Archive for the ‘CHARACTER/TAZKIYYAH’ Category


 What are some things that will keep a person firm upon Salafiyyah and distant from the paths of misguidance?
There are a number of affairs that will help someone in this. From them:
[1] Staying close to the people of knowledge, those who are known for:
[a] their capabilities;
[b] being foremost in virtues;
[c] being well versed in knowledge;
[d] their strength in (knowledge of) the Sunnah;
[e] their adherence to it;
[f] their harshness against the people of desires.
It is suitable that they are the ones to take (knowledge) from, the knowledge that is paired with wisdom.
[2] Staying distant from the people of innovation and desires, keeping away from their gatherings, and not subjecting oneself to their debating and argumentation.
[3] Reading the books authored by the Salaf, reading them with the scholars if that is possible. If that is not possible, then asking about the phrases or subjects which are difficult to understand within these Salafee books, asking the people of knowledge about them, so they can clarify any misunderstandings one encounters.
Shaykh ‘Ubayd al-Jaabiree, well-known scholar and retired professor from the Islaamic University of al-Madeenah
This was translated exclusively for from a published recording entitled Liqaa’ Maftooh, dated 1424/6/9

Posted January 28, 2011 by thesunnahway in CHARACTER/TAZKIYYAH

The Character of The Bearers (and People) of the Quran   Leave a comment

From ‘The Character of The Bearers (and People) of the Qur’an’ Chapter 4 by Imam al-Ajooriyy al-Baghdadi (rahimahullah)

The first matter that it befits him to employ is Taqwa of Allah secretly and openly, by exercising caution (wara’) with regards to the sources of his food, drink, dress and earnings. He is perceptive about his time and the corruptions of its people that he may beware of them regarding his religion. He concentrates on his own situation, having the aspiration to reform whatever is corrupt in his affairs, guarding his tongue and choosing his words.

If he speaks, he speaks with knowledge when he sees speech to be correct. He fears from his tongue things more severe than he fears from his enemy. He imprisons his tongue the way he imprisons his enemy, so that he may be safe from its evil and bad consequences. He rarely laughs at the matters which people laugh, due to the bad consequences of laughter. If he is pleased by something in accordance with the truth, he smiles. He dislikes joking, fearing frivolity: if he jokes, he speaks the truth. He is accommodating in countenance and pure in speech. He does not allow himself to be praised for qualities he has, how then for qualities he does not have? He is wary of his self, that it should overcome him for what it desires, of the things that will anger his Master. He does not backbite anyone. He does not look down upon anyone. He does not abuse anyone. He is not happy at the affliction of others. He neither transgresses upon anyone, nor envies them. He does not think the worst about anyone, except for one who deserves it. He loves with knowledge, and hates with knowledge. He speaks about a person’s faults only with knowledge, and remains silent about a person’s real nature with knowledge.

He has made the Qur’an, Sunnah and Fiqh his guide to every good and beautiful quality, guarding all his limbs from what has been forbidden. If he walks, he walks with knowledge. If he sits, he sits with knowledge. He strives hard so that people may be safe from his tongue and hand. He does not behave ignorantly: if someone behaves ignorantly towards him, he is forbearing. He does not oppress: if he is oppressed, he forgives. He does not transgress: if he is transgressed upon, he has patience. He restrains his fury to please his Lord and enrage his enemy. He is humble in himself: when the truth is presented to him, he accepts it, whether from one younger or older.

He seeks status from Allah, not from the creatures. He despises arrogance, fearing for his self from it. He does not (earn to) eat by the Qur’an, nor does he like his needs being fulfilled by way of it. He neither runs with it to the sons of kings, nor sits with it amongst the rich so that they may honour him.

If the people earn plenty from the world without understanding or perception, he earns a little with understanding and knowledge. If the people wear fine luxury, he wears of the halal with that which conceals his private parts. If his circumstances ease, he eases; if they tighten, he tightens. He is content with little, so it suffices him. He bewares for his self from the world that which will make it tyrannical. He follows the obligations of the Qur’an and the Sunnah: he eats food with knowledge; he drinks with knowledge; he dresses with knowledge; he sleeps with knowledge; he has union with his wife with knowledge; he accompanies his brothers with knowledge; visiting them with knowledge, seeking permission to enter upon them with knowledge, and greeting them with knowledge; he treats his neighbour with knowledge.

He imposes strictly upon himself the honouring of his parents: he lowers his wing to them, and lowers his voice before their voices. He expends his wealth for them, and looks upon them with the eye of respect and mercy. He prays for their longevity, and is thankful for them in old age. He is not irritated by them, and does not look down upon them. If they ask for his help in a matter of obedience, he helps them. If they ask for his help in a matter of disobedience, he does not help them, but is gentle with them in his disobedience of them: he shows beautiful etiquette such that they may return from the ugly matter that they intended, that it does not befit them to do. He maintains family relations and despises breaking them. If someone breaks off relations with him, he does not break off relations with them. If someone disobeys Allah regarding him, he obeys Allah regarding him.

