovated listening [i.e. Music] is comparable to alcohol; rather its affect upon the soul is greater than the affect of alcohol.

This is why when the intoxication of the listeners becomes strong the devils descend to them, speaking upon the tongues of some and carrying others through the air.

It is also possible that enmity arise between the listeners in the same way that enmity appears amongst the drunk, the devils accompanying one person could be stronger than the devils accompanying another therefore when they fight, and they kill the opponent.

…In reality such sessions take the person further away from Allaah & are actually satanic states.


Taken from: “The friends of Allaah and the friends of shaytan”, Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, Pages: 341-350

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Is there any proven hadeeth to suggest that the Sahaabah danced, that is quoted as evidence for dancing in dhikr circles?

Many of the Sufis take this hadeeth as evidence for their dancing and whirling, and say that Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and others stated that it is saheeh. This hadeeth appears in Musnad Ahmad, no. 860, when it says that ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I visited the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), along with Ja‘far and Zayd ibn Haarithah. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to Zayd, “You are my friend (mawla),” and Zayd began to jump and hop on one foot around the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Then he said to Ja‘far, “As for you, you resemble me physically and in character.” And Ja‘far began to do likewise. Then he said to me, “You are of me and I am of you.” And he started to jump behind Ja‘far.

What is your view about this hadeeth? Is it saheeh? Can a person dance and hop in this manner to please Allah?

Praise be to Allah.


The hadeeth mentioned in the question was narrated by Ahmad (2/213). It was not classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him), as far as we know from the books that we have to hand or the books of his companions. Moreover, when did these Sufis give any weight to Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, such that they would accept his opinion and verdict on hadeeths?


There are two problems with the hadeeth mentioned in the question:


One of its narrators is unknown, namely Haani’ ibn Haani’.

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

He was mentioned by Ibn Sa‘d in the first generation of the people of Kufah. He said: He was a Shi‘i. Ibn al-Madeeni said: He is unknown. Harmalah said, narrating from ash-Shaafa‘i: Haani’ ibn Haani’ is not known, and the hadeeth scholars do not regard his hadeeth as sound because his status is unknown.

Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb, 11/22


Abu Ishaaq as-Subay‘i deliberately used ambiguous words in order to mislead (tadlees).

Abu Sa‘eed al-‘Alaa’i (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

‘Amr ibn ‘Abdullah as-Subay‘i, Abu Ishaaq, is well known by his kunyah; we have stated previously that he often deliberately used ambiguous words in order to mislead (tadlees).

Jaami‘ at-Tahseel fi Ahkaam al-Maraseel, p. 245

The hadeeth was classed as da‘eef (weak) by the commentators on Musnad al-Imam Ahmad, 2/213, 214. They said:

Its isnaad is da‘eef; we have stated previously that Haani’ ibn Haani’ and others like him cannot be accepted when they narrate hadeeths tha are not narrated by others. The word “hop” in the hadeeth is objectionable and odd. End quote.


Even if we assume that the hadeeth is saheeh, it does not indicate that they danced in a circle of remembrance (dhikr) of their Lord – Allah forbid. Rather it indicates that they expressed their joy at praise from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) by hopping on one foot, which is an action that is permissible in and of itself. Rather the ruling concerning it is connected to the reason for their joy. Allah forbid that any of the wise would quote this as evidence for dancing when remembering his Lord, may He be exalted.

Al-Bayhaqi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

This – if it is saheeh – indicates that it is permissible to hop, which means lifting up one foot and jumping on the other, out of joy. Dancing that is similar in nature is similarly permissible. And Allah knows best.

As-Sunan al-Kubra, by al-Bayhaqi, 10/226

The Shaafa‘i faqeeh Ibn Hajar al-Haythami (may Allah have mercy on him) said, discussing the Sufis’ and others quoting this hadeeth as evidence for it to be permissible to dance:

They also quote (to prove their point) that he said to ‘Ali, “You are of me and I am of you,” and he began to hop; and he said to Zayd, “You are our brother and our friend (mawla),” and he began to hop…

Ibn Hajar said:

The response is that all of these are objectionable hadeeths and the wording is fabricated and made up. Even if we assume that they are saheeh, they cannot be regarded as evidence, because what is forbidden is dancing in which there is swaying and twisting, and this is not like that. End quote.

Kaff ar-Ra‘aa‘ ‘an Muharramaat al-Lahw wa’s-Samaa‘, 75.


More than one of the fuqaha’ of the (four) madhhabs (may Allah have mercy on them) regard that as misguidance and innovation if it is done as an act of religious devotion. The one who does that as a leisure activity or for fun is to be criticized and regarded as foolish.

Imam Muwaffaq ad-Deen ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisi (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked:

What do the fuqaha’ (may Allah bless them) say about one who listens to the duff (hand-drum), flute and singing, and get carried away until he starts to dance? Is that permissible or not? He believes that he loves Allah and that his listening to it, getting carried away and dancing are for the sake of Allah! Please advise us, may Allah reward you and have mercy on you.

He said:

The one who does that is mistaken and is lacking in decency. The one who persists in doing those things is one whose testimony is to be rejected according to sharee‘ah, and his opinion is not to be accepted. The implication of that is that his narration of hadeeth from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is not to be accepted, and neither is his testimony with regard to sighting the new moon of Ramadan or anything pertaining to religious matters.

With regard to him believing that it is based on love of Allah, we say that he could show his love for Allah and obedience towards Him in other ways, and he could show devotion to Allah, may He be glorified, and do righteous deeds in other ways. But as for this, it is a sin and playing about. It was condemned by Allah, may He be exalted, and His Messenger, and was disliked (regarded as makrooh) by the scholars, who called it an innovation (bid‘ah) and forbade people to do it. We cannot draw close to Allah, may He be glorified, by doing acts of disobedience to Him, and He cannot be obeyed by doing things that He has forbidden. The one who commits sin as a means of drawing closer to Him will be met with rejection; the one who takes idle pursuits and playing about as acts of religious devotion is like one who spreads mischief in the land. The one who seeks to reach Allah, may He be glorified, via a way other than the way and Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), is far from reaching his goal

Dhamm ash-Shabbaabah wa’r-Raqs wa’s-Samaa‘ by Ibn Qudaamah, MS (p. 2)

Imam al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abd as-Salaam, the great Shaafa‘i faqeeh and scholar of usool (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

With regard to dancing and clapping, it is frivolity and silliness like that of females; no one does such things except one who is a show-off or a liar. How could anyone regard it as justifiable to dance to the rhythm of the music and become oblivious when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said, “The best generations are my generation, then those who come after them, then those who come after them,” and no one among those exemplary generations did such things? It cannot be imagined that one who fears Allah and understands anything of what it means to venerate Him would dance or clap. Clapping and dancing only come from one who is foolish and ignorant; they do not come from anyone who is wise and virtuous.

Qawaa‘id al-Ahkaam fi Masaalih al-Anaam, 2/2349-350, Mu’sasat ar-Rayyaan edn.

The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked about the Islamic ruling on those who remember Allah whilst swaying right and left in a trance, reciting in unison and out loud.

They replied:

That is not permissible, because it is done in an innovated fashion. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said “Whoever introduces into this matter of ours anything that is not part of it will have it rejected.”

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Qa‘ood

Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah, 2/529

And Allah knows best.

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Concerning Ibn Taymiyyah

The author of the book Al-Radd al-Wafir has exerted tremendous labour in this uniquely outstanding piece of writing. The refutation of those who anathematise the scholars of Islam and its towering Imams and personalities, who have taken gardens of bounty as their final abode, and have sensed zephyrs of mercy from the Gracious Lord, is clarified in his dazzling array of words.

It is thus proven that those casting aspersions against any one of these scholars, or circulates incorrect information about them, is like the one who tries to blow in the sands or pluck from a thorny tree with his bare hands.

How can it even be permissible for one who identifies with Islam, and has even an iota of knowledge, understanding and an ability to make others understand, to anathematise those whose hearts are innocent and whose belief is not even close to those accusations?