He accompanies the believers with knowledge, and sits with them with knowledge. He benefits those who accompany him, being an excellent companion for those whom he sits with. If he teaches another, he is gentle with him. He is not harsh with the one who makes a mistake, and does not embarrass him. He is gentle in all his matters, extremely patient in teaching goodness. The leaner finds comfort in him, and the one sitting with him is joyous at his company. Sitting with him brings goodness. He educates his companions with the etiquettes of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

If he is afflicted with a difficulty, the Qur’an and the Sunnah are two educators for him. He grieves with knowledge. He cries with knowledge. He has patience with knowledge. He purifies himself with knowledge. He prays with knowledge. He gives zakat with knowledge. He gives charity with knowledge. He fasts with knowledge. He performs the hajj with knowledge. He wages jihad with knowledge. He earns with knowledge, and he spends with knowledge. He eases in matters with knowledge, and tightens in them with knowledge. The Qur’an and the Sunnah have taught him his manners. He looks through the pages of the Qur’an in order to teach himself manners, and he is not pleased for himself to fulfil with ignorance the obligations imposed by Allah. He has made knowledge and understanding his guide to every goodness.

When he studies the Qur’an, it is with the presence of understanding and intelligence: his aspiration is to understand that which Allah has imposed upon him of following His commands and avoiding His prohibitions. His aspiration is not: when will I complete the soorah? His aspiration is: when will I be enriched by Allah, so that I am in no need of other than Him? When will I be of the pious? When will I be of those who excel? When will I be of those who have total tawakkul? When will be of those who humble themselves? When will I be of the patient ones? When will I be of the truthful ones? When will I be of the fearful ones? When will I be of the hopeful ones?

When will I have non-attachment to the world? When will I have yearning for the Hereafter? When will I repent from sins? When will I recognize the widespread favours? When will I be grateful for them? When will I understand from Allah His address? When will I understand what I recite? When will I overcome my self regarding its base desires? When will I strive in Allah’s cause with a true jihad? When will I guard my tongue? When will I lower my gaze? When will I guard my chastity? When will I be ashamed before Allah with true shame? When will I be preoccupied with my faults? When will I reform the corruptions in my life? When will I call my self to account?

When will I take provision for the Day of Resurrection? When will I be pleased with Allah? When will I have trust in Allah? When will I be admonished by the warnings of the Qur’an? When will I be preoccupied with His remembrance away from remembrance of other than Him? When will I love what He loves? When will I hate what He hates? When will I be sincere to Allah? When will I purify my deeds for Him? When will I reduce my vain hopes? When will I prepare myself for the day of my death, when my remaining term shall have vanished? When will I build the life of my grave? When will I reflect upon the Standing and its severity? When will I reflect upon my solitude with my Lord? When will I reflect upon the Return?

When will I beware that which my Lord has warned me of: a Fire whose heat is severe, its depth great and its grief lengthy. Its inhabitants do not die that they may rest; their sins are not forgiven; their tears are not shown mercy. Their food is zaqqoom, and their drink is boiling water. Every time their skins are roasted, they are replaced with new ones so that they may taste the punishment. They regret when regret does not benefit them, and they bite upon their hands in sorrow at their falling short in obeying Allah and their embarking upon the disobedience of Allah. Thus, one of them says,

“Alas! If only I had sent something forward for my life!” (89:24)

Another says, “My Lord, return me! It may be that I work righteousness in what I have neglected!” (23:99-100)

Another says, “O woe to us! What is the matter with this Book? It does not leave a minor or major matter, except that it counts it!” (18:49)

Another says, “O woe to me! If only I had not taken so-and-so as a close friend!” (25:28)

Another group of them says, with their faces turning in different kinds of punishment, “Alas! If only we had obeyed Allah, and obeyed the Messenger!” (33:66)

So this is the Fire, O assembly of Muslims! O Bearers of the Qur’an! Allah has warned the believers of it in more than one place in His Book, out of mercy from Him towards the believers. Allah, Mighty and Majestic, said. “O you who have believed! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones. Upon it are angels, stern and severe: they disobey not Allah in what He commands them, and they do as they are ordered.” (66:6)

He, Mighty and Majestic, also said, “O you who have believed! Fear Allah, and let each soul see what it has sent forth for tomorrow; and fear Allah: truly, Allah is Aware of what you do.” (59:18)

He then warned the believers against being heedless of what Allah has obligated upon them and what He has entrusted to them not to lose, and to guard His limits that He has entrusted to them, and not to be like the others who rebelled against His command and so He punished them with different types of punishment. Thus He, Mighty and Majestic, said, “And do not be like those who forgot Allah, so He caused them to forget themselves: they are truly rebellious ones.” (59:19)

He then informed the believers that the people of the Fire and the people of the Garden are not equal, saying, “Not equal are the people of the Fire and the people of the Garden: the people of the Garden, they are the truly successful ones.” (59:20)

Thus, when the intelligent believer recites the Qur’an, he presents himself to it, so it becomes like a mirror in which he sees which of his actions are beautiful and which are ugly. Thus, whatever his Master warns him against, he is wary of it; whatever He instils fear regarding its consequences, he fears; whatever his Master encourages him in, he desires it and hopes for it.

Thus, whoever fits this description, or close to this description, he has recited it as it should truly be recited, and has attended to it as it should truly be taken care of. The Qur’an becomes for him a witness, intercessor, comfort and support. Whoever has these qualities benefits himself and benefits his family, and returns with every goodness upon his parents and his children in this world and the Hereafter.

Posted January 15, 2011 by thesunnahway in CHARACTER/TAZKIYYAH

Hassan Al Basree’s Patience (Amazing story)   Leave a comment

Hassan Al Basree (radiyallahu anhu) had a neighbor who was a Christian.This neighbor had a toilet on the roof of his apartment and it used to leak through a hole in the roof of Hassan Al Basree’s apartment…Hassan placed a bucket beneath the hole to catch the urine that would leak through it and discard the contents at the end of each day. This continued for 20 years. Then one day, Hassan fell ill and his Christian neighbor came to visit him. When he entered, the neighbor noticed the bucket of urine that was leaking through the hole in his ceiling and asked Hassan astoundingly

“How long have you been tolerating this harm from me?!”

Hassan replied: “For 20 years!”

So the Christian neighbor took off his belt (which was the clothing of the Christians during that time) and accepted Islam…!!!

Mentioned in Hilya tul Aw.iyaa’a by Abu Nu’aim Al Asbahaani 

Posted January 12, 2011 by thesunnahway in CHARACTER/TAZKIYYAH, Inspirational

How to attain a righteous heart   Leave a comment


Question posed to al Allaamah ash-Shaykh Saleh al Fawzaan Hafidhahullaah

Question: What is the (proper) way to rectify and cleanse the heart from rancor and envy? And what are the most effective ways to reform the heart in this life?

Answer: Rectification of the heart takes place in different ways. Firstly, sincerity in ones intention for Allaah ‘azza wa jall when doing righteous actions and visualizing the magnitude of Allaah jall wa ‘alla and bearing in mind one’s (absolute) need of Allaah ‘azza wa jall.

Also remembering Allaah much. Allaah, the Most High says: “Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allaah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts find rest.” (13:28) So from that which rectifies the heart is remembering Allaah much. The Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallaam, has said: The example of the who remembers Allaah and the one who does not remember Allaah is like that of the living and the dead.

Likewise from the means for the revitalization of the heart is consuming from the halaal (lawful) and leaving off consuming from the haraam (unlawful) because it (i.e. consuming from the haraam) hardens the heart, corrupts and sickens it. Evil nourishment(s) affect the heart and body. And likewise from the reasons Allaah says: “O (you) Messengers! Eat of the Tayyibaat [all kinds of halaal (lawful) foods (meat of slaughtered edible animals, milk products, fats, vegetables, fruits, etc.], and do righteous deeds.” (23:51) and Allaah ordered the believers with that which He ordered the Messengers, He says: “O you who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah – Islamic Monotheism)! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with…” (2:172)

Consuming from the tayyibaat means the lawful things because Allaah has made permissible for us the tayyibaat and prohibited upon us the khabaaith (evil things). So therefore, nutrition with the tayyibaat, i.e. which are the lawful things, nourishes the heart with a pleasant nourishment just as nutrition with noxious things nourishes the heart with an abhorrent nourishment. And from those matters that sicken the heart are listening to music and flutes and the like which has become very prevalent in this time (of ours).

From those affairs that sicken the heart or cause it to die is busying one’s self with obscenities and the internet and whatever these evil devices promote from wickedness and evil ideologies like forbidden lusts and despicable sights. This is from those affairs that plague the heart. Likewise accompanying wicked and individuals and sitting with them corrupts the heart whereas accompanying the the upright people and the scholars and the people of goodness; is from those matter that reform the heart.

Transcribed from: Question Posed to Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan on How to Attain a Righteous Heart | Translated by Fouzaan Qaasim

Posted January 12, 2011 by thesunnahway in CHARACTER/TAZKIYYAH

Hating oneself for the sake of Allah…   Leave a comment

Ibn Al Qayyim said:

“And hating oneself for the sake of Allaah is one of the characteristics of the truthful, in a single second it brings the slave close to Allaah many times more than any action or deed would”

Later in the same chapter of Ighathat al-lahfan he related from Al Jariri:

I was told of a man from Bani Isra’eel who had a need he wanted fulfilled by Allaah, so he engaged in constant worship and then asked Allaah for his need. When he did not see his need fulfilled he spent the night blaming himself, saying ‘O self, what is wrong with you that is preventing your need from being fulfilled?’

And he spent the night sad and holding himself to account saying: ‘By Allaah the problem is not with my Lord, rather the problem is with myself’ And he remained in that state of holding himself responsible until his need was finally taken care of’

{Ighathat al-lahfan; 1/77

” Every time you feel disheartened by your
being alone on this path, then look to those who came before you and strive to
catch up with them, and turn away from everyone else, as they will not benefit
you in the least with Allah. If you happen to see them somewhere along the path
that you are upon, then do not turn to look at them, for if you do so, they
will distract you and simply delay your progress.”