However, one who does not put his personality through the mill would always think the sweet is bitter, just as a sick person. One nitpicking just because he is ignorant of something shows his true colours of enmity. Such a person is crookedly disordered in his discussions, and is nothing but like a coprocreep1, dying a natural death by smelling a rose; or like an owl harmed by the brightness of light due to its poor eyesight. Such a person does not possess any analytical skills and is grossly lacking in foresight. These people are nothing but empty and barren mediocrities. Those anathematising these scholars are total unknowns, the sons of unknowns, and the weirdest of nonentities. They are spiritually foul, astray individuals and blind followers of deviance.

It is common knowledge that the Shaykh, the Imam, the scholar and the knowledgeable, Taqi ud-Din ibn Taymiyyah, was amongst the outstanding class scholars and a model leader. He possessed linguistic banquets that replenished souls, and the best parts of prime discussions that shook deteriorated bodies. His temperament, which was suspended in the artistic ability that is free of all immaturity and repulsiveness, was a result of the ripe fruits borne for those with advanced thinking abilities.

Ibn Taymiyyah was the one who removed the veil from the faces of hidden meanings, and snatched away the gowns from virgin language structures. He was the one who warded off the suppositions of heretics and the sacrilegious. He was the one who assiduously analysed the narrations from the Prophet, the Leader of the Messengers, and the reports from the Companions and the Followers2.

In a nutshell, anyone who says "He is a disbeliever" is truly a disbeliever himself, and the one who attributes heresy to him is himself a heretic. How can such an accusation stand up when we all know that his works have travelled beyond the horizons, and there is nothing therein denoting any deviation or dissent?

In the two issues of visiting the Prophet's grave and divorce, his research was based only on legitimate independent reasoning. A scholar with independent reasoning either way is compensated and rewarded. There is nothing in his reasoning that is blameworthy or faulty.

However, the clear jealousy and blatant scheming from his enemies made them resort to the aforementioned accusations against him. The end of Surat Al-Falaq3is damning enough for such jealous people – all while they are burning up from inside out of distress. Anyone who falsely accuses a person who has died, or associates someone with something they are free from, will have perpetrated a blatant and gross lie, making himself deserving of evil punishment.

Ibn Taymiyyah was the Imam, the superior, the masterful, the pious, the pure, the god-fearing, and the master in sciences of prophetic tradition, exegesis, law and jurisprudence in both their oral and written forms. He was the unstoppable scimitar against the innovators. He was the cleric upholding religious affairs, commanding good and forbidding evil. He was determined, brave, able to handle difficult and cumbersome situations. He was constantly engaged in remembrance, fasting, prayer and worship. In complete contentment, he was aloof of the comforts of this world with no desire for any of it.

Momentous events and marvellous occasions stand in his favour, all while he restrained himself from the firewood of the lowly world. He has celebrated written works and flawless edicts to his name.

Ibn'l-Zimlikani4 – may Allah have mercy on him – has written the following quatrain of poetry on a work by Ibn Taymiyyah:

How can the chroniclers describe him

When his attributes are far greater than could be encompassed?

He is the dominating evidence of Allah

He, amidst us, is the wonder of the era


Is the testimony of this scholar not enough for Ibn Taymiyyah? He referred to him as the Allah's evidence in Islam. He claimed that it is not possible to encompass his praiseworthy characteristics, and one describing these for Ibn Taymiyyah is unable to count or tally them. Since he is depicted as such, why is it not permissible to refer to Ibn Taymiyyah as Shaykh ul-Islam or to utilise this honorific when mentioning him?

Furthermore, how valid is the disparagement of the one who is stubborn, plotting, and jealous? I wonder what proof this openly ignorant and arrogant person has, knowing full well that the word "Shaykh" has two meanings: linguistic and technical. The linguistic meaning is the one in whom elderliness has become apparent. The technical meaning is the one under whom studentship is accredited. Both meanings are present in Imam Ibn Taymiyyah: there is no doubt he was the teacher of a group of Islamic scholars and world-renowned jurists as were his students. Be this as it may, how can it not be said of him that he is Shaykh ul-Islam? By default, the one who is the Shaykh of the Muslims is, by extension, the Shaykh of Islam.