Ibn Qayyim

Posted January 4, 2011 by thesunnahway in CHARACTER/TAZKIYYAH

Strengthening the Character- By Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah   Leave a comment

Strengthening the Character- By Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

Strengthening the Character

1) Six Ettiquettes of Learning [2]

Ibn al-Qayyim – rahimahullâh – said: “There are six stages to knowledge:

Firstly: Asking questions in a good manner.Secondly: Remaining quiet and listening attentively.Thirdly: Understanding well.Fourthly: Memorising.Fifthly: Teaching.Sixthly – and it is its fruit: Acting upon the knowledge and keeping to its limits.”[3]

2) Fruits of Humility

 Ibn al-Qayyim – rahimahullâh – said:[4]

“One of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) said: ‘Indeed a servant commits a sin by which he enters Paradise; and another does a good deed by which he enters the Fire.’ It was asked: ‘How is that?’ So he replied: ‘The one who committed the sin, constantly thinks about it; which causes him to fear it, regret it, weep over it and feel ashamed in front of his Lord – the Most High – due to it. He stands before Allâh, broken-hearted and with his head lowered in humility. So this sin is more beneficial to him than doing many acts of obedience, since it caused him to have humility and humbleness – which leads to the servant’s happiness and success – to the extent that this sin becomes the cause for him entering Paradise. As for the doer of good, then he does not consider this good a favour from his Lord Upon him. Rather, he becomes arrogant and amazed with himself, saying: I have achieved such and such, and such and such. So this further increases him in self adulation, pride and arrogance – such that this becomes the cause for his destruction.’ ”

3) Purifying the Heart

Ibn al-Qayyim – rahimahullâh – said:

“There is no doubt that the heart becomes covered with rust, just as metal dishes – silver, and their like – become rusty. So the rust of the heart is polished with dhikr (remembrance of Allâh), for dhikr polishes the heart until it becomes like a shiny mirror. However, when dhikr is abandoned, the rust returns; and when it commences then the heart again begins to be cleansed. Thus the heart becoming rusty is due to two matters: sins and ghaflah (neglecting remembrance of Allâh). Likewise, it is cleansed and polished by two things: istighfâr (seeking Allâh’s forgiveness) and dhikr.”[5]

4) Jihâd Against the Self

“Jihâd (striving) against the soul has four stages:

Firstly: To strive in learning guidance and the religion of truth, without which there will be no success. Indeed, there can be no true happiness, nor any delight in this world and in the Hereafter, except through it.

Secondly: Striving to act upon what has been learnt, since knowledge without action will not benefit, rather it will cause harm.

Thirdly: Striving to invite others towards it and to teach those who do not know, otherwise he may be considered from those who hide what Allâh has revealed of guidance and clear explanation. Such knowledge will neither benefit, nor save a person from the punishment of Allâh.

Fourthly: Striving to be patient and persevering against those who oppose this da‘wah (call) to Allâh and those who seek to cause harm – patiently bearing all these hardships for the sake of Allâh.

When these four stages are completed then such a person is considered to be amongst the Rabbâniyyûn. The Salaf were agreed that a Scholar does not deserve the title of Rabbânî until he recognises and knows the truth, acts upon it, and teaches it to others. So whosoever has knowledge, acts upon it, and teaches this knowledge to others, is considered from the Rabbâniyyûn.”[6]

5) Trials of the Heart

Ibn al-Qayyim said, whilst commenting upon the following hadîth: “Trials and tribulations will be presented to hearts, as a reed mat is interwoven stick by stick. Any heart which absorbs these trials will have a black mark put in it. However, any heart that rejects them will have a white mark put in it. The result is that hearts will be of two kinds: one white like a white stone, which will not be harmed by trials as long as the heavens and earth endure; and the other dark and rusty, like an over-turned vessel; not able to recognise the good, nor reject evil, but rather being absorbed with its desires.”[7]

“The fitan (trials) which are presented to the hearts – and which are the cause of its weakness – are:

(i) the trials relating to shahwah (false desire) and

(ii) the trials relating to shubhah (doubt)… so the first causes intentions and will to be corrupted, whilst the second causes knowledge and beliefs to be corrupted”.[8] Speaking about such trials, he – rahimahullâh – said: “Hearts – when exposed to such fitân (trials) – are of two types:

[The first type]: a heart, which, when exposed to such trials, absorbs it like a sponge that soaks-up water, leaving in it a black stain. Such a heart continues to soak-up the various trials that are presented to it, until it becomes dark and corrupted – which is what is meant by “an over-turned vessel.” So when this occurs, two dangerous and deadly diseases take hold of it and plunge it into destruction:

Firstly: confusing good with evil, so it neither recognises the good, nor rejects the evil. This disease may take hold of it to such an extent that it believes good to be evil; and evil to be good, Sunnah to be bid‘ah (innovation), and innovations to be the Sunnah; and the truth to be falsehood: and falsehood the truth.

Secondly: judging by its whims and desires, over and against what Allâh’s Messenger came with being enslaved by its whims and desires and being led by them also.

[The second type]: a white heart in which the light of îmân is bright and its radiance is illuminating. So when trials are presented to such a heart, it rejects and turns away from them. This further increases its light and illumination and its strength.”[9]

[u]6) Four Principles of Worship [/u

“(The Ayah): “You alone do we worship.” [Sûrah al fâtihah 1:5] is built upon four principles:- Ascertaining what Allâh and His Messenger love and are pleased with, from

i. the sayings of the heart and

ii. of the tongue; and

iii. the actions of the heart and

iv. of the limbs.

So al-‘Ubûdiyyah (servitude and slavery to Allâh) is a comprehensive term for all these four Stages. The one who actualises them has indeed actualised: “You alone do we worship.”

The saying of the heart: It is I‘tiqâd (belief) in what Allâh – the Most Perfect – informed about His Self; concerning His Names, His Attributes, His Actions, His Angels, and all that He sent upon the tongue of His Messenger.

The saying of the tongue: It is to inform and convey (what Allâh has revealed), to call to it, defend it, to explain the false innovations which oppose it, to establish its remembrance and to convey what it orders.

The action of the heart: Such as love for Him, reliance upon Him, repenting to Him, having fear and hope in Him, making the Dîn purely and sincerely for Him, having patience in what He orders and prohibits, having patience with what He decrees and being pleased with it, having allegiance and enmity for His sake, humbling oneself in front of Him and having humility in front of Him, becoming tranquil with Him and other than this from the actions of the heart which are actually connected to the action of the limbs … and actions of the limbs without the action of the heart is of little benefit if any benefit at all.

The action of the limbs: Such as Prayer and Jihâd, attending the Jumu‘ah and being with the Jamâ‘ah, aiding those who are unable and displaying goodness and kindness to the creation, and other than this.”[10]


[1] He is Abû ‘Abdullâh, Shamsud Dîn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr (better known as Ibn al-Qayyim (or ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah). He was born in the year 691H in the city of Damascus. From an early age he set about acquiring knowledge and studied under many prominent teachers, the most notable of whom was Shaykhul-Islâm Ibn Taymiyyah. His students include the likes of Ibn Kathîr, adh-Dhahabî, Ibn Rajab, Ibn ‘Abdul-Hâdî and others. He authored over ninety books and booklets – all of them being characterised by their touching address to the soul and the heart, as well, as their accuracy, precision and depth of research. Ibn al-Qayyim died on the night of Thursday 13th Rajab at the time of the ‘Ishâ adhân in the year 751H. Testaments about his comprehensive knowledge, firm adherence to the way of the Salaf; excellent manners, worship and zuhd have been given by Al-Hâfidh Ibn Hajar in ad-Dururul-Kâminah (3/400), Al-Hâfidh Ibn Rajab in Dhayl Tabaqâtul-Hanâbilah (2/447), ash-Shawkânî in al-Badrut-Tâli’(2/143-146) and also Al-Hâfidh Ibn Kathîr who said about him in al-Bidâyah wan-Nihâyah (14/246): “He attained great proficiency in many branches of knowledge, particularly knowledge of Tafsîr, Hadîth and Usûl. When Shaykh Taqiyyud-Dîn Ibn Taymiyyah returned from Egypt in the year 712H, he stayed with the Shaykh until he died, learning a great deal of knowledge from him; along with the knowledge which he had already occupied himself in obtaining. So he became a singular Scholar in many branches of knowledge. He also continued to seek knowledge greatly day and night and was constant in humbly calling upon his Lord. He recited well and had fine manners. He had a great deal of love and did not harbour any envy for anyone, nor harm anyone, nor seek to find fault with anyone, nor bear any malice towards anyone. I was one of those who most often kept company with him and I was one of the most beloved of people to him. I do not know anyone in the world, in this time, who is a greater worshipper than him. His Salâh (Prayer) used to be very lengthy, with prolonged rukû’ (bowing) and sujûd (prostration). His companions would often reproach him for this, yet he never retorted back, nor did he abandon this practice – may Allâh shower His Mercy upon him.” [2] The following are some points of benefit – extracted from the various works of the Shaykh pertaining to purification of the souls and curing the diseases of the hearts. [3] Miftâh Dârus-Sa‘âdah ( p.283). [4] Al-Wâbilus-Sayyib minal-Kalimit-Tayyib ( p. 15). [5] Al-Wâbilus-Sayyib (p. 80). [6] Zâd ul-Ma‘âd fî Hadî Khayril-‘Ibâd (pp. 9-11). [7] Related by Muslim (no. 144), from Hudhaifah, radiallâhu ‘anhu. [8] Ighâthatul-Luhfân (p. 40). [9] Ighâthatul-Luhfân (pp. 39-40). [10] Madârijus-Sâlikîn (1/100-101).</

Posted November 14, 2010 by thesunnahway in CHARACTER/TAZKIYYAH

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was always fair and honest in his dealings with other people   Leave a comment

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was always fair and honest in his dealings with other people