The great chief justices, the noble scholars and the pillars of Islam have explicitly used this title for him. They are the ones whom the compiler of Al-Radd al-Wafir has mentioned in his treatise. This book is truly original. Having mentioned this author, we are no longer in need to repeat the praises of Ibn Taymiyyah. Those coming across the book can ponder over it, and those looking in it can accept it.

As for the altercations of the Imam, there are multitudes of them and in numerous gatherings. Putting aside the deep-seated ills embedded as a result of in the fruits of enmity, it is submitted that no clear evidence has emerged in favour of his antagonists in what was claimed against him.

The most that happened was that he was unjustly and unfairly imprisoned, which in no sense is a fault or imperfection on the part of Ibn Taymiyyah. There have been those in amongst the greatest of the senior Followers who were murdered, jailed, imprisoned and publicly humiliated. Imam Abu Hanifah – may Allah be pleased with him – was imprisoned and died in that state; has any scholar ever said that he was rightfully imprisoned? Imam Ahmad was imprisoned and jailed when as he made the truthful statement. Imam Malik was severely lashed. Imam Ash-Shafi'i was transported from Yemen to Baghdad in shackles and bondage. It is not strange at all then that what transpired with those great Imams also occurred for Ibn Taymiyyah.

Ibn Taymiyyah's final imprisonment was in the Citadel of Damascus. He passed away in the third part of the night of 20 Dhu'l-Qa'dah 728H, close to the morning. His illness lasted for seventeen days. He was born on 10 Rabi' al-Awwal, 661H, in Harran. He came to Damascus with his father.

His funeral prayer was performed by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Tammam6 at the gates of the Citadel. People repeated his funeral prayer in the Umayyad Mosque. He was then buried in the Sufis' Cemetery, alongside his brother, Shaykh Sharaf ud-Din7. The mosque was busier for his funeral prayer than on Fridays. Statesmen and chamberlains were in attendance. They lifted him above their heads and took him to the Gate of Faraj8. People were lined up all the way from there to the Sufis' Cemetery. They recited the Qur'an over his grave again and again. His disciples stayed by his grave for several nights. Imam Zayn ud-Din 'Umar ibn Al-Wardi – may Allah have mercy on him – eulogised him in a poem, part of which is as follows:

Some loud mouths tried to damage his honour

The same people who seek benefit from his ocean of pearls

Taqi ud-Din Ahmad is the finest scholar

Perforations of obscure matters are sown up through him

He died alone as a prisoner

He had no pleasure to gain from the world

Had they been there when he died, they would have found

The angels of bounty surrounding him ...9

How great indeed is what the grave has embraced

And how great indeed is what its slabs have covered

They were jealous of him as they did not attain

His virtues, so they instead schemed against him and seared in rage

They were too idle to be anywhere close to being on his way

But they were very active in harming him

Imprisoning a pearl in a shell is a pearl's honour

And for the Shaykh, there is delight in prison

He has achieved followership with the family of the Hashimite10

They too were subject to degradation but never gave in11

… 12

He was an Imam who never sought after a post

Nor did he look for an endowment in his name or horses

He was not standing next to you to earn wealth

In fact, he never even mingled with you

To those who imprisoned him: Your motives will soon be laid bare

As well as your intentions when the Bridge is erected

So there you have it. He has died and you can rest

So you can share what you wanted to share all along

You can start doing your own independent reasoning without any fear of being refuted

On your part – that chapter has now closed

This Imam Zayn ud-Din was very knowledgeable and was a master of the sciences. He was excellent at both prose and poetry. He has wonderful poems and quality couplets. He was an expert in Arabic. He took up the posts of lecturer, repeater, and of passing edicts. He has beneficial works, such as committing Al-Hawi as-Saghir 13 into poetry form. He died in Aleppo, 749H.

Athir ud-Din Abu Hayyan14 – may Allah Most High have mercy on him – said in Ibn Taymiyyah's regard:

Ibn Taymiyyah stood up to support the law

Just as the leader of Taym15 stood up when Mudar transgressed16

He uncovered the truth when its signs had long gone

He put out the evil when its sparks were flying, abound

We used to talk about a scholar who would come to us

You are the Imam who was long awaited

When a person like Imam Abu Hayyan testifies that he was the supporter of the law, the champion of the truth and the one putting an end to evil, and that he was the Imam they were waiting for, it is submitted that this is sufficiently enough for praise and as a point of reference.