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was always fair and honest in his dealings with other people even before his prophethood. When he attained the age of maturity he became a trader and went on expeditions to the Middle East countries. He traded with other people’s money with great prudence and made large profits. The people of Makkah were very much impressed by his trading skill and fair dealing. Gradually he became well-known and the people trusted him. It was his honesty and fair dealing in business that impressed Khadijah, who first entrusted her enterprise to him and later married him. All the people who had done business dealings with him before his prophethood had always praised his honesty and fair dealing in trade. He was not only fair in business dealings with other people but also encouraged his companions to be so. An-Nauman bin Bashir reported God’s Messenger (PBUH) as saying, “What is lawful is clear and what is unlawful is clear, but between them are certain doubtful things which many people do not recognise. He who guards against doubtful things keeps his religion and his honour blameless, but he who falls into doubtful things falls into what is unlawful, just as a shepherd who pastures his animals round a national reserve will soon pasture them in it. Every king has a reserve and God’s reserve is the things He has declared unlawful.” (Bukhari and Muslim). And Abdullah ibn Masud reported God’s Messenger as saying, “Trying to earn a lawful livelihood is an obligatory duty in addition to the duties which are obligatory.” Rafi ibn Khadij said that God’s Messenger (PBUH) was asked what type of earning was best and he replied, “A man’s work with his hands and every business transaction which is approved.” (Ahmad). Jabir (RA) reported God’s Messenger (PBUH) as saying, “God shows mercy to a man who is kindly when he sells, when he buys and when he makes a claim.” (Bukhari).

Abu Saeed (RA) reported God’s Messenger (PBUH) as saying, “The truthful and trustworthy merchant is associated with the Prophets, the upright and the martyrs.” (Tirmizi, Darimi and Ibn Majah). Hudhaifa (RA) reported God’s Messenger (SAWS) as saying, “Before your time there was a man who, when the angel came to take his soul, was asked whether he had done anything good and he replied that he did not know. He was told to consider, and then he said that the only thing he knew was that he used to have business dealings with people in the world and would demand his rights from them, giving the rich time to pay and letting the poor off. So God brought him into Paradise.” (Bukhari and Muslim).

Muhammad (PBUH) clearly warned those who did not do fair dealings. Abdullah ibn Masud (RA) reported God’s Messenger (PBUH) as saying, “No man who acquires unlawful property and gives some of it in charity will have it accepted from him; neither will he receive a blessing for it; and if he leaves some of it behind him it will be his provision for hell.” (Ahmad). And Abu Bakr(RA) reported God’s Messenger (PBUH) as saying, “Nobody who has been nourished with what is unlawful will enter Paradise.” Many incidents can be quoted from the life of Muhammad (PBUH) to show how just and fair he was in his business dealings with other people. There was a famous trader, named Saib, in Arabia, who embraced Islam and came to see Muhammad. The Muslims introduced him with some commendatory words to the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The Prophet (PBUH) said, “I know him better than you.” Saib said, “My parents be sacrificed, he was my partner and always kept business dealings fair and clean.’) Once Muhammad borrowed some dates from a man who came back a few days later and demanded payment of his debt. Muhammad asked one of the Ansar to pay off his debt. The Ansari paid back his dates but they were not of the same quality as had been given by him to the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He refused to accept them. The Ansari told him that he was refusing to accept the dates given by the Holy Prophet (SAWS). He replied, “Yes, if the Messenger (SAWS) of God will not do justice, from whom shall we expect it?” When the Holy Prophet (PBUH) heard this, tears came into his eyes and he said, “It is quite true.”

Once Muhammad (PBUH) borrowed some money from a Beduin. He came back and spoke very harshly to the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The companions rebuked him for his arrogance and said, “Do you know who you are talking to?” He replied that he was demanding his due. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said to his companions, “You ought to support him for he hathe right to speak.” Then he asked his companions to pay off his debt and give some more. In a battle, Jabir ibn Abdullah Ansari (RA) was accompanying the Holy Prophet. His camel was slow, and after the journey, having been completely worn out, it became very slow. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) bought his camel and then gave it back to him along with the money and said “Both are yours.” Once he borrowed a camel from someone and returned a better one. Then he said, “The best people are those who pay off their debts joyfully.”

Once a Beduin was selling the meat of a camel. Muhammad (PBUH) thought that there were some dry dates at home, so he bought some meat for one Wasq of dates. When he came home he found there were no dates. He came out of the house and told the Beduin that he had bought meat in exchange for dates but he had no dates. The Beduin began to shout that he had been tricked. The people advised him that the Messenger of God would not do unfair dealing with anyone. The Holy Prophet said, “Leave him, he has the right to protest.” This continued for some time and each time the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “He has the right to protest.” Then the Holy Prophet (PBUH) sent him to an Ansari (RA) woman and asked him to get his dates for the meat from her. When he returned with the dates, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was sitting with his companions. He was very much impressed by the gentleness, forgiveness and fair dealings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Seeing the Holy Prophet (PBUH) he said, “Muhammad! May God give you a better reward; you have paid the full price with goodness.”

Once a small caravan was staying outside Medinah. They had a red camel. By chance, Muhammad (PBUH) passed that way and asked the price of the camel. The people told him the price, which he accepted without argument. Muhammad (PBUH) caught the bridle of the camel and walked towards the city. Afterwards the people regretted that they had given the camel without any acquaintance. There was a woman in the caravan who said, “Be comforted. We have not seen a man with a brighter face than his.” In other words, such a man would not deceive. When night fell, Muhammad (PBUH) sent food for them and dates for the price of the camel. Muhammad (PBUH) needed some armaments in the battle of Hunain. He asked Safwan, an unbeliever, to lend him some chain armour. He replied, “Muhammad! You intend to usurp something?” The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “No, I am taking it on loan. If some is lost, I will pay the proper compensation.” He gave forty sets of chain armour on loan. After the battle. some of the chain armour was found to be missing. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) told Safwan that some of his armour was lost, and he could accept compensation for them. Safwan (RA) replied, “O Messenger of God! The condition of my heart is not as it was before. In other words, I have embraced Islam; now I don’t need compensation.”

Posted November 14, 2010 by thesunnahway in CHARACTER/TAZKIYYAH

The Importance of Adab   Leave a comment

Knowledge without Adab is like fire without wood, and Adab without knowledge is like a spirit without a body

What is Adab?

 is not fully translatable from Arabic to English. It encompasses all the good things a Muslim must do Adab linguistically means to invite people for food. The Arabic word Ma’duba  is a word derived from the word Adab, and means to invite all or many people for all types of food, or a gathering around a table. Adab hence includes all that is good; every noble characteristic, habit, or trait that is included within the scope of

Adab is natural, it isn’t really taught, or learnt, but it is naturally developed. Children acquire from their parents, students from their teachers, the young from the elders. We may have much knowledge but lack adab and we may have much adab but lack knowledge; but it is adab that holds the greater value and importance. In today’s society, where parents, teachers, and elders are no longer given their correct honours, respect or rights; basic manners have made a swift exit, whilst we compete for glory, knowledge, or worldly gain

The Importance of Adab

Ibn Al-Mubarak said, “Mukhlid Ibn al-Husayn once said to me,‘ We are more in need of acquiring adab than learning Hadith’. This highlights that knowledge alone is insufficient to build a sound and balanced Islamic personality. Imam Zakariya al-Anbari once said:

Knowledge without Adab is like fire without wood, and Adab without knowledge is like a spirit without a body’.

So, vast amounts of knowledge and severe lack in adab means a person is little more than a donkey laden with books. What use are the books to that donkey without being able to read? Similarly, what use is knowledge to a Muslim, without the practical mannerisms and etiquettes that really define us as Muslims?

Traditionally, adab was not taught but acquired and embodied between interactions between people. It has been narrated that Imam Ahmed (رحمة الله عليه) would have had up to 5000 attendees at his gatherings, maybe 500 would write and learn; the rest (4500) would simply learn from his actions, his adab This has such importance that we learn by what we see, whether that is good or bad, hence it is essential and somewhat detrimental that we teach only that which is good, as the bad habits are perhaps the easier to acquire.

Looking at other classical examples from our pious Ulema; the mother of Imam Malik (رحمة الله عليه) would place an imama on his head and send him to his teacher Rabi’ah ibn Abdurrahman (nicknamed: Rabi’ah Ar-Rai’), to learn first from his manners, his <span>adab</span> and then his knowledge. Indeed the deen of Islam is itself manners, where anyone that surpasses you in manners, is better than you in deen (Ibn al-Qayyim). Abu Huraira (رضى الله عنه) narrated, that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

I have not been sent as a Messenger, except to perfect character (Akhlaaq)”He also said that:“The nearest of you to me on the Day of Judgement will be the one who is best in character.”(Bukhari)

All the books of Hadith have chapters on Adab.

For example:

Muwatta’, Imam Malik: The book of good behaviour

Sahih al-Bukhari: The book of manners

Sahih Muslim: The book of dutifulness, ties of kinship and manners.

Sunan Abi Dawud: The book of manners

 Sunan at Tirmidhi: The book of manners,

and the book of dutifulness and ties of kinship.

Sunan Ibn Majah: Chapters on Manners.

The book Al Adab Al Mufrad was separated by Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) because he was aware of its great importance in everyday living. When we talk about Adab we must first begin with our Adab with Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) in terms of akhlaaq, sincerity, actions, avoiding shirk etc. We must qualify our respect for Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) and His attributes, His signs, His Symbols (the Quran, the Masãjid and everything connected to Him). Then we must purify and qualify our <span>Adab</span> with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). In quantifying, Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) tells us in the Quran that in His (صلى الله عليه وسلم) manners and style, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was a perfect example:


 وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ“

Truly, you have the best of manners”(Quran Al Qalam: verse 4)


Posted November 14, 2010 by thesunnahway in CHARACTER/TAZKIYYAH

Pride Barrier to paradise   Leave a comment

From ‘Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood radi-Allaahu ‘anhu who related that Allaah’s Messenger sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam said:

“Whoever has an atoms worth of kibr (pride) in his heart will not enter Paradise.” So a man said: What about a person who loves (i.e. takes pride in) wearing beautiful clothes and beautiful shoes? So he replied: “Indeed Allaah is beautiful and loves beauty. Kibr (pride) is to reject the truth, and to despise the people.”