As this Imam has the testimony of this knowledgeable person and other great scholars, what would materialise for those who attribute heresy to him or accuse him of disbelief? This would not but stem from an idiot, ignoramus or a buffoon. The first would be severely punished and paraded in humiliation; in fact, he would be imprisoned until he repents and completely desists from such behaviour. The second would be dealt with chains shackles, and a limitless beating.

All these accusations against Ibn Taymiyyah are amongst the corruption of this era, the sloppy attitude of politicians failing to uphold justice, command good, banish the corrupt, uproot the strength of the schemers, whereby any dimwit claiming to be a scholar can dishonour the scholars of the Muslims, especially those who were truthful and used to be fair and just, living by the truth.

Notwithstanding his great contribution to the sciences, there have also been Ibn Taymiyyah's doubtless miracles reported on the tongues of large swathes of people.

There are also his quick, decisive and ever-ready answers, delivered without any pause or hesitation, no matter how difficult the questions were. He was once on his chair advising people in a large gathering when he was asked regarding a man claiming "There is nothing but Allah" and "Allah is in every place" – would this be considered a statement of disbelief or faith? Ibn Taymiyyah instantaneously replied:

"Whoever claims that Allah is in every place with His Essence opposes the Qur'an, the prophetic tradition, and the consensus of not only the Muslims but of all three religions. Rather, the Creator – exalted is He, the Most High – is separate from the creations. There is nothing in His creation that is in His Essence, nor is His Essence in any of His creation. He is Independent of it, His Essence separate from it.

"All the Companions, the Followers, the Four Imams and the rest of the Imams of religion have agreed that Allah's statement 'He is with you wherever you are, and Allah is watchful over what you do' [Al-Qur'an 57:4] does not mean that He is mixed in with the creation or has descended into them, nor does it mean that He is everywhere with His Essence. Rather, He – exalted is He, the Most High – is with everything with His knowledge, His power etc. Allah is with His slave in the sense of listening to his speech, looking at his actions, knowing his private and public affairs, and supervising them; He is in control over not only them but all the heavens, the earth and whatever is in between, all of which is the creation of Allah without Him descending into any part of it: 'Exalted is He. There is nothing like unto Him – He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing' [Al-Qur'an 42:11] – either in his Essence, His attributes or His actions.

"Allah is described by what He described Himself with, and what his Messenger described Him with, without interfering in modalities, or engaging corporealism, distortion, or negation. His attributes are not explained using the attributes of His creation. The position of the Predecessors is to affirm without anthropomorphising and to consider Him and His Attributes free from blemishes without negation.

"Imam Malik – may Allah be pleased with him – was asked about the statement of Allah Most High'The Merciful rose over the throne.' [Al-Qur'an 20:5] He replied, 'Rising is known. The modality is unknown. Having faith in it is mandatory. Asking about it is an innovation.'"

This is who Imam Ibn Taymiyyah was. This answer is exactly as I have read about his theology, and as I have studied about his biography. So how can it be that those subscribing to his theology are accused of pandeism, pantheism, corporealism, or whatever else the pantheists adopt as their beliefs?

May Allah protect us and you from unorthodoxy, deviation and corruption. May He guide us to the ways of good and righteousness. He is indeed able over everything and worthy of accepting.

Composed by the one who depends on his Independent Lord, Abu Muhammad Mahmud ibn Ahmad al-'Ayni17, may Allah treat with him with His covert and overt compassion, 18/03/835, Cairo.

From the foreword to the book Al-Radd al-Wafir 'Ala Man Za'am Ann Man Samma Ibn Taymiyyah Shaykh ul-Islam Kafir (The Comprehensive Refutation on the One Who Believed that the One Naming Ibn Taymiyyah as the Shaykh of Islam is a Disbeliever) of Ibn Nasir ud-Din al-Dimashqi ash-Shafi'i (d. 842H, pp. 84-89, Matba'at Kurdistan al-'Ilmiyyah, 1329H.18 This translation was originally posted on by the translator, Harris Hammam.

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