So Allaah – the Most High – informs us that the Hellfire is the abode of those who have kibr (pride and arrogance). And we learn from the (above) hadeeth that: “Whoever has on atoms worth of kibr (pride) in his heart will not enter Paradise.” So this is a proof that kibr (pride) necessitates entry into the Hellfire and prevents entry into Paradise. And this comprehensive explanation that the Prophet sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam mentioned has clarified the meaning of kibr (pride) in the dearest possible manner. So he divided kibr into two types:-

<span>[1] Pride against the truth:</span> This is to reject the truth and not to accept it. So anyone who reject the truth is proud and arrogant – in accordance with what he reject of the truth. So it is obligatory upon everyone to humble themselves to the truth which Allaah sent His Messenger with, and which He sent down in His Book. As for those whose pride and arrogance prevents them from totally complying with the Messengers (i.e. having eemaan or faith in them and their message) – then they are kuffaar (unbelievers) who will dwell in the Hellfire for eternity. Since when the truth comes to them via the Messengers, who explain to them the signs and clear proofs, they reject it and are prevented from accepting it, due to the kibr that they harbour in their hearts. Allaah the Most High – said:

“Indeed those who argue about the Signs of Allaah without any authority having come to them, there is nothing in their hearts except kibr (pride). They will never accept the Prophet Muhammad sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam as a Prophet.” [Soorah Ghaafir (40):56]

As for those whose arrogance and pride prevent them from complying with parts of the truth – because it opposes their personal opinions or their whims and desires – then such people are not kuffaar (unbelievers), but such an action necessitates them being punished in accordance with what they have of kibr. This is why the Scholars are agreed that whenever the Sunnah (guidance and way) of Allaah’s Messenger sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam has been explained to anyone, then it is not lawful for him to turn away from it to the saying of someone else, whoever and whatever status he may have. So it is obligatory upon the seeker of knowledge to give complete and absolute precedence to the saying of Allaah and the saying of His Messenger sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam over and above the saying of anyone else, and that he should make that the basis to which he returns, and the foundation upon which he builds; following the guidance of the Prophet sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam, striving hard to understand what is intended from it, and following this, both inwardly and outwardly. When a person conforms to this great principle, then he has indeed reached goodness and excellence, and all his errors will be forgiven to him; since his overall objective is to follow that which has been prescribed upon him. So his errors are excused due to his striving his best to recognise and comply with the truth – and this is humbling oneself to the truth.

<span>[2] Pride towards people:</span> This type is to despise the people, and to look down upon them. This attitude arises when a person is amazed with his own self, thinks highly of himself, and thinks he is better than others. So this causes him to have kibr towards the creation, despise them, mock them, and to degrade them through both speech and action. Allaah’s Messenger sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam said:

“It is enough evil for a person to despise his brother Muslim.” 2

This is why the man asked: “What about a person who loves (i.e. takes pride in) wearing beautiful clothes and shoes?” Because he feared that this was the kibr which would be under the threat of punishment. So the Prophet sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam explained to him that this was not from kibr; since this person was one who complied with the truth, and was humble towards people, and that this was from the beauty that Allaah loves, for indeed Allaah – the Most High is beautiful in His Dhaat (Self), Sifaat (Attributes) and Af’aal (Actions), and He loves both outer and inner beauty.

As regards outer beauty, then it includes cleanliness of the body, clothes and place. As regards to inner beauty, then it is beautifying the character. This is why the Prophet sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam used to supplicate:

“O Allaah! Guide me to having beautiful manners and characteristics, no one can guide me to beautifying them except You. And turn away from me all evil actions and characteristics, no one can turn them away from me except You.”3

And Allaah knows best. 

Posted November 14, 2010 by thesunnahway in CHARACTER/TAZKIYYAH

The Heart and its Enslavement (Uboodiyyah)   Leave a comment

  On the Hardness of the Heart
Source: Al-Hijrah Magazine
Article ID : TZK020002  [680]  


The ‘Abd is never afflicted with punishment more severe than hardness of the heart and being away from Allaah Subhanahu wa ta’aala. An-Naar (Hellfire) was created to melt the hard hearts. The more distant of hearts are the hard ones. When the heart hardens the eye becomes dry. The hardness of the heart stems from exaggeration in four things: eating, sleeping, talking, and socializing. As when the body becomes sick, eating and drinking cannot cure it; if the heart becomes sick with desires, preaching cannot help it.

Whoever seeks to purify his heart let him favour Allaah over his desires. The hearts are the vessels of Allaah Subhanahu wa ta’aala on His earth. The most beloved to Him are those that are most soft, most strong and most pure.

They occupy their hearts with ad-Dunyaa (the world). If they occupied them with Allaah and al-Aakhirah their hearts would wonder in the meanings of His words and His clear signs. Then their hearts would return to them with marvelous wisdoms an astonishing benefits.

Taken from AL-HIJRA Magazine vol. 3, issue 6

Posted November 10, 2010 by thesunnahway in CHARACTER/TAZKIYYAH